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Full text of "Indian captivities or, life in the wigwam : being true narratives of captives who have been carried away by the Indians ; from the frontier settlements of the U.S. ; from the earliest period to the present time"

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INDIAN CAPTIVITIES 






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LIFE m THE WIGWAM; 



TRUE NARRATIVES OF CAPTIVES WKO HAVE BEEN CARRIED AWaT 

BY THE INDIANS, FROM THE FRONTIER SETTLEMENTS 

OF THE UNITED STATES, FROM THE 

EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE 

PRESENT TIME. 



SAMUEL G. DRAKE, 

iDTBOB OF IHS " BOOK OF DIDIiNB." . 



AUBURN: 
DERBY AND MILLER. 



1851. 



^<4 



V" 



Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1839, 

BY SAMUEL G, DRAKE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 



STEREOTYPED BY 
GEO. A. & J. CURTIS, 

NEW ENGLAND TYPE AN^ STEREOTYPE FOUNDnY, BOSTON. 



READER- 

This volume consists of entire Narratives ; that is to say, I have given 
the originals -without the slightest abridgment ; nor have I taken any 
liberties with the language of any of them, which would in the remotest 
degree change the sense of a single passage, and the instances are few in 
which I have ventured to correct peculiarities of expression ; yet I designed 
that, with regard to gi-ammatical accuracy, there should be as few faults 
as the nature of such a performance would allow. All expressions of an 
antiquated date are not attempted to be changed. Some redundancies 
have been dropped, which could only have been retained at the expense 
of perspicuity. 

I am not unaware that there may be persons who will doubt of the 
propriety of laying before all classes of the community a work which 
records so much that is shocking to humanity ; but the fashion of studying 
the book of Nature has now long obtained, and pervades all classes. I 
have done no more than to exhibit a page of it in this collection. To 
observe man in his uncivilized or natural state offers an approach to a 
knowledge of his natural history, without which it is hardly obtained. 

We find volumes upon volumes on the manners and customs of the 
Indians, many of the writers of M'hich would have us believe they have 
exhausted the subject, and consequently we need inquire no further ; 
but whoever has travelled among distant tribes, or read the accounts of 
intelligent travellers, do not require to be told that the most endless variety 
exists, and that the manners and customs of uncultivated nations are no 
more stationary, nor so much so, as are those of a civilized people. The 
current of time changes all things. But we have elsewhere observed* 
that similar necessities, although in different nations, have produced 
similar customs ; such as will stand through ages with very little, if any, 
variation. Neither is it strange that similar articulations should be found 
m languages having no other affinity, because imitations of natural 
sounds must everywhere be the same. Hence it follows that customs 
are as various as the face of nature itself. 

A lecturer on the manners and customs of certain tribes of Indians may 
assure us that no others observe certain barbarous rites, and that, as they 
by some sudden mortality have become extinct, the knowledge of those 
rites is known to none others save himself, and that therefore he is the 

♦Book of the Indians, Book i., p. 10. 



iv PREFACE. 

only person living who can inform us of them. But he may be assured 
that captives and other travellers have witnessed customs and ceremonies, 
which, together with their performers, have passed away also. And there 
is another view of the matter. Many a custom, as it existed fifty or a 
hundred years ago, has become quite a different affair now. From these 
reflections it is easy to see what an endless task it would be to describe 
all of the manners and customs of a single tribe of Indians, to say nothing 
of the thousands which have been and still exist. 

These observations have been thrown out for the consideration of such 
as may be looking for some great work upon Indian manners and customs, 
to comprehend all they have been taught to expect, from those who have, 
perhaps, thought no deeper upon the subject than themselves. When the 
reader shall have perused the following narratives, I doubt not he will be- 
convinced of the truth of what has here been delivered. 

This is truly an age of essay writing, and we have them in abundance 
upon every thing and nothing, instead of facts which should be remem- 
bered. If a new work upon travels or history appears, we shall doubtless 
be delighted with descriptions of elegant scenery and splendid sketches 
about general matters, but arise from its perusal about as ignorant of the 
events of the history we desire as before. Compositions of this descrip- 
tion form no part of these pages. 

I have on other occasions stood out boldly in favor of the oppressed 
Indian, and I know that a book of Indian Captivities is calculated to 
exliibit their character in no very favorable light ; but the reader should 
remember that, in the following narratives, it is not I who speak ; yet I 
believe that, with very small allowances, these narratives are entirely 
true. The errors, if any, will be found only errors of judgment, which 
aflect not their veracity. 

A people whose whole lives are spent in war, and who live by a con- 
tinual slaughter of all kinds of animals, must necessarily cultivate ferocity. 
From the nature of their circumstances they are obliged always to be in 
expectation of invasion ; living in small communities, dispersed in small 
parties of five or ten upon hunting expeditions, they are easily surprised 
by an enemy of equal or even a lesser force. Indians, consequently, are 
always speaking of strange Indians whom they know not, nor do they 
know whether such are to appear from one direction or another. ^\Tien 
New England was first settled, the Indians about Massachusetts Bay 
were in a miserable fright from fear of the Tarratines ; skulking from 
copse to copse by day, and sleeping in loathsome fens by night, to avoid 
them. And all the New England Indians were in constant expectation 
of the Mohawks ; and scarce a tribe existed in any part of the country 
who did not constantly expect to be attacked by some other. And such 
was the policy of those people that no calculation could be made upon 
their operations or pretensions, inasmuch as the honor of an action de- 



PREFACE. V 

pended on the manner in which it was executed. No credit was obtained 
by open combat, but he that could ensnare and smite an unsuspecting 
enemy was highly to be commended. 

It must have very often happened that the people surprised knew 
nothing of any reason why they were so dealt with, and the injury for 
which they suffered may have been committed by their ancestors long 
before tliey had existence ; and the only sure means a tribe had to avert 
retaliation was extermination! Hence the perpetual warfare of these 
people. 

As there are a few other collections of Indian Narratives of a similar 
character to this, it may be necessary to advertise the reader that such are 
similar in title only ; for in those collections the compilers speak for their 
captives, whereas, in this, they speak for themselves. Those collectors 
have not only taken upon themselves to speak for their captives or heroes, 
but have so abridged the majority of their narratives that the perusal 
of them only gives dissatisfaction even to the general reader. Blr. 
McClung's " Sketches of Western Adventure" is a work of thrilling 
interest, but its value is entirely lost in particular instances from the 
above considerations. Dr. Melcalf was earlier, and set out right, but 
looked back with his hand to the plough. I know of no others worthy of 
notice. 

As several prominent narratives may be looked for in this collection 
without success, such as those of Hannah Duston, Rev. John "Williams, 
tkc, it will be proper to apprize the reader that those, and many others, 
are contained in the Book of the Indians. 

I did not design to notice the works of others, in Indian history, in this 
introduction ; but accidentally falling upon some acts of pre-emirient injus- 
tice to my former labors, committed by several compilers, whose works, 
from their peculiar point of emanation, or ostentatious external attractions, 
are calculated to fix in the minds of their readers wrong impressions in 
respect to the sources whence they have drawn their information, I could 
not, in justice to myself, let them pass without a notice. For an author 
to spend many of his best years in the most laborious investigations to 
bring out a train of facts upon an important inquiry, which, in all proba- 
bility, no other would ever have taken the pains to have done, from the 
pecuUar nature and difficulty of the undertaking, or situation of the mate- 
rials out of which he had brought them, and then to see them, no sooner 
than produced, transferred to the pages of others without even a demand 
for them upon their author, is matter of which I complain, and, to say the 
least, is too barefaced a piracy even for this age of freebooting in matters 
of literature. Had the author of the Book of the Indians been dead, 
leaving but a single copy of his work behind, and that an unpublished 
manuscript, some of the compilers, to whom I allude, could scarcely have 
been freer in their use of it without the hope of detection. No charge is 
1* 



yi PREFACE. 

here intended against such as have copied whole pages into their cvm 
works, where they have even acknowledged their source of information ; 
but I would point the eyes of all such as may read this to their own 
pages, which have been transferred from that work, or so concocted out 
of it as to induce the belief that it was the fruits of their own labor. Such 
compilers, doubtless, presume only their own works will be read on the 
subject of the Indians ; or that the obscure and humble author of the 
Book of the Indians had no means of exposing their piracies. And even 
now, " after all said and done," perhaps Queen Victoria will never read 
this preface, or compare the pages of the great folio " Biography and 
History of the Indians" with those of the Book of the Indians; yet there 
may be those on this side of the Atlantic who may be benefited by thjs, 
though indirect, information. Besides, I am too late now to send a book 
to her majesty, with the sUghtest prospect of her ever reading it, for the 
very reason that she has already several books by American authors on 
hand ! And if she has read even one, is it to be presumed she would 
ever read another ? Moreover, what would she care whether Col. Stone 
gave me credit for a fact, or Mr. Thacher, or Henry Trumbull ? 




7 

CONTENTS. 


The following Table contains the names of the captives, the time of 


their being taken, and the duration of their captivity, .where the dates 


could be ascertained. 


Name ol Captive. | VVhc. taken. | Vi here. | Time reiaiii.d. U'ai,'e 


John Ortiz 


1528 


Florida 


Nine years 


li 


Mary Rowlandson 


lOFeb.1676 


Lancaster, P.Iass. 


To 12 April, 1676 


20 


Quintin Stockwell 


19Sep.l677 


Deerfield, Mass. 


About one year 


60 


Sarah Gensh 


28 June, '89 


Dover, N. H. 


Six months 


70 


Ehzabeih Heard 


28 June, '89 


Dover, N. H. 


Remark'e escape 


71 


John Gyles 


2 Aug. 1689 


Pemmaquid, Me. 


Six years 


73 


Robert Rogers 


27 Mar. '90 


Salmon Falls, N. 
[Hampshire. 


Tortur'd to death 


109 


Blehetable Goodwin 


27 " 1690 


Sal. Falls, N. H. 


Five }''ears 


111 


Thomas Toogood 


27 " 1690 


Sal. Falls, N.H. 


Fortunate escape 


112 


Elizabeth Hanson 


27Jun.i724 


Dover, N.H. 


One yr. & 6 days 


113 


Nehemiah How 


11 Oct. 1745 


Great Meadows, 
[Mass. 


Died in captivity 


127 


Mary Fowler 


22 Ap. 1746 


Hopkinton,N.PI. 


Six months 


140 


John Filch 


July, 1746 


Ashby, Mass. 


To close of war 


139 


Isabella M'Coy 


21 Au. 1747 


Epsom, N. H. 


To close of war 


143 


Peter Williamson 


2 Oct. 1754 


Delaware Forks, 
[Pa. 


One year and 3 
[months. 


147 


Jemima Howe 


27JuI. 17p5 


Hinsdale, N. H. 


About five years 


156 


Frances Noble 


About 1755 


Swan Island, Me. 


About 12 years 


165 


Capt. Jona. Carver 


9 Aug. 1755 


Ft. Wm. Henry 


Made his escape 


172 


Col. James Smith 


May, 1755 


Bedford, Pa. 


About SIX years 


178 


Robert Eastburn 


27 Mar. '56 


Williams' Ft. Pa. 


2 yrs. & 8 mo's. 


265 


A Mrs. Clendenin 


Year 1763 


Green Brier, Va. 


Escaped 


284 


Alexander Henry 


4 June, 1763 


Michilimackinac 


About one year 


286 


Frederick Manheim 


19 Oct. 1779 


Near Johnston, 




333 


' 




[N. Y. 


• 




Experience Bozarth 


March, 1779 


Dunkard'sCreek, 
[Kentucky. 


Great prowess 


334 


John Corbly 


May, 1782 


Muddy Crk. Ky. 


Escape 


335 


Frances Scott 


29Jun.l785 


Wash'n. Co., Va. 


Escape 


337 


Capt. AVm. Hubbell 


23 Mar. '91 


Ohio river 


Desp. encounter 


342 


Massy Herbeson 


22 Ma. 1792 




Escape 


349 


Serg. L. Munson 


17 Oct.1793 


Near Fort Jeffer- 
[son, Ohio. 


Escape, 8 mo's. 


352 


Ransom Clark 


28DCC.1835 


Florida [House. 


Escape 


355 


J. W. B. Thompson 


23 Jul. 1836 


Cape Florida Lt. 


Escape 


357 



INDIAN CAPTIVITIES 



NARRATIVE 



OF THE CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ, A SPANIARD, WHO WAS 
ELEVEN YEARS A PRISONER AMONG THE INDIANS OP 
FLORIDA. 

In the year 152S Pamphilo de Narvaez, with a commission, 
constituting him governor of Florida, or " all the lands lying 
from the river of Palms to the cape of Florida," sailed for that 
couniry with 400 foot and 20 horse, in five ships. With this 
expedition went a Spaniard, named John Ortiz, a native of 
Seville, whose connections were among the nobility of Castile. 
Although we have no account of what part Ortiz acted in 
Narvaez's expedition, or how he escaped its disastrous issue, 
yet it may not be deemed out of place to notice briefly here 
that issue. 

This Narvaez had acquired some notoriety by the manner in 
which he had executed a commission against Cortez. He had 
been ordered by the governor of Cuba to seize the destroyer 
of Mexico, but was himself overthrown and deserted by his 
men. On falling into the hands of Cortez, his arrogance did 
not forsake him, and he addressed him thus : " Esteem it good 
fortune that you have taken me prisoner." " Nay," replied 
Cortez, " it is the least of the things I have done in IMexico." 
To return to the expedition of which we have promised to 



Narvaez landed in Florida not very far from, or perhaps at 
the bay of Apalachee, in the month of April, and marched 
into the country with his men. They knew no other direction 
but that pointed out by the Indians, whom they compelled to 
act as guides. Their first disappointment was on their arrival 



10 CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 

at the village of Apalachee, where, instead of a splendid town, 
filled with immense treasure, as they had anticipated, they 
found only about 40 Indian wigwams. When they visited 
one Indian town its inhabitants would get rid of them by tell- 
ing them of another, where their vi^anls would be gratified. 
Such was the manner in which Narvaez and his companions 
rambled over 800 miles of country, in about six months' time , at 
a vast expense of men and necessaries which they carried with 
them ; for the Indians annoyed them at every pass, not only 
cutting oflf many of the men, but seizing on their baggage up- 
on every occasion which offered. Being now arrived upon the 
coast, in a wretched condition, they constructed some miserable 
barks corresponding with their means, in which none but men 
in such extremities would embark. In these they coasted toward 
New Spain. When they came near the mouths of the Mis- 
sissippi they were cast away in a storm, and all but 15 of their 
number perished. Out of these 15, 4 only lived to reach 
Mexico, and these after 8 years wholly spent in wanderings 
from place to place, enduring incredible hardships and mise- 
ries. 

The next year after the end of Narvaez's expedition, the 
intelligence of his disaster having reached his wife, whom he 
left in Cuba, she fitted out a small company, consisting of 20 
or 30 men, who sailed in a brigantine to search after him, 
hoping some fortuitous circumstance might have prolonged his 
existence upon the coast, and that he might be found. Of this 
number was John Ortiz, the subject of this narrative. 

On their arrival there, they sought an opportunity to have 
an interview with the first Indians they should meet. Oppor- 
tunity immediately offered, and as soon as Indians were dis- 
covered, the Spaniards advanced towards them in their boats, 
while the Indians came down to the shore. These wily peo- 
ple practised a stratagem upon this occasion, which to this day 
seems a mysterious one, and we have no means of explain- 
ing it. 

Three or four Indians came near the shore, and setting a 
stick in the ground, placed in a cleft in its top a letter, and 
withdrawing a little distance, made signs to the Spaniards to 
come and take it. All the company, except John Ortiz and one 
more, refused to go out for the letter, rightly judging it to be 
used only to ensnare them ; but Ortiz, presuming it was from 
Narvaez, and containing some account of himself, would not 
be persuaded from venturing on shore to bring it, although a4l 
the rest but the one who accompanied him strenuously argued 
against it. 

Now there was an Indian village very near this place, and 




HiiHiiiiiiiiiiiii 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 13 

no sooner had Ortiz and his companion advanced to the place 
where the letter was displayed, than a mukitude came running 
from it, and surrounding them, seized eagerly upon them. 
The number of the Indians was so great, that the Spaniards 
in the vessels did not dare to attempt to rescue them, and saw 
them carried forcibly away. In this first onset the man who 
accompanied Ortiz was killed, he having made resistance when 
he was seized. 

Not far from the place where they were made prisoners, was 
another Indian town, or village, consisting of about 8 or 10 
houses or wigwams. These houses were made of wood, and 
covered with palm-leaves. At one end of this village there 
was a building, which the captive called a temple, but of what 
dimensions it was he makes no mention. Over the door of 
entrance into this temple there was placed the figure of a bird, 
carved out in wood, and it was especially surprising that this 
bird had gilded eyes. No attempt is made by Ortiz even to 
conjecture how or by whom the art of gilding was practised, 
in this wild and distant region, nor does he mention meeting 
with any other specimen of that art during his captivity. Ai 
the opposite extremity of this village stood the house of the 
chief, or cazique, as he was often called, upon an eminence, 
raised, as it was supposed, for a fonification. These things re- 
mained the same ten years afterwards, and are mentioned by 
the historian of Fernando De Solo's Invasion of Florida. The 
name of the chief of this village was Ucita, before whom was 
presented the captive, Ortiz, who was condemned to suffer im- 
mediate death. 

The manner of his death was by torture, which was to be 
effected in this wise. The executioners set four stakes in the 
ground, and to these they fastened four poles ; the captive was 
then taken, and with his arms and legs extended, was by them 
bound to these poles, at such a distance from the ground, that 
a fire, made directly under him, would be a long time in con- 
suming him. Never did a poor victim look with greater cer- 
tainty to death for relief, than did John Ortiz at this time. 
The fire had already begun to rage, when a most remarkable 
circumstance happened to save his life — a daughter of the 
stern Ucita arose and plead for him. Among other things she 
said these to her father : " My kind father, why kill this poor 
stranger? he can do you nor any of us any injury, seeing he 
is but one and alone, h is better that you should keep him 
confined ; for even in that condition he may sometime be of 
fifr«at service to you." The chief was silent for a short time, 
but finally ordered him to be released from his place of torture. 
They had no sooner taken the thongs from his wrists and 
2 



14 CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 

ankles, than they proceeded to wash and dress his wounds, and 
to do things to make him comfortable. 

As soon as his wounds were healed, Ortiz was stationed at 
the entrance of the temple, before mentioned, to guard it 
against such as were not allowed to enter there ; but espe- 
cially to guard its being profaned by wild beasts ; for as it was 
a place of sacrifices, wolves were its constant visitors. He had 
not long been in this office, when an event occurred, which 
threw him into great consternation. Human victims were 
brought in as sacrifices and deposited here ; and not long after 
Ortiz had been placed as sentinel, the body of a young Indian 
was brought and laid upon a kind of sarcophagus, Avhich, 
from the multitudes that had from time to time been offered 
there, was surrounded with blood and bones ! a most rueful 
sight, as ever any eye beheld ! — here an arm fresh torn from 
its place, reeking with blood, another exhibiting but bone and 
sinews from the mangling jaws of wild beasts ! Such was 
the place he was ordered to guard, through day and night — 
doomed to sit himself down among this horrible assemblage 
of the dead. When left alone he reflected that his escape 
from fire was not so fortunate for him as he had hoped ; for 
now, his naturally superstitious mind was haunted by the pres- 
ence of innumerable ghosts, who stalked in every place, and 
which he had from his youth been taught to believe were capa- 
ble of doing him all manner of injuries, even to the depriving 
of life. 

There was no reflection in those remote ages of the real 
situation of all the living, in respect to the great valley of death 
in which all beings are born and nursed, and which no length 
of years is sufficient to carry them through. Let us for a mo- 
ment cast our eyes around us. Where are we ? Not in the 
same temple with Ortiz, but in one equally vast. We can see 
nothing but death in every place. The very ground we walk 
upon is composed of the decayed limbs of our own species, with 
those of a hundred others. A succession of animals have been 
rising and falling for many thousand years in all parts of the 
world. They have died all around us — in our very places. 
We do not distinctly behold the hands, the feet, or the bones of 
them, because they have crumbled to dust beneath our feet. 
And cannot the ghosts of these as well arise as of those slain, 
yesterday ? The affirmative cannot be denied. 

As we have said, Ortiz found himself snatched from one 
dreadful death, only, as he imagined, to be thrust into the jaws 
of another, yet more terrible. Experience, however, soon 
proved to him, that the dead, at least those with whom he was 
forced to dwell, either could or would not send forth their 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 15 

spirits in any other shape than such phantoms as his own mind 
created, in dreams and reveries. We can accustom ourselves 
to almost anything, and it was not long before our captive 
contemplated the dead bodies with v/hich he was surrounded, 
with about the same indifference as he did the walls of the 
temple that encompassed them. 

How long after Ortiz had been placed to guard the temple 
of sacrifices the following fearful midnight adventure hap- 
pened, we have no means of staling with certainty, nor is it 
very material ; it is, however, according to his own account, as 
follows : A young Indian had been killed and his body placed 
in this temple. Late one night, Ortiz found it closely invested 
by wolves, which, in spite of all his efforts, entered the place, 
and carried away the body of the Indian. The fright and the 
darkness were so heavy upon Ortiz that he knew not that the 
body was missing until morning. It appears, however, that he 
recovered himself, seized a heavy cudgel, which he had pre- 
pared at hand, and commenced a general attack upon the beasts 
in the temple, and not only drove them out, but pursued them 
a good way from the place. In the pursuit he came up with 
one which he gave a mortal blow, although he did not know it 
at the time. Having returned from this hazardous adventure 
to the temple, he impatiently awaited the return of daylight. 
When the day dawned, great was his distress at the discovery 
of the loss of the body of the dead Indian, which was especially 
aggravated, because it was the son of a great chief. 

When the news of this affair came to the ears of Ucita, he 
at once resolved to have Ortiz put to death ; but before execut- 
ing his purpose he sent out several Indians to pursue after the 
wolves, to recover, if possible, the sacrifice. Contrary to all 
expectation, the body was found, and not far from it the body of 
a huge wolf also. When Ucita learned these facts, he coun- 
termanded the order for his execution. 

Three long years was Ortiz doomed to watch this wretched 
temple of the dead. At the end of this time he was relieved 
only by the overthrow of the power of Ucita. This was ef- 
fected by a war between the two rival chiefs^ Ucita and Mo- 
coso. 

The coimtry over which Mocoso reigned was only two days' 
journey from that of Ucita, and separated from it by a large 
river or estuary. Mocoso came upon the village of Ucita in 
the night with an army, and attacked his castle, and took 
it, and also the rest of his town. Ucita and his people fled 
from it with all speed, and the warriors of Mocoso burnt 
it to the ground. Ucita had another village upon the coast, 
not far from the former, to which he and his people fled, and 



16 ' CAPTIVITY OF JOHN OKTIZ. 

were not pursued by their enemies. Sonn after he had esta- 
blished himself in his new residence, he resolved upon making 
a sacrifice of Ortiz. Here again he was wonderfully preserved, 
by the same kind friend that had delivered him at the begin- 
ning of his captivity. The daughter of the chief, knowing 
her intreaties would avail nothing with her father, determined 
to aid him to make an escape ; accordingly, she had prepared 
the way for his reception with her father's enemy, Mocoso. 
She found means to pilot him secretly out of her father's vil- 
lage, and accompanied him a league or so on his way, and 
then left him with directions how to proceed to the residence 
of Mocoso. Having travelled all night as fast as he could, 
Ortiz found himself next morning upon the borders of the river 
which bounded the territories of the two rival chiefs. He was 
now thrown into great trouble, for he could not proceed farther 
without discovery, two of Mocoso's men being then fishing in 
the river ; and, although he came as a friend, yet he had no 
way to make that known to them, not understanding their lan- 
guage, nor having means wherewith to discover his character 
by a sign. At length he observed their arms, which they had 
left at considerable distance from the place where they then 
were. Therefore, as his only chance of succeeding in his en- 
terprise, he crept slyly up and seized their arms to prevent 
their injuring him. When they saw this they fled v.ith all 
speed towards their town. Ortiz followed them for some dis- 
tance, trying by language as well as by signs to make them 
understand that he only wished protection with them, but all 
in vain, and he gave up the pursuit and waited quietly the 
result. It was not long before a large party came running 
armed towards him, and when they approached, he was obliged 
to cover himself behind trees to avoid their arrows. Never- 
theless his chance of being killed seemed certain, and that 
very speedily ; but it providentially happened, that there was 
an Indian among them who now surrounded him, who under- 
stood the language in which he spoke, and thus he was again 
rescued from another perilous situation. 

Having now surrendered himself into the hands of the In- 
dians, four of their number were dispatched to carry the tidings 
to Mocoso, and to learn his pleasure in regard to the disposition 
to be made of him ; but instead of sending any Avord of direc- 
tion, Mocoso went himself out to meet Ortiz. When he came 
to him, he expressed ^reat joy at seeing him, and made every 
profession that he would treat him well. Ortiz, however, had 
seen enough of Indians to warn him against a too implicit 
confidence in his pretensions ; and what added in no small 
degree to his doubts about his future destiny, was this very 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 17 

extraordinary circumstance. Immediately after the preliminary 
congratulations were over, the chief made him take an oath, 
" after the manner of Christians," that he would not run away 
from him to seek out another master ; to which he very readily 
assented. At the same time Mocoso, on his part, promised 
Ortiz that he would not only treat him with due kindness, but, 
that if ever an opportunity offered by which he could return to 
his own people, he would do all in his power to assist him in 
it; and, to keep his word inviolate, he swore to what he had 
promised, " after the manner of the Indians." Nevertheless, 
our captive looked upon all this in no other light than as a 
piece of cunning, resorted to by the chief, to make him only a 
contented slave ; but we shall see by the sequel, that this In- 
dian chief dealt not in European guile, and that he was actuated 
only by benevolence of heart. 

Three years more soon passed over the head of Ortiz, and 
he experienced nothing but kindness and liberty. He spent 
his time in wandering over the delightful savannahs of Florida, 
and through the mazes of the palmetto, and beneath the re- 
freshing shades of the wide-spreading magnolia — pursuing 
the deer in the twilight of morning, and the scaly fry in the 
silver lakes in the cool of the evening. In all this time we 
hear of nothing remarkable that happened to Ortiz, or to the 
chief or his people. When war or famine does not disturb the 
quiet of Indians they enjoy themselves to the full extent of 
their natures — perfectly at leisure, and ready to devote days 
together to the entertainment of themselves, and any travel- 
lers or friends that may sojourn with them. 

About the close of the first three years of Ortiz's sojourning 
with the tribe of Indians under Mocoso, there came startling 
intelligence into their village, and alarm and anxiety sat im- 
patiently upon the brow of all the inhabitants. This was 
occasioned by the arrival of a runner, who gave information 
that as some of IMocoso's men were in their canoes a great way 
out at sea fishing, they had discovered ships of the white men 
approaching their coast. Mocoso, after communing with him- 
self a short time, went to Ortiz with the information, which, 
when he had imparted it to him, caused peculiar sensations in 
his breast, and a brief -struggle with conflicting feelings ; for 
one cannot forget his country and kindred, nor can he forget 
his savior and protector. In short, Mocoso urged him to go to 
the coast and see if he could make a discovery of the ships. 
This proceeding on the part of the chief silenced the fears of 
Ortiz, and he set out upon the discovery ; but when he had 
spent several days of watchfulness and eager expectation, with- 
out seeing or gaining any other intelligence of ships, he was 



18 CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 

ready to accuse the chief of practising deception upon him, to 
try his fidelity ; he was soon satisfied, however, that his sus- 
picions were without foundation, although no other information 
was ever gained of ships at that time. 

At length, when six years more had elapsed, news of a less 
doubtful character was brought to the village of Mocoso. It 
was, that some white people had actually landed upon their 
coast, and had possessed themselves of the village of Ucista, 
and driven out him and his men. Mocoso immediately im- 
parted this information to Ortiz, who, presuming it was an idle 
tale, as upon the former occasion, affected to care nothing for 
it, and told his chief that no wordly thing would induce him to 
leave his present master ; but Mocoso persisted, and among 
arguments advanced this, that he had done his duty, and that 
if Ortiz would not go out and seek his white brethren, and 
they should leave the country, and him behind, he could not 
blame him, and withal seriously confirming the news. In the 
end he concluded to go out once more, and after thanking his 
chief for his great kindness, set off, with twelve of his best 
men whom JNIocoso had appointed for his guides, to find the 
white people. 

When they had proceeded a considerable part of the way, 
they came into a plain, and suddenly in sight of a party of 120 
men, who proved to be some of those of whom they had heard. 
When they discovered Ortiz and his men, they pressed towards 
them in warlike array, and although they made every signal 
of friendship in their power, yet these white men rushed upon 
them, barbarously wounding two of them, and the others saved 
themselves only by flight. Ortiz himself came near being 
killed. A horseman rushed upon him, knocked him down, 
and was prevented from dealing a deadly blow only by a 
timely ejaculation in Spanish which he made. It was in these 
words : " I am a Christian — do not kill me, nor these poor men 
who have given me my life." 

It was not until this moment that the soldiers discovered 
their mistake, of friends for enemies, for Ortiz was, in all ap- 
pearance, an Indian; and now, with the aid of Ortiz, his attend- 
ing Indians were collected, and they were all carried to the 
camp of the white men, each riding behind a soldier upon his 
horse. 

Ortiz now found himself among an army of Spaniards, 
commanded by one Fernando De Soto, who had come into that 
country with a great armament of 600 men in 7 ships, in search 
of riches ; an expedition undertaken with great ostentation, 
raised by the expectation of what it was to afford, but it ended, 
as all such undertakings should, in disgrace and mortification. 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN ORTIZ. 39 

Soto considered the acquisition of Ortiz of very great impor- 
tance, for although he could not direct him to any mountains 
of gold or silver, yet he was acquainted with the language of 
the Indians, and he kept him with him during his memorable 
expedition, to act in the capacity of interpreter. 

It was in the spring of 1543, that the ferocious and savage 
Soto fell a prey to his misguided ambition. Ortiz had died a 
few months before, and with him fell the already disappointed 
hopes of his leader. They had taken up winter quarters at a 
place called Autiainque, upon the Washita, or perhaps Red 
River, and it was here that difficulties began to thicken upon 
them. When in the spring they would march from thence, 
Soto was grieved, because he had lost so good an interpreter, 
and readily felt that difficulties were clustering around in a 
much more formidable array. Hitherto, when they v/ere at a 
loss for a knowledge of the country, all they had to do was to 
lie in wait and seize upon some Indian, and Ortiz always could 
understand enough of the language to relieve them from all 
perplexity about their course; but now they had no other 
interpreter but a young Indian of Cutifachiqui, who understood 
a little Spanish ; " yet it required sometimes a whole day for 
him to explain what Ortiz would have done in four words." 
At other times he was so entirely misunderstood, that after 
they had followed his direction through a tedious march of a 
whole day, they would find themselves obliged to return again 
to the same place." 

Such was the value of Ortiz in the expedition of Soto, as 
that miserable man conceived ; but had not vSoto fallen in with 
him, how different would have been the fate of a multitude of 
men, Spaniards and Indians. Upon the whole, it is hard to 
say which was the predominant trait in the character of Soto 
and his followers, avarice or cruelty. 

At one time, because their guides had led them out of the 
way, Moscoso, the successor of Soto, caused them to be hanged 
upon a tree and there left. Another, in the early part of the 
expedition, was saved from the fangs of dogs, at the interfer- 
ence of Ortiz, because he was the only Indian through whom 
Ortiz could get information. It is as difficult to decide which 
was the more superstitious, the Indians or the self-styled 
" Christian Spaniards ;" for when Soto died a chief came and 
offered two young Indians to be killed, that they might accom- 
pany and serve the white man to the world of spirits. An 
Indian guide being violently seized with some malady, fell 
senseless to the ground. To raise him, and drive away the 
devil which they supposed was in him, they read a passage 
over his body from the Bible, and he immediately recovered. 



20 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

Thus we have given all the particulars we can derive from 
authentic sources of the captivit}' and death of John Ortiz. 
Of Soto's expedition, about which many writers of talents and 
respectability have employed their pens, it was not our inten- 
tion particularly to speak, but can refer those, whose curiosity 
would lead them to pursue it, to a new edition of my Chroni- 
cles OF THE Indians, shortly to be published ; but for a rapid 
and splendid glance over that ground, I will refer the reader to 
the first volume of Mr. Bancroft's Plistory of the United Slates. 
And yet if he would go into minute details, there is the work 
of Mr. John T. Irving, which will leave little else to be looked 
for. 



NARRATIVE 



OF THE CAPTIVITY OF IMRS. MARY ROWLANDSON, WIFE OF 
THE REV. JOSEPH ROWLANDSON, WHO WAS TAKEN PRIS- 
ONER WHEN LANCASTER WAS DESTROYED, IN THE YEAR 
1676; WRITTEN BY HERSELF. 



I print this edition of Blrs. RowlanJson's Narrative from the second 
Lancaster edition, with a selection of the notes to that edition, by Joseph 
WiLLARD, Esq., Avhich was printed in 1828. Mr. Willard calls his the 
sixth edition. My own notes are, as in other parts of the work, signed 
Ed. . '■ 

On the 10th of February, 1670, came the Indians Avith great 
numbers* upon Lancaster: their first com.ing was about sun- 
rising. Hearing the noise of some guns, we looked out; seve- 
ral houses were burning, and the smoke ascending to heaven. 
There were five persons taken in one liouse ; the father and 
mother, and a sucking child they knocked on the head, the 
other two they took and carried away alive. There were tv»() 
others, who, being out of their garrison upon occasion, were sut 
upon, one was knocked on the head, the other escaped. An- 
other there was, who, running along, was shot and wounded, 
and fell down; he begged of them his life, promising them 
money, as they told me, but they would not hearken to him, 
but knocked him on the head, stripped him naked, and 
split open his bowels. Another, seeing many of the Indians 

* Fifteen hundred was the number, according to the best authorities. 
They were the Wamponoags, led by King Philip, accompanied by the 
Narrhagansetts, his allies, and also by the Nipmucks and Nashaways, 
whom his artful eloquence had persuaded to join with him. 



MES. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 21 

about 'his barn, ventured and went out, but was quickly shot 
down. There were three others belonging to the same garri- 
son who Avere killed ; the Indians getting up upon the roof of 
the barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over their for- 
tification. Thus these murderous wretches went on burning 
and destroying all before them."^ 

At length they came and beset our house, and quickly it was 
the dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw. The house stood 
upon the edge of a hill ; t some of the Indians got behind the 
hill, others into the barn, and others behind any thing that 
would shelter them ; from all which places they shot against 
the house, so that the bullets seemed to fly like hail, and quick- 
ly they wounded one man among us, then another, and then a 
third. About two hours, according to my observation in that 
amazing time, they had been about the house before they pre- 
vailed to fire it, which they did with flax and hemp v/hich 
they brought out of the barn, and there being no defence about 
the house, only two flankers at two opposite corners, and one 
of them not finished; they fired it once, and one ventured out 
and quenched it, but they quickly fired it again, and that took. 
Now is the dreadful hour come that I have often heard of in 
lime of the war, as it was the case of others, but now mine 
eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their lives, 
others wallowing in blood, the house on fire over our heads, 
and the bloody heathen ready to knock us on the head if we 
stirred out. Now might we hear mothers and children crying 
out for themselves and one another, " Lord, what shall we do ! " 
Then I took my children, and one of my sisters [Mrs. Drew] 
hers to go forth and leave the house, but as soon as we came 
to the door and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the 
bullets rattled against the house as if one had taken a handful 
of stones and threw them, so that we were forced to give back. 

* IMr. Willard, in his History of Lancaster, says he cannot ascertain 
that attacks were made in more than two places previous to that upon 
Mr. Rowlandson's house ; tlie first of which was AVTieeler's garrison, at 
Wataqnodoc hill, now south-west part of Bolton. Here they killed Jonas 
Fairbanks and Joshua his son, fifteen years of age, and Richard Wheeler. 
Wheeler had been in town about fifteen years. The second was Pres- 
cott's garrison, near Poignand and Plant's cotton factory. Ephraim 
Sawyer was killed here ; and Henry Farrar and a Mr. Ball and his wife 
in other places. 

t Mr. Rowlandson's house was on the brow of a small hill, on land now 
owned by Nathaniel Chandler. Esq., about a third of a mile south-M'est of 
the meeting-house, on the road leading from the centre of the town to the 
village called New-Boston, about tAvo rods from the road, which at that 
time ran near the house. 



22 MRS. KOWLANDSO.\'S CAPTIVITY. 

We had six stout dogs belonging to our garrison,^ but none of 
them would stir, though at another time if an Indian had come 
to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him 
down. The Lord hereby would make us the more to acknow- 
ledge his hand, and to see that our help is always in him. But 
out we must go, the fire increasing, and coming along behind us 
roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with their guns, 
spears, and hatchets to devour us. No sooner were we out of 
the house, but my brother-in-law t (being before wounded in 
defending the house, in or near the throat) fell down dead, 
whereat the Indians scornfully shouted and hollowed, and were 
presently upon him, stripping off his clothes. The bullets fly- 
ing thick, one went through my side, and the same, as would 
seem, through the bowels and hand of my poor child in my 
arms. One of my elder sister's children, named William, had 
then his leg broke, which the Indians perceiving, they knocked 
him on the head. Thus were we butchered by those merciless 
heathens, standing amazed, with the blood running down to 
our heels. My eldest sister t being yet in the house, and see- 
ing those woful sights, the infidels hailing mothers one way 
and children another, and some wallowing in their blood ; and 
her eldest son telling her that her son William was dead, and 
myself was wounded, she said, " Lord, let me die with them:'''' 
w^hich was no sooner said but she was struck with a bullet, 
and fell down dead over the threshold. I hope she is reaping 
the fruit of her good labors, being faithful to the service of 
God in her place. In her younger years she lay under much 
trouble upon spiritual accounts, till it pleased God to make that 
precious scripture take hold of her heart, 2 Cor. 12 : 9, — " And 
he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for theey More than 
twenty years after, I have heard her tell how sweet and com- 
fortable that place was to her. But to return : The Indians 
laid hold of us, pulling me one way and the children another, 
and said, " Come, go along with ?M." I told them they would 
kill me; they answered, If I were loilling to go along with 
them they loould not hurt me. 

Oh ! the doleful sight that now was to behold at this house! 
Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he has 
made in the earth. Of thirty-seven ^ persons who were in this 

* Mr. Eowlandson's house was filled with soldiers and inhabitants, to 
the number of forty-two. 

f Thomas Rowlandson, brother to the clergyman. 

X Mrs. Kerley, wife of Capt. Henry Kerley, to whom she was married 
in 1654. 

<^ We have stated in a previous note that there were forty-two persons 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 23 

one house, none escaped either present death, or a bitter cap- 
tivity, save only one,* who might say as in Job 1 : 15, — '^ A7id 
I only am escaped alone to tell the neios." There were twelve 
killed, some shot, some stabbed with their spears, some knock- 
ed down with their hatchets. When we are in prosperity. Oh 
the little that we think of such dreadful sights, to see our dear 
friends and relations lie bleeding out their hearts-blood upon 
the ground. There was one who was chopt in the head with 
a hatchet, and stript naked, and yet was crawling up and down. 
It was a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their 
blood, some here and some there, like a company of sheep 
torn by wolves ; all of them stript naked by a company of 
hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting, and insulting, as if they 
would have torn our very hearts out; yet the Lord, by his 
almighty power, preserved a number of us from death, for there 
were twenty-four of us taken alive and carried captive. 

I had often before this said, that if the Indians should come, 
I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive, but 
when it came to the trial, my mind changed; their glittering 
weapons so daunted my spirit, that I chose rather to go along 
with those (as I may say) ravenous bears, than that moment 
to end my days. And that I may the better declare what hap- 
pened to me during that grievous captivity, I shall particularly 
speak of the several Removes we had up and down the wil- 
derness. 

The First Remove. — Now away we must go with those 
barbarous creatures, with our bodies wounded and bleeding, 
and our hearts no less than our bodies. About a mile we went 
that night, up upon a hill,! within sight of the town, where 
we intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house, de 
serled by the English before, for fear of the Indians ; I asked 
them whether I might not lodge in the house that night ; to 
Avhich they answered, "What, will you love Englishmen still ?" 
This was the dolefulest night that ever my eyes saw. Oh the 
roaring, and singing, and dancing, and yelling of those black 
creatures in the night, which made the place a lively resem- 

in the house, in which number are inchided five soldiers not reckoned by 
Mrs. Rowlandson. 

* Ephraim Roper, whose wife was killed in attempting to escape. 

I George Hill, which has been so called for more than one hundred and 
fifty years. It is said to have taken its name from an Indian whom the 
English called George, and who had a wigwam upon it. The name in- 
cludes the whole range of the fertile and delightful ridge on the west side 
of the town, nearly two miles in extent. From the southern part, which 
i.s almost a distinct hill, is a fine view of the town and surrounding coun- 
try. 



24 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

blance of hell. And miserable was the waste that was there 
made of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, lambs, roasting 
pigs, and fowls, (which they had plundered in the town,) some 
roasting, some lying and burning, and some boiling, to feed our 
merciless enemies; who were joyful enough, though we were 
disconsolate. To add to the dolefulness of the former day, 
and the dismalness of the present night, my thoughts ran upon 
my losses and sad, bereaved condition. All was gone, my hus- 
band gone,"^ (at least separated from me, he being in the Bay ; 
and to add to my grief, the Indians told me they would kill 
him as he came homeward,) my children gone, my relations 
and friends gone,t our house and home, and all our comforts 
within door and without, all was gone, (except my life,) and I 
knew not but the next moment that might go too. 

There remained nothing to me but one poor, wounded babe; 
and it seemed at present worse than death, that it was in such 
a pitiful condition, bespeaking compassion, and I had no re- 
freshing for it, nor suitable things to revive it. Little do many 
think what is the savageness and brutishness of this barbarous 
enemy, those even that seem to profess more than others 
among them, when the Engli-sh have fallen into their hands. 

Those seven that were killed at Lancaster the summer be- 
fore upon a Sabbath day, and the one that was afterward killed 
upon a week-day, were slain and mangled in a barbarous man- 
ner, by One-eyed John and Marlborough's praying Indians, 
which Capt. Mosely brought to Boston, as the Indians told 
me. 

The Second Remove. — But now (the next morning) I must 
turn my back upon the town, and travel with them into the 
vast and desolate wilderness, I know not whither. It is not 
mv tongue or pen can express the sorrows of my heart, and 
bitterness of my spirit, that I had at this departure; but God 
was with me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along and 
bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the 
Indians carried my poor wounded babe upon a horse : it went 
moaning all along, " I shall die, I shall die.'" I went on foot after 
it with sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took it off 
the horse, and carried it in my arms, till my strength failed and 
I fell down with it. Then they set me upon a horse with my 
wounded child in my lap, and there being no furniture on the 
horse's back, as we were going down a steep hill, we both fell 

* Mr. Rowlandson, with Capt. Kerley and Mr. Drew, were at this time 
in Boston, soliciting the governor and council for more soldiers, for the 
protection of the place. 

t No less than seventeen of Mr. Rowlandson's family were put to death 
or taken prisoners. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 25 

over the horse's head, at which ihey like inhuman creatures 
laughed, and rejoiced to see it, though I thought we should 
there have ended our days, overcome with so many difficulties. 
But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, 
that I might see more of his power, yea, so much that I could, 
never have thought of, had I not experienced it. 

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came 
on they stopt. And now down I must &il in the snow, by a lit- 
tle fire, and a few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my 
lap, and calling much for water, being now, through the wound, 
fallen into a violent fever ; my own wound also growing so 
siitf, that I could scarce sit down or rise up, yet so it must be, 
that I must sit all this cold, winter night upon the cold snowy 
ground, with my sick child in my arms, looking that every 
hour would be the last of its life, and having no Christian 
friend near rae, either to comfort or help me. Oh, I may see 
the wonderful power of God, that my spirit did not utterly 
sink under my affliction ; still the Lord upheld me with his 
gracious and merciful spirit, and we were both alive to see the 
light of the next morning. 

The Third Remove. — The morning being come, they pre- 
pared to go on their way; one of the Indians got upon a horse, 
and they sat me up behind him, with my poor sick babe in my 
lap. A very wearisome and tedious day 1 had of it ; what 
with my own wound, and my child being so exceeding sick, 
and in a lamentable condition with her wound, it may easily 
be judged what a poor, feeble condition we were in, there 
being not the least crumb of refreshing that came within either 
of our mouths from Wednesday night to Saturday night, except 
only a little cold water. This day in the afternoon, about an 
hour by sun, we came to the place where they intended, viz. 
an Indian town called Wenimesset, [New Braintree] north- 
ward of Quabaug, [Brookfield.] When we were come, Oh 
the number of Pagans, now merciless enemies, that there came 
about me, that I may say as David, Psal. 27 : 13, " I had faint- 
ed unless I had believed" &;c. The next day was the Sabbath. 
I then remembered how careless I had been of God's holy 
time ; how many Sabbaths I had lost and misspent, and how 
evilly I had walked in God's sight ; which lay so close upon 
my spirit, that it was easy for me to see how righteous it was 
with God to cut off the thread of my life, and cast me out of 
his presence for ever. Yet the Lord still showed mercy to me, 
and helped me ; and as he v/ounded me with one hand, so he 
healed me with the other. This day there came to me one 
Robert Pepper, a man belonging to Roxbury, who was taken 
at Capt. Beers' fight, and had been now a considerable time 
3 



26 MRS. RO WLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

with the Indians, and up with them almost as far as Albany, 
to see King Philip, as he told me, and was now very lately 
come into these parts. Hearing-, I say, that I was in this In- 
dian town, he obtained leave to come and see me. He told me 
he himself was wounded in the leg at Capt. Beers' fight, and 
was not able some time to go, but as they carried him; and that 
he took oak leaves and laid to his wound, and by the blessing 
of God he was able to travel again. Then took I oak leaves 
and laid to my side, and with the blessing of God it cured me 
also ; yet before the cure was wrought, I may say as it is in 
Psal. 3S: 5, 6, '■'■ Mij wounds stink and are corrupt. I am 
troubled ; I am hoxmd d,own greatly ; I go viourning all the 
day longy I sat much alone with my poor wounded child in 
my lap, which moaned night and day, having nothing to revive 
the body or cheer the spirits of her; but instead of that, one 
Indian would come and tell me one hour, " Your master will 
knock your child on the head," and then a second, and then a 
third, " Your master will quickly knock your child on the 
head." 

This was the comfort I had from them ; miserable comfort- 
ers were they all. Thus nine days I sat upon my knees, with 
my babe in my lap, till my flesh was raw again. My child 
being even ready to depart this sorrowful world, they bid me 
carry it out to another wigwam, I suppose because they would 
not be troubled with such spectacles ; v/hither I went with a 
very heavy heart, and down I sal with the picture of death in 
ray lap. About two hours in the night, ray sweet babe like a 
lamb departed this life, on Feb. 18, 1676, it being about six 
years and five months old.* It was nine days from the first 
wounding in this miserable condition, without any refreshing 
of one nature or another except a little cold water. I cannot 
but take notice how at another time I could not bear to be in a 
room where a dead person was, but now the case is changed ; 
1 must and could lie down with my dead babe all the night 
after. I have thought since of the wonderful goodness of God 
to me in preserving me so in the use of my reason and senses, 
in that distressed time, that I did not use wicked and violent 
means to end my own misera])le life. In the morning when 
they understood that my child was dead, they sent me home 
to my master's wigwam. By my master in this writing must 
be understood Quannopin, who Avas a sagamore, and married 
King Philip's wife's sister ; not that he first took me, but I was 
sold to him by a Narraganset Indian, who took me when I first 
caiue out of the garrison. I went to take up my dead child 

* This child's name was Sarah ; born Sept. 15, 1669. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 27 

m my arms to carry it with me, but they bid me let it alone. 
There was no resisting, but go I must, and leave it. When I 
had been awhile at my master's wigwam, I took the first op- 
portunity I could get to go look after my dead child. When 
I came I asked them what they had done with it. They told 
me it was on the hill.* Then they went and showed me 
where it was, where I saw the ground was newly digged, and 
where they told me they had buried it. There I left that child 
in the wilderness, and must commit it and myself also in this 
wilderness condition to Him who is above all. God having 
taken away this dear child, I went to see my daughter Mary, 
who was at the same Indian town, at a wigwam not very far 
off, though we had little liberty or opportunity to see one 
another ; she was about ten years old, and taken from the door 
at first by a praying Indian, and afterwards sold for a gun. 
When I came in sight she would fall a weeping, at which 
they were provoked, and would not let me come near her, but 
bid me be gone ; which was a heart-cutting word to me. I 
had one child dead, another in the wilderness, I knew not 
where, the third they would not let me come near to ; " Me 
(as he said) have ye bereaved of my children; Joseph is not, 
and Simeon is not, and ye vnll take Benjamiii also ; all these 
things are against me^ I could not sit still in this condition, 
but kept walking from one place to another; and as I was 
going along, my heart was even overwhelmed with the thoughts 
of my condition, and that I should have children, and a nation 
that I knew not ruled over them. Whereupon I earnestly 
entreated the Lord that he would consider my low estate, and 
show me a token for good, and if it were his blessed will, some 
sign and hope of some relief. And indeed quickly the Lord 
answered in some measure my poor prayer ; for as I was going 
up and down mourning and lamenting my condition, my son 
[Joseph] came to me and asked me how I did. I had not seen 
him before since the destruction of the town ; and I knew not 
where he was, till I was informed by himself that he Avas 
among a smaller parcel of Indians, whose place was about six 
miles off. With tears in his eyes he asked me whether his 
sister Sarah was dead, and told me he had seen his sister Mary, 
and prayed me that I would not be troubled in reference to 
himself. The occasion of his coming to see me at this time 
was this : there was, as I said, about six miles from us, a small 
plantation of Indians, where it seems he had been during his 
captivity ; and at this time there were some forces of the In- 

* This hill, in the town of New Braintree, is now known as the burial 
plac« of Mrs. Rowlandson's child. 



28 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

dians gathered out of our company, and some also from them, 
amongst whom was my son's master, to go to assauh and burn 
Medfield. In this time of his master's absence his dame 
brought him to see me. I took this to be some gracious answer 
to my earnest and unfeigned desire. The next day the Indians 
returned from' Medfield ;* all the company, for those that 
belonged to the other smaller company came through the town 
that we now were at ; but before they came to us, Oh the out- 
rageous roaring and whooping that there was ! they began 
their din about a mile before they came to us. By their noise 
and whooping they signified how many they had destroyed ; 
which was at that time twenty-three. Those that were with 
us at home were gathered together as soon as they heard the 
whooping, and every time that the other went over their num- 
ber, these at home gave a shout, that the very earth rang again. 
And thus they continued till those that had been upon the 
expedition were come up to the sagamore's wigwam ; and then 
Oh the hideous insulting and triumphing that there was over 
some Eaglishmen's scalps that they had taken, as their man- 
ner is, and brought with them. I cannot but take notice of the 
wonderful mercy of God to me in those afflictions, in sending 
me a Bible. One of the Indians that came from Medfield fight, 
and had brought some plunder, came to me, and asked me if I 
would have a Bible ; he had got one in his basket. I was glad 
of it, and asked him if he thought the Indians would let me 
read. He answered yes. So I took the Bible, and in that 
melancholy time it came into my mind to read first the twenty- 
eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, which I did, and when I had 
read it my dark heart wrought on this manner : that there was 
no mercy for me, that the blessings were gone, and the curses 
came in their room, and that I had lost my opportunity. But 
the Lord helped me still to go on reading, till I came to chap. 
30, the seven first verses ; where I found there was mercy 
promised again, if we would return to him by repentance ; and 
though we were scattered from one end of the earth to the 
other, yet the Lord would gather us together, and turn all those 
curses upon our enemies. I do not desire to live to forget this 
scripture, and what comfort it was to me. 

Now the Indians began to talk of removing from this place, 
some one way and some another. There were now besides 
myself nine English captives in this place, all of them children 
except one woman. I got an opportunity to go and take my 
leave of them, they being to go one way and I another. I 
asked them whether they were earnest with God for deliver- 

* Medfield was attacked Feb. 21, CO. S.) 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 29 

ance. They told me they did as they were able, and it was 
some comfort to me that the Lord stirred up children to look tc 
him,. The woman, viz. good wife Joslin,"^ told me she should 
never see me again, and that she could find in her heart to run 
away by any means, for we were near thirty miles from any 
English town,! and she very big with child, having but one week 
to reckon, and another child in her arms two years old ; and 
bad rivers there were to go over, and we were feeble with our 
poor and coarse entertainment. I had my Bible with me. I 
pulled it out, and asked her whether she would read. We 
opened the Bible, and lighted on Psalm 27, in which Psalm 
wo especially took notice of that verse, " Wait on the Lord, he 
of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart ; luait 1 
sa^j on the Lord.'' 

The Fourth Remove. — And now must I part with the little 
company I had. Here I parted with my daughter Mary,| 
whom I never saw again till I saw her in Dorchester, returned 
from captivity, and from four little cousins and neighbors, some 
of which I never saw afterward ; the Lord only knows the end 
of them. Among them also was that poor woman before men- 
tioned, who came to a sad end, as some of the company told 
me in my travel. She having much grief upon her spirits 
about her miserable condition, being so near her time, she 
would be often asking the Indians to let her go home. They 
not being willing to that, and yet vexed with her importunity, 
gathered a great company together about her, and stript her 
naked and set her in the midst of them ; and when they had 
sung and danced about her in their hellish manner as long as 
they pleased, they knocked her on the head, and the child in 
her arms with her. When they had done that, they made a 
fire and put them both into it, and told the other children that 
were with them, that if they attempted to go home they would 
serve them in like manner. The children said she did not 
shed one tear, but prayed all the while. But to turn to my 
own journey. We travelled about a half a day or a little more, 
and came to a desolate place in the wilderness, where there 
were no wigwams or inhabitants before. We came about the 
middle of the afternoon to this place, cold, wet, and snowy, and 
hungry, and weary, and no refreshing for man, but the cold 
ground to sit on, and our poor Indian cheer. 

* Abraham Joslin's wife. 

t This was true at that time, as Brookfield, (Quaboag,) within a few 
miles of Wenimesset, was destroyed by the Indians in August, 1675. 
The nearest towns were those on Connecticut river. 

JBorn August 12, 1665. 
3* 



30 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

Heart-aching thoughts here I had about my poor children, 
who were scattered up and down among the wild beasts of the 
forest. My head was light and dizzy, either through hunger 
or bad lodging, or trouble, or all together, my linees feeble, my 
body raw by sitting double night and day, that I cannot ex- 
press to man the affliction that lay upon my spirit, but the 
Lord helped me at that time to express it to himself. I open- 
ed my Bible to read, and the Lord brought that precious scrip- 
ture to me, Jer. 31 : 16, — " Thus saith the Lord, refrain thy 
voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, for thy u-ork 
shall he rewarded, and they shall come again front the land of 
the enemy.'''' This was a sweet cordial to me when I was ready 
to faint. Many and many a time have I sat down and wept 
sweetly over this scripture. At this place we continued about 
four days. 

The Fifth Remove. — The occasion, as I thought, of their 
removing at this time, was the English army's being near and 
following them ; for they went as if they had gone for their 
lives for some considerable way ; and then they made a stop, 
and chose out some of their stoutest men, and sent them back 
to hold the English army in play whilst the rest escaped ; and 
then, like Jehu, they marched on furiously, Avith their old and 
young: some carried their old, decrepit mothers, some carried 
one, and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian 
upon a bier ; but going through a thick wood with him, they 
were hindered, and could make no haste ; whereupon they took 
him upon their backs, and carried him one at a time, till we 
came to Bacquag"^ river. Upon Friday, a little after noon, we 
came to this river. When all the company Avas come up and 
were gathered together, I thought to count the number of them, 
but they were so many, and being somewhat in motion, it was 
beyond my skill. In this travel, because of my wound, I was 
somewhat favored in my load. I carried only my knitting- 
work, and two quarts of parched meal. Being very faint, I 
asked my mistress to give me one spoonful of the meal, but 
she would not give me a taste. They quickly fell to cutting 
dry trees, to make rafts to carry them over the river, and soon 
my turn came to go over. By the advantage of some brush 
which they had laid upon the raft to sit on, I did not wet my 
foot, while many of themselves at the other end were mid-leg 
deep, which cannot but be acknowledged as a favor of God to 
my weakened body, it being a very cold time. I was not be- 
fore acquainted with such kind of doings or dangers. " WJien 

* Or Payqua^e, now Miller's river. It empties into tlie Connecticut, 
between Northiield and Montague. 



MRS. IIOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY". 31 

thou passeth through tJie waters I will be with thee, and through 
the rivers they shall not overjloiv thee.'" — Isa. 43 : 2. A certain 
number of us got over the river that night, but it was the night 
after ihe Sabbath before all the company was got over. On 
the Saturday they boiled an old horse's leg which they had 
got, and so we drank of the broth, as soon as they thought it 
was ready, and when it was almost all gone they filled it up 
again. 

The first week of my being among them, I hardly eat any 
thing ; the second week I found my stomach grow very faint 
for want of something, and yet it was very hard to get down 
their filthj'- trash ; but the third week, though I could think how 
formerly my stomach would turn against this or that, and l 
could starve and die before I could eat such things, ^ret they 
were pleasant and savory to my taste. I was at this time knit- 
ting a pair of v/hite cotton stockings for my mistress, and I had 
not yet wrought upon the Sabbath day. When the Sabbath 
came, they bid me go to work. I told them it was Sabbatli 
day, and desired them to let me rest, and told them I would do 
as much more work to-morrow ; to which they answered me 
they would break my face. And here I cannot but take notice 
of the strange providence of God in preserving the heathen. 
They were many hundreds, old and young, some sick, and 
some lame ; many had papooses at their backs ; the greatest 
number at this time with us were squaws ; and yet they tra- 
velled with all they had, bag and baggage, and they got over 
this river aforesaid; and on Monday they sat their wigwams 
on fire, and away they went. On that very day came the 
English army after them to this river, and saw the smoke of 
their wigwams, and yet this river put a stop to them. God did 
not give them courage or activity to go over after us. We 
were not ready for so great a mercy as victory and deliverance ; 
if we had been, God would have found out a way for the 
English to have passed this river, as well as for the Indians, 
with their squaws and children, and all their luggage. " O 
that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked 
in my toays ; I should soon have subdued their enemies, and 
turned my hand against their adversaries.^-^-Fsal. 81 : 13, 14. 

The Sixth Remove. — On Monday, as I said, they set their 
wigwams on fire, and went away. It was a cold morning, and 
before us there was a great brook with ice on it. Some waded 
through it up to the knees and higher, but others went till they 
came to a beaver dam, and I amongst them, where, through 
the good providence of God, I did not wet my foot. I went 
along that day mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my 
own country, and travelling farther into the vast and howling 



J}2 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

wilderness, and I understood something of Lot's wife's temp- 
tation when she looked back. We came thai day to a great 
swamp, by the side of which we took up our lodging that 
night. When we came to the brow of the hill that looked to- 
ward the swamp, I thought we had been come to a great Indian 
town, though there were none but our own company; the In- 
dians were as thick as, the trees ; it seemed as if the'TB had 
been a thousand hatchets going at once. If one looked before 
one there was nothing but Indians, and behind one nothing but 
Indians; and so on either hand; and I myself in the midst, 
and no Christian soul near me, and yet how hath the Lord 
preserved me in safety ! Oh the experience that I have had 
of the goodness of God to me and mine! 

The Seventh Remove. — After a restless and lujngry night 
there, we had a wearisome time of it the next day. The 
swamp by which we lay was as it were a deep dangeon, and 
an exceeding high and steep hill before it. Before I got to the 
top of the hill, I thought my heart and legs and all would have 
broken and failed me. What through faintness and soreness of 
body, it was a grievous day of travel to me. As v.'e went along, 1 
saw a place where English cattle had been. That was a com- 
fort to me, such as it was. Quickly after that we came to 
an Enijlish path, which so took me that I thought I could there 
have freely lain down and died. That day, a little after noon, 
we came to Squaheag,* where the Indians quickly spread 
themselves over the deserted English fields, gleaning Avhat they 
could find. Some picked up ears of wheat that were crickled 
down, some found ears of Indian com, some found ground- 
nuts, and others sheaves of Arheat that were frozen together in 
the shock', and went to threshing of them out. Myself got two 
ears of Indian corn, and whilst I did but turn my back, one of 
them was stole from me, which much troubled me. There 
came an Indian to them at that time, with a basket of horse- 
liver. I asked him to give me a piece. " What," says he, 
" can you eat horse-liver ? " I told him I would try, if he Avould 
give me a piece, which he did ; and I laid it on the coals to 
roast; but before it was half ready, they got half of it away 
from me ; so that I was forced to take the rest and eat it as it 
was, with the blood about my mouth, and yet a savory bit it 
was to me ; for to the hungry soul every bitter thing was sweet. 
A solemn sight methought it was, to see whole fields of wheat 
and Indian corn forsaken and spoiled, and the remainder of 
them to be food for our merciless enemies. That night we 
had a mess of wheat for our supper, 

* Or Squakeag, now Nortlifield. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 33 

The Eighth Remove. — On the morrow morning we must 
go over Connecticut, river, to meet with King Philip. Two 
canoes full they had carried over ; the next turn myself was 
to go ; but as my foot was upon the canoe to step in, there was 
a sudden outcry among them, and I must step back ; and 
instead of going over the river, I must go four or five miles up 
the river farther northward. Some of the Indians ran one way, 
and some another. The cause of this rout was, as I thoughtj 
their espying some English scouts, who were thereabouts. In 
this travel up the river, about noon the company made a stop, 
and sat down, some to eat and others to rest them. As I sat 
amongst them, musing on things past, my son Joseph unex- 
pectedly came to me. We asked of each other's welfare, be- 
moaning our doleful condition, and the change that had come 
upon us. We had husband and father, and children and sis- 
tejs, and friends and relations, and house and home, and many 
comforts of this life; but now we might say as Job, ''Naked 
came I out of my mother's ivomb, and naked shall I return. 
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the 
name of the Lord." I asked him whether he would read. He 
told me he earnestly desired it. I gave him my Bible, and he 
lighted upon that comfortable scripture, Psalm 118: 17, 18, — 
^' I shall not die, bat live, and declare the works of the Lord. 
The Lord hath chastened me sore, yet he hath not give?i me over to 
death.''' " Look here, mother," says he, " did you read this ?" 
And here I may take occasion to mention one principal ground 
of my setting forth these lines, even as the Psalmist says, to 
declare the v/orks of the Lord, and his wonderful power in 
carrying us along, preserving us in the wilderness while under 
the enemy's hand, and returning of us in safety again; and 
his goodness in bringing to my hand so many comfortable and 
suitable scriptures in my distress. 

But to return. We travelled on till night, and in the morn- 
ing we must go over the river to Philip's crew. When I was 
in the canoe, I could not but be amazed at the numerous crew 
of Pagans that were on the bank on the other side. When I 
came ashore, they gathered all about me, I sitting alone in the 
midst. I observed they asked one another questions, and 
laughed, and rejoiced over their gains and victories. Then 
my heart began to fail, and I fell a weeping; which was the 
first time, to my remembrance, that I wept before them. Al- 
though I had met with so much affliction, and my heart Avas 
many times ready to break, yet could I not shed one tear in 
their sight, but rather had been all this while in a maze, and 
like one astonished ; but now I may say as Psal. 137 : 1, — 
" By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, ive wept, 



34 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY, 

when we remembered Zion." There one of them asked me 
why I wept. I could hardly tell what to say ; yet I answered, 
they would kill me. "No," said he, "none will hurt you." 
Then came one of them, and gave me two spoonfuls of meal, 
to comfort me, and another gave me half a pint of peas, which 
was worth more than many bushels at another time. Then I 
went to see King Philip. He bade me come in and sit down, 
and asked me whether I would smoke it — a usual compliment 
novv-a-days among the saints and sinners; but this noway 
suited me ; for though I had formerly used tobacco, yet I had 
left it ever since I was first taken. It seems to be a bait the 
devil lays to make men lose their precious time. I remember 
with shame how formerly, when I had taken two or three 
pipes, I was presently ready for another, such a bewitching 
thing it is ; but I thank God, he has now given me power over 
it. Surely there are many who may be better employed than 
to sit sucking a stinking tobacco-pipe. 

Now the Indians gathered their forces to go against North- 
ampton. Over night one went about yelling and hooting to 
give notice of the design. Whereupon they went to boiling 
of ground-nuts and parching corn, as many as had it, for their 
provision ; and in the morning away they went. During my 
abode in this place, Philip spake to me to make a shirt for his 
boy, which I did ; for which he gave me a shilling. I offered 
the money to my mistress, but she bid me keep it, and with it 
I bought a piece of horse-flesh. Afterward he asked me to 
make a cap for his boy, for which he invited me to dinner. 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, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in 
my life. There was a squaw who spake to me to make a shirt 
for her Sannup ; for which she gave me a piece of beef. An- 
other asked me to knit a pair of stockings, for which she gave 
me a quart of peas. I boiled my peas and beef together, and 
invited my master and mistress to dinner ; but the proud gos- 
sip, because I served them both in one dish, would eat nothing, 
except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife. 
Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, 
and found him lying flat on the ground. I asked him how he 
could sleep so. He answered me that he was not asleep, but 
at prayer, and that he lay so that they might not observe what 
he was doing. I pray God he may remember these things 
now he is returned in safety. At this place, the sun now get- 
ting higher, what with the beams and heat of the sun and 
smoke of the wigwams, I thought I should have been blinded. 
I could scarce discern one wigwam from another. There was 



MRS. KOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 35 

one Mary Thurston, of Medfield, who, seeing how it was with 
me, lent me a hat to wear; but as soon as I was gone, the 
squaw that owned that Mary Thurston came running after me, 
and got it away again. Here was a squaw who gave me a 
spoonful of meal ; I put it in my pocket to keep it safe, yet 
notwithstanding somebody stole it, but put five Indian corns in 
the room of it; which corns were the greatest provision 1 had 
in my travel for one day. 

The Indians returning from Northampton "^ brought with 
them some horses, and sheep, and other things which they had 
taken. I desired them that they would carry me to Albany 
upon one of those horses, and sell me for powder ; for so they 
had sometimes discoursed. I was utterly helpless of getting 
home on foot, the v/ay that I came. I could hardly bear to 
think of the many weary steps I liad taken to this place. 

The Ninth Remove. — But instead of either going to Al- 
bany or homeward, we must go five miles up the river, and then 
go over it. Here we abode a while. Here lived a sorry Indian, 
who spake to me to make him a shirt; when I had done it he 
would pay me nothing for it. But he living by the river-side, 
where I often went to fetch water, I would often be putting him 
in mind, and calling for my pay ; at last he told me, if I would 
make another shirt for a papoose not yet born, he would give 
me a knife, which he did when I had done it. I carried the 
knife in, and my master asked me to give it htm, and I was not 
a little glad that I had anything that they would accept of and 
be pleased with. When we were at this place, my master's 
maid came home: she had been gone three weeks into the 
Narragansett country to fetch corn, where they had stored up 
some in the ground. She brought home about a peck and a 
half of corn. This was about the time that their great captain, 
Naona7ilo,\ was killed in the Narragansett country. 

My son being now about a mile from me, I asked liberty to 
go and see hini. They bid me go, and away I went ; but quick- 
ly lost myself, travelling over hills and through swamps, and 
could not (ind the way to him. .And I cannot but admire at the 
wonderful power and goodness of God to me, in that though I 
was gone from home and met with all sorts of Indians, and those 
I had no knowledge of, and there being no Christian soul near 
me, yet not one of them offered the least imaginable miscarriage 
to me. I turned homeward again, and met with my master, and 
he showed me the way to my son. When I came to him, I found 
him not well ; and withal he had a boil on his side which much 

* Northampton was attacked March 14, 1676. 

fNanuntennoo. He was taken April 6thj 1676. See Book of the In- 
dians, Book iii. 49, 50.— Ed. 



36 MRS. KOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

troubled him. We bemoaned one another a while, as the Lord 
helped us, and then I returned again. When I was returned, 
I found myself as unsatisfied as I was before. I went up and 
down mourning and lamenting, and my spirit was ready to sink 
with the thoughts of my poor children. My son was ill, and i 
could not but think of his mournful looks, having no Christian 
friend near him, to do any office of love to him, either for soul or 
body. And my poor girl, I knew not -where she was, nor 
whether she was sick or well, alive or dead. I repaired nnder 
these thoughts to my Bible, (my great comforter in that time,) 
and that scripture came to my hand, " Cast thy Irurden icpon 
the Lord, and he shall sustain thee." — Psal. 55 : 22. 

But I was fain to go look after something to satisfy my 
hunger ; and going among the wigwams, I went into one, and 
there found a squaw Avho showed herself very kind to me, and 
gave me a piece of bear. I put it into my pocket and came 
home ; but could not find an opportunity to broil it, for fear 
they should get it from me. And there it lay all the day and 
night in my stinking pocket. In the morning, I went again to 
the same squaw, who had a kettle of ground-nnts boiling. I 
asked her to let me boil my piece of bear in the kettle, which 
she did, and gave me some ground-nuts to eat with it ; and J 
cannot but think bow pleasant it was to me. I have sometimes 
seen bear baked handsomely amongst the English, and some 
liked it, but the thoughts that it was bear made me tremble. 
But now, that was savory to me that one would think wa3 
enough to turn the stomach of a brute creature. 

One bitter cold day, I could find no room to sit down before 
the fire. I went out, and could not tell what to do, but I weni 
into another wigwam, where they were also sitting round the 
fire ; but the squaw laid a skin for me, and bid me sit down, 
and gave me some ground-nuts, and bid me come again, and 
told me they would buy me if they were able. And yet these 
were strangers to me that I never knew before. 

The Tenth Remove. — That day a small part of the com- 
pany removed about three quarters of a mile, intending larther 
the next day. When they came to the place they intended to 
lodge, and had pitched their wigwams, being hungry, I went 
again back to the place we were before at, to get something to 
eat; being encouraged by the squaw's kindness, who bid me 
come again. When I was there, there came an Indian to look 
after me ; who, when he had found me, kicked me all along. 
I went home and found venison roasting that night, but they 
would not give me one bit of it. Sometimes I met with favor, 
and sometimes with nothing but frowns. 

The Eleventh Remove. — The next day in the morningj 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 37 

they took their travel, intending a day's journey up the river; 
I took my load at my back, and quickly we came to wade over 
a river, and passed over tiresome and wearisome hills. One 
hill was so steep, that I was fain to creep up upon my knees, 
and to hold by the twigs and bushes to keep myself from falling 
backward. My head also was so light that I usually reeled as 
I went. But I hope all those wearisome steps that I have 
taken are but a forwarding of me to the heavenly rest. " I 
knoio, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in 
faithfulness hath afflicted me." — Psalm 119 : 75. 

The Twelfth Remove. — It was upon a Sabbath-day morn- 
ing that they prepared for their travel. This morning I asked 
my master whether he would sell me to my husband ; he an- 
swered, mix ; which did much rejoice my spirits. My mistress, 
before we went, was gone to the burial of a papoos, and return- 
ing, she found me sitting and reading in my Bible. She 
snatched it hastily out of m.y hand and threw it out of doors. 
I ran out and caught it up, and put it in my pocket, aud never 
let her see it afterwards. Then they packed up their things 
to be gone, and gave me my load ; I complained it was too 
heavy, whereupon she gave me a slap on the face and bid me 
be gone. I lifted up my heart to God, hoping that redemption 
was not far off; and the rather because their insolence grew 
worse and worse. 

But thoughts of my going homeward, for so we bent our 
course, much cheered my spirit, and made my burden seem 
light, and almost nothing at all. But, to my amazement and 
great perplexity, the scale was soon turned ; for when Ave had 
got a little way, on a sudden my mistress gave out she would 
go no further, but turn back again, and said I mu'^t go back 
again with her ; and she called her sannup, and would have had 
him go back also, but he would not, but said he would go on, 
and come to us again in three days. My spirit was upon this, 
I confess, very impatient, and almost outrageous. I thought I 
could as well have died as went back. I cannot declare the 
trouble that I was in about it ; back again I must go. As soon 
as I had an opportunity, I took my Bible to read, and that qui- 
eting scripture came to my hand. Psalm 46 : 10, — " Be still, 
and know that I am God;" which stilled my spirit for the 
present; but a sore time of trial I concluded I had to go through; 
my master being gone, who seemed to me the best friend I had 
of an Indian, both in cold and hunger, and quickly so it proved. 
Down I sat, with my heart as full as it could hold, and yet so 
hungry that I could not sit neither. But going out to see what 
I could find, and walking among the trees, I found six acorns 
and two chesnuts, which were some refreshment to me. To- 



38 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

wards night I gathered me some sticks for my own comfort, 
that I might not lie cold ; but when we came to lie down, they 
bid me go out and lie somewhere else, for they had company, 
they said come in more than their own, I told them I could 
not tell where to go ; they bid me go look ; I told them if I 
went to another wigwam they would be angry and send me 
home again. Then one of the company drew his sword and 
told me he would run me through if I did not go presently. 
Then was I fain to stoop to this rude fellow, and go out in the 
night I knew not whither. Mine eyes hath seen that fellow 
afterwards walking up and down in Boston, under the appear- 
ance of a friendly Indian, and several others of the like cut. I 
went to one wigwam, and they told me they had no room. 
Then I went to another, and they said the same. At last, an 
old Indian bid me come to him, and his squaw gave me some 
ground-nuts: she gave me also something to lay under my 
head, and a good fire we had ; through the good providence 
of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night. In the morn- 
ing, another Indian bid me come at night and he would give 
me six ground-nuts, which I did. We Avere at this place and 
time about two miles from Connecticut river. We went in the 
morning, to gather ground-nuts, to the river, and went back 
again at night. I went with a great load at my back, for they 
when they went, though but a little way, would carry all their 
trumpery with them. I told them the skin was off my back, 
but I had no other comforting answer from them than this, that 
it would be no matter if my head was off too. 

The Thirteenth Remove. — Instead of going towards the 
bay, which was what I desired, I must go with them five or 
six miles down the river, into a mighty thicket of brush ; where 
we abode almost a fortnight. Here one asked me to make a 
,-hirt for her papoos, for which she gave me a mess of broth, 
which was thickened with meal made of the bark of a tree ; 
and to make it better she had put into it about a handful of 
peas, and a few roasted ground-nuts. I had not seen my son 
a pretty while, and here was an Indian of whom I made enqui- 
ry after him, and asked him when he saw him. He answered 
me, that such a time his master roasted him, and that himself 
did eat a piece of him as big as his two fingers, and that he 
was very good meat. But the Lord upheld my spirit under 
this discouragement; and I considered their horrible addicted- 
ness to lying, and that there is not one of them that makes the 
least conscience of speaking the truth. 

In this place, one cold night, as I lay by the fire, I removed 
a stick which kept the heat from me ; a squaw moved it down 
again, at which I looked up, and she threw an handful of ashes 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 39 

in my eyes ; I thought I should have been quite blinded and 
never have seen more ; but, lying down, the water ran out of 
my eyes, and carried the dirt with it, that by the morning I 
recovered my sight again. Yet upon this, and the like occa- 
sions, I hope it is not too much to say with Job, " Have pity 
upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends, for the hand of 
the LORD has touched me." And here, I cannot but remem- 
ber how many times, sitting in their wigwams, and musing on 
things past, I should suddenly leap up and run out, as if I had 
been at home, forgetting where I was, and what my condition 
was ; but when I was without, and saw nothing but v/ilderness 
and woods, and a company of barbarous heathen, my mind 
quickly returned to me, which made me think of that spoken 
concerning Samson, who said, " Iioill go out and shake myself 
as at other times, bat he wist not that the Lord was departed 
from him.''' 

About this time I began to think that all my hopes of resto- 
ration would come to nothing. I thought of the English army, 
and hoped for their coming, and being retaken by them, but 
that failed. I hoped to be carried to Albany, as the Indians 
had discoursed, but that failed also. I thought of being sold 
to my husband, as my master spake ; but instead of that, my 
master himself was gone, and I left behind, so that my spirit 
was now quite ready to sink. I asked them to let me go out 
and pick up some sticks, that I might get alone, and pour out 
my heart unto the Lord. Then also I took my Bible to read, 
but I found no comfort here neither ; yet, I can say in all my 
sorrows and afflictions, God did not leave me to have any im- 
patient work toward himself, as if his ways were unrighteous ; 
but I knew that he laid upon me less than I deserved. After- 
ward, before this doleful time ended with me, I was turning 
the leaves of my Bible, and the Lord brought to me some 
scripture which did a little revive me ; as that, Isa. 55 : 8, — 
^'^For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways 
your loays, saith the Lord." And also that, Psalm 37 : 5, — 
^'■Co'inmit thy loays unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he 
shall bring it to pass." 

About this time, they came yelping from Hadley,^ having 
there killed three Englishmen, and brought one captive with 
them, viz. Thomas Reed. They all gathered about the poor 
man, asking him many questions. I desired also to go and 
see him ; and when I came, he was crying bitterly, supposing 

*In the beginning of April, a number of the inhabitants of Hadley, 
having ventured out some distance from the guard, for the purpose of til 
lage, were attacked by the Indians, and three of them kiUed. 



40 MKS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

they would quickly kill him. Whereupon I asked one of them 
whether they intended to kill him ; he answered me they 
would not. He being a little cheered with that, I asked him 
about the welfare of my husband ; he told me he saw him such 
a time in the Bay, and he was well, but very melancholy. By 
which I certainly understood, though I suspected it before, that 
whatsoever the Indians told me respecting him was vanity and 
lies. Some of them told me he was dead, and they had killed 
him ; some said he was married again, and that the governor 
wished him to marry, and told him that he should have his 
choice ; and that all persuaded him that I was dead. So like 
were these barbarous creatures to him who was a liar from the 
beginning. 

As I was sitting once in the wigwam here, Philip's maid 
came with the child in her arms, and asked me to give her a 
piece of my apron to make a flap for it. I told her I would 
not ; then my mistress bid me give it, but I still said no ; the 
maid told me if I would not give her a piece, she would tear 
a piece off it. I told her I would tear her coat then : with 
that my mistress rises up, and takes up a stick big enough to 
have killed me, and struck at me with it, but I stept out, and 
she struck the stick into the mat of the wigwam. But while 
she was pulling it out, I ran to the maid, and gave her all my 
apron ; and so that storm went over. 

Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see 
him, and told him his father was well, but very melancholy. 
He told me he was as much grieved for his father as for him- 
self. I wondered at his speech, for I thought I had enough 
upon my spirit, in reference to myself, to make me mindless of 
my husband and every one else, they being safe among their 
friends. He told me also, that a while before, his master, to- 
gether with other Indians, were going to the French for powder; 
but by the way the MohaAvks met with them, and killed four of 
their company, which made the rest turn back again ; for which 
I desire that myself and he may ever bless the Lord ; for it 
might have been worse with him had he been sold to the 
French, than it proved to be in his remaining with the Indians. 

I went to see an English youth in this place, one John Gil- 
bert, of Springfield. I found him laying without doors upon 
the ground. I asked him how he did ; he told me he was very 
sick of a flux with eating so much blood. They had turned 
him out of the wigwam, and with him an Indian papoos, 
almost dead, (whose parents had been killed,) in a bitter cold 
day, without fire or clothes ; the young man himself had 
nothing on but his shirt and waistcoat. This sight was enough 
to melt a heart of flint. There they lay quivering in the cold, 



MRS. EOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 41 

the youth round like a dog-, the papoos stretched out, with his 
eyes, nose, and mouth full of dirt, and yet alive, and groaning. 
I advised John to go and get to some fire ; he told me he could 
not stand, but I persuaded him still, lest he should lie there 
and die. And with much ado I got him to a fire, and went 
myself home. As soon as I was got home, his master's daugh- 
ter came after me, to know what I had done with the English- 
man ; I lold her I had got him to a fire in such a place. Now 
had I need to pray Paul's prayer, 2 Thess. 3 : 2, — " that we 
may be delivered from unreasonahle and wicked men." For 
her satisfaction I went along with her, and brought her to him ; 
but before I got home again, it was noised about that I was 
running away, and getting the English youth along with me; 
that as soon as I came in, they began to rant and domineer, 
asking me where I had been, and what I had been doing, and 
saying they would knock me on the head. I told them I had 
been seeing the English youth, and that I would not run away. 
They told me I lied, and getting up a hatchet, they came to 
me and said they would knock me down if I stirred out again ; 
and so confined me to the wigwam. Now may I say with 
David, 2 Sam. 24: 14, — " I am in a great strait." If I keep 
in, I must die with hunger ; and if I go out, I must be knocked 
on the head. This distressed condition held that day, and half 
the next ; and then the Lord remembered me, whose mercies 
are great. Then came an Indian to me with a pair of stock- 
ings which were too big for him, and he would have me 
ravel them out, and knit them fit for him. I showed myself 
willing, and bid him ask my mistress if I might go along with 
him a little way. She said yes, I might ; but I was not a littie 
refreshed with that neu's, that I had my liberty again. Then 
I went along with him, and he gave me some roasted ground- 
nuts, which did again revive my feeble stomach. 

Being got out of her sight, I had time and liberty again to 
look into my Bible, which was my guide by day, and my pil- 
low by night. Now that comfortable scripture presented itself 
to me, Isa. 45 : 7, — " For a small moment have I forsaken thee, 
but tvith great mercies will I gather thee." Thus the Lord 
carried me along from one time to another, and made good to 
me this precious promise and many others. Then my son 
came to see me, and I asked his master to let him stay a while 
with me, that I might comb his head and look over him, for he 
was almost overcome with lice. He told me when I had done 
that he was very hungry, but I had nothing to relieve him, but 
bid him go into the wigwams as he went along, and see if he 
could get any thing among them ; which he did, and, it seems, 
tarried a little too long, for his master was angry with him, and 
4* 



42 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

beat him, and then sold him. Then he came running to fell 
me he had a new master, and that he had given him some 
ground-nuts already. Then I went along with him to his new 
master, who told me he loved him, and he should not want. 
So his master carried him away ; and I never saw him after- 
ward, till I saw him at Piscataqua, in Portsmouth. 

That night they bid me go out of the Avigwam again ; my 
mistress's papoos was sick, and it died that night; and there 
was one benefit in it, that there was more room. I went to a 
wigwam and they bid me come in, and gave me a skin to lie 
upon, and a mess of venison and ground-nuts, which was a 
choice dish among them. On the morrow they buried the 
papoos ; and afterward, both morning and evening, there came 
a company to mourn and howl with her ; though I confess I 
could not much condole with them. Many sorrowful days I 
had in this place; often getting alone, '■'■like a crane or a 
swallow, so did I chatter ; I did mourn as a dove; mine eyes fail 
loith looking upivard. O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for 
me." — Isa. 38 : 14. I could tell the Lord as Hezekiah, ver. 3, 
'■^Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have icalkcd be- 
fore thee in truth." Now had I time to examine all my ways. 
My conscience did not accuse me of unrighteousness towards 
one or another ; yet I saw how in my walk with God I had been 
a careless creature. As David said, " against thee only have 1 
sinned." And I might say with the poor publican, " God be 
merciful unto me a sinner." Upon the Sabbath days I could 
look upon the sun, and think how people were going to the 
house of God to have their souls refreshed, and then home and 
their bodies also ; but I was destitute of both, and might say 
as the poor prodigal, " He loould fain have filled his belly with 
the husks that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him." 
Luke 15 : 16. For I must say with him, " Father, I have sin- 
ned against heaven and in thy sight." — Ver. 21. I remember 
how on the night before and after the Sabbath, when my fam- 
ily was about me, and relations and neighbors with us, we 
could pray, and sing, and refresh our bodies with the good 
creatures of God, and then have a comfortable bed to lie down 
on ; but instead of all this, I had only a little swill for the body, 
and then, like a swine, must lie down on the ground. I cannot 
express to man the sorrow that lay upon my spirit, the Lord 
knows it. Yet that comfortable scripture would often come to 
my mind, — " For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with 
great mercies vnll I gather thee." 

The Fourteenth Remove. — Now must we pack up and be 
gone from this thicket, bending our course towards the Bay 
towns ; I having nothing to eat by the way this day but a few 



r 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 43 

crums of cake that an Indian gave my girl the same day we 
were taken. She gave it me, and I put it in my pocket. 
There it lay, till it was so mouldy, for want of good baking, 
that one could not tell what it was made of; it fell all into 
crums, and grew so dry and hard that it was like little flints ; 
and this refreshed me many times when I was ready to faint. 
It was in my thoughts when I put it to my mouth, that if ever 
I returned I would tell the world what a blessing the Lord 
gave to such mean food. As we v/ent along, they killed a 
deer, with a young one in her. They gave me a piece of the 
fawn, and it was so young and tender that one might eat the 
bones as well as the flesh, and yet I thought it very good. 
When night came on we sat down. It rained, but they quickly 
got up a bark wigwam, where I lay dry that night. I looked 
out in the morning, and many of them had lain in the rain all 
night, I knew by their reeking. Thus the Lord dealt merci- 
fully with me many times, and I fared better than many of 
them. In the morning they took the blood of the deer, and 
put it into the paunch, and so boiled it. I could eat nothing 
of that, though they eat it sweetly. And yet they were so 
nice in other things, that wlien I had fetched water, and had 
put the dish I dipped the water with into the kettle of water 
which I brought, tliey would say they would knock me down, 
for they said it was a sluttish trick. 

The Fifteenth Re^iove. — We went on our travel. I hav- 
ing got a handful of ground-nuts for my support that day, 
they gave me my load, and I Avent on cheerfully, with the 
thoughts of going homeward, having my burthen more upon 
my back than my spirit. We came to Baquaug river again 
that day, near which we abode a few days. Sometimes one 
of them would give me a pipe, another a little tobacco, another 
a little salt, which I would change for victuals. I cannot but 
think what a wolfish appetite persons have in a starving con- 
dition ; for many times, when they gave me that which was 
hot, I was so greedy, that I should burn my mouth, that it 
would trouble me many hours after, and yet I should quickly 
do the like again. And after I was thoroughly hungry, I was 
never again satisfied ; for 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 I was when I began. And now could I see 
that scripture verified, there being many scriptures that we do 
not take notice of or understand till we are afflicted, Mic. 6 : 14, 
— " Thoic shall eat and not be satisfied.'" Now might I see more 
than ever before the miseries that sin hath brought upon us. 
Many times I should be ready to run out against the heathen, 
but that ^scripture would quiet me again, Amos 3 : 6, — " Shall 



44 MRS. ROWLAT^DSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it ? " The 
Lord help me to make a right improvement of his word, that I 
might learn that great lesson, Mic. 6 : 8, 9, — " He hath showed 
thee, O man, what is good ; and ichat doth the Lord require of 
thee, but to do justly and lore mercy, and ivalk humbly loilh thy 
God? Hear ye the rod, aiul who hath appointed it." 

The Sixteenth Remove. — We began this remove with 
wading over Baquaug river. The water was up to our knees, 
and the stream very swift, and so cold that I thought it would 
have cut me in sunder. I was so weak and feeble that I reeled 
as I went along, and thought there I must end my days at last, 
after my bearing and getting through so many difficulties. 
The Indians stood laughing to see me staggering along, but in 
my distress the Lord gave me experience of the truth and 
goodness of that promise, Isa. 43 : 2, — " When thou passeth 
through the ivater I ivill be with thee, and through the rivers, 
they shall not overjlow thee."" Then I sat down to put on my 
stockings and shoes, with the tears running dov/n my eyes, 
and many sorrowful thoughts in my heart. But I got up to 
go along with them. Quickly there came up to us an Indian 
who informed them that I must go to Wachuset^ to my mas- 
ter, for there was a letter come from the council to the saga- 
mores about redeeming the captives, and that there would be 
another in fourteen days, and that I must be there ready. My 
heart was so heavy before that I could scarce speak or go in 
the path, and yet now so light that I could run. My strength 
seemed to come again, and to recruit my feeble knees and 
aching heart ; yet it pleased them to go but one mile that 
night, and there we staid two days. In that time came a com- 
pany of Indians to us, near thirty, all on horseback. My heart 
skipped within me, thinking they had been Englishmen, at the 
first sight of them ; for they were dressed in English apparel, 
with hats, white neckcloths, and sashes about their waists, and 
ribbons upon their shoulders. But when they came near there 
was a vast difference between the lovely faces of Christians 
and the foul looks of those heathen, which much damped my 
spirits again. 

The Seventeenth Remove. — A comfortable remove it was 
to me, because of my hopes. They gave me my pack and 
along we went cheerfully. But quickly my will proved more 

* Princeton. The mountain in this town still retains the name of Wa- 
chuset, notwithstanding a recent attempt to change it to Mount Adams. 
[I venerate the name of Adams, but I must protest against the heathen- 
like practice of destroying the old names of places. The interior of New 
York deserves to be chastised by an earthquake for such libellous con- 
duct.— Ed.] 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 45 

than my strength ; having little or no refreshment, my strength 
failed, and my spirits were almost quite gone. Now may I 
say as David, Psal. 109: 22, 23, 24, — "■! am poor and neerhj, 
and my heart is wounded loitkin me. I am gone like ashadoio 
token it declineth. I am tossed up and down like the locust. 
My knees are weak through fasting, and mij flesh faileth of fat- 
ness." At night we came to an Indian town, and the Indians 
sat down by a wigwarn discoursing, but I was almost spent 
and could scarce speak. I laid down my load and went into 
the wigwam, and there sat an Indian boiling of horse-feet, 
they being wont to eat the flesh first, and when the feet Avere 
old and dried, and . they had nothing else, they would cut off 
the feet and use them. I asked him to give me a little of his 
broth, or water they were boiling it in. He took a dish and 
gave me one spoonful of samp, and bid me take as much of 
the broth as I would. Then I put some of the hot water to 
the samp, and drank it up, and my spirits came again. He 
gave me also a piece of the ruffe, or ridding of the small guts, 
and I broiled it on the coals ; and now I may say with Jona- 
than, "See, 1 pray you, how mine eyes are enlightened because 
I tasted a little of this honey.'" — 1 Sam. 14: 20.- Now is my 
spirit revived again. Though means be never so inconside- 
rable, yet if the Lord bestow his blessing upon them, they shall 
refresh both soul and body. 

The Eighteenth Eemove. — We took up our packs, and 
along we went; but a wearisome day I had of it. As we 
went along, I saw an Englishman stripped naked and lying 
dead upon the ground, but knew not who he was. Then we 
came to another Indian town, where we staid all night. In 
this town there were four English children captives, and one 
of them my own sister's. I went to see how she did, and she 
was well, considering her captive condition. I would have 
tarried that night with her, but they that owned her would not 
suffer it. Then I went to another wigwam, where they were 
boiling corn and beans, which Avas a lovely sight to see, but I 
could not get a taste thereof. Then I went into another wig- 
wam, where there were two of the English children. The 
squaw was boiling horses' feet. She cut me off a little piece, 
and gave one of the English children a piece also. Being 
very hungry, I had quickly eat up mine ; but the child could 
not bite it, it Avas so tough and sinewy, and lay sucking, gnaAV- 
ing, and slabbering of it in the mouth and hand ; then I took 
it of the child, and eat it myself, and savory it was to my taste : 
that I may say as Job, chap. 6 : 7, — " The things that my soul 
refus&th to touch are as my sorrowful meat." Thus the Lord 
made that pleasant and refreshing which another time would 



4S MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

have been an abomination. Then I went home to my mis- 
tress' wigwam, and they told me I disgraced my master with 
begging, and if I did so any more they would knock me on 
the head. I told them they had as good do that as starve me. 
to death. 

The Nineteenth Rejiove. — They said when Ave went out 
that we must travel to Wachuset this day. But a bitter weary 
day I had of it, travelling now three days together, without 
resting any day between. At last, after many weary steps, 1 
saw Wachuset hills, but many miles off. Then AVe came to a 
great swamp, through Avhich we travelled up to our knees in 
mud and water, which was heavy going to one tired before. 
Being almost spent, I thought I should have sunk down at 
last, and never got out; but I may say as in Psalm 94: 18, — 
"W7ien my foot slipped, thy mercy, O Lord, held vie up." 
Going along, having indeed my life, but little spirit, Philip, 
who was in the company, came up, and took me by the hand, 
and said, " Two weeks more and you shall be mistress again." 
I asked him if he spoke true. He said, " Yes, and quickly 
you shall come to your master again ;" who had been gone 
from us three weeks. After many weary steps, we came to 
Wachuset, where he was, and glad was I to see him. He 
asked me when I washed me. I told him not this month. 
Then he fetched me some water himself, and bid me wash, 
and gave me a glass to see how I looked, and bid his squaw 
give me something to eat. So she gave me a mess of beans 
and meat, and a little ground-nut cake. I was wonderfully 
revived with this favor showed me. Psalm 106: 46, — '■'■He 
made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them away 
captive." 

My master had three squaws, living sometimes with one 
and sometimes with another : Onux, this old squaw at whose 
wigwam I was, and with whom my master had been these 
three weeks. Another was Wettimore,* v/ith whom I had 
lived and served all this while. A severe and proud dame 
she was, bestowing every day in dressing 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 jeAvels in her 
ears, and bracelets upon her hands. When she had dressed 
herself, her Avork was to make girdles of Avampum and beads. 
The third squaAV Avas a younger one, by whom he had two 
papooses. By that time I Avas refreshed b}^ the old squaAv, 
Wettimore's maid came to call me home, at Avhich I fell a 

* She had been the wife of Alexander, Philip's elder brother. See 
Bi.'ok of the Indiana 



3IRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 47 

weeping. Then the old squaw told me, to encourage me, that 
when I wanted victuals I should come to her, and that I should 
lie in her wigwam. Then I went Avith the maid, and quickly 
I came back and lodged there. The squaw laid a mat undei 
me, and a good rug over me ; the first time that I had any such 
kindness showed me. I understood that Wettimore thought, 
that if she should let me go and serve with the old squaw, she 
should be in danger to lose not only my service, but the re- 
demption-pay also. And I was not a little glad to hear this ; 
being by it raised in my hopes that in God's due time there 
would be an end of this sorrowful hour. Then came an Indian 
and asked me to knit him three pair of stockings, for which I 
had a hat and a silk handkerchief. Then another asked me 
to make her a shift, for which she gave me an apron. 

Then came Tom and Peter with the second letter from the 
council, about the captives. Though they were Indians, I gat 
them by the hand, and burst out into tears ; my heart was so 
full that I could not speak to them ; but recovering myself, I 
asked them how my husband did, and all my friends and 
acquaintance. They said they were well, but very melancholy. 
They brought me two biscuits and a pound of tobacco. The 
tobacco I soon gave away. When it was all gone one as'ked 
me to give him a pipe of tobacco. I told him it was all gone. 
Then he began to rant and threaten. I told him when my 
husband came I would give him some. " Hang him, rogue," 
says he ; " I will knock out his brains if he comes here." And 
then again at the same breath they would sav that if there 
should come an hundred without guns they would do them no 
hurt ; so unstable and like madmen they were. So that fear- 
ing the worst, I durst not send to my husband, though there 
were some thoughts of his coming to redeem and fetch me, not 
knowing what might follow ; for there was little more trust to 
them than to the master they served. When the letter was 
come, the sagamores met to consult about the captives, and 
called me to them, to inquire how much my husband would 
give to redeem me. When I came I sat down among them, 
as I was wont to do, as their manner is. Then they bid me 
stand up, and said they were the general court. They bid me 
speak what I thought he would give. Now knowing that all 
that we had was destroyed by the Indians, I was in a great 
strait. I thought if I should speak of but a little, it would be 
slighted and hinder the matter; if of a great sum, I knew not 
where it Avould be procured ; yet at a venture I said twenty 
pounds, yet desired them to take less ; but they would not hear 
of that, but sent the message to Boston, that for twenty pounds 
I should be redeemed. It was a praying Indian that wrote 



48 MRS. KOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

their letters for them.* There was another praying Indian 
who told me that he had a brother that would not eat horse, 
his conscience was so tender and scrupulous, though as large 
as hell for the destruction of poor Christians. Then he said 
he read that scripture to him, 2 Kings 6 : 25, — " There was a. 
famine in Samaria, and behold they besieged it, until an ass's 
head was sold for fmir score pieces of silver, and the fourth part 
of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver." He expound- 
ed this place to his brother, and showed him that it was lawful 
to eat that in a famine which it is not at another time. "And 
now," says he, "he will eat horse with any Indian of them 
all." There was another praying Indian,! who, when he had 
done all the mischief that he could, betrayed his own father 
into the English's hands, thereby to purchase his own life. 
Another praying Indian was at Sudbury fight, though, as he 
deserved, he was afterwards hanged for it. There was another 
praying Indian so wicked and cruel as to wear a string about 
his neck strung with Christian fingers. Another praying In- 
dian, when they went to Sudbury fight, went with them, and 
his squaw also with him, with her papoos at her back.t Be- 
fore they went to that fight, they got a company together to 
powow. The manner was as followeth. 

There was one that kneeled upon a deer-skin, with the com- 
pany around him in a ring, who kneeled, striking upon the 
ground with their hands and with sticks, and muttering or 
humming with their mouths. Besides him who kneeled in 
the ring there also stood one with a gun in his hand. Then 
he on the deer-skin made a speech, and all manifested assent 
to it ; and so they did many times together. Then they bid 
him with a gun go out of the ring, which he did ; but when 
he was out, they called him in again ; but he seemed to make 
a stand. Then they called the more earnestly, till he turned 
again. Then they all sang. Then they gave him two guns, 
in each hand one. And so he on the deer-skin began again; 
and at the end of every sentence in his speaking they all 
assented, and humming or muttering with their mouths, and 
striking upon the ground with their hands. Then they bid 
him with the two guns go out of the ring again ; which he did 

* They may be seen in the Book of the Indians. 

f Peter Jethro. — lb . 

X These remarks ot Mrs. Rowlandson are no doubt just. The praying 
Indians, after all, take them as a class, made tut sorry Christians. More 
comfortable dwellings, a few blankets every year, some small privileges, 
and a little increase, for the time, of personal consideration, were motives 
sufficiently strong to induce savages to change their rehgious faith, which 
at best hung but very loosely about them. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 49 

a little way. Then they called him again, but he made a stand, 
so they called him with greater earnestness ; but he stood 
reeling and wavering, as if he knew not whether he should 
stand or fall, or which way to go. Then they called him wilh 
exceeding great vehemency, all of them, one and another. 
After a little while he turned in, staggering as he went, with 
his arms stretched out, in each hand a gun. As soon as he 
came in, they all sang and rejoiced exceedingly a while, and 
then he upon the deer-skin made another speech, unto which 
they all assented in a rejoicing manner; and so they ended 
their business, and forthwith went to Sudbury fight.*" 

To my thinking, they went without any scruple but that 
they should prosper and gain the victory. And they went out 
not so rejoicing, but thejf came home with as great a victory ; 
for they said they killed two captains and almost an hundred 
men. One Englishman they brought alive with them, and he 
said it was too true, for they had made sad work at Sudbury ; 
as indeed it proved. Yet they came home without that rejoic- 
ing and triumphing over their victory which they were wont 
to show at other times ; but rather like dogs, as they say, which 
have lost their cars. Yet I could not perceive that it was for 
their own loss of men ; they said they lost not above five or 
six ; and I missed none, except in one wigwam. When they 
went they acted as if the devil had told them that they should 
gain the victory, and now they acted as if the devii had told 
them they should have a fell. Whether it were so or no, I 
cannot tell, but so it proved ; for they quickly began to fall, 
and so held on that summer, till they came to utter rum. They 
came home on a Sabbath day, and the pawaw that kneeled 
upon the deer-skin came home, I may say without any abuse, 
as black as the devil. V/hen my master came home he came 
tome and bid me make a shirt for his papoos, of a Holland 
laced pillowbeer. 

About that time there came an Indium to me, and bid me 
come to his wigwam at night, and he would give me some pork 
and ground-nuts, which I did ; and as I was eating, another 
Indian said to me, "He seems to be your good friend, but he 
killed two Englishmen at Sudbury, and there lie the clothes 
behind you." I looked behind me, and there I saw bloody 
clothes, with bullet-holes in them ; yet the Lord suffered not 
this wretch to do me any hurt, yea, instead of that, he many 
times refreshed me : five or six times did he and his squaw 
refresh my feeble carcass. If I went to their wigv.'am at any 
time, they would alwaj^s give me something, and yet they were 

♦ Sudbury was attacked 21st April. 
5 



60 MRS. EOWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

strangers that I never saw before. Another squaw gave me a 
piece of fresh pork, and a little salt with it, and lent me her frying 
pan to fry it ; and I cannot but remember what a sweet, pleasant 
and delightful relish that bit had to me, to this day. So little 
do we prize common mercies, when we have them to the full. 

The Tv/entif.th Remove. — It was their usual manner to 
remove when they had done any mischief, lest they should be 
found out ; and so they did at this time. We Aveat about 
three or four miles, and there they built a great wigwam, big 
enough to hold an hundred Indians, which they did in prepa- 
ration to a great day of dancing. They would now say among 
themselves that the governor* v/ould be so angry for his loss 
at Sudbury that he would send no more about the captives, 
v.'hich made me grieve and tremble. My sistert being not far 
from this place, and hearing that I was here, desired her mas- 
ter to let her come and see me, and he was willing to it, and 
would come with her ; but she, being ready first, told him she 
would go before, and was come within a mile or two of the 
place. Then he overtook her, and began to rant as if he had 
been mad, and made her go back again in the rain ; so that I 
never saw her till I saw her in Charlestown. But the Lord 
requited many of their ill doings, for this Indian, her master, 
was hanged afterwards at Boston. + They began now to come 
from all quarters, against their merry dancing day. Amongst 
some of them came one goodwife Kettle. I told her my heart 
was so heavy that it was ready to break. " So is mine ton," 
said she, " but yet I hope we shall hear some good news short- 
ly." I could hear how earnestly my -sister desired to see me, 
and I earnestly desired to see her; yet neither of us could get 
an opportunity. My daughter Avas now but a mile ofl", and I 
had not seen her for nine or ten weeks, as I had not seen my 
sister since our first taking. I desired them to let me go and 
see them, yea I entreated, begged and persuaded them to let 
me see my daughter ; and yet so hard-hearted were they that 
they would not suffer it. They made use of their tyrannical 
power whilst they had it, but through the Lord's wonderful 
mercy their time v^^as now but short. 

On a Sabbath day, the sun being about an hour high in the 
afternoon, came Mr. John Hoar, (the council permitting him, 
and his own forward spirit inclining him,) together with the 
two forementioned Indians, Tom and Peter, with the third let- 
ter from the council. When they came near, I was abroad. 

• Leverett. f ^Irs. Drew. 

X Mrs. Drew's master was probahly BTonoco. Several chiefs wera 
haugai at the same time, viz. 2Gth Sept. It)7l3. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 51 

They presently called me in, and bid me sit down and not stir. 
Then they catched up their guns and away they ran, as if an 
enemy had been at hand, and the guns went off apace. I 
manifested some great trouble, and asked them what was the 
matter. I told them I thought they had killed the English- 
man, (for they had in the mean time told me that an English- 
man was come ;) they said no ; they shot over his horse, and 
under, and before his horse, and they pushed him this way 
and that way, at their pleasure, showing him what they could 
do. Then they let him come to their wigwams. I begged of 
them to let me see the Englishman, but they would not ; but 
there was I fain to sit their pleasure. When they had talked 
their fill with him, they suffered me to go to him. We asked 
each other of our welfare, and how my husband did, and all 
my friends. He told me they were all well, and would be glad 
to see me. Among other things which my husband sent me, 
there came a pound of tobacco, which I sold for nine shillings 
in money; for many of them for want of tobacco smoked 
hemlock and ground-ivy. It was a great mistake in any who 
thought I sent for tobacco, for through the favor of God that 
desire was overcome. 

I now asked them whether I should go home with Mr. 
Hoar. They answered no, one and another of them, and it 
being late, we lay down with that answer. In the morning 
Mr. Hoar invited the sagamores to dinner ; but when we went 
to get it ready, we found they had stolen the greatest part of 
the provisions Mr. Hoar had brought. And we may see the 
wonderful power of God, in that one passage, in that when 
there was such a number of them together, and so greedy of 
a little good food, and no English there but Mr. Hoar and 
myself, that there they did not knock us on the head and take 
what Ave had ; there being not only some provision, but also 
trading cloth, a part of the twenty pounds agreed upon. But 
instead of doing us any mischief, they seemed to be ashamed 
of the fact, and said it was the 7?wtchit* Indians that did it. 
Oh that we could believe that there was nothing too hard for 
God. God showed his power over the heathen in this, as he 
did over the hungry lions when Daniel was cast into the den. 

Mr. Hoar called them betime to dinner, but they ate but little, 
they being so busy in dressing themselves and getting ready for 
their dance; which was carried on by eight of them, four men and 
four squaws, my master and mistress being two. He was dres- 
sed in his Holland shirt, with great stockings, his garters hung 
round with shillings, ar»d had girdles of wampom upon his 

» Wicked. 



