William Smith Porter.

Historical notices of Connecticut; (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online LibraryWilliam Smith PorterHistorical notices of Connecticut; (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


VS^ESTEHN RESERVE
MISTCKICAL SOCIETY,



.JSIEVELAND, 0. y^f, ^zf^






r New
England, and arrived in Boston, September 4th, Ib^ - ^.
With hirfi came the famous Mr. John Cotton, Mr.
John Haynes, afterwards governor of Connecticut,
Mr. Goft;'and two hundred other passengers ot im-
portance to the colony. Mr. Hooker proceeded to
Newtown, where he found himself in tlie i^^^^lst ot a
ioyful and affeciionate people, and was himselt hiled
with joy. He embraced them with open arms, say-
in^ in the lanounge of the apostle, " Now I live, if ye
stand fast in the Lord." He was soon chosen pastor
and Mr. Stone teacher. The church was gathered al
Newtown, October 11th; and after solemn fasting
and prayer, the pastor and teacher were ordained to
their respective ollices. This was the pious band
who afterwards transported themselves in their
associated capacity to Hartford, which they hrst
named Newtown. at •>

Jn 1634, by the continued emigration to New Eng-
land, the people at Watertown, Dorchester and New-
town began to be much straitened ; and receiving
from those who had been to Connecticut, intelligence
of the excellent meadows upon the river, they deter-
mined to remove thither, and once more brave the
dangers and hardships of making settlements m a
dreary wilderness. This occasioned great excitement

m EXCHANGE

JAN 5 » 1915



SETTLEMENT.



and opposition in MiLSsachusetts. But after a pro-
tracted discussion, the General Court, in 1635, finally
granted permission to remove thither. A commence-
ment ot the settlement was made in 1635. Their
suflerinfrs and trials while on their journey through
the wilderness, and during the long and severe winter
which followed, are well known. In 1636, Mr. Hooker,
and Mr. Stone, and a company of one hundreil men,
women and children, took their departure from Cam-
bridge, and traveled more than 3. hundred miles,
through a hideous and trackless wilderness to Hart-
ford. ^ They had no guide but their compass; and
made their"^ way over mountains, through swamps,
thickets and rivers, which were passable with great
difhcuky. They had no cover but the heavens, and
no lodgings but such as nature afforded them. They
drove with them one hundred and sixty head of cattle,
and subsisted by the way on the milk of their cows.
Mrs. Hooker w*as borne through the wilderness on a
litter. The people generally carried their pack?, arms
and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on
their journey. This adventure was the more remark-
able, as many of this company were persons of figure,
who in England had lived in honor, affluence and
delicacy, and were strangers to fatigue and danger.
Gov. Haynes and some others did not appear in the
colony until 1637.

PURCHASE OF HARTFORD.

The Indian name of Hartford was Suckiage. The
settlers first named it Newtown from the place of their
residence in Massachusetts ; but in February, 1637,
thev «^ave it the present name of Hartford. The
place ""was originally purchased by Mr. Stone, Mr.
WiUiam Goodwin and others, for the proprietors, of
Sunckquasson, the Indian chief and proprietor of the
soil. The original treaty was lost or carried away,
and was renewed by his"^ heirs and successors m 1670.
The following is a true copy from the records ;



4 HARTFORD.



INDIAN TREATY.

"Whereas our predecessor Sunckquasson, sachem
of Suckiage, alias Hartford, did about the yeare six-
teen hundred thirty six, by a writeing under his hand,
pass over unto Mr. Samuel Stone and Mr. Wm.
Goodwin, in the behalfe of the present proprietors and
owners of the lands belonging to the township oi'
Hartford, all that part of his country from a tree
marked N. F. which is the divident between Hartfcrd
and Wethersfield — we say from the afoarsayd tree
on the south, till it meet with Windsor bounds on the
north, and from the great river on the east, the whole "
bredth to run into the wilderness towards the west
full six miles, which is to the place where Hartford
and Farmington bounds meet ; which grant of Sunck-
quasson, as occasion hath been, was by him renewed
to the honoured John Haines, Esqr. and other the first
magistrates of this place, and enlarged to the west-
w^ard so far as his country went ; which enlargement
as well as his former grant was made in presence of
many of the natives olthe place and English inhabit-
ants ; and severall yeares after, about the time (jf the
planting of Farmington in the yeare one thousand six
hundred and forty, in a writeing made between the
English and Fethus the sachem or gentleman of that
place, there is a full mention of the afoarsayd Sunck-
quasson his grant of his country to the magistrates of
this place, which grant we are privy too ; and we
being the onely successors of Sunckquasson and pro-
prietors (before the forementioned sale) of the lands
belonging to the township of Hartford on the west
side of the great river, being desired to confirm and
pass over all our right and interest in the afoarsayd
lands to the present possessors of them, they infbrme-
ing us that those writcings made by Sunckquasson
before recited are at present out of the way, knowing
what our predecessor hath done, and what considera-
tion he hath received for the same, — »



INDIAN TREATY. O

We, Masseeckcup and William squa in behalf of
ourselves and Wawarme the sister and onely heire of
Sunckquasson, and Keepequam, Seacutt, Jack Spiner,
Currecombe, Wehassatuck s({ua and Seacunck squa,
the onely inhabitants that are surviveing of the afoar-
sayd lands, doe by these presents owne, acknowledge
and declare, that Sunckquasson whoe was the sachem
of Suckiage alias Han lord, and grand proprietor of
the lands adjacent, did with the consent of those of
us whoe were of age to declare our consent, and with
the consent of the rest of the inhabitants of this place,
about the year 1636, pass over unto Mr. Samuel Stone
and Mr. Wm. Goodwine, in behalfe and for the use of
themselves and their company, all the land from
Wethersiield bounds on the south, to Windsor bounds
on the north, and the whole bredth from Conecticutt
river on the east six large miles into the wilderness on
the west, which sayd grant was afterwards upon
further consideration renewed and enlarged by the
sayd Sunck(|uasson, upon the desire of the honoured
Mr. Haines and the rest of the magistrates of this
place : but we being informed that on the removeall
of some of ihe gentlemen afoarmentioned, the papers
and writeings before specifyed are out of the way,
and haveinof now received of Mr. Samuel Willvs,
Capt. John Tallcott, Mr. John Allyn and Mr. James
Richards, a farther grattification of near the value the
land was esteemed at bef)re the English came into
these parts — to prevent all farther trouble between
ourselves and the inhabitants of Hartford, we the
sayd Masseeckcup, Wm squa as afoarsayd, and Sea-
cutt, Keepequam, Jack Spiner, Currecombe, Wehas-
satuck squa and Seacunck squa, upon the considera-
tion forementioned, by these presents have and doe
fully, clearly and absolutely give, gnint, bargain, sell,
alien, enteofe and conhrme unto Mr. Samuel Willys,
Capt. John Tallcott, Mr. John Allyn, and Mr. James
Ricliards, in behalfe of iho rest of the proprietors of
the land belonging to the township of Hirtford, their
heires and assignes f )rever, all that parcell of land
from a tree marketl N. F. being a boundary between
1*



6 HARTFORD.

Wethersfield and Hartford on the south, to Windsor
bounds on the north, and the whole bredth of land
from Wethersfield to Windsor bounds from the great
river on the east to runn into the wilderness westward
full six miles, which is to the place where Hartford
and Farmino-ton bounds meet, — To have and to hold all
the afoarsa3^d parcell of land as it is bounded, with
all the meadowes, pastures, woodes, underwood,
stones, quarries, brookes, ponds, rivers, profitts,
comodities and appurtenances whatsoever belonging
thereto, unto the sayd Mr. Samuel Willys, Capt. John
Tallcott, Mr. James Richards and Mr. John Allyn, in
behalfe of themselves and the rest of the inhabitants of
the towne of Hartford, whoe are stated proprietors in
the undivided lands, their heires and assignes, to the
onely proper use and behoofe of the sayd Mr. Samuel
Willys, Capt. John Tallcott, Mr. John Allyn and Mr.
James Richards as afoarsayd, their heires and assignes
forever; and the sayd Massecup and Wm squa in
behalf of themselves and Wawarme the sister of
Sunckquasson and Seacutt, Keepequam, Jack Spiner,
Currecombe, Wehassatuck squa, and Secunck squa,
doe covenant to and with the sayd Mr. Samuel Willi's,
Mr. John Talcott, Mr. James Richards and Mr. John
Allyn, that after and next unto the afoarsayd Sunck-
quasson, they the said Masseeckcup, Wm squa,
Seaeutt, Keepequam, &c. have onely full power, good
right, and lawfull authority to grant, bargain, sell and
convey all and singular the before hereby granted or
mentioned to be granted premises with their and
every of their appurtenances, unto the sayd Mr.
Samuel Willys, Mr. John Tallcott, Mr. John Allyn
and Mr. James Richards as afoarsayd, their heires
and assignes forever, and that they the sayd Mr.
Samuel Willys, Mr. John Tallcott, Mr. John Allyn
and Mr. James Richards, and the rest of the proprie-
tors of the undivided lands within the bounds of the
township of Hartford, their heires and assignes, shall
and may by force and vertue of these presents, from
time to time and all times forever hereafter, lawfully
have, receive and take the rents issues and profitts



INDIAN TREATY.



thereof to their owne proper use and behooffe forever,
without any lett, suit, trouble or disturbance whatso-
ever of the heires of Suackquasson or of us the sayd
Massecup, Wm Squa, Seacutt, Keepequam, Jack
Spiner, Currecombe, Wehassatuck squa, and Sea-
cunck squa, our heires or assignes, or of any other
person or persons whatsoever clayming by, from or
under us or any of us or by our meanes, act, consent,
j)riority or procurement, and that free and clear and
freely and clearly acquitted, exonerated and dis-
charged or otherwise from time ta time, well and
sufficiently saved and kept harmless by the sayd
Massecup, William — squa, Seacutt and Keepequam,
&c. their heires, executors and administrators from
all former and other grants, guifts, bargains, sales,
titles, troubles, demands, and incumbrances whatso-
ever had, made, committed, suffered or done by the
afoarsayd Massecup, WiUiam squa, Keepequam, Sea-
cutt, &c.

"In witness whereof, they have signed, sealed and
delivered this writeing with their own hands, this
fifih'of July, one thousand six hundred and seventy.



Signed, sealed and delivered

in presence of
Arramamatt, his mark,
Mamanto,\\\s mark,
Ncschegcn, his mark,
A^tumtoha, his mark,
Wemwc, his mark,
Will Wads worth,
John Addavis,
John Strickland ,
Giles Hamlin.



Masseeckcup, his mark, l. a.
Seacutt, his mark, l. s.

Jack Spiner, his mark, l. s.

Seacunck squa's mark, l. s.

Currecombe, his mark, l. s.
Keepequam, his mark, l. s.

William squa's mark, l. s.

Wehassatuck squa's mark, l. s.
Nesacanett gives consent to this

grant and bargain, as hewitness-

eth by subscrit)ing
Nesacanett, his mark, l. s.



The original marks or signatures of the Indians are
singular and grotesque. Some represent implements
of war, some wild beasts, &cc.



8 HARTFORD,



ORIGINAL PROPRIETORS AND SETTLERS.

The following list of names is found in connection
with two divisions of lands distributed to the said pro-
prietors, in the proportions of the number or numbers
annexed to each. The orthography is that of John
Ailvn who transcribed the names from the old Town
Book on to the Ptecords in 16G5. The true orthogra-
phy will be found on the subsequent pages. John
Allyn's entry is as follows :

"The proprietors of the undivided lands in Hart-
ford, with each of their proportions in one division as
foUoweth, according to which proportions they payd
for the purchass of sayd lands :"

[The ' Mr.' prefixed to the names was a high honor,
and was only bestowed on clergymen and men of the
highest distinction.]

Mr. John Haines, 200, William Lewis, 40, 33,

Mr. George WiUis, 200, WiUiam Spencer, 30, 40,
Mr. Edward Hopkins, 120, William Andrewes, 3-3, 30,

Mr. Thomas Wells, 100, Steven Heart. 40,

Mr. John W^ebster, 100, Bartholomew Greene, for-
Mr. Thomas Hooker, SO, feited and settled b}^ the
Mr. Samuel Stone, 40, town on

Mr. Wm. Good wine, 56, John Crow, 40, 20,

Mr. Wm. Whiitinge, 100, John Moodey, 40,

Mr. Mathew Allyn", 110, Thomas Standley, 42,

Mr. .lohn Tallcott, 90, Timothy Standley, 36, 32,

James Olmsteed, 75, 70, Edward Stebbing, 2S, 24,

William Westwood, 80, Andrew Bacon, 28,

WiUiam Pantrey, 85,80, John Bernard, 21,

Andrew Warner, 84, Gregory VViuterton, 28,

John Steele, 50, 48, Samuel Wakeman, 35, 30,

Nathaniel Warde, 56, 60, WiUiam Gibbons, 22, 20,

John White, 50, John Pratt, 26,

WiUiam Wadsworth, 52, Richard Goodman, 26,

Thomas Hosmore, 5S, 60, Nathaniel EUy, 20, 18,

Thomas Scott, 42, WiUiam Ituscoe, 35, 32,



PROPRIETORS AND SETTLERS.



