Agreement to hunt Indians, Portland, 1757

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


The forefathers of Portland (previously Falmouth) hired mercenary scouts and paid bounties for “killing and captivating the Indian Enemy.” This contract promised a bounty “for every Captive or Scalp and of every Thing else they shall or may recover.” Those signing the agreement promised to furnish ammunition and provisions for the scouts and cruisers for 60 days.

Among signers are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s great grandfather Stephen Longfellow II, and Thomas Smith, minister of the First Parish Church in Portland from 1724 to 1795. Another signer, Samuel Waldo, was the owner of vast land claims extending to the Penobscot River, as well as lumber and mill businesses and had an economic stake in removing the Wabanaki from their homelands.

The complete list of signers of the document were: Samuel Waldo, Benjamin Aite, Thomas Smith, Jedediah Preble, Stephen Longfellow, Benjamin Titcomb, Ebenezer Mayo, Thomas Moseley, Simon Gookin, John Cochs, James Milk, William Cotton, and Alexander Moss.

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About This Item

  • Title: Agreement to hunt Indians, Portland, 1757
  • Creator: Waldo, Samuel
  • Creation Date: 1757-09-12
  • Subject Date: circa 1757
  • Town: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. S-2087, Misc. Box 100/24
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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