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When real estate taxes on a piece of land were not paid, the town where the land was located was permitted to advertise it to potential buyers. Anyone who paid the taxes and accrued interest could take over ownership of the land. In the years following the Revolution, many Americans invested in real estate for themselves and their children. During the severe post-war recession, many people defaulted on the taxes due on these parcels. Like many other towns, when Charlemont advertised unpaid real estate taxes 1787, it advertised only the land of people who did not live in town. It is likely, however, that many homeowners also struggled to pay the taxes on their homes and land. Hard currency was extremely difficult to get, and the government demanded that taxes be paid only in gold or silver.