In Their Own Write
Native American documents from the collections of Pilgrim Hall Museum
The history of Plymouth’s English colonists, whose culture placed great importance on the written word, is well documented.
The history of the Wampanoag, who did not have a tradition of writing, is less easily available. The complex and ongoing relationship between the two peoples is still being researched and yet to be fully written.
Some written documents dealing with the Native experience in Plymouth do exist. Pilgrim Hall holds in its collections a small but fascinating number of these primary source materials. These documents are extremely fragile and, due to the stress that exposure to light causes to paper and ink, can be displayed only on very rare occasions. Publishing the texts of these documents over the World Wide Web is the most effective way of both making them known and preserving them. The documents published here can help to illuminate the Wampanoag culture and language. They can also widen our knowledge of the interactions between the colonists and the Wampanoag, and demonstrate the continuous presence of the Wampanoag people in the Plymouth area into the present day.
Some explanatory text is included, to help put the documents in historical perspective. All explanatory text is in italics to clearly differentiate it from the texts of the original documents.
- 1649 Deed, Massasoit/Ousamequin ("Bridgewater Purchase")
- 1661 Deed, Cheichatesset Sachem of Manomet Cheichatesset Sachem of Manomet
- 1663 Letter, John Sassamon for King Philip
- 1672 Deed, Tuspaquin and William Tuspaquin
- 1683 Deposition, Absalom regarding Ousamequin
- 1693 List of "Praying Indians" in Herring Pond congregation
- 1700 Deed in the Wampanoaglanguage, Aspohteamuk, Aspohteamuk
- 1717 Legal Complaint, Hope, Indian woman resident in Marshfield, Hope, Indian woman resident in Marshfield
- 1723 Indenture, Alice Sachemus "Indian woman"
- 1754 Deed, James Ned, son of Marjory Ned alias Moeten, Indian laborer of Plymouth
1776-1781 Revolutionary War Document Listing Names of Black & Native American Soldiers
- 1803 Legal Complaint, David Moses of Plymouth, Indian man David Moses of Plymouth, Indian man
NOTE: In 1645, the Plymouth Colony General Court granted the inhabitants of Duxbury the authority to purchase land from the Native people, which they did by deed. In 1656, this land was incorporated into a distinct township -- Bridgewater.
The deed is between Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth as representatives for all the inhabitants of Duxbury, and Ousamequin (here spelled "Woosamequin," alternative spellings were not uncommon in the 17th century). Ousamequin was the great Wampanoag sachem known most frequently as Massasoit. Ousamequin had two sons: Wamsutta/Alexander, who first succeeded his father in 1661, and Metacom/Philip, who became sachem upon Wamsutta/Alexander’s death in 1662. Ousamequin also had a daughter Amie, who married Tuspaquin, the "Black Sachem." Several copies of this deed were made in 1649, Pilgrim Hall has one of those copies.
Presents that I, Woosamequin Sachem of ye Country of Pokanoket, have given, granted, enfeoffed and sold unto Miles Standish of Duxbury, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth of Duxbury aforesaid, in the behalf of all the townsmen of Duxbury aforesaid, a tract of land usually called Saquatucket extending in ye length and breadth thereof as follows that [page damage] from ye weir of Saquatucket [page damage] and from the said weir seven miles due west & from the said weir seven miles due north and from ye said weir seven miles due south. The which tract the said Woosamequin hath given, granted, enfeoffed and sold unto the said Miles, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth in the behalf of all ye townsmen of Duxbury as aforesaid with all ye immunities, privileges, profits whatsoever belonging to ye said tract of land with all timber, all woods, underwoods, lands, meadows, rivers, brooks, rivulets and to have and to hold to the said Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth in the behalf of all the townsmen of the Town Duxbury to them and their heirs for ever in witness whereof I, the said Woosamequin, have hereunto set my hand this 28th of March 1649.
The Mark of Woosamequin
In consideration of ye aforesaid bargain and sale we, the said Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, do bind ourselves to pay unto the said Woosamequin for and in consideration of ye said tract of land as follows: 7 coats, a yard and a half in a coat, 9 hatchets, 8 hoes, 20 knives, 4 mooseskins, 16 yards and half of cotton.
