In 1826 in Blandford, MA some of the deceased Benjamin Scott's
estate was sold "at public vendue."  Some of the property was "bid in"
by his son, Henry W Scott.
  So, here, "vendue" is "sale" and "public vendue" is "auction."

  As I remember, before towns established poor houses it was usual to
get bids from townspeople for the care and maintenance of the indigent.
They were then assigned to the lowest bidder. Those who might be of
use on a farm or house had lower bids. Those who would require care
and feeding (and would be of no help) went for higher bids.