Lucius R. (Lucius Robinson) Paige.

History of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register online

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Online LibraryLucius R. (Lucius Robinson) PaigeHistory of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register → online text (page 3 of 73)
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uary, 1686, very early entered the military service -of his country,
and was assigned to duty on the frontiers. Whether he enlisted
in that company of his own choice, or was placed in it by author-
ity, does not appear ; but the fact is certain that he was for many
years stationed at Brookfield (the scene of his grandfather's dis-
asters), first as a private soldier, and afterwards, by gradual pro-
motion, as sergeant, ensign, and lieutenant of the company com-
manded by Captain Samuel Wright of Rutland. Later in life,
he was captain of militia in Hardwick and New Braintree, and
retained that ofiice until 1766, when he had attained the age of
threescore years and ten. About 1730, while yet in the service
of the government, he removed his family from his former resi-
dence near Ditch Meadow to a farm which included a part of the
old Indian fortress at Winnimisset. Soon afterwards he went to
Canada, to effect an exchange of prisoners. While there an In-
dian became offended, and followed him through the wilderness
to his home. According to the family tradition, as I received it
from his eldest daughter, my grandmother, after the Indian had
lurked about the house for a few days, Captain Warner went into
the forest with his musket. He soon discovered his enemy, who
stepped behind a tree, and he dropped by the side of a log. He
then adopted a common stratagem, placing his hat on a stick and
cautiously elevating it above the log, as if to reconnoitre. Almost
instantly a bullet passed through it, and he sprang upon his feet.
The Indian was rushing forward with his scalping knife in hand ;
but his race was soon ended, and his body was consigned to a lily-
pond between the road and the river, about half a mile east of the
Old Furnace.

Except in the foregoing solitary case, I am not aware that the

1 The Indian " deed of sale " was de- said persons being betrusted by the town

livered by Thomas Cooper, December 19, or jjresent inhabitants of Brookfield for

1673, to "John Warner, Kichard Coye, taking in and receiving this present

and William Pritchard of Quabaog, alias deed." Fiske's Centennial Sermon, App.

Brookfield, for the use and as the proper iii.
right of the inhabitants of Brookfield, the



Indians ever molested the inhabitants of Hardwick, although in
one respect it was a frontier town, when settled by the English.
There was a settlement at Rutland on the east, and Brookfield
on the south was again inhabited. A line of towns had also
been established on Connecticut River ; but otherwise the whole
country, between Hardwick and Hudson River, was then a wil-
derness ; and in a direct line to Quebec or Montreal there was
not a single English settlement.




Purchases of Indian Titles. — Indian Deed. — The Proprietors petition the
General Court to confirm their Title. — The Representatives grant the
Request, but the Council non-concur. — First Settlement at the " Elbows."
— Title partially confirmed. — Purchase and Settlement of Leicester by the
same Proprietors. — Associates admitted. — Claim by Hendrick Kekquo-
quau. — Answer by Proprietors.

Aftee the close of Philip's War some of the Nipmuck Indians
returned to their former haunts ; and both these, and others who
dwelt elsewhere, asserted hereditary rights in the soil which the
English recognized as valid, and extinguished by purchase.^
Among these purchases was that which, about half a century
later, resulted in the settlement of Hardwick. The deed of sale,
executed by sundry Indians, was recorded in the county of Hamp-
shire, in which this territory was then embraced, from which
record it is here copied : ^ —

" Know all men by these presents, that we, John Magus, Law-
rence Massowanno,^ attorneys to Annogomok,^ Sachem of the

^ Such purchases became very frequent on record deeds of release and warranty
immediately after the abrogation of the from the aboriginal owners of the soib
Colony Charter in 1684. It was then In like manner, individuals purchased
assumed by the new representatives of hirge tracts of unoccupied territory, de-
royal authority that all titles to land signing at some future time to organize
derived from grants by the superseded new townships, or at least to have a place
government were utterly void and worth- of refuge to which they might fiee, if
less; that the king was the absolute owner driven from their present habitations by
of the whole territory ; and that he had arbitrary power.

an undoubted right to dispose of it at his 2 jjj ,jjis copy, the orthography is pre-
own pleasure. Indeed the common and served, but the punctuation is revised,
undivided lands of some towns, and the The deed was also entered on the Pro-
farms of several individuals, were seized prietors' Records, with slight variations
and bestowed upon others. Apparently which are designated in the following
with the hope of securing themselves notes.

against the rapacity of their new rulers ^ j^ the Index of Deeds, this name

by obtaining another title which might appears as Lawrance Nesawanuo, and on

be respected, many towns, which had the Proprietors' Records as Lawrance

peacefully existed under a grant by the Nassowanno.

