George A. (George Augustus) Sanderson.

Petitions, remonstrances and acts relating to Littleton and Boxborough, 1782 to 1869 online

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.

Chap. H-1 A

'- 9)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ji)



c*



PETITIONS,

REMONSTRANCES AND ACTS



RELATING TO



Littleton and Boxborough,



1782 to 1869.






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COPIES OF PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES AND ACTS



RELATING TO



The Establishment of the Town of Boxborough, and

Repeated Refusals of the Legislature to compel

certain inhabitants of Littleton to join

the Town of Boxborough.



After three failures to have Boxborough set oflf as a town, the
following petition was filed in 1782 :

V Petition for tlie Establishment of the Parish of Boxborough, 1782.

To the Hoiibie Senate and Hon^i^e House of Representative of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Humbly Sheweth : —

That your petitioners (the inhabitants of the extreme part of the
towns of Stow, Littleton and Harvard) have long labored under very
grate difficultys on account of the grate distance from the place of
Public Worship in the towns to which they respectively l)elong be-
ing at the distance of four and five miles, to ramedy which they
have erected a House for Public Worship in a convenient place, and
procured preaching a grate part of the time for several years past
(but as they are not excused from |)nying to the Support of preach-
ing in some of the towns to which they belong), that also is a grate
burden. And although they have not succeeded in their application
to a former General Court, they would now supplicate your Hon"
for that relief that your Hours only can give and without which they
must drag through the remainder of their lives groaning under the
burdens they have thus far borne, and leave it as an entailment on
their posterity.

Your memorialist therefore humbly prays therefore that they
may be incorporated into a town, district, or Parish, agreeably to
the plan herewith exhibited and as in duty bound shall ever pray

Silas Taylor

March 7th, 26th, 1782. and 69 others,

committee.



In Semite June (5, 1782. llciid iind thereupon ordered that Solo-
mon Frccmun, Esq., with such as the Honble House shall join, be
a committee to take this Petition and the papers uccompying into
consideration and report thereon.

Sent down for concurrence.

S. Adams, President.

In the House of Representatives June 7, 1782. Read and non-
curred and thereupon ordered that this Petition be referred to the
second Wednesday of the next sitting of the General Court.
Sent up for noncurrence.

Nath Gorham, Speaker.

lu Senate June 7, 1782. Read and concurred.

S. Adams, President.

In Senate September 25, 1782. Read and thereupon ordered
that Samuel Baker, Esq., with such as the Hon^le House shall join,
be a committee to take this Petition and the papers accompanying
the same into consideration and report thereon.
Sent down for concurrence.

S. Adams, President.

In the House of Representatives, Sept 25, 1782. Read and con-
curred and Mr. Whitney of Northborough and Colo Faulkner are
joined. Nath Gorham, Speaker.

The Committee of both Houses appointed to take in considera-
tion the Petition of Silas Taylor and others and the Papers accom-
panying the same and report what is proper to be done thereon,
have attended that service and are of opinion that the Petitioners
which belongs to the Towns of Stow and Harvard should be
incorporated into a district with such of the inhabitants of Littleton
as are included in the Petition and shall within the space of twelve
months signify that they desire to belong to the Said District and
no other, and that the Petitioners have leave to bring in a l)ill

accordingly which is submitted.

Samuel Bakeb, Jr., Per Order



In Senate Sept. 27, 1782. Read and accepted and ordered that
the Petitioners have leave to bring iu a bill.

Sent down for Concurrence,

S. Adams, President.

In the House of Representatives Sept. 27, 1782.
Read and Concurred,

Nathaniel Gorham, Speaker.

1.0 the whole Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts :

May it Please Your Honors : —

We, the Subscribers, Selectmen of the town of Littleton, are in-
formed that a number of the inhabitants of the south part of said
town have petitioned your Honors that they with others may be set
off into a separate precinct or parish, which is against the desire
of many whom they petition for, and to the great damage of the
town, should their prayer be granted; therefore, in behalf of said
town, we the Selectmen of said town, pray your Honors would in-
dulge the town with an opportunity of showing to your Honors the
reason why the prayer of the petitioners should not be granted —
the way and manner we submit to your Honors. And we in duty
bound shall ever pray.

