Of the Suffolk regiment, John Winthrop, Sr. of Boston, probably continued in command, with the rank and commission of colonel, from Dec. 13, 1636, to 1644, when the rank of a regimental commander was changed to that of major. The successive commanders of that regiment ranking as major were: Edward Gibbons of Boston, from 1644 to 1649; Humphrey Atherton of Dorchester, from 1649 to 1661; Eleazer Lusher of Dedham, from 1665 to 167-; Thomas Clarke of Boston, from 1673 to 1683; John Richards of Boston, from Oct. 10, 1683, to 1689; Elisha Hutchinson of Boston, from February, 1689, till the abolition of the office that occurred the same year. In October, 1680, this regiment was divided, and those companies of the towns in Suffolk County that subsequently became the county of Norfolk were set off and thenceforth became a new and distinct regiment.
From 1689, when the rank of regimental commandants was changed from major to colonel, the commanders of the Suffolk regiment were: Samuel Shrimpton of Boston, from April 29, 1689, to 1694; Elisha Hutchinson, from 1694; Samuel Checkley, from 1705. The territory of the Suffolk regiment set off Oct. 13, 1680, was what subsequently became the limits of the Norfolk County regiment, and while the rank of regimental commandant was that of major it was commanded as follows: William Stoughton of Dorchester, from Oct. 13, 1680, to March, 1681; Joseph Dudley of Roxbury, from March 16, 1681.
Of the Middlesex regiment, John Haynes of Cambridge was commissioned colonel Dec. 13, 1636, and he removed to Hartford, Conn. in 1637; was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1635. Roger Harlakenden of Cambridge was commissioned lieutenant colonel of this regiment Dec. 13, 1636; died Nov. 17, 1638. Though deprived of a colonel by death, I fail to find that these vacancies were filled. While the commander of a regiment ranked as a major, the commanders of the Middlesex regiment were as follows: Robert Sedgewick of Charlestown, commissioned 1644; Daniel Gookin of Cambridge, commissioned May 5, 1676. After the rank was changed to colonel: William Brattle of Cambridge, from 1739 to 1774; Thomas Gardiner, from Nov. 29, 1774, to his death July 3, 1775; Stephen Dana of Cambridge, from 1781 to 1796; Moses Coolidge; Amose Bond; Jeduthan Wellington; Ebenezer Cheney; Nathaniel P. Watson.
Oct. 13, 1680, the Middlesex regiment was divided, and that part set off consisted of the companies in the towns of Concord, Sudbury, Marlborough, Chelmsford, Billerica, Groton, Lancaster and Dunstable, together with a troop of horse under Capt. Thomas Henchman. Of this new regiment, at the date of its formation, Peter Buckley of Concord was commissioned major commandant.
Of the Essex regiment, or what came to be so denominated,* John Endicott of Salem was commissioned colonel, Dec. 13, 1636. The commanders of this regiment who ranked as major were as follows: Daniel Denison of Ipswich, commissioned in 1644; William Hawthorn of Salem, 1656; Samuel Appleton, Oct. 11, 1682. After the rank of a regimental commander was changed, Samuel Appleton was commissioned to command with the rank of colonel.
Essex regiment was divided Oct. 13, 1680, and the companies in the towns of Newbury, Amesbury and Haverhill made to constitute a new regiment, of which Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill was commissioned major commandant. After the rank of a regimental commandant had been changed from major to colonel, the names of the commanders of the second Essex regiment were: Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, from 1689; Richard Saltonstall of Haverhill.
*Essex County was not incorporated until the 10th of May, 1643, or six years and about five months after the formation of this regiment.
ANCIENT REHOBOTH AND THE TITLE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE THERETO AS CONVEYED TO THEM BY MASSASOIT.
Mr. Leonard Bliss, in his excellent history of Rehoboth published in 1836, says on page 22, "No deed of this purchase from Massasoit is to be found on record or in existence, but there is a deposition of John Hazell on the Plymouth Colony Records [vol. ii. p. 67], taken Nov. 1, 1642, which confirms the purchase. John Hasell [Hazell] affirmeth that Assamequine chose out ten fathome of beads at Mr Williams and put them in a basket and affirmed that was fully satisfied therewith for his land at Seacunk; but he stood upon it that he would have a coat more, and left the beads with Mr. Williams and willed him to keep them until Mr. Hubbard came up."
Said the Rev. Roger Williams in a letter dated Providence, 13th of the 10th month, 1661, "I testify and declare in the holy presence of God that when at my first coming into these parts I obtaed the lands of Secunk of Osamaquin the then chief sachem." In a letter to Maj. Mason, Mr. Williams said, "I first pitched and began to build at Secunk, now Rehoboth."
