Gambar halaman

Wayunkeake was purchased, "10th 3d, 1661," by deed from Wuttiashant to Thomas Olney, Sen., John Browne, and Roger Williams. The deed is recorded in the Old Book, No. 3, " Providence Records," page 452.

March 14, 166^, it was ordered "that three men shall be chosen by the Town to go and view the lands about Wayunkeake, to see where it will be convenient to place a Town." Thomas Olney, Sen., William Carpenter, and John Browne were chosen, and were to be paid by the town three shillings a day each for their pains. They apparently had a vague idea that a thriving village might be the result of the settlement of this locality, as in other hill districts.

January 1, 1663, the "Seven Mile Line " was fixed for a bound for the town's first division, and John Whipple, Sen., Arthur Fenner, and John Browne were chosen to run the north line.

July 3, 1663, a committee composed of Williams, Fenner, Browne, and Ash. ton were to meet with four Pawtuxet men to order the manner of payment for the confirmation of the town lands and " Pawtuxetts."

December 30, 1663, " Mr Roger Williams and John Browne were appointed to go to the Neighbors about the money due for Wayunkeake, and to receive it and give discharges."

The territory here named Wayunkeake was that region now included in Smithfield, between the Wanasquatucket and Pawtucket rivers, of which Winnekheague Hill forms a prominent feature. It was west of Louisquisat and north of Greenville.* Additional evidence that the Oliver Mowry homestead

people,) putting them upon mischievous remedies, which may be paid (by some order agreed on) to with the great noise of twenty miles new or old pur- such as lately have disbursed monies unto the effectchase, ing of this. 1 offer, gratis, my time and pains, in Let us consider, if Nisowakit and Wayunekeke, hope that such as want may have a comfortable supand the land thereabout, may not afford a new and ply amongst us, and others made room for, who may comfortable plantation, which we may go through be glad of shelter also, with an effectual endeavor for true public good. To Yours to serve you, this end, I pray you consider that the inhabitants Roger Williams. of these parts, with most of the Coweset and Nip- 27, 8, 6o (so called.) mack, have long since forsaken the Narraganset

sachems and subjected themselves to the Massachu- To this letter the town replied that the lands

setts. And yet they are free to sell their lands spoken of "are ours already, and when we plant

to any whom the Massachusetts shall not protest there wee will agree with the Indians either to Re

against. To this end (observing their often flights, move, or to ffence: . . . Wee shall not be averce to

and to stop their running to the Massachusetts) I any fayre gratuetye, either to take them off there

have parlied with them, and find that about thirty ffeilds, or otherwise, always having Respect unto the

pounds will cause them to leave those parts, and act of the Sachems whome you have formerly so

yield peaceable possession. I suppose, then, that much Honuored; And herein if you accomplish wee

the town may do well to give leave to about twenty shall be ready to assist with further pay."

of your inhabitants (of which I offer to be one, and * Says Samuel C. Newman in his Sketch ofWoon

know others willing) to lay down thirty shillings a socket: "Long prior to the settlement of Smithfield,

man toward the purchase. Let every one of this that territory was divided by the Indians into three

number have liberty to remove himself, or to place a departments,; that about Greenville they called

child or friend there. Let every person who shall Wankheege; that about the Limerock they called

afterward be received into the purchase lay down Lousquesit; and this region they called Woon

thirty shillings, as hath been done in Providence, socket."

had been the home of John Steere, Sen., in his later years, may be found in the sale of Ridge Hill meadow near Winnekheague to Capt. Joseph Mowry, September 3, 1720, and the sale, December 15, 1721, to John Steere, Jr., of a tract of land, " lying at or near a place called Winnekheague, being fifteen acres, being part of the homestead farm of John Steere, Senr, which he gave to his son Samuel." The father joined with his son in signing both the above deeds.

