Find the answers to the questions below by reviewing the town record. you can confirm the answer by clicking on the arrow at the beginning of each question.
When and where was this town meeting to take place?
Who was eligible to vote?
“I _________ ___________ solemnly swear, by the ever living God (or affirm in the presence of Almighty God that whenever I am called to give my vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, I will do it so, as in my conscience, I shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the constitution, without fear or favor of any man.”
See Vermont’s 1777 Constitution, Chapter 2, Section 6 http://vermont-archives.org/govhistory/constitut/con77.htm
What five decisions did the town need to make?
2) Elect the town officers for the year
3) See if the town would pay for preaching
4) See if the town would support the gospel and build a meeting house
5) Decide where to hold town meetings
List the 12 town offices that needed to be filled:
Sealor of Leather
Surveyors of Highways
Describe four of the officials’ duties
The Sealor of Leather inspected all the leather goods that were made in town. If the leather was properly tanned, he would mark it with a seal.
The Tythingmen were responsible for the community’s morals. They made sure that the Sabbath was observed and inspected taverns for liquor licenses. Although Church and State were supposedly separate, in fact towns were often built around the church (meetinghouse), and taxpayers supported the “gospell” financially until early in the nineteenth century.
The Fence Viewers were very important in early agricultural communities. They made sure that fences were well built and maintained. The owner of the field was responsible for keeping his crops safe from wandering animals with solid fences. If an animal broke through a legal fence, the owner of the animal was responsible for any lost crops.
For more descriptions of early town officers see: http://www.osv.org/school/lesson_plans/ShowLessons.php?PageID=R&LessonID=25&DocID=1127&UnitID
Can you find any issues on the warrant that might have led to debate?
Did the town make any decisions on these issues?
From the Town Meeting records, what would you say are the responsibilities of the town to its residents? What responsibilities do the residents have to the town and each other?
The town had obligations to the citizens as well, such as caring for the poor and providing schools, roads, and meeting places.