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The Fourth AmendmentOrigins and Original Meaning 602 - 1791$

William J. Cuddihy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.001.0001

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(p.814) APPENDIX D Votes of Massachusetts Towns on the Excise of 1754

(p.814) APPENDIX D Votes of Massachusetts Towns on the Excise of 1754

The Fourth Amendment
Oxford University Press

The following nine subappendices are a survey of all extant town records concerning the interrogation clause of the Massachusetts Excise of 1754. According to the colonial poll tax of 1754 (Mass. Prov. St., 1754–55, c. 11, Mass. Acts and Resolves, vol. 3 [1742–57], pp. 766–77), the 11 counties of Massachusetts contained 180 towns on 19 June 1754, when that act was passed. Because that tax did not list Amherst, which had not been incorporated but, nevertheless, voted and recorded its vote, the correct total was 181 towns. Five of those 181 towns were not then in the colony (Appendix D-9). Only 5 of the other 176 towns (Appendix D-8) entirely lack town meeting records going back to 18 June–ca. Oct. 1754, when the interrogation clause was before them. For three other towns (Appendix D-7), meeting records commence before 1754 but contain “gaps” omitting the above period. Thus, in all, 168 towns left usable records covering the excise plebiscite. The 181 towns are categorized as follows:

D-1: Towns that voted against the Excise Bill: 53 towns

D-2: Towns that voted for the Excise Bill: 30 towns

D-3: Poll tax assessments on the foregoing towns

D-4: Towns that resolved not to vote: 3 towns

D-5: Towns that Placed the Excise Bill on the town meeting agenda but did not mention the outcome of the vote: 4 towns

D-6: Towns with records covering 1754 that did not mention the excise: 78 towns

D-7: Towns with records starting before 1754 but missing for the date of the vote: 3 towns

D-8: Undocumented Towns: 5 towns

D-9: Fictitious Towns: 5 towns

Except as noted, each of the following manuscripts is in the clerk’s office of the corresponding town or city. Microfilm of most of these manuscripts can also be found in the Genealogical Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City. Town records from this latter source end in a parenthesis containing “L. D. S.” and the microfilm reel number six or seven digits. When the town clerk or an agent supplied a xerox, typescript, or certified manuscript copy, however, a postal zip code of five digits (with a hyphenated four digit supplement, if extant) concludes the entry.

Several towns in colonial Massachusetts shared the same or similar names (e.g., Bedford, Harwich, Hardwick, Sherburne). Moreover, many of those towns have since been renamed or are now in different counties. Therefore, to distinguish them, I have retained the county and town designations that applied in 1754. Small capital script designates the successor towns and their predecessors. Unless Maine, which did not separate from the Bay State until 1820, is specified, Massachusetts is the home state for each of the following towns.