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Randolph History (cont'd)

The Wampanoag and Massachusetts tribes were inhabitants of the area to be known as Randolph in the early 1600's. Contact with European explorers probably introduced diseases which wiped out most of the natives of the area. The first families arrived before 1720, settling in the section of the town of Braintree which later became the South Precinct and that are now the towns of Randolph and Holbrook.

The first surviving records were kept by a person by the name of Belcher in 1727. About this time, there were 40 families in the area. They had petitioned the General Court to establish a separate precinct due to the hardship of attending the meeting house in Braintree.

The meeting house was built in the area of Crawford Square, along with a schoolhouse not long after the precinct was set off from the old South Precinct (which became the Middle Precinct) of Old Braintree. A minister, Elisha Eaton, was hired and the new Congregational Church was gathered in 1731.

The territory to become Randolph was not directly involved in the Revolutionary War, but it did contribute to the effort. As England's efforts to extract money from the colonists in the form of taxes and tariffs increased, the towns began to form Committees of Correspondence to monitor the royal efforts to enforce its rule. Militias were also trained, with three companies known to exist in the South Precinct. These militias were involved in activities in 1774 through the evacuation of Boston in March of 1776. There was little military activity in this area after the British left.

Randolph was probably named in honor Peyton Randolph, a general in the Continental army and the first president of the Continental Congress.


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