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For the Year M,DCCC.

Reprinted in 1968 by Johnson Reprint Corporation, from an edition of unspecified date 


Page vi
History of Cambridge, by Abiel Holmes, A. M.
a member of the Historical Society

Review of the military operations in North-America, from the year 1753 to the surrender of Oswego, in 1756,  Introduction.— American colonies too long neglected, though of general importance— More considered on the reduction of Louisbourg.— Character of Governor Shirley— His attention to colony affairs— Is rewarded with a regiment, and sent commissary to Paris.— (1753.) The French encroach on Virginia.— Message to the commandant— It is answered.—(1754.) Virginians apply for aid to the colonies— but they generally excuse themselves.— Forces raised under Col. Washington— who had successful skirmishes with the enemy— but was afterwards subdued by numbers.— Consequences of his defeat.— Grand congress at Albany.— Indians delay attendance, and the reasons.— Commissioners, and how ranked.— Indians pleased with the presents, but blame our conductPlan of union—Approved by all, except De Lancey.— His character and history.— His appointment to the government, and system of politics — His speech to the council and assembly.— Assembly's evasive answer.— Observations on this address.— Numerous and fulsome addresses to the Lieut. Governor.— His jealousy— and universal influence.— Reflections on popular meritCharacter of Mr. Thomas Pownal.— Anecdotes respecting a piece he published.— Shirley erects forts on Kennebec,— (1755 ) He designs an expedition against Crown-Point.— De Lancey endeavours to obstruct the concurrence of New-York— but in vain.— Braddock convenes the governors, and settles the operations.— Shirley returns to Boston, to prepare for the northern expedition—and sails for Albany.— Nova-Scotia reduced.—Braddock marches from Fort Cumberland. —To what causes the defeat was ascribed.—Dunbar retreats precipitately to Fort Cumberland.—Maj. Gen. Shirley assumes the command—Is detained at Albany.—Route to Oswego.—Troops proceed to that garrison.—Six Nations averse to the Niagara expedition, and why.—Johnson holds a conference with them.—Anecdote of Johnson and Shirley —Faction formed against the General, and occasion of it.—Evil effects of it.—Dunbar marches to Philadelphia. —Frontiers of Virginia left exposed.—She provides for her frontier defence alone—De Lancey's management with respect to the reinforcement. — His influence over the assembly.— His popularity declines.—He secures the ear of his successor.— Lyman builds a fort at the carrying-place.— Dieskau designs to reduce Oswego— but is diverted.—He marches to attack General Johnson.— His irregulars


averse to the attack of Fort Edward.— He moves against our camp— and meets our detachment.— He is defeated, and taken prisoner.— Gallant behaviour of M'Ginnes.— Remark on Wraxal's imagination.— The enemy not pursued.— The Indians joined not in the action—and left our army after it.— Major-General Lyman maliciously charged with cowardice.— Remarks on Johnson's reasons for not pursuing the enemy, or prosecuting his expedition.— Reflections on the fortune and conduct of this General.— Why this action was greatly exaggerated.— Shirley absurdly censured.— Course of proceedings at Oswego.— A council of war held there.— The General represents the state of affairs, and informs the council of his intelligences.— Preparations to proceed on the Niagara expedition.— Prevented by the weather.— Another council of war held.— Their opinion, and advice to lay aside the expedition, and strengthen Oswego— which was carried into execution.— The General labours to establish the Indians in our interest— and returns to Albany.— French design to cut off Oswego — Sir Charles Hardy calls in the militia on a false alarm.— Transactions in New-York between Sir Charles Hardy and his assembly.— Anecdote of Sir Danvers Osborne.— Sir Charles Hardy's speech to his assembly.— Their answer.— Their behaviour different from what it was in Clinton's time, and the reason.— Grand council of war convened at New-York for fettling the operations for 1756.— The General delivers his sentiments to the council—and proposes his plan of operations—which was approved with Lome little alterations.— Design against Ticonderoga, in the winter, defeated.— The cabal against the General strengthened, and by what causes.— Mr. Pownal's behaviour to the Governor of New-Jersey.— He procures one Evans to publish invectives against the General.— Great pains taken to prejudice Mr. Shirley both in England and America__ Reflections on the fruitless operations of 1755.— The importance of the New-England colonies in military matters.— Shirley obliged to visit his own government— (1756) and with difficulty obtains their concurrence in another expedition.— Lieut. Gov. De Lancey resumes his feat on the bench, though his office of chief justice was become extinct — The opinion of a gentleman of the law with respect to it.— De Lancey obliges the Governor to pass two acts of assembly.— Intelligence from England—agreeable to Mr. Shirley's adversaries, and why.— The General arrives at Albany, and calls a council of war—and acquaints them with the situation of affairs.— Capt. Rogers, an active officer, gains intelligence, of which the General informs the council.— Their opinion and advice.— Major-General Abercrombie takes the command of the army.— Sir William Johnson holds a conference at Onondago.— Forty companies of batteau-men raised, and their great usefulness.— A small post cut off in the Indian country.— Gov. Sharpe's designed attempt on Fort Du Quesne fails.— Circumstances of Indian affairs to the northward.— Situation of our affairs with the southern Indians— Sir William Johnson's conduct considered.— Account of a gallant action of our batteau-men under Capt. Bradstreet.— Bradstreet



street gives intelligence of the enemy's design to attack Oswego. — Lord Loudon arrives.— Our present force, and that of the French.— Oswego taken by the French, and the garrison made prisoners of war.— Circumstances of the siege unknown.— Batteau-men imprudently discharged.— General Webb's march delayed Unhappy consequences of the loss of this important post.— The colonies not so powerful as imagined.—
160       General reflections upon the whole,
163 Description of Wiscasset, and of the river Sheepscot, by Rev. Alden Bradford, Minister at Wiscasset, S. H. S.
Witham Marslie's Journal of the Treaty held with the Six Nations, at Lancaster, June, 1744.
List of public offices, ecclesiastical preferments, &c. in Maryland, with their revenues,
Union of the British American colonies, as proposed in the year 1754,
Report of a committee of the assembly of Connecticut, respecting the foregoing plan of union,
The Reasons offered, by the Assembly of Connecticut, concerning the plan of union,
Petitions, &c. from members of the church of England, in Boston, respecting bishops,
An Account of the trade and shipping of Newfoundland in 1799,
220 Number of British subjects in the colonies of North-America, in the year 1755,
A Bill for better regulating of charter and proprietary governments in America,
Dedications to the Rev. John Eliot's Indian version of the Old and New Testament,
Sir Thomas Temple's Apology for coinage in Massachusetts,
Heads of Inquiry, relative to the state and condition of Connecticut, signified by his majesty's secretary of state, in 1773, with the answers, returned by the governor, in 1774,
Some account of the severe drought in 1749,
Grand Jury's Bill against Mary Osgood,
Biographical Notice of the Rev. James Noyes, first minister of Newbury,
Description and historical account of the Isles of Shoals,
Ecclesiastical History of Massachusetts and the old colony of Plymouth,


of the


For the Year 1800.


The History of Cambridge. By Abiel Holmes, A.M. a Member of the Society.

—forsan et hæc olim meminisse juvabit.           Virgil.

A topographical Description of Cambridge. *

    CAMBRIDGE is a shire town, in the county of Middlesex. It lies in 42°. 23'. north latitude, and 71 °. west longitude from London. It is bounded on the north-east by Charlestown ; on the north-west by Lexington ; on the west by Watertown ; on the south-west by Newton ; on the south by Brookline, and on the south-east and east by Cambridge bay to Charlestown line.

    It is about three miles distant from Boston, on a right line ; eight miles, as measured on the road leading through Brookline and Roxbury ; about four miles and a half through Charlestown ; and three miles, one quarter, and sixty rods from the old state-house, by the way of West-Boston bridge.

    The soil is various. In the south-west part of the town, within a mile of Charles river, the land is hilly, and abounds in springs. The soil is loamy, and natural to grass. ...

* For this Description, I am principally indebted to my worthy friend, and respectable parishioner, Caleb Gannett, Esquire.

A Description of Wiscasset.            163

A Description of Wiscasset, and of the River Sheepscot. By Rev. Alden Bradford, Minister at Wiscasset, S. H. S.

    JUDGE Sullivan, in his History of the District of Maine, Dr. Morse, in his Gazetteer and Geography, and the Duc de Liancourt, in his volume of travels through the United States and Canada, have given some account of Wiscasset, But they are very partial, and in some instances erroneous in their statements ; and a particular and accurate description of this place and river, though considerably celebrated for the nautical enterprise of the inhabitants,

A Description of Wiscasset.            164

and for its great advantages with respect to navigation, has never yet been published.

