Front Page Titles (by Subject) 29: [The Cambridge Agreement of October 4, 1652] - Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History
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29: [The Cambridge Agreement of October 4, 1652] - Donald S. Lutz, Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History 
Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History, ed. Donald S. Lutz (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998).
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[The Cambridge Agreement of October 4, 1652]
The complete text is taken from The Records of the Town of Cambridge (Formerly Newtowne) Massachusetts, 1630–1703 (Cambridge: University Press, John Wilson and Son, 1901), 2: 99–100. The spelling is the same as in the original except that the German s has been transcribed as an English s, where appropriate.
This agreement is simultaneously a reformation of the civil polity and a set of instructions from the town meeting to those individuals selected to act in their name between meetings. The practice of town meetings giving instructions to the elected officers and representatives was a common one in the colonies and was extended to colony-wide, and later state-wide, representative bodies. Often the purpose of the town meeting was to press for specific legislation, but many, as in this case, were designed to formalize fundamental community values and principles to guide the actions of those in government. Once again we see de facto popular sovereignty implied.
At a Genrall meeting of the Towne ye 4th (10) 1652.
Theis prpositions here under written were voted, and joyntly agreed uppon by the Inhabitants, for the instructions to be given to the Townsmen.
That wt eur1 worke or buissines is by order of Court assigned to the Townsmen or injoyned on the Town That the Townsmen shall make due care to effect the same so as may best conduce to a publique good and no damage by neglect thereof
2. That as often as they shall see needfull, they shall giue publique notice to the inhabitants to meet together and wt eur orders or determinations shalbe passed by a publique vote of the Towne, or are already made by the Towne or ye select men, that the Townsmen take due care to execute fullfill and accomplish the same with out respect of any mans person, according to yr best wisdome.
3. That wt eur damage they shall conceiue or apprehend to come to the Towne, by any person with in or with out the Towne by appropriating intruding or damnifying or exceeding there owne due prportion in any wise, any of the Commons, landes or woodes, or other publique stocke liberties or interests of the Towne according to there best discretion they shall prvent and remoue the same.
4. That they take due care for the maintenance and reparation and well ordering of all such thinges wherin the Towne hath a Common interest, as the meeting house Common gates and high wayes, Common heards and ye like.
5. That they make such wholesome orders and impose such Penalties, and duly publish and execute the same as may best effect the execution of the premises.
6. That the necessary charges yt shalbe expended in ye execution of the premises be yearly discharged by an equall rate, made by the Townsmen, and leuied by the Cunstable on ye seurall Inhabitants
7. That The Cunstables giue in a yearly account of wt they receiue of the publique stocke of the Towne by rate or otherwise, and how they haue disbursed the same, the same to be done before ye yearly Election of the Townsmen, and kept uppon Record in a booke fairely written and in case the Cunstables shall faile herein, then to Continue in there office another yeare, except the Towne shall see meet otherwise to dispose.
8. That the Surveyours of the high wayes take due care for the reparation of all the Comon high wayes with in ye towne, and keep uppon Record the names of Such persons as are improued therein during ye yeare, and deliur the same in a list fairely written to the Townsmen then in place at ye end of there year that so no man may be wronged in doing more than his due proportion.
At the same time the buissines about stinting2 ye Cow Comon3 was debated, and by a publicke Vote agreed that it should be refferred to ye magestrates of the next County Cort in Midlesex, to determine wheth [ ] or Cow Common were already lawfully stinted.
also there is chosen for a committe to effect this buissines with the Magestrates by prsenting ye true state of the buissines, mr Joseph Cooke John Bridge, Gregory Stone, Edward Goffe Ri: Jacson and Edward Winship.
[1. ]This reads, “That what our work ...”
[2. ]Making an allotment, apportioning, setting limits to.
[3. ]A cow common was a field or group of fields owned by the town but set aside for anyone to graze his cattle. In effect, it was a town commons.