CHAPTER 3.
DOINGS OF THE PEJEPSCOT PROPRIETORS,
AND SETTLEMENTS UNDER THEM.


Up to the time of the formation of the Pejepscot Company, in 1714, comparatively few persons had made settlements in this region, and there had been no organized efforts to induce settlers to come hither. From this time new settlers appear oftener than before, though not very rapidly at first.

[1715.] Among other projects of the proprietors to encourage immigration to their lands, they voted, at a meeting held Sept. 14, 1715, " That the present projection for laying out the Town of Bruns-wick in one Line of Houses be accepted and the Town laid out accordingly.

" That each Proprietor will take up a Lot and build upon it as soon as may be. That we consent to Mr. Noyes taking his Lot next Maquoit (he promising to build a Defensible House thereon next Spring). That the Meeting House shall be in the midway between the Fort & Maquoit. That the Lots for the Ministry, the First Min-ister & the School be the Centre Lots, and as for the other Lots, Those persons, whether Proprietors or others, that first take up the Lots & build upon them, shall take their choice. And that the Out-bounds & the plan of Topsham be likewise laid out now, three Sides of a Square, the Houses Twenty Rods distant according to the plan offered to the Generall Court." 1

[1716.] The Pejepscot proprietors, some time in 1716, or perhaps 1717, bought a large tract of land extending from Abbacadasset Point up the west side of the Kennebec River, as far as the north end of Swan Island, and thence into the country for four miles. The title came from Kennebis, and Clark and Lake, but mediately through Richard Collicut and Samuel and Hannah Holman, of whom the proprietors bought.


1. Pejepscot Records.


The proprietors at this time had to send everything necessary for the carrying on of their operations from Boston, and we accordingly find that at their first meeting, held Feb. 21, 1716, they voted to have twenty hundred weight of screwed hay, for the use of their cattle there, sent to Brunswick by the first sloop that went ; and that the other things that had been requested should be sent to their servant, James Irish. 1

At a meeting of the proprietors, held Sept. 5, of this year, it was voted : (Agreeably to their previous vote of the twenty-seventh of April, granting liberty to Adam Winthrop, one of their partners, to make choice of some island, neck, or tract of land within their territory) That Swan Island should be appropriated to Winthrop as his share of their first division, and that it should be reckoned at 1,000 acres, whether it proved to be more or less ; " That Mair-Point be divided into Two Lots, The Lower half part to be Lot No. 2 -The upper half to be Lot No. 3 " ; that the portion of land lying between Cathance River and the eastern part of Abagadasset Point, and a line running north-erly from the latter, should be divided into five lots, equal in front, and that the lot nearest Cathance River should be called No. 4, and that they should be numbered from that lot, successively, Nos. 5; 6, 7, and 8 ; that each lot should run back from Merrymeeting Bay, until it embraced 1,000 acres ; that if either half part of Mair Point should fall short of 1,000 acres, the deficiency should be made up in some part of the township of Brunswick.

After the passage of the preceding votes, the proprietors proceeded to draw lots for their respective choices, with the following results : -

Lot No. 2 fell to John Wentworth, Esq.
" 3 " Mr. Stephen Minot
" 4 " Thomas Hutchinson, Esq.
" 5 " Oliver Noyes
" 6 " Mr. John Ruck
" 7 " David Jeffries, Esq.
" 8 " John Watts, Esq.

The above lots were called the FIRST Division.
It was then voted that there should be eight lots laid out on Small Point Neck, etc., and that these lots should be called their SECOND Division.2
At a meeting of the proprietors, held on the 13th of November fol-lowing, it was agreed that they should give Captain Nowell a deed of


1. Pejepscot Records
2. Ibid


five hundred acres of land within the township of Topsham, on the condition that he would build a house there and dwell there for the next five years, and that he would not leave except by consent of the proprietors, and on condition that the land allotted him should be so laid out as not to interfere with the plan of the town. As no other reference is made to Captain Nowell in the Pejepscot Papers, it is not probable that the conditions were fulfilled.

[1717.] -On the third of May, 1717, Brunswick was, by vote of the General Court of Massachusetts, constituted a township, and the Pejepscot proprietors, with a view to the settlement of the town, "Voted: That all persons that shall offer themselves and be Excepted Inhabitants of the said Town And have a Lott of Land Laid out to them in Sd Township of ninety five Acres as also five acres of meadow in some Convenient place They building an house on Each Lott so Taken up within one year next after their taking up the Sd Lotts & Dwelling upon & improvin their Lands for the Terme of Three Yeares, And having their Said Lands Discribed & recorded in this Town Book by a Clerk Leagually Chosen & sworne It shall be accounted a Sure Lawfull Title of an absolute State of Inheritance in fee To them their Heirs & assignes forever, Provided nevertheless If any of ye before recited Conditions are not Complyed with by the said Inhabitants according to ye True intent thereof That then te S'd Lotts of Land Shall be wholly forfited to ye use of the Sd Proprietors as fully as Ever here to fore any thing in this Book Recorded notwithstanding." 1

At a meeting of the proprietors, June 13, 1717, Lieutenant Heath was instructed to survey and make a plot of each of the proprietor's lots. It was also voted that the township of Topsham be likewise surveyed and plotted in an oblong square, if the land would allow it, fronting on Merrymeeting Bay, so as to leave about two hundred acres, and that this town plat be laid out into fifty lots, each lot to be twenty rods wide.