Concerning the extent of ancient Rehoboth, the colonial records state, "Whereas Mr. Daniel Smith, as agent of the town of Rehoboth, answered at this Court and showed, declared, and made appear unto this Court by several writings and records that the bounds of the said town of Rehoboth are as followeth: The first grant of said township being eight miles square granted in the year 1641 unto Mr. Alexander Winchester, Richard Wright, Mr. Henry Smith, Mr. Joseph Pecke, Mr. Stephen Paine and divers others for the settling of a town which is now bounded from Puttukett river."
This tract comprised not only what is now Rehoboth, but also the townships of Seekonk and Pawtucket. Rehoboth, in its greatest extent, at one time also embraced the present towns of Attleborough and part of Swansea, Mass., all of Cumberland and part of Barrington, R.I. The purchases were made of the Indians at three different periods of time. The first purchase has been described, and was made in 1641. The second purchase was by the Indians called Wannamoiset, and now constitutes parts of the towns of Swansea, Mass. and Cumberland, R.I. The third purchase acquired the name of the "North Purchase," and was made April 8, 1661. This subsequently came to constitute the towns of Attleborough, Mass., and Cumberland, R.I.
Rehoboth was incorporated as a town June 4, 1645. Attleborough was set off from Rehoboth and incorporated as a town Oct. 19, 1694. Seekonk set off from Rehoboth and incorporated as a town Feb. 26, 1812. Attleborough divided and part set off and incorporated as a new and distinct town called Cumberland, in 1746. Seekonk was divided and part set off as a new town and called Pawtucket, March 1, 1828. Part of Seekonk annexed to Rhode Island in 1861, at which time, by the change in the state line, nearly all Pawtucket went into Rhode Island. What did not fall within the limits of Rhode Island was the same year annexed to Seekonk, Mass.
The first or earliest European settler at Rehoboth was Rev. William Blackstone, a non-conformist minister of the Episcopal Church, who had left England to escape the tyranny of the "Lords Bishops," and sough an asylum in the wilds of American, purchasing in 1634 and occupying the peninsula of Shawmut, now Boston, which he the next year or soon after left to rid himself from the tyranny of the "Lords Brethen." He next removed to what subsequently became Rehoboth, where he located near the banks of the river that still perpetuates his name. His cottage he named "Study Hall." It was built near a knoll he called "Study Hill," about three miles from Pawtucket and a mile and a half from Valley Falls. That spot of ground is within the limits of what is now the township of Cumberland, R.I. There he planted an orchard, the first planted within the limits of what is now the state of Rhode Island. He died May 26, 1675. Two rude rough stones, devoid of inscription, still mark his grave.* Next after Rev. William Blackstone, came the celebrated Rev. Roger Williams and pitched his tent for awhile on ground that afterwards became Rehoboth. This was in 1636. He located in that part of the town which in 1812 became Seekonk. It was a short distance from the central bridge, o the east side of the cove, and on what is called Manton's Neck. He left this place and settled in what is now the city of Providence, about the middle of June, 1636.
*The Boston Records state that Mr. WIlliam Blackstone was married to Sarah Stevenson, widow, July 4, 1656. She died about the middle of June 1673. Their only son occupied the paternal estate until 1692, when he sold it and removed to Providence, where he resided until 1713, when he removed to Attleborough, and, subsequently, to or near New Haven, Conn. A grandson of Rev. Wm. Blackstone, in the capacity of a lieutenant, went to Cape Breton, and lost his life at the taking of Louisburg.
Rev. Samuel Newman was the first minister settled at Rehoboth. He was born at Banbury, England, in 1600, and educated at the University of Oxford. He gave to the town its name of Rehobothl. He wrote a concordance of the bible that far surpassed anything of the kind before written. He died July 5, 1663.
The celebrated rock called "Annawon's Rock" is in the easterly part of Rehoboth, near the line that divides that town from Dighton. The rock extends north=east and south-west about 75 feet, and is some 25 feet high. It is near the northern border of a swamp containing about three thousand acres, called Squannakonk Swamp. This rock was rendered memorable by the capture of the Indian chieftain Annawon, one of Massasoit's leaders upon the war path for many years, and who, after the death of the latter, probably continued to render like services to Wamsutta till his death, and then for King Philip till he was slain in battle, when Annawon became the last principal or head chief of his tribe.
Early commissioned officers in the local militia of Rehoboth:
Captains.--Peter Hunt, commissioned July 7, 1682; Moses Read, from date unknown.
