488 Protest Against Taxation

    [Cambridge November 19 1748]

    ___________________ humbly sheweth.

    That the Assessors of the Town of Boston did the last year 1747 Tax the Honourable Edward Hutchinson Esq. as Treasurer of Harvard College for the College Moneys by Him let out upon Interest, Tho’ the College Estate had been never so taxed before; Whereupon your Memorialists gave Order to their said Treasurer not to pay the said Tax, till they had addressed the Honourable General Court upon that Point; Which your Memorialists then did, by a Memorial of the same Tenor with This, and bearing Date Aug. 24, 1747.321 Upon which we find not that any thing was done, neither was the Assessment paid by their said Treasurer.

    Now inasmuch as the Assessors of the said Town of Boston, have again this Year laid the same Tax, upon said Treasurer alledging their Obligation to do so, according to a late Tax-bill of the General Court, your Memorialists therefore again address your Excellency and Honours upon that Affair, humbly conceiving that the said Law, laies no Obligation upon us Assessors to act in this manner at this Day.

    And besides your Memorialists must suppose322 from that Paragraph in the College Charter viz. and further be it enacted by this Court and the Authority thereof, That all the Lands Tenements and Hereditaments or Revenues within this Jurisdiction, To the afforesaid President or College Appertaining, not exceeding the Value of 500 per Annum, shall henceforth be freed from all civil impositions, Taxes and Rats. We say we must from hence suppose, especially if we consider this Priviledge of the College, confirmed in the Province [present]323 Charter, That the College Estate is wholly exempt, from any Tax till the income of it shall exceed the sum of £500 per annum according to the Value of that Summ when the said Charter was granted, of Which Summ the College income at this Day falls vastly short, as our Treasurers books and accounts will easily evince; Not to mention that in324 the present straitened Condition of the College by which they are not able to pay their Officers the Salaries which used to be offered to them, it would be very distressing to abridge it of any of these Privilegs which were by our ancestors granted to it. The Prayer therefore of your Memorialists is,325 that in your great Wisdom, and kind Care for the Interest of the College, your Excellency and Honours would free the College from the said Assessment and your Memorialists shal ever pray.

    To his Excellency William S. Esq.326 Capt. General and Governor in Chief in and over his Majestys Province of the Mass. Bay in N. E., To the honourable his Majestys Council, and the Honourable House of Representatives in General Court assembled. The Address or Memorial of the President and Fellows of Harvard College in Cambridge

    humbly sheweth

    Edwd. Holyoke

    In the Name of the President and Fellows of H[arvard] College in Cambridge.327

    College Papers, 1. 86 (No. 177). Printed, with variations, in CSM Publications, xvi. 793–794. This petition was referred to the next sitting, and the proceedings relating to taxes were stayed. Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, xxv. 146 (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1950); the date was November 23, 1748. On April 19, 1750 a report providing that the College should not be taxed was accepted (Province Laws, Chapter 342, 14, 398, 1749–1750).