Rochester, Mass., September 15, 1732. Single leaf, approx. 12.25 x 7.5 inches, 2 pp. Some small holes and wear to the old folds, some light soiling annd wear; in good condition. Item #17106
John Clap conveys to Benjamin Clap a tract of upland swamp and salt meadow "known by the name of The Great Neck being the homestead where the sd. Benjamin Clap now liveth." Details of buildings, boundaries, etc. follow. Docketed on the verso by Edward Winslow, Justice of the Peace, and by Josiah Cotton as Register of Deeds. With the original seal. Witnessed by Ebeneser Clapp and Timothy Ruggles. Josiah Cotton (1680-1756) has been described as a "Plymouth civil magistrate and lay missionary" (Winiarski); he was a nephew of Cotton Mather, son of John Cotton, Jr., and like his father a missionary to the Indians. Among his mostly unpublished writings he compiled a short Massachuset Indian vocabulary manuscript in 1708 (first published in the Collections of the Massachusetts historical society, 1829-1830), a manuscript sermon in English and Massachuset from 1712, also at Massachusetts Historical, and a manuscript sermon to the Indians and a manuscript circular letter for missionary efforts in the Ayer Collection at the Newberry. Cotton served as a town official in Plymouth from about 1715 to 1739. For more on Cotton and his work with the Native American population of Massachusetts, see Douglas L. Winiarski, "A Question of Plain Dealing: Josiah Cotton, Native Christians, and the Quest for Security in Eighteenth-Century Plymouth Colony." New England Quarterly 77 no. 3 (September 2004): 368-413.