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Full text of "A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts: the times when the people by whom it was settled, unsettled and resettled:"

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1636— POCUMTUCK—1 885 















Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1895, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

Qrkenpield, Mass: 

Press op E. A. Hall & Co., 



In the first edition of this work, the Narrative closed with 
the Revolution, and the Genealogies contained only those 
families settled here before that date. The History is now 
continued to nearer the present time, but with less fullness. 
Failing health has prevented the necessary labor to continue 
the Genealogies in a satisfactory manner. Dependence has 
been had in that department upon such material as those in- 
terested in their own families have furnished in response to 
public solicitations. This will explain the presence or ab- 
sence of particular families living here since the Revolution. 

It is more than a quarter of a century since the work of 
collecting the facts given in these pages was begun. The 
time given to it would make many solid years. Had it not 
been a labor of love, it had ceased long ago. Setting forth 
the difficulties in the way, would give nothing new to the 
historical student and nothing of interest to the indifferent ; 
so explanation is needless. I wish, however, to emphasize 
one of the delights attending these labors; this has been the 
uniform kindness and spirit of helpfulness shown by those 
having charge of the public records and books which I have 
had occasion to consult. To one and all of these I would ten- 
der my hearty thanks, but alas ! many have passed the bounds 
of sight or sound. To name these men and women would be 
but to catalogue the officials at the State House, the Histori- 
cal societies and great Libraries in Boston, Cambridge and 
Springfield ; the Registers of Deeds and of Probate in the 
Counties of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and the three 
River Counties, and also as well, the Town Clerks of Deerfield 


and the surrounding towns, who have held these offices dur- 
ing the last twenty-five years. Nor would I forget in my 
thanks the owners of the hundreds of garrets, closets and 
trunks which I have ransacked at will, or those kind friends 
who have given personal aid or sent corrections and additions 
to the first edition. While my limits forbid giving the 
names of all these, I must make a few exceptions to the si- 
lence. Without the free use of the manuscript Archives in 
the office of the Secretary of State, this work could not have 
been written. What is given in relation to the Captives of 
Feb. 29th, 1704, who remained in Canada, is mostly owing to 
the untiring researches of Miss C. Alice Baker among the 
manuscript Archives of Canada. The Massachusetts Histor- 
ical Society has freely opened to me rich stores to be found 
nowhere else, and Dr. Samuel A. Green has been quick to 
give notice of any Deerfield items coming under his keen 

In the earlier generations of New England genealogy, of 
course constant use has been made of the stupendous work 
of Savage ; in the later generations unstinted aid was given 
by Rodney R. Field, James M. Crafts and William O. Taylor. 

I wish here to associate the name of the lamented Martha 
G. Pratt with the first issue oi this work, and that of Jennie 
M. Arms with the present. To their untiring zeal and pa-, 
tient helpfulness I am indebted. Finally, to the Pocumtuck 
Valley Memorial Association, under whose wing this child of 
my labor is now clothed in a more enduring garment, my 
heartiest and most grateful thanks are due and given. 

My aim has been to write as far as may be from original 
sources of information ; where this was possible I have taken 
nobody's say for it. The amount of manuscript matter avail- 
able has been found to be surprisingly large. Old letters, 
diaries, records, &c., are coming to light every year, giving 
the later student that advantage over all others. If, in the 
light of these, I be found in some cases to have readjusted old 


facts, and thereby drawn new conclusions ; if I be found to 
differ in some other points from accepted authorities, it is 
hoped good reasons for it have been given. 

A careful study of the Indian relics found in our valley led 
to a deep interest in the people they represent, and I have 
been astonished at the amount of material found relating to 
the history of the Pocumtuck Indians. They were rarely 
mentioned by contemporaneous historians, and the Pocum- 
tuck Confederacy seems to have been wholly unknown to 
them. The history here given has been chiefly culled from 
the records of the United Colonies, and the Documentary 
History of New York ; tradition has been followed only when 
it harmonized with, or supplemented ascertained facts. 

Particular attention has been given to the times of Philip's 
War, and I do not know where else can be found a more full 
and connected account of its events in the Connecticut Val- 
ley. Queen Anne's War, and other contests with the French 
and Indians have also been fully treated. As a matter of spe- 
cial interest, French official documents have been carefully 
searched for the underlying cause of particular raids on our 
frontiers ; and the motive and the result are often given to- 
gether. The real object of these incursions was never mili- 
tary conquest ; the motive, when not purely for plunder, was 
always for political or religious effect. 

As my treatment of the two myths connected with this re- 
gion — the alleged appearance of Gen. Goffe as the deliverer 
of Hadley, and the romance of the Bell of St. Regis, may be 
found in other publications, they are very lightly touched 
upon in this work. 

Deerfield, January, 1895. G. s. 




Dedham Grant — Lady Armina — Apostle Eliot — Natick Indians — Indian 

Deeds — Town Street Laid Out. ..... 1-22 

Topography — Local Names — Streams — Popnlatiun — Graveyards. . 23-34 

First Settlement — Biographical Sketches. .... 35-48 


Pocumtuck Indians — The Pocumtuck Confederacy — Agriculture — In- 
dian State.scraft — War with Uncas — War with the Mohawks. . 49-70 


The Pocumtucks as Subjects of Massachusetts — Indian Relics — Indian 

Wars — Mohawk Raids — Indian Barns. .... 71-S0 


Philip's War — Character of Philip — Brookfield Burned — Fight at We- 
quamps — First Attack on Deerfield — Northfield Destroyed — Second 
Attack on Deerfield — Bloody Brook Massacre — Attack on Hadle3' 
— Attack on Springfield — Goffe the Regicide — Philip in the Winter 
of 1675-6 — Philip at Squakheag — Attack on Northampton — Con- 
federate Indians at Squakheag — Mrs. Mary Rowlandson — Canon- 
chet — Indian Correspondence — Turners Falls Fight — Wells's Nar- 
rative — Atherton's Story — Attack on Hatfield — Mohawks in Philip's 
War. ........ 81-178 

Attempted Settlement in 1677 — Wait and |ennings' Letters. . . 179-188 


Permanent Settlement — Ministry — Meetinghouses — Town Meeting — 
Town Officers — Revolution of 1688— Wapping 1685-90 — Greenfield 
1685-90. ........ 189-219 

King William's War — Attacks on Deerfield 1693; 1694; 1695; 1696. . 220-264 



Common Field Fences — Stock — Mills — Roads — School Rales — Houses — 

Home Industries — An Evening at Home. .... 265-282 


Queen Anne's War — Capture of Deerfield Feb. 2gth, 1704 — Deerfield as 
a iVIilitary Post — Redemption of the Captives — Stories of the Cap- 
tives — Abigail Nims — Eunice Williams — Petty's Letter — Attack on 
Deerfield 1709 — Wright's Scout — Baker's Scout — Wood Land — John 
Arms, a Captive. . . . . ... 283-384 


Interval of Unquiet Peace — Cloudson the Eastern Frontier — French In- 
trigue. ........ 385-392 


Father Rasle's War — Conference at .Albany 1723 — Conference at Boston 
— Rev. Mr. Willard Killed — Fort Dummer — Indian Allies — Attack 
in North Meadows — Connecticut Indians — Death of Father Rasle 
— Scouting — .Attack at Green River. .... 393-453 


Rev. John Williams and the Meetinghouse of 1729 — The Bell — Death of 
Mr. Williams — Slaves — Mr. Williams's Library — Rev. Jonathan 
Ashley Settled — Town Clock — X-ew Steeple — Shingling the Meet- 
inghouse — Seating the Meetinghouse. .... 454-486 


Agrarian Regulations — Proprietors of Pocumtuck — Grant of 1712 — 
Huntstown Line — Green River Laid Out — Shelburne Laid Out — 
Turnip Yard — Conway Laid Out — Inner Commons. . . 487-511 


Land Grants — Fort Dummer — Corse's Journal— Indian Conference at 

Deerfield — Conference at Fort Dummer — The Last Indian. . 512-528 


Old French War — Mr. Ashley's View of it — Cost of Living — Indian 
Depredations on the North — Fort Massachusetts Captured — The 
Bars Fight — Luce Bijah. . . . . . . 529-553 


Raimbault, or St. Blein — Sergt. Hawks Escorts him to Canada — A Ro- 
mantic Story — Sergt. Hawks's Journal — Capt. Melville's Scout — 
Capt. Hobbs's Fight — Trouble Above Northfield — Fort Massachu- 
setts Attacked. ....... 554-569 



Municipal Affairs — Sequestered Land — Greenfield Set Off — Judicial 
Affairs — Mills — Hard Times — Deer — The Fleet — Sugar Loaf Peo- 
ple — Conway Set Off — Shelburne Set Off — Roads — Prices of Labor 
and Produce. ...... . 570-593 

Homesteads on the Old Street — Farm Lands. .... 594-627 


The Last French War — Young Washington — Frontier Forts — Capture 
of Mrs. Johnson — Attack at Charlemont — Attack on Hinsdale's' 
Fort — Death of Braddock — Fort Edward — Bloody Morning Scout 
— Battle of Lake George — Death of Col. Williams — Attack at 
Greenfield — More Forts at Deerfield — Colrain Forts — Massacre at 
Fort William Henry — Alarm in Connecticut Valley — Abercrombie 
Defeated — Louisburg Captured— Wolfe and Montcalm — Destruction 
of St. Francis — Pitt and Amherst — Merriman's Journal — Downfall 
of Canada — Quaker and Puritan — A Real Estate Transaction — 
The Indian Question. ...... 628-672 


Read at the bottom of page 91, "Stephen Greenleaf wounded Aug. 25, 1675." 

St'iiii'll's Diary. 

Page 172. Twelfth line from bottom, for Samuel, read Daniel. 

Page 301. Note, "March, 1703-4, about midnight, the French and Indians 
set upon Deerfield, burnt 17 houses, killed above 50 persons. Captivated up- 
wards of 90, amongst w'^'" M' Williams y' minister." Obsei-vahle Providences — 
from the Journal of Rev. John Pike, of Dover, Me., 1682-1709. 

Page 602. Third line from top, for Bradford read Baker. 

Page 623. Nineteenth line from bottom, for 1S66 read 1686. 



" The Renowned Noble Lady Armina," amid the kixuries 
of her aneestral hall in old Lincolnshire, meditating upon 
the lost condition of the heathen in the New World, putting 
up her prayers and sending her gold across the seas for their 
redemption, represents a deeply seated sentiment of her 
time. It was her aim, that the occupancy of New England 
should result not only in the accumulation of earthly riches 
bv the adventurers, but should redound to the glory of God 
in a large harvest of souls through the conversion of its bar- 
barian inhabitants. Capt. George Weymouth, a historian of 
the times, active in promoting the settlement of our shores, 
testifies that the main end of all these undertakings was to 
plant the gospel in these dark regions of America. 

The sagacious Capt. John Smith, warrior and trader, tired 
with his rough experience in Virginia, and looking to the 
settlement of new colonies as fields for profitable commerce, 
declares that he is " not so simple to thinke that any other 
motiue than wealth will euer erect there a commonweale," 
but hopes that "gaine will make them affect that which Reli- 
gion, Charity, and the Common Good cannot," and he shrewd- 
ly urges the grasping Prince Charles to send settlers to this 
coast, pointing out a way in which he could serve both God 
and mammon at the same time. " Nothing," he says, " could 
be more ao-reeable to God than to seeke to conuert these 
poore Saluages to know Christ and humanitie, whose labours 
there with discresion will triple requite thy charge and 
paines." In the closing paragraph of this message Capt. 
Smith struck a theme which caught the popular ear, and sent 
hosts* of adventurers across the wide waters, seeking the 
gold of another IMexico or Peru. 


As to the result, had the two elements here indicated been 
left undisturbed, save by each other, it is idle to speculate. 
With the Mayflower, came ideas and purposes, before which 
all the others were dwarfed and subordinated. It was these 

" Conquered wood and savage, frost and flame, 
And made us what we are." 

With the missionary spirit of the Lady Armina, however, 
the Pocumtuck Valley is directly and intimately connected. 

Her bounty expended in behalf of the Natick Indians, in a 
great degree determined the time and manner of the settle- 
ment of Deerfield. 

The apostle Eliot, being filled with zeal for the conversion 
of the natives, learned their language and devoted himself 
to their instruction in Christian doctrines. Very soon he 
perceived that his teaching could have little effect so long as 
the Indians continued their national manner of living — that 
they must be civilized before they could be Christianized. 
He therefore bent his energies to the task of collecting the 
roving savages into permanent settlements, where he could 
instruct them in the " arts of civilitie," and where their chil- 
dren could be taught in schools. Eliot's first attempt to form 
an Indian town was at Nonantum Hill, in Newton. This 
proved a failure, mainly, as he thought, on account of its 
proximity to Boston ; finding, like most missionaries, the ex- 
ample of a so-called Christian community unfavorable to 
making proselytes from heathenism to Christianity. About 
this time the General Court encouraged Mr. Eliot to continue 
his labors, and at his motion passed laws recognizing, in a 
manner, the Indian title in the land, and placing the natives 
in many respects on an equal footing with the colonists. 

For a second trial, Eliot pitched upon Natick, sixteen miles 
west of Boston, where in 165 1 the General Court set apart 
two thousand acres for an Indian plantation, and the £20 per 
annum, given by the Lady Armina, was placed at his dis- 
posal. Here the "Praying Indians" were collected, civil 
government established, and a church organized. The tract 
thus occupied proved to be territory belonging to I^edham, 
and for twelve years there was much trouble and litigdtion 
between the inhabitants of that town and the settlers at Na- 


tick. Both parties repeatedly appealed to the judicial and 
legislative authorities for redress. At length, on the first 
of May, 1662, the General Court decided, — 

"That for a finale issue of the controuersy betweene the towne of 
Dedhame & some particular inhabitants of sd towne & the Indians, 
the Court at Xaticke having considered the pleas & evidences present- 
ed by both partes, and finding that although the legall right of Ded- 
hani thereto cannot in justice be denyed, yet such haue binn the en- 
couragement of the Indians in their improvements thereof, the w'^'', 
added to their native right, w'"' cannot, in strict justice, be vtterly ex- 
tinct, doe therefore order, that the Indians be not dispossessed of such 
land as they at present are possessed of there, but that the same, w**" 
convenient accommodations for wood & timber, & highwayes thereto, 
be set out (S: bounded bv Mr. Thomas Danforth, Mr. Wm. Parkes, Mr. 
Ephraim Child, Mr. Edw. Jackson, or any three of them, who are 
hereby appointed a Comimittee to execute this order, and that the 
damages thereby susteined by Dedham, together w"' the charges ex- 
pended in suite about the same, be also considered & determined by 
sd Committee & such allowance made them out of Naticke, lands or 
others yet lying in common, as they shall judge equal, & apoint mak- 
ing report to this Court the matter of charge, that so the Court may 
determine where to lay the same or any part thereof. Y'^' returne of 
y^ Committee to remajne on file. May, 1663." 

A report from this Committee was acted upon June 2, 
1663, and, — 

"For a finale issue of the case betweene Dedham & Natick, the 
Court judgeth meete to graunt Dedham eight thousand acres of land 
in any convenient place or places, not exceeding two, where it cann 
be found free from former graunts, provided Dedham accept this 

The terms being satisfactory to that town, the Court ap- 
pointed, Oct., 1663, Ens. John Everard and Jona. Danforth to 
" lay out the same according to the graunt." Having secured 
a grant, the question was considered at a town meeting in 
Dedham, Jan. i, 1663-4, "whether to sell their gratmt," or 
" be at any further charge about seeking out land to take 
satisfaction in." By a vote'of the town, the matter was "left 
over in the hands of the Selectmen." Under this action 
Henry Dwight was sent to explore the " Chestnut Country." 
On his return he reported good land, but hard to bring un- 
der cultivation. The location of the " chestnut country" is 
tmknown, but as only "9 shilling were allowed for himself 
and horse" for the trip, it could not have been faraway. At 
another meeting, "after lecture," Sep. 21, 1664, John Fair- 
banks reported having heard, through Goodman Prescott of 


Lancaster, of a suitable tract near that town, Fairbanks and 
Lieut. Joshua Fisher were directed to go to Sudbury, and after 
consulting Ens. Noyes about the matter, to "proceed to Lan- 
caster and to the place, and view the same, or to return, as 
they judge best." The view was had, and Nov. 6th, a report 
was made that the tract was already " so entered upon by 
several farms that it is altogether incapable of supply to us.." 
In the meanwhile the Selectmen had not been idle. At the 
same meeting where the above report was made, thev an- 
nounced that, — 

''Haueing heard of a considerable Tract of good Land that might 
be answerable to the Town's expectation, about 12 or 14 miles from 
Hadley, and not vnderstanding of any other place to be founde worth 
acceptance, thinke it meet, in the behalfe of the Towne to provide 
that that 8000 Acres may be chosen and layed out to sattisfie that 
grant ther, w*'' all conueanient speed, before any other Grantee enter 
upon it and p'uent vs, and to that end doe nominate apoint empower 
and entrust Lieft Fisher, Tymo: Dwight, Ensign Fisher, Edw: Rich- 
ards, Antho: Fisher, Serg* Ellice, Serg' Fuller, (Is: Isaac Bullard, or 
any 4 of them whereof Lieft: Fisher is to be one to repayer to the 
place mentioned, and vpon view by the concurrance of the major 
pt of the 4 that shall attend that seruice to make choice and laye 
out the Land above mentioned according as to their best discretion 
shall be best for the Towne and proportionable to the grant of the 
Court in that case made, and we promise to each of these 4 men 
one hundreth Acres of Land in full satisfaction for thier paynes to be 
indifferently layed out to them, out of the grante aforesaid onely to 
Lieft Fisher for the vse of his Arte we in the behalfe of the 
Towne, promise such other sattisfaction as shall be judged equall, or 
in case the Town shall rather chuse to paye all these 4 men in other 
paym* then in Land, then we engage equall & just satisfaction ac- 
cording to the nature & charge of the worke." 

This action was satisfactory to the town; the same board 
w^as reelected at the next meeting, and on the, — 

"2 — II — 64 [Jan. 2, 1664-5.] ^pon the Question whether the 
Towne would proceed and laye out the 8000 Acres Granted by the 
Court in sattisfaction for the Land posessed at Naticke by the In- 
dians w"'in our Towne at that place forementioned neere Hadly, they 
answer by voate afifirmatiuely. 

Further it is by voate declared that they doe leaue the further 
manageinge of the whole case about layeing out the Land aboue 
said to the selectmen this daye to be chosen who are entrusted and 
empowered to act therein in behalfe of the Towne according to 
their best discretion. 

March 5, 1664-5. bi order to the accomplishm' and settling the 
case concerning the grante of the 8000 acres due to the Towne, the 
care, trust and power whereof was left to the selectmen in p'sent, 
being it is this daye agreed to tender to Lieft: Fisher as artist in 


that worke and as one of the Committee for effecting the Layeing 
out the said grante in the place proposed to be about 12 or 14 miles 
more or lesse from Hadley 150 acres of Land, and Tenn shillings in 
countrey payem' for euery daye he shall measure and to each of 
the other 3 persons being of the persons formerly named 150 acres, 
and liberty is giuen them to laye those their grants together by 
some one side or end of that tract indifferently takeing vpland and 
meadowe in proportion to the proportion of each sort of such Land 
in the whole tract. 

March 20, 1664-5. ^ pon further consideration of effecting the 
layeing out the 8000 Acres aboue mentioned, Lieft Fisher declaring 
his disaceptance of w' was aboue tendered him in satisfaction for 
his paynes therein as artist, and his peremptory demaund being 300 
acres, it is consented vnto provided he allso drawe for the Towne 
true and sufficient platt of that tract and Edw : Richards, Antho : 
Fisher Junio', and Tymo: Dwight, accept of the payem* formerly 
tendered, viz'. 150 achers to each of them, all to be layed out as 
is aboue exp'"ssed, or in case Tymo: Dwight shall be any way hin- 
dered that he cannot attend that seruice, then he promise to furnish 
Serg' Richard Ellice w"' a horse fitt for that occasion, who accept 
thereof and promise to vndertake the worke instead of the said 
Tymothie and they promise to vndertake the Journey for this end the 
daye after Election daye at Boston next ensueing, or the second 
daye of the weeke next following the daye aforesaid at furthest. 

May 22, 1665, [the Selectmen] Assemb: in the morning to re- 
ceaue'the returne of the Comittee deputed to lay out the 8000 Acres 
of Land for the Towne. 

The Comittee aforesaid doe enforme that they haue layed out all 
the grante of 8000 acres aforesaid, in land as they Judg conueanient 
in quallitie and scituation, for the accomadacion of a plantation and 
being by their estemation, about 10 miles distant from Hadly, the 
more particular description where of they shall giue account of at 
some other conueanient time." 

On the nth of October a plan of the grant was laid before 
the General Court, with the following report : — 

"This tract of land, conteyning eight thousand acres, being layd 
out according to this plott given in to Court & remayning on file, 
beginning att A. & so running to L. by the ffoote of a mountejne 
south & by west two miles forty sixe rod; from L to K, along 
the same mounteine hue miles forty rods south & by east two de- 
grees easterly; From K to I upon a streight Ijne two miles & a halff 
west halff a point southerly; From H to I, up on a streight line 
south, halfe a point easterly, fower miles; ffrom G to H, southwest 
fowr degrees, westerly three hundred & sixty two rod; ffrom E [F?] 
to G, S. S. east three degrees southerly, one hundred sixty rod; 
from E to F south three degrees southerly, eighty eight rod: from 
I) to E southwest one hundred and eight rod: from C to I) south 
east eighty rod; ffrom B to C south and by west three degrees 
westerly, five hundred & eighty rod; from A to B west north west 
two degrees westerly, one mile twenty rod. This tract of land is 
lajd out at a place called Pecumptick, to answer the grant of the 


honored Generall Court made to Dedhamfor lands at Natick, which 
the Indians are setled vpon by the Courts order, it lyinge north- 
ward from Hadley about tenn or twekie miles. Layd out as aboue- 
sajd May, 1665, By me, Joshua Fisher. 

The Court allows & approoues of this returne, provided they 
make a towne of it, to majntejne the ordinances of Christ there 
once w*''in five yeares, & that it interfere not w"' Maj'' Cenll Denni- 
son & Hadley grant." 

The Colonial Government having- thus taken two thotisand 
acres from Dedham for the benefit of the Natick Indians, 
and Qfiven in exchamje eig-ht thousand acres belono-ing- to 
the Poctimtnck Indiaiis, the town of Dedham now took steps 
to buy the same of the native owners. June 4, 1666, a com- 
mittee was authorized to "employ the Worshful Col. Pynch- 
on, to buy the Indian title in the 8000 acres." Pynchon was 
a fur trader of Springfield, well acquainted with the Pocum- 
tucks, and had before been employed in a like service by 
Northampton and Hadley : — 

"Whereas it apeere that some Indians are like to clayme a Title 
in the foresaid [ ] which in equitie would be cleered, the 

selectmen vnderstanding that the worpfuU [ ] John Pinchion 

is acquainted w"' those Indians so claymeing it is therefore, or 
[ ] that Ensi: Danll: Fisher, and Elea: Lusher be desired, and 

are heereby deputed and empowered to treat with the said Cap' 
Pinchion, and empower him to contract w"' those said Indians for 
the buyeing out of all thier Right or clayme in the p'mises and allso 
with any other Indians that may haue a true Right made apeere 
there and what shall be so concluded the Towne shall be engaged to 
make good. 

Dec. 27, 1665. Vpon treaty w"' Tymothie Dwight in refference 
to furthering the erecting a plantation at pocomptucke according to 
the condicion of the Generall Court, he tender, that on condicion 
that a plantation be there effectually settled as aforesaid, if the 
Towne will paye him five pounds for his Journey, charges and ser- 
uice there, 2^ being in money and 3^^ in Corne and Cattell he will 
laye down and resigne all his clayme to the Land engaged to him 
ther by his former agreem' w"' the select men. 

And vpon the like treaty with Lieft P'isher, he allso vpon the same 
condicion with Tymothie Dwight, tender that if the Towne will paye 
him Tenn pounds for all his charge and seruice in refference to 
Pocompticke he will likewise release his clayme to the 300 acres, 
engaged to him provided the Tenn pounds be payed 4^,' in money 
and sixe pounds in Corne and Cattell this is tendered upon con- 
dicion that the agreem* to effect it as aboue said be at the next en- 
sueing Genrall Towne meeting and the worke thereof be set in a 
meet waye for proceeding therein. 

Jan. 22, 1665-6. At a Generall meeting of the Towne for the 
further consideration of the settling a plantation at pocumpatuck. 


It is by generall voate concluded that each propriators Lands there 
shall paye Annually towards the mayntenance of an orthodoxe 
ministry there 2'' for each Cow Common that he shall keepe in his 
own hand whether he shall be liueing there or at Dedham and all 
others that holde any pt of the 8000 acres in proprietie vpon any other 
account besides kowe Commons shall paye proportionable except such 
Lands as shall be layed out for the accomadacion of teaching 
Church officers there. 

And it is allso further concluded that if any propriator of Lands or 
interests ther doe tender his Rights at the price that shall be by 
generall voate set and no buyer doe so accept it then the persons In- 
habiting there shall take his Rights at that price or discharge him of 
the aforesaid payem^ to the ministery. 

It is allso further agreed and concluded that each propriator shall 
lay down his kow Common Rights there at that price that by the 
majo'' pt of proprieties shall be agreed vpon." 

The proprietors at this time were mostly Dedham men 
who had no intention of removing to the new settlement, 
and this vote would nattirally work hardship to settlers, if 
it did not stop emigration entirely, and so the grant would 
be forfeited. It does not appear to have been enforced : — 

''Tune 27, 1666. Haueing vnderstood that the worp''"" Cap' 
Pincheon vpon treaty w"' the Indians about the purchase of the 
Indian Title /;/ the 8000 acres layed out for this Town at Pocumpa- 
tucke and haue made a contract with them accordingly and that he 
aduised the Town of Dedham to make entery therevpon, this p^'sent 
summer which, vpon consideration we conceaue may be of good vse 
thereby to take posession, doe accordingly order deput and empow- 
er Lieft Fisher, Ensigne Fisher and Tymothy Dwight to take care 
thereof that such an enterey be made and such posession be taken 
in the behalfe and to the vse of the Towne in due season as in thier 
discretion mav be most effectual! and safe for the ensureing our 

Early in the year 1667, the Selectmen sent John Gay, 
Robert Ware and Nathaniel Fisher to take further observa- 
tions of their far off possessions. On the 6th of June the 
town, — 

"After consideration of the case respecting Pocompticke and the In- 
formation brought by those bretheren lately vpon the place, by dep- 
utation of the Selectmen doe desire and depute them, by themselues 
or some of themselues, as they shall thinke meete to make reporte 
to the Inhabitants of the Towne in publike the next Lecture day 
after Lecture for the sattisfaction of the Towne in generall and for 
their consideration in refference to the future. 

Allso that the Towne be made acquainted with the disbursm'" of 
the Worp'"" Cap* Pinchion in purchasing the Indians Right at 
Pocompticke at the request of the selectmen in the behalfe of the 
Towne who haue declared that he haue allready layed out about 40^ 


and is yet in prosecution of compieating that worke, and by word and 
writeing haue exp'ssed his desire to be reinil)ursed, the payem' he 
desire is money, wheat and porke, and we would desire the Town 
to remember and gratifie his paynes. " 

The following deed was probably produced as evidence of 
the purchase and claim : — 

These presents Testifie That Chauk alias Chaque y^' Sachem of 
Pacomtuck for good and valuable Considerations him there vnto 
moving, hath Given granted Bargained & sold, & by these presents 
doth (for himself and his brother Wapahoale) fully clearly cS: ab- 
solutely give grant Bargain & sell vnto Capt John Pynchon of 
Springfield for y- vse & behoofe of Major Eleazer Lusher & Ensign 
Daniel ftisher & other English of Dedham their associates & succes- 
sors & to them & their he ires for ever Certaine persels of Land at 
Pacomtuck on y'^' further side or vpper side or North side of Pacom- 
tuck river, that is to say beginning a little above where Pukcom- 
meagon river runs into Pacomtuck river and so a little way vp 
Puckonimeag river & then leaving Puckcomeagon river runs off to 
y'^ hill Sunsick westward: ' All y^' land from y^' hill Sunsick on west- 
ward, downe y*^ River Pacomtuck eastward below Nayyocossick to 
Pochewee, neare y*^' Mouth of Puckcomeagon river, w'^'' persells of 
Land are called Nayyocossick, Tomholissick, Masquomcossick, 
vssowwack Wusqviawwag & so to Sunsick hill, or by what ever other 
Names y'^ sd Land is or may be called : All y aforedescribed Tract 
of Land, being called by several names as af(;resd viz. Nayyocossick 
Tomholissick Masquomcossick vssowwack Wusqviwawag li: Sunsick, 
or by what ever names it maybe called, Togither w"' the Trees, 
waters, meadows, woods, Brooke, vpland, stone, profifits, comoditys 
& advantages thereoff & there vnto belonging or in any wise apper- 
taining, the aforesd Major Eleazer Lusher tS: Ensign Danl ffisher of 
Dedham, theire Associates & successors, (S: their Heires are to Have 
Hold & Injoy & that forever, only the sd Chauk alias Chaque d<jth 
reserve Liberty of fishing for y^' Indians in y'' Rivers or waters is: 
free Liberty to hunt Deere or other Wild creatures & to gather Wal- 
nuts chestnuts and other nuts things &c on y'' commons: And the 
sd Chacjue doth hereby covenant i\: promise to & w"' ye sd Maj Ele- 
azer Lusher (S: Danl ffisher, 'I'hat he will saue y'^' sd Major Lusher & 
Danl ffisher, theire Associates & theire Heires & assignes. Harmless 
of & from all manner of Claimes of any person or persons Lawfully 
claiming any right 'i'itle or Literest in any of y'' sd lands hereby 
Sold or in any part or parsed thereof iV' will Defend the same fnjm 
any molestation or Incumbrance by Indians otherwise than as be- 
fore reserved. In witness whereoff the sd Chiiqve hath herevnto set 
his hand this 24th ffebr 1666-7 ' he marke of q Chaqve 

In presence of 

Jo" Pynchon Ju' : 

^\'e(jvanock an Indian witness his \' marke, who heli)ed y Sachem 
ill making y'' Bargaine 

The day aforementioned (luuive acknowledged this Instrum' to 
be his act & Deed 

Before me John Pynchon, Asist 

cow COMMONS. 9 

[June 12, 1667.] " Vpon further consideration of takeingposession 
at the 8000 Acres, at pocomptatucke, and the further satisfaction to 
be brought to the Towne in refference to the Capacitie of the place 
to be a phintation, and other considerations of that nature, it is at 
p''sent by voate resolued to call some other meet persons to Joyne with 
the Committee already deputed to take posession of the said place, 
& to take further vievve of what may concerne the same, and make 
returne to the selectmen The persons nowe deputed as abouesaide 

John Gaye Sen'', Nath Coalburn Sen'', Tho: Fuller, Wm : Averey, 
Robt: Ware Nath: Fisher" 

Oct. 2, 1667, a rate was laid to raise funds for settling- with 
Pynclion, payable in " specie, one fourth to be abated if payed 
in money." This rate amounted to i,"i 15-4-8. Sixty eight 
persons were assessed; among these were — 

Maj' Genii Leaverett £ 3— 8— S 

M-- Joh: Allen 4—9—8 

Lieft Josh: Fisher 10 — 6 — o 

Tymo: Dvvight 10-18 — 5 

I doubt if this tax was ever collected. 

On a Country Rate at Dedham, at this time, ninety-two 
names were on the list, so it appears twenty-four proprietors 
had already sold out their rights at Pocumtuck. 

Down to this date the meetings for action about the grant 
had been tozvn meetings, as each voter in town held certain 
rights there ; but so soon as taxes began to be imposed the 
shares rapidly changed owners, often falling into the hands 
of speculators, and all subsequent action was at Proprietors 

No one, however, was allowed to sell without the approval 
of the Proprietors. By a vote Aug. 26, 1668, "Left Fisher 
had leave to sell to John vStebbins of Northampton, his 
rights at paucomtucke, or a part of them." Similar votes 
Avere common. 

In 1659 a large proportion of the territory of Dedham was 
held by the inhabitants in common. That year a plan was 
adopted for dividing this land, or any other they might ac- 
quire among the individuals. The apportionment was based 
partly on the tax list and partly on the number of cattle 
running on the commons. Each separate tract was divided 
into 522 shares, or "common rights, "of which, under a some- 
what arbitrary rule, each proprietor was to have his proper 
proportion. These shares were called " cow commons." 

The "8000 acres Orant " at Pocumtuck was thus held by 
Dedham people in proportion to the "cow commons" owned 


at home. For man}' years the land here was bought and 
sold by the " cow commons." Fractions were reckoned by 
"sheep or goat commons,"' five of which equalled f)ne "cow 

Oct. 28, 1667, Pynchon bought of Rev. John Allen six cow 
commons and two sheep commons. Two days later Gover- 
nor Leverett, for " (i£ current money of N. E., and vSeveral 
barrels of Tar" sold Pynchon all his " right and title to lands 
at a place usually called Pocumtuck. lacing part of the 8000 
acres, * " "" "" 150 acres which I bought of Anthony 
Fisher of Dorchester, one part whereof being meadows con- 
taining 38 acres more or less, is alread}' laid out between 
land of Lieut. Joshua Fisher, north & land Timothy Dwight 
South. "-^ "■ " More, all the right and title belonijino- to 6 
cow commons & 2 sheep commons, also my right and inter- 
est to 6 cow commons which I lately bought of James Draper 
of Dedham, 5 of them being his proper share — the other one 
he bought of Wm. Mackenney, who had it of Thomas Jor- 
dan, all of Dedham." Pynchon had previously bought of 
Joshua Fisher 16 cow commons and was now one of the 
largest owners in the grant. 

Dec. 27, 1667. The vSelectmen, having the general over- 
sight (jf the Dedham Grant, suggested: — 

"That the Towne may consider that the time j^'fixt by the (renerall 
C(nirt for the planting a Tcnvne at Pocompticke doe shorten and it 
wer good to resohie what the Towne will doe in that respect and 
that if it be intended to emproue it according to the grante tliat 
then it might be put into some way condliceing thereto." 

In the summer of 1667 Pynchon concluded his purchases 
of the Indians at Poctimtuck, obtaining three more deeds, 
one of which is lost, the others may be found below. It has 
been found impossible so far to locate the tracts conveyed by 
the Pynchon deeds. " Tomholissick " was covered by two of 
them. From the fact that they were witnessed by two young 
children of Pynchon it is evident that they were drawn and 
executed at Springfield, and it is more than probable that 
they were written from ill understood descriptions, or rude 
maps made b}' the Indians for Mr. Pynchon, and that the 
grantees themselves had little knowledge of what they were 
buying. There appear to be discrepancies and contradic- 
tions in description and point of compass, which could hard- 


ly occur had the writer of the deeds been on the ground. 
It is probable that as the Indian tongue becomes better un- 
derstood, the names of the various tracts will assist in fixing 
their location, for every place name is descriptive of the 
locality to which it is applied : — 

These p^'esents Testifie that Milkeanaway ahas Masseamet (y^ 
Indian, owner of certaine Lands at Pacumtuck) Hath Demised 
Ciranted Bargained & sold vnto lohn Pynchon of Springfield for y'' 
vse & behoofe of Major Eleazer Lusher & Daniell fifisher of Dedham 
.Sc their associates & by these p'"esents Doth demise Grant Bargain 
\: sell vnto y'' sd Maojor Eleazer Lusher Daniell Fisher (^ theire As- 
sociates & to theire heirs e\: assigns forever, All <S: singular the sd 
Milkeanaway alias Masseamet, his Lands at Pacumtuck on y'' south 
or Southeast side of Pacumtuck River, w''' lands are called Pojas- 
sick weqvunckcaug, ManePacossick & Southward to y'" hills Pema- 
machuwatunch, or by whatever other names the sd lands are called, 
even all y*-' land from Mantahelant (w'^'> wuttawoluncksin Sold to 
Mr. Pynchon) vp to Scowockcuck &: so off to Qvinetticot River to 
Matta'mpawsh to y^' Land Mr. Pynchon bought of Wuttawoluncksin 
togithir w*'' all y woods Trees waters wet meadows profits & com- 
oditys whatsoever to y*^ sd Land belonging, or any wise appertain- 
ing, onlyy sd Indian reserves to himselfe Liberty for fishing, other- 
wise all the sd Tract of land the aforesd Major Eleazer Lusher, Danl 
ffisher & theire associates & their heires and assignes, are to haue 
hold & Injoy (^ that forever: both y^' profits and appurtenances 
therevnto belonging: And the sd Masseamet alias Milkeanaway doth 
hereby coven* «Sc promise to save y"" sd Major Lusher & Danl fifisher 
& theire Associates harmless from all manner of claime of any per- 
son Lawfully claiming any interest or right in any of y*" Land here- 
by sold. In witness whereoff the sd Masseamet alias Milkenaway 
hath herevnto set his hand i^c scale this 13th of June 1667. 

The marke • of (—■— 'i 

- , %:- ] Seal. \ 

Massea ^ niET ' -.~ ' 
Alias Milkenaway 
Subscribed Sealed & dlid in y^' presence off William Warriner John 
Pynchon lun'' Amy Pynchon 

June y*^ 13th 1667 Masseamet alias Milkeanaway did owne ^: ac- 
knowledge this writing to be his act & Deed, resigneing vp & re- 
leasing all his right Title \: interest in y« lands abovesd 

Before me : 

John Pvnchon Asist 

These presents testifie that Ahimunquat alias Mequinnichall of 
Pacomtuck Hath Demised Granted Bargained & Sold, And by these 
presents doth Demise (irant Bargain & sell vnto Major Eleazer 
Lusher (l^c Daniell ffisher of Dedham their Associates & theire heires 
& assigns for ever. All the sd Ahimunquat, alias Mequinnitchall 
his lands at Pacomtuck, both on y^' South or Southeast side of Po- 
comtuck River called weshatchowmesit l\: on y'^ North or Norwest 
side of y^ sd River, called Tomholisick: the sd parcelles of Land 


called 'I'omholisick <S: weshatchowmesit from y'^' brooke downe y^' 
River vp to Suiisick <S: bounded by y^' Land w^'' Masseaniet hath 
already sold, or by whatever other Names y'" sd Lands are called 
even all y'' Land belont^ing to y^ sd Ahimunquat alias Mequinitchall 
& to his Brother Kunckkeasacod togith'' w"' all Tree waters profits 
& Comoditys whatsoever to y*^' sd Land belonging or anyways ap- 
pertaining: ' The aforesd Major Eleazer Lusher Danl ffisher & theire 
Associates & theire heires & assigns are to haue hold & injoy (S: that 
for ever, w"' all y'' profits & appurtenances thereunto belonging. 
And y sd Ahimunquat alias Mequinnitchall doth hereby covenant & 
promise to save y'' sd Major Eleazer Lusher Danl fifisher theire As- 
sociates & theire heires harmless from all manner of claime of any 
person or persons lawfully claiming any right or interest in any of 
y^' Land hereby Sold In witness whereoff the sd Ahimunquat alias 
Mequinnitchall hath herevnto Set his hand &: seal, this 22 of July 

The marke of Ahimunquat y 
Alias Mequinnitchall A 

Subscribed Sealed &: dlid in y'^ presence off Amy Pynchon John 
Pynchon Jr 

The marke of Grin lu neachchue Brother to Mequinnitchall, who 
Received pt of y*^' Pay, 7iiz. 20. fadam: & approved of the Sale of 
y^' Land: Mequinnitchall, alias Ahimunquat, did owne &: acknowl- 
edge this writing abovesd, to be his act & deed, this present 22th of 
July 1667 Before me John Pynchon, Asist 

Another deed, perhaps the first given, and probably from 
Wuttawolunskin, has not yet been found. 

By these deeds it appears that a few of the Pocumtticks 
were alive to claim and sell these lands. The tribe had been 
nearly all destroyed by Mohawks some years before; and 
where " Chauk, Sachem of Pocomtiick," obtained his title and 
authority, does not appear. He is not heard of before or 
after this transaction ; nor are the names of the other grantors 
to be found elsewhere. These Indians were probably hangers 
on about the settlements on the river below. Chauk may 
have been put in authority by the English, pursuant to a 
policy to be noted hereafter. 

About this time events were transpiring at Pocumtuck 
which called for immediate action. With the energy of a 
born pioneer, vSamuel Hinsdale had actually taken possession, 
and his plowshare had already turned up the virgin soil. 
Born about 1642, he with his father, Robert Hinsdale of iJed- 
ham, removed in youth to Mcdford, married at seventeen, and 
soon after becoming of age, joined the settlers at Hadley. 
He invested largely in the Dedham grant, and becoming im- 
patient with the delay in settling, he made a bold strike for 


a home, where he conld place his young- family. He must be 
considered the first settler here, and his son Mehuman was 
the first white man born on the territory : — 

"May i8, 1669. Samuell Hinsdell of Hadley in the Countie of 
Hampshir haucing purchased some propriety in Pocumptucke in the 
Land (Granted and layd out to the Inhabitants of Dedham, and 
made emprouem' by ploughing Lande there, came this daye to the 
select men, and gaue account of the reasons of his so doeing, and 
demaunded the layeing out of the Rights he had so purchased of 
one of the Inhabitants of Dedham that he might settle himselfe 
vpon it and proceed in emprouem* thereof for his owne supplye, or if 
it could not be yet layed out, that then some smale parcel! of vpland 
might be granted and layed out to build an house vpon. 

To which we answer, that we see not cause to forbid him seing 
himselfe is content to beare the ventur of the place wher he make 
emprouem'', but it not being in our power to doe what he demaunde 
herein we thinke meet to doe what in vs lyes, to moue the propriators 
to promote, the layting out each Inhabitants Right ther, and to that 
end that the Lotts may be p'pard and drawen, that some better rule 
may be had for euery propriator to knowe where about his owne In- 
terrest lyes and that in the first optunitie." 

Sept. 24, 1669, four acres at Dedham were granted Lietit. 
Fisher "to pay him for his last journey to Paucumptticke," 
and another lot was soon after granted Sergeant Fuller for 
the same service. Probably as a result of the conference of 
the vSelectmen with Samuel Hinsdale these men had been 
sent to Pocumtuck to note the progress of events and report 
plans for action. They doubtless brought back three more 
Indian deeds from Pynchon, for, Sept. 24, 1669, Maj. Eleazer 
Lusher reports them to be in his possession : — 

[At a meeting of the Selectmen Sept. 24, 1669.] "Elea: Lusher 
this day p'sent seuerall Deeds of Sale from the Indians propriators at 
Paucomticke procured by Cap' John Pinchon Esq' allso glueing ac- 
count of the state of that affayre, respecting the Towne and allso 
enforming that the said m'' Pinchion expect his payem* in money at 
the next session of the Generall Court in October of which payem* 
he giues an account how it arise, where vpon it is agreed to call a 
general! meeteing of the propriators for further resolution heerein 
the 4 day of the next weeke being 29 instant, at 9 in the morning" 

Sept. 29, 1669. At a generall meeting of the propriators of land at 
Pawcomptucke called together to order payem' to Cap' Pincheon 
for the purchase of the Indians rights there 

It is by voate agreed that a new Rate for that payem' shall be 
forthwith drawen by the Select men, assessing each propriato'' ther at 
so much vpon each^Cowe Common there, to be payed in money, as 
may pay the 96^ 10"" due vpon account to Cap' Pinchion or as neere 
that just summe as it may conueaniently be cast vp. 

The Rate for the payem' of Capt Pincheon 96^-10" for the pur- 



chase of the Indian Rights at Pawcomptucke is this daye made to 
be forthwith Leauied in money by the Constable euery Cow Common 
being asessed at 3% 4'', which is 10* short of what is nowe due, and 
some Rights yet to be purchased is afterward to be payed for in this 
Rate the Lands granted to particular persons, called the Farmes is 
Rated at 54 Cow Commons, the number of acres in those grants vpon 
account coming to so much, allwayes to be vnderstood, that those 
Lands are in the same capacitie in allowance of Land for high wayes 
and the like occasions as other Lands there doe, this Rate is to be 
leauied of the seuerall Grantees named, or thier heyers, Adminis- 
trato'"% Executo'^ or assignes. 

m' Joh. Allin £ 

Eld'' Joh. Hunting 

Elea. Lusher 

Deac Hen Chickering 

Deac. Nath Aldus 

Antho: Fisher Sen 

Joh: Kingsber}- Sen'' 

Joh: Luson 

Joh: Havvard 

Joh. Eaton 

Rich; Euered 

Nath Coleburn 

Robt Mason 

Joh: Gaye 

Hen: Smyth 

Ens. Dan: Fisher 

Geo: Farbanke 

Serg' Averey 

Edw: Richards 

Lamb: Genery 

Christo: Smyth 

Nath: Whiteing 

Then: Fraery 

Joh: Farbanke 

Sam: Judson 

Tho: Hering 

Rich: Wheeler 

Joh. Farington. 

Joh. Aldus 

Tho: F"uller 

Tho: Pavne 

Robt: Ware 

Antho: Fisher Jun 

Thwa: Strickland 

Robt: Fuller 

Tho. Metcalfe 

Michaell Metcalfe 

Nath Fi.sher 

Tho: Battely 

Tho: Jordan 

Joh. Guilde 

Andr: Duein 

Samll. Milles 

"Jan. I, 1669-70, the Selectmen proposer, to the town whether 
Robt Hinsdell shall be accepted to be a purchaser of Laiule at 
Paucomptucke or not." 

[At a General Meeting Jany. 3, 1669-70. J "It is by voate ordered 

2 8 


Joh: Dwight 



I 10 

The Church Lett 




I 10 


Ensign Chickering 




I 8 


Hen. Phillips 





Lieft Josh: Fisher 


I 6 


Jonath. Farbanke Sen"^ 




I 14 

Pet: VVoodward Sen'' 



I 3 


Josep: Kingsbery 




I 6 


Wm: Bullard 



I 8 

Antho. Hubert 


I 14 

Joh: Mason 



I 17 


Ralp: Daye 



Hen: Wilson 



I 18 

Joh. Bacon 





Edw: Havves 



I 8 

Josh: Kent 


I 6 

Rich: Ellice 





Robt. Onion 


2 I 


Tymo Dwight 




Josep: Ellice 



I 10 


Ralp: Freman 


I 10 

Joh: Rice 



I 3 


Dan: Pond 




Hen: Wight 



I 16 


Cornell: F"isher 




Jonath: Farbanke Jun' 



I 8 

Jam: Fales 


I 10 


Joh: Houghton 




Jam: Draper 



I 10 


Jam: Thorpe 

I (J 


Isaac Bullard 


I 3 


Ben: Bullard 



I I 


Sam: Fisher 





Joh. Newton 


I 3 


Tho: Wight Sen'' 



Nath Bullard 


I 4 


Tho: Fisher 


I (J 

Farme Lands 

I 5 


Lieft Fisher 





Edw: Richards 





Tymo: Dwight 





Antho: Fisher 







that tlie answer to the (question concerning Robert Hinsdell be de- 
layed for p'sent 

The question being put whether it be not conueanient that the 
propriato'' at Pawcomptucl< should drawe Lotts in the first opportuni- 
tie that it might be better knowen wher each mans propriety will 
lye — it is by voat declared that the select men this day to be chosen 
are desired' to apoint, and publish som conueanient time for the 
propriato''^ there to meet and order therein according as they see cause 

" March i8, 1669-70. In order to the effecting of what was by the 
last Gen" Towne meeteing left to the select men to take care of 
respecting Pawcomptucke, it is according agreed that the loth day 
of the 3 month next is appointed for the propriato'" in that place to 
meete by 9, of the Clocke in the forenoone at the house of Lieft 
Fisher in Dedham" 

"10:3:70: [May 10, 1670.] Assemb: according to former apointm* 
for the consideration of draweing Lotts and settling proprieties at 

M'" AUin pasto'', EW John Hunting, Lieft. Fisher, Joh: Haward, 
Joh: Gaye, Edw: Richards, Serg' Fuller, Tymo: Dwight, Tho: 
Payne, Mich: Metcalfe, Elea: Lusher 

The 23 daye of this Instant 3 month is apointed for a meeteing of 
the propriato" at Pawcumptucke for the furthering the aboue said 
motion, and its ordered that notice be giuen accordingly to the 
persons concerned, the meeteing to be at the meeting house in Ded- 
ham about 7, in the morning " 

"23.3:70 Assemb: according to the apointm' aboue written the 
propriato''^ by Grant or purchase the men heere vnder named 

joh: Pincheon Esq% M'' AUin pasto'', Lieft: Fisher, Ensi: Fisher, 
Joh: Haward, Joh: Gaye, Edw. Richards, Ensi: Phillips, Joh: Ful- 
ler, Mary: Buncker p'sent by Elea: Lusher, Joh. S.tebbin p'sent by 
Sam: Hinsdell, Elea: Lusher, Serg* Averey, Serg' Fuller, Nath: 
Coleburn, Tymo: Dwight, Joh: Farington, Robt. Ware, Isaac: Bul- 
lard, Tho: Payne, Pet: Woodward Jun'', Sam: Hinsdell, Mich. Met- 
calfe, Joh: Baker 

It is' agreed that an Artiste be procured vpon as moderat tearmes 
as may be that may laye out the Lotts at Pawcomptucke to each 
propriato'' according to thier Lawefull interest in each sort of Land 
that is to be deuided and drawe and returne to the Towne a true 
platt of what he shall doe therein 

P^nsi Hen. Phillips, Ensi. Dan: Fisher, and Elea: Lusher or any 
2. of them are deputed to procure an Artist for the worke aboue saide 

M'' Peter Tilton, Lieft Sam. Smyth, and Cornet Wm Allice are 
desired and deputed to direct, the Artist aboue mentioned in the 
worke aboue saide, who are also further deputed, and empowered to 
order the scituation of the Towne for the most conueaniencie as in 
thier discretion shall apeere best the whole Tract, and the quallitie 
of each sort of Land, and other accomadacions considered, and ap- 
ointing the high M'ayes layeing out, and a place for the Meeting 
house. Church officers Lott or 1 ,otts, and what euer else may be giuen 
them, in further instructions, and to proportion each seuerall sorte of 
Land ther according to the quallitie thereof that equitie may be at- 


tended to each propriato'" according to their proportion in ever}^ sort 
of Land deuideable 

It is allso agreed that no man shall lave out more then 20 Cow 
Common rights together in one place 

Joh. Pincheon Esq'', is intreated, and empowered, at all his best 
opportunities to take his time to visit the Committee, and Artist aboue 
mention and to giue them such aduice in that worke comitted to 
them, as he shall Judge most conduceable to the good of the 
plantation who allso is empowered to voate with the rest of the 
Committee when he shall be p'sent: 

Ensi: Daniell Fisher is allso deputed to Joyne with the Committee 
before named — any 3 of which Committee, haue power to proceed in 
the worke 

The Committee before named, are allso empowered to viewe and 
make tryall of the layeing out of the Lands, allready layed out vpon 
grante commonly called the Farme Lands, whether they be truely 
layd out according to thier grants, and to rectifie, what mistakes 
they shall finde therein 

It is further agreed to proceed to drawe Lotts, and p'pare accord- 
ingly, and that in euery deuision of Lands of all sorts (except house 
Lotts) the length of the Lotts shall runne easterly and westerly, 
and the begining of layeing out Lotts in particular shall allwayes be 
on the northerly side, and make an end on the southerly side, ami 
so proceede according to that rule each propriato'' to holde that order 
of succession thoroughout 

The names of the p'sent propriato'''' with the number of Common 
Rights, and number of Lotts in succession as they wer drawen 


of 1 




1 Cow 

No .Sheep 

No of 



names. C 










Cap' Pviichoii 





IVf John Allin 




Left Fisher 





Ensi : Fisher 




Joh : Havvard 




Joh : Gay 
Edw : Richards 





Deacn ; Chickering 










Ensi: Phillips 




Sarg' : Fuller 




Jnh : ffarrington 





Isaac : Bollard 

1 1 




Joh : Bacon 





Tho : Payne 




Robt : Ware and 



Fisher (ye first 










Pet : Woodward 





Tho : Mason 





Joh : Baker 





Nath : Colborn 





.Sarg' Auery 





Mary Hawartl 

1 1 



Joh : Fuller 





Elea : Lusher 





M'' Buncker 










34 Hinsdell 





Joh; Stebbin 




Sam: Daniels 




Tj-mo: Dwight 




Rob: Hinsdell 




Church Lott 
Tho: Metcalfe 




Joh; Hubberl 




Samson ffrary 




, Total 515 35 39 

Observe that to prevent mistakes that the figures in the first col- 
Im in the marg" showeth the succession of place as by the drawing 
of lotts they are layd out and the uppermost figures in those 3 [4?] 
men that have each of them 3 Lotts, show how many cow com- 
mons each of their lotts contain and furder note that whereas Robt 
AN'are and Fisher drew together that Nathaniel Fisher is to have 
8 cow commons laid out first in that number in the 8 place and Rob- 
ert Ware to have 7 laid out adjoyningto him and so in each division 
and that the 2 collum showeth the names of propriety: the 3. the 
number of Cow Commons: the 4 of Sheep Commons: the 5 in how- 
many divisions each mans land ought to be laid in each division." 

Durino" the summer of 1670 the committee chosen for that 
purpose went to Pocumtuck, laid out the town street and the 
hiifhwavs ; set out two divisions of land most suitable for 
tillage, and located in each the rig'hts of the several proprie- 
tors, according to the draft above, and in the spring follow- 
ing made a full report, as follows : — 

"May 16, 167 1. Agreed by the Committee chosen by the proprie- 
tors of land at Pacomptuck for the settlement of the scituation of 
the Town Plott equalicing lands laying out Highways &c &c by 
their mutual assent and consent. 

1 That for the situation of the Town Plott it shall be on that 
tract of land beginning [at] the Southerly end of it att a little 
brook called Eagle Brook & so extend Northerly to the banke or 
falling ridare of land at Samson Frarv's celer (li: so to run from the 
banke or ridg of land fronting on the meadow Land Westerlie to 
the mountain Easterlie 

2 That there shall be a highway for the common street laid out six 
rod in breadth about the middle of the tract of land above ex- 
pressed begining on that side towards Eagle Brook and so to run 
Northerlie throughout the said tract; on both sides wharon the 
house lots shall be laid out: one teare of lot fronting on the said 
common Street Easterlie and another teare of Lotts fronting on the 
said Street Westerlie: the measure of the house lots to begin on the 
west range of Lotts att the North end : 

3. That there be three highways laid out one at each end of the 
Towne which shall be each way three rod in breadth running East- 
erlie to the mountaine or woods and ^\'esterlie leading in to the 
meadows: Also there shall be another highway running from the 


middle of the towne three rod in bredth Easterlie into the woods 
or mountains: and WesterHe it shall run into the meadows; leaving 
it to be laid out in the most convenient place as may best acomodate 
the meadows and the fesibleness of the passage into the same: att 
the reare of John Stebbins Lot it runs four rod on the banke then 
to runn through the meadow to the river. 

4. That as to the more higher sort of Lands called Intervale or 
plowland we order that [there] shall be two divisions made of the 
same out of both which all the proprietors shall [receive] their pro- 
portion : the first division which we judge best for the (jualitie o^ 
Land begining Northerlie att the river called pacumptuck fronting 
WesterHe on the pine hill [and the] land called meadow or mowing 
land runniug Easterlie to the mountaine and extending Southerlie 
to the Town Plott: then to begin againe on the South side of the 
towne at Eagle Brook and so being fronted by the meadow Wester- 
lie to runn till it come [to a ridg] of falling land and there to ter- 
minate and end the which running Easterlie to the [woods] or moun- 

A 2d division to begin att the aforesaid ridg of land where the 
other ended and [so to run] WesterHe over the river by a ridg of 
high land wdiich divides between the [intervale] and mowing land 
there till it comes to the hills or woods and so all the proprietors to 
have their lotts run through on both sides of the river from the 
mountains WesterHe [to the] mountaine and swamp Easterlie till 
the high land on the West side be runn out — the remainder to take 
their lotts on the East side of the river in the rest of the Intervale 
land till it be runn out to the wood land. 

5 That there shall be a highway tw'o rods in bredth which shall 
runn through both the divisions above mentioned both Southerlie 
and Northerlie; the highway running Northerlie to runn to pacom- 
tuck river and so out into the woods [so that each] proprietor may 
come to his land which highway is left to be laid out for place as 
conveniency the best advantage may suite. 

6 That there shall be a highway 2 rod in bredth running through 
the meadow lying on the East side of the river from one end to an- 
other — Northerlie and Southerlie [so] every man may come to his 

7 That all the proprietors take up a proportion proportionable in 
the meadow Lands lying over the west side of the river and that 
there be a highway 2 rod in bredth run throughout the said meadow 
in the most convenient place as may best advantage the said [Land 
and] that every man may come att his land: 

Whereas Samll Hinsdell, desiring to Injoy a percell of Land on 
which [at] present he is resident and saith it was granted him by 
the town of De[dham] and understanding by Capt. Pynchon (who 
was then present when it was [asked] for) that he thinks it was in- 
deed so and finding the piece said to be inconsiderable for qualitie 
and quantity being about 3 or 4 acres and he abating as much in the 
2d of his devisions of plow land; the said tract not also prejudicing 
any man's lott or lotts; we judg he may Injoy the said percell of 
land considering his expense on the same; and no damage is done 
either to the Comons [or] any particular proprietor. 



That from the way running through the meddow on the est side 
[of the] river at the northelie end there shall be a way left of 2 rod 
in bredth leading to the river westerlie that there may be a passage 
to the same from the land lying opposite on the west side of the 

A list of the houselots drawn by the Committee this 14:3:71: 
[May 14, 1671.] 


Commons A 




Robt Ware, Nat'l Fisher 







Eleazer Lusher, Gent 






Timothy Dwight's farm 


John AUin, Gent 






John Hubbard 





Tim" Dwight 






Anthony Fisher, Jr. 


Ensign Phillips 






Samll Hensdell 






Peter Wooderd 





Samson Frary 







Capt Pynchon 







John Stebbins 






Capt Pynchon 






John Fuller 






28 ■ 

Peter Wooderd 





Mary Hayward 






John ffarrington 






Ed Richards farm 


Church Lott 






Leift Fishers farm 

Seargt Avery 







Thomas Mason 







John Bacon 







Seargt Thomas Fuller 




— . 


Samll Daniell 






Deacon Chicerins 







John Havvard 






Peter Wooderd 





Isaac BuUard 







Rob Hensdell 






Natl Coleborne 







Ensine Phillips 






Left Fisher 






Samll Hinsdell 






Samll Hinsdell 





30 Y2 

Mrs Bunker 







Ensigne Phillips 






John Baker 







John Gaye 







Ensign Daniel Fisher 






Thomas Paine 






Capt Pynchon 









t » 

The town plot laid out by this committee in 1671 is that of 
to-day. The highways are essentially unchanged. Many of 
the lines now bounding the meadow lots are those laid out 
under the "artist" employed by these men. Many of the 
house lots are changed by bargain and sale to a more con- 
venient size, while others remain the same. 


The wildernCvSS was now waiting for redemption, and the 
foundations to be laid for the settlement of Pocumtuck. The 
ground, as I have said, had already been broken by the plow 
of Samuel Hinsdale, the pioneer. The Pocumtuck Indians 
had been swept off by the Mohavv'ks a few years before, un- 
der circumstances to be related, and few, if any, were now 
residents here. Those living under the shelter of the white 
settlements below, who claimed to be the owners of the Val- 
ley, had been fairly paid for their lands. Though it is true 
they did not understand the full import of the transaction, 
they were nevertheless ready and glad to obtain the English- 
man's wares, at the same time retaining all that was of any 
use to them, the right of hunting, fishing and gathering wild 

The price paid may seem trifling ; but this matter must be 
viewed from the standpoint of the men of Dedham at that 
date. Assuming that the £i^6 los voted to be raised to repay 
Mr. Pynchon represents the entire cost for the purchase, and 
allowing a reasonable percentage for expenses, it will appear 
that the price paid Avas about four pence per acre. Little 
enough this seems. But in 1 665 two of the " farms " containing 
450 acres, some of it the choicest meadow land at Pocumtuck, 
was offered at Dedham, for "6 pence per acre, 2-5 in corn and 
3-5 in cattle," with no buyers. If this be a criterion of value, 
Dedham paid generously for the land, especially as she had al- 
ready given one acre at home for four in this far-off region ; 
and the Pocumtuck Indians were really deprived of nothing 
which, imder the circumstances, could be of any value to 

Dedham had hardly taken possession of her new estate be- 
fore Hatfield complained of encroachment. In May, 1672, 
she petitioned the General Court for redress, claiming that 
the grant as laid out, extended one and three-quarters of a 
mile over her north line. The Court appointed Peter Tilton, 
William Clarke and vSamuel Smith, a committee to " regulate 
and settle," the disputed line. vSept. 20th these gentlemen 
viewed the premises, and on the 9th of October reported to 
the Court that they had, — 

"Ordered that Hatfield Ixjiiiuls nortlierly shall extend to a little 
brooke eonimonly called, by the English, Sugar Loafe J)rook, at the 
comon place of passage ouer, where there is t^vo trees marked, a 


little white oake on the west side of the way, and a great white oake 
on the east side of sajd way; and so to runne by the sajd line east 
to the Great Riuer, and on the west Ijne from sajd riuer two miles 
into the woods. 

Also the sajd Committee have determined that the Proprietors of 
Pocomtuck for and in consideration of the land taken out of their 
measure to acomodate Hatfield, they shall receiue it as foUoweth, 
vizt: on the north side of Pocumtuck Riuer, from the mouth of the 
ryver called Greene Riuer, a Ijne to runne due east one mile, and 
west one mile, and north three-quarters of a mile; the whole tract 
of land to be two miles in length and three-quarters of a mile in 
breath, and for the remajnder to begin at Pocomtock Riuer, at the 
end of there propritjes, and to rune on an east Ijne to the Great 
Riuer, and to extend in a south lyne two miles." 

This return was approved by the Court, Oct. 1 1, 1672. The 
north line of Pocumtuck as thus established in 1672 is the 
present north bound of the town — the famous " 8000 acre 
line," for the maintenance of which so many hard battles 
with Greenfield have been successfully fought by the patri- 
otic descendants of the original settlers. The addition at 
the north was doubtless covered by the deeds already given. 
That at Great River on the east was included in the follow- 
ing :— 

These presents testifie. That Mashalisk (the old woman, 
Mother of Wuttawwaluncksin) doth hereby Bargaine sell & allienate 
a Tract of Land in y*^ Southerly side of Pacomtuck River & so lying 
all along by Qvinetticot River side doune to y*^ Lower Point of y*^ 
Hill called Weqvomps & by y*" English Sugarloafe hill: all y^ Tract 
of Land between y*^ greate River Quinetticot on y*" east & y*^ ledge 
of Mountaines on y"' west, & on y*-' Northward fro Pacomtuck River 
Mouth, Mantehelant downe southward to Weqvomps & to y*^ very 
Point of land where y'^ hills come to y'^' greate River called Tawwat 
or Tawwat [ — J Togither w'^'^ all y'^' Islands in y-' greate River, 
called Mattampash, Allinnack, or Allinnackcooke, Taukkanackcoss, 
or by whatever other names they may be called, all y*" whole sd 
Tract of Land Mantehelant Mattampash downe to Tawwat or Taw- 
wattuck & so by y"^^ ledge of Mountaines lie fro greate River west- 

The sd Mashalisk Doth sell all to John Pynchon of Springfield to 
him his heires & assignes forever, ffor & in Consideration of a debt 
of ten large Eevers & other debts of Wuttawoluncksin her sons w*^'' 
shee acknowledges her self engaged for y'^ Payment off to John 
Pynchon aforesd: for the said Just and due Debts & moreover for 
& in consideration of sixty fada of wampum. 2. cotes some cotton 
& Severall other small things all w^'' y sd Mashalisk acknowledge 
to haue Rec'd & to be therw*^'' fully satisfied & contented, Doe fully 
clearly & absolutely give Grant Bargaine & sell vnto John Pynchon 
of Springfield aforesd, hereby giving granting & resigning up to 
him all my right Title & interest in y"^^ aforesd land: To HAVE & 


to HOLD all the sd land to y*" only proper vse & Behoofe of him y'' 
sd John Pynchon his heires & assigns for ever, w"' all y'' profits ad- 
vantages & conioditys thereoff & therevnto belonging whatsoever, 
& that for ever: And y'^' sd Meshalisk doth hereby covenant (S: 
promise too & w*'' y'' sd John Pynchon, that shee will y'^ sd Pynchon 
save harmless of &: from all manner of claimes right title & interest 
of any other person whatsoever vnto y^' sd Land hereby sold & will 
defend y*^ same from all or any Molestation or Incumbrance of In- 
dians right to all or any part thereof: & as having full right & law- 
full Power thus to doe, Doth in witness thereoff here vnto affix her 
hand & scale this 26th day of August 1672 

Mash >^shalisk 
her marke 
This being done &: also delid (Seal) 

in the Presence off 
John Holtum 
Isaac Morgan 

The marke of 
Ackki ><l[unbariet?]an Indian witness 

her kinsman 

The name of the Indian witness is probably the same given 
in John Pynchon's accotmtbook as Ackaniboioct. 


Poctimtiick of two hundred years ago lay upon the wCvSt 
bank of the QninncJituk — /. c. long, tidal river* — with a shore 
line of twenty-five miles in length. Its north and west lines 
were each thirteen miles long ; its average width below the 
great bend at Pcskconipskitt, was about nine miles. This terri- 
tory, containing about one hundred and thirty-seven square 
miles, was bounded by the present towns of Northfield, Ber- 
nardston, Leyden, and Colrain on the north ; by Montague, 
Whately, and Williamsburg on the south ; on the east the Con- 
necticut separated it from Northfield, Erving, Montague and 
Sunderland ; west lay Goshen, Ashfield, Buckland and Charle- 
mont. From this old township, Greenfield, including Gill, 
was set off in 1753, Conway in 1767, vShelburne in 1768; and 
fragments have gone to Whately and Ashfield, leaving only 
about thirty-six square miles, bounded by Greenfield and 
Montague north, Whately and Conway south, Montague and 
Sunderland east, vShelburne and Conway west — which is the 
Deerfield of to-day. The population of the old territory is 
given below : — 






































1 53 1 



















300 1 105 3043 6103 6352 6242 6965 8525 I09I6 1 1 560 

The topography of the town is quite peculiar. Along the 
bank of the Connecticut river runs a strip of meadow, about 
a quarter of a mile wide, extending the whole length of the 
town. From this rises to the west a range of highlands, from 
one to two miles wide, including Wequamps on the south 
line, and Peskeompskut, attaining about midway at Po- 

*In 1725, The Abenakis called it the "Gownitigou, otherwise Long River." 


cumtuck Rock, an elevation of 750 feet. This is called East 
Mountain. From the foot of this range a plain or valley 
spreads westward, from one to two miles in width. On this, 
the Dedham Grant was laid out, and here are situated the 
" Old Street," the villages of Wapping, Mill, Bars, Bloody- 
Brook and Mill River. Still to the west, the surface rises in 
swelling hills, one above another, to the western bounds, 
reaching at " Arthur's Seat," near the vShelburne line, a height 
of 1 000 feet. These are the " Sunsick Hills" of the Indians, 
the West Mountain of to-day, and may be considered foot- 
hills of Hoosac Mountain. These hills are nearly bare of 
forest and afford the best of grazing land, while a few good 
farms are found in the valleys among them. Through the 
Sunsick Hills the Pocumtuck river has worn a deep, rocky 
bed, over which it hurries to the valley, entering it from the 
west, near the center of the Dedham Grant. From the point 
where the Pocumtuck debouches from the hills, the valley to 
the north has been scooped out by the action of its waters to 
the depth of one hundred feet, forming the remarkable basin 
known as the Pocumtuck Valley. The Poconinicgoii, or Green 
river entering from the north, assisted in this work of exca- 
vation. The valley is surrounded by a deeply indented bluff, 
the top of which marks the original level. From the top of 
the bluff on the south the plain broadens, stretching away to 
the Whately line. On the north it extends to the Leyden 
hills. According to a theory of Agassiz, at no very remote 
geological period, this plain was the bed of the Connecticut 
river, which, pouring its waters around the south point of 
Wequamps, left the large " pot hole " still to be seen there, as 
an evidence of its paSvSage. 

About the center of the Pocumtuck valley, and abutting 
against the East Mountain, lies a plateau one mile long and 
half as wide, surrounded on three sides by the meadows, 
above which it is elevated some twenty feet. In the middle 
of this plateau rises Meetinghouse hill, a table of fifty acres, 
occupying its entire width, and rising about twenty feet above 
the rest. Here is the natural center of the town. Here was 
the meetinghouse, the graveyard, the training field and fort. 
Running over this hill, and across the plateau to the north 
and south, the "Town Piatt" was laid out in 1671, and here 
is "Old Street" of to-day. 


On a smaller plateau, similarly situated at the south end of 
the valley, lies the village of Wapping. Clinging- to the face 
of the bluff, the village of Cheapside straggles across the 
northern extremity of the valley. Aside from these localities 
and Pine Hill, the whole valley is subject to inundation by 
the overflow of the Pocumtuck. 

A minute description of the town will be convenient for 
reference and will save much repetition. Local names will 
be given freely, especially when descriptive or personal. The 
affixed figures indicate the year in which the older names are 
first met with. To some these names and dates may have 
no significance, while others will find in them landmarks of 
ownership, or the key to historic events. The view will be 
by sections, which agree substantially with the old school 
districts. The time is 1884: — 

No. I. Old Street, 1671. This contains one hundred and 
seven dwellings, two meetinghouses, Town hall. Memorial 
Hall, Dickinson Academy and Library, schoolhouse, postof- 
fice, two depots, hotel. Grange Hall, three stores, shoe shop, 
blacksmith shop, livery stable, grist and lumber mill, pickle 
factory and two graveyards. From the Old Street as a start- 
ing point, Memorial Lane leads eastward to the depots and 
over East Mountain to Great River and Pine Nook. To the 
west Hitchcock's Lane — the new Academy Lane — leads to 
the old graveyard, the meadows, and across the Pocumtuck 
by a ford to Wisdom. 

North Meadows, lies on the north and w^est of the Street. 
Some of its subdivisions are Plain Swamp, Pine Hill, 1671 ; 
Little Plain, 1686; Pine Hill Plain, 1 701 ; Tim's Kiln, 1735; 
Poag's Hole, 1735; Neck, 1675; White Swamp, 1 70 1 ; Great 
Meadows, 1688; Little Meadows, 1688; Harrow Meadow, 1701; 
Pine Hill Lsland, 1671 ; Field's Lsland, 1735; Great Pasture, 
1725; Meadow Pasture, John Broughton's Hill, 1701. Some 
of the ponds scattered about the meadow\s are : Broughton's 
1693 ; Beaman's, 1728; and Belding's, 1755. Frary's bridge 
is named in 1703. 

The most notable feature in this tract is Pine Hill, near its 
center. This is about forty feet high, and covers thirty 
acres. It is doubtless a remnant of the original plain, pre- 
served from denudation by a ledge of rock at its west base ; 
in shape, an oblong square, rounded and scalloped at the 


ends, its contour is as symmetrical as many of the ^vestern 
mounds. The top is occupied by two level terraces running 

South Mcadoii's, 1671, lies south of the Street, with Eagle 
Brook Plain, 1690; Log ]\Ieadow, 1701 ; Beaver Dam, 1735; 
Wells's Pasture, 1701 ; Harrow Meadow, 1701 ; and Second 
Division Hill, 1671. This hill marks the south bound of the 
First Division of plow land, 1671. Beyond this is Second 
Division Plain, 1671 ; New Field, 1729; and Indian Orchard. 

On the bluff east of the valley, ranging from south to north, 
are Fort Hill, 1688; Martin's Hill, 1688; Burying Ground 
Hill, 1 801, now occupied as its name indicates ; Woodchuck 
Hill and a Second Fort Hill, 17 10. 

No. 2. Chcapsidc, 1689. From the north end of Old Street 
a road skirting North Meadows on the east leads across the 
Pocumtuck to Cheapside, which occupies the territory be- 
tween that river, Sheldon's brook, and Greenfield line. Here 
are one hundred and forty-seven dwellings, two schoolhou.s- 
es, extensive machine shops, two stores, Hoyt's Meadow, 
1805; Fort Hill, 1755; Town vSwamp, 1750; West Meadow, 
1755; Judith's Point, 1755; Clesson's Swamp, 1710; Petty's 
Plain, 1 7 14; and Behind Noon, 1805. Three railroad bridges 
and four highway bridges are partly or wholly in Cheapside 
— two over the Connecticut, three over the Pocumtuck and 
two over Green river. 

No. 3. Wisdoin. This is bounded east and south by the 
Pocumtuck river, north by Cheapside, and reaches west to 
vShelburne line. It has sixty dwellings, two schoolhouses, 
meetinghouse, postoffice, depot, wagon shop, cider mill, two 
slaughter houses and six graveyards. Here lie Carter's land, 
1693; Little Hope, Old Fort, 1686; Old River, Harrow Mead- 
ow Point, 1766; Grass Hollow, New Fort Meadow, 1686; The 
Nook, Belding's Grant, 1688; Amsden's Hill, 1735; Field's 
Hill, Martin's' Hill, 1717; Indian Hill, Round Hill, Long 
Swamp, Old World, Arthur's vSeat, Hawks's Grant, Wolf Lot, 
House Lot, and P^lakely Hollow. 

No. 4. Hoosac, lies across the Pocumtuck to the south of 
Wisdom, with nine dwellings. 

No. 5. Mi// River, is still southward, occupying the south- 
east corner of the town. It has thirty dwellings, school- 
house, saw and grist mill, vSawmill Plain, 1747; Brooks's Hoi- 


low, Weller's Hill, Bear's Hole, Indian Hill, Long Hill West 
Division, 1688; and a graveyard. 

No. 6. Wappiug, 1687, one mile south of Old Street is the 
Plumbtree Plain of 1684. It has twenty-three dwellings and 
a schoolhouse. 

No. 7. TJic Mill, 1795, is one mile west of Wapping, with 
nine dwellings, blacksmith shop, machine shop, saw and grist 
mill. Here are Indian Bridge, 1694; Gilford's Bridge, Steb- 
bins Meadow, 1692; Sutlieff's Island, 171 2; Locke's Island, 
1773; Locke's Mill, 1783; Stebbins Island, 1735 ; Island Brook, 
1767; and Stillwater Bridge, which leads over the Pocnm- 
tuck river to Wisdom. 

No. 8. TJic Bars, 1675, adjoins on the south, with nine 
dwellings, Indian Hole, Squaw Hill, 1746; Bars Long Hill, 
1685; Boggy Meadow, 1686. One schoolhouse accommodates 
both Mill and Bars. 

No. 9. Turnip Yard,'-'' 1753, lies two miles southeast of 
Wapping, with nineteen dwellings and schoolhouse. 

No. 10. Sugar Loaf — the old town sheepwalk of 1753 — lies 
southeast of Turnip Yard, between Wequamps, 1672, and the 
Connecticut, south to Whately line, with twelve dwellings, 
sawmill and graveyard. From here a bridge leads across the 
Connecticut to Sunderland. 

No. II. Pine Nook, 1709, or Grindstone Hill, is next north 
of Sugar Loaf, extending three miles up the Connecticut. It 
has twenty-four dwellings, schoolhouse, two graveyards, 
Will's Hill, and Devil's Hollow, 1800. Whitmore's Ferry 
leads thence to Sunderland. 

No. 12. Great River, 1686, lies still northward, extending 
on the river three miles to the town bounds, Cheapside and 
Old Street lying on the west. Here are twenty-six dwellings, 
schoolhouse, cider mill, one graveyard, Clesson's Ferry to 
Montague, 1830; Martin's Meadow, 1686; Sheldon's Fields, 
1 768. At the latter place the Boston and Troy Railroad has 
established a freight yard, with extensive buildings and de- 
pot. The Indian name of this section was Mantahelek. 

No. 13. Bloody Brook, 1675, is three and one-half miles 
south of the Street by Wapping Long Hill road, and extends 

* The nambj'-pamby name of Hill Side has recently been applied to this dis- 
trict in accordance wiih a taste which would reduce to insipid sameness every 
original and suggestive local name. 


southward to Whately line. Half a mile north of this line is 
a small triangular common. From this point Sugar Loaf Street 
runs across vSugar Loaf Plain, 1 700, by the south point of We- 
quamps, to Sunderland Bridge ; Depot Street west to Mill 
riYcr ; Conway street northwest to Conway, and the North- 
ampton road south. Another road from the Old Street reach- 
es Bloody Brook by Bars Long Hill. This is the old Hatfield 
road, down which Lothrop led his men to slaughter in 1675. 
It is the dividing line between Long Hill East, and Long 
Hill West, divisions of woodland in 1688. On the streets 
and roads named are one hundred and forty-eight dwellings, 
three meetinghouses, two schoolhouses, six stores, pocket- 
book manufactory, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, grist and 
sawmill, two hotels, livery stable, postoffice, two graveyards, 
and the monument to the " Flower of Essex." 

Elevations — East Mountain is made up of two ranges par- 
allel to the Connecticut river, about eleven miles lonof. 
The easterly one, of trap, is called Rocky Mountain. Its 
northern end, opposite the falls at Peskeompskut, rises boldly 
four or five hundred feet. The sides are generally precipi- 
tous and often bare of vegetation, more particularly the west 
slope. Its highest rise is at Hosmer's Peak, directly east of 
Pocumtuck Rock, whence it rapidly falls off to Turnip Yard 
and there disappears under the west range. At Cheapside 
there is a remarkable gorge, where the Pocumtuck river has 
cut a passage through the hill from crown to base, about two 
hundred and fifty feet in depth. Not far above this gorge 
on the north side is Sachems Head, with its Bears Den, and 
farther on. Poets vSeat, places of much resort, from which are 
extensive and picturesque views of the Connecticut and Po- 
cumtuck Valleys. 

The west range of East Mountain, of red sandstone, is 
called the Pocumtuck range. It springs abruptly from the 
plain at Whately line to the height of five hundred feet, form- 
ing the noted " Weqvamps, called by the white men, vSugar 
Loaf" in 1672. From Wequamps, on which is a house for the 
accommodation of visitors, the prospect is charming, extend- 
ing down the valley beyond Holyoke and Mount Tom. North- 
ward, over Beaver Neck, is North Sugar Loaf, of equal 
height. Rising still northward, the range culminates at Po- 
cumtuck Rock, 750 feet above the valley. The view from 


this point can rarely be .surpassed in quiet beaut}-. " It is 
not excelled," .said John Quincy Adams, "by anything I have 
ever .seen, not excepting the Bay of Naples." Northward 
from "The Rock" the range gradually falls off, disappearing 
at length under the trap range in Greenfield. 

The peculiar form of East Mountain, which suggests two 
strands of an enormous cable, did not escape the notice of 
the Indians, who called it Pemawachuatuck, /. c\, at the 
twisted mountain. 

The origin of these two ranges is as different as their ma- 
terial — if our authorities are reliable. The ofeoloQ^ist tells us 
that the trap range was forced up between the old and new 
sandstone by internal action. The Pocumtuck range, accord- 
ing to Indian tradition, is only the petrified body of a huge 
beaver, which used to disport itself here in a pond of corre- 
sponding dimensions. This animal, by continued depreda- 
tions on the shores, had offended Hobomok, who at length 
determined to kill it. Accordingly, armed with the trunk of 
an enormous oak, he waded into the water and attacked the 
monster. After a desperate contest, the beaver was dis- 
patched by a blow across his neck with the ponderous cud- 
gel. The carcass sank to the bottom of the pond and turned 
to stone. Should any skeptic doubt the truth of this tradi- 
tion he is referred to the beaver itself. Wequamps is the 
head, north of which the bent neck .shows where fell the fa- 
tal stroke ; North Sugar Loaf, the shoulders, rising to Pocum- 
tuck Rock the back, whence it tapers off to the tail at Cheap- 
side. All this is now as plainly to be seen by an observer 
from the West Mountain as it was the dav this bigf beaver 
pond was drained off. 

The hills west of the Dedham Grant belong to the Hoosac 
range and rise in gradual .swells to the summit, twenty-five 
miles away, and twenty-four hundred feet high. The high- 
est elevation attained in Deerfield is one thou.sand feet, at 
Arthur's Seat. This point is not difficult of access, and the 
view from it is extensive and grand. It is the peer of 
Kunckquadchu, 1664 ; whild Pocumtuck Rock and Wequamps 
are dwarfed between them. 

Streams. — The Connecticut River — the Ouinnehtuk of the 
natives — runs the whole length of the old town.ship, with a 
shore line, as already stated, of twenty-five miles. Its gener- 


al course is southerly, but at the southeast corner of Gill, 
where it receives Miller's river from the east, it turns sharply 
to the northwest for a mile ; continuing a westerly course of two 
miles to the Narrows, it again turns abruptly to the north- 
ward, and after a mile of rapids, plunges over a rocky preci- 
pice at Peskeompskut — now Turners Falls. About 1796 a 
dam was built here ; and a canal, constructed for the benefit 
of river navigation, was opened Oct. 29, 1800. In 1866 a new 
dam was built, about forty feet high and one thousand feet 
long. It is in two parts, one end of each resting upon a 
rocky island near the middle of the river. This dam was- 
made to utilize the power for manufacturing purposes on 
both sides of the river. 

The, large body of water and the height of the fall; the 
historic associations ; the pre-historic revelations from the 
sandstone hard by, make this by far the most interesting 
cataract in New England. A few rods below, where Fall 
river enters from the north, the river bends to the west, and 
sweeping in a semi-circle for three miles, it receives the Po- 
cumtuck from the south ; and a mile eastward, the brook Pa- 
pacomtuckquash, /. c, little Pocumtuck, from Montague. Here 
it resumes its southward course. 

Pock lilt itck River, 1665, rises on the east slope of the Green 
Mountains in Vermont. Entering Massachusetts near the 
mouth of Hoosac Tunnel, and taking a southeasterly course, 
it forms the boundary line between Rowe, Charlemont and 
Shelburne on the left, and Monroe, Florida, Buckland, and 
Conway on the right, and for two miles, between Conway and 
Deerfield. From the falls in Shelburne the river descends 
rapidly and has worn out a rocky bed through the Sunsick 
Hills from two to four hundred feet in depth. The canyon 
is so narrow and its sides so precipitous that in time of high 
water it is impassable to man. In the course of ages its foot 
has receded from the original outlet, forming a level reach 
about a mile in length, called, — 

Stilhvater. — Here the weary stream, after its impetuous 
rush from the mountain, dallies 'for a quiet rest, in the dim 
seclusion ; and Dryads and Naiads take it in charge to prepare 
it for a dignified progress across the sunlit North Meadows. 
The seething waters are soothed until every dash and rip- 
ple vanishes and every sound is silenced ; the dancing foam is 


brushed away and the dark emerald surface lies like burn- 
ished glass. The nymphs then deck it with fringed garments 
of summer green, or autumn robes of purple and gold, which 
trail down on either side of its ample bosom, and leave it to 
glide out on its destined way. From the foot of the rapids 
to this outlet the water appears absolutely still — a perfect 
mirror, reflecting the forest trees which crown the rocky 
heights on either shore. vStillwater is a favorite resort for 
lovers of the romantic, and of each other. A row to the 
head of the reach reveals scenes of enchanting beauty which 
become grand and solemn, as one seems to be penetrating 
through the deepening shadows, the very heart of the moun- 

Pocouiuicagon, 1667; or Green River, 1672 — rises in Southern 
Vermont, crosses Leyden, Greenfield and Cheapside, to the 
Pocumtuck, affording in its course power for many small 
manufacturing establishments. 

Mill River, 1661, comes from the hills of Conway. Soon 
after crossing the town line at Mill river there is a fall, 
where a mill was built in 1693. Draining Long Hill WcvSt 
Division, it receives Bloody Brook near Whately line, and 
running due south, reaches the Connecticut in Platfield. 
Hadley's first corn mill was built on this stream in 1661. 

Fall River, from Windham county, Vermont, comes down 
through Bernardston, between Greenfield and Gill, entering 
the Connecticut a few rods below Peskeompskut, furnishing 
power for many small works. 

To aid in the description of events occurring on the old 
territory of the town a concise notice of its principal brooks 
will be given : — 

Mill Brook, 1726, rises about Frizzell's Hill in Leyden, 
crosses the southeast part of Bernardston, flows southerly five 
miles in Greenfield, and enters Green river at Nash's Mills. 

McCard's [originally McHard's] Brook, a branch of Mill 
Book, also comes from Leyden. Another branch. Ash Swajiip 
Brook, 1745, draining the Great Swamp at the eastward, enters 
near its mouth. 

Gloi Brook, from the famous Leyden Glen, supplies the 
Greenfield aqueduct and enters Green river one mile below 
the Leyden line. 

Guys Brook, another tributary of Green river, running 


westerly through Greenfield village, drains the low lands 
east of it, and is utilized for the purpose of sewerage. 

From the west slope of Shelburne the most considerable 
streams are JJ\'///s lh-ook\ which on reaching Greenfield re- 
ceives JciDiys Brook from the south ; Hinsdale s Brook, rising 
in Colrain and flowing southeasterly through Shelburne and 
Greenfield ; Allcifs Brook from the south, and Stc-cuarfs Brook 
from the north which are its branches. All this water finds 
its way to Green river in Greenfield. 

From its southern slopes, wShelburne sends several brooks 
to the Pocumtuck — Sluice Brook, 1762, from Bald Mountain; 
Dragon Jlrook, with Great Brook and Haivks's Brook from Brim- 
stone Hill, as branches ; and Shingle Brook, from vShingle 
Hill, near the east line. 

Conway, or Deerfield South West, abounds in streams. 
South River, 1763 ; and Bears River, from Ashfield, cross the 
town northeasterly to the Pocumtuck ; the former furnishing 
well improved mill power. The latter is noted for its deep 
channel. Near its mouth it is spanned by a railroad bridge, 
one hundred and forty-five feet above its bed. 

From the southern slopes of Conway run Avery s Brook 
and Si)ik Pot Brook, which unite to form West Brook. Popular 
Brook is a branch of the latter. Roaring Brook, 1766, run- 
ning through Sanderson's Glen, famous for its picturesque- 
ness, absorbs North Hollow Braneh. The water of all these 
streams enters Mill river in Whately, 

In the opposite corner of the old township is Gill. There 
we find, running across the town to the southeast, W^oockoard's 
Brook, 1735, the outlet of Otter Pond. Its main branches are 
Dry Brook, 1734, on the left, and Beaver Brook, on the right. 
Ashuela Brook, 1743, and Beaver Run, lie to the northeast, and 
idl fall into the Connecticut. 

On the territory of the present town the larger streams 
have been noticed. Of the small ones, onh^ those having 
established names will be described. Ragle Brook, 1670, 
comes down East Mountain by the side of the Pine Nook 
road, reaching the Pocumtuck at the south end of the Old 
Street. It was called Sa7omill J>rook in 1714, and Bijah's 
Brook as early as 1750. The north fork of this brook, run- 
ning through Northam's Grant, is called in 1735, Northanfs 
Holm Jirook. 


Plain Siuanip Brook, rising under Meetinghouse Hill, runs 
parallel to the Cheapside road through Plain Swamp to the 
Pocumtuck at Cheapside. Taii Yard Brook, 1792, from Fort 
Hill; Roaring Brook, 1758 — its name spoiled by the Con- 
necticut River Railroad — and Wateringtrough Brook, are its 
tributaries from the east. Taylor s Mill Brook, rising in Pole 
Swamp, east of the Street, reaches the Pocumtuck a few rods 
above Cheapside bridge. Hearthstone Brook, 1687, from the 
south, between the two East Mountain ranges, enters the Po- 
cumtuck near its mouth. 

Running from the east slope of the Pocumtuck range to 
the Connecticut, are Mill Brook, 171 5; Pepper mint Brook, Rail 
Brook, 1 710, or Parsons Mill Brook, 1720, in Pine Nook, and 
two miles below. Roaring Brook, 1699. 

South of Wequamps, is the brook "called by the Indians 
]\\ekioannuek," 1672, and Sngar Loaf Brook, in 1700; heading 
in the low lands west of North Sugar Loaf, it enters the 
Connecticut near the Whately line. Another sluggish stream 
rises north of the above, comes down east of Bloody Brook 
village and parallel to it for half its length, when it crosses 
the street to the west. At this point stands the monument 
commemorating the fall of Capt. Lothrop and the "Flower 
of Essex," in 1675. On that tragic day this stream was 
baptized Bloody Brook. Continuing southerly it falls into 
Mill river, near the Whately line. IVilkey's Brook, a branch 
of the above, heads about Bear's Hole and drains the flat 
lands south of it. JVask Brook, from the east, 1750, is another 

Second Division Brook, 1688, rising near the head of Bloody 
Brook, runs in an opposite direction through the low lands 
of Long Hill East Division, Boggy Meadow, and Indian Or- 
chard, into vSecond Division, where it was once dammed by 
beavers. Joined here by Beaver Dam Brook, it turns west- 
ward and reaches the Pocumtuck through Log Meadow. It 
was the outlet to the beaver pond and the boundary between 
First and Second Divisions of plow land in 1671. Barnard's 
Brook, 1695, drains the swamp under Bars Long Hill. It is 
crossed by Indian Bridge, near the Bars and Mill school- 
house. Stebbins s Brook, 1 779, rises near Grange Hall and runs 
west. Brought oil s Pond Brook, or Prarys Brook, as it is some- 


times called, forms the outlet of that pond westerly. The 
three last named enter directly into the Pocumtuck. 

Wi.sdom is well watered. Sheldon s Brook, 1743, comes 
down through Little Hope. To the south lie Carter s Land 
Brook, I j^o; Jones s Brook, Haiuks s Brook, Hoyf s Mill Brook, 1 795 ; 
Auisdens Hill Brook, all running eastward to the Pocumtuck. 
Turkey Bin Brook, 1795, draining Round Swamp, and Lan- 
fairs Brook, Long Swamp, both run south to the same river. 

The brooks for which names have been found are a small 
minority of those scattered in every part of the old township. 


When our ancestors planted themselves at Pocumtuck it 
became the northwest frontier settlement of New England. 
The wilderness stretched to Canada on the north, and to Al- 
bany on the west : Lancaster and Brookfield were the nearest 
towns on the east. On the river below were Springfield, 
settled by William Pynchon in 1635, Northampton, settled 
in 1654, and Hadley in 1659. At Warranoco, [Westfield] a 
trading post had been established in 1640, as a commercial 
rival to Springfield. 

From the first contact of the whites with the natives of 
the valley, traffic in furs was a lucrative business. Pynchon, 
located at Springfield, was near the source of supply and 
found great profit in the business. The Connecticut towns, 
being in a measure cut off from the up river Indians, sought 
to checkmate Pynchon by a counter move. In 1640, Fen- 
wick, agent of the Connecticut patentees, granted Gov. Ed- 
ward Hopkins and William Whiting of Hartford, one thou- 
sand acres at Warranoco. The grantees at once built a fort 
there and established a trading post. That region was a 
favorite haunt for beaver, and a brisk trade with the natives 
soon sprang up. Massachusetts, which had derived quite an 
income from a tax on furs, could not quietly see so large a 
trade diverted to Connecticut. She set up a claim that the 
fort was on her territory, and ran an ex-parte line to prove 
it. Fenwick resisted the claim ; but the Commissioners of 
the United Colonies decided in favor of Massachusetts. 
Warranoco was annexed to Springfield and was taxed two 
pence for each skin of beaver, otter, moose or bear obtained 
of the Indians. Soon after 1649 the post was abandoned. 
Before 1660 a company under the lead of Roger Billings, 
made an 'unsuccessful attempt to renew the settlement, un- 
der a grant from Massachusetts. A permanent colony was 
established there about 1660. 


For more than thirty years friendly relations had existed 
between the English and Indians, to their mutual benefit, 
and no fears were now entertained of Indian hostilities. 
Under these conditions and with these surroundings, our 
fathers had decided to plant a colony at Pocumtuck. As we 
have seen, the pioneer, Samuel Hinsdell, had broken ground 
here in the spring of 1669, or possibly the fall before. The 
town had been surveyed and the land divided in 167 1. It 
has often been stated by historians, and generally believed, 
that Deerfield was settled by a colony from Dedham, and 
that the list of proprietors of the eight thousand acre grant 
found on the town records is a list of the actual settlers. It 
is a remarkable fact, however, that not a single Dedham man 
became a permanent resident of Pocumtuck. 

Samuel Hinsdell was soon followed by Samson Frary. A 
family tradition places Godfrey Nims here, as third settler, 
before 1671, but other evidence of this has not been found. 
Landless men, learning of the fertile, alluvial soil of this 
valley, where broad acres could be bought for a trifle, soon 
turned their faces toward this land of promise. Many rights 
in the Grant had been sold to speculators years before, but 
the question now being of settlement, picked men only were 
allowed a foothold on the new El Dorado. Although the lots, and the best meadow land were held in severalty, 
real estate there was sold to such men only as were approved 
by Dedham. Entries like the following make part of the 
town record : — 

"Dec. 4, 1671. Joh Plimpton is allowed to purchase Land of John 
Bacon at Pawcumptucke prouided that the said John Plimpton doe 
settle there vpon in his owne person 

Dec. 4, 1 67 1. M"" Tho: Weld of Roxbery came this daye with 
his brother Daniell Weld of Meadfield, moueing the select men to 
grant his said brother libertie to purchase Lande at Paucomptuke. 
this request was not granted" 

"Feb. 16, 1 67 1-2. Lieft. Fisher is alowed libertie to sell, 6 cowe 
Common Rights and one sheepe Common Right at Paucumptuck to 
Nathaneell Suttlife of Medfield" 

These were acts of deliberation, and not mere formalities. 

The grounds of objection to Mr. Weld, or what measures 
were taken to remove them, do not appear; but the next year 
he was an emigrant to Pocumttick. An examination of the 
records of Dedham shows that the municipal affairs of the 


new plantation were for years exclusively under the control 
of the mother town. As the inconvenience of this arrang-e- 
ment became manifest, measures were taken to bring the 
ruling powers nearer home. 

Samuel Hinsdell was sent to confer with the mother town 
in the winter of 1672-3. 

'' Feb. 3, 1672-3. The inhabitanc at pocomtick by Sam Hisdel de- 
sire that a company of meet persons: thier about be chosen : and 
invested with all such poure nesesary: for the well ordering of the 
afires: of that place, this being taken in to consideration: the hue 
men vnder named are chosen to be the commity: M"' Fetter Til- 
ton Liut Sam Smith Liut Alice good Willard Sam Hinsdel" 

" March 7, 1673. [Genera Imeeting.] SamH insdell in the behalfe 
of the inhabitanc of pecomtick : and the propriators: thier present 
thier request that the Towne of Dedham would consider thier case 
and the dificaltyes that are vpon them by rcasone of thier remoat- 
nes: from the plac whear the poure of ordring of prudentiall do re- 
side: and to do something: that may: further thier setlement: 

In Answer thier vnto: the Towne haue chosen thier trusty and 
wellbeloued and much esteemed freind: m'' Peter Tilton Liut Sam 
Smith: Liut Alice Richard Wilard: and Sam Hinsdel to be a comity 
for that place: and haue betrusted and impoured them accordingly: 
as first to alow of sutable inhabitanc by: purchis or other wise 
secondly: to order thier herding: cattel and regelating: swine: 3 to 
make orders about fence: 4ly: that this commity: and the inhabi- 
tanc thier with the aduice of the Elders of the 2 neighboring: 
churches: shall haue liberty to procure: an orthodox Minester to 
dispenc the word of god amogst them." 

These neighboring churches were at Hadley and Hatfield. 
Hinsdell — who was made constable for Pocumtuck at this 
time — on his return made a report of the above proceedings 
to his fellow adventurers. Whatever they might have ex- 
pected of the mother town, this action was unsatisfactory, 
and they resolved to cut loose from the authority of Dedham 
and set up an independent government. Samuel Hinsdell 
was again sent through the wilderness to the Bay; this time 
with an appeal to a higher power. The following action of 
the General Court at its session of May 7, 1673, shows the 
issue of this enterprise : — 

In ans'' to the peticon of the inhabitants of Paucumptucke, 
Samuell Hindsdale, Sampson Frary, c\:c the Court judgeth it meete 
to allow the peticoners the liberty of a touneship, and doe therefore 
grant them such an addition of land to the eight thousand acres 
formerly granted there to Dedham, as that the whole be to the con- 
tent of seven miles square, provided that an able (!v: orthodox minis- 
ter w"'in three yeares be settled among them, and that a farme of 


two hundred & fifty acres of land be layd out for the countrys vse; 
and doe further appointt & impower Lef Wm Allys, Th'"- Meakins, 
Sen & Sergent Isaack Graues, w"' Lef* Samuel Smith, M' Peeter 
Tylton, & Samuel Hindsdell, to be a Committee, and any fower of 
them to act in all respects to lay out y'' said farme in a convenient 
place to admit inhabitants, grant lands, & order all their prudentiall 
affaires till they shall be in a capacity, by meet persons from among 
themselues, to manage their owne affaires, & that the committee be 
advised w"' about settling of a minister there. — [3fass. Records, IV, 
Part II, 558.] 

In default of any subsequent action to that end, this "Lib- 
erty of a touneship" may well be taken as an Act of Incorpo- 
ration of the town. In this act there is no provision obliging 
the settlers to seek "the aduice of the Elders of the 2 
neighboring churches" in proctiring a minister; which pro- 
viso in the Dedham order, may have been obnoxiotis to these 
sturdy independents, and caused their bold push for territo- 
rial and ecclesiastical liberty. It is probable, moreover, that 
influence from a tJiird "neighboring church" had already 
practically disposed of the question of the minister. Samuel 
Mather, a nephew of Eleazer Mather, ten years minister at 
Northampton, was called to provide for the spiritual wants 
of the new town. He seems to have been paid about thirty- 
seven pounds a year. There is, however, no evidence that a 
church was formed at this time, or that Mather was regular- 
ly "settled." We find John Pynchon paid taxes for his sup- 
port from December, 1673, until the settlement was broken up 
in 1675. A meetinghouse was built before August 1675. 

The territory of Pocumtuck, as laid out under the above 
grant, is almost identical with that now occupied by the 
towns of Deerfield, Greenfield and Gill. The farm of two 
hundred and fifty acres for the " countrys vse " was laid out 
in the north part of the additional grant. "Country Farms," 
in Greenfield, probably indicates its location. More will be 
found on this subject later. 

The prudential affairs of the incipient town were nominal- 
ly under the control of the committee of six before named, 
but practically in the hands of those most interested. This 
appears from the following record of two meetings recovered 
from a collection of old papers in Connecticut. It is the 
earliest known record of action by the plantation, and will be 
given in full: — 


Nouember 7th, 1673: 

At a meeting apoynted b}' the Comitee ffor the plantation of pa- 
comtucke of the Inhabitants, and proprietors of the Lands there: 

These following particulars proposed by the Comittie at the said 
meeting to the Inhabitants and proprietors there ffor their consider- 

I. Whether it be not best and most conducable to the weal <Sc 
Settlement of the plantation ffor the proprietors to laye downe all 
their wood lands now in propryetie to common — As also all those 
lands they recaued ffrom the Countrye, in leiw of what they parted 
with to Hatfeild. 

This proposision was voted in the affirmative in both the parts 
And ffurther the said Inhabitants and proprietors, doe by these pres- 
sents, ffor themselues and their successours, ratifie, confirm, and es- 
tablish, the above proposision, zvs: to laye downe all their woodlands 
now in proprietye to common, — As also all those lands thev receaued 
from the Countrye in liew of what they parted with to Hatfield pro- 
vided withall, the said proprietors reserve to themselves and succes- 
sours, a Comon right in the aforesaid lands and in all other lands 
belonging to the said plantation that are yet undivided according to 
the maner of other plantations: 

2d. That all public Charges respecting the ministers sallerye or 
maintenance bee leuied and raised on lands for the present till the 
said towne be in a capasitye to manage their own affairs and may 
see cause to alter or some other way be agreed on by the Comittee. 

This was voted in the affirmative by the proprietors 

3d. Whether there should be a speedye course taken that those 
of the proprietors who want land of their measure which should have 
binn truely laid out to them be satisfied, to preuent future trouble. 

This was voted in the affirmative, provided every person wanting 
his proportion, shall euince it by testimonye to the Comittee by the 
29th of September next ensuing: 

The Alarck of 

Richard Weler: — Robert Hinsdell Nathaniel Sutly : — 

John Plvmpton Samuel Hinsdell John ffarrington 

Joshua Carter; — Experience Hinsdell Thomas Hastings 

Samson Frary John Barnard ffrancis Barnard 

Quinlin Stockwell John; Weler Samuel Daniel 

Joseph Gillel Samuel Herenton: James Tufts 

Barnabus Hinsdell John: Hinsdell 

John Allin Ephraini Hinsdell 

Daniel Weld Moses; Crafts; 

The settlers here at this time were those who held their 
lands by virtue of being original Dedham grantees, or their 
legal successors, or men who had been induced to settle here 
by grants of land from the Proprietors. Other portions of 
the Grant had been, as we have seen, set out to individual 
owners. The undivided and ungranted remainder, which in- 
cluded Cheapside and Great River — the territory given the 
Proprietors " in liew of what they parted with to Hatfield " — 
was the land now held "in propryetie" by the present Pro- 


prietors. The "Inhabitants" inchided all actual settlers; 
and to the "Inhabitants," it will be noted, the seven mile 
square grant was made in May, 1673. By the record of the 
meeting above, it is seen that the interest of the " Proprie- 
tors " was merged with the larger grant of the " Inhabitants." 
All became joint owners, and they were the body hereafter 
known as the " Proprietors," while the " Inhabitants" of the 
future, included these and all new comers. The organization 
of the Proprietors was kept up more than a hundred years, 
and until all this land, was disposed of. The individual in- 
terest in this large estate was according to the number of 
cow commons held by each at the time of the consolidation. 
Their Record books, full and complete, are preserved in the 
Archives of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. 

This change in the tenure of land was an important one. 
Desirable lands were released which could be offered to new 
settlers. Liberal offers brought many adventurers to the 
place ; a public house became necessary, and Moses Crafts 
applied for authority to keep one. vSept. 27, 1674, the Court 
at Northampton issued him a license " to keep an ordinary at 
Paucumtuck, and sell wines and strong waters for one year, 
provided he keep good order in his house." 


Novemb'' 17, 1674. It is ordered by the Committee, that whereas 
according to a former order by the said Comittee, there having binn 
a list of land by the proprietors of Deerfeild presented which are 
wanting of their true measure, and their being at present some ob- 
jection aboute some considerable error in that last measure &c, that 
therefore, there shall be 14 dayes, time allowed in which any proprie- 
tor or proprietors of the towne aforesaid, haue libertye to try or 
make triall of any part or parcells of the lands afore measured where 
they are the most jealous of mistakes, and if there be no considerable 
errors found, then the Committee to conclude the Testimony of the 
fformer measurers to be valid, in the particular parcells that are want- 
ing, provided they giue notice to Robert Hinsdell, when they meas- 
ure, to go with them The Committee haue appointed Joshua Car- 
ter and J no Allen to measure any lands as aforesaid & to be paid by 
the whole in some small piece of land 

The Committe with the proprietors have granted unto Mr. Saml 
Mather & his heirs forever within the township of Deerfeild an 
allotment to the quantitie of a sixteen Common alotment viz 48 
akers viz that eight common l(jtt that was the church lott of I)ed- 
ham and an eight common lott more in the most convenient place 
provided he be resident in said town foure years ffrom the time of his 
fifirst dwelling here. 


The Committee with the proprietors aforesaid haue granted to 
Richard Weller and his heirs foreuer: twenty akers of land part of 
which lying in two percells he desires known to the proprietors & the 
rest as conveniently for place as may be, provided he be a resident 
for his dwelling ffoure yeares ffrom the time of his first settlement 
with his familye. Also they have granted to him a hoame lott. 

The Comittee with the proprietors aboues'* have granted and giuen 
to Sergt plimpton and his heirs forever within the township of Deer- 
field a hoame lott allsoe a twelue common lott viz 36 akers of land 
in the most convenient place as may be, provided he be a resident 
for his dwelling there 4 years ffrom the time of his first settlement 
there — 

The Committee, with the proprietors, doe Confirm the exchange 
of land between Leeft Clarke & themselves &Saml Hinsdell, cv: have 
granted to Leeft Clarke a house lott where he now hath accepted of 

The Towne have granted with the Committee to Zebediah Wil- 
liams a house lott of 4 akers as conveniently for place, as may be 
provided he dwell on the same for ffoure yeares. 

On the back of this folio page is endorsed " Noumb'' 1674, 
]VP Mathers Grant, Rich Wellers Grant plimpton &c tran- 
scribed." If, as it appears in the last item of the above record, 
the " towne " took the initiatory steps in the grant to Zebediah 
Williams, it is the earliest action of the settlers as a ttnvu, yet 

In the above paper, and from this time forward, our plan- 
tation was called Deerfield. By what atithority, or for what 
reason, is left to conjecture. Springfield was doubtless 
named from Springfield in England, the home of Wm Pyn- 
chon its founder ; Brookfield, says tradition, from its streams; 
Hadley and Hatfield were also named from towns in Eng- 
land; Southfield (now Suffield), Westfield and Northfield, 
from location in respect to the older settlements ; Greenfield 
from Green river. An abtmdance of deer in this locality 
may have suggested Deerfield. 

The settlers found the meadows clear of trees, except the 
elms and maples, which fringed the sinuous Pocumtuck, or 
were mirrored in the quiet ponds which they embowered. 
Here the natives had cultivated their corn, beans, .squashes, 
pumpkins and tobacco. Frequent burnings had kept the 
woodlands clear of underbrush, to the detriment of timber 
trees, which were not abundant, except in swamps and wet 
ravines. It was not difficult to traverse the forests on horse- 
back, and tours of observation and discovery were generally 
made by mounted men. Soon after the permanent settle- 


ment and for many years, the woods were protected from 
depredations, and the cutting of timber regulated by the au- 
tliority of the town. 

Along the town vStreet, houses were built upon the most 
available spots nearly its whole length. Some lots can now be 
identified as those drawn by the occupants in the original 
draft ; others, less certainly, by subsequent ownership ; inci- 
dental data give still less assurance in other cases. The de- 
scription hereafter given, however, may be regarded as sub- 
stantially correct. The growth of the colony was rapid. 
Samuel Hinsdell, the pioneer, built a house in 1669. Satnson 
P'rary followed the next year. In 1673 at least twenty fami- 
lies were on the ground. 

The road from Hatfield came through Bars, Mill, and 
South Meadows, entering the Street from the southwest, on 
land long since washed away by the Pocumtuck. The Town 
Street of 1671 was not the comparatively dry and level thor- 
oughfare of to-day. Going either north or south from 
Meetinghouse Hill, which was by no means the smooth area 
now represented by our " Common," the road plunged 
abruptly into a quagmire, crossed by a " corduroy " causeway. 
Remains of that on the northern side were dug up from a 
depth of ten feet, about 1870. Some seventy-five rods be- 
yond this place a steep rise was met, while still northerly 
thirty rods, the road again fell off into a swamp, trend- 
ing eastward from the vSheldon lot. This, swamp, says a 
family tradition, remained a mass of tangled alders for 
eighty years after the settlement. By the same authority 
the timbers of the barn now standing on the Sheldon lot 
were cut on the margin of this swamp before 1 730. Each of 
these depressions crossing the street marked the site of a 
former bed of the Pocumtuck river. 

On three sides of the village lay the open meadows, 
spreading two miles north, two miles south, and about one 
mile to the west. Beyond this narrow circuit the imbroken 
forest stretched away to Canada on the north, to Lancaster 
on the east and the Hudson on the west. The nearest set- 
tlement was Hatfield, on the south, through which was 
kept up communication with the civilized world. 

The hardy yeomanry, some of them born in England, and 
well on in years, all seeking a permanent home in the New 


World, appear to have lived here in quiet contentment. 
Peace and plenty smiled upon the adventurers. The rich 
alluvial bottoms were easy of cultivation. The virgin soil 
yielded abundant crops of wheat, peas, rye, Indian corn, 
beans and flax. The men became skilled in woodcraft. 
Game abounded in the forests, while the waters teemed with 
the choicest fish. Their flocks and herds had increased 
rapidly and the Common Field had been inclosed with a sub- 
stantial fence to protect the crops from the stock which 
roamed on the surrounding" hills. A minister of their own 
choice was g'oing in and out before them, and the young 
colony seemed established on a foundation of peace and 
prosperity. The dark cloud looming in the distance was un- 
observed or unheeded. The settlers had lived on the most 
familiar terms with the Indians and had no doubt of the 
fidelity of their dusky friends. The tormenting fear of their 
treachery, which afterwards so harrassed their children, 
found no place with the pioneers. When news of the out- 
break in far off Plymouth reached them in the summer of 
1675, it brought no disquiet to them. This trusting people 
could not conceive the horrors of an Indian war, and none 
dreamed that the besom of destruction, which was to sweep 
them from the face of the earth, was already poised in the 
air above them. 

Biographical Notes on the men here before Philip's War, 
with location of their home lots, so far as ascertained. The 
numbers refer to the original draft. [See ante, page 19.] 

Allen, John, son of vSamuel of Windsor, Conn., was of the 
same stock as Ethan Allen. He married in 1669, Mary, 
daughter of William^ Hannum, of Northampton, and was 
killed with Capt. Lothrop at Bloody Brook, vSept. 18, 1675. 
He left three children who settled in Connecticut, where 
descendants are numerous. 

Barnard, Francis, born in England in 1647, was an early 
settler at Hartford, whence he removed with the founders of 
Hadley in 1659. A genuine frontiersman, he pushed on to 
Pocumtuck with the first wave of emigration. The return- 
ing tide left him at Hadley, where he died in 1698. He 
married in 1664, Hannah Marvin. In 1677 he married widow 
Frances Dickinson. He had six children, from whom the 


Connecticut valley BarnardvS are descended. An unmarried 
son, John, was killed with Lothrop. 

Bar sham, Philip, was of Hatfield in 1672. He was killed 
with Lothrop, leaving a widow — Sarah — and children. Noth- 
ing more concerning him has been found. 

Bartholoniciv, IVilliaui, was a carpenter, from Roxbury. He 
married in 1663, Mary Johnson; settled on house lot No. 10, 
the Col. Joseph vStebbins lot. He had five children. vSurviv- 
ing Philip's war, he retired to Braintree ; but did not forget 
his old home, and in 1677 was one of the petitioners for aid 
in a resettlement. In 1685 he sold his home lot to Daniel 
Belding, and removed to Branford, Connecticut. 