Lieutenants.--Peter Hunt, from Aug. 1, 1654, to July 7, 1682; Nicholas Peck, commissioned July 7, 1682; Moses Read, from date unknown.
Ensigns.--John Brown, Jr., commissioned Aug. 1, 1654; Henry Smith, commissioned June 8, 1664; Nicholas Peck, from June 5, 1678, to July 7, 1682; Thomas Wilmarth, from July, 1683; Thomas Read; Moses Read and Timothy Ide from dates to me unknown.
DEED OF ANCIENT AND ORIGINAL BRIDGEWATER.
Witness these presents that I Ousamequin Sachem of the country of Poconocket have given, granted, enfeofed, and sold unto Miles Standish, of Duxbury, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, of Duxbury, aforesaid, in behalf of all the townsmen of Duxbury, aforesaid, a tract of land usually called Satucket, extending in the length and breadth thereof as followeth, that is to say from the wear at Satucket, seven miles due east, and from the said wear, seven miles from the due west, and from the said wear, seven miles due norht, and from the said wear, seven miles due south; the which tract the said Ousamequin hath given, granted, enfeofed, and sold unto the said Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, in the behalf of all the townsmen of Duxbury, as aforesaid, with all the immunities, privileges and profits, whatsoever belonging to the said tract of land with all and singular, all woods, underwoods, lands, meadows, rivers, brooks, rivulets, &c., to have and to hold to the said Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, in behalf of all townsmen of the town of Duxbury, to them and their heirs forever.
In witness whereof I, the said Ousamequin, have hereunto set my hand the 23rd of March, 1649.
John Bradford )_ Witness the Wm. Otway (alias) Parker ) mark of OUSAMEQUIN
In consideration of the aforesaid bargain and sale, we the said Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth do bind ourselves to pay unto the said Ousamequin for and in consideration of the said tract of land as followeth:
7 Coats, a yard and a half ) in a coat ) MILES STANDISH, 9 Hatches ) 8 Hoes )_ SAMUEL NASH, 29 Knives ) 4 Moose Skins ) CONSTANT SOUTHWORTH. 10 Yards and a half of cotton )
In affixing his mark to this deed the sachem endeavored to draw the figure of his hand.
Tradition informs us that this purchase was made and probably the contract signed on a small rocky eminence that thereby acquired the name of "Sachem's Rock." It was in what came to be East Bridgewater, and is not far from the house where Seth Latham once lived, and afterward owned and occupied by David Kingman. March 2, 1640, a part of the township of Duxbury was detached, set off, and incorporated as a new and distinct town and called "Marshfield," whereupon the people of Duxbury petitioned the colonial court for "an extension to the westward," as a compensation for the loss of territory that they had sustained by the setting off of Marshfield, and their petition was complied with as follows"
"August, 1644. Upon the petition of Duxbury men, it is thought good by the court, that there be a view taken of the lands described by them, namely, twelve miles up into the woods from Plymouth bounds at Jones' River; and if it prove not prejudicial to the plantation to be erected at Teightaquid [Titicut], nor to the meadows of Plymouth at Winnytuckquett [Winnetuxet], it may be confirmed unto them; provided als the herring or alewife river at Namassachusetts shall be equally between the two towns of Duxbury and Marshfield."
1645. The inhabitants of the town of Duxbury are granted a competent proportion of lands about Squghtuchquett (Satucket), towards the west for a plantation for them and to have it four miles every way from the place where they shall set up their centre; provided it intrench not upon Winnytuckquett, formerly granted to Plymouth. "And we have nominated Capt. Miles Standish, Mr. John Alden, George Soule, Constant Southworth, John Rogers and William Brett, to be feof---, in trust for the equal dividing and laying forth the said lands to the inhabitants." These inhabitants, the original share holders of ancient Bridgewater, were 54 in number. Bridgewater was incorporated as a township, June 3, 1656. Officers commissioned to command the militia: Captain Thomas Hayward, Jr., commissioned Oct. 2, 1689; Lieutenants Josiah Standish, June 6, 1660; and Thomas Hayward, Jr., Sept. 27, 1664.
Abington was set off from Bridgewater and incorporated as a town, June 10, 1712. The Indian name what became Abington was Maramooskeagin.
North Bridgewater, set off from Bridgewater, and incorporated as a new and distinct town, June 15, 1821. Name changed to Brockton, March 28, 1874.
West Bridgewater, set off from Bridgewater, and incorporated as a new and distinct town, Feb. 16, 1822.
East Bridgewater, set off from Bridgewater, and made a distinct town, June 14, 1823. Part of Halifax annexed to East Bridgewater, April 11, 1857. Part of East Bridgewater annexed to Brockton, April 24, 1875.
