"To William Gorham, Esq., Clerk of the Proprietors of the Common & Undivided Land in the Town of Gorham..." requesting that several articles be placed on the agenda for a town meeting in November. Signed at conclusion by Step[hen] Longfellow (and at least partly in his hand), Prince Davis, William McLellan and with 4 other illegible signatures.
Single sheet, 22 x 17 cm., approx. 160 words. Docketed on verso, "Application for a Prop. Meeting to be held 25 Nov. 1781." Sheet a little browned, some manuscript corrections, old fold lines, tipped onto cardboard. Gorham and Longfellow were Gorham selectmen in 1781. The first article here requests that the Proprietors "Settle with the Heirs or legal representatives of Capt. Nathaniel Sparhawk agreeable to a Vote of the Proprietors passed at a meeting held in Falmouth November 25, 1760." The other three articles request that the Proprietors appoint a committee authorized to eject any trespassers from town land, that they furnish the committee with the funds to execute its duties and that they provide themselves with "an authenticated plan or papers" (presumably regarding the town's jurisdiction) to make any action stick. Item #67625
Stephen Longfellow (1723-1790), born in Byfield, Massachusetts was a graduate of Harvard in 1742, and held many public offices in his lifetime, including clerk of the Proprietors of Common Lands. He died in Gorham at age 67. He was the great grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The Nathaniel Sparhawk referred to here is probably the son-in-law of William Pepperrell, a native of Kittery, Massachusetts [now Maine], and a Major General during the French and Indian Wars. Pepperrell built a home for his daughter and her husband on Kittery Point in 1750. Sparhawk, who died in 1777, is the subject of a fine Copley painting of 1764 now owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.