Miles Standish, Samuel Nash, Constant Southworth
Signed and delivered in ye presence of these witnesses
John Bradford, Will. Otway alias Parker
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Know all men by these presents that I, Cheichatesset Sachem of Manomet, have for fourteen pounds to me in hand paid, as also one pound paid to Skipeage, bargained, sold & alienated from me, my heirs & successors for ever certain tracts of, or slopes of meadow, as also a tract of upland lying on the westerly side of the river where the Sandwich men take alewives. The land is along [?] lying by the rivers side for twenty [?] from the river unto the top of the hill or ridge that runs along the length of it from a point of rocks laid by a swamp called by the name Pamepoopauksitt [also?] a place called Muddy Hole, by the Indians Wapampauksitt. The meadow is that which was called Mr. Leverige’s Meadow as also the other slope that [runs?] above along the riverside unto a point bounded with 2 great stones or rocks, also 2 slopes lying on the easterly side of the same river. All which tracts of upland & meadow above expressed are, according to appointment of the Court, bought by John Alden of the above named Sachem, for which he fully satisfied is. It is also agreed by the abovesaid persons that those which still enjoy the abovesaid lands shall have liberty for their cattle to feed on the lands adjoining, also liberty to make use of timber for building or fencing as they shall have occasion & also fish for [their?] use as bass, oysters or other fish. It is further agreed by the aforenamed for the preventing of trouble that may arise between the Indians & the English that come to make use of these lands above expressed lying on the westerly side of the river: first the English shall draw stuff to be placed and the Indians to make the fence to secure their own corn from damage. Unto all which the above named persons have set to their hands this 17th of May 1661:
John Alden, Chichatesett his mark, Skippeage his mark
I, the abovesaid John Alden, do own and acknowledge by these presents that the abovesaid purchase was made by me, the said John Alden, for and in the behalf of Mr. Richard Bourne of Sandwich in the Colony of New Plymouth and was purchased by me per order of Court abovesaid and the abovesaid fifteen pounds which was by me paid was the said Richard Bourne’s money as witness my hand. I testify to the truth of this above written, John Alden Assistant.
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NOTE: This letter was probably written by John Sassamon. Sassamon was a Christianized and educated Massachusett Indian, and a protege of John Eliot. He served Metacom/King Philip as secretary and interpreter for about ten years. Sassamon later became a teacher to Natives in Middleborough. He received encouragement from the sachem Tuspaquin, including a 1673 grant of land that Sassamon gave to his daughter Assowetough/Betty.
In 1675, John Sassamon secretly warned the Plymouth Colony government of an alleged Wampanoag conspiracy to wage war. Shortly thereafter, he was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Three Natives, Tobias, Wampapaquan, and Mattashanamo, were brought before the Plymouth Court. Tuspaquin and his son, William, stood bail for Tobias. The three Natives were found guilty of murdering Sassamon and were executed by the Plymouth Court. These events precipitated the onset of King Philips War.
Philip would entreat that favor of you and any of the magistrates: if any English or Indians speak about any land, he prays you to give them no answer at all. Last summer he made that promise with you that he would not sell no land in 7 years time for that he would have no English trouble him before in that time. He has not forgot that you promised him.
He will come as soon as possible he can to speak with you. And so greet, your very loving friend Philip, dwelling at Mounthope Neck.
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NOTE: In 1671, Josiah Winslow sued William, son of Tuspaquin, for nonpayment of 10 pounds and 8 shillings due for a horse (the usual cost of a horse was between 2 and 4 pounds) and "other goods." Judgment was for Josiah Winslow for 20 pounds. William, "having nothing to pay the award of the jury," sold land. The land sold may be that willed to Tuspaquin in 1668 by Pamantaquash with the notation that he "desires that neither Tuspaquin nor his son be pressed to sell the said lands by any English."
This deed represents the land sold to repay William’s debt. It is a triangular piece of land extending on the northern side for 3 miles and on the east and west for 4 miles.
Tuspaquin was married to the daughter of Massasoit. He was a very able military leader and ally of Philip, his brother-in-law, during King Philip’s War. Captain Benjamin Church took Tuspaquin’s family captive in 1676 with the promise that, if Tuspaquin would surrender, his life would be spared. Tuspaquin surrendered and was immediately publicly executed.
