Edmund Freeman

Edmund FREEMAN (1596 – 1682)  (Wikipedia) was was one of the nine founders of Sandwich, Massachusetts and an Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony under Governor William Bradford.  He was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Immigrant Ancestor - Freeman Coat of Arms

Immigrant Ancestor – Freeman Coat of Arms

Edmund Freeman was born on 25 Jul 1596 at Pulborough, Sussex, England.  His parents were Edmund  FREEMAN Sr. and Alice COLES.  He married  Bennet  HODSOLL on 16 Jun 1617 at Cowford, Sussex, England. After Bennet died, he married Elizabeth [Raymer?] 10 Aug 1632 in England.   Freeman along with his second wife Elizabeth and his family set sail from Plymouth, England on 4 June 1635 aboard The Abigail.  Edmond’s brother John and family also made the trip.  During the crossing an epidemic of smallpox broke out on shipboard. They arrived in Boston on 8 Oct 1635 and then settled in Saugus.  Edmund died on 2 Nov 1682 at Sandwich, at age 86. He is buried in a well-known, marked private burial plot in Sandwich along with his second wife Elizabeth.

Edmond Freeman – Gravemarker – The grave is located on the original Freeman Farm site in Sandwich, Mass

Bennet Hodsoll was born between 1597 and 1598 at Pulborough, Sussex, England.  Her parents were Robert HODSOL and Faith GRATWICK.  Bennet died on 12 Apr 1630 at Pulborough, Sussex, England.

If Edmond’s second wife is indeed Elizabeth Raymer, they married 10 August 1632 at Shipley, Sussex, England,  Other possible Elizabeths include Gravely?, Bennett? or Beauchamp or Perry?   Homer Worthington Brainard says she was a widow, Elizabeth Perry.  Both Rosemary Canfield and Henry J. Perry suggest that she may have been the Elizabeth Raymer who married at Shipley, Sussex, 10 Aug 1632 ,Edmund Freeman.  Elizabeth died 14 Feb 1676 in Sandwich, Mass.

Edmound Freeman’s stone lies next to his wife’s, the only two graves in Saddle and Pillion Cemetery.

Genealogical notes of Barnstable families  1888 — In his intercourse with his neighbors and associates, he was affable and obliging, and to his kindred and intimate friends, he was ever kind and affectionate. He rested from his labors at Sandwich in 1682, at the i”ipe old age of 92 years. His wife died Feb. 14, 1676, aged 76. She was buried on a rising ground on his own farm. He was then 86, and had lived 59 years in the married state. Some little time after her decease he summoned together his sons and his grandsons, they placed a large flat rock resembling a pillion, over the grave of the wife. He then placed another, resembling in shape a saddle, beside it ; and addressing his sons, he said : “when I die, place my body under that stone, your mother and I have travelled many long years together in this world, and I desire that our bodies rest here till the resurrection, and I charge you to keep this spot sacred, and that you enjoin it upon your children and your children’s children, that they never desecrate this spot.” .

A substantial wall was built around these simple but suggestive monuments, and his descendants to this day with pious hands protect them from desecration. Many of them regard this spot as their Mecca, which it is their duty to visit at least once in their lives.

Children of Edmund and Bennet:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Alice Freeman 4 Apr 1619
Pulborough, Sussex, England
William Paddy
24 Nov 1639
Sandwich, Mass
24 Apr 1651
Plymouth, Mass.
2. Edmond Freeman 26 Nov 1620
Billingshurst, Sussex, England
Rebecca Prence
(Mercy’s sister daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE)
22 Apr 1646
Margaret Perry
(Daughter of Edmund PERRY)
18-Jul-1651 Sandwich
5 Jan 1703/04
3. Bennett Freeman 20 Jan 1621/22
Sussex, England
3 Jan 1633/34
Plymouth MA
4. Elizabeth Freeman 11 Apr 1624
Sussex, England.
Lt. John Ellis
4 Jun 1645
24 Jun 1692
Rochester, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, at age 68.
5. Maj John FREEMAN 28 Jan 1626/27
Billingshurst, Sussex, England
13 Feb 1649/50
Eastham, Mass.
28 Oct 1719
Eastham, Mass
6. Nathaniel Freeman 2 Sep 1629
Pulborough, Sussex, England
12 Sep 1629

Children of Edmond and Elizabeth Beauchamp:

Name Born Married Departed
7. Mary Freeman 2 Jun 1632 London, England Edward Perry (Son of Edmund PERRY)
c. 1633
5 Nov 1688 Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass.
8. Cicelia Freeman 1633
Young, London

There were a lot of Freemans on board the Abigail .
Freeman John 35, #45
Freeman Marie 50, #58
FREEMAN John: 9, #59
Freeman Sycillie 4, #60
Freeman Thomas 24, #91
FREEMAN Edmund 45, #107
Freeman Edward 34, husbandman #135
Freeman Elizabeth 35, wife of Edward #136
Freeman Elizabeth 12, #149
Freeman Alice 17, #150
Freeman Edmund 15, #152
Freeman John 8, #153

“This year many new inhabitants appear in Lynn, and among them worthy of note Mr. Edmond Freeman, who presented to the Colony twenty corsletts, or pieces of plate armor.”  It is interesting to note that he was given the title of “Mr.” which, at that time, was reserved for men of importance, who in most instances had been gentlemen in England and hence had borne the title before coming to New England.  Another clue to his status in England is the fact that he brought with him the “twenty corsletts or pieces of plate armor” which represented a considerable amount of money.

23 Jan 1637 – Edmund (or Edmond) Freeman was admitted freeman at Plymouth

1637 – Edmund was one of the nine founders of Sandwich, Massachusetts along with George ALLEN.

1638 – In spite of the evident good standing of Edmond in the community, he occasionally offended in small matters and he was promptly taken to task, as when in 1638 he and others were fined ten shillings apiece for “being defective in armes”; that same year he was one of several who were presented “for keeping swine unringed”;

1641 – He was before the Court for lending a gun to an Indian and in 1646 he was fined eighteen pence for absence from General Court.

1640 – 1643 – Assistant Governor to William Bradford.

He became an Assistant in Plymouth Colony, but was not reelected in 1646, and Edward Winslow wrote to Gov. John Winthrop in Boston that “I suppose the country left [Freeman] out in regard of his professed Anabaptistry & Separacon from the Churches” (MHS Collections, 4th Series, 6:178). The Dawes-Gates account shows also that he was of an unorthodox nature for his time and place, and was later sympathetic to the Quakers. He had business interests of his own in New England, and he had a power of attorney in behalf of his brother-in-law, John Beauchamp, who had continued as one of the four London Undertakers after the other Adventurers sold out their interests.

Sandwich was first settled in 1637 by a group from Saugus with the permission of the Plymouth Colony. It was named for the seaport of Sandwich, Kent, England. It is the oldest town on Cape Cod. As of the census  of 2000, there were 20,136 people in the town.

Edmund Freeman is the first named  of the Ten Men of Saugus who founded Sandwich, Mass

Historians assert, that religious considerations also led the ten Saugus (Lynn) pioneers to seek this first plantation of the Cape. Whatever their motives, after deliberation they concluded that the Plymouth colony could be no more stringent than the Massachusetts, nor present more obstacles to their aspirations; so they sought and obtained permission from the colony of Plymouth to locate a plantation at Shaume, now Sandwich. The record says: ”April 3, 1637, it is also agreed by the Court that these ten men of Saugus, viz., Edmund FREEMAN, Henry Feake, Thomas DEXTER, Edward DILLINGHAM, William Wood, John Carman, Richard Chadwell, William Almy, Thomas Tupper, and George Knott, shall have liberty to view a place to sit down, and have sufficient lands for three-score families, upon the conditions propounded to them by the governor and Mr. Winslow.”

That year these men except Thomas Dexter, who came subsequently, settled with their families in and near that part of the town now occupied by the village of Sandwich.

Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere. Early industry revolved around agriculture, with fishing and trading also providing for the town. Later, the town grew a small industrial component along the Scusset River and Old Harbor Creek and its tributaries.


1. Alice Freeman

Alice’s husband Deacon William Paddy  was born 1615 in England. After Alice died, William married Mary Greenough on 3 Dec 1651 in Boston, Mass. William died 24 Aug 1658 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.

“William Paddy, skinner, merchant from London, came in the James April 5, 1636, deputy, 1639.  Removed to Boston.  He was one of the lessees of the trade at Kennebeck up to 1650.  Mr. John Beauchamp, one of the partners in Plymouth Company, calls him cousin in letter in Plym. Deeds, II; refers also to bro. Freeman, Paddy’s father, and to bro. Coddington.  He m. 24 Nov 1639, Alice, dau of Edmund Freeman; she d. 24 Apr 1651”

Children of Alice and Paddy

i. Thomas Paddy b. Plymouth.

ii. Samuel Paddy b. Plymouth.

2. Edmond Freeman

Edmond’s first wife Rebecca Prence was born about 1625 Plymouth before the Cattle division 22 May 1627.  Her parents were Gov. Thomas PRENCE and Patience BREWSTER.  Edmund Jr died before 5 Jan 1703/04.

Edmond’s second wife Margaret Perry was born in 1625.  Her parents were Edmund PERRY and Sarah CROWELL.

Edmund Freeman of Sandwich died intestate bef. 5 Jan 1703/04, when Ezra Perry was appointed administrator of his estate. The inventory was taken Mar 1703/04 and was valued at 42 pounds, 14 shillings with all but two items supposedly in the custody of Edmund, the Son. It was also designated that the son owed the estate an additional 8 pounds. The son Edmund disputed the accounting, but it must have been upheld by the
Barnstable Court, for he appealed the case to the Superior Court on 12 Mar 1704/05 maintaining the “insufficiency and uncertainty of the allegation therein” and declaring the testimony of his uncle John Freeman, Esq. a “pack of lyes.” The case was decided against Edmund Freeman. Final distribution of the estate, 9 June 1705, named Edmund Freeman, Isaac Pope and Alis his wife, Richard Allen of Sandwich, John Fish and Margaret his wife, John Launders and Rachel his wife, Patience Burg, widow, and Ezra Perry and Rebecca his wife.

Child of Edmund and Rebecca

i. Rebecca Freeman m. Ezra Perry

Children of Edmund and Margaret:

ii. Margaret Freeman b. 02 Oct 1652.

iii. Edmund Freeman, b. 05 Oct 1655; d. 1720.

iv. Alice Freeman, b. 29 Mar 1658; m. Abt. 1687; to  Isaac Pope,  b. Abt. 1664.

v. Rachel Freeman, b. 04 Sep 1659; m. John Landers.

vi. Sarah Freeman, b. 06 Feb 1662; m. Richard Landers.

vii. Deborah Freeman, b. 09 Aug 1665; m. Thomas Landers.

4. Elizabeth Freeman

Elizabeth’s husband Lt. John Ellis was baptized 14 Sep 1623 at St. Budolph, Bishop’s Gate, London, England. His parents were in Leyden, Holland in 1619 according to records. As soon as he arrived at the age of 21 he took the oath of a freeman, June 2, 1641 in Boston…” John died before 23 May 1677.

5 Jun 1651 – John was chosen to be a member of “the Grand Enquest.”

9 Jun 1653 – The General Court of Plymouth Colony, sitting at Plymouth commissioned John Ellis to be the Lieutenant, (then Commander) of the Military Company at Sandwich.

7 Nov 1652 he and five others were selected to buy all the fish offered by the Indians; to provide casks, and to prepare the fish for use by the Town.

24 Feb 1652 he and others were selected by the General Court to survey and build a road-on the most convenient line-from Sandwich to Plymouth, which task they completed satisfactorily and so reported to the General Court, June 20, 1654.

13 Dec 1653 – He and two others were given a monopoly on whales captured within the water line of Sandwich, under condition that they pay 16 pounds apiece for each whale.

1659 – Je and others were appointed to take charge of extraction of oil from whales and fish for the public use. 6 Jun 1660 – As the Lieutenant commanding the Military Company he was allowed, two pounds of powder for his command on “Training Day,” which was the first Wednesday in July, 1660.

6 Jul 1671 the Town of Sandwich gave Lieut. Ellis 20 acres of land from his then-owned land down to the beach. .July 13 he as Lieutenant, with four others, was selected as “Tax rater.” Aug. 26, 1671 “John Ellis, Senior” and one other surveyed a parcel of fund, on the order of the town.

28 Feb 1675 he, Lieutenant, and  Benjamin Hammond, Constable, called a Town Meeting to make arrangements for protection of lives and property and to make new land available for cultivation because of the dangers incident to King Philip’s War.

10 May 1676 he as Lieutenant and Thomas Tobie, Sen. and Stephen Skiff as agents of the Town, were obligated to form “Sandwich Town Scouts,” to hire as many men as they chose for that purpose, and the Town promised to pay all such engagements.

23 May 1677 – The inventory of his estate was taken by  Richard Bourne, John Smith and Thomas Tobey.  May 23, 1677 and exhibited to the Court held at Plymouth June 5, 1677, on the oath of his widow, Elizabeth Ellis.

5. Maj John FREEMAN (See his page)

7. Mary Freeman

Mary’s husband Edward Perry was born 1630 Devonshire, England,  His parents were Edmund PERRY and Sarah CROWELL  Edward died 16 Feb 1694/95 Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass.

When Edward was only nine-years-old, his family immigrated to New England (1639).

By the time Edward was 23 years old, he had moved to the little town of Sandwich,
where many of the Quakers settled.

Due to his Quaker beliefs, when Edward married Mary Freeman, he refused the services of the authorized magistrate, choosing a Quaker ceremony instead.  On March 7, 1653/54, the Court fined him five pounds for not being legally married and ordered him to have the marriage ratified. He refused and at the next session of the Court, on June 6, 1654, the Court ordered “Edward Perrry, for refusing to have his marriage ratified before Mr.Prence according to order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court and so five pounds for each General Court that shall be during the time of his said neglect for the future.”

Note that Edward employed a Quaker wedding ceremony in 1654, 3 years before the first Quaker congregation was established in Plymouth Colony, and 4 years before he formally joined that organization. The Quaker religious movement had been going since the late 1640’s, so there is nothing strange about him being a practicing Quaker before a Quaker “meeting” (congregation) existed in his area. The fact that his father-in-law, a very tolerant Puritan, was Lt Governor helped to deflect some of the Puritan anger, but the fines were still massive.

On August 1, 1654, Edward was again fined. The final outcome of the conflict isn’t know but Edward’s difficulties didn’t cease.  At the beginning of June 1658, he and thirteen other men from Sandwich appeared before the Court to give reason for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. Because of their religion, they replied that it was unlawful for them to take the oath. The Court fined them 10 pounds apiece.

During that same year (1658), the Quakers in Sandwich began having monthly meetings and the Court issued the third decree against them. It forbid, under severe penalties, holding or attending meeting. Following the decree, the fines and complaints against Quakers became so numerous that in June (1658), a marshal was chosen to help the constable.  That October, Edward and ten other men appearaed before the Court “to answer for their refusing to take the oath of fidelity and remaining obstinate.”
The Court fined each of them ten pounds. In addition, “Edward Perry for using threatening speeches to abuse the marshal is fined to the use of the colony twenty shillings.”

The following March, 1659/60, the Court summoned him and six other men to answer about whether they would take the oath of fidelity. Edward and another man didn’t appear. The men who did appear said that they had not been duly summoned. There isn’t a record of them being fined.

On June 13, 1660, the Court summoned Edward and eleven other men and asked them if they would take the oath. After all of the men refused to do, the Court fined them five pounds each. That is the last record of them being summoned or fined for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. The cause for some of the relief from fines and punishments appears to be due to interference from King Charles.

However, Edmund’s legal troubles didn’t end. In 1665, he was fined for writing a “railing letter to the Court of Plymouth.” In 1658 -60, his fines amounted to 89 pounds, 18 shillings and several head of cattle – at the time five pounds was considered a fortune. Edward’s fines were the heaviest imposed in the colony.

Edward published religious writings between 1767 and 1690, with titles such as “A Warning to New England,” “To the Court of Plymouth, this is the Word of the Lord,”  “A Testimony Concerning the Light,” “Concerning True Repentance,” etc. The “Warning to
New England” was a series of visions and prophecies against the sins of the day.  The Court fined him 50 pounds for such words as “The Voice that called unto me: Blood
toucheth Blood, and Blood for Blood. The Word spoken: O, what lamentation shall be taken up for New England to Countervail or equalize Abominations in drunkenness, swearing, lying, stealing, whoredoms, adultery and fornication, with many other Abominations, but above all Blood, Blood, even the Blood of My Children, and servants which my cruelty and cruel hands have been shed in the midst of her.

The name of Edward Perry first appears in the records of Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, for
November 1652 when he was a member of a committee to acquire and store fish for the town’s use. In 1653 he was appointed a grand juryman. He was surveyor of highways in 1657, 1658, and 1674.

As early as 1654 he was fined for conduct unacceptable to the established church.
It could be argued that the Perry family group came to Sandwich with a widowed step-mother in order to live under the protection of one of the pioneer Sandwich families to whom the widow’s husband and/or these minor children may have been closely related. Edward Perry married about 1653. From this fact it has been assumed he was born about 1630.

The Plymouth Colony records contain an entry for 7 Mar 1654 under the heading of “fines”: “Edward Perry, for unorderly proceeding, contrary to order of the Court, about his marriage, is fined five pound.” On the same date: “Thomas Tupper, for his negligence in not causing Edward Perry, of Sandwidg, to bee by him orderly married, being by the Court appointed to merry persons there, was required henceforth to desist, and is not intrusted with that business any more.” On 6 Jun 1654 the Court again imposed a fine: “Edward Perry, for refusing to have his marriage rattifyed before Mr. Prence according to the order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court, and soe five pounds for every Generall Court that shall bee during the time of his said neglect for the future.” Edward Perry was one of many colonists whose religious beliefs differed from the majority view.

About 1657, he joined the newly formed Society of Friends. Regularly throughout the years his name appeared in the court records. In 1658, 1659, and 1660 he and other Quakers were fined for refusing the oath of fidelity. In 1659 he was fined for “using threatning speeches” to the marshall. In 1663 he was called to account for a “rayling letter which hee wrote to the Court”. Nevertheless, he was respected enough to be appointed to share in community duties. In 1671 he and Ezra Perry were to view the damage done to the Indians by the “Horses and Hoggs of the English” and he and James Skiffe were appointed to “have inspection of the ordinaries”. Reportedly, Edward was the clerk of the Sandwich meeting of Friends from 1672 to 1694. One historian states that Edward was the author of several tracts setting forth the Quaker philosophy. This claim has not yet been substantiated. Edward Perry named his wife Mary as executrix of his will written at Sandwich 29 Dec 1694. The will was proved 12 Apr 1695. Edward requested that he be buried at “Spring Hill burying place, among my friends there”. This spot is a short distance from the present Quaker meeting house and cemetery in Sandwich, Mass. Nine children were named in his will, all referred to by their first names only.

Sandwich December 29, 1694
I Edward Perry of Sandwich being sick of body but of sound mind and disposing memory praised by God for it do make this make this my last will and testament in mannder and form following:
First, I commit my soul into ye hand of ye Lord my Savior and my body to be decently buried at Spring Hill burying place among my friends there when God shall please to take me hence and for ye disposal of my outward estate which God hath graciously given me my mind and will is that it shall be disposed in such manner as in this my last will is declared.
Imprimis my mind and will is and I do hereby give unto my well beloved wife Mary ye use and profit of all my housing and land for her comfort during ye term of her natural life and after her decease to be disposed as followeth (that is to say) my will is that my eldest Samuel shall have my dwelling house and all my out housing and ye land thereunto belonging bounded southerly upon ye highway or country road and westerly on ye way that leads to a place known by ye name of ye Great Spring from
said road bounded easterly by John Wing and northerly by Scoton River including all ye meadow as upland within said boundaries and on lot of land of about nine acres be it more or less which is within fence lying on ye south side of ye said highway or country road and bounded with ye fence that is about it this land and meadow with all ye housing thereon I give as foresaid to my son Samuel to have and to hold to him and
his heirs and assigns forever.

It. I give and bequeath unto my son Edward to have and to hold to him and his heirs and assignings forever all ye remaining part of ye tenement on which I dwell both upland and marsh lying on ye westerly side of ye lands above given to Samuel. And as is bounded southerly by ye highway or country road and northern by Scorten River and westerly by ye land in ye occupation of Joseph Hallett and easterly by ye aforesaid way which leads form ye country road to ye great spring aforesaid which way is to be divination between ye lands of my sons aforesaid and is to lie common for ye use of both ye creek that runs from said Great Spring into Scoton River is to be ye division of their marsh and my mind is that Edward shall have as belonging to said nement all my land on ye south side of ye highway except ye lot given to Samuel.

It. I give and bequeath to my youngest son Benjamin both upland and meadow lying on Scoton Neck to have and to hold to him and his heirs and assignees forever, it is to be understood that all my lands given to my three sons shall be for ye use of my said wife Mary during ye term of her natural life aforesaid.

It. My will is that my daughter Deborah shall have twenty pounds in money paid to her by my son Edward as a legacy out of ye land given to him within one year after my wife’s decease and my daughters Peace and Rest shall have each of them ten pounds in money.

It. My mind and will is that my son Benjamin shall pay in legacies out ye lands given to him thirty pounds in within one year after he comes to twenty one years of age and to enjoy ye land given to him, ten to my daughter Dorchas and ten to my daughter Sara and five to my daughter Peace and five to my daughter Rest.

It. My will is that my daughter Mary shall have five pounds besides what she hath already had to be paid to her by her mother my executrix here after named in such time and manner as she shall see meet and six pounds to by granddaughter Hannah Easton.

It. I give and bequeath to my said wife all my moveable estate whatsoever for her comfort and support in her age, and what she shall not have need to be expend, to be disposed of as she shall se cause, she having paid ye bequest given to my daughter last (named) Mary. I do nominate and appoint my said well beloved daughter Mary to be my sole Executrix to this my last will and testament.
Signed sealed and declared to be my last will and testament ye day and year above written.
I ye within mentioned Edward Perry do desire and appoint Skeffe and John Otis to be ye overseers of this my last will as it is above written that so it may be truly performed.
Edward Perry (seal).
In the presence of Ebenezer Wing, John Hoxcy, John Otis. Proved April 9, 1695.



Wikipedia – Edmond Freeman

Genealogical notes of Barnstable families  Being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers originally published in the Barnstable Patriot in 1861; Revised by Charles  F. Swift Largely made from notes made by the author (1888)

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28 Responses to Edmund Freeman

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  16. Harold Pearson says:

    Thank you for sharing this detailed genealogy with descendants of the Freeman and Perry families. This is wonderful information and extremely well done.

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  21. William Lewis Freeman says:

    I am so greatfull to my loving wife for tracing my family history back to find out we came from such a great bloodline. Someday soon we will make a trip back to Massachusetts to see the gravesites and many other people and things pertaining to the Freeman name.

  22. This Freeman coat of arms is copyright of http://www.4crests.com. Please remove it, or at least add a link to our website and remove any advertising to outside companies, such as Ancestry.com…. This amounts to you using my images to collect ad dollars for yourself. Please cease and desist. You have quite a huge number of my graphics on your site at minerdescent.com

    Mike Kennaugh

  23. david says:

    I don’t know if anyone is interested, but I have an indenture signed by Edmond freeman of syssinghurst dated April 1621 on vellum relating to the marriage of his brother William freeman to Christian hodsoll
    it names his future wife and her father john hodsoll.
    got to be the same person, right?.

  24. Normandie says:

    I wonder how the Woampanog, Nagaransett and Pequot People felt about the unregulated immigration of European and African hordes moving into their ancestral homelands. Who brought rape , murder, land theft and disease to them, then out crowded and bred like rabbits, and at the same time contaminated Native American Bloodlines with European and African admixture. That’s why all the Indians Nations in New England look like the light skinned black people. They have zero indigenous American DNA. Thank god their are still real Native Americans in the Southwest and the West Coast, South of the Border, and in South America.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Normandie,

      I almost didn’t approve this comment, because it seems a little racist and you imply that New England Indian nations are illegitimate, but I believe in free speech. Do you have a scientific source for this assertion?

      Kind Regards

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