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Resolves of the General Court of ... Massachusetts, respecting the sale of eastern lands; with the reports of the committees appointed to sell said lands from March 1, 1781 to June 14, 1810 .. online

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RESOLVES



OF THE



GENERAL COURT

OF THE

Commontoealtl) of S^aKatlxiiitttS,

RESPECTING THE SALE OF

EASTERN LANDS;

WITH THE

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEES



APPOINTED TO SELL SAID LANDS ; =''

Fro77i March 1, 1781 to' MMLLkJx^ ^^^



."-^tA-fiitt. - .




BOSTON;
Printed by TQUNG and MWNS, Printers to the State.

1803.




:"'^n



BI^DING
NU\'.BE
OF 1698,



"\ 44

3.) ^^



f?



RESOLVES.



»«si!>ee®(?^©®©-^^^®<E'3®«.S8'5®9«='~— -



Appointing a committee to examine into all. trespd^^
ses and iHcgal entries on the unappropriated lands
belongimyfo this comsnomccalth, and vest in<r them
zvith certain powers. ^^^V X^ 1781.

WHEREAS it has been re.prefented to the Gen-
eral Court, that divers trefpaffes have been com-
mitted on the unappropriated lands belonging to this
commonwealth, and that divers perfons have illegally
entered upon and taken poiTeilion of various tra6ls of
raid lands, and (till continue to hold poireffion thereof,
contrary to law and juftice : And whereas it is probable
that further trefpalTes may be committed, and illegal en-
tries made, unlefs proper meafures are taken to prevent
the fame : Therefore,

RESOLVED, That Jedediah Preble, Jonathan Green-
leaf, David Sewall, John Lewis, and Willam Lithgow,
Efquires, be, and hereby are appointed a commit-
tee to examine into all fuch trefpailes and illegal en-
tries, with full power, in behalf of this commonwealth, to
commence any action or adions againfl: any perlbn or
perfons who have, or may hereafter commit any tref-
pafs or trefpaffes on the faid lands, and alio againfl any
perfon or perfons who now holds or may hereaftei' hold
poffcllion of any trad or tracts of faid lands, contrary
to law, and profecute the fame action or actions, to final
judgment, execution and receipt ; faving nevenhelels,

where



4 RESOLVES.

where any fuch trefpafler (hall be dlfpofed to make due
recompence, in the judgment of faid committee, for any
damage done to the commonwealth by him ; in that
cafe, the laid committee are hereby directed to accept the
fame, and difcharge the trefpalTer fo making recompence
for his trefpafs ; and alio where any illegal poffefTor, as
aforefaid,(liall fignify to the faid committee that he is de-
firous of purchafmg the land by him poJOfeiTed, as afore-
faid, and dial I agree, on condition of receiving a good
deed of conveyance or grant of fuch land, to pay to
faid committee, for the ufe of the commonwealth, fuch
fum or fums of money as they ftiail judge the fame ro be
reafonably worth, and fnall give proper fecurity for the
performance of fuch agreement ; the faid committee be-
ing of opinion that it will be for the intereft of this com-
monwealth' to difpofe of the fame to fuch perfon, are
hereby dire£led to make a report thereof to the General
Court, for their confideration and further order thereon.

And it is further Reiolved, That faid committee be,
and hereby are direded to examine the authenticity of
claims to the faid unappropriated lands or any part there-
of, which they may have reafon to think are not well
founded, and report the (late of fuch claims to the Gen-
eral Court as foon as may be.

And it is further Refolved, That the faid committee
be, and hereby, are diredled to run and mark out, or
caufe to be run and marked out, fuch dividing lines be-
tv;een the lands belonging to or claimed by any individu-
al or number of individuals, and the faid unappropria-
ted lands, as they may judge neceffary for the purpole of
preventing trcfpafling and illegal entries in future.

