Petition of Ebenezer Felch to the Massachusetts General Court

To His Excellency William Shirley, Esq.,  Captain General and Governour in Chief in and over His Majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, to the Honorable His Majesty’s Council and the Honorable House of Representatives in General Court Now Met and Assembled


Humbly shews Ebenezer Felch of Natick 1 that there is great need of something to be done as to the Indian inhabitants of Natick, relating to their commons, wood and timber; as to their commons they are very much broken by the English buying pieces in one place and another of the best. But my design more especially at present is to acquaint Your Excellency, and this Honored Court, with the airy of the wood and timber on their commons, and lots, where I suppose they have no thoughts of improving. There is hundreds of acres in the commons, I supposed that a great part of the wood and timber is cut off by the English in other towns. And where I have been surveying land in their commons, I have seen a great many trees fell and barked and some barked standing all which stress their wood and timber, so that it seems if care is not speedily taken, they won’t have wood to burn, nor fencing stuff to fence with. I don’t suppose the Indians are sensible of the disadvantage it is to them, as to the sale of their land, or as to their own support for they burn much wood.  So hoping Your Excellency and this Honored Court in your great wisdom and goodness will be directed to do that which may be for the best.


Your humble informer as in duty bound shall ever pray,


Ebenezer Felch

Natick, February 9, 1744


Legislative Action:

In Council, February 14, 1743.  Read and ordered that Nathaniel Hubbard and Sylvanus Bourne , Esqs., with such as the Honorable House shall join be a Committee to consider this petition and report what they judge proper for the Court to do thereon.  In the House of Representatives was sent down for concurrence.  February 14, 1743.  J. Willard, Secretary.  Read and concurred and Mr. Livermore, Colonel Gerrish,2 and Mr. Liscomb are joined in the affair. Thomas Cushing, Speaker


Felch's Petition Relating to Natick, filed February 14, 1743



  • 1. Deleted Text: These may humbly inform Your Excellency and this Hond Court
  • 2. Possibly Colonel Joseph Gerrish, representative from Newbury, Massachusetts to the General Court. Schutz, Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court.