The following scanned and transcribed document is a classic example of the tortuous negotiations which needed to be used to resolve the issue of civil responsibility for the support of  people when the issue of their "settlement" (what we today call "legal residence") was at issue. Prior to the establishment of a statewide system of county poorhouses in New York State, such disputes were quite common. In this case, circumstances behind the dispute involved ... not the individual moving ... but a change in the legal entity in which they lived. This is best described below. 
Submitted by: Robert Akin  [from the Richard K. Akin Collection]

"Prior to 1816, both towns were part of  Montgomery County and the poor were supported by the town of Northampton; however, on Feb. 12, 1816 Hamilton County was split off from Montgomery County.  While Northampton stayed in Montgomery County, Wells fell into the new Hamilton County. The purpose of this document is to define how to divide the support for the poor in this new political structure."



Articles of Agreement made the 22 day of February, 1817
between Joeseph Spier, Supervisor; William Hammond
& Hohn Fayt, Overseers of the Poor for the Town of Northamp- ton and Josiah Wadsworth, Supervisor; Samuel Brownell and John L. Francisco Overseers of the Poor of the Town of
Wells.     Witnesseth that the Parties to these Articles
do agree to the following division of the Poor that
was supported by the Town of Northampton previous
to the erection of the County of Hamilton as follows: 
That is, the Town of Wells shall pay or cause to be paid
their proportion of the cost for supporting and
clothing through sickness and health of John Hemst-
reet and Hannah Fitch.  Should each of the said
persons continue a town charge until their
death, to pay their proportion of the funeral
charges.  The proportion to be made according
to the territory and tax list of the year 1815
which was agreeable to the valuation taken by the
Assessors for the Town of Northampton in the year
1815 in amount ....................................... $113095.
Valuation of that part of Northampton
taken from Northampton  & annexed to Wells ----- 14430. 

The parties to these Articles agree for their respective towns to Support of the
said John Hemstreet and Hannah Fitch from the 5th day
of last May so long as they shall be a charge to the
Town of Northampton in proportion to the above
valuation.  --    In witness whereof the Parties have
hereunto set their hands, the day and year above written.

                                                               Joseph Spier                                                                          William Hammond
                                                          Josiah Wadsworth                                                                             Daniel Brownell                                                                             John L. Francisco

[Note:  Capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs modified by the submitter-typist. Bold-face added by PHL.]

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