Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 31, 2013

Dalton column: Innkeepers' dispute


Further, the men stated, servants and children were allowed by Chandler in his house at all hours “...sometimes until the break of day ...till they know not their way to their habitations.... [A]nd gaming is freely allowed in this house by which the looser must call for drink.” The petitioners noted they could state many more “perticklers,” but, in sum, Chandler was corrupting the younger generation, “...and what comfort will that be to parents to see such a posterity coming on upon the stage after them?”

But Chandler, having learned of the negative petition before it was filed, asked the Andover selectmen for support. They gave it to him by filing a short petition with the court stating that Chandler had kept a house for public entertainment for some considerable time and had kept good order in it, and the selectmen indicated that he was an infirm man and not capable of hard labor. The selectmen were comprised of eminences including a Chandler, a Holt, a Ballard, an Abbot, and Duncan Bradstreet, whose father had recently been governor of Massachusetts, and the selectmen’s words were dispositive of the matter.

So, that ends the story of Osgood versus Chandler, with Mr. Chandler pretty much winning out except for restrictions placed on his license against gambling and the like, and except for the fact that he died soon after.

As a side note, when Chandler’s license was renewed, he posted a bond for 50 pounds, and the bondsman was Andrew Peters of Ipswich. When Chandler died, Peters took over Chandler’s business and moved to Andover because his Ipswich distillery business had recently been burned by Indians. Peters became a distiller and innkeeper in Andover, and the Andover selectmen welcomed this man of high reputation, allowing him to sell liquor by the quart “out of doors,” which meant he could sell to people not staying at the inn. He became Andover’s first and perhaps only ever distiller/retailer/innkeeper and eventually became a selectman as well. Coincidentally, Peters was an ancestor of Andover historian and Phillips Academy headmaster Claude Fuess, even though Fuess’ family was not from Andover, and he didn’t move here until early in the 20th Century.

Except for the last paragraph, the above information is mostly derived from Sarah Loring Bailey’s book.

Bill Dalton writes a weekly column for the Andover Townsman. His email address is

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