In the larger " towns " the officers elected at this meeting may consist of five, seven or nine selectmen, a clerk, a treasurer, three or more assessors, three or more overseers of the poor, one or more collectors of taxes, one or more auditors, one or more surveyors of highways, a road commissioner, a sewer commissioner, a board of health, one or more constables, two or more field drivers, two or more fence viewers, and a tree warden; but in the smaller " towns " the number of selectmen niay be limited to three, the selectmen may assess the taxes, be overseers of the poor, and act as a board of health, and the treasurer or constable may collect the taxes.
Workhouse chaplains are appointed by overseers and guardians on the direction of the Local Government Board, to which alone such chaplains are responsible.
This code was based largely on the laws of New England, and, although a source of popular discontent, it gave to the freeholders of each town a voice in the government of their town by permitting them to elect a board of eight overseers which chose a constable and sat as a court for the trial of small causes.
In 1902 he became president of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.
His overseers were under contract never to bleed them; but he manumitted only a few at his death.