Unusual manuscript document signed by the Justice of the Peace of Tauton, Massachusetts, ordering that Susana Harvey, a "distracted" woman, be returned to Norton, Massachusetts
Taunton, MA: 8 October 1712. 1p. Approx. 6 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches. Signed by Thomas Leonard, Justice of the Peace. Endorsed by a local constable on verso. Red wax seal.
Returning a pregnant "distracted woman" back to her husband's town.
The document reads: "Susana Harvey, the wife of Nathaniel Harvey of Norton hath been warranted out of the town of Taunton, and also hath been by a constable carried to Norton where of Right she doth belong, and where as she is returned again to Taunton big with child and Return'd a distracted woman & exposed to the hazzard of her Life: thest and therefore in her Majesty's name to require you to take the said Susana Harvey and her convey to the constable or one of the select men of the town of Norton within said county and leve her with them in order to their taking care of her as is duty they ought to do, and not let be exposed to danger ..." See A History of the Town of Norton (Norton: 1859), page 83: "[Nathaniel Harvey's] wife's name was Susannah; and she was one of the first persons who called for aid from the town. There was some controversy between Norton and Taunton relative to her legal residence; but in April 1713, the Court of Sessions decided that Mr. Havey and his wife were inhabitants of Norton, and their relations were ordered to give assistance to Susannah."