In 1774, a new township in the District of Maine, was granted, by the General Court of Massachusetts, to the “proprietors of Suncook,” to recompense them for their losses. The township was called Sambrook, and embraced the present towns of Lovell and New Sweden; it was located in the neighborhood of the battle-field, where, a half century before, so many brave lives had been sacrificed.
Note.—The townships of Rumford and Suncook, both granted by Massachusetts authorities, made a common cause in the defence of their rights against the claimants under New Hampshire, known as the Bow proprietors. The latter, who were, in fact, the New Hampshire Provincial authorities, and who not only prosecuted but adjudicated the cases, brought suits for such small extent of territory in each case, that there was no legal appeal to the higher courts in England. The two towns therefore authorized the Reverend Timothy Walker, the first settled minister of Rumford, to represent their cause before the King in council. By the employment of able counsel and judicious management of the case, he was eminently successful, and obtained a decision favorable to the Massachusetts settlers. In the meanwhile, the proprietors of Suncook had compromised with the Bow proprietors, surrendering half of their rights—for them the decision came too late. The Rumford proprietors, however, were benefited, and Concord, under which name Rumford was incorporated by New Hampshire laws, maintained its old boundaries as originally granted,—which remain practically the same to this day.
[Footnote 2: General Timothy Bedel served during the Revolution; his son, General Moody Bedel, served in the War of 1812; his son, General John Bedel, was a lieutenant in the Mexican War, and brigadier-general in the Rebellion.]
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By L.L. Dame.
THE WASHINGTON ELM.
At the north end of the Common in Old Cambridge stands the famous Washington Elm, which has been oftener visited, measured, sketched, and written up for the press, than any other tree in America. It is of goodly proportions, but, as far as girth of trunk and spread of branches constitute the claim upon our respect, there are many nobler specimens of the American elm in historic Middlesex.
[Illustration: The Washington elm. [From D. Lothrop & Company’s Young Folks’ Life of Washington.]]
Extravagant claims have been made with regard to its age, but it is extremely improbable that any tree of this species has ever rounded out its third century. Under favorable conditions, the growth of the elm is very rapid, a single century sometimes sufficing to develop a tree larger than the Washington Elm.
When Governor Winthrop and Lieutenant-Governor Dudley, in 1630, rode along the banks of the Charles in quest of a suitable site for the capital of their colony, it is barely possible the great elm was in being. It would be a pleasant conceit to link the thrifty growth of the young sapling with the steady advancement of the new settlement, enshrining it as a sort of guardian genius of the place, the living witness of progress in Cambridge from the first feeble beginnings.