Historical Sketch of Dudley, MA
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THIS township was originally granted to the Hon. Messrs. Paul and William Dudley of Roxhury, while yet in the possession of the aborigines, the tribe which was known by the name of the Pegan tribe. It was incorporated by the general court in 1731, and the name of Dudley was given to it as a token of respect to the abovementioned men, who were principal proprietors of the soil, and great benefactors to the first settlers in their infancy. The church was founded here in 1732, and the Rev. Perley Howe was ordained their first minister in 1735. He was dismissed in 1743, and the next year Rev. Charles Gleason was ordained, who continued the faithful minister till his death, in 1790. The Rev. Joshua Johnson was installed as successor to Mr. Gleason in 1790. His successors have been Rev. Abiel Williams, ordained in 1799, and Rev. James H. Francis, in 1831.

The central part of Dudley is situated on a commanding eminence, called Dudley Hill. The village consists of two churches, an academy, and about twenty five dwelling houses. The view abnve, shows the appearance of the place as seen from a. point about half a mile eastward, on the road to Webster. The Congregational church is seen in the central part of the engravjng, before which is seen the road ascending the hill, which here descends with considerable abruptness. The Universalist church and the academy stand south from the Congregational church. Merino village is about 2 miles eastward. Four acres of land on the summit of this hill were given to the town for public uses by the Pegan tribe of Indians, on condition that all of their tribe who should ever inhabit the town should have the right to convenient seats in the meeting-house. The face of the town is uneven, but not mountainous. It is beautifully interspersed with hills, valleys and streams of water. The soil is generally good and fertile. There are quarries of gneiss in this town, which yield great quantities of excellent building stone. There are 4 large ponds, the largest of which is in the east part of the town, called by the Indians Chau-bun-a-gung-a-maug. French and Quinebaug rivers, both considerable streams, pass in a southerly course through this town. There are 3 churches, 1 Congregational, 1 UniversaList, and 1 Methodist. Population, 1,415. Distance, 18 miles from Worcester, 6 from Southbridge, 45 from Hartford, (Conn.,) and about 60 from Boston. In 1837 there were 3 woollen mills, 11 sets of machinery; 196,653 yards of cloth were manufactured; value, $319,991; males employed, 101; females, 98. There were 27,740 pairs of shoes manufactured; value, $22,698; males emDloyed, 26; females. 18.

The following, respecting the Indians who lived in this town, is from Gookin1s Collections.

"About five miles distant from hence #Oxford# is a second town, called Chabanakongkomun. It hath its denomination from a very great pond, about five or six miles long, that borders upon the southward of it. This village is fifty five miles south-west from Boston. There are about nine families and forty.five souls. The people are of sober deportment, and better instructed in the worship of God than any of the new praying towns. Their teacher's name is Joseph, who is one of the church of Hassanamessit; a sober, pious, and ingenious person, and speaks English well, and is well read in the scriptures. He was the first that settled this town, and got the people to him about two years since. It is a new plantation, and is well accommodated with uplands and meadows. At this place dwells an Indian called Black James, who about a year since was constituted constable of all the praying towns. He is a person that bath approved himself diligent and courageous, faithful and zealous to suppress sin; and so he was confirmed in his ofilce another year. Mr. Eliot preached unto this people, and we prayed and sung psalms with them, and we exhorted them to stand fast in the faith. A part of one night we spent in discoursing with them, and resolving a variety of questions propounded by them, touching matters of religion and civil order. The teacher Joseph and the constable James went with us unto the next town, which is called Maanexit, is a third village, and lieth about seven miles westerly from Chabanakongkomun. It is situated in a very fertile country, and near unto a fresh river, upon the west of it, called Mohegan river. it is distant from Boston about sixty miles west and by south. The inhabitants are about twenty families, as we compute one hundred souls. Mr. Eliot preached unto this people out of the 24th Psalm, seven to the end: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in, &c.

"After sermon was ended we presented unto them John Moqua, a pious and sober person there present, for their minister, which they thankfully accepted. Then their teacher named and Set and rehearsed a suitable psalm, which being sung, and a conclusion with prayer, they were exhorted, both the teacher to be diligent and faithful, and to take care of the flock, whereof the Holy Ghost had made him overseer, and the people also to give obedience and subjection to him in the Lord."

Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
Geographical Descriptions.
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.


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