Town Meeting Record

Town Meeting minutes can teach students about how a community was settled, how individuals were involved in government and civic affairs, and how a community might have responded to national issues and crises. Each town meeting will begin with a warrant listing the items to be discussed at the meeting. Following the recording of the warrant will be the minutes. Some particularly interesting points in time to investigate include the town’s settlement era, the Revolutionary era, and the Civil War.

As towns matured, the town meeting minutes were accompanied by a printed annual report. These are very similar to today’s reports recording town finances, reports of the various officers and Selectboard, as well as reports of the schools. The annual reports can reveal expenses for the Civil War, lists of textbooks purchased for schools, and information about how the town supported the poor.