The proprietors struggled in vain to bring about a closer union.
The directors of the Company were disposed to act upon this resolution; but in the court of proprietors, with whom the decision ultimately lay, Hastings always possessed a sufficient majority.
Two of the lots were immediately purchased by Captain Ephraim Williams (1715-1755), who was at the time commander of Fort Massachusetts in the vicinity; several other lots were bought by soldiers under him; and in 1 753 the proprietors organized a township government.
Two-fifths of the land belongs to the state, and two-fifths more to the various communes; the remaining fifth is minutely subdivided among a large number of small proprietors, many of whom have been expropriated from inability to pay the taxes, which, considering the low value of the land, are too heavy; while the state is unable to let a large proportion of its lands.
Institutions possessing a special character are the monti frumentarii, public grain deposits, founded for the purpose of supplying peasant proprietors with seed corn, debts being paid in kind with interest after harvest.