General Court, now procured and placed * Anogomok. — Prop. Rec.


tract of land called Womberaesscook,^ James and Simon, sons
and heirs of Black James, Sachem of the Nipmug countrey, for
divers good causes and considerations us thereunto moveing, and
more especially for and in consideration of y® sum of twenty
pounds, currant money of New England, to us in hand paid by
Joshua Lambe, Natli. Paige,^ Andrew Gardiner,^ Benj?' Gamb-
lin, Benjamin Tucker, John Curtis, Richard Di'aper, and Samuel
Ruggles, of Roxberry in the county of Suffolk in New England,
y® receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge ourselves therewith
to be fully satisfyed, contented, and paid, have given, granted,
bargained, sold, aliened, enfeoffed, and confirmed, and by these
presents do fully, freely, and absolutely give, grant, bargain, sell,
aliene, enfeoffe, and confirm, unto the said Lambe, Paige, Gardi-
ner, Gamblin, Tucker, Curtis, Draper, and Ruggles, their heirs
and assignes, a certain tract or parcell of land, containing by esti-
mation twelve miles long, north and south, and eight miles wide,
east and west, scituate, lying and being near Quabaug, com-
monly known by the name of Wombemesiscook,* being butted
and bounded southerly upon the land of Joseph Dudley, Esq.,
lately purchased of the Indians, easterly the southermost corner
upon a pond called Sasagookapaug, and soe by a brook which
runneth into the said pond, and soe up northerly unto a place
called Nequaes,^ and soe still northerly until it meets with a
river Menamesick,*' and westerly by the river untill it come against
Quabaug bounds, and joynes unto their bounds, or however, or
however,^ otherwise butted and bounded ; together with all and
singular y® rights, commodities, liberties, privilidges, and appur-
tenances, whatsoever, to the same belonging, or however othei'-
wise appertaining. To have and to hold the said tract or parcel
of land, scituate, containing, and being, as aforesaid, to the said
Lamb, Paige, Gardiner, Gamblin, Tucker, Curtis, Draper, and
Ruggles, their heirs and assigns, in common tenancy, to their only
propper use and behoofe^ forever. And the said John Magus,
Lawrence Nassowanno, attorneys as aforesaid, James and Simon,
heirs of Black James, as aforesaid, do covenant, promise, and
grant, for themselves, heirs, executors, and administrators, to and
with the said Joshua Lamb, Nathaniel Paige, Andrew Gardiner,
Benjamin Gamblin, Benjamin Tucker,^ Richard Draper, and

1 Wombcinesisecook. — Prop. Rec. ^ Ncnaincseck. — Prop. Rec

* NathaiiiiicU Puige. — Prop. Rec. '' So in the record.

^ Unil'ornily on the Proprietors' Rec- ^ Use, benefit, and behoofe. — Prop.

ords, this name is written Gardner. Rec.

* Wombemesisccook. — Prop. Rec. * John Curtis is here omitted in the

* Ueques. — Prop. Rec. record.


Samuel Ruggles, their heirs and assignes, that they will ^ the
above granted and bargained land, and every part and parcel
thereof, with their and every of their appurtenances, warrant and
defend from all and every person and persons whatsoever, claim-
ing any right or title thereto, or interest therein, from, by, or
under us. In witness whereof, the said John Magus, Lawrence
Nassowanno, attorneys as aforesaid, James and Simon, have here-
unto set their hands and scales, this twenty-seventh day of Decem-
ber, Anno Domini one thousand six hundred eighty and six,
annoq. R. R? Jacobi Secundi Anglise &c. Secundo.

Signed, sealed, and "j John JNIagus, and seale.
delivered in pres- j Lawrence Nasowanno, his mark and seale.
ence of us, }■ James, his mark and seale.

John Gardiner. I Simon, his mark and seale.

Samuel Anay. ^ J Anogemag,^ his mark and seale.*

" John Magus, James, and Simon, Indians, subscribers to this
instrument, personally appeareing acknowledged the same to be
their act and deed, June 25''^ 1687, before me,

William Stoughton.

" On the 7th day of May 1723, this deed was received, and
was then here registered from the original.

