The part of Ipswich known as the Hamlet (now Hamilton) was “set off” as a separate parish (church) in 1714-15 after several appeals to the Town and to the General Court. A long-held desire for complete separation from the town of Ipswich gathered strength in 1792 when the town voted $500.00 for support of the poor. The great bulk of the needy and helpless families were found in the old Town of Ipswich and at Chebacco. As the people of the Hamlet were primarily farmers and financially stable, the burden of taxation for the support of the poor was considered to be an unjust imposition. The leaders of the parish petitioned the leaders of Ipswich to be allowed to incorporate as a separate town, and the petition was granted by the inhabitants at a legal meeting held May 22, 1792.
The Hamlet was incorporated by the name of Hamilton on June 21, 1793, with the condition that the new town pay the town of Ipswich $908.00 for support of its paupers. Rev. Cutler of the Congregational Church in the Hamlet had served in Congress before becoming one of the town’s longest-serving pastors, was a strong advocate of Federalism, and urged that the new town be named after Alexander Hamilton. The similarity of the names Hamlet and Hamilton was merely coincidental.