It was also decided at this meeting to have a general plan of the whole territory made as soon as might be. The proprietors also desired Mr. Hutchinson to write to a friend in England for a copy of the patent to Purchase and Way, and to send it to them, well attested, as soon as possible? The document is not on file with the Pejepscot Papers, and it is probable that it was never obtained. At a meeting of the proprietors, June 17, 1717, it was "Voted, That a mile and a half upwards from Potts's Neck, and the other prongs,


1. Brunswick Records, in Pejepscot Collections.
2. Pejepscott Records.


of Merryconeag Neck, be left on the lower end of said Merryconeag Neck, for a Town or Fishing Settlement, the rest of said Neck to he divided in eight parts equal in Front, to run across said Neck, in par-alel lines, from the North West to the South East side, according to the bearing of the said land, the Lowest Lott to be No. 1.

The Lotts being fairly drawn came out as follows, viz.: -
No. 1. David Jeffries.
2. John Watts.
3. John Ruck.
4. Adam Winthrop.
5. John Wentworth.
6. Oliver Noyes.
7. Stephen Minott.
8. Thomas Hutchinson." 1

[1718.] At a meeting of the proprietors, held April 23, 1718, it was "Resolved : That whereas it will tend much to the advantage of the Settlements for each Partner to settle his Severall Lotts laid out to him, and that it may be a means of preventing Troublesome dis-putes, we agree, as soon as may be conveniently, to build upon our Severall Divisions and to put them under Improvement."

[1719.] The next reference to this subject that has been found is in the proceedings of a meeting of the inhabitants and a committee of the Pejepscot proprietors, held May 8, 1719.

At this meeting a vote was passed, " That all Persons who have or Shall Take up any Lott or Lotts in Brunswick & Shall for ye space of halfe a year neglect to put Forward Building on & improving the sd Land Shall be Liable to be forever Deprived of their Lott or Lotts ; By the vote of this sd Town." The land for a town commonage was granted by. the proprietors at this time, but the vote passed will be given in connection with that subject.

[1731.] In 1731 Phineas Jones was employed to survey the lands and make plans. He found Brunswick and the lands above, on both sides of the Androscoggin River, to be 480,543 acres, Merriconeag Neck to be 4,670 acres, and Sebascodegan Island to be 6,790 acres. He made his survey in the winter season with five or six assistants, protected from the Indians by a file of soldiers. They selected the winter because there were fewer Indians about, and also because, the ponds and brooks being frozen, they could travel over them. In deep snow they could use snow-shoes. 2


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. McKeen, MSS. Lecture.


Joseph Heath, Esquire, had been up to this time the agent and clerk of the company, but June 30, of this year, Captain Benjamin Larrabee was appointed agent, and the record book, containing the doings of the settlers, was transferred to him. 1 The proprietor, also, on the twelfth of July, 1737, gave John Booker, of New Meadows, the power of attorney to keep all unauthorized persons from settling upon Sebascodegan Island, or from cutting wood or timber or hay there, and to seize upon and ship to Boston any timber or wood cut there without permission, one half the proceeds to go to Booker for his ser-vices, and the other half to the proprietors . 2

The proprietors at the same time gave the power of attorney to Colonel Johnson Harmon, of Merriconeag, for the purpose of keeping off intruders from the Neck. 3

July 16, 1737, the proprietors gave Benjamin Larrabee full power of attorney to execute deeds to the settlers in Brunswick and Topsham. 4

In a letter of instructions to Larrabee, dated two days later, the following information was given in regard to the prices of the lots, and as to his duties: -

"The first settlers were to pay but five pounds for each hundred acres -Since that, Giveen and those near him were to pay Sixteen pounds for each hundred acres-Some that have more lately taken Lotts at Brunswick Road Ten pounds for each hundred Acres, those at Topsham and New Meadows Twenty five pounds for each hundred acres -

" As fast as you can receive money for the deeds you execute we would have you apply it to discharge the debts of the propriety viz Mr. Pearse the Carpenter and Mr. Wakefield the Glazier for Brunswick Meeting house.

" If the Lotts at Brunswick Road to Maquoit and Topsham are not all filled up or granted you may go on to grant them on as good Terms as you can for the Proprietors - not lower than Ten pounds in Bruns-wick and Twenty five pounds in Topsham." 5 [1739.] In June, 1739, Mr. Larrabee sent a representation to the proprietors of the difficulties the settlers labored under, in regard to paying for their lots in money, and the, proprietors agreed that they might send the pay for their lots in wood or timber, to Boston, without charge. 6 [1741.] At a meeting of the proprietors held at the " Sun" tav-


1. Pejepscot Records.
2. Pejepscot Papers.
3. Ibid.
4. Pejepscot Records.
5. Ibid.
6. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.


ern Boston, April 22, 1741, it was voted that the following instruc-tions be given to their partner, Henry Gibbs, to act upon while he was at Brunswick : -

"[1.] Whereas the Lotts were laid out but 20 rods wide from Fort George to Maquoit, the inhabitants complain they are too long and narrow, therefore for Accommodation of the settlers it is now pro-posed that they be 30 rods wide & to be laid out on one Side of the Road and to be one hundred acres exclusive of the marsh & to be valued at Fourteen pounds p Lott.

"[2.] Att every 10th Lott a Road of four rods wide to be laid out the whole length of said Lott if it fall out convenient. The County Road if any be laid out to be laid down on the Town plan & to he reckoned as one of said Roads and in case the Lott next said Road be more than 30 Rods wide yet to run an equal length with the rest & it be left to be appropriated as shall be Judged Most for the Interest of the Propriety. -

"[3.] The Lotts on the East side of the Road to Maquoit to be Forty Rods wide as the Land will allow because the Land is not so good & necessary roads to be on that side.

