Notice is hereby given to
the proprietors of Townshend, lying on West river, so-called, to meet at
the house of Paul Hazeltine, in said Townshend, on the first Tuesday of
April next, at 10 o’clock in the morning, then and there to act on the
To choose a moderator for the meeting.
2. To see
if the proprietors aforesaid will stand by Paul Hazeltine aforesaid in
the suit which said Paul Hazeltine is to answer, the third Tuesday of April
next, at the city hall in New York, by being by the Supreme court made
defendant; or lost the land on which he now lives.
March 22, 1774.
Met at time and place agreeably to
the notification for said meeting.
Voted, to send a man to New York, with
power of substitution, to get Mr. Paul Hazeltine made defendant in the
suit depending between Luke Knowlton, Esq., and John Taylor.
To choose a committee to notify the
proprietors of Fane and New Marlboro to perambulate the lines of our towns
with us, if they will, and if they refuse, said committee to go with a
surveyor and measure the lines of the towns of aforesaid, as they shall
think proper. Voted, that John Hazeltine, Esq.,
Joseph Tyler, Benjamin Howe and Ezra Holbrook, be a committee to do the
service spoken of.
The division line between the proprietors
of Townshend and Newfane had not been mutually established, and the suit
above named probably was one of the results of this unmarked boundary.
But however this may be, or whatever may have been the object or result
to the suit aforesaid, no attempt was ever made to dispossess any claimant
under the New Hampshire charter of this town by virtue of the title emanating
from the government of New York. A third division of 50 acres of
land to each right was ordered on the 29th day of May, 1780. The
last meeting of the proprietors was held on the 7th day of October, 1782.
1753 Aug. 29, William Young;
May 25, James Taylor;
1766, April 21, Joshua Wood;
1769, May 10, Samuel
1778, June 18, Amos Holbrook;
1782. Oct. 7, Joshua Wood.
Persons to whom the township were divided
and names, are entered upon the proprietors’ book as land owners: Asa Austin,
John Barnard, John Barnard, jr., Joshua Barnard, Joshua
Barnard, jr., Thomas
Barnes, Daniel Blanchard, Eben
Burt, Capt. John Burt, Dr. Jonas Butterfield,
Chamberlin’s heirs, Amariah Chase, Lieut. Henry Chase, Joseph Chase,
Jonathan Clayton, Moses Cook, Caleb
Darling, Lieut. Amri Doolittle, John
Dresser, Rev. Nicholas Dudley, Wid. Elizabeth Dyer, John Dyer, Joseph
Fay, Thomas Fay, John Fish, Josiah
Fish, Esq., Benjamin
Samuel Fletcher, Jonas
Hayward, Eli Hayward, Levi Hayward,
Silas Hayward, William
Hazeltine, Esq., John Hazeltine, son
of Silas; Paul Hazeltine, Peter
Hazeltine, heirs Silas
Hazeltine, jr., Caleb Hill, John B. Hinds, Amos
Holbrook, Ezra Holbrook, Moses Holbrook, Peter
Antipas Holland, heirs ; John Holland, Benjamin
Howe, John Howe, John
Johnson, Dr. Moses
Ranney, Enos Lincoln,
Lowe, Mathew Martin, Benjamin
Parkhurst, Lovett Partridge, Jesse Penniman, Baily
Read, Thomas Rice, Lemuel Robbins, William
Lyman Taft, Joseph Tyler, Esq., Susannah
Tyler, widow; Wm. Utley, jr.,
James Walden, Jeshurum
Walker, William Ward, James
Watkins’ heirs, Patience Watkins, widow: Edward White, Ensign Samuel
Dr. John Wood, Dr. Joshua Wood, Thomas Wood.
By division of the original rights
into parts and sale thereof, the number of land owners was increased from
74 to 98, which number to whom the town was laid out on pitch survey.
Distributions of the land was correctly done by the proprietors’ committees,
that courts have never been called upon to decide more land cases from
than from any town where the land was lotted and drawn for in the usual
way. No minute or record has been preserved of what was done at any
town meeting in Townshend previous to March, 1781. By an official
signature of Samuel Fletcher, it was shown that a constable, who was a
resident town officer, was serving here on the 6th day of May, 1771.
Probably the town was organized a few weeks before May of the year 1771,
and in conformity with the law of New York, requiring certain town officers
to be chosen annually on the day named in the charter, or on the first
Tuesday in April. The writer of an article in Thompson’s Gazetteer
however, says: “The first meeting for the transaction of town business
was on the 30th of may, 1771.”
The following is a copy of the census
of Townshend, taken early in 1771, pursuant to directions from the governor
of New York:
of families in the town of Townshend, John Burt, Moses Cook, Benjamin Field,
Benjamin Fletcher, Samuel Fletcher, Isaac A. Hart, Paul Haywood, William
Hazeltine, Esq., Paul Hazeltine, Peter Hazeltine, Moses Holbrook,
John Hopkins, Benjamin Howe, John
Howe, John Howe, jr., William Johnson,
David Lindsey, Mathew Martin, Benjamin Murdock, Ebenezer Ober, Thomas
Street, Joseph. Tyler.
of the heads of families, 25; males under 16, 33; males above 16 and under
60, 40; males 60 and upward, 1; females under 16, 35; females above 16,
26; total 25; blacks, females above 16, 1; grand total, 136.
May 6, 1771.
In May, 1774, a committee of correspondence,
numbering 51 members, was appointed in the city of New York, for the purpose
of drawing out and uniting the sentiments of the people in opposition to
the Boston Port Bill and other laws of Parliament, and creating that public
opinion of which the first Continental Congress, with its resolves and
was the outcome. Meetings of the people in Cumberland
county were held to consider the measures and policy of the British government
relating to the administration of the English colonies in North America.
The first of these meetings was a convention which assembled at Westminster
on the 19th day of October, 1774: 18 delegates from 12 towns were present,
and John Hazeltine, a delegate from Townshend, was appointed chairman of
the meeting. That assembly had under consideration a letter from
Isaac Low, chairman of the committee
of correspondence of New York, also
the Act of the British Parliament laying a tax or duty on tea, for the
purpose of raising a revenue in America: the Boston Port Bill, so called:
and divers other late
Acts of the British Parliament above named, the convention
made a statement of certain rights that belonged to English colonists in
America, and then passed the following among other resolutions:
we defend our king while he reigns over us, his subjects, and wish his
reign may be long and glorious, so will we defend our just rights as British
subjects, against and power that shall attempt to deprive us of them, while
breath is in our nostrels [nostrils], and blood in our veins.”