Wednesday, May 13, 2015

1792 Document of Pepperrellboro', now Saco, Maine: Collector Nathaniel Scammon Paid Treasurer Thomas Cutts 189 Pounds 15 Shillings Eight Pence

Pepperrellboro', April 27, 1792  Recd of W. Nathaniel Scammon, Collector for the years 1780 and 1781 [or 1789], The Sum of One Hundred Eighty Nine Pounds, Fifteen Shillings and Eight Pence in Part on Account of said Town.
Thomas Cutts, Treasurer

Handwritten receipt, measuring about 6" x 2-1/2"; nothing on reverse.

The name of the town of Pepperrellboro', or Pepperrellborough, Maine, or Pepperellboro', was changed to Saco in 1805; in 1867 Saco became a city.   By the time of the 2010 Census, Saco was about the 9th largest Maine city in terms of population.

There were several related men with the name Nathaniel Scammon during that period of Saco's history, but if W. is indeed a first initial, perhaps that will help an historian or family historian sort out the correct Nathaniel.  During the Revolutionary War and up to 1789, the area custom house was at Saco, Maine.  An excerpt from The History of Kennebunk, from its Earliest Settlement to 1890, published by Daniel Remich in 1911:

 The custom house during the Revolutionary War and thereafter until 1789, was kept in Saco, under 
authority of the Massachusetts Colonial Government and of the State of Massachusetts; Nathaniel Scammon, Collector. "The two principal wharves were in Saco " and the most important shipyard on the river, that of James Coffin, was on the Saco side, whence the larger part of the vessels built on the Saco were launched. 

As for Thomas Cutts, George Addison Emery published a biography of him in 1839: Colonel Thomas Cutts, Saco's Most Eminent Citizen in the Country's Early Days.

If I'm reading 1781 correctly, I'm not sure why there was a delay from the years 1780 and 1781 until 1792, unless an audit found a deficiency from those years.  However, if 1781 is instead 1789, it seems more understandable, as that is the year the custom house was moved to Biddeford, Maine, just across the Saco River from Saco.  Perhaps a new collector was appointed at that time, so accounts had to be cleared, and perhaps the accounting took some time.

Hopefully an area historian will weigh in.

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