1899, 1900



    A Stated Meeting of the Society was held in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, 18 January, 1899, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the First Vice-President, William Watson Goodwin, D. C. L., in the chair.

    After the minutes of the last Stated Meeting had been read and approved, the Corresponding Secretary reported that he had received letters from Messrs. Charles Knowles Bolton, Arthur Theodore Lyman, and James Lyman Whitney, accepting Resident Membership, and from Governor Chamberlain and Professor Franklin Bowditch Dexter, accepting Corresponding Membership.

    Governor Chamberlain’s letter is as follows: —

    Brunswick, Maine, December 26th, 1898.

    John Noble, Esq.

    Corresponding Secretary,

    The Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

    My dear Sir, — I highly appreciate the honor of election as a Corresponding Member of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and hereby express my cordial acceptance of the same.

    I trust I may sometimes be able to enjoy the privilege of meeting with the Society, and forming the closer acquaintance of gentlemen whom I already so highly esteem.

    Very respectfully yours,

    Joshua L. Chamberlain.

    Mr. Henry H. Edes then said: —

    Mr. Chairman, — As Treasurer of the Society, I am going to take advantage of the absence of the President to tell the members of Mr. Wheelwright’s recent gift to our treasury. He called on me on New Year’s Day and handed me his check for one hundred dollars to be added to our General Fund. Mr. Wheelwright did the same thing on New Year’s Day a year ago. On both occasions, — and on other occasions when he has contributed generously to our treasury, — he said that he wished our members generally would contribute to our Funds, from time to time, such sums, great or small, as they felt prompted to give toward increasing our permanent endowment, and not be deterred from so doing because they were unable or indisposed to contribute large amounts; and he expressed the hope that as time went on such gifts might come to our treasury. One such gift has already been received from Mr. Francis H. Lincoln, accompanied by a letter expressing his deep interest in the Society.

    Mr. Wheelwright referred to the speech of Mr. Adams at our last Annual Dinner, and to his observations that a good financial basis was essential to the production of the best results, whether by societies or individuals; that this Society needed an Endowment of three hundred thousand dollars; and that he had no doubt that there was in our fellowship some man who, sooner or later, would realize that he could not raise a nobler or more enduring monument to himself, or more surely perpetuate his influence for good after his earthly career had ended, than by thus endowing The Colonial Society of Massachusetts. The President added that, while he, in common with all his associates in the Society, should hail with grateful appreciation the bestowal of such a munificent gift or bequest, he thought the Society would be stronger and its members more interested in its welfare and its work if they contributed to our General Fund, — the income only of which is available for the general purposes of the Society, — while awaiting patiently the coming of the Maecenas to whom Mr. Adams had alluded.

    Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis offered the following Resolutions, which were unanimously adopted: —

    Resolved, That the thanks of the Society are hereby given to President Wheelwright for his generous contributions to the treasury.

    Resolved, That the Society takes this occasion to place upon its Records an expression of its grateful appreciation of Mr. Wheelwright’s devotion to every interest of the Society.

    Mr. John Noble communicated a Recognizance of Paul Blanchard of Cambridge, who was charged, in 1776, with fraudulently altering bills of the State of Massachusetts, and exhibited some of the altered bills found in Blanchard’s possession. Mr. Noble said: —

    The crime of counterfeiting or altering the bills issued by the State seems to have been not uncommon at the time of the offence of which I shall speak, since there are some twenty-five cases to be found in the single volume of the Records of the Superiour Court covering the time from 1775 to 1778. The Complaint, upon which this Recognizance was given, appears never to have come to trial, as it is not found in the Records.

    The Recognizance is as follows: —

    “State of Mass Bay Suffolk Ss Memorandum that on the nineteenth day of July in the year of the Lord 1776 Personally appeared before me Joseph Greenleaf Esqr. one of the Justices assigned to keep the peace in and for the County of Suffolk Paul Blanchard of Cambr. in the County of Middlesex cordwainer Lemuel Blanchard of sd. Cambridge Innholder & Timothy Whiting of Bilerica in sd. County gentleman and acknowledged themselves to be severally indebted to Henry Gardner Esqr. treasurer of sd. State in the respective sums following Vizt. the sd. Paul Blanchard as principal in the sum of two hundred pounds & the sd. Lemuel & Timothy in the sum of one hundred pounds each as sureties to be levied on their goods or chattels lands or tenements & in want thereof on their bodys respectively to the use of sd. State if default be made in performance of the condition underwritten.

    The Condition of the above recognizance is such that if the above named Paul Blanchard shall personally appear before the next court of Judicature court of Assize & general gaol delivery to be holden at Braintree in & for the County of Suffolk on the last tuesday of August next to answer to such things as shall be objected to him on behalf of the people of this state more espescially by Moses White of Brookline in sd. County of Suffolk Yeoman for offering a bill of said State of two shillings & eight pence fraudulently altered into twenty eight shillings to sd. White, & in the mean time shall be of the good behaviour to all the people of sd. State & shall do & receive that which sd. court shall then & there enjoyn on him & not depart without leave then the above recognizance to be void otherwise to to remain in full power & Virtue.

    Joseph Greenleaf


    “Recogniza. Paul Blanchard Supr. Court Augt. term 1776. the Complainant sick of small Pox.”1

    With this Recognizance were three Bills of Credit of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, one, dated 18 August, 1775, of seven shillings and six pence, and two, dated 7 December, 1775, of twenty-eight shillings, and three shillings and four pence, respectively, enclosed in a Certificate by Joseph Greenleaf, Justice of the Peace of Suffolk County, written on a fragment of a paper containing the Order of the Day in New York for 27 June, 1776, — Execution of Thomas Hickey.2

    The three bills are about the size and shape of a common playing card.

    The face of one of them reads: —

    Colony of the Maſſachuſetts Bay

    The Poſſeſſor of this Bill ſhall be paid, by the Treaſurer of this Colony Three Shillings & four pence Lawfull Money by the 7 Day of Decem’ 1781, which Bill ſhall be received for the aforeſaid ſum in all payments at the Treaſury, and in all other payments, by an Order of the General Aſſembly —

    [Cut of a Ship and Building]

    J. Wheeler.

    On the back of the bill is: —

    The Denomination; the figure of a Continental soldier with drawn sword, above it, the legend, Issued in defence of American Liberty, and below it, the Motto of the State, — Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem; and the date, — Decemr 7th 1775.3

    The other two bills are similar — varying in the amount. The alteration appears to have been clumsily made.

    The strip of paper in which the bills were wrapped is the right-hand half of a page, — whether an original or a copy does not appear — containing the body of the Order of the Day above mentioned. The following is a line-for-line copy of the fragment: —

    June 27, 1776

    als Life Guard, having been

    urt Martial whereof Colo Parsons

    es of Sedition & mutiny, & also

    e with the Enemy for the most

    ses; is sentanced to suffer Death.

    he sentance of the above Court

    be hanged to morrow at 11: O

    off Duty belonging to General

    ‘s & General Scotts Brigades to

    respective parades at 10 o Clock

    march from thence to the Ground

    Ld. Sterling’s Encampments, to

    of the above sentance —

    mmediately to make the

    & to attend on that Duty”

    This differs slightly from the entire Order as it appears in Force’s Archives.4

    On the back of this fragment, used as a wrapper, is the following certificate: —

    “The inclosed bills altered into

    3/4 & 7/6 I found upon Paul

    Blanchard the other altered

    into 28/ is the bill he offered

    to pass. J. Greenleaf Justice peace.

    Sepr 7th 1776.

    To SamL Winthrop Esqr Clerk

    of the Superiour Court.”

    It is a matter of curious speculation, and possibly of some interest, how this old fragment, whether it be an original or a copy, came into the hands of a civilian in New England so soon after its issue in New York, and how it came to a service so foreign to its original purpose.

    Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis spoke as follows: —

    At the January Meeting of this Society in 1898, I communicated a description of the career of the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce.5 The account then submitted for your consideration was based almost exclusively upon the printed Records of the Colony of Connecticut, supplemented by certain facts gleaned from the publications of the Connecticut Historical Society. The communication was made solely for the purpose of showing the close identity of this attempt to supply the Colony of Connecticut with a circulating medium based upon private credit and secured by mortgages of lands, with the similar experiment made in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in 1740.

    The references in the publications above referred to disclosed the fact that there must be in the Connecticut Archives papers bearing upon this subject, which would furnish information additional to that given in the published Records of the Colony.

    A short time since, I visited these Archives and found in them evidence that the Society had some sort of existence prior to the Petition for incorporation in 1732. This consisted in a Petition to the Assembly for incorporation in 1729. The review of the career of the Society heretofore communicated, which was made up from the published Records, gives the date of the birth of the Company as 1732. This obviously refers only to the organization effected under the charter granted that year by the Assembly. Miss Caulkins, in an account given in the History of New London, places the date of the organization at 1730, thus showing that she had knowledge that the Company was formed prior to the filing of the Petition for a charter in 1732.6 It will be seen that the Society must have been in existence even before the date given by Miss Caulkins. The Petition filed in 1729, in addition to showing this fact, furnishes evidence of the desires and intentions of the founders of this Society not disclosed by any of the papers published in the Records of the Colony, and is therefore entitled to careful consideration. It is in the following words: —

    “To the honourable the general assembly convened in New Haven, October 9, 1729.

    The memorial of the New London Company for Trade humbly sheweth that whereas your honours most humble memorialists being united and formed into a Company for carrying on of trade or merchandize having agreed upon certain articles for a regular management of the same as may appear by our covenant agreed upon by us New London July first Anno Domini 1729, we do therefore humbly address this honourable Assembly for a patent for our said Company allowing us to be a Company in the manner and form of said covenant.

    That our votes passed & officers chosen by our Company from time to time may be lawful and authoritative in the execution of the designs and to those ends for which they are voted and chosen so far as may be without infringing upon the authority of the government the interest of the publick or hurting the peculiar right or property of any person but only what may be necessary for our just and lawful defence and benefit in matters relating to the concerns and interests of our Company.

    That the Bills bonds bargains or any obligations whatsoever made or signed by our Committee at any time may be effectual and valid in the law upon the Companys account.

    That our Company may be allowed to emitt Bills for currency upon our own credit as we may see occasion at any time for promoting or maint[ain]ing our trade.

    That there may be the same rules prescribed in the law for prosecuting and punishing such persons as shall at any time presume to alter obliterate counterfeit or forge any bill in the name of our company or committee as is prescribed in the law for prosecuting and punishing those that shall presume to deface alter counterfeit or forge any bills on the credit of the Government.”7

    The foregoing Petition was signed by Solomon Coit in behalf of the Company. It was presented to the Lower House and was at first favorably received, but subsequently the action then taken was reconsidered and the Petition was rejected.

    It will be remembered that in the previous account of this Society it is stated that the Petition filed in May, 1732, in which the subscribers prayed to be put in “a politic capacity as a Society,” alleged that the purposes of the Society were —

    “the promoting and carrying on trade and Commerce to Great Britain and his Majesty’s islands and plantations in America, and to other of his Majesty’s Dominions; and for the encouraging the Fishery etc.,”8

    no mention being made in the volume of the Records9 from which this is quoted of any intention on the part of the petitioners to supply the Colony with a currency as a medium of trade. It may be surmised that the omission from the Second Petition, of those paragraphs in the First in which the desire of the petitioners to emit bills and have them protected from being counterfeited is set forth, was the reason why the Second Petition met with a more favorable reception at the hands of the Assembly than was granted to the First. If this be so, and if it be assumed that Governor Talcott had knowledge of the character of the First Petition and of the refusal of the Assembly to consider it, we can readily understand that he would have been incensed at the action of the Company in emitting bills, and his rapid and decisive action in summoning a special session of the Assembly for the purpose of having the charter annulled will be fully explained.

    Among the papers in the Archives is the Answer which the Company filed in response to the summons to appear before the Assembly. It is stated in the published Records10 that the Company was at first disposed to dispute the jurisdiction of the General Assembly, but that this plea was waived and their defence was based upon the ground that the bills which had been issued were not of the nature and tenor of bills of the Colony, but were of the character of bills of exchange, which the Company had a natural right and authority to emit. Still another argument appears in this Answer which, it seems, had not assurance enough to show its head elsewhere in the proceedings. It was, that the Society which the Assembly had chartered was a fraternity and was not dissolvable. Indirectly, this argument may have suggested the setting forth of the distinction between a fraternity and a society, made by the Assembly in May, 1733, in their Answer to the Petition of the Society for a revival of the charter. In that document the Assembly say, in substance: The Governor and Company of Connecticut being a Corporation, it is doubtful if it can create a Company or Society of Merchants. A Corporation, however might make a fraternity for the management of trades, arts, or mysteries, endowed with authority to regulate the management thereof.11

    Beside the curious claim set forth in the Answer of the Company that a fraternity is not dissolvable, there are some statements as to the currency of the bills which seem to militate against the evidence furnished by Governor Talcott’s correspondence which was quoted in the former paper. There is also in this document a proposition to turn over the mortgages of the Company to the Government, thus securing a quasi official endorsement of the Company for the future, provided the Company should be permitted to go on with its business. The language of the Answer bearing upon the currency of the bills is as follows: —

    “Yet perceving that our bills have not yt currency yt we could wish and understanding yt wise men take these three exceptions against them viz —

    “First ye face of ye bill will not give action to ye poss[ess]ors. 2dly That we make ye morgages to ourselves and hold our own fund. 3ly Yt we may make bills ad infinitum.”

    They therefore pray leave to turn over the mortgages to the Governor and Company in trust, the same to be redeemable on payment in bills or in silver at 10 s or in current currency at the expiration of twelve years, after which possessors were to have three years in which to bring in their bills. Further, it was proposed to set a limit of £50,000 to the amount of bills to be emitted.12

    The Lower House voted to consider this Memorial, but its consideration was declined by the Upper House.

    In my previous communication to the Society, I was unable to give any reason for the amount of public bills (£15,000) which was fixed upon by the Government, to be loaned upon security to the Committee of the Society to aid them in bringing the affairs of the Company to a close. A clue to this may possibly be obtained from the Petition for a revival of the Society, filed 15 February, 1732–3, in which the petitioners say: —

    “In pursuance whereof we emitted about 14 or 15 thousand pound in bills on our creditt.”13

    There is nothing in the published Records of the Colony to indicate the character of the trade in which the Company was engaged. It was the evident design of the representatives of the Company in 1732 to convey the impression to the Assembly that they were strictly a commercial Company and that the emitting of bills was merely an incident of their various beneficial proceedings and not the main purpose of their existence. The several documents to which I have referred contain assertions upon this point which doubtless had some foundation in fact, even if we do not accept the inference as to the purposes of the Society which was evidently intended to be conveyed. A few quotations from these documents will indicate how the bills were applied in the development of trade.

