Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) online

. (page 18 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

gave a decided negative. I committed to writing my reasons of
dissent, and put the argument into their hands for deliberate
perusal. After perusal, they returned it to me. I told them it
was my request that it would be lodged on file with our secretary,
and made part of our proceedings. This they utterly refused. I
then told them that I would think it my duty to transmit it to
the Secretary of State, to be lodged in his oflSce with the papers
in the case. To this they could have no objections. Some alter-
cation, i-ather unpleasant, took place between my friend Benson
and myself in private. Col. Barclay seemed to keep himself on
the reserve, and to push our friend Benson forward. I had
labored from the first of our discussions to prove that the source
of either branch must be where it lodges itself in waters of a dif-
ferent denomination. In this opinion we all seemed at length to
agree, they for the issuing of the waters of the western branch
out of the Lake Genegenasarumsis (if I spell it right), and I for
the issuing of the Waters of the north branch out of ihe^fli'st lake.
While things were in this posture, something like a negotiation,
started by Judge Sullivan, and, I believe, assented to by Mr.


Listen, who was then in Providence, on his way westward,
carried them to the north branch, and induced me to agree with
them in our final result ; to induce me to which, Judge Sullivan
read to me your lettei's to him, in which you contended that the
source of a river must be at the most remote watei-s which flow
in it.

It must be allowed that there is room for debate and for a
diversity of opinion on this question, whether the source of the
north branch is at the first lake, or where we have fixed it ; and
this, being a matter of judgment, was a subject of accommoda-
tion. I considered it as a fortunate circumstances that all the
claims of individuals are quieted ; and the satisfaction expressed
by both agents, gave reason to hope that the parties more imme-
diately interested would readily acquiesce in our result.^

Judffe Howell is rio-ht in his statement that both
the other commissioners regarded the western branch
of the Schoodic as the continuation of the real St.
Croix. Mr. Barclay, in a letter to Lord Grenville,
November 10, 1798 makes the same statement, the
the reason beint; that the Schoodic had ever retained
the same Indian name, with its waters, below this
ramification of the river. But Judge Benson, from
the words of the treaty of peace in 1783, and the
boundaries of the Province of Nova Scotia as ex-
pressed in the commissions to the Governors from the
year 1763, did not find himself authorized to proceed
further up the river Schoodic, for the source than
where the waters issue from Lake Genesagaragum-siss,
a distance of not more than five miles from the mouth
of the Chiputneticook. A chain of lakes, he said,
could not be called a river, and in proof, he called
attention to the second article of the treaty of peace
of 1783, wherein the River St. Lawrence is consid-

1 Amory's Life of James Sullivan, Vol. 1, pp. 331-333.


ered to cease at Lake Ontario. " Mr. Howell," says
Mr. Barclay " adopted a similar mode of arguing for
the source of the St. Croix on the Chiputneticook ; "
and he adds : —

After much debate between Mr. Benson and myself as to the
Source of the River, His Majesty's Agent, with the advice of Mr.
Liston, the Envoy Extraordinary, requested me to acceed to the
Chiputnaticook provided I could obtain the northwest Source of
that River. To this point Mr. Benson, as a matter of negotia-
tion and accommodation between the natives, readily assented.
Mr. Howell declined being a party to the declaration, until it was
engrossed and ready for Execution. He then reluctantly directed
his name to be inserted in the Declaration, which he eventually

Judge Benson's views are given by himself, at
greater length, in a manuscript statement which, in
1802, he presented to the Massachusetts Historical
Society, through the hands of Governor Strong, and
to which Justin Winsor called attention at a meeting of
the Massachusetts Historical Society, in October, 1887.
Judge Benson's statement, and Mr. Winsor' s remarks,
were printed in the Proceedings of that Society.

If Mr. Benson had maintained his position that a
chain of lakes cannot be called a river, and had agreed
with Judge Howell that the source of the true St.
Croix was to be found in the lake from which the Chi-
putneticook issues, the line, running northward from
the source, would have been considerably to the east-
ward of that finally adopted. This would also have
been the fact, although the line would not have been
as far to the eastward, if Judge Howell had agreed
with Judge Benson and Mr. Barclay in making the

1 Selections from the Correspondence of Thomas Barclay, pp. 91-93.

Boundary Lines Claimed and Proposed.


western branch of the Schoodic the continuation of the
St. Croix and its source in lake Genesagaragum-siss.