52 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

head and shoulders. She had a kersey coat, covered with gir- 
dles of wampom from the loins upward. Her arms from her 
elbows to her hands Avere covered with bracelets ; there were 
handfuls of necklaces 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 v/as 
always before black. And all the dancers were after the 
same manner. There were two others singing and knocking 
on a kettle for their music. They kept hopping up and down 
one after another, with a kettle of water in the midst, stand- 
ing warm upon some embers, to drink of when they were dry. 
They held on till almost night, throwing out their wampom to 
the standers-by. At night I asked them again if I should go 
home. They all as one said no, except my husband would 
come for me. When we were lain down, my master went out 
of the wigwam, and by and by sent in an Indian called James 
the printer, who told Mr. Hoar that my master would let me 
go home to-morrow if he would let him have one pint of 
liquor. Then Mr. Hoar called his own Indians, Tom and Pe- 
ter, and bid them all go and see if he would promise it before 
them three, and if he would he should have it ; which he did 
and had it. Philip, smelling the business, called me to him, 
and asked me what I would give him to tell me some good 
news, and to speak a good word for me, that I might go home 
to-morrow. I told him I could not tell what to give him, I 
would any thing I had, and asked him what he would have. 
He said two coats, and twenty shillings in money, half a bushel 
of seed corn, and some tobacco. I thanked him for his love, 
but I knew that good news as well as that crafty fox. 

My master, after he had his drink, quickly came ranting 
into the vv-igwam again, and called for Mr. Hoar, drinking to 
him and saying he was a good man, and then again he would 
say, " hang him, a rogue." Being almost drunk, he would 
drink to him, and yet presently say he should be hanged. 
Then he called for me. I trembled to hear him, and yet I was 
fain to go to him ; and he drank to me, showing no incivility. 
He was the first Indian I saw drunk, all the time I was among 
them. At last his squaw ran out, and he after her round the 
wigwam, with his money jingling at his laiees, but she es- 
caped him ; but having and old squaw, he ran to her, and so 
through the Lord's mercy we were no more troubled with him 
that night. Yet I had not a comfortable night's rest ; for I 
think I can say I did not sleep for three nights together. The 
night before the letter came from the council, I could not rest, 
I was so full of fears and troubles ; yea, at this time I could 
not rest night nor day. The next night I was overjoyed, Mr. 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 53 

Hoar being come, and that with such good tidings. The third 
night 1 was even swallowed up with the thoughts of going 
home again, and that I must leave my children behind me in 
the wilderness ; so that sleep was now almost departed fiom 
mine eyes. 

On Tuesday morning they called their General Court, as 
they styled it, to consult and determine whether I should go 
home or no. And they all seemingly consented that I should 
go, except Philip, who would not come among them. 

But before I fjo any fartlier, I would take leave to mention 
a few remarkable passages of Providence, which I took spe- 
cial notice of in my afflicted time. 

1. Of the fair opportunity lost in the long march, a little 
after the fort fight, when our English army was so numerous, 
and in pursuit of the enemy, and so near as to overtake seve- 
ral and destroy them ; and the enemy in such distress for 
food that our men might track them by their rooting the 
ground for ground-nuts, whilst they were flying for their lives : 
I say, that then our army should want provisions, and be 
obliged to leave their pursuit, and turn homeward, and the very 
next week the enemy came upon our town, like bears bereft of 
their whelps, or so many ravenous wolves, rending us and our 
lambs to death. But what shall I say ? God seemed to 
leave his people to themselves, and ordered all things for his 
own holy ends. " Shall there be evil in the city and the Lord 
hath not done it ? They are not grieved for the affliction of 
Joseph, therefore they shall go captive ivith the first that go 
captive. It is the Lord's doing, and it should be marvellous in 
our eyes.''' 

2. I cannot but remember how the Indians derided the slow- 
ness and the dulness of the English army in its setting out ; 
for after the desolations at Lancaster and Medfield, as I went 
along with them, they asked me when I thought the English 
army would come after them. I told them I could not tell. 
" It may be they will come in May," said they. Thus they 
did scoff" at us, as if the English would be a quarter of a 
year getting ^ead3^ 

3. Which also I have hinted before, when the English army 
with new supplies were sent forth to pursue after the enemy, 
and they, understanding it, fled before them till they came to 
Baquaug river, where they forthwith v/ent over safely ; that 
the river should be impassable to the English. I cannot but 
admire to see the wonderful providence of God in preserving 
the heathen for further aflliction to our poor country. They 
could go in great numbers over, but the English must stop, 
God had an overruling hand in ail those things. 

5* 



54 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

4. It was thought, if their corn were cut down, they would 
starve and die with hunger ; and all that could be found was 
destroyed, and they driven from that little they had in store 
into the woods, in the midst of winter ; and yet how to admi- 
ration did the Lord preserve them for his holy ends, and the 
destruction of many still among the English ! Strangely did 
the Lord provide for them, that I did not sec, all the time I 
was among them, one man, woman, or child die with hunger. 
Though many times they would eat that that a hog would 
hardly touch, yet by that God strengthened them to be a 
scourge to his people. 

Their chief and commonest food was ground-nuts ; they eat 
also nuts and acorns, artichokes, lilly roots, ground beans, and 
several other weeds and roots that I know not. They Avould 
pick up old bones, and cut them in pieces at the joints, and if 
they were full of worms and maggots they would scald them 
over the fire, to make the vermin come out, and then boil 
them, and drink up the liquor, and then beat the great ends of 
them in a mortar, and so cat them. They would eat horses' 
guts and ears, and all sorts of wild birds Avhich they could 
catch ; also bear, venison, beavers, tortoise, frogs, squirrels, 
dogs, skunks, rattle-snakes, yea the very bark of trees ; be- 
sides all sorts of creatures, and provisions which they plun- 
dered from the English. I can but stand in admiration to see 
the wonderful power of God, in providing for such a vast 
number of our enemies in the wilderness, where there was 
nothing to be seen but from hand to mouth. Many times in 
the morning the generality of them would eat up all they had, 
and yet have some farther supply against they wanted. But 
now our perverse and evil carriages in the sight of the Lord 
have so offended him, that instead of turning his hand against 
them, the Lord feeds and nourishes them up to be a scourge 
to the whole land. 

5. Another thing that I would observe is, the strange provi- 
dence of God in turning things about when the Indians were 
at the highest and the English at the lowest. I was with the 
enemy eleven weeks and five days,* and not one week passed 
without their fury and some desolation by fire or sword upon 
one place or other. They mourned for their own losses, yet 
triumphed and rejoiced in their inhuman and devilish cruelty 
to the English. They would boast much of their victories, 
saying that in two hours' time they had destroyed such a cap- 
tain and his company, in such a place ; and boast how many 
towns they had destroyed, and then scofT and say they had done 

* Viz. from Feb. 10 to May 2d or 3d. 



MRS. ROWLANDS 0?v^'S CAPTIVITY. 55 

them a good turn to send them to heaven so soon. Again they 
would say this summer they \vould knock all the rogues on 
the head, or drive them into the sea, or make them fly the 
country; thinking surely, Agag-like, "The bitterness of death 
is passed.'''' Now the heathen begin to think all is their own : 
and the poor Christians' hopes fail, (as to man,) and nrnv their 
eyes are more to God, and their hearts sigh heaven-v/ard, and 
they say in good earnest, " Help, Lord, or ive perish " When 
the Lord had brought his people to this, that they saw no help 
in any thing but himself, then he takes the quarrel into his 
own hand ; and though they made a pit as deep as hell for 
the Christians that summer, yet the Lord hurled themselves 
-into it. And the Lord had not so many ways before to pre- 
serve them, but now he hath as many to destroy them. 

But to return again to my going home ; where we may see 
a remarkable change of providence. Ki first thejr were ail 
against it, except my husband would come for me ; but after- 
ward they assented to it, and seeming to rejoice in it ; some 
asking me to send them some bread, others some tobacco, oth- 
ers shaking me by the hand, offering me a hood and scarf to 
ride in : not one moving hand or tongue against it. Thus 
hath the Lord answered my poor desires, and the many ear- 
nest requests of others put up unto God for me. In my travels 
an Indian came to me, and told me if I were willing he and his 
squaw would run away, and go home along with me. I told 
them no, I was not willing to run away, but desired to wait 
God's time, that I might go home quietly and Avithout fear. 
And now God hath granted me my desire. O the wonderful 
power of God that I have seen, and the experiences that I 
have had ! I have been in the midst of those roaring lions 
and savage bears, that feared neither God, nor man, nor the 
devil, by night and day, alone and in company, sleeping all 
sorts together, and yet not one of them ever offered the least 
abuse of unchastity to me in word or action ; though some 
are ready to say I speak it for my own credit ; but I speak it 
in the presence of God, and to his glory. God's power is as 
great now as it was to save Daniel in the lions' den, or the 
three children in the fierj'- furnace. Especially that I should 
come away in the midst of so many hundreds of enemies, and 
not a dog move his tongue. 

So I took my leave of them, and in coming along my heart 
melted into tears more than all the while I was with them, 
and I was almost swallo^ved up \vith the thoughts that ever I 
should go home again. About the sun's going down, Mr. 
Hoar, myself, and the two Indians, came to Lancaster ; and a 
solemn sight it was to me. There had I lived many comfort- 



58 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

able years among my relations and neighbors, and now not 
one Christian to be seen, or one house left standing. We 
went on to a farm-house that was yet standing, where we lay 
all night ; and a comfortable lodging we had, though nothing 
but straw to lie on. The Lord preserved us in safety that night, 
raised us up again in the morning, and carried us along, that 
before noon we came to Concord. Now was I full of joy, and 
yet not without sorrow : joy to see such a lovely sight, so 
many Christians together, and some of them my neighbors. 
There I met with my brother and brother-in-law,* who asked 
me if I knew where his Avife was. Poor heart ! he had helped 
to bury her, and knew it not. She, being shot down by the 
house, was partly burnt ; so that those who were at Boston at 
the desolation of the tovm came back afterward and buried the 
dead, but did not know her. Yet I was not without sorrow, 
to think how many were looking and longing, and my owo 
children among the rest, to enjoy that deliverance that I had 
now received ; and I did not know whether ever I should see 
them again. 

Being recruited with food and raiment, Ave went to Boston 
that day, where I met with my dear husband ; but the thoughts 
of our dear children, one being dead, and the other we could 
not tell where, abated our comfort, in each ©ther. I was not 
before so much hemmed in by the merciless and cruel heathen, 
but now as much Avith pitiful, tender-hearted, and compassion- 
ate Christians. In that poor and beggarly condition, I Avas 
received in, I Avas kindly entertained in ssA^eral houses. So 
much love I received from several,- (many of vA'hom I kneAV 
not,) that I am not capable to declare it. But the Lord knoAA's 
them all by name ; the Lord reAvard thern sevenfold into their 
bosoms of his spirituals for their temporals. The tAventy 
pounds, the price of my redemption, Avas raised by some Bos- 
ton gentleAA'omen, and Mr. Usher, [Hezekiah ?] whose bounty 
and charity I Avould not forget to make mention of. Theri 
Mr. Thomas Shepard, of CharlestoAvn, receiA-ed us into his 
house, where Ave continued eleven weeks ; and a father and 
mother they were unto us. And many more tender-hearted 
friends Ave met AAath in that place. We were noAV in the 
midst of love, yet not Avilhout much and frequent heaviness of 
heart for our poor children and other relations Avho Avere stiD 
in affliction. 

The Aveek folloAving, after my coming in, the governor and 
council sent to the Indians again, and that not Avithout success; 
for they brought in my sister and gooiiwife Kettle. Their nai 

Capt. Kerley, 



MRS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 57 

knowing where our children were Avas a sore trial to us still ; 
and yet we were not without secret hopes of seeing them again. 
That Avhich was dead lay heavier upon my spirits than those 
which were alive among the heathen ; thinking how it suffered 
with its wounds, and I was not able to relieve it, and how 
it was buried by the heathen in the wilderness from among all 
Christians. We were hurried up and down in our thoughts ; 
sometimes Ave should hear a report that they Avere gone this 
way and sometimes that, and that they Avere come in in this 
place or that ; we kept inquiring and listening to hear con- 
cerning them, but no certain neAVS as yet. About this 
time the council had ordered a day of public thanksgiving, 
though I had still cause of mourning ; and being unsettled in 
our minds, we thought Ave AA'ould ride eastAvard, to see if AA'e 
could hear any thing concerning our children. As Ave AA^ere 
riding along betAA^een Ipswich and Rowley, AA^e met with Wil- 
liam Hubbard, Avho told us our son Joseph and my sister's son 
Avere come into Major Waldren's. I asked him hoAV he knew 
it. He said the major himself told him so. So along aa'g 
went till Ave came to NeAvbury ; and their minister being ab- 
sent, they desired my husband to preach the thanksgiving for 
them ; but he Avas not Avilling to stay there that night, but he 
Avould go over to Salisbury, to hear farther, and come again in 
the morning, Avhich he did, and preached there that day. At 
night, Avhen he had done, one came and told him that his 
daughter Avas come into Providence. Here AA'as mercy on 
both hands. Noav Ave were betAveen them, the one on the 
east, and the other on the AA'^est. Our son being nearest, we 
Avent to him first, to Portsmouth, Avhere Ave met Avith him, and 
Avith the major also ; Avho told us he had done AA'hat he could, 
but could not redeem him under seven pounds, Avhich the good 
people thereabouts Avere pleased to pay. The Lord rcAvard the 
major, and all the rest, though unknown to me, for their labor 
of love. My sister's son was redeemed for four pounds, Avhich 
the council gave order for the payment of. Having noAV re- 
cei\'ed one of our children, Ave hastened toward the other. 
Going back through NeAA'-bury, my husband preached there on 
the Sabbath day, for Avhich they reAvarded him manifold. 

On Monday we came to Charlestown, where we heard 
that the governor of Rhode Island had sent oA'er for our daugh- 
ter, to take care of her, being now Avithin his jurisdiction ; 
Avhich should not pass Avithout our acknoAvledgments. But 
she being nearer Rehoboth than Rhode Island, Mr. NeAvman 
went over and took care of her, and brought her to his own 
house. And the goodness of God AA'^as admirable to us in our 
Jew estate, in that he raised up compassionate friends on every 



58 MBS. ROWLANDSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

side, when we had nothing to recompense any for their love. 
The Indians were now gone that way, that it was apprehend- 
ed dangerous to go to her ; but the carts which carried provis- 
ion to the English army, being guarded, brought her with 
them to Dorchester, where we received her safe. Blessed be 
the Lord for it. Her coming in was after this manner : she 
was travelling one day with the Indians, with her basket at 
her back ; the company of Indians were got before her, and 
gone out of sight, all except one squaw. She followed the 
squaw till night, and then both of them lay down, having 
nothing over them but the heavens, nor under them but the 
earth. Thus she travelled three days together, having noth- 
ing to eat or drink but water and green hirlleberries. At last 
they came into Providence, where she was kindly entertained 
by several of that town. The Indians often said that I should 
never have her under twenty pounds, but now the Lord hath 
brought her in upon free cost, and given her to me the second 
time. The Lord make us a blessing indeed to each other. 
Thus hath the Lord brought me and mine oui of the horrible 
pit, and hath set us in the midst of tender-hearted and com- 
passionate Christians. 'T is the desire of my soul that we 
may walk worthy of the mercies received and which we are 
receiving. 

Our family being now gathered together, the South church 
in Boston hired a house for us. Then we removed from Mr. 
Shepard's (those cordial friends) and went to Boston, where 
we continued about three quarters of a year.* Still the Lord 
went along with us, and provided graciously for us. I- 
thought it somewhat strange to set up housekeeping with bare 
walls, but, as Solomon sa.y s, mo7iey anstoers all things; and 
this we had through the benevolence of Christian friends, some 
in this town, and some in that, and others, and some from 
England, that in a little time we might look and see the house 
furnished with love. The Lord hath been exceeding good to 
us in our low estate, in that when we had neither house nor 
home, nor other necessaries, the Lord so moved the hearts of 
these and those towards us, that we wanted neither food nor. 
raiment for ourselves or ours. Prov. 18 : 24, " There is a 
friend that sticketh closer than a brother.''' And how many 
such friends have we found, and now living among us ! And 
truly have we found him to be such a friend unto us in whose 
house we lived, viz. Mr. James Whitcomb, a friend near hand 
and far off. 

I can remember the time when lused to sleep quietly, with- 

* Till May, 1677. 



MRS. KOWLAInDSON'S CAPTjriTY. 59 

out working in my thoughts, whole nights together ; but now 
it is otherwise with me. When all are fast about me, and no 
eye open, but His who ever awaketh, my thoughts are upon 
things past, upon the awful dispensations of the Lord towards 
us, upon his wonderful power and might in carrying of us 
through so many ditEcuhies, in returning us in safety, and 
suffering none to hurt us. I remember in the night season 
how the other day I was in the midst of thousands of enemies, 
and nothing but death before me. It was then hard work to per- 
suade myself that ever I should be satisfied with bread again. 
But now we are fed with the finest of the wheat, and, as I 
may say, with honey out of the rock. Instead of the husks we 
have the /a? calf. The thoughts of these things- in the partic- 
ulars of them, and of the love and goodness of God towards 
us, make it true of me, what David said of himself, Psal. 6: 6, 
— " / water my couch loith my tears.'" O the wonderful power 
of God that mine eyes have seen, affording matter enough 
for my thoughts to run in, that when others are sleeping mine 
eyes are weeping. 

I have seen the extreme vanity of this world. One hour I 
have beea in health, and wealth, wanting nothing, but the next 
hour in sickness, and wounds, and death, having nothing but 
sorrow and affliction. Before I knew what affliction meant I 
was ready someiimes to wish for it. When I lived in pros- 
perity, having the comforts of this world about me, ray rela- 
tions by me, and my heart cheerful, and taking little care for 
any thing, and yet seeing many, whom I preferred before my- 
self, under many trials and afflictions, in sickness, weakness, 
poverty, losses, crosses, and cares of the world, I should be 
sometimes jealous lest I should have my portion in this life. 
But now I see the Lord had his time to scourge and chasten 
me. The portion of some is to have their affliction by drops, 
but the wine of astunishrnent, like a sioeeping rain thai Iravetk 
no fond, did the Lord prepare to be my portion. Affliction I 
wanted, and affliction I had, full measure, pressed down and 
running over. Yet I see when God calls persons to never so 
many difficulties, yet he is able to carry them through, and 
make them say the}'- have been gainers thereby; and I hope I 
can say, in some measure, as David, it is good for me that I 
have been affikted. The Lord hath showed me the vanity of 
these outward things, that they are the vanities of vanities and 
vexation of spirit ; that they are but a shadow, a blast, a bubble, 
and things of no continuance. If trouble from smaller matter 
begin to rise in me, I have something at hand to check myself 
with, and say, " Why am I troubled ?" It was but the other 
day that if I had the world I would have given it for my free- 



60 STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 

dom, or to have been a servant to a Christian. I have leamcii 
to look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be qmieted 
under them, as Moses said, Exod. 14 : 13, — " Stand still mid 
see the salvation of the Lord." 



NARRATIVE 

OF THE CAPTIVITY OF aUINTIN STOCKWELL, WHO WAS TA- 
KEN AT DEERFIELD, IN MASSACHUSETTS, BY A PARTY OP- 
INLAND INDIANS, IN THE YEAR 1677; COMMUNICATED IN 
HIS OV/N WORDS, AND ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY THE 
EMINENT DR. INCREASE MATHER, IN THE YEAR 1634. 



A particiTlar accoTint of the irrnption in which StockT^'ell and others fell 
into the hands of the Indians will be found in the Boox of 7he Indians, 
Book iii, p. 97 and 98. Out of twenty-four at that time killed and takei.s, 
we learn the naraes only of these ; Quintin Stockwfll, John Root, SergeanE 
Plimpton, Benjamin Stebbins, his wife, Benjamin Waite, and Samuel Rus- 
sell. Plimpton was burnt in their cruel manner, Root was killed, and 
Stebbins escaped. O-f the others I have learned nothing. 



In the year 1677, September the 19th, between sunset and 
dark, the Indians came upon us. I and another man, being 
together, vtre ran away at the outcry the Indians made, shout- 
ing and shooting at some others of the Engli.sh that were hard 
by. We took a swamp that was at hand for our refuge ; the 
enemy espying us so near them, run after us, and shot many 
guns at us ; three guns were discharged upon me, the enemy- 
being within three rod? of me, besides many others before that. 
Being in this swamp, which was miry, I slumped in and fell 
dovvn, whereupon one of the enemy stepped to me, with hia 
hatchet lifted up to knock me on the head, supposing that I had 
been wounded and so unfit for any other travel. I, as it hap- 
pened, had a pistol by me, which, though uncharged, I presented 
to the Indian, who presently stepped back, and told me if I 
would yield I should have no hurt; he said, which was no? 
true, that they had destroyed all Hatfield, and that the woods 
were full of Indians, whereupon I yielded myself, and falling 
into their hands, was by three of them led away unto the place 
whence first I began to make my flight. Here two other In™ 
dians came running to us, and the one liftings up the butt end 
of his gun, to knock me on the head, the other vath his hand 
put by the blow, and said I was his friend. I was now by my 



STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 61 

own house, which the Indians burnt the last year, and I was 
about to build up again ; and there I had some hopes to escape 
from them. There was a horse just by, which they bid me take. 
I did so, but made no attempt to escape thereby, because the 
enemy was near, and the beast was slow and dull. Then was 
I in hopes they would send me to take my own horses, which 
they did ; but they were so frightened that I could not come 
near to them, and so fell still into the enemy's hands. They 
now took and bound me and led me away, and soon was I 
brought into the company of other captives, who were that day 
brought away from Hatfield, who were about a mile off; and 
here melhought was matter of joy and sorrow both: joy to 
see company, and sorrow for our condition. Then were we 
pinioned and led away in the night over the mountains, in dark 
and hideous ways, about four miles further, before we took up 
our place for rest, which was in a dismal place of wood, on 
the east side of that mountain. We were kept bound all that 
night. The Indians kept waking, and we had little mind to 
sleep in this night's travel. The Indians di-persed, and as they 
went made strange noises, as of wolves and owls, and other 
wild beasts, to the end that they might not lose one another, 
and if followed they might not be discovered by the English. 

About the break of day we marched again, and got over that 
great river at Pecomptuck [Deerfield] river mouth, and there 
rested about two hours. Here the Indians marked out upon 
trees the number of tlieir captives and slain, as their manner 
is. Now was I again in great danger, a quarrel having arose 
about me, whose. captive I was ; for three took me. I thought 
I must be killed to end the controversy, so when they put it to 
me, whose I was, I said three Indians took me ; so they agreed 
to have all a share in me. I had now three masters, and he 
was my chief master who laid hands on me first ; and thus 
was I fallen into the hands of the worst of all the company, as 
AsHPELOx, the Indian captain, told me; which captain was all 
along very kind to me, and a great comfort to the English. 
In this place they gave us some victuals, which they had brought 
from the English. This morning also they sent ten men forth 
to the town [of Deerfield] to bring away what they could find. 
Some provision, some corn out of the meadow, they brought to 
us on horses, which they had there taken. 

From hence we went up about the falls, where we crossed 
that river again ; and whilst I was going, I fell right down lame 
of my old wounds, which I had in the war, and whilst I was 
thinking I should therefore be killed by the Indians, and what 
death I should die, my pain was suddenly gone, and I was 
much encouraged again. We had about eleven horses in that 
6 



62 STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 

company, which the Indians used to convey burthens, and to 
carry women. It was afternoon when we now crossed that 
river. We travelled up it till night, and then took up our 
lodging in a dismal place, and were staked down, and spread 
out on our backs ; and so we lay all night, yea, so we lay 
many nights. They told me their law was that we should lie 
so nine nights, and by that time it was thought we should be 
out of our knowledge. The manner of staking down was 
thus : our arms and legs, stretched out, were staked fast down, 
and a cord about our necks, so that we could stir noways. 
The first night of staking down, being much tired, I slept as 
comfortable as ever. The next day we went up the river, and 
crossed it, and at night lay in Squakheag [Northfield] meadows. 
Our provision was soon spent, and while we lay in those mea- 
dows the Indians went a hunting, and the English army came 
out after us. Then the Indians moved again, dividing them- 
selves and the captives into many companies, that the English 
might not follow their tracks. At night, having crossed the 
river, we met again at the place appointed. The next day we 
crossed it again on Squakheag side, and there we took up our 
quarters for a long time. I suppose this might be about thirty 
miles above Squakheag ; and here were the Indians quite out 
of all fear of the English, but in great fear of the Mohawks. 
Here they built a long wigwam, and had a great dance, as they 
call it, and concluded to burn three of us, and had got bark to 
do it with, and, as I understood afterwards, I was one that was 
to be burnt, sergeant Plimpton another, and Benjamin Waite's 
wife the third. Though I knew not which was to be burnt, 
yet I perceived some were desigrjed thereunto ; so much I un- 
derstood of their language. That night I could not sleep for 
fear of next day's work ; the Indians, being weary with the 
dance, lay down to sleep, and slept soundly. The English 
were all loose ; then I went out and brought in wood, and 
mended the fire, and made a noise on purpose, but none awak- 
ed. I thought if any of the English would awake, we might 
kill them all sleeping. I removed out of the way all the guns 
and hatchets, but my heart failing me, I put all things where 
they were again. The next day, when we were to be burnt, 
our master and some others spoke for us, and the evil was pre- 
vented in this place. Hereabouts we lay three weeks together. 
Here I had a shirt brought to me to make, and one Indian said 
it should be made this way, a second another way, a third his 
way. I told them I would make it that way my chief master 
said ; whereupon one Indian struck me on the face with his 
fist. I suddenly rose up in anger, ready to strike again ; upon 
this happened a great hubbub, and the Indians and English 



STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 63 

came about me. I was fain to humble myself to my master, 
so that matter was put up. Before I came to this place, my 
three masters were gone a hunting; I was left with another 
Indian, all the company being upon a march ; I was left with 
this Indian, who fell sick, so that I was fain to carry his gun 
and hatchet, and had opportunity, and had thought to have 
dispatched him and run away ; but did not, for that the English 
captives had promised the contrary to one another ; because, if 
one should run away, that would provoke the Indians, and 
endanger the rest that could not run away. 

Whilst we were here, Benjamin Stebbins, going with some 
Indians to Wachuset Hills, made his escape from them, and 
when the news of his escape came we v;ere all presently called 
in and bound ; one of the Indians, a captain among them, 
and always our great friend, met me coming in, and told me 
Stebbins was run away ; and the Indians spake of burning 
us; some, of only burning and biting off our fingers, by and 
by. He said there would be a court, and all would speak their 
minds, but he would speak last, and would say, that the Indian 
who let Stebbins run away was only in ftiult, and so no hurt 
should be done us, and added, " fear not ;" so it proved accor- 
dingly. Whilst we lingered hereabout, provision grew scarce ; 
one bear's foot must serve live of us a whole day. We began 
to eat horse-flesh, and eat up seven in all ; three were left alive, 
and not killed. After we had been here, some of the Indians 
had been down, and fallen upon Hadley, and were taken by 
the English, agreed with and let go again. They were to meet 
the English upon such a plain, there to make further terms. 
AsHPALOx was much for it, but Wachuset sachems, when they 
came, were much against it, and were for this : that we should 
meet the English, indeed, but there fall upon them and fight 
them, and take them. Then Ashpelon spake to us English, 
not to speak a word more to further that matter, for mischief 
would come of it. When those Indians came from Wachuset 
there came with them squaws and children, about four-score, 
who reported that the English had taken Uncas, and all his 
men, and sent them beyond seas. They were much enraged 
at this, and asked us if it were true ; we said no. Then was 
AsHPALON angry, and said he would no more believe English- 
men. They examined us everyone apart, and then they dealt 
worse with us for a season than before. Still provision was 
scarce. We came at length to a place called Squaw-Maug river ; 
there we hoped for salmon ; but we came too late. This place 
I account to be above tv.o hundred miles above Deerfield. We 
now parted into two companies ; some went one way, and some 
went another way ; and we went over a mighty mountain, it 



64 STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 

taldng us eight days to go over it, and travelled very hard too, 
having every day either snow or rain. We noted that on this 
mountain all the water run northward. Here also we wanted 
provision ; but at length we met again on the other side of the 
mountain, viz. on the north side, at a river that runs into the 
lake ; and we were then half a day's journey oft' the lake. 

We staid here a great while, to make canoes to go over the 
lake. Here I was frozen, and again we were like to starve. 
All the Indians went a hunting, but could get nothing: divers 
days they powwowed, and yet got nothing; then they desired 
the English to pray, and confessed they could do nothing ; they 
would have us pray, and see what the Englishman's God could 
do. I prayed, so did sergeant Plimpton, in another place. 
The Indians reverently attended, morning and night. Next 
day they got bears ; then they would needs have us desire a 
blessing, and return thanks at meals ; after a while they grew 
weary of it, and the sachem did forbid us. When I was fro- 
zen, they were very cruel towards me, because I could not do 
as at other times. When we came to the lake we v.^ere again 
sadly put to it for provision. We w^ere fain to eat touchwood 
fried in bear's grease. At last we found a company of raccoons, 
and then we made a feast; and the manner was that we must 
eat all. I perceived there would be too nmch for one time, so 
one Indian who sat next to me bid me slip away some to him 
under his coat, and he would hide it for me till another time. 
This Indian, as soon as he had got my meat, stood up and 
made a speech to the rest, and discovered me ; so that the In- 
dians were very angry and cut me another piece, and gave me 
raccoon grease to drink, which made me sick and vomit. I 
told them I had enough; so ever after that they would give 
me none, but still tell me I had raccoon enough. So I sufler- 
ed much, and being frozen, was full of pain, and could sleep 
but a little, yet must do my work. When they went upon the 
lake, and as they came to it, they lit of a moose and killed it, 
and staid there till they had eaten it all up. 

After entering upon the lake, there arose a great storm, and 
we thought we should all be cast away, but at last we got to 
an island, and there they went to powvi'owing. The powwow 
said that Benjamin Waite and another man was coming, and 
that storm was raised to cast them away. This afterward ap- 
peared to be true, though then I believed them not. Upon this 
island we lay still several days, and then set out again, but a 
storm took us, so that we lay to and fro, upon certain islands, 
about three weeks. We had no provision but raccoons, so that 
the Indians themselves thought they should be starved. They 
gave me nothing, so that I was sundry days without any pro- 



STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 65 

vision. We went on upon the lake, upon that isle, about a 
day's journey. We had a little sled upon which we drew our 
load. Before noon, I tired, and just then the Indians met with 
some Frenchmen ; then one of the Indians that took me camt 
to me and called me all manner of bad names, and threw me 
down upon my back. I told him I could not do any more ; then 
he said he must kill me. I thoug-ht he was about to do it, 
for he pulled out his knife and cut out my pockets, and wrap- 
ped thern about my face, helped me up, and took my sled and 
went away, giving me a bit of biscuit, as big as a walnut, 
Avhich he had of the Frenchman, and told me he would give 
me a pipe of tobacco. • When my sled was gone, I could run 
after him, but at last I could not run, but went a foot-pace. 
The Indians were soon out of sight. I followed as well as I 
could, and had many falls upon the ice. 

At last, I was so spent, I had not strength enough to rise 
again, but I crept to a tree that lay along, and got upon it, 
and there I lay. It was now night, and very sharp weather : 
I counted no other but that I must die here. Whilst I was 
thinking of death, an Indian hallooed, and I answered him ; 
he came to me, and called me bad names, and told me if I 
could not go he must knock me on the head. I told him he 
must then do so ; he saw how I had wallowed in the snow, 
but could not rise ; then he took his coat and wrapt me in it, 
and went back and sent two Indians with a sled. One said 
he must knock me on the head, the other said no, they would 
carry me away and burn me. Then they bid me stir my in- 
step, to see if that were frozen ; I did so. When they saw 
that, they said that was Wurregen."^ There was a chirur- 
geon among the French, they said, that could cure me ; then 
they took me upon a sled, and carried me to the fire, and made 
much of me ; pulled oft' my wet and wrapped me in dry 
rlolhes, and made me a good bed. They had killed an otter, 
and gave me some of the broth made of it, and a bit of the 
flesh. Here I slept till towards day, and then was able to get 
up and put on my clothes. One of the Indians awaked, and 
seeing me walk, shouted, as rejoicing at it. As soon as it was 
light, I and Samuel Russell went before on the ice, upon a river. 
They said I must go where I could on foot, else I should 
freeze. Samuel Russell slipt into the river with one foot ; the 
Indians called him back, and dried his stockings, and then sent 
us away, and an Indian with us to pilot us. We went four or 
five miles before they overtook us. I was then pretty well 
spent. Samuel Russell was, he said, faint, and wondered how I 



See Book of the Indians, B. ii. 85, 
6* ^m 



■«!, 



66 STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 

could live, for he had, he said, ten meals to my one. Then 
I was laid on the sled, and they ran away with me on the ice ; 
the rest and Samuel Russell came softly after. Samuel Russell 
I never saw more, nor know I what became of him. They 
got but half way, and we got through to Shamblee about mid- 
night. Six miles off Shamblee, (a French town,) the river v.-as 
open, and when I came to travel in that part of the ice, I soon 
tired; and two Indians ran away to town, and one only was 
left ; he would carry me a few rods, and then I would go 
as many, and then a trade we drove, and so were long in 
going the six miles. This Indian was now kind, and told me 
that if he did not carry me I would die, and so I should have 
done, sure enough ; and he said I must tell the English how 
he helped me. When we came to the first house, there was 
,no inhabitant. The Indian was also spent, and both were dis- 
couraged ; he said we must now die together. At last he left 
me alone, and got to another house, and thence came some 
French and Indians, and brought me in. The French were 
kind, and put my hands and feet in cold water, and gave me 
a dram of brandy, and a little hasty pudding and milk; when 
I tasted victuals I was hungry, and could not have forborne it, 
but I could not get it. Now and then they would give me a 
little, as they thought best for me, I laid by the fire with the 
Indian that night, but could not sleep for pain. Next morn- 
ing the Indians and French fell out about me, because the 
French, as the Indians said, loved the English better than the 
Indians. The French presently turned the Indians out of 
doors, and kept me. 

They were very kind and careful, and gave me a little 
something now and then. While I was here all the men in 
that town came to see me. At this house I was three or four 
days, and then invited to another, and after that to another. 
In this place I was about thirteen days, and received much 
civility from a young man, a bachelor, who invited me to his 
house, with whom I was for the most part of the time. He 
was so kind as to lodge me in the bed with himself, gave me a 
shirt, and would have bought me, but could not, as the Indians 
asked one hundred pounds for me. We were then to go to a 
place called Sorel, and that young man would go with me, be- 
cause the Indians should not hurt me. This man carried me 
on the ice one day's journey, for I could not now go at all, and 
there was so much water on the ice we could go no further. 
So the Frenchman left me, and provision for me. Here we 
staid two nights, and then travelled again, for now the ice was 
strong, and in two days more we came to Sorel. When we 
got to the first house, it was late in the night ; and here again 



STOCKWELL'S CAPTIVITY. 67 

the people were kind. Next day, being in much pain, I asked 
the Indians to carry me to the chirurgeons, as they had promised, 
at which they were wroth, and one of them took up his gun 
to knock me, but the Frenchman would not suffer it, but set 
upon him and kicked him out of doors. Then we went away 
from thence, to a place two or three miles off, Avhere the 
Indians had wigwam.s. When I came to these wigwams some 
of the Indians knew me, and seemed to pity me. 

While I was here, which was three or four days, the French 
came to see me ; and it being Christmas time, they brought 
cakes and other provisions with them and gave to me, so that 
I had no want. The Indians tried to cure me, but could not. 
Then I asked for the chirurgeon, at which one of the Indians 
in anger struck me on the face with his fist. A Frenchman 
being by, spoke to him, but I knew not what he said, and then 
went his way. By and by came the captain of the place into 
the wigwam, with about twelve armed men, and asked where 
the Indian was that struck the Englishman. They took him 
and told him he should go to the bilboes, and then be hanged. 
The Indians were much terrified at this, as appeared by their 
countenances and trembling. I woukl have gone too, but the 
Frenchman bid me not fear ; that the Indians durst not hurt me. 
When that Indian was gone, I had two masters still. I asked 
them to carry me to that captain, that I might speak for the 
Indian. They answered, " You are a fool. Do you think the 
French are like the English, to say one thing and do another? 
They are men of their words." I prevailed with them, how- 
ever, to help me thither, and I spoke to the captain by an 
interpreter, and told him I desired him to set the Indian free, 
and told him what he had done for me. He told me he was a 
rogue, and should be hanged. Then I spoke more privately, 
alleging this reason, that because all the English captives 
were not come in, if he were hanged, it might fare the worse 
with them. The captain said " that was to be considered." 
Then he set him at liberty upon this condition, that he should 
never strike me more, and every day bring me to his house to 
eat victuals. I perceived that the common people did not like 
what the Indians had done and did to the English. When 
the Indian was set free, he came to me, and took me about the 
middle, and said I was his brother ; that I had saved his life 
once, and he had saved mine thrice. Then he called for 
brandy and made me drink, and had me away to the wigwams 
again. When I came there, the Indians came to me one by 
one, to shake hands with me, saying Wueregen Netop,"^ and 

• Friend, it is well.— Ed. 



68 SAEAH GEEISPrS CAPTIVITY. 

were very kind, thinking no other but that I had saved th 
Indian's life. 

The next day he carried me to that captain's house, and 
set me down."* They gave me my victuals and wine, and 
being left there a while by the Indians, I showed the captain 
my fingers, which when he and his wife saw they ran away 
from the sight, and bid me lap it up again, and sent for the 
chirurgeon ; who, when he came, said he could cure me, and 
took it in hand, and dressed it. The Indians towards night 
came for me ; I told them I could not go with them. They 
were displeased, called me rogue, and went away. . That 
night I was full of pain ; the French feared that I would die ; 
five men did watch with me, and strove to keep me cheerly, 
for I was sometimes ready to faint. Oftentimes they gave me 
a little brandy. The next day the chirurgeon came again, 
and dressed me ; and so he did all the while I was among the 
French. I came in at Christmas, and went thence May 2d. 

Being thus in the captain's house, I was kept there till 
Benjamin Waite came ; and now my Indian master, being in 
want of money, pawned me to the captain for fourteen bea- 
vers' skins, or the worth of them, at such a day ; if he did not 
pay he must lose his pawn, or else sell me for twenty-one bea- 
vers, but he could not get beaver, and so I was sold. By being 
thus sold, adds Dr. Mather, he was in God's good time set at 
liberty, and returned to his friends in New England again. 



NA RR ATIVE 

OP THE CAPTIVITY AND SUFFERINGS OF MISS SARAH GER- 
ISH, WHO WAS TAKEN AT THE SACKING OF DOVER, IN 
THE YEAR 16S9, BY THE INDIANS; AS COMMUNICATED TO 
THE REVEREND DR. COTTON MATHER, BY THE REVEREND 
JOHN PIKE, MINISTER OP DOVER. 

Sarah Geristi, daughter of Capt. John Gerish, of Quo- 
checho or Cocheco, was a very beautiful and ingenious damsel, 
about seven years of aq-e, and happened to be lodging at the 
garrison of Major Waldron, her affectiona .e grandfather, when 
the Indians brought that horrible destrv.ction upon it, on the 

* His feet were so badly frozen that he b ^d not walked for a conside- 
rable time. — Ed 



SARAH GERISH'S CAPTIVITY. 69 

night of the 27th of June, 1689. She was always very fear- 
ful of the Indians ; but fear may we think now surprised her, 
when they fiercely bid her go into a certain chamber and call 
the people out ! She obeyed, but finding only a little child in 
bed in the room, she got into the bed with it, and hid herself 
in the clothes as well as she could. The fell savages quickly 
pulled her out, and made her dress for a march, but led her 
away with no more than one stocking upon her, on a terrible 
march through the thick woods, and a thousand other miseries, 
till they came to the Norway Planes.^ From thence they 
made her go to the end of Winnipisiogee lake, thence east- 
ward, through horrid swamps, where sometimes they were 
obliged to scramble over huge trees fallen by storm or age, for 
a vast way together, and sometimes they must climb up long, 
steep, tiresome, and almost inaccessible mountains. 

Her first master was an Indian named Sebundowit, a dull 
sort of fellow, and not such a devil as many of them were, 
but he sold her to a fellow who was a more harsh and mad 
sort of a dragon. He carried her away to Canada. 

A long and sad journey now ensued, through the midst of a 
hideous desert, in the depth of a dreadful Avinter ; and Avho 
can enumerate the frights she endured before the end of her 
journey ? Once her master commanded her to loosen some of 
her upper garments, and stand against a tree while he charged 
his gun ; whfereat the poor child shrieked out, " He is going to 
kill me !" God knows what he was going to do ; but the villian 
having charged his gun, he called her from the tree and for- 
bore doing her any damage. Upon another time her master 
ordered her to run along the shore with some Indian girls, 
while he paddled up the river in his canoe. As the girls were 
passing a precipice, a tawny wench violently pushed her head- 
long into the river, but so it fell out that in this very place of 
her fall the bushes from the shore hung over the water, so 
that she was enabled to get hold of them, and thus saved her- 
self. The Indians asked her how she became so wet, but she 
did not dare to tell them, from fear. of the resentment of her 
that had so nearly deprived her of life already. And here it 
may be remarked, that it is almost universally true, that young 
Indians, both male and female, are as much to be dreaded by 
captives as those of maturer years, and in many cases much 
more so ; for, unlike cultivated people, they have no restraints 
upon their mischievous and savage propensities, which they 
indulge in cruelties surpassing any examples here related. 
They often vie with each other in attempting excessive acts of 
torture. 

* These planes are in the present town of Rochester, N. H. — Editor. 



70 SARAH GERISH'S CAPTIVITY. 

Once, being spent with travelling all day, and lying down 
wet and exhausted at night, she fell into so profound a sleep 
that in the morning she waked not. Her barbarous captors 
decamped from the place of their night's rest, leaving this little 
captive girl asleep and covered with a snow that in the night 
had fallen ; but, at length awaking, what agonies may you 
imagine she was in, on finding herself left a prey for bears and 
wolves, and without any sustenance, in a howling wilderness, 
many scores of leagues from any plantation ! In this dismal 
situation, however, she had fortitude sufficient to attempt to 
follow them. And here again, the snow which had been her 
covering upon the cold ground, to her great discomfort, was 
now her only hope, for she could just discern by it the trace 
of the Indians ! How long it was before she overtook them 
is not told us, but she joined them and continued her captivity. 

Now the young Indians began to terrify her by constantly 
reminding her that she was shortly to be roasted to death. 
One evening much fuel was prepared between two logs, which 
they told her was for her torture. A mighty fire being made, 
her master called her to him, and told her that she should 
presently be burnt alive. At first she stood amazed ; then 
burst into tears ; and then she hung about her tiger of a master, 
begging of him, with an inexpressible anguish, to save her 
from the fire. Hereupon the monster so far relented as to tell 
her " that if she would be a good girl she should not be burnt." 

At last they arrived at Canada, and she was carried into 
the Lord Intendant's house, where many persons of quality 
took much notice of her. It was a week after this that she 
remained in the Indian's hands before the price of her ransom 
could be agreed upon. But then the lady intendant sent her 
to the nunnery, Avhere she was comfortably provided for ; and 
it was the design, as was said, for to have brought her up in 
the Eomish religion, and then to have married her unto the 
son of the Lord Intendant. 

She was kindly used there until Sir William Phips, lying 
before Quebec, did, upon exchange of prisoners, obtain her lib- 
erty. After sixteen months' captivity she was restored unto 
her friends, who had the consolation of having this their desir- 
able daughter again with them, returned as it were from the 
dead. But this dear child was not to cheer her parents' path 
for a long period ; for on arriving at her sixteenth year, July, 
1697, death carried her ofi'by a malignant fev'="- 



ELIZABETH HEARD'S CAPTIVITY. 71 



NARRATIVE 

OP THE REMARKABLE ESCAPE OF WIDOW ELIZABETH HEARD, 
ALSO TAKEN AT THE DESTRUCTION OF MAJOR WALDRON'S 
GARRISON LN DOVER, AS COMMUNICATED TO DOCTOR COT- 
TON MATHER, BY THE REV. JOHN PIKE, MINISTER OF THE 
PLACE. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Heard was a widow of good estate, a mother 
of many children, and a daughter of Mr. Hull, a reverend 
minister formerly living at Pascataqua, but at this time lived 
at Quochecho, the Indian name of Dover. Happening to be 
at Portsmouth on the day before Quochecho was cut off, she 
returned thither in the night with one daughter and three sons, 
all masters of families. When they came near Quochecho 
they were astonished with a prodigious noise of Indians, howl- 
ing, shooting, shouting, and roaring, according to their manner 
in making an assault. 

Their distress for their families carried them still further 
up the river, till they secretly and silently passed by some 
numbers of the raging savages. They landed about an hun- 
dred-rods from Major Waldron's garrison, and running up 
the hill, they saw many lights in the windows of the garrison, 
which they concluded the English within had set up for the 
direction of those who might seek a refuge there. Coming 
to the gate, they desired entrance, which not being readily 
granted, they called earnestly, bounced, knocked, and cried 
out to those within of their unkindness, that they would not 
open the gate to them in this extremity. 

No answer being yet made, they began to doubt whether all 
was well. One of the young men then climbing up the wall, 
saw a horrible tawny in the entry, with a gun in his hand. A 
grievous consternation seized now upon them, and Mrs. Heard, 
sitting down without the gate, through despair and faintness, 
was unable to stir any further; but had strength only to 
charge her children to shift for themselves, which she did in 
broken accents ; adding also that she must unavoidably there 
end her days. 

Her children, finding it impossible to carry her with them, 
with heavy hearts forsook her. Immediately after, however, 
she beginning to recover from her fright, was able to fly, and 
hide herself in a bunch of barberry bushes, in the garden ; and 



72 ELIZABETH HEARD'S CAPTIVITY. 

then hastening from thence, because the daylight advanced, 
she sheltered herself, though seen by two of the Indians, in a 
thicket of other bushes, about thirty rods from the house. 
She had not been long here before an Indian came towards 
her, with a pistol in his hand. The fellow carne up to her 
and stared her in the face, but said nothing to her, nor she to 
him. He went a little way back, and came again, and stared 
upon her as before, but said nothing ; whereupon she asked 
him what he would have. He still said nothing, but went 
away to the house, whooping, and returned unto her no more. 

Being thus unaccountably preserved, she made several 
essays to pass the river, but found herself unable to do it, and 
finding all places on that side of the river filled with blood 
and fire, and hideous outcries, she thereupon returned to her 
old bush, and there poured out her ardent prayers to God for 
help in this distress. 

She continued in this bush until the garrison was burnt, 
and the enemy had gone, and then she stole along by the river 
side, until she came to a boom, on which she passed over. 
Many sad effects of cruelty she saw left by the Indians in her 
way. She soon after safely arrived at Captain Gerish's gar- 
rison, where she found a refuge from the storm. Here she 
also had the satisfaction to understand that her own garrison, 
though one of the first that was assaulted, had been bravely 
defended, and successfvilly maintained against the adversary. 

This gentlewoman's garrison was on the most extreme fron- 
tier of the province, and more obnoxious than any other, and 
therefore more incapable of being relieved. Nevertheless, by 
her presence and courage, it held out all the war, even for ten 
years together ; and the persons in it have enjoyed very emi- 
nent preservations. It would have been deserted, if she had 
accepted offers that were made her by her friends, to abandon 
it, and retire to Portsmouth among them, which would have 
been a damage to the town and land ; but by her encourage- 
ment this post was thus kept up, and she is yet [1702] living 
in much esteem among her neighbors. 

Note 1. — Mrs. Heard was the widow of a Mr. John Heard. She had 
five sons, Benjamin, John, Joseph, Samuel and Tristram, and an equal 
number of daughters. The last-named son was waylaid and killed by 
the Indians in the year 1723. — MS. Chronicles of the Indians. 

Note 2. — It will doubtless seem surprising to the reader that Mrs. Heard 
should be suffered to escape captivity, when she was discovered by a 
grim warrior, who, without doubt, was seeking for some white inhab- 
itant, on whom to wreak his vengeance. The facts seem to be these : 
Thirteen years before, namely, in 1676, when the four hundred Indians 
were surprised in Dover, (in a manner not at all doubtful as it respects 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN GYLES. 73 

the character of their captors,) this same Mrs. Heard secreted a young 
Indian in her house, by which means he escaped that calamitous day. 
The reader of Indian history will not, now, I presume, harbor surprise 
at the conduct of the warrior. For the particulars of the event con- 
nected with this narrative, see The Book of the Indians, Book iii. 
Chap, viii.— Ed. 



MEMOIRS 

OF ODD ADVENTURES, STRANGE DELIVERANCES, ETC., IN THE 
CAPTIVITY OF JOHN GYLES, ESQ., COMMANDER OF THE 
GARRISON ON ST. GEORGE RIVER, IN THE DISTRICT OP 
MAINE. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. GRiGINALLY PUBLISHED 
AT BOSTON, 1736. 

Intkodttction. — These private memoirs were collected from 
my minutes, at the earnest request of my second consort, for 
the use of out family, that we might have a memento ever 
ready at hand, to excite in ourselves gratitude and thankfulness 
to God ; and in our ofTspring a due sense of their dependence 
on the Sovereign of the universe, from the precariousness and 
vicissitudes of all sublunary enjoyments. In this state, and for 
this end, they have laid by me for some years. They at length 
falling into the hands of some, for whose judgment I had a 
value, I was pressed for a copy for the public. Others, desir- 
ing of me to extract particulars from them, which the multi- 
plicity and urgency of my aflairs would not admit, I have now 
determined to suffer their publication. I have not made scarce 
any addition to this manual, except in the chapter of creatures, 
which I was urged to make much larger. I might have great- 
ly enlarged it, but I feared it would grow beyond its proportion. 
I have been likewise advised to give a particular account of 
my father, which I am not very fond of, having no dependence 
on the virtues or honors of my ancestors to recommend me to 
the favor of God or men; nevertheless, because some think it 
is a respect due to the memory of iny parents, whose naine I 
was obliged to mention in the following story, and a satisfaction 
which their posterity might justly expect from me, I shall give 
some account of him, though as brief as possible. 



The flourishing state of New England, before the unhappy 

eastern wars, drew my father hither, whose first settlement was 

on Kennebeck river, at a place called Merrymeeting Bay, where 

he dwelt for some years ; until, on the death of my grand pa- 

7 



74 CAPTIVITY OF JOHN GYLES. 

rents, he, with his family, returned to England, to settle his 
affairs. This done, he came over with the design to have re- 
turned to his firm ; but on his arrival at Boston, the eastern 
Indians had begun their hostilities. He therefore begun a 
settlement on Long Island. The air of that place not so well 
agreeing with his constitution, and the Indians having become 
peaceable, he again proposed to resettle his lands in Merrymeet- 
ing Bay; but finding that place deserted, and that plantations 
were going on at Pemmaquid, he purchased several tracts of 
land of the inhabitants there. Upon his highness the duke of 
York resuming a claim to those parts, my father took out patents 
under that claim ; and when Pemmaquid was set oft^ by the 
name of the county of Cornwall, in the province of New York, 
he was commissioned chief justice of the same by Gov. Duncan 
[Dongan.]* He was a strict Sabbatarian, and met with con- 
siderable difficulty in the discharge of his office, from the 
imm.oralities of a people vrho had long lived lawless. He laid 
out no inconsiderable income, which he had annually from 
England, on the place, and at last lost his life there, as will 
hereafter be related. 

I am not insensible of the truth of an assertion of Sir Roger 
L'Estrange, that " Books and dishes have this common fate : 
no one of either ever pleased all tastes." And I am fully of 
his opinion in this : " It is as little to be wished for as ex- 
pected ; for a universal applause is, at least, two thirds of a 
scandal." To conclude with Sir Roger, " Though I made this 
composition principally for my family, yet, if any man has a 
mind to take part with me, he has free leave, and is welcome ;" 
but let him carry this consideration along with him, " that he 
is a very unmannerly guest who forces himself upon another 
man's table, and then quarrels with his dinner." 

Chapter I. — Containing the occurrences of the first year. 
On the second day of August, 16S9, in the morning, my hon- 
ored father, Thomas Gyles, Esq., went with some laborers, my 
two elder brothers and myself, to one of his farms, which laid 
upon the river about three miles above fort Charles,! adjoining 
Pemmaquid falls, there to gather in his English harvest, and 
we labored securely till noon. After we had dined, our people 

* He had been appointed governor of New York 30 Sept. 1682. — Ed. 

■} Fort Charles stood on the spot where fort Frederick was, not long 
since, founded by Colonel Dunbar. The township? adjoining thereto was 
called Jamestown, in honor to the duke of York. In this town, within a 
quarter of a mile of the fort, was my father's dwelling-house, from which 
he went out that unhappy morning. 



CAPTIVITY OF JOHN GYLES. 75 

went to their labor, some in one field to their English hay, the 
others to another field of English corn. My father, the young- 
est of my two brothers, and myself, tarried near the farm-house 
in which we had dined till about one of the clock; at which 
time we heard the report of several great guns at the fort. 
Upon which my father said he hoped it was a signal of good 
news, and that the great council had sent back the soldiers, to 
cover the inhabitants ; (for on report of the revolution they had 
deserted.) But to our great surprise, about thirty or forty In- 
dians,^^ at that moment, discharged a volley of shot at us, from 
behind a rising ground, near our barn. The yelling of the 
Indians,t the whistling of their shot, and the voice of my father, 
whom I heard cry out, " What now ! what now ! " so terrified 
me, (though he seemed to be handling a gun,) that I endeavor- 
ed to make my escape. My brother ran one way and I another, 
and looking over my shoulder, I saw a stout fellow, painted, 
pursuing me with a gun, and a cutlass glittering in his hand, 
which I expected every moment in my brains. I soon fell 
down, and the Indian seized me by the left hand. He oflTered 
me no abuse, but tied my arms, then lifted me up, and pointed 
to the place where the people were at work about the hay, and 
led me that way. As we went, we crossed where my father 
was, who looked very pale and bloody, and walked very slowly. 
When we came to the place, I saw two men shot down on the 
flats, and one or two more knocked on their heads with hatch- 
ets, crying out, " O Lord," &cc. There the Indians brought 
two captives, one a man, and my brother James, who, with me, 
had endeavored to escape by running from the house, when we 
were first attacked. This brother was about fourteen years of 
age. My oldest brother, whose name was Thomas, wonder- 
fully escaped by land to the Barbican, a point of land on the 
west side of the river, opposite the fort, where several fishing 
vessels lay. He got on board one of them and sailed that 
night. 

After doing what mischief they could, they sat down, and 
made us sit with them. After some time we arose, and the 
Indians pointed for us to go eastward. We marched about a 
quarter of a mile, and then made a halt. Here they brought 
my father to us. They made proposals to him, by old Moxus, 
who told him that those were strange Indians who shot him, 

* The whole company of Indians, according to Charlevoix, was one 
hundred. — Ed. 

t The Indians have a custom of uttering a most horrid howl when they 
discharge guns, designing thereby to terrify those whom they fight 
against. 



t6 CAPTIVITY OF JOHN GYLES. 

and that he was sorry for it. My father replied that he was 
a dying man, and wanted no favor of them, but to pray with 
his children. This being granted him, he recommended us to 
the protection and blessing of God Almighty ; then gave us 
the best advice, and took his leave for this life, hoping in God 
that we should meet in a better. He parted with a cheerful 
voice, but looked very pale, by reason of his great loss of blood, 
which now gushed out of his shoes. The Indians led him 
aside ! — I heard the blows of the hatchet, but neither shriek 
nor groan ! I afterwards heard that he had five or seven shot- 
holes through his waistcoat or jacket, and that he was covered 
with some boughs. 

The Indians led us, their captives, on the east side of the 
river, towards the fort, and when we came within a mile and 
a half of the fort and town, and could see the fort, we saw 
firing and smoke on all sides. Here we made a short stop, 
and then moved within or near the distance of three quarters 
of a mile from the fort, into a thick swamp. There I saw my 
mother and my two little sisters, and many other captives who 
were taken from the town. My mother asked me about my 
father. I told her he was killed, but could say no more for 
grief. She burst into tears, and the Indians moved me a little 
farther off, and seized me with cords to a tree. 

The Indians came to New Harbor, and sent spies several 
days to observe how and where the people were employed, 
&c., who found the men were generally at work at noon, and 
left about their houses only women and children. Therefore 
the Indians divided themselves into several parties, some am- 
bushing the way between the fort and the houses, as likewise 
between them and the distant fields ; and then alarming the 
farthest off first, they killed and took the people, as they 
moved towards the town and fort, at their pleasure, and very 
few escaped to it. Mr. Pateshall was laken and killed, as he 
lay with his sloop near the Barbican. 

On the first stir about the fort, my youngest brother was at 
play near it, and running in, was by God's goodness thus pre- 
served. Captain Weems, with great courage and resolution, 
defended the weak old fort* two days ; when, being much 
wounded, and the best of his men killed, he beat for a parley, 
which eventuated in these conditions : 

1. That they, the Indians, should give him Mr. Pateshall's 
sloop. 2. That they should not molest him in carrying off the 

*I presume Charlevoix was misinformed about the strength of this place. 
He says, " lis [the English] y avoient fait un fort bel etablissement, de- 
fendu par un fort, qui n'etoit a la verite que de pieux, mais assez regulierc- 
ment construit, avec vingt canons month." 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 77 

few people that had got into the fort, and three captives that 
they had taken. 3. That the English should carry off in their 
hands what they could from the fort. 

On these conditions the fort was surrendered, and Captain 
Weems went off; and soon after, the Indians set on fire the 
fort and houses, which made a terrible blast, and was a melan- 
choly sight to us poor captives, who were sad spectators ! 

After the Indians had thus laid waste Pemmaquid, they 
moved us to New Harbor, about two miles east of Pemmaquid, 
a cove much frequented by fishermen. At this place, there 
were, before the war, about twelve houses. These the inhab- 
itants deserted as soon as the rumor of war reached the place. 
When we turned our backs on the to^\^l, my heart was ready 
to break ! I saw my mother. She spoke to me, but I could 
not answer her. That night we tarried at New Harbor, and 
the next day went in their canoes for Penobscot. About 
noon, the canoe in which my mother was, and that in which I 
was, came side by side ; whether accidentally or by my 
mother's desire I cannot say. She asked me how I did. I 
think I said " pretty well," but my heart was so full of grief I 
scarcely knew whether audible to her. Then she said, " O, 
my child ! how joyful and pleasant it would be, if we were 
going to old England, to see your uncle Chalker, and other 
friends there ! Poor babe, we are going into the wilderness, 
the Lord knows where !" Then bursting into tears, the canoes 
parted. That night following, the Indians with their captives 
lodged on an island. 

A few days after, we arrived at Penobscot fort, whero I 
again saw my mother, my brother and sisters, and many other 
captives. I think we tarried here eight days. In that time, 
the Jesuit of the place had a great mind to buy me. My 
Indian master made a visit to the Jesuit, and carried me with 
him. And here I will note, that the Indian who takes a cap- 
tive is accounted his master, and has a perfect right to him, 
until he gives or sells him to another. I saw the Jesuit show 
my master pieces of gold, and understood afterwards that ho 
was tendering them for my ransom. He gave me a biscuit, 
which I put into my pocket, and not daring to eat it, buried it 
under a log, fearing he had put something into it to mak-e me 
love him. Being very young, and having heard much of the 
Papists torturing the Protestants, caused me to act thus ; and 
I hated the sight of a Jesuit.* When my mother heard the 

* It is not to be wondered at that antipathy should be so plainly 

exhibited at this time, considering what had been going on in Eng.land up 

to the latest dates ; but that children should have been taught, that 

Catholics had the power of winning over heretics by any mysterious pow- 

7# 



fS JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

talk of my being sold to a Jesuit, she said to me, " Oh, my 
dear child, if ii were God's will, I had rather follow you to 
your grave, or never see you more in this world, than you 
should be sold to a Jesuit ; for a Jesuit will ruin you, body and 
soul !"* It pleased God to grant her request, for she never 
saAv me more ! Yet she and my two little sisters were, after 
several years' captivity, redeemed, but she died before I returned. 
My brother who was taken with me, was, after several years' 
captivity, most barbarously tortured to death by the Indians. 

My Indian master carried me up Penobscot river, to a vil- 
lage called Madawamkee, which stands on a point of land 
between the, main river and a branch which heads to the 
east of it. At home I had ever seen strangers treated with 
the utmost civility, and being a stranger, I expected some kind 
treatment here ; but I soon found myself deceived, for I pres- 
ently saw a number of squaws, who had got together in a 
circle, dancing and yelling. An old grim-looking one took 
me by the hand, and leading me into the ring, some seized 
me by my hair, and others by my hands and feet, like so many 
furies ; but my master presently laying down a pledge, they 
released me. 

A captive among the Indians is exposed to all manner of 
abuses, and to the extremest tortures, unless their master, or 
some of their master's relations, lay down a ransom ; such as 
a bag of corn, a blanket, or the like, Avhich redeems them from 
their cruelty for that dance. The next day we went up that 
eastern branch of Penobscot river many leagues ; carried 
over land to a large pond, and from one pond to another, till, 
in a few days, we went down a river, called Medocktack, 
which vents itself into St. John's river. But before we came 
to the mouth of this river, Ave passed over a long carrying 
place, to Medocktack fort, which stands on a bank of St. 

ders, or other arts, furnished them by his satanic majesty, is a matter, to 
say the least, of no little admiration. — Ed. 

* It may not be improper to hear how the Jesuits themselves viewed 
these matters. The settlement here was, according to the French account, 
in their dominions, and the English .settlers "incommoded extremely from 
thence all the Indians in the adjacent country, who were the avowed friends 
of the French, and caused the government of Acadia no less inquietude, 
who feared with reason the effect of their intrigues in detaching the Indians 
from their alliance. The Indians, who undertook to break up the pest 
atPemmaquid, were Penobscots.. among whom a Jesuit, named ]M. Thury, 
a good laborer in the faith, had a numerous mission. The first atten- 
tion before setting out of these brave Christians was to secure aid of the 
God of battles, by confessions and the sacrament ; and they took care 
that their wives and children performed the same rites, and raised their 
pure hands to heaven, while their fathers and mothers went out to battle 
against the heretics." See Charlevoix. — Ed 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 79 

John's river. My master went before, and left me with an 
old Indian, and two or three squaws. The old man often said, 
(which was all the English he could speak,) "By^and by come 
to a g eat town and fort." I now comforted myself in think- 
ing how finely I should be refreshed when I came to this great 
town. 

After some miles' travel we came in sight of a large corn- 
field, and soon after of the fort, to my great surprise. Tavo 
or three squaws met us, took ofl" my pack, and led me to a 
large hut or wigwam, where thirty or forty Indians were dan- 
cing and yelling round five or six poor captives, who had been 
taken some months before from Quochech, at the time Major 
Waldron was so barbarously butchered by them. And before 
proceeding with my narrative I will give a short account of 
that action. 

Major Waldron 's garrison was taken on the night of the 
27th of June, I6S9.* I have heard the Indians say at a feast 
that as there was a truce for some days, they contrived to send 
in two squaws to take notice of the numbers, lodgings and 
other circumstances of the people in his garrison, and if they 
could obtain leave to lodge there, to open the gates and whistle,^ 
(They said the gates had no locks, but were fastened Avith 
pins, and that they kept no AA^atch.) The squaAA^s had a favor- 
able season to prosecute their projection, for it was dull 
weather Avhen they came to beg leave to lodge in the garrison. 
They told the major that a great number of Indians AA'ere not 
far from thence, Avith a considerable quantity of beaA'er, Avho 
w^ould be there to trade Avith him the next day. Some of the 
people AA'ere very much against their lodging in the garrison, 
but the major said, " Let the poor creatures lodge by the fire." 
The squaAvs Avent into every apartment, and observing the 
numbers in each, AA^hen all the people Avere asleep, arose and 
opened the gates, gaA'e the signal, and the other Indians came 
to them ; and ha\dng received an account of the state of tho 
garrison, they divided according to the number of people in 
each apartment, and soon took and killed them all. The 
major lodged \A'ithin an inner room, and AA-hen the Indians 
broke in upon him, he cried out, " What noA\' ! AA^hat noAv I" 
and jumping out of bed AA^th only his shirt on, seized his sAA'ord 
and drove them before him through tAVO or three doors ; but for 

* The date stands in the old narrative, "in the beginning of April on 
the night after a Sabbath," which being an error, I have corrected it. 
What time in the night of the 27th the place was attacked, is not mentioned, 
but the acconnts of it are chiefly dated the day following, viz. the 28th, 
when the tragedy Avas finished. The squaws had taken up their lodging 
there on the night of the 27tli, and if the attack begun before midnight, 
which it probably did, the date in the text is the true one.— Ed. 



80 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

some reason, turning about towards the apartment he had jxtsi 
left, ai; Indian came up behind him, knocked him on the head 
with Us hatchet, which stunned him, and he fell. They now 
seized upon him, dragged him out, and setting him upon a 
long table in his hall, bid him "judge Indians again." Them 
they cut and stabbed him, and he cried out, " 0, Lord ! O, 
Lord !" They bid him order his book of accounts to be 
brou^-«-lit, and to cross out all the Indians' debts,* (he havinc^ 
traded much with them.) After they had tortured him to 
death, taey burned the garrison and drew ofT. This narration 
I hai from their own mouths, at a general meeting, and have 
reasinio think it true.t But to return to my narrative. 

I "was whirled in among this circle of Indians, and we pris- 
oners iookod on each other with a sorrowful- countenance. 
Presently ove of them was seized by each hand and foot, by 
four Indians, who, sv/inging him up, let his back fall on the 
ground wUb full force. This they repeated, till they had 
danced, as \t ey called it, round the whole wigwsjn, which Avas 
thirty or fefty feet in length. But when they torture a boy 
they take In n up between two. This is one of their customs 
of torturing captives. Another is to take up a person by the 
middle, with his head downwards, and jolt him round till one 
would think his bowels would shake out of his mouth. Some- 
times they ■vfill take a captive by the hair of the head, and 
stooping hira forward, strike him on the bask and shoulder^ 
till the blood gushes out of his mouth and nose. Sometimes 
an old shrivelled squaw vfill take up a shovel of hot embers 
and throw them into a captive's bosom. If he cry out, th© 
Indians will laugh and shout, and say, " What a brave actiorx 
our old grandmother has done." Som.etimes they torture them 
with whips, &c. 

The Indians looked on me with a fierse eountenrmce, as- 
much as to say, it will be your turn next. They champed 
cornstalks, which they threw into my hat, as I held it in my 
hand. I smiled on them, though my heart ached. I looked 
on one, and another, but could not perceive that any eye pitied 
me. Presently came a squaw and a little girl, and laid down 
a bag of corn in the ring. The little girl took me by the hand, 
making signs for me to go out of the circle with them. Not 
knowing their custom, I supposed they designed to kill me, 

* "When they gashed his naked breast, they said in derision, " / cross 
out my account." — Ed. 

t In a previous note, to another narrative, I have referred the reader to 
my large work, (The Book of the Indians,} where ali the circumstances 
iA this shocking affair are detailed. — Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 81 

and refused to go. Then a grave Indian came and gave me a 
short pipe, and said in English, " Smoke it ;" then he took me 
by the hand and led me out. My heart ached, thinking my- 
self near my end. But he carried me to a French hut, about 
a mile from the Indian fort. The Frenchman was not at 
home, but his wife, who was a squaw, had some discourse with 
my Indian friend, which I did not understand. We tarried 
about two hours, then returned to the Indian village, where 
they gave me some victuals. Not long after this I saw one of 
my fellow-captives, who gave me a melancholy account of 
their sufferings after I left them. 

After some weeks had passed, we left this village and went 
up St. John's river about ten miles, to a branch called Medock- 
scenecasis, where there was one wigwam. At our arrival an 
old squaw saluted me with a yell, taking me by the hair and 
one hand, but I was so rude as to break her hold and free 
myself. She gave me a filthy grin, and the Indians set up a 
laugh, and so it passed over. Here we lived upon fish, wild 
grapes, roots, &c., which was hard living to me. 

When the winter came on we went up the river, till the 
ice came down, running thick in the river, when, according 
to the Indian custom, we laid up our canoes till spring. Then 
we travelled sometimes on the ice, and sometimes on the land, 
till we came to a river that was open, but not fordable, where 
we made a raft, and passed over, bag and baggage. I met 
with no abuse from them in this winter's hunting, though I was 
put to great hardships in carrying burdens and for want of food. 
But they underwent the same difficulty, and would often 
encourage m.e, saying, in broken English, "By and by great 
deal moose." Yet they could not answer any question I asked 
them. And knowing little of their customs and way of life, I 
thought it tedious to be constantly moving from place to place, 
though it might be in some respects an advantage ; for it ran 
still in my mind that we were travelling to some settlement ; 
and when my burden was over-heavy, and the Indians left 
me behind, and the still evening coming on, I fancied I could 
see through the bushes, and hear the people of some great 
town ; which hope, though some support to me in the day, 
yet I found not the town at night. 

Thus we were hunting three hundred miles^ from the sea, 
and knew no man within fifty or sixty miles of us. We were 
eight or ten in number, and had but two guns, on which we 

*A pardonable error, perhaps, considering the author's ignorance of the 
geography of the country. He could hardly have got three hundred 
miles from the mouth of the Penobscot, in a northerly direction, without 
crossing the St. Lawrence.— Ed. 



82 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

wholly depended for food. If any disaster had happened, we 
must all have perished. Sometimes we had no manner of sus- 
tenance for three or four days ; but God wonderfully provides 
for all creatures. In one of these fasts, God's providence 
was remarkable. Our two Indian men, who had guns, in 
hunting started a moose, but there being a shallow crusted 
snow on the ground, and the moose discovering them, ran with 
great force into a swamp. The Indians went round the swamp, 
and finding no track, returned at night to the wigwam, and 
told what had happened. The next morning they followed 
him on the track, and soon found him lying on the snow. He 
had, in crossing the roots of a large tree, that had been blown 
down, broken through the ice made over the water in the hole 
occasioned by the roots of the tree taking up the ground, and 
hitched one of his hind legs among the roots, so fast that by 
striving to get it out he pulled his thigh bone out of its socket 
at the hip ; and thus extraordinarily were we provided for in 
our great strait. Sometimes they would take a bear, which 
go into dens in the fall of the year, without any sort of 
food, and lie there four or five months w'ithout food, never 
going out till spring; in which time they neither lose nor 
gain in flesh. If they went into their dens fat they came out 
so, and if they went in lean they came out lean. I have seen 
some which have come out Avith four whelps, and both very 
fat, and then we feasted. An old squaw and a captive, if any 
present, must stand without the wigwam, shaking their hands 
and bodies as in a dance, and singing, " Wegage oh nelo 
WOH," which in English is, " Fat is my eating." This is to 
signify their thankfulness in feasting times. When one supply 
was spent w^e fasted till further success. 

The way they preserve meat is by taking the flesh from the 
bones and drying it in smoke, by which it is kept sound 
months or years without salt. We moved still further up 
the country after moose when our store was out, so that by 
the spring Ave had got to the northward of the Lady moun- 
tains.* When the spring came and the rivers broke up, we 
moved back to the head of St. John's river, and there made 
canoes of moose hides, sewing three or four together and 
pitching the seams with balsam mixed with charcoal. Then 
we went down the river to a place called Madawescook.i There 
an old man lived and kept a sort of trading house, where 

* If these are the same the French called 3Ionts Notre Dame, our cap- 
tive was now on the borders of the St. Lawrence, to the north of the head 
of the bay of Chaleurs. — Ed. 

t Probably the now well-known Madawasca, of " disputed territory'' 
memory. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 83 

we tarried several days; then went farther down the river till 
we came to the greatest falls in these parts, called Checaneke- 
peag, where we carried a little way over the land, and putting 
off our canoes we went down-stream still. And as we passed 
down by the mouths of any large branches, we saw In- 
dians ; but when any dance was proposed, I was bought off". 
At length we arrived at the place where we left our birch 
canoes in the fall, and putting our baggage into them, went 
down to the fort. 

There we planted corn, and after planting went a fishing, 
and to look for and dig roots, till the corn was fit to weed. 
After weeding we took a second tour on the same errand, then 
returned to hill our corn. After hilling we went some dis- 
tance from the fort and field, up the river, to take salmon and 
other fish, which we dried for food, where we continued till 
corn Avas filled with milk j some of it we dried then, the other 
as it ripened. To dry corn when in the milk, they gather it 
in large kettles and boil it on the ears, till it is pretty hard, 
then shell it from the cob with clam-shells, and dry it on bark 
in the sun. When it is thoroughly dry, a kernel is no bigger 
than a pea, and would keep years, and when it is boiled again 
it swells as large as when on the ear, and tastes incomparably 
sweeter than other corn. When we had gathered our corn 
and dried it in the way already described, Ave put some into 
Indian barns, that is, into holes in the ground, lined and cov- 
ered with bark, and then with dirt. The rest we carried up 
the river upon our next winter's hunting. Thus God wonder- 
fully favored me, and carried me through the first year of my 
captivity. 

Chapter II. — Of the abusive and barbarous treatment which 
several captives mtt with from the Indians. When any great 
number of Indians met, or when any captives had been lately 
taken, or Avhen any captives desert and are retaken, they have 
a dance, and torture the unhappy people who have fallen into 
their hands. My unfortunate brother, who was taken with 
me, after about three years' captivity, deserted with another 
Englishman, who had been taken from Casco Bay, and was 
retaken by the Indians at New Harbor, and carried back to 
Penobscot fort. Here they were both tortured at a stake by 
fire, for some time; then their noses and ears were cut off, 
and they made to eat them. After this they were burnt to 
death at the stake ; the Indians at the same time declaring 
that they would serve all deserters in the same manner. Thus 
they divert themselves in their dances. 

On the second spring of my captivity, my Indian master and 



84 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

his squaw went to Canada, but sent me down the river wit?i 
several Indians to the fort, to plant com. The day before we 
came to the plantmg ground, we met two young Indian men, 
who seemed to be in great haste. After they had passed us, 
I understood they were going with an express to Canada, and 
that there was an English vessel at the mouth of the river. I 
not being perfect in their language, nor knowing that English 
vessels traded vi?ith them in time of war, supposed a peace was 
concluded on, and that the captives would be released ; I was 
so transported with this fancy, that I slept but little if any that 
night. Early the next morning we came to the village, where 
my ecstacy ended ; for I had no sooner landed, but three or 
foar Indians dragged me to the great wigwam, where they 
were yelling and dancing roun-d James Alexander, a Jersey 
man, who was taken from Falmouth, in Casco Bay, This 
was occasioned by two families of Cape Sable Indians, who, 
having lost some friends by a numtber of English fishermen, 
came some hundreds of miles to revenge themselves on poor 
captives. They soon came to me, and tossed me about till 1 
was almost breathless, and then threw me into the ring to my 
fellow-captive ; and taking him out, repeated their baiharities 
on him. Then I Avas hauled out ao-ain by three Indians, who 
seized me by the hair of the head ; and bending me down by 
my hair, one beat me on the back and shoulders so long that 
my breath was almost beat out of my body. Then others put 
a tojnhake^ [tomahawk] into my hands, and ordered ra-e to get 
up and sing and dance Indian, which I performed with the 
greatest reluctance, and while in the act, seemed determined 
to purchase my death, by killing two or three of those monsters 
of cruelt}?-, thinking it impossible to survive their bloody treat- 
ment ; but it was impressed on my mind that it was not in 
their power to take away my life, so I desisted. 

Then those Cape Sable Indians came tome again like bears 
bereaved of their whelps, saying, " Shall we, v/ho have lost 
relations by the English, suffer an English voice to be heard 
among us?" &c. Then they beat me again with the axe. 

* The tnmhake is a warlike club, the shape of which may beseen in cuts 
of Etowohkoam. one of the four Indian chiefs, which cuts are common 
amongst us. [Mr. Gyles refers to the four Iroquois chiefs, who visited 
England in the reign of Queen Anne. About those chiefs I have collect- 
ed and jmblished the particulars in the Book of the Indians. And I will 
here remark that the compilers of the ponderous Indian Biography and 
History, now in course of publication, under the names of James Hall 
and T. L. BI'Kenny, have borrowed my labors with no sparing hand — they 
have not even owned it ; having no faith, probably, that by so doing they 
might pay half the debt. "He who steals my purse steals trash/' but he 
who robs me of my labors — Ed.] 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 85 

Now I repented that I had not sent two or three of them out 
of the world before me, for I thought I had much rather die 
than suffer any longer. They left me the second time, and the 
other Indians put the tomhake into my hands again, and com- 
pelled me to sing. Then I seemed more resolute than before 
to destroy some of them ; btft a strange and strong impulse 
that I should return to my own place and people suppressed 
it, as often as such a motion rose in my breast. Not one of 
them showed the least compassion, but I saw the tears run 
down plentifully on the cheeks of a Frenchman who sat behind, 
though it did not alleviate the tortures that poor James and I 
Avere forced to endure for the most part of this tedious day ; 
for they were continued till the evening, and were the most 
severe that ever I met Avith in the whole six years that I was 
a captive with the Indians. 

After they had thus inhumanly abused us, two Indians took 
us up and threw us out of the v/igAvam, and we crawled away 
on our hands and feet, and were scarce able to walk for several 
days. Some time after they again concluded on a merry 
dance, when I was at some distance from the wigwam dressing 
leather, and an Indian was so kind as to tell me that they had 
got James Alexander, and were in search for me. My Indian 
master and his squaw bid me run for my life into a swamp and 
hide, and not to discover myself unless they both came to me ; 
for then I might be assured the dance was over. I was now 
master of their language, and a word or a wink was enough 
to excite me to take care of one. I ran to the swamp, and hid 
in the thickest place I could find. I heard hallooing and 
whooping all around me ; sometimes some passed very near 
niT-, and I could hear some threaten and others flatter me, but 
I was not disposed to dance. If they had come upon me, I 
had resolved to show them a pair of heels, and they must have 
had good luck to have catch ed me. I heard no more of them 
till about evening, for I think I slept, when they came again, 
calling, " Chon ! Chon ! " but John would not trust them. 
After they were gone, my master and his squaw came where 
they told me to hide, but could not find me ; and, when I heard 
them say, with some concern, they believed the other Indians 
had frightened me into the woods, and that I was lost, I came 
out, and they seemed well pleased. They told me James had 
had a bad day of it ; that as soon as he was released he ran 
away into the woods, and they believed he was gone to the 
Mohawks. James soon returned, and gave a melancholy ac- 
count of his sufferings, and the Indians's fright concerning the 
Mohawks passed over. They often had terrible apprehensions 
of the incursions of those Indians. They are called also Ma- 
8 



86 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

quaSi a most ambitious, haughty and blood-thirsty people, from 
whom the other Indians take their measures and manners, and 
their modes and changes of dress, &c. One very hot season, 
a great number gathered together at the village, and being a 
very droughty [thirsty] people, they kept James and myself 
night and day fetching water from a cold spring, that ran out 
of a rocky hill about three quarters of a mile from the fort. In 
going thither, we crossed a large interval cornfield, and then a 
descent to a lower interval, before we ascended the hill to the 
spring. James being almost dead, as well as I, with this con- 
tinual fatigue, contrived to frighten the Indians. He told me of 
his plan, but conjured me to secrecy, yet said he knew I could 
keep counsel ! The next dark night, James, going for water, 
set his kettle down on the descent to the lowest interval, and 
running back to the fort, puffing and blowing as though in the 
utmost surprise, told his master that he saw something near 
the spring that looked like Mohawks, (which were only stumps.) 
His master, being a most courageous warrior, went with him 
to make discovery. When they came to the broAv of the hill, 
James pointed to the stumps, and withal touching his kettle 
with his toe, gave it motion down the hill ; at every turn its 
bail clattered, which caused James and his master to see a 
Mohawk in every stump, and they lost no time in " turning 
tail to," and he was the best fellow who could run the fastest. 
This alarmed all the Indians in the village. They were about 
thirty or forty in number, and they packed off, bag and 
baggage, some up the river and others down, and did not 
return under fifteen days ; and then the heat of the weather 
being finally over, our hard service was abated for this seaso-n. 
I never heard that the Indians understood the occasion of their 
fright ; but James and I had many a private laugh about it. 

But my most intimate and dear companion was one John 
Evans, a young man taken from Quochecho. We, as often as 
we could, met together, and made known our grievances to 
each other, which seemed to ease our minds ; but, as soon as 
it was known by the Indians, we were strictly examined apart, 
and falsely accused of contriving to desert. We were too far 
from the sea to \\^.\e any thought of that, and finding our sto- 
ries agreed, did not punish us. An English captive girl about 
this time, who w^as taken by Medocawando, would often false- 
ly accuse us of plotting to desert; but we made the truth so 
plainly appear, that she was checked and we were released. 
But the third winter of my captivity, John Evans w^ent into 
the country, and the Indians imposed a heavy burden on him, 
while he was extremely weak from long fasting ; and as he 
was going off the upland over a place of ice, which was very 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 87 

hollow, he broke through, fell down, and cut his knee very 
much. Notwithstanding, he travelled for some time, but the 
wind and cold were so forcible, that they soon overcame him, 
and he sat or fell down, and all the Indians passed by him. 
Some of them went back the next day after him, or his pack, 
and found him, with a dog in his arms, both frozen to death. 
Thus all of my fellow-captives were dispersed and dead, but 
through infinite and unmerited goodness I was supported un- 
der and carried through all difficulties. 

Chapter III. — Of further difficulties and deliverances. One 
winter, as we were moving from place to place, our hunters 
killed some moose. One lying some miles from our wig- 
wams, a young Indian and myself were ordered to fetch part 
of it. We set out in the morning, when the weather was 
promising, but it proved a very cold, cloudy day. It was late 
in the evening before we arrived at the place where the moose 
lay, so that we had no time to provide materials for fire or 
shelter. At the same time came on a storm of snow, very 
thick, which continued until the next morning. We made a 
small fire with what little rubbish we could find around us. 
The fire, with the warmth of our bodies, melted the snow upon 
us as fast as it fell ; and so our clothes were filled with water. 
IIoAvever, early in the morning Ave took our loads of moose 
flesh, and set out to return to our wigwams. We had not 
travelled far before my moose-skin coat (which was the only 
garment I had on my back, and the hair chiefly worn ofT) was 
frozen stiff' round my knees, like a hoop, as were my snow- 
shoes and shoe-clouts to my feet. Thus I marched the whole 
day without fire or food. At first I was in great pain, then 
my flesh became numb, and at times I felt extremely sick, and 
thought I could not travel one foot farther; but I wonderfully 
revived again. 

After long travelling I felt very drowsy, and had thoughts of 
sitting down, which had I done, Avithout doubt I had fallen 
on my final sleep, as my dear companion, Evans, had done 
before. My Indian companion, being better clothed, had left 
me long before. Again my spirits revived as much as if I 
had received the richest cordial. Some hours after sunset I 
reached the AvigAvam, and crawling in Avith my snoAv-shoes on, 
the Indians cried out, " The captiA^e is frozen to death !" They 
took off my pack, and the place where that lay against my 
back Avas the only one that AA-as not frozen. They cut off my 
shoes, and stripped off the clouts from my feet, which Avere as 
void of feeling as any frozen flesh could be. I had not sat 
long by the fire before the blood began to circulate, and my 



83 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

feet to my ankles turned black, and swelled with bloody blis- 
ters, and were inexpressibly painful. The Indians said one 
to another, "His feet will rot, and he will die." Yet I slept 
well at night. Soon after, the skin came off my feet from my 
ankles, whole, like a shoe, leaving my toes naked, without a 
nail, and the ends of my great toe bones bare, which, in a little 
time, turned black, so that I was obliged to cut the first joint 
off with my knife. The Indians gave me rags to bind up my 
feet, and advised me to apply fir balsam, but withal added that 
they believed it was not Avorth while to use means, for I should 
certainly die. But, by the use of my elbows, and a stick in 
each hand, I shoved myself along as I sat upon the ground 
over the snow from one tree to another, till I got some balsam. 
This I burned in a clam-shell till it was of a consistence like 
salve, which I applied to my feet and ankles, and, by the di- 
vine blessing, within a Aveek I could go about upon my heels 
with my staff. And, through God's goodness, we had pro- 
visions enough, so that we did not remove under ten or fifteen 
lays. Then the Indians made two little hoops, something in 
\he form of a snow-shoe, and sewing them to my feet, I was 
able to follow them in their tracks, on my. heels, from place to 
place, though sometimes half leg deep in snow and water, 
which gave me the most acute pain imaginable ; but I must 
walk or die. Yet within a year my feet were entirely well ; 
and the nails came on my great toes, so that a very critical eye 
could scarcely perceive any part missing, or that they had been 
frozen at all. 

In a time of great scarcity of provisions, the Indians chased 
a large moose into the river, and lulled him. They brought 
the flesh to the village, and raised it on a scaffold, in a large 
wigwam, in order to make a feast. I was very officious in 
supplying them with wood and water, Avhich pleased them so 
well that they now and then gave me a piece of flesh half 
boiled or roasted, which I ate with eagerness, and I doubt not 
without due thankfulness to the divine Being who so extra- 
ordinarily fed me. At length the scaffold bearing the moose 
meat broke, and I being under it, a large piece fell, and knock- 
ed me on the head.^ The Indians said I lay stunned a con- 
siderable time. The first I was sensible of was a murmuring 
noise in my ears, then my sight gradually returned, with an 
extreme pain in my hand, which was very much bruised ; and 
it was long before I recovered, the weather being very hot. 

I was once fishing with an Indian for sturgeon, and the 
Indian darting one, his feet slipped, and he turned the canoe 

* Whether he were struclc by a timber of the scaffold, or a quantity of 
the meat on it, we are left to conjecture, and it is not very material. — Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 89 

bottom upward, with me under it. I held fast to the cross-bar, 
as I could not swim, with my face to the bottom of the canoe ; 
but turning myself, I brought my breast to bear on the cross- 
bar, expecting every minute the Indian to tow me to the bank. 
But " he had other fish to fry." Thus I continued a quarter 
of an hour, [though] without want of breath, till the current 
drove me on a rocky point where I could reach bottom. 
There 1 stopped, and turned up my canoe. On looking about 
for the Indian, I saw him half a mile off up the river. On 
going to him, I asked him why he had not towed me to the 
bank, seeing he knew I could not swim. He said he knew I 
was under the canoe, for there were no bubbles any where to 
be seen, and that I should drive on the point. So while he was 
taking care of his fine sturgeon, which was eight or ten feet in 
length, I was left to sink or swim. 

Once, as we were fishing for salmon at a fall of about fifteen 
feet of water, I came near being drownded in a deep hole at 
the foot of the fall. The Indians went into the water to wash 
themselves, and asked me to go with them. I told them I 
could not swim, but they insisted, and so I went in. They 
ordered me to dive across the deepest place, and if I fell short 
of the other side they said they would help me. But, instead 
of diving across the narrowest part, I was crawling on the bot- 
tom into the deepest place. They not seeing me rise, and 
knowing whereabouts I was by the bubbling of the water, a 
young girl dived down, and brought me up by the hair, other- 
wise I had perished in the water. Though the Indians, both 
male and female, go into the water together, they have each 
of them such covei-ing on that not the least indecency can be 
observed, and neither chastity nor modesty is violated. 

While at the Indian village, I had been cutting wood and 
binding it up with an Indian rope, in order to carry it to the 
wigwam ; a stout, ill-natured young fellow, about twenty years 
cf age, threw me backward, sat on my breast, pulled out his 
knife, and said he would kill me, for he had never yet killed 
one of the English. I told him he might go to war, and that 
would be more manly than to kill a poor captive who was do- 
ing their drudgery for them. Notwithstanding all I could say, 
be began to cut and stab me on my breast. I seized him by 
the hair, and tumbling him off of me, followed him with my 
fists and knee with such application that he soon cried 
"enough." But when I saw the blood run from my bosom, and 
felt the smart of the wounds he had given me, I at him again, 
and bid him get up, and not lie there like a dog; told him of 
his former abuses offered to me, and other poor captives, and 
that if ever he offered the like to me again, I would pay him 
8% 



90 rOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

double. I sent him before me, and taking up my burden of 
wood, came to the Indians, and told them the whole truth, 
and they commended me. And I do not remember that ever 
he offered me the least abuse afterwards, though he was big 
enough to have despatched two of me. 

Chapter IV. — Of remarkalle events of Providence i?i the 
deaths of several barbarous Indians. The priest of this river 
was of the order of St. Francis, a gentleman of a humane, 
generous disposition. In his sermons he most severely repre- 
hended the Indians for their barbarities to captives. He would 
often tell them that, excepting their errors in religion, the Eng- 
lish were a better people than themselves, and that God would 
remarkably punish such cruel wretches, and had begun to exe- 
cute his vengeance upon such already ! He gave an account 
of the retaliations of Providence upon those murderous Cape 
Sable Indians above mentioned ; one of whom got a splinter 
into his foot, which festered and rotted his flesh till it killed 
him. Another run a fish-bone into her hand or arm, and she 
rotted to death, notwithstanding all means that were used to 
prevent it. In some such manner they all died, so that not 
one of those two families lived to return home.'^'^ Were it not 
for these remarks of the priest, I had not, perhaps, have noticed 
these providences. 

There was an old squaw who ever endeavored to outdo all 
others in cruelty to captives. Wherever she came into a wig- 
wam, where any poor, naked, starved captives were sitting 
near the fire, if they were grown persons, she would stealthily 
take up a shovel of hot coals, and throw them into their bo- 
soms. If they were young persons, she would seize them by 
the hand or leg, drag them through the fire, &c. The Indians 
with whom she lived, according to their custom, left their vil- 
lage in the fall of the year, and dispersed themselves for hunt- 
ing. After the first or second removal, they all strangely forgot 
that old squaw and her grandson, about twelve years of age. 
They were found dead in the place where they were left some 
months afterwards, and no farther notice was taken of them 
by their friends. Of this the priest made special remark, for- 
asmuch as it is a thing very uncommon for them to neglect 
either their old or young people. 

In the latter part of summer, or beginning of autumn, the 
Indians were frequently frightened by the appearance of 

* Reference is probably had to those Indians, of whom the author has 
before spoken, as having come to the fort of those with whom he was 
among, to be revenged on any whites for the loss of some of their friends 
•who had been killed by white fishermen. — Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 91 

strange Indians, passing up and down this river in canoes, 
and about that time the next year died more than one hun- 
dred persons, old and young ; all, or most of those who saw 
those stiange Indians ! The priest said it was a sort of plague. 
A person seeming in perfect health would bleed at the mouth 
and nose, turn blue m spots, and die in two or three hours. "^ 
It was very tedious to me to remove from place to place this 
cold season. The Indians applied red ochre to my sores, 
[which had been occasioned by the affray before mentioned,] 
which by God's blessing cured me. This sickness being at 
the worst as winter came on, the Indians all scattered ; and the 
blow was so great to them, that they did not settle or plant at 
their village while I was on the river, [St. Johns,] and I know 
not whether they have to this day. Before they thus deserted 
the village, when they came in fromhunting, they would be drunk 
and fight for several days and nights together, till they had spent 
most of their skins in wine and brandy, which was brought to 
the village by a Frenchman called Monsieur Sigenioncour. 

Chapter V. — Of their familiarity with and frights from 
the devil, &c. The Indians are very often surprised with the 
appearance of ghosts and demons. Sometimes they are en- 
couraged by the devil, for they go to him for success in hunt- 
ing, &c. I was once hunting with Indians who were not 
brought over to the Romish faith, and after several days they 
proposed to inquire, according to their custom, Avhat success 
they should have. They accordingly prepared many hot 
stones, and laying them in a heap, made a small hut covered 
with skins and mats ; then in a dark night two of the powwows 
went into this hot house with a large vessel of water, which 
at times they poured on those hot rocks, which raised a thick 
steam, so that a third Indian was obliged to stand without, and 
lift up a mat, to give it vent when they were almost suffocated. 
There was an old squaw who Avas kind to captives, and never 
joined with thetn in their powwowing, to whom I manifested 
an earnest desire to see their management. She told me that 
if they knew of my being there they would kill me, and that 
when she was a girl she had known young persons to be 
taken away by a hairy man, and therefore she would not advise 
me to go, lest the hairy man should carry me away. I told 

* Calamitous mortalities are often mentioned as happening among the 
Indians, but that the appearance of strange Indians had any thing to do 
with it, will only excite admiration to the enlightened of this age. It was 
by a mortality something similar that the country about the coast of 
]\Iassachusetts was nearly depopulated two or three years before the settle- 
ment of Plymouth. — Ed. 



92 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

her I was not afraid of the hairy man, nor could he hurt me if 
she would not discover me to the powwows. At length she 
promised me she would not, but charged me to be careful of 
myself. I went within three or four feel of the hot house, for 
it was very dark, and heard strange noises and yellings, such 
as I never heard before. At limes the Indian who tended 
without would lift up the mat, and a steam would issue which 
looked like fire. I lay there two or three hours, but saw none 
of their hairy men, or demons. And when I found they had 
finished their ceremony, I went to the wigwam, and told the 
squaw what had passed. She was glad I had escaped without 
hurt, and never discovered what I had done. After some time 
inquiry was made of the powwows what success we were 
likely to have in oar hunting. They said they had very 
likely signs of success, but no real ones as at other times. A 
few days after we moved up tlie river, and had pretty good 
luck. 

One afternoon as I was in a canoe with one, of the pow- 
wov/s the dog barked, and presently a moose passed by within 
a few rods of us, so that the waves he made by wading rolled 
our canoe. The Indian shot at him., but the moose took very 
little notice of it, and went into the woods to the southward. 
The fellow said, "I will iry if I can't fetch you back for all 
your haste." The evening following, we built our two wig- 
wams on a sandy point on the upper end of an island in the 
river, north-west of the place Avhere the moose went into the 
woods ; and here the Indian powwowed the greatest part of 
the night following. In the morning we had a fair track of a 
moose round our wicwams, though we did not see or taste of 
it. I am of opinion that the devil was permitted to humor 
those unhappy wretches sometimes, in some things.* 

That it may appear how much they were deluded, or under 
the influence of satan, read the two stories which were related 
and believed by the Indians. The first, of a boy who was car- 
ried away by a large bird called a Gulloua, who buildeth her 
nest on a high rock or mountain. A boy was hunting with 
his bow and arrow at the fool of a rocky mountain, when the 
guUoua came diving through the air, grasped the boy in her 
talons, and although he was eight or ten years of age, she 
soared aloft and laid him in her nest, food for her young. 

* Whatever the Indians might have believed about the devil, one thing 
is pretty clear, that our captive had great faith in his abilities. Quite as 
easy a way to have accounted for moose tracks about their wigwam, 
would have been to suppose that that animal might have been attracted 
by the uncouth noise of the powvvow to approach them lor the object of 
discovery. It is very common for wild animals to do so. — Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 93 

The boy lay still on his face, but observed two of the young 
birds in the nest with him, having much fish and flesh to feed 
upon. The old one seeing they would not eat the boy, took 
him up in her claws and returned him to the place from whence 
she took him. I have passed near the mountain in a canoe, 
and the Indians have said, " There is the nest of the great bird 
that carried away the boy." Indeed there seemed to be a great 
number of sticks put together like a nest on the top of the 
mountain. At another time they said, " There is the bird, but 
he is now as a boy to a giant to what he was in former days." 
The bird which we saw was a large and speckled one, like an 
eagle, though somewhat larger.^ 

When from the mountain tops, with hideous cry 

And clattering wings, the hungry harpies fly, 

They snatched * * * * 

* * And whether gods or birds obscene they were, 

Our vows for pardon and for peace prefer. 

Dryden's Vikgil. 

The other notion is, that a young Indian in his hunting was 
belated, and losing his way, was on a sudden introduced to 
a large wigwam full of dried eels, which proved to be a bea- 
ver's house, in which he lived till the spring of the year, when 
he was turned out of the house, and being set upon a beaver's 
dam, went home and related the affair to his friends at large. 

Chapter VI. — A descriptioii of several creatures com- 
monly taken by the Indians on St. John^s river, 

I. Ok the Beaver. — The beaver has a very thick, strong 
neck ; his fore teeth, which are two in the upper and two in 
the under jaw, are concave and sharp like a carpenter's gouge. 
Their side teeth are like a sheep's, for they chew the cud. 
Their legs are short, the claws something longer than in 
other creatures. The nails on the toes of their hind feet 
are flat like an ape's, but joined together by a membrane, as 
those of the water-fowl, their tails broad and flat like the broad 
end of a paddle. Near their tails they have four bottles, two 
of which contain oil, the others gum ; the necks of these meet 
in one common orifice. The latter of these bottles contain the 
proper castorum, and not the testicles, as some have fancied, 
for they are distinct and separate from them, in the males only ; 

* Not exactly a. fish story ^ but it is certainly a Urd storij, and although Mr. 
Gyles has fortified himself behind " believed by the Indians," yet I fear 
his reputation for credulity will be somewhat enhanced in the mind of 
the reader. I think, however, it should not derogate from his character 
for veracity 



J4 JOHN GYLES' CAPTmXY. 

whereas the castorum and oil bottles are common to male and 
female. With this oil and gum they preen themselves, so 
that when they come out of the water it runs off of them, as 
it does from a fowl. They have four teats, which are on their 
breasts, so that they hug up their young and suckle them, as 
women do their infants. They have generally two, and some- 
times four in a litter. I have seen seven or five in the matrix, 
but the Indians think it a strange thing to find so many in a 
litter ; and they assert that when it so happens the dam kills 
all but four. They are the most laborious creatures that 1 
have met with. I have known them to build dams across a 
river, thirty or forty perches wide, with wood and mud, so as 
to flow many acres of land. In the deepest part of a pond so 
raised, they build their houses, round, in the figure of an Indian 
wigwam, eight or ten feet high, and six or eight in diameter 
on the floor, which is made descending to the water, the parts 
near the centre about four, and near the circumference between 
ten and twenty inches above the water. These floors are cov- 
ered with strippings of wood, like shavings. On these they 
sleep with their tails in the water j"^ and if the freshets rise, they 
have the advantage of rising on their floor to the highest part. 
They feed on the leaves and bark of trees, and pond lily 
roots. In the fall of the year they lay in their provision for 
the approaching winter ; cutting down trees great and small. 
With one end in their mouths they drag their branches near to 
their house, and sink many cords of it. (They will cut [gnaw] 
down trees of a fathom in circumference.) They have doors 
to go down to the wood under the ice. And in case the fresh- 
ets rise, break down and carry off' their store of wood, they 
often starve. They have a note for conversing, calling and 
warning each other when at work or feeding ; and while they 
are at labor they keep out a guard, who upon the first approach 
of an enemy so strikes the water with his tail that he may 
be heard half a mile. This so alarms the rest that they are 
all silent, quit their labor, and are to be seen no more for that 
time. If the male or female die, the survivor seeks a mate, 
and conducts him or her to their house, and carry on affairs as 
above. 

II. Of the Wolverene. [Gt/lo Ljiscj/s oi^ h.] The wol- 
verene is a very fierce and mischievous creature, about the 
bigness of a middling dog ; having short legs, broad feet and 

* I recollect to have seen a similar statement by that singular genius, 
Thomas Mokton, of IMare Mount, in his more singular book, New Eng- 
lish Canaan, about beavers keeping their tails in the water. Morton, 
however, tells us the reason they do so, viz. "which else would overheat and 
rot uff."—Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTrVITY. 95 

very sharp claws, and in my opinion may be reckoned a spe- 
cies of cat. They will climb trees and wait for moose and 
other animals which feed below, and when opportunity pre- 
sents, jump upon and strike their claws in them so fast that 
they will hang on them till they have gnawed the main nerve 
in their neck asunder, which causes their death. I have 
known many moose killed thus. I was once travelling a little 
way behind several Indians, and hearing them laugh merrily, 
when I came up I asked them the cause of their laughter. 
They shoAved me the track of a moose, and how a wolverene 
had climbed a tree, and where he had jumped off upon a 
moose. It so happened, that after the moose had taken seve- 
ral large leaps, it came under the branch of a tree, which strik- 
ing the wolverene, broke his hold and tore him off; and by 
his tracks in the snow it appeared he went off another way, 
with short steps, as if he had been stunned by the blow that 
had broken his hold. The Indians imputed the accident to 
the cunning of the moose, and were wonderfully pleased that 
it had thus outwitted the mischievous wolverene. 

These wolverenes go into wigwams which have been left 
for a time, scatter the tilings abroad, and most filthily pollute 
them with ordure. I have heard the Indians say that this ani- 
mal has sometimes pulled their guns from under their heada 
while they were asleep, and left them so defiled. An Indian 
told me that having left his wigwam with sundry things on 
the scaffold, among which was a birchen fiask containing seve- 
ral pounds of powder, he found at his return, much to his sur- 
prise and grief, that a wolverene had visited it, mounted the 
scaflhld, hove down bag and bacfgage. The powder flask hap- 
pening to fall into the fire, exploded, blowing up the wolverene, 
and scattering the wigwam in all directions. At length he 
found the creature, blind from the blast, wandering backward 
and forward, and he had the satisfaction of kicking and beat- 
ing him about ! This in a great measure made up their loss, 
and then they could contentedly pick up their utensils and rig 
out their wigwam. 

III. Of the Hedgehog, [H/sirix Dorsata,] or Urchin, 
[Urson?] Our hedgehog or urchin is about the bigness of a 
hog of six months old. His back, sides and tail are full of 
sharp quills, so that if any creature approach him, he will con- 
tract himself into a globular form, and when touched by his 
enemy, his quills are so sharp and loose in the skin they fix in 
the mouth of the adversary. They will strike with great force 
with their tails, so that whatever falls under the lash of them 
are certainly filled with their prickles ; but that they shoot 
their quills, as some assert they do, is a great mistake, as re- 



96 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

spects the American hedgehog-, and I believe as to the Afri- 
can hedgehog or porcupine, also. As to the former, I have 
taken them at all seasons of the year. 

IV. Of the Tortoise. It is needless to describe the fresh- 
water tortoise, whose form is so well known in all parts ; but 
their manner of propagating their species is not so universally- 
known. I have observed that sort of tortoise whose shell is 
about fourteen or sixteen inches wide. In their coition they 
may be heard half a mile, making a noise like a woman wash- 
ing her linen with a batting staff. They lay their eggs in the 
sand, near some deep, still water, about a foot beneath the sur- 
face of the sand, with which they are very curious in covering 
them; so that there is not the least mixture of it amongst 
them, nor the least rising of sand on the beach where they are 
deposited. I have often searched for them with the Indians, 
by thrusting a stick into the sand at random, and brought up 
some part of an egg clinging to it ; when, uncovering the place, 
we have found near one hundred and fifty in one nest. Both 
their eggs and flesh are good eating when boiled. I have 
observed a difference as to the length of time in which they 
are hatching, which is between twenty and thirty days ; some 
sooner than others. Whether this difference ought to be im- 
puted to the various quality or site of the sand in which they 
are laid, (as to the degree of cold or heat,) I leave to the con- 
jecture of the virtuosi. As soon as they are hatched, the 
young tortoise breaks through the sand and betake themselves 
to the water, and, as far as I could discover, without any fur- 
ther care or help of the old ones. 

Chapter VII. — Of their feasting. 1. Before they go to 
xoar. When the Indians determine on war, or are entering 
upon a particular expedition, they kill a number of their dogs, 
burn off their hair and cut them to pieces, leaving only one 
dog's head whole. The rest of the flesh ihey boil, and make 
a fine feast of it. Then the dog's head that was left whole is 
scorched, till the nose and lips have shrunk from the teeth, 
leaving them bare and grinning. This done, they fasten it on 
a stick, and the Indian who is proposed to be chief in the expe- 
dition takes the head into his hand, and sings a warlike song, 
in which he mentions the town they design to attack, and the 
principal man in it ; threatening that in a few days he will 
carry that man's head and scalp in his hand, in the same man- 
ner. When the chief has finished singing, he so places the 
dog's head as to grin at him who he supposes will go his 
second, who, if he accepts, takes the head in his hand and 
sings ; but if he refuses to go, he turns the teeth to another ; 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 97 

and thus from one to another till they have enlisted their com- 
pany. 

The Indians imagine that dog^s flesh makes them bold and 
courageous. I have seen an Indian split a dog's head with a 
hatchet, take out the brains hot, and eat th«m raw with the 
blood running down his jaws ! 

2. When a relation dies. In a still evening, a squaw 
will walk on the highest land near her abode, and with a 
loud and mournful voice will exclaim, " Oh haioe, haioe, haice" 
with a long, mournful tone to each hawe, foT a long time 
together. After the mourning season is over, the relations of 
the deceased make a feast to wipe ofT tears, and the bereaved 
may marry freely. If the deceased was a squaw, the relations 
consult together, and choose a squaw, (doubtless a widow,) and 
send her to the widower, and if he likes her he takes her 
to be his wife, if net, he sends her back, and the relations 
choose and send till they find one that he approves of. 

If a young fellov/ determines to marry, his relations and the 
Jesuit advise him to a girl. He goes into the wigwam where 
she is, and looks on her. If he Hires her appearance, he tosses 
a chip or stick into her lap, which she takes, and with a 
reserved, side look, views the person who sent it; yet handles 
the chip with admiration, as though she wondered from whence 
it came. If she likes him she throws the chip to him with a 
modest smile, and then nothing is wanting but a ceremony with 
the Jesuit to consummate the marriage. But if she dislikes 
her suitor, she, with a surly countenance, throws the chip aside, 
and he comes no more there. 

If parents have a daughter marriageable they seek a hus- 
band for her who is a good hunter. If she has been educated 
to make monoodah, (Indian bags,) birch dishes, to lace snow- 
shoes, make Indian shoes, string Avampum belts, sew birch 
canoes, and boil the kettle, she is esteemed a lady of fine 
accomplishments. If the man sought out for her husband 
have a gun and ammunition, a canoe, spear, and hatchet, a 
monoodah, a croolced knife, looking-glass and paint, a pipe, 
tobacco, and knot-bowl to toss a kind of dice in, he is accounted 
a gentleman of a plentiful fortune. Whatever the new-married 
man procures the first year belongs to his wife's parents. I: 
the young pair have a child within a year and nine months, 
they are thought to be very forward and libidinous persons 

By their play with dice they lose much time, playing whole 
days and nights together ; sometimes staking their whole 
effects; though this is accounted a great vice by the old men. 

A digression. — There is an old story told among the Indians 
of a family who had a daughter that was accounted a finished 
9 



98 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

beauty, having been adorned with the precious jewel, an Indian 
education ! She was so formed by nature, and polished by art 
that they could not find for her a suitable consort. At length 
while this family were once residing upon the head of Penob- 
scot river, under the White hills, called Teddon, this fine crea- 
ture was missing, and her parents could learn no tidings of her, 
After much time and pains spent, and tears showered in quest 
of her, they saw her diverting herself with a beautiful youth 
whose hair, like her own, flowed down below his waist, swim 
ming, washing, &c., in the water; but they vanished upon 
their approach. This beautiful person, whom they imagined 
to be one of those kind spirits who inhabit the Teddon, they 
looked upon as their son-in-law; and, according to their 
custom, they called upon him for moose, bear, or whatever 
creature they desired, and if they did but go to the water-side 
and signify their desire, the animal would come swimming to 
them ! I have heard an Indian say that he lived by the river, 
at the foot of the Teddon, the top of which he could see through 
the hole of his wigwam left for the smoke to pass out. He 
was tempted to travel to it, and accordingly set out on a sum- 
mer moming, and labored hard in ascending the hill all day, 
and the top seemed as distant from the place where he lodged 
at night as from his Avigwam, where he began his journey. He 
now concluded the spirits were there, and never dared to make 
a second attempt. 

I have been credibly informed that several others have failed 
in like attempts. Once three young men climbed towards its 
summit three days and a half, at the end of which lime they 
became strangely disordered with delirium, &c., and when 
their imagination was clear, and they could recollect where 
they were, they found themselves returned one day's journey. 
How they came to be thus transported they could not conjec- 
ture, unless the genii of the place had conveyed them. These 
White hills, at the head of Penobscot river, are, by the Indians, 
said to be much higher than those called Agiockochook, above 
Saco.* 

But to return to an Indian feast, of which you may request a 
bill of fare before you go. If you dislike it, stay at home. The 
ingredients are hsh, flesh, or Indian corn, and beans boiled 
together ; sometimes hasty pudding made of pounded corn, 
whenever and as often as these are plenty. An Indian boils 
four or five large kettles full, and sends a messenger to each 
wigwam door, who exclaims, " luth menscoorebah .'" that is, 
" I come to conduct you to a feast." The man within demands 

* Some additions to these traditions ■will be found in the Book of the In- 
diort?. iii. 131.— Ed. 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 99 

whether he must take a spoon or a knife in his dish, which he 
always carries with him. They appoint two or three young 
men to mess it out, to each man his portion, according to the 
number of his family at home. This is done with the utmost 
exactness. When they have done eating, a young fellow stands 
without the door, and cries aloud, " Mensecomviook" " come and 
fetch!" Immediately each squaw goes to her husband and 
takes what he has left, which she carries home and eats with 
her children. For neither married women, nor any youth 
under twenty, are allowed to be present ; but old Avidow 
squaws and captive men may sit by the door. The Indian 
men continue in the wigwam ; some relating their warlike 
exploits, others something comical, others narrating their 
hunting exploits. The seniors give maxims of prudence and 
grave counsel to the young men ; and though every one's 
speech be agreeable to the run of his own fancy, yet they con- 
fine themselves to rule, and but one speaks at a time. After 
every man has told his story, one rises up, sings a feast song, 
and others succeed alternately as the company sees fit. 

Necessity is the mother of invention. If an Indian loses his 
fire, he can presently take two sticks, one harder than the 
other, (the drier the better,) and in the softest one make a hol- 
low, or socket, in which one end of the hardest stick being 
inserted, then holding the softest piece firm between his knees, 
whirls it round like a drill, and fire will kindle in a few 
minutes. 

If they have lost or left their kettle, it is but putting their 
victuals into a birch dish, leaving a vacancy in the middle, 
filling it with water, and putting in hot stones alternately; 
they will thus thoroughly boil the toughest neck of beef. 

Chapter VIII. — Of my three years captivity with the 
French. — When about six years of my doleful captivity had 
passed, my second Indian master died, whose squaw and my 
first Indian master disputed whose slave I should be. Some 
malicious persons advised them to end the quarrel by putting 
a period to my life; but honest father Simon, the priest of the 
river, told them that it would be a heinous crime, and advised 
them to sell me to the French. There came annually one or 
two men of war to supply the fort, which was on the river 
about 34 leagues from the sea. The Indians having advice of 
the arrival of a man of war at the mouth of the river, they, 
about thirty or forty in number, went on board ; for the gentle- 
men from France made a present to them every year, and set 
forth the riches and victories of their monarch, &c. At this 
time they presented the Indians with a bag or two of flour with 



100 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

some prunes, as ingredients for a feast. I, who was dressed 
up in an old greasy blanket, without cap, hat, or shirt, (for I 
had had no shirt for the six years, except the one I had on at 
the time I was made prisoner,) was invited into the great cabin, 
where many well-rigged gentlemen Avere sitting, who would 
fain have had a full view of me. I endeavored to hide myself 
behind the hangings, for I was much ashamed ; thinking how 
I had once worn clothes, and of my living with people who 
could rig as well as the best of them. My master asked me 
whether I chose to be sold to the people of the man of war, or 
to the inhabitants of the country. I replied, with tears, that 
I should be glad if he would sell me to the English from whom 
I was taken ; but that if I must be sold to the French, I wished 
to be sold to the lowest inhabitants on the river, or those near- 
est to the sea, who were about twenty-five leagues from the 
mouth of the river; for I thought that, if I were sold to the 
gentlemen in the ship, I should never return to the English. 
This was the first time I had seen the sea during my captivity, 
and the first time I had tasted salt or bread. 

My master presently went on shore, and a few days after all 
the Indians went up "the river. When we came to a house 
which I had spoken to my master about, he went on shore 
with me, and tarried all night. The master of the house spoke 
kindly to me in Indian, for I could not then speak one word of 
French. Madam also looked pleasant on me, and gave me 
some bread. The next day I was sent six leagues further \ip 
the river to another French house. My master and the friar 
tarried with Monsieur Dechouffour, the gentleman who had 
entertained us the night before. Not long after, father Simon 
came and said, " Now you are one of us, for you are sold to 
that gentleman by whom you were entertained the other night. 
I replied, "Sold! — to a Frenchman !" I could say no more, 
went into the woods alone, and wept till I could scarce see or 
stand ! The word sold, and that to a people of that persua- 
sion which my dear mother so much detested, and in her last 
words manifested so great fears of my falling into ! These 
thoughts almost broke my heart. 

When I had thus given vent to my grief I wiped my eyes, 
endeavoring to conceal its affects, but father Simon, perceiving 
my eyes were swollen, called me aside, and bidding me not to 
grieve, for the gentleman, he said, to whom I was sold, was of 
a good humor ; that he had formerly bought two captives, 
both of whom had been sent to Boston. This, in some mea- 
sure, revived me ; but he added he did not suppose I would 
ever wish to go to the English, for the French religion was so 
much better. He said, also, he should pass that way in about 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 101 

ten days, and if T did not like to live with the French better 
than with the Indians he would buy me again. On the day 
following, father Simon and my Indian master went up the 
river, six and thirty leagues, to their chief village, and I went 
down the river six leagues with two Frenchmen to my new 
master. He kindly received me, and in a few days madam 
made me an osnaburg shirt and French cap, and a coat out of 
one of my master's old coats. Then I threw away my greasy 
blanket and Indian flap, and looked as smart as — . And I 
never more saw the old friar, the Indian village, or my Indian 
master, till about fourteen years after, when I saw my old 
Indian master at Port Royal, whither I had been sent by the 
government with a flag of truce for the exchange of prisoners ; 
and again, about twenty-four years since, he came to St. John's, 
to fort George, to see me, where I made him very welcome. 

My French master held a great trade with the Indians, 
which suited me very well, I being thorough in the languages 
of the tribes at Cape Sable and St. Johns, 

I had not lived long with this gentleman before he commit- 
ted to me the keys of his store, &c., and my whole employment 
was trading and hunting, in which I acted faithfully for my 
master, and never, knowingly, wronged him to the value of one 
farthing. 

They spoke to me so much in Indian that it was some time 
before I was perfect in the French tongue. Monsieur gene- 
rally had his goods from the men-of-war which came there 
annually from France. 

In the year 1696, two men-of-war came to the mouth of the 
river. In their way they had captured the Newport, Captain 
Payson, and brought him with them. They made the Indians 
some presents, and invited them to join in an expedition to 
Pemmaquid, They accepted it, and soon after arrived there. 
Capt. Chubb, who commanded that post, delivered it up with- 
out much dispute to Monsieur D'Iberville, as I heard the gen- 
tleman say, with whom I lived, who was there present.^* 

Early in the spring I was sent with three Frenchmen to the 
mouth of the river, for provision, which came from Port Royal. 
We carried over land from the river to a large bay, where we 
were driven on an island by a north-east storm, where we were 
kept seven days, without any sustenance, for we expected a 
quick passage, and carried nothing with us. The wind con- 

* The reverend Dr. Mather says, wittily, as he says everynhing, "This 

Chubb found opportunity, in a pretty Chiibhish manner, to kill the famous 

Edgeremet and Ahcnquid, a couple of principal Jndians, on a Lord's day, 

the 16ch of February, 1695. If there is any unfair dealing in this action 

■ 9* 



102 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

tinuing boisterous, we could not return back, and the ice pre- 
vented our going forward. After seven days the ice broke up 
and we went forward, though we were so weak that we could 
scarce hear each other speak. The people at the mouth of the 
river were surprised to see us alive, and advised us to be cau- 
tious and abstemious in eating. By this time I knew as much 
of fasting as thev, and dieted on broth, and recovered very well, 
as did one of the others ; but the other two would not be 
advised, and I never saw anv persons in greater distress, till 
at length they had action of the bowels, when they recovered. 

A friar, who lived in the family, invited me to confession, 
but I excused myself as well as I could at that time. One 
evening he took me into his apartment in the dark and advised 
me to confess to him what sins I had committed. I told him I 
could not remember a thousandth part of them, they were so 
numerous. Then he bid me remember and relate as many as 
I could, and he would pardon them; signifying he had a bag 
to put them in. I told him I did not believe it was in the 
power of any but God to pardon sin. He asked me whether I 
had read the Bible. I told him I had, when I was a little boy, 
but it was so long ago I had forgotten most of it. Then he 
told me he did not pardon my sins, but when he knew them he 
prayed to God to pardon them ; when, perhaps, I was at my 
sports and plays. He wished me well and hoped I should be 
better advised, and said he should call for me in a little time. 
Thus he dismissed me, nor did he ever call me to confession 
afterwards. 

The gentleman with whom I lived had a fine field of wheat, 
in which great numbers of black-birds continually collected and 
made great havoc in it. The French said a Jesuit would come 
and banish them. He did at length come, and having all 
things prepared, he took a basin of holy water, a staff with a 
little brush, and having on his white robe, went into the field 
of wheat. I asked several prisoners who had lately been taken 
by privateers, and brought in there, viz. Mr. Woodbury, Cocks 
[Cox?] and Morgan, whether they vi'ould go and see the cere- 
mony. Mr. Woodbury asked me whether I designed to go, 

of Chubb, there wnll be another February, not far off, wherein the avenger 
of blood will take satisfaction." — Hist. N. E. [IMa^nalia] B. vii. 79. 

Mr. Mather adds, " On the 4th or 5th of August, Chubb, with an un- 
common baseness, did surrender the brave fort of Pemmaquid into their 
hands." [For an account of the wretched fate of Chubb as well as that 
of the whole transaction, see Book of the Indians, B. iii. 121, 122.] 

Unthinking men no sort of scruples make. 
And some are bad only for mischief's sake, 
But ev'n the best are guilty by mistake. 



JOHN GYLES' CAFTIVITT. 103 

and 1 told him yes. He then snid I was as bad as a papist, 
and a d — d fool. I told him I believed as little of it as he did, 
but that I was inclined to see the ceremony, that I might tell 
it to my friends. 

With about thirty following in procession; the Jesixit marched 
through the field of wheat, a young lad going before him bear- 
ing the holy water. Then the Jesuit, dipping his brush into 
the holy water, sprinkled the field on each side of him ; a little 
bell jingling at the same time, and all singing the words Ora 
pro nohls. At the end of the field they wheeled to the left 
about, and returned. Thus they passed and repassed the field 
of wheat, the black-birds all the while rising before them only 
to light behind. At their return Itold a French lad that the 
friar had done no service, and recommended them to shoot the 
birds. The lad left me, as I thought, to see what the Jesuit 
would say to my observation, which turned out to be the case, 
for he told the lad that the sins of the people were so great that 
he could not prevail against those birds. The same friar as 
vainly attem.pted to banish the musketoes from Signecto, but 
the sins of the people there were also too great for him to pre- 
vail, but- on the other hand, it seemed that more came, which 
caused the people to suspect that some had come for the sins 
of the Jesuit also. 

Some time after, Col. Hawthorne attempted the taking of 
the French fort up this river. We heard of him some time 
before he came up, by the guard which Governor Villebon had 
stationed at the river's mouth. Monsieur, my master, had gone 
to France, and madam, his wife, advised with me. She desir- 
ed me to nail a paper on the door of her house, which paper 
read as follows : 

" I entreat the general of the English not to burn my house 
or barn, nor destroy my cattle. I don't suppose that such an 
army comes here to destroy a few inhabitants, but to take the 
fort above us. I have shown kindness to the English captives, 
as we were capacitated, and have bought two, of the Indians, 
and sent them to Boston. We have one now with us, and ho 
shall go also when a convenient opportunity presents, and he 
desires it." 

When I had done this, madam said to me, " Little English," 
[which was the familiar name she used to call me by,] "we 
have shown you kindness, and now it lies in your power to 
serve or disserve us, as you know where our goods are hid in 
the woods, and that monsieur is not at home. I could have 
sent you to the fort and put you under confinement, but my 
respect to you and your assurance of love to us have disposed 
me to confide in you ; persuaded you will not hurt us or our 



104 JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 

affairs. And, now, if jou rn]} not run away to the EngTisf?, 
who are coming up the river, but serve our interest, I will ac- 
quaint monsieur of it on his return from France, which will be 
very pleasing to him ; and I now give my word, you shall have 
liberty to go to Boston on the first opportunity, if you desire it, 
or any other favor in my power shall not be denied yau." I 
replied : 

" Madam, it is contrary to the nature of the English to re- 
quite evil for g-ood. I shall endeavor to serve you and your 
interest. I shall not run to the English, but if I am taken by 
them I shall willingly go with them, and yet endeavor not to 
disserve you either in your person or goods." 

The place where we live-d Vv^as called Hagimsack, twenty-five 
leas'ues from the river's mouth, as I have before stated. 

"We now embarked and went in a large boat and canoe two 
or three miles up an eastern branch of the river that comes 
from a large pond, and on the following evening sent down four 
hands to make discovery. And while they were sitting in the 
house the English surrounded it and took one of the four. 
The other three made their escape in the dark and through 
the English soldiers, and coming to us, gave a surprising ac- 
count of affairs. Upon this news m.adam said to me,. " Little- 
English, now you can go from us, but I hope you will remem- 
ber your word." I said, " Madam, be not concerned. I will 
not leave you in this strait." She said, "I know noi what to 
do with my two poor little babes!" I said, "Madam, the 
sooner we embark and go over the gretit pond the better.'" 
Accordingly we embarked and went over the pond. The next 
day we spoke with Indians, who were in- a canDe,. and they 
gave us an account that Signecto town was taken and burnt. 
Soon after we heard the great guns at Gov. Viilebon's fort, 
which the English engaged several days. They killed one 
man, then drew off down the river ; fearing to contmne longer, 
for fear of being frozen in for the winter, which in truth they 
would have been. 

Hearing no report of cannon for several Jays, I, with two 
others, went down to our house to make discovery. We found 
our young lad who was taken by the English when they went 
up the river. The general had shown himself so honorable, 
that on reading the note on our door, he ordered it not to be 
burnt, nor the barn. Our cattle and other things he preserved, 
except one or two and the poultry for their use. At their 
return they ordered the young lad to be put on shore. Find- 
ing things in this posture, we returned and gave madam an 
account of it. 

She acknowledged the many favors which the English had 



JOHN GYLES' CAPTIVITY. 105 

showed her, with gratitude, and treated me with great civility. 
The next spring monsieur arrived from France in the man-of- 
war. He thanked me for my care of his affairs, and said he 
would endeavor to fulfil what madam had promised me. 

Accordingly, in the year 1698, peace being proclaimed, a 
sloop came to the mouth of the river with ransom for one Mi- 
chael Cooms. I put monsieur in mind of his word, telling 
him there was now an opportunity for me to go and see the 
English. He advised me to continue with him ; said he would 
do for me as for his own, &c. I thanked him for his kindness, 
but rather chose to go to Boston, hoping to find some of my 
relations yet alive. Then he advised me to go up to the fort 
and take my leave of the governor, which I did, and he spoke 
very kindly to me. Some days after I took my leave of ma- 
dam, and monsieur went down to the mouth of the river with 
me, to see me safely on board. He asked the master, Mr. 
Starkee, a Scotchman, whether I must pay for my passage, 
and if so, he would pay it himself rather than I should have it 
to pay at my arrival in Boston, but he gave me not a penny. 
The master told him there was nothing to pay,' and that if the 
owner should make any demand he Avould pay it himself, 
rather than a poor prisoner should suffer ; for he was glad to 
see any English person come out of captivity. 

On the 13th of June, I took my leave of monsieur, and the 
sloop came to sail for Boston, where we arrived on the 19th of 
the same, at night. In the morning after my arrival, a youth 
came on board and asked many questions relating to my cap- 
tivity, and at length gave me to understand that he was my 
little brother, who was at play with some other children at 
Pemmaquid when I was taken captive, and who escaped into 
the fort at that perilous time. He told me my elder brother, 
who made his escape from the farm, when it was taken, and 
-our two little sisters, were alive, but that our mother had been 
dead some years. Then we went on shore and saw our elder 
brother. 

On the 2d of August, 1689, 1 was taken, and on the 19th of 
June, 1698, I arrived at Boston ; so that I was absent eight 
years, ten months, and seventeen days. In all which time, 
though I underwent extreme difficulties, yet I saw much of 
God's goodness. And may the most powerful and beneficent 
Being accept of this public testimony of it, and bless my expe- 
riences to excite others to confide in his all-sufhciency, through 
the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. 



106 



A.PPENDIX, containing mimites of ike employments, public 
stations, etc., of John Gyles, Esq., commander of the garri- 
son on St. George's river. 

After my return out of captivity, June 28th, 1698, I applied 
myself to the government for their favor. Soon after I was 
employed by old father Mitchel, of Maiden, to go as his inter- 
preter on trading account to St. John's river. 

October Mth, 1698, I was employed by the government, 
Lieutenant Governor Stoughton commander-in-chief, to go as 
interpreter, at three pounds per month, with Major Converse 
and old Capt. Alden to Penobscot to fetch captives. At our 
return to Boston I was dismissed ; but within a few days the 
governor sent for me to interpret a conference with Bomma- 
zeen, and other Indians then in jail. 

Some time after I was again put in pay in order to go inter- 
preter with Col. Phillips and Capt. Southack, in the province 
galley, to Casco bay, to exchange said Indians [Bommazeen 
and others] for English captives. In December, 1698, we 
returned to Boston with several captives which we had libe- 
rated, and I was dismissed the service, and desired to attend it 
in the spring. I pleaded to be kept in pay that I might have 
wherewith to support myself at school. I went into the coun- 
try, to Rowley, where boarding was cheap, to practise what 
little I had attained at school. 

March, 1699. With the little of my wages that I could 
reserve, I paid for my schooling and board, and attended the 
service upon request, and was again put into pay, and went 
with Col. Phillips and Maj. Converse in a large briganline up 
Kennebeck river for captives, and at our return to Boston the 
province galley being arrived from New York with my lord 
Bellemont, and the province truck put on board, I was ordered 
on board the galley. We cruised on the eastern shore ; and 
in November, 1699, I was put out of pay, though I pleaded to 
be continued in it, seeing I must attend the service in the 
spring, and be at considerable expense in the winter for my 
schooling. 

In the spring of 1700, 1 attended the service, and was under 
pay again. On August 27th, a fort was ordered to be built at 
Casco bay, which was finished on the 6th of October following, 
and the province truck landed, and I was ordered to reside 
there as interpreter, with a captain, &c. Not long after, Gov. 
Dudley sent me a lieutenant's commission, with a memoran- 
dum on its back, " No further pay but as interpreter at three 
pounds per month." 



APPENDIX. 107 

August 10th, 1703. The French and Indians besieged our 
fort for six days. (Major March was our commander.) On the 
16th of the same month, Capt. Southack arrived in the prov- 
ince galley, and in the night following the enemy withdrew. 

May 19th, 170-1. I received a few lines from his excellency 
directing me to leave my post, and accompany Col. Church on. 
an expedition round the h\j of Fundy.* September following 
I returned to my post, without any further wages or encourage- 
ment for that service than the beforementioned pay at the 
garrison. 

April, 1706. There was a change of the chief officer at our 
garrison. I chose to be dismissed with my old officer, Avhich 
was granted. The same year his excellency Gov. Dudley 
presented me with a captain's commission, and ordered Colonel 
Saltonstall to detach fifty effective men to be delivered to me 
in order for a march. In May, 1707, I entered on an expedi- 
tion under Col. March, for Port Royal, at the termination of 
v.'hich I was dismissed. 

May 12th, 170S, I received orders from his excellency to go 
to Port Royal with a flag of trace to exchange prisoners, and 
brought off all. At my return I was dismissed the service. 

In 1709, I received a commission, and Colonel Noyes had 
orders to detach forty men, whom he put under me, with orders 
to join the forces for Canada. At Hull, August 1st, 1709, I 
received orders from his excellency to leave my company with 
my lieutenants, and go to Port Royal with a flag of truce to 
exchange priso-ners. I went in the sloop Hannah and Ruth, 
Thomas Waters, master. I had nine French prisoners, which 
were all that were in our governor's hands. These he ordered 
me to deliver to Gov. Supercass, " and to let him know that he 
[Gov. Dudley] expected him to deliver all the English prison- 
ers within his power, within six days, which I was ordered to 
demand and insist upon, agreeably to his promise last year." 
I was ordered to observe to him that Governor Dudley highly 
resented his breach of promise in not sending them early this 
spring, according to his parole of honor, by myself, when we 
had returned him upwards of forty of his people, and had 
made provision for bringing home ours ; and to make par- 
ticular inquiry after Capt. Myles, and to demand his and his 
company's release also. 

Accordingly, arriving at Port Royal, I was kindly entertained 
by Gov. Supercass ; brought off above one hundred prisoners. 
Soon after my return our forces were dismissed, and I received 

* A full account of this expedition under Col. Church will be found in 
Church's History of King Philip's War, &c. ed. 12mo., Boston, 1827, by 
the editor of this. 



lOS APPEOTJIS. 

no other consideration for my service than pay as captain ol 
my company. 

August, 1715. I was desired, and had great pramises made 
me by the proprietors, and received orders from his excellency 
to build a fort at Pejepscot, [now Brunswick, Me.] Soon after 
our arrival there the Indians came in the night, and forbid our 
laying one stone upon another. I told them I came with 
orders from Governor Dudley to build a fort, and if they dis- 
liked it they might acquaint him with it ; and that if they 
came forcibly upon us, they ox I should fall on the spot. After 
such like hot words they left us, and we went on with our 
building, and finished it, November 25th, 1715, and our car- 
penters and masons left us. My wages were very small, yet 
the gentlemen proprietors ordered me only five pounds fox my 
good services, &;c. 

July 12th, 1722, a number of Indians engaged fort George 
about two hours, killing one person, and then drew ofl^ to kill- 
ing cattle, &c. 

April, 1725, I received orders from his honor Lieut. Got, 
Dummer to go ten days' march up Ammiscoggin river, and in 
my absence the Indians killed two men at our fort. I received 
no further pay for said service, only the pay of the garrison. 

December 12th, 1725, I was dismissed from fort George, 
and Capt. Woodside received a commission for the command 
of that place. 

December 13th, 1725, I was commissioned for the garrison 
at St. George river. 

September, 1726. I was detained some months from my 
post, by order of Gov. Dummer, to interpret for the Cape Sable 
Indians, Avho were brought in and found guilty.* There was 
no other person in the province that had their language. His 
honor and the honorable council presented me with ten pounds- 
for this service, which I gratefully received. 

Nov. 2Sth, 1728, I vras commissioned for the peace. 

I have had the honor to serve this province under eight 
commanders in chief, governors, and lieutenant governors, from 
the year 1698 to the year 1736; and how much longer my 
services may continue I submit to the Governor of the world, 
who overrules every circumstance of life, which relates to- 
our happiness and usefulness, as in infinite wisdom he sees 
meat. 

* There were five of them belonging to the St. Francis tribe. They 
had seized on a vessel at Newfoundland belonging to Plymouth. The 
act being considered piracy, they were all executed at Boston. — (Ed.)- 
MS. Chronicles of the Indians. 



BURNING OF ROBERT ROGERS. lOD 

Be calm, my Delius, and serene, 

However fortune change the scene. 

In thy most dejected state. 

Sink not underneath the weight ; 

Nor yet when happy days begin. 

And the full tide comes rolling in, 

Let not a fierce unruly joy 

The settled quiet of thy mind destroy. 

However fortune change the scene. 

Be calm, my Delius, and serene. — iHoracs. 



THREE NARRATIVES 

OF EXCESSIVE DISTRESS OF PERSONS TAKEN AT THE DE- 
STRUCTION OF SALMON FALLS, IN THE STATE OF NEW 
HAMPSHIRE, ON THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF MARCH, 1690; 
VIZ., THE CRUEL TORTURE OF ROBERT ROGERS, THE FIVE 
YEARS' CAPTIVITY OF MEHETARLE GOODWIN, AND THE 
FORTUNATE ESCAPE OF THOMAS TOOGOOD. FROM THE 
MAGNALIA CHRISTI AMERICANA, OF DOCTOR COTTON 
MATHER. 

When the news of the destrtiction of Schenectady reached 
New England, it spread great alarm over the whole country. 
The wise men gave particular caution to all the frontier posts, 
urging them to keep strict watch, and to make strong their 
fortifications; but the people in the east did not their duty, 
and Salmon Falls, a fine settlement upon a branch of Pascat- 
aqua river, fell into the hands of an infuriated and cruel enemy ; 
the particulars whereof are at large set forth in the work enti- 
tled The Book of the Indians, to which we have before re- 
ferred. 

But, as has been observed, notwithstanding these warnings 
the people dreamed, that while the deep snow of the winter 
continued, they were safe enough, which proved as vain as a 
dream of a dry summer. Near thirty persons were slain, and 
more than fifty were led into what the reader will by and by 
call the worst captivity in the world. It would be a long story 
to tell what a particular share in this calamity fell to the lot of 
the family of one Clement Short. This honest man with his 
pious wife and three children were killed, and six or seven 
others of their children were made prisoners. The most of 
these arrived safe at Canada, through a thousand hardships, 
and the most of these were with more than a thousand mer- 
10 



no BURNING OF ROBERT ROGERS. 

cies afterwards redeemed from Canada, and returned unto 
their English friends again. But as we cannot take notice of 
all the individuals, we will pass to the notice of those named 
at the commencement of this narrative. 

Among the prisoners was one Robert Rogers, with whom as 
the Indians journeyed they came to a hill, where this man, 
(being through his corpulency called Robin Pork) being under 
such an intolerable and unsupportable burden of Indian lug- 
gage, was not so able to travel as the rest ; he therefore, 
watching for an opportunity, made his escape. The wretches 
missing him, immediately went in pursuit of him, and it was 
not long before they found his burden cast in the way, and the 
tracks of his feet going out of the way. This they followed, 
and found him hid in a hollow tree. They dragged him out, 
stripped him, beat and pricked him, pushed him forward with 
the points of their swords, until they got back to the hill from 
whence he had escaped. It being almost night, they fastened 
him to a tree, with his hands behind him, then made them- 
selves a supper, singing and dancing around him, roaring, and 
uttering great and many signs of joy, but with joy little enough 
to the poor creature who foresaw what all this tended to. 

The Indians next cut a parcel of wood, and bringing it into a 
plain place, they cut off the top of a small red-oak tree, leaving 
the trunk for a stake, whereunto they bound their sacrifice. 
They first made a great fire near this tree of death, and 
bringing Rogers unto it, bid him take his leave of his friends, 
which he did in a doleful manner, such as no pen, though 
made of a harpy's quill, were able to describe the dolor of it. 
They then allowed him a little time to make his prayers unto 
heaven, which he did with an extreme fervency and agony ; 
whereupon they bound him to the stake, and brought the rest of 
the prisoners, with their arms tied each to the other, and seat- 
ed them round the fire. This being done, they went behind 
the fire, and thrust it forwards upon the man with much laugh- 
ter and shouting ; and when the fire had burnt some time upon 
him, even till he was almost suffocated, they pulled away from 
him, to prolong his existence. They now resumed their dan- 
cing around him, and at every turn they did with their knives 
cutcoUops of his flesh out of his naked limbs, and throw them 
with his blood into his face. In this manner was their work 
continued until he expired. 

Being now dead, they set his body down upon the glowing 
coals of fire, and thus left him tied with his back to the stake, 
where he was found by some English forces soon after, who 
were in pursuit of these Indians. 



MEHETABLE GOODWIN. Ill 

Mehetable Goodwin, another of the captives of this band 
of Indians, who, it will be proper to notice, were led by the re- 
nowned Indian chief Hopehood,had a child with her about five 
months old. This, through hunger and hardship, she being 
unable to nourish from her breast, occasioned it to make griev- 
ous and distressing ejaculations. Her Indian master told her 
that if the child were not quiet he would soon dispose of it, 
which caused her to use all possible means that his Netop- 
skip* might not be offended ; and sometimes she would carry 
it from the fire out of his hearing, when she Avould sit down 
up to her waist in the snow, for several hours together, until 
it was exhausted and lulled to sleep. She thus for several 
days preserved the life of her babe, until he saw cause to 
travel with his own cubs farther afield ; and then, lesi he 
should be retarded in his travel, he violently snatched the 
babe out of its mother's arms, and before her face knocked 
out its brains ; and having stripped it of its few rags it had 
hitherto enjoyed, ordered the mother to go and wash them of 
the blood wherewith they were stained ! Returning from this 
sad and melancholy task, she found the infant hanging by the 
neck in a forked bough of a tree. She requested liberty to 
lay it in the earth, but the savage said, " It is better as it is, 
for now the wild beasts cannot come at it ; " [I am sure they 
had been at it ;]t " and you may have the comfort of seeing it 
again, if ever you come that way." 

The journey now before them was like to be very long, as 
far as Canada, where Mrs. Goodwin's master's purpose was to 
make merchandise of her, and glad was she to hear such 
happy tidings. But the desperate length of the way, and 
want of food, and grief of mind, wherewith she was now en- 
countered, caused her within a few days to faint under her 
difficulties ; when, at length, she sat down for some repose, 
with many prayers and tears unto God for the salvation of her 
soul, she found herself unable to rise, until she saw her furi- 
ous executioner coming towards her with fire in his eyes, 
the devil in his heart, and his hatchet in his hand, ready to 
bestow a mercy-stroke of death upon her. Then it was that 
this poor captive woman, in this extreme misery, got upon her 
knees, and with weeping and wailing and all expressions of 
agony and entreaty, prevailed on him to spare her life a little 
longer, and she did not question but God would enable her to 

* One of Dr. Mather's miserable misapplications of words. Netof, 
among the Indians, signified /m«rf. — Ed. 

1 1 need not remind the reader that this is no interpretation of mine. — 



112 THOMAS TOOGOOD. 

walk a little faster. The merciless tyrant was prevailed with 
to spare her this time ; nevertheless her former weakness 
quickly returning upon her, he was just going to murder her, 
when a couple of Indians, just at this moment coming in, 
called suddenly upon him to hold his hand. At this such a 
horror surprised his guilty soul, that he ran away from her ; 
but hearing them call his name, he returned, and then permit- 
ted these his friends to ransom his prisoner. 

After these events, as we were seated by the side of a river, 
we heard several guns go off on the opposite side, which the 
Indians concluded was occasioned by a party of Albany Indians, 
who were their enemies. Whereupon this bold blade [her old 
master] would needs go in a canoe to discover what they were. 
They fired upon and shot him through, together with several 
of his friends, before the discovery could be made. Some 
days after this, divers of his friends gathered a party to re- 
venge his death on their supposed enemies. With these they 
soon joined battle, and after several hours' hard fighting were 
themselves put to the rout. Among the captives which they 
left in their flight was this poor woman, who was overjoyed, 
supposing herself now at liberty ; b\it her joy did not last long, 
for these Indians were of the same sort as the others, and had 
been by their own friends, thus through a strange mistake, set 
upon. 

However, this crew proved more favorable to her than the 
former, and Avent away silently with their booty ; being loath 
to have any noise made of their foul mistake. And yet a few 
days after, such another mistake happened ; for meeting with 
another party of Indians, which they imagined were in the 
English interest, they also furiously engaged each other, and 
many were killed and wounded on both sides ; but the con- 
querors proved to be a party of French Indians this time, who 
took this poor Mrs. Goodwin and presented her to the French 
captain of the party, by whom she was carried to Canada, 
where she continued five years. After which she was brought 
safely back to New England. 

Thomas Toogood's short narrative is introduced to relieve 
the reader from the contemplation of blood and misery. At 
the same time the other captives were taken, three Indians 
hotly pursued this man, and one of them overtaking him, while 
the rest perceiving it, staid behind the hill, having seen him 
quietly yield himself a prisoner. While the Indian was get- 
ting out his strings to bind his prisoner, he held his gun under 
his arm, which Toogood observing, suddenly sprang and 
wrested it from him ; and momentarily presenting it at the 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTWITY. 113 

Indian, protested he would shoot him down if he made the least 
noise. And so away he ran with it unto Quochecho. If my 
reader be now inclined to smile, when he thinks how simply 
poor Isgrim looked, returning to his mates behind the hill, 
Avilhout either gun or prey, or any thing but strings, to remind 
him of his own deserts, I am sure his brethren felt not less so, 
for they derided him with ridicule at his misadventure. The 
Indians are singularly excessive in the practice of sporting 
at the misfortunes of one another in any case they are outwit- 
ted, or have been guilty of committing any blunder. 

Mary Platsted was another of the unfortunate captives at 
that time and place, but only a k\x particulars of extreme suf- 
ferings are related. She had been out of her bed of family 
sickness but three weeks when she was taken, and like others 
she was obliged to wade through swamps and snow, when at 
length she was relieved of the burthen of her infant son by her 
cruel master, who, after dashing out its brains, threw it into a 



GOD'S MERCY SURMOUNTING MAN'S 
CRUELTY, 

EXEMPLIJ^TED m THE CAPTIVITY AND SURPRISING DELIVE- 
RANCE OF ELIZABETH HANSON, WIFE OF JOHN HANSON, 
OF KNOXMARSH, AT KECHEACHY, IN DOVER TOWNSHIP, 
WHO WAS TAKEN CAPTIVE WITH HER CHILDREN AND 
MAID-SERVANT, PY THE INDIANS IN NEW ENGLAND, IN 
THE YEAR 1724.— The substance of which was takea from her own 
mouth, and now published for sreneral service. The third edition.— Phila- 
delphia: reprinted; Danvers, near Salem: reprinted and sold by E. Russell, 
next the Bell Tavern, MDCCLXXX. At the same place may be had a 
rumber of new Books, &c., some of which are on the times. — Cash paid for 
Ra?s. 



DZT'' This edition of Mrs. Hanson's narrative is copied from that printed 
at Dover, N. H., in 1821. The above is a copy of the title pa£;e of that 
of 1780. These editions correspond, and I have discovered no disagree- 
ments in them. From a MS. extract, in the hand-Mriting of BIr. John 
Farmer, npon the cover of a copy of the Dover edition, it seems there was 
some doubt in his mind about the exact date of the capture of the Han- 
son family ; for in that memorandum above mentiimed, purporting to 
have been taken from the Boston New.s-Letter of 1722, it is .stated to have 
happened on the 27th of August of that year. I have not been able to 
refer to the News-Letter, but I find the event noticed in Pemberton's MS 
Chronology as happening on the 7th of September, 1724. I have no 
10% 



114 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

doubt of the correctness of the date in the narrative, myself, but mention 
the fact, that some brother antiquary may have the pleasure which may 
accrue from an investigation. — Ed. 



Remarkable and many are the providences of God towards 
his people for their deliverance in a time of trouble, by which 
we may behold, as in lively characters, the truth of that sa3ang-, 
" That he is a God near at hand, and always ready to help and 
assist those that fear him and put their confidence in him." 

The sacred writings give us instances of the truth hereof in 
days of old, as in the cases of the Israelites, Job, David, Dan- 
iel, Paul, Silas, and many others. Besides which, our modern 
histories have plentifully abounded with instances of God's 
fiitherly care over his people, in their sharpest trials, deepest 
distresses, and sorest exercises, by which we may know he is 
a God that changeth not, but is the same yesterday, to-day and 
forever. 

Among the many modern instances, I think I have not met 
with a more singular one of the mercy and preserving hand of 
God, than in the case of Elizabeth Hanson, wife of John 
Hanson, of Knoxmarsh,* in Kecheachy, [Cochecho] in Dover 
township, in New England, who was taken into captivity the 
twenty-seventh day of the sixth month, called June, 1724, and 
carried away (with four children and a servant) by the Indians; 
which relation, as it was taken from her own mouth, by a friend, 
is as follows: 

As soon as the Indians discovered themselves, (having, as we 
afterwards understood, been skulking in the fields some days, 
watching their opportunity, when my dear husband, with the 
rest of our men, were gone out of the way,) two of them came 
in upon us, and then eleven more, all naked, with their guns 
and tomahawks, and in a great fury killed one child immedi- 
ately, as soon as they entered the door, thinking thereby to 
strike in us the greater terror, and to make us more fearful of 
them. After which, in like fury, the captain came up to me ; 
but at my request he gave me quarter. There were with me 
our servant and six of our children ; two of the little ones being 
at play about the orchard, and my youngest child, but fourteen 
days old, whether in cradle or anns, I now remember not. 
Being in this condition, I was very unfit for the hardships I 
after met with, which I shall endeavor briefly to relate. 

They went to rifling the house in a great hurry, (fearing, as 
I suppose, a surprise from our people, it being late in the after- 
noon,) and packed up some linen, woollen and what other 

• A name, the use of which was long since discontinued. — Ed. 



ELIZABETH HA^^SON'S CAPTIVITY. 115 

things pleased them best, and when they had done what they 
would, they turned out of the house immediately; and while 
they were at the door, two of my younger children, one six, 
and the other four years old, came in sight, and being under 
a great surprise, cried aloud, upon which one of the Indians 
running to them, took them under the arms, and brought them 
to us. My maid prevailed with the biggest to be quiet and 
still ; but the other could by no means be prevailed with, but 
continued shrieking and crying very much, and the Indians, to 
ease themselves of the noise, and to prevent the danger of a 
discovery that might arise from it, immediately, before my face, 
knocked his brains out. I bore this as well as I could, not 
daring to appear disturbed or to show much uneasiness, lest 
they should do the same to the others ; but should have been 
exceeding glad if they had kept out of sight until we had gone 
from the house. - 

Now having killed two of my children, they scalped them, 
(a practice common with these people, which is, whenever they 
kill any enemies, they cut the skin off from the crown of their 
heads, and carry it with them for a testimony and evidence 
that they have killed so many, receiving sometimes a reward 
for every scalp,) and then put forward to leave the house in 
great haste, without doing any other spoil than taking what 
they had packed together, with myself and little babe, fourteen 
days old, the boy six years, and two daughters, the one about 
fourteen and the other about sixteen years, with my servant 

girl- 
It must be considered, that I having lain in but fourteen days, 
and being but very tender and weakly, and removed now out 
of a good room, well accommodated with fire, bedding, and 
other things suiting a person in mv condition, it made these 
hardships to me greater than if I had been in a strong and 
healthy frame ; yet, for all this, I must go or die. There was 
no resistance. 

In this condition aforesaid we left the house, each Indian 
having something; and I with my babe and three children that 
could go of themselves. The captain, though he had as great 
a load as he could well carry, and was helped up with it, did, 
for all that, carry my babe for me in his arms, which I took to 
be a favor from him. Thus we went through several swamps 
and some brooks, they carefully avoiding all paths of any track 
like a road, lest by our footsteps we should be followed. 

We got that night, I suppose, not quite ten miles from our 
house in a direct line ; then taking up their quarters, lighted a 
fire, some of them lying down, while others kept watch. I 



116 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

being both wet and weary, and lying on the cold ground in the 
open woods, took but little rest. 

However, early in the morning, we must go just as the day 
appeared, travelling very hard all that day through sundry 
rivers, brooks and swamps, they, as before, carefully avoiding 
all paths for the reason already assigned. At night, I was both 
wet and tired exceedingly ; having the same lodging on the 
cold ground, in the open woods. Thus, for twenty-six days, 
day by day we travelled very hard, sometimes a little by water, 
over lakes and ponds ; and in this journey we went up some 
high mountains, so steep that I was forced to creep up on my 
hands and knees ; under which difficulty, the Indian, my mas- 
ter, would mostly carry my babe for me, which I took as a 
great favor of God, that his heart was so tenderly inclined to 
assist me, though he had, as it is said, a very heavy burden 
of his own ; nay, he would sometimes take my very blanket, 
so that I had nothing to do but to take my little boy by the 
hand for his help, and assist him as well as I could, taking him 
up in my arms a little at times, because so small ; and when 
we came to very bad places, he would lend me his hand, or 
coming behind, would push me before him ; in all which, he 
showed some humanity and civility, more than I could have 
expected : for which privilege I was secretly thankful to God, 
as the moving cause thereof. 

Next to this we had some very great runs of water and 
brooks to wade through, in which at times we met with much 
difficulty, wading often to our middles, and sometimes our girls 
were up to their shoulders and chins, the Indians carrying my 
boy on their shoulders. At the side of one of these runs or 
rivers, the Indians would have my eldest daughter, Sarah, to 
sing them a song. Then was brought into her remembrance 
that passage in the 137th Psalm, " By the rivers of Babylon," 
[&:c.] When my poor child had given me this account, it was 
very affecting, and my heart was very full of trouble, yet on 
my child's account I was glad that she had so good an incli- 
nation, which she yet further manifested in longing for a Bible, 
that we might have the comfort of reading the hol)^ text at 
vacant times, for our spiritual comfort under our present afflic- 
tion. 

Next to the difficulties of the rivers, were the prodigious 
swamps and thickets, very difficult to pass through, in which 
places my master would sometimes lead me by the hand, a 
great way together, and give me what help he was capable of, 
under the straits we went through; and we, passing, one 
after another, the first made it pretty passable for the hindmost. 

But the greatest difficulty, that deserves the first to be nar^-- ' 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 117 

was want of food, having at times nothing to eat but pieces of 
old beaver-skin match-coats, which the Indians having hid, (for 
they came naked as is said before,) which in their going back 
again they took with them, and they were used more for food 
than raiment. Being cut into long narrow straps, they gave 
us little pieces, which by the Indians* example we laid on the 
fire until the hair was singed away, and then we ale them as 
a sweet morsel, experimentally knowing " that to the hungry 
soul every bitter thing is sweet." 

It is to be considered further, that of this poor diet we had 
but very scanty allowance ; so that we were in no danger of 
being overcharged. But that which added to my trouble, was 
the complaints of my poor children, especially the little boy. 
Sometimes the Indians would catch a squirrel or beaver, and 
at other times we met with nuts, berries, and roots which they 
digged out of the ground, with the bark of some trees ; but we 
had no corn for a great while together, though some of the 
younger Indians went back and brought some corn from the 
English inhabitants, (the harvest not being gathered,) of which 
we had a little allowed us. But when they caught a beaver, 
we lived high while it lasted ; they allowed me the guts and 
garbage for myself and children ; but not allowing us to clean 
and wash them, as they ought, made the food very irksome to 
us to feed upon, and nothing besides pinching hunger could 
have made it any way tolerable to be borne. 

The next difficulty was no less hard to me ; for my daily 
travel and hard living made my milk dry almost quite up, and 
how to preserve my poor babe's life was no small care on my 
mind ; having no other sustenance for her, many times, but 
cold water, which I took in my mouth, and let it fall on my 
breast, when I gave her the teat to suck in, with what it could 
get from the breast; and when I had any of the broth of the 
beaver's guts, or other guts, I fed my babe with it, and as well 
as I could I preserved her life until I got to Canada, and then 
I hfid some other food, of which, more in its place. 

Having by tliis time got considerably on the way, the Indians 
parted, and v.^e were divided amongst them. This was a sore 
grief to us all ; but we must submit, and no way to help our- 
selves. My eldest daughter was first taken away, and carried 
to another part of the country, far distant from us, where for 
the present we must take leave of her, though with a heavy 
heart. 

We did not travel far after this, before they divided again, 
taking my second daughter and servant maid from me, into 
another part of the country. So, I having now only my babe 
at my breast, and little boy six years old, we remained with 



118 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

the captain still. But my daughter and servant underwent 
great hardships after they were parted from me, travelling three 
days without any food, taking nothing for support but cold 
water ; and the third day, what with the cold, the wet, and 
hunger, the servant fell down as dead in a swoon, being both 
very cold and wet, at which the Indians, with whom they were, 
were surprised, showing some kind of tenderness, being unwil- 
ling then to lose them by death, having got them so near home ; 
hoping, if they lived, by their ransom to make considerable 
profit of them. 

In a few days after this, they got near their journey's end, 
where they had more plenty of corn, and other food. But 
flesh often fell very short, having no other way to depend on 
for it but hunting; and when that failed, they had very short 
commons. It was not long ere my daughter and servant were 
likewise parted, and my daughter's master being sick, was not 
able to hunt for flesh ; neither had they any corn in that place, 
but were forced to eat bark of trees for a whole week. 

Being almost famished in this distress, Providence so order- 
ed that some other Indians, hearing of their misery, came to 
visit them, (these people being very kind and helpful to one 
another, which is very commendable,) and brought to them the 
guts and liver of a beaver, which afforded them a good repast, 
being but four in number, the Indian, his wife and daughter, and 
my daughter. 

By this time my master and our company got to our jour- 
ney's end, where we were better fed at times, having some 
corn and venison, and wild fowl, or what they could catch by 
hunting in the Avoods ; and. my master having a large family, 
fifteen in number, we had at times very short comrnons, more 
especially when game was scarce. 

But here our lodging was still on the cold ground, in a poor 
wigwam, (which is a kind of little shelter made with the rind 
of trees, and mats for a covering, something like a tent.) These 
are so easily set up and taken down, that they often remove 
them from one place to another. Our shoes and stockings, 
and our other clothes, being worn out in this long journey 
through the bushes and swamps, and the weather coming in 
very hard, we were poorly defended from the cold, for want 
of necessaries ; which caused one of my feet, one of the little 
babe's, and both of the little boy's, to freeze ; and this was no 
small exercise, yet, through mercy, Ave all did well. 

Now, though we got to our journey's end, we were never 
long in one place, but very often removed from one place to 
another, carrying our wigwams with us, which we could do 
without much difficulty. This, being for the convenience of 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 119 

hunting", made our accommodations much more unpleasant, 
than if we had continued in one place, by reason the coldness 
and dampness of the ground, where our wigwams were pitch- 
ed, made it very unwholesome, and unpleasant lodging. 

Having now got to the Indian fort, many of the Indians 
came to visit us, and in their way welcomed my master home, 
and held a great rejoicing, with dancing, firing of guns, beating 
on hollow trees, instead of drums ; shouting, drinking, and feast- 
ing after their manner, in much excess, for several days together, 
which I suppose, in their thoughts, was a kind of thanks to 
God, put up for their safe return and good success. But while 
they were in their jollity and mirth, my mind was greatly ex- 
ercised towards the Lord, that I, with my dear children, sepa- 
rated from me, might be preserved from repining against God 
under our affliction on the one hand, and on the other we 
might have our dependence on him, who rules the hearts of 
men, and can do what he pleases in the kingdoms of the earth, 
knowing that his care is over them who put their trust in him ; 
but I found it very hard to keep my mind as I ought, in the 
resignation which is proper it should be, under such afflictions 
and sore trials as at that time I suffered in being under various 
fears and doubts concerning my children, that were separated 
from me, which helped to add to and greatly increase my 
troubles. And here I may truly say, my afflictions are not to 
be set forth in words to the extent of them. 

We had not been long at home ere my master went a hunt- 
ing, and was absent about a week, he ordering me in his 
absence to get in wood, gather nuts, &c. I was very diligent 
cutting the wood and putting it in order, not having very far 
to carry it. But when he returned, having got no prey, he 
was very much out of humor, and the disappointment was so 
great that he could not forbear revenging it on us poor cap- 
tives. However, he allowed me a little boiled corn for myself 
and child, but with a very angry look threw a stick or corn cob 
at me with such violence as did bespeak he grudged our eat- 
ing. At this his squaw and daughter broke out into a great 
crying. This made me fear mischief was hatching against us, 
I immediately Avent out of his presence into another wig- 
wam ; upon which he came after me, and in a great fury tore 
my blanket off my back, and took my little boy from me, 
and struck him down as he went along before him ; but the 
poor child not being hurt, only frightened in the fall, start- 
ed up and ran away without crying. Then the Indian, my 
master, left me ; but his wife's mother came and sat down by 
me, and told me I must sleep there that night. She then going 
from me a little time, came back with a small skin to cover my 



120 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

feet withal, informing me that my master intended now to kill us, 
and I, being desirous to know the reason, expostulated, that in. 
his absence [ had been diligent to do as I was ordered by him. 
Thus as well as I could I made her sensible how unreason- 
able he was. Now, though she could not understand me, nor 
I her, but by signs, we reasoned as v/ell as we could. She 
therefore made signs that I must die, advising me, by point- 
ing up with her fingers, in her way, to pray to God, endeavor- 
ing by her signs and tears to instruct me in that which was 
most needful, viz. lo prepare for death, which now threatened 
me : the poor old squaw was so very kind and tender, that she 
would not leave me all the night, but laid herself down at my 
feet, designing what she could to assuage her son-in-law's 
wrath, who had conceived evil against me, chiefly, as I under- 
stood, because the want of victuals urged him to it. My rest 
was little this night, my poor babe sleeping sweetly by me. 

I dreaded the tragical design of my master, looking every 
hour for his coming to execute his bloody will upon us ; but 
he being weary with hunting and travel in the woods, having 
toiled for nothing, went to rest and forgot it. Next morning 
he applied himself again to hunting in the woods, but I dread- 
ed his returning empty, and prayed secretly in my heart that 
he might catch some food to satisfy his hunger, and cool his 
ill humor. He had not been gone but a little time, when he 
returned with booty, having shot some wild ducks ; and now 
he appeared in a better temper, ordered the fowls to be dressed 
with speed ; for these kind of people, when they have plenty, 
spend it as freely as they get it, using with gluttony and 
drunkenness, in two days' time, as much as with prudent man- 
agement might serve a week. Thus do they live for the most 
part, either in excess of gluttony and drunkenness, or imder 
great straits of want of necessaries. However, in this plenti- 
ful time, I felt the comfort of it in part with the family ; hav- 
ing a portion sent for me and my little ones, Avhich was very 
acceptable. Now, I thinking the bitterness of death was over 
for this time, my spirits were a little easier. 

Not long after this he got into the like ill humor again, 
threatening to take away my life. But I always observed 
whenever he was in such a temper, he wanted food, and was 
pinched with hunger. But when he had success in hunting, 
to take either bears, bucks, or fowls, on which he could fill his 
belly, he Avas better humored, though he was naturally of a 
very hot and passionate temper, throwing sticks, stones, or 
whatever lay in his way, on every slight occasion. This made 
me in continual danger of my life ; but God, whose provi- 
dence is over all his works, so preserved me that I never 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 121 

received any damage from him., that was of any great conse- 
quence to me ; for which I ever desire to be thankful to my 
Maker. 

When flesh was scarce vv^e had only the guts and g-arbage 
allowed to our part ; and not being permitted to cleanse the 
guts any ether wise than emptying the dung [out], without so 
much as washing them, as before is noted ; in that filthy pickle 
we must boil them and eat them, which was very unpleasant. 
But hunger miade up that difficulty, so that this food, which 
was very often our lot, became pretty tolerable to a sharp ap- 
petite, which otherwise could not have been dispensed with. 
Thus I considered, none knows what they can Tandergo until 
they are tried ; for what I had thought in my own family not 
fit for food, would here have been a dainty dish and sweet 
morsel. 

By this time, what with fatigue of spirits, hard labor, mean 
diet, and often want of natural rest, I was brought so low, that 
my milk was dried up, my babe very poor and weak, just skin 
and bones ; for I could perceive all her joints from one end of 
the back to the other, and how to get what would suit her 
weak appetite, I was at a loss ; on which one of the Indian 
squaws, perceiving my uneasiness about my child, began some 
discourse with me, in which she advised me to take the ker- 
nels of walnuts, clean them and beat them with a little water, 
•which I did and when I had so done the v/ater looked like 
milk ; then she advised me to add to this water a little of the 
finest of Indian corn meal, and boil it a little together. I did 
so, and it became palatable, and was very nourishing to the 
babe, so that she began to thrive and look well, who was before 
more like to die than live. I found that v/ith this kind of diet 
the Indians did often nurse their infants. This was no small 
comfort to me ; but this comfort was soon mixed with bitter- 
ness and trouble, which thus happened : my master taking 
notice of my dear babe's thriving condition, would often look 
upon her and say when she was fat enough she would be 
killed, and he would eat her ; and pursuant to his pretence, at a 
certain time, he made me fetch him a stick that he had pre- 
pared for a spit to roast the child upon, as he said, which when 
I had done he made me sit down by him and undress the 
infant. When the child was naked he felt her arms, legs, and 
thighs, and told me she was not fat enough yet ; I must dress 
her again until she was better in case. 

Now, though he thus acted, I could not persuade myself that 
he intended to do as he pretended, but only to aggravate and 
afflict me ; neither ever could I think but our lives would be 
preserved from his barbarous hands, by the overruling power 



122 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

of Him in whose providence I put my trust both day and 
night. 

A little time after this, my master fell side, and in his sick- 
ness, as he lay in his wigwam, he ordered his own son to beat 
my son; but the old squaw, the Indian boy's grandmother, 
would not suffer him to do it : then his father, being provoked, 
caught up a stick, very sharp at one end, and with great vio- 
lence threw it from him at my son, and hit him on the breast, 
with which my child was m.uch bruised, and the pain with the 
surprise made him turn as pale as death ; I entreating him not 
to cry, and the boy, though but six years old, bore it with won- 
derful patience, not so much as in the least complaining, so that 
the child's patience assuaged the barbarity of his heart : who, 
no doubt, would have carried his passion and resentment much 
higher, had the child cried, as always complaining did aggra- 
%'ate his passion, and his anger grew hotter upon it. Some 
little time after, on the same day, he got upon his feet, but far 
from being well. However, though he was sick, his wife and 
daughter let me know he intended to kill us, and I was under 
a fear, unless providence now interposed, hov/ it would end. 
I therefore put down my child, and going out of his presence, 
went to cut wood for the fire as I used to do, hoping that would 
in part allay his passion ; but withal, ere I came to the Avig- 
ivam again, I expected my child would be killed in this mad 
fit, having no other Avay but to cast my care upon God, who 
had hitherto helped and cared for me and mine. 

Under this great feud, the old squaw, my master's moth- 
er-in-law, left him, but my mistress and her daughter abode 
in the wigwam with my master, and when I came Avith my 
wood, the daughter came to me, whom I asked if her father 
had killed my child, and she made me a sign, no, with a counte- 
nance that seemed pleased it was so ; for instead of his further 
venting his passion on me and my children, the Lord in whom 
I trusted did seasonably interpose, and I took it as a merciful 
deliverance from him, and the Indian was under some sense of 
the same, as himself did confess to them about him after- 
wards. 

Thus it was, a little after he got upon his feet, the Lord 
struck him with great sickness, and a violent pain, as appeared 
by the complaint he made in a doleful and hideous manner ; 
which when I understood, not having yet seen him, I went to 
another squaw, that was come to see my master, which could 
both speak and understand English, and inquired of her if 
my mistress (for so I always called her, and him master) 
thought that master would die. She ans^'ered yes, it was very 
likely he would, being worse and worse. Then I told her h« 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 123 

Struck my boy a dreadful blow without any provocation at 
ail, and liad threatened to kill us all in his fury and passion ; 
upon which the squaw told me my master had confessed the 
above abuse he offered my chi-ld, and that the mischief he had 
done was the cause why God afflicted him with that sickness 
and pain, and he had promised never to abuse us in such sort 
more : and after this he soon recovered, but was not so pas- 
sionate ; nor do I remember he ever after struck either me or 
my children, so as to hurt us, or with that mischievous intent 
as before he used to do. This I took as the Lord's doing, and 
it was marvellous in my eyes. 

Some few weeks alter this, my master made another re- 
move, having as before made several ; but this was the longest 
ever he made, it being two days' journey, and mostly upon ice. 
The first day's journey the ice was bare, but the next day, some 
snow falling, made it very troublesome, tedious, and difficult 
travelling; and I took much damage in often falling; having 
the care of my babe, that added not a little to my uneasiness. 
And the last night when we came to encamp, it being in the 
night, I was ordered to fetch water ; but having sat awhile on 
the cold ground, I could neither go nor stand ; but craAvling 
on my hands and knees, a young Indian squaw came to see 
our people, being of another family, in compassion took the 
kettle, and knowing where to go, which I did not, fetched the 
water for me. This 1 took as a great kindness and favor, that 
her heart was inclined to do me this service. 

I now saw the design of this journey. My master being, as 
I suppose, weary to keep us, was willing to make what he 
could of our ransom ; therefore, he went further towards the 
French, and left his family in this place, where they had a 
great dance, sundry other Indians coming to our people. This 
held some time, and while they Avere in it, I got out of their 
way in a corner of the wigwam as well [as] I could ; but every 
time they came by me in their dancing, they would bow my 
head towards the ground, and frequently kick me with as great 
fury as they could bear, being sundry of them barefoot, and 
others having Indian mockosons. This dance held some time, 
and they made, in their manner, great rejoicings and noise. 

It was not many days ere my master returned from the 
French ; but he Avas in such a humor when he came back, he 
would not suffer me in his presence. Therefore I had a little 
shelter made with some boughs, they having digged through 
the snow to the ground, it being pretty deep. In this hole I 
and my poor children were put to lodge ; the weather being 
very sharp, with hard frost, in the month called January, made 
it more tedious to me and my children. Our stay was not 



?24 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

long in this place before he took me to the French, in order 
for a chapman. When we came among them I was exposed 
for sale, and he asked for me 800 livres. But his chapman 
not complying with his demand, put him in a great rage, 
offering him but GOO ; he said, in a great passion, if he could 
not have his demand, he would make a great fire and burn me 
and the babe, in the view of the town, which Avas named Fort 
Royal. The Frenchman bid the Indian make his fire, " and 
I will," says he, " help you, if you think that will do you more 
good than 600 livres," calling my master fool, and speaking 
roughly to him, bid him be gone. But at the same time the 
Frenchman was civil to me ; and, for my encouragement, bid 
me be of good cheer, for I should be redeemed, and not go 
back with them again. 

Retiring now with my master for this night, the next day I 
was redeemed for six hundred livres ; and in treating with my 
master, the Frenchman queried why he asked so much for the 
child's ransom; urging, Avhen she had her belly full, she 
would die. My master said, " No, she would not die, having 
already lived twenty-six days on nothing but water, believing 
the child to be a devil." The Frenchman told him, " No, the 
child is ordered for longer life ; and it has pleased God to 
preserve her to admiration." My master said no, she was a 
devil, and he believed she would not die, unless they took a 
hatchet and beat her brains out. Thus ended their discourse, 
and I was, as aforesaid, with my babe, ransomed for six hun- 
dred livres ; my little boy, likewise, at the same time, for an 
additional sum of livres, was redeemed also. 

I now having changed my landlord, my table and diet, as 
well as my lodging, the French were civil beyond what I could 
either desire or expect. But the next day after I was re- 
deemed, the Romish priest took my babe from me, and accord- 
ing to their custom, they baptized her, urging if she died 
before that she would be damned, like some of our rriodern 
pretended reformed priests, and they gave her a name as 
pleased them best, w'hich was Mary Ann Frossways, telling 
me my child, if she now died, would be saved, being baptized ; 
and my landlord speaking to the priest that baptized her, said, 
" It would be well, now Frossways was baptized, for her to 
die, being now in a state to be saved," but the priest said, " No, 
the child having been so miraculously preserved through so 
many hardships, she may be designed by God for some great 
work, and by her life being still continued, may much more 
glorify God than if she should now die." A very sensible 
remark, and I wish it may prove true. 

I having been about five months amongst the Indians, in 



ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 125 

about one month after I got amongst the French, my dear 
husband, to my unspeakable comfort and joy, came to me, 
who was now himself concerned to redeem his children, two 
of our daughters being still captives, and only myself and two 
little ones redeemed ; and, through great difficulty and trouble, 
he recovered the younger daughter. But the eldest we could 
by no means obtain from their hands, for the squaw, to whom 
she was given, had a son whom she intended my daughter 
should in time be prevailed with to marry. The Indians are 
very civil towards their captive women, not offering any in- 
civility by any indecent carriage, (unless they be much over- 
come in liquor,) which is commendable in them, so far. 

HcTwever, the affections they had for my daughter made 
them refuse all offers and terms of ransom; so that, after my 
poor husband had waited, and made what attempts and en- 
deavors he could to obtain his child, and all to no purpose, 
we were forced to make homeward, leaving our daughter, to 
our great grief, behind us, amongst the Indians, and set for- 
ward over the lake, with three of our children, and the ser- 
vant maid, in company Avith sundry others, and, by the kind- 
ness of Providence, we got well home on the 1st day of the 
7th month, 1725. From which it appears I had been from 
home, amongst the Indians and French, about twelve months 
and six days. 

In the series of which time, the many deliverances and won- 
derful providences of God unto us, and over us, hath been, 
and I hope will so remain to be, as a continued obligation on 
my mind, ever to live in that fear, love, and obedience to God, 
duly regarding, by his grace, with meekness and wisdom, to 
approve myself by his spirit, in all holiness of life and godli- 
ness of conversation, to the praise of him that hath called me, 
who is God blessed forever. 

But my dear husband, poor man ! could not enjoy himself 
jn quiet with iis, for want of his dear daughter Sarah, that 
was left behind ; and not willing to omit anything for her 
redemption which lay in his power, he could not be easy with- 
out making a second attempt ; in order to which, he took his 
journey about the 19th day of the second month, 1727, in compa- 
ny with a kinsman and his wife, who went to redeem some of 
their children, and were so happy as to obtain what they went 
about. But my dear husband being taken sick on the way, 
grew worse and Avorse, as we were informed, and was sensible 
he should not get over it ; telling my kinsman that if it was 
the Lord's will he must die in the wilderness, he was freely 
given up to it. He was under a good composure of mind, 
end sensible to his last moment, and died, as near as we can 
11* 



128 ELIZABETH HANSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

judge, in about the half way between Albany and Canada, in 
my kinsman's arms, and is at rest, I hope, in the Lord : and 
though my own children's loss is very great, yet I doubt not 
but his gain is much more ; I therefore desire and pray, that 
the Lord will enable me patiently to submit to his will in all 
things he is pleased to sutler to be my lot, while here, ear- 
nestly supplicating the God and father of all our mercies to 
be a father to my fatherless children, and give unto them that 
blessing, which maketh truly rich, and adds no sorrow with 
it ; that as they grow in years they may grow in grace, and 
experience the joy of salvation, which is come by Jesus 
Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen. 

Now, though my husband died, by reason of which his la- 
bor was ended, yet my kinsman prosecuted the thing, and left 
no stone unturned, that he thought, or could be advised, was 
proper to the obtaining my daughter's freedom; but could by 
no means prevail ; for, as is before said, she being in another 
part of the country distant from where I was, and given to an 
old squaw, who intended to marry her in time to her son, using 
what persuasion she could to effect her end, sometimes by fair 
means, and sometimes by severe. 

In the mean time a Frenchman interposed, and they by per- 
suasions enticing my child to marrjs in order to obtain her 
freedom, by reason that those captives married by the French 
are, by that marriage, made free among them, the Indians 
having then no pretence longer to keep them as captives ; she 
therefore was prevailed upon, for the reasons afore assigned, 
to marry, and she was accordingly married to the said French- 
man. 

Thus, as well, and as near as I can from my memory, (not 
being capable of keeping a journal,) I have given a short but a 
true account of some of the remarkable trials and wonderful 
deliverances which I never purposed to expose ; but that I 
hope thereby the merciful kindness and goodness of God may 
be magnified, and the reader hereof provoked with more care 
and fear to serve him in righteousness and humility, and then 
my designed end and purpose will be answered. 

E. H. 



127 



A NARRATIVE 

OF THE CAPTIVITY OF NEHEMIAH HOW, WHO WAS TAKEN 
BY THE INDIANS AT THE GREAT MEADOW FORT ABOVE 
FORT DUMMER, WHERE HE WAS AN INHABITANT, OCTO- 

BER llTH, 1745. Giving an account of what he met with in his travelling 
to Canada, and v;hile he was in prison there. Together with an accounl of 
Mr. How's death at Canada.— Psalm exxxvii : 1, 2, 3, and 4.— Boston: N. 
E. Printed and sold opposite to the Prison in Q,ueeK Street, 1~4S. 

At the Great Meadow's fort, fourteen miles above fort Dutn- 
mer, October lllh, 1745, where I was an inhabitant, I went out 
from the fort about fifty rods to cut wood; and when I had 
done, I walked towards the fort, but in my way heard the crack- 
ling of fences behind me, and turning about, saw tuelve or 
thirteen Indians, with red painted heads, running after me ; on 
which I cried to God for help, and ran, and hallooed as I ran, 
to alarm the fort. But by the lime I had run ten rods, the 
Indians came up with me and took hold of me. At the same 
time the men at the fort shot at the Indians, and killed one on 
the spot, wounded another, who died fourteen days after he 
got home, and likewise shot a bullet through the powder-horn 
of one that had hold of me. They then led me into the swamp 
and pinioned me. I then committed my case to God, and 
prayed that, since it was his will to deliver me into the hands 
of those cruel men, I might find favor in their eyes ; which 
request God in his infinite mercy was pleased to grant ; for 
they were generally kind to me while I was with them. Some 
of the Indians at that time took charge of me, others ran into 
the field to kill cattle. They led me about half a mile, where 
we staid in open sight of the fort, till the Indians who were 
killing cattle came to us, laden with beef. Then they went a 
little further to a house, where they staid to cut the meat from 
the bones, and cut the helve off of my axe, and stuck it into 
the ground, pointing the way we went. 

Then we travelled along the river side, and when we had 
got about three miles, I espied a canoe coming down on the 
further side of the river, with David Rugg and Robert Baker, 
belonging to our fort, I made as much noise as I could, by 
hammering, &c., that they might see us before the Indians saw 
them, and so get ashore and escape. But the Indians saw 
them, and shot across the river, twenty or thirty guns at them, 
by which the first-mentioned man was killed, but the other, 
Robert Baker, got ashore and escaped. Then some of the 
Indians swam across the river and brought the canoe to us ; 



128 NEHEMIAH HOWS CAPTIVITY. 

having stripped and scalped the dead man, and then vre weni 
about a mile further, when we came to another house, where 
we stopped. While there we heard men running by the bank 
ot the river, whom I knew to be Jonathan Thayer, Samuei 
Nutting and my son Caleb How. Five of the Indians ran to 
head them. My heart asked for them, and prayed to God to 
save them from the hands of the enemy. I suppose they hid 
under the bank of the river, for the Indians were gone some 
time, but came back without them, blessed be God. 

We went about a mile further, where we lodged that night,, 
and roasted the meat they had got. The next day we travel- 
led very slow, by reason of the wounded Indian, which was a 
great favor to me. We lodged the second night against Num- 
ber Four [since Charlestown, N. H.] The third day we like- 
wise travelled slowly, and stopped often to rest, and get along 
the v/ounded man. \ie lodged that night by the second small 
river that runs into the great river against Number Four. 

The fourth day morning the Indians held a piece of bark, 
and bid me write my navne, and how many days we had tra- 
velled ; " for," said they " may be Englishmen v/'iW come here." 
That was a hard day to me, as it was wet and we went ovc? 
prodigious mountains, so that I became v/eak and faint; for 1 
had not eaten the value of one meal from the time I was taken^ 
and that being beef almost raw without bread or salt. When 
I came first to the foot of those hills, I thought it v/as impossi- 
ble for me to ascend them, without immediate help from God ; 
therefore my constant recourse v/as to him for strength, which 
he was graciously pleased to grant me, and fo? which I desire 
to praise him. 

We got that day a little before night to a place where they 
had a hunting house, a kettle, some beer, Indian corn, and 
salt. They boiled a good mess of it. I drank of the broth, 
eat of the meat and corn, and was vvonderf-ally refreshed, so- 
that I felt like another man. The next morning we got up 
early, and after we had eaten, my master said to me, " You 
must quick walk to day, or I kill you." I told him I would go 
as fast as I could, and no faster, if he did kill me. At which 
an old Indian, who was the best friend I had, took care of me. 
We travelled that day very hard, and over steep hills, but it 
being a cool, windy day, I performed it with more ease than 
before ; yet I was much tired before njght, but dare not com- 
plain. 

The next day the Indians gave me a pair of their shoes, so 
that I travelled with abundant more ease than when I wore my 
own shoes. I ate but very little, as ©ur victuals were almost 
spent. When the sun was about two hours high, the Indians 



NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 129 

scattered to hunt, and they soon killed a fawn, and three small 
bears, so that we had again meat enough ; some of which we 
boiled and eat heartily of, by which I felt strong. 

The next day we travelled very hard, and performed it with 
ease, insomuch that one of the Indians told me Pwas a very 
strong man. About three o'clock we came to the lake, where 
they had five canoes, pork, Indian corn, and tobacco. We got 
into the canoes, and the Indians stuck up a pole about eight 
feet long with the scalp of David Rugg on the top of it painted 
red, with the likeness of eyes and mouth on it. We sailed 
about ten miles, and then went on shore, and after we had 
made a fire, we boiled a good supper, and eat heartily. 

The next day we set sail for Crown Point, but when we were 
within a mile of the place, they went on shore, where were 
eight or ten F'-ench and Indians, two of whom, before I got on 
shore, came running into the water, knee deep, and pulled me 
out of the canoe. There they sung and danced around me a 
wiiile, when one of them bid me sit down, which I did. Then 
they pulled off' my shoec' -^nd buckles, and took them from me. 
Soon after we went along to Crown Point. When we got there, 
the people, both French and Indians, were very thick by the 
water-side. Two of the Indians took me out of the canoe, and 
leading me, bid me run, which I did, about twenty rods to the 
fort. The fort is large, built with stone and lime. They led 
me up to the third loft, where was the captain's chamber. A 
chair was brought that I might sit by the fire and warm me. 
Soon after, the Indians that I belonged to, and others that were 
there, came into the chamber, among whom was one I knew, 
named Pealtomy. He came and spoke to me, and shook hands 
with me, and I was glad to see him. He went out, but soon 
returned and brought to me another Indian, named Amrusus, 
husband to her who was Eunice Williams, daughter of the late 
Rev. John Williams, of Deerfield ; he was glad to see me, and 
I to see him. He asked me about his wife's relations, and 
showed a great deal of respect to me. 

A while after this, the Indians sat in a ring in the chamber, 
and Pealtomy came to me, and told me I must go and sing and 
dance before the Indians. I told him I could not. He told me 
over some Indian words, and bid me sing them. I told him I 
could not. With that the rest of the fort who could speak 
some English, came to me, and bid me sing it in English, which 
was, " I don't know where I go," which I did, dancing round 
that ring three times. I then sat down by the fire. The priest 
came to me, and gave me a dram of rum, and afterwards the 
captain brought me part of a loaf of bread and a plate of butter, 
and asked me to eat, which I did heartily, for I had not eaten 



130 NEHEMIAH HOWS CAPTIVITY. 

any bread from the time I was taken till then. The French 
priest and all the officers showed me a great deal of respect. 
The captain gave me a pair of good buck-skin shoes, and the 
priest fixed them on my feet. We staid there that night, and 
I slept with the priest, captain and lieutenant. The lieutenanc's 
name was Ballock ; he had been a prisoner at Boston, and had 
been at Northampton and the towns thereabouts. This day, 
which was the Sabbath, I was well treated by the French offi- 
cers, with victuals and drink. We tarried there till noon, then 
went off about a mile, and put on shore, where they staid the 
most of the day ; and having rum with them, most of them 
were much liquored. Pealtomy and his squaw, and another 
Indian family, went with us, and by them I found out that Wil- 
liam Phips killed an Indian, besides him we wounded before 
he was killed; for an Indian who was with us asked me if 
there was one killed near our fort last summer. I told him I 
did not know. He said he had a brother who went out then, 
and he had not seen him since, and had heard he was killed at 
our fort, and Avanted to know if it was true. But I did not 
think it best to tell him any such thing was suspected. 

The Indians now got into a frolic, and quarrelled about me, 
and made me sit in the canoe by the water-side. I was afraid 
they would hurt if not kill me. They attempted to come to 
me, but the sober Indians hindered them that were in liquor. 
Pealtomy seeing the rout, went to the fort, and soon after, Lieut. 
Ballock, with some soldiers, came to us, and when the Indians 
were made easy, they went away. We lodged there that night, 
and the next day was a stormy day of wind, snow and rain, so 
that we were forced to tarry there that day and the next night. 
In this time the Indians continued fetching rum from the fort, 
and kept half drunk. Here I underwent some hardship by 
staying there so long in a storm without shelter or blanket. 
They had a great dance that night, and hung up David Kugg's 
scalp on a pole, dancing round it. After they had done, they 
lay down to sleep. 

The next morning, which was the tenth day from the time 
of my being taken, we went off in the canoe, and the night 
after we arrived at the wide lake, and there we staid that night. 
Some of the Indians went a hunting, and killed a fat deer, so 
that we had victuals plenty, for we had a full supply of bread 
given us at the fort at Crown Point. 

The next morning the Avind being calm, we set out about 
two hours before day, and soon after came to a schooner lying 
at anchor. We went on board her, and the French treated us 
very civilly. They gave each of us a dram of rum, and vict- 
uals to eat. As soon as it was day we left the schooner, and 



NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 131 

two hours before sunset got over the lake, and next day came 
to Shamballee [Chamblee,*] where we met three hundred 
French and two hundred Indians, who did the mischief about 
Mr. Lydin's fort.t I was taken out of the canoe by two 
Frenchmen, and fled to a house about ten rods ofl' as fast as I 
could run, the Indians flinging snow-balls at me. As soon as 
I got to the house, the Indians stood round me very thick, and 
bid me sing and dance, which I did with them, in their way ; 
then they gave a shout, and left ofi". Two of them came to 
me, one of whom smote me on one cheek, the other on the 
other, which made the blood run plentifully. Then they bid 
me sing and dance again, which I did with them, and they with 
me, shouting as before. Then two Frenchmen took me under 
each arm, and ran so fast that the Indians could not keep up 
with us to hurt me. We ran about forty rods to another house, 
where a chair was brought for me to sit down. The house 
was soon full of French and Indians, and others surrounded it, 
and some were looking in to the windows. A French gentle- 
man came to me, took me by the hand, and led me into a small 
room, where none came in but such as he admitted. He gave 
me victuals and drink. Several French gentlemen and Indians 
came in and were civil to me. The Indians who came in 
could speak English, shook hands with me, and called me 
brother. They told me they were all soldiers, and were going 
to New England. They said they should go to my town, 
Avhich was a great damp to my spirits, till I heard of their re- 
turn, where they had been, and what they had done. A while 
after this, the Indians whom I belonged to came to me and 
told me we must go. I went with them. After going down 
the river about two miles, vv^e came to the thickest of the town, 
where was a large fort built with stone and lime, and very 
large and fine houses in it. Here was the general of the army 
I spoke of before. He asked me what news from London and 
Boston. I told him such stories as I thought convenient, and 
omitted the rest, and then went down to the canoes. Some of 
the Indians went and got a plenty of bread and beef, which 
they put into the canoes, and then Ave v/ent into a French house, 
where we had a good supper. There came in several French 
gentlemen to see me, who were civil. One of them gave me 
a crown, sterling. We lodged there till about two hours before 
day, when we arose, and went down the river. I suppose we 

*A fort on a fine river of the same name, about fifteen miles south-west 
of IMonlreal.— Ed. 

f Nov. 16, 1745, Saratoga, a Dutch village of thirty families, is destroy- 
ed by the Indians and French. They burnt a fort, killed many, and caj 
ried away others of the inhabitants. — 3fS. Chronicles of the Indiana. 



132 NEHEMIAH BOWS CATTITITY. 

•went a hundred miles that day, which brought us into a great 
river, called Quebec. We lodged that night in a French house, 
and were civilly treated. 

The next day we went dov/ri the ri^er, and I was carried 
before the governor there, which was the Sabbath, and the 16th 
day after my being taken. We staid there about three hours, 
and were well treated by the French. The Indians were then 
ordered to carry me down to Quebec, which was ninety miles 
further. We went dowm the river about three miles thaS 
night, then going on shore, lodged the remainder of the night. 

The next morning we set oft", and the second day, which 
was the 18th from the time I was taken, v/e arrived at Que- 
bec. The land is inhabited on both sides of the river from the 
lake to Quebec, which is at least two hundred miJes, especially 
below Chamblee-, very thick, so that the houses are within sight 
of one another all the way. 

But to return : After we arrived at Quebec, I was carried 
tip into a large chamber, v/hich was full of Indians, who were 
civil to me. Many of the French eame in to see me, and 
were also very kind. I staid there about two hours, when m 
French gentleman, who could speak good English, earae in 
and told me I must g^o with him to the governor, which I did ; 
and after ajiswering a great many auestions, and being treated 
with as much bread and wine a-s I desired, I was sent with an- 
ofScer to the guard-house, and led into a small roam, where 
was an Knglishman named William Stroud, a kinsman of the 
Hon. Judge Lynd,* in New England- He belonged to South 
Carolina, and had been at Quebec six years. The governo? 
kept him confined for fear he &hould leave him and go to New 
England, and discover their strength. Mr. Stroud and I were 
kept in the guard-house one week,, with a sufficiency of food 
and drink. The Freneh gentlemen kept coming m to see me, 
and I was very civilly treated by them. I had the better op- 
portunity of discoursing with them, as Mr. Stroud was a good 
interpreter. 

After this we were sent to prison, where I found one Jamea 
Kinlade, who was taken fourteen days before I was, at Sheep- 
scot, at the eastward, in New England. I was mach pleased 

* Judge Lynd was connected by mamage to the eelebrated Gov. Hutch- 
inson. He presided at the trial of Capt. Preston, commander of the Bri- 
tish soldiers in Boston, in 1770, who fired upon and killed several citizens. 
I have a volume of Hutchinson's Histoiy of Massachusetts, which belonged 
to Judge Lynd with the name of the governor in it, in his own hand. 
In it are numerous notes and corrections throughout, and twenty-four MS. 

I)ages of additions at the end, in the judge's hand-wrl'dng. It seems tc 
lave been presented for this purpose by the governor. Judge Lyiid dledi 
a few years after the revolution. 



NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 133 

v/ith his conversation, esteeming- him a man of true piety. 
We were kept in prison eight days, with liberty to keep in the 
room with the prison-keeper. We were daily visited by gen- 
tlemen and ladies, who showed us great kindness in giving us 
money and other things, and their behavior towards us was 
pleasant. Blessed be God therefor, for I desire to ascribe all 
the favors I have been the partaker of, ever since my captivity, 
to the abundant grace and goodness of a bountiful God, as the 
first cause. 

After this Mr. Kinlade and I were sent to another prison, 
where were twenty-two seamen belonging to several parts of 
our king's dominions ; three of ihem captains of vessels, viz. 
James Southerland of Cape Cod, William Chipman of Mar- 
blehead, William Pote of Casco Bay. This prison was a large 
house, built with stone and lime, two feel thick, and about 
one hundred and twenty feet long. We had two large stoves 
in it, and wood enough, so that we could keep ourselves warm 
in the coldest weather. We had provision sufficient, viz. two 
pounds of good wheat bread, one pound of beef, and peas 
answerable, to each man, ready dressed every day. 

When I had been there a few days, the captives desired me 
to lead them in carrying on morning and evening devotion, 
which I was willing to do. We had a Bible, psalm-book, and 
some other good books. Our constant practice was ro read a 
chapter in the Bible, and sing part of a psalm, and to pray, 
night and morning. 

When T was at the first prison, I was stripped of all my old 
and lousy clothes, and had other clothing given me from head 
to foot, and had many kindnesses shown me by those that 
lived thereabouts ; more especially by one Mr. Corby and his 
wife, who gave me money there, and brought me many good 
things at the other prison. But here 1 was taken ill, as was 
also most of the other prisoners, with a flux, which lasted 
near a month, so that I was grown very vv^eak. After that I 
was healthy, through divine goodness. Blessed be God for it, 

I was much concerned for my country, especially for the 
place I was taken from, by reason that I met an army going 
thither, as they told me. The 27th day of November we had 
news come to the prison that this army had returned to Cham- 
blee, and had taken upwards of a hundred captives, which 
increased my concern ; for I expected our fort, and others 
thereabouts, were destroyed. This news put me upon earnest 
prayer to God that he would give me grace to submit to his 
will ; after which I was easy in my mind. 

About a fortnight after, a Dutchman was brought to prison, 
who was one of the captives the said army had taken. He 
12 



131 NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 

told me they had burnt Mr. Lydin's fort, and all the houses at 
that new township, killed Capt. Schuyler and five or six more, 
and had brought fifty whites and about sixty negroes to Mont- 
real. I was sorry to hear of so much mischief done, but 
rejoiced they liad not been upon our river, and the towns 
thereabouts, for which I gave thanks to God for his great good- 
ness in preserving them, and particularly my family. 

When Christmas came, the governor sent us twenty-four 
livres, and the lord-intendant came into the prison and gave 
us twenty-four more, w^hich w^as about two guineas. He told 
us he hoped we should be sent home in a little time. He was 
a pleasant gentleman, and very kind to captives. Some time 
after, Mr. Shearsy, a gentleman of quality, came to us, and 
gave to the three sea captains twenty-four livers, and to me 
twelve, and the next day sent me a bottle of claret wine. 
About ten days after he sent me twelve livres more ; in all 
eight pounds, old tenor. 

January 20th, 1746, eighteen captives were brought from 
Montreal to the prison at Quebec, which is 180 miles. 

February 22d, seven captives more, who were taken at 
Albany, were brought to the prison to us, viz. six men and one 
old woman seventy years old, who had been so infirm for 
seven years past that she had not been able to walk the streets, 
yet performed this tedious journey with ease. 

March 15th, one of the captives taken at Albany, after four- 
teen or fifteen days' sickness, died in the hospital at Quebec, 
— a man of a sober, pious conversation. His name was Law- 
rence Plaffer, a German born. 

May 3d, three captives taken at No. Four, sixteen miles 
above where I was taken, viz. Capt. John Spafford, Isaac Par- 
ker, and Stephen Farnsworth, were brought to prison to us. 
They informed me my family was well, a few days before they 
were taken, which rejoiced me much. I was sorry for the 
misfortune of these my friends, but was glad of their company, 
and of their being well used by those who took them. 

May 14th, two captives were brought into prison, Jacob 
Read and Edward Cloutman, taken at a new township called 
Gorhamtown, near Casco Bay. They informed us that one 
man and four children of one of them were killed, and his wife 
taken at the same time with them, and was in the hands of 
the Indians.^* 

May 16th, two lads, James and Samuel Anderson, brothers, 
taken at Sheepscot, were brought to prison. On the 17th, 

* Gorhamtown was attacked in the morning of the 19th April, 1746, 
by a party of about ten Indians.— 3fS. Chrmides of the Indians. 



NEHEMIAH HOWS CAPTIVITY. 135 

Samuel Burbank and David Woodwell, who were taken at 
New Hopkinton, near Rumford, [Concord, N. H.] were brought 
to prison, and informed us there were taken with them two 
sons of the said Burbank, and the wife, two sons and a 
daughter of the said Woodwell, whom they left in the hands 
of the Indians. 

May 24th, Thomas Jones, of Holliston, who was a soldier 
at Contoocook, was brought to prison, and told us that one 
Elisha Cook, and a negro belonging to the Rev. Mr. Stevens, 
were killed when he was taken. 

June 1st, William Aikings, triken at Pleasant Point, near 
fort George, was brought to prison. June 2d, Mr. Shearly 
brought several letters of deacon Timothy Brown, of Lower 
Ashuelot, and money, and delivered them to me, which made 
me think he was killed or taken. A few days after, Mr. 
Shearly told me he was taken. I was glad to hear he was 
alive. '" 

June 6th, Timothy Cummings, aged 60, was brought to 
prison, who informed us he was at work with five other men, 
about forty rods from the block-house, George's [fort,] when 
five Indians shot at them, but hurt none. The men ran away, 
and left him and their guns to the Indians. He told us that 
the ensign was killed as he stood on the top of the fort, and 
that the English killed five Indians at the same time. 

June 13th, Mr. Shearly brought to the captives some let- 
ters which were sent from Albany, and among them one from 
Lieut. Gov. Phips, of the Massachusetts Bay, to the governor 
of Canada, for the exchange of prisoners, which gave us great 
hopes of a speedy release. 

June 22d, eight men were brought to prison, among whom 
were deacon Brown and Robert Morse, who informed me that 
there were six or eight Indians killed, a little before they were 
taken, at Upper Ashuelot, and that they learnt, by the Indians 
who took them, there were six more of the English killed at 
other places near Connecticut river, and several more much 
wounded ; these last were supposed to be the wife and chil- 
dren of the aforesaid Burbank and Woodwell. 

July 5th, we sent a petition to the chief governor that Ave 
might be exchanged, and the 7th, Mr. Shearly told us we 
should be exchanged for other captives in a little time, which 
caused great joy among us. The same day, at night, John 
Berran, of Northfield, was brought to prison, who told us that 
an expedition against Canada was on foot, which much 
rejoiced us. He also told us of the three fights in No. Four, 
and who were killed and taken, and of the mischief done in 
other places near Connecticut river, and that my brother Dan- 



136 NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 

iel How's son Daniel was taken with him, and was in the 
hands of the Indians, who designed to keep him. 

July 20th, John Jones, a seaman, was brought into prison, 
who told us he was going from Cape Breton to Newfound- 
land with one Englishman and four Frenchmen, who had 
sworn allegiance to King George, and in the passage they 
killed the other Englishman, but carried him to the bay of 
Arb, where there was an army of French and Indians, to 
whom they delivered him, and by them was sent to Quebec. 

July 21st, John Richards and a boy of nine or ten years of 
age, who belonged to Rochester, in New Hampshire, were 
brought to prison. They told us there were four Englishmen 
killed when they were taken. 

August 15th, seven captives, who with eight more taken 
at St. John's Island, were brought to prison. They told us 
that several were killed after quarters were given, among 
whom Avas James Owen, late of Brookfield, in New England. 
On the 16th, Thomas Jones, late of Sherburne, in New Eng- 
land, after seven or eight days' sickness, died. He gave good 
satisfaction as to his future state. On the 25th we had a 
squall of snow. 

September 12th, Robert Downing, who had been a soldier 
at Cape Breton, and was taken at St. Johns, and who was 
with the Indians tAvo months, and suffered great abuse from 
them, was brought to prison. 

On the 15th, twenty-three of the captives taken at Hoosuck 
fort Avere brought to prison, among Avhom Avas the Rev. Mr. 
John Norton. They informed us that after fighting tAventy- 
five hours, with eight hundred French and Indians, they sur- 
rendered themselves, on capitulation, prisoners of Avar; that 
Thomas Nalton and Josiah Read Avere killed Avhen they Avere 
.taken. The names of those noAV brought in are the Rev. Mr. 
Norton, John HaxAdts, John Smead, his Avife and six children, 
John Perry and his wife, Moses Scott, his wife and tAvo children, 
Samuel Goodman, Jonathan Bridgman, Nathan Eames, Jo- 
seph Scott, Amos Pratt, Benjamin Sinconds, Samuel Lovet, 
David Warren, and Phinehas Furbush. The tAVO last of these 
informed me that my brother Daniel Hoav's son AA'as taken 
from the Indians, and noAv lives Avith a French gentleman at 
Montreal. There Avere four captives more taken at Albany, 
the last summer, Avho were brought to prison the same day. 

On the 26th (Sept.) 74 men and two Avomen, taken at sea, 
were brought to prison. October 1st, Jacob Shepard, of 
"Westborough, taken at Hoosuck, Avas brought to prison. On 
the 3d, Jonathan Batherick Avas brought in, and on the 5th, 
seventeen other men, three of whom Avere taken Avith Mr. 



NEHEMIAH HOW'S CAPTIVITY. 137 

Norton and others, viz. Nathaniel Hitchcock, John Aldrick, 
and Stephen Scott. Richard Subs, who was taken at Ne\v 
Casco, says one man was killed at the same time. Also Pike 
Gooden, taken at Saco, was brought to prison. He says he 
had a brother killed at the same time. On the 12th, twenty- 
four seamen are brought in, and on the 19th, six more. On 
the 20th, Jacob Read died. On the 23d, Edward Cloutman 
and Robert Dunbar broke prison and escaped for New Eng- 
land. The 27th, a man was brought into prison, who said the 
Indians took five more [besides himself], and brought ten scalps 
to Montreal. 

November 1st, John Read died. The 9th, John Davis, 
taken with Mr. Norman, died. The 17th, Nathan Eames, of 
Marlborough, died. On the 19th, Mr, Adams, taken at Sheep- 
scot, is brought to prison. He says that James Anderson's 
father was killed, and his uncle taken at the same time. The 
20th, Leonard Lydle and the widow Sarah Briant were mar- 
ried in Canada, by the Rev. Mr. Norton. On the 22d, the 
abovesaid Anderson's uncle was brought to prison. Two 
days after, (2'4th) John Bradshaw died. He had not been well 
for most of the time he had been a prisoner. It is a very 
melancholy time with us. There are now thirty sick, and 
deaths among us daily. Died on the 2Sth, Jonathan Dunham, 
and on the 29th, died also Capt. Bailey of Amesbury. 

December 1st, an Albany man died, and on the 6th, Pike 
Gooden, who, we have reason to believe, made a happy change. 
On the 7th, a girl often years died. The 11th, Moses Scott's 
wife died, and on the 15th, one of Captain Robertson's lieuten- 
ants. Daniel Woodwell's wife died on the 18ih, a pious wo- 
man. John Perry's wife died the 23d. On the 26th, William 
Dayly, of New York, died. 

January 3d, 1747, Jonathan Harthan died. On the 12th, 
Phinehas Andrews, of Cape Ann, died. He was one of the 
twenty captives, who, the same night, had been removed to 
another prison, hoping thereby to get rid of the infection. 
Jacob Bailey, brother to Capt. Bailey, died the 15th, and the 
17th, Giat Braban, Captain Chapman's carpenter, died. On 
the 23d, Samuel Lovet, son of Major Lovet, of Mendon, in 
New England, died. 

February 10th, William Garwafs died, also the youngest 
child of Moses Scott. The 15th, my nephew, Daniel How, aild 
six more were brought down from Montreal to Quebec, viz. 
John Sunderland, John Smith, Richard Sniith, William Scott, 
Philip ScofFil, and Benjamin Tainter, son to Lieutenant Tainter 
of Westborough in New England. The 23d, Richard Beunet 
died, and the 25th, Michael Dugon. 
12* 



188 NEHE31IAH HO^V'S CAPTIVITY. 

March ISih, James Margra died, and on the 22d, Capt. John 
Fort and Samuel Goodman ; the 28th, the wife of John Smead 
died, and left six children, the youngest of whom was born the 
second night after the mother was taken. 

April 7th, Philip Scaffield, [Scolield ?] and next day John 
Saneld, the next day Capt. James Jordan and one of his men, 
died. On the 12th, Amos Pratt, of Shrewsbury, and on the 
14th, Timothy Cumming-s, the 17th, John Dill, of Hull in New 
England, the ISth, Samuel Venhon, of Plymouth, died. On 
the 26th, Capt. Jonathan Williamson was brought to prison. 
He was taken at the new town on Sheepscot river. The 
same day came in, also, three men who were taken at Albany, 
three weeks before, and tell us that thirteen were killed, Capt. 
Trent being one. They were all soldiers for the expedition to 
Canada. On the 27th, Joseph Denox, and the 28th, Samuel 
Evans, died. The same night the prison took fire, and was 
burnt, but the things therein were mostly saved. We v/ere 
kept that night under a guard. 

May 7th, Sarah Lydle, whose name was Braint when she 
was taken, and married while a captive, died, and the 13th, Mr. 
Smead's son Daniel died, and Christian Tether the 14th. The 
same day died also Hezekiah Huntington, a hopeful youth, of 
a liberal education. He was a son of Colonel Huntington of 
Connecticut, in New England. On the 15th, Joseph Grey, 
and on the 19th Samuel Burbank, died. At the same time 
died two children who were put out to the French to nurse. 

At this time I received a letter from Major Willqrd, dated 
March 17th, 1747, wherein he informs me my family were 
well, which was joyful news to me. May 19th, Abraham 
Fort died. 

[Here ends the journal of Mr. How, exceedingly valuable 
for the many items of exact intelligence therein recorded, rela- 
tive to so many of the present inhabitants of New England, 
through those friends who endured the hardships of captivity 
in the mountain deserts and the damps of loathsome prisons. 
Had the author lived to have returned, and published his nar- 
rative himself, he doubtless would have made it far more valu- 
able, but he was cut off while a prisoner, by the prison fever, 
in the fifty-fifth year of his age, after a captivity of one year, 
seven months, and fifteen days. He died May 25th, 1747, in 
the hospital at Quebec, after a sickness of about ten days. 
He was a husband and father, and greatly beloved by all who 
knew him. — Ed.] 



139 



PARTICULARS RELATING TO THE CAPTIVITY 

OF JOHN FITCH, OF ASHBY, MASS. RELATED BY MR. ENOS 
JONES, OF ASHBURNHAM. 

The town of Lunenburg, in Massachusetts, was incorpo- 
rated August 1, 1728, and received its name in compliment 
to George II., who, the preceding year, came to the British 
throne, and was styled Duke of Lunenburg, having in his 
German dominions a town of that name. On the 3d of Feb- 
ruary, 1764, a part of Lunenburg was detached and incorpo- 
rated as a distinct town by the name of Fitchburg. In 1767, 
a part of Fitchburg was disannexed to aid in forming the town 
of Ashby. Mr. John Fitch lived on the frontiers of the county, 
in the tract now included in Ashby. After the commencement 
of the French and Indian war of 174o, Fitch proposed to the 
government to keep a garrison, with the aid of three soldiers, 
who were immedi-ately despatched to him. Mr. Fitch was a 
gentleman of much enterprise, and had had considerable deal- 
ings with the Indians in peltries, furs, &c., and Avas generally 
well known among them. Soon after the breaking out of the 
war, they determined to make him a prisoner; and in July, 
1746-7, they came into the vicinity to the number of about 
eighty. The inhabitants of the garrison were Fitch, his wife, 
five children, and the three soldiers. One of these last left 
the garrison early in the morning of the disaster, on furlough, 
to visit a house at th« distance of three or four miles. 
Another went out in quest of game. He had not proceeded 
far when he discovered the Indians crawling in the high grass 
between him and the garrison. He attempted to return, but 
was instantly shot down. One soldier only remained with 
Fitch and his family ; and they determined to defend them- 
selves to the best of their power. The soldier, whose name 
was Jennings, fired several times, when an Indian shot him 
through the neck, and he fell. Mrs. Fitch regularly loaded 
the guns for her husband, and they continued to defend them- 
selves for some time ; when the Indians informed them that if 
they would surrender they should have quarter, but if they 
refused they should perish in the flames of the garrison. 
After some cx»nsultation with his wife, Fitch concluded to sur- 
render. The Indians then burned the garrison ; and after 
committing various mischiefs in the neighborhood, they took 
the captive family to Canada. Immediately after the garrison 
was burnt, Perkins, the soldier on furlough, espied the smoke, 
and on ascending a hill in the vicinity he could see the ruins. 



140 MARY FOWLER'S CAPTIVITY. 

He immediately gave the alarm, and in the evening nearly an 
hundred had assembled in arms for the pursuit of the enemy. 
It being dark, however, they concluded to wait till the fol- 
lowing morning, and ere day broke they set out. After pro- 
ceeding a short distance in the track of the Indians they saw 
a piece of paper tied to a limb of a tree, which, on exam- 
ining, they found to be in the hand-writing of Fitch, request- 
ing them by no means to pursue him, as the Indians had 
assured him of safety if they were not pursued ; but would 
destroy him if his friends should attempt his rescue. Upon 
this the party returned to their homes. At the close of the 
war Fitch and his family were liberated; and were crossing 
the Connecticut on their return home, when Mrs. Fitch took 
cold and died. The rest of the family returned, and Fitch 
Avas afterwards married again. Jennings, who was killed in 
the garrison, was burnt in the flames. The name of the sol- 
dier killed without the garrison was Blodget. The third sol- 
dier, whose name was Perkins, escaped. 



CAPTIVITY OF MARY FOWLER, OF HOPKINTON. 

Mary Foavler, formerly Mary Woodwell, now living in 
Canterbury in this state, was born in the town of Hopkinton, 
in Massachusetts, May 11, 1730. Her parents moved to Hop- 
kinton in this state when she was about twelve years of age, 
and settled on the westerly side of what is called Putney's 
Hill. 

On the 22d day of April, in the year 1746, while in the 
garrison at her father's house, six Indians, armed with mus- 
kets, tomahawks, knives, &;c. broke into the garrison and look 
eight persons while in their beds, viz. the said Mary, her 
parents, two of her brothers, Benjamin and Thomas, Samuel 
Burbank, an aged man, and his two sons, Caleb and Jonathan. 
They carried them through the wilderness to St. Francis in 
Canada. Here Mary and Jonathan Burbank were detained 
for the term of three years, (though not in one famil)',) and 
the other six were carried prisoners to Quebec, Avhere Bur- 
bank, the aged, and Mary's mother died of the yellow fever in 
prison. The other four were afterwards exchanged. 

The circumstances relative to their being taken Avere as 
follows : Ten persons, viz. the eight above mentioned, Samuel 
Burbank's Avife and a soldier, Avere secluded in the garrison 
for fear of being attacked by the Indians, who had been fre- 



MARY FOWLER'S CAPTIVITY. 141 

quently scouting through Hopkinton and the other adjacent 
towns. Early on the morning of their captivity, Samuel Bur- 
bank left the garrison and went to the barn in order to feed 
the cattle before the rest were up, leaving the door unfastened. 
The Indians, who lay near in ambush, immediately sallied 
forth and took him. From this aflrighted captive they got 
information that the garrison was weak, whereupon they 
rushed in, and took them all, except the soldier who escaped, 
and Biirbank's wife, who secreted herself in the cellar. Du- 
ring this attack Mary's mother, being closely embraced by a 
sturdy Indian, wrested from his side a long knife, with which 
she was in the act of running him through, when her husband 
prevailed with her to desist, fearing the fatal consequences. 
However, she secured the deadly weapon, and before they 
commenced their march threw it into the well, from whence it 
was taken after the captives returned. Another Indian pre- 
sented a musket to Mary's breast, intending to blow her 
through, when a chief by the name of Pennos, who had pre- 
viously received numerous kindnesses from her father's family, 
instantly interfered, and kept him from his cruel design, taking 
her for his own captive. 

After having arrived at St. Francis, Pennos sold Mary to a 
squaw of another family, while J. Burbank continued in some 
remote part of the neighborhood under his own master. Ma- 
ry's father and brothers, after they were exchanged, solicited a 
contribution for her redemption, which was at last obtained 
with great difficulty for one hundred livres, through the strata- 
gem of a French doctor ; all previous efforts made by her 
father and brothers having failed.- This tender parent, though 
reduced to poverty by the savages, and having no pecuniary 
assistance except what he received through the hand of charity 
from his distant friends, had frequently visited St. Francis in 
order to have an interview with his only daughter, and to 
compromise with her mistress, ofTering her a large sum for 
Mary's redemption, but all to no effect. She refused to let her 
go short of her weight in silver. Moreover, Mary had pre- 
viously been told by her mistress that if she intimated a Avord 
to her father that she wanted to go home with him, she should 
never see his face again ; therefore, when interrogated by him 
on this subject, she remained silent, through fear of worse 
treatment ; yet she could not conceal her grief, for her internal 
agitation and distress of mind caused the tears to flow pro- 
fusely from her eyes. Her father, at length, worn out with 
grief and toil, retired to Montreal, where he contracted with a 
Frenchman as an agent to effect, if possible, the purchase of 
his daughter. This agent, after having attempted a compro- 



142 MARY FOWLER'S CAPTIVITY. 

mise several times in vain, employed a French physician, who 
was in high reputation among the Indians, to assist him. The 
doctor, under a cloak of friendship, secretly advised Mary to 
feign herself sick, as the only alternative, and gave her medi- 
cine for the purpose. This doctor was soon called upon for 
medical aid; and although he appeared to exert the utmost 
of his skill, yet his patient continued to grow worse. After 
making several visits to no effect, he at length gave her over 
as being past recovery, advising her mistress, as a real friend, 
to sell her the first opportunity for what she could get, even if 
it were but a small sum ; otherwise, said he, she will die on 
your hands, and you must lose her. The squaw, alarmed at 
the doctor's ceremony, and the dangerous appearance of her 
captive, immediately contracted with the French agent for one 
hundred livres ; whereupon Mary soon began to amend ; and 
was shortly after conveyed to Montreal, where she continued 
six months longer among the French waiting for a passport. 

Thus after having been compelled to three years' hard labor 
in planting and hoeing corn, chopping and carrying wood, 
pounding samp, gathering cranberries and other wild fruit for 
the market, &c., this young woman was at length redeemed 
from the merciless hands and cruel servitude of the savages, 
who had not only wrested her from her home, but also from 
the tender embraces of her parents, and from all social inter- 
course with her friends. 

Jonathan Burbank was redeemed about the same time — be- 
came an officer, and was afterwards killed by the Indians in 
the French war. These sons of the forest supposing him to 
have been Rogers, their avowed enemy, rushed upon him and 
slew him without ceremony, after he had given himself up as 
a prisoner of war. 

After six months' detention among the French at Montreal, 
Mary was conveyed (mostly by water) to Albany by the Dutch, 
who had proceeded to Canada in order to redeem their black 
slaves, whom the Indians had previously taken and carried 
thither ; from thence she was conducted to the place of her 
nativity, where she continued about five years, and was mar- 
ried to one Jesse Corbett, by whom she had two sons. From 
thence they moved to Hopkinton in this state, to the place 
where Mary had been taken by the Indians. Corbett, her 
husband, was drowned in Almsbury river, (now Warner river,) 
in Hopkinton, in the year 1759, in attempting to swim across 
the river — was carried down into the Contoocook, thence into 
the Merrimack, and was finally taken up in Dunstable with 
his clothes tied fast to his head. Mary was afterwards married 
to a Jeremiah Fowler, by whom she had five children. She 



MRS. M'COY'S CAPTIVITY. 143 

is now living in Canterbury, in the enjoyment of good health 
and remarkable powers of mind, being in the ninety-third year 
of her age. The foregoing narrative was written a few weeks 
since as she related it. 



NARRATIVE 

OF THE CAPTIVITY OF MRS. ISABELLA M'COY, WHO WAS TA- 
KEN CAPTIVE AT EPSOM, N. H., IN THE YEAR 1747. COL- 
LECTED FROM THE RECOLLECTIONS OP AGED PEOPLE WHO 
KNEW HER, BY THE REV. JONATHAN CURTIS, A MINISTER 
OF THAT TOWN, ABOUT SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO, AND BY 
HIM COMMUNICATED TO THE PUBLISHERS OF THE NEW 
HAMPSHIRE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS. 

The Indians were first attracted to the new settlements in 
the town of Epsom, N. H., by discovering M'Coy at Suncook, 
now Pembroke. This, as nearly as can be ascertained, was in 
the year 1747. Reports were spread of the depredations of 
the Indians in various places ; and M'Coy had heard that they 
had been seen lurking about the woods at Penacook, now Con- 
cord. He went as far as Pembroke ; ascertained that they 
were in the vicinity ; was somewhere discovered by them, and 
followed home. They told his wife, whom they afterwards 
made prisoner, that they looked through cracks around the 
house, and saw what they had for supper that night. They 
however did not discover themselves till the second day after. 
They probably wished to take a little time to learn the strength 
and preparation of the inhabitants. The next day, Mrs. 
M'Coy, attended by their two dogs, went down to see if any of 
the other families had returned from the garrison. She found 
no one. On her return, as she was passing the block-house, 
which stood near the present site of the meeting-house, the 
dogs, which had passed round it, came running back growling 
and very much excited. Their appearance induced her to 
make the best of her way home. The Indians afterwards told 
her that they then lay concealed there, and saw the dogs, when 
they came round. 

M'Coy, being now strongly suspicious that the Indians were 
actually in the town, determined to set off the next day with 
his family for the garrison at Nottingham. His family now 
consisted of himself, his wife, and son John. The younger 
children were still at the garrison. They accordingly secured 
their house as well as they could, and all set off next morning; 



144 MRS. M'COY'S CAPTIVITY. 

— M'Coy and his son with their guns, though without ammu- 
nition, having fired away what they brought with them in 
hunting. 

