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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0001-0001-0002
5. The dispute may have arisen because the Baptists in question were exempt from taxation to support the ministry. See No. 37. If such were the case, it may have been argued that they could not vote on a question involving church affairs. That this argument was invalid in 1768 is suggested by the fact that the ministerial tax exemption act of 30 June 1740, c. 6, §4, 2 A&R 1022, expressly barring persons exempt from tax for religious reasons from voting on questions pertaining to the settlement of ministers and the construction of meetinghouses, expired in 1757. Its successor, the Act of 25 Jan. 1758, c. 20, 4 A&R 67, contained no such bar, and a restriction was not enacted again until the Act of 20 Nov. 1770, c. 10, §5, 5 A&R 113.