Both, however, waived their own opinions, and, as
a matter of accommodation to the settlers who had
received grants of land from Massachusetts, agreed to
the award, making the source of the St. Croix the
northernmost source of the Chiputneticook. It is
doubtful if a more satisfactory award could have been

Gov. Washburn, in his elaborate article on "The
North-Eastern Boundary," read before the Maine His-
torical Society, May 15, 1879, said that Great Britain
" had the good fortune to be strongly represented on
the St. Croix Commission, while the side of the United
States was but feebly and inadequately supported,"
and his statement concerning the work of the commis-
sion formed a part of what he regarded as " a chapter
of concessions, submissions and humiliations by which
the otherwise fair record of American diplomacy has
been dimmed and stained." But Gov. Washburn
evidently found it difficult to obtain information con-
cerning the work of the commission, and only a few
pages of his extended paper are devoted to it. Indeed,
so meao'er was his information that he makes the Com-
mission to consist of " Thomas Barclay, David Howell
(Englishmen), and Egbert Benson (American)." Hap-
pily, our materials for a study of the work of the Com-
mission have recently been greatly increased. Hon.
George Lockhart Rives, of New York, late assistant
secretary of state for the United States, a great grand-
son of the British commissioner, has recently pub-


lished " Selections from the Correspondence of Thomas
Barclay, " ^ in which he has included many important
documents with reference to the St. Croix Commission.
The originals of these documents, and many other
papers and maps, relating to the commission, under
the fifth article of the Treaty of Amity, and known as
Jay's Treaty, also papers belonging to the commission
under the fourth article of the Treaty of Ghent, relat-
ing to the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and Grand
Menan in the Bay of Fundy, also papers relating to
the fifth article of the Treaty of Ghent, and also relat-
ing to the commission under the sixth and seventh
articles of the same treaty, have come into the posses-
sion of this society, a gift from Mr. Rives ; the whole
forming a large and exceedingly valuable collection of
original documents, pertaining to matters in which the
people of Maine cannot but have a deep and abiding
interest. Some of these documents I have used in the
preparation of this paper. They give us what we
have not had before, the history of the commission
from the British as well as the American point of view,
and Mr. Rives is entitled to the hearty thanks of the
members of this Society, for placing in their care and
keeping historical materials of so much interest and

The Society has also in its possession a valuable col-
lection of documents once belonging to the British
agent. Judge Chipman, who served, as did Mr. Barclay,
not only on the St. Croix Commission, but also on the
subsequent commission of 1813-17, with reference to

'Mr. Rives' work, published ia 1894, by Harper & Bros., New York, is one of very
great value.


the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay. These papers
were given to the Society last year, by Mr. William
Henry Kilby, of Eastport. In 1879, the old Chipman
mansion, which stood at the head of Prince William
Street, Saint John, N. B., — where the Duke of Kent
was entertained in 1804, and his grandson, the Prince
of Wales, in 1860, — was extensively repaired. In the
preparations made for this work, the family papers
were gathered up and sold to a junk dealer, who
shipped them to Boston. At the wharf in Boston
some of the packages were broken, and the attention
of Mr Kilby, author of "Eastport and Passamaquoddy
Bay," having been called to the contents, and, finding
papers relating to the northeastern boundary question,
obtained permission from the owner to make a partial
examination, and discovered among them many valu-
able papers which came into Mr. Chipman's possession
while he was British agent, during the boundary con-
troversy, some of which he has used in his '' Eastport
and Passamaquoddy Bay." Among them are many let-
ters of Thomas Barclay, James Sullivan and others
prominent in the work of the St. Croix Commission, also
valuable documents and records, which came into Mr.
Chipman's possession at that time, and at a later period
in the boundary controversy. Mr. Kilby is also entitled
to our grateful acknowledgments for his valuable gift
to our archives.

The two collections should be brought together and
published as a contribution to an important chapter in
the history of the settlement of our northeastern




Read before the Maine Historical Society, May 3, 1894.