    In the Answer, it is stated that the bills were made use of —

    “in supporting the government thereof as well as ye maintaining ourselves by reason of our selling everything at ye cheapest and buying at ye dearest rate, which came upon us by our trading with Boston, with our provisions, and to Newport with Lumber &c, and having no market amongst ourselves, were obliged to sell just at such prices as they would give, and often lose by it.”

    Again, in the Memorial which forms a part of the Answer, the Company declare: —

    “[we] have given bills or notes on our own credit payable to ye possessors at a certain time and with them have bought provisions vessels staves boards and other manufactures for gaining ye trade afforesaid, and carrying on ye fishery, and not as sum suppose to lend to borrowers, it being contrary to our sincer designe.”

    In the Petition of the Company for a revival of their Charter, they say: —

    “said summs we have disposed of for provisions and in building of ships &c.”

    The foregoing facts relative to this attempt at the creation of trade where, as was stated, there was no market, and the new light thrown upon the purposes of the Company by the Petition for incorporation in 1729, are of sufficient importance to be communicated to this Society as a supplement to the previous paper, which is already in type. After perusing these documents, it cannot be doubted that Governor Talcott, by pricking this bubble so abruptly, conferred a benefit upon all who were interested in the Company.

    A long discussion followed the reading of this paper, in which Messrs. William Watson Goodwin, Henry Williams, Arthur T. Lyman, Robert N. Toppan, and Charles A. Snow participated, the powers of the Charter Governments to create corporations being specially considered by the two last-named gentlemen.

    Mr. John Noble communicated a group of documents relating to four suits of ejectment (1769–1772) pertaining to certain portions of a tract of twelve thousand acres of land in Bristol in the County of Lincoln, in the then District of Maine, which was embraced in the Pemaquid Patent, and spoke as follows: —

    What is now presented, hardly reaches the dignity of a communication. In the course of my work upon, the Suffolk Court Files, the other day, while trying to bring into order some cases seemingly in hopeless confusion, I found some papers which seemed to offer certain points of intrinsic interest aside from the particular issues involved in the cases. They were suits in ejectment brought to try the title to lands held originally under the Pemaquid Patent.14 The papers involve the history of a long period of years, and contain much information concerning the early settlement of the Province of Maine, or of that part of it which fell within the Pemaquid Patent. They bring out the conditions of life in the early times, the habits and occupations of the people, the hardships and vicissitudes of the first settlers, the harassing by the Indians, the social and political conditions then prevailing, and many a bit of private and personal history. They illustrate how much beside disputed rights may be wrapped up in the pleadings and proceedings of a law-suit. There is, too, a certain legal interest in them as showing forms and methods in vogue at a given time, and the stages in the development of legal and judicial practice.

    There are more than two hundred and fifty papers, in all, originals and copies, some similar, some identical. There is the Patent; there are letters of instruction, deeds, wills, certificates of births, marriages and deaths, numerous depositions, and, of course, the pleadings, records, verdicts, bills of costs, etc. The Pemaquid Patent and a few of the papers are already in print;15 the deeds and wills are mostly on the appropriate records; the depositions are fresh from their slumber of a century and a quarter. For want of space and time only a very few of the papers can be used here, and these will be taken from the several cases indiscriminately, inasmuch as the papers were mixed at the trial of the suits together, and never restored to their respective cases, — a confusion explained in part by a memorandum among them signed by the Clerk, Nathaniel Hatch: —

    “These papers are taken out of the cases, they were filed in, in order to be presented to the Court for their allowance.”

    The suits, four in number, were brought by Thomas Bodkin16 of Boston, in the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, in 1768, against four yeomen of Bristol, in the Province of Maine, and decided in favor of the Demandant. They were then carried by appeal to the Superiour Court of Judicature,17 where the Appellants, the original defendants, prevailed. They relate to different portions of a tract of 12,000 acres, in Bristol, in the County of Lincoln. Nicholas Davison and Richard Russell,18 both of Charlestown, Massachusetts, were early proprietors of one half of it.

    The following is the Record of one of the cases in the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, and that of another in the Superiour Court of Judicature: —


    Lincoln ss. Anno Regni Regis Georgii Tertii, Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ et Hiberniæ, &c. nono —

    At his Majesty’s Inferior Court of common pleas held at Pownalborough, within and for the County of Lincoln on the last Tuesday of September being the 26th. day of said Month, Annoqe. Domini 1769 —

    Thomas Bodkin of Boston in the County of Suffolk Chocolate Grinder, plt vs James Yeates of Bristol, in the County of Lincoln, Yeoman, Deft. in a plea of Ejectment wherein he demands against the said James the Possession of [19 one] third Part of a [20 certain] Tract of Land lying in said Bristol, the whole whereof contains about three thousand acres, and is bounded Southwesterly by Pan-cake hill, so called, Northeasterly by a place called Bare-Tree, adjoining to Land formerly of Richard Peirce deceased; Northwesterly by Pemaquid fresh River, so called, Southeasterly by a River or Brook over against Muscongus Island, including also the dry Pond Meadows thereto adjoining; which said third part of the Same Tract, together with the said dry pond Meadows, the said Thomas holds in common and undived with Nathaniel Little & Hezekiah Eggleston, Tenants in common of the other two third Parts thereof; and whereupon he saith, that on the Tenth day of October, A. D. 1739. in Time of peace, in the Reign of King George the Second, he was seized of the demanded premisses in his Demesne as of fee, taking the Explees thereof of the yearly value of Ten pounds by the year; yet the said James hath since, viz. within thirty years last past, entered into the same, ejected and disseized the said Thomas, and still unjustly holds him out of the same. To the damage of the said Thomas, as he saith, the Sum of two hundred pounds. This Case was commenced at September Term 1768, and continued to June Term last, for the Deft to notify & vouch in the Pemaquid Proprietors; and from thence was continued to this Term. And at this Term the said James, by David Sewall Esqr. his Attorney, on the plts. agreeing that he may waive this plea & give any other Answer to the Declaration aforesaid, at the Superior Court, for plea says, he never was requested to pay the Money, and thereof puts himself on the Country. And the said Thomas agreeing to said Liberty says the plea of the said James made in Manner and form aforesaid, is no legal answer to the plts. Declaration aforesaid, and this he is ready to verify; wherefore he prays Judgment for possession of the premisses demanded & Costs. And the said James replys that his plea to issue aforesaid is good, and a legal answer to the Declaration aforesd., and because the said Thomas refuses to join the issue tender’d, prays Judgment for Costs. All which being fully heard and understood by the Court, they are of opinion that the Defts. plea to issue aforesd. is bad & no legal Answer to the plts. Declaration aforesaid. It is therefore Considered by said Court that the plt recover against the Deft Possession of the premisses demanded and Costs. The Defent appealed from this Judgment to the next Supr. Court of Judicature &c. to be holden at Falmouth, in the County of Cumberland, and for the Counties of Cumberland & Lincoln aforesaid, and entered into Recognizance, with Sureties as the Law directs, for prosecuting his Appeal with Effect.

    A true Copy as appears of Record,

    Examin’d by JonA. Bowman Cler



    Bodkin vs. Yeates



    At his Majestys superiour Court of Judicature, Court of Assize, & General Goal Delivery, begun & held at Falmouth in the County of Cumberland for the Countys of Cumberland & Lincoln, on the tuesday next following the fourth tuesday of June (being the 2d. day of July) Annoque Domini 1771.

    John Randal of Bristol in the County of Lincoln yeoman appellant vs. Thomas Bodkin of Boston in the County of Suffolk Chocolate Grinder appellee, from the Judgment of an Inferiour Court of Common pleas held at Pownalborough in & for the County of Lincoln on the first tuesday of June A. D. 1769, when & where the appellee was Plt. and the appellant was Deft. In a plea of Ejectment wherein he demands against the said John possession of one undivided third part of a certain tract of land lying in said Bristol the whole whereof Contains about three thousand acres & is bounded Southwesterly by Pancake Hill so called Northeasterly by a place called Bare tree adjoining to land formerly of Richard Peirce deceased Northwesterly by Pemaquid fresh river so called southeasterly by a River over against Muscongus Island including also one undivided third part of the dry pond meadows thereto adjoining whereupon he saith that in time of Peace in the Reign of King George the Second within thirty years last past he was seized of the demanded premises in his demesne as of fee taking the explees thereof to the yearly Value of ten pounds by the year yet the said John hath since Vizt. within thirty years last past Enter’d into the same Ejected & disseized the said Thomas & still unjustly holds him out of the same To the Damage of the said Thomas as he saith the sum of two hundred pounds. At which said Inferiour Court Judgment was rendred that the Plt. recover against the Deft. the lands sued for & Costs: This Appeal was brot’ forward at the Superiour Court of Judicature Court of Assize & General Goal Delivery held at Falmouth in the County of Cumberland & for the Countys of Cumberland & Lincoln on the fourth tuesday of June A. D. 1769, & from thence sd: Appeal was Continued from term to term unto this time by Consent The parties now appear’d & the Case after a full hearing was Committed to a Jury sworn according to Law to try the same who return’d their Verdict therein upon oath that is to say they find the said John not Guilty, It’s Therefore Considered by the Court that the said John recover against the said Thomas costs taxed at £38:15: 4.

    Exc͠on issd 8 June 1772

    This Judgment is satisfied as appears by Drowne’s receipt endorsed on the Execution on file.22

    There are also copies of the Pemaquid Patent: —

    The “Indenture made the Nine & Twentieth Day of February Anno Domini 1631, and in the Seventh year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord Charles, by the Grace of God King of England, etc . . . . Between the President, and Council of New England on the One Part, and Robert Aldworth,23 and Gyles Elbridge24 of the City of Bristol, Merchants on the other Part” sets out the “Letters Patent, and Royal Grant . . . bearing Date the third Day of November in the Eighteenth Year of His Reign” made by “our Sovereign Lord King James of famous Memory” “to the said President and Council and their Successors forever” of “All the Land of New England in America, lying, and being from Forty to Forty Eight Degrees of Northerly Latitude, and in Length by all that Breadth aforesaid from Sea to Sea.” It grants to Aldworth and Elbridge in consideration that they “transport at their own Cost, and Charges, divers persons into New England, and thereto Erect and build a Town, and settle divers Inhabitants, for their own safety, better Assurance & Advancement of the General Plantation of that Country, and for the Furtherance of the said Plantation, and Encouragement of the said Undertakers,” “One hundred severall acres of Ground in New England for every person transported or to be transported, within the Space of seven years next ensuing, that shall abide and Continue there three years, either at one or severall Times, or die in the mean season, after he or they are shipped with an Intent there to Inhabit” with certain exclusive rights and privileges set out. It further grants over and above the one hundred acre allotments and adjoining them, twelve thousand acres, to be taken and laid out near the river Pemaquid, with certain Islands and Islets.

    A rent is fixed at “One Fifth part of all the Gold and Silver oar, to be found or had in, and on the Premises, or any part thereof” to be paid the King and one fifth part to President and Council; and also to the latter a rent of two shillings “for every hundred acres of Arable Lands so obtained,” “The first payment to begin after the Expiration of the first seven years next after the date.” The right is given “freely to truck, Trade and Trafick in all lawfull Commodities, with the Salvages in any part of New England or Neighbouring thereabouts; at their Wills and Pleasures, without Lett or disturbance, as also to have Liberty to hunt, hawk, fish, or fowle, in any place or places, whatsoever, now, or hereafter by any English inhabited.” It is covenanted “that their Tenants or servants shall not taken from their own Employments by any Governour, or other there to be Established, but only for the publick Defence of those Countrys or Suppression of Rebellions Riots, or Routs or other unlawful Assemblys.” It is also covenanted that “upon lawfull Survey to be had and made at the Charge of the said Undertakers and planters, and lawfull Information given of the bounds, meets and Quantity of the Land so as aforesaid to be by them Chosen and possessed . . . upon surrender of this present Grant and Inheritance, and upon Reasonable request . . . within seven years next coming,” the President and Council will by deed “grant, enfeoff and Confirm all and every of the said Lands set out and bounded” to the two Bristol Merchants “and such as Contract with them,” “in as large and beneficiall Manner,” as they were granted in the Patent, and “at any Time within the said Term of seven years, upon request . . . Grant unto them . . . Letters and Grants of Incorporation, by some usuall fit name and Title, with Liberty to them and their successors from Time to Time to make orders, Laws, Ordinances, and Constructions, for the rule, Government, ordering & directing of all persons to be transported and settled upon the Lands,” and in the meantime until such grant, that it shall be lawful for them “from Time to Time, to establish such Laws, & Ordinances as are for the better Government of the said persons so transported, and the same by such Officer or Officers, as they shall by most Voices elect and Choose to put in Execution.” Certain war-powers of considerable extent are given to be employed against “all such person or persons their Ships and Goods as without the Special Licence of the said President and Council and their Successors or the great part of them shall attempt to inhabit or trade with any of the Savage People of that Country, within the severall Precincts or Limits of their said Plantation; or shall enterprize or attempt at any Time hereafter Destruction Invasion or Annoyance to the sd Plantation.” — There is also a provision against any alienation of the premises to any “foreign Nations or to any Person or persons whatsoever without the Licence, Consent and Agreement of the said President and Council and their Successors and Assigns, except it be to their own Tenants,” on pain of forfeiture; and a provision for the delivery of seizin and possession to the grantees in said Patent.

    The instrument is executed by “R. Warwick” and “Ferd: Gorge.,” and witnessed and sealed. There is a memorandum endorsed of the delivery of possession by Walter Neale, named in the instrument, to Abrm Shurte, to the use of the grantees, dated 27th May A D 1633.

    Taking the four cases together the several pleadings have been pretty fully preserved and show the procedure in such suits at that time under the Provincial government.

