Document #5 Great James Deed of Sale to Thomas Martin 1680, Signed 1683
To all people to whom this present deed of sale shall come to be seen or read know ye that I Great James an Indian, and going by that name of Great James, with the free consent of my son John Womscoon as also with the consent of Joseph Tupkoowinnin deceased, his widdow and Indian all of Natick, have by virtue of a grant from the Honorable Generall Courte, held at Boston the ninteenth day of May Anno Domi one Thousand Six hundred and eighty, with the approbation Honored Major Daniell Gookins for and in consideration of six pounds tenn shillings, four pounds in money and fifty shillings in goods, to us already paid by Thomas Martine of Marlborough in the County of Midd: Shoemaker, the receipt where of we the said Great James and John Womscoon__s son with the widdow of Joseph Tupkoowinnin aforesdaid, do by those present acknowledge, and herewith to be fully satisfied and paid, and do fully easely and absolutly acquit exonerat and discharge the foresaid Thomas Martin, his heires executors, administrators and assignes for ever; by these presents both Granted Bargained and Seald, aleoned (?) enfessed and confirmed, unto the abovesaid Thomas Martine a prsell of Indian Land lying neare or less, that is to say about fourteen achors of upland, and about six of middow, being bounded, the upland and bout three achors of the middow on the north with forte middow booke and the rest of the middow lying in two prsells on the North side of forte middow brooke on towards the west end of my foresaid land and the other prsell towards the east end there is also bounding upon Major Gookns I mean both the small psells of middow on the north side (of) the brooke my whole land being bounded on the west with Marlborough town line, and southerly with a stacke at one conrner, and a blacke oak at the other corner and so running down betwixt the upland and the swamp easterly till it meets with the ____ in that psell of middow that lyes on the north side of the brooke on the Easterend of the land; all which was marked out by the abovesaid Great James himself, to have and to hould the above granted premisses and every pt and psell thereof to him the said Thomas Martin his heires and assignes forever, to his and there onely proper use and behooff, and I the aforesaid Great James and John his son, and Tupkowinnim widdow, doe covenant and promiss for us and our heires executors administrators and assignes to and with the aforesaid Thomas Martin his heires executors administrators or assignes, that he the said Martin his heires executors and administratiors and assignes shall or may at all times and from time to time for ever hereafter peacebly quietely, have hould occupy posses and Injoy the above said bargained and assigned premisses and every pt and psell thereof without the lawfull lett claims trouble eviccion or expulccion of us the said Great James or John his son with the widdow of Joseph Tukoowinnin or of any of our heires executors administrators or assigns or any person or persons whatsoever; It is further granted by the above said Great James his son and the aforesaid woddow, that the abovesaid Thomas Martin shall have full power and liberty to feed his cattle on any the Comon Indian Land, also to cut and carry off firewood timber and fenceing stuff thereof for his necessary use from time to time as they shall have occasion for himself and heires forever.
In Wittness whereof we the abovesaid Great James my son and abovesaid Widdow have put to our hands and seales this second day of July In the Year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred eight three
Signed sealed and delivered
John (ink – blotted) ye marke of y widdow ye mark of Great James
Elezer (ink – blotted) Tupkoowinnin ye mark of John Woomscoon
Fort Meadow Brook History
Researched and written for OAR by Joanna Solins.
When Marlborough became incorporated as a town in 1660, many land grants were awarded in an area then known as “The Meadows.” Fort Meadow was one of the many meadows in this area, supposedly named for a small fort that was located nearby in the very early years of the settlement. Fort Meadow appears to have remained as meadowland for a century and a half, as an 1803 map still shows that area as an open meadow with a brook (later named Fort Meadow Brook) running through it. However, this map also shows the location of a mill on the brook that would soon change the nature of Fort Meadow dramatically.
In the late 18th century, Calvin Maynard constructed a gristmill on Fort Meadow Brook near the current town border with Hudson. The gristmill was soon converted to a sawmill and its operation was eventually passed on to Isaac Maynard, whose death around 1820 left his young son Amory in charge. The construction of the mill and a dam on the brook began to create a small pond, flooding Fort Meadow.
