1883 Map of Manchester
The records of the Common Council consist of eight (8) volumes of minutes dating from 1846 to 1915. The Common Council, together with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, administered the fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the City of Manchester. Topics include the details of the first day of city government in Manchester, rules for the operation of the various city agencies and details of the interactions with Manchester's prominent industrial giant, the Amoskeag Corporation.
The Common Council's first meeting was on September 8, 1846 (the first day of city government operation for the City of Manchester). Its primary purpose was to serve as a third tier of government along with the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen. All resolutions and ordinances required the signature of the President of the Common Council, the Mayor (representing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen) and the City Clerk. Orders would be sent from one governing body to another for approval. Together, all three branches were termed "the City Council." The Board of Aldermen and the members of the Common Council would send messages back and forth on various issues. For example, the Board would pass an ordinance and then send a note to the Common Council asking for concurrence. If the Board and the Common Council could not agree with one another, a committee of conference was appointed by each board in order to discuss their differences.
Scope and Content
The records of the Common Council consist of eight (8) volumes of bound meeting notes. They are handwritten by the clerks of the Common Council and are in chronological order by date of the meeting. In 2004, the Manchester Municipal Archives received a grant from the New Hampshire State Library to clean, rebind and restore seven (7) volumes. The grant was funded through the Conservation License Plate or "Moose Plate" program.
The books are arranged chronologically.
The collection was processed and described by archivist Sally Fellows in 2004.
The records are open for research without restricts under the conditions of the Archives' access policy. Records may be copied for use in administrative, scholarly or personal research. Researchers are responsible for obtaining copyright permission from the archivist to use the material.
The Records of the Common Council, City of Manchester, New Hampshire.
January 26, 1847: Rules for the operation of the City Farm (Poor Farm).
May 27, 1856: Resolution to establish Pine Grove Cemetery
December 31, 1860: "A message was received from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen which was read, requesting the Board of Common Council to meet at Mr. Campbell's saloon at 9 o'clock, when it was voted to concur in said request."
April 12, 1864: Resolution authorizing the payment of a bounty to re-enlisted soliders fighting in the Civil War.
June 20, 1876: Invitation to the City Council from Mrs. James P. Eaton to take a ride on the Steam Boat Daisy on Lake Massabesic.
November 11, 1879: A Joint Special Committee of five (5): two (2) Aldermen and three (3)Councilmen to confer with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company and the Concord Railroad relative to building a bridge across the Merrimack River at the foot of Bridge Street.
May 3, 1887: Resolution relating to the erection of a monument to General John Stark.
A letter of Mayor William C. Clarke has been transcribed in the notes. The letter states his objections to the Budget of 1899. He does not feel an engine house is needed on Wilson Hill because the area is sparsely populated.
On August 29, 1910 there was an initiative to purchase 21 acres of land for the Pine Grove Cemetery.