Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
UMass Amherst seal
Brookfield (Mass.) Records, 1736-1795
1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 595

Abstract:
Settled in 1660 and incorporated in 1718, the town of Brookfield (Worcester County) straddles the Boston Post Road, one of the major arteries during the colonial period connecting Boston with the towns of the Connecticut River Valley and New York.

This assemblage of documents from Brookfield, Massachusetts, consists primarily of warrants for town meetings, many with agendas, that were issued to the Freeholders and Inhabitants through the constables. Concentrated in the 1770s, these warrants provide relatively detailed information on matters of local importance, including town finances, assessments, and the construction and maintenance of roadways and bridges. During the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary years, however, issues of interest to the town were often wrapped up in regional or national politics. Town freeholders, for example, were called to consider requests to "come into any Vote or Resolve Respecting the East India Company Tea," the encouragement of manufacture of firearms, smallpox inoculation, and pay for the town's Minute Men or support for the families of servicemen.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Historical Note

Settled in 1660 and incorporated in 1718, the town of Brookfield (Worcester County), Massachusetts, straddles the Boston Post Road, one of the major arteries during the colonial period connecting Boston with the towns of the Connecticut River Valley and New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The warrants issued by the selectmen of Brookfield, Massachusetts, to the constable in each precinct to warn the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the town about upcoming town meeting. Each contains a brief agenda of topics for that meeting. Most of these warrants concern the mundane matters of local governance such as authorizing funds for building and repairing roads and bridges, laying out or approving the course of new roads and compensating land owners for alienated property, support for the poor, and the election of town officers. During the 1770s and 1780s, however, the warrants reflect the heightening of Revolution zeal, with references to the Tea Act controversy of 1773, the formation of Committees of Correspondence and a Committee of Safety, pay for the Minute Men of 1775, support for soldiers' families, and military preparedness in town. Two warrants request the Town to vote upon inoculation for smallpox.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Brookfield (Mass.) Records (MS 595). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Provenance unknown 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, February 2010.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English

Contents List
Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1736 Mar. 8-May 7
2 items

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1745 Feb. 17
1 item

Regarding laying out route of public highway; keeping of a grammar school

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1747
3 items

Re supplying the town pulpit; amending bridge; preventing encroachment on highways and town land

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1750
1 item

Re: roads; women's schooling; repairing second parish church

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1752 Feb. 24
1 item

Re: ratifying roads; sale of ministry lands

Brookfield (Mass.). Assessors, Warrant to John Bellenger, appointing him Surveyor of Highway and tax collector
1753 June 11
1 item

Includes list of taxable residents and amounts owed

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrant to John Phipps to call vote for 2nd Precinct to choose a new constable
1755 Dec. 15
1 item

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1772
8 items

Re: roads; bridge repair; poor relief; recompense for the local fulling mill in rebuilding a bridge

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1773
4 items

"To see if the Town will hear the several Letters from the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston and make any order on them..."; "to see if the Town will Come into any Vote or Resolve; Respecting the East India Company's Tea, Lately sent to America, Subject to a Duty

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1774
3 items

"To choose a standing Committee of Correspondence"

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1775 Jan. 9
1 item

"to see if the Town will allow the account of Jedediah Forster Esqr for his attending the [Continental] Congresses..."; "to see if the Town will Grant money to pay the Minute Men"

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1776
2 items

"To see if the Town will accept and act upon the Report of their Committee Chosen to Draught some plan to Incourage the manufacturing of firearms"; repair of Nichols bridge; permit inoculation for smallpox at Joseph Cutter's house

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1777
9 items

"to see if the town will chuse a Committee to supply thee families of thee non commissioned oficers and privit solders that are gone in to the Contanental servase"; building a roof on the powder house; storing town ammunition; smallpox inoculation; choose a Committee of Safety

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1779
7 items

"to see if the town will hear and act upon a petition... Relative to Breeches made upon the Resolves of the Convention lately held at Concord"; relief for soldiers' families; roads; act on new Constitution

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen , Oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth administered to Town Assessors
ca.1779
1 item

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1780
8 items

Re: delegates to the Convention in Boston; bridges; roads; bounty for killing crows

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen and Western (Mass.). Selectmen, Agreement on town boundaries
1785 Nov. 15
1 item

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen, Warrants for town meeting
1791
3 items

Re: juror list; taxes; support of schools; roads and bridges

Massachusetts. General Court, Order to the Brookfield Selectmen to collect taxes
1792-1795
3 items

Inventory and valuation of personal goods
Undated
1 item


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Forster, Jedediah.
  • Smallpox.
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.

Contributors
  • Brookfield (Mass.)--History--18th century.

Genre terms
  • Warrants.


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