Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Enfield (Mass.) Selectmen's Account Book
Scope and Contents of the Collection
This account book dates from 1816 when the town of Enfield, formerly South Parish of Greenwich, was incorporated. It depicts the expenses of a small rural town in central Massachusetts between 1816 and 1846.
Most of the recorded accounts are for orders drawn. Among the items most frequently appearing are: ringing the bell; sweeping or repairing the meeting house; supporting a widow or a pauper and family; supplying materials or labor for roads or bridges; providing services as an assessor or overseer of the poor; building coffins and digging graves; providing a yard to serve as a pound; building or repairing the gates and fence to burying ground; teaching singing school.
The accounts include a great many names representing the full spectrum of society in Enfield -- wealthier townsfolk lent money for various purposes and were reimbursed; others were paupers being supported by the town. Some were laborers working for the town; others were tradespeople supplying goods; still others were being paid for services as town officers.
Among the names mentioned in one context or another were: Henry Fobes, Asa Shaw, Thomas Cary, Polly Pettingill, Abner Eddy, Rufus Powers, Thomas Jones, Elnathan Jones, Alvin Smith, Ichabod Woods, members of the Howe family, Elisha Hunting, Widow Bump, Hosea Hooker, and Freeman Pope.