The Indians at Winnisimmet


When Samuel Maverick built his Palisade House at Winnisimmet, the region was inhabited by Indians, though greatly reduced in numbers by two causes. In 1615 the Tarratines, a powerful tribe easterly of the Penobscot, made war with the Pawtuckets, whose lands extended from the Charles to the Piscataqua, including Winnisimmet, Rumney Marsh, and Pullen Point. This war was disastrous to the Pawtuckets, of whom were the Rumney Marsh Indians. The other cause, the plague of 1616, more fatal than war and less discriminating, ravaged the New England coast.

The chief of the Pawtuckets was Nanepashemet of Lynn until the war with the Tarratines, when for safety he removed to the Mystic, near Medford, where he built a fortified house; but that did not protect him, for he was killed in 1619. He left a widow, three sons, and a daughter. Their English names were Sagamore James of Lynn; and Sagamore George of Salem, who, surviving his mother and brothers, became sachem of his tribe. The daughter was Yawata. After Nanepashemet's death his widow gathered the remnant of the tribe to the Mystic, where she governed it, leaving local rule, to her sons. Before 1635 she married Webcowet,—who became sachem in her right. She died about 1650.

Sagamore John, as has been said, lived sometime by the Mystic, and later at or near Winnisimmet. The Charlestown records say that when the Spragues came from Salem to Charlestown in the summer of 1628, they "lighted of a place situate and lying on the north side of Charles river, full of Indians, called Aberginians. Their old sachem being dead, his eldest son, by the English called John Sagamore, was their chief, and a man naturally of a gentle and good disposition; . . . About the months of April and May, in the year of our Lord 1629, there was a great design of the Indians, from the Narragansetts, and all round about us to the eastward in all parts, to cut off the English; which John Sagamore, who always loved the English, revealed to the inhabitants of this town."

After a year's acquaintance with the Indians about Boston Bay, Thomas Dudley wrote to the Countess of Lincoln that,

"Upon the river of Mistick is seated sagamore John, and upon the river of Saugus sagamore James, his brother, both so named by the English. The elder brother, John, is a handsome young man, [one line missing] conversant with us, affecting English apparel and houses, and speaking well of our God. His brother James is of a far worse disposition, yet rapaireth often to us. Both these brothers command not above thirty or forty men, for aught I can learn."

December 5, 1633, Governor Winthrop recorded, as has been said, that

"John Sagamore died of the small pox, and almost all this people; (above thirty buried by Mr. Maverick of Winesemett in one day). The towns in the bay took away many of the children; but most of them died soon after.

"James Sagamore of Saugus died also, and most of his folks. John Sagamore desired to be brought among the English, (so he was;) and promised (if he recovered) to live with the English and serve their God. He left one son, which he disposed to Mr. Wilson, the pastor of Boston, to be brought up by him. He gave to the governour a good quantity of wampompeague, and to divers others of the English he gave gifts, and took order for the payment of his own debts and his men's. He died in a persuasion that he should go to the Englishmen's God. Divers of them, in their sickness, confessed that the Englishmen's God was a good God; and that, if they recovered, they would serve him.

"It wrought much with them, that when their own people forsook them, yet the English came daily and ministered to them; and yet few, only two families, took any infection by it. Among others, Mr. Maverick of Winesemett is worthy of a perpetual remembrance. Himself, his wife, and servants, went daily to them, ministered to their necessities, and buried their dead, and took home many of their children. So did other of the neighbours."


I now bring together such incidents as I have found respecting the tribe of Indians to which those of Winnisimmet belonged.

In a Court at Watertown, March 8, 1631. "Vpon a complaynte made by Saggamore John & Petr for haueing 2 wigwams burnt, which, vpon examinaoon, appeared to be occaconed by James Woodward, servt to Sr Rich: Saltonstall, it was therefore ordered, that Sr Richard should satisfie the Indians for the wronge done to them, (which accordingly hee did by giueing them 7 yards of cloath,) & that his said servt should pay vnto him for it, att the end of his tyme, the some of 1s."

March 26, 1631. "John Sagamore and James his brother, with divers sannops, came to the governour to desire his letter for recovery of twenty beaver skins, which one Watts in England had forced him of. The governour entertained them kindly, and gave him his letter with directions to Mr. Downing in England, etc."

At a General Court in Boston, May 18, 1631, "Chickataubott and Saggamore John pmised vnto the Court to make satisfaccon for whatsoeuer wronge that any of their men shall doe to any of the Englishe, to their cattell or any othr waies."

July 13, 1631. "Canonicus' son, the great sachem of Naraganset, come to the governour's house with John Sagamore. After they had dined, he gave the governour a skin, and the governour requited him with a fair pewter pot, which he took very thankfully, and stayed all night."

August 8, 1631. "The Tarentines, to the number of one hundred, came in three canoes, and in the night assaulted the wigwam of the sagamore of Agawam, by Merimack, and slew seven men, and wounded John Sagamore, and James, and some others, (whereof some died after,) and rifled a wigwam where Mr. Cradock's men kept to catch sturgeon, took away their nets and biscuit, etc."

September 17, 1631. "Mr. Shurd of Pemaquid, sent home James Sagamore's wife, who had been taken away at the surprise at Agawam, and writ that the Indians demanded [ ] fathom of wampampeague and [ ] skins for her ransom."

April 16, 1632. "The messenger returned, and brought a letter from the governour [of Plymouth], signifying, that the Indians were retired from Sowams to fight with the Pequins, which was probable, because John Sagamore and Chickatabott were gone with all their men, viz., John Sagamore with thirty, and Chickatabott with [ ] to Canonicus, who had sent for them."

At a Court, Boston, September 4, 1632. "Saggamore John, &c pmised against the nexte yeare, & soe euer after, to fence their corne against all kinde of cattell."

November 7. "It is ffurther agreed, that Sr Richard Saltonstall shall giue Saggamore John a hogshead of corne for the hurt his cattell did him in his corne."

Sagamore John seems to have been friendly to the English; and they just to him. Sagamore James died young, in 1633, and therefore was little known by the Winnisimmet people. He lived at Saugus, and married the daughter of Passaconaway, the noted chief at Penacook (Concord, N. H.).

On the death of John and James, the succession passed to their brother, Sagamore George, subject to the supreme authority of his mother, Squaw Sachem, widow of Nanepashemet. His jurisdiction, at first over Lynn and Rumney Marsh, after his mother's death, extended north and east of the Charles to the Piscataqua. His immediate possessions were in Winnisimmet, Rumney Marsh, Saugus, and Lynn; and his immediate subjects, the Rumney Marsh Indians. About 1676 his family removed to the vicinity of Lowell. In the war with the Wampanoags, the same year, he joined King Philip, was taken prisoner, and carried as a slave to Barbadoes, whence he returned. Born in 1616, married to a daughter of Poquanum, who lived in Nahant, he died in 1684, at the house of James Rumney Marsh, the son of his sister Yawata. He left a son and three daughters, the latter of great personal attractions.

Sagamore George made trouble for the landowners in Rumney Marsh and adjacent towns. For more than ten years, sometimes by suit in the inferior courts, and at others by petition to the General Court, he pursued them for lands unjustly withheld, as he claimed. One of his petitions is preserved in the Massachusetts Archives:

"To ye Right Worth ye Gornor the Worth Dept-Govrnor 7 Magistrats of this honord Courte,

"The humble Petticon of George Indian, humbly Requesting Whereas yor Peticonr hath often besought this honord Courte to consider his Condicon, & weighing such Grounds & euedenc as he hath produced to declare & manifest his interest & Just Tytle to the Lands of his late brother deceassed, on mistick side, & conceiueing the honord courte to be soficiently informed & possessed with the truth & equitie of his Cause in & Compassion towards yor poore Indian & Petitioner, you will bee pleased to vouchsafe him somme smalle parte parcell or proportion of his inheritanc Land for himselfe & Company to plant in, which he only is bould to put you in Remembranc of as hertofore not doubting of his grante from yr Greate fauor toward him, whoe is willing to be now & euer
An humble servt to this honuered Courte & Country
George Indian.
in Answer to this petition the Depts. thinke that the petitioner be referd to bring his action in some inferior Court Accordinge to law (aganist any yt wthold it vnjustly from him) wth Refenc to ye Consent of ye honord magists.
herevnto
William Torrey, Cleric
The Magsts Consent heereto.
Edw. Rawson, Secrety"

Appended to this is the following deposition:

"Quachamaquine saith: when George Indians brother was sick of the pox before his death he spake to him & Egawam with him & said when I die I giue all my wompam & Coates & other things to my mother & all my ground to my owne brother meaning the Ground about powder horne hill, vnles his own sonne did liue but if his sonne dyed then none to haue the Ground but his brother George Indian, and Egawam saith the same; & they both say that seauen dayes after this John Sagamore George's Brother dyed 21 [3/mo] 1651

These annoyances drove the Rumney Marsh people to the General Court. Sagamore George brought actions in which he was defeated, and pestered the General Court by petition until, out of patience, it declared, May 19, 1669, "that his clajme menconed in his petition concernes not the Generall Court to determine, but leaue him to the proprietrs of the land to give him as they & he shall agree." I have given on another page all that is known of his later life.

There is abundant evidence that the colonists as a whole, acting from their own impulses, as well as upon explicit and repeated instructions from the Company in England, treated the Indians fairly well. They purchased their lands at prices deemed equitable by both parties; they gave them equal protection with the whites before the law; and they honestly endeavored to bring them under the influences of civilization and Christianity, but with little success. Regular industry was distasteful to the savage, and the restraints of his new mode of life galling. He soon found that even a partial occupation of the lands which he had sold to the white settlers interfered with his hunting and fishing, and he regarded exclusion from any part of the soil, over which he roamed at will, as unjust. The General Court made many enactments between 1630 and 1640 to secure his rights as well as the safety of the colonists. Samples are these: [No one could employ or, if it was in his power to prevent, permit an Indian to] use a gun on any occasion or pretext under penalty of fine and imprisonment unless, as was provided after some years, with leave of the General Court. No one could sell him silver or gold, or powder or shot; or, without leave, "intertaine any Indian for a servt." If an Indian wished to trade peltries or other commodities, he could not go from house to house, but must repair to the "trucking howse." No white man could "sell, or (being in a course of tradeing,) giue any stronge water to any Indean"; or buy his land without leave of the Court, or repair his gun. Towns had power to "keepe away all strange Indians, & to restraine Indians by them from pphaning the Lords day." Care was taken to prevent, and to give satisfaction for, trespasses against them. In all places the English were to "keepe their cattle from destroying the Indians corne in any ground where they have right to plant; & if any corne bee destroyed for want of fencing or hearding, the towne shalbee liable to make satisfaction, . . . & the Indians are to bee incuraged to help towards the fensing in of their corne feilds."

