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We have already noticed the special provision made for the taxation of real estate in the towns of Hampton and North Hampton at the incorporation of the latter town in 1742. A considerable part of the woodland owned by the people of Hampton lay in the town of North Hampton, while residents in the latter town owned large tracts of salt marsh in Hampton; sos that neither town, by this arrangement gained or lost much in the amount of taxes received; and each was saved the necessity of collecting a large amount of non-resident taxes. But from time to time changes occurred in the ownership of property. Lands that had been owned and taxed in one of th towns, having been sold to persons living in the other, of course became taxable in the latter. In consequence of changes thus occurring, in the course of thirty-five years, or more, some of the people of North Hampton, thinking that this method of taxation was working to their disadvantage, petitioned the General Assembly, in March, 1779, to alter it, and make the real estate of the two towns taxable in all cases in the town where it lay -- averring the the paying of taxes sout of the parish where the property taxed is situated, is very inconvenient, and tends to create disputes, and may in time by frequent transfers from people of one of the towns to people of the other, render those of the former town wholly incapable of paying their parochial taxes.

The Assembly ordered that a hearing should be had on the second Wednesday of the next session, and that in the meantime notice, the selectmen called a town meeting, May 17, at which a committee was chosen to show cause why the prayer of the petitioners should not be granted. The committee were Capt. Josiah Moulton, Joseph Dow, Esq., and Ens. Philip Towle, who were authorized to employ counsel.

The petitioners failed to procure the change sought, and for about eighty years longer the taxes in the two towns continued to be assessed and collected in the same way as before. During that time there were many changes in the ownership and comparative values of salt marshes and woodland, but the changes were not all in the same direction. In 1859, the case was again brought into court by the selectmen of North Hampton, and the next year decided in their favor, so that all real estate has since been taxed in the town where it lies.

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