"Whereas sundry of the Inhal)itants of tlie Soutliern part of
Londonderry aforesaid have ])etitioned this Court rej)resenting
their eireunistances to be such as made it necessary to Incorporate
them into ;i new parish it; tliat the otlier part of the town was
willing they should be so incorporated by the Boundaries jiarticu-
larly set forth in their Petition and jjraying that it might be
accordingly done : â€” which Representation having been examined
by tliis Court and found true as to the substance thereof :
" Be it therefore Enacted By his Excellency the Governor,
Council and Kepresentatives in General Court Assembled, and by
the authority of the same. It is hereby Enacted and ordained,
that a new parish shall be erected in the said Townshij) of Lon-
donderry and hereby incorporated and made by the name of
Windham and is compreliended within the following metes and
boundaries (viz.) Beginning at the Dwelling House of one John
Hopkins of said Londonderry, yeoman, and from thence running
on a due west course to Beaver brook socalled, then beginning
again at the said house at the place were it began before (so as to
have ye said house to ye Northward) and from thence to run on
a due East course till it Comes to ye Easterly line of said Lon-
donderry, thence to run as said Line runs till it comes to the
southerly boundary of said Londonderry, then to run to west-
ward as the said boundary runs till it comes to the said Brook,
and then to run as said Brook runs until it comes to the place on
the said Brook where the said West line runs across the same : â€”
Excepting out of these limits the polls and estates of John Arch-
ibald, James Clark, James Moor, John Hopkin and John Cochran
and their respective families : And the said Parish shall be and
hereby is invested with all the powers and authorities that ye sev-
erall Towns in this Province ai-e invested with, and likewise shall
have, hold and enjoy the same priviledges immunities and liber-
ties that the said towns hold and enjoy by the Laws and customs
in use and force within tlie same. Saving only the Chusing of a
Re|>resentative in the General Court in which matter the Inhabi-
tants of said parish are to joyn with the Inhabitants of said
town ; as also in what concerns the Common Lands in the
said Townshi]) ; And the Inhabitants of the said Parish and
the Estates within the same (saving those before excepted)
are hereby exonerated & discharged of and from all duties, ser-
vices and burthens : â€” and the payment of all taxes, rates and
charges to any other part of the said town. Excepting what
relates to sending and supporting a Representative at the General
Court, the dividing or managing the Common Lands aforesaid
50 HISTORY 01 WINDHAM IN NEW HAMPSIIIRK.
and such taxt^s, rates and charges as are already proportioned,
assessed within the said town.
"And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That
Robei-t Dinsjnore, Josepli Waugh and Kobert Thomson are
hereby autliorized and a])pointed to call the first meeting of the
Inhabitants of the said Parish on the eighth day of March next;
in the performance of which as also in the management and Reg-
ulation of the said meeting, The laws relating to such matters
and the customs in force in said Province are to be attended and
observed : And the officers that shall l)e chosen by the said Inhab-
itants at the said meeting regulated as aforesaid, shalj be and
hereby are authorized and impowered, being first qualified Accord-
ing to Law, to execute, observe, do and fulfill all and singular the
authorities, powers, and dutys, and hold and enjoy the privileges,
profits and immunities appertaining to their respective offices,
that siich oflicers in the severall towns aforesaid execute, liold
and enjoy, and as effectually to all intents and purposes: pro-
vided that the inhabitants of the said Parish shall from time to
time provide, maintain and support an orthodox minister of the
Gospel among them :
February ye 10, 1741. â€” In the house of Representatives the
above Bill read three times and passed to be enacted.
Andrew Wig<;in, Speaker.
Fehv 12, 1741-2. â€” Read three times at ye Council Board and
past to be enacted. Richard Waldron, Secy.