James Ensigne, 24,
John Hopkins, 26, 24,
George Steele, 26,
Steven Post, 30, 24,
Thomas Judd, 2o, 20,
Thomas Birch wood, 26,
John Clarke, 28, 22,
Mathew Marvill, 30, 28,
WiUiam Butler, 28,
Thomas Lord, 28,
John Skinner, 22, 10,
John Stone, removed or

died, and left to
John Marsh, 24, 12,
Richard Lord, IS,
Richard Webb, 30,
John Maynard, 14,
William Kellsey, 16,
Jeramy Addams, 30, this
includes the share of
Sam. Greenhill, deceased,
Robert Daye, 14,
Thomas Spencer, 15, 14,
Nathaniel Richards, 26,
Richard Lyman, 30,
Joseph Mygatt, 20,
William Blumfield, 16.
Richard Butter, 16,
George Graves, 24,
Arthur Smith, 14,
WiUiam Hill, 20,
Thomas Olcok, 32, 8,
James Coale, 12, 10,
John Arnold, 16,



Thomas Bull, 14, 12,
George Stocking, 20,
William Heyden, 14,
Nicholas Clarke, 13, 12,
Thomas Stanton, 16, 14,
Thomas Hales, 10,
Zachary Field, 10,
Thomas Roote, 8, 6,
William Parker, 13, 12,
Seth Grant, 14,
William Pratt, 8, 6,
Samuel Hales, S,
Richard Olmsteed, 10, 8,
John Baysey, 14.
Joseph Easton, 10,
Thomas Selden, 6,
Francis Andrews, 10, 12,
Richard Church, 20, 12,
Wilham Hide, 20, 18,
Richard Wrisley, 8,
William Holton, 12,
Robert Bartlett, 8,
Edward Elmer, 14, 12,
Jonathan Ince,died in Bos-
ton, and his right settled
by the town on
John CuUick, 58, 30,
John Willcox, 36, 13,
John Higginson, 12, not a

settler,
Clement Chapling, 20,
Dorothy Chester, probably
did not settle in Hartford,
or soon removed.



There was another large class of original settlers,
who were not original purchasers. They had shares
in some of the undivided lands, by votes of the original
proprietors, according to the proportions indicated by
the figures annexed to their names. Mr. Allyn's entry
is as follows :



10



HARTFORD.



"The names of such inhabitants as were granted
lotts to have onely at the towne's courtesie, with libt rty
to fetch woode and keepe swine or cowes on the
Common."



John Branson, 10, 3,
John Warner, 6,
William Cornwell, 8,
Thomas Woodford, 8, 6,
John Bid dell, 6, 4,
Ralph Keylor, 6,
Thomas Lord, Jun. 6,
John Hallaway, 6,
Nathaniel Kellog, 6, 4,
Thomas Barnes, 6,
Richard Seymore,
John Purcasse, 6,
William Phillips, 8, 6,
Nicholas Disbroe, 6,
Benjamin Burre, 6,
Hosea Goodwin, 10, 6,
Robert Wade, 6, 4,
John Olmsteed, 4, 3,
Benjamin Munn, 8,
Daniel Garwood, 6,
John Hall, 6,



John Morrice, 8, 6,
Nathaniel Barding, 6,
John Ginnings, 6,
PaulPecke, 8,
George Hubbard, 6,
Thomas Blisse, 6,
Thomas Blisse, Jun. 4,
Edward Lay, G,
Thomns Gridley, 6,
John Sables, 6,
John Pierco, 4, 3,
Giles Smith, 8,
Richard Watts, 8, 6,
William Westley, 8, 6,
Tho!n?is Richards, 8,
Henry Walkeley, 6, 4,
James Walkeley, 4,
Thomas Upson, 4
Widdoe Betts, 4,
Thomas Bunce, 13,
WiUiam W^atts, 4.



In addition to the above, the following persons had
been owners of lots previous to 1G39, and had either
sold them, or forfeited them to the town, by not settling
or removing, contrary to the conditions of their grant.



Thomas Beale, 3,
Thomns Fisher,
John Friend,
Thomas Goodfellow,
Thomas Hongerfortt,



Reynold Marvin,
Thomas Munson,
Abram Pratt,
Samuel Whitehead.



The names of subsequent settlers we shall give in
future numbers.



ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN. 11



ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN.

No sooner hnd the first settlers arrived in 1615,
than they united themselves in a corporate capacity ;
or perhaps coi-thlined the previous organization which
they had in Massachusetts. The following are the
first votes on record :

"Hartford, 1635."

