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In the days before banks were commonplace, it was the custom to borrow money from individuals who would issue loans and/or mortgages to individuals in need. This "promise to pay" or promissory note guarantees that the borrower, John E. Presson will pay to his benefactor, Joseph Goodhue, the sum of money borrowed, plus the lawful interest. The document is witnessed by two respected citizens of the town, Asa Stebbins, Jr. (1800-1864) and Pliny Arms (1778-1859).