    The plea25 in one case (Bodkin v. Bayley) is as follows: —

    And the said James comes and defends when & where &c. and as to Fifty acres part of the premises demanded bounding . . . he is not Guilty and thereof puts himself on the Country.

    By David Sewall

    And the Plt. likewise . . .

    Theophilus Bradbury

    And as to the residue of the Premises demanded in the declaration aforesaid the said James says the sd. Thomas his Action aforesaid against him in form aforesaid ought not to have and maintain because the said James saith that at the Time of the purchase & Service of the writ aforesd. he had no right Title or Possession therein & this he is ready to verify, wherefore the sd. James prays Judgment if the sd. Thomas his Action aforesaid in form aforesaid for the said residue of the premises demanded shall any further have and maintain.

    By David Sewall

    And the said Thomas reply’s that by any Thing above in pleading alleged he ought not to be precluded from having and maintaining his action of or in form aforesaid for the residue of the sd. demanded premises Because he says that at The Time of the purchase & service of the writ aforesaid the said James was in the actual possession of the sd. residue of the primises demanded and this the sd. Thomas prays may be Enquir’d of by the Country.

    David Wyer

    And the sd. James likewise . . . .

    David Sewall

    The within is a true Copy

    Examin’d by JonA Bowman, Cler26

    That in Bodkin v. Randall is similar; that in Bodkin v. Yeates slightly different, in some respects; and in the remaining case the plea and the tendering of the issues appear on the back of the writ, after the officer’s return, as follows: —

    Lincoln ss. July 5th. 1768. By virtue of this Writ I have attached a Table, being being all the Estate that I could find belonging to the within named Simon Eliot, and left a summons at his house agreable to Law.

    Fees 7/8.

    ThoS. Boyd Deputy Sheriffe

    And the said Simon comes and defends when, where &c, and on the plts agreeing that he may waive this plea & give any other answer to the declaration aforesd. at the Supr. Court, says he has a good horse of the value of Ten pounds, and thereof puts himself on the Country.

    D. Sewall.

    And the said Thomas agreeing to said Liberty, for Reply says, the said Simon’s plea, pleaded in manner aforesaid, is no legal answer to the Declaration aforesaid, and this he is ready to verify; for want of proper answer in that Behalf he prays Judgment for Possession of the Premisses demanded & for Costs.

    TheophS Bradbury

    And the said Simon replys that his Plea to issue aforesaid is good, and a legal answer to the declaration aforesaid, and because the said Thomas refuses to join the Issue aforesd he prays Judgment for his Costs.

    Thomas Bodkin by his Attorney Joseph Henshaw.27

    D. Sewall.

    There are numerous copies of deeds, in the long chain of title, mesne conveyances from the time of the original first grantees, running down for more than a hundred years. Among them is a copy of a deed or fragment thereof, executed by the famous Captain Somerset28 in 1653, which, with the various endorsements thereon, runs as follows: —

    The Condition of This Obligation is such that The within named Richard Fulfert may well and peaceably, have, hold Enjoy and possess from the date hereof to him & his Heirs and Assigns forever All and singular those Lands begining at the place called the passage Point and from thence alongst the shoar to the place called Heggomeito and so Two miles into the Country in Length which late were the Lands of Capt. Summersetts and the said capt. Summersett hath granted by this Deed of Gift to the aforesaid Richard Fulfort made under his hand & Seal to possess it without any Molestation either of English or Indians. — — Sealed & Delivered in the presence of us in the Year of our Lord 1653 This first day of June.

    The mark of CapT. Somersett


    Phillip Swaddan

    Thomas Cole

    B The mark of John Brown

    The mark of John Hayman

    Richard Pearse.

    Octo. the 7th. 1728 A True Copy of The Origl. Examd.

    By Jos Moody Regr.

    A True Copy from York County Records of Deeds &c Libo 12. Folio 323.

    Att DanL; Moulton Regr.

    A true Copy Examin’d by JonA. Bowman Cler

    Witness These Presents that I Richard Fulford do hereby give and make over unto Humphrey Horrell all my Right Interest and Title of This in Written Deed unto said Humphrey Horrell and his Heirs forever. As Witness my Hand the 21st of Octor. 1667

    Richard R Fulford his mark

    Witness John B Brown his mark

    Alexander Gou[ld]

    This Claim entered with the Eastern Claims at the request of Samuel Sturtevant Claimer for the Heirs of Humphry Horrell page 95

    By Samuel Phipps Clerk of the Comtee:

    Octor. ye 7th 1728 A True Copy of the Origl. Examd

    ꝑ Jos: Moody Regr

    This Assignment I apprehend was an Endorsemt. on the Foregoing deed Tho’ they were Seperate when this Came to my Hand.

    Jos. Moody Regr

    A True Copy from York County Records of Deeds &c Libo 12. Folo 323.

    Attest DanL. Moulton Regr.

    A true Copy Examin’d by JonA. Bowman Cler


    Somersetts(5) Deed to Fulford & Assignmt, to Horrell29

    There is a Power of Attorney30 from Habijah Savage, Esq., and other Proprietors of Pemaquid lands to Shem Drowne31 in 1735, and several conveyances thereafter from Drowne, “tin plate worker,” “as well in his own behalf as Attorney to Habijah Savage, Esq.,” and others, among them one to James Bailey in 1738. The deeds are full of names of places and designations of localities, some the original Indian names, especially in the case of islands and rivers, in curious vagaries of spelling but with phonetic similarity, and some the uncouth but significant appellations affixed by the early owners.

    Among the papers is an original lease, made in 1742, curious in itself but more curious and suggestive in the chirography of the faded manuscript; and in the same year a somewhat unique bill of sale, likewise an original and a holograph: —


    Know all men by these presens that I heough Boyd of pemequed fermor doth bind and oblige myself under the penelty sum of one hundred pound Curant money of new ingland to thomas bodkin of marbel head bruer to deliver up to said bodkin stoke to the veleou of what stoke he delivers to me when I move off his farm Except what is dead or kiled by axedent and to deliver him up pesable posesion of said ferm at the end of the terme and to give him one half of all the ingles grain I rese Evrey year Except what I rese on old putatou ground or turnip yeards and to give him an half of all the incrise of the Catle and the yung Catle to be devided evry three years and to give him one half of all the buter and Chese yearly

    sined seled in presens of us this nintenth day of march one thousand seven hundred and forty two 1742

    John Mc. Kown

    Hugh Boyd32

    Ann Mcc. knn


    Round pon[d] March the 29th 1742.

    Know all men by thes presenss these that I John Morrell of a places called Round pon in the countey of York in the provenes of the masschuesetts bay in new england do for and in considderrason of A Sarten som of monny contaning one hundered pound to me in hand: pade by thorns bodken of maruel had bruer do: Sel to sad bodken my two oxen and two cows and all my husbandsarey tuls exsepting my worken tuls with all my ri an pasnaps & all my Right titel in Round pon excepte in Lums and gears and housel goods and Colt and now will put my good on bood if there baney boddy to tek them and give a Reset for them to deleuer them at mr tretherslys Shipreaue.

    Witnes Presant

    John Morrell33

    William Burns.

    A rather full account of various settlements and the existing conditions at the dates specified appears in an —

    Extract of a Letter of Instructions to the(1) Agent Dated Octor. 1717 —

    March 30th. 1629.

    John Beuhump and Thomas Leverett have granted them by the Council of Plymouth all the Lands between Misconcus and Penobscott Rivers and Ten Leagues into the lands Febry. 29th. 1631. Robert Aldworth and Gyles Elbridge of Bristol are granted 12000 acres and all Islands within three Leagues and 100 acres to every passenger at or near Pemaquid — There are sundry other grants made by the Council of Plimouth to sundry persons, by vertue of these patents it was that the Country was settled: They also purchased their lands of the Indians and Recorded their deeds by Walter Phillips Recorder at Pemaquid, In the Generall in May 1671 it is left to captn: Thomas Clark to lay out the east line of the Massachusetts Colony, The return was made 15th May 1672. by Mr George Mountjoy. That line to be in about 1 3/4 mile above new damariscove in Casco bay and a little above Captn: Paddishalls in Kennebeck alias Sagadahock River, Cape Norwagan, Damariscove, Monhegan Montenicus, and Mountenick part of Pemaquid and most of St. Georges Island and so run into the sea Boston March 7th 1673. —

    Present John Leverett Govr. Saml. Simons Dept. Govr. Richard Russell, Thomas Danforth, Edward Tyng and Thomas Clark Esqrs. appointed Constables for Kennebeck, Cape Norwagan, Damariscove, & Pemaquid. —

    March 1701

    Capt. Sylvanus Davis gives this Acctt: of the severall english settlements that he hath known to be formerly at and to the Eastward of Kennebeck or Sagadahoc along the sea Coast to Montenicus sundry English fishing places some 70. & some 40 years since. —

    At Sagadahock many Families & 10 Boats sometimes more.

    At Cape Norwagan many Families & 15 boats —

    At Hypocris Islands

    2 Boats

    At Damaris Cove


    At two Bacon Gutt

    At Holmes Island

    At Pemaquid


    At New harbour


    At Monhegan near


    At St. Georges. Fishers

    At Montenicus Island


    Farmers Eastward

    At and Near Sagadahock


    East side of Sagadahock to merry meeting


    From Cape Nawagan to Pemaquid 6 farmers

    At Pemaquid


    At New harbour


    At St. Georges West side mr. Foxwell

    At Saquid point 60 years agone

    On the east side of Qisquamego,

    Phillip Swaden fifty years agoe

    besides Fishermen 60 or 70 years

    84 within land

    Between Kennebeck and Georges River


    At Sheepscot Town besides Farms


    Between Sheepscott & Damarias Cotta River


    At Damariscotta

    7 or 8

    Between Damariscotta Misconcus & Pemaquid and Roundpond


    91 Families

    Many more had begun to settle many taken lotts with intent speedily to settle but were disappointed By the Warr, besides the great Improvments, Houses Mills Stores, Maulting, building ships & Vessells, the Inhabitants daily increasing, Monhegan Island was sold by Mr. Innings34 of Plimouth to Alderman Aldworth and Mr. Gyles Elbridge March Anno 1626, & improved ever since till the Warr, in 1688. Pemaquid 12000 Acres bounded from the head of Damariscotta river to the head of Misconcus River, thence to the sea with all Islands within three leagues, in the same grant 100 [35 acres] to every passenger and 50 Acres to every person [36 born] there within seven years amounts to about 80 persons granted by the Council of Plimouth to Alderman Aldworth and sd. Elbridge 1629 and possession given by their Attorney Capt. Walter Neale of 12000 Acres

    from Sagadahock to Pemaquid is

    From Pemaquid to st. Georges River is

    From Pemaquid to Monhegan Island

    Leveretts Pattent is [37 from] misconcus to Penobscott river 10 Leagues into the Land, a Copy taken from Commission, from the Governor and Council Book No. 5.

    Memo. That the afore mentioned Silvanus Davis was by the Charter appointed first Counsellor for those Lands to the Eastward of Sagadahock & was a Dweller at and well acquainted with those parts.

    Copy from the same Book

    Examd. By J. Willard Sẽcry.

    A True Copy examin’d By Nat Hatch Cler

    A true Copy Examin’d by JonA Bowman Cler


    Extract from(22) the Council Book


    Bodkin vs. Randal

    [F]almo. July 1771 Randall vs.


    There is a very large number of depositions. Such papers have always a peculiar value and interest, inasmuch as, besides the main fact or facts testified to, they often contain so much collateral and incidental information, — graphic pictures of various happenings, glimpses of conditions of life and its surroundings, domestic details of little moment perhaps at the time but full of suggestion to the historian, snatches of family history, names and ages of persons, which genealogists may have long sought in vain, and all sorts of contributions, minute and authentic, made by contemporaries, to the knowledge of later generations. This is peculiarly the case where they were taken, not as in modern times by specific questions and answers, but rather in the form of affidavits, monologues written out in the handwriting of the deponent with all the idiosyncrasies of thought and expression to be expected under such circumstances, or set down by the magistrate as the unbroken narrative fell from the lips of the affiant. In a few instances here, questions seem to have been put at the close, where the testimony as given did not fully cover the points desired, and the attention of some aged or feeble witness had to be stimulated and directed. Most of the depositions in these cases were taken to be used directly at the trials, and mainly bearing upon the question of occupancy and possession at certain times, though there are some taken in perpetuam memoriam. Although all have much interest in one way or another, time and space will allow the use of only a few. Some of these present many points of historical value and interest.


    The Deposition of Patrick Rogers of Bristol in the County of Lincoln Gentleman Aged Sixty one years Testifieth and saith that he this Deponent Lived in george Town in the County of York in the year Seventeen Hundred twenty or Twenty one at which time the Deponent says thare was not one House that he Knew off between Geord Town & Annopolis Royal (except one on Damariscove an Island to make Fish on, till the time St georges Fort was built when Colo Thomas Westbrook was Commander of the Province Troops there — that the Deponent five or six years after the Date above was in the fishing Business and well acquainted with the harbours of Pemaquid, and others as far East as mount Desert about the year 1729 or Thirty the Deponent Knew one James Baily who lived at the South West part of a place called Round pond his house was Built near the Shore and Continued there about Nine or ten Years and Inclosed a field theireon and the Deponent at that time knew Capt. Thos: Henderson who Lived on a point of Land to the Southward of Bailys house joining there and on the Notherly side of a Small Brook near to where Baily lived now Improved by John Randell, and About the Begining of the Spanish war the Said James Baily moved his family from Round pond to the westwaird & Returned Thare about four years ago and Built a house on his former Old Field near whare he formarly Dwelt. The Deponent never Knew of any place called Pancake hill till of Late years nor of a place at all Called Passage Point nor of Bear tree nor of a place called dry pond madow and that he never Knew of any parson Disturbing said Baily in his Possession. The Deponent knows Simon Eliot he lived at Round pond about twelve years last past & James Yats has lived at Round pond from year 1742 to this Day Except the time when he went to the Seige of Louisborg and Returned in a Boat About three or four years after the Deponent never Heard that the Sd Yats was Ever disturbed in his Possession till the year 1768 when one Thos: Bodkin brought an Action of Ejectment against him for his Land Furthermore the Deponent Knows that about the year 1733 There was many Inhabitants settled at that time near Pemaquid & about the year 1735 said Settlers settled under the Pemaquid Company to the number of forty famalys or more and hold Their Lands to this Day by their patent Right. The Distance Between Pemaquid fort and round pound is about Six or Seven milles north Easterly from Pemaquid The Inhabitants living thare levid under the Pemaquid patent right I with Alexr. Nickels Esqr. was Chosen to Set the price of a Lott of Land there which James Yats purchased of Capt. Arthur Savage about 300 ackers as I Remember & this Deponent Forther Saith that about the year 1736 or 1737 Mr Shim Drowne as agant to the pemaquid Properitors Imployd John North to take a Survay of Sd. patint Claim & the Survay along the out Line of Sd Claim Some of them loged at my house one night & this Deponent forther Saith That many of the Inhabitants with him Self meet With Sd. Shim Drowne at Pemaquid Fort Some years before the Sd. Survay when and thare the patent was Read on which The People was Jenerly Satisfied that the title was good and as Coll. Dunbar Sigenfied on his Removal that the Lands there Abotous was privat Porparty & that the King Removed Sd. Dunbar for that rason the Inhabitants generaly took thare Lotts of Land under Sd. Drowne as agant for Said Propritors Which was about forty or more famalies and this Deponant Forther Saith that he Purchased two Lotts of Land in Said Claim of two of the Settelers which Said Drowne Had Given Land to & many of the Inhabitants with my Self took a Lease of Said Drowne for the fresh meadows and that he never knew of any of the Inhabitents Said Drowne had settled being Disturbed by any Claimer whatsoever any where from Pemaquid to what is Now Called or known by the name of muscongus untill the year 1768 one Thos. Bodkin Sued Sevral of the old Settlers at Round pond which have taken thare Lots under the Pemaquid Properitors Some by Leas & Some by purches as the Inhabatents thare told This Deponent forthar this Deponent saith that Round Pond is Frunting Estardly on a Large Bay this Deponent Saith that James Morton William Burns & many others Leving Some mills to the Northward of Round pond hold Their Lands. under the Said Pemaquid Properitors.

