« ZurückWeiter »
country, as they come in course; which is the principal design of this historical narrative.
July 6, Captain Wiswel and Captain Floyd sent their scouts early in the morning, to see whether they could discover any track of the enemy. They soon returned with tidings of a large track they had found leading westward. The forces vigorously pursued them, and overtook them at a place called Wheelwright's Pond; and there ensued a bloody engagement, wherein Captain Wiswel, and his Lieutenant, Flagg, and Sergeant Walker, were slain, and 15 of our men also were slain, and more wounded. Captain Floyd continued the fight for several hours, until his tired and wounded men drew off, and he not long after. Of the wounded there died about a dozen. Captain Convers came with 20 men to bury the dead, and found seven men alive among them; these he brought early in the morning to the hospital. It is uncertain whether any of them died of their wounds afterwards or not. Captain Foot fell into the enemy's hands; him they tortured to death the same week at Amesbury, where they made a descent, and killed three persons, and then made off, leaving behind a considerable part of their plunder, having also burnt three houses.
The enemy growing numerous, and threatening further mischiefs, the government of the Massachusetts, with Plymouth, agreed to raise some new forces, and send them, under the command of Major Church, to demolish their forts and break up their head-quarters. About 300 men were sent away, in the beginning of September, upon this design. They landed by night at Casco Bay, at a place then called Macquoit, and marched by night also toPechypscot fort, which was deserted by the Indians. They then marched to Amonoscoggin fort, about forty miles up the river, passing through many difficulties; among which, wading over a branch of the river was not the least. Going toward the fort, they met with four or five Indians, with two English captives; these they recovered, but the Indians made their escape. On the Lord's day, they got up to the fort undiscovered, but found only 21 of the Indians in it, of whom they took and slew 20, and rescued five captives. Here they found some plunder, and laid the fort in ashes. The Captain of the fort's name was Agamcus, alias Great Tom, by the English. These motions of the English forces terrified this Tom so that he scared his countrymen into a sudden flight, and by this means one Anthony Bracket had liberty to make his escape fourscore miles another way to Macquoit, where one of our vessels through carelessness was got aground; which was well for him, otherwise he was in danger of falling a second time into the enemy's hands. This Mr. Bracket was improved in service in pursuing them that had been the murderers of his father.
The forces coming to Winter Harbor, a party of men were sent up the river, where they met with some of the enemy, killed some of them and took most of their arms and stores, and recovered an English captive, who acquainted them the enemy were designed to rendezvous at Pechypscot plain; upon which, without delay, they reimbarked for Macquoit. They were also informed that the enemy's purpose was to make an attempt on the town of Wells; therefore they hastened their march to Pechypscot plain,— but not finding the Indians, as they expected, taking some more plunder, they returned to Casco harbor. The enemy, it seems, dogged the army, observing their motions; and in the night fell on some of them that were too remiss in providing for their own safety, and killed five men of Plymouth, who lodged in a house without commanders or sentinels. But as soon as it was day, the army pursued them, on the Lord's day, September 21, killed some of them; the rest took their flight. The army took some of their canoes, and ammunition, and the best of their clothing and furniture for winter. The army was after this dismissed, leaving only a hundred men, under the command of Captain Convers, and Lieutenant Plaisted, to scout in the woods; and, if possible, to prevent the enemy annoying any of the towns by surprise.
Some time after this, the Indians came with a flag of truce to Wells, desiring peace. The English were also tired with the charge and fatigues of war, and were willing to forward the motion. Major Hutchinson and Captain Townsend were sent from Boston, to be joined with some gentlemen in Wells. At last a meeting was appointed and obtained, November 29, 1691, where the captives were all to be brought, and delivered up at the garrison in Wells. I should have noted, that their meeting was at Sagadahock, November 23, before the signing of articles, when the redemption of (ton c&ptivtes was completed; among whom was one MM* Hull, whom they were unwilling to part with. She being a ready, good writer, they had improved her in the place of a secretary. Another was one Nathaniel White; him they had tied to a stake, and cut off one of his ears and made him eat it raw, intending afterwards to sacrifice his whole body to their rage in the flames. However, the articles were signed and sealed the 29th day, which was to continue until the 1st of May following; and then they promised to bring all the English captives in their hands, and deliver them up at the garrison in Wells. This instrument was signed by Edgeremet, and five more of their sagamores and chief men. But as these articles were not signed upon the firm land, but upon the water, in their canoes, so they proved as uncertain and fluctuating as the waves of the sea. For at the day appointed, there came to the place Mr. Danforth, Mr. Moody, Mr. Vaughan, and Mr. Brattle, guarded with a troop to defend them, if there were occasion. The Indians not appearing, Captain Convers had the courage to bring in some of them, who pretended they did not remember the time. The reason of their not appearing, probably was rather their seeing the guards these gentlemen had to attend them, which made these false-hearted salvages despair of accomplishing their treacherous purpose to cut them all off, according to some of their former managements on like occasions, as the sequel will demonstrate. Yet they recovered two captives, with a promise that in twenty days they would bring all the rest. They waited two-and-twenty days; but there was no appearance of their coming. Captain Convers, willing to put himself under the best posture of defence, got a supply of 35 men from the county of Essex; who had no sooner safely arrived there, but Moxus, that noted sagamore, with 200 Indians, made a furious assault on the garrison. Those recruits, coming thus in the nick of time, were, in the providence of God, made the instruments of saving the place. For Moxus, meeting with a vigorous repulse, soon drew off; which gave occasion (as one of the captives who had learned their language after related), to Madokawando, another of their sachems, to say, "My brother has missed it now; but I will go myself the next year, and have the dog Convers out of his hole." About this time the enemy killed two men at Berwick, and twofmore at Exeter, and five out of nine, who were loading a vessel at Cape Nidduck.