"[4.] We are willing that a Priviledge be granted to such as will undertake to build a Grist Mill at a little stream near the Fort."1

The stream referred to in the preceding paragraph had its source in the swamp which formerly existed where the depot is now. This swamp extended as far east as the mall, 'as far north as Pleasant street, and westerly beyond Union Street. The brook ran along be-tween Union and Maine Streets, passing back of the factory store and entering the river about where the factory is now. After the swamp was filled and drained, of course the brook no longer existed.

[1750.] At a meeting of the Pejepscot proprietors, held July 9, 1750, it was voted that an advertisement should be posted upon the meeting-house at Brunswick, stating that it was the intention of the proprietors to defend the inhabitants of Brunswick and the neighbor-ing towns in the propriety, in their possessions, and that any person who should be so imprudent as to take up land under any other title, would be prosecuted. At the same meeting it was also voted to dis-pose of the vacant land at New Meadows, viz., that extending from Charles Casida's lot to Wigwam Point, exclusive, for the most that it would bring, and out of the proceeds of the sale to pay the expense of finishing the meeting-house in Brunswick. The remainder was to be


1. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.


kept subject to the order of the proprietors.1 A note at the bottom of the above entry in the records says, " Not accepted by the Town."

[1751.] On March 19th of this year, 1751, a letter was sent to the selectmen of Brunswick, by the proprietors, recommending that no one should take a title of land from the Plymouth Company, and promising them that if any of the inhabitants of Brunswick or Tops-ham should be molested or disturbed by that company, the proprietors would stand by them and indemnify them against the Plymouth Com-pany's claim. 2 This letter, however, seems not to have fully satisfied all the set-tlers, as some few did take up land under titles derived from the Plymouth Company. Learning this fact, the proprietors, at a meeting held April 15, voted, "to unite in defence of their Title to the Lands comprehended in said Township, and that an advertisement be forth-with printed, Cautioning all persons against making any Encroachment, Strip, or Waste, on any Land belonging to this Propriety, as they will answer it to the utmost perill of the Law." 3 In addition to this vote the proprietors, at a meeting held May 15, in order to show to all interested the exact bounds of the several lots, voted that the several deeds, or sufficient extracts from them, should be at once printed at the company's expense. 4

The people of Topsham not having, at this time, the advantage of a local government, were apparently inclined to do about as they pleased, without reference to the proprietors, and some lawless acts were undoubtedly committed by them. The following letter from Belcher Noyes, the proprietors' clerk, to Adam Hunter, of Topsham, will show what some of these acts were : -

" BOSTON, May 12, 1753.
"Mr. Adam Hunter
" I wrote you last fall by Ste Gatchell to which have never had any answer from you, the Proposal made us by Capt. Willson is quite mean & unworthy any notice, I am sorry to hear your People have so generally combined in the old Trade of destroying the Lumber on ye Proprietors Interest this is very Abusive Treatment & convinces us you have no Regard to the Laws of God and man, for such a small frontier Settlemt to live in such an abandoned State in the open viola-tion of all Law, will expose you to the vengeance due to such Behaviour & it will one day fall heavy on your Heads.


1. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection. 2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.


" For shame then be persuaded to leave of such actions, Topsham is become the Reproach of everybody. The Donlaps & Willsons are famous in this Trade. I should be glad when you come to Boston you might come prepared wh some scheme to render your settlmt capable of a better Improvement & encourage the Increase of Inhabitants.

" I enclose you a plan Delineating Bounds of the Plymouth Claim & our answer to their Remarks on said Plan I pray you would peruse the same & give me your sentiments in so doing you will oblige,

      " yours to

          " B. NOYES."1



[1757.] At a meeting of the proprietors, held May 31, 1757, Belcher Noyes was chosen clerk, and in the following June, treasurer and collector of taxes. At the Meeting in June, a committee was chosen to conclude an agreement witb the proprietors of the Kennebec purcbase. It was also voted that the proposals from the Plymouth Company, for the accommodation of the disputes between them, should be accepted.

At a meeting of the Pejepscot proprietors, held at the Exchange tavern in Boston, on Wednesday, June 8, the subject of an agreement with the Plymouth Company was debated and decided upon.

[1758.] The deeds of the Pejepscot proprietors to the Plymouth proprietors, and of the latter to the former, were made and executed, in accordance with the above-mentioned agreement, on February 20, 1758. 2 [1760.] The people of Topsham, at this time, are still at opposi-tion with the proprietors, as appears from a letter of Belcher Noyes, their clerk, to E. Freeman, dated July 30, in which he states that tbere are some in Topsham who deny the title of the Pejepscot Com-pany, the ringleaders being Captain Adam Hunter and Captain Thomas Wilson. He further states that there are "pyrates" there, who have made their living out of the proprietors by destroying the lumber, and that " none so guilty as this said Hunter who has gott an estate out of those woods." He says also that Mr. Gibbs had sold his right to one John Merrill, of Arundell, who would go down in the fall. 3 [1761.] At a meeting held Oct. 8, 1761, Enoch Freeman, Esq., was desired and empowered to have a regular plan made of the township of Topsbam, and to have the lots for settling so delineated that it


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. Pejepscot Papers. Records.
3. Pejepscot Papers.