Rockland, set off from Abington, March 9, 1874.
South Abington, set off from Abington and East Bridgewater, March 4, 1875.
Part of South Abington, was annexed to Brockton, April 24, 1875.
DEED OF OLD DARTHMOUTH.
New Plymouth, November the 29th, 16552.
Know all men by these Presents that I Wesamequin, and Wamsutta my son, have sold unto Mr. William Bradford, Captain Standish, Thomas Southworth, John WInslow, John Cooke, and their associates, the purchasers or old comers, all the tract or tracts of land lying three miles eastward from a river called Cushenagg to a certain harbor called Acoaksett, to a flat rock on the westward side of the said harbor. And whereas the said harbour divideth itself into several branches, the westernmost arme to be the bound, and all the tract, or tracts of land from the said westernmost arme to the said river of Cushenagg, three miles eastward of the same, with all the profits and benefits within the said tract, with all the rivers, creeks, meadows, necks and islands that lye in or before the same, and from the sea upward to go so high that the English may not be annoyed by the hunting of the Indians in any sort of their cattle.
And I Wesamequin and Wamsutta, do promise to remove all the Indians within a year from the date hereof, that do live in the said tract. And we the said Wasamequin and Wamsutta have fully bargained and sold unto the aforesaid Mr. William Bradford, Captain Standish, Thomas Southworth, John Winslow, John Cooke, and the rest of their associates, the purchasers or old comers, to have and to hold for them and their heirs and assigns forever. And in consideration hereof, we the above mentioned are to pay to said Wesamequin and Wamsutta, as followeth: Thirty yards of cloth, eight moose skins, fifteen axes, fifteen hoes, fifteen pair of breeches, eight blankets, two keetles, one cloak, £ 2 in wampum, eight pair stockings, eight pair of shoes, one iron pot, and ten shillings in other commoditie. And in witness hereof we hae inter-changably set our hands the day and year above written.
In presence of JOHN WINSLOW Jonathan Shaw )_ JOHN COOKE Samuel Eddy ) WAMSUTTA His mark
The tract of country coveyed by this deed embraced not only what is now Dartmouth, but New Bedford, Fairhaven, Westport, and nearly all of Acushnet.*
That part of ancient Dartmouth, now New Bedford, was by the Indians called Accoosnet; and that part now Dartmouth, Apponegansett; that now Fairhaven, Sconticut; and Westport, Acoaxet.
New Bedford was set off from Dartmouth, Feb. 23, 1787.
Westport was set off from Dartmouth, July 2, 1787.
Fairhaven, set off from New Bedford, Feb. 22, 1812.
Acushnet, set off from Fairhaven, Feb. 13, 1860.
The John Cooke mentioned in this deed is said to have been one of the earliest gospel ministers settled in Dartmouth, and Backus, in his excellent history of the Baptist denomination, page 135, said, "John Cooke was a Baptist minister in Dartmouth for many years, from whence springs the Baptist church in the borders of Tiverton." John Cooke died Nov. 23, 1695 (Dartmouth Town Records). John Cooke's name appears among those who took the oath of fidelity in 1684. He was representative to the colonial court in 1666, 1673 and 1686. Concerning him, the records of Plymouth Colony, book 4, page 163, give the following:
"1667, July. John Cooke, of Dartmouth, is authorized by court to make contracts of marriage in the town of Dartmouth, and likewise to administer an oath to give evidence to the Grand Inquest, and likewise to administer an oath to any witness for the trial of a case as occasion may require; and in case any person or persons residing in this jurisdiction shall have occasion to commence a suit against a stranger or foreigner, it shall be lawful for the said John Cooke to issue out warrants in His Majesties name to bind over any person or persons to answer the said suit at His Majesties Court to be holden at Plymouth at any time by attachment or summons as occasion may require, and that he shall give forth suppoenies to warn witnesses."
*A small part of Freetown was annexed to Fairhaven, June 15, 1815; a small part of Rochester was added to Fairhaven, April 9, 1836; and a small part of Portsmouth, R.I. was annexed to the town of Westport in 1861. None of these additions were included in that Indian deed.
