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number of rations they were entitled to; the State Commissaries not having kept any accounts of the particular deliveries of the above stores, rendered it a subject of no small difficulty to ascertain the just sum which the army ought to be charged for them. It was urged on the part of the Committee of Court, that the condition on which those stores were to be furnished in the close of the year 1776, was, that the army should pay the first cost and charges of transportation for them; that after the suspension of the monopoly act, and the currency began rapidly to depreciate, they were supplied at the prices stipulated in the aforesaid act, with the addition of contingent expenses of transportation, &c. which ell much short of the first cost, and if the State indemnified the army for all the losses they had sustained by the depreciation, it was but reasonable the State should be made good for the losses which accrued to them by supplying those stores.
The committee from the line being desirous to establish the settlement upon principles of justice, as it respected the State as well as army, and although those supplies had come greatly short of what the army had a right to expect from the state ; yet upon those principles it was not a sufficient reason why the State should loose any part of what was actually delivered; therefore, after deducting, as nearly as could be ascertained, the value of what the army had paid in camp, from the whole account, and also deducting the value of such stores as had been lost at different posts, taken for the use of the continent, sold to the inhabitants, or delivered to nine months levies and militia ; the committee from the line then agreed to average the remaining sum, upon the number of months each individual had served in the army, which produced the above sum of 10 64 *; this being the only method which could be taken, under the present circumstances, with any tolerable degree of justice. It was also agreed by both committees, that those soldiers who had received supplies from time to time, for their families, &c. of their respective towns, should be charged with the amount of those supplies, as stipulated in the aforesaid monopoly act, after deducting the value of the money paid for those supplies.
The last article of charge proposed by the committee of Court against the soldiery, was the Town Bounties and private bires; but as no Town Bounties or bires were to be considered in the settlement, by the instructions of Court, given to their committee, the 25th of November; and as the committee from the line bad presented a remonstrance against making this an article of charge, as
directed by the resolve of 61h Jan, and this remonstrance being then before the Court, and could not be acted upon before the next session, they did not consider themselves at liberty to accede to a charge of this nature, till they had received further instructions from the line
Thus the articles of charge against the soldiers were all mutually agreed on, except the Town Bounties and private hires, and the value of the money received as continental pay, which charges the committee from the line could not accede to, for the reasons before mentioned.
The committee of Court applied again to the council, to know whether they should proceed to close the accounts of the soldiers, upon principles which were not consented to by the committee from the line, upon which application they received the following order.
In Council, February 22, 1780. On the representation of the committee appointed by the General Court, to meet the committee from the army-Ordered, that it be hereby recommended to the committee appointed by the General Court, to meet the committee of the army in order for settlement, to settle with said committee, agreeable to the resolution of the General Court, and the advice given by this board Jan. 29th, last, upon the subject matter of this representation. True Copy, Attest,
JOHN Avery, D. Secretary. Without consulting the committee from the line any further on the subject, the Court's committee having received the above order, proceeded to close soldiers' accounts, and give certificates 10 Council for warrants on the Treasurer, for the payment of the balances due, after deducting the Town Bounties and private hires, and charging the wages received from the continent as valued at the close of each month, which made this charge at least one third higher than it would have been, if found by the rate of depreciation at the time when the general payments were made.
By this mode of procedure the committee from the line were excluded from taking any further part in the settlement, and would have returned immediately to camp, had they not relied on the justice of the general assembly, to place the matter on an equitable footing
TO BE CONTINUED:
HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WORCESTER.
STERLING-CONTINUED. PRESENT BOUNDARIES.—The northern line begins at a marked tree at Princeton, thence east, nineteen and one half degrees south, on Leominster, sixteen hundred and ninety rods, to a stump at Lancaster, then continuing the same course on Lancaster, one hundred and sixty rods. The eastern line runs wholly upon Lancaster, as follows:Thence south, six and one half degrees west, four hundred and Gifty five rods, to a stake and stones; thence south, sixty three degrees east, twenty eight rods, to a stake and stones; thence south, fifteen degrees west, thirty two rods, to a stake and stones ; tbence south, seventy degrees east, forty rods, to a stake and stones ; thence south, twenty five degrees west, one hundred and twenty two rods, to an elm tree; thence south, seventy seven degrees east, seventy three rods, to a white oak; thence south, nineteen degrees west, forty six rods, to a heap of stones; thence due west, fifty rods, to a white oak; thence south, sixty four degrees west, one hundred and six rods, to an elm; thence south, nine degrees east, sixty four rods, to a walout ; thence south, sixty one degrees east, thirty four rods, to a stake and stones ; thence south, eighteen degrees west, twenty four rods, to a stump and stones; thence south, twenty nine degrees east, seventy nine rods, to a stake and stones; thence south, fifty one degrees west, sixty two rods, to a stake and stones; thence north, forty degrees west, fifty five rods, to a large white oak; thence south, seventy three degrees west, one hundred and sixty six rods, to a stake and stones ; thence south, two degrees west, eighty six rods, to a white oak; thence north, sixty four degrees east, one hundred and twenty two rods, to a large oak; thence south, thirty degrees east, sixty two rods, to a walnut ; thence south, seventy eight degrees east, thirty four rods, to a stake and stones; thence south, sixteen degrees east, thirty six rods, to an elm; thence south, ten degrees west, one hundred and ninety six rods, to a chesnut; thence south, seven degrees west, one hundred and twelve rods, to a white pine ; thence south, eighty two degrees west, fifty six rods, to a white oak; thence south, eleven degrees west, four hundred and ninety rods, to a white oak* and stones at Boylston line, allowing one and a half degrees west variation in all the angles.