    Wiscasset is situated on the western branch of Sheepscot river, about twenty miles from the island of Seguin ;* which lies two miles off the neck, or point of land that separates the entrances into the rivers Kennebec and Sheepscot. The mouth of Kennebec is very narrow ; only about half a mile ; and the current exceedingly rapid. But the entrance into Sheepscot, for seven or eight miles above Seguin, presents the appearance of a large bay. The width gradually lessens. But even at the distance from its mouth, just mentioned, it is two miles and upwards. Five miles below Wiscasset, the river becomes much more confined, and the banks are high. In some places, it is little more than half a mile. The water is very deep, generally from fifteen to twenty fathoms.

    In one place, a mile below Wiscasset, where the river is only about one hundred rods wide, there are not more than eleven fathoms. There is not less water in any place in the river, below this settlement: and it is navigable for the largest ships with perfect safety, as high as this place. In the year 1775, two British men of war came up the river opposite the town. And merchant ships of more than five hundred tons are owned here ; which lay afleet at low water, when loaded, at some of the wharves.

    Against the compact part of the town, and for a short distance above and below, the river is nearly a mile wide. The navigation is rather difficult for large vessels above this place. But those of an hundred tons may safely ascend about four miles higher up the river, to New-Castle. Here is a fall of water, which prevents any other craft than boats to proceed farther into the country. The tide-water continues yet five miles higher, where the river is very small, and fit only for the business of mills ; several of which are here advantageously situated.

    Over the river, half a mile above the fall, there is a toll bridge, built in 1795, which is fix hundred feet in length.

    The land, where is the compact and mercantile part of the town, approaches to a point ; or, is rather two sides of a parallellogram ; the longest of which is the bank of the

* This island is in lat. 43 52. long. 68.

A Description of Wiscasset.            165

river, lying about N. by E. and S. by W.; and the shortest side, the margin of a small bay, or inlet, which, on the south of the settlement, encroaches on the main about one hundred and forty rods, for the distance of three fourths of a mile.

    The course of the river, from its mouth, both above and below Wiscasset, is nearly N. by E. But in some places, for short distances, it varies from this direction. A little below Wiscasset point, it is diverted from its general course to a N. W. one, where the bed of the river is narrow ; but soon again continues its usual direction.

    On the west side of Sheepscot river, near its mouth, is Parker's island. This is in Georgetown ; and extends a few miles, when the island of Jeremysquam continues to bound this shore of the river, within a mile of Wiscasset point. This island extends about twelve miles in length, and is in some places a mile and a half; but generally from one to half a mile wide. The western side of this island is separated from the southern part of Wiscasset, and from a part of Woolwich, (which is adjoining Wiscasset on the S. W.) by a cross river running from Sheepscot, and falling into the Kennebec opposite to Bath, about eight miles from its mouth. This cross river meets the Sheepscot about a mile south of Wiscasset point, where the course of this latter river, for a short distance, makes a right angle with its general direction ; and thus a bay is formed of about two miles by one ; which is very convenient and pleasant.

    The cross river communicating with Kennebec, is a great advantage to Wiscasset. Lumber of all kinds is brought here from various parts of the Kennebec, and from Amariscoggin. Vessels of seventy and eighty tons pass through this cross river loaded. And a new light ship of 400 tons has been carried through here, by taking advantage of the tide and current, which, in some places, where the river is narrow, is very rapid.

    Beside the great depth, and the comparative stilness of the water in Sheepscot, there is another advantage for navigation, which it has over most other rivers in the District of Maine : It is seldom obstructed by ice in the coldest and longest winters. It has sometimes been known to be

A Description of Wiscasset.            166

frozen, for one or two days, about half the distance from the Point, where is the lowest wharf, to the narrows ; that is, half a mile. But even then, the ice was easily removed, And below this, it never freezes. Only once in six years, though there have been several very severe winters in this period, has the river been frozen as low as the Point, and then it continued only about twenty-four hours, A little higher, at the most northern wharves, the ice is often entirely across the river, and sometimes continues several days.

    The water here flows and ebbs from ten to fifteen feet ; generally about twelve ; which is nearly the same as at Boston. And it is remarkable, that at Portsmouth, Portland, and other places between this and Boston, the tide flows less than in these two harbours.

    There are ten considerable wharves in this place, one of which is 550 feet in length. It is about eighty rods higher up the river than that at the Point, which is adjoining the channel of the river. The long wharf also runs off to the edge of the channel ; so that very large vessels, laden, are afleet at these, when the water is the lowest.

    The compact part of the town consists of about one hundred and thirty dwelling-houses ; some of which are large and elegant. The stores are numerous ; and some of them spacious, and ornamental to the town. There are four streets running parallel with the river, distant from one another about twelve rods. These are intersected at right angles, about eighty rods north of the Point, by a street 140 feet wide, passing down a gentle decent by the meeting and court houses, (which are handsome buildings,) in almost a straight course to the head of the long wharf. This is the main street leading into the village from the W. and N. W. The street leading out of town to the eastward is the continuation of the third, which is parallel with the river. It leaves the main street about fifty rods from the river, and its course is straight for three quarters of a mile, when it winds to the N. E.

    On the east side of the river, opposite to Wiscasset, is the town of Edgecombe. The island of Jeremysquam, which lies on the west side of the Sheepscot below Wiscasset, and as high up as the narrows, before mentioned, belongs

A Description of Wiscasset.            167

to this town, and not to Woolwich, as Judge Sullivan asserts in his History of Maine.

    What is now Pownalborough, (for Wiscasset* is the Indian name of the Point only, though the village is generally known by this name,) is bounded N. and N. by E. by New-Milford, which was incorporated in 1793 : It was before called the north parish of Pownalborough : On the N. W. by Dresden, lying on the eastern bank of Kennebec, which was set off from this town at the same time with New-Milford : On the W. and S. W. it is separated from Woolwich by a small stream called Monseag, up which the tide flows some distance, from the cross river, leading into Kennebec : And the water of this cross river washes the south part of Pownalborough.

    The town extends nearly eight miles from S. by W. to N. by E. ; and is four miles in the opposite directions. It contains about three hundred and fifty families, and two thousand inhabitants ; two thirds of which are in the village at the Point. Nearly half the town is cleared , and there are some very good farms. But the land in general is too clayey to be profitable for tilling. For grass, it is very good.

    A great part of the land on the sea coast, and within twenty miles of it, in the District of Maine, contains a large proportion of clay ;+ and while every man possesses an extensive farm, it is not to be expected that the clayey lands will produce much beside grass, barley, and potatoes; as they cannot afford to mix with it a sufficient quantity of sand and manure to render it suitable for the profitable culture of corn and grain in general. But when they shall be contented to hold and cultivate less land, and shall learn to mix sand or shells with the clay, it will produce all kinds of roots, grain and fruits in the greatest plenty. For it has been found that clayey lands are the best for gardens, when prepared by a mixture of sand and manure.

    The land farther from the sea coast, and for a great distance into the country, and parallel to the ocean, is of a very superior quality. It is generally of the richest loam, and

* Formerly it was pronounced Wissacasset by the Indians ; and is said to mean the confluence of three waters or rivers.
+ There are some exceptions to this general remark

A Description of Wiscasset.            168

produces all kinds of grain as abundantly as any part of New-England. And it is fettling and improving in a most rapid manner.

    There are a few good orchards in Pownalborough But the cultivation of the apple tree is too much neglected. The common red cherry is found here in great abundance. There are also some plumb trees. And the pear undoubtedly might be successfully cultivated ; for it is generally found on clayey ground. A few peach trees have been raised in this and the neighbouring towns. But the general opinion is, that this fruit will not grow in this part of the country. This, however, is a mistaken idea ; and adopted probably to excuse the negligence of the people. If particular spots were chosen, lying to the south, and of a light or loamy soil, no doubt they would succeed. General Knox, who lives about thirty miles eastward of this place, has in his garden a great number of peach and apricot trees of two and three years growth ; and they look as flourishing and vigorous as those in the vicinity of Boston.

    Currants, rasberries, gooseberries and strawberries grow here, and in most parts of the country, in great abundance. And there is a fruit called the moose plumb, nearly as large as the apricot, natural to the climate, which would probably be much better, if carefully cultivated.

    The wood is chiefly ever-green, such as the fir, spruce, hemlock, white pine, and yellow, or Norway pine. There is also a considerable proportion of maple, of different kinds, of birch and beech. In the adjoining towns, there is a great quantity of oak.

    The extremes of heat and cold in this place do not differ much from Boston.* There are not so many very warm days here in summer, as in the vicinity of Boston, but some when the mercury rises as high within two or three degrees. And in winter, the mercury has been found not to be more than two degrees lower ; but yet there is more cold weather here during the winter.

    Pownalborough was incorporated in 1760, the same year that the county of Lincoln was separated from Cumberland:

* Dr. Morse is mistaken, when he says that the heat here is greater than at Boston.

A Description of Wiscasset.            169

and it owes its name "to the pride of Governor Pownal."

    There were some settlements made in this vicinity, as early as the year 1661. One Walter Phillips purchased land at that time of some Indian chiefs, and lived several years on the western banks of Damariscotta river, now within the town of New-Castle, which lies above Wiscasset. Between this period and 1680, there were many families in this vicinity ; the greater part of them on the eastern banks of Sheepscot in New-Castle. The inhabitants were mostly Dutch ; and were under the government of New-York and Hudson's River. They were driven off by the Indians, in 1680.

    About this time, there were a few families at Wiscasset. One George Davie settled here in 1663. It is said he lived about half a mile north of the Point, on an eminence, fifty rods from the river. A brother of his, and two others, lived here at the same period. But they all fled in 1680. The widow of one of these Davies died in Newton, near Boston, in 1752, aged 116. There is a portrait of her in the room of the Historical Society.

    George Davie had also purchased a large tract of land of some Indians. "This came by inheritance and transfer to a number of wealthy men, who, in 1734, associated under the name of the Boston company. Wiscasset Point is in this tract."

    "The settlements begun again by one Robert Hooper, in 1730. Foye and Lambert came in '34. And the proprietors soon after lotted out the lands for settlement." * Hooper lived some time by the side of a large rock, a little south of Main-street, and about three rods from the river, where now stands the house of Jeremiah Dalton.+

    A few years after this, some families settled on the cross river, about two miles from Wiscasset Point; the names of which were Boynton, Taylor, Young, and Chapman. And in 1745, one Hilton from Dover, New-Hampshire, set down by Monseag river, which separates Woolwich from Pownalborough.

* Sullivan's History of the District of Maine.
+ A daughter of Hooper, Mrs. Taylor, is now living in Pownalborough. She was nine months old when she was brought to the place.

A Description of Wiscasset.            170

But they were kept in continual fear by the Indians ; and frequently were obliged to shelter themselves in the fort, which stood at the Point. Hilton was killed by the Indians ; and his oldest son, now living in this town, was taken and carried to Canada ; but re-turned the year after. A captain Williamson, who died here in 1798, aged 80, was also taken and carried to Quebec, but was soon released.

    The post road from Boston to St. George's river and Penobscot passes through this town. And a post-office has been established here eleven years. The mail arrives twice a week from Boston ; twice from Hallowell by a cross post, and twice from the eastward.

    Wiscasset is a port of entry and delivery. And there are owned here nearly thirty square-rigged vessels ; some of them very large. They amount to about 10,000 tons. They are lately chiefly employed in the west-India trade. Until within a few years, the merchants sent all their large vessels to England and Scotland with lumber. And some still pursue the same line of business. But the other is found to be more profitable. For the last three years, the merchants have added greatly to their property by trading to the Islands.

    Wiscasset is justly considered a very healthy situation ; and this is also true of most other towns in the District of Maine. More persons die of consumption, than of any other disease. And this is most probably owing to the too frequent use of spirit and tea. A great proportion of the common people are intemperate in the use of spiritous liquors ; and often drink tea twice a day ; which must be very injurious to the constitution. If they could be persuaded to reform in these respects, they would preserve both their health and their property.

    For the last six years, the deaths, on an average, have been 13 a year. The births annually are upwards of 60. And very few die in infancy. And if children were rightly managed from the time of their birth ; if they were used to frequent cold washings and to the fresh air, and were kept cleanly, it would be very rare that any of them die, except by some malignant, contagious disease.

    Several of the inhabitants of this place were from England,

Witham Marshe's Journal.            171

Scotland, or Ireland ; some of whom were Episcopalians, and some Presbyterians ; but they are all happily united with the rest of the people, who form a Congregational Society. The Rev. Thomas Moore was the first ordained minister. He was settled in 1773.

    Wiscasset is the principal shire town in the County of Lincoln. The Court of Pleas sets here once, the Supreme Judicial Court once, and the Federal District Court twice, a year.

Witham Marshe's Journal of the Treaty with the Six Nations by the Commissioners of Maryland, and other Provinces, at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, June, 1744.

Saturday, June the 16th, 1744.

    THIS day the Hon. Edmund Jenings, and the Hon. Philip Thomas, Esqrs. of the council of state in Maryland, having heretofore been appointed (by a special power from his Excellency Thomas Bladen, Esq. Governor, under his hand, and the seal of that province) commissioners for treating with the Six Nations of Indians, on behalf of the province, concerning some lands claimed by them, and to renew all former treaties betwixt the Six Nations and this government, agreed to proceed on their embassy.

    I was required by them to stay at Annapolis, and receive the bills of exchange (to defray our expenses) from Mr. Ross, clerk of the council ; and, after receiving the bills on Sunday, P. M. I went to Mr. Thomas's, where I lodged that night.

    Sunday, 17th. Mr. Commissioner Jenings went over Chesapeake Bay, as also did Mr. Benedict Calvert, who accompanied him to the treaty.

Monday, June 18th, 1744.

    Breakfasted at Mr. Thomas's about 8 o'clock this morning, and soon after set out with him, and the Rev. Mr. Craddock, (who accompanied us in quality of chaplain to the Maryland commissioners) for Patapscoe. Arrived at James Moore's ordinary, at the head of Severn river, about one o'clock, where we dined ; but such a dinner was prepared...

Account of the Trade of Newfoundland.        219

An Account of the whole Trade and Shipping of the Island of Newfoundland for the year 1799, taken from the custom-house books.

                Number of vessels
Shipping. Number of tons 34,225
               Number of men
Hundred weight of bread and flour 44,215
Barrels of beef and pork 13,062
Hundred weight of butter and cheese 5,115
Bushels of salt 566,201
Pounds of tea
Hundred weight of refined sugar 97½
Hundred weight of Muscovado sugar 1,726
Gallons of mobiles 168,104
Gallons of rum 168,936
Gallons of gin and brandy 9,431
Gallons of wine 20,787
Hogsheads of beer and cider 793
Pounds of coffee
Pounds of tobacco 120,663
Pounds of soap and candles
Chaldrons of coals 1,495
Barrels of pitch and tar 1,242
Thousand feet of planks and boards 541,856
Thousand of shingles 150
Number of masts and spars 306
Number of bullocks and cows
Number of sheep 505
Bushels of Indian corn 1,437
                Number of vessels
Shipping. Number of tons 33,503
               Number of men
Quintals of dry cod fish 453,337
Quintals of core fish 13,995
Tierces of salmon 2,642
Barrels of herrings 202
Tons of oil 3,017
Number of seal skins 74,181

A Bill for better Regulating Charter and Proprietary Governments.         220

Number of the British Subjects, Men, Women, and Children, in the Colonies of North-America, taken from militia rolls, poll taxes, bills of mortality, returns from governors, and other authentic authorities. from the London Magazine, for May, 1755.

THE colonies of Halifax and Lunenburg in Nova-Scotia 5000
New-Hampshire 30000
Massachusetts-Bay 220000
Rhode-Island and Providence 35000
Connecticut 100000
New-York 100000
The Jerseys 60000
Pennsylvania 250000
Maryland 85000
Virginia 85000
North-Carolina 45000
South-Carolina 30000
Georgia    6000
Total number 1,051000

    Exclusive of the military forces in the pay of the government, and negroes.

A Bill for better regulating of Charter and Proprietary Governments in America, and for the encouragement of the trade of this kingdom and of his majesty's plantations.

    WHEREAS, by virtue of several Charters and Letters Patents, under the Great Seal of England, passed and granted by his Majesty's roya1 predecessors, the several colonies, provinces, and plantations of the Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Carolina, and the Bahama or Lucay Islands, in America, have been granted unto several

Charter and Proprietary Governments.            221

persons, whereby the grantees are not only made proprietors of the soil and lands comprehended in the said places, but lords and governors thereof; and have such large and unlimited powers, as have given them a pretence to assume absolute government and authority over his Majesty's subjects : And whereas the severing of such power and authority from the Crown, and placing the same in the hands of the subjects, hath, by experience, been found prejudicial to the trade of this kingdom, and to the welfare and security of his Majesty's subjects in these, as well as in the other plantations in America, and to his Majesty's revenue arising from the customs, as well by reason of the disability of the proprietors to defend and protect his Majesty's subjects under the government, in case of any attempt of the Indians, or other enemy, as by the many irregularities committed by the governors of the said proprietary governments, as by others in authority under them there :

    Be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That the King's Majesty, his heirs, and successors, shall from the         of         have the sole power and authority of governing the said plantations and colonies, and every of them, and of appointing the governors, councellors, judges, justices of the peace, and of all other officers for the administration and execution of justice there, and of pardoning offences there ; the said power and authority to be for ever united to the Imperial Crown of these realms, any grants, usages, or other matter or thing to the contrary in any wife notwithstanding.

    Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend any ways to alter, or take away, diminish or abridge the right or title which any person, persons, or bodies politic or corporate have, or lawfully may have or claim to any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any other matter or thing (the authority and powers aformentioned only excepted) by virtue of the said grants, or any other charter or letters patents, or by virtue of any right or title derived from or under such grants, charters, or letters patents, by any mean, assignments, or conveyances,

Dedications to Eliot's Indian Bible.         222

or otherwise howsoever. Provided also, That all such laws, made in the said respective plantations, which are now in force there, and have been confirmed and approved of by his Majesty's predecessors, or by his Majesty, or shall be hereafter confirmed by his Majesty, his heirs and successors, shall be of the same force and effect, as they would have been, if this act had not been made : And that all laws, hereafter to be made by the general assemblies of the said respective plantations, shall be made with consent of the respective governors thereof, to be appointed by his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, subject to the confirmation or disallowance of his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, and that appeals shall be allowed to his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, from the judgments, decrees, and sentence to be given and made in the courts of the said respective plantations, as appeals are allowed and used in other his Majesty's plantations ; any law, statute, or usage, contrary hereunto, in any wise notwithstanding.

Dedications to the Rev. John Eliot's Indian version of the Old and New Testament.

[Printed at Cambridge, N. E. by Samuel Green and Marmaduke Johnson. 1663.]

[The following dedications to the translation of the old and new testament in the indian language, by the celebrated Eliot, are great curiosities. Such were annexed only to the few copies sent to England : and are of course the very scarce appendages of a very scarce book. Of six copies of the indian bible, which I have seen, no one possessed these dedications. The following were taken from a mutilated copy, used in a barber's shop for waste paper. From this intended destruction they were eagerly snatched, by the hand which writes this, as truly valuable relicks.]

To the High and Mighty Prince, Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.

The Commissioners of the United Colonies in New-England, wish increase of all happiness, &c.

Most Dread Soveraign,

    IF our weak apprehensions have not misled us, this Work will be no unacceptable Present to Your Majesty, as

Dedications to Eliot's Indian Bible.            223

having a greater Interest therein, than we believe is generally understood: which (upon this Occasion) we conceive it our Duty to declare.

    The People of these four Colonies (Confederate for Mutual Defence, in the time of the late Distractions of our dear Native Country) Your Majesties natural born Subjects, by the Favour and Grant of Your Royal Father and Grandfather of Famous Memory, put themselves upon this great and hazardous Undertaking, of Planting themselves at their own Charge in these remote ends of the Earth, that without offence or provocation to our dear Brethren and Countrymen, we might enjoy that liberty to Worship God, which our own Conscience informed us, was not onely our Right, but Duty : As also that we might (if it so pleased God) be instrumental to spread the light of the Gospel, the knowledg of the Son of God our Saviour, to the poor barbarous Heathen, which by His late Majesty, in some of our Patents, is declared to be His principal aim.

    These honest and pious Intentions, have, through the grace and goodness of God and our Kings, been seconded with proportionable success : for, omitting the Immunities indulged us by Your Highness Royal Predecessors, we have been greatly incouraged by Your Majesties gracious expressions of Favour and Approbation signified, unto the Address made by the principal of our Colonies, to which the rest do most cordially Subscribe, though wanting the like seasonable opportunity, they have been (till now) deprived of the means to Congratulate Your Majesties happy Restitution, after Your long suffering, which we implore may yet be graciously accepted, that we may be equal partakers of Your Royal Favour and Moderation ; which hath been so Illustrious that (to admiration) the animosities and different Perswasions of men have been so soon Composed, and so much cause of hope, that (unless the sins of the Nation prevent) a blessed Calm will succeed the late horrid Confusions of Church and State. And shall not we {Dread Soveraign) your Subjects of these Colonies, of the same Faith and Belief in all Points of Doctrine with our Countrymen, and the other Reformed Churches, (though perhaps not alike perswaded in some matters of Order, ...

Some Account of the severe Drought, 1749.       239

Some Account of the severe Drought in 1749, from a MS. of Mr. James Blake, of Dorchester.

    "THIS summer was the severest drought in this country that has ever been known in the memory of the oldest persons among us. It was a dry spring ; and by the latter end of May the grass was burnt up, so that the ground looked white : and it was the 6th day of July, before any rain (to speak of) came. The earth was dried like powder to a great depth ; and many wells, springs, brooks, and small rivers were dried up, that were never known to fail before : and the fish in some of the rivers died. The pastures were so scorched, that there was nothing green to be seen ; and the cattle waxed poor, and by their lowing seemed to call upon their owners for relief,

Some Account of the severe Drought, 1749.         240

who could not help them. Although the dry grass was eaten so close, that there were but a few thin spires to be seen, yet several pastures took fire, and burnt fiercely. My pasture took fire near the barn, by a boy's dropping a coal as he was carrying fire to the water-side; and though there seemed to be so little grass, yet what there was, by the ground's being so dry, blazed and flamed like gunpowder, and run very fast along the ground, and in one place burnt some fence : and we were forced to work hard to keep it from the barn, and to extinguish, it ; having the help of sundry men that happened to be here. It spread over about half an acre of ground before we could atop it ; and where there were lumps of cow-dung, it would burn till the whole lump was consumed, and burn a hole in the ground ; and we were obliged to use much water to quench it.

    "There was a great scarcity of hay, being but a very little cut of the first crop ; and salt-marsh failed nearly as much as the English meadow. English hay was then sold for £.3 and £.3--10, old tenor, per hundred. Barley and oats were so pinched, that many had not much more than their feed again ; and many cut down their grain, before it was ripe, for fodder. Flax almost wholly failed, as also garden herbs of all sorts ; and the Indian corn rolled up and wilted. And there was a melancholy prospect of the greatest dearth that ever was known in this land.

    "In the time of our fears and distress, the government ordered a day of public fasting and prayer : and God was graciously pleased to hear and answer our petitions in a very remarkable manner : for, about the 6th of July, the course of the weather altered, and there came such seasonable and plentiful rains, as quite changed the face of the earth ; and that grass which we generally concluded was wholly dead, and could not come again under several years, was revived, and there was a good second crop of mowing, it looking more like the spring than the latter part of the year : and the Indian corn recovered, and there was a very good harvest.

    "And whereas it was thought, in the fall of the year, that a multitude of cattle must die for want of food, insomuch that they sent and fetched hay from England ; yet

Bill against Mary Osgood.        241

God in his providence ordered us a moderate winter, and we were carried comfortably through it, and I did not hear of many, if any, cattle that died. But by reason of so many cattle having been killed off last fall, beef, mutton, and butter are now, in May, 1750, very dear. Butter is 7s 6 old tenor pr. lb.

    "Upon the coming of the rains, and renewing of the earth, last fall, the government appointed a day of public thanksgiving.

    "[This summer, June 18th was said to be the hottest day that was ever known in the northerly part of America.]"

Grand Jury's Bill against Mary Osgood.

Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New England. Essex, ss.} Anno R. & Reginæ Gulielmi et Mariæ Anglice, &c. Quarto.

Annoq. Domini 1692.

    THE jurors for our sovereign lord and lady, the King and Queen, present, that Mary Osgood, wife of Capt. John Osgood, of Andover, in the county of Essex, about eleven years ago, in the town of Andover aforesaid. wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously, a covenant with the Devil did make, and signed the Devil's Book, and took the Devil to be her God, and consented to serve and worship him, and war; baptized by the Devil, and renounced her former Christian baptism, and promised to be the Devil's, both body and soul forever, and to serve him ; by which diabolical covenant, by her made with the Devil, she the said Mary Osgood is become a detestable Witch, against the peace of our sovereign lord and lady, the king; and Queen, their crown and dignity, and the laws in that case made and provided.

Billa vera. Robert Page, Foreman. Ponit se. Non cul :—found.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        242

Biographical Notice of the Rev. James Noyes, first minister of Newbury.

    REVEREND James Noyes was born in England, at Choulderton, in Wiltshire, in the year 1608. His father was a minister of that town : His mother a sister of the Rev. Robert Parker.

    He had his education, chiefly, under Mr. Thomas Parker, the son of Robert. By him he was invited from Brazen-nose college, in Oxford, to assist in the care and charge of the public school at Newbury ; and which they kept together until they came into New-England, in 1634.

    Soon afterwards they began a settlement, to which they gave the name of Newbury ; gathered a church, and Mr. Parker became the pastor, and Mr. Noyes the teacher. In this station, Mr. Noyes continued for something more than twenty years.

    His sickness was long and tedious, which he bore with patience, and even cheerfulness, and died October 22d, 1656, in the 48th year of his age. He left six sons and two daughters, all of whom lived to be married. Two of his sons, James and Moses, were educated at Harvard college ; commenced in 1659, and were settled in the ministry in Connecticut.

    James was pastor of a church in Stonington, and died December 30th, in the year 1719, in the 81st year of his age, and 56th of his ministry.

    Moses was pastor of a church in Lyme. He died Nov. 10th, 1729, in the 86th year of his age, after having resided with his people 60 years.

A Description and Historical Account of the Isles of Shoals.

