D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

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standing at the " Landing," near the Old Colony
Railroad. It was partially burned by the Indians
during Philip's war, probably 1670, after the Narra-
gansett fight, as the savages were committing depreda-
tions at that time in Halifax, Eel River at Plymouth,
and other places. The circumstances connected with
this event will doubtless be interesting to the reader.
The story is this: "Mr. Bradford had removed to
the guard-house over the river, in town, and one day
as he was returning for some goods, iu company with
several others, he discovered his house to be on fire,
and saw an Indian standing on the brow of Abra-
ham's Hill, stationed as sentinel to warn his comrades
of the approach of the white men, waving his blanket
and crying, ' Chocwaug ! chocwaug !' (' the white men
are coming'), but so intent were they on plundering
that they heard not their sentiuel's alarm, and were
not aware of their danger until Mr. Bradford rushed
in among them. They instantly fled, and made their
way into a dense swamp that was situated by the frog-
pond, near the railroad, at the base of the hill, and
were pursued by him, and he fired at the Indians,
killing one, as he supposed, by seeing him fall, but
was greatly surprised on reaching the spot at not find-
ing his body. He could hardly account for the cir-
cumstance, until some time after the close of the war
an Indian asked him if he recollected shooting one of
them at the time of the plundering of his house, and
upon being answered in the affirmative, the Indian
made the fact known that he was the self-same person,
aud as he fell only severely wounded, was able to
crawl immediately behind a log, and thus escaped
notice. Mr. Bradford then examined his body, aud
i saw distinctly the scars where three balls had passed
I throush his side, which made the fact that be was uot
mortally wounded still more wonderful to him." ' The
house, as has been stated, is still standing, aud has
been known in more modern times as the '• Sampson
House," for it was owned and occupied by Col. Joseph

- Related by the late Francis, Drew, as received from aged



Sampson the latter part of the last and the first of
the present century. Iu lb'89, Mr. Bradford was
chosen one of the deputies from Plymouth, and was
also chosen for the two years succeeding. He was
the representative to the General Court in 1C95, 1705,
and 170S. At a town-meeting, held at Plymouth on
the 21st of May, 1705, " atsd. meeting the inhabitants
of said town made choyce of Major John Bradford
as the representative to serve for and represent them
in the Grate and Generall Court to be holden at
Boston ou the 30th of this iustant, May, & the sev-
eral adjournments thereof throughout the year." He
was their representative again in 1708, and served as
one of the selectmen duriug the years 1703, 1704, 1708,
1709, and 1712. He was the last of the Bradford
family who had the history of Plymouth Plantation
written by his grandfather, the Governor, in their pos-
session. When the long-lost manuscript was found
in the Fulham Library, in Englaud, the following
note on a leaf was discovered, written by Prince, the
chronologist, which proved beyond a doubt that it was
the very history so long a time sought for :

"Toksuay, June 4, 1728.

" N.B. — Calling at Major John Bradford's, at Kingston, near
Plymouth, son of Major W m Bradford, formerly Dep. Gov' of
Pliuioutli Colony, who was eldest son of W lu Bradford, Esqr.,
their 2 a Gov 1 ", and author of this History; y e s d Major John
Bradford gave uie atoeral Manuscript Octavocs iv c lie assured me
were written with his Grandfather, Gov r Bradford's, own Hand.
He also gave me a little Pencil Jiuuk, wrotu with a Blew lead
Pencil by his s J Father, y" I>ep. Gov r , and he also told me y l
He had sent & only lent his s a Grandfather, Gov' Bradford's,
History of Plituouth Colony, wrote by his own Hand, also to Judg
Sewall ; anil desired me to get it of lliiu or find it out, A take
out of it what I think proper for iny New England Chronology,
w c I accordingly obtained, and this is y e s d liistury, w c I find
wrote in y fl same Hand-writing as ye Octavo Manuscripts
above s J .

"Thomas Puince.

" I also mentioned to him my Desire of lodging this History
in y' New England Library of Prints A Manuscripts w c I had
been then collecting for 23 years, to w° He signified his willing-
ness, only y l He might have y f Perusal of it while he lived.

"T. Princk."

He married Mercy Warren, 1674, and had John,
1675; Alice, 1677; Abigail, 1679. He lived more
than tun years after the incorporation of the town of
Kingston, dying Dec. S, 1736. His widow lived
until 1747. His name will appear many times on
succeeding pages. His four younger brothers —
Israel, Ephraiui, David, and Hezekiah — all lived on
different portions of their father's estate north of
Stony Brook, but they will not be included here as
among the early settlers.

RoiiEitT Baktlett, the ancestor of the Bartlett
family in the Old Colony, and who arrived from Eng-
land, 1623, had lauds at Jones River, obtained in

exchange for some which he owned at Eel River.
He married Mary, daughter of Richard Warren,
1628, and died 1676.

Clement Brigqs arrived in the " Fortune," 1621.
He exchanged four acres of land with John Brown
at Jones River, Oct. 8, 1637, and owned some at
Rocky Nook next to Mr. Thomas Preuce iu 1640.

John Brown arrived in the country at an early
date, and had a house at Jones River previous to
1640, and that year he sold it. He was elected an
assistant in the colony, 1636, and filled that office for
seventeen years, and was one of the commissioners of
the uuited colonies of New England from 1644 to
1655. In 1641, Mr. Brown and E. Winslow were
appointed by the court at Plymouth to purchase a
tract of land eight miles square of Asamecum for
the inhabitants of Seekonk. He removed to Reho-
both about 1640, and was " one of its most influ-
ential and useful inhabitants." He died April 10,

Francis Cook, the ancestor of the Cooks in this
vicinity, arrived in the " Mayflower," and lived at
Rocky Nook at an early period. He was one of the
first " layers-out" of land in 1627. In 1644 he was
required to furnish one from his family for a com-
pany in time of danger. Governor Bradford, writing
in 1650, says, "Francis Cooke is still living, a very
olde man, and hath seen his children's children have
children." He lived, however, thirteen years longer,
for his death did not occur until April 7, 1663.

John Cook, the eldest son of Francis, also came
in the " Mayflower." He was admitted a freeman
Jan. 1, 1633, and is styled, in 1637, "John Cook
the yeonger, of the Rockey Noocke." This shows
there were two of the same name living there at oue
time. In 1647 one was deacon of the church, and
before that date John Cook is mentioned as having a
large estate at Rehoboth. Iu 1660 the Plymouth
Records speak of lands " lying near unto John Coulee's
at Rocky Nook."

Jacob Cook, the son of Francis, was probably
burn iu England, as Bradford, in his list of the
" Mayflower" passengers, names " Francis Cuoke and
his soue John. But his wife and other children
came afterwards." He was one of a number of sol-
diers who were " willing to goe upon service against
the Pequeuts." He lived at Rocky Nook, and had
lands at Smelt Brook.

Caleb Cook, son of Jacob, lived at Rocky Nook.
His name will be recollected iu connection with the
death of King Philip. He was a soldier, and was
" placed with an Indian to watch, and, if possible,
kill Philip. Cook, as the historian relates, snapped



his gun, but it missed fire. He then bade the Indian
fire, and he instantly shot Philip through the heart."
This last quotation is from the Historical Society
Collections, and the same article states that the gun was
given by the Indian to Cook, and it was kept many
years in the family as a memorial of the eveDt. The
irun-barrel is now in Pilgrim Hall, but the lock was
presented to Isaac Lothrop, of Plymouth, many years
ago by Sylvanus Cook, of Kingston, and it was after-
wards in the possession of the Historical Society, in
Boston. He died 1722.

Jacob Cook, another son of Jacob, lived near the
river, on the north side. He died in 1747, aged
ninety-four years.

Charles Chauncy, the minister of Plymouth
and Scituate, and afterwards president of Harvard
College, had a grant of ten acres of land " at the
North Meddow, by Joaues River," about 1640.

Thomas Cushman, the ruling elder of the church
at Plymouth for so many years, resided ou the farm
that had belouged to his father-in-law, Mr. Allerton,
and his house was located but a short distance from
where the railroad now passes. The elder's spring
is still to be seen, and is one of the few ancient land-
marks that can be pointed out to the present genera-
tion. He came to the colony in 1621 with his father
(Robert Cushman), who returned, leaving his son,
then but fourteen years of age, in care of Governor
Bradford. In 1649 he was appointed to the office
of ruling elder, and was ordained the 6th of April of
that year, which office he held until his death. From
him the Cushman family of America has descended.
He was buried on the hill at Plymouth, and the spot
is now marked by a handsome granite shaft, erected
in 1858 by his descendants. The original gravestone
was thus inscribed :

" Here lyeth buried the body of that precious servant of
God, Mr. Thomas Cushman, who after he had served his gener-
ation according to the will of God, and particularly tho Church
of Plymouth, for many years in the oliice of ruling elder, fell
asleep in Jesus December ye lUth, 1GU1, and in the 84th year
of his age."

