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Roxbury, August 29, 1686. in the third month of our overthrow.
Right honourable, unweariable, nursing father,
I HAVE nothing new to write but
HAVE nothing new to write but lamentations, and I am loath to
Our Indian work yet liveth, praised be God; the bible is come forth, many hundreds bound up, and dispersed to the Indians, whose thankfulness I intimate and testify to your honour. The Practice of Piety is also finished, and beginneth to be bound up. And my humble request to your honour is, that we may again reimpose the primer and catechism; for though the last impression be not quite spent, yet quickly they will; and I am old, ready to be gone, and desire to leave as many books as I can. I know not what to add in this distressing day of our overthrow; so I commit your honour to the Lord, and rest,
Right honourable, deep learned, abundantly charitable, and constant
AM drawing home, and am glad of an opportunity to take my leave of your honour with all thankfulness. Sir, many years since you pleased to commit 30, into my hand, upon a design for the promoting Christ his kingdom among the Indians; which gift of yours I have religiously kept, waiting for an opportunity so to improve it; but God hath not pleased yet to open such a door. I am old, and desire to finish that matter, and take the boldness to request your honour, that it may be thus disposed of. It being in the hand of Major Gookin's relict widow, and he died poor, though full of good works, and greatly beneficent to the Indians, and bewailed by them to this day; therefore let his widow have 10%. his eldest son, who holds up a lecture among the Indians and English 101. and the third 10%. give it to Mr. John Cotton, who helped me much in the second edition of the bible. And also I must commit to him the care and labour of the revisal of two other small treatises, viz. Mr. Shepherd's Sincere Convert and Sound Believer, which I translated into the Indian language many years since; and now I hope, that the honourable corporation will be
at the charge to print them, by your honour's favour and countenance. But I cannot commit them to the press without a careful revisal, which none but Mr. Cotton is able to help me to perform.
The work in general seemeth to my soul to be in and well toward a reviving. Many churches of confessors of Christ are in motions to gather into church estate, who do carefully keep the sabbath. And out of these professors of religion, we do gather up and call in such as are willing to confess Jesus Christ, and seek salvation by him. Touching other matters, what our losses and changes be, and how trading, &c. are spoiled, I am silent; but my prayer to God is, Isaiah i. 25, 26. And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin, and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning, &c. So do, O Lord.
Sir, the Lord prolong your days, and fill you with all grace, until you arrive at the fulness of glory, where I leave you, and rest,
to serve you in Jesus Christ,
AND TOPOGRAPHICAL ANECDOTES RESPECTING SANDWICH AND MARSHPEE, JAN. 1794. BY REV. GIDEON HAWLEY, A. M.
MONG the first emigrants from England, who settled at Sandwich, were Mr. Richard Bourne and Mr. Thomas Tupper, both of them persons of a religious turn, and the latter a little tinged with the fanaticism, so prevalent about that time in the country, from which they came. These men, as I learn by tradition, carried on at Sandwich the religious exercises, and officiated publickly on the Lord's day, each of them having his party but as they were in all a small congregation, they did not separate, but agreed, that the officer, who had the most adherents at meeting for the time being, should be the minister for the day. In process of time, the congregation settled Mr. Smith, in whom they united. This minister had for a time officiated at Barnstable; but Mr. Hinckley, who was afterwards governour, made uneasiness; and his party was so great, that Mr. Smith requested a dismission. He was asked to what church he would be dismissed? His answer is said to have been, "that he would be dismissed to the grace of God." When one of the disaffected party in a pet, said, "And what if the grace of God won't receive you?" After a dismission, and it is supposed a recommendation, Mr. Smith travelled southward, and for a time officiated on Long-Island, and then went into the Jersies, where he left some of his posterity: But finally returned and settled the pastor of the church at Sandwich. From this gentleman are descended the Smiths in the upper end of this county, and those of Pembroke: and, it has been said, that the member of congress, by the name of Smith, from S. Carolina, is from this same family.
Religious matters being settled at Sandwich, Bourne and Tupper turned their attention to the business of gospelizing the Indians. The attention of Mr. Tupper was towards the Indians to the northward and westward of Sandwich, where he founded a church near Herring River, by which a meeting house stood in 1757, which had been supplied with a succession of ministers by the name of Tupper; and continued to be until the decease of the Rev. Elisha Tupper, (the greatgrandson of Thomas) who died 1787, aged four score years. The first missionary, went by the name of Capt. Tupper, being a military man as well as an evangelist. The family of Tupper have furnished the town of Sandwich and other places with some worthy characters; and some of them have been men of abilities. It may be observed, that the corpse of Elisha was brought ten* miles in severe winter weather, and deposited by his ancestors, in the Sandwich burying ground.
Richard Bourne turned his views to the Indians on the southward and eastward of him. But the time when he came to Marshpee, my chronology has not ascertained. The first account of him is in 1658, when he was present and assisted in the settlement of a boundary between the Indians here and the proprietors of †Barnstable. He was a noted man; and by his letters he appears to have been acquainted with orthography. He was also a man of some considerable property in cash, which he brought with him from his native land. And it appears from his location of land in several places, that he was acquainted with the affairs of the present, as well as of the future world; and he transmitted a good inheritance in real estate to his children. And his foresight and judgment, and also the goodness of his mind towards the Indians, appear from his procuring at his own expense, as it is said he did, this extensive patent for the South Sea Indians, as they are styled in the deeds. For there is no place I ever saw, so adapted to an Indian town as this. It is situated on the Sound, in sight of Martha's Vineyard, and cut into necks of land, and hath two inlets from the sea; being well watered by three fresh rivers, and three large fresh ponds, lying in the centre of the plantation. And in the two salt water bays are very great plenty of fish of every description; and in the rivers are trout, herring, &c. And in the woods till lately, have been a variety of wild game, consisting of deer, &c; and adjacent to the rivers and ponds, otters, minks, and other amphibious animals, whose furs have been sought for, and made a valuable remittance to Europe ever since my knowledge of these Indians.
