Montgomery — Noteworthy Incidents
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Montgomery was incorporated in 1780, during the stormiest days of the Revolution, and one of the first public measures was one looking to the enlistment of men for the army. A bounty of 8s. per man was offered, and as to wages they were to be £4 for the first month, and £3 5s. for each month there-after.
The patriotic impulses of the town ran high and strong throughout the struggle, and the energetic efforts put forth on behalf of the common cause are recorded in the volumes which contain the proceedings of town-meetings from 1780 to the close of the war.
In 1783, after the struggle was ended, it was resolved "to concur with the town of Boston respecting the return of refugees and traitors into this or any other of the United States, as we judge such measures conducive to the safety, interest, and quiet of these States."
As an evidence that the cost of subsistence in 1790 was not extremely high, it may be observed that in the summer of that year Mr. Zadock Bosworth, a citizen of Montgomery, "victualled and attended" the Rev. John Ballentine each Sabbath in which that divine visited the town to preach, and for that service Mr. Bosworth charged but Is. per day. Although patriotic in the Revolution, Montgomery did not take kindly to the renewal of hostilities in 1812, and sent Edward Taylor as a delegate to the Northampton anti-war convention in that year.
A sensational incident in the history of the town came to light in January, 1879, when Mrs. Louisa Avery was arrested upon the charge of murder, in having caused, it was alleged, the death of Mrs. Betsey Wright, an aged town pauper, whom Mrs. Avery undertook to support at town expense, and whom—so the story ran—she whipped to death in a fit of rage.