The town of Windham, anciently known as New
Marbleliead, has many points of picturesque scenery
around which cluster traditions of rare interest to the
antiquarian. Among these may be mentioned the
locality bearing the above name. This place is the
outlet of Lake Sebago, whose surplus waters here dis-
char2;e themselves throuo-h a narrow channel into
Basin Pond, a body of water one mile in length and
perhaps half as wide, at the foot of which is the source
of Presumpscot River. The outlet is spanned by a
bridge about fifty feet long, connecting the towns of
Windham and Standish. From this bridge one has an
uninterrupted view of the basin on one hand, and a
large part of Jordan's Bay on the other, with the tow-
ering height of Mount Washington and the entire
presidential range plainly visible, although nearly one
hundred miles distant. The shores are for the most
part rough and rugged, but interspersed with numer-
ous land-locked bays, whose bottoms of fine white
sand afford safe and pleasant bathing-places, while dim
old woods everywhere form the background of this
pleasing picture. An old-time tradition says that here
was a dwelling-place of the Indians ages before the
white man came to mar the beauty of the scene. It
is said that all the territory, from the lake to the sea,

white's bridge. 253

on both sides of the river, belonged to the Rockame-
cooks, a branch of the fierce and warlike Sokokis, and
that their last chieftain, the brave and subtle Poland
(or Polin) had his headquarters near by, who, incensed
beyond measure by the encroachment of the whites,
waged a relentless war against them until he was fi-
nally slain in battle at South Windham, May 14, 1756,
when the remnant of his band fled to Canada, where
they ever afterward remained. I see no reason to
doubt, at least, the main points of this legend, for each
year brings to light some new proof of the early occu-
pation of this locality by the aborigines. I am in-
formed by Mr. Albert Kennard, who owns a large tract
of land bordering on the lake, that he rarely, if ever,
ploughs a field without finding some specimen of their
handiwork, and he has in his possession hundreds of
these relics, consisting of axes, tomahawks, arrow and
spear heads, gouges, chisels, bits of pottery, and queer
tools, for which civilization has found no name as yet.
These are all of stone, and many of them beautiful
specimens of a long-forgotten art ; hence I conclude
that this was a permanent place of residence for those
lords of the forest.

The first white man to see this lovely lake, accord-
ing to tradition, was a Mr. Elliott, long before any set-
tlements were made in either town. This man, said
to be a resident of ancient Saccarappa at the time,
feeling curious to know the source of the noble river
on whose banks he lived, one fine spring morning
shouldered his gun and calling his faithful dog started
on a tour of investis-ation. Taking; the rig-ht-hand


bank of the river, and crossing with considerable diffi-
culty its numerous affluents, after a hard day's tramp
he arrived about nightfall at what is now called the
head of the river, and here camped for the night.
Next morning, after a careful survey of the surround-
ings, he became convinced that a much larger body of
water must lie beyond, so he again pressed forward,
and in a short time came to the place where Mr.
Albert Kennard's house now stands. Spellbound, he
gazed on the beautiful panorama spread out before
him when, on looking across the narrow channel, he
saw two Indians fishing from the rocks, while several
more were paddling their graceful canoes across an
arm of the lake. Alarmed at the sight he hastily
retreated, fortunately without attracting their atten-
tion, and in due time arrived home in safety. Tradi-
tion goes on to say that no further attempts were
made to penetrate this wilderness until after the Indian
wars had ceased, when a man named Roberts came
here and built a house near the present bridge, on
land now owned by Mr. Edwin White ; who he was or
where he came from no one seems to know, neither
can any one tell where he went from here ; one tradi-
tion asserts that he died here, and is buried near the
site of his house, but no traces of his grave can be
found ; another story is that he moved away in dis-
gust at the approach of settlers, and did not return.
He appears to have been simply a squatter, and lived
principally by hunting and fishing. The cellar of his
house is still to be seen on the hill, from which a mag-
nificent view of lake and forest may be obtained. It

white's bridge. 255

is said that many years ago one of his daughters came
here and remained a few days, and went away no one
knew whither.