Sarah Cooke (who, there is little if indeed any doubt, was a daughter of John Cooke) and Arthur* Hathaway were united in marriage in 1652, and they had a son John Hathaway, born in 1653, from whom are descended the most of the numerous family of Hathaway, inhabiting what was ancient Dartmouth, but now Dartmouth, New Bedford, Westport, Fairhaven and Acushnet. There were thirty-six English proprietors or original purchasers of ancient Dartmouth. Among these purchasers was Captain Miles Standish, of Duxbury, whose share was conveyed to John Russell per deed of March 9, 1664. That John Russell is thought to have been a son of Ralph Russell, from Pontipool, Monmouthshire, Eng., who, in 1652, went to what was then Taunton, but now Raynham, to establish iron works upon "two mile river." Ralph Russell soon after came to Dartmouth and set up iron works upon the west bank of Pascamanset river, at a place that still retains the name of "Russell's Mills." That John Russell was Dartmouth's first or earliest representative to the colonial court, then holden at Plymouth, and was elected to that trust in 1665. John Russell died Feb. 13, 1695, and Dorothy, his wife, died Dec. 18, 1687. (See Dartmouth Records.)
John Russell and wife Dorothy had a son, Joseph Russell, born May 6, 1650, and died December 11, 1739. Elizabeth, the wife of Joseph Russell, was born March 6, 1657, and died Sept. 25, 1737. (See Ricketson's History of New Bedford, page 154.) This Joseph Russell and wife Elizabeth had twin sons named Joseph and John Russell, born Nov. 22, 1679. Joseph Russell, Jr., and wife Mary had a son born Oct. 8, 1719, whom they christened Joseph, and to that son Joseph the world at large have accorded the honor of being the "founder of New Bedford." This Joseph Russell (the
* "1667, June, Sergeant James Shaw and Arthur Hatherway are appointed by the Court to exercise the men in armes in the town of Dartmouth." See Plymouth Colony Records, Book 4, page 104.
"1671, July, Arthur Hathaway, of Dartmouth, is appointed by Court to administer an oath to any witness to give evidence to the Grand Inquest in that town as occasion may require." See Plymouth Colony Records, Book 5, page 48.
founder of New Bedford) died Oct. 16, 1804. He was the pioneer of the whale fishery at that place, in which he was engaged as early as 1755. He and his sons were the principal owners of the ship "Rebecca," and the first American whaler that doubled Cape Horn and obtained a cargo of oil in the Pacific Ocean. The ship Rebecca was launched in March, 1785,* Col. George Claghorn being the builder, who was also the naval constructor of the United States frigate "Constitution."
The name Bedford originated in this way. It was first given to a village in old Dartmouth, and at the suggestion of Joseph Rotch, in honor of Joseph Russell, founder of the enterprise that had called the village into existence. Russell was the family name of the Duke of Bedford. It was subsequently ascertained that the same name had been previously given (viz., Sept. 23, 1729) to a township in Middlesex county, Mass., and hence this then village, in old Dartmouth, came to be called New Bedford, a name applied to that part of ancient original Dartmouth set off and incorporated as a new and distinct town, Feb. 23, 1787. This also continued as the name when the village, that had became a town in 1787, was incorporated as a city, March 9, 1847.
The act of incorporating ancient and original Dartmouth as a township appears in the 4th book of Ply-
* "Navy Yard, Boston. The Constructor has the honor to inform his Fellow Citizens that the Frigate Constitution is to be launched into her destined Element on Wednesday the 20th inst at 11 o'clock."
Col. George Claghorn had been a captain in the patriot service in war of American Revolution, viz., in 1778, 1780 and 1781; promoted to major, July 1, 1781; raised to colonel, July 10, 1788. Honorably discharged in 1798. While he was colonel the field and staff officers of his regiment were as follows: Field Officers: George Claghorn, of New Bedford, colonel; Benjamin Weaver, of Freetown, lieutenant colonel; Robert Earl, of Westport, major. Staff Officers: Samuel Willis, of New Bedford, adjutant; William Almey, of Westport, quarter master. Lieutenant Colonel Weaver resigned in 1793, and was succeeded by Robert Earl, and Earl was succeeded by Sylvester Brownell.
mouth Colony Records, page 72, and in words following: "1664, June 8. At this Court all that tract of land commonly called and known by the name Acushena, Ponagansett and Coaksett, is allowed by the Court to be a township, and the inhabitants thereof have liberty to make such orders as may conduce to their common good in town concernments, and that the said town be henceforth called and known by the name of Dartmouth."
The selectmen of the town of Dartmouth, in 1667, were John Russell, Samuel Hickes, and Arthur Hathaway. (See Plymouth Colony Records, vol. 4, page 150.)
The earliest Justice of the Peace appointed in Dartmouth was Seth Pope, who was commissioned May 27, 1692. The earliest officers commissioned to command the local militia of the ancient and original town of Dartmouth, were as follows: Captain, Thomas Taber, commissioned May 20, 1689. Lieutenants, John Smith, commissioned March 4, 1674; Seth Pope, June 4, 1686;* Jonathan Delano, May 20, 1689. Ensigns, Jacob Mitchell, commissioned March 4, 1674, slain by the Indians; James Tripp, commissioned May 20, 1689.