.Jon A. Reed, 1

JosiAH Hartwell, I Selectmen

William Henry Prentice, )> of
JoNA. Whetcomb, I Littleton.

James King, J

Littleton, Oct. 8, 1782.



To the tvhole Court:

We, the Subscribers, Inhabitants of the town of Littleton, being
informed that a petition is referred to the Honorable Court praying
that a town Parish or District may be* erected and set off from the
towns of Littleton, Stow and Harvard, we the Subscribers, inhabi-
tants of the town of Littleton, l)eing within the line proposed of the



Parish or district prayed for, as set forth in said petition ; Bog leave
to remonstrate to the Ilun'hl Court against our being set off as is
prayed for in s'd Petition ; for the reasons following:

1st. That we the suhserihers are situated not more than three
miles from the Meeting House in said Littleton, and are {>rovided
with a good road to the same, so we are able to attend Public VVor-
shiji A'ith our families comfortably at all seasons of the year without
diticulty.

2d. That the town of Littleton is but a little more than four
miles square and l)eing only a farming town, and must be consid-
ered as already to small to enjoy those priviledgcs and advantages
for which towns and })arishes wei'e constituted withcnit the individ-
uals thereof being overl)urdened with taxes.

3d. That if the prayer of the aforesaid petition be granted there
will be a heavj' expense in making of road, to the meeting house
built by some individuals in the proposed parish, which at the
present day in particular is too burdensome for us to support, and
in no respect can the subscribers be benefitted by said petition being
granted, but in every view of the matter greatly injured and hurt.
And the subscribers beg leave to observe to the Honorable Court,
that this is the third time that we have been obliged to be at the
expense and trouble of writing to, and attending upon the Hon'l
Court to prevent the prayer of the same petition being granted ;
and the Subscribers pray that the Hon'l Court would request said
petition, more especially as far as it relates U) us the Subscribers —
Hoping that the Honoiable Court will not deprive us of those advan-
tages, privileges and rights which wc and our hithers have so long
enjoyed.



Littleton, Oct. Mth, 1782.

Samuel Lawrence
Elias Taylor
Tfiomas Wood
Daniel Whehomh
Jonathan Patch
Nathaniel Cobleoh



John Wood
Solomon Foster
Jedidiah Taylor



An act for erecting a District in the County of Middlesex^ by the
name of Boxborouyh.

Preamble. — Whereas a number of inhabitants living in the ex-
treme parts of the towns of Stow, Harvard and Littleton labor under
many inconveniences by reason of their great distance from any
place of Public Worship, and have requested this court that they
may be incorporated into a district with all the privileges of a town,
that of sending a Representative to the General Court excepted :

Sect. 1. Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of
Representatives in General Court assembled, and by authority of the
same, that a part of Stow, a part of Harvard, and a part of Little-
ton, all which are included within the bounderies, viz. : Beginning
at the road southerly of John Robbins' buildings, and running
southerly to Acton Corner three miles and ninety-two rods to a heap
of stones ; from thence running southerly in Acton line, to a place
called Flag Hill, being two miles, three quarters and ten rods to a
heap of stones ; from thence westerly in Stow two miles and a quar-
ter to a stake and pillar of stones in the Harvard line ; thence run-
ning northerly through part of Harvard to a white oak tree by a
cause- way ; from thence to the place first sit out from, be and hereby
is incorporated into a District, by the name of Boxborough. And
all the Polls and Estates that are included within the said bounder-
ies shall belong to the said District, except those of such of the
inhabitants of that part set of from Littleton, as shall not within the
term of twelve months from the passing of this Act return their
names into the office of the Secretary of this Commonwealth, signi-
fying their desire to become inhabitants of the said District.

Sect. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
that the said District be and hereby is, invested with all the powers,
privileges and immunities that towns in this Commonwealth do or
may enjoy (except the privilege of sending a representative to the
General Court) and the inhabitants of said District shall have liberty
from time to time to join with the town of Stow, in choosing a Rep-
resentative, and shall be notified of the time and place of election
in like m inner with the inhabitants of the said town of Stow, by a



wiirnuit troiii the seloctinen of the said town, dirt-ctetl to a consta-
ble, or constables of the said District, requiring him or them to
warn the inhabitants to attend the meeting at the time and place
a|)j)ointod ; which warrant shall be seasonably returned by the said
constable or constables ; and the representative may be chosen
indifferently from the said Town or District. The pay or allowance
to be borne by the town and district in proportion as they shall from
time to time pay to the state tax.

