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Who were the Kennebec and Pejepscot Proprietors?

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Coll. 61, vol. 10, p. 179b-1
Coll. 61, vol. 10, p. 179b-1
A copy of a letter issued by Samuel Goodwin to Mr. Joseph Stapels, "you are hereby Impowered to continue & Improve on Two hundred Acres of Land in Brunswick Adjoyning to Mr. Robert Kinney's Land on the Plains, and hinder any Person from Lumbering or Tresspassing" These letters were given to many settlers on disputed land when the Plymouth Company began establishing their claim. Maine Historical Society

Although the title may sound humble, clerks managed the books and, as they were privy to sensitive information, wielded considerable power in company affairs. Belcher Noyes, clerk for the Pejepscot Proprietors for almost a half century beginning in the mid 1730s, and Samuel Goodwin, an early clerk for the Kennebec Proprietors, not only organized meetings, but also took the lead in company negotiations with often recalcitrant colonists on the frontier, who had their own ideas about how land should be allotted. Both companies also employed agents who lived on the frontier to represent the proprietors’ interests. The Pejepscot Proprietors relied on Benjamin Larrabee and Enoch Freeman to collect payments, sell additional lots, and to deal with squatters or colonists cutting down timber on unsold company lands. Effective agents needed a familiarity with the law, as the proprietors frequently resorted to filing suits of ejectment or trespass against residents. In the early years of the Kennebec Proprietors’ operations in the 1740s and 1750s, Samuel Goodwin operated as an agent for the company in their first town, present-day Dresden.

At times, company agents clashed with their employers, disobeying directives from Boston. After Goodwin repeatedly sold lands without company permission the Kennebec Proprietors fired him as agent in 1761. By that time, Goodwin had bought a full company share and moved with his family into the Lincoln County Courthouse (built at the proprietors’ expense) where, despite several efforts by the proprietors to evict them, the Goodwins remained