Charles M. (Charles Mayo) Ellis.

The history of Roxbury town (Volume 1) online

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that day, lloxbury had a great number of very opu-
lent citizens.

In 165V, the town is thus described : "situated be-
" tw(M^n Boston and Dorchester, being well watered
'• with coole and pleasant Springs issuing forth the
" Rocky-hills, and with small Freshets, watering the
" V allies of this fertill Towne, whose forme is some-
'•what like a wedge double pointed, entering be-
" tweene the two foure named Townes, filled with a
"laborious people, whose labours the Lord hath so
" blest, that, in the roome of dismall swamps and
" tearing bushes, they have very goodly Fruit-trees,
"fruitfull fields and gardens, their Heard of Cows,
"Oxen and other young Cattell of that kind about
"350 and dwelling houses near upon 120. Then-
" Streetes are large, and some fayre howses, yet have
<' they built their Howse for Church-assembly desti-
" tute and unbeautified with other buildings. The
"church of Christ is here increased to about 120
" persons," &:c.

The emigration to New England ceased almost
entirely about 1640. Though a few came over from
the old countries after that time, yet most of the new
settlers in Roxbury, came from other parts of this
country.



14 i nisTORr ok roxburt. Part I.]

Some of ihe original residents removed to other
places, as did many of their descendants. Several
towns were founded by Roxbury citizens.

Mann, in his Annals of Dedham, states that "the
" original founders of Dedham came from Watertown
"and Roxbury," in 1635.

In 1636, the time of the emigration to the Con-
necticut, a colony "from Roxbury (the principal of
" whom were Mr. William Pynchon, and one John
" Bur, a carpenter.) settled, at least laid the founda-
" tion of a plantation, called by the Indians, Aga-
" warn, but named by the English afterwards Spring-
" field, in rembrance of Mr. Pynchon, who had his
" mansion house at a town of that name, near
"Chelmsford, in Essex." Many went to various
towns in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts,
where there are many of their descendants.

"In 1667, liberty was granted for erecting a new
plantation or township, at a place about thirty or
forty miles West from Roxbury called Mendon, and
peopled by some that removed from thence. There
was another like grant the same year at Brookfield, a
commodious place for entertainment of travellers, be-
twixt the Massachusetts and Connecticut, situate
about twenty-five miles from Springfield, towards
Boston; the liberty had been granted before in 1660,
but it was renewed this year, six or seven families
being settled there, the grantees having forfeited
their first grant." "These two last named villages
were erected in an unhappy hour, for before ten years
were expired, they were utterly ruined and destroyed



Part 1.] history of roxbury. 145

by the Indians, and not one stick left standing of any
building erected there."

In Niles' history ol the Indian and French wars,
it is said "Deserted Mendon was this same winter
(1674) laid in ashes."

In 1683, the town accepted the grant, which was
made to them that year, of a tract seven miles square,
at Quatosset, in the country of the Nipmucks. This
was, soon after, called New Roxbury, and is now the
Town of Woodstock, in the North-east part of the
State of Connecticut, near Dudley, in Massachusetts.
Some of the localities in Woodstock still bear the old
names of places in Roxbury. This township was
bounded by Woodward and Gaffeny's line, and was
afterwards found to be in Connecticut.

The first settlers of Woodstock were, as has been
remarked, all from Roxbury, and the records of the
foundation, settlement, titles, division, and the first
settlers of the place are preserved, very full and mi-
nute, in Roxbury. But the history cannot be given
here.

In 1668, Worcester was granted to Daniel Gookin
and others.

Oxford, then " a tract eight miles square in the
Nipmug country," was granted to Joseph Dudley and
others in 1682.

Woodstock was named from " its nearness to Ox-
" ford, for the sake of queen Elizabeth, and the nota-
" ble meetings that have been held at the place bear-
" ing that name in England."

In 1686, several native Indians conveyed to Joshua
Lamb, Nathaniel Paige, Andrew Gardner, Benjamin
19



146 HISTORY Of ROXBURT. PaRT I.]

Gamblin, John Curtis, Richard Draper, Samuel Rug-
gles and Ralph Bradish, " a tract of land eight miles
square near the English town of Wooster." This is
the present town of Hardwicke. The original deed is
still preserved in Roxbury. The price paid was £20.

Dudley, in this state, was granted to and named
for governor Joseph Dudley. He got also the Indian
title.

Ancient plans, letters from these towns, deeds, &c.
are found in Roxbury.

Besides those towns which were founded and set-
tled by Roxbury, others had some of their chief set-
tlers from Roxbury ; such as Scituate, Braintree,
Newbury, and several others in Massachusetts and
Connecticut.

Thus Roxbury was not only abundantly prosperous
herself, but was the worthy parent of a very respec-
table and somewhat numerous progeny, of towns.



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Online LibraryCharles M. (Charles Mayo) EllisThe history of Roxbury town (Volume 1) → online text (page 11 of 11)