Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

captive by the Indians, when she had been delivered of a child but about three weeks. They took her off from her bed, and made her travel the biggest part of the same day, and at night she had only the cold ground for her lodging, and in the open air, with no other nourishment but water and a little bears' flesh; by which means both she herself and her infant were in danger of being famished. She, greatly weakened and unable to travel, sought to God in her distress. After some time her master killed a moose, and the broth was very refreshing to her while it lasted. But she soon fell into her former weakness, having her child to carry in her arms over hills and through swamps, and other difficulties of passage in a hideous wilderness; and by reason of carrying her child, and her own weakness, she could not go so fast as her master required her to do. At length, he took the infant from her, and stripped it naked, then dashed out its brains against a tree, and took it by the ancles, and with violence threw it into the river, and went to the dejected, sorrowful mother, and told her, "She was now eased of her burden, and must walk faster than she did before." We have no further account of what sorrows and hardships that afterwards this poor woman passed through in her captivity.

Mary Ferguson was taken captive by the Indians at Salmon Falls, and a young woman, as she related, about fifteen or sixteen years of age. She was tired with a burden laid on her too heavy to carry. She sat down, and told her master she was tired and could go no further; upon which he took off her burden, led her into the bushes and cut off her head; then brought it in his hand, swinging it and triumphing. It was usual with them, in their frolics, to take the captive children and hold them under water till they were stifled, and then throw them to their mothers to quiet them. This was Indian captivity, and remains so still.

On April 28,1690, a fleet of 32 sail was equipped at Boston, and land forces raised by New-England and New York, in order to subject Canada to the crown of Great Britain, under the command of Sir William Phipps, then Governor of the Massachusetts, and began their voyage August 9, but were defeated. What occasioned it would be too long to relate, only it may be noted by the way, that attempts made or formed against Canada by the English have proved abortive, as it proved to the Spaniards. When they deserted it, they called it El Capo de Nada, or, The Cape of Nothing, (whence it had the name of Canada). This Canada has been Cape Nothing, and ten-fold worse than nothing, to NewEngland, as it has been a den of dragons, in conjunction with the Indians in their interest, as before is proved; and many more like tragic instances will fall in our way, in the following part of this historical narrative.

There was once indeed a singular opportunity, if it had been improved, to have kept the French and Indians in subjection to the English crown. For in the year 1629, Admiral Kirk was sent by the crown of England, with a fleet of three ships of war, with some tenders and transports, to subdue the French at Canada, and make them surrender to the English flag, at that time when the English were settling New-England. He sent a summons to surrender, as he had done the year before; but the French then refused. But now, after some capitulation, they opened the gates, and he went into Quebec, and took possession of their city and fort for the English, and then returned home. After this, as the English took no further care to maintain that conquest, the French increasing greatly, and drawing the Indians over to their party, has occasioned the massacres and abundant barbarous bloodshed in the land, together with the miserable captivity of unknown numbers of people, especially in the eastward parts of the country; some of which I now return to relate, superadded to the foregoing accounts.

Upon the design formed against Quebec, as above, some forces were raised by the Massachusetts, to go by land to Albany, and from thence over the Lake, and to fall on Montreal, and from thence to meet the fleet at Quebec. These forces by land were in part put under the command of Captain James Convers, for the assistance of the army designed for the same purpose. But while they were marching through the vast howling wilderness, unhappy news from the east required a diversion of those forces from going thither. For in the beginning of May, 4 or 500 French and Indians, in their canoes, were discovered atCasco passing over the bay, which put the people upon their guard for a short time. But hearing nothing further of them for about two or three weeks, they grew remiss, supposing the danger to be over, concluding they were gone some other way. But their hopes soon vanished; for about the 16th of May, one Gresson, a Scotsman, going out early in the morning, fell into the Indians' hands. It was a great unhappiness to the people atCasco, that Captain Willard, an experienced and well qualified commander, was two or three days before called off. The officers of the town ordered a strict watch to be kept up, apprehending the whole army of the enemy were skulking about, waiting an opportunity to surprise them; therefore thought it unsafe to sally out until they had made some further discoveries. Notwithstanding, one Lieutenant Clark, with about 30 young men, attempted to go to the top of a hill, half a mile from the town. To the entrance into the woods, they had a lane fenced on both sides to pass through, which had a block-house at one end. As they were entering the lane, they suspected Indians lying in ambush by the cattle there staring, not daring to go into the woods as usual. This company then ran up to the fence with an huzza! supposing to frighten them; but the Indians were too well prepared to quit the ground. Biscffarging a volley of shot on the English, they killed the Lieutenant and 13 more on the spot; the rest with much difficulty made their escape to the garrison. The Indians, then coming into the town, beset all the garrisons at once, except the fort, which were courageously defended so long as their ammunition lasted. But that being spent, and having no prospect of a recruit, they quitted the four garrisons by the advantage of the night, and got safely into the fort. Upon this the enemy set the town on fire, and then bent their whole force against the fort; and there being a trench not far distant from it, in this gully the Indians sheltered themselves from the fire of the fort. The enemy began a mine, and got near to the fort. The English, having manfully defended themselves five days and four nights, had the greatest part of their men killed and wounded. Upon their present situation, they came to a parley with the enemy; in which it was agreed that the people in the fort should have liberty to march out, and that they would send a guard to conduct them safely to the next town. The French commander, lifting up his hand, swore by the everlasting God to the faithful performance of these articles. But when they had made themselves masters of the fort, they soon broke those solemn engagements, for they murdered many'*f theto,

alleging that they were all rebels, for proclaiming the Prince of Orange their king. And, with others, Major Davis was carried captive to Canada.

This destruction falling on Casco, the garrisons at Papoodack, Spurwink, Black Point and Blue Point, drew off, without orders, to Saco, twenty miles from Casco, and in a few days to Wells; and about half Wells drew off to Lieutenant Storer's. Some of the Indians lurking about, had a small skirmish with Captain Sherburn. They appeared the next Lord's day at Newichawannik, now Berwick, where they burnt some houses and slew one man; and at a small hamlet on the south side of Piscataqua river, the people being too secure, and ungarrisoned, a place then called Fox Point, besides burning several houses, they killed more than a dozen, and carried six captive,—though some of them, or some others, were rescued out of their hands by Captain Floyd and Captain Greenleaf, who made a considerable slaughter on the enemy, and wounded that monster of cruelty, Hope-Hood, before-mentioned. He, finding it dangerous staying any longer in that quarter of the country, took his course westward with his company to a place called Aquadocta, in order to draw a tribe of Indians dwelling there into his assistance. But in their march they fell in with another crew of Indians, and through a mistake engaged each other, supposing they were enemies. Several were killed in the action, before they discovered their mistake. Among others this tiger, Hope-Hood, was slain, not by the English, which might be ordered in the providence of God, to keep them from glorying in the victory they had obtained on this remarkable incendiary of mischief and cruelty; therefore he must fall by the fury of his own friends and confederates in the direful tragedies committed by them on many poor innocents and others their captives, when unable to travel under heavy loads laid on them.

In the mean time, a party of Indians came upon a small and helpless place near Spruce Creek, so called, and killed one man and carried a woman captive; and though Captain Convers pursued them three days, he could not overtake them.

On July 4, eight or nine men went out to work in the field near to a place called Lampereel river, when the Indians fell on them and slew all of them, and made it a field of blood, where none escaped, except the carrying a lad captive.

On the 4th of July, a Court was called at Portsmouth, in New Hampshire government, and it was agreed to send Captain Wiswel, with a considerable scout, to scour the woods as far asCasco, and determined to send with him one of the other captains, with fourscore stout and able men. There being several captains, they were stirred up with such emulation, that every one of them seemed ambitious of the service, so that they cast lots to determine which of them should go with Captain Wiswel; and the lot fell on Captain Floyd, and that Lieutenant Davis should take a detachment of 22 men from Wells. They took their march from Quochecho, into the woods; but the day following the enemy beset Captain Hilton's garrison at Exeter. Lieutenant Bancroft being then posted at Exeter, relieved the garrison, with the loss of six of his men. There happened at this time a very remarkable instance of the interposition of divine providence, which is this. One Simon Stone, who was wounded with shot in nine several places, and lay for dead among the dead,—the Indians coming to scalp them, found some life remaining in him. Whereupon with a hatchet one of them fetched two strokes on his neck to cut off his head, which we may conclude added two more wounds to the nine he had before received; at all which wounds the life of this poor man seemed to be running out, from the flow of blood issuing from the several parts of his body. But Lieutenant Bancroft charged so hard upon them that they ran away without scalping him or carrying away his head, as they intended. The English, coming to bury the dead, perceived him to breathe and fetch a gasp, which one of the soldiers observed, and acquainted the company thereof. There being an Irish fellow among them, advised to give him another dab with a hatchet, and bury him with the rest. But the other soldiers, abhorring the motion, raised this poor man up a little and gave him some fair water, at which he coughed; then they gave him a small quantity of spirituous liquor, upon which he opened his eyes. This Irish fellow was sent to fetch a canoe to carry the wounded men up the river to a chirurgeon; and as he was drawing the canoe to the shore with the cock of his gun, holding the muzzle in his hand, his gun went off and broke his arm, whereof he remained a

« ZurückWeiter »