Bidwell Lore – Dispossession of Stockbridge Mohican Land by the Ball Family, Part IX

Welcome to Bidwell Lore number 123! This week we continue with the story of Isaac Ball and the dispossession of Mohican land around Stockbridge, written by Rick Wilcox

Dispossession of Stockbridge Mohican Land by the Ball Family 1772-1781, Part IX
Isaac Ball (1744-1784)
Rick Wilcox 2022

This week we will continue to look at documents related to the purchase of Indian land by Isaac Ball and his brother Jonathan. What follows are a few more transcriptions (including one signed by someone whose name will be very familiar), with an image of the original page just below the typed transcription.

Selectmen of Stockbridge Petition
To his Excellency John Hancock Esq. Capt. General
Governor & Commander in Chief, the honorable
the Senate & House of Representatives of the Com
=monwealth of Massachusetts
We the Subscribers Inhabitants Select Men of the Town of
Stockbridge, finding that Mesors Isaac Ball, Jona
than Ball, Samuel Hatch & Hans Vinger, are about
have made considerable preparations for Erect
=ing a Grist mill & Sawmill on the river in this
Town The Land on each side of the river. A
gainst the place were they propose to Erect
the Mills, they hold under Three Indians be
=longing to this Town viz Joseph Shauqueth
=queat Benjamin Wauneeneekwneek & Da
vid Naunaunekoneek Their title to which
Land has not been Confirmed by the General
Court –
The necessity of more mills (especially Grist
mills) in this Town is the only reason of our trou
=bling your Excellency & your honors, with this
Our Earnest request that the Lands they hold
Under the Indians aforesaid, may be confirmed,
As without Confirmation  they may be pre
=vented from going on with their design of
Erecting Mills, at that place The place, we
are informed is judged Convenient, for a
Damm (which but few places in the river
are) and the Situation is such, that it would
be very convenient for us and others, to have.
Mills at that place kept in repair, And

Deed number 338, hand written in cursive on yellowed paper

We beg leave to add, that we humbly con
cieve it would be a publick Benefit
Stockbridge        Asa Bement} Selectmen of Stockbridge
26 March 1781  David Pixley}
Joseph Shauquethqueat [1] 

Obverse of deed number 338, hand written in cursive on yellowed paper

To the honorable the Senate & house of Repre
=sentatives of the Commonwealth of Massachu
=setts –
Humbly Shew Isaac Ball & Johnathan Ball
both of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire
that on the 26th day of June Anno Dome. 1772.
the purchased of Joseph Shauquethqueat, Benja
min Wanauneekneek, & David Naunaneekneck
three Stockbridge Indians, a tract of Land, Contain
=ing fifty Acres, lying west on Land granted to
Hanible a free negro, & running to the river – Which
Land your petitioners paid fairly purchased & ho
nestly paid for, And have some of the same under
Your pettitoners therefore pray, that
your honors would be pleased to Confirm to us
the Title to said Land, agreeable to the Deed given to
us by the said Joseph, Benjamin & David –
And as in Duty bound shall ever pray
Stockbridge 20. March 1781                Isaac Ball
                                                                  Jonathan Ball [2]

Deed number 339, hand written in cursive on yellowed paper

In the House of Representatives April 18th 1781                          337
On the Petition of Joseph Shauquethqueat, Benjamin
Waunehnauwet & David Naunauneek Indians belonging to
the Said Town of Stockbridge^& also a petition of the Select men of S Stockbridge & others
Praying this Court that they ^ said Indians may be
Impowered to Sell the flowing Tract of Land lying in Stockbridge
(belonging to Sd Indians) & give & execute good & lawful ^deed of the Same in
manner following, viz to Isaac Ball a Quantity of Land containing
one hundred Acres, lying on the west Side of Housatonuck River &
adjo ^ining to Land of Elihu Miles – Also a Tract of Land con
taining Fifty To Sd Isaac Ball & Jonathan Ball a tract of
Land containing Fifty Acres Lying west on Land granted to
Hanible a free Negro & running to the River, & also to the Heirs
of Melatiah Hatch a Tract of Land containing Forty Six
Acres, lying on the east Side of Housatonuck joining to
Land belonging to John Sergeant & the Heir of Benjamin Willard
Resolved that the above mentioned Joseph, Benjamin &
David be & hereby are impowered to give & Execute good &
Execute lawful Deed of the above described Land to sd Persons be-
Fore mentioned any Act or law of this State to the Contrary
Nothwithstanding –
                              Sent up for concurrence
                                              Caleb Davis Speaker
In Senate April 27 1781
Read & Concurred
Jez Powell Presidt
            John Hancock

Deed number 337, hand written in cursive on yellowed paper. Famous signature of John Hancock is at the bottom.

Next week we will look at two more documents and then discuss the Registry of Deeds.

1. Harvard University – Collection Development Department. Widener Library. HCL / petitions_masa_45X_0232-METS.
2. Harvard University – Collection Development Department. Widener Library. HCL / petitions_masa_45X_0232-METS.

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