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been a captive, escaped about seven years before, was killed by the Indians. On June 24, one Thomas Cole, of Wells, with his wife, were slain in their return with some of their relations from visiting their friends at York ; and on June 26, within the confines of Portsmouth, in New-Hampshire, twelve were slain, several houses burned, and four persons taken, who were soon retaken, among whom was an ancient woman, scalped as dead, and doubtless they received from the French the full price of scalps, who hired them to act these tragedies on the English people. This woman nevertheless recovered, and lived some years after. July 26, the people of Quochecho, returning from the public worship on the Lord's day, three of them were killed, three wounded, and three of them were carried prisoners to Penobscot. The last three were returned in about three weeks after.
In the beginning of August this year, the French, having taken an English man-of-war, called the Newport, landed some of their men to assist the Indians. Chub, before named, whose name and memory ought to be treated with ignominious contempt in all after time in the annals of New-England, treacherously delivered up that fine fort at Pemmaquid, into their hands; which cost the Province an immense sum to erect, fortify, furnish and maintain against the enemy, so long as it stood in its beauty and strength; and when there were 95 men in the fort, double armed, and might have defended both it and themselves against a vastly greater number than were then their assailants, both of French and Indians. It was thought in that day, it might have been defended against nine times as many as were then in the fort.
In the year 1696, if I mistake not, the honorable Lieutenant Governor Stoughton, who was then commander in chief over the Province, that he might take proper designs against the enemy, (who were wonderfully flushed up, and triumphed, as they had made themselves masters of this fort, that had been a bulwark of defence against them), he therefore equipped and sent out three men of war to scour the seas, who were disadvantaged by contrary winds that they came not timely to engage the French, that were now drawn off; and by land the French and Indians had posted themselves in such a manner as the people were unable to follow their business abroad. However, the lurking enemy found opportunity to cut off ten or a dozen of the English in the fields, as they were at their labor, perhaps too carelessly.
The Lieutenant Governor sent out Colonel Gidney, with 500 men; but finding the enemy were drawn off, only strengthened the garrisons and returned. He also sent Colonel>Hawthorn, with a number of soldiers and frigates, to St. John's, with orders to fetch from thence some great guns that were left there, and to join with Major Church, who was gone with forces to attack the fort at St. John's, where the French and Indians in the east harbored, and made it their head-quarters. But the season being difficult by reason of the cold, the winter then advancing, the soK diers were discouraged, and after firing a few shot at the fort, they desisted from the enterprise. Not only then, but too often it has been found, that our New-England forces have been defeated in their designed expeditions against the enemy, by delaying their motions in the proper season, until winter comes on, and forbids a successful progress, and constrains them either to remain in quarters, or make an ignoble, dastardly retreat.
Five soldiers belonging to Saco fort, who had timely warning of danger, and opportunity to escape, but not agreeing which way to take, at length took that way that led them into the hands of the enemy and were slain ; very much like what is said of squirrels, who are constrained, when a rattle-snake fixes his eye on them, by a sort of a charm, to run squeaking down the tree they are upon into his mouth. Here ends the slaughter of the enemy in the year 1696.
In 1697, March 15, the enemy made a descent on the skirts of Haverhill, killing 30 persons, and, by the nearest computation, carrying off nine captive, and burnt six houses. One Hannah Dustan having lain in about a week, who had her nurse with her, one Mary Neff, a body of the Indians approached toward the house. Her husband, then in the field, with seven children, who were from two to seventeen years of age, ran to his house in order to apprize his wife of the danger; but finding no way for her relief, returned to his children, and hastened their flight to the n6it garrison* about a mile distant. A party of Indians pursued him and fired on him, and he fired on them, and with much difficulty and hazard got safe with his children to the garrison. In the mean time a party of the Indians rushed into the house. The nurse made an attempt to escape with the infant in her arms, but the Indians prevented her and brought her back, and ordered the woman to get up, which she did with a heart overwhelmed with grief; and after they had rifled the house and set it on fire, the Indians led them away with half a score other captives. They had not gone far in their travel ere they dashed out the brains of the infant against a tree; and others of the captives with them, were, as they tired, sent to their long home. This poor woman with the rest travelled about a dozen miles the first day, and then lay on the cold ground at night, without any proper covering. Thus they continued their travel about a hundred and fifty miles into the wilderness, and notwithstanding the hardships and different diet, this Dustan and her nurse were, by the providence of God, upheld in good health and able to travel, when others were no sooner tired, but the Indians instantly buried their hatchets in their brains, and left their carcasses to be devoured by the birds and beasts of prey. They had a lad with them that had been taken about a year and a half before, near Worcester. This woman purposed to purchase her freedom, by acting the part of Jael toward Sisera, and imparted her purpose to her nurse, and the youth that was with them; who readily fell in with the scheme, and furnishing themselves with their owners' hatchets, a little before the break of day, when the Indians were in a deep sleep, they killed them all, but one squaw who was wounded, made her escape, and a little boy they intended to bring with them, ran away. They were in all two men, three squaws and seven children, whereof ten were slain. Thus these poor women prisoners gained their freedom, and brought with them ten scalps, for which they had a reward from the Province; and Colonel Nicholson, then Governor of Maryland, hearing of the exploit of these women, sent them a generous gratuity.