Feb. 12, 1741-2. â€” I assent to the enacting this Bill
A true Copy â€” Attest SamV Campbel, Clerk."*
The sun which rose on the morning of Feb. 12, 1742, uslicred
in a new and brighter day to our people. Windham that day
became a town, with a legal name, clothed with individuality,
possessing the same rights, enjoying the same privileges, and sub-
ject to the same l>urdens and res])onsibilities of other towns in
the Province. Henceforth the people of this little republic, in
their congress (town-meeting), where every man was a member,
and could and would be heard, were to manage their domestic
affairs in their own time, in their own way, and for their own
On the following 19th of February the warrant for ihc first
town-meeting was issued.
" Provance of \ By vertoue of ane act of the General Assem-
Newhampshire \ bly passed at Portsmouth February tlie 12,
1741 I 2 By which a part of the Southerly Side of Londonderry
Town I'upers, vol. ix, pp. 802-3.
w iNniiAM's iiKsT T()\vn-.mki;tin(;. 51
was Incorporated into a parish Called Windham, and that by
vertue of the Said act we the Subscribers were ajtointed to Call
tlie first meeting.
"We Do tlierefore by the athority to us Comited warn the free-
holders and Inhabitants within tlie Hounds of the fores''.' Windham
to Conven at the Dwelling hous of James Bell on Monday the
Eight Day of march next to Chouse Sutch officers as the Law
Directs and any other thing that may Be thought Needfull.
given under our hands feb>' the 10 1741 | 2.
" the time of meeting is at ten of the Clock Before Noon March
the Eight 1741 | li
" published three times at the old meeting house.
robeut thomson "
WINDHAM-S FIRST- TOWN-MEKTING. â€” FIRST MODERATOli.
At ten of the clock, March S, 1741-2, the freeholders of Wind-
ham met in town-meeting for the first time. Without doubt,
Kobert Dinsmoor called this meeting to order (as his name stands
first on the list of committee), and presided till Lieut. Samuel
Morison was elected moderator, the first moderator, and presided
in the first town-meeting in Windham. The warrant being read
and "considered," they proceeded to business, and the doings of
that meeting, as found in the records, are given in full.
"Provance of ) the foregoing Warrant Being Read and Con-
Newliami)shire ) sidered, voted
For Moderator of the s'' meeting Sara" Morison
Voted for Selectmen for the Inshuing year Robart Dinsmore
Voted for Town Clark William thom
Voted for Constable for the Inshuing year Xath'.' Hemphill
Voted to alow him one i)ound ten shillings for Being Constal)le.
Voted for taything man for this year Robart Hopkins
Voted for Sevears for the Easterly Sid of ye parish
Voted for Sevears for the Westrly Sid of ye ])arish
James Caldwall Jr.
Voted for Invoice men John Dinsmore
52 HISTORY OF WINDHAM IX NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Voted for fence Viers and prayserrs James Dunlaj)
Voted for Howard Sam'' Smith
Voted for measure of timbre & Coller of Staves
Voted for Inspectors of Dears John Dinsmer
Voted for Counters for this year John Cochran
James Caldwall Jr
Voted that the Selectmen is to provide too staves, one for the
Constable and one for the taything man and a town Book,
In this simple, plain, direct way Windham commenced her
career as a town.
Feb. 12, 1743. â€” The town voted " no pay to any town offiseer
for this year." Chose Robert Dinsmoor, Samuel Morison, and
William Gregg, committee of law suits, their pay to be " 6 shil-
lings a day in summer, and 4 shillings a day in winter, and their
charges boren, and 10 shillings for each jorney of tlieir hors."
March 8, 1744. â€” William Campbell and John Gilmore were
chosen " inspectors of Dears.''''
April 3, 1744. â€” Voted, that "our suppliers sliall have 2 pounds
10 shillings per day."
May 23, 1745. â€” Voted to pay the committee that ran the town
lines and parish lines, " and tryed to find the center of the town,
8 shillings per day and one gallon of Rum."