To all people to whom these presents shall come Tuspaquin the black Sachem of Namassaket and Mantowapack alias William (his son) send greeting; and further know ye that we the said Tuspaquin and William have given, granted, bargained, sold, alienated, enfeoffed, and confirmed, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell, alienate, enfeof, and confirm from us and our heirs, unto Mr. Edward Gray and Major Josiah Winslow and their heirs forever, a certain tract or parcel of land, situated, lying and being on the easterly side of Asawamset Pond and bounded as follows: beginning at that place of the said pond where the Namassaket River falls out of the pond, and so ranging southward the pond being the westerly bounds, until it comes to a spruce tree marked standing near the pond side, and so by a range of spruce trees running to the southward still until it comes again to tack upon another corner of the pond, and then again bounded by the pond unto a little brook that issues out of it and runs toward the east, and so to a great cedar swamp being the southeast boundary; and from the said swamp, is bounded at the easterly end or side by a brook that issues out of the said cedar swamp and runs northerly toward a pond commonly called Tuspaquin’s Pond and so home to the lands formerly sold to Henry Wood; and from Tuspaquin’s Pond by a brook called the Fall Brook that comes out of the said pond and falls into Namassaket River and so up the said river to the first mentioned boundary upon Asawamset Pond: nly it must be understood that one hundred acres more or less as bounded which was formerly sold to Mr. Thomas Prence and lies on the southerly side of the above mentioned Fall Brook, although comprehended within the above recited bounds is not hereby sold nor by us disposed unto the above said Winslow and Gray. But all the rest of the lands contained within the above mentioned bounds, we the said Tuspaquin and William do hereby fully, freely, clearly, and absolutely sell and pass over from us and our heirs unto the aforesaid Major Winslow and Edward Gray and their heirs for ever, together with all the woods, waters, fishings, and all other benefits, profits, emoluments and privileges, thereunto appertaining, by them the said Winslow and Gray and their heirs from the day of the date hereof forever to be quietly held, occupied, possessed, and enjoyed in the most free and ample tenure that lands by us sold can be held in, for the valuable consideration of twenty seven pounds of good and current pay to us in hand already paid, and of which sum and of every part and parcel thereof we do hereby fully and clearly acquit, exonerate, and discharge them the abovesaid Winslow and Gray and their heirs and executors forever. And further, we the abovesaid Tuspaquin and William do covenant to and with the said buyers, that we are at this day and until the ensealing and delivery here of the true and rightful proprietors of the above mentioned lads and that we will warrant and defend them now and at all times against any that shall or may claim from, by or under us. And to do and perform any further act that may be them be required according to law, for the sure making and firm settling of the premises unto them. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this thirtieth day of June Anno Domino one thousand, six hundred and seventy two.
Tuspaquin his mark, the mark of William Mantowapart
Signed and sealed and delivered in the presents of John Thomas, Elizabeth Pelham
This deed of sale was acknowledged by Tuspaquin and William his son this 3d of July 1673, in open Court before me, Thomas Prence, Governor.
1672 DEED VERSO
At the Court held at Plymouth in New England, the fifth of March last past before the date hereof, Major Josiah Winslow complained against William, son to Tuspaquin the Sachem of Namassaket, in an action of the case to the damage of twenty pounds for nonpayment of ten pounds and eight shillings due unto him, the Jury finding for the plaintiff, the bill, twelve pence damages and the cost of the suit. And he, the said William, having nothing to pay but by the sale of some land, the Court then appointed Major Josiah Winslow and Edward Gray to make purchase of a parcel or tract of land which he had, to be payment of the abovesaid sum. Which accordingly was done and performed and deeds passed to them from the said William Sachem, the said parcel of land falling within the Township of Middleborough. The said Major Josiah Winslow and Edward Gray, by order of the Court, have hereby passed over the said deed unto John Morton, lieutenant, Ephraim Morton, Edward Gray, Joseph Warren, and William Clark together with all the householders of the said Town of Middleborough, that in case the said householders shall and do pay their share and proportion of the said purchase by the last of October next after the date hereof, then to have an equal interest therein or otherwise to belong to those that pay their money for the said purchase, which purchase is to be paid in good and current silver money of New England at or before the day abovementioned
Testifies me, Nathaniel Morton, Secretary to the Court for the Jurisdiction of New Plymouth
This deed was passed over as abovesaid, New Plymouth, July the 5th 1672.
The within written deed and the assignment abovewritten are recorded in the 191st and 19s pages, June ye 18th 1693
per Samuel Sprague, Recorder.
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Narragansett February the 20th 1683/4 appeared before me Absalom, an Indian formerly belonging to Cohasset in the Narragansett Country and sometimes Counselor unto the Narragansett Sachem. Being desired by Mr. Richard Smith of Narragansett aforesaid in presence and hearing of myself to declare according to the best of his knowledge unto whom the Little Island near adjacent unto Mount [page damage] in the Narragansett Bay formerly called by the Indians Chesawanuck and now by the English called Hog Island did formerly belong unto and had the propriety thereof, the answer was that it did belong unto Osamequin Sachem of Mount Hope aforesaid and his predecessors before him for many generations. And that he had been truly informed both by the Sachem and others of the Indians that the said island was formerly sold by the aforesaid Osamequin and Wamsutta his son unto the aforesaid Mr. Richard Smith and to the truth of what is above declared the said Absalom hath hereunto set his hand the day [page damage] yeare abovesaid.
Absalom, his mark.
The abovesaid declaration was made before me, John Fones, Conservator of the Peace, Feb. 1683/4
The above written it a true copy of the original shown in Court, July first 1684. Nathaniel Morton, Secretary.
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NOTE: Thomas Tupper was a second generation colonist, who preached to the Native People in the Herring Pond area. This is a list of the Natives who were members of his congregation. It is not clear what the numbers after the names signify, they seem to be neither age nor members of family group.
[On the verso: An account of Mr. Tuppers Congregation of Indians 1693]
The Number of all the Indians that belong or own the meeting house of Pompposhpissit in Sandwich, of the Mr. Thomas Tupper his teaching house
of Quahissit and Waweuktat
John Weknuk - 3
Thomas Wartekman: 4
Widow Sepet - 51
Papom - 4
Derkas - 4
John Connet - 3
Will. Connet - 41
Old Warterman 21
Will. Warterman 21
Widow Nanomut - 6
of Manomet Ponds
John Wanna - 61
Isaac Wanna - 2
Joseph Wanna - 3
Robart Bont - 81
Samuel Tonnas - 2
John Shapeeg - 21
Job - 4
Widow Peeg - 4
Will. Sachimos 31
Widow Wanna 5
John Sepet - 1
Will. Tannow - 1
Abel Tannaw - 1
Widow Haght - 3
Rebacka Haght - 31
Isaac Nick - 3
Jacob Haght - 4
Quanootas - 41
James Otas - 5
Jene Wappog - 2
Widow Penas - 61
Rafe Jonus - 4
John Quoi - 51
Mahteaannum - 3
Squaoppetan - 4
James Dillingham - 3
Peter Joseph - 5
Samsson Waapnut - 5
Paul Quoi - 3
Ollever - 5
John Ollever - 2
Jemes Ollever - 2
Old Peter - 7
Joal - 7
Job - 4
Daniel - 1
Jemes - 1
Jag Peny - 1
Thom Buttller - 1
Robert Cakunnequ - 5
Old Cakunnequ - 4
Elisha Cakunnequ - 2
Jonas Numuk - [5?]
Will. Numuk - [?]
Will. Numuk Junr - 2
Lazares Numuk - [?]
Shanks - [?]
Moses Numuk - 3
Sam Cakunnequ - [page damage]
Sam Ayuit [?] - 2
Quakom - 3
Joel Skupeseg - 3
Hope - 3
The number is 226, beginning at the ten-year-old children
16 88 94
226 this is the number from the ten-year-old children [to] the oldest man there is amongst us on March 28th, 1693.
The families reckoned by
Raph Jouns, Hope, John Putquoi, Magistrates
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NOTE: The Wampanoag language was spoken by the Wampanoag, the Massachusetts and the Nausets.
Writings in Wampanoag include religious books and legal documents. The first Bible printed in the New World was in the Wampanoag language -- the 1663 translation (reissued in 1685) by John Eliot. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Native people in southeastern Massachusetts lived in settlements that were often self-governing in local affairs. Consequently, Native people wrote many legal documents in their own language. Less than 200 of these documents are known to have survived.
Today, the Wampanoag people are actively revitalizing their language.
April 17, and the year 1700.