Carter, JosJiua, late from England. He lived on that part 
of No. 36, occupied by the late William Sheldon. He mar- 
ried in 1663, Mary, daughter of Zechariah Field; was killed 
with Lothrop, leaving three children, who settled in Connect- 

Crafts, Moses, son of Griffin of Roxbury, born in 1641. He 
married in 1667, Rebecca, daughter of Peter Gardner, and 
had, in 1674, at least three children. vSept. 29th of that year 
he was licensed by the Court at Northampton to " keep an 
ordinary." He retired to Hatfield on the breaking up of the 
plantation, thence to Branford, Conn., and in 1683 he set- 
tled in Wethersfield, where he was living in 1702. 

Daniels, Saiinicl, son of Robert of Watertown, was an origi- 
nal Dedham proprietor and drew house lot No. 36 — the 
Orlando Ware place — which he occupied. The lot was 
owned in 1704 by John Catlin. Daniels returned towards 
the Bay, and his subsequent history is unknown. 

Farrington, JoJin, from Dedham, settled on No. 18, the lot 
now owned by C. A. Stebbins. He m'arried in 1649, Mary 
Bullard ; returned to Dedham, where he died in 1676. His 
descendants are numerous in Eastern Massachusetts. 

Field, Zeehariah, son of Zechariah of England, Dorchester 
and Hatfield, born in 1645. He married in 1670, Mary Webb, 
and died here in 1674, leaving three children, who removed 
to Connecticut, and afterwards to Northfield. 

Frary, Samson, son of John of Medfield, was of Hatfield in 
1668, and here in 1670, the second known settler. He mar- 
ried in 1660, Mary Daniels, of Medfield. The last of his five 
children was born in 1675. He returned at the Permanent 


Settlement, and with his wife perished when Deerfield was 
sacked by Hertel de Rouville, Feb. 29, 1 704. 

Gillctt, Joseph, son of Jonathan of Dorchester and Windsor, 
born in 1641. He married in 1664, Elizabeth, daughter of 
John Hawks of Hadley, and settled on lot No. 32 — the Dr. 
Willard lot — which his heirs sold in 1684, to Samuel Carter. 
He fell with Lothrop, leaving seven children, who settled 
about Windsor and vSimsbury, where they left posterity. 

Harrington, Saniin'l, here in 1673. Antecedents unknown; 
w^ounded in the attack, vSept. 12, 1675; married in 1677, the 
widow of Nathaniel vSutlieffe; was of Hatfield, 1679, and not 
found later. 

Haivks, John, son of John of Hadley, occupied 16 cow com- 
mons of Col. Pynchon's land here in the summer of 1675. 
He was active through Philip's war ; was in the Falls fight ; 
and one of the brave men from Hadley who went to the .suc- 
cor of Hatfield, when attacked by Indians May 30, 1676, 
when he was wounded. He married in 1667, Martha Bald- 
win, with whom he lived ten years. He became a permanent 
settler in 1683, and married in 1696, Alice, widow of Samuel 
Allis. She was killed Feb. 29, 1704, when all his children 
and grandchildren of the name were lost. In his old age he 
removed to Waterbury, Conn., to live with his only surv^iv- 
ing child, who had married Jonathan Scott of that town. 

Hi ?isdii/, Robert, horn about 161 7; one of the founders of 
the church at Dedham, in 163S, and of that at Medfield, in 
1650 ; was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery 
Company ; removed to Hadley in 1672, and was here the next 
year with five stalwart sons and one married daughter. His 
second wife, Elizabeth, widow of John Hawks of Hadley, he 
married in 1672. He fell at Bloody Brook with three of his 

Hinsdcll, Barnabas, son of Robert, born in 1639; lived on 
No. 9 — the Ralph Williams lot — was of Hatfield in 1666, 
where he married Sarah Taylor. He fell with Lothrop, 
leaving five children, who retired to Connecticut. 

Hinsdcll, Saviucl, son of Robert, born about 1642; of Had- 
ley in .1666, and, as has been stated, the first settler here; was 
one of the most prominent men until his death at Bloody 
Brook. He married in 1660, Mehitable Johnson. Their son 
Mehuman was the first white man born in the town. He left 


six or seven other children, from whom the Ilinsdales of 
Deerfield and Greenfield were descended. 

Hinsdcll, Experience, son of Robert, born in 1646; married 
at Hatfield in 1672, Mary, daughter of John Hawks, and at 
once brought his bride here, where two or three daughters 
were born. He was one of the guides for Capt. Turner on 
his march to Peskeompskut, May 18, 1676, and was lost in 
that expedition. 

Hinsdell, John, son of Robert, born in 1648. Little is 
known of him save that he was a settler in 1673 and was lost 
with Lothrop, leaving a family, of which nothing certain has 
been found. 

Hinsdell, Ephraiui, son of Robert, born in 1650. He of all 
the sons survived Philip's war. He settled in Hatfield, 
where he married in 1676, Mehitable, daughter of John 
Plympton, and died in 1681. 

Mather, Samuel, son of Timothy of Dorchester, born in 
165 I ; graduated at Harvard in 1671 ; was minister here in 
December, 1673, and may have been earlier ; was nephew to 
Increase, and cousin to Cotton Mather, the famous Boston 
ministers. Despairing of a permanent colony here, in 1680, 
he settled in Branford, Conn., and afterwards in Windsor, 
where he died in 1728. A volume of his printed sermons is 
in Memorial Hall. 

Nims, Godfrey, bought home lot No. 35, in 1674, but I do 
not find him living here until the Permanent vSettlement. 

Plympton, John, of Dedham, 1642, removed to Medfield, and 
thence here before 1673. Escaping the dangers of Philip's 
war, he returned in 1677, when the war was supposed to be 
over, to rebuild his house. Sept. 19 he was taken captive 
by a band of barbarous marauders under Ashpelon, carried to 
Canada, where he was burned at the stake. He was called 
" Old vSergeant Plympton," and was doubtless born in Eng- 
land. He married Jane Dummer, by whom he had thirteen 
children. His son John was a soldier under Capt. Moseley in 
Philip's war ; another son, Jonathan, fell at Bloody Brook. 

Plympton, Peter, ^on oi John, born in 1652; married Mary 
Munden ; was in Moseley's company in Philip's war ; came 
back at the resettlement, but removed to Marlboro about 
1700, where he died in 17 17. 


Snicad, William, .son of widow Judith of Dorchester, born 
before 1640 married in 1658, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas 
Lawrence of Hingham ; was of Northampton, 1660. In 1674 
he bought house lot No. 25 of Thomas F'uller, an original 
proprietor, where he built a house — perhaps the one now [ 1 886] 
standing there — and where he died before 1704. He had ten 
children, and was probably the ancestor of all of the name 
in the country. His oldest son, William, born in 1661, was 
killed with Lothrop. His widow and three daughters were 
killed in the assault of Feb. 29, 1704. 

Smith, Martin, probably from New Jersey ; returned at the 
Permanent Settlement, was captured in 1693, by Indians, and 
remained a prisoner in Canada until 1698, when he returned 
to find his wife, Sarah, under a sentence of death for mur- 
dering her illegitimate babe. She was hanged at vSpring- 
field, Aug. 25, 1698. Her pastor. Rev. John Williams, 
preached a sermon there on the occasion, which was printed. 
Martin perished in the assault of 1704. 

Stcbbins, JoJin, son of John of Northampton, born in 1647 ; 
was in the Lothrop massacre, and is the only man known to 
have escaped unhurt. The second day after, he enlisted un- 
der the gallant Capt. Samuel Moseley, and served with him 
until the close of the war. He remained a few years in the 
vicinity of Boston, working at the trade of a carpenter. 
Here he married Dorothy, daughter of John Alexander, a 
Scotsman, but returned at the Permanent Settlement. In 
1 704, himself, his wife and five children were captured and 
taken to Canada. Three of the younger children never 
came back. He lived on No. 35, and died in 1724. 

Stockivcll, Quint ill, from Dedham, 1672, settled on No. 31 — 
now the Orthodox parsonage — had wife, Abigail, and at least 
two children, before 1677. Like Sergeant Plympton, suppos- 
ing hostilities had ceased, he came with him to rebuild in 
1677, and shared his captivity, but not his horrible fate. He 
returned from Canada and wrote an interesting account of 
his experience, known as " Stockwell's Narrative." 

Sutlicfc, Nathaniel, from Medfield, bought in 1672, lot No. 
43 at the north end — the AvSa Stebbins lot — and doubtless 
settled there. He married in 1665, Hannah, daughter of Old 
Sergeant Plympton; was killed with Capt. Turner, May 19, 


1676, leaving a widow and three children, who settled in 
Durham, Connecticut. 

Tiiffts, James, son of Peter of Charlestown, lived on the lot 
drawn by Mrs. Bunker, No. 37 — now [1886] held by Mrs. Catha- 
rine E. B. Allen — and the site of Mrs. Hannah Beaman's 
schoolhouse in 1695 ; was killed with Lothrop. If he had a 
family, nothing is known of it. 

Weld, Daniel, came from Medfield, 1672 or 3, where he was 
the first church recorder; married in 1664, Mary, daughter 
of Robert Hinsdell, and had five children. He was called 
" Mr.," and may have been a Ruling Elder before the advent 
of Mr. Mather. He lived on lot No. 23 — now owned by 
Elisha Wells. 

Weller, Riehard, successively of Windsor, Farmington, 
Northampton, and of Pocumtuck in 1673. Pie married in 
1640, Anna Wilson, and in 1662, Elizabeth Curtis. Of his six 
grown up children, the youngest, Thomas, born in 1653, was 
killed with Lothrop. He returned to Deerfield on the Per- 
manent Settlement, where he died about 1690. 

Weller, John, son of Richard, born in 1645. He married 
in 1670, Mary, daughter of Alexander Alvord, of North- 
ampton. They had three children in 1675. He returned at 
the resettlement, and about 1686 the family removed to 

Williams, Zcbcdiah, sold out his land in Northampton, in 
1674. He was here in 1675, and was one of the teamsters 
killed with Lothrop. His widow, Mary, daughter of Wm. 
Miller, married Godfrey Nims. 


Midway between the plantations of Pilgrim and Puritan 
on the seacoast, and the Dutch settlements on the upper 
Hudson, lay a region scarcely mentioned by the early writers 
of New England history, in which lived a people of whom 
the information they give is still more scanty. It is only 
here and there, as one pores over the musty records of the 
period, that a glimpse of this territory, or its occupants, ap- 
pears through the primeval haze. Yet, on concentrating 
these feeble gleams on the speculum of patient scrutiny, at 
length there stands out in bold relief a powerful confedera- 
tion of savages, occupying or dominating the great valley of 
the Connecticut river and its tributaries, from Brattleboro to 

Frontenac, governor of Canada, called them the Socoquis 
or River Indians; but this power may well be called the Pocum- 
tuck Confederacy, for the Pocumtucks were the leading tribe 
and her chieftains the acknowledged head of its warlike ex- 

The subordinate clans or allies of this confederacy were 
the Naunazutiiks — as they were called by William Pynchon in 
1648 — situated on both sides of the river at Hadley and 
Northampton ; the Ag-azuams, in Springfield, Suffield and En- 
field ; the Warranokes, on the Westfield river and its branches ; 
the Poduiiks, about Windsor ; and the Tunxis, on the Farm- 
ington river. On the north were the Sqiiakhcags, occupying 
the Paquayag valley, and jointly with the Pocumtucks, the 
territory of Northfield, Vernon and Hinsdale. There is rea- 
son to think that the Squakheags were a fugitive band, settled 
here under the protection of the Pocumtucks — probably a 
fragment of the Maliicaiis on the Hudson, driven off by the 
Alohai^'ks, about 1610. They were called Souquakes by the 
Dutch. The Pocumtucks proper were located in the Deer- 


field river valley, and were thiekly settled on both sides of 
the Connecticut and the Deerfield about their confluence. 

As the Pocumtucks rarely appear in history, save in their 
wars with other tribes, a brief view of the latter will aid us 
to a better estimate of the former. The period is about 1633. 

I. The Narraga)iscts, occupying what is now the vState of 
Rhode Island, was the largest tribe in New England. Esti- 
mates of their numbers range wildly from two to five thou- 
sand warriors. Their chief Sachem was Canonicus; but Mian- 
tonojiio, his nephew, was the ruling spirit of the nation. 

II. The Wanipanoags, or Pokanokcts, were located east of 
the Narragansets^ about Buzzard's Bay, and toward Cape Cod. 
The " Good old Massasoit " was at the head of this tribe. He 
was succeeded by Wamsiitta, his son, who, dying in 1661, left 
his brother, Pomctacon — better known as King Philip — chief 

III. West of the Narragansets, and having their chief seat 
about the Mystic river, and extending along the coast to the 
Niantic, lived the warlike Peqnots. Their head Sachem was 
Wapcgwooit. According to a tradition among them at .this 
time, the tribe fought their way to the coast from the north- 
west. They were then holding as conquered territory, the 
Connecticut valley as far up as Windsor, and had subdued 
and held tributary, the Niantics, the Block Lsland Indians, 
and other clans as far westward as New Haven, and also 
some upon Long Island. 

IV. The Mohegaiis, living north of the Pequots, were an 
offshoot of the latter. Uncus, their chief, was of the royal 
blood, his mother, Mcckitnutiiip, being aunt to Wapegwooit, 
and he heir apparent to the sachemship of the Pequots, 
through the female line. At this period Uncas had but a 
scanty following. Events to be narrated show how he ob- 
tained a power which, for more than forty years, was a lead- 
ing element in the affairs of New England. For half of that 
time Uncas may almost be considered the arbiter of its des- 

V. Previous to 1633, there is reason to believe, the clans 
living on the Connecticut below Hartford had been in a con- 
federacy under Sachem Altarbaoihoot, whose power had been 
broken by the Pequots. His son and successor, who had at 
this time no land nor followers, was Scquasson. 


VI. The Ma/iicans, then in a broken condition, lived on the 
Hudson, below Albany. This tribe has often been confound- 
ed with the IMoheofans, but I have failed to discover even the 
most distant connection. The ^Mahicans held friendly rela- 
tions with the Pocumtucks and were at times allied with 
them in their wars against the Mohawks and the Mohegans. 

VII. The Nipmucks, were scattered in small clans over the 
central part of Massachusetts and the northeast part of Con- 
necticut. The Quabaugs, at Brookfield, were claimed as sub- 
jects by both Inicas and the Pokanokets, but they were final- 
ly absorbed by the Nipmucks. 

VIII. The Molunvks, located on the river of that name, 
west of Albany, were one of the Five Nations. They were 
the most warlike of all the tribes enumerated. Brave, enter- 
prising and rapacious, with all the power of the Five Na- 
tions to back them in an emergency, they were feared, hated 
and courted, alike by English, French and natives. 

For estimating the population of the Pocumtucks at any 
given time a few slender data only are found. 

In 1658 a fine was imposed by the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies upon certain allied tribes for damages done 
at Niantic. In the distribution of the amount, the Pocum- 
tucks were assessed the same as the Narragansets. The 
lowest estimate of the population of the Narragansets met 
with, is that of Gookin — probably the best authority in the 
matter— who places it at 5000 souls as late as 1674. Again, 
in the winter of 1637-8, on account of the interruption of 
agricultural pursuits by the Pequot war in Connecticut the 
summer before, the English there were suffering for bread. 
The General Court, foreseeing that a supply could be obtained 
only of the Indians up the river, passed an order, Feb. 9th, 
that " Noe man in this River, nor Agawam shall goe vpp 
River amonge the Indians, or at home at their houses, to 
trade for corne," under a penalty of 5 shillings per bushel. 
This was on the ground that " if euery man be at liberty to 
trucke with the Indians vppon the River, where the supply 
of Corne in all likelyhood is to bee had to furnish our neces- 
sities, the market of Corne amonge the Indians may be 
greatly advanced, to the prejudice of these plantations." To 
prevent this corner in corn, March 9th, a contract was made 
with William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, to deliver 


500 bushels of corn at Windsor and Hartford at 5 shillings 
per bushel. For all above 500 bushels he mig-ht charge two 
pence more. Payment was to be made in wainpum, three 
pieces for a penny, or in merchantable beaver, at ten shil- 
lings a pound. It was provided, however, that if Pynchon 
was obliged to pay the Indians more than " sixe sixes of 
wampum a pecke," then his price might be increased in pro- 
portion. A sort of non-importation act was also passed, for 
the benefit of Mr. Pynchon in this transaction. It was to the 
effect that no more than 4 shillings a bushel should be paid 
to Indians who brought their own corn down to sell, under a 
penalty of five shillings per bushel. 

Corn was not found at Agawam, Warranoco, or Naunawtuk, 
and Pynchon or his agents, with generous bags of w^ampum, 
pushed up through the wilderness to Pocumtuck. This was 
only eighteen years after the Mayflower dropped her anchor 
in Plymouth Bay. The Pocumtucks had plenty of food to 
sell, and it must have been a busy and exciting da}- when 
Pynchon came among them to buy 500 bushels of corn, bring- 
ing twelve thousand strings of wampum to put in circulation 
there. Doubtless files of women, with baskets on their 
backs, were soon seen threading the narrow pathways to the 
river ; for in a short time a fleet of fifty canoes, freighted 
with Indian corn, was on its way down the Connecticut to 
relieve the impending famine in the settlements below. 

This great commercial event in the history of the Pocum- 
tucks must have taught them to recognize the advantage of a 
market among the English. It may have been a reason for 
their long continued peaceful attitude towards the strange in- 
truders. This large store of surplus grain, at that time of the 
year, tends to show that the Pocumtucks were an agricultural 
people, industrious and provident. By its sale they show 
knowledge of the law of trade and a readiness to better them- 
selves by its operation. It is also strong evidence of a large 
population at Pocumtuck — which is the main point under 
consideration. Furthermore, in 1652, the Pocumtucks were 
ranked by the Dutch at New York as among the " Great Li- 
dians^' that is, the large tribes. From existing evidence, there 
is proof of a dense population, or of long continued residence. 
Concurring testimony to habitation is found on all the bluffs 
about the meadows and on every .spot on their surface which 

^ women's rights at pocu>[tuck. 53 

rises above the spring floods. The practiced eye discovers 
similar marks all along the banks of the Connecticut, and 
particularly about the mouth of the Pocumtuck river, and at 
the falls of Peskeompskut. If these dwelling places were 
occupied contemporaneously they indicate a population so 
dense that the estimate of the Commissioners in 1658 should 
not excite surprise. 

This region was well adapted to savage life. The mead- 
ows produced abundant crops of their staples, corn, pump- 
kins, squash and beans. The streams and ponds teemed 
with fish and water-fowl. Nuts and berries abounded. Bea- 
ver, otter, fisher, mink and muskrat were plenty and easily 
secured. The bear, deer and raccoon, on the hills, fell vic- 
tims to the arts or prowess of the natives. " Silk Grass" and 
Indian hemp, for their lines and nets, grew freely about 
their wigwams ; surviving patches of the latter still indicate 
their haunts. What more could the man of nature ask ? 

The soil appears to have been held in fee simple by petty 
chieftains, heads of families or clans, in tracts with well de- 
fined bounds. No evidence is found of feudal tenure, or of 
feudal service to the chief Sachem. Women's rights were 
so far recognized at Pocumtuck, that the right of squaws to 
own land, as well as to cultivate it, was fully acknowledged. 
At least four Pocumtuck women sold real estate to the Eng- 
lish. Mashalisk, by two deeds, conveyed large tracts in 
Deerfield and Sunderland. Deeds of land in Northfield were 
signed by Asogoa, daughter of Sozvanaett, deceased ; by Nene- 
pozunajH, with her husband, Paiiunook, and by Poinpatakcvio, 
with her father, Mashepetott. 

It is known that nine deeds were made of territory at Po- 
cumtuck proper, although not one foot of land was sold un- 
til after the great disaster of 1664, to be related hereafter. 

In 1 6 14, Adrian Block discovered the Connecticut, which 
he named Fresh river. He was from Holland, and in 1633, 
the Dutch sent a party up the river, who bought a tract of 
land at Hartford, and there erected the first house ever built 
in the valley. The land was obtained of Wapegzvooit, the 
Pequot Sachem, who then held it by conquest. The con- 
quered chief Altarbaciilioot, was forced to consent to the bar- 
gain. All parties, however, agreed that this purchase should 
be strictly neutral ground. 


While the Dutch were making a foothold at Hartford, a 
party from Plymouth built a trading house above them, at 
Windsor, and within three years English colonies were estab- 
lished at Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield and vSpringfield. 
Peace on the neutral ground was of short duration. War 
broke out between the Dutch and Pequots. Wapegwooit was 
treacherously slain, and Uncas laid claim to the Sachemdom 
of the Pequots. The bulk of the tribe, however, adhered to 
Sassaciis, the son of their murdered chieftain, and he became 
its head. Proud, ambitious, cruel and aggressive, the new 
Sachem soon became the terror of both colonist and native. 
War was declared against him by the English, and in May, 
1637, his principal fort was stormed and a large number of 
his men killed. vSassacus. with a few followers, fled to the 
Mohawks, but only to meet death at their hands. vScattered 
bands were hunted down and killed or captured, and in a 
few weeks the proud Pequot nation became extinct. The 
miserable few who escaped death, forbidden to use the tribal 
name, were divided between the Mohegans and the Narra- 
gansets, a yearly tribute being exacted from each individual. 

How far the Pocumtucks became involved in the war 
which resulted in the extermination of the Pequots is not 
known. That they were implicated to some extent, is proved 
by the fact, that in vSeptember, 1637, a tribute of one and a 
quarter fathoms of wampum per man was assessed upon them 
by the English, toward paying the expenses of the war. The 
victorious Capt. Mason was sent to collect this, and it was 
doubtless paid with alacrity. The next year the Pocumtucks 
sent a present of beaver to Gov. Winthrop, on hearing a re- 
port that the English were about to make war upon them. 
The Governor told them they had nothing to fear if they 
had not wronged the English, and a treaty of peace was con- 
cluded between the Pocumtucks and the English, which was 
not broken by that generation which had witnessed the fate 
of the Pequots. 

In 1638, a tripartite treaty was made by the colony of Con- 
necticut, the Narragansets and the Mohegans. The Indians 
agreed, by its terms, that no appeal to arms was to be made 
by either tribe, in any quarrel between themselves or 
other tribes, without first referring the case to the arbitra- 
tion of the English, whose decision was to be binding. This 


treaty, the colonists made a poor pretense of enforcing, and 
the tribes appealed to it only as it suited their purposes. But, 
as it ultimately appeared, its consequences were important 
and far reaching. 

Not long after, a conspiracy was planned by Miantonomo 
to cut off all the English settlers. In this project the Po- 
cumtucks appear to have been involved, but the plot was dis- 
covered in August, 1642, and nothing came of it. 

In August, 1643, Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut 
and New Haven, " For comon Safety and Peace " formed a 
confederacy under the title of "The United Colonies of New 
England." Its affairs were managed by a Congress of two 
Commissioners from each colony. All power of dealing with 
the Indians, in peace or war. was delegated to this body ; an 
act of wisdom if not of necessity, for the English Avere soon 
involved in the quarrels between Uncas and Miantonomo. 

In 1643 Miantonomo, after several attempts to assassinate 
Uncas, regardless of the tripartite treaty, invaded the IMohe- 
gan country with an army of 1000 men. After Miantonomo 
had declined the challenge of Uncas to settle the condition 
of both tribes b}' a personal combat, a battle followed, in 
which the Narragansets were routed, and their chieftain 
captured. Miantonomo disdained to ask for his life of Uncas, 
but the most strenuous efforts were made by his tribe for his 
ransom ; and an appeal was made to the Commissioners in 
his behalf. They could not interfere to save him, for by the 
terms of the tripartite treaty the English were bound to 
favor the invaded tribe. By their consent, Miantonomo was 
executed by Uncas, after a short captivity. Fierce war 
thenceforth raofed between the Narrag^ansets and the Mohe- 
ofans. To all remonstrances from the Commissioners the 
Narragansets replied : " We must avenge the death of our 
Prince." At length Uncas was so hard pressed that English 
soldiers were sent to his defense, and the colonies were fully 
committed on the side of the Mohegans by declaring war 
against their enemy. The latter soon sued for peace, which 
was concluded Aug. 27, 1645, on an agreement to pay the 
English 2000 fathom of wampum, and send to Boston four 
children of their chiefs, as hostages. 

Quiet was hardly restored in the South before trouble arose 
up the river among the Pocumtucks. An Indian arrested for 



burning a tar camp near Windsor, was forcibly rescued from 
the officers by Chickivallop, Sachem of the Naunawtuks. 
The commissioners at once sent messengers to demand the 
culprit. Not finding him at Naunawtuk, they proceeded to 
Warranoco, where the Indians were insolent, " vauntinge 
themselves in their armes, bows and arrowes, hatchets, 
swords, some with their guns ready charged, before, and in 
the presence of the English messengers, they primed and 
cocked them, ready to give fire, and told them that if they 
should offer to carry away any man thence, the Indians were 
resolved to fight, and if they should stay but one night at the 
English tradinge house, near all the country would come in 
to rescue any such Indian seized." The messengers returned 
without the offender. 

In this state of affairs the Commissioners made proclama- 
tion, that in case any tribe refused to deliver up criminals 
taking refuge among them, an English force should be sent 
to make reprisals, and that the captives thus taken should be 
held as slaves, unless the fugitives be delivered up. This 
vigorous measure brought the Pocumtucks to terms. Noyne- 
tachcc, a Sachem of Warranoco, went before the Commission- 
ers, where he " denied " some things charged and " excused 
some part." He said no harm was intended to the EnglivSh, 
and that " 8 fathom of wampum " had been tendered in set- 
tlement. So harmony was temporarily restored. 

Upon the murder of Wapegwooit, vSassacus, as we have 
seen, succeeded him, and claimed rulership over the tribes 
subdued by his father. Among the nominal chieftains of those 
tribes remaining in exile was Scqiiassoii. When the Pequots 
were scattered, and Sassacus slain, he had emerged from ob- 
scurity, gathered a small following, and hoped to regain the 
power which Wapegwooit had wrested from his father, Altar- 
baenhoot. Upon the rise of Uncas under the protection of 
the English, who put under him the greater part of the Pe- 
quot captives, the hopes of Sequasson were blasted. He be- 
came the deadly enemy of the favorite, and plotted to ruin 
or kill him. Leave was given Uncas to retaliate, and Sequas- 
son was driven again into exile, taking refuge at Warranoco. 
Here in the spring of 1646 he engaged one of his followers, 
named VVatchcbrok, whom he had before hired to kill an In- 
dian Sachem, to murder either Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Haynes, 


the Connecticut Commissioners, or Mr. Whiting, a magistrate 
of Hartford. Sequasson said to him : " I am almost ruined, 
and the English at Hartford are the cause of it." He gave 
Watchebrok three girdles of wampum, in hand, and prom- 
ised a "great reward" when the deed should be done. The 
murderer was then to flee to the Mohawks, giving out on the 
way that he had been hired by Uncas to "do the work for so 
much wampum. That would set the English against Uncas, 
and then he, the said Sequasson, should rise again." Watch- 
ebrok grew timid, and confessed the plot ; upon which Jona- 
than Gilbert was sent to Warranoco to demand that Sequas- 
son should come before the Commissioners to answer the 
charge. He was promised safe conduct, both ways, whatever 
the result of the examination should be. He refused to ap- 
pear, and fled to Pocumtuck. The Commissioners were de- 
termined to take vSequasson by force, and at their request 
Uncas gladly undertook the service. He could thus serve 
the English and revenge himself on his old enemy at the 
same time. With a party of Mohegan warriors, he marched 
to Pocumtuck, and captured Sequasson, by a night surprise, 
and took him to Hartford. The charge against him not be- 
ing fully proved, Sequasson was released, but he remained in 
exile until 1650, when at the intercession of the Mohawks 
and the Pocumtucks, he was allowed to return home. 

Upon the execution of Miantonomo, Pcssacus, his brother, 
became chief Sachem of the Narragansets. Finding that 
the Mohegans, backed by the English, were more than a 
match for him, he in 1647, made overtures to the Alohawks 
and Pocumtucks for assistance against Uncas. The latter 
tribe, who could not forgive Uncas for invading their terri- 
tory and carrying off Sequasson, willingly consented. A 
grand campaign was planned for the next year, in which the 
power of the Mohegan chief was to be forever broken. The 
Narragansets were to make their attack July 5th or 6th, 1648, 
and their allies, as soon as the corn was ripe, were to join in 
the war. The reason for this singular arrangement of the 
campaign does not appear, further than the " Narragansetts 
were to begin the war." The rendezvous for the allies was 
at Pocumtuck, and in July and August, reports reached the 
English that a thousand warriors were in arms there for the 
expedition. The Commissioners met early in September, 


and at once sent the vState interpreter, Thomas Stanton, to 
learn the facts. He found the Pocunitiick Valley swarming 
with armed men who had been busy in making preparations 
for the march, and building "a very large and a stronge 
fort," while waiting for the Mohawks. Stanton found "one 
thousand warriors at Pocumtuck, 300 or more having guns, 
powder and bullets." Assembling the Sachems, he repre- 
sented to them the danger of these proceedings. He told 
them that the English w^ere a just as well as warlike people ; 
that they were bound by treaty to defend Uncas against the 
Narragansets, and however much they wished to keep peace 
with the Pocumtucks, they were equally bound to defend them 
against any allies of the Narragansets. He probably re- 
minded them of the fate of the Pequots when they incurred 
the hostility of the English ten years before. 

Upon the representations of Stanton, and news that the 
French, or Eastern, Indians had attacked the Mohawks and 
killed two of their vSachems, the chiefs decided to give up 
the expedition. Uncas, who had easily repulsed the Narra- 
gansets, exultantly attributed this failure of the allies to 
their fear of him, for he had "-dared the Mohawks, threaten- 
ing, if they came, to set his ground, with gobbets of their 
flesh." He felt himself a powerful chief, and it would seem 
that Pessacus shared this view, for the next year, instead of 
attacking him in open war, he attempted to assassinate his 
hated enemy. 

In 1650 the Narragansets were brought to terms by a 
threat of the Commissioners to invade and lay waste their 
country, and a few months of quiet followed. In 1652, a 
scheme was on foot between the Dutch of New York, and 
the New England Indians, for a secret rising to cut off the 
English and the Mohegans. Guns, ammunition, cloth and 
wampum, were sent from New York to the " Great Indian " 
tribes, to engage them in the plot. Among these " Great In- 
dians " were the Pocumtucks. The result of the application 
is not known, as the plot was discovered in season to frus- 
trate it. 

In 1654 the Pocumtucks were again on the war path. 
Ninigrct — Sachem of the NiantiCvS — had engaged them to 
assist in the invasion of Long: Lsland. On reachino- Fisher's 
Island they were told that the Long Island Indians were un- 


der the protection of the English ; when they at once turned 

the prows of their canoes honiew^ard. A small party of 

young braves, however, separating from the main body, 

went on a raid against the Potatiicks, carrying off some 

captives and considerable plunder. In relation to this afifair, 

the Commissioners, in Sept., 1654, write to, — 

" lVeereuio7naag, the Pecomtock Sachem, and the rest of the Sachems 
there, that the Commissioners are Informed, that though Nine- 
grett by Misinformation drew downe the Pecumtack Sachems and 
Indians, as farr as fishers Island, to Invade and make warr vpon the 
long Islanders, yett, when they vnderstood that the said long 
Islanders were frinds to the English * * * they desisted from 
their Enterprise and peacably Returned home, which the Commis- 
sioners accept as an euidence of theire respect, and shall not con- 
cent that the said Pocumptocks shallbee anyways desturbed or im- 
pressed by the Indians in Amity or Couenant with the English." 

In regard to the unauthorized raid on the Potatucks, they 
urge that the captives and goods be returned, that the peace 
of the country be thereby better settled. 

In 1655 or 6 the Podiinks,^. Pocumtuck clan near Hartford, 
were broken up and driven off by Uncas, contrary to the 
orders of the English authorities. To avenge this act, the 
Pocumtucks marched in force against the Mohegans, defeat- 
ed Uncas in battle, killing and capturing many of his men. 
Uncas, pretending final submission to the Pocumtucks, sued 
for peace through the English. Connecticut sent messen- 
gers, with men and w^ampum, from Uncas to the Pocumtucks; 
but the latter were in no mood for peace. Wonopcqucn, ono, 
of the Sachems, abused one of the messsengers, " throwing 
an oxe home and the wampum att him, charging his men to 
kill his horses,'" and tried to strike another with a gun. An 
arrangement for peace w^as finally made and the Pocumtucks 
gave up their Mohegan captives. This half peace w^as of 
short duration. On their return, the Connecticut embassy 
was again assaulted by Wonopequen, and one of Uncas's 
envoys taken away by force. Having accomplished his ob- 
ject, the treacherous Uncas at once made a hostile march 
agaiUvSt the Naunaw^tuks. The Commissioners, fearing lest 
they might become involved in a war wdth the Pocumtucks 
through the acts of their troublesome ally, called him to ac- 
count for this breach of faith. But the Mohegan Sachem 
w^as a difficult subject to deal with, under the existing cir- 


cumstances. He had great force of character. He was 
brave, fearless, and daring to rashness ; fond of war and 
turbulent in peace ; haughty, imperious, and often cruel to 
those under him ; artful and faithless in dealing with the 
natives, he was hated by them as a traitor to his race. His 
ambition and avarice, as well as his gratitude for protection, 
held him ever loyal to the English.* He was insolent and 
aggressive to the tribes around him and engaged in war re- 
gardless of opposing numbers, believing that the mainte- 
nance of his power was so essential to the colonists that they 
would come to his help in case of disaster. He judged cor- 
rectly in this, but the Commissioners were often placed in 
embarrassing circumstances, and say they feared he might 
" draw on mischievous effects above his power to issue :" and 
so it proved. 

In May, 1657, Masscpctoat, Chief vSachem of the Pocum- 
tucks, having engaged the Mohawks, the Narragansets and 
Tunxis Indians as allies, determined on a war of extermina- 
tion against the Mohegans. With a show of respect to the 
Enoflish, he sent to the General Court of Massachusetts to 
ask their consent to make war upon Uncas. His agents, 
Wctozvasnati and Wiscoqunc, two Pocumtuck Sachems, are 
told that the Court does not understand the ground of the 
quarrel, and they are advised to. refer the matter to the next 
meeting of the Commissioners. This advice had no effect, 
unless to restrain the Mohawks, who did not join the ex- 
pedition. The Pocumtucks, with the other allied clans, made 
the proposed inroad. In August, 1657, they met the Mohe- 
gans and defeated them with great slaughter. Uncas was 
driven to his fort on the Niantic, where he was besieged. In 
his extremity he was relieved by a party of English, sent by 
the magistrates of Connecticut. The Commissioners of the 
United Colonies, at their meeting in vSeptember following, 
disowned this measure of Connecticut and ordered the whites 
to return home. By this double policy Uncas was saved and 
war with the Pocumtucks averted. Uncas was now ordered 

* Parkman, in his " Discovery of the Great West." does great injustice to the 
Mohegans. He says LaSalle met with a band of Abenaki and Mohegan refu- 
gees in Illinois, who " after dancing round Puritan scalps in New England had 
been driven off in Philip's war." This is a serious mistake. The Mohegans 
were the firm and trusted friends of the English and active in their service 
from the opening to the close of Philip's war, and, as we shall see, contributed 
not a little to its successful issue. 


to let the Podunks return home, and the Pocumtucks were 
notified of this order, and told that the Commissioners " ex- 
pect they will forbear all hostility against Uncas until their 
next meeting," at which time the contending parties are 
urged to appear and submit their grievances to the Commis- 
sioners for a settlement. The Pocumtucks declined. They 
were an independent people and preferred to settle their 
quarrels in their own fashion. In the spring of 1658, Wono- 
pequen led a small war party into the Mohegan country. By 
strategy, a company of the enemy in canoes, were enticed 
on shore, where they were set upon by the invaders, who 
killed several and took others captive. On their return a 
lawless element in the party made an assault on a farm house 
in Wethersfield, carrying off some corn and two children of 
CJiazvquat, a friendly Indian. Connecticut sent messengers 
to Pocumtuck to recover the plunder and captives, but "the 
Indians Returned nothing but Scoff's and Jeers." 

Aug. 2d, 1658, the General Court of Connecticut wrote the 
Commissioners complaining of this, and other " aft'ronts of 
the Pocumtuck Indians." The Commissioners are in session 
at Boston, whence they reply, Sept. 1 8 : — 

"We shall lett the Pocumtuck Sachems vnderstand how ill we 
Resent these injurious passages * * * ,J^J. desire is and En- 
deauour shalbee that the English * * * may not suffer any In- 
juries or affronts from the Indians * * * whereby their pride 
and insolancy may bee encreased, or the honor of the English Im- 
pared * * * or suffer that to be done that might giue them 
Just cause to thinke wee are either afraid of them, or seeke a quar- 
rel with them." 

In pursuance of this policy, on the same day a message 
was sent to the Sachems at Pocumtuck, in which complaint 
is made of the conduct of Wonopequen in 1656, when the 
envoys went to Warranoco to treat for Uncas ; and of the late 
outrage at Wethersfield. " Chawquatt," they say, "a peace- 
able Indian, liveing neare the English, and hath not bine en- 
gaged in any ware, or quarrells this twenty yeares, hath two 
of his Children taken violently away and kept Captive at 
Pocumtucke." Also, that "they fight within theire towns, 
and yards, which they cannot suffer." They ask "the minds 
of the Sachems heerin, how farr they will owne and approue 
the same expecting that if they Intend to keep Frindship 
still with vs they will take care to Render due Satisfaction." 


What reply was made to this message does not appear. 
Certainly hostilities eontinued between the Pocumtueks and 
Uncas in the summer of 1659, and the danger of a general 
Indian war beeame imminent. 

Sept. 3d, 1659, the Commissioners, then in session at Hart- 
ford, sent the following to the Pocumtueks by Samuel Marsh- 
field of Springfield, as interpreter: — 

Vpon seuerall complaints from diuers English of injuries done by 
the Pocumtucke Indians and their Confederates; a message was sent 
to the Pocumtuck Sachems as followeth; 

Imp'': \Mieras there hath bine long peace tS: frindshipp between all 
the English and the said Sachems; which wee are willing and desir- 
ous should bee continued yett of late seuerall complaints haue bin 
brought to vs of Injuries and affronts offered to severall of our peo- 
ple by the said Sachems or some of theire men; and that without 
any provocation or cause giuen by the English; as wee are enformed; 
which wee cannot beare; 

2. That in theire warrs and c^uarrells amongst themselues, they 
presse soe neare; and sometimes into the houses of the English, as 
to theire great disturbance and which tends directly to the breach 
of peace betwixt vs and them; if not speedily preuented; 

3. That therefore the Commissioners are willing and desirous, to 
speake with the said Sachems; or some of them deputed by the 
Rest; both concerning the former Injuries complained of; and that 
some meet agreement may bee made and declared, how the English 
in all parts may bee secured from losse or disturbance by any of the 
said Sachems, theire men or adherents whiles they are prosecuting 
theire warrs with others; that soe that peace and frindship may bee 
continued between the English and them as in former times; 

4. That if any of them Intend to giue the Commissioners a meet- 
ing heer, that it bee as soone as may bee; and by thursday night 
next, att the furthest; and whereas wee haue occation to speake with 
seuerall Sachems and other Indians; wee doe therefore desire and 
expect that all acts of hostilitie bee suspended and forborne on all 
sides during the siting of the Commissioners: the like Injunction, 
wee haue laid vpon Uncas and his party that soe the Pocumtucke 
Sachems or messengers may come and Return in safety; 

Hartford Septem: 3: 1659 
Subscribed by all the Commissioners 

The ensuing message was likewise sent to Uncas : — 

1. The Commissioners haue bin Informed of seuerall Injuries and 
affrontes done to some English by the Pocumtucke and Narragan- 
sett Indian whiles they were in the procecutioii of theire warr against 
him which (juarrells haue been occationed by his want of attendence 
to the councell of the English: 

2. The Commissioners haue sent to the Pocumtuck Sachems and 
the Indians att Tunksis whom they expect heer by wensday or 
thursday next and if hee see cause to take that opportunitie to sat- 


isfy the Commissioners conforming his proseedings and Improve 
their enterest for makeing his peace; The Commissioners are willing 
to attend the same; 

3. That we haue giuen charge to the Pocumtucke and Tunksis or 
other Indians to forbeare all acts of hostilitie towards him or his 
people during the siting of the Commissioners and doe expect and 
require of him that hee cause all his people to forbeare all hostile 
acts towards said Pocumticke Tunksis and other Indians; while the 
Commissioners shall continew att hartford; and while said Indians 
shalbee applying themselues to the commissioners 

Hartford the 3: of September 1659 

Subscribed by all the Commissioners 

The result of this mission is told by John Pynchon in a 
letter received at Hartford, Sept. 7th or 8th, 1659: — 

Much Honored Gentlemen, 

The messengers sent according to youer desires to the Pocum- 
tucke Sachems being returned; I shall briefly giue youer worshipes 
an account of the Successe of the Journey; Coming to Pocumtucke; 
hee that was Interpreter declared youer message to the Sachems 
there, according to his seuerall Instructions; and whoe to the first 
thing redily returned this answare; that it was all theire desires that 
peace and friendship betwixt themselues and the English should con- 
tinew; and whereas in the message sent to them, there is mension 
of wronges and Injuries done by them to the English: They an- 
swered; first; that knew of none; and if any were done; it was not 
by the allowance of the Sachems; for they had charged theire men 
to doe noe wrong to any English or their Cattle: 

2condly if it were made out to them; that any of theire men had 
done the wrong, they would make Satisfaction to the English Soe 
fare they would bee from countenancing any, in offending the Eng- 
lish and what more to say to it they knew not: 

to the second thinge that in the warrs they presse to neare the 
English &c; they say that as frinds, they come to the English for 
victualls, and charge theire people to carry it friendly; but if that 
the English Sachems will say they doe not alow of it; and will pre- 
scribe another way or Course for them to take if it bee reasonable 
they will attend it; 

3d. To the desire of the Commissioners to speake with them: 
they say they can not come to Hartford; neither doe they know any 
engagement that lyes on them to come to the meetings of the Eng- 
lish Sachems; and they doe not send for the English Sachems, to 
theire meetings; The Reasons why they can not come to the Com- 
missioners, are two, first, because they haue a great meeting 
amongst themselues three dales hence, and must attend that; it be- 
ing all one with the Commissioners meeting. 2condly they are in 
confederacye with many others, as with the Souquakes, and Mo- 
hawks and others, and can doe nothing without them; 

Lastly, to the desire of the Commissioners, that all acts of hostil- 
itie may sease during theire setting; they are not in a capacitie to 
attend to it; 

I St because they haue sent out seauen or eight men to lye in 


waite for some of Vncas his men but two daies before; they being 
now gone can not be called in 

2d if they could; yett it is not possible for them to giue notice to 
the Indians of the Duch Riuer, and others whoe are ingaged with 
them, and are dayly sending out some vpon the Designe; 

To the third particulare, that some agreement may bee made how 
the English may bee secured; they desire the English Sachems to 
conclude what is best and fitt to bee attended by them; and they 
are resolued to attend it when it is declared to them; if it be that 
which shalbee found Reasonable; this is the sume of what they say 
to the messengers sent to them; and all along hold out a Resolution 
of liuing in peace with the English; and say they will not be the 
first to breake the peace; They are resolued not to bee beginers of 
any breach with the English; and will yeild to the English in any- 
thinge but in making peace with Vncas; and that they would not 
haue the English to perswade them to it; for they can not haue 
peace with hi)ii; 1 am bould to p'sent this Relation of theire an- 
sware, as I Scribed it from the Interpretor's niouth because William 
Edwards whoe accompany him is in hast; hee may possibly Relate 
somewhat more but his hastning giues mee time oneley to Relate 
the uiaiiic and sume of all; not haue else att present, I take my 

And Subscrib youer Worships seruant, 

John Pinchon; 

It was my desire that the messengers and Interpretor Samuell 
Marshfield would haue written the Pocumtucke Sachems answare to 
youer Message, with his owne hand; onely because hee being a slow 
Scribe, could not soe soone effect it. Neither could I perswade him 
to it; but 1 haue caused him to Read ouer what I haue writ, and to 
Subscribe his hand to the truth of it 

Youer Worships Servant to Comaund 

Samuel Marshfikld 

This diplomatic as well as manly reply of the Pocumtucks 

was barely received by the Commissioners before a complaint 

was made to them by John Webb and others, inhabitants of 

Northampton, that, — 

Two Duchmen, one Irishman, and one ffrenchman, stt)le away seuen 
mares and other cattle which they missed, and hauing driuen them 
away to Pocumtucke the last Lords day, they desired the Sachem to 
pursue the said thieues, and to apprehend them; and to bring back 
the mares, &c, for which they promised the Sachems fifty shillings 
for eury mare, if they brought backe the mares, as also the men; 
and the sd Sachem Wonopequen, vndertaking the same; and send- 
ing word to Northampton men to come and Receiue theire Mares; 
Wherevpon John Webb and others of Northampton, goeing for the 
said Mares, which they saw in the Indians possession as alsoe for 
the men; the said Wonopequen Refused to deliuer them according 
to agreement; and Required great sums of wampum; coates shirts 
liquors tli:c. Saying hee had bought them of the Iiulians that fetched 
them back and that eury mare was worth twenty pounds. 


The Commissioners saw that prompt and decisive measures 
could no longer be delayed without incurring the contempt 
of the natives. The young Pocumtucks, of late, had been 
growing bold and insolent. Daily contact with the settlers 
at Springfield and Northampton, had disabused them of that 
superstitious fear which formerly clothed the English with 
supernatural power. The conciliatory, if not vacillating, 
course of the Commissioners was beginning to be considered 
as arising from fear, and some of the hot headed braves were 
ready for war. The chiefs, too, were getting restive under 
the continual interference of the whites in their tribal quar- 
rels, and by their support of the treacherous Uncas. It shows 
a clear insight, by the Councilors, of the certain consequences 
of a war with the English, and the firm hold of the Sachems 
on their subjects, when a peaceful reply was returned to the 
following message : — 

Instructions for Thomas Stanton and the company sent with him 
to the Pocomptuck Sachems the loth of September, 1659: 

Imp'': You are to lett them know that wee Received theire an- 
sware but in seuerall particulares are unsatisfyed, as first as that 
they say they desire to keep peace yett haue comitted seuerall out- 
rages against the English and pretended excuses not to come and 
answare for them; or giue satisfaction; 

In their answare that they know noe wronge done to the English; 
they will not take notice of it: had they come they might haue 
heard proved — (as the Comissioners have done) — much Injury and 
an IntoUerable affront put vpon Mr. Brewster during theire seige of 
Vncas ffort which was done by some of theire companie for which 
the Comissioners doe expect and Require Satisfaction of the Pocom- 
tucke Sachem being the chiefe Captaine in that warr: 

You shall Require the Pocomtucke Sachem to deliuer vnto you the 
Mares cattle and four men which they agreed to fetch in; yett after 
they sent for the men of Northhampton to Receiue them; they 
denied to lett them haue them according to their agreement and 
haue put them to great charge for which alsoe we expect they should 
giue them Satisfaction by abatement of what was promised; 

You shall assure them the Comissioners will not bee baffeled 
by them but if they will not forthwith deliuer the mares and men 
and cattle; if you are sure they haue any in theire hands the Com- 
issioners are resolued to Recouer them in such a way as will not bee 
pleasing to them if they desire peace as they pretend; if you Recouer 
the mares and Cattle they are to bee Returned to the owners the 
men you are to convey to Mr. Pinchon to bee sent to Boston Jayle; 
if you cannot obtaine what is expected you are to sertify the Gou'' 
of Conecticott and Capt: Pinchon speedily therof; 

lastly if they continew there; wee expect and Require them to 
forbeare drawing neare in Armed companies to the English Townes 


or houses; that vpun noe pretences whatsoeuer they Invade or afront 
any EngHsh person, or house; that they neither trouble nor molest 
any Indian lining in an English family; nor such peacable Indians 
that plant vpon land hired of the English; except they take them 
in actual! hostillitie; that they hinder not nor jnjury nor detaine any 
Indian sent with letters by the English or trauelling with them as 
guids or attending on them 

Hartford the loth of September 1659. 

vStanton had hardly left town before Mr. Brewster appeared 
at Hartford with a particular bill of damage to his premises 
about three years before, at the time Uncas was besieged by 
the allies in his fort at Niantic. The Commissioners award- 
ed him 40 fathoms of wampum, 10 to be paid by the Tunxis 
Indians ; 1 5 by the Narragansets ; and 1 5 by the Pocumtucks^ 
and declared that " if said Indians shall refuse to pay ; the 
Commissioners will take care that the most convenient 
means shalbe vsed." Mr. Pynchon was desired to send the 
bill to the Pocumtucks, with a demand from the Commis- 
sioners for its payment, and it was at once dispatched after 
vStanton to Pocumtuck. 

At the same session the Commissioners also took peremp- 
tory action in regard to offenses by the Nipmucks at Qua- 
bague, the Niantics under Ninigret, and a remnant of the 
Pequots under Robin. One of the latter was imprisoned at 
Hartford for going with Uncas to war against the Pocum- 
tucks. Measures were taken to secure the newly returned 
Podunks against the claims of other Indians, or of the ra- 
pacious English. The decided action of the Commissioners 
and their impartial dealings with the other tribes had a salu- 
tary effect on the Pocumtucks. vStanton returned Sept. 14, 
with a written message from these Indians in reply to the 
manifesto of the Commissioners. This document was evi- 
dently penned by Stanton at the dictation of the Chief 
vSachem. In its style, the figurative language usually put 
into the mouth of the Indian speaker is ncjtably absent. The 
paper is remarkable for a clear, dispassionate and compre- 
hensive view of the trouble between the parties, and a sim- 
ple but politic answer to all charges against the Pocumtucks. 
It shows in the chief a mind well grounded in ethics, and 
able to deal with hard facts in a logical as well as diplomatic 
manner. He addresses the " English Sachems " as his equals, 
and in no spirit of servility. Although he openly expresses 


his disinclination for war, he gives no evidence that he fears 
its consequences. This document is given in full : — 

The old league of ffriendship betwixt the English and our selues; 
wee are resolued to keep; wee cannot charge the English of doeing 
vs any wronge though our people haue mett with some particulare 
abuses; but wee know they are not countenanced by the Gours for 
soe doeing; alsoe some of our men that are younge and follish may 
haue done some particulare wrong to some English; this should not 
breake the league betwixt vs and the English seeing wee doe not 
countenance our men for soe doing: As for M'' Brewsters house 
wee had Information that two of our emimies were gotten in there; 
and that they did furnish Vncas with Guns and powder and shott; as 
M"' Thompson did as the two weomen did Relate to vs when they 
came out of the ffort to vs; these two men shott att vs from the 
other side of the Riuer; wherevpon our young men went ouer; and 
not finding them concluded they were received into the house 

The goods that were taken in an Indian sacke was not the Eng- 
lishes but our enimies which was left there Revelled to vs by Wawe- 
quas wife; And as for any wrong done to any of the English it is 
not done with a sett purpose to breake with the English; Neither 
for time to come will wee come with our armies neare the English 
houses neither will we meddle with any Indian that lives as a servant 
vnto the English; nor any that plant on theire ground they hauiug 
markes wherby wee may know them; as a white cloth in theire locke 
or glueing theire Names wherby wee may know they are such Mo- 
hegans that fight not; 

As for the busines of the Mares you may haue them — what was 
said against vs about them was out of mistake for they vnderstood 
not vs nor wee them — as it is vsuall for the English to speake much 
to vs that come — though they vnderstand little, what goods of the 
English that was stollen out of M'' Brewster's house was Returned 
againe with a Reprofe to My men for that attempt and miscarriage 
of theirs in acting without My priidtie; like madd men; and ther- 
fore, as a year since at nianticke; when som damage was done to 
some wheat by our men's trampleing vpon it; wee made satisfaction 
to the full of the Englishes demaunds; soe shall wee doe for the 
future when wee are giuen to vnderstand what is Just to bee done by 
us; and alsoe for any wrong done to M"" Brewster; but for the 
present wee are Ignorant; Wee desire the English Sachems not to 
perswade vs to a peace with Vncas although hee promeseth much 
hee will performe nothinge; wee haue experience of his falcenes; 
alsoe wee desire that if any Messengers bee sent to vs from the Eng- 
lish they may bee such as are not lyares and tale carryers but sober 
men; and such as wee can vnderstand; 

From Pocomtucke pr. me Thomas Stanton 

Sep 12, 1659. 

With this dignified State paper the recorded correspond- 
ence with the Pocumtucks closed, and nothing is known of 
any subsec|uent wars between the Pocumtucks and the Mo- 
hegans. For a few years nothing relating to the history of 


the Pocumtucks is discovered. They next appear as ag-g-res- 
sors of the Mohawks. 

In 1663 the Pocumtucks are found allied with the Penne- 
kooks and the Abenakis of the east, and with the Wapping-- 
ers and Mahicans of the Hudson river. Events unknown to 
me having broken the friendship between the Pocumtucks 
and the Mohawks, the former, with their new allies, now in- 
vaded the country of the Mohawks with such success as to 
weaken and humble that tribe. The Dutch at Albau}', to 
whom the Mohawks had been a bulwark against the French 
in Canada, at once took measures to end this war against 
their allies. In May, 1664, a party of Mohawks, with a depu- 
tation of Dutchmen, was sent over the mountain to meet the 
eastern tribes, probably at Pocumtuck. With the help of 
some of the English a treaty of peace was arranged, and the 
embassy returned to report its terms for the acceptance of 
the Mohawks. It appears that these were satisfactory, for 
on the 2ist of June, 1664, Saheda, a "Mohawk prince," with 
a suitable retinue, left Albany for " P\:)rt Pocomthetuck," (sir) 
bearing presents for the ratification of the treaty and a ran- 
som for their friends who had been taken captive. 

The pride of the Pocumtucks had now reache^l that pitch 
which goeth before a fall. In their arrogance they not only 
refused to ratify the treaty of peace, but basely luurdered 
the ambassador and his suite in cold blood. This offense, 
not less rank among savage than among civilized peoples, 
called for the direst vengeance. Events were conspiring to 
this end. In September of the same year, the Province of 
New York was surrendered by the Dutch to the English. 
Sept. 24th a treaty of "peace and accommodation" between 
the new powers and the Mohawks was signed at Albany. 
The Mohawks were keen diplomates, and after a night's re- 
flection, they proposed new articles, which were accepted by 
the English and incorporated in the treaty, on the 25th. 

By these new articles the English agree to make peace for 
the Mohawks with the Mahicans and other Hudson river 
tribes which had been in league with the Pocumtucks against 
them in the campaign of 1663. They also agree not to assist 
the Pennekooks, the Abenakis, or the Pocumtucks ; and fur- 
ther, in case the Mohawks "be beaten by the three nations 
above mentioned, they may receive accommodation from the 


Having thUvS shrewdly freed themselves from enemies 
near home, having secured the neutrality of the English, 
and made sure of a place of retreat in case of disaster, they 
sent an embassy to treat for peace with the French in Cana- 
da. The field being thus cleared for action, the Mohawks 
mustered a powerful force and marched to avenge the mur- 
der of Prince Saheda. 

Local tradition has preserved an account of this inroad on 
the Pocumtucks. The principal stronghold of the tribe was 
on a bluff, about half a mile northeast of the common in 
(31d Deerfield, which is still called Fort Hill. On the ap- 
proach of the enemy, the Pocumtucks gathered in this fort, 
upon which the Mohawks made a furious assault. They 
were repelled and driven off by the stout defenders. They 
retired from the contest, but this may have been only a 
stratagem to draw their foes into the open field. Their re- 
treat was through Plain vSwamp and across the North Mead- 
ows towards Pine Hill. Here the Mohawks rallied, and a 
hot engagement followed. The pursuers were broken and 
in turn driven back to their fort, which, after a bloody strug- 
gle, was stormed and taken, and its inmates all slaughtered, 
by the now doubly enraged Mohawks. 

After burning the fort and wigwams, and laying waste the 
cornfields of the Pocumtucks, the victors swept northward, 
and the Squakheags were soon involved in the common ruin. 
Turning thence to the eastward, the Pennekooks and the 
Abenakis felt in turn the fury of the avengers, until blood 
enough had been shed to appease the manes of the mur- 
dered ambassador. vSo thoroughly was the work of the Mo- 
hawks done, that when, in 1665, the English from Dedham 
laid out the " 8000 acre grant " at Pocumtuck, there was not 
a syllable in their report, or in the debates thereon in town 
meeting at Dedham, to indicate that a single wigwam or a 
single human being was found on this scene of desolation. 
Their forts and dwellings had become ashes fertilizing the 
rank weeds over their sites, and sad silence brooded over 
their bleaching bones, or grass grown graves. 

Thus fell the head of the powerful Pocumtuck Confeder- 
acy. In one fatal day their chieftains and warriors, in their 
pride and strength were laid in the dust. A feeble remnant, 
renouncing their independence, sought the protection of the 


English in the towns on the river below. Three original 
deeds, now in Memorial hall, testify that within three years 
the deserted lands at Pocumtuck were sold to men of Ded- 
ham. The enervated remains of the Pocumtuck Confedera- 
tion — rebelling against English domination — appeared for a 
few months in Philip's war. At its close the few miserable 
survivors stole away towards the setting sun and were for- 
ever lost to sight. Never after do we find in recorded his- 
tory, a single page relating to the unfortunate Pocumtucks. 



The remnant of the Pocnmtuck Confederacy, adopting in 
part the English costume, had gathered about the English, 
in the valley towns, had given them their allegiance, and 
were held amenable to the English government, thus barter- 
ing their native freedom for protection against the avenging 
Mohawks, ilere they lived a vagabond life, eking out, as 
they could, a miserable existence on the outskirts of civili- 
zation, the all controlling sentiment being fear of the in- 
censed foe. In consequence of this they could neither hunt 
nor fish in their old haunts, nor anywhere except near the 
towns. vSo hampered, their stock of venison or beaver, with 
which to traffic for English comforts, was small, and the 
baskets and birch brooms made by the squaws, ill supplied 
their place. Much inconvenience and annoyance was expe- 
rienced by the whites from the intrusions and petty depreda- 
tions of their dusky dependents. Troubles often arose 
which the magistrates were invoked to settle. The savages 
were held to the same strict observance of the laws as their 
Christian neighbors, and the penalties for their transgression 
equally enforced against both — in theory at least. A few 
specimens are given from the court records : 

In 1665, NciiaiLUiii was fined "40s or 20 fathom," for break- 
ing into Praisever Turner's mill. In 1667 Quequelett was 
"whipt 20 lashes" for helping Godfrey Nims and Benoni 
Stebbins " about running away to Canada." Indians were 
fined "40s" for a "breach of the Sabbath, in traveling two 
and fro," at Springfield. For "bringing apples from Wind- 
sor, and firing a gun," on Sunday, a fine was imposed on a 
party at Warranoco. Sachem UmpacJiala, and Wattawolunk- 
sin of Pocumtuck were fined for drunkenness. 

On the other hand, Samuel Marshfield was obliged to give 
■L^p land seized under a mortgage which he had extorted 


from the Indians "when in a straight." Sachem Walliuiip 
obtained redress for damages to his corn, by English cattle. 
The courts were also appealed to in settling disputed ques- 
tions amongst the Indians themselves. Alliquot and Wal- 
lump complained that Amoakesson had sold land to Lieut. 
Cooper that belonged to them, and settlement was made by- 
compromise. Enough was retained by the Lieutenant, who 
was also a surgeon, to pay him for " looking after the bones 
of Whalehwaet." 

The Indians were very fond of liquors, and in spite of 
stringent laws against its sale they were generally supplied 
by unscrupulous traders. They were quarrelsome under its 
influence, and maimed or killed one another in their drunk- 
en brawls. Heavy fines were imposed upon the illicit deal- 
ers, but still the trade went on. The price of a gallon of 
rum was four fathoms of black wampum, or a beaver skin ; 
and six quarts were given for " a great beaver." 

After a few years' trial it was seen that this attempt to 
govern these children of the woods by the white man's laws 
had proved a failure, and representations to that effect were 
made to the General Court. A committee of that body made 
a report detailing the condition of affairs and recommend- 
ing that the natives be " placed directly under the control of 
some principal Indian or Indians, to be appointed and de- 
clared vSachem or chief, or head of them," the said Sachems 
to be held responsible for their misdeeds. According to this 
plan Sachems were appointed by English authorities. Lit- 
tle is known of the results of this measure save that soon 
after, these new officials were selling large tracts of land to 
the English, and pocketing the proceeds. It is probable that 
" Chauk, vSachem of Pocomtuck," under whose deed we hold 
our landed heritage, was one of these convenient dignitaries. 
All the deeds of land at Pocumtuck, from the Indians, were 
made and executed at vSpringfield, and no one has yet been 
found ingenious enough to define their exact location or 
bounds, with the single exception of the deed from ]SIasha- 
lisk. She was of one of the " old families." Her estate lay 
on both sides of the Connecticut, and she may have escaped 
in the Mohawk invasion by being on the east side of the 
river. The fear of the fugitive Pocumtucks for the Mo- 
hawks was well founded, for these had not abated one jot of 


their enmity, and their scouting parties continued to harrass 
and kill them at every opportunity. This matter was a 
source of much concern to the English. The Pocumtucks 
were now their subjects, and English faith was plighted to 
protect them. 

After vain remonstrance and negotiations by local officials, 
an appeal was made to the General Court. The petition was 
referred to a committee of which John Pynchon was chair- 
man. After a hearing he reported the necessity of stringent 
measures, saving that it was " necessarv that thev be told 
that these actings of theirs look as if they intended to pick a 
quarrel with us, they being expressly against the promise of 
those in our hands, whom we secured against the violence of 
the Indians, and sent home with manifestations of love and 
friendship." and that these actions are "contrary to the agree- 
ment made with our Indians last year *. * * that then 
your people would not meddle with any Indians that wore 
English cloaks, or that had their hair cut short," and that 
these things "are not to be borne." The General Court ac- 
cepted the report and sent a long letter to the Mohawks de- 
tailing grievances and concluding "we never yet did any 
wrong to you or any of yours, neither will wee take any 
from you, but shall right our people according to justice ; yett 
we are desirous to continue all amicable correspondence with 
you, if the fault be not in yourselues, by offering insolencjes 
to our people, which wee may not beare or suffer." This 
firm language had considerable effect. Two or three years 
later ^20 were sent by the ]Mohawks to indemnify English 
owners for animals slaughtered in their raids. ;i^3-ios were 
allowed for an Indian servant killed at Northampton. It 
does not appear that any losses by the Indians were consid- 
ered in this settlement. But after this the River Indians 
were somewhat relieved from the incursions of the ^Mohawks, 
and more at liberty to resume their native mode of life. It 
was soon found, however, that they had lost their self respect 
and their spirit of self reliance, and had retained their ac- 
quired habits of shiftlessness and dependence. When on the 
verge of starvation they occasionally assisted the English in 
"laying stone wail" or doing farm work in the field. 

The end came with Philip's war. The change in the con- 
dition of affairs in the valley for ten j^ears before the war, 


was gradual, but the savages were surely disappearing in 
consequence of their environments — the weaker race before 
the stronger. The same causes, with like results, have at- 
tended the march of civilization across the continent. The 
Indian cannot endure before the vices and the restraints of 
the white man. The story of frontier life was the same here 
as everywhere. The legislation of the colonies aimed at a 
strict preservation of the rights of the natives, and these 
laws were no dead letter; yet the natives were crowded at 
every turn. The actual contact was on the fringe of the set- 
tlements, where the unscrupulous pioneer sold the natives 
rum, and cheated them when drunk. To prove these abuses 
before a magistrate when sober, was difficult, and the repara- 
tion tardy and unsatisfactory, when a case was made out. To 
these wrongs add the fines, imprisonments and lashings 
caused by their own misdeeds, and it would seem that their 
cup of misery was full. When the emissaries of Philip came 
among them, assuring them that the time had come when 
the English should be swept from the land, and as an earnest 
of good times coming, distributing freely, wampum, gar- 
ments, and other spoil already taken from the English, it 
was inevitable that the remembrance of their abuse, their 
sufferings and their poverty, should come uppermo.stin their 
minds ; that they should consider this the golden opportuni- 
ty for revenge on the English ; that they should join the art- 
ful Wampanoag in a w^ar of extermination. They could not 
be expected to see that this act could only hasten their im- 
pending doom. 


DivcIliiiiC Places. — The most constant and most unmistaka- 
ble evidence of habitation is the presence of fire stones. Be- 
fore contact with the whites the natives used for culinary 
purposes vessels of wood, bark, clay or stone. To .seethe 
their food these were supplied with cold water, into which 
heated stones were put, one after another, until the object 
was accomplished. In this region large sized gravel stones 
were used for that purpose. A considerable number of these 
found together and bearing the peculiar marks of fire and 
water, surely indicates a place of abode. I have found as 
many as a bu.shel in one pile, but on arable land they have 
usually been scattered by cultivation. Piles of stone chip- 


pings, with occasionally an unfinished weapon, or worn out 
tool, point out definitely the homes of their artisans, and at- 
test their fancy in the choice of material, as to color or quali- 
ty. If enough of the fire stones and chips are found to in- 
dicate a village, certain other features may be predicted with 
confidence, and generally found, unless the face of the country 
is essentially changed. These are an easily cultivated plant- 
ing field, a properly sloping promontory for store houses, a 
burial place and a defensible post. If the village was a per- 
manent one, what may be called the sweat box was another 
usual, and perhaps constant, accompaniment to a settlement. 
This was an excavation in the ground used by the medicine 
man for steaming his patients, by means of a blanket, hot 
stones and a decoction of potent herbs. One of these I dis- 
covered on Pine Hill ; and another at Sheldon's Field, while 
excavations for the Canal railroad were in progress. In con- 
nection with the indications of abode named, fragments of 
weapons and utensils can always be found. With these 
proofs about him the close observer can say with confidence, 
here dwelt the red man; here stood his fort, here lay his 
cornfield, and standing on a selected spot he can add, under- 
neath my feet lie his moldering remains. 

On village sites, and scattered over the haunts of the In- 
dians, are found on the surface, or turned up by the plow 
and spade, or discovered in their graves, a great variety of 
weapons, utensils, ensigns, ornaments and other articles. 
Each of the species named below has been found in this 
town and is represented in Memorial Hall : Axes, spear and 
arrow points, knives, tomahawk heads, arrow straitners, ham- 
mers, drills, gouges, chisels, bark peelers, rubbing stones, 
fleshers, skin dressers, hoes, corn mills, pestles, spinning 
bobs, stone "beeswax," ear ornaments, gorgets, amulets, 
pendants, totems, ceremonial ensigns — as maces or banner 
stones — pipes, aukooks and fragments of clay pottery. In 
graves are found, besides these, beads, shell ornaments, wam- 
pum, burnt and unburnt vessels of clay, and bone awls. All 
the above, not otherwise noted, are of stone. The aukooks 
were made of soapstone and varied in size from half a pint 
to twelve quarts. They were quite common, but the near- 
est known quarry of this material is thirty miles away. The 
clay pottery was rudely ornamented with conventional lines 


and dots, althoiv^h quite elaborate specimens are occasional- 
ly found. These vessels, being of a frail character, are never 
found entire, except in graves, and are very rare in New 
England. Less than half a dozen are known to me from 
that region. Yet to be noticed is another interesting arti- 
cle, of which there are about three or four hundred speci- 
mens in ^lemorial Hall. They are of stone, usually round- 
ish or oval disks, varying in size from four ounces to fifty 
pounds. The characteristic artificial mark is one or more 
corresponding pits, or depressions, on the opposite sides. A 
few triangular and quadrangular prisms have three or four 
pits ; one irregular, oval specimen contains fifty pits. These 
articles are not found at random, wherever Indians have 
lived, like other relics, but only in particular localities. This 
collection was inostly gathered within the compass of a mile 
from the Hall, and rarely from a greater distance than two 
miles away. If a collection has been made from any other 
place in New England I am not aware of it. These stones 
have been found in particular localities in New Jersey, West- 
ern New York and Ohio. There has been much speculation 
about these relics, but no satisfactory name or use has yet 
been assigned them. Theories that they are hammers, nut 
crackers, or club heads, are at once dissipated by an ex- 
amination of this collection. They must not be confounded 
with " chunke-stones," to which they bear but slight resem- 
blance. It may be, that they were used in some Indian game 
played only at national gatherings, like that held here by 
the Pocumtuck Confederacy, Sept. lo, 1659; but this is purely 
conjecture. They may be relics of a race which preceded 
the Pocumtucks. A Japanese visitor to the Hall had seen 
something of the kind in a museum at home, said there to 
have been connected with ancient religious observances. 

'' Indian Barns," Siii th.e English called them, were excava- 
tions in the earth for storing provisions. In studying Indian 
occupation, for the history of Northfield, my attention was 
attracted to certain peculiar appearances, uniformly called 
by tradition either "deer traps," or "wigwam places." A 
slight examination showed that tradition was at fault, and 
that an explanation must be sought for in other direc- 
tions. vSome months later, on reading Hubbard's account of 
the discovery of some " underground barns " at Peskeomp- 


skiit in 1676, I surmised that the chie to the mysterious 
" wigwam places " had been found, and determined upon an 
investigation. Engaging two trusty friends our party start- 
ed at daylight on a summer's morning, armed with pick and 
spade, to make a private examination of some " wigwam 
places," just over the Vermont line, on the farm of Elijah E. 
Belding, which had been shown to me by the owner. Two 
hours' work proved beyond a doubt the correctness of my 
conjectures. We had struck a group of thirty-three Indian 
granaries, lying within a space of 90 x 45 feet. Each showed 
a basin-like depression from six to fifteen inches in depth. 
Those examined were about four and a half feet deep. One 
was found to have been lined with clay. In others acorn 
shells, fragments of wood, bark and broken stone were 
found. On communicating this discovery to Hon. John M. 
vStebbins of Springfield, he called to mind certain peculiar de- 
pressions in a pasture on his father's farm in Hinsdale, N. H. 
We examined these in company, and found they also were 
the remains of Indian granaries. Many others were after- 
wards discovered in various parts of Northfield. These 
barns varied in size, being from four to twelve feet deep, 
and from three to twenty feet in diameter. They were 
u.sually' placed in groups, being thus more easil}^ protected 
from wild animals by a stockade, and, for obvious reasons, 
always on a watershed. 

In Deerfield several storehouses have been discovered, 
sometimes through traditions of "wigwam places," but gener- 
ally through knowledge gained by experience at North- 
field. Frederick Hawks informed me that a group of " wig- 
wam places " was plainly to be seen on his father's farm in 
Wisdom. On visiting the spot it was found that they were 
destroyed in building the Hoosac Tunnel railroad. My at- 
tention was called by Mrs. Nancy Campbell to certain " In- 
dian lookouts " on Pine Hill. These proved to be barns of 
considerable size. South of the road from Bars Long Hill 
to Mill River the barns were common. Three large ones 
were found on the farm of Isaac Wing, which have since 
been nearly filled by cultivation. On the banks of the 
ravine southwesterly of Mr. Wing's house, and about Bear's 
Hole, several of a large size are still to be seen. On the 
south side of the ravine three others have been filled up 


within a few years by Joseph N. Fuller, in leveling his land 
for the plow. None of these interesting remains have been 
found about the vStreet, Wapping or Great River, all having 
been destroyed by cultivation of the soil. 

Indian Graves. — Two distinct modes of burial prevailed 
here, as shown by the position of the body in the grave. 
Whether this be an indication that two tribes, with differ- 
ent customs, lived here at the same time — or successively — 
or whether it be a distinguishing mark of rank, or sex, can- 
not be determined by the evidence at hand. In one case the 
body was placed erect, facing the east, the knees drawn up to 
the chin and clasped by the arms. In the other it was curled 
up, like a sleeping dog, and laid on the right side, the face 
turned to the east. A single instance of a third mode has 
recently come to light. On an elevated sandy plain, at the 
head of a beautiful valley opening north from the falls at 
Peskeompskut, a burial place was disturbed by workmen 
repairing the highway in 1881. The spot was on the farm of 
T. M. Stoughton, and the ground was at once examined by Mr. 
Stoughton and his son William, mainly in a search for relics. 
They found twelve graves, about two feet below the surface. 
The bodies had been extended and radiated from a center, 
head outwards, the feet resting on a circle five or six feet in 
diameter. vSmall fragments only of the bones remained, but 
enough to show the position of the bodies. Many stone 
weapons were disinterred and a number of smooth stones 
of unknown use. All these bore the marks of fire, from the 
effects of which many of them had been broken into frag- 
ments. They had evidently been cast into the fire while 
whole, and not as fragments. 

Graves have been found singly or in groups in all parts of 
the town. On the side hill west of Old P'ort, it was common, 
fifty years ago, to turn up Indian skulls while plowing with- 
out disturbing any other bones. At the foot of Bars Long 
Hill, just where the meadow fence crossed the road, and the 
bars were placed which gave the village its name, many 
skeletons were exposed in plowing down a bank, and weapons 
and implements were found in abundance. One of these 
skeletons was described to me by Henry Mather who saw it, 
as being of monstrous size — " the head as big as a peck bask- 
et,, with double teeth all round." Mather, who was about six 


feet tall, made the comparison, and says the thigh bones were 
about three inches longer than his own. The skeleton was 
examined by Dr. Stephen W. Williams, who said the owner 
must have been nearly eight feet high. In all the cases 
noted in this paragraph, the bodies had been placed in a sit- 
ting posture, facing the east. In those that follow they were 
laid on the right side, as above described. 

(Jn the home lot of the writer, about twenty graves have 
been examined. In some the bones were entire and sound ; 
in others scarcely a scrap was left. In several graves was a 
quantity of what appeared like fine blue sandy clay. In one 
grave there was found what appeared to be the remains of a 
basket made of thick, rough bark, filled with earth having 
the blue, clayey appearance. In another, that of a child, was 
a stone figure, about four inches long, perhaps representing 
a fish or serpent. With another child was found abundant 
remains of birch bark wrappings. A grave discovered in 
1 866, in which the skeleton was well preserved, was rich in 
relics. There was a vessel of burnt clay, rudely ornamented, 
which is a great rarity in New England. There were also 
shell pendants for the ears, thin disks of shell about one inch 
in diameter perforated through the center, and some fifty 
pieces of white peag or wampum. These were all of Indian 
manufacture. Other articles, evidently procured from the 
whites, were about five hundred small glass beads, red, white 
and green — mostly the latter — much corroded by age ; six red 
beads, half an inch in diameter, handsomely inlaid with 
stripes of blue and white. A bodkin or awl of bone was al- 
so found. These graves were uniformly about three feet 
deep, situated near together on a promontory overlooking 
the Meadows. About seventy rods to the northwest of this, 
on John Broughton's Hill, skeletons were found more than 
fifty years ago. There, surface relics, also, have been very 
abundant. A few rods north of Indian Bridge, the remains 
of a woman, who was apparently buried with a child in her 
arms, were uncovered by Lemuel Childs, about 1840. The 
bones were mostly sound, and the skull of the child was quite 
perfect. In a grave discovered on Petty's Plain in 1 884, were 
found a pipe, trinkets of copper, and the metal foundation of 
an epaulet. ]SIany other Indian graves have been found in 
difiierent parts of the town, but the mode of burial has not 


been ascertained. Hardly a year passes without the dis- 
covery here of isolated graves. There was an Indian 
burying place west of the "Old vStreet burying ground." 
The place was used as a gravel pit, and has long ago been 
carried away, and the bones scattered, or used for repairing 
the highway. Baads of the larger kind described above were 
found here, also another kind which were faceted. The latter 
were precisely like specimens recently received from S. L. 
Frey of Palatine Bridge, N. Y., who took them from a refuse 
heap of the Iroquois. Graves have been opened at Farming- 
ton, Ct., and in the burial places of the Podunks, where the po- 
sition of the body corresponded exactly with that of those de- 
scribed as lying on the side here. I am not aware that this 
position has been noticed elsewhere. 

These notes are offered as a contribution to a more com- 
plete history of the Connecticut Valley Indians. 


The war of 1675-6, will always be known as " Philip's war ;" 
but, rather because it was instigated by the Pokanoket 
Sachem, than that it was carried on under his orders. The 
fears of the colonists, indeed, made Philip the omnipresent 
arch fiend who planned each cunning ambush, ordered each 
bloody massacre, and directed every incendiary torch ; the 
foremost in every attack, the most daring of his race. The 
evidence now before us fails to sustain these assumptions. 
We have no proof that Philip was ever in a single action in 
the colony, or that he was the leader of more than a small 
clan. He never held rank as commander-in-chief of the al- 
lied forces. In the spring of 1676, the Pocuintuck Sachems 
at vSqueakheag threatened to take his head to the English as 
a peace offering ; and at Wachusett, Sagamore Sam and other 
Nipmuck chiefs contemptuously ignored Philip, and over- 
ruled his more sagacious plans respecting the ransom of 

Philip shotild rather be ranked with the Seer or the Poli- 
tician. He may have exceeded his fellows in political fore- 
sight, but he failed in that equipment of genius and that moral 
honesty necessary to inspire respect as a leader and to secure 
a loyal following. In his character we miss every element 
of greatness, and find him essentially narrow and mean. He 
was artful and his principal weapon was treachery. He 
was cruel, and a vSagamore of his own tribe accused hiin of 
cowardice, deserting him on that account. Volunteers from 
his own clan, hunted him in his extremity from swamp to 
thicket. Members of his own household betrayed his hiding 
places ; and finally he fell by the avenging bullet of one of 
his own tribe, whose brother he had wantonly murdered ; 
his body was vilely insulted and barbarously inutilated by 
his own countrymen. 

From first to last Philip showed lack of state-craft, lack of 

82 riiiLir's war. 

military skill, lack of the essential elements of leadership ; 
and his low cunning, ambition and desire for revenge, and 
his success as an agitator, were but poor substitutes. In six 
weeks after the first blow was struck at Swansea, he was 
driven from his country and his tribe scattered. With about 
forty or fifty followers he escaped up the valley of the Black- 
stone and took refuge among the Nipmucks at Wenniinisset, 
arriving there the day after their retreat from the attack on 
Brookfield, in which, it is often said, he took part. 

The relations of the English and Nipinucks had been 
nominally friendly from the first. But the two races had 
no common sympathies and had never mingled as equals. 
The industrial possibilities of the savage had been much in- 
creased by contact with civilization. With English weapons 
and implements, game was more easily procured, wigwams 
and canoes more easily made, and land more profitably cul- 
tivated. The barter of fur, venison and corn, for blankets 
and articles of metal, was of great advantage to the Indians, 
but the restraint put upon them when they gave their alle- 
giance to the English was irksome. It was galling to these 
children of nature to be hedged in by forms and subjected to 
rules. The contempt of the whites made them conscious of be- 
ing an inferior race, and they responded with envy and hatred. 

Fearing an outbreak at Mount Hope, the Governor of 
Massachusetts, on the 13th of June, 1675, sent two messen- 
gers to compose the troubles, if possible. On the same day 
an embassy was sent to the Nipmucks, at Wennimisset, near 
Brookfield. Here, after three days' negotiation, the Sachems 
and rulers signed an agreement not to favor Philip or break 
the peace. It is probable the wise old men made this treaty 
in good faith, but that they were unable to restrain the young 
braves, whose discontent, with the natural love of war and 
desire for plunder, led them on regardless of consequences. 

When news of the outbreak at Swansea reached Uncas, he at 
once sent six messenofers to Boston offering his services in 
the war, while he made the same offer in person to the au- 
thorities of Connecticut. His envoys reached Boston, July 
9th, and about the nth Governor Leverett sent Ephraim 
Curtice of Sudbury,* who had an Indian trading post at Quin- 

*Ancestor of our distinguished Statesman, George W. Curtis. 


sig-amtig, to escort them through the Nipmuck country, as 
their nearest way home. Curtice had also a charge to find out 
the temper of the Nipmucks towards the English. At Natick 
he was joined by three friendly Indians. On reaching the In- 
dian fort at Okomakomesset he heard news that would have 
stopped a less resolute man. It was that Matoonas, Sachem 
of Pakachaug and a dependent of Philip, was ranging the 
country with fifty men accoutered for war ; that this party 
had already robbed his own house at Quinsigamug, and some 
of his goods were shown him to prove it. He was assured of 
certain death if he met Matoonas, or any of the Nipmucks. Cur- 
tice, however, pushed on to Marlboro, where he was furnished 
with an escort of ten troopers and one more Indian. Leav- 
ing Alarlboro the party passed through the Indian towns of 
Hassanamisco, ]Munchaug, Chabanagonkamug, Manamexit, 
Senexit, and near to Wabaquasset, where the jMohegans con- 
sidered themselves safe. These towns were all deserted. 
Curtice had traversed the very heart of the Nipmuck country 
without seeing a single Indian. He afterwards found them 
collected at Wennimisset. in a strong position, on an island 
of four acres, formed by the Menameseek river and the Wen- 
nimisset brook, and encompassed by a deep morass.* 
Though met by abuse and threats of death, Curtice at length 
reached the island by the only practicable pass. Here he 
had a conference with the Sachems Mattamuck or Mawtamp, 
Konkawasco, Willemather, Ushutugun or Sagamore Sam, 
Kekond, and " twelve Grandees." The chief vSachem was 
^lattamuck. The conference was friendly, the Indians rep- 
resenting that they had fled from their home for fear of the 
English, but, says Curtice, " I left them well appeased." He 
made a report of this expedition at Boston, July i6, 1675. 

Within two or three days Curtice was again*dispatched to 
Wennimisset with a letter from the Governor and Council to 
the Nipmuck Sachems, containing assurances of their good 
will. The envoy was well received and had a satisfactory 
conference with Sagamore Sam, Willemather, Apequanas or 
Sagamore John, and Kekond, to whom the letter was read, 
" which they seemed to accept of very well," and promised 
that some of the chiefs would go to Boston to speak with the 

*For a description of this Camp see Temple's History of Brookfield. 

84 PHI lip's war. 

Great Sachem in four or five days. When Curtice inquired 
why he met such abuse when last there, he was answered 
that Black James, the Constable of Chabanagonkamug, had 
told them " the English would kill thein all because they 
were not praying Indians." Whether this was Black James's 
way of making converts, or a blind on the part of the wily 
Nipmucks, may never be known ; but it is certain that at 
that very moment, though unknown to Curtice, an emissary 
of Philip was in their camp, distributing spoils taken from 
the English. On the 24th, Curtice again reported in Boston. 
July 26th, Oneko, oldest son of Uncas, with two younger 
brothers and fifty Mohegan warriors, reached Boston and re- 
ported for duty. The younger brothers were kept as hos- 
taofes and the rest hurried off towards Pocasset, the seat of 
war. On reaching Rehoboth they heard of the escape of 
Philip from Pocasset Neck, and joined a party of men from 
adjoining towns, who were about to follow his trail. Philip 
was overtaken by this force, thirty of his men were killed 
and much plunder taken. The next day the Mohegans 
joined Capt. Daniel Henchman, who was also in pursuit of 
the fugitives. But they were not again overtaken, and the 
chase ended at Wabaquasset. 


The Governor and Council, having no news from the 
chiefs at Wennimisset according to promise, and not being 
satisfied of the good faith of the Indians there, on the 28th 
of July, appointed Capt. Edward Hutchinson, a Commis- 
sioner, to go and find out the real condition of affairs among 
them. He was to demand that Matoonas and his band, and 
any other hostile Indians there, should be given up. Curtice 
went as guide, and Capt. Thomas Wheeler, with twenty 
troopers, as escort. The party reached Brookfield at noon, 
on the first day of August. Curtice was now sent a third 
time, with one companion, to Wennimisset, which lay about 
eight miles northwest, to arrange for a meeting with Capt. 
Hutchinson. As in previous visits, he found the old men 
disposed (or pretending to be) for peace, while the young 
men were insolent and full of the spirit of war. At length 
an aofrcement was made that the Indians should meet the 
Commissioner the next morning, on a plain near the head of 

THE tra(;edy at brookfield. 85 

Wickabaug pond about three miles from Brookfield, to ne- 
gotiate a treaty of peace and amity. Accordingly, Monday, 
Aug. 2d, Hutchinson, not without some misgivings, with his 
whole party, including Joseph and Sampson, sons of old Robin 
Petuhanit, and George JNIenicho, three Natick Indians, and 
John Ayers, William Prichard and Richard Coy, three of 
the leading men of Brookfield, marched to the appointed 
place. Not an Indian was there to meet them. 

After consultation, and upon the representations of the 
Brookfield men, who strongly endorsed the integrity of the 
Indians, but against the remonstrance of the Naticks, Capt. 
Hutchinson continued his march four or five miles farther 
towards the Nipmuck camp, until he reached a narrow defile 
where the treacherous Indians lay in ambush. While advanc- 
ing in single file, with a deep morass on one side and steep 
hill on the other, they were fired upon. The Brookfield 
men paid for their confidence with their lives. Five other 
inen were killed and five wounded — Capt. Hutchinson and 
two others mortally, and Capt. Wheeler dangerously. Meni- 
cho was captured. The survivors fought their way out as 
best they could, and being guided in a by-way by Joseph and 
Sampson the Naticks, found their way back to the town. 

The alarmed inhabitants hurriedly gathered into John 
Ayers's tavern, the largest and strongest house in the village. 
Hasty attempts were inade to fortify this with such logs as 
they could find for the outside, and feather beds hung over 
the windows and on the walls, inside. In the panic the gar- 
rison was scantily provided with provisions and other neces- 
saries for so large a number. Fourteen men and fifty women 
and children of the inhabitants were crowded together there. 

In about two hours the savages arrived. After pillaging 
and burning the deserted houses, they made a furious attack 
on the tavern, " sending their shot amongst us like hail 
through the walls, and shouting as though they would swal- 
low us up alive." The command had devolved upon Simon 
Davis of Concord, who, with his twenty-six men, made a brave 
defense. Many ingenious attempts were made to burn the 
house, and it was twice set on fire. " Wild fire in cotton, 
and linen rags with brimstone in them," were tied to ar- 
rows, set on fire and shot upon the roof. All these efforts 
were continued, and successfully resisted, until the night of 


Aug. 4th, when a final attempt was to be made to burn the 
building. So intent were the savages on this project that 
their guard was relaxed, and the air was so filled with yells 
of fiendish exultation at the prospect of the bloody feast so 
soon in store for them, that Maj. Simon Willard, with ninety- 
four men, rode within gunshot of the garrison before they 
were discovered. The Indians soon raised the siege, and 
before daybreak they set fire to the meetinghouse, which 
they had fortified for their own protection, and disappeared 
into the wilderness. 

This rescue was seasonable. The besieged could hardly 
have withstood the assault about to be made. In the morn- 
ing it was found that two formidable inventions for firing 
the house were nearly completed. A barrel with a pole 
stuck through holes in each head for an axletree formed the 
front ; to the projecting ends of this axletree long poles were 
fastened ; to these more long poles were spliced, one after 
another, running back like thills to a wagon, till they extend- 
ed about fourteen rods. Under each splice a pair of the set- 
tlers' cart wheels had been placed. A platform over the 
barrel was piled high with combustibles. These poles could 
be spliced to any extent, and the machine pushed against 
the house in the darkness with impunity. Plenty of fire 
arrows were found, with which to ignite the combu.stibles at 
the proper moment. These operations had been retarded by 
a shower, but the ultimate success of the scheme, if left un- 
interrupted, can hardly be doubtful. The assailants were 
about five hundred, while the strength and the ammunition 
of the brave defenders, now reduced to twenty men, Avere alike 
nearly exhausted. A horrible death stared them in the face. 
At the beginning of the siege twenty-six fighting men, with 
fifty women and children, were crowded into the house with 
five wounded men to care for, to which four more were soon 
added. At its close this number was lessened by one — Cur- 
tice sent out for aid — and by five men killed or wounded ; and 
increased by the birth of two pairs of twins. 

What imagination can compass the manifold wretchedness 
of the besieged during those three sultry August days? The 
stifling fumes of the burning gunpowder in the shut up 
rooms, aggravating the sufferings and hastening the death 
of the wounded — the incessant strain of watching the burn- 


ing arrows and avoiding the flying bullets — the horrid yells 
of the savages — the birth of the children in this pandemonium 
— with the growing consciousness that the end was nio-h, in 
a horrible death I 

The attack on Brookfield by the Nipinucks put a new as- 
pect on the affairs of New England. For the first time a 
general rising of the Indians was seriously feared. Troops 
were at once put in motion from the east and west towards 
the scene of the disaster. Capt. Thomas Lothrop of Beverly 
and Capt. Richard Beers of Watertown joined Maj. Willard 
there with full companies, Aug. 7th. 

]\lai. Pynchon heard the news at Springfield, from some 
travelers, Aug. 4th. In great alarm he posted a messenger 
that night to Hartford, asking aid to secure vSpringfield and 
succor Brookfield. The War Council met at Hartford at one 
o'clock in the morning, Aug. 5th, and dispatched Capt. 
Thomas Watts, with fortv dragoons and thirtv Indians to 
Pynchon, " for the securitie of those towns, and to pass to 
Quabaug, if there be reason ;" and on the 6th the Council 
raised two hundred and thirty dragoons, to be ready to march 
at an hour's notice. Aug. 7th, Maj. Pynchon, having satis- 
fied hiinself of the fidelity of the River Indians, joining to the 
Connecticut forces, Lieut. William Cooper, with twenty-seven 
dragoons and ten Indians, sent the whole to Brookfield, 
where they formed a junction with Maj. Willard's command, 
the same day. Aug. 8th, the whole force, now about three 
hundred and fifty men, marched to Wennimisset, but the 
Indians were not to be found. The river troops searched 
the woods ten miles farther north, but found no trace of the 
enemy. ^laj. Willard, fearing they had moved westward 
towards the river towns, decided to send a force thither. 

Wednesday, Aug. 4th, before word had reached Boston of 
the outbreak at Brookfield, Capt. Samuel Moseley was dis- 
patched with supplies to Capt. Henchman and orders to join 
him in the pursuit of Philip. On the 7th, however, he met 
Henchman on his return from Wabaquasset, and the united 
forces marched to Mendon, and thence to Marlboro. Here 
they parted, on the 8th ; Henchman went to Boston for fur- 
ther orders, while Moseley pushed on with both companies 
for the new seat of war, reporting to Alai. Willard at Brook- 
field, Aug. 9th. He found Lothrop and Beers under march- 


inof orders for the Conneeticut river. TakiiiQ^ Moselev's siir- 
geon, William Locke, Lothrop moved off for Hadley, and 
Watts for Springfield. Word of the latter's arrival reached 
Hartford on the evening of the loth. The Council met at 
TO p. m., and sent their Marshal to visit their Indians, "to 
enquire after their welfare," to see that " they receive no 
affront from the English," to thank them for their fidelity, 
and "give everyone of them a dram." Besides these Indians 
who went up with Watts, Attawamhood had led thirty Mo- 
hegans to vSpringfield the day before. Watts and the Indians 
remained under the direction of Pynchon. Lothrop, after a 
short delay at Hadley to rest and refit his men, took the 
woods again for Brookfield. 

Aug. 14, Maj. Willard directed another expedition to the 
north and west. Lothrop, Beers and Moseley marched to- 
gether as far as Wennimisset. The first two, destined for 
Hadley, moved westward. Moseley went some eight miles 
farther north and then returned to Brookfield. The next 
day he was sent against a party of hostiles above Chelms- 
ford, and reached Lancaster, en route, at 7 o'clock p. m., 
whence he sent dispatches to the Governor. 

Pynchon, the commander on the river, feeling the respon- 
sibility too heavy for him, sent to the Council at Hartford, 
Aug. 1 2th, that he "was alone and wanted advice." Maj. 
John Talcott, with an escort of ten dragoons, was sent to his 
assistance, with a recommendation to Pynchon to send an 
agent to Albany, " if it be vSafe," to secure the aid of the 
Mohawks, if the enemy went that way. Thus early did these 
astute men foresee the policy of Philip. Gov. Andros was 
at Albany when Pynchon's messenger arrived, and at once 
engaged the Mohawks not to join the war, or entertain the 
hostiles. Aug. 24th he wrote Pynchon to that eft'ect. 

Headquarters were established at Hadley, a town well situ- 
ated for a defensible post. Pynchon's forces had been active 
from the finst in scouring the woods in search of the enemy. 
The Indians living near Hatfield and Northampton had vol- 
unteered in the same service. Attawamhood soon discovered 
that they " made fools of the English," and plainly told 
Pynchon that nothing could be accomplished while they 
were with the English in any pursuit ; that by their shouts 


they gave notice to the enemy of the approach of the Eng- 
lish, that they " might look to themselves." 

On the arrival of Lothrop and Beers at Hadley, about the 
i6th, the whole force took the field for an extended scout. 
Capt. Watts went up on the west side of the Connecticut and 
the Bay troops on the east. Watts returned to Hadley, Aug. 
22d, leaving ten of his men in the garrison at Deerfield, and 
twenty men were sent to secure Northfield. Lothrop and 
Beers ranged northward, and eastward again to Brookfield. 
On the 23d they were both back at Hadley, and doubtless 
Maj. Willard went with them, to consult with ]\Iaj. Pynchori. 
During all this marching and countermarching not a single 
hostile Indian was seen. The only visible result was the 
burning of seventy deserted wigwams ; but the whereabouts 
of the enemy was unknown. In the following letter to the 
Council at Hartford Pynchon sums up the state of affairs : — 

Spr. Aug. 22: 75. 

Capt. John Allyn. 'Sr, In y"" night a Post was sent me from Had- 
ley, that o'' forces are returned; Capt. Wats thither, and the Bay 
forces to Qvabaug. Nothing done but about 50 Wigwams they 
found empty w'^'^ they haue burnt. They write from Hadley they 
expect nothing but y"^^ enymy to insult & fall vpon y'^' remote Townes; 
that they are in great feares; a guard of 20 left at Squakheak is too 
week : some of yo' soldiers left at Pocomtuck, Capt. Wats speaks of 
calling off, w^'' trobles y"' g'tly: Suspect o'' Indians y' went out to 
be fearefull or false or both : say y* y'' sheepe at Squakeake are driven 
away sence y*" soldiers were there: suspect y*^ enymy to be betweene 
Hadley & Sqvakeak, at Paqvayag, about 10 miles from y*" Gr^ River 
— I am sending to Capt. Wats to stay w"' his forces there: I would 
gladly you would allow it t\: give further order about it; as y' they 
make no discovery for y'' enemy at y'-' place forenamed. The In- 
dians you formerly writ off comeing in to Vncas it must be serious- 
ly considered whether none that are murderers of y*^ English be 
among them & such must be deliv'd vp. I pray God direct you & 
vs & be o'' salvation. Comunicate advice & concill as you may 
judge needfull. They much desire y*^ p''sence of some principall 
man at Hadley to direct, as need req", & to expidite affairs. You''"' 
in y" L'd Jesus John Pynchon. 

Momonto thinks y*" Indian enymy may be in a swamp called Mo- 
mattanick about 3 mile off Paqvayag, between Hadly and Sqvakeak: 
it is a pitty but they should disrested ; & yo"' Indians will be y'" most 
likely to doe something. I pray give further orders about Capt. 
Wats & if Mag'"' Talcot might be w"' y'" I hope it w'ld turne to 

[Directed,] These For Mr. John Allyn, at Hartford. Hast, Post 

90 Philip's war. 

Escaping the pursuit of Henchman and Oneko, Philip, as 
we have seen, with about forty followers, reached the swamp 
near Wennimisset, on the 5th of Atigust, taking refuge with 
the hostile Nipmucks. If he became their leader his first 
act was to infect them with the fear which had winged his 
flight from Pocasset Neck. Whoever led, the whole crew 
hurried away to hiding places, probably in great swamps 
lying in the eastern part of Franklin county. In a retrograde 
movement of this character Philip doubtless showed skill 
and activity as a leader, for he was a cautious and cimning 
man. When the provision plundered at Brookfield was ex- 
hausted the enemy drove off sheep from the Northfield com- 
mons. Their spies, no doubt, watched every movement of 
the English, that thev mio-ht be able to strike the most effect- 
ive blow. 


Aug. 24, 1675, a Council of War was convened at Hadley to 
investigate the conduct of a motley collection of Pocumtucks. 
Naunawtucks and vagabond stranger Indians, occupying a 
fort on the west bank of the Connecticut river between North- 
ampton and Hadley. Grave suspicions were entertained of 
their fidelity. On the first alarm they professed friendship and 
gave up their arms. When Capt. Watts came up a few days 
later they offered their aid against any hostile Indians, and 
their guns were returned to them for this service. Abundant 
evidence was given to the Council of friendly feeling and in- 
tercourse between these Indians and the Nipmucks, and after 
hearing the objections of the Indians it was decided to de- 
mand their arms again. The Sachem who was present said 
on leaving that he would bring in his own, and try to per- 
suade the rest to do the same. A messenger was sent to the 
fort in the afternoon, who was put off with evasive answers. 
When he went again in the evening, according to appoint- 
ment, he was rudely insulted. Lothrop now deteriuined to 
take their arms by force, and sent orders to the forces at 
Northampton to march at midnight quietly up near the fort, 
while he and Beers would cross the river above and come 
down upon it. According to this plan the two detachments 
met at the fort about daylight. The occupants had fled, 
leaving nothing but the dead body of an old vSachem who 


was killed for refusing to join in their flight to the enemy. 
Probably he was one of the ready-made vSachems, forced up- 
on them by the English ; if so he paid for his gratitude with 
his life. 

Sending home a part of his force to guard the towns, Lo- 
throp, with Beers and about one hundred riien, made a rapid 
pursuit on the trail towards Deerfield. " Intending to parley 
with them," no precautions were taken against a surprise. 
No one seems to have dreamed that the Indians would pre- 
sume to meet them with arms. On the other hand, the In- 
dians were ready for war ; they expected this pursuit, and 
prepared for it. Loaded with all their worldly goods, en- 
cumbered with their women and children, it was evident 
they must soon be overtaken. A favorable place was select- 
ed near the " Pocumtuck path," about eighty rods south of 
Wequamps, and here they lay in ambush, awaiting their 
pursuers. So little had the English learned by the experi- 
ence of Capt. Hutchinson, at Brookfield, that the}' marched 
heedlessly into the trap. Their lirst notice of danger was 
the discharge of some forty muskets upon their ranks from 
the swamp on their right. Part of the English rushed down 
into the thicket, where a sharp fight from behind cover, 
Indian fashion, was kept up for three hours, when the In- 
dians fled. Lothrop lost six men on the ground, one of 
whom "was shot in the back by our own men," and three 
others died of their wounds. They were xVzariah Dickinson 
of Hadley, Samuel Mason of Northampton, Richard Fellows 
and James Levens of Hatfield, John Plumer of Newbury, 
Edward Jackson of Cambridge, Joseph Persons of L3mn, 
Matthew Scales of Rowley and William Cluff of Charlestown. 
John Parke of Watertown — afterwards of Newton — was shot 
in the elbow." A squaw captured within two weeks said 
that the Indians lost twenty-six men in the action. Puck- 
quahow, an active Nipmuck of Wennimisset, and in the 
Hutchinson ambush, was in this fight. He probably insti- 
gated the revolt and planned the ambush, so fatal to the 

*In a petition to the General Court, March 15, 1677, Parke says he vvas "un- 
der the chirurgeon's hand about half a \'ear" — that the shot so shattered the 
elbow that the bones came out. He was allowed, for loss of time, doctor's 
bill and " vituals " ^g. Twenty-five years later he was allowed £1 10 s. per 


This was the first armed conflict between Englishmen and 
Indians in the Connecticut valley, and it gave a new mean- 
ing to the onset at Brookfield. It was now seen that a gen- 
eral war of races had begun, which must result in the exter- 
mination of one or the other. 

The Council of Connecticut was opposed to the policy of 
disarming the Indians in the fort at Hatfield, and on the 25th 
of August, while the fight at Wequamps was still going on, was 
engaged in preparing a letter of remonstrance to Maj. Pyn- 
chon. Later in the day, the fact of the fight being known, 
George Graves, with twenty dragoons, was dispatched to 
Northampton. The next day the Council ordered the Hart- 
ford county dragoons to be in readiness to march on an 
hour's notice, and appointed a fast for "each County for all 
their towns the 4th day of the weeke monthly, till farther 
order, to begin in New Haven county Septr the first next." 

Aug. 27th, the Council had word that the Wabaquasset 
Indians had captured " about 1 1 1 of Philip's men, women & 
children." They were probably on their way to join Philip 
in the Nipmuck country. On the 28th, the Council, still ad- 
hering to the policy of trusting the neighboring Indians, 
wrote to Pynchon advising him not to disarm those about 
Springfield. Aug. 3i.stTalcott was again sent up to advise 
with Pynchon, and Maj. Robert Treat, with a regiment of 
dragoons, marched for Northampton ; but he was recalled the 
next day, by an alarm near Hartford. 

Deerfield had at this time about one hundred and twenty- 
five inhabitants, with twenty-five or thirty men. The houses 
were scattered nearly the whole length of the present street. 
Three of these, as a measure of precaution, had been forti- 
fied with palisades. The ten men left by Capt. Watts were 
still here. No direct evidence has been found as to the 
situation of these forts, as they were called ; but it would be 
safe to assume that one was on Meetinghouse Hill, at the 
house of Quintin Stockwell, where the minister boarded. 
The Catlin lot, where Sergeant Plympton then lived, was 
probably the south one, and the north fort may have been on 
the home lot of Mrs. C. E. B. Allen, then owned by James 

I have vSaid that the outbreak at vSwansea caused no uneas- 
iness among the settlers here. The affair at Brookfield 


created sufficient anxiety and alarm to induce precautionary^ 
measures. The last attack was at their very doors, and the 
horrors of an Indian war, still very little comprehended, had 
now become a reality to them. Doubtless the English looked 
upon the savages as a weak and cowardly race, to be easily 
subdued ; and at this time we find no trace of fear on their 
part. Their only anxiety .seems to have been to find the 
enemy, having no doubt about the result of the meeting. It 
was at a terrible cost that wisdom in this respect was ac- 


After the swamp fight of Aug. 25th, we get no trace of the 
Nipmucks, the Wampanoags, or ths Pocumtucks, until Sept. 
ist, when the latter made an attack on our town. On the 
morning of that day about sixt}' of them were lurking in the 
woods, watching a favorable opportunity for an attack. They 
were discovered by James Eggleston, a soldier of Windsor, 
while out looking for his horse. He was shot down, and the 
alarm beinsf thus afiven, the inhabitants fled to the shelter of 
the forts, which all reached in safety. The Indians rushed 
on, as if to carry all before them ; but the stockades, with a 
dozen men in each, were easily defended, and after losing 
two of their men, the assailants discreetly retired out of gun- 
shot. The English were too few prudently to engage in the 
field with the unknown numbers pitted against them, and they 
had the mortification of seeing the despised Indians burning 
their buildings and destroying with fiendish glee their hard 
earned estate. The leader in this attack is unknown. Men- 
owniett, a Connecticut Indian, is the only one of the party 
known by name. He was also in the swamp fight, Aug. 

The news of this first attack on any town in the Connecti- 
cut valley, caused great consternation in the towns below. It 
reached Hadley while the inhabitants were assembled in 
the meetinghouse observing a fast, and Mather says they 
"were driven from the holy service they were attending by 
a most sudden and violent alarm, which routed them the 
whole day after." This brief allusion of the historian to the 
alarm at Hadley on hearing of the assault on Deerfield, is 
the slender foundation on which was built the elaborate ac- 


count, that has g'une into accepted history, ■'•' of a furious at- 
tack on Hadley that day, when the town was only saved from 
destruction by the appearance and valor of Gen. Goffe, one 
of the Regicides. A careful study of all the authorities 
leads to the conclusion that this whole romantic tale is a pure 
myth. A full expose of this story by the writer may be found 
in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 
Oct., i<S74. Also see Beach's Indian Miscellany, 461, and 
History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial 
x'Vssociation, I, 202. 


Thursday, Sept. 2d, a party of Nipmucks under vSagamore 
Sam and One Eyed John, surprised a party at work in Great 
Meadow, and killed eight men. The women and children, 
on the alarm, fled to a small stockaded enclosure, which was 
defended by the surviving men. But the inmates, like their 
friends at Deerfield the day before, saw the enemy wasting 
and burning everything beyond the range of their muskets. 

Meanwhile the Northfield people had not been forgotten 
at headquarters. The news of the attack on Deerfield raised 
fears at Hadley for the safety of that exposed town, and 
measures were at once taken for its succor. Sept. 2d was 
spent in preparation. Richard Montague, the baker, was 
"impressed" to make bread. William Markham, with cart 
and oxen, was " impressed " to transport ammunition, and 
the settlers' horses were taken to mount the soldiers. On 
the morning of the 3d, Capt. Beers, with thirty-six mounted 
men, marched for the beleaguered town, " with supplies, both 
of men and provision, to secure the small garrison there." 
Beers encamped for the night three or four miles south of 
the village. The besieged fort had, we may be sure, been 
carefully guarded by the Indians to prevent any information 
of the disaster reaching the English. But the movements 
of Beers the next morning are inexplicable except on the 
theory that he had some inkling of Indians being about the 
town, and tliat he pushed on his dismounted soldiers, intend- 
ing to raise the siege by a surprise ; supposing, perhaps, that 

* See Hutchinson's Hist. Mass., I. 201; Stiles's Judges, 108; Hoyt's Antiqua- 
rian Researches, 135; Judd's Hadley, 145, 214; Holmes's Annals, I. 272; Pal- 
frey's New England, II. 507, HI. 164. 


he had only the small party that beset Deerfield to deal with. 
Neither Philip nor the Nipmucks had been heard of since 
they left Wennimisset, and Beers had not yet learned that 
it is always the unexpected which happens in Indian warfare. 
The men of those days seem t(j have been very slow to dis- 
cover this. 

On the morning of the 4th, leaving his horses in camp 
with a small guard, Beers continued his march towards 
Northfield. Forgetful of the surprise of Hutchinson at 
Brookfield, and of his own at Wequamps, apparently neither 
vanguard nor flankers were thrown out, and the company 
was led directly into an ambuscade at the north end of Beers 
Plain, " when they were set upon by many hundreds of the 
Indians out of the Bushes by the Swampside." After the 
first shock, Beers rallied his shattered force and retreated, 
fighting bravely, to a hill on the right of his line of march, 
since called Beers Mountain, where he fell. Hubbard says 
he " was known to fight valiantly to the very last." Savage 
believes that he made a nuncupative will, after he was 
wounded. If these statements are well founded it would ap- 
pear that some of his company must have remained with him 
to the last, and then escaped. He was buried where he fell. 
The spot is known, but unmarked. [vSee Temple and Shel- 
don's History of Northfield.] 

A partial list of those slain Sept. 2d, are: Sergt. vSamuel 
Wright, Ebenezer and Jonathan James of Northfield ; Eben- 
ezer Parsons and Nathaniel Curtice of Northampton ; John 
Peck of Hadley, Thomas Scott and Benjamin Dunwich, 
residence unknown. Samuel Wright, Jr., was severely 
wounded. Those killed on the 4th were: Capt. Richard Beers 
of Watertown, Benjamin Crackbon of Dorchester, Ephraim 
Childc of Roxbury, John Getchell of Marblehead, Jeremiah 
Morrell of Boston, Joseph Dickinson and William Marcum of 
Hadley, John Genery of Dedham, George Lickens, Thomas 
Cornish, James Mullard, John Wilson, Elisha Woodward, 
and "8 others of whom there is no account." One of 
these was from Taunton. John Harrington of Watertown, 
and Robert Pepper of Roxbury were wounded, and the lat- 
ter captured. There is a tradition that several of the above 
were taken alive and put to death by torture. Thirteen of 

96 Philip's war. 

the party reached Hadley that evening with news of the dis- 

The alarm which recalled Maj. Treat to Hartford, Sept. ist, 
had small foundation. Sept. 2d, Treat was appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Connecticut forces in the field, with 
orders to lead his command through Westfield to Northamp- 
ton, and thence where most needed ; and to send home all 
the men now in the up river service except the twenty-nine 
in the garrisons at Westfield, Hatfield, and Deerfield. On 
the 3d, Treat, with a strong force, including at least ninety 
dragoons, began his march. He reached Northampton on the 
4th, and during the night learned the fate of Beers. The 
same news reached Hartford on the 5th, and at once the 
Council gave orders that one hundred Mohegans and Pe- 
quots should follow Treat ; and the next day twenty dragoons 
under Joseph Wardsworth were sent to Westfield, and twenty 
under John Grant to Springfield, to guard those towns. 

treat's march to northfield. 

Sunday morning, Sept. 6th, Treat crossed the river to 
Hadley with above one hundred men, and took the route to 
Northfield. He probably spent the night on the site of 
Beers's encampment, and reached the beleaguered stockade 
on the morning of the 6th. It must have been a joyful oc- 
casion to the inmates, who had been shut up four days, with 
death staring them in the face every hour. Not an Indian 
was seen on the march, or on reaching Northfield. They 
had doubtless w^atched the motions of the English and fled 
to their hiding place on the advance of Treat. Learning 
that the bodies of those slain Sept. 2d were still lying on the 
meadows where they fell. Treat detailed a party to bury 
them. That of Sergeant Wright, commander of the little 
garrison, naturally received the first attention. It was carried 
up the bank and placed in the first grave ever opened in the 
present village cemetery. 

The following tradition, taken by the writer in i<S76 from 
the lips of Mrs. Polly Holton of Northfield, who died in 1S79 
at the age of ninety-eight, is not found elsewhere; but with- 
out doubt it refers to the events of Sept. 2-6, 1675, and is 
reliable. vSergt. Wright was great-great-grandfather to Mrs. 
Holton ; his son, vSamuel, Jr., her great-grandfather, who was 


sorely wounded the same day, lived until his daughter, her 
ofrandmother, was thirty years old ; Mrs. Holton was twelve 
at the death of the latter ; so she had the story only second 
hand from one who took part in the affair. The story, which 
came out in a conversation about the old cemetery, was this : 
" The first one buried there was a man by the name of 
Wright, from Northampton. He was killed by Indians. He 
was not found for several days. He was found in the mead- 
ow in a decaying condition. He was carried up the bluff and 
buried just as he was, in the present burying ground." This 
tradition preserves an interesting fact, and explains several 
otherwise obscure contemporaneous statements. 

The grave of Sergt. Wright was hardly filled before the 
sad duties of the party were rudely interrupted. A party of 
Indians fired upon them from the bushes, where they had 
been skulking. No one was hurt, although Maj. Treat was 
struck by a spent ball. Duty to the living now superseded 
care for the dead, and the rest of the bodies were left where 
they fell. 

In the upward march, says Hubbard, Treat's men " were 
much daunted to see the heads of Capt. Beers's soldiers upon 
poles by the wayside * * * One (if no more) was found 
with a chain hooked into his under jaw, and so hung up on 
the bow of a tree, ('tis feared he was hung up alive) by which 
means they thought to daunt and discourage any that might 
come to their relief and alsoe to terrifie those that should be 
spectators with the beholding so sad an object, insomuch 
that Maj. Treat and his company ^ ^ ^ were solemnly 
affected with that doleful sight, which made them the more 
haste to bring down the garrison." On reaching the stockade 
these disheartened soldiers met about one hundred men, 
women and children, faint and weary with watching, whose 
nerves had been stretched to their utmost tension for four 
days, and each party had its tales of horror for the other. 
Add to this the sickening sight of the decomposing bodies in 
the meadow, and it would seem little was wanting to create 
a panic. More than enough was furnished by the appear- 
ance of the enemy, the attack on the burial party, and the 
narrow escape of the commander. It is no wonder that Maj. 
Treat " concluded forthwith to bring off the garrison ; so they 
came away the same night leaving the cattle there, and the 


dead bodies unburied." The panic had reached a crisis. 
The danger was inagnified. Treat feared to wait the slow 
moving ox teams, by which the most valuable effects of the 
settlers might have been saved, or even to drive off the neat 
stock, so neceSvSary to the owners, and so easily moved. 
Everything Avas left behind but their horses. Not a ray of his- 
toric light has been shed on this night retreat. We may as- 
sume that each trooper took one of the rescued party behind 
him, and all stole silently away into the darkness. We are left 
to imagine the long cavalcade, a line of strange, black looking 
spectres, threading its way the livelong night through the 
gloomy woods, and the panic stricken riders, peering fear- 
fully right and left into the thickets, or crowding together in 
terror at the hoot of the owl or bark of fox or w^olf, sure that 
each was the war-whoop of a pursuing foe. They were only 
reassured when met by a strong reinforcement under Capt. 
Samuel Appleton, who had just arrived from the Bay. Ap- 
pleton tried to induce Treat to turn back and "see if they 
could make any spoil upon the enemy;" but Treat could not 
be persuaded. The demoralized soldiers of Treat seemed to 
infect all classes at Hadley with despondency and gloom. 
Maj. Pynchon, writing about this titne, says: — 

"And when we go out after the Indians they doe so sculk in 
swamps we cannot find y'" & yet do waylay o'" people to there de- 
struction. Burne y'' houses as lately they have destroyed a small 
village at Wussquakeak from whence formerly y'^ Maquas drove 
these Indians." 

The danger of ranging the woods at random was now real- 
ized. A council of war was held on the 8th, when it was 
decided to give up operations in the field and only garrison 
the towns. To that end Pynchon sent Capt. Appleton with 
his company to Deerfield — probably about the loth. Maj. 
Treat reported the action of this council at Hartford on the 
9th, and all the Connecticut forces were ordered home ex- 
cept sixteen at Westfield under Ens. John Miles, and fifteen 
at vSpringfield under Lieut. John vStandly. This policy of in- 
action was not satisfactory to the Connecticut Council, and 
the next day, Sept. loth, they wrote the Commis.sioners for 
the United Colonies recommendinof active aofo^ression. The 
Commissioners took the same view, and Sept. i6th voted to 
raise one thousand men for that service. For operation in 


the valley, Massachusetts and Connecticut troops should be 
employed, with Maj. Pynchon as Commander-in-Chief; the 
Connecticut Council being authorized to appoint a Connecti- 
cut man to "be second in command," ]\Iaj. Treat was ap- 

After two days' consideration, bolder counsels had pre- 
vailed at Hadley, and a vigorous campaign was agreed upon. 
At the request of Pynchon, on the nth. Treat, with a large 
force of Connecticut soldiers, was again sent up the river by 
the Council. 


This town was now the frontier, and from its peculiar loca- 
tion was much exposed and difficult to defend. From the 
hills on the east and west every movement in the valley 
could be seen by Indian spies. Not a messenger could come 
or go, not a party enter the meadow to secure their crops, 
not a movement between the forts by the soldiers, without 
the lurking enemy being fully apprised of it. 

Observing on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 12th, that the 
soldiers as well as settlers had collected in the Stockwell fort 
for public worship, the Indians took advantage of this cir- 
cumstance, and an ambush was laid in the swamp just north 
of Meetinghouse Hill, to intercept the north garrison on its 
return. Accordingly, as twenty-two men were passing over 
the causeway, they were fired upon from the swamp. All, 
however, retreated to Stockwell's in safety, except Samuel 
Harrington, who was wounded by a shot in the neck. Turn- 
ing now to the north, the Indians captured Nathaniel Corn- 
bury, who had been left as a sentinel, and w^as trying to 
reach his comrades. He was never afterwards heard from. 
Capt. Appleton soon rallied his men and drove the assailants 
from the village, but not until the north fort had been 
plundered and set on fire, and much of the settlers' stock 
killed or stolen. As Appleton had not force enough to 
guard the forts and engage in offensive operations outside, 
the Indians still insultingly hung round the outskirts and 
burned two more houses. The stolen horses were loaded 
with beef, pork, wheat, corn and other spoils and driven to 
their rendezvous at Pine Hill. The attacking- force was 
doubtless the Pocumtucks, recruited from other tribes. No 

100 Philip's war. 

estimate of their ntinibers has been found, but as there 
were probably from seventy-five to one hundred men in the 
forts, the force opposed must have been a large one. An 
express was sent at once to Northampton. Red tape and a 
storm prevented action that night, but the next night a party 
of volunteers, with a few from Hadley, and " some of Lo- 
throp's men," came up to the relief of our town. On the 
morning of Tuesday, the 14th, the united forces, under Ap- 
pleton, marched to Pine Hill. Spies had doubtless reported 
the arrival of reinforcements, and the Indians had all fled. 

Capt. Moseley, who was to play an important part in suc- 
ceeding events, arrived at headquarters at Hadley on the 
night of the 14th, and was at once sent to this town. Maj. 
Treat, with the Connecticut forces, reached Northampton on 
the 1 5th, on which date the Council ordered Capt. John Ma- 
son to join him with a strong force of Mohegans. The con- 
centration of so many men in the valley made it necessary 
to lay in a large stock of provision at headquarters. At this 
time wheat was the staple crop at Deerfield, used not only at 
the table, but as a circulating medium in barter, and in pay- 
ment of debts and taxes. Maj. Pynchon owned a large 
estate here, and he with others had a great quantity of wheat 
in the straw, "about 3cx)o bushels was supposed to be there 
standing in stacks," says Hubbard. This had been spared 
by the Indians in the expectation that it would soon be their 
own. About the 15th Pynchon sent orders to have a part of 
this thrashed and put in bags, and to impress teams and 
drivers for its transportation. Capt. Lothrop was sent up 
with his company from Hadley to convoy the train to head- 
quarters. He reached here without molestation, probably 
on the 17th of September. 


We now turn one of the darkest pages in the history of 
our town. Early in the morning of Sept. 18, 1675 — a day 
memorable in our annals — " that most fatal day, the saddest 
that ever befel New England," Capt. Lothrop, "with his 
choice company of young men, the very flower of the County 
of Essex," followed by a slowly moving train of carts, 
marched proudly down the old Town Street, two miles across 
South Meadows, up Bars Long Hill, to the heavily wooded 


plain stretching away to Hatfield meadows. The carts were 
loaded with bags of wheat, upon which were a few feather 
beds and some light household stuff. These things may 
have been taken by Joshua Carter for his widowed sister, vSa- 
rah Field, planning an asylum for herself and helpless babes 
in her father's house in Northampton. But no evidence ap- 
pears at this time of any intent to abandon the settlement. 
vSouthward along the narrow Pocumtuck Path, through the 
primeval woods, moved Lothrop and his men — brave, fear- 
less, foolish. Confident in their numbers, scorning danger, 
not even a van-guard or flanker was thrown out. 

]SIeanwhile the whole hostile force was lying like serpents 
in the way ; but unlike the more chivalric of these reptiles, 
their fangs will be felt before a warning is given. The prob- 
able leaders were ]\Iattamuck, Sagamore Sam, ^Slatoonas and 
One Eyed John, of the Nipmucks ; Anawan, Penchason, and 
Tatason, of the Wampanoags, and Sangumachu of the rem- 
nant of the Pocumtucks. There is no evidence that Philip 
was present, and the probabilities are against it. 

Keen eyes had seen the preparation for Lothrop's march ; 
swift feet had carried the news to the chieftains below, who 
at this moment were giving their last orders to their warriors 
lying in the ambush at Bloody Brook, into which Lothrop 
was marching in fatal security. From the top of Long Hill 
the path lay through the dense forest for a mile and a half, 
when it approached on the left a narrow, swampy thicket, 
trending southward, through which crept sluggishly a name- 
less brook. Skirting this swamp another mile, a point was 
reached where it narrowed and turned to the right. Here 
the path crossed it diagonally, leaving the marsh on the 
right. The soldiers crossed the brook and halted, while the 
teams should slowly drag their heavy loads through the 
mire; "many of them," says Mather, "having been so fool- 
ish and secure as to put their arms in the carts and step aside 
to gather grapes, which proved dear and deadly grapes to 
the my ^Meanwhile the silent morass on either flank was 
covered with grim warriors prone upon the ground, their 
tawny bodies indistinguishable from the slime in which they 
crawled, or their scarlet plumes and crimson paint from the 
glowing tints of the dying year on leaf and vine. Eagerly 
but breathless and still, they waited the signal. The critical 

102 PHILI]''S WAR. 

moment had come. The fierce war-whoop rang in the ears 
of the astonished English : — 

" When swarminjjj forth from out their vine-chul hive 

The infernal hornets came. 
And sting on sting made all the copse alive 

With darts and wounds and flame." 

The men of Pocumtuck sank, the Flower of Essex wither- 
ed before it, and the nameless stream was baptized in blood. 

'■ Then groans, and silent all ; but now the brook. 

That from the forest glides, 
Swells with a crimson flood, and angry look 

And bloody are its sides. 

O what rich currents gave 

Their ruby tincture to the carpet green 
And bade for aye the wave 

Be Sanguinetto for our Thrasimene."* 

Moseley, who with about sixty men had gone out from 
Deerfield to range the woods in another direction, "hearing 
the reports which the guns gave of this battel, came up with 
a handful of men though too late." He arrived on the scene 
about ten o'clock in the morning, and found the savages 
plundering the carts and stripping the dead. They had 
ripped open the bags of grain and the feather beds, and scat- 
tered the contents in the bloody mire. This disorganized 
mass was quickly driven from their prey. Among the slain 
lay Robert Dutch of Ipswich, who, says Hubbard his pas- 
tor, had "been sorely wounded by a Bullet that rased his 
skull, and then mauled by the Indian Hatchets, and left for 
dead by the vSalvages, and stript by them of all but his skin, 
yet when Mosely came near, he came towards the English 
to their no small amazement." 

Among these "Salvages" were many of Eliot's " Praying 
Indians." They could speak English, and were acquainted 
with many of the colonists. Some of them recognized the 
leader of the rescuers, and exulting in their success, with 
confidence in their numbers, dared him to the combat, shout- 
ing "Come, Mosely! Come! You seek Indians; you Avant 
Indians ; here's Indians enough for you ! " Although the ene- 
my were ten to one, the gallant Captain at once charged upon 
them. Keeping his force in a compact body he swept through 
and through the swarming legions, cutting down all within 

*Williani Everett's poem at the Bi-cenlenniai Celebration on the spot. 


reach of his fire. In this manner he fought them for live or six 
hours, defying- all attempts of the enemy to surround him, 
or to reach his wounded ; but he was not able to drive them 
from the ground, and their rich harvest of plunder. His 
Lieutenants, Perez Savage of Boston and John Pickering of 
vSalem, greatly distinguished themselves in the action, " be- 
ing sometimes called to lead the Company in the Front," 
says Hubbard, "while Capt. Mosely took a little Breath, 
who was almost melted, laboring, commanding, and leading 
his men through the Midst of the Enemy." Exhausted by 
these heroic efforts, Moseley was about to retire from the un- 
equal contest, when, "just in the nick of time," welcome re- 
lief appeared. During the morning of this day, Maj. Treat 
left Northampton with one hundred Connecticut .soldiers 
and sixty Mohegans under Attawamhood, second son of Un- 
cas, for Northfield, at or near which place he had planned to 
establish headquarters for the Connecticut forces. Some- 
where on the march he heard the firing, and hurried to the 
scene of conflict, where he joined Moseley. The savages were 
driven westward through the woods and swamps until dark- 
ness put a stop to the chase. The united forces then marched 
to Pocumtuck. carrying their wounded and leaving the dead 
where they fell. Mather says, "This was a black and fatal 
day, wherein there was eight persons made widows, and six 
and twenty children made orphans, all in one little Planta- 
tion." That little plantation was Pocumtuck ; and these were 
the heavy tidings which the sad, worn out soldiers brought 
to our stricken inhabitants. 

Of seventeen men of Pocumtuck who went out in the morn- 
ing as teamsters, not one returned to tell the tale. The 
torturing anxiety and sickening fear, crowding the hearts of 
the distracted women the live-long day, now only gave place 
to the awful certainty of the worst. Their hu.sbands, fathers, 
brothers, were slain, and the last offices of love denied. 
Their mang-led bodies now lav uncared for in the dark morass 
at Bloody Brook. The curtain shrouding the valley of the 
Pocumtuck, and hiding the pitiful distress of that terrible 
night, has never been lifted ; and what imagination will dare 
an attempt to depict the agonizing scenes behind it '. 

On the morning of Sunday, Sept. 19, Treat and Moseley 
marched forth to bury their dead comrades on the field 


where they fell. A spot wavS seleeted twenty-five rods south- 
erly from the fatal morass. Scouts were sent out, sentinels 
stationed to prevent a surprise, and the melancholy duties of 
the day began. Parties were detailed to gather the dead, 
and workmen to prepare a common grave. Tenderly the 
mangled bodies of the victims were borne to the spot, and 
slowly and reverentially they were laid in the bosom of 
mother earth. 

When the stark forms of these patriot dead, this "choice 
company of young men, the very Flower of the County of 
Essex," had been placed side by side with the hardy 3^eo- 
men of the valley, " the principal inhabitants of Pocumtuck," 
to sleep for aye in this western wilderness, far from the 
sounding sea they loved so well, — when the work of the 
workmen was done, and all that was mortal hid forever in 
the earth, "sixty-four persons in one dreadful grave," — when 
the whole command were collected about the spot, leaning 
with bowed heads upon clinched firelocks, their manly forms 
convulsed by suppressed sobs, — while the dusky braves of 
Uncas stood aloof with sad but curious interest, — what rite 
or requiem was heard ? Was the stillness broken, and the 
solemn Sunday service concluded by the voice of Pastor 
Mather or Chaplain Whiting ? Did they entreat with pite- 
ous supplications to the Most High, that the sacrifice of these 
young lives might be enough? That the Divine vengeance 
might here be stayed ? That the Sword of the Lord might 
henceforth prevail against the Serpent of the Wilderness ? 
That the widows and orphans in the little plantation hard by 
might be gathered under His wings ? Did officers and men 
here vow to avenge their slaughtered countrymen? Were 
the echoes aroused by a wailing war-whoop from the Mohe- 
gans, or a last volley fired over the soldiers' grave ? 

We question in vain. Those who could have answered 
died and left no sign. But we may be sure all nature was in 
sympathy ; that the pitying pines sighed and moaned, as 
they stretched out their protecting arms above the spot ; that 
the conscious brook crept softly over its broken banks to lap 
the sanguine stain ; that the birds sang sweetly on the sway- 
ing vine ; that the crimson leaves fell lightly on the bare, 
brown earth, and the soft September sun struggled to send 
bright beams to fieck the swelling mound. So we leave its 


tenants behind the dim mists of two centuries, to the " Res- 
urrection at the last Day, to receive their Crowns among the 
Rest of the Martyrs, that have laid down and ventured their 
Lives, as a Testimony to the Truth of their Religion as well 
as Love to their Country." 

Lothrop had traversed his line of march one or two days 
before and saw no enemy. He did see, and as a military of- 
ficer was bound to note, its dangerous passes. One was at the 
place where he was ambushed Aug. 25th. Had this lesson 
been lost upon him ? (3nward two miles he crossed the mo- 
rass where he fell. Had he no premonitions, born of the 
Beers tragedy at Northfield? Still another two miles and 
the track fell off, by a long descent to the Bars, on a nar- 
row spur, from the wooded ravines on either side of which, 
a thousand men could pour their shot unseen. Had he no 
vision of the death of Hutchinson and the men of Brookfield? 
How could any commander have been better prepared to se- 
cure his line of march, or have profited so little by his oppor- 
tunities. Lothrop was doubtless brave ; reckless, he must 
have been. These two qualities in action, are simply fool- 
hardiness ; and Lothrop must be held responsible for the 
young lives entrusted to his care. Perhaps his scouts, if he 
had any out, had not discovered traces of the force lately 
come over the river. Perhaps he relied on the movements of 
Moseley and Treat to keep the Indians quiet. Probably, he de- 
spised the race and underrated their prowess. A vigilant 
vanguard would have roused the ambush in time for Lothrop 
to prepare for fight ; or, if the odds were too great, for a re- 
treat, with small loss, save the inevitable sacrifice of the 
train. But once in the toils, no other result but the one we 
deplore was possible. The soldiers were massed on the south 
and west of the swamp. The head of the convoy, some 
twenty rods in length, was struggling through the mire. 
From the front and the right flank of the troops, and from the 
left flank of the train, deliberate aim could be taken by the 
enemy. The commander, and doubtless a large part of his 
company, fell at the first fire. The survivors, instantly sur- 
rounded, twenty to one, were shot down in detail. Had the 
brave Moseley, with all his fighting qualities, allowed himself 
to be thus ensnared, nothing could have saved him from the 
same fate. 


Hubbard criticises Capt. Lothrop and condemns him "for 
taking up a wrong notion which he was always arguing for," 
that the best way of meeting the enemy was to fight them 
" in their own way, by skulking behind trees, and taking aim 
at single persons * "'•■ * not considering the great disad" 
vantage a small company would have in dealing that way 
with a greater multitude ; for, if five have to deal with one, 
they may surround him, and every one to take his aim at him, 
while he can level at but one of his enemies at a time." 
Hubbard probably voiced the popular sentiment, when he 
says of the slain, "Their dear relatives at home mourning for 
them, like Rachel for her children, and would not be com- 
forted, not only because they were not, but because they were 
so miserably lost. Had he ordered his men to march in a 
body, as some of his fellow comtnanders advised, either back- 
ward or forward, in reason they had not lost a quarter of 
the number that fell that day -^ -' '- The gallant Mosely 
marched through and through that great body of Indians, 
and yet came off with little or no loss in comparison with 
the other." 

The writer makes no distinction in his argument, between 
the surprise of Lothrop, and the open attack of Moseley. Nor 
has he a word of condemnation for the real cause of the dis- 
aster. This seems the more strange as in the course of the 
whole war, with the exception of the attack on the Narragan- 
set fort, and the retreat from Turners Falls, scarcely a life 
was lost save by surprisal. 

Accounts vary as to the number slain. Hoyt says "The 
w^hole loss, including teamsters, was ninety * * * only 
seven or eight escaped." Hubbard says, Lothrop had " about 
eighty men "'' "- - not above seven or eight escaping," 
and again that " seventy-three men were cut off." A dispatch 
received by the Governor and Council at Boston, Sept. 2 2d, 
reported " above forty of Lothrop's men, with himself were 
slain * * * also others that belonged to the carriages, so 
that the next day they buried sixty-four men in all." Rev. 
John Cotton wrote from Boston, Sept. 23d, that " Lothrop 
had about forty-six men "•'" * '- Capt. Lothrop slaine and 
all his men only two, and eighteen men of Deerfield .slaine 
also." Sewell, in his diary writes, "Capt. Lothrop and sixty- 
four men" were killed. A letter to London of Dec. 28th, re- 


lates " the loss of Capt. Lothrop of Beverly and about sixty 
men." Cotton Mather makes the loss "above threescore." 
Increase Mather, " above sixty buried in one dreadful grave." 
Rev. John Russell, who made up a " List of men slain in 
Hampshire County," some months after, says. " ye 1 8 Sept. 
71 men slaine ;'" but he "cannot get the names of all;" and 
gives the names of but sixty-one. In this list of sixty-one 
are seventeen of our townsmen. Judd considers Russell the 
best authority, and thinks " some of the teamsters may have 
been buried in the towns below." 

Weiofhine all the evidence obtainable, the conclusion is 
reached that the loss was Lothrop and forty-three men ; 
Deerfield seventeen and Moseley three — " sixt3^-four men in 

As it must seem presumptuous to differ so widely from such 
excellent authorities as Judd, Hoyt and Russell — especially 
the latter — some of the considerations are given which lead 
to that decision. There is no contradiction, and but a trifling 
discrepancy, among the six contemporary authorities cited. 
The numbers given are, "sixty-four," "about sixty-three;" 
"Lothrop and sixty-four;" "Lothrop and about sixt}-" 
"above threescore;" "above sixty." It is impossible to rec- 
oncile their statements with that of Hubbard ; but a sugges- 
tion will be offered as a possible explanation. The names of 
sixty-five men who served under Lothrop in the valley are 
known. The historian ma}^ have found a roll of Lothrop's 
men and added to them the men of Deerfield, to make his 
" eighty men ;" and supposing Lothrop's whole force was with 
him, and only " seven or eight escaped," made his statement 

Judd's suggestion to account for the discrepancy seems 
inconsistent with the spirit of the times, and may be dis- 
missed on its improbability. 

Hoyt followed Hubbard, whom he often quotes, but evi- 
dently misunderstood him, and adds the seventeen Deer- 
field men to the total of the latter, making ninety-seven en- 
gaged, of whom " only seven escaped," leaving his " 90 slain." 

Had Russell, then living at Hadley, made up his list at 
the time of the event, his conclusions would be beyond ques- 
tion. But he did not do this. So much is evident from the 
fact that the list is not complete. Who were the ten men 



whose names he "cannot get"? Is it supposable that Mose- 
ley or his men did not know the names of their dead or 
wounded comrades? Nor can it be beheved that a complete 
list of Lothrop's loss could not have been made, when the 
names can now be given of twenty-five survivors of his 
company, who were then at Hadley or Northampton. The 
Boston dispatch was doubtless sent by those who buried the 
sixty-four men. This is the best authority. It is not possible 
that from seven to twenty-six bodies were left unburied where 
they fell. Maj. Treat was on the field in force, and there 
was no occasion for such haste as this would indicate. There 
is no reason for supposing that any man, unless it were Mose- 
ley's three, fell more than forty to sixty rods, at farthest, 
from the place of burial. 

The foUov/ing, with one addition, is Russell's list of the 
slain, arranged alphabetically, with residence added, so far 
as ascertained : — 


Capt. Thomas Laythrop, Beverl)', 

Sergt. Thomas Smith Newburj'. 

Sergt. Samuel Stevens, 

Alexander Thomas, Salem. 

Ally Solomon, Lynn. 

Allyn John, Deerfield. 

Balch Joseph, Beverly. 

Barnard John, Deerfield. 

Barsham Philip, 

Bayley Thomas. Weymouth. 

Bennet John, Manchester? 

Buckley Thomas, Salem. 

Button Daniel, Newberry. 

Carter Joshua, Deerfield 

Clarke Adam, Salem. 

Cole George, Lynn. 

Crumpton Samuel, Salem. 

Dodge Josiah, Beverly. 

Duy William, Salem. 

Farah Ephraim, " 

Friende F"rancis, Salem. 

Furnell Benj., Lynn. 

Gillet Joseph, Deerfield. 

Harriman John, Rowley. 

Hinsdell Barnabas, Deerfield. 

Hinsdell John, 

Minsdcll Robert, 

Hinsdell Samuel, " 

Hobbs John, Ipswich. 

Hobbs Thomas, " 

Homes Robert, Newbury. 

Hudson Samuel, Marlboro, 
Kilbourne Jacob, Rowley. 
Kimball Caleb, Ipswich. 
Kinge Joseph, Salem. 
Lambert Richard, " 
Littlehall John, Haverhill. 
Maninge Thomas, Ipswich. 
Marshall Eliakim, Boston. 
Mentor Thomas, Ipswich. 
Merritt John, Manchester. 
Mudge )ames, Maiden. 
Osyer Abel, Salem. 
*Pitman Mark, Marblehead. 
Plum John, 

Plympton Jonathan, Deerfield. 
Roper Benjamin, Dorchester. 
Ropes George, Salem. 
Sawier Ezekiel, 
Smeade William, Deerfield. 
Stevens Samuel, Ipswich. 
Trask Edward, Beverly. 
Tuffts James, Deerfield. 
Warmen Steven, Lynn. 
Waynwriit Jacob, Ipswich. 
Weller Thomas, Deerfield. 
Whiteridge Samuel, Ipswich. 
Williams Zebediah, Deerfield. 
Wilson Robert, Salem. 
Woodbury Peter, Beverly. 
Two [One] unknown. [6i.] 

* Pitman is now placed in this for the first time, on evidence furnished by 
Bodge from John Hull's account book. 



Bodwell Henry, Newbur}'. Toppan John, NJewbury. 

Dutch Robert, Ipswich. Very Thomas, Marblehead. 

moseley's company. 


Barron Peter, Watertown. One unknown. [3.] 

Oales, John. 


Russ Richard, Weymouth. And about six others. 

Stevens John, Newbury. 

John Stebbins of Deerfield, ancestor of all the tribe here, 
i.s the only man who is known to have escaped unhurt." 

Bodwell, a man of great strength, was shot in the left arm 
at the first fire. With his clubbed musket in his right hand, 
he fought his way through the swarming horde and escaped 
to Hatfield. Toppan, di.sabled by a .shot in the shoulder, 
crept into the bed of the brook and drew the weeds on the 
bank over him as well as he could. He heard the Indians 
stepping over hiiu, but was not discovered. Dutch has been 
previously noticed. In a petition to the Council three years 
later, Russ sa3^s he " received a shot in the bottom of his 

*The evidence of his escape is found in the following petition from the Mas- 
sachusetts Archives, Vol. 69, p. 20S. 

To the much Honoured counsel now sitting in Boston, the Humble petition 
of John Stebbens(of muddy River), Most Humbly sheweth, your pore petitioner, 
hath bene a souldier, in the service of the countrey (about a year iS: halfe) & was 
under the comand of captain Lathrope is: with him when he and his company were 
destroyed, & under the comand of captain mosley the Greatest part of the 
time he was out, I was never forced or pressed into the service, but volentarily 
gave my selfe frely to the wars of the Lord, & my country — and now of late 
your petitioner, hath followed in these parts his caling of A carpenter, some- 
times in one towne, iv: sometimes in another, about 5 months I have wrought 
in cambridg vilage, iS: after my worke there was finished, & removed to muddy 
River to doe worke there promised, the constable of the villiage, by order of the 
militia, came & pressed me for a garison souldier for Hadley, I went not out 
of the Village to avoid the prase, for I heard nothing of the prese, but my 
worke there was finished, and my selfe removed more a weke before, as maj' 
be made appear, your pore petitioner hath bene warned to appear before the 
commitee of militia, at the village, for not attending that service, iS: by them 
assigned to pay fower pounds where vpon your pore petitioner, doth look up- 
on himselfe much wronged & put to much trouble by being illegally pressed 
by the constable of another towne, & it hath bene the loss of much time & 
greatly to the damage of your petitioner — my humble request therefore to your 
honours is, thay you would be pleased to put an issue to the mater, or that j'ou 
would be pleased to appoint a time for the hereing of the case, and that par- 
sons concerned may have notice thereof. I cast my selfe downe at your Hon- 
ours foot, and shall quietly sit downe satisfied with your Honours determina- 
tion, & granting the request of your pore petitioner, he shall be farther engaged 
& incoredged in your service, & shall not cease to pray for your Honours hapi- 
ness. ' 

July 4th 1678 The Council on hearing of this Case declare that they judge it 
meet to discharge the said Stebbins from y" said fine & his surety also. 


belly, the bullet carrying in with it the ring- of his Bandolier, 
where he hath borne it w4th payne, until about six weeks ago 
it was cut out by the Dutch Chyrurgeon, for which, tho very 
poore, he gave forty shillings." 

The number of Indians in this surprise is estimated at from 
five hundred to twelve hundred. Moseley, who had at least 
all the opportunity he desired, judged them to be one thou- 
sand. This force was made up of perhaps six or seven hun- 
dred Nipmucks, and from seventy-five to one hundred of 
Philip's Wampanoags, who had crossed the Connecticut river 
three or four days before, and the Pocumtuck clans, who 
may have increased to one hundred and twenty-five or one 
hundred and fifty before this time. 

The loss of the Indians was reported at ninety-six. This 
statement, and that of twenty-six being killed in the We- 
quamps fight, must be taken with a large allowance. The 
Indian loss in any conflict is rarely known. " In all battles 
the Indians endeavor to conceal their lovss, and in effecting 
this they sometimes expose themselves more than in combat 
with the enemy. When one falls his nearCvSt comrade crawls 
under cover of brush or trees, and fixing a tump line to the 
dead body, cautiou.sly drags it to the rear," and dead bodies 
have been seen sliding along the ground with no apparent 

On the 19th, while our forces were yet at Bloody Brook, 
our afflicted vSettlement had a narrow escape. The Indians, 
on being driven from their prey by Treat and Moseley, re- 
treated over Mill River plain, crossed the Pocumtuck below 
vStillwater, and continued along the Wisdom meadows. When 
opposite the town, the next morning, they threatened an at- 
tack. The commander of the garrison — probably Capt. Ap- 
pleton — made a show of defiance, and they withdrew. Their 
spies having been called in, the weakness of the garrison had 
not been discovered. Had it been otherwise, the burial party 
returning from Bloody Brook woyld probably have had to 
repeat here the sad duties of the morning. Hubbard says of 
this affair that their success on the i8th " so emboldened the 
enemy that they durst soon after adventure upon considera- 
ble Towns, though well garrisoned with vSoldiers, and gave 
them Occasion of most insolently braving the Garrison at 
Dearfield the next Day, hanging up the Garments of the 


Eno-lLsh in vSisrht of the Soldiers, yet on the other Side of the 
River. However it pleased God, who is always wont to re- 
member his People in their low Estate, to put such a Re- 
straint upon them, that when they passed very near the gar- 
rison House at Dearfield (wherein were not left above twen- 
ty-seven Soldiers,) their Captain used this Stratagem : to 
cause his Trumpet to sound, as if he had another Troop near by 
to be called together, they turned another Way and made no 
Attempt upon the House where that small Number was, 
which if they had done with any ordinary Resolution, so 
small a Handful of Men could hardly have withstood the 
Force of so many hundreds as were there gathered together." 

These garments were doubtless taken from the bodies of 
their victims at Bloody Brook. 

When the enemy struck the line of communication between 
Deerfield and headquarters at Hadley, fourteen miles away, 
it was a death blow to the former. Two of the four compa- 
nies sent from the Bay to protect the towns in the Valley had 
been cut to pieces. Deerfield had lost her ablest defenders. 
Pynchon, realizing the danger of attempting to hold this set- 
tlement any longer, against the successful hordes around it, as 
was usual with him when in a strait, sent to Hartford for ad- 
vice. Sept. 2ist, the Council of War forwarded him their 
"sense about quitting the Pocumtuck garrison." We can 
only infer the tenor of their advice from the fact that the 
town was abandoned soon after. The inhabitants were scat- 
tered in the towns below ; the savages destroyed at will 
the fruits of their labor, and the Pocumtuck Valley was re- 
stored to the wilderness. 


The Council of War at Hartford had decided to regain 
Northfield and establish there headquarters for Connecticut 
troops and a center for offeUvSive operations. Treat, as we 
have seen, had left Northampton for that place on the i8th. 
On the 19th the forces from New Haven county, under Lieut. 
Thomas Munson, and the dragoons from Fairfield county, 
under Ens. Steven Burret, then at Hartford, were dispatched 
to join Ma j. Treat "at or near" Northfield. The events of 
the 1 8th so changed the face of affairs that this scheme was 
given up. Brookfield, Northfield, Swampfield and Deerfield 


were now in ashes. The frontier had been crowded down to 
Hatfield and Hadley, and it was evident that the remaining- 
towns could only be saved by vigorous measures. 

Sept. 2ist, the Council of War at Hartford received a mes- 
sage from the Commissioners, then at Boston, that they had 
agreed to raise one thousand men, to be " every way fitted 
with armes and ammunition, to be in readiness to march at 
an hour's warning, whereof 500 to be dragoons or troopers, 
with long armes." Pynchon was appointed Commander-in- 
Chief and the Council was authorized to name a Connecti- 
cut man as second in command. ]Maj. Treat was .selected. 
These officers were allowed to call out as many soldiers as 
they judged best, and add as many Indians as they might find 
useful. The Council was desired to assist and advise Pyn- 
chon from time to time. Pynchon received his commission 
Sept. 22d. With it came orders to employ all forces called 
out, in field operations. No soldiers were allowed to garri- 
son the towns. This direction had been issued Sept. i6th, 
before the strength of the enemy was known, and with the 
belief that they would never dare to make any open attack. 
Though against his judgment, Pynchon, in obedience to his 
orders, set about plans for gathering the scattered commands 
and massing a force large enough to sweep the valley of the 

Meanwhile the woods were full of skulking Indians, watch- 
ing opportunity for spoil. Sept. 26th, Pynchon's farm-house, 
barns and crops, on the west side of the river at Springfield, 
were burned. On the 28th Praisever Turner and Uzackaby 
Shackspeer were killed at Northampton. 

Connecticut was prompt in getting out her troops. There 
was more delay at the Bay. Secretary Rawson wrote, vSept. 
30th, " The slatighter in your parts has much damped many 
spirits for the war. vSome men escape away from the press 
and others hide away after they are impressed." The same 
cause had "much damped" the spirits of those here. All 
indu.stry was paralyzed ; the crops lay ungathered in the 
meadows ; scouting and po.sting were alike distasteful and 
dangerous. A good account of the condition of affairs here 
is found in the following extract from a letter by Pynchon 
to Gov. Leverett, of Sept. 30th : — 


"We are indeavoring to discover y'' enemy, dayly send out scouts, 
but little is effected. We sometimes discover a few Indians, & 
sometimes fires, but not the body of y'", and have no Indian friends 
here (altho we have sent to Hartford for some) to help us. * * * 
Our English are somewhat awk and fearful in scouting out and espy- 
ing though we do y'' best we can. We find y Indians have their 
scouts out. 2 days ago 2 Englishmen at Northampton, having gone 
out in y'^' morning to cut wood, and but a little from y'' house, 
were both shot down Dead, having 2 bullets apiece shot into each 
of their bodies. The Indians cut off their scalps, took their arms, 
and were gone in a trice: thougti the English run presently thither, 
at y*" report of y'- guns, but could see nothing but y*" footing of 2 

Last night our scouts, who went out in the night to discover at 
Pacomtuck, about Midnight, being within 4 Myles of Pocomtuck, 
met 2 Indian scouts coming down this way to the towns, but it be- 
ing darke they were both one upon another within 2 or 3 rods, be- 
fore either discovered y" other, which made both p''' Run, & nothing- 
else done. Ours also last night, that I sent on this side of y*^ river, 
towards Squakheak, when they were gone about 7 or 8 miles, one of 
3^™ fell ill, (S: were forced to return. 

We are waiting for an opportunitv to fall upon y'' Indians, if the 
Lord please to grant it us. 

Capt. Appleton is a man y' is desirous to doe something in this 
daj' of distress: being very sensible of y"^ Cause & people of God at 
stake : & is much to be comended & Incouraged & upon y' acct to 
be preferred before many y' dare not jeopard there Lives in y'' high 
Places of y-^ field." 

The discouraged Pynchon soon after sends in his resigna- 
tion as Commander-in-chief. 

Gent my sad state of affairs will necesitate yo'' discharging me, & 
truly I am as full of treble .^ overwhelmed with it y' I cannot act 
busyness I beseech you doe not expose me to those Temptations w''' 
will overbeare me. If y" do not discharge me. 

I would not willingly sin ag' God not offend y" & I Intreat y" to 
ease me of my [Trust?] 

On the 4th day of October, with many misgivings, but in 
accordance with the Commissioners' strict orders, Pynchon 
led all the soldiers from Springfield to headquarters at Had- 
ley, to join the army collecting there. This was to move out 
before daylight the next morning, on a grand expedition, 
w^hich was to clear the valley of the foe. But the Sachems, 
who were well aware of Pynchon's intentions, had other 
views and different plans. Their late successes had made 
them confident that the valley would soon be cleared of the 
English, and Springfield, the most isolated town, was next 
marked for destruction. The WampanOags and the Pocum- 


tuck clans, with recruits from the Nipmucks, were now gath- 
ered in a hiding place about six miles from that town, watch- 
ing an opportunity. 

The vSpringfield Indians had lived, for forty years, on the 
most friendly terms with the settlers. Since the war broke 
out they had sent a war party against the hostiles at Wenni- 
misset. Wequogan, their Sachem, had given hostages for 
their fidelity and their professions of friendship were re- 
newed this very day, before Pynchon marched away. The 
Springfield people trusted them fully, knowing they had no 
cause for complaint. The natural ferocity of the savages, 
however, had been so aroused by the success of their country- 
men, and their fear of the English so much diminivShed, that 
they were now only waiting for the most effective moment 
for a revolt. The orders of the Commissioners were well 
known and the coveted opportunity was now close at hand. 
The soldiers would soon be too far away to be recalled ; the 
defenseless town could be surprised, and these treacherous 
cowards could ply the incendiary torch and murderous tom- 
ahawk among their life-long neighbors in safety. The at- 
tack was to be made the next morning. On the evening of 
Oct. 4th, Toto, a friendly Indian, revealed the plot at Wind- 
sor. Swift messengers were instantly posted to Maj. Treat 
at Westfield, and to the doomed town.. Aroused by the mid- 
night courier, the frightened people fled to the shelter of 
their palisaded houses, prepared as they could for defense, 
and dispatched a post to Pynchon at Hadley. The night 
passed in quiet, and many believed the alarm to be a false 
one. Early the next morning Lieut. Thomas Cooper, a resi- 
dent of Springfield, taking Thomas Miller, rode out towards 
the Indian fort to find out the facts. About forty rods be- 
yond the village they were fired upon from the bushes. 
Miller was killed, and Cooper mortally wounded, but able to 
regain the town. The Indians, who had probably been wait- 
ing for the men to disperse about their work in the field, 
when the women and children would be an easy prey, now 
raised the hideous war-whoop and rushed to attack the town. 
Had no warning been given it would doubtless have been 
utterly destroyed and of the inhabitants butchered. 
As it was, the stockades were easily defended, but the Spring- 
field people had the same mortifying experience endured by 


those of Brookfield, Northfield and Deerfield in helplessly- 
seeing the devastation in every direction beyond the range 
of their guns. Besides Cooper and Miller, Pentecost, wife of 
John Mathews, was killed. Edward Pringrydays, Nathaniel 
Brown, Richard Waite and one or two others were wounded 
— the two former mortally. 

About 1 1 o'clock Treat with his forces reached the west 
bank of the Connecticut. Five daring men, at great risk, 
took a boat over to them, but Treat could not cross in the 
face of the enemy who held the river bank until succor 
came from the north. The post sent to Hadley from Spring- 
field repeated Toto's story, that five hundred Indians lay in 
wait at their fort at Long Hill to destroy Springfield. Pyn- 
chon, Appleton and Sill, at once marched with one hundred 
and ninety men for her relief. The Indians, "about 2 or 3 
of the clock, signified their sense of their approach by their 
whoops and watchwords, and were presently gone." The 
condition of affairs on the arrival of the English is best told 
in the following letter to Rev. John Russell, at Hadley : — 

Springfield Oct. 5 — 75 
Reverend S'' 

The L'^ will haue vs ly in y'-' dust before him; we y* were full are 
emptyed. But it is y"^ L'' c\: blessed be his holy name : we came 
to a Lamentable & woefuU sight. The Towne in flames, not a 
house or barne standing except old (rood" Branches, till we came 
to my house & then Mr Glovers, John Hitchcock's cS: Good" Stewart, 
burnt downe w"' Barns corn and all they had : a few standing ab* y*^ 
meeting house & then fr"' Merricks downward, all burnt to 2 Gar- 
rison houses at y'' Lower end of y'' Towne. My Grist Mill & Corn 
mill Burnt downe: w"' some other houses & Barns I had let out to 
Tenants; all Mr (Hovers library Burnt, w"' all his Corne, so y* he 
none to live on, as well as myself, & Many more: y' haue not for 
subsistance they tell me: 32 houses & y"" Barns belonging to y"', 
are Burnt & all y" Livelyhood of y'' owners, & what more may meete 
■^th ye same stroaks, y*^ L'' only knows. 

Many more had there estates Burnt in these houses: So y* I be- 
leeve 40 famylys are utterly destitute of Subsistence: y'-* L'^ shew 
mercy to vs. I see not how it is Possible for vs to live here this 
winter, & If so the sooner we were holpen off, y*-' Better. S'' I 
Pray acquaint our Honored Gov' w"' this dispensation of God. I 
know not how to write, neither can I be able to attend any Publike 
service. The L'' in mercy speake to my heart, & to all our hearts 
is y*" Reall desire of 

y'"''* to serve you, 

JoNH Pynchon. 

P. S. I pray send down by y Post my doblet cote linnen &c I 
left there & Pap'■^ 

116 t>HiLiP*s War, 

This letter Russell sent to Governor Leverett, who wrote a 
letter of consolation to Pynchon, Oct. 9. This is in cipher 
and some of it illeg-ible : — 

Major Pinchon, by yours to Mr Russell from Springfield 5 in- 
stant. We [heard] the Lord [answering] the prayers of his people 
by terrible things [indeed]. To receive the intelligences thereof with 
a still spirit is very difficult: Yet the great undertaker and teacher 
of his people knows [how] to teach [us] to [profit by evil] and we shall 
find it matter of acknowledgement to his praise when he will take any 
course to do us good who is faithful that hath said all things shall 
worke together for good to them that love and fear him of which 
number I hope through grace we will be found. 

Sir if it be true what is sayd, that the old Sachem Wequogan, in 
whom so much confidence was put was an actor and incourager in 
this burning, I doubt not but you see how [failing] confidences are 
in such who cannot be truer than whom they serve and whether there 
hath been all that done to have secured those Indians that might 
have been is to some a [question]: lUit the will of the Lord is 
done and therefore to reflect upon anything that might have been 
before is but for caution for hereafter and not to add affliction by 
blaming you or any for what was not done. May we be [sincerely] 
humbled and refined and [abhor] ourselves in dust and ashes. The 
same almighty (rod that hath bereved can restore the like we are 
bereaved of and will [ ] give that that is better. 

Sir, by the Councils order to Capt Appleton sent by Leftenant 
Upham you will see [theyr] readiness to gratify you and give in 
what as they can to you yet not doubting that by Counsell and 
otherways you will be assisting to the utmost unto him and the 
whole service in those parts: Hadley wants some countenance 
and encouragement and direction for theyr fortification which I 
thiid< they have in a good forwardness for theyr security. 1 desire 
[you I as you have opportunity to be assisting them therein. You 
intimate as if Springfield were not like to be tenable if so it will be a 
more awful stroke that hath such a consequence as to breake up a 
[church] and town which we must leave to the Lord directing you 
upon the place." 

He says Lieut. Upham with thirty men, and Corporal 
Poole with thirty-five at Ouabaug, are ordered to reinforce 
the army in the Valley, and that it is left to him and Capt. 
Appleton, to decide whether to keep a garrison at Quabaiig, 
or to desert the place. He concltides : — 

"If you could [attain] to be with the Creneral Court this session, 
it may be of great use to the publique and not disservice to your- 
selfe. * * * J commend you to the Lord and with mine [and 
wives] kinde respects sympathizing with you and your dear wife in 
your affliction and rtMiiain Sir 

Your humble ser[vant] J. L. 

Boston 9. 5. 75. 


Oct. 8, Pynchon wrote Gov. Leverett repeating- the story 
of the disaster. He says he had "Called off all the vSoldiers 
that were in Springfield leaving none to secure the Town y'" 
Commissioners order was so strict." That night "word was 
sent to me that 500 Indians were about Springfield intending 
to destroy it." — Early in the morning he marched down with 
about two hundred soldiers, when he arrived he found "All 
in flames about 30 dwelling houses burnt & 24 or 25 barns — 
My Corn Mill, Sawmill & other Buildings ^ * "- Gener- 
ally Mens hay & Corne is burnt & many men whose houses 
stand, had their goods burnt in other houses w'' they had 
caryed y'" too ■^!- * * Leift Cooper & 2 more slayne & 4 
persons wounded 2 of w*-'' are Doubtful of their Recovery." 
He sent out scouts, but " couldnt find which way they are gon, 
their Tracts being many ways " * ■'"■ A considerable 
Tract upwards " — He says he cannot take the field with the 
army. His presence is necessary at home as the people are 
discouraged and threatened to " Leave y'' Place" — he "needs 
Orders about it." Desertion, he says, would encourage "o"" 
Insolent Enemy * -^ * & make way for giving up all y'' 
Towns above." To hold it needs many soldiers and "how to 
have bread for want of a mill is difficult - * * Solders 
complaining already * * '^ although we have flesh 
enough * * * No ]Mills will drive many Inhab away * 

* * For my owne particular it were far better for me to 
goe away than bee here where I have not anything lift I 
mean noe corn neither Indian or English & noe meanes to 
keep one beaste here, nor can I have Relief in this Toune 
because soe many are destitute.'" 

" Sir I am not capable of holding any Comand being more 
& more unfit & almost confounded in my understanding, 
the Ld direct y' Pitch on a meeter person than ever I was : 
According to Liberty from y"' Councill I shall devolve all up- 
on Capt Appleton unless Maj Treat return againe * ^' * 
All these Touns ought to be Garrisoned." He reminds the 
governor that he had advised this before, and that, had he 
been left to act for himself, this disaster might have been 

The news of his discharge and the appointment of Capt. 
Appleton to succeed him was received by the anxious Pyn- 
chon on the loth. On the 12th he wrote Leverett " I am very 


thankful for my dismission & discharge from y' trust w*"'' 
I had noe ability to manage," that he will " cast in his mite & 
help Appleton & the cause and interest of God & the peo- 
ple." He again remonstrates against the orders for exclusiv^e 
field work, leaving the towns defenseless ; and hopes the or- 
ders will be less "strict" and more be left to the discretion 
of Capt. Appleton. He once more reminds the governor that 
" Springfield was destroyed for this reason " but " it is y" Lds 
owne doeing & oh y' we may bless his name." Having final- 
ly exonerated the Commissioners at the expense of the Lord, 
he continues : " Many are Plucking up. I dont know what 
will be the Issue * * * Mr. Glover, if he can, will goe to 
the Bay before winter." Although deserted by the minister, 
Pynchon says he shall stay "to encourage the People" for 
if he should go to Court "all would fale here." 

Pynchon was a wise magistrate, a prudent counselor, an 
enterprising, honorable and successful man of business. He 
was influential and useful in Connecticut as well as Massa- 
chusetts. But he had no genius for war. He failed in the 
essential faculty of prompt decision in emergency, and he 
was too easily discouraged by adversity. 

The Commission to Appleton ran as follows : It was dis- 
patched to Pynchon by Lieut. Upham, Oct. 8th : — 

Capt Appleton. The Council have seriously considered the 
earnest desires of Maj. Pinchon & the great affliction upon him and 
his family* & have at last consented to his request to dismiss him 
from the Chiefe command over the army in those parts, and have 
thought meete upon mature thoughts, to commit the chiefe Com- 
mand unto yourselfe being parsuaded that God hath endowed you 
with a spirit and ability to manage that affayre; & for the Better in- 
abling you to yo"" employ we have sent the Council's orders enclosed 
to Maj Pinchon to bee given you; & we refer you to the Instruc- 
tions given him for yo'' direction, ordering you from time to time to 
give us advice of all occurances & if you need any further orders & 
instructions they shall be given you as y'^ inatter shall require. So 
Committing you to the Lord, desiring his presence with you and 
blessing upon you, wee remain: 

Boston 4th of October 1675. Your friends and Servants 

Capt Samuel Appleton Commander in Chiefe at the head quarters at 

Oct. 9, Gov. Leverett wrote Appleton referring to the 

action of the Council, — 

* What " affliction " was upon Pynchon at this dale is n<jt known. As the 
Commission was not sent until Oct. 8, when the fate of Springfield was known, 
this clause may have been inserted in the official draft. 


"Whereby they commit the care and conduct of all the military 
forces from us and Connecticut unto yourselfe * * * You are to 
take notis that while the [seat] of the war is kept in the Colony 
you are to have the chiefe command and [neither] you nor Major 
Treat with Connecticut forces are to be drawn off but by the Com- 
missioners or the concurence of counsels there. If you both draw 
into another Colony Major Treat is to have the command in chiefe 
and if there should beany orders [inferior] to the Colony of Connecti- 
cut men you are [fairly] to entreat them and let them see that it is 
a breach of the agreement by the Commissioners a copy whereof 
I herewith remit unto you. I doubt not but the Lord will diroct 
you with that wisdom [how?] to carry it towards Major Treat * * * 
I desire you will be careful of giving advice and incouragment to 
Hadley respecting theyr fortifications for theyr better security and 
so of the whole there was [former] order to Leftenant Upham to 
march with 30 men and Corporal Poole from Quabaug with 35 men 
to fill up your companies and to send off any that may be [disen- 
abled] by sickness:" 

It had been a question whether or not to de.sert Brookfield, 
Pynchon thought a garrison there necessary to keep up a 
line of communication with Boston. The authorities at Bos- 
ton took a different view, but the governor, in this letter, 
leaves the matter discretionary with Pynchon and Appleton, 
only stipulating that supplies to support the people there 
must be sent from the Connecticut valley, Brookfield being 
about a " 3d of the wa}^ from you. * - * If there should 
be a necessity of deserting Springfield as Major Pinchon in- 
timates it will be very awful but the conclusion thereof must 
be left with you on the place." The fact of the forces being so 
much scattered still troubles Leverett, although he has now 
put the whole matter into the hand of the local officers. In 
a marginal note, he says, " one thing more I leave to your con- 
sideration that your forces lying on both sides the river that 
provision be made for transport one to the other [with] se- 
curitie from the enemy['s] shot. They have horse boats built 
as stanchions and with planke they may secure the men." I 
do not know that this shrewd suggestion ever bore fruit. 

By the same post as the above Leverett writes Mr. Rus- 
sell at Hadley: — 
"Reverend Sir 

By yours of the 4 and 5 with your other of the day after * * * 
together by the enclosed from Major Pinchon namely of the dread- 
ful and terrible stroke of God upon us at Springfield and that in 
a[nswer] to prayers and [ ] solemn humiliation of Churches and 
people of God as it shows the greatness of our provocations 
* * * for the Lord carries it 'as being angry with our prayers." 


After speculating upon the cause and the effect of God's 
anger, and the remedy, he comes down to tangible affairs to 
consider a complaint of Mr. Russell in regard to "those in- 
tricacies" in the orders "respecting several in command." 
He says " By the ultimate conclusion that comes by Leftenant 
Upham you will find the knot tyed: and the command 
placed upon Captain Appleton which must be without excep- 
tion being according to the conclusion of the Commission- 
ers. Nor is Major Treat to be commanded of but by the 
Commissioners or the concurrence of the counsels there on 
the place and should ther be motion contrary upon any pre- 
tence it may be of sadder consequence than the present 
stroke." He says he has written to Pynchon and Apple- 
ton about "your fortifications," and concludes — "thus with 
kind respects to you and all friends zvith you:-'' I commend 
you to the Lord and remain sir your ser[vant.]" 

The correspondence given above discloses the facts, else- 
where hinted at, that there had been considerable friction 
between the officers of the Massachusetts and those of the 
Connecticut forces, and that it became necessary for the 
Commissioners of the United Colonies to take the matter in 
hand. The Connecticut soldiers were made a part of the 
army of the confederacy, and so put beyond the control of 
the Connecticut authorities. 

Oct. 12, Appleton marched from Springfield and " came 
that night to Hadley near 30 mile." On his arrival he wrote 
the governor in regard to his appointment to the command 
which is against his own wish and judgment ; wishing an 
abler inan may be put in his place. He begs for orders 
which will leave the matter of garrisoning the towns with 
the commanders ; reminds him that the loss at Springfield 
was for lack of such discretionary power. He says there 
were " 33 houses and 25 barns burnt and about 15 houses left 
unburnt on the Town Piatt ; * '''' * that on the west side 
of the river and the outskirts of the east side are about 60 
houses standing and much corn in & about them." 

In the attack of Oct. 5, Wequogan, the Springfield Sachem, 
"was ring-leader in word and deed," and Piickquahow, the 
Nipmuck, who was with the Naunawtuks when they revolt- 

*Probably an obscure allusion to the Regicides, Goffe and Whalley, whom 
Leverett knew were then harbored at Mr. Russell's. 


ed, and with them in the swamp fight, was doubtless the one 
who sliouted that lie " was one y' burnt Ouaboag, & now 
would make them like to it." The assailants were about 
forty vSpringfield Indians and two or three hundred of the 
allies. Their retreat was so skillfully ordered as to leave no 
clue to their movements, so that Pynchon, who " sent out 
scouts y' night & y'' next day, discovered none, nor satisfie 
ourselues w''' way they are gon." This outbreak, and the re- 
treat, were doubtless planned by Philip. The treacherous 
professions of friendship, renewed to lull suspicion only the 
day before the attack, and the tactics of the retreat, were in ac- 
cordance with his character and methods. 

From Springfield Philip led his clan and a part of the Po- 
cumtucks to the Narragansets, full of a plan for involving 
that tribe in the war. 

On the 7th a party of Indians were discovered at Glaston- 
bury. An alarm was raised and Maj. Treat was ordered 
home with sixty men. Provision was made in the towns for 
the security of the women and children. Large parties of 
men were ordered to go out together to harvest the corn, and 
remove all grain to safe places. To stimulate the Mohegans, 
a liberal bounty was offered them for hostile scalps or pris- 

On the same day the Connecticut Council of War wrote to 
the ISIassachusetts Council "That it is high time for New 
England to stir up all their strength, and make war their 
trade * '^ * to suppress the enemy before they grow too 
much for us." They are earnest for an army to take and 
keep the field, and want five hundred more soldiers sent 
from the Bay to the valley, where they should be joined by 
the forces from Connecticut. Unless this is done, they shall 
be obliged to withdraw their men to secure the towns at 
home ; and in particular Hartford, where the Councilors are, 
and where the General Court is to meet on the 14th. 

Appleton's Commission was received Oct. loth. The new 
commander at once found himself in a strait between his 
duty to obey the strict orders of the Commissioners, to keep 
his army in the field; and the moral certainty that if he did 
the defenseless towns would be destroyed. This he could 
not permit, and on the 12th, when he marched to Hadley, he 
left Capt. Sill, with sixty men, to protect Springfield, " choos- 


ing," he says in a letter to Gov. Leverett of that date, " rather 
to adventure hazeard to myselfe than to the piiblike." Here 
speaks the man of deeision and the true patriot. 

On reaching headquarters at Hadley, Appleton began at 
once sending out scouting parties, which continued for sev- 
eral days to seek out the hiding places of the enemy. At 
this time Capt. Moseley was at Hatfield ; Capt. Seely, with 
sixty Connecticut men, at Northampton ; Capt. Jonathan 
Poole, with Lieut. Upham and sixty men, who had arrived 
from Boston and Brookfield about the loth, were at Hadley. 
There was no further attempt to resettle Brookfield. On the 
1 5th, Appleton, with his whole force — except Seely from Con- 
necticut, who refused to obey orders — marched out towards 
Northfield, where, it was believed, the main body of the In- 
dians were collected. He had gone but about two miles when 
a post reached him with news that a scout of four men, sent 
by Moseley to Pocumtuck, had returned and reported great 
numbers of the enemy there : that they found " the rails 
weadged up and made very fast about two miles from the 
town," either to "trapan the skoutes * * * or else to 
faight us there if wee goe in pursuith of them." Moseley, writ- 
ing Oct. i6th, to the Governor, tells the same story, and adds 
"but I intend to bourne all their railes up, please God to 
grant me life and health." This fence was at the Bars, the 
entrance to the common field by the Hatfield road. 

The commander at once changed his course and crossed 
the river to Hatfield. Leaving there after sunset, he attempt- 
ed a night expedition to Pocumtuck. After marching a few 
miles he saw the and heard the report of a gun, and the 
vanguard heard the shouts of Indians. It was evident that 
their march had been discovered. A council of officers was 
held, most of whom, especially Capt. Moseley, advised return- 
ing to secure the defenseless towns. This was rather against 
the will of Appleton, but the army finally returned to their 
quarters in the night. 

On the evening of the i6th an urgent call for help came 
from Northampton, "and while these messengers are speak- 
ing," writes Appleton, — 

"Capt. Mosely informs, y'y'' enemy is this evening discovered w"'in 
a mile of Hatfield, and that he verily expects to be assaulted too 
morrow; w^'' I am so sensible of y' 1 account it my duty presently to 


repair thither, now, at lo or ii of the clock in the night. Some of 
the forces having already crossed the river." 

Abotit twenty men were left to gtiard Hadley. Appleton 
writes, the next morning", " We have wearied o''s w"' a tedious 
night and morning's march, without making any discovery 
of the enemy." Moseley writes, the same day, — 

"Wee are tould by an Indian, that was taken att Springfield, 
y* they intend to sett upon these 3 townes in one Day. The Body 
of them y' waits this exploite to Doe, is about 600 Indians, and fur- 
ther wee are informed, that they are makinge a forte some sixty 
miles above this place, up in the woods * * * j make no ques- 
tion that the Enemys will make an tempt within a shorte space of 
time upon these towns * * * j expect them every hour, at night 
as well as day, for they have fired upon my sentinels at night." 

Maj. Appleton is cramped for want of men, and laments 
the absence of Maj. Treat and the Connecticut forces, which 
prevents his taking the field with any effect. At this very 
time, however, Connecticut is having a great scare, and mes- 
sengers are even now on their way to Appleton for help. A 
plot has been reported for a general rising of all the Connec- 
ticut Indians, (tov. Andros has written that " five or six 
thousand Indyans engaged together * * - designed this 
light moone, to attack Hartford itself and some other places 
this way, as farre as Greenwich. " Active measures were at 
once taken to "remove their best goods, and their corn, what 
they can of it, with their wives and children," to the larger 
towns which were to be fortified, and troops were raised for 
their defense. There is good reason to believe this report was 
founded on fact, and that only seasonable notice and prompt 
action saved the Connecticut towns from the fate of Spring- 

Roger Williams, in a letter from Providence to Gov. Lever- 
ett, dated Oct. 11, 1675, says that "since y dolefull Newes 
from Springfield, here it is saidy' Phillip with a strong Body 
of many hundreth cut throats steeres this way." He gives an 
account of an interview with "the young Prince," Canonchet, 
in which he tries to neutralize the influence of Philip, and 
told him if he were false to his engagements he would be 
pursued with a winter's war. He writes, " I am requested by 
our Capt. Fennor to give you notice y* at his farme in y 
woods he had it from a Native, y* Phillip's great Designe is 
(among all other possible advantages and Treacheries) to 


drawe C. Mosely & other your forces (by training & drilling 
& seeming flights) into such places as are full of long grasse, 
flags vSedge &c, & then inviron them rOund with P'ire, Smoke, 
& Bullets. Some say No wise Souldjer will be so catcht." 


The blow predicted by Moseley now falls upon Hatfield, 
and some of the tactics indicated in Williams's letter are to be 
employed. Oct. 19th, about noon, fires were discovered in 
the woods towards Wequamps, and Moseley sent a mounted 
scout of ten inen to reconnoiter and find out what it meant. 
Two miles from the town the party fell into a trap set by the 
Indians, and baited with the fires above. Six were killed, 
three taken prisoners, and one, an Indian, escaped back to 
Hatfield. The garrison of the town consisted of the compa- 
nies of Moseley and Poole ; the latter, with Lieut. Upham and 
sixty men having arrived at Hadley from the Bay about the 
loth. On the alarm Maj. Appleton with his company crossed 
the river from Hadley and took post at the south end of 
the town. Moseley was placed in the center and Poole at the 
north end. About four o'clock, "seven or eight hundred of 
the enemy came upon the town in all quarters '^' * but 
they were so well entertained on all hands where they at- 
tempted to break in upon the town that they found it too hot 
for them," and after a contest of two hours were driven off 
with considerable loss. Maj. Treat, who had a genius for ap- 
pearing in the right place at the right time, came up from 
Northampton with sixty men, in season to give the finishing 
blow. The loss of the English was, Thomas Meekins and 
Nathaniel Collins of Hatfield, Richard vStone, John Pocock, 
Samuel Clark, Abraham Quidington, John Petts, William 
Olverton and Thomas Warner, of Moseley's scouts — Warner 
and two others being taken prisoners. 

At the town vSergt. Freegrace Norton fell mortally wound- 
ed, while fighting by the side of Maj. Appleton. The lattter 
lost a lock of hair by an Indian bullet. " A few barns and 
other buildings were burnt." 

The savages moved into the west woods with their prison- 
ers. One of these was barbarously murdered on the 21st, 
after being grievously tormented for the amusement of the 
savages. " They burnt his nails & put his feet to scald against 


the fire & drove a stake through one of his feet to pin him to 
the ground." The Sachems, knowing Appleton was seeking 
their main body to attack it, hoped through the device of the 
fires in the woods to draw his army into an ambuscade and 
there cripple or destroy it. when the town would be an easy 
prey. The Indians, like the English, differed as to the best 
method of conducting the war. The policy advocated by the 
young warriors was to cut off the soldiers ; this done, the in- 
habitants would be at their mercy. Their method had been 
adopted, but they had succeeded only when able to surprise 
their enemy. Not the smallest defended post had been carried. 
Being defeated in their great attempt on Hatfield they were 
discouraged, and the counsels of the old men, to break up in- 
to small bodies, hover about the settleinents, kill, pillage or 
burn, as chance gave opportunity, were now heeded. It was 
seen that however great their numbers, they were no match 
for the in open combat, and rarely or never, was so 
large a force again seen together in the field. The Nipmucks 
gradually drew off to their owm country. The Pocumtucks sent 
a party of thirty to their old allies, the Mahicans, on the Hoo- 
sick river ; and here the remainder of them — after harassing 
the frontier some ten days longer — joined them about Nov. 
7th, and were made welcome. 

A few days after the Hatfield aft'air, an attempt was made 
on Northampton ; but on the approach of the ubiquitous Maj. 
Treat, the assailants fled, after burning four or five houses and 
a few barns. On the 27th, Pynchon and five or six Springfield 
men were ambushed on their return from Westfield, where 
they had been looking for ore. John Dumbleton of Spring- 
field, William and John, sons of William Brooks, an early 
settler of Deerfield, were shot down, while the rest escaped. 
At another time one Granger was wounded, and several 
houses and barns were burned at Westfield. Oct. 29th a 
party of Northampton farmers who had gone into the mead- 
ows to gather some crops were fired upon, and Thomas Sal- 
mon, Joseph Baker and his son Joseph, were killed. The 
Indians then made an attempt to burn Northampton mill, 
but a guard stationed there beat them off. The next day the 
frightened cattle came running out of the woods into Hat- 
field, thus giving notice of the presence there of a party of 
the enemy. A company was sent out, but their tracks only 


were discovered. On the 31st, Appleton crossed the river 
and scoured the woods for ten or twelve miles round without 
success. Nov. 4th a large force ranged toward Deerfield. 
The search was continued for a few days longer, but no trace 
of a present enemy was discovered. The Indians had left 
for Hoosick river. Appleton, believing they had returned to 
their old haunts eastward, prepared to follow Capt. Sill, who 
had already been ordered to Hassenimisset. 

Garrisons were established in the valley towns ; thirty-nine 
men under Pynchon, at Springfield ; twenty-nine at Westfield, 
under Capt. Aaron Cooke ; twenty-six at Northampton, under 
Lieut. Wm. Clark ; thirty-six at Hatfield, under Lieut. Wm. 
Allis ; and thirty remained at Hadley, under Capt. Poole. 

Nov. 1 6th, Maj. Treat led home the Connecticut forces. A 
few days later Maj. Appleton appointed a Council of War, 
made up of Capt. Poole, Lieut. David Wilton of Northamp- 
ton, Dea. Peter Tilton of Hadley, Sergt. Isaac Graves of Hat- 
field, with the commissioned officers of these three towns — 
Poole to be President, and presumably Commander-in-Chief. 

About Nov. 20th, Appleton and Moseley, with all the sol- 
diers not in the garrisons, marched for the Nipmuck country. 
The Nipmucks, on their return home, had begun depreda- 
tions on their frontiers ; and early in November Capt. Hench- 
man had been sent against them. Meeting some reverses, 
he was reinforced by Capt. Sill and other troops. The In- 
dians soon after disappeared, probably going to the region 
about Northfield and Vernon, where their non-combatants 
had before taken refuge. A large quantity of corn was de- 
stroyed in the Nipmuck country, which was a serious blow 
to the enemy, and before spring they were reduced to the 
verge of starvation. Appleton, on his arrival, finding all 
quiet in the interior, continued his march to Boston, and 
joined the expedition against the Narragansets, Dec. loth, 
as the commander of the Massachusetts forces. 

Philip, as before noted, left this region for Narraganset, 
after the burning of vSpringfield. The Indians seen at Glas- 
tonbury, on the 7th, were probably part of his force. Philip 
reached his destination about Oct. loth, loaded with spoils 
from the English. From the first outbreak the young Nar- 
ragansets had been forward to join in the war. The inva- 
sion of their country and the treaty of peace forced upon 


them, July 1 5th, by Hutchinson, Moseley and others, " with a 
Sword in their Hands," could not be forgiven. On the first 
hostile movements of the English, Philip had sent all the 
women and children of his tribe to the Narragansets for pro- 
tection. One provision of the treaty was that all .subjects of 
Philip should be given up. The fact that the Narragansets 
were an independent nation was ignored, and the treaty was 
signed while the Sachems were virtually looking into the 
muzzles of the English muskets. One of the strongest un- 
written statutes of the Indian was the law of hospitality. 
This they were called upon ruthlessly to violate. When the 
pressure was withdrawn, the great hearted Canonchet assert- 
ed his manhood, and declared boldly that he " would not give 
up a Wampanoag, nor the paring of a Wampanoag's nail," 
and otherwise little regard seems to have been paid to the 

The successful Philip found in Canonchet an instrument 
by which he could gain time, and surely involve the Narra- 
gansets in the war. It is easy to believe that it was by his 
instigation that Canonchet negotiated the treaty of Oct. i8th, 
at Boston. If this was a deliberate act of treachery, as gener- 
ally accounted, it is the only dishonorable act recorded 
against Canonchet. From what we know of the character of 
the two men, may we not presume that the impulsive Canon- 
chet was deceived in some way by the artful Philip? Es- 
pecially as the high minded Narraganset, shortly after his 
return, sent back word to Boston that the treaty must be con- 
sidered null and void. It could not be enforced without the 
co-operation of Philip. By its terms the Narragansets en- 
gaged to deliver up within ten days all hostile Indians among 
them, including the followers of Philip, of Weetemo, and 
the Pocumtucks. There was no intention on the part of 
Philip of allowing this clause to take effect. It was only a 
blind to allay suspicion awhile longer. Philip's hand is 
plainly seen in this transaction. Exactly the same tactics 
were employed successfully by him at vSpringfield two weeks 
before. Not unlikely he expected, before the ten days were 
out, to be on his way to Pocumtuck, with a strong war party 
of Narragansets. If so, he failed in this, but he had surely 
involved that fated tribe in the war. 

Nov. 2d the Commissioners, now assured of the hostile dis- 


position of the Narragansets, formally declared war against 
them, and raised one thousand soldiers to prosecute it. Dec. 
19th the stronghold of the tribe was stormed and hundreds 
of them slain. The remainder were scattered in the wilder- 
ness, their wigwams burned, their winter store of provisions 
destroyed. Many were killed or captured by ranging parties 
of the English, and others perished by cold and hunger. 
The warriors who escaped, fled northward to the Nipmucks, 
and their avenging blows were soon felt on the English 
frontiers. The loss of the English in the attack on the fort 
was eighty killed and about one hundred and forty wounded. 
The prudent Philip, in the meantime, to secure himself 
from the rising storm, had left the Narragansets and joined 
the Pocumtucks at the Hoosick river, where we shall soon 
follow him. 

After Nov. loth no Indians were seen in the Connecticut 
valley. The route to Boston by the Bay Path was shut up by 
the Nipmucks, and the only communication with the govern- 
ment was by means of the soldiers in the Narraganset war. 
Through these the results of the rupture with that powerful 
tribe became known, and the inhabitants of the river towns 
lived in constant fear of an attack. Citizens and soldiers 
were alike busy in fortifying houses and building stockades 
about the towns, and fearful were the forebodings of the 
coming spring. Events leading to the next hostile attempt 
in this valley will now be briefly sketched. 


There is very little direct information as to the movements 
of Philip during the fall and winter of 1675-6. By carefully 
collating all accessible contemporaneous accounts, the con- 
clusions given below seem to be well sustained. Better evi- 
dence on some points would be more satisfactory. 

When Philip joined the Pocumtucks, who were with the 
Mahicans west of the Hoosick mountains, he had a purpose 
besides that before mentioned. Knowing that the Mahicans 
and other Hudson River Indians had formerly been confed- 
erates of the Pocumtucks in their wars with the Mohegans, 
he hoped, the tribes being now together, the alliance might 
be renewed, and so a new force enlisted in the war. Philip 
met a friendly reception and such measure of success as to 


secure at least a supph" of ammunition, and not unlikely a 
promise of co-operation. In December the hostile clans 
from the established winter quarters in the valleys of 
Manchester and Sunderland, Vermont, not far from the head 
waters of the Pocumtuck. Sancumachu, the Pocumtuck Sa- 
chem, was in command. Philip was reported ill, but prob- 
ably he was on a secret expedition to Canada. On his recov- 
ery, or return, the wily chieftain undertook the delicate task, 
of reconciling the Pocumtucks and the Mohawks for the pur- 
pose of uniting them against a common enemy. We have 
seen that previous'to the rupture twelve years before, these 
tribes had been allies in fighting the Mohegans. Philip so 
far succeeded in his plan that the Mohawks were ^^■^lling to 
join the hostile forces in warring against Uncas, but the}' 
would not consent to fight the English. 

Sancumachu, with about four hundred Pocumtucks and 
Wampanoags, had in the meantime, prudently taken post 
farther ea.stward. Young recruits, ready for blood and plun- 
der, flocked to the headquarters, from the Mohawks, Scata- 
kooks, Mahicans, and others, until about the middle of Jan- 
uary, fully fifteen hundred warriors were in arms. Soon aft- 
er this they were joined by five or six hundred French In- 
dians, from Canada. This army was ostentatiously paraded 
"in two ranks" for the inspection of the two English scouts 
who were captured at Hatfield, Oct. 19th. The captives were 
then released and sent to Albany, to report what they had 
seen. These men counted twenty-one hundred warriors, 
generally armed with good firearms. They said that Philip, 
whose "own men were not above a hundred," was with an- 
other party of four hundred ; but " he had little esteem or au- 
thority among them." About this time vSagamore Sam visit- 
ed the camp, and here the campaign for the spring was 
planned. This, as it appears in the light of subsequent 
events, was that the confederates here should rendezvous at 
Northfield, and from there swoop down upon the defenseless 
towns in the valley, while the Nipmucks and Narragansets 
were ravaging the frontiers of the Bay towns, and so pre- 
venting aid being sent to the river. In the valley thus 
cleared of the English, headquarters were to be established, 
the non-combatants collected, the fields planted with Indian 
corn and a winter's stock of fish laid up from the abundance 

130 PIIILir's WAR. 

of the streams. They would be under the protection of the 
French, who were to come from Canada and settle among- 
them. It was now indeed " full sea with Philip his af- 
fairs." He might well feel confident that in the coming 
campaign the traitorous Mohegans would be annihilated and 
the hated white men driven from the valley. To make the 
event more sure, the subtle Sachem sought to embroil the 
Mohawks with the English, as well as with the Mohegans. 
To that end he caused some Mohawks to be killed and ac- 
cused the English of being the murderers. This foul artifice 
was his fatal mistake. It cost him all he had gained during 
the winter, and changed all his future life. One of the Mo- 
hawks left for dead, revived and reached his home. When 
the truth became known, the enraged Mohawks fell upon the 
Eastern Indians, killed and captured many of them, and the 
great hostile army was scattered. Philip, with the Pocum- 
tucks and his few disheartened followers, fled over the Green 
Mountains and reached Northfield the last week in February. 

As has been said, after the destruction of their fort in 
December, the scattered Narragansets joined the Nipmucks. 
The general rendezvous of the combined forces was at Wen- 
imisset. From thence war parties carried the musket and 
torch all along the frontiers of the Bay towns, with death and 
destruction in their train. Lancaster was surprised, Feb. 
loth, 1675-6. About fifty people were killed or captured. 
Among the latter was Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, wife of the 
minister, and their three children, Sarah, the youngest, five 
years old, being grievously wounded. The captives were 
taken to Wenimisset, where some of them were barbarously 
murdered. At this place, Feb. i8th, Sarah died of her wounds, 
and was buried the next day. By an erroneous but common- 
ly accepted tradition, this child died and was buried on a 
Boountain in Warwick, which in consequence was named for 
her, Mount Grace. But Grace is not Sarah, and Warwick is 
many miles from Wenimisset. 

Information of the gathering at Wenimisset was given to 
the English by Mary vShepherd, a girl of fifteen, captured at 
Concord, P'eb. 12th, who escaped on a horse taken at Lancas- 
ter, and made her way through the woods to the settlements. 
An expedition was at once planned against the place. Three 
foot companies under Captains Turner, Moseley and Gillam, 


and Capt. Whipple with a troop of horse, all under Maj. Sav- 
age, reached Quabaug, March 2d, where they met Maj. Treat, 
with three or four companies from Connecticut. The next 
day, leaving Turner to establish a garrison at Quabaug, the 
rest of the command marched against Wenimisset. Scouts 
from the Indians had doubtless reported the movements of 
their enemy, and the whole body, some two thousand men, 
women and children, made a hasty retreat northward. The 
fugitives reached the Paquayag river in the present town of 
Orange, March 3d, and before night on the 5th, had all 
crossed the river on rafts. They reached Squakheag in safe- 
ty on the 7th. On the 9th they crossed the Connecticut river 
and joined Philip and the forces which had recently come 
over the Green Mountains from the Hoosick valley. 

Maj. Savage, finding no Indians at Wenimisset, pursued 
on their trail, but deceived by the " lapwing stratagem " of 
their rear guard, he was kept on a false scent for two or three 
days, and only reached the Paquayag on the 6th, in time to 
see the smoking ruins of the Indian camp on the north shore. 
No atteinpt was made to cross the river, or pursue the enemy 
any farther. This retreat was skillfully planned and con- 

P'^oreseeing the danger to which the river towns would now 
be exposed. Savage at once took up his march for Hadley. 
Capt. Turner, leaving a garrison at Quabaug, took his com- 
mand to Northampton. Maj. Treat, with two Connecticut 
companies, reached the same town the 13th, "in the even- 
ing." Capt. Moseley, with two companies, was vStationed at 
Hatfield. As we shall ,see, these movements were made none 
too quickly. 


Soon after the arrival of Philip at Squakheag, scouts were 
sent out to discover the condition of the settlements below. 
About the first of March, John Gilbert, a boy of seventeen, 
was captured, carried to Squakheag and closely examined. It 
does not appear from what place he was taken. 

No other depredations hereabouts at this period are re- 
corded, except at Westfield, where March 9th, "five bushels 
of meal were stolen" and " a man wounded," two houses and 
a barn burned. About the same time, Moses Cook, a resident, 


and Clement Bates of Hingham, a soldier of Capt. Lothrop's 
company, were killed while out on a scout, probably in 
search of the depredators. This affair occurred the same 
day on which the mass of Indians from Wenimisset formed 
a junction with Philip, at Squakheag. 

Two or three days later, doubtless on the return of the 
scouts, with reports that no Bay troops had come to the val- 
ley, a force was organized against Northampton, with the 
evident expectation of finding it an easy prey. On the morn- 
ing of March 14th they made an assault on the sleeping 
town. The defensive works — a single line of palisades, erect- 
ed during the winter — were quickly broken through in three 
places. Through the gaps thus made the horde crept in, and 
at daylight began the work of destruction. The assailants, 
ignorant of the newly arrived forces, had no fear of the small 
garrison, and no doubt of the speedy destruction of the town. 
Surprised by the appearance of the soldiers of Treat and 
I'urner, they fell back, but in the attempt to scatter, in ac- 
cordance with their usual tactics, they found themselves in a 
pound. A panic followed. They rushed pell-mell for the 
three narrow breaks in the palisades, where they were ex- 
posed to the fire of the English while crowding through. 
Getting out proved more dangerous than getting in. This 
lesson was not forgotten. The Indians never again atterapt- 
ed that method of attack, and these slight works proved a 
real defense. 

Maj. Savage writing from Northampton, March i6th, gives 
the following brief report of this affair : — 

On the 14th just aboute breake of y day the enemy fiercely 
assaulted Northampton in three places at once and forced within 
the Hnes or palisades and burnt five houses and five barns and killed 
four men and one woman and wounded six men more. 

Ten buildings had been fired before the garrison was fair- 
ly aroused. Robert Bartlett, Thomas Holton, Mary Earle, of 
the inhabitants ; James McRennal of Turner's company, and 
Increase Whelstone, another soldier, were killed, and six 
other men wounded. 

Driven from Northampton, the Indians at once made for 
Hatfield. Here another surprise awaited them. The gallant 
Moseley was on the alert, and they were easily repulsed. 
Grievously disappointed at the result of the expedition, from 


which SO much had been oonfidently expected, the Indians 
were loth to return without one more effort, and an attempt 
was made for a night surprise of Northampton. About two 
o'clock on the morning of the i6th the sentinels discovered 
them approaching the town from opposite directions. On 
the alarm being given they disappeared. The main body, 
with a number of horses, sheep and other plunder, retreated 
to Squakheag ; but small parties remained hovering about, 
waylaying the English, as chances occurred. Several men 
were killed and others wounded in the towns about Hartford. 
Rev. John Russell, writing from headquarters, March i6th, 
to Governor Leverett, giving a detailed account of the attack 
on Northampton, says the assailants were "near 2000 as 
judged," which Judd calls a "strange delusion," and says, 
"there may have been 3 or 400." An average of these num- 
bers would probably be an underestimate. Philip was not 
present and the leaders are not named, but doubtless Canon- 
chet, and Sancumachu the Pocumtuck Sachem were promi- 
nent. Mr. Russell, in the letter above referred to, writes: — 

Although the Lord has granted us an interval of quietness this win- 
ter, yet since y coming on of y spring, the war here is renewed, 
and like to be continued with more strength and violence here, than 
in any other part, while we remain. For as we had intelligence by 
the captive who is returned, (commonly called speckled Tom,) Phil- 
ip intended with his whole force to come upon these towns, and 
taking them, to make his planting place and fort this year at Deer- 
field * * * Here also, above Deerfield a few miles, is the great 
place of their fishing, w'' must be expected to afford them their pro- 
uision for the yeere. So that the swarm of them being here, and 
like to continue here, we must look to feele their utmost rage, ex- 
cept the Lord be pleased to break their power. My desire is, that 
we may be willing to do or suffer, live or dy ; remain, or be driven 
out from our habitations, as the Lord God would have us, & as may 
be conducible to the glory of his name, and the publike weale of his 

The Massachusetts Council at this time had very imperfect 
information of the numbers or movements of the enemy, ap- 
parently supposing them to be all in one body. In a letter 
from their Secretary to Maj. Savage, of March 14th, which 
crossed that of Russell on the way, he is told that "the 150 
troops and dragoons" which had been ordered to join him 
" are retarded by the appearance of the enemy on our fron- 
tier towns yesterday ;" that they had been "ordered to march 
o Groton and Lancaster;" that they would not be sent to the 


river unless the enemy are heard of there. This letter was 
not received until March 26th — doubtless delayed by the 
danger of posting. 

The depredations in Connecticut continuing, the Council 
of War ordered extraordinary precautions against surprise. 
In each town the night watch was directed to call up the in- 
habitants every inorning " an hower at least before day," who 
were to arm and stand upon guard at their assigned posts 
" until sunne be half an hower high," when the " warders are 
to take their places * * * Two scouts from each end of 
every town " are to be sent out on horseback to spend the day 
in scouring the woods. 

In Massachusetts the alarm seems to have been almost a 
panic. The activity and success of the enemy against the 
frontier towns of the Bay, was such that the Council thought 
it necessary, not only to detain the troops under orders for 
the Connecticut valley, but also to withdraw those already 
there ; and on the 20th of March another letter was sent Maj. 
Savage with '^ advice ^ which was equivalent to a command, 
"to desert all the towns" but vSpringfield and Hadley, and 
concentrate their strength there. "The lesser towns," they 
say, "must gather to the greater * * * To remain in 
such a scattered state is to expose lives and estates to the 
merciless cruelty of the enemy, and is no less than tempting 
divine providence;" that unless they come together and well 
fortify the large towns, " ^^// will be lost -^^ * * the enemy 
being so many in tJicsc parts that our army must remove from 
thence * * * We cannot spare them or supply them 
with ammunition." Maj. Savage was instructed to act in ac- 
cordance with these views. Had this plan been adopted, the 
dissensions among the miscellaneous clans at Squakheag and 
Pocumtuck would have been healed and the whole become a 
unit, Philip would have been again in the ascendant, with 
every encouragement to prosecute the war with vigor and 
confidence. The order was not obeyed. 

The new year opened gloomily for the colonists. The 
first Sunday in 1676, March 26th, by the old calendar, was a 
day of disaster. Had the present mode of communication 
existed, the devotions of Maj. Savage would have been inter- 
rupted by news of the raid on Windsor, and the burning of 
Simtsbury, Connecticut; of the destruction of Capt. Pierce and 


sixty men on Patucket river ; the desolation by fire of the 
greater part of Marlboro, and of the attack on the people at 
Long-meadow ; all of which occurred that day. In addition, 
an express arrived that day from Boston with the discourag- 
ing Council letters of March 14th and 20th before referred 
to, "advising" Savage to concentrate the inhabitants, and 
march his troops to the Bay. 

From contemporary accounts of the last mentioned attack, 
we learn that " 8 Indians assaulted 16 or 18 men beside wom- 
en and children, as they were going to meeting," from Long- 
meadow to Springfield, on horseback. The rear of the caval- 
cade was surprised, John Keep " and a maid " were killed, 
and two men wounded at the first fire. Sarah, the wife of 
John Keep, and another woman, each with an infant in her 
arms, were seized by the savages in the confu.sion, and at 
once hurried into the woods. The escort, after depositing 
the rest of the women and children in a place of safety, re- 
turned to the scene of the disaster. Maj. Pynchon at once 
sent out a party in pursuit. These were joined the next 
morning by sixteen men, sent by Savage from Hadley, " who 
found their Track and soon after discovered them ; who, see- 
ing our men approach, took the two poor Infants, and in the 
Sight both of their mothers, and our Men, tossed them up in 
the Air, and dashed their Brains out against the Rocks, and 
%ith their Hatchets knokt down the Women, and forthwith 
fled. The Place being exceeding rocky, and a Swamp just 
by, our Horse could not follow, and on foot were not able to 
overtake them." Mrs. Keep died; the other woman recov- 
ered. The conduct of the escort was characterized by the 
Council, " as a matter of great shame, humbling to us," and it 
was ridiculed in the following couplet: — 

Seven Indians, and one without a Gun, 
Caused Capt. Nixon, and 40 men to run. 

These Indians were doubtless part of those living at Long- 
meadow before the outbreak of Oct. 5th, and the assailed 
party were old neighbors. The survivor of the wounded 
women said she "knew every particular person of those eight 
Indians." They talked very freely with the women and told 
them they should be taken to Deerfield, where the Nashua 
captives were. The woinen were treated very kindly until the 
pursuers came up. Much information was obtained from 

136 p III lip's war. 

the woman as to the resources, plans and forces of the eme- 
my. They did not want for powder. They were supplied 
by " Jerrard, and Jacob, two Dutchmen who had lived with 
Maj. Pynchon, but now lived at Fort Albany, and two Dutch- 
men more." These men had recently "brought four bushel 
on horseback from Albany, and had gone for a new supply 
two days before." They were "very inquisitive as to the 
number of our men," and informed very freely of their own. 
They had "3000 Indians at Deerfield and 300 at vSquakheag, 
and had built 300 wigwams above Deerfield." About the 
20th, "Capt. Tom, of Natick, and the rest of them Indians 
with him was come to Deerfield, and that they do intend to 
make that their headquarters." The " Mohawks had killed 
some of their men, but peace had been made again." They 
also told her that some Frenchmen had been among them, 
who " persuaded them not to burn and destroy the houses, 
but to make what slaughter they could of the people, because 
they intend to come and inhabit them ;" and that preparations 
were being made to " faN on the towns shortly." 

At this date all the Connecticut soldiers, both Indian and 
English, had been withdrawn from Hampshire county. On 
the 25th, Maj. Treat had been directed to lead an expedition 
against the Narragansets. The events of the 26th, however, 
caused serious alarm at Hartford, and he was recalled on the 
27th, to guard the settlements about that place. ^ 

In this crisis, overtures looking to a peace were made by 
both colonies, to the enemy. On the 28th, a small party of 
friendly Indians under Towcanchasson, bearing a flag of 
truce, were sent from Hartford by order of the Council, to 
the Indians at the northward, with proposals for exchanging 
prisoners, and an offer to treat for peace with any Sachem who 
may desire it. Whatever the motive of this mission, from 
fear, policy or humanity, it bore some fruit, as we shall see. 

March 28th, Maj. Savage writes the Massachusetts Council, 
" I shall do my best endeavours to discover the enemy by 
sending forth scouts according as you desire, but have no In- 
dians to go forth with our scouts, but only those six that 
came out with us [Naticks, who came as guides] who are un- 
acquainted with the woods;" that the Connecticut Indians 
" would not be persuaded " to remain. Scouting was a dan- 
gerous service ; our men had not yet learned the wiles of the 


natives ; children of the woods only could match them. The 
letter concludes with an account of the Longmeadow affair. 
By the same courier the authorities of Northampton write 
the Council, asking a garrison of fifty men for that town, en- 
gaging to furnish pay and rations. 

During the next ten days, confusion, indecision and fear 
ruled all round ; in the camp of the clans up the river, as well 
as in the counsels of the English. Savage had orders to find 
the enemy and attack them, and he had tried in vain to ar- 
range with Connecticut, an expedition against the hordes 
about Pocumtuck, as he did not dare to move against them with- 
out the co-operation of Maj. Treat. Connecticut feared to leave 
her towns unguarded, and hesitated. Massachusetts author- 
ities considered it imprudent to leave vSavage longer in the 
valley, while the Bay towns were being constantly ravaged. 
The Indians were successful at every point. Lancaster, 
Concord, Medfield, Weymouth, Groton, Billerica, Chelmsford, 
Marlboro, Wrentham, Bridgewater, Hingham, Scituate, Sud- 
bury, Haverhill, had successively felt their fury. The alarm 
of the Council was well founded. Had the savages been 
united, or well led, all would indeed "have been lost." Com- 
munication was slow and uncertain ; the real condition of af- 
fairs was ill understood, in the valley, at the Bay, or by the 
Indians up the river. The "advice" to Maj. Savage had 
raised such a storm of indignant protest in Connecticut, as 
well as in the doomed towns, that the plan of consolidation 
was not executed, and the settlers were spared that great 
loss and humiliation. This, however, was yet in the future, 
and did not lighten the clouds and gloom which shrouded 
them at the departure of the troops on which they had relied 
for defense. On the 7th of April, Savage, under peremptory 
orders, without even giving notice to the Connecticut au- 
thorities, with four companies, under Moseley, Whipple, Gil- 
man and Drinker, marched towards the Bay. Capt. William 
Turner of Boston was left at headquarters, to command in 
the valley. He had in garrison at Hadley, fifty-one men ; 
at Hatfield, under vSergt. Robert Bardwell,* forty-five 
men; at Northampton, under Sergt. Ezra Fogg, forty-six 
men. Sergt. Roger Prosser, with nine men, was sent to 
vSpringfield, to increase a force already there. These soldiers 

*Recently from London and ancestor of all of the name in the country. 

138 nnup's war. 

were only to do garrison duty, and guard the inhabitants 
while at their labors. Directly on the news reaching Hart- 
ford of vSavage's march eastward, all the forces in the field 
under Maj. Treat were disbanded, and thenceforth a strictly 
defensive policy prevailed in the Connecticut valley. The 
soldiers, however, were ordered to be in readiness to take the 
field at an hour's notice. 


Meanwhile, up the river, shifting about on the territory of 
Squakheag and Pocumtuck, were gathered the great body of 
hostile Indians — at a low estimate more than three thousand 
souls. They were of different tribes and clans, each under 
its own chieftain. There was no " Commander-in-Chief," 
nor is the assumption that Philip ever did hold or profes.sed to 
hold that office, warranted by facts. He was far-seeing, pol- 
itic, subtle and crafty ; but lacked personal magnetism and 
prowess. He failed to command the respect of the warriors 
or show the qualities of a leader in war. He sowed the wind, 
but could not reap, nor bind the whirlwind. 

Full sketches of the notables now gathered on our soil, 
with descriptions of the daily life of their followers would 
be replete with interest. Scant material for this is to be 
found, but from what is available, brief notes on some of the 
former, and faint glimpses of the latter will be given. 

Philip, on being driven eastward by the Mohawks as before 
related, made his way with small following over the Green 
Mountains, reaching the Connecticut river the latter part of 
February. Gathered about him now were the chief men of 
his tribe; his uncle and chief counsellor, Unkompoin ; his 
cousin, Penchason, and Tatason, war Sachems of note. Phil- 
ip's brother-in-law, the powerful Tuspaquin, husband to his 
sister Amey, probably met him here. Anawan, his chief 
captain, who had obtained renown in the wars under Massa- 
soit, and who remained faithful to his son until the last. With 
Anawan were his two sons, one of whom fired the first shot in 
this war, and fell with Philip, Aug. 12th, 1676. Here was a 
princess of the Wampanoags, a sister of Philip ; and wise and 
wary Awashonks, the powerful squaw Sachem of Sogkonate, 
with all her braves, led by Peter Awashonks, her son and chief 
captain, afterwards faithless to Philip, but a faithful soldier un- 


der Capt. Church. But perhaps the most noted figure at the 
court of Philip was the unfortunate Nanumpum, better known 
as Weetamoo. She was doubly sister-in-law to Philip, having 
married Wamsutta, his brother, while Philip's wife was Wo- 
tonekanuske, her younger sister. At her marriage, Weeta- 
moo was squaw Sachem of Pocasset, and was "counted as Po- 
tent a Prince as any round about her, and had as much Corn, 
Land, and Men." Not long after her marriage, Weetamoo 
complained to the Plymouth authorities that her husband, 
and his father, Massasoit, were selling her land. Getting no 
relief from Enoflish law she made it over to trustees, under 
Indian rules. Wamsutta died soon after under a suspicion of 
being poisoned by the whites. Philip had artfully fomented 
this suspicion, healed the quarrel about the land, and after 
much wavering, the "Queen of Pocasset" joined him in the 
war with three hundred warriors. For a second husband 
Weetamoo had married Petananuet, who at this juncture 
proved a traitor to his wife and Queen, and joined the Eng- 
lish. The indignant Weetamoo at once repudiated the nup- 
tial bond, and in December or January following took for a 
third consort, Quinnapin, thus allying herself to a royal fam- 
ily of the Narragansets. To this tribe she had fled when 
driven from Pocasset. Quinnapin, who was with her at 
Squakheag, was nephew of Miantonomo, and cousin to Ca- 
nonchet, the head war chief of his tribe. Quinnapin had de- 
clared he would "fight it out to the last, rather than submit 
to the whites." With him were his brothers, Ashamaton, and 
Sunkeesunasuck, both Sachems, and a one-eyed brother, with- 
out any command. A fourth brother had fallen in the "great 
swamp fight," Dec. 19th, 1675. Among the war Sachems Quin- 
napin ranked next to Canonchet. 

Canonchet, also called Nannuiitcino, son of Miantonomo, was 
the hereditary chief of the Narraganset nation. With him 
were about twelve hundred warriors, with their vSachems. 
Canonchet, like all savage potentates, was fond of show. 
When presiding over a council he dressed in a style befitting 
his rank. He wore a brilliant silver-laced coat, a richly em- 
broidered mantle of wampum over his shoulders, the ends 
hanging down in front; his buckskin leggins were gaily 
fringed with tufts of hair and feathers, and a heavy stripe of 
wampum work ran from his waist to his moccasins ; the lat- 


ter were handsomely figured with beads and quills. Over all 
he wore a gorgeously adorned scarlet blanket, sweeping the 
ground as he walked. In person, he was tall and command- 
ing, with the well-knit frame of an athlete. "A very proper 
man, of goodly Stature, and great Courage of mind as well 
as Strength of Body." Around his council fire were gath- 
ered many of the notables of the tribe. Pessacus — also called 
Sucsusquench, Coousquench, Peticus, and Canonicus the Sec- 
ond — a brother of Miantonomo, and for twenty years regent, 
during the minority of Canonchet, now chief councillor and 
ruler ; the fiery Quinnapin and his sons ; old Pomham, a 
"mighty man of valor," "one of the most valiant Sachems," 
on whose death it w^s said "the glory of the nation has sunk 
with him forever." With him was his comely son, and a 
grandson already a noted captain ; Potucke, "the great In- 
dian counsellor," of "wonderful subtlety;" the treacherous 
Stonewall John, "one of the most distinguished Narraganset 
captains," "an active and ingenious fellow, who had learned 
the mason's trade, & was of great use in building their forts," 
who boasted before the swamp fight, Dec. 19th, that the Eng- 
lish durst )iot fight them ; and Wennaquabin, and Neco- 
peake, vSachems of lesser note. Canonchet was a young man 
and he represented the temper of those forward for the war. 
He had declared he would never submit to the English. He 
was looked upon as the real leader in the war, and the young 
braves from other clans and adventurers from distant tribes 
flocked to his standard. During the sea.son occasional bands 
of Nipmucks were also here, led by Mawtamp of Quabaug, 
Sagamore John of Lancaster, Capt. Tom of Natick, Old Ma- 
toonas and others. Here were the apostate Christians from 
the towns of Praying Indians, established by Eliot — ''Preying 
Indians," Hezekiah Usher called them. They were under 
Wattasacompanum, whom Eliot called his "chief assistant, 
* "^' * a grave and pious man, of the chief sachems blood 
of the Nipmuck country." These renegades affected the 
costume of the English, and may have been seen on horse- 
back, "with hats, white neckcloths, and sashes about their 
waists, and ribbons upon their shoulders." These 2)ious 
lambs proved the worst wolves of the whole bloody crew. 
One of them for an ornament wore "a string about his neck, 
strung with Christian fingers." Here was Sancumachu, the 


Pocumtuck Sachem, with the survivors of the Pocumtuclc 
confederation, and what vokmteers he could muster from the 
Mahicans, or other western tribes during the winter. He 
came with Philip, heading about three hundred warriors. 
From this force most of the scouts to our frontiers were 
doubtless selected. Megunneway, an Abenaki, was in the 
Falls fight, and it is probable that other Eastern Indians had 
joined the hostiles. 

Philip, in his state dress, was not eclipsed by the popular 
Narraganset chieftain. His mantle, a belt nine inches in 
width, gorgeously wrought with beads and wampum in fig- 
ures of beasts, birds and flowers, hung from his neck to his 
feet. Another belt, equally fine, circled his head, the ends, 
adorned with pendant flags, hanging down his back. All of 
these had an edging of rare red hair, obtained in the Mohawk 
country. His buskins "were set thick with beads, in pleas- 
ant wild works." Elegantly carved powder horns, filled with 
glazed powder, hung upon each arm. A richly adorned red 
blanket, trailing behind him, covered the whole. 

Neither the costume nor occupation of the unfortunate 
Wotonekanuske, his queen, has been ascertained, but those 
of her sister, Weetamoo, may well represent the mode, at the 
court of King Philip. 

The marriage of the Queen of Pocasset to Quinnapin, was 
doubtless for reasons of state, rather than from afi'ection or 
romance, for the latter had already two wives. The honey- 
moon had been spent in a dangerous retreat to the Nipmuck 
country, before the victorious English. Weetamoo took at 
least one waiting maid along with her, and after the attack 
on Lancaster, Quinnapin presented her with another in the 
person of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, the minister's wife, whom 
he bought from one of his men, by whom she was captured. 
From this new servant we get man}^ glimpses of Indian 
life and character. She says of her mistress: — 

A severe and proud dame she was, bestowing every day in dress- 
ing herself, near as much time as any of the gentry of the land. 
Powdering her hair and painting her face, going with her necklaces, 
with jewels in her ears and bracelets upon her hands. When she had 
dressed herself her work was to make girdles of wampum and beads. 
At great dances she wore a kersey coat, covered with girdles of 
wampum from the loins upward. Her arms, from her elbows to her 
hands, were covered with bracelets. There were handfuls of neck- 


laces about her neck, and several sorts of jewels in her ears. She 
had fine red stockings and white shoes, her hair powdered and her 
face painted red, that was always before, black. 

On similar occasions Otiinnapin "was dressed in his Holland 
shirt, with great stockings ; his garters hung round with 
shillings, and had girdles of wampum on his head and shoul- 
ders." This coin, doubtless the Pine Tree money of Massa- 
chusetts colony, was htmg so thick as to jingle when the 
wearer moved. Each of the wives of Quinnapin kept tip a 
separate establishment. One was old, the second young, with 
two children. Weetamoo had at least as many. Early in 
April one of Weetamoo's children died. It was buried the 
next day, and "for some time after a company came every 
morning and evening to mourn and howl" with the sorrow- 
ing mother. 

Wotonekanuske had also with her at least two children, a 
boy of eight or nine, and a young pappoose attended by a 
nurse maid. One day the latter demanded of Mrs. Rowland- 
son a piece of her apron " to make a flap " for this royal scion 
of the Wampanoags. Mrs. Rowlandson refused. Weetamoo 
ordered compliance, and a furious war of words followed. 
Her white servant still refusing, the fond aunt rushed at her 
with a club, to enforce her command, when the captive was 
glad to escape by giving up her whole apron. 

The future of this infant is unknown, but the horrible fate 
of Wotonekanuske and her boy, by an act disgraceftil to civ- 
ilization, is blazoned on the rolls of infamy. They were cap- 
tured Aug. ist and sent from the free, cool shade of a New 
England forest to pine and perish under the lash of a task- 
master, beneath the burning sun of the tropics. They were 
sold into West Indian slavery ! No savage had yet mastered 
the art of a torture equal to this. 

The condition of Mrs. Rowlandson among the Indians 
seems peculiar. She appears in a measure to have been master 
of her own time and did many odd jobs of needlework out of 
her mistress's family, for which she received pay. At Phil- 
ip's request she made a shirt for his tmfortunate son, for 
which he gave her a shilling. With this she bought a piece 
of horse flesh. For making the same lad a cap she was in- 
vited to dine at the royal table. Althotigh often on the verge 
of starvation, if she was detected in getting food from others, 


she was punished for having disgraced her master by beg- 
ging-. The Indians were well provided with dry goods, 
needles, &c. Mrs. Rowlandson knit stockings for Weetamoo, 
and for a warrior, she ravelled out a pair that was too big, 
and knit them to fit. For making a shirt for her sannap, 
one squaw gave her a piece of beef ; and another a quart of 
peas for knitting stockings. Upon this rare stock of provis- 
ions Mrs. Rowlandson made a feast. " I boiled my beef and 
peas together," she says, " and invited my master and mis- 
tress to dinner ; but the proud gossip, because I served them 
both in one dish, would eat nothing, except one bit which he 
gave her on the point of his knife." An Indian gave her a 
knife for making a shirt for himself and an unborn child. 
When Quinnapin saw the knife he asked her for it. She 
gave it to him, and was glad she had "anything they would 
accept of and be pleased with." For a shirt made for a pap- 
poose, the mother gave her a dinner of broth thickened with 
powdered bark. Again she made a shift for a squaw, who re- 
placed her lost apron, and she got a hat and silk handker- 
chief for knitting three pairs of stockings. After the Sud- 
bury fight she made a shirt for Quinnapin's pappoose from a 
Holland laced pillow beer, part of the plunder. 

On the arrival of the confederate tribes at Squakheag, the 
plan of the campaign agreed upon in January seemed feasi- 
ble. The towns about the Bay were being ravaged daily, 
and the valley was defenceless. Two problems presented 
themselves to the Indians, the solution of which was neces- 
sary to success ; the first, to stave off starvation until the 
fishing season ; the other, a much more difficult one, to get a 
supply of ammunition. For the latter purpose a party of Po- 
cumtucks and Nipmucks was at once dispatched to Canada, 
with captives taken at Lancaster, to be exchanged for pow- 
der. A plan was discussed of sending a like expedition to 
Albany ; but the arrival of the Dutch traders [see ante, page 
1 36J made this unnecessary. The small stock of provisions 
they had been able to carry with them had been exhausted, 
and they were now existing from hand to mouth. Light 
foraging parties had been sent out on the English frontiers 
by Sancumachu, and one party brought in from Westfield 
five bushels of meal. Another captured John Gilbert and 
Edward Stebbins, two Springfield lads, by whom they learned 

144 Philip's war. 

that no Bay troops had come to the valley. Within two days 
after the arrival of Canonchet a council met and a decision 
was made to attack Northampton at once. Canonchet had 
not forgotten the taunt of Roger Williams, the October be- 
fore, while dissuading him from joining Philip, that " the In- 
dians were so cowardl}^ that they had not taken one poor fort 
from us, in all the country." An opportunity now offered 
for a practical reply. Runners were sent through the camps 
giving notice. The night of March i ith was spent in a war 
dance by the braves, and by the squaws in preparing such 
food as could be obtained for the march. On the 12th, a 
strong force set out down the river, fully expecting to return 
loaded with plunder and prisoners. The result of the attack 
has been given, [ante, page 132.] Although the cattle, sheep 
and horses secured were a great relief to the hungry multi- 
tude, the main object of the movement was not accomplished. 

This repulse and the discovery that the valley towns were 
well defended, changed the whole aspect of affairs at Squak- 
heag. Philip, whose headquarters had been on the west side 
of the river, scented danger, and on the i6th moved north- 
ward, and crossed to the east side. On the 20th, Capt. Tom, 
with five hundred Nipmucks, took post at Pocumtuck to 
guard their frontier. The Pocumtucks were especially dis- 
appointed. They had been fully assured that their old home 
was about to be restored to them. Their discontent was in- 
creased by news that the expedition to Canada for powder 
had failed. It had been attacked by Mohawks and two of 
the Pocumtucks killed. This loss was charged directly upon 
Philip ; the cause of Mohawk hostility being well known to 
them. They saw in the failure of these plans, their own 
ruin, and accused Philip of inciting them into a war for 
which they had no just ground, simply to gratify his own 
personal hatred. 

Meanwhile the daily struggle for existence went on. 
" Many times in the morning," says Mrs. Rowlandson, " the 
generality of them would eat up all they had '^' "^ * and 
yett I did not see one man woman or child die with hun- 
ger, though many times they would eat that that a hog 
would hardly touch. They would pick up old bones, and if 
they were full of maggots, would heat them to " drive them 
out, then boil them, and drink the liquor." The softer part 


of the bones were pounded in mortars and eaten. " They 
would eat horses guts and ears * * * dogs, skunks, rat- 
tlesnakes, yea, the very bark of trees." But their chief reli- 
ance was ground nuts, and other roots dug from the earth as 
the frost came out. Had not the winter of 1675-6 been one 
of remarkable mildness — the ground then opening in Feb- 
ruary — it seems impossible that these hordes could have sur- 
vived it. Mrs. Rowlandson being exhausted one day, an In- 
dian gave her a spoonful of samp, and " as much as she would, 
of the water in which he was boiling a dried horse's foot." 
With this treat her "spirits came again." For one day's 
travel, five grains of corn was all the food allowed her. On 
the occasion of her invitation to dine with Philip, she says : 
" I went, and he gave me a pancake about as big as two fin- 
gers, it was made of parched wheat, beaten and fried in 
bear's grease." With this niggardly hospitality the royal 
banquet closed — an exhibition of the meanness of Philip, or 
the leanness of his larder. 

The responsibility of the campaign rested on Canonchet. 
One problem had been solved. The Dutch would supply 
powder in barter for furs. On the failure at Northampton 
he saw that the non-combatants must be permanently located 
here, and provision made for their support. His plan, which 
he laid before the Sachems in council, was to make this re- 
gion the general rendezvous, and place of refuge for the old 
men, women and children, with a party of his own men, who 
were on good terms with the Mohawks, for a guard. No- 
where else, he might well say, could provision for the sum- 
mer and stores for the winter be so easily procured. The 
river at Peskeompskut would afford abundance of shad and 
salmon in their season. The broad meadows at Pocumtuck 
and Squakheag would yield a supply of corn, beans and 
squashes. Berries and nuts would abound on the hills. The 
ponds would soon be covered with wild fowl, and here were 
the favorite haunts of the deer, raccoon and beaver. The 
only lack was seed for planting. Canonchet said there was 
corn enough in the barns of the Narraganset country, and 
called for volunteers to go and get a supply. This being a 
service of great danger, with little chance for glory, no one 
came forward until the chief declared he would go himself, 
and then only thirty offered to accompany him. With this 


little band Canonchet left the valley and took his way to- 
ward the Narraganset Bay. It seems he reached his goal in 
safety, and dispatched his escort with the precious seed, 
while he lingered to meet the main body of his army, which 
was to follow and join him. On the 2d of April, while in 
camp with six or seven men on the bank of the Pawtucket, 
he was surprised and captured by a party of English under 
Captains Avery and Dennison, and Indians led by Oneko and 
others. The first Englishman who addressed Canonchet was 
Robert Stanton, twenty-one years old, son of Thomas Stan- 
ton, the interpreter, who began to question him. Canonchet, 
looking scornfully upon him, said, " You much child, no un- 
derstand matters of war ; let your chief come, him will I an- 
swer," and no more would he say. He was taken to Stoning- 
ton and executed the next day. No man ever carried himself 
more nobly than this captive chieftain. He was offered 
his life on condition he would " send an old counsellor of his 
to make a motion towards submission," but he refused. 
When told he was to die, he replied, " I like it well. I shall 
die before my heart is soft, or I have spoken anything un- 
worthy of myself ; " but " killing me will not end the war, for 
I have 2000 men who will revenge my death." Being taunt- 
ed with his boast that he " would not give up a Wampanoag, 
or the paring of a Wampanoag's nail," and that he "would 
burn the English in their houses," he only answered, "Others 
were as forward for the war as my.self. I desire to hear no 
more about it." The only favor he asked, was that the in- 
dignities of torture might not be inflicted, and that his ex- 
ecutioner might be Oneko, son of Uncas, whom he acknowl- 
edged as a fellow prince. These requests were granted. He 
was executed by Oneko, as Miantonomo, his father, had been 
by Uncas. His head was sent to Hartford, the receipt of 
which was noted April 8th. [Conn. Rec, II, 432.] Mistaken 
accounts give the date of the capture as April 9th. 

Thus fell a man who should be ranked first of all New 
England Indians in the qualities which go to make up a pa- 
triot, nobleman and warrior. His death " was a matter of re- 
joicing to all the Colonies." He was called the "Ringleader 
of almost all this mischief, and great incendiary betwixt us 
and the Narragansets," and as " the .son of Miantonomi, and 
heir of all his pride and in.solence, as well as his inalice 


against the English * * * a most perfideous villain." 
With all the vituperation, the only charge brought against 
his honor was a violation of the October treaty at Boston. 
This treaty was in accordance with the treacherous policy of 
Philip, and made at his solicitation, Canonchet being unfor- 
tunately under his influence at that time. But let us remem- 
ber the fact, which his detractors overlooked, that very soon 
after he returned home he sent notice to Boston that the 
treaty was to be considered null and void. 

Meanwhile, awaiting the return of Canonchet, the struggle 
for existence continued at Squakheag and few hostile move- 
ments were made. Scouts watched their own frontier and 
hovered about that of the enemy. The English, however, 
being thoroughly alarmed and on the alert, gave few oppor- 
tunities for spoil. An occasional success cheered them. Ear- 
ly in April a party, doubtless Pocumtucks, being on the 
high lands overlooking Hadley, saw workmen with a guard 
go out into the meadows. Creeping towards the scene of 
labor the scout patiently waited events. They soon saw the 
vigilance of the whites relax, and their own opportunity for 
action. Deacon Richard Goodman, one of the workmen, left 
the guard to examine his boundary fence, and three of the 
guard climbed the hill to view the prospect. All came with- 
in range of the scouts' guns, and all fell. Thomas Reed was 
captured. He was brought to headquarters and closely ques- 
tioned, but the plans of the English being in utter confusion, 
as we have seen, no information of value could be obtained 
from him. 

About this time another element of discord was introduced 
into the camp. Towcanchasson, with another Indian mes- 
senger, bearing a flag of truce, arrived from Hartford with 
the following messaofe: — 

These are to signify unto all or any of those Indians whoe are now 
at war with the English, that the Councill of Conecticott, haueing 
not wronged nor injured them in the least so as to cause them to 
take up amies against us, but being called according to covenant to 
assist our confederates of Massachusetts and Plimouth, haue taken 
sundry Indians captiues, and some are deliuered to vs ; therefore we 
haue thought meet to declare to the s'' Indians that we are willing to 
tender them an exchang of captives, for such English as they have 
in their hands; and that upon the return of o" to Hadley where we 
will meet them, theirs shall be set at liberty to come to them. We 
also do tender, that if the s'' Indians doe desire any treaty with vs, 


and make appeare that they haue been wronged by any of the Eng- 
lish, we shall endeavour to haue that wrong rectifyed, antl heare 
any propositions they haue to make vnto us; and if any of the Sa- 
chems desire to treat with vs, they shall have liberty to com to vs 
and goe away without any molestation, sending word when and 
where before hand. And they may know that we are men of peace 
and willing to farther peace with all o' neighbours. 

Dated in Hartford, March 28. 1676. 

P'' order of the Councill, 

J. A. Secy. 
These to be convayed by Towcanchasson. 

This overttire was well received by the Pocumtucks and 
Nipmucks, who had no real catise for war. They were tired 
of the hardships it involved, and indignant against Philip, 
who enticed them into it. It was different with the Narra- 
gansets. Their homes were desolate, their people slain and 
their vengeful natures forbade thoughts of peace. At any 
rate no action could be had until the return of their chief- 
tain, Canonchet. 

The departure of Maj. Savage from Hadley, April 7th, was 
reported by scouts at once, and caused great exultation, 
dampening all thoughts of peace, and greatly strengthening 
the war feeling. It now appeared that their friends at the 
east had carried out their part in the programme of the cam- 
paign. The troops had been forced to return home, and if 
all united, the valley towns must soon be in their hands, with 
all their corn and cattle. The occupation of the peacemaker 
was gone. 

Within a day or two, however, came the sickening news 
that their valiant leader, their anchor of hope, the noble Ca- 
nonchet, had fallen. The blow was a stunning one. Con- 
sternation took the place of confidence, and confusion and 
discord reigned. The Pocumtucks at once deserted the 
cause and threatened to seek a peace, with the head of 
Philip as an offering. On the loth that prudent sachem 
moved towards safer quarters in the fastnesses of the Wachu- 
sett mountain. Within a week news of another disaster 
reached the camp. Forty men, including several counsellors 
and sachems, had been killed near the place where Canonchet 
was taken. 

