Early Town Transactions

Footnotes to Long Island History

 Early Town Transactions


Thomas R. Bayles

       At a town meeting held on October 24, 1665, Mathew Prior agreed to sell his "home lot with howseing Glase windows, dores, perticions with all the fensing, young appel treese and other frewt treese to the Constable and the rest of the Overseers for the ministers accommodation namely Mr. Brewster."

       Brewster was the first minister of the town church at Setauket and came here in 1665. The place purchased was considered luxurious in those early days for having glass windows and a young fruit orchid already started. The price given for this transaction was 12 pounds in Indian corn, wheat, an peas,

       An agreement made at a town meeting on May12, 1662 stated that it was voted and agreed that the town should give William Fletcher Forty pound a year "towards his maintenance for dispensing the word of God amongst them soe long as he resides amongst them performing his function." Fletcher apparently was not an ordained preacher but was engaged by the town for that purpose before Mr. Brewster came.

       On June 4, 1672, it was voted "that the ould feld and the little neck shall be freed of cattle and hogs six weeks after micklemus next and all fenses cept up as it is in somer and so to continue yere to yere till the town se cause to breke this order."

       The blacksmith was an important man in the early settlements and the following order is recorded for December 6, 1667. "At a full towne meeting it was ordered and given unto Edward Avery the smith, the home lott that was Mathias Dingles with a nue purchasers accommodation payeing the purchas as others doe, the said smith to doe the work on his calling as cheap as other smiths doe generally."

       On April 21, 1665 it was agreed at a town meeting "that any fensing in the coman fields that be not sufficient according to law and not made good within a week after notice given by the overseers of the fenses, the party offending shall pay ten shillings to law."

       At this meeting it was also ordered that "no strange Indians shall be entertainede by the towne Indians nor com armed into the towne but he shall leave his arms at the Constable and make known his business and noe Indian shall travel on the Sabbath."

       At a meeting on March 30, 1667 it was ordered at a full town meeting by everyone there that they give Gabriel Lynch the weavers accommodations, which was the 10 acre home lot appointed for the minister, together with the rest of the weavers divisions of lots, on condition he live on it three years" and weave the townes cloth as much as he is able with conveniences or procure one in his room to do the same and the land to be his forever."

       A town meeting on March 10, 1667, voted "that every family in the towne shall give 6d for every wolf that is killed to the part that brings the hed to constable according to law."

       On March 23, 1667, an agreement was entered into with Tobacus, sachem of the Unkechaug tribe of Indians, whereby the town was to pay the Indians five pounds in wampum or its equivalent  for every whale that came upon the beach within the towns patent which the Indians captured.

       On April 7, 1670, it is recorded that "John Roe was bought a heifer 2 years old of Henry Rogers that is gone astray this last winter. She came of a red cow, that was sold to Mr. Briant and is black with a cropt of the off eare."

       On April 13, 1669, Thomas Biggs sold to Samuel Akerly "his dwelling house and home lott with fencis that belongs to it which is standing and the crop upon the ground and the flowers in the house goeth with the house, and the saide Samuel agrees to pay or cause to be paide unto the saide Thomas the sum of nine pounds, that is to say a cow and calf upon the summer next after the date hereof and four pounds next January 10th in wheat corn and flax."


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