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Catalog Number 036
Object Name File, Document
Scope & Content ms 036
Boxford-Perley Papers,
1774-1859, bulk 1800-1825
Seven Boxes (3.4 linear feet)

Correspondence and papers of members of the Perley family from Bridgton, Maine, and Boxford, Massachusetts, including Enoch Perley (1749-1829), his brother Thomas (1746-1831), Enoch's son John (1779-1841), and others. The letters deal with family and business matters involving timber, agricultural products, the tanning industry, and the family's extensive real estate holdings. Of particular interest are letters from John's daughters, Mary and Sarah, describing a party in 1825 for the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited Portland (box 1, folder 44).

The collection contains records of the Bridgton Proprietors, including notes of meetings, receipts for work on roads and other civic projects, petitions to the Massachusetts General Court, and other documents regarding the establishment of the town of Bridgton, which was incorporated in 1794. There is interesting correspondence between the proprietors and Moody Bridges, for whom Bridgton was named, involving a dispute over land between the two parties. There are extensive records regarding the roads in Bridgton, as well as some pertaining to neighboring towns, reflecting Enoch and John Perley's position as Justice of the Peace and tax collectors, as well as their private landholdings and business dealing. Also of interest are several indentures for young boys to John Perley to learn the tanning trade, including Rufus Gibbs (1800-1892), who went on to become one of Bridgton's leading businessmen and mill owners (box 4, folder 6).

The papers touch on several disputes between towns, including Harrison's claim against Bridgton for ministerial property (Box 4, folder 17, 1814-1817) and a dispute between Cumberland and North Yarmouth (box 4, folders 18-19, 1821-1824) regarding responsibility for the care of paupers when the two towns separated. The collection also includes extensive judicial and legal records, again reflecting Enoch and John Perley's prominent positions as Justices of the Peace and attorneys. Box 6 contains records from a number of court cases and disputes. Perhaps the most unusual, folder 29, is a Coroner's Inquest into the death of Barnard McDowell, in 1820, a stranger to town who was described by several witnesses as "deranged," and by [Dr.] Theodore Ingalls as possibly having suffered from epilepsy. His body was found at the intersection of the road from Bridgton to Sweden and the road form Bridgton to Denmark, apparently near or just west of the present-day junction of Sam Ingalls Road and US Route 302 (North High Street), at a time prior to the construction of the Moose Pond Causeway.

The collection includes material regarding the Ministerial fund and the establishment of the South Parish Church in 1825, including details about choosing a site for and building the meetinghouse, a dispute with the First Parish regarding the Ministerial Fund, and papers about the Sabbath School. Finally the collection includes records of the Militia, 1805-1840, and documents regarding the Cumberland and Oxford Canal, the Moose Brook Canal, and the Stearns Pond Canal.

The Boxford-Perley Papers were donated to the Town of Bridgton in 1985 by the Boxford (MA) Historical Society, who retained those portions of the collection which were deemed to be relevant to Boxford. In 1991 the town transferred stewardship to Bridgton Historical Society. The collection was re-boxed and foldered in 2014. The original organization, which had many folders over-stuffed, was largely retained, although some modifications were undertaken. A record of the original organization has been retained, including a copy of the original inventory as the papers were received. There is a related collection in the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts (see Allied Materials).


Container List
Box 1
Perley Family Papers
Folder1-22Correspondence to Enoch Perley from his brother, Thomas, 1783-1821
23Correspondence to Enoch Perley from Aaron Perley, 1795-182124Miscellaneous Papers of Enoch Perley, 1808-1823
25Correspondence to John Perley from Asa Peabody, 1807-1813
26 from James Emerson, 1816, 1820
27from various writers, 1816-1819
28from Elijah Upton, 1818-1822
29from John Varnum, 1819
30from Moses Perley, 1818-1821
31from Nathan Hale, 1818, Samuel
Parkman, 1819, 1821
32from Augustus Peabody, 1818-1819
33 1820-1821
34 1822-1824
35from Mary Perley, and Susan Perley (daughters) 1821
36from various writers, 1819-1820
37from various writers, 1821

38 Feb, 1821
39 July-Dec, 1821
40 1822
41 Jan-Mar, 1823
42 Apr-Aug, 1823
43 1824
44from daughters, 1825-1827, includes description
of reception for Lafayette when he visited Portland