Pr John Pynchon, Regf " ^

No immediate effort is known to have been made to derive
any profit from the purchase of this territory in the wilderness.^
Even the title-deed was not recorded until more than thirty-six
years after its date. At this period all the original purchasers,
except Deacon Richard Draper, had left all terrestrial possessions
and departed to a better country, even a heavenly. At length,
however, their heirs and assigns determined to take possession of
the property, and to improve it for their " mutual advantage,"
for which purpose they adopted and placed on record the follow-
ing agreement : —

" Whereas we, the subscribers, or our ancestors have fairly
purchased of the native and original owners thereof a certain

^ This sentence is differently con- ^ A similar delay occnrred in the set-

structed on Prop. Rec. tlement of Leicester (including Spencer),

2 Samuell May. — Prop. Rec. which was purchased by the same per-

* Anogomog. — Prop. Rec. sons, together with Ealph Bradhurst; the

* The Indian marks are recorded, but deed bears date 27th Jan. 1686-7, but no
here omitted. settlement of the territory was made until

^ Old Ilampsltire Registry of Deeds {nov? 1713.
in the Hampden Registry at Springfield),
Book D, page 237.


tract of land lying near Quabaog or Brookfield, commonly then
called by the name of Wombemesisecook for a valuable consid-
eration, as per the deed thereof duly executed, acknowledged,
and recorded, bearing date 1686, will be more plainly manifested :
and whereas the bounds of said tract be not so certainly known,
or the contents thereof : we, therefore, the persons concerned,
viz., Joshua Lamb, for himself;^ Nathaniel Paige and Christo-
pher Paige, as heirs to Nathaniel Paige ; Samuel Green and
Edward Sumner, as assigns to Andrew Gardner's heirs ; Caleb
Seaver, one of the heirs of Benjamin Garablin; Benjamin Tucker
and Samuel Davis, as heirs to Benjamin Tucker ; Benjamin
Smith, on behalf of John Curtis' heirs ; Richard Draper, for
himself ; and Joseph Ruggles, for the heirs of Samuel Ruggies :
Do hereby authorize and empower the above-named Samuel
Green to employ and improve a surveyor and two other persons
suitable for that purpose to view and consider and mark out the
said lands, as butted and bounded in said deed ; to take an
account of the waste land, ponds, as well as other land therein
fit for settlements ; and make report of their doings to ourselves
the last Tuesday in April next : that so we may proceed therein
for the mutual advantage of the purchasers ; — the said meeting
to be at the house of Simon Rogers in Boston on the said
Tuesday. Witness our hands this 20th of February, 1726-7.

" Richard Draper. ^ ^'^ ,^

T r^ Benjamin B. Smith.

Joseph Ruggles. mark

Nathaniel Paige. Joshua Lamb.

Christopher Paige. Samuel Green.

Benjamin Tucker. Edward Sumner,

Samuel Davis. Caleb Seaver."

Subsequent proceedings are recorded as follows: —
*' At a legal Proprietors' meeting at Simon Rogers in Boston
on the 25th of April 1727 ; in the first place, by a major vote of
the proprietors we chose Deacon Richard Draper Moderator of
said meeting ; in the next place, by a major vote of the proprie-
tors, we chose Joseph Ruggles Proprietoi's' Clerk: in the next
place, voted that Capt. Samuel Green should be allowed the
charges in his account expended upon finding out the said land,
to be paid the next meeting ; and in the last place, voted that
this meeting be adjourned to the same place the last Tuesday of
May next, at one of the clock in the afternoon."

1 Colonel Joshua Lamb was, probably, sole owner of the share purchased by his
father, who died 23d September, 1690.


At the adjourned meeting, " Voted, on the 30th of Ma,j, 1727,
by the Proprietors of a certain tract of land contained in a deed
signed John Magus, Lawrence Nassawanno, &c., dated 27th of
December, 1686, that Col. Joshua Lamb, Deacon Richard Draper
and Capt. Samuel Green, be a committee to represent the whole
proprietors, and to prefer such a petition to the honorable Gen-
eral Court as they in their prudence may think fit ; the prayer
of which to contain what may be most needful for the safe pro-
ceeding of said proprietors in settling the said propriety."

