Request For Establishment of a Town

The above hangs on the dining room wall of the Hope Historical House and is a frames photocopy of the original handwritten request for the establishment of the town of hope. I reads:

 

First Petition for Incorporation

Simon Barrett was instrumental in putting together the first petition for incorporation of the town. This petition, dated November 1795, was presented at the January session of the General Court in mid-January, 1796. This means that signatures were gathered in 1795 and proper public notices were posted and appeared in the newspapers the required specified time beforehand. A verbatim transcription of the original petition, including spellings as given in the original, is given below. A facsimile of the original petition, including all of the signatures, will be found in the Appendix].1

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in Genl.
Court assembled --The Petition of the subscribers inhabitants of the Plantation of Barrettston, alias Hope, in the County of Lincoln, Humbly Shews Your Petitioners beg leave to Represent to your Honours that there are upward of Fifty Families Settled, besides a Number of young Men who have begun Settlements in said Plantation with Expectations for Life. That while your Petitioners remain in their Present State they cannot receive any advantage from a Publick School, although there is a Sufficiency of Inhabitants agreeable to the Constitution of this Commonwealth to Maintain one a Part of the Year: and that your

Petitioners are settled in a Scattered situation in said Plantation whereby we cannot enjoy the Benefit of Publick Roads or (Highways) untill such times as we can Establish and Maintain them with Propriety; and Weare Vested with Power and Authority therefor from Your Honours.
We would further Suggest to your Honours that at least one Third Part of said Plantation is owned by nonresident Proprietors, from which, nor their Interests, can we receive any assistance towards the Expenses of Publick Roads, or Schools, or other Exingencies, 'till such time, as we are Incorporated into a Body Politick Vested with those Powers & Privelidges which other Towns Enjoy. We therefore your Petitioners, Inhabitants of said Plantation Pray your Honours, that the Inhabitants of said Plantation comprised within the following limits Viz. begining at a Stake and Stones at the South Westerly Corner of the Town of Cambden, then runing North 33 3/4 o West by the Northerly Line of the Town of Union, Six Miles and Sixty Nine Poles to a Stake and Stones at the South Easterly Corner of the Plantation of Appleton (so called) thence North 553/40 East by the said Appleton Five Miles and Eighty Poles to a Stake & Stones at the North Easterly Corner of said Appleton, Thence South 33 3/4 o East by Land of Henry Knox Esq., & New Canaan Plantation, so called, Six Miles and Sixty Nine Poles to the North Westerly corner of the Town of Cambden aforesaid, Thence South 553/40 West by the Said Cambden Five Miles and Eighty Poles to the bounds first Mentioned May be errected into a Town by the Name of Walter berry, and invested with all the Rights & Priviledges of similar Incorporations agreeably to the Constitution of this Commonwealth and your Petitioners as in Duty bound shall ever Pray

Barrettston Nov 1795

Simon Barrett, Sam Bartllett, Dan Bartllett, Silas Brooks, Wilm Cottal, John Hilt, Sam Payson, William Hewitt, Chev Kindall, Samson Sweetland, Jacob Mansfield.

Enoch Philbrick, Reuben Barrett, John Fairbanks, Eben Whitcomb, Reuben Safford, Charles Smith, Nathaniel Temple, Abner Whitcomb, Walter Philbrick, Ephraim Barrett*, Nathan Miles

Epm Payson, Charles House, Caleb Maddocks, Lemuel Wintworth, Robart Thompson, WM Mcmurphy, John Keith, Tranter Crooker, SShubel Wentworth [the extra'S' probably from using a dry pen]

* Although Ephraim Barrett owned land in Hope, he lived in Camden.

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