Sect. 3. And be it lurther enacted that Jonathan Wood, Es(|.,
of Stow, be and he hereby is empowered to issue his warrant directed
to some principle inhabitant within the said district requiring him to
warn the inhabitants of said District qualified to vote in town affairs,
to assemble at some suitable time and place in the said District, to
choose such officers as towns and Districts by law are required to
choose in the month of March annually : Provided nevertheless that
the inhabitants of the said District shall pay their propotionable
part of all such town, county and state Taxes as are already assessed
by the said respective towns from which they are taken, and their
propotionable part of all public debts due from the said Towns ; and
also provide for the Support of all the Poor who were inhabitants
within the said District before the passing of this act, and shall be
l)rought back for maintance hereafter.

And whereas it is tit and necessary, that the whole of the «aid
District should belong to one and the same County.

Sect, 4. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that
that part of the said District which is set off from the town of Har-
vard in the county of Worcester, shall be, and hereby is annexed
and set to the county of Middlesex. And the line established by
this act as the boundry betwixt the said town of Harvard and the
said District shall hereafter be the boundry line betwixt the said
county of Middlesex and the said county of Worcester.

(This Act passed Feb. 25, 1783.)



1793.

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Com-
monwealth of Massachusetts in General Court assembled :
The petition of the inhabitants of the town of Boxborough
humbly represents that the inhabitants of the town of Littleton °to
which town the said town of Boxborough is adjacent, controverts
with them the line which divides the same towns, from which con-
troversy there may probably arise a multiplicity of law suits and
animosities, unless the Legislature should condescend to interpose
and to establish an obvious and uncontrovertable boundary for them.
The best method of doing this as the petitioners conceive would f)e
to have a committee from your honors on the place where the
divisional line is. Another advantage which may result from the
attendance of such a committee, is, that a number of persons who
are withm the limits of Boxborough, but taxed to the town cf Littleton,
may be reasonably induced to unite entirely the inhabitants of Box-
borough. Wherefore the inhabitants of Boxborough humbly pray
that such a committee may be appointed, and the said inhabitants
will be ready to pay such committee their expenses and for their
trouble and service.

Silas Taylor, ) Aaents of

Solomon Taylor, C^ox^orow^A.
June 5, 1793. ^

Committee was appointed in accordance with this petition June
6, 1793.

To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General Court assembled:
The subscribers humbly show that they with their polls and
estates by a certain act of this honorable court passed the 25th
February 1783, entitled an act for erecting a district in the County
of Middlesex by the name of Boxborough were included within
certain boundaries in said act mentioned taken from the Town of
Littleton, and that it was by the same act among other things
therein enacted that all the polls and estates included within the



10

bounciaric's of the said dibtivct oi Boxboioiiirh should holong to said
district, except those of" such of the iuhabitauts of that pint set off
from Littleton as should not within the term of twelve months
from the passing rtf said a<t return their natnes into the Secretar> 's
otiice of this Commonwealth signifyiug tiieir desire of becoming
inhabitants of said district, and your Petitioners humbly show to
this honorable court that they have never so returned their names,
signifying their desire of bec»niing inhabitants of the said district of
Hoxl)orough, and whereas the said district of Boxborough by their
agtMits have petitioned tliis honorable court to establish the certain
boundaries between said district and said Town of Littleton, the
suliscribers therefore your humble Petitioners remonstrate against
the object of said Petition which your Petitioners conceive is more
to divide them fi-om the Town of Littleton than to ascertain more
certain boundaries, wherefore your Petitioners pray and it is their
earnest desire that they and their families and estates may continue
to belong to the said Town of Littleton as they heretofore have and
as in duty Iiound will ever pray.

January 17, 1794.

Jonathan Patch Eleazer Fletcher

Isaac Patch Daniel Whitcomb

Nathaniel Cobleioh Elias Taylor

John Cobleioh John Kidder

Stephen Jennings Mary Taylor

John Wood Calvin Blanchard
John Hartwkll, Jr.