In the printed Journal of the House of Representatives, under
date of June 10, 1727, we find this record : " A petition of
Joshua Lamb, Richard Draper, and Samuel Green, as they are
a committee of a number of proprietoi's and purchasers of a cer-
tain tract of land, lying near the town of Brookfield, formerly
called Quabaug, shewing that the said Richard Draper and sun-
dry others formerly purchased of some Indians a large tract of
land called Wombemesiscook, butted and bounded as by said
deed exhibited with the petition appears, being acknowledged
and recorded, praying that this Court would confirm unto them
and those they represent, and their associates, the said tract of
land, that they may be encouraged to make a speedy settlement
thereof, for the reasons mentioned. Read, and committed to the
Committee appointed to take into consideration the several peti-
tions for lands to be erected into townships." The Committee
submitted a report June 23, 1727, and it was thereupon " Voted,
that the contents of six miles square be allowed to the purchasei-s
of the tract within mentioned, between the town of Brookfield
and the Equivalent land in the county of Hampshire, to be laid
out by a surveyor and chainmen upon oath ; provided that within
five years next after such survey and confirmation thereof by
this Court, the grantees, their heirs and assigns, shall settle fifty
families, that are now inhabitants of this Province, and have a
meeting-house erected, a Minister settled, a lot for the ministry,
and one for the school laid out ; the houselots to be laid out as
near as may be, and as regularly and defensibly as the land will
allow of, provided the petitioners make no further claim to the
said land within mentioned." ^ The General Court Records show
that the Council non-concurred June 28, 1727.

^ The tract here described includes sub- there unite. On the revision of the line

stantially the town of Palmer, and the between the two States, in 1713, it was

northerly part of Warren ; it was then found that Massachusetts had granted

called " The Elbows," from the peculiar some land for townships which properly

angles formed by the three rivers which belonged to Connecticut; and as a com-


It is evident that a settlement bad already been commenced at
the "Elbows"; for on the next day after the rejection of their
petition by the Council, June 29, 1727, the Proprietors met at
Boston, and " in the first place chose Deacon Draper jNIoderator ; ■
in the next place voted that Capt. Green should go upon the
proprietors' land, and warn them off from making any further
improvement thereon : again voted that Capt. Samuel Green
should agree with those persons that have made a pitch upon the
said land for the present year, as he and they shall agree, as our
tenants." ^ It would seem that those who had " pitched upon
the said land," without authority, were quieted in their posses-
sion, and that not long afterwards a colony of Scotch Presbyte-
rians, sometimes called Scotch-Irish, were admitted.^ The Rev.
Simeon Colton, in a brief sketch of Palmer, published in the
Historical Magazine^ October, 1869, says : " The earliest date of
the laying out of any lot of land is the lltli of June, 1728. . . .
There are many lots laid out in 1728, most of which were laid
out in December." Notwithstanding the Council had refused to
concur with the House of Representatives in granting the au-
thority which the proprietors desired, they asserted their just
right to the territory, and determined to make it available by
admitting settlers. At a meeting, July 25, 1728, after reciting
the purchase, and the faihire to obtain " the privileges of a town-
ship," they elected Joseph Ruggles to be their clerk, and directed
that he should be sworn, and should " buy a good book of clean
paper to record all our acts and votes in, from year to year."
The record continues : " And we do also hereby appoint Capt.
Samuel Green, and Mr. Nathaniel Paige, and the Rev. Mr.
Timothy Ruggles, to be a Committee to procure a good and well
approved of Surveyor and two Chainmen, who shall be under
oath to the faithful discharge of their office and trust, and shall
survey six miles square within our claim, and draw a fair platt
thereof, and the same put on record ; and any two of the com-
mittee to have full power to act ; and also their power is to

peusation, or equivalent therefor, the sided in Leicester more than fen years, of
former j,'ranted to the hitter a hirge tract wliich town, as well as of Lainbstown, or
of land embracing the present towns of Hardwick, he was a proprietor.
Belchertown and Pelham, and the greater '- "As early as 1727, settlements were
part of Prescott and Ware. This tract made in what is now ralmer, nnder grants
was called tiic " Equivalent Land," which or permits from the proprietors of Lambs-
was sold by Connecticut for about six town, by a colony of emigrants from the
farthings per acre. See Palfrey's Hist, north of Ireland, among whom were
A'. Eng., iv. 363. Isaac IMagoun and James Brakenridge."
^ Captain Samuel Green had then re- — Hyde's Address at Ware, 1847, p. 7.


extend to make an agreement with such persons as have settled
upon the same as to the bounds of their farms, and what to give
for their interests there, and to improve the money tliey shall
gain thereby towards defraying the charge that the committee
shall be :it in the work they are empowered to do. . . . Then to
proceed to make an allotment of forty or fifty lots, one for a
minister, one for a ministry, and one for a school ; and the other
to be disposed of as the proprietors shall hereafter order and
agree." ^

Daring tlie next year another effort was made by the proprie-
tors to have their claims recognized by the General Court. By
the printed Journal of the House of Representatives, it appears
that on the 24th of September, 1729, " A petition of Joshua
Lamb, Esq. and Mr. Timothy Ruggles, a committee of a num-
ber of proprietors and purchasers of a certain tract of land lying
near Brookfield, praying for confirmation of all or part thereof
for a township, for reasons mentioned. Read, and the question
was put whether the prayer of the petition should be granted.
It passed in the negative."