A few years previous to the signing of the last deeds, Mr. Steere gave to an Indian named Sam Noforce the use of a small tract of land for the term of thirty years. The following is the copy of this document:

Know all men by these presents that I John Steere, of the Town of Providence in her Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, have given and granted and do by these presents give and grant unto an Indian Known by the name of Sam. Noforce, who hath for some years lived by me and hath well behaved himself towards me and mine, a certain parcel of land laid out to me for six acres, be it more or less, for him the said Sam Noforce and his heirs for the full term of thirty years from the date of these presents, which term will period in the year 1734, during the said thirty years the said Noforce shall have the sole management and profits of the said lands to plant to corn or fruit trees, and to have the whole profit of them till the thirty years are completed; and after said term is expired, then I give the said six acres of land with all the profits thereon or thereunto belonging to my grandson Timothy Blantcher,* to him and his heirs or assigns forever, and for the future benefit of the said Blantcher the said Noforce is to leave the land smooth and not in hills, and the said Noforce is not to fence the spring, but leave it open for cattle to drink: And in confirmation of this my real act and deed I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of December in this year 1704,

John Steere.

Signed, sealed, and delivered
in the presence of us
Abigail Hopkins,
William Hopkins.

Recorded pr me — Richard Waterman, Clerk.

It is evident that the relations of Mr. Steere to the aborigines of the soil were humane and friendly. One of his descendants remarks that "it is somewhat characteristic and no less creditable that among the Steeres none of them held a negro or Indian as a slave as far as known." Sam Noforce evidently was not held as a slave.

At different periods Mr. Steere deeded to his sons lands which will be hereafter mentioned.

• Blanchard.

As late as 1712 there is a memorandum upon the records of the treasurer of the colony of the payment of £i to John Steere "for a wolf's head." This was the amount paid at that period for the evidence of the killing of this outlawed animal.

June 13, 1713, Mr. Steere was taxed six shillings.

John Steere died intestate, August 27, 1724, being ninety years old, and his son Thomas was appointed administrator. As the elder son, Lieut. John Steere, was then living, but died about two and a half years afterwards, it is possible that he was not at that time in sufficient health to administer upon his father's estate.

The homestead farm passed into the possession of the youngest son, Samuel, according to the provision made by his father, and in a little over a year the former sold this Winnekheague homestead to Capt. Joseph Mowry, son of Nathaniel, grandson of Roger. On the same date, December 6, 1725, Samuel Steere bought a tract of land on the west of the Seven Mile Line, near Thomas Steere's place and that of Elder Peter Place, the brother-in-law of both. This property was in the territory afterwards included in Glocester, in that portion near the present village of Harmony. Unless the body of John Steere, Sen., was removed from his farm at Winnekheague — where according to early custom he would have been interred—after his son Samuel removed to Harmony, his burial-place must have been at or near Winnekheague Hill, probably on that part of Captain Joseph Mowry's place which descended to his son Oliver and grandson Job. The old stones of that period were of rough granite, and in this section of New England did not often pass under the graver's tool, so that very few inscriptions are to be found upon gravestones before the year 1730.

The following, copied from the Probate Records,' will give some idea of the style of the original record: —

An Jnuentory of the Esstate of Mr John Steare of Prouidence in the Colony of Rhoad Jsland and Prouidence plantations in New England, yeoman, deceased, who departed this life — August the 27th 1724

To his wareing Apparrill £ 4 14 00

Jtem, To fourty acres of Land lieing on the East side the Seauen mile

Line 12 00 00

Jtem, To four acres of Seeder Swamp 01 12 00
Jtem, To an other peice of Land Lieing in that: that was Called the Stated

Common 08 00 00

Jtem to one Bond 10 16 00

Jlem To the Rent of the farme 08 00 00

The aboue Sd Esstate was apprized the 14th day of December, 1724:

by vs John Mory

Richard Euens
Elisha Knowlton.

* Vol. 2, pp. 214-218.'

On the backside of the Enuentory Jt was written as followeth — Att a Town Councill held att Prouidence the 21st day of December Anno Dom: 1724: — the within Jnuentory was proued approued allowed and accepted.

Attest: Richard Waterman Clerke.

Recorded pr mee Richard Waterman Clerke.

