Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CONANT, Roger, pioneer, born in Budleigh, Devonshire, England, in April, 1593: died in Beverly, Massachusetts, 19 November, 1679. He came to Plymouth in 1623, removed to Nantasket in 1625, and thence, in the autumn, to Cape Ann, having been charged by the adventurers in England with the care of that settlement. Some of the settlers became discouraged and left, and the rest finally removed to Naumkeag (now Salem), where Conant built the first house in 1626. In May, 1632, he was chosen one of a committee to confer on the subject of raising a general stock for purposes of trade, and in 1636 was appointed to examine and mark all the Salem canoes, then an important means of transport. He was a representative at the first court in 1634, and in 1637 was a justice of the quarterly court in what was afterward known as Essex county. He organized the first Puritan church at Cape Ann. In 1640, his son Roger, "being the first-born child in Salem," received from the town a grant of forty acres of land. In 1671 he petitioned the legislature to change the name of Beverly, "because (wee being but a small place) it hath caused on us a constant nickname of beggarly, being in the mouths of many."
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