" As Attest, Henry Palmer, Andrew Guile, George Brown."
" More cottages erected since February, Isl. '77.
Sam Ayers, Thomas Duslon, 2d, John Whittier,
Joseph Kingsbery, John Williams, John Hascltine, Jr.
Amos Singletery, Benj. Singletery.
" a his account was entered January 13lh, 1C79, by order of Henry
Palmer, George Browne, Daniel Hendricks, Robert Emerson.eelectmen."
" More cottages erected, entered Feb. 27, 81.
' ' Nath. Haseltine, Jno. Johnson, Jun., Jno. Stockbridge,Saml. Dalton,
Where the selectmen say these house-holders are
prohibited from privileges in common lands, they
simply mean may be prohibited. Thus, Daniel Ladd,
Senior, Pcasley and others, whoever has read the pre-
ceding pnges can easily select as among those who
had received "Accommodation Grants," and therefore
were entitled to commonage ; but the fact of erecting
houses after 1660 put them upon proof to establish
their title, if ever questioned.
Thomas Duston, mentioned twice in the above list,
is Thomas, husband of the famous Hannah. He sold
a house to Peter Green, above named, in 1676. He
was married December, 1677, and Chase conjectures
that the second house which he appears to have built,
was erected in the summer of that year, and was the
one in which he lived at the time his wife was taken
prisoner in 1697.
The business of granting lands, of "laying down"
lands granted, and "taking up " others, consumed so
much time at the town-meeting that in 1663 it was
voted there should be a general town-meeting holden
on the first Tuesday in March annually, "for the
granting and selling and exchanging of lands or com-
monages, if the town see cause, and therefore it is
hereby ordered that all the other towns or other meet-
ings whatever, after this day is ended, shall be and
are hereby prohibited from acting upon those grants
of lands or commonages." The first Tuesday in
March continued to be the time for holding the
annual meeting until 1675, when it was changed to
the last Tuesday in February.
Before this time great trouble had been occasioned
by the failure frequently to make record of land grants
at the time when made— thus Samuel Gild's grant of
1663 was not entered until 1690. In 1664, this evil
was rectified, and two years after it was ordered that
all who claimed to own land in the town should bring
in their title to the same, that it might be duly ex-
amined and approved. The word /ar»j appears in the
records for the first time in 1663, showing that matters
were becoming settled. The next year the select-
men were authorized to sell land to pay the expense
of building a pound, which was the first, notwithstand-
ing the order of the court in 1649. It was of wood,
and stood near the meeting-house.
In 1664, John Carleton succeeded Richard Littlehale
as town recorder and Clerk of the writs, holding
those oflices till 1068, when he was succeeded by
Nathaniel Saltonstall, who remained in office till
1700 — thirty-two years. At the May session of the
General Court, 1668, and in answer to a petition,
Capt. Nathaniel Saltonstall was authorized to join
persons in marriage — an office which our fiithers pre-
ferred to have performed by the magistrate rather
than by the clergy. Previous to 1664, there were
thirty-seven marriages in the town.
In 1664,a list was prepared showing that there were
sixty-four freemen in town headed by "Mr. Ward our
preacher." That year a cow-common was laid out,
extending from Little River to North Meadow, thence
to East Meadow.
In 1665 a road was ordered laid out from " Holt's
Rocks," just below the present Rocks Bridge to the
Country Bridge, in the East Meadow. " Holt's
Rocks " took their name from Nicholas Holt one of
ihe first settlers of Newbury, after of Andover, who
kept the first bridge near the Rocks. In 1667, a
highway "down the valley to Holt's Rocks" was
ordered. This year, 1665, Nathaniel Saltonstall was
chosen captain of the militia company, and George
Browne, ensign. The officers were young and doubt-
less infused new vigor into the military force. The
flag was a ground field-green, with a red cross, " and a
white field in ye angle according to ye ancient cus-
tom of our own English Nation, and the English
plantations in America, and our own practice in our
ships and other vessels, by order of ye Major Gen-
eral." October, 1669, the General Court ordered
" that George Browne be left and James Parker
ensigne to Haverhill military company, under the
conduct of Nathaniel Saltonstall, Esq."
