Leverett — Noteworthy Incidents
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
In September, 1774, the town-meeting was held in Mr. Hubbard's barn. In that year Joseph Clary received 3s. for his services as town clerk, and Richard Montague 9s. for his services at the Northampton Congress. In 1776 town-meetings were held in the new meeting-house. Before that they had been held at private houses. In 1778 the town let the sugar-trees on the town lot to the highest bidder. In 1782 it was voted to approve the Confession Act for the collection of debts. In March, 1783, a bounty of 40s. was offered for each wolf's head delivered to the selectmen. At the same time the selectmen were instructed to "approbate Dr. Ball to keep a public-house until a legal license could be obtained."
The first pound was built in 1788, and located on the north side of the meeting-house. In 1789 it was decided to build a "stocks." Leverett, in 1813, put up the keeping of nine paupers at auction. The town paid for their support from 50 to 80 cents each per week. Esther Gould was a pauper, and at one time the town consulted eminent counsel and made desperate efforts in a determination to get Esther "upon Sunderland."
Moses Graves, who died in 1803, was one of the most prominent men in the town during his time. He served for twenty-eight successive years —from 1774 to 1802— either as selectman, treasurer, or assessor.
Mention is made in a record, dated 1774, of Joseph Clary's mill. If there were mills in Leverett at an earlier date, the records do not note the fact.
Lucius Field kept a tavern in Leverett before 1800, and it is likely that he was the first innkeeper. At present there is no hotel in the town.
Leverett afforded material assistance to the insurgents during Shays' rebellion, and furnished several volunteers.
Among the men of note whom Leverett has produced may be mentioned Gideon Lee, mayor of New York City in 1833, and a representative subsequently in Congress; Martin Field, an eminent Vermont lawyer, son of. Seth Field; Abiel Buckman and Tilly Lynde, once members of the judiciary of the State of New York.
The oldest house in North Leverett was torn down in l873. It was built in 1748, and was for many years the residence of Richard Montague, of Revolutionary fame, and one of Ethan Allen's command when that redoubtable chieftain took Fort Ticonderoga. The house was also much used in the early days as a place of worship by the Baptists, of whom Richard Montague was one. In opposing for himself and his fellow-religionists the payment of the ministers' rate, Montague is said to have excited by his warm demonstrations the respect and fear of many a constable who sought in vain to make the Baptists pay the rate.
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26 Jun 2005