New Salem — Historical Documents Relating to New Salem

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      Daniel Ballard, Esq., a direct descendant and great-great grandson of Jeremiah Ballard, one of the earliest settlers of the town, has in his possession the manuscript of several original documents which refer in an interesting way to the early history of New Salem. Copies of these documents are herewith appended, as follows:

Deed Of Negro Jack.

      "To all Chieftain People to whom these presents shall come, Know ye that I, Thomas Parker, of Dracutt, in ye County of Middlesex, within his Majaestie's Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, Clerk, for and in consideration of the sum of Sixty pounds to me in hand before the enseeling and delivery of these presents by Jeremiah Ballard, of Andover, in ye County of Essex, Husbandman, have given granted, bargained, sold, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell unto the sd Jeremiah Ballard, one negro man, named Jack, to have and to hold the sd negro Jack; and I, the sd Thomas Parker, do promise to bind & oblige myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, by these presents, to warrant and Defend the said negro Jack unto the said Jeremiah Ballard against the lawfull claims or demands of any person or persons whatsoever, at any time or times hereafter. In witness whereof I, the sd Thomas Parker, have hereunto set my hand & seal this fifteenth day of September, Anno Domini 1726, in the twelfth year of ye Reign of our Sovereign Lord George King.
      "Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of

"Thomas Parker. [seal.]
"Jonathan Richardson.
"John Dane."

Warrant For Meeting Of Proprietors Of New Salem
At Town-Hall In Salem.

      "Notice is Hereby Given to the Proprietors of New Salem (so called), Laying in the County of Hampshire, that they Assemble Themselves Together on Wednesday, the Sixth day of June Next, at Two o'clock afternoon, at the Townhouse in Salem, To Choose a Committee to manage the affairs of the Propriety and to Call Futtur meetings; also a Clerk and Treasurer for the year ensuing. To Choose Surveyors of Highways; also to consider and act upon the Petition of Capt. Jeremiah Ballard and other of the Inhabitants for Finishing the Meeting-House & Settelinge the Lotts according to the Courte Grant, and Raising money for making & Repairing Highways for the Inhabitants; to Consider the Petition of Jeremiah Ballard and Jeremiah Meacham for a Grant for Building a Saw-mill on a Streame in the undivided Land of sd Propriety, and to see whether the Proptors will Grant it or Not; to Raise such Sums of Money as shall be thought Proper for the Paying the Revd Mr. Kindall's Salery, and other Charges arising in sd Propriety.

"By order of the Committee. "Thomdik Procter, Jr., pt. Clark.

"Salem, May 14, 1750."

Petition For James Cook As Innholder.

      "To the Honbl. Justices of the Sessions of the peace to be holden at Northampton, on the thirteenth instant:
      "Whereas, Mr. James Cook, of New Salem, was appointed for an Innholder in sd New Salem at ye Sessions in August last, he not being able of Body to attend thereon, and the Reason why he could not have Licence, he heard, was because he had not taken the oath relating to taking the Bills of the other Governments.
      "These may Certify to your Honours that the sd James has taken sd oath before Amos Foster, Dist. Clerk; and if that will answer, as he is not able to come to the next Sessions, we pray your Honors to Grant him Licence.

"Amos Foster,
"Jeremiah Ballard,
"Benja. Southwick, Jr.,

"New Salem, Nov. ye 8, 1764."

Town-Meeting Warrant.

      "Notice is hereby given to the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of New Salem, qualified by law to vote in town affairs, that they assemble and meet togather att the Publick Meeting-House in New Salem, on Monday, the Fourth day of March next, at ten of the clock forenoon, to consider and act on the following articles, viz.:
      "First, To Chuse such officers as towns by Law are obliged to Chuse on the month of March.
      "2ly, To Raise money to Pay the Rev. Mr. Kendal's Salary.
      "3ly, To Grant money to pay for schooling.
      "4ly. To Grant money to make and mend Highways.
      "5ly, To Know if Swine may Run att Large this year.
      "6ly, To Know if the Districts will improve what money the town Stock Powder has been sold for to Purchase another Stock, or apply to it any other use.
      "7ly, To Know if the Districts will allow the Selectmen to lay out a Rode from Samuel Pierce's across Jonath Childe's and Darling Lot's to sd Childe's, and Exchange the Rode att the East end of sd Lots for the same.
      "8ly, To see if the District will open the Rode att the East end of Benja. Southwick House Lot, which David Felton Has shut up.
      "9ly, To Bring in Town Debts and Grant money to pay the same.

"Benja. Southwick, Jr.,
"Jeremiah Ballard,
Selectmen of New Salem."

New Salem, Feb. ye 11, 1765."

Assessors' Warrant.

      "Whereas Benja. Southwick, Constable for ye District of New Salem for the year A.D. 1756, Complains to us, ye Subscribers, Assessors for sd District, & sayth that Micah Rice, of sd District (Blacksmith), was rated for his Pole in the Province Rate or List Committed to him the sum of Six Shillings and two pence, and that he, ye sd Benja Southwick, has given him, ye sd Micah Rice, Seasonable Notice and Warning to pay the same, yet he Refuses to Do it, and prays for a Warrant as ye Law Directs from us, the Subscribers, to Distreign the body of ye sd Micah Rice, he, ye sd Benja Southwick, having made search, and cannot find any Estate of ye sd Micah Rice Whereon to make Distress.
      "This is therefore in his Majestie's Name to Impower and Require You, the above sd Constable. Benja Southwick, to Destreign the body of ye sd Micah Rice, and it Commit to his Majesties Goal, in Springfield, till he pay, or cause to be paid, the above sd sum of Six Shillings & two pence, and Costs of the sd Commitment.

"Joseph Houlton,
"Amos Foster,
Assessors of New Salem.

"New Salem, March 18, 1757"

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