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 “Wyandance To Lion Gardener”
(“Deed of Beach,” June 10, 1658)

The whales were so many, foundered here
upon this early beach, that fed my tribe
through winters of raw blubber and lean fear;
and though the pale strangers did inscribe
within their deed, that we may yet possess,
for all time, the great fishes that shall land,
dried and gasping, they never thought to guess
the meaning for my weak and thinning band.

And so, upon the page, my mark was set,
but not for gain… though our Forefathers may
stir my dark and restless nights with dread, yet
I sold our ancient lands across the bay.
The bartered pride of noble men runs sad,
And in the end, was all we ever had.

Richard G. Beyer  (formerly of Bellport and Brookhaven)
Presented with the permission of the author (01-09-2003)

This poem won First Place, the Gertrude Saucier Historical Award, presented by The National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc. and was originally published in their Prize Winning Poems in 1971.

REFERENCE SOURCE: (Published with the poem)

Wyandance To Lion Gardener

Deed of Beach

   Be it knowne unto all men, by this present writing, that this Indenture, covenant, or Agreement, was made the tenth of Iune, in the yeare of our Lord, 1658, between Wyandance, Sachem of Pawmanack, with his son Wiacombone, and their Associates, that in Sasagataco, Checanon & mamaneto, on ye other side Lion Gardiner, for himself, his heirs, executors and assigns, that is to say, that the foresaid Sachem, Wiandance, hath sould for a considerable sum of money and goods, a certaine tract of beach land, with all ye rest of ye grass that joynes to it, not seperated from it by water, which beach begins Eastward at the west end of Southampton bounds, and westward where it is separated by ye waters of ye sea, coming in out of the Ocean Sea, being bounded Southwards with the great sea, Northwards with the inland water; this land and the grass thereof for a range, or run, for to feed horses or cattle on, I say, I have sold to the aforesaid Lion Gardiner, his heirs, executor and assigns forever, for the sum aforesaid, and a yearly rent of twenty-five shillings a year, which yearly rent is to be paid to the foresaid Sachem, his heirs, executors and assigns for ever, in the eight month, called October, then to be demanded, but the whales that shall be cast upon this beach shall belong to me, and the rest of the Indians in their bounds, as they have beene anciently granted to them formerly by my forefathers.
   AND also liberty to cut, in the summer time, flags, bulrushes, and such things as they make their mats of, provided they doe noe hurt to the horses that is thereon.  And that this writing is to be understood according to the letter, without any reservation or further Interpretations on it, we have both of us, Interchangeably set to our hands and seales.

Signed, Sealed and                                                                       LION GARDENER
delivered in the                                                                                 The Sachem  X  mark,
presence of us                                                  The mark of  X  his sons WIACOMBONE,
                                                                                                    SASAGATACO  X  mark,
          DAVID GARDINER,                                                            CHECANOE  X  mark,
     IEREMIAH CONKLING,                                                      MAMANETTE  X  mark.

   I, Ione Cooper, do accept this writing and promise for myself, my heir, executors and assigns, to performe the payment which is above specified.  Witness my hand, this 23 day of December, 1658.  In presence of ye underwritten witness.

                                                                                                   THOMAS OSBURNE,
                                                                                                   JEREMIAH CONKLING.

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The above deed is taken from “Records: Town of Brookhaven, Up To 1850,” as compiled by the Town Clerk, as published in 1880, for the Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of  New York.  “Errors” in spelling are copied exactly as contained in the printed deed.  It is interesting to note vestiges of Middle English.

Another Poem by Richard, inspired by RECORDS, TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN (NY) UP TO 1800, can be view by following the linked Title below:
   "John Smith Have Bought A Horse"