372 Corporation Memorial to General Court

    [September 29 1730]

    To his Excellency

    Jonathan Belcher Esq., Captain General and Governour in Chief in and over his Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, the Honorable his Majesties Council, and Representatives in General Court assembled.

    The Memorial of the President and Fellows of Harvard College in Cambridge humbly sheweth

    That whereas the great and Honorable General Court, at their session Feb. 8, 1682/3 did in their great bounty and goodness grant Merricaneag Neck of Land and a thousand Acres adjacent in the Province of Mayne to the President and Fellows of Harvard College, to be and remain to the use of the said College forever, and ordered the President of said Province262 to bound out the said Grant, and whereas we dont find, neither by our own Books, nor by the search the Secretary has purposely made among the Publick Records, the said Grant was ever bounded out for the College, as there ordered; therefore our humble Petition is, that this Honorable Court would please in their great goodness speedily to order the bounding out to the College the Lands granted as aforesaid. Indian wars have hindred us for some years, from pursuing our interest in the Lands granted, as otherwise might have been done. And though we have not sooner addressed the General Court to have the foresaid Grant bounded out, we pray that this may not hurt our interest, nor any way prevent the compleating and performing the kind designs of this Honorable Court in the forementioned Grant; especially considering the General Court made an express saving to the College in what they were pleased to do about confirming the Purchase of Mr. Whaton’s Right in the Province of Mayne. We humbly concieve this is agreable to what King William and Queen Mary of blessed Memory, were pleased to order in their Royal Charter, viz. That all Grants of Lands to Colleges, Schools of Learning &c. should be look’d upon as firm and valid, notwithstanding any want or defect of Form. We are the more desirous to have the granted Lands bounded out, because we’re plainly informed, that great strip and wast has been lately made on the same; and we think ourselves not so well furnished and enabled to assert and pursue our right there, as if the bounds of said Lands were set out to us by order of the General Court. And inasmuch as we are not seeking any personal interest of our own, but act as betrusted with the affairs of the College (in whose welfare the whole Province is deeply concerned) we humbly hope, the Honorable General Court will please to grant the petition we now offer; in doing of which we the Petitioners shall be very greatly obliged and shall ever pray &c.

    This is a true Copy of what was entered with the Clerk of the Representatives at the General Court in Cambridge Sept. 29, 1730. B.W.

    Benja. Wadsworth President of Harvard College, in the name and behalf of the President and Fellows of said College.

    The Overseers advised the Corporation to enter this Memorial with the General Court.

    Memorandum. I think when this Memorial was presented to the General Court, we knew nothing of said Courts instructions to their Agents (they came to light afterwards) which speak of Merricaneag Neck and 1000 Acres adjacent, as confirmed, to the College by said Court.

    Merricaneag Neck Papers. This memorial, through the note by Wadsworth, is printed in CSM Publications, xvi. 587–588, under the Corporation meeting of September 23, 1730. Consideration of the memorial was postponed until February following; on the eighteenth Adam Winthrop and his associates were given until the twenty-fourth to show cause why it should not be granted. Nothing further seems to have come of it. Acts and Resolves, xv. 546.