Box 2
Folder1-9Correspondence to General John Perley, from Aaron Perley, Jeremiah Perley, and
Thomas Perley, 1826-1828
10General John Perley, Memorandum Book, 1813-1830
11Inventories, Accounts & miscellaneous papers, 1812-1840 and n.d.
12Assignment of Road Repairs, 1827, Description of cider- making process, 1827, List of years and dollar amounts, 1799-1824
13Sarah H. Perley Notebook (mostly poetry),1825-1837
14"The Art of Surveying and Measuring Lands Made Easy," (hand-written), "J. Perley, 1800" on cover
15Thomas Perley Record Book (as Justice of the Peace, Boxford) 1797-1827
16Enoch, Thomas, & Aaron Perley, Land Lists, 1784-1817
17Thomas Perley to Enoch Perley, Deed for lot of land (lot #4, Range 26) 1792
18-27Perley Family Deeds (to be more fully processed)

Box 3
Folder1Tax Receipts, Enoch & John Perley, Bethel, 1811-1831
2Tax Receipt, John Perley, Denmark, 1830
3Tax Receipts, Enoch, John, and Thomas Perley, Otisfield, 1830-1834
4 "" , John Perley, Sweden, 1823-1830, and Assessment, Sweden, 1823
5 " " , most John Perley, Waterford, 1830-1838
Bridgton Proprietors and Civic Records
6Records of Meetings of Bridgton Proprietors, 1780-1781
7___________________________________, 1782
8___________________________________, 1783
9___________________________________, 1784-1785
10___________________________________, 1789-1791
11___________________________________, 1792-1798
12Petitions to the General Court, 1779 & no date
OSCorrespondence with Moody Bridges, 1782
13Correspondence, deeds, and accounts with Enoch & Thomas Perley, and Jonathan Parker re: Lot of land in Bridgton, 1794-1816
14Enoch Poor & Others re: Securing title to lands, ca. 1812-1815
15Billy Emerson, Deeds & papers re: Land in Baldwin (Sebago)
16Accounts for Work, ca. 1780s-1820s, arranged alphabetically by last name, A-B
17___________________________________________________________, C-F
18___________________________________________________________, G-I
19___________________________________________________________, J-M
20___________________________________________________________, O-Y
21___________________________________________________________, Multiple names
22Accounts with Bridgton Proprietors for official work -advertising meetings, laying out of roads, delivering petitions, etc., 1774-1798 & no date
23Bridgton Proprietors Receipts for Land sales, 1798-1811
Box 4
Folder1Pages from Town Clerk's Book, 1794-1829
2Marriage Intentions, 1775-1820
3Remonstrances and Agreement re: Election of State Representative, 1812, and other documents re: elections, 1806-1839
4Miscellaneous Inventories, accounts, and papers, 1782-1825 & no date
5Agreements, leases, and indentures, 1795-1806
6Agreements, leases, and indentures, 1812-1835 **********
7Settlement of Taxes, Bridgton, 1794-1804
8Settlement of Taxes, Bridgton, 1805-1826
9Records of School district #1, (Bridgton), 1823-1840
10District 2 Road Survey (tax) books, 1825-1829; District 3, 1830; Minutes of Road Surveys, 1828
11Miscellaneous papers, accounts, & notes, not fully identified, 1825-1828 & no date
12Tax Receipts and Settlements, Harrison, 1807-1824
13Tax Receipts and Settlements, Harrison, 1826-1831
14Accounts for Labor on Roads, Harrison and Waterford, 1820-1839
15Papers re: Roads - Flintstown (Sebago/Baldwin), Bridgton, Harrison, & others, 1798-1830
16Petition for Fishways on Presumpscot River, Gorham, Windham, Piersontown (Standish), Bridgton, no date
17Town of Harrison Claim on Bridgton for Ministerial Property, 1814-1817
18Dispute between Cumberland and North Yarmouth, 1821-1823
19Dispute between Cumberland and North Yarmouth, 1824
20Papers re: Establishing boundary between Denmark and Hiram, Committee of John Perley, Simeon Pease, and James Steele, 1828

Judicial and Legal Records
Box 5
Folder1Complaints, summonses, and other legal documents
2Recognizances, 1794-1816
3Lists of Grand Jurors, Cumberland County, 1838-1839
4Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, 1790-1800
5Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, 1801-1805
6Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Jan-Jun, 1806
7Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Aug-Dec, 1806
8Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Jan-Mar, 1807
9Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Apr, 1807
10Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, May-Jun, 1807
11Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Aug-Dec, 1807
12Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Feb, 1808
13Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Mar-July, 1808
14Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Aug, 1808
15Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, 1809
16Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, 1810-1816
17Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, Mar-May, 1817
18Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, July-Nov, 1817
19Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for debt, 1818-1819
20Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(printed forms), 1791-1798
21Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(printed forms), 1799
22Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(printed forms), 1800
23Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(hand-written), 1798-1799
24Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(hand-written), 1800 (fragile)
25Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(hand-written), 1801-1804
Box 6
Folder1Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(printed forms), 1801-1805
2Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt,
(printed forms), 1806
3Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt, 1807
4Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt, 1808
5Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt, 1809
6Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt, 1810-1811
7Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Executions for collection of debt, 1812-1818
8Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Military Writs, 1806
9Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, 1807-1808
10Enoch Perley, Justice of the Peace, Writs for assault, 1794-1800
11Court Cases, Hartford v. Gammon, 1809
12Court Cases, Deposition of Richard Peabody, Sarah Hales, John Adams re: Land in Rowley Canada, 1811
13Court Cases, Pierce v. McKenney, 1818 [Pike v. Pierce?]
14Court Cases, William gammon v. Enoch Gammon, 1820 re: Timber
15Court Cases, Gage v. Perley & willett, 1822
16Court Cases, Richard Gage v. Houghton et. al., 1823
17Court Cases, Pitts & Howard v. Gould & White, 1823
18Court Cases, Green v. David, Davis v. Ingalls, 1824
19Court Cases, Gage v. Flint, 1824
20Court Cases, Chase v. Walker, 1825
21Court Cases, Partridge & Gage v. Gammon, 1825
22Court Cases, Blake v. Welch, 1826
23Court Cases, Gibson v. Spring, 1826
24Court Cases, Farrar v. Perley, ca. 1826, New Suncook (Lovell)
25Court Cases, Tyler P. Poor, Accusations of drunkenness and wrongdoing, 1830
26Court Cases, Dispute between John Chaplin of Bridgton and Jacob Chaplin of Harrison re: Jacob's farm in Harrison, 1832
27Court Cases, Dennett v. Morrison, no date
28Richard Gage Estate Papers, 1835-1836
29Coroner's Inquest into the death of Barnard McDowell, 1820

South Parish Church
Box 7
Folder1Petition to General Court and incorporation of Parish
2Lists of families in new Parish, miscellaneous scraps used to bundle other papers (found loose and out of context)
3Choosing a site for the Meeting House, 1825
4Building the Meeting House, 1825-1826
5Dispute with First Parish re: Ministerial Fund, 1827-1829 and no date
6Miscellaneous papers, 1830-1836
7Sabbath School papers, 1821-1829
8Ministerial Fund, Petitions to General Court and enabling legislation, 1819, 1823, 1830 and no date [1849?]
9Ministerial Fund, notes & receipts, 1822-1839
10Ministerial Fund Receipts, 1840-1866
11Ministerial Fund, Treasurer's Report and records, 1822-1829
12Ministerial Fund, Treasurer's Report and records, 1830-1839
13Ministerial Fund, Treasurer's Report and records, 1841-1849
14Ministerial Fund, Treasurer's Report and records, 1850-1859 & no date

Militia
15Documents re: establishment of company and regulations, 1805, 1811
16Rosters and Muster rolls, 1810 and no date, several units
17Choice of Officers, 1813-1814, including petition by Capt. Foster protesting others' election
18Reports of Elections of Officers, Bridgton, 1815-1817, North Yarmouth 1819, Gray 1820
19Records of Court Martial of Lt. Col. Andrew grant, 1816
20 Records of Court Martial of Major Joshua Chamberlain, 1816
21Correspondence and petition re: Separation of Baldwin into two companies
22Brigade, Division, and Regimental Orders, 1814-1840
23Miscellaneous documents, 1819-1820 and no date
Canals
24Cumberland & Oxford Canal, Assessments, receipts and other documents, 1823-1830
25Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Proprietors records, 1812-1813, 1820-1822
26Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Receipts and papers, 1800-1818 and no date
27Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Proprietors v. Henry B. Osgood, 1813
28Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Rules and Regulations, Assessment, and other papers, 1820
29Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Receipts and papers, 1821-1822
30Moose Brook Canal Corporation, Canal Boat Book and freight records, 1833
31Stearns Pond Canal Records, 1827-1830



Title Boxford-Perley Papers
Other number ms036