DEED OF ATTLEBOROUGH.
Know all men that I Wamsetta alias Alexander, chief Sachem of Pokanokett for divers good causes and valuable considerations me thereunto moving have bargained and sold unto Captain Thomas Willet of Wannamoisett, all those tracts of lands situated and being from the bounds of Rehoboth ranging upon Patuckett unto a place called Waweypounshag, the place where one Blackstone now sojourneth, and so ranging along to the said river unto a place called Mesanagtaconeh, and from this upon a straight line crossing through the woods unto the uttermost bounds of the town of Rehoboth.
To have and to hold unto him the said Captain Willet and his associates their heirs and assigns forever; reserving only a compitent portion of land for some of the natives at Mishanegitaconett for to plant and sojourn upon as the said Wamsutta alias Alexander and the said Thomas Willett, Jointly together shall see meet; and the rest of all the land afore mentioned, with the woods, waters, meadows, and all emoluments whatsoever to remain unto the said Thomas Willet and his associates, their heirs and assigns forever.
Witness my hand and seal this eighth day of April in the year 1661.
Signed sealed and delivered in presence of
John Browne Jr. The mark of A X A Jonathan Bosworth WAMSITTA alias ALEXANDER John Sassaman Interpreter his seal (L.S.)
The commissioned officers of the local militia of Plymouth colony at that date were as follows:
Josias Winslow, of Marshfield, Major Commandant, commissioned 1658.
Plymouth Company. -- Thomas Southworth, Captain, commissioned 1659.
Scituate Company. -- James Cudworth, Captain, commissioned June 29, 1652; James Torrey, Lieutenant, and John Williams, Jr., Ensign, both commissioned June 8, 1655.
Duxbury Company. -- Samuel Nash, Lieutenant, commissioned June 4, 1645, Jonathan Alden, Ensigh, commissioned June 1, 1658.
Taunton Company. -- James Wyatt, Lieutenant, and Oliver Purchase, Ensign, both commissioned June 5, 1651.
Yarmouth Company. -- William Hedge, Captain, commissioned Aug. 2, 1659.
Barnstable Company. -- Mathew Fuller, Lieutenant, and Burnard Lumburt, Ensign, both commissioned Oct. 15, 1652.
Sandwich Company. -- John Ellis, Lieutenant, commissioned June 9, 1653, and Thomas Dexter, Jr., Ensign, commissioned June 8, 1655.
Marshfield Company. -- Josias Winslow, Captain, Peregrine White, Lieutenant, and Mark Eams, Ensign, all commissioned June 8, 1655.
Rehoboth Company. -- Peter Hart, Lieutenant, commissioned Aug. 1, 1654; John Brown, Jr., Ensign, commissioned Aug. 1, 1654.
Eastham Company. -- Joseph Rogers, Lieutenant, commissioned June 1, 1647.
Bridgewater Company. -- Josias Standish, Lieutenant, commissioned June 6, 1660.
Cavalry Company raised at large in the Colony. William Bradford, of Plymouth, Captain; John Freeman, of Eastham, Lieutenant; Robert Stetson, of Scituate, Cornet.
It will be observed that in accordance with the military rules and regulations then in force, Josias Winslow was both Major Commandant of the Regiment and Captain of the Marshfield Company, at one and the same time.
Concerning that Indian residence in Raynham, the Rev. Dr. Fobes wrote: "One mile and a quarter from the forge is a place called the Fowling Pond, on the northerly side of which once stood King Philip's house. It was called King Philip's hunting hopuse, because in the season most favorable to hunting he resided there, but spent the winter chiefly at Mount Hope, probably for the benefit of fish. . . . . . The place already mentioned by the name of Fowling Pond is itself a great curiosity. Before Philip's War it seems to have been a large pond nearly two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. Since then the water is almost gone, and the large tract it once covered is grown up to a thick-set swamp of cedar and pine. That this, however, was once a great pond, haunted by fowls and supplied with fish in plenty, is more than probable, for here is found upon dry land a large quantity of white floor sand and a great number of that kind of smooth stones which are never found except on shores or places long washed with water. There is also on the east side a bank of sand, which is called the Beaver's Dam, against which the water formerly washed up -- and if so, the pond must once have been of such amplitude as before mentioned. Add to this, a large number of Indian spears, tools, pots, &c., are found near the sides of the pond. This indicates that the natives were once thickly settled here."
Concerning what occurred in that part of Taunton now called Raynham, in King Philip's war, the same writer says--"Deacon Nathanial Williams, with some others, were at work in the field," when "one of the number discovered a motion of the bushes at a little distance; he immediately presented his gun and fired, upom which the Indians were heard to cry Cocoosh, and ran off, but soon after one of the Indians was found dead near Fowling Pond. Near the great river [Taunton river] are now to be seen the graves of Henry Andros and James Phillips, who with James Bell and two sons were killed by a number of Indians who lay in ambush. This happened in the place called Squabette."
Mr. Fobes continues--"Uriah Leonard, as he was riding from Taunton to the forge in this place, was discovered and fired upon by the Indians. He instantly plucked off his hat and swung it around, which startled his horse, and in full career he reached the forge dam without a wound; but several bullets were shot through the hat he held in his hand and through the neck of the horse near the mane, from which the blood on both sides gushed and ran down on both his legs."
Two young women were slain by the Indians in King Philip's war in what is now Raynham, and Mr. Fobes says that their dead bodies were buried under the door step of the ancient Leonard house, that was built some time before the war, and wherein tradition says that the head of King Philip was for a time deposited. That house was a human habitation about one hundred and seventy years, giving shelter to six consecutive generations of men. In a letter addressed to Thomas Hinckley, governor of Plymouth Colony, under date of May 23, 1676, it was stated that "the enemy have killed four stout men at Taunton, and carried away (two) lusty youths--Mr. Henry Andrews, James Bell, Sargeant Phillips and the two youth, all at one time, being securely planting two or three miles from the town; the other one, Edward Bobit, killed at another place; the four men leaving thirty two fatherless children in a hard world."
Edward Bobit (the name now spelled Babbitt) was slain in a part of Taunton, now Berkley, and the spot of his interment is still pointed out. The tradition concerning him is that he abandoned his home at what is called "the farms," in Berkley; and with his family and neighbors had taken refuge in the garrisoned house at or near "the green," in Taunton. After a time he ventured to visit his deserted home, and had started to return to the garrison house, when he was discovered and pursued by an Indian, to escape whom he climbed into the branches of a tall tree, the foliage of which effectually hid him from passing view, and by this device he would probably have effected his escape but for his small dog, that persistently hung around the foot of the tree and thus betrayed his hiding place to the pursuer, who shot at and killed him. His corpse was found at the foot of the tree, and an Indian captive told the story in substance as above related. This story was communicated to the present writer by a lineal descendant of the man slain, and which descendant was born and still resides upon the farm once owned and occupied by Edward Bobit or Babbett. The owner of this book visited the grave of Edward Babbett, June 17, 1878. It is not far from the Dighton and Berkely Bridge, and on the Berkley side of Taunton River. On his gravestone, after considerable labor in scraping off moss, I was able to decypher
A description of the locality mentioned may be found in a note at the bottom of page 199 of this book.