    Patreck Rodgers.

    Lincoln ss. Bristol, deposition taken June 22, 1769. before AbrM. Preble Justice of Peace.39


    Gorge Caldwell of Bristol Aged about 72 years Testifieth & Saith that when Colln. Dunbar removed from Pemaquid which was Generally Said to be By Ordrs from England Then Shem Drown of Boston Came Down to Pemaquid Fort & notified the inhabitants whome Collo. Dunbar had Setled to Attend on which Said Drowne had a Patent for Those Lands (to Aldsworth & Elbridge) Read & Said that he Came down with a Power of Attorney from a Number of Other Propritors who with himself owned Said Lands and Said Drowne Gave Lands to many of The inhabitants of Walpole Harrington Pemaquid and round Pound and offerd the Same to all that he found there in Those parts James Bailey being one of them who Livs Now at Round Pond to whom the Said Drowne gave Land at Round pond Some of the inhabitants went away to Other Parts and to many of the inhabitants to whom the Said Collo. Dunbar Gave but forty Acres the Said Drowne for the further Encouragement of the Settlement, Gave Eighty Acres Furthermore this Deponent Saith that Capt. John North Run out the Said Patent many years ago for the Said Drowne from Oyster Creek at the head Damorscottey River so far as the Salt water flows round to the head of Muscongus River to medomock falls so far as the Salt water flows there, he the Said Drownd Being then Present This Deponent together with Alexander Arskins Capt. William Loud Joseph Johnson and John Parbush was Ascisting Said North The Surveyor in Runing out the whole Tract nor was there any Person That Clamied any of Said Lands at that Time that This Deponent Saw or heard of and further Saith Not.

    Gorgs Coldwell


    William Fossett, JunR.

    Lincoln ss. Bristol, deposition taken 4 June 1770. before AlexR. Nickels Justice of Peace40


    The Deposition of Alexander Erskine of Bristol in the County of Lincoln. Aged about forty Six years, Testifieth and Saith, that about Twenty two years ago, This Deponent who then Lived at Boston, came down, to Pemaquid with Shem Drowne of Sd Boston, who was then Agent, for the pemaquid Proprietors, with a Quantity of Stores, which this Deponent had the care off Sd Drowne then took his Lodgings at the Fort there, and by Boat Visited the Inhabitants with this Deponent, who the Said Drowne Hired to attend him, in Company with John North, Liet Rodger[s], George Callwell, Robert Paul, Nathaniel Bull Jun, John Furbush (To whom he allowed as Wages, Thirty Shillings (Old Tenor) pr Day) from Madomock falls, Down Round Pemaquid point, and up Damaris Cotta River, up Near to Damaris Cotta falls & Settled there Eight or nine families, with farms, Some of which were New Comers Giving them an Hundred acres of Land Each, and Said he would take no man’s Settlement from him, and Accomodated the old Inhabitants (with the Improved) Land, as far as that held out and Gave other Lands to all the Inhabitants that he found there Settled under Collo Dunbar, that Chose to Tarry. Sd. Farms being at this Day of Considerable value, Furthermore this Deponent well Remembers, that the Sd. Drowne, at the above time, Refused to take the Sum of One Thousand pounds (Old Tenor) for a piece of Land, adjoining pemaquid falls, Telling the person that offered it in this Deponents hearing, that the fishery there should be free for all the Inhabitants, and this Deponent Saith, that the Inhabitants were Generally Satisfied with Sd. Drown’s Right & Transactions, and further saith not.

    Alexander Erskin[e]


    Georg Yeates

    Lincoln ss. Bristol June ye 14th: 177041


    Thomas Killpatrick of St Gorges aged about 70 years Testefieth & Saith that he formerly Lived at Harrington at or Near Pamaquid and well Remembers that then Shem Drowne of Boston Came Down to Pemaquid Fort as agent with a power of attorny From a number of Persons from Whome he Claimed all those Lands this was about Thirty five years ago on Collo. Dumbars quitting his Settling these parts Said Drown Calling the Inhabitants together & by Reeding Publickly as Patient there of offerd the Inhabitants to Resettle them many of whome Did Stay and accept his offer but this Deponent With his Family Removed to St Gorges and that then this Deponent Never Knew Nor heard of any opposition That the Said Drowne met With in the Settlement of Said Lands

    Tho Killpatrick

    Lincoln ss

    St Georges June ye 2d 177042

    Some of these depositions bring out vividly the trials and tribulations of the early settlers.


    Mary Cowell “aged about 64 years,” in her deposition taken in 1768, “testifies & says that about Fifty years ago she this Deponent lived at a place called Muscongus at the Eastward about seven or eight years . . . that in the summer season this Deponent with . . . and their Familys used to go over to Monhegan Island for fear of the Indians and return back again in the Fall.” . . .

    John Pearce “aged about 74” tells how “about the year of our Lord 1722 the Indian War breaking out at the Eastward, this Deponent went with a Vessell and a Number of People to the Eastward and Brought from thence his Father Richard Peirce and Family from a place called Muscongus.”

    Many others refer to the Indian troubles. One is somewhat graphic and pathetic in its story: —


    Naomi Annis of St Georges Aged about Sixty or Seventy Years according to the best of her Remembrance Testifieth and saith that about One Year after the three Year War So called with the Indians — This Deponant with her late Husband Samuel Annis went to live at a Place called round Pond on Muscongue Bay in the County of Lincoln, and there they continued three Years and then moved off for Fear of the Indians to Monhegon Island. And moved off and on for the Space of One Year. And after two Years more the moved off to Monhegan Island. Again for about a Month for Fear of the Said Indians, and then Returned to said Round Pond and continued there for the Space of Three or four Years, and then moved to St. Georges for Fear of the Indians for about the Space of Two Months. And then returned to round Pond, and there continued Three or Four Years, and then they moved off and returned there no more. The House that this Deponants Husband built and dwellt in, was to the North side of round Pond. This Deponant saith, her Memory has failed her for some Years past: And that the above is according to the best of her Remembrance, for that She would not say any Thing amiss. And further saith not.

    Naomi Annis


    AbrM Preble

    Julius Hartken

    Lincoln Sc. Medunkook June 22d. 1769.

    The above namd. Naomi Annis of St. Georges in the County of Lincoln aforesaid being more than Thirty Miles distant from Falmouth in the County of Cumberland, the place where the Case is to be tryed, in which the above deposition is to be used. Personally appeared, and and after having been duly examin’d, and caution’d to Testify the whole Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the above written deposition by him Subscribd the adverse party namely Thomas Bodkin living at Boston more than twenty Miles from the place of Caption was not notified nor present, This deposition is taken to be used in an Action of Ejectment to be heard and try’d at the Superior Court of judicature to be holden at Falmouth in the County of Cumberland [43 in the County] aforesaid, for the Countys of Cumberland & Lincoln on the fourth Tuesday of June instant — Wherein John Randall of Round pond in the Township of Bristol aforesaid is appellant and the said Thomas Bodkin is appelle, taken at the request of John Randall the appellant Before me

    AbrM Preble Justice of ye Peace


    Naomy Annis44

    There is another deposition by the same person, bearing mainly upon the possession and occupancy of certain lands. Her testimony would seem to have been regarded as of great importance on these questions from the attacks made upon her credibility and competency in other depositions. This is somewhat offset by that of the magistrate. The attack seems to have been directed mainly against the latter deposition, and may not materially affect the historical value of the first, which contains so much likely to linger in the memory of age. At any rate her story seems worth giving: —


    Naomi Annis aged about Eighty Years testifieth and saith that about the Year One Thousand seven hundred and fifteen, this deponent with her late Husband Samuel Annis late of a place called St. Georges deccd. were sent by Samuel Martin to live at a place Called Round Pond in the Eastern part of this Province, That while this Deponent lived there, the Family of the Pierces lived at Muscongus, That this Deponent with her said Husband lived at Round Pond severall years till they were driven away by the Indians. That some short Time before this Deponent and her said Husband left Round Pond Mr. Pierces Son Came with a Vessell and Carried away his Father and Family from Muscongus That the Lands at Round pond &c. was always reputed to belong to Francis Fulford and Samuel Martins Wife while she knew it, neither did she in that Time ever hear of any other Claimers to said Lands, & further saith not

    Naomi Annis

    Lincoln ss. St. Georges, dep. taken 2 Sept. 1768, before David Fales

    Justc Pacis.45

    Here is what Mrs. Annis’s son-in-law has to say: —


    Zachariah Davis of a place Called Meduncook aged forty-two years Testifyeth and Saith that he well knows Mrs Naomi Annis of St Georges and he this deponent having Married ye Daughter of ye Afore sd Annis about Eight Years Ago and Whose wife is Stil living & an Intimacy and harmony Subsisting between the deponants family & his mother in law, this Deponent is fully perswaded in his own mind by ye Acquiantance he hath with his Mother in Law that She ye sd Naomi Annis is not At this present time nor has been for some years past Capable of Recollecting her Self, Owing to ye Great failure of her memory which Scarce Serves her for Two days To gether, And further Saith not.

    Zechariaih Davis


    AbrM. Preble

    Julius Hartken

    Lincoln ss. Meduncock, deposition taken June 21. 1769. before AbrM. Preble Justice of ye Peace.46


    To the same effect is the deposition of John Brasher, — that she —

    “has not been in a Capacity for these twelve years to recollect herself so as any Confidence may be placed in her Testimony or Relation;” and that of John Mclntyer who “hath known her for Thirty years Past and allways Did look upon her to be so Ignorant as not to be Capable of giving Her Testamony or Taking an oath, & farder sayeth Not.”

    The same opinion appears incidentally in one or more others: —


    David Fales of Lawful Age Testifieth and Saith, That he being applied to as a Justice of the Peace to take Depositions of Naomi Annis to be used in Sundry Causes wherein Thomas Bodkin is Plaintiff against James Yeates, James Bailey, John Randal and Simon Elliot severally in the Several Causes Defendants to be tried at the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas held at Pownalborough on the last Tuesday of September Anno Domini 1768. That some time in the said year 1768, This Deponent attended, that Service, and from the Conversation then had with, and a careful Examination of the said Naomi Annis, and from former Conversations and Examinations of the said Naomi upon the same Subject, I adjudged her to be of sufficient Capasity of Mind to give her Testimony in the said Causes. And further saith not.

    David Fales

    Lincoln ss. Sept. 28, 1769 deposition taken before Thos. Rice Just. ad pacem.47


    Hugh Boyd aged about sixty two years Testifies and says that about Twenty Six years ago he went to live at Round pond. That he took one of Thomas Bodkins Farms there at the halves, where he lived about three years and was then Oblig’d to Quit that place, and go into Pemaquid Fort, On Account of the Indian war breaking out, that about the Time he went to live at Round pond John Morrell & Nathaniel Bull lived there, Nathaniel Bull lived the next farm to the southward of this Deponents and Morrell lived at the Northerly Part of the Pond, about that Time sd Morrell sold his Stock and Improvements to sd. Bodkin and went off: That this Deponent does not remember that any body but sd. Bodkin claim’d the land at Round pond, While the Deponent Knew the place. This Deponent Further Testifies that The Farm in which he lived was Called the Old Farm and that said Bull and Morrell were the only people then living at round pond Except the Deponent & his Family, That This Deponent lived about Three years in Pemaquid Fort before he Came to the Westward, This Deponent further Testifies that sd. Bull was an other of Bodkins Tenants, and was some years after Killed with a Number of Other people, by the Indians at Pemaquid Falls, and that the Deponent helped to bury the Bodies.

    Hugh Boyd

    Suffolk ss. Wrentham Aug. 6, 1768 deposition taken before Ebenezer Fisher, Justice Peace.48

    Among the early settlers the interests of religion and education seem not to have been lost sight of: —


    “John Ulmer of a place called Broadbay,” in 1770, testifies that seven years before some forty or forty-five families, largely Dutch, were “Confirmed in the settlements and Improvements by Deeds of Conveyance from the Pemaquid or Bristol Company for their several farms there, from near Maddmock falls, down to Broad Cove . . . A ministerial Lott, of one hundred acres, another hundred, for the Meeting house & Two Lotts for the School house, being granted to the Settlement, By the Said Company.”

    And Mathias Ramely of the same place and at the same time refers to the same grant, describing the Meeting house as “Built thereon,” and specifies the amount of the two School allotments, — “about 30 or 40 acres in each Lott for the Benefit of two Schools.”

    Another paper of peculiar interest is a copy of the Will of Nicholas Davison, —“one of the chief men and Agent of Gov. Cradock,”49 an early and one of the largest proprietors of Charlestown and the ancestor of many persons now well known in Boston. Its style and provisions indicate a man of considerable education, of strong character, foresight and judgment. It makes provision, in certain contingencies, for some of the earliest bequests to educational and charitable interests in New England. It also provides for the welfare of his only son in a judicious and somewhat unusual manner, and, in many ways, is an interesting instrument.

    will of nicholas davison.

    Charlestown the 26th. of March 1655.

    In the name of God amen these presents are to testify and Declare to all whomsoever [50 that] it may Concern That I Nicholas Davison of Charlestown in New England Mariner, being now bound to sea in the Ship Tr[a]desincrease, Chrisr: Clark Mr: to the Island of Barbadoes, and from thence to England, Ireland, or to any other part or place, or hither to New-England again, The Lord (in whose hands all is) permitting me, and not knowing how the Lord in his all guiding wise providence, may dispose of me to Life or Death in these voyages & undertakings, in whose hands my Life & all I have is, and if it should be his good Pleasure to dispose of me, to Death of my Body I implore his grace out of his Infinite Mercy in Christ Jesus, to receive my soul into Glory with himself, and for my Temporall Estate This I declare to be my Will & Testament, That a True valuation be taken thereof by men appointed to prize the same, & that my Debts be in the first place paid out of the Estate so valued and the Remainder I Bequeath as followeth

    One Third part thereof to my Loving Wife Joan Davison,51 one Third part to my Son Daniel Davison,52 and the Other Third part to my Daughter Sarah Davison,53 and in Case that my said Wife should die before this be of Force, Then my Will is that her Third part shall be given and Equally divided to my son and Daughter abovesaid, also my Will is that my abovesaid Wife shall have the keeping & disposing of my Clear Estate, and my Children while she Lives or till they Come of age, and that my Son be kept to School till he is Thirteen or Fourteen years of age & longer if then he requires it, if [54 mean], means Can be had of what remains after my Debts are paid as above said, but if he will not follow his Study longer then Fourteen Years as above said then to bind him out an Apprentice seven years to some good honest Godly man of some good Trade as may seem best to my said son if Tractable and willing, or Else in Judgment of Those, that shall then have the Oversight of him, shall Think best and most Suitable for him, & in Case Either of my Children die before they Come of age, then the Other that survives to have the deceaseds part which it was to have had, if Lived, and if my Estate as abovesaid fall Either to my Son or Daughter, and that my said Son or Daughter, should die before they Come of age, (and in Case [55 that] my Wife should be dead) then my will is that One Third part of my Estate be given to my Brother John Davison, Tho at present I know not where he is but if Cannot be heard off or dead, Then I give that third part unto my Sister in Law Mary Hodges, alias Anderson Wife to John Anderson,56 and to my Nephews Em Rash, and Joan Rash to be equally divided between them and the rest of my Estate to be divided, the one half unto the Children of my Brother in Law John Anderson equally between them, and the other half to the Children of my Brother Jeremy Davison Deceased who was married and lived in Lynn in England, and if the Lord should so order it that it should (I mean my Estate) not (by reason of Death) be Enjoyed by my wife & Children but go to my next kindred as above exprest, then before it be divided amongst them, I desire and my Will is that one fourth part of the whole Clear Estate, be given to the Town of Charlestown aforesaid to be put out by the Townsmen then being, at an Annual Rent forever, For the Maintainance so far as it will reach more or less, of poor mens Children of the same Town, Especially Fatherless Children to School & I do By these presents Constitute & Appoint my Loving Wife aforesaid Joan Davison my True, Lawfull & Sole Executrix, and she to Nominate for her Assistance in the premises whom she pleases. In Witness of The Truth I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the Day and Year above-written, written with my own hand.

    ⅌ me Nicholas Davison & a Seal.

    Signed Sealed and Delivered as my last will and Testament in the presence of us, my in the Margin of Wife in the same line was interlined before the signing and Sealing hereof,

    John Manning

    ChrisR. Clark.

    John Dudley

    11: 5.. 64.. Attested on Oath by John Dudley that he saw Mr. Nicholas Davison now deces’d Sign and Seal this Instrument as his last will and Testament and that he Subscribed his Name as a Witness Thereto.

    Before me Francis Willoughby & Thos. Danforth Recorders

    A True Copy as of Record in the Registry of Probate for the County of Middlesex.—

    Attest S. Danforth, J. Prob.

    A true Copy Exam’d by JonA. Bowman Cler


    Nichs. Davinson’s(20) Will


    An abstract of the Inventory of his Estate also appears in another place in the Suffolk Court Files: —

    An Abstract from the Inventory of Mr Nicholas Davison late of Charlestown deceased as it was apprised the 2d February 1664 by Capt Francis Norton Lt Randall Nicholls & James Russell Viz:

    A Dwelling house, Warehouse, Wharff two small houses with the Ground Joyning to the sd. houses in Charlestown & a Wood-lot at Mistick side at


    Thirty Acres of Land in Henry Herberts hands which was formerly Major Gibbins & four Cow Comons belonging to it at

    Three Cow Comons more in Charlestown


    The abovesd Inventory of the sd deced (whereof the foregoing is an Abstract as aforesd) was Entred & recorded 22–12–1665 – ⅌ Thomas Danforth Recordr.

    And taken now from the 2d Book pa: 221 —

    Fra: Foxcroft JunR Regr

    A true Copy Examd ⅌ Samll Phipps Cler

    A True Copy Examd ⅌ Samuel Tyley Cler.58

    Two or three depositions throw some light on the life and fortunes of Nicholas Davison and clear up some hitherto obscure points. They also reveal the important facts that he lived, died, and was buried at Pemaquid.


    Abigail Fitch of Boston in the County of Suffolk aged about Forty Years, Testifyeth and Saith, that she is the reputed Grand Daughter of Daniel Davison who is reputed to have been the Son of Nicholas Davison, wch. said Nicholas is reputed among his Descendants to have lived & dyed at Pemmaquid now called Bristol in the County of Lincoln in the Eastern parts of this Province And this Deponent saith that some years past she was at said Pemmaquid and was then shewn by the Inhabitants said Nicholas Davisons Tomb or Grave there over which appeared to have been a monument raised by the Stones there fallen Down

    Abigail Fitch59

    Test Belcher Noyes

    Suffolk ss Boston June 19 1771

    Then personally Appeared the above named Abigail Fitch living at Boston being more than thirty Miles from Falmouth in the County of Cumberland after being duly examined & cautioned made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the above written Declaration Subscribed by her, taken at the Request of John Randall of Bristol in the County of Lincoln Yeoman, & to be used in an Action of Ejectment, to be heard & tryed at the Superior Court of Judicature &c to be holden at said Falmouth, in & for said Counties of Cumberland & Lincoln on the first Tuesday of July next; wherein the said John Randall is Appellant, and Thomas Bodkin of said Boston is Appellee, who was original plaintiff. The said Thomas Bodkin being duly notifyed and his Attorney Mr. Joseph Henshaw was present at the time of Caption

    Before me Belcher Noyes Justice o Peace60


    Abigail Fitch


    Elizabeth Gorrod of Boston in the County of Suffolk aged about thirty eight Years testifyeth & saith That she calls her Self (and is reputed to be) a Grand-Daughter to Daniel Davison who was reputed to be the Son of one Nicholas Davison who lived & Dyed as reputed in the Family descended from him at Pemmaquid (in the County of Lincoln) now called Bristol, and that he had an Interest there

    ElizA. Gorrod61

    Test Belcher Noyes

    Suffolk ss Boston June 19 1771

    Then personally Appeared the above named Eliza Gorrod living at Boston being more than thirty Miles from Falmo. in the County of Cumberland, after being duly cautioned & examined made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the above written Declaration Subscribed by her, taken at the Request of John Randall, of Bristoll in the County of Lincoln Yeoman, to be used in an Action of Ejectment to be heard & tryed at the Superiour Court of Judicature &c to be holden at said Falmouth in & for the Counties of Cumberland & Lincoln on the first Tuesday of July next; wherein the said John Randall is Appellant & Thomas Bodkin of said Boston is Appellee, who was the original plantiff. The said Thomas Bodkin being duly Notified & his attorney Mr Joseph Henshaw was present at the time of Caption, Before me

    Belcher Noyes Justice o’ Peace62


    Eliz Gorrood


    Tobias Oakman aged about Seventy three Years, declares, and says; that He was born in Scarborough so called, in the Eastern parts of New England, and he lived there ’till drove away by the Indians, near Fifty Years ago; that before They were drove away as aforesaid, when a Youth, he used frequently to go afishing with his Father; and they frequently went into Pemaquid Harbor; That he very well remembers, that One Nicholas Davison lived there; and he was esteemed a Man of considerable Estate [63 and was accounted one of the chief Proprietors] in that Part, and he has often heard that said Davison was buried there, and he has sundry Times seen the place that is called his Tomb: and that if he were at Pemaquid, he could show the Place where said Davison lived and that it is on the Larboard Side going into said Pemequid River and further saith not.

    The Mark of Tobias T Oakman

    Suffolk sc.

    Boston February 16: 1737.

    Tobias Oakman appeared, and made Oath to the Truth of the above Declaration by him subscribed (in perpetuam in Memoriam)

    Coram H. Hall


    Abiel Walley


    Tobias Oakman’s Deposition taken in Perpetuam &c before H: Hall &c

    February, 1737


    Another will has some interest from its connection with certain well-known names and families. It is supplemented by details in a deposition by an aged woman giving the recollections of her girlhood: —

    will of david anderson.


    In the Name of God Amen this Eight Day of January Anno Dom. 1700 and 12th: Year of his Majestys Reign William the 3d: king of England &c — I David Anderson65 of Charlestown in the County of Middx: Within his Maytis. Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New England Mercht; being in good Health, and sound and perfect Memory, praised be God for the same, [66 &] knowing the uncertainty of This Life on Earth, more Especially being Now bound to sea, Do Make this my last will and Testament, in Manner and form following, that is to say, first [67 &] principally I Commend my Soul to Almighty God my Creator, hopeing that I Shall receive full pardon, and free Remission of all my Sins, & be Saved by the precious [68 Death &] Merits of my Blessed Savr. & Redeemer Christ Jesus, and my Body to the Earth from Whence it was taken, to be Buried in a Decent and Christian Manner, and as touching Such Worldly Estate, as the Lord in Mercy hath Sent Me, My Will and Meaning is that all my Just Debts Which I owe in right or Conscience to any Person or Persons Whomsoever be paid and Satisfied by my Executrix hereafter Named in Convenient Time after my Decease, I do give and bequeath unto my Loving and beloved Wife Hannah Two third parts of all my Estate, both Real and Personal, in possession or Reversion after my Debts and Funeral Charges are Paid Unto her and her Heirs & assignes forever. Item, I do Give and Bequeath unto my Aunt Sarah Clarkes Children, and my Cousin Anderson Phillips, and Henry Phillips the other third part of all my Estate both real and Personal [69 Both] in possion or Reversion, after [70 my] Debts &c as aforesaid are paid, to them the Sd: Children of my Aunt Sarah Clarke and Anderson [71 Phillips] & Henry Phillips, and their Heirs and Assigns forever, Each one an Equal part of Sd: Third part of my Estate, and I do Nominate, and Appoint my Dearly beloved Wife, Hannah Phillips to be the sole Execux. of this my last will and Testament — In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal, the Day and Year first above Written.

    David Anderson & a Seal.

    Signed, Sealed and published by David Anderson to be his last Will and Testament before us upon further Consideration, I add as a part of My Will as followeth, My Will is that Cousen John Phillips have my bigest Tankard, and further my Will is, that if my Wife Hannah be with Child, & I have a Child by her, my Will is, and I do give all my Estate to my Sd: Wife Hannah towards well bringing up my Child, but if the Child Dye, then the abovesaid Legacy to go as abovesaid

    David Anderson

    John Cutler, Edward Larkin, Nathaniel Dowse

    A True Copy taken from the Registry of Probate for the County of Middlesex

    Copy Examd. ⅌r: AndW: Bordman Regr.

    These may Certifie that on the 25th day of June 1701. The last Will & Testament of David Anderson aforementioned was Proved Approved & Allowed on By James Russell Esqr. Judge of Probate for the County of Middlesex as appears by the Records in the Probate Office for said County.

    Attestt: AndW: Bordman Regr.


    David Andersons Will

    No 10

    David Anderson’s Will —

    — Copy —72


    I Faith Russell now living in Westown in the County of Middlesex & Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Widow, aged Eighty Years, Do hereby testify and declare, That Mr David Anderson formerly of Charlestown Mercht marryed my Sister Hannah Phillips,73 that the said David Anderson dyed in parts beyond Sea, & was a Gentleman of a good Estate in the Town of Boston & reputed a Proprietor of Lands at [74 &] [75 or] near Pemaquid in the Eastern parts of said Province; that the said David dyed without Issue by his Said Wife Hannah who was after his Death marryed to Habijah Savage Esq. and the Declarant [76 knew] Thomas Savage Esq & Capt. Arthur Savage the Surviving Children of [77 the] the said Habijah & Hannah Savage their other Children dyed leaving no Issue. The Declarant further says that said Thomas Savage Esq. their Son left four Children, namely John, Habijah Sarah & Ezekiel: and the Declarant also knew the said Capt Arthur Savage their other Son, who is since dead and left a Widow named Rachell who is now married to James Noble Esq. and that the said Habijah & Hannah his Wife the Parents of the said Thomas & Arthur Savage dyed many years past. The Declarant also well knew [78 Sarah] Lynde who was the reputed Daughter of Coll Joseph Lynde of Charlestown by [79 Sarah,] his wife, who [80 after his death] was marryed to Seth Sweetzer of said Charlestown who is since Dead; and that Seth Sweetzer now living in Charlestown is the reputed Son of the said [81 Sarah] by her Husband Seth Sweetzer. And further That Joanna Phillips late of said Charlestown Widow deceased & Grandmother to Joanna Jenners (who intermarried with one Edward Carnes) was another reputed Daughter of Coll Joseph Lynde & [82 Sarah] his wife aforenamed. And further saith not

    NB. Habijah & Hannah Savage left three surviving Children, viz Hannah, Thomas and Arthur; Hannah died presently after her parents and left no Issue. —

    The Question was put to the Deponant, what was your Age when you first knew Mr. Anderson. Answer. About twelve years

    1. 2 How old was you when Mr. Anderson died, Answr. About thirteen
    2. 3 How do you know that the lands at the Eastward were reputed to be Mr. Anderson’s? Answer It was so reputed in my Father Phillip [s’] Family.
    3. 4 Was ye lands at ye Eastward, his, by his own Right, or by Right of of his Wife. Answer they were his before Marriage.

