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Cape Cod Mashpee in 1837

John Hayward, in his New England Gazetteer; published 1839, had this to say about Mashpee, which he spelled “Marshpee”:

In Barnstable County. An ancient Indian territory, and an incorporated district of 10,500 acres, or about 16 square miles. It lies 12 miles SE from Barnstable, 8 SSE from Sandwich, and 8 E from Falmouth. It is bounded S by the ocean.

There are 350 colored inhabitants on this territory, and some whites. There now remain only seven inhabitants of pure blood of the fathers of the forest. Their land is good for grain of all sorts, and is well wooded. The territory is pleasant, and some parts of it afford beautiful scenery.

The Marshpee and Quashnet are considerable streams which, with numerous ponds and the ocean, afford an abundant supply of fish of various kinds.

These people live by agricultural pursuits, the manufacture of various articles of Indian ware, by the sale of their wood, and by fishing, fowling, and taking deer. They are docile and hospitable, they appear to relish moral and religious instruction; and and under the superintendence of a human and intelligent commissioner, appointed by the state, they are prosperous and happy.

This is the largest remnant of all the tribes of red men west of the Penobscot River, who, 218 years ago, were free simple proprietors of the whole territory New England!

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 05/18/06
Categories: HistoryMashpee
Keywords: history, indians, mashpee


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