Chessewaunke, alias Hog Island, is situated between the points of Mount Hope and Popasquash Neck, in Bristol harbor. A controversy concerning the jurisdiction of this island arose between the colonies of Plymouth and Rhode Island as early as 1658, or about one year subsequent to the ratifying of a title by Massasoit alias Osamequin, and five years after the bargain made by Wamsutta. That controversy was kept up and continued between Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies some 30 years or more.
At the court of Plymouth in 1684, Richard Smith, of Narragansett, complained against John Burden, of Portsmouth, R.I., for unjustly detaining the island from the complainant, and the jury found a verdict in favor of Smith.
Thomas Hinkley, governor of Plymouth Colony, in a
* Seth Pope died March 17, 1727, in his 79th year. Deborah, his wife, died Feb. 10, 1711, aged 56 years.
letter dated at Barnstable, Nov. 18, 1682, said, concerning Hog Island, "of late Mr. Richard Smith, of Narragansett, petitioned our court for their assistance of him to his just rights by ejection of some Rhode Islanders by due course of law that have trespassed him by taking possession of and making waste upon his island or little islet lying near Mount Hope Harbor, now called New Bristol, and helps to make that harbor. Upon which petition we though best (for the preservation of peace between the two colonies) to have first a treaty between us and them about it to see if that matter might be peaceably issued between us, seeing they laid claim to said island to be within their colony and we to be within ours; our court having given liberty to said Mr. Smith many years since to purchase said island, who did purchase it of the Sachem of Mount Hope and Pockonockett country, and was affirmed by the old Indians always to belong to Mount Hope and to the sachems thereof, and had his said purchase of the island acknowledged by said sachem and recorded in our court records many years agone."
Under date of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, June 24, 1684, John Sanford, recorder of said colony, wrote to the governor and council of Plymouth Colony, as follows:
HONORED GENTLEMEN.--We are sorry that so good a correspondence which hath formerly been kept and maintained betwixt this his majesty colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and your government by a temporary settlement of his majestys most honorable commissioners in the year 1664, March the 7th and 11th hath been now twice violated by yourselves notwithstanding our patent right by giving interruption to our government here. In the first place by a warrant granted forth by Mr. James Brown, which occasioned the imprisonment of Morris Freelove,* whereunto you gave approbabion by bring-
* He was called Morris Freelove, of Newport, R.I. The suit against him was in July, 1682. Morris Freelove and Eliza Wilbur were married Feb. 9, 1681. They went to reside in Freetown, Mass. A piece of land that they had of John Wilbur, deceased, they sold Aug. 29, 1737, to Samuel Forman. Morris Freelove made a will June 10, 1740. It named children Samuel, Rebecca, Abigail, Hannah and Mary.
ing him to a trial at your court concerning the lands of Hog Island, situate and being in our jurisdiction by virtue of his majestys gracious letters patent, &c., as also some of yours have endeavored since in an unlawful manner to possess themselves of said lands as we are informed. We also have had information that one Nathaniel Byfield, in an unmanlike and deceitful manner invited John Borden over to Bristol pretending to requite him for former kindnesses received; and immediately caused the constable to arrest him to your court to the intent that he might answer, by virtue of a warrant granted by Mr. Daniel Smith, of Rehoboth, for detaining of lands at Chassawunck alias Hog Island which he presumes to assert is in your Colony; as by the warrant a copy whereof we have seen is more largely demonstrated.
Official records duly attested furnish the following concerning the purchase of ancient Freetown:
December 24th, 1657.
Whereas Capt. James Cudworth, Mr. Josiah Winslow, senior, Constant Southworth and John Barnes, have been with me Wamsutta to buy a parcel of land, which they say is granted by the court of Plymouth unto themselves with some others, and I Wamsutta am not willing at present to sell all they doe desire.
Yet at present I Wamsutta doe tender and proffer unto Capt. James Cudworth, Josiah Winslow, John Barns and Constant Southworth [then follows a description of the tract of land], they yielding and paying unto me the said Wamsutta twenty coates, two ruggs, two iron pots, two kettles and one little kettle, eight paire of shoes, six paire of stockings, one dozen of hoes, one dozen of hatchets, two yards of broad cloth, and to satisfy unto John Barnes for those things I said Wamsutta took up of him.
