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CHAPTER X.

PUBLIC RIGHTS.

 

    The charter of the town provided that one share should be given to the “First Settled Minister in said Town.” In 1773 the proprietors of the town voted to lay out the school and minister’s lot. In 1781 they voted “a one hundred acre lot in the first division and a one hundred acre lot in the second division and one ten acre lot of Intervale” to three public rights, the Church of England right, the first settled minister's right and the school right. Samuel Jones, John Scofield, Caleb Clark and Ezekiel Wells were appointed a committee to “pitch and lay them out.” In 1782 this committee were requested to lay out the third hundred-acre lots to the same “Publick Rights.” In 1797 the “laying out” had not been completed, and it was voted “to compleat laying all the Publick Rites mentioned in the charter.” The first settled minister’s share was set off and assigned to Rev. Thomas Baldwin in 1783, the year he was ordained an evangelist and placed in charge of the newly organized Baptist Church. In 1790, when Mr. Baldwin dissolved his connection with the church and people of Canaan, a town meeting was called to make a final settlement with him and the following vote was passed:

    Voted that we do hereby ratify and confirm a vote passed in the year 1783 (which vote is now lost) regarding the settlement of Elder Thomas Baldwin, . in which vote the town voted to approve and confirm what the church had done in calling Eldr Baldwin to be ordained as an Evangelist, and to exercise pastoral care over the Church and Congregation so long as he should judge it duty to continue here, by which he was considered as the minister of said town, though not confined for any certain time.

    At the same meeting Elder Baldwin, as testimony of his kindly regard for the people with whom he had lived and labored for twenty years and from whom he was about to separate, tendered to the town a deed of one half of his land, which was accepted in the language following: