Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: DEBATABLE GROUND

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At this time, or a little earlier, there was a lawsuit between Mr. Samuel Dudley, of Exeter, and John Garland, of Hampton, concerning a tract of meadow, which the latter claimed, by virtue of a grant from the town of Hampton, but which the former claimed, as belonging to Exeter. The case was tried in the county court, and an appeal was taken to the Court of Assistants. Before the time for trial, John Garland died, and the town took up the case, appointing Nathaniel Weare as its agent, to defend the grant to the heirs of the grantee. It was virtually a controversy between the two towns.

On the 25th of April, 1672, the freeman of Hampton, desiring to compromise, chose Capt. Christopher Hussey, Ens. John Sanborn, and Mr. Samuel Dalton, not only to treat with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Gilman in regard to this suit, but, provided the town of Exeter would give these two men like powers, to settle the whole question of border disputes.

No satisfactory settlement having been reached on the 10th of May, Henry Roby was appointed attorney for Hampton, to manage the case at law, which was to be transferred to the General Court at the next session. Mr. Seaborn Cotton and Samuel Dalton were appointed, to give him all the assistance possible, either at Hampton or Boston, as the case might require.

The very next day, however, an agreement was effected, the committee for Hampton covenanting with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Gilman, that they should have sixty acres of land in Hampton, adjoining to Exeter, lying eastward of the foot-path--an old Indian path--leading to Salisbury, to be laid out by Lieut. Ralph Hall, of Exeter and Mr. Samuel Dalton, of Hampton; provided, however, that if they should alienate it, Hampton men should have the refusal of it, "paying as any other chapman would do." Minor difficulties were satisfactorily adjusted, and the land was laid out on the 24th of June following.

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