DescriptionHenry Gardner Broadside Signed, 1780, "H. Gardner" as "Treasurer and Receiver-General" of the "State of Massachusetts-Bay." One partially-printed page, 13" x 16.25", Boston, July 18, 1780. This broadside is addressed to "The Selectmen or Assessors of the Town of Easton" in "obedience to an Act of the Great and General Court or Assembly of the said State, begun and held at Boston . . . intititied [sic], 'An Act for apportioning and assessing a Tax of Seventy-two Thousand Pounds, upon the several Towns and other Places within this State, herein after named, for the Purpose of establishing Funds to secure the Redemption of the Bills ordered to be emitted . . . and also for paying annually in Specie, the Interest arising on Notes, which have been issued upon the Credit of the Province, Colony, or now State of Massachusetts-Bay, promising to be paid in Gold or Silver." Gardner ordered the selectmen to "assess the Sum of One hundred & Ninety five pounds set upon your Town, Parish or Place, in the Manner following, That is to say, To assess all Male Polls above the Age of Sixteen Years . . . including Negroes and Molattoes . . . at five shillings. . . ."
Financially, the year 1780 was a difficult time for the young nation. In desperation, state governments raised taxes, a common act during times of war. Gardner expected the selectmen to assess more than just a poll tax, as further reading in the broadside's text shows. Affixed to a larger paperboard. The heavy handwriting in the left margin has resulted in inkburn.
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