FRENCH AND INDIAN W Ai:. 58
French and Indian War. â€” War's Alarms; Windham's Roll of
Hkroks. â€” Things Lodk Warlike in Windham, 1752. â€” Troiblk
WITH Salem, 1752, and Dismemberment of Windham. â€” Names of
Windham Men Annexed to Salem. â€” The last French and
Indian War. â€” New Hampshire Men Serve in a Ma.s.sachu setts
REtilMENT. â€” PaI'ER CURRENCY (OlD TeNOR, NeW TeNOR, ETC.). â€”
Exempted Far>ls. â€” Lawsi its. â€” Civil Affairs. â€” 1770 Emigra-
tion ; Belfa.st, Me., Colonized by the Scotch. â€” Gov. John
Wentworth Loses $10. OD by Bad Investment.
" Their bones are dust,
Their good swords rust â€”
Tlieir souls are with the saints, I trust."
In March, 1744, the French and Indian war was commenced,
which lasted till October, 1748. The Indians joined sides with
the French, and came on marauding expeditions from Canada and
Nova Scotia around our defenceless settlements, and waylaid,
killed, scalped, or took captive to Canada those whom they could
find. People upon the frontiers were obliged to retire for safety
to the foils maintained at puV)lic expense, and to the private
houses surrounded with palisades of timber. In such fear did
the j)eople u]>on the frontier live, that many of those settlements
were abandoned for several years. Windham escaped the ravages
of the merciless foe, but she shared in the general alarm, and her
sons aided in defending other towns in the State from the enemy,
July 5, 1745, the Indians committed several murders at "The
Great Meadow," now Westmoreland. Scouts were immediately
ordered out by the governor. Among others was Capt. Peter
J^ittee, of Londonderry, with a party of cavalry.
On his muster-roll* are the names of William Campbell, Wil-
liam Gregg, Jr., Hugh Smiley, and William Smiley, of Windham.
They were to scout in the Merrimack valley. They enlisted Aug.
'J4, 1745, served three days, and each man received 5s. \\d.
On the muster-rolls, in the State Department of Massachu-
setts, I find the following, which appear to be Windham men :
In Colonel Moore's regiment (1745), William Earl Treadwell,
Adam Gait, David Kincaid, and John Simpson, the latter ascribed
to Londonderry, but was of Windham.
* Adjt.-Gen. Rep. 186G, vol. ii, p. 78.
54 HISTORY OF NMNDMA.M IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
The year 1746 was noted for the disquiet of the people and
continual alarm, on account of Indian atrocities. The fall of the
fortress of Louisburg had exasperated the French and their
Indian allies, and frequent attacks were made on our frontier
settlements. Forts and garrison-houses existed in various parts
of tlie Province, and parties of men were continually "scouting"
for tlie Indians ; and yet, in spite of all precautions, the Indians
were often successful in their attacks, and in the spring of this
year the government was obliged to send extra men to guard the
garrisons while the people did their planting.
On the twenty-seventh day of April, 174(5, the Indians made
an attack at Hopkinton, and eight persons were taken captive.
They were pursued by Capt. John Goffe, of Londonderry, with a
company of fifty men, and in six days he was at "Penacook"
(now Concord). While there news came of an attack on Con-
toocook (now Boscawen), and Captain Goft'e went innnediately
in pursuit of the enemy, who escaped. This scout ended about
May 2U.* A portion of the company re-enlisted for ten days,
and among them were Halbert Morison, of Windham Range,
James Vance and William MacAdams, from AVindham.
On the 14th of July, 1746, Capt. Andrew Todd, of London-
derry, started on a scout to Canterbury and vicinity, with twenty-
three men, and among them Hugh Thompson and William Cald-
well were from Windham. f
A bounty was offered by the government of New Hampshire
for Indian scalps and Indian captives. For a scalp, a bounty of
Â£200 in bills of credit, and for an Indian captive above twelve
years of age, Â£205. This was to encourage independent organi-
zations to hunt and destroy the hostiles.
After August, 1747, thirty men were scouting from London-
derry to Barrington for six weeks. These scouting expeditions
explain the following vote upon the Windham records: â€”
3Iay 31, 1748. â€” Voted, "That each man that is gone to the
woods for us this year shall have forty shillings old tenor per
month above the province pay" ; and this is the Hual town action
during this war, though Indian depredations continued till far
into the year 1741).
