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make me a visit for that end; and I expect the same satisfaction from you.

The articles are so many contained in your letters, that it would be endless to labour your satisfaction by writing, which you must not further expect from me. In the mean time, I expect you as subjects to the Queen, as christians, as messengers of the gospel of peace, to lay aside all methods that tend to blow up sedition, or abet such criminal reports of mal-administration, as tend to debauch the minds of her Majesty's good subjects of this province from their duty and allegi


I desire you will keep your station, and let fifty or sixty good ministers, your equals in the province, have a share in the governmen: of the college, and advise thereabouts as well as yourselves, and I hope all will be well.

I am an honest man, and have lived religiously these forty years to the satisfaction of the ministers in New England; and your wrath against me is cruel, and will not be justified. A few days before the fleet arrived, by your conference and letters, I was, you told me, in favour of all good men, and might expect the consolation of a faithful stewardship; but now the letter in the Observator must be defended, and the college must be disposed against the opinion of all the ministers in New England, except yourselves, or the Governour torn in pieces. This is the view I have of your inclination.

I am your humble servant,


To the Reverend Doctors Mathers.



UNE 16, 1702. I received a visit from Governour Dudley. Among other things that I said to him, I used these words: "Sir, you arrive to the government of a people, that have their various and their divided apprehensions about many things, and particularly about your own government over them. I am humbly of opinion, that it will be your wisdom to carry an indifferent hand toward all parties, if I may use so coarse a word as parties; and give occasion to none to say, that any have monopolized you, or that you take your measures from them alone. I will explain myself with the freedom and the justice, perhaps not with the prudence, that you may expect from me. I will do no otherwise than I would be done to. I should be content, I would approve it and commend it, if any one should say to your Excellency," By no means let any people have cause to say, that you take all your measures from the two Mr. Mathers." By the same rule may say without offence," By no means let any people say, that you go by no measures in your conduct, but Mr. Byfield's and Mr. LeverVOL. III. S


ett's. This I speak not from any personal prejudice against the gentlemen; but from a due consideration of the disposition of the people, and as a service to your Excellency."

"The WRETCH went unto those men and told them, that I had advised him to be no ways advised by them; and inflamed them into an implacable rage against me."




HE town of Wells is situated on the sea coast, in the district of Maine. It is about ten miles in length, and nearly seven miles in width, on an average. It is bounded on the south-east, by that part of the sea called Wells Bay; on the north-east, by Kennebunk river, which divides between Wells and Arundel; on the north-west, by Sanford and Coxhall; and on the south-west, by York and Berwick, formerly part of Kittery. Wells contains about forty-two thousand acres of land one third of which is of a middling quality, including therein upwards of one thousand acres of salt marsh: one third part of it is very poor; consisting chiefly of pitchpine plains; and the residue is unimproveable, consisting of beaches, heath, ponds, and bogs.


It appears from the town records, that the township was first applied for by Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Needam, with others of Exeter in New Hampshire that it was granted by Thomas Gorges, deputy governour, as agent to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, lord proprietor of the province of Maine, on the 14th of July, 1643, and was confirmed by a court, held at Saco on the 14th day of August, 1644. The confirmation was subscribed by Richard Vines, deputy governour, Henry Joceline, Richard Bonighton, Nicholas Shapleigh, Francis Robinson, and Roger Gard, who were probably members of the court, and perhaps the court did not consist of any other persons. The Rev. Mr. John Wheelwright, being banished from Massachusetts, on account of his religious principles, came to Exeter, and afterwards to Wells; and he with Mr. Henry Boad, and Mr. Edward Rishworth of Wells, were by the deputy governour, Thomas Gorges, appointed a committee to lay out lots of lands to such as might apply for the same, with an intention of becoming inhabitants. Five shillings was the price to be paid for every hundred acres. Mr. Wheelwright did not tarry long in town, but his son settled in it, and some of his descendants remain there at this time. The minister was a man of good sense and learning. From his family proceeded all the Wheelwrights in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; many of whom were men of considerable property and very respectable.

As to settled ministers, there were none in town until 1701; though they had a number of preachers before that time, some for longer and some for shorter periods.

The Rev. Samuel Emery, the first minister who settled in the town, was ordained in the year 1701.

The Rev. Samuel Jefferds was ordained in 1725.

In 1750, the town was divided into two parishes.

The Rev. Daniel Little was ordained in the second parish, called Kennebunk, in 1751.

The Rev. Gideon Richardson, minister of the first parish, was ordained in 1754.

The Rev. Dr. Moses Hemmenway succeeded Mr. Richardson, and was ordained in 1759.

At the time of Mr. Little's ordination, the town contained about one thousand inhabitants. It now contains about three thousand inhabitants.

The township of Wells was called by the Indians Webhannet. A river running from the mouth of the harhour, south-westerly, is now frequently called by that name.

The river now called Mousom, was formerly called Capeporpus river. It is a considerable river, proceeding from a pond in Shapleigh, and running through Sanford and Wells to the sea.

The town abounds with small rivers and brooks, there being but few if any places near the sea, more than half a mile distant, if so much, from a river or a considerable brook. The abundance of water may be the reason why it was first called Wells.

Iron ore has been discovered in several parts of the town, which is found to be of a middling quality.

Fresh cod and other fish are caught in Wells bay, at proper seasons of the year, in sufficient plenty to supply the inhabitants; and the creeks abound with clams.

The town of Wells was formerly much exposed to the ravages of the Indian enemy; and perhaps but few, if any, towns have been more harassed by them. Colonel Storer's garrison was attacked in 1692, by an army consisting of three or four hundred French and Indians, under the command of Labrocree, a Frenchman, assisted by Madochewando, and other noted Indian chiefs, who having no cannon, were repulsed by the people in the garrison. At the same time, two sloops, lying in a narrow river, were attacked, which were several times set on fire, and the fire was as often extinguished. The Indians attempted to burn the vessels with a fire raft, which fortunately, by the shifting of the wind, was driven ashore without doing any damage. The engagement continued forty eight hours, when the Indians being discouraged, having lost their chief commander, withdrew. In their retreat, they tortured one man, whom they captivated, and killed all the cattle they could find.

At the commencement of the next war, and on the day it began, the Indians burnt the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Wells, killed his wife and all his children, he being absent from home. At the same

time the Indians killed Mr. Sayer and his family, who lived in the next house, with sundry other persons, and retired the day before this destruction. Mr. Sayer assisted the Indians in grinding their hatchets. In 1712, a great number of people being at the wedding of Captain Wheelwright's daughter, the Indians surprised several of the company, and captivated the bridegroom, Mr. Plaisted, son to a gentleman of Portsmouth. The Indians, expecting a good ransom for such a prisoner, did not carry him to Canada, but sent in a flag, and offered upon payment of three hundred pounds to release the prisoner. The money was paid, and the prisoner returned. It would be almost an endless task to recite all the particulars which relate to the sufferings of the inhabitants of Wells from the Indians. Very few, if any, years elapsed, during the existence of the Indian wars, without some persons being either killed or captivated, until Governour Dummer's treaty with them in 1725, when a peace was established with them, which continued about twenty years with but little interruption; during which time the number of inhabitants in the town considerably increased; but still the people were in fear, and frequently alarmed by small parties of Indians, until the reduction of Canada, which put an end to Indian wars in this part of the country.

The lower road next the sea is in general sandy; but of late it has been in many places meliorated, by the application of clay, which af ter incorporation, makes a most excellent road.

The situation of the town, as it respects the back country, is convenient for trade; but the entrances into the harbours are not commodious, sandy bars extending across them. The depth of the water on the bars is from about nine to thirteen feet, at high water; and not more than three feet, at low water. Formerly but little trade was carried on in town; but of late the trade in lumber and ship-building is considerably increased, especially in that part of the town called Kennebunk, where the people have attempted to make a new harbour. In the course of last season, they stopped the natural course of Mousom river, by erecting a dam across it, sufficient for the purpose, and opened a canal, leading from it through a salt marsh, boggy land, and a short beach, about two hundred rods, to a cove at the sea. The canal is at present about seven feet deep, and about twenty feet wide, the river running through it. The proprietors of the canal intend further to prosecute their undertaking the next season; but the final success of it must be left to be determined by time. If the proprietors succeed agreeably to their expectations, it may be of great utility to them and the publick. If they fail, it is hoped that their failure may not serve to discourage useful enterprises, which in many instances have proved, and may prove, very beneficial to the country.




HEN I had the honour of conversing with you last summer, at Wiscasset, you desired me to give you an account of the settlement of the town of Topsham, the hope of conveying more authentick information than I then possessed, is the only reason why I have not answered your request before. I have acquired some more knowledge, but have not gratified my wish. With pleasure I impart what I have been able to investigate, and offer it to you, Sir, a tribute of respect, as my endeavour to save from oblivion the knowledge of the first settlement of this country by emigrants from Europe.

Topsham, situated on Merry Meeting bay, which opened such extensive communication by water with the other parts of the country, was much frequented by the Indians. It lay in their rout from Kennebeck to Casco bay, and from Amarascoggin to Kennebeck, which gave them a passage to the sea.

From Merry Meeting bay, down Kennebeck, to the sea, is eighteen miles. From the navigable waters of Merry Meeting to Maquoit, a small bay which opens into Casco, is but little more than three miles; and the carrying place from Merry Meeting to the head of New Meadows river, is not more than half a mile. On this account, Topsham was a hazardous place to make a settlement, exposed to surprise and attack from the savages in almost every direction. The first Europeans, of whom we have any account, took their residence in Topsham, a little prior, or about the beginning of the present century. Stimulated with the prospect of gain, their design appears to have been to traffick with the natives, rather than to effect a permanent settlement. They were three in number, with their families. One built a house, and resided at Fulton's Point; another, at the head of Muddy river; and the third, on Pleasant Point. At each of these places there are now to be seen the cavity of cellars, and the ruin of chimnies. It is probable that the person who resided at Fulton's Point, came some years before the others. In the year 1750, there was a tree of more than twelve inches in diameter, grown out of the cellar. The name of this person is lost. We have the following traditionary account: That he lived for some time on very amicable terms with the natives; apparently, they rejoiced at his residence among them. This inspired him with confidence, suspecting no injury from his neighbours, till he had this melancholy proof of their perfidy. Being absent in his canoe, the savages massacred his family, and burnt or carried off all his property. Returning, with consternation, he viewed the desolation, and fearing a similar fate with his family, went to Georges, and from thence to Europe. The name of the person who settled at the head of Muddy river, is likewise unknown; but his contemporary who settled on Pleasant Point, was Giles. Both

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