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The western part of the New Haven Colony was known as West Farms, or West Haven. As the years went by, the inhabitants of this section were not entirely satisfied, claiming that they had to pay their share of the expenses and improvements of New Haven, but received a small amount for their own improvements.
Feeling that they were strong enough for self government, they petitioned the General Assembly to be set aside as a separate town in 1785 and again in 1787. On both occasions, they were vigorously opposed by both New Haven and Milford, who claimed that the creation of a new town would deprive them of some of their lands, thereby weakening them, politically and economically. New Haven also contended that it would make too small a town. A charter was denied them.
In 1820 they approached the Ecclesiastical Society of North Milford with the proposition that the two districts unite in forming a town. The men of North Milford were very conservative.
First, they took a public opinion poll of the citizens. After much discussion, they agreed to join West Haven on three conditions:
1-''All town meetings and elector's meetings shall be at or near the meeting house in North Milford.''
2-''That for the first ten years after the town shall have been organized, each Society shall pay such expenses as shall be incurred within its own limits in the way of town expenditures and concerns."
3-''That the Society of North Milford be at no pecuniary expense in case the General Assembly should not see cause to grant the petition for the new township."