In 1685 the Indians about Boston were few and were neither useful nor respectable. Efforts for their improvement had disappointed their friends; and ten years before, on October 13, 1675, the General Court, doubtful as to their conduct in the apprehended war with King Philip, ordered "that all the Naticke Indians be forthwith sent for, & disposed of to Deare Island, as the place appointed for their present aboade." Neither they nor their successors took kindly to English ways. It was necessary to place them under guardianship, and deny them the rights of citizens; and to-day the only representatives of the once powerful tribes which inhabited these shores are an inconsiderable number of mixed breeds lately, if not now, the wards of the Commonwealth. Unlike the Latin Catholic races, Teutonic Protestants were unable to incorporate the native tribes into their political and social systems. Extermination, if not the law, was the fact. In 1685 the colonists in their distress turned to the remnant of the miserable race to save them from impending disaster.

Mellen Chamberlain, A Documentary History of Chelsea, 1908

The Planters at Winnisimmet


Hutchinson, writing of 1626, says, "I find mention made of planters at Winisimet about the same time, who probably removed there from some of the other plantations." But who these planters were, when or whence they came, or of their manner of life we know nothing.

In 1624 Captain John Smith explored the coast of New England, looked into Boston harbor, and named the Charles. Probably for more than a century before this, fishermen from Europe had found their way hither, repaired their vessels, and traded with the natives. But the first permanent settlement in Boston harbor was at Winnisimmet, perhaps in 1624, certainly not later than 1625, when and where was "fortified" the oldest permanent house within the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

This was Samuel Maverick's Palisade house. The date of its fortification is given by himself. In A Briefe Discription of New England, about 1660, he says, "Two miles Sowth from Rumney Marsh on the North side of Mistick River is Winnisime which though but a few houses on it, yet deserves to be mencond One house yet standing there which is the Antientest house in the Massachusetts Government, a house which in the yeare 1625 I fortified with a Pillazado and fflankers and gunnes both belowe and above them which awed the Indians who at that time had a mind to Cutt off the English, They once faced it but receiveing a repulse never attempted it more although (as now they confesse) they repented it when about 2 yeares after they saw so many English come over."

But whence or with whom Maverick came, or of his parentage, we know nothing. Those of his name lived in Devonshire, about forty miles from Exeter, and of these was the Rev. John Maverick, who came over in 1630, and settled in Dorchester, where he died in 1636. It has been said, but with little reason, that he was the father of Samuel Maverick. At one time it seemed probable that Maverick, Blackstone, and Walford were of Gorges' Company, which settled on Weston's deserted plantation at Weymouth; but Maverick came a year later.

Samuel Maverick, born about 1602, was twenty-two years old when he came to America in 1624. Neither the family name of his wife Amias, nor the time or place of their marriage is known. Their children were Nathaniel, Mary, and Samuel. There was an Elias Maverick here in 1630, who became the owner of that part of Winnisimmet not included in Samuel Maverick's deed to Richard Bellingham in 1634/5; and a Moses Maverick at Marblehead, 1635, who paid rent for Noddle's Island in 1636, having charge of it during Samuel Maverick's absence in Virginia; and, as already said, an Antipas Maverick at Kittery, Maine, where lived Mary Hooke, Samuel Maverick's daughter.

Among the earliest grants by the Great Council for New England was that to Robert Gorges, youngest son of Sir Ferdinando, December 30, 1622, described as "all that Part of the Main Land in New-England . . . situate, lying and being upon the North-East side of the Bay, called or knowne by the Name of Massachuset, . . . together with all the Shoars and Coasts along the Sea, for ten English Miles, in a streight Line towards the North-East, accounting one thousand, seven hundred and sixty yards to the Mile, and thirty English Miles (after the same rate) unto the Main Land through all the Breadth aforesaid, together with all the Islets and Islands, lying within three Miles of any Part of the said Lands. . . ." These bounds, from the Charles on the south ten miles north towards Salem and thirty miles into the country, included Charlestown (and the modern towns set off from her), Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, and East Boston, but not necessarily Boston.

A government was formed for this territory, and in 1624 Robert Gorges came over as lieutenant-general and governor, with a suite of officers, to set up his court. But Winnisimmet, the most eligible place within his grant, was not its chosen seat. On the other side of the bay, at Wessagusset, now Weymouth, Thomas Weston's deserted plantation, outside the limits of his grant, Gorges made his settlement, September, 1623. It did not prosper, and the next year Gorges, disappointed and in failing health, returned to England with a part of his company, leaving his affairs with an agent.

It has been said that some of those whom Gorges left at Wessagusset made settlements in the bay, as Blackstone's at Boston, Walford's at Charlestown, and Samuel Maverick's at Winnisimmet. Frothingham thinks it not improbable that the planters at Winnisimmet, of whom Hutchinson speaks, were of the Gorges' colony; and Lewis writes that Gorges, who "came over in 1623, took possession of his lands, and probably commenced a settlement at Winnisimet, which was also included in his grant." Thornton also says that "Gorges had attempted to establish a colony within the bounds of his patent, which he had taken possession of in person, but was not successful." These statements, though not improbable, rest on no disclosed authority.

Robert Gorges' lands, it is said, descended to his brother John, who, in January, 1628/9, conveyed to Sir William Brereton "all the land in breadth lying from the east side of Charles river to the easterly part of the cape called Nahant, and all the lands lying in length twenty miles [Gorges' grant ran ten miles to the northeast and thirty miles inland] northeast into the main land, from the mouth of the said Charles river, lying also in length twenty miles into the main land from the said Cape Nahant. Also two islands lying next unto the shore between Nahant and Charles river, the bigger called 'Brereton,' and the lesser 'Susanna'"—later known as Noddle's Island and Hog Island. John Gorges, probably in 1628, leased a portion of this territory to John Oldham (murdered by the Connecticut Pequots in 1636) and John Dorrell. But the title of John Gorges was disregarded in the Massachusetts Bay Charter from the King of March 4, 1628/9.

Both the deed and lease of John Gorges included old Chelsea, and the Company recognized some equitable interest, if not a legal title, in the settlers near Gorges' tract. There is no known deed of Winnisimmet to Samuel Maverick and John Blackleach, yet their possession of it was not disturbed and their deed to Richard Bellingham in 1635 was recognized as valid by Boston in 1640.

Appendix

[All that is known of Samuel Maverick leads to the inference that he had some connection with the Gorges settlement. A young man of about twenty-two, of ability and education, given the title of "Mr." in the early records and grants, and possessed in 1630, at least, of some property, Samuel Maverick seems to have belonged to the Gorges group. About the time Rev. Mr. Morell returned to England, and Blackstone removed to Boston, he fortified a house at "Winnisime," which lay within the limits of the grant to Captain Robert Gorges, and, according to Johnson's Wonder Working Providence, he was assisted in so doing by David Thompson, who had been chosen by the Council for New England as their agent or attorney to take possession of the land in the name of the Council and deliver possession to Captain Robert Gorges. Possibly Captain Gorges, who came over in September, 1623, and spent the first winter at Weston's deserted plantation, outside his grant, finding there some huts already standing, on his return to England, in 1624, left directions with David Thompson, as his agent, to confirm the possession of the land by effecting a settlement within his grant, and that Winnisimmet was chosen for the purpose as good farming land with a southern aspect; it was also easily defensible, being surrounded by river, sea, and marshes, and possessing a valuable spring of fresh water not far from the shore on the southern slope of the hill. Also it "overlooked the anchorage ground of the inner harbor," and the outlet of the Mystic River,—as Blackstone's house did the outlet of the Charles,—and thus might prove a coign of vantage from which to control the trade of the bay.

That David Thompson dwelt with his family on Thompson's Island cannot be positively asserted. According to the Court record, the son claimed, in 1648, that his father, in 1626, "did erect the forme of a habitat" there; if so, it was unsubstantial and, apparently, had disappeared before the coming of Winthrop in 1630. It was forgotten by William Blackstone in 1650, though he remembered the island well, mentioning that it alone of the islands in the by possessed a natural harbor, and that the settlers about the bay kept their hogs there,—doubtless during the planting season. Thompson possessed, according to Maverick, "a Strong and Large House" enclosed "with a large and high Palizado and mounted Gunns" at the mouth of the Piscataqua. A statement made by Hubbard is of interest in this connection, for Samuel Maverick, who married Thompson's widow, did obtain in Noddle's Island (East Boston) and the Chelsea peninsula land which tallies with that which Hubbard mentions, and assuming that Thompson, accompanied by Maverick, came to the Bay under the directions of Captain Robert Gorges or the Council for New England, the statement is in accord with all existing knowledge of the matter and would tend to place Thompson with Maverick at Winnisimmet. As Hubbard had sources of information not open to investigators of the present day, his statements are worthy of careful consideration though he was not a "critical historian" of the modern type. He wrote that David Thompson removed to Massachusetts Bay a year (?) after his settlement at Piscataqua. "There he possessed himself of a fruitful island, and a very desirable neck of land, since confirmed to him or his heirs by the Court of the Massachusetts, upon the surrender of all his other interest in New England, to which yet he could pretend no other title, than a promise, or a gift to be conferred on him, in a letter by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, or some other member of the Council of Plymouth." Probably if Captain Robert Gorges or the Council for New England wished to induce David Thompson to leave his house at Piscataqua and six thousand acres of land with the "power of Government" therein, it would have been necessary to offer some greater inducements than Thompson's Island. As a trading station it was doubtless valuable, but as a place of residence during the many months of a New England winter, unattractive. The discovery recently made that Samuel Maverick married Thompson's widow and hence, on the arrival of the Massachusetts Bay colonists in 1630, controlled his claims, affords a clue to the explanation of what has previously seemed mysterious,—his extraordinarily large possessions and influential position. Noddle's Island alone contained twenty times as many acres as were allotted to Blackstone. Thomas Walford, at Charlestown, does not seem to have been treated with consideration.

