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Henderson, Thomas (fl. 1747) [Thomas Henderson's declaration regarding a settlement in the Eastern part of Massachusetts Bay]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.10409 Author/Creator: Henderson, Thomas (fl. 1747) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Manuscript document signed Date: 18 February 1747 Pagination: 3 p. ; 37.2 x 22.8 cm.

Summary of Content: Henderson attests that he became a settler on the Eastern part of Massachusetts Bay in 1728. Took up a lot of land on St. George's, a colony of which Colonel [Samuel] Waldo was the proprietor, in 1735. Moved to Lincoln (present-day Maine) in 1736 then Leverett (present-day Massachusetts). Regarding these settlements, states, "... and from the Encouragement given by the Proprietor aforesaid and the good ness of the Sail and Navigations they became by the year 1744 the most Flourishing Settlements (for their standing) of any in New England, and all the Settlers grew into good & Comfortable Circumstances, and had then been many years able to raise or purchase from the produce of their Farms, all the Necessarys of Life, and had moreover the most of them large Stocks of Black Cattle to the number of about thirty head each..." In [1745], the British organized an expedition against Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and men from the settlements participated (Colonel Waldo also took part in this expedition). Documents Native American hostilities arising in 1745 near the St. George's River, claiming they "killed & scalped men, and killed about eighty head of Black Cattle, and burnt two Saw Mills..." In 1746, after continued attacks, settlers of Lincoln had to move to nearby garrisons for protection. Thereafter, Native Americans attacked the garrisons, and "The settlements on the River last mentioned are intirely broken up, and laid Waste..." Signed 18 February 1746/7 by Jacob Wendell, Justice of the Peace. Wendell attests to the veracity of Henderson's declaration.

Background Information: Dated 1746/7, 1747 reflecting the present-day calendar. All dates are listed as noted within this document, except for those in brackets, which reflect the present-day calendar.

Full Transcript: [Draft]
Thomas Henderson of St Georges River in the County of York Gentle declareth and saith, that in the year 1728 he became a settler in the Eastern parts of the ...Province of Massachusetts Bay, under Collo Dunbar, and upon dispute ariseing as to the Title to the Lands granted him, and on the Encouragement given by Collo Waldo on his laying out two Townships in 1735 on St Georges aforesaid, of which the said Collo Waldo was the Proprietor he took up a Lott there, and on the 12th May 1736 quitted his Improvements which he had made under Collo Dunbar, and removed with his Family into one of the Said Townships called Lincoln; and there Built a House, and made some Considerable Improvements, and continued thereon till the year 1740 when for his greater accomodation [sic] and convenience, he removed with his Family into the other Township called Leverett, where he also made other Buildings and Improvements to each of which Towns there was a Considerable Resort of Persons who took up Lotts, and became Tennants to said Collo Waldo; That in the Town first mentioned on the 9th of December in the year 1736 there was 47 Families or Householders settled and a Church and two Saw mills Built by said Collo Waldo, and att the same time in the Town last mentioned, the number of 46 Familys or Householders were compleated and some additions of new settlers were afterwards made to the same in each Township, and from the Encouragement given by the Proprietor aforesaid, and the goodness of the Soil and Navigation they became by the year 1744 the most Flourishing Settlements (for their Standing) of any in New England, and all the Settlers grew into good & comfortable circumstances, and had then been many years able to raise or purchase from the produce of their Farms, all the Necessarys of Life, and had moreover the most of them large stocks of black cattle to the number of about thirty head each in an average, which they raised there from very small beginnings. That they continued very happy and easy till the latter end of the said year 1744 when His Excelly Gov Shirley was pleased to order an Expedition against Cape Breton, and the Proprietor haveing signified to them his Intention of going on the same, and desired that such of them whose Circumstances would admit of it should enter into the Service they thereupon to the Number of Twenty Seven Men out of the said Two Towns, enlisted and embarked accordingly, together with the number of Seven others of the said Proprietors Tennants, being Protestants from Germany (and part of about Forty or Fifty Familys) he had Settled in the Year 1742 on a River called Madomock [2] being about six miles Westward from St Georges River which he had also encouraged to engage in that Expedition on or about the 17th of July 1745 the Eastern Indians who frequently resorted to St Georges River, broke the Peace [inserted: and] in a great Body then Began their first Hostilitys on the Settlements there, killed & scalped one man and killed about eighty head of Black Cattle, and burnt two Saw Mills, hereupon the Inhabitants there att [sic] Madomock River being greatly weakened by the Cape Breton Expedition, betook themselves to Garrisons, and from the frequent appearence [sic] of the Enemy were unable to carry on any Business, and about the 1st of August following one Bouser a German belonging to the New Settlement at Madomock River was killed there and scalped by the Indians. In the beginning of the present year the Indians haveing made severall attacks upon them, and the Inhabitants of Lincoln not being able to Support a Communication between their Severall Garrisons, they determined to evacuate three of them, and retreat to a large and defensible Blockhouse built by their Proprietor, which being done the Indians soon burnt the said three Garrisons, in the Town of Leveritt one Garrison was also soon after evacuated, and part of the People thereof with most of the Remaining Inhabitants of that Town went to Garrison att the House of this declarant att a Place called Pleasent Point, att the entrance of St George River aforesaid, In which Garrisons the late Inhabitants haveing some of them expended their whole Substance (and other a Considerable part thereof) and not being able longer to Support in the said Garrisons many of them removed to Boston and other places of Security, and other to the number of Sixty one men from St Georges and Madomock Rover enlisted into His majestys Service as Garrison Soldiers att Louisbourg, as also did all the Survivors except one of the thirty four who went on the Expedition against Cape Breton, some few of the Inhabitants entered into the Province Service for maintainance of the said two Garrison Houses and the Fort on the said River, and the Residue being ten Men Inlisted as Soldiers in the Expedition against Canada. In the months of May last, the Indians besett this Declarants Garrison killed one man, wounded another and carryed of a third; about eight days after which the Indians ambushed a party which were sent into the Woods from Collo Waldos Blockhouse in the Town of Lincoln aforesaid, and killed one Man, took one Prisoner and wounded four others; and in August last ambushed another party which were sent from the Fort for Wood, killed one (of the late Inhabitants then a Soldier) and wounded another [3] The damages which this Declarant knows to be done to the Enemy on St Georges River by our Partys in the Severall Skirmishes from the begining [sic] of the Indian Warr to the present time is the killing of three Indians and takeing one a Prisoner for which Service the Province Bounty was paid them. The Settlements on the River last mentioned are intirely broken up, and laid Waste about fourteen miles in length, much the greater part of which Improvement has been made thereon, save some small Gardens near the two Garrisoned Houses & the Fort, and that the aforesaid German Settlement at Madomock River, which abouned in fine fields and other improvements is intirely broken up and laid Desolate their remaining not one Inhabitant, tho the Proprietor att great cost and charge had built three good Garrisons upon the said River and the Declarant also further saith that the Proprietor had also before the Warr Begun two other settlements One att a Place called Muscongus att about the distance of eight miles about West South West from St Georges where he had a large and defensible Stone house and other Improvements, and the other about two Miles Westward from St Georges att a Place called Maumcook Bay where a Garrisons House was also built and Improvements made, both of which are also now desolate
Thos Henderson

Province of the Massachusetts Bay Boston February 18th: 1746/47
Capt Thomas Henderson made oath to the Truth of the aforegoing declaration
Signed by him wch was ___ to him
before me Jacob Wendell Just: Pea:
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People: Wendell, Jacob, fl. 1747
Henderson, Thomas, fl. 1747
Waldo, Samuel, 1695-1759

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: Waldo PatentImmigration and MigrationAgriculture and Animal HusbandryMaritimeCanadaMilitary HistoryMilitiaFrench and Indian WarGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsFranceAmerican Indian HistoryWartime Pillaging and DestructionAtrocityDeathInjury or WoundMillIndustryForestryRefugeesFortification

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