What was the 1780 beef tax?

In order to furnish the Continental Army with supplies, the 1780 Massachusetts legislature passed a tax specifically designed to provide beef. This tax was allowed to be paid in either money or in cattle. Because this was a payment of tax specifically in support of the Revolutionary cause, it can be considered qualifying service for the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Tax lists were kept locally and not all have survived. Those for Essex, MA are online as transcriptions. (It’s best to locate the originals before submitting). The Massachusetts State Library appears to have others on microfilm onsite. Due to Covid, they are currently closed, but these reels should become accessible when they reopen.

Happy hunting!

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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