This year, November 17, there was a " thanksgiving
for relief from drouth, and lengthening out the har-
vest." The highway from Haverhill Ferry to Tops-
field was accepted at Ipswich Court.
In successive years, the duties of the selectmen
were defined. By a vote of 1666, they should "have
power to act in any prudential afl'airs according to the
laws of the country, excepting in the disposing of
lands." Two years later it was voted that one of the
former selectmen should be re-elected each year ; but
the next year this rule was dispensed with, and, at
the next annual meeting repealed. In that form it
was probably found impracticable to determine which
one should enjoy the honor and glory of office, not so
much desired then as now. Thus, when Thomas
Whittier was chosea coQstable it was voted that he
should be excused provided he presented some one to
take his place whom the selectmen should declare
satisfactory. In 1770, Henry Palmer, refusing to act
as constable after being chosen, " was fined according
to law." At this time the selectmen were directed
" to provide a herdsman or herdsmen, and bulls for
the use of the town." Those who lived without the
compass of Pond River and the Great Plain fence,
were to " pay 6d. a head for privileges of herdsmen
In 1669, the town set forth by vote the powers of
the selectmen at length, and again in 1670. Substan-
tially, they were as follows: 1. To order and appoint
when Mr. Ward's salary should be paid, levy rates
for same, and to take them by distress if not paid
otherwise. 2. To observe all orders of the town, and
collect all fines. 3. To pay all debts of the town by
fines due or by rates in general. 4. To make all rates
necessary to defray the town's debts. 6. To call town-
meetings at discretion. 6. To see that all laws of the
country were observed and kept. 7. To act in all
prudential affairs of the town according to law. 8. To
observe all orders of the town as near as they can.
In July, 1667, was laid out still another quantity
of " accommodation " land. The following is alist of
the names to whom it was allotted, and the number
of acres to each :
James Davis, Sr. & Jr
John Eaton, Sr
Goodman Tiler ....
Mr. Clementa, John i
John Kobinson. .
James Pecker 2
Richard Littlebale 4
Mr. Coffin 10
John Remington 4
Robert Swan 2
John Hutching's 6
Daniel Ella 2
Daniel Hendricks .
At the annual meeting of 1668, "John Johnson
was chosen Moderator for the present meeting."
This is the first time a moderator is mentioned in the
records, though one was regularly chosen afterwards.
Perhaps the new town clerk Nathaniel Saltonstall
many have been more precise than his predecessors.
Indeed, he seems to have been an excellent clerk,
although he indulged himself in occasional com-
ments upon the town proceedings, sometimes in
Latin, what the historian Gibbon calls " the ob-
scurity of a learned language." On one of these oc-
casions, the town by, vote directed the clerk's comment
to be expunged from the record.
At the same meeting, a committee was chosen, to
whom the inhabitants were to "make known by
what title they lay any claim to any land in the
Several persons were fined for being absent from
the town meeting.
It was ordered " that what papers should be
brought to the Recorder to be entered in the town
book of Records, it shall be in his power to record
them, provided that Ensign Brown, James Davis,
Jun., and Robert Clements, Jr., give their assent."
The recorder was much annoyed by requests to record
papers which should be recorded elsewhere or were
not worth recording anywhere. Thus he prefaces
the record of certain deeds with this note : " The
copy of several deeds, which to satisfy the grantees,
are entered, who they are told that it is no legal
county record of Deeds."
Henry Kingsbery and John Renington are names
first found in the records this year.
The town once passed a vote restricting ownership
of seats in the meeting-house to inhabitants ; but the
following was much more hospitable in temper.
The town, by a major vote, did make choice of
Andrew Greeley, sen, to keep the ferry at Haverhill ;
provided that he agree and will carry over the in-
habitants of the town and the inhabitants of the town
of Merrimack (Bradford) over against us, for three
pence an horse and a penny a man; and that he will
carry all ministers over free that come upon visita-
tion to us, and in particular Mr. Symes (of Bradford)
and that, if the inhabitants of the town over against
us do come over to meet with us on the sabbath days,
they shall have the free use of the ferry boat or boats,
for the occasion, without paying anything." Greeley
was also to pay forty shillings to Mrs. Simons, the
widow of the former ferryman.