The care of the disorganized multitude now fell upon Pes- 
sacus. Measures were taken for defense here, and a fort pro- 



jected at a cow ass some forty miles up the river, as a re- 
treat, in case of need. Three forts were built for defense 
against invasion, on the ground now occupied. Scouting 
parties were sent to skulk about the towns below, to keep 
them in a constant state of alarm, and on the defensive. 
Cattle and horses from their pasture grounds added to the 
provisions in the camps. Though generally successful in 
their raids, the last week of April one party reported a disas- 
trous issue. While on the bank of the Connecticut river, 
near Springfield, they were surprised and fired upon by the 
enemy. Three of them were mortally wounded, but plung- 
ing at once into the water, their scalps were saved. The 
peace party had again become a power, and increased with 
every reverse. Towcanchasson was still here, and it was 
urged upon Pessacus to attempt a treaty with the enemy. 
The Narragansets were in no mood for peace, but the wily 
Sachem, whose object was to gain time until the winter's 
stock of fish was laid up and the planting season over, saw 
here an opportunity to ensure delay. To that end he dis- 
patched Tiawakesson, his own official "messenger," with 
Towcanchasson and suite, bearing an ambiguous message in 
writing to the Connecticut Council. In a short time Tiawa- 
kesson came back with the following message in reply: — 

To Pessicus, Wequaquat, Wanchequit, Sunggumache, and the rest 
of the Indian Sachems up the River about Suckquackheage, these : — 

You may hereby be informed, that we have received your writing, 
brought by o'' two messengers, and by Pessicus his messenger, and 
in it we find no answer to what we propownded, and therefore once 
again we haue sent these Hnes to you, to inform you that, as we sayd 
before, we are men of peace, and if they will deliver .unto us the 
English captives that are with them, either for money or for captiues 
of yours in o"" hands, to be returned to them, wee shall accept of it 
so farr: and if they will attend a meeting at Hadley, within these 
eight days, if the Sachems will com thither bringing the captives 
with them as a signe of theire reall desire of peace, we shall appoynt 
some to meet them there, and to treat them upon tearmes of peace; 
and they shall haue safe conduct both in comeing and while they 
stay; and they shall have free liberty to depart, if we doe not agree 
to tearmes of peace. But to this we doe desire their speedy answer, 
to be brought to Hadly, within five dayes; and if one or two men 
come with the Sachems answer to this and come without armes, 
with a white cloath vpon a pole, they will receiue no damage, and 
their answer will be speadily handed down to vs. They know we 
never use to breake our promise to Indians, and doe keep peace with 
all o'' own Indians, though some fewe are kept in a comfortable 


house, put there by theire own free will as pawnes for the rest, till 
the wars be ended, and are well used, as friends not as prisoners. 
Dated in Hartford, 
May I St, 1676. 

P' order of the Councill of Conecticott, 

Signed, John AUyn, Secrefy. 

It was evident to Pes.sacus, by the tenor of both the com- 
munications from the English, that the principal object of 
these overtures was to get the prisoners from his hands ; that 
their continuance in his camp would embarrass hostile move- 
ments, and he had no intention of giving up this advantage. 
So no response was made to the invitation for a meeting at 
Hadley. And as the spring advanced, and the hardships of 
the confederates diminished, there was less and less desire 
for peace. Changeful as children, the fickle savage was 
elated, or cast down, by the events of the hour. 

As warm weather came on food was more and more readi- 
ly procured. The springing herbage not only furnivShed 
food in itself, but revealed the esculent root beneath. When 
the ponds opened, water fowl became common, and as the 
shad and salmon appeared in their annual migration, abun- 
dance followed the long winter of starvation. Mrs. Row- 
landson says, after being for weeks almost famished : " I 
was never again satisfied ; though it sometimes fell out that 
I had got enough and did eat till I could eat no more, yet I 
was as unsatisfied as when I began." Feasting and gorging 
brought content to the Indians and everything wore a more 
hopeful aspect. Every week brought news of successes by 
their friends at the East, and the enemy shut up in the towns 
below seemed to be at their mercy when the time for action 
should come. The peace party had disappeared. 

While crowds were catching and drying fish to store their 
barns with a winter's stock, others were engaged in prepar- 
ing the ground for planting at Pocumtuck and Squakheag ; 
and by the middle of May a wide area had been planted. 
English scouts reported three hundred acres in corn at the 
former place. Indian scouts reported to the Sachems no re- 
inforcements to the English force, but, on the contrary, that 
part of the garrisons had been withdrawn from the towns ; 
that the settlers were neglecting their fields from fear, and 
that no laborers left the stockades without a guard. Week 
by week the confederates grew more and more secure. The 


vSachems about the camp fires talked over the plans for the 
summer, assured of an easy success in driving the whites 
from the valley. The escaped captive, Reed, reported them 
" as secure and scornful, boasting the great things they had 
done, and will do," annihilating in their war dances many an 
imaginary foe. 

Their principal camp was at the head of the rapids on the 
right bank of the river at Peskeompskut ; another was at 
some distance above it ; a third, nearly opposite on the left 
bank, while a fourth was on vSmead's Island, a short distance 
below ; and still another at Cheapside guarded the ford of the 
Pocumtuck river. Beside these, every fishing place on the 
Connecticut as high up as the Ashuelot had its camp. 

Quiet and plenty had lulled the Indians into a sense of se- 
curity. The escape of the English captives, Gilbert, Steb- 
bins and Reed, in consequence of their relaxed vigilance, 
brought no premonitions of danger. The English and the 
Mohawks, like themselves, they reasoned, must attend to 
their planting. IMay 12th, Pessacus, learning that the Hat- 
field people had turned their stock into the north meadows 
to feed, promptly sent a party to secure the prize ; and that 
very night seventy or eighty head were brought off. A part 
were left in the common field at Pocumtuck, and the fence 
repaired to keep them in, others taken to the camps for 
slaughter, and the cows brought to headquarters for their 
milk, where the English captive women were made to milk 
them. Beef now became as plenty as fish. But the end was 
drawing near. 

On the night of May 1 8th a grand feast was held at Peske- 
ompskut. Sachems and warriors, women and children, alike 
gorged themselves on the choice salmon from the river, and 
fresh beef and new milk from the Hatfield raid. Late in the 
night, perhaps to secure a further supply, a party went out 
in canoes to spear salmon by torchlight. A shower unfortu- 
nately extinguished the torches, and the fishermen went 
ashore to mingle again in the frolic and festivity. This 
lasted until near morning. At its close, without posting a 
single sentinel, the whole party, stuffed to repletion, and 
lulled by the monotone of the falling waters, fell into a pro- 
found slumber. From this criminal security and stupid tor- 


por, warrior and people were rudely aroused. The foe were 
even now at their very door. 


On the recall of Major Savage, as before stated, garrisons 
had been left in the valley towns at their request and their of- 
fer to pay the expense of the same. This proved a heavy bur- 
den to the harassed settlers, and as the weeks wore on, a feel- 
ing grew up, that, as all field operations were forbidden, they 
themselves could defend the .stockades, and a smaller force 
of soldiers guard them in their labors. About the first of 
May a petition was sent to the General Court to the effect, 
that, if one-half of the garri.sons be supported by the Colony, 
no objection would be offered to the withdrawal of the other 
half. This change was made, and the returning troops were 
doubtless the escort to the provisions which Turner had been 
ordered to send to the rendezvous at Ouabaug. 

The inhabitants were not deceived by the quiet of the In- 
dians. Aware of their numbers and occupation, they knew 
that when planting and fishing were over, and the trees in 
h\\\ leaf, the whole valley would be alive with them. The 
boldness of the enemy in settling .so near, and their succe.s.s- 
ful raids on the frontiers, had at length arou.scd more indig- 
nation than fear. Left to their own resources by the govern- 
ment, their inherent manhood rebelled against the fact that 
a horde of the despised race was insolently domineering over 
them. Their pride was aroused. The panic of the early 
spring gave way to an urgent desire for offensive action. 
The following letter represents this feeling to the General 

Hadly Apr. 29. 1676. 
It is strange to see how much spirit (more than formerly) appears 
in o'' men to he out against the enemy. A great part of ttie inhab- 
itants here, would o'' committees of militia but permitt would be go- 
ing forth. They are dayly moving for it, and would fane have lib- 
erty to be going forth this night. The enemy is now come so near 
us, that we count we might goe forth in the evening, and come upon 
them in the darknesse of the same night. We understand from Hart- 
ford some inclination to allow some volunteers to come from there up 
hither. Should that be, I doubt not but many of o" would joyne with 
them. It is the generall voyce of the people here y* now is the time 
to distresse the enemy, and that could we drive them from thair 
fishing, and keepe out though but lesser parties against them, famine 


would subdue them. All o' late intelligence gives us cause to hope 
that the Mohawks do still retaine their old friendship to us, <S: enmity 
against our enemies. Some proofe of it they have of late, in those 
the}^ slew higher up this River. Two of whom, as the Indian mes- 
sengers relate, were of o' known Indians, and one a Quaboag Indian. 
And further proof its thought, they would soone give, were the ob- 
structions (y* some English have or may put in their way) removed, 
and the remembrance of the ancient amity and good turns between 
them, and these colonies, renewed by some letters, & if it might be, 
by some English messenger. We would not tho' out of so good an 
end as love and zeal for the weale publique, that we should be tran- 
sported beyond o"' line. We crave pardon for o'' reaching so far, 
and w^'' many prayers, so desire to beseech the father of mercies & 
God of all Counsell to direct you in the right way, and so praying 
we remain, 

Sir, Your Worships most Humble & devoted Serv'ts. 

John Russell. 
Will Turner. 
David Wilton. 
Samuell Smith. 
John Lyman. 
IsAACK Graves. 
John King, 
danielle warnare. 

The same day on which this letter was written, another of 
similar import was sent the Connecticut Council also giving 
notice of the arrival of Towcanchasson from Squakheag, 
with Tiawakesson, the messenger of Pessacus. The Council 
are cautioned against giving full credit to the stories they 
tell, as " they doe (especially he that belongs to these parts,) 
labor to represent the enemies state as much to their ad- 
vantage as inay be, whether agreeing with truth or not." 
Tiawakesson and his party arrived at Hartford the next 
day, and on the ist of May were sent away with the message 
already given, [see ante, page 149,] and orders issued for rais- 
ing one hundred soldiers, who were to leave Hartford on 
the 8th for Hadley, the place and time appointed for the 
meeting with the Sachems. A letter was also sent to Mr. 
Russell, in reply to his of the 29th, giving the substance of 
the message sent by Tiawakesson, and asking that any an- 
swer to it being received, should be posted to Hartford, at 
the same time cautioning them against making any hostile 
movements while the English captives remained in the hands 
of the Indians, " whom they will in such case be likely to 


The eight allotted days passed and no tidings from Pessa- 
cus, and so no Connecticut troops came to Hadley. " The 
spirit to be out against the enemy " grew stronger day by 
day, and when the great loss of stock from Hatfield meadows 
was known, that spirit was shared by the commander. 

May 15th Thomas Reed, the escaped captive, came into 
headquarters and gave a full account of the unwarlike condi- 
tion of affairs up the river. All now agreed that the time 
had come for a trial of arms ; and that day Mr. Russell, who 
seems to have been their mouthpiece, wrote the Connecticut 
Council giving an account of the raid on Hatfield meadows 
and the news brought by Reed, concluding: — 

This being the state of things, we think the Lord calls us to make 
some trial of what may be done against them suddenly, without fur- 
ther delay and therefore the concurring resolulion of men here seems 
to be to go out against them to-morrow night so as to be with them, 
the Lord assisting, before break of day. We need guidance and 
help from heaven. We humbly beg your prayers, advice, and help if 
it may be. And therewith committing you to the guidance and 
blessing of the Most High, remain 

Your worship's in all humble service 

John Russell. 

To this was appended : — 

Altho this man speaks of their number as he judgeth yet they may 
be many more, for we perceive their number varies, and they are 
going and coming, so that there is no trust to his guess. 

William Turner. 

John Lyman. 

Isaac Graves. 

The resolution " to go out against them to-morrow night," 
the 1 6th, was not carried out. But after waiting for two days 
the result of the appeal to Connecticut for help, on the i8th, 
a force of about one hundred and forty-one men was gathered 
at Hatfield for an expedition against their enemy at Peske- 
ompskut. It was made up very nearly as follows : From 
the garrisons of Hadley, Hatfield and Northampton, thirty- 
four; from those at Springfield and Westfield, twenty-two, 
under Lieut. Josiah Fay, of Boston. The rest were volun- 
teers. From Hadley, twenty-five, and Hatfield twelve, under 
Sergeants John Dickinson and Joseph Kellogg ; twenty-two 
from Northampton, under Ensign John Lyman ; twenty-three 
from Springfield and three from Westfield, under Capt. vSam- 
uel Holyoke. Of these, nineteen at least had been, or be- 


came, citizens of this town. Rev. Hope Atlierton of Hat- 
field, "who was a courageous man and willing to expose 
himself for the public good," was the Chaplain; Benjamin 
Waite and Experience Hinsdell were guides. The whole was 
under Captain William Turner of Boston. Each man was 
furnished with provision for three meals. Nearly all were 
mounted, but there were a few footmen. After sunset, 
Thursday, May i8th, this little army set out on a memorable 
march — memorable for its material, for its good and bad for- 
tune, and for the results achieved. After fervent prayer by 
the chaplain, and a tearful God-speed from their friends, the 
cavalcade passed out from Hatfield street with high hopes 
and determined hearts. Crossing the meadows to the north, 
vowing vengeance for the stolen cattle, they wended their 
way vSlowly up the Pocumtuck path. Tall Wequamps loomed 
up before them like a pillar of cloud against the dim northern 
sky. They followed the exact route which had led Beers 
and Lothrop into an ambush nine months before. Thought- 
ful eyes peered into the fatal swamp as they passed. Over the 
Weequioannuck and through the hu.shed woods as darkness 
was closing down, to Bloody Brook. Guided by Hinsdell, 
the troops floundered through the black morass, which drank 
the blood of his father and three brothers, eight months be- 
fore ; they passed with bated breath and clinched fire-lock, 
the mound under which slept Lothrop and his three score 
men. As they left this gloomy spot, and marched up the 
road, down which the heedless Lothrop had led his men into 
the fatal snare, the stoutest must have quailed at the uncer- 
tainty beyond. Was their own leader wise? Did he consid- 
er the danger? Did not they all know that if Towcanchasson 
was treacherous or any swift-footed friend of Pessacus had 
revealed to him their plans, that they were marching to sure 
destruction? Was it prudent to neglect precautions against 
surprise? What if the information of Reed should prove in- 
correct? Burdened with thoughts like these, the command 
made its way to Pocumtuck, guarding with closed ranks 
against the gaping cellars of our ruined village. More than 
one of these men, by toil and frugality, had here built their 
homes and gathered their families. As they passed the des- 
olate hearthstones, what but faith in the Most High could 
raise their sinking hearts? Onward across North Meadows, 


where one of the guides, Benjamin Waite, was later to end 
his eventful life in the brave attempt to rescue the captives 
of 1704, and where the boy hero of this expedition, famous 
later as Capt. Jonathan Wells, tried vainly to temper his rash 
zeal. Over the Pocumtuck river, at the mouth of Sheldon's 
brook, to avoid the ford guarded by the Indian fort, and up 
the steep side hill to Petty's Plain. Even with this precau- 
tion, the wading of the horses was heard, and the Indian 
sentinel gave the alarm. With lighted torches a party ex- 
amined the crossing place, but finding no tracks, concluded 
that the noise was made by moose crossing the river. vSo 
narrowly did the party escape discovery. Following the 
Indian trail at the foot of Shelburne hills, the adventurers 
entered the mysterious and unexplored wilderness stretching 
away to Canada. Full of boding fancies, they marched on 
under the gloomy arches of a primeval forest, the darkness 
made more intense by the glare of lightning, and the silence 
occasionally broken by a peal of thunder, the bark of the 
startled wolf, or raccoon, the ghostly flitting of the wonder- 
ing owl. What wonder if these brave men and boys, super- 
stitious as they were, and worn by fatigue and excitement, 
lost their self-possession a few hours later. Marching two 
miles northward, then crossing Green river at the mouth of 
Ash-swamp brook to the eastward, skirting the great swamp. 
Turner reached the plateau south of Mount Adams, before 
the break of day, tired and drenched by a shower, which 
fortunately drove in the fishermen. [See ante, page 151. J 

Leaving his horses under a small guard. Turner led his 
men through Fall river, up a steep ascent, and came out on 
a slope* in the rear of the Indian camp. He had reached 
his objective point undiscovered. vSilence like that of death 
brooded over the encampment by the river, save for the sul- 
len roar of the cataract beyond. With ears strained to catch 
any note of alarm, the English waited impatiently the laggard 
light, and with the dawn, stole silently down among the 
sleeping foe ; even putting their guns into the wigwams un- 
discovered. At a given signal the crash of a hundred shots 
aroused the stupefied sleepers. Many were killed at the first 
fire. The astonished survivors, supposing their old enemy 

* Now the farm of T. M. Stoughton. 

THE englishman's REVENGE. 157 

to be upon them, cried out " Mohawks! Mohawks'." rushed to 
the river, and jumped pell-mell into the eanoes which lay 
along the shore. Many pushed off without paddles ; in other 
cases the paddlers were shot, and falling overboard, upset 
the canoe ; many in the confusion plunged into the torrent, 
attempting to escape by swimining. Nearly all of these were 
swept over the cataract and drowned. Others, hiding about 
the banks of the river, were hunted out and cut down, " Cap- 
tain Holyoke killing five, young and old, with his own Hands 
from under a bank." A very slight resistance was made, 
and but one of the assailants wounded ; another " was killed 
in the action by his friends, who, taking him for an Indian 
as he came out of a wigwam shot him dead." The wigwams 
were burned, and the camp dismantled. Says a letter writer 
of the day : — 

We there destroyed all their ammunition and provision, which we 
think they can hardly be so soon or easily recruited with as possibly 
they may be with men. We likewise here demolisht Two Forges 
they had to mend their arms; took away all their Materials and 
Tools, and threw two great Piggs of Lead (intended for Making of 
Bullets) into the River. 

There were skilled mechanics among the Indians, doubt- 
less renegade disciples of Eliot. 

The disasters of the English which followed their success 
is attributed to various causes. " The want of health of 
Capt. Turner, unable to manage his charge any longer," be- 
ing " enfeebled by sickness before he set out," but "some say 
they wanted powder, which forced them to retire as fast as 
they could by Cap. Turner's order." The real cause was, 
that there was too long a delay on the scene of conflict, which 
gave the Indians from the other camps time to gather about 
them. When that condition of affairs was observed, the 
English, it would seem, drew off towards their horses in con- 
siderable disorder. A party of about twenty who had gone 
a little distance up the river to fire at some canoes that were 
seen coming over, were left behind, and they were obliged 
to fight their way to their horses, and were surrounded while 
mounting. One of this number, Jonathan Wells, a boy of 
sixteen, after being wounded, managed to escape and make 
his way up to Capt. Turner, whom he begged to go back to 
the relief of his party in the rear, or halt until they came 


up. Turner replied, " Better save some, than lose all," and 
pushed on. About this time, one of the released English cap- 
tives reported that Philip with a thousand men was at hand. 
This created a panic amongst the exhausted men, and the 
retreat became a rout. The guides differed as to the safest 
route, each crying out, "If you would save your lives fol- 
low me," and the command was in a measure broken up, 
each fragment taking its own course. A party following 
guide Hinsdell into a swamp on the left flank were all lost. 
Turner received a fatal shot as he was crossing Green river 
near " Nash's Mills." Capt. Holyoke, on whom the com- 
mand now devolved, labored bravely to restore order, and if 
he "had not played the Man at a more than ordinary rate, 
sometimes in the Front, sometimes on the Flank and Rear, 
and at all Times encouraging the Soldiers, it might have 
proved a fatal Business to the Assailants. The said Capt. 
Holioke's horse was shot down under him, and himself ready 
to be assaulted by many Indians just coming upon him, but 
discharging Pistols upon one or two of them, whom he pres- 
ently dispatched, and another Friend coming up to his Res- 
cue, he was saved, and so carried off the Soldiers without 
further loss." The line of retreat being through a dense for- 
est, the fleet Indians had the advantage of the mounted fug- 
itives. They hung like a moving cloud on flank and rear, 
shooting as opportunity offered, and even followed across 
North Meadows and through the Town Street to the Bars. On 
mu.stering the force at Hatfield, forty-five men — nearly one- 
third of the command — were missing, and two mortally 
wounded ; two came in that night, two Sunday and two more 
on Monday. The total loss was Captain Turner, Sergt. John 
Dickinson and Guide Hinsdell with thirty-nine men. 

List of men in the Falls Fight under Captain William 
Turner, May 19th, 1676; made up from all available sources, 
but chiefly from the Mass. M. S. Archives. Absolute knowl- 
edge might require slight changes. Those marked thus *, 
were killed ; those thus f, were wounded. 

Allis, William,* Hatfield. Baker, Timothy, Northampton. 
Alexander, Nathaniel, Northampton. Barber, John, Sprini^field. 

Alvard, Thomas, Northampton. Bardwell, Robert, Hatfield. 

Arms, William, Hatfield. Bedortha, Samuel, Springfiehi. 

Ashdown, John,* Weymouth. Beers, Elnathan, Watertown. 

Atherton, Hope, Hatfield. Belcher, John, Braintree. 

Ball, Samuel, Springfield. Belding, Samuel, Hatfield. 



Belding, Stephen, Hatfield. 
Bennet, James,* Northampton. 
Bennitt, John, Windham. 
Boltwood, Samuel, Hadley. 
Bradshavv, John, Medford. 
Buckley, George.* 
Burton, Jacob,* Topsfield. 
Bushrod, Peter. 

Chamberlain, Benjamin, Concord. 
Chamberlain, Joseph, Concord. 
Chapin, Japhet, Springfield. 
Chase, John, Newbery. 
Church, John,* Hadley, 
Clapp, Preserved, Northampton. 
Clark, William, Northampton. 
Colby, John, Almsbury. 
Colby, Samuel, Almsbury. 
Colefax, John,* Hatfield. 
Coleman, Noah, Hadley. 
Crow, Samuel,* Hadley. 
Crowfoot, Joseph, Springfield. 
Cunnaball, John, Boston. 
Dickinson, John,* Hadley. 
Dickinson, Nathaniel, Hadley. 
Drew. William, Hadley. 
Dunkin, Jabez,* Worcester. 
Ebon, George. f 

Edwards, Benjamin, Northampton. 
Elgar, Thomas,* Hadley. 
Field, Samuel, Hatfield. 
Flanders, John, Salisbury. 
Foot, Nathaniel, Hatfield. 
Foster, John.* 
Fowler, Joseph,* Ipswich. 
Fuller, Joseph, Newton. 
Gillett, Samuel,* Hatfield. 
Gerrin, Peter.* 
Gleason, Isaac, Springfield. 
Griffin, Joseph, Roxbury. 
Grover, Simon, Boston. 
Hadlock, John,* Concord. 
Harrington, Robert, Springfield. 
Harrison, Isaac,* Hadley. 
Harwood, James. 
Hawks, Eleazer, Hadley. 
Hawks, John, Hadley. 
Hindsdell, Experience,* Hadley. 
Hitchcock, John, Springfield. 
Hitchcock, Luke, Springfield. 
Hodgman, Edward,* Springfield. 
Hoit, David, Hadley. 
Howard, William,* Salem. 
Hughs, George,* .Springfield. 
Hunt, Samuel, Billerica. 
Ingram, John, Hadley. 
Jones, Abell, Northampton. 
Jones, John.f Cambridge. (?) 
Jones, Roger, Boston. 
Jones, Samuel,* Yarmouth. 
Keet, Franc[is], Northampton. 

Kellogg, Joseph, Hadley. 
King, John, Northampton. 
King, Medad,* Northampton .(?) 
Langbury, John,* (Came up with Capt. 

Lothrop; served later under Moseley.) 
Lee, John, Westfield. 
Leeds, Joseph, Dorchester. 
Leonard, Josiah, Springfield. 
Lyman, John, Northampton. 
Lyon, Thomas.* 
Man, Josiah,* Boston. (?) 
Mattoon, Philip, Hadley. 
Merry, Cornelius, Northampton. 
Miller, John,* Northampton. 
Miller, Thomas, Springfield. 
Montague, Peter, Hadley. 
Morgan, Isaac, Springfield. 
Morgan, Jonathan, Springfield. 
Munn, James, Colchester. 
Munn, John, Colchester. 
Newbery, Tryal, Maiden. 
Nims, Godfrey, Northampton. 
Old, Robert, Springfield. 
Pearse, Nathaniel, Woburn. 
Pike, Joseph,* Charlestown. 
Poole, Benjamin,* Weymouth. 
Pratt, John. Maiden. 
Pressey, John, Almsbury, 
Preston, John, Hadley. 
Price, Robert, Northampton. 
Pumrey, Caleb, Northampton. 
Pumrey, Medad, Northampton. 
Ransford, Samuel.* 
Read, Thomas, Westford. 
Roberts, Thomas.* 
Rogers, Henry, Springfield. 
Ropes, Ephraim,* Dedham(?) 
Ruggles, George.* 
Salter, John, Charlestown. 
Scott, John. 

Scott, William, Hatfield. 
Selden, Joseph, Hadley. 
Simms, John.* 

Smead, William, Northampton. 
Smith, John, Hadley. 
Smith, Richard. 

Stebbins, Benoni, Northampton. 
Stebbins, Samuel, Springfield. 
Stebbins, Thomas, Springfield. 
Stephenson, James, Springfield. 
Sutlief, Nathaniel,*! Hadley. 
Sykes, Nathaniel, Springfield. (?) 
Tay or Toy, Isaiah, Boston. 
Taylor, John.* 

Taylor, Jonathan, Springfield. 
Thomas, Benjamin, Springfield. 
Turner, Capt. William,* Boston. 
Tyley, Samuel. 
Veazy, Samuel,* Braintree. 
Waite, Benjamin, Hatfield. 

I Judd speaks of a tradition in the Sutlief family that Nathaniel was burned 
at the stake. 


Walker, John.* Wells, Jonathan,! Hadley. 

Warriner, Joseph, Hadley. Wells, Thomas, Hadley. 

Watson, John,* Cambridge. (?) White, Henry, Hadley. 

Webb. John, Northampton. Whitterage, John,* Salem. 

Webb, Richard, Northampton. Worthington, William. 

Weller, Eleazer, Westfield. Wright, James, Northampton. 
Weller, Thomas, Westfield. 

Killed 41. Wounded 3. 

Nine veterans of this company were living in 1735, Na- 
thaniel Alexander, vSamuel Belden, John Bradshaw, John 
Chase, Joseph Fuller, Samuel Hunt, James Munn, Jonathan 
Wells, In i734vSamuel Hunt petitioned the General Court 
for a grant of land to the survivors and heirs of those en- 
gaged in the " Falls Fight." In 1736 a grant was made them 
six miles square, to be located on the north bounds of Deer- 
field. Of the 145 men known to be in the fight only 97 
claimants appeared when the tract was laid out in 1736. Two 
more appeared, and in 1741 an additional grant was made of 
the Gore lying between the former one and " Boston town, 
No. 2," [ColrainJ on the west. The whole was called Falls 
Fight Town, Fall Fight Township, Fall Town, and on secur- 
ing a Town Charter in 1762, Bernardston. Among the few 
affidavits made to sustain claims, found in the Ma.ssachusetts 
MS. Archives, is one from John, in which he states 
that he and Samuel Colby were in the fight and helped to 
bury Capt. Turner. A grave which was probably that of 
Capt. Turner has been discovered within a few years on the 
bluff westerly of where he fell. 

George Ebon, who was wounded in his head, was a soldier 
at Westfield, August, 1676. 

Although successful, this expedition into an almost unex- 
plored wilderness against unknown numbers, was rash in the 
extreme. Had the march been discovered, another and sim- 
ilar tragedy would doubtless have been added to those of 
Beers and Lothrop. By good fortune, however, the object of 
its design was accomplished. The people proved prophets. 

No intelligent estimate can be made of the number of In- 
dians engaged in this affair, and contemporary accounts dif- 
fer widely as to their loss. Captive Indian women said that 
four hundred were killed, including seventy Wampanoags. 
If this be true, the latter must have been women and chil- 
dren. We know that there was no distinction of age or sex 
in the slaughter. Other Indians said " the number of slain 


and drowned was three hundred and upward that we are able 
to g-ive an account of, and probably many more, for all the 
Indians that had confederated in this war were got together 
in these parts, and we could not tell their numbers. We 
miss many that might be lost" there. Another said that 
about sixty warriors were killed of the Pocumtucks, Nip- 
mucks and Narragansets, including three or four Sachems 
and some of their best fighting men ; but that many who 
went over the falls got on shore below. Wennaquabin, a Nar- 
raganset Sachem, who was there, said that he " lost his gun 
and swam over the river to save his life." Necopeak, of the 
same tribe, said that he " ran away by reason the shot came 
as thick as rain ; * * * that he saw Capt, Turner, and 
that he was shot in the thigh, and that he knew that it was 
him for the said Turner said that was his name." Both these 
Indians were executed with Quinnapin at Newport, R. I., 
August 26th, 1676. The Pocumtucks suffered severely, and 
their power was broken forever. From this time and place, 
they pass into oblivion. Here was written in bloody charac- 
ters the final page in their history as a tribe or nation. A 
miserable remnant was absorbed by the Mahicans or the 

Lying before me is a manuscript from which some vandal 
has cut the signature, but clearly in the handwriting of Ste- 
en, son of Rev. John Williams, dated " Springfield, L. M., 
[Long Meadow,] Feb. i, 173 1-2." The substance of this was 
published by Rev. John Taylor, in an appendix to the " Re- 
deemed Captive," in 1793; but as it is intimately connected 
with our narrative, it seems fitting to give the entire paper 
in this place. Mr. Taylor prefaces the story by saying it was 
" the substance of an attested copy of the account, taken from 
his own mouth." At the date of this manuscript, Mr. Wells, 
the hero in fact and name, was living in Deerfield, where he 
died January 3d, 1738-9. To this paper will be added some 
statements connected with it, from other manuscript in the 
same handwriting, together with a tradition elucidating one 
point in the story. 


I shall give an account of the remarkable providences of God to- 
wards Jonathan Wells Esq then aged 16 years and 2 or 3 months 

102 . PHILir'S WAR. 

who was in the action [at the Falls Fight, May i9thj. He was with 
the 20 men y' were obliged to fight w'" the enemy to recover their 
horses; after he mounted his horse a little while, (being then in the 
rear of y"' company) he was fird at by three Indians who were very 
near him; one bullet passd so near him as to brush his hair another 
struck his horse behind a third struck his thigh in a place which be- 
fore had been broken by a cart wheel & never set but the bones 
lapd (S: so grew together so y' altho one end of it had been struck 
and the bone shatterd by y' bullet yet the bone was not wholly 
lossd in y" place where it had knit. Upon receving his wound he 
was in danger of falling from his horse, Init catching hold of y 
horse's maine he recovered himself. 'I'he Indians perceving they 
had wound'd him, ran up very near to him, but he kept y Inds back 
by presenting his gun to y'" once or twice, & when they stoped to 
charge he got rid of them iS: got up to some of y"" company. [In 
this fight for life, as appears by another scrap of our manuscript, he 
stopped and took up behind him Stephen Belding, a boy companion 
of si.xteen years, who thus escaped]. Capt. Turner, to whom he 
represented y*' difficulties of y men in y rear & urgd y* he either 
turn back to y'' relief, or tarry a little till they all come up & so go 
off in a body; but y captain replid he had 'better save some, than 
lose all,' and quickly y'' army were divided into several parties, one 
pilot crying out, *if you love your lives follow me;' another y' was 
accjuanted w"' y woods cryd 'if you love your lives follow me.' 
Wells fell into the rear again and took w"' a small company y' sepa- 
rated from others y' run upon a parcel of Indians near a swamp <.\: was 
most of y"' killed. They then separated again & had about ten men 
left with him, and his horse failing considerably by reason of his 
wound, & himself spent w"' bleeding, he was left with one John 
Jones, a wounded man likewise. He had now got about 2 miles 
from y place where y'' did y' exploit in, iS: now y>' had left y track 
of y^' company & were left both by y'' Indians y* persued y'" & by 
their own men that should have tarried with y'". These two men 
were unacquainted w*'' y'' woods, & without anny track or path. J. 
W. had a gun & J. J. a swortl. J. J. represented y badness of his 
wounds, X: made his companion think they were certainly mortall, 
and therefore when y>' separated in (;rder to find the path, J. ^V. 
was glad to leave him, lest he sh'' be a clog or hindrance to him. 
Mr. W. grew faint, (S: once when y Indians prest him, he was near 
fainting away, but by eating a nutmeg, (which his grandmother gave 
him as he was going out) he was revivd. After traveling a while he 
came upon Green river, and followd it up to y place calld y Coun- 
try farms, & passd over Green river, & attempted to go up y'^' moun- 
tain, but as he assend'd the hill he fainted & fell from his horse; but 
after a little he came to himself & found y' his horse's bridle hung 
upon his hand & his horse was standing by him. He tyed his horse 
and laid down again. At length he grew so weak y' he c'' not get 
upon his horse, & conclud'd he must dye there himself, & so pitying 
his horse he dismissd him, never thinking to take any provision from 
him, altho he had three meals of provision behind him. Ab' noon 
this, & at ab' sun an hour high at n', being disturbed by y'' flies, he 
stopd y touch hole of his gun «& struck fire, tV set y woods on fire; 


but there being much rubbish, he had like to have been burnt up by 
it, not being able to get out of y^' way; but by scraping away y^' 
leaves, &c., he was w"' much difficulty preserved from burning; his 
hands and hair were much burnt, notwithstanding all y* he C' do. 
He then made a fire of some wood y' lay in his reach & lay down by 
it. Now new fears arose: He concluded y* his fire would direct the 
Indians where to come to find him, '& being so weak he c'' not stand 
or go, concluded he must then be killed by y Indians; he flung away 
his powder horn one way and his bullet pouch another, y' y>' might 
not have y'", reserving a little horn of powder y* he might have one 
shot before y>' killed him; but w" y' fire spread considerably, he ex- 
pected y^' w' be as like to look in one place as another, & again took 
courage & took some tow & stopd into his wound, & bound it up 
with his hand kerchief & neckcloth, tS: so securely laid him down to 
sleep; and when asleep, he dreamt y' his grandfather came to him & 
told him he was lost, but y* he must go down y' river till he came to 
y"" end of y mountain & then turn away upon y'' plain, (he was now ab' 
12 miles from Deerfield) & y' was y- way home. When he awoke 
in the morning, (having been refresht by his sleep & his bleeding be- 
ing stopd), he found he had some strength, & found y' w"' y^' help 
of his gun for a staff he c'' go after a fashion ; when y'^ sun arose he 
found himself lost, (tho before he thot y direction in y^' dream was 
quite wrong), but upon considering y'^' rising of y"" sun, &c., he re- 
solved to go according to y direction of y'' dream, (he had now got 
6 miles further from home than y place was where they did their 
exploit upon y'' enemy) & picking up his powder horn & bullets he 
girt up himself & set forward down y" river & found y' at length he 
came to y end of y mountain & to a plain (as in his dream, which 
before he knew nothing of, for he was never above y*^ place called 
Hatfiekl Clay Gully before this expedition, & when he went up 'twas 
n', as before observd, & he was now many miles from any place 
where y'' army came). 

He travelled upon y'' plain till he came to a foot path w<=^' led up 
to y*^ road he went out in, where he c'' see y tracks of y'^ horses. He 
travelled by leaning upon his gun as a staff, & so he came down to 
D'' river, but did not 'know how to get over. He met w*'' much dif- 
ficulty, for y" stream car'' his lame leg acrost y'^' other leg; but at 
length by putting the muzzell of his gun into y'' water, (for he was 
loth to wet the lock), he got over, but filled the muzzell of his gun 
with gravel & sand. Being much spent when he got up y bank, he 
laid down under a walnut bush & fell asleep, and w" he awoke an 
Indian was coming over the river in a cano to him coming ashore to 
him — near — his distress was great; he could not run from his enemy 
& was quite incapacitated from fighting, (his gun being full of sand 
& gravel), but he presented his gun, and when the Indian discovered 
him, he jumped out of his cano, (leaving his own gun w''' was in y*^ 
head of y"" cano), & made his escape & went & told y'" Indians y* y*^ 
English army was come again for he had seen one of y^' scouts. Mr. 
W., suspecting the Indians w'^ come to search for him, went away in- 
to a swamp (y' was hard by) and finding two great trees y^ had been 
left by y flood lying at a little distance from each other & covered 
over w"' rubbish, he crept in betwixt them & within a little while 


heard a running to & fro in y"^ swamp, but saw' nothing; within a lit- 
tle while all was still, and he ventured to proceed on his journey. 

(The Indians afterwards gave out that a Narragansett Indian was 
going up the river after eals, that he saw y'' track of a man in y^ path 
y' went up y" bank & was going to see, & saw a man on y" bank 
& jumped out of y'' canoo, & went & told y*" Indians y'' English 
army were coming again; y^ he had seen one of y'' scouts; upon w'' 
yy went to y'^ place, but not seeing anything, y^ concluded he was 
afrightd groundlessly, for y'^ Narragansetts, y^ s'', were no better 
than squaws, &c., and so y^ made no strict search). 

A digressionfrom the narrative, but not to be skipped. 

The Indian story in the parenthesis above appears to be 
an attempt to cover up the humiliating fact of their being 
outwitted by a crippled boy. It is not improbable that Wells 
told the story as written, with the double purpose of annoy- 
ing the Indians on a sensitive point, and of concealing the 
artifice for ftiture emergencies. No one brought up on Coop- 
er's novels could for a moinent believe that Wells escaped in 
the manner described, and from the writer's boyhood, this 
part of the story has throwm a shadow of doubt over the 
whole account of this romantic experience. Any one closely 
observing a pile of drift wood in situ, will see how difficult it 
must be for the most careftil hand to remove any part of it 
without leaving unmistakable evidence of the disturbance. 
And the trail of the hobbling boy, from the track "in y° path 
y^ went up y'' bank" to the great trees and rubbish "left by y 
flood " in the swamp, must have been patent to the most casual 
eye, let alone an Indian on the trail of an enemy. A more 
interesting and romantic story of border warfare in real life 
is rarely met with. Carefully trace the events as modestly, 
naively told, with no whining and no complaint. Note the 
hero's bravery and coolness when attacked ; his knightly court- 
esy in stopping in his flight to rescue Belding ; his thought- 
fulness for those behind, and judgment in pleading with Capt. 
Turner to keep his command in a body ; his humanity in re- 
leasing his horse ; his resignation when lying down to die ; 
his forethought in putting out of the reach of the foe his 
powder horn and bullets ; his courage in j^reparing for " one 
more shot ; " his expedient for lighting a fire to keep off the 
insects ; his self-possession in btiilding a fire to lie down by, 
after his narrow escape from being burned to death ; his clear- 
headedness when "lost" or "turned round" in the morning; 


his persistent care for his gun and ammunition ; his ingenu- 
ity in saving himself when in the very jaws of the enemy ; 
his fortitude under the discouragements by the way, and his 
expedients for overcoming them ; his reverence and care for 
the dead at Bloody Brook. Here stand, clearly revealed, traits 
of the noblest character, in a lad ripened to self-reliance by 
the exigencies of frontier life. It is with great satisfaction 
that the writer is able to dissipate the faint shadow resting 
upon the narrative. 

The" key to this remarkable escape is found in a tradition 
handed down in the family, and given me by Rodney B. Field 
of Guilford, Vt. By this it appears that the "two great trees 
y* had been left by y'' flood a little distance from each other 
and covered over with brush," were lying, one end on the 
river bank, with the other projecting into, and supported by 
the water. Wading along to the nearest tree, ducking his 
head under its trunk, and standing erect between the two, 
with head above water. Wells was securely hidden and no 
trace of his footsteps was left. This was a device which might 
well baffle his pursuers and was worthy of Leatherstocking 
himself. The real danger, — that which could not have been 
foreseen, — appeared when the Indians in their "running to& 
fro" stopped for a moment on this cover. Under their weight 
it sank, forcing the poor boy's head under water, so that sev- 
eral times he was nearly drowned. 

Narrative continued: — 

In Deerfield Meadows he found some horses' bones, from which he 
got away some small matter; found two rotted beans in y" meadows 
where y" Indians had thrashed y'' beans, & two blew birds' eggs, w*^'^ 
was ally' provision he had till he got home. He got up to Df town 
plat before dark, Saturday, but y' town was burned before & no in- 
habitants, so he kept along. His method of travelling was to go a 
little ways & then lye down to rest, & was wont to fall asleep, but in 
y' n^ twice he mistook himself when he awoke, & went back again 
till coming to some remarkable places, he was convinced of his mis- 
take & so turned ab*^ again, & at length he took this method, to lay 
y' muzzell of his gun towards his course, but losing so much, he was 
discouraged & laid himself down once & again, expecting to dye; but 
after some recruit was encouraged to set forward again, but meeting 
w"> these difficulties he spent y' whole n* in getting to muddy brook 
(or, as some call it, bloody brook); here he buried a man's head in 
y' path, y* was drawn out of y' grave by some vermin, w*-'' clefts of 
wood, &c., and upon y*^ road to H'f'd was (like Samson after the 
slaughter of y' Philistines) distressd for want of drink, & many times 
ready to faint, yet got no water till he came to Clay Gully, but divers 

10(5 P11IL11''S WAR. 

times he was refresht b)^ holding his head over candlewood knots y" 
were on fire, y' woods being then on fire on y'' plains, & got to Hat- 
field between meetings on Sabbath day. 

He lay lame under Dr. Locke for some time, & was under Mrs. Al- 
len & Mr. Buckley four years & 2 months (in all) & never had any- 
thing allowd him for time or smart, tho y> p'' y'^' surgeon; he lay at 
one time half a year in one spot on a bed, without being turned once, 
or once taken out; often dispared of his life; all his skin came off 
his back by lying in one posture. 

The Indians have given the account following to Jonathan Wells, 
Esq., viz.: That the Monday after the fight, 8 Knglishmen that were 
lost came to them and offered to submitt themselves to them, if they 
would not put them to death, but whether they promised them cpiar- 
ter or not, thev took them, and burnt them; the method of Ihirning 
them was to cover them with thatch and put. fire to it, and set them 
a running; and when one coat of thatch was burnt up, they would 
put on another, & the Barbarous-creatures that have given this ac- 
count of their inhumanity, have in a scoffing manner added, that the 
Englishmen would cry out as they were burning, "Oh dear I oh dear!" 
The Indians themselves account it very unmanly to moan or make 
ado under the torments and cruelties of their enemies who put them 
to Death. 

On another paper Mr. Williams refers "to an aceount of the 
wonderful providenee of God towards the Rev. Mr. Hope Ath- 
erton, who was likewise in the expedition. He was unhorsed, 
lost & left & would have surrendered himself to the Indians, 
but they would not receive him but ran froni liim. He <^ot 
over the Great River and got safe into Hadley. This account 
was drawn up by himself, and signed by himself, but the ac- 
count would be too long to insert in this extract, &c." 

When Mr. Williams wrote the above meagre abstract, the 
original MS. was in his possession. A copy of this follows:— 

MR. ATHERTON'S story. 

[Read after his sermon, Sunday, May 28, 1676.] 

Hope Atherton desires this congregation and all people that shall 
hear of the Lord's dealings with him to praise and give thanks to 
God for a series of remarkable deliverances wrought for him. I'he 
passages of divine providence (being considered together) make up 
a complete temporal salvation. 1 have passed through the Valley 
of the Shadow of Death, and both the rod and staff of God delivered 
me. A particular relation of extreme sufferings that I have under- 
gone, & signal escapes that the Lord hath made way for, 1 make 
openly, that glory may be given to him for his works that have been 
wonderful in themselves and marvelous in mine eyes; & will be so in 
the eyes of all whose hearts are prepared to believe what I shall re- 
late. On the morning (May 19, 1676) that followed the night in 
which I went out against the enemy with others, I was in eminent 


danger through an instrument of death: a gun was discharged against 
me at a small distance, the Lord diverted the bullet so that no harm 
was done me. When I was separated from the army, none j^ursued 
after me, as if God had given the heathen a charge, sa3nng, let him 
alone he shall have his life for a prey. The night following I wan- 
dered up and down among the dwelling places of our enemies; but 
none of them espied me. Sleep fell upon their eyes, and slumber- 
ing upon their eyelids. Their dogs moved not their tongues, 'i'he 
next day I was encompassed with enemies, unto whom 1 tendered 
myself a captive. The Providence of God seemed to require me so 
to do. No way appeared to escape, and I had been a long time with- 
out food. They accepted not the tender which I made, when 1 spake, 
they answered not, when I moved toward them they moved away 
from me. I expected they would have laid hands upon me, but they 
did not. Understanding that this seems strange and incredible unto 
some, 1 have considered whether I was not deceived ; and after con- 
sideration of all things 1 cannot find sufficient grounds to alter my 
thoughts. If any have reason to judge otherwise than myself, who 
am less than the least in the kingdom of God, I desire them to inti- 
mate what their reason is. When 1 have mused, that which hath cast 
my thoughts according to the report I first made, is, that it tends to 
the glory of God, in no small measure; if it were so as I believe it 
was, that I was encompassed with cruel and unmerciful enemies; & 
they were restrained by the hand of God from doing the least injury 
to me. This evidenceth that the Most High ruleth in the Kingdom 
of men, & doeth whatever oleaseth him amongst them. Enemies 
cannot do what they will, but are subservient to over-ruling provi- 
dence of God. God always can and sometimes doth set bounds un- 
to the wrath of man. On the same day, which was the last day 
of the week, not long before the sun did set, I declared with sub- 
mission that I would go to the Indian habitations. I spoke such lan- 
guage as I thought they understood. Accordingly I endeavored ; but 
God, whose thoughts were higher than my thoughts, prevented me; 
by his good providence I was carried beside the path I intended to 
walk in & brought to the sides of the great river, which was a good 
guide unto me. The most observable passage of providence was Ckn 
the Sabbath day morning. Having entered upon a plain, I saw two 
or three spies, who I (at first) thought they had a glance upon me. 
Wherefore I turned aside and lay down. They climbed up into a 
tree to spie. Then my soul secretly begged of God, that he would 
put it into their hearts to go away. 1 waited patiently and it was not 
long ere they went away. Then I took that course which I thought 
best according to the wisdom that God had given me. 

Two things 1 must not pass over that are matter of thanks-giving 
unto God: the first is, that when my strength was far spent, I passed 
through deep waters and they overflowed me not, according to those 
gracious words of Isa. 43, 2 ; the second is, that I subsisted the space 
of three days & part of a fourth without ordinary food. I thought 
upon those words "Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word 
that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord." I think not to too 
much to say, that should you c\: I be silent & not set forth the praises 
of God thro' Jesus Christ, that the stones and beams of our houses 


would sing hallelujiih. 1 am not conscious to myself that I have ex- 
ceeded in speech. If I have spoken beyond what is convenient, I' 
know it not. I leave these lines as an orphan, and shall rejoice to 
hear that it finds foster Father's iv: Mother's. However it fare amongst 
men, yet if it find acceptance with God thro' Christ Jesus, I shall 
have cause to be abundantly satisfied. God's providence hath been 
so wonderful towards me, not because 1 have more wisdom than oth- 
ers (Danl 2, 30) nor because 1 am more righteous than others; but 
because it so pleased God. h. a. 

Hatfield, May 24th, 1676. 

This interesting narrative has been long lost and sought 
for. At length it has been discovered, and can now be traced 
directly back to the hands of the author. Mr. Atherton never 
recovered from the effects of his terrible experience, and died 
June 4th, 1677. His only surviving son, Joseph, settled in 
Deerfield. The paper was loaned by him to Lieut. Timothy 
Childs, and was .seen in his hands by Ebenezer Grant, who, by 
leave of Atherton, sent it to Rev. ^Stephen Williams, who was 
then preparing his valuable "Appendix" to the "Redeemed 
Captive." Mr. Williams made a copy of this, and doubtless 
sent back the original to the owner, according to the condi- 
tions of the loan. Who among the Athertons has the origi- 

In 1781, Mr. Williams sends his copy to Pres. Ezra vStiles; 
and in 1857, Dr. Henry R., son of Ezra Stiles, sends it to Syl- 
vester Judd, and J. R. Trumbull of Northampton has recent- 
ly found it in the Judd collection of MSS. Mr. Trumbull 
has kindly sent me a verbatim copy, which it seems fitting to 
print, with the accompanying letter. The story of Jonathan 
Wells confirms the correctness of Atherton's narrative. 

Extract from a letter (dated June 8th, 1781,) of Stephen Wil- 
liams, to President vStyles : — 

"In looking over my papers I found a copy of a paper left by the 
Kev. Hope Atherton, the first minister of Hatfield, who was or- 
dained May loth, 1670. This Mr. Atherton went out with the forces 
(commanded by Capt. Turner, captain of the garrison soldiers, and 
Capt. Holyoke of the county militia) against the Indians at the falls 
above Deerfield, in May, 1676. In the fight, upon their retreat, Mr. 
Atherton was unhorsed and separated from the company, wandered 
in the woods some days and then got into Hadley,* which is on the 
east side of Connecticut River. But the fight was on the west side. 
Mr. Atherton gave account that he had offered to surrender himself 
to the enemy, but they would not receive him. Many people were 

* This conclusion does not seem warranted by the text. 


not willing to give credit to his account, suggesting that he was be- 
side himself. This occasioned him to publish to his congregation 
and leave in writing the account I enclose to you. I had the paper 
from which this is copied, from his only son, with whom it was left. 
The account is doubtless true, for Jonathan AV^ells, Esq., who was 
in the fight and lived afterward at Deerfield and was intimately ac- 
quainted with the Indians after the war, did himself inform me that 
the Indians told him that after the fall fight, that a little man with a 
black coat and without any hat, came toward them, but they were 
afraid and ran from him, thinking it was the Englishman's God, 
etc., etc." 

The " deep waters " above mentioned were probably the 
Deerfield river, which he must have crossed. Atherton was 
on the Hatfield side Saturday night ; the spies he saw, Sun- 
day morning, would naturally be on the west side. Why 
should he cross the river that was such a " good guide unto " 
him and would lead him directly home to Hatfield ? 

After the Falls Fight the English frontiers were carefully 
covered by guards and scouts under the direction of the 
Committee of the Militia. A scouting party of which John 
Hawks was one, reported seeing in the evening of May 22d, 
Indian fires at the site of the Falls Fight and at the camp on 
the opposite side of the river. A large force appeared to be 
there. They had probably been observed by the scouts from 
the summit of Rocky Motmtain at Poets Seat. No Indians, 
however, were seen about our towns until they came in force. 

Attack on Hatfield. May 30th, the enemy appeared at Hat- 
field with seven hundred warriors and drove the inhabitants 
within the stockades. Remembering their experience at 
Northampton, no attempt was made to penetrate the lines ; 
but spreading themselves about they pillaged and burned 
houses and barns and slaughtered cattle at their will, the in- 
habitants not daring to sally from their shelter. This condi- 
tion of affairs being seen at Hadley, twenty-five resolute men 
crossed the Connecticut in a single boat to their aid. When 
nearly over they were discovered by the Indians, who, in a 
futile attempt to prevent a landing, wounded one of the men 
in the boat. 

The Hadley men gallantly fought their way towards the 
town through the one hundred and fifty Indians who had 
been attracted by the firing, but were so hard pressed that 
five were shot down near the fort, and none would have es- 
caped had not Hatfield men sallied out to their succor. The 


Indians fought desperately and exposed themselves unusual- 
ly m this encounter, and lost twenty-five men. As more re- 
inforcements might be expected from adjoining towns, an 
ambush was laid on the Northampton road, and another 
party watched the Hadley crossing. 

A post had been sent to Hartford, on the return of Capt. 
Holyoke to Springfield, asking for help, and on the 22d, Capt. 
Benjamin Newbury was sent up with eighty men, most of 
whom were now posted at Northampton. On hearing the 
alarm, Newbury went to the relief of Hatfield, three miles 
distant. Avoiding the road where the lay, " fearing 
it beforehand," says the captain, he crossed the Connecticut, 
marched to Hadley, and attempted to follow the twenty-five 
volunteers ; " but," he says, the enemy " lay so thick about 
y'' landing we could not get to Hatfield." This prudent de- 
tour of several miles, and putting a wide river between his 
men and the enemy, seems better calculated to secure their 
own safety than to afford relief to beleaguered Hatfield. It is 
gratifying, however, to note that something had been learned 
of the tactics of the Indians, even though nothing had been 
devised to meet them. The Indians at their leisure with- 
drew up the river, driving all the Hatfield sheep. They had 
burned twelve houses and barns, destroyed much property, 
and killed five men, viz : Johanna vSmith of Farmington, 
Richard Hall of Middletown, John vSmith of Hadley — ances- 
tor of the famous Oliver Smith — and two of Capt. vS wain's 
garrison soldiers, whose names are not known, and wounded 
three — John Stow and Richard Orvis of Connecticut and John 
Hawks of Hadley. Hawks and Smith had both been in the 
fight at Turners Falls. 

One incident of the day, preserved by tradition, is given as 
a picture of Indian warfare : Soon after the Hadley men got 
ashore, a Pocumtuck Indian discovered an old acquaintance 
behind a tree near him in the person of John Hawks, and 
hailed him. The recognition was mutual, and each calling 
the other by name dared him to come out from his cover 
and fight it out, meanwhile watching his chance for an ad- 
vantage over his adversary. The Pocumtuck knew that his 
chances were the best. At any moment he might expect 
some of the gathering Indians to appear in the rear or on the 
flank of Hawks's position, forcing him from his cover, and 

A frontiersman's nerve and eye. 171 

giving an opportunit}^ to shoot or capture him. For this, he 
could afford to wait. In a short time these expectations 
seemed about to be realized. Hawks suddenly exposed his 
person and leveled his gun, as if to repel an attack in another 
direction. Deceived by this feint, the Pocumtuck sprang 
from his tree to rush up and capture his ex-friend, as soon as 
his gun was discharged. Quick as thought Hawks wheeled, 
and before the Indian could raise his gun or reach his cover 
gave him a fatal shot. The whole transaction was over in a 
second or two. The reasoning of Hawks as to his peculiar 
exposure had been the same as that of his antagonist, and 
his ready wit suggested the scheme, by which, trusting to 
steady nerve and quick eye, he might be saved. Hawks was 
wounded later in the fight, and "lay a wounded man 12 
weeks." He and his brother Eleazer were in the Falls Fight 
on the 19th and both became settlers of this town. 

The following extract from a letter by Capt. Benjamin 
Newbury to Capt. John Allyn at Hartford, is the only ac- 
count of the event to which it refers that I have met : — 

"Sir, on Thursday morning y' was Alarum at Hadly, his man was 
shott at goeing to y' mill, and pr'sently after foure men more being 
sent foreth as a scout to discover, were also shott at by seaven or 
eight indians and narrowly escaped. The Intlians made sevoral 
shotts at y"^ mill, but throow God's goodness none was hurt. We 
being sent [for?J drew all over & together with sevoral of y" town 
went foreth to y^ mill. Saw many tracks and also where y" indians 
Lay y'' Ambushments as we judged, but could not finde y'' Indians so 
as to make anything of it. Some s'' they saw some, but so kept of 
that we could not come at them. We found where they had newly 
kild nine horses young and old, and to be feard have driven away 
sevoral cattle y' could not be found. I much doubght y* some ef- 
fictual course be not taken, much Loss of cattle if not of men will 
soon be in these parts. Our being hear as garrison cannot pr'serue 
y" cattle, neither can we pursue after to relieve them but with great 
hazard." [This letter was dated] "Northampton, May 26th, '76." 


Soon after the party which left Squakheag with Philip, 
April loth, had reached Wachusett, negotiations for the re- 
demption of the English captives were opened by Gov. Lev- 
erett. These resulted in the recovery of several, among 
whom was Mrs. Rowlandson, who reached Boston May 3d. 
Philip bitterl)^ opposed the policy of giving up the captives, 
or of any friendly with the English, and wordd 
have killed their messengers had not Sagamore Sam pre- 


vented. The far-sighted Wampanoag feared that this inter- 
course with the English would end in breaking up the Con- 
federacy, in bringing the war to a close, and in his own de- 
struction. Powerless to prevent it, Philip, with his usual du- 
plicity, sent an evasive letter about the prisoners, pretending 
a desire for peace, and asking that in the meantime the In- 
dians might not be disturbed in planting on the Nipmuck 
lands. To give opportunity for this, and gain time until the 
foliage was dense enough for shelter, was the object of this 
movement. The letter was also signed by three Nipmucks, 
and two Narraganset Sachems. One of the former. Sagamore 
Sam, was really in favor of peace, and would have given up 
all the captives to obtain it ; and to procure those in this val- 
ley, he left Wachusett about the middle of May. Events be- 
fore narrated frustrated his plans, and he returned only to 
find his wife a prisoner, a raid having been made on his own 
tribe in his absence. The correspondence of Gov. Leverett 
with the Indians was kept up several weeks, and a few more 
captives were redeemed. Meanwhile, with the expectation 
of peace, part of the English force in the field had been dis- 
missed, and little was done in the prosecution of the war. 
The General Court becoming satisfied of Philip's real object, 
wrote to Connecticut on the 26th of May, " We finde the In- 
dians heereabouts doe but dally, & intend not peace, there- 
fore concurr w"' you in a vigorous prosecution of them ;" 
that five hundred horse and foot would be on the m^irch to- 
wards Wachusett by the first of June, and ask that a " pro- 
portionable" force be sent from Connecticut to meet them. 
On the 5th of June, the Massachusetts troops, under the com- 
mand of Capt. Samuel Henchman, marched westward from 
Concord. Within a day or two he surprised a camp of Nip- 
mucks and killed or captured thirty-six, among them the 
families of Sagamore Sam and other leaders. Henchman 
reached Marlboro on the 9th and Hadley on the 14th. 

Maj. John Talcott, sent by Connecticut to join Henchman 
in an attack on the enemy about Wachusett, left Norwich 
June 2d and reached Quabaug the 7th, having killed or cap- 
tured seventy-three Indians on the way. Two of these, taken 
near Quabaug, " reported 500 fighting men at Pocumtuck." 
Not meeting Henchman, nor daring to venture an attack on 
the fastnesses of Wachusett alone, Talcott pushed on to Had- 


le^, which he reached on the 8th. His force wa.s two hundred 
and fifty mounted English and two hundred Indians, the lat- 
ter principally Mohegans under Oneko. The death of Joshua, 
another son of Uncas, prevented a much larger force of Mo- 
hegans from taking the field. Talcott established his head- 
quarters at Northampton, and sent to Hartford for ammu- 
nition and other supplies. These were forwarded by Capt. 
George Dennison, who arrived at Northampton with his com- 
pany June loth at midnight. About five hundred and fifty 
men were now collected at headquarters, and there was great 
rejoicing among the inhabitants. This joy would have been 
ten fold greater, could they have foreseen the events of the 
next two days. Henchman was daily expected, when the 
whole army would push on up to Pocumtuck. 

The slow movements of Henchman from the east were 
doubtless known to the Indians up the river, while they were 
ignorant of the march of Talcott and Dennison ; and to fore- 
stall the arrival of Henchman, Hadley was beset on the 12th 
by a force of seven hundred warriors.* A strong party was 
posted at the north end to intercept any English going to the 
north meadows, or coming from Hatfield ; the rest lay at the 
south end for a similar purpose, and both waited events. The 
latter party was first discovered. Three men who left the stock- 
ade in the morning, contrary to orders, fell among them and 
were killed. On the alarm, Capt. Jeremiah Swaine, who had 
succeeded Turner in command, sent out a force against the 
enemy. While so engaged at the south end, the Indians at the 
north end rushed from their covert to overrun that part of 
the town. To their surprise they found the stockades lined 
with soldiers and Indians, and soon fell back in disorder. 
They had fired a barn at the outset and got possession of a While plundering this on their retreat, it was struck 
by a missile from a small cannon which sent them tumbling 
out in great terror. They were pursued northward for two 
miles, and a few of them killed. This was their last attempt 
in the valley during the war. 

The junction of Capt. Henchman with Talcott at Hadley, 
June 14th, formed an army of more than one thousand men. 

*This is the occasion assigned by Gen. Hoyt and Dr. Holland for the mythi- 
cal appearance of the regicide Goffe in the character of the Guardian Angel of 


The example of aggressive warfare which the inhabitants 
had set when forced to self-protection, had been recognized 
in the counsels of Massachusetts and Connecticut as the true 
policy, and this force was sent to carry it out. On the morn- 
ing of the 1 6th the army moved up the valley, Henchman on 
the east side of the river and Talcott on the west. No In- 
dians were found at Pocumtuck, and both divisions reached 
Peskeompskut at night, drenched by a heavy rain. A cold, 
northeast rain .storm had set in, which continued all the 17th 
and the night following. Much of their provision and am- 
munition was spoiled, and the main body forced to return on 
the 1 8th. Scouts ranged the woods to the west and north, 
but no enemy were found. One party discovered the body of 
Capt. Turner, and saw charred stakes where they thought 
English prisoners had been tortured. About the 20th Major 
Talcott marched home; and Henchman moved towards the 
Bay two or three days later. Capt. Swaine, again left in com- 
mand in the valley, sent a scout of thirty men northward on 
the 28th, who destroyed a stockaded fort, thirty canoes, and 
a large quantity of provisions stored in underground barns, 
and burned one hundred wigwams on Smead's Island. 

Not an Indian had been seen in the valley since June 12th. 
After Turner's attack they had retired up the river, probably 
to the place provided by Pessacus for such an emergency. 
They sallied thence to attack Hadley on the 1 2th. Surprised 
to hnd the Connecticut forces there, especially the Mohegans, 
and disheartened by their repulse, this party returned to 
their headquarters only to find their camp sacked and fifty 
of their women and children lying dead amidst the ruins. 
Their worst fears were now realized. The dreaded Mohawk 
was upon them. No part of the Connecticut Valley was now 
tenable. Capt. Henchman, reporting his observations to the 
Council, June 30th, says : — 

Our scouts brought intelligence that all the Indians were in a con" 
tinual motion, some towards Narraganset, others towards Watchuset, 
shifting gradually, and taking up each others quarters, and lay not 
above a night in a Place. The twenty-seven scouts brought in two 
squaws a boy and a girl, giving account of five slain. Yesterday, 
they brought in an old fellow, brother to a Sachem, six squaws 
and children, having killed five men and wounded others, if not 
killed them, as they supposed by the blood found in the way, and a 
hat shot through. These and the other inform that Philip and the 


Narragansets were gone several days before to their own places. 
Philip's purpose being to do what mischief he could to the English. 

This vivid picture of the disorganized condition of the 
Wampanoags and Narragansets, might well apply also to the 
Nipmucks and Pocumtucks. The former were drifting to- 
wards ]\Iaine and Canada, while the latter scattered westward, 
seeking refuge with their old allies, the Mahicans. Caspechy, 
or Cogepeison, of vSpringfield, with a small party ventured 
to Albany, and pretending peace had been made, tried to 
procure a supply of powder. They were secured by Gov. 
Andros, but he refused to give them up at the demand of 

Fears were now entertained that the Indians who fled to 
the Hudson would return with recruits. Scouts, therefore, 
ranged the woods, and guards watched over the laborers in 
the fields. July iith, Mr. Russell wrote to the Connecticut 
Council for more soldiers while "inning the corn;" but it be- 
ing time of harvest there, also, none could be spared. The 
grain was secured in safety, and no Indians appeared in the 
valley until July 19th. when some hundreds were seen near 
Westfield, going westward. They were pursued by the gar- 
rison, and took a southwest course, as if to cross the Hudson 
at Esopus, "to avoyd the Mohawks."' August nth, another 
party of two hundred crossed the Connecticut on a raft at 
Chicopee, and were discovered near Westfield the 12th. The 
soldiers there fired upon them and recovered a stolen horse. 
Major Talcott pursued them, and on the 15th overtook them 
at Hoosatonic river, where he killed or captured fifty-five. 
By taking this route through the settlements, the fugitives 
showed more fear of the Mohawks, who were ranging the 
northern woods, than of the English, who had but a feeble 
force in the valley. 

The condition of things here is well shown in a letter from 

Pynchon to Gov. Leverett, extracts from which are given 

below. The news of Philip's death, three days before, had 

not reached the valley, and Pynchon supposed he had fled 

westward with those fugitives who crossed the Connecticut 

the day before. 

[Springfield, August 15, 1676.] 

"When I was at Hartford my cousin Allyn Rec'd a letter f"" Capt. 
Nichols, governor Andros his Secratary, who writes y"^ y' North In- 


dians y* came in to them they had Secured by putting y'" under 
y' watch of .4. Nations of Indians. And he hopes it will not be 
thought y*^ their Govern' doth Harbor o'" Enemy, inasmuch as we doe 
accept of such as come to us: But surely it is y' worst of Indians 
y*- are gone thither, o'' Indians who most Treacherously ruined this 
Town & some of y'" y*^ we know murdered o"^ people w^'out any 
provocation, >S: I suppose Philip is now gone w*'' y' Company: So y' I 
suppose it may be necessary that Gov. Andros be again sent to to 
d'^ vp y'' Murderers, as we d"^'' vp .2. Murderers in Lovelace, his tyme 
w^'' fled to Springfield fr'" their Justice. I hope no answer wil be 
taken short of this for if some the chief of y'" were apprehended iv: 
sent to vs all y' rest would be quiet cV not till then. 

Severall Indians are come in at Norwich ^: as I hear; they say y' 
y° Bay Army killed Qiianapin, & Jvvips or Allunips is dead, his wife 
iV children having come in to Norwich: I desire to hear whether Ca- 
nonicus came in ther to Treate & what is become of those Indians 
[sic] came in? but I am so Troublesome <S: will not longer detaine 
you. I Pray g'' give y" ease & Mitigate y"^ Paine & illness * * * 

P. S. If it be thought meete & y" send order for y*" releaving of 
one halfe of y° Soldiers here in Garrison at Springfield, I shall doe 
it vpon intimation. Possibly it may be meete to leave 18 or 20 till 
Indian harvest be over for there will be most hazard of sculking In- 
dians about vs." 

All fugitives were sheltered by Gov. Andros, and none 
were ever given up to the New England authorities. The Mas- 
sachusetts Council passed an order August 12th — the very 
day on which Philip fell — directing Capt. Swaine to collect 
the garrison soldiers from all the valley towns and " march to 
IJeerficld, Squakheag, and the places thereabout, and destroy 
all the growing corn, and then march homeward." The corn 
here was cut down on the 2 2d. While so engaged, six Indi- 
ans were seen on the other side of the Pocumtuck, who dis- 
charged their guns in the air. Swaine called to them to 
come over the river. They did not come, but " hallooing, 
other Indians answered, and shot off a gun down the river." 
Not tinderstanding their intentions, and " fearing they might 
ensnare them," the night coming on, Swaine marched away. 
This may have been a lingering band of Pocumtucks, who 
saw with the falling corn their last hope vanish, and were 
ready to surrender. Their presence, however, was alarm- 
ing, and Major Pynchon wrote a vigorous letter to the Bay 
on the 24th, remonstrating against the withdrawal of the 
soldiers. The Council reply the 28th, that if Connectictit 
will send a force against the fugitives collecting on the Hud- 
son, Swaine may join them with all his command. The Con- 


necticiit Council sent to Gov. Andros on the 19th, asking- 
leave for such an expedition. Andros declined, saying- he 
would take care to restrain them. He also refused a demand 
to deliver up six of the ringleaders, two Pocumtuck and four 
Nipmuck Sachems, known to be near the Hudson. These 
refugees were finally incorporated with the Mahicans, and 
became known as the Scatakooks. 

Menowniet, a captive Indian, said " the Indians hid a 
great many guns about Pocumtuck," and described the place. 
On the 23d, Lieut. Thomas Hollister, with ten men to escort 
the prisoner, came up to recover them. The result is not 
known. On the first of September, the war being considered 
at an end, Capt. Swaine and all his inen were discharged. 


Judd says that the stories of Mohawk attacks on the hostile 
Indians were false ; and Drake seems to give them little 
credence. The reported facts lead me to an opposite con- 
clusion. The contemporary correspondence on the war, and 
its early historians, often allude to stories of Mohawk hostil- 
ities. A careful collation and comparison of these notes with 
undisputed facts, tends strongly to prove their truth, and 
gives the key to many otherwise unexplained events. Con- 
tinual aggressive acts of the Mohawks are clearly shown in 
the spring and summer of 1676. They drove Philip and the 
Pocumtucks from the Hoosick river in February. They cut 
off the inessengers sent from Squakheag to Canada with 
prisoners to exchange for powder, in March. The cry of 
'• Mohawks ! Mohawks !" when surprised by Turner, May 19th, 
shows the allies felt they had more reason to expect an at- 
tack from that enemy than from the English. The attack 
on their camp June 12th, noted by Mather and Hubbard, is 
proved by the letter of Andros, July 5th. The Mohawks 
having made several forays on our west frontiers in June 
without discovering any Indians, suspected peace had been 
made, and complained that the English had closed the war 
without notifying them. Some knowledge of the correspond- 
ence between the belligerents, already given, had probably 
reached them, and explanation was necessary. 

July 8th, the Connecticut Council of War sent the Mo- 
hawks word through Gov. Andros that they may " be fully 


assured that we have made no peace with the Indians, nei- 
ther is there at present anything amongst us looking that 
way." Then follows a detailed account of the offensive op- 
erations of the troops and plans for the future, with the re- 
quest that they also "would speedily prosecute them in those 
northern parts above Suckquackheag and farther up the riv- 
er, eastward from the river, about Wachuset." They also 
advise about a sign to distinguish them from the enemy, and 
think some " yellow cloath may be best." They point out 
the haunts of the enemy and suggest definite arrangements 
for the conduct of the Mohawks when approaching the Eng- 
lish frontiers with war parties. This style of correspond- 
ence would hardly be held with a neutral or indifferent power. 

The Council ordered that Major Talcott and Capt. Mason 
"advise with Uncas concerning the sending a present up to 
the Mohawks, and what may be a suitable present." The 
messenger, sent by Andros July 5th, said that the Mohawks 
had killed one hundred and forty of the enemy, and on the 
day of his departure three hundred Mohawk warriors moved 
this way in search of the enemy. The route of the fugitives 
flying westward in July and August, shows their fear of the 
old enemy. Other reasons and authorities might be given, 
but may it not be seen from the above that the Mohawks 
were an important factor in Philip's war? 

Many of the soldiers who came here during Philip's war 
remained as .settlers at its close, and gave a character to the 
population of this valley. At least seven of those on Tur- 
ner's roll of April 7th, and twelve who served under him 
later, became residents of Deerfield. To these men, the fam- 
ilies of Arms, Bardwell, Barrett, Field, Hawks, Hoyt, Mat- 
toon, Wells and others may look for their ancestry. Of oth- 
ers on the same rolls of honor whose namesakes came among 
us we find the names of Alexander, Atherton, Belden, Chapin, 
Clapp, Clark, Clesson, Conable, Hinsdale, Hunt, Kellogg, 
King, Lyman, Miller, Morgan, Munn, Nims, Pomroy, Price, 
Scott, Selden, Smead, Smith, Stebbins, Sutlief, Taylor and 


The men of Pocumtuck who had escaped the storms of 
Philip's war, scattered in the towns below, anxiously awaited 
an opportunity of returning to cultivate their lands and gath- 
er their families under roof-trees of their own. A short time 
after the death of Philip, the hopeful Quintin Stockwell be- 
gan to build a house on the Willard lot, his old home ; but 
this was soon in ashes. In the spring of 1677, this persever- 
ing man, with a few other bold adventurers, again returned 
to Pocumtuck. Here they planted their fields in quiet and 
proceeded to build houses. They were cheerful, hopeful 
and helpful to each other. A hoUvSe was put up for Sergt. 
John Plympton " 18 feet long." Of his six children, one had 
died in peace ; one slept at Bloody Brook, and four were set- 
tled in homes of their own. This small house was large 
enough for the sergeant and his " old wife Jane." Stockwell 
hoped his third attempt would provide a shelter for his wife 
and babe before the winter set in. John Root, thirty-one 
years old, had married the widow of Samuel Hinsdale, a vic- 
tim at Bloody Brook. He thus became the protector of a help- 
less flock, for whom he was making ready a home on the 
Russell lot, the spot where they were born. Benoni Steb- 
bins, cheerily working to secure a dwelling place for his 
bride, the widow of James Bennett, — who was lost with Capt. 
Turner — was probably engaged on the Samuel Wells lot, 
where his hoUvSe was burned and he killed Feb. 29th, 1704. 
Philip Mattoon, another young man, was about to pitch his 
tent here. July 31st, 1677, he made a bargain with John 
Pynchon, by which he could secure a home for his bride, and 
Sept. loth, he married Sarah, daughter of John Hawks of 
Hadley. The attempt at settlement failing, Mattoon came 
here later, and here died in 1696. This contract, the oldest 
met with, is given as illustrating in several points the condi- 


tion of business affairs among the pioneers. It is found in 
John Pynchon's account book. 

July 21, 1677. Let out to Philip Mattoon my 18 cow commons 
and 4 shecj:) commons at Pocumtuck, all the intervale land belonging 
to s'' commons, (excepting the home lot which is already disposed 
of) according as it is laid out in several divisions, towards the up- 
per end of Pocumtuck Meadows, for 1 1 years from the first of March 
next, to pay all rates, taxes and charges, make & leave good fences, 
to build on the land a good dwelling house, strong, substantial & 
well built, & compleatly finished, 30 ft long, 20 ft wide i\: 10 ft 
stud. Also a barn at least 48 ft long, 24 ft wide (S: 14 ft stud, well 
braced, all ])ts to be strong, substantial tS: workmanlike, &: to com- 
pleate i\: finish the same before the end of the term, iS: then leave 
<.\: deliver up all in good repair. He is also to pay thirty shillings a 
year for nine years, ^3 the tenth, and ^'4 the last year. He is to 
have the use of two cows between the ages of four and seven 
years, \; return two of like ages. 

Other men may have been here, btit the only other ])erson 
known was Samuel, son of Philip Russell, a lad of eight 

Two years and a day had passed since the blow fell at 
Bloody Brook, which " made S ])ers()ns widows and 26 chil- 
dren fatherless in this Plantation." It was the soft evening 
twilight of Sept. 19th, 1677. The labors of the day were end- 
ed. The tired workmen were awkwardly preparing their 
suppers about their camp fire, chatting hopefully perhaps of 
the future, when this service should be more deftly performed 
by their helpmates, when they were rudely interrupted and 
amazed by the whistling of bullets, the of musketry, 
the wild war-whoop and furious rush of a band of savages 
who seemed springing from the ground all around them. 
Stockwell rtished down the hill into the swamp. He was 
seen, pursued and fire-d upon. He " sltimped and fell down" 
in the mire. One of the pursuers thinking he was wounded 
came up to tomahawk him. vStockwell kept him at bay with 
an empty pistol. The Indian told him they ''had destroyed 
all Hatfield and the woods were full of Indians," but assured 
him of safety if he would yield. Wheretipon, Stockwell sur- 
rendered. Plympton, Stebbins, Root and Ru.ssell also fell 
into their hands. Root was soon killed, and after an ineffect- 
ual attempt to take the frightened horses of the settlers, the 
captives were led away into the woods on East Mountain. 
There, to their astonishment, and with mingled feelings of 


joy and sadness, they found seventeen Hatfield people, like- 
wise captives. Here Samuel Russell met several of his play- 
mates and learned that his mother and little brother had 
been murdered at home, and the doleful tale of that morn- 
ing's work of horror was told. 

About eleven o'clock, this same party had surprised a few 
men who were raising a house at the north end of Hatfield, 
and shot three men from the frame ; they then attacked and 
burned several houses outside the palisades and killed or 
captured most of their occupants, and hurried off in triumph. 

The killed were Isaac Graves and his brother John ; John 
Atchison, John Cooper, Elizabeth Russell and son Stephen ; 
Hannah Coleman and her babe Bethiah ; Sarah Kellogg and 
her baby boy ; Mary Belding, and Elizabeth Wells, daughter 
of John. Her mother and another child were wounded, as 
were Sarah Dickinson and a child of John Coleman, but they 
all escaped. The captured were Obadiah Dickinson and 
child ; Martha, wife of Benjamin Waite, with their children, 
Mary, six years old, Martha, four, and Sarah, two ; Mary, wife 
of Samuel Foote, their children, Nathaniel, and Mary, three ; 
Sarah Coleman, four, with another child of John Coleman ; 
Hannah, wife of vStephen Jennings, with two of her children 
by Samuel Gillett, between three and six years old ; vSamuel 
Kellogg, eight, Abigail Allis, six, and Abigail Bartholomew of 
Deerfield, five. 

The assailants were a party of twenty-six Indians from 
Canada, under Ashpelon ; one was a Narraganset, the others 
Pocumtucks. With the captives they retreated hurriedly 
up the river. On reaching this vicinity, the smoke of their 
camp fires may have betrayed the settlers, and another prize 
was easily secured. 

The captives were bound, and the march to far-off Canada 
began. They were the first party of whites ever taken on 
the sad journey, so often traveled in years to come. In 
scattered order they traversed the woods northward, the 
captors imitating the voices of beasts and birds that they 
should not lose one another, or be discovered by the Eng- 
lish, if followed. They halted for the night near the mouth 
of Hearthstone brook, and at daybreak crossed Connecticut 
river at Sheldon's rocks. From this place ten men were 
sent back to the town, who returned with about ten horses 


loaded with corn and other provisions. Here they marked 
on trees, as was their custom, the number of killed and cap- 
tured. Continuing their march, they crossed the river again 
at Peskeompsktit and camped for the night a few miles 
above. Here the captives were "staked down," and told the 
Indian law was to do this for nine successive nights. They 
were " spread out on their backs," the arms and legs stretched 
out and fastened to the ground with stakes, and a cord tied 
about the neck, so that they "could stir noways." Stockwell 
says, "the first night of staking down, being much tired, I 
slept as comfortable as ever." On the 21st, the party crossed 
the river to Northfield. Here they stopped awhile, but when 
their .scouts reported English soldiers in pursuit, they went 
over the river again and scattered on the west side. soldiers were a party sent up from Hartford under 
Capt. Thomas Watts, Lieut. John Mawdsley and Ensign 
John Wyatt, with John Hawks and some others of the Hamp- 
shire men who joined. This party returned after going forty 
miles above Hadley, without finding the marauders. 

A.shpelon's party went up the river perhaps as far as Put- 
ney, Vt., and crossed to the east side, where they were " quite 
out of all fear of the but in great fear of the Mo- 
hawks." Here they built a long wigwam and had a great 
dance, preparatory to burning some of the captives. A.shpe- 
lon and others opposing, this ceremony was given up. From 
here, a small party went to Hadley ; they were discovered 
near the mill, and captured or gave them.selves up. They 
declared they came to make arrangements for the redemp- 
tion of the captives, which is not unlikely. They were re- 
lea.sed after an agreement to meet the English on a certain 
plain in Hadley, on Sunday, Oct. 14th. To attend this meet- 
ing. Major Treat came up from Hartford with forty men " to 
lend his advice and grant as.sistance in defending the planta- 
tions, and the persons as shall be appointed to treat, in the 
best way and manner as they can. That all due endeavours 
be used for the redemption of the captives, b}- paying a .sume 
of money or other goods ; probably a quantity of liquors may 
not be amiss to mention in the tender." All this preparation 
was thrown away. Not an Indian appeared. The reasons 
will be seen. 

When Ashpelon left Canada, a party of Nipmucks were in 


company. Somewhere on the route they parted from him, 
apparently fixing on Nashua ponds as a rendezvous. The 
same day on which Ashpelon struck Hatfield, the Nipmucks 
reached the place where Wonalonset, with eight men and 
some fifty women lived. He was a Pennacook Sachem, who 
had been neutral through Philip's War. Partly by persua- 
sion and partly by force, he was induced to remove to Cana- 
da, and the whole party moved towards Lancaster. Mean- 
while, Ashpelon sent messengers to notify the Nipmucks to 
come to him on the Connecticut. With these went Benoni 
Stebbins. On the return of the party, Stebbins escaped about 
Oct. 2d, from a point near Templeton and reached Hadley 
on the 4th. As a consequence of this act, the English pris- 
oners were all in danger of torture, and it was only through 
the kindness and policy of Ashpelon that this fate was 
averted. A short time before, the Indians taken and re- 
leased at Hadley had returned ; and the question of the meet- 
ing at Hadley, for which they had arranged, was under dis- 
cussion. The captives urged it, Ashpelon was in favor of 
it, and it was proposed to send WonaloUvSet as agent. The 
Nipmuck Sachems were opposed to the policy. " They were 
willing to meet the English, indeed, but only to fall upon 
them and fight them and take them." The peace policy be- 
ing overruled, Ashpelon advised the captives " not to speak 
a word more to further that matter, for mischief would come 
of it." 

About October 20th the whole party moved towards Cana- 
da. Samuel Russell and little Mary Foote were killed by the 
way ; the rest straggled into French or Indian towns about 
the first of January. Soon after, old Sergt. Plympton was 
burnt to death at the stake. 

Since the opening of Philip's war, in Hampshire County 
alone two hundred and seven persons had been killed and 
forty wounded. 


When Capt. Watts returned from the pursuit northward 
with no tidings of the captives, it was generally thought that 
the Mohawks were the guilty ones, as a small party of that 
tribe were at Hatfield the day before ; and Benjamin Waite, 
whose whole family was swept away, determined to seek 
them westward. He traversed the wilderness over the Hoo- 


sac Mountain, but found no trace of the marauders. At Al- 
bany he became satisfied tliat the Mohawks were innocent. 
Returning with letters for Pynchon from Capt. Salisbury, 
commander at Albany, he reached Springfield Oct. 4th. 
Without a day's delay he pushed on to Boston, bearing a pe- 
tition from Hatfield asking authority and aid for an expedi- 
tion to Canada. The petition was granted, and on the 12th 
Waite was appointed agent. The very day Waite left the 
valley for Boston, Benoni vStebbins came in, and Pynchon at 
once dispatched a post to Capt. Salisbury, urging him to in- 
cite the Mohawks to pursue Ashpelon's party, " their old en- 
emy and ours," with a promise of reward for the service. 
"Ben. Waite," he says, "is gone home before the Intelli- 
gence came to me. He talked of goeing to Canada before, 
and I suppose will rather be Forward to it now, than Back- 
ward." Pynchon judged the indomitable man rightly. He 
would never pause until he found his hapless family. With 
this object, neither distance, climate nor foe had terrors for 
him. Stephen Jennings, a like-minded man, also bereaved 
of wife and children, now joined Waite in this knightly 

With letters for the authorities in Albany and Canada, the 
men set out from Hatfield October 24th, and reached Albany 
the 30th. Here in an interview with Salisbury they were 
coldly received, and directed to wait upon him again. The 
impatient men, however, pushed on to Schenectady to pro- 
cure an Indian guide. Here the old jealousy of New England 
appeared, and upon the most stupid pretext they were ar- 
rested and sent back to Albany, and finally to New York, for 
an examination before Gov. Brockholds. Through this vex- 
atious hindrance, while every hour seemed a day, it was not 
until Dec. loth, that these harassed men were able to resume 
their journey. Six weeks of precious time had been given 
to smooth the ruffled dignity of Commander vSalisbury. 

Now, with a Mohawk for a guide, the adventurers turned 
their faces toward a northern winter and an unknown wilder- 
ness. The Indian left them on reaching Lake George, and 
with no clue but a rough chart which he drew for them on a 
piece of birch bark, these men of tender hearts and iron will 
pushed forward on their chivalrous errand. At the lake they 
found an old bark canoe, which the Mohawk had patched up ; 


this they dragged over the snow, or paddled through the icy 
waves of the lake, as necessity compelled. Were they cold 
or hungry, the thought that their wives and little ones might 
be freezing or starving urged them forward. With the birch 
. bark chart in hand, they toiled day after day over the dreary 
wastes, until on New Year's day they reached the foot of 
Lake Champlain. Following the river Sorel, they passed the 
French outpost at Shambly, and soon after Jennings was re- 
warded by finding his wife — a meeting to be imagined only. 
It was not long before the surviving captives were found, all 
in the hands of the Indians, save a few who had been pawned 
to Frenchmen for liquor. In a few days the travelers set out 
for Quebec, one hundred miles down the St. Lawrence. 
They were kindly received by Governor Frontenac, and by 
his help the ransom of the whole party was effected by the 
payment of ^200. 

On the 2 2d of January, before Waite could have returned 
from Quebec, his wife gave birth to a child, who was named 
Canada. Fifty days later a girl was born to Jennings, and 
named Captivity. 

Slowly the long Canada winter wore away, and on the 2d 
of May the whole party left Sorel and joyfully turned their 
faces homeward. An escort of French soldiers was sent by 
Frontenac as far as Albany, where they arrived on the 22d, 
From Albany, letters were posted to Hatfield. These letters, 
which are given below, gave the first news of the captives 
since the escape of Benoni Stebbins, and caused great rejoic- 
ing, mingled with sorrow for the fate of those who came not 

Albany, May 22, 1678. 
Loving Wife: — Hauing now opportunity to remember my kind 
loue to the and our child and the rest of our freinds, though wee met 
with greate afflictions and trouble since I see thee last, yet now here 
is opportunity of joy and thanksgiving to God, that wee are now 
pretty well, and in a hopeful way to see the faces of one another be- 
fore we take our finall farewell of this present world, likewise God 
hath raised us freinds amongst our enemies, and there is but 3 of us 
dead of all those that were taken away — -Sergt. Plympton, Samuel 
Russell, Samuel Foot's daughter. So I conclude, being in hast, and 
rest your most affectionate husband till death makes separation, 


From Albany, May 23, 1678. 
To Mv Loving Friends & Kindred at Hatfield: — These few 


lines are to let you understand that we are arrived at Albany now 
with the captives, and we now stand in need of assistance, with my 
charges is very greate and heavy ; and therefore any that hath any 
love to our condition, let it moove them to come and help us in this 
straight. There is 3 of y'' captives that are murdered — old Crood- 
man Plympton, Samuel Foot's daughter, Samuel Russell. All the 
rest are alive and well now with me at Albany, namely, Obadiah 
Dickenson and his child, Mary Footeand her child, Hannah Gennings 
and 3 children, Abigail Ellice, Abigail liartholomew, Goodman Cole- 
man's children, Samuel Kellogg, my wife and four children and 
Quintin Stockwell.* I pray you hasten the matter, for it requireth 
greate hast. Stay not for y' Sabbath, nor shoeing of horses. We 
shall endeavour to meete you at Canterhook, it may be at Housea- 
tonoc:k. We must come very softly because of our wives and chil- 
dren. 1 pray you, hasten them, stay not night nor day, for y'' mat- 
ter requireth great hast. IJring provisions with you for us. 

Your loving kinsman, 

Benjamin Waite. 

At Albany, written from mync owne hand. As I have bin affected 
to yours, all that were fatherless, be affected to me now, and hasten 
y matter and stay not, and ease me of my charges. You shall not 
need to be afraid of any enemies. 

These letters, warm from the heart, reached the heart of 
the whole colony. They were copied by John Partridge, who, 
in company with John Plympton, son of the tortured captive, 
carried the copies to Medfield. Rev. Mr. Wilson at once sent 
them to the Governor at Boston with the following letter : — 

W(jrshipful S^ 
humbly presenting my humblest Servic to yo' wor''^ keeping with 
these letters Copy'' out and newly brought fr'" Hadly by one John 
Partridge and not understanding of any Couriers to the Bay besydes: 
1 have written out of these two Copys word for word as 1 take it (.V 
make l)old to send it to your Worship : 

y' so you might be enformed of the Mercy of God in y^ return of 
these Captives so far as y'' two letters set Down. John Partridge and 
John Plimpton come in this night & none with y'" but a young mayde 
so y' I suppose yo"^ Worshi' will have y'" very first view of y'' News in 
Boston being very crasy am unfit to enlarge & y* I might not trouble 
your Worsh'' further 

With my humble Servecs presented to you"" most virtuous Lady 
humbly rest* 

Your Worsh^ most humble 
Servant John Wilson 

Medfield, May 29-78 

A fast had been appointed for June 6th. The Governor 
received the letters May 29th, and the next day sent copies 

*There is 2 or 3 frenchmen Embassadors coming to go to Boston. This sen- 
tence was erased. These men may have been stopped by Pynchon in the valley. 


of Waite's letter to all the churches, to be read from the pul- 
pit on that occa.sion, with a recommendation that a contribu- 
tion for the benefit of the captives be taken up in every con- 
gregation. " And the ministers are desired to stir up the 
people thereunto. For quickening this work we do hereb}^ 
remit a copy of Benjamin Waite's letter to be read publick- 
ly." This touching appeal of Waite was generously re. 
sponded to,* and many an offering dropped on the altar of 
charity that day was sanctified b}^ tears. Who shall say 
that the gratitude engendered in the hearts of Benjamin 
and Martha Waite by the outpouring of that day was not 
nursed in the hearts of their descendants, until it bore fruit 
in that act of Oliver Smith, from whence flows the broad 
stream of charity which to-day blesses, and shall forever bless, 
the widow and fatherless in this valley ! 

"They remained in Albany five days," says Judd, "and on 
Monday, May 27th, walked twenty-two miles to Kinderhook, 
where they met men and horses from Hatfield." With the 
tired women, and, besides the two babes, twelve children 
under eight, the statement that they walked to Kinderhook, 
seems improbable. Did not Waite procure horses at Albany? 
and was not this expense, "charges" from which he sought 
" relief " by meeting honses from Hatfield? Judd continues, 
" They rode through the woods to Westfield, and soon all 
reached Hatfield in safety. The day of their arrival was one 
of the most joyful days that Hatfield ever knew." 

The attempt to resettle the town in 1677 was not a rash, 
unconsidered affair, but fully in accord with public opinion 
and State policy. The catastrophe here did not change that 
policy, but it incited to greater caution. 

October 22d, 1677, the General Court ordered the towns to 
" endeavour the new moddelling the scittuation of their hous- 
es, so as to be more compact, and Hue nearer together for 
their better defense ;" and a committee was appointed for 
Hampshire: — 

" To ord'' and contrive the same * * * and as a further provisions 
for the security of those townes, it is ordered, that a garrison be 
stated at.Ueerefield, and for eiTecting the same, it is ordered that the 
inhabitants of that place doe repayre thither this winter, (if the com- 

* In the church at Dorchester "^3 5s 6d in money" was contributed " after 
ye evening exersiz." 


itee doe judge it safe) and provide for tlie settling thereof in the 
spring, which shallbe in a compact way, as ordered by the comittee, 
and this winter, stuff for fortiffication to be prouided, ready to be sett 
up there in the spring, viz, in March or Aprill ; at which time twenty 
soudjers shall be sent up by the Gouner ti: council to that place as 
they shall see cause, whose worke (S: care shallbe, to preserue & se- 
cure that place, & those adjoining there from the Indyans. 

At the same date, six soldiers were ordered to Hatfield, to 
be under Lieut. Allis, and employed in the winter time in 
getting out timber for the fortifieations at Hatfield and Deer- 
field. Maj. Pynchon was directed to treat with Connecticut 
about joining "in keeping the garrison at Dearef^ield." The 
six soldiers were sent to Hatfield, but no evidence is found 
that anything was done here during the winter of 1677-8. 
The " Comittee" probably did "not judge it safe." 


The settlers driven away in 1675 still called themselves 
"inhabitants," and at no time gave up their intention of re- 
turning as a community to their old homes. In addition to 
the inevitable delay, a new trouble had come upon them, the 
danger of losing their beloved minister. The condition of 
affairs is fully shown in the following petition : — 

To the honoured Generall Court of the Matachusetts Ba}^ now set- 
ing in Boston y^' 8th 3, '78 : Rigt Worshipfull : 

We the small Remnant that arc left of Dearfield's poor inhabitants 
(that desolate place) hauing mett with a smile from your Honors the 
last Creneral Court, by the merciful tender you made unto us of gar- 
ison men for our assistance, we are therby Incouraged & Imboldened 
(under great hopes of acceptance) to prostrate ourselves at yo"' Wor- 
ship's feett in this o'" sorrowful complaints & fervent desires. 

We doe veryly hope that your thoughts are soe upon us & our con- 
dition, that it will be little better than superfluous to tell you ; that 
our estates are wasted, that we find it hard work to Live in this Iron 
age, & to Come to the years end with Comfort ; to tell you that our 
housen have been Rifled lN: then burnt, our flocks and heards Con- 
sumed, the ablest of our Inhabitants killed ; y' our Plantation has 
become a wildernesse, a dwelling for owls and a pasture for flocks, 
& we that are left are separated into several townes. Also our Rev- 
erand & esteemed minister, Mr. Samuel Mather, hath been Invited 
from us, & great danger ther is of o'' loosing of him ; all which speaks 
us a people in a very miserable condition, (S: unlest you will be 
pleased to take us (out of your fatherlike pitty) and Cherish us in 
yo'' Bosomes, we are like Suddainly to breathe out o'' Last Breath. 
Right Honoured, the Committie appointed to manage o'' affairs for 
us, the Rev. Mr. Mather, who hath not yet quitt forsaken us, and 
we the Remaining Inhabitants, Joyntly doe desire that we might re- 
turne and plant that place again. Yet we would earnestly begg 
(may it stand with the pleasure of Infinite Goodness) that we may 
Repossess the said plantation with gi-eat Advantage Both for the ad- 
vancing the cause and kingdome of Jesus, and for o"" own saftie & 
comfort than ever we have heretofore. 

You may be pleased to know that the very principle & best of the 
land ; the best for soile ; the best for situation ; as lying in y" centre 
& midle of the town : & as to quantity, nere half, belongs unto eight 


or 9 proprietors each and every of which, are never like to come to 
a settlement amongst us, which we have formerly found grevious & 
doe Judge for the future will be found intollerable if not altered. 
O"" minister, Mr. Mather, (that is still waiting to see what alteration 
may be made), & we ourselves are much discouraged as judging the 
Plantation will be spoiled if thes proprietors may not be begged, or 
will not be bought up on very easy terms outt of their Right. O"^ 
designe (the Lord permitting cS: yo"" Worships helping) is to go when 
such a number of Inhabitants as (we hope) may be able to afford 
matter for a church ; we have it from y" Rev. Mr. Mather, that if 
the place was free from that Incumberments, he could find a suffi- 
cient number of men, pious (S: discreet, that would enter Into y plan- 
tation with him to build up a church in the place ; Butt as long as the 
maine of the plantation Lies in men's hands that can't improve it 
themselves, neither are ever like to putt such tenants on to it as shall 
be likly to advance the good of y^ place in Civill or sacred Respects ; 
he, ourselves, and all others that think of going to it, are much dis- 
couraged. We would therefore humb'*" beg of this Generall Court 
that some expedient way might be found out to Remove that impedi- 
ment that is so great a Lett & hindrance to the plantation's growth 
& y'' planters' outward happiness — pittie it is, that a plantation soe 
circumstanced should lie desolate. 

All Judicious men that have any acquaintance with it. Count It as 
Rich a tract of land as any upon the river ; they Judge it sufficient 
to entertain & maintain as great number of Inhabitants as most of 
the upland townes, alsoe were it well peopled it would be as a bulwark 
to the other townes; also it would be a great disheartening to the en- 
emie, tS; veryly (not to make to bold with your worship's patience) It 
would mightily Incourage and Raise the hearts of us the Inhabitants, 
yo"" poor & Impoverished servants. Thus begging yo'' pardon for 
o"" boldnesse, waiting for the Result of yo'' Judicious mind, and 
again earnestly beging, humbly Intreating, with greatest importu- 
nity, that something may be done to remove the fore said Impedi- 
ments ; and for the building the plantation Before this court be 

Soe we rest, praying yo'^ honors' happinesse ; and subscribing our- 
selves with the Committe Consenting, and subscribing yo'' devoted 
and humble servants this 30th of Ap'l, '78. 

Moses Crafts, "j 

Richard Wellard, [ in the name 
William Smede, ' of the rest. 

William Barth'mew, 

William Allis, ] r^., , , 
rT. AT 1 he hands 

Thomas Meekins, I , ^ 

Samuel Smith, [ ^, ° .J^ 
■P, r,, ' Committee. 

Peter tillton, j 

Oct. 1678. In ans"^ to the petition of the remayning inhabitants 
of Deerefield, the court judgeth it meete to referr the peticoners to 
the proprietors for the attayning of their interest, so farr as they 
shall judge necessary, leaving y*= matter w"' the Comittee to regu- 


lat ; improvements & charges to be levyed thereupon, as they shall 
judge legall & meete, for the encouraging the rebuilding of that 

At the same session the soldiers at- Hatfield were ordered 
home. In May, 1679, the General Court directed that no 
town should be resettled except by the consent of a commit- 
tee appointed by the Council, or county court having juris- 
diction in the premises. Such committee are to be "at the 
charge of the people intending to settle." It is made their 
duty to order "in what form, way & maner such towne shallbe 
settled & erected, wherein they are required to haue a prin- 
cipal respect to neerness and conveniency of habitation for 
security against enemyes, & more comfort for Xtian comun- 
ion and enjoyment of God's worship & education of children 
in schools & civility." A fine of i^ioo was the penalty for 
disobedience of this order. Under this act, upon the petition 
of some of the proprietors, the county court, March 3otli, 
1680, appointed " Lieutt. William Clerk, Mr. Peter Tilton, 
Lieutt. Philip Smith, Medad Pumry and Jno. AUice, all of 
which, or any three of them, Lieutt. William Clerk, or Mr. 
Tilton being one, to be a Comity for y'' work,-" of resettling 
this town. Nothing further appears to have been done at 
this time. Mr. Mather, after declining repeated invitations, 
became at length discouraged, and in 1680 accepted a call to 
Brainford, Conn. 

In addition to the land troubles indicated in the petition of 
1678, the uncertain condition of the Indian affairs was anoth- 
er cause of delay in a resettlement. The Indians had been 
expelled but not subdued. They had never, as a body sub- 
mitted in form to the English. Individuals had returned to 
their old haunts, and others were seeking conditions on which 
they might follow. With such, the county court was author- 
ized in May, 1680, to make definite arrangements. Although 
no treaty of peace was made with any of the hostile tribes, 
Philip's War really closed with the capture of Anawon by 
Church, August, 1676. For several years, however, there was 
a general distrust, and apprehension of danger to isolated 
settlements. The attitude of the IMohawks was not well un- 
derstood. Their incursions, invited in 1676, continued after 
the war closed. Friendly Indians were harassed, and some 
depredations made on the stock of the settlers. These things 


had in a measure been winked at by the authorities, in con- 
' sideration of the importance of keeping- peace with this pow- 
erful tribe. At length, when these "insolencyes & outrages" 
could no longer be endured, Maj. Pynchon was sent to de- 
mand redress. He left Springfield for Albany Oct. 13th, 
1680, with a suitable retinue. A meeting was held there, 
Nov. 9th, in the presence of Capt. Brockholds, the command- 
er. The Mohawks were very diplomatic. They said they 
had acted only against supposed enemies of the English, pre- 
tending that they did not know the war had closed. On the 
19th [?] another meeting was held, at which the old treaty 
was renewed : and no further trouble was anticipated or felt, 
at the hands of the Mohawks. 

As soon as the news of this treaty was received, a meeting 
of the Proprietors of Pocumtuck was warned to be held at 
Northampton, Dec. 12th, 1680, and measures were at once 
taken to forward the reoccupation of their lands. The men 
named by the county court. May 30th, 1680, to have charge 
of this work, will hereafter be designated as the " Commit- 
tee," simply; and the owners of the 8000 acres, who took 
the title of the "Proprietors of Pocumtuck, alias Deerfield," 
will be called the " Proprietors." These bodies acted inde- 
pendently, meeting together, or separately, as was most con 
venient. Neither at first had a book for records. At Pro- 
prietors' meetings, propositions to be acted upon were gen- 
erally made in writing. If adopted, each slip of paper was 
laid before the Committee, and its approval or veto was en- 
dorsed thereon. The slips were then taken by those whom 
they concerned. Such of these votes as could be collected at 
a subsequent period, were transcribed, some of them many 
years after the event ; and the Town Record for this period 
is thus made up. It was done without a full sense of the im- 
portance of chronological order, or consecutive action. In- 
deed, many of the votes are without date, and a large portion 
was doubtless entirely lost. Hence, our earlier records are 
imperfect, obscure, and liable to mislead one as to the order 
of events. Sources of information beside the Town Record 
for this period, are General Court Records of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut, Count}^ Court Records, and the manuscript 
archives of the State. 

The actual date of the permanent reoccupation of the 


town cannot be fixed with certainty. The spring of 1682 is 
assumed to be the time of the arrival of those named here- 
after as first " Permanent Settlers." The evidence leading to 
this conclusion will be found below in the course of the nar- 

A meeting of the Committee and Proprietors to promote 
the settling of Deerfield, was held at Northampton, Dec. 12th, 
1680. The only action known, was "granting to Thomas 
Hastings seven cow commons, likewise to David Hoite six 
cow commons, and to vSamuel Field, six cow commons, all 
which grants of land is thus to be understood, [that is] they 
are to haue Lieft. Allis's land that was granted to him there, 
divided amongst them three, and the rest to make up their 
grants or quantity [of land] in some other convenient place." 
[Lieut. Wm. Allis had died September, 1678.] Martin Smith 
had six acres added to a former grant of six acres. 

vSome doubt seems to have arisen as to the authority of the 
Committee, for in May, 1 68 1 , their appointment was confirmed 
by the General Court. 

March 6th, 168 1-2. The Committee and Proprietors de- 
cide that one condition of the grants shall be the occupancy 
by the grantee personally, for four years. 

March 30th, 1682, grants were made of seven cow commons 
each, to Samuel Davis and Joshua Pomeroy, to lie on the 
north side of Deerfield river, below the mouth of Green 
river ; and home lots of four acres each, to Davis, Pomeroy, 
Lieut. Clark, Samuel Field, David Hoite and Martin Smith. 

The petitioners of 1678, getting no relief from the General 
Court, appealed to the owners of the land. They seemed to 
have been favorably received, and by some or all of them 
every tenth acre was given into a common stock, to be used 
in promoting the settlement. 

May 22d, 1682, " Richard Weller & other inhabitants of 
Deerfield," sent a petition to the General Court the import of 
which, as judged by the reply, was, that this provision might 
be made to cover the estate of deceased owners. The answer 
to the petition was : — 

The Court not being sattisfied that they may give away other 
proprieties w"'out their consent, yet being desirous to doe what may 
promote the setling sajd plantation, doe commend it to the rest of the 
proprietors to follow the good example of those that haue given vp 


euery tenth acre, or otheruise, as they shall see cause, it being a 
very probable way to gaine more vsefull inhabitants for planting & 
setling sajd place ; and as for the orphants, whose right & propriety** 
are not to be made voyd by this Court, but rather secured for them, 
or that which maybe as good for them, the Court judgeth it meet 
that they choose their guardians, who may act for them, referring to 
those orphants lands as such guardians judg best for securing the 
orphants estate w"' respect to the furthering, promoting the planting, 
& speedy setling of sajd plantation ; and for such children as are not 
capable of choosing guardians, the County Court for Hampshire are 
to make supply in appointing guardians who may act for them accord- 
ingly ; and this order of Court to be their warrant in so doing, and 
security to such guardians hauing allowanc & approbation of the 
County Court therein. 

The action under this terse and lucid order was probably 
satisfactory, as nothing more is heard on the subject to which 
it relates. 

Quintin Stockwell presented to the Committee a bill of ten 
pounds, " due from the former inhabitants of Deerfield for 
boarding Mr. Mather;" and the Committee "desired y*^ now 
inhabitants to give him some land in satisfaction for y'' debt." 
Agents were chosen by the inhabitants, who agreed with 
Stockwell for twenty acres on Green river, "bounded north- 
erly on y'' hill on y'' north side of y'" Brook y' comes out of y*^ 
great ash swamp ; easterly tipon y' hill on y' east side of 
Green river and westerly on the west swamp & so to run 
southerly to make up y' quantity of twenty acres." 

For this land Stockwell gave a receipt, November 24th, 
1684. He was then living at Suffield, Conn. 

January 6th, 1684-5. The Committee allowed the above 
grant. At the same meeting, the Committee ordered John 
Hawks, Thomas Wells and Joshua Pomeroy to 

"measure men's allotments at Deerfield and to bring in an ac- 
count of what land is wanting in every man's allotment which being 
done these three men with Joseph Barnard and Jona. Wells joyning 
them shall haue full power to look out land where it may be found 
in any of y" common land and to lay out to such as want land as 
neere as they can to each man's want; * * * ^j^j jj^ order to 
satisfaction they are to cast lots where to begin and which shall be 
the first 2d and 3d percells, and where to begin each percell." 

The lots, as we have seen, had been drawn at Dedham. 
They were laid out by measuring the width only of each lot 
in the several divisions, according to the number of cow com- 
mons owned by each party. The area of these lots often fell 


short of the amount to which the owner was entitled. Hence, 
this deficiency was called " wanting land." At Boggy Mead- 
ow, two hundred and twenty-four acres, on the east side of 
the Bars road, were granted for wanting land — usually three 
acres for one — to Thomas Hunt, Henry White, Jona. Church, 
Samuel Carter, William Smead and Joseph Gillett. Some of 
the lots ran from the meadow fence ninety-two rods south, 
to Long hill. West of the road, grants were made to Thom- 
as Hurst, the heirs of Nathaniel Sutlief, and Ephraim Hins- 
dell. John Sheldon had the island near Red rocks, called 
eight acres. Daniel Belding, forty acres at Wisdom, still 
known as " Belding's grant ;" Samuel Northam, twelve acres 
on East Mountain, "at or near the head of the first swamp 
or brook lying against the middle of the town platt." This 
was in lieu of seven acres want, in the meadow. Whether 
the "Northam's Grant" of to-day covers the seprecise acres 
is not certain. 

For keeping up a meadow gate at Wapping, Ephraim Beers 
had twenty acres joining Northam. For various reasons, 
John Evans had eight acres at the mouth of Hearthstone 
brook ; John Broughton, a lot in the " Elbow at New forte;" 
John Sheldon and William Smead. eight acres each " on the 
Fort Hill, which lies at the east end of the meadow land, 
over Eagle Brook and without the meadow fence." 

Godfrey Nims, for five acres want, had fourteen acres " at 
the south end of the commonly called Martins Meadow : that 
to be his south line : to run in length from the Grate river to 
the Grate hill & so take his breadth northerly." At the 
same place grants amounting to about one hundred and thir- 
ty-five acres were made to Henry White, Rev. John Russell, 
Joseph Barnard, Jona. Church and Simon Beaman. 

Ensign Thomas Wells had "40 acres of land by the Grate 
river ; beginning at the south end of that little meadow and 
below the meadow commonly called Martins Meadows to run 
in length from the Grate river to the Grate hill ; the south 
end of s'' little meadow to be his south line to run in bredth 
northerly." At the same place, northerly in succession, 
grants were made to the heirs of Barnabas Hinsdell, Moses 
Crafts, and John Evans, amounting to about 1 10 acres. These 
two localities have not been exactly identified. Martin Smith 
had twelve acres on the great river in 1680. This not being 



easy of access for cultivation, it was exchanged for a lot of 
the same area on the hill above New Fort, not far from " Mar- 
tins Falls." It is not improbable that he lived on " Martins 
Hill." Smaller lots, usually joining lands of the grantee, 
were given to John Catlin, Simon Beaman, Henry White, 
John Weller, John Broughton, Timothy Nash, Thomas Wells, 
Edward Allen, John Allen, James Brown, John Williams 
and others. 

" For the frame of a house, formerly Barnabas Hensdells, 
which was bought of the administrator, by the former inhab- 
itants of Deerfield," his heirs had twenty acres below Mar- 
tins Meadow. Hin-sdale was killed with Lothrop, and this 
frame must have escaped destruction in Philip's War. 

Feb. 5th, 1686-7, at a meeting of the inhabitants, Lieut. 
Thomas Wells, Henry White and Thomas French, were 
made choice of to measure the common fence and to lay out 
to every proprietor his due proportion. The list below is 
given because it contains the names of all who owned land 
in the Common Field with the amount of fence set to each 
on the basis of " two Rhods to y' common, or eleven foot to 
y'' acre." 


ft in 

Allison, Thos 



Allen, Jn's [heirs] 


Allyn, Mr Dan'l 


Barnard, Joseph 


Barrett, Benj 


Beaman, Simon 


Belding, Daniol 


1 1 

Brooks, Wm 


5 6 

Broughton, Jn 


gates iS: highway 

Broughton, Th's 


5 6 

Brown, James 



Carter, Joshua 



Catlin, John 



Church, Jona 



Evans, John 


Field, Zechariah 



Frary, Samson 


13 3 

French, Thos 



Gillett, Joseph 


4 6 

Hastings, Benj 


Hawks, Eleaz'r 


gate going out 

of the meadow 

to Hatfield tS: the 

highway both be- 

ing ten rods new 


Hawks, John 




Bar'bas 21 



Hensdell, Jn 15 

Henstlell, Sam,l 3^1 

Hoyt, David 2 

Hunt, Thos iS 

Hurst, Thomas 19 

Nash, Timothy 6 

Nims, Godfrey 27 

Northam, Sm'l 15 

Middle gate & 


Plympton, Jn 2 

Plympton, P'tr 6 

Price, Robert 2 

Pynchon.MajJ 43 

Root, John 7 

Root, Thomas 7 
Root, Hez cS: Jacob 12 

Russell, Mr Jn 36 

Seldon, Joseph 23 

Seldon, Thomas 6 

Severance, Jn 2 

Sheldon, Isaac 36 

Smead, Wm 26 

Smith, Martin 10 

Stebbins, Benoni 6g 

Stoddard. Sol'm 44 

Sutlief, Nath'l 14 

Weld. Daniel 16 





1 1 






rds ft 



Weller, John 


Wells, Lt Thos 


Weller, Rich'd 

5 9 

White, Henry 


Wells, Jona 


Williams, Mr John 


Eagle B Gate 


Town fence 




ft in 

The Ministry. Public law and public policy alike required 
any company of men engaged in settling a new plantation, 
to procure at once a sound and learned minister for their 
spiritual guide. Mr. Mather, the first minister, as before 
stated, became discouraged by the delay in resettling Pocum- 
tuck, and left his charge in 1680. It is not quite certain who 
took his place. Probably Samuel, son of Rev. John Russell, 
officiated for awhile. He was a graduate of Harvard in 1681 
and teacher of the Hopkins School in Hadley, 1682-3. He 
certainly became a land-holder here about the time of the 
resettlement. Savage thinks he was here several years. 