    Faith Russell

    Middlesex ss Westown June 25 1770

    Then personally Appeared the within named Faith Russell living at Westown being more than thirty miles from Falmouth in the County of Cumberland after being duly examined & cautioned to testify the Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the within written Declaration Subscribed by her taken at the Request of John Randall [83 of Bristol in the County of Lincoln] the Appellant, & to be used in an Action of Ejectment to be heard & tryed at the Superiour Court of Judicature to be holden at Falmouth in & for the Counties of Cumberland & Lincoln on the Tuesday following the fourth Tuesday of June Current wherein the said John is Appelland and Thomas Bodkin of Boston in the County of Suffolk is Appellee. The said Thomas being duly notifyed of the time & place of Caption was present by his Attorney Mr. Joseph Henshaw.

    Before me Samuel Livermore Justice of Peace


    Faith Russell84

    A deposition by the Register of Deeds of the County of Middlesex has been preserved which shows the manner of taking the acknowledgment of deeds by the Assistants in Colonial times. Upon some of the early deeds the signature alone appears without any designation of capacity, —as in 1653, before Increase Nowell, and in 1657, before Simon Willard. On one dated 3 January, 1700, the acknowledgment is signed by —

    One of his Majesty’s Council and Justice of the Peace for the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.

    John Phillips.

    One deed, in 1675, with no acknowledgment whatever, was proved, as to its execution, by the oath of a witness, in 1700. The text of the Register’s deposition follows: —


    I, the Deponent Register of Deeds within and for the County of Middlesex do testify and say that upon Search made in the Registry of Deeds for said County I find The Acknowledgment of divers deeds to be taken before Richard Russell Assistant particularly in the years 1670 1671 and 1672, (The Caption of the acknowledgment of one of those deeds is dated the 16th of the 8th Month 1671.) besides various other Deeds the acknowledgment whereof was taken before other assistants. And I do not find that any Magistrate taking acknowledgments of Deeds in those years stiles himself Justice of the Peace but where he sets forth his Capacity or Qualification it is that of Assistant or Magistrate but most commonly the former —

    John Foxcroft.

    Province of the Massachusetts Bay Middlesex ss.

    June 24. 1771 . . . . . to be made use of in an Action of Ejectment to be heard and tryed at the Superiour Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and General Gaol Delivery, to be holden at Falmouth in the County of Cumberland for the Counties of Cumberland and Lincoln on the Second day of July next wherein James Yates of Bristol in the County of Lincoln Husbandman is Appellant and Thomas Bodkin of Boston in the County of Suffolk is Appellee . . .

    S. Danforth Juss Pacs85

    Abraham Shurt at the age of “Fourscore years or thereabouts,” whose memory has been embalmed by Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch,86 gives a deposition of interest: —


    The Deposition of Abraham Shurt, aged Fourscore years or thereabouts Saith that in the Year 1626, Alderman Alsworth, & Mr Gyles Elbridge of Bristol, Merchants, sent over this Deponent for their Agent, and gave Power to him to buy Monhegan, which then belonged to Mr Abraham Jennings of Plimouth, who they understood was willing to Sell it, and having Conference with his Agent, about the Price thereof, agreed for fifty Pounds, and the Pattent to be delivered up :: and gave him a Bill upon Alderman Alsworth; which Bill being presented, was paid as the Aforesaid wrote me — The Deponant further Said that about the Year 1629, was sent over unto him by the aforenamed Alderman Alsworth, and Mr Elbridge a Pattent granted by the Pattentees for twelve Thousand Acres of Land at Pemaquid, with all Islands, Islets adjacent, within three Leagues, and for the Delivery was appointed Cap’ Walter Neal; who gave me Possession thereof, and bounded the Twelve Thousand Acres for the Use abovenamed from the Head of the River of Damariscotta, to the Head of the River of Muscongus, and between it to the Sea Moreover [87 it] was granted by the Same Pattent; that every Servant, that they Alderman Alsworth, and Mr Elbridge did Send Over, One hundred Acres of Land; and to every One thereborn Fifty Acres of Land, for the Term of the first seven Years, and to be added to the former Twelve thousand Acres; Likwise this Deponent saith, that Damariscove was included and belonging to Pemaquid; It being an Island Scituate, and lying within three Leagues of Pemaquid point and Some Years aftermr Thomas Elbridge coming to Pemaquid, to whom the Pattent by Possession did belong and Appurtain called a Court unto which Divers of the [88 then] Inhabitants of Monhegan, and Damariscove repaired, and Continued there fishing, paying a Certain Acknowledgement — And [further] Saith [not] Sworn 25th December 1662 by Abraham Shurt — before me Richard Russell Magistrate. Boston March 28 1744. Recorded in the Secretarys Office in the Book of Pattents Folo 169.

    J Willard Secy89

    A true Copy of the origl Reced. Oct. 28. 1744.

    attr Dan Moulton Regr.

    A true Copy from York County Records of Deeds &c. Libo. 24. fol 256.

    Attr DanL Moulton Regr.

    In the Library of the American Antiquarian Society are two books of Records of the Pemaquid Proprietors, covering the period from 1743 to 1774.90 They contain a great deal of interesting matter relating to the Pemaquid settlement, including the following entries which directly concern the four ejectment suits: —

    Thursday May 12th. 1768.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment


    That Whereas Thomas Bodkin by Joseph Henshaw has Commenced Several Actions Viz against James Yeats, John Randall, James Bayley, And Simon Elliot, For Lands at Round pond that Said Actions Shall be defended at The Expence of This Company, to be Tried at Pownalborough Court on the First Tuesday of June Next


    That This Meeting be Adjourned to Saturday next the Fourteenth Current 5. o’Clock P M to meet at the Same Place.

    Thomas Drowne Prop: Cler:

    Present —

    Mr Seth Sweeter91 (Moderator) For Himself Benja: Stevens, & Phillips’s Heirs

    Mr Stephen Minot

    Majr James Noble

    Mr John Savage For Himself, & Habijah Savage

    Saturday May 14th: 1768.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.


    That Majr. James Noble & Mr. John Savage or either of them have Power to Act in behalf of the Company in Such matters & things, as they Shall Judge will be For the benefit of the Said Company, Either in the Law by Employing an Attorney or Attorneys in any Case or Cases, at Pownalborough Court in June next, Wherein the Said Company is Concerned, or by Enquiring into the Said Company’s Affairs, respecting Their Lands at or near Pemaquid, or Bristol, & That The Charge They, or either of them, Shall be at in So doing, Shall be repaid by the Proprietors.


    That Wm: Cushing & David Sewall Esqrs: are hereby Constituted and Appointed Our Lawfull Attorneys, in all Causes real, personal, or mixt, moved, or to be moved, for or against the Company, to Prosecute the Same, in Any Court, or Courts; to Final Judgment, & Execution, Cum Facilitate Substituendi And that the Clerk of this Company is hereby directed to Forward to them an Attested Copy of This Vote Accordingly


    That This meeting be Adjourned To Monday The Twenty Third Current, 5 o’Clock P M, to meet at the Same Place.

    Thomas Drowne Prop: Cler:

    Present —

    Mr Seth Sweetser (Moderator) For Himself, Benja. Stevens, & Phillips’s heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot

    Majr. James Noble

    Mr John Savage For Himself, & Habijah Savage

    Thomas Drowne.92

    Thursday September 8th: 1768.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.

    1st Voted:

    That the Sum of twelve pounds be raised, and given to David Sewall Esqr: as a Fee to him, As Attorney to This Company in all Causes Wherein the Said Company is Concerned; Which may be brought Forward at this September term, at Pownalborough Inferior Court, or Which may be There Continued to Next June Term.

    2dly: Voted

    That the Sum of twenty two pounds, ten Shillings, & 4½d be Raised, to defray the Charges that may Arise on the Committee’s going down to Pownalborough to Carry On the Aforesaid Suits Calculated as Follows —





    Entry 6 Actions

    3 =



    Jury Money 6 Actions

    8 =






    Board &c. Pownalborough




    3 Witnesses Travelling & Attendance



    £ 22:

    : 10:

    3dly. Voted:

    That Thomas Drowne, & Mr. John Savage be jointly & Severally impowered to Proceed to Pownalborough Inferior Court This September term, to Act there in their behalf in Any Actions Wherein the Said Company, Or Any of them Are Concerned.

    4thly: Voted:

    That this meeting be Adjourned to Thursday next, ye Fifteenth, Current, 2 o’Clock P. M; to meet at the Same Place.

    Thomas Drowne Prop: Cler:

    Present —

    Mr. Seth Sweetser (Moderator For himself, Benjn. Stevens & Phillips’s heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot

    Mr. John Savage, For himself & Habijah Savage

    Majyr. James Noble

    Thomas Drowne93

    Saturday April 22d: 1769.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.

    Voted 1st:

    That a Sum of Money be raised to Carry On the Law Suits of the Company now depending to final Issue.


    That the Sum of Fifty three Pounds Six Shillings & eight pence be immediately raised, for the Purpose aforesaid.


    That the Person or Persons that shall be Appointed & impowered to Transact the Companys Law Suits as Aforesaid, shall give the Treasurer a Receipt for the Money he or they may receive for the End aforesaid And that no Allowance shall be made for his Or their trouble, before the Accompt of disbustments & charges be Laid before the Proprietors for their Approbation.


    That Mr. John Savage the Collector demand of Each Proprietor his proportion to pay of the Aforesaid Sum of Fifty three pounds Six Shillings & eight pence According to What each persons right is, & that Mr. Stephen Minot give the Collector a List of the Proprietors, which he received from the Clerk, Wherein Each Ones proportion or Right is Settled in the Companys Book of records.


    That This meeting be Adjourned to Saturday, the Sixth day of May next Ensuing; 3 o’Clock P. M., to meet at The Same Place. the Clerk absent.

    Seth Sweetser Moderator.

    Thomas Drowne Prop: Cler:


    Mr. Seth Sweetser (Moderator) For himself, Benja. Stevens, & Phillips’s heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot.

    Mr. John Savage For himself, and the Other Heirs of Thomas Savage Esqr: deceased.

    James Noble Esqr:94

    Saturday May 6th: 1769.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.

    Voted 1st:

    That Theophilus Bradbury Esqr: Attorney at Law have given him a Fee of Twelve dollars for past Service for the Company, & for the next Inferior Court to be holden at Pownalborough in June Next Ensuing.


    That This meeting be Adjourned to Thursday the Eighteenth, Current 3 o’Clock P M, to meet at The Same Place.

    Thomas Drowne Prop: Cler:


    Mr. Seth Sweetser (Moderator) For himself Benja. Stevens, & Phillips’s Heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot

    Mr. John Savage for himself, and the Other heirs of Thomas Savage Esqe: deceased.

    James Noble Esqr.

    Thomas Drowne.95

    Thursday May 18th: 1769.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.

    Whereas This Company Voted on the Twenty Second day of April Last to raize the Sum of Fifty Three pounds Six Shillings & eight pence to Carry on the Law Suits now depending between the Propriety & Several Persons, and the Money Cannot be Collected timely for that purpose, therefore —

    Voted 1st.:

    That the aforesaid Sum be borrowed on Interest, and that those Persons that give their Bond Shall be Secured by the Sale of Such Proprietors Land, as shall refuse, or neglect, to pay their proportion of the aforesaid Sum; As also what they are indebted for past Charges relating to Said Propriety, as Settled by the Propriety.


    That James Noble, Esqr: Thomas Drowne & Capt. James Cargill Or any Two of them be a Committee in behalf, & at the Charge of The Propriety to Carry On the Law Suits of The Propriety now depending at Pownalborough Court, in the Country of Lincoln to Final Judgment and Execution; & to be paid for their Trouble in the manner Voted on the said Twenty Second day of April Last.


    That the Above Committee Act in the Aforesaid Law Suits, agreeable to the directions given them & Sign’d by the Moderator of the Propriety So Far as the method shall be approved of by said Company’s Council in the Law.


    That the Collector Mr. John Savage, give notice to Such of the Proprietors as are Delinquents, That have not paid the Taxes due for Charges On Said Propriety; that unless they pay their respective ballance to the Collector within One Month From the date hereof; That Their Lands, Or So much of them, As will pay their Said Charges, be sold as soon as possible According to Law.


    That This Meeting be Adjourned to Tuesday next the Twenty Third Current, 5 o’Clock P M, to meet at the Same Place. The Clerk absent.

    Seth Sweetser, Moderator.

    Thomas Drowne Prop Cler:


    Mr. Seth Sweetser (Moderator) For himself, Benja. Stevens, & Phillips’s heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot.

    Mr. John Savage, For himself, & the Other heirs of Thomas Savage, Esqr: deceased.

    James Noble, Esqr

    Capt. James Cargill.96

    Tuesday June 26th. 1770.

    The Proprietors met According to Adjournment.

    Voted 1st:

    That Thomas Drowne Major James Noble & Mr. Habijah Savage Act as Agents for this Company in Carrying On the Law Suits at the Companys expence which are to be tried at the Superior Court at Falmouth to sit there the next Tuesday after the fourth tuesday of this Current.


    That the Agents aforesaid Shall not Carry on the sd Actions, depending between Thomas Bodkin or his Attorney Joseph Henshaw, against James Bayley, John Randall, James Yeats & Simon Elliot in the Name of the Propriety, but in the name of the Persons mentioned in the Original Writts.97

    Thursday, April 11th 1771.

    The Proprietors met according to Adjournment.

    Voted 1st:

    That Thomas Drowne the Clerk of this Company be hereby Impowerd at the Cost & Charge & in the Name of the Company to go down to Round Pond & to pass, deeds, To James Yeats, & John Randall, of the Lotts of Land on Which they Live at Round Pond; be the Quantity more or Less, As he the Said Drowne Shall Think fit, both the Value, & Bounds, as to the Said Randalls are Left intirely to The Said Drowne, And he to take Such Security of the Said Randall, as he Shall think Sufficient; Yeats’s Land is to be Given him As pr. Former Verball Promise From this Propriety; Said Drowne being hereby Authorized to Affix the Common Seal of this Company to Said deeds.


    That this meeting be Adjourned To Wednesday the Seventeenth Current, 3 o’clock P M. to meet at the Same place.

    Thomas Drowne Prop Cler:


    Mr. Seth Sweetser (Moderator) For himself, Benja. Stevens, & Phillips’s heirs.

    Mr. Stephen Minot

    James Noble Esqr:

    Mr. John Savage For himself & the Other Heirs of Thomas Savage Esqr: deceased.

    Thomas Drowne.98

    The Paper now presented, starting with the limited intention expressed at the outset, is of necessity desultory and disconnected. It has attempted merely to give a few glimpses of early-history and to let that history be told by the actors in it.


    By Albert Matthews.

    Our earliest, and for some years our only, knowledge of Samoset is derived from Mourt’s Relation, printed in 1622, and now understood to have been written by Winslow and Bradford. According to these writers, it was on 16 March, 1620–21, that —

    “a Savage, . . . very boldly came all alone and along the houses straight to the Randevous, where we intercepted him, not suffering him to goe in, as vndoubtedly he would, out of his boldnesse, hee saluted vs in English, and bad vs well-come, for he had learned some broken English amongst the English men that came to fish at Monchiggon,99 and knew by name the most of the Captaines, Commanders, & Masters, that vsually come.”

    This Indian, whose name is not recorded on that particular day, said that —

    “he was not of these parts, but of Morattiggon,100 and one of the Sagamores or Lords thereof, and had beene 8. moneths in these parts, it lying hence a dayes sayle with a great wind, and fiue dayes by land.”

    Later, he is four times mentioned by name and each time is called Samoset (Mourt’s Relation, 1622, pp. 32, 34, 35, 38, 39). The next mention of Samoset was in Capt. John Smith’s General History of New England, which formed the sixth book of his Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Islands, published in 1624. Smith twice calls him by name and each time Samoset (Works, 1884, pp. 754, 755). In a passage which the context shows to have been written in 1645, Gov. Bradford said: “But about ye 16. of March a certaine Indian came bouldly amongst them, . . . His name was Samaset” (History of Plymouth Plantation, 4 Massachusetts Historical Collections, iii. 93). The Indian was called Samoset by N. Morton in 1669 (New England’s Memorial, 1825, p. 53), by I. Mather in 1677 (Relation, 1864, pp. 69, 70), and by W. Hubbard in 1677 (History of the Indian Wars, 1865, ii. 81); and since the seventeenth century Samoset has been the usual form of the name. Of the writers quoted, Winslow and Bradford were the only two who had personal knowledge of the Indian, and it is significant that in 1622 we find them jointly calling him Samoset, while in 1645 Bradford calls him Samaset. Later writers about the Pilgrims merely follow Winslow and Bradford.

    It has been shown that Samoset was not a native of the region where the Pilgrims landed, but came from the eastward. Four years after the Indian surprised the Pilgrims by addressing them in English, we find traces of an Indian sagamore in the neighborhood of Pemaquid called Capt. John Somerset. His name, spelled as above, first appears in a deed dated 15 July, 1625, and next in the acknowledgment of this deed taken 24 July, 1626 (Order of both Branches of the Legislature of Massachusetts, to appoint Commissioners to investigate the Causes of the Difficulties in the County of Lincoln: and the Report of the Commissioners thereon, with the Documents, in support thereof, Boston, 1811, pp. 106, 107). We next hear of this Somerset from Christopher Levett, who visited the Maine coast in 1623 and 1624, but whose Voyage into New England was not printed until 1628. Levett four times calls the Indian Somerset and twice Somersett (J. P. Baxter’s Christopher Levett, of York, 1893, Publications of the Gorges Society, pp. 102, 103, 108, 111, 112). The name of “Capt. John Summerset a Sagamore Indian” occurs in a deed dated 9 January, 1641 (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1859, xiii. 365). In a deed dated 1 June, 1653, are the name and the mark of “Capt. Summerset” and of “Capt. Somersett” (ante, p. 21); and in a deed dated July, 1653, occur the name and the mark of “Captaine Sommarset” (1 Collections Maine Historical Society, v. 188 note). In 1674 John Josselyn remarked that “Amongst the Eastern Indians, Summersant formerly was a famous Sachem” (Account of Two Voyages to New-England, p. 146). In depositions made 7 February, 1720–21, there are allusions to “John Summerset a Sagamore of ye Indians,” to “John Summersett one of ye Sagamors of ye Indians,” and to “John Summerset Sagamore” (Genealogical Advertiser, i. 96, 97). In a deed dated 22 August, 1729, occurs the name of “Capt. John Somerset” (J. Johnston’s History of the Towns of Bristol and Bremen, 1873, p. 239). In a deed dated 10 September, 1734, the third John Brown said that his grandfather “stood seized of a Large Tract of land at and adjoining to sd New Harbor by Purchase of Capt. John Summersett, &c, Indian Sachems” (Ibid. pp. 51, 52). In a deposition made 20 June, 1765, there is allusion to “the annexed deed of Captain John Somerset” of 15 July, 1625 (Order of both Branches, etc., p. 108). In a letter written 2 August, 1796, William Fraser said that the first deed he found “was an Indian Deed from John Samoset [and] Unongoit, Indian Sagamores to John Brown” (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1871, xxv. 140).

    The above appear to be the only references to Captain John Somerset which are known during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. That Samoset, the Indian who saluted the Pilgrims on 16 March, 1620–21, and Capt. John Somerset, the Indian Sagamore of Pemaquid, were one and the same person, is a view which has been held for over two centuries and three quarters, alike by casual writers and by learned historians. For nearly two hundred and fifty years, also, it was held without dissent that Samoset101 was itself an Indian name, the presumption seeming to be that Somerset was a corruption of Samoset. In 1865, however, the late S. G. Drake, in a note to the passage from Hubbard’s History of the Indian Wars referred to above, presented a different view, remarking that Samoset is —

    “Supposed by some to have derived his Name from Somerset, a Tract of Country in Maine so named by Sir Ferdinando Gorges; and that when Samoset appeared among the People at Plimouth, in attempting to make them understand that he had come from Sir Ferdinando’s Colony of Somerset, they took his Pronunciation of the Name of that Place to be his own Name” (ii. 81 note).

    Professor Johnston, commenting upon this passage in 1873, observed that Drake “supposes that this [Samoset] may not have been his real Indian name, but one given him by the English. His suggestion partakes too much of the fanciful” (History of Bristol and Bremen, p. 60 note). Neither Drake nor Professor Johnston offered proof in support of his position; and while, during the past fifty years, much has been written about Samoset and Somerset as the names of a person, the investigation now made of Somerset as a geographical name seems to be the first that has been attempted.102

    Early in 1635 the Council of the Plymouth Company decided to return its Charter into the hands of the King. But before doing so, an agreement was made on 3 February, 1634–35, “for ye. severall divisions upon ye. seacoals [seacoasts] of New England” (Records of the Council for New England, in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society for 24 April, 1867, p. 114). On “the 18th. day of Aprill following Leases for 3000 years were made of the several divisions to severall ꝑsons intrusted for their benefits” (Ibid. p. 118); on “the 22d day of Aprill several deeds of feofment were made unto the several proprietors of their severall parts so to them allotted by the Divisions aforesaid” (Ibid. p. 118); on 25 April an Act for the Resignation of the Great Charter of New England was drawn up (Ibid. p. 123); on 26 April a Petition and Declaration were drawn up (Ibid. pp. 119, 120); and the Act of Surrender bears date of 7 June, 1635 (Ibid. p. 128 note, and Hazard’s Historical Collections, i. 393, 394).

    Sir Ferdinando Gorges at once took steps towards the government of that portion which fell to him in the division of 3 February, 1634–35; but it was not until 3 April, 1639, that he received a Charter from the King confirming the grant. In the division of 3 February, 1634–35, no name is given to the portion which became Gorges’s; but in the Charter of 3 April, 1639, it was called the Province of Maine. Between 1636 and 1643, however, the name New Somerset or New Somersetshire was applied, both by Gorges and by others, to what later became known as Maine. The earliest use of such a designation appears to be in a letter written by Sir Ferdinando Gorges 11 August, 1636, which bears this endorsement: —

    “To my beloued Nephew, Capt. William Gorges Gouvernor of New Somersett in New Ingland, or in his absence to Mr Richard Vynes, or Mr. Thomas Bradbury, or any of them, giue these” (Documentary History of the State of Maine, iii. 99).103

    Other instances of the employment of these designations follow: —

    “This Indenture made the twelth day of December, in the Twelth yeare of the Reigne of our soueraigne Lord Charles . . . between Sir Fardinando Gorges . . . & Arthure Champernoown . . . All wch Prmisses now are, & hereafter shall bee demed, reputed, & taken to bee part Prcells, & Members of the prouince of New Summersett, in New England aforesd: . . . to bee houlden of the sd Sir ffardinando Gorges, and his heyres, Lord or Lords of the sd Prouince of New Summersett shyre” (York Deeds, iii. 97, 98).

    “This Indenture made the twenty seauenth day of January, In ye Twelveth yeare of the Reigne of our Souereigne Lord Charles . . . betweene Sir Fardinando Gorges . . .of the One parte, & Geo: Cleeue of Cascoe, In the prouince of New Som̄ersett, In New England in America Esqr, & Richard Tucker of Casco aforesd of the sd Prouince of New Sommersett of New England in America . . . All which prmisses now are & hereafter shall bee, demed, reputed, & taken to bee parts, ꝑcells & Members, of the ꝑuince of New Sommersett Shyre, in new England aforesd: . . . to bee houlden of the sd Sir ffardinando Gorges & his heyres, Lord, or Lords of the sd Prouince of New Sommersett Shyre” (Ibid. i., Part I., 95).104

    “1637. Mo. 4.] We had news of a commission granted in England to divers gentlemen here for the governing of New England, etc.; but instead thereof we received a commission from Sir Ferdinando Gorges to govern his province of New Sommersetshire, which is from Cape Elizabeth to Sagadahoc, and withal to oversee his servants and private affairs; which was observed as a matter of no good discretion, but passed in silence” (J. Winthrop, History of New England, i. *231).

    This Indenture, made the Third day of July, in the Thirteenth yeare of the Raigne of our Souraigne Lord, Charles, . . . Betweene Sir Ferdinando Gorges, . . . and Sir Richard Edgcombe, of Mount Edgcombe, in the Countie of Devon, . . . Witnesseth, that the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges, . . . doth giue, grauut, . . .and confirme vnto the said Sir Richard Edgcombe and his h[eirs], All that parcell of Land, woods, and woodgrounds in Casco Bay, within the Territories of Newe England, be[ginning] att the point or entrance of the nex[t river u]nto Sagadehock, . . . scituate and being within the Province or reputed or intended province of Newe Somersett; Together alsoe with all that part, parcell, or porcon of land att or neare the Lake of Newe Somersett, which is conceiued to be Fourteen miles distant from the Shore of Casco Bay, by a Northerly Lyne into the Inland parts, which parcell of land is to contain there Eight thousand Acres, . . . And . . . it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Sir Richard Edgcombe, his heires and assignes, from time to time, and att any time hereafter dureing the space of seaven yeares next ensueing, to exchange all or any part of the said eight thousand acres of land graunted by the said Lake before specified, and to make choise of soe much other land in liewe thereof in any other place or part of Newe Som̄ersett aforesaid” (1 Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historial Society ii 74–76).

    “This Indenture made ye fourth day of May in ye fourteenth year of ye Reign of our Soveraign Lord Charles . . . Between Sr Ferdinando Gorges . . . And Edward Godfrey of Agamenticus of ye Province or reputed or intended Province of New Sumerset in New Engld in America Gent Oliver Godfrey of Seale in ye County of Kent Gent. And Richard Row of ye Citty of London . . . Witnesseth that ye sd Sr Ferdinando Gorges . . . doth demise grant & to farm Let unto ye sd Edwd Godfrey Oliver Godfrey & Richd Row all that part parcell portion or Tract of Land wood & woodgrounds in New England aforesd Lying & being within ye Province or reputed or Intended Province of New Sumerset” (York Deeds, viii. 120).

    “This Indenture made the foureteenth day of June, in the foureteenth yeare of the Reigne of our Soueraigne Lord Charles, . . . between Sir ffardinando Gorges, . . . And Arthur Champernoowne . . .all which Premises now are, and hereafter shall bee, deemed reputed, & taken to bee parts, Parcells, and Members of the Prouince of New Sommersett, In New England aforesd, . . .to bee houlden of the sd Sir ffardinando Gorges & his heyres Lord or Lords of the sd Prouince of New Sommersett shyre” (Ibid. iii. 98, 99.)

    “This Indenture made the Seven & twentieth day of June In ye fourteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles . . . Between Edward Godfrye of Agamenticus of the Province or reputed or intended Province of New Somerset in New England . . . And William Hook Citizen and Merchant of Bristoll and now of Agamenticus . . . Witnesseth that whereas Sr fferdinando Gorge . . .by his Indenture of Lease bearing date of ye fourth day of may Last past . . . did Demise grant and to farme Let unto ye sd Edward Godfrye and to Oliver Godfrye . . .& to Richard Row . . . All that part parcell portion or Tract of Land . . . Lying and being within the Province or Reputed or Intended Province of New Somerset . . . Witnesseth now further this prsent Indenture That the sd Edward Godfrye . . . Doth demise grant bargaine sell and to farme let and set to ye said William Hook All that one full Third part” (Ibid. viii. 121).

    Whereas Richard Vines of Saco did on the last daye of June, Anno 1637, for and in the Name of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight Gouernor of the province of New Sommersettshire, & by order of him, hath giuen & deliuered vnto John Winter, for the use of Robert Trelawnye . . . lawfull possesion & seisin of two thousand Acres of Land, . . .

    “We, vnder written, do now witnesse that on the 12th day of July, Anno 1638, the said John Winter did, . . . enter into & take possession of one Necke of land” (Documentary History of the State of Maine, iii. 131).105

    “[1640.] This summer here arrived one Mr. Thomas Gorge, a young gentleman of the inns of court, a kinsman of Sir Ferdinando Gorge, and sent by him with commission for the government of his province of Somersetshire” (J. Winthrop, History of New England, ii. *9, *10).

