New Hampshire State Papers



Provincial Papers.
























Corresponding Secretary of the New-Hampshire Historical Society.















IN his message to the Legislature of New-Hampshire, June 7, 1866, His Excellency, FREDERICK SMYTH, Governor of the State, said:


"I deem it my duty to direct your attention to the present condition of our Provincial Records, for the period between 1680, when New-Hampshire became a separate royal Province, to the year 1775, when her people adopted a State Government.

"These records are of great importance. Among other things, they contain a large portion of the Town Grants, the Provincial Laws, and all measures taken by the people of New-Hampshire in the prosecution of the French and Indian wars; yet, valuable as they are, they have never been put in a condition to render them useful, or insure their preservation. A part of them are in bound volumes and a part upon loose sheets, and they are all in manuscript, much of which it is difficult to decipher. They are greatly scattered, also, some portions being found in the office of the Secretary of State, and some in the archives of the Historical Society, and other parts among the Court Papers in different counties, and elsewhere. The work of arranging and indexュing these, commenced some years ago by the late John Farmer, Esq., at the instance of the Legislature, should be continued; and, when properly prepared, should be printed, and thus rendered of easy access.

"An examination of the last two volumes of the New-Hampshire Historical Society's collections the expense of which was borne in part by appropriations made by former Legislatures, will show the desirableness and importance of the work proposed, containing as





they do 'the Records of the Committee of Safety' during the whole period of the Revolution, and Provincial Records, Court Papers, and the Province Laws, from 1680 to 1692.

"Much credit is due to the officers of the Society, and especially to its Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Bouton, for the patient labor gratuitously bestowed on this valuable work. In prosecuting to completion the enterprise thus auspiciously commenced, New-Hampshire would but be following the example already set by other States."




On the 14th of June, a select committee was appointed on that part of the Governor's message that related to Province Records: namely, Benjamin Gerrish, jr., Dover; Nath'l G. Upham, Concord; John M. Hayes, Salisbury; Ansel Dickinson, Winchester; Adoniram J. Patterュson, Portsmouth; Z. S. Barstow, Keene; Richard H. Hopkins, Chesterュfield; George W. Weston, Windham; Horace Eaton, Hillsborough; and William Child, Bath.




On the 28th of June, Mr. GERRISH, from the aforesaid Select Committee, reported the following Joint Resolution: namely,


Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court convened, That his Excellency, the Governor, be hereby authorized and empowered, with the advice and consent of the Council, to employ some suitable person, and fix his compensation, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to collect, arrange, tranュscribe, and superintend the publication of such portions of the early State and Provincial Records, and other State Papers of New-Hampshire, as the Governor may deem proper; and that eight hundred copies of each volume of the same be printed by the State Printer and distribュuted as follows: namely, one copy to each City and Town in this State, one copy to such of the Public Libraries of this State as the Governor may designate, two hundred copies to the New-Hampshire Historical Society, and the remainder placed in the custody of the State Librarian, who is hereby authorized to exchange the same for similar publications issued by other States.




On the 3d of July the above Joint Resolution was passed by the House; on the 5th by the Senate, and was approved by the Governor July 6th.




Agreeably to the foregoing joint resolution, the Governor and Council made out the following Commission:



KNOW You, that we, reposing especial trust and confidence in your fidelity and ability, have constituted and appointed you, the said Nathaniel Bouton, Editor and Compiler of Provincial Records, hereby giving and granting unto you all the power and authority given and granted by the Constitution and Laws of our State, agreeably to an Act of the Legislature, approved July 8, 1866: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD THE SAID OFFICE, with all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same belonging, for the term of years: provided you are of good behavior during said term.

In testimony whereof, we have caused our Seal to be hereunto affixed.

WITNESS, Frederick Smyth, Governor of our State, the thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-first.



By his Excellency's command, with advice of Council.


WALTER HARRIMAN, Secretary of State.





State of New-Hampshire.


Merrimack as.

On the eleventh day of September; one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, the said Nathaniel Bouton took and subscribed the oath of office as above named.


Before us:

PETER SANBORN, Justices of the Peace Quorum Unus.




* The title "Esquire," in the original form, is here omitted.






In preparing this first volume of Provincial Papers of New-Hampュshire, I have aimed to collect and embody all reliable historical facts, original papers, documents and records, that could be found relating to the early settlement of the Province, and to its condition from 1623 to 1686.