TniN(;S 1,00K WAKIJKE IN WINDIIAIM, IT;,.'.
In 1752, at the annual meeting, JSIarch !Â», a controversy arose
respecting the rights of voters. Tlie selectmen and moderator
]Â»cniiitted those to vote who many in the parish thought had
no le<ral status in town, and a board of olKcers was elected. The
* Adjt.-Cen. N:itt Head, in his ufcount of tliis art'air, says tlio niuster-roU
of tiu' CoiiiiJaiiy is lost. Tiiis is a iiiislakc. 1 havi- cxaiiiiiitHl it, and it
can l)i- fonnd iii Vol. xv, N. K. Hist, and (icn'l Kfi;-., in tlii' Society's rooms
in Hoston, Mass.
t Adjt.-Uen. liui). 186G, vol. ii, p. '.)!.
TROUBLK WITH SAI.KM, ITVi, ETC. 55
â€¢ lis-siitisfic'd ones inimt'tliatcly withdrew in :i l)ody, lieltl ;i different
meeting, ;ind elected another set of town oHieers. Both boards of
(itHcers doubted tlieir ))ower to act legally, and things remained
in a eliaotie state till Feb. li, 175o, when a j)etition signed by
forty-one of the freeholders, stating their grievances, was pre-
sented to the governor and council, praying that the proceedings
of both meetings might be declared void.
In the house of representatives, Feb. 22, 1758, the proceedings
of both meetings were declared to be void, and Peter Oilman,
Esq., was authorized to cause .a notification to be put u]i for the
peoi)le of Windham to meet on the first Tuesday of March, 1758,
for a choice of otticers_/br 175^, and the said Peter Oilman, Es(j.,
was to be moderator of said meeting. A new board of offioers
was chosen from among the petitioners, the vanquished became
the victors, and so ended the dual government of the town,
TK0U15LE WITH SALEM, 175i>, AND DISMEMBERMENT OF WINDHAM.
Salem originally belonged to the Methuen district, was incor-
porated as a district in 17-41-2, and incorporated as a town in
May, 1750. In 1741, when the lines were established between
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, it was cut off from the towns
of Methuen and Dracut.
As will be seen by the map, Windham, at the time of its incor-
]>oration, included about one third of the present town of Salem,
The easterly boundary of the town commenced, northerly on the
eastern line of Londonderry, and ran south, passing through the
northeast portion of llittitity Pond, including the Saunders farm,
Salem Depot, crossing the turnpike, Policy Brook, and Manches-
ter A: Lawrence Railroad, near the Oliver Russ place ; thence in a
southerly direction till it struck the original southerly line of
Londonderry, northeast of the farm lately owned by Cyrus Wil-
son in Salem ; thence in a northwesterly direction following the
original Londonderry line till it reached Beaver Brook, and on
the same till it reached the northerly boundary of Windham.