AN ACT for settling the line between Littleton and Boxborough.

Be it enacted by the Senate and ITonse of Iiepi-e.'<ent(tfiref<, in gen-
eral court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that a line
drawn from a heap of stones in the road, twenty-one rods and a half,
8f)Utherly of the house of John Robbins, of said Littleton, and run-
ning easterly in a straight line, about three miles to the corner of
the town of Acton, at a heap of stones, shall be, and hereby do es-
tablish as the dividing line between the said town of Littleton and



11

the district of Boxboroiigh, under the restrictions aud with the pro-
visions as to certain persons and estates herein made.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all those
persons who were inhabitants of the said town of Littleton included
by the line aforesaid, within the said district of Boxborough, and
who did not, according to an act made in the year of our Lord,
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, intitled " An Act for
Erecting a District in the County of Middlesex, by the name of
Boxborough," return their names, their polls and their estates,
within twelve months from the passing of the same Act, into the
office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, signifying their desire
to become inhabitants of the said district of Boxborough, shall, with
the lands they improved at the time of passing the same act, with
their said estates, during the lime of their improving the same, be-
long to said Littleton, and that where there has been, or shall i)e a
transfer of the same estates, either by grant, devise or descent, the
persons to whom such transfer has been or shall be made, and their
successors may apply to the said district of Boxborough to become
members thereof, and whenever on such application, the clerk of
said district of Boxborough, upon the vote of the inhabitant- of the
said district, at a legal meeting, shall enter the name of any such
person as an inhabitant, and transmit a certiticate of such vote to
the clerk of the town of Littleton, such person shall from thence
forward, with his polls and estate lying in said Boxborough, be
deemed and taken to belong to said Boxborough.

Provided, that when there shall be a state, county or town tax,
ordered to be assessed the said persons and estates shall be taxed
thereto, in the town where they shall actually belong, at the time of
ordering or assessing such tax, their changing their inhabitancy in
manner aforesaid notwithstanding. And also that whenever a change
of inhabitancy shall take place, agreeably to this act, the clerk of
the town of Littleton shall transmit to the secretary's office a certifi-
cate thereof, in order that the same may be taken into consideration
by the Legislature in apportioning future state taxes on the said
town of Littleton and district of Boxborough.

(This Act passed February 20, 1794.)



12

1868.

To the Honorable Senate and Ilouf^e of Reprei^entativesi of the
General Court (f the ConimonweaJlh (f Massac1iUHettt> :

Respectfully represent your petitioners, selectmen of the town of
Hoxborough, in the County of Middlesex, tli;il within the limits of
said town there are two farms, one owned by Henry T. Taylor, and
the other owned l»y William Hartwell, and that the said Taylor and
the said Hartwell live on said farms, and that the said Taylor
and said Hartwell claim that said farms arc within the territorial
limits of the town of Littleton, in said County, and that they are
voters in said Littleton, and subject to taxation therein; and that
the said town of Littleton claim that said farms are part of said
town, and subject to taxation in said town, and residents therein,
residents in Littleton, wherefore, your petitioners pray that said
farms may be set oft' from ^aid town of Littleton to said town
of Boxborough, and be made part of the territory by law,
appertaining to said Boxborough.

Ephraim B. Cobleigh, \ Selectmen
Jacob Littlefield, |- of

Benjamin S. Mead. j Boxborough.

To the Honorable^ the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts :

We the undersigned, inhabitants and legal voters of the town of
Boxborough, in the County of Middlesex, respectfully remonstrate
against the petition of the selectmen of the said town of Boxborough
that a part of the town of Littleton may be set oft" to the town of
Boxborough, and request that the prayer of the petitioners may not

be granted.

Orman Ewings,
Ephraim H. Raymond,
John Blanchakd,
Geo. VV. Ramsdell,
A. Haywakd,
John Fletcher,
Timothy L. Wood.



13

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Gen-
eral Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts :

The undersigned legal voters of the town of Littleton in the
County of Middlesex, respectfully remonstrate against the petition
of Ephraim B. Cobleigh, Jacob Littlefield and Benjamin S. Mead,
selectmen of Boxborough, praying that the farms of Henry T.'
Taylor and William Hartwell, may be set off from said town of
Littleton and become part of the territory of said town of Box-
borough, and request that the prayer of the petitioners may not
be granted.