Samuel Russell married about 1683-4, and succeeded Mr. 
-Mather at Brainford in 1687. It is not imlikely that it was at 
Russell's suggestion, that Joshua Pomroy and Joseph Bar- 
nard were sent to Ipswich in search of a minister, where, 
Feb. 21st, 1684, they called upon Noadiah Russell, with an in- 
vitation to be a candidate. Noadiah was a classmate of Sam- 
uel Russell, and was at this time engaged in teaching school 
and studying astronomy. He published an almanac the same 
year. He declined the call, and in 1687 settled in Middle- 
town, Conn. 

In May or June, 1686, John, son of Samuel Williams of 
Roxbury, came to the waiting field, and it soon became evi- 
dent that he had come to stay. He was born Dec. loth, 1664; 
was a graduate of Harvard in 1683. This young man, whose 
piety and misfortunes, far more than his talents, have made 
his name a household word all over the land, then began here 
his life work, which was finished in 1729. September 21st, 

"The Inhabitants of Deerfield to Incourage Mr. John Wilhams to 
settle amongst them to dispenc the blessed word of Truth unto them, 
have made propositions unto him as followeth :" 

"That they will give him 16 cowcommons of ineadow land with a 
homelott that lieth on the Meetinghous hill. 

That they will build him a hous : 42 foot long, 20 foot wide, with 
a lentoo of the back side of the house & finish sd house : to fence his 
home lott, and within 2 yeares after this agrement, to build him a 
barn, and to break up his plowing land. 


ffor yearly salary to i^ive him 60 pounds a year for the first, and 
4 or 5 years after this agrenient, to add to his sallary and make it 
eighty pounds." 

"Att a meeting of the Inhabitants of Deerfield, Dec: 17,: 1686, 
there was granted to M' John Williams a certaine peice of land lying 
within the meadow fence : beginning att Joseph Selden's North line 
and so runs to Deerfield river North or North east : the <nvners of 
the comon fence, maintaining it as it is now att the day of the grant. 

Jan. 5, 1686, the Comitty approves and ratifies the above sd prop- 
ositions, on the Condition Mr. Williams settle among them. 

As attest Medad Pomroy, by ord' of the Comitty." 

Thi.s real estate was afterwards " made sure to him and his 
heirs forever." The salary was to be paid " in wheat, peas, 
indian corn and pork, in equal proportion, at y' prices stated : 
viz.: wheat at 3 shillings 3 pence p' bushel ; peas at 2 shillings 
6 pence p' bushel ; indian corn at 2 shillings p' bu.shel ; fatted 
pork at 2 pence half penny p' pound." In 171 i he was paid 
£62, in money. 

The salary of Mr. Russell, who had been twenty-eight 
years minister at Hadley, was then about £?>o, in grain at the 
same prices. Mr. Williams married July 21, 1687, Eunice, 
daughter of the Rev. Eleazer Mather of Northampton, and 
continued " to dispenc the blessed v\''ord of Truth " as the spir- 
itual guide of the people. Oct. 17th, 1688, a church was 
formed, and he was formally ordained as their minister for 

The connection of the young minister with the. pastors of 
the two neighboring churches was intimate, and continued 
harmonious. His cousin and clas.smate at college, William 
Williams, was settled in the ministry at Hatfield. In the 
events of their settlement and marriage the Hatfield Wil- 
liams was a year in advance of John. Both were sons-in-law 
of the Northampton ministers, John of Eleazer Mather, and 
William, of Mather's successor, Solomon Stoddard. Both 
had large families, and each educated three sons for the min- 
istry. William preached at the ordination of two of John's 
sons, and a son of William at the funeral of a third. Later, 
a new link bound the ministry of Hatfield and Deerfield, 
when a daughter of William married Jonathan A.shley, the 
successor of John Williams. Some of the consequences of 
this intimacy will be seen hereafter. 

During the land grant mania the minister was not forgot- 
ten, but, Dec. 13th, 1687, — 


"There was granted Mr. John WilUams 20 acres of land upon the 
Green river and a home lot ; provided he pay rates for it this year 
and so forward :" 

Probably he found it difficult to meet the condition.s, a.s no 
income could be derived from it during the war ; at any rate, 
he gave tip the grant. By a vote of the town Dec. 23d, 1689, 
the salary of Mr. Williams was " for this present year 1689 
sevent}' pounds." No other action for an increase in salary 
appears on record, unless it be the following vote : — 

Dec. 29, 1693, at the desire of y*^' Rev. M' Jn" Williams it was 
agreed upon and voted by y'' town, y' s'' Af Jn" Williams shall have 
y use of y*" Towne home lot y' lies next his own home lot during his 
stay and continuance in y \\H)vk of y" ministry here in Deerf'' and 
shall carry on y" work of y ministry himself : s'' M'' Jn" Williams to 
make and maintain all y'^' fence belonging to s'' lot ; and not to break 
up any part of s'' lot 

It was difficult, if not impossible, for our impoverished peo- 
ple to pay the county, town and minister's taxes. In com- 
mon with his people, Mr. Williams endured the calamities 
and hardships incident to a frontier town. His small stipend 
was often in arrears. 

He had a large family, ten children having been born down 
to 1702. Of these, seven survived, the oldest being thirteen 
years old. Notwithstanding his straitened circumstances, 
the tender-hearted, self-denying minister made the following 
declaration, which was presented to the town, March 3d, 
1 701-2, and ordered to be recorded. It stands to his credit on 
the records to-day, in strong contrast with records to follow : 

for y*" prevention of any future trouble about my sallery I doe free- 
ly acquitt y" Town of Deerfield from all dues upon y*^ account of 
Rates from my first Settlement to y*" Rate of this present year 1 701-2 
and desire it may be entered upon Record ; more over be it known 
to Suruiuers y* y"^^ time when my yearly Salery doth Begin is about 
y*^ midle of June : John Williams. 

In a letter to Gov. Dudley the following October, Mr. Wil- 
liams writes : — 

"When the country abated them, their rates formerly, i was yet 
moued from certain knowledge of their pouerty & distress to abate 
them of my salary for several years together, tho they never asked 
it of me, & now their children must either suffer from want of cloth- 
ing, or the country consider them & i abate them what they are to 
paj^ me ; i neuer found the people unwilling to do when they had 
ability ; yea they haue often done aboue their ability." 


This pathetic statement presents a touching picture of the 
character and condition of pastor and people. The only out- 
side help received by either before 1704, so far as appears, 
was a grant of ten pounds by the General Court in the suc- 
cessive years of 1696 and 1697. 

Sequestered Land. "Dec. 17th, 1686, The Inhabitants voted that a 
piece of Land lying on y'^ meeting hous hill by estimation 4 acres be 
it more or less as also 2 percells of Land lying one on the east side 
and the other on the west side of the mouth of the Green river by 
estimation thirty acre be they more or less shall be and is sequestered 
for the ministry in Deerfield forever :" 

The Green river lands are still held by trustees for the ben- 
efit of the "First Congregational Parish of Deerfield," to 
which they come by descent and are secured by legal enact- 
ment. The four-acre lot was the "church officers lot" of the 
original draft. It is the "Town home lot " voted Mr. Wil- 
liams in 1692, and is the lot south of Hitchcock's Lane, and 
includes the homestead of Robert Childs. In 1760, by leave 
of the General Court, all this lot, except the part south of the 
training field, and in front of the Ephraim Williams home- 
stead, was offered for sale "to accommodate tradesmen." 

Meetinghouses. Every new Plantation was obliged by law 
to employ a minister, as a fundamental condition of its ex- 
istence. Meetinghouses were only less essential, but more 
latitude was allowed in that direction. By the terms of the 
Dedham Grant, the grantees were obliged to settle a minister 
within five years, but they were not enjoined to build a meet- 
inghouse ; that was to follow as a matter of course. No pros- 
perity, it was held, could be expected where this " Candle of 
the Lord" was wanting. If the meetinghouse was burned 
in the devastation of towns by the Indians, it was considered 
a mark of divine anger ; and of mercy, when it escaped de- 

No record has been found of the time and manner of build- 
ing our first meetinghouse. In an examination of the ac- 
count book of John Pynchon of Springfield, " The Worship- 
ful Major Pynchon," of Philip's War, items are found which 
prove that a meetinghouse was built before the breaking up 
of the first settlement. It was probably a small, cheap affair, 
built of logs, put up by voluntary contributions, and not by 
a tax. It was erected before August, 1675. 


The following extract from the old account book is given 
partly as a curiosity from its age, partly for its historic value, 
but chiefly for its testimony on the subject in hand in nam- 
ing meetinghouse hill : — 

August 19, 1673, agreed with John Earle that he shall haue one of 
My Homelots at Pacomtuck, y"" one next y*^^ church Lot, being nere 
6 acres, w'=^ is 28 rod Broad, for w'^*' Lot & fencing \v''' I haue made 
on it, viz., y*^ 28 rods of five raile fence ; In lew of all, I am to haue 
of him & he hereby makes over to me, his meddow land ag^ Eagle 
Brooke over y^ river, being nere about 8 acres, w''' was y^ 2d Devis- 
ion of mowing Land belonging to y'' Lot No 26, w'^^'' he purchased 
from Joshua Carter. This persell of meddow Land, being nere about 
8 acres, as he gueses it, he absolutely sells to me w'" y' p' of y 15 
rod of 5 raile fence belonging to it, on y*" meetini:; house hill, I allow- 
ing him beside y*" homelot abovsd, more, 12s w"' is due him & ab^ as 
above ; to this exchange & setl'"' I must have y^ proportion of wood- 
land belonging to y*" 8 acrs I haue of him, & he is to haue the pro- 
portion of y'^ woodland belonging to y^ 6 acrs he had of me w"' all y 
appurtenances to each of s'' persels belonging. 

To this agreamt witness our hands Aug. 19, 1673. 

John Pynchon. 

John Earle. 

It was agreed between vs y' if James Osborne chalenged any in- 
terest in y^ Homelot aboue s'', Jo Earle hath ; that Jo Earle shall let 
him have 2 acrs of it, or some few rods more, he paying y*^ due worth 
of it, & satisfying for what he had expended on it ; provided s'^ Os- 
borne doe agree about it by Michelstide come 12 mo. 

This fixes the fact of a meetinghouse hill. The following 
extract settles the question of a meetingJiouse, and also shows 
further, that this people were building a house for their min- 
ister ; another testimony to the prosperity and high charac- 
ter of the little colony : — 

Rates at Pacomtucke, alias Deerfield, on my land there. Having 
disposed of some of my land there. 

that w'^'' I keepe is the farme lot acct'^ 11 cow-commons, & that I 
had of Maj. Lusher, 9 commons, in all 20 commons. 

And at y*" hither end, my 18 cow commons & 4 sheep comons. 

ist y 1674. The Minister's Rate on which I pay to Mr. Samuel 
Mather, Anno 1674, ending in Dec. 1674, is jQot^, i8s. 

1675, 2d y. To Mr. Mather for y'^ y 1675, ending in Dec. 1675. 
They give me an acc^ of some commons being wantmg, y' my Rate 
is ^03, IIS. 

To y^ Rate to y'^ Minister's house this year they set me at ^07, 

To y little house for a Meeting House that y-' Meet in & to make 
Highway this y 1675, I allowed jQ\. 


If all the cow commons were taxed at the rate paid by Mr. 
Pynchon on his, the salary of Mr. Mather would be about fif- 
ty pounds, and the expense of building his house about nine- 
ty-seven pounds. 

A second meetinghouse was probably built soon after the 
permanent settlement. The town voted March iith, 1692-3, 
" that the meeting hous shall be new seated ; that Deacon 
David Hoyt & Deacon Jn" Sheldon shall be 2 of y' persons to 
doe it and Ben" Stebins to be w"' y'" in s'' work." From this 
time forward for one hundred and twenty-five years, " seating 
the meeting house " became a subject of frequent legislation 
and social agitation. The action of 1693 may have developed 
the fact that there was a lack of seats of high "dignity " for 
ambitious aspirants. That the delicate task of the seaters in 
this case was not executed without dissatisfaction, seems to 
appear in the next vote on the subject : " There .shall be no 
Reference to former vSeating in y*" present Seating." But 
whatever the reason, a new meetinghouse was demanded, and 
provided, in the face of war and famine : — 

Att a legal Town Meeting in Deerf'' Oct 30th 1694 Ensign John 
Sheldon Moderator 

That there shall be a meeting house Built in deerfield upon the 
Town charge voted affirmatively : 

That there shall be a comniitty chosen and impowered to agree 
with workmen to begin said building forthwith and carry it on fast 
as may be voted affirmatively 

That y meetinghouse shall be built y bigness of Hatfield meeting 
house only y'' height to be left to y^' judgment and determination of 
y*^ committy voted affirmatively 

That there shall be a Rate made of one hundred and forty pounds 
payable this present year in pork and Indian corn in equal propor- 
tions for y*" carrying on s'' building voted affirmatively 

For y^' carrying on s^ work there was chosen as a Committy Ltt 
David Hoyt Sergt John Hawks Henry White: Thomas ffrench: and 
Ens John Sheldon 

That y" Committy above s'' shall have full power to Bargain with 
and let out unto particular persons y'' severall persalls of work for the 
carrying on and completing s" Building as y falling hewing framing 
shingling clabording &c voted affirmatively 

Att a legal Town Meeting in Deerf'' Novemb: 22 1695 Godfrey 
Nims was chosen Collector to collect and gather two rates y* is to 
say a Town Rate and a Meeting house Rate both made in y" year 
1694 which Rates he is to deliver being gathered to the Selectmen 

The records of the town meetings above and that following 
are given in full : — 


Jan 15th 1695-6. Att a legal Town Meeting in Deerfield John 
Catlin Moderator 

There being a place or plat of land agreed upon by y'' Town 
whereon to set there meeting house now in buikling: y- Town have 
left it with y'^' committy chosen for to carrie on y'' building of s'' 
house where about on s'' plat to set s'' house as also y'' scituation of 
y'' same Voted affirmatively 

That there shall be a Rate Granted to be paid in pork and Indian 
corn att an equall proportion for defraying what charge shall be ex- 
pended on s"' Meeting house between this time and this time twelve 
month (y' is after y'^^ first or present Rate is run out) which Rate is 
to be paid some time in y month of January 1696-7 Voted affirma- 

That y" modell for y'' seats in s'' meeting hous shall be after y"^' 
present modell of Hatfield Meeting House Seats only two short seats 
on each side of the house more Voted affirmatively 

That y panels or boards of s'' seats shall be of pine boards and 
not wainscot Voted affirmatively 

The work went slowly on, but at length the edifice was so 
far completed that it could be occupied. There was no cer- 
emon}^ of dedication. It was not set apart exclusively for 
sacred purposes. The meetinghouse of early days was liter- 
ally a house for meetings of all kinds. Town meetings were 
held in the meetinghouse here, until the "old meeting- 
house" was pulled down in 1824. It was usually the place 
of .storing the town stock of ammunition, and the town bier. 
If our new building was not consecrated, certain other pro- 
ceedings were thought necessary before it should be used for 
divine worship. The " Seater " was called to do his work, 
that each citizen could li.sten to the " blessed word of Truth," 
as it fell from the lips of their beloved minister, from a prop- 
er and becoming position. 

There were real aristocratic distinctions in this little de- 
mocracy, and nowhere were they more apparent than in the 
meetings for religious exercises. No one .seems to have 
doubted the fitness of this condition of society ; how to rank 
individuals under it, was the disturbing element. "Age" 
was fixed by the calendar ; " Estate " by the rate book ; " Dig- 
nity " there was the rub I Few at this day can realize the 
social condition among the founders of New England. They 
were still bound b}^ the fetters of custom and habit brought 
from motherland. Emancipation from its aristocratic prac- 
tices came only with the slow growth of democratic ideas, 
and emancipation from kingly rule. 


Rank was graded in every town from the minister, esquire , 
captain, selectman, down through the different stations in 
the nicest manner. The wife of a corporal must give way 
before the lady of a sergeant, but her compensation lay in 
being able to take precedence over the wife of the private 
soldier. The punctilios of these poor, ragged, half-starved, 
incipient republicans seem laughable enough in this irrev- 
erent age. But it has its sad, as well as comic element. 
How much heart-burning and jealousy was engendered. 
How much loss of self-respect. How much wasting of hard 
earnings to keep up appearances on Sunday and Lecture day. 
But can we afford to smile at these ways of our ancestors ? 
Were they laid in an even scale, over against the folly and 
extravagance of our time ; or the sterling integrity of their 
leading men to balance the character of ours, would not the 
latter surely kick the beam ? 

However we may regard this question of rank, it was real 
business with our worthy sires, of equal importance, it seems, 
with their personal security. This is shown at the town 
meeting held Oct. 31st, 1696, where the two subjects acted 
upon are treated with equal respect. Voted : — 

Thatt all Train Souldiers belonging tu the Town of Deerfieki shall 
labor about their fort y" next Monday and Tuesday being y"^^ 2d and 
3d days in November next ensuing for a general! way beginning att 
one certain place of y" fort and so going on Voted affirmatively 

That there shall be five men chosen as seaters to seat y' is to say 
to determine where every person to be seated shall sit in y' new 
meeting house Voted affirmatively 

That Deacon Hoit Deacon Sheldon M' Jn" Catlin Edward Allen 
and Thomas French shall be y' seaters for y" seating of y" new meet- 
ing house Voted affirmatively 

That y' Rules for seating of persons shall be age state and dignity 
Voted affirmatively 

Three years later, the edifice is still unfinished. 

Janu'ry 2 1698-9, voted, that jice and board be provided for y' 
meeting house Galleries upon y' Town charge to be paid for in 
y" year 1699 

V Town confirmed y' first committy chosen for y' building of s'' 
meeting house to see s"' Galleries finished: 

The next vote directed the galleries to be finished by the 
last day of December, 1700. 

At length, after seven years' labor, the meetinghouse is 


ready for occupancy in all parts. But the galleries have not 
been dignified. How this is to be done becomes the exciting 
topic. Naturally the task would be assigned to the two dea- 
cons and their associates, who had successfully solved the 
same problem in the "body." No; for this important matter 
a town meeting must be called, which every voter must at- 
tend under a penalty of five shillings. The record is given 
in full, as due such a grave matter : — 

Oct. 2, 1701. Att a legall town meeting in Deerfield Oct 2d 1701 
Lieutt Hoyt moderator 

That Seaters shall be chosen to seat y meeting house Voted af- 

That 5 men shall be chosen for s'' work was voted affirmatively 

The persons chosen to seat y" meeting house were Capt Wells: 
Lieutt Hoyt: Ensign Sheldon: Sergt Eliezer Hawks and Thomas 
French : 

As to estimation of Seats y*" Town agreed and voted y* y*-' fore seat 
in y"" front Gallery shall be equall in dignity with y'' 2d seat in y"" Body 
of y" meeting house: 

That y fore seats in y side Gallerys shall be equall in dignity with 
y" 4th seats in y" Body of y"" meeting house : 

That y 2d seat in y'' front Galery and y'= hinde seat in y front Gal- 
ery shall be equall in dignity with y" 5th seat in y' Body of y*" meet- 
ing house 

That y" 2d seat in y*' side Galerys shall be esteemed equall in dignity 
with y*" 6th in y' Body of y meeting House : 

That y' hinde seat in y" side Galerys shall be esteemed the 7th seat 
in dignity and the 3d seat in y" front Galery y"' 8th in dignity: 

That y Rules which y seaters shall seat persons by shall be: age: 
estate: place and qualifications: 

It will be observed that the four highest military officers 
in town are on the board of seaters. Two of them are dea- 
cons, to be sure, but in the records their ecclesiastical titles 
are sunk in the military. Is there any significance in this 
fact ? Does it proclaim that all rebellion, by ambitious spir- 
its whose yearnings for a high grade of seats may not be sat- 
isfied, shall be put down by the strong hand? Or does it 
simply imply, that, as these men had few social equals, they 
were thus delivered from temptation in their official action, 
and could safely rank themselves No. i without giving of- 
fence ? 


The first town officers on record were chosen at a meetino- 
without date, but which appears to have been held December 


i6th, 1686. At this meeting ThomavS Wells was eliosen mod- 
erator : — 

Win Smead Joshiui Pumry Jno Sheldon Benoni Stebbins IJenj 
Hastinirs and Thonuis French ware chosen Selectmen Townsmen or 
Overseers to continue in office until oth' be chosen and they dis- 
charged according to law. Jonathan Wells was chosen commission'" 
to joyn w"' y" Select'" to take lists for the County Rate and officiate 
in y^ business according to law 

That the Town and Mniisters' Rattes shall be raised upon Lands 
heads & flocks att the same prices as hath been y^' last year past. 
Voted in y" affirmative * * * 

Edward Allyn Thomas Ikoughton & Thomas Allison were chosen 
server*^ for y*" year ensuing. 

Philip Mattoone Jonath Church tV Robart Alexander were chosen 
Haywards for y year ensuing * * * 

That y'' Selectmen Townsmen or Overseers aboue named shall 
haue pow'^ to order all y'' ])rudentials of y^' Town. 

A "Town brand" was established, and all horses ordered 
" to be branded y'' w"' on the left should'." Grants of want- 
ing land were made, and the whole aetion appears to have 
been that of an independent commonwealth. As a matter of 
form, the land grants were approved by the Cominittee. In 
point of fact, the authority of the Committee at this time was 
little more than nominal, and their meetings were held mere- 
ly to ratify the action of the inhabitants. The last act of the 
Committee was December 20th, 1687, when "Joseph Barnard 
was, with the consent of the Town of Derefield, and the ap- 
robation of the Comitte appointed Clark and Recorder, for 
the Towne of Deerefield, as atteste, Medad Pomry, by order 
of s^' Comitte." 

Down to this time, the meetings and action had been of 
"the Inhabitants." After this the meetings were "town 
meetings." The voters collectively were called " the Town," 
and their action, that of " the Town ;" and to this day, the 
term, "Town of Deerfield," has two distinct meanings recog- 
nized in law : One, a certain extent of territory bounded by 
fixed lines ; the other, the legal voters, acting collectively, or 
by their chosen agent. A third meaning, more loosely ap- 
plied, and used in this work, is the old village on the " Town 
Plat," laid out in 1671. This is still called " Old Deerfield," 
"Old Town," and "Town vStreet." Those living here were 
called " Town's people," and those scattered in the outlying 
districts, "farmers." 


Town meetings seem to have been called on slight provo- 
cation, but the method of warning does not appear. At least 
sixty town meetings were held before 1704. Town officers 
were usually chosen in March, when the general business of 
the town was transacted ; the time fixed for " opening the 
meadows," in September; and rates laid in December. 

" The Town" acted on all matters pertaining to the welfare 
of the community : Divided the land, built fortifications, 
meetinghouses, schoolhouses, ferry boats, and pounds ; hired 
the minister and schoolmaster; chose military officers; laid 
out highways and graveyards ; levied rates, prescribed the 
" specie " in which it should be paid, and fixed its price ; fixed 
the price of grain betwixt man and man, and the price of 
labor ; looked carefully after the common field, the fences 
and the stock ; fixed the time for opening and closing the 
meadows ; regulated the building of mills, and settled the toll 
for grinding and sawing ; rented the sequestered land ; en- 
forced attendance on divine worship and its own meetings. 
The civil officers chosen were Recorder, Townsmen, Com- 
missioner of Assessment, Assessors, Collectors, Tithingmen, 
School Committee, Wardens, Seaters, Surveyors of High- 
ways, Fence-viewers, Haywards, Hog ringers. Town meas- 
urers — of land — Town appraisers. Clerk of the market. Sealer 
of weights and measures. Sealer of leather, Packers, Survey- 
ors of hemp and flax. Surveyors of wheat and flour. Survey- 
ors of clapboards, Cullers of brick. Cullers of shingles, Cullers 
of lumber. Pound-keeper, and Treasurer ; but the latter was 
not chosen until 1720. The Collector had charge of the 
"specie " — always pork or grain — in which rates were paid. 
Most financial transactions were by barter or settled by or- 
ders. In 1686, Deerfield was indicted for neglecting to choose 
Cullers of brick. 

Among other transactions at the first " Town meeting " was 

laying out the wood lands. The list below contains the names 
of all the Proprietors of that date, with the number of Cow 

Commons held by each. 

A list of the wood lots as they were Drawn April 20 1688. lying 
in two Divisions the first Division beginning at the Long Hill att 
y'' left hand [of the highway and ending] att Hatfield bounds y*" 2d 
Division beginning att &■* bounds on y" oth'' side of the highway and 
ending att y" long hill running east & west. 







1 "■ 





5 p 










Nath" Sutlief 




Eleazer Hawks 




Sam" Hinsdell 




Jos Barnard 




Tho Root 




Col Jn" Pynchon 




Joseph Seldon 




Benoni Stebbins 




W" Smead 




Jn" Hawks 




Jno Hinsdell 




Eph Hinsdell 




Tho Seldcin 




Jn" Sheldon 




Tho Allison 




Mr Sol Stoddard 




Joshua Carter 




W'" Brooks 




Zach Field 




Robert Price 




Jaines Hrown 




Jos Gillet 




Richard VVeller 




Jno Stebbins 




Tho Hurst 




Godfre Nims 




Daniel Belding 




Peter Plimton 




Jn" Broughton 




Tho Br(JUt(hton 



1 6 

Henj Harret 




Tho Hunt 




M^ VV" Williams 




Sam" Northam 




Benj Hastings 




Simon Beaman 




Jn" Catlin 




Samson Frary 




M' Jn" Russell 




Henry White 




Daniel Weld 




Edward Allen 




Ltt Thomas Wells 




Jn" Evans 




M' John Williams 




Tho F"rench 




Jonath Wells 




Capt John Allis 


Jonath Church 




Tim" Nash 

Here it must be noted that he y' hath y'' first in y' first Division 
hath also y*" first lot in y" 2d division (which is according to y'^ order 
of y' Comittee) so he that lies next y'' long hill in one of his divisions 
lies next or near Hatfield bounds in his other division AH y' lots ly 
in this order except Capt Jn" Allis & Tim " Nashes who were after- 
wards ordered and y-' lie both divisions next hatfield bounds. 

These divisions have been subsequently known as Long 
Hill East, and Long Hill West Divisions. There was record- 
ed at the same time — 

A List of Wood Lots on the Mountain, the first Lot beginning at 
Deerfield River Laying along by the River side : — 














r-t ft 
1 P 





Godfre Nims 




Siman Beamon 




Tho^ Hurst 




M-- Jn« Russell 




Samson Frary 




Tho Broughton 




Eph Hinsdell 




M' Sol Stoddard 




W™ Smead 




Tho French 




Tho Hunt 




Benj Barret 




Ltt Thomas Wells 




Sam" Hinsdell 




Tho Selden 




Jn" Hawks 




Jos Selden 




Daniel Belding 







r' cd 

? ra 




1 p 



1. of Co 






3 :-" 

1 »-•-. 


James Brown 




Henry White 

18 36 


Col Jn" Pynchon 




Jn" Sheldon 

i8>^ 37 


Jn° Broughlon 




Jn" Evans 

14 28 


Edward Allyti 




M"" W"i Williams 

16 32 


Tho Allison 




Elea'' Hawks 

10 20 


Jn" Hinsdell 




Jonath Church 

3/2 7 


Joseph Barnard 




Jn" Stebbins 

8 It 


Jn° Catlin 




Sam" Northam 

12 24 


Benj Hastings 




M-- Jn" Williams 

8 16 


W"' Brooks 




Joshua Carter 

13 26 


Benoni Stebbins 




Jos Gillett 

9'A 19 


Jonath Wells 




Rob Price 

I 2 


Pef Plimton 




Daniel Weld 

8K 17 


Zach Field 




Nath'i Sutlicf 

8K 17 


Tho Root 




Capt In" Allis 


Richard Weller 




Tim" "Nash 

The following are names of men not on the above list who 
are found on a meadow fence list, and must have been own- 
ers of land in the Meadows : John Allen's heirs, Mr. Daniel 
AUyn, Ephraim Beers, Joseph Bodman, Ebenezer Brooks, 
Barnabas Hinsdale's heirs, David Hoyt, Francis Keet, Heze- 
kiah Root, John Severance, Isaac Sheldon, John Weller. 

Thomas Howard was also a resident, as appears by an "ear 
mark " recorded to him on the town records, but he held no 
land. By this list it appears that two only of those originally 
drawing commons in 1671, were now owners — John Pynchon 
and Samson Frary, — and in but one case, that of John Steb- 
bins, are descendants found holding the land. Further town 
action relating to wood lands, roads, meetinghouses, schools, 
rates, fences, meadows, &c., will appear under those respect- 
ive heads. 


It is only through information gleaned from the old State 
manuscript archives that the history of this period can be 
given. Since the last recorded meeting of April, 1688, great 
changes had taken place in the aspect of affairs. The shad- 
ow of Indian hostilities had fallen across the valley. A rev- 
olution had swept the arbitrary Andros from the Governor's 
chair, and a provisional government had been established. 
In these events our town had been prominent ; but on her 
records not the slightest indication appears that anything 


unusual had occurred. The record of the following meeting 
is given as notable for what it does not contain or intimate : — 

May 30th, 1689. Att a legal Town meeting in Deerfield Godfre 
Nims was chosen constable for the year ensuing until anoth'' be 
chosen & sworn, 

Ltt Thomas Wells M^ John Catlin, Lieut Jonath Wells Sam" 
Northam & Jos Barnard were chosen Townsmen for the year ensu- 
ing until others be chosen. 

Daniel Belding & Martin Smith were fence view''* for the North of 
y^ common fence for the year ensuing. 

Joseph Goddard and Joseph Bod man were chosen fence view''^ for 
the South part of the common fence for the year ensuing. Jn" Al- 
lyn Eliz'' Hawks & James Brown were chosen serveie* for y*^ year en- 

Tho. PVench Jn" Stebbins & Sam" Carf were chosen Hay wards 
for Y yctir ensuing 

Jonath Churches Home lot being forfited the town renewed his 
grant of s'' Home lot provided he fulfil his former obligation and 
build a dwelling hous upon it within a twelve month from this 30th 
of May : 

There was also granted to Robbart Alexander a hom-lot att Wap- 
ping or plumb tree playne (which lot was formerly given to Sam" 
Hastings but is now forfited to the Town) he y"^^ s'' Alexander fulfill- 
ing y'^ obligations y*^ Sam" Hastings was und"^ as to fenc &: also to 
build a dwelling upon it within one year after the grant and dwell 
upon s'' lot 3 years 

Ebenez'' & Nath" Brooks had att y"" same meeting y' grant of y' 
hom-lot renewed for one year they performing y'' obligations as in y*^ 
form'' grant. There being formerly a bargain between William 
Brooks deceased and the Inhabitants of Deerfield concerning his 
y" s'^ Brooks dwelling house whareby s'' house became y'' Towns 
prop"" estate Mary Brooks widow of s'' W"' Brooks made application 
to the Town desiring y^ they would grant or give unto her s'' dwell- 
ing house she relinquishing that benefit of choyce of lots which he 
had in recompenc for s'^ hous as may be seen in record of s'' bargain. 

That the widdow Brooks shall have and Injoy s^' house as her own 
forever provided she take it away off from the Town Land or com- 
mon street att or before the last day of November 1689 but if s'' 
house be not removed by the time prefixt then to return to the town 
according to first bargain voted in y" affirmative. 

To those having the clue, the unsettled condition of the 
country might be discovered in the following action at a town 
meeting June 26th, 1689: — 


Considering the circumstances that the Town is att present und 
that Selectmen cannot be chosen amongst us every way according to 
Law without greatly burthening p''ticular p''sons : the town have 
agreed y' y^ Selectment chosen in May shall stand in y'^' place and 
office and the town do bind y"'selvs to stand by y™ in s'' office and to 
obey all such acts and ord''' as s'' Selectmen shall doe and put forth 


for the good and benefit of the Town provided such acts and ord"^' 
shall not be repugnant to the Laws of this Jurisdiction Voted in y*^^ 

Further action at this meeting will be given hereafter. A 
few words on the political condition of the colony at this 
time are necessary to the understanding of our annals. 

On the vacation of the charter, Dudley was made royal 
Governor in 1686. He was succeeded the next year by Sir 
Edmund Andros, who was put at the head- of all the New 
England colonies by the Catholic King James. Andros, be- 
ing tyrannical and oppressive in his administration, aroused 
much opposition. He was of French extraction, and there 
was a strong underctirrent of feeling that he favored the 
Roman Catholics, and was intriguing to transfer these col- 
onies to French dominion. He had been unpopular in New 
England during Philip's War. His Indian policy seemed to 
be adverse to their interests, and never more so than now. 
He was aware of this feeling, and at this date, he was making 
a progress through New England looking after his political 
interests, but ostensibly, "to prevent a second Indian war." 
He was at Hadley about October 15th, where he had a meet- 
ing with town officers. Committees of the Plantations, officers 
of the militia, &c. From Boston, he issued orders on the ist 
of November, that ten companies of sixty men each be raised 
as " standing forces ^ ^ "^ for the defense of the country 
against the Indians, &c.," and sent out commissions for the 
officers. Pynchon was made a colonel, to command in the 
valley, and Aaron Cook, major. Thus he formed a standing 
army under his direct command. However, it failed him in 
his hour of need. 

News reached Boston about April 12th, 16S9, that the 
Prince of Orange had landed in England. On the i8th, An- 
dros was seized by the people and imprisoned, with his prin- 
cipal adherents. The government was assumed by a Com- 
mittee of Safety, which on the 2d of May issued a call for the 
towns to choose representatives to meet in Boston on the 9th. 
A few men onl}^ gathered on this short notice, and little was 
done besides appointing a fast on the i6th, and issuing anoth- 
er call for representatives of the people to meet on the 22d. 

There is no record of any meeting here in response to this 
call. The people, however, were ripe for revolt, and the Se- 


lectmen stepped at once to the front, assuming the grave re- 
sponsibility. A paper found in the manuscript archives of 
the State, tells a story of which there is no hint in the town 
records : — 

Deerfield, May 17, 1689. 
We the Town of Deerfield, complying with the desire of the pres- 
ent Counsell of Safety, to choose one among us as a representative 
to send down to signify our minds and concurance with the Counsell 
for establishing of the government, have chosen and deputed Lieu- 
tenant Thomas Wells, and signified to him our minds for the proceed- 
ing to the settlement of the government, as hath been signified t(^ 
us, from the Honorable Counsell of Safety, and those other repre- 

John Sheldon, ^ 

Benj. Hastings, , . , . 

,, -^ ., ' > Selectmen. 


'1'homas French, J 

All honor to these patriotic men who took this of dan- 
ger, especially Lieut. Wells, who held his commission — now 
to be seen in Memorial Hall — imder the hand of Andros him- 
self. A faihire of the revolution meant for him, a court mar- 
tial, and the penalty of treason, at the hands of the vindictive 
Governor, and ptmishment for all concerned. The names of 
the first two Selectmen do not appear on this certificate of 
election or appointment, but there is no evidence of a divided 
sentiment here, unless it is found in the fact that an entirely 
new board of Selectmen was chosen at a town meeting on 
the 30th. It is more likely, however, that that was part of 
the policy of the town. Even the prying eyes of Edward 
Randolph himself could find no treason in the record of this 
meeting, or in the diplomatic vote of June 26th, already giv- 
en. Shrewd men were manaofingf affairs here at this crisis. 
Another of the unrecorded transactions, found in the State 
Archives, shows the rr^/ object of the June meeting. Should 
the revohition fail, the following paper, like the Wells cer- 
tificate, wotild be in safe hands. The representatives met on 
the 2 2d of May, and on the 24th chose Simon Bradstreet, then 
86 years old, for Governor. 

June 26, 1689, — To the Governor and Council of the Massachu- 
setts Colony for the safety of the people and conservation of the 
peace : Right Honorable, in pursuance to an order bearing date June 
14, for the nomination of Military officers, the town of Deerfield be- 
ing convened according to the above s'' order, have made a full and 


free voat for nomination of Thomas Wells for lieutenant and David 
Hoyt for ensign bearer. Joseph Barnard, Clerk. 

Bradstreet held his office until May 14th, 1692, when 
Phipps, who was appointed by the King under the second 
charter, succeeded hiin. 

The second topic passed by in silence at the meeting of 
May 30th, 1689, was the Indian raid from Canada. Indians 
had occasionally visited the English settlements, and min- 
gled to some extent with the inhabitants, and it was no re- 
markable thing, M^hen on the evening of July 24th, 1688, fif- 
teen Indians came to lodge at the house of Lieut. Thomas 
Wells. Part of them, it proved, belonged to a war party sent 
out from Canada, by Gov. De Nonville in time of peace. They 
had orders, it appears, to take no prisoners, with a promise 
of ten beavers for each scalp taken. Part of the story is told 
by Wells in an affidavit made Oct. 15th, 1688. A full account 
of the raid may be found in Temple & Sheldon's history of 

The examination of Thomas Wells, aged thirty-six years or there- 
abouts, taken Oct. 15, 1688, 

This examin^ sayth, that about the Latter end of July, there 
came by water to his house fifteen Indians, who after he had some 
discourse with, he understood that eight of them were formerly North 
Indians, but now livd neere Albany, & had been out with y Maquas, 
& in their way home came to these parts to hunt. That four more 
were lykewise North Indians [in other depositions these 12 Indians 
are called Scaghooks] whom y-' eight overtook a hunting ; & that y'= 
other three were part of eleven Indians, formerly North Indians, but 
now lived amongst y'' ffrench, & came in pursuit of y*-* s'' eight Indi- 
ans, whom together they overtook. That y*-' Capt or y^ chiefe of y"^' 
s'' eleven Indians, was called Wahacoet, who not suffering his party 
to fall on y^" eight Indians when they met them, eight of his company 
were displeased thereat & left him ; & he and two others, were y" 
three that came with y"-' other twelve Indians to Deerfield. That all 
y*-' s'* 15 Indians staid one night at this examin^'s house ; that y'' 
next morning y-' s'' eight Indians went by land from Deerfield intend- 
ing for Hatfield, & desired y*^ s'' Wahacoet and y'' other two Indians 
to go with them, w'^'' he refused, but said he would come to them by 
& by. Soon after y^' s^^ four Indians likewise intending for Hatfield, 
by water, asked ye s'^ Wahacoet and y s'^' two Indians, to goe with 
them, but he likewise refused, but sayd as before y* he would come 
to them by & by. That soone after the s'' twelve Indians were gone, 
Wahacoet and the two Indians went away by water, and told this 
examin* that he was going for Hatfield, <S: from thence to Boston. 
That y'^ next morning all y"' s'' 8 Indians, and three of y«^ four Indi- 
ans came again to Deerfield to this Examin^'s house, & finding that 


Wahacoet & y^ two others were gone, &: not come to them att Hat- 
field, as they promised, one Camaghtroett who was Capt or chiefe of 
y'' s'' eight Indians, told this exia"' in y'' Indian language, which he 
well understood, that y*^^ s'' eleven Indians were Rogues, & that he 
feared they were gone to doe mischiefe ; and that they would have 
done mischiefe at Northfield as they came down the River, had 
not they been in company with them; & that the said Wahacoet that 
told him that they were sent out by the French, & had orders to kill 
English, Indians, Dutch, & Maquas, and that he should bring noe 
English captives, but only their scalps; tv: advised the English Inhabi- 
tants to be Careful of themselves. That ab' three Days after, this ex- 
aminant heard that five Indians were killed, i\: others taken, at Spec- 
tacle Pond, neere Springfield; & ab' three weeks after, that three men 
two women & a girl were murdered by Indiens at Northfield, w*^'' this 
examin* veryly believes was done by the s"' eleven Indians. «S; further 
sayth not. Sworne the 15 October 1688 before me 

Thomas Wells E Randolph 

The live Indians were killed July 27th. Pynchon at once 
sent posts to the towns above and below, scotits in search of 
the marauders, and a party to bury the slain. A few days 
later, strange Indians were .seen about Northfield. Micah 
Mudge and others went out in search of them, and found 
them camped in the woods. Mudge found Wahacoet, and 
Cungowasco, with whom he was well acquainted, and others 
whom he knew to be " North Indians," formerly belonging 
to these parts. Mudge " told them that there was peace be- 
tween the Kings of England and France, which Wahacoet 
replied he knew well enough and promised y'' next morning 
to come in to Northfield, which they did not." 

These motions of the Indians caused excitement and alarm 
in the river towns. August 6th, Pynchon left Springfield for 
Northfield with six men ; he picked up twenty-four more on 
the way, arriving there on the i ith. After repairing the fort, 
and scouting a few days in the woods, Pynchon returned, 
leaving a small garrison at Northfield. No more Indians 
were seen, and the alarm subsided. The Indians summoned 
from Connecticut were sent home. This quiet was soon in- 
terrupted. Pynchon writes Aug. i6th, 1688: — 

By post from Northfield, I hear the Indians have killed 5 persons 
there, and were at the upper end of the town when the messengers 
came away. Samuel Janes and Josiah Marshfield brought the news. 
Thomas Powell was sent post to Quaboag, Sam'l Thomas to West- 
field, and Jonathan Morgan to Hartford, with the news. 

The next day, Lieut. Colton with sixteen men from Spring- 


field, Lieut. Taylor, with thirty-four men " from the upper 
Towns, with horses," went to Northfield. Pynchon sent to 
Conneeticut for thirty or forty Indians, but as only ten came 
up they were dismissed. 

The consternation at Brookfield was such that the town 
was about to be abandoned. On the 19th, Pynchon sent six 
men " to bring off such women as desired to come away," but 
with a command to the men for "their continuance there." 2ist, a small garrison was sent to Northfield, and 
about a week later, Sergt. Bigelow, with fifteen men, joined 
it and remained until Oct. 9th. Capt. Jonathan Bull, and 
fifty-one men, left Hartford November 9th, for Northfield, 
where they remained until after the imprisonment of Andros. 
This was one of the companies raised under his order of No- 
vember I St, and was sent by him to Northfield. He com- 
plained to the King of their desertion of his government ; but 
Andros was then powerless for harm, and nothing came of it. 
By the same authority, and at the same time, Warham Math- 
er was sent to Northfield as their minister for six months. 
Small garrisons were kept there through the summer of 
1689, and probably during the following winter, but in the 
spring of 1690 Northfield was deserted a second time, and 
Deerfield again became the frontier town. 

It seems that a few Indians still lingered in the valley, 
subject to the English, and in view of the late raid from 
Canada the General Court passed the following order : — 

Mch 20, 1689, for the better settling the Inds belonging to Hamp- 
shire, John Pinchon, Esq., is requested and hereby empowered to 
dispose said Inds to such place or places for their abode as may pre- 
vent their being exposed to danger, & with such limitations & direc- 
tions as may be least disquiet to the English, the Inds to have warn- 
ing y* they exceed not the limits appropriated y'" upon their ut- 
termost peril. 

Wapping — 1685-90. Grants of home lots were not confined 
to the Town Plat. A street was early laid out at Plumbtree 
Playne, — as Wapping was called until 1689, — where, August 
1685, home lots were granted to Benj. Barrett and James 
Brown ; and soon after, to Thomas Broughton, Benjamin and 
Samuel Plastings, John and Benoni Stebbins. Benjamin and 
Jonathan Church, Joseph Bodman, Ebenezer and Nathaniel 
Brooks, Robert Alexander, Martin Smith, Ephraim Beers, 


Joseph Gillett and Thomas Hurst. These grants were gen- 
erally made on condition of being built upon within a year, 
and maintaining all abutting meadow fence. This little 
band consisted of young men, nearly all with wives and 
young children, seeking a permanent home in this fertile 
valley. Their social relations were intimate, being closely 
connected by blood or marriage. The Brookses were broth- 
ers, and Benoni Stebbins their brother-in-law. The Stebbinses 
were brothers, while John was brother-in-law to Alexander 
and Barrett, and the latter, brother-in-law to Benjamin Hast- 
ings. Barrett married a sister of Alexander ; the Churches 
were probably brothers, and brothers-in-law to Samuel Hast- 
ings. The wives of Bodman and Gillett had brothers in the 
Town Street. This harmonious little community faced cheer- 
fully the hardships of a new settlement. It was a time of 
peace, and no fears of the Indian disturbed their labors. 
That they were prosperous, and growing independent, with 
separate herds of cattle, is shown by the following vote, 
which is all the reference found as to their estate or financial 
condition : — 

June 26 1689, att the desire of the people at Wapping: it is agreed 
y'' so long as s'' Wapping people keep and maintain a good and suffi- 
cient Bull among themselves and let him run att liberty on the com- 
mon: y-' shall be freed from any charges in y'' Town as to hiring or 
buying of bulls: 

The rough hand of war soon after scattered this happy 
family. In 1690 Alexander and Jonathan Church fell in the 
service. Barrett and Benjamin Church died the same year. 
Broughton was slain and Smith captured in 1693. The latter, 
and Benoni Stebbins were killed, and John Stebbins cap- 
tured, in 1704. Bodman, Brown, Beers, Gillet and Samuel 
Hastings, disappear from the scene. The Brookses, Benja- 
min Hastings and John Stebbins became permanent residents 
in the Town Street. It w^as many years before Wapping was 
again occupied as a dwelling place. 

Green River — 1686-90. While landless new comers were 
being provided for at Wapping, another colony was settling 
at Green river. The present Main street of Greenfield was 
selected as a site for the houses of those who had grants of 
meadow land on the river. The Town Measurers laid out 
twenty home lots, of four acres each. These were to be 


drawn by lot for actual settlers, except that William Brooks 
had " liberty to take his two lots together * -^ * at what 
place he should choose in s'^ tract" in consideration of his 
giving " to y' Inhabitants afors'* (in recopense for that benifit 
or priviledge) his dwelling hous y^ stands in the Town vStreet 
in Deeriield." 

The numbering of the lots began at the west end, and 
they were drawn as follows. On the south side: No. i, Eb- 
enezer Wells ; 2, David Hoyt ; 3 and 4, selected by Brooks ; 5, 
Edward Allen. This came up to Arms's corner. On the 
north side: No. i, vSamuel Smead; 2, the mill lot; 3, Joseph 
Goddard ; 4, Robert Goddard ; 5, John Severance ; 6 Jeremiah 
Hull ; 7, John Allen, which came about to Pond's block. No 
others were located at this time. Home lots were afterwards 
granted to Robert Poag, Nathaniel Cooke, Nathaniel Brooks, 
John Williams, Philip Mattoon and Samuel Beaman. How 
many of these men actually built on their lots cannot be told. 
The same cause which broke up Wapping also scattered this 
plantation. The heirs of David Hoyt sold his lot to Roger 
Newton in 1776. The first house built in Greenfield, so far 
as known, was that of Joshua Pomroy, referred to in the fol- 
lowing vote : — 

Feb. 5, 1686-7, There was granted to Joshua Pumry esteemed 7 
acres be it more or less, lying on the back side of his now dwelling 
house bounded by the Green river [torn,] by y' brow of the hill east. 
by a little brook west which peice of land s** Joshua Pumry is to have 
in exchange with y' Town for four acres of land formerly given him 
by the Town: lying on the plain called y' little plain: 

This gift was in 1682. He had probably lived on the Town 
Street, but followed, or led, the colony to Green river. 

The land along Green river was doubtless clear of forest, 
as it M^as called " meadows " from the first. Its west bound 
was called " the swamp." Lots were granted here to all who 
have been named as having house lots except David Hoyt, 
(who had bought a grant of thirty-six acres, laid out to 
Sergeant Plympton,) John Severance, Nathaniel Cooke and 
Thomas Broughton. These lots contained twenty acres each, 
running from Green river to the west line of the town. Wm. 
Brooks's grant was to join Stockwell's, which he had bought. 
This may explain his right to two home lots. All grants on 
Green river were on condition of "paying part of the Indian 


piircJiase Jiwncy," paying yearly rates, and sometimes a per- 
sonal occupation of three years. Unless Sachem Chaque's 
deed covered this territory there is no "Indian" 

On the destruction of Schenectady the settlers retired to 
the shelter of the fortifications at the Town Street, and not a 
single one occupied his lands permanently. The Goddards, 
Cooke, Poag and Beaman no longer appear. Wm. Brooks 
died in 1688, Hull in 1691, Brougliton was killed in 1693, Sev- 
erance went to Connecticut in 1702, John Allen, Hoyt and 
Mattoon fell in 1704. Wells retired to Hatfield ; his children 
and those of the Aliens, Severance and Nathaniel Brooks, 
.subsequently occupied their fathers' lands. Edward Allen, 
Jr., lived, died and was buried on home lot No. 5, given to 
his father. On this lot was the old graveyard for the early 
dead of Greenfield. Here they rested in quiet until 1881, 
when, in order to lay out the cheapest highway to the rail- 
road station, the mercenary vandalism of Greenfield obliter- 
ated every vestige of this God's acre. 

No more efforts were made to settle at Green river, until 
after the peace of Ryswick, in 1697. 

While settlements on either hand were being encouraged, 
the community at the Town Street was itself increasing in 
numbers and prosperity. 

During the war, the most accessible fields were cultivated, 
with little care for proprietorship or lines. With a wider oc- 
cupation, came a call for better defined ownership. A vote 
was passed March i6th, 1698-9, — 

That all lands within y^ meadow fence together with all wanting 
lands and homelots be measured by y'" Town Measurers : and that all 
lands not yet Recorded to be Recorded by the Town Clerk in y'' 
Town Book of Records : y'' Town Clerk having first received an ac- 
count of s'' unrecorded land from the Town jVIeasurers. 

The great staple was Indian corn. A failure in this crop 
was a public disaster, so the policy of public protection was 
adopted, as appears by the following vote : — 

That every house holder shall kill 12 Black Birds apiece this sum- 
mer or else what they shall want of s*' number shall pay pence apiece 
in the Town Rate : and for what they shall kill above s'' number they 
shall receive of the Town pence apiece untill the last of May next : 
and for what Black birds they shall kill from thence to y'' middle of 
Sept a half a penny apiece : and whosoever shall kill crows this sum- 
mer shall have four pence apiece peayd them by y'' Town. 


This policy was continued in effect, until within about fifty 

March 3d, 1701, Voted y' a Commity be chosen whose work it shall 
be to Methodize y form and manner of Recording of y meadow lands 
in all four of y** divisions : as also to determine to whom lands shall 
be recorded determining upon the following Kule y' is to say to those 
y' shall produce y last legal deed of such and such lands : Capt 
Wells : Ensigne Jn" Sheldon : and Benoni Moor were chosen as a 
Commity to doe y work mentioned in y- next above written vote : 

No such book of records has been discovered ; it may have 
been destroyed in the house of the Clerk, Feb. 29th, 1704. 


The success of the Prince of Orange brought on war with 
France, in which their colonies became involved, and Canada 
Indians under French guidance were soon ravaging our 
frontiers. Feb. i8th, vSchenectady was surprised and burned 
by an army from Canada and the inhabitants massacred with 
a barbarity shocking to civilized warfare. Sixty were mur- 
dered, twenty-seven carried off to Canada, while the rest were 
driven half naked through the deep snow towards Albany. 
Twenty-five of these lost their feet by freezing. 

When the news of this horrible affair reached Deerfield, a 
town meeting was at once called. This town was equally 
exposed to attack, being entirely without defensive works. 
The most energetic measures were at once taken to supply 
this neglect and meet the danger : — 

Att a Leagall Town meeting Feb'^ 26th 1689-90 

That y"" shall be a good sufficient fortification made upon the meet- 
ing hous hill: it was voted in the affirmative 

for the stating proportioning and dividing to every p'son his part 
or proportion of fortification: for stating the height flankrs gates iSrc 
the Town have made choice of M' Jn" Catlin Jonath Wells Samuel 
Northam Benj Barret Thos French Henry White and Benoni Steb- 
bins to act and doe in every part and particular as to y'= pMnises as 
y-' shall Judg for y'' good benefit &: safety of the Town: voted in y 

That y*^ fortifications shall be don & finished by y*= 8th of March 
next emediately ensuing: voted affirmatively' 

Thatt all persons whose families cannot conveniently and comfort- 
ably be received into y"^ houses y* are already upon y'' meeting hous 
hill and shall be w^''n the fortifications: such persons shall have hab- 
itations provided for y"' w*''n s'^ fortifications att the Town charg but 
any p''son or p''sons y*^ shall provide habitations for y'"selves shall be 
exempt from y" charges afores'' : voted in the affirmative 

That Sgt Jn" Sheldon Benoni Stebbins & Edward Allyn shall have 
full pow'" to appoint where every persons hous or cellar shall stand 
w*- bigness y-* shall be: y' is such houses or cellars as are to be built 
by y'^ town as afores'': voted in the affirmative: 


It was not known here that the horde which destroyed 
Schenectady had returned to Canada. The same party might 
fall upon this town at any time, and every nerve was strained 
to prepare for a visit. It was no trifling thing that the in- 
habitants of Deerfield undertook. The task they set them- 
selves shows their self reliance. Under the direction of the 
Committee, an area large enough to shelter the whole popu- 
lation was to be enclosed with a palisado. For this, many 
hundred pieces of timber, twelve to fourteen feet long, must be 
cut, hewed on two sides, and hauled to the spot : a trench two 
or three feet deep, dug in the frozen earth. In this the pali- 
sades were to be set solid and each pinned to a horizontal rail 
running across near the top. Planks for the gates and flank- 
ers were to be sawed out, and set up. All this to be finished 
in ten days, though the whole force of men which could be 
mustered for this service, including the Greenfield and Wap- 
ping refugees, could not have exceeded sixty ; and this force 
was doubtless weakened by the "great sickness" which 
proved so fatal in the Connecticut valley this year. We find 
no account of the exact size of this stockade. 

"Scouts of 14 or 16 men to bee out by the week together 
for the discovery of the enemy," were sent away weekly by 
Pynchon, to cover the frontiers during the spring months. 
Their pay was guaranteed by the county court, " if y" General 
Court do not pay them." A garrison of sixty Connecticut 
men under Capt. Colton, was established here as being the 
most exposed point on the river. The alarm at Albany 
eqtialed that here, and an application was made to Massachu- 
setts for aid in its defense. Gov. Bradstreet, in a reply dated 
June 24th, declined the request on the ground that Deerfield 
was as likely to be attacked as Albany. The failure of the 
expedition for the invasion of Canada this year left the fron- 
tiers in greater fear than before. Revenge was sure to fol- 
low, and extra precautions were taken to prevent a surprise 
by more vigilant watching and warding. 

In addition to the labor, danger and loss, occasioned by the 
war, the town suffered severely this year from a malignant 
distemper, and several prominent men died. The following 
letter gives a sad picture of the afflicting visitation. 

Peter Tilton writes Governor Bradstreet, August 23d, 
1 690 : — 


The righteous Lord is sorely visiting these frontier towns at pres- 
ent, with sickness by agues and fevers, of which many are sick and 
weak and many are carried to their graves. The arrows of mortal- 
itie and death, are flying thick from town to town, & from family to 
family. A hundred persons sick at Deerfield, about forescore at 
Northampton, many at Hadley & Hatfield. The disease increases 
in the towns downward. Capt. [William] Lewis, and Capt. [John] 
Moseley, are dead. 

1691. This year, Major Peter Schuyler led a party of Mo- 
hawks against the Canada Indians, and being kept on the de- 
fensive, no war parties molested our frontiers. 

December 14th, town officers were chosen: Selectmen, 
Eleazer Hawks, Edward Allyn, Samson Frary, Godfrey Nims 
and Henry White. Sealers of weights and measures, and 
packers of pork, were now for the first time chosen, they be- 
coming necessary on account of the large dealings with the 
commissary department. 

In November about one hundred and fifty Indians came 
here from the Hudson, complicating affairs, and increasing 
the alarm. Concerning them, Pynchon wrote to Gov. Brad- 
street : — 

Springfield Dec 2, 1691. 
Honble Sir 

There being Several Indians lately come into these pts who have 
Setled y"'selves near Dearefeild, betweene it and Hatf'', I judge it 
most meete and ace' it but Duty, to aquaint y"" Honor therewith and 
to crave advise & directions from y"" Hon. (S: Council concerning 
them, & what may be necessary for safety in this time of danger ik 
hazzard of enemyes; having such loud cals both from heaven & 
earth to be awakened ; whereby we have as much cause, if not more, 
to look out for approaching danger this winter then last, when it was 
thought needful to continue a garrison at Dearefeild. The Indians 
came into Dearefeild sometime in Nov * * * Yesterday I rec'd 
a letter from Capt Partrigg who writes the Indians y' are come down 
are about 150 of y'" men, women, & children, & are Setled at Deare- 
feild under y Side of y^ Mountain Southerly from the Town, living 
in y"" woods East of Wapping, about a mile of y*^ Town. The men 
Plying hunting & Leaving their Women & ch at home * * * 
They brought a written Pass Subscribed by y Mayor of Albany, that 
they, behaving y"'selves orderly, y'^ English would carry it friendly 
to them; M"' Partrigg writes for y'' general they have been quiet hith- 
ertoe, only one or 2 of y'" were high & Insolent towards a Lad at 
Dearefeild, taking Some of his fathers Corn & Pumpkins w"'out 
leave; & one of y"' y'' came to Hatfield, upon one of our men req*'"*-' 
a Debt of him, y" Indian pulled out his knife. There are many of 
yin yt were o"" former Enymy Indians w'^^'' Setled at Albany til now. 

I doubt whether difficultys many ways may not arise, or jars upon 


y' acct., w*^'' may raise spts & be provocations to Some ; y' rather bee I 
understand (tho have note certaine Legal knowledge) some of o"" peo- 
ple let y'" have cider & rum, being so besotted with lucre of un- 
righteous gain & Insensible of God's anger on those accounts, & 
there owne danger, that it is to be feared thay expose y'"selves & 
others — 

Were y'^ Indians honest, as they pretend, they may be advantag- 
ious in scouting & giving notice of an enemie if approaching; yet 
also, being so Setled, they have opportunity of entertaining an Ene- 
my & betraying y*^ Townes, if they should p'''^ false; & we having 
noe assurance of y"\ I propose what may be necessary & meete to 
be done, y' we may be in some way of defending o''selves — whether 
a garrison at Dearefeild be not convenient, is w"' y'' Hons. to con- 
sider, & then the writing to Connecticut to afford men t\: assist ther- 
in, will be necessary; & whether also these scouts of 4 men a week 
allowed by y^ General Court in this County * * * be not prof- 
itable to be continued: Sometimes I am thinking it convenient that 
40 or 50, or 60 men out of these upper towns, be apointed to be in 
readyness & listed under a Capt .^i: officers to command y'", might be 
very useful, who should abide at home til occasion is: then move 
presently upon notice * * * If such a company in their Arms 
should only march once or twice this winter to Dearefield, y^' very 
sight of them might awe these Inds, who will thereby see «S; know we 
are in a warlike Posture; a laishlike indiscretion may procure some 
smart blow (as it did at Scenectoke) which should stir us up to dili- 
gence & Prudence; o'" people minding there owne busnes, without 
Arms, or watches, requires y* some orders be given for rousing y"' 
up, especially, considering y*^ talke is of y' the French coming down 
on us this winter — Doubtless there is this winter as much danger as 
y'^ last * * * I crav leave to propose one thing more, which 
* * * is to write to y*" Mayor of Albany concerning these In- 
dians; to gain a certaine knowledge what they are & y.*-' occasion of 
there coming &c; which if you think convenent & ordere me to doe, 
I wil take care to send, if there can be Passing thether: 

Onething I had almost sliped. Leiut Wells of Dearefeild, who 
would have been very useful & is much wanted for these affairs be- 
ing dead, (a sad froune of God in this juncture of affairs) there wants 
a Lieut to be commissiond for Derefeild, which I think ought to be 
minded. If y* Company have not applyed y"'selves to the Gen Court, 
I shall mention either David Hoite, or Jonathan Wells, or one Shel- 
den who dwels there, to be there Lieutenant. I pray consider how 
times call for a Settlement. They have only an Ensign now, & that 
is Hoite before named, & Shelden & Wells are Chief Sergants. 

1692. January ist, 169 1-2, Pynchon writes again in great 
perplexity, asking advice. He says the Committee of the Mi- 
litia have had several meetings, and many have been to see 
him, but he knows not what to do. 

On the same day, Samuel Partridge and John King, senior, 
write in behalf of the Military Committee, on the same sub- 
ject. They say : — 


We have feares they may be unfaithfule & soe betray us to our 
Enemies if they come, as they are not under our command but goe 
& come at pleasure. It is said their is some among them of the 
Penicook Inds that might have a hand in the late mischiefe done at 
Cocheco & Samon Falls, [in 1690] & of those that did mischiefe at 
North'''. Their numbers as nere as we can come at, are between 
40 & 50 fighting men & women & children about 100. 

We humbly propose * * * them sent back to Albany, or set- 
led & put under limits & bounds that we may know their incomers & 
find out if they are our enemies. 

They ask the governor that, — 

Application may be made to Conniticot to send 100 men as she did 
last year, for Jan^' and Feb, that being the only time they can pass 
the rivers and lakes on the ice. 

The Council write Pynchon January 8th, to keep a sharp 
lookout, to organize a company of fifty men as he suggested, 
to continue the four scouts, to send a message of inqitiry to 
Albany, " and, if necessary, to have a garrison of 50 or 60 
Conn, men, and in all things to use j^otir best judgment." 
They write to Connecticut the same day asking for forces to 
be sent to Deerfield. These were sent as requested. Capt. 
Whiting and fifty men came up about February ist to gar- 
rison the town. 

Pursuant to his broad instructions, Pynchon drafted a proc- 
lamation, with which he sent Capt. Partridge to the Indians. 
This was read to them, article by article, they responding, in 
the same manner. This paper is given below, as illustrating 
the relations between the two races at this period. 

When the natives sold land to the English, they usually 
reserved the privilege of hunting and fishing on the territory. 
Gov. Bradstreet seems to have recognized this general native 
right, but assumed the power to regulate its exercise on the 
ground of public exigency ; to this action the Indians took no 
exceptions in their replies to Pynchon's directions. 

Directions concerning y'' Indians lately come fro Albany & some 
proposals to be made known to them by Capt Saml Partrigg & such 
interpreter as he shall Improve: — 

I. Altho yo" ought to have made application to vs to have had 
liberty to sit downe in ovr towns, yet, having Passes from y^ Mayor 
of Albany for hunting, &c, we shal for y'^' present overlook 5'^'' seem- 
ing intruding vpon vs & allow yo"" abiding where you are this winter 
time, you behaving y''selves Peaceably &: orderly &: carrying it wel 
to all o'' people y^' time of y'' staying til spring, when you are to re- 
turne to Albany whence you came & wher you will be expected: 

pynchon's proclamation. 2*25 

To w''' their answer was: 

1. They owne it should have bene so at their coming 

2. They intend no il to y'^' EngHsh, but to carry it peaceably 

3. They desire there sqvas may be safe under our protection, 
while they are hunting: 

II. We doe particularly caution you to beware of strong drink, w'^'*' 
intoxicates men's braines, & makes y'" more disorderly than other- 
wise they would be, & to warne your jw/z/j,-- men in special least it oc- 
casion quarrels, w"^^'' are carefully by you & by vs to be preuented, 
wherefore we allow not o' people to sel it, i^ you would doe well to 
aqvaint vs w''' any w''' does, that we may deale with y'" for their dis- 
order: Their reply — 

. I. Our young men iv: sqvas wil buy it for all y', & your English wil 
sel it. 

.2. They are afraid inform of y English that do it least they do 
y"' mischiefe. Yet gave such hints in privite as 'tis hoped wil put a 
stop to that wickedness. 

III. We let you know we are now apprehensive of some approach 
of y'^' French & Indian enemy, «S: therefore intend to keep out scouts 
& to haue more strict wach & shortly to settle some more soldiers in 
Dearefield, wherefore none of you (who account yourselves our 
friends, whom we hope are so & desire to approue themselues ac- 
cordingly) are to goe or wander from y'' present position, without 
order in writing from some one of y'' Captains in these towns or y'' 
Lieut of Dearefield, & not aboue five in a company when they goe 
out hunting : And if o'' scouts find you w"' a greater Number, or 
without an order as aforesaid & laying downe your amies, then to be 
acco''^''' as enemy Indians: Also not to come into any of o' townes 
after sunset, to disturb y watches, the day being sufficient — especial- 
ly in this troublesome season — foi y'' necessary occasions. Nor at 
noe time to be w"* your Amies in o'' towns ; all w'^'' we expect your 
carefull & due observance off, & y* you forthwith give notice fully & 
distinctly to all Indians at home & abroad, accordingly y* peace & 
orderly living y'' little time you stay here may be promoted & friend- 
ship encouraged : 

Lastly, we expect that if you understand anything of any enymys 
approach, or have any inteligence thereof, y' you forth"'" acquaint 
vs thereof, or with whatsoeuer you know that may be of use to us': 
Whereby you will approve yourselves to be, as you say, o'' friends & 
we shall be enabled thereby to render y^' better ace' of you to yo'' 
Masters at Albany. Given under my hand at Springfield: Jan. i8th 
1691. John Pynchon. 

To the 3d and last Article they say, they consent to it in every 
particular thereof, & shall accordingly endeavor to attend it, prom- 
ising (so far as their promise is good), to make w' discovery they 
can of an approaching enymy, & forthwith to inform y'^' English 
thereof. Their returns wer made Jan 21, 169 1-2. 

Samuel Patrigg. 

Pynchon organized two new militia companies in the towns 
below, to be ready to march on an alarm, and kept the four 
scouts constantly out towards Canada. 


February 22d, Pynchon sent the Council a copy of his " Di- 
rections " to the Indians, with the endorsements of Capt. Par- 
tridge. He writes that he hears the Indians intend pkinting 
here in the spring, but hopes that they will go back to Al- 
bany, and says he shall write to the Mayor to call them home ; 
that they appear friendly, but he is suspicious of them. Ru- 
mors had reached town that a great army of French and In- 
dians had been seen on Lake Champlain, coming this way. 
Some of the inhabitants "meditated a remove," but on the 
arrival of the Connecticut soldiers, all were reassured, and 
united heartily with them in strengthening the fortifications. 

On the breaking up of the ice in the Connecticut river, the 
danger of a winter's invasion was considered to be over, and 
the Connecticut men went home. Pynchon writes to the 
Council soon after, that he fears " the men at Deerfield will 
be unquiet in their stations there, unless your Honors think 
of some way for their security, or they should hear of some 
check upon the French." 

For the military company here, Pynchon appointed as lieu- 
tenant, Jona. Wells, brother of the late Lieut. Thomas Wells. 
Hitherto the highest military officer in town was a lieuten- 
ant. Before the close of 1692, Wells was made captain, David 
Hoyt, lieutenant, and John Sheldon, ensign. Early in May, 
the town was again alarmed by the story of a great army 
coming over the lakes. The intended invasion, of which 
news had been received about the ist of February, had been 
stopped, it would seem, by the breaking up of the ice. The 
party now marching this way were four or five hundred 
French and Indians, so one Mr. Trowbridge wrote, that 
might be expected here about the middle of May. The in- 
habitants were all gathered into the fort and preparations 
made to defend it to the last. The story of Trowbridge was 
soon confirmed. Some of the hunting Indians met some Al- 
' bany Indians, who told them they had seen the track of the 
army, and that they would be " likely to be upon Deerfield 
the Saturday or Sabbath day," the 15th or i6th of May. The 
attack was not made. The foe rarely came when expected. 
Their visits were usually a surprise. iVbout May 20th, a 
party of Indians arrived here from Albany, who were sent by 
the Mayor to call the hunters home — in anticipation of the in- 
road from Canada — and the town was relieved from the fear 


of their treachery. These messengers from Albany brought 
news about the French army, which explained its failure to 
attack Deerfield. An advance guard had encountered some 
Dutchmen, who captured six of them. The French com- 
mander, knowing that his march was thus discovered, and 
that a surprise was impossible, instead of marching against 
a town that was ready to receive him, turned to the eastward, 
and on the loth of June attacked the town of Wells. Failing 
to surprise the garrison, this army of five hundred men, after 
three days' fighting, was beaten off by Capt. Converse with 
thirty resolute men. The approach of the enemy to Wells 
was discovered by the cattle running into town. 

It was probably belated news of this army, that caused 
Pynchofi to write, May 25th, "We have sure news that the 
Earl of Frontenac has collected a large force, with munitions 
of war at Montreal, for a descent on the settlements." No 
enemy, however, was seen in this vicinity for more than a 
year, but watch and ward were strictly kept, and all cultiva- 
tion of land was at the imminent risk of life. 

Capt. Wells, who had been chosen representative to the 
General Court, was so much needed at home, that this round- 
about way was taken to secure his release : Oct. 4th, — 

Tht; Town made choice of, appointed, i!c impowered, Joseph Bar- 
nard to wright to Capt. Partrigg in y-' behalf of y s'' Town, to labor 



y'' Assembly, in ord'' to get Capt. Wells his release from serving 
as deputy. 

This "labor" was in vain, for the name of Capt. Wells is 
found among the Deputies serving in 1692. 

Dec. 26th, " Ens. Jno Sheldon, Ltt. David Hoyt. Sergt. Be- 
noni Stebbins, Corp. Thomas French, & Simon Beaman, were 
chosen selectmen for the year ensuing." This vote shows the 
importance attached to military titles, and also, it may be, 
the judgment of the people that the most efficient adminis- 
tration of affairs, in this time of distress, could be secured by 
a union of inilitary and civil power. 

1693. The opening of this year found the settlers in a sad 
condition. For obvious reasons, their crops had decreased 
as danger from an enemy increased, and had been yielding 
less and less from year to year. The area planted in 1692 
had been small, and the returns meagre. In addition to the 
difficulty in cultivating the land, armies of caterpillars had 

228 KING William's war. 

made havoc with the Indian corn ; nevertheless garrison sol- 
diers must be supported, and scouts constantly fitted out for 

Municipal affairs were not neglected. 

This year the colony was reorganized under the new char- 
ter, and in March the town voted that the " Town officers chos- 
en Dec. 26th, are now chosen again ; and confirmed ; to stand 
and serve until others be chosen." 

The following paper shows the real condition of affairs 
here at this time : — 

Feb y 8, 1692-3. To His Excellency, S' W"' Phipps, Kn', Gov'' 
of y'' Masachusets, with y*" Hon"" Counsel) & Assembly in y (ireat & 
General Court convened in Boston : — 

The Inhabitants of y'^^ town of I-)ere''', in the County of Hampshii-e, 
Humbly petition this Hon'' Courts con^sideration of their present 
afflictive estate l\: condition as foUoweth: Hauing- for a loni^ time 
JJcen i\Iuch exercised, & at great expenses in purchasing (S: setlinge 
our place anew, (S: by reason of feares and Hazzard of the approach- 
ing of enemies, improving a great part of our time in Watchings, 
Wardings, & Scoutings & Making of fortifications, beside the inev- 
itable losses & mishaps we now meet with in oure labors, both by 
y'' hand of God, li: the inconveniences of improving our lands or 
labors in these times of fears and hazzard as afors'' to any measure 
of advantage for support of our families and y*^^ necessary expenses 
of our Town and church, and reliefe of such amongst us as we are 
bound in contience to relieve; whereby we have been expensed to 
many straits and are brought very low <^ in a likely way to come to 
extremity, so that it becomes a question amongst us, whether we 
have not a call to apply ourselves to this Honora'''*^ Court, for an 
order to dej^art y'' place, we being already convinced that if we should 
let our whole accommodations to pay y'' charge, and take no other 
rent, we should be gainers as at present things are circumstanced, 
besides y more eminent hazzards we are in of y'' excursions of y'' 
enemy, being 13 mile distant northward from any other of y'' towns 
in this County, and a little handful more in y' mouths of y enemy 
afores'' being but about 50 men. 

Upon the considerations afores'', and many more too large here to 
number up, we humbly entreate that we may have such creedence 
from your Honors, and such helps and reliefe as our nesessities if 
« not extreame difficulties call for : and being heartily wiling to serve 
y King & Queen's majesties and your Honors as Good and I^oyal 
and obedient subiects, and especially Christ and his interests in this 
place, satisfing ou'selves in your speciall care and readynes to relieve 
such, (thinking with allowance to hold it here a Little longer,) places 
as are mostly exposed as afores'\ Humbly propose that we might 
haue a grant from your Honors out of their Maiesties treasury in 
this prouince, a suitable supply of amunition, we hauing no Town 
Stock ; as also an abatement of those taxes that are now called for 
in y'' year 92, and those yet to be called for, till such time, (if euer 


it be,) we may recouer our-selves from this low estate we are now in, 
y^' granting of wich will much oblige your poor ptitionrs, and for 
your Honors euer to pray. 

David Hoyt, ) In y 
Jno. Shelden, 'r name of 
Simon Beaman, \ y'-Town. 

In answer to the Inhabitants of Deerfield this House doe judge it 
Meete and Requisite that a Committee be chosen out of the Towns 
Adjacent to be joined with some meet persons of Said Town of Deer- 
field, who shall manage that affair, and sett men to worke for the 
Repairing their fortifications for the Security of the said Town, and 
that something be allowed them for supply of Amunition, all w*^'' to 
be paid out of the Treasury of the province not exceeding the sume 
of that the place may be mainetained and not deserted. 

This action was timely ; without it, it may be, the Town 
would have been abandoned by the disheartened inhabitants. 

Feb. 19th, 1692-3, news reached Pynchon of the disastrous 
attack on the Mohawks by the French and Indians from Can- 
ada, which news he posted to Governor Phipps. By return 
post, Feb. 27th, he received orders for securing- Deerfield ; 
Capt. Cooke was joined with him in this commission. Pur- 
suant to these orders on the 2d of March they went to Con- 
necticut. March 6th, the General Court made arrangements 
lor soldiers to be sent to Deerfield. Pynchon writes Mar. 

They Readyly granted men for Securing that Post: 40 or 50 men 
to garrison y*" upper Towns when they should be called for & 150 
men more in readyness to march upon notice of need of them w*-'' in 
regard y" French y* assaulted y Maquas Forts are returned home & 
probably the spring or winter now breaking vp at Canida wil not al- 
low y'" to stir again til about May: I did not insist to have y'" Pres- 
ently Post away their men to Dearefield: also because though Con- 
necticut wil furnish w"' y men & be at y charge of their wages, yet 
wil not of their Dyet (as they say) w'^'' Dearefield / do//d^ cannot fur- 
nish y'" w"'. Their corne last yeare being destroyed by y"" worms & 
Precisions will not be had w'^''out sending it fr"' y*^ next Townes, 
though Possibly some meate or few barrels of Pork (w''' are scarce) 
may be in Dearefield, yet they belong to particular persons who wil 
quickly transport y"' away (w"'out yo'' Exceb'" order for stopping y'" 
w''' I concieve necessary) & then provision will be wanting for Sol- 
diers Posted there. 

Now is y season to secure meate there & p'vent charge afterwards 
& it wil be more easy bee: mens Rates there may be appointed to 
pay y^' owners of such Porke (If any be) provided yo"" Excel give or- 
ders w*^^'' I only suggest: 

I feare I am to tedious & not being willing to offend y'' Excellency 
shal forbeare further particularizing being assured yo" will from Hart- 
ford Gent Have al y' is needful for me to add. As also an account 


concerning y"" French y* cume to y'' Maquas Forts who are returned 
w*'' their Indians (among whom were 30 Eastern Indians) Having lost 
25 french & ten Indians y' were killed by Maj. Schuyler's iVIen & al- 
though y*" French marched off w"' 250 Maquas yet they are al recov- 
ered & got hom only y' y- Maquas have there Forts or Wigwams 
burnt down Please let me vnderstand whether you would have me 
hasten y'^' Posting those Soldiers from Connecticut to Dearefield & 
how they shal be provided for. I will Indeavour exactly to attend 
order in hastning y'" for I am in Paine least my good husbandry in 
delaying y'" (to ease y'' Country's charge) should prove of any dan- 
gerous consequence w'*' I shal be ready to Rec: check for & make 
amendment by hastning y'" vpon the least Information: 

Propose next weeke to visit Dearefield to Incourage y"' & vnder- 
stand their State when shal further consider w* may be necessary & 
forward vigorous & careful scouting, 

Yo"" P2xcel caution tS: direction as to y readyness of y' Militia in 
this regn' I accept with great thankfulness & al due acknowledgm' 
of care for o"" p'servation, Have been & am in attendence therunto 
& shal proceed according to my vtmost Indeavors, a greate want w"' 
vs & y* w'''' disheartens some soldiers is y scantiness of Powder. 

If yo"" Excellency would please to send .2 or 3. barrels of Good 
Cun Powder & some Bal (w'''' I would Indeavor to secure preserve & 
husband to advantage) it would quicken & enliven Some Soldiers 

Craving y'' Pardon w"' y tender it prostrating of al humble service 

I am Vo' Excellencys 

Springfield Faithful Servant 

March 8th 1692 John Pvnchon 


For there Ma''''* Service 
To his Excellency S"" W" Phips Kn' 
Capt Generall «.'<: Crov'' in Chief in & 
over there Ma'''" Province of y'' Massa- 
chusets Bay 

in Boston : 
To be forwarded by y'' 
Constables of Brookefield 
Marlborow &c 
for there Ma*^'''^ Service 

Precaution and vigilance, however, did not prevent a severe 
blow from falling upon the town. 

The story of the attack on the Wells and Broughton fami- 
lies is thus told b}'' Rev. Stephen Williams, in his appendix 
to the " Redeemed Captive." 

June, 1693, the W'idow Hepzibah Wells and her three daughters 
were knocked on the head and scalped; two of them died, but the 
other lived: at the same time Thomas Broughton was killed, and his 
wife, great with child, and three of their children. 


That is all that history has given of this tragedy. From 
a manuscript by the same Mr. Williams, recently rescued 
from a pile of rubbish, a more detailed account is gleaned. 
The paper, 33^x71^ inches, closely written, with erasures, and 
interlineations, and many abbreviations, is hard to decipher. 
It has been submitted to several of the best experts in the 
State, who have given willing aid ; probably nothing can be 
added to the copy given below : — 

y>' suspect'' mischief before Broughton & Wells family tS: Capt. 
Wells laid in w"' Cutawak to find out w* was doing & he suspect'' it 
but c'' get nothing. Several Indians trading liv'^ ov'' the River at 
Carter's land, & June 6, 1693, [in y beginning of y*^' evening — 
erased] ab* midnight y^' came upon y'" & killed Thos Broughton & 
his wife cs: xdren 3, (.V^ scalp"' 3 of y Widow Wells daughters (Dan" 
being asleep in y^' chamber not hurt, & Nath' Kellogue jumped out 
of Mrs. Wells' chamber window & escap'') 2 dyd of y'' wounds & y" 
3d liv'' & one Holms lay in y*" chamber at B & saw y"' & heard y*" 
people plead for y'' lives; y'" man plead'' if his own life might not be 
spar'' his xdren might, but y^' answer'' in Indian, we dont care for y'' 
xdren & will kill y"' all, .S: Holms lay still & escap''. Mrs. Wells 
was from home w''' a sick child cS: ventured there, & before y'' people 
went w^'' her &: (then she returned having hid her xdren). 

The words in parenthesis are erased, and others interlined, 
which no expert has been able to make out with certainty, 
and the same is true of part of what follows in the narrative. 

took care of y'^' xdren & then hid herself; no body * * * came 
'till y"" break of Y day. 

Kellogue escaped by flinging down a beam, lying in y*^' chamber 
wh" (?) Y Indian run up & beat him back. 

Some of y'' Indians came into y^' Town in y morning i^ y^ English 
sent for y*^ young capt & chedaw, wh'" y'' Indians deliverd up & y*^ 
[wound'',?] Mary Wells accus'' chedaw & he trembling & quivering 
deny'' it. T. Broughton accus'' y Young Capt, he deny'' it. T. 
Broijghton liv'' a day or 2 & dyd. Ashpelon s'' y*- y^ young woman 
did not ling [talk? this word is plain] as if she was fitt to give an 
evidence ; she seem'' distracted. These 2 accus'' were car'' to Spring- 
f'' & putt into custody, but broke away y"" prison by y*" help of some 
Dutchman as was tho* — y^ came there to see y™, & all the hunting 
Indians drew off ab' y' time — 'twas suspect'' y* these y^ did y" mis- 
chief were some Canada Indians principally, but y^ some of y" hunt- 
ing Indians had join'' w*'' y"', but y' y'' generality of y"" trading 
Indians were ignorant of it, & I remember w*^ my Indian mistress s'' 
to me ab' it. [Probably while Williams was a captive in Canada.] 

No attempt will be made to reconcile or explain the dis- 
crepanc}' in these two statements by the same author. Nei- 
ther seems to be in accordance with the facts. Mrs. Wells 



was the widow of Lieut. Thomas. The daughters were 
Mary, aged twenty ; vSarah, seventeen ; and Hepzibah, seven. 
It does not appear elsewhere, that Mrs. Wells was injured. 
She married, in 1699, Daniel Belding, and was killed in 1704; 
Mary, who was then living unmarried with her mother, was 
also killed. Hepzibah married, about 171 5, John Dickinson, 
and was grandmother to our " Uncle Sid." Sarah only was 
killed. Thomas Broughton was thirty-two years old. His 
wife was Hester Colton ; her age, or the ages or names of 
their children, are unknown. The only other paper found 
relating to this affair is the following from the records of 
Connecticut, Oct. 4th, 1694: — 

Upon the motion of Widow Wells of Dearefield that she might 
haue liberty to craue the charity of the good people of this colony 
for her reliefe of the great charge she hath bin at in curing the 
wounds of her children which they receiued by the Indians, this 
Court recomends to the congregations in Windsor, Hartford and 
Weathersfield and Farmington to be charitably helpful to the woman 

Mrs. Wells was a native of Windsor, and had doubtless re- 
turned to her old home for medical treatment for her chil- 
dren. In 1673, the year of her marriage, and again in 1676, 
the proud young dame had been fined by the Cotmty Court 
for "wearing silk."' Now she was a licensed beggar. 

It appears that a band of vScatacook Indians, after their 
winter's hunt, had camped about a mile northwest of the 
town, for the purpose of trade, bartering their furs for Eng- 
lish productions. It is not unlikely that this was part of the 
same party which left here in the spring of 1692. The suspi- 
cion of Capt. Wells, indicated in the old manuscript, is the 
only evidence discovered of uneasiness at their presence. It 
appears that Ashpelon, so prominent in the raid of Sept. 19th, 
1677, was of this party, and was advocate for the accused 
Chedaw. The murderers were doubtless Canada Indians, 
who were sheltered by the trading party ; but apparently 
some of the young hunters came over the river to witness, 
and possibly to share, the exploit. Two were recognized by 
the victims. As the lips of all were to be sealed in death, 
there was no need of disguise. On being named in the 
morning, the young captain and Chedaw were sent for, and 
were delivered up to the officers. The plan of the assailants 
seems to have been to do their bloody work with tomahawk 


and scalping knife, without alarming the town. No firearms 
were used, nor any buildings set on fire. On the successful 
resistance and escape of Kellogue the Indians probably took 
the alarm, and fled in haste, leaving Daniel Wells asleep in 
his mother's house, and Holmes unharmed in the chamber at 

We are left to imagine how the cry of '' Indians ! Indians !" 
woke the sleeping town, and how the people fled for their 
lives to the fort. It might well be supposed that an army of 
French and Indians was upon them, and that an ambuscade 
lay ready for any who should venture out from the lines. An 
attack might be expected at any moment, and active prepa- 
rations were made for defense. All the power of Capt. Wells, 
however, could not keep the heroic widow Hepzibah Wells 
within the palisades after hearing the story of Kellogue. 
The great love which fills the heart of a mother, inspired 
her with courage to rush seemingly into the very jaws of 
death, in a forlorn hope of saving her children. At the earli- 
est moment consistent with prudence, no doubt, Capt. Wells 
sent a party to the scene of slaughter and to her relief. 

The news of the arrest of Chedaw and the young captain 
flew fast and far. It will be interesting to note its effect on 
the Indians. The Scatacooks, a tribe made up largely from 
Pocumtuck and Nipmuck refugees, located by New York 
authorities a few miles north of Albany, were now allied with 
the Mohawks, and under the protection of the New York 
government. Deputies from this tribe met the authorities 
of Albany in council, June 15th. Their address is worth pre- 
serving in connection with our history : — 

We have been as if in great Darknesse or cloud for some time and 
now tlie light is come againe the Sun Shines. 

We return o'' hearty thanks for the presevacion of o"" wives and 
children in o' absence while wee were hunting in the winter. [Here 
the orator presented two beaver skins.] 

Twenty years agoe wee were received as Children of this Govern- 
ment and have lived peaceably ever since under its protection, and 
seeing severall of o'' people are deteined Prisoners in New England 
upon Suspicion to have killed some of their People at Ueerfield wee 
submit the whole matter to the judicious Consideration of his Excell: 
[Gave three.] 

Our Governor is a great man ; Wee pray that hee would take care 
o' future preservacion & since the French are also Potent Let us have 
our Eyes open and bend all o"" Strength against them. [Gave four 
beavers. I 


Meanwhile Gov. Fleteher on his route from New York to 
Albany, hearing of the murders and of the imprisonment, 
sent Maj. Wessells at once to Deerfield to make inquiries. 
Arriving at Albany, the governor gave audience to the Mo- 
hawks, June 2 1 St. Rode, their chief orator, made a charac- 
teristic speech, giving a beaver at the close of each para- 
graph. He gives the Governor a new name, Cayenquiragoe, 
or lord of the swift arrow, and thanks him for his prompt 
action in behalf of the suspected Indians. He says: — 

Before we knew o'' men were detayned by the people of New Eng- 
land you were so kind as to send an expresse thither for their re- 
leasement this is so particular a kindness and favor, that wee must 
return o'' thanks in an especial manner. 

Fletcher made such investigation as he could, and what 
evidence he found in favor of the prisoners was .sent to this 
colony. The strongest item was the affidavit of John Bap- 
tiste Van Eps, that he identified a war club found at the 
scene of the murders, as belonging to an Indian he well knew 
in Canada, while he had been a pri.soner there. 

Pynchon writes Gov. Phipps, June 28, 1693, that he has 
been too busy with public business to write sooner, but, — 

According to my ability I have not been wanting to get an vnder- 
standing of y'' state of affaires here in refference to y*^^ Indians and 
Murder at Dearefield: 

W^'' as my time allowed, I have made report of to his excellency 
(al w''' I know you are fully aqvainted w"') at .same time Major 
Wessells hasting his return, By reason of my dispatch of him & w^ 
was necessary to Gov"" Fletcher, I was enforced to [illegible] con- 
tract yet mind not anything material y' I neglected. The 2 Indians 
one a Maqva (S: y'^ other an Albanian whom I verily supposed are 
Gilty in y*^ murder, are in safe Custody, I desire a sutable time & 
Gen"" Commisioned be appointed for there Tryal &c which please to 
lay before his Excelency. The 3d Indian put into o'' Jaile before I 
came hom, Nothing appearing ag**' him But his saying he would kil 
.20. English, evadenced by one single man who says y*" Indian was 
in drink when he s'' it, w''*' was sometime before y'' Commotion at 
Derf'' & he minded it not til that Disturbance; He and others say- 
ing also, y* this Ind : always caryed it wel : The Indian saying He 
knows not he ever spake such words, & if he did he was in Drink & 
was sorry for y"": He is discharged & set at Liberty (the Gen* y* 
comitted him judging it best: Colonol Allyn & Capt. Stanly (who 
were here) also advising to it) and went away to Albany w"^' Major 
Wessels, & those 6 Indians (one a Maqva Capt) who came with Ma- 
jor Wessels, so y' they wil see (though this Indian wel deserved Im- 
prisonment yet) we are not desirous to pvt any neadlessly vpon there 


Tryal. They would haue bene glad we would have discharged y 
other .2. setting forth y' good service y"' Maqvs haue done, endeav- 
oring to vindicate al there Indians, & there being in good termes w^'' 
y English, saying they disclaime this murder & are not gilty But y' 
it was done by y' French Maqvas: & therevnto they Improve y*" sight 
of some woden Swords or Mauls y' were found when o"' People were 
murdered w*"'' had marks iS: signes on y'", as evidences y* al was done 
by y French Inds. To w''' we Replyd, Such things mighr be to col- 
lour there wickedness, & y' y'' Positive assersions of dying persons 
were so express as could not anticipate y^' legal Tryal of those per- 
sons, from w^ they were charged w"'. And so they left off; desiring 
we would deliberate & heare againe from Albany before proceeding 
to there Tryal. 1 told y"' o'' Gov' was very cautious of giving any 
just provocation, wherew"' they seemed wel satisfied, Telling vs y*" 
Indians Including y' 5 Nations Hold firm there friendships w"' al 
there Ma'"^'* Subjects, Desyring we would (as they terme it) hold y*" 
Gov' fast. 

Gov'' Fletcher Intends a Present of 5 or 600' for y' 5 Nations' to 
Ingage y'" to vigorous p'^^'cution of y*" War ag^' y French & french 
Indians w''*' was to be d'^'' vpon Major W'essels return hom, who is 
a g'"^ man w*'' y'' Indians; 

They tel me theres some p'^'' of French Indians come over y'^' lake, 
reckne o'' Towns in much hazzard being so open &c: Say y^' French 
are m g'' want of provisions some of them lately come from Ganida 
brought in 3 Scalps iS: more they expect dayly. If any further ace* be 
to be had from Albany I suppose we shal have it nexte weeke or y'^ 
beginning of y^' weeke after, for Major Wessels s'' they should send 
againe & desyred I would take care there Indians might come safel)', 
for we have noe Indians left al being gon off vpon y' disturbance 
here & there Gorne neglected. 

Before a reply is received to this Pynchon writes again by 
the post from Gov. Fletcher: — 

Spr'' July 2d 1693 

Excelent S'' 

In y'^ Night past Receiving y'^' Packet here w"' from Gov"" Fletcher 
for y' Excclency By Mr. Schuyler y Maqvas Son «:i: .5. Maqva y' 
come along w"' him. The gent being weary & desiring me to sped 
away a Fresh Post as also Gov'' Fletcher desires y Like I haue dis- 
patched y'' bearer [as?] w*'' Gov'' Fletcher Letter to y' Excel so also 
w' he wrote to me, his letter I have sent for y'' Excel pervsal w"' al 
y" pap''^ or Posts now Reed w^' may be of vse to me to have y"" re- 
turned as also y'' letter againe I hope your Excel wil write so ful to 
Albany & to Gov'' Fletcher y*^ I need not nor am I willing to presume 
to deliver any of my owne sentem'°, matters are much clogged & 
made difficult & it is such a tender case y* I Pray God to help & 
guide mee through it I shal Indeavor to attend your exact comands 
& directions not doubting but upon your ful consideration of al 
things you wil come to such a Resulte as may be Pleazing to God & 
for y'^' good of his People w''"' I heartily Pray for & am 

Yo'' Excel humble Serv* 

John Pynchon. 


The Gent here L' Schuyler 
requests y" Post may be w''' al 
speed dispatch'* w"' you Letter to 
Gov Fletcher before he returns for 

To his Excellency S-- W'" Phips Kn». 
Capt Gen' & Crov in Cheife in & over 
their Ma'''^'- Province of y" 
Massachusetts Bay &c 

In Boston 

Gov. Pliipps to Gov. Fletcher : — 

Sir I have befcn'e nie y(HU-s of the 2Sth past relating to the murder 
perpetrated by some Indians at Deerfiehl the beginning of the same 
month together .with the Examinations sent Inclosed of a French 
Prisoner and one Henry an Indian concerning a Canooe with some 
Enemy Indians therein discovered upon the Lake five or six Dayes 
after the doing of the mischief, and the reasons given to induce a 
suspicion that they might be the Actors thereof w^'' I Apprehend 
might obtain further were it not that y accusacon and evidences are 
so direct and positive against y'^ persons taken up and in custody for 
that crime being well known unto their accusers and were lodged in 
or near the Town at the time, besides other circumstances concur- 
ring to strengthen the suspicions upon them I am very sensible of 
the difficulty of this Case, and the unhappy Consequences that may 
ensue thereon and shall meditate to proceed with circumspection in 
so momentous affaire. Yet as it concerns blood think all due in- 
quisition ought to be made after the same I propose to defer a pres- 
ent Tryal if Probably Providence may make a fuller and more clear 
discovery of the matter. 

S'' I am very studious that no just provocation be given or injury 
done to any of our friend Indians and shall be as ready to cause the 
same to be redressed when made to appear assuring myselfe Your 
Excellency will herein Concur that it is no less reasonable to expect 
satisfaction as the Law requires for any mischiefe done by them to- 
wards their Maj^'^' Subjects when legally convicted thereof especially 
of so horrid a crime as murder and desire you would please to let the 
Indians understand there is no intention on our part to break with 
them but to continue firme to former agreements. I shall be glad to 
give your Exc>" satisfaction that no violence or injustice shall be of- 
fered to the Indians now in Custody or any others heartily desiring 
they may appear innocent (if so) And that yo'' Endeavours to hold 
them firm to their Maj'^>'' Interests may be succeeded 

No Intelligences from Europe have arrived here for a considerable 
time past A ship or two belonging to this place are daily Expected 
If any thing occur for their Maj'^''^^^ Service I shall give you account 
thereof and Remain S' Y'' Excy^ humble Servant 

Boston July 4th 1693 

July 2d, Fletcher met the chiefs of the Five Nations in 
cottncil at Albany. He told them in an address, what he had 


done in behalf of the imprisoned vScataeooks. Two days later 
the orator of the eonfederate tribes responded : — 

We are very thankful to you o'' Great brother Cayenquiragoe for 
the sending two expresses to New England about that accident at 
Deerfield and o' people imprisoned there wee doubt not but in a 
short time it will be made appear that the Canada Indians have com- 
mitted this murder And the Brethi-en of New England who are in 
Covenant with us must have patience till such cases can be found 
out We doubt not but that the Governo' of New England is a man 
of that prudence & conduct who will not be soe hasty since it cannot 
be long undiscovered. 

The same day, Fletcher had a conference with the Seata- 
cooks. He commends them for joining the Five Nations in 
warring against Canada, advises them not to draw off all their 
men to go to hunting, thus leaving the women and children 
without protection ; and tells them, — 

There is another stupendous folly you are guilty of when your 
huntng is over you'll set down nere some place where in a few days 
you drink out what has cost you the labor of some month's & then 
come home beggars as you went, the evill consequence of this ap- 
peared lately unto you at Deerfield & 1 hope will caution you for the 
future but 1 must advise you that from henceforth you will bring all the 
effects of yo'' hunting into yo'' own country which by prudent man- 
agem^ will support you the rest of the j'ear. 


The Indians in reply thank him for his care over them, 
callincr him that hio;h tree itnder the branches of which their 
old men, women and children find shelter, when the warriors 
are absent, and promise to follow his directions. Thanking 
him for sending the messengers to New England on their 
behalf, they say : — 

Wee assure you that wee are Innocent of the mischefe done at 
Deerfield & soe are likewise those prisoners that are there in Custo- 
dy believe us o'' hearts are good and wee desire only to live und' 
yo'' protection in peace & quietness. 

Phipps writes again to Fletcher July 1 3th : — 

In my Lett' of the 4th past I omitted my awknowledgment of yo'' 
goodness & Generosity In the Comprehention by the late Renuall of 
the League with the Maquas therefore doe by these manifest my 
Thankfulness for the same on the part of their majesties subjects of 
the province Acknowledging myselfe obleidged at all times to In- 
deavo'" the utmost serviss for their majesties & their Subjects I as- 
sured your Excy that I was very Sensible of the difficulty of the Case 
Relating to the maquas charged with the murders perpetrated at 
Deerfeild and the 111 consequences that might Atend lu/y wrong step 


therein — therefore haveing Advis'' with my Councill Intend to send 
meet Persons to wait on Yourself at new Yorke for your advice & di- 
rection and assistance towards their proceedings on a trety witli the 
maquas concerning that Affaire soe as to bring the same to a good 
Isue & to manefest our own Good Lilceing and firm Adhereance on 
our part unto the League*Lately Renued with them & to make some 
proposals relating to our Indian Enemy at the Eastward In all which 
thcs Gentlemen sent with the tender of my respects are to consult 
with yo'self and Receive your Advice & direction wherein 1 Recjuest 
yo' Favor that a Right umlerstanding may be had Between their 
Majesties Subjects of the province & the Maquas soe that noe Dis- 
content Arise & yet that Justice may proceed In the triall of the per- 
sons accused of the murder. 

Gov. Phipps to Pynchon July 26, 1693 : — - 

I have communicated unto the Council your several Letters refer- 
ing unto the two Indians in Custody within your County on suspition 
of being Actors in the murders perpetrated in Deerfield. As also 
what I have received from Gov' Fletcher M'' V. Cortlandt and Col" 
Bayard of the several Examinations and Evidences taken concerning 
that matter particularly the Deposition of one John Baptist Van F^ps 
late prisoner in Canada of his knowledge of the marks and figures 
upon the clubs found at Deerfield and the persons that bear the same 
being of the Enemy Indians of Canada. The Council have likewise 
procured the Examinations and Evidences taken from the wounded 
people being chiefly what others report tt) have heard them say, and 
not directly from themselves, besides that it's much doubted whether 
they were of sound mind, and upon consederation of the whole, are 
of opinion, the Indians cannot be convicted by those Evidences, ad- 
vising that they be dismissed if no further material evidence appear 
against them, which I accordingly order, and that care be taken that 
they may pass homeward without any violence being offered them, 
yourself directing to the most probable way for there Sucure passing, 
and send a copy of this my L''*" to the Mayor of Albany for his better 
satisfaction in this matter. 

It is of great concernment to the whole of there Maj'*'^ Interest in 
these Teritories that the English be in good termes with the Maquas 
&c at this Critical hour when they are so much Solicited to go over 
to the side of the Enemy (Sc that no just provocations be given them 
for a Rupture. As all caution ought to be used that no muther es- 
cape Justice, so it being plainly evident before hand that these In- 
dians cannot by this evidence be found guilty upon Tryal, its 
thought more advisable to dismiss them without and to avoid the in- 
convenience that may ensue there being longer detained which the 
Indians (not understanding the formalities of Law) may improve to 
disaffect them to the English Interest I am 

Your Humble Sev"' 

Boston July 26, 1693 

To the Hon''''' John Pynchon Esq"" 

Gov. Phipps to Gov. Fletcher July 26, 1693: — 



In mine of the 13th current I intimated unto yo"^ Exc>" that 1 in- 
tended to send some meet person to waite (jn yourr selfe at New 
York for your advice direction and assistance in order to a treaty 
with the Maquas relateing to some of that Nation taken into custody 
on suspicion of the murder committed at Deerfield and to Endeavour 
to bring that affaire unto a good Issue &c. 

Since wiiich I have a Letter from Mr V Cortlandt and Col" Bayard 
at Albany with the Deposition of one John Baptist Van Eps late 
prisoner in Canada relating to the marks and figures upon the clubs 
found at Deerfield, and advising upon the severall Examinations and 
Evidences relating to that murder have ordered Major Pynchon to 
dismiss the two Indians taken into custody and to direct for there 
safe passage home, withal to send a Copy of my Letter to him unto 
the Mayor of Albany for the better satisfying of the Indians 

Before Pynchon sent this letter he had written the one be- 
low to Gov. Phipps. 

Springfield July 29 1693. 

May it please yo'' Excelency 

I have not yet had opportunity to aquaint yo'' 
Excel^' of y"' 2. Indians being gon til now: w^^'' first offers it selfe as 

The .2. Indians in Custody vpon y*" ace* of y"^ murder at Dearefield 
escaped out of Prison July 27, when in y- morning p^'sently sent out 
about .20. men to search after & pursue y"', some of whom finding 
their Tratts just a cross y^ streete from y'^ Prison house followed 
y"" for nere half a mile finding they bare Northerly, but coming into 
the Bushes could no longer follow y™ & so returned tho y*^ Jaylor 
spent all y*^ day, & sent to y^ next Townes &c The manner how 
they fitted for an escape is evident to be by some File or Files con- 
veighed to y" (as is supposed) by some Indians y* might secretly & 
unknown (we having none here unless by stealth) put y"' in to y"' in 
y' Night, for it is very plaine & evident there chaines were cut by 
some sharpe thin file like a knife, or some thin Steele chissell they be- 
ing as smooth as may be where they are cut asunder & very narrow 
y' it was very thin instrument, when by this meanes they had got 
y^selves at Liberty in y room they pulled out some stones & got to 
y' foundation & so crep out & are gon probably Irrecovably vnless 
sending to Albany may Recover y" thence w"'' is submitted to y'' Ex- 

Jesuit Peter Millet, of Canada, from Onid3^e, where he is a 
prisoner, writes Father Dellius, at Albany, July 31st: An 
Indian from Canada reports that a party of Indians who had 
been out towards Boston had brought home nine scalps ; that 
the leaders of the party are Sajatese and Onontaquiratt ; that 
he believes " that the Maquas & River Indians who are put 
in prison at Pekamptekook are wrongfully accused." 


At a meeting of the Five Nations at their Grand Council 
Fire at Onondaga, Aug. 17th, Kajarsanhondare, speaking 
with the dignity and conscious power befitting one repre- 
senting eighty sachems, said : — 

Tell our brother Cayenquiragoe if any mischief be done to any in 
covenant with us as in New England it must not be said upon hear- 
ing of our language presently the five nations have done it, nor upon 
so light occasions must we be imprisoned, it is always known by 
whom the mischeife is done. 

At the date of Father Millet's letter, July 31st, the Indians, 
in behalf he testifies, were already at liberty, and they 
arrived in Albany the next day. They had broken from 
their prison, by the help, it was believed, of some Dutchmen 
from Albany. 

July 27th, a party of Canada Indians killed seven people at 
Brookfield and captured others. They were traced northerly 
by Capt. Colton with a party from vSpringfield, who surprised 
them on the 30th, killed several and recovered the captives. 
On the 31st,- Capt. Whitney and Capt. Wells left Deerfield 
to search the woods about the swamps of Warwick, " looking 
for those villains who did the mischief at Brookfield." They 
did not know that Colton had routed them the day before. 
The Brookfield captives were told by these Indians, that 
" Canada Indians had been at Deerfield a month since and 
had done mischief there, who presently returned after they 
had done the mischief at Deerfield and near all got .safe home 
to Canada." They inquired about the Indians in prison at 
Springfield, and said they were innocent. 

On this new alarm from Brookfield Capt. Partridge writes 
for "40 or 50 soldiers to constantly scout the woods for two. 
months." Our fort was now in a defensible condition, and 
well garrisoned. All, however, could not remain within its 
shelter. At whatever risk, the crops must be secured or 
starvation stared them in the face. Small parties of the en- 
emy were constantly hovering about the frontiers, watching 
chances for spoil. Oct. 12th, Mr. Williams, the minister, as 
afterwards appeared, had a narrow escape from a party lurk- 
ing near Wequamps. Oct. 13th, Martin Smith, venturing to 
Wapping early in the morning, was seized by Indians and 
carried to Canada. 

At a town meeting held Sept. 9th, 1693, it was voted, — 


That y'' shall be a man sent to Boston on Town ace' to act & doe 
for y Town such business as shall be committed to him: that y'^' 
Town shall find money to bear his charges and pay for his time for 
his Journey &c. 

The town appointed and empowered the selectmen to hire and 
agree w"' either Capt Jonath Wells Ensign John Sheldon or Joseph 
Barnard to goe to Boston on y'' business afore s''. 

Some of this business is probably indicated in a paper from 
the Massachusetts archives, given below : — 

An acc*^ of the fortifications made in Deerfield by order of War- 
rant from Maj. John Pynchon; made in May, 1693; the mesure 
or whole Compass of the fort is two hundred and two rods: vallued 
by the Committee of the Militia and y" Selectmen: to be worth five 
shillings p'' rod in money 

Deerfield i Attest hereunto Jonathan Wells, Capt, m name of 
Oct. 6, } y'' rest of the Com'tte of Militia, per Joseph Bar- 
1693. ( nard in the name of the rest of the Selectmen. 

We having intimation from Maj. Pynchon in s'' warrant, that it 
was an Order of Court concerning said fortification, that we should 
be allowed out of our County rates for s'' work, wee therefore present 
this account to y"' Honorable Court. 

The following petition was doubtless presented by the 
same messenger : — 

To his Excellency, S'' William Bhipps, Kn', Capt. Gener', & Gov'' 
in Chiefe, of y<^ Ma"''^ Province of the Massachusetts Bay; & to y*^ 
Hon'"' Councell and Representatives convened In Generall Assem- 

The Humble Petition of y^' Inhabitants of Dearfield, in y County 
of Hampshire sheweth that y'^' s'' Town of Dearfield, being a frontier 
town, is liable unto, and of late hath been much Infested w"' the In- 
cursions of o'' Indian Enemies, to o'' great impovershment & preju- 
dice — 

That unless o"^ distressed Condition, be Considered by this Hon'' 
Assembly and some Assistance afforded us, we must of nesesity for- 
sake o'' habitations, and draw off to some Neighbouring towns — 

We therefore. Humbly Acknowledging the Care & regard, hitherto 
afforded us by y"' Excelency: Doe pray that o'' part of the thirty 
thousand pound rate, remaining yet uncollected (by reason of o'' In- 
ability to pay it,) may be remitted and y'= s'' Town in future taxes, 
may be Exempted during the present distress; & that a Garrison of 
Eighteen or twenty sould''" may reside w"' us, for o'' defence & y'^ se- 
curity of s'' County, and y'' Petitioners shall ever pray for y'" Hon''"; 
and Subscribe ourselves y'' Honors most Humble & obliged serv'^ 

Jno. Williams. 
Joseph Barnard. 

In y'' name & behalf of y Inhabitants of Dearf''. 

Dearfield, Novemb' 

6th, 1693. 



The petitioners were backed by Pynchon, who writes that 

the people are 

"much impoverished by maintaining garrison men, and otherwise so 
many ways, that they are not able to subsist or maintain their fami- 
lies, rather choosing to draw off, if it were not that the Crov. & 
Councill ordered them to abide, the attendance of which (though 
willing) yet are not able, unless enabled * * * i[\\ such peace- 
able times wherein they may attend their occasions, of which they 
are almost wholly obstructed at this day." 

Both papers were favorably received. 

Nov. 26, 1693, Tuesday. The Petition and acc^ of the Town of 
Deerfield for the garrisoning of that town by the order of his E.xcel- 
lency the Governor, containing a line of 202 rods being read. 

Ordered, that there be ^^40 allowed and paid s'' Town by dis- 
count on the public Assessment towards the charges of s'' P'ortifica- 

No colony tax was levied upon the town until after the 
close of the war. 

1694. Voted in town meeting, — 

March 5th, 1693-4, that the Selectmen shall have full pow"^ * * * 
to make all such orders and by laws as y" shall judge needful and 
necessary in ord"" to y^' managem' of the prudentialls of the Town; 
in w'ever p'^ticuK'^ y'' shall judg y' Law doth not comprehend or reach 
y-' full of s"' circumstances Voted affirmatively. 

Under this action the following were the "Ord* & Laws 
made by y'' Selectmen" : — 

1 That all common fences shall be made up by the owners of 
such fences att or before the 7th of April next according to law 

2 That Hay wards or any oth'' y' shall Lawfully Impound any 
hors kind cattle sheep or swine: shall have for Impounding as in the 
Law specified: before such hors cattle sheep or swine be released: 

3 That all cattle or hors kind that shall be left in the meadow 
except fast teddered upon y'' owners land: all such owners shall pay 
3d p' head to those y' shall Impound y'": 

4 That all beside working cattle that shall be found baiting w"'- 
in the common fence shall be liable to be impounded: 

5 That who so ever shall leave open any of y'' common field gates 
or bars w"'in y'' time y' y*^ selectmen shall order it to be inclosed 
such persons or y*^ overse"""* shall pay as a fine five shillings: one half 
to y'= Town y'^ oth'' half to y*^ Inform"": 

6 That every man shall have a stake at the North end of his 
common fence: marked w^'' the first letf of his name: and for want 
of such stake or stakes shall pay one shilling to y*" fence viewer 

Voted and passed by the Town 

Attest Tho French ) 

Jn" Porter V Selectmen. 
JONA Wells ) 


Passed and allowed by Justices sitting in quart'' sessions att North- 
ampton March 6th 1693-4. 

Attest Jn" Pynchon Clerk. 

The town officers for this year were chosen at this meeting. 
The next day they all went to Northainpton to take the oath 
of office before the County Court, and get the by-laws con- 
firmed. From that time until now the annual meeting for 
the choice of officers has been the first Monday in March. 

The spring of 1694 opened gloomily upon the harassed 
settlers. As soon as the leaves were out no one felt safe for 
one moment outside the palisades. Each bush or tree was a 
covert, whence the deadly bullet, from an unseen foe, might 
at any moment issue. Under such conditions, but little could 
be effected in raising crops ; but the summer passed, and no 
enemy appeared. Frontenac was engaged in a more profita- 
ble adventure. The eastern Indians had made a treaty of 
peace and alliance with the English in August, 1693. The 
polity of France required that this treaty should be broken, 
and French Jesuitism was successfully employed to that end. 
During the following winter, and in the spring, a French 
army was sent to join the Indians in an attack on the eastern 
settlements. Oyster River was surprised, and about one 
hundred inhabitants were killed or captured. 


On the return of the French army from the east, flushed 
with victory, and loaded with spoils, an expedition was fitted 
out against Deerfield, under Castreen. This was done with 
such dispatch and secrecy, that no news of it reached our 
frontiers. Eluding the scouts that were ranging the woods, 
Castreen arrived undiscovered, September 15th, and the town 
had a narrow escape from a complete surprise. He halted in 
the woods on the East Mountain, overlooking the town, evi- 
dently intending to make his attack at the north gate of the 
fort, which was in the street, in front of the present brick 
meetinghouse. Watching his opportunity, he came down 
the ravine in the rear of the William Sheldon home lot, to 
creep up the alder swamp, and enter the street where Philo 
Munn's shop stands. On emerging from the ravine, howev- 
er, the party was discovered by Daniel, son of Joseph Sev- 
erance, who lived on this lot. Daniel was .shot, and the alarm 


thus given. Mrs. Hannah Beaman, the school dame, with 
her young flock, on the home lot next northward, started for 
the fort. It was a race for life ; the dame with her charge 
up the street, the enemy up the parallel swamp on the east, 
to intercept them before they should reach the gate. Fear 
gave wings to the children ; the fort was reached in safety, 
and the gate shut. But not a second too soon. The Indians 
were near enough to send a volley of bullets among the fugi- 
tives as they were crossing the causeway at the foot of Meet- 
inghouse hill, and entering the fort gate. All, however, es- 
caped unhurt. Meanwhile within the stockade all was activ- 
ity without confusion. Capt. Wells had for years been train- 
ing the inhabitants for such an emergency. Each man 
snatched his loaded firelock from its hooks on the summer 
tree, the powder horn and bullet pouch from the mantle tree, 
and in less time than it takes to relate the fact, was on the 
way to the point of danger, ready to sally out if need be, to 
the rescue of the little ones, who, as we have seen, were in 
the same brief time .safely received within the gate. 

The heroic conduct of Capt. Converse and his little band, 
in defending Wells against a horde of the enemy two years 
before, had been on the lips of all New England, and doubt- 
less inspired these men of Decrficld on this occasion. Ca.s- 
treen had led his army three hundred miles through the wil- 
derness to surprise the town, butcher its inhabitants, burn 
their dwellings, and carry their scalps in triumph l)ack to 
Canada. He failed of a surprise, found a resolute people 
ready to defend their wives and children, and was driven ig- 
nominiously back into the wilderness. 