Two months later the printed Journal describes a general
scramble for this territory. November 25, 1729 : " A petition of
Josiah Edson and sundry others, inhabitants of Bridgewater, pray-
ing for a grant of a tract of land for a township between Ware
River and Swift River. Read and referred to Thursday the 27th
current, when other petitions for lands are to come under consid-
eration." November 27, 1729 : " A petition of Isaac Burr, John
King,2 and sundry others, shewing that they are settled upon a
certain tract of land, bounded easterly by Brookfield, southerly
and westerly by Brimfield, and northerly by Coldspring,^ by ad-

1 Both the trespassers, or squatters, 2 Qn the fly-leaf of the first volume of
and those who were regularly admitted, the Rochester Church Records is tiiis mem-
united in a petition to the General Court, orandum : " On the 18th May, 1729, then
November 24, 1732, for a grant of this John King and Sarah his wife, who lived
land to themselves, alleging that " the rea- at a place called the Elbows iu Hampshire
son why your petitioners entered on the County owned the covenant and their
said land was as follows : Some from the children were baptized, viz., William,
encouragement of Joshua Lamb Esq. and Thomas, Joseph, Benjamin, Aaron, and
Company, that the said land belonged to Sarah, by me, who was sent by the pro-
them, and that they would give to such of prietors of the lands to minister to them,
your petitioners as entered under them a Timothy Ruggles." Had the visit been
good right and title to such a part thereof six months later, the result might have
as they respectively contracted for : . . . been different.
Others of your ])etitioners entered on ^ jJqw BgiQ^gi.tQ^vn.
from necessity, not having wherewith of
their own to provide."


mission of the Reverend Mr. Timothy Rnggles of Rochester and
others, a committee of the proprietors of said tract of land (as
they call themselves), praying that they may have the grant and
authority of this Court for settling on said land, and be exempted
from the conditions they have entered into with the said com-
mittee. Read. A petition of Robert Auchmuty, Esq., for and in
behalf of Joshua Lamb, Esq., and Timothy Ruggles, Clerk, as
they are a committee of the proprietors of a certain tract or parcel
of land containing by estimation twelve miles long, north and
south, and eight miles wide, east and west, lying near Quabaug,
known by the name of Wombemsicunck, in which is concluded
the land petitioned for by Isaac Burr, John King, and others, as
also the land contained in the petition of Robert White, and John
Stiles, Josiah Edson, Jr., and sundry others, as well as sundry
other petitions for land within their propriety, praying that they
may be heard by their counsel, to make out their right to the
lands contained in their purchase from the Indian Sachems, be-
fore any grant on the said petitions be made, or that, if any
grant should pass, that a saving of their right and claim may be
inserted, for the reasons mentioned." December 2, 1729 : All the
parties were heard, and the petitions were rejected.

Similar petitions were presented in June, 1731, with this va-
riation : that John King and others asked to " be confirmed in
their possession of the said lands, saving to Col. Lamb and asso-
ciates their right therein." June 16 : " The House proceeded to
the consideration of the several petitions of Joshua Lamb and
others, Joseph Wright and others, and John King and others, en-
tered on the 15th instant, which were severally read, and the pa-
pers refei'ring to them ; and after a long debate the questions
were severally put, whether the prayers of the said petitions
should be gi-anted ? and it passed in the negative.^' Apparently
despairing of success in their effort to obtain confirmation of their
title to the whole territory purchased by them, the committee, on
the next day after the rejection of their petition, June 7, 1731,
entered a new petition for " eight miles square, adjacent to the
river called Nenemeseck, alias Ware River (in such form as the
lands will admit of), for a township." This petition was rejected
December 31, 1731 ; and on the next day " a petition of Joshua
Lamb, Timothy Ruggles, Joseph Ruggles, and Ebenezer Pierpont,
in behalf of themselves and associates," was presented for the
grant of " a tract of land of the contents of six miles square."
This petition was granted by the House January 13, 1732 ; the
Council concurred ; but the Governor withheld his consent.


The same committee renewed their petition, at the next session
of the General Court, reciting the facts before stated, and praying
for "a grant of land of the contents of six miles square on the

Online LibraryLucius R. (Lucius Robinson) PaigeHistory of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register → online text (page 3 of 73)