What was of interest and concern to the Mendon residents in 1787 while the Constitution of the
    United States was being developed?  At that time Mendon was 120 years old.

    Interesting fact:  John Hancock, Esq. was elected as Governor of the Commonwealth of
    Massachusetts in April, 1787

    At annual town meeting in Mendon, May, 1787 (from the Annals of Mendon):
    (Note:  one pound at today’s exchange rate is roughly $1.80)

    Voted to raise L60 (pounds) to defray Town charges for the current year; voted to raise L40 (pounds)
    for schooling; voted to raise L150 (pounds) for roads and bridges; voted that Selectmen be directed to
    provide some suitable house or houses for the reception of the poor for the present year

    Voted to give one shilling (about $ .09) as a bounty upon every crow that shall be killed by any of the
    inhabitants of this Town before the 1st day of July next, and shall deliver the same to the Board of

    At the same meeting:

    Edward Thompson Esq. was chosen as Representative to the General Court and was instructed by
    the Town as follows “Your constituents having chosen you to represent the Town of Mendon in the
    General Court the present year, think fit to give you some hints (by way of instructions) of what we
    apprehend might be beneficial to the public.”  

    1st.  To use your influence to have the General Court removed out of the Town of Boston to some
    convenient inland town as soon as may be

    2nd. That you use your influence that the Troops raised by order of the Government and now under
    pay, be immediately discharged

    3dly.  That you use your influence that a fee pardon and indemnity be granted to all those that have
    been any ways concerned in the late Insurrection in this Commonwealth, so long as they demean
    themselves quiet and peaceable subjects, without exception (Shay’s Rebellion)

    4thly. That you use your influence to have all those acts repealed known by the name of Disqualifying
    Acts, as we conceive they are unnatural, unjust and oppressive

    5hly. That there be a Bank of paper money emitted upon as good footing as can be

    6thly.  That you use your influence that all public securities be scaled at the going price

    7thly.  That you use your influence that all Courts of Common Pleas be entirely abolished and some
    other mode be adopted in lieu thereof that is more agreeable and less chargeable

    8thly.  That the Probate business be done in each Town and likewise a Register of Deeds be
    appointed in each of said Towns; also that all licensed persons obtain their licenses in the towns
    where they dwell, from the Selectmen

    9thly.  That there be a large Duty or impost laid on all foreign articles imported, except Salt, Cotton,
    Wool and Warlike Stores, and that all excise be collected by the respective towns where such excise
    shall become due, free from any charge to the State

    10thly. That all monies arising from Impost and Excise be appropriated to payment of the foreign debt

    11thly. That the Salaries of all public officers of Government be reduced in proportion as Country
    produce has fallen since such salaries were granted

    12thly.  That all encouragement be given to raising Sheep and Flax and Manufacturing the produce of
    our own Country

    13thly.  That a settlement of accounts with Congress be obtained as soon as possible, so as this
    State’s Quota of the Continental debts may be ascertained

    14thly.  That some other mode of taxation be adopted, and that the tax be not laid so high on the
    landed interest, and that all Polls under the age of 21 years be exempted from taxation

    15thly.  That there be a completion of the Revision of the Laws so that we may have a code of laws of
    our own

           Signed by Dan Aldrich, Moderator
           Attest, Seth Chapin, Town Clerk

    Edward Thomson, Esq, must have done a good job for the Town of Mendon because he was chosen
    a Delegate to the State Convention, to be held at Boston on the Second Wednesday in January next,
    for the purpose of ratifying or rejecting the Continental constitution, or Frame of Government, agreed
    on by the late Federal Convention.

    Of the 15 articles of importance to the inhabitants of Mendon, 7 were concerned with State and local
    issues.  Eight articles found their way into the Constitution of the United States and the ensuing Bill of

    I share this information with you because I want you to realize that the votes from Mendon residents
    made a difference in helping to build this country.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights is their Legacy
    to you.  I urge each of you to accept and embrace this precious gift for your 18th birthday.  Take five
    minutes of your time to register to vote with the Town Clerk’s Office and then exercise your right to vote
    at the polls.

    In doing so, you become a part of the solution.  In doing so, everyone elected to serve you from the
    President of this great nation to the Selectmen of you local community work for you.  In doing so, you
    become the Boss.  Not a bad place to be.  Only in America!!



Constitution Day Presentation

September 17, 2004

By Selectman Sharon Cutler

Given to the Eighth Grade Class at Nipmuc Regional High School