Sogkonate, the domain of Awashonks, that section of country over the inhabitants of which she reigned as queen, is now chiefly included in the township of Little Compton, R.I. Awashonks was the wife of an Indian named Tolony, of whom little is now known. They had a son named Mamaneway, and probably several other children, whose names are unknown to me. Some disagreement arising between Awashonks and the Government of New Plymouth, the colonial council of war, in session July 8, 1671, enacted as follows:
It was agreed that a hundred men should be pressed out of the severall townes of this Jurisdiction in an equall proportion to be in a reddiness att Plymouth on Monday the seaventh of August next to go forth on the said expedition under the command of Major Josias Winslow as comander in cheife. It was further ordered by the councell of warr, that Leiftenant John Freeman shallbe a second to the major in the said expedition. And Mr. Constant Southworth commissary; Captaine Fuller to supply the place of a leiftenant and a sarjean; and Mr. William Witherell and Elisha Hedge for sarjeants. It was also agreed that forty of our trustiest Indians should also be procured to be in a reddines for to goe forth to be healpfull in the said enterprise. The eight day of August next to be the time of theire setting forth; on which day the townes of Taunton, Rehoboth, Bridgewater and Swansey are to cause theire souldiers that are to be sent forth to give meeting to the major and the rest of the company att or neare Assonett about John Tisdall's farme. It was agreed that the comaunder in cheif shall have allowed unto him 10 s a day. A leiftenant 06 s a day. A sarjeant 04 s a day. An ordinary souldier, horese and man 03 s a day. The Proportions of the Men pressed out of the severall Townes of this Jurisdiction to goe forth on the above mencioned Expedition
The place where it was proposed to assemble the colonial militia preparatory to setting out against Awashonks, the Squaw Sachem of Sogkonate, was in what is now Assonet Village, in Freetown; and what was then John Tisdale's farm, is adjacent to the Assonet Four Corners. On the 24th of July, 1671, articles of agreement were made and concluded between Awashonks and the "Court of New Plymouth," that prevented the shedding of blood, and hence the proposed expedition of Aug. 8, 1671, was abandoned. In 1671, the local militia of Plymouth Colony was officered as follows:
Josias Winslow, of Marshfield, Major Commandant, commissioned in 1658.
Plymouth Company.--Ephraim Morton, Lieutenant, and Joseph Bradford, Ensign, both commissioned June 8, 1664.
(Photo insert -- caption)
PRESENT APPEARANCE OF ASSONET FOUR CORNERS IN FREETOWN,
AS SEEN FROM SOUTH MAIN STREET
(The place appointed for assembling the militia of Plymouth Colony, preparatory to making war on Awashonks, Squaw Sachem of Sogkonate.)
Scituate Company.--Michael Peirce, Captain, commissioned in 1669; Isaac Buck, Lieutenant, and John Sutton, Ensign, both commissioned March 1, 1670.
Duxbury Company.--Samuel Nash, Lieutenant, commissioned June 4, 1645; Jonathan Alden, Ensign, commissioned June 1, 1658.
Taunton Company.--George Macy, Lieutenant, and Thomas Leonard, Ensign, both commissioned June 7, 1665.
Yarmouth Company.--William Hedge, Captain, commissioned Aug. 2, 1659. His name as captain of this company was given in the Roster that appears on page 64; but that is a mistake, as Thomas Howes was commissioned captain in 1674.
Barnstable Company.--Matthew Fuller, Lieutenant, commissioned Oct. 15, 1652; Burnard Lumbert, Ensign, Oct. 15, 1652.
Sandwich Company.--John Ellis, Lieutenant, commissioned Juen 9, 1653; Thomas Dexter, Jr., Ensign, commissioned June 8, 1655.
Marshfield Company.--Josias Winslow, Captain; Peregrine White, Lieutenant, and Mark Eames, Ensign, all commissioned June 8, 1655.
Rehoboth Company.--Peter Hunt, Lieutenant, commissioned Aug. 1, 1654; Henry Smith, Ensign, commissioned June 8, 1664.
Eastham Company.--Joseph Rogers, Lieutenant, commissioned June 8, 1664. He was commissioned Lieutenant June 1, 1647, and June 1, 1663 was succeeded as a Lieutenant by ______ Merrick, but re-appointed June 8, 1664.
Bridgewater Company.--Thomas Hayward, Jr., Lieutenant, and John Hayward, Sen., Ensign, both commissioned Sept. 27, 1664.
Middleborough Company.--Not yet organized.
Cavalry Company raised at large in the Colony. William Bradford, of Plymouth, Captain; John Freeman, of Eastham, Lieutenant, and Robert Stetson, of Scituate, Cornet, all commissioned Oct. 2, 1659.
Weetamo's dead body did not wash ashore on the Fall River side of Taunton River, but upon the Swansea side, or that from which she set out to cross the stream. Her dead body was found in what is now called "Gardiner's Neck," but was by the Indians called "Mettipoiset."
WRENTHAM was incorporated Oct. 15, 1673. Rev. Samuel Mann was settled here in the gospel ministry in 1692. The first English inhabitant was a man named Shears. The first of English parents born here was Mehitable Shears. In King Philip's war the town was abandoned by its English inhabitants, and all their houses save two were burned by the Indians. The following named persons engaged to return to and settle in Wrentham at the close of King Philip's war:--Ebenezer Metcalf, Robert Ware, William Mackneh, Daniel Haws, John Aldiss, Eleazer Gay, Daniel Wright, Samuel Fisher, John Payne, Benjamin Rocket, Samuel Mann, John Ware, Nathaniel Ware, Cornelius Fisher, Michael Wilson, James Mosman, Joseph Kingsbury, Samuel Shears. The Indian name of Wrentham was Wallonopaug.
Part of Wrentham was set off to Bellingham, Nov. 27, 1710, and a part set off to Franklin, March 2, 1778; also parts to Foxborough, June 10, 1778, and Feb. 7, 1831, and a part to Norfolk, Feb. 23, 1870.
In that part of ancient and original Wrentham now called Franklin, a man named Rocket, in the spring or summer of 1676, was searching for a stray horse, and at about sunset he discovered a train of forty-two Indians that he suspected were preparing to attack the English settlement of Wrentham. He therefore secretly followed them till they halted for the night, when he hastily repaired to that settlement and gave notice to the inhabitants, among whom a consultation was held and it was determined to attack the Indians early the next morning. A company of thirteen men from Wrentham and vicinity were collected, who, having secured the women and children in the garrison house, these men, under the lead of a Mr. Ware, set out for the Indian encampment that they reached just before daylight the next morning. The party were divided at a short distance from the Indian camp, with orders to reserve their fire till the Indians began to decamp. Between daylight and sunrise the Indians suddenly arose, when at a given signal a general discharge of the English musketry threw them into consternation, and in attempting to escape the Indians leaped down a rocky precipice of ten or twenty feet, but were pursued by the English, who slew some twenty of them with no loss of life on their part. The spot where the Indians that night encamped is still known as "Indian Rock."
Tradition informs us that John Woodcock, of Attleborough, then a part of Rehoboth, was one of the white men who then pursued the Indians, and that Woodcock was armed with a long-barrel musket called a buccaneer. This he discharged at an Indian at a distance of eighty rods, the ball striking and breaking the Indian's thigh bone and proving a mortal wound. Woodcock was a bitter and uncompromising enemy to the Indians, showing in his determined efforts to destroy them, an energy and zeal worthy of a far better cause. The Indians seem sometimes to have got a shot at him, as at his death it was reported that on his body were found the scars of seven bullet wounds. He survived the war, and lived to a very advanced age. He died Oct. 20, 1701. (See Daggett's History of Attleborough.)
Ancient Taunton embraced lands conveyed by the Indians to the white people at the dates here mentioned. First, the Tetiquet (or Titicut) purchase that was made in or about 1636. Second, the North purchase, made about 1667; and third, the South purchase, made in 1672. The Tetiquet purchase embraced the present territorial limits of the city of Taunton, the present town of Raynham, and a large part of the town of Berkley. The North purchase constituted the present towns of Norton, Easton and Mansfield; and the South purchase embraced what is now the town of Dighton.
Besides these three purchases, the territory of Assonet Neck, taken from the Indians as a fruit of conquest in King Philip's war, was annexed to Taunton in July, 1682. May 30, 1712, the South purchase was detached from Taunton, as was also Assonet Neck, and these were incorporated as a town under the name of Dighton.
