Talk of the Town: 18th Century Town Meeting
Presented by Shirley-Eustis House
July 10, 2011
The Shirley-Eustis House Presents “The Talk of the Town: An 18th Century Town Meeting”
The Shirley-Eustis House, a National Historic Landmark house museum and carriage house in Roxbury, Massachusetts cordially invites you to attend a special presentation on Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. This program is entitled, The Talk of the Town: An 18th Century Town Meeting.
The authority and responsibilities of local and federal government have always been a central topic in our society. As our world changes and the lives of people change with it, our demands and expectations of our government reflect that change.
The New England states have had a town meeting system of local government since the early days of settlement. These towns were always concerned with the construction and repair of roads, employing school masters, caring for their poor and disabled, and even whether or not pigs would be allowed to run amok throughout their communities. The townspeople were the ones who decided to raise and appropriate funds for these issues. The town was the preeminent unit...every town answered for itself not only in civic but also in religious affairs.
Join us as we take a trip back in time to discuss some of these basic common issues important to the inhabitants of 18th century Boston. “I am very excited about this program” said Executive Director Patti Violette. “We hope to make this one of our signature programs with future town meeting content taken directly from town meetings held in Boston and Roxbury during the years of 1747 through 1865. Some of these town meetings were hotly debated and this will be our chance to experience true historical issues. The town meeting is a purist form of government and represents what a lot of folks would consider pure democracy. Population growth has made it impossible to continue town meetings in urban areas like Boston and Roxbury, but there are many communities who still rely on the town meeting form of government.”
The Shirley-Eustis House, built by Massachusetts Royal Governor William Shirley in 1747 and later the home of Democratic-Republican Governor William Eustis in 1819 is located on 33 Shirley Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Refreshments will be provided. Admission is $5 for the general public and $3 for members or free with regular house tour admission. The house is open for the summer season from Thursdays through Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, please call 617-442-2275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.