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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 107   View pdf image (33K)
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Introduction. cvii

hill Town. It is reproduced in full in this Appendix not only because a pre-
Revolutionary tax levy has never hitherto appeared in print, but also because
it reveals much of interest and shows in detailed form just how the county
taxes were spent. The court fixed a tax of 31 pounds of tobacco on the 3833
taxable inhabitants, with an expected yield of 118,513 pounds of tobacco. The
lists show various sums due to the several county justices for the year 1766
based on a per diem pay of 64 pounds of tobacco. These payments varied from
1240 pounds to 2240 pounds, dependent upon the number of times a justice
had served. The petit and grand jurymen each received 24 pounds of tobacco
a day; 185 persons served as jurymen during the year for periods varying
from 1 to 29 days. The county paid Henry Johnson, the Clerk of the Court,
2000 pounds for various "public services", 1761 pounds for "criminal fees",
and 8oo pounds in connection with tobacco inspection fees, all these being in
addition to what he may have received as court fees from private suitors. The
sheriff, Esme Baily, received 8489 pounds of tobacco for collecting various
taxes as well as sundry other payments "for criminal fees". George Hayward,
his Lordship's Prosecutor received 320 pounds of tobacco. Interesting entries
are payments of from 200 to 14.00 pounds of tobacco to seven Worcester
county constables of various hundreds "for suppressing tumultuous meetings
of negroes, etc....." the year past in their respect hundreds. This outbreak
could not have been very severe as no mention of it has been found elsewhere
in the Maryland records of this period. Payments were made to various justices
for testing the weights and scales at the sundry tobacco warehouses. Jonas
Green was paid 2881 pounds of tobacco as the county's share for printing the
session laws and Votes and Proceedings of the Assembly. There is a pay-
ment of 117 pounds of tobacco to Levin Townsend as "cryer" of the court
at the August, 1766, Assizes, the recently created itinerant court. Payment
of 1500 pounds was made for keeping the ferry over the Nanticoke River. Per-
haps the most revealing items of county expenses were those for the mainte-
nance of the poor and sick of the county. It will be noted that one of the
reasons given for the erection of county almshouses and workhouses was the
great cost to the county for the care of the poor and the sick in private homes,
which resulted in the passage of the act of 1768, for the erection of alms and
work houses in Worcester and certain other counties (Arch. Md. LIX, xxx-
xxxi). An examination of this Worcester County levy shows that in the year
1766 over 50,000 pounds of tobacco, or about 40% of the total tax of 118, 513
levied, was spent for this purpose. Various individuals were paid amounts aver-
aging perhaps as much as 1000 pounds of tobacco annually for the care in their
homes of dependants often referred to as "poor objects", such as the aged,
invalids, the blind, epileptics, lunatics, idiot children, and dependent children.
There are a few payments for the burial of county dependents. In one instance
a daughter was paid by the county 1200 pounds of tobacco for maintaining "her
poor helpless parents the year past." In one instance the county benefitted to the
extent of 400 pounds of tobacco from the sale of a bastard child (p. 513).
Worcester County paid out 8ooo pounds of tobacco for bounties upon linen
made in the county under the terms of the act "for the benefit of the poor and


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 107   View pdf image (33K)
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