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We come now to the year 1698. On September 11, a party of the enemy fell upon the town of Lancaster, and killed 20 people, among whom was Mr. John Whiting, the minister of the town, and burnt three houses, with several aged people in them; five were carried captive. Captain Brown pursued them; but by the barking of some dogs with the Indians, they rose in the night and fled in haste, but first stripped and scalped a captive woman. November following, one man killed in the woods at Oyster river.
In the month of December, came the tidings of a peace concluded between England and France, which gave hopes of the end of the war, which made great slaughter and desolation in the land. But the tragedies must not yet come to a period; for in the month of February, although the winter had proved the severest of any that had then been known in the memory of man, yet as if their design was to revenge the death of their great sagamore Edgeremet, whom Chub had treacherously slain in the fort at Pemmaquid, with other Indians, as before is related, there came about 30 Indians to Andover, whither the government in clemency admitted him to retire, after his examination on the affair of Pemmaquid fort, which he had so shamefully given up to the French, as is also before noted. These Indians came and slew Chub, and his wife, and three persons more. Mr. Thomas Barnard, the minister of the place, narrowly escaped their fury. They had taken Colonel Dudley Bradstreet, with his family, into their hands, but perceiving that the people in the town were mustering to follow them, they gave him his liberty, and got off as fast as they could; returning back by Haverhill, they killed two persons, and took two more prisoners. On May 9, 1698, they killed an old man at Spruce Creek, and took his three sons prisoners. It was remarkable, that the fellow principally active in these exploits, not many hours after he had killed the poor old man, and when he had resigned himself as a prisoner, was shot to death with his own gun, as he was pulling a canoe to the shore with it. He was famous among the Indians, not only for his gigantic size, being seven feet in stature, but also as a cruel murderer of the English prisoners, of whom it is stated, that he had killed and taken, in the war I am here relating, 150 persons,—men, women and children. This old man's was the last English blood that this Assacombuit (which was his name) had opportunity to imbrue his bloody and barbarous hands in. About the middle of July, 1698, the Indians killed a man and a boy in Hatfield meadows, and took two boys captive. The tidings coming to Deerfield in the night, twelve men were despatched to waylay the Indians, as they came up Connecticut river. After a travel of near 20 miles, they discovered the Indians in their canoes coming up the river, but on the other side. One of the English shot and wounded an Indian, upon which they all jumped ashore on the opposite side of the river, except he that was wounded crawled to the shore in great anguish, his back being broken; who would have beat out his own brains with his hatchet, had he been able. Another Indian, seeing the two captive boys standing together, attempted to kill them both; but his gun missing fire, he purposed to beat out their brains with his hatchet. But as he was in pursuit of this purpose, a bullet from the English party killed him, and disappointed his design. The two boys then took a canoe, and came over to their deliverers, who had rescued them from death, and perhaps from previous miseries more bitter than death itself. Having thus destroyed two Indians, and rescued two children from a cruel captivity, they sent five or six men to fetch a canoe that was lodged at an island,—where an Indian, hid in the grass, shot and killed one of their company, a hopeful young man, the only son of his mother, a widow.
This was the last person I find killed in this war with the French and Indians.
There had tidings come of a peace concluded between England and France, before these latter hostilities of the enemy. However, their thirst for blood prompted them to continue to shed English blood, as they had opportunity, until January 7, 1698-9, there was a peace concluded,—the Indians renewing their submission to the crown of Great Britain, which had been come into with this faithless and perverse generation in the year 1693.
The gentlemen appointed by the Province to transact with the Indians in this affair, were Colonel Phillips and Major Convers, to whom seems to be added Captain Cyprian Southack, then the commander of the Province galley, in which they took a voyage in the depth of winter eastward, where, after some time, the Indians met them, and delivered up about 30 captives. Those Indians that met them were sagamores, captains, and principal men belonging to the rivers of Kennebeck, Ammonoscoggin, and Saco. The articles were signed at Casco Bay, near Mare's Point, in presence of James Convers, Cyprian Southack, John Gills, interpreter, and Scodook, alias Sampson, and subscribed by Moxus, and a great number more.
The captives reported, that the Indians had three forts, one at Norridgewock, one at Narrackomagog, and another at Amassacanty, and that in these forts they had chapels, and images in each of them. They also related that three captives were starved to death in one wigwam the winter before. They also said, they met a lad, about 14 years old, crying for victuals, not having eaten anything tor two or three days. Finding something hard in his bosom, putting in his hand, he pulled out two fair ears of corn well roasted; he eat them, and was well refreshed. His name was Jonathan Hutching, taken at Spruce Creek. A further instance they relate of one Mary Catter, who was left sick in a wigwam alone. After some time, when she was something better, and was hungry, but had nothing to eat,—in this time of her extremity, as the providence of God ordered it, there came a turtle crawling into the wigwam where she lay, which she took and dressed as well as she could, and ate. After, when her pinching hunger renewed, there came in a partridge, which, with the help of a stick, she got; and soon after she had eaten it, her Indian master came to see whether she was dead or alive. The reason of the Indians' precipitate flight at this time was, there came some sloops and shallops on that coast, and they feared the English were come to invade them.
In the time of this ten years' war I have briefly related, it happened that two Indians, one in the English, and the other in the French interest, betook themselves for shelter from each other to the opposite sides of a great rock. Here they continued some time, neither daring to leave his situation, for fear of being instantly shot by his antagonist. At length, he on the English part observing a small stick lying nigh to him, took it, and putting his hat on one end of the stick, lifted it up easily; the other observing it, supposed it to be his head, and discharged his piece at it; upon which the Indian in the English cause fired on and killed his enemy, and then made his escape. Another Indian saved himself and an Englishman, by running after the Englishman with his hatchet, under a pretence to kill him, and so it was apprehended by the French Indians. Thus they ran till they got out of the enemy's reach.
Notwithstanding the news of peace between the crown of Great Britain and that of France, the Indians under the influence of the French and their priests, those incendiaries of mischief and treachery, continued their depredations on the English from December, in which this news of peace came, unto the middle of July following. After which, for a short space of time, the Indians appeared to be of a more pacific disposition and friendly carriage toward the English.
In this time, viz, 1702, Governor Dudley arrived to fill the chair of government in the Province. The Indians, by the instigation of the French, proved that their friendship was covered with deceitful purposes, as on all opportunities they insulted the English-people. Wherefore, in the year following, June 20th, a congress was appointed at Casco, where the chief of the tribes of Indians met his Excellency and the gentlemen that were appointed to accompany him. The heads of the Indian tribes that there met were these, namely, Moxus and Hope-Hood for Norrigewock ; Wanusegunt and Wanadalgunbuent, from Penobscot; Watontamunton, Adiawando and Hegon, from Pennacook and Pigwacket; Mesambomett and Wexar, from Amasconly; with about 250 men, well armed, in 65 canoes, most of them painted with divers colors, who appeared affable and kindly disposed, yet in some instances gave just ground of jealousy, as was after proved not to be groundless. A tent was then erected for the Governor and gentlemen with him, into which he invited the sagamores, who seemed to act in an amicable manner, and the articles of their submission to the crown of England were subscribed, upon which it was agreed that both parties should fire a volley, as is usual in such cases. The Indians moved that the English should fire theirs first, which was consented unto as most reasonable. The English having fired, then the Indians also fired their volley. They went out to two heaps of stones, called the Two Brothers, and added more to the piles. But here may be noted the matchless perfidy of these bloodthirsty infidels, as in two instances was made to appear. The first was this; as soon as the Indians had fired their volley, it evidently was proved that their guns were loaded with bullets, intending, beyond all doubt, to make the Governor and the counsellors with him, the victims of their treachery that very day. But Providence had ordered, that their sachems and chief counsellors were so placed, that they could not prosecute their design against the English, without endangering their own chief men. Another proof of their deceit was, that as the English had waited some days for Watanummon, the Pigwacket sachem, to complete the council, it was afterward discovered that they tarried only for a reinforcement of 200 French and Indians; who, in three days after the English returned, came among them, having resolved to seize the Governor, council, and the other gentlemen, and then to sacrifice the unguarded inhabitants at pleasure. And what confirmed this their purpose was, that Captain Bomaseen and Captain Samuel told them that several missionaries were lately sent among them from the friars, who endeavored to break the union, and seduce them from their allegiance to the crown of England. Notwithstanding their disappointment in this design, they meditated measures to pursue their cruel, bloodthirsty purposes, and within six weeks after the whole eastern country, in a manner, was in a conflagration; nothing but fire and smoke ; no house standing, nor garrison unattacked. On August 10 they began their bloody tragedy, being about 500 Indians, with a number of French, who divided themselves into several companies, and made a descent on the inhabitants from Casco to Wells, sparing none of every age and sex. The town of Wells, that had stood its ground, now suffered the loss of 39 killed or taken; upon a moderate computation, at the least 25 were killed and the rest carried off. The most of these probably were either killed by the barbarous hands of the enemy, or died under hardships in the wilderness in their captivity.
Some fishermen, uncertain, were killed at Cape Porpoise, and the place laid desolate. The garrison at Winter Harbor was defended bravely for a time by the people in it, but being overpowered were constrained to yield. Saco fort was attacked with fury; 11 were killed, and 24 were carried captive. Spurwink was principally inhabited by the Jordans; 22 of that family were killed and taken.
At Purpooduck, 25 were killed and 8 taken prisoners;