Whereas Mr John Steere of Prouidence in the Colony of Rhoad Island and Prouidence plantations: who departed this Life on the 27th day of August, Anno Dom: 1724, Dyed Jntestate and Left a Considerable Estate of moueable Goods behind him: which by the law of this colony fell into the care of the Towne Councill of Prouidence abouesaid and whereas his son Thomas Steere hath desired to have administration Granted him vpon said Estate: and hath already Exhibited an Jnuentory of the same before the Town Councill abouesd — which was by the said Councill accepted approved and allowed: and hath also giuen in Bond with Sureties for his true and faithfull performance of his administration vpon said Estate

These are therefore to order and fully Jmpower you the aboue-named Thomas Steere to take into your possession Care and Custody all and Singulior the moueable Estate and Goods of your Honrd father Mr John Steere, deceased and the debts Due to said Esstate and on the Same fully to Administer: Jn Order to discharge his debts and to pay Legasyes and to Act and doe in all Cases Relateing the premesses as the Law Jmpowereth an administrator to doe: and Render An Account of your proceedings therein vnto the said Town Councill or to theire Successors in said office when Legally Called therevnto.

Given Att a Town Councill held att Prouidence aboue said the 21s' day of December: Jn the Eleventh yeare of his Majestye's Reign George King of Greate Brittan, &c. Anno Dom: 1724

Signed and Sealled by order of the Councill and on their behalfes pr mee

Richard Waterman, Clerke.

Recorded pr mee Richard Waterman, Clerke.

Know all men by these presents that J Thomas Steere of Prouidence in the Colony of Rhoad Jsland and Prouidence plantations Jn New England (yeoman) am holden and firmly doe stand bound vnto the Towne Councell of Prouidence in the Colony abouesaid: in the sum of fourty pounds and eight shillings Currant money of New England and wee Samuel Aldrich and John Mourey: yeomen: of sd Prouidence sureties in the sum of twenty pounds and four shillings apeice in Like Currant money as aforesaid to be paid vnto the said Town Councill theire certaine attorney or successors in said office: to the which payment well and truly to be made and done we bind ourselves our heirs executors and administrators firmly by these presents Sealled with our Seales dated this 21st day of December Jn the Eleuenth yearre of his majestye's Reign George King of Great Brittan, &c. Anno Dom. 1724.

The Condition of this obligation is such that whereas the Towne Council of Prouidence abouesaid hath granted administration unto the aboue bounden Thomas Steere vpon the moueable Esstate of his honrd father Mr John Steere deceased as pr a Jnstrument beareing euen date with these presents Reference therevnto being had will appeare: therefore Jf the said Thomas Steere doth faithfully and truely perform the trust Reposed in him Concerning his said administration: and Render an account of his proceedings therein vnto the sd towne Councill or to there sussessors in said office when Legally Called therevnto and in all things Relating the premisses: doth behaue him selfe as an administrator ought to doe: then this obligation shall be void or else the same to Stand and Remaine in full force Effect and vertue.

Children {probable order):

2. I. John, m. Esther, dau. of Valentine and Mary Whitman. He d. January 5, 1727; she d.

August 21, 1748,/.

3. II. Sarah, M., December 29, 1685, Elder Peter Place of Glocester. He d. July 6, 1735,/ .

4. III. Dinah, m. John Thornton, son of John and Sarah Thornton. He d. January 9, 1716,7!

5. IV. Thomas, in., 1st, Mary Arnold, dau, of Richard and Mary (Angell) Arnold; 2d, 1727,

Mehitable Plummer, widow of Samuel Plummer and dau. of Richard and Mary
Evans. He d. in Smithfield, August 27, 1735,/ .

6. V. Jane, probably m. William Blanchard,/.

7. VI. Ruth, d. 1680.

8. VII. William, b. November 25, 1671; in., 1st, Sarah ;2d, Susannah . He d.

January 29, 1737,/.

9. VIII. Anne, m., January 14, 1706, Richard Lewis. He d. October 4, 1717 ; she d. October

28, 1725,/ .

10. IX. Samuel, m. Hannah Field. He d. October 18, 1745,/ .

[merged small][merged small][graphic]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »