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A History of Chatham, Massachusetts (1909)

A History of Chatham, Massachusetts (1909)

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Published by teamnickerson
A History of Chatham, Massachusetts (1909)
A History of Chatham, Massachusetts (1909)

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Published by: teamnickerson on May 29, 2012
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the Cape reserve was thus allotted, were Governor Bradford,

Thomas Prince, Edward Bangs, Nicholas Snow, Thomas

Clarke, Joseph Rogers, Giles Hopkins, Stephen Deane,

Experience Mitchell, John Howland and William Collier.

The greater part of these were residents of Eastham.27

Not long after this division the first effort was made to

extinguish the Indian title. A purchase of the tract lying

between Quivet Creek and Sauquatuckett River was made

from the Indians, and in 1653 this tract was divided into

lots and the lots assigned to individual owners. The same

year a large tract, extending from central Brewster east to

Namskaket meadows and from the seashore southerly to the

Long Ponds, was purchased of Wono and Sachemas, his

son, sachems of Sauquatuckett. These two tracts together

comprised the greater part of the present town of Brews-


For aught that appears, it was several years after these

events, before any settlement was begun on either of these

tracts. Indeed, there is very little evidence to show that

before 1660 a single resident had established himself in any

place between Quivet Creek and Monomoy Point, although

for nearly twenty years settlements had flourished on either


Kemton one whole share; James hurstone whole share ; John Dunham senir one whole

share; John Shan Benir one whole share; ffrancls Cooke one whole share. John Cooke

one whole share; Joshua Pratt one whole share; Gorge Soule one whole share; Con-

stant Sonthwortb one whole share; Thomas Southworth one whole share; Mis Jenings

one whole share; Steven Tracye one whole share; John ffannce one whole share; henery
Sampson one whole share; Phillip Delanoy one whole share; Mis Warren one whole

snare; Robert Bartlett one whole share; Wttlam Palmer one whole share; Edward

Dotye one whole share; Samuel] blckes one whole share; Peeter Browne one whole

share; ffrancls Sprague one Whole share; Moses Simons one whole share; Samuel!

Baton one whole share; Thomas Morton one whole share; Samuel] Cutbert one whole

share; Kdwanl holinan one whole share; Edward Bumpase one whole share; In all

thirty loure pries or shares;" Plym. Col. Deeds, U. (Ft. 1)107.

There is no record In the Colony records so far as l know, of the names ol those n bo

took the Cape reserve

27. See article on Brewster by Mr. Joslah Paine In Deyo's History of Barnstable Co.,

also Dudley, Directory and Blstoryol Plymouth and Barnstable Counties, 120.

28. See Mr. 1'alne's article above referred to



SUCH was the situation when, in or about the year 1656,
William Nickerson,'

one of the early settlers of Yar-

mouth, living not far from the "reserve," desiring to pro-

vide more amply for his family, entered into a bargain with

Mattaquason, the saehem of Monomoit, with regard to his

land at that plaee. There seems to have been no elear

understanding between them as to the limits of the land

bargained for, nor was any deed or writing passed between

them.- He gave the Indians a boat and they promised him

some land. This aet was not only an invasion of the rights

of the "purchasers or old eomers," but was a violation of

the law forbidding sales to and purehases from the Indians

without consent of the Plymouth Colony Court. It is

elear, however, that Mr. Nickerson did not fully understand

the law when he made the bargain. He admitted the pur-

chase, but claimed no intention of violating the law.4


1. The name was formerly frequently written Nicarson, sometimes Nicholson. He

bimself appears to have written it Nickerson.

2. Plym. Col. Rec, IV, 162.

3. The statute relating to purchases of laud from the Indians, passed in 1643,

reads as follows: "If any person or persons do hereafter purchase, rent or hyre any

lands, herbage, wood or tymber of any of the natives in any place within this Govern-

ment without the consent A assent of the Court, every such person or persons shall

forfeit five pounds for every acree which shal be so purchased, hyred, rented and taken."

Plym. Col. Rec, XI, 41.

4. Dec. 1, 1063 William Nickerson, being summoned to Court to answer for purchas-

ing land of the Indians at Monomoit, "owned the same but Bayed that bee had done the

same of Ignorance

( Plym. Col. Rec, IV, 49.)

May 3, 1665. "If I had knowne that the order fi. e. statute] would have bine soe

understod, I should not have done it." Statement of William Nickerson in Plym. Col.

Rec, IV, 87.

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