* On the very accurate map of the town, taken from actual surveys by Wm. Morris, Esq. about the year 1798, this closing line is marked 450 rods. We have followed the additional Act of Incorporation-Stat. 1792, ch. 55.
On the South it bounds on Boylston, two hundred and sixteen rods, thence on West Boylston ; thence north, seven degrees east, one hundred and thirty rods, to stones ; thence north, fifty eight degrees west, four bundred and twenty five rods, to a chesnut; thence north, eighty three and one half degrees west, two hundred and thirty three rods, to stones by a County road; thence south, eighty four degrees west, one hundred and forty six rods, to a white pine on the bank of Stillwater river* ; thence north, seventy two degrees west, five hundred and fourteen rods, to Holden line.
On the West it bounds on Holden-north, sixteen degrees west, six hundred and eight rods, to a large tree called the Chittenden oak, the most northerly corner of Holden ; tbence on Princeton, four hundred rods, to a large rock in Stillwater river; thence up the river seven hundred and twenty rods; thence northerly, two hundred and seventy rods, to a marked tree; thence one hundred and nine rods, to the County road leading to Westminster; thence pinety rods, to the first bound at Leominster line,
Ponds AND STREAMS. There are four ponds, all in the southerly part of the township. 1. East Wasbacum lies west of the road, leading from Lancaster to Worcester-it covers above 400 acres, and is a delightful sheet of fresh water, surrounded on all sides by gentle slopes of as fertile land as any in the County. Its natural outlet is through a narrow meadow, of about 100 rods across, and of a descent of 4 feet. The stream empties into the West Washacum pond. Besides this, is another outlet upon the eastern side, artificially cut 70 or 80 years since for the purpose of irrigating the rich and productive tracts of mowing land, that lie in the southeast parts of the town. These waters afterwards fall into the Nashua in Lancaster. The West Washacum pond covers above 300 acres, and is considered by some travellers as presenting the most pleasant scenery, as it embosoms a beautiful little island called Wood island, containing about an acre of land, lying in a wild and uncultivated state. There is also a shoal pear the centre of the Pond, parts of which appear above the water in dry seasons, presenting nearly an acre of tall water grass, (Poa aquatica) whence it is dignified by the name of Grassy island. Many places in these ponds are of great depth, and are stored with all the varieties of fresh water fish, whence in the summer season, they are the resort of numerous parties of pleasure, from this and the neighboring towns. Each pond is supplied by small rivulets which never completely
See Stat. 1796, ch. 10, and 1807, ch. 48.
dry. The outlet from the west pond is an important tributary to the Stillwater river or south branch of the Nashua, and unites with it near the upper Cotton Factory in West Boylston. It never fails in the dryest season.
Muddy pond, is a small collection of stagnant water, from which is an artificial outlet, recently excavated, conducting its waters to the Stillwater near Dana's mills in Sterling.
Fitch's pond, is another small body of water near Lancaster, from which flows a small stream, that finds its way into the Nashua in that town.
If the proposed Massachusetts Canal should be located upon this route, all of these Ponds would be important réservoirs to aid in the undertaking
Stillwater river, or Still river, but more properly the south branch of the Nashaway, is the only considerable stream. It receives its modern name from the sluggishness of its waters, which have but little descent in the principal part of its course after entering this town. Its principal branch rises in the gore of land near Leominster, styled No-town, and is called Justice brook, and flows southerly through Justice meadows, on the westerly side of Justice* bill. After receiving various supplies, particularly Keyes river, on which are several mills, and also Hartwell's river, from Princeton, it takes its present name.
Rocky brook, rises near Rocky hill, in the northerly part of the town, and after running about three miles, empties into the Still river on the easterly side.
Wickapekitt brook has several sources, the most southerly is about half a mile northeasterly of the meeting house, at the base of the south Wickapekitt hill, and runs northerly, about a mile, when it unites with the western branch that rises in sereral meadows, near the northwest corner of the town. After their junction they hold their way into Lancaster, at the northeast corner of the town, where they receive another small stream, which is more generally called Wickapekitt brook, having its source in Leomioster, at the foot of the north Wickapekitt bill. These several brooks furnish but small supplies of water in dry seasons.
Hills.--Out of a great variety the following are the most poted. Rocky hill, near the northwest corner of the town, is proba
This name was derived from an ancient Proprietor, John Houghton, Esq. of Lancaster, a distinguished Conveyancer and Justice of the Peace, who died Feb. 1737, aged 87, of whom, more hereafter.