In order to give an intelligent account of the causes for the
dismemberment, some of the first acts of the first settlers will be
reviewed. Soon after Windham became a town, the cemetery on
the jtlain was laid out. It was the intention of our Scotch ances-
tors to follow the custom of the Fatherland, and have the kirk
or church close to the church-yard, which would not be far from
the centre of the town ; but this plan was defeated, and the church
was erected on the hill. This was unsatisfactory to citizens of
the town farthest away, and there was continual agitation on the
subject of finding the "town's centre." Many of the citizens of
that part of the town, which is now Salem, were of different
blood and different faith, and though they worshipjied with the
Scotch Presbyterians in the church on the hill, still there was
little affinity between the "English Congregationals " and the
66 HISTORY OF WIXDIIAM IX NEW IIAMPSHIRK.
Scotch people. They did uot coalesce any more readily than oil
and water. The Scotch had not a liigh ()])inion of "the English
bodies " ; and the latter did not like tlie Scotch or their form of
Avorship, and thought it hard that they should be taxed to sup-
port the Presbyterian church. Salem having been settled by the
English, many of the inhabitants in the southeast part of Wind-
ham tliought they would be benefited by being disannexed from
Windliam and annexed to Salem. Many of tlie people of the
northerly and westerly sections of Windham thought they would
be benefited by having the English families disannexed from
Windhau), for then " Samson would be shorn of his locks," and
sometime the church would be put in the centre of the town, and
more convenient for them. So the two ])ortions joined hands,
and by strategy secured a vote of W^indham for the dismember-
ment of the town. The town of Salem also voted in favor of
having the lines changed so as to include the English Congrega-
On the ninth day of January, 1752, "to quiet all strife," the
lines were changed to the locality in which we find them to-day.
But by the provisions of this Act, those who \oii>hed could, by
notifying the selectmen of Salem and Windham, still retain their
connection with Windham, so far as religious affairs were con-
cerned, and though they were residents of Salem, after having
signified their desire to worship in Windham, could not partici-
pate in religious matters in that town.
NAMES OF WINDHAM MEN ANNEXED TO SALEM.
From unpublished State papers I extract the following : On
Jan. 19, 1757, the following men lived in that part of Salem which
was formerly Windham, and paid their province tax in Windliam :
Samuel Armour, Robert Spear, John Dinsmore, Francis Dins-
more, William Saunders, John Obber, Oliver Saunders, John
Obber, Jacob Obber, Eben Woodbury, George Corning, John
Corning, Robert Ellenwood, Jonathan Woodbury, Jolin Hall,
Oliver Kimball, Edward Bailey, John Griels, William Leach, John
Hall (?) or Hill, Nathaniel Woodbury, Abial Pitman, John Ober,
Jr., Moses Morgan, Jonathan Morgan, Joshua Thomson, Andrew
Balcli. This list includes the lai-ger part of the Windliam men
who were annexed to Salem.
In 1754, as a result of this dismemherment, the town was so
greatly weakened by the release of so many from tlu'ir ministerial
taxes, that Rev. William Johnston was obliged to leave for want
of adequate supjiort,* and the town was destitute of a stated min-
istry till the settlement of Rev. .John Kinkead, in Octolier, 17G0,
Many persons were taxed by both towns, whiclv engendered bad
blood, lawsuits, and expense. James Treadwell was taxed in
* New Jl;iiiij>sliiiv Town I'lipcns, vol. ix, p. 51.'$.
THE LAST IHI.XCII .\NIÂ» INDIAN W AK. hi
Salein. He rc'fusc'<l to pay his taxes tliere, was arrested, and
lo<lge(l in jail. Windliam espoused Iiis cause, prosecuted tlie
Salem constable in IToG, and the case was in court till ITOU, when
it paid .lames Treadwell i''J9. Itlx. for his trouble on Salem account.
Others would pay double rates rather than contend.
THE SCOTCH PKOPLE IN SALKM liKMAIN SCOTCH STILL.
Though Salein received a large addition of territory by the
changing of the lines between the towns, still her inliabitants
came far short of being a homogeneous people. The Scotch who
had been set off to Salem remained Scotch still, in tl eir habits,
customs, manner of living, thoughts, and religious faith. Town
lines could not change their characters. They united with their
countrymen in their place of worship at the head of Windham
Range, paid their taxes for the support of the Presbyterian min-
ister in Windham, "and from choice always belonged to a training
company" in Windham. They belonged "to a different regiment
from the rest of the inhabitants of Salem," and had been "called
upon and had done their proj)ortionate part in carrying on the
war against Great Britain " with the inhabitants of Windham.
But having liri-n taxed in Salem, they on Jan. 3, 1778, jtetitioned
thi- govcrnmiiit of New Hampshiri' to be reunited to Win<lham.
