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The Wessagussett Plantation

1642 Native Deed to Weymouth
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When the colony of Wessagussett was settled, the English settlers held no formal patent to any of the land, the closest was Gorges patent to settle further to the north. As a result, the English's right to the land was always open to question.  To rectify this, in 1642, the English made an agreement with four Native leaders in and around Weymouth.  The deed states that the Natives would relinquish title to the land of Weymouth in consideration of two things: the right to a house with six acres and a pallisade around it, and 24 acres at Fresh Pond in the Town. These lands were later conveyed to the English as well, as can be seen by the original subsequent deeds presented below.

The most interesting point of this deed is the inclusion of a house with six acres empalyed around it.  Was this a former English house occupied by Natives or could it have been the site of the original Wessagussett settlement? Could this be the structure shown near Great Hill on the 1632 map of Weymouth?  (See Weymouth 1632 map section)

THE following copy of the original deed of the territory of Weymouth given by the Indians is copied literally from the town records, and differs in many details, although the same in essential matters, with that entered upon the Suffolk Record of Deeds. This seems to be the older record, while that in Boston was entered in 1685 : — "

AN AGREEMENT BETWEENE YE INHABITANTS OF WAMOUTH CONCERNING THE LAND SOLD NOW TO YE TOWN OF WAMOUTH THIS PRESENTE YEARE 1642 YE 26TH OF YE 2D M.

Know all men by theese presents that whereas we Wampetuc alias Josias Webcowett, Nateaunte and Nahawton did formerly possess and retaine ye Land of Wessagussett now called Wamouth, wee whose names are above written who are now ye proper owners of ye aforesed Land of ye Towne now caled Wamouth viz : Wampetuc alias Josias Webcowett, Nateaunte and Nahauton, As we had it given to us from our predecessors viz : a greate Sagamore called Wompetuc: We doe hereby declare and publish to all men that for and in consideration that wee the aforesaid persons have recd from ye English men where are now planted in and about that place of Wessagusset (now called Waymouth) Six Acres of ground empayled and broken up and one house, as also ffoure and Twentye Acres of ground lying neare the small pond neare the Plantation or Towne now called Waymouth. In Consideration whereof we ye afforesd persons have and doe ffully give and grant assign sett over and Absolutely Yeild up all that aforesd ground before spoken of, and all that estate right title Interest possession, benefit, claime and demand that we ye aforesd ptyes or any off us had may might or ought to have in or to ye sd premises or any pte or parcel thereoff: And this is our full intent that ye aforesd psons shall hold to them and theres forever all ye ground And hereby we doe fully and ffreely declare that we are ffully satisfied for our former Interest And doe now account ye English now living there in that Towne off Waymouth ye true and proper owners of ye Bounds off their Towne according to their Limits ordered by ye Generall Courte And hereby we doe publish to all that we bind our selves and ours forever to maintaine this our deed and sale to ye presente inhabitants of waymouth formerly called wessagusset and to their posteritie for ever and for as much as now ye Aforesaid ground is now become ye true propietie of ye presente inhabitants of ye aforesaid place to them and theirs forever, Wee the aforesaid psons above specified doe account our selves now inhabitants of ye Towne and therefore to enjoy all privilidges with them and no other than themselves enjoy and do promiss that we will live orderly among them and if theirs receive any damage through our abode with them either by our dogs, traps or otherwise we will ffully recompence that damage as ye English in ye Towne that are Towne dwellers doe In witness whereoff wee have sett our hands ''

In presence of us

Edward Bennett                            The marke off Wampetuc

James Luddon                              The marke off Webecowett

Tho: HolBrooke                             The marke off Nateaunt

James Parker                                The marke off Nahauton

Will Jefferey

William Carpenter

John Uphame

Thomas White

The following is entered on the margin of the deed:

Dated 3 1 1652

An agreement made with Natahant in the behalfe of ye Indians that have right to 24 acres of planting land which land they were to have by the ffresh Pond neare the Towne which land ye ad Nutahunt is content to take for himselfe and the Rest of the Indians that have right to this land above Smelt Brooke to which agreement I the above sd Natahant have set my hand. The marke off Natahant in y* presence off us Townsmen

John Rogers

John Holbrook

Thomas Holbrooke

Cap' John Holbrook aged about 66 years testify & saith that he was present and did see Natahant an Indian signe & acknowledge this writing aboue to be his Act & Deed & that he this deponent with the other witnesses (Selectmen of the Towne of Weymoth) sett their hands us witnesses. Sworne in Boston July 9th, 1685.

Before us,

John Richards:

Elisha Cooke

The 7th day of July, 1685 James Ludden Senior of Waymoth in New England aged : 74 yeares ; whose Name is Subscribed as the only Surviving witness to this Deed of Sale made by the Indians of ye Towne of Waymoth as on the other side doth ffully appeare ; he the said James Ludden personally apeared before me under writt and on his Corporall oathe deposed That he saw the said Indians who were ye Grantors of ye Land herein mentioned signe & Deliver this Deed of Sale to ye use of the Inhabitants of said Towne of Waymoth and theire posteritie fforever : And that he was present when James Parker and the Rest of the witnesses Subscribed their Names hereunto : Taken upon oath the Day & yeare above written before me William Torrey appointed to Administer oathes by the General Court. Entered with the Records of the County of Suffolke for Deeds.

10th July : 1685

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