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EASY & PRACTICABLE PLAN
LAYING OUT SETTLEMENTS
In equal Divisions of Ten Tithings, or One Hundred
Families each ; whereby new Colonies may be most ad-
SEVERAL years ago
I made some memorandums of “a method of forming frontier settlements," which I copied from the second edition of a book first printed at Philadelphia, but reprinted at London in 1766, and intituled, “ An Historical Account of the Expedition against the Ohio Indians, in the year 1764, under the command of Henry Bouquet, Esq. ; to which are annexed, Military Papers, containing Reflections on the War with the Savages, a method of forming frontier settlements,” &c. My reference for the last-mentioned subject is to page 51 of the said book ; but, as I have not the book itself at present, I cannot pretend to be perfectly accurate
in my quotations from it, neither do I remember whether the author recommended a government by tithing and hundred courts, with their proper officers, according to the Anglo-Saxon model, but only that his proposed settlements were (happily for my present purpose) laid out in equal divisions of one hundred lots each, for the maintenance of one hundred families; so that, of course, the constitutional regulations for hundreds, recommended in the preceding tracts, will not be less suitable and beneficial to his scheme than his certainly is to mine.
“ Let us suppose a settlement,” says he, “to be formed for one hundred families, composed of five persons each upon an average. “Lay out upon a river or creek, a square of 1760 yards ;
or a mile for each side.
50 640 acres. “ To 100 lots at 5% acres....
550 “ The four sides of the square measure 7040 yards, which gives to each house about 70 yards in front to stockade ; and the ground allowed for building will be 210 feet front and about 100 feet deep.
“ An acre of ground will produce at least thirty bushels of Indian corn ; therefore two acres are sufficient to supply five persons, at the
rate of twelve bushels each person; two other acres will be for cows and sheep, another for hay, or to be sown with red clover, the remaining half acre may be laid out for a garden.” Thus far the author's plan may be applicable to lands even in England, especially if laid out in less divisions of tithings instead of hundreds, preserving the same due proportion of land in lots for each family. The ten families, with their habitations, would form a compact little village, under the government of a tithing-man, annually elected from among themselves, whereby all would be rendered mutually responsible for each other for the common peace, and to make good every damage that might be occasioned by the ill behaviour of
them. An estate laid out in small farms, with such a tithing village in the centre of it, for a constant supply of labourers, might be made to maintain a much greater number of people than land generally does in the ordinary way of farming; and would, consequently, be much more beneficial both to the landlords, and to the nation at large. Commons and waste forests or chases might thus be laid out and occupied by the labouring poor, to the great reduction of parish rates, as well as of the price of labour; for free and useful labourers would never be wanting if such a regular provision, under their own management, could be found for their families; but the possession of such parish lots should be limited to those persons who occupy no other land, and should be delivered up to the parish or community, for the use of other unprovided families, as soon as any possessor obtains more land, either as a farm or in fee, (as recommended in a former tract,) to prevent the monopoly of land, and the entire deprivation of the poor from any share in it, as at present.
The remainder of the author's scheme is suitable only to unoccupied countries, like many parts of Africa and America, where the people are few and the lands of small value, viz. “ Round the town," says he, “ are the commons of three miles square, containing, exclusive of the lots above mentioned, 5120 acres. On three sides of the town five other squares will be laid out, of three square miles, containing 5760 acres each ; one of which is reserved for wood for the use of the settlement, the other four to be divided into twenty-five out-lots, or plantations, of about 230 acres each, so that in the four squares there will be a hundred such plantations for the hundred families. Another township may be laid out joining this upon the same plan, and as many more as you please upon the same line, without losing any ground.”
The banks of the river, as in ancient times,