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CHAPTER VII.

TOWN MEETINGS, 1797–1818.

    At the annual meeting on the fourteenth of March, 1797, the vote for governor was forty-seven votes for John T. Gilman and sixty-four votes for Moses Dow. Daniel Blaisdell had forty-three votes for senator. On the next day the towns of Canaan, Enfield and Orange met at the “Meeting House and chose Daniel Blaisdell representative.”

    At the annual meeting, William Richardson was chosen justice of the peace by a majority of nineteen. Six shillings on the pound was raised for highways, and two shillings and six pence to defray town charges and “making and mending bridges.”

    The collection of taxes was struck off to Richard Clark, 3d, at two pence on the pound. Ezekiel Wells, Daniel Farnum and William Richardson were chosen hogreeves. The hogs were not much restrained of their liberty, for that reason the duties of these officers was not more than complimentary. This office was held in so little honor that the men appointed to it were chosen more as a joke, and in later years, to make it the more ridiculous, as many as twenty were appointed, of which the first was called the “General,” and the others held subordinate positions on his staff, as “major,” “captain,” “corporal.” Hogs found in trespass were placed in the pound. Some expense attended their release, and this fact made men observant of the ways of their hogs.

    In 1798, the competition for the collection of taxes was spirited. Several bidders appeared and the excitement was high. Bidding began at three per cent. and went down until Richard Clark, 3d, determined not to be beaten, offered “a onepenny on the pound, for the privilege of collecting the money.” The next year Richard paid only “a happenny on the pound for the privilege.” William Richardson is justice of the peace this year.

    In 1798, no money seems to have been raised to defray town