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Who were the Kennebec and Pejepscot Proprietors?

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The Kennebec Proprietors traced their title back to a 1629 grant by the Council of New England (granting land from King Charles I under a royal charter) to a vague, poorly defined area on both sides of the Kennebec River. Originally awarded to Plymouth Colony, which used the land to engage in fur trade with the Wabanakis, until four Boston Merchants bought it in 1661 for £400. During the wars of 1675-1678 and 1688-1699, the Wabanakis—who had only conditionally authorized English traders to operate in the area, destroyed the trading posts and drove away the small number of English settler colonists there.

The original four shareholders and their descendants gradually sold off portions of their shares into ever smaller pieces, while the original patent was lost. In addition, ongoing eighteenth-century wars on the Maine frontier discouraged investors from what appeared to be a risky venture. What became the Kennebec claim lay "dormant" until a minor shareholder named Samuel Goodwin found a copy of the Plymouth Colony Patent in 1744. The major shareholders began attempting to make the company claim a reality in 1749.