Massachusetts Archives

Accounts and Correspondence, 1788-1865

The first legislation regulating the Massachusetts Indians in 1693 (St 1693-4, c 17) provided that the governor appoint "one or more discreet have inspection and more particular care and government of the Indians in their respective plantations." Fifty years later, in 1746 (St 1746-7, c 12), the General Court began to appoint "near to every Indian plantation in the province, guardians to the said Indians," three to a plantation, empowered to take Indian lands, redistribute them among the Indians, let out the remainder, and use the resulting income to provide for sick and indigent Indians, with accounting of these transactions to be presented to the legislature. Guardians, sometimes referred to as trustees, were by the mid-1700s associated with at least two dozen localities. These records deal primarily with correspondence created between the years of 1788 to 1865 relating to the Mashpee (then called Marshpee) Indian plantation, but also with those of Chappaquiddick, Christiantown, Dudley, Gay Head, Grafton (or Hassanamisco, Hassanamessett), Herring Pond (and Black Ground), Natick, Punkapog, and Troy. Included is correspondence concerning the revolt on the Mashpee plantation in 1833-1834 and an enumeration of population of the Mashpee plantation in 1832.

Series in this Collection:

Locations in this Collection: