Petition of Samuel Moho and Others to the Massachusetts General Court

Province of the Massachusetts Bay

To His Excellency William Shirley, Esq., Captain General and Commander in Chief of said Province, to the Honorable His Majesty's Council and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled, September A.D. 1753

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The memorial of Samuel Moho and others in behalf of themselves, their brethren and sisters, Indian planters, belonging to the town of Stoughton in the County of Suffolk, humbly sheweth that we look upon you as our fathers, and we really believe you love to be kind to us, but we believe you have not known how we have been abased for many years past. Therefore, we pray Your Excellency and Honours will not be angry with us for complaining, and we would say that we verily believe that Colonel Miller and Major Shepard have in their accounts charged many things wrongfully. And we are sure that, since they were set over us, our woodlands have been plundered by many persons so that our cedar swamps and timber trees have been destroyed and our firewood cut off of our land to that degree that our lands are now thousands of pounds of less value than they were ten years ago. And we have had no recompense for the same.  We doubt not but you, Our Fathers, are disposed to shew us more kindness than you would show t[ hole ] the Eastward Indians.

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[We?] are very much dissatisfied with the management of Colonel Miller and Major Shepard, and without Your Excellency and Honours will appoint some Gentlemen to look into the matters we complain of, we shall in a short time come to beggary. Major Shepard has mightily caused three of us to be put into prison and there kept a great while in the most distressed condition for we could not beg, or if we did, we could not get anything by it as the White people could, and he rather sides against us than for us in any disputes. There are many of our kind neighbours see that we are wronged and have told us that we might complain to the Governour and the Great Court, which we now do and humbly pray we may be heard upon those points, wherein we have been grieved and injured, and that Your Excellency and Honours would in your great wisdom goodness and kindness relieve us.

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And we shall be very thankful to Your Excellency and Honours,

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Samuel Moho, his mark

Abigail George, her mark

Samuel George, his mark

Hannah George

Dinah Moho, her mark

James Quok, his mark

Sarah Moho, her mark

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Legislative Action:

In Council, December 7, 1753. Read and ordered that the complainants serve the within-named Samuel Miller and John Shepard, Esqs., with a copy of this complaint that they make answer thereto on Friday the fourteenth instant.  Sent down for concurrence, Thomas Clarke, Deputy Secretary.  In the House of Representatives. December 7, 175.  Read and concurred.  Thomas Hubbard, Speaker.  In Council, December 10, 1753.  Read again and ordered that the consideration of this [1] complaint be referred to Wednesday the 26th current and that the complainants serve the adverse party with a copy [2] hereof as soon as may be that they may make answer thereto.  Sent down for concurrence, Thomas Clarke, Deputy Secretary.  In the House of Representatives.  December 14, 1753.  Read and concurred.  Thomas Hubbard, Speaker.  In Council.  December 26, 1753.  Read again together with the answer of Samuel Miller and John Shepard, Esqs., and ordered that Benjamin Lincoln, Esq., with such as the Honorable House shall join be a Committee to repair to the woodlands and cedar swamps mentioned in the complaint as soon as may be and to hear the parties and report what they judge proper for this Court to do thereon.  Sent down for concurrence.  Thomas Clarke, Deputy Secretary.  In the House of Representatives.  December 27, 1753.  Read and concurred, and Colonel Richards and Captain Joseph Williams are joined in the affair. Thomas Hubbard, Speaker

Cataloguing:

405, 406, 407, 408

 

[1] Deleted Text: petition

[2] Deleted Text: of this Petition