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by the enemy or surrendered to them;—a remarkable deliverance, and such salvations God often shows, especially to them that fear him and hope in his mercy.
Mrs. Sarah Gerish, the daughter of Captain John Gerish, of Quochecho, was taken captive, when about seven years of age. She underwent great and many hardships in her travels through the wilderness to Canada, where she was redeemed from the Indians by the Lord Intendant, where she was kindly entertained, for he intended to marry her to his son, as she was very beautiful, and engaging to all that knew her. However, after sixteen months captivity, by the exchange of prisoners she was restored to her friends.
August 28, 1689, Major Swayn, with seven or eight companies raised by the Massachusetts, marched eastward; Major Church, with a company from Plymouth, consisting partly of English, with a number of Christian Indians, followed them; and while they were on their march for the defence of the distressed inhabitants, the Indians, in their skulking manner, observed what number of men there were in Lieutenant Huckins's garrison; and finding they were all gone out to their work, rushed suddenly on them all, 18 in number. But one man escaped, who was gone over the river. And then they attacked the garrison, in which there were only two boys, and one of them lame, besides some women and children. These brave boys, with the help of the women, they doing what they could, defended the garrison against these furious salvages a considerable time, until the enemy found means to set fire to the house. The Indians then, to save the goods, moved them to yield, which through necessity they were constrained to do, on condition that their lives should be spared. But these perfidious wretches soon broke their solemn promises; for as soon as they got possession of the garrison, they slaughtered three or four of the children. One of those boys made his escape from them the next day. It was said that the women loaded the guns in the combat, and the boys fired them, and wounded several of the Indians in the engagement. It is a pity the names of these heroic boys are forgotten, who distinguished themselves such warriors, in some sort, from their cradles.
Captain Gardner made a vigprous pursuit after the Indians. But while the forces were busily employed in settling garrisons in the east, a great number of the enemy fell upon Casco, and they first killed Captain Bracket. But Captain Hall, who had been a valiant commander in the former as well as in this war, with courageous Lieutenant Dawes, coming with his company at that instant, engaged the Indians; upon which ensued a very sharp conflict, which lasted several hours. But at last the Indians, not able longer to stand the encounter, ran off and left the field, with a dozen Englishmen slain. But what Indians fell in the battle is uncertain, as their constant practice is, if possible, to carry off and conceal their dead.
Presently after this, Major Swayn, with much hard travel, gave relief to a garrison at Blue Point, and drove the Indians into their sheltering, thick and inaccessible swamps.
Captain Wiswel, with some Indian auxiliaries, a party of them, were sent out under the conduct of Lieutenant Flagg, who went as far as the Winnipiseogee (I suppose the ponds, so called), where they had a conference together in their own language, and agreed to send back the Lieutenant with two Indians. They after found the enemy, and lodged with them two nights, as was after asserted by some captives that were then in their custody, and told them the whole state of the English, their motions and purposes; which greatly disgusted their commanders, and gave just ground of suspicion that they acted under treacherous designs.
The Indians having retired, and (as was thought), got out of the English reach, the army was broken up in the month of November; only a sufficient number of soldiers to defend the forts and garrisons, and the people in them, in the most exposed settlements.
February, 1690, the Indians, with about an equal number of French from Canada, made a descent on a Dutch town called Schenectady, about twenty miles above Albany, in the government of New York. In that surprising incursion, they killed 60 persons (one of them was their minister), and led half as many captive. Some of the people there, assisted by the Maquas, recovered part of the captives.
March 18, a party of French and Indians, from Canada, under the command of Monsieur Artel, and Hope-Hood (who had been a servant to some man in Boston), fell suddenly on Salmon Falls, destroying the best part of the town with fire and sword, and killed about 30 persons, or more. Among these, one Clement Short, esteemed an honest man, and his pious wife, and three children were killed, and six or seven led away prisoners; more than 50 carried captive. About seven score English pursued them and came up with them, but from the deepness of the snow, and night coming on, they could effect no more than to take one prisoner, a Frenchman, who gave them an account of the whole state of Canada. He met with so much kindness from the English, that he renounced his Romish religion, and became a serious, and, as was thought by them that knew him, a sincere, good Protestant. Four or five of the English, and as many of the Indians, were slain in this action.
Two English prisoners were taken by the Indians, that met with a very different fate. One Thomas Toogood had three Indians hotly pursuing him, and one overtook him. The other two perceiving it, stayed behind the hill, out of sight. Toogood yielded himself a prisoner, and as the Indian was endeavoring to get a string to tie him, he held his gun under his arm; which Toogood observing, suddenly plucked it from him, and then protested if he made any noise he would shoot him dead on the spot; and then ran away with it to Quochecho. We may readily conclude with what shame and regret the poor fellow returned to his companions, empty-handed, with the loss of his gun and his prey to boot. The other prisoner was one Robert Rogers, who was very fat, and unable to travel. Him they burnt to death in as cruel a manner as their inhuman dispositions could invent. They first cut off the top of a small tree, and made the lower part serve in the room of a stake, and then tied him fast to it; then gathered a considerable quantity of wood, and laid it at some distance from him and set it on fire, and when it began to burn, answerably to their purpose, they pushed it nearer to him, and as it prevailed, fearing the poor man would be too soon put out of his misery, they drew the fire from him, and then cut great collops of flesh from his limbs and threw them with the blood in his face; and then pushed the fire on him again, making all their prisoners to stand and behold it, not daring to manifest the least compassion toward him. Thus they continued their tortures, and his cries and lamentations, as long as he was able to utter them, at which they danced and rejoiced, as melodious music in their ears. And when their savage minds were glutted with beholding this (to them such a grateful) spectacle, they left him on a great bed of coals,— where the English after found him, and buried the remains of his body not consumed. His name was Robert Rogers, as before is noted, and very fat and gross of body. His fat, frying out, might, as oil, serve to quicken and aggravate the flames, by reason of his uncommon fatness; for which reason some took the liberty to nickname him Robin Pork. Thus he became not only a victim, but a miserable sacrifice to their fury; and they, at the same time, turned human flesh into the flesh of swine to banquet and feast on, by such a tragical barbacue of his whole body, to satisfy and glut their greedy appetites for the flesh, and insatiable thirst after English blood. Some other instances of the like kind we shall meet with as we go along.
James Key, the son of John Key of Quochecho, a child of about five years of age, at Salmon Falls, fell into the Indians' hands, and that cruel monster, Hope-Hood, became his master. The poor child cried for his parents. His master threatened to beat him if he heard him cry for his parents any more; but the child could not refrain tears on that account. His master then stripped him naked, and tied him to a tree, and whipped him in an unmerciful and most cruel manner. After this, the child had a sore eye; his master told him that it came by crying for his parents; whereupon he took hold of his head with his left hand, and with the thumb and finger of his right thrust out the ball of the child's eye, and then told him, if he heard him cry any more, he would pull out his other eye also, and then he would have never an eye to cry with or shed tears. The poor child lay roaring and crying under his pain and misery, which was pleasant music to his barbarous master, void of all sympathy or marks of humanity. In about ten days after, he removed his family near thirty miles distant. When they had gone about six miles of the way, the poor child, being much tired, sat down to rest himself; upon which this furious wretch ran to him, and with his hatchet split out his brains, and then cut his breathless body to pieces and threw it into the river, before the face of the company and other miserable captives there present.
Mehitable Goodwin, in the eastern parts, was taken captive by the Indians, with her child about five months old. She wanting proper nourishment, and the child by that means also growing froward, her master told her unless she kept her child quiet, he would dispose of it. This occasioned the poor mother, in her tender affection to her young infant, sometimes to go out in frost and perhaps the snow, up to her waist, undergoing this hardship to quiet her child, before she dared to return, for fear of the consequence. Pinching want prevailing on the mother, the poor child felt the effect of it, which caused it again to cry; which so disgusted her master, that he snatched it out of her arms, and dashed out its brains in her sight, and stripped it naked, and ordered her to wash the bloody clothes in the river, and hung up the child in a forked limb of a tree. She desired liberty to put it under ground ; but he denied, telling her that it was out of the reach of wild beasts, and if ever she came that way again, she might have comfort of seeing it. She underwent so many straits and difficulties by sore travail and want of proper nourishment to uphold nature, that at length she was tired, nor able, as she thought, to go any further, and sat down. Whereupon her savage master came furiously to her, and designed instantly to despatch her also, as he had done her child. But she, with tears and earnest entreaties, begged him to spare her, hoping God would give her strength, and enable her to travel further. Upon which he withheld his hand, under some seeming relentings in his relentless heart. Another time he attempted to kill her, but was prevented by a couple of Indians stepping in for her rescue, and also ransomed her out of his hands ; from them she found something better quarters. Her former master, out of whose hands she had so remark-.ably, in providence, so narrowly escaped, the same night, as I take it, hearing some guns fired on the other side of the river, went to know the occasion; but before he reached the other side was shot and killed in his canoe by some of his own party, through a mistake, supposing him to be in the English interest, as there happened the like mistake soon after; for two companies of French Indians, in the woods, supposing each other to be enemies, engaged in battle, and killed several on both sides before they discovered the mistake. The poor woman, after a long and tedious winter's travel, was carried to Canada, and after five years' captivity, was returned again to her friends. Mary Plaisted, the wife of Mr. James Plaisted, was taken