could be known what land remained undisposed of. He was to make the line between the Plymouth and Pejepscot Companies' lands the boundary of his survey, and was to have the lands plotted by a skilful surveyor, into lots of one hundred acres each, so far as the land would admit. At the same meeting, he and Belcher Noyes were empowered to dispose of the settling lots in Topsham that were not already taken up, and to apply the proceeds towards finishing the meeting-house, the frame of which was already raised. At this meeting authority was given to Belcher Noyes " to execute a Deed of the old Stone Fort, with the Buildings and Land adjacent, in the Town of Brunswick, in behalf of this Propriety, viz. The one half to Jere-miah Moulton Esq. The other half to Capt. David Dunning; they paying unto the said Belcher Noyes the sum of one hundred and thirty three pounds six shillings and eight pence, lawful money, -for which sum he is to account with the Proprietors. Also, the privilege of the stream at the Falls, and its appurtenances." 1

[1762.] At a meeting of the proprietors, June 1762, it was voted to sell to Stephen Staples one hundred acres :of land above the Cathance Mill, in Topsham, for five shillings and four pence per acre, and to apply the money towards finishing the meeting-house. It was likewise voted to sell to William Patten sixty-six acres of land situ-ated in a gore of land on Cathance River - it being the balance of the land belonging to Cathance Mill -for whatever price could be obtained. 2

In a letter from Belcher Noyes, dated October, 1762, and written to some unknown person, reference is made to the encroachments of the Plymouth Company upon the settlers at Topsham. In this letter he says:-

"The Plymouth Company have at the last session of our General Court gott a Tract of Land without Inhabitants, incorporated into a Township by the Name of Bowdoinham, the Bounds of which are enclosed. This takes off a small part. of Topsham and some few families on Cathance Point, and by this means they have crowded themselves on us, contrary to their agreement. This was perfected before I knew anything of it. The People of Topsham are uneasy that their township is not laid out."

[1763.] The trouble between the settlers at Topsham and the Pejepscot proprietors has not yet been quieted.. Mr. Belcher Noyes writes to Mr. Freeman that " Capt. Wilson is at the head of this Rebellion -you will find him a very troublesome fellow." 3 In another



1. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.
2. Pejepscot Records, 1, p.216.
3. Pejepscot Papers.


letter, dated June 22, 1763, and probably to the same person, he says, referring to a meeting of the committees of the Plymouth and Pejepscot Companies to settle the dividing line between their respective territories, that the former, " in order to induce us to a complyance with their construction of the matter, produced a delusive plan. taken by their surveyor, whereby the points of land called Summerset Point and Pleasant Point were so laid down as to persuade us, if they could. that they made the mouth of Cathance river." He says, moreover, that the Plymouth Company " intend to make a point of it and to force us to a complyance and by the fixing the southerly line of Bowdoinham I take it we are foreclosed and must submit to their terms." He concludes by saying that this land " we have lost absolutely by our neglect in the survey of Topsham and getting the same incorporated which has been settled 30 years ago."1

There are numerous letters from the proprietors' clerk, all complaining of the delay in completing the plan of Topsham.2

This survey was made by Stepben Gatchell, whom Noyes describes as " a poor, miserable, shufling fellow and indebted to everyone." It was completed Oct. 28 of this year.3 It took Gatchell forty-seven days to perform this work with the aid of three assistants. He charged for his work £25 1s. 4d.

The inhabitants of Topsham, having suffered long enough from the rival claims of the Plymouth and Pejepscot Companies, from taxation by the town of Brunswick, and from the want of power to control whatever turbulent element there might be amongst them, decided to apply for an Act of incorporation as a town, and accordingly a petition was this year sent to the General Court, praying for the passage of such an Act.

[1766.] On May 29, 1766, an agreement was made between the Kennebec and Pejepscot proprietors, whereby the southerly line of the township of Bowdoinham was made the line between the territory of the two companies, and as compensation for which the former proprietors granted to the latter five hundred acres of land " to be hereafter agreed upon." They also allowed one hundred and ninety acres of land in the possession of John Fulton, on Cathance Point. On June 11, it was mutually agreed that in lieu of the five hundred acres to be allowed to the Pejepscot proprietors, they should have " 400 acres as laid out on Cobbasecontee Pond, in Pond Town, so called." This agreement, as amended, was duly and legally confirmed by both parties, June 17, 1766.4


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. lbid.
3. lbid.
4. Ibid.


[1787.] At a meeting of the Pejepscot proprietors, held Aug. 13, 1787, Josiah Little was elected as their clerk, in place of Belcher Noyes, deceased.1

[1799.] On the 3d of May, of this year, Josiah Little, Esquire, was chosen by the Pejepscot proprietors as their agent, to take care of their undivided interest in the town of Brunswick ; to prosecute any trespassers ; or to dispose of any or all of the property as he should judge to be most for their interest.2

SETTLEMENTS UNDER THE PROPRIETORS.

The efforts made by the Pejepscot proprietors to settle their lands were, for the most part, quite successful, though the rapidity with which settlers came in varied very much at different times. Many of these earlier settlers, it is said, ran away from England, and upon their arrival in this country changed their names.

Between 1717 and 1722 forty-one persons are known to have settled in Brunswick, and there were doubtless others whose names have not been preserved. Many of these settlers, however, forfeited their lots in consequence of their non-fulfilment of the required conditions. In 1722 the fourth Indian, or Lovewell's, war commenced, and the situation of the settlers here became so disagreeable that they nearly all abandoned their homes, and it was not until about 1730 that the settlement was renewed.

Those who are known to have remained are John Minot, Andrew Dunning and his sons, William Woodside and Ebenezer Stanwood and their sons, William Simpson and David Giveen and sons, of Brunswick ;. and Lieutenant Eaton, John Vincent, Thomas Thorn, James Ross, John Malcom, James McFarland, William Stinson, James, Isaac, and John Hunter, of Topsham. The most of these had garrisons.3

David Giveen, mentioned above, had been living at Mair Point, but about 1727 he bought three hundred acres of land at Middle Bay of the proprietors, and moved to the latter place.4

On June 30, 1733, the proprietors granted to Benjamin Larrabee, gratis, a lot of land in Brunswick, -one hundred acres, - on certain specified conditions of improvement and tenancy.5

In September of the following year, Samuel Woodward paid Benjamin Larrabee, agent for the proprietors, £5 towards the purchase of a lot of one hundred acres, situated between Captain Woodside's land and Bungamunganeck, the conditions of the sale being that Woodward was to build a suitable dwelling-house on the lot, and clear


1. Pejepscot Records.
2. Ibid.
3. McKeen, MSS. Lectures.
4. lbid.
5. Pejepscot Records, 1, p. 117.


and inhabit it by the last of the following May (1735), and to pay £13 additional, or forfeit the £5 already paid ; and if there were not one hundred acres in the lot specified, it was to be made up elsewhere.1

In the year 1738 the township of Brunswick was incorporated as a body politic by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a considerable increase at once took place in the number of new settlers. On June 27, 1739, there were thirty-nine individuals who had recently come into possession of lots at New Meadows. 2Whether all these persons actually lived upon their lots is unknown, but doubtless the greater number did. There were also, at this time, in other parts of the town, twenty-nine3 individuals who were either new settlers or the sons of early settlers who had now become of age.

In June, 1740, the proprieters voted to give Benjamin Larrabee a lease of the lands adjacent to Fort George, and also the privilege of the salmon fishery, on such terms as might be agreed upon by the committee, to whom all such matters were referred.4 Larrabee was at this time the agent of the proprietors, and probably the terms agreed upon with the committee were quite liberal. The following list of the land deeds issued by him, while agent, will prove interesting in this connection

MEM° OF ALL DEEDS ON RECORD MADE BY BENJAMIN LARABEE ESQ AS ATTORNEY TO THE PROPrs OF BRUNSWICK AND TOPSHAM. 5
Names of the Persons to whom Benj.
Larrabee Esq. atty &c. sold
Quantity of acres The time when sold The consideration
1 Nathan Adams100 acresMarch 9th 1737£25' 0 0
2 John Adams 100 " March 9th 1737 25 0 0
3 William Malcome200 " March 6th 1737 10 0 0
4 Robert Spear200 " March 29th 1738 32 0 0
5 William Spear203 "April 11th 173826 0 0
6 John Malcome100 "Jany 16th 17375 0 0
7 John Malcome100 "Jany 16th 17375 0 0
8 John Gyles Esqr100 "Sept 6th 17385 0 0
9 Jacob Eaton100 TopshamMarch 24th 17395 0 0
10 Henry Gibbs95 & 115 polesMay 20th 174025 0 0
11 Jonathan Sayward200June 19th 1740Quit Claim as an heir to Parker
12 John Barrows100July 15th 174025 0 0
13 John Adams135July 28th 174125 0 0
14 John Barrows100Octo. 16th 174125 0 0
15 Saml Clarke200May 19th 174232 0 0
16 David Given100Nov 8 174216 0 0
17 William Dunning200May 21st 174210 0 0
18 Benjamin Thompson100Nov 3d 174225 0 0


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. Ibid.
3. McKeen, MSS. Lecture. 4. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.
5. Extracted from York County Records of Deeds, etc., Jan. 9, 1749, by Daniel Moulton, Reg.


Names of the Persons to whom Benj.
Larrabee Esq. atty &c. sold
Quantity of acres The time when sold The consideration
19 James Hervey103Octo 24th 1741£16 0 0
20 James McFarland200May 28th 173910 0 0
21 James McFarland206June 23d 174210 0 0
22 James McFarland206June 23d 174210 0 0
23 John Adams100Nov 3d 174225 0 0
24 Charles Casedy100May 7th 174225 0 0
25 Thomas Skolfield103May 26th 174225 0 0
26 Benj Bunker115Jany 12th 174025 0 0
27 Eben Stanwood206May 19th 174230 0 0
28 Isaac Snow100Nov 3d 174225 0 0
29 Jacob Eaton100Nov 28th 173725 0 0
30 Jacob Eaton74 & 40 rods more or less being Lot No 9 at N. Meadows Nov 3d 174225 0 0
31 Saml Clarke Jacobs' Admr.400April 14th 1742500 0
Old tenor
32 Patrick Drummond100April 7th 173825 0 0
33 Benj Bunker63 & 112 rodsJany 10th 174025 0 0
34 Alex Tyler200 Octo 20th 174050 0 0
35 Saint Hinkley200May 21 174250 0 0
36 Lemuel Gowen100Feby 25 174050 0 0
   £828 0 0


On July 25, 1743, William Woodside, who had lived for some time at Maquoit, received a deed from the First Church in Boston, conveyed by its deacons, of three hundred and fifty acres of land at the westernmost end of Maquoit, " beginning at mouth of Puggymuggy River." The price paid was £50.1 Although there was a considerable number of settlers in the town at this time, they must have been quite scattered ; for in 1747, according to the statement of Joshua Filbrook, there were but two houses to be seen from Fort George. 1 June 19, 1751, Benjamin Thompson, of Georgetown, bought of Rebecca Morely, of Dorchester, Mass., " daughter of Thomas Stephens, formerly of the eastward parts now called Stephens' Carrying place, or near a place called the Head of Stephens's River," etc., all her interest in her father's lands, " being one sixth part of his estate."3 In 1752 there were, according to a map of the Plymouth Company of that date, but twenty dwelling-houses in Brunswick. For the location of these houses the reader is referred to the accompanying map, which is reduced from the original : -


1. York County Records, 26, p. 256.
2. Journal of James Curtis in Library of the Maine Historical Society.
3. York County Records, 29, p.120.