And it is farther Refolved, 1 hat the faid committee
be, and hereby are directed to take or caufe to be taken,
any plan or plans of faid unappropriated lands, or any
part thereof, that fhall be deemed neceffary for anfwer-
ing any of the purpofes aforefaid, and alio to eftimate
and afcertain the whole number of acres contained in
laid unappropriated lands, as near as may be with con-
venience.

And



RESOLVES, 5

And it is farther Refolved, That the faid committee
be, and hereby are authorized, for the purpofe of com-
mencing and profecuting any of the actions atorefaid,
to fubftitute one or more attornies, and the fame fubfti-
tution to revoke at pleafure, and appoint others in their
ftead. as the cafe or cafes may require, and allow and pay
him or them for their feveral fer vices, what the fame
mav be reafonablv worth.

And it is further Refolved, That faid committee be,
and hereby are directed to pabiilh this refolve, or fuch
parts thereof^ in the Bojion and Worccjler newfpapers, as
they may think proper, in order that the trefpaffers and
illegal poffeifors aforefaid, may have an opportunity of
availing themfelves of this inftance of leniry in govern^
ment, and fave the expence which might otherwife be in-
curred by law fuits.

And it is further Refolved, That any three of the faid
committee be a quorum for tranfacting any bufmefs to
therfi committed in this refolve ; and the faid committee
are directed from time to time to make return to the Gen-
eral Court of all their proceedings, with accounts on
oath of their time and expence, and alfo the feveral funis
of money, and fecurities for the payment or funis of mo-
ney, which they may receive in confecuence of this
refolve.

— (>»®®j<^^]®«S««— —

Giving directions to the committee appointed hy a
resolve of May 1, 1781, to exa?nine into a/i tres-
passes' and illegal entries on the unappropriated
lands belonging to this commonwealth.

July 11, 1783.

RESOLVED, That the committee appointed by a
refolve of the General Court of May i, 1781, to
examine into all trefpaffes and illegal entries on the unap-
propriated



6 RESOLVES.

priated lands belonging to this commonwealth, be. and they
are hereby directed to complete, in the county of Tork,
with all pollible diipatch, the bufinefs afligned them by
the faid refoive, and to fettle and agree with all fuch
who are dil'pofed to fettle and agree, as have, before
the faid firft day of May, 1781, illegally entered upon, or
tak^n pofl'eflion of any of the faid lands, or committed
any trefpafs or trefpaifes thereon ; and againft all fuch as
Ihall not apply to, and fettle with the faid committee,
agreeable to the provifion made in the faid refoive, the
laid committee are hereby direded to proceed and com-
mence fuch actions as may be necelfary, and profecute
the fame to final judgment and execution ; and againft
all fuch as have, fmce the firft day of May, 1781, illegally
entered upon, or taken poflefTion of any of the faid unap-
propriated lands, or committed trefpafs or trefpaffes there-
on, the faid committee are directed to commence a legal
procefs, and profecute the fiune to final judgment and
execution ; and in cafe any of the illegal poffelTors afore-
mentioned, fhall agree with the faid committee, and make
payment to them of the fum or fums agreed upon, or
ihall give good and fuflicient fecurity to the treafurer of
this commonwealth for the payment thereof, in a time
not exceeding eighteen months from the time of agree-
ment, with lawful interelt for the fame, in fuch cafe the
faid committee are hereby empowered to give a good and
fufficient deed of conveyance.

And it is further Refolved, That the faid committee
be. and they are hereby directed to appraife fuch pieces
or flrips of the faid lands in the county of l^ork, as are
not large enough for a townfhip, and to make report of
their appraifement of each flrip or piece, together with a
plan, and the contents of each, the fam^e Uaving been
furveyed under their direction : And the faid committee
are alfo directed, to lay out fuch of the faid unappropria-
ted lands in the faid county oiTork, as lay below t'rye-
bur^b, into townfhips of fix miles fquare each, or therea-
bouts, and caufe the faid townfhips to be furveyed by a
furveyor and chainman, under oath ; a plan of each ot
which, with the contents and boundaries, ihe (quality of

