Petition of Benjamin Wanno to the Massachusetts General Court

To His Excellency the Governour, the Honourable His Majesty’s Council, and the Honorable Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay In New England in General Court Assembled, June 1, 1743.

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The humble petition of diverse Indians In and about Titicut humbly sheweth that whereas a number of the English adjacent to us are moving for liberty to set up the worship of God with us, and whereas there is a number of the lawful heirs of the original Indian proprietors of these lands are willing to sell off a parcel of our lands for the setting up a meeting,  house parsonage, and whereas by the granters of these lands, liberty of improvement of them is reserved, for such Indians as will peaceably improve and possess them, that if the Gospel might be regularly settled as is proposed and prayed for by or neighbour English, not only we should be encouraged to continue on these lands as we now inhabit, and others of us, according to or right of inheritance and the abovesaid reserved liberty should be earnest to inhabit and continue to inhabit there. Might we enjoy the sober Gospel ministry, ordinances, and discipline, scripturally administered. Therefore, we pray that we may be incorporated with these or English neighbours in all ecclesiastic privileges.[1]

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And the Excellency and Honors’ petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray,

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Benjamin Wano

John Howland, mark

Joseph Pyam, his mark

Alice Anthony, her mark

Job Ahaton, his mark

Sarah Ahaton, her mark

Mary Howland, her mark

George Coriges

Martha Camm

Thomas Felix

Samuel Robin

Bashoba Robin, her mark

Legislative Action:

 In Council, March 15, 1743.  Read and ordered with that this petition be [2]revived and that the prayer of the petition be granted and the petitioners are hereby set off and annexed to the new precinct in Bridgewater and Middleborough accordingly. Sent down for concurrence.  J. Willard, Secretary. In the House of Representatives.  March 16, 1743.  Read and on-concurred. Thomas Cushing, Speaker

Cataloguing: 458

 

[1] The Titicut had an Indian church at Middleborough as early as 1665.  It continued until after 1755 when it disbanded, with the Indians merging with the town’s Congregational Church. Weston, History of the Town of Middleboro,  400-401.

[2] Deleted text:  referred