Click here to view map from page 40

  

REFERENCES TO THE FOREGOING MAP.

Topsham.

1. Gowan Fulton (1749).
2. Mr. Reed.
3. Samuel Beveridge.
4. Charles Robin.
5. William Vincent.
6. William Thorns.
7. Jacob Eaton.
8. Robert Lithgow.
9. William Malcom.
10. William Thorns, Jr.
11. Lieut. Hunter.
12. Captain Willson.


Brunswick.

13. Speer.
14. Meeting-house.
15. Finney.
16. James Dunning.
17. Woodside.
18. Mill.
19. Stanwood.
20. Mill
21. Smart.
22. V. Woodside.
23. Mill.
24. Captain Minot.
25. Beverage.
26. J. Orr (1742).
27. Giveen.

Harpswell Neck.

29. Widow Adams.
30. McNess.
31. McGregory.
32. Willson.
33. Whelan.
34. Dyer.
35. Hays.

36. A negro.
37. Pinkham.
38. Do.
39. Widow McCraw.
40. Pinkham.
41. Webber.
42. Do.
43. Do.
44. Stover.
45. Toothaker.
46. Allen.
47. Warren.
48. Watts.
49. Mill.

Brunswick

50. Starbord.
51. Skolfleld.
52. Hall (on Sebascodegan Island).
53. Snow.
54. Mill.
55. Coombs.
56. Mills.
57. Deacon Hinkley.
58. Captain Thompson.
59. Smith.


In an estate bill for this year forty-five new names are to be found, but probably many of them are those of the children of parties who had previously settled in town, while some, undoubtedly, were of those who had purchased lots of previous settlers. Some whose names appear on this bill may have resided elsewhere.

The town continued to increase in population, however, and about 1760 a number of new citizens moved in, among whom were the families of Stone, Pennell, Melcher, Harding, Weston, Gross, Curtis, and perhaps others.1


1. McKeen, MSS. Lecture.


In 1771 Robert Goddard moved into town, and Batcheldor Ring settled a little southwest of him, but also in Brunswick. The house of the latter was shortly afterwards burned, and he rebuilt a little farther west, and in the town of Durham. Owing to this fact, Brunswick lost a small portion of her territory when the line between that town and Durham was run. 1

A year or two later several Quakers settled in town, near the western line. Some of them had previously been living in Harpswell. Among these new-comers were the families of Jones and Hacker. 2 The first settlers on the Topsham side of the river all left their homes before the formation of the Pejepscot Company.

Between 1717 and 1722, however, thirty-three persons took up lots in Topsham, though many of them, doubtless, not fulfilling the conditions required by the proprietors, forfeited their claims. It appears from an entry made in 1717 by the proprietors' clerk, that the second island going out of Merrymeeting Bay into the Pejepscot River was deeded by Messrs. Minot and Watts to the Reverend Mr. Baxter of Medfield, Mass., and was thereafter to be known as Baxter's Island. 3 Three years later the proprietors granted to Mr. Baxter " the Island over against Topsham of about twentythree acres," upon condition that he would build two houses on it, and settle two families there who should be able to provide their own subsistence.

On July 30, 1720, the proprietors granted to Captain John Gyles the " First Lott of Land in the Township of Topsham, in consideration that he build a suitable dwelling house thereon and by himself or some meet person Inhabit the same for the space of three years," also " Five hundred and fifteen acres lying on Cathance Point opposite thereto." Gyles probably did not comply with the conditions, as we find that in 1741, the old title to land in Topsham derived through Thomas Gyles was brought forward, and the proprietors, therefore, on July 21, of this year, " In consideration of five shillings current money of New England, to us in hand paid by John Gyles, Esq., of a place called St. Georges, in the County of York aforesaid, and in consideration of a quit claim for lands at a place called Topsham, in the County of York aforesaid, signed by said John Gyles and his brethren, baring date the 15th of August, A. D. 1727," transferred to the Gyles's " a Point of Land containing 60 acres " in Topsham, " bounded southerly by Lott number one, easterly and Northerly by Merrymeeting


1. McKeen, MSS. Lecture.
2. lbid.
3. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.


Bay, and westerly by the entrance or mouth of Muddy river" ; also, another tract of land "lying Westerly from the former, bounded southerly by Lott Number one, westerly by Cathance River, Northerly by land belonging to us, and easterly by Merrymeeting Bay and the entrance of Muddy River . . . containing 515 acres." 1 This latter tract of land appears to be the same as that mentioned in the former deed.

On June 30, 1721, Samuel York, of Ipswich, relinquished all title to land in Topsham claimed by his father, Samuel York, deceased, by virtue of an Indian deed, etc., the proprietors granting him three hundred acres in lieu thereof.

