Amherst Becomes a District in 1759

Much of the early history of Amherst is included in the History of the Town of Amherst compiled and published by Carpenter and Morehouse in 1896. This volume includes the early town meeting records of Hadley. It is in these early records of Hadley that we find the beginnings of Amherst. The original manuscripts of these town meeting records covering the period 1735 to 1759 are held at the Jones Library. Also, read a letter petitioning for the name of Amherst to be bestowed on the new district.

It was on February 13, 1759 that Amherst became a district. The second entry in the document in the record dates from March 19, 1759. These two records are transcribed from the Records of Hadley Third and Second Precinct as follows:

[By an act passed February 13, 1759, the second precinct in the town of Hadley was erected into a district by the name of Amherst. 4 Acts and Resolves, 1759, ch. 12.]

At a Legal Meeting held In Amherst at the Meeting House on March 19 1759 after Dea Ebezr Dickinson was Chosen moderator they Came Into the following Vots

Vote 1 Josiah Chauncy Destrict Clerck

Vo 2 Joseph Easman treasurer

Vo 3 Dec Ebezr Dickinson sessor

Jona"1 Dickinson sesor

Dec Nath" Smith

Ens John Dickinson selectmen

Mosses Dickinson sesor

Vo 4 Pelitiah Smith sworn Constable

Isaac Goodale sworn Constable

Vo 5 Joseph Easman sworn tvtun

Jona11' Edwards sworn

Vo 6 Gideon Dickinson sworn

Dan" Dickinson sworn

Ebezr Mattoon sworn Surveyors

Nath" Dickinson sworn

Jacob Warner

Vo 7 Simeon Clark sworn fence

Nath" Coleman Viewers

Vo 8 Joseph Church sworn

John Petty sworn Hog Rifts [i. e. Reeves]

Reuben Ingram sworn

Vo 9 Alex'1' Smith Clerk market

Vo 10 that Hogs Rung & Yoakt Acording to Law may Run at Large

Vo 11 That the High way work Be Done this Year By a tax Vo' to adjourn the meeting to the 20 of March Instant then met and Came Into the following Vots

Vo 12 to Hire Six Bulls for the District Service this Year

Vo 13 the Select men to Hire said Bulls

Vo 14 to Give the Revd Mr David Parsons Sixty Six Pounds thirteen shillings and four Pence Lawfull Money Including the Bond for the year Past Service —

Vo 15 that anually the first Day of May the time To Pay Mr Parsons Sallary

Vo 16 that from the twenty first Day of March To the first Day of May that Mr Parsons Sallary Shall Be Levied In the Presant Tax & Paid him and the Interest for the foresaid time

Vo 17 to Raise twenty Pounds for this Years Scooling In the Next Years tax

Vo 18 to Discontinue one Rod in Width twenty Rods In Length In the East Street of the High Way Upon the East Side of that Land the town of Late DiscontinuedBegining at the South Side of Dan Kelloggs Lot & Extending North the forsaid twenty Rods

Vo 19 To Raise fiveteen Pounds to Procure the Rev* Mr Parsons fire for the year Ensuing

Vo 20 to Allow for Work Done at the Highways from the twenty ninth Day of March To October the tenth Sixteen Shillings P' Day for a hand & fores* sat forteme & the Remainder Part of the Year twelve Shillings Pr Day for hand t said sum for teme

Vo 21 that Ephraim Kellogg Ebez' Dickinson 3d thomas Mortton John Field Jun Noah Smith have Liberty to Build a pew over the Stairs In the Gallery the Mens Side if it Don't Hinder Passing In the Attics & Up- and Down Stairs

Attest Ebez'r Dickinson Moderator

—From Part II of The History of Amherst by Carpenter and Morehouse, 19-20.


Carpenter, Edward Wilton and Charles Frederick Morehouse. History of the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts. Amherst, Mass.: Press of Carpenter & Morehouse, 1896. 132-137. Available at the Jones Library or on GoogleBooks.

Amherst Becomes a District in 1759