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THE MASONIAN PATENT,
CHARTER OF THE COUNCIL OF PLYMOUTH, OF DATE Nov. 3, 1620, THE
SUBJECT, AND COMPLETE INDEXES.
JOINT RESOLUTION relating to the preservation and publication of
portions of the early state and provincial records and other state
papers of New Hampshire. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
That His Excellency the Governor be hereby authorized and empowered, with the advice and consent of the Council, to employ some suitable person —and fix his compensation, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated-to collect, arrange, transcribe, and superintend the publication of such portions of the early state and provincial records and other state papers of New Hampshire as the Governor may deem proper ; and that eight hundred copies of each volume of the same be printed by the state printer, and distributed as follows : namely, one copy to each city and town in the state, one copy to such of the public libraries in the state as the Governor may designate, fifty copies to the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the remainder placed in the custody of the state librarian, who is hereby authorized to exchange the same for similar publications by other states.
Approved August 4, 1881.
In the introduction which preceded the principal text in volumes twentyseven and twenty-eight of this series of state publications, which were also designated as Masonian Papers, particular attention was called to two elements in New Hampshire history, viz. :— the controversy over the boundary between this province and the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and the controversy over the Masonian claim in its various forms and aspects. No less essential to an apprehension of correct theories as to the developmental history of the province is a recognition of the inter-relation of these two controversies, the identity of interests involved in them and which were constantly moving upon events, and were potent in the accomplishment of the most important results exhibited in the building of this commonwealth. A collection of the documents relating to the former subject, the boundary line controversy, is given in volume nineteen of this series. The papers there presented and the authorities, cited afford the material for the study of this subject, or direction as to where it is accessible, with reference to the probable requirements of investigators.
A similar collection of documents relating to the Masonian claim, its origin, its persistent prosecution in varying degrees of vigor and success, both in the courts of the province and in those of the mother country, its status and character as a factor in political and business affairs, the changes in its proprietorship, the eventual qualified recognition of its validity, and its relations with the fundamental titles to a large part of the territory included within the present boundaries of the state, has long been a recognized desideratum in the documentary bistory of the province and state.
In so far as this deficiency had been already met in the volumes of this series previously publisbed, the result was necessarily fragmentary and desultory. Documents presented in the earlier volumes, edited by Dr. Bouton, were for the most part those found in the state archives. Incidentally with the material of later volumes, largely legislative and executive journals, papers relating to the Masonian claim are incorporated, and are of unquestioned importance as constituting parts of the entire body of Masonian,documents. Tbe editors of the early volumes containing these