Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) online

. (page 4 of 52)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) → online text (page 4 of 52)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


1 Prince, vol. i, pp. 09, 117. 2 Hazard, vol. i, p. 1-31. Saiusbury.

3 Ilutcliiiisoi!, vol. i, p. 2S'.. Hubbard, N. E., p. Oil.

* Prince, vol, i, p. 1.33. An. of Portsmouth. 5 Belk., vol. i, N. II. App.

■'^rr- p


Gorge? did not confine liis attentioji exclnsively to riscataoiui,
even M-hile lie eoiiThined a partnci' in the Laconia pafni : [■»•
in Fel)inary 1628, we find that ho "had already a plantatioji
establislied npon the ishmd of Monhegan. This Ava? ].robal.l\-
for the accommodation of tlie llsliermen ; hut it liad Itecomo of
sufficient importance to dravr thillier tlio persons setlled in
Massachu^-etts hay for supph'es.i Tliis pUmtation must liavo
been commenced in 1021, or 1022, and Avas the first which
continued for any length of time upon any part of the territory
of Maine. iMonliegan is a solitary inland, about twelve miles
south-east of Pemaquid point, which is the nearest main laml.
From this island the transition to the main was easy ; and from
the concottrse of vessels to this neigld)orhood in the lishimr
season, it might naturally lie expected tliat here settlements
would 130 early form-xl. Such ajipears to have Ijcen the fact.
and we fmd that in 1025, a settlement was commenced at Xew
Harbor, on Pcmaquid, which continued to increase without
interruption, until the destructive Avar of 1075.

On the 15th of July, 1625, John Brown, of Xcav Harbor,
purchased of Capt. John Somerset and Unongoit, two Indian
Sachems, for fifty skins, a tract of land on Pcmaquid, extend-
ing ciglit miles by twenty-live, togetlier with ^luscono-us
island. - The next year Abraham Sliurt was sent oAcr by
Alderman AldsAvorth and Giles Elbridge, merchants of Bristol,
as their agent, and was invested witli power to purchase Mon-
licgan fur them. Tliis island then belonged to AV.raham
Jennings of Plymouth, of ^xho<(i ao-ont, Shurt purcliascd it for
.£50.3 Li 1020, AJ'Lworth and Elbridgo sent over to S'aurt
a patent from the council of Plymouth, for twelve thousand

1 Prince, p. 127. Morton's Mem., p. 109.

2 Report of Mass. Com. on the renjaq. title ISll, p. 107.

3 Shurt was about forty-four years old wlicn lie came over, and was living in
lfi02, agod about eighty. In 1G75, there were no less than one hun-Irod and
fifty-si.T faniilies east vf .Sagadahoc, and near one Imndrcd i!shi!;2 vesseh


acres of land on reinaiiuid, bounded north by a line dm v.:; fi-oui
the head of the Damariscotta to the head of tlie ^[u^conciis
river, and from thence to the sea, ineludiiig the islands within
three leagues of the sliore.' * Here was commenced the ilrsl
permanent settlement on the main land within the territory of
this state, by any European power. Thomas Elbridge. the son
of Giles, the patentee, came over a few years afterward and held
a court within this ]iatent, to which many of the inhabitaiits of
^Monlicgan and Damaiiscove repaired, and made ackiiuwlcdg-
ment- of submission. This place from its numerous haihors
and islands, possessed many advantages of trade as well as of
farming and fishin.g, and rapidly increased in i)Optdali.):i and
business. An additional grant was made to the same perscms
in 1S82, in which it is recited, that the land is " next adjouiing
to tliis place, where the people or servants of said Giles and

1 We here present a fac-simile of the signatures of Abraham Sluirt, and
Tliomas Elbridwe.


*[Sain.sbury in his colonial calendar, says that this grant was to be laid out
near the river of Pomaquid. with an additional one hundred acres to ever^- per-
son who should settle there, in consideration of tlie patentees having undertaken
to build a town and settle inhabitants there for tlie good of the country. He
puts this down under date Nov. 24. 1G31.]

- Sil. l)avi.s"s Rcj.ort, p. 40.

owned between Sagadahoc and Si. Georges' river. .SY/. Davis's itatcuod to the
council in IGTo.


Robert arc now settled, or have inhabited for the space of three
years last past.'"*

1 Since ihe above was jnit to press, I Lave discovered among a bundle of ol'l
papers, jiu-.!. jiut into luy hands, a ciTtiticate or declaration of Samuel '\Ve!;.->,
of Boston, niavir^ in iToO. relative to a seltleiuent at Pemaquid two or three ye.-.r;,
earlier than 1 have stated in the text. I have introduced this certificate a:,
lioticing an important fact, which, il is surpri-ving, has hitherto escaped obsc-r-
vation. ,

" This ma}- certify all concerned, that I have in my hand, a certain patent,
signed by tlio Earl of Warv/ick, and several other members of the council of
Plymouth, in England, dated June 1st, 1021, about three years after the patent,
constitutivig the council of Plymouth for ordering the affairs and settlemerit. of
New England ; tiiat is, of land between the fortieth ai.d forty-eighth degree of
north latitude. Tiie sum and substance of tiiis patent of June Ist, 1G:!1. is a
grant to one John Pierce, a citizen of London, of liberty to come and seiile ',:\
New England, with di.vers privileges in such place as he or his associate.s sbv^uld
choose under certain limitations of not interfering with other grant*, or tre'.tli.-i^
within ten miles of any oiljer settlement, unless on the opposite side of some
great and navigable river, and on return made, to have further grants or privi-
leges. Now, as I am informed, and bear it. is agreed on rdl hands, Mr. Pierce
came over and here he settled ; that is, at a place called Broad Bay, and there
his posterity continued above one hundred years ; some time after the settiemei't
was begun, one Mr. Brown made a purchase of a large tract of land of the
natives; and as Mr. Pierce's was t!ie most ancient grant thereabout.^, they
united the grant from home with the purchase of the natives, and it is said, that
the Indians have ever acknowledged the justice of our claims, aad never would
burn Pierce's house, even though he left it. This patent is the ancientest I ever
saw about any part of New England, except the original grand jiateut to t"..e
council of Plymouth, made as I remember in November, in 1G18. This patcnr
is eight years older than that to Bradford and Li.s associates for Plymouth
Colony, and nine years older than Massachusetts' first charter. I do not think
of anything further material or needful to be said, and the above is the
account my time will now allow me to give.

There are six seals signed by the Duke of Lenox, Duke of Hamilton, Ear;
Warwick, and some others, whose names I cannot find out.


EosTox, 11 til September, IToO.

*[In "early documents relating to Maine," is the following raemoranduui,
"A. D. 170:;, Ajuil <>. Deposition of Saiuu&l Welles, of Boston, in New England,
declaring that in 1727, gi-eat search was made after the patent of the late colony
of Plymoutlj, which was studiously sought after in the years 1733 and 1751' ;


In 1G2G, the governnieiit of riymouth colony ostaMisli' d a
trading liouse on Bagaduco Point, at the mouth of the renolj-
scot, and lirst gave this name to that river. The Indian name
was Fenol'sceag or Penohseook ; the French called it I'enta-
quevettc or Pentagoet.' The Baron do St. Castin, afterward

1 Sul. Ilisl. of Maine,, pp. 3G, 38, and His. of Pen. lucl., Mass. Hist. Col., vol.
is, p. 200.

and again in 1741 at Plymouth, Ipswich, and Cambridge. At lengtli Perez
Bradford. Esq., desired to inquire, and with much dilticulty be procured it,
having been designedly concealed."'

Mr. Deane in a note to -'Bradfords History of Plymoulli Plantat'un,"' )>. 107,
says, ■' this charter or patent ^vas granted by the president and council of New
England " to Jolm Pierce and his associates," and v^-as in trust for the bcneht of
the colony. * * The original is now at Plymouth, and is probably tl:e oldest
document in Massachusetts officially connected with her history." A copy is
published in the Appendix to the " Popham Memorial Volume," p. 118.
• It is generally assumed that this patent was for the settlement of Plymouth ;
but it contains no allusion to that colony, nor is it in trust for it. The language
of the charter is, " that whereas the said 'John Pierce and his associates have
already transported, and undertaken to transport at their cost and charges,
themselves and divers persons into New England, and there to erect and build
a town, and settle divers inhabitants," &c. "Now the said president and council,
in consideration thereof, have granted, allotted, assigned, and confirmed unto
the said, John Pierce and his associates, &;c., one hundred several acres of
ground in New England for every person so tran.sported, or to be transported.
* * * The same land to be taken and chosen by them, their deputies, or'
assigns, in any place, or jilaces, whatsoever, not already inhabited by any
English." * "■*= And they further grant to them fifteen hundred acres besides,
in consideration of said Pierce and associates having undertaken to build
churches, hospitals, bridges, &c.

This language has no "application to Plymouth: it is the same used in the
grant to Aldsworth and Elbridge of a portion of Pemaquid, 1020, and Mr. Welles
expressly says in his deposition that Mr. Pierce came over and settled at Broad
Bay under his grant, and his posterity continued there above one hundicd years.

It does not appear to me that the jiatent or charter referred to in Weston's
letter of July C, lt;21, contained in Bradford's history, is at all identified v.ith
that of Pierce, but the fair construction of the language is against it, Vi'estou
says, page 107, '■ We have procured yoti a charter, the best we could. :»hich
is better than your former, and with less limitation." Now the famed charter to
Pierce of Juiie 1, V;-21, does not at all answer that description, and I mu^t still
consider that the lost document has not yet come to light.]


erected liis fort upon ilie site of the old trading- hou^i::'. and iiiat
spot, together with tlie adjaeenr territory still pcr])eiuates the
name of one of the most persevering enemies that our c-ariy
colonists had to contend with. In 1602, the French riiied this
trading house of property to the value of £'oOO sterling.

The same government having obtained a patent on the Ken-
nchec river, erected in 1028, a house for trade u}) the river,
and furnished it with corn and other conmiodities for summer
and winter.^

Ahoitt this time, Thomas Purchase settled upon land now
included within the limits of Brtmswick : the precise year in
which he Avent tliere we cannot ascertain. Iir a deed to
Richard "Wharton, July 7, IG'r^l, from Worumho and other
sagamores, they confirmed to him " lands conveyed to and
possessed by Thomas Purchase, deceased, who came to this
country near threescore years ago."- Purchase contintied to
live on the same estate, which he })urchased of the Indians,
until the first Lidian war, and is frequently noticed in the
affairs of the province. His widow married John Blaney, of
Lynn, and was livhig in 1(383 ; he left three children, Thomas,
Jane, and Elizabeth.^ *

1 Prince, vol. i. p. G2, 2.1 part.

2 George Way was associated in the patent with Purchase ; the grant iuclnded
land lying on both sides of Pejepscot. on the eastern end of Androscoggin river,
on Kennel-ec river, and C'asco bay, Eleazer Way, son and heir of George, con-
veyed his moiety to 11. W!;artou, 1G83. The patent has long been lost, and is
only known to have existed by references in early deeds.

3 York Piccords.

* ["June IC, 1032. The council for New England grant to George Way and
Thomas Purchase, certain lands in Xew England called the river Bishopscotta,
and all that bounds and limits the main land adjoining the river to the extent of
two miles." Sai/nlury's CA. Paper, vol. i, p. 152. The river intended is doubtless
the Pejejiscot. Vihich was that part of the Androscoggin' lying between the Ken-
nebec river and Lewiston Falls. In August, 1C39, Purchase conveyed to tlie
Massachusetts Company l,;s land at Pejepscot, reserving the portion occupied
and improved by him. An abstract of tiio deed is in Hazard, vol, i, p. 4-j7.
For further interesting particulars relating to this title and t)ic hettlenaeiits at
Pejepscot, I refer to ^'ol. iii., Me, Hist. CijI. pp. 311 and 32-3.]


In 1028, Uic ^fassaeluisetts coni]ni)iy procured a charter Iroiii
the council of Plymoutb, and in June sent over Capt. Julin
Eiidicott and a few associates to take possessioii of tlic gTaut.'
They arrived in September at Xaunikeag (Salem) and laid
the foundation of that respectable town and the colony of

Some time in the cotirse of this year, Walter Bagnall, called
Great Walt, established himself upon Richmond's"- Island, with-
in the limits of the ancient town of Falmouth. Winthrop^, un-
der 1031, says, he lived alone upon the island three years, and
liad accumulated about XlOO, mostly in goods, by his trade
with the Indians, whom he had much wronged. He and a
companion were killed by an Indian sagamore, called Squi-
draysct, and his company, Oct. 3, 1G31, who burnt his house
and plundered liis property. Bagnall had been a servant to
some one in Massachusetts, but when or with whom he camy
to this country is not known. §

1 Prince, vol. ii, p. 174. Hazard, vol. i, p. 239.

2 I am not aide to determiiio wliether the original narae of this island was
Hichmhn'!, or Richmond. AVinthrop in his first notice of it, calls it Richrnan's
Island. It is afterward in the same work, and by other authors sometimes called
Richman's, and sometimes Richmond. In the early records it is often wriiten
Richman's, it is so wriUen in a deed from Robert Jordan, its owner, to his son
John, in 1677. On the other hand, it has borne its present name for the las^^
century, and that mode of writing it is met with nearly as often in the previous
period. A Mr. John Richmond lived in the neighborhood in 1C3G and somie years
afterward ; but he does not appear to have had any connection M-ith the island ;
and Mr. Trelawny, its owner, had a bark called the Richmond, which traded to
the island in the year 1009. It may have derived its name from the Duke of
Richmond, wlio was one of the council of Plymouth. The Indian name is en-
tirely lost, it has never been known by any other in our history but one of those
before mentioned. . .

3 Winthrop's J-urnal, vol. i, p. 02. Prince, 2d part, p. 30.

() [In Sainsbury's Colonial pa))ers is this memorandum : "Dec. 2, 1G31, Pafeiits
lo Walter Ragnall for a small island called Richmond, with I'jOO acres of land:
and for John Stratlon for 2o00 acres of land south .side of Cape I'orpus ri\er
or creek."] "



Squidrayset, Sqiiidragussct, or .^cittorygussot, in each of
which modes the name i? spelt, was a saclicm over a tribe on
the Presumpscot river. He subsequently conveyed lands up-
on the Presumpscot to the English, and a creek near the mouth
of that river still bears his name. This occupation by Bagnall
is the first attempt to establish a plantation within the limits
of Falmouth :* and it seems that he had undisturbed posses-
sion there until the time he was murtlered. In January, IGoo,
an expedition fitted oui in Massachusetts to intercept a pirate,
who was said to have 1}een hovering about Pemaquid, on theh-'
return stopped at Pichmond's island, and inflicted summary

* [This is an error revealed by recent iuvestigalion. lu Sainsbury's ca'ondar
of state papers vol. i, p. 45, is this minute of Council : "May 5, lG2o, Christopher
Levett to be a principal patentee & to have a grant of COOO acres of laud." "June
2G, 1623. The King judges well of the undertaking in New England & more
particularly of a design of Christopher Levett one of the Council for settling
that plantation, to build a city there and call ii York." In pursuance of these
arrangements, Levett came over in 1623, touching lirst at the "Lsle of Shoulds,"
thence to the Piscataq^ua, from which he sailed eastward along the coast as far
as Pemaquid, visiting the various harbors and rivers with a view to select a
suitable place to establish his plantation. Ho says, ''And now in its place I
come to Quack, which I have named York. At this place there fished divers
ships of Waymouth this year (1623). Itlieth about two leagues to the east of
Cape Elizabeth. It is a bay or sound betwixt the main & certain islands which
lieth in the sea about one English mile & half. There are four islands which
make one good harbor." There can be no doubt of this location ; the islands
are what are now called Bangs. House, Hog, and Peaks, lie adds, "And thus
after many dangers, much labor &. great charge, I have obtained a place of
liabitation in New England, vrhere I have built a house & furtihed it in a good
reasonable fashion, strong enough against such enemies as are these savage

Levett, after making these arrangements, returned to England to bring over
his wife and children, leaving ten men in charge of his house and property.
But it does not appear that he ever came back, nor what became of the men
he left or his property. He gives no account of it in his narrative, although it
was not published until 1028. That the settlement was broken up and aban-
doned, is certain,]


justice upon Black Will, one of the mnrdcrcrs of Bagnnll, bj-
hanging him without the forms of law.^*

On the 12th of February 1G30, the council of Plymouth
made two grants on the Saco river ; each being four miles up-
on the sea, and extending eight miles into the country. That
upon the west side of the river was to John Oldham and Rich-
ard Vines'- Oldham had lived in the country six years, partly
within the Plymouth, and partly within the Massachusetts
jurisdiction, and Vines had become acqtiainted with tlie country
by frequent voyages to it, and spending one winter at the place
where his patent was situated. It is mentioned in the deed
that the patentees had undertaken to transport fifty persons
thither withm seven years to plant and inhabit there. This^
condition was undoubtedly complied with, and Vines, who
managed the whole concern, immediately took possession of his
grant (June 25, 1G30) and entered with zeal and ability upon
the means of converting it into a soitrce of profit. ',

1 Wintbrop, vol. i, p. 9{K

* [On the 11 Ih of May, 185-3, the occupant of Ricbmond's island, in ploughing
a field near the northern shore, turned up a stone pot lying about a foot under
the surface near what had been the foundation of buildings. On examination,
the pot was found to contain twenty silver coins of the reign of Elizabeth, viz ;
four one shilling pieces, sixteen sixpences, one groat, and two half-groats ; of
the reign of James I, there were four one shilling pieces, and one sixpence, the
latter, the only one dated, had the stamp of 1C06. There were also twenty-one
gold coins, of which ten were sovereigns or units of the reign of Jarnes I, and
three half-sovereigns, seven sovereigns of the reign of Charles I, and one, a
Scottish coin of James as king of Scotland, dated 1G02. A full description of
this discovery and of the coin, was published in the "State of Maine," news-
paper, May 24, 1855, and another article on the subject soon after in the
Massachusetts Historical Collection. A more full account is contained in Me.
Historical Collection, vol. vi. p. 127. A gold wedding .signet 'ring v,as al.^c
found in the pot, with the icitials G. V. in a love knot, inscribed upon it. No
clue was given as to the time the deposit was made, and it is only left to con-
jecture, to form any conclusion on the subject. The latest date on the coin is
1C25, and it therefore may be Justly inferred that the concealment was made at
or about the time of Bagnall's murder in 1G31.]

2 York Itecord.s.


The patent upon the cast side of the river ^vas given to
Tliomas Lewis and Riehard Bonighton, and reeites tliat it vras
made "in consideration that said Thomas Lewis Gent, hath
akeady been at the charge to transport liiniself and othicrs to
take a view of New England for the bettering his experience
in the advancing of a plantation, and doth now wholly intend
by God's assistance, with his associates to plant there," <kc\
The patentees undertook to transport fifty persons there in
seven years at their own expense. Livery of seisin was given
June 28, 1631, and the proprietors in person successfully pros-
ecuted the interests of their patent. Sucli were the beginnings
of the towns of Biddeford and Saco, and the lands continue to
be held under those patents at this day. Oldham never ap-
pears to have entered upon his grant-; Tines occupied it fifteen
years, and sold it in 1G45, in which year or early the next, lie
went to Barl^adoes, where he probably died.' Lewis died on
his estate previous to 1040, without male issue, but Bonighton
continued to enjoy his proportion of the patent to a ripe old
age, when he was gathered to liis fathers, leaving a large es-
tate to his children.^

In 1630, the colony of Plymouth procured a new charter
from the council, for a tract of land fifteen miles on each
side of Kennebec river, e.\:tending as far up as Cobbisecontee.
Under this grant, they carried on a trade with the natives
upon the river for a number of years, and in 1060, sold the
title for four hundred pounds sterling, to Tyng, Brattle, Boies,
and Winslow^

1 The original patent was accidently found by Mr. Folsom, when he was col-
lecting materials for liis history of Saco, and has been deposited by liini in the
Archives of the Maine Historical Society.

2 Oldham was killed by the Indians off Block Island July 20, 1C8G. Winthrop,
vol. i.

3 For further particulars relative to these grants and the early history of Saco
and Biddeford, we lake pleasure to refer to Mr. Folsom's history of those
places, in which is collected all the information of value that is to be obtained
on the subject.

•t Hazard, vol. i. p. 208. Prince vol. i: p. IW>. SuHivan p. 303.

,;[> .\,.r'- -m!) (ob

io>..^T r


The same year, March 13th, the grant to John Beaudiom{>.
of London and Thomas Levcrett of Boston, in England, ^vas
made. It was ten leagues square, and was situated l>otv,ee)i
Muscongus and Broad bay, and Penobscot bay. Large prepa-
rations "sverc immediately made for carrying on trade there,
and agents were employed for conducting it.' This ^Yas origin-
ally called the Lincoln grant, and afterward the Waldo patent,
a large part of it having been held by Brigadier "Waldo, to
wliose heirs it descended. It now forms part of the counties
of Waldo and Knox.

In the course of the same year (1630) the council of Ply-
mouth granted to John Dy and others, forty miles scjuare,
lying between Cape Porpus and Cape Elizabeth. Tliis was
named the province of Lygonia, though commonly known in
early times as iha pIoi(g-/i patent'-. The latter term is supposed
to have been applied either from the ship, named the Plough,
which brought over the first company, or from the circum-
stance that the adventurers were generally husbandmen, while
the usual employment of others upon the coast was commer-

Tlie first company arrived at Winter Harbor in the summer
of 1631, in the ship Plough, but not being satisfied with the
appearance of the country and their future prospects, the prin-
cipal part of them continued on to Boston and Watertown,
where they were soon broken up and scattered^. Xo furtiier
effective measures seem to have been taken for the occupation

l_Doug]as, vol. i. p. 384. Prince, vol. i. p. 203,

2 Sullivan, pp. 114, 304, 310. I never have been able to discover this patent,
nor ascertain its date, nor who were the patentees. I do not know that there is
a copy of it in the country ; the original was sent over to Richard Dumnim of
Newbury, in 1G38, as agent, but was afterward ordered horue. Hubbard inen-
tions as patentees, John Dy, Thomas Luke, Grace Harding, and John Roacit
of London. Sullivan says they were John Dye, John Smith, Brian Brinks, and

3 Vi'inthrop, vol i. p. 08.

;j .jRo


of this grant iinfil 1G48. vchv.n it fell into llie hands of Alexan-
der Righy, under v;honj a g'overnment was establislied.
subject will l»c adverted to hereafter more particularly ; the
claim to soil and sovereignty in that province, occupies a con-

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) → online text (page 4 of 52)