Feb. 25, 1799, Assonet Neck was detached from Dighton and annexed to Berkley, where it still remains.
Richard Williams, who has been called the "father" or founder of Taunton, is said to have been a large landed proprietor in the South purchase, and the name Dighton was probably conferred in compliment to and respect for the numerous and eminent virtues of Richard Williams' wife, Frances Williams, whose maiden name was Dighton. She was sister to Catherine Dighton, who became the wife of governor Thomas Dudley, and mother of governor Joseph Dudley and Judge Paul Dudley.
The earliest town officers of Dighton, of which I have been able to find an official record, were: Town Clerk, Joseph Dean, who was succeeded by Capt. Jared Talbot. Joseph Atwood was elected town clerk of Dighton, March 27, 1721; Ephraim Atwood, March 8, 1724; Ezra Richmond, in 1751; Samuel Briggs, March 9, 1752, and Gershom Williams, Jr., March 19, 1752. For Selectmen, Edward Paul, Samuel Waldron and Benjamin Jones were chosen in 1714; Paul Jones and Joseph Atwood, March 28, 1715; Jones, Atwood and Ebenezer Pitts in 1716. For Assessors, Capt. Jared Talbot, Edward Shove and Edward Paul in 1720; Edward Shove, Benjamin Jones and Hezekiah Hoar in 1721. For Constables, James Tisdale in 1714; Ephraim Hathaway in 1715; John Paul in 1716 and 1717. Representatives to General Court, Ephraim Atwood in 1719; Benjamin Crane in 1721; Jared Talbot in 1722, and Edward Shove in 1723 and again in 1733.
The township of Dighton was divided June 9, 1814, a part set off and incorporated as a new town under the name of Wellington. It was re-united by joining the new town to Dighton, Feb. 22, 1826.
Rochester was incorporated June 4, 1686. The Indian name was Scipican or Sippican. The south-easterly part of Rochester was set off and incorporated as a new and distinct town, and called Marion, May 14, 1852; and May 20, 1857, another part of Rochester was set off and made a new town under the name of Mattapoisett, an Indian name that is said in the language of that people to signify Rest. Ebenezer White, Esq., of Rochester, commanded a regiment in the patriot service on an expedition to Rhode Island in the war of the American Revolution, when a part of the hilt of his sword was shot off by then enemy in battle. He died in March, 1804, aged 80 years. The writer of this book, when passing through Rochester in 1860, visited the ancient cemetery in that part of the settlement called "Rochester town," where he found a fallen neglected stone, from which considerable scraping of moss was required to enable him to decypher the inscription that reads thus: "Memento Mori, sacred to the memory of Col. Ebenezer White, who died March, 1804, aet. 80. He was 19 times chosen to represent the town of Rochester in the General Court, in 14 of which elections he was unanimously chosen. As a tribute of respect for his faithful service the Town erected this monument to his memory."
Macy's History of Nantucket, page 43, says: "His name was John Gibbs; his crime was the mentioning of the name of Philip's father. Rehearsing the name of the dead, if it should be that of a distinguished person, was decreed by the natives a very high crime, for which nothing but the life of the culprit could atone."
TAUNTON. In or near the year 1637 was bought of the Indian natives a tract that the latter called "Cohanet," including parts of the present towns of Berkley, Mansfield, Norton and Raynham, and also part of the present city limits of Taunton. This was generally known as the "Tetiquet purchase," and on the 3d of Sept., 1639, this was incorporated as a town and called Taunton. To the township of Taunton was added, June 3, 1668, the "North Purchase," so called, or what is now Easton, a large portion of Mansfield, and a part of Norton. Taunton was further enlarged in 1672 by the addition of a "South Purchase," the bounds of which were identical with those of the present township of Dighton. "Assonet Neck," purchased by some Taunton people, Nov. 12, 1677, was also annexed to Taunton.*
Thus it is seen that the township of Taunton came to consist of three purchases made of the Indians, together with the conquered territory of Assonet Neck, wrested by the English from the aborigines in King Philip's war, and by Plymouth Colony government sold towards meeting the expenses incurred in that bloody conflict, wherein the hope of the red man perished.