the



RESOLVES. 7

the foil of each, the growth, goodnefs and kind of wood
on each, its diftance from any fettlement, or navigable
river, whether rocky, mountainous, plain, or abounding
with brooks or dreams ; the faid committee are direft-
ed to report to the General Court, at their next feflions,
and to compleat their bufinefs in the county of .ror/^, and,
if poffible, to purfue and accomplifh, in the counties of
Cumberland and Lincoln, the bufmefs afiigned them by
the faid refolve of the lirft of May, 178 1, and to make re^
port of the whole at the next fitting of the General Court 1
iind the fecretary of this commonwealth is dire£led^ to
furniih the faid committee with a copy of the foregoing
refolve.

Relative to the unappropriated kinds within the three
eastern counties, directing the conu/iittee appoint-^
edMay 1, 1781, m this case, and choosing a com-
mittee to repair to the county of Lincoln to exe-
cute certain business. October 28, 1783.

WHEREAS the committee who were appointed by
a refolve of the General Court of May 1, 1781,
for examining into all trefpaffes and illegal entries on the
unappropriated lands belonging to this commonwealth,
cannot execute the bufmefs that may arife in all the eaft-
ern counties, with necelTary difpatch : It is the opinion
of your committee, that the lafl mentioned committee be
cxcufed from attending to any concerns that may fall with-
in their commilTion in the county of Lincoln, and that a
committee be appointed fpecially for the faid county of
Lincoln, to do and execute all that in the faid county,
which the committee appointed by the refolve aforefaid
were empowered to do and execute in the faid county of
Lincoln : Your committee therefore report the following
refolve : viz. Refolved, that the committee appointed by

a refolve



9 RESOLVES.

a refolve of the General Court, of May i, i78i> for ex*
amining into all trefpalTes and illegal entries on the unap*
propriated lands belonging to this commonwealth, be en-
joined to compleat, without delay, in the counties of
Tork and Cu?nberiand, the bufmefs affigned them by faid
refolve, and one other refolve of June the eleventh, 1783,
and the faid committee be, and they are hereby direG:ed,
to lay out one or more townihips in the county of Ctim-
herland^ if they (hall judge it expedient, and make report
of the fame at the next fefTion of the General Court.

Refolved, That the aforefaid committee be, and they
are hereby difcharged of any further execution of their
commifTion in the faid county of Lincoln^ and no further.

Refolved, That a committee, to confift of three perfons,
be appointed for the purpofe of doing and executing all
that in the faid county of Lincoln, or relating thereto,
which a committee appointed by a refolve of the General
Court of May firft, 1781, v/ere empowered to do and to
execute therein, or relative thereto ; and that the com-
mittee now appointed be veiled with all the powers and
authorities, fo far as the fame may apply to the county
of Z-/wo/«, that the faid committee of May firft, 178 1,
were verted with, reference thereto being had.

Refolved, That one or more of ^he committee appoint-
ed by the foregoing refolve, repair immediately to the faid
county of Li ncoh, to enquire into the trefpaffes, illegal en-
tries, poffeflions and encroachments taken or made by any
perfon or perfons, or by any body or bodies of men j alfo
to enquire into the ftate and condition of fuch tovnilhips
or lands as have been granted or fold either by the late
province of the Maflachufetts Bay, or fn\ce the year 1775:
how far the grantees or vendees have complied with the
conditions of the grant or fale, and whether the quantity
by them taken in, exceed the quantity granted or fold ;
and alfo to enquire into, and afcertain the limits of the
land allowed the Indians for hunting ground ; and alfo
to confider the expediency and advantage of laying out
a number of townihips on the eaftern part of the faid
county of Lincoln, bordering on the River St. Croix,
or in any other parts of the faid country, Refolvs



