Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) online

. (page 30 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


1731, and Stratton's location was doubtless of the same
sort. Stratton went to Salem in 1637, perhaps having
made a fortune, leaving his plantation in other hands.
The first legal proprietor in Scarborough was Capt.
Thomas Cammock. Cammock had been the agent of
Mason and Gorges at Piscataqua and was a mildly adven-
turous man. He had a tract of land on the Piscata-
qua and had evidently become acquainted with the
advantages which the Scarborough coast offered for
settlement. He was himself a nephew of the Earl of



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 419

Warwick, and in 1631 received direct from the Council
of Plymouth a grant of fifteen hundred acres between
the Black Point and Spurwink Rivers. Cammock in
1633 was in possession of his grant and had something
of a settlement around him. He evidently set himself
up as a kind of feudal lord. He claimed, as the court
records show, that " by virtue of his Patent the Royal-
tie of fishing and fowling belongeth to him " and that
he " had tenants around him to whom he had
appointed lots of land for which he was to have fees
and rents." Cammock fixed his own residence upon
what is now called Prout's Neck, and a finer place for
a baronial residence it would be difficult to find. He
was soon joined by Henry Jocelyn whom he styled " his
well beloved friend." In 1643 Cammock went off on a
voyage to the West Indies where he died. He had
made his will by which he conveyed his lands to his
friend Jocelyn and committed his wife also to his care.
Jocelyn fulfilled the trust by taking possession of the
property and marrying the widow with a promptness
which must have suggested to the tenantry the royal
greeting " The King is dead, long live the King."
This settlement was mostly along the Spurwink River
which divides Scarborough from Cape Elizabeth and
near the seashore. The interior was an unbroken and
unexplored wilderness, with which they had small con-
cern.

In 1636, three years after Cammock had established
himself with his tenantry at Prout's Neck and along
the Spurwink River, a new and independent settlement
was commenced across the Scarborough River on Blue



420 MAIXE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Point, by Richard Foxwell and Henry Watts. They
had come as a part of fifty colonist to be located upon
the grant to Lewis and Bonython within the limits of
Saco ; and when it was discovered that Blue Point was
beyond the limits of that grant, they found the place
so attractive that they could not be induced to leave.
Here they gathered a colony of a few families along
the Pine Point shore, upon the hill which rises con-
spicuously from the sea and on ground sloping to the
river around and near Seavey's Landing.

At this time there were small and scattered settle-
ments along the coast from York to Pemaquid. At
Saco there were settlers on the Lewis and Bonython
Patent. Across the Spurwink, in Cape Elizabeth,
Winter the combative agent of Robert Trelawny was
doing a large business, employing sixty or more men
in the fishing business and buying beaver skins.

Cleeves and Tucker, ejected from Cape Elizabeth
by Trelawny' s agent, had established themselves firmly
upon Cleeves' Neck as Portland was then called. On
Richmond's Island and on Stratton's Islands were fish-
ing and trading stations. It was at this time that
immigrants were coming fast to New England. Charles
the Second of England began his tyrannical reign in
1625. He had dismissed Parliament and assumed to
carry on the government according to his personal
will. A heavy hand was laid upon Puritans and Dis-
senters. During the ten years prior to the meeting
of the Long Parliament in 1640, it is said by Green
that more than twenty thousand Englishmen, despair-
ing of liberty at home, had crossed the seas for con-



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 421

science's sake, to find a refuge in the new world. These
were not broken men nor poor men ; they were of
the best, and men of substance, largely God-fearing
farmers and artisans from the eastern counties.

From the hive on Massachusetts Bay minor colonies
were exploring and settling along the northern coast.
The interior was an unknown wilderness, inhabited by
savage tribes, and the colonists followed the natural
highways of the ocean and the rivers, in their explo-
rations for eligible sites upon which to build their
homes.