George W. Sanderson, ) Selectmen
William Kimball, C of

George W. Tuttle, ) Littleton.

Henry T. Taylor,

W. H. Hartwell,

and 106 others.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Committee on Towns to whom was referred the petition of
the town of Boxborough, praying that certain farms in the town
of Littleton may be set off to the town of Boxborough, have had
the same under consideration and beg leave to report,

That, the further consideration thereof be referred to the next
General Court, which is respectfully submitted, by order of the
committee,

Edward Crocker, /or the committee.

Accepted by Senate. Concurred in by the House, Feb., 1868.

In the following year this petition was abandoned.



14



1869.



To the Honorable l^enate and House of Itepresentatives of the Com-
monweahh of Massachusetts, in Gerieral Court assembled :

The undersigued citizens of the towns of Boxborough and Acton,
ill the county of Middlesex, Respectfully petition that the territory
now included within the limits of the town of Boxborough, and
within that portion of the town of Acton called West Acton, may be

incorporated into a new town by the name of , believing

that the common interest will be promoted thereby.



H. E. Felch
Jerome Priest
Oliver Wetherbee
Ephraim B. Cobleigh
Jacob Littlefield
Benjamin S. Mead
Simon Hartwell
Paul Hay ward
R. T. Cobleigh
L. J. Bradford

D. W. Coi)leigh
Stevens Hayward
A. A. Richardson
Jos. K. Blanchard
Augustine A. Wetherbee
Alex, R. Eastman
Peter VV^hitcomb
Joseph Hayward
Granville Whitcomb
John Hoar

Jerome B. Whitney

E. L. Battles
S. H. Hoar

J. Blanchard, 2d
Ephraim H. Raymond
John Blanchard
James S. Chester
George Kendall
A. Hayward



George Ramsdell
P. W. Houghton
Samuel Sargent
Alvin Parker
John Wetherbee
Augustus W. Wetherbee
Samuel Wetherbee
Francis H. Wetherbee
Varnum Taylor
George Hay or
Samson D. Talbot
Thomas B. Pane
Nathaniel B. Pane
Silas H. Hoar
B. S. Hagar
James H. Whitcomb
Rufus Kings
Timothy L. Wood
Francis Conant
Frank A. Patch
Luther H. Ewings
Amos Holbrook
Austin A. Richardson
Simeon Wetherbee
Orman Ewings
Patrick R. Frawley
John A. Hill
Georgre H. Jackson



15



Report of the Com*^^ on Towns.



COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

House of Representatives, February 18, 1869.

The Committee on Towns, to whom was referred the petition of
H. E. Felch and others, of Acton and Boxborough, for the formation
of a new town including the whole territory of the town of Box-
borough, and that part of Acton called West Acton, and the several
petitions in aid and remonstrances against the same, have viewed
the premisess and heard the parties at length, and report the follow-
ing facts : —



Boxborough is a very small town, without any village proper, or
any store or place of business within its limits.



The petitions from Boxborough maintain that their town is too
imall, is unknown ; that they have no railroad station in town ; that
there is no trade or business there, and that a large share of their
produce is sold in West Acton, where, also, most of their purchases
are made. In other words, that their trade promotes the growth of
West Acton, and that therefore they ought to be embraced in one
township, and receive an equivalent for this advantage in the tax-
ation of the property which they contributed to enhance.



Upon all the facts the Committee, with all but entire unanimity,
are of opinion that the petitioners have not maintained that the pub-
lic good requires the formation of a new town pursuant to their
prayer.



Ifi

It is true that Boxborough is too small ; hut rather than cripple
Acton in her enterprise or encroach upon her historic limits for the
benefit of that town, as her inhabitants have no desire to retain
their name and distinct organization, it will be an easy task to so
apportion her ^territory to other towns as to benefit all and injure
none ; but with this matter the Committee are not asked and do not
desire to interfere.

The Committee report that the petitioners have leave to withdraw.

Per order,

T. G. KENT.

The Legislature accepted the Report Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, 1869.



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