GOVERNOR ALLEN'S ASSUMPTION OF GOVERNMENT
The assembly met in January following. At that time, two new members were added to the council, one of whom, Joseph Smith, was of Hampton. The members of the assembly from this town were Capt. Henry Dow, Lieut. John Smith and Lieut. Joseph Swett.
At the opening of the assembly, Governor Allen, having stated that he had assumed the government because the Earl of Bellomont had not arrived, advised them to send a congratulatory message to the Earl. The next day the assembly informed him, that they had done this already, and the Earl had answered them kindly and they were waiting for his arrival; intimating also that no important business would be done in the assembly before his arrival. This was not very flattering to the governor; but the assembly went farther, and specified several grounds of complaint; and especially, his having admitted Usher to a seat at the council board, notwithstanding he had been superseded by Partridge's commission.
The decision of the governor to admit Usher to his seat, was far from being satisfactory to some of the councilors. The question was raised by two of them, Coffin and Weare, whether Usher was a member of the council. After some altercation, a vote being taken, a majority appeared in his favor. All the old councilors, except one, refused to sit with him. The governor, indeed , forbade their departure, but his order was disregarded. Mr. Weare remarked, as he retired, that he would not, by sitting there, put contempt upon the king's commission-referring to the commission of Partridge, who had been set aside by the governor, in favor of Usher, under whose influence Allen acted.
The assembly had already voted to continue the customs and excise till the next November. They now voted that the money, thus arising, should be kept in the treasury till the arrival of the Earl of Bellomont. This was their last act. The governor dissolved the assembly after a session of three days.
The councilors had been appointed by the king, but the governor had authority to suspend any of them, whenever, in his opinion, there should be sufficient reason. If at any time, the number of councilors should from any cause be reduced below seven, the governor might appoint from the principal freeholders in the province, so many as would make up that number, and those thus appointed were to be councilors till the king's pleasure should be known. At this time, he appointed Sampson Sheafe, of New Castle, and Peter Weare, of Hampton, son of Nathaniel Weare, who had just refused to sit at the council-board with Usher. Sheafe was appointed secretary, and Joseph Smith, of Hampton, treasurer.