The settlements at Black Point and Blue Point
continued to enlarge and in 1651 a third independent
settlement was begun. This was by Arthur and
Andrew Alger at Dunstan Landing, some three miles
up the river from the shore. The Algers had been
living upon the Stratton's Islands since 1645 or before,
and had become acquainted with the Scarborough
river with its abundance of fish and game, and the
marshes which afforded unlimited amounts of hay to
keep cattle through the winter. These settlers had
come to Stratton's Islands from Boston and appear to
have been honorable men. They were the first who
paid any regard to the ownership of the Indians.
How they made their search of title does not appear,
but they seem to have had no doubt that Nagasqua,
wife of Wickwarrawaske, sagamore of Owascoag, and
the squaw Uphannum, otherwise called Jane, and her
brother Ugagoguskit were empowered to convey, and
they accordingly received from those grantors deed of a
tract of about a thousand acres. This was an excellent



422 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

location and in after years Dunstan Landing saw the
time when far more business was done there than was
transacted on all of Falmouth Neck.

The year 1657 found in Scarborough three, or if we
include Stratton's Islands, four settlements within the
present limits of the town, each independent; each
somewhat jealous of the other, but all prosperous.
There was no trouble from the aboriginal inhabitants
so far. The squaw Jane, with her mother, the widow
of the sagamore, lived by the river on what is still
called Jane's Point, varying the monotony by occa-
sionally selling their patrimony over again to the
Algers, for those patient grantees appears to have
bouo;ht the same tract of these feminine traders three
times in succession.

Up to this time the settlements seem to have
received no particular attention from anybody out-
side. They lived in their own rough way, occasion-
ally appealing to the court at Saco to settle some
dispute but having no organized government. They
had now, however, become of considerable importance
and their primitive way of living was disturbed by
the quarrels of those who had discovered that their
lands were worth the claiming.

For some years they were harassed and disturbed
by the demands of rival claimants. It was impossible
for them then as it is for us now to determine who if
anyone held the legal title to the place. Nobody but
the Algers regarded the Indians as having any rights,
and the title from the royal grants which assumed to
dispose of the lands of the aboriginees was in a state



THE SETTLEilENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 423

of strange confusion. It was conceded that the source
of the title was found in the grant made by the King
of EngLand to the Council of Plymouth in 1620. This
Council two years after made from their possession a
grant, to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason, of
the lands reaching from the Merrimac River to the
Kennebec.

In 1629 Mason and Gorges received separate allot-
ments by new grants from the Plymouth Council,
Mason receiving New Hampshire and Gorges the lands
between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec. In 1639
King Charles II. confirmed Gorges grant, y-ivinu- it the
name of Maine instead of New Somersetshire by
which it had before been called. This derivation of
title appeared sufficiently direct and clear ; but it tran-
spired that either through ignorance of geography or
in some unexplained way, the same Council in 1629
had granted to John Dy and others of London the
Province of Lygonia, extending from Casco Bay to
Cape Porpoise and forty miles inland. This Lygonia
grant covered a large part of the territory previously
conveyed to Gorges. So long as these lands were
undeveloped and practically worthless little was said,
but when the colonists had demonstrated the fact that
there was value in the tract trouble began and the
brunt of it fell upon the settlers.

In 1643 one Alexander Rigby purchased the
Lygonia Patent from the London grantees and at once
claimed jurisdiction. Gorges resisted and turmoil fol-
lowed. There was no question but what Gorges had
the prior and better title, but Parhament had then



424 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

triumphed over the King and Gorges was a stanch
RoyaHst while Rigby was a Republican. A decision
was rendered in favor of Rigby. Gorges protested
and refused to submit, but in 1647 he died leaving
Rigby triumphant. In 1650 Rigby died also. It then
seemed as if there was good riddance of both and that
the settlers might be left in peace. It was not so,
however, for the attention of the Massachusetts colony
had been called to the fact that the province was a
valuable piece of property, and after a careful exami-
nation of their own charter they made the remarkable
discovery that the whole province of Maine belonged
not to Gorges, nor to Rigby, but to them. There was
no one to maintain the Rigby title and the Gorges
heirs were under the ban, so Massachusetts proceeded
to enforce her claim with a strong 'hand. The colo-
nists demurred stoutly. They were mostly firm Royal-
ists and believed that Gorges claim was good. They
had little fancy for Rigby, the Roundhead interloper,
and still less for the Massachusetts Puritans. They
were, however, too feeble in number and in resources
to make successful resistance, and all the settlements
west of the Saco River in a short time submitted.

The inhabitants of Black Point, Spurwink and Casco
stubbornly refused to acknowledge the authority of
Massachusetts. Henry Jocelyn of Black Point, Arthur
Mackworth of Casco, and Robert Jordan of Spurwink,
were leaders of the opposition. They were all Royal-
ists and Episcopalians, and paid no regard to the
repeated demands sent them from Boston to transfer
their allegiance. For five years they refused to yield.



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 425

and the inhabitants were kept in a fever of expecta-
tion as to what consequences were likely to result from
their defiance. Durinp^ this time Jordan and Joselyn
were both arrested as being rebellious and heterodox
and put under bonds.

In 1658, Massachusetts once more sternly demanded
submission. Resistance was hopeless. The outlook
for help from across the water was equally hopeless.
Charles the First had died upon the scaffold, Charles
the Second was in exile. Cromwell and the Puritan
Commonwealth were in undisputed mastery in England.
So on July 13, 1658, at the house of Robert Jordan
near the mouth of the Spurwink, it came to pass that
the inhabitants met the commissioners and reluctantly
declared that " they did own and acknowledge them-
selves to be subject to the government of Massachu-
setts Bay." The oath of allegiance was administered
and the commissioners further asserted their authority
by declaring that " those places which were formerly
called Black Point, Blue Point and Stratton's Islands
thereto adjacent, shall henceforth be called by the
name of Scarborough." The bounds were defined and
made substantially as they are at present and a legal
yi-overnment established. The settlements were united
whether they would or no, and the records of the
town commence from this date.

Two years passed in quiet and again there came a
change. Cromwell the Lord Protector died ; Charles
the merry monai'ch came to claim his own again and
the government of the Puritan Commonwealth reached
its end.



426 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

The Scarborough settlers openly rejoiced and defied
the usurpation of Massachusetts Bay. The heirs of
Gorges renewed their claim but in a feeble and halt-
ing manner, while Massachusetts tenaciously held her
ground and argued and protested. The upshot of the
mattter was that after eight years more, during the
most of which time the town was in rebellion and was
alternately coaxed and threatened and indicted, the
settlers finding themselves alone and without encour-
agement or support from the side which they favored,
again in 1668 made their peace with Massachusetts.
The contest for the ownership of the province was
kept up in England, and in 1676 the King at White-
hall formally decided that Maine belonged to the heirs
of Gorges and that the claims of Rigby and of Massa-
chusetts were without foundation. The enemies of
Massachusetts were successful but their triumph was
only momentary. The heirs of Gorges cared nothing
for the province, nor for those who had given them so
loyal support, and at once, without notice to anyone,
they sold and conveyed the whole province of Maine
to Massachusetts for the paltry sum of twelve hun-
dred and fifty pounds. This purchase and sale made
an end of the contest. A few feeble protests were
uttered, but thenceforth, from 1676 to 1820, a period
of one hundred and forty-four years, the authority of
Massachusetts was not further disputed in the Province
of Maine.

The settlements although united in name and
brought into more intimate relations by their common
political difficulties were still quite distinct. At Black



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 427

Point were fishermen chiefly, while at the Dunstan and
Blue Point plantations the people were styled jDlanters.
They had increased quite rapidly in numbers ; Black
Point having in 1671 about three hundred inhabitants ;
Dustan about fifty and the rest perhaps a hundred.
All these hovered about the shore and the rivers, com-
munication with each other and with more distant
parts being almost entirely by water.

A few years of quiet were vouchsafed them after
the settlement of their political troubles, when the
horizon was darkened by the shadow of coming dis-
aster, which forced them together for common defense
and then overwhelmed them in common ruin. The
Indians became hostile. Up to 1675 there had been
no conflict with the native tribes and they and the
settlers had mingled upon the most friendly terms.
The Eno'lish settlements here and elsewhere had

o

increased to such extent as to fill the Indians with
apprehension. King Philip, the great Indian chief-
tain and patriot, in his efforts to unite the tribes of
New England in a common effort to rescue their patri-
mony from the English invaders, had visited Maine ;
but his arguments and entreaties had here produced
but little eflect. Squando was then sagamore of
Saco. He was, as Cotton Mather says, a praying Indian
who kept the Sabbath and went to hear the Word
preached, and he was moreover very well disposed
towards the settlers. The influence of Squando for
a time offset the hostile efforts of King Philip. But
at this critical time an event occurred which changed
the feelings of this friendly chieftain to intense hatred.



