• Early Plymouth County, MA, Settlers Josiah Cotton, Preached To Indians, Samuel Stetson Engaged In Corn Mill Land Deal

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    Offering a fine Colonial Plymouth County, MA, deed, involving early Plymouth settlers, Samuel Stetson and Josiah Cotton, who preached to Indians, and others, and witnessed by two women as witnesses, a highly unusual activity in Colonial America.


    The one page, 8 ¼ x 13, deed relates to a corn mill on 3rd Herring Brook.  Part print, part text the document is written in Colonial style English.  In this deed, Samuel Stetson has received eighteen pounds, four shillings from Jonah Stetson “…for part of a corn mill within…Scituate it standing on a brook commonly called Third Herring Brook with all ye privileges belonging to said mill & dam…” The document is witnessed by Margaret and Mary Moen – and signed by Samuel Stetson.  Cotton has signed on the verso as register, having received the deed on June 5th, 1730.


    SAMUEL STETSON (1679-1760) was born in Scituate, MA. He was the seventh child of Joseph and Prudence Stetson.  Stetson built his house near the river on a portion of Cornet Robert Stetson’s farm.  Cornet was the title given to the third and lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop after captain and lieutenant. Samuel’s name appears frequently on church and town records and as early as 1692, he was connected with the second mill on the 3rd Herring Brook.


    JOSIAH COTTON (1679-1756) graduated from Harvard in 1698. He studied theology and taught in Marblehead and Plymouth. He was never ordained over any church but preached occasionally for several years. He was fluent in Indian language and visited various tribes and frequently preached to Indians in Plymouth as a missionary. He was also clerk of the county court and register of probate. He prepared a vocabulary of language of the Massachusetts Indians.


    Folds, toning and some foxing. Seal tear.  Fold break repaired with archival tape. Else very good.


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