Bidwell Lore – The Warning Out List, Part II

Welcome to week 87 of Bidwell Lore! This week we continue our series about the Warning Out list in late 18th and early 19th century Stockbridge. 

The Warning Out List in Stockbridge, Part II
Rick Wilcox, November 2021

At the end of the last article, we mentioned that in Stockbridge, at least, records indicate, there was a well-oiled system for addressing the needs of the indigent residents. The Stockbridge Selectmen’s Records 1792-1830 [1] are presented in a treasurer’s style ledger book and are a record of payment to individuals in town for services rendered. Below, I have taken a representative sample to include entries for African Americans, Cemetery related information, entries for Dr. Oliver Partridge, and occasional items of interest. The entries show the extent that the town went to support indigent residents. In the Ledger Book, each series of numbered entries follows a meeting date containing language like the following:  

At a meeting of the Selectmen of Stockbridge on the 3rd Day of June 1793, the following orders were drawn on the Town Treasurer.

Payments for care of indigent people were often listed by number, the name of the person receiving payment, and who was receiving the assistance. Below are a series of entries from 1794-1817.

#47. Doct. Oliver Partridge 1 L 10 shilling

1794 3rd day of March Agrippa Hull 7 L, 1 ½ shilling

1794 June 2, .74 Doct Oliver Partridge 6 L 6
-#78. Mrs. Anna Bingham

7 March 1796, #130 Doct Oliver Partridge 8 L 6

4 July 1796 #9 Agrippa Hull 42.00

27 March 1797 #29 Oliver Partridge acct. #34 O.P. Acct. 15.33

29 May 1797 Agrippa Hull for boarding Matt Leese 23.30

Monday 4th of September 1797 Thankful Ashley boarding Peter (Negro man) 56.33

March 5, 1798
-#48 Oliver Partridge visits and meds for Mrs. Kimball 1.82
-#49 DO for visits and meds for Dolly Watson 5.75
-#50 DO for services on committee on roads 4.42
-#53 Thankful Ashley for boarding Peter (Negro man) 43.33

Year 1797 wood for Rev. Dr. West#3 Oliver Partridge for wood 9.33

1798 4th June
-#6 Thankful Ashley for boarding Peter Negro 16.25
-#8 William Nelson for boarding Prince a Negro State pauper 3.64

1790 4th June #16 Thankful Ashley for boarding Peter (Westfield pauper) 18.25

15 Oct 1790 #22 Joseph Dwight for sundry for Prince – state pauper 2.64
-#33 Matthew Cadwell boarding Grant (State Pauper) 13.00
-#39 Oliver Partridge for seating the meeting House 3.00

2nd day of December 1799 #24-27 Doctor Oliver Partridge for sundry help including two paupers 6.47

3 March 1800
-#45 Barnabas Bidwell for services as town agent 6.00
-#49 Isaiah Byington for mending burying yard fence 1.74
-#51 Isaiah Byington for keeping Mrs. Hoxey’s [2] cow 4.00

Monday 30th March 1801 #47 Agrippa Hull for keeping Jenny Collins to 28 Feb 2.68

Monday 1st June 1801 #29 Doct Oliver Partridge for medicine for Sarah Nancy 2.97 DO for surveying roads and seating meeting house 3.17
-#45 Isaiah Byington for keeping Mrs. Hoxey’s cow 3.78
-#48 Samuel Addis for boarding & nursing Clarissa Parker a state pauper while she had smallpox. 14.40

March 6, 1812 Nathan Roberts for supporting Frank Duncan 9.00

Sept 7 1812 Enoch Humphrey [3] for supporting Frank Duncan [4] 31.00

Dec 7th 1812
-#21 Oliver Partridge for seating meeting house 1.50
-#36 Plumb & Bennett for repairing burying ground fence 5.00

June 7 1813
-#2 Anson Hager for supporting Mercy Dowd providing articles for her funeral 6.75
-#3 Stephen Tucker for digging a grave for Mercy Dowd 3.50
-#21 Elijah Brown & co for printing surveyors warrants 5.00
-Luther Plumb for article furnished Frank Duncan 5.98