This is a land-sale writing. I, Aspohteamuk, sell this land of mine that lies at Ontsonttuit in the (un)nogkom direction southwestward or westward -- then at Ontsontuit where it sonkkuttashonk a little northwestward, the boundary goes from there along the shore of the river. There stands a young cedar tree (?), nauh uppaukinnohtugkoo the cedar tree (?). Then the boundary proceeds from there towards the southwest over to Wompsukkookquoppet along the shore of the pond (?). There stands a pine tree. I, Aspohteamuk, have marked (?) this pine tree. Then the boundary turns toward the northwest where the shore of the pond runs (?), then where the bay runs (?) northwest, nonoh towards a little eastward, where the shore of the pond runs (?), from where the boundary goes towards the north. It follows along that onttauont until it goes into the water where lies the pond (?) named Mopakoamesik. For a little ways it runs along the water towards wutchepeapamae. Then the boundary goes towards quaquttaunuat where it sonkkuttashonk. There stands a big white oak along the shore of the pond. Then the boundary turns towards the east, it only follows along this river towards the southwest river over to Ontsontuit where (?) it goes to the beginning.
And I, Aspohteamuk, convey this land of mine to Naattomppam, or Peter Kappassuammog, because he makes satisfaction to me for it. I convey to him every thing -- land, and trees, and grass, and everything that grows there and some of the waters.
This land which I, Aspohteamuk, sold, my children or my posterity of any kind shall not meddle with it as long as the earth exists.
By this hand of mine. Also I, Jacob Hedge, this is my hand.
I, Ropen Wapunnit, this is my hand. I, Monnoshkoog, this is my hand.
From: Ives Goddard and Kathleen Bragdon, Native Writings in Massachusetts (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988), p. 341.
1700 DEED: TRANSCRIPTION IN WAMPANOAG
Aprin 17 tayus qut kottumoo 1700
yu makohteae wussukquohhonk nen aspohteamuk ye nummakun nittokeim ohtag ontsonttuit nogkomae nanogquttin-neiyu asuh maquomwittinneiur -- neit ontsontuit at sonkkuttashonk ogkosemese wuttchekussuiyu ootche kehpishon kohkinnonk ohquonnohtug wunnepauin wuske chikkuppusseuhtuhkoom nauh uppaukinnohtugkoo chikkuppeuhtukoom -- neit [k] kuhkinnonk neeoche [kepish] kehpishshon nogque nanogquttinneiyu yapacke wompsukkookquoppet ohquonpam [we] wunnepauwun koowa nen aspohteamuk yuuh koowa nittchesquohquohtohwomp [yuuh koows] neit kohkinnonk qutchikqushau nogque wutchekussuiyu an ohquanpa[pa]koak neit an pootuppakaak wutwutchekussuiyu nonoh nogque ogko[.] semese [w] womppanniyu an ohquonpagkoak ooche kehpishshon kohkinnonk nogque in sinnotniyu ne wun noosshon onttauont yapache wutchoohwushonat neohtag nuppussuppaquequm [oh] soowetamun mopakoamesik ogkosemese ohquanpashau nogque wutchepeapamae neit kehpishau kohkinnonk nogque in quaquttaunuat at sonkkuttashonk nepatta keche pogkohtimmus ohquanpam [.] neit kohkinnonk qutchikqushau nogque in womppanniyu nont ye wunnooswushshon sep nogque nanogquttinneuhtugquae yapache [at] ontsontuit ut watoohquashau[i]
onk nen aspohteamuk [oh] yu nittok nittinnummauwon naattomppam asuh peter kappassuammog newutche nittaphoommonkqun nittinummauwon nishnoh teag ok kah muhtugquash kah moskehtuwash kah [nenoh] nesh noh teag noh attannegik kah noh wutche nuppeash
nen aspoh[p]teamuk yu makoo ok ninnechonsog asuh aiyane nuppummetuonk matta ooweogkehte[.] oonau to sake [oke] ohkeyuit -- nashpe yu ninnitchek -- wonk nen Jacobhedge na yu ninitchek
nen Ropen wapunnit nayu nitchek nen monn[o]shkoog na ye ninnitchek
From: Ives Goddard and Kathleen Bragdon, Native Writings in Massachusetts (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988), p. 339.
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1717 LEGAL COMPLAINT
To the Sheriff of the County of Plymouth or under Sheriff or Deputy or Constable of the Town of Marshfield or either of them, greeting.
Whereas Hope, Indian woman resident in Marshfield in the County of Plymouth, complains that in the latter part of last May when she was from home, her house or wigwam in Marshfield was opened & her chest which was locked with a strong lock was broken open & (?) goods stolen out of her chest, viz. one pair of [sheets?] linen which cost her twenty shillings, & a cloak & petticoat which cost her eighteen shillings being almost new, & a Province Bill of three shillings & five pence, & a basket with a shillings worth of eggs in it, & half a new milk cheese of about 4 pound weight worth two shillings, & 1/4 of a pound of cotton yarn worth one shilling, & the breaking of her chest lock worth two shillings. & that formerly an Indian called Samson, alias Cockquit, stole a skillet from her & she went to Samuel Hatch’s & found it & she supposes that this said Indian Samson hath broken open her chest & stolen all the abovesaid goods from her. That thereupon on the 7th day of December current, I sent for the said Indian Samson before me, who confessed that he had taken the said goods & was willing to pay the said Hope for them. And because one Justice of Peace cannot determine matters of so high a nature. Those are therefore in his Majesty’s name to require you on receipt hereof to attach the body of the said Indian Samson & bring him before myself or some other of his Majesty’s Justices to become bound with sufficient sureties to appear at the next General Court or Sessions of the Peace to be held on at Plymouth the third (?) day of December instant then and there to do and (?) what by the said Court shall be enjoined him and have with you then there this Warrant with your doings therein. Dated at Marshfield this tenth day of December 1717.
Nathaniel Thomas, Justice of Peace
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NOTE: An indenture was a contract between an employer and a hired man or woman. Many people entered such contracts willingly, others were obliged to become servants for a time to repay a debt or to avoid becoming a burden upon the community. The contract imposed obligations on both parties: the servant worked for a specified period of time and the employer was, as in this instance, required to provide "suitable & sufficient meat, drink, lodging & apparel ." Because specific obligations and benefits were involved, an indenture contract could be sold by one employer to another.
Anno RR George II Decimo [in the 10th year of the reign of George II] at his Majesty’s Court of General Sessions of the Peace begun & held at Plymouth, for and within ye County of Plymouth in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, on ye third Tuesday of Sept. (being ye Seventeenth Day of said month) Anno Dom. 1723
Sept. 20 1723
Alice Sachemus, Indian woman, widow of John Sachemus, being a prisoner in ye gaol at Plymouth on execution upon a judgment obtained by Mr. John Otis Jr. of Barnstable at the Superior Court held at Plymouth on ye last Tuesday of April last and the execution fees & prison charges amounting to about twelve pounds.
The said Alice Sachemus, not having wherewithal to pay, is with her own consent by ye Court let over to ye said John Otis. With him, his heirs, executors, administrators & assigns to dwell & serve from ye day of the date hereof in any lawful employment for ye space of three years, he or they finding & providing for ye said Alice Sachemus suitable & sufficient meat, drink, lodging & apparel during ye term of her service with him. The said Otis promising before ye Court that the infant child of ye said Alice shall be no charge to the town where it is kept and also if ye said Alice Sachemus bring anybody to pay what is or shall remain due on amount of said execution to ye said Mr. Otis, the said Alice is then to be discharged from any further service to ye said Mr. Otis.
