Our Forefathers Took Turns In Spying Out the Stayaways

Mrs. S. L. Griffith, of Danby, Vt., is the proud possessor of an interesting record of a Salem town meeting held in 1844. The record contains the following, reprinted in the Journal of American History:

Vote:—At a General Towne Meeting held the seventh day of the fifth month, 1644. Ordered that two be appointed every Lord’s Day to walk forth in the time of God’s Worship, to take notice of such as either lye about the Meeting House without attending to the word or ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof and to take the names of such persons and present them to the Magistrate whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against. John Porter and Jacob Barney were the two appointed as watch for the eleventh day. Then to begin with Goodman Porter next the Meeting House and so…through the town according to the order of the watch, and the first 2…the next 2 warning of it & so from…to tyme.