Sunderland — Organization
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
At the May session of the General Court, in 1718, the inhabitants of Swampfield presented a petition, claiming to have fulfilled the conditions of their grant, asked for more land, that the reservation of 250 acres might be given them to promote a school, that they might be exempted from tax for five years, and that they might be incorporated as a town.
Nov. 12, 1718, the General Court ordered "that the prayer of this petition be so far granted that the inhabitants be invested with the same power, privileges, authorities to order, direct, and manage all the affairs of their township, that other towns are or ought to be invested with, and that the committee be dismissed from the care of them, with the thanks of the court for the good and faithful service, . . . and that the name of the town be henceforth called Sunderland, and lies to the county of Hampshire."
The name is supposed to have been selected as an honor to Charles Spencer, earl of Sunderland, then a member of the British cabinet, and in 1718 appointed to be first lord of the Treasury.
In 1774 a tract of land on the east was set off from Sunder-land and incorporated as the town of Leverett. Previous to that, in 1753, a portion of the town's northern section was set off to the new district of Montague.
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05 Aug 2005