In connection with Hubbard's statement, with its suggestion as to the liberality of Massachusetts, it is of interest to note that Noddle's Island was granted to Maverick at the time when Sir Christopher Gardiner was intriguing against the Massachusetts Bay Company in England. Sir Christopher appeared in Bristol August 15, 1632, and immediately began to make trouble for the colonists, as appears in letters from Thomas Wiggin to "Master Downinge" and Sir John Cooke, dated August 31 and November 19. Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain Mason took the opportunity presented by these complaints, and those of Thomas Morton and Philip Ratcliffe, to petition the King against the Massachusetts Bay Government. The matter was considered by the Privy Council January 19, 1632/3, when the authority of the Government at Boston was confirmed. The result of the case before the Council was known in Massachusetts in May, 1633. In the meantime the Governor and Assistants, who met April 3, had granted to Maverick Noddle's Island, and to Blackstone fifty acres of land in Boston; and in July "the governour and assistants sent an answer to the petition of Sir Christopher Gardiner, and withal a certificate from the old planters concerning the carriage of affairs, etc." The following year, in April, 1634, when grants of land were made by the General Court to the leading men of the colony, John Oldham received five hundred acres. The grant to Maverick in April, 1633, was a perpetual lease at a nominal rent. The General Court, at the July session of 1631, had given the Governor and Assistants power to lease the islands in the bay; hence, apparently, the form of the grant.

Almost the whole of modern Chelsea, about one thousand acres, traces its title back to three men,—Samuel Maverick, Elias Maverick, and John Blackleach. There was a difference of but two years in the ages of Samuel and Elias Maverick, and Elias was in Massachusetts as early as the summer of 1630, the time of the coming of Winthrop, and the keeping of written records. Yet he owned at Winnisimmet only one hundred acres. William Blackstone, a bachelor, received but fifty. According to the general regulations of the Company, a settler could claim fifty acres for each member of his household. The most probable explanation for the exceptionally large holdings of Samuel Maverick in Chelsea and East Boston is that through his marriage with Mrs. Thompson there became united under his control the claims of a settlement which followed in the wake of Captain Robert Gorges' visit to New England. Winnisimmet was evidently prosperous before it was sold by Samuel Maverick and John Blackleach in February, 1634/4. The vote of May, 1634, directing Winnisimmet to join itself either to Charlestown or to Boston mentions "howses" there. The first ferry across the harbor was kept by a resident there,—Thomas Williams alias Harris, who was recognized by the General Court as ferryman at the May session of 1631. The tax assessed on Winnisimmet in July, 1631, two years after the settlement of Charlestown and one year after the coming of Winthrop, was one-sixth that of Charlestown, Boston, or Roxbury. The first two levies were to meet the expenses of the colony. Further evidence on this point is given by the "Winthrop Map," about 1633. There Winnisimmet, Weaguscus (Weymouth), and Agawam (Ipswich) are represented by three houses; Salem, Saugus, Charlestown, New town (Cambridge), Dorchester by four houses; Watertown by five houses; Boston by a fort, a windmill, and five houses; Roxbury by eight houses. Single houses are also represented,—Ten Hills, Mr. Cradock's at Medford, and Mr. Humphrey's at Saugus. No house is pictured on Noddle's Island, which is there represented as a well wooded isle,—a reminder of the fact that during Maverick's ownership the inhabitants of Boston were permitted to cut wood there.

The grant of Agamenticus, in December, 1631, seems further evidence of a connection between Gorges and Maverick. At the instigation of Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Norton, and with the assistance of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, a grant of land was made December 2, 1631, to "Ferdinando Gorges, sonn and heire of John Gorges of London" (elder brother and heir to the lands and claims of Captain Robert Gorges); to several men by the name of Norton in England; to Robert Rainsford, the younger, of London; and to eight men of New England, among whom was Samuel Maverick Esq. Wm Jeffryes gent and John Busley gent, both almost beyond a doubt members of Robert Gorges' Company, were among the eight New Englanders. Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Norton is found, as Mr. Walter Norton, among "Those who wish to be freemen," in October, 1630, and was admitted, the following May, as Captain Walter Norton; he settled at Agamenticus before 1634. Ralphe Glover Mercht, dwelling here in 1630, but died before July, 1633, without having taken the freeman's oath. The other grantees in New England were Thomas Graves, engineer, Tho. Coppyn Esq and Joell Woolsey gent. Of the latter two nothing is known; their names were omitted at the confirmation of the grant, March 2, 1631/2. It is not improbable that a number of the old planters, in the main a remnant of the Gorges settlement, united to secure this grant, and that it was made in 1631 by the Council for New England to the heir of Captain Robert Gorges, and to them as a compensation for the injury to his and their interest caused by the grant to the Massachusetts Bay Company. John Gorges, it is known, had laid claim to the territory. He had ignored the grant to Sir Henry Rosewell and his associates of March 19, 1627/8, and signed a deed to Sir William Brereton in January, 1628/9, a deed declared by the Massachusetts Bay Company invalid, February 10, 1629/30. Although Maverick's name is in the list of those who wished to be freemen in October, 1630, he did not take the oath until October, 1632, after the grant of Agamenticus. Note also the visit of the bark Warwick, presumably the bark of that name fitted out by Gorges, to Winnisimmet, March 19 to April 9, 1632.

In this connection, considering the question of a possible relationship between Samuel Maverick and Rev. John Maverick, it may be worthy of note that the latter with his followers chose for their settlement Dorchester, which lay incontestably beyond the limits of the grant to Captain Robert Gorges. If the southern bound of his patent was a line due west from the end of Pullen Point, the Boston peninsula lay north of this, Dorchester did not. When Sir Ferdinando Gorges was intriguing against the Colony in England in 1634, the Dorchester people and the congregation of Rev. Thomas Hooker, which settled first at Mount Wollaston but was ordered by the General Court to remove to New town, began to agitate a removal to Connecticut. The Endicott and Winthrop colonists were anxious to establish settlements within the grant to Captain Gorges, in order to hold the territory against him.

Possibly, Maverick came to America with Captain Christopher Levett, who arrived at David Thompson's house at Piscataqua in the winter or early spring of 1623/4. Captain Levett found there Captain Robert Gorges,—who had arrived twenty days before in a little ship of Weston's that he had seized at Plymouth,—and learned that he had been appointed a member of Captain Gorges' Council. Levett staid at David Thompson's a month, complaining that the snow interfered with his surveys, and then, in two open boats, coasted with his men along the Maine shore in snow and fog as far as Sagadahock, seeking a place to establish a settlement. If Maverick was of this party, it would explain his entry under the heading Sagadahock quoted above. Levett, it is to be observed, bestowed especial praise upon Agamenticus, of which place Maverick was one of the grantees. Captain Levett left some of his men in New England, intending to return, but was unable to do so. Compare with Maverick's Briefe Discription, Captain Levett's A Voyage into New England.

J. P. Baxter, in his volume on Christopher Levett, printed by the Gorges Society, states, on the authority of Frank W. Hackett, that Maverick married the widow of David Thompson, and that her father was William Cole of Plymouth, England. The following facts confirm this statement. Among the notarial records of William Aspinwall are copies of an indenture, dated April 1, 1615, between "Wm Cole of Plymouth in the County of Devon Shipwright" and "David Thompson of Plymouth aforesaid Apothecary & Ems his now wife" and "daughter of the said Wm"; also of a receipt, dated January 3, 1625/6, for money paid Cole by his "daughter Amies Thomson," for which he was to account to her husband, David Thomson. These papers were brought to Aspinwall, May 26, 1648, "by the said Amies or Emes." Mrs. Amias Maverick, in her letter of November 20, 1635, speaks of her "ffatherles children." This letter is addressed to Mr. Robert Trelawny, merchant at Plymouth, England, where the father of the writer seems to have been then living. December 25, 1643, John Thompson, who regained Thompson's Island as son and heir of David Thompson, assigned a bill to "my ffather mr Samuell Maverick."]

Samuel Maverick's Palisade House

Of Samuel Maverick at Winnisimmet between 1625 and the coming of the Puritans to Salem in 1628 we know little; nothing of Blackstone at Boston, or of Thompson in connection with the island of his name in the bay. They were young men; Thompson was probably married in England. They were Episcopalians, neighbors, and, with Thomas Walford at Charlestown, apparently sole possessors of the lands in the upper bay. At Winnisimmet, in 1625, Samuel Maverick "fortified" his Palisade House—"The Antientest house in the Massachusetts Government." In this house he entertained Governor Winthrop and his party of exploration when they came up from Salem into Boston Bay, June 17, 1630; and here, August 16, 1631, some of Maverick's friends,—among whom was Edward Gibbons (his neighbor up the Charles, in what is now Somerville) afterwards a noted man,—fell under the displeasure of the Court of Assistants and were fined "for abuseing themselues disorderly with drinkeing to much stronge drinke aboard the Frendshipp, & at Mr Mauacke his howse at Winettsemt." It was while Maverick was living in this house, as Winthrop records, December 5, 1633, that "John Sagamore died of the small pox, and almost all his people; (above thirty buried by Mr. Maverick of Winesemett in one day.) . . . Among others, Mr. Maverick of Winesemett is worthy of perpetual remembrance. Himself, his wife, and servants, went daily to them, ministered to their necessities, and buried their dead, and took home many of their children."

The precise site of Samuel Maverick's Palisade House is not now determinable. Wood's Map of 1633 places Winnisimmet at the confluence of Mystic and Island End rivers, on the estate not included in the Maverick-Blackleach deed to Richard Bellingham of February 27, 1634/5. Remains of an ancient ferry-way, recently existing near the United States pier on the old Samuel Maverick estate, indicate that the Winnisimmet Ferry of 1631, granted to him in 1634, had its northern landing westerly of Chelsea Bridge, not far from the supposed site of his house. Nothing now marks more precisely its site unless, possibly, some old elms.

Here Samuel Maverick lived from 1625 until the erection of a house at Noddle's Island. On this island, which the Court granted him on certain conditions, April 1, 1633, his wife is found, November 20, 1635, during her husband's absence in Virginia. From this time his history belongs to East Boston.

The life and character of the first permanent settler of Winnisimmet, and one of the earliest in Massachusetts Bay, are of interest and, after 1634, fairly well known. But his pursuits, as those of Blackstone, Walford, and Thompson, while sole occupants of the upper bay, are mainly conjectural. From known facts, however, we may infer that Maverick traded for furs with the Indians and also with sporadic settlers and fishermen along the coast; he seems to have chosen his residence with reference to such trade, for which it was especially favorable. He was surrounded by Indians, and once incurred their hostility, but finally gained their friendship. At the mouth of the Mystic, and not far from that of the Charles,—rivers rising in the most populous seats of the Indians,—he was near the point which they passed in going to Revere Beach, where lately existing shell heaps indicated their presence in great numbers. In 1630 he owned a pinnace which, with Winthrop and Dudley, he sent to Narrangansett for corn. Though living in New England, Maverick retained his English connection,—for about 1630 he, "Sr Ferdinando Gorges, Mr Godfrey, Alderman ffoote of Bristol" and others were grantees of York in Maine, and of lands adjacent, on which "at great Cost and Charges wee setled many families."