The town meetings at that time often commenced
as early as 7 a.m., and were never adjourned to a
later hour than 8 a.m. Debate was abundant and
notwithstanding the early hour of meeting, it fre-
quently took three days to transact the busin ess.
Still they managed to convince each other at last; for
it being the recorder's custom to give the names of
those who " dissented" from any vote passed, very
few are ordinarily found in the minority. About
this time it was resolved that no vote passed after
sunset should be valid.
It is recorded in 1671, " Ribert Emerson, Ephraim
Davis and John Heath, Jun., desiring to take the
oath of fidelity to this colony, it was administered to
them by N. Saltonstall, Commissioner." No one was
allowed to vote for magistrates or deputies unless he
had taken the freeman's oath, or "oath of fidelity."
A man might be a freeholder and not a freeman. A
freeman according to this understanding,was one who,
had taken the freeman's oath, and a freeholder was
one who either by grant, purchase or inheritance,
had become entitled to a share in the common and
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSAOHUSETTS.
undivided lands of Haverhill. But it seems all the
inliabitants were permitted to vote for town officers
and to raise money. In 1631, it was enacted in the
Massachusetts colony that only church members
should be admitted freemen. As late as 1676, five-
sixth of the men in the colony were not voters, be-
cause not church members.
In 1673, the clerk was directed to enter " in the
book" all the previous orders and grants of the
town, " which stand in loose papers and sheets."
There has always been great difficulty in studying
the early records of the town from this fact that
many of them were written on such " loose papers"
and were recorded without reference to their respec-
tive dates, while some were without date. Doubtless
their strict chronology has not always been followed
in the annals. •
At Hampton Court in 1672, it was ordered that
John Littlehale of Haverhill, who " liveth in an
house by himself, contrary to a law of the country
whereby hee is subject to much sin ; and having had
information of some of his accounts which are in no
way to be allowed of but disproved and discoun-
tenanced," "doe forthwith, at farthest, within the
time of six weeks next after the date hereof, remove
himself from the said place and solitary life and
settle himself in some orderly family in the said
towne and bee subject to the orderly rules of family
government in said family (unless hee remove out of
the said towne within the time) and if he doe not
perform this order as aforesaid, then this Courte
doth order that the Selectmen doe forthwith order
and place the said John to bee in some orderly
family as aforesaid, which if he shall refuse to sub-
mit unto, then these are in his majestie's name to
require the Constable of said town upon his know-
ledge of it or information, to apprehend the person
of said John and carry him to the house of cor-
rection in Hampton, there to bee kept and sett
to work untill he shall be freed by order of au-
thority ; and this order shall bee a discharge and
John, son of Richard Littlehale, the pioneer, was
born at Haverhill in 1650, one of twelve children.
Our fathers did not approve of bachelors, and, in
many ways, imposed absurd penalties upon them by
by-laws and in other ways — as, for instance, by com-
pelling them in one town to kill an extra number of
blackbirds and crows. It was their policy, of course,
to increase the population of the wilderness. In
the present instance, the father had twelve children,
the son was like to have none. Besides, the solitary
life tended to disorder, and in this case, the intima-
tion is that Littlehale "was subject to sin" in
fact as well as from situation. Nothing is known
to his discredit, except what may be inferred from
the order of the Court. He escaped the threatened
penalties by entering " some orderly family ; " but he
had not been ordered to marry and did not do so for
forty-four years, when, being sixty-six years old, he
took a wife and had two children.
So much has been said of the duties of the select-
men that it should be added they were also " to have
some one to sweep the meeting-house duly, decently
and orderly." For all their services they were to
receive annually fifty shillings, diftributable amongst
them, " to each man according to his services."
March 1674, John Keyzar of Salem, was granted a
piece of land, with privileges on the common, etc., if
he would come " and .set up his trade of tanner."
This he did and in 1682 the grant was confirmed to
him and his heirs forever. In 1683, he was publicly
admonished by the moderator of the town-meeting
for keeping his tan-vats open by which cattle and
swine had been killed ; '' and in special that mischief
may not come unto children, which may occasion his
own life to come upon triall." Two years after
Keyzar asked leave to sell his land ; but the town in-
formed him " that they did and do expect the condi-
tions therein mentioned to be attended, or else the
said John may leave the same to the town, with the
buildings and improvements by him made thereon,
to the town for public use."
