Petition of Thomas Trott to the Massachusetts General Court

Dorchester December 1739


To His Excellency Jonathan Belcher, Esq., Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, and to the Honourable His Majesty's Council, in Council Convened


The Petition of Thomas Trott of Dorchester, humbly sheweth that in the month of October in the year 1738, an Indian woman called Old Hitty (I think belonging to someplace towards Cape Cod, but living in no settled place or town hereabouts) in her wandering about fell sick in my neighbour's barn, destitute of all support and comfort. That your petitioner out of mere compassion and humanity took pity of the said miserable woman and removed her into an uninhabited English house, and provided all things necessary for her; where after twenty days sickness, she died, and then was buried by your petitioner. That your petitioner Expended on the said Indian woman in her sickness and funeral, the sum of six pounds, thirteen shillings, and nine pence made out by the following account, viz.

£.  S.   d.

To an Indian woman to nurse her 18 Days

 1  00  0

To providing for her all things necessary in her sickness and subsisting the nurse

 2  08  9

To firewood

 0  07  0

To a sheet to bury her in

 0  10  0

To a coffin

 0  15  0

To digging the grave and carrying her to the burying place

 1  03  0

To myself for time and trouble

 0  10  0

 6  13  9


Sworn to that your petitioner laid the above account before the Honourable Commissioners that have the care of the Indians with a petition that they would allow and pay said charges, but they returned the petition with an answer, that they had nothing to do with it, but if she belonged to a town then the town, otherwise the Province should be at the charge. Your petitioner, therefore, humbly prays Your Excellency and Your Honours to take the premises into your consideration and to order the said sum of six pounds, thirteen shillings, and nine pence to be refunded or paid back to your petitioner out of the Province Treasury, agreeable (as your petitioner conceives) to a Law of this Province made in the thirteenth year of the Reign of King William the Third, Chapter Nineteenth.


And your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray, etc.,


Thomas Trott

Dorchester, December 19, 1739



We, the subscribers, Selectmen of the town of Dorchester, do hereby certify that there was such an Indian woman lay sick and died in the town of Dorchester (who was no inhabitant of this town or any other town in the Province that we know of) and was supported and buried by the said Thomas Trott.  We have also examined and enquired into the articles of the above account and find (in our opinion) they are true and moderately charged.  Thomas Tileston, Estes Hatch, Robert Spurr, James Blake

Legislative Action:

Thomas Trott's Petition / 1739. for account.  Committed to Committee


256, 257