As they were travelling a little distance east of the place 
where the meeting-house now stands, Mrs. M'Coy fell a little 
in the rear of the others. This circumstance gave the Indians 
a favorable opportunity for separating her from her husband 
and son. The Indians, three men and a boy, lay in ambush 
near the foot of Marden's hill, not far from the junction of the 
mountain road with the main road. Here they suffered M'Coy 
and his son to pass ; but, as his wife was passing them, they 
reached from the bushes, and took hold of her, charging her 
to make no noise, and covering her mouth with their hands, as 
she cried to her husband for assistance. Her husband, hearing 
her cries, turned, and was about coming to her relief. But he 
no sooner began to advance, than the Indians, expecting proba- 
bly that he would fire upon them, began to raise their pieces, 
which she pushed one side, and motioned to her friends to 
make their escape, knowing that their guns were not loaded, 
and that they would doubtless be killed, if they approached. 
They accordingly ran into the woods and made their escape to 
the garrison. This took place August 21, 1747. 

The Indians then collected together what booty they could 
obtain, which consisted of an iron trammel, from Mr. George 
Wallace's, the apples of the only tree which bore in town, 
which was in the orchard now owned by Mr. David Griffin, 
and some other trifling articles, and prepared to set off with 
their prisoner for Canada. 

Before they took their departure, they conveyed Mrs. M'Coy 
to a place near the little Suncook river, where they left her in 
the care of the young Indian, while the three men, whose 
names were afterv.-ards ascertained to be Plausawa,* Sabatis, 
and Christi, went away, and were for sometime absent. Dur- 
ing their absence, Mrs. M'Coy thought of attempting to make 
her escape. She saw opportunities, when she thought she 
might dispatch the young Indian with the trammel, which, 
with other things, was left with them, and thus perhaps avoid 
some strange and barbarous death, or a long and distressing 
captivity. But, on the other hand, she knew not at what dis- 
tance the others were. If she attempted to kill her young 
keeper, she might fail. If she effected her purpose in this, she 
might be pursued and overtaken by a cruel and revengeful foe, 
and then some dreadful death would be her certain portion. 

* These were of the Arosaguntacook or St. Francis tribe. See Bel- 
knap's Hist. N. H. vol. ii. p. 278. 



MRS. M'COY'S CAPTIVITY. 145 

On the whole, she thought best to endeavor to prepare her 
mind to bear what might be no more than a period of savage 
captivity. Soon, however, the Indians returned, and put an 
end for the present to all thoughts of escape. From the direc- 
tion in which they went and returned, and from their smutty 
appearance, she suspected what their business had been. She 
told them she guessed they had been burning her house. 
Plausav/a, who coald speak some broken English, informed 
her they had."^ 

They now commenced their leng and tedious journey to 
Canada, in which the poor captive might well expect that great 
and complicated sufferings would be her lot. She did indeed 
find the jearney fatiguing, and her fare scanty and precarious. 
But, in her treatment from the Indians, she experienced a very 
agreeable disappointment. The kindness she received from 
them was far greater than she had expected from those who 
were so often distinguished for their cruelties. The apples 
they had gathered they saved for her, giving her one every 
^ay. In this way, they lasted her as far on the way as lake 
Champlain. They gave her the last, as they were crossing 
that lake in their canoes. This circumstance gave to the tree, 
on which the apples grew, the name of " isdbdVs tree,'" her 
name being Isabella. In many ways did they appear desirous 
of mitigating the distresses of their prisoner while on their 
tedious journe}'. When night came on, and they halted to 
repose themselves in the dark wilderness, Plausawa, the head 
man, would make a little couch in the leaves a little way from 
theirs, cover her up with his own blanket; and there she was 
suffered to sleep undisturbed till morning. When they came 
to a river, which must be forded, one of them would carry her 
over on his back. Nothing like insult or indecency did they 
ever offer her during the whole time she was with them. They 
carried her to Canada, and sold her as a servant to a French 
family, whence, at the close of that war, she returned home. 
But so comfortable was her condition there, and her husband 
being a man of rather a rough and violent temper, she declared 
she never should have thought of attempting the journey home, 
were it not for the sake of her children. 

After the capture of Mrs. M'Coy, the Indians frequently 
visited the town, but never committed any very great depreda- 
tions. The greatest damage they ever did to the property of 
the inhabitants was the spoiling of all the ox-teams in town. 
At the time referred to, there were but four yoke of oxen ia 

♦ The writer has a piece of the iron-ware, which was melted down in 
the burning of the house. 

13 



146 MRS. M'COY'S CAPTIVITY. 

the place, viz. M'Coy's, Capt. M'Clary's, George Wallace's, 
and Lieut, Blake's. It was a time of apprehension from the 
Indians ; and the inhabitants had therefore all fled to the gar- 
rison at Nottingham. They left their oxen to graze about the 
woods, Avith a bell upon one of them. The Indians found them, 
shot one out of each yoke, took out their tongues, made a 
jirize of the bell, and left them. 

The ferocity and cruelty of the savages were doubtless very 
mucn averted by a friendly, conciliating course af conduct in 
the inhabitants towards them. This was particularly the case 
in the course pursued by sergeant Blake. Being himself a 
curious marksman and an expert hunter, traits of character in 
their view of the highest order, he soon secured their respect; 
and, by a covirse of kind treatment, he secured their friendship 
to such a degree, that, though they had opportunities, they 
would not injure him even in time of war. 

The first he ever sav/ of them was a company of them mak- 
ing towards his house, through the opening from the top of 
Sanborn's hill. He fled to the woods, and there lay concealed, 
till they had made a thorough search about his house and en- 
closures, and had gone ofl". The ne.'ct time bis visitors came, 
he was constrained to become more acquainted with them, and 
to treat them with more attention. As he was busily engaged 
towards the close of the day in completing a yard for his cov/, 
the declining sun suddenly threw along several ennrmous sha- 
dows on the ground before him. He had no sooner turned to 
see the cause, than he found himself in the rornpany of a 
number of stately Indians. Seeing his perturbation, they pat- 
led him on the head, and told him not to he sfraid, for they 
would not hurt him. They then went with him into his 
house ; and their first business was to search all his bottles to 
see if he had any " occapcp,'" rum. They then told him they 
were very hungry, and wanted something to eat. He happened 
to have a quarter of a bear, which he ga^'e them. They took 
it and threAV it whole upon the fire, and very soon began to 
cut and eat from it half raw. While they were eating, he 
employed himself in cutting pieces from it, and broiling upon 
a stick for them, which pleased them very much. After their 
repast, they Avished for the privileg-e of lying by his fire through 
the night, which he granted. The next morning, they pro- 
posed trying skill with him in firing at a mark. To this he 
acceded. But in this, finding themselves outdone, tliey were 
much astonished and chagrined ; nevertheless the}'- highly 
commended him for his skill, patting him on the head, and 
telling him if he wovld go off with tJiem they would viake him 



CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 147 

their big captain. They used often to call upon him, and his 
kindness to them they never forgot even in time of war. 

Plausawa had a peculiar manner of doubling his lip, and 
producing a very shrill piercing whistle, which might be heard 
a great distance. At a time, when considerable danger was 
apprehended from the Indians, Blake went off into the woods 
alone, though considered hazardous, to look for his cow, that 
was missing. As he was passing along by Sinclair's brook, 
an unfrequented place, northerly from M'Coy's mountain, a 
very loud sharp whistle, which he knew to be Phiusawa's, 
suddenly passed through his head, like the report of a pistol. 
The sudden alarm almost raised him from the ground ; and, 
with a very light step, he soon reached home without his cow. 
In more peaceable times, Plausawa asked him if he did not 
remember the time, and laughed very much to think how he 
ran at the fright, and told him the reason for his whistling. 
" Young. Indian,'''' said he, ''put up gun to shoot Englishman. 
Me knock it down, and u-histle to start you off." So lasting is 
their friendship, when treated well. At the close of the Avars, 
the Indians built several vvagwams near the confluence of Wal- 
lace's brook with the great Suncook. On a little island in this 
river, near the place called " short falls," one of them lived 
for a considerable time. Plausawa and Sabatis were finally 
both killed in time of peace by one of the whites, after a drunk- 
en quarrel, and buried near a certain brook in Boscawen. 



A FAITHFUL NARRATIVE 

OF TTI£ SUFFERINGS OF PETER WILLIA:\IS0N, WHO SETTLED 
NEAR THE FORKS OF THE DELAWARE IN PENNSYLVANIA. 
HAVING BREN TAKEN BY THE INDIANS IN HIS OWN 
HOUSE, OCTOBER 2d, 1754.- WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 

I WAS born within ten miles of the town of Aberdeen, in the 
north of Scotland, of reputable parents. At eight years of age, 
being a sturdy boy, I was taken notice of by two lellows be- 
longing to a vessel, employed (as the trade then was) by some 
of the worthy merchants of Aberdeen in that villanous and 
execrable practice of stealing young children from their parents, 
and selling them as slaves in the plantations abroad, and on 
board the ship I was easily cajoled by them, where I was con- 
ducted between decks, to some others they had kidnapped in 
the same manner, and in about a month's time set sail for 
America. When arrived at Philadelphia, the captain sold us 



148 CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 

at about sixteen pounds per head. What became of my un- 
happy companions I never knew ; but it was my lot to be sold 
for seven years, to one of my countrymen, who had in his 
youth been kidnapped like myself, but from another town. 

Having no children of his own, and commiserating my con- 
dition, he took care of me, indulged me in going to school, 
where I went every winter for five years, and made a tolerable 
proficiency. With this good master I continued till he died, 
and, as a reward for my faithful service, he left me two hun- 
dred pounds currency, which was then about an hundred and 
twenty pounds sterling, his best horse, saddle, and all his 
wearing apparel. 

Being now seventeen years old, and my own master, having 
money in my pocket, and all other necessaries, I employed 
myself in jobbing for near seven years; when I resolved to 
settle, and married the daughter of a substantial planter. My 
father-in-law made me a deed of gift of a tract of land that lay 
(unhappily for me, as it has since proved) on the frontiers of 
the province of Pennsylvania, near the forks of Delaware, 
containing about two hundred acres, thirty of which were well 
cleared and fit for immediate use, on which were a good house 
and barn. The place pleasing me well, I settled on it. My 
money I expended in buying stock, household furniture, and 
implements for out-of-door work ; and being happy in a good 
wife, my felicity was complete : but in 1754, the Indians, Avho 
had for a long time before ravaged and destroyed other parts 
of America unmolested, began now to be very troublesome on 
the frontiers of our province, where they generally appeared in 
small skulking parties, committing great devastations. 

Terrible and shocking to human nature were the barbarities 
daily committed by these savages ! Scarce did a day pass but 
some unhappy family or other fell victims to savage cruelty. 
Terrible, indeed, it proved to me, as well as to many others. I, 
that was now happy in an easy state of life, blessed with an 
affectionate and tender wife, became on a sudden one of the 
most unhappy of mankind : scarce can I sustain the shock 
which forever recurs on recollecting the fatal second of Octo- 
ber, 1754. My wife that day went from home, to visit some 
of her relations; as I staid up later than usual, expecting her 
return, none being in the house besides myself, how great was 
my surprise and terror, when, about eleven o'clock at night, I 
heard the dismal war-whoop of the savages, and found that my 
house was beset by them. I flew to my chamber windov/, and 
perceived them to be twelve in number. Having my gun 
loaded, I threatened them with death, if they did not retire. 
But how vain and fruitless are the efforts of cne man against 



CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAIVISON. 149 

the united force of so many blood-thirsty monsters ! One of 
them that could speak English threatened me in return, "that 
if I did not come oat they would burn me alive," adding, how- 
ever, " that if I would come out and surrender myself prisoner 
they would not kill me." In such deplorable circumstances, I 
chose to rely on their promises, rather than meet death by 
rejecting them ; and accordingly went out of the house, with 
my gun in my hand, not knowing that 1 had it. Immediately 
on my approach they rushed on me like tigers, and instantly 
disarmed me. Having me thus in their power, they bound me 
to a tree, went into the house, plundered it of every thing they 
could carry off, and then set fire to it, and consumed what was 
left before my eyes. Not satisfied with this, they set fire to 
my barn, stable, and out-houses, wherein were about two hun- 
dred bushels of wheat, six cows, four horses, and five sheep, all 
which were consumed to ashes. 

Having thus finished the execrable business about which 
they came, one of the monsters came to me with a tomahawk 
and threatened me with the worst of deaths if I would not go 
with them. This I agreed to, and then they untied me, and 
gave me a load to carry, under which I travelled all that night, 
full of the most terrible apprehensions, lest my unhappy wife 
should likewise have fallen into their cruel power. At day- 
break my infernal masters ordered me to lay down my load, 
when, tying my hands again round a tree, they forced the blood 
out at my fingers' ends. And then kindling a fire near the 
tree to which I was bound, the most dreadful agonies seized 
me, concluding I was going to be made a sacrifice to their 
barbarity. The fire being made, they for some time danced 
round me after their manner, whooping, hollowing and shriek- 
ing in a frightful manner. Being satisfied with this sort of 
mirth, they proceeded in another manner : taking the burning 
coals, and sticks flaming with fire at the ends, holding them to 
my face, head, hands, and feet, and at the same time threaten- 
ing to burn me entirely if I cried out. Thus tortured as I was, 
almost to death, I suffered their brutalities, without being al- 
lowed to vent my anguish otherwise than by shedding silent 
tears ; and these being observed, they took fresh coals and 
applied them near my eyes, telling me my face was wet, and 
that they would dry il for me, which indeed they cruelly did. 
How I underwent these tortures has been matter of wonder to 
me, but God enabled me to wait with more than common 
patience for the deliverance I daily prayed for. 

At length they sat down round the fire, and roasted the m.eat, 
of which they had robbed my dwelling. When they had sup- 
ped, they ofiered some to me ; though it may easily be imagined 
13* 



150 CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 

I had but little appetite to eat, after the tortures and miseries I 
had suffered, yet was I forced to seem pleased with what they 
offered me, lest by refusing it they should reassume their hel- 
lish practices. What I could not eat I contrived to hide, they 
having- unbound me till they imagined I had eat all ; but then 
they bound me as before ; in which deplorable condition I was 
forced to continue the whole day. When the sun was set, they 
put out the fire, and covered the ashes with leaves, as is their 
usual custom, that the white people might not discover any 
traces of their having been there. 

Going from thence along the Susquehanna, for the space of 
six miles, loaded as I was before, we arrived at a spot near the 
Apalachian mountains, or Blue hills, where they hid their 
plunder under logs of wood. From thence they proceeded to 
a neighboring house, occupied by one Jacob Snider and his 
unhappy family, consisting of his wife, five children, and a 
young man his servant. They soon got admittance into the 
unfortunate man's house, where they immediately, without the 
least remorse, scalped both parents and children ; nor could the 
tears, the shrieks, or cries of poor innocent children prevent 
their horrid massacre. Having thus scalped them, and plun- 
dered the house of every thing that was movable, they set fire 
to it, and left the distressed victims amidst the flames. 

Thinking the young man belonging to this unhappy family 
would be of service to them in carrying part of their plunder, 
they spared his life, and loaded him and myself with what they 
had here got, and again marched to the Blue hills, where they 
stowed their goods as before. My fellow-sufferer could not 
support the cruel treatment wdiich we were obliged to suffer, 
and complaining bitterly to me of his being unable to proceed 
any farther, I endeavored to animate him, but all in vain, for 
he still continued his moans and tears, which one of the sava- 
ges perceiving, as we travelled along, came up to us, and with 
his tomahawk gave him a blow on the head, which felled the 
unhappy youth to the ground, whom they immediately scalped 
and left. The suddenness of this murder shocked me to that 
degree, that I was in a manner motionless, expecting my fate 
would soon be the same : however, recovering my distracted 
thoughts, I dissembled my anguish as well as I could from the 
barbarians ; but still, such was my terror, that for some time I 
scarce knew the days of the week, or what I did. 

They still kept on their course near the mountains, where 
they- lay skulking four or five days, rejoicing at the plunder 
they had got. When provisions became scarce, they made 
their way tov/ards Susquehanna, and passing near another 
house, inhabited by an old man, whose name was John Adams, 



CAPTIVITY OF FETER WILLIAMSON. 151 

With his wife and four small children, and meeting with no 
resistance, they immediately scalped the mother and her chil- 
dren before the old man's eyes. Inhuman and horrid as this 
was, it did not satisfy them; for when they had murdered the 
poor woman, they acted with her in such, a brutal manner as 
decency will not permit me to mention. The unhappy hus- 
band, not being able to avoid the sight, entreated them to put 
an end to his miserable being; but they were as deaf to the 
tears and entreaties of this venerable sufferer as they had been 
to those of the others, and proceeded to burn and destroy l.-is 
house, barn, corn, hay, cattle, and every thing the poor man a 
few hours before was master of. Having saved what they 
thought proper from the flames, they gave the old man, feeble, 
weak, and in the miserable condition he then was, as well as 
myself, burdens to carry, and loading themselves likewise with 
bread and meat, pursued their journey towards the Great 
swamp. Here they lay for eight or nine days, diverting them- 
selves, at times, in barbarous cruelties on the old man : some- 
times they would strip him naked, and paint him all over with 
various sorts of colors; at other times they would pluck the 
white hairs from his head, and tauntingly tell him he was a 
fool for living so long, and that they should show him kindness 
in putting him out of the world. In vain were all his tears, 
for daily did they tire themselves with the various means they 
tried to torment him; sometimes tying him to a tree, and 
whipping him ; at other times, scorching his furrowed cheek 
with red-hot coals, and burning his legs quite to the knees. 
One night, after he had been thus tormented, whilst he and [ 
were condoling each other at the miseries we daily suffered, 
twenty-Eve other Indians arrived, bringing with tkem. twenty 
scalps and three prisoners, who had unhappily fallen into their 
hands in Conogocheague, a small town near the river Susque- 
hanna, chiefly inhabited by the Irish. These prisoners gave 
us some shocking accounts of the murders and devastations 
committed in their parts ; a few instances of which will en- 
able the reader to guess at the treatment the provincials have 
suffered for years past. This party, who now joined us, had 
it not, I found, in their power to begin their violences so soon 
as those who visited my habitation ; the first of their tragedies 
being on the 2oth of October, 1754, when John Lewis, with 
his wife and three small children, w^ere inhumanly scalped and 
murdered, and his house, barn, and every thing he possessed 
burnt and destroyed. On the 23th, Jacob Miller, with his wife 
and six of his family, with every thing on his plantations, 
shared the same fate. The 30th, the house, mill, barn, twenty 
bead of cattle, two teairjs of horses, and every thing belongiuff 



152 CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 

to George Folke, met with the like treatment^ himself, ■wife-; 
and all his miserable family, cansisting of r^ine in number, being! 
scalped, then cut in pieces and given to the swine. One of 
the substantial traders, belonging to the province, having busi- 
ness that calle-d him some miles up the country, fell into the 
hands of these ruffians, who not cnly scalped him, but imme- 
diately roasted him before he was dead ; then, like cannibals^ 
for want of oth-er food, eat his whole body, and of his head 
made, what they called, an Indian pudding. 

From these few instances of savage cruelly, the deplorable- 
situation of the defenceless inhabitants, and what they hourly 
suffered in that part of the globe, must strike the utmost hor- 
ror, and cause in every breast the utmost detestation, not only 
against the authors, but against those who, through inatten- 
tion, or pusillanimous or erroneous principles, sufiered these 
savages at first, unrepelled, or even unmolested, to commit 
such outrages, depredations, and murders. 

The three prisoners that were brought with these additional 
forces, constantly repining at their lot, and almost dead with 
their excessive hard treatment, contrived at last to make their 
escape ; but being far from their own settlements, and not 
knowing the country, were soon after met by som,e others of 
the tribes or nations at war with us, and brought back. The 
poor creatures, almost famished for want of sustenance, having^ 
had none during the time of their escape, were no sooner ia 
the power of the barbarians than two of them were tied to a 
tree, and a great fire made round them, where they remained 
till they were' terribly scorched and burnt ; vv-hen one of the 
villains with his scalping-knife ripped open their bellies, took 
out their entrails, and burned them before their eyes, Avhilst 
the others were cutting, piercing, and tearing the flesh from 
their breasts, hands, arms, and legs, with red-hot irx)ns, till 
they were dead. The third unhappy victim was reserved a 
few hours longer, to be, if possible, sacrificed in a more cruel 
manner: his arms were tied close to his body, and a hole- 
being dug deep enough for him to stand upright, he was put 
into it, and earth rammed and beat in all round his body up 
to his neck, so that his head only appeared above ground ; 
they then scalped him, and there let him remain for three or 
four hours in the greatest agonies ; after which they made a 
small fire near his head, causing him to suffer the most excru- 
ciating torments ; v\?hilst the poor creature could only cry for 
mercy by killing him immediately, for his brains were boiling 
in his head. Inexorable to all he said, they continued the fire 
till his eyes gushed out of their sockets. Such agonizing tor- 
ments did thia unhappy creature suffer for near two hours 



CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 153 

before he was quite dead. They then cut off his head, and 
buried it Avilh the other bodies; my task being to dig the 
graves ; which, feeble and terrified as I was, the dread of suf- 
fering the same fate enabled me to do. 

A great snow now falling, the barbarians were fearful lest 
the white people should, by their tracks, find out their skulk- 
ing retreats, which obliged them to make the best of their way 
to their Avinter-quarters, about two hundred miles farther from 
any plantations or inhabitants. After a long and painful jour- 
ney, being almost starved, I arrived with this infernal crew at 
Alamingo. There I found a number of wigwams full of their 
women and children. Dancing, singing, and shouting were 
their general amusements. And in all their festivals and 
dances they relate what successes they have had, and what 
damages they have sustained in their expeditions ; in which I 
now unhappily became a part of their theme. The severity 
of the cold increasing, they stripped me of my clothes for their 
own use, and gave me such as they usually wore themselves, 
being a piece of blanket, and a pair of moccasons, or shoes, 
with a yard of coarse cloth, to put round me instead of 
breeches. 

At Alamingo I remained near two months, till the snow was 
off the ground. Whatever thoughts I might have of making 
my escape, to carry them into execution was impracticable, 
being so far from any plantations or white people, and the 
severe weather rendering my limbs in a manner quite stiff and 
motionless ; however, I contrived to defend myself against the 
inclemency of the weather as well as I could, by making my- 
self a little Avigwam with the bark of the trees, covering it 
with earth, which made it resemble a cave ; and, to prevent 
the ill effects of the cold, I kept a good fire always near the 
door. My liberty of going about was, indeed, more ihan I 
could have expected, but they well knew the impracticability 
of my escaping from them. Seeing me outwardly easy and 
submissive, they would sometimes give me a little meat, but 
my chief food was Indian corn. At length the time came 
when they were preparing themseb/os for another expedition 
against the planters and white people ; but before ihpy set out, 
they were joined by many other Indians. 

As soon as the snow was quite gone, they set forth en their 
journey tov.'ards the back parts of the provmce of P.?nr;Gyl- 
vania ; ail leaving their wivei: and children behind in their 
■wig'.vamr;. They were now a formidanie body, amounting to 
near one hundred and fifty. My business v.'as to carry what 
they thought proper to load me Vvith, but they never intrusted 
me with a gun. V.''e marched on several daya v/ithout any 



154 CAPTIVITY OF PETER ^VILLIAMSON. 

thing particular occurring, almost famished for want of provis- 
ions ; for my part, I had nothing but a few stalks of Indian 
corn, which I was glad to eat dry ; nor did the Indians them- 
selves fare much better, for as we drew near the plantations 
they were afraid to kill any game, lest the noise of their guns 
should alarm the inhabitants. 

When we again arrived at the Blue hills, about thirty miles 
from the Irish settlements before mentioned, we encamped for 
three days, though God knows we had neither tents nor any 
thing else to defend us from the inclemency of the air, having 
nothing to lie on by night but the grass ; their usual method 
of lodging, pitching, or encamping, by night, being in parcels of 
ten or twelve men to a fire, where they lie upon the grass or 
brush wrapped up in a blanket, with their feet to the fire. 

During our stay here, a sort of council of war was held, 
when it Avas agreed to divide themselves into companies of 
about twenty men each ; after which every captain marched 
with his party where he thought proper. I still belonged to 
my old masters, but was left behind on the mountains with ten 
Indians, to stay till the rest should return ; not thinking it 
proper to carry me nearer to Conogocheague, or the other 
plantations. 

Here I began to meditate an escape, and though I knew the 
country round extremely well, yet 1 was very cautious of giv- 
ing the least suspicion of any such intention. However, the 
third day after the grand body left, my companions thought 
proper to traverse the mountains in search of game for their 
subsistence, leaving me bound in such a manner that I could 
not escape. At night, when they returned, having unbound me, 
we all sai dovv-n together to supper on what they had killed, 
and soon after (being greatly faiigued v/ith their dav's excursion) 
they composed themselves to rest, as usual. I now tried vari- 
ous ways to try whether it was a scheme to prove my intentions 
or not ; but after making a noise and walking about, sometimes 
touching them with my feet, I found there was no fallacy. 
Then I resolved, if possible, to get one of their guns, and, if 
discovered, to die in my defence, rather than be taken. For 
that purpose I made various efforts to get one from under their 
heads, (where they always secured them,) but in vain. Disap- 
pointed in this, I began to despair of carrying my denign ir,-.o 
execution ; yet, after a little recollection, and trusting myself 
to the divine protection, I set forwards, naked and defenceless 
as I was. Such was my terror, however, that in going from 
them I halted, and paused every four or five yards, lookmg 
fearfully towards the spot where 1 had left them, lest tney 
should av.'ake and mics mo ; but when I was two hundred 



CAPTIVITY OF PETER WILLIAMSON. 155 

yards from them, I mended my pace, and made as much haste 
as 1 possibly could to the foot of the mountains; when, on a 
sudden, I was struck with the greatest terror at hearinof the 
wood cry, as it is called, which the savages I had left were 
making upon missing their charge. The mere my terror in- 
creased the faster I pushed on, and, scarce knowing where I 
trod, drove through the woods with the utmost precipitation, 
sometimes falling and bruising myself, cutting my feet and legs 
against the stones in a miserable manner. But faint and 
maimed as I was, I continued my flight till daybreak, when, 
without having any thing to sustain natur.e but a little corn 
left, I crept into a hollow tree, where I lay very snug, and 
returned ray prayers and thanks to the divine Being that had 
thus far favored my escape. But my repose was in a few 
hours destroyed at hearing the voices of the savages near the 
place where I was hid, threatening and talking how they 
would use me if they got me again. However, they at last 
left the spot where I heard them, and I remained in my apart- 
ment all that day without further molestation. 

At night I ventured forwards again, frightened ; thinking 
each twig that touched me a savage. The third day I con- 
cealed myself in like manner as before, and at night travelled, 
keeping oft' the main road as much as possible, which length- 
ened my journey many miles. But how shall I describe the 
terror I felt on. the fourth night, when, by the rustling I made 
among the leaves, a party of Indians, that lay round a small 
fire, which 1 did not perceive, started from the ground, and, 
seizing their arms, ran from the fire amongst the woods. 
Whether to move forward or rest where I v.'as, I knew not, 
v.'hen, to my great surfH'ise and joy, I was relieved by a parcel 
of swine thai: made towards the place where I guessed the sav- 
ages to be ; who, on seeing them, imagined they had caused 
the alarm, very merrily returned to the fire, and lay again 
down to sleep. Bruised, crippled, and terrified as I was, I pur- 
sued my journey til! break of day, when, thinking myself safe, 
I lay down under a great log, and slept till about noon. Be- 
fore evening I reached the summit of a great hill, and looking 
out if I could spy any habitations of white people, to my inex- 
pressible joy 1 saw some, which I guessed to be about ten 
miles' distance. 

In the morning I continued my journey towards the nearest 
cleared lands I had seen the day before, and, about four o'clock 
in the afternoon, arrived at the house of John Bell, an old ac- 
quaintance, where knocking at the door, his wife, who opened 
it, seeing me in such a frightful condition, flew from me, 
screaming, into the house. This alarmed the whole family, 



159 MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 

who immediately fled to their arms, and 1 was soon accosted 
by the master with his gun in his hand. But on making my- 
self known, (for he before took me to be an Indian,) he imme- 
diately caressed me, as did all his family, with extraordi- 
nary friendship, the report of my being murdered by the 
savages having reached them some months before. Fo? 
two days and nights they very affectionately supplied me 
with all necessaries, and carefully attended me till my spirits 
and limbs were pretty well recovered, and I thought myself 
able to ride, when I borrowed of these good people (whose 
kindness merits my most grateful returns) a horse and some 
clothes, and set forward for my father-in-law's house in Ches- 
ter county, about one hundred and forty miles from thence, 
where I arrived on the 4lh of January, 1755, (but scarce one 
of the family could credit their eyes, believing, with the peo- 
ple I had lately left, that I had fallen a prey to the Indians,) 
where I was received and embraced by the whole family with 
great affection. Upon inquiring for my dear wife, I found she 
had been dead two months ! This fatal news greatly lessened 
the joy I otherwise should have felt at my deliverance froro 
the dreadful state and company I had been in. 



A PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE CAPTIVITY 

AND REDEMPTION OF MRS. JEMIMA HOWE, WHO WAS 
TAKEN PRISONER BY THE INDIANS AT HINSDALE, NEW 
HAMPSHIRE, ON THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF JULY, 1755-, 
AS COMMUNICATED TO DR. BELKNAP BY THE REV. BUN- 
KER GAY. 

As Messrs. Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout, and Benjamin 
Gaflield, who had been hoeing corn in the meadow, west of 
the river, were returning home, a little before sunset, to a 
place called Bridgman's fort, they were fired upon by twelve 
Indians, who had ambushed their path. Howe was on horse- 
back, with two young lads, his children, behind him. A ball, 
which broke his thigh, brought him to the ground. His horse 
ran a few rods and fell likewise, and both the lads were taken. 
The Indians, in their savage manner coming up to Howe, 
pierced his body with a spear, tore off his scalp, stuck a hatchet 
in his head, and left him in this forlorn condition. He was 
found alive the morning after, by a party of men from fort 
Hindsdale; and being asked by one of the party whether he 
knew him, he answered, " Yes, I know you all." These were 
his last words, though he did not expire until after his friends 



MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 157 

had arrived with him at fort Hindsdale. Grout was so fortu- 
nate as to escape unhurt. But GafReld, in attempting to wade 
through the river, at a certain place which was indeed forda- 
ble at that time, was unfortunately drowned. Flushed with 
the success they had met with here, the savages went directly 
to Bridgman's fort. There was no man in it, and only three 
women and some children, viz. Mrs. Jemima Howe, Mrs. 
Submit Grout, and Mrs. Eunice Gaffield. Their husbands I 
need not mention again, and their feelings at this juncture 
I will not attempt to describe. They had heard the enemy's 
guns, but knew not what had happened to their friends. Ex- 
tremely anxious for their safety, they stood longing to embrace 
them, until at length, concluding from the noise they heard 
without that some of them were come, they unbarred the gate 
in a hurry to receive them; when, lo! to their inexpressible 
disappointment and surprise, instead of their husbands, in 
rushed a number of hideous Indians, to whom they and their 
tender offspring became an easy prey, and from whom they 
had nothing to expect but either an immediate death or a long 
and doleful captivity. The latter of these, by the favor of 
Providence, turned out to be the lot of these unhappy women 
and their still more unhappy, because more helpless, children. 
Mrs. Gaffield had but one, Mrs. Grout had three, and Mrs. 
Howe seven. The eldest of Mrs. Howe's was eleven years 
old, and the youngest but six months. The two eldest were 
daughters, which she had by her first husband, Mr. William 
Phipps, who was also slain by the Indians, of which I doubt 
not but you have seen an account in Mr. Doolittle's history. 
It was from the mouth of this woman that I lately received the 
foregoing account. She also gave me, I doubt not, a true, 
though, to be sure, a very brief and imperfect history of her 
captivity, which I here insert for your perusal. It may per- 
haps afford you some amusement, and can do no harm, if, 
after it has undergone your critical inspection, you should not 
think it (or an abbreviation of it) worthy to be preserved among 
the records you are about to publish. 

The Indians (she says) having plundered and put fire to 
the fort, we marched, as near as I could judge, a mile and a 
half into the woods, where we encamped that night. When 
the morning came, and we had advanced as much farther, six 
Indians were sent back to the place of our late abode, Avho col- 
lected a little more plunder, and destroyed some other efl^ects 
that had been left behind ; but they did not return until the 
day was so far spent, that it was judged best to continue where 
we were through the night. Early the next morning we set 
off" for Canada, and continued our march eight days succes- 
14 



158 MRS. JEMBIA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 

sively, until we had reached the place where the Indians had 
left their canoes, about fifteen miles from Crown Point. This 
was a long and tedious march ; but the captives, by divine 
assistance, were enabled to endure it with less trouble and 
difficulty than they had reason to expect. From such savage 
masters, in such indigent circumstances, we could not ration- 
ally hope for kinder treatment than we received. Some of us, 
it is true, had a harder lot than others; and, among the chil- 
dren, I thought my son Squire had the hardest of any. He 
was then only four years old, and when we stopped to rest our 
weary limbs, and he sat down on his master's pack, the savage 
monster would often knock him off; and sometimes, too, with 
the handle of his hatchet. Several ugly marks, indented in 
his head by the cruel Indians, at that tender age, are still 
plainly to be seen. 

At length we arrived at Crown Point, and took up our 
quarters there for the space of near a week. In the mean 
time some of the Indians went to Montreal, and took several 
of the weary captives along with them, with a view of selling 
them to the French. They did not succeed, hoAvever, in find- 
ing a market for any of them. They gave my youngest 
daughter. Submit Phipps, to the governor, de Vaudreuil, had 
a drunken frolic, and returned again to Crown Point with 
the rest of their prisoners. From hence we set off for St. 
Johns, in four or five canoes, just as night was coming on, 
and were soon surrounded with darkness. A heavy storm 
hung over us. The sound of the rolling thunder was very 
terrible upon the waters, which, at every flash of expansive 
lightning, seemed to be all in a blaze. Yet to this we were 
indebted for all the light we enjoyed. No object could we 
discern any longer than the flashes lasted. In this posture 
we sailed in our open, tottering canoes almost the whole of 
that dreary night. The morning, indeed, had not yet begun 
to dawn, when we all went ashore ; and having collected a 
heap of sand and gravel for a pillow, I laid myself down, with 
my tender infant by my side, not knowing where any of my 
other children were, or what a miserable condition they might 
be in. The next day, however, under the wing of that ever- 
present and all-powerful Providence, which had preserved us 
through the darkness and imminent dangers of the preceding 
oight, we all arrived in safety at St. Johns. 

Our next movement was to St. Francois, the metropolis, if 
I may so call it, to which the Indians, who led us captive, 
belonged. Soon after our arrival at their wretched capital, a 
council, consisting of the chief sachem and some principal 
warriors of the St. Francois tribe, was convened; and after 



MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 159 

the ceremonies usual on such occasions were over, I was con- 
ducted and delivered to an old squaw, whom the Indians told 
me I must call my mother ; my infant still continuing to be 
the property of its original Indian owners. I was neverthe- 
less permitted to keep it with me a while longer, for the sake 
of saving them the trouble of looking after it, and of main- 
taining it with my milk. When the weather began to grow 
cold, shuddering at the prospect of approaching winter, I 
acquainted my new mother that I did not think it would be 
possible for me to endure it, if I must spend it with her, and 
fare as the Indians did. Listening to my repeated and earnest 
solicitations, that I might be disposed of among some of the 
French inhabitants of Canada, she, at length, set off with me 
and my infant, attended by some male Indians, upon a journey 
to Montreal, in hopes of finding a market for me there. But 
the attempt proved unsuccessful, and the journey tedious 
indeed. Our provisions were so scanty, as well as insipid and 
unsavory, the weather was so cold, and the travelling so very 
bad, that it often seemed as if I must have perished on the 
way. The lips of my poor child were sometimes so benumbed, 
that when I put it to my breast it could not, till it grew warm, 
imbibe the nourishment requisite for its support. While 
we were at Montreal, we went into the house of a certain 
French gentleman, whose lady, being sent for, and coming 
into the room where I was, to examine me, seeing I had an 
infant, exclaimed suddenly in this manner, " Damn it, I will 
not buy a woman that has a child to look after." There was 
a swill-pail standing near me, in which I observed some crusts 
and crumbs of bread swimming on the surface of the greasy 
liquor it contained ; sorely pinched with hunger, I skimmed 
them off with my hands and eat them ; and this was all the 
refreshment which the house afforded me. Somewhere, in 
the course of this visit to Montreal, my Indian mother was so 
unfortunate as to catch the small-pox, of which distemper she 
died, soon after our return, which was by water, to St. Francois. 
And now came on the season when the Indians began to 
prepare for a winter's hunt. I was ordered to return my poor 
child to those of them who still claimed it as their property. 
This was a severe trial. The babe clung to my bosom with 
all its might; but I was obliged to pluck it thence, and deliver 
it, shrieking and screaming, enough to penetrate a heart of 
stone, into the hands of those unfeeling wretches, whose tender 
mercies may be termed cruel. It was soon carried off by a 
hunting party of those Indians to a place called Messiskow, at 
the lower end of lake Champlain, whither, in about a month 
after, it was my fortune to follow them. I had preserved my 



160 MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 

milk in hopes of seeing my beloved child again. And here I 
found it, it is true, but in a condition that afforded me no great 
satisfaction, it being greatly emaciated, and almost starved. I 
took it in my arms, put its face to mine, and it instantly bit me 
Avith such violence that it seemed as if I must have parted with 
a piece of my cheek. I was permitted to lodge with it that 
and the two following nights ; but every morning that inter- 
vened, the Indians, I suppose on purpose to torment me, sent 
me away to another wigwam which stood at a little distance, 
though not so far from the one in which my distressed infant 
was confined but that I could plainly hear its incessant cries 
and heart-rending lamentations. In this deplorable condition 
I was obliged to take my leave of it, on the morning of the 
third day after my arrival at the place. We moved down the 
lake several miles the same day ; and the night following was 
remarkable on account of the great earthquake* which terri- 
bly shook that howling wilderness. Among the islands here- 
abouts we spent the winter season, often shifting our quarters, 
and roving about from one place to another ; our family con- 
sisting of three persons only, besides myself, viz. my late 
mother's daughter, whom therefore I called my sister, her 
sanhop, and a pappoose. They once left me alone two dismal 
nights ; and when they returned to me again, perceiving them 
smile at each other, I asked, What is the matter? They re- 
plied that two of my children were no more ; one of which, 
they said, died a natural death, and the other was knocked on 
the head. I did not utter many words, but my heart was 
sorely pained within me, and my mind exceedingly troubled 
with strange and awful ideas. I often imagined, for instance, 
that I plainly saw the naked carcasses of my deceased children 
hanging upon the limbs of the trees, as the Indians are wont to 
hang the raw hides of those beasts which they take in hunting. 
It was not long, however, before it was so ordered by kind 
Providence, that I should be relieved in a good measure from 
those horrid imaginations ; for as I was walking one day upon 
the ice, observing a smoke at some distance upon the land, it 
must proceed, thought I, from the fire of some Indian hut, and 
who knows but some one of my poor children may be there? 
My curiosity, thus excited, led me to the place, and there I 
found my son Caleb, a little boy between two and three years 
old, whom I had lately buried, in sentiment at least, or rather 
imagined to have been deprived of life, and perhaps also denied 
a decent grave. I found him likewise in tolerable health 
and circumstances, under the protection of a fond Indian 
mother; and moreover had the happiness of lodging with him 
* November 18, 1755. 



MRS. JEMIMA HO-VVE'S CAPTIVITY. 161 

in my arms one joyful night. Again we shifted our quarters, 
and when we had travelled eight or ten miles upon the snow 
and ice, came to a place where the Indians manufactured sugar, 
which they extracted from the maple trees. Here an India-n 
came to visit us, whom I knew, and could speak English. He 
asked me why I did not go to see my son Squire. I replied 
that I had lately been informed that he was dead. He assured 
me that he was yet alive, and but two or three miles off, on 
the opposite side of the lake. At my request he gave me 
the best directions he could to the place of his abode. I 
resolved to embrace the first opportunity that offered of endea- 
voring to search it out. While I was busy in contemplating 
this affair, the Indians obtained a little bread, of Avhich they 
gave me a small share. I did not taste a morsel of it myself, 
but saved it all for my poor child, if I should be so lucky as to 
find him. At length, having obtained of my keepers leave to 
be absent for one day, I set off early in the morning, and steer- 
ing, as well as I could, according to the directions which the 
frendly Indian had given me, I quickly found the place which 
he had so accurately marked out. I beheld, as I drew nigh, 
my liille son without the camp ; but he looked, thought I, like a 
starved and mangy puppy, that had been wallowing in the ashes. 
I took him in my arms, and he spoke to me these words, in 
the Indian tongue : " Mother, are you come ?" I took him into 
the wigwam with me, and observing a number of Indian chil- 
dren in it, I distributed all the bread which I had reserved for 
my own child, among them all, otherwise I should have given 
great offence. My little boy appeared to be very fond of his 
new mother, kept as near me as possible Avhile I staid, and 
when I told him I must go, he fell as though he had been 
knocked down with a club. But having recommended him to 
the care of Him that made him, when the day was far spent, 
and the time would permit me to stay no longer, I departed, 
you may well suppose with a heavy load at my heart. The 
tidings I had received of the death of my youngest child had, 
a little before, been confirmed to me beyond a doubt, but I 
could not riourn so heartily for the deceased as for the living 
child. 

When the winter broke up, we removed to St. Johns ; and 
through the ensuing summer, our principal residence was at 
no great distance from the fort at that place. In the mean 
time, however, my sister's husband, having been out with a 
scouting party to some of the English settlements, had a 
drunken frolic at the fort, when he returned. His wife, who 
never got drunk, but had often experienced the ill effects of her 
husband's intemperance, fearing what the consequence might 
14* 



162 MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 

prove if he should come home in a morose and turbulent hu- 
mor, to avoid his insolence, proposed that we should both retire, 
and keep out of the reach of it until the storm abated. We ab- 
sconded accordingly, but so it happened that I returned and ven- 
tured into his presence, before his wife had presumed to come 
nigh him. I found him in his wigwam, and in a surl}^ mood ; 
and not being able to revenge upon his wife, because she was 
not at home, he laid hold of me, and hurried me to the fort, 
and, for a trifling consideration, sold me to a French gentleman 
whose name was Saccapee. 'Tis an ill wind certainly that 
blows nobody any good. I had been with the Indians a year 
lacking fourteen days; and, if not for my sister, yet for me, 
'twas a lucky circumstance indeed, v/hich thus at last, in an 
unexpected moment, snatched me out of their cruel hands, and 
placed me beyond the reach of their insolent power. 

After my Indian master had disposed of me in the manner 
related above, and the moment of sober reflection had arrived, 
perceiving that the man who bought me had taken the advantage 
of him in an unguarded hour, his resentments began to kindle, 
and his indignation rose so high, that he threatened to kill me 
if he should meet me alone, or if he could not revenge himself 
thus that he would set fire to the fort. I was therefore secreted 
in an upper chamber, and the fort carefully guarded, until his 
wrath had time to cool. My service in the family to which I 
was now advanced, was perfect freedom in comparison, of what 
it had been among the barbarous Indians. My new master 
and mistress were both as kind and generous towards m,e as I 
could any'^vays expect. I seldom asked a favor of either of 
them but it was readily granted ; in consequence of which I 
had it in my power, in many instances, to administer aid and 
refreshment to the poor prisoners of my own nation, who were 
brought into St. Johns during my abode in the family of the 
above-mentioned benevolent and hospitable Saccapee. Yet 
even in this family such trials awaited me as I had little reason 
to expect, but stood in need of a large stock of prudence, to 
enable me to encounter them. Must I tell you then, that even 
the good old man himself, who considered me as his property, 
and likewise a warm and resolute son of his, at that same time, 
and under the same roof, became both excessively fond of my 
company; so that between these two rivals, the father and the 
son, I found myself in a very critical situation indeed, and was 
greatly embarrassed and perplexed, hardly knowing many 
times how to behave in such a manner as at once to secure 
my own virtue, and the good esteem of the family in which I 
resided, and upon which I was wholly dependent for ray daily 
support. At length, however, through the tender compassion 



MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 163 

of a certain English gentleman, "*= the Governor de Vaudreuil 
being made acquainted with the condition I had fallen into, 
immediately ordered the young and amorous Saccapee, then 
au officer in the French army, from the field of Venus to the 
field of Mars, and at the same time also wrote a letter to his 
father, enjoining it upon him by no means to suffer me to be 
abused, but to make my situation and service in his family as 
easy and delightful as possible. ' I was moreover under un- 
speakable obligations to the governor upon another account. 
I had received intelligence from my daughter Mary, the pur- 
port of which was, that there was a prospect of her being 
shortly married to a young Indian of the tribe of St. Francois, 
with which tribe she had continued from the beginning of her 
captivity. These were heavy tidings, and added greatly to 
the poignancy of my other afiiictions. However, not long 
after I had heard this melancholy news, an opportunity pre- 
sented of acquainting that humane and generous gentleman, 
the commander-in-chief, and my iUustrious benefactor, with 
this aflfair also, who, in compassion for my suflerings, and to 
mitigate my sorrows, issued his orders in good time, and had 
my daughter taken away from the Indians, and conveyed to 
the same nunnery where her sister was then lodged, with his 
express injunction that they should both of them together be 
well looked after, and carefully educated, as his adopted chil- 
dren. In this school of superstition and bigotry they contin- 
Tied while the war in those days between France and Great 
Britain lasted. At the conclusion of which war, the governor 
went home to France, took my oldest daughter along with him, 
and married her then to a French gentleman, whose name is 
Cron Lewis. He was at Boston with the fleet under Count 
de Eslaing, [177S] and one of his clerks. My other daugh- 
ter still continuing in the nunnery, a considerable time had 
elapsed after my return from captivity, when I made a journey 
to Canada, resolving to use my best endeavors not to return 
without her. I arrived just in time to prevent her being 
sent to France. She was to have gone in the next vessel that 
sailed for that place. And I found it extremely difficult to 
prevail with her to quit the nunnery and go home with me ; 
yea, she absolutely refused, and all the persuasions and argu- 
ments I could use with her were to no effect, until after I had 
been to the governor, and obtained a letter from him to the 
superintendent of the nuns, in which he threatened, if my 
daughter should not be immediately delivered into my hands, 
or could not be prevailed with to submit to my paternal author- 

• Ck)l. Peter Schuyler, then a prisoner. 



164 MRS. JEMIMA HOWE'S CAPTIVITY. 

ity, that he would send a hand of soldiers to assist me in 
bringing her away. Upon hearing this she made no farther 
resistance. But so extremely bigoted was she to the customs 
and religion of the place, tlaat, after all, she left it with the 
greatest reluctance, and the most bitter lamentations, which 
she continued as we passed the streets, and wholly refused to 
be comforted. My good friend, Major Small, whom we met 
with on the Avay, tried all he could to console her ; and Avas so 
very kind and obliging as to bear us company, and carry my 
daughter behind him on horseback. 

But I have run on a little before my story, for I have not 
yet informed you of the means and manner of my own re- 
demption, to the accomplishing of which, the recovery of my 
daughter just mentioned, and the ransoming of some of my 
other children, several gentlemen of note contributed not a 
Ijttle ; to whose goodness therefore 1 am greatly indebted, and 
sincerely hope I shall never be so ungrateful as to forget. Col. 
Schuyler in particular was so very kind and generous as to 
advance 2700 livres to procure a ransom for myself and three 
of my children. He accompanied and conducted us from 
Montreal to Albany, and entertained us in the most friendly 
and hospitable manner a considerable time, at his own house, 
and I believe entirely at his own expense. 

I have spun out the above narrative to a much greater length 
than I at first intended, and shall conclude it with referring 
you, for a more ample and brilliant account of the captive 
heroine Avho is the subject of it, to Col. Humphrey's History 
of the Life of Gen. Israel Putnam, together with some remarks 
upon a few clauses in it. I never indeed had the pleasure of 
perusing the whole of said history, but remember to have seen 
some time ago an extract from it in one of the Boston news- 
papers, in which the colonel has extolled the beauty and good 
sense, and rare accomplishments of Mrs. Howe, the person 
whom he endeavors to paint in the most lively and engaging 
colors, perhaps a little too highly, and in a style that may ap- 
pear to those who are acquainted with her to ihis day romantic 
and extravagant. And the colonel must needs have been mis- 
informed with respect to some particulars that he has men- 
tioned in her history- Indeed, when I read the extract from 
his history to Mrs. Tute, (which name she has derived from a 
third husband, whose widow she now remains,) she seemed to 
be well pleased, and said at first it was all true, but soon after 
contradicted the circumstance of her lover's being so bereft of 
his senses, when he saw her moving off in a boat at some dis- 
tance from the shore, as to plunge into the water after her, in 
consequence of which he was seen no more. It is true, she 



CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 165 

said, that as she was reluming from Montreal to Albany, she 
met with young Sac.capee on the way ; that she was in a 
boat with Colonel Schuyler; that the French officer came on 
board the boat, made her some handsome presents, took his 
final leave of her, and departed, to outward appearance in tole- 
rable good humor. 

She moreover says, that when she went to Canada for her 
daughter, she met with him again, that he showed her a lock 
of her hair, and her name likewise, printed with vermillion on 
his arm. As to her being chosen agent to go to Europe, in 
behalf of the people of Hinsdale, Avhen Colonel Howard ob- 
tained from the government of New York a patent of their 
lands on the west side of Connecticut river, it was never once 
thought of by Hinsdale people until the above-mentioned ex- 
tract arrived among them, in which the author has inserted it 
as a matter of undoubted fact. 



NARRATIVE 

OP THE CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE, WHO WAS, AMONG 
OTHERS, TAKEN BY THE INDIANS FROM SWAN ISLAND, IN 
MAINE, ABOUT THE YEAR 1755; COMPILED BY JOHN KELLY, 
ESa. OF CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, FROM THE MINUTES 
AND MEMORANDA OF PHINEHAS MERRILL, ESQ. OF STRAT- 
HAM, IN THE SAME STATE ; AND BY THE FORMER GEN- 
TLEMAN COMMUNICATED FOR PUBLICATION TO THE EDI- 
TORS OF THE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF NEW HAMP- 
SHIRE. 

James Whidden, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Shute, 
was a captain in the army at the taking of Cape Breton in 
1745. He owned a tract of land on Swan Island, in the river 
Kennebec, where he lived with his family. One of his daugh- 
ters married Lazarus Noble, of Portsmouth, who lived on the 
island with her father. The Indians had been accustomed to 
visit Capt. Whidden for the purposes of trade. There was a 
garrison on the island to secure the inhabitants from the attacks 
of the enemy in time of Avar. 

One morning, a little after daybreak, two boys went out of 
the garrison and left the gate open. The Indians were on the 
watch, and availing themselves of the opportunity, about ninety 
entered the garrison. The inhabitants immediately discovered 



166 CAPTIVITY OF FRA?sCES NOBLE. 

that the enemy was upon them ; but there was no escape. 
Captain Whidden and his wife retreated to the cellar, and con- 
cealed themselves. Noble and his hired man met the Indians 
at the head of the stairs, and fired upon them, wounding one 
of them in the arm. The Indians did not return the fire, but 
took Noble, his wife, and seven children, with Timothy Whid- 
den and Mary Holmes, prisoners. The hired man and the 
two boys escaped. The captives were carried to the water's 
side and bound; excepting such as could not run away. The 
Indians then returned to the garrison, burnt the barn and plun- 
dered the house, cut open the feather beds, strewed the feath- 
ers in the field, and carried off all the silver and gold they 
could find, and as much of the provisions as they chose. It 
was supposed they omitted to burn the house from the suspi- 
cion that the captain and his wife, from whom they had, in 
times of peace, received many favors, were concealed in it. 
Capt. Whidden, after the destruction of his property on the 
island, returned to Greenland, in this state, which is supposed 
to have been his native place, and there died. 

The Indians also took in a wood on the island an old man 
by the name of Pomeroy, who was employed in making shin- 
gles. Having collected their captives and plunder, they imme- 
diately left the island, and commenced their return to Canada to 
dispose of their prey. Pomeroy was old and feeble, and unable 
to endure the fatigue of the march, without more assistance than 
the savages thought fit to render him, and they killed him on 
the journey. They were more attentive to the children, as for 
them they undoubtedly expected a higher price or a greater 
ransom. Abigail, one of the children, died among the Indians. 
The other captives arrived safe in Canada, and were variously 
disposed of. Mr. Noble was sold to a baker in Quebec, and 
his wife to a lady of the same place as a chambermaid. They 
were allowed to visit each other and to sleep together. Four 
of the children were also sold in Quebec, as were Timothy 
Whidden and Mary Holmes. The captives in that city were 
exchanged within a year, and returned to their homes. Mr. 
Whidden and Miss Holmes were afterwards united in mar- 



Fanny Noble, the principal subject of this memoir, at the 
time of her captivity, was about thirteen months old. She 
was carried by a party of Indians to Montreal. In their at- 
tempts to dispose of her, they took her one day to the house 
of Monsieur Louis St. Auge Charlee, an eminent merchant of 
that place, who was at that time on a journey to Quebec. His 
lady was called into the kitchen by one of her maids to see a 



CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 167 

poor infant crawling on the tile floor in dirt and rags, picking 
apple peelings out of the cracks. She came in, and on kindly 
noticing the child, Fanny immediately caught hold of the 
lady's gown, wrapped it over her head, and burst into tears. 
The lady could not easily resist this appeal to her compassion. 
She took up the child, who clung about her neck and repeat- 
edly embraced her. The Indians offered to sell her their little 
captive, but she declined buying, not choosing probably in the 
absence of her husband to venture on such a purchase. The 
Indians left the house, and slept that night on the pavements 
before the door. Fanny, who had again heard the voice of 
kindness, to which she had not been accustomed from her sav- 
age masters, could not be quiet, but disturbed the slumbers and 
touched the heart of the French lady by her incessant cries. 
This lady had then lately lost a child by death, and was per- 
haps more quick to feel for the sufferings of children, and 
more disposed to love them, than she would otherwise have 
been. Early the next morning the Indians were called into 
the house; Fanny was purchased, put into a tub of water, and 
having been thoroughly Avashed, was dressed in the clothes of 
the deceased child, and put to bed. She awoke smiling, and 
seemed desirous of repaying her mistress' kindness by her in- 
fantile prattle and fond caresses. Fanny could never learn 
for what price she was bought of the Indians, as her French 
mother declined answering her questions upon that subject, 
telling her to be a good girl, and be thankful that she was not 
still in their power. 

Mons. and Mad. St. Auo-e took a lively interest in-their little 
captive, and treated her with much tenderness and affection. 
She felt for them a filial attachment. When her parents were 
exchanged, her mother, on her return home, called upon Fanny, 
and took the child in her arms, but no instinct taught her to 
rejoice in the maternal embrace, and she fled for protection to 
her French mamma. Mrs. Noble received many presents 
from the French lady, and had the satisfaction to see that her 
little daughter was left in affectionate hands. 

Fanny was taught to call and consider Mons. and Mad. St. 
Auge as her parents. They had her baptized by the name of 
Eleanor, and educated her in the Roman Catholic religion. 
She learned her Pater Nosters and Ave Marias, went to mass, 
crossed herself with holy water, and told her beads with great 
devotion. 

When four or five years old, she was enticed away from her 
French parents by Wheelwright, who had been employed by 
the government of Massachusetts to seek for captives in Can- 
ada. He carried her to the Three Rivers, where he had sev> 



168 CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 

eral other captives, and left her, as he pretended, with a rela- 
tion of her French father's for a few days, when she expected 
to return to Montreal. But she had not been to the Three 
Rivers more than twenty-four hours, when the old squaw 
who had sold her to Mad. St. Auge came along in a sleigh, 
accompanied by a young sanop, seized upon Fanny, and car- 
ried her to St. Francois, where they kept her about a fortnight. 
She had now attained an age when she would be sensible of 
her misfortunes, and bitterly lamented her separation from her 
French parents. The Indians endeavored to pacify and please 
her by drawing on her coat or frock the figures of deers, wolves, 
bears, fishes, &c. ; and once, probably to make her look as 
handsomely as themselves, they painted her cheeks in the 
Indian fashion, which very much distressed her, and the old 
squaw made them wipe off the paint. At one time she got 
away from the savages, and sought refuge in the best-look- 
ing house in the village, which belonged to a French priest, 
who kissed her, asked her many questions, and treated her 
kindly, but gave her up to the claim of her Indian masters. 
While at St. Francois, her brother, Joseph Noble, who had 
not been sold to the French, but still lived with the Indians, 
came to see her, but she had a great aversion to him. He was 
in his Indian dress, and she would not believe him to be a rela- 
tion, or speak to him if she could avoid it. She was at last 
turned back by the Indians to Montreal, and to her great satis- 
faction was delivered to her French father, who rewarded the 
Indians for returning her. It was doubtless the expectation of 
much reward which induced the old squaw to seize her at the 
Three Rivers, as the Indians not unfrequently stole back cap- 
tives, in order to extort presents for their return from the 
French gentlemen to whom the same captives had before been 
sold. Before this time she had been hastily carried from Mont- 
real, hurried over mountains and across waters, and concealed 
among flags, while those who accompanied her were evidently 
pursued, and in great apprehension of being overtaken ; but 
the occasion of this flight or its incidents she was too young to 
understand or distinctly to remember, and she was unable after- 
wards to satisfy herself whether her French father conveyed 
her away to keep her out of the reach of her natural friends, 
or whether she was taken by those friends, and afterwards re- 
taken as at the Three Rivers and returned to Montreal. The 
French parents cautiously avoided informing her upon this 
subject, or upon any other which should remind her of her cap- 
tivity, her country, her parents or her friends, lest she should 
become discontented with her situation, and desirous of leav- 
ing those who had adopted her. They kept her secreted from 



CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 169 

her natural friends, who were in search of her, and evaded 
every question which might lead to her discovery. One day, 
when Mons. St. Auge and most of his family were at ma.ss, 
she Avas sent with another captive to the third story of the 
house, and the domestics were required strictly to watch them, 
as it was known that some of her relations v/ere then in the 
place endeavoring to find her. Of this circumstance she was 
ignorant, but she was displeased with her confinement, and 
with her little companion found means to escape from their 
room and went below. While raising a cup of water to her 
mouth, she saw a man looking at her through the window, and 
stretching out his arm towards her, at the same time speaking 
a language Avhich she could not understand. She Was very 
much alarmed, threw down her water, and ran with all possi- 
ble speed to her room. Little did she suppose that it was her 
own father, from v.-hom she was flying in sucii fear and horror. 
He had returned to Canada to seek those of his cltildren who 
remained there. He could hear nothing of his Fanny ; but 
watching the house, he perceived her, as was just stated, and 
joyfully stretching his arms towards her, exclaimed, " There's 
my daughter ! 0! that's my daughter ! " But she retreated, 
and he could not gain admittance, for the house was guarded 
and no stranger permitted to enter. How long he continued 
hovering about her is now unknown, but he left Canada with- 
out embracing her or seeing her again. 

Her French parents put her to a boarding school attached to 
a nunnery in Montreal, where she remained several years, and 
was taught all branches of needle- work, with geography, 
music, painting, &c. In the same school v\'-ere two Misses 
Johnsons, who were captured at Charlestown, (No. 4) in 17f54, 
and tv.'o Misses Phipps, the daughters of Mrs. Howe, who 
were taken at Hinsdale in 1755. Fanny was in school when 
Mrs. Howe came for her daughters, and long remembered the 
grief and lamentations of the young captives when obliged 
to leave their school and mates to return to a strange, thouch 
their native country, and to relatives whom they had long for- 
gotten. 

While at school at Montreal, her brother Joseph again vis- 
ited her. He still belonged to the St. Francois tribe of Indians, 
and was dressed remarkably fine, having forty or fiftv broaches 
in his shirt, clasps on his arm, and a great variety of knots and 
bells about his clothing. He brought his little sister Ellen, as 
she was then called, and who was then not far from seven 
years old, a young fawn, a basket of cranberries, and a lump 
of sap sugar. The little girl was much pleased with the fawn, 
and had no great aversion to cranberries and sugar, but s-ho 
15 



170 CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 

was much frightened by the appearance of Joseph, and would 
receive nothing from his hands till, at the suggestion of her 
friends, he had washed the paint from his face and made some 
alteration in his dress, when she ventured to accept his offer- 
ings, and immediately ran from his presence. The next day, 
Joseph returned with the Indians to St. Francois, but some 
time afterwards Slons. St. Auge purchased him of the sava- 
ges, and dressed him in the French stylo ; but he never ap- 
peared so bold and majestic, so spirited and vivacious, as when 
arrayed in his Indian habit and associating with his Indian 
friends. He however became much attached to St. Ange, who 
put him to school j and -when his sister parted with him upon 
leaving Canada, he gave her a strict charge not to let it be 
known where he was, lest he too should be obliged to leave 
his friends and return to the place of his birth. 

When between eleven and twelve years of age, Fanny was 
sent to the school of XJrsuline nuns in Quebec, to complete her 
education. Here the discipline was much more strict and sol- 
emn than in the school at Montreal. In both places the teach' 
ers were called half nuns, who, not being professed, were allow- 
ed to go in and out at pleasure ; but at Quebec the pupils were 
in a great measure secluded from the world, being permitted 
to walk only in a small garden by day, and confined by bolts 
and bars in their cells at night. This restraint was irksome to 
Fanny. She grew discontented ; and at the close of the year 
was pennitted to return to her French parents at Montreal, and 
again enter the school in that city. 

While Fanny was in the nunnery, being: then in her four- 
teenth year, she was one day equally surprised and alarmed 
by the entrance of a stranger, ivho demanded her of the nuns 
as a redeemed captive. Her father had employed this man, 
ArnoM, to seek out his daughter and obtain her from the 
French, who had hitherto succeeded in detaining her. Arnold 
was well calculated for this employment, lie v/as secret, sub- 
tle, resolute and persevering. He had been some time in the 
city without exciting a suspicion of his business. He had 
ascertained where the captive was to be found — he had pro- 
cured the necessary pov/ers to secure- her, and in his approach 
to the nunnery was accompanied by a sergeant and a file of 
m.en. The nuns were unwilling to deliver up their pupil, and 
required to know by what right he demanded her. Arnold 
convinced them that his authority was derived from the gov- 
ernor, and they durst not disobey. They, however, prolonged 
the time as much as possible, and sent word to Mons. St. Auge, 
hoping that he would be able in some way or other to detain 
his adopted daughter. Arnold however was not to be delayed 



CAPTIVITY OF FRANCES NOBLE. 171 

or trifled with. He sternly demanded the captive by the name 
of Noble in the governor's name, and the nuns were awed 
into submission. Fanny, weeping and trembling, was deliv- 
ered up by those who wept and trembled too. She accom- 
panied Arnold to the gate of the nunnery, but the idea of 
leaving forever those whom she loved and going with a com- 
pany of armed men she knew not whither, was too overwhelm- 
ing, and she sunk upon the ground. Her cries and lamenta- 
tions drew the people around her, and she exclaimed bitterly 
against the cruelty of forcing her away, declaring that she could 
not and would not go any further as a prisoner with those fright- 
ful soldiers. At this time an English officer appeared in the 
crowd ; he reasoned with her, soothed her, and persuaded her 
to walk with him, assuring her the guard should be dismissed 
and no injury befall her. As they passed by the door of 
Mons. St. Auge, on their way to the inn, her grief and excla- 
mations were renewed, and it was with great difficulty that 
she could be persuaded to proceed. But the guard had merely 
fallen back, and were too near to prevent a rescue, had an at- 
tempt been made. Capt. M'Clure, the English officer, promised 
her that she should be permitted to visit her French parents 
the next day. She found them in tears, but they could not 
detain her. Mons. St. Auge gave her a handful of money, 
and embraced her, blessed her, and rushed out of the room. 
His lady supplied her with clothes, and their parting was most 
affectionate and affecting. She lived to a considerably ad- 
vanced age, but she could never speak of this scene without 
visible and deep emotion. 

She was carried down the river to Quebec, where she tar- 
ried a few days, and then sailed with Captain Wilson for Bos- 
ton. She arrived at that port in July, one month before she 
was fourteen years of age. She was joyfully received by 
her friends, but her father did not long survive her return. 
After his death she resided in the family of Capt. Wilson, at 
Boston, until she had acquired the English language, of which 
before she was almost entirely ignorant. She then went to 
Newbury, and lived in the family of a relative of her father, 
where she found a home, and that peace to which she had long 
been a stranger. Her education had qualified her for the 
instruction of youth, and she partially devoted herself to that 
employment. She was engaged in a school at Hampton, 
where she formed an acquaintance with Mr. Jonathan Tilton, 
a gentleman of good property in Kensington, whom she mar- 
ried about the year 1776. He died in 1798. In 1801, she 
married Mr. John Shute, of New-Market, and lived in the vil- 
lage of Newfields in that town till her death, in September, 



172 



CAPTAIN CARVER'S NARRATIVE. 



1S19. She was much respected and esteemed in life, and her 
death was, as her life had been, that of a Christian. 




CAPTAIN JONATHAN CARVER'S 

NARRATIVE OF HIS CAPTURE, AND SUBSEQUENT ESCAPE 
FROM THE INDIANS, AT THE BLOODY MASSACRE COMMIT- 
TED BY THEM, WHEN FORT WILLIAM HENRY FELL INTO 
THE HANDS OF THE FRENCH, UNDER GEN. MONTCALM, IN 
THE YEAR 1757. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 



Gen. Webb, who commanded the English army in North 
America, which was then encamped at fort Edward, having 
intelligence that the French troops under Monsieur Montcalm 
were making some movements towards fort William Henry, he 
detached a corps of about fifteen hundred men, consisting of 
English and provincials, to strengthen the garrison. In this 
party I went as a volunteer among the latter. 

The apprehensions of the English general were not without 
foundation ;' for the day after our arrival we saw lake George, 
(formerly lake Sacrament) to which it lies contiguous, covered 
with an immense number of boats ; and in a few hours we 
found our lines attacked by the French general, who had just 
landed with eleven thousand regulars and Canadians, and two 
thousand Indians. Colonel Monro, a brave officer, commanded 
in the fort, and had no more than two thousand three hundred 
men with him, our detachment included. 



CAPTAIN CARVER'S NARRATIVE. 173 

With these he made a gallant defence, and probably would 
have been able at last to preserve the fort, had he been properly- 
supported, and permitted to continue his efforts. On every 
summons to surrender sent by the French general, who offered 
the most honorable terms, his answer repeatedly was, that he 
yet found himself in a condition to repel the most vicrorous 
attacks his besiegers were able to make ; and if he thought his 
present force insuflicient, he could soon be supplied with a 
greater number from the adjacent army. 

But the colonel having acquainted General Webb with his 
situation, and desired he would send him some fresh troops, 
the general dispatched a messenger to him with a letter, where- 
in he informed him that it was not in his power to assist him, 
and therefore gave him orders to surrender up the fort on the 
best terms he could procure. This packet fell into the hands 
of the French general, Avho immediately sent a flag of truce, 
desiring a conference with the governor. 

They accordingly met, attended only by a small guard, in 
the centre between the lines ; when Monsieur Montcalm told 
the colonel, that he was come in person to demand possession 
of the fort, as it belonged to the king his master. The colonel 
replied, that he knew not how that could be, nor should he 
surrender it up whilst it was in his power to defend it. 

The French general rejoined at the same time delivering 
the packet into the colonel's hand, " By this authority do I 
make the requisition." The brave governor had no sooner 
read the contents of it, and was convinced that such were the 
orders of the commander-in-chief, and not to be disobeyed, 
than he hung his head in silence, and reluctantly entered into 
a negotiation. 

In consideration of the gallant defence the garrison had made, 
they were to be permitted to march out with all the honors of 
war, to be allowed covered wagons to transport their baggage 
to fort Edward, and a guard to protect them from the fury of 
the savages. 

The morning after the capitulation was signed, as soon as 
day broke, the whole garrison, now consisting of about two 
thousand men, besides women and children, were drawn up 
within the lines, and on the point of marching ofl", when great 
numbers of the Indians gathered about, and began to plunder. 
We were at first in hopes that this was their only view, and. 
suffered them to proceed without opposition. Indeed it was 
not in our power to make any, had we been so inclined ; for 
though we were permitted to carry off our arms, yet we were 
not allowed a single round of ammunition. In these hopes 
however we were disappointed ; for presently some of them 
15* 



174 CAPTAIN CARVER^S NARRATIVE. 

began to attack the sick and wounded, when such as were not 
able to crawl into the ranks, notwithstanding they endeavored 
to avert the fury of their enemies by their shrieks or groans, 
were soon dispatched. 

Here we were fully in expectation that the disturbance would 
have concluded ; and our liitle army began to move; but in a 
short time we saAV the front division driven back, and discov- 
ered that we were entirely encircled by the savages. "We 
expected every moment that the guard, which the French, by 
the articles of capitulation, had agreed to allow us, Avould have 
arrived, and put an end to our apprehensions; but none ap- 
peared. The Indians now began to strip every one without 
exception of their arms and clothes, and those who made the 
least resistance felt the weight of their tomahawks. 

I happened to be in the rear division, but it was not long 
before I shared the fate of my companions. Three or four of 
the savages laid hold of me, and v/hilst some held their wea- 
pons over my head, the others soon disrobed me of my coat, 
waistcoat, hat and buckles, omittinj; not to take from me what 
money I had in my pocket. As this was transacted close by 
the passage that led from the lines on to the plain, near which 
a French sentinel was posted, I ran to him and claimed his 
protection ; but he only called me an English dog, and thrust 
nie with violence back again into the midsl of the Indians. 

I now endeavored to join a body of our troops that were 
crowded together at some distance ; but innumerable were the 
blows that were made at me with different weapons as I passed 
on ; luckily however the savages Avere so close together that 
they could not strike at me without endangering each other. 
Notwithstanding which one of them found means to make a 
thrust at me with a spear, which grazed my side, and from 
another I received a wound, with the same kind of weapon, in 
my ankle. At length I gained the spot where my countrymen 
stood, and forced myself into the midst of them. But before 
I got thus far out of the hands of the Indians, the collar and 
wristbands of my shirt Avere all that remained of it, and my 
flesh Avas scratched and torn in many places by their savage 
gripes. 

By this time the war-AA^hoop AA'as giA^en, and the Indians 
began to murder those that Avere nearest to them Avithout dis- 
tinction. It is not in the poAver of words to giv^e any tolerable 
idea of the horrid scene that now ensued; men, Avomen, and 
children were dispatched in the most Avanton and cruel man- 
ner, and immediately scalped. Many of these savages drank 
the blood of their victims, as it flowed Avarm from the fatal 
wound. 



CAPTAIN CARVER'S NARRATIVE. 175 

We now perceived, though too late to avail us, thst we were 
to expect no relief from the French ; and that, contrary to the 
agreement they had so lately signed to allow us a sufRcient 
force to protect us from these insults, they tacitly permitted 
them; for I could plainly perceive the French officers walking 
about at some distance, discoursing together with apparent 
unconcern. For the honor of human nature I would hope that 
this flagrant breach of every sacred laAV proceeded rather from 
the savage disposition of the jRdians, which I acknowledge it 
is sometimes almost impossible to control, and which miglit 
now unexpectedly have arrived to a pitch not easily to he 
restrained, than to any premeditated design in the French 
commander. An unprejudiced observer would, however, be 
apt to conclude, that a body of ten thousand christian troo])s, 
most christian troops, had it in their power to prevent the mas- 
sacre from becoming so general. But whatever was the cause 
from which it nrose, the consequences of it were dreadful, and 
not to be paralleled in modern history. 

As the circle in which 1 stood inclosed by this time was much 
thinned, and death seemed to be approaching with hasty strides, 
it was proposed by some of the most resolute to make one 
vigorous eflort, and endeavor to force our way through the 
savages, the only probable method of preserving our lives that 
now remained. This, however desperate, was resolved on, 
and about twenty of us sprung at once into the midst of them. 

In a moment we were all separated, and what vv-as the fate 
of my companions I could not learn till some months after, 
when I found that only six or seven q( them effected their 
design. Intent only on my own hazardous situation, I endea- 
vored to make my way through my savage enemies in the best 
manner possible. And I have often been astonished since, 
when I have recollected with what composure I took, as I did, 
every necessary step for my preservation. Some I overturned, 
being at that time young and athletic, and others I passed by, 
dexterously avoiding their weapons ; till at last two very stout 
chiefs, of the most savage tribes, as I could distinguish by their 
dress, whose strength I could not resist, laid hold of me by 
each arm, and began to force me through the crowd. 

I now resigned myself to my fat«, not doubting but that they 
intended to dispatch me, and then to satiate their vengeance 
ivith my blood, as I found they were hurrying me towards a 
retired swamp that lay at some distance. But bei''ore we had 
got many yards, an English gentleman of some distinction, as 
I could discover by his breeches, the only covering he had on, 
which were of fine scarlet velvet, rushed close by us. One of 
the Indians instantly relinquished his hold, and springing oa 



176 CAPTAIN CARVER'S NAERAIIVE. 

this new object, endeavored to seize him as his prey; hnt the 
f;8nlleman being strong-, threw him on the ground, and would 
probably have got away, had not he v/ho held my other arm 
quilted me to assist his brother. I £,eized the opportunity, and 
liastened away to join another party of English troops that 
were yet unbroken, and stood in a body at some distance. But 
l>erore I had taken many steps, I hastily cast my eye towards 
the gentleman, and saw the Indian's tomahawk gash into his 
back, and heard him utter his last groan. This added both to 
my speed and desperation. 

I had left this shocking scene but a few yards, when a fine 
boy about twelve years of age, that had hitherto escaped, came 
up to me, and begged that I would let him lay hold of me, so 
that be might stand some chance of getting out of the hands 
of the savages. I told him that I would give him every assis- 
tance in my power, and to this purpose bid him lay hold ; bu! 
in a few moments he was torn from my side, and by his shrieks 
I judge was soon demolished. I could not help forgetting my 
own cares for a minute, to lament the fate of so young a suf- 
ferer ; but it was utterly impossible for me to take any methods 
to prevent it. 

I now got once more into the midst of friends, bat we were 
iniable to^ afford each other any succor. As this was the divi- 
sion that had advanced the furthest from the fort, I thought 
there might be a possibility (though but a bare c-ne) of my 
forcing my v/ay through the onter ranks of the Indians, and 
getting to a neighboring wood, which I perceived at some dis- 
tance. I was still encouraged to hope by the almost miraculous 
preservation I had already experienced. 

Nor were my hopes in vain, or the efforts I made ineffectuaL 
Suffice to say, that I reached the v/ood ; but by the time I had 
penetrated a little way into it, my breath was so exhausted 
that I threw myself into a break, and lay for some minutes 
apparently at the last gasp. At length I recnvpred the power 
of respiration; but my apprehensions returned with ail their 
former force, when I saw several savages pass by, probably in 
pursuit of me, at no very great distance. In this situation I 
knew not v/hether it was better to proceed, or endeavor to con- 
ceal myself where I lay till night came on; fearing, however, 
that they would return the same way, I thought it most prudent 
to get further from the dreadful scene of my distresses. ' Ac- 
cordingly, striking into another part of the wood, I hastened 
on as fast as the briers and the loss of one of my shoes would 
permit me ; and after a slow progress of some hours, gained a 
liil! that overlooked the plain which I had just left, from whence 



CAPTAIN CARVER'S NARRATIVE. 177 

I could discern that the bloody storm still raged with unabated 
fury. 

But not to tire my readers, I shall only add, that after pass- 
ing three days without subsistence, and enduring the severity 
of the cold dews for three nights, I at length reached fort Ed- 
ward ; where with proper care my body soon recovered its 
v/onted strength, and my mind, as far as the recollection of the 
late melancholy events would permit, its usual composure. 

It was computed that fifteen hundred persons were killed or 
made prisoners by these savages during this fatal day. Many 
of the latter were carried off by them and never returned. A 
few, through favorable accidents, found their way back to their 
native country, after having experienced a long and severe 
captivity. 

The brave Col. Monro had hastened away, soon after the 
confusion began, to the French camp, to endeavor to procure 
the guard agreed by the stipulation ; but his application prov- 
ing ineflectual, he remained there till General Webb sent a 
party of troops to demand and protect him back to fort Edward. 
But these unhappy concurrences, which would probably have 
been prevented had he been left to pursue his own plans, 
together with the loss of so many brave fellows, murdered in 
cold blood, to whose valor he had been so lately a witness, 
made such an impression on his mind that he did not long 
survive. He died in about three months of a broken heart, and 
with truth might it be said that he was an honor to his coun- 

I mean not to point out the following circumstance as the 
imm.ediate judgment of heaven, and intended as an atonement 
for this slaughter; but I cannot omit that very few of those 
different tribes of Indians that shared in it eA^er lived to return 
home. The small-pox, by means of their communication with 
the Europeans, found its way among them, and made an equal 
havoc to what they thetnselves had done. The methods they 
pursued on the first attack of that malignant disorder, to abate 
the fever attending it, rendered it fatal. Whilst their blood 
was in a state of fermentation, and nature was striving to throw 
out the peccant matter, they checked her operations by plung- 
ing into the water; the consequence was that they died by 
hundreds. The few that survived were transformed by it into 
hideous objects, and bore with them to the grave deep indented 
marks of this much dreaded disease. 

Monsieur Montcalm fell soon after on the plains of Quebec. 

That the unprovoked cruelty of this commander was not 
approved of by the generality of his countrymen, I have since 
been convinced of by many proofs. One only, however, which 



173 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

I received from a person who was witness to it, shall I at pre- 
sent give. A Canadian merchant, of some consideration, 
having heard of the surrender of the English fort, celebrated 
the fortunate event with great rejoicings and hospitality, ac- 
cording to the custom of that country ; but no sooner did the 
news of the massacre which ensued reach his ears, than he 
put an immediate stop to the festivity, and exclaimed in the 
severest terms against the inhuman permission ; declaring at 
the same time that those who had connived at it had thereby 
drawn down on that part of their king's dominions the ven- 
geance of Heaven. To this he added, that he much feared the 
total loss of them would deservedly be the consequence. How 
truly this prediction has been verified we well know. 



AN ACCOUNT 

OF THE REMARKABLE OCCURRENCES IN THE LIFE AND 
TRAVELS OF COLONEL JAMES SMITH, (LATE A CITIZEN OF 
BOURBON COUNTY, KENTUCKY,) DURING HIS CAPTIVITY 
WITH THE INDIANS, IN THE YEARS 1755, '56, '57, '58, AND '59. 
In which the Customs, Manners, Traditions, Theological Sentiments, Modo 
of Warfare, Military Tactics, Discipline and Encampments, Treatment of 
Prisoners, &c. are better explained, and more minutely related, than has been 
heretofore done by any author on that subject. Together with a description 
of the Soil, Timber and Waters, where he travelled with the Indians during 
his captivity. — To which is added a brief account of some very uncommon 
occurrences which transpired after his return from captivity ; as well as of 
the different campaig-ns carried on against the Indians to the westward of 
fort Pitt, since the year 1755, to the present date, 1799. — Written by himself. 

Preface. — I was strongly urged to publish the following 
work immediately after my return from captivity, which was 
nearly forty years ago ; but, as at that time the Americans 
were so little acquainted with Indian affairs, I apprehended a 
great part of it would be viewed as fable or romance. 

As the Indians never attempted to prevent me either from 
reading or writing, I kept a journal, which I revised shortly 
after my return from captivity, and which I have kept ever 
since ; and as I have had but a moderate English education, 
have been advised to employ some person of liberal education 
to transcribe and embellish it — but believing that nature always 
outshines art, have thought, that occurrences truly and plainly 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 179 

stated, as they happened, would make the best history, be bet- 
ter understood, and most entertaining. 

In the different Indian speeches copied into this work, I ha^'e 
not only imitated their own style, or mode of speaking, but have 
also preserved the ideas meant to be communicated in those 
speeches. In common conversation I have used my own style, 
but preserved their ideas. The principal advantage that I 
expect will result to the public, from the publication of the fol- 
lowing sheets, is the observations on the hidian mode of warfare. 
Experience has taught the Americans the necessity of adopting 
their mode; and the more perfect we are in that mode, tho 
better we shall be able to defend ourseh'es against them, wheii 
defence is necessary. 

JAMES SMITH. 

Bourbon Co^tntij, June 1st, 1799. 



Introduction. — More than thirty years have elapsed sirire the publica- 
tion of Col. Sraith'« journal. Tlie only edition ever presented to the pub- 
lie was printed in Lexington, Kentuclcy, by John Bradford, in 1799. That 
edition being in pamphlet form, it is presumed that there is not now a 
dozen entire copies remaining. A new generation has sprung up, and it is 
believed the time has now arrived, wlien a second edition, in a more dura- 
ble form, will be well received by the public. The character of Colonel 
Smith is well known in the western country, especially amongst the vete- 
ran pioneers of Kentucky and Tennessee. He was a patriot in the strictest 
sense of the word. His" whole life was devoted to the service of his court- 
try. Raised, as it were, in the wilderness, he received but a limited edu- 
cation ; yet nature had en.vowed him with a vigorous constitution, and a 
strong and sensible mind ; and whether in the camp or the halls of legis- 
lation, he gave ample proofs of being, by practice as well as profession, a 
soldier and a statesman. 

During the war of ISll and 12, being then too old to be serviceable in 
the field, he made a tender of his experience, and published a treatise on 
tiie Indian mode of warfare, with v.hich sad experience had made him so 
well acquairtted. He died shortly afterwards, at the house of a brother- 
in-law, in Washington county, Kentucky. He was esteemed by all who 
knew him as an exemplary Christian, and a consistent and unwavering 
patriot. 

By his first marriage, he had several children ; and two of his sons, 
Y/illiam and James, it is believed, are now living. The name of his first 
wife is not recollected. 

Ill the year 1785, he hitermarried with I\Irs. TMargaret Irvin, the widow 
of Mr. Abraham Irvin. Mrs. Irvin was a lady of a highly cultivated 
mind; and had she lived in more auspicious times, and possessed the 
advantages of many of her sex, she would have made no ordinary figure 
as a writer, both in prose and verse. And it may not be uninteresting to 
the friends of Col. Smith to give a short sketch of her life. Her maiden 
name was Rodgers. She was born in the year 1744, in Hanover comity, 
Virginia. She was of a respectable family ; her father and the Rev. Dr. 
Kodgers, of New Yorlc, were brothers' children. Her mother was sister 
to liie Rev. James Caldwell, who was killed by the British and lories at 
Elizabeth Poiat, New Jersey. Her father removed, when she was a child. 



IS^ COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

to \vhat was then called Litnenburg, now Charlotte county, Virginia. She 
never -went to school but three months, and that at the age of five years. 
i\t the expiration of that term the school ceased, and she had no opportu- 
nity to attend one afterwards. Her mother, however, being an intelligent 
wtiman, and an excellent scholar, gave her lessons at home. On the 5t!> 
of November, 1764, she was married to IMr. Irvin, a respectable man, 
tiiough in moderate circumstances. In the year 1777, when every true 
friend of his country felt it his duty to render some personal service, he 
and a neighbor, by the name of "William Handy, agreed that they would 
enlist for the term of three years, and each to serve eighteen months \ 
Irvin to serve the first half, and Handy the second. Blr. Irvin entered 
itpon duty, in company with many others from that section of the country. 
When they had marched to Dumfries, Va., before they joined the main 
army, they were ordered to halt, and inoculate for the small-pox. Irvin 
neglected to inoculate, under the impression he had had the disease during 
infancy. The consequence was, he took the small-pox in the natural way^" 
and died, leaving- Mrs. Irvin, and five small children, four sons and a 
daughter. 

In the fall of 1782, Mrs. Irvin remo^'ed, in company with a number of 
enterprising Virginians, to the wilds of Kentucky ; and three years al'ter- 
wards intermarried with Col. Smith, by whom she had no issue. She died 
about the year 1800, in Bourbon county, Kentucky, in the 56th year of 
her age. She was a member of the Presbyterian church, and sustained 
Ihrongh life an unblem-ished reputation. In early hfe she wrote but httle, 
most of her productions being the fruits of her maturer years, and while 
she vras the wife of Col. Smith. But little of her composition has ever 
been put to press ; but her genius and taste were always acknowledged by 
those who had access to the productions of her pen. She had a happy 
talent for pastoral poetry, and many fugitive pieces ascribed to her will 
Itng be cherished and admired by tlie children of song. 

'N.A.RRATIVE. — In May, 1755, the province of Pennsylvania 
ai^reed to send out three hundred men, in order to cut a wagon 
road from fort Loudon, to join Braddock's road, near the Tur- 
key Foot, or three forks of Yohogania. My brother-in-law, 
William Smith, Esq. of Conococheague, was appointed com- 
missioner, to have the oversight of these road-cutters. 

Though I was at that time only eighteen years of age, I had 
fallen violently in love with a young lady, whom I apprehended 
was possessed of a large share of both beauty and virtue ; but 
being born between Venus and Mars, I concluded I must also 
leave my dear fair one, and go out with this company of road- 
cutters,. to see the event of this campaign; but still expecting 
that some time in the course of this summer I should agaiii 
return to the arms of my beloved. 

We went on with the road, without interruption, until near 
the Alleghany mountain ; when I was sent back, in order to 
hurry up some provision-wagons that were on the way after 
us. I proceeded down the road as far as the crossings of Ju- 
niata, where, finding the wagons were coming on as fast as 
possible, I returned up the road again towards the Alleghany 



COLONEL SMITirS CAPTIVITY. 181 

mountain, in company with one Arnold Vigoras. About four 
or five miles above Bedford, three Indians had made a blind of 
bushes, stuck in the ground, as though they grew naturally, 
where they concealed themselves, about fifteen yards from the 
road. When we came opposite to them, they fired upon us, at 
this short distance, and killed my fellow-traveller, yet their 
bullets did not touch me ; but my horse making a violent start, 
threw me, and the Indians immediately ran up and took me 
prisoner. The one that laid hold on me was a Canasatauga, 
the other two were Delawares. One of them could speak 
English, and asked me if there were any more white men 
coming after. I told them not any near that I knew of. Two 
of these Indians stood by me, whilst the other scalped my 
comrade ; they then set off and ran at a smart rate through the 
woods, for about fifteen miles, and that night we slept on the 
Alleghany mountain, without fire. 

The next morning they divided the last of their provision 
which they had brought from fort Du Quesne, and gave me an 
equal share, which was about two or three ounces of mouldy 
biscuit; this.and a young ground-hog, about as large as a rab- 
bit, roasted, and also equally divided, was all the provision we 
had until we came to the Loyal Hannan, which was about fifty 
miles ; and a great part of the way we came through exceed- 
ing rocky laurel thickets, without any path. "When we came 
to the west side of Laurel hill, they gave the scalp halloo, as 
usual, which is a long yall or halloo for avcrj scalp or prisoner 
thev have in possession ; the last of these scalp halloos were 
followed with quick and sudden shrill shouts of joy and tri- 
umph. On their performing this, we wore answered by the 
firing of a number of guns on the Loyal Ilannan, one after 
another, quicker than one could count, by another party of 
Indians, who were encamped near where Ligoneer now stands. 
As we advanced near this party, they increased with repeated 
shouts of joy and triumph ; but I did not share with them in 
their excessive mirth. When we came to this camp, we found 
they had plenty of turkeys and other meat there ; and though 
I never before eat venison without bread or salt, yet as I was 
hungry it relished very well. There we lay that night, and 
the next morning the whole of us marched on our way for fort 
Du Quesne. The night after v/e joined another camp of In- 
dians, with nearly the same ceremony, attended with great 
noise, and apparent joy, among all except one. The next 
morning we continued our march, and in the afternoon we came 
in full view of the fort, which stood on the point, near where 
fort Pitt now stands. We then made a halt on the bank of the 
Alleghany, and repeated the scalp halloo, which was answered 
16 



182 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITy. 

by the firing of all the firelocks in the hands of both Indians 
and French who were in and about the fort, in the aforesaid 
manner, and also the great guns, which were followed by the 
continued shouts and yells of the different savage tribes who 
were then collected there. 

As I was at this time unacquainted with this mode of firing 
and yelling of the savages, I concluded that there were thou- 
sands of Indians there ready to receive General Braddock ; but 
what added to my surprise, I saw numbers running towards 
me, stripped naked, excepting breech-clouts, and painted in the 
most hideous manner, of various colors, though the principal 
color was vermillion, or a bright red ; yet there was annexed to 
this black, brown, blue, &c. As they approached, they formed 
themselves into two long ranks, about two or three rods apart. 
I was told by an Indian that could speak English, that I must 
run betwixt these ranks, and that they would flog me all the 
way as I ran ; and if I ran quick, it would be so much the 
better, as they Avould quit when I got to the end of the ranks. 
There appeared to be a general rejoicing around me, yet I 
could find nothing like joy in my breast; but I started to the 
race with all the resolution and vigor I was capable of exerting, 
and found that it was as I had been told, for I was flogged the 
whole way. When I had got near the end of the lines, I was 
struck with something that appeared to me to be a stick, or the 
handle of a tomahawk, which caused me to fall to the ground. 
On my recovering my senses, I endeavored to renew my race ; 
but as I arose, some one cast sand in my eyes, which blinded 
me so that I could not see where to run. They continued 
beating me most intolerably, until I was at length insensible ; 
but before I lost my senses, I remember my wishing them to 
strike the fatal blow, for I thought they intended killing me, 
but apprehended they were too long about it. 

The first thing I remember was my being in the fort amidst 
the French and Indians, and a French doctor standing by me, 
who had opened a vein in my left arm : after which the inter- 
preter asked me how I did ; I told him I felt much pain. The 
doctor then washed my wounds, and the bruised places of my 
body, with French brandy. As I felt faint, and the brandy 
smelt well, I asked for some inwardly, but the doctor told me, 
by the interpreter, that it did not suit my case. 

When they found I could speak, a number of Indians came 
around me, and examined me, with threats of cruel death if I 
did not tell the truth. The first question they asked me was 
how many men were there in the party that were coming from 
Pennsylvania to join Braddock ? I told them the truth, that 
there were three hundred. The next question was, were they 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 1S3 

well armed ? I told them they were all well armed, (meaning 
the arm of flesh,) for they had only about thirty guns among 
the whole of them; which if the Indians had known, they 
would certainly have gone and cut them all off; therefore, I 
could not in conscience let them know the defenceless situation 
of these road-cutters. I was then sent to the hospital, and 
carefully attended by the doctors, and recovered quicker than 
what I expected. 

Some time after I was there, I was visited by the Delaware 
Indian already mentioned, who was at the taking of me, and 
could speak some English. Though he spoke but bad English, 
yet I found him to be a man of considerable understanding. 
I asked him if I had done any thing that had offended the In- 
dians which caused them to treat me so unmercifully. He 
said no ; it was only an old custom the Indians had, and it was 
like how do you do ; after that, he said, I Avould be well used. 
I asked him if I should be admitted to remain with the French. 
He said no; and told me that, as soon as I recovered, I must 
not only go with the Indians, but must be made an Indian my- 
self. I asked him what news from Braddock's army. He 
said the Indians spied them every day, and he showed me, by 
making marks on the ground with a stick, that Braddock's 
army was advancing in very close order, and that the Indians 
would surround them, take trees, and (as he expressed it) shoot 
um down all one pigeon. 

Shortly after this, on the 9th day of July, 1755, in the 
morning, I heard a great stir in the fort. As I could then 
walk with a staff in my hand, I went out of the door, which 
was just by the wall of the fort, and stood upon the wall, and 
viewed the Indians in a huddle before the gate, where were 
barrels of powder, bullets, flints, &c., and every one taking 
what suited. I saw the Indians also march off in rank entire ; 
likewise the French Canadians, and some regulars. After 
vieAA^ng the Indians and French in different positions, I com- 
puted them to be about four hundred, and wondered that they 
attempted to go out against Braddock with so small a party. 
I was then in high hopes that I would soon see them fly before 
the British troops, and that General Braddock would take the 
fort and rescue me. 

I remained anxious to know the event of this day; and, in 
the afternoon, I again observed a great noise and commotion 
in the fort, and though at that time I could not understand 
French, yet I found that it was the voice of joy and triumph, 
and feared that they had received what I called bad news. 

I had observed some of the old country soldiers speak 
Dutch : as I spoke Dutch, I went to one of them, and asked 



184 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

him what was the news. He told me that a runner had just 
arrived, who said that Braddock would certainly be defeated ; 
that the Indians and French had surrounded him, and were 
concealed behind trees and in gullies, and kept a constant fire 
upon the English, and that vhey saw the English falling in 
heaps, and if they did not take the river, which was the only 
gap, and make their escape, there would not be one man left 
alive before sundown. Some time after this I heard a number 
of scalp halloos, and saw a company of Indians and French 
com.ing in. I observed they had a great many bloody scalps, 
grenadiers' caps, British canteens, bayonets, &c. with them. 
They brought the news that Braddock was defeated. After 
that another company came in, which appeared to be about one 
hundred, and chiefly Indians, and it seemed to me that almost 
every one of this company was carrying scalps ; after this 
came another company with a number of wagon horses, and 
also a great many scalps. Those that were coming in, and 
those that had arrived, kept a constant firing of small arms, 
and also the great guns in the fort, which were accompanied 
with the most hideous shouts and yells from all quarters ; so 
that it appeared to me as if the infernal regions had broke 
loose. 

About sundown I beheld a small party coming in v/ith 
about a dozen prisoners, stripped naked, with their hands tied 
behind their backs, and ' their faces and part of their bodies 
blacked ; these prisoners they burned to death on the bank of 
Alleghany river, opposite to the fort. I stood on the fort wall 
until I beheld them begin to burn one of these men ; they 
had him tied to a stake, and kept touching him with firebrands, 
red-hot irons, &c., and he screamed in a mo*t doleful manner ; 
the Indians, in the mean time, yelling like infernal spirits. 

As this scene appeared too shocking for me to behold, J 
retired to my lodgings both sore and sorry. 

When I came into my lodgings I saw RussePs Seven Ser- 
mons, which they had brought from the field of battle, which a 
Frenchman made a present to me. From the best information 
I could receive, there were only seven Indians and four French 
killed in this battle, and five hundred British lay dead in the 
field, besides Avhat were killed in the river on their retreat. 

The morning after the battle I saw Braddock's artillery 
brought into the fort ; the same day I also saw several Indians 
in British officers' dress, with sash, half moon, laced hats, &c., 
which the British then w^ore. 

A few days after this the Indians demanded me, and I was 
obliged to go with them. I was not yet well able to march, 
but they took me in a canoe up the Alleghany river to an In- 



COLONEL SMITHS CAPTIVITY. 1S5 

dian to-\vn, that was on the north side of the river, about forty 
miles above fort Du Quesne. Here I remained about three 
weeks, and Avas then taken to an Indian town on the west 
branch of Muskingum, about twenty miles above the forks, 
which was called TuUihas, inhabited by Delawares, Caughne- 
wagas, and Moliicans. On o\ir route betwixt the aforesaid 
towns the country was chiefly black oak and white oak land, 
which appeared generally to be good wheat land, chiefly second 
and third rate, intermixed with some rich bottoms. 

The day after my arrival at the aforesaid town, a number 
of Indians collected about me, and one of them began to pull 
the hair out of my head. He had some ashes on a piece of 
bark, in which he frequently dipped his fingers, in order to 
take the firmer hold, and so he went on, as if he had been 
plucking a turkey, until he had all the hair clean out of my 
head., except a small spot about three or four inches square on 
my crown; this they cut ofl'with a pair of scissors, excepting 
three locks, which tliey dressed up in their own mode. Two 
of these they wrapped round with a narrow beaded garter 
made by themselves for that purpose, and the other they plaited 
at full length, and then stuck it full of silver brooches. After 
this they bored my nose and ears, and fixed me ofl' with ear- 
rings and nose jewels ; then they ordered me to strip ofl' my 
clothes and put on a breech-clout, which I did; they then 
painted my head, face, and body, in various colors. They put 
a large belt of wampum on my neck, and silver bands on my 
hands and right arm; and so an old chief led me out in the 
street, and gave the alarm halloo, coo-uiigh, several times 
repeated quick; and on this, all that were in the town came 
running and stood round the old chief, who held me by the 
hand in the midst. As I at that time knew nothing of their 
mode of adoption, and had seen them put to death all they had 
taken, and as I never could find that they saved a man alive 
at Braddock's defeat, I made no doubt but they were about 
putting me to death in some cruel manner. The old chief, 
holding me by the hand, made a long speech, very loud, and 
Avhen he had done, he handed me to three young squaws, 
Avho led me by the hand down the bank, into the river, until 
the water v/as up to our middle. The squaws then made signs 
to me to plunge myself into the water, but I did not understand 
them ; I thought that the result of the council was that I 
should be drowned, and that these young ladies were to be the 
executioners. They all three laid violent hold of me, and I 
for some time opposed them with all mv might, which occa- 
sioned loud laughter by the multitude that were on the bank 
of the river. At length one of the squaws made out to speak 
16* 



186 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

a little English, (for I believe they began to Be afraid of me,) 
and said no hurt you. On this I gave myself up to their lady- 
ships, who were as good as their word ; for though they 
plunged me under water, and washed and rubbed me severely, 
yet I could not say they hurt me much. 

These young women then led me up to the council house, 
where some of the tribe were ready with new clothes for me. 
They gave me a new ruffled shirt, which I put on, also a pair 
of leggins done otf with ribbons and beads, likev\fise a pair of 
moccasins, and garters dressed with beads, porcupine quills, 
and red hair — also a tinsel laced cappo. They again painted 
my head and face with various colors, and tied a bunch of red 
feathers to one of those locks they had left on the crown of 
my head, which stood up five or six inches. They seated me 
on a bearskin, and gave me a pipe, tomahawk, and polecat- 
skin pouch, which had been skinned pocket fashion, and con- 
tained tobacco, killegenico, or dry sumach leaves, which they 
mix with their tobacco ; also spunk, flint, and steel. When I 
was thus seated, the Indians came in dressed and painted in 
their grandest manner. As they came in they took their seats, 
and for a considerable time there was a profound silence — 
ev^ery one was smoking ; but not a word was spoken among 
them. At length one of the chiefs made a speech, which was 
delivered to me by an interpreter, and was as followeth : " My 
son, you are now flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone. By 
the ceremony which was performed this day every drop of 
white blood was washed out of your veins ; you are taken into 
the Caughnewago nation, and initiated into a warlike tribe ; 
you are adopted into a great family, and now received with great 
seriousness and solemnity in the room and place of a great 
man. After what has passed this day, you are now one of us 
by an old strong law and custom. My son, you have now 
nothing to fear — we are now under the same obligations to 
love, support, and defend you that we are to love and to defend 
one another ; therefore, you are to consider yourself as one of 
our people." At this time I did not believe this fine speech, 
especially that of the white blood being washed out of me ; but 
since that time I have found that there was much sincerity 
in said speech ; for, from that day, I never knew them to make 
any distinction between me and themselves in any respect 
whatever until I left them. If they had plenty of cloihing, I 
had plenty ; if we were scarce, we all shared one fate. 

After this ceremony was over, I was introduced to my new 
kin, and told that I was to attend a feast that evening, which 
I did. And as the custom was, they gave me also a bowl and 
wooden spoon, which I carried with me to the place, where 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 187 

there was a number of large brass kettles full of boiled veni- 
son and green corn ; every one advanced with his bowl and 
spoon, and had his share given him. After this, one of the 
chiefs made a short speech, and then we began to eat. 

The name of one of the chiefs in .this town was Tecanyate- 
righto, alias Pluggy, and the other Asallecoa, alias Mohawk 
Solomon. As Pluggy and his party were to start the next day 
to war, to the frontiers of Virginia, the next thing to be per- 
formed was the war-dance, ani their war-songs. At their war- 
dance they had both vocal and instrumental music; they had 
a short hollow gum, closed at one end, with water in it, and 
parchment stretched over the open end thereof, which they beat 
with one stick, and made a sound nearly like a muffled drum. 
All those who were going on this expedition collected together 
and formed. An old Indian then began to sing, and timed the 
music by beating on this drum, as the ancients formerly timed 
their music by beating the tabor. On this the warriors began 
to advance, or move forward in concert, like well-disciplined 
troops would march to the fife and drum. Each warrior had 
a tomahawk, spear, or war-mallet in his hand, and they all 
moved regularly towards the east, or the way they intended to 
go to war. At length they all stretched their tomahawks 
towards the Potomac, and giving a hideous shout or yell, they 
wheeled quick about, and danced in the same manner back. 
The next was the w;^r-song. In performing this, only one 
sung at a time, in a moving posture, with a tomahaw'k in his 
hand, while all the other warriors were engaged in calling 
aloud he-uh-i he-uh, which they constantly repeated while the 
war-song was going on. When the \varrior that was singing' 
had ended his song, he struck a war-post with his tomahawk, 
and with a loud voice told what warlike exploits he had done, 
and what he now intended to do, which were answered by the 
other warriors with loud shouts of applause. Some who had 
not before intended to go to war, at this time, were so animated 
by this performance, that they took up the tomahawk and sung 
the war-song, which was answered with shouts of joy, as they 
were then initiated into the present marching company. The 
next morning this company all collected at one place, with their 
heads and faces painted with various colors, and packs upon 
their backs ; they marched off, all silent, except the command- 
er, who, in the front, sung the travelling song, which began in 
this manner : hoo caughtainte heegana. Just as the rear pass- 
ed the end of the town, they began to fire in their slow man- 
ner, from the front to the rear, which was accompanied with 
shouts and yells from all quarters. 

This evening I was invited to another sort of dance, which 



183 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

■was a kind of promiscuous dance. The young men stood in 
one ranlc, and the young women in another, about one rod apart, 
facing each other. The one that raised the tune, or started 
the song, held a small gourd or dry shell of a squash in his 
hand, which contained beads or small stones, which rattled. 
When he began to sing, he timed the tune with his rattle ; both 
men and women danced and sung together, adv'ancing towards 
each other, stooping until their heads would he touching to- 
gether, and then ceased from dancing, with loud shouts, and 
retreated and formed again, and so repeated the same thing 
over and over, for three or four hours, without intermission. 
This exercise appeared to me at first irrational and insipid ; 
but I found that in singing their tunes they used ya ne no huo 
wa ne, &c., like our fa sol la, and though they have no such 
thing as jingling verse, yet they can intermix sentences with 
their notes, and say what they please to each other, and carry 
on the tune in concert. I found that this was a kind of wooing 
or courting dance, and as they advanced stooping with their 
heads together, they could say what they pleased in each oth- 
er's ear, without disconcerting their rough music, and the others, 
or those near, not hear what they said. 

Shortly after this I went out to hunt, in company with Mo- 
hawk Solomon, some of the Caughnewagas, and a Delaware 
Indian, that was married to a Caughnewaga squaw. We tra- 
velled about south from this town, and the first night we killed 
nothing, but we had with us green corn, which we roasted and 
ate that night. The next day we encamped about twelve 
o'clock, and the hunters turned out to hunt, and I went down 
the run that we encamped on, in company with some squaws 
and boys, to hunt plums, which we found in great plenty. On 
my return to camp I observed a large piece of fat meat ; the 
Delaware Indian, that could talk some English, observed me 
looking earnestly at this meat, and asked me, what meat you 
think that is ? I said I supposed it was bear meat ; he laugh- 
ed, and said, ho, all one fool you., heal now elly pool, and point- 
ing to the other side of the camp, he said, look at that skin, 
you think that heal skin? I went and lifted the skin, which 
appeared like an ox-hide ; he then said, ivhat skm you think 
that? I replied, that I thought it was a buffalo hide; he 
laughed, and said, rjou fool again, you know nothing, you think 
luffaln that colo? I acknowledged I did not know much about 
these things, and told him I never saw a buffalo, and that I 
had not heard what color they were. He replied, ly and by 
you shall see glcat many buffalo; he now go to gleat lick. 
That skin no buffalo skin, that skin buck-elk skin. They went 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 189 

out wilh horses, and brought in the remainder of this buclc-elk, 
which was the fattest creature I ever saw of the tallow kind. 

We remained at this camp about eight or ten days, and kill- 
ed a number of deer. Though we had neither bread nor salt 
at this time, yet we had both roast and boiled meat in great 
plenty, and they were frequently inviting me to eat when I had 
no appetite. 

We then moved to the buffalo lick, where we killed several 
buffalo, and in their small brass kettles they made about half a 
bushel of salt. I suppose this lick was about thirty or forty 
miles from the aforesaid town, and somewhere between the 
Muskingum, Ohio, and Sciota. About the lick was clear, 
open woods, and thin white oak land, and at that time there 
were large roads leading to the lick, like wagon roads. We 
moved from this lick about six or seven miles, and encamped 
on a creek. 

Though the Indians had given me a gun, I had not yet been 
admitted to go out from the camp to hunt. At this place Mo- 
hawk Solomon asked me to go out with him to hunt, which I 
readily agreed to. After some time we came upon some fresh 
buffiilo tracks. I had observed before this that the Indians 
were upon their guard, and afraid of an enemy ; for, until now, 
they and the southern nations had been at war. As we were 
following the buffalo tracks, Solomon seemed to be upon his 
guard, went very slow, and would frequently stand and listen, 
and appeared to be in suspense. We came to where the tracks 
were very plain in the . sand, and I said it is surely bufl]ilo 
tracks ; he said, hush, you knoio nothing, viay be buffalo tracks., 
•may he Catawha. He u-ent very cautious until we found some 
fresh buffalo dung; he then smiled, and said, Catawba cannot 
make so. He then stopped, and told me an odd story about 
the Catawbas. He said that formerly the Catawbas came near 
one of their hunting camps, and at some distance from the 
camp lay in ambush ; and in order to decoy them out, sent two 
or three Catawbas in the night past their camp, with bufl^alo 
hoofs fixed on their feet, so as to make artificial tracks. In the 
morning, those in the camp followed after these tracks, thinking 
they were bufl^alo, until they were fired on by the Catawbas, 
and several of them killed. The others fled, collected a party 
and pursued the Catawbas ; but they, in their subtilty, brought 
with them rattlesnake poison, which they had collected from 
the bladder that lieth at the root of the snake's teeth ; this they 
had corked up in a short piece of a cane-stalk. They had also 
brought with them small cane or reed, about the size of a rye- 
straw, which they made sharp at the end like a pen, and dip- 
ped them in this poison, and stuck them in the ground among 



190 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

the grass, along their own tracks, in such a position that they 
might stick into the legs of the pursuers, which answered the 
design; and as the Catawbas had runners behind to watch the 
motion of the pursuers, when they found that a number of them 
Avere lame, being artificially snake bit, and that they were all 
turning back, the Catawbas turned upon the pursuers, and de- 
feated them, and killed and scalped all those that were lame. 
When Solomon had finished this story, and found that I un- 
derstood him, he concluded by saying, you don't kiioio^ Cataicba 
velly bad Indian, Catawba all one devil Catawba. 

Some time after this, I was told to take the dogs with me, 
and go down the creek, perhaps I might kill a turkey ; it being 
in the afternoon, I was also told not to go far from the creek, 
and to come up the creek again to the camp, and to take care 
not to get lost. When I had gone some distance down the 
creek, I came upon fresh buffalo tracks, and as I had a number 
of dogs with me to stop the buffalo, I concluded I would follow 
after and kill one ; and as the grass and weeds were rank, I 
could readily follow the track. A little before sundown I des- 
paired of coming up with them. I was then thinking how I 
might get to camp before night. I concluded, as the buffalo had 
made several turns, if I took the track back to the creek- it 
would be dark before I could get to camp; therefore I thought 
I would take a near way through the hills, and strike the creek 
a little below the camp; but as it was cloudy weather, and I 
a very young woodsman, I could find neither creek nor camp. 
When night came on I fired my gun several times, and hal- 
looed, but could have no answer. The next morning early, 
the Indians were out after me, and as I had with me ten or a 
dozen dogs, and the grass and weeds rank, they could readily 
follow my track. When they came up with me, they appeared 
to be in very good humor. I asked Solomon if he thoucht I 
was running away; he said, no, no, you go too much clooked.. 
On my return to camp they took my gun from me, and for this 
rash step I was reduced to a bow and arrows, for near two 
years. We were out on this tour for about six weeks. 

This country is generally hilly, though intermixed with 
considerable quantities of rich upland, and some good bottoms. 

When we returned to the town, Pluggy and liis party had 
arrived, and brought with them a considerable number of scalps 
and prisoners from the south branch of the Potomac ; they 
also brought with them an English Bible, which they gave to 
a Dutch woman who was a prisoner; but as she could not 
read English, she made a present of it to me, which was very 
accc ptable. 

I remained in this town until some time in October, when 



COLONEL SMITHS CAPTIVITY. 191 

my adopted brother, called Tontileaugo, who had married a 
Wyandot squaw, took me with him to lake Erie. "VVe pro- 
ceeded up the west branch of Muskingum, and for some dis- 
tance up the river the land was hilly, but intermixed with largo 
bodies of tolerable rich upland, and excellent bottoms. We 
proceeded on to the head waters of the west branch of Musk- 
ingum. On the head waters of this branch, and from thence 
to the waters of Canesadooharie, there is a large body of rich, 
well lying land ; the tim.ber is ash, walnut, sugar-tree, buckeye, 
honey-locust, and cherry, intermixed with some oak, hickory, 
&c. This tour was at the time that the black haws were ripe, 
and we were seldom out of sight of them ; they were common 
here both in the bottoms and upland. 

On this route we had no horses with us, and Avhen we start- 
ed from the town all the pack I carried was a pouch containing 
my books, a little dried venison, and my blanket. I had then 
no gun, but Tontileaugo, who Avas a first-rate hunter, carried a 
rifle gun, and every day killed deer, raccoons, or bears. We 
left the meat, excepting a little for present use, and carried the 
skins with us until we encamped, and then stretched them with 
elm bark, in a frame made with poles stuck in the ground, and 
tied together with lynn or elm bark; and when the skins were 
dried by the fire, we packed them up and carried them with us 
the next day. 

As Tontileaugo could not speak English, I had to make use 
of all the Caughnewaga I had learned, even to tnlk very im- 
perfectly v.-ith him ; but I found 1 learned to talk Indian faster 
this way than when I had those with me who could speak 
English. 

As we proceeded down the Canesadooharie waters, our packs 
increased by the skins that were daily killed, and became so 
very heavy that we could not march more than eight or ten 
miles per day. We came to lake Erie about six miles west of 
the mouth of Canesadooharie. As the wind was very high 
the evening we came to the lake, I was surprised to hear the 
roaring of the water, and see the high waves that dashed against 
the shore, like the ocean. We encamped on a run near the 
lake, and as the wind fell that night, the next morning the lake 
was only in a moderate motion, and we marched on the sand 
along the side of the water, frequently resting ourselves, as we 
were heavily laden. I saw on the sand a number of large fish, 
that had been left in flat or hollow places ; as the wind fell and 
the waves abated, they were left without Avater, or only a small 
quantity; and numbers of bald and grey eagles, &c., were 
along the shore devouring them. 

Some time in the afternoon we came to a large camp of 



192 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

Wyandots, at the mouth of Canesadooharie, where Tontileau- 
go's wife was. Here we were kindly received ; they gave us 
a kind of rough, brown potatoes, which grew spontaneously, 
and were called by the Caughnev/agas ohnenata. These po- 
tatoes peeled and dipped in raccoon's fat taste nearly like our 
sweet potatoes. They also gave us what they call caneheanta, 
which is a kind of homony, made of green corn, dried, and 
beans, mixed together. 

From the head waters of Canesadooharie to this place, the 
land is generally good ; chiefly first or second rate, and, com- 
paratively, little or no third rate. The only refuse is some 
swamps that appear to be too wet for use, yet I apprehend that 
a number of them, if drained, would make excellent meadows. 
The timber is black oak, walnut, hickory, cherry, black ash, 
white ash, water ash, buckeye, ■ black-locusl, honey-locust, 
sugar-tree, and elm. There is also some land, though com- 
paratively but small, Avhere the timber is chiefly white oak, or 
beech ; this may be called third rate. In the bottoms, and also 
many places in the upland, there is a large quantity of wild 
apple, plum, and red and black haw trees. It appeared to be 
well watered, and a plenty of meadow ground, intermixed with 
upland, but no large prairies or glades that I saw or heard of. 
In this route deer, bear, turkeys, and raccoons appeared plen- 
ty, but no buffalo, and very little sign of elks. 

We continued our camp at the mouth of Canesadooharie 
for some time, where we killed some deer, and a great many 
raccoons ; the raccoons here were remarkably large and fat. 
At length we all embarked in a large birch bark canoe. This 
vessel was about four feet wide, and three feet deep, and about 
five and thirty feet Ions: ; and though it could carry a heavy 
burden, it was so artfully and curiously constructed, that four 
men could carry it several miles, or from one landing place to 
another, or from the waters of the lake to the waters of the 
Ohio. We proceeded up Canesadooharie a few miles, and 
went on shore to hunt ; but to my great surprise they carried 
the vessel we all came in up the bank, and inverted it or turn- 
ed the bottom up, and converted it to a dwelling-house, and 
kindled a fire before us to warm ourselves by and cook. Witli 
our baggage and ourselves in this house we were very much 
crowded, yet our little house turned off the rain very well. 

We kept moving and hunting up this river until we came 
to the falls ; here we remained some weeks, and killed a num- 
ber of deer, several bears, and a great many raccoons. From 
the mouth of this river to the falls is about five and twenty 
miles. On our passage up I was not much out from the river, 
but what I saw was good land, and not hilly. 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 193 

About the falls is thin chesnut land, which is almost the 
only chesnut timber I ever saw in this country. 

While we remained here I left my pouch with my books in 
camp, wrapt up in my blanket, and went out to hunt chesnuts. 
On my return to camp my books were missing. I inquired 
after them, and asked the Indians if tiiey knew where tliey 
were ; they told me that they supposed the puppies had carried 
them off. I did not believe them, but thought they were dis- 
pleased at my poring oyer my books, and concluded that they 
had destroyed them, or put them out of my way. 

After this I was again out after nuts, and on my return 
beheld a new erection, composed of two white oak saplings, 
that were forked about twelve feet high, and stood about fif- 
teen feet apart. They had cut these saplings at the forks, and 
laid a strong pole across, which appeared in the form of a gal- 
lows, and the poles they had shaved very smooth, and painted 
in places with vermillion. I could not conceive the use of 
this piece of work, and at length concluded it was a gallows. 
I thought that I had displeased them by reading my books, and 
that they were about putting me to death. The next morning 
I observed them bringing their skins all to this place, and 
hanging them over this pole, so as to preserve them from being 
injured by the weather. This removed my fears. They also 
buried their large canoe in the ground, which is the way they 
took to preserve this sort of a canoe in the winter season. 

As we had at this time no horse, every one got a pack on his 
back, and we steered an east course about twelve iniles and 
encamped. The next morning we proceeded on the same 
course about ten miles to a large creek that empties into lalre 
Erie, betwixt Canesadooharie and Cayahaga. Here they made 
their winter cabin in the following form : they cut logs about 
fifte&n feet long, and laid these logs upon each other, and drove 
posts in the ground at each end to keep them together; the 
posts they tied together at the top with bark, and by this m.eans 
raised a wall fifteen feet long, and about four feet hiijh, and in 
the same manner they raised another wall opposite to this, at 
about twelve feet distance ; then they drove forks in the ground 
in the centre of each end, and laid a strong pole from end to 
end on these forks ; and from these walls to the poles, tliev 
set up poles instead of rafters, and on these they tied small 
poles in place o-f laths ; and a cover was made of lynn bark, 
which will run even in the winter season. 

As every tree will not run, they examine the tree first, by 

trying it near the ground, and when they find it will do they 

fell the tree, and raise the bark with the tomahawk, near the 

top of the tree, about five or six inches broad, then put the 

17 



194 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

tomahawk handle under this bark, and pull it along- down to 
the butt of the tree ; so that sometimes one piece of bark will 
be thirty feet long. This bark they cut at suitable lengths in 
order to cover the hut. 

At the end of these walls they set up split timber, so that 
they had timber all roimd, excepting- a door at each end. At 
the top, in place of a chimney, they left an open place, and for 
bedding they laid down the aforesaid kind of bark, on which 
they spread bear-skins. From end to end of this hut along 
the middle there were fires, which the squaws made of Iry 
split wood, and the holes or open places that appeared the 
squaws stopped with moss, which they collected from old logs; 
and at the door they hung a bear-skin ; and notwithstanding 
the winters are hard here, our lodging was much better than 
■what I expected. 

It was some time in December when we finished this win- 
ter cabin ; but when we had got into this comparatively fine 
lodging, another difficulty arose, we had nothing lo eat. While 
I was travelling with Tonlileaugo, as was before mentioned, 
and had plenty of fat venison, bear's meat and raccoons, I then 
thought it was hard living without bread or salt ; but now I 
began to conclude, that if I had any thing that would banish 
pinching hunger, and keep soul and bodj^ together, I would be 
content. 

While the hunters were all out, exerting themselves to the 
utmost of their ability, the squaws and boys (in which class I 
was) were scattered out in the bottoms, hunting red haws, 
black haws and hickory nuts. As it was too late in the year, 
we did not succeed in gathering haws ; but we htid tolerable 
success in scratching up hickory nuts from under a light snow, 
which we carried with us lest the hunters should not succeed. 
After our return the hunters came in, who had killed only two 
small turkeys, which were but ■little among eight hunters and 
thirteen squaws, boys, and children ; but they were divided 
■with the greatest equity and justice — every one got their equal 
share. 

The next day the hunters turned out again, and killed one 
deer and three bears. 

One of the bears was very large and remarkably fat. The 
hunters carried in meat sufficient to give us all a hearty sup- 
per and breakfast. 

The squaws and all that could carry turned out to bring in 
meat, — every one had their share assigned them, and my load 
was among the least ; yet, riot being accustomed to carrying 
.n this way, I got exceeding weary, and told them my load 
was loo heavy, I must leave part of it and come for it again. 



COLONEL SxMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 195 

They made a halt and only laughed at me, and took part of 
my load and added it to a young squaw's, who had as much 
before as I carried. 

This kind of reproof had a greater tendency to excite me to 
exert myself in carrying without complaining than if they had 
whipped me for laziness. After this the hunters held a coun- 
cil, and concluded that they must have horses to carry their 
loads ; and that they would go to war even in this inclement 
season, in order to bring in horses. 

Tontileaugo wished to be one of those who should go to war ; 
but the votes went against him, as he was one of our best hun- 
ters ; it was thought necessary to leave him at this winter 
camp to provide for the squaws and children. It was agreed 
upon that Tontileaugo and three others should stay and hunt, 
and the other fouj- go to war. 

They then began to go through their common ceremony. 
They sung their war-songs, danced their war-dances, &c. 
And when they were equipped they went off singing their 
marching song, and firing their guns. Our camp appeared to 
be rejoicing; but I was grieved to think that some innocent 
persons would be murdered, not thinking of danger. 

After the departure of these warriors we had hard times ; 
and though we were not altogether out of provisions, we were 
brought to short allowance. At length Tontileaugo had con- 
siderable success, and we had meat brought into camp suffi- 
cient to last ten days. Tontileaugo then took me with him in 
order to encamp some distance from this winter cabin, to try 
his luck there. We carried no provisions with us ; he said he 
would leave what was there for the squaws and children, and 
that we could shift for ourselves. We steered about a south 
course up the waters of this creek, and encamped about ten or 
twelve miles from the winter cabin. As it was still cold 
weather and a crust upon the snow, which made a noise as 
we walked, and alarmed the deer, we could kill nothing, and 
consequently went to sleep without supper. The only chance 
we had under these circumstances was to hunt bear holes ; as 
the bears about Christinas search out a winter lodging place, 
where they lie about three or four months without eating or 
drinking. This may appear to some incredible ; but it is well 
known to be the case by those who live in the remote west- 
ern parts of North America. 

The next morning early we proceeded on, and when we 
found a tree scratched by the bears climbing up, and the hole 
in the tree sufficiently large for the reception of the bear, we 
ihen felled a sapling or small tree against or near the hole ; 
and it was my business to climb up and drive out the bear, 



196 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

while Tontileaugo stood ready with his gun and bow. We 
went on in this manner until evening, without success. At 
length we found a large elm scratched, and a hole in it about 
forty feet up; but no tree nigh, suitable to lodge against the 
hole. Tontileaugo got a long pole and some dry rotten wood, 
which he tied in bunches, with bark ; and as there was a tree 
that grew near the elm, and extended up near the hole, but 
leaned the wrong way, so that we co"ld not lodge it to advan- 
tage, to remedy this inconvenience, he climt)edup this tree and 
carried with him his rotten wood, fire and pole. The rotten 
wood he tied to his belt, and to one end of the pole he tied a 
hook and a piece of rotten wood, which he set fire to, as it 
would retain fire almost like spunk, and reached this hook 
from limb to limb as he went up. When he got up with his 
pole he put dry wood on fire into the hole ; after he put in 
the fire he heard the bear snuff, and he came speedily down, 
took his gun in his hand, and waited until the bear would 
come out; but it was some time before it appeared, and when 
it did appear he attempted taking sight with his rifle ; but it 
being then too dark to see the sights, he set it down by a tree, 
and instantly bent his bow, took hold of an arrow, and shot 
the bear a little behind the shoulder. I was preparing also to 
shoot an arrow, but he called to me to stop, there was no 
occasion ; and with that the bear fell to the ground. 

Being very hungry, we kindled a fire, opened the bear, took 
out the liver, and wrapped some of the caul fat round, and put 
it on a wooden spit, which we stuck in the ground by the fire 
to roast ; then we skinned the bear, got on our kettle, and had 
both roast and boiled, and also sauce to our meat, which 
appeared to me to be delicate fare. After I was fully satisfied 
I went to sleep ; Tontileaugo awoke me, saying, come, eat 
hearty, we have got meat plenty now. 

The next morning we cut down a lynn tree, peeled bark and 
made a snug little shelter, facing the south-east, with a large 
log betwixt us and the north-west; we made a good fire before 
us, and scaffolded up our meat at one side. When we had fin- 
ished our camp we went out to hunt, searched two trees for 
bears, but to no purpose. As the snow thawed a little in ihe 
afternoon, Tontileaugo killed a deer, which we carried with us 
to camp. 

The next day we turned out to hunt, and near the camp we 
found a tree well scratched ; but the hole was above forty feet 
high, and no tree that we could lodge against the hole; but 
finding that it was very hollow, we concluded that we could 
cut down the tree with our tomahawks, which kept us work- 
ing a considerable part of the day. When the tree fell we 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 197 

ran up, Tontileau^o v,-ith his gun and bow, and I with my bow 
ready bent. Tontileaugo shot the bear through with his rifle, 
a little behind the shoulders ; I also shot, but too far back ; and 
not being then much accustomed to the business, my arrow 
penetrated only a few inches through the skin. Having killed 
an old she bear and three cubs, we hauled her on the snow to 
the camp, and only had time afterwards to get wood, make a 
fire, ccok, &c., before dark. 

Early the next morning we went to business, searched seve- 
ral trees, but found no bears. On our way home we took 
three raccoons out of a hollow elm, not far from the ground. 

We remained here about two weeks, and in this time killed 
four bears, three deer, several turkeys and a number of rac- 
coons. We packed up as much meat as we could carry, and 
returned to our winter cabin. On our arrival there was great 
joy, as they were all in a starving condition, the three hunt- 
ers that we had left having killed but very little. All that 
could carry a pack, repaired to our camp to bring in meat. 

Some time in February the four warriors returned, who had 
taken two scalps and six horses from the frontiers of Pennsyl- 
vania. The hunters could then scatter out a considerable dis- 
tance from the winter cabin and encamp, kill meat, and bring 
it in upon horses ; so that we commonly after this had plenty 
of provision. 

In this month we began to make sugar. As some of the 
elm bark will strip at this season, the squaws, after finding a 
tree that would do, cut it down, and with a crooked stick, broad 
and sharp at the end, took the bark off the tree, and of this 
bark made vessels in a curious manner, that would hold about 
two gallons each: they made above one hundred of these kind 
of vessels, In the sugar tree they cut a notch, sloping down, 
and at the end of the notch stuck in a tomahawk ; in the place 
where they stuck the tomahawk they drove a long chip, in 
order to carry the water out from the tree, and under this they 
set their vessel to receive it. As sugar trees were plenty and 
large here, they seldom or never notched a tree that Vv-as not 
two or three feet over. They also made bark vessels for car- 
rying the water, that would hold about four gallons each. 
They had two brass kettles, that held about fifteen gallons 
each, and other smaller kettles in which they boiled the water. 
But as they could not at times boil av/ay the water as fast as 
it was collected, they made vessels of bark, that would hold 
about one hundred gallons each, for retaining tlie water ; and 
though the sugar trees did not run every day, they had always 
a sufficient quantity of water to keep them boiling during the 
whole sugar season. 



198 COLONEL SMITH'S CAFTIVITY. 

Theway ^Ye commonly used our sugar while encamped was 
by putting it in bear's fat until the fat was almost as sweet as 
the sugar itself, and in this we dipped our roasted venison. 
About this time some of the Indian lads and myself were em- 
ployed in making and attending traps for catching raccoons, 
foxes, wildcats, &c. 

As the raccoon is a kind of water animal, that frequents the 
runs, or small water courses, almost the whole night, we made 
our traps on the runs, by laying one small sapling on another, 
and driving in posts to keep them from rolling. The under 
sapling we raised about eighteen inches, and set so that on 
the raccoon's touching a string, or a small piece of bark, the 
sapling would fall and kill it; and lest the raccoon should pass 
by, we laid brush on both sides of the run, only leaving the 
channel open. 

The fox traps we made nearly in the same manner, at the 
end of a hollow log, or opposite to a hole at the root of a hol- 
low tree, and put venison on a stick for bait ; we had it so set 
that when the fox took hold of the meat the trap fell. While 
the squaws were employed in rnaking sugar, the boys and men 
were engaged in hunting and trapping. 

About the latter end of March, w^e began to prepare for 
moving into town, in order to plant corn. The squaws were 
then frying the last of their bear's fat, and making vessels to 
hold it : the vessels Avere made of deer-skins, which were 
skinned by pulling the skin off the neck, without ripping. 
After they had taken off the hair, they gathered it in small 
plaits round the neck and with a string drew it together like a 
purse ; in the centre a pin was put, below which they tied a 
string, and while it was wet they blew it up like a bladder, 
and let it remain in this manner until it was dry, when it ap- 
peared nearly in the shape of a sugar loaf, but more rounding 
at ^e lower end. One of these vessels would hold about four 
or five gallons. In these vessels it was they carried their bear's 
oil. 

When all things were ready, w^e moved back to the falls of 
Canesadooharie. In this route the land is chiefly first and 
second rate ; but too much meadow ground, in proportion to 
the vipland. The timber is white ash, elm, black oak, cherry, 
buckeye, sugar tree, lynn, mulberry, beech, white oak, hick- 
ory, wild apple tree, red haw, black haw, and spicewood bushes. 
There is in some places spots of beech timber, which spots 
may be called third rate land. Buckeye, sugar tree and spice- 
wood are common in the woods here. There is in some 
places large swamps too wet for any use. 

On our arrival at the falls, (as we had brought with us on 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 199 

horseback about two hundred weight of sugar, a large quan- 
tity of bear's oil, skins, &c.,) the canoe we had buried was 
not sufficient to carry all ; therefore we were obliged to make 
another one of elm Wk. While we lay here, a young Wy- 
andot found my books. On this they collected together ; I was 
a little way from the camp, and saw the collection, but did ntt 
know what it meant. They called me by my Indian name, 
which was Scoouwa, repeatedly. I ran to see what was tho 
matter ; they showed me my books, and said they were glad 
they had been found, for they knew I was grieved at the loss 
of them, and that they noAv rejoiced with me because they 
were found. As I could then speak some Indian, especially 
Caughnewaga, (for both that and the Wyandot tongue were 
spoken in this camp,) I told them that I thanked them for the 
kindness they had always shown to me, and also for finding 
my books. They asked if the books were damaged. I told 
them not much. They then showed how they lay, which was 
in the best manner to turn oft' the water. In a deer-skin pouch 
they lay all winter. The print was not much injured, though 
the binding was. This was the first time that I I'elt my heart 
warm towards the Indians. Though they had been exceed- 
ingly kind to me, I still before detested them, on account of 
the barbarity I beheld after Braddock's defeat. Neither had I 
ever before pretended kindness, or expressed myself in a 
friendly manner ; but I began now to excuse the Indians on 
account of their want of information. 

When we were ready to embark, Tontileaugo would not go 
to town, but go up the river, and take a hunt. He asked me 
if I choosed to go with him. I told him I did. We then got 
some sugar, bear's oil bottled up in a bear's gut, and some dry 
venison, Avhich we packed up, and went up Canesadcoharie, 
about thirty miles, and encamped. At this time I did not 
know either the day of the week or the month ; but I sup- 
posed it to be about the first of April. We had considerable 
success in our business. We also found some stray hor.ses, or 
a horse, mare, and a young colt ; and though they had run in 
the woods all winter, they were in exceeding good order. 
There is plenty of grass here all winter, under the snow, and 
horses accustomed to the woods can work it out. These horses 
had run in the woods until they were very wild. 

Tontileaugo one night concluded that we must run them 
down. I told him I thought we could not accomplish it. He 
said he had run down bears, buffaloes, and elks ; and in the 
great plains, with only a small snow on the ground, he had run 
down a deer ; and he thought that in one whole day he could 
tire or run down any four-footed animal except a wolf. I told 



200 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

Mm that though a deer was the swiftest animal to run a short 
distance, yet it would tire sooner than a horse. He said he 
would at all events try the experiment. He had heard the 
Wyandots say that I could run well, and now he would see 
whether I could or not. I told him that I never had run all 
day, and of course was not accustomed to that way of running-. 
I never iiad run with the Wyandots more than seven or eight 
miles at one time. He said that was nothing, we must either 
catch these horses or run all day. 

In the morning early we left camp, and about sunrise we 
started after them, stripped naked excepting breech-clouts and 
moccasins. About ten o'clock I lost sight of both Tontileaugo 
and the horses, and did not see them again until about three 
o'clock in the afternoon. As the horses run all day in aboui 
three or Jour miles square, at length thev passed where I was, 
and I fell in close after them, as i men had a long, rest, I 
endeavored to keep ahead of Tontileaugo, and after some time 
I could hr.ar him after me calling chakoh, chakoanaugh, which 
signifies, pull away or do your best. We pursued on, and after 
some time Tontileaugo passed me, and about an hour before 
sundown we despaired of catching these horses, and returned 
to camp, where we had left our clothes. 

I reminded Tontileaugo of what I had told him; he replied 
he did not knovv what horses could do. They are wonderful 
st/ong to run ; but withal we made them very tired. Tonti- 
leaugo then concluded he would do as the Indians did with 
^^'^ld horses Avhen out at war : which is to shoot thern through 
the neck under the man^, and above the bone, which will 
cause them to fall and lie until they can halter them, and then 
they recover again. This he attempted to do ; but as the 
mare was veiy u'ild, he could not get sufficiently nigh to shoot 
her in the proper place ; however, he shot, the ball passed toa 
low, and killed her. As the horse and colt stnyed at this 
place, we caught the horse, and took him and the coll with us 
to camp. 

We stayed at this camp about two weeks, and killed a num- 
ber of bears, raccoons, and some heave I's. We made a canoe 
of elm bark, and Tontileaugo embarked in it. He arrived at 
the falls that night ; whilst I, mounted on horseback, with a 
bear-skin saddle and bark stirrups, proceeded by land to the 
falls. I came there the next morning, and we carried ouf 
canoe and loading past the falls. 

The river is very rapid for some distance above the falls, 
which are about twelve or fifteen feet, nearly perpendicular. 
This river, called Canesadooharie, interlocks with the West 
Branch of Muskingum, runs nearly a north course, and emp* 



COLONEL S^IITH'S CAPTIVITY. 201 

ties into the south side of lake Erie, about eight miles east 
from Sandusky, or betwixt Sandusky and Cayahaga. 

On this last route the land is nearly the same as that last 
described, only there is not so much swampy or wet ground. 

We again proceeded towards the lake, 1 on horseback, and 
Tontileaugo by water. Here the land is generally good, but 
I found some difficulty in getting round swamps and ponds. 
When we came to the lake, I proceeded along the strand, and 
Tontileaugo near the shore, sometimes paddling, and some- 
times poleing his canoe along. 

After some time the wind arose, and he went into the mouth 
of a small creek and encamped. Here we staid several days 
on account of high wind, which raised the lake in great bil- 
lows. While we were here, Tontileaugo went out to hunt, 
and when he was gone a Wyandot came to our camp ; I gave 
him a shoulder of venison which I had by the fire well roasted, 
and he received it gladly, told me he was hungry, and thanked 
me for my kindness. When Tontileaugo came home, I toid 
him that a Wyandot had been at camp, and that I gave him a 
shoulder of roasted venison ; he said that was very well, and 
I suppose you gave him also sugar and bear's oil to eat with 
his venison. I told him I did not ; as the sugar and bear's oil 
was down in the canoe I did not go for it. He replied, you 
have behaved just like a Dutchman.* Do you not know that 
when strangers come to our camp we ought always to give 
them the best that we have? I acknowledged that I was wrong. 
He said that he could excuse this, as I was but young; but I 
must learn to behave like a warrior, and do great things, and 
never be found in any such little actions. 

The lake being again calm,t we proceeded, and arrived safe 
at Sunyendeand, which was a Wyandot town that lay upon a 
small creek which empties into the little lake below the mouth 
of Sandusky. 

The town was about eighty rood above the mouth of the 
creek, on the south side of a large plain, on which timber 
grew, and nothing more but grass or nettles. In some places 
there were large flats where nothing but grass grew, about 
three feet high when grown, and in other places nothing but 
nettles, very rank, where the soil is extremely rich and loose ; 
here they planted corn. In this town there were also French 
traders, who purchased our skins and fur, and we all got new 
clothes, paint, tobacco, &c. 

* The Dutch he called Skoharehaugo, which look its derivation from a 
Dutch settlement called Skoharey. 

t The lake, when calm, appears to be of a sky-blue color ; though when 
hfted in a vessel it is like other clear water. 



202 COLONEL SMITH'S CArTIVITY. 

After I had got my new clothes, and my head done off like 
a red-headed woodpecker, I, m company with a number of 
young Indians, went down to the corn-field to see the squaws 
at work. When we came there they asked me to take a hoe, 
which I did, and hoed for some time. The squaws applauded 
me as a good hand at the business ; but when I returned to 
the town the old men, hearing of what I had done, chid me, and 
said that I was adopted in the place of a great man, and must 
not hoe corn like a squaw. They never had occasion to 
reprove me for any thing like this again ; as I never was 
extremely fond of work, I readily complied with their orders. 

As the Indians on their return from their winter hunt bring 
in with them large quantities of bear's oil, sugar, dried veni- 
son, &c., at this time they have plenty, and do not spare eating 
or giving; thus they make way with their provision as quick 
as possible. They have no such thing as regular meals, 
breakfast, dinner, or supper ; but if any one, even the town 
folks, would go to the same house several times in one day, 
he would be invited to eat of the best ; and with them it is bad 
manners to refuse to eat when it is offered. If they will not 
eat it is interpreted as a symptom of displeasure, or that the 
persons refusing to eat were angry with those Avho invited 
them. 

At this time homony, plentifully mixed with bear's oil and 
sugar, or dried venison, bear's oil, and sugar, is what they offer 
to every one Avho comes in any time of the day ; and so they 
go on until their sugar, bear's oil, and venison are all gone, 
and then they have to eat homony by itself, without bread, 
salt, or any thing else ; yet still they invite every one that 
comes in to eat whilst they have any thing to give. It is 
thought a shame not to invite people to eat while they have 
any thing; but if they can in truth only say we have got 
nothing to eat, this is accepted as an honorable apology. All 
the hunters and warriors continued in town about six weeks 
after we came in ; they spent this time in painting, going from 
house to house, eating, smoking, and playing at a game resem- 
bling dice, or hustle-cap. They put a number of plum-stones 
in a small bowl ; one side of each stone is black, and the other 
white; they then shake or hustle the bowl, calling, hits, hits, 
hits, honesey, honesey, rago, rago ; which signifies calling for 
white or black, or what they wish to turn up ; they then turn 
the bowl, and count the whites and blacks. Some were beat- 
ing their kind of drum and singing ; others were employed in 
playing on a sort of flute made of hollow cane ; and others 
playing on the jew's-harp. Some part of this time was also 
aken up in attending the council house, where the chiefs, and 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 203 

as many others as chose, attended ; and at night they were 
frequently employed in singing and dancing. Towards the 
last of this time, which was in June, 1756, they were all en- 
gaged in preparing to go to war against the frontiers of Vir- 
ginia. When they Avere equipped, they went through their 
ceremonies, sung their war-songs, (fee. They all marched off, 
from fifteen to sixty years of age ; and some boys, only twelve 
years old, were equipped with their bows and arrows, and 
went to war ; so that none were left in town but squaws and 
children, except myself, one very old man, and another, about 
fifty years of age, who was lame. 

The Indians were then in great hopes that they would drive 
all the Virginians over the lake, which is all the name they 
know for the sea. They had some cause for this hope, be- 
cause, at this time, the Americans were altogether unac- 
quainted with war of any kind, and consequently very unfit to 
stand their hand with such subtle enemi-es as the Indians were. 
The two old Indians asked me if I did not think that the 
Indians and French would subdue all America, except New 
England, which they said they had tried in old times. I told 
them I thought not. They said they had already drove them 
all out of the mountains, and had chiefly laid waste the great 
valley betwixt the North and South mountain, from Potomac 
to James river, which is a considerable part of the best land 
in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and that the white 
people appeared to them like fools ; they could neither guard 
against surprise, run, nor fight. These, they said, were their 
reasons for saying that they would subdue the whites. They 
asked me to offer my reasons for my opinion, and told me to 
speak my mind freely. I told them that the white people to 
the east were very numerous, like the trees, and though ihey 
appeared to them to be fools, as they were not acquainted with 
their way of war, yet they were not fools ; therefore, after some 
time, they will learn your mode of war, and turn upon you, or 
at least defend themselves. I found that the old men them- 
selves did not believe they could conquer America, yet they 
were willing to propagate the idea in order to encourage the 
young men to go to war. 

When the warriors left this town, we had neither meat, 
sugar, or bear's oil left. All that we had then to live on was 
corn pounded into coarse meal or small homony ; this they 
boiled in water, which appeared like well thickened soup, 
without salt or any thing else. For some time we had plenty 
of this kind of homony ; at length we were brought to very 
short allov.'ance, and as the warriors did not return as soon as 
they expected, wo were in a starving condition, and but one 



204 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

gun in the town, and very little ammunition. The old lame 
Wyandot concluded that he would go a hunting in a canoe, 
and take me with him, and try to kill deer in the water, as it 
was then watering time. We went up Sandusky a few miles, 
then turned up a creek and encamped. We had lights pre- 
pared, as we were to hunt in the night, and also a piece of 
bark and some bushes set up in the canoe, in order to conceal 
ourselves from the deer. A little boy that was v/ith us held 
the light; I worked the canoe, and the old man, who had his 
gun loaded with large shot, when we came near the deer, fired, 
and in this manner killed three deer in part of one night. We 
went to our fire, ate heartily, and in the morning returned to 
town in order to relieve the hungry and distressed. 

When we came to town the children were crying bitterly on 
account of pinching hunger. W^e delivered what we had taken, 
and though it was but little among so many, it was divided 
according to the strictest rules of justice. We immediately se5 
out for another hunt, but before we returned a part of the war- 
riors had come in, and brought with them on horseback a 
quantity of meat. These warriors had divided into different 
parties, and all struck at different places in Augusta county. 
They brought in with them a considerable number of scalps, 
prisoners, horses, and other plunder. One of the parties 
brought in with them one Arthur Campbell, that is now Colo- 
nel Campbell, v/ho lives on Holston river, near the Royal 
Oak. As the Wyandots at Sunyendeand and those at De- 
troit were connected, Mr. Campbell was taken to Detroit ; 
but he remained some time with me in this town. His com- 
pany was very agreeable, and I was sorry when he left me. 
During his stay at Sunyendeand he borrowed my Bible, and 
made some pertinent remarks on what he had read. One 
passage was where it is said, " It is good for m.an that he 
bear the yoke in his youth." He said we ought to be re- 
signed to the will of Providence, as we were now bearing 
the yoke in our youth. Mr. Campbell appeared to be then 
about sixteen or seventeen years of age. 

There was a number of prisoners brought in by these 
parties, and when they were to run the gauntlet I went and 
told them how they were to act. One John Savage was 
brought in, a middle-aged man, or about forty years old. He 
was to run the gauntlet. I told him what he had to do; and 
after this I fell into one of the ranks with the Indians, shouting 
and yelling like them ; and as they were not very severe on 
him, as he passed me, I hit him with a piece of pumpkin, 
which pleased the Indians much, but hurt my feelings. 

About the time that these warriors came in, the green corn 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 205 

was beginning to be of use, so that we had either green cora 
or venison, and sometimes both, which was, comparatively, 
high living. When we could have plenty of green corn, or 
roasting ears, the hunters became lazy, and spent their time, 
as already mentioned, in singing and dancing, &c. They ap- 
peared to be fulfilling the scriptures beyond those who profess 
to believe them, in that of taking no thought of to-morrow; 
and also in living in love, peace, and friendship together, 
without dispufes. In this respect they shame those who pro- 
fess Christianity. 

In this manner we lived until October; then the geese, 
swans, ducks, cranes, &c., came from the north, and alighted 
on this little lake, without number, or innumerable. Sunyen- 
deand is a remarkable place for fish in the spring, and fowl 
both in the fail and spring. 

As our hunters were now tired with indolence, and fond of 
their own kind of exercise, they all turned out to fowling, and 
in this could scarce miss of success ; so that we had now 
plenty of homony and the best of fowls; and sometimes, as a 
rarity, we had a little bread, which was made of Indian corn 
meal, pounded in a homonv block, mixed with boiled beans, 
and baked in cakes under the ashes. 

This with us was called good living, though not equal to our 
fat, roasted, and boiled venison, when we went to the woods 
in the fall ; or bear's meat and beaver in the winter; or sugar, 
bear's oil, and dry venison in the spring. 

Some time in October, another adopted brother, older than 
Tontileaugo, came to pay us a visit at Sunyendeand, and he 
asked me to take a hunt with him on Cayahaga. As they 
always used me as a free man, and gave me the liberty of 
choosing, I told him that I was attached to Tontileaugo, had 
never seen him before, and therefore asked some time to con- 
sider of this. He told me that the party he was going wiih 
would not bo along, or at the mouth of this little lake, in less 
than six days, and I could in this time be acquainted with 
liim, and judge for myself. I consulted with Tontileaugo on 
this occasion, and he told me that our old brother Tecaugh- 
retanego (which was his name) was a chief, and a better man 
than he was, and if I went with him I might expect to be 
well used ; but he said I might do as I pleased, and if I staid 
he would use me as he had done. I told him that he had 
acted in every respect as a brother to me ; yet I was much 
pleased with my old brother's conduct and conversation ; and 
as he was going to a part of the country I had never been 
in, I wished to go with him. He said that he was perfectly 
willing. 

18 



206 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

I then went with Tecaughretanego to the mouth of the 
little lake, where he met with the company he intended going 
with, which was composed of Caughnewagas and Ottawas. 
Here I was introduced to a Caughnewaga sister, and others 
I had never before seen. My sister's name was Mary, which 
they pronounced Maully. I asked Tecaughretanego how it 
came that she had an English name. He said that he did not 
know that it was an English name ; but it was the name the 
priest gave her Avhen she was baptized, which he said was 
the name of the mother of Jesus. He said there were a great 
many of the Caughnewagas and Wyandots that were a kind 
of half Roman Catholics ; but as for himself, he said, that 
the priest and him could not agree, as they held notions that 
contradicted both sense and reason, and had the assurance to 
tell him that the book of God taught them these foolish ab- 
surdities : but he could not believe the great and good Spirit 
ever taught them any such nonsense ; and therefore he con- 
cluded that the Indians' old religion was better than this new 
way of worshipping God. 

The Ottawas have a very useful kind of tents which they 
carry with them, made of flags, plaited and stitched together 
in a very artful manner, so as to turn rain or wind well — each 
mat is made fifteen feet long, and about five feet broad. In 
order to erect this kind of tent, they cut a number of long 
straight poles, which they drive in the ground, in form of a 
circle, leaning inwards ; then they spread the mats on these 
poles, beginning at the bottom and extending up, leaving 
only a hole in the top uncovered, and this hole answers the 
place of a chimney. They make a fire of dry split wood in 
the middle, and spread down bark mats and skins for bedding, 
on which they sleep in a crooked posture all round the fire, 
as the length of their beds will not admit of stretching them- 
selves. In place of a door they lift up one end of a mat and 
creep in, and let the mat fall down behind them. 

These tents are warm and dry, and tolerably clear of smoke. 
Their lumber they keep under birch-bark canoes, which they 
carry out and turn up for a shelter, where they keep every 
thing from the rain. Nothing is in the tents but themselves 
and their bedding. 

This company had four birch canoes and four tents. We 
were kindly received, and they gave us plenty of homony, 
and wild fowl boiled and roasted. As the geese, ducks, 
swans, &c., here are well grain-fed, they were remarkably 
fat, especially the green-necked ducks. 

The wild fowl here feed upon a kind of wild rice that 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAFTIVITY. 207 

grows spontaneously in the shallow water, or wet places along 
the sides or in the corners of the lakes. 

As the wind was high and we could not proceed on our 
voyage, we remained here several days, and killed abundance 
of'wild fowl, and a number of raccoons. 

When a company of Indians are moving together on the 
lake, as it is at this time of the year often dangerous sailing, 
the old men hold a council ; and when they agree to embark, 
every one is engaged immediately in making ready, without 
offering one word against the measure, though the lake may 
be boisterous and horrid. One morning, though the wind ap- 
peared to me to be as high as in days past, and the billows 
raging, yet the call was given yohoh-yohoh, which was quickly 
answered by all — ooh-ooh, which signifies agreed. We were 
all instantly engaged in preparing to start, and had considera- 
ble difliculties in embarking. 

As soon as we got into our canoes we fell to paddling with 
all our might, making out from the shore. Though these sort 
of canoes ride waves beyond what could be expected, j^et the 
water several times dashed into them. When we got out 
about half a mile from shore, we hoisted sail, and as it was 
nearly a west wind, we then seemed to ride the waves with 
ease, and went on at a rapid rate. We then all laid down our 
paddles, excepting one that steered, and there was no water 
dashed into our canoes until we came near the shore again. 
We sailed about sixty miles that day, and encamped some 
lime before night. 

The next day we again embarked, and went on very well 
for some time ; but the lake being boisterous, and the wind 
not fair, we were obliged to make to shore, which we accom- 
plished with hard work and some difficulty in landing. The 
next morning a council was held by the old men. 

As we had this day to pass by a long precipice of rocks 
on the shore about nine miles, which rendered it impossible 
for us to land, though the wind was high and the lake xough, 
yet, as it was fair, we were all ordered to embark. We 
Avrought ourselves out from the shore and hoisted sail, (what 
we used in place of sail-cloth were our tent mats, which an- 
swered the purpose A^ery well,) and went on for some time 
with a fair wind, until we were opposite to the precipice, and 
then it turned towards the shore, and we began to fear we 
should be cast upon the rocks. Two of the canoes were con- 
siderably farther out from the rocks than the canoe I was in. 
Those who were farthest out in the lake did not- let down 
their sails until they had passed the precipice ; but as we 
were nearer the rock, we v/ere obliged to lower our sails, and 



209 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTRaTY. 

paddle with all our might. With much difficulty we cleared 
ourselves of the rock, and landed. As the other canoes had 
landed before us, there were immediately runners sent ofi' to 
see if we were all safely landed. 

This night the wind fell, and the next morning the lake 
was tolerably calm, and we embarked without difficulty, and 
paddled along near the shore, until we came to the mouth of 
Cayahaga, which empties into lake Erie on the south side, 
betwixt Canesadooharie and Presq' Isle. 

We turned up Cayahaga and encamped, where we staid 
and hunted for several days; and so we kept moving and 
hunting until we came to the forks of Cayahaga. 

This is a very gentle river, and but few ripples, or swift 
running places, from the mouth to the forks. Deer here were 
tolerably plenty, large and fat ; but bear and other game 
scarce. The upland is hilly, and principally second and third 
rate land ; the timber chiefly black oak, white oak, hickory, 
dogwood, &c. The bottoms are rich and large, and the tim- 
ber is walnut, locust, mulberry, sugar-tree, red haw, black haw, 
wild apple-trees, &c. The West Branch of this river interlocks 
with the East Branch of Muskingum, and the East Branch 
with the Big Beaver creek, that empties into the Ohio about 
thirty miles below Pittsburgh. 

From the forks of Cayahaga to the East Branch of Musk- 
ingum there is a carrying place, where the Indians carry 
their canoes, &c., from the waters of lake Erie into the wa- 
ters of the Ohio. 

From the forks I went over with some hunters to the East 
Branch of Muskingum, where they killed several deer, a num- 
ber of beavers, and returned heavy laden with skins and meat, 
which we carried on our backs, as we had no horses. 

The land here is chiefly second and third rate, and the tim- 
ber chiefly oak and hickory. A little above the forks, on the 
East Branch of Cayahaga, are considerable rapids, very rocky 
for some distance, but no perpendicular falls. 

About the first of December, 1756, we were preparing for 
leaving the river : we buried our canoes, and as usual hung 
up our skins, and every one had a pack to carry. The squaws 
also packed up their tents, which they carried in large rolls 
that extended up above their heads, and though a great bulk, 
yet not heavy. We steered about a south-east course, and 
could not march over ten miles per day. At night we lodged 
in our flag tents, which, when erected, were nearly in the 
shape of a sugar-loaf, and about fifteen feet diameter at the 
ground. 

In this manner we proceeded about forty miles, and win- 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 209 

tered in these tents, on the waters of Beaver creek, near a little 
lake or large pond, which is about two miles long and one 
broad, and a remarkable place for beaver. 

It is a received opinion among tlie Indians that the geese 
turn to beavers, and the snakes to raccoons ; and though Te- 
caughretanego, who was a wise man, was noWfully persuaded 
that this v.'as true, yet he seemed in some measure to be car- 
ried away with this whimsical notion. He said that this pond 
had been always a great place for beaver. Though he said 
he knew them to be frequently all killed, (as he thought,) yet 
tbv3 next winter they would be as plenty as ever. And as the 
beaver was an animal that did not travel by land, and there 
being no wai.-^'- '■"mmunioation to or from this pond, how 
could such a number of beavers get there year after year ? But 
as this pond, was ^ also a considerable place for geese, when 
they came in the fall from the north, and alighted in this pond, 
they turned beavers, all but the feet, which remained nearly 
the sam.e. 

I said, that though there was no water communication in or 
out of this pond, yet it appeared that it was fed by springs, as 
ic was always clear, and never stagnated; and as a very large 
spring rose about a mile below this pond, it was likely that 
this spring came from this pond. In the fall, when this spring 
is comparatively low, there would be air under ground sufii- 
cient for the beavers to breathe in, with their heads above 
water, for they cannot live long under water, and so they 
might have a subterraneous passage by water into this pond. 
Tecaughretanego granted that it might be so. 

About the sides of this pond there grew great abundance of 
cranberries, which the Indians gathered up on the i-ce when 
the pond was frozen over. These berries were about as large 
as ride bullets, of a bright red color, an agreeable sour, 
though rather too sour of themseh'es, but when mixed with 
sugar had a very agreeable taste. 

In conversation with Tecaughretanego, I happened to be 
talking of the beavers catching fish. He asked me why I 
thought that the beaver caught fish. I told him that I had 
read of the beaver making dams for the conveniency of fishinir. 
He laughed, and .made game of me and my book. He said^ 
the man that wraie that book knew nothing about the beaver. 
The beaver never did eat flesh of any kind, but lived on the 
bark of trees, roots, and other vegetables. 

In order to know certainly how this was, when we killed a 
beaver I carefully examined the inte.stines, but found no ap- 
pearance of fish ; I afterwards made an experiment on a pet 
beaver which we had, and found that it would neither eat fish 
18* 



210 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

nor flesh ; therefore I acknowledged that the book 1 had read 
was wrong. 

I asked him if the heavier was an amphibious animal, or if it 
could live under water. He said that the beaver was a kind 
of subterraneous water animal that lives in or near the water ; 
but they were no more amphibious than the ducks and geese 
were, which was constantly proven to be the case, as all the 
beavers that are caught in steel traps are drowned, provided 
the trap be heavy enough to keep them under water. As the 
beaver does not eat fish, I inquired of Tecaughretanego why 
the beaver made such large dams. He said they were of use 
to them in various respects — both for their safety and food. 
For their safety, as by raising the water over the mouths of 
their holes, or subterraneous lodging places, they could not be 
easily found ; and as the beaver feeds chiefly on the bark of 
trees, by raising the water over the banks they can cut down 
saplings for bark to feed upon without going out much upon 
the land ; and when they are obliged to go out on land for 
this food they frequently are caught by the wolves. As the 
beaver can run upon land but little faster than a water tortoise, 
and is no fighting animal, if they are any distance from the 
water they become an easy prey to their enemies. 

I asked Tecaughretanego what was the use of the beavers' 
stones, or glands, to them ; as the she beaver has two pair, 
which is commonly called the oil stones, and the bark stones. 
He said that as the beavers are the dumbest of all animals, 
and scarcely ever make any noise, and as they were working 
creatures, they made use of this smell in order to work in 
concert. If an old beaver was to come on the bank and rub 
his breech upon the ground, and raise a perfume, the others 
will collect from different places and go to work : this is also 
of use to them in travelling, that they may thereby search out 
and find their company. Cunning hunters, finding this out, 
have made use of it against the beavers, in order to catch 
them. What is the bait which you see them make use of but 
a compound, of the ail and bark stones ? By this perfume, 
which is only a false signal, they decoy them to the trap. 

Near this pond beaver was the principal game. Before the 
water froze up we caught a great many with wooden and steel 
traps; but after that, we hunted the beaver on the ice. Some 
places here the beavers build large houses to live in ; and in 
other places they have subterraneous lodgings in the banks. 
Where they lodge in the ground we have no chance of hunting 
them on the ice ; but where they have houses, we go with 
malls and handspikes, and break all the hollow ice, to prevent 
them from getting their heads above the water under it. Then 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 211 

■we break a hole in the house, and they make their escape into 
the water ; but as they cannot live long under Avater, they are 
obliged to go to some of those broken places to breathe, and 
the Indians commonly put in their hands, catch them by the 
hind leg, haul them on the ice, and tomahawk them. Some- 
times they shoot them in the head when they raise it above 
the water. I asked the Indians if they were not afraid to catch 
the beavers with their hands. They said no : they were not 
much of a biting creature ; yet if they would catch them by 
the fore foot they woiild bite. 

I went out Avith Tecaughretanego and some others a beaver 
hunting ; but we did not succeed, and on our return we saw 
where several raccoons had passed while the snow was soft, 
though there was now a crust upon it; we all made a halt, 
looking at the raccoon tracks. As they saw a tree with a hole 
in it, they told me to go and see if they had gone in thereat ; 
and if the'v had to halloo, and they would come and take them 
out. When I went to that tree, I found- they had gone past ; 
but I saw another the way they had gone, and proceeded to 
examine that, and found they had gone up it. I then began 
to halloo, but could have no answer. 

As it began to snow and blow most violently, I returned and 
proceeded after my company, and for some time could see their 
tracks ; but the old snow being only about three inches deep, 
and a crust upon it, the present driving snow soon filled up 
the tracks. As I had only a bow, arrows, and tomahawk with 
me, and no way to strike fire, I appeared to be in a dismal 
situation; and as the air was dark with snow, I had little 
more prospect of steering my course than I would in the night. 
At length I came to a hollow tree, with a hole at one side that 
I could go in at. I went in, and found that it was a dry 
place, and the hollow about three feet diameter, and high 
enough for me to stand in. I found that there Avas also a 
considerable quantity of soft, dry rotten Avood around this hol- 
low ; I therefore concluded that I Avould lodge here, and that 
I would go to Avork, and stop up the door of my house. I 
stripped off my blanket, (Avhich was all the clothes that I had, 
excepting a breech-clout, leggins and moccasins,) and Avith 
my tomahawk fell to chopping at the top of a fallen tree that 
lay near, and carried wood, and set it up on end against the 
door, until I had it three or four feet thick all around, except- 
ing a hole I had left to creep in at. I had a block prepared that 
I could haul after me to stop this hole; and before I went 
in I put in a number of small sticks that I might more effec- 
tually stop it on the inside. When I went in, I took my toma- 
haAvic and cut down all the dry rotten wood I could get, and 



212 COLONEL SMITHES CAPTIVITY. 

beat it small. With it I made a bed like a goose-nest or hog- 
bed, and with the small sticks stopped every hole, until my 
house was almost dark. 1 stripped off my moccasins, and 
danced in the centre of my bed, lor about half an hour, in 
order to warm myself. In this time my f-^et and whole body 
were agreeably warmed. The snow, ia the mean while, had 
stopped all the holes, so that my house was as dark as a dun- 
geon, though I knew it could not yet be dark out of doors. I 
then coiled myself up in my blanket, lay down in my little 
round bed, and had a tolerable night's lodging. When I 
awoke all was dark — not the least glimmering of light was to 
be seen. Immediately I recollected that I was not to expect 
light in this new habitation, as there was neither door nor 
window in it. As I could hear the storm raging, and did not 
suffer much cold as 1 was then situated, I concluded I would 
stay in my nest until I was certain it was day. When I had 
reason to conclude that it surely was day, I arose and put on 
my moccasins, which I had laid under my head to keep from 
freezing. I then endeavored to find the door, and had to do 
all by the sense of feeling, which took me some time. At 
length I found the block, but it being heavy, and a large quan- 
tity of snow having fallen on it, at the first attempt I did not 
move it. I then felt terrified — among all the hardships I had 
sustained, I never knew before what it was to be thus deprived 
of light. This, with the other circumstances attending it, 
appeared grievous. I went straightway to bed again, wrapped 
my blanket round me, and lay and mused a while, and then 
prayed to Almighty God to direct and protect me as he had 
done heretofore. 1 once again attempted to move away the 
block, which proved successful; it moved about nine inches. 
With this a considerable quantity of snow fell in from above, 
and I immediately received light; so that I found a very gr<_at 
sno^' had fallen, above what i had ever seen in one night. I 
then knew why I could not easily move the blocks and I was 
so rejoiced at obtaining the light that all my other difliculties 
seemed to vanish. I then turned into my cell, and returned 
God thanks for having once more received the light of heaven. 
At length I belted my blanket about me, got my tomahawk, 
bow and arrows, and went out of my den. 

I was now in tolerable high spirits, though the snow had 
fallen above three feet deep, in addition to what Avas on the 
ground before; and the only imperfect guide I had in order to 
steer my course to camp was the trees, as the moss generally 
grows on the north-west side of them, if they are straight. I 
proceeded on, wading through the snow, and about twelve 
o'clock (as it appeared afterwards, from that time to night, for 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 213 

it was yet cloudy) I came upon the creek that our camp was 
on, about half a mile below the camp ; and when I came in 
sight of the camp, I found that there was great joy, by the 
shouts and yelling of the boys, &c. 

When I arrived, they all came round me, and received me 
gladly; but at this time no questions were asked, and I was 
taken into a tent, where they gave me plenty of fat beaver 
meat, and then asked me to smoke. When I had done, Te- 
caughretanego desired me to walk out to a fire they had made. 
I went out, and they all collected round me, both men, women, 
and boys. Tecaughretanego asked me to give them a particu- 
lar account of what had happened from the time they left me 
yesterday until now. I told them the whole of the story, and 
they never interrupted me ; but when I made a stop, the inter- 
vals were filled with loud acclamations of joy. As I could not 
at this time talk Ottawa or Jibewa well, (which is nearly the 
same,) I delivered my story in Caughnewaga. As my sister 
Molly's husband was a Jibewa, and could understand Caugh- 
newaga, he acted as interpreter, and delivered my story to the 
Jibewas and Ouawas, which they received with pleasure. 
When all this was done, Tecaughretanego made a speech to 
me in the following manner : 

" Brother, — You see we have prepared snow-shoes to go 
after you, and were almost ready to go when you appeared; 
yet, as you had not been accustomed to hardships in your coun- 
try, to the east, we never expected to see you alive. Now we 
are glad to see you in various respects : we are glad to see 
you on your own account ; and we are glad to see the prospect 
of your filling the place of a great man, in whose room you 
were adopted. We do not blame you for what has happened, 
we blame ourselves ; because we did not think of this driving 
snow filling up the tracks, until after we came to camp. 

" Brother, — Your conduct on this occasion hath pleased us 
much ; you have given us an evidence of your fortitude, skill, 
and resolution ; and we hope you will always go on to do 
great actions, as it is only great actions that can make a great 
man." 

I told my brother Tecaughretanego that I thanked them for 
their care of me, and for the kindness I always received. I 
told him that I always wished to do great actions, and hoped I 
never would do any thing to dishonor any of those with whom 
I was connected. I likewise told my Jibev^-a brother-in-law to 
tell his people that I also thanked them for their care and 
kindness. 

The next morning some of the hunters went out on snow- 
siioes, killed several deer, and hauled some of them into camp 



214 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

upon the snow. They fixed their carrying strings (which are 
broad in the middle and small at each end) in the fore feet 
and nose of the deer, and laid the broad part of it on their 
heads or about their shoulders, and pulled it along ; and when 
it is moving, will not sink in the snow much deeper than a 
snow-shoe ; and when taken with the grain of the hair, slips 
along very easily. 

The snow-shoes are made like a hoop-net, and wrought with 
buckskin thongs. Each shoe is about two feet and a half long, 
and about eighteen inches broad before, and small behind, with 
cross-bars, in order to fix or tie them to their feet. After the 
snow had lain a few days, the Indians tomahawked the deer, 
by pursuing them in this manner. 

About two weeks after this there came a warm rain, and 
took away the chief part of the snow, and broke up the ice ; 
then we engaged in making wooden traps to catch beavers, as 
we had but few steel traps. These traps are made nearly in 
the same manner as the raccoon traps already described. 

One day, as I was looking after my traps, I got benighted, 
by beaver ponds intercepting my way to camp ; and as I had 
neglected to take fireworks with me, and the weather very 
cold, I could find no suitable lodging place ; therefore, the only 
expedient I could think of to keep myself from freezing was 
exercise. I danced and hallooed the whole night with all my 
might, and the next day came to camp. Though I suffered 
much more this time than the other night I lay out, yet the 
Indians were not so much concerned, as they thought I had 
fireworks with me ; but when they knew how it was, they did 
not blame me. They said that old hunters were frequently 
involved in this place, as the beaver dams were one above 
another on every creek and run, so that it is hard to find a 
fording place. They applauded me for my fortitude, and said, 
as they had now plenty of beaver skins, they would purchase 
me a new gun at Detroit, as we were to go there the next 
spring ; and then if I should chance to be lost in dark weather, 
T could make a fire, kill provision, and return to camp v/hen 
the sun shined. By being bewildered on the waters of Musk- 
ingum, I lost repute, and was reduced to the bovv' and arrow, 
and by lying out two nights here I regained my credit. 

After some time the waters all froze again, and then, as 
formerly, we hunted beavers on the ice. Though beaver meat, 
without salt or bread, was the chief of our food this w^inter, yet 
we had always plenty, and I was well contented with my diet, 
as it appeared delicious fare, after the way we had lived the 
winter before. 

Some time in February, we scafTolded up our fur and skins, 



COLONEL SMITH'S CArTIYITY. 215 

and moved about ten miles in quest of a sugar camp, or a suit- 
able place to make sugar, and encamped in a large bottom on 
the head waters of Big Beaver creek. We had some diffi- 
culty in moving, as we had a blind Caughnewaga boy, about 
fifteen years of age, to lead ; and as this country is very 
brushy, we frequently had him to carry. We had also my 
Jibewa brother-in-law's father with us, who was thought by 
the Indians to be a great conjuror ; his name was Manetohcna. 
This old man was so decrepit that we had to carry him this 
route upon a bier, and all our baggage to pack on our backs. 

Shortly after we came to this place, the squaws began to 
make sugar. We had no large kettles with us this year, and 
they made the frost, in some measure, supply the place ot fire, 
in making sugar. Their large bark vessels, for holding the 
stock water, they made broad and shallow ; and as the weather 
is very cold here, it frequently freezes at night in sugar time ; 
and the ice they break and cast out of the vessels. I asked 
them if they were not throwing away the sugar. They said 
no ; it was water they were casting away; sugar did not freeze, 
and there was scarcely any in that ice. They said I might 
try the experiment, and boil some of it, and see what I would 
get. I never did try it ; but I observed that, after several times 
freezing, the water that remained in the vessel changed its 
color, and became brown and very sweet. 

About the time we were done making sugar the snow went 
off the ground ; and one night a squaw raised an alarm. She 
said she saw two men with guns in their hands, upon the bank 
on the other side of the creek, spying our tents ; they were 
supposed to be Johnston's Mohawks. On this the squaws were 
ordered to slip quietly out some distance into the bushes, and 
all who had either guns or bows were to squat in the bushes 
near the tents ; and if the enemy rushed iip, we were to give 
them the first fire, and let the scpiaws have an opportunity of 
escaping. I got down beside Tecaughretanego, and he whis- 
pered to me not to be afraid, for he would speak to the Mo- 
hawks, and as they spoke the same tongue that we did they 
would not hurt the Caughnewagas or me ; but they would kill 
all the Jibewas and Ottawas that they could, and take us along 
with them. This news pleased me well, and I heartily wished 
for the approach of the Mohawks. 

Before we withdrew from the tents they had carried Mane- 
tohcoa to the fire, and gave him his conjuring tools, which Avere 
dyed feathers, the bone of the shoulder-blade of a wildcat, to- 
bacco, &;c. And while we were in the bushes, Manetohcoa 
was in a tent at the fire, conjuring away to the utmost of his 
ability. At length he called aloud for us all to come in, which 



216 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

was quickly obeyed. When we came in he told us that after 
he had gone through the whole of his ceremony, and expected 
to see a number of Mohawks on the flat bone when it was 
warmed at the fire, the pictures of two wolves only appeared. 
He said, though there were no Mohawks about, we must not 
be angry with the squaw for giving a false alarm ; as she had 
occasion to go out and happened to see the wolves, though it 
was' moonlight, yet she got afraid, and she conceited it was 
Indians with guns in their hands. So he said we might all go 
to sleep, for there was no danger ; and accordingly we did. 

The next morning we went to the place, and found wolf 
tracks, and where they had scratched with their feet like dogs; 
hut there was no sign of moccasin tracks. If there is any such, 
thing as a wizard, 1 think Manetohcoa was as likely to be one 
as any man, as he was a professed worshipper of the devil. 
But let him be a conjuror or not, I am persuaded that the In- 
dians believed what he told them upon this occasion, as well 
as if it had come from an infallible oracle ; or they would not, 
after such an alarm as this, go all to sleep in an unconcerned 
manner. This appeared to me the most like witchcraft of any 
thing I beheld while I was with them. Though I scrutinized 
their proceedings in business of this kind, yet I generally found 
that their pretended witchcraft was either art or mistaken no- 
tions, whereby they deceived themselves. Before a battle they 
spy the enemy's motions carefully, and when they find that 
they can have considerable advantage, and the greatest prospect 
of success, then the old men pretend to conjure, or to tell what 
the event will be ; and ihis they do in a figurative manner, 
which will bear something of a difTerent interpretation, which 
generally comes to pass nearly as they foretold. Therefore the 
young warriors generally believed these old conjurors, which, 
had a tendency to animate and excite them to push on with 
vigfor. 

Some time in March, V751, we began to move back to the 
forks of Cayahaga, which was about forty or iifly miles. And 
as we had no horses, we had all our baggage and several hun- 
dred weight of beaver skins, and some deer and bear skins, all 
to pack on our backs. The method we took to accomplish this 
was by making short days' journeys. In the morning we would 
move on, with as much as we were able to carry, about five 
miles, and encamp, and then run back for more. We com- 
monly made three such trips in the day. When we came to 
the great pond, we staid there one day to rest ourselves, and to 
kill ducks and geese. 

While we remained here, I v/ent in company with a young 
Caughnewaga, who was about sixteen or seventeen years of 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 217 

age, Chinnohete by name, in order to gather cranberries. As 
he was gathering berries at some distance from me, three .Tib- 
ewa squaws crept up undiscovered, and made at him speedily, 
but he nimbly escaped, and came to me apparently terrified. 
I asked him what he was afraid of. He replied, did you not 
see those squaws ? I told him I did, and they appeared to be 
in a very good humor. I asked him wherefore then he Avas 
afraid of them. He said the Jibewa squaws were very bad 
women, and had a very ugly custom among them. I asked 
him what that custom was. He said that when two or three 
of them could catch a young lad, that was betwixt a man and 
a boy, out by himself, if they could overpower him, they would 
strip him by force, in order to see whether he was coming on 
to be a man or not. He said that was what they intended 
when they crawled up and ran so violently at him ; but, said 
he, I am very glad that I so narrowly escaped. I then agreed 
with Chinnohete in condemning this as a bad custom, and an 
exceedingly immodest action for young women to be guihy of. 

From our sugar camp on the head waters of Big Beaver 
creek to this place is not hilly. In some places the woods are 
tolerably clear, but in most places exceedingly brushy. The 
land here is chiefly second and third rate. The timber on the 
upland is white oak, black oak, hickory, and chesnut. There 
is also in some places walnut upland, and plenty of good water. 
The bottoms here are generally large and good. 

We again proceeded on from the pond to the forks of Caya 
haga, at the rate of about five miles per day. 

The land on this route is not very hilly j it is well watered, 
and in many places ill timbered, generally brushy, and chiefly 
second and third rate land, intermixed with good bottoms. 

When we came to the forks, we found that the skins we had 
scaffolded were all safe. Though this was a public place, and 
Indians frequently passing, and our skins hanging up in view, 
yet there were none stolen. And it is seldom that Indians do 
steal any thing from one-^nother. And they say they never 
did, until the white people came among them, and learned 
some of them to lie, cheat, and steal ; but be that as it may, 
they never did curse or swear until the whites learned them. 
Some think their language will not admit of it, but I am not 
of that opinion. If I was so disposed, I could find language 
to curse or swear in the Indian tongue. 

I remember that Tecaughretanego, when something displeas- 
ed him, said, God damn it. I asked him if he knew what he 
then said. He said he did, and mentioned one of their degrad- 
ing expressions, which he supposed to be the meaning or 
something like the meaning of what he had said. I told him 
19 



218 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

that it did not bear the least resemblance to it ; that what he 
had said was calling upon the Great Spirit to punish the object 
he was displeased with. He stood for some lime amazed, and 
then said, if this be the meaning of these words, what sort of 
people are the whites ? When the traders Avere among us, 
these words seemed to be intermixed with all their discourse. 
He told me to reconsider what I had said, for he thought I 
must be mistaken in my definition. If I was not mistaken, he 
said, the traders applied these words not only wickedly, but 
oftentimes very foolishly and contrary to sense or reason. He 
said he remembered once of a trader's accidentally breaking 
his gun-lock, and on that occasion calling out aloud, God damn 
it; surely, said he, the gun-lock was not an object worthy of 
punishment for Owaneeyo, or the Great Spirit. He also ob- 
served the traders often used this expression when they were in 
a good humor, and not displeased with any thing. I acknow- 
ledged that the traders used this expression very often, in a 
most irrational, inconsistent, and impious manner; yet I still 
asserted that I had given the true meaning of these words. 
He replied, if so, the traders are as bad as Oonasahroona, or 
the under ground inhabitants, which is the name they give the 
devils, as they entertain a notion that their place of residence 
is under the earth. 

We took up our birch-bark canoes which we had buried, and 
found that they were not damaged by the winter ; but they 
not being sufficient to carry all that we now had, we made a 
large chesnut-bark canoe, as elm bark was not to be found at 
this place. 

We all embarked, and had a very agreeable passage down 
the Cayahaga, and along the south side of lake Erie, until 
we passed the mouth of Sandusky ; then the wind arose, and 
we put in at the mouth of the Miami of the lake, at Cedar 
Point, where we remained several days, and killed a num.ber 
of turkeys, geese, ducks, and swans. The wind being fair, 
and the lake not extremely rough, we again embarked, hoisted 
up sails, and arrived safe at the Wyandot town, nearly oppo- 
site to fort Detroit, on the north side of the river. Here Ave 
found a number of French traders, every one very willing to 
deal with us for our beaver. 

We bought ourselves fine clothes, ammunition, paint, tobacco, 
&c.,and, according to promise, they purchased me a new gun; 
yet we had parted with only about one third of our beaver. 
At length a trader came to town with French brandy ; we pur- 
chased a keg of it, and held a council about who was to get 
drunk and who was to keep sober. I was invited to get drunk," 
but I refused the proposal ; then they told me that I must be 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 219 

one of those who were to take care of the drunken people. I 
did not like this ; but of two evils I chose that which I thought 
Avas the least — and fell in with those who were to conceal the 
arms, and keep every dangerous weapon we could out of their 
way, and endeavor, if possible, to keep the drinking club from 
killing each other, which was a very hard task. Several times 
we hazarded our own lives, and got ourselves hurt, in prevent- 
ing them from slaying each other. Before they had finished 
this keg, near one third of the town was introduced to this 
drinking club ; they could not pay their part, as they had 
already disposed of all their skins ; but that made no odds — all 
were welcome to drink. 

When they were done with this keg, they applied to the tra- 
ders, and procured a kettle full of brandy at a lime, which 
they divided out with a large wooden spoon ; and so they 
went on, and never quit while they had a single beaver skin. 

When the trader had got all our beaver, he moved off to the 
Ottawa town, about a mile above the Wyandot town. 

When the brandy was gone, and the drinking club sober, 
they appeared much dejected. Some of them were crippled, 
others badly wounded, a number of their fine new shirts tore, 
and several blankets were burned. A number of squaws were 
also in this club, and neglected their corn-planting. 

We could now hear the effects of the brandy in the Ottawa 
town. They were singing and yelling in the most hideous 
manner, both night and day ; but their frolic ended worse than 
ours : five Ottawas were killed and a great many wounded. 

After this a number of young Indians were getting their 
ears cut, and they urged me to have mine cut likewise, but 
they did not attempt to compel me, though they endeavored 
to persuade me. The principal arguments they used were, 
its being a very great ornament, and also the common fash- 
ion. The former I did not believe, and the latter I could 
not deny. The way they performed this operation was by 
cutting the fleshy part of the circle of the ear, close to the 
gristle, quite through. When this was done they wrapt rags 
round this fleshy part until it was entirely healed ; they then 
hung lead to it, and stretched it to a wonderful length : when 
it was sufficiently stretched, they wrapped the fleshy part round 
with brass wire, which formed it into a semicircle about four 
inches diameter. 

Many of the young men were now exercising themselves in 
a game resembling foot-ball, though they commonly struck 
the ball with a crooked stick made for that purpose ; also a 
game something like this, wherein they used a wooden ball, 
about three inches diameter, and the instrument they moved it 



220 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

witli was a strong staff, about five feet long, with a hoop net on 
the end of it large enough to contain the ball. Before they 
begin the play, they lay off about half a mile distance in a 
clear plain, and the opposite parties all attend at the centre, 
where a disinterested person casts up the ball, then the oppo- 
site parties all contend for it. If any one gets it into his net, 
he runs with it the way he wishes it to go, and they all pursue 
him. If one of the opposite party overtakes the person with 
the ball, he gives the staff a stroke, which causes the ball to 
fly out of the net ; then they have another debate for it, and if 
the one that gets it can outrun all the opposite party, and can 
carry it quite out, or over the line at the end, the game is won ; 
but this seldom happens. When any one is running away 
with the ball, and is likely to be overtaken, he commonly 
throws it, and with this instrument can cast it fifty or sixty 
yards. Sometimes when the ball is almost at the one end, 
matters will take a sudden turn, and the opposite party may 
quickly carry it out at the other end. Oftentimes they will 
work a long while back and forward before they can get the 
ball over the line, or win the game. 

About the 1st of June, 1757, the warriors were preparing to 
go to war, in the Wyandot, Pottowatomy, and Ottawa towns ; 
also a great many Jibewas came down from the upper lakes ; 
and after singing their war-songs, and going through their 
common ceremonies, they marched off against the frontiers of 
Virginia, Marj'land, and Pennsylvania, in their usual manner, 
singing the travelling song, slow firing, &c. 

On the north side of the river St. Lawrence, opposite to 
fort Detroit, there is an island, which the Indians call the 
Long Island, and which they say is above one thousand miles 
long, and in some places above one hundred miles broad. 
They further say that the great river that comes down by Can- 
esatauga, and that empties into the main branch of St. Law- 
rence, above Montreal, originates from one source with the St. 
Lawrence, and forms this island. 

Opposite to Detroit, and below it, was originally a prairie, 
and laid off in lots about sixty rods broad, and a great length; 
each lot is divided into two fields, which they cultivate year 
about. The principal grain that the French raised in these 
fields was spring wheat and peas. 

They built all their houses on the front of these lots on the 
river-side ; and as the banks of the river are very low, some 
of the houses are not above three or four feet above the sur- 
face of the water; yet they are in no danger of being disturb- 
ed by freshets, as the river seldom rises above eighteen inches; 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 221 

because it is the communication of the river St. Lawrence, 
from one lake to another. 

As dwelling-houses, barns and stables are all built on the 
front of these lots, at a distance it appears like a continued row 
of houses in a town, on each side of the river, for a long- way. 
These villages, the town, the river and the plains, being all in 
view at once, afford a most delightful prospect. 

The inhabitants here chiefly drink the river water ; and as 
it comes from the northward, it is very wholesome. 

The land here is principally second rate, and, comparatiA-ely 
speaking, a small part is first or third rate ; though about four 
or five miles south of Detroit there is a small portion that is 
worse than what I would call third rate, which produces abun- 
dance of whortleberries. 

There is plenty of good meadow ground here, and a great 
many marshes that are overspread with water. The timber is 
elm, sugar-tree, black ash, white ash, abundance of water ash, 
oak, hickory, and some walnut. 

About the middle of June, the Indians were almost all gone 
to war, from sixteen to sixty; yet TecaiTghretanego remained 
in town with me. Though he had formerly, when they were 
at war with the southern nations, been a great warrior and an 
eminent counsellor, and I think as clear and able a reasoner 
upon any subject that he had an opportunity of being acquaint- 
ed with as I ever knew ; yet he had all along beeif against 
this war, and had strenuously opposed it in council. He said, 
if the English and French had a quarrel, let them fight their 
own battles themselves ; it is not our business to intermeddle 
therewith. 

Before the warriors returned, we were very scarce of pro- 
vision ; and though we did not commonly steal from one 
another, yet we stole during this time any thing that we could 
eat from the French, under the notion that it was just for us 
to do so, because they supported their soldiers; and our squaws, 
old men and children were suffering on the account of the 
war, as our hunters were all gone. 

Some time in August, the warriors returned, and brought in 
with them a great many scalps, prisoners, horses and plunder ; 
and the common report among the young warriors was, that 
they would entirely subdue Tulhasaga, that is the English, 
or it might be literally rendered the Morning Light inhabit- 
ants. 

About the first of November, a number of families were 

preparing to go on their winter hunt, and all agreed to cross 

the lake together. We encamped at the mouth of the river 

the first night, and a council was held, Avliether we should 

19-^ 



222 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

cross through by the three islands, or coast it round the lake. 
These islands lie in a line across the lake, and are just in sight 
of each other. Some of the Wyandots, or Ottawas, frequent- 
ly make their winter hunt on these islands ; though, except- 
ing wild fowl and fish, there is scarcely any game here but 
raccoons, which are amazingly plenty, and ex'ceedingly large 
and fat, as they feed upon the wild rice, which grows in 
abundance in wet places round these islands. It is said that 
each hunter, in one winter, will catch one thousand raccoons. 

It is a received opinion among the Indians that the snakes 
and raccoons are iransmigratory, and that a great many of the 
snakes turn raccoons every fall, and raccoons snakes every 
spring. This notion is founded on observations made on the 
snakes and raccoons in this island. 

As the raccoons here lodge in rocks, the trappers make their 
wooden traps at the mouth of the holes ; and as they go daily 
to look at their traps, in the winter season, they commonly find 
them filled with raccoons ; but in the spring, or when the frosi 
is out of the ground, they say, they then find their traps filled 
with large rattlesnakes ; and therefore conclude that the rac- 
coons are transformed. They also say that the reason why 
they are so remarkably plenty in the winter, is, every fall the 
snakes turn raccoons again. 

I told them that though I had never landed on any of these 
islands, yet, from the unanimous accounts I had received, 1 
believed that both snakes and raccoons were plenty there ; but 
no doubt they all remained there both summer and winter, 
only the snakes were not to be seen in the latter ; yet I did 
not believe that they were transmigratory. 

These islands are but seldom visited ; because early in the 
spring, and late in the fall, it is dangerous sailing in their bark 
canoes ; and in the summer they are so infested with various 
kinds of serpents, (but chiefly rattlesnakes,) that it is danger- 
ous landing. 

I shall now quit this digression, and return to the result of 
the council at the mouth of the river. We concluded to coast 
it round the lake, and in two days we came to the mouth of 
the Miami of the Lake, and landed on Cedar Point, where we 
remained several days. Here we held a council, and con- 
cluded we would take a driving hunt in concert and in part- 
nership. 

The river in this place is about a mile broad, and as it and 
the lake forms a kind of neck, which terminates in a point, all 
the hunters (which were fifty-three) went up the river, and 
we scattered ourselves from the river to the lake. When we 
first began to move we were not in sight of each other, but as 



COLONEL S3IITH'S CAPTIVITY. 223 

we all raised the yell, we could move regularly together by 
the noise. At length we came in sight of each other, and 
appeared to be marching in good order ; before we came to 
the point, both the squaws and boys in the canoes were scat- 
tered up the river and along the lake, to prevent the deer from 
making their escape by water. As we advanced near the point 
the guns began to crack slowly, and after some time the fir- 
ing was like a little engagement. The squaws and boys were 
busy tomahawking the deer in the water, and we shooting 
them down on the land. We killed in all about thirty deer, 
though a great many made their escape by water. 

We had now great feasting and rejoicing, as we had plenty 
of homony, venison and wild fowl. The geese at this time 
appeared to be preparing to move southward. It might bs 
asked what is meant by the geese preparing to move. The 
Indians represent them as holding a great council at this time 
concerning the weather, in order to conclude upon a day, that 
they may all at or near one time leave the northern lakes, and 
wing their way to the southern bays. When m.atters are 
brought to a conclusion, and the time appointed that they are 
to take wing, then they say a great number of expresses are 
sent otr, in order to let the different tribes know the result of 
this council, that they may be all in readiness to move at the 
time Tippointed. As there is a great commotion among the 
geese at this time, it would appear by their actions that such 
a council had been held. Certain it is that they are led by 
instinct to act in concert, and to move off regularly after their 
leaders. 

Here our company separated. The chief part of them went 
up the Miami river, which empties into lake Erie at Cedar 
Point, whilst we proceeded on our journey in company with 
Tecaughretanego, Tontileaugo, and two families of the Wyan- 
dots. 

As cold weather was now approaching, we began to feel 
the doleful effects of extravagantly and foolishly spending tlie 
large quantity of beaver we had taken in our last winter's 
hunt. We were all nearly in the same circumstances ; scarce- 
ly one had a shirt to his back ; but each of us had an old 
blanket, which we belted round us in the day, and slept in at 
night, with a deer or bear skin under us for our bed. 

When we came to the falls of Sandusky, we buried our 
birch-bark canoes, as usual, at a large burying-place for that 
purpose, a little below the falls. At this place the river falls 
about eight feet over a rock, but not perpendicxUarly. With 
much difficulty we pushed up our wooden canoes; some of us 
went up the river, and the rest by land with the horses, until 



224 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

we came to the great meadows or prairies, that lie between 

Sandusky and Sciota. 

When we came to this place, we met with some Ottawa 
hunters, and agreed with them to take what they call a ring 
hunt, in partnership. We waited until we expected rain was 
near falling to extinguish the fire, and then we kindled a large 
circle in the prairie. At this time, or before the bucks began 
to run, a great number of deer lay concealed in the grass, in 
the day, and moved about in the night; but as the fire burned 
in towards the centre of the circle, the deer fled before the fire; 
the Indians were scattered also at some distance before the fire, 
and shot them down every opportunity, which was very fre- 
quent, especially as the circle became small. When we came 
to divide the deer, there were about ten to each hunter, which 
were al! killed in a few hours. The rain did not come on that 
night to put out the outside circle of the fire, and as the wind 
arose, it extended througli the whole prairie, which was about 
fifty miles in length, and in some places nearly twenty in 
breadth. This put an end to our ring hunting this season, and 
was in other respects an injury to us in the hunting business ; 
50 that upon the whole w'e received more harm than benefit 
by our rapid hunting frolic. We then moved from the north 
end of the glades, and encamped at the carrying place. 

This place is in the plains, betw'ixt a creek that empties into 
Sandusky and one that runs into Sciota. And at the time of 
high water, or in the spring season, there is but about one half 
mile of portage, and that very level, and clear of rocks, timber, 
or stones ; so that with a little digging there may be water 
carriage the whole way from Sciota to lake Erie. 

From the mouth of Sandusky to the falls is chiefly first rate 
land, lying flat or level, intermixed with large bodies of clear 
meadows, where the grass is exceedingly rank, and in many 
■places three or four feet high. The timber is oak, hickory, 
walnut, cherry, black ash, elm, sugar-tree, buckeye, locust and 
beech. In some places there is wet timber land — the timber 
in these places is chiefly water ash, sycamore, or butlon-wood. 

From the falls to the prairies, the land lies w^ell to the sun ; 
it is neither too flat nor too hilly, and is chiefly first rate; the 
timber nearly the same as below the falls, excepting the w^ater 
ash. There is also here some plats of beech land, that appears 
to be second rate, as it frequently produces spice-wood. The 
prairie appears to be a tolerably fertile soil, though in many 
places too wet for cultivation ; yet I apprehend it would pro- 
duce timber, were it only kept from fire. 

The Indians are of the opinion that the squirrels plant all 
the timber, as they bury a number of nuts for food, and only 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 225 

one at a place. "When a squirrel is killed, the various kinds 
of nuts thus buried will grow. 

I have observed that when these prairies have only escaped 
fire for one year, near where a single tree stood there was a 
young growth of timber supposed to be planted by the squir- 
rels. But when the prairies were again burned, all this young 
growth was immediately consumed ; as the fire rages in the 
grass to such a pitch, that numbers of raccoons are thereby 
burned to death. 

On the west side of the prairie, or betwixt that and Sciota, 
there is a large body of first rate land — the timber, walnut, lo- 
cust, sugar-tree, buckeye, cherry, ash, elm, mulberry, plum-trees, 
spice-wood, black haw, red haw, oak, and hickory. 

About the time the bucks quit running, Tontileaugo, his wife 
and children, Tecaughretanego, his son Nunganey and myself, 
left the Wyandot camps at the carrying place, and crossed the 
Sciota river at the south end of the glades, and proceeded on 
about a south-west course to a large creek called OUentangy, 
which I believe interlocks with the waters of the Miami, and 
empties into Sciota on the west side thereof. From the south 
end of the prairie to OUentangy there is a large quantity of 
beech land, intermixed with first rate land. Here we made 
our winter hut, and, had considerable success in hunting. 

After some time, one of Tontlleaugo's step-sons (a lad about 
eight years of age) offended him, and he gave the boy a mode- 
rate whipping, which much displeased his Wyandot wife. She 
acknowledged that the boy was guilty of a fault, but thought 
that he ought to have been ducked, which is their usual mode 
of chastisement. She said she could not bear to have her son 
whipped like a servant or slave ; and she was so displeased, 
that when Tontileaugo went out to hunt, she got her two 
horses, and all her effects, (as in this country the husband and 
wife have separate interests,) and moved back to the Wyandot 
camp that we had left. 

When Tontileaugo returned, he was much disturbed on 
hearing of his wife's elopement, and said that he would never 
go after her, were it not that he was afraid that she would get 
bewildered, and that his children that she had taken with her 
might suffer. Tontileaugo went after his wife, and wh-en they 
met they made up the quarrel ; and he never returned, but left 
Tecaughretanego and his son, (a boy about ten years of age,) 
and myself, who remained here in our hut all winter. 

Tecaughretanego had been a first-rate warrior, statesman 
and hunter, and though he was now near sixty years of age, 
was yet equal to the common run of hunters, but subject to 
the rheumatism, which deprived him of the use of his legs. 



226 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

Shortly after Tontileaugo left us, Tecaughretanego became 
lame, and could scarcely walk out of our hut for two months. 
I had considerable success in hunting and trapping. Though 
Tecaughretanego endured much pain and misery, yet he bore 
it all with wonderful patience, and would often endeavor to 
entertain me with cheerful conversation. Sometimes he Avould 
applaud me for my diligence, skill and activity ; and at other 
times he would take great care in giving me instructions con- 
cerning the hunting and trapping business. He would also 
tell me that if I failed of success we would suffer very much, 
as we were about forty miles from any one living, that we knew 
of; yet he would not intimate that he apprehended we were in 
any danger, but still supposed that I was fully adequate to the 
task. 

Tontileaugo left us a little before Christmas, and from that 
until some time in February we had always plenty of bear 
meat, venison, &c. During this time I killed much more than 
we could use, but having no horses to carry in what I killed, I 
left part of it in the woods. In February, there came a snow, 
with a crust, which made a great noise when walking on it, 
and frightened away the deer ; and as bear and beaver were 
scarce here, we got entirely out of provision. After I had 
hunted two daj^s without eating any thing, and had very short 
allowance for some days before, I returned late in the evening, 
faint and weary. When I came into our hut, Tecaughretane- 
go asked what success. I told him not any. He asked me if 
I was not very hungry. I replied that the keen appetite seem- 
ed to be in some measure removed, but I was both faint and 
weary. He commanded Nunganey, his little son, to bring me 
something to eat, and he brought me a kettle with some bones 
and broth. After eating a few mouthfuls, my appetite violently 
returned, and I thought the victuals had a most agreeable rel- 
ish, though it was only fox and wildcat bones, which lay about 
the camp, which the ravens and turkey-buzzards had picked ; 
these Nunganey had collected and boiled, until the sinews that 
remained on the bones would strip off. I speedily finished 
my allowance, such as it was, and when I had ended my sweet 
repast, Tecaughretanego asked me how I felt. I told him that 
1 was much refreshed. He then handed me his pipe and pouch, 
and told me to take a smoke. I did so. He then said he had 
something of importance to tell me, if I was now composed 
and ready to hear it. I told him that I was ready to hear him. 
He said the reason why he deferred his speech till now v;as 
because few men are in a right humor to hear good talk when 
they are extremely hungry, as they are then generally fretful 
and discomposed, but as you appear now to enjoy calmness 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 227 

and serenity of mind, I will now communicate to yon the 
thoughts of my heart, and those things that I knov/ to be true. 

^'Brother, — As you have lived with the white people, you 
have not had the same advantage of knowing that the great 
Being above feeds his people, and gives them their meat in due 
season, as we Indians have, who are frequently out of provi- 
sions, and yet are wonderfully supplied, and that so frequently, 
that it is evidently the hand of the great Owaneeyo* that dotli 
this. Whereas the white people have commonly large stocks 
of tame cattle, that tiiey can kill when they please, and also 
their barns and cribs filled with grain, and therefore have not 
the same opportunity of seeing and knowing that they are 
supported by the Ruler of heaven and earth. 

" Brother, — I know that you are now afraid that we will all 
perish with hunger, but you have no just reason to fear this. 

'■'■Brother, — I have been young, but am now old ; I have 
been frequently under the like circumstances that we now are, 
and that some time or other in almost every year of my life; 
yet I have hitherto been supported, and my wants supplied in 
time of need. 

" Brother, — Owaneeyo sometimes suffers us to be in want, 
in order to teach us our dependence upon him, and to let us 
know that we are to love and serve him ; and likewise to know 
the worth of the favors that we receive, and to make us more 
thankful. 

" Brother, — Be assured that you will be supplied with food, 
and that just in the right time ; but you must continue diligent 
in the use of means. Go to sleep, and rise early in the morn- 
ing and go a hunting ; be strong, and exert yourself like a man, 
and the Great Spirit will direct your way." 

The next morning I went out, and steered about an east 
course. I proceeded on slowly for about five miles, and saw 
deer frequently; but as the crust on the snow made a great 
noise, they were always running before I spied them, so that I 
could not get a shot. A violent appetite returned, and I be- 
came intolerably hungry. It was now that I concluded I would 
run off to Pennsylvania, my native country. As the snow was 
on the ground, and Indian hunters alniost the whole of the way 
before me, I had but a poor prospect of making my escape, but 
my case appeared desperate. If I staid here, I thought I would 
perish with hunger, and if I met with Indians they could but 
kill me. 

I then proceeded on as fast as I could Avalk, and when I got 

* This is the name of God, in their ton^e, and signifies the owner and 
ruler of all thing-s. 



228 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

about ten or twelve miles from our hut, I came upon fresh 
buffalo tracks ; I pursued after, and in a short time came in 
sight of them as they were passing through a small glade. 
I ran with all my might and headed them, where I lay in am- 
bush, and killed a very large cow. I immediately kindled a 
fire and began to roast meat, but could not wait till it was done ; 
I ate it almost raw. When hunger was abated, I began to be 
tenderly concerned for my old Indian brother and the little boy 
I had left in a perishing condition. I made haste and packed 
up what meat I could carry, secured what I left from the wolves, 
and returned homewards. 

I scarcely thought on the old man's speech while I was 
almost distracted with hunger, but on my return was much 
affected with it, reflected on myself for my hard-heartedness 
and ingratitude, in attempting to run off'and leave the venera- 
ble old man and little boy to perish with hunger. I also con- 
sidered how remarkably the old man's speech had been verified 
in our providentially obtaining a supply. I thought also of 
that part of his speech which treated of the fractious disposi- 
tions of hungry people, which was the only excuse I had for 
my base inhumanity, in attempting to leave them in the most 
deplorable situation. 

As it was moonlight, I got home to our hut, and found the 
old man in his usual good humor. He thanked me for my 
exertion, and bid me sit down, as I must certainly be fatigued, 
and he commanded Nunganey to make haste and cook. I told 
him I would cook for him, and let the boy lay some meat on 
the coals for himself; which he did, but ate it almost raw, as 
I had done. I immediately hung on the kettle with some wa- 
ter, and cut the beef in thin slices, and put them in. When it 
had boiled a while, I proposed taking it off' the fire, but the old 
man replied, "let it be done enough." This he said in as 
patient and unconcerned a manner as if he had not wanted 
one single meal. He commanded Nunganey to eat no more 
beef at that time, lest he might hurt himself, but told him to 
sit down, and after some time he might sup some broth; this 
command he reluctantly obeyed. 

When we were all refreshed, Tecaughretanego delivered a 
speech upon the necessity and pleasure of receiving the neces- 
sary supports of life with thankfulness, knowing that Ovvanee- 
yo is the great giver. Such speeches from an Indian may be 
thought by those who are unacquainted with them altogether 
incredible ; but when we reflect on the Indian war, we may 
readily conclude that they are not an ignorant or stupid sort of 
people, or they would not have been such fatal enemies. When 
they came into our country they outwitted us ; and when we 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 229 

sent armies into their country, they outgeneralled and beat us 
with inferior force. Let us also take into consideration that 
Tecaughretanego was no common person, but was among the 
Indians as Socrates in the ancient heathen world ; and it may 
be equal to him, if not in wisdom and in learning, yet perhaps 
in patience and fortitude. Notwithstanding Tecaughretanego's 
uncommon natural abilities, yet in the sequel of this history 
you will see the deficiency of the light of nature, unaided by 
revelation, in this truly great man. 

The next morning Tecaughretanego desired me to go back 
and bring another load of buUalo beef. As I proceeded to do 
so, about five miles from our hut I found a bear tree. As a 
sapling grew near the tree, and reached near the hole that the 
bear went in at, I got dry dozed or rotten wood, that would 
catch and hold fire almost as well as spunk. This wood I tied 
up in bunches, fixed them on my back, and then climbed up 
the sapling, and with a pole I put them, touched with fire, into 
the hole, and then came down and took my gun in my hand. 
After some time the bear carne out, and I killed and skinned 
it, packed up a load of the meat, (after securing the remainder 
from the wolves,) and returned home before night. On my 
return, my old brother and his son were much rejoiced at my 
success. After this we had plenty of provisions. 

We remained liere until some time in April, 17-5S. At this 
time Tecaugretanego had recovered so that he could v/alk about. 
We made a bark canoe, embarked, and went down Ollentangy 
some distance, but the water being low, we were in danger of 
splitting our canoe upon the rocks ; therefore Tecaughretan- 
ego concluded we would encamp on shore, and pray for rain. 

When we encamped Tecaughretanego made himself a sweat 
house, which he did by sticking a number of hoops in the 
ground, each hoop forming a semicircle ; this he covered all 
round with blankets and skins. He then prepared hot stones, 
which he rolled into this hut, and then went into it himself 
with a little kettle of water in his hand, mixed with a variety 
of herbs, which he had formerly cured, and had now with him 
in his pack ; they afforded an odoriferous perfume. When he 
was in, he told me to pull down the blankets behind him, and 
cover all up close, which I did, and then he began to pour 
water upon the hot stones, and to sing aloud. He continued 
in this vehement hot place about fifteen minutes. All this he 
did in order to purify himself before he would address the 
Supreme Being. When he came out of his sweat house, he 
began to burn tobacco and pray. He began each petition with 
oh, ho, ho, ho, which is a kind of aspiration, and signifies an 
ardent wish. I observed that all his petitions were only for 
20 



230 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

immediate or present temporal blessings. He began his ad- 
dress by thanksgiving in the following manner : 

" O Great Being ! I thank thee that I have obtained the 
use of my legs again ; that I am now able to walk about and 
kill turkeys, &c. without feeling exquisite pain and misery. 
I know that thou art a hearer and a helper, and therefore I will 
call upon thee. 

" Oh, ho, ho, ho, 

" Grant that my knees and ankles may be right well, and 
that I may be able, not only to walk, but to run and to jump 
logs, as I did last fall. 

" Oh, ho, ho, ho, 

" Grant that on this voyage we may frequently kill bears, as 
they may be crossing the Sciota and Sandusky. 

" Oh, ho, ho, ho, 

" Grant that we may kill plenty of turkeys along the banks, 
to stew with our fat bear meat. 

" Oh, ho, ho, ho, 

" Grant that rain may come to raise the Ollentangy about 
two or three feet, that we may cross in safety down to Sciota, 
without danger of our canoe being wrecked on the rocks. 
And now, O Great Being! thou knowest how matters stand; 
thou knowest that I am a great lover of tobacco, and though I 
know not when I may get any more, I now make a present of 
the last I have unto thee, as a free burnt offering ; therefore I 
expect thou wilt hear and grant these requests, and I, thy ser- 
vant, will return thee thanks, and love thee for thy gifts." 

During the whole of this scene I sat by Tecaughretanego, 
and as he went through it with the greatest solemnity, I was 
seriously affected with his prayers. I remained duly com- 
posed until he came to the burning of the tobacco ; and as I 
knew that he was a great lover of it, and saw him cast the last 
of it into the fire, it excited in me a kind of merriment, and 
I insensibly smiled. Tecaughretanego observed me laughing, 
which displeased him, and occasioned him to address me in 
the following manner. 

" Brother : I have somewhat to say to you, and I hope you 
will not be offended when I tell you of your faults. You 
know that when you were reading your books in town I would 
not let the boys or any one disturb you ; but now, when I was 
praying, I saw you laughing. I do not think that you look 
upon praying as a foolish thing; I believe you pray yourself. 
But perhaps you may think my mode or manner of praying 
foolish ; if so, you ought in a friendly manner to instruct me, 
and not make sport of sacred things." 

I acknowledged my error, and on this he handed me his 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 231 

pipe to smoke, in token of friendship and reconciliation, though 
at this time he had nothing to smoke but red willow bark. I 
told him something of the method of reconciliation with an 
ofTended God, as revealed in my Bible, which I had then in 
possession. He said that he liked my story better than that 
of the French priests, but he thought that he was now too old 
to begin to learn a new religion, therefore he should continue 
to worship God in the way that he had been taught, and that 
if salvation or future happiness was to be had in his way of 
worship, he expected he would obtain it, and if it was incon- 
sistent with the honor of the Great Spirit to accept of him in 
his own way of worship, he hoped that Owaneeyo v/ould 
accept of him in the way I had mentioned, or in some other 
way, though he might now be ignorant of the channel through 
which favor or mercy might be conveyed. He said that he 
believed that Owaneeyo would hear and help every one that 
sincerely waited upon him. 

Here we may see how far the light of nature could go; per- 
haps we see it here almost in its highest extent. Notwith- 
standing the just views that this great man entertained of 
Providence, yet we now see him (though he acknowledged his 
guilt) expecting to appease the Deity, and procure his favor, 
by burning a little tobacco. We may observe that all heathen 
nations, as far as we can find out either by tradition or the 
light of nature, agree with revelation in this, that sacrifice is 
necessary, or that some kind of atonement is to be made in 
order to remove guilt and reconcile them to God. This, 
accompanied with numberless other witnesses, is sufficient 
evidence of the rationality of the truth of the Scriptures. 

A few days after Tecaughretanego had gone through his 
ceremonies and finished his prayers, the rain came and raised 
the creek a sufficient height, so that we passed in safety down 
to Sciota, and proceeded up to the carrying place. Let us 
now describe the land on this route from our winter hut, and 
down Ollentangy to the Sciota, and up it to the carrying place. 

About our winter cabin is chiefly first and second rate land. 
A considerable way up Ollentangy, on the south-west side 
thereof, or betwixt it and the Miami, there is a very large 
prairie, and from this prairie down Ollentangy to Sciota is 
generally first rate land. The timber is walnut, sugar-tree, 
ash, buckeye, locust, wild cherry, and spice-wood, intermixed 
with some oak and beech. From the mouth of Ollentangy, 
on the east side of Sciota, up to the carrying place, there is a 
large body of first and second rate land, and tolerably well 
watered. The timber is ash, sugar-tree, walnut, locust, oak, 
and beech. Up near the carrying place the land is a little 



232 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

hilly, but the soil good. We proceeded from this place down 
Sandusky, and in our passage we killed four bears and a 
number of turkeys. Tecaughretanego appeared now fully 
persuaded that all this came in answer to his prayers, and who 
can say with any degree of certainty that it was not so ? 

When we came to the little lake at the mouth of Sandusky, 
we called at a Wyandot town that was then there, called 
Sunyendeand. Here we diverted ourselves several days by 
catching rock fish in a small creek, the name of which is also 
Sunyendeand, Avhich signifies rock fish. They fished in the 
night with lights, and struck the fish with gigs or spears. The 
rock fish here, when they begin first to run up the creek to 
spawm, are exceedingly fat, sufficiently so to fry themselves. 
The first night we scarcely caught fish enough for present 
use for all that was in the town. 

The next morning I met with a prisoner at this place by 
the name of Thompson, who had been taken from Virginia. 
He told me, if the Indians would only omit disturbing the fish 
for one night, he could catch more fish than the whole town 
could make use of. I told jMr. Thompson that if he was cer- 
tain he could do this, that I would use my influence with the 
Indians to let the fish alone for one night. I applied to the 
chiefs, who agreed to my proposal, and said they were anxious 
to see what the Great Knife (as they called the Virginian) 
could do. Mr. Thompson, with the assistance of some other 
prisoners, set to work, and made a hoop-net of elm bark; they 
then cut down a tree across the creek, and stuck in stakes at 
the lower side of it to prevent the fish from passing up, leaving 
only a gap at the one side of the creek ; here he sat with his 
net, and when he felt the fish touch the net he drew it up, and 
frequently would haul out two or three rock fish that would 
weigh about five or six pounds each. He continued at this 
until he had hauled out about a wagon load, and then left the 
gap open in order to let them pass up, for they could not go 
far on account of the shallow water. Before day Mr. Thomp- 
son shut it up, to prevent them from passing down, in order to 
let the Indians have some diversion in killing them in daylight. 

When the news of the fish came to town, the Indians all 
collected, and with surprise beheld the large heap offish, and 
applauded the ingenuity of the Virginian. When they saw 
the number of them that were confined in the water above the 
tree, the young Indians ran back to the town, and in a short 
time returned with their spears, gigs, bows and arrows, &c., 
and were the chief part of that day engaged in killing rock 
fish, insomuch that we had more than we could use or pre- 
serve. As we had no salt, or any way to keep them, they lay 



COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 233 

upon the banks, and after some time great numbers of turkey- 
buzzards and eagles collected together and devoured them. 

Shortly after this we left Sunyendeand, and in three days 
arrived at Detroit, where we remained this summer. 

Some time in May we heard that General Forbes, Avith 
seven thousand men, was preparing to carry on a campaign 
against fort Du Quesne, which then stood near where fort 
Pitt was afterwards erected. Upon receiving this news, a 
number of runners were sent off by the French commander at 
Detroit to urge the different tribes of Indian warriors to repair 
to fort Da Quesne. 

Some time in July, 1758, the Ottawas, Jibewas, Potowato- 
mies, and Wyandots, rendezvoused at Detroit, and marched otf 
to fort Du Quesne, to prepare for the encounter of General 
Forbes. The common report was that they would serve him 
as they did General Braddock, and obtain much plunder. 
From this time until fall, we had frequent accounts of Forbes's 
army, by Indian runners that were sent out to watch their 
motion. They espied them frequently from the mountains 
ever after they left fort Loudon. Notwithstanding their vigi- 
lance. Colonel Grant, with his Highlanders, stole a march upon 
them, and in the night took possession of a hill about eighty 
rods from fort Du Quesne ; this hill is on that account called 
Grant's Hill to this day. The French and Indians knew not 
that Grant and his men were there, until they beat the drum 
and played upon the bagpipes just at daylight. They then 
flew to arms, and the Indians ran up under cover of the banks 
of Alleghany and Monongahela for some distance, and then 
sallied out from the banks of the rivers, and took possession of 
the hill above Grant ; and as he was on the point of it, in sight 
of the fort, they immediately surrounded him, and as he had 
his Highlanders in ranks, and in very close order, and the 
Indians scattered and concealed behind trees, they defeated 
him with the loss only of a few warriors; most of the High- 
landers were killed or taken prisoners. 

After this defeat the Indians held a council, but were divided 
in their opinions. Some said that General Forbes would now 
turn back, and go home the way that he came, as Dunbar had 
done when General Braddock was defeated ; others supposed 
he would come on. The French urged the Indians to stay 
and see the event ; but as it was hard for the Indians to be 
absent from their squaws and children at this season of the 
year, a great many of them Teturned home to their hunting. 
After this, the remainder of the Indians, some French regulars, 
and a number of Canadians, marched off in quest of General 
Forbes. They met his army near fort Ligoneer, and attacked 
20* 



234 COLONEL SMITH'S CAPTIVITY. 

them, but were frustrated in their design. They said that 
Forbes's men were beginning to learn the art of war, and that 
there were a great number of American riflemen along with 
the red-coats, who scattered out, took trees, and were good 
marksmen ; therefore they found they could not accomplish 
their design, and were obliged to retreat. When they returned 
from the battle to fort Du Quesne, the Indians concluded that 
they would go to their hunting. The French endeavored to 
persuade them to stay and try another battle. The Indians 
said if it Avas only the red-coats they had to do with, they 
could soon subdue them, but they could not withstand Asha- 
lecoa, or the Great Knife, which was the name they gave the 
Virginians. They then returned home to their hunting, and 
the French evacuated the fort, which General Forbes came 
and took possession of, without further opposition, late in the 
year 1758, and at this time began to build fort Pitt. 

When Tecaughretanego had heard the particulars of Grant's 
defeat, he said that he could not well account for his contra- 
dictory and inconsistent conduct. He said, as the art of war 
consists in ambushing and surprising our enemies, and in 
preventing them from ambushing and surprising us, Grant, in 
the first place, acted like a wise and experienced warrior in 
artfully approaching in the night without being discovered ; 
but when he came to the place, and the Indians were lying 
asleep outside of the fort, between him and the Alleghany 
river, in place of slipping up quietly, and falling upon them 
with their broadswords, they beat the drums and played upon 
the bagpipes. He said he could account for this inconsistent 
conduct no other way than by supposing that he had made too 
free with spirituous liquors during the night, and became 
intoxicated about daylight. But to return. 

This year we hunted up Sandusky and down Sciota, and 
took nearly the same route that we had done the last hunting 
season. We had considerable success, and returned to Detroit 
some time in April, 1759. 

Shortly after this, Tecaughretanego, his son Nungany and 
myself, went from Detroit (in an elm-bark canoe) to Caughne- 
waga, a very ancient Indian town, about nine miles above 
Montreal, where I remained until about the first of July. I 
then heard of a French ship at Montreal that had English 
prisoners on board, in order to carry them over sea and ex- 
change them. I went privately off' from the Indians, and got 
also on board ; but as General Wolfe had stopped the river St. 
Lawrence we v/ere all sent to prison in Montreal, where I 
remained four months. Some time in November we were all 
sent ofT from this place to Crown Point, and exchanged. 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 235 

Early in the year 1780, 1 came home to Conococheagne, and 
found that my people could never ascertain whether I was 
killed or taken until my return. They received me with great 
joy, but were surprised to see me so much like an Indian both 
in my gait and gesture. 

Upon inquiry, I found that my sweetheart was married a 
few days before I arrived. My feelings I must leave on this 
occasion for those of my readers to judge who have felt the 
pangs of disappointed love, as it is iinpossible now for me to 
describe the emotion of soul I felt at that time. 

Now there was peace with the Indians, which lasted until 
the year 1763. Some time in May, this year, I married, and 
about that time the Indians again commenced hostilities, and 
were busily engaged in killing and scalping the frontier inha- 
bitants in various parts of Pennsylvania. The whole Cono- 
cocheague valley, from the North to the South Mountain, had 
been almost entirely evacuated during Braddock's war. This 
state was then a Q.uaker government, and at the first of this 
war the frontiers received no assistance from the state. As 
the people were now beginning to live at home again, they 
thought it hard to be drove away a second time, and were 
determined, if possible, to make a stand ; therefore they raised 
as much money by collections and subscriptions as would pay 
a company of riflemen for several months. The subscribers 
met, and elected a committee to manage the business. The 
committee appointed me captain of this company of rangers, 
and gave me the appointment of my subalterns. I chose two 
of the most active young men that I could find, who had also 
been long in captivity with the Indians. As we enlisted our 
men, we dressed them uniformly in the Indian manner, with 
breech-clouts, leggins, moccasins, and green shrouds, which 
we wore in the same manner that the Indians do, and nearly 
as the Highlanders wear their plaids. In place of hats we 
wore red handkerchiefs, and painted our faces red and black 
like Indian warriors. I taught them the Indian discipline, as 
I knew of no other at that time, which would answer the 
purpose much better than British. We succeeded beyond 
expectation in defending the frontiers, and were extolled by 
our employers. Near the conclusion of this expedition I 
accepted of an ensign's commission in the regular service, 
under King George, in what was then called the Pennsylvania 
iine. Upon my resignation, my lieutenant succeeded me in 
command the rest of the time they were to serve. In the 
fall (the same year) I went on the Susquehanna campaign 
against the Indians, under the command of General Armstrong. 
In this route we burnt the Delaware and Monsey towns, on 



236 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

the west branch of the Susquehanna, and destroyed all their 
corn. 

In the year 1764 I received a lieutenant's commission, and 
went out on General Bouquet's campaign against the Indians 
on the Muskingum. Here we brought them to terms, and 
promised to be at peace with them, upon condition that they 
would give up all our people that they had then in captivity 
among them. They then delivered unto us three hundred of 
the prisoners, and said that they could not collect them all at 
this time, as it was now late in the year, and they were far 
scattered; but they promised that they would bring them all 
into fort Pitt early next spring, and as security that they 
would do this, they delivered to us six of their chiefs as hos- 
tages. Upon this we settled a cessation of arms for six months, 
and promised, upon their fulfilling the aforesaid condition, to 
make with them a permanent peace. 

A little below fort Pitt the hostages all made their escape. 
Shortly after this the Indians stole horses and killed some peo- 
ple on the frontiers. The king's proclamation was then circu- 
lating and set up in various public places, prohibiting any per- 
son from trading with the Indians until further orders. 

Notwithstanding all this, about the first of March, 1765, a 
number of wagons, loaded with Indian goods and warlike 
stores, were sent from Philadelphia to Henry Pollens, Cono- 
cocheague, and from thence seventy pack horses were loaded 
with these goods, in order to carry them to fort Pitt. This 
alarmed the country, and Mr. William Duffield raised about 
fifty armed men, and met the pack horses at the place where 
Mercersburg now stands. Mr. Duflield desired the employers to 
store up their goods, and not proceed until further orders. They 
made light of this, and went over the North Mountain, where 
they lodged in a small valley called the Great Cove. Mr. Duf- 
field and his party followed after, and came to their lodging, and 
again urged them to store up their goods ; he reasoned with them 
on the impropriety of the proceedings, and the great dangei 
the frontier inhabitants would be exposed to, if the Indians should 
now get a supply : he said, as it was well known that they 
had scarcely any ammunition, and were almost naked, to supply 
them now would be a kind of murder, and would be illegally 
trading at the expense of the blood and treasure of the fron- 
tiers. Notwithstanding his powerful reasoning, these traders 
made game of what he said, and would only answer him by 
ludicrous burlesque. 

When I beheld this, and found that Mr. Dufheld would not 
compel them to store up their goods, I collected ten of my old 
warriorsj that I had formerly disciplined in the Indian way, went 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 237 

off privately after night, and encamped in the woods. The 
next day, as usual, we blacked and painted, and waylaid them 
near Sidelong Hill. I scattered my men about forty rod along 
the side of the road, and ordered every two to take a tree, and 
about eight or ten rod between each couple, with orders to 
keep a reserve fire, one not to fire until his comrade had loaded 
his gun ; by this means we kept up a constant, slow fire upon 
them, from front to rear. We then heard nothing of these tra- 
ders' merriment or burlesque. When they saw their pack- 
horses falling close by them, they called out, pray, gentlemen^ 
what xoould you have us to do ? The reply was, collect all your 
loads to the front, and unload them in one place ; take your 
private property, and immediately retire. When they were 
gone, we burnt what they left, which consisted of blankets, 
shirts, Vermillion, lead beads, wampum, tomahawks, scalping- 
kniA'-es, &c. 

The traders went back to fort Loudon, and applied to the 
commanding officer there, and got a party of Highland soldiers, 
and went with them in quest of the robbers, as they called us ; 
and without applying to a magistrate, or obtaining any civil 
authority, but barely upon suspicion, they took a number of 
creditable persons prisoners, (who were chiefly not any way 
concerned in this action,) and confined them in the guard- 
house in fort Loudon. I then raised three hundred riflemen, 
marched to fort Loudon, and encamped on a hi)] in sight of 
the fort. We were not long there, until we had more than 
double as many of the British troops prisoners in our camp 
as they had of our people in the giiard-house. Captain Grant, 
a Highland oflicer, M'ho commanded fort Loudon, then sent a 
flag of truce to our camp, where we settled a cartel, and gave 
them above two for one, which enabled us to redeem all our 
men from the guard-house, without further difficulty. 

After this. Captain Grant kept a number of rifle guns which 
the Highlanders had taken from the country people, and refused 
to give them up. As he was riding out one day, we took him 
prisoner, and detained him until he delivered up the arms ; 
we also destroyed a large quantity of gunpowder that the tra- 
ders had stored up, lest it might be conveyed privately to the 
Indians. The king's troops and our party had now got entirely 
out of the channel of the civil law, and many unjustifiable 
things were done by both parties. This convinced me more 
than ever I had been before of the absolute necessity of the 
civil law in order to govern mankind. 

About this time the following song was composed by Mr. 
George Campbell, (an Irish gentleman, who had been edu- 



238 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

cated in Dublin,) and was frequently sung to the tune of the 
Black Joke. 

Ye patriot souls, who love to sing, 
Who serve your country and your king, 

In wealth, peace and royal estate : 
Attention give whilst I rehearse 
A modern fact in jingling verse, 
How party interest strove what it could 
To profit itself by public blood. 

But justly met its merited fate. 

Let all those Indian traders claim 
Their just reward, inglorious fame. 

For vile, base and treacherous ends. 
To Pollens, in the spring, they sent 
Much warlike stores, with an intent 
To carry them to our barbarous foes, 
Expecting that nobody dare oppose, 

A present to their Indian friends. 

Astonish'd at the wild design. 
Frontier inhabitants conibin'd 

With brave souls to stop their career , 
Although some men apostatiz'd, 
Who first the grand attempt advis'd, 
The bold frontiers they bravely stood. 
To act for their king and their country's good 

In joint league, and strangers to fear. 

On Llarch the fifth, in sixty-five, 
The Indian presents did arrive. 

In long pomp and cavalcade. 
Near Sidelong Hill, where in disguise 
Some patriots did their train surprise, 
And quick as lightning tumbled their loads, 
And kindled them bonfires in the woods, 

And mostly burnt their ^^ hole brigade. 

At Loudon when they heard the news. 
They scarcely knew which way to choose, 

For blind rage and discontent ; 
At length some soldiers they sent out, 
With guides for to condiict the route, 
And seized some men that were trav'ling there, 
And hurried them into Loudon, where 

They laid them fast with one consent. 

But men of resolution thought 

Too much to see their neighbors caught 

For no crime but false surmise ; 
Forthwith they join'd a warlike band. 
And march'd to Loudon out of hand, 
And kept the jailers pns'ners there, 
Until our friends enlarged were. 

Without fraud or any disguise. 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 239 

Let mankind censure or commend 
This rash performance in the end, 

Then both sides will find their account. 
'Tis true no law can justify 
To burn our neighbor's property, 
But when this properly is design'd 
To serve the enemies of mankind, 

It's high treason in the amount. 

After this, we kept up a guard of men on the frontiers, for 
several months, to prevent supplies being sent to the Indians, 
until it was proclaimed that Sir William Johnson had made 
peace with them, and then we let the traders pass unmolested. 

In the year 1766, I heard that Sir William Johnson, the 
king's agent for settling affairs with the Indians, had purchased 
from them all the land west of the Appalachian Mountains that 
lay between the Ohio and Cherokee river ; and as I knew by 
conversing with the Indians in their own tongue that there 
was a large body of rich land there, I concluded I would take 
a tour westward and explore that country. 

I set out about the last of June, ]766, and went in the first 
place to Holstein river, and from thence I travelled westward 
in company Avith Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone, William Baker 
and James Smith, who came from near Carlisle. There were 
only four white men of us, and a mulatto slave about eigh- 
teen years of age, that Mr. Horton had with him. We ex- 
plored the country south of Kentucky, and there was no more 
sign of white men there then than there is now west of the 
head waters of the Missouri. We also explored Cumberland 
and Tennessee rivers, from Stone's"^ river down to the Ohio. 

When we came to the mouth of Tennessee, my fellow- 
travellers concluded that they would proceed on to the Illinois, 
and see some more of the land to the west ; this I would not 
agree to. As I had already been longer from home than Avhat 
I expected, I thought my wife would be distressed, and think I 
was killed by the Indians ; therefore I concluded that I Avould 
return home. I sent my horse with my fellow-travellers to 
the Illinois, as it was difficult to take a horse through the 
mountains. My comrades gave me the greatest part of the 
ammunition they then had, which amounted only to half a pound 
of powder, and lead equivalent. Mr. Horton also lent me his 
mulatto boy, and I then set off through the wilderness for Caro- 
lina. 

* Stone's river is a south branch of Cumberland, and empties into it 
above Nashville. "We first gave it this name m our journal, in IMay, 1767, 
after one of my fellow-travellers, Blr. Uriah Stone, and I am told that it 
retains the same name unto this day. 



240 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

About eight days after I left my company at the mouth of 
Tennessee, on my journey eastward, I got a cane stab in my 
foot, which occasioned my leg to swell, and I suffered much 
pain. I was now in a doleful situation ; far from any of the 
human species, excepting black Jamie, or the savages, and I knew 
not when I might meet with them. My case appeared despe- 
rate, and I thought something must be done. All the surgical 
instruments I had was a knife, a moccasin awl, and a pair of 
bullet-moulds ; with these I determined to draw the snag from 
my foot, if possible. I stuck the awl in the skin, and with 
the knife I cut the flesh away from around the cane, and then 
I commanded the mulatto fellow to catch it with the bullet- 
moulds, and pull it out, which he did. When I saw it, it 
seemed a shocking thing to be in any person's foot ; it will there- 
fore be supposed that I was very glad to have it out. The 
black fellow attended upon me, and obeyed my directions faith- 
fully. I ordered him to search for Indian medicine, and told 
him to get me a quantity of bark from the root of a lynn tree, 
which I made him beat on a stone, with a tomahawk, and 
boil it in a kettle, and with the ooze I bathed my foot and leg; 
what remained when I had finished bathing I boiled to a jelly 
and made poultices thereof. As I had no rags, I made use of 
the green moss that grows upon logs, and wrapped it round with 
elm bark ; by this means, (simple as it may seem,) the swell- 
ing and inflammation in a great measure abated. As stormy 
weather appeared, I ordered Jamie to make us a shelter, which 
he did by erecting forks and poles, and covering them over 
with cane tops, like a fodder house. It was about one hun- 
dred yards from a large buffalo road. As we were almost out 
of provision, I commanded Jamie to take my gun, and I went 
along as well as I could, concealed myself near the road, and 
killed a buffalo. When this was done, we jerked^ the lean, 
and fried the tallow out of the fat meat, which we kept to stew 
with our jerk as we needed it. 

While I lay at this place, all the books I had to read was a 
psalm-book and Watts upon Prayer. Whilst in this situation, 
I composed the following verses, which I then frequently sung. 

Six weeks I've in this desert been, 

With one mulatto lad : 
Excepting this poor stupid slave, 

No company I had. 

* Jerk is a name well known by the hunters and frontier inhabitants 
for meat cut in small pieces and laid on a scaffold, over a slow fire, 
whereby it is roasted until it is thoroughly dry. 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 241 

In solitude I here remain, 

A cripple very sore. 
No friend or neighbor to be found, 

My case for to deplore. 

I'm far from home, far from the wife 

Which in my bosom lay, 
Far from the children dear, which used 

Around me for to play. 

This doleful circumstance cannot 

My happiness prevent. 
While peace of conscience I enjoy, 

Great comfort and content. 

I continued in this place until I could Avalk slovv^ly, without 
crutches. As I now lay near a great buffalo road, I was 
afraid that the Indians might be passing that way, and discover 
my fire-place, therefore I moved off" some distance, where I 
remained until I killed an elk. As my foot was yet sore, I 
concluded that I would stay here until it was healed, lest by 
travelling too soon it might again be inflamed. 

In a few weeks after I proceeded on, and in October I 
arrived in Carolina. I had now been eleven months in the 
wilderness, and during this time I neither saw bread, money, 
womeuy nor spirituous liquors ; and three months of which I 
saw none of the human species, except Jamie. 

When I came into the settlement, my clothes were almost 
worn out, and the boy had nothing on him that ever was spun. 
He had buckskin leggins, moccasins, and breech-clout; a bear- 
skin dressed with the hair on, which he belted about him, and 
a raccoon-skin cap. I had not travelled far after I came in 
before I was strictly examined by the inhabitants. I told them 
the truth, and where I came from, &c.; but my story appeared 
so strange to them that they did not bolieve me. They said 
that they had never heard of any one coming through the 
mountains from the mouth of Tennessee, and if any one would 
undertake such a journey, surely no man would lend him his 
slave. They said that they thought that all I had told them 
were lies, and on suspicion they look me into custody, and set 
a guard over me. 

While I was confined here, I met with a reputable old 
acquaintance, who voluntarily became my voucher, and also 
told me of a number of my acquaintances that now lived near 
this place, who had moved from Pennsylvania ; on this 
being made public I was liberated. I went to a magistrate and 
obtained a pass, and one of my old acquaintances made me a 
present of a shirt. I then cast away my old rags ; and all the 
21 



.^49 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

clothes I now had was an old beaver hat, buckskin leggins, moc- 
casins, and a new shirt ; also an old blanket, which I com- 
monly carried on my back in good weather. Being thus 
equipped, I marched on with my Avhite shirt loose, and Jamie 
Aviih his bear-skin about him ; myself appearing white, and 
Jamie very black, alarmed the dogs wherever we came, so that 
they barked violently. The people frequently came out and 
asked me where we came from, &;c. I told them the truth, but 
they for the most part suspected my story, and I generally 
had to show them my pass. In this way I came on to fort 
Chissel, where I left Jamie at Mr. Morton's negro quarter, 
according to promise. I went from thence to Mr. George 
Adams's, on Reed Creek, where I had lodged, and where I 
had left my clothes as I was going out from home. When I 
dressed myself in good clothes, and mounted on horseback, na 
man ever asked me for a pass ; therefore I concluded that a 
horse-thief, or even a robber, might pass without interruption, 
provided he was only well dressed, whereas the shabby villian 
would be immediately detected. 

I returned home to Conococheague in the fall of 1767. 
When I arrived, I found that my wife and friends had despair- 
ed of ever seeing me again, as they had heard that I was killed 
by the Indians, and my horse brought into one of the Chero- 
kee towns. 

In the year 1769, the Indians again made incursions on the 
frontiers ; yet the traders continued carrying goods and warlike 
stores to them. The frontiers took the alarm, and a number 
of persons collected, destroyed and plundered a quantity of 
their powder, lead, &c., in Bedford county. Shortly after this, 
some of these persons, with others, were apprehended and laid 
in irons in the guard-house in fort Bedford, on suspicion of 
being the perpetrators of this crime. 

Though I did not altogether approve of the conduct of this 
new club of black boys, yet I concluded that they should not 
lie in irons in the guard-house, or remain in confinement, by 
arbitrary or military power. I resolved, therefore, if possible, 
to release them, if they even should be tried by the civil law 
afterwards. I collected eighteen of my old black boys, that I 
had seen tried in the Indian war, &c. I did not desire a large 
party, lest they should be too much alarmed at Bedford, and 
accordingly prepared for us. We marched along the public 
road in daylight, and made no secret of our design. We told 
those whom we met that we were going to take fort Bedford, 
Vs'hich appeared to them a very unlikely story. Before this, I 
made it known to one William Thompson, a man whom I 
CO J*d trust, and who lived there. Ilim I employed as a spy, 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 243 

and sent him along on horseback before, with orders to meet 
me at a certain place near Bedford, one hour before day. The 
next day a little before sunset, we encamped near the crossings 
of Juniata, about fourteen miles from Bedford, and erected 
tents, as though we intended staying all night, and not a man 
in my company knew to the contrary, save myself. Knowing 
that they would hear this in Bedford, and wishing it to be the 
case, I thought to surprise them by stealing a march. 

As the moon rose about eleven o'clock, I ordered my boys 
to march; and we went on at the rate of five miles an hour, 
until we met Thompson at the place appointed. He told us 
that the commanding officer had frequently heard of us by tra- 
vellers, and had ordered thirty men upon guard. He said they 
knew our number, and only made game of the notion of eigh- 
teen men coming to rescue the prisoners, but they did not 
expect us until towards the middle of the day. I asked him 
if the gate was open. He said it was then shut, but he ex- 
pected tliey would open it as usual at daylight, as they appre- 
hended no danger. I then moved my men privately up under 
the banks of Juniata, where we lay concealed about one hun- 
dred yards from the fort gate. I had ordered the men to keep 
a profound silence until we got into it. I then sent off Thomp- 
son again to spy. At daylight he returned, and told us that 
the gate was open, and three sentinels were standing on the 
wall ; that the guards were taking a morning dram, and the 
arms standing together in one place. I then concluded to rush 
into the fort, and told Thompson to run before me to the arms. 
We ran with all our might, and as it was a misty morning, the 
sentinels scarcely saw us until we were within the gate, and 
took possession of the arms. Just as we were entering, two of 
them discharged their guns, though I do not believe they aimed 
at us. We then raised a shout, which surprised the town, 
though some of them were well pleased with the news. We 
compelled a blacksmith to take the irons off the prisoners, and 
then we left the place. This, I believe, was the first British 
fort in America that was taken by what they called American 
rebels. - 

Some time after this I took a journey westward, in order to 
survey some located land I had on and near the Youhogany. 
As I passed near Bedford, while I was walking and leading 
my horse, I was overtaken by some men on horseback, like 
travellers. One of them asked my name, and on telling it, 
they immediately pulled out their pistols, and presented them 
at me, calling upon me to deliver myself, or I was a dead man. 
I stepped back, presented my rifle, and told them to stand off. 
One of them snapped a pistol at me, and another was prepar- 



244 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

ing to shoot, when I fired my piece. One of them also fired 
near the same time, and one of my fellow-travellers fell. The 
assailants then rushed up, and as my gun was empty, they took 
and tied me. I charged them with killing my fellow-traveller, 
and told them he was a man that I had accidentally met with 
on the road, that had nothing to do with the public quarrel. 
They asserted that I had killed him. I told them that my gun 
blowed, or made a slow fire ; that I had her from my face be- 
fore she went off, or I would not have missed my mark ; and 
from the position my piece was in when it went off", it was not 
likely that my gun killed this man, yet I acknowledged I was 
not certain that it was not so. They then carried me to Bed- 
ford, laid me in irons in the guard-house, summoned a jury of 
the opposite party, and held an inquest. The jury brought me 
in guilty of wilful murder. As they were afraid to keep me 
long in Bedford, for fear of a rescue, they sent me privately 
through the wilderness to Carlisle, where I was laid in heavy 
irons. 

Shortly after I came here, we heard that a number of my old 
black boys were coming to tear down the jail. I told the she- 
riff that I would not be rescued, as I knew that the indictment 
was wrong ; therefore I wished to stand my trial. As I had 
found the black boys to be always under good command, I 
expected I could prevail on them to return, and therefore wish- 
ed to write to them ; to this the sheriff readily agreed. I wrote 
a letter to them, with irons on my hands, which was immedi- 
ately sent ; but as they had heard that I was in irons, they 
would come on. When we heard they were near the town, I 
told the sheriff I would speak to them out of the window, and 
if the irons were off I made no doubt but I could prevail on 
them to desist. The sheriff ordered them to be taken off, and 
just as they were taking off my bands the black boys came 
running up to the jail. I went to the window and called to 
them, and they gave attention. I told them, as my indictment 
was for wilful murder, to admit of being rescued would appear 
dishonorable. I thanked them for their kind intentions, and 
told them the greatest favor they could confer upon me would 
be to grant me this one request, to withdraw from, the jail and 
return in peace ; to this they complied, and withdrew. While 
I was speaking, the irons were taken off my feet, and never 
again put on. 

Before this party arrived at Conococheague, they met about 
three hundred more on the way, coming to their assistance, and 
were resolved to take me out ; they then turned, and all came 
together to Carlisle. The reason they gave for coming again 
>vas, because they thought that government was so enraged at 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 245 

me, that I would not get a fair trial. But my friends and 
mvself together again prevailed on them to return in peace. 

At this time the public papers were partly filled with these 
occurrences. The following is an extract from the Pennsylva- 
nia Gazette, No. 2132, Nov. 2d, 1769. 

'■'■ Conococheague., Octoher \^th, 1769. 

" Messrs. Hall & Sellers, 

" Please to give the following narrative a place in your Ga^ 
zette, and you will much oblige 

" Your humble servant, 

"William Smith." 

"Whereas, in this Gazette of September 28th, 1769, there 
appeared an extract of a letter from Bedford, September 12th, 
1769, relative to James Smith, as being apprehended on sus- 
picion of being a black boy, then killing his companion, &c., I 
took upon myself, as bound by all the obligations of truth, jus- 
tice to character, and to the world, to set that matter in a true 
light; by which I hope the impartial world will be enabled to 
obtain a more just opinion of the present scheme of acting in 
this end of the country, as also to form a true idea of the truth, 
candor, and ingenuity of the author of the said extract, in 
stating that matter in so partial a light. The state of the case 
(which can be made appear by undeniable evidence) was this. 
James Smith, (who is styled the principal ringleader of the 
black boys, by the said author,) together with his younger 
brother and brother-in-law, were going out in order to survey 
and improve their land on the waters of Youghoghany, and as 
the time of their return was long, they took with them their 
arms, and horses loaded with the necessaries of life ; and as 
one of Smith's brothers-in-law was an artist in surveying, he 
had also with him the instruments for that business. Travel- 
ling on the way, within about nine miles of Bedford, they 
overtook and joined company with one Johnson and Moorhead, 
who likewise had horses loaded, part of which loading was 
liquor, and part seed wheat, their intentions being to make 
improvements on their lands. When they arrived at the part- 
ing of the road on this side Bedford, the company separated. 
One part going through the town, in order to get a horse shod, 
were apprehended, and put under confinement, but for what 
crime they knew not, and treated in a manner utterly incon- 
sistent with the laws of their country and the liberties of 
Englishmen ; whilst the other part, viz. James Smith, John- 
son, and Moorhead, taking along the other road, were met by 
21* 



246 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

John Holmes, Esq., to whom James Smith spoke in a friendly 
manner, but received no answer. Mr. Holmes hasted, and 
gave an alarm in Bedford, trom whence a parly of men were 
sent in pursuit of them ; but Smith and his companions not 
having the least thought of any such measures being taken, 
(why should they?) travelled slowly on. After they had gain- 
ed the place where the roads joined, they delayed until the 
other part of their company should come up. At this time a 
number of men came riding, like men travelling ; they asked 
Smith his name, which he told them ; on which they imme- 
diately assaulted him as a highwayman, and with presented 
pistols commanded him to surrender or he was a dead man ; 
upon which Smith stepped back, asked them if they were 
highwaymen, charging them at the same time to stand ofi', 
when immediately Robert George (one of the assailants) 
snapped a pistol at Smith's head, and that before Smith offered 
to shoot, (which said George himself acknowledged upon oath ;) 
whereupon Smith presented his gun at another of the assail- 
ants, who was preparing to shoot him with his pistol. The 
said assailant having a hold of Johnson by the arm, two shots 
were fired, one by Smith's gun, the other from a pistol, so 
quick as just to be distinguishable, and Johnson fell. After 
wdiich. Smith was taken and carried into Bedford, where John 
Holmes, Esq., the informer, held an inquest on the corpse, one 
of the assailants being as an evidence, (nor was there any other 
troubled about the matter.) Smith was brought in guilty of 
wilful murder, and so committed to prison. But a jealousy 
arising in the breasts of many, that the inquest, either through 
inadvertency, ignorance, or some other default, w^as not so fair 
as it ought to be, William Deny, coroner of the county, upon 
requisition made, thought proper to re-examine the matter, and 
summoning a jury of unexceptionable men out of three townships 
— men whose candor, probity, and honesty, is unquestionable 
with all who are acquainted with them, and having raised the 
corpse, held an inquest in a solemn manner during three days. 
In the course of their scrutiny they found Johnson's shirt 
blacked about the bullet-hole by the powder of the charge by 
which he was killed, whereupon they examined into the dis- 
tance Smith stood from Johnson when he shot, and one of the 
assailants, being admitted to oath, swore to the respective spots 
of ground they both stood on at that time, Avhich the jury mea- 
sured, and found to be twenty-three feet nearly; then, trying 
the experiment of shooting at the same shirt, both with and 
against the wind, and at the same distance, found no effects, 
nor the least stain from the powder on the shirt. And let any 
person that pleases make the experiment, and I will venture to 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 247 

affirm he shall find that powder will not stain at half the dis- 
tance above mentioned, if shot out of a rifle gun, which Smith's 
was. Upon the whole, the jury, after the most accurate exa- 
mination and mature deliberation, brought in their verdict that 
some one of the assailants themselves must necessarily have 
been the perpetrators of the murder, 

" I have now represented the matter in its true and genuine 
colors, and which I will abide by. I only beg liberty to make 
a few remarks and reflections on the above-mentioned extract. 
The author says, ' James Smith, with two others in company, 
passed round the town, without touching,' by which it is plain 
he would insinuate, and make the public believe, that Smith. 
and that part of the company, had taken some by-road, which 
is utterly false, for it was the king's highway, and the straight- 
est, that through Bedford being something to the one side ; nor 
would the other part of the company have gone through the 
town but for the reason already given. Again, the author says 
that ' four men were sent in pursuit of Smith and his com- 
panions, who overtook them about five miles from Bedford, and 
commanded them to surrender, on which Smith presented his 
gun at one of the men, who was struggling with his companion, 
fired it at him, and shot his companion through the back.' 
Here I Avould just remark, again, the unfair and partial account 
given of this matter by the author. Not a word mentioned of 
George snapping his pistol before Smith offered to shoot, or of 
another of the assailants actually firing his pistol, though he 
confessed himself afterwards he had done so ; not the least 
mention of the company's baggage, which, to men in the least 
open to a fair inquiry, would have been sufficient proof of the 
innocence of their intentions. Must not an effusive blush 
overspread the face of the partial representer of facts, when he 
finds the veil he had thrown over truth thus pulled aside, and 
she exposed to naked view? Suppose it should be granted that 
Smith shot the man, (which is not, and I presume never can 
be proved to be the case,) I would only ask, was he not on his 
own defence ? Was he not publicly assaulted ? Was he not 
charged, at the peril of his life, to surrender, without knowing 
for what? no warrant being shown him, or any declaration 
made of their authority. And seeing these things are so, would 
any judicious man, any person in the least acquainted with the 
laws of the land, or morality, judge him guilty of wilful mur- 
der? But I humbly presume every one who has an oppor- 
tunity of seeing this will, by this time, be convinced that the 
proceedings against Smith were truly unlawful and tyrannical, 
perhaps unparalleled by any instance in a civilized nation ;— 
for to endeavor to kill a man in the apprehending of liim, in 



243 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTUKES. 

order to bring him to trial for a fact, and that too on a suppos- 
ed one, is undoubtedly beyond all bounds of law or govern- 
ment. 

" If the author of the extract thinks I have treated him un- 
fair, or that I have advanced any thing he can controvert, let 
him come forward, as a fair antagonist, and make his defence, 
and I will, if called upon, vindicate all that I have advanced 
against him or his abettors. 

" William Smith." 

I remained in prison four months, and during this time I 
often thought of those that v/ere confined in the time of the 
persecution, who declared their prison was converted into a pal- 
ace. I now learned Avhat this meant, as I never since or before 
experienced four months of equal happiness. 

When the supreme court sat, I was severely prosecuted. 
At the commencement of my trial the judges, in a very unjust 
and arbitrary manner, rejected several of my evidences ; yet, 
as Robert George (one of those who was in the affray when 1 
was taken) swore in court that he snapped a pistol at me 
before I shot, and a concurrence of corroborating circumstan- 
ces amounted to strong presumptive evidence that it could 
not possibly be my gun that killed Johnson, the jury, without 
hesitation, brought in their verdict, not guilty. One of the 
judges then declared that not one of this jury should ever hold 
an office above a constable. Notwithstanding this proud, ill- 
natured declaration, some of these jurymen afterwards filled 
honorable places, and I myself was elected the next year, and 
sat on the board* in Bedford county, and afterwards I served 
in the board three years in Westmoreland county. 

In the year 1774, another Indian war commenced, though 
at this time the white people were the aggressors. The pros- 
pect of this terrified the frontier inhabitants, insomuch that 
the great part on the Ohio waters either fled over the moun- 
tains eastward or collected into forts. As the state of Penn- 
sylvania apprehended great danger, they at this time appoint- 
ed me captain over what was then called the Pennsylvania 
line. As they knew I could raise men that Vi^ould answer 
their purpose, they seemed to lay aside their former inveteracy. 

In the year 1776, I was appointed a major in the Pennsyl- 
vania association. When American independence was de- 
clared, I was elected a member of the convention in West- 
moreland county, state of Pennsylvania, and of the Assembly, 
as long as I proposed to serve. 

* A board of commissioners was annually elected in Pennsylvania to 
regulate taxes and lay the county levy. 



COLONEL SMITH'S AD\rENTURES. 249 

While I attended the Assembly in Philadelphia, in the year 
1777, I saw in the street some of my old boys, on their way to 
the Jerseys, against the British, and they desired me to go 
with them ; I petitioned the house for leave of absence, in 
order to head a scouting party, which was granted me. We 
marched into the Jerseys, and went before General Washing- 
ton's army, waylaid the road at Rocky Hill, attacked about 
two hundred of the British, and with thirty-six men drove them 
out of the woods, into a large open field. After this, we at- 
tacked a party that were guarding the officers' baggage, and 
took the wagon and twenty-two Hessians ; and also retook 
some of our continental soldiers, which they had with them. 
In a few days we killed and took more of the British than was 
of our party. At this time I took the camp fever, and Avas 
carried in a stage wagon to Burlington, where I lay until I 
recovered. When I took sick, my companion. Major James 
M'Common, took the command of the party, and had greater 
success than I had. If every officer, and his party, that lifted 
arms against the English, had fought with the same success 
that Major M'Common did, we would have made short work 
of the British war. 

When I returned to Philadelphia, I applied to the Assembly 
for leave to raise a battalion of riflemen, which they appeared 
very willing to grant, but said they could not do it, as the 
power of raising men and commissioning officers were at that 
time committed to General Washington ; therefore they ad- 
vised me to apply to his excellency. The following is a true 
copy of a letter of recommendation which I received at this 
time from the council of safety : 

"IN COUNCIL OF SAFETY. 

^^Philadelphia, February \Olh, 1777. 
" Sir — Application has been made to us by James Smith, Esq., of We' t- 
morelaud, a gentleman well acquainted with the Indian cnstoms and 
their manner of carrying on war, for leave to raise a battalion of marks- 
men, expert in the use of rifles, and such as are acquainted with the 
Indian method of fighting, to be dressed entirely in their fashion, for the 
purpose of annoying and harassing the enemy in their marches and en- 
campments. We think two or three hundred men in that way might be 
very useful. Should your excellency be of the same opinion, and diiect 
such a corps to be formed, we will take proper measures for raising the 
men on the frontiers of this state, and follow such other directions as 
your excellency shall give in this matter. 

" To his Excelkncij, General Washington." 
" The foregoing is a copy of a letter to his excellency, General Wash- 
ington, from the council of safety. 

"Jacob S. Howell, Secretary." 

After this I received another letter of recommendation, which 
is as follows : — 



250 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

""We, whose names are underwritten, do certify that James Smith, 
(now of ihe county of Westmoreland,) was taken prisoner by the Inilians 
in an expedition before General Braddock's defeat, in the year 1755, and 
remained with them until the year 1760 ; and also that he served as 
ensign, in the year 1763, under the pay of the province of Pennsylvania, 
and as Ueuteuant in the year 1764. and as captain in the year 1774 ; and 
as a military ofBcer he has sustained a good character ; and we do recom- 
mend him as a person well acquainted with the Indians' method of fight- 
ing, and, in our humble opinion, exceedingly fit for the command- of a 
ranging or scouting party, which we are also humbly of opinion he could, 
(if legally authorized,) soon raise. Given under our hands at Philadel- 
phia, this 13lh day of March, 1777. 

Thomas Paxton, Capt. Jonathan HoDfJE, Esq. 

"William Duffield, Esq. "William Parker, Capt. 

David Robb, Esq. Robert Elliot, j 

John Piper, Col. Joseph Armstrong, Co!. 

William M'Comb, Robert Peebles, Lt. Col. 

William Pepper, Lt. Col. Samuel Patton, Capt. 

James M'Lane, Esq. William Lyon, Esq." 
John Proctor, Col. 

With these and some other letters of recommendation, 
which I have not now in my possession, I went to his excel- 
lency, who lay at Morristown. Though Genera] Washington 
did not fall in with the scheme of white men turning Indians, 
yet he proposed giving me a major's place in a battalion of 
riflemen already raised. I thanked the general for his proposal, 
but as I entertained no high opinion of the colonel I was to 
serve under, and with whom I had no prospect of getting my 
old boys again, I thought 1 would be of more use in the cause 
we were then struggling to support to remain with them as a 
militia officer ; therefore I did not accept this offer. 

In the year 1778, I received a colonel's commission, and 
after my return to Westmoreland the Indians made an attack 
upon our frontiers. I then raised men and pursued them, and 
the second day we overtook and defeated them. We likewise 
took four scalps, and recovered the horses and plunder which 
they were carrying off. At the time of this attack, Captain 
John Hinkston pursued an Indian, both their guns being empty, 
and after the fray was over he was missing. While we were 
inquiring about him, he came walking up, seemingly uncon- 
cerned, with a bloody scalp in his hand ; he had pursued the 
Indian about a quarter of a mile, and tomahawked him. 

Not long after this, I was called upon to command four 
hundred riflemen on an expedition against the Indian town on 
French Creek. It was some time in November before I 
received orders from General M'Intosh to march, and then we 
were poorly equipped and scarce of provision. We marched 
in three columns, forty rod from each other. There were also 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 251 

flankers on the outside of each column, that marched abreast 
in the rear, in scattered order ; and even in the columns the 
men were one rod apart ; and in the front the volunteers 
marched abreast in the same manner of the flankers, scouring 
the woods. In case of an attack, the officers were immedi- 
ately to order the men to face out and take trees ; in this posi- 
tion, the Indians could not avail themselves by surrounding us, 
or have an opportunity of shooting a man from either side 
of the tree. If attacked, the centre column was to reinforce 
whatever part appeared to require it most. When we en- 
camped, our encampment formed a hollow square, including 
about thirty or forty acres ; on the outside of the square, there 
were sentinels placed, whose business it was to watch for the 
enemy, and see that neither horses nor bullocks went out ; and 
when encamped, if any attacks were made by an enemy, each 
officer was immediately to order the men to face out and take 
trees, as before mentioned ; and in this form, they could not 
take the advantage by surrounding us, as they commonly had 
done when they fought the whites. 

The following is a copy of general orders, given at this time, 
which I have found among my journals : 

"AT CAMP— OPPOSITE FORT PITT. 

" November 29th, 177S. 
"general orders. 
" A copy thereof is to be given to each Captain and Subaltern, and to be read 
to each 



" You are to march in three columns, vnta flankers on the front and 
rear, and to keep a prolbund silence, and not to fire a gim, except at the 
enemy, without particular orders for that purpose ; and in case of an attack, 
let it be so ordered that every other man only is to shoot at once, excepting 
on extraordinary occasions ; the one half of the men to keep a reserve 
fire until their comrades load ; and let every one be particularly careful 
not to fire at any time without a view of the enemy, and that not at too 
great a distance. I earnestly urg^e the above caution, as I have known 
very remarkable and grievous errors of this kind. You are to encamp 
on the hollow square, except the volunteers, who, according to their 
own request, are to encamp on the front of the square. A suffi- 
cient number of sentinels are to be kept round the square at a proper 
distance. Every man is to be under arms at the break of day, and 
to parade opposite to their fire-places, facing out, and when the officers 
examine their arms, and find them in good order, and give necessary 
directions, tliey are to be dismissed, with orders to have their arms near 
them, and be always in readiness. 

" Given by 

" James Smith, Colonel." 

In this manner, we proceeded on to French Creek, where 



252 



COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES 



we found the Indian town evacuated. I then went on further 
than my orders called for, in quest of Indians ; but our pro- 
vision being nearly exhausted, we were obliged to return. 
On our way back we met with considerable difficulties, on 
account of high waters and scarcity of provision ; yet we 
never lost one horse, excepting some that gave out. 

After peace was made with the Indians, I met with some of 
them in Pittsburg, and inquired of them in their own tongue 
concerning this expedition, not letting them know I was there. 
They told me that they watched the movements of this army 
ever after they had left fort Pitt, and as they passed through 
the glades or barrens they had a full view of them from the 
adjacent hills, and computed their number to be about one 
thousand. They said they also examined their camps, both 
before and after they were gone, and found they could not 
make an advantageous attack, and therefore moved off from 
their town and hunting groimd before we arrived. 

In the year 17S8, I settled in Bourbon county, Kentucky, 
seven miles above Paris, and in the same year was elected a 
member of the convention that sat at Danville to confer about 
a separation from the state of Virginia ; and from that year 
until the year 1799, I represented Bourbon county either in 
cenvention or as a member of the General Assembly, except 
two years that I was left a few votes behind. 




\ 




COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 253 



ON THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS. 

The Indians are a slovenly people in their dress. They 
seldom ever wash their shirts, and in regard to cookery they 
are exceedingly filthy. When they kill a buffalo they will 
sometimes lash the paunch of it round a sapling, and cast it 
into the kettle, boil it, and sup the broth ; though they com- 
monly shake it about in cold water, then boil and eat it. Not- 
withstanding all this, they are very polite in their own way, 
and they retain among them the essentials of good manners; 
though they have few compliments, yet they are complaisant 
to one another, and when accompanied with good humor and 
discretion, they entertain strangers in the best manner their 
circumstances will admit. Tliey use but few titles of honor. 
In the military line the titles of great men are only captains 
or leaders of parties. In the civil line, the titles are only 
counsellors, chiefs, or the old wise men. These titles are 
never made use of in addressing any of their great men. 
The language commonly made use of in addressing them is 
grandfather, father, or uncle. They have no such thing in 
use among them as Sir, Mr., Madam, or Mistress. The com- 
mon mode of address is, my friend, brother, cousin, or 
mother, sister, &c. They pay great respect to age, or to the 
aged fathers and mothers among them of every rank. No 
one can arrive at any place of honor among them but by merit. 
Either some exploit in war must be performed before any one 
can be advanced in the military line, or become eminent for 
wisdom before they can obtain a seat in council. It would 
appear to the Indians a most ridiculous thing to see a man 
lead on a company of warriors, as an officer, who had himself 
never been in a battle in his life. Even in case of merit they 
are slow in advancing any one, until they arrive at or near 
middle age. 

They invite every one that comes to their house or camp tp 
eat, while they have any thing to give ; and it is accounted 
bad manners to refuse eating when invited. They are very 
tenacious of their old mode of dressing and painting, and do 
not change their fashions as we do. They are very fond of 
tobacco, and the men almost all smoke it mixed with sumach 
leaves or red willow bark, pulverized, though they seldom use 
it in any other Vv-ay. They make use of the pipe also as a 
token of love and friendship. 

In courtship they also differ from us. It is a common thing 
among them for a young woman, if in love, to make suit to a 
young man ; though the first address may be by the man, yet 
22 



254 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

the other is the most common. The squaws are generally 
very immodest in their words and actions, and will often put the 
young men to the blush. The men commonly appear to be 
possessed of much more modesty than the women ; yet 1 have 
been acquainted with some young squaws that appeared really 
modest: genuine it must be, as they were under very little 
restraint in the channel of education or custom. 

When the Indians meet one another, instead of saying how 
do you do, they commonly salute in the following manner: 
you are my friend — the reply is, truly friend, I am your friend; 
or, cousin, you yet exist — the reply is, certainly I do. They 
have their children under tolerable command ; seldom ever 
whip them, and their common mode of chastising is by duck- 
ing them in cold water ; therefore their children are more 
obedient in the winter season than they are in the summer, 
though they are then not so often ducked. They are a peaceable 
people, and scarcely ever wrangle or scold, when sober ; but 
they are very much addicted to drinking, and men and women 
will become basely intoxicated, if they can by any means procure 
or obtain spirituous liquor, and then they are commonly either 
extremely merry and kind, or very turbulent, ill-humored and 
disorderly. 

ON THEIR TRADITIONS AND RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS. 

As the family that I was adopted into was intermarried with 
the Wyandots and Ottawas, three tongues were commonly- 
spoken, viz. : Caughnewaga, or what the French call Iroque, 
also the Wyandot and Ottawa. By this means I had an oppor- 
tunity of learning these three tongues ; and I found that these 
nations varied in their traditions and opinions concerning reli- 
gion ; and even numbers of the same nation differed widely in 
their religious sentiments. Their traditions are vague, whim- 
sical, romantic, and many of them scarce worth relating, and 
not any of them reach back to the creation of the world. The 
Wyandots come the nearest to this. They tell of a squaw 
that was found when an infant in the water, in a canoe, made 
of bulrushes. This squaw became a great prophetess, and did 
many wonderful things : she turned water into dry land, and at 
length made this continent, which was at that time only a very 
small island, and but a few Indians in it. Though they were 
then but few, they had not sufficient room to hunt ; therefore 
this squaw went to the water-side, and prayed that this little 
island might be enlarged. The Great Being then heard her 
prayer, and sent great numbers of water tortoises and musk- 
rats, which brought with them mud and other materials for 



INDIAN CUSTOMS. 255 

enlarging this island, and by this means, they say, it was 
increased to the size that it now remains ; therefore, they say, 
that the while people ought not to encroach upon them, or take 
their land from them, because their great grandmother made 
it. They say that about this time the angels or heavenly 
inhabitants, as they call them, frequently visited them and 
talked with their forefathers, and gave directions how to pray, 
and how to appease the Great Being when he was offended. 
They told them they were to offer sacrifice, burn tobacco, buf- 
falo and deer bones ; but they were not to burn bear's or 
raccoon's bones in sacrifice. 

The Ottawas say that there are two Great Beings that 
govern and rule the universe, who are at war with each ather ; 
the one they call Maneto, and the other Matchemaneto. They 
say that Maneto is all kindness and love, and that Matche- 
maneto is an evil spirit, that delights in doing mischief; and 
some of them think that they are equal in power, and there- 
fore worship the evil spirit out of a principle of fear. Others 
doubt which of the two may be the most powerful, and there- 
fore endeavor to keep in favor with both, by giving each of 
them some kind of worship. Others say that Maneto is the 
first great cause, and therefore must be all powerful and su- 
preme, and ought to be adored and worshipped, whereas 
Matchemaneto ought to be rejected and despised. 

Those of the Ottawas that worship the evil spirit pretend 
to be great conjurors. I think if there is any such thing now 
in the world as witchcraft it is among these people. I have 
been told wonderful stories concerning their proceedings, but 
never was eye-witness to any thing that appeared evidently 
supernatural. 

Some of the Wyandots and Caughnewagas profess to be 
Roman Catholics; but even these retain many of the notions 
of their ancestors. Those of them who reject the Roman 
Catholic religion hold that there is one great first cause, whom 
they call Owaneeyo, that rules and governs the universe, and 
takes care of all his creatures, rational and irrational, and gives 
them their food in due season, and hears the prayers of all 
tliose that call upon him ; therefore it is but just and reasona- 
ble to pray, and offer sacrifice to this Great Being, and to do 
those things that are pleasing in his sight ; but they differ 
widely in what is pleasing or displeasing to this Great Being. 
Some hold that following nature or their own propensities is 
the way to happiness, and cannot be displeasing to the Deity, 
because he delights in the happiness of his creatures, and does 
nothing in vain, but gave these dispositions with a design to 
lead to happiness, and therefore they ought to be followed. 



256 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

Others reject this opinion altogether, and say that following 
their own propensities in this manner is neitlier the means of 
happiness nor the way to please the Deity. 

Tecaughretanego was of opinion that following nature in a 
limited sense was reasonable and right. He said that most 
of the irrational animals, by following their natural propen- 
sities, were led to the greatest pitch of happiness that their 
natures and the world they lived in would admit of. He said 
that mankind and the rattlesnakes had evil dispositions, that 
led them to injure themselves and others. He gave instances 
of this. He said he had a puppy that he did not intend to 
raise, and in order to try an experiment he tied this puppy on 
a pole, and held it to a rattlesnake, which bit it several time? ; 
that he observed the snake shortly after rolling about appar- 
ently in great misery, so that it appeared to have poisoned 
itself as well as the p^^ippy. The other instance he gave was 
concerning himself. He said that when he Avas a young man 
he was very fond of the women, and at length got the venereal- 
disease, so that, by following this propensity, he was led to 
injure himself and others. He said our happiness depends on 
our using our reason, in order to suppress these evil disposi- 
tions ; but when our propensities neither lead us to injure 
ourselves nor others we might with safety indulge them, or 
even pursue them as the means of happiness. 

The Indians, generally, are of opinion that there are great 
numbers of inferior deities, which they call Carreyagaroona, 
which signifies the heavenly inhabitants. These beings they 
suppose are employed as assistants in managing the affairs of 
the universe, and in inspecting the actions of men ; and that 
even the irrational animals are engaged in viewing their 
actions, and bearing intelligence to the gods. The eagle, for 
this purpose, wiih her keen eye, is soaring about in the day,- 
and the owl, with her nightly eye, perched on the trees around 
their camp in the night ; therefore, when they observe the 
eagle or the owl near they immediately offer sacrifice, or burn 
tobacco, that they may have a good report to carry to the gods. 
They say that there are also great numbers of evil spirits, 
which they call Onasahroona-, which signifies the inhabitants 
of the lower region. These, they say, are employed in dis- 
turbing the world, and the good spirits are always going after 
them, and setting things right, so that they are constantly 
working in opposition to each other. Some talk of a future 
state, but not with any certainty ; at best their notions are 
vague and unsettled. Others deny a future state altogether, 
and say that, after death, they neither think nor live. 

As the Caughnewagas and the Six Nations speak nearly 



INDIAN CUSTOMS. 257 

the same language, their theology is also nearly alike. When 
I met with the Shawanees, or Delawares, as I could not speak 
their tongue, I spoke Ottawa to them, and as it bore some 
resemblance to their language, we understood each other in 
some common affairs ; but, as I could only converse with them 
very imperfectly, I cannot from my own knowledge, with cer- 
tainty, give any account of their theological opinions. 



ON THEIR POLICE, OR CIVIL GOVERNMENT. 

I have often heard of Indian kings, but never saw any. 
How any term used by the Indians in their own tongue, for 
the chief man of a nation, could be rendered king, I know not. 
The chief of a nation is neither a supreme ruler, monarch, or 
potentate ; he can neither make war or peace, leagues or 
treaties ; he cannot impress soldiers, or dispose of magazines ; 
he cannot adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve a general assembly, 
nor can he refuse his assent to their conclusions, or in any 
manner control them. With them there is no such thing as 
hereditary succession, title of nobility, or royal blood, even 
talked of. The chief of a nation, even with the consent of his 
assembly, or council, cannot raise one shilling of tax off the 
citizens, but only receive what they please to give as free and 
voluntary donations. The chief of a nation has to hunt for 
his living as any other citizen. How then can they, with any 
propriety, be called kings ? I apprehend that the white people 
were formerly so fond of the name of kings, and so ignorant of 
their power, that they concluded the chief man of a nation 
must be a king. 

As they are illiterate, they consequently have no written 
code of laws. What they execute as laws are either old cus- 
toms, or the immediate result of new councils. Some of their 
ancient laws or customs are very pernicious, and disturb the 
public weal. Their vague law of marriage is- a glaring in- 
stance of this, as the man and his wife are under no legal 
obligation to live together if they are both willing to part. 
They have little form or ceremony among them in matrimony, 
but do like the Israelites of old ; the man goes in unto the 
Avoman, and she becomes his wife. The years of puberty, and 
the age of consent, is about fourteen for the women, and 
eighteen for the men. Before I was taken by the Indians, I 
had often heard that in the ceremony of marriage the man 
gave the woman a deer's leg, and she gave him a red ear of 
corn, signifying that she was to keep him in bread, and he was 
to keep her in meat. I inquired of them concerning the truth 
of this, and they said they knew nothing of it, further than 



258 COLONEL* SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

that they had heard it was the ancient custom among some 
nations. Their frequent changing of partners prevents propa- 
gation, creates disturbances, and often occasions murder and 
bloodshed, though this is commonly committed under the pre- 
tence of being drunk. Their impunity to crimes committed 
when intoxicated with spirituous liquors, or their admitting 
one crime as an excuse for another, is a very unjust law or 
custom. 

The extremes they run into in dividing the necessaries of 
life are hurtful to the public weal; though their dividing meat 
when hunting may answer a valuable purpose, as one family 
may have success one day, and the other the next ; but their 
carrying this custom to the town, or to agriculture, is striking 
at the root of industry, as industrious persons ought to be 
rewarded, and the lazy sutler for their indolence. 

They have scarcely any penal laws ; the principal punish- 
ment is degrading ; even murder is not punished by any for- 
mal law, only the friends of the murdered are at liberty to slay 
the murderer if some atonement is not made. Their not an- 
nexing penalties to their laws is perhaps not as great a crime, 
or as unjust and cruel, as the bloody laws of England, which 
we have so long shamefully practised, and which are to be in 
force in this state until our penitentiary house is finished, 
which is now building, and then they are to be repealed. 

Let us also take a view of the advantages attending Indian 

fiolice : They are not oppressed or perplexed with expensive 
itigation ; they are not injured by legal robbery; they have 
no splendid villains that make themselves grand and great 
upon other people's labor ; they have neither church nor state 
erected as money-making machines. 

ON THEIR DISCIPLINE AND METHOD OF WAR. 

I have often heard the British officers call the Indians the 
undisciplined savages, which is a capital mistake, as they have 
all the essentials of discipline. They are under good com- 
mand, and punctual in obeying orders ; they can act in con- 
cert, and when their officers lay a plan and give orders, they 
will cheerfully unite in putting all their directions into imme- 
diate execution; and by each man observing the motion or 
movement of his right-hand companion, they can communicate 
the motion from right to left, and march abreast in concert, and 
in scattered order, though the line may be more than a mile 
long, and continue, if occasion requires, for a considerable 
distance, without disorder or confusion. They can perform 
various necessary manosuvres, either slowly, or as fast as they 



INDIAN CUSTOMS. 259 

can run ; they can form a circle or semicircle. The circle 
they make use of in order to surround their enemy, and the 
semicircle if the enemy has a river on one side of them. 
They can also form a large hollow square, face out and take 
trees; this they do if their enemies are about surrounding 
them, to prevent being shot from either side of the tree. When 
they go into battle they are not loaded or encumbered with 
many clothes, as they commonly fight naked, save only breech- 
clout, leggins, and moccasins. There is no such thing as cor- 
poreal punishment used in order to bring them under such 
good discipline ; degrading is the only chastisement, and they 
are so unanimous in this that it effectually answers the pur- 
pose. Their officers plan, order, and conduct matters until 
they are brought into action, and then each man is to fight as 
though he vi'as to gain the battle himself. General orders are 
commonly given in time of battle either to advance or retreat, 
and is done by a shout or yell, which is well understood, and 
then they retreat or advance in concert. They are generally 
well equipped, and exceedingly expert and active in the use of 
arms. Could it be supposed that undisciplined troops could 
defeat Generals Braddock, Grant, &c. ? It may be said by 
some that the French were also engaged in this war. True, 
they were ; yet I know it was the Indians that laid the plan, 
and with small assistance put it into execution. The Indians 
had no aid from the French, or any other power, when they 
besieged fort Pitt in the year 1768, and cut off the communi- 
cation for a considerable time between that post and fort 
Loudon, and would have defeated General Bouquet's army 
(who were on the way to raise the siege) had it not been for 
the assistance of the Virginia volunteers. They had no Brit- 
ish troops with them when they defeated Colonel Crawford, 
near the Sandusky, in the time of the American war with 
Great Britain ; or when they defeated Colonel Loughrie, on the 
Ohio, near the Miami, on his way to meet General Clarke : 
this was also in the time of the British war. It was the In- 
dians alone that defeated Colonel Todd, in Kentucky, near the 
Blue Licks, in the year 1782 ; and Colonel Harmer, betwixt 
the Ohio and lake Erie, in the year 1790, and General St. 
Clair, in the year 1791 ; and it is said that there were more of 
our men killed at this defeat than there were in any one battle 
during our contest with Great Britain. They had no aid 
when they fought even the Virginia riflemen, almost a whole 
day, at the Great Kenhawa, in the year 1774 ; and when they 
found they could not prevail against the Virginians they made 
a most artful retreat. Notwithstanding they had the Ohio to 
cross, some continued firing whilst others were crossing the 



260 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

river; in this manner they proceeded, until they all got over, 
before the Virginians knew that they had retreated, and in this 
retreat thej"- carried off all their wounded. In the most of the 
feregoing defeats they fought with an inferior number, though 
in this, I believe, it was not the case. 

Nothing can be more unjustly represented than the different 
accounts we have had of their number, from time to time, both 
by their own computations, and that of the British. While I 
was among them I saw the account of the number that they, 
in those parts, gave to the French, and kept it by me. When 
they, in their own council-house, were taking an account of 
their number, with a piece of bark, newly stripped, and a small 
stick, which answered the end of a slate and pencil, I took an 
account of the different nations and tribes, which I added to- 
gether, and found there were not half the number which they 
had given the French ; and though they were then their allies, 
and lived among them, it was not easy finding out the decep- 
tion, as they were a wandering set, and some of thern almost 
always in the woods hunting. I asked one of the chiefs what 
was their reason for making such different returns. He said 
it was for political reasons, in order to obtain greater presents 
from the French, by telling them they could not divide such 
and such quantities of goods among so many. 

In the year of General Bouquet's last campaign, 1764, I 
saw the official return made by the British officers of the num- 
ber of Indians that were in arms against us that year, which 
amounted to thirty thousand. As I was then a lieutenant in 
the British service, I told them I was of opinion that there 
was not above one thousand in arms against us, as they were 
divided by Broadstreet's army, being then at lake Erie. The 
British officers hooted at me, and said they could not make 
England sensible of the difficulties they labored under in 
fighting them, as England expected that' their troops could 
fight the undisciplined savages in America five to one, as they 
did the East Indians, and therefore my report would not an- 
swer their purpose, as they could not give an honorable account 
of the war but by augmenting their number. I am of opinion 
that from Braddock's war until the present time there never 
were more than three thousand Indians, at any time, in arms 
against us west of fort Pitt, and frequently not half that num- 
ber. According to the Indians' own accounts, during the 
whole of Braddock's war, or from 1755 till 1758, they killed 
or took fifty of our people for one that they lost. In the war 
that commenced in the year 1763 they killed comparatively 
few of our people, and lost more of theirs, as the frontiers 
(especially the Virginians) had learned something of their 



INDIAN CUSTOMS. 261 

method of war ; yet they, in this war, according to their own 
accounts, (which I believe to be true,) killed or took ten of our 
people for one they lost. 

Let us now take a view of the blood and treasure that was 
spent in opposing comparatively a few Indian warriors, with 
only some assistance from the French, the first four years of 
the war. Additional to the amazing destruction and slaughter 
that the frontiers sustained from James river to Susquehanna, 
and about thirty miles broad, the following campaigns were 
also carried on against the Indians : General Braddock's, in 
the year 1755; Colonel Armstrong's, against the Caitanyan 
town on the Alleghany, 1757 ; Gen. Forbes's, in 1758; Gen. 
Stanwick's, in 1759; General Monkton's, in 1760; Colonel 
Bouquet's, in 1761 and 1763, when he fought the battle of 
Brushy Run, and lost above one hundred men, but, by the 
assistance of the Virginia volunteers, drove the Indians ; Col. 
Armstrong's, up the west branch of Susquehanna, in 1763 ; 
General Broadstreet's, up lake Erie, in 1764; Gen. Bouquet's 
against the Indians at Muskingum, 1764; Lord Dunmore's, in 
1774; Gen. M'Intosh's, in 1778; Colonel Crawford's, shortly 
after his ; Gen. Clarke's, in 1778, 1780 ; Colonel Bowman's, 
in 1779 ; General Clarke's, in 1782, against the Wabash in 
1786 ; Gen. Logan's, against the Shawanees, in 1786 ; Gen. 

Wilkinson's, in ; Colonel Harmer's, in 1790; and Gen. 

St. Clair's, in 1791 ; which, in all, are twenty-two campaigns, 
besides smaller expeditions; such as the French Creek expe- 
dition. Colonel Edwards's, Loughrie's, &c. All these were 
exclusive of the number of men that were internally employed 
as scouting parties, and in erecting forts, guarding stations, &c. 
When we take the foregoing occurrences into consideration, 
may we not reasonably conclude, that they are the best disci- 
plined troops in the known world ? Is it not the best discipline 
that has the greatest tendency to annoy the enemy and save 
their own men ? I apprehend that the Indian discipline is as 
well calculated to answer the purpose in the woods of America, 
as the British discipline in Flanders ; and British discipline in 
the woods is the way to have men slaughtered, with scarcely 
any chance of defending themselves. 

Let us take a view of the benefits we have received by what 
little we have learned of their art of war, which cost us dear, 
and the loss we have sustained for want of it, and then see if 
it will not be well worth our while to retain what we have, and 
also to endeavor to improve in this necessary branch of busi- 
ness. Though we have made considerable proficiency in this 
line, and in some respects outdo them, viz. as marksmen, and 
in cutting our rifles, and keeping them in good order ; yet I 



262 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

apprehend we are far behind in their manoeuvres, or m being 
able to surprise, or prevent a surprise. May we not conclude, 
that the progress we had made in their art of war contributed 
considerably towards our success, in various respects, when 
contending with Great Britain for liberty ? Had the British 
king attempted to enslave us before Braddock's war, in all pro- 
bability he might readily have done it, because, except the New 
Englanders, who had formerly been engaged in war with the 
Indians, we were unacquainted with any kind of war. But 
after fighting such a subtle and barbarous enemy as the In- 
dians, we were not terrified at the approach of British red-coats. 
Was not Burgoyne's defeat accomplished, in some measure, by 
the Indian mode of fighting ? And did not General Morgan's 
riflemen, and many others, fight with greater success in con- 
sequence of what they had learned of their art of war ? Ken- 
tucky would not have been settled at the time it was, had the 
Virginians been altogether ignorant of this method of war. 

In Braddock's war the frontiers were laid waste for above 
three hundred miles long, and generally about thirty broad, 
excepting some that were living in forts, and many hundreds, 
or perhaps thousands, killed or made captives, and horses, and 
all kinds of property carried ofT. But, in the next Indian war, 
though we had the same Indians to cope with, the frontiers 
almost all stood their ground, because they were by this time, 
in some measure, acquainted with their manoeuvres ; and the 
want of this in the first war was the cause of the loss of many 
hundreds of our citizens, and much treasure. 

Though large volumes have been written on morality, yet it 
may be all summed up in saying, do as you would wish to be 
done by. So the Indians sum up the art of war in the follow- 
ing manner. 

The business of the private warriors is to be under command, 
or punctually to obey orders ; to learn to march abreast in 
scattered order, so as to be in readiness to surround the enemy, 
or to prevent being surrounded ; to be good marksmen, and 
active in the use of arms; to practise running; to learn to 
endure hunger or hardships with patience and fortitude ; to tell 
the truth at all times to their officers, but more especially when 
sent out to spy the enemy. 

Concerning Officers. — They say that it would be absurd to 
appoint a man an officer whose skill and courage had never 
been tried ; that all officers should be advanced only according 
to merit ; that no one man should have the absolute command 
of an army ; that a council of officers are to determine when 
and how an attack is to be made ; that it is the business of the 
officers to lay plans to take every advantage of the enemy ; to 



INDIAN CUSTOMS. 263 

ambush and surprise them, and to prevent being ambushed and 
surprised themselves. It is the duty of officers to prepare and 
deliver speeches to the men, in order to animate and encourage 
them ; and on the march, to prevent the men, at any time, from 
getting into a huddle, because if the enemy should surround 
them in this position they would be exposed to the enemy's 
fire. It is likewise their business at all times to endeavor to 
annoy their enemy, and save their own men, and therefore 
ought never to bring on an attack without considerable advan- 
tage, or without what appeared to them the sure prospect of 
victory, and that with the loss of few men ; and if at any time 
they should be mistaken in this, and are like to lose many men 
by gaining the victory, it is their duty to retreat, and wait for 
a better opportunity of defeating their enemy, without the dan- 
ger of losing so many men. Their conduct proves that they 
act upon these principles ; therefore it is that, from Braddock's 
war to the present time, they have seldom ever made an un- 
successful attack. The battle at the mouth of the Great Ken- 
hawa is the greatest instance of this; and even then, though 
the Indians killed about three for one they lost, yet they re- 
treated. The loss of the Virginians in this action was seventy 
killed, and the same number wounded. The Indians lost 
twenty killed on the field, and eight who died afterwards of 
their wounds. This Avas the greatest loss of men that I ever 
knew the Indians to sustain in any one battle. They will 
commonly retreat if their men are falling fast; they will not 
stand cutting like the Highlanders or other British troops ; but 
this proceeds from a compliance with their rules of war rather 
than cowardice. If they are surrounded they will fight while 
there is a man of tnem alive, rather than surrender. When 
Colonel John Armstrong surrounded the Cattanyan town, on 
the Alleghany river. Captain Jacobs, a Delaware chief, with 
some warriors, took possession of a house, defended themselves 
for some time, and killed a number of our men. As Jacobs 
could speak English, our people called on him to surrender. 
He said that he and his men were warriors, and they would 
all fight while life remained. He was again told that they 
should be well used if they would only surrender; and if not, 
the house should be burned down over their heads. Jacobs 
replied, he could eat fire ; and when the house was in a flame, 
he, and they that were with him, came out in a fighting posi- 
tion, and were all killed. As they are a sharp, active kind of 
people, and war is their principal study, in this they have 
arrived at considerable perfection. We may learn of the In- 
dians what is useful and laudable, and at the same time lay 
aside their barbarous proceedings. It is much to be lamented, 



264 COLONEL SMITH'S ADVENTURES. 

that some of our frontier riflemen are too prone to imitate them 
in their inhumanity. During the British war, a considerable 
number of men from below fort Pitt crossed the Ohio, and 
marched into a town of friendly Indians, chiefly Delawares, 
who professed the Moravian religion. As the Indians appre- 
hended no danger, they neither lifted arms nor fled. After 
these riflemen were some time in the town, and the Indians 
altogether in their power, in cool blood they massacred the 
whole town, without distinction of age or sex. This was an 
act of barbarity beyond any thing I ever knew to be committed 
by the savages themselves. 

Why have we not made greater proficiency in the Indian art 
of war ? Is it because we are too proud to imitate them, even 
though it should be a means of preserving the lives of many 
of our citizens ? No ! We are not above borrowing language 
from them, such as homony, pone, tomahawk, &c., which is of 
little or no use to us. I apprehend, that the reasons why we 
have not improved more in this respect are as follow : no 
important acquisition is to be obtained but by attention and 
diligence ; and as it is easier to learn to move and act in con- 
cert in close order in the open plain, than to act in concert in 
scattered order in the woods, so it is easier to learn our disci- 
pline than the Indian manoeuvres. They train up their boys 
in the art of war from the time they are twelve or fourteen 
years of age ; whereas, the principal chance our people had of 
learning was by observing their manoeuvres when in action 
against us. I have been long astonished that no one has writ- 
ten upon this important subject, as their art of war would not 
only be of use to us in case of another rupture with them ; but 
were only part of our men taught this art, accompanied with 
our continental discipline, I think no European power, after 
trial, would venture to show its head in the American woods. 

If what I have written should meet the approbation of my 
countrymen, perhaps I may publish more upon this subject in 
a future edition. 



265 




A FAITHFUL NARRATIVE 



OF THE MANY DANGERS AND SUFFERINGS, AS WELL A9 
WONDERFUL AND SURPRISL\G DELIVERANCES, OF ROBERT 
EASTBURN, DURING HIS LATE CAPTIVITY AMO?JG THE 
INDIANS. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. Psblished at the earnest 
request of many persons, for the benefit of the Public. With a recommen- 
datory Preface by the Re'7. Gilbert Tennent.— Psalms 24, 6, 7, and 193, 2, 4. 
Philadelphia : Printed. Boston : Reprinted and sold by Green & Russell, oppo- 
site the Probate Office in (iueen street, 1753. 

Preface. — Candid Reader : The author (and subject) of 
the ensuing narrative (who is a deacon of our church, and has 
been so for many years) is of such an established good char- 
acter, that he needs no recommendation of others where he is 
known ; a proof of which was the general joy of the inhab- 
itants of this city, occasioned by his return from a miserable 
captivity ;. together with the readiness of divers persons to con- 
tribute to the relief of himself and necessitous family, without 
any request of his, or the least motion of that tendency. But 
seeing the following sheets are like to spread into many places 
where he is not known, permit me to say that, upon long 
acquaintance, 1 have found him to be a person of candor, 
integrity, and sincere piety, whose testimony may with safety 
be depended upon ; \i?hich give his narrative the greater 
weight, and may induce to read it with the greater pleasure. 
The design of it is evidently pious ; the matters contained in 
23 



266 ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

it, and manner of handling them, will, I hope, be esteemed 
by the impartial to be entertaining and improving. I wish it 
may, by the divine benediction, be of great and durable ser- 
vice. I am thy sincere servant in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Gilbert Tennent. 
Philadelphia, January 19th, I75S. 

Kl\d Readers : On my return from my capti°vity I had no 
thoughts of publishing any observations of mine to the world 
in this manner. As I had no opportunity to_keep a journal, 
and my memory being broken and capacity small, I was 
disinclined to undertake it. - But a number of friends were 
pressing in their persuasions that I should do it ; with whose 
motions I complied, from a sincere regard to God, my king and 
country, so far as I know my own heart. The following 
pages contain, as far as I can remember, the most material 
passages that happened within the compass of my observation 
\vhile a prisoner in Canada. The facts therein related are 
certainly true, but the way of representing some things espe- 
cially, is not so regular, clear and strong as I could wish ; but 
I trust it will be some apology, that I am not so much acquaint- 
ed with performances of this kind as many others, who may 
be hereby excited to give better representations of things, far 
beyond my knowledge. I remain your unfeigned well-wisher 
and humble servant, 

Robert Eastburn. 

Philadelphia, January 19, 175S. 



A Faithful Narrative, &rc. — About thirty tradesmen and 
myself arrived at Captain William.s' fort, at the carrying 
place, in our vc'ay to Oswego, the 2Gih of March, 1756. 
Captain Williams informed me that he was like to be cum- 
bered in the fort, and therefore advised us to take the Indian 
house for our lodging. About ten o'clock next day, a negro man 
came running down the road and reported that our slaymen 
were all taken by the enemy. Captain "Williams, on hearing 
this, sent a sergeant and about twelve men to see if it wore true. 
I being at the Indian house, and not thinking myself safe there, 
in case of an attack, and being also sincerely willing to serve 
my king and country, in the best manner I could in my pres- 
ent circumstances, asked him if he would take company. He 
replied, with all his heart ! hereupon I fell into the rear with 
my arms, and marched after them. When we had advanced 
about a quarter of a mile, we heard a shoi, followed with dole- 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 267 

ful cries of a dying man, which excited me to advance, in 
order to discover the enemy, who I soon perceived were pre- 
pared to receive us. In this difficult situation, seeing a large 
pine tree near, I repaired to it for shelter ; and Avhile the enemy- 
were viewing our party, I, having a good chance of killing 
two at a shot, quickly discharged at them, but could not cer- 
tainly know what execution was done till some time after. 
Our company likewise discharged and retreated. Seeing 
myself in danger of being surrounded, I was obliged to retreat 
a different course, and to my great surprise fell into a deep 
mire, which the enemy by following my track in a light snow 
soon discovered, and obliged me to surrender, to prevent a cruel 
death ; they standing ready to drive their darts into my body, 
in case I refused to deliver up my arms. Presently after I was 
taken, I was surrounded by a great number, who stripped me 
of my clothing, hat and neckcloth, so that I had nothing left 
but a flannel vest without sleeves, put a rope on my neck, 
bound my arms fast behind me, put a long band round my 
body, and a large pack on my back, struck me a severe blow 
on the head, and drove me through the woods before them. It 
is not easy to conceive how distressing such a condition is. 
In the mean time I endeavored with all my little remaining 
strength to lift up my eyes to God, from whom alone I could 
with reason expect relief. 

Seventeen or eighteen prisoners were soon added to our 
number, one of whom informed me that the Indians were 
angry with me, reported to some of their chiefs that I had fired 
on them, wounded one and killed another ; for which he 
doubted not they would kill me. 

I had not as yet learned what number the enemy's parties 
consisted of; there being only about one hundred Indians who 
had lain in ambush on the road to kill or take into captivity 
all that passed betvreen the two forts. Here an interpreter 
came to me to inquire what strength Captain Williams had to 
defend his fort. After a short pause I gave such a discour- 
aging answer, (yet consistent with truth,)* as prevented their 
attacking it, and of consequence the effusion of much blood. 
Hereby it evidently appeared that I was suffered to fall into 
the hands of the enemy to promote the good of my country- 
men, to better purpose than I could by continuing with them. 

In the mean time the enemy determined to destroy Bull's 

* It is a great pity that our modern managers of Indian affairs had not 
indulged in such scrupulous veracity. They would probably say our 
captive was '' more nice than wise." But perhaps he was like an old 
acquaintance of mine, who used to say sometimes that " he al-most told a 
lie" though not quite. — Ed 



268 ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

fort, (at the head of Wood Creek,) which they soon effected ; 
all being put to the sword, except five persons, the fort burnt, 
the provisions and powder destroyed, (saving only a little for 
their own use.) Then they retired to the woods and joined their 
main body, including which, consisted of four hundred French 
and three hundred Indians, commanded by one of the principal 
gentlemen of Quebec. As soon as they got together, (having a 
priest with them,) they fell on their knees and returned thanks 
for their victory. An example this, worthy of imitation ! an 
example which may make profane, pretended Protestants 
blush, if they are not lost to all sense of shame, "^ who, instead 
of acknowledging a God, or providence, in their military 
undertakings, are continually reproaching him with oaths and 
curses. Is it any wonder the attempts of such are blasted 
with disappointment and disgrace ? 

The enemy had several wounded men, both French and 
Indians, among them, whom they carried on their backs ; 
besides these, about fifteen of their number were killed, and 
of us about forty. It being by this time near dark, and some 
Indians drunk, they only marched about four miles and 
encamped. The Indians untied my arms, cut hemlock boughs 
and strewed round the fire, tied my band to two trees, with my 
back on the green boughs, (by the fire,) covered me with an 
old blanket, and lay down across my band, on each side, to 
prevent my escape while they slept. 

Sunday the 2Sth, we rose early ; the commander ordered a 
hasty retreat towards Canada, for fear of General Johnson. 
In the mean time, one of our men said he understood the 
French and Indians designed to join a strong party, and fall 
on Oswego, before our forces at that place could get any pro- 
vision or succor; having, as they thought, put a stop to our 
relieving them for a time. When encamped in the evening, 
the commanding officer ordered the Indians to bring me to his 
tent, and asked me by an interpreter if I thought General 
Johnson would follow them. I told him I judged not, but rather 
thought he would proceed to Oswego, (which was indeed my 
sentiment, grounded upon prior information, and then expressed 
to prevent the execution of their design.) He further inquired 
what my trade was. I told him, that of a smith. He then 
persuaded me, when I got to Canada, to send for my wife, 
" for," said he, " you can get a rich living there." But when 
he saw that he could not prevail, he asked me no more ques- 

* What would Captain Gyles have said to such praise of Catholics and 
their religion ? and by a Protestant too. He would no doubt have said 
that the devil had helped them, inasmuch as no good spirit would have 
heard the prayers of " wicked papists."— Ed. 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 269 

tions, but commanded me to my Indian master. Having this 
opportunity of conversation, I informed the general that his 
Indian warriors had stripped me of my clothing, and would be 
glad if he would be good enough to order me some relief; to 
which he replied, " I should get clothes when I came to Can- 
ada," which was cold comfort to one almost frozen. On my 
return, the Indians, perceiving I was unwell and could not eat 
their coarse food, ordered some chocolate, which they had 
brought from the carrying place, to be boiled for me, and see- 
ing me eat that appeared pleased. A strong guard was 
kept every night. One of our men being weakened by his 
wounds, and rendered unable to keep pace with them, was 
killed and scalped on the road ! I was all this time almost 
naked, travelling through deep snow, and Avading through riv- 
ers, cold as ice ! 

After seven days' march, Ave arrived at lake Ontario, where 
I eat some horse flesh, which tasted very agreeably, for to a 
hungry man, as Solomon observes, every bitter thing is sweet. 
On the Friday before we arrived at the lake, the Indians killed 
a porcupine. The Indians threw it on a large fire, burnt oft' 
the hair and quills, roasted and eat of it, Atith Avhom I had a 
part. 

The French carried several of their wounded men all the 
way upon their backs ; many of whom wore no breeches in 
their travels in this cold season, being strong hardy men. 
The Indians had three of their jferty wounded, which they 
likewise carried on their backs. I wish there was more of 
this hardiness, so necessary for war, in our nation, which would 
open a more encouraging scene than appears at present. The 
prisoners were so divided, that but few could converse together 
on the march, and what was still more disagreeable and dis- 
tressing, an Indian who had a large bunch of green scalps, 
taken off" our men's heads, marched before me, and another with 
a sharp spear behind, to drive me after him, by which means the 
scalps were often close to my face. And as we marched, they 
frequently every day gave the dead shout, which was repeated 
as many times as there were captives and scalps taken. 

I may with justice and truth observe, that our enemies leave 
no stone unturned to compass our ruin. They pray, work, 
and travel to bring it about, and are unwearied in the pursuit, 
while many among us sleep in a storm which has laid a good 
part of our country desolate, and threatens the whole with 
destruction, 

April 4th, several French batteaux met us, and brought a 
large supply of provision, the sight of which caused great joy, 
for we were in great want. Then a place was soon erected to 
23* 



270 KOBERT EASTBURNS CAPTIVITY. 

celebrate mass in, which being ended, we all went over the 
mouth of a river, where it empties itself into the east end of 
lake Ontario. A great part of our company set off on foot 
towards Oswegatchy, while the rest were ordered into batteaux 
and carried towards the extreme of St. Lawrence, (where that 
river takes its beginning.) but by reason of bad weather, wind, 
rain, and snow, whereby the waters of the lake were troubled, 
we were obliged to lie by, and haul our batteaux on shore. 
Here I lay on the cold shore two days. Tuesday set off, and 
entered the head of St. Lawrence in the afternoon ; came too 
late at night, made fires, but did not lie down to sleep. Em- 
barking long before day, and after some miles' progress down 
the river, saw many fires on our right hand, which were made 
by the men who left us and went by land. With them we staid 
till day, then again embarked in our batteaux. The weather 
was very bad, (it snowed fast all day;) near night we arrived 
at Oswegatchy. I was almost starved to death, but hoped to 
stay in this Indian town till warm weather ; slept in an Indian 
wigwam, rose early in the morning, (being Thursday,) and 
soon to my grief discovered my disappointment. Several of 
the prisoners had leave to tarry here, but I must go two hun- 
dred miles further down stream, to another Indian town. The 
moving being extremely cold, I applied to a French merchant 
or trader for some old rags of clothing, for I was almost naked, 
but to no purpose. 

About ten o'clock, I was ordered into a boat, to go down the 
river, with eight or nine Indians, one of whom was the man 
wounded in the skirmish before mentioned.* At night we 
Avent on shore ; the snow being much deeper than before, we 
cleared it away and made a large fire. Here, when the wound- 
ed Indian cast his eyes upon me, his old grudge revived ; he 
took my blanket from me and commanded me to dance round 
the fire barefoot, and sing the prisoner's song, which I utterly 
refused. This surprised one of my fellow-prisoners, who told 
me they would put me to death, for he understood what they 
said. He therefore tried to persuade me to comply, but I de- 
sired him to let me alone, and was through great mercy enabled 
to reject his importunity with aVjhorrence. This Indian also 
continued urging, saying, you shall dance and sing; but ap- 
prehending my compliance sinful, I determined to persist in 
declining it at all adventures, and leave the issue to the divine 
disposal. The Indian, perceiving his orders disobeyed, was 
fired with indignation, and endeavored to push me into the fire, 
which I leaped over, and he, being weak with his wounds, and 

♦ The author probably refers to the time he u-as taken. — Ed 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 271 

not being assisted by any of his brethren, was obliged to desist. 
For this gracious interposure of Providence, in preserving me 
both from sin and danger, I desire to bless God while I live. 

Friday morning I was almost perished with cold. Saturday 
we proceeded on our way, and soon came in sight of the upper 
part of the inhabitants of Canada. Here I was in great hope? 
of some relief, not knowing the manner of the Indians, who 
do not make many stops among the French in their return 
from war till they get home. However, when they came neai 
some rapid falls of water, one of my fellow-prisoners and seA'era\ 
Indians, together with myself, were put on shore to travel by 
land, which pleased me well; it being much warmer runnin<^ 
on the snow than to lie still in the batteau. We passed by 
several French houses, but stopped at none ; the vessel going 
down a rapid stream, it required haste to keep pace with her,, 
and we crossed over a point of land and found the batteau 
waiting for us, as near the shore as the ice would perm i I. 
Here we left the St. Lawrence and turned up Conasadauga 
river, but it being frozen up, we hauled our batteau on shore, 
and each of us took our share of her loading on our backs, and 
marched towards Conasadauga, an Indian town, which was 
our designed port, but could not reach it that night. We came 
to a French house, cold, weary, and hungry. Here my old 
friend, the wounded Indian, again appeared, and related to the 
Frenchman the affair of my refusing to dance, who immedi- 
ately assisted him to strip me of my flannel vest, Avhich was 
my all. Now they were resolved to compel me to dance and 
sing. The Frenchman was as violent as the Indian in pro- 
moting this imposition ; but the woman belonging to the house 
seeing the rough usage I had, took pity on me and rescued me 
out of their hands, till their heat was over, and prevailed with 
the Indian to excuse me from dancing, but he insisted that I 
must be shaved, and then he would let me alone. (I had at 
that time a long beard, which the Indians hate.) With this 
motion I readily complied, and then they seemed contented. 

Sunday, April 11th, we set ofi' towards Conasadauga, and 
travelled about two hours, when we saw the town over a great 
river, which was still frozen. The Indians stopped, and we 
were soon joined with a number of our own company, which 
we had not seen for several days. The prisoners, in number 
eight, were ordered to lay down their packs, and be painted. 
The wounded Indian painted me, and put a belt of wampum 
round my neck, instead of the rope I had worn four hundred 
miles. Then we set off for the town on the ice, which was 
four miles over. Our heads were not allowed to be covered, 
lest our fine paint should be hid, the weather in the mean time 



272 EGBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

rery cold, like to freeze our ears. After we had advancexi 
nearer to the town, the Indian v/omen came out to meet us, and 
relieved their husbands of their packs. 

As soon as we landed at Conasadauga a large body of In- 
dians came and encompassed us round, and ordered the prison- 
ers to dance and sing the prisoner's song, (which I was stili 
enabled to decline.) At the conclusion they gave a shout, and 
opened the ring to let us run, and then fell on us with therr 
fists, and knocked several down. In the mean time, one ran 
before to direct us to an Indian house which was open, and as 
soon as we got in we were safe from beating. My head was 
sore with bruises, and pained me several days. The squaws 
were kind to us, gave us boiled corn and beans to eat, and fire 
to warm us, which was a great mercy, for I was both cold and 
hungry. This town lies about thirty miles north-west of Mont- 
real. I staid here till the ice was gone, which was about ten 
days, and then was sent to Cohnewago, in company with some- 
Indians, who, when they cam.e within hearing, gave notice by 
their way of shouting that they had a prisoner, on which the 
whole town rose to welcome me, which v/as the more distress- 
ing as there was no other prisoner in their hands. When we 
came near shore, a stout Indian took hold of me, and hauled 
me into the water, which was knee deep, and very cold. As 
soon as t got ashore the Indians gathered round me, ordered 
me to dance and sing, although I was stiff with cold and wet, 
and lying long in the canoe. I only stamped to prepare for 
my race, and was encompassed with about five hundred Indians, 
who danced and sunir, and at last gave a shout and opened the 
circle. About one hundred and fifty Indian lads made ready 
to pelt me with dirt and gravel-stones, and on my starting off 
gave me a smart volley, but from which I did not suffer much 
hurt. An Indian seeing me running, met me, seized and held 
me fast, till the boys had stored themselves again with small 
stones, and then let me go. Now I fared much worse than 
before, for a small stone among the mud hit my right eye, and 
my head and face were so covered with the dirt that I could 
scarce see my way ; but discovering the door of an Indiari 
house standing open, I ran in. From this retreat I was soon 
dragged to be pelted more, but the Indian women, being more 
merciful, interposed, took me into a house, brought me water 
to wash, and gave me boiled corn and beans to eat. The next 
day I was brought to the centre of the town and cried accord- 
ing to the Indian custom, in order to be sent to a family of 
Indians two hundred miles up stream, at Oswegatchy, and 
there to be adopted and abused no more. To this end I was 
delivered to three young men, who said I was their brother^ 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 273 

and set forward on our way to the aforesaid town, with about 
twenty more, but by reason of bad weather we were obliged 
to encamp on a cold, stony shore three days, and then proceed- 
ed on. We called at Conasadauga, staid there about a Aveek, 
in which time I went and viewed four houses at a distance 
from the town, about a quarter of a mile from each other, in 
which are represented in large paintings the sufferings of our 
Savior, designed to draw the Indians to the papist's religion. 
The work is curiously done. A little further stand three 
houses near together, on a high hill, which they call mount 
Calvary, with three large crosses before them, which completes 
the whole representation. To all these houses the papists and 
Indians repair, in performing their grand processions, which 
takes up much time. 

The pains the papists take to propagate such a bloody reli- 
gion is truly surprising ; and the zeal they employ to propagate 
superstition and idolatry should make Protestants ashamed of 
their lukewarmness. A priest asked me " if I was a Catho- 
lic." I answered him, "no;" to which he replied, "no bon." 
When I told a fellow-captive of this, he said by my answer 
the priest understood that I was not a Christian. Shortly after 
another asked me the same question, and I answered, " yes, 
but not a Roman Catholic ;" but he too said " no bon ! no 
bon ! " 

We next set off on our journey for Oswegatchy, against a 
rapid stream, and being long in it, and our provisions growing 
short, the Indians put to shore a little before night. My lot 
was to get wood, others were ordered to get fires, and some to 
hunt. Our kettle was put over the fire with some pounded 
Indian corn, and after it had boiled about two hours my oldest 
Indian brother returned with a she beaver, big with young, 
which he soon cut to pieces and threw into the kettle, together 
with the guts, and took the four young beavers whole as they 
were found in embryo, and put them likewise into the kettle, 
and when all was well boiled, gave each of us a large dish full 
of the broth, of which we eat freely, and then part of the old 
beaver ; the tail of which was divided equally among us, there 
being eight at our fire. The four young beavers were cut in 
the middle, and each of us got half a beaver. I watched for 
an opportunity to hide my share, (having satisfied myself be- 
fore that tender dish came to hand.) which if they had seen 
would have much displeased them.^ The other Indians catch- 

* The reader \vi\l observe here a parallel custom to that in practice a 
hundred years before among the Indians who carried ofi" Stockwell. They 
compelled him to drink raccoon fat because he wished to save some of the 
flesh of one for another time. See Stockwell's Narrative. — Ed. 



274 ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

ed young muskrats, thrust a stick through their bodies, and 
roasted it without skinning or dressing, and so eat them. Next 
morning we hastened on our journey, which continued several 
days, till we came near Oswegatchy, where we landed about 
three miles from the town on the contrary side of the river. 
Here I was to be adopted. My father and mother, Avhom I 
had never seen before, were waiting, and ordered me into an 
Indian house, where we were directed to sit down silent for a 
considerable time. The Indians appeared very sad, and my 
mother began to cry, and continued to cry aloud for some time, 
and then dried up her tears and received me for her son, and 
took me over the river to the Indian town. The next day I 
was ordered to go to mass with them, but I refused once and 
again ; yet they continued their importunities several days. 
Seeing they could not prevail with me, they seemed much dis- 
pleased with their new son. I was then sent over the river to 
be employed in hard labor, as a punishment for not going to 
mass, and not allowed a sight of or any conversation with my 
fellow-prisoners. The old Indian man with whom 1 was 
ordered to work had a wife and children. He took me 
into the woods with him, and made signs for me to chop, and 
he soon saw that I could handle the axe. Here I tried to rec- 
oncile myself to this employ, that they might have no occasion 
against me, except concerning the law of my God. The old 
man began to appear kind, and his wife gave me milk and 
bread when we came home, and when she got fish, gave me 
the gills to eat, out of real kindness ; but perceiving I did not, 
like them, gave me my own choice, and behaved lovingly. 
When we had finished our fence, which had employed us about 
a week, I showed the old squaw my shirt, (having worn it from 
the time I was first taken prisoner, which was about seven 
weeks,) all in rags, dirt and lice. She said it was not good, 
and brought me a new one with ruffled sleeves, saying " that 
is good," which I thankfully accepted. The next day they 
carried me back to the Indian town, and permitted me to con- 
verse with my fellow-prisoners. They told me we were all to 
be sent to Montreal, which accordingly came to pass. 

On our arrival at Montreal we had our lodgings first in the 
Jesuits' convent, Vv'here I saw a great number of priests and 
people who came to confession. After some stay we were 
ordered to attend with the Indians in a grand council, held 
before the head general, Vaudreuil. We prisoners sat in our 
rank, (surrounded with our fathers and brethren,) but were 
asked no questions. The general had a number of officers to 
attend him in council, where a noted priest, called Picket, sat 
at his right hand, who understands the Indian tongue well. 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 275 

and does more hurt to the English than any other of his order 
in Canada. His dwelling is at Oswegatchy. Here I was in- 
formed that some measures were concerted to destroy Oswego, 
which had been long in agitation. We met on oar journey 
many batteaux going up stream, with provision and men for an 
attack on our frontiers, which confirmed the report. The 
council adjourned to another day, and then broke up. ]\Iy 
Indian father and mother took me with them to several of their 
old acquaintances, who were French, to show them their lately 
adopted son. These persons had been concerned with my 
father and other Indians in destroying many English families 
in their younger days, and, (as one standing by who under- 
stood their language said,) were boasting of their former mur- 
ders ! After some days the council was again called, before 
which several of the Oneida chiefs appeared and offered some 
complaints against the French's attacking our carrying place, 
it being their land. But the general labored to make them 
easy, and gave them sundry presents of value, which they 
accepted. The French are exceedingly careful to prevent 
spirituous liquors being sold among the Indians, and if any 
inhabitant is proved guilty of it, their temporal interest is quite 
broken, and corporal punishment is inflicted on such offenders. 
Herein the French are vastly superior to us. The Indians do 
not fear our numbers, (which they deride,) because of our un- 
happy divisions, in consequence of which they expect to con- 
quer us entirely. 

Knowing these Oneiilas were acquainted with Capt. Wil- 
liams, at the carrying place, I sent a letter by them to let my 
family and friends know that I was yet alive, and lodged for 
redemption ; but it never came to hand. The treaty being 
ended, the general sent about ten gallons of red wine to the 
Indians, which they divided among us. Afterwards came the 
presents, consisting of coats, blankets, shirts, skins, (to make 
Indian shoes,) cloth, (for stockings,) powder, lead-shot, and to 
each a bag of paint for their own use, &c. 

After we prisoners had our share my mother came to me 
with an interpreter, and told me I might stay in the town at a 
place she had found for me, if I pleased. This proposal I 
almost agreed to, but one of my fellow-prisoners, with whom I 
had had before some discourse about making our escape, op- 
posed the motion, and said, " Pray do not stay, for, if you do, 
we shall not be able to form a plan for our deliverance." So 
I told her I chose to go home with her, and soon set off by 
land, in our way thither, to Laschene, distant from Montreal 
about nine miles. Here we left our canoes, and proceeded 
without delay on our journey, in which I saw, to my sorrow, 



276 ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

great numbers of soldiers and much pravisions in motiort 
towards lake Ontario. After a painful and distressing jour- 
ney, we arrived at Oswegatchy, where Ave likewise saw many 
batteaux, with provisions and soldiers, daily passing by in their 
way to Frontenac, which greatly distressed me for Oswego. 
Hence I resolved, if possible, to give our people notice of their 
danger. To this end, I told two of my fellow-prisoners tha 
it was not a time to sleep, and asked them if they would go 
with m^e, to which they heartily agreed. But we had no pro- 
vision, and were closely eyed by the enemy, so that we could not 
lay up a stock out of our allowance. However, at this time, 
Mr. Picket had concluded to dig a large trench round the 
town. I therefore went to a negro, the principal manager of 
this Avork, (vv^ho could speak English, French, and Indian 
well,) and asked him if he could get employ for two others 
and myself, which he soon did. For this service v/e were 
to have meat, [board,] and wages. Here we had a prospeci 
of procuring provision for our flight. This, after some time, I 
obtamed for myself, and then asked my brethren if they were 
ready. They said " they were not yet, but that Ann Bow- 
man (our fellows-prisoner) had brought one hundred and thirty 
dollars from Bull's fort, [when it was destroyed, as has been 
related,] and would give them all they needed." I told iherrs 
it was not safe to disclose such a secret to her, but they blamed 
me for entertaining such fears, and applied to her for provi- 
sions, letting her know our intention. She immediately in- 
formed the priest of it ! We were forthwith apprehended, the 
Indians informed of it, and a court called. Four of us were 
ordered by this court to be confined in a room, under a strong 
guard, within the fort, for several days. From hence, another 
and myself were sent to Cohnewago, under a strong guard of 
sixty Indians, to prevent my plotting any more against the 
French, and to banish all hope of my escape ! 

"When we arrived at this place, it pleased God to incline the 
captain of the guard to show me great kindness in giving me 
liberty to walk or work where I pleased, wdthin any small dis- 
tance. I went to work with a French smith for six livres and 
five sous per week. This sum the captain let me have to my- 
self, and further favored me with the privilege of lodging at 
his mother's house, (an English woman named Mary Harris, 
taken captive when a child from Deerfield, in New England,) 
who told me she was my grandmother, and was kind ; but 
the wages being small, and not sufficient to procure such cloth- 
ing as I was in want of, I proceeded no farther with the smith, 
but went to my uncle Peter, and told him I wanted clothes, 
and that it would be better to let me go to Montreal, and work 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 277 

there, where I could clothe myself better than by staying with 
him. He after some reasoning consented. 

I set off on my journey to Montreal, and on my entering the 
city met an English smith, who look me to work with him. 
After some time we settled to work in a shop opposite the 
general's door, where we had an opportunity of seeing a great 
part of the forces of Canada, both French and Indians, who 
were commonly brought there before their going out to war, 
and likewise all prisoners. By this means we got intelligence 
how our people were preparing for defence ; but no good news 
from Oswego, which made me fear, knowing that great num- 
bers of French had gone out against it, and hearing there were 
but few to defend it. 

Prayers were put up in all the churches of Canada, and 
great processions made, in order to procure success to their 
arms against poor Oswego ; but our people knew little of their 
danger till it was too late. For, to my surprise, the dismal 
news came that the French had taken one of the Oswego forts. 
In a few hours, in confirnr'ation of this news, I saw the Eng- 
lish standards, the melancholy trophies of victory, and the 
French rejoicing at our downfall, and mocking us, poor pri- 
soners, in our exile and extremity, which was no great argu- 
ment either of humanity or true greatness of mind. Great 
joy appeared in all their faces, which they expressed in loud 
shouts, firing of cannon, and returning thanks in their churches. 
But our faces were covered with shame, and our hearts filled 
with grief!"* 

Soon after, I saw several of the officers brought in prisoners 
in small parties, and soldiers in the same manner, who were 
confined within the wallj [of the fort] in a starving condition, 
in order to make them work, which some complied with, while 
others bravely refused ; and last of all came the tradesmen, 
among whom was my son, who, looking round, saw me, to his 
great surprise, for he had supposed I was dead. This joyful 
sight so affected him that he wept ; nor could T refrain from 
the expression of a father's tenderness, in the same kind, upon 
so extraordinai-y an occasion ; it was far more than I can dis- 
close in writing, and therefore must cover it with a veil of 
silence. But he, with all my Philadelphia friends, being 
guarded by soldiers, with fixed bayonets, we could not come 
near each other. They were sent to the common pound, but 
I hastened to the interpreter to try to get my son set at liberty, 
which was soon effected. When we had the happii:ess of an 
interview, he gave me some information of the state of our 

* Oswego was taken July 15th, 1756, and 1400 English were made 
prisoners. — Ed. 

24 



278 ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

family, and told me that, as soon as the news reached home 
that 1 was killed or taken, his mother Avas not allowed any 
further wages of mine, which grieved me much, and added to 
my other afflictions. 

In the mean time it gave me some pleasure in this situation 
to see an expression of equal affection and prudence in my 
son's conduct, who, though young in years, (about seventeen,) 
that he, in such a confused state of things, had taken care to 
bring, with much labor and fatigue, a large bundle, of consi- 
derable value to me, of clothing, &c., of which I was in great 
need. He likewise saved a quantity of wampum which we 
brought from New York, and afterwards sold it here for one 
hundred and fifty livres. He travelled with me part of the 
journey towards Oswego, but not being so far on his way as 
I was when taken, did not fall into the enemy's hands until 
that place was taken. At that time he was delivered in a 
remarkable manner from a wretched captivity among distant 
Indians. His escape was in this manner : fifteen young white 
prisoners were selected out to be delivered into their power, 
who, from a well-known custom among the Indians, there was 
no doubt, were to supply the places of those they had lost in 
the war. Of this number was my son. The French artfully 
concealed their destination, and pretended they were designed 
to labor in the batteaux. My son, seeing that most of the 
selection were small lads, doubted their pretensions, for they 
were not equal to such performance. Watching his opportu- 
nity, he slipped from his place in the ranks unnoticed, and lay 
concealed until his place was filled by another. The other 
unhappy youths were delivered up a sacrifice to the Indian 
enemy, to be instructed in popish principles, and be employed 
in murdering their countrymen, yea, perhaps, their own fa- 
thers, mothers, and brethren ! O horrible ! O lamentable ! 

The insatiable thirst of the French for empire^ is height- 
ened, doubtless, from the pardons they receive from the pope 
and their priests, [as will appear from the following facts :] 
On a Sabbath day I went to see what was the occasion of a 
great concourse of people at a chapel. I found a kind of fair, 
at which were sold cakes, wine, brandy, &c. Numbers of 
people were going in and out of the chapel, over the door of 
which was a board hanging, and on it was written, in large 
capital letters, " Indulgence plenary, or full pardon." To return 
to my narrative. 

* The author wished probably to convey the idea that the French might 
commit any ci'imes in the acquisition of empire, without fear of future 
punishment, so long as they availed themselves of absolution, which it 
appears, from his next paragraph, was very prominently held forth.— Ed, 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 279 

When the people taken at Oswego were setting out on their 
way to Quebec, I made application for liberty to go with them, 
but the interpreter said 1 was an Indian prisoner, and the 
general would not sutler it till the Indians were satisfied ; and 
as they lived two hundred miles from Montreal, it could not 
be done at that time. Finding that all arguments on that 
head would not avail, because I was not included in the capitu- 
lation, I told the interpreter my son must go and leave me, 
to be ready at Quebec to go home when the Oswego people 
went, which probably would be soon. He replied, " It would 
be better to keep him with me, for it might be a mean to get 
me clear much sooner." 

The officers belonging to Oswego would gladly have had 
me with them, but found it impracticable. This was an in- 
stance of kindness and condescension for which I was greatly 
obliged. Capt. Bradley gave me a good coat, vest, and shirt, 
and a young gentleman, who formerly lived in Philadelphia, 
(by name James Stone, doctor at Oswego,) gave me four pis- 
toles. These expressions of kindness I remember with grati- 
tude, and, if ever in my power, will requite. This money, 
with what my son brought me, I was in hopes would go far 
towards procuring my release from my Indian masters. But 
seeing a number of prisoners in sore distress, among whom 
were Capt. Grant and Capt. Shepherd, and about seven more 
in company, I thought it my duty to relieve them, and commit 
my release to the disposal of Providence, nor was this suffered 
to turn to my disadvantage in the issue, for my deliverance 
was brought about in due time, in another and unexpected 
way. This company informed me of their intention to escape ; 
accordingly I gave them all the help in my power, saw them 
clear of the town on a Saturday evening, before the sentries 
were set at the gates, and advised them not to part from each 
other, and delivered to Capt. Shepherd two pocket compasses ; 
but, contrary to this counsel, they parted, and saw each other 
no more. By their separating. Captain Grant and Sergeant 
Newel were deprived of the benefit of a compass ; the others got 
safe to fort William Henry, as I was informed by Sergeant Hen- 
ry, who was brought in prisoner, being taken in a battle, when 
the gallant and indefatigable Capt. Rogers made a brave stand 
against more than twice his number.^ But I have not heard 

* About the 21st of May, 1756, Capt. Rogers, with only eleven men, am- 
bushed the carrying place between lakes George and Champlain, fired on 
a party of twenty-two Frenchmen, and killed six. He had let another 
party of 118 men pass only "a few minutes before," who immediately 
returned and rescued the others, and obliged the EngUsh to fly. Rogers 
says nothing about having any of his men taken, but took one himself. — 
Rogers' Jourrul. — Ed. 



9m ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 

any account of Capt. Grant. I was enabled, through much 
mercy, to continue communicating relief to other prisoners out 
of the wages I received for my labors, which was forty livres 
per month. 

In the latter part of winter, coal and iron were so scarce 
that it was difficult to get work. I then offered to Avork for 
my board, rather than to be thrust into a stinking dungeon, or 
sent among the Indians. The interpreter took some pains, 
which I thankfully acknowledge, without success, in my behalf. 
However, as I offered to work without wages, a Frenchman 
took me and my son in upon these terms. Here we staid one 
week, and hearing of no other chance, our employer offered us 
thirty livres a month to blow the bellows and strike, which I 
did for about two months, and then was discharged, and 
travelled about, from place to place, having no fixed abode. 
In this dilemma I was obliged to spend my little earnings for 
food to live upon, and my lodging was the hay-loft. I then 
made my case known to the kind interpreter, and requested 
him to consider of some means for my relief. He said he 
would. 

Meanwhile, as I was taking a walk in the city, I met an 
Indian prisoner [a prisoner among them] that belonged to the 
town where my father lived. He reported that a great part of 
the Indians there had just arrived with the resolution to carry 
me back with them ; and knowing him to be a very honest 
fellow, I believed him, and fled from the town, and concealed 
myself from the Indians. Schemes were now formed for an 
escape, and well prosecuted to a fortunate issue. General 
Vaudreuil gave me and my son liberty (under his hand) to go 
to Quebec, and to work there at our pleasure, without confine- 
ment, as prisoners of war. By this means I was freed from 
paying a ransom. 

The commissary. Monsieur Portwee, [?] being about to set 
off for Quebec, my son informed me I must come to town in 
the evening, a passage being provided for us. I waited till near 
dark, and then entered the town with great caution, to escape 
the Indians, who kept watch for me, and had done so for some 
time, which made it very difficult and dangerous to move ; but 
as they had no knowledge of my son, he could watch their 
motions without suspicion. In the morning, upon seeing an 
Indian set to watch for me over against the house I was in, I 
quickly made my escape through the back part of the house, 
over some high pickets, and so out of the city to the river-side, 
and fled. A friend, knowing my scheme for deliverance, 
kindly assisted me to conceal myself. The commissary had 
now got ready for his voyage, of which my son gave me no- 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 281 

tice. "With no lingering motion I repaired to the boat, was 
received on board, got off undiscovered, and saw the Indians 
no more ! A very narrow. and surprising escape from a violent 
death ! for they had determined to kill me if ever I attempted 
to leave them. 

I arrived at Quebec May 1st. The honorable Col. Peter 
Schuyler, hearing of my coming there, kindly sent for me, and 
after inquiries about my welfare generously told me I should 
be supplied, and need not trouble myself for support. This 
public-spirited gentleman, who is indeed an honor to his coun- 
try, did in like manner nobly relieve many other poor prisoners 
at Quebec. Here I had full liberty to walk where I pleased 
to view the city, which is well situated for strength, but far 
from being impregnable. 

Here, I hope, it will not be judged improper to give a short 
hint of the French governor's conduct. Even in time of peace 
he gives the Indians great encouragement to murder and cap- 
tivate the poor inhabitants on our frontiers.* An honest good 
man, named William Ross, was taken prisoner twice in time 
of peace. When he was first taken he learned a little of the 
French language, was afterwards redeemed, and got to his 
place of abode. Some years after, he, with two sons, was again 
taken, and brought to Quebec. The governor seeing the poor 
man was lame, and that one of his legs was smaller than the 
other, reproved the Indians for not killing him, asking them 
" what they brought a lame man there for who could do 
nothing but eat ! You should have brought his scalp !" 
However, another of his countrymen, more merciful than his 
excellency, knowing the poor prisoner to be a quiet, hard- 
working man, redeemed him from the Indians, and two other 
Frenchmen bought his two sons. Here they had been slaves 
more than three years when I first arrived at Quebec. This 
account I had from Mr. Ross himself, who further added, that 
the governor gave the Indians presents to encourage them to 
proceed in that kind of work, which is a scandal to any civil- 
ized nation, and what many pagans would abhor. Here, also, 
I saw one Mr. Johnson, who was taken in a time of peace, 
with his wife and three small children. A fourth was boii. on 
the way, whom Mrs. Johnson named Captive. t All of these 
had been prisoners between three and four years. Several 

* The author certainly discovers gjeat care for veracity in the course 
of his narrative, but he may have erred here. We hope he has. — Ed. 

t On Mrs. Johnson's return out of captivity she had published a very 
full and excellent account of it, which has gone through at least four 
editions since 1796. The last (Lowell, 1834) is ouite imperfect.— Ed. 
24* 



282 ROBEET EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY, 

young men, and Mr. Johnson's wife's sister, were likewise 
taken with them, and made slaves. 

Our cartel being ready, I obtained liberty to go to England 
in her. We set sail the 23d of July, 1757, in the morning, 
and discharged our pilot about four o'clock in the afternoon. 
After that we neither cast anchor nor lead till we got clear of 
the great river St. Lawrence ; from which I conclude the navi- 
gation to be much safer than the French have reported. In 
28 days we arrived at Plymouth, which occasioned great joy 
[to us], for we were ragged, lousy, sick, and in a manner 
starved ; and many of the prisoners, (who were in all about 
three hundred,) were sick of the small-pox. Myself and son 
having each a blanket coat, (which we bought in Canada to 
keep us warm,) and now expecting relief, gave them to poor 
sick men, almost naked. We were not allowed to go on 
shore, but were removed to a king's ship, and sent to Ports- 
mouth, where we were still confined on board near two weeks, 
and then removed to the Mermaid, to be sent to Boston. We 
now repented our well-meant though rash charity in giving 
our coats away, as wo were not to get any more ; all applica- 
tions to the captain for any kind of covering being in vain. 
Our joy was turned into sorrow at the prospect of coming on a 
cold coast, in the beginning of winter, almost naked, which was 
not a little increased by a near view of our mother country ; 
the soil and comforts of which we were not suffered to touch 
or taste.* 

September the 6th we sailed for Boston, with a fleet in con- 
voy, at which we arrived on the 7th of November, in the 
evening. It being dark, and we strangers and poor, it was dif- 
ficult to get a lodging. I had no shoes, and but pieces of 
stockings, and the weather very cold. We were indeed 
directed to a tavern, but found cold entertainment there ; the 
master of the house, seeing a ragged and lousy company, 
turned us out to wander in the dark. He was suspicious of 
us, and feared we came from Halifax, where the small-pox 
then was, and told us he was ordered not to receive such as 
came from thence. We soon met a young man who said he 
could find lodgings for us, but still detained us by asking 
many questions. I told him we were in no condition to 
answer them till we came to a more comfortable place, which 

* Such barbarous treatment of poor prisoners, by a government like 
that of England, who had hazarded their lives in its cause, is almost 
incredible. Thus brutes might treat men, but men will not deal so with 
men. A miserable old cartel hulk may contain germs destined to shake 
the thrones of tyrants. — Ed. 



ROBERT EASTBURN'S CAPTIVITY. 2S3 

he quickly found, where we were used well; but as we were 
lousy, we could not expect beds. 

The next morning we made application for clothing-. Mr. 
Erving, son-in-law to the late General Shirley, gave us relief, 
not only in respect of apparel, but also three dollars per man, 
to bear our charges to Newport. When I put on fresh clothes 
I was seized with a cold tit, which was followed by a high 
fever, and in that condition obliged to travel on foot as far as 
Providence, in our way to Rhode Island. In this journey I 
was exceedingly distressed. Our comforts in this life are often 
embittered with miseries, which are doubtless great mercies 
when they are suitably improved. At Newport we met with 
Captain Gibbs, and agreed with him for our passage to New 
York, where we arrived, November 21st, and met with many 
friends, who expressed much satisfaction at our return, and 
treated us kindly, particularly Mr. Livingston and Mr. Wal- 
dron. 