    SITUATlON.] THERE are eight Islands in the cluster that bears this name, compactly situated, viz. Hog Island, of about 350 acres ; Star Island, of about 150 acres ; Haley's, or Smutty-Nose Island, of about 100 acres. These are the principal, and the only ones that

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        243

are habitable. The others are Cedar; White, Londonners's, Malaga, and Duck Islands ; the largest of which contains about eight acres, the smallest one acre. They lie nine miles S. E. of Portsmouth light-house, (N. H.) and 21 N. E. of the light-houses at Newburyport. N. Lat. 42°. 59'. W. Long , from London, 70°. 30'. The line, which divides New-Hampshire from Maine, passes between these islands, leaving Haley's, Hog, Duck, Cedar and Malaga isles, on the N. E. in Maine ; and the others on the S. W. in New-Hampshire.* Some have entertained the idea, that these islands, at some former period, joined to some of the points or bluffs, that project from the main, near Hampton. The Rev. Mr. Tuck was of this opinion.+

    Discovery.] These islands were discovered by the celebrated Capt. John Smith, in 1614, and by him named Smith's Isles. For reasons unknown to the writer, they shortly after obtained their present name. The deed given by the Indian sagamores to John Wheelright and others, in 1629, includes "the Isles of Shoals, so called by the English."¥

    Harbour.] The only secure harbour in these islands is Haley's, which opens to the S. W. having Haley's island S. E. Malaga N. W. a wall, built by Mr. Haley, between 70 and 80 paces in length, on the N. E. This little, well sheltered harbour is of great importance, not only to the fishermen of these islands, but to merchant vessels coming on this coast, who, not infrequently, have been obliged to put into the Shoals, in distress. Many lives and much property have been saved by means of this harbour, and the timely and humane exertions of these hardy islanders. The wall, which secures this harbour, is in a state of decay. The enterprising proprietor is unable to make the necessary repairs. The security and enlargement of this harbour is

* In Governor Wentworth's commission of 1764, the boundaries of New-Hampshire are described in part as follows : "And by a dividing line, parting the Isles of Shoals, and running through the middle of the harbour between the said islands to the sea, on the south-easterly side, the south-westerly part of said Islands, to be accounted part of our province of New-Hampshire." The above line meets the south line of New-Hampshire, at a point a few miles eastward of the Shoals.
+ MS. Letter of Judge Sewall to the author.
¥ See Belknap's History, vol. I. Ap. p. 2.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        244

an object which deserves the attention of the public. These islands are conveniently situated for the smuggling trade ; and unless some measures be taken by the government of the United States, to prevent it, by establishing a free port here, or making it a place of strength, it may be used for that purpose.+

    Face of the Islands, &c.] These islands have a dreary and inhospitable appearance, and but for their advantageous situation for carrying on the fisheries, would probaly never have been inhabited. They are a bed of rocks, raising their disjointed heads above the water. The greater part of their surface is covered with a thin foil, yielding grass sufficient to support, during the summer and autumn, twenty or thirty cows, and about 150 sheep. The sheep raised here are usually killed before winter. Nearly half the sward, on Star Island, has, within a few years, been cut up by the necessitous inhabitants, dried and burnt, instead of more solid fuel.

    Upon all the islands there are chasms in the rocks, several yards wide, and from one to ten deep, occasioned, if we may judge from appearances, by some violent earthquake. In some places, acres of rock are broken off from the reft of the island ; and through the cracks or guts, the water, at high tides and in storms, rushes in torrents. The most remarkable of these chasms is on the S. E. point of Star island, in which is a place, where, tradition says, one Betty Moody secreted herself when the Indians visited the island, and carried off many female captives, and thence called, to this day "Betty Moody's hole." Others say she was drowned here.

    Climate.] The worthy Mr. Tuck used to say, that, in the winter season, the weather at the Shoals was "a thin under waistcoat warmer, than in the same parallel of latitude on the main." About a century ago, the ice extended from Star to Hog island. In January, 1697, the men were obliged to cut the ice, in order to get their shallops

+ In 1766, the town of Gosport (Star Island) voted to petition the General Court of New-Hampshire for a lottery to build a pier in the cove before the town. What became of this petition is not known. A pier was afterwards begun, but never finished. It is a work much wanted in that place.                 
* Town Records.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        245

into the cove.* As will easily be supposed, the weather is very bleak here in winter, but it is delightfully cool and salubrious in summer, and at all seasons very healthful, Amidst all the exposures necessary to their occupation, the inhabitants have seldom need of a physician ; and no one of this profession has lived on the island for more than twenty years.+ The inhabitants are not remarkable for longevity. A considerable number perish at sea. "In 1632, a fishing shallop at the Isle of Shoals was overset."+ Many boats and men were destroyed by a violent N. E. storm in February, 1695 ; and the year following, fix or seven boats were taken by the French.§ In the winter of 1801, a fishing schooner, with all her hands, was loft in the fame way. Such accidents have very frequently happened to the inhabitants of these isles ; but we have not dates or particulars of these events.

    Productions.] These islands lie in common, except a few small inclosures for gardens and mowing ground ; the former yielding to their proprietors a scanty supply of roots, and other garden fluff for summer ; the latter from about three to six tons of hay. || A few willows and lombardy poplars, planted by the inhabitants, are the only trees on these islands. Whortle-berries, choak-plums, and a few cranberries, are found on Hog and Haley's isles.

    Water.] There are no fresh-water streams on these islands, and but one perennial spring, which is on Hog island. ¶ The wells, which are rare, are none of them more than twelve feet deep, generally less. The clouds furnish

* Kelley's Journal MS.                                                   
+ The physicians of Portsmouth have usually attended the sick on these isles.
++ Winthrop's Journal, p. 37.
§ Kelley's Journal.
|| A woman, by the name of Pusley, died on Star island about the year 1795, nearly 90 years old. In her life time she kept two cows. The hay, on which they fed in winter, she used to cut in summer, among the rocks, with a knife, with her own hands. She usually collected in this way about half a ton. Her cows, it was remarked, were always in excellent order. They were taken from her, and paid for, by the British, about the year 1775, and killed, to the no small grief of the good old woman. The beef was pronounced to be of the very best kind.
¶ See the petition of Cutts, &c. under another head.

Description of the isles of Shoals.        246

the inhabitants with the greater part of their water for domestic uses.

    Fort.] On the west point of Star island, on an eminence, are the ruins of a small fort, which was defended formerly by nine cannon, four-pounders. This fort was dismantled at the commencement of the late war, and the cannon carried to Newburyport.

    Population.] For more than a century previous to the American revolutionary war, these islands, considering their size and situation, were populous, containing from three to six hundred souls. On Hog island, which is now without an inhabitant, there were between twenty and thirty families, who, in general, were good livers. In so prosperous a state were these islands formerly, that gentlemen, from some of the principal towns on the sea coast, sent their sons here for literary instruction. They had a court-house on Haley's island ; a meeting-house, first on Hog island, and afterwards on Star island. This island, under the jurisdiction of New-Hampshire, was erected into a town, by the name of Gosport,+ (at some former period called Appledore), which was organized with the proper officers, and its political concerns managed with great propriety. But it was found that these islands afforded sustenance, and recruits, to the enemy, early in the war ; in consequence, the inhabitants were ordered to quit the islands. In obedience to government, the greater part of the people dispersed into the seaport towns along the coast, and most of them never after returned. About twenty families removed to Old-York, where their descendants now live. The few who remained, four or five families excepted, have been a miserable set of beings, extremely poor, dirty, and wicked. In the autumn of 1800, there were but eighteen families on all these islands, fifteen on Star, and three on Haley's island, containing in all 112 souls. These islands, being probably the best situation for carrying on the fisheries in America, if the patronage of government could be extended to them, and a few men of capital, industry and integrity were to establish themselves here, might furnish employment, support, and even

+ In 1728, Gosport paid into the treasury of New-Hampshire £.16-00-4, as her proportion of a tax of £.1000.

Description of the isles of Shoals.         247

affluence, to 600, or even 1000 people ; and be an excellent nursery for seamen to man our infant navy.

    Present state of these Islands.] At the close of the year 1800, there were, on Haley's island, three decent dwelling-houses, occupied by Mr. Haley, an ingenious and respectable old gentleman, of seventy-six, and his two sons, with their families. In these three families were twenty souls. Mr. Haley has expended a handsome fortune in erecting the expensive wall before mentioned, wharves, and other useful works. Among these are a wind-mill, rope-walk, 270 feet long, salt-works, erected before the war, a bake-house, brewery, distillery, built in 1783, and a blacksmith's and cooper's shop. These works, in consequence of the unprosperous state of these islands, are all going to decay.

    On Star island, are eleven dwelling-houses, if they may be so called. Four excepted, they appear to be, of all abodes of human beings, the most loathsome. In the fall of 1800, by the hand of charity, they received some slight repairs. Interspersed among these, are ten other buildings for curing and storing fish.