    “[17 April, 1643.] Know all men by these prsents, that I Tho: Gorges Deputy Gou of this province of Mayne, . . .doe giue, grant . . . unto mr Jon Wheelewright Pastor of the Church of Exeter, . . .a Tract of Land lijng at wells, in the County of Som̄ersett, to be bounded as ffolloweth” (York Deeds, i., Part I., 28).

    “[14 July, 1643.] Know yee that I Thomas Gorges Esqr Deputy Governor of the Province of Mayne . . . Doe give grant & Confirme vnto John Saunders of Wells in the Countye of Som̄ersett One hundred and ffifty Acres of land scituate lying & being in Wells aforesaid being a necke of land lying betweene the little River & Cape porpus River” (Ibid, i., Part II, 12).

    Capt. William Gorges, Sir Ferdinando Gorges Nephew sent over [1635] Governour of the Province of Main, then called new Sommersetshire” (J. Josselyn, Account of Two Voyages to New-England, 1674, p. 256).

    The name New Somerset is apparently not found in the seventeenth century except in the above extracts. Hence it appears that the designation of New Somerset or New Somersetshire is unknown before 1636, that it occurs with some frequency between 1636 and 1639, that from 1639 to 1643 it is found occasionally, and that after 1613 it disappears altogether.106 It is obyious, therefore, that the view entertained by Drake is untenable, for the simple reason that the name Somerset was not applied to any Colony in Maine at the time when Samoset presented himself to the Pilgrims. In addition, it may be pointed out that in the division of 3 February, 1634–35, the portion allotted to Gorges extended “from Pascataway harbours mouth aforesd along ye. sea coasts to Sagadahock, & up ye. River therof to Kinebequi river, and thro ye. same unto ye. head therof & into ye. land N. Wwards, untill 60 miles be ended” (Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society for 24 April, 1867, p. 117); and that in the Charter of 3 April, 1639, his patent stretched “from Pascataway harbor mouth aforesaid North Eastwards along the sea coast to Sagedehadocke, and vp the River thereof to Knybecky River; and through the same to the head thereof” (Hazard’s Historical Collections, i. 442). As, therefore, the Kennebec River was the eastern boundary of Gorges’s territory, and as Pemaquid lies to the east of the Kennebec, and so did not come within the bounds of Gorges’s patent, we have another reason for regarding Drake’s suggestion as an impossible one.

    In the deed already referred to from Capt. John Somerset to John Brown107 of New Harbor, dated 15 July, 1625, the tract conveyed to the latter is described as —

    “beginning at Pemaquid Falls and so running a direct course to the head of New-Harbour, from thence to the south end of Muscongus Island, taking in the island, and so running five and twenty miles into the country north and by east, and thence eight miles north-west and by west, and then turning and running south and by west, to Pemaquid, where first begun” (Order of both Branches, etc., pp. 106, 107).

    It is thus seen that Muscongus Island originally belonged to Capt. John Somerset, and that it was included in the tract deeded by him to John Brown in 1625. It is curious that in his deed of 9 January, 1641, to Richard Pearce, the son-in-law of John Brown, a deed witnessed by Brown himself, Capt. John Somerset conveyed land at Round Pond which formed a part of the very tract which he had previously deeded to Brown in 1625. On 8 August, 1600, John Brown gave a deed of land in the neighborhood of what is now Broad Cove to his daughter and her husband, Margaret and Alexander Gould.

    “TO all people to whom this deed of gift may come. Know ye, that I John Brown, of New-Harbour, have given to Sander Gould and Margaret, his now lawful wife, and to the heirs of her body, a certain tract or parcel of land, lying in the Broad Bay, beginning at a pine tree marked in the westermost branch of the bay, from thence north north east by Miscongus river eight miles, from thence eight miles north west and by west, from thence south south west eight miles, from thence south east and by east eight miles to the tree where first began” (Order of both Branches, etc., pp. 121, 122).

    It will be observed that there is no island mentioned in this deed, and a glance at the map seems to show that there is no island which could possibly come within the limits of this tract. It is stated by Professor Johnston, who, however, does not print the document, that Margaret Pittman, the widow of James Stilson and the daughter of Alexander Gould, on 20 December, 1720, “conveyed this tract, including also Muscongus island, to her children, James Stilson jr., and his sister Mrs. Wm. Hilton” (History of Bristol and Bremen, p. 471). Thus far only one island has been mentioned, and that Muscongus Island; but about 1686 we encounter an island called Somerset Island. Between 1683 and 1686 Gov. Dongan of New York granted to John Spragge —

    “Liberty and Lycense to take up and Enjoye a Certaine Island Called and Knowne by the name of Summersett Island and the small Island thereunto adjacent Scituate and Lyeing in Pemaquid in the County of Cornwall . . . Provided the same be not appropriated or disposed off to any others” (F. B. Hough’s Papers Relating to Pemaquid, 1856, pp. 107, 108).108

    In a petition to Sir Edmund Andros, dated 14 April, 1687, James Stilson recited —

    “That yor Petrs wives Grand Father John Browne in the year of our Lord 1652109 purchased of one Somerset an Indian Native a Small Island called and knowne by the name of Somersets Island Lying not far from New Harbour in Pemaquid, and made some Improvement thereon, and afterwards gave the same unto Alexander Gold in marriage with his daughter who entred upon the same. Built a house thereupon, broke up and improved a considerable quantity of Land, and dwelt there for severall years, untill driven off by the Indians in the time of the late warr with the Indians Ano 1676. and yor Petr marrying with one of the daughters & heires of sd Gold, had the sd Island transferred to him as his wives Portion, and had quiet Possession thereof, and disburs’t upwards of Fourscore Pounds on his Setlement and Improvements there;” and Stilson asked Andros to “grant him a Confirmation and Pattent for the sd Island and Lands thereon” (Documentary History of the State of Maine, vi. 262).

    In a deposition made 9 February, 1720–21, the second John Brown testified that “his father laid claim to an island in the mouth of Broad Bay, called Sumorset island” (Order of both Branches, etc., p. 115). While doubtless the name Muscongus Bay is usually applied to the sheet of water south of Long (or Bremen) Island and the name Broad Bay is usually applied to the sheet of water north of Long Island, yet sometimes Broad Bay and Muscongus Bay are used interchangeably. Thus, Thomas Botkin deposed, 31 August, 1764, that –

    “in the year 1738, I lived in the eastern parts, near adjoining to a place called Round Pond, on Broad Bay so called, now in the county of Lincoln; and the deponent knew William Hilton, who lived at Broad Cove, on the westwardmost part of Broad Bay” (Ibid. p. 127).

    Here we find the name Broad Bay applied to both portions of the above mentioned sheet of water. If Round Pond, which is just north of New Harbor and directly opposite the north end of Muscongus Island, can be described as “on Broad Bay,” surely the description of Somerset Island as being “in the mouth of Broad Bay” does not militate against its identification with Muscongus Island. Again, according to Sullivan, who wrote in 1795, “next to Pemaquid, and between Pemaquid Point on the west, and Pleasant Point on the east, we meet the waters of Broad Bay, which are on the shores of an ancient Dutch settlement of that name” (History of the District of Maine, p. 16). Finally, by Morse in his American Geography (1797) and by Williamson in 1832, Broad Bay is also made to extend to Pemaquid Point on the west.

    Margaret Pittman deposed, 24 October, 1733, that —

    “she was born at New Harbor, and lived there until they, with others, were driven off by the Indians. She well remembers her grandfather, John Brown, and she has often heard that her grandfather Brown gave her father, Alexander Gould, Muscongus island by a written110 deed as a part of his estate and her portion; her mother often told her that sd island was given by her father, John Brown to her husband, Alexander Gould and to his heirs, and to her the sd Margaret. And the sd Gould lived on sd island, as his own estate, and his wife after his decease many years” (Johnston’s History of Bristol and Bremen, pp. 243, 244).

    Ruth Barnaby deposed, 6 September, 1764, that she “remembers James Stilson111 who married Margaret Chamber and who lived on Miscongus Island” (Order of both Branches, etc., p. 120). John Pearce of Marblehead deposed, 20 November, 1764, that he had seen the deed of 8 August, 1660, from Brown to Gould, that he had “since seen an Indian deed to old John Brown, of ancient date,” and that “he understood that the Indian deed aforementioned, conveyed all the lands at New-Harbour and Broad Bay, that the said Gould and Brown claimed” (Ibid. pp. III, 112). In a deposition, the date of which is not given, Margaret Pittman, according to Professor Johnston, “speaks of having attended public worship at Pemaquid fort, coming there for the purpose from Muscongus Island, where the family lived” (History of Bristol and Bremen, pp. 245, 246).

    From these extracts it appears that the only deed in the Brown family is the deed from Capt. John Somerset to John Brown of 15 July, 1625; that from this deed of 1625 are derived all the claims made by the Brown family; that the only deed, whether Indian or other, in which an Island is mentioned is this deed of 1625; that Muscongus Island originally belonged to Capt. John Somerset and was by him conveyed to John Brown in this same deed of 1625; that Somerset Island was purchased by John Brown of Capt. John Somerset in 1652 (i.e. 1625); that Somerset Island was in Pemaquid and near New Harbor, exactly where Muscongus Island is situated; that Alexander Gould lived on Muscongus Island; that James Stilson lived on and improved Somerset Island; that James Stilson lived on Muscongus Island; and that Margaret Pittman’s family lived on Muscongus Island. The chain of evidence, therefore, which links together Muscongus Island and Somerset Island would seem to be complete, and the conclusion is almost irresistible that what in these documents is called Somerset Island is the very Island which in 1625 was described as Muscongus Island, which still bears that name (though it is now also sometimes known as Loud’s Island), and which has had no other name except in certain legal documents of which all but one relate to the Brown family. But whether Somerset Island actually is Muscongus Island, or whether it is some other island yet to be identified, it certainly cannot be doubted that the name Somerset Island, which we do not meet with until about 1686, was derived from Capt. John Somerset, a name encountered as early as 1625, and had, therefore, nothing whatever to do with any “deemed, reputed, or intended Province of New Somerset.”112

    In the extract quoted above from Gorges’s grant of 3 July, 1637, to Sir Richard Edgecombe, there is mention of “the Lake of newe Somersett.” For many years no steps were taken in regard to this grant; but in 1718 —

    “Mr. John Edgecomb of New London in New England in behalf of the heirs of Sr: Richard Edgecomb of Mount Edgecamb in the county of Devon Knt. claims . . . all that part or parcell of Land at or neare the Lake of New Summersett which is conceiv’d to be fourteen Miles distant from the Shore of Casco Bay by a Northerly Line into the Inland Parts wch parcell of Land is to contain eight Thousand Acres” (Massachusetts Archives, Eastern Claims, 1674–1720, p. 82).

    On 18 October, 1732, Jonathan Belcher, in a letter to Richard Edgcumbe, afterwards Baron Edgcumbe, wrote: —

    “I . . . went & view’d what is suppos’d to be that tract of land mention’d to begin at the entrance of the next river to Sagadahock. It lyes on a river called Bungonungomug (an Indian name) and makes a part of Casco bay . . . . As to the other parcel of land mention’d to be near the lake of New Somersett, and to contain 8000 acres, I cannot yet find it or satisfy myself about it, but shall make further enquiry” (6 Massachusetts Historical Collections, vi. 194, 195).

    No one has been any more successful in locating that lake of New Somerset than was Belcher; but it is thought that by it was intended Merry Meeting Bay, which receives the waters of the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and other smaller rivers. At all events, there was at one time a point of land in Merry Meeting Bay called Somerset Point. In the year 1718, writes the Rev. H. O. Thayer, “a few settlers located upon Somersett point;” and he proceeds to quote from a Report made to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in July, 1720, in which there is an allusion to that settlement. In regard to the name, Mr. Thayer says: —

    “Summersett, Sommersett, Somerset. A point on the north shore of the bay, between Cathance and Abagadasset rivers. A controversy arose respecting the origin of the name, whether a local name, from the Ban Water, Ireland, affixed by the Scotch-Irish settler, Andrew McFadden, 1718, or an earlier name, associated with the Lord Edgecomb grant” (2 Collections Maine Historical Society, iv. 245, 249 and note).

    Somerset Point seems to have disappeared from the map of Maine. Curiously enough, in view of the evidence which has been presented in this Note, the name Somerset did not become permanently attached to Maine until 1809, in which year the County of Somerset was established. “The name,” wrote Williamson, “evidently suggested itself from old Somersetshire in England, transferred to Maine in the days of Sir Ferdinando Gorges” (History of the State of Maine, ii. 611).

    All the essential facts about Samoset and Somerset are given in this Note. The conclusions which the present writer draws are, that Samoset and Capt. John Somerset were presumably one and the same person; that Samoset was the man’s Indian name; that the Indian’s English name of John Somerset was a corruption of Samoset; that Somerset Island — an appellation not found at all before 1683, and then only in legal documents relating to the Indian, the island elsewhere having always been known as Muscongus or Loud’s113 Island — derived its name from Capt. John Somerset; that the title Somerset, as applied to any portion of Maine, other than the just-mentioned Somerset Island, was due to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, was unknown before 1636, was occasionally employed between 1636 and 1643, disappeared after 1643, temporarily reappeared in the eighteenth century as the designation of a point of land, and was permanently revived in the nineteenth century as the name of a County; that Pemaquid was beyond the limits of the territory granted to Gorges; and that Somerset, as a geographical name brought from England, could have been applied in the seventeenth century only to the portion of Maine which fell within Gorges’s patent. Finally, there seems to be no escape from the further conclusion that the burden of proof lies on those who maintain that the Indian’s name was originally John Somerset and that Samoset is a corruption of Somerset.

    During the discussion which followed the reading of Mr. Noble’s communications, remarks were made by Messrs. William Watson Goodwin, Henry H. Edes, Robert N. Toppan, and Andrew McFarland Davis.

    Mr. Frederic Haines Curtiss was elected a Resident Member; and the Hon. James Burrill Angell, LL.D., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Edward Field, of Providence, Rhode Island, and the Rev. George Park Fisher, LL.D., of New Haven, Connecticut, were elected Corresponding Members.114