Mr. Bourne obtained a deed of this territory from Quachatisset and others to these South Sea Indians, after the year 1660. He was a man of that discernment, that he considered it as vain to propagate christian knowledge among any people, without a territory, where they might remain in peace from generation to generation, and not be ousted.
He died at Pokesset.
↑ See Plymouth Colony Records.
Therefore Richard and his son Shearjashub were not content with having Indian deeds authenticated in the best manner, according to the forms of that day, but Shearjashub, after his father's decease, obtained from the court of Plymouth a ratification of these deeds, and an entailment of these lands, bounded by ponds, &c. that were immoveable, to these Indians and their children forever; " so that no part or parcel of them could be bought by, or sold to, any white person or persons, without the consent of all the said Indians, not even with the consent of the general court."* Mr. Bourne, having obtained the deeds as above, pursued his evangelical work, and was finally, in the year 1670, ordained a pastor of an Indian church in this place, formed of his own disciples and converts; which solemnity was performed by the famous Eliot and other ministers, who assisted upon the occasion.t
I am not certain as to the exact time of his decease, but find his death mentioned in the year 1685, and suppose it to be an event which had but recently happened. I suppose also that he died at Sandwich town: For he was buried on his own land, not far from the house of John Smith deceased, and where the widow Smith now lives. But as there was no monument by the grave, the spot cannot now be ascertained, where his bones are deposited. But I suppose them to be buried at the left hand of the Dock lane, as you go down to the harbour. His house stood, as I am informed, and if I mistake not the remains of its vestiges may be found, near the fence which divides Mrs. Williams's and Mrs. Fear Bourne's land, which their late husbands bought of Mr. Fessenden.‡
Mr. Bourne left no successor in the ministry, but an Indian, named Simon Popmonet. His son Shearjashub Bourne, esq. succeeded his father in the Marshpee inheritance, where he resided until his death, living in reputation, and presiding over the Indians in this district; and often representing the town of Sandwich both under the old and new charter, at the general court. He carried on a lucrative trade with the Indians; but I cannot find, that he made any trespasses on their lands, or was instrumental in bringing about an alienation of any part thereof. He was alive in 1718, but deceased within two years after that term. His youngest son Ezra succeeded him in his Marshpee interest and in his offices, and was made before his death president of the sessions, and first justice of the court of common pleas. And to the day of his death he had a very great ascendency over the Indians in Marshpee. He died in September 1764, having nearly completed his 88th year of life. In him I lost a good friend.
He was the father of the Rev. Joseph Bourne, a missionary to the Marshpee Indians, and of liberal education§, who was ordained here
* See old Colony Records.
† Hutchinson's History. See also Gookin's Historical Collections. chap ix.
For a further account of Richard Bourne, see Gookin's Historical Collections, § Graduated 1722.
in 1729, and resigned his mission in 1742. He was also the father of Col. S. Bourne of Bristol, who was likewise liberally educated. And it hath been considered as remarkable, that Ezra Bourne should at this time have three grandsons, members of congress, viz. one from Massachusetts, another from Rhode-Island, and a third from the state of New-York.
Joseph Bourne, the missionary, lived till 1767, and died, leaving no issue. He very much complained of the ill treatment of the Indians, and of the neglect of the commissioners in regard to his support; nevertheless, he much encouraged and assisted the present missionary in his labours, who sustained a great loss by his death. For when he was able, he constantly attended the publick worship, and, when the congregation sang the English psalmody, he read the psalm in a very serious and proper manner. It has been observed that Richard Bourne died about 1685-That Simon Popmonet was his successor in this pastorate, who lived till about the time Mr. Joseph Bourne was ordained. Simon left several children, who all of them lived to a great age, and some of them were very respectable for Indians. The last of them died in the year 1770.
After Joseph Bourne resigned his mission, Solomon Briant, an Indian, was ordained pastor of the Marshpee church, who was a sensible man, and a good Indian preacher in their own dialect. He lived until he was about eighty years old; and when he had the sole management of church affairs in this place, he admitted many members, but some who were not so circumspect as professors ought to have been.
The present missionary was troubled with them, for a long time after his settlement here. It was not agreeable to the gentlemen of this county in general, or to the commissioners in Boston, to have Solomon Briant ordained here; but it was brought about by a party of whites, to defeat the settlement of a gentleman, who was preaching to these Indians with that view. He was a man of liberal education, but being a native of Barnstable, some people did not like his connexions, and the Bourne interest was not in his favour. Mr. Joseph did not like him, and although he was dismissed from his pastorate, his influence, as he had the Indian language, was very great among his Indian neighbours and others. After this gentleman, the Rev. Mr. Smith, having for want of a support been dismissed from the first church in Yarmouth, was nominated by the ministers of the county, and recommended to the commissioners in Boston to fill this mission; but he was a native of Barnstable, and, upon that and other accounts, unpopular in this vicinity, and the Indians did not like to hear him, and excused themselves by saying, that they had a minister whom they liked. Mr. Smith afterwards settled at Pembroke, and lived in reputation; and, as he told me when he was about four score, he considered it as a very happy circumstance in his life, that he was not settled at Marshpee. He lived and died in reputation, and left a respectable family. This mission declined, and the
† He died May 8th 1775.