Norton was set off from Taunton and incorporated as a new and distinct town, June 12, 1711.
Dighton was set off from Taunton, May 30, 1712. Raynham was also set off April 2, 1731; and Berkley, April 18, 1735.
Part of Dighton, viz., "Assonet Neck," was annexed to Berkley, Feb. 26, 1799. Part of Taunton was also annexed to Berkley, Feb. 6, 1810, and another part, March 3, 1842. Dighton was divided, and the new town thus formed called Wellington, June 8, 1814, the latter being re-united with Dighton in 1826.
Taunton was incorporated as a city, May 13, 1864. The town was represented at the colonial court in 1639 by Capt. William Poole, John Gilbert and Henry Andrews, and John Strong was constable.
The writer of this book spent considerable time in visiting and examining that "piece of country" which Mr. Drake says "projected into Taunton River," but failed to find any piece of land there located that to
*The old Colony Records contain the following: "July, 1683, this Court orders the land called Assonet Neck, being purchased by some of Taunton, that the said tract of land shall be in the township of Taunton." The writer of this work has in his possession the deed of the sale of Assonet Neck, dated Nov. 12, 1677.
any considerable degree projects into that River. On March 5, 1878, I rode to the stone Bridge in Tiverton, where I made inquiries of the oldest inhabitants, who agree with me that the place which seems most probable to have been occupied by King Philip and his followers is the low grounds next to Taunton River, about a quarter of a mile from the present line that divides Fall River, Mass., from Tiverton, R.I., and on the Tiverton side of that line. The railroad from Fall River to Newport runs directly through the tract, as does also a turn-pike road that used to connect Fall River with the settlement at Howland's Ferry Bridge in Tiverton.
Among the Winslow Papers at Marshfield, was a letter addressed to Gen. Josias Winslow, and signed N.T., that is supposed to have been written by Capt. Nathaniel Thomas, of Marshfield, in which a long and detailed was given of this battle. The letter appears to have been written at Mount Hope, Aug. 10, 1675, and sets forth that the battle was fought on the morning of Aug. 1, 1675. Of the Indians therein engaged, the letter informs us that "they had very little powder, but shot enough it seemeth, for the first Indian that was shot down (being a stout fellow, and one of them which shot down old Tisdale at Taunton, and them with him, and had his gun), although he had his horn by his side, had no more powder than that in his gun, and Nimrod being there slain had but three or four charges of powder. The rest found slain were as badly provided. Near the issue of that engagement Mr. James Brown, Mr. Newman and others came to us with provisions."
Under date of July, 1676, Church's History describes the occurrence referred to as follows:--"Marching with what men were ready, he took with him the post that came from Bridgewater to pilot him to the place where he thought he might meet with the enemy. In the evening they heard a smart firing at a distance from them, but it being near night and the firing of short continuance, they missed the place and went into Bridgewater town. It seems the occasion of the firing was that Philip finding that Capt. Church made that side of the country too hot for him, designed to return to the other side of the country that he came last from. And coming to the Taunton river with his company, they felled a great tree across the river for a bridge, to pass over on, and just as Philip's old uncle Akkompoin and some other of his chiefs were passing over the tree, some brisk Bridgewater lads had ambushed them, fired upon them and killed the old man and several others, which put a stop to their coming over the river that night. Next morning Capt. Church moved very early with his company, which was increased by many of Bridgewater that enlisted under him for that expedition, and by their piloting soon came very still to the top of the great tree which the enemy had fallen across the river."
In a letter dated Dec. 4, 1877, from Ephraim B. Thompson, Esq., of Halifax, Mass., addressed to the writer of this book, it is stated that "the Indians used to cross Taunton River at the Junction of the Winatuxet River on a log which I am told at low water can now be seen in the bed of the river. That place of crossing is between the present towns of Bridgewater and Halifax."
END OF APPENDIXES