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[p. 12] that would brook no opposition to established forms and ideas was early on hand. This bond, which is in the handwriting of Mr. Dunster, not only shows his willingness to arbitrate the issue, but also the talents the theocratic leaders felt might be employed in the legal profession.

June 10th, 1656. These prsnts witness yt. Mr Thomas Broughton of Boston. Merchant, Mr Edward Collins of Medford Merchant & Henry Dunster of Cambridge Clark, on ye, one pt. & Mr Zackary Sims of Charlestown pastor of ye Church of Ct there & Mr William Sims his son of Charlestown on ye other party do oblige and bind ourselves each party to other in ye sum of ten, [pounds] to stand unto & abide by ye finall issue & Determination of Edward Convers Samuel Richardson James Convers & Thomas Emes, of in & concerning such wst. or damage as they shal finde yt ye meddows of foresd Mr Sims & his son have sustained [this year] by reason of any ponding of ye river outside its wonted course by ye mill just below on yt river; but not for any other accidental Damages yt have befallen ye sayd meddows or may so whether by excessive rains this spring or rooting of hogs or pasturage of Cattle after due time of restoration of ye said meddows from cattle; or ye like, yt do or may appear to be other Diverse & heterogenory causes from ye pdning [ponding] of water for ye mill; wch only & ye prgt (?) & Ill consequences therof, ye aforesd four men have powr by these pysnt to issue & Determine; as upon Due evidence good reason & Consciencous grounds, they Soe finde, learne, concieve, or can be informed, provided also yt if ye four psons afforte canot Determine & issue unanimously or by joint consent ye sayd Difference; That yn they shal take in unto ym John Wyman for a fifth and yt according to ye purport of ye prmissor & not otherwise, any three of sd five shall by their act and deed Determine ye cause dependent. In witness of ye prmissors the parties above sd hereunto st their hands.


It would be interesting to know the conclusion reached by the referees, but one thing is clearly evident—Mr. Dunster drew the bond so closely as to closely limit the damage (if any) to flowage of water. It is to be presumed that the case was satisfactorily settled, as no account of the same is known till nineteen years later.


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June 10th, 1656 AD (1)
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