About the latter end of July, this year, new forces were raised and sent forth to suppress the enemy, under the command of Captain March, Captain King, Captain Sherburn, and Captain Walter, (Captain Convers lying sick all summer, which added to his grief that he could not be in action for the good of his country.) The forces landed at Macquoit, and from thence marched up to Pechypscot; but not finding any track of the Indians there, they returned back again to their vessels. But while the commanders were ashore, waiting for the soldiers to get aboard, the vessels then being aground, the Indians in great numbers came down upon them, and killed Captain Sherburn; and though the commanders wanted not for courage or conduct, yet they were forced to get aboard as fast as they could. And they lay pelting at the English all the night; which had this advantage in it, that having spent their ammunition, they were unable to fall on the Isle of Shoals, which was their intent. For the rest of the year, the French and Indians were inactive. Only on September 28, seven persons were murdered and captivated at Berwick; and the day following, 21 at Sandy Beach. On October 23d, one Goodridge and his wife were killed at Rowley, and their children captived ; how many is now uncertain. And at Haverhill the like fate befel a family the day following. And this year, a strong fort at Cape Nidduck, belonging to a widow, was unhappily deserted, and the enemy came and burnt the houses.
More English blood spilt! For on January 25, 1691, the enemy beset the town of York, where the inhabitants were too remiss, dwelling in unguarded houses, and scattered, were quiet and secure. But an Indian firing off a gun, which was their signal, alarmed the people; and looking out, to their great amazement, found hundreds of Indians had invested their houses on every side. The Indians sent their summons to the garrisons to surrender, and though there were but two or three men in some of them, yet they did not dare to make an assault on them, but went off, when they had killed 50 and captived 100 of the miserable inhabitants. Among others they slew that excellent minister of the town, Mr. Shubael Dummer, and carried his wife captive, who with grief and hardship soon died. Whit'1i|ft gravated the sorrow of this good gentlewoman and the other captived spectators, was, that one of the Indians, the next Sabbath, put on Mr. Dummer's coat, and in an insulting manner pretended to preach.
About this time, or not long after, a vessel was sent by some charitable people from the southward, to Sagadahock, to supply the necessities of the poor people in their distressed state; and several of the captives taken from York were happily redeemed. The rest of the people in that broken town talked of drawing off; but the government advised to their stay. The government sent Captain Convers and Captain Greenleaf with such encouragement that prevailed with them to stand their ground. In February Major Hutchinson was made commander in chief, and the forces under Captain Convers, Captain Floyd and Captain Thaxter were by him so prudently posted on the frontiers, and kept up such a communication, that it was difficult for the enemy to make their approaches for mischief. However, Lieutenant Wilson, hearing that a man was shot at Quochecho, went out upon a scout with 18 men, and killed all the company but one man, that made his escape with a whole skin.
But now Madokawando comes, according to his promise a twelve-month before, to pull Convers out of his hole; and the cattle came, frighted and bleeding, out of the woods. Captain Convers immediately sent his orders to every quarter, and to the masters of the sloops then newly arrived; they were commanded by Samuel Storer and James Gouge; they, with their men, were very watchful all the night. The next morning, before daylight, one John Diamond, a stranger who came on a visit, came to Captain Convers's garrison; they invited him in, but he chose to go aboard the shallop he came in, which was but a little more than a gunshot distant. The French and Indians issued out of their lurking-places, and seizing this poor man, hauled him away by his hair, though they used all possible means from the garrison to rescue him, but were not able. The General of the enemy's army was Monsieur Portneuf, and Monsieur Labocree was one of their principal commanders. The enemy said he was the Lieutenant-General of the army; and there were divers other Frenchmen of quality among them. The Indian sagamores in conjunction, were Madokawando, Moxus, and Egeremet, and Worombo, with several others