RESOLVES, 9

Refolved, That the faid committee, as wdl as the
ccramitree appointed by a refolve of May firft, 1781,
heretofore mentioned, be, and they are hereby refpedive-
ly uireded to confider and report what lands it may bs
neceffary to referve for the ule of the commonwealth for
timber and other public iifes, in the counties for which
they are refpediveiy appointed 5 and in like manner to
make report of their other proceedings at each feffion of
the General Court, (and if polTible at the beginning of
each feffion^) until the faid committees Ihall have accom-
pliftied the bufmeis afligned them. And the faid com-
mittees are direded to lay their accounts before the Gen-
eral Court, from time to time, for allowance and payment.
And the fecretary is directed to furnifli each of the faid
com.mittees with a copy of thefe refolves.



On the pet k ion of Joseph Frye, Esq. relative to lands
???. Fryeburgh, in the county of' Y orli. March 18^
1784.

THE committee appointed by a refolve of May firif,
178 1, to examine into all trefpaffes and illegal en-
tries on the unappropriated lands, and to whom, was
committed the petition of Jofeph Frye, Efq. accompani-
ed with a plan of four thoufand four hundred and fixty-
five acres of land, in lieu of four thoufand one hundred
and forty-feven acres received back by government from
the faid Frye, in the well: corner oi Fryeburgh, in the coun-
ty of Tork^ June 25, ^yyz, have attended to the petition,
and viewed the plan, and think it unreafonable to cut the
government's land in fuch a difadvantageous manner
as is done by the faid plan : Therefore propofe, that the
four thoufand one hundred and forty-feven acres, iu lieu.
of that received back, be laid in the form marked by the
Ted lines on the plan, and bounded in the following man-
B " ner.



19 RESOLVES.

rier, viz. beginning at the northerly corner of the faM
town oi Fryeburgh ; thence fouth forty-five degrees wefl:^
on the northwellerly fide line of the faid town, five hun-
dred and thirty rods ; thence north eighty degrees eaft?
(by the needle, one thoufand five hundred and eighty-
tour rods ; thence fouth eighty-two degrees eaft, five
hundred rods ; thence fouth eight degrees weft, to the
upper Keezer pond, and the outlet thereof, to the north-
eafterly fide line of the aforefaid town of Fryeburgh ;
thence north forty-five degrees weft, on the faid line, un-
to the northerly corner firft mentioned.

JONATHAN GREENLEAF,
DAVID SEWALL,
JOHN LEWIS,
"WILLIAM LITHGOW, jun.

Conjirnwf^o' gj*ants oflandfor77ierly made and report-
ed upon by the comtntttee on eastern lands, and for
the sale of lands mentioned in the reports of the said
comynitiee. March 20, 1784.

ON the reporl: of March i iJ, 1784, made by the com-
mittee appointed by a refolve of the General
Court of May the ift, 1781, for examining into all
trefpafTes and illegal entries on the unappropriated lands
belonging to this commonwealth :

Whereas the faid committee, in their report of March
the 1 2th, 1784, annexed a plan exhibiting at one view
the unappropriated lands belonging to this common-
■wealth, on the weftern fide of Saco River, and the fouth-
ard of little Oflipy River, together with feveral grants of
land made to fundry perfons at feveral times ; and have alfo
reported, that of the lands therein mentioned, two hun-
dred acres thereof, granted to Daniel Simpfon, one hun-
dred acres to Mofes Banksj and four hundred acres to

Jofeph



RESOLVES. 11

Jofeph Bane, for the ufe of his four fons, no confirma-
tion thereof from this has been made to appear: There-
fore,

Refolved, That for the reafons fet forth in the faid re-
port, the aforefaid grants of two hundred acres to Daniel
Simpfon, one hundred acres to Mofes Banks, and four
hundred acres to Jofeph Bane, for the ufe of his four fons,
be, and they are hereby feverally confirmed to them,
their heirs and affigns, to all intents and purpofes ; and
as fully as though the faid grants had been heretofore
confirmed, and due record made to the fame.

