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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0003-0002-0002
2. The Act of 4 Nov. 1692, Acts and Laws, Of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New-England 16 (Boston, 1759); c. 26, §1, 1 A&R 62, provided
“That the inhabitants of each town within this province, shall take due care, from time to time, to be constantly provided of an able, learned orthodox minister or ministers, of good conversation, to dispense the Word of God to them; which minister or ministers shall be suitably encouraged and sufficiently supported and maintained by the inhabitants of such town.”
The remainder of this section dealt with contracts for the “settlement or maintenance” of ministers and schoolmasters, giving the court of quarter sessions power to oversee such contracts. Under §2, if “any town shall be destitute of a minister qualified as aforesaid, and shall so continue by the space of six months, not having taken due care for the procuring, setling and encouragement of such minister,” the Court of Sessions was to order the town to take the necessary steps, or in default, the court was to “take effectual care to procure and settle a minister qualified as aforesaid.” §4 provided
“That every minister, being a person of good conversation, able, learned and orthodox, that shall be chosen by the major part of the inhabitants in any town, at a town meeting duly warned for that purpose . . . shall be the minister of such town; and the whole town shall be obliged to pay towards his settlement and maintenance, each man his several proportion thereof.”
§5 required the “settlement and maintenance” of schoolmasters. See, generally, text at note 2 above.