This repulse of the enemy gave the .settlers fresh confi- 
dence in themselves. The panic of last year gave way to a 
feeling of ability to defend their homes, and the idea of giv- 
ing them up to this cowardly foe was abandoned. They now 
felt that they were indeed permanent settlers, and, six weeks 
later, the town voted to build a new The 
loss to the English in the a.s.sault was only two men wounded 
— John Beaman and Richard Lyman. 

I have found no mention hitherto of Zebediah Williams 
being engaged in this affair ; but the fact is established by 
the following paper from Massachusetts Archives, vol. 70, 
page 359:— 


To y^' Hono''''''''' W'" Stoughton Esq'' L" Gov'' &c. & Counsell & 
Representatives Convened in Gen" Corte this Ocf 13 1697 

The Humble Petition of Zabadiah Wilhams who was a Sould"" in 
Derefield & Wounded by y Enemy w" they set upon Derefield Gar- 
rison Sept 16 1695 [1694 ?J & lay wounded 22 weekes for w'^'' the Docf 
Requires four pounds beside w' I am to pay other Chirurgions & my 
tyme & Expences w''"' hath already beene motioned to this Corte & 
Now againe I intreate my case may be considered & allowences 
Granted mee as yo' Honor'' shall Judge meete & for you'' Hono''* I 
shall Ever pray 

Zabadiah Williams. 

Oct 20. Voted. In answer to y^ aboues'' petition y*' he shall re- 
ceiue fifteene pounds out of y"" prouince Treasury: for full compensa- 

This sum was paid Williams Dec. 4th, 1697. In another 
petition Mch. 22d, 1697, Williams states that, — 

In Sept last when y" enemy came upon a family in Deerfield, as he 
was running with others to relieve that family the enemy wound'' him 
on the arm in two places w'' wound has preuented his labor and oc- 
casions much pain & charge for more than three months, is but new- 
ly come of age having little to begin withall 

Rev. John Williams attests the truth of these statements. 
Dec. 4th, 1697, Zebediah was allowed ^^15. 

John Bement had sent in a petition as follows, in 1695 : — 

To y Hon''''' Leiut Gov'' & Council c\: to y'' Representatives now 
Assembled, may it please yo' Honors to releive a Pore Wounded Sol- 
dier who is in al respects Needy and wanting supply: His Pay for his 
Service being ordered to com fr" Enfeild Constable who Pays noth- 
ing, renders him y"' more needy, «S: cals for yo'' order to help him 
therin, but most especially for a due consideration of his wound he 
ReC' on y^ 15th of Sept'' last at Uearefeild, w'^'' besides y misery & 
Paine, hath disabled him fr" Labor for now neere eight months & 
when I shal be able to get anything I know not, wherefore Pray yo' 
compashons & speedy ordering of Just releife y' I may not stay in 
Boston where it is too expensive for him y' hath noe Money, But be 
at Liberty to returne w*'' yo' Honors favorable orders & Due allow- 
ance, W^'' wil Thankfully Ingage him ever to Serve you as he is able, 
who is Yo'' humble Serv' 

Boston June 5 1695 John Bement. 

John showed his wounds in the House, and June 8th, he 
was sent on his way rejoicing, with ten pounds in his pocket. 

Dec. 1 2th, Gov. Stoughton writes Gov. Treat and the Con- 
necticut Council, asking them "to relieve our Garrison at 
Deerfield by posting forty or fifty fresh men there sometime 
in Jan-' at the charge of y'' Colony, to continue there for the 
space of six months following if occasion be." 


1695. Jan. 3d, Connecticut in reply to vStoughton's letter of 
Dec. 12, that after "seriously considering" the matter, it is 
concluded to " send the Assistance of 32 men for the space of 
two months " or until the winter breaks up provided Massa- 
chusetts will furnish provision. 

Jan. 1 2th vStoughton returns his thanks, but thinks they 
should send more men and provision them ; they being as 
much interested in keeping the frontier as Massachusetts. 
But he writes Pynchon at the .same time to provide for the 
Connecticut soldiers and discharge the garrison at Deerfield 
when they arrive. Soon after Lieut. Stephen Hollister with 
thirty-two men arrives here. 

March 6th Connecticut sends word to Stoughton that she 
is willing to do her share in the work of defence and the 
General Court will consider the matter at its May session. 
This does not quite satisfy our authorities, who write March 
1 6th to the Governor and Council of Connecticut giving 
thanks for their men and hope they will be continued. They 
say : — 

"Our interests cannot be divided, It is a common Enemy we are en- 
gafjed ag'. and tho y'' seat of War do^ prudentially lye nearer to our 
doors, yet it is y'' over Turning c\: E.xterpation of y whole y' is sought 
iS: I^ndeavoured, and if we be necessitated to give way and draw in 
you may not Expect to stand ; It has been received a maxim in war 
y' it is better to Engage y Enemy at a distance than within our own 
borders. " 

A mutual commission is invited to determine the best way 
of "disresting of y^ Enemy and what Quota of Men and 
Money" each .should furnish. 

After a service of ten weeks Lt. Hollister is recalled. 
Pynchon notifies Stoughton, who writes March 28th, to re- 
monstrate. He urges the disrespect of such an order with- 
out notice, and the danger to Deerfield involved in it, and 
hopes the governor will " see cause to retrieve that unhapy 
mi.stake." Treat replies that it is not in his power, but that 
he will refer the matters in his late letters to the General 
Court in May. 

May 6th Stoughton reminds Treat of this promise. He 
gives news from Canada that after planting is over the In- 
dians may be expected on our frontiers. 

May 2 T St Stoughton again urges Connecticut to send a gar- 


rison to Deerfield. June ist, Connecticut declines, as they 
have need of all their men for their husbandry, and they 
hear Maj. Pynchon has furnished a garrison for Deerfield. 
"Upon news of any Assault coming upon them " they will 
" respond with all speed." 

June 17th Stoughton sends a sharp reply. He is much 
pained " that Deerfield, a post of such consequence for the 
Security of yo'^ Colony, is so much slighted by you." He 
gets no satisfaction from the reply. 

July 3d. The authorities of Connecticut say it is impossible 
to send soldiers to garrison Deerfield ; for Gov. Fletcher has 
called for their full quota of men " which they are consider- 
ing how to raise." 

No large parties were sent against our frontiers this year. 
The Mohawks had in a measure recovered from the disasters 
of 1693, and Frontenac found occupation for his soldiers in 
operations against them. Smaller bands of the enemy, how- 
ever, hovered about the English towns, waylaying roads and 
fields, watching safe opportunities for attack. Their occa- 
sional success kept the settlers in a state of continual alarm. 
An impending disaster here was averted by a mere accident. 

The Indians about Albany continued their friendly rela- 
tions with our people, and still made this vicinity their hunt- 
ing ground. A party of about twenty arrived here the first 
week in August. It was probably this party which on the 
morning of the loth was surprised by a war party from Can- 
ada, near the mouth of the Ashuelot river. One of the hunt- 
ers, whose arm was broken by a shot, escaped, swam the 
Connecticut and brought the news to Deerfield. Capt. Wells 
at once sent a post to Springfield for help. Pynchon, report- 
ing the affair to Gov. Stoughton, August 12th, says: — 

Capt. Wells writes in these words: 'August 10, 1695. Just now 
an Indian called Strawberry, his son, Hath made an escape from 
Nashawelot above Northfield. He is come in this evening much 
wounded; says this day, about 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning, the en- 
emy made a shot on them and killed 8 or 9 of them; so many he 
reckons, he saw as good as dead. He says he saw many canoes; 
accounts the enemy to be 40 or 50 men. upon which Capt. Wells de- 
sires some assistance be speedily sent to them; which Capt. Patrigg 
enforces by his lines by the same post, which was writ in the night 
Aug. II, saying the Relation of the wounded Indian was undoubted- 
ly true.' 

The messengers called Pynchon " out of bed an hour be- 


fore day." He at once summoned Capt. Colton, who " had 
24 troopers together by 8 o'clock well mounted and fixed." 
They left for the north " a little after the first Bell rang 
* * * for meeting, which I suppose you will reckon was 
speedy to fit out so many men so presently." Pynchon rec- 
ommended Colton to march up the east side of the Connecti- 
cut, asking the men from the towns above to go up on the 
west side. He thought of sending a party to follow with 
supplies, that Colton might pursue the enemy, "although 
they had gone almost to Canada," but did not like to under- 
take it on his " own head without orders." He thinks " in all 
reason this has put a stop to ravaging Deerfield, or some oth- 
er town, which it is supposed they intended," and that the 
danger is over, as the custom of the Indians is to return 
home after each exploit. They may have done so in this 
case, but if so another party was soon in the field. 

Joseph Barnard killed at Indian Bridge. In the town records 
for this year may be read these two entries : — 

March i, 1694-5. Joseph Barnard was chosen Town Clerk for the 
year ensuing; — 

Sept. 17, 1695. Thomas French was chosen Town Clerk. 

No other clue to the surprisal at Indian Bridge is found 
on the town books. In an appendix to the " Redeemed Cap- 
tive," Stephen Williams briefly notes this affair as occurring 
August 1 8th. vSubsequent historians have accepted this date, 
which is doubtless a mistake, as the 1 8th was vSunday. Pyn- 
chon, whom I follow, is the better authority. 

On the morning of August 21st, 1695, five men started to- 
gether for mutual protection to go to mill, three miles away 
at Mill River. They were all on horseback, each with his 
gun across his saddle bow, and his bag of grain beneath him. 
By some subtle and my.sterious influence, Capt. Wells, the 
commander of the town, had the night before been warned 
of impending danger from the Indians, and passed a sleep- 
less and watchful night in consequence. On seeing the mill 
party riding down the street, he went out to stop them. He 
could give no substantial reason for his order. The bright 
morning sunshine may have weakened his nocturnal impres- 
sions, and seeing Mr. Barnard, whom " he thought to be a 
prudent man, he let them go on." The result is given below 
in the words of Stephen Williams. 

pynchon's pex pictures. 24:9 

Joseph Barnard, Henry White, Phihp Mattoon, Godfrey Nims, 
going to mill came to the place ab' y'' drain, iS: y horses snuffing & 
being fright"" one of y'" cryd out, Indians, Indians, & y>' turned ab\ 
& y'^ indians fir'' upon y"" & wound'' Mr. Barnard in left hand (one 
wrist broke to pieces), & one bullet in y*^ body, «S: his horse shot 
d(jwn, & then N[ims] took him up & his horse was shot down &, 
then he was mounted behind M[attoon] & came of home. 

Joseph Barnard ling-ered until September 6th, when he 
died. The stone marking his place of rest bears the earliest 
date of any in the old graveyard. 

Pynchon writing to the Governor, gives a more particular 
account of this affair, and of subsequent events in connec- 

The letters of Pynchon, hastily penned tinder the pressure 
of exciting news, with all their tedious details, are photo- 
graphic pictures, showing the condition of the plantation at 
this trying period, albeit the shading is dark. No abstract, 
or narrative based upon their contents, can compare in value. 
The originals are in the Massachusetts archives. 

Springfield, Sept. 13, 1695. 

Hon''''^ S':— 

So little Tiavelling hath bene, y' I haue not had opportunity to 
give y'' Honor such ace' of affaires as might be needful, though 1 
haue writ twice If not thrice, w*^'' letters (after long stay) 1 suppose 
are w"' you. By my last you would haue y'' ace' of about 8 Indians 
at Deerefield, this was on y" 21st of Aug', who within a mile of y'^ 
garrison lay in waite close by y'' Road, Hid (I^ altogether vnseene, so 
y' 5 men of Dearefeild coming out in y*-' Morning on Horses goeing 
to mil is: w"' Baggs under y'". Had 7 or 8 guns discharged upon y"', 
vnexpectedly, & seeing noebody till y guns were shot of, wherein 
eminent gracious providence appeared that noe more mischeife was 
done to o""*. For except Joseph Barnard, who was shot downe off 
his horse and sorely wounded, not one more hurt, whenas ours were 
surprised li y-' Indians had time. For y' our men, one of y'" his 
horse starting, threw him and stuned him for y present, y*-' rest were 
Iniployed in getting vp Jos Barnard, & setting him vpon his horse, 
so y' y'' Indians had opportunity, yet God suffered y"' not to be so 
hardy, as to run in vpon our men (Possibly bee one of ours kept a 
calling as If they had more) y' y men behind would come vp) where- 
by ours had also opportunity to set Jos B. vpon his horse, w"' one to 
hold him on. The rest also mounted & made to y-' Garrison; when 
p'sently a shot was made on y™, and killed y'' horse dead y' Jos B. 
was sat on, yet then again they mounted him vpon another Horse, 
when another gun (tis supposed Jos B's owne gun w"'' the Indian 
had taken vp), was discharged vpon y'", & this shot also light vpon 
Jos Barnard againe: Al w'^'' notwithstanding, our men got oft", & 
came al to y*" garrison; though since Jos B. is dead, a Humbling 


providence, he being a very vseful & helpful man in y place so much 
vnder discouragement, & will y^' more fmd tS: feel y'' want of him. 

We were not wanting in persuing y"' enemy. Dearefeild men, & a 
parcel of N*''ampton men, y* had bene vp y"^ River, being just come 
in, went out after y'" imediately, about 30 or 40 men in al (beside 
more y' followed from Hatfield & N*'') who soone tooke their tracks 
Westward vp Dearefeild river, & followed y"', tho lost y'" after a 
while, yet were so Intent vpon it that they found y'" againe tS: per- 
sued y- enymy 7 or 8 miles, till they could noe longer discover any 
tracks, & altho they Ranged westward iV Northward & vp y river to 
y'^ place where Capt. Colton found and broke 2 cannoes, yet could 
they not find or discover y'' enymy who are skilful in hiding y"'selves 
in Swamps & Thickets. 

Possibly these Inds. might draw off wholy. But if they did, yet 
others were about presently, & then were (& now are) in those q'trs, 
& Dearefield people who are (in a sence in y'' enemy's Mouth almost, 
(S: are often & so continualy Pecked at, (tho wonderfully preserved) 
being apprehensive of their danger & Hazzard, the Number of sol- 
diers there (viz 24) being few to maintaine so large a fortification, 
when some must necessarily be Imployed in guarding y Inhabitants 
who are in y"" fields at worke & others vpon y'^ scout &c— wherein 
always some of y^' lnhal)itants are Improved. They addressed y'"- 
selves to me for some Further addition <S: supply of men, w'' I can- 
not but think necessary & needful to secure y Fort, & prevent their 
Surprisal, w*^^'' would be of woeful consequence If (for want of sufi- 
cient strength there) the enemy should attayne it. 

But having noe order from yourselfe, (tho I moved it,) to Place 
more men there, & knowing how hard it would be to find y'" here, we 
having more men out already than can wel be spared, I thought it 
advisable to move y'' (rent at Hartford, «S: thervpon writ to Col. 
Allyn &c that they would be so kind as to send 40 men to range y'' 
woods wel w"' some of ours, w'' they readyly granted to y'^' Number 
of 30, under Lt. Holister, who haue been of good vse & incourage- 
ment to Dearefeild. But they Intending their stay about 3 weeks 
only. The people at Dearefield, thoughtful of their danger when 
they should draw off, Intimated y same to me & that the Number 
of men for y' garrison might then be increased. So y' I took occa- 
sion thereby againe to write to Hartford that 12 of their men might 
be left at Dearfield till Indian Harvest was in, tho' they called oft' y'^' 
rest presently; w'"' they haue Lovingly & readyly complied w"'; or- 
dering Lieut. Holister to leave 12 men w"' a sergt, till y*" loth of 
October, who hath accordingly done it & is gon home y'' begining 
of this weeke, hauing drawn off al their soldiers But 12 left for about 
a month longer from this time, & I hope these w"' ours, wil be suffi- 
cient in al respect, if noe more of y*^ enemy appears then at present, 
& when Indian Harvest is in, & Busyness over, our 24 men may doe, 
probably, tho what may by y* time be further discovered I know not. 
We know Indians are now lurking about, & are satisfied y' some 
number of y'" are waiting to get some booty, for besides some seen 
at Northampton, as also at Hadley, there haue been some ab' Spr''; 
twice one hath bene seene, whether the same Indian or another can- 
not conclude. But upon any appearance we range al y'' woods 


about, beside our dayly scouting out 4 men a day on Horses by 
'I'urnes, W'' God may bless to awe y'^' enemy who cannot but per- 
ceive it, for these towns are dayly Infested by y" enyniy; so it is not 
prudent to empty our towns of men [as we arej by so many at 
J)earerield & Brookfield, w'"'' take 22 men from vs, whereof 30 are 
out of Spr'' & every day we look that some mischief or other wil be 
done, when to Relieve one another it may prove h izirdous y weak- 
ning ourselves, If y"^ enymy take notice therof and haue strength 
to manage any designe ag"* vs. 

We desire to waite vpon God in y" due use of means for our safe- 
ty, leaving y' success to him (mi whom our dependance is for Bless- 
ing cv: Preservation. 

It is a troublesome time here, we having had 2 Alarmes lately, w^'' 
it is mercy prove nothing in reality. But the same, w"' other dis- 
quiets, & exercises, refering to y" enymy & our own safety, take up 
my time & proves hard for me to do w* belongs to me, w'" I am de- 
sirous to be found in, i<: an.xious for y" Publicke good, wherein I 
shall be glad of any good directions from y'' Honors, who am 

Hon'''-^ S'- 
Your very Humble sev', 

John Pynchon. 

Postcript. An Indian from Wiyantemick come in to Hartford re- 
ports (as Col Allen writes me) that y'' Mohawks Have done greate 
Spoile upon y" French at Canida. Killed & taken Captive about a 
hundred. If true it may something allay y" enymys motion but it 
wants Confirmation & seconding by some good hands. If y" have 
occasion to write to Hartford may it not be of use to take notice of 
there sending men up (as above declared) to o' assistance & Inte- 
mate y'' acceptance w*"'' probably may tend to further there readyness 
another time when they find I have observed it to you & y' y" doe 
accept it to them w''' is only hinted at by 

Your Serv' J. P. 


These for the Hon'''*^ Wm. 
Stoughton his Ma''"^ Lieut. Gov'' 

in Dorchester 
For his Ma"'* Service. 

Stoughton follows Pynchon 's .siig-gestion and writes the 
Governor Sept. 15th, thanking him for "giving help in ptir- 
uing the enemy & your Enforc"' of the Garrison at Deerfield 
with twelvemen when Joseph Barnard was killed." 

For his Maj''*"^ Service — To y" truly Hon'"'"^ Wm. Stoughton, Esq.. 
his Ma''''' Lieut. Gov. for his Province at y'^' Massachusetts Bay in 
Dorchester: — Post haste. 

Springfield, Sept. 30, 1695. 

Hon''''^' S'': — Not being awar of my Neighbors goeing so soone, I 
am prevented much (of enlarging) yet may not omit to give y"" Hon- 
or some ace' of y'' discouraged state of y'' Inhabitants of Dearefeild — 

They having discovered many stragling Indians since y' sudden 


surprise when Jos Barnard ReC' his death wound, & now y^ Relation 
of a Maqua come in there, (as he says from y"' eastward where he 
hath been several years) startles y'" very much, who says y' 600 
French & Indians designe mischeife upon Albany (w''' he is going to 
advise y"' off. They being (as he tells) out upon y' designe: & Intend 
to visit Dearefield in their way, w*^'' overbeares y™ w*^'' feares of some 
sudden onset vpon y'", & makes y"' shy of Leavmg their Fort, or goe- 
ing out to gather in their Corne accounting they haue not strength 
enough. (They haue 24 soldiers out of this county in garrison there 
From Conecticot 12 more, w'' y^' yeilded to leave til 9th of October 
— In al 36.) But y' if they scatter about their busyness Shall haz- 
zard y"" Fort & endanger their Breaking vp, or abetting & incouraging 
of y enymy, w'^'' would be of very ill Consequence to y*" country, if 
any such thing should be; wherfore they sent to me for further as- 
sistance, & on y^' 24th inst. by Post, they signifie that y^ morning an 
Indian discovered himselfe on y other side of their river ag' Carter's 
Land, and not far from their Fort, vpon w'^^'' they sent out 15 men, 
who could find noe Indian or Indians, though some signes. Return- 
ing againe not long after, about Noone Two men Plainly saw anoth- 
er Indian or y'^ same, or about y"" same Place, walking as if he de- 
signed to make y"' see him. They at Dearefeild are jealous (as they 
wrote) least y' enemies' designe is to draw their men from y- Fort «Sc 
so ensnare y"' or come vpon y"^^ Fort when they are out of it or weake 
in it and soe take it. Inasmuch as there scouts y' were out y*" day 
before, saw tracks of 2 or 3 Indians & discovered where corne y' had 
been gathered was eaten by leaving y*^^ cobs or gr' ends of at least 
50 eares of corne & this in a corner of y Neck towards Carter's land 
afore mentioned, or not far from it, w"^'' is a Bushy swampy Place. 
Hence Capt. Wells desired my speedy sending some more soldiers to 
their assistance, & to range about &c., whervpon I ordered Capt. 
Clap of Northampton, y^' next to y'", (Capt. Partridg being, here at 
y*^ Sessions), to draw out 20 men of his Company y'^ most apt f(;r serv- 
ice, to range y woods and afford y'" all y*-' assistance they were able, 
who accordingly went to Dearf'' y'' 25th of this instant Sept, & re- 
turned y 27th, at Night, making little or noe di.scovery of y"^ enymy. 
But y' evening one of y*^^ garrison soldiers y' was at Hatfield goeing 
vp to y'' garrison, discovered two Indians about 2 miles on this side 
of Dearfield Fort, & shot at y'" as he says cS:c. Capt. Clap, who hath 
bene at Dearefield, is very sensible of need of men to be sent vp to 
strengthen y"', iv to guard c\: scout about while they issue their har- 
vest. Capt. Partridg also joyns w"' him in writing y' I would .send 
vp 20 for a fortnight or three weeks, w'^'' y^ people much desire, fear- 
ing some sudden mischeife Thervpon I have ordered y" some men, 
w'' I suppose went vp or are this day gon, 8 from N. H., 4 from 
Hatfeild, & 4 from Hadly, y next towns, in al 16 men added to their 
number of 36, to be there a week or ten days, whom I have directed 
to Capt. Wells for y^ best improvement of y"' for their saftie, & for 
y'^ Public advantage. I hope it will be acceptable to y'' Honor. I 
am very sensible of y'^' Countrys charges. But if there should be any 
sudden surprise there, y'^' want of strength may abet y** enemy, Be- 
fore we can send further aid, W^'^ vpon y' least notice of, I shall send 
to y"' w^'' al y'' strength y^ county can afford if nere, & procure from 


Hartford I hope more, could we haue any timely discovery of any 
enemy on y"\ w''' y*^^ good L'' prevent if it be his blessed wil «S: save 
his Pore people. I shal gladly Receive from y'' Honor Further tv: 
better directions & orders as you se meete & best, w*"'' I shal as I am 
able readyly attend, & in meanetime desire to be found doeing my 
duty, begging y'' Prayers for God's guidance therein, & y* I may act 
fur y best good of this Pore Wilderness People. 

w"' humble service I am s'' 
y'' Honors Faithful Serv* 

John Pynchon. 

At a town meeting, Sept. 1695, " it was then agreed and vot- 
ed y' Mr. Samuel Porter of Hadley should carry their pre.sent 
County Bills to get them pas.sed at Boston and to receive the 
money or orders for y'' same." 

The vio-ilance of the inhabitants and the garrison with the 
activity of the scouts secured the town from further depreda- 
tions this year. 

The General Cotirt declared that all Indians found within 
five miles ea.sterly or twenty miles westerly of the Connecti- 
cut river should be considered enemies, and soon after a 
bounty was offered for Indians captured, or scalps of those 
killed; $50 for men, and $25 for women and children under 
fourteen years of age. 

1696. From beginning to end this proved another trouble- 
some year to the town. Fear and distress pervaded the 
household, danger and death lurked in every by-way about 
the fields. Only the least exposed ground could be plant- 
ed, and the harvest was scanty. The Green River lands 
had not been wholly deserted by the owners, who had con- 
tinued to ctiltivate them to some small extent. This was no 
longer possible, and all land at Green River was this year 
exempt from taxation. Notwithstanding the unsettled con- 
dition of business affairs it was considered necessary that 
every freeman of this little Commonwealth should puncttiall}' 
attend to his civil duties. March 2d, " It was agreed and 
voted y' a penalt}- of one shilling shall be laid upon ever}^ le- 
gall voter not attending Town Meetings, provided they be 
legally warned therto." The building of the meetinghouse 
went on. A rate had been laid for that purpose in 1695, and 
in January of this year another was laid, both payable in 
"pork and Indian corn in equal proportions." It was a .sea- 
sonable relief when, in June, the General Court voted £10 


for the support of the ministry here. The Court also pro- 
vided a garrison ; and scouting was continued on the front- 
iers. Although this dangerous service was performed with 
boldness and fidelity, sudden inroads of the enemy could not 
always be averted. Like a whirlwind they came and went, 
leaving destruction in their track. 

Belding Family Surprisal. The following account of the at- 
tack is from the vStephen Williams manuscript : — 

7'"'' i6, 1696, John Sinead «S: John Oillett being in the woods, 
looking or tracking Bees, were besett by a company of French Mo- 
hawks. J. G. was taken prisoner cN: J. S. escapd — the indians fear- 
ing a discovery by S. 16 of them hastentl away toward the town, 
and three were left with J. G. It being lecture day the people were 
got out of y'' meadows, that so y>' might attend y lecture, so that y 
enemy came as far as Mr. Dan' Keldings house, that was within gun 
shot of y" fort. Mr. B. being belaf' a^"^ his work was but just got 
home f™ the Fiealds iv: left his cart (y^ was loaded w^'' corn) & went 
into y^ house tS: left y' xren w"' y^' cart, (S: y indians rushed upon 
them & took him prisoner & his son Nath' ag'' 22 years of age & his 
daughter Esther age 13 years & kill'' his wife & his sons Daniel & 
John & his daughter Thankful, & one of y"" took his son Sam' from 
the cart, but he kick'' cS: scratch'' <S: bit, so thaty Indian set him down 
& struck y edge of his hatchet into y"^ side of his head; he twich'' 
twice or thrice to pull it out and so left him for dead [illegible] & as 
he came to himself he look'' up dv: saw y'" running f"" him. Bled con- 
siderably & brains came out at y wound & went in a maz'' condition 
towards y Fort, til he came to y*^ little bridge where fell off & was 
carr"' to Mr. W"" & was so bad as left for dead, but it pleas'' god 
his life was spar'' & his wound healed & he is yet living; he was once 
or twice account'' to be dying & once accf' as dead, a day or two af- 
ter his being wound''. 

Abigail Belding another daughter was shot in y arm as she was 
running to the fort, but it is generally tho't y' bullet y' struck her 
came from y'' Fort. Sarah Belding another of y'' daughters, hid her- 
self among some Tobacco in y'' chamber & so escap''. 

The people in the fort (being then at the public worship) were 
alarmed & shot from the Fort & wound'' one of y*" enemy in the 
fleshy part of the thigh, the indians fired at y" Fort and wound'' one 
Mr. W"" [Zebediah] as he open'' y gate, the enemy presently with- 
drew (were not one quarter of an hour in doing y'' exploit) and were 
followed by some Brisk young men into the meadow, who came with- 
in 30 rods of them & fired at them & y"^ indians at them again with- 
out damage on either side, the indians kill'' some cattle that were 
feeding in y' meadows, & a boy that had the care of the cattle hid 
himself in the weeds & escap''. the enemy went up Green River & 
came to their companions that they had left w"' Gillett. John Smead 
came into the Town soon after Mr. Belding's family were well off. 
Y' !'*'■ night y'' enemy lodg'' in a round hole near the river, above 
y*" rock, at Nf'' st. , where y"" fires were fresh, thence set away for Can- 



ada by y'^ way of Otter Creek, leaving Connecticut river «X:c. When 
they came near Otter creek, they came upon some tracks of Albany 
in.dians that were going to Canada, (for in those times y" Indians 
from Albany were wont to go a-scalping, as they call it, to Canada) 
they sent out their scouts & were upon the lookout, and at length 
discovered y'' smoak; and then they flung down their packs & painted 
themselves & ty'' their English captives to trees & left two men to 
guard them: & proceeded to y'' business, & having divid'' themselves 
into two companies, they sett upon the secure company (w'^'' consisf^ 
of six men) & kill'' two of y'", took two & 2 escap''. Among y" slain 
was one Uroen an Indian known among y" english (& suspect'' to be 
a bloody fellow & sometimes mischievous to y' english). Of their 
own men one was wound'' in y' fleshy part of the thigh (as one had 
been before at D'f'd). the prisoners were one a Scatocook Indian & 
y" other a young Albany Mohawk. When the skirmish was over, the 
English were brot up & so they proceed'' on their journey. Mr. B. 
asked the Scatacook Indian, (now his fellow prisoners) what he 
thought the enemy would do with them, who reply'' that they would 
not kill y' english prisoners, but give some of them to y'' french & 
keep some of them themselves; but he expected to be burnt himself, 
but when they came to y'' lake, one rainy night, they made no fire, 
and some of them lodg'' under y'' canoes, from whom this Scatacook 
made his escape having loosed himself by some means from his cords 
&c., and altho he was psu'' the enemy could not recover him e^c. As 
to the young Albany Mohawk, he was kept alive, being of their own 
nation (the french mohawks went from y'' nation over to Canada for 
y' sak of y'' romish religion) W" Mr. B. & company came to the fort 
call'' Oso, the males were obliged to run the Gauntlet near it. Mr. 
B. being a very nimble or light footed man, received but few blows, 
save at first setting out, but the other men were much abus'' by clubs, 
firebrands, &c: 

They ariv'^ at Canada S''"' 9. Now they found what the Scatacook 
indian had said, to be true, for the Indians kept Mr. B. himself & his 
daughter with them, & gave J. G. & N. B. to the french. J. G. 
worked as a serv^ to y"" Nuns at their Farm. N. B. worked for the 
Holy Sisters. On y^ 9*'' of July following, Mr. B. was sold to y' french 
& lived as a serv' with the Jesuits at the seminary; his business was 
to wait upon them «& cutt wood, make fires & tend the garden &c. 
He accounted himself favorably dealt with. In y' winter following 
Co" Abr'" Schyler with some others came to Canada i^: brought with 
them a copy of y' Articles of peace between England and France & 
return'' home w"' some Dutch Caj)tives. In Aprill following Co" 
peter Schyler & Co" A. Schyler & the Dutch Domine, w"' some oth- 
ers, came to Canada & the French governor gave liberty to all cap- 
tives, English & Dutch, to return home, yea alowed them to oblige 
all under 16 years of age to return w"' them, those above y' age were 
to be at their liberty &c. These Dutch Gentlemen gather'' up w' 
captives both English & Dutch they could & returned June 8 & took 
Mr. B. and his xdren and Martin Smith with ab' 20 more English 
with them, & arrived at Albany in about 15 days, where y'^ Dutch 
showed to him a great deal of kindness, offered to send him home 
directly to Deerf''. Co" Schyler cloth'' him &: his xdren at the de- 



sire of his brother Mr. John Belding of Norwalk, who paid him for 
the clothes &c. after about three weeks' stay at Albany, Mr. B. (Iv: 
his children went down the River to N. York wnere his B' hatl pro- 
vided a place for his entertainment tS: from York he went in a vessill 
to Stamford & from there went to Norwalk to his friends & after 
some stay there, return'' to D'f'd. J. G. got home a little before him 
by the way of France (S: so to England, having received great kinil- 
ness in England. 

At Deerfield it was thought that the a.ssaihants of the Beld- 
ing family were some pretended friendly Indians. This .sen- 
timent was voiced by Capt. Partridge, who wrote Oct. 6th, 
^696, that "the Deerfield people are fearful concerning the 
pretended friendly Indians proving enemies, being worse 
than open enemies;" and he propo.sed .sending them "over 
the .sea, or near the sea coast on some i.sland." This .su.spicion 
was natural enough tinder the circumstances ; their fears 
were ju.stified; the day before, Oct. 5th, a party of Albany 
Indians who were staying about Hatfield, had killed Richard 
Church of Hadley, while both parties were hunting in Had- 
ley woods. Four of the Indians were arrested and tried for 
the murder. Two of them were convicted, and executed at 
Northampton, Oct. 23d, 1696. [For detailed account, see 
Judd's Hadley, 263-5. j 

Oct. 6th, a party of Indians was discovered between Deer- 
field and Hatfield. Oct. 7th, a letter, signed by John Wil- 
liams, Solomon Stoddard and Capt. Partridge, was .sent to 
Hartford, " declaring their distressed condition by rea.son of 
the mi.schief done among them by the Indians, and their 
great and continuall fear of more mi.schief from their barba- 
rous enemies, with an earnest de.sire that the Gen'll As.sem- 
bly would grant them a speedy supply of fortie or fiftie men 
for their defence." There was another party of Indians 
hunting at Dasrfield, and a repstition of the Hadley tragedy 
was feared. On the receipt of this paper by the General 
Court, it " having .seriou.sly considered the matter, and com- 
pa.ssionating the condition of their distressed friends, and 
also apprehending that his Majesties interest and the .secur- 
ity of his .subjects was deeply concerned, and that their was 
a necessity of speedy relief, did order, that forthwith fortie 
men, two of them officers, be forthwith levied" and well fitted 
and furni.shed, to be put under Lietit. Stephen HoUister and 
"to march with all possible speed up to Dearfield, there to 


employ themselves for the defense and security " of the in- 

Part of this employment may have been to put the defen- 
sive works in repair. There was need of it, and the town 
voted Oct. 31st, — 

"Thatt all Train Soldiers belonging in the Town of i^eerfield shall 
labor about their fort y*^ next Monday & Tuesday being y" 2d i!s: 3d 
days in November next ensuing for a general way beginning att one 
certain place of y" fort and so going on." 

The only other business at this meeting related to their de- 
fense against the devil. It was upon securing for each a 
proper seat in the new meetinghouse. 

At a meeting Dec. i ith, 1696, voted, 

"Thatt upon consideration, y" Joseph Brooks, his cattle were killed 
by y" enemie he shall have his cattle y* he has sence bought, y' is to 
say, 3 cattle one horse, Rate free for y" year." "There was granted 
to Eleizer Hawks twelve shillings, which was formerly granted to 
(jodfrey Nims as constable to pay him and was lost by y"" burning of 
s'' Nims house." 

The sad ca.sualty to which reference is thus made, oc- 
curred Jan. 4th, 1694. A step-son of Nims, Jeremiah Hull, 
perLshed in the flames. The particulars of the affair are 
learned from the return of the jury of inquest. 

The said Jeremiah Hull, being put to bed in a chamber with an- 
other child, after some time, Henry, said Godfrey Nims's son, a boy 
of about 10 years of age, went into the chamber with a light & by 
accident fired some flax or tow, w'hich fired the house. S'' Henry 
brought down one child, & going up again to fetch s'' Jeremiah, the 
chamber was all aflame & before other help came, s'' Jeremiah was 
past recovery. 

This house stood on the site of the present Nims house, 
and where another house was burned with three children in 
it, Feb. 29th, 1704. 

1697. This year proved to be another of uncommon hard- 
ship. It became evident before the opening of spring, that 
the short grain crop of the year before would soon be ex- 
hausted ; and an appeal was made to Connecticut for charita- 
ble aid. Feb. i8th, six of the leading ministers of that colo- 
ony wrote Gov. Treat, asking help for " such as are, or are 
likely in a short time to be in" March 6th, the 
Governor andCouncil, — 

having heard and considered their aft'ecting lines, and bearing on 
their spirits a deep sense of their obligation to works of charity to 


such of God's people as stand in need, doe see cause to order that a 
brief be sent forth through the Cohjnie, and do hereby recommend 
it to all the reverend elders, to exhort * * * the several congre- 
gations to contribute as (iod has blessed them * * * suitable 
relief to their christian brethren in distress. 

Agents were selected to receive and transport the contri- 
butions, and a day of fasting and prayer appointed " for 
Wednesday come seven night." 

March 27th, the Massachusetts Council ordered the regi- 
mental commanders to visit the frontier towns, and after 
consulting with the principal persons, to order stich repairs 
on the old fortifications, and the building of such new, as 
they judged necessary for protection. This was to be done 
at the expense of the respective towns. 

Our town had already anticipated the action of this order. 
March ist, the town voted, — 

Thatt there shall be 3 Mounts built to y fort about y'' Town: to 
be set where and built according to y"^^ Appointment of y'^ Committy 
of malitia for y'' Town; The 3 fort great gates to be built new strong 
and substantial with conveniences for fastening both open t\: shut as 
also y*^ y*^^ whole fort shallbe repaired and maintained sufficient iV sub- 
stantial! att these 3 particulars: To be done on a Town charge: only 
y'' y*' fort and gates are to be maintained on a Town charge but for 
a twelve-month after y date herof. 

This was for the emergency. Usually, individuals had special 
parts of this work assigned them in proportion to their ability. 

The spring was backward, with little promise. The sum- 
mer was cold and wet. There was frost every month, and the 
crops were smaller than ever. The danger of invasion was 
imminent. Parties of English and Indians from Connecti- 
cut ranged the woods to the north and east continually. 
About twenty-five men came up in April. In May the num- 
ber was increased to sixty-four, under the command of Lieut. 
Peter Aspinwall ; and quite as many continued here until the 
fall of the leaves in October. Our frontiers were so well 
guarded that the only depredation recorded for this year 
was the killing of Sergt. Samuel Field at Hatfield, June 24th. 
No particulars of this affair have been found. 

Sept. 15, Capt Jona Wells and Ensigne Jn" Sheldon were made 
choice by y^' Town to view & look over all those Town papers (to- 
gether with y^' Town Clerk) y^ were left lose & unrecorded by y-' for- 
mer Town Clerk and to judge what papers are needful to be recorded 
and y^ present Town Clerk is hereby ordered to record them. 


The result of this action was the preservation of much im- 
portant information on the records. 

1698. The winter of 1697-8 was long and severe. Gov. 
Walcott writes : — 

In February and March the snow was very high and hard. There 
was a great cry for bread, the cattle famishing in the yards for want, 
the sickness very distressing and mortal. Those in health could 
hardly get fuel, tend the sick, and bury the dead. Many suffered 
for want of fire and tendence. 

Though this was said of Connecticut, the condition of 
things here was essentially the same. No mode of relief ap- 
peared but in an appeal to the Most High, and the 23d of 
March was appointed a day of fasting and prayer, " consider- 
ing the hand of God upon his people in great sickness and 
mortality, and the sharpness and long continuance of the 
winter season." No Connecticut troops were sent up to Deer- 
field this winter, but sixteen Massachusetts soldiers were in 
garrison here, and June loth, by an act of General Court, 
16 men were allowed to garrison Deerfield. 

The Peace of Ryswick, signed Sept. 20th, 1697, was pro- 
claimed in Boston in December following. It was not pro- 
claimed in Quebec until Sept. 22d, 1698, and it did not release 
the settlers from fear of Indian hostilities ; and the continued 
necessity of watching by night, warding and scouting by day, 
seriously interfered with every other occupation. Alarms 
were frequent, but no attack was made on Deerfield this year, 
the vigilance of the guards preventing a surprise. 

Joe English, a friendly Indian captured in 1697, came into 
town and reported that he left Canada " with a party of In- 
dians, with some French joined to the number of near 70, in 
the whole (from whom he made his escape) and that 16 of 
them are designed for Deerfield, the remainder to assault the 
Frontiers lying upon the Merimack." This news was ex- 
pressed to Boston, and laid before the Council, at a meeting 
on vSunday, June 12th. The invaders were not after heard 
from, having probably turned back on Joe's escape. A dis- 
patch was sent to the Governor of New York, asking him to 
prevent the vScatacook, or River Indians, from joining the In- 
dian rebels in this Province. 

On the 15th of July a party in Hatfield north meadows 


were fired upon by four Indians ; John Billings, aged twenty- 
four, and Nathaniel Dickinson. Jr., thirteen, were killed. 
The horse of Nathaniel Dickinson, Sen., was shot under him, 

and his son Samuel, and Charley were captured. A post 

reached here with the news after dark. It seems to have 
been known or suspected that the Indians had canoes some- 
where on the Connecticut, and a party was at once organized 
under Benjamin Wright to march up the river and intercept 
them. The English reached the great bend, in Vernon, Vt., 
some twenty miles distant, before daylight. vSecuring their 
horses at a .safe distance, they silently po.sted them.selves on 
the west bank of the river. The only account of what fol- 
lowed is found in Cotton Mather's " Wars of the Lord," pub- 
lished a few months after. I give it in his own quaint 
words : — 

They perceived the Indians in their canoos coming up the river, 
but on the other side of it, within a rod or two of the opposite shore; 
whereupon they so shot as to hit one of the Indians, and they all 
jumpt out of the canoos, and one of the boys with them. The 
wounded Salvage crawled unto the shoar; where his back being brok- 
en, he lay in great anguish, often endeavoring with his hatchet for to 
knock out his own brains, and tear open his own breast, but could 
not; and another Indian seeing the two boys getting one to another, 
design'' em a shot, but his gun would not go off; whereupon he fol- 
lowed em with his hatchet for to have knock'' em on the head; but 
just as he came at em, one of our men sent a shot into him that 
spoil'' his enterprise: and so the boys getting together into one canoo, 
brought it over to the friends thus concerned for them. These good 
men seeing their exploit performed thus far; tivo Indians destroyed 
and two children delivered, they fell to praising of God\ and one 
young man particularly kept thus expressing himself; Surely 'tis God, 
and not ive, that have wrought this deliverance! But as we have some- 
times been told, that even in the beating of 3. pulse, the dilating of the 
heart, by a diastole of delight, may be turned into a contracting of 
it, with a systole of sorrow: In the beating of a itw pulse, after this, 
they sent five or six men with the canoo, to fetch the other which 
was lodged at an island not far off, that they might pursue the other 
Indians; when those two Indians having hid themselves in the high 
grass, unhappily shot a quick death unto the young man, whose ex- 
pressions were but now recited. This hopeful man's brother-in-law 
was intending to have gone out upon this action; but the young man 
himselfe importuned his mother to let him go: which, because he was 
an only son, she denied; but then fearing she did not well to 7oithhold 
/«v- .y^// from the service of the publick, she gave him leave saying: 
See that you do now, and as you go along, resign, and give yourself unto 
the Lord; and I desire to resign you to him! So he goes, and so he 
dies; and may he be the last that falls in a long and sad war with In- 
dian Salvages.' 

pomroy's island. 261 

This brave and pious young man was Nathaniel Pomroy 
of Deerfield, then eighteen years old. He was not an " only 
son," but he zoas the last that fell in that war. No memorial 
marks the rude grave, where his comrades tearfully laid him 
to his long sleep beside the murmuring river ; but let " Poui- 
roy Island,'" the spot where he fell, keep green the story of 
his sad fate to all coming generations. 

It was thought at first that this party of Indians were from 
Scatacook, and by order of the Council Joseph Hawley and 
Joseph Parsons were sent to Albany to give a particular ac- 
count of the affair. They were guarded by Benj. Wright. 
Wm. King, Benj. vStebbins, Jona. Taylor and Nath'l Gillet. 

The following paper, found in the Massachusetts Archives, 
gives the names of the men in the " Pomroy pursuit :" — 

To the Gentlemen appointed to grant Debenters, or others who 
may Be Concerned therein. These may Inform that the Persons y^ 
followed and waylaid the Indians: Redeemed y Captives with the 
loss of one and in probability of two of our enemies, on the 14 [i6th] 
of Tuly, 1698, Are As follows: Benj. Wright, Corporal of the troop, 
Leader; Benj. Stibbins, Jonathan Taylor, troopers; Thomas Wells, 
Benoni More, Ebenezer Stebbins, Nath. Pumrey, Dragoons; Corpo- 
ral gillit, Benj. King, Jonath Brooks, Saml (?) Root, Jos Petty, ]os 
Clesson, Henerey Dwit, Garrison Soldiers at Deerfield. 

We are of opinion that the persons above mentioned ought to be 
well rewarded. The 3 first Newly come into Deerfield weary out of 
the woods, and upon hearing of the news from Hatfield, four of the 
town, with seven of the garrison joining with them, went away in the 
Night. Their Journey was difficult, their undertaking hazardous, 
The issue successful!, & we hope of good consequence. The ready 
spirit of the Soldiers to go out tho under pay already, we beleive 
will be taken notice of for incouragement. The time of their service 
may well be esteemed two dayes. They travelling all the Night 
Before and the first three the night after from deerfield to North- 
ampton, where they did belong. They all found themselves horses 
And provisions. 

Deerfield, Augs' 26, 1698 — A true account as attest lona. Wells, 
Capt of the fort in D" '' 

& Comander of the garrison there. 

Joseph Hawley. 
Samuel Patrigg. 

Nov. 9th, 1698, Benj. Wright was allowed £},, the "six in- 
habitants,"' £2 each, and the garrison soldiers £\ each, by the 
General Court. 

Aug. 1 3th, Earl Bellamont wrote a letter to Frontenac, Gov- 
ernor of Canada, complaining of the attack at Hatfield. The 
latter replies vSept. 21st, regretting it and says : " This obliges 


me to send a seeond order to these Indians to make them 
cease hostilities." The assailants were Pocumtucks, and 
some of them were known to the captive boys. Frontenac 
pretended they were Acadians, and that the attack was to 
avenge the imprisonment of some of these people in Boston. 
He had been willing that the Indians should harass our set- 
tlers until formal complaint was made. But Sept. 22d, the day 
after he wrote to Bellamont, peace was proclaimed at Quebec, 
by Frontenac ; a year and a day after, the treaty was signed. 

In April, 1698, Col. Schuyler and others went from Albany 
to Canada to gather and bring away the English captives. 
In June, Daniel Belding and his children, with Martin Smith, 
and about twenty other prisoners, left Canada by the way of 
the lakes for Albany, where they arrived after a journey of 
fifteen days. There Mr. Belding and his children were enter- 
tained and provided with clothing at the expense of his 
brother, John Belding of Norwalk, Connecticut. After re- 
cruiting three weeks, the Belding family went down the 
Hudson to New York, and by a vessel to Stamford, whence 
they walked to Norwalk, to visit their benefactor, after 
which they returned to Deerfield. Martin Smith was sent 
home from Albany. John Cjillett reached home before the 
Beldings by the way of France and England. 

Gillett's story is well told below by Col. Partridge : — 

Wheras John Gillet who hath been a very active and willing 
sould' within the County of Hampshire & Being on the i6th day of 
Sept 1696 out upon service & together w"' some others was that day 
taken by the Enemy & suffering hardship was carried to Canada 
Captive & there Remayn" till Sept'"' Last & then was sent from 
thence Prison'' unto old ffrance & thence (by the later Articles of 
Peace) the s'' Gillet together with other Captives was Released & 
carried into England: Since his Arrivall there hath Lived & obtained 
pay for his Passage by the Charitie of some English Marche*" there: 
(S: now being arrived here Destetute of Money or Cloaths for his P'"s- 
ent Reliefe Humbly propose it to y"" Hono''"' Gen" Cor''' to allow 
him something w' this Cor^'" judge meet for his P'"sent Reliefe 

Samuel Patrigg — 

June 17 1698 — In the House of Representatives — Orderdered that 
there be allowed and paid out of the Publick Treasury the sum of 
six pounds to the above named John Gillet for the consideration 
above mentioned 

Nath' Bvfield. 


By vote of the town, December 27th, 1698, — 


Daniel Belding & Martin Smith, being new returned out of cap- 
tivity, their heads, together with w' Ratable estate was on there 
hands at y*" date of y'' present meeting, were freed from Town 
charges y'' year 1688. 

Among the prisoners sent home from Canada under the 
treaty was Martin Smith, who was taken in 1693. A sorrow- 
ful tragedy awaited him. His wife was in prison at Spring- 
field, about to be tried for murder. Little is known of the 
Smiths, beyond what is found on the court records. Judd 
thinks they came from New Jersey. Martin received sever- 
al grants of land here, among the first settlers. The first 
mention we find of his name is on the court record at North- 
ampton : " May 31, 1674, Martin Smith, a resident of Pocum- 
tuck, was fined 20 s for trying to kiss the wife of Jedediah 
Strong, on the street." Aug. 4th, 1694, vSarah Smith enters 
a complaint against John Evans of Deerfield, for "attempting 
to force an unclean act upon her." Two young soldiers of 
the night watch were witnesses of the act, which was at her 
house, "ten rods south of the south gate of the fort." I find 
no action under this complaint. In the assault of Feb. 29th, 
1704, Martin Smith was "smothered in a seller," with the 
family of John Hawks, Jr. No children of Martin and Sarah 
Smith are known. The crime and fate of Sarah appear in 
the following record : — ■ 

At a meeting of the Council in Boston, Aug. 8, 1698 — Upon in- 
formation given by His Majesty's Justices in the County of Hamp- 
shire, that one Sarah Smith lies in prison for murdering her bastard 
child. * * * Ordered and appointed that a Court of Assize and 
General Gaol Delivery be held and kept at Springfield within said 
county of Hampshire by the Justices, upon Thursday, the eighteenth 
of the present month of August for the trial of said Sarah Smith. 

Pursuant to this order three justices, Wait Winthrop, 
Elisha Cooke, and Samuel Sewall, escorted by a guard of 
twenty-six troopers, went up to Springfield and held a court. 
Sarah Smith was indicted by a grand jury of sixteen men, 
John Holyoke, foreman, and charged that, — 

on Tuesday the eleventh day of January in the year of our Lord 
God one thousand six hundred and ninety-seven-8 betwixt the hours 
of one and five a clock afternoon of the same day at Deerfield * * * 
in the dwelling house of Daniel Wells * * * ^y ^^g providence 
of God one female bastard child did bring forth alive * * * be- 
ing led by the instigation of the devil, between the hours of one and 
seven a clock afternoon of the same day, withholding her natural 


affection, neglected and refused all necessary help to preserve the 
life of s'' child, and with intent to conceal her Lewdness the said 
child did strangle and smother. 

She pleaded not guilty, was tried, and found guilty before 
a jury of twelve men, Joseph Parsons, foreman. Justice Win- 
throp pronounced the sentence, that she be hung the follow- 
ing Thursday, Aug. 25th. Her minister, Rev. John Williams, 
preached a sermon before her on the day of the execution, 
in accordance with the custom of the times. 

Tradition concurring with known facts, fixes the place of 
the murder to be in the northeast room of the house now 
standing on the east side of the street on the second lot north 
of Memorial Lane, now owned by C. Alice Baker. By the 
same authority, in several generations, this house has been 
haunted. The last visible ghost disappeared about thirty 
years since. 



One of the earliest and most frequent subjects of legisla- 
tion by the settlers was that of fencing the meadow lands. 
It was an affair of vital interest. These lands, as we have 
seen, were laid out in long, narrow strips ; this, and the fact 
that they were subject to inundation, alike made it impossi- 
ble to fence the lots separately. The stock was allowed to 
run at large on the East Mountain, and to protect the crops 
on the meadow a cominon fence was built as a prime necessi- 
ty. Beginning at the "point of rocks," at Cheapside, it ran 
by the foot of the hills to the north end of the street, thence 
along the rear of the west home lots to South Meadow, along 
its north and east borders to Wapping, by the west end of 
Wapping home lots to Boggy Meadow, thence westerly, cross- 
ing the the Hatfield road at the Bars, and skirting vStebbins 
Meadow to the Pocumtuck River at Stillwater — an extent of 
about seven miles. Later the meadows at Cheapside and 
Wisdom were also enclosed, requiring about seven miles 
more of fence. This fence was laid out in "divisions," and 
two fence viewers were annually chosen to each division, 
whose duty it was to see that the fence was made secure, and 
that all orders concerning it were obeyed. In 1692 it was 
found necessary to extend the fence from the "point of 
rocks," along the bank, to the mouth of Deerfield River, 
" to prevent the cattle going over [the river] to Cheapside to 
damnify the corn and grass there. A committee was chosen 
to lay out to the proprietors of land at Cheapside their pro- 
portion of said fence, and the rest of s'' fence to be done by y'' 

All fences were ordered " to be made sufficient as against 
orderly cattle, so also against hoggs that be sufficiently 
ringed," but no prescribed material or mode of building is 


found at the period we are considering. This common fence 
was supported by the owners of land enclosed, in proportion 
to their interest. February, 1687, Thomas Wells, Henry 
White and Thomas French, were chosen a committee to ap- 
portion the fence and locate each man's share. They report- 
ed a list of fifty-seven owners, and the length set to each in 
rods, feet and inches. The shortest was to Francis Keet — 
ten feet three inches. The owners of home lots in the town 
were obliged to build one half of their rear fence, and those 
at Wapping the whole of it. A condition was made in all 
grants there, that the grantee should make all fence wherev- 
er the grant abutted on the common field. 

Gates were set up on all roads leading into the meadows, 
except on the road leading from Hatfield into vSouth Mead- 
ows, where there was a set of bars. The name of the village 
there testifies to that fact to this day. The first gate-keepers 
were John Broughton, at the north gate, Samuel Northam, 
the middle of the town, Jonathan Wells, at Eagle Brook, and 
Ephraim Beers at Wapping. Eleazer Hawks had care of the 
bars. Beers, in 1686, agreed to keep up forever, two rods of 
fence across the highway, including the Wapping gate, in 
consideration of a grant of twenty acres of land in Wisdom. 
When cow commons in the meadow fell short of mea.sure, 
"wanting lands" were located elsewhere; but the rule was to 
assess the tence on the original number of commons. Votes 
like the following illustrate this practice. After granting 
sixteen acres to John and Benoni vStebbms, "for want of 8 
acres of measure in the meadow, y' is to say, in the whole 36 
cow-com'ons (formerly John Stebbins' sen'r), y'^ s'' J no. & Be- 
nony making com 'on fence, & paying Rates for the whole 36 
com'ons forever." In a similar case, William vSmead was 
" to maintain com'on fence & pay Rates for his land as it now 
lies for, by com'ons, in the meadow." 

The regulations about the fence were strict, and provision 
made to bring easily home to the offender any neglect in 
keeping his share secure. It was voted, — 

''that any person whatsoever, concerned with any com'on fence 
* * * shall set up a stake with the two first letters of his name 
fairly written, at y*^ north end of every part * * * of y*^ com'on 
fence to be made up, on penalty of i2d a stake for every stake y^ y*" 
viewers shall find wanting, & so from time to time, as often as they, 
shall by y'" be found wanting." 


A few years later, stones in place of stakes were ordered for 
this purpose. 

The fall feeding, or "opening- the meadows," was yearly a 
subject of legislation. The Common Field fence was "made 
intire," or closed, in the spring, and opened in the fall, at 
times fixed, first by the selectmen, and later in town meeting. 
The earliest action recorded was: — 

April 4, 1692; whereas y"^^ Selectmen have taken great care and 
paynes y* all defects in y*^ common fence be repayered for the preser- 
vation of y*" meadows now the Town does hereby order y* all com- 
mon fence y*^ shall be found defective after y nth day of this in- 
stant: y*" own'' of s'' fence shall pay as a fine to y'' use of y'' Town one 
shilling p"" rod for one day & so forward for every day till such de- 
fective fence shall be repayered 

That all cattle baited upon other mens land without leave shall be 
liable to be pounded 

That any persons baiting cows or young cattle upon y* meadows 
shall be liable to be pounced tho there be a keep' w"' y"'. 

That all hoggs shall be rung according to law: * =;= * ^j^g \-^Qg 
ringers shall have 6d p"^ head for every hogg y* ring. 

That all horses and cattle found in y*" meadow are liable to pay 
1 2d p"" head: and for hogs 6d p"^ head & for sheep 4d p"" head 

That y*" penalty for leaving creatures in the meadow wilfully shall 
be 3d p"" head 

That pounding creatures shall ho. present pay 

Similar regulations in even more stringent language were 
passed in December following, and repeated in some form 
every year. 

March 3d, 1693-4, the by-laws already given were adopted 
by the town. A vote was passed, — 

Sept 15 1697, that the time for opening the meadow or corn field 
shall be on Monday at night being the 4th day of October unless y 
Townsmen having hereby power see cause to lengthen the time. 
That the selectmen now in being shall have pow"" to make sale of v'' 
old Red Town Bull & dispose of y*" money to y*" Towns use. 

Dec: 7: 1697 y Town Bargained with Ens Jn" Sheldon to main- 
tain a gate at y*" uper or South end of their meadows on y^ highway 
at y meadow fence: * * * to be made and set up by the first 
of April next. 

Mch 7 1697-8 voted that if any person or persons shall leave open 
any of y Meadow gates wilfully or carelessly within y'' time of the 
meadow being inclosed: Such persons or their overseers shall be lia- 
ble to paj' 2S 6d for every such offence y'' one half to y'^' informer y*^ 
other to y'^' Townsmen for y'' use of y'' Town. 

By this arrangement the bars were discontinued, a nuisance 
abated, and doubtless a great strain on the morals of travel- 


ers removed. Sergt. John Hawks was accepted in place of 
Capt. Wells, to maintain the gate at Eagle Brook, and the 
fence was made into three divisions. 

In 1699, the disputed question as to the rights of the public 
on highways was settled. The town voted " That all proprie- 
tors of land within y'' meadows or Com'on Field, shall have 
liberty to feed or mow such highways which their land shall 
abut upon, and no other person." 

Lands were cultivated at Cheapside and Wisdom, and to 
protect the crops there, it was voted : — 

Mch I, 1700, y' vv' cattle horse kind or any other creature soever 
usually impounded shall be found at liberty on y^ westerly or north- 
erly side of Deerfield river within y*" township of Deerfield shall be 
liable to be impounded provided they be fcnind there within y' time 
of y*' enclosing of y common field. 

That y'' meadows be Cleared by y Haywards by y eleventh of y*" 
instant March. 

The bad effect of allowing stock to trample the land in the 
spring was then realized. In pursuance of this vote, the 
selectmen were charged with the duty of clearing the mead- 
ow of Hatfield horses by driving them into the Hatfield 
meadows. Voted: " That all y'' common fence * * * be 
kept up in good repair untill y'' towns next election meeting 
in next March so as to pass y' fence viewers." This policy 
seems to have continued. The same vote was passed Sept. 
15th, 1701; also, "That all swine of 16 inches or upward 
* * * found in y*' meadows or common field unringed 
shall be impounded and Ringed before released out of y'' 
pound y"' owners * * * to pay 6d a head for impounding 
3d for ringing." Four divisions were made of the fence in 
1702, and eight fence viewers chosen. 

During this period the stock was branded or marked, and 
ran at large on the East Mountain ; the milch cows under the 
care of a " cow-keeper," hired by the town. His wages were 
assessed on the owners of the cows. A bull to run at large, 
was furnished at the expense of the town. In 1686, the peo- 
ple at Wapping procured a separate bull to run with their 
own herd. 

Saza and Grist Mills. For some years the settlers got out 
boards, slit-work, and plank in saw-pits. Logs were squared 
with the broad axe and taken to the pit, where the work was 
done by two men, the " top-sawyer," who guided the saw, and 


had the Largest wages, and the "pit-man" whose place was 
under the log in the pit. About one hundred feet of boards 
was a day's work. 

Grain was pounded in a mortar, or carried to Hatfield mill 
on horseback. This mill had no bolter ; if flour was desired, 
the meal was sifted by hand, in a sieve, at home. 

It is not known when the first sawmill was erected. One 
stood on Mill river as early as 1689, when the town author- 
ized the selectmen to bargain with Capt. John Allis of Hat- 
field, to build a corn mill upon the same stream. Mr. Allis 
died in January, 1690-91, before his mill was finished. Feb. 
3d, 1690-91, a committee was authorized to make a bargain 
with Joseph Parsons, Sen., of Northampton, on essentially 
the same terms granted Mr. Allis. The mill put up by Par- 
sons stood on Mill river, " where the sawmill now stands," 
and where Mr. Phelps's sawmill stands to-day. It was prob- 
ably finished before Dec. 20th, 1692, at which date the town 
granted Parsons as part of the bargain, a tract of land, — 

Att the uper end of the meadow comonly called Stebbins mead- 
ow all that tract of land that lies between y" last lot y' is now layd 
out and the comon fence; by estimation, 30 or 40 acres * * * 
bounded by the land of Maj'' John Pynchon northeast; by the comon 
fence southwest; by the Dearf'' river northwest, and by y'' comon 
fence south east; s'* Joseph Parsons being to make comon fence for 
it, as shall be found by messure proportionally to what other men 
doe for their lands on the meadows; and to pay rates att present 
only for so much of it as is Improvable. 

" Ten acres of upland," was also granted. By the contract, 
signed Dec. 29th, 1692, Parsons was — 

To take for his tole for Grinding y^' twelfth part of all grain except 
wheat and Barly Malt and only the fourteenth part of wheat and y'^ 
eighteenth part of Barly malt: and for provender the fourteenth 
part: * * * the mill to be set up and fit to grind att or before 
May 31, 1693, and to be kept in good Repair fit to doe y^' towns 

Should the mill be deserted, or destroyed, "except in case 
of extraordinary Providence as the Town being driven out 
by the enemie ; * * * the remainders of said Mill as Irons, 
Stones," &c., were to revert to the town, unless Parsons re- 
built. If a place more for y'' Towns Benefit to have a mill 
set there," be found. Parsons is to " have the first offer of s^^ 
place. The town agree to furnish y^' help of 6 cattle and two 


men to draw y"' millstones to y'' place ; s'' Joseph Parsons to 
call for them in a time y^ may be as little hindrance to their 
occasions as he can." These stones may have been procured 
from Mount Tom where Pynchon got millstones in 1666. The 
stone now lying in front of Memorial Hall was doubtless one 
of those set running by Parsons in 1693. Its dimensions 
agree exactly with those got out by Pynchon at Mount Tom. 
No further account of this mill appears; and it was probably 
destroyed by Indians during the war. 

Aug. 3, 1699, Att a Meeting y town, considering y^ they were in 
great want of a mill to (rrind their Corn, made Choice of a Commity, 
viz Ens Jno Sheldon; Benony Moor and Thos. French whose work 
it was to view and consider of a place or places * "^ * for to 
erect a mill in as also to discourse with Mr. Joseph Parsons to 
see * * * whether he will Rebuild his mill upon the Sawmill 
Stream * =»= * i^ another place, or throw up his interest in a 
mill or mills at Deerfield. 

Four weeks later Mr. Parsons was asking of the Proprietors 
'' liberty to set a corn mill on Green river. Being considered, 
it was granted for y'' space of a twelve month." If a mill 
was then built on Green river, it did not give satisfaction as 
it appears by a vote passed, — 

March 11, 1 700-1, That a Commity be chosen to discourse with 
Mr Joseph Parsons concerning the Corn mill built by him in Deer- 
field whether he will stand to his Bargin, either to maintain s'' mill 
in good Repair fit to doe y*^^ towns Grinding or throw it up into y'' 
towns hands. 

The same committee above named, except Edward Allen 
in the place of French, were chosen to apply this "prod" to 
Parsons, and nothing more is heard of the mill for ten years. 
This topic will be resumed at a later period. 

Roads. Among the duties assigned the committee which 
laid out the Dedham Grant in 1671, was that of "apoynting 
the highways and laying out." Their report shows that the 
town street was then located, from the middle and each ex- 
treme of which, roads three rods wide were laid to the moun- 
tain on the east, and meadows on the west. They also pro- 
vided for roads two rods wide, running through each division 
of meadow, "so that every man may come to his land." 
These roads are essentially the same with those now in use. 

The " Country highway " was the road to Hatfield through 
South Meadows, and up Bars Long Hill. Before 1687, there 


was a road leading southerly from the middle mountain road, 
in the rear of John Catlin's home lot, [now the Ware lot] 
almost exactly where the road to the Connecticut River rail- 
road freight depot, and the sawmill, now runs, and so through 
the woods east of Wapping through Turnip Yard to Sunder- 
land bridge. 

March i6 1698-9, y^ Committy Chosen to Consider y*^^ mater (viz 
Lieutt David Hoyt: Ens Jno Sheldon and Edward Allyn,) made y"^ 
Return to y" Town Clerk in y* maner: viz: * * * that they had 
stated and settled y'' middle heiway leading up to y" mountain to be 
eight rods wide at y*^ front on Town Street: and then at y^' end of 
eighteen rods and a half from y*' front upon s'' John Catlin's North 
line y'-" heiway comes to be Three Rods wide and so holdeth thurow- 
out to y" Reer. 

This is Memorial Lane. 

March 3d, 1 700-1, Capt. Jona. Wells, Sergt. John Hawks, 
and Daniel Belding, were chosen to look up a road from the 
south end of the town, along the west side of the East Moun- 
tain, "to the head of Muddy brook swamp," as also "to view 
y'' way now began to be made from Wapping towards Hat- 
field to se where they shall be stated if found to be feasible : 
and make Return of w' they find upon these accounts in writ- 
ing to y" Town." No return of this commission has been 

In 1690, a road was laid across the land of Thomas French 
in Little Meadow, to give access to the lands at Old Fort 
Meadow. In compensation, French was given the same quan- 
tity, to be taken in the rear of his home lot — worthless side- 
hill, for rich meadow land. But the road has been carried 
off by the river long ago, while the side-hill still holds the 
Orthodox parsonage lot to the East Mountain. 

March 5, 1693-4, Henry White & Simon Beaman and Jos Barnard 
* * * are appoynted a Com'itty to examine the Antient Records 
and Acts of the form'' Com'itty with reference to hieways in Dearf'' 
Meadows: and accordingly State a hieway to the land on the west' 
side [of the] riV Com'only Called Carter's Land. 

Nothing appears to have been done respecting the road at 
this time. 

March 3d, 1 700-1, Godfrey Nims, Sergt. John Allyn and 
Corp. Thomas Wells were chosen to lay this road. They re- 
ported June 14th, 1 70 1, that they 


have laid out y hie way to Carters land in this manner: we begin 
to turn out of y hie way y' leads down into y Neck in Samuel Car- 
ters lot on the northerly side of it next to M'' John Catlins land: 
and to Run down there untill it comes to y River: and then to run 
along by y'' river until it comes of Henry White's lot: 

Here we find the origin of " White Swamp." The river at 
this point has largely encroached on the meadow, and nearly 
the whole of the lots named have been washed away, and 
added to the Carter's Land farm opposite, where George W. 
Jones had the benefit of it. The committee also reported : — 

As to y hie way to y Green River lands we turn out of y'' Coun- 
try Road which is Easterly of the Green River Town plot, and to 
Run near upon a west line throw y middle of s'' Town plot ilcnvn to 
y'' River, and Runs over y River into Peter Evans his lot: then 
Runs northwards into Joseph Petty his lot and across his lot untill 
it comes to y'' North side of and so in Joseph Pettys lot untill it 
comes up y'^' great hill westerly and then it Runs in Benony iMoors 
lot until it comes to the foot path and then it runs in y*" foot path to 
the uper end of Green River lands: the breadth to be one Rod and a 
half except in the part of it from the Country Road down to and so 
thorow y' Town plot afores''. 

This part was what is now the Main street of Greenfield. 
The "cotmtry road." I stippose, included the present High 
street, and led from Deerfield to Northfield. The " foot path" 
was the Indian road, which cro.ssing the Pocumtuck at Still- 
water, ran northerly through Wisdom and Greenfield Mead- 
ows, and up the hill at the right of Mrs. Eunice Williams's 

" Sarveyors of Roads " were chosen with the earliest town 
officers, and annually thereafter. Their duties were the same 
as of to-day. Highway taxes could be paid at will in 
" specie " or labor, the latter " as he shall be warned thereto 
by the sarveigher." The price of labor on the road was fixed 
by the town and varied with the .season and from year to 

Schools. No town action regarding edtication is found un- 
til after the close of King William's War. The first .school- 
house was built, and a school master hired, in 1698. Before 
this, doubtless, schools had been kept by dames in private It has been .seen that Mrs. Beaman had a .school in 
1694. In 1698 the town established a school, and enforced at- 
tendance by hiring a master at the expense of all those hav- 
ing children of .school age. 


Alch 7, 1698, It was agreed and voted y' a school be continued in 
y'^ Town: That all heads of familes y' have Children whether male or 
female, between y'' ages of six and ten years, shall pay by the poll 
to s'' school whether y' send such children to School or not 

That a School house be built upon y'^' Town Charge in y year 1698 
y* dimensions of s'' house to be 21 foot long eighteen foot wide and 
seven foot betwixt joynts 

That a Com'ity shall be chosen to look after y' building of said 
School House, and to hire a school master 

That y'" persons for a Com'ity y' y Town did choose and empower 
in y'' carrying on y*" school house aforesaid and in hiring a school mas- 
ter: were Mr. Jno. Catlin Benony Stebbins and William Amies: 

Att a legal Town meeting in Deerfield, March 21, 1698, Capt 
Wells Moderator further relating to a school, it was y" agreed y* 
what children soever shall be sent to s'' school above y age of ten 
years or under y'' age of six years shall pay for according to y* time 
y=' shall improve s'' school; voted affirmatively 

This meeting was a special one, and no other business was 
transacted. The schoolhouse was built and a school master 
engaged. Probably " Mr. John Richards," who was certainly 
a resident in 1699, and school master in 1 701-2-3. Another 
meeting was held Dec. 27th, 1698, when it was voted, — 

That there be a schooU maintained in y Town of Deerfield 
Att y same meeting y'" Town agreed and voted y^ from y time of 
y'' date hereoff, untill y'' term of 20 years forwards be expired they 
will give twenty pounds towards y maintaining of a Schooll in y*^ 

This heavy tax, in the then exhausted condition of the 
town, shows the spirit of some controlling influence. In 
March, 1700, the school committee chosen were, — 

Mr. Jn" Catlin, Sergt Jn" Hawks and Jn" Stebins * * * whose 
work shall be to hire a meet person or persons to teach y Towns 
Children to Read and write as also to repair y Towns School house 
at their discretion which is to be repaired at y'' Towns Charge; as 
also to proportion y^' providing of firewood to y*" Scholars: 

In 1 701, a change of policy is noticed, although no cause 
for it appears. The town, — 

Unanimously voted to make null and void their former act of 
twenty pounds for twenty years towards a School and have voted to 
pay fifteen pounds in pay yearly for y'' space of Seven years from y*^ 
day of y' date hereof towards v'' maintaining of a School in Deer- 

The Com'ity chosen for looking after the concerns of y afores'', 
were Ensigne Jno. Sheldon, William Arms, Sergt. Eliezer Hawks. 

Their duties were defined to be the same as those given 
above. The committee for 1702 were Benoni Stebbins, God- 


frey Nims and vSimon Beaman. In 1703, "Mr. Jno. Catlin : 
Dea. Hoyt: and Ebenezer Smead were chosen." They, — 

Bargained with Mr Jno Richards to pay him for y' teaching of 
their Town children for y year Twenty and five pounds in manner 
folowing: y' is to say They have by Bargin Uberty to pay him y'^ one 
3d part of s'' sum in Barley and no more : y'' other two 3ds in other 
grain y' is to say in indian corn: peas: or Rye in any or all of them: 
oats wholly excepted: all these aforementioned to be good and mer- 

The Town y" voted y' all children y' is to say boys from four to 
eight: and (Hrls from 4 to six years old y' live in y'' Town plat shall 
pay their proportion of ten pounds for y'^' year ensuing whether they 
go to School or not: 

This is the last record of any action on the .subject of edu- 
cation until 1 720, when the town had in a good degree recov- 
ered from its broken condition. 

Rates, or Taxes. The first record of any rate was that 
rai.sed Dec. 17th, 1687, when "Jonathan Wells was chosen 
Com'issioner to joyn w"' y'" Selectm" to take lists for the 
Country rate and officiate in y'' btisiness according to Law. 
That the Town & Minist' Ratte .shall be raised upon Lands 
heads & fiock.s at the .same as hath been y'' last year" It appears from the above, that this was not the first 
general tax; the previous impositions had dotibtless been made 
under the direction of the Committee. Subsequent action of 
the town shows the " prises " (or valuation) to have been : — 

Heads att 16 pounds; oxen 3 pounds, cows 2 pounds; 3 yr olds 
2 pounds; 2 yearlings i pound ten; i year old 15 shillings; horses 3 
pounds; 2 yr olds one pound ten; i year old 15 shillings; hoggs 10 
shillings; sheep 5 shillings; lands 2 pounds per acre. 

The "specia" in which the minister's rate was to be paid, 
was fixed at his settlement. For town rates, it was varied 
from time to time, probably as different crops were scanty or 
abundant. Rates were generally laid in December and for 
expenses already incurred. 

In 1 69 1 -3, the town rate was paid in wheat and Indian corn 
in equal parts. In 1694, it was to be paid " one-half in indian 
corn at 2s a, & one-half in fatted pork, at 2 pence 
half-penny a pound." 

In 1695 the Green River lands were made " rate free," and 
in 1696, no tax wa.s laid on "fat cattle and .swine killed in 
y^ town." No rea.son for this exemption appears. 


In 1697, rates were to be paid in Indian corn at 2s ; the 
next year in rye at 3s, barley 3s, Indian corn 3s, one-third 

In 1699, the "Country Rate" was £<, for Deerfield. Swine 
were rated according to goodness : ten shillings for y*^ Best 
and so downward, when for market. " And wheras home- 
lots were last year Apprized According to Industry, y' now 
y-' -shall not be so aprized." The "specia" was "Rye at 3s 
per bushel, and Indian corn at 2s per bushell." 

The prices fixed "for grain between man and man shall 
be thes f olowing, namely, viz Winter wheat at 4s per bushell : 
Sumer wheat at 3s 6d per bushell : Rye at 3s per bushell : Bar- 
ley at 3s per bushell : peas at 3s per bushell : Indian Corn at 
2S per bushell : and oats at is 6d per bushell :" 

Dec. i6th, 1700, " Lieut David Hoyt: Sergt. Jno Allyn : and 
Benony Moor: were chosen aprizers," to appraise "all lands 
and stocks Rateable in Deerfield * * * according to y'' best 
of their Judgment upon the Rates set and prescribed for 
Aprizal y'' last year:" a few weeks later, March 3d, 1700-1, 
" Ens Jno Sheldon was Chosen Com'isioner for Assesments 
for y*" year ensuing - * * Capt Jona Wells and Mr John 
Richards and Ens Jno. Sheldon were chosen Assessors for 
the Country Taxes." The special functions of these three 
boards does not clearly appear. Down to 1702, the valua- 
tion of taxable property had continued as it was in 1686. 
In January of that year, a new departure was made. The 
regular meeting for December, 1701, was held and money 
raised as usual. There is no record of this action, but it ap- 
pears in the following votes : — 

. Jan. 27, 1 701-2, The Town then unanimously agreed and voted, 
y^ notwithstanding their minister and Town Rates are already made 
yet y' they will alter the former way of Rating, which was by y*" 
Country law by way of income The town then also voted y* heads 
shall be Rated at 24 pounds Estate * * * As to aprisall of lands 
y" town proceeded in this maner folowing viz. : That the Great 
meadow and pine hill plain that is from little meadow hill and Jno 
Broughton's hill to l^eerfield River and also Cheapside; Tho Frenches 
lot in Harrow meadow; log meadow; and part of Stebbines meadow; 
that is to say from the northerly part of it unto James Browns south 
line shall all be set at 30 shillings an acre: * * * That Carters 
land: Newfort mowing land of y'' 2d Division Capt Wellses pasture; 
from 2d Division hill to y*-" south line of Mr. Catlin's lot in 2d Divis- 
ion; with the Residue of Stebbinses meadow all to be set at eighteen 


shillings an acre; That y-' Residue of harrow meadow and Eagle 
Brook plain from Capt Wellses pasture to 2d Division hill shall be 
set at fifteen shillings an acre: 

That old fort meadow and little plain shall be set at ten shillings 
an acre : 

That y Residue of 2d Division, from y South line of Mr. Catlins 
lot Southward shall be set at Six Shillings an acre; That Green Riv- 
er lands shall be set at five shillings an acre That y"^' Best home- 
steads shall, be Aprized at Eight pounds and so to descend according 
to goodness to be aprized by y^' Select men: Ens Jno Sheldon and 
Thomas French were chosen to joyn with the Select men in taking 
a list of all estate Rateable: 

Cattle and horse kind to be aprised as in y Country law; Year- 
ling Cattle and horses to be Aprised at ten shillings: Two year old 
cattle and horses at twenty shillings: 3 year olds at thirty shillings. 

The taxes for this year's charges were paid in "Rye at 3s, 
barley at 3s, corn at 2s and oats at is 6d, an equal proportion 
of each." 


The first houses of the settlers w^ere doubtless of logs, one 
story high, " datibed " with clay. A common form was eight- 
een feet square, with seven feet stud, .stone fire-places, with 
catted chimney, and a hip-roof covered with thatch. These 
structures generally gave way in a few years to large frame, covered with clo'boards and shingles, having fire- 
place and chimney of brick, which was laid in clay mortar, ex- 
cept the part above the roof, where lime was used. Of these 
houses, two styles prevailed ; one represented by the " Old 
Indian Hottse," the other, less elaborate, by the house now [in 
1888] standing on the Smead lot. This house is thirty feet 
square, two stories, with pitch roof, facing the street westerly. 
It is covered with cloveboards, apparently the original, with 
no signs of paint. It has four windows in front, and five at 
each end. The front door, a little sotith of the center, opens 
directly into the south front room, which is .sixteen by eight- 
een feet. On the north of this is the huge chimney, which 
rises through the ridge, and the north front room, twelve by 
thirteen feet. North of the chimney is a large, dark closet. 
East of it is the kitchen, eleven by twenty feet, south of 
which is the buttery. Stairs to cellar and chambers occtipy 
the southeast corner. The space over the kitchen is unfin- 
ished. The southwest chamber is fifteen by fifteen, the 
northwest twelve by thirteen. Each story is seven and a 


half feet stud. The frame is of hewn timber, generally nine 
by fourteen inches. The plates are nine by sixteen ; those at 
the ends in the upper story project twelve inches over the 
walls, supported by the side plates, and studs on the inner 
edge. The rafters are sawed, four by four inches, and sup- 
ported by purlins which are framed into heavy beam rafters 
at the middle and each end of the roof. The whole building 
is of pine. There was no lath and plaster ; the walls were 
made of matched boards. The ceiling was finished by plan- 
ing the joists and underside of the floor above; the floors 
were double or of matched boards. 

The "Old Indian House," built by John Sheldon about 
1696, stood at the north end of the training field, facing the 
south. Its frame was largely of oak. It was twenty-one by 
forty-two feet, two stories, with a steep pitch roof. In front, 
the second story projected about two feet, the ends of the 
cross beams being supported by cfrnamental oak brackets, 
two of which are preserved in Memorial Hall. A lean-to 
thirteen and a half feet wide, ran the whole length of the 
north side, its roof being a continuation of that on the main 

The ground floor was thus thirty-four and a half by forty- 
two feet. Near the centre rose the chimney, about ten feet 
square at the base, with fire-places on the sides and rear. 
South of it was the front entry, which, including the stair- 
way, was eight by twelve feet. The lower floor was laid un- 
der the sill, which, projecting beyond the wall, formed a ledge 
around the bottom of the rooms, a tempting seat for the chil- 
dren. Stepping over the sill into the front entry, doors on 
either hand opened into the front rooms ; stairs on the right 
led by two square landings, and two turns to the left, to a 
passage over the entry, from which at the right and left 
doors led to the chambers. In the rear of the chimney was 
a small, dark room, with stairs to the garret. Including the 
garret, there were five rooms in the main structure, each of 
them lighted by two windows with diamond panes set in 

The kitchen was in the central part of the lean-to, with 
windows in the rear; east of this was a bedroom, and west, 
the buttery and back entry. 

The fire-place was a deep cavern, the jambs and back at 


right angles to each other and the floor. Here, hanging on 
nails driven into a piece of wood built into the structure for 
the purpose, hung the branding-iron, the burning-iron, the 
pot-hook, the long-handled frying-pan, the iron peel or oven 
slice, the scooped fire-shovel with stout tongs standing by. 
In one end was the oven, its mouth flush with the back of 
the fire-place. In this nook, when the oven was not in use, 
stood a wooden bench, on which the children could sit and 
study the catechism and spelling book by firelight, or watch 
the stars through the square tower above their heads, the 
view interrupted only by the black, shiny lug-pole, and its 
great trammels ; or in the season, its burden of hams and 
flitches of pork or venison, hanging to be cured in the smoke. 
The mantletree was a huge beam of oak, protected from the 
blaze only by the current of cold air constantly ascending. 

The preparation of fuel was no light task, and "building a 
fire " was no misnomer. ,The foundation was a "back-log," 
two or three feet in diameter ; in front of this the " fore- 
stick," considerably smaller, both lying on the ashes ; on them 
lay the "top-stick," half as big as the back-log. All these 
were usually of green wood. In front of this pile was a stack 
of split wood, branches, chips and cobs, or, if cob-irons were 
present, the smaller wood was laid horizontally across these. 
The logs would last several days and be renewed when nec- 
essary, but the fire was not allowed to go out. Should this 
happen, the fire-pan was sent to a neighbor for coals, or the 
tin lantern with a candle for a light. In default of neigh, 
bors, the tinder-box, or flint-lock musket with a wad of tow, 
was used to evoke a spark. "Tending fire," meant renew- 
ing the lighter parts of the fuel ; for this purpose, there was, 
in prudent families, a generous pile of dry cord-wood in the 

With these appliances, considerable warmth was felt in 
the room; the larger part of the heat, however, was lost up 
the chimney. Fresh air rushed in at every crack and cranny 
to supply this great draft ; and although the windows were 
small, and the walls lined with brick, there was no lack of 
ventilation. In this condition of things, the high-backed set- 
tle in front of the blazing fire was a cozy seat. It was the 
place of honor for the heads of the family and distinguished 
guests. Sometimes the settle was placed permanently on one 


side of the fire-place, the seat hung on leather hinges, under 
which was the "pot-hole." where smaller pots, spiders, skillets 
and kettles were stored. 

The fire-places in the front rooms were of the same pat- 
tern, but smaller than that in the kitchen. Fires were seldom 
built there except at weddings, funerals, or on state occa- 
sions. The furniture, for the most part home-made, rude and 
unpainted, was scanty — a few stools, benches and splint-bot- 
tomed chairs ; a table or two, plain chests, rude low bedsteads, 
with home-made ticks, filled with straw or pine needles. 
The best room may have had a carved oak chest, brought 
from England, a tent or field bedstead, with green baize, or 
white dimity curtains, and generous feather bed. The stout 
tick for this, the snow-white sheets, the warm flannel blankets, 
and heavy woolen rugs, woven in checks of black red blue 
or white, were all the products of domestic wheel and loom. 
There were no carpets. The floors were sprinkled with fine 
white sand, which, on particular occasions, was bru.shed into 
fanciful patterns with a birch broom, or bundle of twigs. 
The style of painting floors called "marbling," hardly yet 
extinct, was a survival of this custom. 

The finishing of the "Indian House" was more elaborate 
than that of the Smead house ; but there was no lath and 
plaster, the ceiling being the same. The partitions and walls 
were of panel-work, with mouldings about the doors and win- 
dows. These mouldings were all cut by hand from solid 
wood. In some cases the oak summertree was smoothed and 
left bare, with a capital cut on the supporting posts ; general- 
ly, hereabouts, it was covered with plain boards, it may be, 
in the best room, with panels. No finer lumber is found 
than that with which these old houses were finished. 

Their massive frames, each stout tenon fitted to its shapely 
mortise by the try rule, whose foundations were laid by our 
sires so long ago that the unsubdued savage still roamed in 
the forest where its timbers were hewn, stand as firmly as 
when the master builder dismissed the tired neighbors, who 
had heaved up the huge beams and pinned the last rafter to 
its mate (for there were no ridge-poles) at the raising. 

The ample kitchen was the centre of family life, social and 
industrial. Here around the rough table, seated on rude 
stools or benches, all partook of the plain and sometimes 


stinted fare. A glance at the family gathered here after 
nightfall of a winter's day, may prove of interest. After a 
supper of bean porridge, or hasty-pudding and milk, which 
all partake in common from a great pewter basin, or wooden 
bowl, with spoons of wood, horn or pewter ; after a reverent 
reading of the Bible, and fervent supplication to the Most 
High, for care and guidance ; after the watch was set on the 
tall mount, and the vigilant sentinel began pacing his lonely 
beat, the .shutters were closed and barred, and with a sense 
of security, the occupations of the long winter evening be- 
gan. Here was a picture of industry, enjoined alike by the 
law of the land and the stern necessities of the settlers. All 
were busy. Idleness was a crime. On the settle, or a low 
arm chair, in the sheltered nook, sat the revered gran- 
dam — as a term of endearment called granny — in red woolen 
gown, and white linen cap, her gray hair and wrinkled face 
reflecting the bright firelight, the long stocking growing un- 
der her busy needles, while she watched the youngling of 
the flock, in the cradle by her side. The goodwife, in linsey 
woolsey short-gown and red petticoat, steps lightly back and 
forth in calf pumps, beside the great wheel, or poising grace- 
fully on the right foot, the left hand extended with the roll 
or bat, while with a wheel-finger in the other she gives the 
wheel a few swift turns for a final twist to the long-drawn 
thread of wool or tow. The continuous buzz of the flax 
wheels, harmonizing with the .spasmodic hum of the big 
wheel, shows that the girls are preparing a stock of linen 
against their wedding day. Less active, and more fitful, rat- 
tles the quill wheel, where the younger children are filling 
quills for the morrow's weaving. 

Craftsmen are .still scarce, and the yeoman must depend 
largely on his own skill and resources. The grandsire, and 
the goodman, his son, in blue woolen frocks, buckskin breech- 
es, long stockings, and clouted brogans with pewter buckles, 
and the older boys, in shirts of brown tow, waistcoat and 
breeches of butternut-colored woolen homespun, surrounded 
by piles of white hickory shavings, are whittling out with 
keen Barlow jack-knives, implements for home use : — ox-bows 
and bow-pins, ax-helves, rakestales, forkstales, handles for 
spades and billhooks, wooden shovels, flail staff and swingle, 
swingling knives, or pokes and hog yokes for unruly cattle 


and swine. The more ingenious, perhaps, are fashioning 
buckets, or powdering tubs, or weaving skepes, baskets, or 
snow shoes. Some, it may be, sit astride the wooden shovel, 
shelling corn on its iron-shod edge, while others are pound- 
ing it into samp or hominy in the great wooden mortar. 

There are no lamps or candles, but the red light from the 
burning pine knots on the hearth glows over all, repeating, 
in fantastic pantomime on the brown walls and closed shut- 
ters the varied activities around it. These are occasionally 
brought into a higher relief by the white flashes, as the boys 
throw handfuls of hickory shavings on to the fore-stick, or 
punch the back-log with the long iron-peel, while wishing 
they had "as many shillings as sparks go up chimney." 
Then, the smoke-stained joists and boards of the ceiling, with 
the twisted rings of pumpkin, strings of crimson peppers, 
and festoons of apple, drying on poles hung beneath ; the 
men's hats, the crook-necked squashes, the skeins of thread 
and yarn hanging in bunches on the wainscot ; the sheen of 
the pewter plates and basins, standing in rows on the shelves 
of the dresser ; the trusty firelock, with powder horn, bando- 
lier and bullet pouch, hanging on the summertree, and the 
bright brass warming pan behind the bedroom door — all 
stand revealed more clearly for an instant, showing the prov- 
ident care for the comfort and safety of the household. Dim- 
ly seen in the corners of the room are baskets, in which are 
packed hands of flax from the barn, where, under the flax- 
brake, the swingling knife and coarse hackle, the shives, and 
swingling tow have been removed by the men ; to-morrow 
the more deft manipulations of the women will prepare these 
bunches of fibre for the little wheel, and granny will card 
the tow into bats, to be spun into tow yarn on the big wheel. 
All quaff the sparkling cider, or foaming beer, from the 
briskly circulating pewter mug, which the last out of bed in 
the morning must replenish from the barrel in the cellar. 
But over all a grave earnestness prevails ; there is little 
laughter or mirth, and no song, to cheer the tired workers. 
If stories are told, they are of Indian horrors, of ghosts, or of 
the fearful pranks of witches and wizards. 

This was the age of superstitution. Women were hung 
for witches in Old England and New, and witchcraft be- 
lieved in everywhere. Every untoward event was imput- 


ed to supernatural causes. Did the butter or soap delay its 
coming, the churn and kettle were bewitched. Did the 
chimney refuse to draw, witches were blowing down the 
smoke. Did the loaded cart get .stuck in the mud, invisible 
hands were holding it fast. Did the cow's milk grow scant, 
the imps had been sucking her. Did the sick child give an 
unusual cry, search was made for the witches" pins by which 
it was tormented. Were its sufferings relieved by death, 
glances were cast around to discover the malignant eye that 
doomed it. Tales of events like these, so fascinating and so 
fearful, .sent the adults as well as children to bed with blood 
chilled, every sense alert with fear, ready to see a in 
every slip of nioonshine, and trace to malign origin every 
.sound breaking the, — the rattle of a shutter, the 
creaking of a door, the moan of the winds or the cries of the 
birds and bea.sts of the night. For more than a century lat- 
er, the belief in witchcraft kept a strong hold on the popular 
mind, and have had a marked influence on the charac- 
ter of the people. 

For two or three evenings previous to Feb. 29th, 1704, a 
new topic of supernatural interest had been added to the 
usual stock. Ominous sounds had been heard in the night, 
and, says Rev. Solomon Stoddard, " the people were .strange- 
ly amazed by a trampling noise round the fort, as if it were 
beset by Indians." The older men recalled similar omens 
before the outbreak of Philip's War, when from the clear 
sky came the sound of trampling horses, the roar of artillery, 
the rattle of .small arms, and the beating of drums to the 
charge. [See Sewell's Journal Vol. i , for heard in the 
air about 1672.] As these tales of fear, coupled with their 
own warning, were in everybody's mouth, what wonder if the 
hearts of the thoughtful .sank within them ; that they cowered 
with undefinable dread, as under the shadow of impending 
diaster ; and asked each other with fear and trembling the 
meaning of this new and dire portent. They had not long to 
wait the answer. 


QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — ^1702 — 1713. 

The peace of Ryswick was of short duration. The harassed 
settlers of Deerfield had small chance to recover from their 
low condition, before the quarrels of European princes to es- 
tablish a balance of power, brought fire and sword all along 
the frontiers of New England. Charles II. of Spain died 
Nov. I, 1700, making over the throne by will to Philip of An- 
jou, a French Bourbon heir. The possession was resisted by 
Archduke Charles of Austria, in behalf of the House of Haps- 
burg, and the war of the Spanish Succession broke out. 

Sept. 16, 1 701, exiled James II. of England, died in 
France, where his son, the " Pretender," was at once pro- 
claimed King of England, by the French monarch, Louis 
XIV. William III. of England, resenting this insult and 
threat, formed a strong alliance with Austria and other pow- 
ers against France, but he died soon after, March 8, 1702. 
His successor, Queen Anne, declared war against France 
May 4, 1702, and for more than ten years Europe was con- 
vulsed to its center in a conflict to establish a balance of civil 
and ecclesiastical power. The scent of blood crossed the sea, 
and the English colonies soon felt the fury of Romish zeal 
and savage ferocity. 

Joseph Dudley, with a cominission from Queen Anne as 
Governor of Massachusetts, landed at Boston June 11, 1702, 
bringing news of the impending war. The same news had 
reached Canada at an earlier date, for only two weeks later, 
the inhabitants of Deerfield became aware of preparations 
for hostilities among the Indians, as appears b}' the follow- 
ing record : — 

Att a legall Town meeting in Deerfield, June 26, 1702: Ens. Jno. 
Sheldon, moderator: 

That y'' Town fort shall forthwith be Righted vp Voted afifirma- 
tively That every man shall for y'' present Right vp his proportion 
of y' fort y* was last laid out to him Voted afifirmatively. 

284 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1/02 — 1713. 

That all y fort shall be Righted vp by Wednesday next at night 
vpon penalty of 3 shillings p'' Rod for every Rod y" defective and 
after y' one shilling per Rod per day so long as s'' fortification shall 
lie unrepaired: Voted afirm: That y'^^ comisioned officers shall be y*^ 
men y' shall Inspect and pass y" fort in General: Voted afirm 

That a pitition be sent to y^' Gouerner for help and Relief in our 
present distress occasion by a prospect of war: The Town left y*^ 
wording of s'' petition with Capt Jonath Wells and Mr Jno Richards 
together with y^ selectmen: Voted afirmatively: 

The action of the Council on tlie petition sent under thivS 
vote shows that the evident alarm here was not considered 
groundless : — 

In the Council July 2d 1702. 

Upon a representation made by the inhabitants of Deerfield in the 
County of Hampshire, the most westerly frontier of the Province, 
that a considerable part of the T,ine of Fortification about their Plan- 
tation is decayed and fal" down, praying for some assistance in re- 
building and setting up the same, for that they are apprehensive of 
some evil designs forming by the Indians, an unwontecl intercourse of 
Indians from other Plantations being observed. 

Advised, That his Excellency do write to John Pynchon Esq Coll. 
of the Regiment of militia in that County, directing him forthwith to 
send his Lieut. Coll to Deerfield aforesaid to view the Palisado about 
that Town, and to stay there some short time, to put the Inhabitants 
upon the present repair of the said fortifications in all places where 
it is defective, and to cover them with a scout of ten men by turns 
out of the next towns whilst they are about the said work, and to as- 
sure them of an necessary support and to take the like order as to 
Brookfield saving the scout. The scout not to be paid. [Six soldiers 
were paid ^^65 for this service.] 

On the peace of 1697, some of the settlers had left Meeting- 
house Hill and located "some a mile and some two miles" 
away ; now they were gathering again within the palisades. 

Att a legal! Town meeting in Deerfield Sept ri: 1702: Ens Jno 
Sheldon moderator The Town y" agreed and voted y' y"" Comon 
field shall be opened on Wednesday in y morning being y"^^ 30th day 
of y® instant September 1702 There was also at y'' same meeting a 
little piece of land Granted to Sergint Jno. Hawks to builde on in y*" 
fort for his lifetime: which land is to be in y*" middle hieway leading 
into y"" meadow and on y*^ South East corner of Mr. Jno Williams 
his home lot adjoyning therevnto as it shall be laid to him by a 

The Comitty Chosen for s*^ work were Capt Jonathan Wells Liett 
Dauid Hoyt and Sergeant Benony Stebins: 

Town meetings for public business were often held at this 
period, and always under the lead of military officers. 

" Dec'"^' 24: 1702 : Ens Jno Shelden moderator The Town y" 


agreed and voted y' all timber or firewood y' shall be only 
fal" and not cut vp shall be forfeted at any time after it hath 
lain fal" 3 months " — a provision, it seems, for getting a win- 
ter's stock of fuel with the least exposure to an enemy. There 
is no account of any hostilities about here at this time, but 
" John Santimore and Peter Boyloe, two Frenchmen, prison- 
ers" of whom I learn nothing — they may have been spies — 
were taken from Deerfield to Boston by Stephen Belden and 
Samuel Allen, for which service they were paid by the Coun- 
cil, Jan. 17, 1702-3, £6, los. 

In May, 1703, Lord Cornbury, Governor of New York, sent 
word to Gov. Dudley, that, through his Mohawk spies he had 
learned that an expedition against Deerfield was fitting out 
in Canada. Similar information was sent here by Maj. Peter 
Schuyler not long after, and twenty soldiers, enlisted in the 
towns below, were stationed here as a garrison. 

M. de Callieres, Governor of Canada, had already secured 
the neutrality of the Iroquois, and Dudle3^ in the same line 
of policy, met the sagamores of the Eastern Indians at Casco, 
June 30th, 1703. Here the old treat}' was solemnly renewed. 
Both parties " added a great number of stones " to the piles 
called the "twin brothers," erected at a former treaty; vol- 
lej's were fired by each, and the Indians sang and danced for 
joy. They declared "that as high as the sun was above the 
earth so far distant shall their design be of making the least 
breach between each other." The savages were doubtless 
honest in these expressions, but they had placed their destiny 
beyond their own control, and in six weeks were all in arms 
against the English. Before the arrival of Dudley the saga- 
mores had sent to Canada for help to revenge on the English 
some fancied or real wrong. M. de Callieres died about that 
time and M. de Vaudreuil, Governor of Montreal, succeeded 
him. Vaudreuil eagerly responded to this appeal of the 
Abenakis, and sent Lieut. Beaubassin, with five hundred In- 
dians and some French, to their aid. On his arrival Beau- 
bassin was told of the new treaty of peace and of the satis- 
faction for their complaints, but he declared it was too late ; 
they had been sent for, and came, to fight the English, and 
if the Abenakis refused to join them, themselves should be 
the first object of attack. This rupture "was not effected 
without protracted discussion," says French authority, but 

286 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

the savages at length succumbed to Beaubassin's threats. 
The army was divided, and at 9 o'clock a. m. of Aug. loth, 
1703, by concerted action, every English town on the coast 
was .surprised. 

The sending of this force to Maine was one of the earliest 
of Governor Vaudreuil's official acts, and to his ambition 
must be attributed the horrors of the Indian war that fol- 
lowed. He gleefully writes to France that Beaubassin "laid 
waste more than fifteen leagues of territory and took or killed 
more than 300 prisoners." 

His conduct was not approved at home. Ponchartrain, the 
Minister of War, condemns this expedition. He says : " M. de 
Vaudreuil was wishing for it, in M. de Callieres' time, who 
would never consent to it, no more than I. I have a perfect 
knowledge that the English want only peace, aware that war 
is contrary to the interests of all the colonies. The French 
have always commenced hostilities in Canada." Fears were 
entertained in France that the English would in turn incite 
the Iroquois to attack Canada. * 

Vaudreuil had written the War Minister that he " consid- 
ered it highly necessary to embroil the Indians of these parts 
and the English, otherwise the Abenakis. who are wavering, 
might * * * eventually be opposed to us," and that "the 
serious attack we have obliged them to make " was part of 
his plan. Again he speaks of " the absolute necessity we 
were under to embroil them with the English ^^' * '^ The 
English and the Indians must be kept irreconcilable enemies 
* * * The Jesuits were watching the Indians '^' * * 
Father Rasle wrote that the Abenakis would take up the 
hatchet when I pleased." 

The Iroquois, not understanding the cause of the outbreak, 
offered, says Vaudreuil, " to act as mediators between the 
English and us." This did not meet the views of the gov- 
ernor, and this Christian office of the savages was declined 
by the American representative of " His Most Christian Maj- 
esty " of France. 

After the return of Beaubassin six Indians were killed at 
Pigwacket by a party of English under Col. March. 

The disapproval of the home government did not reach 
Vaudreuil in season to prevent his fitting out another expedi- 
tion — this time against our devoted town, "^e shall see how 


closely this was connected with the events on the Maine 
coast, which have been noticed. 

The condition of affairs here at this time is vividly pictured 
in the letter of our minister given below. No one was for a 
moment safe outside the palisades; but there was less risk, 
it was thought, in being out after dark than in the daytime, 
when every movement could be observed from the adjoining 
hills. It was found, however, that danger lurked under 
the shades of night, as well as in the glare of sunshine. The 
common field had been opened Oct. ist ; on the 8th two young 
men, probably after their milch cows feeding there, were sur- 
prised, captured and taken to Canada by Indians. The fol- 
lowing account of the affair is found on a scrap of paper, in 
the handwriting of Stephen Williams : — 

Zebediah Williams & John Niras went into y meadow in y^ even- 
ing to look after creatures, & wer ambushed by Indians in y^ ditch 
beyond Frary's bridge, who fir'' at y"', but miss'' y'", and took W. 
quick, & N ran to y pond, & then return'' to y'" (fearing to be shot,) 
y'' Indians [then?] woun'' cattle and went off. Y^' men were carried 
to Canada, where W. dyd, & N ran away in y year 1705, w"' Joseph 
petty, Thos Baker and Martin Kellogue. My father escaped nar- 
rowly y n' before at Broughtons hill. 

The alarm caused by news of hostilities in Maine was now 
increased ten fold. Military affairs in Connecticut were put 
into the hands of a Council of War, with authority to defend 
Hampshire county as well as their own borders. By the fol- 
lowing would appear that a garrison of sixteen men, 
probably from Connecticut, was continued here through the 
season : 

An account of Billets of Sixteen Soldiers at the Garrison in Deer- 
field, from the 21st of October, 1703, to the sixth of December fol- 
lowing, amounted to ^6-3-5, having been examined by your Com- 
missary General, was presented; 

And it was paid to the order of Capt. Jona. Wells. The 
pay of Massachusetts garrison soldiers was five shillings per 
week, as established by order in Council, May 29th, 1703. 

It had become a question whether our fortifications were 
strong enough to resist an attack, and a town meeting was 
called for Oct. 15th, 1703. 

The Town at s'' meeting Considering there nesasaty of fortifing 
agreed & voted y' a comitty should be chosen to ioyn with Colonell 
patrigg to consult agree & determin wheither to fortifi or no and if 

288 QUEEN anne's war — 1702 — 171 3. 

y-' agree to fortifie then in what manar place or places The comitty 
to s^ work were: Capt Wells: lieut Hoyt: Ens Jno Sheldon: and 
Daniel Belden : 

One result of the consultation ordered above appears in the 
following petition :— 

To his Excellency, Joseph Dudley, Esq. Capt Gen' & Gov'' over 
this Prouince of the Massachusets Bay & to y*" Counsell & Repre- 
sentatives in Gen Corte assembled this 27 Oct. 1703. 

The Town of Deerfield who lye much exposed to y*-' present enemy, 
w''' obstructe them much in their occations, their Lives hanging in 
doubt everywhere w" they goe out. Also they are now forced to re- 
build their fortifications at much disadvantage to them, & it being 
320 rod or upwards, will fall very heavy to do it all upon their own 
charge, were verry earnest with me w" lately there, to plead with 
this Corte for some allowance towards the doing of it out of their 
publique Rates now to be collected there; as also, that they might 
be Quitted of Rates to y publique for y^' tyme being of this present 
warr, w'' is so destressing upon them. 


By the .statement of Col. Partridge it is seen that 320 rods 
of palisading was required. Mr. Williams says 206 is re- 
quired. In 1693 "the whole compass of the fort was 202 
rods." Perhaps the present plan was to enclose with stock- 
ades the houses of Capt. Wells and Lietit. Hoyt, as places of 
refuge in sudden alarms — they were both well situated for 
that purpose, south and north of the main fort — and not un- 
likely to add flankers to the latter. There is no evidence of 
any works at Hoyt's, but when the shock came, the stockad- 
ing of Wells's house proved the salvation of many. 

The following modest, ingenuous and pathetic letter, gives 
a vivid picture of our settlement at this time. It was ad- 
dressed : — 

For his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq her Majesties Govenor for 
the Prounce of Massachusetts Bay in N. E &c at his dwelling house 
In Roxb: 
Deerf. October 21, 1703. 

May it please your Excellency: 
As i am bound in duty i would thankfully acknowledge your care and 
concernment for our safety in the seasonable provision to get the 
fortification made up, (S: in the care to have a supply of souldiers 
with us, so i am emboldened to lay before your Excellency our dis- 
tress'' state & condition, knowing your forwardness to commiserate 
& incourage frontiers, that you may stir up your Councele & the As- 
sembly to an encouraging of them, i would be far from showing any 
discontented complaint; an evil too common & frequent, to the dis- 
honour of God, the scandal of religion, & the great exercise of them 


that are in place of power: yet I would lay open our case before your 
Excellency as it is; we have been driven from our houses & home 
lots into the fort, (there are but lo house lots in the fort). Some a 
mile some 2 miles, whereby we have suffered much loss, we have in 
the alarms several times been wholly taken off from any business, 
the whole town kept in, our children of 12 or 13 years and under we 
have been afraid to improve in the field for fear of the enemy, (our 
town plat «Sc meadows all lay exposed to the view of an enemy if they 
come at any time on the mountains), we have been crowded togath- 
er into houses to the preventing of indoor affairs being carryed on to 
any advantage, «&: must be constrained to expend at least 50^ to 
make any comfortable provision of housing if we stay togather in 
cold weather: so that our losses are far more than would have paid 
our taxes; the people have been very ready (J^c forward to pay their 
taxes, (S: know sensibly that the present curcumstances of the coun- 
try call for & require great taxes, & would not in the least grumble, 
but i lay it before your Execellency, to move your Compassions of us: 
Strangers tell us they would not live where we do for twenty times 
as much as we do, the enemy having such an advantage of the river 
to come down upon us, several say they w-ould freely leave all they 
have & go aw-ay were it not that it would be disobedience to author- 
ity & a discouraging their bretheren : The fronteir difificulties of a 
place so remote from others & so exposed as ours, are more than be 
known, if not felt, i am very sensible that if they have no ease as 
to their rates under these circumstances, the people must suffer very 
much ; when the Country abated them their rates formerly, i was yet 
moved from certain knowledge of their poverty & distress, to abate 
them of my salary for several years togather, tho they never askt it 
of me; <S: now their children must either suffer for want of clothing, 
or the Country consider them, or i abate them what they are to pay 
me: i never found the people unwilling to do when they had the 
ability, yea they have often done above their ability; i would request 
ycnir Execellency so far to commiserate, as to do what may be en- 
couraging to persons to venture their all in the fronteirs, their charge 
will necessarily be trebled, if this place be deserted: i would humbly 
beg they may be considered in having something allowed them in 
making the fortification : we have mended it, it is in vain to mend & 
must make it all new, & fetch timber for 206 rod, 3 or 4 miles if we 
get oak: The sorrowful parents, & distres'' widow of the poor cap- 
tives taken from us, request your Excellency to endeavour that there 
may be an exchange of prisoners to their release; i know i need not 
use arguments to move your Exc^'^ pitty & compassion of them & 
endeavours to have them returned; the blessings of them y' are ready 
to perish will surely come upon you, in endeavours of this kind: i 
pray God direct & every way assist & encourage your Excellency in 
the great work before you, in a day of so great exercise & trial as 
this is: my duty to yourself and Good Lady, with due respects to 
your Honorable family, requesting forgiveness for any failure in my 
writing as exercising your patience, begging prayers for me & mine, 
i rest your Excellency humble sevant, John \ 

[P. S. on the back.'] 

The people of the town earnestly requested me to draw something 

290 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713.- 

to present to your Excellency is: the assembly in their behalf & desire 
this may be presented in their name both to yourself, Council & 
Representatives. . 

Your Excelancys humble servant. 

[Mass. Archives, 113-350.] 

This letter and the following from the Northampton min- 
ister, doubtless accompanied the petition of Partridge, and 
both were written for the same end. There seems to be a 
ofood deal of force in Stoddard's recommendation to train 
dogs to track the enemy, particularly in the suggestion that 
the men, being relieved from the danger of ambush, could 
follow the savages so much more effectively. A practical 
objection, however, may have existed in the difficulty of 
teaching the dogs to distinguish between the enemy, and 
the friendly Indians employed as .scouts. letters are given entire, not only as presenting pic- 
tures of the sad condition of our town, but because they con- 
tain much of value from other points of view. 

Rev. Solomon Stoddard to Gov. Dudley : — 

Excellent S"" 

The Town of Deerfield has suffered much formerly from the In- 
dians: of late two of their young men are car. into Captivity: this 
makes great impression on the Spirits of the people & they are much 
discouraged. This puts it upon me to make two proposals to your 
Excellency — 

The first is that they may be put in a way to Hunt the Inds. with 
dogs — Other methods that have been taken are found by experience 
to bechargable, hazzardous and insufficient: But if dogs were trained 
up to hunt Inds as th do Bears; we sh. quickly be senseble of a great 
advantage thereby. 'I'he dogs would be an extream terrour to the 
Inds; they not much afraid of us, they know they can take us — iS: 
leave us, if they can but get out of gun-shot, th count themselves in 
no great danger, however so many pursue them they are neither 
afraid of being discovered or pursued; But these dogs would be such 
a terrour to them, that after a little experience it w*^ prevent their 
comming & men would live more safely in their houses & work more 
safely in the fields and woods: In case the Inds sh. come near the 
Towne the dogs w' readely take their track &: lead us to them: 
Sometimes we see the track of one or two Inds but cant follow it; 
the dogs would discover it and lead our men directly to their ene- 
mies; for want of w'' help w'e many times take a good deal of pains 
to little purpose — Besides if we had dogs fitted for that purpose our 
men might follow Inds w'' more safety, there would be [no?] hazzard 
of their being shot at out of the bushes, they would follow their dogs 
with an undaunted spirit, not fearing a surprise; & indeed the pres- 
ence of dogs would very much facilitate their victory : the dogs would 


do a great deal of execution upon the enemy, & catch many an Ind 
that W' be too light of foot for us. 

If it should be thot by any that this way is impractible & that dogs 
would not [deavor?] to do what we expect from them, these two 
things may satisfy them, one is that in a time of war with Inds in 
Virginia, they did in this way prevail over them, though all attempts 
before they betook themselves to this method proved in vain; the 
other is that our Hunters give an account the dogs that are used to 
hunt Bears, mind no other track but the track of a Bear; from 
whence we may conclude, that if dogs were used to persue Indians 
they would mind nothing else. 

If the Indians were as other people are, and did manage their warr 
fairly after the maner of other nations, it might be looked upon as 
inhuman to persue them in such a maner. But they are to be looked 
upon as theives and murderers, & they doe acts of hostility, without 
proclaiming war, they dont appear openly in the field to bid us bat- 
tle, they use those cruelly that fall into their hands, they act like 
wolves, & are to be dealt withall as wolves. 

There must be some charge m prosecuting this design, something 
must be expended for purchasing suitable dogs, & their maintenance, 
the men who spend their time in this service must be paid, but this 
will not rise in any proportion to the charge of maintaining a suitable 
number of garrison soldiers — I have taken advice with several of the 
principal persons among us & they looke upon this way as the most 
[favorable?] expedient in this case. 

The other proposal is that the town of Deerfield may be freed from 
Country Rates during the time of the war; their circumstances doe 
call for commiseration: sometimes they are allarmed & called off 
from their businesse, sometimes they dare not goe into the fields & 
when they doe goe, they are fain to wait till they have a gard ; they 
cant make improvement of their outlands, as other Towns doe, their 
houses are so crowded, sometimes with souldiers, that men and wom- 
en can doe little businesse within doors, (^ their spirits are so taken 
up about their Dangers, that they haye little heart to undertake what 
is needful for advancing their estates: it seems to be a thing accepta- 
ble to God, that they should be considered & freed from Rates; Your 
Excellency will not take it amiss that I take my accustomed freedom 
& am so officious as to tender my advice before it is asked. 

The Good Lord guide y'' Ex'cy & the Genrl Assembly; to do that 
w*' shall be servicable to this afflicted Country w'' is the hearty prayer 
of your humble servant. Solo: Stoddard 

Northampton Oct 2 2d 1703. 

Since I wrote: the father of the two Captives [Godfrey Nims] be- 
longing to Deerfield, has importunately desired me to write to y"" 
Ex'cy that you w' endeavour the Redemption of his children — I re- 
quest that if you have any opportunity, you w'' not be backward to 
such a work of mercy. 

The A.s.sembly record for Nov. 26th. 1703, contain.s the fol- 
lowing : — 

Considering the extraordinary impoverishing circumstances the 

292 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

Town of Deerfield is under by Reason of the present War, Resolved, 
that the sum of Twenty Pounds be allowed and paid out of the pub- 
lick Treasury towards the support of the ministry in the said Town of 
Deerfield for the y' cur'. 

The weeks dragged slowly on. The green robes of sum- 
mer had been changed to garments of scarlet and gold, 
among which the painted and plumed warrior could lurk un- 
seen ; but the town was unmolested. The blasts of autumn 
had laid this gaudy screen, seared and dry, upon the groiind, 
forming a russet carpet, which not even the soft moccasined 
foot of the Indian could traverse undiscovered. The snow 
of winter piled unusually deep, and the wooded wilderness, 
stretching two hundred miles between the settlement and 
Canada, seemed a safe barrier ; and with each changing sea- 
son the feeling of security grew stronger. The settlers 
breathed more freely and gradually resumed their wonted 
ways of life, believing that the warnings of invasion were 
fotmded on unreliable reports. 

Among the interesting events of the winter were the suc- 
cessful attempts of two Deerfield maidens to secure " French 
and Indian captives." The affairs were settled by treaties of 
alliance, which were ratified by Pastor Williams. The vic- 
torious contracting parties were Abigail vStebbins with James 
Denieur — one oif three Frenchmen from Canada living here 
— and Elizabeth Price, with " Andrew Stephens y'' Indian," 
of whom nothing more is known, save that he was killed in 
the assault of Feb. 29th. 

Another notable marriage was that of John, son of Ensign 
Sheldon, to Hannah Chapin. Their wedding journey was a 
winter's horseback trip from Springfield to the since historic 
" Old Indian House," the bride on a pillion behind the groom. 
What but the great love which binds a woman's heart to her 
husband could have induced her to leave her secure home 
in Springfield, to brave with him the dangers of this doomed 
frontier? Of the six persons married as above, five were, 
within a few weeks, swallowed up by death or captivity. 

The guard of twenty men, allowed by the Council in May, 
1703, were now here quartered among the inhabitants, two 
of them in the house of the minister. The winter wore away, 
even to the last day, and no enemy had been seen ; the only 
alarm being the supernatural one, already noted. Mr. Wil- 


liams, the pastor, did not share in the general feeling of se- 
curity, and did not attempt to conceal his anxiety. He urged 
caution and vigilance, and above all, counseled the people to 
repentance of sin, and to walking in the ways of the right- 
eous, that the wrath of God might be averted. He says : — 

I set apart a day of prayer, to ask of God, either to spare, and 
save us from the hands of our enemies, or prepare us to sanctify and 
honor him in what way soever he should come forth towards us * * * 
The places of -Scripture from whence we were entertained were Gen. 
xxxii. lo. I I. / am not worthv of the least of all the mercies, and of all 
the truth ichich thou hast shewed unto thy seriuints. Deliver me, I pray 
thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: For I fear 
him, lest he will come atid smite me, and the mother with the children, 
(in the forenoon.) And Gen. xxxii. 26, And he said, let me i:;o,for the 
day hreaketh: And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me (in 
the afternoon.) P>om which we were called upon to spread the 
causes of fear, relating to ourselves, or families, before God ; as also, 
how it becomes us, with an undeniable importunity, to be following 
God, with earnest prayers for his blessing, in every condition. And 
it is very observable, how God ordered our prayers, in a peculiar 
manner, to be going up to him: to prepare us, with a right Christian 
spirit, to undergo, and endure suffering trials. 

His people had need of all the Christian faith and forti- 
tude with which this devout man could inspire them, for the 
day of trial was come. 

The tale of the assault on Deerfield, Feb. 29th, 1703-4, shall 
be told in the words of those who gave or felt the stroke, or 
were contemporary witnesses. No attention will be paid to 
any modern versions conflicting with these. The specula- 
tions are my own. 


Governor de Vaudreuil writes to the war minister at Paris, 
Nov. izith, 1703, that he should send a strong party against the 
English in the spring, "were it only to break up the meas- 
ures the English might be adopting to induce the Abenaquis 
to conclude peace." And again, one year later, Nov. 17th, 

We had the honor to report to you last year, my Lord, the reasons 
which had obliged us to embroil the English with the Abenakis, and 
the heavy blow which, with that view, we caused Sieur de Beaubassin 
to strike. Shortly after he had retired, the English having killed 
some of these Indians, thev sent us word of it, and at the same time 
demanded assistance. ■ This obliged us, my lord, to send thither 
Sieur de Rouville, an officer of the line, with nearly two hundred 

294 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

men, who attacked a fort, in which, according to the report of all 
the prisoners, there were more than one hundred men under arms; 
they took more than one hundred and fifty prisoners, including men 
and women, and retreated, having lost only three men and some 
twenty wounded. 

That the true motive of the expedition against Deerfield 
has been thus given, is shown by another letter from Vau- 
dreuil to the Minister, Nov. i6th, 1704, in whieh he speaks of 
" the success of a party I sent this winter on the ice as far as 
the Bo.ston government at the request of the Abenakis." 
Charlevoix, in his history of New France, tells the story of 
an attack by the English on the Abenakis, whose 

chiefts called on M. Vaudreuil for aid, and he sent out during the 
winter 250 men commanded by the Sieur Hertel de Rouville * * * 
who, in his turn, surprised the English, killed a large number of them, 
and took 150 prisoners. He himself lost only three Frenchmen, and 
some savages. 

In the letter of November i6tli, quoted above, Vaudreuil 
commends de Rouville, and asks his promotion, complacently 
adding, "Sieur de Rouvilles party, My Lord, has accom- 
plished everything that was expected of it ; for independent 
of the capture of a fort, it showed the Abenakiss that they 
could truly rely on our promi-ses ; and this is what they told 
me at Montreal on the 13th of June, when they came to 
thank me." 

Thus this representative of a Christian nation, sent an army 
through the wilderness, not to fight an English force, but to 
surprise and butcher the settlers of an English plantation 
three hundred miles away, mereh' to keep on good terms 
with a savage tribe, and gratify his own ambition. It was 
an act of hardly less than cold-blooded murder. De Rou- 
ville's command was made up of two hundred French, and 
one hundred and forty Indians, part French Mohawks, or 
" Macquas " of Caghnawaga — probably in civilized dress — and 
part Eastern Indians in native costume. The oft-told tale 
that the Indians for the love of their favorite valley, came 
back to punish the svhite intruders, is pure romance ; for not 
a Pocumtuck or the son of a Pocumtuck appears on the scene. 
On the contrary, the Macquas were the hereditary enemies 
of the Pocumtucks. 

The invaders were provided with moccasins and snow 
shoes, and brought an extra supply for the use of captives 

FEBRUARY 29TH, 1 703-4. 295 

Provisions were brought along on sleds, some of which were 
drawn by dogs, and each man carried a pack upon his back. 
Their food becoming exhausted, the whole force was scanti- 
ly supported on game killed by the Indian hunters. When 
De Rouville reached this vicinity, the French were half 
starved, almost in a state of mutiny, and would doubtless 
have surrendered to the English at discretion had the attack 
on the town been unsuccessful. 

The route of the invaders was probably up the Sorel river 
and Lake Champlain, and by French river over the Green 
Alountains, and down the Connecticut river. On reachinof 
the mouth of West river, at the foot of Wantastiquat Moun- 
tain, the sleds and dogs were left with a small guard. The 
main body pushing rapidly on, reached Petty's Plain, Febru- 
ary 28th, at night. vSkirting the foot of West Mountain along 
the bluff overlooking North Meadows, a halt was made, prob- 
ably near or on the farm now occupied by Lucius B. Wise, a 
mile and a half northwest from the fort. Here, sheltered 
by a low ridge from possible observation from the town, their 
packs were deposited, the war paint put on, and other prep- 
arations made for the assault. Creeping down the hill, and 
crossing the Pocumtuck on the ice near Red Rocks, spies 
were sent towards the fort, and the advance regulated by 
their reports. The following, published in 1726, is from 
Penhallow, who gives as his authority Rev. Solomon Stod- 
dard, whose son John, — afterwards the famous Col. vStod- 
dard, — was one of the two soldiers in the house of Mr. Wil- 
liams that night. 


Towards morning, being February 29th, the enemy sent scouts to 
discover the posture of the town, who observing the watch walking 
in the street, returned and put them to a stand; after awhile they 
sent again and were advised that all was still and quiet; upon which 
two hours before day, they attacked the fort, and by advantage of 
some drifts of snow, got over the walls. The whole body was above 
two hundred and fifty, under the command of Monsieur Arteil, who 
found the people fast asleep, and easily secured them. The most 
considerable part of the town thus fell into their hands. They left 
no garrison unattacked, excepting that of Capt. Wells; but at Benoni 
Stebbins they met with some repulse and lost several. Sixty Eng- 
lish fell whereof many were stifled in a cellar, and a hundred were 
taken captive, who with melancholy countenance condoled each 
others misery, yet durst not e.xpress the anguish of their souls. That 

29G QUEEN ANNE'S WAR— I 702— I /I 3. 

day and night were spent in plundering, burning and destroying. 
The next morning they withdrew to the woods. 

The writer's mistake as to the time the enemy spent in 
town, whieh has been followed by other writers, is correeted 
in the next extract. 

REV. JOHN Williams's relation. 

On Tuesday, the 29th of February, 1703-4, not long before the 
break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us; our watch be- 
ing unfaithful, an evil, whose awful effects, in a surprisal of our fort, 
should bespeak all watchmen to avoid, as they would not bring 
charge of blood upon themselves. They came to my house in the 
beginning of the onset, and by their violent endeav(;rs to break open 
doors and windows, with axes and hatchets, awakened me out of 
sleep; on which 1 leapt out of bed, and running towards the door 
perceived the enemy making their entrance into the house; I called 
to awaken two soldiers in the chamber, and returned to my bedside 
for my arms; the enemy immediately brake into the room, I judge 
to the number of twenty, with painted faces and hideous exclama- 
tions. 1 reached up my hands to the bed-tester for my pistol, 
uttering a short petitio* to God for everlasting mercies for me and 
mine, * * * expecting a present passage through the valley of 
the shadow of death. Taking down my pistol, 1 cocked it, and put 
it to the breast of the first Indian that came up; but my pistol miss- 
ing fire, 1 was seized by 3 Indians who disarmed me, and bound me 
naked, as I was in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an 
hour; binding me, they told me they would carry me to Quebec. My 
pistol missing fire, was an occasion of my life being preserved. The 
judgment of God did not long slumber against one of the three 
which took me, who was a Captain; for by sun-rising he received a 
mortal shot from my next neighbor's house, [Benoni StebbinsJ who op- 
posed so great a number of French and Indians d^'i three hundred, and 
yet were no mcjre than seven men in an ungarrisoned house. * * * 
The enemy fell to rifling the, entering in great numbers into 
every room. * * * 'Phe enemies who entered the house were 
all of them Indians and Macquas; insulting over me awhile, holding 
up hatchets over my head, threatening to burn all I had; but yet 
God, beyond expectation, made us in a great measure to be pitied; 
for tho some were so cruel and barbarous as to take and carry to 
the door two of my children and murder them, as also a Negro wom- 
an ; yet they gave me liberty to put on my clothes, * * * g^ye 
liberty to my dear wife to dress herself and our children. About 
sun an hour high, we were all carried out of the house for a march, 
and saw many of the houses of my neighbors in flames, perceiving 
the whole fort, one house excepted, to be taken. * * * Upon 
my parting from the town, they fired my house and barn. We were 
carried over the river to the foot of the mountain, about a mile from 
my house, where we found a great number of our Christian neigh- 
bors, men, women and children, to the number of an hundred, nine- 
teen of whom were afterwards murdered by the way and two starved 


to death near Cowass, in a time of great scarcity or famine, the sav- 
ages underwent there. When we came to the foot of our mountain 
they took away our shoes, and gave us in the room of them Indian 
shoes to prepare us for our travel. * * * After this we went up 
the mountain, and saw the smoke of the fires in town, and beheld 
the awful desolations of Deerfieid. And before we marched any far- 
ther they killed a sucking child of the English. There were slain 
by the enemy, of the inhabitants of our town, to the number of thir- 
ty-eight, beside nine of the neighboring towns. 

Whilst we were there, the English beat out a company that re- 
mained in the town, and pursued them to the river, killing and 
wounding many of them; but the body of the army being alarmed, 
they repulsed those few English that pursued them. I am not able 
to give you an account of the number of the enemy slain, but I ob- 
served after this fight no great insulting mirth, as I expected; and 
saw many wounded persons, and for several days together they buried 
of their party, and one of chief note among the Macquas. The Gov- 
ernor of Canada told me, his army had that success with the loss of 
but eleven men, three Frenchmen, one of which was the lieutenant 
of the army, five Macquas and three Indians. 

At Quebec Mr. Williams learned through "the soldiers 
both French and Indian, that they lost above forty, and many 
others wounded, among whom was the Ensign of the French." 


The next paper, copied from the original in the Massachu- 
setts archives, is aLso by those who took part in the events of 
that day : — 

To his Excellency the Governor, together with the Hon'^ Council 
& Representatives, met in the Great & General Assembly at Boston, 
May 31, 1704:— 

The Humble Petition of Jonathan Wells & Ebenezer Wright, in 
behalfe of the Company who encountered the ffrench & Indians at 
Deerfieid, ffeb. 29, 1703, 

Showeth — ffirst. That we understanding the extremity of the poor 
people at Deerfieid, made all possible haste to their reliefe, that we 
might deliver the Remnant that was left & doe spoil on the enemy. 

2dly, That being joyned with a small number of the inhabitants 
and garrison souldiers, we forced the enemy out of town, leaving a 
great part of their plunder behinde them; & persuing them about a 
mile & an halfe did great execution upon them; we saw at the time 
many dead bodies, and we & others did afterwards see the manifest 
prints on the snow, where other dead bodies were drawn to a hole 
in the river. 

3dly, That the enemy being reinforced by a great number of fresh 
men, we were overpowered c\: necessitated to run to the fort, & in 
our flight nine of the company were slain, i^: some others wounded, & 
some of us lost our upper garments which we had put off before in 
the pursuit. 

298 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1/02 — 1713. 

4thly, That the action was over i\: the enemy withdrawn about 
fourscore Rods from the fort before any of our neighbors came into 
the fort. 

Wherefore we doe Humbly suphcate this Hon'' Assembly, that ac- 
cording to their wonted justice & bounty, they would consider the 
service we have done in preserving many lives & much estate & mak- 
ing a spoil on the enemy; the hazzard that we run, the losse we sus- 
teined, the afflicted condition of such as have lost near relations in 
this encounter & bestow upon us some proportionate recompense, 
that we & others may be incouraged on such occasions, to be forward 
and active to repell the enemy & rescue such as shall be in distress 
though with the utmost peril of our lives & Your Petitioners shall 
pray, &c. 

Jonathan Wells. 
Ehenezer Wrhjht. 
In the name of the rest. 

[Endorsed] In y"^' House of Representatives, Read ist time 
June 2, 1704. 

To the petition of Wells and Wright above, the two fol- 
lov^'ing lists of names were annexed. The only change made 
in eopying, is an alphabetical arrangement of the first list 
and adding the name of Richard Biling, evidently omitted 
by accident. The mark : o : apparently indicates those killed 
on the meadow, in the pursuit. 

A list of names of those that fought in the Dearfield Medow on 
the last of Febewarey, 1703-4: — 

John AUice [Allis] John graves 

Samuel Ellice [Allis] :o: David hoit :o: 

Thomas Aluard garison soulder Thomas Hove 

John Armes Jonathan ingriem :o: 

Samuell barnod John marsh 

Thomas barnod John matoone 

Serian [Sergeant Wm?] Beldin John mountecu 

[Richard Biling] John mun 

Robard Boltwhood :o: primus, Negro 

Serian Samuell Boltwhood garison Thomas Russell garison soulder 

soulder ;o: Ebenezer seldin 

Samuell Boltwhood : iur Joseph siverance 

James Bridgman John smeed 

Joseph catlin :o: John smith 

Joseph church Joseph smith 

Samuell church Beniamin Stebings 

Joseph Clesson garison soulder Preservid strong 

Nathanell colman Serian Benj. wait :o: 

Samuell crofoot John waite 

Eben'r Dickeson Daniell warner 

Nathaniell Dickeson Ebenezer warner 

Samuell Dickeson John warner 

Benjamin field garison soulder Nathaniell warner :o: 

Samuell field Samuell warner 

Zacrye field John wells 
Samuell Foot (left no wife or children) Capt Jonathan Wells 

:o: garison soulder Jonathan wells [Jr.] 

Samuell gillit Thomas wells 


Nathaniell white Joseph vvright 

Serian Ebenezer wright Samuell wright [58] 

June 8th, 1704, the General Assembly passed a resolve, — 

That the Summ of five Pounds be paid to each of the widows of 
those Slain mentioned in the List annexed, being four in number. 
[Sergt. Boltwood, Joseph Catlin, David Hoyt and Sergt. Waite.] 

And ahho but one Scalp of Indians slain bj^ them is Recovered, 
yet for their Encouragem', that the sum of Sixty Pounds be allowed 
and Paid to the Petitioners whose names are contained in the s'' list 
annexed as serving, as Scalp money, to be equally Divided amongst 
them. Together with all Plunder whereof they give account. 

The second list accompanying the petition was the follow- 
ing :— 

An Acount of what was lost by the souldeirs in that axshon at 
Dearfield: — 

John Allise, A coat, 

Samuel Allise, o, gun & stript, , 

Richard Biling, A coat, 

Robard Boltwhood, o, one iacket, 

Samuell boltwhood, a coat, 

James bridgmon, a coat & gloves, 

Joseph Catlin, o, gun & stipt, 

Joseph church, coat & iacket, 

Samuell crofoot, pr shoose, 

Nathaniell dickeson, one hat cS: pair gloves, 

Samuell dickeson, a coat, 

Samuel foot, o, gun & stript, 

Samuel gilit, pr shoose, 

John graves, a coat, wascote & belt, 

David hoite, o, gun & stript, 

Thomas Hove, a coat, 

Jonathan ingrem, o, coat iacket & gun, 

John Mounticu, coat & neckeclothes, 

Ebenezer Seldin, coat & gloves, 

John smith, one coat & jacket, 

Joseph smith, one coat & gloves, 

Beniamin waite, o, stript, 

Daniell warner, coat & jacket, 

Ebenezer warner, A coat, 

Nathaniell Warner, o, A coat, iacket, gun & hat, 

Nathaniell white, coat & hat, 

Ebenezer wright, one pr new shooes & spurs 

Sum total, [Sic] 
More thirty four s, 













































The slain marked o 

34 19 "O 

Sir, since 1 spak with you I have Resaued an account from dear- 
field of the loss of some cloaths in the fight at dearfield: 

Thomas barnod 2 wascorts 01 02 00 

Joseph siverance one hat 12 

please to ad it to the account. 

This last taken by order of Capt. Wells — Ebenezer Wright. 

300 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

This paper was directed " To cap preserved Clap, In Bos- 

June 8th, the General Assembly — 

Resolved, that the Losses of the Petitioners be made good, and 
Paid out of the PubHck Treasury to such as sustained them accord- 
ing to their acco' here with exhibited, amount- to the sum of Thir- 
ty Four Pounds & Seventeen shillings. 

The third paper contains an acconnt of the "Plimder'' re- 
ferred to in the vote of the Assembly given above, those who 
secured it, and the amount for which it sold. The names of 
a few men appear on the list who were not in the fight on 
the meadow. 

An account of \v' plunder was taken from the ene- ) & sold by y'' 
my on the last of Febevvary, 1703-4: f 

John wells one gun 01 og o Thorn hovey A hatchet 

more one bareill of gun on 05 6 Sa" church A powder horn 

Samuell barnod on"^ gun OI 09 o Math" white A biancket 

Thomas Russell on'' bareil Eben Seldin A baganet 

and lock 01 03 o Sam" field A hatchet 

lohn matone A piece of gun 00 14 o Joseph brooks A gun 

John wells 3 pieces of gun 00 07 o Zacrye field in*" shoes 

Thomas Barnod on'' hatchet 00 02 o Nath" Colman gun case 

hezeciah Root one biancket 00 09 o primus negro glas botle 

Thomas barnod ont-blanc- Richard biling [torn] 

ket 00 03 8 John Wait A hatchet 

Samuell Carter biancket 00 04 u Zacrye field A squaline 

Jonathan wells " 00 04 4 Sam" warner A squaline 

Ebene Sarles on'= cap'^' 00 04 6 Nath" Colman A squaline 

Jonathan wells " 00 06 o Jona Wells A squaline 

William belding " 00 02 o Zacrye field A cap 

Jonathan Wells " 00 03 o Sam" wright A Knife 

Ebenezer Wright on' gun 01 15 o Sam" warner 

Benia" stebing on'' pistill 00 10 O Zacrye field A pair of sno 

John graves on'' hatchett cx) oi 6 shoes 

Joseph Smith on' gun 02 00 6 Zacrye field A biancket 

Ebene boltwhood on'' pistile 00 09 o John graves A biancket 

SamuU dickeson A hatchet uo 02 o Thomas Wells A biancket 

Natha" white A hatchet 00 02 o 

Sum tcjtall [Sic] 16 12 10 

In 1736, when the General Court was granting land on the 
lightest provocation, Jonathan Wells and fifty-three others 
asked for a township in consideration of being in the Mead- 
ow Fight, and received a grant of 1 1,037 acres, joining Hat- 
field on the west. 

The petitioners say : — 

In the night following the 28th of Feb., 1703-4, we were alarmed 
with the Surprizeing news of the Destruction of Deerfield. * * * 




















































*The powder horn carried by Ebenezer Searls on Lbis occasion is among the 
relics in Memorial Hall. 


The garrison was taken with an army of three hundred & fifty of the 
French and Indian enemy, who soon satiated their Savage Nature 
and thirst in the barbarous murder of many of the Inhabitants, and 
had captivated the rest all except a few that had found means to 
escape to Capt. Wellses garrison, a Httle fortress distinct from that 
round the town and five or six men that defended one House More; 
the Other Buildings were Consumed in Flames, the Light of which 
gave Notice to the Towns below a long Time before we had News 
from the Distressed people, and it must ever have passed for crimi- 
nal negligence for any that could Serve, to wait till Constrained, be- 
fore they Repaired to the Keleif of that people. Accordingly as 
many as could then man out, being a little above forty in number, 
hasted to their releif, who we found in the most Lamentable and 
pityous Circumstances, and when we entred at one gate the enemy 
fled out at the other, & being joyn'' with fifteen of Deerfield men, we 
pursued them with utmost Earnestness &: Resolution, and in our 
Pursuit had the Success of killing many of them, and havieng pur- 
sued them about one Mile and a half, they came to a River Bank 
where was an ambuscade of a Numerous Company of the Enemy, 
fresh Hands, that had drawn off from the garrison before, who Rose 
up Fired upon us, and pursued us back; our breath being Spent, 
theirs in full Strength, the Battle was Sore against us. We retreated 
with caution, faceing & fireing, so that those that first failed might 
be defended; notwithstanding many were Slain and others wounded, 
whose Loss can never be made up, and the rest of us had very little 
Consideration for it. 

Thi.s particular and graphic account of the pursuit and re- 
treat is invahiable, as complementing- that given by the same 
parties in their petition in 1704. It is also interesting as il- 
histrating the tendency to exaggeration in tradition ; show- 
ing how the story of the losses here had grozvn in thirty-two 
years. It is here stated that nearly all the inhabitants were 
killed or captured, and all the buildings but two were laid in 
ashes. Succeeding generations accepted these statements 
as facts, and they have since passed into current history. By 
means of newly discovered papers, a more correct story can 
now be told. 

The following account of the tragedy is essentially differ- 
ent, but it bears internal evidence of being genuine ; it is 
abundantly supported by collateral testimony, is consistent 
with stibsequent action here, and must be considered final 
authority in the case. The manuscript containing it was 
found a short time ago amongst the papers of Fitz John Win- 
throp, Governor of Connecticut, 1698- 1707. It was probabl}- 
an official report, by an officer of the troop that came up on 
the alarm. It is carefully drawn up and must have been pre- 

302 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

pared on the spot. The manuseript is held by the Massa- 
ehusetts Historical Society, which kindly submitted it to my 
inspection and use. 

There are some errors in the table of losses. Mistakes not 
unlikely occurred in the identification of the naked and 
mangled bodies, especially those of young children, where 
the whole family was swept away ; nor could it be certainly 
known at that time, who had perished in the burned houses. 


Upon y'' day of y'' date above s'' about 2 hours before day y*^ 
French & Indian Enemy made an attaque upon Derefield, entering 
y*^ Fort with Little discovery (though it is s'' y^' watch shot of a gun 
& cryed Arm, w'^'' verry few heard) imeadiately set upon breaking 
open doors & windows, took y' watch t\: others Captive iv had y"' 
men appointed to Lead y'" away, others improved in Rifleing houses 
of provissions, money, cloathing, drink, & packing up iS: sending 
away; the greatest part standing to their Arms, fireing houses, (!v: 
killing all they could y' made any resistance; alsoe killing cattle, 
hogs, sheep & sakeing (S: wasting all that came before y'", Except 
some persons that Escaped in y*' Crowds, some by Leaping out at 
windows & over y'' fortifications. Some ran to Capt. VVell[s| his 
Garrison, tS: some to Hatfield with Litle or no cloathing on, cC^ bare- 
footed, w''' with y^' bitterness of y season caused y'" to come of w"' 
frozen feete, &: Lye Lame of y'". One house, viz, Benoni Stebbins, 
they attaqued Later thin some others, y* those in it were well awak- 
ened, being 7 men, besides woemen and children, who stood stoutly 
to y'' Amies, firing upon y' Enemy & y'' Enemy upon y'", causing 
sev" of the Enemy to fall, of w'"' was one frentchman, a Oentile man 
to appearance. Y'' Enemy gave back, they strove to fire y'' house, 
our men killed 3 or 4 Indians in their attempt, y Enemy being nu- 
merous about y' house, powered much shot upon the house; y walls 
being filled up with brick, y*^ force of j'' shot was repelled, yet they 
killed sayd Stebbins, cv: wounded one man & one woeman, of w''' y'' 
survive* made no discovery to y-' Assailants, but with more than or- 
dinary Couridge kept fireing, haveing powder & Ball sufficient in s'' 
house; y^ Enemy betook y"'selves to the next house* & y" Meeting 
house, both of w''' but about 8 rod distant, o"" men yet plyed their 
business & accepting of no q"", though offered by y Enemy, nor Ca- 
pitulate, but by guns, giveing little or no Respite from y'' tyme they 
began (say some of y'' men in y'" house shot 40 tymes, & had fair 
shots at y Enemy all the while) about an hour before day till y Sun 
about one hour & half high, at w*^^'' tyme they were almost spent; yet 
at the verry pintch, ready to yield o"" men from Hadley & Hatfield 
about 30 men, rushed in upon y*" Enemy & made a shot upon them, 
at w*^'' they Quitted their Assaileing y house & y'' Fort alsoe; the 
house at Libertie, woemen & children ran to Cap" Wells his fort, the 
men w^'' ours still p'rsued the Enemy, all of them vigorously, causing 

*The Old Indian House. 


many of y Enemy to fall, yet being but about 40 men p'rsued to 
farr, imprudently, not altogether for want of conduct, for Capt. 
Wells, who had led them, called for a retreate, which they Litle 
mynded, y^' Enemy discoviring their numbe' haveing ambushm''^ of 
men, caused o*" men to give back, though to Late, being a Mile from 
y^ Fort; in y''' drawing of & at y^ Fort Lost 11 of o'' men, viz, Sergt 
Benj Waite, Sergt Sam" Boltwood, & his son Rob' Boltwood, Sam" 
Foot, Sam" AUiss, Nath' Warner, Jon''' Ligram, Thomas Selding, 
David Hoite, Jos Ingersoll, & Jos Catlin, & after o'' men recovered 
the Fort againe, the Enemy drew of, haveing at s'' house & in y« in- 
gagm'" (as is Judge by y'' best calculation we can come at) Lost 
about 50 men, & 12 or 15 wounded (as o'ur captive says) w"'' they 
carried of, & is thought they will not see Canada againe (& s'^ Cap- 
tive escaped says) they, viz, the Enemy, went 6 mile that night; 
about midnight y'^' same night were gathered of o'' uper & Low'' Towns 
neer about 80 men w'^'' had thoughts with that numb'er to have As- 
saulted y" Enemy that Night, but y^' snow being at Least 3 foot deep 
& impassable without snow shoes (w''*' we had not a supply of) & 
doubtfull whether we could ataque y'" before day, being in a capacitie 
to follow y'" but in their path, they in a Capacitie to flank us on both 
sides, being fitted with snow shoes, & with treble o'' Numb'', if not 
more, & some were much concerned for the Captives, Mr \Vm's fam- 
yly Especially, whome y*^ Enemy would kill, if we come on, & it was 
concluded we should too much Expose o'' men. The next day by 
two of the Clock Coniticut men began to come in, & came by p'tis 
till within Night at w'^'' tyme we were Raised to 250 men in Deref, 
but the afores'' Objections, & the weather verry Warme, & like to be 
so, (& so it was w"' Raine) we judge it impossible to travill, but as 
afores'' to uttermost disadvantage, Especally w" we came up to y'" to 
an attaque, (Providence put a bar in o'' way) we Judge we should 
Expose o'rselves to y' Loss of men and not be able, as the case was 
circumstanced, to offend the Enemy or Rescue o'" Captives, which 
was y^' End we aimed at in all, therefore desisted, & haveing buried 
the dead, saved w'' we Could of Catt", hogg, & sheep, & other Es- 
tate, out of y*^" spoyles of y'' Remayneing Inhabitants, & some of o'' 
N. H., Hadly & Hatfi'' men settled a Garrisson of 30 men or up- 
wards, und'' Capt Wells, & drew of to o'' places; of y'^ destruction of 
Deref"' see more over the Leafe. 

On the same folio sheet with the foregoing report is the 
table on the following pages, giving the loss of life, liberty, 
and property, and also a list of remaining inhabitants. The 
figures in the property column probably represent pounds, 
current money of New England. All the persons referred to 
on this list are identified, except one child with Frary, and 
the servant girl of Beaman. The figures in brackets indicate 
corrections which have been made on the authority of the 
town records, or of Rev. Stephen Williams, who was one of 
the captives. 

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30(1 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

To the above list of captives must be added Joseph Alex- 
ander, John Burt, Abigail Brown, Mary Harris, Daniel Crow- 
foot, Frank, negro slave to Mr. Williams, killed the first 
night, and wSamuel Hastings. 

To the list of slain, Joseph Ingersol, Pathena, wife of 
Frank, Thomas Selden, and two, names unknown, of the sev- 
en from towns below who were killed on the meadows. Total 
of killed, 49; of captives, 1 1 1. 

Papers in the Massachusetts Archives show that three men 
were wounded in the Meadow Fight, one. a prisoner, in mere 
wantonness. We learn that John Smead, after doing heroic 
service, received a bullet in his thigh. Thomas Wells, Joseph 
Clesson and John Arms certify that John vSmead was in the 
fight and carried the bullet to his death, in 1720. In a peti- 
tion to the General Court, May, 1743, his son John says of 
him : — 

By the blessing of Providence on his Endeavors, 'tis thot he did 
as much or more Spoil on the Enemy as any. man there, * * * 
slaying two of the Indian Enemy, which, it is likely, is more than 
any other person did, <S: which K.xperience shows, has been a rare 
thing amongst us. 

The following certificate accompanied this petition : — 

I was in Dearfield Meadow fight, * * * ^nd I see the said 
Smead kill an Indian, cS: some of the souldiers took off this Indian's 
scalp & secured it, & I see the said John Smeed shoot at another In- 
dian, which he gave a mortal wound, & y^' Indian died in a short 
time at the place where he received y'' wound, or very near the 
place. Ekenezer Warner. 

Two hundred acres of land at Poquoig were granted the 
petitioner. Jan. 14th, 1743. 

Samuel Church of Hadle}', in a petition for aid. May, 1705, 
says : — 

Haveing Rec'' a Wound in my Arme in y'' fight at Derefield feb"^ 29 
i7o|- In the healeing of s'' Wound I was disabled for to work ili: La- 
bor for the space or tyme of twelve weeks & am weak in my Arm 
still Humbly Petition (Sec &c * * * it haveing been a great hin- 
derence to me iV Lose in my ocations and affairs 

June 15th. two pounds were allowed him on this petition. 
May 30th, 1705, Benjamin Church of Hadley, says: — 

Haveing Rec' a Wound in my Foot, in the fight at Derefeild Feb. 
29, 1703-4. In the healeing of said wound, I was disabled for to 
work or labour, for the space, or tyme, of twenty-five weeks, & am 

THE sentinel's FATEFUL SLUMBER, 307 

weak in my foot still * * * j entreat I may be considered as 
aforesaid, & for your Excellency «S: Honors I shall Ever Pray. 

Four pounds were allowed him, June i5tli, by the Court. 

John Bridgman of Northampton was captured, but escaped 
during- the Meadow Fight. In a petition. May 22d, 1705, he 
says : — 

Being at Dearfeild upon the 29 day of faber, 1703-4, at the time 
when it was destroyed, & there meet with considerable Loss in estat, 
(I^e maime in his body, being in her Majesty's service & under pay: — 

ily I lost in goods, cloathing and money, to the value of five 
pounds eleven shillings & six pence. 

2 I was taken by the Enimy, ^ when I was in there hands, they 
cut off the forefinger of my Right hand, 

3 by which wound I Lost my time & was disenabled from work 
four months. 

The items of loss were : — 

Sadel, ^i, 6s, od; leath"- breches, 15s; leathe'' wescot, j£i; gloves, 
3s; leathe"" wescot, 16 s; neckcloth & handkerchief, 6s; stockings, 4s; 
shirt, 5s; powder & lead, 2s, 6d; money, 14s. 

Seven pounds were allowed him, June 26th, 1705. 

The several statements, already given, referring to the sen- 
tinel appointed to watch the town, and warn the sleeping in- 
habitants in case of danger, appear quite contradictory. But a 
tradition told me by Mrs. Sylvia Mtmn, when in her 88th 
year, may be interpreted to reconcile them all. She said 
she had "always heard," that while on his beat, towards 
morning, the wearied watchman heard from one of the 
houses, the soft voice of a woman, singing a lullaby to a sick 
child ; that he stopped, and leaning against the window of the 
room where the child lay, listened to the soothing tones of 
the singer until he fell asleep. If this story be true, he was 
doubtless rudely aroused from his criminal slumber by the 
noise of the attack, and was the man referred to in the Win- 
throp paper as "y*^ watch who shot of a gun & cryed Arm, 
w''' verry few heard." The alarm came too late, and they 
soon "took y'' watch captive." 

The following list of killed and captured, taken from the 
" Redeemed Captive," was made by Stephen Williams, one of 
the captives. I have added the age of each person, when it 
could be ascertained. Some slight corrections and additions 
have been placed in brackets. 

Names of those who were slain in or near the Town : — 

308 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1/02 — 1713. 

David Alexander Henry Nims, 12 

Thomas Carter, 4 Mary, J supposed lo 5 

John Catlin, (?) 60 Mercy, - be burnt in 5 

Jonathan Catlin Meh'tble, ) the cellar 7 

Sarah Field, 10 months Sarah Price, (?) 53 

Samson Frary, (?) 64 Mercy Root, 15 

John French, 4 weeks Thos Shelden [Selden] 26 

Alice Hawks, (?) 50 Mrs [Hannah] Sheldon, 39 

John Hawks, Jr, 30 Mercy Sheldon, 2 
His wife, [Thankful] 26 Sam'l Smead's wife and two children 

Thankful Hawks, 2 [Mary Smead, 23 

John Hawks, 7 Sarah Smead, 4 

Martha Hawks, 4 William Smead, ] 2 

Samuel Hinsdale, 15 mos Elizabeth Smead, (?) 64 

Joseph Ingersol, 28 Martin Smith, (?) 50 

Jonathan Kellogg, 5 Serg Benoni Stebbins, 51 
Philip Matoon's wife & child Andrew Stevens, [Indian] 

[Rebecca Mattoon, 24, and infant son] Mary Wells, 30 

Parthena. a negro, [servant to Rev John Williams, jun, 6 
John Williams] Jerusha Williams, 6 weeks 


Samuel Ailis [Hatfield] 25 David Hoyt, Jun., [Deerfield] 24 

Serg [Sam'l] Holtvvood, [Hadley](?) 53 Jonathan Ingram, [Hadley] 27 
Rob't Boltwood [Hadley] 21 Serg Benjamin Wait, [Hatfield] (?) 54 

Joseph Catlin [Deerfield] (?) 23 Nathaniel Warner, [Hadley] 22 
Samuel Foot [Hatfield] (?) 26 

Taken Captive — ^\'here is this Sign, f, against the Person's Name, 

it is to signify they were killed after they went out of town. And 
this mark, *, is to signify that they are still absent from their native 

*Elizabeth Corse, jun, 8 

*Daniel Crowfoot, 3 

*Abigail Denio, 17 

Sarah Dickinson, (?) 24 

Joseph Eastman, 2(j 

Mary Field, 28 

John Field, 3 

*Mary Field, jun, 6 

fMary Frary, (?) 64 

Thomas French, 47 

JMary French, 40 

Thomas French, jun, 14 

Mary French, jun, 17 

^Freedom French, 11 

*Martha French, 8 

*Abigail French, 6 

*Mary Harris, (?)9 

*Sarnuel Hastings, 20 

+ Elizabeth Hawks, 6 

Mehuman Hinsdale, 31 

Mary Hinsdale, 23 
Jacob Hix, [Hickson] died at Co- 

wass [He died on French river.] 
Dea David Hoit, died at Covvass, 52 

Abigail Hoit, 44 

Jonathan Hoit, 15 

Sarah Hoit, 17 

fEbenezer Hoit, 8 

fAbigail Hoit, jun, 2 

Elizabeth Hull, 15 

Mary Alexander, 


Mary Alexander, jun. 


Joseph Alexander, ran away the 

first night 


*Sarah Allen, 


Mary Allis, 


Thomas Baker, 


Simon Beaumont, 


Hannah Beaumont, 


fHepzibah Belding, 


John Bridgman, ran away in the 



Nathaniel Brooks, 


fMary Brooks, 


*Mary Brooks, jun, 


*William Brooks, 


Abigail Brown, 


Benjamin Burt, 


John Burt, 


Sarah Burt, 


fHannah Carter, 


fHannah Carter, jun, 7 mos 

*Mercy Carter, 


*Samuel Carter, 


*John Carter, 


Ebenezer Carter, 


f Marah Carter, 


John Catlin, 


Ruth Catlin, 


^Elizabeth Corse, 





*Josiah Riseing, 



Hannah Sheldon, 



Ebenezer Sheldon, 



Remembrance Sheldon, 



Mary Sheldon, 



John Slebbins, 



Dorothy Stebbins, 



John Stebbins, jun, 



Samuel Stebbins, 



*Ebenezer Stebbins, 



*Joseph Stebbins, 



*Thankful Stebbins, 



*Elizabeth Stevens, 



Ebenezer Warner, 



fWaitstill Warner, 



*WaitstiIl Warner, jun. 


Sarah Warner, 



Rev Mr Jn Williams, 



fMrs Eunice Williams, 



Samuel Williams, 



Stephen Williams, 



*Eunice Williams, jun, 



Esther Williams, 



Warham Williams, 



John Wilton, 



Judah Wright, 



*Thomas Hurst, 

*Ebenezer Hurst, 

fBenjamin Hurst, 

Sarah Hurst, 

Elizabeth Hurst, 

*Hannah Hurst, 

Sarah Hurst, jun, 

Martin Kellogue, 

Martin Kellogue, jun, 

Joseph Kellogue, 

*Joanna Kellogue, 

Rebecca Kellogue, 

John Marsh, 

Sarah Mutoon [Mattoon] 

f Philip Mutoon [Mattoon] 

fFrank, a negro, [slave to Mr. 

f Mehitable Nims, 
Ebenezer Nims, 
*Abigail Nims, 
Joseph Petty, 
Sarah Petty, 
Lydia Pomroy, 
Joshua Pomroy, 
fEsther Pomroy, 
Samuel Price, 
* Richards, 

Three Frenchmen who had Hved in the town for some time, and 
came from Canada, were also taken. 

The following letter from Mrs. Lucy D. Shearer of Col- 
rain, a descendant of John Catlin, to the writer, giving an ap- 
parently authentic tradition, handed down in the Catlin fam- 
ily, should have a permanent record here. The " Frenchman " 
was doubtless the officer who fell in the attacli on the house 
of Benoni Stebbins. The "uncle" was probably Jonathan 
Catlin, an older brother, who fell with his father, in the de- 
fense of their home. Mrs. Shearer was born in 1804. 

COLERAINE, Nov. I, 1875. 

Mr. Sheldon: 

Dear Sir, — John Cathn, the captive, was born in the 50th year of 
his mother's age, and never had slept out of his father's house 'till 
the age of 16, when he was taken captive, and went to Canada in 
company with a sister. His sister was very delicate, never had en- 
dured any hardship, but performed the journey so well that the Indi- 
ans would give her something to carry; she would carry it a little 
way, and then throw it back as far as she could throw it. He (John) 
used to tremble for fear they would kill his sister, but they would 
laugh, and go back and get it. They acted as though they thought 
she was a great lady. The captives suffered from hunger, but she 
had plenty, and gave some to her brother. What her name was or 
what became of her 1 cannot tell. [Ruth, and she was redeemed.] 
He (John) was given to a French Jesuit. The Jesuit tried to per- 
suade him to become a Catholic, but when he found he could not, 

310 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

told him he might go home when he had an opportunity; and when 
an opportunity presented, furnished him what he needed for the jour- 
ney, and gave him some money when he parted with him. He was 
with him two years. 

His father and uncle [brother Jonathan?] were killed in the house; 
he took his father's gun, and his uncle's powder horn, and was going 
to use them when the Indians took him. The captives were taken 
to a house, (1 do not know what house) and a Frenchman* was 
brought in and laid on the floor; he was in great distress, and called 
for water; Mrs. Catlin fed him with water. Some one said to her, 
"How can you do that for your enemy?" She replied, "If thine en- 
emy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him water to drink." The 
Frenchman was taken and carried away, and the captives marched 
off. Mrs. Catlin was left. After they were all gone, a little boy 
came that was hid in the house. Mrs. Catlin said to the boy, "go 
run and hide." The boy said, "Mrs. Catlin, why don't you go and 
hide?" She said, "I am a captive; it is not my duty to hide, but you 
have not been taken, and it is your duty to hide." Who this boy 
was I do not know. Some thought the kindness shown to the French- 
man was the reason of Mrs. Catlin's being left. 

Lucv I). Shearer. 

In 1704 the town was built along the whole length of the 
plateau as to-day. Of its forty-one houses, at least fifteen 
were within the line of the stockades. Abotit twelve were 
north, and fourteen south of it. When the night of Februa- 
ry 28th closed down, 291 sotils were tinder their rooftrees. Of 
these, twenty were garrison soldiers, two visitors from Hat- 
field, and 268 inhabitants. They were of all ages, from Wid- 
ow Allison of eighty-four years, to John, the youngling of 
Deacon French's flock, of four weeks. Among them were 
three negro slaves, one Indian, and three Frenchmen from 
Canada. In a few hours all but one hundred and twenty- 
six of the inhabitants were either killed or in the hands of 
a cruel enemy, on a march over the snow to Canada, three 
hundred miles away. 

By collating the papers before given, one may find a full 
and particular account of this great catastrophe. We see De 
Rouville, on his errand of blood, reaching our frontier in 
such an exhausted condition as to necessitate an ignominious 
surrender, unless he can surprise his prey. In this he suc- 
ceeds. We have seen the army leave their lair at Little 
Hope, steal silently across the north meadows, scale the pal- 
isades on the drifted snow, and scatter themselves among the 

* Probably De Rouville's brother. 


houses, when the wearied sentinel has been hilled to sleep. 
Probably the first to be aroused, he fired his gun and gave 
the alarum ery, and so hastened the attack before all the 
houses were invested. If the alarum was heard bv the citi- 
zens, the fearful war-whoop and the blows of the hatchet on 
door and shutter must have been heard almost simultaneous- 
ly. Of the scenes of horror which followed, the picture 
painted by Mr. Williams of his own experiences will repre- 
sent those being enacted among his fellow sufferers. 

It was in the darkest hour of the night, when he was awak- 
ened by the noise of hatchets at his door and windows. 
Jumping out of bed, he rushed to defend the door, but was 
too late ; it was already broken down, and he saw the dim 
form of a Macqua chief and his followers crowding through 
the doorway. Calling upon the two soldiers quartered in his 
house for help, the brave man sprang for his arms. Failing 
in his attempt to shoot the leader, he was disarmed and 
bound. In pitchy darkness the Indians raged through the 
house. The soldiers leaped from the windows and escaped. 
The screaming children were dragged from their bed by 
rough but unseen hands, collected in the ample kitchen and 
bound, probably with cords brought from Canada for the oc- 
casion. The smouldering fire on the hearth was raked open, 
and the lurid flame from the back-log faintly lighted up the 
dismal scene. We can imagine the faithful Pathena, resist- 
ing in defense of the younger children, for which she was 
dragged to the door, where all the three were murdered. 
Had not the pistol of Mr. Williams missed fire, he doubtless 
would have shared their fate. W^ith fire-brands, or torches, 
the Indians searched the rooms for plunder, eagerly eating of 
the food they found and packing up such stuff as they chose 
to take.* When this was completed, and the prisoners led off, 
the house was set on fire and burned. 

The stout door of Ensign John Sheldon's house resisted 
the efforts to break it down. It was cut partly through with 
axes, and bullets fired through the place at random, one of 

* A silver cup among the plunder came into the possession of the daughter 
Eunice, who remained in Canada. In 1732 it was by her given to her brother 
Warham. It is still in the hands of his descendants. It is marked, "Feb. 29, 
E. VV. Obt., 1st March, 1703-4. June 10, 1732, E. W. to W. W." and other in- 
scriptions of a later date, — Letter from Chas. K. Williams of Rutland, Vt., July 
6, 1884. 

312 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

which killed Mrs. Sheldon as she was sitting on a bed in the 
eavSt room. Entrance was finally effected at the back door, 
which, according to a family tradition, was left open by a lad 
who sought safety in flight. Most of the family were cap- 
tured. Probably the Ensign was not at home. His son, the 
newly married John, with his wife jumped from the east 
chamber window. Hannah sprained her ankle and could 
not escape, but she urged her husband to fly to Hatfield for 
aid. This he did, binding strips of a woolen blanket about 
his naked feet as he ran. The tradition says also that the 
two years old Mercy was taken to the front door and her 
brains dashed out on the doorstone : and further, that the 
house, being the largest in the town, was reserved as a depot 
for captives. Here, then, was the place where Mrs. Catlin re- 
lieved the wounded French lieutenant, and secured her own 
freedom by her practical Christianity. It was certainly used 
as a cover and point of attack on the Stebbins house. It was 
set on fire, when the last marauders were driven away, but it 
was saved, and stood until 1849 — the widely known "Old In- 
dian House." The scarred and battered door, supported by 
the original door posts and flanked by great oaken brackets 
from the front of the house, is now a center of attraction at 
Memorial Hall. 

The of Benoni vStebbins stood about eight rods 
southwest of Ensign vSheldon's. It was occupied by Sergt. 
Stebbins, his wife and five children ; David Hoyt, his wife 
and child ; and probably Joseph Catlin with his wife and 
child, and Benjamin Church, a soldier. There were besides, 
three other men, and perhaps other women and children. 
This houvse being "attaqued later than some," the inmates 
were aroused, made ready to defend themselves, and the 
assailants were driven back with loss. It was again beset by 
a strong force, but the little garrison was a match for that. 
Again later in the morning nearly the whole army surround- 
ed the house, pouring bullets upon it from every quarter. 
The fire was bravely returned, and several of the enemy 
fell before the sharp shooters ; among them, a French lieu- 
tenant, the second in command of the expedition. Desper- 
ate attempts were now made to set the house on fire, which 
cost the lives of a Macqua chief and several of his men 
The fury ot the assailants increased with their losses, but 


they were forced to leave the field and take shelter in the 
Sheldon house and the meetinghouse. From these covers 
they continued to shower their bullets upon the heroic garri- 
son, which, however, kept them at bay until relieved by the 
reinforcement. Sergt. Stebbins was killed. Mrs. Hoyt was 
wounded, and also a soldier, probably Church. 

In all the wars of New England, there is not a more gallant 
act recorded than this defense of an unfortified house, by 
seven men and a few women, for three hours, against, not 
only the fury and wiles of an unorganized horde of savages, 
but also a large force of French soldiers, under officers of the 
line trained in the wars of France. 

The check received here by the enemy, probably tended 
strongly to stay the tide of devastation, and so saved the 
south part of the town. The current historical and tradi- 
tional account, that only two houses in town escaped destruc- 
tion, must be relegated to that mysterious fertile realm, 
where so large a portion of accepted history is born and nur- 

I find no evidence of any attack on the house of Capt. 
Wells, as stated by Gen. Hoyt ; nor is it certain that the ene- 
my penetrated the town beyond the fort. Not one of the 
slain, and none of the losses by fire or plunder, reported in 
the Winthrop paper, can be certainly located in that section, 
and only two of the captives — Sarah Allen and Sarah Mat- 
toon, girls of sixteen. They were doubtless away from home. 
Nearly all on the list who escaped loss, can be definitely 
placed south of the fort ; while two thirds of those who lost 
life, or liberty, are known to have been in the fort, or north 
of it, as was certainly at least five-sixths of the property lost. 
The Benoni Stebbins house, so heroically preserved from the 
fury and fagots of the enemy, sad to relate, accidentally took 
fire and was burned after the valiant garrison had joined the 
knights of the rescue in the pursuit of the assailants. 

De Rouville was aware of the danger from English rein- 
forcements, and all haste was made in removing the prisoners 
to the rendezvous, and packing up provisions for the home- 
ward march. It was about eight o'clock, and the main body 
had already withdrawn with the captives, when about thirty 
men on horse-back arrived from the towns below, which had 
been alarmed by the light of the burning buildings. Scattered 

314 ' QUEEN ANXE'S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

parties of the enemy were still searching for plunder, or 
wantonly killing the settlers' stock, and a considerable body 
were yet besieging the Stebbins house. These were quickly 
driven pell-mell out of the north gate, across the home lots 
and North Meadows. Capt. Wells, joining the rescuers, with 
fifteen citizens and five garrison soldiers, took the command, 
and ordered instant pursuit. Bravely, but rashly and with- 
out order, each fighting on his own hook, the pursuers rush 
on ; intent only on avenging their slaughtered friends. As 
they warm up to the fight, they throw off gloves, coats, hats, 
waistcoats, jackets and neckcloths. Capt. Wells could not 
control the headlong chase. He had not forgotten the disas- 
trous effects of disorder at Turners Falls. He saw the dan- 
ger which threatened, and ordered a halt. This was unheed- 
ed ; the foe was followed recklessly into the inevitable am- 
buscade. Manly bravery was shown on the retreat, and there 
was no panic. The pursuers were kept at bay, and their 
wounded comrades brought off. A 'stand was made at the 
palisades, and the bodies of some who fell within gunshot 
range were protected from plunder. 

There is a doubtful tradition, that while our men were 
gallantly charging over the meadows, De Rouville sent an 
order to kill all the prisoners, but that the messenger fell 
before delivering this command. The tradition is accepted 
by Hoyt, but the circumstance is not mentioned by earlier 
writers and there is small probability that a messenger from 
Rouville to the prisoners' guard could have come in range 
of the pursuers. Had the French army been in real danger, 
the inhuman deed might have been done. After the escape 
of Bridgman, Mr. Williams was ordered to tell the captives, 
that in case another ran away, the rest should be burned. 

Having hastily secured the prisoners, and prepared their 
packs, the invaders began their retreat. The snow had be. 
come soft, and the progress of the spoil-encumbered army 
was slow, until, on the fourth day, it reached the sleds at 
West river, a distance of thirty miles. All were heavily 
burdened ; beside provisions and plunder, they were obliged 
to carry their wounded and the young children on their 
backs. More than half the captives were under eighteen 
years of age ; forty of them not over twelve, and twelve un- 
der five. One of the latter, Marah Carter, was murdered be- 


fore the retreat began ; Frank, Mr. Williams's servant, was 
killed in a drunken frolic the first night ; Mrs. Williams his 
mistress, Hannah Carter, Jr., and a " girl about eleven years 
of age," according to Mr. Williams, were murdered the next 
day. Xo female between the ages of six and twenty-four, is 
marked on Stephen Williams's list, as having been killed on 
the march. This girl was probably Jemima Richards. • The 
melting snow, which impeded their march, also secured their 
retreat unmolested. For lack of snow shoes, the men who 
soon collected in the desolated town, could only follow in 
their path. It was impossible to intercept or flank the ene- 
my, or attack in the rear with any hope of rescuing the cap- 

The body of Mrs. Williams was recovered, and her grave 
is still seen in the old graveyard ; that of Marah Carter, was 
doubtless brought in, and consigned to the common grave, 
in which tradition says, the rest of the victims were buried. 
This, by the same authorit}-, is located near the southeast 
corner of the Old Burying Ground. Twenty were slain by 
the wa\', "for their manner was, if any loitered to kill them." 

Route of the Captives. The night of February 29th, the 
party camped at Greenfield Meadows, in the swamp east of 
the old Nims house. The next day they crossed Green 
river at the foot of Leyden hills, where the monument to 
Mrs. Eunice Williams marks the spot where she was killed. 
Thence up the hill in the old Indian path, still to be seen, 
northeasterly through Leyden, Bernardston, Vernon to the 
mouth of West river in Brattleboro, where they had left 
their heavy baggage, dogs, sledges, &c., arriving there, March 
2d. Thence up the Connecticut river on the ice. Sunday, 
March 5th,- the army was at the mouth of Williams river, 
where Mr. Williams preached to the captives, who sang "one 
of Zion's Songs " to the Indians at their request. The river 
got its name from this occurrence. ]\Iarch 6th, continuing 
on the river, they reached the mouth of White river March 
8th. Here the party was broken up, the larger part going 
up White river. The St. Francis, or Abenaki Indians with 
Stephen Williams, David Hoyt, Jacob Hickson, and perhaps 
others, continued up the Connecticut. After months of wan- 
dering this party struck across to French river, and went 
down that to Lake Champlain, down the lake, and the Sorel 

316 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

arriving at Chambly in August, and thence to the Indian 
fort at St. Francis. 

The Caghnawaga Indians, with whom was Mr. Williams, 
went over the Green Mountain, and struck French river 
about March i8th. They reached the vSorel, March 29th, and 
Chambly, April ist, being a little over a month on the march. 

The pathetic story of the dreadful march to Canada, "at 
least 300 miles," and " the snow up to the knees," by this 
miserable band of men. women and children, as told by Mr. 
Williams in the "Redeemed Captive," is acces.sible to all, and 
is as familiar as household words to every student of New 
England history. 

The journal of his .son vStephen, a boy of ten years, as com- 
plementing his father's 'narrative, is of great interest and 
value. This was printed by Dr. vS. W. Williams, in the 
Northampton edition of the "Redeemed Captive," in 1853, 
and again by the P. V. M. Association in 1889, with an appen- 
dix and notes by George vSheldon. 

One man has been found foolish enough to doubt the truth 
of these narrations. His efforts to cast a shadow upon the 
integrity of Mr. Williams, will be as succe.ssful as an attempt 
to shut out the rays of the noonday sun with a wire fence. 

Decrjicld as a Military Post. We usually speak of the catas- 
trophe of February 29th, 1704, as the "destruction of Deer- 
field," and rightly, too. For twenty years the persistent set- 
tlers had struggled bravely, not only against the inevitable 
hardships of a new plantation, but against the plague of 
worms, frost and drought ; against war, pestilence, and almost 
famine. But the end had now come. The ground could be 
held no longer. They were but twenty-five men, twenty-five 
women, with seventy-five children, forty-three of whom were 
under ten years of age. More than half the population, in- 
cluding their loved minister, were being swept over the snow 
to Popish Canada, or laid underneath it, in one wide grave 
hard by in their own God's acre. Their cup was more than 
full ; and this sad despairing remnant, giving up all hope, 
deliberately resolved to abandon their all in this fatal spot ; 
to let the " candlestick of the Lord be removed," and this 
speck of civilization become once more a waste place in the 
wilderness, from which they had tried to redeem it, while 
they sought refuge in the towns below. But fortunately, 


this broken people were not the arbiters of their own desti- 
ny. The policy of the rulers forbade the sacrifice. 

Connecticut had -usually r^ponded promptly to calls for 
aid in defending Hampshire county. October, 1703, her Gen- 
eral Court had established a Council of War, with authority 
to send sixty men in case of invasion. That number, and 
eighty-seven men more, arrived here before the close of 
March, 1704. A special session of the General Court of Con- 
necticut convened March 1 5th, when sixty men were raised 
for permanent service in this county, in scouting and garri- 
son duty. They soon came up under Capt. Benjamin New- 
bury. A committee came also to confer with Col. Partridge, 
how they could be employed to the best advantage. It was 
something more than neighborly kindness which prompted 
these efforts ; it was in accordance with a wise policy of keep- 
ing the northern frontier as far as possible from their own 
borders. It was in pursuance of the same end, that Col. 
Partrids;re, on the 2d of March, forbade the inhabitants of our 
town to desert the place ; and establishing here a military 
station, impressed all the able bodied men as soldiers in the 
Queen's service. The non-combatants were sent to the lower 

Gradually the men of Deerfield rallied from the great 
shock. By slow degrees, the situation took on a new aspect. 
Houses were left to shelter them ; soldiers were there for 
their protection ; the rich meadow land was still theirs. 
Their faith in an overruling Providence became once more a 
controlling power, and the future became more hopeful. 
Bravely they set about gathering up the broken threads of 
their lives as best they might. 

The hoUvSe of the town clerk, Thomas French, though ran- 
sacked, was not burned, and the town books were preserved. 
On their time-stained pages bearing record of town action, 
there is not a single syllable referring to this great catastro- 
phe. Those initiated, can see why the spring meeting was 
deferred seven weeks ; why the list of officers is incomplete ; 
why a new handwriting appears on its pages. To other eyes 
nothing unusual is revealed. A meeting was held April 20th, 
when town clerk, selectmen, constable and fence viewers were 
chosen, and the machinery of a municipal organization so far 
set in motion The functions of the constable were chiefly 

318 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

military ; the fence was a necessity; for with stock running 
at large no crops could be raised on the Common Field un- 
less this was in repair. Arrangements were made whereby 
two days out of five were allowed the impressed inhabitants 
by turns to labor in the fields. In this broken manner a 
small area of land was cultivated ; but every hour thus spent 
was at the imminent risk of life. The woods were full of 
lurking Indians watching chances for spoil. Their first suc- 
cess is thus briefly recorded by Stephen Williams in his ap- 
pendix to the " Redeemed Captive." 

" May I ith, 1704, John Allen and his wife were killed at a 
place called the Bars." A manuscript account says Mrs. Al- 
len was killed " about a mile or two from the place." Ed- 
ward Allen, the new town clerk, a brother of John, makes 
this record : " Joh AUyn, y*" head of this famyly, was slaine 
by y'' Enemy May y'' 11, 1704." He makes no note of the 
death of Mrs. Allen ; by which it appears that her fate was 
then unknown. Her captors finding her an incumbrance in 
their hasty retreat, probably, knocked her on the head in the 
woods, where her body became the prey of wild beasts, the 
scalp being retained, to grace their triumphant reception at 
home. Allen was forty-four years old. 

The next blow fell upon an outlying hamlet of Northamp- 
ton, called Pascommuck, containing five families. 

Near the close of 1703, complaint was made to De Vau- 
dreuil, by the Penaski Indians, of losses by the English, and 
aid demanded. The Governor at once sent Sieur de Mon- 
tigny with five or six Frenchmen to "reassure them," and 
"engage them to continue the war" with the English. On 
the triumphant return of De Rouville from Deerfield, Mon- 
tigny, with about twenty French, and fifty of these Indians, 
was sent to this valley to avenge their wrongs. May 13th, 
he surprised Pascommuck, and took all the inhabitants pris- 
oners. As soon as the captives could be secured, and provis- 
ions and plunder packed for the journey, De Montigny be- 
gan his retreat. 

When the news of this disaster reached Northampton, 
Capt. John Taylor led a company of horsemen in pursuit, 
with a calamitous result, as we shall see. Whether or not 
the death strokes were actually given by the savages, the or- 
dering of affairs was with Sieur de Montigny, the representa- 


tive ot France, "who," says Vaudreuil, "distinguished him- 
self particularly on that occasion." 

The following account is taken from the Recorder's Book 
for Old Hampshire County, which is relied upon as being an 
original record, though differing somewhat from the account 
given by Judd : — 

May 12, [13J Pascomok Fort taken by y^' French & Indians, being 
about 72. They took and Captivated y*^' whole Garrison, being 
about 37 Persons. The English pursueing of them caused them to 
nock all the Captives on the head Save 5 or 6. Three, they carried 
to Canada with them, the others escap'd and about 7 of those knocked 
on the head Recovered, y' rest died. Capt. John Taylor was killed 
in the fight, and Sam'l Bartlett wounded. 

Those carried to Canada were Esther, wife of Benoni Jones; 
her niece, Margaret Huggins, eighteen; and Elisha, son of 
John vSearles, eight. The slain were Samuel Janes, forty, with 
wife Sarah, and children, Obadiah, live, Ebenezer, three, Sa- 
rah, one; four children of Benjamin Janes, Hannah, eight, 
Miriam, four, Nathan, one, and one of unknown name and 
age ; Benoni Jones, about thirty-five, with his children, Eben- 
ezer, six, and Jonathan, one ; John Searles, about fifty-eight, 
with three children, names and ages unknown ; Moses Hutch- 
inson, and one child, and Patience Webb, forty-six, or her 
daughter Patience, seventeen. 

About a hundred miles up the valley, near the mouth of 
Wells river, was a tract of pine woods, called by the Indians 
Cowass, [a place of pines], and near by, many acres of clear 
meadows. Here a party of Indians located a camp, and plant- 
ed the meadows with corn, it being a convenient summer 
rendezvous, from which to sally out on the frontier. The 
captives from Pascommuck, and some of those from Deer- 
field were taken to the place. It was there that in May, 1704, 
David Hoyt died of vStarvation. It was not far from there 
that Stephen Williams found Jacob Hickson, so weak from 
want of food, that he died before the end of July, at French 
river, while being taken to Canada. Rumors of the estab- 
lishment at Cowass reaching the English, about the 6th of 
June, a scouting party, made up of Caleb Lyman and five 
Connecticut Indians, was sent up to make an examination. 
On the 1 4th they discovered a camp about twenty miles this 
side of Cowass, which they surprised, and killed six men and 
one woman, while two others escaped, one mortally wounded. 

320 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR— 1702 — 1713. 

Making a hurried retreat, they reached home with six scalps 
in five or six days. 

The method of the English scout was exactly the same as 
that of the enemy. Coming near the Indian settlement, Ly- 
man sent forward a spy, with his head and body covered with 
green leaves, to make what discovery he could. He found a 
wigwam not far away, and it was determined to attack it by 
night. Creeping on all fours, Lyman's party reached the wig- 
wam undiscovered, and deliberately fired on the sleeping in- 
mates. Then dropping their guns, " we surrounded them," 
says Lyman, "with our clubs and hatchets, and knocked 
down several we met with." 

No provisions were found, but loading the skins, guns and 
other plunder into the canoes, Lyman retreated down the 
river about twelve miles, when at daylight he broke up the 
canoes and took to the woods, knowing that parties of the en- 
emy were between him and home. They had but one meal 
each in their packs, and lived on "birds, grass and strawber- 
ry leaves" until they reached Northampton, June 19th or 

The General Court gave Lyman £21 and the Indians ;^io. 
Major Whiting of Connecticut gave the Indians /"40. This 
was repaid him by Massachusetts some time after. 

When the Indians at Cowass heard the result of this foray, 
they deserted the place in alarm, and went off to Canada via 
French river and Lake Champlain. The Lyman scout 
proved to be a great and unexpected success. Great fears 
were entertained for their safety, for Lyman had hardly got 
away into the woods, before news came that an army was on 
the march from Canada to this valley. On this alarm Major 
Whiting came up from Connecticut with 342 men to aid in 
defending the frontier. Within six weeks, two more reports 
of the same nature followed, and each time, additional sol- 
diers came up. These reports were true, the alarm well 
grounded, and the preparations timely and effective. 

The Governor of Canada, elated by the success of De Rou- 
ville, had resolved " to lay desolate all the places on the Con- 
necticut river." To this end he gathered a force of about 
700 Indians, and adding 125 French soldiers, with several 
young and active officers, put the whole under Captain de 
Beaucours, who set out for this valley soon after the return 


of Montig-ny from Pascommuck. There was great rejoicing 
in Canada on their departure. " This force," says Vaudreuil, 
" would be competent to attack whatever posts or village they 
please," and he " regarded as certain, the success of the expe- 
dition." The Jesuits, says the captive John Williams, boast- 
ed what great things this army would do ; " that they could 
not devise what they should do with us, we should be so 
many prisoners when the army returned." And yet, adds 
Mr. Williams, " the great army turned back ashamed." Prob- 
ably they found our towns too much on the alert for a sur- 
prise, and they had no stomach for an open attack. De Vau- 
dreuil, however, in his home report assigns another cause for 
this disgraceful retreat. He says, " a French soldier, one 
Peter Newgate, deserted within a day's journey of the ene- 
my; a panic hereupon seized the minds of our Indians to 
such a degree that it was impossible for Sieur de Beaucours 
to prevent them retreating." 

While this army lay on our frontiers its spies and scouts 
filled the woods, hovered about the towns, and waylaid the 
roads. Some of the results are given by Stephen Williams : — 

About the middle of July [the loth,] 1704, a friend Indian was killed 
at Hatfield Mill. His name was Kmdness. The enemy had not op- 
portunity to scalp him. On the same week, Thomas Russell, a 
young man of Hatfield, (being then a soldier at Deerfield) was sent 
out into y*^ woods with others as a scout, but he rambling from his 
company, was kilH by y^ Indians. 

Some tracks discover*' Deacon Sheldon w**" some others went after 
y"' & came in sight of y'", & shot at y'", & y'' at y^ english at a great 
distance, & then y>" past along on y* west side of y*" Town, & fir*^ y'' 
guns in a bravado, & went along up to y*^ Northward, & kilH Tho* 
Russell July 20, 1704. 

July 30, 1704, one Dr. Grossman with two or three more men were 
riding in the night between Hadley and Springfield & were fir'' upon 
by the enemy, who wound'' Dr. Grossman in the arm. This is y'= 
only time (that I can learn) that they ever fir'' upon anybody travel- 
ling in the night. 

About this time, Sergt. John Hawks was fired upon while 
riding to Hatfield, and wounded in the hand. July 29th, 
Thomas Battis, who had been sent post to Boston, was killed 
on his return, east of Hadley. His dispatches were taken to 
Canada, and were the grounds on which Vaudreuil wrote the 
French war minister, in the report already quoted. 

Though this party broke up, it did not fail, My Lord, to cost the 

322 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

enemy considerable sums; the advices they received of it, having 
obliged them not only to postpone their meeting the Iroquois na- 
tions, but also, to remain a great portion of the summer idle, not 
knowing where this party might strike. 

July 31st, a scout was ambushed near Westfield, and two 
Connecticut soldiers, William Olmstead and one Benton, 
killed. Another English scout coming up soon after, killed 
in turn two of the Indians. 

No more depredations in the valley this year are recorded, 
but the harassing uncertainty spoken of by De Vaudreuil 
still kept the Connecticut troops here, and parties constantly 
scouting on the frontiers ; it prevented labor in the fields, or 
any efficient action in getting a living. A strong garrison 
was kept here, and Benjamin Choate, a Harvard graduate of 
1703, was sent here by the General Court to be "chaplain 
to the Town and Garrison," for six months from November 
I St. He was continued here by the same authority until the 
return of Mr. Williams, on a .salary of ^^40. Part of this was 
paid by the inhabitants. 

The country tax for 1703-4 was ;^68, los. Thomas Wells, 
Constable, received a warrant from the Treasurer, directing 
him to collect and send in that amount. One-half was paid 
in 1703; the rest was due in May, 1704. October 25th, 1704, 
the Constable sent a petition to the General Court, asking re- 
lief; saying "The town was so far destroyed, that at least 
one-half that should have paid it, were killed or taken cap- 
tive." One-half of what was due in May was abated, and 
Col. Partridge, Preserved Smith, and Capt. Jonathan Wells, 
made a committee to reassess the balance of ^^17, 2s, 6d. 

As a preparation for a winter campaign, the General Court 
ordered, November 15th, that "5s be granted to every per- 
son who are or shall be furnished according to law with snow 
shoes and mogginsins." Their necessity had been demon- 
strated at Deerfield, Feb. 29th, 1704; and two weeks later^ 
500 pairs had been ordered for frontier use. At that time 
the price was three shillings, which went up to seven shil- 
lings before the war closed. 

1705. This year no enemy appeared on our borders. Vau- 
dreuil was crippled by the loss of the "Seine," his annual 
store ship of supplies, with "two millions of wealth." It was 
captured by the English in October, 1704. The Bishop of 


Canada, with twenty ecclesiastics were on board. It was a 
severe blow to the enemy. Negotiations for a treaty of neu- 
trality were set on foot this year, pending which, there was 
less disposition for hostile action. There were several alarms 
here, however, and much marching of troops, and continuous 

The following petition, found in the ^Massachusetts Ar- 
chives, gives a vivid picture of the town at this time : — 

To His Excellency, Joseph Dudley, Esq., &c., &:c. : 

The Petition of the Militia of the Town of Dearefeild Most 
Humbly showeth — 

That after the Bloody Desolation made by the French and Indian 
Enemy in the s'' town on the last of Feb 1703-4 wee ware unanimous- 
ly Determined to Desert the town & seek shelter and safty whear 
we could find it; But the Hon Left Colo Sam'' Patridge Issued forth 
a warant whereby we were Impressed into Her Magestys service & 
Posted as Garrison Souldiers in the s'' town & our hopes of seaving 
our lives by Quitting our Habitations superseeded by fear of Incur- 
ring the Penalty of Deserting Her majstys Service, And have Con- 
tinued ever sence the 2d of March 1703-4 under the said Impress, not 
being as yet Dismissed so that we are uncapable of Attending to our 
business to procure a maintenance for ourselves & families as other- 
wise we might Have done, being obliged to be in actuall duty as 
souldiers three fifth parts of our time. 

And in Confidence that we should Receive the Pay & Subsistence 
of those in Her Majstys searvis wee went to the neighboring Towns 
& run in debt for Provisions to sustain ourselves & familis (S: upon 
the same Expectations have been Credited by them, we have also 
thankfully to Acknowledge that the Account for our Pay & subsist- 
ence hath been accepted & Passed by your Excellency »S: Honors to 
the first of Dec last but understand by Col Patridge that our pay 
and subsistence for the time since that, is not alowed, which con- 
strains us further to Acquaint your Excellency & Honors & submit 
to your favourable Consideration that when the enemy slew & capti- 
vated the one half of our town they also plundered & destroyed the 
greatest Part of our Provision &: stock of cattle, that the last Sum- 
mer the frequent Alarums & continuall Expectations of the Enemy, 
with our obligations to Attend the Duty of Souldiers Put us by our 
Labour so much, that our crop of grain on w*" we Depend for our 
livelihood was inconsiderable, that we were in no wise capable to 
Discharge the Debts we have already Contracted for Supplying our 
necessities, If we may not obtain Pay for our searvis & subsistence 
for the time past. And we expect that as soon as it is known that 
we are Disniissed the searvice & to have no pay, that our creditors 
will arest us for what is now due & trust us no more for the future. 

We therefore Most Humbly pray your Excellency & Honors to 
take the Premises into your Compassionate Consideration, & grant 
us wages & subsistance for so long a time as we are continued in the 
searvis & when we shall be Dismissed such Protection as that we may 

3M QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

be enabled to follow our Husbandry, and we shall use our utmost 
diligence & endeavours to be no farther charge to the Publick. And 
the Petitioners shall as in Duty Bound ever Pray. 

Jonathan Wells, in the name & 
behalf of y'' rest. 

This petition was received Sept. 6th, 1705, and pay and 
subsistence was allowed the petitioners up to July 27th, 1705, 
at which time they were dismissed. 

At a town meeting Nov. 24th, 1705, — 

Voted y*^ Capt. Jonathan Weals should have aight pound in money, 
for his charges and sarvis in geeting our bill past. 

It was also agreed and voted y*^ Capt. Weals should recave his 8 
pounds out of y'' money y^ was obtained by his sarvis and to have 
deducted out of every man's bill, according to proportion. 

SoMicrs' Paj.—'' In Council, July 12th, 1704. A Muster Roll 
of the soldiers posted in garrison at Deerfield under the com- 
mand of Capt. Jonathan Wells, containing an account of 
Wages for their service from the 28th of Febuary, 1703 to the 
27th of June, 1704, amounting to the sum of ^^199, los, 2i^d, 
having been examined by Mr. Commissary General, was pre- 
sented," and a warrant to the Treasurer made out to Mr. 
Samuel Porter, to the order of Capt. Wells and company. A 
bill oi £11, 5 s, 6d was also allowed " for keeping the Post and 
scout horses, at the garrison in Deerfield " for the same 

November 20th, 1704, .;^397, i8s, 10 d was allowed on the 
Deerfield Muster Roll, on account of " wages for the service 
& subsistence from the 28th of June to the 20th of October, 
1704, and for subsisting the Auxiliary forces sent thither, and 
other incidental charges." 

December 13th, a supplementary account for £26, los, 3d, 
was allowed. The allowance for subsistence, fixed March 
22d, 1 703-4, was " I pound of bread a man a day, allowing 
one eighth for breakage ; Two pieces Pork, each containing 
two pounds, to 6 men per day, and sometimes two pieces of 
beef, instead of Pork, each containing 4 pounds to 6 men per 
day, 3 pts of pease for 6 men per day, 2 quarts of Bear to a 
man per day." 


In the eiTorts for the recovery and redemption of the cap- 
tives from Canada, Ensign John Sheldon was a central fig- 

ENSIGN Sheldon's resolution. 325 

lire. To his tenderness of heart, to his unflagging faith, his 
indomitable will, his muscles of iron and nerves of steel, is 
due in a large measure, the success which followed. His 
wife and their baby, his brother-in-law, and daughter's hus- 
band were slain. Four of his own children, his wife's broth- 
er with a large family, were in captivity. His house re- 
mained, but his hearthstone was desolate. The house of 
worship was spared, but the voice of his loved pastor was 
unheard within its walls. His colleague, Dea. Hoyt, was in 
captivity, and he alone was left to uphold the shattered 
church. Dea. Sheldon could give sympathy and Scriptural 
words of comfort to the bereaved, for he drank daily of the 
bitterness which flooded their souls ; but unfitted for other 
sacerdotal duties, he mourned sadly for his pastor and friend, 
and pondered in his heart the possibilities of his redemption. 
Other public duties also devolved on this man. Ensign Shel- 
don was second in command of the garrison, and the inces- 
sant labors of that summer of fear and disaster, we have al- 
ready seen. But as the season waned and the blasts of au- 
tumn laid bare the thickets which had been the coverts of 
the enemy, the danger lessened ; and when Rev. Benjamin 
Choate was sent to be their chaplain and spiritual guide, in 
November, and the deacon was thus relieved of his ecclesias- 
tical duties, he felt his presence less essential, and a grand 
purpose gradually took form. He resolved to risk his life in 
a visit to his distressed children and friends in Canada. He 
could no longer endure the uncertainty hanging over their 
fate, which constantly haunted him. Had they met a linger- 
ing death, on the march, through hardship and privation? or 
a sudden one by the merciful hatchet? Had their flesh been 
given to the wild beasts, and their bones left to bleach on 
some desolate hill, or moulder in some dark morass? How 
many, and which, of their precious ones were dead? How 
many of the younglings of the flock were imbibing 
poison in cruel bondage? These and similar questionings 
must be answered. Inspiring young John Wells (whose sis- 
ter had been killed and mother captured) with like resolu- 
tion, both set out for Boston, to get the necessary leave from 
the government. 

Dec. 13th, 1704, Gov. Dudley informed the Council that 
" John Sheldon and John Wells of Deerfield, who both had 

326 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

relations in captivity, were now attending him, and very ur- 
gent to have liscense to travell thither." On the 19th, he an- 
nounced that Capt. John Livingstone of Albany, who was ac- 
quainted with the route by the lakes, was in town, and was 
willing to go with Sheldon and Wells for ;^ioo and his ex- 
penses. The Council advised his being employed, and the 
next day the three Johns, with credentials from the Gov- 
ernor, and letters to Marquis de Vaudreuil, took the Bay path 
for Hatfield, where they were fitted out for the journey by 
Col. Partridge. Their route was over the Hoosac Mountain 
to Albany, and thence northwards through the wilderness. 

In an historical sketch of Ensign John Sheldon, read before 
the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial AsvSociation, Feb. 27th, 1878, 
C. Alice Baker says of this journey : — 

We need not go back to King Arthur for exploits of chivalry; our 
colonial history is full of them. This man, long past the daring im- 
pulses of youth, — this youth, whose life was all before him — show me 
two braver knights-errant setting out with loftier purpose, on a more 
perilous pilgrimage. 

Three hundred miles of painful and unaccustomed tramping on 
snow-shoes in mid-winter, over mountain and morass, through tan- 
gled thickets and "snow-clogged forest," where with fell purpose 
the cruel savage lurked; with gun in hand and pack on back, now 
wading knee-deep over some rapid stream, now in the teeth of the 
fierce north wind, toiling over the slippery surface of the frozen lake, 
now shuffling tediously along in the sodden ice of some half-thawed 
river, digging away the drifts at night for his camp; wet, lame, half- 
famished, and chilled to the bone, hardly daring to build a fire, — a 
bit of dried meat from his pack for a supper, spruce boughs for his 
bed, crouching there wrapped in his blanket, his head muffled in the 
hood of his capote, eye and ear alert, his mittened hand grasping 
the hilt of the knife at his belt; up at daybreak and on again, through 
storm and sleet, pelted by pitiless rains, or blinded by whirling snow, 
— what iron will and nerves of steel, sound mind in sound body, to 
dare and do what this man did! 

Slowly and warily, they traversed Lakes George and Cham- 
plain, down the Sorel to the St. Lawrence, and thence to Que- 
bec, where the worn travelers arrived without having been 
molested by the savages. Here the minister and his deacon 
met. Here the latter heard the welcome news that his chil- 
dren and relatives were still alive, and the sad story of those 
who fell by the way, among whom was the mother of John 
Wells, his companion. 

The envoys were well received by De Vaudreuil, and en- 
couraged to believe they would be successful in their mis- 


sion. Mr. Williams, who had been sent down to " Chateau- 
riche"* to prevent his hindering the Jesuits in their efforts 
to convert the captives to popery, had been allowed to come 
up to Quebec. Every effort was made to learn about the 
prisoners and forward measures for their relief. The Jesuits, 
who had great influence with Vaudreuil, obstructed the en- 
voys in their mission in every possible way, and at their re- 
quest, Mr. Williams was returned to Chateau Richer, after 
being at Quebec but three weeks. " One of chief note," prob- 
ably the intendant, invited Mr. Williams to dinner, where he 
was tempted with an offer to collect all the prisoners about 
him, and have a pension " large enough for an honorable 
maintenance for you and them," if he would be of their re- 
ligion. The Puritan replied, " Sir, if I thought your religion 
to be true, I would embrace it freely, * * '"^ but so long 
as I believe it to be what it is, the offer of the whole world 
is of no more value to me than a blackberry." His lordship 
then earnestly requested me, says Mr. Williams, "to come 
down to the palace to-morrow morning and honor me with 
your company in my coach to the great church, it being then 
a saint's day," who replied, "Ask me anything wherein I can 
serve you with a good conscience, and I am ready to gratify 
you, but I must ask your excuse here." It was after the 
Jesuits had given up all hope of any seeming compliance 
even, to their forms, that he was sent away from Quebec. 

The apparently courteous reception of Mr. Sheldon really 
afforded him little opportunity of communication with the 
captives, but as his presence in Canada became known, "it 
gave revival to many," says Mr. Williams, "and raised expec- 
tations of a return, * * * and strengthened many who were 
ready to faint, and gave some check to the designs of the Pa- 
pists to gain proselytes. But Cod's time of deliverance was 
not yet come." The Indians feared an exchange of prisoners, 
when the French might take away their captives without ran- 
som ; so they hustled them into hiding places, and pretended 
they were absent with hunting parties. March 29th, Mr. Shel- 
don received a letter from his son's wife enclosing the fol- 
lowing note, probably from Mr. James Adams, who had been 
captured at Wells, by Beaubassin, August loth, 1703: — 

* So Mr. Williams writes it, but Miss Baker has no doubt that this place is the 
present Chateau Richer. 

328 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702— 1713. 

I pray giue my kind loue to Landlord Shelden, and tel Him that 
i am sorry for all his los. 1 doe in these few lins showe youe that 
god has shone yo grat kindness and marcy, In carrying youre Daigh- 
ter Hanna, and Mary in pertickeler, through so grat a iorney, far be- 
iend my expectation, noing How Lame they war; the Rest of your 
children are with the Indians, Rememberrance Hues near cabect, 
Hannah also Liues with the frenc, Jn in the same house i doe. 

In reply the father sent the letter following, which, with 

that of Mr. Adams, has been preserved among the Sheldon 

family manuscript. By this it appears that Mr. Sheldon had 

before heard of his son Remembrance's whereabouts, but had 

not been able to get sight of him : — 

QuBECK, the I of Aperl, 1705. 
der child: — this is to let you noe that i rescued youres the 29111 of 
march, which was a comfort to me; this is to let you noe that i am 
whele blesed be god for it, and i maye tel you i dont here of my 
child as it the saye is that he is in the wodes a honten; remember 
my loue to Mr Addams and his wif and iudah writ and all the reste 
ase if named and my harty desire is that god would in his time opene 
a dore of deliurans fore you al and the mene while let us wait with 
patiens one god for it, hoe can bring lite out of darkness and let us 
cast al oure care one god whoe doeth care for us and can helpe us. 
Mr Williams is sent downe the riuer a gane about 18 or 20 miles i ded 
ingoy his company about 3 wekes [which] was a comfort to me. he 
giues his loue to al the captives there, my desire is that Mr Addames 
and you wod doe al you can with your mistres that my children mite 
be redemed from the indanes. our post retorned bake agan in 8 days 
by reson of the badnes of the ise, they goe again the sekcont of this 
month and i desine to com up to moreal the beginen of May. John 
wels and Ebenesere warner giues ther loue to al the captiues there, 
and soe rites your louene father, John Sheldon. 

The following fragment of a letter from Mr. Sheldon to 

his son John at Deerfield, should be read in connection with 

the above : — 

QuBECK, the 2 of aperl, 1705. 
dere child; — thes fue lins are to let you noe that i am in good 
helth at this time, blesed be god for it. i may tel you that we sent 
away a post the 18 daye of march, and thay ware gone 8 days, and 
retorned a gane by reson that the ise was soe bad. this may let you 
noe that i rescued a letere from your wif, the 29 of march, and she 
wase whel. 1 may let you noe i hant sene none of my children, but 
I hear thay are gone a honten. [The rest torn off.] 

The "post" referred to went across the country to Casco, 
in accordance with an arrangement with Gov. Dudley. The 
dispatches and letters were sent by Capt. Samuel Hill, another 
captive from Wells, and laid before the Council May 1 5th by 
Gov. Dudley. The reply of Vaudreuil to Dudley's proposal 


for an exchange of prisoners, was diplomatic and. evasive, 
and nothing came of it. 

Meanwhile the envoys in Canada, by persistent endeavors, 
and the kindly aid of Capt. De Beauville, brother to the Lord 
Intendant, secured the release of Hannah Sheldon, and one 
other of the Ensign's children, Esther Williams and two 
others. Early in May, the whole party, escorted by Courte- 
manche and eight French soldiers, set out for home by the 
way of Albany. Ostensibly this guard was sent as an act of 
honor and courtesy, but really to observe the condition of the 
enemy's country. Livingstone and the escort were probably 
left at Albany, while Capt. Courtemanche and Ensign Shel- 
don pushed on to Boston, leaving the redeemed captives at 
Springfield, on the way. They arrived before June 5th, as 
appears by the General Court records. On that day a com- 
mittee was ordered to audit the accounts of the "Messengers 
to Quebec." June 27th, they voted "that an order be made 
on the Treasurer, payable forthwith to Vaudreuil's Commis- 
sioner for the amount," taken up on their letter of credit, by 
Ensign Sheldon, which was 4000 livres. Courtemanche 
bought duplicates of the dispatches which Vaudreuil had 
sent Dudley by Samuel Hill, and another futile attempt was 
made to arrange an exchange of prisoners. 

Courtemanche being taken sick, Capt. Vetch with his brig- 
antine, was engaged to take him home by sea. Capt. Hill 
was returned by the same conveyance. At the solicitation 
of the French envoy, William Dudley, * son of the Governor, 
accompanied him to Quebec. The latter bore new proposals 
to Vaudreuil for an exchange of captives. The vessel reached 
Quebec in August, and on the petition of Dudley and Vetch, 
Mr. Williams was allowed to go up and join them. He and 
his son Stephen were entertained by Courtemanche, at his 
own house "most nobly," until September 19th, when he was 
sent back to Chateau Richer, because he hindered an English 
friar from making converts among the prisoners. Mr. Wil- 
liams says the priests " were ready to think their time was 
short for gaining English proselytes and doubled their dili- 
ofence and wiles.'" 

* Young Dudley was the orator at the Cambridge commencement, 1705, where 
" he spoke of Mr. Williams in Captivity." Courtemanche also attended com- 

330 QUEEN ANNE'^S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

When Dudley arrived at Quebec, Vaudreuil was at Mon- 
treal busy settling- troubles among his Indian allies at the 
west, and on the 16th and 17th of August he was holding a 
conference with the Iroquois, who complained that while he 
had persuaded tJicm to be neutral, their kindred in Canada 
[the Macquas] had been incited to take up the hatchet. The 
Governor defended his action as best he could, on the ground 
that it was necessary for them to make common cause with 
the Abenakis, who had been wronged by the English, and 
said that he must follow this course so long as the war be- 
tween France and England continued. To the English en- 
voys he held different language when he came down to Que- 
bec. He professed a great desire for peace, but found excuse 
for amending and returning the draft of the treaty brought 
by Dudley. He said the war could " never contribute to the 
glory of their sovereigns, or the aggrandizement of their 
States, but merely to the ruin and desolation of some poor 
families," and the priest at Chateau Richer told Mr. Wil- 
liams he " abhorred their sending down heathen to commit 
ravages against the English, saying that it was more like 
committing murders, than managing a war." 

October 12th, Capt. Vetch sailed for Boston with yoimg 
Dudley, where he arrived November 21st, having done little 
towards accomplishing the object of their mission, unless, as 
Ponchartrain, the French minister, suspects, the illness of 
Courtemanche was a pretense, "assumed as a cover for trade," 
tmder an arrangement with Gov. Dudley. This conjecture 
appears more than probable, by the operations of Vetch the 
next year. 

The vessel, however, brought home eleven captives, only 
three of whom are known — Stephen Williams, Samuel Wil- 
liams and Jonathan Hoyt. Nov. 30th, 1705, John Borland was 
allowed i^22 for their passage. 

By the same vessel which brought the captive boys, came 
the following letter and petition, addressed : — 

To the Honored Paul Dudley, Esq., her Magesties Attorney Cren- 
r'all for the province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England at 
his house att Boston in New England : 

Worthy Sir: — I hope at the receipt of this you will be made right 
glad at the return of Mr. Dudley, who has merited the thanks & a 
great reward of his country, for the great service he has done them 
here. These are humbly to request that favour of you as to draw up 


a petition to the General Assembly on my behalf, for the reimbursing 
Capt. Vetch money he has lent me for paying what I have been 
forced to expend for my comfort & the necessary relief of my chil- 
dren, j have on the other side drawn up some minutes for you to 
lay before the Honored Court that i desire you would better form, 
(S: give it to my son Samuel to present, in so doing you will abun- 
dantly oblige your afflicted friend, i know i need not use arguments 
to stir up your generous mind to plead the cause of such as are in 
distress, & therefore forbear them & do humbly offer my best re- 
spects to yourself & good lady, wishing you all happiness, & am sir 

Your humble servant, 

John Williams. 
Quebeck octob lo. 1705 

To the Honor'd Generall Court of the province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay in New England: 

I have for a long time (well known to yourselves) been in sorrow- 
ful state of Captivity under many exercising trials having so many 
children captivated with myself among the enemies (S: some of them 
among the heathen where they were reduced to many straits, so that 
i have been necessitated to be at considerable expense for their & 
my own comfort. One of my children came to me from the Indians 
the first of May past without so much as a shirt upon him, & unless 
i would be unmercifully cruel & have hardened my heart to all un- 
naturalness i could not avoid charges i have for the honour of my 
country & the comfort of my children expended ^18, 6 s, gd. 

These are humbly to request you to make payment of the same to 
Capt. Samuel Vetch who has been so charitable to give me several 
things that he saw I had a need of, though he had never seen me be- 
fore, who has also put me in a capacity to make payment for what i 
owed for my son's clothing &c. i hope you will be so generous as to 
reward the service he has performed with such prudence & unfailing 
industry & so charitable to me, as to make him full payment of the 
above named sum. our adversaryes upbraid our religion that it falls 
so short of theirs in charity & good works, whom i have put to si- 
lence in assuring them that our charity to all in affliction & good 
works of every nature far exceeding theirs. i promise myself your 
charity to me in my affliction and want (having lost what I had at 
Deerfeild) without any repining will yet give me occasion from my 
own experiences to refute their calumnyes. your charity herein will 
also be encouraging me still to keep my post (if God graciously re- 
turn me) a post lost without any default of mine. wishing you the 
guidance of God in all your publick affairs & concerns i am 

Dudley wisely chose to lay this ingenuous and high-minded 
appeal before the General Court, in its original form, fresh 
from the heart of the writer. I find the following record of 
action endorsed on this petition : — 

Nov. 22, 1705, Read in the House of Representatives. 

Nov. 27, Read & Resolved, That the Prayer of this Petition be 
Granted, and the sum of Eighteen Pounds Six Shillings and nine 
pence be Paid out of the public Treasury to the s'' Capt. Samuel 

332 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1/02 — T713. 

Vetch, to Imburse him the same sum, which he supphed Mr. Wil- 
liams the petitioner. 

Sent up for concurrence. 

Thomas Oaks, Speaker. 
In Council, Nov. 28, 1705. 
Read & passed a concurrence. 

ISA. Addington, Sect'}'. 


The Governor and Council could not accept the proposals 
brought from De Vaudreuil by Vetch, and the whole matter 
was left to Gov. Dudley, who was to advise with Lord Corn- 
bury, Governor of New York. To forward the business of ex- 
change, Dudley sent forty-seven French prisoners to Port 
Royal in December, and on the 1 7th of January, 1 705-6, he 
read to the Council his answer to Vaudreuil, which was " to 
be dispatched to Quebec by Mr. John Sheldon, attended with 
a servant or two, and accompanied by two French prisoners 
of war.'' Mr. vSheldon left home January 15th and on the 
17th he received an outfit from the Commi.ssary General at 
Boston, costing £4, 1 1 s. 6d, and a bill on Lewis Marchant of 
Quebec for £2, 10 s ; and for John Wells, on the same service. 
1 6 s, 6d. Joseph Bradley of Haverhill, it seems, got leave to 
attend the envoy as one of the servants. His wife was now 
in a second captivity in Canada. January 20th, vSheldon, 
bearing funds to the military chest in the valley, with Brad- 
ley, and the two Frenchmen, left Boston for Hadley, where 
they arrived the next day, as shown by the following paper : — 

Rec'd of Deacon Shelding this Jan'ie 21, 1705, three hundred for- 
tie one pound eight shillings ^: one penny w*^^'' s'' sum he Rec'd of 
Mr. James Taylor, Treasu'r in Boston, & Brought & delivered to me 
as aboovs'', w'^^'' I own 1 have the day of the date aboovs'' Received. 

per me, Sam'll Partkiuge. 

John Wells joined the party at Deerfield, and on the 25th 
of January, 1706, the ambassador plunged once more into the 
wilderness for a winter journey to Canada. His experience 
now aided him in battling with the elements, and a truce 
which had been arranged for five weeks, secured him from 
Indian hostility, and thus enabled him to push on more rap- 
idly and so arrive before its expiration. 

April 28th, 1706, De Vaudreuil writes to Ponchartrain, en- 
closing Dudley's propositions by Capt. Vetch, and his own 


reply ; with an account of the attempt to arrange a treaty of 
neutrality. He says : — 

This induced Mr. Dudley to send me, a Deputy by land, with a 
letter, about a month ago, but as it is not sufficiently explicit and as 
Mr. Dudley according to appearances is seeking only to gain time, 
the term 1 had fixed in my answer to these propositions having ex- 
pired, I permitted several small parties of our Indians to recommence 

This deputy was Ensign vSheldon, but Mr. Williams sa3^s 
the ensign reached Quebec "the beginning of March." On 
his arrival he was glad to find Mr. Williams ; but in a few 
days the latter was sent down to Chateau Richer, and Sheldon 
was left alone to prosecute his mission, which he found diffi- 
cult and perplexing. Dudley's dispatches were not satisfac- 
tory to Vaudretiil. The Jesuits used their all-powerful in- 
fluence for delay, and redoubled their artful efforts to seduce 
the young captives to popery. The sturdy envoy persisted 
in pushing his claims to at least as many captives as would 
equal the French prisoners which Dudley had sent to Port 
Royal, in December, 1705; ai;id he so far succeeded, that on 
the 30th of May, he embarked for Boston with forty-four Eng- 
lish captives, on board the French vessel La Marie, chartered 
at an expense of 3000 livres, for Port Royal and Boston. 
After considerable delay at Port Royal, he reached his desti- 
nation August 2d, 1706. 

In this company came James Adams of Wells, Hannah, 
wife of Joseph Bradley, — one of Sheldon's attendants, Eben- 
ezer(?) and Remembrance, sons of Ensign Sheldon, and his 
daughter Mary, Thomas French, Sen., John Burt, Benjamin 
Burt, his wife Sarah, and their children, Christopher, born 
April 4, 1 704, while on the march to Canada, and Seaborn, 
born July 4, 1706, on the home voyage. Mrs. Mary Hinsdale 
gave birth to son Ebenezer, on the voyage. Both babies 
were baptized by vSamuel Willard, on landing in Boston. 
The names of the others are unknown, but the greater num- 
ber were presumably Deerfield captives. August Sth, with 
light hearts, these began their homew^ard march. 

Mr. Williams not being allowed to see the assembled 
company of returning captives, wrote them a " Pastoral Let- 
ter," dated at Chateau Richer, May 28th, 1706. It w\as sent 
on board, " Per Samuel Scammon, Q. D. C. Present with 

334 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

Care I Pray." This was to be read to his flock on the home- 
ward voyage. He says : — 

"Inasmuch as I may neither be permitted to return with you; nor 
be permitted to come to see you before your return; these come to 
accjuaint you that I am truly desirous of Prosperity for soul and 
Body. I would bless (rod who is opening a door of Return for you; 
and if God be your P'ront Cruard & Rearward, it shall go well with 
you. * * * Pray for us that are left behind, that God would 
preserve and recover us, and give us Grace to (rlorify His Holy 
name, tho' He continue, yea increase our Trials. * * * \Vhat is 
it that is most upon your heart in your Return? Is it that you may 
with all Freedom Glorify God, in bringing forth much Fruit, whilst 
you are again planted in the Court Yards of our God? How sorrow- 
ful is it if your greatest design be to see your Friends so long Sepa- 
rated from you; to Gain Estates, and recover your outward Losses; 
and to be free again to go and come as you list!" 

This is the spirit of the whole address. He urges them to 
make it a business to glorify God. 

"Let God have the Glory of preserving you, and dont ascribe it to 
your own wisdom; dont think to go shares or partners with (rod in 
His Glory; He has done it for the honor of His Name * * * Dont 
think after your return; that having^ desired publicly in the congre- 
gation of God's people to have thanks returned to God on your be- 
half; you have done your duty * * * Thanksliving is the best Thanks- 
giving. * * * J ^yjgi^ yQy ^ hcalthy, a safe, a speedy passage to 
your destined port; if it be the will of God. But above all, I wish 
you a gracious, truly penitent, Christ prizing, and soul enriching, 
sanctifying voyage to a better port, when it is the pleasure of (rod 
to call you to come home to your Father's house." 

Zebadiah Williams, captured in Deerfield Meadows, Oct. 
8th, 1703, died in the hospital at Quebec, April 12th, 1706. 
Mr. Williams says : " He was a very hopeful and pious young 
man, * * * prayerful to God and studious and painful 
in reading the Holy Scriptures." 

Williams had "recovered one, [Joseph Edgerly] fallen to 
Popery," and after his death, the French told Mr. Williams, 
" Zebadiah was gone to hell and damned, for he had appeared 
to Joseph Edgerly in a flame of fire, and told him he was 
damned for refu.sing to embrace the Romish religion, when 
such pains were used to bring him to the true faith, and be- 
ing instrumental in drawing him from the Romish commun- 
ion — forsaking the mass — and was therefore now come to ad- 
vertise him of his danger." " I told them," says the plain- 
spoken Mr. Williams, "I judged it to be a Popish lie!" and 

THE envoy's bill OF EXPENSES. 335 

he soberly went about gathering evidence to prove it so ; and 
wrote to Samuel Hill and his brother Ebenezer, at Quebec, 
"to make discovery of this lying plot, to warn them of their 
danger." It seems he seriously feared its effect upon the 
superstitious minds of his flock. 

On Sheldon's return he presented his bill of expenses to 
the Governor: — 

An account of what John Sheldon (who was impressed by his Ex- 
cellency to go to Canada to treat about y*" English Captives) hath 
expended upon the Country's account in Canada for himself and the 
Captives in General : — 

By Taylors work in making clothes, 

To Mr Dubenot (?) [ — ] cloath for cloathing, for stockins, shoes, a 
shirt & a hat and a pair of gloves & a neckcioath, 

For a carriall to goe to see the captives at the MohavMk fort, 

For a cannoe and men to goe from Quebec to visit Mr Williams, 

More paid to Mr La Count my landlord at Quebec, 

More paid to the Barbour for me and my men and my blooting, 

More paid for washing. 

More paid my landlord at Montreall, 

More paid for my second visit to the cap's at the Mohawk fort, 

More what I laid out for the captives when i came away from Can- 
ada & one of the sailers. 

For John Wells for a hat i6 livres, foj^ silk, 8 livres, for a pair of 
stockins, I2 livres, for a shirt, 8 livres, ii sous, 

Joseph Bradley for a shirt, 

Delivered to Mr Williams, 

Laid out for my deaughter Mary, for necessary cloathing, 

More for my darter. 

To the doctor for John Wells and for other things for the captives, 

689 9 

Expended at Port Royal for Pocket expenses, ;^io-oo-oo-at 20d 

pr livre, 120 


Accompanying the above bill was the following petition : — 

Aug. 8, 1706. 

To his Excellency, Joseph Dudley &:c, &c, &c. 

The Petition of John Shelden in behalfe of himself, Joseph Brad- 
ley, & John Wells, humbly sheweth 

That your Petitioner with the afore mentioned Bradley & Wells 
were Sent by your Excellency & Council the last winter by Land to 
Canada to Obtain the Return of the Captives wherein they have so 
far succeeded, as that on the 2d instant They Arrived here with 
forty-four of the Captives. Your Petitioner entered upon the said 
service on the 15th day of Janu'ry last, the said Bradley on the 20th 
day & the s'^ Wells on the 25th day of the same month. 

Your Petitioners therefore humbly Pray your Excellency & this 
Hon'ble Court to Take into your Consideration their service aforsaid 
and the extraordinary Difficulties, Hazzards and Hardships they have 
undergone & the time spent therein, and Order Them such Allow- 



































336 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1/02 — 1713. 

ance &: Consideration for the same as in your wisdom you Shall think 
meet. And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. 

John Shelden. 

Wells and Bradley also petitioned in their own behalf : — 

To his excellency &c &c — 

The Humble petition of John Wells & Joseph Bradley Showeth 
that your Petitioners were lately sent by his Excellency to Qubeck 
with Sheldon and in their journey they were necessitated to be at 
some Expenses and your Petitioner Wells expended above three 
pounds ten shillings & Bradley forty sh beside snow shoes and pumps 
which cost him thirteen shillings and a Dog fifteen & beside there 
was a gun hired for the Voyage valued at 50 s which s'' gun was 
broken accidentally in y" discharging 

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that they may be allowed 
the Disbursements above mentioned and v*" money for the gun 

John Wells. 

Aug 7, 1706 Joseph Bradly. 

Action on these petitions by the General Cotirt : — 

Oct. 29, 1706, Granted to John Sheldon 35 pounds; to John Wells 
20 pounds & to Joseph Bradley 20 pounds over and above what they 
had in fitting them out. 

The successful mission of En.sign Sheldon having opened 
the door for the captives' return, the brigantine Hope, Capt. 
Bonner, was chartered to bring another party of them home. 
Augtist 9th, an order was issued by the General Court, that 
the captain of the La Marie be kept under inspection, and 
that the French prisoners be gathered at once at Cambridge, 
ready to be sent home when the vessel was ready. These 
prisoners had probably been scattered among the towns. By 
the following order, fottnd among the vSheldon manuscript, 
it appears that two of them were at Deerfield : — 

To the Constable at Deerfield. 
In her Maj'tys Name You are Required to Impress two Squa 
Lynes & any other Necessary the two Frenchmen now going to Can- 
ada stand in need of. fayle not. 27 August, 1706. 

Sam'll Partridge, Lt. Colo. 

Envoy John Sheldon, ensign and deacon, was constable as 
well, and as soon as his papers were presented and reports 
made to the Governor, he hastened home and Aug. 27th, he 
was fitting out these men to join the other French captives 
now being gathered at Cambridge for the home voyage. 

In June, 1706, the "Superior of the priests" told Mr. Wil- 
liams he was ragged, btit that his obstinacy against the Cath- 


olic religion prevented them providing him better clothes. 
Mr. Williams, always a match for a priest, replied : " It is 
better going in a ragged coat, than with a ragged conscience." 
This conversation was doubtless reported by John Sheldon, 
on his arrival at Boston, and reached the ears of Judge Sew- 
all, a friend of Mr. Williams. An entry in the diary of Sewall 
Aug. 1 6th, 1706, shows that he attended a meeting of the 
Governor and Council when he " spake that a suit of clothes 
might be made here for Mr. Williams." The garments were 
doubtless sent to Canada by Capt. Appleton. 

The brigantine Hope and La Marie, with Capt. Samuel 
Appleton as agent, sailed for Quebec with the French pris- 
oners soon after, reaching their port about October ist. Then 
came a trying struggle between the French priests and Mr. 
Williams for the possession of the captive children. " I can- 
not tell you," says he, "how the clergy and others labored to 
stop many of the prisoners. To some liberty, to some money 
and yearly pensions were offered, if they would stay." To 
some the}' urged the danger of shipwreck at that late season, 
and " some younger ones they told ' if they went home they 
would be damned and burnt in hell forever,' to af right 
them." To Mr. Williams's son Warham, then seven years 
old, they promised " an honorable pension from the King," 
and a "great deal" from his master, "an old man, and the 
richest in Canada." No means were left untried to prevail 
upon them to stay "at least till the spring. ^ * * But God 
graciously brake the snare, and brought them out." 

Who can imagine the anxiety and distress of the good pas- 
tor in this critical time? or the intense feeling of relief, when 
the strain was removed, and the Hope spread her white 
wings over fifty-seven English captives for the homeward 
voyage, and his lambs were .safe and beyond the reach of the 
Popish wolves? They sailed October 25th and had a narrow 
escape from shipwreck shortly after; but arrived safely at 
Boston on the 21st of November, 1706. On landing they 
were sent for to go before the General Court, which voted 
that "20 s be allowed each prisoner this day returned from 
captivity." Capt. Appleton's bill of expenses being ^^1406 
6 s, was allowed December 6th ; amongst the items of his bill 
were £2, 13s, 6d, for five Bibles sent to the captives, and 155 
livres paid for the redemption of three captives. This sum 

338 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702— 1713. 

was probably to reimburse the French for what they paid the 
Indians as the price of the captives ; Dudley having firmly re- 
solved not to "set up an Algiers trade," purchasing the cap- 
tives from the Indians, as such a course would surely en- 
courage them to further raids. 

December 5th, Mr. Williams preached "at the Boston Lect- 
ure," from Luke viii : 39 — " Return to thine own house, and 
show how great things God hath done unto thee." The bur- 
den of his sermon was that God should be glorified for all 
benefits received, and showing that God speedily answered 
particular prayers, while the captives were in the hands of 
the savages. 

December 6th, the General Court voted Mr. Williams forty 
pounds on condition that he returned to Deerfield within 
three weeks and remained a year. 

"Dec. 7, I invited the Gov'r," says Sewall in his diary, "to 
dine at Holmes.' There were the Gov'r, Col. Townsend, 
Bromfield, Leverett, Williams, Capt. Wells, Sheldon, Hook, 
Sewall." Townsend, Bromfield, Leverett and the host, were 
members of the Council. December 20th, Mr. Williams 
preached "at Mr. Bromfield's," and probably returned to 
Deerfield directly after, with his children and such townsmen 
as had not previously gone on. It may be he spent part of 
the winter in Boston writing and getting out his " Redeemed 
Captive." Sewall writes : — "Mch 8 [ 1 707] M"" Williams visits us 
and tells me he goes to Deerfield 14 nights hence next Tues- 
day. His Narrative is now in the Press." 

Of all the fifty-seven captives who returned with Appleton, 
the names of only Mr. Williams and his children Esther and 
Warham are known. 


There being still many English captives in Canada whom 
Vaudreuil had promised to return in the spring. Dudley pro- 
posed to the Council, January 14th, 1707, to have " a Person 
Ledger at Quebec, to put forward that affair, and that Mr. 
John Sheldon, who has been twice already, may be employed 
with a suitable retinue to undertake a journey thither on that 
service." This plan was adopted: Two men of -character 
and standing, Edward Allen, town clerk of Deerfield, and 
Deacon Edmund Rice of Sudbury, were selected as a " suita- 


ble retinue." Nathaniel Brooks, a DeerjEield captive, was 
added somewhere on the route. It was now a time of active 
hostilities, and this embassy though ever so wise and pru- 
dent, ran great risks. They might at any time be fired upon 
from some cover before their flao^ of truce was seen or their 
character discovered. 

They set out April 17th, and arrived at Quebec May 9th 
without molestation. In a dispatch to Dudley of June 20th, 
Sheldon says they found the city in a fever of excitement, 
over news of an expedition fitting out in Ncm^ England 
against Canada, and active in preparations to repel it. Their 
presence was unwelcome and the "Ledger" found a less 
courteous reception than on his former visits. He was not 
imprisoned, but was kept under strict surveillance and not 
allowed to go home lest he report the condition of their de- 
fences and military preparations. After about six weeks at 
Quebec, he was sent up to Montreal. Col. Schuyler writing 
to Col. Partridge, Aug. nth, 1707, tells him that his Indian 
spies, just returned, report that "they see Deacon Sheldon at 
Montreal, who walked the streets, but was told he was de- 
tained, and had not the liberty to go home." We find no 
details of the negotiations for prisoners, for Avhich there 
could have been but scant opportunity, in this crisis. With- 
in three weeks after Sheldon's arrival an English army had 
made an attack on Port Royal. The event of the campaign 
being determined, the embassy was allowed to depart. 

On the nth of August, Sheldon, bearing dispatches of 
August 1 6th, [N. S.,] from Vaudreuil to Dudley, set out from 
Chambly. He was escorted by five French soldiers under 
Capt. de Chambly, a brother of Hertel de Rouville. They 
arrived at Albany August 24th, whence Sheldon wrote the 
Council a letter, received September 2d, in which he says, 
" Col. Schuyler had obliged him, with the six Frenchmen, to 
attend the Lord Cornbury, at New York." This Avas no 
hardship for the Frenchmen ; and it gave them greater facil- 
ities for carrying out their secret instructions. Vaudreuil 
gave a detailed account of this mission in his dispatches to 
the home government. In reply, Ponchartrain, the war min- 
ister, says : — 

His Majesty approves of your haven spoken as you have done to 
the man named Schalden, [Sheldon] whom that Governor [Dudley] 

340 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

sent to you overland in quest of the English prisoners at Quebec, and 
even had you imprisoned him, and those of his suite, it would have 
been no great harm. You did well to send these prisoners to Orange, 
under the charge of an officer, and a detachment of soldiers, and to 
recommend that officer to inform himself of what was passing at 
Orange, and in countries in that direction, in possession of the Eng- 

Leaving New York, Sheldon's party traveled, eastward, by 
Saybrook, New London and Seeconk, reaching Boston Sep- 
tember 8th, when vSheldon delivered his dispatches to the 
Governor, and grave the Council a verbal account of his mi.s- 
sion. He soon after went home. In October, he was sent 
again to Boston as an agent for the town. On the 30th, he 
presented to the General Court the following petition and bill 
of expenses : — 

To his Excellency & Honors — 

The Petition of John Shelden Humbly Sheweth: 

That your petitioner, accompanied by Edward AUin & Edmund 
Rice and Nathaniel Brooks were ordered by your Ex'cy to undertake 
a Journey to Canada in order to recover the English Captives there. 
In obedience whereunto y'' Petitioner, with the persons afores'', be- 
gan their Journey on the 17th day of April last, and Proceeded to 
Canada, when your Petitioner faithfully (S: diligently pursued the s'' 
Designe to the utmost of his power, & so far succeeded therein, as to 
bring home with him seven captives, and Returned home again on 
the i8th of Sept., In which journey y' Petition', with the afors'' Per- 
sons, endured much fatigue ^: hardship & passed through great Dan- 
ger, ^: by their absence from their Kusinesse Sustained considerable 

Your Pef therefore. Humbly Praies y"" Excellency & Hon" to Con- 
sider the Premises, & order such Compensation & Allowance to him 
& those that accompanied him, in the s'' service, as in your Wisdom 
tS: Justice shall be thought meet. 

And your Pet'r as in Duty bound, shall ever Pray. 

Boston, Oct. 30, 1707. ' John Sheldon. 