About 1731 quite a number of new settlers moved to Topsham. Some forty-three persons took up lots this year or a short time previous. As many of the names of these persons do not appear in subsequent lists of settlers, however, it is probable that they either forfeited or sold their lots. Between this date and 1738, some fourteen families moved into town. The proprietors about this time especially encouraged settlements in Topsham, as that place was much behind Brunswick in the number of settlers. This was because Topsham was much more exposed to the incursions of the Indians, it having but few strong garrisons. 2 [1746.] In 1746 it had only thirty-six settlers, and many of these were afterwards killed by the Indians. There are not more than ten or a dozen of these whose descendants have lived in Topsham during the present century. Some of these settlers removed and settled in the neighborhood of Boston. 3 [1749.] The population of Topsham at this time was "about twenty-five inhabitants." 4 Owing to the attacks of the Indians during what is known as the Spanish, or Fifth Indian war, the settlement at this place became much reduced, so that in 1750 there were but eighteen families remaining. 5 In 1752 the number of polls in the Topsham precinct was twenty-eight. The number of dwellings at this time can be seen by reference to the map on page 40. In 1757 the population of Topsham had nearly doubled, the number of polls being at this time forty-nine. 6 The whole number taxed in town in 1758 was forty-four. 7


1. Pejepscot Records.
2. Pejepscot Papers.
3. Ibid
4. Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collection.
5. Massachusetts Historical Collection, 3, p. 142.
6. Pejepscot Papers.
7. Ibid.


On November 11, 1763, the following named settlers near Cathance proposed to buy of the proprietors the amount of meadow land affixed to their names, and agreed to pay six shillings per acre. The proprietors, however, limited the quantity to five acres each. This amount, it is to be presumed, they all purchased. The names and amounts desired were as follows : -

Hugh Wilson, six acres.
James Potter, Jr., eight acres.
James Mustard, five acres.
John Mallett, six acres.
Alexander Potter, six acres.
William Alexander, eight acres.
Samuel Wilson, ten acres.

On June 17, 1766, David Jeffries, of Boston, clerk to the Kennebec proprietors, and James Bowdoin, of Roxbury, Mass., a grantee of the same proprietors, deeded to John and William Potter and Gowen Fulton, all of Topsham, all of the land in Bowdoinham claimed by them under their previous deeds from the Pejepscot proprietors. 1 [1768.] At a meeting of the Pejepscot proprietors, July 23, 1768, it was voted to allow John Merrill's claim to land bought of Henry Gibbs, in Topsham. The quantity of land which Merrill held was four hundred acres, which was forty acres more than the amount of his claim, and he was required to account for the overplus at a meeting held August 5 ; however, the proprietors gave him fifty acres in consideration of £39 due him from them.

A memorandum in the Pejepscot Records gives the dimensions of several log-houses built in Topsham, about 1738, as follows : " thirty feet long, eighteen feet wide and eight feet high."

The earliest transfer of land in Harpswell, after the formation of the Pejepscot Company, of which we have found any record, was in 1720. On May 20, of this year, Nicholas Cole and Samuel Littlefield, of Wells, deeded to Samuel Boone, of Kingston, Rhode Island, one half of Merriconeag Neck, one half of Great Chebeag Island, and one half of Great Island, being the land formerly owned by Nicholas Cole, Senior, and John Purrington. 2 Boone is not, however, known to have settled in Harpswell.

In the year 1727 several new families moved to Harpswell and settled upon the Neck. On the twenty-sixth of May of this year, Thomas Westbrook, one of the Pejepscot proprietors, deeded to


1. Original deed in our possession.
2. Pejepscot Papers.


Colonel Johnson Harmon, formerly of York, one twenty-fourth part of two thousand acres of land on Merriconeag Neck.1

In October of the same year, Colonel Harmon leased of the Pejepscot proprietors, for seven years, " that farm or tract of land called Merriconeage Neck in Casco Bay, and so running up to the upper carrying place including ye whole breadth of ye sd neck." The proprietors, however, retained the right to settle one or more families on the Neck, without opposition from Harmon. 2

The authorities of Harvard College, however, though defeated in their appeal to the legislature, as stated in the preceding chapter, had not given up their claim to the land, and in January, 1732, they instituted a suit of ejectment against Harmon, in the Court of Common Pleas of the County of York. In October, 1733, a verdict was rendered in favor of Harmon. The plaintiffs appealed the case to the Superior Court, which was held in 1737, and it was eventually decided again in favor of Harmon, or rather of the proprietors from whom he leased. Having been four times defeated, Harvard College made no further attempt to recover this property. 3

In Dec. 21, 1741, Colonel Harmon deeded all the foregoing land (excepting fifty acres which he had previously sold to John Stover) to his son, Joseph Harmon, of York, together with his dwellinghouse, barn, and all other buildings and appurtenances. The price paid was £70 in bills of credit. 4

On May 17, 1731, Moses Gatchell leased of the Pejepscot proprietors, for two years, the land on Merriconeag Neck, between the Carrying-Place and the land then occupied by Colonel Harmon. 5

At the same date Gideon Conner, then residing on the Neck, leased of the proprietors, for two years, a tract of land having the same bounds as Gatchell's,6 and it is probable that the two men leased the land together, but each was held by a separate lease. It is possible, however, that Conner was the "Iresh Neighbour " referred to in the following letter : -

              " MERECONEAG June 25, 1731. Hond : Colon, sr : I am still in your posession on ye : upor end of ye neck but I have there an Iresh Neighbour which pretends to hold posn : for mr. Porenton by a Leas under his hand as I am sr in yours by Colon Westbrook And I hope by your cosent : I am Redy and willn to sarve your intrust : and desier your Counsel and asistance from time to time : and sr if you will plese to send me 1/2 Barrel of Molases


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.


and one Sythe you will greatly oblige me : and I will indever to pay you ye next faul who am yours to Cd
          "MOSES GATCHEL." 1