Around the year 1847, the City of Boston purchased the rights to this small lake and the surrounding land from Amory Maynard for $150,000, the largest sum that had ever been paid by the City of Boston for water rights at that time. By 1848 the pond had already become a large lake, but in 1858 the City of Boston decided that it no longer required the water from this site and sold it back to Maynard for $8,000.
By the end of the 19th century the lake was no longer a source of drinking water. Much of the lake’s south shore was developed as a lakeshore cottage community in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and new year-round homes were also built on Lakeshore Drive in Hudson at that time. Now the shores are dotted with houses.
Still known as the Fort Meadow Reservoir despite its disuse in that function, the lake currently occupies about 308 acres of land in both Marlborough and Hudson, and both towns have public beaches on its shores. The 13-acre public waterfront in Marlborough was purchased by the city in 1953 from Amory Maynard’s successor, the American Woolen Company, and was officially named the World War II Memorial Beach, although now it is just called “Memorial Beach.” Today the lake is a popular destination for boating, swimming and other recreation.
This information was taken from material compiled by John Buczek of Marlborough in his piece “The Lake that Never Was–Fort Meadow.” He has displayed his work on his website, which provides some further information and pictures.
The Niantic, or in their own language, the Nehântick or Nehantucket were a tribe of New England Native Americans, who were living in Connecticut and Rhode Island during the early colonial period. Due to intrusions of the Pequot, the Niantic were divided into an eastern and western division. The Western Niantic were subject to the Pequot and lived just east of the mouth of the Connecticut River while the Eastern Niantic became very close allies to the Narragansett. The division of the Niantic became so great that the language of the eastern Niantic is classified as a dialect of Narragansett while the language of the western Niantic is classified as Pequot-Mohegan. The Niantic were an Algonquian speaking people, speaking an Algonquian Y-dialect, similar to their neighbours the Pequot, Montauk, Mohegan, and Narragansett. The tribe’s name “Nehantic” (Nehântick) means “of long-necked waters” believed by local residents to refer to the “long neck” or peninsula of land now known as Black Point; located in the village of Niantic, Connecticut. The Nehântics spent their summers fishing and digging the shellfish which were once abundant there and for which the area is famous (see Millstone Nuclear Power Plant). They lived on corn, beans, and squash, supplemented by hunting, fishing, and collecting. Conflict broke out between the Niantic and their colonial neighbors, leading to punitive military expeditions that dealt out massive destruction in contrast to the rather limited incidents that had provoked the conflict. As the violence became more widespread it evolved into the Pequot War in 1637. This conflict resulted in almost total destruction of the Western Niantic, whose roughly 100 remaining members merged into the Mohegans and Pequots. There are members of these tribes who can trace their ancestry back to Nehântick members, especially in the vicinity of Lyme, Connecticut. Some of the Niantic who joined the Mohegan and Pequot fled west and joined the Brotherton Indians to escape further English harassment.
Following King Philip’s War (1675-76), surviving Narragansett fled to the Eastern Niantic in such great numbers that the tribe became known as the Narragansett, however, many modern-day Narragansett have significant Niantic blood. By 1870, the Nehantics were declared extinct by the state and their 300-acre reservation, the Black Point peninsula of East Lyme, was sold. In 1886, their burial ground was sold and desecrated, and the Crescent beach community filled over it. As recently as 1988, Nehantic skeletal remains were uncovered by new construction The East Lyme Public Library has some information, mainly as small booklets that were researched and written by local historians and that reference Mercy Matthews and many other Nehantic Indians.
In 1998, about 35 Connecticut families claiming Nehantic descent incorporated as a nonprofit association, the Nehantic Tribe and Nation, established a three-person governing board, researched their history more fully, and began the petition process of seeking recognition from the Federal government as an Indian tribe.
Atlas of the World’s Languages. Moseley, Christopher and R. E. Asher, ed (New York: Routelege, 1994) Map 3
Handbook of North American Indians. Hodge, Frederick W Washington, DC.: Government Printing Press, 1910.
The Indian Tribes of North America. Swanton, John R Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145. Washington DC.: Government Printing Office, 1952.