An Accompt of the Sums of Disbursements of John Shelden in his 
Journey to Canada, in the Service of the Massachusetts Bay, from 
Aprill 17th to the i8th of Sep. 1707, viz, with 3 men travelling with 

livres. sous. 
Viz't from May glh to June 25th, expended for our Diet and Wash- 
ing, 174 13 
To expenses for Diet & washing from June 24 to Aug. 9, 142 13 
To expenses for a pr of shoes for Edvv. Aliin, 6 
More for said AUin for tobaccoe, 5 7 
Ex for Edm. Rice for a pr shoes, 6 
More for sd Rice for Tobaccoe, 4 i 
Expences for Nathanial Brooks for a pr shoes, 6 
More for tobaccoe, 2 15 
To an Indian to guide us into the way when bewildered, 6 


livres. sous. 
Pd to ferryman to going to Oso fort to se the captives, 2 

Pd to the Barber for trimming, 
Pd for Diet for Henry Segur, captive. 
More paid for sd Segur for stockins & shoes, 
Pd to a man for fetching sd Segur from the Indian town to Mont 

Pd for a Bottle Brandy for the voyage, 
Pd for a Deerskin for shoes & 3 pr Indian shoes, 

To further expences at Albany in coming home for ye ffrenchmens' 

To Diet for myself, 

for provision and drink for our voyage from York to Seabrook, 
pd for our ffreight, 
pd to ye fferryman at Seabrook, 
pd for a man iS: horse to N London, 
pd for quarters at Stoningtown, 
pd for Shoeing horses, 
pd for quarters at Seaconk & horse hire, 
pd Pocket expenses, 

































r? ' 



5 19 

pd out of his own particuler stock, viz. To money paid for hire of 
a man & horse to bring a Captive woman from Albany to Wood- 
bury, I ig o 

and to money paid for provision for the Captives, 10 6 


To pa for the Redemption of a molatto Captive, taken from Exeter 40 pieces 
of 8s, 8d, at lyd weight which he is to pay me. 

This petition was endorsed on the back : — 

In the House of Representatives: 
Nov. I, 1707, In ans. to the Pet. on the other side — 
Resolved that the Pet'rs Ace. herewith Presented, viz., Seven 
Hundred Livres amounting to tifty-eight Pounds sixteen shillings i^ 
eight pence allowed out of the Province Treasury. 

And for his time & Service in the affair within mentioned, the sum 
of fifty pounds, of which he is paid thirteen Pounds twelve shil's by 
a Muletto. And to each the three persons that went with him sev- 
enteen Pounds apiece. John Burrill, Speaker. 

A few days later, the following petition was laid before the 
General Court : — 

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esq., Captaine, Generall & 
Governor in Chief e in & over the Province of y Massachusetts Bay 
& New Hampshire in New England, the Honrable Council and Rep- 
resentatives in Gen'll corte assembled this i8th day of November, 

The Petition of John Shelding of Derefeild, Humbly Sheweth, that 
whereas 1 have been a great sufferer in the Common Calamities that 
hath befallen us at Derefeild, greatly impaireing mv estate (Iv: family, 
so that I have been Much Unsettled, & the Rather because so many 

342- QUEEN ANNE'S WAR— 1702— I 71 3. 

of o'' neighbors & of my own children were carried away into Captiv- 
ity, occationing my self to take three journeys to Canada, to obtain 
and be helpful! in their Release & Returning home againe, which 
hath been a Verry Difficult and Hazzardous Undertakeing, which I 
doubt not but this Hon'ble Corte is very Senceable of. Upon the 
Considerations afores'', I am imboldened to ask a Gratuity by (Grant- 
ing me a tract of some of the country's Land undisposed of, within 
or Nere the County of West Hampshire, in some conveynient place 
where I can finde it, to y^' quantity of five hundred Acres or there- 
abouts, and the Corte shall Judge Most Meet (!v: Conveynient for me, 
& least prejudiciall to any other Grant. The -Consideration of, & 
allowance to me as above will very much oblidge Your Humble Ser- 
vant as in duty Bound for yo'r Excellency & Hon'rs ever to pray. 

John Sheldon. 

" In consideration of his good services," 300 acres were 
granted the petitioner Nov. 26th, 1707. 

The names of the captives brought home by Mr. Sheldon 
on this ill-timed mission are unknown, save as gathered from 
the foregoing petition and bill. Nathaniel Brooks was from 
Deerfield. His two children were left behind ; their mother 
had been killed on the march. Henry Seger was son of 
Henry of Newtown. Of the Woodbury woman and the mulat- 
to nothing further appears. 

Such facts as have been found relating to the captives 
from Deerfield who remained in Canada, will be given as a 
contribution to their history. The list made up by Stephen 
Williams about 1730, and printed in Prince's edition of the 
" Redeemed Captive," may be referred to in this connection. 

The Carter Children. There is a family tradition that vSam- 
uel Carter was drowned while crossing a river in Canada and 
that he was previously engaged to be married to a Deerfield 
captive. On the death of their father at Norwalk, Conn., in 
1728, he left by will estate worth i^soo to John, and i^ 100 to 
Mercy, on condition they would come to Connecticut and re- 
main ten years. It appears by this will, and by a letter from 
their brother Ebenezer, the residtiary legatee, to his brother 
John, now preserved in the Carter family, that both John and 
Mercy were married and had children in Canada. 

When Col. Stoddard and John Williams were in Canada in 
1 7 14, as commissioners empowered to recover captives, John 
Carter agreed to go home with them ; but his attachment 
to the country was so strong that he changed his mind, and 
they were obliged to leave him. 


The following papers show that some of this family long 
years after came to New England to visit their relatives : — 

Albany, July 6, 1736. 

Lift. Ebenezer Carter: — This is to let you know that your 
brother John Carter is come from Canada, in Albany * * * ^nd 
the peopletin Albany did advice him to go alone afoot to Norwalck 
* * * We advice him to go with this man William Hobis (?) for 
he promise to take your brother along to Norwalck, for Reason we 
was afraid your brother should Lost himself before he comes to you, 
for he no not the Road. I desire you to Satisfy Hobis (?) when he 
has delivered your Brother. * * * Qq your best Indeavours to 
make him sta by you, and to bring him to Repentance. Love your 
Brother, for love is of God. We wiss you well. 

And Remain your Humble Servant, 
Robert Wendell. 
Ahasueras Wendell. 

Remember my Love to my wife and shildren and parens and all 

The bearers hereof, two of the sons of Mercy Carter, an English 
woman taken captive at Deerfield, Anno. 1703, and since married to 
a Cagnawaga Indian being desirous to travel to Norwalk in the Col- 
ony of Connecticut to visit the Relations of their mother there, this 
is to desire such persons in said Colony as may see them on their 
way thither, to direct them in their road, and afford them Necessary 
and proper Support; and if any Expect to be paid therefor, to bring 
in their account to us the Subscribers. William Pitkin. 

Albany, July the 5th, 1751. John Chester. 

After the close of the old French War, John Carter again 
appears in his native land. Capt. Ephraim Williams writes 
from Fort Massachusetts to Lieutenant Governor Phipps, 
Sept. 3d, 1 75 I, saying: — 

Last night came to the Fort 2 Erenchmen &: i English captive 
whose name is John Carter; he was taken when Deerfield was de- 
stroyed; he is now married in Canada & has a family there. The 
Frenchmen's mother is an English captive, taken at the same time. 
She was old Mr. Thomas French's daughter. They had a pass from 
the Governor of Canada, and are going to see their relatives as they 
say, but if the truth were known, I believe they are sent for spies. 

Three of Mr. French's daughters remained in Canada. It 
is not known which of them is referred to above. 

Abigail Dcnio. — She was a daughter of John Stebbins, 
twenty-six days married to James Denio, or Denieur, one of 
the " three Frenchmen "of Stephen Williams's list, when cap- 
tured. Their son Aaron when about ten years old came 
down with a party of Indians to visit his kin. His grand- 
father persuaded him to stay, and when the Indians were 
ready to return, Aaron could not be found. He became a 

344 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — \y02 — 1713. 

noted tavern keeper in Greenfield, was prominent in public 
affairs, and a soldier in later wars. 

Mary Field, Jr. — She was six years old when taken. She 
was adopted by a squaw and named Walahowey. She mar- 
ried an Indian, and both came down to visit her relatives. 
Nothing could induce her to remain, although it is said her 
husband was willing. vShe told her brother Pedajah, she 
would contrive his capture, that he might have the benefit 
of the Popish religion and a life in Canada. Pedajah believed 
the attempt was once made, and only frustrated by a skillful 
device which enabled him to escape from the scene of dan- 

Mary Harris. — Robert Eastman, captured at Oswego in 
1756, and taken to Canada, says "When at Cahnawaga, I 
lodged with the French captain's mother, (an English woman 
named Mary Harris, taken captive when a child from Deer- 
field, in New England), who told me she was my grandmoth- 
er and was kind." 

In the New England Historical and Genealogical Register 
is the following query : — 

In the early days of Ohio, 'White Woman's Creek' was a branch 
of Muskingum, and a town on it was called 'White Woman's.' Gist, 
in his journal, under date January, 1751, says: This white woman 
was taken away from New England, when she was not above ten 
years old, by the French and Indians. She is now upwards of fifty, 
has an Indian husband and several children. Her name is Mary 
Harris. Can any one tell whence she was taken or anything about 
her? C. C. Baldwin, Cleveland, Ohio. 

Capt. Joseph Kellogg writes from vSuffield, Conn., Dec. 3d, 
1744, that, — 

Two young men, Mary Harris children, have been with me twice, 
which have lodged at my house. One of them is a very Intelligable 
man about thirty years of age, and from them endeavoured to criti- 
cally examine them about the affairs of Canada. 

Kellogg was a fellow captive of Mary Harris. 

The woman in each of these papers appears to be Mary 
Harris, the Deerfield captive. All agree substantially as to 
her age, but at present it seems impOvSsible to reconcile these 
conflicting accounts, and no attempt at an explanation will 
be made. I have always thought her a child when taken, 
but have been unable to learn her parentage or previous his- 


Joanna Kellogg was eleven years old when taken. She 
married a chief of the Caghnawaga tribe. Many years after 
she was induced to visit New England, when every induce- 
ment was offered, and artifice and strategem used to prevent 
her return ; but all in vain. She died in her chosen home to 
all intents a veritable savage. 

Abigail Nivis, aged three when captured. There was a 
mystery hanging over her life never fully cleared up. It 
is not certainly known that .she was ever heard from by her 
friends. In her father's will, a provision was made for her 
in case of her return. There is no indication that the estate 
was ever called for by her. If the story, of which a glimpse 
is given in the Massachusetts Council Records, really relates 
to Abigail, as seems probable from the evidence, it is a tale 
which, in its suggestions and possibilities, is brimful of sad- 
ness and pathos. All that is known bearing on the matter is 
given below. 

At a meeting of the Council, July 31st, 1714, a letter from 
Col. Partridge, dated July 28th, was laid before it: — 

Giving an account of an outrage in the County of Hampshire, re- 
lating to a girl brought thither by a Macqua, and offered for sale; 
supposed to be an English captive carryed from Deerfield, it appear- 
ing so, by her own relation, and divers circumstances concurring. 
Advised that a letter be written to the Commissioners of Indian af- 
fairs at Albany to acquaint them thereof, that a strict examination 
and inquiry be made therinto, & that Capt. John Sheldon be desired 
to undertake the journey to Albany with said letter, and assist in 
said enquiry. And a letter was accordingly digested, signed and ex- 
pressed to Col. Partridge, with a letter from Gov. Saltonstal, to Capt. 
Sheldon to undertake said Journey. Further advised, that a copy 
of this s'' letter be sent to Gen. Nicholson at Pisquataqua, & that he 
be desired also to write to the Commissioners about this affair. 

" Ensign Sheldon, "' now a captain, and living at Hartford, 
accepted the mission, and went to Albany with his son. On 
his return he reported its results to the Council, which took 
the following action on the case : — 

In Council, Aug. 22, 17 14. Upon reading a letter from the Com- 
missioners of the Indian affairs at Albany, by Capt. John Sheldon, 
messenger thither to make inquiries concerning a young Maid or 
Girle, brought thither into Westfield by a Macqua and offered for 
sale, very probably, supposed to be English, & daughter of one [God- 
frey] Nims, late of Deerfield, and carried away captive, the Com- 
misioners insisting upon it that she is an Indian. 

Ordered, that Samuel Partridge, Esq., treat with the Macqua, her 

346 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1/02 — 1713. 

pretended master, & agree with him on the reasonablest terms he 
can for her release, & then to dispose her to some good family near 
the sea side, without charge for the present, to prevent her fears; 
unless Capt. Sheldon will be prevailed with to take her home with 

Paid John Sheldon for journey to Boston from Northampton, and 
back to Albany, and back, with his son, ^17, 16 s, yd, for time and 

In Council, Sept. 20, 1714. Ordered, that the sum of ^25 be paid 
to Elewacamb, the Albany Indian now attending with letters and 
papers from thence, who claims the English girl in the hands of the 
English, and her Relations at Deerfield, and that a warrant be made 
to the Treasurer accordingly. Also that a coat and shirt be given 
s'^ Indian. 

So it seems that Partridge was successful in his mission, 
and delivered the girl at Deerfield, before the above date. 
Here the ctirtain dropped. After this, not the slightest trace 
of Abigail Nims was found. 

The Commissioners at Albany believed she was an Indi- 
an. But it would appear that the Council of Massachusetts, 
Col. Partridge and Capt. Sheldon, as well as her "■relations in 
Deerfield," believed she was the Abigail Nims she claimed 
lobe. Which was right? What became of her? Did she, 
chafing under the ecclesiastical rigor of New England disci- 
pline, go back to the easy-going forms of Catholicism in Can- 
ada? Was she enticed away by some Canadian priest, anx- 
iotis for her soul's salvation ? Did she receive reproof rather 
than pitiful care, on her awkwardness in household work? 
Did she rebel against regular labor in any form ? Did she 
find civilized life uncongenial and irksome, and pining for 
the primitive freedom of savage customs, steal away into the 
wilderness for relief ? 

In the list of captives by Stephen Williams, a fellow cap- 
tive, Abigail Nims, is marked as one who never came back 
from Canada. Was the pretended Abigail, spurious? — an 
Indian girl, in a conspiracy with Elewacamb, to obtain ran- 
som money and to run away at her leisure ? Did she remain 
tmtil the return of Ebenezer Nims and wife ? They re- 
mained in captivity until Sept. i, 17 14, when they sailed from 
Canada for home. They must have been able to distinguish 
an English from an Indian girl. Did they detect the cheat, 
and send her packing? All speculations are idle. No voice 
comes in answer to all this questioning. This romance and 


mystery remain, and probably must remain, a sad, unsolved 
problem of border history.* 

Thankful Stcbbiiis, aged twelve. Hoyt, in Antiquarian Re- 
searches, says : — 

A gentleman who recently resided in Montreal stated, that at the 
lake of the Two Mountains, near the mouth of Grand river, he saw 
a French girl who informed him that her grandmother was Thankful 
Stebbing, who was one of the captives taken from Deerfield in 1704. 

Her father, John Stebbins, who died in 1723, made provis. 
ion in his will for five children then in Canada, provided they 
returned and remained in New England. Samuel alone re- 
turned. Their ages ranged from four to seventeen. 

Elizabctli {Price) Stevens. — She was wife of " Andrew Stev- 
ens y" Indian." She married in Montreal, Feb. 3d, 1706, Jean 
Fourneau, a Frenchman, and never came back. 

Eiinice Williams, daughter of Rev. John Williams, aged 
seven. — A ftill and interesting account of this case can be 
found in a paper read by Miss C. Alice Baker before the Po- 
cumtuck Valley Memorial Association in 1871. She re- 
mained with the Indians until she became practically one of 
them. Nothing could induce her captors to give her up, ei- 
ther to the English or French. " De Vaudreuil," says Mr. 
William.s, her father, " labored much for her redemption. He 
offered an hundred pieces of eight for her and was refused. 
His lady went over and begged her from them, but all in 
vain." How shall we account for the tenacity with which the 
fickle, money-loving savages clung to this child? It was said 
they "would as soon part with their hearts," as with her. 
Could it have been from personal attachment ? Was it not 
rather through the influence of the Jesuits, plotting a grand 
triumph over Mr. Williams? Prolonged and earnest efforts 
were made for her recovery; but wdien in 171 3 she married 
Amrusus, a Caghnawaga Indian, they were almost as hope- 

* Thanks to the untiring research of C. Alice Baker, the life of Abigail Nims 
in Canada has been recently traced. She was baptized June 15th, 1704, [N. S.] 
by the name of Mary Elizabeth. She lived with Ganastarsi, a squaw, who gave 
her the name of To-wat-a-go-wach. July 29th, 1715, [N. S.], nine months after 
her supposed appearance in Deerfield, Abigail was married at the Indian fort 
to Josiah Rising, a fellow Deerfield captive. They settled at the Lake of the 
Two Mountains, on a farm still held by their descendants. Here Abigail died 
Feb. 19th, 1748, [N. S.] leaving eight children. The oldest son became a priest; 
the youngest daughter, Lady Superior of the Community of the Congregation. 

A tree transplanted from the home of Abigail and Josiah is now growing near 
Memorial Hall, on land that was the home lot of Abigail's father. 

348 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

less. In 1740, she was prevailed upon to visit her brother 
Stephen at Longmeadow, with her husband, on the guarantee 
that she should not be detained. They came to New Eng- 
land again the next year, with two children, and stayed sev- 
eral months, visiting her relatives ; a third time in October, 
1743, and once again later. The General Court granted the 
family a large tract of land on condition they would remain, 
but to no purpose ; she, fearing it would endanger her soul. 
The only other reason ever given, so far as it appears, was, 
that her father had married a second wife. 

The papers below show the wide-spread interest in Eunice 
and some of the efforts for her recovery: — 

Peter Schuyler to Gov. Dudley : — 

May it please your Excellency 

Your Kxcellencys Letters of y 6"' & 10"' Currant for Expresse 
have Received togather with five letters for Mons'' Vaudreuil gov' of 
Canida which have deliver'' to y*-' french officer Dayeville who goes 
from hence y [19] Instant & have taken his Receipt for three Let- 
ters as you Designed which is here Inclosed as to what your Excel- 
lency mentions Relating to Mr Williams his doghter, the squaw nor 
she is not come her yet nor have I heard anything of her Coming 
altho I shall be very glad to see them and do assure your Excellency 
If they come together or be it y squaw alone 1 shall use all possible 
meanes to get the child exchanged Either as your Excellency pro- 
poses or what other way the Squaw will be most willing to C'omply 
with In the meantime shall Inform my Selfe by all op[)ortunities 
whether the said Squaw & Child be coming here or if they be any- 
where near by. Your Excellency may depend that whatever I can 
do for y obtaining of y-' s'' Child shall at no time be wanting. So 
shall take leave to subscribe my Selfe 
Your Excellency* 

Most humble «S: obedient 

Albany Dec i9(?) 1712 P Schuylkr 

John Schuyler to Gov. Dudley : — 

May it Please 
Yo"' Excellency 

I thought it my duty imediately (w^'^out any further Omis- 
sion) to signify to yo' P^xcellency my return from Mount Real to Al- 
bany upon y'^ 15"' of this Instant June with Mons' Bolock [Hertelde 
Beaulac. C. A. Baker] and three more and nine prisonirs a list of y' 
Names is herein enclosed: I sett them forward for New engl'' w"' 
Sam" Ashly and Daniell Bagg upon y*^ 10"' Instant I have not here- 
in incerted the charges; By reason I cann' make up the Ace''' till y'" 
Officers return to Canada; 1 have likewise enclos'' for Yo' Excellency 
my Memoriall that touches the concern of y'' ReV' Mr Williams y'' 
Minister at Dearfeild for his Daughter My indefatigueable Pains 


therein came to no purpose If y"^ Excellency hath the Returns of 
peace I hope to receive them; and then shall dispatch them away as 
directed. I found a great fatique in my Journey to and from Canada 
and waded through many Difficulties in y^' way w"' the Prisonirs To 
Dilate thereon would be prolix. I now beg leave to assure your 
Excellency of my Effection and Zeal to every yo' Commands and 
that in all Sincerity I am May it Please Yo'" Excell>' 

Yo'' most obedient humble Serv' 
Albany June y*^ John Schuyler 

lo"' 1713 

Col. Schuyler's narrative of the culminating event in the 
eventful life of Eunice Williams is as pathetic as it is dra- 
matic. The actors are all truly representative characters; 
the scene an epitome of the historic verities of our Colonial 
life. One may be pardoned if he do not quite agree with the 
honest Dutchman as to the disinterested efforts of the priests 
to release Eunice, whom they had baptized Margaret. 

A true and perfect Memoriall of my proceedings Jn behalf of Mar- 
garett Williams now Captive amongst y'' Jndians at the ffort of Cag- 
henewaga Jn Canada, Jnsisting upon here Relief and to persuade her 
to go home, to her father and Native Countrey, it being upon the 
instant and earnest desire of her ffather now Minister at Dearfeild 
in New England. 

J arrived from Albany at Mont Reall on y^' 15"' of Aprill last 
1 7 13 Where J understood y' Mons' de Vaudruille Govern'' and Chief 
of Canada, was expected then every day from Quebeck, Upon which 
J thought proper not to mention any thing touching the aforesaid 
Captive, untill his Excellency should be here himself, and according- 
ly when he arrived here; J propos'd the matter to him, who gave me 
all the Encouragem* J could immagine for her to go home, he also 
. permitted me, to go to her at the ffort, where she was to prepare, if 
J could persuade her to go home, Moreover his Excellency said that 
w"' all his heart, he would give a hundred Crowns out of his own 
pockett, if that she might be persuaded to go to her Native Countrey; 
J observing all this, then was in hopes, J should prevaile with her to 
go home. Accordingly J went to the ffort of Caghenewaga being 
accompanied by one of the Kings Officers and a ffrench Jnterpreter 
likewise another of the Jndian Language, Being upon the 26 Day of 
May entring at the Jndian ffort, J thought fitt first to apply mySelf 
to the priests; As J did, Being two in Company, And was informed 
before that this infant (As J may say) was married to a young Jndian 
J therefore proposed to know the Reason why this poor Captive 
should be Married to an Jndian being a Christian Born (tho neerly 
taken from the Mothers Breast and such like Instances &c) Where- 
upon the priest Sett forth to me Such good Reasons, w^^' Witnesses 
that my Self, or any other person (as J believe) could fairly make 
Objection against their Marriage; (First s'' he they came to me to 
Marry them) very often w''' J always refus'd w"' good words and per- 
suasions to the Contrary, But both continuing in their former resolu- 

350 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

tions to Such a Degree, that J was constrained to be absent from 
y^^ the iTort three Severall times, because not Satisfyed mySelf in 
their Marriage; Until! last, after Some days past they both came to 
me, and s'' that they were Joined together, And if he would not 
marry them they matter'd not, for they were resolved never to leave 
one the other But live together heathen like; Upon w'^'' J thought 
proper to Join them in Matrimony and Such like Reasons as afore- 
said the priest did plainly Sett forth) ami after some further dis- 
course, J desired the priest, to let me see her at his house, ffor J 
knew not where to find her upon which he sent for her, who p'sently 
came with the Jndian She was Married to both together She looking 
very poor in IxkIv, bashfuU in the face but proved harder than Steel 
in her breast, at her first Entrance into the RoQm, J desired her to 
sitt down w''' she did, J first Spoak to her in English, Upon w''' she 
did not Answ'' me; And J believe She did not understand me, she be- 
ing very Young when she was taken. And liveing always amongst 
the Jndians afterwards, J Jmployed my Jndian Languister to talk to 
her; informing him first by the ffrench Jnterpretor who understood 
the English Language, What he should tell her, and what Questions 
he should Ask her, Accordfngly he did J understood amost all what 
he said to her; And found that he Spoak according to my Order but 
could not gett one word from her. Upon which J advised the priest 
To Speak to her And if J could not prevail w^'' her to go home to 
Stay there, that She might only go to see her ffather, And directly 
return hither again, The priest made a long Speech to her and en- 
deavoured to persuade her to go, but after almost half an hours dis- 
course — could not get one word from her; And afterwards when he 
found She did not Speak, he again Endeavoured to persuade her to 
go and see her ffather. And J seeing She continued inpersuadable to 
speak; J promised upon my Word and honour, if she would go only 
to see her ffather, J would convey her to New England, and give 
her Assureance of liberty to return if she pleased — the priest asked 
her Severall times, for answer upon the my earnest request, And 
fair offers w'''' was after long Solicitations (Jaghte oghte) which word 
being translated into the English Tongue their Signifycation (is) may 
be not) but the meaning thereof amongst the Jndians is a plaine de- 
nyall and these two words were all we could gett from her; in all- 
most two hours time that we talked with her, Upon this my eyes 
being almost filled with tears, J said to her mySelf, had 1 made such 
proposalls and prayings to the worst of Jndians, J did not doubt but 
have had a reasonable Answere and consent to what J have s''. Up- 
on w''' her husband seeing that J was so much concerned about her 
replyed had her ft'ather not Married againe. She would have gone 
and Seen him, long Ere this time But gave no further reason and the 
time growing late and J being very Sorrowfull, that J could not pre- 
vail upon nor get one word more from her J took her by the hand 
and left her in the priests house. John Schuyler. 

The following letter gives us a parting glimpse of Eunice 
enjoying a serene old age in her Canada home. It was writ- 
ten by James Dean to her brother Stephen. Dean had spent 
several months at Caghnawaga and knew Eunice intimately. 


The original letter is owned by Edward E. Ayers of Chicago^ 
who kindly loaned it for my examination and use. Two ex- 
tracts are given : — 

* * * "She has two daughters & one grandson which are all the 
Descendants she has. Both her daughters are married : But one of 
them has no children. Your sister lives Comfortably & well d^ con- 
sidering her advanced age enjoy'' a good state of health when I left 
the Country. She retains still an affectionate remembrance of her 
friends in New England: but tells me she never expects to see them 
again; the fatigues of so long a journey would be too much for her- 
to undergo" * * * " Should have written more particular respect 
ing your sister, but I suppose you either -have, or soon will receive a 
letter from herself, which Mr. Frisbee has brought down, in which 
she gives a particular account of her family." 

Where is this letter? 


Penhallow, who died in 1727, gives the following anecdote, 
in referring to the invasion of Deerfield, February, 1704. It 
is not found elsewhere. A certain historian (?) has transferred 
this story to the time of the capture of Fort Massachusetts in 

Some of the captives then in Canada, knowing the enterprise that 
was then on foot, sent several letters unto their friends, which the 
enemy did carefully put into a bag and hang it upon the limb of a 
tree in the highway; which letters were afterwards found, and satis- 
faction of those that were then alive among them. 

There is a tradition in the Nims family, that when De 
Rouville's expedition was being planned, some of the leaders 
made John Nims the offer to save harmless all of his friends, 
if he would act as their guide. The proposition was joyfully 
accepted by Nims, with the expectation of being able to es- 
cape and give seasonable warning. But when the matter 
came to the ears of the Governor, he forthwith put a stop to 
the project, as a dangerous experiment. 

Soon after John Sheldon left Canada for home in 1705, 
four young men, disappointed at not being allowed to return 
with him, made their escape and reached home about June 
8th. Their names were Thomas Baker, John Nims, Martin 
Kellogg and Joseph Petty. They had no arms, but probably 
a small stock of provisions, and reached our frontier more 
dead than alive from hunger and fatigue. They were dis- 
covered in Wisdom in an imbecile condition, and seemed 

352 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

guided more by instinct than reason, in making their way 
towards home. Their appearance when brought in was such 
as to melt the stoutest heart. Nourishment was given ac- 
cording to the judgment of some old men, who had known 
what starvation was by experience. But the alternate ab- 
ject supplication, and impotent wrath, with which the poor 
fellows begged and fought for " more," was more than some 
of their friends could bear ; and stringent measures were 
necessary to prevent such a response to these appeals as 
would have proved fatal to the sufferers, according to the 
theory of those in charge. Broth, in small quantities, was 
given at first, and by slow degrees more substantial food, un- 
til they were filled. It was a long time before their cravings 
were satisfied. After having eaten all they could, they still 
felt as hungry as ever. 

I had this account, when ten years old, from my grand- 
mother Sheldon, who was fifteen when John Nims died, and 
who heard it from his own lips. vShe was then more than four- 
score, and the story came from her trembling lips with a pa- 
thos never to be forgotten. I recall another incident : One 
day when the fugitives seemed at the last extremity, they 
discovered and killed a great white owl. This was instantly 
torn in pieces, which were laid in four piles, and fairly di- 
vided, one turning his back, and responding to the query, 
"Who shall have this?" until all had been "touched off." 
Each took his share, and hardly waiting to pull off the feath- 
ers, tore the tough fragments with their teeth, like vSO many 
ravenous beasts. Grandmother said, " John Nims always in- 
sisted that a wing which fell to him was the sweetest morsel 
he ever tasted." 

As an illustration of the value of tradition this story will 
be left as printed in the first edition. How the slow tortoise 
of which Petty partook, as appears in the following letter, 
obtained the plumage of the grave bird is of no consequence, 
for the " Providential Great White Owl " will still live, with 
"Goffe the Guardian Angel" of Hadley. And both will 
plume themselves and dress their feathers on the pages 
of so-called historical writers, to the music of the silver 
toned " Bell of St. Regis." To the courtesy and generosity 
of William F. Havemyer of New York City, we are able to 
ofive the followino^ letter, the origfinal of which is framed in 


Memorial Hall. It wa.s procured by him at an auction .sale 
in Philadelphia in 1892: — 

Rev" S'- 

Upon your desire, I now present you with a Narrative of my es- 
cape from Canada, tho it is now so long Since y' 1 may possibly for- 
get some particulars. But the ace' as near as 1 can remember is as 
follows viz^ About thirteen months after 1 was taken from Deerfield 
(w' you well remember) four of us consulted methods to make our 
escape. Sometime in May upon y'' great procession day we had Lib- 
erty to go in & about y" city of Mont Real & there we happened all 
to meet together & John Nyms & 1 informed y other two of our de- 
sign to make our escape. This was on a thirsday [May 10] & we 
agreed y' y'' other three were to come down to where I lived w' was 
about 9 miles from y'city &: w' was something remarkable y'^ guns & 
Provisions w' 1 had designed to bring w"' us was in another room 
from where I Lodged w^ exercised my mind very much how 1 should 
come at y'" since I Lodged in another room with y^' people of y^' 
house & w' still oppressed my spirits more was, y' coming in from 
work at noon I found a bed & sick person placed in y' room where 
y'' guns & Provisions were : & I thot now it was impossible to escape 
but upon my return at night I found y'" sick person removed & my 
bed brought into y' room w" much revived me. 

on y^' Sabbath | Alay 13] following I was to go to y"" city again to 
conclude further about our escape, c^ having confirmed all matters I 
returned at night & found my Landlords son there w*" was designed 
to Lodge with me w"^ again dashed my spirits much for now I thot 
it impossible for me to Escape from him. 

But while I sat pausing w' to do I remembered y' I was to set up 
a sign by y*' River for y" other three to know where y*^^ house was & 
I thot I would go & do y^ w' w" I had done upon my return I found 
my Landlord's son moving off & would not stay tho much persuaded 
to tarry ^: altho it was very Dark & he did go; w'^' again revived me 
& about break of day y" other three came & I handed y'" two guns & 
some Provision & we took a Cannoe & passed y" River by sun rising 
& tho y'^ people Lived on y'' other side we passed by them undiscov- 
ered. This was on monday morning [Alay 14] & on Wednesday 
about sun two hours high at night we arrived at Chamblee River 
about 9 miles below y"-* fort y'e we made a raft & went over & y'' next 
day we travelled up against y'' fort & stopped to get some Provision 
killed a calf &: dryed it, but friday & Saturday rained so hard y' we 
could not travel w"" y" we judged made against us but in Providence 
we found it otherwise, for those y' pursued us were in this time re- 
turned, on y*^^ Sabbath following we set out for y^' Lake & arrived 
y'"'= on Wednesday about no [torn] there we found two cannoes w^ we 
judged our pursuers [torn] ad Left one of these we took & came 
along with our journey, & came along y' day & all night & y" next 
day & at night Left our Cannoe [x pou?] we came along on y^ east 
side of y Lake untill we came to y mouth of Misisecou River we 
went up this river all night for it comes along y'^' same course as y*" 
east shore of y"^ Lake & next morning we found a small runn [?] 
wather w'^ Led out of y*" River into y*^ Lake w*^ we made use of to 

354: QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

waft us into y Lake again: there is extraordoary good Land on each 
side of this River all y way we went as far as we could perceive, 
this day we travelled on y^' Lake till night & Lay by y^' Lake, but 
next morning y^' wind was so high against us y' we Left our Cannoe 
& travelled on y^' side of y Lake y* day: & y next day being Satur- 
day we struck across for French river falls & arrived there on Sab- 
bath about 9 in y morning, this we travelled up about 2 or 3 dais & 
Left it (S: struck away for y'' branches of White River & on y^' next 
Sabbath about 9 in y> morning we came to White River Now our 
Provision was spent excepting some small matters we had Left to 
fish withal, tS: y' day we spent in getting Provision tS: supplied our- 
selves for y' night & part of y next day w^' was all y Provision we 
had untill we came to Deerfield excepting y leg of a tortoise & a 
small hook fish w'" we brought along a Little way. y'^ next night we 
came to y mouth of white river tV made a fire & designed to Lodge 
there &■ we set one to fish for us; but by reason of y flies he was 
soon discouraged & as soon as he came up 1 was going down to y'' 
River to drink <S: espied an Indian on y East side of y^^ Great river 
coming to drink w*^^ made me stop and hide myself untill he was gone 
off & for fear of discovery we made off y' night & y'' next day our 
provision being spent sometime & we weak cV faint we thot best to 
make a raft upon w'' we came down y' day & y next night on Con- 
necticutt River & y'' next day also we still continued our Course on 
y'^ raft & on thursday about 9 or 10 in y^' morning we came to y^' great 
falls, there we Let go our raft & went below y falls <,V made another 
& came y' day to y^' Lower end of y great meadows or y'" place now 
called y*^' Cannoe place there we Lodged y' night & y'' next morning 
we came on our raft to y'' meadows where y fort is now there we 
Left our raft c^: came on foot y' day into Deerfield about twilight in 
y'^ evening & thus thro the good hand of divine Providence (w* 
watched over us all y way) we safely arrived to our own native I-and 
again & were joyfully received tSc well taken care of by our friends 
upon W I cannot but say y' we have reason to praise God four our 
deliverance, & never forget his be [torn] ts. thus S'' I have given 
you a brief & as exact a relation [torn] can well, since t'is so Long a 
time passed since, & if it may be of any service 1 Rejoyce & sub- 
scribe my self yours to Command Joseph Petty 

[This letter was addressed to] 

"The Rev" 

Mr. Stephen Williams 



Ebcnezer Niins, seventeen when capttired. He wa.s adopted 
by a squaw, and lived at Lorette ; perhaps taken to fill the 
place of a son killed in the expedition. He came home with 
Stoddard and Williams in 17 14, bringing his wife and son 
Ebenezer. The Indians of Lorette were so much attached 


to this family that on hearing they had been taken on board 
the vessel by force, they came to Quebec in a body to rescue 

Sarah Hoyt, seventeen. The priests urged her to marry. 
They pertinaciously insisted upon it as a duty, and had a 
French officer selected as her mate, thus assuring themselves 
of a permanent resident, and popish convert. Professing to 
be convinced of her duty in the matter, Sarah declared one 
day in public that she would be married, if any of her fellow- 
captives would have her. Ebenezer Nims, a life -long com- 
panion, at once stepped forward and claimed her for his 
bride. The twain were made one upon the spot. The wily 
priests had met their match, for it is easy to believe that this 
was a pre-arranged issue on the part of the lovers. 

Eboiczcr Carter. A family tradition says, "he w^as stolen 
away by merchants trading between Montreal and Albany, 
and restored to his father." Probably this story originated in 
the following incident: Feb. i ith, 1707, Col. Schuyler writes 
from Albany to Capt. Partridge: "Yours of the nth came 
to hand by this Indian you sent it by. As to the boy the 
Indians brought here, he is at my house, in good health, and 
when his friends come to redeem him, shall be delivered up." 

Samuel Carter, in a petition to the Connecticut General 
Court, May 8th, 1707, says his son Ebenezer "was redeemed 
by paying £2^, borrowed money." It is probable that some 
of the Schuylers had been engaged to redeem Ebenezer from 
his Indian master in Canada, and that he was the boy re- 
ferred to in the above letter. 

Benjamin Burt and his wife were among the captives. 
Their first child, Christopher, was born April 14th, 1704, on 
the march. They were among those recovered by Ens. Shel- 
don, on his second expedition, and a second child was born 
to them July 4th, 1706, on the return voyage. It was named 
vSeaborn, and baptized on his arrival in Boston by Rev. Sam- 
uel Willard, as already stated. 

JonatJian Hoyt, sixteen. The story of his redemption is 
told by his grandson, Elihu Hoyt, who was nine years old 
when the captive died. When young Dudley was at Quebec 
with Capt. Vetch, in 1706, he was attracted one day by the 
English-looking face of a boy on the street ; he spoke to him, 
learned he was from Deerfield, and that his Indian master 

S5C) QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702— 1713. 

was in the city, selling garden truck. He fcnind Hoyt anx- 
ious to go home, and told him to go and fetch his master. 
With a light heart he tripped about the city until his master 
was found and brought to Dudley. The latter holding out 
twenty silver dollars, offered them for the boy. The savage 
could not resist the temptation, and accepted the coin. Hoyt 
was at once hurried on board the English brigantine. As 
Dudley expected, the Indian soon repented of his bargain, 
and came back with the money. But it was too late, and he 
went away lamenting that he had parted with his favorite 
boy for a few dumb dollars, that could neither hunt nor fish. 
His home was at Lorette, where Hovt had learned the Indian 
language, which he spoke fluently as long as he lived. In 
after years his Indian master paid him a vi.sit at Deerfield, 
and was well received and kindly treated. On parting, "they 
took an affectionate leave of each other, expecting to meet 
here no more." 

Mary Sheldon, seventeen years old when taken, was adopted 
by a squaw. After the war her Indian mother often visited 
her in Northampton. She would never sleep in the house but 
would go out to Fort Hill to sleep every night. On this hill 
stood an Indian fort before Philip's War. 

Stephen Williaius, then ten years old, was taken by an 
" Eastern Indian," named Wattanamon, who, after two or 
three weeks, gave the boy to his brother, who took him the 
next summer to the fort at St. Francis, an Abenaki settle- 
ment. But, as this .savage " could not comply with their rites 
and customs, he went to Albany," leaving the captive with 
his kin.sman. Sagamore George, a Pennicook chief, who had 
settled at St. Francis. The latter was a faithless, avaricious 
fellow, who, while Stephen was yet in the hands of his second 
master, had taken money of Mr. Williams for his redemption 
and appropriated it to his own use. He now set a price of 
forty crowns upon the boy, which, after a long parley, was 
paid by Vaudreuil. 

What is the explanation of the undisputed fact, that chil- 
dren taken among savages soon became strongly attached to 
their mode of life ? There is plenty of evidence that many 
of those taken from Deerfield, remained in Canada of their 
own choice ; that many who did return were induced to leave 
savage for civilized life with great difficulty ; and some were 


hardly restrained from returning to it. after many years. 
Agassiz, in reply to this query, said he thought it was a reac- 
tion from the rigid restraint of Puritanic training. Others 
say, children always fall naturally into their surroundings, 
whatever they may be. While the latter view may apply to 
very young children, and the former to those older, neither 
appears to cover the whole ground. It would seem that our 
every-day observation gives evidence, that there is an ele- 
ment, underlying all such considerations, where the explana- 
tion may be sought, if not found. 

We all know the fascination of camping out. Nothing so 
delights the heart of youth as a wigwam in the woods. Al- 
though it be represented by a shawl spread over bushes in 
the garden, or even over chairs in the parlor, the charm is 
still there. The same feeling governs those of a larger 
growth, who find no keener enjoyment than shanty life on 
the borders of some wild lake, or in the depths of a primeval 
forest, where they can indulge in the natural sports of fish- 
ing and hunting. In the .same direction are picnic parties, 
where all are happy in using fingers instead of forks, green 
leaves for napkins, and a single cup supplies the wants of 
many ; where ottomans and sofas are found on .stumps, logs 
or stones, and pine needles, or green-sward, are a more en- 
joyable carpet than the most luxurious product of the loom. 
And the more highly cultivated the participants, the more 
keen the zest. In the late rebellion, young men, nurtured 
the tenderly, living luxuriously all their days, were 
never happier than when enduring the rough usage of a sol- 
dier's life, — the hard march, the coarse fare and the bivouac 
under the stars. For such, the artificial life of a high civil- 
ization, the etiquette of their accustomed social circle often 
became henceforth irksoine ; the cramping influences of their 
old life were unendurable, and thousands have broken away 
for broader and more natural surroundings. To-day they are 
scattered all over the plains and mountains of our great 
Western wilderness ; shepherds, " cow-boys," hunters, miners, 
enduring almost all the hardships incident to a savage life. 
Here extremes meet ; the most scholarly productions of our 
universities strike hands with the unlettered trapper, or 
guide, find a common level, become boon companions, and 
perhaps bosom friends, and but for their maturer years, would 

358 QUEEN anne's \yAR — 1702 — 171 3. 

easily lapse into the same condition of barbarism which 
swallowed up the young Deerfield captives in Canada. 

Do not these things all indicate a natural desire for a clos- 
er walk with nature? a more primitive life? a deep-seated 
protest against the results of hot-house cultivation ? a tenden- 
cy, which, when the pressure of centuries is removed, be- 
comes the controlling influence? The same tendency may 
be observed in flowers, fruits, and domestic animals. Those 
brought by artificial means to the highest degree of excel- 
lence, retrograde the most rapidly. It is only by unceasing 
cultivation and care, that those are kept from falling back 
into the condition of the original stock. 


During the negotiations between Gov. Dudley and De 
Vaudreuil for an exchange of prisoners and treaty of neu- 
trality, there was a general desire for peace on the part of 
the English. Dudley evidently did not share this feeling. 
He was ambitious for the conquest of Canada ; and his policy 
seems to have been, to prolong the correspondence tmtil he 
could recover the captives in the hands of the enemy, and 
gain time and opportunit}' to effect his object. During this 
same period, Vaudreuil, who had become alarmed for the 
safety of Canada, and therefore desirous of peace, sent no 
parties of Indians our valley. The vigilance of our 
authorities, however, was not relaxed. A garrison constantly 
occupied Deerfield, and scouts were kept ranging the woods. 

The following orders, found among the vSheldon manu. 
script, have historic interest and value ; showing, as pictures 
of the times, the power conferred upon military officers over 
persons and property in public eixigencies, and their mode of 
exercising it : — 

To y" Constable of Derefield: 
In her Maj'sts name, these Require you to impress such & so many 
men of the Derefield Inhabitants, or others, as are well acquainted 
with the woods up the River & ajacent woods, to be pilates for the 
scouts that are now sending out, & shall be sent out according to 
direction you shall from tyme to tyme receive from Capt. Jon- 
athan Wells, or from Capt. John Stoddart; &: hereof you may not 
fayle at yo'r Utmost Perrill; dated in Hatfield this 21 June, 1706, In 
the 5th yeare of Her Maj'sts Reign, Anno domino. 

Sam'll Partridge, Lt. Colo. 



To y*" consabel of Dearfield, Greting: 

This Require you jn Hear Magj'tis Name forthwith to Impress 
one Good & abel Hors, bridel «Sc sadel, for Hear Majytis sarvis; Hear 
of you may not fail. Given under my Hand this 20 fo July, 1706. 

Jonathan Wells, Capt. 

In her Maj'tis Name you a Required to Impress two Squa lynes & 
any other Necessary the two Frenchmen now Goeing to Canada 
stand in need of; fayle not. 27 August, 1706. 

Sa.m'll Partridge, Lt. Colo. 

To the Constable of Dearfield:. 
In Her Majisties name you are hereby required forthwith to im- 
press and deliver to Capt. John Stoddard, pork or any other provis- 
ions, Ci: so much as he shall direct to, also, men horses, or anything 
or things whatsoever he shall think needful; to be imployed in Her 
Majesties service according as he s'' Stoddard shall direct; herof 
fayle not at your peril: dated at Hatfield, this 25th day of Sept'br, in 
the fifth year of her Majesties Rn, Anno y"" Dom'i, 1706. 

Sam'll Partridge, Lt. Colo. 

The above order was not in Partridge's handwriting. It 
was endorsed on the back : — • 

Deerfield, Oct. 11, 1706. 
pursuant to the within, this warrant John Sheldin of Dearfield, 
constable, hath impressed pork and other things, all which were done 
by my order and direction. John Stoddard, Capt. 

When the joyftil news reached Deerfield of the return of 
Mr. Williams to Boston, a town meeting was at once called. 
By the record of its action the town's relation to the Re- 
deemed Captive seems a little mixed. He is called their pas- 
tor, and at the same time measures were adopted for his re- 
scttlcniciit. There may have been no precedents to govern 
the case. 

At a legall town Meeting in Deerfield November 30, 1706, the town 
then unanimously made choice of Capt. Jonathan Wells, ens. jno. 
Shelden and Thomas ffrench, to goe down to y'^' bay for them, and in 
thair be half to act and treat with thair pastor the reverand mr. jno. 
Williams, in regard to his resetl'g with them againe in y*^ work of y' 
ministry; as also to take advice and counsel of y"" Elders in our Coun- 
ty for the management of that work; as also to put up a petition to 
y*^ generall court or counsel, for a grant of money for Y encourage- 
ment of y*^ reverant mr. jno. Williams in his resetelment in said work 
with y"'; and in all thes partickulars to act and doe according to y*^ 
best of thair discration. 

As we have seen, the desired grant was voted by the Gen. 
eral Court six days later. A conference with " the Elders " 
probably showed the fact, that no special "management" 
was necessary, and Mr. Williams was soon reestablished in 

360 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1/02 — I /I 3. 

his chosen work, and field of labor, without further ceremony, 
having refused eligible offers of settlements near Boston. 

From the day of her great disaster, up to this time, Deer- 
field had hardly been more than a military post, held by sol- 
diers in the pay of the colony ; and little attention had been 
given to municipal affairs beyond keeping up the meadow 
fence. The discouraged inhabitants had felt that at any time 
they might be called upon to desert the place. Now, every- 
thing was changed. Their loved minister, who had been so 
much to them, was again among them. Their courage rose. 
The town should now be held at all hazard ; and the regular 
routine of town business must be taken up. First of all, Mr. 
Williams be provided for. 

1707. January 9, 1706-7 Att a Legall Town meeting in Deerfield 
It was y" agreed and uoted y' y*^ Towne would build a house for Mr. 
Jno. Williams in Derfield as big as Ens Jno Sheldon's a back room 
as big as may be thought convenient: It was also uoted y' Ens Jno 
Sheldon Sar Thomas ffrench and Edward Alln ware chosen a Comity 
for carying on said work. 

At the March meeting, " wSergt. Eleizar Hawks, and ben- 
nony more " were added to this committee, Sheldon and Al- 
len having been in the meantime, as we have seen, called to 
more important duties for the State. 

April 5, It was then agreed and uoted, y' y'^ town should pay un- 
to Mr Jno Williams: 20 pounds in money and euery male head of 16 
years and upward i day work a pese and thos y' haue tames a day 
with thair tames: for y^' yere. 

That all land owners should bear their share of the bur- 
dens, a petition was sent to the General Court for leave "to 
rais all thair town charges upon lands only." 

The military defenses had become so weak that the labor 
necessary to strengthen the lines was more than the settlers 
could bear, and a call was made upon Col. Partridge for aid. 
The result of this appeal may be seen in the following pa- 
per: — 

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esq., Capt. Gen'll Governor in 
Cheife & the Hon'rd Counsell & Representatives in Gen'll Corte as- 
sembled this 28 May, 1707: 

Samull Patridge Humbly proposeth Refferring to the Settleing of 
the Broken State of Derefeild & to their building up in a way of de- 
ffence against the Comon enemy, it being absolutely nesessary both 
to the people and. Church of Christ & of absolute advantage to the 
whole county & youre Especiall care & allowance for y*^ Encouridgem* 


& Strengthening the Rev'ed Mr. John Williams in y'' work of Christ 
there is greatly advantageous to us all, for which myself, in the be- 
half of us all, do Return our thankfulness to this Corte & Humbly 
spread before you the Nessessetie of Rebuilding the Forts there so 
as to take- in Mr. Williams his house & several other houses for In- 
habitants that are & will repaire there for enlarg'mt & strengthening 
the place: we propose to Rebuild with 120 Rodd of fortification with 
square timber which may be done at 20s per Rodd: now the people 
being in a Broken Condition as afores'' most of their houses to Re- 
build upon the former Ruins are incapacitated to Rebuild the Forts 
as afores'' therefore I Humbly intreate this Corte's Consideration of 
the premises & to grant such allowances as are needfull for the per- 
formance of the afore'sd which will much oblidge y*-' whole people &: 
myself youre unworthy serv't ffor youre Honors ever to pray. 

Sam'll Partridge. 

June 13th, 1707, ;^30 was " allowed towards that part of the 
general fortification, that falls to the share of the poor of 
Deerfield, and such as are returned from captivity." 

This appropriation, it will be observed, was for the general 
stockade. No more is heard of the smaHer work of square 
timber proposed by Col. Partridge. 

August nth. 1707, Col. Schuyler wrote Partridge, that his 
Indian spies, just returned from Canada, reported a party of 
twenty-seven French and Indians at the mouth of Otter 
Creek on the 6th, bound for the New England frontier. The 
spies were charged by this party not to tell of the expedition. 
To this they would not agree, as the war party " was going 
to kill our brethren of New England." Nothing more was 
heard of these enemies. Probably this discovery sent them 
back. No Indian inade an attack but by surprise ; according 
to their ethics, it would be a disgrace to do it openly. 

In this war the English adopted the French tactics, and 
sent small scouts to harass the frontiers of the enemy. From 
the following paper a good idea of their methods may be ob- 
tained : — 

Capt. [John] Stoddard set away from Deerfield the 28th of April 
with 12 men, & Wednesday was a fortnight after, they tracked Indi- 
ans upon the French river & they followed them till Saturday Night, 
at which time they had got to the last carrying place, and was quite 
discouraged & concluded that they had got so far out of their Reach 
y* y-^ could not overtake y'" & three of them had a mind to take their 
cano, which was all they had that was serviceable & go to Chamblee 
and get a Frenchman, or more if they could, and set away upon the 
lakes & was driven by a contrary wind upon a point of land; & there 
they discovered some Indians; & two of y"' staid at y"-" canno, and the 
third, namely, John Wells, went to observe their motions & after he 

362 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

had got a little way he saw a person with its back towards him, he be- 
ing in a plain place so that he could not get away without being dis- 
covered, &: he was loath to shoot, because he was in hopes of getting 
more booty, (S: while he was thus thmking the person rose up tS: stood 
a little while & for fear of being discovered he shot & she fell down; 
he took his hatchet out of his girdle & ran up to it to cut off its head 
& then he saw it had a white face, which very much startled him, (S; 
she spake, saying, "Netop, Netop, my master." He ran to the cano; 
they set off; the Indians shot off two or three guns which he judged 
were to alarm one another, and they overtook y*^' rest of y'' company 
y'' same day just at night & they y" set away for home & arrived the 
30th of May. By the discribing of the person y' was killed Uncle 
thinks it was an Eastern captive, Namely, Johannah Ardaway, and 
Wells saith y" he thought it was she, as soon as he saw her face. 

This manuscript was without signature. 

October 17th, 1707, a town meeting was held when, — 

It was noted to senel a petistion to y generall Cort for a grant of 
money towards y'^ maintainance of y"" reuarant Mr J no \\'illiams in 
y work of y ministry in Deerfield. it was allso noted y' Colonall 
partrig and ensin J no Sheldon should be implyed to manage y' 
afaire: Att y-' same meeting, y town made choise of Capt Jonathan 
Weals and ensin jno Sheldon for to git a petistion drawn to send to 
y genarall Cort and allso impowered them to Sine it in the towns 

In their petiti(jn the committee say: — 

We, Labouring Still under many Difficulties & Streights, being but 
a Smal handfuU of us & most of us very low in the World, are at 
Considerable charges among ourselves, in Building a House & pro- 
viding other Necessarys & Conveniencys for the Resettlement of our 
Rev'd Pastor, not here to be Named, (S: Many who Deserted y^' Place 
quickly after y Desolation, By our Rev. Pastor's return and giveing 
hopes of Settleing again amongst us has encouraged their Return, 
with many other who Returned out of Captivity, who Instead of 
helping in such charges, have rather need of help to build Houses 
for themselves, & providing other Necessarys for their Subsistance. 
Our Necessities putting us upon it & being Imboldened by former 
favors & Incouragements, Wee humbly crave your help for the 
maintanance c\: Incouragement of our Worthy Pastor amongst us. 
You were pleased to do considerable y last year that way. Our ne- 
cessities being still very great, we Pray you would consider us in that 
Regard: We have devolved this our Concern into y hands of y'' 
Worshipfull Col. Sam'l Partridge, Esq., & Capt. John Shelden, to 
manage for us, hopeing your Honors will consider your Poor Peti- 
tioners <S: for your Honors we shall ever Pray. 

Jonathan Wells, 
John Sheldon, 

In behalf of y whole town of Deerfield. 
Deerfield, Oct. 25, 1707. 


Eleven days later twenty pounds were granted for one 
year in answer to this appeal. 

December 23d "the town voted to pay thair town charg in 
prouition pay as followeth Indian corn, 2 s, otes, i s 6d, peas 
4s per bushel." Voted to give "y"' Widow Williams all her 
reats for this present yere." Her husband, Zebadiah, cap- 
tured in 1703, had died in the hospital at Quebec, April 12th, 

1708. At a meeting Feb. ist, three men "were cho.sen a 
comittee to Masure all y'' common fence in Derefield and to 
stake it out to y'' now present proprietors." 

February 9th, " Uoted to forgiv John Allison all his reats 
for y*^ present yere except one pound, which he hath already 
paid in sweeping y'' house of god." This is the only instance 
in which I have found the referred to as a sa- 
cred edifice, until many years later. 

March Lst, the usual town officers were chosen, and "forty 
pounds in money for his salery y'" yere ensuing" was voted 
to Mr. Williams, and a tax was laid. 

March 25th, it was "uoted y' : Martin Smith and widow 
Hursts and Robert prises comonfence should be repaired up- 
on v"' town chars:." 

Sept. 23d, Uoted y' all swine y* shall be found upon y'^' comans aft- 
er y^' 3d day of Ocktober shall be ringed, and any that shall neglect 
to ring their own swine, tJiay shall be forthwith rung by y"^^ hog 

December 10th, "Uoted to pay for y^ glasing of meeting- 
hous this present yere," and the price of grain was fixed as 
follows: "Corn 2 s, peas 4s, oats 1-6 or i s 6d — 1-3 off for 
money." Voted to pay Deacon Hawks " Six pounds as or in 
money for his horse which dyed in y'" town vSaruis." 

Although 1 708 was a year of alarm and disaster, the above 
votes are the only allusion on the town record to anything 
connected with the war ; what I have learned of military op- 
erations about this period, has been found chiefly in English 
and French official reports. 

About the first of February, 1708, news was received 
through Col. Schuyler, that a large force had been fitted out 
in Canada to begin a march against this region January 15th. 
Active measures were at once taken for defence. Connecti- 
cut was appealed to, and sent up Col. William Whiting with 

364 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR— 1702 — I /I 3. 

several companies of infantry and dragoons. The first week 
in February Capt. Benjamin Wright led a war party of Eng- 
lish and Indians up the Connecticut. He went as high as 
Cowass ; was gone about nine weeks, and returned without 
seeing the face of an enemy. Scouts were kept constantly 
out in other directions. The warning and preparation prob- 
ably prevented an attack. vSmall parties hovered about the 
frontiers, however, all the season, keeping up the alarm, pre- 
venting any labor in the field except under strong guards. 

July 9th, one of these parties killed and scalped vSamuel 
and Joseph Parsons, sons of Capt. John Parsons, at Northamp- 
ton. July 26th, the house of Lieut. Abel Wright of Skipmuck 
(now Chicopee) was surprised. Aaron Parsons and Barijah 
Hubbard were killed and their bodies mangled ; Martha, wife 
of Lieut. Wright, was mortally wounded. Two grandchil- 
dren, Hannah, aged two years, and Henry, seven months, ly- 
ing in a cradle together, were tomahawked. Hannah .sur- 
vived the blow. Their mother, wife of Henry Wright, was 
captured and never afterwards heard from. 5th, Col. Peter Schuyler writes Gov. Dudley that 
an army was being assembled at Montreal, and that he was 
trying to find out their design. The next day he sends news 
that eight hundred men were on the march for New Eng- 
land. The express bearing this information arrived at Bos- 
ton on the loth. The soldiers were put under marching or- 
ders, and the woods filled with scouts, to learn the point of 

De Vaudreuil had been blamed by the home government 
for beginning this war with the English colonies. He was 
now urged to prosecute it more vigorously. Ponchartrain, 
the war minister, wrote him June 30th, 1707, to send out more 
parties to harass the English, adding, " If you could go out 
and attack them yourself, his Majesty would be glad of it ;" 
and, again, that the king " expected to receive news of .some 
expedition against them, and is not satisfied with the inactiv- 
ity in which you remain, with such numerous forces as you 
have." In accordance with his directions De Vaudreuil had 
raised a large army of French and Indians, and put Hertel de 
Rouville at its head. 

De Rouville began his march July i6th. To conceal his 
destination, part of the force went up the vSt. Francis river 


and the rest up the Sorel, to Lake Champlain. The latter 
were mostly French Mohawks or Macquas, over whom Col. 
Schuyler had great influence. On the march they met 
Schuyler's messengers, bearing a secret belt, desiring them 
not to go to war against the English. The Macquas, pre- 
tending to the French that some infectious disease had ap- 
peared among them, at once turned back and went home. 

A large portion of the Indians with the other part of the 
army also deserted. The plan of the campaign was, for both 
branches to unite in an attack on the Maine coast, with force 
enough to sweep all before it. On the desertion of the Mac- 
quas, De Vaudreuil ordered De Rouville to push on with his 
Frenchmen and St. Francis Indians, and surprise some scat- 
tered settlement. Henceforth, the barbarous murder of 
frontier settlers was to please the King of France, as well as 
the Abenakis. 

August 23d, Dudley received word from Schuyler, that the 
Indians had turned back, and that there was nothing to fear 
from the French, who could do nothing without them. On 
this representation part of the soldiers were dismissed, in- 
cluding a force of five hundred volunteers under officers of 
their own choice. 

Meanwhile, De Rouville had traversed three or four hun- 
dred miles of forest, and at daybreak on the 29th of August, 
he surprised the town of Haverhill, killed about forty of the 
inhabitants, and took many captives. He began his retreat 
about sunrise, but was pursued by the survivors, who at- 
tacked him, killed his brother, another French officer, and 
seven men ; took a third officer prisoner, and rescued part of 
the captives. In the north part of the township, Joseph Brad- 
ley — the same who accompanied Ensign Sheldon to Canada 
— hearing the alarm, collected a party and sallied out into 
the woods. He discovered and secured the medicine chest 
of the invaders, and their knapsacks, which they had taken 
off before making the assault. It was feared De Rouville 
would now turn to the Connecticut Valley, and Aug. 31st, 
the Council sent orders to Col. Partridge to prepare for their 
reception. A large force came up from Connecticut, and the 
military companies made ready to march at a moment's 
warning. Nothing more was seen of De Rouville, but some 
of his Indians may have remained upon our frontiers. 

366 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR— 1/02 — 1713. 

About this time a scout of six -men from Deerfield fell into 
an ambush of Indians near Cowass. Martin Kellogg, after 
shooting one of the enemy, was taken captive a second time. 
A son of Josiah Barber of Windsor, Conn., after receiving a 
fatal wound, rallied, and getting on his knees, shot the Indian 
who had fired upon him. Both were found dead by the In- 
dians, shortly after, lying but a few rods apart. The Indian 
who told this story of Barber's pluck to Stephen Williams, 
added, "No ]u\ (i. e. Barber) but Iiisg-hosf," did the exploit. 

Oct. 13th, Abijah Bartlett was killed at Brookfield, and Jo- 
seph and Benjamin Jennings, and John Cxreen, wounded, and 
John Walcott, a lad of ten, captured. 

Oct. 26th, Ebenezer Field of Hatfield, was killed at Bloody 
Brook, while on his way to this place. With his death, the 
tragedies of the year closed. There could, however, be no 
relief from anxiety, watching, warding and scouting. The 
enemy might strike again at any moment. On receiving the 
report of this year's operations, the King wrote De Vaudreuil 
that he was .satisfied with his application. 

1709. During the winter of 1708-9, there was great alarm 
in Canada upon a report received by Sieur de Joncaire, 
through the Mohawks, that an English army was coming 
over the snow against Montreal. De Vaudreuil, with all the 
regular soldiers, took post at the threatened point, and all 
the militia were under orders to march at a moment's warn- 
ing. De Vaudreuil remained in this posture of defense about 
a month ; meanwhile, fortifications were being made in every 
direction. Quiet was hardly restored before the scare was 
repeated. This time the grounds of alarm were real. Gen. 
Nicholson with fifteen hundred men was moving from Al- 
bany toward Lake Champlain. April 27th, De Vaudreuil 
returned to Montreal, where an army was collected, to repel 
the invaders. Orders were issued to gather all the inhabi- 
tants and movable property from the south of the St. Law- 
rence within the walls of Montreal and Quebec, and on the 
north side to drive the cattle and remove the women and 
children up into the forests northward. The walls of Quebec 
were strengthened in every possible way, the settlers were 
called from their farms, and much of the harvest was lost for 
lack of hands to gather it. De Vaudreuil had "sure news" 
of an intended attack both by sea and land, and the whole 


spring and summer was spent in preparations to resist it. On 
the other hand, the English army halted at Wood Creek, 
waiting until October for the arrival of the fleet which was 
expected to assail Quebec, while Nicholson went a'gainst 
Montreal. Three forts were built meantime and hundreds 
of bateaux and canoes in which to cross the lake. 

Scouts from each frontier were sent against the other, 
seeking prisoners and information of military movements. 
In this the French had the earliest success. 


April nth, Mehuman Hinsdale returning from Northamp- 
ton with an ox team loaded with apple trees, was surprised 
and captured. His team was not molested and was found 
near where he was taken, standing quietly in the road. The 
following account of his capture and experience, taken from 
a manuscript in the handwriting of Stephen Williams, con- 
tains enough of general interest to warrant its publication 
entire : — 

April II, 1709, Mr Mehuman Hinsdell driving his teem from 
Northampton loaded with apple trees, without any fear of indians 
(the leaves not being put forth) was met by two indians about half of 
a mile from the pine bridge who took him prisoner and cari'' him 
away into y"" west woods. The indians were civil & courteous to him 
on y*^ journey. They arriv'^ at Shamble within about eleven days & an 
half after they took Mr. Hinsdell. From Shamble they cari'' Mr. 
Hinsdell to Oso, where he was oblig'' to run the Gauntlett (as they 
call it) [i. e. to run from the indians who persue & if th when — This 
is erased] for near three quarters of a mile, but he ran so briskly as 
not to receive a blow till he came near the Fort when he was met by 
an Indian, who taking hold of y'^' line (that was round his neck and 
hung upon his Back) pull'' him down, and so he was struck by one 
fellow; after he was got into y^ F"ort, he was set in y® midst of a com- 
pany and oblig'' to sing and dance, & while thus employ'', he was 
struck a very severe blow upon the naked back, by a youth y* was of 
such an age as to think of engaging in some warlike expedition, but 
this being contrary to their usual custom (he having perform'' y*^ cer- 
emony of running y^ gauntlett) was resented not only by M'' H. y*^ 
sufferer, but by y'' indians in generall &c. From this Fort Mr H was 
cari'' to the French Govenour who knew him (for this was y*^ 2'' time 
of M'' Hinsdells captivity) and told him he expect'' a full account of 
news from him, especially about an expidition (which he suspected 
was on foot). Ye governour told him if he would give him a full ac- 
count of what news there was in his country, he would treat him with 
respect, but if he found he did not, he would use him worse than a 
Devill &c. But M'' H. endeavored as best as he could to avoid giv- 
ing him an account &c. But when M'' Whiting of Bellerica was brot 

368 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702 — I/I 3- 

into the country by y'^' Indians and gave an account of an expidition 
on foot, M'' H. was taken and put into y'' dungeon &c. [After a 
while Gen" Nicholson sent an Indian as a spy into y* country who 
was to endeavor to draw off y*^ Indians from the French, and join 
with Gen" Nicholson, this plan^ — this is erased^ but gives a clue to 
the story]. After a while y" Indians desired of the Governeur, that 
they might have M' H. to burn, (pretending they should fight the 
better if they cou-ld burn an Englishman) and he was delivered to the 
Indians, who were plotting to leave y'' French & go over to Gen" 
Nicholson & y'' Dutch, and designed to have made use of M'' H. to 
have introdu'' them. All was kept private from the French, & M"' 
Hinsdell was led away towards Montreal from Qubeck. The Indi- 
ans communicated their design to M' H. who was overjoy'' with the 
account (for he thought of nothing but being sacrificed by them) & 
encourag'' it, but before they were ready to execute y'' design, a cer- 
tain Indian fell sick, and m his sickness making confession to a 
priest, discover'' the plot, and so all was dash''. The fellow y' was 
the projector of it (being one that had come from Albany, or from 
some of the five nations to them) had timely notice, so as to escape 
to Shamble, where he putt a trick upon y"" officer of y'' Fort, pretend- 
nig to him that he was sent from the governeur, to make what dis- 
covery he could of y'' English, upon which y'' officer supply'' him with 
arms, amunition & provision and he had been gone but a little while 
into the woods before his pursuers (the plot being wholly ript up) came 
after him, but yet he was gone, so as to escape his pursuers. NP H. 
was taken from y'' indians and again commit'' to prison, and the 
next year M'' H. and Mr. Joseph Glesson were sent to France in a 
man of war — and in France he met with great kindness, particularly 
from the Ld intendant at Roshelle, and after a while they were ship'' 
at Saint Meloes for London, where they met with great kindness es- 
pecially from Mr Agent Dummer, who interceed'' with the Lords of 
the Admiralty, who order'' them on board one of the Queens Ships 
which brought them to Rhode island whence they got home in Safty 
to their families, after M'' Hinsdell had been absent from his family 
ab' three years and a half. 

He returned October, 1712. Mr. Hinsdell was the first 
white man born in Deerfield. His first capture by Indians 
was February 29th, 1704. He died May 2d, 1736. The above 
story bears evidence of being from his own dictation. 

The following intensely interesting narrative, taken twen- 
ty years after the event from the lips of the stirvivors, by Eb- 
enezer Grant, I printed from the original in an appendix to 
the " Narrative of the Captivity of Stephen Williams," in 
1 889. The date given is an error. The scout left Deerfield about 
April 26th, 1709. Here we find a realistic, matter-of-fact de- 
scription of one of those tragedies constantly occurring, when 
scouts from the opposing nations met under the primeval 
trees, or on the lone waters of the great northern wilderness. 


Nowhere have I met with a more enlightening account of the 
nature of this dangerous service. The reports of these des- 
perate encounters are usually of the briefest ; sometimes, it 
may be, none return to tell the bloody tale. 


Rever'' Sir — After Due Regards these May Inform you what i^ieut. 
Childs and Mr Huit related to me concerning the travails of Capt 
Write is: his Company towards Canada Os: w'' happened to them about 
that time it is as follows — 

Capt Wpite & a Small Company of men designing for Canada to 
destpoy y enemy, in y'' Beginning of April 1710, [1709J we then set 
out from Deerfield in Number Containing 16, and travailed up Con- 
necticut River which is usually Called 120 Miles. There we discov- 
ered two Bark Canos, by reason of that our Capt was pleased to 
Leave 6 of his men to Ly in wait of y"' Canos Supposing Some In- 
dians w'ould Come there. And then the Capt, with y Levt (Sc y rest 
of y*" men set forward up y \Vhite River taking y Xor west Branch, 
following it up to the Head then we Steared to French river <S: trav- 
ailing down s'' River till we Came to y 3'' Falls ^: y' we built two 
Canoes i!v: then set out for the Lake & when we came the-re the wind 
was so high y' we were forced to lye by a Day or two. After that 
one Evening we espied a fire y'' opposite Side. Supposing it to be 
Indian we then forthwith Im bark 6c Steared our Course towards 
the fire and while we was upon y'' water, there arose a terrible Storm 
of thunder (^ Lightning which put out the fire y' we before espied & 
thro' Gods Goodness we all got safe to land ts: Drawing up our Ca- 
nos upon y'' Land turned them up for Shelter ti-11 next morning & 
then we making search for the fire that we afore espied ^i found it 
had only been y woods on fire. After that we set out for Canada in 
our Canoes on y^" west side of the Lake till two hours by sun at night 
& then the wind arose again which forced us to lye by till next day 
in y'^' afternoon cs: then we set out for Shamble & coming to a point 
of land near Fortlemote, we espied 2 Canos of Indians in number 8 
coming towards us theh we paddled to Land & running up y'' Bank, 
by this time those Indian Canos was got against us, & then we gave 
them a Salutation out of the mussel of our guns turned one over- 
board & we still continued firing caused y'" to Paddle away w"' all 
Speed & left y' fellow Swimming about (S: when they had got out of 
y-' reach of our guns both Canos got together, and all got into one, 
& left y other w"' Considerable plunder in it, «Sc when they was 
moved off we maned out one of our Canoes and fetched in theirs. 
And he that was Swimming about we Called to Shore to us. And 
Levt Childs killed him & some of y'' men scalped him. And by In- 
formation that we had afterward by the Captives, y' were then in 
Canada three were killed at the Same Time. And after that Skir- 
mish, we made the best of our way homeward, iS: Came to y"^' F'rench 
River after Dark, and so proceeded all that night up y'' French River 
till we Come to the F'alls, and there we Left our Canos and took our 
Packs upon our Backs and travailed homewards up y River, and 
comeing to a Crook that was in the river; w^e Left y" river & took y" 

370 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — T713. ' 

nearest Cutt acrost y' Elbow and so come to y'' river again, which 
was about nine of y clock that morning, & there we espied a Canoa 
coming down y river with four Indians in it and a Captive-man, 
which was taken at Exeter, named William Moody. We Immediate- 
ly fired on them and killed 2 the first shoot tS: wounded y 3'' <v: y'' 
4"' Jumped out & Swam to y^' Contrary Shore, then our Capt ordered 
some of his men to tarry there & fire at him when he got to Shore, 
and they did So, & afterwards we was Informed y* he was so wound- 
ed, that in a few days after he got to Canada, died. Now the rest 
of the men followed y^' Canoa as it fell Down Stream, and the Capt 
Called to the Captive to paddle y'' Canoe to Land, but he replied he 
could not because the wounded Indian would not Let him, with that 
the Capt hollowed to him (S: bid him knock in him in y head, with 
that he took up a hatchet to Do it but y Indian rising up took hold 
of y'' hatchet & got it away from him and then catched up the Pad- 
dle & T^aid it on his head t\: they skufifling together turned over the 
Canoe and parted in the water, (S: the Indian Swam to the Contrary 
Shore. As he got out of the water we pined him to the Bank with 
seven Bullets. The Captive also Swimming towards us, but being 
very weak fell down a great pace & Cried out he should Drown be- 
fore he Could get to Shore, with that Lieut Wells flung down his gun 
upon y Bank & run Down & Catched up a pool & held out to him 
X: he catched hold of it & y'^^ Lieut, drew him to Land. And John 
Strong being upon the Bank heard y sticks Crack behind him & 
Looked round (.\: cried out Indians & was Immediately fired upon by 
them & was wounded in the face & breast with a Charge of Cutt 
Shoot, but not mortal. With that Lieut Wells sprung up the Bank 
to get his gun & was mortally shot. Now the men being scattered 
along upon the Bank but the Capt being with y^' captive y' came to 
y-' shore Immediately examined him how many Indians there was, 
he made answer 19 being in 5 Canos 2 being down stream from that 
which we shot upon, And 2 above, having been at Exeter took 4 
captives (men), which they there had with them and those 2 canos 
y' was passed by was y*^^ Indians y' made y first shoot upon us. 

And we also received Several Shoots from those y' were above us, 
which Landed on y other side of the River. Now we being under 
no advantage to defend ourselves we every (;ne made y' best of our 
way and shirked for our Selves & in a short Time Capt Write & 5 of 
his men got together, three more yet missing. The next Day came 
2 more to us where we hid some of our Provisions & there waiting 
some hours for the other man. But he came not while we tarried 
there, whereas Capt. Write thinking best to leave a Suitable quantity 
of Provisions and other necesseries in Case he ever came it might be 
of service to him in his journey homeward. It being one John Burt 
of Northampton. Then seting forward on our Journey homewards 
(^ Came to our Canoas that we left on White River then we got into 
them & came down y'' river to y^ mouth of it, where we left 6 men 
formally mentioned in our History. And finding them gone, then 
we set forward homeward & after we had got home, those six men 
formally mentioned Informed us w' they had Litt of 6 Days after we 
left them. These 6 men espied a Cano of 2 Indians Coming Down 
the River & called to them not knowing but y' that they was Scat- 


tocooks but they refused to come to them & paddled to the contrary 
shore. Then they fired wounding one, but they geting to the shore 
Left y*^ Canoa & plunder. After that y*^ men made y best of their 
way home And some Time after they were got home was Informed 
y' they were Scattecooks. 

Now returning to our former Story, having an account of two of 
those Captives y* were with y indians that we Litt of on y french riv- 
er, are now returned home, & gave us an account y' we then killed 4 
Indians. And Moody that we had taken from them we Lost again, 
we being then in such a fright, every one took to his heals, But 
moody being so weak & feeble was not able to follow, now after this 
the Indians all gathered together on the other Shore, i\: Moody see- 
ing them hallowed to them to fetch him over tt one came & after 
they had got him over they Burnt him on the Spot. We was in- 
formed also y' w" the Indians got to Canada they Burnt one more of 
these Captives Andrew Gilman by name. Now to say a little more 
concerning Burt, what became of him, having some Transient stories 
y* a mans bones, and a gun was fcjund by some Indians above y^' 
Great Falls upon Connect* River about 60 miles above Deerfield, 
which some think was s"' Burt. 

The number of Days we was taking this march was 32, and the 
men's Names areas follows: 

Capt Benj" Write of North*"" 

Levi* John Wells, killed, of Deer'' 

Henry Write, of Spring'' 

Timothy Childs, of Deer'' 

Jon" Hoit, of Deer'' 

Jabez Olmstead, Deer'' 

John Burt, Lost, North'"" 

[John Strong, Northampton, wounded, see above.] 

rpu u ^ - Indians of Natick. 

1 homas ragan \ 

The other 6 men y' set out w"' us y' we left at y mouth of White 
River are as follows: 

Eben"" Severance of Deer'^ 

Math'^ Clesson of North'"" [later of Deerfield.] 

Thomas McCranne of Spring'' 

Joseph Wait of Hatf', [son of Benjamin Waite.] 

Josp. Root of Hatfield. 

The other we cannot at present call by name. [Doubtless John King 

of Northampton.] 

In a petition to the General Cotirt of May 28th, 1709, the 
survivors say concerning the affair on the lake : — 

"We judge we killed 4 of the enemy, & one in special. One we 
got and scalped him, which scalp we now present." 

Col. Partridge, in forwarding this paper, says: "They also 
declared that they are very certain that they killed 4 as above 
& that on French River they killed 4 more — 8 in all. This 
they affirm to me." 

372 QUEEN ANXE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

De Vaudreuil, giving an account of these affairs, in a dis- 
patch to Ponchartrain says, two were killed on the lake, and 
one on the river, and that four or five of the English party 
were killed at the latter place. Possibly one or both of the 
Naticks were lost. Captain Wright was allowed £\2, and the 
others £6 each. Bills for losses were paid as follows: — 

Capt. Wright, i blanket, los, gun case, rs, 6d, hatchet, 3s 6d snapsack, 

2s f)d, o ry 6 

Lt. Wells, I gun, 2s lod, blanekec, 7s, hatchet. 2s 6d, jacket. 6s, shirt, 3s, 

stockins, 2s, compass, 6s 8d, cap, 2s, 6d. 3198 

John Strong, blanket, 7s 6d. snapsack, 2S 6d, hatchet. 2s 6d, gun, 20s, 1 12 6 
Thomas McCreeny, snapsack, 2s 6d, cap, 3s, sursingie, is 6d, belt, 2s, 

pouch, 8(i, horn, Sd, male strapt, is, hatchet, 2S. 6d. 12 lO 

Timothy Childs. blanket, 7s 6d, hatchet, 3s, 6d, a squaw line, is 6d, gun- 
case, IS 6d, cap, 3s, snapsack, 2s, 18 6 
Jabez Omstead, blanket, los, snapsack, 2s 6d, hatchet, 2s 6d, 0150 
[on. Hoit, blanket, 7s, 6d, hatchet, 2s 6d, o 10 o 
Lt. [ohn King, blanket, iSd, snapsack, is 6d, 19 6 

Judd says that William Moody, whose attempted rescue 
was attended with such disastrous results, was by the Macqua 
Indians tortured to death and eaten. 

On the return to Canada of the Indians whom Capt. Wright 
had surprised, "feeling piqued,' says De Vaudreuil, "they 
asked me to let them go on an excursion with some fifty of 
the most active Frenchmen and allow Sieur de Rouville and 
de la Periere to command. I assented on the spot." He says 
the force went to "guerrefiille, [DeerfieldJ where having pre- 
pared an ambush, they caught two alive." It is the same af- 
fair to which Hutchin.son refers as follows: — 

In June, one of the Rotivilles with 180 French and Indians made 
another attempt on Deerfield to destroy or carr}' away prisoners; 
* * * but the enemy was discovered at a distance and beat off, 
the inhabitants bravely defending themselves. 

•Pen hallow gives the following account of the same event : — 

The Town of Deerfield which had suffered so much spoil before by 
Monsieur Artel! [Rouville,] was on June 23d obliged to a new encoun- 
ter by Monsieur Ravell, his son-in-law, who, with 180 French and In- 
dians, expected to lay all desolate. But the town being alarmed 
they valliantly resisted with the loss of only one man and another 

No other particulars of this fight are found. Stephen Wil- 
liams says : " Joseph Clesson and John Arms were taken, 
June 22d, [these were the two " caught alive,"] and the next 
day Jonathan Williams was killed and Matthew Clesson mor- 
tally wounded ; and Lieut. Thomas Taylor and Isaac Mattoon 
wounded, but recovered." 


It is probable that De Rouville was discovered the 2 2d, and 
that the brave men of Deerfield went out the next day and 
drove his crew back into the wilderness. John Arms was 
wounded in two places before being taken. 

Soon after this, the General Court allowed bills for horses 
killed or wounded, arms, and horse furniture lost, to the heirs 
of ^Matthew Clesson, and Jonathan Williams, to Jonathan 
Hoyt, Daniel Belding. Eleazar Hawks, Edward Allen, John 
Allen, John Wait and William King-. Probably all these men 
were in the engagement. 

On the return of De Rouville and De la Periere to Canada 
via the lakes, with reports of the condition of affairs at Wood 
Creek, De Vaudreuil sent Sieur de Ramezay, Governor of 
Montreal, with 1500 French and Indians, up Champlain to 
surprise the English. They left Chambly about the 17th of 
July, and being discovered when they had arrived near 
Crown Point by an advanced guard of Nicholson's army, they 
retreated after a slight skirmish. 

The alarm in Canada now became almost a panic. All pos- 
sible measures for defense were taken. No more war parties 
were sent against our frontiers; but one already out killed 
John Clary and Robert Granger, at Brookfield, on the 8th of 

Gen. Nicholson, tired of waiting for the fleet, left Wood 
Creek, September 26th, to consult with the colonial govern- 
ments as to what measures to take. Shortly after, the whole 
army retired to Albany, burning their forts and boats as they 
retreated. The expected .ships had gone to Portugal, and all 
the trouble and expense in preparing for the campaign was 
thrown away. Rev. John Williams was chaplain in this futile 
expedition, and received ^^"24, 8 s, 6d for his time and ex- 
penses. During his absence, "Mr. John Averv and ]\Ir. 
Aaron Porter " were chaplains by turn at Deerfield, and were 
paid ten pounds each for the service. 


In the winter of 1709-10, De Vaudreuil, under a pretext of 
exchanging prisoners, but really, as he writes to France, "to 
obtain information of what is going on at Orange," sent 
Sieurs de la Periere and Dupuis, with five men to Albany, as 
escort for Lieut. vStaats, a nephew of Col. Schuyler, and three 

374 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

other Dutch prisoners, to be exchanged for Father de Ma- 
reiiil, and three other Frenchmen ; they also brought " a mili- 
tia officer of the Boston Government," to exchange for " Sieur 
de Vercheres, ensign of the Regulars." This "militia offi- 
cer" was John Arms of Deerfield, captured the June previ- 
ous. One of the French officers probably came with Arms 
to Deerfield. The dispatches brought from Canada were for- 
warded to Boston by Col. Partridge. Gov. Dudley is dis- 
pleased with these proceedings, and writes to Partridge in 
February that he believes these officers little better than 
spies, and directing him to send them back, and Arms with 
them. He says he is ready to exchange prisoners when the 
French follow the course agreed upon. The French officers 
reached Montreal on their return about the " time navigation 
opened." Arms appears to have been left on parole. 

The following papers relating to the affair, and events un- 
der consideration, are from the Massachu.setts manuscript 

Letter to Col. Partridge : — 

Boston, I-'ebruary, ult [28] 1709-10. 

His E.xcellency has this day cominunicated in Council your letter 
to himselfe accompanying those from the magistrates of Albany, 
with a copy of a letter from Mr. Vaudreuil, Directed to Col. Peter 
Schuyler, by the hand of his Messengers then attending from Mont 
Real, on pretence of negotiating an Exchange of Dutch Prisoners, 
& one Arnies of Deerfield, brought thither with them, for some 
French prisoners at New York, Bouvenire, taken at Haverhill, and 
Leffeur, two of theirs in our hands the latter proposed to be Ex- 
changed for Armes, with a great demand upon him for his redemp- 
tion out of the hands of the Indians. It is no hard thing to pene- 
trate into their Intreague, The Designe being to conciliate a new 
friendship and neutrality with the Albanians as they have lately had; 
to gain Intelligence of the motions and preparations of the P^nglish, 
and leave this and other Her Mag'tys Colony's to take care for them- 

Mr. Vaudreuil takes no notice of his Excellency, neglects to write 
to him, thinking to obtain his Prisoners from hence by the interposi- 
tion of the Gents of Albany, well knowing how false he has been, 
and Violated his promises made once and again to return all the 
English Prisoners, and that long since; upon which the French pris- 
oners on his side were sent home by way of Port Royall. Knowing 
also his Excellency's Resolution never to set up an Algier trade to 
purchase the Prisoners out of his hands, and Direction not to have 
them sent to Albany, but to have them brought in a vessell by water 
from Canada, or down Kenebeck River to Casco Bay, or Pi.scataqua, 
In which Resolution he continues, and it is agreeable to the minds 
of the Council. 


So that Arnies must go back with the Messengers, unless he can 
otherwise obtain his Liberty: You will further Examine him particu- 
larly referring to the State of Quebec, and Mont Real, how they are 
as to provisions and Clothing; what store ships arrived there the last 
summer, and other shipping, and what are there now; what new For- 
tifications they rasyd in the Summer past and where. 

And by the next post from Albany, you must send for Reuvenire 
from thence, and write to the mayor and Magistrates to adjust the 
accompt of the Demand for his Keeping, — which, as is Intimated, is 
very extravagant, beyond what is usually allowed for Prisoners, — 
and let him draw upon the Government here for pay'mt, and it shall 
be done. 

In case the Hunting Mohawks attend you, it's thought advisable 
that Major Stoddard joyne a Sergt & Six Centinels of his best hunt- 
ers, w"' them, who will take care to Observe them, and they will be 
a good out scout, for which you have, his Ex'l'ys Letter & order w*'' 

You may adjust the Post as is proposed from Albany. If the ser- 
vice will be as well performed, & the Charge of the Province be 
thereby eased, but the Albanians must not think to make a purse 
from us, and to Exact more than it would be done for by our own 
people. It being much better that they have y advantage of what 
must be necessarily expended. This by the Ord'r of his Ex'lcy, with 
the advice of the Council, from S'r. 

Yo'r very humble servant, 
IsA. ADDiNcrroN, Sect'y. 

The letter to Mr. Vaudreuil must be sent to Albany by y*^' Post & 
forwarded from thence by an Ind'n w*''out charge, or otherwise, by 
y French Messingers there now attending. 

[Endorsed] Letter to Col. Partridge relating to Mr. Yaudreuil's 
messengers at Albany, and French Prison'rs. 

A few weeks previotis, Dudley had written in reference to 
the ransom of Josiah Littlefield, of Maine : " I always pitty a 
prisoner in Indian hands, especially when their masters are 
indigent, in necessity of everything ; but no consideration of 
that nature has yet altered my resolution never to buy a pris- 
oner of an Indian, lest we make a market for our poor women 
and children in the frontiers." He had also in this case, pre- 
vented the goods which Littlefield had himself ordered for 
his own ransom, from being forwarded to his Indian master. 

On learning the decision of the Governor and Council, John 
Arms at once hurried to Boston, armed with letters from Mr. 
Williams, his minister, and Col. Partridge, seeking to avert 
the hard fate of being returned to Canadian captivity. He 
appeared before the Council March 6th, to plead his cause in 
person ; but his mission was frtiitless ; the policy of the gov- 
ernment was fixed, and he " was dismissed, the Governor and 

376 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

Council not seeing reason to alter anything of their directions 
to Col. Partridge by their letters last week." 

Notwithstanding this decision, our townsman did not re- 
turn with the French officers, as we .see by the following let- 
ter : — 

To his Honor Cor'n patrigg Leiuing in Hatfield this present. 

» Deerfeili), May y'' 27, 1710. 

Worthey & Reuerant Sur, thes lins are to inform yourself of y"^' ac- 
count of my Charges, Both for my time <\; expenses sence I came in- 
to this contry, y^' time that I spent in waiting on y^' french Gentle- 
men at .\lbany, ^: in y marching in y'' wocxis contains ten: 10: 
weeks, whic 

at 12 pence per daj' is 3 0° 00 

ye charges for my Dieghi iS: Lodgin was 2 06 00 

i1- my charge for 2 hores jorney to albeny at ten shillings per jorney i 00 00 

6 06 00 

havinfT triven yourself an account only for mv time, (!v: mv diat, iS: 
mv lodging, «Sc my horses jurny, all amounts to six pounds, six shlens 
—pray sur, present my humble Duty to his Excelency, & inform him 
of my Dificult Surcumstances, both in Canada, being ther a wounded 
prise'ner, cv: stript of all my Clothes j could get none out their maga- 
send, but was fourst to by them with my one mony, having credit 
with a gentleman thar, & allso of my oblagations that I am now un- 
der; which 1 supose that y french captaine has informed his Exelan- 
cy abought, cV intreat his Kxcelency to helpe me in so dificult a Cas 
as I am under. 1 shall not ade but Remain your 

humble sauruent, JoH. Arms. 

This letter was sent to Gov. Dudley, by Partridge, who 

writes May 17 10: — 

I humbly move in behalf of John Armes, now of Derefeild a pris- 
oner to the Frentch, being taken by the enemy in June was twelve- 
month, & carried to Canada, & since he came hither hath been at 
great Charges at .\lbany, as per account annexed, prays it may be 
allowed and payd him out of the Treasurie of this Province, as also 
such other allowances for his Losses of his tyme & cloathing & his 
wounds Szc as this corte may judge meete & just, &: for y'r Excellen- 
cy & Hon's shall ever pray. Samuel Partridge, in behalf 

of John Arms afores'd. 

The measures x\rms took to secure his freedom have not 
been discovered. It would seem that he had been captive to 
the Indians, and that a " French captain "' had ransomed him 
for one hundred livres, which he had obligated himself to re- 
pay. Arms was also held as a prisoner of war, and a French 
officer of the line was asked in exchange. This officer, 
name is given as " Sieur de Vercheres," by De Vaudreuil, and 
" Le Fever" by Dudley, did not return with the French en- 


voys. A prisoner of the latter name was at Hadley two years 
later, when he refused to return with a party of exchanged 
prisoners going from Deerfield to Canada, and declared his 
intention of becoming a citizen. 

Arms was allowed six pounds, .six shillings, on his bill of 
May 27th. He became a cripple from his wounds, and a life 
pension of six pounds a year was granted him in 1721, to 
which three pounds, ten shillings was added in 1752. 

August loth, 1710, Connecticut voted to raise scouting par- 
ties, not to exceed sixty Indians and four or five English, to 
range towards the lakes ; fitting them out and paying a boun- 
ty of ten pounds for each Indian scalp. 

Of all the troubles from the enemy this year, not a clue is 
found on the town records, although the action of three 
meetings is recorded. There had been some difhculty in re- 
gard to rights in the wood land. 

IVood Land and Turpentine. In 1686 it was voted "That 
notwithstanding the wood lands are to be laid out in particu- 
lar to euery person his proportion, * * '^ all timber, fire 
wood, stone, clay, &c., shall be common for euery proprietor's 
use till such time as the town shall other ways order it." 

Soon after, the wood lands were divided according to the 
number of cow commons held by each proprietor. The ad- 
vantage of ownership, under these circumstances, is not very 
apparent, for over and above the right given individuals to 
take timber, &c., where they chose, the town still retained a 
general control of the whole. None were allowed the use of 
pine trees for making turpentine without leave of the town, 
and privileges of this kind w^ere granted by vote from time 
to time. It appears that in 1 708 parties had been engaged in 
the business without leave; but the town asserted its author- 
ity and voted December loth, "that thare shall be no more 
pine trees cut for making of turpentine without the town's 

Ill March, 1709, the town granted unto Joseph Clesson and Ebe 
Severance a persel of pine trees for making turpentine liing est of 
Deerfield est mountain by the great river; y*" plas is known by y*^ 
name of y** pine nook; it is to be understood y* y-^ are to haue y"^ 
three yere. 

The town also agreed and uoted to giue all y'' pine trees which jos 
petty and y'' trees y' Sam'll ffield and the trees Joseph AUicksander 
cut for turpentine the Last sumer unto Edward Allen, Sam'll ffield 

378 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — I 702 — 1713. 

and jos AUicksander to each and aighter of them an eaquall sheare. 
Dan'l Belden, Sam'll Allyn, Nath Brooks refus to giue thair right. 

It does not appear what the individual rights of the three 
last named men were, or what was the result of their protest. 

The whole matter continued under the direct control of 
the town, and the policy of restricted use of the pines was 
continued until March, 171 5 ; when "the town then voated y' 
from this time forward no person whome soveer shall cut a 
tree for turpentine within y*" Bounds of y'' township of d'fd." 

In connection with the abundant town legislation for the 
protection of the wood lands, there is also found frequent 
mention of the woods being "burned over," under the direc- 
tion of committees chosen for that purpose ; but no definite 
information is to be obtained on that point. 

On the whole, patient search concerning the extent and 
character of the forests here at the first settlement, their con- 
dition later under the policy of the town, and the real object 
of the many town regulations, only develops numerous rid- 
dles, which I have been obliged to " give up," no solution be- 
ing found to the apparent inconsistencies in statement and 

171 1. This year another attempt was made to .subdue Can- 
ada. Fifteen men of war and forty tran.sports .sailed from 
Boston, July 30th, for Quebec. Ten transports and a thou- 
sand men were by shipwreck in the St. Lawence August 
2 1 St, and the turned back. Another army of 4000 men 
was collected on the old ground above Albany under Gen. 
Nicholson, but nothing was accomplished Canada. 
Rev. John Williams was chaplain on this expedition. The 
campaign was a total failure except so far as it kept the 
enemy away from our frontiers. The only loss in the valley 
was at Northampton, August loth or nth, when Samuel 
Strong was killed and his father Samuel wounded and taken 

December was a cold month ; the snow was deep, the rivers 
and lakes were frozen very hard, and an expedition from 
Canada was feared. December 27th, Connecticut voted that 
" a small scout of ten or twelve men be posted about thirty or 
forty miles above Deerfield upon some eminence for the dis- 
covery of the enemy until such time as the approach of 
spring renders it impractical for them to come in a body." 


1 712. As additional security, Col. Partridge sent a large 
force up here January Qth, provided with snow shoes, and 
prepared for a winter's campaign. Two companies of snow- 
shoe men were sent from the Bay, to be employed by Col. 
Partridge for the defense of Hampshire county, " particular- 
ly by posting some of them in conjunction with such as Col. 
Partridge shall joyn with them, in some convenient place or 
places, above the scout now stated 30 miles above Deerfield, 
to discover the approach of the enemy." 

March 12th, Lieut. William Crocker was directed to raise 
a party of English and Indian volunteers to join the scout that 
Partridge was fitting out, to send " up to Coaset to meet the 
Indian enemy hunting in these parts." No further account 
of this most remarkable winter's campaign has been found. 
No details of the endurance, bravery and heroism of those 
men who spent the dead of winter in tramping through the 
forests and camping on the mountains of Southern Vermont ; 
waiting and watching the approach of the subtle foe, while 
their liv^es depended on their ability to outmatch in strategy 
an enemy with a life-long training in the arts of wood-craft. 
The number of men engaged is not known, but in the spring, 
Col. Partridge was allowed seven shillings each for 468 pairs 
of snow shoes and moccasins furnished to that number of 

Sometime in April Lieut. Thomas Baker left Deerfield with 
thirty men on a scout to the north. Ebenezer Grant writes 
concerning it as follows : — 

CAPT. TH()M.\S baker's* SCOUT. 

Another story related to me by Livet Childs Concerning Capt. 
Baker ^S: his Company, and what happened to them in their march is 
as follows: 

April the Beginning Capt Baker, Lieut Sam" Williams Lieut Mar- 
tin Kellogg with 28 men set out from Deerfield up Connect I-liver 
Designing for Cowass on purpose to Destroy a family or two of In- 
dians that they heard was there. But when arrived found no signs 
of any enemy there. Then afterwards we took our journey for mer- 

*Capt., then Lieut. Thomas Baker of Northampton. He was born about 
16S3, he died in 1753. He was one of the captives taken at Deerfield, Feb. 2gth, 
1704, and one of four who escaped and reached home in June, 1705. In 1714, he 
led the party which escorted John Stoddard and Rev. John Williams to Canada, 
as Massachusetts Commissioners to treat for the return of prisoners ; while 
there, occurred the romantic episode of his marriage to Madam Le Beau, nee 
Margaret Otis, which is so fully and so well treated by Miss C. Alice Baker, in 
her paper before the P. V. M. Association, upon Christina Otis. 

380 QUEEN ANXE'S WAR — 1/02 — T713. 

rimack &: coming upon it at y'' head of the west Branch following of 
it Down one Day, & then finding two Indian Tracks which went 
down the river we continuing our Course next Day Down y river 
after them, towards night finding the Tracks of 4 more & then en- 
campt. The officers next morning thought it best to send forth a 
Small Company of our men to see what they could Discover And in 
about two hours they returned again c^' Informed by what they had 
Discovered that there was a party of Indians not far off. Then the 
ofificers took 3 of there Soaldiers to make further Discovery ordering 
the rest of the Company to Lye still c^ be very Carefull & make no 
rout till thev returned and in about t. hours thev returned & In- 
formed their Comj)any that they had discovered some Wigwams. 
Judging [three ?j of them to be Indians with families, with that y 
whole Company moved in about half a mile of them, and then find- 
ing y'' wigmans to be on y'' [bank ?] of the river and a swamp Ly- 
ing upon the back side. And Judging it to be best to Devide y'' 
Company into two parts Livt Williams (S: Livt Kellogge taking one 
half & ('apt Baker y other. Agreeing also y' one part should go 
round y Swamp up Stream, and the other part Down Stream. Soon 
after we parted the Company of Capt Baker espied a straggling In- 
dian Coming directly towards them, with a hatchet Stuck in his Gir- 
dle & a Stick on his Shouldier, which we judged was a going to peal 
Bark. Now we knowing that we should be Discovered was obliged 
to fire him Down & did so, now many guns being Discharged at him, 
Alarmed y*^ other Indians & caused the tother part of the men to come 
back again. After that word was given out to run to the wigwams. 
After running a Little way Litting of some Indian dogs which we 
following lead us to the wigwams upon the river Bank & there find- 
ing 12 Indians Jest entred into their Canoes to Cross the river & Es- 
pying a number of Squas & Poposes on the other Side running into 
the woods, but we firing briskly on them that was on y*' water, Soon 
turned the bulk of them out of their Canoas, and the other Jumped 
out and Swam to the Contrary Shore. So we judged we had killed 
8 or 9 and afterwards was informed by Some Easterd Captives y' we 
did kill 9. After the skirmish was over, we viewed their habitation 
& judged that they had lived there two or three years, by the quan- 
tity of Furs we found there. The Place where we Litt of these In- 
dians, was where the two Branches of the river come together.* Aft- 
er this we returned to the place where we left our Packs, with a 
small quantity of plunder and there we packed up and Steared our 

Course for Dunstable & in Time reached it, from thence we 

travailed to Chensford, And the People being very kind to us. Our 
Capt with a Waiting-man, went to Boston to Inform his Excellency 
Gov Dudley of his good service done the Province, ordering the 
Lieut to take the men and march to Marlborough & there to wait for 
him & in a little time he Came and ordered us to march homewards, 
from thence we marched to brookfield which was a very hard Day's 
travail by reason of some men being very Lame, from thence we 
marched to Hadlev, from thence to Hatfield, from thence to Deer'' 
w'' we first set from. Finis. 

* One of them since called Baker's river. 


On a scrap of paper in the handwriting of Stephen Wil- 
liams, is found the following : — 

Capt. Baker ^: my Brother's expedition to Cowass <S: over the Mer- 
rimaclv, where they killed my old master Wottanammon in April, 

With the scalp of Wottanammon and others, Baker went 
down the Merrimac and to Boston, arriving May 8th. The 
General Court voted his company ^^30 besides their wages, 
for scalp money. 

There had been no general exchange of prisoners since 
John Sheldon was in Canada. Individual or special exchanges 
had been made occasionally, perhaps as the one side or the 
other took that method of o-ainino; intelligence of their ene- 

June 16th, a letter was received from De Vaudreuil respect- 
ing an exchange of prisoners of war. He proposes " that our 
prisoners from Canada be brought into or near Deerfield, and 
that the French prisoners be sent home from thence." This 
proposal was satisfactory to Dtidley, and Col. Partridge was 
ordered to collect the prisoners here and dispatch them 
home. Partridge set about the mission with zeal and energy, 
and in about four weeks, a party of French captives, with an 
English escort, left Deerfield under a flag of truce for Cana- 
da. The departure had been delayed somewhat by dilhculty 
from an unexpected quarter. Of this the following letter 
gives a graphic relation : — 

Hatfield, July i, 1712. 

I begg vo'" Excellencys excuse (S: tender Resentment. 

Off our repeated demur ts: delay of moveing towards Canada by 
the Frentchmen is; o' Messengers, which is wholie by the indisposi- 
tion of the Frentchmen, Especially two of them, who will not be 
p'suaded to go, neither by p'suasions, nor force, except they be car- 
ried, viz., Cossett & La ffever. the Capt. hath used all means with 
them, especially Cosset, in so much that 1 believe if they go into 
woods together, they will murder one another before they get to Can- 
ada. Cosset positively refusing to go, chuseing rather to Remayen 
a prison'' all his days, as he saith, rather than go with him. 'Fhe 
Captaine vehemently mad with him, as he saith, will kill him, & its 
thought by their violent treatm' one towards another, that murder 
had been done if o'' men had not p'vented itt They cannot speak to- 
gether, but some fall to blows, whoever is p'sent. Fa ffever has 
been oposite of goeing all a Long, (S: now it comes too positively op- 
poses it, except he be forct. Yesterday 1 went up to Deref'' & two 
of the Frentchmen ordert him & the Frenchman to attend me in 
order to their goeing immediately away, Haveing all things ready 

382 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR — 1702 — 1713. 

there but am demured, as afores'', & knowing the sending of but 
two with o"" Messeng'^'', would not comport with y'r Excellency's de- 
sign in this motion, I chose rather to delay two or 3 days more to 
waite for yo' further direction. I have with much ado, caused the 
two Frentchmen that are willing to go, to abide at Deref'' til further 
order: he, viz., the Capt., proposes that two others of his men be 
sent immediately to go, saying he knows they will go without trouble 
if y''self see meet yet to proceed in this motion, though rather chuses 
to come back to Boston with hopes to get home by water, but he is 
stay' as afores''. In the enclosed paper he gives y'' names of y*^ men 

As to o' Messengers, severall offer themselves to go, viz., Ltt. 
Baker, Ltt. Williams, Ltt. Wells & Sergt. Taylor; & for men with 
either of them, Jonathan Wells, Jno. Nims, (an absolute pilot) 
Eleazer [Ebenezer ?J Warner, Thomas Frentch &c., but insist upon 
4 to goe, &c. 

We had pitcht upon Ltt. Williams, with the consent of his ffather, 
who hath the Frentch tongue, Jonath. Wells, Jno. Nims, tv: Eliezer 
[Ebenezer?] Warner, but haveing in yo' last letter a forbidd to any of 
Baker's company we jMtcht on Lt. Wells, Sergt. Taylor, John Nims 
& Thos. Frentch, who also hath the Frentch tongue, but think the 
former most apt for y designe, &c. 

I have had no small fategue in this matter, but y disappointment 
hath been on the Frentchman's p' as aforesaid. I am verry sorry there 
is no better attendence to y'r Excellencys commands, w''' I desire to 
be sencere in attending, to the utmost of my power at all tymes. 

Humbly desiring further directions in this matter, with my Hum- 
ble service p^'sented to yo' Excellency, Madam Dudley tV whole fam- 
ily. Rendering myself much obliged in obeydience «S: yo'' Verry 
Humble serv't. Sam" Partridge. 

P. S. Our scouts can discover verry little appearance of y'' ene- 
my at the Lake; doubtless more might be discovered cV y enemy 
more forct to a retirement. 

The following was endorsed on the above letter : — 

Co'll. Patridg: — Honn'd Sr, I have all along been much against re- 
turning home: to Canada: but am now come to a Resolution that I 
will not go, except the Governor with yourself, doe compell me to 
returne; which I hope you will not do; I have an Affection for the 
people and Countery; and therefore do not intend to lieue it untill 
thare be a Peace; and then only for to give my Parents a vissitt and 
Returne againe. 

from your humble ser'vt to command: this is La ffeveres words. 

Dudley writes Partridge, vSept. 26th, " Cosset stays with 
you ; they have abandoned him as a protestant." 

The party for Canada left Deerfield July loth, with Lieut. 
Samuel Williams finally at the head. This is shown by the 
following extract from a letter written July 21st, 1712, by 
Elisha Williams, at Hatfield, to his cousin Stephen Williams, 
at Roxbury : — 


"Cousin Samuel & 3 others from Deerfield, set cnit for Canada the 
last Thursday was a seven-night. No news but that we are not, & 
have not been molested by the enemy." 

The "three others" were Jonathan Wells, John Nims and 
Eleazer, or Ebenezer Warner. Lieut. Williams reached Bos- 
ton on his return September 24th, bringing nine English 
prisoners. He was allowed for his services thirty shillings 
per week. Lieut. Williams, son of the minister, was but 
twenty-three years old. In March, 1713, he was chosen town 
clerk, and died in Jtme following. 

The quiet noted by both writers above was soon to be 
broken. July 13th, twenty Indians in two parties left Cana- 
da for our frontiers ; twelve under the noted Gray Lock.* 
The news of this movement reached Col. Schuyler July 28th. 
He sent a post in hot haste to warn Col. Partridge ; but it was 
too late. Partridge writes the Governor August 4th : — 

Hatfield Aug 4, 17 12 

May it please yo"^ Excellency 

On Wednesday the 30 July past in y*^ forenoone came too me a 
Messeng'' enforming of a young man taken by a p''^' of the Enemy at 
Springfield in the afternoone a massenger from Deref'' that o"^ west- 
ern scout from thence was attaqued by the enemy & s'' ther were 
most of them taken & killed, but upon a more full ace' there is one 
man killed &: two taken of them, at Night a Messenger from o'' East- 
ern scouts gave news of the discovery of a p*''' of 8 or 9 seen & they 
made shot at y'" but the enemy soon ran out of reach towards Brookf'' 
We immeadiately sent a post to Brookf"' to enforme them, who im- 
meadiately sent out to all there work folks abroad & in there way see 
6 or 8 Indians — Alarmed the y*" said workers & disappointed the En- 
emy who were about Secretly to way lay them, but run for it-^by all 
this it plainly appears the Enemy are on every hand of us — Laying 
waite for to accomplish their bloody designes — the same night a post 
from Albany came with the Enclosed, The letf doth not speak of it, 
but the Missing''* say y Gov'' of Canada Looks for a speedy Peace, 
but will do as much spoyle as he can before it comes. 

I have Given Notice to Capt How of the Enemys Appearance here 
w*^'' may soone come over to y'" 

Major Stoddard & myself are Secureing all p'^ by scouts & guards 
as much as we can to p''vent the Sudden surprizes of the Enemy who 
doubtless will do all the mischeef they can before they go off with 
my Humble Service p'"sented to yo'' Excellency & whole family Ren- 
dering my Self yo'' Obeydient & very Humble Ser^'* 

Sam" Partridge. 

Yo"" Excellency's directions is at 
all tymes advantageous to us 

*For an account of Gray Lock see History of Northfield. 

384 QUEEN ANNE's WAR — I 702 — I /I 3. 

The " man taken at Springfield " was Benjamin Wright of 
" Skipmuck," and he was probably killed soon after. He was 
eighteen years old. The man killed on the western scout 
was Samuel Andrews of Hartford ; the captured men, Ben- 
jamin Barrett of Deerfield and Sunderland, and William San- 
ford, a Connecticut soldier. The party was under the charge 
of Sergt. Samuel Taylor of Deerfield, who did not keep them 
under sufficient restraint. They were " very careless & noisy 
as they traveled," says Stephen Williams. Lieut. Samuel 
Williams was in Canada when the two captives were brought 
in. Both were recovered by him, and brought back in Sep- 

This was the last raid on this valley during Queen Anne's 
War. The messenger who brought Schuyler's dispatch to 
Partridge July 31st, said the Governor of Canada expected 
a speedy peace, but would do as much spoil as he could 
before it came. It was in continuance of this characteristic 
and infamous method of carrying on the war, that De Vau- 
dreuil, to make the most of the time, sent a large force against 
the eastern towns in September. 

A proclamation for the ce.s.sation of hostilities was promul- 
gated at Boston Oct. 29th, 17 12, and Uueen Anne's War was 
closed by the Treaty of Utrecht, March 30th, 171 3. 

In this war Deerfield lost sixty-one killed, nine wounded 
and one hundred and twelve captured. The valley below 
lost fifty-eight killed, sixteen wounded and thirteen captured. 
Total in Hampshire county, one hundred and nineteen killed, 
twenty-five wounded, one hundred and twenty-five captured. 



Within a few monthvS after the Peace of Utrecht, signed 
March 30th, 171 3, it became apparent that Deerfield was no 
longer to be the forlorn hope of civilization in the Connecti- 
cut Valley — the extreme point of that wedge of settlements 
which was being driven northwards to split the wilderness 
asunder. February, 17 14, the General Court appointed a 
Committee to superintend the settlement at Swampfield. 
Four years later it dismissed the Committee with thanks, and 
gave the plantation a charter and the name of Sunderland. 
Thus the wedge became thickened hereabouts, and in 17 14 
Northfield was resettled, and that became the entering edge 
— the post of danger and honor. 

The war cloud had hardly rolled away before the Indians 
from every quarter, under one pretext or another, were free- 
ly mingling with the English. In May, 17 14, Upehonedie 
was here with a party of Iroquois ; with a pass from Col. Par- 
tridge they went to Boston, and appeared before the Gov- 
ernor and Council to express their friendship for our people. 
The EavStern Indians were anxious for a new treaty ; the Pen- 
nicooks came also to make complaint of encroachment on 
their lands. All along our frontiers the Indian hunters who 
had been at arms against us came to sell their furs, the prod- 
uct of the last winter's hunt. When under the influence of 
fire-water these Indians would boast of their murderous ex- 
ploits during the war, making a merit of them as praise- 
worthy actions of brave warriors. This would rouse the ire 
of the English, altercations would follow, and sometimes, ac- 
cording to tradition, a swift and secret revenge. At any 
rate there must have been great provocation to retaliation on 
the part of the whites, whose friends had been the victims of 
their barbarity, and the objects of their boasts, which would 
have led to reprisals, and brought on a general conflict. 
There was all the while a profound distrust of the Indians, 


and little confidence was felt in their professions of amity. 
Men like Thomas Baker, Joseph and Martin Kellogg, who 
had been in captivity among them, and understood their hab- 
its, were employed to go among them to watch their mo- 
tions, and interpret the meaning. The government gave 
watchful heed to the intercourse between the red man and 
the white and made wholesome regulations in regard to their 
barter. Nov. 14th, 171 5, the Council gave Col. Partridge or- 
ders to " direct his inspection and care of trade with Indians 
coming into Deerfield, and other parts within the county of 
Hampshire, to prevent their being debauched with rum or 
other spirits or being defrauded and abused in their trade." 
Perhaps it was owing to his wise management that no out- 
break occurred. 

During the whole of this interval of peace continuous ef- 
forts were made for the recovery of captives still held by the 
French and Indians in Canada ; and for the release of Eunice 
Williams, especially, no po.ssible inducement was left untried. 
A large sum of money was rejected ; the personal solicitation 
of the Governor's wife was disregarded. Two captive Indian 
children offered in exchange for this white girl were refused, 
but four captive Englishmen were given up for them instead. 
Even Father Justinian, a French priest captured at Annapo- 
lis Royal, was brought to Boston, and kept a long time, as an 
exchange for the captive child ; but all in vain. Col. John 
vSchuyler, however, still had hopes. He writes Dudley April 
6th, 171 3, that he is going from Albany with some French 
gentlemen, and that " agreeable to a promise made to Mr. 
Williams and for Christian considerations, he will endeavour 
the recovery of his daughter out of the hands of the Indians 
and doubts not to prevail." The disheartening result we 
have seen. [See ante, page 349.] 

The sorrowing father of Eunice, however, could not yet 
give up his daughter. We may safely presume that it was 
through his means that another party was sent for captives 
the same year. Nov. 5th, 171 3, Capt. John Stoddard and 
Rev. John Williams received their credentials as Commis- 
sioners, and were fitted out for a journey to Canada. They 
left Northampton for Albany, November 13th, attended by 
Capt. Thomas Baker, Martin Kellogg, Eleazer Warner and 
Jonathan Smith, all on horseback. They reached the Hudson 


November i6th. Here they were detained ten long weeks on 
account of warm weather and broken ice. At length on the 
22d of January they set forward, having in the meantime se- 
cured for a guide Hendrick, a Mohawk chief of the Cahnaing- 
has, who had great influence over the Caghnawagas, with 
whom Eunice Williams and the other captives lived. The 
party arrived at Quebec Febr