Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: "THE STAGE IS COMING"

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The first stage ever run in America, as is supposed, began its regular trips from Portsmouth to Boston and return, passing through Hampton, Monday, April 20, 1761. It was a curricle and span with room for three passengers. It made Ipswich the first day, Charlestown ferry the next, and was back in Portsmouth on Friday. Fare for the round trip, six dollars.

A crowd of children assuredly gathered about Toppan's corner, each eager to be the first to shout "The stage is coming." Women rushed to the doors and windows along the route, and many a man took a long gaze from his work in the fields. In these days of easy travel, one can scarcely realize how great an event it was.

At the annual town meeting in 1761, it was voted that pasture and woodland should be "rated" that year. Before that time no taxes appear to have been assessed on such land.

Samuel Palmer, Esq., was allowed £130, old tenor, "for all his trouble in letting out the Town's money for ten or eleven years past." Dea. Joshua Lane was allowed £10 for similar service.

Two years afterward, the selectmen were directed to see the town's stock of powder, balls and flints, and to put the powder at £3 per pound.

In 1764, the town made provision for rebuilding the bridge over the river on the road to Hampton Falls, which was to be wharfed up with timber from the parsonage land, -- the work to be done under the direction of the selectmen.

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