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That your Memorialists have just been accidentally informed, that in consequence of a Petition from M' Isaac Snow in behalf of the Town of Harpswell in the County of Cumberland, your Honors have been pleased to pass a Resolve, "that the Town of Harpswell be abated five shillings in the thousand pounds of the last valuation, and that the same be laid on a Plantation called West Bowdoinham in the County of Lincoln.”
On your Memorialists being thus informed, they procured a Copy of M' Snow's said Petition, and the Courts doings thereon, and beg leave to observe, that in the said Petition M" Snow represents “That in the last valuation, the said Town of Harpswell was assessed in an undue proportion with the other Towns in the said County of Cumberland, and therefore prays a Committee may be appointed to inquire into the Premises, and relieve the said Town.” Whereupon a Committee of the honorable House was appointed, and on the Second Instant the Resolve aforesaid passed in the House: which appears to be essentially different from what it was as first offered to the honorable house, and probably as first past by them, for it then stood that the same five shillings be laid on a Plantation called Otisfield in the said County of Cumberland. This corresponded with the idea held up in M Snow's petition, grounding the prayer for relief on the undue proportion assessed on Harpswell compared with the other Towns in Cumberland. But Otisfield (and doubtless other Towns in Cumberland) not choosing to take any part of Harpswell tax, so lately setled by the last general valuation, and having friends in the General Court, was not subjected to said Tax. This therefore probably induced M' Snow to wish for some other object of taxation in any other County, and it happened very fortunate for him, that a Number of People living adjoining to the West of Bowdoinham in the County of Lincoln, and from that circumstance called West Bowdoinham, prepared a Petition to the General Court, and employed M' Snow (as we are informed) to present the same at the last Sitting: but there not being a sufficient number of Signers, or for some other reason, it was deferred: and a Petition at the present session of the Court has appeared with the names of Thirty two Individuals thereto, including Sons with their Fathers, being the Petition of Benjamin Jaques and others, praying that a certain Tract therein described may be Incorporated; of which petition, and also of M' Snow's Proceedings in the General Court relative to the Transfer of said Tax, your Memorialists humbly conceive, they ought to have been notified: for your Honours are fully Sensible, that in all Petitions to the General Court, where the Prayer can any way affect the Property or Privilidges of other persons than the Petitioners, it has been the Established Practice of the General Court, founded on the Constitution, and in the highest reason and fitness of things, to order a notification of the adverse party that the Court being duly informed in all Circumstances, might do what would be just between the Parties.—
But the said M' Snow, who is the Representative from Harpswell, have found means of conducting this business in such a covered manner, that we have but just come to the knowledge of it; By which means, in the present case, only one of the Parties has been heard! And the Resolve aforesaid has Subjected your Memorialists property to be taken away on the exparte representation aforesaid; for which Purpose, there is a Clause inserted in the Tax Bill, now under the Consideration of your Honors, laying a Tax of fifty pounds on what is called Herein the New Plantation of West Bowdoinham, and relieving Harpswell of the same Sum.This having been obtained in such a covered, underhand, and extraordinary manner, the bare mentioning of it, your Memorialists humbly conceive, will induce your Honors to order the same to be struck out of the said Tax bill: which with the said Resolve, and the intended Act of Incorporation (the whole so happily contrived to Answer M' Snow's purpose) were all intended to be compleated without your Memorialists knowing any thing of the matter. With regard to the Petition of said Jaques and others for Incorporating the aforesaid Tract, we beg leave to observe, that the Kennebeck Company, of which your Memorialists are a part, have with very great expence been Setling their Lands, and from a Wilderness, have Setled the Towns of Pownalborough, Bowdoinham, Pittston, Hallowell, Vasselborough, Winslow, Winthrop, and other places, in all of which a considerable part, and in some of them two thirds of the land have been given away to settlers; That the said Towns are incorporated, and pay Taxes to the Government, of which Taxes your Memorialists and others of said Company pay a considerable part.
That the said Company built Fort Western, and a Fort at Pownalborough, and furnished both of them with Cannon and Small Arms for the Use of the Government, And Also built a large Commodious House at Pownallborough to Accommodate the County as a Court House, with the needfull conveniences, and appropriated one of the Block Houses of the last mentioned fort for a Goal, and by these and other exertions, which cost them a great deal of Money, they have brought that part of the Country from a Wilderness State, to a State of Habitation and Improvement.
That they were prosecuting other Settlements & improve ments when the War with Britain commenced; That the said War, which by means of the Enemies Cruisers and Armed boats, and by small parties of them harrassing and threatening the Inhabitants has operated greatly to the detriment of the said County, put a Stop to those Settlements & Improvements: and at the same time necessarily called our Attention to other objects nearer home and more interesting and essential to the general safety.
That in the confused State of things occasioned by the War, and when Law could have no effect, many people improved so favorable an opportunity, and set themselves down on Kennebeck lands, taking the best they could find, without liberty from the Proprietors, and in defiance of Law.
That although the said Jaques and some of the Petitioners have settled with consent of the Proprietors, there is notwithstanding, of the Land petitioned to be Incorporated, a Tract ten miles long, and more than Six Miles broad, which is either wholly a Wilderness, or if there are any persons setled on it, there is not one of them but is a Trespasser, and has setled in defiance of all Law.
That your Memorialists humbly conceive your Honors will do nothing to encourage such lawless Proceedings, and that the regular plan of Settlement, which they have been carrying on & mean to continue to execute, will not be interrupted and broke in upon by granting the prayer of the said Petition for Incorporation – Your Memorialists, therefore humbly pray Your Honors that the said petition may be dismissed; and also that your Honors will please to reconsider and re peal the Resolve aforesaid for Transferring a part of the Tax of Harpswell to the Land described in the said petition, and also discontinue the clause in the Tax bill for that purpose: all which is humbly submitted.
Resolve on Foregoing.
In Senate October 30th 1782
Read & thereupon Ordered that Samuel Baker Esq" with
such as the Hon' House shall join be a Committee to take this Memorial into consideration and make report thereon Sent down for Concurrence
S Adams Presid' In the House of Representatives Nov 184 1782
Read & concurred, & M' Frye of Fryeburg & Cap' Washburn are joined
Nath Gorham Speaker In Senate Novo 1st 1782
Ordered that Eleazer Brooks Esq" be of this Committee in the Room of Sam' Baker Esq' who has leave of absence
Petition James Howard Esq.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
in the House of Representatives Noul 1st 1782 on the petition of James Howard Esq' in behalf of himself Susanna his wife and Hartson Coney setting forth that one Nathaniel Hersey of Hallowell in the County of Lincoln, blacksmith, brought an action of trespass against them A for taking one hundred & fifty quarts of his milk B triable before Joseph North Esq' a Justice of the peace in that County on the twenty fourth day of September A. D. 1781. and that they, not of their neglect, but being necessarily prevented from appearing timely to answer to said action, were de faulted, lost their appeal, and Judgment was given by said Justice for very large damages; and praying for an appeal from the Judgment of said Justice to the Court of Common Pleas to be holden at Pownalborough within and for said County on the first Tuesday of June next
Resolve on Foregoing.
Resolved that the prayer of said Petition be granted; and that the said James, Susanna, and Hartson have leave to appeal from the Judgment of said Justice to said Court of