Maverick's conduct and writings evince a strong and disciplined mind. He rendered essential services to Winthrop's company when sorely needed; and his hospitality, courteous bearing, and human acts were remembered years later, even when ecclesiastical animosities had arrayed the colonists into hostile parties, in one of which he was conspicuous. Though, as he said of himself, as well as of some others, he was in "no way dissonant from yet best Reformation in England, and desireing alsoe to have a body of Lawes to be Established and published to prevent Arbitrary Tiranny," yet they were deprived of English immunities, subjected to oppressive fines, imprisonment, and indignities, which excuse any resentment afterwards shown towards the government which inflicted them. He died between October 15, 1669, and May 15, 1676.

The later history of Samuel Maverick's estate at Winnisimmet not included in the Maverick-Blackleach deed to Bellingham, and now belonging to the United States, is as follows: "Upward of twenty yeares" before 1662, Samuel Maverick sold twenty acres to William Stitson by deed only known as recited in the latter's conveyance of the same to Elias Maverick in 1662. There is no known conveyance of the remaining hundred acres, but as they were occupied by Elias Maverick, and disposed of by his will, his title is unquestionable.

William Stitson, from 1632, lived in Charlestown, where he was of the church, March 22, 1633, and deacon from October, 1659, until his death,—thirty-one years and five months, as is inscribed on his gravestone. He was a freeman June 11, 1633, of the Artillery Company 1648, and representative 1667-1671. His wife Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Harris, died February 16, 1670, aged ninety-three; and he married the widow of Captain Francis Norton August, 1670. His will is dated April 12, 1688, and he died April 11, 1691, in his ninety-first year. Though chiefly resident of Charlestown, I have given some particulars of his life, because he probably lived at one time at Winnisimmet, on the Samuel Maverick estate, a part of which he certainly owned. In 1631 Thomas Harris kept the ferry between Winnisimmet, Charlestown, and Boston. As has been said, Stitson married his widow, and continued the ferry. He had acquired an interest in it before 1635, when he sold it to Richard Bellingham, owner of the reversion. His allotment at Pullen Point was January 8, 1637/8, on what grounds unless he was then a citizen of Boston, it is difficult to conceive. Besides, in Oliver's adjoining allotment, he is called "William Stidson of Wynesemitt:" Nor is his name found among the inhabitants of Charlestown, January, 1634/5. He may have been then living at Winnisimmet, though November 30, 1640, he was styled as of Charlestown.

Elias Maverick, born about 1604, died September 8, 1684, aged eighty. Probably he was a brother of Samuel Maverick, and possibly came over with him in 1624. Found at Winnisimmet in 1630, he was admitted to the Charlestown church February 9, 1632/3, and took the Freeman's oath the following June. In 1635 or earlier, it would seem, he married Anne Harris, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth. She joined the same church October, 1639, and died at Reading September 7, 1697, aged eighty-four. Her gravestone is at Reading. He was of the Artillery Company, 1654. He was buried at Charlestown, where his gravestone was lately, but not now, to be seen. Wyman gives him no estate in Charlestown, nor does it appear that he ever lived there. For the most of his adult life he lived where he died, on the westerly part of the Maverick estate (now belonging to the United States). Winnisimmet Ferry, starting from his grounds, touched at Charlestown, where he found his most convenient church relations. That he was a legal resident of Boston January 8, 1637/8, is clear from his allotment at Pullen Point. He owned twenty acres at Hog Island. At his death, in 1684, he owned that part of Winnisimmet not included in the Maverick-Blackleach deed of 1635 to Richard Bellingham. By the deed from Stitson to him, April 8, 1662, it appears that he then owned the westerly part of this estate. But there is no recorded conveyance from Samuel to Elias Maverick; and the conjecture is that at some time before 1642 title was by deed unrecorded.

The children of Elias Maverick, presumably born at Winnisimmet, were, according to Wyman, (1) John, born 3, baptised 27 (12 mo.) 1635/6. (2) Abigail, Aug. 10 (14) 1637; m. Matthew Clark. (3) Elizabeth, 2 (4) 1639; m. John Johnson. (4) Sarah, 20 (12) 1640/1; m. [Samuel] Walton. Elias 17 (1) 1643/4. (6) Peter, of Boston. (Mary) Jane, m. Aaron Way.jnr of Winnisimmet. (8) Ruth, m. Francis Smith, son of Lieut. John Smith of Winnisimmet, 1679. (9) Paul, b. June 10, 1657. (10) Rebecca, Jan 1, 1659/60; m. [George] Thomas. Elias Maverick's estate at Winnisimmet remained in possession of his heirs until 1709, when it passed to John Brintnall, who for fifteen years had been lessee of the ferry and keeper of the adjacent inn. As early as 1740, probably much earlier, the Maverick estate had been divided into two farms by a line running from the Mystic River northerly over the hill; and between 1740 and 1753 both farms were sold by John Brintnall to his son Benjamin. In 1769 Benjamin sold the westerly farm, and in 1772 the easterly, to Jonathan Green.

January 31, 1791, Green sold his estate to Aaron Dexter for £900. It then consisted of a hundred and sixteen acres, on which were two dwelling-houses, four barns, and out-houses; "Reserving nevertheless out of the Premises" an acre and a half of "Marsh Land where a Dam or Dike now is, from said Island River to the Upland of the Premises;—And also saving and reserving twelve feet in wedth on each side of the said Dam all the way from the said Island End River to said Upland, Adjoining to said Acre and an half of Marsh."

Dr. Dexter sold to Richard Williams, Samuel Chittenden, and others several lots on the westerly side of Broadway, from Beacon Street southerly; and for $18,000 the remainder (one hundred fifteen acres) to the United States, September 22, 1823, confirmed December 4, 1826. The Naval Hospital was erected in 1835, and the Marine Hospital in 1857.

Maverick's Place of Residence

Who "Mr. Maverick of Winesemmet" was, and the site of his Palisade House, have troubled historians. Edward Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence says: "On the North side of Charles River, they [Winthrop's company in 1630] landed neare a small Island, called Noddells Island, where one Mr. Samuel Mavereck then living, a man of a very loving a curteous behaviour, very ready to entertaine strangers, yet an enemy to the Reformation in hand, being strong for the Lordly Prlaticall power, on this Island he had built a small Fort with the helpe of one Mr. David Tompson, placing therein foure Murtherers to protect him from the Indians"; but see Samuel Maverick's Palisade House, by Mellen Chamberlain. The question was settle by Maverick himself. [In order to reconcile the statement of Johnson that the fort was built by Maverick on Noddle's Island (East Boston), and Maverick's own statement, that in 1660 it was still standing at Winnisimmet (Chelsea), it has been suggested that the term Winnisimmet included the island (East Boston) as well as the mainland (Chelsea). There is no warrant for such an assumption. When Maverick became a resident of the island, he called himself Samuel Maverick of Noddle's Island, and his wife, in November, 1635, nine months after the sale of Winnisimmet to Richard Bellingham, dated her letter from "Nottells Iland in Massachusetts Bay." Before 1635, the reference is always to Winnisimmet in connection with Mr. Maverick; after 1635, to Noddle's Island.

It seems certain that Samuel Maverick was living at Winnisimmet when the colonists arrived in 1630. Winthrop wrote, under date of December 24, 1630, that three of his servants were driven by the wind upon Noddle's Island and forced to spend the night there without fire or food; this would not have been the case if Samuel Maverick had been living then on the island instead of at Winnisimmet. In July, 1631, Noddle's, Thompson's, and other islands were placed in the hands of the Governor and Assistants, "to be lett & disposed of by them to helpe towards publique charges, & that noe pson wtsoeur shall make any vse or benefitt of any of the said ilelands, by putting on cattell, felling wood, raiseing slate, &c, without leaue from the Gounr & Assistants for the time being"; and in April, 1632, the latter gave to John Perkins the exclusive right to shoot or trap fowls on Noddle's Island. This action would not have been taken if Samuel Maverick had been living there. An especial grant was necessary to insure Noddle's Island to Samuel Maverick, and this was not made until April, 1633. In the meantime Winnisimmet was already in his possession, confirmed to him, presumably, by the officers of the Company under its regulations as to "old planters." Samuel Maverick was living on Noddle's Island when Edward Johnson settled at Charlestown in 1636; this may account for the statement in the Wonder-Working Providence.

As to Winthrop, Johnson says he landed "neare a small Island,"—presumably at Mr. Maverick's, as he was entertained by him. Although the natural inference from the passage quoted is that Maverick was then living on the island, Johnson may not have intended to convey the idea. Presumably Samuel Maverick's residence on Noddle's Island dates from the year 1635; it could not have been earlier than the summer of 1633. Note also in this connection that the Winthrop map, about 1633, pictures "Nottles Island" as wooded, and places no house thereon, while a group of houses appears at Winnisimmet.

The following order by the General Court which met March 4, 1634/5, is of interest in this connection: "It is ordered, that Mr Samll Mafiacke shall, before the last of Decembr nexte, remove his habitacon, for himself & his ffamily, to Boston, &, in the meane tyme, shall not giue intertainemt to any strangers for longer tyme then one night, without leaue from some Assistant; & all this to be done vnder the penalty of cl. Considering Maverick's reputation for hospitality (Josselyn writes "Mr Samuel Maverick . . . the only hospitable man in all the Country, giving entertainment to all Comers gratis"), and the fact that the ferry on the road to Lynn had its landing on his grounds, that he had easy access to the shipping in the harbor, and owned ships himself, it is not surprising that he became an object of suspicion to the colonial and town authorities at a time when the charter seemed in danger, the arrival of Sir Ferdinando Gorges as general Governor of New England was feared, and the colony was being fortified to resist him.

In the years 1634 and 1635 there was a strong movement in England for the abrogation of the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the appointment of a royal governor,—a movement in which Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the Council for New England participated. In February, 1633/4, an order was issued to Mr. Cradock to bring the patent of the Massachusetts Bay Company before the Council. April 28, 1634, a commission was issued by the King to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and nine others, giving them powers to control over all New England, including the right to remove governors and revoke letters patent "surreptitiously" obtained or "hurtful" to the "prerogative royall." Three days later a commission for a general governor of New England was issued, Sir Ferdinando Gorges being the governor chosen. A ship was building to carry the governor to New England. In September, 1634, Winthrop recorded that warnings from friends in England—to the effect that ships and soldiers were preparing "to compel us, by force, to receive a new governour, and the discipline of the church of England, and the laws of the commissioners,—occasioned the magistrates and deputies to hasten our fortifications"; a statement amply substantiated by the records of the General Court for the session beginning in September, 1634. At this same Court, as it happened, Winnisimmet was placed under the jurisdiction of Boston.

