Memorial of the Inhabitants of the Third Society of Middletown
To the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut in New England at their Present Sessions in Hartford, May 13, 1756
The memorial of the inhabitants of the Third Society of the Town of Middletown in the County of Hartford and Colony aforesaid humbly showeth that there is two tracts of land belonging to the Indians in said society, one of which tracts contains about two hundred acres and lies in the center of said society and our meeting house being surrounded with said land is a great damage to the growth and increase of said society. The spot for us to build a meeting house on was pitch by three committees from court on said land,1 so that we was obliged to build it there and no inhabitants can settle near said house by reason of said land being owned by the Indians, which is greatly to the disadvantage of said society. The other tract of land belonging to the Indians lieth adjoining to the Great River at a place called the Indian Hill in said society and contains about fifty acres and is very well situated for trading to sea or merchandizing, as there is no land of either side said land on the river but meadow, and this is good building on as it is high and dry and lieth the nearest to the center of the society of any part on the river, being within one mile of our meeting house and is a good place for the building vessels and some have been built there with great difficulty of getting the timbers there by reason of no highway through said land, and there is others will be built there directly if the land could be bought out of the Indians’ hands. It is also a good place for vessels to lie safe in a south or southeast storm as any in the river, as all that are acquainted with the place well know, and a wharf and storehouses would be very convenient there for vessels to lie by and store their effects, as it is four miles above the lower houses in said town and about half a mile below the bar in said river, which can not be got over by vessels of any great burthen2 and for gentlemen that are owners of vessels and live up the river would be at a considerable less expense to get up their effects from there than from the lower houses where they are oblige to lie by reason of there being no convenience here for them to store their effects or grave their vessels.
And your memorialist further showeth that though all the afore land is as good land for tilling as any among us, yet it bares no charge to society, town, or said colony, and therefore is a great damage to all but especially to us, who want to have our charge eased, which would be considerable, so if said lands were settled by the English, and your memorialist further showeth that the Indians that are owners of said land are dispersed some one way and some another, and do not but few live on any of said land and those that do live there are all together unable to support themselves and are daily supported by some of our inhabitants and Cushoy, the chief sachem of said tribe that owns the aforesaid land, lives there and is a lame man and can’t travail much, is very desirous that said lands might be sold that so the Indians might have some benefit of their land, which now they have none, and we, your memorialist, humble pray for these and many more reasons that might be given you would grant us the liberty to purchase said land of said Indians, either by giving them equivalent lands in other parts of the society as good for them or by money or both as Your Honors shall think best; but if after all that hath been said, Your Honors should think in your great wisdom not best to grant us our request at present, we humbly pray that you would send a committee upon your memorialist cost to view the circumstances of said land and Indians and let them make report to this Honorable Assembly, which if Your Honors in your great wisdom shall see cause to do, your memorialist shall as in duty bound ever pray,
Cataloguing: 131a, 131b