428 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Some rough fellows upon the Saco happened to inter-
cept an Indian woman passing with her pappoose in a
canoe. It had been said that an Indian baby would
swim naturally like a puppy, and these men in order
to find whether the report were true tipped over the
canoe. The theory proved unfounded for the baby
sank. The mother by great exertion rescued her child
and escaped. The woman proved to be the wife of
Squando and the infant was his son and heir. The
child soon died, as the chieftain believed from the
effects of this adventure, and Squando and his tribe
became filled with passionate desire for revenge upon
the race which had perpetrated the outrage.

The Scarborouo;h settlers had been warned that
danger threatened and they had taken the slight pre-
caution to build here and there a garrison house.
There were no open hostilities until September, 1675,
when the Indians made a sudden attack and killed a
Mr. Nichols and his wife on Blue Point. The next
month they made an assault upon the garrison house
of the Alger settlement at Dunstan. Arthur Alger
was killed and Andrew mortally wounded and most of
the houses there were destroyed.

Massachusetts sent a company of soldiers to assist
the settlers but it was of little avail. The hostile
savages would make their attacks suddenly and with-
out warning upon any exposed position, and as sud-
denly disappear. The garrison house or fort at
Garrison Cove, Front's Neck, was considered one of
the stronsrest on the coast and about this the settlers

o

consolidated their forces and families. Moffii' Heig-on,



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 429

Whittier's Mosco; Meo-one, who had been much amoiia-
the Enghsh and had learned their ways, was the prin-
cipal leader of the Indians. He was an intelligent
and skilful leader and in the fall of 1676 succeeded
in capturing the fort and compelling the settlers to
" draw off." The fickle savages did not attempt to
retain the place and the settlers were soon back again,
and for a time peace was restored. The following
spring, however, Mogg with a new band of hostiles
returned and for three days besieged the garrison.
On the third da}^ Mogg, while active in an assault, w^as
killed and his death was the signal to the Indians for
a general retreat. A group of skeletons which were
discovered a few years ago near " The Willow\s " on
Front's Neck, buried in a circle around one of massive
frame, evidently a chief, who was decked with breast-
plate of copper and strings of wampum, it is thought
may have been the remains of Mogg and his warriors
who fell in this attack.

Something; more than a month later occurred, near
the mouth of the Nonsuch River, one of the most
desperate and bloody battles in the history of Indian
warfare. The Indians had gathered in force appar-
ently to avenge the death of Mogg, and June 29, 1677,
Capt. Benjamin Swett of Hampton, New Hampshire,
with a force of about three hundred men composed of
Massachusetts soldiers, friendly Indians and settlers, set
out from the fort to make an attack upon them. The
Indians falling back skilfully drew them into an ambus-
cade, where the attacking party were utterly at a dis-
advantage. In the fearful conflict which followed,



430 3IAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Swett and sixty of his brave men were left dead upon
the field ; and the remnant, after fighting for their
lives along a retreat of two miles, found shelter in the
fort. The Indians appalled by their own losses soon
retired without attacking the garrison.

Id their expeditions the Indians were undoubtedly
present in large numbers, and the quaint language of
an old deposition of one Peter Bass, shows that in
the excited imagination of the settlers, they were more
numerous still. Peter says in 1676, " not that ye
indeans were numerous as trees and stumpes but
Gyndall tould this deponent that there were one thous-
and indeans double armed, about the town, and five
hundred french ready to back them wdien they had
occasion."

A few months after Swett's unfortunate battle a
general peace was concluded at Casco (Portland), and
for about ten dubious and uncertain years there were
no open hostilities. During this time strong garrison
houses were built in different localities, and at Black
Point, not far from the present location of the Atlantic
House, was constructed in 1681 under direction of
Capt. Joshua Scottow, one of the largest and strong-
est forts in the Province. Traces of this fortification
may still be distinctly seen. In the few years of com-
parative quiet, the Black Point settlement regained
much of its former strength ; but Dunstan and Blue
Point showed but few signs of their former vigor.