In January, 1634/5, the ministers of the Massachusetts Colony, convened at the call of the Governor and Assistants, advised resistance to the rumoured governor "if we were able." The same Court which ordered Maverick to remove his habitation to Boston appointed a Board of War with extensive powers, including the right of life and death over "any that they shall judge to be enemyes to the comonwealth," and to order out troops in case of war; ordered that an oath of fidelity should be taken by all men over sixteen years of age; appointed a beacon on Sentry Hill and a watchman from April to October; decreed that the fort at Castle Island should be fully finished, ordnance mounted and the like before any other fortification should be proceeded with; and forbade any one to visit a ship without leave from an Assistant until it had lain at anchor twenty-four hours, and made it "apparent yt shee is a ffriend," under pain of confiscation of all his estate.

With such an excitement brewing, the town and colonial authorities, not unnaturally, looked with suspicion on Mr. Maverick, because of his early relations with Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Apparently he found his six months' experience under the jurisdiction of Boston unpleasant, and decided to sell his lands at Winnisimmet. Noddle's Island was not placed under the jurisdiction of Boston until March 9, 1636/7. In the meantime the Massachusetts Bay Government could, at this crisis, scarcely tolerate a man of doubtful loyalty in a place so accessible to the ships in the harbor as Noddle's Island. At least Maverick did convey to Richard Bellingham the lands at Winnisimmet, February 25, 1634/5, and the General Court, which met a week later, ordered him to remove his habitation to Boston. It is interesting to note that Blackstone, about this time, left Boston and settled in Cumberland, Rhode Island, within the limits assigned to Lord Gorges in the division of land among themselves by the Council for New England. Also the General Court which ordered Maverick to remove to Boston expressed a desire that Mr. Allerton should remove from Marble Harbour, and ordered him to appear at the next General Court, at which time, in May, 1635, it was recorded that Mr. Allerton had given his housing at Marble Head to his son-in-law, Moses Maverick, who also managed, apparently, the estate of Samuel Maverick during the latter's absence in Virginia the following winter, as he then paid to the General Court the rent for Noddle's Island.

But the danger passed. A few weeks after the order directing Maverick to remove his habitation to Boston, that is, on June 16, 1635, Winthrop recorded that it was certified by "a letter from the Lord Say, and report of divers passengers," that the "great ship to send over the general governour . . . being launched, fell in sunder in the midst." Two months later, August 17, 1635, a ship arrived, bringing word that as it lay near Bristol, on May 27, Sir Ferdinando Gorges came on board, asked if there were passengers bound for Massachusetts, and assured the Rev. Daniel Maud of "his good will to the people there in the Bay, and promised that, if he ever came there, he would be a true friend unto them." Inasmuch as the Council for New England was still seeking the revocation of the charter of the Colony, such promises were of somewhat dubious value, but the destruction of the ship which should have brought him was a certain boon. The General Court, which met September 3, 1635, voted, "The order that enioyned Mr Samll Mafiacke to remove his habitacon to Boston before the last of Decembr nexte is repealed." It also rescinded the order as to visiting ships in the harbor. In November, Mrs. Amias Maverick was living on Noddle's Island, as she dated a letter there on November the 20th.

It is interesting to note, however, that Samuel Maverick went that autumn to Virginia and remained there for nearly a year, not returning until August 3, 1636. Boston was apparently willing to welcome his return, as, under date of April, 1636, Winthrop wrote there was some thought of sending the "Blessing" to Virginia "for Mr. Maverick and his corn." Certainly by the summer of 1636 all danger from Sir Ferdinando Gorges had passed. George Vaughan wrote from London in April that he had no encouragement as to New England, that "they were quite could in that matter, Mr. Mason being ded and Sr Ferdinando minding only his one divityon."

Samuel Maverick and Dixy Bull

One of Maverick's pinnaces was taken by Dixy Bull, the noted pirate, against whom an expedition was fitted out, and for which another of his pinnaces was chosen. The cost was "Paid by a bill from Mr. Samuel Maverick, being husband and merchant of the pinnace, for a month's wages, to Elias Maverick, £2. Paid for victuals upon his account £2 5s." Samuel Maverick had been one of the grantees of Agamenticus in December, 1631. When the patent was confirmed in March, 1632, some names were dropped and four were added,—"Seth Bull, Cittizen and Skinner of London, Dixie Bull, Matthew Bradley of London, Gent, and John Bull, Son of the said Seth." Immediately thereafter, apparently, a ship was sent forth commanded by Dixie Bull; but it was seized by the French, if the report which came to Winthrop may be trusted, and Bull turned pirate. Possibly this explains Winthrop's record in December, 1632, that the pirates, besides promising future good behavior, "had given another pinnace in exchange for that of Mr. Maverick, and as much beaver and otter as it was worth more." A few months later, however, Maverick's pinnace was sent out "to take Dixie Bull." Winthrop reported that "after she had been forth two months, she came home, having not found him. After, we heard he was gone to the French." Clap said: "These Men fled Eastward, and Bull himself got into England; but God destroyed this wretched Man."

Governor Dudley wrote to the Countess of Lincoln: "About the end of October this year, 1630, I joined with the Governor and Mr. Maverecke in sending out our pinnace to the Narragansetts, to trade for corn to supply our wants; but after the pinnace had doubled Cape Cod, she put into the next harbour she found, and there meeting with Indians, who showed their willingness to truck, she made her voyage there, and brought us a hundred bushels of corn, at about four shillings a bushel, which helped us somewhat." March 14, 1632, "The bark Warwick arrived at Natascott, having been at Pascataquack and at Salem to sell corn, which she brought from Virginia"; March 19, "she came to Winysemett"; and on April 9, "the bark Warwick, and Mr. Maverick's pinnace, went out towards Virginia." August 3, 1636, "Samuel Maverick, who had been in Virginia near twelve months, now returned with two pinnaces, and brought some fourteen heifers, and about eighty goats, (having lost above twenty goats by the way). One of his pinnaces was about forty tons, of cedar, built at Barbathes, and brought to Virginia by Capt. Powell, who there dying, she was sold for a small matter."

Maverick’s Descendants

[Matthew Clark, who married Abigail Maverick, June 4, 1655, lived first at Winnisimmet, where a daughter, Abigail, was born June 17, 1656; later at Marblehead. John Johnson, who married Elizabeth, October 15, 1656, was of Charlestown and Haverhill; she died March 22, 1673/4. Peter Maverick and John Maverick (who married Catharine Skipper, April 9, 1656) lived in Boston. The latter was described in deeds as a shipwright, owned a house at the North End of the town, and died before 1680. James, Elias, Jr., and Paul Maverick lived at Winnisimmet. These are the names on such tax lists as have been preserved: 1674, Elias Maverick and Elias Maverick, Jr.; 1681, the same, also Paul Maverick; 1687 and 1688, Widow Maverick and Elias Maverick; 1692, Elias and Paul Maverick; 1695, Paul Maverick; 1702, Paul Maverick and John Pratt. In 1687, the Widow Maverick was taxed for one poll, two horses, two oxen, six cattle, twenty sheep, and two swine; Elias, for one poll, two horses, nine sheep, and one swine. His housing was valued at three-fifths that of the western farmhouse. In 1702, John Pratt was taxed for one negro man, two cows, twelve sheep, and three horses; Paul Maverick, for three cows, twenty sheep, and one horse. As “Sea bookes and Instruments” and over a tun of logwood appear in the inventory of the estate of James Maverick, taken in 1671 by two of the neighbors at Winnisimmet, and as Elias Maverick, Jr., was described in legal documents as a “ship-wright,” it would seem that the family utilized their frontage on the sea and Island End River in addition to cultivating their farm.

Elias Maverick, Jr., married Margaret Sherwood December 8, 1669. She was admitted to the Charlestown church August 8, 1675. The children recorded to them are: Elias, born November 4, 1670; Margaret, married John Pratt, July 29, 1691; Elizabeth.

According to Wyman, all three were baptized August 22, 1675. Abigail, baptized September 24, 1676; Samuel baptized August 14, 1687. Elias Maverick died before November 2, 1696, as on that date his son-in-law, John Pratt, was appointed administrator of his estate, and five months later, guardian of his son Samuel. In September, 1697, three children were living,—Margaret Pratt, Abigail Maverick, and Samuel Maverick.

In 1678, Elias Maverick, Sr., conveyed to his son Elias and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten, the house in which the son then dwelt, with the land which Elias, the father, bought of William Stitson. In January, 1695/6, Elias Maverick gave twenty acres of land near this house by deed of gift to his son-in-law, John Pratt, of Boston, inn-holder. In the tax list of 1695, both Elias Maverick, Sr., and John Pratt appear in division number one (the North End) of Boston, yet the inventory of the estate of Elias Maverick was taken by men of Winnisimmet. John Pratt was host of the well-known Salutation Inn, near the landing-place of Winnisimmet Ferry in Boston. Thence he removed, early in the autumn of 1697, “to Winnysimtt into his owne House standing night ye fferry, there—where-into he hath removed his wines beare and other necessaryes for ye accommodation of man & horse.” He petitioned the Suffolk “Court of Quarter Sessions for the Peace,” October 5, 1697, for permission to continue at Winisimmet his vocation as innkeeper. He increased his lands by purchase, and February 8, 1708/9, with his wife Margaret, conveyed to John Brintnall, for £400, forty-five acres, including the easterly homestead with twenty-six acres. He was then described as of Salem, innholder.

Paul Maverick married Jemimah Smith, daughter of Lieut. John Smith of the adjoining Ferry Farm on the Bellingham estate. He owned the covenant at Charlestown, September 11, 1681. His children were: Moses, born February 8, 1680/81, baptized September 11, 1681, died January 28, 1685; Jotham, baptized October 28, 1683; John baptized, aged one year, August 14, 1687. Paul Maverick received by the will of his father twenty-five acres, and acquired, by payment of legacies to his sisters, the western farmhouse and fifteen additional acres. March 1, 1708/9, he conveyed to his son, John Maverick, joiner, the westerly homestead with forty acres, the consideration being £300. June 17, the latter conveyed the same to John Brintnall (his uncle) for £440. In June, 1709, Jemimah Maverick applied, in the name of her husband, Paul Maverick, for a license to sell strong drink as an innholder from “Mr. Hillier’s House in Middle Street,” Boston, it having been previously a licensed house. She stated that her husband was absent at sea and that she wished the business to retrieve losses in his estate. At the January term of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, in 1709-10, Jemimah Maverick was fined for selling strong drink without license. Later she married Henry Richman, of Boston.

James, son of Peter Maverick, received from his grandfather Elias fifteen acres of the farm at Winnisimmet. From a deposition taken in 1718, and recorded at the Suffolk Registry, it is learned that he was a ferryman, and lived at Winnisimmet, where two children were born to him and his wife Hester,—Martha, born April 17, 1693, and James, born, the deposition states, October 2, 1699. Presumably the latter date is a mistake of the copyist, as James Maverick must have been twenty-one years of age when he joined in the conveyance to Brintnall, November 1, 1715. July 16, 1703, Hester Mavrick of Lynn, widow of James Mavrick late of Boston, presented a petition to the Governor and Council for permission to sell a part of her husband’s estate, the half “of a Small Plot of Ground” with “a little old house on it” on Wing Lane in Boston. She said that her “husband did about Eight years Since go out of this Port in a Voyage bound or London, & was then taken by the ffrench, & Since not heard of by any of his Relations, he Left me two Children a boy & a girl, with uery Small matters to Support & maintain them.” The house was not sold until 1728. August 7, 1705, the widow married Benjamin Whitney, and November 1, 1715, Benjamin and Esther Whitney of Framingham, and her children James and Martha Maverick, conveyed to John Brintnall fifteen acres lying between the lands conveyed to Brintnall by John Pratt and by the son of Paul Maverick; the consideration was £50, and there was no mention of buildings. Later Martha Maverick married Thomas Bellows of Southboro.]

Mellen Chamberlain, A Documentary History of Chelsea, 1908

Samuel Maverick


"The only hospitable man in all the country." —JOSSELYN'S ACCOUNT.
MANY the hero of the old-time days,
Whose memory claims our honor and our praise;
This one for freedom's cause scorned all beside,
For conscience, justice, God, another died;
But round one name, in all the wide country,
Shineth the halo of sweet charity.
Did other virtues fail,—yet fail they not;
Whate'er his faults,—none lacketh them, God not!
Of him, once more, may write the angel's pen,—
"Behold a man who loved his fellow-men!"

S. Alice Raulett, The New England Magazine, September, 1893
Contrast the Boston of today with its hundreds of thousands of people, its teeming industries, and its commercial activities, with the picture of almost utter solitude suggested in "Wonder-working Providence," by Edward Johnson, who came over with Gov. Winthrop's colony: "The planters in Massachusetts bay at this time [1629] were William Blackstone at Shawmut, Thomas Walford at Mishawum, Samuel Maverick at Noddles Island, and David Thompson at Thompson's island, near Dorchester. How or when they came there is not known." Until recently the exact year of Maverick's advent upon our shores has not been known. Various dates ranging from 1625 to 1629 have been given. Whether he came in one of the fishing shallops which cruised along the coast soon after the settlement of Plymouth, or how, is not known, but the actual year of his settlement has been now authoritatively fixed. [footnote: "Whence these people came, what brought them to the shores of Boston Bay, and when they set themselves down there, have been enigmas which the antiquaries, after exhausting conjecture, have generally dismissed with the remark that they will probably never be solved." Charles Francis Adams, Jr., in "Old Planters About Boston Harbor." Proceedings Mass. Hist. Soc. for June, 1878.]

That delver in American antiquities, Mr. Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, of Salem, now resident in London, has proven that this "one of the first white men who ever settled on the shores of Massachusetts Bay," this one of the "old planters whom Gov. Winthrop found here," came as early as 1624. Plymouth had been founded; Wessagusset had commenced its career; Weston's colony had come and gone. Mr. Waters has found among other important things, notably the Winthrop map, Maverick's "A Briefe Discription of New England, and the Several Townes therein, together with the present Government thereof," wherein he says: "Now before I come to speak of Hudson's River, I shall most humbly desire the Honble Councill to take it in consideration the great benefits and profitts, which may redound to the English by these Westerne Colonies if well managed. Of their present condition I have given a briefe accompt in my foregoing Relation, being my observations which for severall years I have spent in America, even from the year 1624 till within these two years last past." This "Discription" was written, probably, in the year 1660, to Sir Edward Hyde, then King Charles the Second's Lord High Chancellor, and shows that Maverick had travelled over New England, and the adjacent territory, extensively, and was well acquainted with the locality and products of the various places in New England of which he speaks,—some fifty or more of them. Some of his observations are curious and instructive: "In the yeare 1626 or thereabouts there was not a Neat Beast Horse or sheepe in the Countrey and a very few Goats or hoggs, and now it is a wonder to see the great herds of Catle belonging to every Towne I have mentioned; The braue Flockes of sheepe. The great number of Horses besides those many sent to Barbados and the other Carribe Islands. And withall to consider how many thousand Neate Beasts and Hoggs are yearly killed, and soe have been for many yeares past for provision In Countrey and sent abroad to supply Newfoundland, Barbados, Jamaica, and other places, As also to victuall in whole or in part most shipes which comes there." And of Boston: "And the place in which Boston (the Metropolis) is seated, I knew then for some yeares to be a Swamp and Pound, now a great Towne, two Churches, a Gallant Statehouse & more to make it compleate than can be expected in a place so late a wilderness."

It has generally been considered than when Winthrop's colony arrived in Boston Harbor, in July, 1630, Maverick's residence was on Noddle's Island, now East Boston. The sole authority for this statement, says Hon. Mellen Chamberlain in his "Samuel Maverick's Palisade House of 1630," and the one which all historians have followed, is Edward Johnson, in his "Wonder-Working Providence," published in 1654, who says, "On the north side of Charles River, they landed near a small Island, called Noddel's Island, where one Mr. Samuel Maverick was then living, a man of a very loving and courteous behavior, very ready to entertain strangers, yet an enemy to the Reformation in hand, being strong for the lordly prelatical power. [Like Blackstone, Walford, Thompson, and others, Maverick was an Episcopalian.] On this Island he had built a small Fort with the help of one Mr. David Thompson, placing therein four murtherers to protect him from the Indians." [footnote: Phillips' "New World of Words, or Universal Dictionary," printed in 1706, defines "Murderers, or Murdering Pieces," as "small cannon, either of brass or iron, having a Chamber or Charge consisting of Nails, old Iron, &c., put in at their Breech. They are chiefly used in the Forecastle, Half Deck, or Steerage of a Ship, to clear the Decks, when boarded by an Enemy; and such shot is called a Murdering Shot."]

Untrustworthy as Mr. Chamberlain proves many of Johnson's statements to be, it is to be noticed that, although he says "on this island he had built him a small Fort," he previously says they landed near a small island, called "Noddels Island;" and that he did land near that island, at Winnisimmet, and that he there built a house, "the first permanent house in the Bay Colony,"—which stood as late as 1660—is now satisfactorily proved by Maverick's own "Discription," which says: "Winnisime.—Two miles South from Rumney Marsh on the North side of Mistick River is Winnisime which though but a few houses on it, yet deserves to be mencond. One house yet standing there which is the Antientest house in the Massachusetts Government, a house which in the yeare 1625 I fortified with a Pillizado and fflankers and gunnes both belowe and above in them which awed the Indians who at that time had a mind to Cutt off the English. They once faced it but receiveing a repulse never attempted it more although (as now they confesse, they repented it when about 2 yeares after the saw so many English come over." And that he was living in Winnisimmet (Chelsea) as late as 1633, is confirmed by Winthrop, who says, under date of Dec. 5th of that year, while speaking of the ravages of the small-pox among the Indians: "above thirty buried by Mr. Maverick of Winesemett in one day;" "only two families took any infection by it. Among others, Mr. Maverick of Winisemett is worthy of a perpetual remembrance. Himself, his wife, and servants, went daily to them, ministered to their necessities, and buried their dead, and took home many of their children. So did others of their neighbors." This was none other than Samuel Maverick, as Mr. Chamberlain says: "Uniformly and without exception, both in the Colony Records and in Winthrop's Journal, Samuel Maverick is called 'Mr. Maverick.'

"This "Manor of Winnesimett," as it came to be called, and the land belonging, in which a John Blackleach seems to have been a part owner, and the "fferry att Wynysemet graunted to Mr. Sam'll Mauacke" by the General Court, were sold to Richard Bellingham, Feb. 27, 1634, soon after he arrived from England.

Another mention of Mr. Maverick's property is as follows: "Mystic Side" was granted to Charlestown, July 2, 1633, when it was ordered that the "ground lyeing betwixte the North [Malden] Ryvr & the creeke on the north side of Mr. Mauacks & soe vpp into the country, shall belong to the inhabitants of Charlton." The year before Oct. 2, 1632, he had been admitted a freeman. Noddle's Island having been granted to Maverick April I, 1633. by the General Court, [footnote: 1633. I April. Noddles Ileland is graunted to Mr. Samll. Mauocke, to enjoy to him & his heires for ever, yeilding & payeing yearely att the Genall Court, to the Gounr for the time being either a fatt weather, a fatt hogg, or x ls in money, & shall give leave to Boston & Charles Towne to fetch word contynually, as their neede requires from the Southerne pte of the sd ileland.] and he having sold his Winnisimmet house, he built him a house on his new island home, probably during the year 1634, or spring of 1635, for although he was absent in Virginia from May 1635 to May 1636, his wife wrote a letter dated "Nottell's Iland in Massachusetts Bay, the 20th November, 1635;" and it is clearly indicated also by the Court records. Here he lived for many years, dispensing his hospitality on many and divers occasions as is witnessed by Josselyn, [footnote: The only hospitable man in all the countrey, giving entertainment to all Comers gratis." Josselyn's Account, p. 12, (Mass. Hist. Coll. vol. iii, p. 220).] who made a voyage to this country in 1638, and other early travellers. Other grants of land were made to Maverick; one of 600 acres and one of 400 acres; the latter being located in "the upper parts of Monotocot River, neere Taunton Path," which he assigned to Edward Bendall in 1643. He was one of the patentees of lands in Maine, as early as 1631, as is witnessed by a deed found in the York County records.