Liberty to purchase had been granted by the colonial court in session at Plymouth, July 3, 1656, or nearly a year and a half before Wamsutta was prevailed on to execute the foregoing bond for a deed (for the document also contained the conditions of a bond) in a part we omitted to copy, and fifteen months expired after the date of the bond before the execution of the dded that found a place in the public records in the words following:
Know all men by these presents that we Ossamequin, Wamsutta, Tatapanum, natives inhabiting and living within the government of New Plymouth in New England in America have bargained and sold enfeofed and confirmed unto Capt. James Cudworth, Josiah Winslow, senior, Constant Southworth, John Barns, John Tisdall, Humphrey Turner, Walter Hatch, Samuel House, Samuel Jackson, John Daman, Mr. Timothy Hatherly, Timothy Foster, Thomas Southworth, George Watson, Nathaniel Morton, Richard Moore, Edmund Chandler, Samuel Nash, Henry Howland, Mr. Ralph Partridge, Love Brewster, William Paybody, Christopher Wadsworth, Kenelm Winslow, Thomas Bourne, John Waterman the son of Robert Waterman, and do by these presents bargain sell enfeoff and confirm from us and our heirs unto James Cudworth, Josiah Winslow, senior, Constant Southworth, John Tisdale, &c., and they and their heirs, all the tract of upland meadow lying on the easterly side of the Taunton river, beginning or bounded toward the south with the river called the Falls or Quequechand, and so extending itself northerly until it comes to a little brook called by the English by the name of Stacey's Creek which brook issues out of the woods into marshes and bay of Assonet close by the narrowing of Assonet Neck, and from the marked tree near said brook at the head of the marsh to extend itself into the woods on a north easterly point four miles and from the head of said four miles on a straight line southerly until it meet with the head of four mile line at Quequechand or the Falls aforesaid including all marshes, necks or islands lying and being between Assonet Neck and the Falls aforesaid except the land that Tabadacason hath in present use and all meadow upon Assonet Neck on the south side of said neck.
And all the meadow on the westerly side of Taunton river from Taunton upland bounds round until it come to the head of the Weypoiset river in all creeks, coves and rivers with inland meadow not lying above four miles from the flowing of the tide in and for consideration of 20 coats, 2 ruggs, 2 iron pots, 2 kettles and 1 little kettle, 8 pair of shoes, 6 pair of stockings, one dozen of hoes, one dozen of hatchets, 2 yards of broadcloth and a debt to be satisfied to John Barns which was due from Wamsutta unto John Barns before the 24th of December, 1657, all being unto us in hand paid Ossamequin, Wamsutta, Tattapanum are fully satisfied, contented and paid, and do by these presents exonerate, acquit and discharge [then followed the names of the 26 purchasers before enumerated] they and every of them and every of their heirs forever warranting the sale hereof from all persons from, by or under us claiming any right and title thereunto or unto any part or parcel thereof.
To have and to hold to them and to their heirs forever all the above said upland and meadow as is before expressed with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging from Ossamequin, Wamsutta, Tattapanum and every of us our heirs any every of them according to the tenure of East Greenwich in free soccage and not in Capite nor by nights service.
Also the said Ossamequin, Wamsutta and Tattaanum do covenant and grant that it may be lawful for the said James Cudworth, &c., to enter this said deed in the Court of Plymouth or in any other court of Record provided for in such cases in and for the performance whereof Wee Ossamequin, Wamsutta and Tattapanum have hereunto set our hands and seals this second day of April, 1659.
(seal) his Signed sealed and delivered Wamsutta ( ) (seal) in the presence of us mark Thomas Cook Jonathan Briggs her John Sasamon Tattapanum ( ) mark (seal)
June 9, 1659, Wamsutta did acknowledge this to be his free act and deed, and did make full resignation to the parties above said of all and singular the tracts of land above mentioned before us.
JOSIAS WINSLOW, )_ Assistants. WILLIAM BRADFORD, )
At the same time and place Tattapanum also appeared and acknowledged the deed to have been her free act, before Winslow and Bradford, but no record is to be found that Ossamequin ever so acknowledged, nor did he so much as sign the deed.
Early the next year the twenty-six purchasers entered into the following written agreement:
Whereas the court have granted unto several of the ancient freemen whose names are hereunder written certain tracts of lands as appears by the records whereof one is bounded from Assonet neck upon Cohanett river to a place called and known by the name of Queqethan and by the English called falls extending into the woods four miles which siad lands the said Freedman have purchased of the Indians as appears by a Deed under their hands and seals and whereof Capt. James Cudworth, Constant Southworth, Josias Winslow, senior, and John Tisdall being part of said companie were appointed and made choice of the rest of said companie to view the land and to divide it into twenty and six parts according to the number expressed in the said deed according to their judgement quantitie and qualitie and according to their notice given the companie were to be called together by the said James Constant and Josias and the land so divided to be disposed of to each by lot respectively.
