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Petition to the General Court from the Town of Dracut

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Date: September 25, 1786
About this artifact

Many towns in Massachusetts petitioned the state legislature for relief during the economic problems of 1786. These petitions complained about the steep costs of government, scarcity of money and the methods of debt collection. Most included a request that real and personal property be accepted as legal tender for the payment of debts. Often included was a request that the General Court (the legislature) be moved out of Boston. This petition specifically states that the wants of the people of Boston are likely to be favored over other towns because of their ability to speak with the representatives on a daily basis, and that the expenses of the members would be less if they were in a "country" town. The people of Dracut wanted the Court of Common Pleas to be abolished and the business given to the Justices of the Peace, as they felt this would save money. They also called for the salaries of the people in state government?and most especially the governor?to be lowered.

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Courtesy American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA