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[337] expectations of the proprietaries; since furs might be
Chap IX.}
gathered and fish taken without the payment of quitrents or the purchase of lands.1

Yet a pride of character sustained in Gorges an

1635 Feb. 3.
unbending hope; and he clung to the project of territorial aggrandizement. When Mason limited himself to the country west of the Piscataqua, and while Sir William Alexander obtained of the Plymouth company a patent for the eastern extremity of the United States, Gorges, alike undismayed by previous losses, and by the encroaching claims of the French, who had already advanced their actual boundary to the Penobscot, succeeded in soliciting the whole district that lies between the Kennebec and the boundary of New Hampshire. The earnestness of his designs is apparent from his appointment as governor-general of New England. If an unforeseen accident prevented his embarkation for America, and relieved Massachusetts of its apprehensions, he at least sent his nephew, William Gorges, to govern his territory. That officer repaired to the province without delay. Saco may have contained one hundred and fifty inhabitants, when the first court ever duly organized on the soil of
1636
Maine was held within its limits.2 Before that time, there may have been some voluntary combinations among the settlers themselves; but there had existed on the Kennebec no jurisdiction of sufficient power to prevent or to punish bloodshed among the traders.3 William Gorges remained in the country less than two years; the six Puritans of Massachusetts and Con-
1637
necticut, who received a commission to act as his

1 Hubbard's Narrative, 204. Willis, 13. 17, &c. Folsom, 318, &c. Williamson, i.237, and ff. Gorges, 48, 49.

2 Documents in Folsom, 49—52. Josselyn, 200.

3 Hubbard, 167, 168. Winthrop

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