A true copy as appears of records named
Josiah Cotton Clerk
Plymouth June 17th 1725
Know all men by those presents that I, John Otis Junr of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable, do by virtue of these presents for a valuable consideration to me in hand paid, assign and set over to Consider Howland of Plymouth in the County of Plymouth all the rights, title and interests that I have or ought to have unto the within named Alice Sachamus by virtue of the within written judgment of Court, as witness my hand & seal this day abovewritten in presence of
Jonathan Briant, Josiah Sturtevant John Otis Jr
Plim 22 June ye 1725
The above named John Otis acknowledges ye abovewritten assignment to be his attested and before me John Cushing Justice of the Peace
(?)ment. Consider Howland do hereby assign, sell & make over my whole right, title & interest of (?) the within named Alice Sachemas, Indian, for a valuable consideration to me in hand paid & receipt whereof, I do hereby acknowledge by Mr. Jabis Allen of Killingsley in ye County of Wendom in ye Colony of Connecticut, yeoman, witness my hand & seal this eleventh day of January 1726/7
Justin Crymble Consider Howland
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To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, greetings. Know ye that I, James Ned, son of Marjory Ned alias Moeten, Indian laborer of Plymouth in the County of Plymouth and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, for and in consideration of the sum of seven pounds lawful money of said Province to me in hand by Barshua Gibbs of Sandwich in the County of Barnstable and Province aforesaid since well and truly paid, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and my self therewith fully satisfied and paid, and the said Barshua Gibbs her heirs, administrators and assigns, do forever acquit and discharge, have given, granted, bargained, sold, conveyed and confirmed and do by these presents give, grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm unto her said Barshua Gibbs, her heirs and assigns for ever all that my certain tract of land, situated, lying and being in Sandwich aforesaid, near to Butter Milk Bay so called, lying on the westerly side of the Country Road, and on the westerly side of a pond and cedar swamp called the Dry Cedar Swamp, butted and bounded beginning at a pond by said swamp near to an old field by the land of Colonel Hathaway, and running east-northeast by a range of marked trees, till it comes to the land of the Josephs, and then turning easterly by to Josephs land, to the land of Timothy Bourne and running by to said Bourne’s land, southerly till it meets with said Dry Cedar Swamp Pond and then easterly by the pond, and brooks, as they run till it comes to the first mentioned bound together with all privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to have and to hold said granted and bargained peremises to her the said Barshua Gibbs, her heirs and assigns forever. To each of their only proper use and behalf. And I, the said James Ned, do hereby avouch my self to be at the execution of these presents, the only proper owner and possessor of said land and premises as a good state of inheritance in fee simple and have full and lawful right to dispose of the same. And that the said Barshua Gibbs, her heirs, her administrators and assigns shall and may at all times hereafter have, hold, use and peaceably possess and enjoy the premises by force and virtue of these presents forever. Furthermore I, the said James Ned, do firmly bind and oblige myself, my heirs, administrators and assigns to and with the said Barshua Gibbs, her heirs, administrators and assigns that each of us shall and will warrant , secure and defend the above demised premises, to the said Barshua Gibbs, her heirs, administrators and assigns to each of their peaceable possession and enjoyment and improvement against the lawful claims and demands of all manners of persons whatsoever forever. In witness whereof I, the said James Ned, have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourth day of February AD 1754.
James Ned his Mark and Seal
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us witnesses
Timothy Bourne, Elisha Tupper
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Revolutionary War Document (1776-1781)
Listing Names of Black & Native American Soldiers
Among the most important Revolutionary War documents in the collection of the Pilgrim Society, Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Goodwin’s recruiting and enlistment records for Plymouth County, covering the years 1776 to 1781, stand out for their detailed information about several hundred officers and soldiers and their military careers. Goodwin chronicled the expeditions and their participants, promotions (including his own, from Captain through the rank of Major to that of Lieutenant Colonel), and "remarkable events" (mostly events of the war, but beginning with "The Creation of the World" and "Noah’s Flood").
For many soldiers he listed name, age, stature, complexion, color of eyes and hair, trade, town engaged for and place of abode, company provided from and the term and date of enlistment. Among the lists are found the names of 41 men identified by the terms "Negro," "Black," or "Mulatto," as well as 19 identified as "Indians."
Although Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native American heritage, is now famous as the first to die in the Revolutionary War, the names of Revolutionary War soldiers from these groups have mostly been forgotten, like the names of others in the rank and file. By publishing the list of these soldiers from Lieutenant Colonel Goodwin’s manuscript record, Pilgrim Hall hopes to contribute to the recognition due to these patriots.
