Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 578
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Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from

578    «    GAZETTEER    OF    MAINE.    %

of Wells) to John Wadlow or Wadleigh, upon condition that he should
allow one bushel of Indian corn annually to “ Old Webb,” his mother.

This title proved valid. In 1641, Sir Ferdinando Gorges presented
5,000 acres of it to Thomas Gorges, deputy-governor of his Province
of Maine and mayor of Gorgeana, for a manory. He chose a tract near
Ogunquit River in the south-west part of the town. About 400 or 500
acres of this was conveyed by deputy Gorges, in 1643, to Rev. John
Wheelwright (brother-in-law of the noted Ann Hutchinson), who had
been banished from Massachusetts for bis Antinomian principles.


Another grant was made by Gorges, July 14, 1643, to Wheelwright,

Henry Boad and others. When Wheelwright settled here about 1643,

Edmund Littlefield had already erected a saw-mill, on Webhannet River.

The town was incorporated in 1653, being the third in Maine. Its
Indian name was Webhannet. It included Kennebunk until 1820,
when that portion was set off. It then acquired its present bound-
aries, having Sanford and Kennebunk on the north, the latter and the
ocean on the east and south-east, York and South Berwick on the
south, and South Berwick and North Berwick on the west. The
number of acres of land is stated in the county atlas at 22,300. The
settlement went steadily on until the Indian wars. The adversities
which the people met for nearly three-fourths of a century seem to
have been too much for human endurance. Their suffering were
greatest in the Avars commencing in 1792 and 1703. During the first
of these there was fought on its soil one of the most remarkable battles
of the Indian Avar. Five hundred French and Indians under French
officers attacked the garrison of Joseph Storer,—a place of refuge Avhich
he had built at his own expense for all Avho, driven from their homes,
might come to him. There were Avithin it 15 soldiers only under Cap-
tain Converse ; and about a mile distant, at the landing, Avere two
coasters under captains Gooch and Storer, having on board 14 addi-
tional men for the garrison. Every means Avere tried by the enemy
against the fort and vessels, but all their machinations Avere ineffectual;
and after tAvo days of uninterrupted conflict, they were compelled to
abandon the enterprise, Avith the loss of Labocree, their commander.

It Avas during this bloody Avar that Rev. George Burroaats, Avho Avas
then residing near Salem, became tbe victim of the terrible Avitchcraft
delusion, and perished on the scaffold. He Avas a graduate o.f Harvard
college, and had been an esteemed minister in the vicinity of Wells,
and was at the time of his arrest devoting himself to obtain aid for the
suffering people of the east, Avho like himself had been driven off by
by the Indians, or were endeavoring heroically to hold their ground
against them.

In an attack in August, 1703, Wells was again attacked, and Avith
such desperation that in a short time 39 of its inhabitants Avere killed
or made prisoners, besides many Avounded. This Avar did not end
until 1713, during Avhich time many more of the inhabitants were
murdered, many houses burned, farms laid Avaste and cattle killed.

Ten years later another war let loose again the savage hordes ; but the
towns had grown stronger. In 1745 occurred the memorable and suc-
cessful siege of Louisburg. Believing that the French bad been the
inciters of most of the Indian Avars, the people of Maine entered upon
that expedition Avith great earnestness; and it is believed that fully
one-third of the able-bodied men of Wells Avere engaged in that enter-



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