Reproduction of 1620 Charter from King James I to the Council for New England, 1885
Item 7541 info
Maine Historical Society
In 1606, King James I of England assigned land rights to the Virginia Company for the purpose of spreading Christianity from modern day Florida to Maine. The King provided a new charter in 1620, giving rights of settlement to the Plymouth Company for land previously held by the Virginia Company.
The new land disposition was for “our well disposed Subjects, that intended to make several Plantations in the Parts of America”—including Ferdinando Gorges who held the charter for the Province of Maine and Lygonia. The colored borders on the map represent Gorges’s patent in yellow, the Kennebec Patent—a later incarnation of the Plymouth Company—in green, and the “Ancient Province of Maine” in blue.
Some names mentioned on the map include Ferdinando Gorges, George Cleeve, Robert Trelauny, Josselyn, John Stratton, Thomas Cammock, Richard Bonython, Thomas Lewis, John Oldham, Richard Vines, Robert Aldsworth, and Giles Elbridge.
James P. Baxter, copied this map in 1885. The original outline was drawn November 3, 1620 with a scale of [1:633600] 1 inch to 10 miles.
Lease agreement on patent owned by Gorges and Mason, Kittery, 1637
Item 105627 info
Maine Historical Society
In 1629, Englishman Ferdinando Gorges and his partner John Mason divided the Province of Maine, with Gorges taking the land east of the Piscataqua River, calling it New Somersetshire, and Mason creating the Province of New Hampshire to the south.
Richard Vines, an English colonist worked as Gorges's agent to advance settlement in Maine. In this indenture, Vines, along with agents Henry Joselin and Thomas Wannerton, leased about 100 acres to Francis Matthews. This document obligated Matthews and his descendants to pay Gorges and his heirs 2 shillings per year for rent, up to 1000 years.
English King Charles disliked the name “New Somersetshire” and decreed the land be called the “Province or County of Mayne and not by any other name or names whatsoever." Despite the decree, Somerset County continues to carry this early name.
Wabanaki leaders Wiwurna (Warumbee), Darumkin, Nimbanizett, Neonongansket, WeconDomhegon, and Wihikermett deeded lands in the Merrymeeting Bay, Androscoggin River, and Kennebec River regions to Richard Wharton for settlement in 1684. The deed is often called the "Worumbo" deed. The land in question was formerly owned by Thomas Purchase, a land agent for Ferdinando Gorges.
Deeds like this one read more like treaties rather than land transactions, with some of the negotiations over borders, land use, and jurisdiction included in the written document. Even as they appear to grant Richard Wharton sale of the land, "'ye Sole propriety Benefitt and advantage of ye salmon & sturgeon fishing within ye Bounds & Limits aforesaid…: Wabanaki leaders also insisted on the preservation of their sovereignty and subsistence rights, "Provided Nevertheless [that] nothing in this Deed be Construed to deprive us ye Saggamores Successors or People from Improving our Ancient Planting grounds nor from Hunting in any of s'd Lands being not Inclosed nor from fishing or fowling for our own Provission Soe Long as noe Damage Shall be to ye English fisherys."
Settler colonialists, however, sought to control space, resources, and people not only by occupying land but also by establishing exclusionary private property laws.
Conflicts between Wabanakis and settler colonialists during King Philip's War rendered the District of Maine unsafe. In the course of five weeks in 1675, 60 miles of coast east of Casco Bay had been wiped clean of English settlements. The settlers abandoned their homes, becoming refugees in Massachusetts.
Hardships were equally severe for the Wabanaki. Families fled their villages, leaving cornfields unharvested. Denied access to their guns, ammunition, and fishing grounds, many starved.
When settler colonialists began returning to Maine, they demanded oaths of loyalty from the Wabanaki. Sagamores of the Kennebec, Androscoggin and Casco Bay regions agreed to cede some land use to Richard Wharton—a Boston merchant, land proprietor, attorney, and slave trader—and pledge their loyalty to the English crown in this document. The oath traces the diplomatic agreements Native people made by the "ancient Indian Grants" from Ferdinando Gorges through Thomas Purchase. The area was later resettled by Pejepscot Proprietors in 1713 and further populated by the Ulster Scots.
The map is a copy of a plan of the Pejepscot Claim.
The area shown shows the Androscoggin River, Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay north to Norridgewock.
It is one of the early surveys of this area, taken by the Pejepscot Purchase Company, also known as the Proprietors of the Township of Brunswick.
A group of eight men from Boston formed the Pejepscot Proprietors land company in 1714 when they acquired Richard Wharton's land parcels including the towns now known as Brunswick, Topsham, Harpswell, and Lewiston. The Proprietors promoted settlement and sold the land at a profit for the benefit of shareholders.
This 1738 map of the area around Brunswick was commissioned by the Pejepscot Proprietors. The area is bounded on the northeast by the Androscoggin River and Merrymeeting Bay, and on the northwest by Bunganuc Creek, the former North Yarmouth town line.
This map is marked #7. Scale [1:31,680] 160 rods = 1 inch.
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