The earliest original papers are contained in a bound manuscript volume, in the office of the Secretary of State, labeled "Province Records, Book I," "Council and Mis. Papers, 1631-1756." From the first portion of this volume every thing has been copied that was preュsumed to be of public interest. Relative to the period from 1623 to 1631, we have no original records, but only such statements and facts as could be gathered from early historians, Winthrop, Hubbard, Prince, Morton, Belknap, &c., and from journals of voyages of an early date. This portion of our Province history is involved in considerable obュscurity.

From 1641 to 1679, the four settlements that composed the Province of New-Hampshire, namely, Portsmouth, Dover, Hampton and Exeter, were under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts; consequently, we have no records relating to that period, except what are connected with, and contained in, the Records of the Massachusetts Colony. All those records, so far as they relate to New-Hampshire, have been carefully copied, revised, and are contained in this volume. Some very valuable papers have also been copied from "Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New-York." The "Court Papers," contained in this volume, were copied from bound MS. volumes in the Register's office, in Exeter, N. H.

In transcribing and preparing matter for the Press, I have aimed to preserve the exact language of the original or copy before me, particularly has this scrupulously been done in writing proper names. In no case have I changed the construction or grammar of a sentence, or even a word, whether correct or not. For the mast part likewise, in copying


original papers, I have followed the ancient orthography, capitals and abbreviations; but inasmuch as there is no uniform rule in this matter among copyists or printers, and the utility of it is very doubtful, I have felt at liberty, in frequent cases, to follow the modern orthography, as better for the reader and more convenient both for the copyist and printer.

As Editor I have not felt myself obliged to furnish notes or comments on the text, beyond what was necessary, in some cases, for explanation or elucidation, nor to express an opinion on matters contained in any paper or record. When the text is doubtful I have signified it by an interrogation mark, or by all italicised word in [ ]. The Editor's notes are always designated by ED. Quotations or extracts from other authors are duly credited.

The Editor respectfully acknowledges his personal obligations to his Excellency, FREDERICK SMYTH, Governor, upon whose recommendaュtion and under whose auspices this work was commenced, for his courtesy and kindness, and for the uniform interest he has manifested in the successful accomplishment of the undertaking. Likewise, not only is the Editor, but the public generally, under great obligations to Hon. SAMUEL D. BELL, of Manchester, late Chief Justice of the State, for essential aid in procuring and furnishing materials for this volume, especially for collecting and arranging the "ANCIENT GRANTS," as also for his counsel in the preparation and arrangement of the volume. To the Hon. CHANDLER E. POTTER, of Hillsborough, the editor is inュdebted for aid in deciphering defaced and mutilated manuscripts, and for copies of valuable papers in his possession. To the Hon. WALTER HARRIMAN, Secretary of State,* and his Deputy, and to the State Librarian, the editor is under much obligation for facilities afforded him of access to original papers, and books for reference.

To the candid judgment and acceptance of the PEOPLE OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE, this first volume of Provincial Papers is most respectfully submitted, and humbly commended by their servant, the Compiler and Editor,


Concord, June, 1867.


* Since elected Governor.






Preliminary Notices, 1-4

Ancient Grants, &c., Capt. John Mason's Will, 4-55

The Wheelwright Deed, 56-60

Original Province Papers, 1631 to 1650, 61-102

Miscellaneous, Historical items, 103-107

Facts relating to the early settlements Portsmouth, Dover,

Exeter and Hampton 1631 to 1641, 108-153

Documents and Records relating to New-Hampshire from

1641 to 1680, 154-372

Papers relating to the visit of the King's Commissioners:

Copied from New-York Colonial Documents, 245-264

Copied from Massachusetts Colony Records, 265-298

Documents relating to Indian troubles, 353-365

Names of Deputies from New-Hampshire to General Court of

Massachusetts, 369-372

Commission of President John Cutt, 373-382

Province, Capital, Criminal and General Laws, 382-408

Addresses of the President and Council to the King, &c., 409-413

Province affairs witchcraft, rates, &c., 413-433

Edward Cranfield's Commission, as Governor, 433-443

Instructions to Cranfield, 443,444

Province Laws, under Cranfield, 444-455

Affairs of the Province, under Cranfield's Administration, 455-575

Petition of the Inhabitants against Robert Mason, 575-578

Walter Barefoot, Deputy Governor, 579-590

Letters from John Hogkins, Indian Sachem, 583-585

Joseph Dudley's Administration, President of New-England, 599-601


[See General Index at the end.]