Petition of Gideon Hawley to the Massachusetts General Court

To the Honorable Board of Councilors and to the Honorable House of Representatives in and for the State of Massachusetts Bay in General Court Assembled this 26th day of May 1779

The memorial and petition of Gideon Hawley, clerk and missionary among the Indians and pastor of the Church of Christian Indians at Mashpee in the County of Barnstable humbly sheweth,

That he hath spent his days among the Indian natives of this land, that in early life he was among the western Indians and founded a mission among the Six Nations which flourished till the infelicities of the present day disturbed its tranquility.  That he hath been twenty-two years at Mashpee, not seeking the properties or goods of his people but their best interests, as all who know him can testify.  That he hath a dwelling house and other buildings but only five acres of poor land, the whole of it not sufficient to pasture a cow.  That he hath no meadow of any kind, nor fire wood, nor fencing of any kind.  That after his decease, his house and buildings can be of no benefit to his posterity without a landed interest in some measure equal to their quality.  That in this day of hostility his salary as it came from London is a great part of it not paid at all.1  That his poor people hang upon him for bread. That his Indians did, for these and others good reasons on the 27th of April this year of our Lord 1779, make him a grant of lands and meadow, which he now humbly prays the Great and General Court to enable them to realize unto him and his heirs by a good and authentic deed.

And their petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.                                          

Gideon Hawley


Reverend Gideon Hawley



  • 1. The phrase "that it is in a measure cut off" was crossed out in the original.