    Fisheries.] Before the war, when the islands were in a flourishing state, there were annually caught here, and cured for the market, from three to four thousand quintals of fish. At that time, seven or eight schooners, besides boats, were employed in this business ; and some used to extend their fishing voyages to the banks of Newfoundland.

    About the year 1730, and afterwards, the fisheries on these islands increased to that degree, that three or four ships used to load here, annually, with winter and spring merchantable fish, for Bilboa, in Spain, and smaller vessels for other places. Besides, a large quantity of cod and scale fish were carried to Portsmouth, for the West-India market.*

    The usual drink of the fishermen, at that period, was a liquor which they called bounce, composed of two thirds spruce beer and one third wine. But, in a course of years, they gradually left off the use of this wholesome drink, and substituted in its place, ardent spirits, which has been a principal

* MS. letter from C. Chauncey, Esq.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        248

mean of the lamentable degeneracy of these people.+

    Whale-boats, only, are now employed in this fishery. In the autumn of 1800, 13 boats, 10 owned on Star, and three on Haley's island, belonged to these islanders. From a thousand to fifteen hundred quintals of fish are caught here annually ; from 100 to 250 quintals of which are what is called winter or dumb fish. In the winter and spring of 1800, when bait was plenty, and the season favourable, about 300 quintals of winter fish were taken ; in 1788, when bait was scarce, and the season bad, only thirty-five quintals were caught.

    The winter or dumb fish are thought, by the fishermen, to be a "fairer, larger, and thicker fish," than tthose caught in the same places in summer. This difference may probably be satisfactorily accounted for, from the difference in the season of the year. The winter and summer fish are doubtless of the same species. They are cured also in the same manner, except that the former, on account of the coldness of the weather, require less salt. The trouble of taking and curing the winter fish is much greater than of the summer, because the days are shorter, and the season unfavourable for drying them. The hardships endured in taking the winter fish are inconceivable by all but eye witnesses. In summer, the fishing is carried on chiefly in the night.

    The following is the process of making the fish.

    The fish, in the first place, are thrown from the boats in piles on the shore. The cutter then takes them and cuts their throats, and rips open their bellies. In this state he hands them to the header, who takes out the entrails, (detaching the livers, which are preserved for the sake of the oil they contain) and breaks oft their heads. The splitter then takes out the back-bone, and splits them completely open, and hands them to the salter, who salts and piles them in bulk, where they lie from ten to twenty hours, as is most convenient. The shoremen and the women then wash and spread them on the flakes. Here they remain three or four weeks, according to the weather ; during which time they are often turned, piled in faggots,

+ MS. letter from C. Chauncey, Esq.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        249

and then spread again, till they are completely cured for the market.

    The winter or dumb fish lie from ten to fourteen days in salt, and are very carefully dried, and secured in bad weather. The season for catching and curing these fish is from February to May, as the weather will allow.

    The haddock and hake (there is a great resemblance between these fishes) are caught in summer and fall, during the night. They lie in pickle from twelve to thirty-fix hours, and then are dry salted; after which they are spread upon the flakes ; and in good weather, their cure is completed in a week.

    The fish of all kinds, made on these islands, have the preference in market, and command a higher price. The dumb fish is consumed chiefly in New-England, and is considered, by connoisseurs in fish, the best in the world. Its price is from six to ten dollars a quintal.

    The hake is shipped to the west-Indies, to Spain, &c. The price at the Shoals is commonly about two dollars a quintal. The spring fish, which is next in quality to the dumb fish, is usually sent to Madeira. The summer cod-fish, called Jamaica fish, which goes to the west-Indies, is about three dollars a quintal.

    From the year 1754, to 1771, it appears from the records, that the salary of the Rev. Mr. Tucke was paid him in merchantable winter fish, a quintal a man. There were from eighty to a hundred men then on these islands ; and a quintal of fish was estimated at a guinea. His salary was considered, in his situation, as one of the most valuable, at that time, in New-England.

    Miscellanies, historical and humorous.] Mr. William Pepperell, and a Mr. Gibbons, from Topsham, in the west of England, two respectable gentlemen, were among the first settlers at the Shoals. For a year or two they carried on the fisheries in this place. They soon found it too limited for their views, and concluded to remove to some part of the main. To determine them whither they should go, they set up each a stick, and left them to fall as Providence should direct. Pepperell's fell N. W. Gibbon's fell towards the N. E. Each pursued, with enthusiasm, the course his stick pointed him ; and the former established

Description of the Isles of Shoals.      250

himself at the mouth of Piscataway river ; the latter is said to have obtained a grant of the tract, since called the Waldo Patent.*

    The following curious petition, &c. with the annexed remarks, were handed to the writer of the foregoing, by the Hon. David Sewall, Esq. of York.

    "The humble petition of Richard Cutt and------Cutting, sheweth, That John Renolds, contrary to an act in court, that no women shall live upon the IsIe of Shoals, hath brought his wife thither, with an intention there to live and abide ; and hath also brought upon Hog Island, a great stock of goats and hogs, which doth not only spoile and destroy much fish, to the great damage of several others, and likewise many of your petitioners ; but also doth spoile the spring of water that is on that island, by making it unfit or serviceable for any manner of use, which is the only relief and sustenance of all the rest of the islands. Your petitioners, therefore, pray that the said Renolds may be ordered to remove his said goats and swine from the islands forthwith. Also that the act of court, before mentioned, may be put in execution, to the removal of all women from inhabiting there ; and your petitioners shall pray, &c."

Order of Court on the above.

    "Whereas, by the abovementioned request, the general complaint of the chief of the fishermen, and others, of the Isle of Shoals, that it is a great annoyance and prejudice for Mr. John Renolds to keep his swine and goats at the Isle of Shoals ; it is by mutual consent of this court ordered, that Mr. Renolds shall, within twenty days, remove his swine and goats, that he hath at Hog Island, from thence, or any of those islands, that are inhabited with fishermen. And as for the removal of his wife, it is thought fit, if no further complaint come against her, she may as yet enjoy the company of her husband. Dated the 20th of Oct. 1647."

    Why a resolve or ordinance should have been made to prevent the residence of women at the Shoals, is left to conjecture. That there was, in fact, such a resolve, (although it is not to be found on record,) seems to be recognized by the court, in their order on Cutt and Cutting's petition

* MS. letter from C. Chauncey, Esq.                       

Description of the Isles of Shoals.        251

against Renolds. Perhaps some women of loose morals had occasionally gone thither, and disturbed the inhabitants ; a representation of which to the legislature (who, concerned for the morals of the people, appear to have exercised some extraordinary powers on certain occasions) may have induced them to pass such a resolve. On the records of Maine, is a precept from the court to a constable of Saco, to forbid a certain man, who was reported to be a married man, and to have left his wife in England, from paying his addresses to a widow woman, or even to go into her company ; and upon his persisting, after such notice, to carry him before a magistrate, to give bonds to comply with the order.

    While Mr. Brock resided at the Shoals, he persuaded the people to enter into an agreement, that, besides the Lord's-day, they would spend one day in every month together, in the worship of God. On a certain day, which, by their agreement, was to be devoted to the exercises of religion, the fishermen came to Mr. Brock, and requested that they might put by their meeting that day, and go a fishing, because they had lost many days by the foulness of the weather. He pointed out to them the impropriety of their request, and endeavoured to convince them that it would be far better for them to stay at home and worship God, according to their agreement, than to go a fishing. Notwithstanding his remonstrances, however, five only consented to stay at home, and thirty determined to go. Upon this, Mr. Brock addressed them thus : " As for you, "who are determined to neglect your duty to God, and go a fishing, I say unto you, catch fish if you can. But as for you, who will tarry and worship the Lord Jesus Christ,  I will pray unto him for you, that you may catch fish till you are weary." Accordingly the thirty who went from the meeting, with all their skill, caught, through the whole day, but four fishes ; while the five, who tarried and attended divine service, afterwards went out and caught five hundred. *

    "A fisherman, who had with his boat been very helpful

* This story is related from Mather's Magnalia, as "credibly attested," by the Rev. Mr. Fitch, of Portsmouth, in a sermon preached at the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Tucke, July 26, 1732.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.      252

to carry people over a river for the worship of God, on the Lord's-day, in the Isles of Shoals, lost his boat in a storm. The poor man lamented his loss to Mr. Brock, who told him, "Go home, honest man, I will mention the matter to the Lord ; you will have your boat against tomorrow." Mr. B. now considering of what consequence this matter, that seemed so small otherwise, might be among the intractable fishermen, made the boat an article of his prayers ; and behold, on the morrow, the poor man came to him rejoicing that his boat was found ; the anchor of another vessel, that was undesignedly cast upon it, having strangely brought it up, from the unknown bottom, where it had been sunk." *

    During the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Moody at the Shoals, one of the fishing shallops, with all hands on board, was lost in a N. E. storm in Ipswich bay. Mr. Moody, anxious to improve this melancholly event, for the awakening of those of his hearers, who were exposed to the like disaster, addressed them in the following language, adapted to their occupation and understanding : "Supposing, my brethren, any of you should be taken short in the bay, in a N. E. storm,+ your hearts trembling with fear, and nothing but death before you, whither would your thoughts turn ? what would you do ?"— "What would I do," replied one of these hardy sons of Neptune, "why I should immediately hoist the foresail and scud away for Squam." ++

    At a time when the famous Low and other pirates infested the American coast, they proved very troublesome to the fishermen at the Shoals, though they could obtain but little booty from them. One of these fishermen, (Charles Randall) with others, were taken by them, and having no property, these barbarous pirates whipped them with much severity ; after which they laid to them, " You know old Dr. Cotton Mather, do you ?"—" Yes," they

* Mather's Magnalia.
+ It must be noted, that when these fishermen are overtaken in the bay, between Cape Ann and the Shoals, in a N. E. storm, and the wind is so violent, that they cannot carry sail so as to beat in against it, Squam harbour, on the north side of Cape Ann, is their dernier resort.
++ C. Chauncey's MS. letter.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.                 253

replied, " we have heard of him as a very good man." "Well, then," said the pirates, "our orders are to make each of you jump up three times, and to say each time, "Curse Parson Mather," otherwise you are all to be hanged." To save their lives, they all complied. This information the writer of the letter had from Randall himself.+

    A worthy deacon, reading the following line in the old version of the Psalms,

    "And I know more than all the Ancients do"— read, by mistake, thus,

    "And I know more than all the Indians do"— one of the assembly, who had more wit than piety, acquainted with the craftiness and shrewdness of Indians, rose and addressed the good deacon, in a loud voice, " If you do, you are a plaguy cunning man."++

    At an early period after the settlement of these islands, tradition says, that a house, belonging to a Mr. Tucker, situated on the rocks near the water, on Haley's island,* during a violent storm, was washed from its foundation, and carried entire to Cape Cod, where it was taken up, and a box of linen, papers, &c. taken out of it, by which it was discovered whence it came. The family had just time to escape before the house went off.

    History.] These islands, as has been already mentioned, were discovered as early as 1614. The convenience of their situation for carrying on the fisheries, which was a principal object of the first settlers, induced them to fix on these islands as a place of their first settlement. Among the first inhabitants were the respectable names of Pepperell and Gibbons ; the former an ancestor of the celebrated Sir William Pepperell. The first settlers of these islands were a religious people, and felt the importance of having the worship of God regularly maintained among them. And it is remarkable, that till the year 1775 there was a constant succession of preachers of the word on these islands, though none of them, except Mr. Tucke, was ordained to the pastoral office in this place.

    Sometime before the year 1641, the inhabitants of these islands erected a meeting-house on Hog island ; and at this

+ C. Chauncey's letter.                         ++ Ibid.
* The spot where it stood is now shewn.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.         254

period the Rev. Mr. Hull was their minister ;+ he was probably the first who preached on these islands. When he began his ministry here, what was his character, and at what time he died or removed, is unknown.

    About the year 1650, the Rev. John Brock was invited to take the pastoral charge of the people on these isles. This worthy man came over to America when a youth, about the year 1637 ; six years after he entered Harvard College ; and in 1648 commenced a preacher of the gospel, first at Rowley, then he preached at these islands, till the year 1662, when he removed to Reading, where he continued to minister in holy things till June, 1688, when he died, in the 68th year of his age. He was a pious youth, a good man, a laborious minister, preaching not only on the sabbath, but frequent lectures to the members of the church, and to young people. These extraordinary religious exercises, he considered as means of rendering his public labours effectual to the people of his charge. He was faithful and diligent in his pastoral visits ; and from his happy talent in conversation, he made them instructive and useful. So remarkable was he for his piety and holiness, that it was said of him, by an eminent and venerable divine,++ that "he dwelt as near heaven as any man upon earth." Like the martyr Stephen, he was "a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." Several remarkable stories, some of which are "credibly attested," illustrative of his great piety, and of the efficacy of his prayers, are recorded by Dr. Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia. Some of these are related under another head.

    After the removal of Mr. Brock, the Rev. Mr. Belcher, a "worthy and excellent man,"* preached for some time to the people on these islands.

    It was about this time that the inhabitants on Hog island, either through fear of the Indians, who frequented Duck island, and thence made their plundering excursions upon them, and carrying into captivity their women, while they were abroad, a fishing, or from some other cause, deserted that island, and removed to Star Island, as a place

+ Neil's History of New-England, vol. I. page 196.
++ Rev. Mr. J. Mitchell, of Cambridge.
* Mr. Fitch's sermon, before mentioned.

Description of the Isles of Shoals.            255

of greater safety. Here they erected a new meeting-house, 28 by 48 feet, with a bell ; and some years afterwards (in 1706) invited Mr. Moody, a native of Salisbury, Massachusetts, to be their minister. He was a man of piety, and a pathetic and useful preacher, and remained here till 1733, when he left the Shoals, and settled as a school-master at Hampton, and afterwards at Newburyport, where he died of an apoplexy, April 17, 1768, aged 82 years. To him succeeded the Rev. John Tucke, who commenced his ministerial labours at the Shoals about the year 1730. In December of the following year, they gave him a unanimous call to settle among them in the work of the ministry, and offered him a very generous support.*

    * The following extracts from the town records of Star island, alias Gosport, are inserted as highly honorary to the character of those concerned in the transactions recorded.

    1731.    The freeholder, being legally warned, met on the 13th of December, 1731, and unanimously chose Rev. John Tooke + to be their minister.

    They voted to give him a salary of £.110, money or bills of credit, so long as it shall please God to continue him among us in the work of the ministry, nem. con. Voted to pay Mr. Tooke two thirds of his salary by the last of May, annually ; and one third by the last of September.

    Voted, to give Mr. Tooke £.50 in money, by the last of May next, towards building him a house, if he choose to build a house himself ; but in case he should hereafter remove, Mr. Tooke to give to the inhabitants the refusal of purchasing the house, and to abate £.50 in the price.

    [N. B. This house was taken down by Mr. Tooke's son-in-law, and carried to O. York, about the year 1780.]

    Voted to give Mr. T. a convenient place to set his house upon, and a garden spot, where he may choose.

    [N. B. This was on the top of the hill, near the meeting-house, and is still reserved as a parsonage lot.]

    Voted, to proceed to the ordination of Mr. Tooke, at a convenient time in the spring, in cafe of his acceptance of our call.

    1732.    April 28th. The freeholders of the town of Gosport, alias Star island, at a legal meeting, renewed their call to Mr. Tooke, and confirmed their former offer of support, with the addition, hand glyph That as the value of money shall fall, we will make the aforesaid one hundred and ten pounds as good as it now is, and will be ready to enlarge his salary as his circumstances shall require, and our own abilities allow. [An honourable evidence of their disposition to do justice.]

 + The true spelling of this name is Tucke.

Description of the isles of Shoals.         256-7

    Voted, that Mr. T's salary should begin the 1st day of October last.

    Voted, that we will give the Rev. John Tooke a constant contribution during his ministry among us ; the money that shall be marked shall go towards his salary ; and the money that shall not be marked, shall be given.

    Voted, that we will give Mr. Tooke the privilege of keeping one cow on the abovesaid island.

    The 26th of the next July was fixed for the ordination, provided the weather should permit the people on shore to come over ; if not, the first suitable time after.

    Voted, that the 13th day of July next, be observed as a day of fasting and prayer, to beg God's blessing on the affair of fettling a minister among us.

    A committee was appointed to make provision for carrying into effect the foregoing votes.

    [N. B. Mr. Thomas Lambert was appointed to record these votes. They are in a very neat hand-writing, well spelt, and correct in composition. The whole proceedings remarkably regular.]


Letter to the Reverend John Tooke.

    The freeholders and inhabitants of Star island, alias Gosport, assembled at the meeting-house, on said island, this 28th day of April, wishing health.


    We at this meeting have voted and agreed to sundry things, which, by the enclosed, you will be acquainted with. Mr. Andrew Chace, sen. and Mr. Samuel Emmery, are a committee to bring your answer to this meeting, that we may proceed farther, as to what is necessary and remaining. We beg you will send your answer as soon as possible, being all waiting. We remain your most humble servants,

John Michamere, Wm. Michamere, Ambrose Downs, Selectmen.



    To the freeholders and inhabitants of Star island, alias Gosport, this 28th day of April, assembled at the meeting-house on said island.


    It is some time since you called me to the work of the ministry among you ; to which call, by reason of many discouragements, and withal the very heavy stroke of Divine Providence, which has befallen me among you, has deferred my answer till this time ; and now, by the committee sent to me by you, I understand that you have both renewed that call, and confirmed former offers ; and also hoping that there is a prospect of doing good among you, I, relying on the strength of divine grace, accept of your call to me. But, brethren, I must say to you as in I Cor. 9, 14. So hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. The same I expect amongst you. I desire your prayers for me. In praying for me, you will pray for yourselves. The Apostle says, 1st of Thessalonians, 5. 25. Brethren, pray for us. And I hope that my poor prayers will be to God for you. I hope to say with the Apostle, Col. 1. 9. I do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

    I am yours to serve in the gospel,

Gosport, April 28, 1732.                                                     John Tooke.