Black Soldiers of the Revolutionary War from Plymouth County:
a list of soldiers identified as "Negro," "Black," or "Mulatto," compiled from recruiting documents in the collection of the Pilgrim Society, by Jeremy D. Bangs, Visiting Curator of Manuscripts, Pilgrim Hall Museum. ( c The Pilgrim Society, 1996)
Silas Accro, age 29, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Pero Blakely, age 28, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
William Blye, age 43, from Rochester, N. Hammond’s company, Col. Sprout’s regiment
Peter Booth, age 17, from Marshfield, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
James Bowes, age 17, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Calla Brown, age 44, from Scituate, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Primuss Cabuss, age 16, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment (probably identical with Prince Cobus)
Prince Cobus, age 16, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Henry Cook, age 38, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Solomon Dick, age 18, from Middleborough, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Joseph Fowler, age 26, from Pembroke, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Asher Freeman, age 23, from Scituate, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Benjamin Gould, age 16, from Wareham, Gibbs’ company, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Camaramsawde Gould, age 17, from Wareham, Gibbs’ company, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Jack Hammond, age 26, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Peter Haskell, age 33, from Rochester, Briggs’ company, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Bristol Howard, age 43, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Cato Howe, age 25, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Jeremiah Jones, age 26, from Bridgewater, J. Allen’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Winsor Little, age 17, from Scituate, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Quash Mathrok, age 24, from Bridgewater, Daniel Packard’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
John McCarter, age 22, from Marshfield, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Cuff Mitchell, age 33, from Bridgewater, Washburn’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Prince Newport, age 30, from Plimpton, N. Hammond’s company, Col. Sprout’s regiment
Robert Peagin, age 36, from Bridgewater, Kingman’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
William Pittman, age 28, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Andrew Pompy, age 33, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Quamany Quash, age 17, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Jubiter Richards, age 30, from Bridgewater, Kingman’s company, Col. Mitchell’s regiment
Toney Rose, age 18, from Middleborough, Churchill’s company, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Nehamiah Samson, age 16, from Scituate, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Ceasor Smith, age 24, from Plimpton, Col. Cotton’s regiment
Cesar Steward, age 29, from Pembroke, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Zeba Sutton, age 17 from Scituate, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Toby Tolbert, age 45, from Bridgewater, Nathaniel Packard’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Jack Tomson, age 40, from Kingston, Capt. Rider’s company, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
John Troy, age 21, from Bridgewater, Allden’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Plato Turner, age 28, from Plymouth, Capt. Rider’s company, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Salmon Washburn, age 23, from Bridgewater, Allen’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
John Williams, age 26, from Kingston, Lt. Simmons’ company, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Uriah Williams, age 29, from Middleborough, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Native American Soldiers of the Revolutionary War from Plymouth County:
a list of soldiers identified as "Indian," compiled from recruiting documents in the collection of the Pilgrim Society, by Jeremy D. Bangs, Visiting Curator of Manuscripts, Pilgrim Hall Museum. ( c The Pilgrim Society, 1996)
John Barker, age 16, from Middleborough, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
John Barker, age 29, from Rochester, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
John Capy, age 17, from Rochester, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
Joshua Compsett, age 26, from Scituate, T. Cushing’s company, Col. Cushing’s regiment
Bristoll Davids, age 17, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Thomas Humphrey, age 16, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Benjamin Jeffery, age 21, from Kingston, Lt. Simmons company, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Cesar Merea, age 16, drummer, from Pembroke, Lt. Col. Hall’s regiment
Samuel Mingo, age 28, from Bridgewater, Washburn’s company, Maj. Cary’s regiment
Parm Mouth, age 18, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
David Peauge, age 19, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Benjamin Simon, Jr., age 16, from Middleborough, Lt. Col. White’s regiment
James Simons, age 22, from Plymouth, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Josiah Soul, age 22, from Plymouth (also enlisted under the name John Methricks, and listed as from Rochester), Lt. Leonard’s company, Col. Theo. Cotton’s regiment
Peleg Stewart, age 16, from Rochester, Lt. Col. Whites regiment
Benjamin Uncket, age 34, from Pembroke, T. Cushing’s company, Col. Cushing’s regiment
Jo. Warrich, age 17, from Marshfield, regiment of Col. Cushing or Lt. Col. Hall
Isaac Wickums, age 16, from Pembroke, T. Cushing’s company, Col. Cushing’s regiment
Samuel Word, age 16, from Bridgewater, Maj. Cary’s regiment
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1803 LEGAL COMPLAINT
To Ephraim Spooner Esquire, one of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Plymouth
The complaint of David Moses of Plymouth, Indian man:
That about ten o’clock the last evening Hannah Sapit, Bashe Wicket, Simon Volintan and (?) Gammon and his son Stephen came into the house where he lives in said Plymouth and abused him very much. He therefore prays that process may be given against said offenders that they may be dealt with as the law & justice appertains.
Plymouth Nov’r 5th 1803 David Moses
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