The next person to locate here was Peter White,
who came from Biickfield, Maine, some time in the
latter part of the last century, and purchased a large
tract of land on Standish side of the outlet, and re-
mained here until his death, June 2, 1804. He erected
his dwelling near the site of Roberts' old house, where
it remained until 1889, when it was taken down. His
grandson, Edwin White, still owns the paternal acres.

In 1818, Mr. William Kennard purchased a farm on
Windham side, and built the house now occupied by
his son Albert. Both Mr. Albert Kennard and Mr.
Edwin White are aged men, and during a visit to the
place last summer I obtained from them the foregoing
tradition, and as they are men of undoubted veracity
I believe them to be worthy of credence.




Read before the Maine Historical Society, May 31, 1889.

[continued from page 360, VOLUME v.]

On the twenty-first of November Capt. Samuel
Moore, of Salem, accompanied by Mogg, was dispatched
with two vessels " to the Penobscot for the purpose of
receiving the prisoners, and also to see to the ratifica-
tion of the several articles of the said peace concluded

" The vessels arrived at Penobscot in the beginning
of December, where they found the said Madocka-
wando, who was ready to confirm and make good the
articles of the peace concluded in Boston by his agent
in his name ; and was willing also to deliver all the
prisoners that were then in his power or under his
command, which were but two, who were taken in the
vessel at Richmond Island the twelfth of October last."

Four or five of the prisoners captured at Richmond
Island the twelfth of October, were taken east by the
Eastern sagamores.^ It appears that two of them
were surrendered to Capt. Moore by Madockawando.
Capt, Abbot was retained by the Indians in the vicin-
ity of Sheepscot. In February he was told to fit up
the vessel, and started out with eleven Indians on
board to take them to Penobscot. The weather being

1 Hubbard.


windy, with a heavy sea running, Capt. Abbot suc-
ceeded in so steering the vessel as to alarm the In-
dians. Soon after leaving Sheepscot they directed
him to run into Cape Bona Wagon, where eight of
them landed. He claimed that the vessel could not
ride safely there, and ran to Damariscove, where the
other Indians landed, leaving Capt. Abbot to take care
of the vessel. This was the opportunity he had been
hoping for. Having greased the mast he succeeded
in hoisting sail, and was soon off shore on his way to
the Isle of Shoals, where he arrived February 19, 1677.
The circumstances concerning the escape of Thomas
Corbitt Jr., was regarded as a direct interposition of
providence by his friends at Ipswich. It was his lot
to fall into the hands of a sagamore whose hunting-
ground was on Mt. Desert. From Sheepscot he trav-
eled to Damariscotta ; thence he was put to paddle the
sagamore's canoe to Penobscot and to Mt. Desert. He
remained there nine weeks with much hard service
and suffering. The sagamore having exhausted his
supply of ammunition went with Corbitt to Penobscot
to Monsieur Casteen to purchase powder. Arriving
there Corbitt heard of the arrival of the English ves-
sels and, meeting Mogg, he was informed b}' him that
he had seen his father at Ipswich, on his way to Bos-
ton about November second, and that he had prom-
ised to send him home. A coat was given to his mas-
ter as a ransom, and j^oung Corbitt was free.

Mogg had thus far proved himself worthy of confi-
dence. After some delay, hearing nothing from the
other captives, there seemed no way but to allow" him
Vol. VI. 18

258 :maine historical society.

to go ill search of them. It appears that Capt. Moore
and those who were with him were convinced of his
good intentions, and really believed that he went with
much fear lest his own people might destroy his life.

Having escaped from his hostageship he failed to
return at the time appointed, and Capt. Moore, having
waited ten days without hearing from him, or any cap-
tives, and fearing his vessels might be frozen in, sailed
for Pemaquid,^ where he made further inquiry for pris-
oners, and finding none he sailed for Boston, where he
arrived about Christmas.