Voted, that every fall of the year, when Rev. Mr John Tooke has his wood to carry home, every man who will not come, that is able to come, shall pay forty shillings old tenor.

* Mr. Fitch's Sermon, preached from Matth iv. 19. at his ordination.
++ Judge Sewall's letter to the author.
+ Their records inform, that the following officers were annually chosen : A moderator, three selectmen, a constable, town-clerk, two tything-men, two cullers of fish, and two corders of wood.

    Mr. Tucke was ordained to the work of the ministry, with the unanimous consent of the people, being the first and only minister of the gospel who was ordained to the pastoral office in this place.* Among the ministers, who assisted at his ordination, was the Rev. Samuel Moody, of York, who, in the course of the ordination service, used the following pertinent expressions : "Good Lord, thou haft founded a church here upon a rock ; may the gates of hell never prevail against it.++

    These islands, in former times, were in a very respectable and flourishing state. The inhabitants were industrious, prudent, temperate, and regular and decent in their attendance on the institutions of religion. They had magistrates and other officers annually chosen by the people, to execute their wholesome laws and regulations, and to maintain order and peace in the society.+ The inhabitants were respectful, kind, and generous to their minister ; and considering the nature of their employment;, and their consequent habits, they dwelt together in a good degree of harmony. Such appears to have been the prosperous and happy state of the inhabitants of these islands, particularly daring the ministry of Mr. Tucke. This good man died, deeply and universally lamented, on the 12th of August, 1773 ; having buried his wife two months before. They

Description of the IsIes of Shoals.            258

"were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided."

    Mr. Tucke was a man of an affable and amiable disposition, of easy and polite manners, of humble and unaffected piety, of diligence and fidelity in the service of the minis-try. He was "given to hospitality, and apt to teach." In history and geography he was eminently learned, beyond most of his cotemporaries. He acted in the double capacity of physician of body and of soul. In imitation of his Divine Master, he went about doing good among all classes of the people of his charge, and his labours were not in vain in the Lord. Under his nurturing, pastoral care ; his people increased in numbers and in wealth, in knowledge, piety and respectability. Few parishes in New-England, at this period, gave a more generous support to their minister, and. few congregations were more constant and exemplary in their attendance on public worship. Such is the account of the character of this venerable man, and of the fruits of his labours, which I have received from many aged and respectable people, who were personally acquainted with him.

    Shortly after the death of Mr. Tucke, the Rev. Jeremiah Shaw was invited to preach on these islands, and here he remained, for the greater part of the time, till the dispersion of the inhabitants in 1775. The troubles occasioned by the war, with some other causes, prevented his settling here, agreeably to the wishes of the people.

    Since this period, so small have been the numbers, and so impoverished the circumstances of these islanders, that they have not had the ability, and, by degrees, have lost the disposition, to support the ordinances of religion. The laws and regulations, by which their fathers were governed, and which were means of preserving order and harmony in their little commonwealth, were laid aside. The people neglected the annual choice of town officers. They had no regular schools for the education of their children. The sabbath was neglected and profaned. In consequence of these deviations from the "old paths and good ways" of their fathers, the people rapidly degenerated. The vices of cursing and swearing, drunkenness, quarrelling, and disobedience to parents, became, in an awful degree,

Description of the Isles of Shoals.            259

prevalent. The people have grown up in a great degree ignorant of the great doctrines and duties of religion, and of the first rudiments of science and letters ; and, in the near neighbourhood of Christians, were degenerating fast to a state of heathenism.

    The deplorable state of these people, in a moral and religious view, was made known to the "Society for propagating the Gospel," in Boston ; and immediately, at their expense, a missionary was engaged, who spent three months among them, at the close of the year 1799. In the summer of 1800, the Society sent one of their own members, to inquire into the circumstances of these people, with a view to afford them the necessary relief and instruction. In consequence of his report, and the advice of Dudley A. Tyng, Esq. of Newburyport, who has been the prime mover and agent, in all the proceedings for the benefit of these poor people, a subscription was opened for the purpose of raising money to erect a place of worship on these islands. Gentlemen of humane feelings and of liberality, in Salem, Newburyport, Portsmouth, Exeter, Ipswich, Boston, and Charlestown, in the two places first named especially, subscribed generously ; and from the avails, an edifice of stone, with a cupola, was erected in September and October, 1800, on the highest spot oh Star island, which answers the treble purpose of a place of worship, a school-house, and a land-mark for seamen.* At the same time, these suffering people received a liberal supply of clothing, bedding, wood, &c. from a number of charitable people in Newburyport, Salem, and Charlestown. The society for propagating the gospel, and several booksellers in Boston, gave books and stationary suited to their circumstances, sufficient, with proper usage, to last several years. A missionary, (Mr. Josiah Stevens) under commission from the

* This house is 36 feet long, and 24 wide, on the outside. The walls are two feet thick, and eleven in height in the clear ; the whole building is painted white. The inside is finished in a plain stile, and furnished with a stove, for the accommodation of the school in winter. This house was dedicated, in a formal and solemn manner, on the 14th of Nov. 1800. The sermon was preached, and the other services performed, on this occasion, by the Rev. J. Morse, D. D. of Charlestown. His discourse was founded on Psalm cxviii. 25. "O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity."

Description of the isles of Shoals.         260

Society for propagating the gospel, went to these islands in April, 1801, preaches on the sabbath, and has a school of about thirty scholars during the week, and is evidently in a sphere of great usefulness.

    From the dispersion of the inhabitants of these isles in 1775, till November 14, 1800, the few, who remained, had lived, for the most part, without law or order, destitute of the means of religious or moral instruction, and had, of course, degenerated into a pitiable state of ignorance, poverty, anarchy, and wickedness. At the period last mentioned, when their new meeting-house was dedicated, the inhabitants assembled, and, by the written compact annexed,* formed themselves into a social state, and, in a formal manner, pledged themselves to abide by certain regulations, and elected two of their number, as assessors, who, with the missionary, for the time being, were invested with power to carry said compact into effect.

    In consequence of all these things, these islands are renovating in their appearance ; and a hope is entertained, that they will soon rise to their former state of regularity, and respectability. Should Massachusetts and New-Hampshire cede their right in these islands to the United States, (a plan which some have contemplated,) and the federal government should think it expedient to establish them as a free port, and form a harbour, and erect the necessary fortifications and lights, they would soon become a place of much importance to the United States.

* Articles of Agreement entered into by the Inhabitants of the Isles of Shoals, Nov. 14, 1800.

    WHEREAS the islands now commonly called the Isles of Shoals, but heretofore named Smith's Islands, in honour of the renowned Capt. John Smith, who first discovered them, have fallen into a lamentable state of decay, since the revolution war ; and the inhabitants, from their extreme poverty, and other unhappy circumstances, have long been destitute of the means of religious and moral instruction ; and whereas some pious and charitable

Description of the Isles of Shoals.            261

persons have generously erected a commodious and durable building, to be solely appropriated to the public instruction of the inhabitants, and the Massachusetts Society for propagating the Gospel have appointed a missionary to reside at the said islands, as a religious and moral teacher to the inhabitants, and an instructor of the youth ; and whereas there is ground to hope for further charities from the said society, and other humane and benevolent persons, should the good effects of their present bounty be visible in the improvement of the morals, manners, and conversation of the inhabitants ; and whereas from the local situation of the said islands, it is very difficult to resort to the laws for the decision of disputes which unavoidably arise :

    We the said inhabitants do hereby solemnly and mutually covenant and agree with each other in the following articles, all which we promise to observe and keep, viz.

    First. We engage to treat with kindness and respect all such worthy and godly persons as shall come to instruct and reform us ; to render them as comfortable as we can, and to attend with sobriety and diligence on all their instructions, whether the same be public in the meeting-house, or private and personal in our own houses.

    Second. We engage that our children shall also attend the school at the stated hours, and that we will, by setting them sober and good examples, and by needful corrections, labour to make them better, as well as more decent and mannerly in their behaviour.

    Third. We promise our best endeavours to abstain from all brawling, quarrelling, profane swearing and cursing, drunkenness, idleness, dishonesty, and all other conduct which is offensive to God, and all good beings.

    Fourth. Should any disputes arise amongst any of us, we promise to submit the same to the decision of the missionary for the time being, and two assessors, who shall be annually chosen in the month of January ; and we promise to abide by, and perform their award touching such disputes.

    Fifth. The house lot and garden, heretofore occupied by the Rev. Mr. Tucke, shall be forever appropriated to the use of the public teacher for the time being.