Friday, February 03, 2012


My ancestor Samuel Edson was involved in several land purchases from the
Indians living in the Bridgewater Ma. area and some of the documents concerning the
purchases still exist.

"This deed, made November 20th, A.D. 1672, witnessoth, that I, Pomponoho, alias Peter, an Indian, living at Titicut, in the colony of New Plymouth, in Now Eiig., have sold for the sum of sixteen pounds—viz., six pounds of current money of New England, and ten pounds in good merchantable com, us by bill appeareth,—all the lands lying on the north side of Titicut River, within the bounds of Bridgewater, what lands were mine, or were either my father's or grandfather's or any otherwise conferred on me, excepting those lands expressed as follows, viz. : one hundred acres of land lying up the river to tho eastward of a small brook, given to an Indian called Charles, my brother-in-law, and a certain parcel of land lying against the wear and bounded by the landing-place, running to the head of my field, containing about ten acres at the utmost, I say I, the above-said Pomponohe, alias Peter, have bargained, sold, and by these presents do bargain and sell for myself, my heirs, and assigns forever, unto Nicholas Byram, sen., Samuel Edson, sen., and William Brett, sen., in and for the use of the townsmen of Bridgewater,joint purchasers with them, which persons above mentioned were ordered by the court to make purchase of those lands, as by court record appears, I say I have sold all these lands, with every part thereof, and all the immunities and privileges belonging thereunto, to them, their heirs, and assigns forever, the same quietly and peaceably to possess, without the lawful lot, interruption, or molestation of me, the abovesaid Pomponohe, alias Peter, or other persons whatsoever, lawfully claiming by, from, or under me, them, or any of them. In witness whereof I have hereunto set to my hand and seal.
his mark.
read, sealed, and delivered
in presence of us.
"Joseph Hayward
"John Carr, Sen.
"Acknowledged before Josiah Winslow, Gov., Feb. 20, 1676.
"Recorded by Nathaniel Clark, Secretary, March, 1685."

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts: with biographical sketches of 
many of its pioneers and prominent men, Part 2 , Duane Hamilton Hurd, ed.
(J. W. Lewis & co.,  Philadelphia 1884) p541

But only a few years later Deacon Samuel was appointed to a town Council of War
as tensions rose with the Indians under King Philip. When war came, it was marked
with savagery on both sides. The theater of war ranged through most of southern New
England, and even spread into this area where I live now just south of Boston. There
would be need for the Irish donation funds in Samuel Edson's  Bridgewater:

"April 9th, 1676, being Sunday, the enemy burnt a house and barn, and rifled several other houses in the town; but they soon fled and were not to be overtaken, though closely pursued. May 8th, about three hundred Indians with Tispaquin for their leader made another assault on the east end of the town on the south side of the river, and set fire to many of the houses ; but the inhabitants, " issuing from their garrison houses," fell Upon them so resolutely, that the enemy were repelled; and, a heavy shower of rain falling at the same time, the fires were soon extinguished. The attack was then renewed on the north side of the river, but the enemy was soon defeated, and the next morning entirely disappeared, after having burnt two houses and one barn. On this occasion thirteen houses and four barns only were burnt, and but five of these were in the village. The rest were on the borders of the settlement, and deserted at the time. There is a tradition that, excepting the garrison houses, every house but one in town was burnt. This was probably true as it respected the out-houses or dwellings on the borders or skirts of the town only, and not those in the centre or village, which were considered in some degree as fortified or garrison houses. This is the more probable, as the house excepted is said to have belonged to Nicholas Byram, which was in the easterly part of the town, and quite distant from the principal settlement. It stood where Capt. Isaac Whitman now lives. July 14 and 15, a party of Indians came upon the north side of the town, but, after killing a few cattle, retired. July 18, 19 and 20, the inhabitants pursued the enemy and took sixteen of them, of whom two only were men."
-"Description of Bridgewater 1818" by Nahum Mitchell in Collections of the
Massachusetts  Historical Society  Massachusetts Historical Society
(Society Press, Boston, 1818) pp156-157

So while there was damage to some buildings, and other attacks, Bridgewater never
suffered destruction on the scale of the towns west of Boston, such as the town of
Lancaster where others of my ancestors were entirely burned out.

((800 words for The Family History Writing Challenge))

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