Copy of Petition of Captain Tom and Other Indians to the Massachusetts General Court

To the Honoured Governor Deputy Governor and Assistants together with the Honoured House of Deputies Now Sitting in General Court Assembled in Boston, September10, 1684


The Petition of Captain Tom and William Ahaton and Thomas Dublet (Indians) and divers others most humbly showeth that whereas your servants have been and are approved friends to the English and since the war, the Honoured General Court was pleased to state for the Indians several plantations; one of which we understand to be at Marlborough.[1]  We do understand that no man is to buy Indian land without leave from Your Honors.  We see daily that Thomas Waban and Great James do appropriate to themselves the Indian land at Marlborough [ illegible ] and that without order and keep all the pay to themselves and challenge the land of Groton and Concord, Chelmsford, and Billerica. Now, we beseech that Your Honors would be pleased to take so much notice of the businesses that justice may be done the Indians in this case, for many Indians are much disquieted about it, we having shrouded ourselves under the wing of Your Honors’ protection, do rest, hoping for a gracious answer.


And subscribe ourselves your ready servants to our power,

These are their rulers and the pastor of the Church at Natick

Captain Tom

William Ahaton

Thomas Dublet

Rawseat Motogken[2]

Andrew Pittimee


Samuel Awasamug, his mark

Joshua Ashunt, his mark

Agononit, his mark

Abraham Speen

Peter Moquamoge,[3] his mark

Old Jethro, his mark

Peter Betogkom

Old Nosauwinnu, his mark

Thomas Tray, his mark

John Magus, mark

Daniel Takawampus, his mark

Nehemiah, his mark

Great John, mark

John Awaquin, his mark

Nathaniel, his mark

Old Nawanont, his mark

Old Sosawannu, his mark

Old William, his mark

Rafer Pegan, his mark

Old Jamon, his mark

Dated September 19, 1684



 That what is on the other and this side written is a true copy of the Indians’ petition so signed, compared with its original left on file is attested per Edward Rawson, Secretary


Legislative Action:

In pursuance of the order of the Honored General Court on the other side dated October 15th 1684, empowering us underwritten as a Committee, we as expressed, after a full hearing of what could be a ledged on that account, which finds both English and Indians concerned in this matter, to have broken a Country law [ illegible ] Indians page 79. Sec 2,[5] to the particular order of this Court respecting the Indians grant of 6,000 acres near Marlborough (dated October 19, 1658) as appears by a deed of sale presented by some of Marlborough men unto us, dated July 15, 1684, they purchasing 5,800 acres from the Indians without the license of General Court first obtained wherein the aforesaid grant it is plainly expressed that the said Indians shall not make sale of all or any part of said land without approbation of this Court.  And that when any sale shall happen, the plantation of English there settled may have the first [ illegible ] thereof from this Court.  And although we find that some small parcels of land alienated by the Indians, the Plantation not appearing to plead their right by former grant, the Honored General Court confirmed the same. Daniel Gookin , Sr., William Johnson, Elisha Hutchinson, Henry Bartholomew, Joseph Cook, Nathaniel Stearns. Dated May 29, 1685




[1]  Marlborough was one of John Eliot’s Praying Towns.  A deed dividing the land between the colonists and the Indians was made in 1674, beginning the English settlement of the town. First Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts (Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice, 1909 ), 6-8.

[2] Possibly a variant spelling of Mtokksin, however, this is a family name in the Stockbridge community of Western Massachusetts.

[3] A  variant spelling of Muckamug

[4] Deleted Text: At AG

[5] “And it is Ordered, That no Person whatsoever , shall henceforth buy Land of any Indian without License first had and obtained of the General Court, and if any offend herein, such land so bought shall be forfeited to the Country.”  Act for Setling the Indian Title to Lands in this Jurisdiction,” Indians, The Colonial Laws of Massachusetts (Boston, MA: Rockwell and Churchill, 1890), 74-75.