Excerpt from Pioneers in the Settlement of America, Vol. 2: From Florida in 1510 to California in 1849
It is not our purpose to follow the various attempts of Gorges, Rigby, and others, to increase the settlements and establish civil gov ernments, nor the subsequent e¿brts to... maintain the royal provinces, nor the claims of the Duke of York and his agents. With several Of these Massachusetts became involved in contests which, with various phases, continued many years. The patentees and patrons Of the early settlements, and many of the settlers, were Episcopalians, and they had no liking for the Puritans; but during the civil wars in England, and after the restoration Of the monarchy, many dissenters or Puritans who emigrated settled in Maine. These were anxious for the protection Of Massachusetts, and the Puritan colony was quite as willing to afford that protection, and to extend its authority.
TO do this with the appearance Of right, a new construction was placed on the limits of the territory granted by the Massachusetts char ter. That charter extended to all the lands within the space Of three English miles to the northward Of the river Merrimack, and to the southward Of any and every part thereof. When the charter was granted, the course Of the Merrimack was not known, and it was prob ably supposed that its general course was nearly east and west. As the early settlers confined themselves to the coast, the limits Of the grant were fixed at three miles north of the mouth Of the river, and for some years no thought of claiming beyond was entertained. But when it was known that farther inland the course Of the,merrimack was from the north, a wider extent Of the grant was suggested. The suggestion soon ripened into a claim, and in 1661 the General Court contended that all the territory south Of a line Stretching eastward from a point three miles north Of the source Of the river, belonged to Mas sachusetts.
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