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nant, and petitioned the general court for an enlargement of their former grant for a township. The name of the petitioners are Edward Allyne, Abraham Shaw, Samuel Morse, Philemon Dalton, Ezekiel Holliman, John Kingsbury, John Dwite, John Cooledge, Richard Ewed, John Iloward, Lambert Genere, Nicholas Phillips, Ralph Shepard, John Gay, Thomas Bartleet, Francis Austin, John Rogers, Joseph Shaw, and Wilkin Bearstowe. Others very soon came from Watertown and settled here.
July, 1637. Came to Dedham John Allin, Eleazer Lusher, and ten other persons, bringing recommendations, and were at the same time admitted townsmen. These twelve persons gave a more decided character to the whole company. The eight persons who formed the Dedham church, and who by way of distinction, were called the founders of it, came in this company, (Edward Allyne excepted.) Ezekiel Holliman, before named, obtained leave of the town at the same meeting, to sell his lots in town, and I do not again see his name on the records. This circumstance confirms the opinion, that this is the same person who afterwards was a baptist minister at Providence, and attached to Roger Williams. He had been tried for heresy before this time, but he might reasonably have calculated to live in peace with the first company in this town, but the second he might anticipate would not be so indulgent to his heretical opinions. In 1642, the number of persons taxed, was 61 1666,
95 The war with king Philip, induced some to go to Boston. In 1686, the number had increased to
124 These I believe were all Englishmen, excepting one man, who when he was admitted a townsman, was called Smith, the Irishman. They came at different times, from different parts of England, and were with a few exceptions, husbandmen.
Henry Phillips came to Dedham from Watertown, and was solicited to become a candidate for the ministry, he chose however to be a candidate in another place, but some events prevented his settlement in any town, and he became, as our church records say, a discouraged and broken hearted christian. Mather inserts his name among the ministers, and as a resident of Dedham. I find no
man by the name of Phillips, who could be alluded to, excepting the Mr. Phillips above mentioned, and who had a dispute with the inhabitants about the cow commons. Thomas Carter was sometime a member of the Dedham church, who was afterwards minister of Woburn. Michael Powel kept the ordinary in Dedham and had several lots of land ; one of the little patches of upland in Charles meadow was called Powel's island. He was a candidate afterwards for the ministry in the second church in Boston.*
What these men did during the first fifty years, has been partly related ; what other things they did and suffered, must be stated in a few words. During that time they made many miles of new roads, among the great roots and fast rocks in the woods; made two bridges over Charles river, and several other bridges ; cut a canal for the channel of Mother Brook, cleared off the wood probably of 2000 acres, and brought a part of it under cultivation ; erected mills, built two meeting houses, and two school houses, laid a noble foundation for ministerial and school funds, and made greater exertions than any of their successors to support school masters and ministers. They made expensive treaties with the native chiefs for the extinguishment of their titles; caused new settlements to be begun in three new towns; and what is of more merit than all perhaps, established here a peaceable christian community, exempt from the disputes of other places ; harmonious in all their
enterprises, and gradually rising on a stable foundation. This is a bright page, and it is a faithful one The comparative amount of the things done, is triflingthey are principally worthy of notice only as they furnish a good illustration of character.
Indian war.-In September, 1673, the selectmen received orders from the general court to put the town in a posture of war. Then immediately the soldiers are called out, and have frequent trainings. A barrel of powder and other ammunition is procured, the great gun is put on wheels. The new meeting house is made a depository of these warlike stores. The people build a garrison, and set a watch. The fear excited was great, for many on that account fled to Boston. Mr. Adams mentions this circum
Winthrop, vol. 2, p. 323, in note.
stance, as a reason for relinquishing a part of his salary at that time. Dedham was well situated for defence. The town had been built in a compact manner, that it might be prepared for Indian hostilities. Little river and Charles river on the north, would make the savages unwilling to approach in that direction. The plain all around Dedham, was to a considerable extent cleared and level, and overlooked by a person in the belfrey of the new meeting house. To this circumstance it may probably be owing, that none of the parties of Philip made an assault on the town. It was no doubt reconnoitered by his spies, and had it been unprepared, might have shared the fate of Medfield and other places. The Indians in town were ordered to depart, and go either to Natick, or Neponset, or Wamoset. An enormous war tax was imposed on the inhabitants, which exceeded one shilling for every pound of valuation of estate.
