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 following articles:
1.  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., William Hayward, 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; 1761, May 25, James Taylor; 1766, April 21, Joshua Wood; 1769, May 10, Samuel Fletcher; 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, Joseph 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 Dyer, Cyrus Fay, Thomas Fay, John Fish, Josiah Fish, Esq., Benjamin Fletcher, Samuel Fletcher, Jonas Gray, Caleb Hayward, Eli Hayward, Levi Hayward, Silas Hayward, William Hayward, John Hazeltine, Esq., John Hazeltine, son of Silas; Paul Hazeltine, Peter Hazeltine, heirs Silas Hazeltine, Silas Hazeltine, jr., Caleb Hill, John B. Hinds, Amos Holbrook, Asa Holbrook, Elias Holbrook, Ezra Holbrook, Moses Holbrook, Peter Holbrook, Timothy Holbrook, Antipas Holland, heirs ; John Holland, Benjamin Howe, John Howe, John Howe, jr., Michael Johnson, William Johnson, Dr. Moses Ranney, Enos Lincoln, David Lindsey, Thomas Lowe, Mathew Martin, Benjamin Murdock, Ebenezer Ober, Samuel Parkhurst, Lovett Partridge, Jesse Penniman, Baily Ransom, Thomas Ransom, Benjamin Ray, Thomas Read, Thomas Rice, Lemuel Robbins, William Robbins, Abner Sawyer, Ephriam Shepard, David Smith, Amariah Taft, Ebenezer Taft, Lyman Taft, Joseph Tyler, Esq., Susannah Tyler, widow; Wm. Utley, jr., James Walden, Jeshurum Walker, Timothy Walker, William Ward, James Watkins, James Watkins’ heirs, Patience Watkins, widow: Edward White, Ensign Samuel Wiswell, 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 Townshend 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:

Heads of families in the town of Townshend, John Burt, Moses Cook, Benjamin Field, Benjamin Fletcher, Samuel Fletcher, Isaac A. Hart, Paul Haywood, William Hayward, John 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 Read, Benjamin Street, Joseph. Tyler.

Number 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. 

Townshend, 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 recommendations, 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:
“11. That 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.”