One man taken captive from York in May; another was killed at Hatfield in June; and another killed at Groton, and another man with two children carried captive.
On June, 9th and 10th, some women at Exeter went out, without proper caution, to gather strawberries. To make them more careful for the future, some in the town made an alarm, whereupon many came together armed. Which was a providence to Exeter; for at that same time, there lay a great body of the enemy within hearing, who designed suddenly to fall upon the town; but hearing this alarm, supposed that they were discovered, and that the alarm was made on that account; therefore drew off, contenting themselves with killing one man, taking another, and wounding a third. On July 4, Major Charles Frost, who had done remarkable service on the frontiers, against the enemy, coming from the public worship on the Lord's day in Berwick, was slain with two more in the company; and his two sons, that went to carry the sorrowful tidings to Wells, in their returning back were both slain by the Indians.
About the latter end of this month, three men mowing in the meadows at Newichawannik, were cut off by the scythe of death, in the hands of the heathen; though one of them, before his death, slew one of the Indians.
About the latter end of July, Major March was employed with 500 men under his command, to defend the frontiers, and to break up, if possible, the Indians' head-quarters. About this time, also, there being fears of an invasion, by a French fleet on the coast, the Lieutenant Governor put the militia into proper order of defence. But divine providence led them to steer a different course; thus this cloud scattered and blew over. The posture of defence the country was then put under, was owing very much to the skill and industry of Captain Fairweather, and especially at Boston. It was also feared at that time, that the French and Indians joining together, would make an invasion on our settlements in the east. Major March was directed to send in part of his forces to scour the woods, while the other part defended the frontiers. Before the Major arrived at York, the Indians killed one man that stood sentinel for some of his neighbors, at work in the marsh at Wells; and taking another, they carried him about a mile and a half, and burned him to death. Captain Bracket pursued them, but did but almost overtake them. Our New-England, or old England men either, are unable to travel as I suppose is romantically storied of the old Grecian and Roman soldiers, that they could march with a heavy load on their back on a running or trotting pace, five-and-twenty miles in four hours. Let them believe it that will.
Three men belonging to Saco fort, cutting wood on a place called Cow-Island for the use of the fort, were cut off by the Indians, whilst Lieutenant Fletcher and his two sons, appointed to guard them, went a fowling; by which means they also fell into the same snare, by being led captive, though one of them after escaped. Fletcher himself, died among them. Lieutenant Larabe, that was abroad, waylaid the Indians, as they passed in the river in their canoes, and killed several of them. The rest ran their canoes ashore on the other side, and fled.
Hereupon Major March, with his army, took a voyage further eastward, having several transport vessels for that purpose. He arrived at Casco Bay, and going further eastward among the islands, on the ninth of September came near a place called Corbin's Sound, and landed at a place called Damascotta river; and although they were as occult as possible, by that time half of them were landed, and put into a posture of defence, the enemy unexpectedly saluted them with a volley and a huzza! None of our men were hurt. Major March paid them in like manner. It was no sooner light, but a considerable battle ensued. The commanders of the transport vessels were so animated on this occasion, that they went ashore, and valiantly assisted their neighbors in this onset. The enemy finding the engagement too hot for them to endure, desisted firing, and hastened to their fleet of canoes, which till this time lay undiscovered, leaving many of their dead behind, which they seldom do, except their own lives are in the utmost hazard. They were beat off with the loss of 12 men, among whom was the worthy Captain Dimmock of Barnstable, and as many wounded. Captain William Whiting commanded the forces charitably sent from Connecticut to assist in the difficulty then subsisting with the enemy. This Captain, after Colonel Whiting, was the son of the Reverend Mr. John Whiting, minister of Hartford, and by a singular providence was preserved in this engagement, a bullet grazing the top of his head without any further hurt, when Captain Dimmock, before mentioned, fell by his side. There was a remarkable providence of God in the seasonable arrival of the army; otherwise, the French and Indians were so numerous, that they would have laid waste and destroyed several plantations, that were not able to resist them.