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Bill to the town of Gloucester from Nathaniel Haskell Jr., 1776

Bill to the town of Gloucester from Nathaniel Haskell Jr., 1776 enlarge

Bill to the town of Gloucester from Nathaniel Haskell Jr., 1776

While this document may be small (it measures only 7" × 2¼") it contains a wealth of information. It tells us, among other things:

  • that Nathaniel Haskell Jr. was a carpenter
  • It adds verisimilitude to published reports of Lindsay's attack in which four of his men were said to have been killed.
  • It shows that because Mr. Haskell was billing the town for the coffins, the deceased were poor, or in the case of Lindsay's men, foreigners, whose families were unable to pay their burial costs.
  • It adds to the evidence that the town provided a decent burial for any unidentified soul who washed up on our shores, friend or foe.
  • It gives us the approximate death dates of three local people whose demise is not to be found in the printed vital records.

Stephen Robbeson (Robinson), Joseph Brown Jr., and Betty Forster were among Gloucester's poor at a time when ailing paupers were often "let out to" (taken care of by) wealthier individuals in the community. These benefactors would then be reimbursed by the town. Stephen Robinson for instance was "let out" to Captain John Low for several years, and in 1765 the town paid Dr. Samuel Plummer for medical treatment for him. For several months before and after Joseph Brown Jr.'s death his wife Lydia was "let out" to her brother-in-law Jonathan Brown. Ten years later two of Joseph and Lydia's sons were bound out (apprenticed) to the same Jonathan Brown by the Overseers of the Poor.

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Accession number: Call # D34 FF03

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