Mogg found on returning among his people that he
had incurred the displeasure of those who were only
too happy in the enjoyment of the spoils gathered
from the various English settlements. The large
quantity of goods captured by them at Arrowsick
Island and other places, with English captives to make
garments for them, the grain and corn harvested after
their fashion, with cattle and horses that supplied the
place of moose meat, came nearer to giving them a
comfortable living than any other turn of affairs in all
their savag-e lives, and these were affording them too
comfortable 3. maintenance for them to think of a
treaty that required restitution. Furthermore, these
enjoyments, with a sense of security from invasion, had
a tendency to bring reproach upon the peacemaker.
" They did not talk of any peace," said one of the
escaped prisoners Mogg, the warrior, had lost his
honor by becoming a treaty maker. To redeem his

1 Toward Pemiiquid is another considerable river called Sheepscot, upon the
banks ot which were many scattered planters, who lately flying from the Indians
left, as we judge, one thousand head of neat cattle, for the use of the Indians. —


character he joined in the war cry. " He did make
his braggs and laugh at the English and their kind
entertainment," said Francis Card. Furthermore, he
told them he had found a way to burn Boston. His
success in capturing the ve.ssel at Richmond Island
probably suggested the like idea of " going to all the
fishing islands and capture vessels, and so to drive all
the country before them." The spring of the year
was advancing, but a continuation of savage warfare
was imminent.

In the Province of Maine, during the summer and
autumn of 1676, disaster had followed disaster in rapid
succession. The labors of years of peace had been
destroyed. Many of the people were slain, some were
in captivity, and others were homeless and hopeless.
These, and the friends of these, were calling for active
measures to control the savages and rescue the
captives. Unfortunately there were men of inlluence
at the seat of government who did not appreciate the
Province of Maine. "That whole tract of land," says
Hubbard, " being of little worth unless it were for the
border thereof upon the seacoast, and some spots and
skirts of more desirable land upon the banks of some
rivers, the list here being known to be of more value
than the whole cloth," and " the whole being scarce
worth ihe half of those men's lives that have been
lost these two last years in hope to save it." Tlie peo-
ple of Massachusetts, however, were not indifferent
to the suft'erings of their countrymen in the " eastern

Immediately, while Mogg was on his way to Bos-


ton, a force was sent to attack the Indians at their
winter quarters at Peqiiaket. After an absence of
nine days they returned, and reported that they
burned ^ the fortification, but found " never an In-
dian." For their ill luck they blamed Mugg, who
they claimed did much abuse them by saying there
were one hundred Indians in those parts not many
days before.

Under date of October twenty-fifth Joshua Scottow
proposed to send a force to recapture Black Point gar-
rison, provided they should not be called to do duty
elsewhere.^ With this understanding he sent a force,
under command of Lieut. Bartholomew Tippin, whom
the General Court commended as a fit person to take
charge of such as are to land, in case he shall judge
the place tenable, and to defend and keep the place
from the enemy until further orders.

A few weeks later the General Court passed an order
providing that provisions for two hundred be sent to
Black Point to furnish a magazine there ; also that
one hundred and fifty stout and able-bodied soldiers
be raised and be put under active and prudent leaders,
and be with all convenient speed dispatched to Black
Point and those parts.

In Januarj^ several gentlemen from Piscataqua so
represented the state of affairs eastward to the gov-
ernor and council, that it was deemed necessary " to
suppress the enemy." Two hundred soldiers were

»Tho Indians hired English traders to build a fort for them as security against
the Moliawks, which fort was built very stroug, foui-teen feet high, with flaulters
at each corner. — Hubbard.

2 Records of Massachusetts Colony, vol. 5.


raised, sixty of whom were Natick Indians, and these
were embarked under command of Maj. Waldron.

The expedition sailed from Boston during the first
week in February, and quite naturally they encoun-
tered much cold weather. On the seventeenth they
sailed from Black Point to the head of Casco Bay. ^ At
Penobscot they secured three English captives and
possibly succeeded in killing six or seven Indians. On
the eleventh of March they returned to Boston with
their vessels well laden with boards from Arrowsic

After this success they vainly '' hoped the enemy
would not be able to rally again suddenly." The
spring of 1677 was approaching, and the refugees from
Maine were anxiously hoping for some turn of affairs
that would render it safe for them to return to their
abandoned plantations in season for planting.

The treaty signed by Mogg, in Boston, although
"concluded upon" by Madockawando, had revived
their hopes ; but it was only a delusion and a, snare.
The expedition to the eastward in the winter had only
exasperated the enemy.

Our "Indian generall " who had received such kind

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 34)