If not the earliest, Maverick was one of the earliest slaveholders in Massachusetts, having purchased one or more slaves of Capt. William Pierce, who brought some from Tortugas in 1638. Slavery was always repugnant to the feelings of our Puritan fathers, and from this fact, and the Episcopacy of Maverick, there was gradually engendered an ill-feeling between him and the government, which began to show itself as early as March, 1635, when the Court ordered Maverick to leave Noddle's Island by the following December, and take up his abode in Boston, and, in the "meantyme" not give "entertainment to any strangers for a longer tyme than one night without leave from some Assistant, and all this to be done under the penalty of £100." This, for fear that he might aid in some way, an anticipated and threatened change in New England affairs, to uproot Puritanism and establish Episcopacy; a plan concerted in England, but which came to naught. This injunction upon Maverick was repealed before December arrived. This was but one of many similar controversies which sprang up between Maverick and the government. Sumner, in his "History of East Boston," says: "His hospitable disposition subjected him to numerous fines, which, however, were frequently remitted; indeed, he seems generally to have been at war with the government."

Notwithstanding all this, he was frequently entrusted by the colonial government with more or less of the public affairs, as is abundantly witnessed by the records, although he held no public office. He seems to have been a man holding the goodwill and respect of all who came in contact with him; but, owning to his religious opinions, was involved in these difficulties with the government. These ecclesiastical troubles resulted in harsh and oppressive acts, on the part of the government, towards all who were members of the Church of England and who were simply contending for their rights. In 1646, a petition signed by "Robt Child, Thom. Burton, John Smith, John Daniel, Thomas Fowle, David Yale [and] Samm: Maverick," was addressed to the General Court, setting forth what they considered their grievances. For this a fine was imposed. Then the petitioners claimed the right of appeal to the commissioners for plantations, in England, which was not allowed; nevertheless, they appealed to Parliament. The signers of this appeal were treated with much indignation; and May 26, 1647, the Court passed sentence upon them as follows: "The Courte having taken into serious consideration the crimes charged on Doct Robt Child, Mr. John Smith, Mr Thomas Burton, Mr John David & Mr Samuell Mavericke, & whereof they have been found guilty upon full evidence by the former judgement of this Courte, have agreed upon ye sentence here ensewing respectively decreed to each of them." Mr. Maverick's fine was £150, a half of which was finally remitted after several petitions from Maverick, the first of which was as follows:

"I Sameull Mavericke humbly request that wereas, at a Corte held in May & June, 1647 there was layd to my charge conspiracy for wch i was fined 150£, no witnes appearing either viva voce or by writinge, but was refered to the records for sufficient testimony to convince me, wch records I could not obtaine in thirteen weekes, in the space of one month after sentence I yielded myself prisonner according to the order of the Corte, & after my abode there 12 dayes paid the fines, & so was discharged, wch time haveing gotten coppies of the records, and finding nothing materiall against me, whereby I may, (as I conceive) be rendered guilty, so as to deserve so great a fine, or to lye under so great disparagement upon record.

I therefore humbly desire this honored Courte, that my fine may be repaid, and my Credit repaired, by recording my innocency, if such testimony do not further appeare, as may render me guilty.

8, (3), 1649.          SAMUEL MAUERICKE."

Additional evidence that Maverick was incarcerated during these troubles is given in a petition to Sir Edmund Andros, February 13, 1687, by Mary Hooke, his daughter, who first married John Palsgrave, and then Francis Hooke, in which she says her father was "imprisoned for a long season." By this same petition of his daughter it is evident that for a while he became dispossessed of his home on Noddle's Island in a rather dishonorable and unfilial manner. She says, after referring to the above fine: "Which sume he resolveing not to pay, and fearing the sd Island would be seized to make payment of itt, he made a deede of Gift of the sd Island to his Eldest sonne, not wth any designe to deliver the sd Deede to him, onely to prvent the seizure of itt. But yor Peticonrs sd Eldest Brother heareing of itt, by a Crafty Wile contrary to his Father's knowledge gott the sd deede into his custody. But whether he sold it, or how he disposed of itt yor Peticonr canot sett forth, soe that yor Peticonrs sd Father in his life tyme and yor Peticonrs Father being one of the King's Comissrs sent with Collonll Nicolls, Gen. Sr Robt Carr & Collonll Cartwright to settle the affaires in New York & New England but were interrupted at Boston wth sound of the Trumpett."

But by deed recorded in Suffolk Registry of Deeds, Lib. I, fol. 122, it seems that matters were adjusted only a few years after these troubles, for, in 1650, the Island was sold to "Capt. George Briggs of the Island of Barbados, in the West Indies, Esq.," by Samuel Maverick and his wife, Amias, their son Nathaniel,—" the Peticonrs sd Eldest Brother," above referred to,—"for divers good causes & valuable considerations vs hereunto moveing, especially for & in the consideration of fourty thousand pounds of good white sugar, double clayed," "giue grant bargaine sell alien convey enfeoffe assure confirme vnto the sd Capt. Georg. Briggs a certain p cell of land or an Island comonly called or knowne by the name of Nodles Island lying and being in the Bay of Massachusetts in New Engl. aforesaid, together wth the Mansion house millhouse & mill, bakehouse & all other of the houses outhouses barnes stables edifices buildings, water privileges easments commodities advantages immunities & emoluments whatsoever." There were some subsequent conveyances, but in 1656, the same parties, Maverick, wife and eldest son, made a final deed to one Col. John Burch, as "Sd Samuell hath Received full satisfaction of the sd £700 stirling menconed in the aboue order made at the Generall Court aforesayed."

Referring to the troubles that resulted in thus driving Mr. Maverick away from Boston, Drake says: "It may appear strange that Mr. Maverick should submit to so many indignities as from time to time it has been seen that he did; a man that Boston could not do without. He was a gentleman of wealth and great liberality. [W]e have seen how much the town was indebted to him for help to rebuild the fort on Castle Island. He may have looked upon these and other proceedings against him as petty annoyances, to which it was best quietly to submit, not wishing to set an example of opposition to the government, or, having a large property at stake, he might not wish to jeopardize it."

Certain it is that he now left his home on Noddle's Island; and his subsequent life shows him to have been a royalist, true to Episcopalianism and to the King; and upon the restoration of Charles II. he went to England to complain to the King; and was two or three years soliciting that commissioners might be appointed who should visit New England with authority to settle all difficulties. In this he succeeded; and April 23, 1664, the King appointed four commissioners, "Colonel Richard Nichols, Sir Robert Carre, Knt. George Cartwright, Esq., and Samuel Maverick, Esq.," "to visit all and every of the same colonies aforesaid, and also full power and authority to hear and receive, and to examine and determine, all complaints and appeales in all causes and matters, as well military as criminal and civil, and to proceed in all things for the providing for and settling the peace and security of the said country." Upon the arrival of the Commissioners in this country there commenced a controversy and a conflict between their authority and that of the colonial government, particularly that of Massachusetts Bay, which was persistent and determined. Many letters passed between them; reports were made by the Commissioners to the Lord Chancellor; and only with the recall of their Commissioners did anything like peace reign, and that but temporarily. An extended and interesting account of this controversy, together with many of the documents passing between the parties, is given by Gen. William H. Sumner, in his "History of East Boston," chap. VI., pp. 127-160.

Just when and where Maverick died is not known, but it is generally thought that at the time of his death he was living in New York, probably in Broadway, in a house presented him by the Duke of York for his fidelity to the King. "During the early years of his residence in the colony, upon Noddle's Island, he was distinguished for his hospitality, public spirit, and hearty cooperation in efforts for the welfare of the province; and if in subsequent years, he manifested feelings different from these, they can only be considered as the natural result of the harsh treatment he had received. Like all men, he had his faults; but they were so small in comparison with his traits of character as a man, citizen, and public officer, that, in spite of all opposition he rose to stations of high importance, enjoyed the confidence of his sovereign, and identified himself with the efforts to establish religious freedom in the colony."

This sketch of one of our very earliest Bay settlers, whom Adams pronounces "a man of education and refinement" and "a man of substance," cannot be better closed than by giving a few words of John Ward Dean's introduction to Maverick's "Discription" which was printed in the "Historical and Genealogical Register" for January, 1885. Speaking of this account of New England, his letter to the Earl of Clarendon, printed in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, for 1869, p. 19, and his letters printed in the third volume of the New York Colonial Documents, he says: "They show the persistency displayed by Maverick in his efforts to deprive New England, and particularly Massachusetts, of the right of self-government which had so long been enjoyed here . . . The death of Maverick, which occurred between October 15, 1669 and May 15, 1676, did not bring repose to the people of Massachusetts. In the latter year a new assailant of their charter appeared in the person of Edward Randolph, whose assaults on their liberties did not cease till the charter was wrested from them, and the government under it came to an end May 20, 1686."

Elbridge H. Goss, The New England Magazine, November, 1886

Palisade House of 1630


At a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society, held Jan. 8, 1885, Judge Chamberlain made some observations respecting Samuel Maverick's palisade house of 1630, referred to in the Maverick Manuscript, recently discovered in the British Museum, said:—

It has been generally supposed that Samuel Maverick, assisted by David Thompson, who gave his name to an island in Boston Bay, some time before 1628 erected on Noddle's Island a house protected by palisades and fortified by guns; and that it was in this house that Governor Winthrop and his party were entertained by Maverick when they first came to Boston Harbor from Salem, June 17, 1630.

The sole authority for the erection of such a house on Noddle's Island, and for its existence when Winthrop arrived, is Edward Johnson, in Chap. XVII. of his "Wonder-Working Providence." There being nothing improbable in his account, it has been followed without question by Prince, Hutchinson, Savage, Young, Drake, Frothingham, and many others. But there are facts which seem to be inconsistent with Johnson's statement, though no one of them, nor perhaps all of them combined, is sufficient to overthrow it. Lately, however, additional evidence has come to light, and I now propose to state the whole case. Johnson's narrative is as follows:—

"But to go on with the story, the 12 of July or thereabout 1630, the soldiers of Christ first set foot on this Western end of the World; where arriving in safety, both men, women and children. On the North side of the Charles River, they landed near a small island, called Noddel's Island, where one Mr. Samuel Maverick then living, a man of a very loving and curteous bahavior, very ready to entertain strangers, yet an enemy of the Reformation in hand, being strong for the lordly prelatical power, on this island, he had built a small Fort with the help of one Mr. David Thompson, placing therein four Murtherers to protect him from Indians. About one mile distant upon the River ran a small creek, taking its name from Major Gen. Edward Gibbons, who dwelt there for some years after. On the South side of the River on a point of land called Blackstone's point, planted Mr. William Blackstone, of whom we have formerly spoken. To the southeast of him, near an island called Thompson's Island lived some few planters more. These persons were the first planters of those parts, having some small trading with the Indians for beaver skins, which moved them to make their abode in those parts whom these first troops of Christ's army found as fit helps to further their work."

This account of the coming of Winthrop's fleet, and of the topography of Boston and its vicinity, as well as of the persons he found there, is so incomplete and inaccurate that it raises at once a question as to the authority of Johnson's book on matters apart from his chief purpose—the history of the planting of churches in New England—or only incidental thereto. It was written between 1647 and 1651, and published in London in 1654. Savage's opinion of it as authority may be gathered from his notes to Winthrop's Journal, vol. i. pp. 8, 100, 112. I have looked through its pages, though not exhaustively, and noticed some errors not creditable to a historian who came in 1630, and was engaged in public affairs during his subsequent life. In Chap. VII. he misdescribes the bounds of the colony, and the reservation of mines to the king. In Chap. XVII. he errs by a month as to the date of Winthrop's arrival, and in Chap. XXV. by more than year as to the death of Sagamore John and his people by small-pox. In Chap. XVII. he tells us that the first court was held on board the "Arbella," which possibly may have been, though Savage doubts it; and that Winthrop and other were chosen officers for the remainder of the year 1630—a fact nowhere else mentioned, and contradicted negatively by the absence of any such statement in the place of all others where it would be looked for, the official records of the transactions of that court. In the same chapter he asserts that in 1630 about one hundred and ten persons were admitted freemen. The record says that in October of that year about the same number expressed a desire to be so admitted, but that their request was not granted until May of the next year.

If Johnson were our sole authority respecting the voyage of Winthrop's fleet, his reader could confidently assert that after leaving Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight it came directly into Boston Harbor, and the company first landed about July 12, instead of disembarking at Salem on the 12th of June.

And if we attempt to construct the topography of Boston and its vicinity according to Johnson's description of it, we have one river, the Charles, instead of two, the other being the Mystic; and into the Charles runs Gibbon's Creek, on which he resided many years. On the south side of the river, and opposite to Gibbon's plantation, we should look for Blackstone's Point in Boston. The utter confusion of Johnson's topography is apparent when we place Gibbons where he actually resided, up Mystic River, in the "Charlestown Fields," now Everett, and where his creek runs to this day. Johnson's account, quoted above, was written more than fifteen years after the time to which it relates; and its untrustworthiness is more clearly manifest when compared with Dudley's narrative covering the same period, addressed to the Countess of Lincoln; and its misleading character appears by observing that even the careful and accurate Young, following Johnson, makes Gibbon's Creek tributary to the Charles.

In like manner he gives us an incomplete account of the old planters. He names Maverick, Gibbons, Blackstone, and Thompson, but says nothing of those found at Winnisimmet as early as 1626, nor of Walford and his palisadoed house at Charlestown, nor of the Spragues and the remnant of the hundred planters who Higginson says were there in 1629.

A writer of this description can hardly be deemed an authority on any controverted point; and yet he is the sole authority, so far as I have observed, that places any residence whatsoever on Noddle's Island before 1635.

I now bring together those facts which lead me to believe that Samuel Maverick's fortified house was at Winnisimmet, and not at Noddle's Island, as is asserted by Johnson; and that it was at Winnisimmet he entertained Winthrop and his party, June 17, on his first visit to Boston Bay.

In the first place, Samuel Maverick and John Blackleach, joint-owners of that part of Winnisimmet which does not now belong to the United States, sold the same to Richard Bellingham, Feb. 27, 1635, as appears from "Suffolk Deeds," lib. i fol. 15, the fuller bounds of which will be found in the part now owned by the United States Maverick seems to have owned exclusively, as some years later he sold a portion of it to William Stitson. And inasmuch as there is no evidence of any conveyance or allotment of that plantation to them or to any other party, the presumption is that before the coming of Winthrop they had acquired a title to it, which was respected by the new government.

In the second place, Samuel Maverick had a house at Winisimmet as early as Aug. 16, 1631, a little more than a year after he entertained Winthrop. This is clear from the following record:—

"August 16, 1631. It is ordered, that Mr. Shepheard and Robert Coles shall be fined five marks apiece, and Edward Gibbons twenty shillings for abusing themselves disorderly with drinking too much strong drink aboard the Friendship, and at Mr. Maverick his house at Winnisimmet."

He was living there in December, 1633.

"John Sagamore died of the small pox, and almost all his people; above thirty buried by Mr. Maverick of Winnisimmet in one day,... Among others, Mr. Maverick of Winnisimmet is worthy of perpetual remembrance. Himself, his wife and servants, went daily to them, ministered to their necessities, and buried their dead, and took away many of their children."

Who was "Mr. Maverick of Winnisimmet"? Besides the Rev. John Maverick, of Dorchester, there were three men of the name of Maverick—Samuel, Elias, and Moses, who were admitted freemen, respectively, in 1632, 1633, and 1634. Samuel and Elias, it is almost certain, were brothers; and both lived at Winnisimmet, and on the same estate—now the property of the United States. But there was only one "Mr. Maverick," and he was Mr. Samuel Maverick. In saying this, I exclude the Rev. Mr. John Maverick, of Dorchester.

Uniformly and without exception, both in the Colony Records and in Winthrop's Journal, Samuel Maverick is called "Mr. Maverick;" nor is Elias or Moses ever so called until a much later period. At that time, "Mr." was not only a mark of rank, but of seniority as well; it was an absolute, as well as a relative term.

There being, therefore, only one "Mr. Maverick," let us assume for a moment that he lived on Noddle's Island instead of at Winnisimmet, and then consider the likelihood of "himself, his wife and his servants going daily" in a skiff over the half-frozen bay between Noddle's Island and Winnisimmet in December weather to minister to the dying Indians.

We are absolutely certain that there was a house at Winnisimmet in 1631; and there are some reasons which indicate that neither at that time nor for some time after was there any residence at Noddle's Island. If Maverick had a fortified house at Noddle's Island in 1630, as Johnson asserts, it must have been well known to all people, certainly to Winthrop and the members of his family; and yet within six months after Maverick is thought to have entertained the Governor there, "three of his servants coming in a shallop from Mistic—Dec. 24, 1630—were driven upon Noddle's Island, and forced to stay there all that night, without fire or food." The reader is ready to ask why they did not seek shelter and food in the hospitable house of Samuel Maverick.

If Maverick before 1630 had built a house on Noddle's Island, under a claim of right, and was living there in April, 1632, the order of the General Court of that date is at least singular. Why should he be excluded, on his own estate, from "shooting at fowls," or from taking them with nets, and the exclusive privilege of those acts be given to one John Perkins?

As we have seen, Maverick had a house at Winnisimmet as early as August, 1631. In the previous October, within four months after Winthrop's visit, he, Dudley, and Maverick sent out a pinnace to Narragansett for corn for the colonists; and the next year they went as far as Virginia on the same business; and on the return of the bark, "she came to Winysemett." Why should she go to Winnisimmet instead of Noddle's Island, if Maverick's residence was there?

It is significant that though Wood's map, made not later than 1634, and the newly discovered Winthrop map of about the same date, both indicate a settlement at Winnisimmet, neither of them affords the slightest indication of any residence on Noddle's Island, which on the latter is represented as covered by forests. Nor does Wood, in his text, say more of Noddle's Island than to class it with woods, water, and meadow ground where the inhabitants pasture their cattle; but he states "that the last town in the still bay is Winnisimmet, a very sweet place for situation, and stands very commodiously, being fit to entertaine more planters than are yet seated."

I have said that aside from Johnson there is absolutely no authority for saying that Maverick, or any one else, had a house on Noddle's Island in 1630. There are reasons for conjecture that such was the case until some time in 1634. Maverick sold part of his Winnisimmet estate to Bellingham in 1635, but he still had one hundred and fifteen acres left, now the United States Hospital grounds; and, as I conjecture, and as Wood's plan seems to indicate, his house was on that part. He acquired title to Noddle's Island in April, 1633, but, as we have seen, was at Winnisimmet as late as December of that year. He may have built on Noddle's Island in 1634. That is probable from the following facts: In July, 1637, Sir Harry Vane and Lord Ley dined with Maverick at Noddle's Island. He doubtless had a house there at that date. From May, 1635, to May, 1636, he was in Virginia; and that his house was built before he took that journey may be inferred from the fact that his wife, writing to Trelawny, dated her letter from "Nottell's Iland in Massachusetts Bay, the 20th November, 1635." Unless he built in the winter before going to Virginia, we are thrown back into the year 1634. And that it was built earlier than that date is probable from the circumstance, already stated, that he was living at Winnisimmet in December, 1633.

But it is scarcely worth while to pursue the question further, when we have evidence which is clear and conclusive. The following extract from the newly found Maverick Manuscript settles the question:—

"Winnisime.—Two miles Sowth from Rumney Marsh on the North side of Mistick River is Winnisime which though but a few houses on it, yet deserves to be mencond. One house yet standing there which is the Antientest house in the Massachusetts Government, a house which in the yeare 1625 I fortified with a Pillizado and fflankers and gunnes both belowe and above in them which awed the Indians who at that time had a mind to Cutt off the English. They once faced it but receiving a repulse never attempted it more although (as now they confesse) they repented it when about 2 yeares after they saw so many English come over."

There is no ambiguity in the above statement. The house was fortified in 1625. Was it built then, or in 1623, when Thompson may have been in the Bay? If Maverick's statement, made May 30, 1669, that "it is forty-five years since I came into New England," is to be taken strictly, he was not in the country before May 30, 1624; but neither this nor his other assertion, that "I have been here from the very first settling of New England by the English," should be construed with literal exactness. Nor do I think we are to understand him as saying that temporary structures, such as must have sheltered the settlers at Wessagusset, were not erected before his palisade house at Winnisimmet. On the principal fact—that not later than 1625 he erected at Winnisimmet the first permanent house in the Bay Colony, and that the same was standing as late as 1660—I think we may safely rest. Maverick could not have been mistaken in respect to anything so important in his personal history, nor had he any reason for misstating it. He certainly knew the facts of his own life better than Johnson, on whose sole authority all opposing statements are based. And Johnson's statement in regard to this matter, as well as to many other matters which may be supposed to have fallen under his observation, is coupled with assertions which we know to be untrustworthy. The historian of East Boston [William H. Sumner] has discussed the question, Who was Mr. Maverick, of Winnisimmet? with considerable ingenuity; but the authority for his main assumption had not then been discredited by the Maverick Manuscript, nor does his discussion include the facts essential to the determination of the question.

Mellen Chamberlain, Proceedings, June, 1885