Now soe it is that the said James Cudworth, Constant Southworth and Josias Winslow have been upon the land and taken view of it as their time would permit and have according to the number of each lot beginning the first lot at the falls and so following in number successively until it ends at Taunton bounds, and inasmuch as it may fall out that some lots may prove better than others therefore wee do all and every one of us agree and determin and doe by these presents firmly bind ourselves each to the other our heirs executors administrators and assigns to rest contented with what providence the lord shall dispose by lott to each of us not troubling or molesting each other and to this mutually agree before the lots be drawn.
It is further agreed that if any meadow fall within the range of any mans upland if it exceed not his due proportion he shall have it for his share or toward his share if it b4e less than his share but if there be more meadow within a mans range of upland than his share it is to be abated and divided to make up other mens.
It is further agreed that whereas Wamsutta hath reserved the land Tabadascon had in present use att the banished Indians for the Indians that keep the Ferry that in whose lot or lots it shall fall to be in,the owners of the lots shall allow it untill he or they shall make a further agreement with the Indians.
Further whereas an Indian called Pianto hath made request to have three or four acres on some place on the plaine to plant on during his life which we agree to and therefore he in whose lot it shall fall shall allow him peacably to enjoy it during his life the propriety being the owner of the lott and to him to return to make improvement when Pianto deceaseth.
It is further agreed that each mans lott shall extend into the woods east south east to the head of the grant and west Nortwest unto the utmost extent of our grant by the water side cutting acrose all necks or Islands and who has parts of his lott iwthin any neck being shut out from comeing to it but by passing over some other Lotts; the party owning any such parts shall have free passage from his lot to his parts as may be convenient for him and least prejudicial to the neighbour or neighbors.
It is further agreed that if the twentyeth lot has 90 pole in breadth, then it is to stand, or if it be above 90 pole to stand, but if it be short of 90 pole then to be made the 90 pole out of the one and twentyeth.
That what is above written is by the minds and consents of the Partners unto which we ingage ourselves our heirs Executors and Administrators is witnessed by setting to our hands this fourth of Januar, 1660,
James Cudworth Edmund Chandler Josias Winslow his Constant Southworth John I. B. barnes his mark John I B barnes for Richard Moore mark Samuel Nash Humphrey Turner Henry Howland Walter Hatch William Paybody Samuel House Christopher Wadsworth his Kanelm Winslow William Z. Randall Josias Winslow senior in mark the behalf of Thomas in behalf of Samuel Bourne Jackson John Waterman James Cudworth in the behalf of Mr. Hatherly Constant Southworth for Thomas Southworth Georg Watson Nathaniel Morton
Volume 6, folio 44, of the Old Colony Records contains the following:
At the Court held at Plymouth the first Tuesday in March 1680-81 upon the petition of Mr. Nathaniel Thomas, Capt. Benjamin Church and Edward Gray in the behalf of themselves and partners purchasers of the lands att Pocasset and parts adjacent, this Court have ordered William Paybody to run the line of the Freeman's land upon which the said purchasers land aforesaid is bounded beginning att the great cleft Rock on the north side of the River called the fall River; or Queyuchan, which Rock is above the path; and neare the path goeth over the said River and from the said Rock to run west north west untill it meets with the fall River; and soe by the fall River untill it comes to Taunton River; and from the said Rock east south east into the woods to the extent of the grant of court formerly made to the Freeman, and that the said Petitioners give notice to the owners of the Freemens land next the fall River, to be present at the running of the said line.
(photo insert -- caption)
ANCIENT HOUSE IN ASSONET VILLAGE, FREETOWN, ERECTED ABOUT 1745 (Still standing on Elm Street.)
Some question having arisen concerning the northerly line of what is now Freetown, the colonial court decided as follows:
June 1681. In reference to the difference about the Freemens land lying on the easterly side of Taunton RIver and concerningn their northerly bounds; the Court have ordered that it is bounded from Stacye's Creek by Taunton bounds Easterly to the woods four miles from Stacey's Creek.
The act of incorporation was in words following:
July, 1683. This court orders that the Inhabitants of the Freemen's land att the Fall River shal be a Township and hav a Constable and Grand Jury men and hence forth be called by the name of Freetown.
Early officers commissioned to command the local militia of Freetown: -- Captain, Josiah Winslow, commissioned Feb. 9, 1715; he probably retained that office until about 1725. Lieutenants, Thomas Terry, commissioned June 4, 1686; Josiah Winslow, from date unknown to February 9, 1715. Ensigns, Ralph Earle, till in or about 1715; Jacob Hathaway, commissioned in or about 1715.