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Fairfield, John (fl. 1747) [John Fairfield's declaration regarding a settlement near Witchcassett]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.10408 Author/Creator: Fairfield, John (fl. 1747) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Manuscript document Date: 27 February 1746 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 37.5 x 22.9 cm.

Summary of Content: John Fairfield offers an affidavit regarding Witchcassett, "four miles from Sheepscott and thirty four miles from St. George River, in the County of York" (present-day Maine). Attests that he moved to Witchcassett in 1738, commenting that at the time, forty families and householders lived in the settlement. Remarks on additional settlers in later years and sawmills located in the area. Recounts that in 1744, settlers felt vulnerable after hearing of the war that broke out in Europe between Britain and France, and many moved away from the settlement. In 1745, some settlers moved when Native Americans broke a peace agreement, and others joined an expedition to Canada. Attests, "... by the number of the Inhabitants being lessen'd & forced into Garrison as aforesaid the Settlements in Generall lye waste, and the few remaining Inhabitants are not able to make Improvements unless under Cover of the Garrisons aforementioned, that they are reduced to great straits & Difficulties & under great Discouragements." [Cornelius] Waldo, Justice of the Peace, signs a note dated 27 February 1746/7 in Boston, attesting to the veracity of Fairfield's declaration. James Grant, captain of a militia company in Witchcassett, signs a separate note attesting to the truth of Fairfield's statement. Another note signed by Cornelius Waldo on the same date confirms the veracity of Grant's claim.

Background Information: James Grant's militia company belonged to the regiment in the lower Division of the County of York commanded by Brigadier General Samuel Waldo. Dated 1746/7, 1747 reflecting the present-day calendar.

People: Fairfield, John, fl. 1747
Waldo, Cornelius, fl. 1747
Grant, James, fl. 1747
Waldo, Samuel, 1695-1759

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: Immigration and MigrationMillIndustryForestryFrench and Indian WarMilitary HistoryCanadaPeaceTreatyWartime Pillaging and DestructionFortificationMilitiaWaldo PatentGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsFranceRefugeesAmerican Indian History

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