After stating their case, and S])eaking of the ])eo])le of Windham,
said, "We have always associati'il ;mil been connected with them
as brothel's, lÂ»ut have never associated with the other inhabitants
of Salem." This petition came before the House, Feb. 27, 1778,
and the prayer was not granted. The signers were as follows : â€”
Isaac Thorn. "William Sinith, Jr. John Canipl)en.
.Tosiah Hadlt'V. Solomon Smith. David Nevins.
William Tliom, Jr. William Gordon. Richard Ilenncsey.
William Smith. Thomas McGlaiiirhlin. Nathaniel Gorrcll.
Jacob Hardy. .James McGlaiiiihliu. Gain Armour.
The peopK' in that ]iart of Salem continued to worshi]) in Wind-
ham, and ]iay ministeri.il taxes, till 1797. On March 8, 1798,
Windham vote<l in all future taxes to omit those living in Salem ;
neither were they taxed for the building of the "old meeting-
house" at the centre. From this time henceforth the ]>eoj)le of
Sc()tch <lescent in Salem have been entirely sep.arated in religious
and town affairs fi-om tht-ir Presbyterian relatives in Windham.
The site foi- the meeting-house established, Sejd. 9, 1794, "at a
red oak ti-ee, marki'fl N. 31Â°, E. 33 rods from the IST. E. corner of
the graveyard in the westerly part of Windham."*
THE LAST FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.
In Ajiril, 1748, the j)reliminaries oi peace between England and
France w ere signed at Aix-la-Chajielle, Germany, and a definite
* Town Records, vol. ii, p. 7.5.
58 HISTORY OF WINDHAM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
treaty signed the following October. In 1754, hostilities com-
menced anew, two years before the formal declaration of war by
England against France, which was made May 17, 1756. It was
the conflict of differing civilizations, and did not cease till French-
Catholic sii|tremacy was ovei'thrown in Canada, tlie ]>rovince con-
quered and placed under the rule of the English government. As
an integral ]Â»art of the British dominions, Windham was called
ujion to contribute her share for the prosecution of the war, and
her sons left the deli<2:hts of home and fireside for the sufferincjs of
the mai'ch, the duties and ])rivations of the cam]Â», an<l the ]Â»erils
of the battle-fiebl.
Windham voted, Dec. 2, 1755, Â£90 old tenor to Samuel Thomp-
son, William Thomjison, and Hugh Duidaj), as an encouragement
to them for enlisting as troopers in the late expedition. Daniel
Clyde was also a troojjer. They enlisted Se]Â»t. 22, 1755, in Col.
Peter Gilman's regiment and Ca])t. James Todd's com])any. Sam-
uel Thom])Son A\as clerk of the com])any. They were all dis-
charged Dec. 13, 1755. This regiment marched to Albany by
way of Charlestown, N. H., Imt Avas in no active service, and the
campaign ended in December.
Among the men in Capt. Robert Rogers' C(mi]>any, Col. Jona-
than Bagley's regiment, left to garrison the forts near Lake George
in 1755, was William McKeen, who first owned the McKeen place
in Windham. He enlisted Nov. 25, 1755; discharged June 6,
1756. Time of service, 6 months, 24 days.
In August, 1757, the French and Indians cajitured Fort William
Henry on the north shore of Lake Geoi-ge. Among the gai'rison of
3,000 which surrendered was Thomas Dunlaj), and )ierha])S others
of this town. Out of a New Hamj)shire regiment of 200 men,
eighty were slaughtered by the Indians after the sui'render. Mr.
Dunlap was jtursued by a savage, who caught him by his cue,
and tore out a large ]Â»ai-t of the hair in his head. He, however,
escaj)ed, and reached the fort, and was jn-otected by the French.
For the Crown Point expedition of 1757, New Hampshire
furnished a regiment of 500 men, under the command of Nathan-
iel Meserve, colonel, and John Goffe, lieutenant-colonel.
In Capt. Heicules Mooney's company, with Alexander Todd
as first lieutenant, wei-e the following Windham nu-n : â€”
lliiiili Q'lhiton, enlisted Marcli '). 1757; fiiscliarijed Nov. T).