His sons, Thomas, Isaac, and Elkanah, lived iu
Plympton. Isaac was minister of the church there
for thirty-seven years.

Francis Combe had lands in Rocky Nook, 1602.
William Crowe at the same place, 1671. Fraucis
Curtis aud John Cole at Jones River about 1670.
Johu Doane was grautcd twelve acres of the North
Meadow by Jones River iu 1640. He was an assist-

1 In the article quoted from Historical Society Collections it
is stated that Sylvanus Cuok was great-grandson of Caleb, but
by the records it appears that Caleb was his great-uncle.

ant of Governor Winslow, 1633, and was' a deputy,
1642, also a deacon of the church. He removed to
Eastham about 1644, and died in 1707, aged one
hundred and ten years.

Thomas Dunham had twenty acres of land on
" north side of the town about Jones River" granted
to him, July 6, 1668, and twenty acres ou north
side of Smelt Brook, 1670. He was killed by the
Indians, probably 1675-76. His house was only a
short distance from Elder's Spring, and he had left it
to get his cattle, which were feeding near the woods,
when he was attacked by the Indians. His body was
buried on the rising ground opposite the house of the
late Deacon Henry Cobb.

Samuel Fuller, one of the " first comers" and
the first physician of the colony, had a house and
land near Smelt Brook, although his dwelling-house
was on Leyden Street, in the town. He was a deacon
of the church, and had held that office previous to
the removal from Holland. Soon after the settlement
at Salem a general sickness prevailed there, aud Gov-
ernor Eudicott sent to Governor Bradford for a phy-
sician. Dr. Fuller went thither, and his services were
much appreciated, and Governor Eudicott sent a letter
of acknowledgment (under date of May 11, 1620) to
Bradford. He died in 1633, much lamented by the

Matiiew Fuller. The name of this person is
mentioned in 1643, in connection with others at
Jones River, but there is nothing to show that he
was of Dr. Fuller's family.

Edward Gray was a prominent merchant in the
colony. He arrived in this country about 1643 with
his brother Thomas. There is a tradition in the
family that they were enticed on board a vessel iu
England, and then taken away against their will when
only twelve or fourteen years of age. However that
may be, we find Edward Gray to have been a pros-
perous merchant in 1670. At a town-meeting, Aug.
30, 1671, "The Gov', Mr. Howland, William Crow,
and Joseph Howland were appt. to view a small
moiety of land desired by Edward Gray to sett a
warehouse on at or near the end of his ground att
Rocky Nook, and make report thereof to the Towne."
In June, 1678, " License is granted unto Mr. Ed-
ward Gray to sell some small quantities of liquor as
he may have occasion to such as arc or may be em-
ployed by him in fishing & such like occasions, for
their use and refreshing." At the time of his death
(1681) he had acquired an estate worth twelve hun-
dred and fifty pounds stcrliug, the largest at that time
in the colony. His descendants have lived until the
present time on lauds occupied by him at Rocky



Nook. When the Old Colony Railroad was being
graded, a part of an old hearthstone was discovered
that was supposed to be the remains of his dwelling-
house. It was very near the bridge over the railroad.
He was buried in Plymouth, and his gravestone is the
oldest of any now standing on the hill.

William H anbury. In 1640 he bought John
Brown's house at Jones River for " two hundred and
fourscore pounds." His name is mentioned again in

John Howland, one of the Pilgrims, had house
and land at Jones River that he bought of John
Jenney, Feb. 2, 1638. He lived in Duxbury a
while, then in the town at Plymouth, but finally at
Rocky Nook, where he was as early as 1639. During
the passage to these shores he fell overboard, and
came near perishing. Bradford thus describes the
event : " In sundrie of these stormes the winds were
so feirce & y' seas so high as they could bear a knote
of saile, but were forced to hull for diverce days to-
gither. And in one of them, aa they thus lay at hull,
in a mighty storme a lustie yonge man (called John
Howland) coming upon some occasion above y e grat-
ings, was with a seele of y c ship throwne into y* sea;
but it pleased God y' he caught hould of y° tope-saile
halliards, whicli hunge overboard, and rane out at
length ; yet he held his hould (though he was sundrie
fadoms under water) till he was bald up by y e same
rope to y" brime of y" water, and then with a boat-
hooke and other means got into y" shipe againe, & his
life saved ; and though he was something ill with it,
yet he lived many years after, and became a profit-
able member both in Church and comouewealthe."
He was an assistant iu the government for the years
1633-35. His house stood north of the residence of
the late Hezekiah Ripley, and the remains of the
cellar are yet visible. He married Elizabeth, daughter
of John Tillie, and died Feb. 22, 1672.

Stephen Hopkins, of the " Mayflower" company,
had a grant of twelve acres in the North Meadow, by
Jones River, 1640.

Mu. Lee is mentioned at Jones River in 1644.

George Moore kept ferry at the river, 1638.

William Paddy bought part of a house at Jones
River, Feb. 3, 1648, belougiug to Edmund Free
man, of Sandwich, and previously (1041) had a grant
of one hundred acres upland at North Meadow, by
the river. He was a merchant, and quite wealthy
for those times, and for several years was a deputy
to the court of the colony, and probably the first col-
onial treasurer. He was a deacon of the church, and
much devoted to the interests of the colony. In 1651
he removed to Boston, where he died Aug. 21, 1658,

aged fifty-eight years. As some workmen were re-
moving earth from the north side of the old state-
house in 1830, they discovered a broken tombstone
with this inscription : " Here lyeth the body of Mr.
William Paddy. Departed this life August, 1658."

Thomas Prence, the Governor of Plymouth
Colony, 1634, 1638, and from 1657 to 1673, owned
the farm at Rocky Nook that at first belonged to Mr.
Allerton and afterwards to Elder Cushman. He re-
moved to Eastham, 1644, and contiuucd there until
1665, when he came back to Plymouth, and occupied
the place provided by the government, known as
" Plain Dealing," now in the possession of Barnabas
Hedge. He died April 8, 1673, in his seventy-third

Abraham Pierce, as early as 1637, owned land
south of Stony Brook, and probably most of what is now
known as Abraham's Hill. His name is first brought
to notice in 1627, when he "sold unto Capt. Miles
Standish two shares in the red cow, for & in consider-
ation of two ewe lambs, the one to be had at the time
of weaning this present yeare, & the other at the same
time Anno 1628, freeing the said Abraham from all
manner of charge belonging to said shares during the
terme of the nine years they are let out to halves &
taking the benefit thereof." He was of Duxbury in
1643, and probably of Bridgewater, 1645, and died
before 1673.

Phineas Pratt is mentioned at the river in
1640 and 1644, and sold fifty acres of upland and
two acres of meadow there to John Cooke, 1046.

John Reynor, the minister at Plymouth for
eighteen years previous to 1054, had a grant of ten
acres by the river, and " a hundred acres vpland

Nathaniel Souther had seven acres at the
river in 1640.

William Shurtley's house at Rocky Nook,
1684, stood on the east side of old road, between the
land of John Gray and Smelt Brook.

John Winslow, a brother of Governor Wins-
low, arrived 1621. As early as 1636, it is recorded
"that John, Kenelm & Josias Winslow & John
Barnes have that porcon of grownd upon Jones River
from the point of the wood right to the coming in at
Stony Brook and so upward on the south side of the

Thomas Willett, a merchant, had a grant from
the court, 1639, of one hundred acres of uplaud and
meadow in addition to fifty acres previously granted,
lying between Jones River and the pond to the north-
west of Jones River swamp. This land and four
hundred contiguous acres besides became the property



of Maj. William Bradford, who deeded it to his son,
Lieut. Samuel Bradford. He lived on this land in a
house built, as some say, by Mr. Willett. It is the
house still standing that was oceupied by the late
Kilboni Faunce, aud is probably as old as auy now
existing in Kingston, even if not built wholly or in
part at so early a date as Mr. Willett owned the laud.
In 1G48 he bought (with William Paddy) a house
and land at the river of Edmund Freeman, said house
" sometimes appertaining vnto Mr. Isaac Allerton,
being bounded with the lands of Mr* Fuller ou one
side, and lands of Clement Briggs aud Christo-
pher Winter on the other the nether end, buting
vpon Joanes River." Mr. Willett was one of the
last of the Leyden company to come to the country,
arriving about 1620, but he became of importance,
being an assistant thirteen years in succession. In
1GG0 he was an inhabitant of Rehoboth, and 1GG4
" was chosen to confer with the commissioners ap-
pointed by King Charles the Second in behalf of Plym-
outh Colony making respectful professions of lidelity
and allegiance." After the surrender of New York
to the English, he rendered the commissioners of ap-
peals great service by his acquaintance with the cus-
toms, language, etc., of the Dutch, and so satisfac-
torily did he perform his duties that he became very
popular, and was elected the first English mayor of
the city of New York. He died in Swausey, Aug.
4, 1G74, where a rough monument still marks his
grave with the followiug inscription :


" Here lyeth the body of the worthy Thomas Willett, Esq.,
who died August ye IV"' in ye Lxiv" 1 year of his age. Anuo.

"Who was the first Mayor of New York and twico did sus-
tain the place."

Rich aud Wright. In 1GG0, " a small parcel of
laud lying near unto John Cooke's at Rockey Nook,
was granted unto Richard Wright to bee a place to
set an house on." 30th December, 1G63. "The
bounds of the land of Richard Wright on which his
house staudcth at Rockey Nook as it was laid out by
Leiftenarit Morton is as followeth : the bounds ou the
northerly side is a great Cloven Rocke by the seaside,
and so ranging up towards the woods to a great heape
of stones within the field, and so to the path the
breadth is to run Southerly from the said heape of
stoues to a great red oak marked on four sides, the
Southerly side to run from the said red oak down-
ward to the sea to a great remarkable rock and so to
the sea, the length of it is from the common roadway
to the sea." Previous to these dates a Richard
Wright is mentioned as one of the early settlers in
Rehoboth, and his estate was appraised in 1G43 at

eight hundred and thirty-four pouuds. Whether the
two of this name were of the same family or uot is
unknown to the writer.

Christopher Winter had lands at Jones River

Thus an attempt has been made in the first part of
this work to notice all the principal persons who so
early took up land or resided in this part of the colony,
and the list embraces several of the distinguished
founders of New England. It is a pleasure to record
so many events connected with their lives that thuy
may thus be perpetuated in the memory of their pos-
terity, and others who may from time to time occupy
those same lands once trodden by the Pilgrims.
May future generations forever cherish the names of
those who first planted the seeds of civilization on
these western shores, and bequeathed to us so many

*' Live, live within each grateful breast,
With rovercuce for your names possessed.
Your praises on our tongues shall dwell,
And sires to sons your actions tell."



Ancient Ferries, Highways, and Bridges. —
For an unknown period, before the settlement of this
country by Europeans, it had been inhabited by nu-
merous tribes of Indians, who had their paths or
trails which couneeted different localities, and were
probably used at first by our forefathers in going from
place to place, until some of them became established
roads. In the earlier records of the colony the
" Payth to the Massachusetts," or the " Massachusetts
Path." is often mentioned, and although it would be
a difficult, if not impossible, task to locate it exactly
at the present time, yet portions of it can be traced by
reference to records relatiug to some of the more
modern highways. The first mention of this path in
the vicinity of Jones River is iu 1G37. May 10th,
" It is agreed that the heighways buth for hur»e aud
cart and foot, shalbe as followeth : From the town of
Plymouth to Joanes River, as it was cleared, pvided
it be holpen at Mr. Allertou's, by going through the
old cowe yard at the river, the place being commonly
called the Old Wading Place, and so through a valley
up the hill, and then to turn straight to Abraham
Peirce's ground, aud through his ground as it is



marked, and so the old path to Massachusetts leaving
Mr. Bradford's house to the west, and from Mr.
Bradford's house to Steephen Tracy's ground as the
way now lyeth, being already trenched a foote way
from the lower stepiug-stones to Steephen Tracie's,
theheighway lying through Steephen Tracie's field now
enclosed. Also we allow a way from Francis Billing-
ton's ground through the uooke, as it now lyeth, to the
ferry, and from the ferry to Stephen Tracie's house
and so through the meadow to the bridg." Thus it
will be seen there were three routes from Plymouth
over Jones River to the common point at Stephen
Tracy's house, which probably stood ou the present
estate of Mr. Samuel Loriug, of Duxbury. It was
ordered March 1, 1636, "That Joseph Rogers be
allowed a constaut ferry over Jones' River, neer his
dwelling howse, & to take a penny for the transporta-
con of each psou, he, the said Joseph, maintaynig a
sufficient ferry at that price."

Let us now trace the three routes mentioned : first,
the way through Mr. Allerton's ground to the river
was probably a little north of the present almshouse,
and " through the valley up the hill" was at the
northerly bounds of the land of the late Wiswall S.
Stetsou (where it has often been told by aged persons
of a past generation as the way of an ancient road),
then turn straight to the grounds of Abraham Pierce
(which were on the south side of Stony Brook), then,
after passing through his ground, the rest of the way
to Stephen Tracy's was by the old path, which would
leave Mr. Bradford's house on the west. (See pages

Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 58 of 118)