In the spring of the year 1676, the troops of the colonists became very enterprising in pursuing and destroying the small parties of Indians in various parts of the country. Philip himself, the generalissimo of all the Indian forces, was soon discovered and slain at Mount Hope. Captain Church, with a company of men, visited the Narraganset country, the seat of that tribe, then under the great sachem, Pombam. But this chief, either having notice of captain Church's designs, or justly fearing an attack from other colonists, fled into the wilderness. The next information we have of Pomham is, that he and his party are in the woods near Dedham. Cotton Mather gives the following account of him. July 25, 1678, thirty-six Englishmen, from Dedham and Med field, with ninety christian Indians, pursued, overtook and captured fifty Indians without losing a man. Among these was Pomham, a great sachem of the Narragansets, who after he was wounded so that he could not stand, but was left for dead, the dying beast with belluine rage, got such hold of an Englishman, who came up to him, that he had killed him unless he had had assistance.* What design brought Pomham so near Dedham at this time, cannot even be conjectured; perhaps he had no rational motive, for the Indians as soon as their own country was attacked, seem to have lost their understandings, and were so amazed that they wandered in the woods careless of the fate which awaited them, and were destroyed without making much opposition.
* Magnalia, ? vol. 497.
Character of the first generation.- Dedham plantation during many years, was a little community governed principally by its own laws, and having little connexion with other people. They were a company selected from the first emigrants into Massachusetts. As moderate puritans, they were inclined to go southward towards a country, where Mr. Blackstone and Roger Williams were compeled to flee from intolerance. The excellent men in the plantation, would naturally attract to it persons of a similar character. It was no place for a wrong head or a bigot, or an enthusiast. It was no place for a display of any kind. A peaceable loving civil society was the great object of the people. They were willing to keep aloof from the nice questions involved in the antinomian and other theological controversies. In this respect they exhibited a contrast with some other settlements. They at first asserted the rights of conscience, and in no instance which I can discover, attempted to violate that right in others. The preface to the church records fully asserts the doctrine of religious liberty, as it is now understood. It modestly states “ That the proceedings herein set down may be of some use in after times: no way intending hereby to bind the conscience of any to walk by this pattern, any farther than it may appear to be agreeable to the rule of the gospel.” When the church was about to be organized, governor Winthrop sent word to Mr. Allin, that it must not be done without the approbation of the magistrates. This excited alarm, lest this claim of jurisdiction by the civil rulers," should be prejudicial to God's people; and some seeds of usurpation upon the liberties of the gospel.” I cannot find any evidence that any inhabitant in this town was ever deluded with the notions and errors of some of the first inhabitants settled in Boston and in Essex county. Mr. Norton's book, and the general court’s proclamations against the quakers, were sent to Dedham, but there the matter ended.
The grand jury in 1675, threatened to prosecute the selectmen if they did not cause the law against excess in apparel to be observed. I cannot discover that afterwards silk hoods and ribbons, were stripped from the heads of the women, or that great boots were prosecuted as that law required. The language first spoken in the town, was that of republicans. Church and commonwealth, rights of the colony, freemen and the rights of freemen, are words frequently seen in the records. The phrases, loyalty, subject, your majesty, and your majesty's pleasure, are not used, except for the purpose of showing dislike to the things thereby expressed. The first time I notice the word majesty, in the records, it is used to record this unanimous opinion of the inhabitants. “ This day, January 30, 1683, it was put to vote of the freemen and other inhabitants, whether they did desire the governor and company would defend their characters and privileges, so far as they can. Voted, by all, in the affirmative. It being put to them, whether they are willing to make a full submission and entire resignation to his majesty's pleasure. Voted, by all, in the negative.”
These expressions of opinion of the inhabitants, were caused by the proposition made to this and all other towns in the colony, at this time by the general court, thus to declare it. The ministers of king James the second, had demanded a surrender of the charter; and the general court was desirous of being supported in their refusal of that demand, by these town meeting resolves. The town we may believe was very strong in these resolutions; since their deputy, captain Daniel Fisher, acted a conspicuous part in the struggles to maintain the charter, and did no doubt animate his constituents with the same spirit for which he was much distinguished. Here in the very origin of the town, a strong predilection for republican government was manifest ; and we shall see as we proceed that every succeeding event and revolution, contributed to strengthen it. In this particular, Dedham did not differ from the other towns. These traits in the character of its people, are worthy of notice, principally because they are a pretty good example to show the origin and progress of public opinions in relation to the principles of government.
In Mr. Savage's list of freemen who had been admitted previous to the year 1647, which list is in the appendix to the second volume of Winthrop's journal, I count the names of fifty men who had been admitted townsmen of Dedham. A list of these fifty I will insert in the tenth