The town records this year for the first time state
that meetings were called by the " writ of the select-
men, published and placed on file." The publication
was by affixing a copy of the warrant to the door of
the meeting-house, in which, of course, the meetings
The Court empowered the selectmen, upon their
petition, to " bind out young ones into sarviee "—pro-
vided their indentures met the approval of " wor-
shipful Major Saltonstall."
From the records of the County Court in 1673, 1674
and 1675, have been extracted the minutes of senten-
ces imposed upon residents of Haverhill : Nathaniel
Emerson was "admonished for being in company
with Peter Cross and others, at Jonas Gregory's, and
drinking of stolen wine." "Robert Swan was fined
20s. for being drunk and cursing." " Michael Emer-
son was fined 5s. for his cruel and excessive beating
of his daughter with a flayle swingel, and kicking of
her." We may be sure no punishment would have
been imposed upon a father for beating his child un-
less the correction had been "cruel and excessive."
Parental authority was jealously upheld. This
daughter was Elizabeth Emerson, who lived to incur
the extreme penalty of the law for crime. " Two
daughters of Hannah Bos worth were fined ten shil-
lings each for wearing silk." Daniel Ela was fined
ten shillings for profanity, and two shillings more for
his " reviling speeches."
In 1675 Haverhill was rated twenty-fifth of the for-
ty-nine towns of the colony. That year the time of
holding the town meeting was changed to the last
Tuesday in February.
At that meeting Michael Emerson w^as chosen to
" view and seal all leather in the town." In 1677
Emerson " complained," probably because the duties
were burdensome or disagreeable, and Andrew Greely
was "joined with him."
The next year, Feb. 27, 1676, William Thompson
asked to be " accepted a townsman, to dwell here and
follow his trade of shoemaking,"but the town refused
to have him •' by a clear and full vote." In 1677
Peter Patie, a married man whom the town had
"hitherto accounted of as a journeyman shoemaker,"
" making a motion to the town to grant him a piece of
land to settle upon," his motion according to law was
rejected. The moderator also declared to him "that
it was the duty of the Grand Jurymen to look after
Patie was probably an irresponsible person. In
1680 he was presented to the Court for being absent
from his wife for several years, and in the following
year he was presented lor having another wife in
Virginia. Nevertheless, Peter " stuck." Novem-
ber 8, 1682, Peter Patre married Sarah Gile and had
eight children by her. This is supposed to be the
same as Peter Patie. In 1694 he was chosen constable
by a " plentiful, clear and legal paper vote." As late
as 1710 he was the regular ferry-man at "Patie's
Notwithstanding this cold welcome to shoemakers,
others soon applied. At the annual meeting in 1679,
" upon the request of Benjamin Webster and Samuel
Parker, two young men and shoemakers, that the
toune would give them libertie to live in this toune
to follow the trade, having hired a house to that end ;
the toune by their vote doe grant their motion and
accept of them so as to live in toune and follow the
trade of shoemaking."
Daniel Ela, who in 1677 had been licensed to keep
an ordinary for one year, but had been unable to avail
himself of the privilege on account of the small-pox
in his family, had liberty from the Court to sell
" Wine, Beer, Cyder and provisions to horse and man,
or travilers in Haverhill."
The town voted in 1679 to choose a committee to
look after the accounts of the selectmen for the pre-
ceding year ; also, that a committee should be cho-
sen for that purpose every year thereafter.
From the records of the General Court for 1680, it
appears that Haverhill, with twenty-one other towns,
had failed to pay a subscription in aid of Harvard Col-
lege-either that made as far back as 1652 or some other
later. The Court ordered the selectmen of the delin-
quent towns to inquire into the affair and report, under
a penalty of twenty pou nds. Nothing more appear-
ing about it, the long delayed subscription was prob-
Pastor Ward, having lost his wife March 24, 1680,
probably gave intimation of his desire to be relieved
in part from ministerial care. The record says : "At
a town meeting Dec. 22, 1680, held after lecture,
Nath'l. Saltonstall, Lieut. Broune, Tho. Whittier,
Wm. White and Dan'l Ela were chosen a committee
' to look out for and agree with and obtain forthwith
and procure upon the best terms ihey can get, some
meet and able person to be a present help and assist-
ant to Mr. Ward, our minister, now in his old age, in
the work ot the ministry in preaching.'"
From the beginning it had been the custom to have
a weekly lecture, — in most towns on Thursday, but in
Haverhill from an early date, on Friday. The services
commenced about 11 a. m. About 1750 the weekly
were superseded by monthly lectures.
The committee thus chosen were also instructed
" to look out a place for a convenient situation for a
minister," and " to agree with anyone upon purchase
or exchange of land, or if they meet not with a bar-
gain to their mind, then to set out such of the town's
common land as they shall judge most convenient for
a place for the ministry.''
June 24, 1681, the committee reported that not
finding any suitable place on purchase or exchange,
John Haseltine, Senior had "given two acres to the
town for the perpetual use of the ministry," and that
they had laid out a piece adjoining it for the same
purpose. Their doings were approved, and the land
was granted for that purpose "forever." This land
was situated north of the present Winter Street, and
between Little River and the common. The gift was
apparently the first private donation in this town for
The committee reported that they had not been
able to get a new minister, whereupon another com-
mittee was chosen in their place, with instructions to
do so, " they taking the advice of Mr. Ward, our
present aged minister." Josiah Gage was agreed
with, to build a house for the new minister.
All these movements came to nothing for the pres-
ent. Josiah Gage did not build the house, and in
1682, a committee was chosen to find somebody else
to do it. At a special meeting April 4th, a committee
was appointed " to treat with Samuel Dalton or John
Stockbridge for either of their houses which they
have of late erected in town," for the use of the new
minister. In this movement towards novelties, a new
meeting-house began to be talked about. At the June
meeting of the previous year, a proposition to take
action was voted down, says the recorder, " by the
additional and willful votes of many prohibited by
law from voting." The gallery vote for women was
probably a compromise between the parties. The
subject again came up in March, 1682, but without
In June there was another meeting, " called at the
request of Mr. Ward" "to see about a new minister."
Ten pounds were raised to get one.
In July, the town let the " parsonage farm" to
Daniel Bradley, for twenty-one years, Mr. Ward
probably having given it up, on account of age and
September 18th, there was still another meeting
about a new minister. It was voted " to proffer Mr.
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
Jeremiah Gushing or some other meet person that
may be agreed upon, £100 in corn or provisions, be-
sides the £60 proffered for annual salary during Mr.
Ward's life," to be raised as a town rate and paid
" part money, part wheat, part rye and part Indian
Corn, all good, dry, sweet, clean and merchantable.''
The committee previously chosen was continued " to
carry on designs with Mr. Gushing, whom the town
hath had some experience of Three weeks later, it
was voted to buy of Samuel Simons his house and nine
acres of land for the use of the ministry, for which
they agree to give him "forty acres near Fishing
River, and £30 in wheat, rye and corn." They also
voted to give Mr. Gushing, in addition to previous
offers, " four cow-common rights" and " twenty cords
of wood at his house annually."
In 1683, at the annual meeting, it was decided to
send a messenger to get an answer from Mr. Gushing,
unless he would " please to come and give us a visit,
that we may receive answer from himself." It was
voted to raise one-half of the hundred pounds offered
him, immediately ; also to buy " the house where
Henry Palmer lived and died, for the use of the
ministry forever." The price to be paid was twenty
acres of land " towards Great Pond," said to be the
first time that body of water is mentioned by name
in the records. In June there was another meeting.
It was called to consider Mr. Cushing's settlement, but
all its time was engrossed about the proposition for a
new meeting-house. All favored the new meeting-
house, but there was an irreconcilable difference of
opinion about its location. In favor of building a
new meeting-house upon the old site were Sergeant
John Johnson, Mr. John Ward, minister, Nathan-
iel Saltonstall, Lieutenant George Browne, William
Wliite, Thomas Whittier, John Whittier, Robert
Emerson, Robert Clement, Jotham Hendrick, James
Davis, Sr., Daniel Ela, John Page, Sr., and Samuel
Shepherd, in all fifteen. Many of these, as we know,
live on or near the present Water Street and in the
vicinity of the old meeting-house. The following
" were against the settling of the meeting-house