November the 26th, 1757, I arrived at Philadelphia, to the 
great joy of all n\y friends, and particularly of my poor afflicted 
wife and family, who thought they should never see me again, 
till we met beyond the grave. Being returned, sick and weak 
in body, and empty-handed, not having any thing for m}' fam- 
ily's and my own support, several humane and generous per- 
sons, of different denominations, in this city, without any appli- 
cation of mine, have freely given seasonable relief. For 
which may God grant them blessings in this world, and in the 
world to come everlasting life, for Christ's sake ! 

But to hasten to the conclusion, suffer me with humility 
and sorrow to observe that our enemies seem to make a better 
use of a bad religion than v.'e do of a good one. They rise 
up long before day in winter and go through the snow in 
the coldest seasons to perform their devotions in the churches. 
When these are over they return, to be ready for their work 
as soon as daylight appears. The Indians are as zealous in 
religion as the French. They oblige their children to pray 
morning and evening, particularly at Canasadauga. 

Our case appears to me indeed gloomy, notwithstanding our 
enemies are inconsiderable in numbers, connpared with us ; yet 
they are united as one man, while we may justly be compared 
to a house divided against itself, and therefore cannot stand 
long in our present situation. May Almighty God graciously 
incline us to look to him for deliverance, to repent of our sins, 
reform our lives, and unite in the vigorous and manly use of 
all proper means to this end. Amen. 




NARRATIVE 

OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SETTLEMENT OF GREEN- 
BRIER, VIRGINIA, TOGETHER WITH THE CAPTURE AND 
SURPRISING CONDUCT OF MRS. CLENDENIN, WHO WAS 
AMONG THOSE WHO ESCAPED THE TOMAHAWK OF THE 
INDIANS AT THAT MASSACRE. 



[Whether the following narrative was ever in print, except as it stands 
in Mr. Martin's Gazetteer of Virginia, I have never learned. It would seem 
from the following note accompanying it in that work, "that it was 
extracted from memoirs of Indian wars on the western frontiers of Vir- 
ginia, communicated to the Philosophical Society of Virginia, by Charles 
A. Stuart, Esq., of Augusta Co."— Ed.] . 



After peace was confirmed between England and France in 
the year 1761, the Indians commenced hostilities in 1763,^ 
when all the inhabitants in Greenbrier were totally cut off by 
a party of Indians, headed by the chief warrior Cornstalk. t 
The principal settlements were on Muddy Creek. These 
Indians, in number about sixty, introduced themselves into the 
people's houses under the mask of friendship, where every 
civility was offered them by the people, providing them with 

* Hostilities had not ceased between the whites and the Indians, as -will 
be seen by a reference to the Chronicles of the Indians for this and the 
preceding years. — Ed. 

t The life and barbarous death of this great chief are given at length 
in the Book of the Indians, v. 42, 44. — Ed. 



MRS. CLENDENIN'S CAPTIVITY. 285 

victuals and other accommodations for their entertainment, 
when, on a sudden, they fall upon and kill the men, and make 
prisoners of the women and children. From thence they 
passed over into the Le\'els, where some families were collected 
at the house of Archibald Clendenin, where the Honorable 
Balard Smith now lives. There were between fifty and one 
hundred persons, men, women and children. There the 
Indians were entertained, as at Muddy Creek, in the most hos- 
pitable manner. Mr. Clendenin had just arrived from a hunt, 
with three fat elks, upon which they were feasted in a boun- 
tiful manner. 

In the mean time an old woman, with a sore leg, was show- 
ing her distress to an Indian, and inquiring if he could admin- 
ister to her any relief. He said he thought he could, and 
drawing his tomahawk, instantly killed her, and all the men, 
almost, that were in the house. One, named Conrad Yolkom, 
only escaped. He, being at some distance from the house, was 
alarmed by the cries and shrieks of the women and children, 
fled with all his might to Jackson's river, and alarmed the peo- 
ple there. They however were loath to believe his tale until 
they saw the Indians approaching. All fled before them ; and 
they pursued on to Carr's Creek, in Rockbridge county, where 
many families were killed and taken by ihem. At Clendenin's 
a scene of much cruelty was performed, not only by the Indians, 
but some such as the terrors of their approach influenced thereto. 
In this I refer to an act committed by a negro woman, who in 
escaping from the Indians killed her own child, whose cries 
she had reason to fear would lead to her capture ! 

Mrs. Clendenin did not fail to abuse the Indians with her 
tongue, with the most reproachful epithets she could command, 
although the tomahawk was brandishing at the same moment 
overhead; but instead of bringing it down upon her, the less 
eflectual means of silencing her clamors was resorted to, 
namely, lashing her in the face and eyes with the bleeding 
scalp of her dead husband ! 

The provisions were all taken over to Muddy Creek, and a 
party of Indians retained them there till the return of the oth- 
ers from Carr's Creek, when the whole were marched off* to- 
gether. On the day they started from the foot of Kenney's 
Knob, going over the mountain, Mrs. Clendenin gave her 
infant child to another female prisoner, to carry, to relieve 
her for a few paces, and in a few moments after, a favorable 
opportunity offering for escape, she improved it with such 
alacrity into a dense thicket which they were at the time pass- 
ing, that not an Indian saw her or could tell which way she 
went. The opportunity was rendered more favorable by the 



286 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

manrier in which the Indians at the time were marching 
They had placed the prisoners in the centre, and dividing 
themselves into two companies, one marched before them and 
the other followed in their rear, having each flank open, and 
this gave her the desired chance of escape. 

It was not until all had left the place that the cries of Sirs. 
Clendenin's child caused the Indians to inquire for its mother. 
When they found she had made her escape, a monster Indian 
observed " he would bring the cow to her calf," and taking the 
infant by the heels, dashed out its brains against a tree ! and 
as though this was not enough, the miscreant throwing it down 
into the van, the whole company inarched over it, the hoofs of 
the horses tearing out its bowels, and the feet of the Indians 
tracked the ground as they went with its blood ! 

Mrs. Clendenin returned that night to her own house, a dis- 
tance of more than ten miles. Here she found her husband's 
dead body, which she covered with rails. She found him as 
he had been killed, with one of his children in his arms. He 
was shot down as he was making his escape over a fence. 
She now returned to her friends ; and thus ends the remark- 
able, though short captivity of a woman, more to be admired 
for her courage than some other qualities not less desirable in 
the female character. 



NARRATIVE 

OF THE CAPTIVITY OP ALEXANDER HENRY, ESQ., WHO, IN 
THE TIME OF PONTIAK'S WAR, FELL INTO THE HANDS OP 
THE HURON INDIANS. DETAILING A FAITHFUL ACCOUNT 
OF THE CAPTURE OF THE GARRISON OF MICHILDIACKI- 
NAC, AND THE MASSACRE OF ABOUT NINETY PEOPLE.— 
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 

[Mr. Henry was an Indian trader in America for about sixteen years. 
He came to Canada with the army of General Amherst, and pre- 
vious to his being made prisoner by the Indians experienced a variety of 
fortune. His narrative, as wdll be seen, is written with great candor as 
well as ability, and to the discriminating reader needs no encomium. 
He was living in JMontreal in 1809, as appears from the date of his pre- 
face to his Travels, which he published in New York that year, with a dedi- 
cation to Sir Joseph Banks. — Ed.] 

When I reached INIichilimackinac I found several other 
traders, who had arrived before me, from different parts of the 
country, and who, in general, declared the dispositions of the 
Indians to be hostile to the English, and even apprehended 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 287 

some attack. M. Laurent Ducharme distinctly informed 
Major Etherington that a plan was absolutely conceived 
for destroying him, his garrison and all the English in the 
upper country ; but the commandant believing this and other 
reports to be without foundation, proceeding only from idle or 
ill-disposed persons, and of a tendency to do mischief, express- 
ed much displeasure against M. Ducharme, and threatened to 
send the next person who should bring a story of the same 
kind, a prisoner, to Detroit. 

The garrison, at this time, consisted of ninety privates, two 
subalterns and the commandant ; and the English merchants 
at the fort were four in number. Thus strong, few entertained 
anxiety concerning the Indians, who had no weapons but small 
arms. 

Meanwhile, the Indians, from every quarter, were daily 
assembling, in unusual numbers, but with every appearance of 
friendship, frequenting the fort, and disposing of their peltries, 
in such a manner as to dissipate almost every one's fears. For 
myself, on one occasion, I took the liberty of observmg to 
Major Etherington that, in my judgment, no confidence ought 
to be placed in them, and that I was informed no less than four 
hundred lay around the fort. 

In return the major only rallied me on my timidity ; and it 
is to be confessed that if this officer neglected admonition, on 
his pjirt, so did I on mine. Shortly after my first anival at 
Michilimackinac, in the preceding year, a Chippeway, named 
Wawatam. began to come often to my house, betraying in his 
demeanor strong marks of personal regard. After this had 
continued some time, he came on a certain day, bringing with 
him his whole family, and at the same time a large present, 
consisting of skins, sugar and dried meat. Having laid these 
in a heap, he commenced a speech, in which he informed me 
that some years before he had observed a fast, devoting him- 
self, according to the custom of his nation, to solitude, and to 
the mortification of his body, in the hope to obtain, from the 
Great Spirit, protection through all his days ; that on this 
occasion he had dreamed of adopting an Englishman as his 
son, brother and friend; that from the moment in which he 
first beheld me he had recognised me as the person whom the 
Great Spirit had been pleased to point out to him for a brother; 
that he hoped that I would not refuse his present; and that he 
should forever regard me as one of his family. 

I could do no otherwise than accept the present, and declare 
my willingness to have so good a man as this appeared to be for 
my friend and brother. I offered a present in return for that 
which I had received, which Wawatam accepted, and then, 



288 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

thanking me for the favor which he said that I had rendered 
him, he left me, and soon after set out on his winter's hunt. 

Twelve months had now elapsed since the occurrence of this 
incident, and I had almost forgotten the person of my brother, 
when, on the second day of June, Wawatam came again to 
my house, in a temper of mind visibly melancholy and 
thoughtful. He told me that he had just returned from his 
winteri7ig ground, and I asked after his health ; but without 
answering my question, he went on to say, that he was sorry 
to find me returned from the Sault ; that he intended to go to 
that place himself, immediately after his arrival at Michili- 
mackinac ; and that he wished me to go there along with him 
and his family the next morning. To all this he joined an 
inquiry, whether or not the commandant had heard bad news, 
adding that during the winter he had himself been freqiiently 
disturbed with the 7ioise of evil birds ; and further suggesting 
that there were numerous Indians near the fort, many of whom 
had never shown themselves within it. Wawatam was about 
forty-five years of age, of an excellent character among his 
nation, and a chief. 

Referring much of what I heard to the peculiarities of the 
Indian character, I did not pay all the attention which they 
will be found to have deserved to the entreaties and remarks of 
my visitor. I answered that I could not think of going to the 
Sault so soon as the next morning, but would follow him 
there after the arrival of my clerks. Finding himself unable 
to prevail with me, he withdrew for that day ; but early the 
next morning he came again, bringing with him his wife, 
and a present of dried meat. At this interview, after stating 
that he had several packs of beaver, for which he intended to 
deal with me, he expressed a second time his apprehensions, 
from the numerous Indians who were round the fort, and ear- 
nestly pressed me to consent to an immediate departure for the 
Sault. As a reason for this particular request, he assured me 
that all the Indians proposed to come in a body, that day, to 
the fort, to demand liquor of the commandant, and that he 
wished me to be gone before they should grow intoxicated. 

I had made, at the period to which I am now referring, so 
much progress in the language in which Wawatam addressed 
me, as to be able to hold an ordinary conversation in it ; but 
the Indian manner of speech is so extravagandy figurative that it 
is only for a perfect master to follow and comprehend it entirely. 
Had I been further advanced in this respect, I think that I 
should have gathered so much information, from this my 
friendly monitor, as would have put me into possession of the 
design of the enemy, and enabled me to save as well others as 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 289 

myself; as it was, it unfortunately happened that I turned 
a deaf ear to every thing, leaving Wawatam and his wife, 
after long and patient, but ineflectual eflbrts, to depart alone, 
with dejected countenances, and not before they had each let 
fall some tears. 

In the course of the same day, I observed that the Indians 
came in great numbers into the fort, purchasing tomahawks, 
(small axes of one pound weight,) and frequently desiring to 
see silver arm-bands, and other valuable ornaments, of which 
I had a large quantity for sale. The ornaments, hov/ever, 
they in no instance purchased, but, after turning them over, 
left them, saying that they would call again the next day. Their 
motive, as it afterv.'ard appeared, was no other than the very 
artful one of discovering, by requesting to see them, the pai'- 
ticular places of their deposit, so that they might lay their 
hands on them in the momicnt of pillage with the greater cer- 
tainty and dispatch. 

At night, I turned in my mind the visits of Wawatara ; but, 
though they were calculated to excite uneasiness, nothing in- 
duced me to believe that serious mischief was at hand. The 
next day, being the fourth of June, was the king's birth-day. 

The morning was sultry. A Chippeway came to tell me 
that his nation was going to play at baggatiway, \x\ih. the 
Sacs or Saiikies, another Indian nation, for a high wager. He 
invited me to witness the sport, adding that the commandant 
was to be there, and would bet on the side of the Chippeways. 
In consequence of this information, I w^nt to the comnjandant, 
and expostulated with him a little, representing that the Indians 
might possibly have some sinister end in view ; but the com- 
mandant only smiled at my suspicions. 

Baggathcmj, called by the Canadians le jeit de la crnsse, is 
played with a bat and ball. The bat is about four feet in 
length, curved, and terminating in a sort of racket. Two posts 
are planted in the ground, at a considerable distance from each 
Gther, as a mile or more. Each party has its post, and the 
game consists in throwing the ball up to the post of the adver- 
sary. The ball at the beginning is placed in the middle of 
the course, and each party endeavors as well to throw the ball 
out of the direction of its cum post, as into that of the adver- 
sary's. 

I did not go myself to see the m.atch which was now to be 
played without the fort, because, there being a canoe prepared to 
depart, on the following day, for Montreal, I employed myself 
in writing letter.? to my friends ; and even when a fellow-tra- 
der, Mr. Tracy, happened to call upon me, saying that another 
cfinoe had just arrived from Detroit, and proposing that I 
2-5 



290 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

should go with him to the beach, to inquire the news, it so 
happened that I still remained, to finish my letters ; promising 
to follow Mr, Tracy in the course of a kw minutes. Mr. 
Tracy had not gone more than twenty paces from the door, 
when I heard an Indian war-cry, and a noise of general con- 
fusion. 

Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of Indians, 
within the fort, furiously cutting down and scalping every 
Englishman they found. In particular, I witnessed the fate of 
Lieutenant Jemette. 

I had in the room in which I was a fowling-piece, loaded 
with swan-shot. This I immediately seized, and held it for a 
few minutes, waiting to hear the drum beat to arms. In this 
dreadful interval I saw several of my countrymen fall, and 
more than one struggling betv.'een the knees of an Indian, who, 
holding him in this manner, scalped him while yet living. 

At length, disappointed in the hope of seeing resistance made 
to the enemy, and sensible of course that no effort of my own 
unassisted arm could avail against four hundred Indians, I 
thought only of seeking shelter. Amid the slaughter which 
was raging, I observed many of the Canadian inhabitants of 
the fort calmly looking on, neither opposing the Indians nor 
suffering injury; and from this circumstance I conceived a 
hope of finding security in their houses. 

Between the yard-door of my own house and that of M. 
Langlade, my next neighbor, there was oidv a low fence, over 
which I easily rlnnbed. At my entrance I found the whole 
family at the windows, gazing at the scene of blood before 
them. I addressed myself immediately to M. Langlade, beg- 
ging that he would put me into some place of safety, until the 
heat of the affair should be over; an act of charity by which 
he might perhaps preserve me from the general massacre ; but 
while I uttered my petition, M. Langlade, who had looked for 
a moment at me, turned again to the Avindow, shrugging his 
shoulders, and intimating that he could do nothing for me: — 
" Que voudriez-rnus qve j'en ferais?'' 

This was a moment for despair; but the next, a Pani wo- 
man,"* a slave of M. Langlade's, beckoned to me to follow her. 
She brought me to a door, which she opened, desiring me to 
enter, and telling me that it led to the gnrret, wliere I must go 
and conceal myself. I joyfully obeyed her directions; and 
she, having followed me up to the garret-door, locked it after 
me, and with great presence of mind took away the key. 

This shelter obtained, if shelter I could hope to find it, I was 

* The Panics are an Indian nation of the south 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 291 

naturally anxious to know what might still be passing without. 
Through an aperture, which atforded me a view of the area of 
the fort, I beheld, in shapes the foulest and most terrible, the 
ferocious triumphs of barbarian conquerors. The dead were 
scalped and mangled; the dying were Avrithing and shrieking 
under the unsatiated knife and tomahawk; and from the bodies 
of some, ripped open, their butchers were drinking the bTood, 
scooped up in the hollow of joined hands, and quaffed amid 
shouts of rage and victory. I was shaken not only with horror, 
but with fear. The sufferinfrs which I witnessed, I seemed on 
the point of experiencing. No long time elapsed beforev every 
one being destroyed who could be found, there was a general 
cry of "All is finished !" At the same instant I heard some 
of" the Indians enter the house in which I was. 

The garret was separated from the room below only by a 
layer of single boards, at once the flooring of the one and the 
ceiling of the other. I could therefore hear every thing that 
passed ; and the Indians no sooner came in than they inquired 
whether or not any Englishman were in the house. M. Lang- 
lade replied that "he could not say; he did not know of any;" 
answers in which he did not exceed the truth ; for the Pani 
woman had not only hidden me by stealth, but kept my secret 
and her own. M. Langlade was therefore, as I presume, as 
far from a wish to destroy me as he was careless about saving 
me, when he added to these answers, that " they might exa- 
mine for themselves, and would soon be satisfied as to the 
object of their question." Saying this, he brought them to the 
garret-door. 

The state of my mind will be imagined. Arrived at the 
door, some delay was occasioned by the absence of the key, 
and a few moments were thus allowed me in which to look 
around for a hiding-place. In one corner of the garret was a 
heap of those vessels of birch-bark used in maple-sugar making, 
as I have recently described. 

The door was unlocked and opening, and the Indians ascend- 
ing the stairs, before I had completely crept into a small open- 
ing which presented itself at one end of the heap. An instant 
after, four Indians entered the room, all armed with tomahawks, 
and all besmeared with blood upon every part of their bodies. 

The die appeared to be cast. I could scarcely breathe ; but 
I thought that the throbbing of my heart occasioned a noise 
loud enough to betray me. The Indians walked in every 
direction about the garret, and one of them approached me so 
closely that at a particular moment, had he put forth his hand, 
he must have touched me. Still I remained undiscovered; a 
circumstance to which the dark color of my clothes, and the 



292 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

want of light in a room which had no window, and in the 
corner in which I was, must have contributed. In a word, after 
taking several turns in the room, during which they told M. 
Langlade how many they had killed, and how many scalps 
they had taken, they returned down stairs, and I, with sensa- 
tions not to be expressed, heard the door, which was the barrier 
between me and my fate, locked for the second time. 

There was a feather-bed on the floor ; and on this, exhausted 
as I was by the agitation of my mind, I threw myself down 
and fell asleep. In this state I remained till the dusk of the 
evening, when I was awakened by a second opening of the 
door. The person that now entered was M. Langlade's wife, 
who was much surprised at finding me, but advised me not to 
be uneasy, observing that the Indians had killed most of the 
English, but that she hoped I might myself escape. A shower 
of rain having begun to fall, she had come to stop a hole in the 
roof. On her going away, I begged her to send me a little 
water to drink ; which she did. 

As night was now advancing, I continued to lie on the bed, 
ruminating on my condition, but unable to discover a resource 
from which I could hope for life. A flight to Detroit had no 
probable chance of success. The distance from Michilimacki- 
nac was four hundred miles; I was without provisions; and 
the whole length of the road lay through Indian countries, 
countries of an enemy in arms, where the first man whom I 
should meet would kill me. To stay where I was threatened 
nearly the same issue. As before, fatigue of mind, and not 
tranquillity, suspended my cares, and procured me further 
sleep. 

The game of baggatiway, as from the description above will 
have been perceived, is necessarily attended with much vio- 
lence and noise. In the ardor of contest, the ball, as has been 
suggested, if it cannot be thrown to the goal desired, is struck 
in any direction by which it can be diverted from that designed 
by the adversary. At such a moment, therefore, nothing could 
be less liable to excite premature alarm, than that the ball 
should be tossed over the pickets of the fort, nor that, having 
fallen there, it should be followed on the instant by all engaged 
in the game, as well the one party as the othei, all eager, all 
struggling, all shouting, all in the unrestrained pursuit of a 
rude athletic exercise. Nothing could be less fitted to excite 
premature alarm; nothing, therefore, could be more happily 
devised, under the circumstances, than a stratagem like this; 
and this was, in fact, the stratagem which the Indians had em- 
ployed, by which they had obtained possession of the fort, and 
by which they had been enabled to slaughter and subdue its 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 293 

garrison, and such of its other inhabitants as they pleased. To 
^e still more certain of success, they had prevailed upon as 
many as they could, by a pretext the least liable to suspicion, 
to come voluntarily without the pickets ; and particularly the 
commandant and garrison themselves. 

The respite which sleep afTorded me, during the night, was 
. put an end to by the return of morning. I was again on the 
rack of apprehension. At sunrise, I heard the family stirring; 
and presently after Indian voices, informing M. Langlade that 
they had not found my hapless self among the dead, and that 
they supposed me to be somewhere concealed. M. Langlade 
appeared, from what followed, to be by this time acquainted 
with the place of my retreat, of which, no doubt, he had been 
informed by his wife. The poor Avoman, as soon as the In- 
dians mentioned me, declared to her husband, in the French 
tongue, that he should no longer keep me in his house, but 
deliver me up to my pursuers ; giving as a reason for this 
measure, that, should the Indians discover his instrumentality 
in my concealment, they might revenge it on her children, and 
that it was better that I should die than they. ]M. Langlade 
resisted at first this sentence of his wife's, but soon suffered 
her to prevail, informing the Indians that he had been told I 
was in his house, that I had come there without his knowledge, 
and that he would put me into their hands. This was no 
sooner expressed than he began to ascend the stairs, the In- 
dians following upon his heels. 

I now resigned myself to the fate with which I was menaced ; 
and regarding every attempt at concealment as vain, I arose 
from the bed, and presented myself full in view to the Indians 
who were entering the room. They were all in a state of 
intoxication, and entirely naked, except about the middle. One 
of them, named Wenniway, whom I had previously known, 
and who was upward of six feet in height, had his entire face 
and body covered with charcoal and grease, only that a white 
spot, of two inches in diameter, encircled either eye. This 
man, walking up to me, seized me with one hand by the collar 
of the coat, while in the other he held a large carving knife, 
as if to plunge it into my breast ; his eyes meanwhile were 
fixed steadfastly on mine. At length., after some seconds of the 
most anxious suspense, he dropped his arm, saying, "I won't 
kill you!" To this he added, that he had been frequently 
engaged in wars against the English, and had brought away 
many scalps ; that on a certain occasioji he had lost a brother, 
whose name was Musinigon, and that I should be called after 
him. 

A reprieve upon any terms placed me among the living, and 
26* 



294 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

gave me back the sustaining voice of hope ; but Wenniway 
ordered me down stairs, and there informing me that I was to 
be taken to his cabin, where, and indeed everywhere else, the 
Indians were all mad with liquor, death again was threatened, 
and not as possible only, but as certain. I mentioned my fears 
on this subject to M. Langlade, begging him to represent the 
danger to my master. M. Langlade, in this instance, did not 
withhold his compassion, and Wenniway immediately consented 
that I should remain where I was, until he found another op- 
portunity to take rne away. 

Thus far secure, I re-ascended, my garret-stairs, in order to 
place myself the furthest possible out of the reach of insult 
from drunken Indians ; but I had not remained there more than 
an hour, when I was called, to the room below, in which was 
an Indian, who said that I must go with him out of the fort, 
Wenniway having sent him to fetch me. This man, as well 
as Wenniway himself, I had seen before. In the preceding 
year, I had allowed him to take goods on credit, for which he 
was still in my debt; and some short time previous to the sur- 
prise of the fort he had said, upon my upbraiding him with 
want of honesty, that " he would pay me before long ! " This 
speech now came fresh into my memory, and led me to suspect 
that the fellow had formed a design against my life. I com- 
municated the suspicion to M. Langlade ; but he gave for 
answer that " I was not now my own master, and must do as 
I was ordered." 

The Indian, on his part, directed that before I left the house 
I should undress myself, declaring that my coat and shirt would 
become him better than they did me. His pleasure in this 
respect being complied with, no other alternative was left me 
than either to go out naked, or to put on the clothes of the In- 
dian, which he freely gave me in exchange. His motive for 
thus stripping me of my own apparel was no other, as I after- 
ward learned, than this, that it might not be stained with blood 
when he should kill me. 

I was now told to proceed ; and my driver followed me close, 
until I had passed the gate of the fort, when I turned toward 
the spot where I knew the Indians to be encamped. This, 
however, did not suit the purpose of my enemy, v/ho seized 
me by the arm, and drew me violently in the opposite direction, 
to the distance of fifty yards above the fort. Here, finding that 
I was approaching the bushes and sand-hills, I determined to 
proceed no further, but told the Indian that I believed he meant 
to murder me, and that if so he might as well strike where I 
was as at any greater distance. He replied, with coolness, that 
my suspicions were just, and that he meant to pay me in this 



ALEXANDER HENRYS CAPTIVITY. 295 

manner for my goods. At the same tiine he produced a knife, 
and held me in a position to receive the intended blow. Both 
this and that which followed were necessarily the affair of a 
moiTient. By some effort, too sudden and too little dependent 
on thought to be explained or remembered, I was enabled to 
arrest his arm, and give him a sudden push, by which I turned 
him from me, and released myself from his grasp. This was 
no sooner done than I ran toward the fort, with all the swift- 
ness in my power, the Indian following me, and I expecting 
every moment to feel his knife. I succeeded in my flight ; 
and, on entering the fort, I saw Wenniway standing in the 
midst of the area, and to him 1 hastened for protection. Wen- 
niway desired the Indian to desist ; but the latter pursued me 
round him, making several strokes at me with his knife, and 
foaming at the mouth with rage at the repeated failure of his 
purpose. At length Wenniway drew near to M. Langlade's 
house; and the door being open, I ran into it. The Indian 
followed me ; but on my entering the house, he voluntarily 
abandoned the pursuit. 

Preserved so often, and so unexpectedly, as it had now been 
my lot to be, I returned to my garret, with a strong inclina- 
tion to believe that, through the will of an overruling power, 
no Indian enemy could do me hurt ; but new trials, as I believed, 
were at hand, when, at ten o'clock in the evening, I was roused 
from sleep, and once more desired to descend the stairs. Not 
less, however, to my satisfaction than surprise, I was sum- 
moned only to meet Major Etherington, Mr. Bostvvick and 
Lieutenant Lesslie, who were in the room below. 

These gentlemen had been taken prisoners, while looking 
at the game, without the fort, and immediately stripped of all 
their clothes. They were now sent into the fort, under the 
charge of Canadians, because, the Indians having resolved on 
getting drunk, the chiefs were apprehensive that they would 
be murdered if they continued in the camp. Lieutenant 
Jemette and seventy soldiers had been killed ; and but twenty 
Englishmen, including soldiers, were still alive. These were 
all within the fort, together with nearly three hundred Cana- 
dians belonging to the canoes, &c. 

These being our numbers, myself and others proposed to Maj. 
Etherington to make an effort for regaining possession of the fort, 
and maintaining it against the Indians. The Jesuit missionary 
was consulted on the project ; but he discouraged us, by his rep- 
resentations, not only of the merciless treatment which we must 
expect from thj Indians, should they regain their superiority, 
but of the little dependence which was to be placed upon our 
Canadian auxiliaries. Thus the fort and prisoners remained 



,296 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

in the hands of the Indians, though, through the whole nigfis, 
the prisoners and whites were in actual possession^ and they 
were without the gates. 

That whole night, or the greater part of it, was passed vi 
mutual condolence; and my fellow-prisoners shared my garret. 
In the morning, being again called down, I found my master 
Wenniway, and was desired to follow him. He led me to a small 
house, within the fort, where, in a narrow room, and almost 
dark, I found Mr.Ezekiel Solomons, an Englishman from Detroit, 
and a soldier, all prisoners. With these, I remained in pain- 
ful suspense, as to the scene that was next to present itself, till 
ten o'clock in the forenoon, when an Indian arrived, and pres- 
ently marched us to the lake-side, where a canoe appeared 
ready for departure, and in which we found that we were to 
embark. 

Our voyage, fall of doubt as it was, would have commenced 
immediately, but that one of the Indians, who v<a.s to be of 
the parly, was absent. His arrival was to be waited for ; and 
this occasioned a very long delay, during which we were 
exposed to a keen north-east wind. An old shirt was all that 
covered me; I suffered much from the cold; and in this 
extremity, M. Langlade coming down to the beach, I asked 
him for a blanket, promising if I lived to pay him for it, at any 
price he pleased ; but the answer I received was this, that ha 
could let me have no blanket unless there were some one t® 
be security for the payment. For myself, he observed, I had 
ro longer any property in that country. I had no more ta say 
to M. Langlade; but presently seeing another Canadian, 
named John Cuchoise, I addressed to him a similar request, and 
was not refused. Naked as I was and rigorous as was ths 
weather, but for the blanket I must have perished. At noon, 
our party was all collected, the prisoners all embarked, and we 
steered for the Isles du Castor, [Beaver Island,] in lake Michigan. 

The soldier who was our companion in misfortune was made 
fast to a bar of the canoe, by a rope tied round his neck, as 
is the manner of the Indians in transporting their prisoners. 
The rest were left unconlined ; but a paddle was put into each 
of our hands, and we were made to use it. Tlie Indians in 
the canoe were seven in number, the prisoners four. I had 
left, as it will be recollected, Major Etherington, Lieutenant 
Lesslie and Mr. Bostwick, at M. Langlade's, and was no\v 
joined in misery with Mr. Ezekiel Solomons, the soldier, and 
the Englishman \¥ho had newly arrived from Detroit. This 
was on the sixth day of June. The fort was taken on thp 
fourth ; I surrendered myself to Wenniway on the fifth j and 
this was the third day of our distress. 



ALEXANDER HENRYS CAPTIVITY. 297 

We were bound, as I have said, for the Isles du Castor, 
which lie in the mouth of lake Michigan; and Ave should 
have crossed the lake, but that a thick fog came on, on account 
of which the Indians deemed it safer to keep the shore close 
under their lee. We therefore approached the lands of the 
Ottawas, and their village of L'Arbre Croche, already men- 
tioned as lying about twenty miles to the westward of Michili- 
mackinac, on the opposite side of the tongue of land on which 
the fort is built. 

Every half hour, the Indians gave their war-whoops, one 
for every prisoner in their canoe. This is a general custom, 
by the aid of which all other Indians, within hearing, are 
apprized of the number of prisoners they are carrying. 

In this manner, we reached Wagoshense, Fox-point, a long 
point, stretching westward into the lake, and which the Ottawas 
make a carrying place, to avoid going round it. It is distant 
eighteen miles from Michilimackinac. After the Indians had 
made their war-whoop, as before, an Oltawa appeared upon the 
beach, who made signs tliat we should land. In consequence, 
we approached. The Ottawa asked the news, and kept the 
Chippeways in further conversation, till we were within a few 
yards of the land, and in shallow water. At this moment, a 
hundred men rushed upon us, from among the bushes, and 
dragged all the prisoners out of the canoes, amid a terrifying 
shout. 

We now believed that our last sufferings were approaching; 
but no sooner were we fairly on shore, and on our legs, than 
the chiefs of the party advanced, and gave each of us their 
hands, telling us that they were our friends, and Ottawas, 
whom the Chippeways had insulted, by destro^Mng the English 
without consulting with them on the affair. They added that 
what they had done was for the purpose of saving our lives, the 
Chippeways having been carrying us to the Isles du Castor 
only to kill and devour us. 

The reader's imagination is here distracted by the variety of 
our fortunes, and he may well paint to himself the state of mind 
of those who sustained them, who were the sport or the vic- 
tims of a series of events, more like dreams than realities, 
more like fiction than truth ! It was not long before we were 
embarked again, in the canoes of the Ottawas, who, the same 
evening, relanded us at Michilimackinac, where they marched 
us into the fort, in view of the Chippeways, confounded at 
beholding the Ottawas espouse a side opposite to their own. 

The Ottawas, who had accompanied us in sufficient num- 
bers, took possession of the fort. We, who had changed mas- 



298 ALEXANDER HExXRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

ters, but were still prisoners, were lodged in the house of the 
commandant, and strictly guarded. 

Early the next morning, a general council was held, in 
which the Chippeways complained much of the conduct of 
the Ottawas in robbing them of their prisoners ; alleging that 
all the Indians, the Ottawas alone excepted, were at war with 
the English ; that Pontiac had taken Detroit; that the king 
of France had awoke, and repossessed himself of Quebec and 
Montreal; and that the English were meeting destruction, 
not only at Michilimackinac, but in every other part of the 
world. From all this they inferred that it became the Ottawas 
to restore the prisoners, and to join in the war; and the speech 
was followed by large presents, being part of the plunder of 
the fort, and which was previously heaped in the centre of 
the room. The Indians rarely make their answers till the day 
after they have heard the arguments offered. They did not 
depart from their custom on this occasion ; and the council 
therefore adjourned. 

We, the prisoners, whose fate was thus in controversy, were 
unacquainted at the time with this transaction ; and therefore 
enjoyed a night of tolerable tranquillity, not in the least sus- 
pecting the reverse which was preparing for us. Which of 
the arguments of the Chippeways, or whether or not all 
were deemed valid by the Ottawas, I cannot say ; but the 
council was resumed at an early hour in the morning, and, 
after several speeches had been made in it, the prisoners were 
sent for, and returned to the Chippeways. 

The Ottawas, who now gave us into the hands of the 
Chippeways, had themselves declared that the latter designed 
no other than to kill us, and viake broth of us. The Chippe- 
ways, as soon as we were restored to them, marched us to a 
village of their own, situate on the point which is below the 
fort, and put us into a lodge, already the prison of fourteen 
soldiers, tied two and two, with each a rope about his neck, and 
made fast to a pole which might be called the supporter of the 
building. 

I was left untied ; but I passed a night sleepless and full of 
wretchedness. My bed was the bare ground, and I was 
again reduced to an old shirt, as my entire apparel ; the 
blanket which I had received, through the generosity of M. 
Ciichoise, having been taken from me among the Ottawas, 
when they seized upon myself and the others, at Wagoshense. 
I was, besides, in want of food, having for two days eaten noth- 
ing. 

I confess that in the canoe with the Chippeways I was 
offered bread ; but, bread, with what accompaniment ! They 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 299 

had a loaf, which they cut with the same knives that they had 
employed in the massacre — knives still covered with blood. 
The blood they moistened v,rith spittle, a^id rubbing it on 
the bread, offered this for food to their prisoners, telling them 
to eat the blood of their countrymen. 

Such was my situation on the morning of the seventh of 
June, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three; 
but a few hours produced an event which gave still a new 
color to my lot. 

Toward noon, when the great war-chief, in company with 
Wenniway was seated at the opposite end of the lodge, my 
friend and brother, Wawatam, suddenly came in. During 
the four days preceding, I had often wondered what had 
become of him. In passing by he gave me his hand, but 
went immediately toward the great chief, by the side of whom 
and Wenniway, he sat himself down. The most uninterrupted 
silence prevailed ; each smoked his pipe ; and this done, 
Wawatam arose, and left the lodge, saying to me, as he passed, 
" Take courage !" 

An hour elapsed, during which several chiefs entered, and 
preparations appeared to be making for a council. At length, 
Wawatam re-entered the lodge, followed by his wife, and both 
loaded with merchandise, which they carried up to the chiefs, 
and laid in a heap before them. Some moments of silence 
followed, at the end of which Wawatam pronounced a speech, 
every word of which, to me, was of extraordinary interest : 

" Friends and relations," he began, " what is it that I shall 
say ? You know what I feel. You all have friends and 
brothers and children, whom as yourselves you love ; and you, 
what would you experience, did you, like me, behold your 
dearest friend — your brother — in the condition of a slave; 
a slave, exposed every moment to insult, and to menaces of 
death? This case, as you all know, is mine. See there 
{pointing to viysdf) my friend and brother among slaves, him- 
self a slave I 

"You all well know that long before the war began I 
adopted him as my brother. From that moment he became 
one of my family, so that no change of circumstances could 
break the cord which fastened us together. 

"He is my brother; and, because I am your relation, he is 
therefore your relation too : — and how, being your relation, can 
he be your slave ? 

" On the day on which the war began, you were fearful, 
lest on this very account I should reveal your secret. 
You requested, therefore, that I would leave the fort, and 
even cross the lake. I did so, but did it with reluctance. 



300 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

I did it with reluctance, notwithstanding that you, Meneh- 
wehna, who had the command in this enterprise, gave m© 
your promise that you would protect my friend, delivering him 
from all danger, and giving him safely to me. 

" The performance of this promise I now claim. I com® 
not with empty hands to ask it. You, Menehwehna, best 
know whether &r not, as it respects yourself, you have kept 
your word, but I bring these goods, to buy off every claim 
which any man among you all may have on my brother, as his 
prisoner." 

Wawatam having ceased, the pipes were again filled ; and, 
after they were finished, a further period of silence followed. 
At the end of this, Menehwehna arose, and gave his reply : 

" My relation and brother," said he, " what you have spoken 
is the truth. We were acquainted with the friendship which 
subsisted between yourself and the Englishman, in whose 
behalf you have now addressed us. We knew the danger of 
having our secret discovered, and the consequences which 
must follow; and you say truly that we requested you to leave 
the fort. This we did out of regard for you and your family ; 
for, if a discovery of our design had been made, you would 
have been blamed, whether guilty or not ; and you would thus 
have been involved in difficulties from which you could noS 
have extricated yourself. 

" It is also true that I promised you to take care of you? 
friend ; and this promise I performed, by desiring my son, 
at the moment of assault, to seek him out, and bring him 
to my lodge. He went accordingly, but could not find him. 
The day after I sent him to Langlade's, when he v/as inforujed 
that your friend was safe ; and had it not been that the Indians 
were then drinking the rum which had been found in the forty 
he would have brought him home with him, according to my 
orders. 

" I am very glad to find that your friend has escaped. We 
accept your present ; and you may take him home with 
you." 

Wawatam thanked the assembled chiefs, and taking me by 
the hand, led me to his lodge, Avhich was at the distance of a 
few yards only from the prison-lodge. My entrance appeared 
to give joy to the whole family; food was immediately pre- 
pared forme; and I now ate the first hearty meal which I had 
made since my capture. I found myself one of the family ; 
and but that I had still my fears, as to the other Indians, I felt 
as happy as the siiuation could allow. 

In the course of the next morning, I was alarmed by a noise 
in the prison-lodge ; and looking through the openings of the 



ALEXANDER HENEY'S CAPTIVITY. 301 

lodge In which I was, I saw seven dead bodies of white men 
dragged forth. Upon my inquiry into the occasion, I was 
informed that a certain chief, called by the Canadians Le Grand 
Sable, had not long before arrived from his winter's hunt ; and 
that he, having been absent when the war begun, and being 
now desirous of manifesting to the Indians al large his hearty 
concurrence in what they had done, had gone into the prison- 
lodge, and there with his knife put the seven men whose bodies 
I had seen to death. 

Shortly after, two of the Indians took one of the dead bodies, 
which they chose as being the fottest, cut off the head, and 
divided the whole into five parts, one of which was put into 
each of five kettles, hung over as many fires kindled for this 
purpose, at the door of the prison-lodge. Soon after things 
were so far prepared, a message came to our lodge, with an 
invitation to Wawatam to assist at the feast. 

An invitation to a feast is given by him who is the master 
of it. Small cuttings of cedar wood, of about four inches in 
length, supply the place of cards ; and the bearer by word of 
mouth states the particulars. 

Wawatam obeyed the summons, taking with him, as is usual, 
to the place of entertainment, his dish and spoon. 

After an absence of about half an hour, he returned, bringing 
in his dish a human hand, and a large piece of flesh. He did 
not appear to relish the repast, but told me that it was then, 
and always had been the custom among all the Indian nations, 
when returning from war, or on overcoming their enemies, to 
make a war-feast from among the slain. This he said inspir- 
ed the warrior with courage in attack, and bred him to meet 
death with fearlessness. 

In the evening of the same day, a large canoe, such as those 
which came from Montreal, was seen advancing to the fort. 
It was full of men, and I distinguished several passengers. 
The Indian cry was made in the village ; a general muster 
ordered ; and to the number of two hundred they marched up 
to the fort, where the canoe was expected to land.' The canoe, 
suspecting nothing, came boldly to the fort, where the passen- 
gers, as being English traders, were seized, dragged through 
the water, beat, reviled, marched to the prison-lodge, and there 
stripped of their clothes and confined. 

Of the English traders that fell into the hands of the Indians 
at the capture of the fort, Mr. Tracy was the only one who 
lost his life. Mr. Ezekiel Solomons and Mr. Henry Bostwick 
were taken by the Ottawas, and after the peace carried down 
to Montreal, and there ransomed. Of ninety troops, about 
seventy were killed; the rest, together with those of the posts 
26 



302 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

in the Bay des Puants, and at the river Saint Joseph, were 
also kept in safety by the Ottawas till the peace, and then either 
freely restored, or ransomed at Montreal. The Ottawas never 
overcame their disgust at the neglect with which they had 
been treated, in the beginning of the war, by those who after- 
ward desired their assistance as allies. 

In the morning of the ninth of June, a general council was 
held, at which it was agreed to remove to the island of Michi- 
limackinac, as a more defensible situation in the event of an 
attack by the English. The Indians had begun to entertain 
apprehensions of want of strength. No news had reached 
them from the Potawatamies, in the Bay des Puants ; and they 
were uncertain whether or not the Monomins"^ would join them. 
They even feared that the Sioux would take the English side. 

This resolution fixed, they prepared for a speedy retreat. 
At noon the camp was broken up, and we embarked, taking 
with us the prisoners that were still undisposed of. On our 
passage we encountered a gale of wind, and there were some 
appearances of danger. To avert it, a dog, of which the legs 
were previously tied together, was thrown into the lake ; an 
offering designed to soothe the angry passions of some offended 
Manito. 

As we approached the island, two women in the canoe in 
which I was began to utter melancholy and hideous cries. 
Precarious as my condition still remained, I experienced some 
sensations of alarm from these dismal sounds, of which I could 
not then discover the occasion. Subsequently, I learned that 
it is customary for the women, on passing near the burial-places 
of relations, never to omit the practice of which I was now a 
witness, and by which they intend to denote their grief. 

By the approach of evening we reached the island in safety, 
and the women were not long in erecting our cabins. In the 
morning, there was a muster of the Indians, at which there 
were found three hundred and fifty fighting men. 

In the course of the day there arrived a canoe from Detroit, 
with ambassadors, who endeavored to prevail on the Indians 
to repair thither to the assistance of Pontiac ; but feaT was now 
the prevailing passion. A guard was kept during the day, and 
a watch by night, and alarms were very frequently spread. 
Had an enemy appeared, all the prisoners would have been put 
to death ; and I suspected that, as an Englishman, I should 
share their fate, 

* Manomines, or Malomines. In the first syllable, the substitiUion of I 
for n, and n for I, marks one of the differences in the Chippeway and Al- 
gonquin dialects. In the mouth of an Algonquin, it is Michilimackituu 
in that of a Chippeway, Michinimackinac. 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 803 

Several days had now passed, when one morning a contin- 
ued alarm prevailed, and I saw the Indians running in a con- 
fused manner toward the beach. In a short time I learned 
that two large canoes from Montreal were in sight. 

All the Indian canoes were immediately manned, and those 
from Montreal were surrounded and seized, as they turned a 
point behind which the flotilla had been concealed. The goods 
were consigned to a Mr. Levy, and would have been saved if 
the canoe men had called them French property ; but they were 
terrified and disguised nothing. 

In the canoes was a large proportion of liquor, a dangerous 
acquisition, and which threatened disturbance among the In- 
dians, even to the loss of their dearest friends. Wawatam, 
always watchful of my safety, no sooner heard the noise ot 
drunkenness, which in the evening did not fail to begin, than 
he represented to me the danger of remaining in the village, 
and owned that he could not himself resist the temptation of 
joining his comrades in the debauch. That I might escape all 
mischief, he therefore requested that I would accompany him 
to the mountain, where I was to remain hidden till the liquor 
should be drank. 

We ascended the mountain accordingly. It is this mountain 
which constitutes that high land in the middle of the island, 
of which I have spoken before, as of a figure considered as 
resembling a turtle, and therefore called Michilimackinac. It 
is thickly covered with wood, and very rocky toward the top. 
After walking more than half a mile, we came to a large rock, 
at the base of which was an opening, dark within, and appear- 
ing to be the entrance of a cave. 

Here, Wawatam recommended that I should take up my 
lodging, and by all means remain till he returned. 

On going into the cave, of which the entrance was nearly 
ten feet wide, I found the further end to be rounded in its shape, 
like that of an oven, but with a further aperture, too small, 
however, to be explored. 

After thus looking around me, I broke small branches from 
the trees, and spread them for a bed ; then wrapped myself in 
my blanket, and slept till daybreak. 

On awaking I felt myself incommoded by some object upon 
which I lay ; and removing it, found it to be a bone. This I 
supposed to be that of a deer, or some other animal, and what 
might very naturally be looked for in the place in which it was ; 
but, when daylight visited my chamber, I discovered, with some 
feelings of horror, that I was lying on nothing less than a heap 
of human bones and skulls, which covered all the floor ! 

The day passed without the return of Wawatam, and with- 



304 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

out food. As night approached, I found myself unahle to meet 
its darkness in the charnel-house, which, nevertheless, I had 
viewed free from uneasiness during the day. 1 chose, there- 
fore, an adjacent bush for this night's lodging, and slept under 
it as before; but in the morning, I awoke hungry and dispir- 
ited, and almost envying the dry bones, to the view of which 1 
returned. At length the sound of a foot reached me, and my 
Indian friend appeared, making many apologies for his long 
absence, the cause of which was an unfortunate excess in the 
enjoyment of his liquor. 

This point being explained, I mentioned the extraordinary 
sight that had presented itself in the cave to which he had 
commended my slumbers. He had never heard of its existence 
before ; and, upon examining the cave together, we saw reason 
to believe that it had been anciently filled with human bodies. 

On returning to the lodge, I experienced a cordial reception 
from the family, which consisted of the wife of my friend, his 
two sons, of whom the eldest was married, and whose wife, 
and a daughter of thirteen years of age, completed the list-. 

Wawatam related to the other Indians the adventure of the 
bones. All of them expressed surprise at hearing it, and de- 
clared that they had never been aware of the contents of this 
cave before. After visiting it, which they immediately did, 
almost every one offered a different opinion as to its history. 

Some advanced, that at a period when the waters overflowed 
the land, (an event which makes a distinguished figure in the 
history of their world,) the inhabitants of this island had fled 
into the cave, and been there drowned ; others, that those same 
inhabitants, when the Hurons made war upon them, (as tradi- 
tion says they did,) hid themselves in the cave, and being 
discovered, were there massacred. For myself, I am disposed 
to believe that this cave was an ancient receptacle of the bones 
of prisoners, sacrificed and devoured at war-feasts. I have 
always observed that the Indians pay particular attention to 
the bones of sacrifices, preserving them unbroken, and deposit- 
ing them in some place kept exclusively for that purpose. 

A few days after the occurrence of the incidents recorded 
above, Menehwehna, whom I now found to be the great chief 
of the village of Michilimackinac, came to the lodge of my 
friend ; and when the usual ceremony of smoking was finish- 
ed, he observed that Indians were now daily arriving from 
Detroit, some of whom had lost relations or friends in the war, 
and who would certainly retaliate on any Englishman they 
found ; upon which account, his errand was to advise that I 
should be dressed like an Indian, an expedient whence I rnigh* 
hope to escape all future insult. 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 305 

I could not but consent to the proposal, and the chief was so 
kind as to assist my friend and his family in effecting that very 
day the desired metamorphosis. My hair was cut off, and my 
head shaved, with the exception of a spot on the crown, of 
about twice the diameter of a crown-piece. My face was 
painted with three or four different colors ; some parts of it 
red, and others black. A shirt was provided for me, painted 
with vermilion, mixed Avith grease. A large collar of wampum 
Avas put round my neck, and another suspended on my breast. 
Both my arms were decorated with large bands of silver above 
the elbow, besides several smaller ones on the wrists ; and my 
legs were covered with mitases, a kind of hose, made, as is the 
favorite fashion, of scarlet cloth. Over all, I was to wear a 
scarlet bianket or mantle, and on my head a large bunch of 
feathers. I parted, not without some regret, with the long hair 
which was natural to it, and which I fancied to be ornamental ; 
but the ladies of the family, and of the village in general, ap- 
peared to think my person improved, and now condescended to 
call me handsome, even among Indians. 

Protected, in a great measure, by this disguise, I felt myself 
more at liberty than before; and the season being arrived in 
which my clerks, from the interior, were to be expected, and 
some part of my property, as I had a right to hope, recovered, 
I begged the favor of Wawatam that he would enable me to 
pay a short visit to Michiliniackinac. He did not fail to com- 
ply, and I succeeded in finding my clerks; but, either through 
the disturbed state of the country, as they represented to be 
the case, or through their misconduct, as I had reason to think, 
I obtained nothing; and nothing, or almost nothing, I noAV 
began to thinlc would be all that I should need during the rest 
of my life. To fish and to hunt, to collect a few skins, and 
exchange them for necessaries, was all that I seemed destined 
to do, and to acquire, for the future. 

I returned to the Indian village, where at this time much 
scarcity of food prevailed. We were often for twenty-four 
hours without eating; and when in the morning we had no 
victuals for the day before xxs, the Custom was to black our 
faces with grease and charcoal, and exhibit, through resigna- 
tion, a temper as cheerful as if in the midst of plenty. 

A repetition of the evil, however, soon induced us to leave 
the island in search of food; and accordingly we departed for 
the Bay of Boutchiiaouy, distant eight leagues, and where 
we found plenty of wild-fowl and fish. 

While in the bay, my guardian's daughter-in-law was taken 
in lal)or of her first child. She was immediately removed out 
of the common lodge ; and a small one, for her separate accom- 
26* 



305 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

modation, was begun and finished by the women in less than 
half an hour. 

The next morning we heard that she was very ill, and the 
family began to be much alarmed on her account ; the more 
so, no doubt, because cases of difficult labor are very rare 
among Indian women. In this distress. Wawatam requested 
me to accompany him into the woods ; and on our way in- 
formed me that if he could find a snake, he should soon secure 
relief to his daughter-in-law. 

On reaching some wet ground, we speedily obtained the 
object of our search, in a small snake, of the kind called the 
garter-snake. Wawatam seized it by the neck, and, holding 
it fast, while it coiled itself round his arm, he cut ofi' its head, 
catching the blood in a cup that he had brought with him. 
This done, he threw away the snake, and carried home the 
blood, which he mixed Avith a quantity of water. Of this 
mixture he administered first one table-spoonful, and shortly 
after a second. Within an hour the patient was safely deli- 
vered of a fine child ; and Wawatam subsequently declared 
that the remedy, to which he had resorted, was one that never 
failed. 

On the next day, we left the Bay of Boutchitaouy ; and the 
young mother, in high spirits, assisted in loading the canoe, 
barefooted, and knee-deep in the water. 

The medical information, the diseases and the remedies of 
the Indians, often engaged my curiosity during the period 
through which I was familiar with these nations; and 1 shall 
take this occasion' to introduce a few particulars connected 
with their history. 

The Indians are in general free from disorders ; and an 
instance of their being s\ibject to dropsy, gout, or stone, never 
came within my knowledge. Inflammations of the lungs are 
among their most ordinary complaints, and rheumatism still 
more so, especially with the aged. Their mode of life, in 
which they are so much exposed to the wet and cold, sleeping 
on the ground, and inhaling the night air, sufficiently accounts 
for their liability to these diseases. The remedies on which 
they most rely are emetics, cathartics, and the lancet ; but 
especially the last. Bleeding is so favorite an operation among 
the women that they never lose an occasion of enjoying it, 
whether sick or well. I have sometimes bled a dozen women 
in a morning as they sat in a row, along a fallen tree, begin- 
ning with the first, opening the vein, then proceeding to the 
second, and so on, having three or four individuals bleeding at 
the same time. 

In most villages, and particularly in those of the Chippe- 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 307 

ways, this service was required of me ; and no persuasion of 
mine could ever induce a woman to dispense with it. 

In all parts of the country, and among all the nations that I 
have seen, particular individuals arrogate to themselves the 
art of healing, but principally by means of pretended sorcery ; 
and operations of this sort are always paid for by a present 
made before they are began. Indeed, whatever, as an impostor, 
may be the demerits of the operator, his reward may generally 
be said to be ('airly earned by dint of corporal labor. 

I was once present at a performance of this kind, in which 
the patient was a female child of about twelve years of age. 
Several of the elder chiefs were invited to the scene ; and the 
same compliment was paid to myself, on account of the medi- 
cal skill for which it was pleased to give me credit. 

The physician (so to call him) seated himself on the ground ; 
and before him, on a new stroud blanket, was placed a basin 
of water, in which were three bones, the larger ones, as it 
appeared to me, of a swan's v.'ing. In his hand he had his 
shishiqiioi, or rattle, Avith which he beat time to his medicine- 
song. The sick child lay on a blanket, near the physician. 
She appeared to have much fever, and a severe oppression of 
the lungs, breathing with difficulty, and betraying symptoms 
of the last stage of consumption. 

After singing for some time, the physician took one of the 
bones out of the basin: the bone was hollow; and one end 
being applied to the breast of the patient, he put the other into 
his mouth, in order to remove the disorder by suction. Having 
persevered in this as long as he thought proper, he suddenly 
seemed to force the bone into his mouth, and swallow it. He 
now acted the part of one sufiering severe pain ; but, presently, 
finding relief, he made a long speech, and after this returned 
to singing, and to the accompaniment of his rattle. With the 
latter, during his song, he struck his head, breast, sides, and 
back ; at the same time straining, as if to vomit forth, the bone. 

Relinquishing this attempt, he applied himself to suction a 
second time, and with the second of the three bones ; and this 
also he soon seemed to swallow. 

Upon its disappearance, he began to distort himself in the 
most frightful manner, using every gesture which could convey 
the idea of pain ; at length he succeeded, or pretended to suc- 
ceed, in throwing up one of the bones. This was handed 
about to the spectators, and strictly examined; but nothing 
remarkable could be discovered. Upon this, he went back to 
his song and rattle ; and after some time threw up the second 
of the two bones. In the groove of this, the physician, upon 
examination, found, and displayed to all present, a small whiie 



308 ALEXANDER HENRyS CAPTIVITY. 

substance, resembling a piece of the quill of a feather, It was 
passed round the company from one to the other ; and declared, 
by the physician, to be the thing causing the disorder of his 
patient. 

The multitude believe that these physicians, whom the 
French csA\ jongleurs, or jugglers, can inflict as well as remove 
disorders. They believe that by drawing the figure of any 
person in sand or ashes, or on clay, or by considering any 
object as the figure of a person, and then pricking it with a 
sharp stick, or other substance, or doing, in any other manner, 
that which done to a living body would cause pain or injury, 
the individual represented, or supposed to be represented, will 
suffer accordingly. On the other hand, the mischief being 
done, another physician, of equal pretensions, can by suction 
remove it. Unfortunately, however, the operations which I 
have described were not successful in the instance referred to ; 
for, on the day after they had taken place, the girl died. 

With regard to flesh-wounds, the Indians certainly effect 
astonishing cures. Here, as above, much that is fantastic 
occurs ; but the success of their practice evinces something 
solid. 

At the Sault de Sainte-Marie I knew a man who, in the 
result of a quarrel, received the stroke of an axe in his side. 
The blow was so violent, and the axe driven so deep, that the 
wretch who held it could not withdraw it, but left it in the 
wound, and fled. Shortly after, the man was found, and 
brought into the fort, where several other Indians came to his 
assistance. Among these, one, who was a physician, imme- 
diately withdrew, in order to fetch his penegvsan, or medicine- 
bag, with which he soon returned. The eyes of the sufferer 
were fixed, his teeth closed, and his case apparently desperate. 

The physician took from his bag a small portion of a very 
white siibstance, resembling that of a bone ; this he scraped 
into a little water, and forcing open the jaws of the patient 
with a stick, he poured the mixture down his throat. What 
followed was, that in a very short space of time the wounded 
man moved his eyes ; and beginning to vomit, threw up a 
small lump of clotted blood. 

The physician now, and not before, examined the wound, 
from which I could see the breath escape, and from, which a 
part of the omentum depended. This the physician did not 
set about to restore to its place, but, cutting it away, minced 
it into small pieces, and made his patient swallow it. 

The man was then carried to his lodge, where I visited him 
daily. By the sixth day he was able to walk about ; and 
within a month he grew quite well, except that he was troubled 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 309 

with a cough. Twenty years after his misfortune he Avas still 
alive. 

Another man, being on his wintering-ground, and from 
home, hunting beaver, was crossing a lake, covered with 
smooth ice, with two beavers on his back, when his foot slipped, 
and he fell. At his side, in his belt, was his axe, the blade of 
which came upon the joint of his wrist ; and, the weight of 
his body coming upon the blade, his hand was completely 
separated from his arm, with the exception of a small piece of 
the skin. He had to walk three miles to his lodge, which was 
thus far away. The skin, which alone retained his hand to 
his arm, he cut through, with the same axe which had done 
the rest ; and fortunately having on a shirt, he took it offj tore 
it up, and made a strong ligature above the wrist, so as in 
some measure to avoid the loss of blood. On reaching his 
lodge, he cured the wound himself, by the mere use of simples. 
I was a witness to its perfect healing. 

I have said that these physicians, jugglers, or practitioners 
of pretended sorcery, are supposed to be capable of inflicting 
diseases ; and I maj'' add, that they are sometimes themselves 
sufferers on this account. In one instance I saw one of them 
killed, by a man who charged him with having brought his 
brother to death by malefic arts. The accuser, in his rage, 
thrust his knife into the belly of the accused, and ripped it 
open. The latter caught his bowels in his arms, and thus 
walked toward his lodge, gathering them up, from time to 
time, as they escaped his hold. His lodge was at no con- 
siderable distance, and he reached it alive, and died in it. 

Our next encampment was on the island of Saint-Martin, 
off Cape Saint-Ignace, so called from the Jesuit mission of 
Saint Ignatius to the Hurons, formerly established there. Our 
object was to fish for sturgeon, Avhich we did with great suc- 
cess ; and here, in the enjoyment of a plentiful and excellent 
supply of food, we remained until the twentieth day of Au- 
gust. At this time, the autumn being at hand, and a sure 
prospect of increased security from hostile Indians afforded, 
Wawatam proposed going to his intended wintering-ground. 
The removal was a subject of the greatest joy to myself, on 
account of the frequent insults, to which I had still to submit, 
from the Indians of our band or village, and to escape from 
which I would freely have gone almost anyAvhere. At our 
wintering-ground we were to be alone ; for the Indian families, 
in the countries of which I write, separate in the winter 
season, for the convenience as well of subsistence as of the 
chase, and re-associate in the spring and summer. 

In preparation, our first business was to sail for Michili- 



310 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

mackinac, where, being arrived, we procured from a Canadian 
trader, ou credit, some trifling- articles, together with ammuni- 
tion, and two bushels of maize. This done, we steered di- 
rectly for lake Michigan. At L'Arbre Crochc we stopped one 
day on a visit to the Ottawas, where all the people, and par- 
ticularly Okinochumaki, the chief, the same who took me from 
the Chippeways, behaved with great civility and kindness. 
The chief presented me with a bag of maize. It is the 
Ottawas, it will be remembered, who raise this grain for the 
market of Michilimackinac. 

Leaving L'Arbre Croche, we proceeded direct to the mouth 
of the river Aux Sables, on the south side of the lake, and 
distant about a hundred and fifty miles from fort Michili- 
mackinac. On our voyage, we passed several deep bays and 
rivers, and I found the banks of the lake to consist in mere 
sands, without any appearance of verdure ; the sand drifting 
.from one hill to another, like snow in winter. Hence, all the 
rivers, which here entered the lake, are as much entitled to 
the epithet of sandy as that to which we were bound. They 
are also distinguished by another particularity, always observa- 
ble in similar situations. The current of the stream being 
met, when the wind is contrary, by the waves of the lake, it is 
driven back, and the sands of the shore are at the same time 
washed into its mouth. In consequence, the river is able to 
force a passage into the lake, broad only in proportion to its 
utmost strength ; while it hollows for itself, behind the sand- 
banks, a basin of one, two, or three miles across. In these 
rivers we killed many wild-fowl and beaver. 

To kill beaver, we used to go several miles up the rivers, 
before the approach of night, and after the dusk came on suffer 
the canoe to drift gently down the current, without noise. The 
beaver in this part of the evening come abroad to procure 
food, or materials for repairing their habitations; and as they 
are not alarmed by the canoe, they often pass it within gun- 
shot. 

While we thus hunted along our way, I enjoyed a personal 
freedom of which I had been long deprived, and became as 
expert in the Indian pursuits as the Indians themselves. 

On entering the river Aux Sables, Wawatam took a dog, 
tied its feet together, and threw it into the stream, uttering, 
at the same time, a long prayer, which he addressed to the 
Great Spirit, supplicating his blessing on the chase, and his 
aid in the support of the family, through the dangers of a long 
winter. Our lodge was fifteen miles above the mouth of the 
stream. The principal animals which the country afforded 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 311 

were the slag or red deer, the common American deer, the 
bear, raccoon, beaver and marten. 

The beaver feeds in preference on young wood of the birch, 
aspen and poplar tree, {populics nigra, called by the Canadians 
Hard,) but in defect of these on any other tree, those of the 
pine and fir kinds excepted. These latter it employs only for 
building its dams and houses. In wide meadows, where no 
wood is to be found, it resorts, for all its purposes, to the roots 
of the rush and water lily. It consumes great quantities of 
food, whether of roots or wood ; and hence often reduces 
itself to the necessity of removing into a new quarter. Its 
house has an arched dome-like roof, of an elliptical figure, aiid 
rises from three to four feet above the surface of the wuter. 
It is always entirely surrounded by water; but, in the banks 
adjacent, the animal provides holes or washes, of which the 
entrance is below the surface, and to which it retreats on the 
first alarm. 

The female beaver usually produces two young at a time, 
but not unfrequently more. During the first year the young 
remain with their parents. In the second they occupy an 
adjoining apartment, and assist in building, and in procuring 
food. At two years old, they part, and build houses of their 
own ; but often rove about for a considerable time, before they 
fix upon a spot. There are beavers, called by the Indians oid 
bachelors, who live by themselves, build no houses, and work 
at no dams, but shelter themselves in holes. The usual 
method of taking these is by traps, formed of iron, or logs, and 
baited with branches of poplar. 

According to the Indians, the beaver is much given to jealousy. 
If a strange male approaches the cabin, a battle immediately 
ensues. Of this the female remains an unconcerned spectator, 
careless to which party the law of conquest may assign her. 
Among the beaver which we killed, those who were with me 
pretended to show demonstrations of this fart : some of the 
skins of the males, and almost all of the older ones, bearing 
marks of violence, while none were ever to be seen on the 
skins of the females. 

The Indians add, that the malp is as constant as he is jeal- 
ous, never attaching himself to more than one female; while 
the female, on her side, is always fond of strangers. 

The most common way of taking the beaver is that of 
breaking up its house, which is done v/ith trenching-tools, dur- 
ing the winter, when the ice is strong enough to allow of 
approaching them ; and when, also, the fur is in its most valu- 
able state. 

Breaking up the house, however, is only a preparatory step. 



312 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

During- this operation, the family make their escape to one or 
more of their washes. These are to be discovered by striking 
the ice along the bank, and where the holes are a hollow 
sound is returned. After discovering and searching many of 
these in vain, we often found the whole family together, in the 
same wash. I was taught occasionally to distinguish a full 
wash from an empty one, by the motion of the water above its 
entrance, occasioned by the breathing of the animals concealed 
in it. From the washes they must be taken out with the 
hands ; and in doing this, the hunter sometimes receives 
severe wounds from their teeth. While a hunter, I thought, 
with the Indians, that the beaver flesh was very good ; but 
after that of the ox was again within my reach, I could not 
relish it. The tail is accounted a luxurious morsel. 

Beavers, say the Indians, were formerly a people endowed 
with speech, not less than with the other noble faculties they 
possess ; but the Great Spirit has taken this away from them, 
lest they should grow superior in understanding to mankind. 

The raccoon was another object of our chase. It was my 
practice to go out in the evening, with dogs, accompanied by 
the youngest son of my guardian, to hunt this animal. The 
raccoon never leaves its hiding-place till after sunset. 

As soon as a dog falls on a fresh track of the raccoon, he 
gives notice by a cry, and immediately pursues. His barking 
enables the hunter to follow. The raccoon, which travels 
slowly, and is soon overtaken, makes for a tree, on which he 
remains till shot. 

After the falling of the snow, nothing more is necessary, for 
taking the raccoon, than to follow the track of his feet. In 
this season, he seldom leaves his habitation ; and he never 
lays up any food. I have found six at a time, in the hollow 
of one tree, lying upon each other, and nearly in a torpid state. 
In more than one instance, I have ascertained that they have 
lived six weeks without food. The mouse is their principal 
prey. 

Raccoon hunting was my more particular and daily employ. 
I usually went out at the first dawn of day, and seldom returned 
till sunset, or till I had laden myself with as many animals as 
I could carry. By degrees I became familiarized with this 
kind of life ; and had it not been for the idea, of which I could 
not divest my mind, that I was living among savages, and for 
the whispers of a lingering hope, that I should one day be 
released from it — or if I could have forgotten that I had ever 
been otherwise than as I then was — I could have enjoyed as 
much happiness in this as in any other situation. 

One evening, on my return from hunting, I found the fire 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. SlfJ 

put out, and the opening in th« top of the lodge covered over 
with skins ; by this means excluding, as much as possible, 
external light. I further observed that the ashes were remov- 
ed from the fire-place, and that dry sand was spread where 
they had been. Soon after, a fire was made withoutside the 
cabin, in the open air, and a kettle hung over it to boil. 

I now supposed that a feast was in preparation. I supposed 
so only, for it would have been indecorous to inquire into 
(he meaning of what I saw. No person, among the Indians 
themselves, would use this freedom. Good breeding requires 
that ihe spectator should patiently wait the result. 

As sooTi as the darkness of night had arrived, the family, 
including myself, were invited into the lodge. I was now 
requested not to speak, as a feast was about to be given to the 
dead, whose spirits delight in uninterrupted silence. 

As we entered, each was presented with his wooden dish 
and spoon, after receiving which we seated ourselves. The 
door was next shut, and we remained in perfect darkness. 

The master of the family was the master of the feast. Still 
in the dark, he asked every one, by turn, for his dish, and put 
into eacii two boiled ears of maize. The whole being served, 
he began to speak. In his discourse, which lasted half an 
hour, he called upon the manes of his deceased relations and 
friends, beseeching them to be present, to assist him in the 
chase, and to partake of the food which he had prepared for 
them. When he had ended, we proceeded to eat our maize, 
which we did without other noise than what was occasioned 
by our teeth. The maize was not half boiled, and it took ma 
in hoar to consume my share. I was requested not to break 
the spikes, [cob,] as this would be displeasing to the departed 
spirits of their friends. 

When all v/as eaten, Wawatam made another speech, v.'ith 
which the ceremony ended. A new fire was kindled, wiih 
fresh sparks, from flint and steel ; and the pipes being smoked, 
the spikes were carefully buried, in a hole made in the ground 
for that purpose, within the lodge. This done, the v. hole 
family began a dance, Wawatam singing, and beating a drum. 
The dance continued the greater part of ihe night, to the 
great pleasure of the lodge." The night of the feast was that 
of the first day of Novem.ber. 

On the twentieth of December, we took an account of tlie 
produce of our hunt, and found that we had a hundred beaver 
skins, as many raccoons, and a large quantity of dried veni 
feon ; all which was secured from the wolves, by being placed 
upon a scafifjld. 

A hunting excursion, into the interior of the country, was 
27 



814 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

resolved on ; and early the next morning the bundles were 
made up by the Avomen for each person to carry. I remarked 
that the bundle given to me was the lightest, and those carried 
by the women the largest and heaviest of the whole. 

On the first day of our march, we advanced about twenty 
miles, and then encamped. Being somewhat fatigued, I could 
not hunt ; but Wawatam killed a stag, not far from our en- 
campment. The next morning we moved our lodge to the 
carcass. At this station we remained two days, employed in 
drying the meat. The method was to cut it into slices, of the 
thickness of a steak, and then hang it over the fire in the 
smoke. On the third day we removed, and marched till two 
o'clock in the afternoon. 

While the women were busy in erecting and preparing the 
lodges, I took my gun and strolled away, telling Wawatam 
that I intended to look out for some fresh meat for supper. He 
answered, that he would do the same ; and on this we both 
left the encampment, in different directions. 

The sun being visible, I entertained no fear of losing my 
way ; but in following several tracks of animals, in moment- 
ary expectation of falling in with the game, I proceeded to a 
considerable distance, and it was not till near sunset that i 
thought of returning. The sky, too, had become overcast, and 
I was therefore left without the sun for my guide. In this situ- 
ation, I walked as fast as I could, always supposing myself to 
be approaching our encampment, till at length it became so 
dark that I ran against the trees. 

I became convinced that I was lost ; and I was alarmed by 
the reflection that I was in a country entirely strange to me, 
and in danger from strange Indians. With the flint of my 
gun I made a fire, and then laid me down to sleep. In the 
nicht, it rained hard. I awoke cold and wet ; and as soon as 
light appeared, I recommenced my journey, sometimes walk- 
ing and sometimes running, unknowing where to go, bewil- 
dered, and like a madman. 

Toward evening, I reached the border of a large lake, of 
which I could scarcely discern the opposite shore. I had 
never heard of a lake in this part of the country, and there- 
fore folt myself removed further than ever from the object of 
rny pursuit. To tread back my steps appeared to be the most 
lilcely means of delivering myself; and I accordingly deter- 
mined to turn my face directly from the lake, and keep this 
direction as nearly as I could. 

A heavy snow began to descend, and night soon afterward 
came on. On this, I stopped and made a fire ; and stripping 
a tree of its sheet of bark, lay down under it to shelter me from 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 315 

the snow. All night, at small distances, the wolves howled 
around, and to me seemed to be acquainted with my misfor- 
tune. 

Amid thoughts the most distracted, I was able at length to 
fall asleep ; but it was not long before I awoke, refreshed, and 
wondering at the terror to which I had yielded myself. That 
I could really have wanted the means of recovering my way, 
appeared to me almost incredible, and the recollection of it 
like a dream, or as a circumstance which must have proceeded 
from the loss of my senses. Had this not happened, I could 
never, as I now thought, have suffered so long, without calling 
to mind the lessons which I had received from my Indian 
friend, for the very purpose of being useful to me in difficul- 
ties of this kind. These were, that, generally speaking, the 
tops of pine trees lean toward the rising of the sun ; that moss 
grows toward the roots of trees on the side which faces the 
north ; and that the limbs of trees are most numerous, and larg- 
est, on that which faces the south. 

Determined to direct my feet by these marks, and persuaded 
that I should thus, sooner o-r later, reach lake Michigan, which 
I reckoned to be distant about sixty miles, I began my march 
at break of day. I had not taken, nor wished to take, any 
nourishment since I left the encampment ; I had with me my 
gun and ammunition, and was therefore under no anxiety in 
regard to food. The snow lay about half a foot in depth. 

My eyes were now employed upon the trees. When their 
tops leaned different ways, I looked to the moss, or to the 
branches; and by connecting one with another, I found the 
means of travelling with some degree of confidence. At four 
o'clock in the afternoon, the sun, to my inexpressible joy, broke 
from the clouds, and T had now no further need of examining 
the trees. 

In going down the side of a lofty hill, I saw a herd of red 
deer approaching. Desirous of killing one of them for food, 
I hid myself in the bushes, and on a large one coming near, 
presented my piece, which missed fire, on account of the prim- 
ing having been wetted. The animals walked along, without 
taking the least alarm ; and, having reloaded my gun, I fol- 
lowed them, and presented a second time. But no\v a disaster 
of the heaviest kind had befallen me; for, on attempting to 
fire, I found that I had lost the cock. I had previously lost 
the screw by which it was fastened to the lock ;<'and to prevent 
this from being lost also, I had tied it in its place, with a lea- 
ther string. The lock, to prevent its catching in the boughs, 
I had carried under my molton coat. 

Of all the sufferings which I had experienced, this seemed 



31G ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

to me the most severe. I was in a strange country, and knew 
not how far I had to go. I had been three days without food; 
I was now without the means of procuring myself either food 
or fire. Despair had almost overpowered me ; but I soon re- 
signed myself into the hands of that Providence, whose arm 
had so often saved me, and returned on my track, in search of 
what I had lost. My search was in vain, and I resumed my 
course, wet, cold and hungry, and almost without clothing. 

The sun was setting fast, when I descended a hill, at the 
bottom of which was a small lake, entirely frozen over. On 
drawing near, I saw a beaver lodge in the middle, offering 
some faint prospect of food ; but I found it already broken up. 
While I looked at it, it suddenly occurred to me that I had 
seen it before ; and turning my eyes round the place, I dis- 
covered a small tree which I had myself cut down, in the 
autumn, when, in company Avith my friends, I had taken the 
beaver. I was no longer at a loss, but knew both the distance 
and the route to the encampment. The latter was only to fol- 
low the course of a small stream of water, which ran from the 
encampment to the lake on which I stood. An hour before, I 
had thought myself the most miserable of men ; and now I 
leaped for joy, and called myself the happiest. 

The whole of the night, and through all the succeeding day, 
I walked up the rivulet, and at sunset reached the encampment, 
where I was received Avith the warmest expressions of pleasure 
by the family, by whom I had been given up for lost, after a 
long and vain search for me in the woods. 

Some days elapsed, during which I rested myself, and re- 
cruited my strength ; after this, I resumed the chase, secure 
that, as the snow had now fallen, I could always return by the 
way I went. 

In the course of the month of January, I happened to ob- 
serve that the trunk of a very large pine tree was much torn 
by the claws of a bear, made both in going up and down. On 
further examination, I saw that there Avas a large opening in 
the upper part, near which the smaller branches were broken. 
From these marks, and from the additional circumstance that 
there were no tracks on the snow, there was reason to believe 
that a bear lay concealed in the tree. 

On returning to the lodge, I communicated my discovery ; 
and it was agreed that all the family should go together in the 
m.orning, to assist in cutting down the tree, the girth of which 
was not less than three fathom. The women at first opposed 
the undertaking, because our axes, being only of a pound and 
a half weight, were not well adapted to so heavy a labor ; but 
the hope of finding a large bear, and obtaining from its fat a 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 317 

great quantity of oil, an article at the time much wanted, at 
length prevailed. 

Accordingly, in the morning, we surrounded the tree, both 
men and women, as many at a time as could conveniently work 
at it; and here we toiled like beaver till the sun went down. 
This day's work carried us about halfway through ihe trunk; 
and the next morning we renewed the attack, continuing it till 
about two o'clock in the afternoon, when the tree fell to the 
ground. For a few minutes, everything remained quiet, and I 
feared that all our expectations were disappointed ; but as I 
advanced to the opening, there came out, to the great satisfac- 
tion of all our party, a bear of extraordinary size, which, before 
she had proceeded many yards, I shot. 

The bear being dead, all my assistants approached, and all, 
but more particularly my old mother, (as I was wont to call 
her,) took his head in their hands, stroking and kissing it seve- 
ral times ; begiring a thousand pardons for taking away her 
life; calling her their relation and grandmother; and request- 
ing her not to lay the fault upon them, since it was truly an 
Englishman that had put her to death. 

This ceremony was not of long duration ; and if it was I 
that killed their grandmother, they were not themselves behind- 
hand in what remained to be performed. The skin being taken 
off, we found the fat in several places six inches deep. This, 
being divided into two parts, loaded two persons ; and the flesh 
parts were as much as four persons could carry. In all, the 
carcass must have exceeded five hundred weight. 

As soon as we reached the lodge, the bear's head was adorn- 
ed with all the trinkets in the possession of the family, such 
as silver arm-bands and wrist-bands, and belts of wampum, 
and then laid upon a scaflbld, set up for its reception, within 
the lodge. Near the nose was placed a large quantity of to- 
bacco. 

The next morning no sooner appeared than preparations 
were made for a feast to the manes. The lodge was cleaned 
and swept ; and the head of the bear lifted up, and a new stroud 
blanket, which had never been used before, spread under it. 
The pipes were now lit ; and Wawatam blew tobacco smoke 
into the nostrils of the bear, telling me to do the same, and 
thus appease the anger of the bear, on account of my having 
killed her. I endeavored to persuade my benefactor and 
friendly adviser that she no longer had any life, and assured 
him that I was under no apprehension from her displeasure ; 
but the first proposition obtained no credit, and the second gave 
but little satisfaction. 

At length, the feast being ready, Wawatam commenced a 



818 ALEXANDER HENRyS CAPTIVITY. 

speech, resembling in many things his address to the manes 
of his relations and departed companions; hut having this 
peculiarity, that he here deplored the necessity under which 
men labored thus to destroy their friends. He represented, 
however, that the misfortune was unavoidable, since without 
doing so they could by no means subsist. The speech ended, 
we all ate heartily of the bear's flesh ; and even the head itself, 
after remaining three days on the scafTold, was put into the 
kettle. 

It is only the female bear that makes her winter lodging in 
the npper parts of trees, a practice by which her young are 
secured from the attacks of wolves and other animals. She 
brings forth in the winter season ; and remains in her lodge 
till the cubs have gained some strength. 

The male always lodges in the ground, under the roots of 
trees. He takes to this habitation as soon as the snow falls, 
and remains there till it has disappeared. The Indians remark 
that the bear comes out in the spring with the same fat which 
he carried in in the autumn, but after exercise of only a few 
days becomes lean. Excepting for a short part of the season, 
the male lives constantly alone. 

The fat of our bear was melted down, and the oil filled six 
porcupine skins. A part of the meat was cut into strips and 
fire-dried, after which it was put into the vessels containing the 
oil, where it remained in perfect preservation until the middle 
of summer. 

February, in the country and by the people where and among 
whom I was, is called the Moon of Hard or Crusted Snow ; 
for now the snow can bear a man, or at least dogs, in pursuit 
of animals of the chase. At this season, the stag is very suc- 
cessfully hunted, his feet breaking through at every step, and 
the crust upon the snow cutting his legs with its sharp edges 
to the very bone. He is consequently, in this distress, an easy 
prey ; and it frequently happened that we killed twelve in the 
short space of two hours. By this means we were soon put 
into possession of four thousand weight of dried venison, which 
was to be carried on our backs, along wnlh all the rest of our 
wealth, for seventy miles, the distance of our encampment 
from that part of the lake shore at which in the autumn we 
left our canoes. This journey it was our next business to per- 
form. 

Our venison and furs and peltries were to be disposed of at 
Michilimackinac, and it was now the season for carrying them 
to market. The women therefore prepared our loads ; and 
the morning of departure being come, we set ofT at daybreak, 
and continued our march till two o'clock in the afternoon. 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 819 

Where we stopped we erected a scaffold, on which we depo- 
sited the bundles we had brought, and returned to our encamp- 
ment, which we reached in the evening-. In the morning, we 
carried fresh loads, which being deposited with the rest, we 
returned a second lime in the evening. This we repealed, till 
all was forwarded one stage. Then, removing our lodge to 
the place of deposit, we carried our goods, with the same patient 
toil, a second stage ; and so on, till we were at no great dis- 
tance from the shores of the lake. 

Arrived here, we turned our attention to sugar-making, the 
management of which, as I have before related, belongs to the 
women, the men cutting wood for the fires, and hunting and 
fishing. In the midst of this, we were joined by several lodges 
of Indians, most of whom were of the family to which I be- 
longed, and had wintered near us. The lands belonged to this 
family, and it had therefore the exclusive right to hunt on 
them. This is according to the custom of the people ; for 
each family has its own lands. I was treated very civilly by 
all the lodges. 

Our society had been a short time enlarged by this arrival 
of our friends, when an accident occurred which filled all the 
village with anxiety and sorrow. A little child, belonging to 
one of our neighbors, fell into a kettle of boiling syrup. It 
was instantly snatched out, but with little hope of its recovery. 

So long, however, as it lived, a continual feast was observed ; 
and this was made to the Great Spirit and Master of Life, that 
he might be pleased to save and heal the child. At this feast 
I was a constant guest ; and often found difficulty in eatintr 
the large quantity of food which, on such occasions as these, 
is put upon each man's dish. The Indians accustom them- 
selves both to eat much and to fast much with facility. 

Several sacrifices were also offered ; among which were 
dogs, killed and hung upon the tops of poles, with the addition 
of Stroud blankets and other articles. These also were given 
to the Great Spirit, in humble hope that he would give efficacy 
to the medicines employed. 

The child died. To preserve the body from the wolves, it 
was placed upon a scaffold, where it remained till we went to 
the lake, on the border of which was the burial-ground of the 
family. 

On our arrival there, which happened in the beginning of 
April, I did not fail to attend the funeral. The grave was 
made of a large size, and the whole of the inside lined with 
birch bark. On the bark was laid the body of the child, ac- 
companied with an axe, a pair of snow-shoes, a small kettle, 
several pairs of common shoes, its own strings of beads, and 



320 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

"because it was a girl, a carrying-belt and a paddle. The ket- 
tle was filled with meat. 

All this was again covered with bark ; and at about two feet 
nearer the surface, logs were laid across, and these again cov- 
ered v/ith bark, so that the eanh nfiight hy no means fall upon 
the corpse. 

The last act before the burial perfo-rmed by the mother, 
crying over the dead body of her child, was that of taking 
from it a lock of hair for a memorial. While &he did this I 
endeavored to console her, by offering the usual arguments : 
ihat the child v/as happy in being released from the miseries of 
this present life, and that she should forbear to pjieve, because 
it would be restored to her in another world, happy and ever- 
lasting. She answered that she knew it, ond that by the lock 
of hair she should discover her daughter, for she v/ould take 
it with her. In this she alluded to the day when some pious 
hand would place in her own grave, along with the carrying- 
belt and paddle, this little relic, hallowed by maternal tears. 

I have frequently inquired into the ideas and opinions of 
the Indians in regard to futurity, and always found that they 
were somewhat diiferent in different individual's. 

Some suppose their souls to remain in this world, although 
invisible to human eyes; and capable, themseh/es, of seeing 
and hearing their friends, and also of assisting them, in mo- 
ments of distress and danger. 

Others dismiss from the m^ortal scene the nnembodied spirit, 
and send it to a distant world or country, in v/hich it receives 
reward or pxmishment, according to the life which it has led 
in its prior state. Those who have lived virtuously are trans- 
ported into a plsce abounding with every luxury, with deer 
and all other animals of the woods and water, and where the 
earth produces, in- their greatest perfection, all its sweetesJ 
fruits. While, on the other hand, those who hsive violated or 
neglected the duties of this life, are removed to a barren soil, 
where they wander up and down, among rocks and morasses, 
and are stung by gnats as large as pigeons. 

While we remained on the border of the lake a watch was 
kept every night, in the apprehension of a speedy attack from 
the English, who were expected to avenge the massacre of 
Michilimackinac. The immediate grounds of this apprehen- 
sion were the constaint dreams, to this effect, of the more aged 
women. I endeavored to persnade them that nothing of the 
kind would take place ; but their fears were not to be subdued. 

Amid these alarms, there came a report concerning a real 
though less formidable enemy discovered in our neighborhood. 
This was a panther, which one of our young men had seen. 



ALEXANDER HENRYS CAPTIVITY. 321 

and vhich animal sometimes attacks and carries away the 
Indian children. Our camp was immediately on the alert, and 
we set off into the woods, about twenty in number. We had 
not proceeded more than a mile before the dogs found the pan- 
ther, and pursued him to a tree, on which he was shot. He 
was of a large size. 

On the twenty-fifth of April we embarked for Michilimacki- 
nac. At La Grande Traverse we met a large parly of Indians, 
who appeared to labor, like ourselves, under considerable 
alarm ; and who dared proceed no further, lest they should be 
destroyed by the English. Frequent councils of the united 
bands were held; and interrogations were continually put to 
myself as to whether or not I knew of any design to attack 
ihem. I found that they believed it possible for me to have a 
foreknowledge of events, and to be informed by dreams of all 
things doing at a distance. 

Protestations of my ignorance were received with but little 
satisfaction, and incurred the svispicion of a design to conceal 
my knowledge. On this account, therefore, or because I saw 
them tormented with fears which had nothing but imagination 
to rest upon, I told them, at length, that I knew there was no 
enemy to insult them ; and that they might proceed to Michili- 
mackinac without danger from the English. I further, and 
with more confidence, declared that if ever my countrymen 
returned to Michilimackinac I would recommend them to their 
favor, on account of the good treatment which I had received 
from them. Thus encouraged, they embarked at an early hour 
the next morning. In crossing the bay we experienced a storm 
of thunder and lightning. 

Our port was the village of L'Arbre Croche, which we 
reached in safety, and where we staid till the following day. 
At this village we found several persons who had been lately 
at Michilimackinac, and from them we had the satisfaction of 
learning that all was quiet there. The remainder of our voy- 
age was therefore performed with confidence. 

In the evening of the twenty-seventh we landed at the fort, 
v/hich now contained only two French traders. The Indians 
who had arrived before us were very few in number ; and by 
all, who were of our party, I was used very kindly. I had 
the entire freedom both of the fort and camp. 

Wawatain and myself settled our stock, and paid our debts ; 
and this done, I found that my share of what was left consisted 
in a hundred beaver-skins, sixty raccoon-skins, and six otter, 
of the total value of about one hundred and sixty dollars. 
With these earnings of my winter's toil I proposed to purchase 
clothes, of which I was much in need, having been six months 



322 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

without a shirt; but, on inquiring into the prices of goods, I 
found that all my funds Avould not go far. I was able, how- 
ever, to buy two shirts, at ten pounds of beaver each ; a pair 
of leggins, or pantaloons, of scarlet cloth, which, with the 
ribbon to garnish iheni fashionably, cost me fifteen pounds of 
beaver ; a blanket, at twenty pounds of beaver ; and some other 
articles, at proportionable rates. In this manner my wealth 
was soon reduced ; but not before I had laid in a good stock of 
ammunition and tobacco. To the use of the latter I had be- 
come much attached during the winter. It was my principal 
recreation after returning from the chase ; for my companions 
in the lodge were unaccustomed to pass the time in conversa- 
tion. Among the Indians the topics of conversation are but 
few, and limited, for the most part, to the transactions of the 
day, the number of animals which they have killed, and of 
those which have escaped their pursuit, and other incidents of 
the chase. Indeed, the causes of taciturnity among the Indians 
may be easily understood, if we consider how many occasions 
of speech, which present themselves to us, are utterly unknown 
to them : the records of history, the pursuits of science, the 
disquisitions of philosophy, the systems of politics, the busi- 
ness and the amusements of the day, and the transactions of 
the four corners of the world. 

Eight days had passed in tranquillity, when there arrived a 
band of Indians from the Bay of Saguenaum. They had 
assisted at the siege of Detroit, and came to muster as many 
recruits for that service as they could. For my own part, I 
was soon informed that, as I was the only Englishman in the 
place, they proposed to kill me, in order to give their friends 
a mess of English broth to raise their courage. 

This intelligence was not of the most agreeable kind ; and 
in consequence of receiving it, I requested my friend to carry 
me to the Sault de Sainte-Marie, at which place I knew the 
Indians to be peaceably inclined, and that M. Cadotte enjoyed 
a powerful influence over their conduct. They considered M. 
Cadotte as their chief; and he was not only my friend, but a 
friend to the English. It was by him that the Chippeways of 
lake Superior were prevented from joining Pontiac. 

Wawatam was not slow to exert himself for my preserva- 
tion, but, leaving Michilimackinac in the night, transported 
myself and all his lodge to Point Saint-Ignace, on the opposite 
side of the strait. Here we remained till daylight, and then 
went into the Bay of Boutchitaouy, in Avhich wc spent three 
days in fishing and hunting, and where we found plenty of 
wild-fowl. Leaving the bay, we made for the Isle aux Ou- 
tardes, where we were obliged to put in, on account of the 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. n23 

wind's coming ahead. We proposed sailing for the Sault the 
next morning. 

But when the morning came, Wawatam's v.-ife complained 
that she was sick, adding, that she had had bad dreams, and 
knew that if we went to Ihe Sault we should all be destroyed. 
To have argued, at this time, against the infallibility of d-eams, 
would have been extremely unadvisable, since I should have 
appeared lo be guilty not only of an odious want of faith, but 
also of a still more odious want of sensibility to the possible 
calamities of a family which had done so much for the alle- 
viation of mine. I was silent ; but the disappointment seemed 
to seal my fate. No prospect opened to console me. _ To 
return to Michilimackinac could only ensure my destruction ; 
and to remain at the island was to brave almost equal danger, 
since it lay in the direct route between the fort and the Mis- 
sisaki, along Avhich the Indians from Detroit were hourly 
expected to pass on the business of their mission. I doubted 
not but, taking advantage of the solitary situation of the family, 
they would carry into execution their design of killing me. 

IJnable therefore to take any part in the direction of our 
course, but a prey at the same time to the most anxious 
thoughts as to my own condition, I passed all the day on the 
highest part to which I could climb of a tall tree, and whence 
the lake, on both sides of the island, lay open to my view. 
Here I might hope to learn, at the earliest possible, "the ap- 
proach of canoes, and by this means be warned in time to con- 
ceal myself. 

On the second morning I returned, as soon as it was light, 
tn my watch-tower, on which I had not been long before I 
discovered a sail coming from Michilimackinac. 

The sail was a white one, and much larger than those 
usually employed by the Northern Indians. I therefore in- 
dulijed a hope that it might be a Canadian canoe, on its voyage 
to- Montreal; and that I might be able to prevail upon the 
crew to take me with them, and thus release me from all my 
troubles. 

My hopes continued to gain ground ; for I soon persuaded 
myself that the manner in which the paddles were used, on 
board the canoe, was Canadian, and not Indian. My spirits 
were elated ; but disappointment hud become so usual with 
me that I cculd not suffer myself to look to the event with any 
strength of confidence. 

Enough, however, appeared at length to demonstrate itself 
to induce me to descend the tree, and repair to the lodge, with 
my tidings and schemes of liberty. The family congratulated 
me on the approach of so fair an opportunity of escape; and 



324 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY, 

my father and brother (for he was alternately each of the?e) 
lit his pipe, and presented it to me, saying-, " My son, this 
may be the last time that ever you and I shall smoke out of 
the same pipe! I am sorry to part with you. You know the 
affection which I have always borne yen, and the dangers to 
which I havie exposed myself and family, to preserve you from 
your enemies ; and I am happy to find that my efforts promise 
not to have been in vain." At this time a boy came into the 
lodge, informing us that the canoe had come from Michili- 
mackinac, and was bound to the Sault de Sainte-Marie. It 
was manned by three Canadians, and was carrying home 
Madame Cadotte, the wife of M. Cadotte, already mentioned. 

My hof>es of going to Montreal being now dissipated, I 
resolved on accompanying Madame Cadotte, with her permis» 
sion, to the Sault. On communicating my wishes to Madame 
Cadotte, she cheerfully acceded to them. Madame Cadotte, 
as I have already mentioned, was an Indian woman of the 
Chippeway nation, and she v/as very generally respected. 

My departure fixed upon, I returned to the lodge, where I 
packed up my wardrobe, consisting of my two shirts, pair of 
leggins, and blanket. Sesides these, I took a gun and am- 
munilion, presenting what remained further to my host. I also 
returned the silver arm-bands with which the family had 
decorated me the year before. 

We now exchanged farev\^ells with an emoti&n entirely 
reciprocal. I did not quit the lodge without the most grateful 
sense of the many acts of goodness which I had experienced 
in it, nor without the sincerest respect for the virtues which I 
had witnessed among its members. All the family accom- 
panied me to the beach ; and the canoe had no sooner put ofT 
than Wawatam commenced an address to the Kichi ??Ianito,. 
beseeching him to take care of me, his brother, till we should 
next meet. This he had told m^e v/ould not be long, as he 
intended to return to Michiiimackinac for a short time only, 
and would then follow me to the Sault. We had proceeded 
to too great a distance to allow of our hearing his voice before 
Wawatam had ceased to offer up his prayers. 

Being now no longer in the society of the Indians, I laid 
aside the dress, putting on that of a Canadian : a molton or 
blanket coat, over my shirt; and a handkerchief about my 
head, hats being very little worn in this country. 

At daybreak, on the second morning of our voyage, we 
embarked, and presently perceived several canoes behind us. 
As they approached, we ascertained them to be the fleet, 
bound for the Missisaki, of which I had been so long in dread. 
It amounted to twenty sail. 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 325 

On coming up with us, and surrounding our canoe, and 
amid general inquiries concerning the news, an Indian chal- 
lenged me for an Englishman, and his companions support- 
ed him, by declaring that I looked very like one; but I 
affected not to understand any of the questions which they 
asked me, and Madame Cadotle assured them that I was a 
Canadian, whom she had brought on his first voyage from 
Montreal. 

The following day saw us safely landed at the Sault, Avhere 
I experienced a generous welcome from M. Cadotte. There 
were thirty warriors at this place, restrained from joining in 
the war only by M. Cadotte's influence. 

Here, for five days, I was once more in possession of tran- 
quillity ; but on the sixth a young Indian came into M. 
Cadotte's, saying that a canoe full of warriors bad just arrived 
from Michilimackinac ; that they had inquired for me ; and that 
he believed their intentions to be bad. Nearly at the same time, 
a message came from the good chief of the village, desiring me 
to conceal myself until he should discover the views and tem- 
per of the strangers. 

A garret was the second time my place of refuge ; and it 
was not long before the Indians came to M. Cadotte's. My 
friend immediately , informed Mutchikiwish, their chief, who 
was related to his wife, of the design imputed to them, 
of mischief against myself. Mutchikiwish frankly acknow- 
ledged that they had had such a design ; but added that if 
displeasing to M. Cadotte, it should be abandoned. He then 
furtlier stated, that their errand was to raise a party of war- 
riors to return with them to Detroit ; and that it had been their 
intention to take me with them 

In regard to the principal of the two objects thus disclosed, 
M. Cadotte proceeded to assemble all the chiefs and warriors 
of the village ; and these, after deliberating for some time 
among themselves, sent for the strangers, to whom both M. 
Cadotte and the chief of the village addressed a speech. In 
these speeches, after recurring to the designs confessed to have 
been entertained against myself, who was now declared to be 
under the immediate protection of all the chiefs, by whom any 
insult I might sustain v/ould be avenged, the ambassadors 
were peremptorily told that they might go back as they came, 
none of the young men of this village being foolish enough 
to join them. 

A moment after, a report was brought, that a canoe had just 
arrived from Niagara. As this was a place from which every 
one was anxious to hear news, a message was sent to these 
fresh strangers, requesting them to come to the council. 
23 



326 ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

The stranger? came accordingly, and being seated, a long 
silence ensued. At length, one of them, taking up a belt of 
wampum, addressed himself thus to the assembly : " My 
friends and brothers, I am come, with this belt, from our 
great father. Sir William Johnson. He desired me to come 
to you as his ambassador, and tell you that he is making a 
great feast at fort Niagara ; that his kettles are all ready, and 
his fires lit. He invites you to partake of the feast, in com- 
mon with your friends, the Six Nations, which have all made 
peace with the English. He advises you to seize this oppor- 
tunity of doing the same, as you cannot otherwise fail of being 
destroyed ; for the English are on their march, Avith a great 
army, which will be joined by different nations of Indians. 
In a word, before the fall of the leaf, they will be at Michili- 
mackinac, and the Six Nations with them." 

The tenor of this speech greatly alarmed the Indians of the 
Sault,who, after a very short consultation, agreed to send twenty 
deputies to Sir William Johnson, at Niagara. This was a 
project highly interesting to me, since it offered me the means 
of leaving the country. I intimated this to the chief of the 
village, and received his promise that I should accompany the 
deputation. 

Very little time was proposed to be lost, in setting forward 
on the voyage ; but the occasion was of too much magnitude 
not to call for more than human knowledge and discretion ; 
and preparations were accordingly made for solemnly invoking 
and consulting the Great Turtle. 

For invoking and consulting the Great Turtle, the first thing 
to be done was the building of a large house or wigwam, 
within which was placed a species of tent, for the use of the 
priest and reception of the spirit. The tent was formed of 
moose-skins, hung over a frame-work of wood. Five poles, or 
rather pillars, of five different species of timber, about ten feet 
in height, and eight inches in diameter, were set in a circle 
of about four feet in diameter. The holes made to re- 
ceive them were about two feet deep ; and the pillars being 
set, the holes were filled up again, with the earth which had 
been dug out. At top the pillars were bound together by a 
circular hoop, or girder. Over the whole of this edifice were 
spread the moose-skins, covering it at top and round the sides, 
and made fast with thongs of the same ; except that on one side 
a part was left unfastened, to admit of the entrance of the priest. 

The ceremonies did not commence but with the approach of 
night. To give light within the house, several fires were kin- 
dled round the tent. Nearly the whole village assembled in 
the house, and myself among the rest. It was not long before 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 327 

the priest appeared, almost in a state of nakedness. As he 
approached the tent the skins were lifted up, as much as was 
necessary to allow of his creeping under them, on his hands 
and knees. His head was scarcely wilhinside, when the 
edifice, massy as it has been described, began to shake ; and 
the skins were no sooner let fall, than the sounds of numerous 
voices were heard beneath them, some yelling, some barking 
as dogs, some howling like wolves, and in this horrible con- 
cert were mingled screams and sobs, as of despair, anguish 
and the sharpest pain. Articulate speech was also uttered, as 
if from human lips, but in a tongue unknown to any of the 
audience. 

After some time, these confused and frightful noises were 
succeeded by a perfect silence ; and now a voice, not heard 
before, seemed to manifest the arrival of a new character in 
the tent. This was a low and feeble voice, resembling the 
cry of a young puppy. The sound was no sooner distin- 
guished, than all the Indians clapped their hands for joy, ex- 
claiming, that this was the Chief Spirit, the Turtle, the spirit 
that never lied ! Other voices, which they had discriminated 
from time to time, they had previously hissed, as recognising 
them to belong to evil and lying spirits, which deceive man- 
kind. 

New sounds came from the tent. During the space of half 
an hour, a succession of songs were heard, in which a diver- 
sity of voices met the ear. From his first entrance, till these 
songs were finished, we heard nothing in the proper voice of 
the priest ; but now, he addressed the multitude, declaring the 
presence of the Great Turtle, and the spirit's readiness to 
answer such questions as should be proposed. 

The questions were to come from the chief of the village, 
who was silent, however, till after he had put a large quantity 
of tobacco into the tent, introducing it at the aperture. This 
was a sacrifice offered to the spirit ; for spirits are supposed 
by the Indians to be as fond of tobacco as themselves. The 
tobacco accepted, he desired the priest to inquire whether or 
not the English were preparing to make war upon the Indians ; 
and whether or not there were at fort Niagara a large num- 
ber of English troops. 

These questions having been put by the priest, the tent 
instantly shook ; and for some seconds after it continued to 
rock so violently that I expected to see it levelled with the 
ground. All this was a prelude, as I supposed, to the answers 
to be given ; but a terrific cry announced, with sufficient 
intelligibility, the departure of the Turtle. 

A quarter of an hour elapsed in silence, and I waited impa- 



32S ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

tiently to discover what was to be the next incident in this 
scene of imposture. It consisted in the return of the spirit, 
whose voice was again heard, and who now delivered a con- 
tinued speech. The language of the Great Turtle, like 
that which we had heard before, was wholly unintelligible to 
every ear, that of his priest excepted ; and it was, therefore, 
not till the latter gave us an interpretation, which did not 
commence before the spirit had finished, that we learned the 
purport of this extraordinary communication. 

The spirit, as we were now informed by the priest, had, 
during his short absence, crossed lake Huron, and even pro- 
ceeded as far as fort Niagara, which is at the head of lake 
Ontario, and thence to Montreal. At fort Niagara, he had 
seen no great number of soldiers ; but on descending the St. 
Lawrence, as low as Montreal, he had found the river covered 
with boats, and the boats filled with soldiers, in number like 
the leaves of the trees. He had met them on their way up 
the river, coming to make war upon the Indians. 

The chief had a third question to propose, and the spirit, 
without a fresh journey to fort Niagara, was able to give an 
instant and most favorable answer. " If," said the chief, " the 
Indians visit Sir William Johnson, will they be received as 
friends ?" 

" Sir William Johnson," said the spirit, (and after the spirit 
the priest,) " Sir William Johnson v^'ill fill their canoes with 
presents, with blankets, kettles, guns, gunpowder and shot, and 
large barrels of rum, such as the stoutest of the Indians will 
not be able to lift; and every man will return in safety to his 
family." 

At this, the transport was universal ; and, amid the clap- 
ping of hands, a hundred voices exclaimed, "I Avill go, too! 
I will go too !" 

The questions of public interest being resolved, individuals 
were now permitted to seize the opportunity of inquiring into 
the condition of their absent friends, and the fate of such as 
were sick. I observed that the answers, given to these ques- 
tions, allowed of much latitude of interpretation. 

Amid this general inquisitiveness, I yielded to the solicita- 
tions of my own anxiety for the future ; and having first, like 
the rest, made my offering of tobacco, I inquired whether or 
not I should ever revisit my native country. The question 
being put by the priest, the tent shook as usual ; after which 
I received this answer : " That I should take courage, and fear 
no danger, for that nothing would happen to hurt me ; and that 
I should, in the end, reach my friends and countrv in safety." 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 329 

These assurances wrought so strongly on my gratitude, that I 
presented an additional a«d extra ottering of tobacco. 

The Great Turtle continued to be consulted till near mid- 
night, when all the crowd dispersed to their respective lodges. 
I was on the watch, through the scene I have described, to 
detect the particular contrivances by which the fraud was 
carried on ; but such was the skill displayed in the perform- 
ance, or such my deficiency of penetration, that I made 
no^ discoveries, but came away as I went, with no more than 
tho.se general surmises which will naturally be entertained by 
every reader."^ 

On the 10th of June, I embarked with the Indian deputa- 
tion, composed of sixteen men. Twen'.y had been the num- 
ber originally designed ; and upward of tiuy actually engaired 
themselves to the council for the undertaking ; to say nothing 
of the general enthusiasm, at the moment of hearing the 
Great Turtle's promises. But exclusively of the degree of 
timidity which still prevailed, we are to take into account the 
various domestic calls, which might supersede all others, and 
detain many with their families. 

In the evening of the second day of our voyage, we reached 
the mouth of the Missisaki, where we found about forty 
Indians, by whom we were received with abundant kindness, 
and at night regaled at a great feast, held on account of our 
arrival. The viand was a preparation of the roe of the stur- 
geon, beat up, and boiled, and of the consistence of porridge. 

After eating, several speeches were made to us, of which 
the general topic was a request that we should recommend the 
village to Sir William Johnson. This request was also spe- 
cially addressed to me, and I promised to comply with it. 

On the ]-lth of June, we passed the village of La Cloche, 
of which the greater part of the inhabitants were absent, being 
already on a visit to Sir William Johnson. This circumstance 
greatly encouraged the companions of my voyage, who now 
saw that they were not the first to run into danger. 

The next day, about noon, the wind blowing very hard, we 
were obliged to put ashore at Point aux Grondines, a place of 

* I\I. de Champlain has left an account of an exhibition of the nature 
here described, which raay be seen in Charlevoix's Histuire et Description 
Generate de la Nouvelle France, livre IV. This took place in the year 
1609, and was performed among a party of warriors, composed of Algon- 
quins, Montagnez and Hurons. Carver witnessed another, among, the 
Christinaux. In each case, the details are somewhat different, but ihG 
outline is the same. 31. de Champlain mentions that he saw the jvnglciir 
shake the stakes or pillars of the tent. I was not so fortunate ; but this 
is the obvious explanation of that part of the mystery to which it refers. 
Captain Carver leaves the whole iii. darkness. 
28* 



330. ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

which some desrription has been given above. While the In- 
dians erected a hut, I employed myself in making a fire. As 
I v^^as gathering wood, an unusal sound fixed my attention for 
a moment; but, as it presently ceased, and as I saw nothing 
from which I could suppose it to proceed, I continued my em- 
ployment, till, advancing further, I was alarmed by a repetitioa 
I imagined that it came from above my head ; but after look- 
ing that way in vain, I cast my eyes on the ground, and there 
discovered a rattlesnake, at not more than two feet from my 
naked legs. The reptile was coiled, and its head raised con- 
siderably above its body. Had I advanced another step before 
my discovery, I must have trodden upon it. 

I no sooner saw the snake than I hastened to the canoe, in 
order to procure my gun ; but the Indians, observing what I 
was doing, inquired the occasion, and being informed, begged 
me to desist. At the same time they followed me to the spot, 
with their pipes and tobacco-pouches in their hands. On re- 
turning, I found the snake still coiled. 

The Indians, on their part, surrounded it, all addressing it 
by turns and calling it their grandfather ; but yet keeping at 
some distance. During this part of the ceremony they filled 
their pipes ; and now each blew the smoke toward the snake, 
who, as it appeared to me, really received it with pleasure. In 
a word, after remaining coiled, and receiving incense, for the 
space of half an hour, it stretched itself along the ground in 
visible good humor. Its length was between four and five feet. 
Having remained outstretched for some time, at last it moved 
slowly away, the Indians following it, and still addressing it by 
the title of grandfather, beseeching it to take care of their 
families during their absence, and to be pleased to open the 
heart of Sir William Johnson, so that he might show them 
charity, and fill their canoe with rum. 

One of the chiefs added a petition that the snake would take 
no notice of the insult which had been offered him by the 
Englishman, who would even have put him to death but for 
the interference of the Indians, to whom it was hoped he would 
impute no part of the offence. They further requested that he 
would remain and inhabit their country, and not return among 
the English, that is, go eastward. 

After the rattlesnake was gone, I learned that this was the 
first time that an individual of the species had been seen so far 
to the northward and westward of the river Des Fran^ais ; a 
circumstance, moreover, from which my companions were dis- 
posed to infer that this manito had come or been sent on pur- 
pose to meet them ; that his errand had been no other than to 
stop them on their way ; and that consequently it would be 



ALEXANDER HENRY'S CAPTIVITY. 831 

most advisable to return to the point of departure. I was so 
fortunate, however, as to prevail with them to embark ; and at 
six o'clock in the evening we again encamped. Very little 
was spoken of through the evening, the rattlesnake excepted. 

Early the next morning we proceeded. We had a serene 
sky and very little wind, and the Indians therefore determined 
on steering across the lake to an island which just appeared in 
the horizon ; saving, by this course, a distance of thirty miles, 
which would be lost in keeping the shore. At nine o'clock, A. 
M. we had a light breeze astern, to enjoy the benefit of which 
we hoisted sail. Soon after the wind increased, and the In- 
dians, beginning to be alarmed, frequently called on the rattle- 
snake to come to their assistance. By degrees the waves grew 
high; and at eleven o'clock it blew a hurricane, and we ex- 
pected every moment to be swallowed up. From prayers the 
Indians now proceeded to sacrifices, both alike offered to the 
god rattlesnake, or manitn kinibic. One of the chiefs took a 
dog, and after tying its fore legs together threw it overboard, 
at the same time calling on the snake to preserve us from being 
drowned, and desiring him to satisfy his hunger with the car- 
cass of the dog. The snake was unpropitious, and the wind 
increased. Another chief sacrificed another dog, with the 
addition of some tobacco. In the prayer which accompanied 
these gifts, he besought the snake, as before, not to avenge upon 
the Indians the insult which he had received from myself, in 
the conception of a design to put him to death. He assured 
the snake that I was absolutely an Englishman, and of kin 
neither to him nor to them. 

At the conclusion of this speech, an Indian who sat near me 
observed, that if we were drowned it would be for my fault 
alone, and that I ought myself to be sacrificed, to appease the 
angry manito ; nor was I without apprehensions that in case 
of extremity this would be my fate ; but, happily for me, the 
storm at length abated, and we reached the island safely. 

The next day was calm, and we arrived at the entrance^ of 
the navigation which leads to lake Aux Claies.t "We present- 
ly passed two short carrying-places, at each of which were 
several lodges of Indians, t containing only women and children, 
the men being gone to the council at Niagara. From this, as 
from a former instance, my companions derived new courage. 

* This is the bay of Matchedash, or Matchitashk. 

f This lake, which is now called lake Simcoe, lies between lakes Hu- 
ron and Ontario. 

\ These Indians are Chippeways, of the particular description called 
Missisakies ; and from their residence at Matchedash, or Matchitashk, 
also called Matchedash or Matchitashk Indians. 



339 ALEXANDER HE^NRY'S CAPTIVITY. 

On the ISth of June, we crossed lake Aux Claies, which 
appeared to be upward of twenty miles in length. At its fur- 
ther end we came to the .carrying-pluce of Toranto."^ Here 
the Indians obliged me to carry a burden of more than a hun- 
dred pounds weight. The day was very hot, and the woods 
and marshes abounded with mosquitoes; but the Indians 
walked at a quick paee, and I could by no means see myself 
left behind. The whole country was a thick forest, through 
which our only road was a foot-path, or such as, in America, is 
exclusively termed an Indian path. 

Next morning at ten o'clock we reached the shore of lake 
Ontario. Here we were employed two days in making canoes 
out of the bark of the elm tree, in which we were to transport 
ourselves to Niagara. For this purpose the Indians first cut 
down a tree ; then stripped off the bark in one entire sheet of 
about eighteen feet in length, the incision being lengthwise. 
The canoe was now complete as to its top, bottom, and sides. 
Its ends were next closed by sewing the bark together ; and a 
few ribs and bars being introduced, the architecture was finish- 
ed. In this manner we made two canoes, of which one car- 
ried eight men and the other nine. 

On the 21st, we embarked at Toranto, and encamped in the 
evening four miles short of fort Niagara, which the Indians 
would not approach till morning. 

At dawn, the Indians were awake, and presently assembled 
in council, still doubtful as to the fate they were to encounter. 
I assured them of the most friendly welcome ; and at length, 
after painting themselves with the most lively colors, in token 
of their own peacenble views, and after singing the song which 
is in use among them on going into danger, they embarked-, 
and made for point Missisaki, w^hich is on the north side of 
the mouth of the river or strait of Niagara, as the fort is on 
the south. A ^ew minutes after 1 crossed over to the fort ; and 
here I was received by Sir William Johnson, in a manner for 
which I have ever been gratefully attached to his person and 
memory. 

Thus was completed my escape from the sufrerin2:s and 
dangers which the capture of fort Michilimackinac brought 
Jipon me ; but the property which I had carried into the upper 
country was left behind. The reader will therefore be far 
from attributing to me any idle or unaccountable motive, vvnen 
he finds me returning to the scene of my misfortunes. 

* Toranto, or Toronto, is the name of a French trading-house on lake 
Ontario, built near the site of the present town of York, the capital of the 
province of Upper Canada. [It is one of the most important places in 
that province at this time. — Ed.] 



333 




NARRATIVE 

OF THE CAPTIVITY OF FREDERICK MANHEIM. 

Frederick Manheim, an industrious German, with his fam- 
ily, consisting- of his wife, a daughter of eighteen years oi age, 
and Maria and Christina, his youngest children, (twins,) about 
sixteen, resided near the river Mohawk, eight miles west of 
Johnston. On the 19th of October, 1779, the father being at 
work at some distance from his habitation, and the mother and 
eldest daufrhter on a visit at a neighbor's, two hostile Cana- 
sadaga Indians rushed in and captured the twin sisters. 

The party to which these savages belonged consisted of fifty 
warriors, who, after securing twenty-three of the inhabitants 
of that neighborhood, (among whom was the unfortunate Fre- 
derick Manheim,) and firing their houses, retired for four days 
with the utmost precipitancy, till they were quite safe from 
pursuit. The place where they halted on the evening of the 
day of rest was a thick pine swamp, which rendered the dark- 
ness of an uncommonly gloomy night still more dreadful. 
The Indians kindled a fire, which they had not done before, 
and ordered their prisoners, whom they kept together, to 
refresh themselves with such provisions as they had. The 
Indians eat by themselves. After supper the appalled captives 
observed their enemies, instead of retiring to rest, busied in 
operations which boded nothing good. Two saplings were 
pruned clear of branches up to the very top, and all the brush 
cleared away for several rods around them. While this was 



334 MRS. BOZAKTH'S EXPLOIT. 

doing, others were splitting pilch-pine billets into small splinters 
about five inches in length, and as small as one's little finger, 
sharpening one end, and dipping the other in melted turpen- 
tine. 

At length, with countenances distorted by infernal fury, and 
hideous yells, the two savages who had captured the hapless 
Maria and Christina leaped into the midst of the circle of pri- 
soners, and dragged those ill-fated maidens, shrieking, from the 
embraces of their companions. These warriors had disagreed 
about whose property the girls should be, as' they had jointly 
seized them ; and, to terminate the dispute agreeably to the 
abominable custom of the savages, it was determined by the 
chiefs of the party that the prisoners who had given rise to the 
contention should be destroyed, and that their captors should 
be the principal agents in the execrable business. These furies, 
assisted by their comrades, stripped the foi'lorn girls, convulsed 
with apprehensions, and tied each to a sapling, with their hands 
as high extended above their heads as possible ; and then 
pitched them from their knees to their shoulders, with upwards 
of six hundred of the sharpened splinters above described, 
which, at every puncture, were attended with screams of dis- 
tress, that echoed through the wilderness. And then, to com- 
plete the infernal tragedy, the splinters, all standing erect on 
the bleeding victims, were set on fire, and exhibited a scene of 
extreme misery, beyond the power of speech to describe, or 
even the imagination to conceive. It was not until near three 
hours had elapsed from the commencement of their torments, 
and that they had lost almost every resemblance of the human 
form, that these helpless virgins sunk down in the arms of their 
deliverer, death. 



SIGNAL PROWESS OF A WOMAN, IN A COMBAT 

WITH SOME INDIANS. IN A LETTER TO A LADY OF PHIL- 
ADELPHIA. 

Westmoreland, April 26, 1779. 

Madam, — I have written an account of a very particular 
affair between a white man and two Indians.* I am now to 
give you a relation in which you will see how a person of 
your sex acquitted herself in defence of her own life, and that 
of her husband and children. 

* Reference is probably made to the desperate encounter of one Mor- 
gan and two Indians. — Ed. 



REV. JOHN CORBLYS NARRATIVE. 335 

The lady who is the burthen of this story is named Expe- 
rience Bozarth. She lives on a creek called Dunkard creek, 
in the south-west corner of this county. About the middle of 
March last, two or three fiimilies, who were afraid to stay at 
home, gathered to her house and there stayed ; looking on 
themselves to be safer than when all scattered about at their 
own houses. 

On a certain day some of the children thus collected came 
running in from play in great haste, saying there were ugly 
red men. One of the men in the house stepped to the door, 
where he received a ball in the side of his breast, which caused 
him to fall back into the house. The Indian was immediately 
in over him, and engaged with another man who was in the 
house. The man tossed the Indian on a bed, and called for a 
knife to kill him. (Observe these were all the men that were 
in the house.) Now Mrs. Bozarth appears the only defence, 
who, not finding a knife at hand, took up an axe that lay by, 
and with one blow cut out the brains of the Indian. At that 
instant, (for all was instantaneous,) a second Indian entered the 
door, and shot the man dead who was engaged with the Indian 
on the bed. Mrs. Bozarth turned to this second Indian, and 
with her axe gave him several large cuts, some of which let 
his entrails appear. He bawled out, murder, murder. On this 
sundry other Indians (who had hitherto been fully employed, 
killing some children out of doors) came rushing to his relief; 
one of whose heads Airs. Bozarth clove in two with her axe, as 
he stuck it in at the door, which laid him flat upon the soil. 
Another snatched hold of the wounded bellowing fellow, and 
pulled him out of doors, and Mrs. Bozarth, with the assistance 
of the man who was first shot in the door, and by this time a 
little recovered, shut the door after them, and made it fast, 
where they kept garrison for several days, the dead white man 
and dead Indian both in the house with them, and the Indians 
about the house besieging them. At length they were relieved 
by a party sent for that purpose. 

This whole affair, to shutting the door, was not perhaps more 
than three minutes in actinsr. 



REV. JOHN CORBLY'S NARRATIVE. 

If, after perusing the annexed melancholy narrative, you 
deem it worthy a place in your publication, it is at your service. 
Such communications, founded on fact, have a tendency on one 
hand to make us feel for the persons afflicted, and on the other 



336 REV. JOHN CORBLY'S NARRATIVE. 

to impress our hearts with gratitude to the Sovereign Disposer 
of all events for that emancipation which the United States 
have experienced from the haughty claims of Britain — a pow- 
er, at that time, so lost to every human affection, that, rather 
than not subdue and make us slaves, they basely chose to 
encourage, patronize and reward, as their most faithful and 
beloved allies, the savages of the wilderness ; who, without 
discrimination, barbarously massacred the industrious husband- 
man, the supplicating female, the prattling child and tender 
infant, vainly sheltered within the encircling arms of maternal 
fondness. Such transactions, as they come to our knowledge 
well authenticated, ought to be recorded, that our posterity may 
not be ignorant of what their ancestors underwent at the try- 
ing period of our national exertions for American independence. 
The following account was, at my request, drawn up by the 
unfortunate sufferer. Respecting the author, suffice it to say, 
that he is an ordained minister of the Baptist faith and order, 
and held in high estimation by all our associated churches. 
I am, sir, yours, &c., 

William Rogers. 



Muddy Creek, Washington County, July 8, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — The following is a just and true account of the 
tragical scene of my family's falling by the savages, Avhich I 
related when at your house in Philadelphia, and you requested 
me to forward in writing. 

On the second Sabbath in May, in the year 1782, being my 
appointment at one of my nieeting-hovises about a mile from 
my dwelling-house, I set out with my dear wife and five chil- 
dren, for public worship. Not suspecting any danger, I walked 
behind two hundred yards, with my Bible in my hand, medi- 
tating; as I was thus employed, all on a sudden I was greatly 
alarmed with the frightful shrieks of my dear family before m.e. 
I immediately ran with all the speed I could, vainly hunting a 
club as I ran, till I got within forty yards of them. My poor 
wife, seeing me, cried to me to make my escape ; an Indian 
ran up to shoot me. I had to strip, and by so doing outran 
him. My dear wife had a sucking child in her arms ; this 
little infant they killed and scalped. They then struck my 
wife at sundry times, but not getting her down, the Indian who 
had aimed to shoot me ran to her, shot her through the body, 
and scalped her. My little boy, an only son, about six years 
old, they sunk the hatchet into his brains, and thus dispatched 
him. A daughter, besides the infant, they also killed and 
scalped. My eldest daughter, who is yet alive, was hid in 3 



REV. JOHN COrvBLyS NARRATIVE. 337 

tree about twenty yards from the place where the rest were 
killed, and saw the whole proceedings. She, seeing the In- 
dians all go off, as she thought, got up and deliberately crept 
out from the hollow trunk ; but one of them espying her, ran 
hastily up, knocked her down and scalped her; also. her only 
surviving s-ister, on whose head they did not leave more than 
one inch round, either of flesh or skin, besides taking a piece 
out of her skull. She and the before-mentioned one are still 
miraculously preserved, though, as you must think, I have had, 
and still have, a great deal of trouble and expense with them, 
besides anxiety about them, insomuch that I am, as to worldly 
circumstances, almost ruined, I am yet in hopes of seeing 
them cured ; they still, blessed be God, retain their senses, not- 
withstanding the painful operations they have already and must 
yet pass through. At the time I ran round to see what was 
become of my family, and found my dear and affectionate v/ife 
with five children all scalped in less than ten minutes from the 
first outset. No one, my dear brother, can conceive how I felt; 
this you may well suppose was killing to me. I instantly 
fainted away, and was borne off by a friend, who by this time 
had found us out. When I recovered, oh the anguish of my 
soul ! I cried, would to God I had died for them ! would to 
God I had di^d with them ! how dark and mysterious did 
ihis trying providence then appear to me ! but — 

' Why should I grieve, when, grieving, I must beaj ?" 

This, dear sir, is a faithful, though short narrative of that 
fatal catastrophe; and my life amidst it all, for what purpose 
Jehovah only knows, redeemed from surrounding death. Oh, 
may I spend it to the praise and glory of his grace, who work- 
elh all things after the council of his own will. The govern- 
ment of the world and of the church is in his hands. May it 
be taught the important lesson of acquiesci.ig in all his dispen- 
sations. I conclude with wishing you every blessing, and 
subscribe myself your affectionate, though afflicted friend and 
unworthy brother in the gospel ministry, 

JOHN CORBLY. 



29 



338 



A TRUE AND WONDERFUL NARRATIVE OF THE SURPRISING 
CAPTIVITY AND REMARKABLE DELIVERANCE OF MRS. 
FRANCIS SCOTT, AN INHABITANT OF WASHINGTON COUN- 
TY, VIRGINIA, WHO WAS TAKEN BY THE INDIANS ON THE 
EVENING OF THE 29th OF JUNE, 17S5. 

On Wednesday, the 29tli day of June, 17S5, late in. the 
evening, a large company of armed men passed the house on 
their way to Kentucky, some part of whom encamped within 
two miles. Mr. Scott's living on a frontier part generally made 
the family watchful ; but on this calamitous day, after so large 
a body of men had passed, he lay down in his bed, and im- 
prudently left one of the doors of his house open ; the children 
were also in bed and asleep. Mrs. Scott was nearly undressed, 
when, to her unutterable astonishment and horror, she saw 
rushing in through the door, that was left open, painted sa- 
vages, with their arms presented at the same time, raising a 
hideous shriek. Mr. Scott, being awake, instantly jumped 
from his bed, and was immediately fired at. He forced his 
way through the midst of the enemy, and got out of the house, 
but fell a few paces from the door. An Indian seized Mrs. 
Scott, and ordered her to a particular place, charging her not to 
jnove. Others stabbed and cut the thronts of the three young- 
est children in their bed, and afterwards lifted them up, and 
dashed them on the floor near their mother. The eldest, a 
beautiful girl, eight years of age,. a woke, and jumping out of 
bed, ran to her mother, and with the most plaintive accents 
cried, " mamma ! mamma ! save me ! " The mother, in the 
deepest anguish of spii'it, and with a flood of tears, entreated 
the Indians to spare her life; but, with that awfully revolting 
brutality, they tomahawked and stabbed her in her mother's 
arms ! ! 

Adjacent to Mr. Scott's dwelling-house another family lived 
of the name of Ball. The Indians also attacked them at the 
same time, but the door being shut, they fired into the house 
through an opening between the logs which composed its 
walls, and killed a lad, and then essayed to force open the 
door ; but a brother of the lad which had been shot down fired 
at the Indians through the door, and they relinquished the 
attack. In the mean tim.e the remaining part of the family ran 
out of the house and escaped. 

In the house of Mr. Scott were four good rifles, well loaded, 
belonging to people that had left them as they Avere going to 
Kentucky. The Indians, thirteen in number, seized these, and 



MRS. SCOTT'S CAPTIVITST. 339 

all the plunder they could lay their hands on besides, and 
hastily began a retreat into the wilderness. It was now late 
in the evening", and they travelled all the folloAving night. 
The next morning, June the 30th, the chief of the party 
allotted to each of his followers his share of the plunder and 
prisoners, at the same time detaching nine of his party to go 
on a horse-stealing expedition on Clinch river. 

The eleventh day after Mrs. Scott's captivity, four Indians 
that had her in charge stopped at a place fixed on for rendez- 
vous, and* to hunt, being now in great want of provisions. 
Three of these four set out on the hunting expedition, leaving 
their chief, an old man, to take care of the prisoner, who now 
had, to all appearances, become reconciled to her situation, 
and expressed a willingness to proceed to the Indian towns, 
which seemed to have the desired effect of lessening her 
keeper's watchfulness. In the daytime, while the old man 
was graining a deer-skin, Mrs. Scott, pondering on her situa- 
tion, began anxiously to look for an opportunity to make an 
escape. At length, having matured her resolution in her own 
mind for the accomplishment of this object, the first opportunity 
she goes to the old chief with great confidence, and in the most 
disinterested manner asked him for liberty to go to a small 
stream, a little distance off, to wash the blood from her apron, 
that had remained upon it since the fatal night, caused by the 
murder of her child in her arms, before related. He replied, 
in the English tongue, " go along." She then passed by him, 
his face being in a contrary direction from that she was going, 
and he very busy in dressing his skin, passed on, seemingly 
unnoticed by him. 

After arriving at the water, instead of stopping to wash her 
apron, as she pretended, she proceeded on without a moment's 
delay. She laid her course for a high barren mountain which 
was in sight, and travelled until late at night, when she came 
down into the valley in search of the track she had been taken 
along in by the Indians a few days before, hoping thereby to 
find the way back to the settlement without the imminent peril, 
which now surrounded her, of being lost and perishing with 
hunger in this unknown region. 

On coming across the valley to the side of a river which 
skirted it, supposed to be the easterly branch of Kentucky 
river, she observed in the sand tracks of two men that had 
gone up the river, and had just returned. She concluded 
these to have bcc-n her pursuers, which excited in her breast 
emotions of gratitude and thankfulness to divine Providence 
for so timely a deliverance. Being without any provisions., 
having no kind of weapon or tool to assist her in getting any, 



340 MI^S. SCOTT'S CAPTIVITY. 

and almost destitute of clothing; also knowing that a vast 
tract of rugged high mountains intervened between where she 
was and the inhabitants easterly, and she almost as ignorant 
as a child of the method of steering through the woods, excited 
painful sensations. But certain death, either by hunger or 
wild beasts, seemed to be better than to be in the power of 
beings who excited in her mind such horror. She addressed 
Heaven, and taking courage, proceeded onward. 

After travelling three days, she had nearly met with the 
Indians, as she supposed, that had been sent to Clinch river to 
steal horses, but providentially hearing their approach, con- 
cealed herself among the cane until they had passed by her. 
This giving her a fresh alarm, and her mind being filled with 
consternation, she got lost, proceeded backwards and forwards 
for several days. At length she came to a river that seemed 
to come from the east. Concluding it was Sandy river, she 
accordingly resolved to trace it to its source, which is adjacent 
to the Clinch settlement. After proceeding up the same 
several days she came to the point where it runs through the 
great Laurel mountain, where there is a prodigious waterfall 
and high craggy cliffs along the water's edge ; that way seemed 
impassable, the mountain sleep and difficult; however, our 
mournful traveller concluded the latter way was best. She 
therefore ascended for some time, but coming to a lofty range 
of inaccessible rocks, she turned her course towards the font 
of the mountain and the river-side. After getting into a deep 
gully, and passing over several high steep rocks, she reached 
the river-side, where, to her inexpressible affliction, she found 
that a perpendicular rock, or rather one that hung over, to 
the height of fifteen or twenty feet, formed the bank. Here a 
solemn pause ensued. She essayed to return, but the height 
of the steeps and rocks she had descended over prevented her. 
She then returned to the edge of the precipice, and vieAving 
the bottom of it as the certain spot to end all her troubles, or 
remain on the top to pine away with hunger, or be devoured 
by wild beasts. 

After serious meditation and devout exercises, she deter- 
mined on leaping from the height, and accordingly jumped 
off. Now, although the place she had to alight upon was 
covered with uneven rocks, not a bone was broken, but being 
exceedingly stunned by the fall, she remained unable to pro- 
ceed for some time. 

The dry season had caused the river to be shallow. She 
travelled in it, and, where she could, by its edge, until she got 
through the mountain, which she thought was several miles. 
After this, as she was travelling along the bank of the river, a 



MRS. SCOTT'S CAPTIVITY. 341 

venomous snake bit her on the ankle. She had strength to 
kill it, and knowing its kind, concluded death must soon over- 
take her. 

By this time Mrs. Scott -was reduced to a mere skeleton 
with" fatigue, hunger, and grief. Probably this reduced state 
of her system saved her from the effects of the poison fangs of 
the snake ; be that as it may, so it was, that very little pain 
succeeded the bite, and what little swelling there was fell into 
her feet. 

Our wanderer now left the river, and after proceeding a 
good distance she came to where the valley parted into two, 
each leading a different course. Here a painful suspense took 
place again. How truly forlorn was now the case of this poor 
woman! almost ready to sink down from exhaustion, who 
had now the only prospect left that, either in the right or 
wrong direction, her remaining strength could not carry her 
long, nor but very little way, and she began to despair — and 
who would not — of ever again beholding the face of any human 
creature. But the most awful and seemingly certain dangers 
are son;etimes providentially averted. 

Whilo her mind was thus agitated, a beautiful bird passed 
close by her, fluttering slowly along near the groimd, and very 
remarkably'' took its course onward in one of the valleys before 
spoken of. This drew her attention, and, while pondering 
upon what it might mean, another bird like the first, in the 
same manner, passed by her, and followed the same valley. 
She now took it for granted that this was her course also ; 
and, wonderful to relate, in two days after she had wandered 
in sight of thi; settlement on Clinch river, called New Garden, 
Thus, in the third month of her captivity, she was unexpect- 
edly though joyfully n^lieved from the dreadful impending death 
by famine. But had she taken the other valley, she never 
could have returned. The day of her arrival at New Garden 
was August 11th. 

Mrs. Scott relates that the Indians told her that the party 
witVi whom she was a captive was composed of four different 
nations ; two of whom, she thinks, were Delawares and Min- 
goes. She further relates that, during a full month of her 
wanderings, viz. from July 10th to August 11th, she had no 
other food lo subsist upon but what she derived from chewing 
and swallowing the juice of young cane stalks, sassafras leaves, 
and some other plants of which she knew not the names; that 
on her journey she saw buffaloes, elks, deers, and frequently 
bears and wolves, not one of which, although seme passed very 
near her, offered her the least harm. One day a bear came 
near her with a young fawn in his mouth, and on discovering 
29=^ 



243 



CAPT. HUBBELL'S NARRATIVE. 



her he dropped his prey and ran off. Prompted by the keen 
pangs of hunger, she advanced to seize upon it, but fearing the 
bear might return, she turned away in despair, and pursued 
her course; thus sparing her feelings, naturally averse to raw 
flesh, at the expense of increasing hunger. 

Mrs. S(fbtt continues* in a low state of health, and remains 
unconsolable for the loss of her family, particularly bewailing 
the cruel death of her little daughter. 




A NARRATIVE 

OF THE DESPERATE ENCOUNTER AND ESCAPE OF CAPT. WM. 
HUBBELL FROM THE INDIANS WHILE DESCENDING THE 
OHIO RIVER IN A BOAT WITH OTHERS, IN THE YEAR 1791. 
Originally set forth in the Western Review, and afterwards republished by 
Dr. Metcalf, in his "Narratives of Indian Warfare in the West." 

In the year 1791, while the Indians were yet troublesome, 
especially on the banks of the Ohio, Capt. William Hubbell, 
who had previously emigrated to Kentucky from the state of 
Vermont, and who, after having fixed his family in the neigh- 



* At the time the original narrative was written. It was printed in 
1786.— Ed. 



CAPT. HUBBELL'S NARRATIVE. 343 

borhood of Frankfort, then a frontier settlement, had been com- 
pelled to go to the eastward on business, was now a second 
time on his way to this country. On one of the tributary 
streams of the Monongahela, he procured a flat-bottom.ed boat, 
and embarked in company with Mr. Daniel Light and Mr. 
Wm. Plascut and his family, consisting of a wife and eigiit 
children, destined for Limestone, Kentucky. 

On their passage down the river, and soon after passing 
Pittsburgh, they saw evident traces of Indians along the banks, 
and there is every reason to believe that a boat which they 
overtook, and which, through carelessness, was sufiered to run 
aground on an island, became a prey to these merciless sa- 
vages. - Though Capt. Hubbell and his party stopped souie 
tune for it in a lower part of the river, it did not arrive, and it 
has never, to their knowledge, been heard of. 

Before they reached the mouth of the great Kenhawa they 
had, by several successive additions, increased their number lo 
twenty persons, consisting of nine men, three women, and 
eight children. The men, besides those mentioned above, 
were one John Storer, an Irishman and a Dutchman whose 
names are not recollected, Messrs. Ray and Tucker, and a Mr. 
Kilpatrick, whose two daughters also were of the party. In- 
formation received at Galliopolis confirmed the expectation, 
which appearances had previously raised, of a serious conflict 
with a large body of Indians; and as Capt. Hubbell had becii 
regularly appointed commander of the boat, every possible 
preparation was made for a formidable and successful resist- 
ance of the anticipated attack. The nine men were divided 
into three watches for the night, which were alternately to 
continue awake, and be on the lookout for two hours at a lime. 

The arms on board, which consisted principally of old mus- 
kets much out of order, were collected, put in the best possible 
condition for service, and loaded. At about sunset on that 
day, the 23d of March, 1791, our party overtook a fleet of six 
boats descending the river in company, and intended to have 
continued with them ; but as their passengers seemed to be 
more disposed to dancing than fighting, and as, soon after 
dark, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Capt. Hubbell, 
they commenced fiddling and drinking, instead of preparing 
their arms and taking the necessary rest preparatory to battle, 
it was wisely considered, by Capt. Hubbell and his company, 
far more hazardous to have such com.panions than to proceed 
alone. Hence it was determined to press rapidly forward by 
aid of the oars, and to leave those thoughtless fellow-travellers 
behind. One of the boats, however, belonging to the fleet, 
commanded by a Capt. Greathouse, adopted the same plan, 



344 CAPT. HtJBBELL'S NARRATIVE. 

and for a while kept up with Capt. Hubbell, but all its crew at 
length failing asleep, that boat also ceased to be propelled by 
the oars, snd Capt. Habbell and his party proceeded stCvidily 
forward alone. Early in the night a canoe was dimly sten 
floating down the river, in which were probably Indians recon- 
noitering, and other evident indications were observed of th ? 
neighborhood and hos-tile intentions of a farmidable party of 
savages. 

It was now agreed that should the attack, as was probable, 
be deferred til.' morning, every raan should be up before '.he 
dawn, in order to make as great a show as possible of nu-m'jer.'^ 
and of strength j and that, whenever the action should tak'? 
place, the womt^m and children should lie down on the cabin 
floor, and be protected as well as they couM by the trunks pn'i 
other baggage, Avhich might be placed around them. In this 
perilous situation they continued during the night, and the cap- 
tain, who had ncvt slept mc-re than oae hour since he left Fitts- 
burgh, was too deeply impressed with the imminent danger 
which surroundel them, to- obtain any rest at that time. 

Just as daylight began to appear in the east, fj.nd before the- 
men were up and at their posts agreeably to arrangement, a voice, 
at some distance below them, in a plaintive tone, repeatedly 
solicited them to come on shore, as there were some whi'.e 
persons who wish>?d to obtain a passage in their boat. This 
the captain very naturally and correctly concluded to be ani 
Indian artifice, and its only effect was to rouse the men, and 
place every one on his guard. The voice of entreaty was soon 
changed into the language o-f indignation and insult, and the 
sound of distant paddles announced the savage foe. At length 
three Indian canoes were seen through the mist of the 
morning, rapidly advancing. With the utmost coolness the 
captain and his comp-anions prepared to receive them. The 
chairs, tables, and other incumbrances were throv^n into the 
river, in order to clear the deck for action. Every man took 
his position, and was ordered not to fire rill the savages had 
approached so near that, (to use the words of Capt. Hubbell,) 
•' the flash from the guns might singe their eyebrows ;" and a 
special caution was given that the m^en should fire successively, 
so that there might be no interval. 

On the arrival of the canoes, they were found to contain 
about twenty- five or thirty Indians each. As soon as they had 
approached Avithin the riacli of musket-shot, a general fire was 
given from o-ne &f them, \vhich wounded Mr. Tucker through 
the hip so severely that his leg hun,g only by the flesh, and 
shot Mr. Light just 1/elow his ribs. The three canoes placed 
themselves at the bow, stern, and on the right side of the boatj, 



CAPT. HUBBELL'S NARRiTIVE, 345 

so that they had an opportunity of raking in every direction. 
The fire now commenced from the boat, and had a powerful 
effect in checking the confidence and fury of the Indians. The 
captain, after firing his own gun, took up that of one of the 
wounded men, raised it to his shoulder, and was about to dis- 
charge it, when a ball came and took away the lock of it. He 
coolly turned around, seized a brand of fire from the kettle 
which had served for a caboose, and applying it to the pan, 
discharged the piece with effect. A very regular and constant 
fire was now kept up on both sides. The captain was just in 
the act of raising his gun a third time, when a ball passed 
through his right arm, and for a moment disabled him. 
Scarcely had he recovered from the shock, and re-acquired the 
use of his hand, which had been suddenly drawn up by the 
wound, when he observed the Indians in one of the canoes just 
about to board the boat in the bow, where the horses were 
placed belonging to the company. So near had they ap- 
proached, that some of them had actually seized with their 
hands the side of the boat. Severely wounded as he was, 
he caught up a pair of horseman's pistols and rushed forward 
to repel the attempt at boarding. On his approach the Indians 
fell back, and he discharged one of the pistols with effect at 
the foremost man. After firing the second pistol, he found 
himself with useless arms, and was compelled to retreat; but 
stepping back upon a pile of small wood which had been pre- 
pared for burning in the kettle, the thought struck him that it 
might be made use of in repelling thefoe, and he continued 
for some time to strike with it so forcibly and actively that 
they were unable to enter the boat, and at length he Avounded 
one of them so severely that with a yell they suddenly gave 
way. 

AH the canoes instantly discontinued the contest, and di- 
rected their course to Capt. Greathouse's boat, which was then 
in sight. Here a striking contrast was exhibited to the firm- 
ness and intrepidity which had just been displayed. Instead 
of resisting the attack, the people on board of that boat retired 
to the cabin ia dismay. The Indians entered it without oppo- 
sition, and rowed it to the shore, where they instantly killed 
the captain and a lad of about fourteen years of age. The 
women they placed in the centre of their canoes, and manning 
them with fresh hands, again pursued Capt. Hubbell. A 
melancholy alternative now presented itself to these brave but 
almost desponding men, either to fall a prey to the savages 
themselves, or to run the risk of shooting the women who had 
been placed in the canoes in the hope of deriving protection 
from their presence. But " self-preservation is the first law of 



346 CAPT. HTJBBELL'S xXARRATIVE. 

nature," and the captain very justly remarked "that thero 
would not be much humanity in preserving their lives at such 
a sacrifice, merely that they might become victims of savage 
cruelty at some subsequent period." 

There were now but four men left on board of Capt. Hub- 
bell's boat capable of defending it, and the captain himself 
was severely wounded in two places. The second attack, 
nevertheless, was resisted with almost incredible firmness and 
vigor. Whenever the Indians would rise to fire, their oppo- 
nents would commonly give them the first shot, which, in 
almost every instance, would prove fatal. Notwithstanding 
the disparity of numbers, and the exhausted condition of the 
defenders of the boat, the Indians at length appeared to des- 
pair of success, and the canoes successively returned to the 
shore. Just as the last one was departing, Capt. Hubbell 
called to the Indian who was standing in the stern, and, on his 
turning round, discharged his piece at him. When the smoke, 
which for a moment obscured their vision, was dissipated, he 
was seen lying on his back, and appeared to be severely 
wounded, perhaps mortally. 

Unfortunately, the boat now drifted near to the shore, where 
the Indians had collected, and a large concourse, probably 
between four and five hundred, were seen running down on 
the bank. Ray and Plascut, the only men remaining unhurt, 
were placed at the oars ; and as the boat was not more than 
twenty yards from the shore, it was deemed prudent for all to 
lie down in as safe a position as possible, and attempt to push 
forward with the utmost practicable rapidity. While they 
continued in this situation, nine balls were shot into one oar, 
and ten into another, without wounding the rowers, who were 
hid from view and protected by the side of the boat and blank- 
ets in the stern. During this dreadful exposure to the fire of 
the savages, which continued about twenty minutes, Mr. Kil- 
patrick observed a particular Indian, whom he thought a 
favorable mark for his rifle, and, notwithstanding the solemn 
Avarning of Capt. Hubbell, rose up to shoot him. He imme- 
diately received a ball in his mouth, which passed out at the 
back part of his head, and was also, almost at the same instant, 
shot through the heart. He fell down among the horses that 
wer'!' about the same time shot down likewise; and thus was 
presented to his afflicted daughters and fellow-travellers, who 
were witnesses of the awful occurrence, a spectacle of horror 
which we need not further attempt to describe. 

The boat was now providentially and suddenly carried out 
into the middle of the stream, and taken by the current be- 
yond the reach of the enemy's balls. Our little band, reduced 



CAPT. HUBEELL'S NAKEATIVE. 347 

as they were in numbers, wounded, afflicted, and almost ex- 
hausted by fatigue, were still unsubdued in spirit, and being 
assembled in all their strength, men, women, and children, 
with an appearance of triumph, gave three hearty cheers, 
calling the Indians to come on again if they were fond of 
sport. 

Thus ended this awful conflict, in which, out of nine men, 
two only escaped unhurt. Tucker and Kilpatric were killed 
on the spot, Storer was mortally wounded, and died on his 
arrival at Limestone, and all the rest, excepting Ray and Plas- 
cut, Avere severely wounded. The women and children wove 
all uninjured, except a little son of Mr. Plascut, who, after the 
battle was over, came to the captain, and with great coolness 
requested him to take a ball out of his head. On examination 
it appeared that a bullet, which had passed through the side 
of the boat, had penetrated the forehead of this little hero, 
and remained under the skin. The captain took it out, and sup- 
posing this was all, as in good reason he might, was about to 
bestow his attention on some other momentous aflair, when the 
little boy observed, " That is not all, captain," and raising his 
arm, exhibited a piece of bone at the point of his elbow, which 
had been shot off, and hung only by the skin. His mother, to 
whom the whole aflair seems before to have been unknown, 
but being now present, exclaimed, " Why did you not tell me 
of- this?" "Because," replied the son, " the captain ordered 
us to be silent during the fight, and I thought you would make 
a noise if I told you of it." 

The boat made the best of its Vv'ay down the river, and the 
object was to reach Limestone that night. The captain's arm 
had bled profusely, and he was compelled to close the sleeve 
of his coat in order to retain the blood and slop its effusion. 

In this situation, tormented by excruciating pain, and faint 
through loss of blood, he was under the necessity of steering 
the boat with his left arm till about ten o'clock that night, 
when he was relieved by Mr. Wm. Brooks, who resided on 
the bank of the river, and who was induced by the calls of th« 
suffering party to come out to their assistance. By his aid, 
and that of some other persons who were in the same manner 
brought to their relief, they were enabled to reach Limestone 
about twelve o'clock that night. 

Immediately on the arrival of Mr. Brooks, Capt. Hubbell, 
relieved from labor and responsibility, sunk under the weight 
of pain and fatigue, and become for a while totally insensible. 
When the boat reached Limestone, he found himself unable to 
walk, and was obliged to be carried up to the tavern. Here 



348 CAW. HITBFELL'S NARKATTVE. 

he had his wound dressed, and continued several days, unfi 
lie acquired sufficient strength to proceed homewards. 

On the arrival of our party at Limestone, they found a con- 
siderable force af armed men about to march against the same 
Indians, from whose attacks they had so severely suffered. 
They now learned that, the Sunday preceding, the same party 
of savages had cut off a detachment of men ascending the Ohio 
from fort Washington, at the mouth' of Ldcki-ng river, and had 
killed with their tomahawks, without firing a gun, twenty-one 
out of twenty-two men, of which the detachment consisted. 

Crowds of people, as might be expected, came to witness 
the boat which had been the scene of so much heroism, suffer-^ 
ing, and horrid carnage, and to visit the resolute little band by 
whom it had been so gallantly a,nd successfully defended. On; 
examination it was found that the sides of the boat were lite- 
rally filled with bullets and with bullet-holes. There was- 
scarcely a space of two feet square, in the pa-^rt above water^ 
which had not either a ball remaining in it or a hole through 
which a ball had passed. Some persons, who had the curi- 
osity to count the number of holes in the blankets which 
were hung up as curtains in the stern of the boat, affirmed 
that in the space of five feet square there were one hundred 
and twenty-two. Four horses out of five were killed, and the 
escape of the fifth amidst such a shower of balls appears almost 
miraculaus. 

The day after the arrival of Capt. Hubbell and his com- 
panions, the five remaining boats, which they had passed on 
the night preceding the buttle, reached Limestone. Those ovs 
board remarked that during the action they distinctly saAv the 
flashes, but could not hear the reports of the guns. The In- 
dians, it appears, had met with too formidable a resistance 
from a single beat to attack a fi-eet, and suffered them to pass 
unmolested : and since that time it is believed that no boat 
has been assailed by Indians on the Ohio. 

The force which marched out to disperse this formidable 
body of savages discovered several Indians dead on the shore 
near the scene of action. They also found the bodies of Capt, 
Greathouse and several others, men, women, and children, 
who had been on board of his boat. Most of them appeared 
to have been whipped to death, as they were found stripped^ 
tied to trees, and marked with the appearance of lashes, and 
large rods which seemed to have been worn with use were 
observed lying near them. 

Such is the plain narrative of a transaction that may serve 
as a specimen of the difficulties and dangers to which, but a 
few years since, the inhabitants of this now flourishing and 
beautiful country were constantly exposed. 



349 




AN ACCOUNT 

OF THE SUFFERINGS OF MASSY HERDE30.V, AND HER FAMILY, 
WHO WERE TAKEN PRISONERS BY A PARTY OF INDIANS. 
GIVEN ON OATH BEFORB JOHN WILKINS, ESQ , ONE OF 
THE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE FOR THE COMMONWEALTH 
OF PENNSYLVANIA. 

Pittsburgh, May 2S, 1792 

Massy HerbesoT".', on her oath, according to law, being 
taken before John Wilkin?, Esq., one of the common wealth's 
justices of the peace in and for the county of Alleghany, de- 
poseth and saith, that on the 22d day of this instant she was 
taken from her own house, within two hundred yards of Reed's 
block-house, which is called twenty-five miles from Pittsburgh ; 
her husband, being one of the spies, was from home ; two of 
the scouts had lodged with her that night, but had left her 
house about sunrise, in order to go to the block-house, and had 
left the door standing wide open. Shortly after the two scouts 
went away, a number of Indians came into the house and drew 
her out of bed by the feet ; the two eldest children, who also 
lay in another bed, were drawn out in the same manner ; a 
younger child, about one year old, slept with the deponent. 
30 



350 HERBESON, 1792. 

The Indians then scrambled about the articles in the house ; 
when they were at this work, the deponent went out of the 
house, and hollov/ed to the people in the block-house ; one of 
the Indians then ran up and stopped her mouth, another ran 
up with his tomahawk drawn, and a third ran and seized the 
tomahawk and called her his squaw ; this last Indian claimed 
her as his, and continued by her. About fifteen of the Indians 
then ran down towards the block-house, and fired their guns 
at the block and store house, in consequence of which one sol- 
dier was killed, and another wounded, one having been at the 
spring, and the other in coming or looking out of the store- 
house. This deponent then told the Indians there were about 
forty men in the block-house, and each man had two guns; the 
Indians then went to them that were firing at the block-house, 
and brought them back. They then began to drive the depo- 
nent and her children away ; but a boy about three years old, 
being unwilling to leave the house, they took by the heels, and 
dashed it against the house, then stabbed and scalped it. 
They then took the deponent and the two other children to the 
top of the hill, where they stopped until they tied up the plun- 
der they had got. While they were busy about this, the de- 
ponent counted them, and the number amounted to thirty-two, 
including two white men that were with them, painted like 
the Indians. 

That several of the Indians could speak Englioh, and that 
she knew three or four of them very well, having often seen 
them go up and down the Alleghany river ; two of them she 
knew to be Senecas, and two ]\Iunsees, who had got their guns 
mended by her husband about two years ago. That they sent 
two Indians with her, and the others took their course towards 
Puckty. That she, the children, and the two Indians had not 
gone above two hundred yards, when the Indians caught two 
of her uncle's horses, put her and the youngest child on one, 
and one of the Indians and the other child on the other. That 
the two Indians then took her and the children to the Allegha- 
ny river, and took them over in bark canoes, as they could not 
get the horses to swim the river. After they had crossed the 
river, the oldest child, a boy of about five years of age, began 
to mourn for his brother ; one of the Indians then tomahawked 
and scalped him. That they travelled all day very hard, and 
that night arrived at a large camp covered with bark, which, 
by appearance, might hold fifty men ; that the camp appeared 
to have been occupied some time, it was very much beaten, and 
large beaten paths went out in different directions from it; that 
night they took her about three hundred yards from the camp, 
into a large dark bottom, bound her arms, gave her some bed 



HERBESO^J, 1792. 351 

clothes, and lay down one on each side of her. That the next 
morning- they took her into a thicket on the hill-side, and one 
remained with her till the middle of the day, while the other 
went to watch the path, lest some white people should follow 
them. They then exchanged places during the remainder of 
the day. She got a piece of dry venison, about the bulk of an 
egg, that day, and a piece about the same size the day they 
were marching. That evening, (Wednesday, the 23d.) they 
moved her to a new place, and secured her as the night before. 
During the day of the 23d, she made several attempts to get 
the Indian's gun or tomahawk, that was guarding her, and, 
could she have got either, she would have put him to death. 
She was nearly detected in trying to get the tomahawk from 
his belt. 

The next morning (Thursday) one of the Indians went out 
as on the day before to watch the path. The other lay down 
and fell asleep. When she found he was sleeping, she stole 
her short gown, handkerchief and a child's frock, and then made 
her escape. The sun was then about half an hour high. That 
she took her course from the Alleghany, in order to deceive the 
Indians, as they would naturally pursue her that way ; that 
day she travelled along Conequenessing creek. The next day 
she altered her course, and, as she believes, fell upon the waters 
of Pine creek, which empties into the Alleghany. Thinking 
this not her best course, took over some dividing ridges, fell 
in on the heads of Squaw run, she lay on a dividing ridge on 
Friday night, and on Saturday came to Squaw run, continued 
down the run until an Indian, or some other person, shot at a 
deer ; she saw the person about one hundred and fifty yards 
from her, the deer running and the dog pursuing it, Avhich, from 
the appearance, she supposed to be an Indian dog. 

She then altered her course, but again came to the same run, 
and continued down it until she got so tired that she was 
obliged to lie down, it having rained on her all that day and 
the night before. She lay there that night; it rained constantly. 
On Sunday morning she proceeded down the run until she 
came to the Alleghany river, and continued down the river till 
she came opposite to Carter's house, on the inhabited side, 
where she made a noise, and James Closier brought her over 
the river to Carter's house. 

This deponent further says that, in conversing with one of 
the Indians, that could talk English very well, which she sus- 
pects to be George Jelloway, he asked her if she knew the 
prisoner that was taken byJeffersand his Senecas, and in jail 
in Pittsburgh. She answered no ; he said, you lie. She again 
said she knew nothing- about him ; he said she did, that he was 



352 SERGEANT MUNSON'S CAPTIVITY. 

a spy, and a great captain ; that he took Butler's scalp, and 
that they would have him or twenty scalps; he again said that 
they would exchange for him ; that he and two more were sent 
out to see what the Americans were doing; that they came 
round from Detroit to Venango. The Indian took paper, and 
showed her that he, at fori Pitt, could write and draw on it; 
he also asked her if a campaign was going out against the In- 
dians this summer ; she said no. He called her a liar, and 
saii they were going out, and that the Indians would serve 
them as they did last year ; he also said the English had guns, 
ammunition, &;c. to give them to go to war, and that they had 
given them plenty last year; this deponent also says that she 
saw one of the Indians have Capt. Crib's sword, which she 
well knew. That one of the Indians asked her if she knew 
Thomas Girty ; she said she did ; he then said that Girty lived 
near fort Pitt; that he was a good man, but not as good as his 
brother at Detroit; but that his wife was a bad woman ; she 
tells lies on the Indians, and is a friend to America. Sworn 
before me the day and year first above written. 

JOHN WILKINS. 



NARRATIVE 



OF THE CAPTIVITY AND ESCAPE OF SERGEANT LENT MUN- 
SON, WHO FELL INTO THE HANDS OF THE WESTERN IN- 
DIANS AT THE TIME OF LIEUT. LOWRY'S DEFEAT. 

As Lieut. Lowry and ensign Boyd, with about one hundred 
men, were escorting two hundred and fifty pack horses with 
provisions from fort St. Clair to General Wayne's camp, (six 
miles in advance of fort Jefferson,) they were furiously assailed 
by about half their number of concealed Indians, and totally 
defeated. They had encamped four miles on their journey on 
the night of the 16th of October, 1793, and were sufficiently 
warned during the whole night of what they had to undergo at 
early dawn. However, no attack was made until the detach- 
ment was about ready to march on the morning of the 17th. 
At this juncture the Indians rushed upon them with great fury, 
and after a short but bloody engagement the whites were dis- 
persed in every direction. In this onset Lieut. Lowry and 
ensign Boyd both fell mortally wounded, and about twenty of 
their men were among the slain. The rest of this unfortunate 
escort, excepting eleven, who Avere taken prisoners, got back to 



SERGEANT MUNSON'S CAPTIVITY. 353 

fort St. Clair. To the smallness of the number of the Indians 
is to be attributed the escape of any. 

Serg-eant Munson was one of the eleven prisoners, and was 
hurried off with his companions towards the country of the 
Ottawas, to which nation of Indians this party belonged. They 
had not proceeded far when one of the prisoners, being but a 
boy, and weakly, was murdered and left on the way. The 
remaining ten were then , distributed among their captors. 
These all had their heads shaved, which among the Ottawas 
denoted they were to serve as slaves. 

The residence of these Indians was upon the river then called 
the Maumee, since, the Miami of the lakes, about thirty miles 
from iis mouth at lake Erie. Here Mr. Munson was kept 
until the next June, performing the drudgery of the Indians, 
without anything very remarkable, for eight months, at the end 
of which time he made his escape in the following manner: — 
He had learned so much of their language that he could un- 
derstand much of their conversation, and he now learned that 
they were liighly elated at the prospect of meeting and cutting 
off the army of Gen. Wayne, as they had that of Harmer and 
St. Clair before. They boasted that " they were fifteen hun- 
dred strong, and that they would soon cut Wayne's army to 
pieces." They talked with the utmost contempt of the whites; 
said they lied about their numbers, and that " their armies were 
made up of cowards and boys." 

The warriors were now preparing to march to the Au Glaize, 
to make a stand against Gen. Wayne, and Mr. Munson anx- 
iously awaited their departure, hoping by their absence he might 
■ take advantage and escape. His wishes were soon gratified; 
for on the 12th of June, 1794, the warriors left the village, and 
he took every precaution for flight. Accordingly, five day.s 
after, having prepared a canoe several miles below the village, 
on the river, under pretence of a hunting expedition he escaped 
to it, and in the night made all the exertions he v/as master of 
to reach the lake, which he did in two nights ; rot daring to 
sail during the day, for lear of discovery, but slyly drawing up 
his canoe at the approach of morning, patiently waited until 
the next night. And thus he found his way to Niagara, and 
thence to his friends in Connecticut, without material accident, 
where he arrived towards the end of July, 1794, after eight 
months' captivity. 



30* 



t51 




n & t L A 



355 



NARRATIVE 

OF THE ESCAPE OF RANSOM CLARK, (OF LIVINGSTON COUN 
TY, NEW YORK,) FROM THE MASSACRE IN WHICH MAJOR 
DADE AND HIS COMMAND WERE CUT OFF BY THE SEMI- 
NOLE INDIANS, IN FLORIDA, on the 2Sth Dec. 1835; as communi- 
cated by himself, while on a visit to Boston in the summer of 1837, to the 
editor of the Morning Post. 

[A full and particular history of the Florida War will be found in my 
Book of the Indians, together with other Indian affairs. — Ed.] 

Our detachment, consisting of one hundred and seventeen 
men, under command of Major Dade, started from fort Brooke, 
Tampa Bay, on the 23d of December, and arrived at the scene 
of action about eight o'clock on the morning of the 2Sth. It 
was en the edge of a pond, three miles from the spot where we 
had bivouacked on the night previous. The pond was sur- 
rounded by tall grass, brush and small trees. A moment be- 
fore we were surprised, Major Dade said to us, " We have now 
got through all danger ; keep up good heart, and when we get 
to fort King, I '11 give you three days for Christmas." 

At this time we were in a path or trail on the border of the 
pond, and the first notice that we received of the presence of 
the enemy was the discharge of a rifle by their chief, as a sig- 
nal to commence the attack. The pond was on our right, and 
the Indians were scattered round, in a semicircle, on our left, 
in the rear and in advance, reaching at the two latter points 
to the edge of the pond ; but leaving an opening for our en- 
trance on the path, and a similar opening on the other extrem- 
ity for the egress of our advance guard, v;hich was permitted 
to pass through without being fired on, and of course uncon- 
scious of the ambuscade through which they had marched. 
At the time of the attack this guard was a quarter of a mile in 
advance, the main body following in column two deep. The 
chief's rifle was followed by a general discharge from his men, 
and Major Dade, Captain iFrazier and Lieut. Mudge, together 
with several non-commissioned officers and privates, were 
brought down by the first volley. Our rear guard had a six- 
pounder, which, as soon as possible, was hauled up, and brought 
to bear upon the ground occupied by the unseen enemy, se- 
creted among the grass, brush, and trees. The discharge of 
*.he cannon checked and made them fail back for about half an 
hour. About twelve of us advanced and brought in our dead. 
Among the wounded was Lieut. Mudge, who was speechless. 



356 ESCAPE OF RANSOM CLARK. 

We set him up against a tree, and he was found there two 
months after, when Gen. Gainea sent a detachment to bury the 
bodies of our soldiers. All hands then commenced throwing 
up a small triangular breastwork of logs ; but, just as we had 
raised it about two feet, the Indians returned and renewed the 
engagement. A part of our troops fought within the breast- 
work, and a part outside. I remained outside till I received a 
ball in nay right arm, and another near my right temple, which 
came out at the top of my head. I next received a shot in my 
thigh, which brought me down on my side, and I then got into 
the breastwork. We gave them forty-nine discharges from the 
cannon ; and while loading for the fiftieth, and the last shot we 
had, our match- went out. The Indians chiefly levelled at the 
men who worked the cannon. In the mean time the main body 
of our troops kept up a general fire with musketry. 

The loss of the enemy must have been very great, because 
we never fired until we fixed on our men ; but the cannon was 
necessarily fired at random, as only two or three Indians ap- 
peared together. When the firing commenced, the van-guard 
wheeled, and, in returning to the main body, were entirely cut 
up. The battle lasted till about four in the afternoon, and I 
was about the last man who handled a gun, while lying on my 
side. At the close I received a shot in my right shoulder, 
which passed into my lungs ; the blood gushed out of my 
mouth in a stream, and, dropping my musket, I rolled over on 
my face. The Indians then entered the breastwork, but found 
not one man standing to defend it. They secured the arms, 
ammunition, and the cannon, and despatched such of our fallen 
soldiers as they supposed still to be alive. Their negroes then 
came in to sirip the dead. I had by this time somewhat reviv- 
ed, and a negro, observing that I was not dead, took up a mus- 
ket, and shot me in the top of the shoulder, and the lall came 
out at my back. After firing, he said, " Dere, d — n you, take 
dat." He then stripped me of every thing but my shirt. 

The enemy then disappeared to the left of the pond, and, 
through weakness and apprehension, I remained still, till about 
nine o'clock at night. I then commenced crawling on my 
knees and left hand. As I was crawling over the dead, I put 
my hand on one man who felt different from the rest; he Avas 
warm and limber. I loused him up, and found it was De 
Courcy, an Englishman, and the son of a British officer, resi- 
dent in Canada. I told him that it was best for us to attempt 
to travel, as the danger appeared to be over, and we might fall 
in with assistance. 

As he was only wounded in the side and arm, he could walk 
a little. We got along as well as we could that night, contin- 



THOMPSON'S ESCAPE. 357 

ued on till next noon, when, on a rising ground, we observed 
an Indian ahead, on horseback, loading his rifle. We agreed 
that he should go on one side of the road and I on the other. 
The Indian took after De Courcy, and I heard the discharge 
of his rifle. This gave me time to crawl into a hammock and 
hide away. The Indian soon returned with his arms and legs 
covered with blood, having, no doubt, according to custotn, cut 
De Courcy to pieces after bringing him down with his rifle. 
The Indian came riding through the brush in pursuit of me, 
and approached within ten feet, but gave up the search. I 
then resumed my route back to fort Brooke, crawled and limped 
through the nights and forenoons, and slept in the brush dur- 
ing the middle of the day, with no other nourishment than cold 
water. I got to fort Brooke on the evening of the fifth day; 
and in five months afterwards was discharged as a pensioner, 
at eight dollars per month. The doctor attributes my not dy- 
ing of my wounds to the circumstance that I bled a good deal, 
and did not partake of any solid food during the five first days. 
Two other soldiers, by the names of Thomas and Sprague, 
also came in afterwards. Although badly wounded, they as- 
cended a tree, and thus escaped the enemy, on the evening of 
the battle. They joined another expedition, two months after, 
but before their wounds were healed, and they soon died of 
them. 



THE FOLLOWING 

NARR.\TIVE OF ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY ES- 
CAPES FROM A DREADFUL DEATH, ANYWHERE RECORDED, 
IS CONTAINED IN A LETTER WRITTEN BY THE SUFFERER 
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHARLESTON (S. C.) COURIER, 
IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT HAPPENED. IT TOOK PLACE AT 
CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE, IN 1S36. 

On the 23d of July last, about four P. M., as I was going 
from the kitchen to the dwelling-house, I discovered a large 
body of Indians within twenty yards of me, back of the kitch- 
en. I ran for the lighthouse, and called out to the old negro 
man that was with me to run, for the Indians were near; at 
that moment they discharged a volley of rifle balls, which cut 
my clothes and hat, and perforated the door in many places. 
We got in, and as I was turning the key the savages had hold 
of the door. I stationed the negro at the door, with orders to 
let me know if they attempted to break in ; I then took my 
three muskets, which were loaded with ball and buck-shot, and 
went to the second window. Seeing a large body of them op- 



35S ESCAPE OF 

posite the dwelling-house, I discharged my muskets in succes- 
sion among them, which put them in some confusion ; they 
then, for the second time, hegan their horrid yells, and in a 
minute no sash or glass was left at the window, for they vented 
their rage at that spot. I fired at them from some of the other 
windows, and from the top of the house ; in fact, I fired when- 
ever I could get an Indian for a mark. I kept them from the 
house until dark. 

They then poured in a heavy fire at all the windows and 
lantern ; that was the time they set fire to the door and window 
even with the ground. The window was boarded up with plank 
and filled up with stone inside ; but the flames spread fast, 
being fed with yellow pine wood. Their balls had perforated 
the tin tanks of oil, consisting of two hundred and tAventy-five 
gallons ; my bedding, clothing, and in fact every thing I had, 
was soaked in oil. 1 stopped at the door until driven away by 
the flames. I then took a keg of gunpowder, my balls, and 
one musket to the top of the house, then went below, and be- 
gan to cut away the stairs about half way up from the bottom. 
I had difficuliy in getting the old negro up the space I had 
already cut ; but the flames now drove me from my labor, and 
I retreated to the top of the house. I covered over the scuttle 
that leads to the lantern, which kept the fire from me for some 
time ; at last the awful moment arrived, the crackling flames 
burnt around me, the savages at the same time began their 
hellish yells. My poor old negro looked to me with tears in 
his eyes, but could not speak ; we went out of the lantern, and 
lay down on the edge of the platform, two feet wide ; the lan- 
tern now was full of flame, the lamps and glasses bursting and 
flying in all directions, my clothes on fire, and to move from 
the place where I was would be instant death from their rifles. 
My flesh was roasting, and to put an end to my horrible suf- 
fering, I got up, threw the keg of gunpowder down the scuttle 
— instantly it exploded, and shook the tower from the top to 
the bottom. It had not the desired eflect of blowing me into 
eternity, but it threw down the stairs and all the wooden work 
near the top of the house ; it damped the fire for a moment, 
but it soon blazed as fierce as ever ; the negro man said he was 
wounded, which was the last word he spoke. 

By this time I had received some wounds myself; and find- 
ing no chance for my life, for I was roasting alive, I took the 
determination to jump ofT. I got up, went outside the iron 
railing, recommending my soul to God, and was on the point 
of going head foremost on the rocks below, when something 
dictated to me to return and lie down again. I did so, and in 
two minutes the fire fell to the bottom of the house. It is a 



JOHN W. B. THOMrSON. 359 

remarkable circumstance, that not one ball struck me when I 
stood up outside the railing, although they were flying all 
around me like hail-stones. I found the old negro man dead, 
being shot in several places, and literally roasted. A few 
minutes after the fire fell, a stiff breeze sprung up from the south- 
ward, which was a great blessing to me. I had to lie where I 
was, for I could not walk, having received six rifle balls, three 
in each foot. The Indians, thinking me dead, left the light- 
house, and set fire to the dwelling-house, kitchen and other 
out-houses, and began to carry their plunder to the beach ; they 
took all the empty barrels, the drawers of the bureaus, and in 
fact every thing that would act as a vessel to hold any thing; 
my provisions were in the lighthouse, except a barrel" of flour, 
which they took off. The next morning they hauled out of 
the lighthouse, by means of a pole, the tin that composed the 
oil tanks, no doubt to make grates to manufacture the coonty 
root into what we call arrow root. After loading my little 
sloop, about ten or twelve went into her; the rest took to the 
beach to meet at the other end of the island. This happened, 
as I judge, about ten, A. M. My eyes being much affected, 
prevented me from knowing their actual force, but I judge there 
were from forty to Mly, perhaps more. I v/as now almost as 
bad off as before ; a burning fever on me, my feet shot to pieces, 
no clothes to cover me, nothing to eat or drink, a hot sun over- 
head, a dead man by my side, no friend near or any to expect, 
and placed between seventy and eiahty feet from the earth, and 
no chance of getting down, my situation was truly horrible. 
About twelve o'clock, I thought 1 couhl perceive a vessel not far 
off; I took a piece of the old negro's trowsers that had escaped 
the flames by being wet with blood, and made a signal. 

Some time in the afternoon, I saw two boats with my sloop 
in tow coming to the landing. I had no doubt but they were 
Indians, having seen my signal, and had returned to finish 
their murderous design : hut it proved to be boats of the United 
States schooner Motto, Capt. Armstrong, with a detachment 
of seamen and marines, under the command of Lieut. Lloyd, 
of the sloop-of-war Concord. They had retaken my sloop, 
after the Indians had stripped h-^r of her sails and rigging, and 
every thing of consequence belorging to her; they informed 
me they heard my explosion twelve miles off, and ran down to 
my assistance, but did not expect 'o find me alive. Those 
gentlemen did all in their power to relieve me, but, night com- 
ing on, they returned on board the Motto, after assuring me of 
their assistance in the morning. 

Next morning, Monday, July 5, three boats landed, among 
them Capt. Cole, of the schooner Pee Dee, from New York. 



360 



THOMPSON'S ESCAPE, 



They had made a kite during the night, to get a line to me, 
but without eflect; they then fired twine from their muskets, 
made fast to a ramrod, which I received, and hauled up a tail- 
block and made fast round an iron stanchion, rove the twine 
through the block, and they below, by that means, rove a two- 
inch rope, and hoisted up two men, who soon landed rne on 
terra firma. I must state here, that the Indians had made a 
ladder, by lashing pieces of wood across the lightning rod, near 
forty feet from the ground, as if to have my scalp, nolens vo- 
lens. This happened on the fourth. After I got on board the 
Motto, every man, from the captain to the cook, tried to alle- 
viate my sufferings. On the seventh, I was received in the 
military hospital, through the politeness of Lieut. Alvord, of 
the fourth regiment of United States Infantry. He has done 
every thing to make my situation as comfortable as possible. 

I must not omit here to return my thanks to the citizens of 
Key West, generally, for their sympathy and kind offers of any 
thing I would wish, that it was in their power to bestow. Be- 
fore I left Key West, two balls were extracted, and one remains 
in my right leg; but, since I am under the care of Dr. Ram- 
sey, who has paid every attention to me, he will kiaow best 
whether to extract it or not. 

These lines are written to let my friends know that I am 
still in the land of ihe living, and am now in Charleston, S. C, 
where every attention is paid me. Although a cripple, I can 
eat my allowance, and walk about without the use of a cane. 
Respectfully yours, 

JOHN W. B. THOMPSON. 




361 



NEWS FROM NEW-ENGLAND. 

BEING A TRUE AND LAST ACCOUNT OF THE PRESENT 
BLOODY WARS CARRIED ON BETWIXT THE INFIDELS, 
NATIVES, AND THE ENGLISH CHRISTIANS, AND CON- 
VERTED INDIANS OF NEW-ENGLAND, DECLARING THE 
MANY DREADFUL BATTLES FOUGHT BETWIXT THEM: 
AS ALSO THE MANY TOWNS AND VILLAGES BURNT 
BY THE MERCILESS HEATHENS. AND ALSO THE TRUE 
NUMBER OF ALL THE CHRISTIANS SLAIN SINCE THE 
BEGINNING OF THAT V/AR, AS IT WAS SENT OVER BY 
A FACTOR OF NEW-ENGLAND TO A MERCHANT IN 
LONDON. Licensed Aug. 1. — Roger L'Estrange. LONDON. 
Printed for J. Coniers, at the Sign of the Black Raven in Duck-Lam, 1676. 

[The following tract is of exceeding rarity ; so much so that, not long 
since, but one was known to be in this country. This is reprinted from a 
copy of one in the library of Johj^ Cartkr Brown, Esq., of Providence. 
To the politeness of this gentleman we are indebted for permission to make 
a transcript. The original is, without exception, one of the worst printed 
tracts of the day in whicli it appeared. The type on which it was printed 
was wretched, especially the Italic; some of the letters in many of the 
words not being distinguishable, and others entirely wanting. I have ad- 
hered, in this reprint, as closely to the original, in respect to orthography, 
capitals, and italics, as possible. Of its comparative value, in an historical 
point of view, it is unnecessary to remark. It is republished as a curious 
record of one of the most important periods in the History of New Eng- 
land. The Antiquary, and Student in our history, will readily perceive 
its value, while to the general reader it will be almost as unintelligible as 
though in an unknown language. 

To whom belongs the authorship, we have no data on which to found 
even a conjecture. A few notes seemed necessary. These, and the words 
in the text included in brackets, are added to this edition.] 

_ Those Coals of Discention which had a long time lain 
hid under the ashes of a secret envy; contracted by the 
Heathen Indians of New-England, against the English ; 
and Christian Natives of that Country brake out in June 
1675. both Armies being at a distance without doing any 
thing remarkable till the 13 oC December following ; at which 
time the MatJmsets and Flymouth Company marching from 
Seconk, sent out a considerable number of Scouts, who 
kill'd & took 55. of the Enemy, returning with no other 
loss but two of our Men disabled , about three days after 
came a perfidious Indian to our Army pretending he was 
sent by the Sachems to treat of Peace, who was indeed no 
other but a Spy and was no sooner conducted out of our 
Camp but we had news brought us that 22 of our Straghng 



36S NEWS TKOM NEW-ENOLA.XD. 

Souldiers were Slain and divers barns and out houses, with 
Mr. Jer. Bulls dwelling house burnt by him and his Trech- 
erous confederates which waited for him. The next day, 
as the Comiectick A'cmy wnder \.he Conduct of Major Tieat 
was Marching to Joyn with the Mathusets, and Plymouth 
Company ; they were assaulted by the Indians, but without 
any loss, they taking eleaven of the Assailants Prisoners. 

The QMh [18] of December, our whole Army being united 
under the Conduct of Major Genr : Winsloto, went to seek 
out the Enemy, whom we found (there then hapening a 
great fall of Snow) securing themsueles in a dismal Swamp, 
so hard of access that there was but one was [way] for en- 
trance, which was well lin'd with Heathen Indians, who 
presently went out to assault us ; but we failing in Pel-mell 
with them ; with much difficulty gained the Swamp where 
we fonnd above 1500 Wiggwams, and by night, had pos- 
session [2] of the fort of wliich we were dispossest soon 
after by an unexpected recruit of fresh" Indians out of an 
adjoyning Swamp, but our Noble Generals insatiable de- 
sire of victory prom[)ted him to such brave actions, that we 
following his example to the enemies cost, made oiu-- 
selves absolute Masters of the fort again.* Although we 
purchased our success at so dear a rate that we have small 
cause to rejoyce at the victory ; yet when we consider the 
vast disadvantage! they had of us in number, whom we 
collected $ have 4000 fighting men. & we not much more 
than half so many, we have great reason to bless God we 
came of so well, our dead and wounded not a Mounting to 
above 220, and the enemies by their own Confession to no 
less than 600. the chief officers kild on our side were 
Capt. Davenport, Capt. Jolmson, Capt. Marshal, Capt. 
Gardner. Capt. Gallop. Captains wounded were 4. vizt, 
Sealey, Major Wats, and Bradford, Lieutenants wounded 
were 4. viz. Savage, Tins;, Upham and Wam.^ 

In this bloody Battle we gaue .*o bitter a Relish of our 
English valour & our converted Indians resolutions, that 
they dreaded our neighborhood & thought themselves 
unsafe till secur'd by six or seaven miles distance from 
our remaining Army, where they remain'd near a month 

• There w a little embellishmeat here. The Engll3h were at no time driven oat of th« 
fort. t The exact reverse is probably meant. J Calculated? 

§ Svjain, very probably. There was a " Lieut. Swayne," belonging to Oapt. Appte- 
ton'8 company. A " Lieut. Swan " U mentioned in one of the London tracts In our 
eiD Ihdus CHBe.ME'rfi. p. 50. no doubt the iame Lievi Swain. 



NEWS FROM NEW-ENGLAND. 



363 



not attempting anything considerable till the first of jPe6. 
at which time a certain Number of them made desperate 
through hunger came to PaJickset, a Little Town near Pro- 
vidence & aitenipteil the house of one Mr. Carpenter, 
from whom they took 20 horses 50 head of Cattle and 180 
sheep. And set tire on a house at Southbury * wherein 
were two men, one woman and seaven Children ; on the 
^th. of February the Christians received private intelligence 
from the Indiuns who had Sculked ever since the last Bat- 
tle in certain woods scituale about 30 miles from.Malbury, 
that they were drawn u[i into a body, and encamped in a 
well fortified Swamp, where notwithstanding the Indians 
[3] assaulted the Rear, wounded four of our men, and we 
killing so many of theirs that they thought fit to forsake 
their retuge, and leave both it and their wigwams to our 
disposal, who lodging in their Rooms that night, set fire to 
a 150 of their wigwams next morning, & by this light 
pursued them so close tliat we kill'd divers of them, whom 
age or woimds rendered incapable [3] of keeping up with 
their Com[)anions, k. resolving to continue the quest with 
all the celerity imaginable, they led us to another Swamp 
whose Rocky ascent propounded so great a difficulty to at- 
tain it, as would have Staggar'd the resolution of any but a 
resolved Mind; but we attempted it with the like resolution 
and success as we did the Last; the enemy by a speedy 
flight leaving us in full possession of all they left behind 
them. 

We Pel sued them two dayes after this encounter, but 
then (which was on the 18^^ Febr.) finding our men wear- 
ied with Speedy marches, our provision scarce through con- 
tinual expence and no recruit, our horses tir'd, and our 
selves hopeless of overtaking them, who had great advan- 
tage of us in passing over Rocks and through Thickets, 
which our Foot, not without much difficulty, could, & our 
horse were altogether incapable to do; our Commanders, 
after a Councel of warr, resolved to send the Massathmets 
& Plymouth Company to Malbunj, and the Connecticks 
Army to their own homes which was accordingly done. 
And Major Genr. Winsloic, only with his Troops to Boston, 
leaving the foot at Malbury and South-bury, who came 
home on Munday following, and were all dismist to their 
several habitations, except Capt. Wadicorthy who was left 



• Sudburr, probably. 



S64 NEWS FROM NEW-ENGLAND. 

at Mulbury in persuit of the Enemy, of whom he destroyed 
about 70, Old Men, Women and Children, who wanted 
strength to follow the fugitive Army.* 

The Desperate heathens takeing advantage of the dis- 
mission of three Disbanded Companies, studied nothing 
but Massacres, outrages, and treacherous hostillitie, which 
within two days after those said Companies were dispers't, 
they found opportunity to commit, in a Town called Nash- 
aivay, which they set fire to, and burnt to the Ground, takhig 
no less than 55 Persons into their Merciless captivity, and 
because the reader shall understand the Damnable antipa- 
thy they have to Religion and Piety, I would have him take 
notice how they endeavour to Signallize their Cruelty, and 
gratifie their enraged Spleen, chiefly on the promoters of it; 
for of these 55 Ca[)tives, the Minister of the Town's rela- 
tions made no less than 19 of them; viz. Mrs. Rowlonson, 
the Ministers wife, and three of his Children, her sister and 
seaven Children, and her sister Drew and four Children. 
The Minister himself with his sisters husbands returning 
from Boston a little after the engagement, [4] to their in- 
finite grief, found their houses burnt to the ground, and their 
Wives and Children t .ken Captive, nor was this crueltie 
committed, as the extent or Nepolm Vltria of their vengance, 
but rather as an earnest of their Bearbarity. For no longer 
than the next day after, three men Going out, with the Cart, 
were seiz'd on by these Indians, one of them killed, and the 
other two not to be found; the day following at Cox[c\ord, 
[Concord?] they burnt one house and murder'd three per- 
sons. 

In short, their outrages are so many and different, that I 
must intreat the reader, since they will not be brought into 
afluent Narration, to accept them plainly and dyurually, ac- 
cording to the time, place, and manner, as they were com- 
mitted, which is the only v/ay to avoid omissions, and 
consequently to Satisfie the inquisitive, vi^ho, I suppose, 
would willingly hear of all the extremities [that] have hap- 
pened to the sufl"ering Christians in this New England War. 

On the 17 of Fehr. therefore, you must know, that the 
Town of Medfeild was begirt with a regiment of resoleut 
Indian[s], who assailed it so briskly, that maugred all the 
resistance made by Capt. Jacohbs, who was then Ingarrison- 
ed there with a hundred Souldiers for its security, the en- 

•If this be 80, wbo will wonder at the fato of Capt. Wadsworth and his men? 



NEWS FROM NEW-ENGLAND, 865 

laged Heathens never desisted their desperate attemps, 
Battering the Walls, and powering showers of Arrows into 
the bosorae of the Town, they had distroyed above 50 of 
her inhabitants, & burnt 30 of her houses. 

The 1th. of i)fa/-c^ following these bloody Indians march' t 
to a considerable Town called Croaton* where first they 
set fire to Major Willard's house, & afterwards burnt 65.. 
more, there being Seaventy two houses at first, so that there 
was left standing but six houses of the whole Town ; the 
next day after, two men coming from Mcdbiiry to Southbury 
were slain: and the Sabboth day ensuing, these destroying 
Indians came to Plymouth, where fixing only on a house of 
one Mr. Clarks, they burnt, and murthered his wife and 
all his Children, himself Narrowly escaping their crueltie 
by happily at that juncture being at a raeetmg. 

On the second of April, 1676, Major Savage, Capt. Mose- 
ley, Capt. William, Tumor, and Captain Whipal,\ with 300. 
men marching from Malhorow to Quahury,X where they had 
ordered the Connecticlc Army to remain in readiness against 
their coming, which being effected, accordingly they joined 
forces, and began [5] their march towards Northampton, but 
by the way were assaulted by the Indians, whom they re- 
pelled without any other damage, then only Mr. Buckly 
wounded, killing about 20 of the Enemies in a hot persuit 
after them. 

The tenth Ditto, about 700 Indians encompast North' 
ampton on all sides where they fought very resolutely for 
the space of an hour, and then fled, leaving about 25 per- 
sons dead upon the place, the Christians loosing only 4. men 
and 1. woman, and had some barnes burnt; on the \2th 
instant they assaulted PFa/mc/c with so unhappy a success 
that they burnt all the Town, except four Garrison houses 
which were left standing, six days after Captain Peirce, 
Brother to Captain Peirce of London, with 55 men and 20 
Christian Indians went to seek out their Enemies, the 
Indians whom according to their intelligence they found 
rambling in an obscure Wood; upon his approach they 
drew into order, and received his onset with much difficulty, 
being in the end forced to retreat, but it was so slowly that 
it scarcely deserved that name, when a fresh company of 

• Groton, probably. The C. may be an imperfect G. in copy. 
t Probably Whipple, but hardly dccidable. 
tQuabaog? Brookfield. 



366 NEWS FROM NEW-ENOLAN». 

Indians came itito their assistance, beset the Christians 
round, Killed Ca[)taiB Pierce and 48. of his men, besides 8. 
of the Christian Indians. The Fight continued about 5 
hours, the Enemy bying the Victory very dearly, but at last 
obtained it so absolutely, that they deprived us of all means 
of hearing of their loss. 

At Malbrow on the 12i;/i Ditto, were several houses burnt 
whilst the miserable inhabitants were at a meeting, and at 
Springfield the same Lords day, these devillish Enemies of 
Religion seeing a man, woman, and their Children, going 
but towards a meeting-house, Slew them (as they said) 
because they thought they intended to go thither. 

The 28^/^, of the same instant, Ap-il last, Ca}>tain Denison 
collecting a Regiment of 500, and 2U0 English Paquet 
Nimerass Indians, marcht out of New London in search of 
that Grand fomenter of this Rebellion. Anthony* the 
Sechaon, whom at last near the Town call'd Providence he 
recovered, and after a hot dispute, wherein he kill'd 45 of 
the Sechems men. Took him their commander Prisoner, 
with several of his Captiines, whom they immediately put 
to death ; but were at strong debate whether they should 
send him to Boston, but at length ihey carried him to [6] 
New London, and began to examine him, why he did fo- 
ment that war wliich would certainly be the distruction of 
him and all the Heathen Indians in the Country, to which, 
and many other interogatories he made no other reply but 
that 1[he was born a Prince, &; if Princes came to speak 
with him, he would answer them, But none of those pres- 
ent being Princes, he thought himself oblig'd in honour to 
hold his Tongue ]t This Answer, though it might Chal- 
lenge their admiration, was not so prevalent as to obtain 
their pitty. 

Notwithstanding, the Surviveing Sechems v/ere not long 
in revenging his death, for, on the Sixth of May, they burnt 
all Malborow, except three Garrison houses, kill'd Capt. 
Jacohson and Lieutenant Praf,a.nd two dayes after burnt 24 
houses in Southbury, kill'd several of the inhabitants who 
vainly expected Capt. Wedtvorth and Capt. Br oak wet to 
their Relief; for these unfortunate Gentlemen were inter- 

* Nqnuntenc, unquestionably is intended ; but what is aieant by Nimerass is beyond 
our somprehension. 

t The printer's quotation mark. 

i The printer was probably puaszled to make any thing of his copy Brochlehank to 
the name. 



KEWS FROM NEW-EXGLAXD. S67 

cepled by 700 Moors, with whom they fought for the space 
of 4 hours, till not only they two, but Capt. Sharp and 51 
Christians more lay dead upon the place. 

At Wbor/cock[s] 10 miles from Seconch, on the \&th May 
was a little Skirmage betwixt the Moors and Christians, 
wherein there was of the later three slain and two wounded, 
and only two Indians Kild. 

May 28. 1676. Capt. Denison and Capt. Evry [Avery] 
with 50 English and about 150 Paquet Indians, Scouting 
among the Woods, in ft days space kill'd 25 Indians s.T\d took 
51 prisoners; one whereof was Grand-child to Dunham* 
who was kill'd by Capt. Peirce in the engagement on the 
26 May. 

The number of Christians slain since the beginning of the 
late Wars in New England, are 444. Taken Prisoners, 55. 

The number of Indians Slain in this war is uncertain, 
because they burnt their Dead, keeping their Death as a 
Secret from the Christians knowledge, but the number men- 
tioned herein is 910. 

We have Received very late news that the Christians in 
New England have had very great Victory over the Infidel 
Natives. 

There has been a Treaty between them ; the Indians 
proffer to lay down their Armes, but the English are not 
willing to agree to it, except they will give up their Armes, 
and go as far up into the Country, as the Court of Boston 
shall think fit.t 



* Perhaps Pinnham. t This is new and i 

X Some copies of the original tract have not this last paragraph. Mr. Brown's copy 
has it, but that in IlavTard College library is without it. By comparing the proofs of 
this edition with that belonging to the College, several corrections have been made, and 
uncertain words made out. which could not have been done by the other copy. And 
here we would return our thanks to the obliging Librarian, for his kindness in afibrding 
UB an opportunity to make our copy more perfect than either of the others. 



FINIS 



INDEX 



Adams, George, 242 

Adams, Mr. , a captive in Canada, 137 

Adams, John, a captive, 150-1 

Aikings, William, a captive, 135 

Alexander, James, a captive, 84-5 

Alden, Capt. , sent to redeem captives, 106 

Aldrick, Jolin, a captive in Canada, 137 

Alvord, Lieutenant, 300 

Amrusus, husband of Eunice Williams, 129 

Anderson, James, a captive, 134 ; his father 

killed, 137 
Anderson, Samuel, a captive, 134 
Andrews, Phinehas, dies in captivity, 137 

Arnold, ^.liberates Frances Noble, 171, 

Armstrong, Col. John, 261 j his expedition, 

263 
Armstrong, Col Joseph, 250 

Armstrong, Capt. , 359 

Asallecoa, (Mohawk Solomon,) 187 
Ashby, captives taken there, 139 
Ashpelon, leads a party and surprises Deer- 
field, 60-1 ; protects the captives, 63 
Auge, Mad. St., 166-7, 170-1 

Bailey, Capt. ,dies in captivity, 137 

Bailey, Jacob, dies in captivity, 137 
Baker, Robert, narrow escape of, 127 
Baker, William, 23a 

Ball, Mr. and wife killed at Lancaster, 21 

Ball, , family of attacked, 338 

Ballock, Lieut. , 130 

Banks, Sir Joseph, 286 

Batherick, Jonathan, a captive, 136 

Beavers, account of, 93-4 ; curious facts 

respecting, 209-10, 312 
Bellemont, Gov , 106 
3eU, John, 155 

Bennet, Richard, dies in captivity, 137 
Berran, John, a captive, 135 
Blake, Lieut., of Epsom, anecdotes of 146-7 

Blodget, , a soldier killed at Ashby, 140 

Bomazeen, a chief, prisoner in Boston, 106 
Book of the Indians, cited, iii., vii. 35, 46, 
48, 65, 73, 80, 84, 98, 102, 109, 284, 356 
Bostwick, Mr . a captive, 295 ; ransom- 
ed, 301 
Bouquet, Col., how sa"d from defeat, 259-60 
Bowman, Ann, a captive, 276 
Boyd, Ensign, killed, 352 
Bozarth, Experience, her desperate resist- 
ance, 335 
Braban, Giat, dies in captivity, 137 
Braddock, Gen., Indians opinion of his 
army, 183 ; his defeat, 184 ; by Indians, 
269, 261 
Bradford, John, of Lexington, Ky., 179 
Bradley, Capt., 279 

Bradshaw, John, dies in captivity, 137 
Bridgman, Jonathan, a captive, 136 
Brooks, Mr. William, 347 

Brown, Deacon , 135 

Brown, Timothy, a captive, 136 
Bryant, Sarah, widow, married, 137 
Burbank, Caleb, a captive, 140 
Burbank, Jonathan, a captive, 140 ; re- 
deemed, 142 ; killed, 142 
Burbank, Samuel, a captive, 135 ; dies 138- 
140 



Butler, Oen., the Indian Trho icalped Um 

taken, 352 

Cadotte, M. , 323, 324 

Caldwell, Rev James, kiUed, 179 
Campbell, Arthur, a captive. 204 

Carter, , 351 

Carver, Capt. Jonathan, his captivity, 172-8 
Catawbas, some account of, 189-90 

Chalker, , 77 

Clhapman, Capt. , 137 

Chipman, William, a captive, 133 
Christi, his exploit at Epsom, 144 
Chronicles of the Indians, 131, 134,284 
Chubb, Capt., surrenders Fort Pemmaquid. 

101 
Church, Col. Benjamin, 107 
Clark, Ransom, escapes from Dade's massa- 
cre, 355 
Clendenin, Archibald, 284 
Clendenin, Mrs. captivity of, 284-6 
Closier, James, 351 
Cloutnian, Edward, a captive, 134 ; escapea 

137 
Cochecho — see Quochecho 
Cole, Capt., 359 
Conjuration, 216 
Convers. Maj. James, 106 
Cook, Elisha, killed, 135 
Cooras, Michael, ransomed, 105 
Corbett, Jesse, 142 
Corbly, Rev. John, his narrative of the 

destruction of his family, 336-7 
Cornstalk, breaks up the Greenbrier Set- 
tlement, 284 
Cortez, his capture of Narvaez, 11 
Courtship, Indian mode of, 253 

Cox, Mr. , a prisoner to the French, 102 

Crawford, Col., his defeat, 259 

Crib, Capt., di.=covery of his sword, 352 

Cuchoise, John, his kindness to a captive, 

296 
Cummings, Timothy, a captive, 135 
Dade's defeat and death, 355 
Davis, John, dies in captivity, 137 
Dayly, William, dies in captivity, 137 
Dechouffour, Mons., 100 

De Courcy, , his melancholy fate, 357 

Deerfield, surprise of people there, 60-1 

Denox, Joseph, dies in captivity, 138 

Deny, Wiliam, 246 

Devil, Indian notions of, 218, 256-6 

D'Iberville, Mons., 101 

Dill, John, dies in Captivity, 138 

Dover, Waldron's garrison at, destroyed, 

Downing, Robert, a captive. 136 

Drew, Mrs., a captive. 21, 50 

Ducharme, M. L., 287 

Dudlev, Gov ,106 

Duffieid,WiUiam,250 

Dugon, Michael, dies in captivity, 137 

Dummer, Gov., 108 

Dunbar, Rober", a captive, escapes, 136 

Dunham, Jonathan, dies in captivity, 137 

Eames, Nathan, a captive, 136 ; dies, 137 

Eastburn. Robert, narrative of his captivity 



Elliot, Robert, 250 

English, theTalhasaga, 221 

Erviiig, Mr. , 283 

Estaiug, Count de, at Boston, 163 

Ethrington, Maj. 287, 295 

Evans, John, a captive, 86 ; miserably 

perishes, 87 
Evans, Samuel, dies in captivity, 138 
Fairbaulis, Jonas and Joshua, killed, 21 
Farnsworth, Stephen, a captive, 134 
Farrar, Henry, killed at Laiicatter, 21 
Fitch, John, narrative of his captivity, 

139-iO 
Florida, ravaged by the Spaniards, 11-20 
Folke, George, himself and family mur- 
dered, 1.'52 
Forbes, General, his expedition, 233, 261 
Fort, Abraham, dies in captivity, 138 
Fort, Capt. John, dies in captivity, 138 
Fowler, Mary, captivity of, 140-13 
Frazier Capt., killed, 355 
Furbush, Phinehas, a ca|itive, 136 
Gaffield, Benjamin, drowned, 157 
Gaffield, Eunice, a captive, 157 
Gaines, Gen., buries the dead killed in 

Dade's flahi, 356 
Garwafs, William, dies in captivity, 137 
George, Robert, 246-9 
Gerish, John, 68, 72 
Geri-sh, Sarah, captivity of, G8-70 
Gibbs, Capt., of Newport, 263 
Gilbert, John, a captive, 40-1 
Girty, Thomas, his residence, 352 
God, Indian notions < f, 218, 255 ; of in- 
ferior gods, 256, 324, 330-1 
Gof den, Pike, dies in captivity, 137 
Goodman, Samuel, dies in captivity, 136, 

138 
Goodwin, Mehetable, a captive, 111-12 
Grant, Capt., in captivity, 279 
Grant, Col., his defeat, 233, 259 
Gray, Joseph, dies in captivity, 138 
Greaihouse,Capl., taken, 343; killed, 245 
Grout, Hilkiah, his escape from Indians, 

156-7 
Grout, Mrs. Submit, in captivity, 1.57 
Gyles, Capt John, narrative of his cap- 
tivity, 73-109 
Gyles, Mr. Thomas, killed, 75 
Hadley, men killed there, 39 
llagimsack, Indian settlement, 104 
Hafi and M'Kenny's Indian Biography, 84 
Handy, William, 180 
Hanson family, captivity of, 113-26 
Hanson, Elizabeth, her captivity, 113-26 
Hanson, John, his death, 12.5-6 
Harmer, Gen., his defeat, 259 
Harris, Mary, in captivity, '276 
narthan,Jonalhan, dies ill captivity, 137 
Hawks, John, a captive, 136 
Hawthorne, Col., goes against the 

French, 103 
Ileard, Mrs. Elizabeth, remarkable es- 
cape of, 71 
Heard, Mr. John, 72 
Heard, Tristram, killed, 72 
Henry, Alexander, taken captive, 286 
Henry, Sergeant, a captive, 279 



Herbeson, Maesa, narrative of his capti7}> 
ty, 349-52 

Hessians, capture of some, 249 

Hinkaton, Capt. John, exploit of, 250 

Hitchcock, Nathaniel, a captive, 137 

Hoar, Mr. John, ventures among the hos- 
tile Indians to redeem captives, 50 ; 
succeeds, 52-3 ; returns with siuie to 
Boston, 55-6 

Hodge, Jonathan, 250 

Holmes, John, 246 

Holmes, Mary, a captive, 166 

Hoosuck Fort, prisoners taken there, 
136-7 

Hopehood, a leader at Salmon Falls, 111 

Horton, Joshua, 239 

Howard, Col , 165 

How, Caleb, narrow escape of, 128, 156 

How, Caleb, a captive, 160-1 

How, Daniel, a captive, 136-7 

Howell, Jacob S., 249 

How, Jemiraah, captivity of, 156-65 

How, Nehemiah, captivity of, 127-38 

How, Squire, a caiitive, 158 

Huhbard, William, 57 

Hubbell, Capt William, his extraordina- 
ry braverv, 342-8 

Hull, Rev. Mr ,71 

Humphreys, Col. D., 164 

Huntington, Hezekiah, dies in captivity, 
138 

Irviii, Mrs. Margaret, wife ofCol. Jas 
Smith, 179-80 

Jacobs, Capt., conduct at Kitlaning,263 

James, the printer, 52 

Jamette, Lieut., murdered, 290 

Jelfers, , 351 

Jelloway, George, 351 

Jennings, , a soldier, killed at Ash- 

bv, 139 

Johnsons, Misses, captives. 169 

Johnson, Mis., a captive, 281 

Johnson, , killed, 245-6 

Johnson. Sir William. 268, a council 
with the Indians, 326, 328,332 

John, one-eyed, Monoco, his murders at 
Lancaster, 24, 50 

Jones, Rev. Enos, 139 

Jones, John, a captive, 136 

Jordan, Capt. James, dies in captivity, 
138 

Joslin, Mrs. , a captive, 29 ; shocli 

ing manner of her death, ib. 

Jones, Thomas, dies in captivity, 135-6 

Kelly, John,his Narrative of Mrs. Noble's 
captivity, 165 

Kenhawa, Great, battle of, 259 ; number 
of Indians killed in, 263 

Kerley, Mrs. , killed at Lancaster, 

22 

Kelly, William, killed at Lancaster, 22 

Kelly, Captain Henry, 56 

Kettle, goodwife, a captive, 50 ; redeem- 
ed, 56 

Kilpatrick, , 343 ; killed, 346 

King, not applicable to Indian chiefs, 257 

Kiiilade, James, a captive, 132-3 

Lancaster, destroyed by Indians, 20-2S 



Langlade, Mr. , 290-3 ; Inhuman- 
ity of, 296 

Lesslie, Lic-ut., 295 

Lewis. CroTi. marries a dan. of an Indian 
ca;)tive, 163 

Lewis, John, niassacr'd with his family ,151 

Light, Daniel. 313 ; woundea,^44 

Liviugstr>ii, .Mr. , 283 

Lloyd, Lieut. . 359 

Logan, Gen , his Indian expedition, 261 

Loughrie, Col., his defeat, 25£> ; further ac- 
count of, 352 

Lovet. Samuel, a captive, loo ; dies, 137 

Lunenburgh, why so nau'ed, 1-3^ 

Lydin's Fort destroyed, 131. 134 . 

Lydle, Leonard, married, 137 ; dies 

Lydle, Sarah, dies in captivity, 1.38 

Lynd, Hon. Judge, 132 

Lyon, \Villiani, 250 

Manetohcoa, an Ojibewa conjurer, 215 

Manheim, Fredericli. narraiive of his cap- 
tivity, 333 

Manners and customs of Indian.", how to 
be judged of, iii . iv. ; ceremony of the 
Nipmucks before »udbury figlit, 48-9 ; 
their celebrnfioij of that victory, 51-2 ; 
their niiser-Jjle food at times, .54 ; pre- 
parations to burn capiiyes, 62 ; a pow- 
wow, 64 ; young Indians more barbar- 
ous than old oues , 69 ; modes of 
torture.80 S4-5; barbarities of females, 
90; Indians do not neglect their old 
or voung people, ib. Supersticious, 
91-S; feasts before goii.g to war. 90 ; 
display of soalpr*, 129-30 ; barbarities, 
151-2; coujuratiou, 216; a singular 
custom of females, 217 ; ball placing, 
220. 

Madockawando, 86 

Madawaraliee, 78 

>IadaweS(;o<jk 82 

March, M..J., 107 

Margra, James, dies In captivity, 138 

Marriage, how conducted by Indians, 257 

Mather, Dr. I., his account of StockweU's 
captivity. 60-8 

M'Comb, William, 250 

M'Common, Maj.,249 

M'i'oy, Isabella, her captivity, 143-7 

M'Clary, Capt. , 146 

M'Olung, John A., vii 

M'Olure, Capt. , 171 

Medfield, expedition against, 28 

Medockscenecasis, 81 

Medocktack. 78 

Merrill Phin'ehas, 165 

Metcalf, [Dr. Samuel L.,] vii., 342 

Michilimackinack, surpr'd by the Indians, 
286-92 

Miller. Jacob, massacred with his familv, 
151 

M'Intosh, Gen., 250,261 

Mitchel, , of Maiden, 106 

M'Lane, James. 250 

Moeoso, a Florida chief, makes war on 
Dcita, and destroys his town, 15 ; pro- 
tects Ortez. 16-20 

Mohawks, N. England Indians dread of, 
Ti. ;kill some Nipmucks, 40; the north- 



I ern Indians In continual fear of, 

62. 85 
I Mohawk, Solomon, 187-9 
I Monkton, Gen., his Indian expedition, 261 
I Mouoco, a Nipmuck chief, hanged — see 
one-eyed John. 

Monro, Uol., surrenders Fort William 
Henry, 173 ; dies, 177 

Montcalm, Gen., reduces Fort William 
Henry, 172-3 

Moorehead. , 245 

Moravian Indians, massacre of, 264 

Mosely, Capt. Samuel, 24 

Moxus, at the capture of Pemmaquid. 75 

Mudge, Lieut., killed, 355 

Munson, Lieut., his captivity, 352-3 

Myles, Capt , 107 

Nalton, Thoma.<. killed, 133 

Nanuntenno, notice of his death, 35 

Narratives, collections of Indian, vii. 

Narvaez, P. de, his expedition to Florida. 
11, 12 

N'ewell, Sergeant, escapes captivity, 279 

Newman, Mr., of Kehoboth,57 

Noble, Joseph, a captive, 168 

Noble, Lazarus, 165 ; taken, 166 

Noble. Mrs. Frances, her captivity, 165-72 

Norman, Mr , 137 

Northampton, expedition against, 34-5 
i Norton, Rev. John, a captive. 136-7 
\ Noyes, Col., 107 

' Nuttlijg, Samuel, narrow escape of, 128 
I Onux, a wife of Quinnapin, 46 
[ Ortiz, John, Bar of ilia captivity, 11 ; how 
he fell into rhe hands of the Indians. 

12 ; .seuteiicod to be burnt to deatii, 
but is rescued by the chiefs daughter, 

13 ; nigiit adventure with wolves, 16 ; 
again senteuced to die, and again 
saved by the ciiief s daughter, 16 ; 
escapes to the chief, Moeoso, who pro- 
tects him, 17 ; falls into the hands of 
the Spaniard^ under Soto, IS ; bis 
death, 19 

Oswego, taken by the Indians and French, 

Owen, James, killed, 136 
Parker, Isaac, a captive. 134 
Parker, Capt. William, 250 
Pateshall, .Mr., killed at Pemmaquid, 76 
Pattou, Capt. Samuel, 250 
Payson,Capt., captured by the French, 101 
Paxton, Capt. Thomas, 250 
Pealtomy, Indian chief, 128-9 
Peebles, Col. Kobert, 250 
I Pecomptuck, Deerfield, 61 
Pemmaquid, laid waste, 77 ; surrendered 

to the French by Capt. Chubb, 101 
Pernios, a chief, saves the Ufe of a captive, 

141 
Pepper, Col. William, 250 
Pepper, Kobert, a captive, 25-26 
Perkins, , a soldier, his narrow escape, 

13'J-40 
Perry, John, a captive, 136 
Philip, leader at the taking of Lancaster, 

20 ; visited by Mrs. Rowlandson, 33; 

with her at her redemption. 52 ; dis- 

pleased with thar proceeding, 6o 



Phillips, Col., 106 

Phipps, Submit, a captive, 158, 169 

Phips, Sir Wm., redeems captives, 70, 135 

Phips, William, kills an Indian, 130, 157 

Pii;ket, priest of Oswegatchy, 275-6 

Piper, Col John, 250 

Plaffer, Lawrence, dies in captivity, 134 

Plaisted, Mary, a captive, 113 

Plascut, A^'illiam, 343 

Plausawa, his incursion at Epsom, 144-5, 
147 

Plimpton, John, burnt by the Indians, 60 

Pnntiac. his war, 286, 302 

I'ote, William, a captive, 133 

Powowing, the manner of, 48 

Pratt, Amos, a captive, 136 ; dies, 138 

Proctor, Col. John, 250 

Quannopin, Mrs. Kowlandson's master, 
26 ; leads a great dance afler Sudbury 
fight, 51-2 

Quochecho, [properly Cochecho,] 68, 71, 
79, 86 

Ramsay, Dr. , 360 

Kattlesuake, a sort of deitv with the Indi- 
ans, 330-1 

ICay, , 343 

Read, Jacob, a captive, 134 : dies, 137 

Read, John, dies in captivity, 137 

Keed, Josiah, killed, 136 

Reed's Block House, 349 

Reed, Thomas, a captive, taken atltadlev, 
39 

Richards, John, a captive, 130 

Robb, David, 250 

Kobertsuu, Capt. , 137 

Rogers, Capt., his fight at Lake George, 
279 

Rogers, Margaret, after. Mrs. Smith, 179 

Kogcrs, Robert, tortured to death, 109-10 

Rogers, William, 336 

Root, John, killed at Deerficld, GO 

Roper, Ephraim, escapes the nias.'aicro at 
Lancaster, 28 

Roper, Mrs. , killed there, t*. 

KosR, William, a captive, 281 

Rowlandson, Mrs. Mary, wounded and 
taken captive, 20 ; her first remove, 
23 ; second do., 24 ; fall from a hor.^o, 
third remove, 25 ; her wound healed. 
26 ; her child dies, ib. ; meets with 
her son, 27 ; with Mrs. Joslin, 29 ; 
fourth remove, ih. ; fifth do., 30 ; or- 
dered to work Sunda.i s, 31 ; sixth re- 
move, ib.; seventh, do., 32; einhih 
do., 33; visited by her son, ?7). ; meet 
ing with King Philip, 34 ; ninth re- 
move, 35 ; attempt to visit her son, ib.; 
remarkable kindness of certain Indi- 
ans to her, 36; abuse from one, ift. ; 
twelfth remove, 37 ; barbarous treat- 
ment, 38 ; a squaw blinds her with 
ashes, 38-39 ; other abuse, and at- 
tempts to deceive her, 40 ; again meets 
her son, ib. ; fourteenth remove, 42 ; 
fiired better than her masters, on 
Kome occasions, 43 ; fifteenth remove, 
»i. ; sixteenth do. ; hears a rumor of 
attempts to ransom her. ib. ; eight- 
e«ath romove. 45 : nine'tsenth do ; 



interview with Philip, ib. ; arrives at 
Wachuset, 46 ; receives kindnesses, 49; 
twentieth remove, 50 ; Mr. Hoar ar- 
rives with her ran.som, 51 ; it is ac- 
cepted, 52; Indians hold a court upon 
her liberation, 63 ; liberated, 2 May, 
55 ; arrives at Boston the day follow- 
ing, 56 ; her gratitude, 56 ; hears of 
the redemption of two of her children, 
which she soon finds true, 57 ; con- 
clusion, 58-60 

Rowlandson, Thomas, killed at Lancaster, 
22 

Rugg, David, killed, 127 

Russell, Samuel, a captive, 60, 65 ; his fate 
unknown, 66 

S.abatis, his incursion at Epsom, 144 

Saccapee, Mons., falls in love with his 
slave, 162-3 ; romance concerning, 
164-6 

Salmon Falls, captives taken there, 109 

Salutation, Indian manner of, 253 

Saneld, John, dies in captivity, 138 

Saratoga, destruction of, 131, 134-5 

Savage, John, a captive, 204 

Sawyer, Ephraim. killed, 21 

Schuyler, Col. Peter, relieves Mrs. Howe 
from great peril while a captive, 
163^ ; 281 

Schuyler, Capt , killed, 134 

Scofield, Philip, a captive, 137 ; dies, 138 

Scott, Mrs. Frances, her captivity, 338-42 

Scott, Joseph, a captive, 136 

Scott, Moses, a captive, 136 ; his wife dies, 
137 

Scott, Stei'hen, a captive, 137 

Scott, William, a captive, 137 

Sebundowit, a leader at Waldron's massa 
ere, 69 

Shcarly, Mr. , 155 

Shepherd. Capt., a captive, 279 

Shepard, Jacob, a captive, 136 

Shepard, Mr. Thomas, 56, 68 

Shirely, General, 283 

Short, Clement, captured at Salmon Falh, 
109 

Shute, John, 171 

Simon. Father, a Jesuit on St. John River, 
101 

Sinconds. Benjamin, a captive, 136 

Small, Maj. , 164 

Smoad, Daniel, dies in captivity, 138 

Smead, John and family, captives, 136 ; 
his wife dies in captivity, 138 

Smith, Col. James, narrative of his cap- 
tivity, 178-264; escapes, 234; goes 
against the Indians under Armstrong, 
235 ; under Boquet, 236 

Smith, John, a captive, 137 

Smith, Richard, a captive, 187 

Smith, "\\-illiam, 180, 245-8 

Snider, Jacob, murdered with his family 
150 

Solomons, Ezekiel, a captive, 296 ; ran- 
somed, 301 

Soto, Ferd. de, l.inds In Florida, IS ; hl« 
expedition and death, 19-20. 

Southack, Capt., 106-7 

Southkrlaad, Ja.me«, a eaptlT«, IK 



Spafford, Capt. John, a prisoner, 134 
Sqakheag, Northfield, 62, 
Stanwix, Gen., his expedition, 261 
Starkee, Mr., a Scotchman, 10.5 
St. Clair, Gen., his defeat, 259 
Stebhins, Benjamin, a captive, CO ; his 

escape, 63 
Stock-well, Q.uintin, narrative (f his cap- 
tivity, 60-8 
Stone, James, of Philadelphia, 279 
Stone, Uriah, 239 
Stoier, John, 343 
Stou^hton, Gov. Wm., 106 
Slroud, William, a captive, 132 
Subs, Richard, a captive, 137 
Sudbury fight, 49 
Sunderland, John, a captive, 137 
Snpercass, Gov., 107 
Tainter, Benjamin, a captive, 137 
Tecanyaterighto, a chief, 187, 205, 225 

-32 
Tennenf, Gilbert, 265-6 
Tether, Christian, dies in captivity, 138 
Thayer, Jonathan, narrow escape of, 

128 
Thompson, J. W. B., remarkable escape 
of, 357 

Thompson, , a captive, 232 

Thompson, William, 242-3 
Thurston, Mary, a captive, 35 
Tilton, Jonathan, 171 
Todd, Col., his defeat, 259 
Toutileaugo, companion of Col. Smith in 

captivity, 191-205, 223 
Toogood, Thomas, escapes out of captiv- 
ity, 112 

Tracy, Mr. , 289 ; killed, 301 

Trent, Capt. , killed, 138 

Tucker, , 343 ; wounded, 344 ; 

killed, 347 
Tute, Mrs. Jemima— see Howe, Jemima 
Ucita, a Florida chief, 13 ; twice con- 
demns his captive, Ortiz, to death, 
13, 16 ; overthrown in a war with 
Mocoso, 15 
Uncas, report concerning, 63 
Usher, Mr., benevolence to Mrs. Row- 

landson, 56 
Vaudreuil, Gov. de, his kindness to cer- 
tain captives, 163, S74, 280 



Venhnn, Samuel, dies in captivity,! 86 
Vigoras, Arnold, killed, 181 
Villebon, Gov., 103 ; fort, 104 
Virginians, Great Knife, Ashalekoa, 234 
Wachuset Hills, (in Princeton,) 63 
Wait, Benjamin, a captive, 60, 64, 68 
Waldron, Maj., redeems a child of Mr. 
Rowlandson, 57 ; his garrison, 68 ; 
incidents of the attack upon, 71 ; 
its capture, 79-80 

Waldron, Mr., , 283 

Wallace, Gerrge, of Epsom, 144, 146 

Warren, David, a captive, 136 

Washington, Gen., 249-50 

Waters, Thomas, 107 

Wawatam, a Chippeway chief, 287-9 ; 

saves Uie life of a captive, 300 
Webb, Gen., his misfortune at Fort Wil- 
liam Henry, 172-3 
Weems, Capt., surrenders the fort at 

Pemmaquid, 76 
Wettamore, wife of ftuinnapin, 46-52 
Wheeler, Richard, killed at Lancaster, 21 
Wheelwright, Mr. , redeems cap- 
tives, 167 
Whiddeu, James, 165 ; dies, 166 
Whidden, Timothy, taken captive, 166 
Whitcomb, Mr. James, 58 
Wilkins, John, 349 

Willard, Mhj. , 138 

Willinms, Capt. ,266,275 

Williams, Eunice, her husband, 129 
Williamson, Capt. Jonathan, a captive, 

138 
Williamson, Peter, his captivity, 147-56 
William Henry, (Fort,) taken by the 
French, 172-3 

Wilson, Capt. , takes captives 

from Canada, 171 
Winniway, at the sitrprise ofMichili- 
mackinack, 293, 296 

Woodbury, Mr. , a prisoner to the 

French, 102 
Woodside, Capt., 108 
Woodwell, Benjamin, a captive, 140 
Woodwell, David, a captive, 135 
Woodwell, Daniel, his wife dies, 137 
Woodwell, Mary, a captive, 140 
Woodwell, Thomas, a captive, 140 
Yolkom, Conrad, escapes massacre, 285