" It is ordered, that whoesoever hath a lott oranted
in this towne, and removes from the same to dwell,
within lower years after the granting of such lotts,
then the sayd lott or lotts is to returne unto the hands
of the towne agayne, they paying for the worth of the
labor done upon it : or if any person shall desire to
sell his lott or lotts within that tyme, they shall first
offer the same unto the towne, whoe shall either give
the worth of the labor done upon it, or else have liberty
to sell it to any other that the towne shall approve of,
for the same value: and for default thereon, to return
to the towne.

"It is ordered, that for anny tyme hereafter, untill
it bee rcstreyned, the towne shall have liberty to lay
out any highwayes through any men's ground, if
it be found needfull, provided they give the party
resonable satisfaction.

" It is ordered, that whoesoever doth not improve
his house lott, by building upon it in twelve months
after it is granted, then sayd lott to returne to the
towne agayne.

"Upon these three condycions, all the land that is
given in the towne, is granted upon."

The next order required every hoascholder to have
a ladder or tree to reach within two feet of the top of
the house.

" It is ordered that there shall be a guard of

men to attend with their arms fixed, and 2 shote of
powder and shott at least, upon every publique meet-
ing ibr religious use, with two seriants to oversee the



12 HARTRORD.

same, and keepeoutoneof them sentenall every meet-
ing ; and the sayd guard to be free from wardings,
and to have seats provided near the meeting-house
door; and the seriants to repay re to the magistrate for
a warrant for due execution thereof."

Town Book. No regular records of town votes,
&c. were kept until 1()39, when the above orders
appear to have been recorded. From that time for-
ward, the records are regular and pretty full and
complete. They appear to have been kept by the
townsmen themselves, and not by the Register or the
le2:al officer who made the entries of lands and anv other
important matters which he was instructed to record.
The entries on the Town Book are in a great variety
of hand writing, more like a memorandum book than
an authorized record. The book is much worn and
defaced, and much of the writing obliterated, or torn
or worn off the edges.

The original organization of the town was purely
democratic ; all were not only permitted but required
to take a part in all public proceedings. The only
limitation resulted from the fundarhental principle of
their organization, that no one could reside among
them who had not been admitted an inhabitant ; and
no one could be admitted an inhabitant, except by a
public vote of the freemen

Town Officers. The first town officers were
cf)nstables and townsmen. The constables were
representatives of the executive power, and as such
were oreatlv feared and reverenced. The townsmen
had similar powers to those of our select-men. The
followins: were their duties, as thev were voted at a
general meeting, January 1, 1638, or 1G39 as we now
reckon, they commencing their year in March.
"January 1, 1638."

*' It is agreed that the townsmen for the time being
shall have the power of the whole town, to order the
common occasions of the town, except in the cases
following.



TOWN OFFICERS. 13

1. That they receive no new inhabitant into the
town without approbation of the body.

2. That they make no levies except it be for charges
expended or to be expended about guarding or order-
ing off cattle.

3. That the}^ neither give nor grant any lands be-
longing to the town, except an acre or two at most, to
any inhabitant, and that in case of present necessity.

4. That they do not alter any highway already
settled and laid out.

5. Although they may, according to the liberty
given them by the body, at a public meeting, call out
the persons and cattle belonging to any inhabitant for
the service of the whole, and increase the wages of
any above the ordinary rates allowed in the town, as
they shall see just cause, provided they exceed not
6d.a day to any, yet they shall not require, by virtue
of said order, the cattle of any to be employed in any
service belonging to the whole, without the liberties of
the town, except they undertake in the name of the
body to return the cattle so employed in safety to the
owfier, besides a reasonable allowance for the hire of
the same.

6. The townsmen shall not be longer than fourteen
days at most, without a set and joint meeting of them
altogether, to consider of and order the occasions of
the town committed to them, and to agree upon a time
or times to call the body together to consult, and con-
clude of other cases that shall occur, not left within
their power ; and if any of them fail to meet at the
time appointed, he shall not refuse to pay two shiUings
six pence for every such defliult.

7. No one townsman shall require the service of
any person or cattle, without the knowledge and con-
sent of some of the rest."

The preceding are all the votes of the town preserved
on record previous to the fall of 1639 ; during which
year, the government of Connecticut was constituted
and organized, and an act passed by them, authorizing
the towns to organize themselves in a corporate capa-
city, and requiring them to choose registers and enter
2



\



14 HARTFORD.

their lands and record important votes. From this
time the records are regular and full.

At the first regular meeting of the town, November
16, 1639, John Steele was chosen register or town
clerk, which office he held until 1651, when he removed


1 3

Online LibraryWilliam Smith PorterHistorical notices of Connecticut; (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 3)