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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886598928


From: <>
Subject: Re: re warning outs
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 08:28:48 EST


By the time the ships of Scots-Irish arrived in 1718, the towns around Boston
had been settled for nearly 100 years. Evidently they operated on a
"scarcity" model and it was felt that new people moving in (unless perhaps
they had lots of money) would make things worse for those who already lived
there, even to the point of becoming "public charges". So, anyone who came to
a town from somewhere else, even if they were staying with relatives, had to
be reported to the constable or selectmen (law enforcement or city fathers),
and they could stay a short time but would be "warned out" after a couple of
months or so. Even if you took on an apprentice or servant from another town
or elsewhere, you might be required to post bond that they not become a public
charge. It does not seem to have been a matter of moral turpitude,
unwillingness to work, or anything like that. Just "I've got mine, now pull
up the gangplank." I think I saw a book notice about a book on warnings-out
in Vermont as late as the 19th century. A family in my lineage was "warned-
out" of Malden, MAss. in 1760 - they had come from Lynn, MA and before that
New Boston, NH which was more of a "frontier" settlement. She was the
granddaughter of a prominent citizen of Malden but that didn't help them. Out
they went.
Nikki Strandskov

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