There had been but two houses at the upper part of Merriconeag Neck previous to 1741, as will be seen by the following testimony : -"Hannah Smith Testifyeth & Saith yt she with her late Husband James Smith lived at ye upper end of Mereconege Neck where her late Husband & her Father Moses Gatchel Built a House & lived there from June 1731 to 1735 at which Coll Westbrook told us yt if we liked any place on said Neck better we might Remove to it upon which my late Husband [Smith] & Father [Gatchel] Removed about 1 1/2 mile loer down on sd neck & Built a House there where we lived till 1741, as Tennants to Sd Westbrook & Compy & Built Houses in both Places & further that when her Father Gatchell Removed from the upper House on Sd neck he Lett it to Nathll Barnes who lived there 2 1/2 years from 1735 & paid my Father Rent for the Same for Sd Westbrook & Compy the Sd Barnes Removing away to Topsham left sd House in the Posession of Wm McNess for ye Sd Westbrook & Compy - and no persons whatsoever lived on the upper half of Sd Neck but my Father & My Husband & owre Familys while we lived there & there was no sign of any other habitation nor improvement but where we first lived." 2

The proprietors, notwithstanding their devotion to the interests of the settlers, were men who knew how to look out for their own physical wants and how to enjoy good living. It appears that on the 8th of August, 1733, the proprietors leased to William Cady and his associates, for seven years, the " island called Sebasco Deggin," with liberty to use and occupy it ; and they also agreed to deliver to Cady the frame of a house, then in the possession of Colonel Harmon, and to furnish Cady with four thousand feet of boards, and with nails sufficient for finishing the house, which Cady was to set up and finish. The proprietors reserved to themselves the right of " improving any mine or mineral," which might be discovered on the island, and also the right "to settle a fishery there," or to make other settlements there, which should not, however, interfere with the improvements of Cady and his associates.

Cady agreed to erect and finish, forthwith, at least one dwellinghouse on the island, and occupy it before the next winter, and that before the next summer he would settle, at least, three other families


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. Ibid.


besides his own on the island, and keep off all intruders from settling without leave, in writing, from the proprietors, and from cutting wood or grass there. He further agreed to clear the fresh meadows, and to clear and break up and bring to tillage and English grass as much of the land upon the island as he and his associates could (the proprietors finding grass-seed), and to endeavor to raise a nursery of fruit trees and an orchard ; and as an annual rental he agreed to pay .to Adam Winthrop, or his heirs in Boston, " for the use of him and the rest of the Lessors twenty good fat geese, or in failure thereof £5 per annum, in bills of credit on this Province." 1 Although his name is not mentioned in this deed, there is little doubt that William Condy was one of Cady's "associates," as a blank form of a deed in the Pejepscot papers mentions Condy's name in connection with that of Cady. The harbor known as " Cundy's" was undoubtedly named for William Condy.

It will be noticed that this lease reserves the right to the proprietors to allow other settlers on the island. And in 1737 or 1738 some twenty families were settled there.

An attempt was made to re-settle the island for the purpose of building a fishing-town. Mr. Nathaniel Donnel, of York, selected a spot which was to be divided into small lots of an acre each, for the convenience of dwelling-houses, with a convenient harbor adjacent. The project was abandoned on account of the increased hostility of the Indians. The harbor referred to was probably Condy's, as the land on the western shore of that harbor is well calculated for the site of a village. 2 Dec. 23, 1742, Joseph and Clement Orr, of Pemaquid, turners by trade, bought of Henry Gibbs, of Boston, a tract of land at the northerly end of Merriconeag Neck, containing one hundred and twenty-two acres. 3 The next day they received from the same party another tract of sixty-nine acres near the former, 4 and the " southeast prong" of Merriconeag Neck, containing, by estimation, two hundred acres." 5 In 1743 Richard Jaques, of North Yarmouth, bought one hundred acres of land, on Little Sebascodegin (Orr's) Island. 6 He is believed, therefore, to have been the first purchaser of land on this island, though tradition has it that a man by the name of Fitzgerald was the first occupant of the island. What disposition he


1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. McKeen, in Harpswell Banner.
3. York County Records, 26, p. 201.
4. Ibid., 26 p., 202.
5. Ibid., 28,p. 99.
6. lbid., 25,p. 112.


made of this property is unknown, but the whole island afterwards came into the possession of Honorable William Tailer, of Dorchester, Mass., and of Honorable Elisha Cook, of Boston, whose heirs sold it in 1748 to Joseph Orr. 1 Joseph Orr had previously been living on Merriconeag Neck, but after he purchased the island he, with his brother Clement and sons, moved on to it and erected a garrison-house. The island has since gone by his name.

In his purchase of half of the island from the heirs of William Tailer, Orr did not secure the signature to his deed of one of the daughters, the wife of Reverend Matthew Byles, of Boston, who accordingly put in her claim to a share. In consequence of this claim, on July 22, 1760, Orr set off and released to her one tenth part of the island, and received a quitclaim of the remainder. 2 On October 16th of this year, Joseph Orr deeded the whole of his property on this island to his brother Clement as a life estate, and to his heirs after him. In case of the death of Clement's heirs it was to revert to the heirs of Joseph. 3

In 1755 there were on Sebascodegan Island, sixteen persons, and on Merriconeag Neck, six persons, who, living north of the Yarmouth line, were taxed in Brunswick.

The number of settlers in these three towns, during the first half of the last century, is so large as to prevent a mention of their names in this connection, and a list of these settlers is therefore given in the Appendix. The doings of the proprietors, which are not given in this, will be found in their appropriate connection in other chapters.


1. York County Records, 35, pp. 31, 32.
2. Ibid., p. 232.
3. Original deed, in possession of S. Purinton.




Next Chapter



Wheeler & Wheeler Home About Wheeler & Wheeler Curtis Memorial Library Home
Previous Chapter Table of Contents Next Chapter

WW1878HBTH