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The first appearance of the Northern Lights in New England, on the 11th of December, 1719, caused considerable alarm, it being regarded by many, as a precursor of the last judgment. Such was the case in Hampton; but tradition informs us that one man -- Abraham Cole -- either more skeptical, or more philosophical, than the others, having retired to rest before the aurora appeared, on hearing the cry of alarm that was raised, calmly inquired whether the stars were falling from heaven. On being answered in the negative, he remarked that there was, then, no ground for alarm; and he remained quiet in his bed.


In the spring of 1718, a vote was passed at a meeting of the freeholders, allowing the inhabitants to build a fence from Dea. Tuck's mill straight to the mouth of Little river, which then flowed into the sea at that part of the beach which is now called Plaice Cove. The design in building this fence was to prevent cattle from running at large on the beach, and feeding down the beach-grass and other vegetation growing there, which served the important purpose of presenting the sand from being blown away so as to expose the land lying back of the beach to inundation from the sea. Permission was also given to set up a gate and fence across the lane at the westerly end of the bach causeway, to prevent cattle from going upon the beach upon that side. These precautionary measures were important, but, as we shall find hereafter, they were not effectual in preventing the sea from making inroads upon the land.

At the same meeting of the freeholders, it was voted to impose a fine of 20s. on each and every person who should at any time carry off any drift-wood from any part of the beach between Little River and Great Boar's Head, without leave from the selectmen.

By law, in 1718, the town stock of ammunition was "a barrel of good powder, two hundred weight of bullets and three hundred flints, for every sixty listed soldiers, and after that proportion, for the listed soldiers of each town, whether more or less."

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