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Cape-Anne, on the Height of Governours Hill, so called; another at Marblehead, on the height of the land there; one at Boston, on the usual place, and another on the height of the Blue-Hills, in Stoughton, near Milton; and that the Selectmen, or any two of them, in any of the towns where such Beacon is situated, with any two or more of the commissioned officers nearest to said Beacon, shall have the care of them; and when an enemys fleet is discovered, shall fire three alarm guns; and where there are bells in said towns where said Beacons are, shall cause them to be set ringing and the Beacon to be fired, with all expedition.
And it is further Resolved, That not more than one quarter part of the stores of Powder ought to be kept at Boston, until the Harbour is well fortified; and that the other three-quarters ought to be kept in the Stores or Magazines at Charlestown, Cambridge, and Watertown.
Petition of Beulah Ball, of Spencer, Widow, setting forth: That she is appointed Administratrix on the estate of her late husband, John Ball, deceased; that said deceaseds personal estate is not sufficient to pay his just debts; that it would be greatly injurious to the interest of the Real Estate to have it sold in parcels; that the buildings are considerably out of repair; that your Petitioner has six young children, whose respective parts would be much more profitable to them by having the place sold and their shares put to interest, than it could be by having their shares in land, after such a part is sold as will be necessary in order to pay the debts. For which reason your Petitioner humbly prays that she may have leave of this honourable Court to sell the aforementioned deceaseds Real Estate.
In the House of Representatives: Resolved, That the prayer thereof be so far granted that she is hereby empowered to sell the whole of said Real Estate, and give a good sufficient Deed or Deeds thereof; she observing the rules and directions of the law for the sale of Real Estate by Executors and Administrations, and first giving security to the Judge of Probate for the County of Worcester that she will pay to Margaret Houghton, who was the widow of the father of the deceased, in lieu of her dower in said Estate, agreeably to their agreement, nine Pounds twelve Shillings annually, during her natural life; and that the said Beulah, widow of the deceased, shall have the interest of one-third of the remainder during her natural life; and after her decease, the principal shall be paid to the heirs of said deceased, or their legal representatives, and that the remaining two-thirds be applied for the payment of such debts of the deceased as the Personal Estate will not be sufficient to discharge, after proper allowance and charges of settlement of the Estate; and, after the debts and charges are paid, the remainder shall be put into the hands of the guardians of the children of the deceased, to be by them put to interest for the benefit of their said wards, in just proportion, according to the law of inheritance.
Adjourned to nine oclock, to-morrow morning.
Wednesday, April 17, 1776.
Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, Benjamin Greenleaf, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, Thomas Cushing, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcomb, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, Michael Farley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Benjamin White, Esquires.
Resolved, That there be paid out of the publick Treasury of this Colony, to the Selectmen of Mendon, the sum of thirty-eight Pounds four Shillings and four Pence, in full of his account for Provisions, and transporting the same to Head-Quarters, in April last, for the use of the Army.
Resolved, That there be paid out of the publick Treasury of this Colony, to Oliver Watson, the sum of six Pounds eight Shillings and three Pence, for the use of Jeremiah Whittemore, in full for Provisions, and transporting the same for the use of the Forces who marched on the 19th of April last.
Resolved, That the Selectmen and Committee of Safety, &c., for the Town of Truro, be, and they hereby are, directed to deliver to Captain James Holmes, late master of the Ship Friendship, stranded on the shore of Cape-Cod, the 29th day of February last, the remainder of his private property that is yet in the hands of the said Selectmen and Committee of Safety of said Town of Truro.
Major Cross came up with a message from the honourable House, desiring the Board to send down the Resolve respecting granting Supplies to the Eastern parts of the County of Lincoln, if not acted upon by the Board.
Colonel Prescott went down with a message from the Board, to inform the honourable House that said Resolve was concurred by the Board, and consented to by the major part of the Council.
Resolved, That the Committee appointed to fortify the Town and Harbour of Boston be, and they hereby are, directed to deliver into the hands of Jonathan Jackson, of Newburyport, six pieces of Cannon, from nine to twelve-pounders, said Cannon to be improved for the defence of said Newburyport, until the further order of this Court, provided said Cannon can be spared, and are not wanted for the defence of the Town and Harbour of Boston.
Petition of a number of Indian proprietors of Gayhead, in Dukes County, setting forth: That whereas one Elisha Amos, an Indian man of Tisbury, upwards of twenty years ago prevailed with a number of Indians then living at Gayhead to dispose of their rightssome to a small, others to a larger tract of land in said Gayhead,(minutes of which conveyance will accompany this;) and notwithstanding he was unable to prevail with but a very small proportion of the Indians then alive, to convey any part of their rights to him, yet presumed to enclose a large tract of the most valuable part of said Gayhead, as we apprehend about two hundred acres, and built a house upon the same, and prohibited all the Indians, even those who had not conveyed any part of their rights to him, from making any improvements within said enclosure. Soon after guardians were appointed in Dukes County, and the said Elisha then agreed to allow unto the said guardians a certain sum for the Indians, for such part of said enclosure as he acknowledged he had not purchased, and accordingly paid the same for some few years; but for some reason the guardians, after a little time, were discontinued, and the said Elisha ever after refused to pay any sum whatever, but continued to improve the whole during his life; and at his death, by his will, gave the same to one of his kinsmen, Henry Amos, and he improved the same, and then by deed of sale conveyed the same to two of his relations, (viz: Joseph and Israel Amos,) said deed not being approbated according to law, who improved the same by their tenants until about two years ago, when the tenant who had improved it for some time was about to remove from the Island, and a controversy arose who should improve it. As divers persons had contracted for it, the guardians put an end to it by taking it into their hands, and hiring it out; and the last year is now almost expired; and the guardians, apprehending that their power is ended, by reason of their not being appointed by the present Court, will not, as we are informed, do anything further with it, whereby it will either remain in the hands of the present occupier, or be liable to be entered upon by any person disposed thereto. Some of us who had not disposed of our rights were at first deter mined, as soon as the present possessors time was expired, to have entered upon it, but have been advised to the contrary; and although we are sensible the General Court have much publick business of the greatest importance to trans act, would have discouraged us from troubling them with this matter at this time, could we think of any method to obtain our just right; but as we cannot, we hope your Honours will excuse us, and afford us such assistance as to you shall seem meet, as the General Court is the Indians guardian, &c.
Read, and committed to Walter Spooner, with Colonel Norton and Mr. Bryant.
The Committee of both Houses on the above Petition, report, as their opinion, that there be now appointed by this Court three Guardians, to take the care of the Indians and their Estates for the benefit of the Indian inhabitants that be long to that part of the Island of Marthas Vineyard known by the name of Gayhead.
WALTER SPOONER, per order.
Read, and accepted.
A Letter from the Committee of Safety, &c., for the Town of Rowley, respecting Jonathan Stickney, Jun., with a number of Depositions accompanying the same.
In the House of Representatives: Read, and committed to......, with such as the honourable Board may join.
In Council: Read, and concurred, and Caleb Cushing, Esquire, is joined.