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In the division agreed upon July 30, 1776, the lot on Olney Street fell to Richard Steere, from whom it descended, through his son Stephen, to his grandson Richard Steere, who sold it May 14, 1798* to Benjamin Marshall of Providence for $70, silver money. It was mortgaged to Samuel Young in 1801 for $50, and the mortgage was assigned to George Eddy, mariner, in 1814, for $60.50, who transferred it to Samuel Staples, Jr., in 1818, for $80.
Upon the second day of February, 1681, there was "laid out unto Thomas Olney Junr three acres and a half to make up the home share or house lot formerly belonging to John Steere's five acres, and one acre to make up the houselot of the said Thomas Olney's five acres. It all being in one parcel, and adjoining to the north end of said Thomas Olney's land, near the place called Wanskuck, there being some allowance by reason of the barrenness of most part of it."
In September, 1687, there was laid out to David Whipple fifty acres of land by the eighteen pole on the original right of John Steere, on the eastern side of the Wanasquatucket River.
The first acquisition by John Steere of property in the new territory opening northward and westward seems to have been in or before the year 1665. The only account of this transaction is in a memorandum recorded February 10, 1665, as follows: "Ordered, that Roger Williams shall have his first choice, after William Hawkins and John Steere, of the fifty acres of land on the east side of the north line, which beginneth seven miles from Fox's Hill, west."t The six and a half acres taken up by him in 1686, between the seven and four mile lines (somewhere in the territory afterwards known as Smithfield), may have been a portion of this fifty acres.
In the year 1666 William Minnion (or Mananion or Anminion as the name is variously spelled), an Indian sachem, under King Philip, of Punskepage, Massachusetts Colony, gave a deed of a tract of land bordering on the Pawtucket River, "lying from Loqueesit Northward," to Edward Inman and John Mowry. In this deed of May 14, 1666, the boundaries are defined as "a chestnut tree on ye South, marked on four sides at ye first Indian field on Wessulkuttomisk Hill, running a mile due North, and then upon a line to Ummohbukkonit, taking in all ye meadows, and so to run to Nysshacuck, and so to a clump of pines called yc Keyes, and so to ye spring called Wessukkattomsuk, to ye chestnut tree above-mentioned and so to Pawtucket River." Daniel Abbott and John Steere were witnesses to this deed. In 1668 Inman sold one share of his right to John Steere, and one to Thomas Walling.
Cedar Swamp, also half a right of common without of the Seven Mile Line on the right of Daniel Wil
the Seven Mile Line, and a right of common within liams.
said line and west of the Four Mile Line, and twenty- * Prov. Records, vol. 27, p. 190.
eight acres of common land to be laid out west t Knowles's Life of R. Williams, p. 329, note.
(See affidavit of John Steere, given above.] An agreement was entered into by the five proprietors of this large tract in a paper of which the following is a literal copy, with the antiquated forms of spelling retained:
We, the proprietors, being met together this tvveneth daye of Aprill one thousand six hundred sixti and eight doe conclude and agree as foloweth: to make an equal division of a certain tract of land and medo which we had originally of William Anminion; that is to say, to each proprietor three hundred acres of upland and swampes: and six acres medo; and that no proprietor amonst us shall have any medo layed out in his grate lot; but that which is medo shall be taken up for medo; and that each mane's land shall be laid out with all convenient speede that may be if desired; and that a publick record be keept of each man's land and medo; and the remainder of the land and medo undivided doe remaine as comon till we see cause further to Agree; we haueing drawed our lots for this present devision of six Acres of medo; Edward Inman first in turn in medo, John Steer third, John Mory and Nathaniel Mory are second, and Nathaniel Mory is forth, Thomas Wallin is fifth, and John Mory sixth; and this present division of upland and medo to be laid out by the sixteen foot and a halfe to the pole; also reserving to ourselves convenient highways threwout this whole tract if need require; loweing to that man in whose land it shall fall reesonable satisfaction; and that Arthur Fenner take care of this our agreement untill he hath transcribed unto us true copies hereof: which is owned to be as authentick to us as the original with the subscription of his hand; in the true performance of these our agreements we have here unto subscribed our names.
Edward Inman, The mark of Thomas Walling, John Steere, Nathaniel Mowry, John Mowry, Nathaniel Mowry. This is a true coppy of the original; in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 23: day of February: 1705,
In April, 1667, a lot of land was laid out to John Steere at Weepassachuck (or Wicaipasaihuk) " where his house standeth, on the east side Northerly & Southerly 160 poles and the breadth easterly & westerly is 77 poles."'' The locality that laid claim to the name Weepassachuck is not known. That Mr. Steere was still residing there in 1673 appears from the record that on May 24, 1673, there was "laid out to Daniel Abbott & Thomas Wallin two lots together not far from Jn° Steere's now dwelling house, Weecapassache, in length 160 poles, in breadth 120 poles." Edward Inman and William Hawkins also had lots of the same size in " Weesapasechuke," and the latter dwelt there.
May 23, 1667, Mr. Steere disposed of his first five acre lot (on the west side), which he had received of the town "in lieu of my share of meadow laid out to me by Thos. Olney, Surveyor," by deed to Pardon Tillinghast, and also deeded to the same, May 29, 1667, "my dwelling house in Providence, together with the land and fencing about it lying near to Thomas Olney Junior on the other side of the river, and also my five acre lot lying by it bounded on each side by the Town highway and by Thomas Olney's land and the Spruce Swamp, on
* Prov. Records, vol. I (A), p. 150.
the West and North West upon the consideration of a full and valuable satisfaction received," etc.* This location described as " near to Thomas Olney Junior" (who lived on what is now Stephens Street), and "on the other side of the rivers," may be fixed as somewhere near the junction of Charles and Martin streets.
The proprietors of the town from time to time divided the land that was newly acquired east or west of the Seven Mile Line, which afterward became the boundary line between Glocester and Smithfield. Sections were platted out and numbered and divided by lot, and there are several lists preserved of those who held original rights, and the numbers they respectively drew. The following were some of these divisions. "The names of these which drew papers, and their places as it fell unto them at a Town Meeting the 12th of April, 1675, Capt. Fenner, Moderator, it being for the dividing of the land beyond or on the west side of the Seven Mile line. Among these were drawn John Steer, 19, John Field 79, Roger Williams 37, John Whipple 43." "Here followeth the List of the Draught which was made the 17th of March 168} for the division of the Lands on the West side of the Seven Mile Line. Stukely Westcott, 01, Thos. Angell, 02; Joshua Verin, 03; Ezekiel Holliman, 04; Valentine Whitman, 05; John Smith, mason, 06; Roger Williams, 07; Shadrach Manton, 08; John Steere, 09 ; Thos. Harris, Senr, 10; ... William Wickendon, 65 ;" etc., in all one hundred names.
At the death of Rev. William Wickenden, the father of Mrs. Steere, February 23, 1670,t some of Mr. Wickenden's landed property came into the hands of John Steere. On the 6th of September, 1670, Mr. Steere, with the consent of Hannah his wife, sold an estate, consisting of twenty acres of land and five acres of meadow adjoining, on the east side of the West River, bequeathed to him by Wickenden, to the Rev. Pardon Tillinghast, who afterwards, October 15, 1676, disposed of the same to William Hawkins, Jr4 Tillinghast was the worthy and much honored pastor of the First Baptist Church in Providence. A memorial of the original owner still remains in Wickenden Street.
May 1, 1672, at a session of the General Assembly held in Newport, John Steere was made freeman of the colony, together with "Samuell Winsor, Abraham Man, Thomas Hopkins Junr, Nathaniel Moorie [Mowry], John Moorie, John Enman [Inman], Jeremiah Rhodes, John Beloo [Ballou], all 'of Providence."
John Steere remained still in the neighborhood of Providence, but is not named in the list of those who stayed during the Indian War in 1676. The storm that had been gathering for many years, which the Rhode Island colonists, generally friendly to the Indians and disposed to deal with them in fairness, had sought to avoid, broke at last with precipitate fury upon the little settlement,
* Old Book of Records (A), p. 12.
% Prov. Deeds, vol. 1, p. 88.