Contract between the Marshpee Overseers and Phineas Fish

The undersigned, Overseers of the Plantation of Mashpee, in the County of Barnstable, in consideration that the Reverend Mr. Phineas Fish, takes upon himself the pastoral care and charge of the proprietors and inhabitants of said plantation with occasional ministerial services to the Indians at Herring Pond, have and do by these presents in our capacity of overseers, as aforesaid, stipulate and contract1 with the said Phineas Fish that he shall have and receive the improvement of the woodland already established and appropriated to the use of the ministry and yearly and every year during the continuance of  the said Phineas Fish’s pastoral relation to said plantation, he shall take therefrom so much wood as shall be equal to the annual growth thereof, now to be ascertained and determined by Gideon Hawley2 and Walley Goodspeed,3 gentlemen, both of Sandwich, in the county aforesaid, and in case of any material change and alteration in said woodland by fire or otherwise, the same shall again be ascertained and determined by the said Hawley and Goodspeed, or some other two or three persons that the said Phineas Fish and the overseers of said plantation, for the time being, shall agree upon. And it is further stipulated, that the said Phineas Fish shall occupy and improve so much meadow and pasture land, as shall be necessary to winter and summer or to keep through the year one horse and two cows during the continuance of his ministry, as aforesaid, to be assigned him in convenient time by said Hawley and Goodspeed. And it is hereby further stipulated that application shall be made to the Legislature at the next winter session to authorize said overseers to convey by deed in fee to the said Phineas Fish a lot of land suitable for the erection of a dwelling house, not exceeding one acre.

In testimony of all which, we have hereunto set our hands,

August 23, 1811


Signed in presence of William T. Stevenson, Joshua Thomas.  Barzillia Davis, Hetty Davis, witnesses for John Davis.


Mashpee Overseers Contract With Phineas Fish / August 23, 1811.  A true copy.


A true copy


1, No. 12

  • 1. For the contract between Harvard Corporation and Fish, see 1811.09.18.00.
  • 2. Hawley was the pastor of the Mashpee. He also served as an overseer and treasurer for the tribe.
  • 3. Goodspeed was a local farmer from Sandwich, Massachusetts.