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The respondents asked why the petitioners did not send their children to school in Newbury ? The question will readily occur: Why have they sent them elsewhere, at considerable expense, unless in their opinion the convenience and advantages were supposed to be proportionally greater? The Newburyport schools are kept through the year, and it is not to be expected that people living on one side of a street in Newburyport should send their children to a district school in Newbury half the time, and elsewhere the other half. They must wish their children to enjoy the same advantages as those on the opposite side of the street. In Joppa, the schools are kept when many of the boys are at sea. It is important that they should attend school on their return-in the winter season.
le is, in the opinion of the Committee, important, that in a populous place, schools should be open for children all the year, otherwise they will be in danger of acquiring idle and vicious habits. The Committee are aware that the town of Newbury has appropriated to the districts within the bounds described in the petition, their full proportion of school moncy; and they do not think the petitioners have shewn any grievance sustained by any unfair or oppressive conduct from the town of Newbury, on account of the different occupations and feelings or opposite interests of the people. It is not for such reasons that they are of opinion, that it is expedient that a part of Newbury should be annexed to Newburyport; but because the petitioners are to all intents and
purposes inhabitants of that town, except that their houses are just without its limits. They belong to Newburyport. There they do their business. They are considered by all at a distance as being citizens of that
town ;—they have a deep interest in that town. That the annexation of the petitioners to Newburyport would be beneficial to them, there can be no doubt. They have a strong desire to be so annexed, and it cannot be doubted but Newburyport would be willing to receive them, and that it would be advantageous to that town. Newburyport has the same interest in a good police being extended over the compact and populous settlement adjoining the town as the town itself. A compact village contiguous to a large town may be better regulated by extending over it a more strict police than is to be expected in agricultural places.
The most important inquiry is, how far the annexation might be injurious to Newbury ? No doubt the inhabitants would prefer that the present limits should be preserved. Newbury is an ancient and highly respectable town, and it is natural that the people should be opposed to a diminution of its numbers, its taxable property and its supposed political influence. The proposed separation will not annex to Newburyport taxable property in
proportion to the numbers. The town would still hold a respectable rank as to numbers and property, and be abundantly able to support all the necessary institutions.
The Committee have considered the effect of a separation on the school districts. It would certainly cause some inconvenience, and make a new arrangement, in part, nccessary. But in their opinion the turnpike district might be annexed to the Green district, so called, without much inconvenience, except to two or three of the most remote families.
In the opinion of the committee, the present location of the town house would not be inconvenient should the petition be granted.
As to the poor house, the town of Newbury will have the benefit of the part of the purchase money which has been paid, and should the establishment be found too large for the town, no evidence was offered to the committee that it might not be sold without a loss.
The effect on the old or first parish in Newbury was urged as an objection to the annexation. That is a territorial parish, but a small part of the inhabitants, however, belong to it, and the rights of the parish may and ought to be expressly reserved in the bill, whether the line be so run as to include the meetinghouse in Newburyport or not.
The committee are of opinion, that should the petition be granted in whole or in part, the town of Newbury will be subjected to a disproportionate expense in maintaining roads and bridges, and that a reasonable indemnity should be provided. The sea wall and road in Water street is expensive, but still the committee do not think that the territory described in the petition contains a just and equal proportion of roads, compared with the other part of Newbury. In all other respects, they are of opinion, that the expenses of the town will be reduced in proportion to the loss of taxable property and population.
On the whole, the committee are of opinion, that it is expedient to annex to Newburyport the compact settlements adjoining, and a majority of them are of opinion that the prayer of the petition should be granted. One of them would prefer that the south line should be as before suggested.
The committee believe that this annexation to Newburyport would be beneficial to the petitioners, and to the town of Newburyport; and they also believe and
trust that the apprehensions of the respondents would not be realized, and that the disadvantages (if any) to Newbury would be inconsiderable.
All which is respectfully submitted by
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In Senate, January 7, 1833.
Ordered, That the Committee on Mercantile Affairs and Insurance, be and they are hereby directed to consider whether any, and if any, what provision ought to be made by law, for the prevention of fraud in the sale of Oils.
Sent down for concurrence,