Influenced by Castine and the French in Northern
and Eastern Maine, the Indians kept growing increas-
ingly hostile, and in 1688 war more fierce and bloody



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 431

than before was renewed with the Indians and their
French allies. The storm fell upon North Yarmouth.
Sheepscot and Dover were destroyed. In 1689 Major
Church by his victory at Falmouth gave the Province
a breathing space. May 15, 1690, the French and
Indians in overwhelming force captured Fort Loyal
on Falmouth Neck, and massacred its garrison. The
destruction of Falmouth was the signal for the sur-
rounding settlement to seek safety in flight. The
people of Scarborough hastily retreated with such of
their belongings as could be got together and aban-
doned their homes to an enemy too strong to be
resisted.

Willis quotes a letter written this month which
states that three or four hundred people from the
eastward had arrived in Portsmouth and reported that
Black Point, Richmond's Island and Spurwink were
burning as they passed.

The war with the Indians had reached a pitch of
unspeakable ferocity. At the outset the Indians
entered upon it with evident reluctance. Their rela-
tions with the whites had long been intimate and
friendly. In the attack upon the garrison Capt. Scot-
tow left the fort without hesitation to confer with
Mogg Heigon upon the terms of surrender, and when
taken prisoner with his family, they were treated with
consideration. But later, and especially when the
French joined forces with the Indians, it was a war of
extermination and like the contests of wild beasts.

In this the white men were not a whit behind
the savages. In the capture of Norridgewock by



432 MAIXE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

" Harmon's dreaded ranger band and Moulton with
his men " the attacking party made a stealthy march
throusrh the wilderness, and found the Indian villase
entirely unsuspicious of the approach of an enemy.
Not a prisoner was taken, man, woman or child, and
only such individuals escaped as succeeded in strug-
gling through the waters of the river, amid a hail of
bullets from the rangers' guns.

For twelve years after 1690 the Scarborough settle-
ments were entirely abandoned. The houses were
mostly destroyed and through the deserted fields
roamed wild beasts and savage men.

In the fall of 1702 eight men with their families
came in a sloop from Lynn and on Cammock's Neck
commenced the second settlement. Peace had been
negotiated with the Eastern Indians but it proved to
be only a breathing space. The following summer
the French and Indians made a descent upon the set-
tlements from Casco to Wells. Beaubasin with a force
of five hundred attacked the Black Point garrison.
The defenders had but eight fighting men, John Larra-
bee, Charles Pine, four Libbys and two others. Every
man, however, was a crack shot and a host in himself,
and their position was a miniature Gibralter. They
refused to surrender upon any terms and after a seige
of several days the attack was abandoned.

Others soon followed and the number of settlers
from this time steadily increased, but it was not until
1720 that the records were brought back from Boston
and the town government reorganized. After the
second settlement the growth of the town was con-



THE SETTLEMENT OF SCARBOROUGH. 433

tinuous. They were hamssed by Indian wars until
the extermination of the natives was complete ; but
the new settlements which began to be made farther
inland were like buffer states to Scarborough, and
relieved it largely from the force of hostile assaults.
In 1728 the First Parish organized a church which still
exists. In 1744 the Second Parish was formed at
Dunstan and the whole town was by that time opened
to improvement. The critical period had been passed
and the settlement was established. Thenceforth the
growth of the town was continuous and rapid. The
census of 1790 showed a population of 2,235 while
that of Portland was about the same, beino; 2,246.

Scarborough early took a prominent place in the
Province and few towns had more influence in public
matters, until the tendency of population to concen-
trate in cities changed the current of aft'airs.

It was the purpose of the writer to dwell more
particularly upon the habits of the people in the early
times and the way in which they lived, but to make
this clear seemed to necessitate and to include an out-
line of the history of the times of which they were
a part.

The earliest settlers of Scarborough were of an
entirely different class from those of Massachusetts.
It is evident that the town meeting was not favored
by the leaders and not cared for by the commoners.
The Plymouth settlers were Nonconformists and Re-
publicans, the Scarborough people were mostly Royal-
ists and Episcopalians. Cammock as has been stated
insisted upon his right to govern like a feudal lord, and



Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 34)