James Sands (or Sandys) 333
- Born: 1622, Reading, Berkshire County, England 573
- Marriage (1): Sarah Walker in 1651 in Portsmouth, RI 572
- Died: 13 Mar 1695, Block Island, off Aquidneck Island, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at age 73 340
- Buried: Block Island, RI 572
Noted events in his life were:
• Emigration: Reading, Berkshire, England. 160 James is listed as traveling from Reading, Berkshire, England to Portsmouth, RI between 1620 and 1650. The original reference on this is to the Austin Genealogical Dictionary.
• Residences. 574 James was in Boston in1633. He was listed as a Freeman in 1655 and was named Representative to the General Court of Commissioners at Newport, May 19, 1657. About1660, he and Sarah left Taunton, Mass and bought 1/16 of Block Island, RI. They owned lots #12,14, and 15. James held leadership roles in getting the island incorporated and gave it the name "New Shoreham," which apparently didn't catch on.
James and Sarah built a large stone house with a mill on a mill pond. I believe this was a woolen mill as several ancestors owned woolen mills. They were attacked in "Philip's War," by French Privateers coming into the bay. Rev. Samuel Niles, their grandson, tells how they all ran to the woods until the English came and subdued the French. They were also attacked by Indians, and the house was heavily garrisoned
• Settlement, 1658, Taunton, Mass. 575 James settled in Taunton, MA in 1658.
• Long Biography: New England. 576 Captain James Sandys was born in Reading, Berkshire County, England in 1622, and adopted the name James Sands after he came to New England. He immigrated from Reading in Berkshire, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims had landed 22 years earlier and in 1642, we know he was at East Chester,Westchester County, N. Y., where he was engaged in building a house for Mrs. Hutchinson, reputed to have been [but likely was not] his mother-in-law. He went to Boston and from there back to Plymouth in 1647, then to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, like so many of our ancestors. There he married Sarah, daughter of John and Katherine Walker, in 1651. In Portsmouth, James Sands had grants of land October 5, 1643, and August 29, 1644; in 1655, he was made a freeman at Portsmouth, R.I. This meant that whatever obligations he had incurred for the land had been discharged. His contemporaries in Portsmouth were William Hall, Thomas Brownell, Richard Pearce and briefly, Peter Folger. In just ten years, he had advanced and on May 19, 1657, he became the Commissioner from Portsmouth at the General Court which was the legislature at that time of Rhode Island.
He and 15 others by purchased Block Island, called by the Indians, Manisses, from the Indians in 1660, and all 16 families sailed from Taunton, Massachusetts to Block Island and settled there. Block Island is due south of Rhode Island and due east of Long Island, and is now part of New York. The Island was divided into sixteen shares, his share being one part.
In March, 1663-4, he was constable on Block Island, and in 1665 he became deputy from Block Island to the General Assembly; the New York State legislature. He was largely concerned in settling the township, and was one of the first who petitioned the General Assembly for a charter of incorporation, which was obtained in 1672, under the name of New Shoreham; in October 1670, and September 1671, he was tax rater on Block Island; in 1676, he was assistant warden. Prior to coming to Block Island, he had been the commander of the New Shoreham Company.
On Block Island, he turned his house into a fort and garrisoned it, and it was company headquarters during King Philip's War when he commanded a militia company. The death of King Philip reminds us that when our ancestors arrived on these shores, they did not find an empty land waiting to be settled. On the contrary, there were vibrant civilizations already in place which our ancestors were determined to displace to establish their own new home. When you think today that you have had family here a long time, since the early 1600's, you are right only so long as you forget the thousands of years that the original inhabitants of New England lived here.
King Philip's War (1675-76) was the most destructive Indian war in New England's history. It was named for Philip (Metacom), the son of MASSASOIT and sachem (chief) of the WAMPANOAG tribe of Plymouth Colony from 1662. Philip deeply resented white intrusion and domination. After maintaining peace with the colonists for many years, he finally became a leader in open resistance. Fighting first broke out at the frontier settlement of Swansea in June 1675, after which the conflict between Indians and whites spread rapidly across southern New England, involving the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and, to a limited extent, Rhode Island. Some tribes, including the Narragansetts and Nipmucks, became on Philip's side; others gave valuable assistance to the whites. Indian raiding parties burned many New England towns and killed or captured hundreds of colonists. Eventually, colonial forces imposed even greater destruction upon the Indians, until finally all resistance was crushed. Philip himself was trapped and killed in August 1676.
There is a deed, James Sands to John Sands, his son, dated November 15, 1690, recorded in the Hempstead New Book of Record, on pp. 345-61 by Thos. Gildersleeve, Clerk, of the land upon which he settled when he first came to Block Island. He was buried in the public graveyard on Block Island; the stone over his remains, a large recumbent sandstone slab, still in a good state of preservation.
James married Sarah Walker, daughter of John Walker and Katherine Hutchinson, in 1651 in Portsmouth, RI.572 (Sarah Walker was born on 18 Aug 1625 in London, England 577, christened in 1625 in St. Andrew by-the-wardrobe, London, England,577 died on 6 Jul 1709 in Block Island, Newport County, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 340,577 and was buried in Block Island, Newport County, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 577,578.)