Middleborough [Middleboro], Massachusetts
Plymouth county. This is the Indian Namasket; formerly thickly populated by the people of that tribe, and governed by the noted sachem Tispacan. On the rocks in this town are the prints of naked hands and feet, supposed to be the work of the Indians. Here are numerous ponds, several kinds of fish, and large quantities of iron ore is found in the ponds. These ponds, of which the Assawamset [Assawompset] and Long pond are the largest, empty into the Taunton river, and produce an extensive water power.
This town lies 34 miles S. by E. from Boston, 14 S.S.W. from Plymouth, and 10 S.E. from Taunton. Incorporated, 1660. Population, 1837, 5,005. This is probably the largest town in the state: it is 15 miles in length, and about 9 average breadth: it has several pleasant villages. There are 2 cotton mills, 2 forges, an air and cupola furnace, a nail factory, a manufactures of leather, shovels, spades, forks, ploughs, wrought nails, chairs, cabinet ware, tacks, straw bonnets, and various other articles: total value, in one year, $200,000.
In 1763, Shubael Thompson found a land turtle, marked on the shell J.W., 1747. Thompson marked it and let it go. Elijah Clapp found it in 1773; William Shaw found it in 1775; Jonathan Soule found it in 1784; Joseph Soule found it in 1790, and Zenas Smith, in 1791: each marked it with his initials. Whether the critter is dead or gone to the west, we have no account.