Jan 10 1814 #51 Elijah Brown Jr. & Co for cloth for Frank Duncan 5.25

March 7 1814 #65 the estate of Asa Bement for ringing the bell and cleaning the meeting house 34.25

June 6 1814
-#4 Enoch Humphrey for boarding Frank Duncan 15.17
-#3 Agrippa Hull for damages on road 6.00
-#18 Amos Hagar for boarding & nursing Hurdner Dudley 63.00
-#19 Amos Hagar for funeral expenses 1.50

Dec 5th 1814
-#22 Jael G. Farmer for two coffins for town poor 3.00
-#23 Agrippa Hull for boarding Frank Duncan 28.33
-#24 John J. Hopkins for clothing for Frank Duncan 3.68
-#34 Oliver Partridge for services as seating committee 3.00
-#41 Luther Plumb for sundries for Frank Duncan 16.54
-#44 Moses Lynch in part payment for transporting baggage to Boston 10.00
-#50 Agrippa Hull for boarding Frank Duncan 15.17
-#64 Enoch Humphrey for boarding Frank Duncan 15.00
-#67 Moses Lynch for transporting baggage to Boston 17.45
-#69 Stephen Tucker [5] for digging graves for paupers 2.84
-#74 John Hunt for military expenses 121.10 [6]
-#79 August Sherrill for money paid for muskets 180.25 [7]
-#81 John Whiton for coffins as per receipt 1.83

June 5th 1815
-#7 Agrippa Hull for boarding Frank Duncan 8.61
-#24 Doct Oliver Partridge for attendance of Morison Darbe 4.01
-#61 Stephen Tucker for digging graves for town paupers 3.75

September 2, 1816
-#11 Surius Fairman for board Frank Duncan from March to July 17.15
-#17 Isaac Curtis for timber to build meeting house steps 3.00

December 2nd 1816
-#25 Agrippa Hull for supporting Frank Duncan 24.40
-#27 Oliver Partridge for physics for sundry paupers 10.58
-#28 Oliver partridge for Mrs. Lucinda Parmelee 2.68
-#29 Oliver Partridge for seating meeting house 3.50 for Ed Mundy 5.40

At a meeting of the selectmen of Stockbridge Feb 27th 1817 the following orders were drawn on the town treasurer
-#50 Stephen Tucker for a grave for Rich Roberts 3.00 [8]
-#59 Agrippa Hull for supporting Frank Duncan 13.25
-#70 Stephen Tucker for digging grave for William Nelson 4.00

March 7 1817 #84 Elijah Brown & Co for sundry furnished Frank Duncan and for taking acknowledgement of said .54

March 15 1817 #2 Agrippa Hull balance due on the first Monday of the month for Frank Duncan 1.06

Sept 1st 1817 #44 Agrippa Hull in supporting Frank Duncan 30.94

Next week we will get back to the Warning Out List and some of the ‘solid citizens’ who were warned.

[1] I had pulled about five pages of the information listed below for an article a number of years ago, but thought a smaller sample now would give readers a sense of indigent people’s needs and how the town addressed it.
[2] Also spelled Hoxie. She lived at 8 Main Street. Years later the water company shut off her water for failure to pay the bill.
[3] There were two Enoch Humphreys. One, I believe, may have been the common-law husband of Elizabeth Freeman the younger. Junior sold firewood to Barnabas and Mary Bidwell.
[4] Frank Duncan appears a number of times in the list needing care and I will weave him into another article about Elijah Williams, stepbrother of Ephraim Williams, Jr., founder of Williams College
[5] Stephen Tucker was the official gravedigger for the town.
[6] A cousin of Mary Bidwell, probably serving in the War of 1812.
[7] Attorney from Richmond, clerked under Barnabas Bidwell.
[8] Town Clerk’s card file indicates he died 01-18-1817 and lists him as a Negro.