And be it further Refolved, That the report of the faid
committee refpedting lands granted to Jonathan Bane,
and their doings relative thereto, as well as with refped
to the two 'hundred acres the faid committee permitted
the alTignees of Samuel Kendall to lay out, be, and here-
by is accepted ; and the three hundred acres of land to
Jonathan Bane, and alTignees, and the two hundred acres
to the aflignees of Samuel Kendall, as laid out by the
faid committee, are feveraily confirmed to them, their
heirs and afligns.

And whereas by the aforementioned report and plan, it
appears, that there are feveral ftrips or gores of. land,
amounting , to about five thoufand fix hundred acres, of
the unappropriated lands belonging to this common-
wealth, on the weftern fide of Saco River, and to the
fouthward of little OfTrpy River,

It is hereby refolved, That the whole of the afore -
mentioned unappropriated land=3 mentioned in the *faid
report, be fold at public audlion for government fecuri-
ties, except the one hundred acres reported by the faid
committee as taken up by John Lydfton, without any
title under the government, which one hundred acres the
faid committee are directed to difpofe of in fuch manner.
as they fball judge befl for the interefl of this common-
wealth.

And it is further refolved. That the eleven lots of
land adjoining to i7y^*^:/r^Z?, mentioned in the report No. 2,
gf the faid committee, of March the tenth, 1 784sContain-



32! H E S O L V E S.

ing one hundred and fifty acres each, excepting one of
them which contains one hundred and ninety-two acres,
be all fold at public audion for government fecurities.

And it is further refolved, That Cotton Tufts, Ed-
ward RulTeU and John Hill, efquires, be a committee to
difpofe of the aforefaid lands 5 amounting to about five
thoufand fix hundred acres -, and alfo the aforefaid elev-
en lots of land, at public auction, for government fecuri-
ties, as foon as may be^ and at fuch time and place as they
Ihall appoint ; firft giving public notice thereof in three
of the Bojion newfpapers, for three weeks fucceffively 5
and at lead three months before the time of fale, and fhall
have power to adjourn from time to time, until the fale
is completed j and the faid committee are hereby au^
thorized and empowered to give good and fufficient deeds
to the purchafer or purchafers of the faid lands, in th^
name and behalf of this commonwealth, and to have re-
gard to the bounds of the faid lands, as fet forth in the
reports and plans aforementioned, and the faid commit-
tee are hereby directed to pay into the treafury of this
commonwealth, fuch fecurities as they fhall receive for
the faid lands, taking duplicate receipts therefor, and to
lodge one of them with the fecretary, and make report of
their doings hereon, at the next felTion of the General
Court.



JXeport

Qftkc cojnmittee ^appointed by a r.esoive of the 2Hth
of October last, to examine into the state of the unr-
appropriated lands in the county 0/ Lincoln.

March 22, 1784.

THE committee appointed in confequence of a refolve
of the General Court of the 28th of Odober laft,
to examine into the flate of the unappropriated lands in
the county of Lincoln, and for other purpofes therein

, mentioned.



RESOLVES. 4L3

iiientioned, have attended to the bufinefs of their appoint-
ment, fo far as time and circumftanccs would permit j and
they find that large trads of land in 'the laid couniy, are
claimed by certain perfons and companies, particularly by

the Plymouth company, by ihe heirs and affigns of -

Leverett, called the Waldo claim ; and befides thele,
that there is a claim called the Drown claim, aad fuudry
others. As moft of the faid claims are founded on an-
cient grants and various Indian deeds, &c. it will re-
quire a confiderable time to inveftigate their authenticity
and extent, and to prepare a (late of fads to be laid be-
fore the General Court, which will be attended to with-
out lofs of time ; and in the mean time your committee
^Ik leave to report as their opinion, that it will be for the
intereft of the commonwealth, to lay out a number of
towns in the laid county, and propofe that four towns be
laid out on the well fide of Penohfcot riv<;r, beginuiijg at
the faid river, at the diflance of thirty miles from the lea ;
firom thence, extending on a line parallel with the gener-
al courfe of the fea'Coair, towards Kennebeck river ; tha*: as
many towns be laid out on the eaft fide oi Penohfcot river,
as the land laying between the weftermoit of the twelve
townfhips conditionally granted on the fam.e fide of the
faid river, and the land granted to the Indians, will ad-
mit ; that fix tov/nfhips be laid out on the well fide of
the river 6V. Croix^ being the eaflermoft boundary of this
commonwealth, beginning at the fea, and extending up
the faid river ; that each of the faid townfhips be laid out
fix miles fquare, or as near thereto as circumftances will
permit ; and that furveyors be appointed by the perfons
who (hall be authorized to difpofe of the land herein
mentioned^ for the purpnfe of laying out the faid town-
fhips, returning the quantity, quality and boundaries of
the fame, whether they be rocky, mountainous or plain ;
the growth and kind of timber and wood thereon ; the
rivers and ftreams therein ; together with the nearnefs
of thofe townfhips which do not lay on a river, to any
fettlement or landing, agreeably to the aforefaid refolve.
And at the fame time your committee would beg leave

to



J4 RESOLVES.

to fuggeft, that for the purpofe of preventing emigration!
from this into other ftates, and accelerating the fettle-
ment of the lands belonging to this commonwealth, it
would be expedient to appoint fome fuitable perfons to
difpofe of the lands before propofed to be laid out, to any
fubje£t of this, or any other of the United States^ who will
pay therefor in fpecie fecurities due from this common-
wealth, with the following directions, 'uiz. after referving
fifteen hundred acres in every townfhip for public ufe,
to difpofe of half of the faid townfhips, which fliall be
adjoining to a river, in quantities not exceeding five hun-
dred acres to one perfon, and at a rate not below fix (hil-
ings per acre ; in each of the other townfhips that Ihall be
adjoining a river, to fell fix thoufand acres, in quantities
not exceeding one hundred and fifty acres to one perfon,
on fuch terms as to the venders (hall appear reafonable ;
the validity of their titles to depend on fettling themfelves,
or caufing fome other perfon to fettle within twelve
months from the date of the deed, unavoidable cafualties
excepted ; if the firft mentioned rownlhips fhould not be
fold in the manner prefcribed for them, then that they be
fold in the manner laft mentioned j in ihofe townfhips
which do not adjoin to a river, to difpofe of a quantity
not exceeding three thoufand acres as follows ; to give
one hundred acres to each perfon who (hall fettle there-
on within one year from the date of his agreement ; their
titles to be confirmed to them upon their clearing at leafl
four acres annually, for the firfl four yearSi

It is fuggefted alfo, that it will be expedient to author-
ize the perfons who may be appointed to. difpofe of the
.land, to procure faithful chainmeri and other help necef.
fary for the purpofe of laying out the townfliips and lots
that (hall be fold j both furveyors and chainmen to be
fworn faithfully to difcharge the duties to which they are
refpedively appointed previoufly to their proceeding.

Your committee, immediately after the pafiing of the
{aid refolve, of the twenty-eighth of Odober laft, by pub-
lie advertifements, gave notice of their appointment and
of the duties required of them, and cautioned all perfons

agair.ll



RESOLVES. 15

againft committing future trefpaffes on public lands In the
faid county ; they alfo empowered the honourable Wil-
liam Lithgow, jun. efq. In their behalf, to commence
fuits at law, and to profecute the fame to final judgment
and execution, agalnfl: all perfons who fliould difregard
the. warning then given ; it is propofed, when the feafon
fhall be moft favourable for the purpofe, that two at
leaft of the committee proceed in perfon to the faid coun-


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Online LibraryMassachusettsResolves of the General Court of ... Massachusetts, respecting the sale of eastern lands; with the reports of the committees appointed to sell said lands from March 1, 1781 to June 14, 1810 .. → online text (page 1 of 21)