Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: THE MASSACHUSETTS CLAIM

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There was certainly no want of inclination on the part of the authorities of Massachusetts, to find some pretext, at least, for retaining jurisdiction over the New Hampshire towns and territory. The charter was therefore "examined anew,"--as appears from record--concerning the north line of their jurisdiction; and on the last day of May, 1652, the General Court voted, "that the extent of this line was to be from the northernmost part of the River Merrimac, and three miles north of that place, wherever it might be found, be it one hundred miles, more or less, from the sea; and thence upon a straight line east and west to the sea."(Mass. Rec., IV:93.)

Having given this construction to the charter, the General Court the next year ordered a survey to be made, that this line might be accurately determined. Accordingly, a committee was dispatched from that body, accompanied by two surveyors, and several Indian guides, in search of the most northern part of the Merrimac, which they were told by the Indians, was Aquedochtan, the outlet of Winnipiseogee lake. Having reached that point, they found by observation, its latitude to be 43° 40' 12" north; and three miles added to this gave 43° 43' 12", as their true limit. The next step was to find the same latitude on the coast, which was ascertained to be on the extreme north part of Upper Clapboard Island, in Casco bay. A line passing through these points and extended to the Pacific Ocean--in other words, the parallel of 43° 43' 12", extended across the continent--they determined to be their northern boundary. We shall see, further on, the troubles to which Hampton in particular was subjected by this decision.

This proceeding of Massachusetts, and several subsequent acts, were exceedingly discouraging to Mrs. Mason's agent; and, as it appeared to him that it would be futile to make any further attempt that time, to recover Mason's estate, he went back to England. There, the heirs of Mason had but little to hope for while Oliver Cromwell held the reins of government.

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