Cutts was born in Kittery, in 1736. Historical materials paint a picture
of Cutts’ well-to-do youth: a “lordly” domain on an island in the
Piscataqua River, ghis sisters riding side saddle, each with her own
horse, Sunday soirees by invitation only, a staff of dairy maids and a
pleasure boat! The ninth of ten children, Thomas could
not expect to inherit this degree of wealth. At the age of
twenty-two, backed with a hundred dollars on loan from his father, he
settled in Saco, quickly repaying that debt. Recognizing the
important location of what would become Cutts Island, in the middle of
the Saco River between two growing towns, he began to buy up land,
securing a small piece in 1759, only a year after he arrived in town.
He built a house and store on the southwest end of the island.
Construction of a bridge from Saco to the island ensured success:
passage across the island was the shortest way between the two cities.
In 1762 Thomas married Elizabeth Scammon. He was 26; she was just
17. They took up residence in that small house, and lived there
for the next 20 years. In 1782 he erected a large, gambrel roofed
two-storey mansion on the hill on Cutts Island. From his home he
could survey his ships in harbor and his other enterprises, which were
numerous He did do a fabulous job of
making money. He bought vast tracts of land. He was a
founder of the Saco Bank. He formed the Saco Iron Works Company
that made huge quantities of nails. He was a Selectman, Town
Treasurer, a Representative to the General Court, Councillor of
Massachusetts and a Revolutionary War officer. He donated a Paul
Revere bell to the First Parish Meeting House when it was constructed in
1806. When Thomas died in 1821 he left a vast estate.
John Brewster, Jr. painted of him was done in 1795 when Cutts was at the
height of his career. It is one of only two known full-sized,
full-length portraits that Brewster painted.