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Retrieval Number: 7001/123
Freeholders of Sackville meeting report, January 16, 1797.
Mount Allison University Archives, Parks Canada Webster Manuscript Collection
May be reproduced only with permission of Parks Canada through the Mount Allison University Archives.

Freeholders of Sackville report.

This report details a meeting of residents of Sackville called to clarify the “mill privilege” established in 1770 when the town was being formed. Evidently the mill site was intended to serve the welfare of the settlement and thus the mill privilege was not sold to any one individual, even though a mill might be erected on the site by an individual, as apparently happened. At this meeting some 27 years later, residents expressed concern that this original understanding of the privilege was in danger of being of lost and therefore the meeting undertook to petition the Government to reassert the communal nature of the privilege. In a separate notation directed to the Honorable Jonathan Odell, Esq, Charles Dixon reveals that behind this concern was a political dispute among some in the town with respect to the present occupant of the mill site, Christopher Harper. If nothing else, the document points to the challenges of balancing private and collective rights to key resources, especially as there seems to be some concern to exploit the site for other types of mill functions such as a proposed fulling mill to serve the production of textiles.

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