'ii \[


hy\C^^iL X-^U^i i^'^o\o^^y)










1636 TO 1663






The General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island, at its May session, A. D. 1855^ passed a resolution authorising the Secretary of State to transcribe, and cause to be printed, its Colonial Re- cords ; in accordance with which resolution this volume has been printed.

The present State of Rhode Island had its origin in four towns, viz. : Providence, Portsmouth, Newport and Warwick. Provi- dence colony was first planted by Roger Williams in the year 1636, Portsmouth by other colonists in 1638, Newport in 1629 ; but of the precise year when the first settlement was made in Warwick, the records of that town furnish no evidence. It was, however, during the same period. In the year 1643, the first three towns were united under a Charter from Charles the First, A^ obtained by Roger Williams, under the title of the " Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narragansett Bay in New Eng- land." It was not, however, until the year 1647, that the gov- T^ ernment was organized under this Charter, at an assembly of dele- ^ gates or commissioners from the four towns named, which met at Portsmouth in May, of that year. Warwick whose name was not ^^^nbluded in the Charter, was admitted at this time, with the same

t privileges as Providence.


It is proper here to state, in what the Colonial Records of the State consist, and from which the present volume has been com- piled.

The earliest book of records in the archives of the State begins with the settlement of Portsmouth on the Island of Rhode Island, in the year 1638. The first portion often or twelve years is con- tinuous ; the latter quite detached, and extends to the year 1696. This volume contains the transactions on Aquidneck or Rhode Island, embracing the history of the first settlements at Portsmouth and Newport. From 1638 to the present time, the records are complete in various volumes of the colony proceedings. In this volume are also copies of the deeds of lands from the Indians as originally recorded, as well as conveyances from the early settlers to each other ; also early lists of the freemen in the Colony. The narrative or journal of proceedings has been printed at length as far as it goes in this volume, as well as the lists of freemen, and the deeds of land from the Indians ; but all other land evidences have been omitted.

The records of Portsmouth commenced in this manuscript vol- ume, were continued in the records of the town. From the original volume the records of Portsmouth were made complete down to the organization of the Colonial government in 1647.

A second and very large folio volume of Records commences in 1646, and continues to the year 1669. This embraces the official journals of the "General Assembly," the "General Court," or the " Court of Commissioners," as that legislative body is at dif- ferent times called. These records are in a tolerable state of pre- servation. There are however, some mutilations, chiefly near the


edges of the leaves, from constant use for two hundred years. This volume also contams the "Proceedings of the Governor and Council ;" the records of the " Court of Trials;" some Indian deeds, and other early land evidences.

A third volume contains the proceedings of the General Assem- bly from the year 1669 to 1686.

From the year 1686 to 1715, the original journals or " sched- ules " (as they are usually called), in the archives of the State were quite imperfect. Those of some sessions were wanting en- tirely, while others were so defaced as to be scarcely legible. To make them complete, a resolution vs^as passed by the General As- sembly in the year 1827, directing a committeCj appointed for the purpose, consisting of Henry Bowen (then Secretary of State), and Christopher E. Robbins, to collect the manuscript schedules of the General Assembly of the period referred to, preserved by the dif- ferent towns, and make a copy of the same for the State. This was accordingly done, and a clear and well written volume of five hundred and forty-four pages, folio, in the handwriting of Henry Bowen, Esquire, embracing the "acts and resolves" from 1686 to 1715 now exists among the archives. From the latter period the journals are complete and in excellent condition, in manu- script or in print, to the present time.

In addition to the journals of legislative proceedings, there are among the old records of the State the following, viz. : four vol- umes of land evidences ; an early digest of public laws, entitled, " Bodye of Lawes of the Colonye of Rhode Island from 1663 to 1705 i" and a volume entitled " The Book of Records, containing the acts and orders by the Governor and Council, both generall


and particular since the 1st May, 1667." The records and docu- ments of the Revolutionary period are complete and in good condition.

The printed "acts and resolves" of the General Assembly in the archives of the State commence in 1758, from which period they are complete to the present time.

In view of the dilapidated condition of the early journals of the proceedings of the General Assembly and other transactions of the first colonists, and the frequent use of the same, which would tend to their entire obliteration, a committee was appointed by the General Assembly at its October session, 1822, consisting of Christopher EUery Bobbins and Henry Bull, Esquires, to examine these records and report the best method of collecting and pre- serving them. In conformity with their recommendation, Mr. Charles Gyles, of Newport, was employed to transcribe these re- cords, which labor he accomplished under the direction of the com- mittee in a most satisfactory manner. In order to make this copy as complete as possible, the copies of the proceedings of the Colo- ny, preserved in the clerks' offices of different towns were used to fill up any chasms, mutilations or imperfections that might be found to exist in the State's copy. This transcript was carefully collated by the committee having the work in charge, with the originals, and their certificate of its correctness appended. The same volume contains a transcript from the records of the Supreme Judi- cial Court of the county of Newport, of proceedings of the commis- soners under the government of Sir Edmund Andros, in the years 1667 and 1668, which are properly a portion of the Colonial records.

The records of the city of Providence previous to the organiza-


tion of the government in 1647, are very meagre. It is supposed they were kept in greater detail and were destroyed in the year 1676, when the town was burned by the Indians, as those that remain bear the traces of fire and water. To make up for the want of a reguhir journal of events, such documents as would elu- cidate the history of the period have been used. These are the Indian deeds connected with Providence, with a variety of other documents of a historical nature, or connected with the purchase of the Indian lands, their transfer from Roger Williams to his as- sociates, the first allotments of lands to the early settlers, &c., &c.

In selecting the materials for this volume, the Indian deeds of each of the four towns, and the town records to the year 1647, have been used. From that period, the official journals of the proceedings of the General Assembly have been followed to the close of the volume.

It is proper to state that many letters and documents of a pub- lic character not found in the archives of the State have been dis- covered elsewhere and inserted in their proper places. In the official records, there are frequent references to documents and letters, written and received, which were not recorded, and which are found on the files. This hiatus has fortunately been filled by a reference to the files of the General Court of Massachusetts, and to the records of that Colony ; also to copies of letters and papers in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Some papers of a public nature connected with our colonial history have also been found in Hazard's State papers (2 vols. 4to., Philadel- phia, 1792), and in Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts Bay. The editor is also indebted to John Carter Brown, Esquire, of Providence, for the use of a large and valuable collection of man-


uscripts relating to New England in general and Rhode Island in particular. These papers, which fill ten folio volumes, were copied by the order, and at the expense of Mr. Brown, from the State Pa- per Office, in London. Among the papers used from this collection, are the letters of John Clarke, while acting as agent for the Colony in London, to King Charles the Second, connected with the Char- ter of 1GG3.

The papers selected from the volumes referred to, are letters written by the government of Rhode Island to that of Massachu- setts and Plymouth, as well as letters from those colonies. Other documents, having a direct bearing upon matters before the As- ' sembly have been added in the way of notes.

A large number of letters and documents both public and pri- vate, exist in old printed volumes ; in the manuscript collections, referred to, and among the files of New York, Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies, which would tend to illustrate the history of this State ; but they are too voluminous to include in these print- ed records. Among these are the papers relating to the Gortonian controversy ; the dispute growing out of the jurisdiction claimed by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Plymouth ; the Indian wars, &c. These are quite sufficient for one or more volumes, and it is to be hoped, that on the completion of the printing of the Col- onial records, one or more volumes of these valuable papers may be collected and printed as illustrations to these records.

In transcribing these records for publication, the original or- thography has been closely followed. To those not familiar with the quaint language and peculiar spelling of the period to which these records refer, it would, doubtless, have been more agreeable


if the work had been modernized ; a system which would have destroyed its interest historically. Modern spelling would not have been in character with the style used two hundred years ago ; and with the same propriety, the quaint language of that period should be put in the language of our day. It was therefore thought advisable to adhere to the originals in these respects. Where the original had been obliterated, words, and in a few cases, short sentences have been supplied to preserve the connecion ; these have been enclosed in brackets. The abbreviations, except y^ for the, and y' for that, have not been followed, as many re- quired characters expressly cast for them ; besides, these ab- breviations were not the universal custom of the time, but were often employed by writers at the end of a line, or to save space.

The records being in the handwriting of different Secretaries, some of which were evidently not familiar with the pen, and not well versed in the rules of grammar and punctuation, it has been found necessary, in a few instances, to make slight corrections, in order to preserve the sense. In the use of capital letters, no sys- tem was followed by the writers ; and as these did not alter the sense, it was deemed best to conform to the modern use of them.

In proper names there is the greatest diversity in spelling ; and great as it is, it has been followed in printing, for it was not for the editor to say how a family name should be spelt. After un- dergoing various changes, these names settled down into the form in which they now appear. In the index to this volume, the va- rious names intended for the same individual, are placed together and referred to as the same ; as Howlden, ITouldon and Holden ; Jefferyes, Jeoffries and Jeffries ; Almie and Almy ; Esson and Easton ; Timberleggs and Timberlake ; Wildbore, Wilbore, Wil-


bour and Wilbur, &c., &c. The difference in the spelling of these names by different persons, was doubtless from their depending upon the ear.

Notes and connecting paragraphs have, in a few instances, been added, which are enclosed in brackets. These might have been extended with advantage to readers unfamiliar with the annals of the State ; but it was thought best for the reader to rely, as far as possible on the records themselves, without the addition of extra- neous matter. These are but the materials for history, and to the diligent historian, whose duty it is to weave in all he can gather from other sources, must the public look for a more particular and better digested history.

The reader should bear in mind, where reference is made to the 1st, 2d, 3d 4th liionth, &c., that the Old Style, or Julian method of computing time was in use at the time these records were made, when the year commenced on the 25th of March, which was consequently the first month, and February the twelfth.

Great pains have been taken in preparing the Index appended to this volume, a labor which few will appreciate unless they have attempted a similar task. This seemed necessary, as in a volume like the records, it was impossible to prefix any table of contents or other references to the matter contained in it. It is a work, too, where many will seek for genalogies or family history. To render it useful in this respect, every proper name mentioned, is alluded to in the Index, however frequent its occurrence.






1636 TO 1647.




[The earliest records of tlie colonists who accompanied Eoger Williams to Providence in the jear 163G, exist only in a few detached fragments in the ofiQce of the Town Clerk of the city of Providence. It is even doubtful whether any complete record of the proceedings of his party was kept ; yet, it is evident, from the brief records that do exist, some of which refer to events not recorded, that there were some other records or memoranda no longer to be found. Whatever they were, they are supposed to have been destroyed in the year 1676, when the town was sacked and burned by the Indians.

These memoranda form the first records in this volume. They are followed by the original deed of sale from the Indians to Eoger Williams ; the trans- fers by hira to his companions, with documents written by him some years af- ter, confirmatory of the same ; the compact of the first settlers in the year 1640, and a few other documents connected with the history of Providence. These present all the materials in the archives of the State relating to the settlement by Roger Williams and his associates at Providence down to the year 1647, when the four towns of Providence, Portsmouth, Newport and Warwick were united. From that period the records form an unbroken his- tory to the present time. The Gorton controversy which began in the year 1641 is not a matter ofrecord, and being exclusively of a documentary char- acter, as well as quite voluminous is not included in this volume.]

16 die m Month [June, 1636.]* M'd. It was agreed by the Towne, that after warning given to come to the Towne meeting, that whosover be

* In the original, the year is not given, but as it is known, that Eoger Wil- liams with his five companions were here before July 26, 1636, when he wrote a letter to Governor Vane, the inference is, that he came a few months ear- lier, and that this record was made in June, then the fourth month.

In connexion with this subject it seems proper to make the following state- ment of facts which will tend to fix the time when Eoger Williams and his associates established themselves in the place which they called Providence, on which subject there has been some diversity of opinion.


wanting to the meeting above one quarter of an houre 1636. after the time appointed by him that gave the warning, ^-*'^'^*-' shall pay the Towne for every such default one shilling and sixpence,

M'd. It was agreed by the Towne, that a Treasurer should be appointed for the receiving, and as the Towne shall appoint, for the expending the Towne's stock.

In the Records of Massacliusctts, September, 3, 1G35 (vol. i. p. ICO), is the following, which fixes the period of his banishment.

" Whereas Mr. Roger "Williams, one of the elders of the church of Salem, hath broached and djvulged dyvers newe and dangerous opinions, against the aucthoritie of magistrates, as also writ letters of defamacion, both of the ma- gistrates and churches here, and that before any conviction, and yet maine- taineth the same without retraccion, it is therefore ordered, that the said Mr. Williams shall departe out of this jurisdiccion within six weekes nowe next ensueinge, which if he neglect to perforrae, it shall be lawful! for the Governor and two of the magistrates to send him to some place out of this jurisdiccion, not to retm-n any more without licence from the Court."

On the 11th January following, according to Wiuthrop (vol. i. p. 175), the General Court of Massachusetts resolved to send Roger Williams to England, but the messengers sent to Salem to apprehend him and carry him on board the ship, found that he had taken his departure three days before their arri- val. In his own account of his journeys after leaving Salem, he describes it as being in the winter, and in his letter to Major Mason dated at Providence, July 22, 1670 (see Massachusetts Hist. Coll. vol. i.), he says :

" I first pitched and began to build and plant at Seekouk, now Rehoboth, but I received a letter from my ancient friend, Mr. Winslow, then Governor of Plymouth, professing his own and others' love and respect to me, yet lov- ingly advising me, since I was fallen into the edge of their bounds, and they were loth to displease the Bay, to remove to the other side of the water, and then, he said, I had the country free before me, and might be as free as them- selves, and we should be loving neighbors together."

Governor Winslow entered upon his official duties in March, 1635-G. This was the only year he held office between 1633 and 1644. The iufercnce from these facts is, that Roger Williams left Salem in January, 1636, and that af- ter being, as he says, " sorely tossed, for fourteen weeks, in a bitter winter season," between Plymouth and Seekonk, fixed his habitation at the latter place in the spring, probably in April. Soon after, the warning from Gov- ernor Winslow induced him to leave, when, with his five associates, he em- barked in a canoe, and after exchanging salntations with the Indians at Slate Rock in Seekonk river, they sailed around Fox Point and up Providence river where they landed in the month of May or early in June.* The first record bears date the 16th of the 4th month [June, 0. S.] His letter to Governor- Vane written from Providence, bears date of the 26th of July, 1636.

* staples' Annals of Providence, p. 21.



V-*— ^ Md. 13 die Month G [August, 1636.]

It was agreed by the Towne, that if any man be to be removed as an inhabitant into the Towne ; if his necessity be such as that without much loss, he who is to be admit- ted cannot stay for an answer till the month day ; that then or any other day, there be foure days warning given to the inhabitants incorporated, for their meeting together for such a purpose.

August the 20//i.* We whose names are hereunder, desirous to inhabit in the town of Providence, do promise to subject ourselves in active and passive obedience to all such orders or agree- ments as shall be made for public good of the body in an orderly way, by the major consent of the present inhab- itants, masters of families incorporated together in a Towne fellowship, and others whom they shall admit unto them only in civil things.

Richard Scott, Edward Cope,

William Reynolds, •-[- Thomas Angell, +

by his mark. by his mark,

Chad Browne, Thomas Harris, +

John Warner, by his mark,

John Feild, + Francis Weekes, +

by his mark, by his mark,

George Rickard, Benedict Arnold,

Joshua Winsor, William Wickendon.

* This entry apjiears in the first book of records without date. When these records were copied, the transcriber added to his copy, the date of Au- gust 20, 1637, from the inside of the cover of the same book, which is in a different hand-writing, and probably refers to some other matter. It is sup- posed that these names constituted a second party of comers ; yet among them are the names of Thomas Angell and Francis AVickes, who came with Roger "Williams. Tradition says they were then minors, which was the reason why their names are not in the original deed of conveyance.; Staples'' An., p. 39.



Md. That oji the o die of the 10th month. '^^--.-.^ It was agreed by the Towne, that after warning given to come to the Towne meeting, whosoever be wanting from the Towne meeting above one quarter of an houre after the time appointed by him that gives warning ; the party delinquent, as not having a sufficient cause of his absence shall pay to the Towne for every such default one shilling and sixpence ; as also, he who keeps the books for that month, is to observe, and take notice who is wanting, and present his name to the Towne.

Agreement and orders the second year of the ptantation.

It is agreed that William Carpenter, Benedict Arnold,, ffrancis Weekes, Willia. Reynolds, Thomas Angell, Mrs. Daniel,* Mary Sweet, should pay, in consideration of ground at present granted unto them two shillings and sixpence apiece, also Edward Cope five shillings and sixpence.

Item. Mr. Cole, ffrancis Weston, Richard Waterman, should pay for each person one shilling and sixpence, i. e. for damage in case they do not improve their ground at present granted to them, viz.: by preparing to fence, to plant, to build, etc.

