384 Representation of Harvard Interests

    To be laid before the Honorable and Reverend Overseers for their advice to the Corporation.

    Sept. 22, 1731.

    A Representation of the case, with respect to Merricaneag Neck of Land, and a thousand Acres adjoining in the Province of Main; and the Claim of Harvard College thereto.

    1. 1) About the year, 1632, Sir Ferdinando Gorge had a Patent from the King for the Province of Main; which Province was after wards purchased by the Province of the Massachusetts Bay.
    2. 2) Some time after this, viz. Feb. 7 1682/3 the General Court made a Grant of Merricaneag Neck and a thousand Acres adjacent, to the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
    3. 3) In March 1682/3 the General Court in their instructions to their Agents in England, the Honorable Joseph Dudley and John Richards Esqs., make express mention of the foresaid Neck of Land and a 1000 Acres adjacent, being granted and confirmed to the College, by the General Court. See No. 1.
    4. 4) The Province Charter granted by the late King William and Queen Mary of blessed Memory, confirms all Grants of Lands made by the General Court to Colleges, Schools &c. and that no such Grants be made void or prejudiced for want of Form. See Provincial Charter, p. 6. No. 2.
    5. 5) When the Honorable Council and Representatives in Jun. 10, 1715, voted a confirmation of two Townships in the Province of Main, they made an express saving particularly for the Grant made to Harvard College in those parts. See No. 3.

    ——An account of claims made by others besides the College, to Merricaneag Neck.

    1. 1) The Heirs of Nicholas Cole and John Purrington claim part of Merricaneag Neck, viz. between the two carrying places by virtue of a deed from Sagatawon and Robbin Hood Indian Sagamores, dated Nov. 26, 1672, but never proved nor acknowledged at all, nor recorded untill March 18, 1726/7 (See no. 4) about 53 years after.
    2. William Larrabee gave oath July 21, 1722 that the said John Cole and Purrington had each of them a dwelling House on Merricaneag Neck, and lived there, which was about 50 years past when the Indian war drave them off about 47 years agoe, No. 5. These Heirs of Cole and Purrington, have since made sale of several parts of said Lands to other persons, No. 4, 5.
    3. 2) Richard Potts claimed the lower part of Merricaneag Neck, from him called Potts’s Neck; his son Thomas April 9, 1701, sold the same to Benjamin Marston of Salem. This claim of Potts has no other support but this, viz. that John Bacey and Lewes Tucker swore Nov. 1, 1703 that said Richard Potts did possess and build upon said Land above 30 years agone, and since till invaded by the Indians. see no. 4.
    4. 3) The Purchasers of Mr. Wharton’s Lands in the Province of Main, claim a right to Merricaneag Neck and the 1000 Acres adjacent which the General Court granted to the College, and indeavour to support their claim
    5. 1) By the oath of Francis Small and his Wife May 10, 1683, who say, that about 23 years agoe, said Small bought Merricaneag Neck of the Indians, for Major Nicholas Shapleigh. No. 6. But there appears no deed of this, nor so much as the names of the Indians that sold.
    6. 2) John Shapleigh Son of Nicholas Shapleigh, sold Merricaneag Neck (together with other Lands) to Mr. Wharton on July 4, 1683, which was about half a year after the General Court granted it to the College. No. 7.
    7. 3) Above a year after the Court’s Grant to the College, viz. July 7, 1684 six Indians called Chief Sagamores, did by a deed confirm to Mr. Wharton (among other Lands) Merricaneag Neck and the 1000 Acres adjacent.

    In the year 1714, Mr. Ephraim Savage Administrator on the Estate of Mr. Wharton, by deed conveyed said Wharton’s right or claim to the foresaid Lands, to eight Gentlemen viz. Capt. Hutchinson, Col. Wentworth, Col. Winthrop &c.

    And these Gentlemen, Purchasers of Mr. Wharton’s claim (as we are informed) have taken possession of Merricaneag Neck, and some persons now living thereon, hold as Tenants under them.

    Memorandum, that in the Representation to be made to the Honorable and Reverend Overseers, besides what’s above written, notice be taken of the following Laws, viz. An Act of Limitation for quieting Possessions, Law-Book, p. 90, and an additional Act, p. 240.

    Merricaneag Neck Papers. This document repeats much of the information in No. 379. A further rough draft of this item is in Merricaneag Neck Papers.