About New Ipswich

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Journeying from the seaboard towards the Connecticut River, upon or near the line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire, three isolated mountain peaks form conspicuous landmarks to the traveller--Watatic, Monadnock and Wachusett. About halfway between the two latter lies the little village of New Ipswich, whose records make an interesting page of New England history.

In the year 1621 King James granted to one John Mason a tract of land that lay between the Piscataqua and Naumkeag (i.e., between Portsmouth and Salem), and extended about sixty miles into the interior. Two years later Mason and those associated with him took possession of this grant; and this was the germ of the Province of New Hampshire. Mason died soon after, and his death was followed by the revolution in England. The claim, during this period was neglected, and it was not until after the Restoration that it was revived. In 1745 it was decided that John Tufton Mason, a native of Boston and a great-grandson of Mason, the original grantee, held rightful title to the Province of New Hampshire.

As the settlement of the province progressed, the frequent attacks of the Indians obliged the settlers to seek aid and protection from their neighbors of the older and strong Province of Massachusetts. As the southern portion of the Mason territory was claimed by both provinces, Massachusetts, as a matter of policy and a means of fortifying her claims, promptly gave assistance to New Hampshire, securing thereby the adherence of those whom she protected. Some years later the older province began to apportion out vacant or province lands. To the descendants of the soldiers of King Philip's war the General Assembly of Massachusetts gave the "Narragansett Townships;" to the descendants of those who followed Sir William Phipps into Canada were apportioned the "Canada Townships." These grants were made at the session of the General Court of Massachusetts in the years 1735-6, so that the town of New Ipswich refers to the initial measure of its settlement to this day.