Item. That all future comers upon the grant of the like portion of ground unto them for their home, each should pay one shilling and sixpence.

28 die Mense 12th, {February, 1637-38.] It was agreed that two men should be deputed to view the timber on the common, and that such as have occasion

xilicc Daniell, afterwards the wife of John Greene.


1637. to use timber, should repair unto them for their advice ^-*~"^*^ and counsel to fell timber fit for their use between the shares granted and mile end cove.

Item. That from the sea or river in the west end of the Towaie, into the swamp in the east side of the fields, that no person shall fell any wood or timber before any particular man's shares end.

Item. That any timber felled by any person lying on the ground above one yeare after the felling, shall be at the Towne's disposing, beginning at the 23d die of the month above written.

The 21 die of the M Month [May, 1637.] It was agreed that Joshua Yerin upon the breach of a covenant for restraining of the libertie of conscience, shall be withheld from the libertie of voting till he shall declare the contrarie.*

* This act of the town, disfrauchisiog one of its citizens " for restraining of the libertie of conscience," is so important, that its history, as given by Gov- ernor Winthrop, deserves a place here. After speaking of the heresy of a Mrs. Oliver, who had given the ministers and magistrates of Massachusetts much trouble, he says :

" At Providence, also, the devil was not idle. For, whereas, at their first coming thither, Mr. AVilliams and the rest did make an order, that no man should be molested for his conscience, now men's wifes and children, and ser- vants claiming libertie hereby to go to all religious meetings, though never so often, or though private, upon the week days ; and because one Veriu refused to let his wife go to Mr. "Williams so oft as she was called for, they required to have him censured. But there stood up one Arnold, a witty man of their own company, and withstood it, telling them that, when he consented to that order, he never intended it should extend to the breach of the ordinance of God, such as the subjection of wives to their husbands, etc., and gave divers solid reasons against it. Then one Greene (who hath married the wife of one Beg- gerly, whose husband is living, and no divorce, etc., but only it was said, that he had lived in adultery, and had confessed it) he replied, that, if they should restrain their wives, etc., all the women in the country would cry out of them, etc. Arnold answered him thus : Did you pretend to leave the Massachusetts, because you would not offend God to please men, and would you now break an ordinance and commandment of God to please women ? Some were of opin- ion that if Yerin would not suffer his wife to have her libertie, the church should dispose her to some other man, who would use her better. Arnold told them



The imii ofith Month [June, 1637.] > M'd. The severall portions of grass and meadowwhich oure neighbour Greene, our neighbour Cole, neighbour Arnokl, and Mr. Weston laid out in the Towne's name un- to oure neigbour James, neighbour Olney, neighbour Wa- terman, neighbour Cole, neighbour Weston, neighbour Carpenter, neighbour Holyman were confirmed as their proper right and inheritance to them and theirs, as fully as the former portions appropriated to our neighbour Throckmorton, neighbour Greene, neighbour Harris, Joshua Verin, neighbour Arnold and neighbour Williams were, or are confirmed to them or theirs.

June 10

that it was not the woman's desire to go so oft from home, but only Mr. Williams's and others. In conclusion, when they woxild have censured Verin, Arnold told them, that it was against their own order, for Yerin did that he did out of conscience ; and their order was, that no man should be censured for his conscience."

Verin left Providence and removed to Salem ; but it will appear from the following letter received from him, which was laid before the town at their quarter meeting, April 27th, 1651, that he then claimed an ownership in the land as one of the six original settlers of Providence.

Gentlemen and Countrymen of the Town of Providence :

This is to certify to you, that I look upon my purchase of the town of Pro- vidence to be ray lawful right. In my travel, I have enquired, and do find it is recoverable according to law ; for my coming av/ay could not disinherit ine. Some of yon cannot but recollect, that we six which came first should have the first convenience, as it was put in practice by our house-lots, and second by the meadow in Wanasquatucket river, and then those that were ad- mitted by us into the purchase to have the next which were about ; but it is ■contrary to law, reason and equity, for to dispose of my part without my con- sent. Therefore deal not worse with me than with the Indians, for we made conscience of purchasing it of them and hazarded our lives. Therefore we need not, nor any one of us ought, to be denied of our purchase. So hoping you will take it into serious consideration, and to give me reasonable satisfac- tion, I rest, Yours, in the way of right and equity,


The following is the answer directed to be returned by the Clerk.

Sir : The town of Providence having received, read and considered yours, dated the 21st of November, 1650, have ordered me to signify unto you, that If you shall come into court, and prove your right, they will do you justice. Per me, GRE. DEXTER, Town Clerk.

18 1637.


' Deed from Cannaunicus and Miantonomi to Roger Williams [March, 1637.]

At Nanhiggansick, the 24th of the first month, com- monly called March, in second yeare of our plantation or planting at Mooshausick or Providence.

Memorandum, that we Cannaunicus and Miantunomi, the two chief sachems of Nanhiggansick, having two yeares since sold vnto Roger Williams, y"" lands and meadowes vpon the two fresh rivers, called Mooshausick and Wanas- qutucket, doe now by these presents, establish and con- firme y" bounds of those lands, from river and fields at Pautuckqut, y"* great hill of Notquonckanet, on y*" north- west, and the town of Maushapogue on y'' west.

As also, in consideration of the many kindnesses and services he hath continually done for us, both with our friends at Massachusetts, as also at Quinickicutt and Apaum or Plymouth, we doe freely give unto him all that land from those rivers reaching to Pawtuxet river ; as also the grass and meadov/es upon said Pawtuxet river.

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands.

Y*^ mark of ^^. CANNONNICUS.



Y'^ mark of I MIANTUNNOMI.

In y'' presence of

The mark of + Sotaash. The mark of + Assotemeweit.

1639. Memorandum 3 mo. 9th day. This was all again confirmed by Miantounomi ; he acknowledged this his act and hand, up the streams of Pautuckqut and Paw- tuxet without limits, we might have for use of cattle. Witness hereof, ROGER WILLIAMS,




Me7norandum or "■ Initial Deed " fro7n Roger Williams of -.^^^--^i^- the lands purchased of Canonicus and Miantonnomi.

Memorandum, That I, R. W. having fonnerly pur- chased of Canonicus and Miantonomi, this our situation or plantation of New Providence, viz. the two fresh rivers Wonas. and Moosh. and the grounds and meadows there- upon, in consideration of £30 received from the inhabit- ants of said place, do freely and fully, pass, grant and make over equal right and power of enjoying and dispos- ing the same grounds and lands unto my loving friends and neighbours S W. W A. T J. R C. J G. J T. W H. W C. T 0. F W. R W. and E H. and such others as the major part of us shall admit into the same fellowship of vote with us. As also, I do freely make and pass over equal right and power of enjoying and disposing the said land and ground reaching from the aforesaid rivers unto the great river Pawtuxet, with the grass and meadow thereupon, which was so lately given and granted by the two aforesaid sachems to me. Witness my hand,

R. W.

Second Memorandum from Roger William, sof his purchase from Canonicus omd Miantonnomi, October 8th, 1638.

" Providence 8 of 8th month, 1638, so called. Memorandum, that I Roger Williams having formerly purchased of Conanicus and Miantonomi, this our situa- tion or Plantation of New Providence, viz.: the two fresh rivers Wonasquatucket and Moosehasick and the grounds and meadows thereupon, in consideration of thirty pounds, received from the inliabitants of the said place, do freely and fully pass grant and make over equal right and power of enjoying and disposing the same ground and lands unto


1638. my loving friends and neighbors, Stukely Westcotfc, Wil- "-*''^''"'*-' liam Arnold, Thomas James, Robert Cole^ John Greene^ John Throckmorton, William Harris, William Carpenter, Thomas Olney, Francis Weston, Richard Waterman, Eze- kiel Holyman and snch others as the major part of us shall admit unto the same fellowship with of vote us. As also I do freely make and pass over equal right and power of en- joying and disposing the lands and grounds reaching from the aforesaid rivers unto the great river Pawtuxet and the grass and meadows thereupon, v/liich was so lately grant- ed by the aforesaid Sachems to me.

Witness my hand, Providence 22, 10 mo. 1666, so caUed. ROGER WILLIAMS.

This paper and writing given by me about twenty- eight years since, and differs not a tittle, only so is dated as near as we could guess about the time, and the names of the men written in the straight of time and haste are here explained by me. ROGER WILLIAMS.

In presence of us,

John Browne,

John Sayles,

Thomas HxVrrls, Assistant.''

Agreement between Roger Williams and his associutes for a division of lands. 1638.

" An agreement made between the several inhabitants of the town of Providence, the 8th of the 8 month 1638. It is agreed, this day abovesaid, that all the meadow ground at Pawtuxet, bounding upon the fresh river upon both sides, is to be impropriated unto these thirteen per- sons, being now incorporate into our town of Providence, viz.: Ezekiel Holyman, Francis Weston, Richard Water- man, Thomas Olney, Robert Coles, William Carpenter,


William Harris, John Throckmorton, Roger Williams, 1G38. John Greene, Thomas James, William Arnold, Stukely ^^*^^'"*--' Westcott, and to be equally divided among them, and every man to pay an equal proportion to raise up the sum of twenty pounds for the same, and if it shall come to pass, that some or any of these thirteen persons abovesaid do not pay or give satisfaction for his or their equal pro- portion of the abovesaid sum of twenty pounds, by this day eight weeks, which will be the seventeenth day of the tenth month next ensuing, that they or he, shall leave their or his proportion of meadow ground unto the rest of those thirteen persons, to be at their disposing who shall - make up the whole sum of twenty pounds, which is to be paid unto Roger Williams.

Memorandum. On the third day of the tenth month, 1638, so called, according to former agreement, I received of the neighbors abovesaid the full sum of £18. 11. 3 per me,* ROGER WILLIAMS.

[The only copy on record of the "Initial deed" is without date. On the sixth of December, 1661, a com- mittee appointed at a previous meeting to wait on Mr. Williams and procure a deed of the first purchase, made a report, and subsequently another was appointed to procure Mrs. Williams' separate title deed. The following is sup- posed to have been given in consequence.]

* The date of this agreement as stated iu the copy from which the foregO' ing is copied is the same with that of the " Initial deed " of Mr. Williams ; but it is evident that there is a mistake in the date or in the body of the in- strument. Eight weeks from the 8th of October would be the third of De cembeVj and not the seventeenth, the date of the memorandum.



-.— V--W/ Confirmatorn Deed of Roger Williams and his wife, of lands transferred by him to his associates in the year 1638.

Be it known unto all men by these presents, that I, Roger Williams, of the Towne of Providence, in the Nar- ragansett Bay, in New England, having in the yeare one thousand six hundred and thirty-foure, and in the yeare one thousand six hundred and thirty-five, had severall treaties with Conanicusse and Miantonome, the chief sa- chems of the Narragansetts, and in the end purchased of them the lands and meadows upon the two Afresh rivers called Mooshassick and Wanasquatucket ; the two said sa- chems having by a deed under their hands two yeares af- ter the sale thereof established and conffirmed the boundes of these landes from the river and ffields of Pawtuckqut and the great hill of Neotaconconitt on the northwest, and the towne of Mashapauge on the west, notwithstand- ing I had the frequent promise of Miantenomy my kind friend, that it should not be land that I should want about these bounds mentioned, provided that I satisfied the In- dians there inhabiting, I having made covenantes of peaceable neighborhood with all the sachems and natives round about us. And having in a sense of God's merci- full providence unto me in my distresse, called the place Providence, I desired it might be for a shelter for per- sons distressed of conscience ; I then, considering the con- dition of divers of my distressed countrymen, I commu- nicated my said purchase unto my lo^dng ffriends John Throckmorton, William Arnold, William Harris, Stukely Westcott, John Greene, senior, Thomas Olney, senior, Richard Waterman and others who then desired to take shelter here with me, and in succession unto so many oth- ers as we should receive into the fellowship and societye enjoying and disposing of the said purchase ; and besides the ffirst that were admitted, our towne records declare



that afterwards wee received Chad Brown, William ffeild, 1638. Thomas Harris, sen'r, William Wickenden, Robert Wil- ^-*^-^ liams, Gregory Dexter and others, as our towne booke declares. And whereas, by God's mercifuU assistance, I was the procurer of the purchase, not by monies nor payment, the natives being so shy and jealous, that monies could not doe it ; but by that language, acquaintance, and favour with the natives and other advantages which it pleased God to give me, and also bore the charges and venture of all the gratuetyes which I gave to the great sachems, and other sachems and natives round and about us, and lay ingaged for a loving and peaceable neigh- bourhood with them all to my great charge and travell. It was, therefore, thought by some loveing ffriends, that I should receive some loving consideration and gratui- tye ; and it was agreed between us, that every person that should be admitted into the ffellowship of injoying landes and disposing of the purchase, should pay thirty e shillinges into the public stock; and ffirst about thirtye poundes should be paid unto myselfe by thirty shillings a a person, as they were admitted. This sum I received in love to my ffriends ; and with respect to a towne and place of succor for the distressed as aforesaid, I doe ac- knowledge the said sum and payment as ffull satisfifaction. And whereas in the year one thousand six hundred and thirtye seaven, so called, I delivered the deed subscribed by the two aforesaid chiefe sachems, so much thereof as concerneth the aforementioned landes ffrom myselfe and my heirs unto the whole number of the purchasers, wdth all my poweres right and title therein, reserving only unto myselfe one single share equall unto any of the rest of that number, I now againe in a more fformal way, un- der my hand and seal, conflQrm my flformer resignation of that deed of the landes aforesaid, and bind myselfe, my heirs, my executors, my administrators and assignes never to molest any of the said persons already received or hereafter to be received into the societye of purchas-



1638. ers as aforesaid, but they, tlieire heires, executors, ad- '-*'"^'""*-' ministrators and assignes, shall at all times quietly and peaceably injoy the premises and every part thereof ; and I do Ifurthere, by these presentes, binde myselfe, my heirs, my executors, my administrators and assignes, never to lay claime nor cause any claime to be laid, to any of the landes aforementioned, or unto any part or parcell thereof, more than unto mine owne single share, by virtue or pretence of any former bargaine, sale or mort- gage whatsoever, or joyntures, thirdes or intails made by me the said Roger Williams, or of any other person either, for, by, through or under me.* In wittnesse there- of, I have hereunto sett my hand and scale this twentyeth

* The lands traiirifcrrecl b}- Koger Williams to his associates were subse- quently divided into what are called '• home lots " and " six acre lots."' lu the clerk's ofSce of the city of Providence is " A revised list (saving correc- tions with addition) of lands and meadows as they were originally lotted from the beginning of the plantation of Providence in the Xarragausett Bay in New England unto the (then) inhabitants of the said plantation anno 16 ." The first in order are the " home lots," beginning at the " Mile-end Cove " at the south end of the town between Fox Point and WIckendcn street. This book gives a list of fifty-fom' persons who received their lots with their loca- tion. It is here given to preserve the names.

Robert Williams, Christopher Unthank, William Hawkins, Robert West, Hugh Bewit, John Lippit, Matthew Weston, Edward Hart, Thomas Hopkins, Widow Sayer, Widow Tiler, Nicholas Power, William Wickenden, W^illiam Man, William Burrows, Adam Goodwin, Thomas Harris, Joshua Winsor,

John Field, William Field, Richard Scott, George Rickard, John Warner, Chad Brown, Daniel Al^bott, William Reynolds, Stukely Westcott, Ezekiel Holymau, Richard AA^atcrman, Francis Weston, Thomas Angell. Thomas Olney, Robert Cole, William Carpenter, John Sweet. Alice Daniels,

William Harris, John Throckmorton, Roger Williams, Joshua Verin, Widow Reeve, John Smith, John Greene, Sen. 'I'homas James. AVilliam Arnold, Francis AVickes, Benedict Arnold, John Greene, Jun. Edward Manton, Tliomas Painter, ]Matthew AA''aller, Gregory Dexter.




day of December in the present year one thousand six 1638. hundred and sixty one. v^— -v— •.

ROGER WILLIAMS. [L.S.] Signed, sealed and delivered, in presence of us,

Thomas Smith,

Joseph Carpenter.

I, Mary Williams, wife unto Roger Williams, doe as- sent unto the premises. Wittness iny hand this twen- ty eth day of December, in the present year one thousand six hundred and sixty one.

The marke of M. W. MARY WILLIAMS. Acknowledged and subscribed before me,

WILLIAM FFEILD, Generall Assistant."

Deposition of Roger Williams relative to this jmrchase from the Indians.

Narragansett, 18 June, 1682, Ut. Vul. I testify as in the presence of the all making and all seeing God, that about fifty years since, I coming into this Narragansett country, I found a great contest