« הקודםהמשך »
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF ARTICLES.
xxii. | 1761-1814
ii. | 1770-1814
xxvi. xxvii. xxix.
Page 85, line 19, dele and paid no other taxes to the government of New York
than two barrels of pickled cod fish annaally.
À DESCRIPTION OF MASHPEE, IN THE COUNTY OF
BARNSTABLE. SEPTEMBER 16Th, 1802.
CASHPEE is distant from Sandwich village eleven
miles; and from Barnstable court-house, thirteen miles. It is bounded on the north by Sandwich; on the east, by Sandwich and Barnstable ; on the south, by Vineyard Sound; and on the west, by Falmouth and Sandwich. The plantation is eight miles and a half in length, from north to south ; and four miles in breadth, from east to west; and contains, some say thirteen thousand five hundred acres, others say not more than twelve thousand acres; which are exclusive of the spaces covered by the harbours and lakes, and of the land in the possession of the whites.
There are two harbours on the coast, Popponesset Bay and Waquoit Bay, both of which have bars at their mouths. On these bars the tide is from four to six feet deep at high water, common tides rising about five fect. The outward bar is continually shifting its position and altering its depth. Popponesset Bay is the eastern boundary of the plantation. There is an island in it, named Popponesset Island, containing forty acres of excellent land,
Coatuit River, or Brook, which divides Mashpee from Barnstable, empties itself into this bay; and takes its rise from Sanctuit Pond, a lake a mile and three quarters long. Two miles west of it is Mashpee River, which is discharged into the same bay, and runs from Mashpee Pond, a beautiful lake two miles and a half in VOL. S.
length, and divided into two parts by Canaumut Neck, the northern part of the pond being called Whakepee. Between the two bays is Great Neck, a part of Mashpee which is the best settled by the Indians.' Waquoit Bay is the western boundary of the plantation. There are in it two islands; not far from which is the mouth of Quashnet River, which runs from John's Pond, a piece of water that from its size also deserves the name of a lake. Another pond, called Ashimuit, is on the Falmouth line, and nearly parallel with the road leading from that town to Sandwich. Beside which there are two or three other small ponds, and Peter's Pond on the Sandwich line, north of Whakepee, the greatest part of it being in that township. These rivers are among the longest; and these lakes, among the largest, in the county of Barnsta. ble. Mashpee River is as much as four miles in length. The rivers afford trout, alewives, and several other fish; and in the vicinity of them and the ponds are found otters, minks, and other amphibious animals. The bays abound with fish; and on the fats, along their shores, there are clams and other testaceous worms in plenty.
Mashpee, being south of the chain of hills, which extends from west to east along the north part of the coun. ty of Barnstable, is in general level land. The greatest part of it is covered with wood : the growth is a few oaks, but principally pitch pine. These woods, with those of Sandwich and Falmouth that join them, form an extensive forest, which affords a range for deer. In the same forest are also to be found a few rackoons. The land, which has been cleared, is chiefly on the necks near the harbours, and on the banks of the rivers and lakes. The soil of these places, particularly in the neighbourhood of John's Pond, Mashpee Pond, and Sanctuit Pond, is pretty good. Much of the land how. ever is sandy. The cleared land has been estimated at about twelve hundred acres. The soil is easily tilled ; and produces Indian corn from seven to twenty bushels by the acre, and about one third as much of
On new land, being a mixture of sand and loam, properly manured by foddering cattle with salt hay upon it, Mr.
Hawley has raised fifty bushels of Indian corn to an acre.
The roads for the most part pass through the woods,
Of the twelve or thirteen thousand acres of land in the plantation, a part is appropriated to the several families, is held in fee simple, is mostly enclosed, and descends by special custom. This family land, thus held separately, is considered and used as private property by the respective owners; and in no degree is the improvenient of it affected by the special statutes made to regulate the plantation. The residue of the land is common and un. divided, and wholly subject to these statutes and regulations. This land consists of a hundred and sixty acres of salt marsh, a few enclosed pastures, escheated to the plantation for want of heirs to inherit them, and the large tracts of wood land. One half of the marsh land is leased for the common benefit of the plantation. The overseers do not allow more wood to be carried to market, than can be spared ; but it is for the general interest, that three or four hundred cords should be annually exported to Nantucket and other
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places. Beside these sources of income, several families of whites are tenants, and pay rent to the overseers for the benefit of the Indians. These monies are applied to the use of the poor, sick, and schools, and to the current expenses of the plantation. There are within the limits of Mashpee about twenty-five families of whites; the greatest part of whom live on a large tract of land in the neighbourhood of Waquoit Bay, which was alienated from the Indians above a century ago : they pay taxes and do duty in Falmouth. West of Whakepee is another tract of land in the possession of white inhabitants, who pay taxes in Sandwich. At Coatuit is another tract possessed by whites, who are taxed in Barnstable. These two tracts also were long since alienated from the Indians. The missionary himself, Mr. Hawley, considers himself as belonging to Barnstable ; and votes with the freeholders of that town. Neither the lands nor the persons of the Indians in Mashpee, Martha's Vineyard, or in any part of Massachusetts, are taxed; nor are they required to perform services to the government in any way. They are not however a free people. The government views them as children, who are incapable of taking care of themselves : they are placed under overseers and guardians, who will not permit them to do many things which they please, and who in particular will not suffer them to seil their lands to any one.
The inhabitants of Mashpee are denominated Indians ; but very few of the pure race are left; there are negroes, mulattoes, and Germans. Their numbers have often been taken ; and have not varied much during the past twenty years. At present there are about eighty houses, and three hundred and eighty souls.* The houses are either wigwams or cottages. The wigwams are few in number; some of them are about fifteen or eighteen feet square ; and others, of nearly the same dimensions, are of an octagon shape. A fire is made in the middle of the floor; and a hole in the top suffers the smoke to es. cape. They are built of sedge; and will last about ten
* In 1808 an exact account was taken of the Indians, Negroes, and Malattoes in Mashpee, and the number was found to be three hundred and tidir-seven.