Philip’s War was one of the most devastating wars ever fought in America. The
causes of the war go back to the earliest contact between the native Indians and
the English explorers and settlers. The war may even have been inevitable due to
the differences between the two cultures. The Indian nations were fighting for
their way of live, their land, and their freedom. The colonists believed that
they were a superior civilization and that God was on their side. Both sides
were used to warfare. The Indian nations had long fought each other, while the
English still remembered fighting under Cromwell. Neither side trusted the
other, with the Indian being more in the right here, as unscrupulous Englishmen
had repeatedly cheated them. These life experiences and differences would lead
to bitter, no-holds barred war.
Wampanoag Indians lived in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Before contact with
the English, they probably numbered about 12,000. Contact with the English
brought diseases from which the Indians had no natural protection. This resulted
in a number of epidemics, which devastated the Wampanoag population. By 1675
there were probably only a thousand or so Wampanoag’s left alive. The
combination of epidemics and conflict with other Indian tribes left vast tracts
of Wampanoag land uninhabited and open for easy colonization by the English.
between the English and the Wampanoag’s were at first friendly. A Wampanoag
named Squanto eased early contact. He had been captured by an English sea
captain in 1614 and taken back to Europe where he was sold to the Spanish.
Eventually, he gained his freedom and made his way to England where he learned
English. He was then hired by an English sea captain, as an interpreter, on a
trip to Newfoundland. He left this expedition and made his way back to his
homeland, where he found that his entire village had been wiped out by disease.
Occupying his people’s land was the Plymouth Colony. Squanto helped the
English colonists survive the winter and was one of the Indians invited to the
Pilgrims first Thanksgiving celebration.
this point, relations between the English and the Indians were still good. This
was due to the fact that the Wampanoags felt no pressure from the English. The
Pilgrims were few in number and appeared weak, and there was plenty of land due
to the depopulation of the land by disease. The Pilgrims helped these relations
by dealing fairly with the Indians. This may have been due to their nature, or
to the fact that they were so weak in numbers that they had to. They bought the
land from the Wampanoags that they needed. The Indians enjoyed the goods
supplied to them by the English, not realizing that this exchange meant that
their culture was changing and becoming intertwined with, and even dependant on
the English. Soon the Indian would be dependent on the white man for such items
as iron kettles and cookware, iron traps, and firearms. They found that they
could not, or would not, go back to their way of life before the arrival of the
Peace Treaty was signed between Massasoit, the Sachem of the Wampanoag Indians,
and the English. The treaty declared that the Wampanoag would not " give,
sell, or convey any of their Lands, Territories, or Possessions whatsoever, to
any person or persons, whomsoever, without the privity and consent of the
Government of Plimouth".
friendly relationship between the Wampanoag’s and the English antagonized the
Narragansett’s who thought that the two would ally themselves against the
Narragansett’s. In 1621, they sent a challenge, in the form of arrows wrapped
in a snakeskin, to the Plymouth colony leaders. The English responded by filling
the snakeskin bag with gunpowder and returning it to the Narragansett’s.
relationship began to crumble with "The Great Migration" which began
in 1630. The Massachusetts Bay Colony brought numerous settlers to the New
World. These were Puritans who looked down on the Indians and usually treated
them with disdain. Puritans who needed more and more land, and would do anything
to get it.
Puritans expanded rapidly, pushing the local Indians out of the way. The
powerful Pequoit Indians were destroyed in the Pequoit War of 1637. The only
Indians who were allowed to stay on the English land were the "praying
Indians". These Indians had been converted to Christianity and were living
in ‘towns’ granted to them by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Praying
Village of Marlborough was one example of this. The Rev. John Elliot and Roger
Williams were two settlers who attempted to treat the Indians with some
fairness. By 1675, the English population had risen to between 40,000 and
50,000, which was about three times as large as the Indians in the area were.
Town of Marlborough with it's nearby "Praying Indian" settlement is an
example of the good and the bad relations with the Indians. From the beginning
there was friction between the settlers (The Howe's and Wetherbee's in my tree
are among the settlers) and the adjoining Christian Indian tribe, the Wamesit.
They had been granted 6,000 acres of the best land in the Marlborough area as
early as 1643. Much to their dismay, the English settlers found that they could
not have the Indians moved as the Massachusetts Council refused to go back on
their word. The Indian village, Whipsuppenick, was there to stay. The Indians
were self-supporting, peaceable and adapting to the English way of life.
Unfortunately, either hatred or greed for the land kept relations between
Marlborough and Whipsuppenick poor. Relations reached a head during the King
Philip's War. English (militia) soldiers arrested 15 of the Indians and had then
chained and sent to Boston. They also seized the Indians supply of weapons and
plundered the town. This persecution led to the breakup of the village and the
Wampanoags under the leadership of Massasoit had signed treaties with the
English and had lived peacefully with them. After Massasoit died his successor
was Alexander, his grandson. Alexander died in a suspicious manner. In 1662 the
English summoned Alexander to Duxbury. Alexander answered all of the questions
put forth by the English and after this interrogation was invited to dine at
Josiah Winslow’s house in Marshfield. While there he became ill with fever and
died. Many Indians felt that the English had poisoned him.
better known as Philip, became the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoags. Philip was a
great leader, such as Tecumseh later was. He realized that the English were not
going to stop their expansion and that if left unchecked it would mean the end
of the Wampanoags. Philip began to enlist the aid of other tribes in an attempt
to stop the English expansion. Due to the numerous trading contacts and the
Praying Indians, this soon became known to the English authorities. Relations
between the English and the Indians became even more strained.
1671 the English summoned Philip to Taunton. There they accused him of plotting
against them. He made an agreement to give up all of the Wampanoag firearms. He
did in fact have his escort turn over their guns, but upon his return to his
tribe did not turn over any additional weapons. This affair was a further
humiliation to Philip, one that he would not forget. It is possible that when
Philip agreed to turn over the Wampanoag’s guns over to the English, he meant
only the guns of his escort, not his tribe. The misunderstanding may have been
one of a long line of misunderstandings between the Indians and the white man.
Whether it was a misunderstanding or not, the Indians were dependant on the gun
for much of their hunting and their defense against other Indian tribes. They
could not afford to give them up.
September 29, 1671, Philip signed an agreement with the Plymouth Colony. In it
he agreed that he and his people were subjects of the royal government and bound
by the colony laws. He also agreed to follow the colonies guidance in affairs of
war and in the disposal of Indian land. This agreement, in effect, stripped the
Wampanoag’s of all power. It made them dependant subjects of the Plymouth
Colony. Based on subsequent events, Philip probably signed this agreement, under
pressure, to gain time. Most likely, he was already making plans to rise and
throw the English off his people’s lands.
working to establish alliances, Philip was promised support from the Nipmuc,
Pocumtuc, and Narragansett tribes. These tribes began to plan an uprising for
the spring of 1676.
the Indian tribes were fully united and prepared, an incident occurred which
threw off their timetables and started the war a year early. In January of 1675,
the body of John Sassamon, a 'praying Indian' and informer, was discovered in
the ice of Assowampset Pond. John Sassamon was a Christian Indian who had even
studied at Harvard. For awhile he served as Philip’s secretary. He was a
valuable member of Philip’s staff because of his proficiency in English and
his contacts in the Plymouth Colony. Eventually he decided that he would rather
live with the Christian Indians and left Philip, to move to Natick. He later
became a preacher at the Indian town of Nemasket. The importance of Sassamon’s
murder was that several days prior he had warned the Plymouth authorities of a
possible uprising by Philip and the Wampanoags.
Wampanoag Indians were tried for this crime, Tobias who was a close advisor to
Philip, Mattashunnamo, and Mattashunnamo’s son. There was only one witness who
testified against them. This was another Indian, Patuckson. He stated that he
had been standing on a nearby hill and had seen the three murder Sassamon.
three were tried with a jury of both Englishman and Indians. The only problem
was that the Indians were only observers, they were not allowed to vote on the
verdict. The defendants were found guilty and sentenced to be hung.
execution for the two eldest went smoothly, but when the youngest was hung the
rope broke. Unnerved the young Indian claimed that the two who had been hung
were guilty but that he was innocent. Undeterred by his claims, the Indian was
again hung, this time successfully.
word of this triple hanging reached the Wampanoags they became incensed. They
felt that the trial had been unfair. Apparently the court had refused to hear a
witness for the defense. This witness would have testified that Patuckson had
owned money to Tobias. This should have cast doubt on Patuckson’s testimony.
Philip was also disturbed by rumors that the English were planning to arrest
him. Unable to hold back his warriors, King Philip held a war council at Mount
Hope. The Wampanoag were behind their chief as were the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc. The
Pennacook and the Abenaki were divided with some opting for the warpath, while
the Narragansett had signed a peace treaty with the English and would not join
in the rising at this time. War would start in the spring of 1675 not 1676.
late June a settler from Swansea killed a Wampanoag in a dispute over cattle.
The Wampanoag struck back quickly and on June 24, they attacked Swansea and
killed eight settlers; Joseph Lewis, Robert Jones, John Jones, Nehemiah Allen,
William Cohun, John Salisbury, William Salisbury, and John Hall. King Philips
War had begun.
military forces in New England at the onset of King Philip’s War consisted of
local militia forces. Each town was required to have regular military training
attended by all able bodied men. Some of the leaders had gained military
experience under Cromwell during English Civil Wars. The training given was
based on the training and experience gained in England. Unfortunately, this
training and experience did not prove suitable for the frontier wars in America.
The leaders and troops gained the skills needed to defeat the Indians slowly and
paid for this experience with their lives and blood. At the end of the war the
troops under leaders like Benjamin Church were the forerunners of Roger's
if not all, of my ancestors who fought in this war served in the Massachusetts
forces. At the onset of the war, Massachusetts had the following six regiments;
Suffolk Regiment was composed of the following companies, Boston Company,
Roxbury Company, Dorchester Company, Weymouth Company, Hingham Company, Dedham
Company, Braintree Company, Medfield Company, 2nd Boston Company, 3rd Boston
Company, 4th Boston Company, 5th Boston Company, 6th Boston Company, 7th Boston
Company, 8th Boston Company, and the Suffolk County (cavalry) Troop.
Middlesex Regiment was composed of the Charleston Company, Medford Company,
Watertown Company, Cambridge Company, Concord Company, Sudbury Company, Woburn
Company, Reading Company, Malden Company, Lancaster Company, Chelmsford Company,
Groton Company, Billerica Company, Marlborough Company, Dunstable Company, and
the Middlesex Cavalry Company.
Essex Regiment was composed of the Salem Company, Ipswich Company, Newbury
Company, Lynn Company, Gloucester Company, Rowley Company, Wenham Company,
Manchester Company, Andover Company, Marblehead Company, Topsfield Company,
Beverly Company, 2nd Salem Company, and the Essex Cavalry Company.
Norfolk Regiment was composed of the Portsmouth Company, Hampton Company,
Salisbury Company, Dover Company, Exeter Company, Haverhill Company, Amesbury
Company, Oyster River Company, Great Island Company, and the Norfolk Cavalry
York Regiment was composed of the York Company, Kittery Company, Wells Company,
Scarborough Company, Back Cove Company, and the York Cavalry Company.
Hampshire Regiment was composed of the Springfield Company, Northampton Company,
Hadley Company, Westfield Company, Hatfield Company, and the Hampshire Cavalry
serving in the war was the Three County Troop which was a cavalry regiment
raised from men in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Essex Counties.
were also troops from what is now Maine, the Sagadahock Company, Damerill
Company, Monhegin Company, and the Capenawaghen Company.
news of the attack on Swansea reached Boston, the Massachusetts Bay Colony
quickly came to the aid of The Plymouth Colony. An example of the orders of the
General Court is the following;
the Militia of the Town of Boston, Cha. Camb. Watertown, Roxbury, Dorchester,
Dedham, Brantrey, Weymouth, Hingham, Maulden-You are hereby required in his
Majesty's name to take notice that Govr & Council have ordered 100 able
shouldjers forthwith impressed out of the severall Towns according to the
proportions hereunder written for the aid and assistance of our confederate
Plymouth in the designe afoote agst the Indians, and accordingly you are to
warne afad proportions to be ready at an hours warning from Capt Daniel Henchman
who is appointed Captain and Commander of the Foote Company that each souldjer
shal have his armes compleat and Snalsack ready to march and not faile to be at
colonists faced a daunting task as King Philip had at least 1,000 warriors under
his command , many of whom had firearms. These firearms had been obtained both
from the French and the English. An interesting fact, which also shows how the
Indian's culture had become intertwined with the Europeans, is that the
Wampanoags had a number of forges along with blacksmiths and gunsmiths.
relief force, composed of Captain Henchman's company, the Middlesex Troop
(Calvary) under Captain Prentice and local militia under Mosely, was sent to
On arriving at Swansey, at Mile's garrison, the Indians began firing from the
bushes across the river at our guards, and twelve of the troopers volunteered to
go across the bridge and drive them off. These were commanded by Quartermaster
Joseph Belcher and Corporal John Gill. Mr. Church went along with them and also
a stranger, and William Hammond acted as pilot. As they advanced across the
bridge the Indians fired upon them and wounded Mr. Belcher in the knee, killed
his horse, and shot Gill in the breast, but his buff coat and several
thicknesses of paper saved him from injury. They killed the pilot outright, and
the troopers were forced to retreat, bringing off Hammond and his horse. On the
renewal of the attack by the Indians next morning, the troop, supported by
Mosely's volunteers, charged across the bridge and drove the Indians from the
'Neck' and across to Pocasset."
in Captain Prentice's troop were the following members of families on my tree;
William Brooks, Francis Wyman, William Read, and John Wyman.
a council of war on July 5, the English forces decided to attack King Philip at
his village at Mount Hope (which is located near Bristol, RI). . A large force
was gathered which marched to Mount Hope, which is near present day Bristol, RI,
and was able to trap the Indians in the Pocasset Swamp. On July 18, the English
attacked but were repulsed with light losses. They then settled down for a
siege. King Philip and his warriors managed to slip away and escape. They went
into Nipmac Territory (central Mass.) and began a series of attacks on the towns
in the Conn. River Valley.
August 2, 1675, troops under the command of Captain Hutchinson and Captain
Wheeler, were sent into Nipmuc country in an attempt to locate and attack the
enemy. They were unable to locate the foe and turned back towards Brookfield. At
Brookfield they heard of a force of Indians located about 10 miles from
Brookfield. A small scout was sent out. They located the Nipmuc's and got the
Sachem to agree to talk with Captain Hutchinson the next day. Hutchinson and his
command were strung out on a narrow trail, between a swamp and a steep ridge,
when the Nipmuc's ambushed them. The troops managed to retreat making it back to
Brookfield despite taking heavy losses. The Indians pursued the troops all the
way to Brookfield, which they then put under siege. This attack lasted until
August 5 when a relief force arrived. The garrison and townspeople were saved,
but except for the garrison houses Brookfield had been destroyed. Brookfield was
then abandoned and remained unoccupied until Feb. of 1676, when a military force
established a base there. The civilians did not return to the site for a number
along the Connecticut River Valley the Indians attacked. Some towns were burned
and some abandoned. On September 2 a large raid occurred at Northfield. The
Indians attacked while many of the settlers were working in their fields. The
settlers fled to the garrison houses while the Indians burned the fields and
homes. Eight settlers were killed at this time including Sgt. Samuel Wright.
the time of this raid Captain Beers and his command was marching to Northfield
to evacuate the town. They were unaware of the attack on Northfield. This
command was composed of a company from Watertown, a total of thirty-six mounted
men escorting an ox team. The troop was still about four miles from Northfield
when night fell so they made camp, still unaware of the Indians they were
the morning, Captain Beers set forth with most of his men on foot. The horses
had been left at the camp with a small guard. Captain Beers " appears to
have kept up on the high plain till he came in sight of the little brook, now
known as Saw-mill brook. The ravine was now covered with a rank growth of grass
and ferns, and the leaves were thick on the young trees. It was at this place
that the Indians had placed their ambuscade. He advanced across the brook by the
accustomed fording place, and just at the passage, and when his company was most
exposed, was furiously attacked in front and flank, and all were thrown into
great confusion, but soon rallied and fought bravly for their lives, but were
forced back by superior numbers some three quarters of a mile to a narrow ravine
on the south side of a hill now known as 'Beers Hill'. Here a stand was made,
and here the little band fought about their leader, with the courage of
desperation, till their ammunition was exhausted, and the captain with nearly
every man had fallen; only a few escaped, joined the guard left behind with the
horses, and made their way back to Hadley." Three of the troop were
captured and burned at the stake by their captors. The Indians had been composed
of Nasaways, Quaboags, Naticks and Marlboroughs, and had been led by an Indian
September 19, 1675 Captain Lathrop and his troop of Calvary was on the road from
Lancaster to a mill just outside of Hadley. There they were to take the wheat
they had in a number of wagons, and use the mill to produce flour, which would
be used for the garrison and people in Lancaster.
the command of 80 men approached the area where the mill was, they had to cross
a brook at a ford. Here they were lax in security while crossing. Many of the
weapons were placed on wagons as they pushed them across the brook. Some of the
men were even gathering grapes alongside the road. Apparently they had no idea
that any Indians were in the vicinity. In the midst of the crossing the Indians
struck. The troop was decimated with only 7 or 8 men able to escape the
slaughter. About 70 men died at the Battle of Bloody Brook.
of the dead was Sergeant Samuel Stevens, the brother of John Stevens. John may
also have served in this war, as a John Stevens is listed as serving under
Captain Mosley. John was wounded in the arm during his service. (For a list of
colonial dead in this battle)
Mosley’s command is an interesting one. In 1675 Captain Mosely was in command
of an expedition to hunt privateers. He captured a privateer under the command
of Captain Peter Roderigo. The captain and his crew were brought to Boston for
trial. Found guilty, several were sentenced to death, but their sentences were
commuted if they would serve against King Philip’s forces. Captain Mosely then
formed an independent command, composed of volunteers and a number of the
convicted pirates. Mosely’s men served throughout the campaign. Mosley’s
troop lost 11 men in an attempt to come to Lathrop’s aid. John Stevens may
have also been in this fight.
this point King Philip was winning his war. He had managed to unite a large
number of tribes in a common cause, and had won a number of victories. He had
suffered only two setbacks, the loss of his base at Mt. Hope, and his failure to
persuade the powerful Narragannsett to join his cause. The first setback forced
him to establish his winter quarters near Hoosich, NY. Food was short during the
winter and the Indians suffered greatly from hunger. The problem of persuading
the Narragansett to join him was taken out of his hands by the actions of the
Colonial authorities knew that the peace treaty with the Narragansett would not
last for long. Already they were aware that the Narragansett was supplying some
of the Wampanoag's with food and shelter. They felt that it was just a matter of
time before the Narragansett joined the revolt. This was a scenario that they
felt must occur, so it was decided to strike a pre-emptive blow on the
Narragansett before they would do the same to the settlers.
Josiah Winslow, the Governor of Plymouth Colony was appointed the
commander-in-chief of this army, which would number over a thousand men. The
Massachusetts troops would be led by Major Appleton, the Plymouth troops under
Major Bradford and those Connecticut under Major Robert Treat. John Morse of the
Morse line, served on the staff of Major Appleton. Also serving in this battle
was John Marston who was in Captain Gardiner’s company.
December 19, 1675, the army marched to the great Narragansett camp in a swamp at
Kingston, RI. At the edge of the swamp, the vanguard led by Captain Mosely and
Davenport met the enemy and opened fire. While few casualties were suffered by
either side, this skirmish prevented the Indians from setting an ambush.
Indians fled to a fort which " was raised upon a kind of island of five or
six acres of rising Land in the midst of a swamp; the sides of it were made of
Palisadoes set upright, the which was compassed about with a Hedg of almost a
rod Thickness". At the corners of the fort "rude block-houses and
flankers had been built, from which a raking fire could be poured upon any
attacking force." The fort could only be reached through the use of a few
paths. Only the frozen condition of the swamp allowed the English to approach
the fort on a broad front. The colonists immediately attacked with companies led
by Captain Davenport and Johnson. Both commanders were killed and the companies
had to retreat after taking heavy losses. Mosely and Gardiner's companies also
attacked. Both had to retreat and Captain Gardiner was killed.
Gardiner’s death was witnessed by Benjamin Church. He saw Gardiner fall and
went to help him. Church upon "seeing the blood run down his cheek, lifted
up his cap, and called him by name. He looked up in (my) face but spoke not a
word, being mortally shot through the head. And, observing his wound, (I) found
the ball entered his head on the side that was next the upland where the British
had entered the swamp. Upon which, having ordered some care to be taken of the
Captain, (I) dispatched information to the General that the best and forwardest
of his army that hazared their lives to enter the fort, upon the muzzle of the
enemy’s guns, were shot in their backs and killed by them that lay
Appleton coming up with his own and Capt. Oliver's men, massed his entire force
as a storming column, and it is said that the shout of one of the commanders
that the Indians were running, so inspired the soldiers that they made an
impetuous assault, carried the entrance amain, beat the enemy from one of his
flankers at the left, which afforded them a temporary shelter from the Indians
still holding the block-house opposite the entrance. In the mean time, the
General, holding the Plymouth forces in reserve, pushed forward the Connecticut
troops, who not being aware of the extent of the danger from the block-house,
suffered fearfully at their first entrance, but charged forward gallantly,
though some of their brave officers and many of their comrades lay dead behind
them, and unknown numbers and dangers before. The forces now joining, beat the
enemy step by step, and with fierce fighting, out of their blockhouses and
various fortifications. Many of the Indians, driven from their works, fled
outside, some doubtless to the wigwams inside, of which there were said to be
upward of five hundred, many of them large and rendered bulletproof by large
quantities of grain in tubs and bags, placed along the sides. In these many of
their old people and their woman and children had gathered for safety, and
behind and within these as defenses the Indians still kept up a skulking fight,
picking off our men. After three hours hard fighting, with many of the officers
and men wounded or dead, a treacherous enemy of unknown numbers and resources
lurking in the surrounding forests, and the night coming on, word comes to fire
the wigwams, and the battle becomes a fierce holocaust, great numbers of those
who had taken refuge therin being burned."
troops then pulled back gathered their wounded, dead, and retreated to Wickford.
The pullback was done in a bitter cold, blinding snowstorm. Many of the wounded
would perish on this trek. The Massachusetts troops had lost 31 dead and 67
wounded, including Captains Davenport, Johnson and Gardiner dead, and
Lieutenants Upham, Savage, Swain and Ting wounded. The Connecticut troops lost
71 killed or wounded, the Plymouth troops 20 men, and a number of casualties
were suffered by the Mohegan and Pequod allies. The Naragannsett were almost
destroyed, suffering about 600 dead and about 300 prisoners. The prisoners were
later taken to the West Indies where they were sold as slaves. The "Great
Swamp Battle" had ended in a victory for the colonists. While the
Narragansett suffered grievous losses, the tribe still had a large number of
warriors that were not at this battle. They now joined the rebellion against the
the winter of 1675/6, the Indians launched a number of devastating attacks on
the settlers. Groton, Warwick, Marlborough, Sudbury, Deerfield, Springfield, and
Medield were attacked and most of the towns burnt down. Other towns such as
Northampton, Rehoboth, Bridgewater, Plymouth, Hatfield, Hadly, Swansea, Taunton,
Scarborough and Waymouth were also attacked but suffered less damage. Houses,
foodstuffs and livestock were destroyed. Many settlers were killed, with still
others being taken captive and sent to Quebec. One of those taken captive was
Mary Rowlandson who was married to Rev. Joseph Rowlandson the son of Thomas
Rowlandson, who is in my tree. Mary Rowlandson suffered greatly but eventually
returned to New England where she wrote a best-selling book, Narrative and
Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Rowlandson.
March 26, 1676, the Nipmuck Indian tribe raided Marlborough . The townspeople
were at church when the attack began. They were saved only because the pastor
had had a severe toothache and discovered the attacking Indians when he stepped
out of the church for some relief from the pain. He sounded the alarm and the
congregation fled the church and made their way to the various garrison houses
where they would fight off the Indians. Assigned to the Kerley Garrison was John
Wetherbee and his in-laws, John Howe Sr. and Thomas Howe. A number of buildings
were burned but most of the populace escaped harm behind fortified walls of the
garrisons. The next night, the settlers, under the command of Lt. Jacobs,
trailed the Indians and attacked them in their camp. A number of Indians were
killed with the others fleeing in all directions.
area around Kittery , Maine was a bloody part of the frontier. In the fall of
'75 "the house of Richard Tozer, at Salmon Falls, wherein were fifteen
women and children, were attacked by two Indians, 'Andrew' and 'Hope-hood', but
were valiantly defended by a young women who held fast the door till all the
others escaped and till it was hewn in pieces by the Indians who then entering
struck her down, leaving her for dead, while they followed the others to the
next house which better fortified, the Indians did not attack. Two children were
captured who were of this company, and could not keep up with the others, one of
three years was killed, the other of seven was carried into captivity, but
afterwards returned by them."
October 16, 1675 Richard Tozer and his son were at his home when they were
surprised by a large Indian raiding party. Richard was killed and his son was
captured. A letter written at the time to Major Walderne (Waldron) describes
Richard Waldren and Lt. Coffin, these are to inform you, that just now the
Indians are engaging us with at least 100 men, and have slain four of our men
already, Richard Tozer, James Barney, Issack Bottes and Tozer's son and burnt
Benoni Hodsden's house; Sir, if ever you have any love for us, and the country,
now shew yourself with men to help us, or else we are all in great danger to be
slain, unless our God wonderfully appear for our deliverance. they that cannot
fight, let them pray; Nought else, but I rest,
to serve you
by Roger Plaisted,George Broughton."
Walderne was unable to supply any help. Lt. Plaisted and his men and settlers
would have been safe if they remained in their garrisons but Lt. Plaisted
decided to leave the garrison with 20 men to recover the bodies of the slain.
After recovering Richard Tozer's body, the detail was itself ambushed. Lt.
Plaisted and one of his sons were among the dead. Another son of Plaisted was
mortally wounded. Some of the burial crew did manage to reach the safety of the
garrison. The Indians may have also suffered heavily for the next day Captain
Charles Frost came up and buried the dead without incident.
the Indians were winning the war militarily, a number of factors emerged which
would help defeat them. The attack on the Narragansett was one. Another was the
inability of the tribes to obtain enough food for their people. The war kept
people moving and unable to plant enough cropland. Philip’s failure to enlist
the Mohawks on his side increased this problem, as they were hostile to the
Wampanoags. They attacked and forced the Wampanoags to leave their enclave in
New York and move to the Conn. River Valley near Sqauawkeag.
an attempt to solve the food shortage, the Indians intensified their attacks in
the spring, but with one difference. Instead of raiding and burning the towns,
they would now try to conquer the towns. This involved the capture or
destruction of fortified garrisons manned by desperate defenders. Their first
attempts at this failed with heavy losses.
major factor in their loss was that the Indians were never united and never had
a supreme commander. While Philip was an important early leader, he never
controlled his allies. The devastating defeat by the Mohawks decimated his
Wampanoag force and left him with even less influence. This forced him to take a
back seat to such leaders as Canonchet of the Narragansetts, and Annawon.
Canonchet was probably the most important Indian leader once the Narragansetts
joined the fight.
March being faced with the pressing need for food, the Narragansett Sachem
Canonchet, took some of his men back to The Great Swamp in an attempt to gather
a food and seed cache that they had hidden there. A mixed force of colonists and
Indians intercepted Canonchet and his men. The Narragansett’s fled but a young
Mohegan warrior captured Canonchet. Canonchet was taken by the Connecticut
troops to Stonington where he was beheaded, on April 2, by Oneco a Mohegan.
Oneco’s father had killed Canonchet’s father years earlier.
April a member of the Richardson family was attacked on his farm in Woburn.
"Samuel lived on what was later known as the Miller farm on Richardson's
Row about a mile north of the village of Winchester. He was a soldier in
Phillip's War 1675.
the afternoon of April 10, 1676, Samuel was employed in carting manure into the
field accompanied by his oldest son Samuel who was five or six years old.
Looking toward his house he was surprised to see feathers flying about it and
other tokens of mischief within. He also heard the screams of his wife.
Apprehending that Indians might be there, he hastened home with his gun and
there he found two of his family murdered, his wife Hannah who had recently been
confined and his son Thomas, twin brother of Samuel who had been with him in the
field. On further search it was found the week-old baby was also slain. The
nurse, it appeared, had snatched it up in her arms upon the alarm of danger and
was making her escape to the garrison house, but was so closely pursued by the
savages that finding she couldn't save herself and the baby too, she let it
drop, and the Indians killed it at once.
Richardson now rallied some of the neighbors who went in pursuit of the enemy.
Following them for some time they espied three Indians sitting on a rock, fired
at them, killed one and drove the rest away.
this point "the Narragansetts with their allies and many of the Wampanoags
had been forced in an almost destitute condition upon the Nipmuk and Pocomtuck
tribes for support. These unwanted numbers soon exhausted the never abundant
resources of the local tribes, and when Philip's promises of a speedy victory
over all the river towns with the plunder of their goods not realized, when the
great chieftain Canonchet was taken and slain, and having met the repulses at
Northampton and Hatfield, they were reduced almost to starvation, these river
and northern Indians began to realize the folly of their too ready alliance with
Philip, and put themselves into communication with the authorities at
Connecticut, either with a view to real peace, or for the purpose of gaining
time by a pretence of peaceful negotiations with great zeal, and sought to turn
the home tribes against Philip and the Narragansetts."
of the largest Wampaneog camps was located at Turners Falls on the Connecticut
River. This encampment was an important source of food for located at the falls
were large quantities of fish. This camp also had forges where gunsmiths worked
on armaments. It was for these reasons a very important and strategic camp.
April, the English received information about this camp. Several escaped
prisoners, including John Gilbert, who had been captured at Springfield and was
mentioned in the Rowlandson book, came forward with this information. A letter
written in Hadley on May 15 mentions some of this information;
This morning about sunrise came into Hatfield one Thomas Reede a soldier who was
taken captive when Deacon Goodman was slain. He relates that they are now
planting at Deerfield and have been so these three or four days or more, saith
further that they dwell at the Falls on both sides of the River, are a
considerable number, yet most of them old men and women. He cannot judge that
there are on both sides of the River above 60 or 70 fighting men. They are
secure and scornful, boasting of great things they have done and will do. "
William Turner set out with his command to attack this camp. The battle is
described in the following letter, which was written on July 22, 1676 and
published in London.
a fortnight afterwards, the forementioned Capt. Turner, by Trade a Taylor, but
one that for his valour has left behinde him an Honourable memory, hearing of
the Indians being about Twenty Miles above them at Connecticut River drew out a
Party at Hadley and Northampton, where there was a garrison, and marching all
Night, came upon them before daybreak, they having no Centinels or Scouts
abroad, as thinking themselves secure by reason of their remote distance from
any of out Plantations; Ours taking this Advantage of their Negligence, fell in
amongst them, and kiled several Hundreds of them upon the Place; they being out
of any Posture or Order to make any formidable Resistance, though they were six
times superior in Number: But that which was almost as much, nay in some
respects more considerable then their lives, we there destroied all their
Ammunition and Provision, which we think they can hardly beso soon and easily
recruited as possibly they may be with Men. We likewise here demolisht Two
Forges they had to mend their arms; took all their Materialls and Tools, and
drove many of them into the River, where they were drowned, and threw two great
Pigs of ead of theirs (intended for making of Bullets) into the said River. But
this Great Success was not altogether without Alloy, as if Providence had
designed to Checquer our joys and sorrows; and lest we should sacrifice to our
own Nets and say, Our own Armes or Prowesse hath done this, to permit the Enemy
presently after to take an advantage against us; For as our men were retur ing
to Hadley, in a dangerous passe, which they were not sufficiently aware of, the
skulking Indians (out of the Woods) killed at one Volley the said Captain and
Eight and Thirty of his Men; but immediately after they had discharged, they
English force had achieved complete surprise, possibly because of the heavy
thunderstorm that occurred during their march. After killing hundreds and
destroying the camp, the English were forced back by an Indian counterattack.
During their retreat Captain Turner was killed. Captain Turner was from
Dorchester, Mass. and belonged to the same church as Thomas Gould, John Farnham
and Issac Hull (all of whose families are on my tree). Thomas Barnard served as
a Corporal in this battle.
being forced off the field of battle, the attack was a resounding success for
the colonists. As the letter points out, the loss in equipment and food was a
serious blow to the Indians. King Philip was also in trouble. He had a price on
his head and many of his allies had deserted. Some of his former allies were
actively working for the English. Supplies, both food and military, were scarce.
Philip chose to return to Mount Hope with his remaining Wampamoags.
the summer of 1676, regular and irregular forces hunted Philip and his tribe.
The irregular forces were Rangers composed of settlers, 'Praying Indians', and
other friendly Indians under the command of Captain Benjamin Church. On August
1, Philip's camp was attacked. While he escaped, his wife and child were taken
prisoner. On August 12 King Philip was killed by a 'Praying Indian', John
Alderman. His head was taken to Plymouth where it was mounted on a stake and
stood for the next twenty-five years.
King Philip was dead the war did not end. The English continued to attack and
hunt down many of Philip's allies. Major Waldron was involved in a controversial
affair at the end of the war. Waldron was a wealthy settler in Dover, NH who
owned considerable property and had much prestige among the settlers. The
Indians did not feel the same way towards him. Some of the Indians felt that
Waldron cheated them when they traded. Whether he did so or not, Waldron had
long term trading relations with the Indians. In 1668 a drunk Indian killed a
settler. His tribe executed the Indian but accusations were made that Waldron
and his son had been selling the Indians whiskey. While Waldron himself was
found 'not guilty' his partner was not, and had to pay a fine.
the closing period of the war, a large group of Indians gathered at Waldron's
garrison house, apparently with the intention to surrender peacefully. About 200
Indians surrendered, were secured and taken to Boston, Mass. where they were
sold as slaves. The Indians felt that they had been tricked by Major Waldron and
held a grudge for man many years. They would settle their grudge with blood in
1689 when they attacked Waldron's Garrison and killed him. Waldron's top aide
during the war was Lt. Charles Frost, the son of Nicholas Frost.
English and the few remaining Indians finally signed peace treaties and peace
was declared. For both sides it had been a costly fight. The settlers had lost
about 600 dead, with many more wounded, numerous captives taken to Quebec and
damage done in attacks to half of the English settlements. At least 13
settlements were destroyed in the fighting. Per capita this had been perhaps the
worst war this country has had. Equivalent casualties for today's population
would have been 3 million.
bad as it was for the settlers, the Indians fared far worse. The tribes in New
England were decimated, with the few survivors fleeing to French Canada or to
the west. Those Indians captured were sold as slaves in the West Indies, with
the revenues being used to offset the costs of the war. Most of the Indians that
are left in New England today descend from the offshore island Wampanoag's who
had remained neutral during the war.
were probably very few families in New England that were not affected by this
war. While I was not able to find all of the persons on my tree that served, the
Richardson/Wyman family experience may be typical of the families in Mass. The
Richardson's and the Wyman's are two families connected by marriage. Four
siblings found their respective branches in the new world, Samuel, Joseph,
Thomas and Elizabeth who married Francis Wyman. At least six Richardson's served
in King Philip's War.
Richardson had three sons who fought, John who was a Lieutenant, Joseph and
Samuel. Joseph was one of the soldiers who assaulted the Narragansett fort in
the Great Swamp Battle. Samuel was not wounded but did suffer a grievous loss.
His wife and two children were killed.
brother Ezekiel had two sons serve in the war, Captain Josiah and Lt. James
Richardson. James was placed in command of a fort at Pawtucket Falls, which is
located near Lowell, Mass. In the spring of 1676, Lt. Richardson was attached to
the command of Captain Swett who was ordered to attack several Indian forts
located near Hampton. On June 29 the force was ambushed. "The soldiers,
many of whom were young and undisiplined, did not well abide the sudden onset.
Lieut. Richardson was killed soon after the fray began. many on both sides
shared the same fate. Capt. Swett, after fighting bravely and receiving nearly
twenty wounds, was thrown down and his body cut to pieces by those fiends in
human shape. About forty of the English and twenty of the Christian Indians
fell, being two third's of the whole number engaged in the fight."
Richardson brother, Thomas, had a son Nathaniel who also served in the war.
Nathaniel was a trooper in Captain Prentess' Calvary and was wounded in the
"Great Swamp Battle."
Wyman family was related to the Richardson's through marriage. Elizabeth
Richardson, the sister of Samuel, Ezekiel and Thomas married Francis Wyman and
one of her sons and one grandson served. Lt. John Wyman and his oldest son,
John, both served. The father was wounded while his son was killed while serving
in Captain Prentess' troop.
The True Lineage of King Philip (Sachem Metacomb) by Betty Schroeder NEHG
Register vol 144 July 1990. Soldiers in King Philips War by George Bodge NEHG
Register numerous vol's 1886-1887. The How Family NEHG Register, Vol.4, January
1850. New England Chronology NEHG Register vol 7 October 1853. Narrative of the
Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Rowlandson. The Standard of the Three County
Troop NEHG Register vol 25 April 1871. Genealogical Items Relating to Dover, NH
NEHGS Register Vol 8, July 1854, The Tozier Family NEHGS register Vol 16 April
1862. The Great Migration by Charles Anderson, NEHGS Boston 1997. Memoir of
Charles Frost, NEHG Register, vol. 3, July 1849. The Brooks Family of Woburn,
Mass. by William Cutter NEHG Register vol 58 Jan 1904. John Mousall of Woburn by
WR Cutter NEHG Register vol 47 October 1893. The Richardson Memorial by John
Vinton Brown Thurston & Co. 1876. The Red King’s Rebellion by Russell
Bourne, Oxford University Press, New York, 1990. Flintlock and Tomahawk by
Douglas Leach, Parnassus Imprints Inc., Hyannis, Massachusetts, 1995. Samuel
Richardson and Josiah Ellsworth. By Ruth Richardson Privately Published. 1974.
William's War was the first of four wars fought between England and France. It
lasted from 1689 to 1697. The war was part of a larger European conflict which
was being fought over the succession to the English throne. The war was
officially ended with the Peace of Ryswick which was signed in 1697. These four
wars would decide whether France or England would possess North America.
raids struck at the Cummings family over the years. Two of John Cummings
children were killed by Indians in November, 1688, just prior to the opening of
King William's War. Issac and his twin brother Elenezer were the victims. Their
bodies were not recovered for 26 days
town of Dover suffered a devastating attack on the night of Thursday, June 27,
1689. This attack was well planned and carried out by the Indians. In this area
of Dover were three Garrison Houses, the Waldron Garrison which was located near
the Cochecho River, the Heard Garrison which was located about 1/7 of a mile
away on "Little Hill" and the Otis garrison which was located in
between the first two. These three Garrisons were fortified houses with a
stockade around each. Local residents would retire to these fortified houses in
case of trouble. During times of trouble, soldiers would be stationed at
in the evening of the 27th, two local Indian women approached each of the
garrison houses and asked for shelter. This was granted and when all was quiet,
the Indians opened the gate and signaled to Indians awaiting outside the fort.
The Indians rushed all three garrisons.
the Waldron Garrison Major Waldron put up a fierce fight. He fought hand to hand
with his sword but was overcome and the garrison put to the torch.
Heard Garrison was saved by a William Wentworth. The 80 year old William acted
swiftly and with strength to save the Garrison. " He was awakened by the
noise of the barking of a dog, just as the Indians were entering, pushed them
out, and falling on his back, set his feet against the gate and held it till he
had alarmed the people; two balls were fired through it but both missed
Otis Garrison fell like the Waldron House. Richard Otis was killed while
attempting to rise out of his bed. His wife, Grizzet, was taken captive as was
their infant daughter, Madeline. His son Stephen was killed as was his two year
old daughter, Hannah. The Indians picked up Hannah and killed her " by
dashing her head against the chamber stairs." Also taken captive were some
of his older children; Experience, Judeth, and Rose. These three were later
rescued by soldiers at Conway, New Hampshire as they were being led back to
Canada. A total of 29 Dover residents were taken captive in this raid.
Otis and Madeline were taken to Canada by their Indian captives. Grizzet was
rebaptized as a Roman-Catholic and renamed Madeline Warren. She later married a
French-Canadian named Philippe Robitalle, the son of Jean and Martine Robitalle,
of Biencourt, Province d'Artois. He died on October 5, 1740. She died in October
of 1750 aged 89 years.
daughter, Madeline, was only 3 months old at the time of her capture. She was
also baptized as a Roman-Catholic and renamed, Christine. She was raised in a
convent and at one point, the priests hoped that she would become a nun, but she
refused to take her vows. On June 14, 1707, she married Louis Bau (or Le Beau) a
French-Canadian from Montreal. The marriage lasted but 6 years as Louis died at
the age of 35, on Feb. 26, 1713. The union did result in four children; Louis
(1708-1709), Marie Anne Christine Treffle (1710-1726), Marie Madeline (1712-)
and Louis (abt 1713-1760).
1714, an exchange of prisoners took place between the French and the English
colonies. Christine took advantage of this to return to New England although she
would not be allowed to take her children with her. Her mother tried to talk her
out of returning but Christine was adamant and insisted on it. She was finally
given permission and returned to New England. She renounced her Catholic faith
and took back her original name, Madeline. Soon after her return, she married a
Captain Thomas Baker who lived in Northampton. She was granted 60 acres of land
in Brookfield. In 1735, she returned to Dover where she remained until her death
on Feb. 23, 1773.
July 26, 1696, "An ambush of Indians between Capt. Gove's field and Tobias
Hanson's orchard, shot upon the people returning from meeting. Killed Nicholas
Otis, and wounded Richard Otis and took Nicholas Otis, Jr.," . Another
casualty was Experience Otis. In 1689, she had been taken captive by Indians,
this time she was scalped and left for dead. She managed to survive her wounds
but in 1700, she died because of bleeding from her scalp. Two of Richard Otis’
grandsons were taken captive during this raid and carried off to Canada. Neither
one ever returned to their home.
1676, Elizabeth Heard did a" good deed" which later saved her life. At
this time, the settlers on the Maine and New Hampshire frontier were having
troubles with the Indians (see Tozer history). During the conflict, a Major
Waldron seized a number of Indians as prisoners. Elizabeth Heard decided to help
a young Indian who had befriended her family. This Indian was hidden in her
house until he could safely escape.
years later, in 1689, a large group of Indians conducted a raid on Kittery. Much
of the countryside went up in flames and a number of colonists were killed and
captured. Elizabeth was travelling "up the river from Portsmouth in a boat
with her children and some others on the very night of the assault. She was
alarmed by a strange uproar and made directly for Waldron’s garrison where she
hoped to find safety. In so doing, she threw herself into the hands of the enemy
who had at that moment possession of the house. They not only saved her life,
but also permitted her to escape without molestation. The Indian she had
formally befriended was one of the party; he recognized his benefactress and his
influence with the others procured for her this important favor."
Hassell family was particularly struck hard by the Indians. In Dunstable during
September of 1691 four members of the family were slain by an Indian raiding
party. Joseph Hassell, his wife Anna Perry Hassell, Benjamin Hassell and
Christopher Temple were the victims. Joseph was the nephew of Elizabeth Hassell
Wright. Joseph's grandson, Benjamin also suffered at the hands of Indians. He
served with Capt. Lovewell at Lovewell's fight and was later accused of being a
July 17, 1692 Hannah Whitcomb was staying at a friends, Peter Joslin's house in
Lancaster. While there, Indians attacked and killed her along with Peter's wife
Sarah Howe and children. It is unknown as to what the relation was between Peter
Joslin and Hannah, but 6 years later Hannah's niece, Johanna, became Peter's
second wife. The widow of Jonathan
Whitcomb was living with the Joslin family at the time. "On the 18th July,
1692, the Indians assaulted the house of Peter Joslin, who was at his labor in
the field, and knew nothing thereof until entering the house. He found his wife
with three children, with a widow Whitcomb, who lived in his family, barbarously
murdered with their hatchets, and weltering in their blood." Sarah had
tried to fight them off with a hatchet but
she was tomahawked by another Indian. Elizabeth Howe was carried off along with
one of the Joslin children. Elizabeth was ransomed by the colony after three
years of captivity, but the child had died or was murdered in the meantime.
Duston was the daughter of Michael and Hannah Webster, which means that she
would be my cousin many times removed. She lived with her husband, Thomas Duston,
in the town of Haverhill, Mass. On March 14, 1697 Thomas was working in the
fields outside his house while his wife was recovering from a childbirth that
had occurred only a few days earlier. She and the newborn were being tended by
was the first to spot the Indian raiding party. He mounted his horse in order to
warn and help his wife. on the way he yelled to his children to flee towards the
nearest garrison house, that belonging to Onesephorus Marsh, which was on
Peckers hill, which was less then a mile away. Thomas entered the house and
informed his wife of the approaching danger. Hannah, feeling that she would just
be a hindrance told Thomas to flee and save the children. Thomas agreed and was
able to hold off the Indians long enough for all of his children, save the
newborn, to flee to safety. (Onesephorus Marsh was a direct ancestor of mine. He
was related to Hannah's sister's husband, Daniel Messer.)
the Indians entered the Duston home and carried off Hannah, her newborn and the
helper, Mrs. Neff. The house was then set afire. Fleeing with the Indians proved
to be difficult for Mrs. Duston and for Mrs. Neff who was carrying the baby.
Tired of Mrs. Neff slowing down the Indians, they seized the baby and dashed
it's brains out against a apple tree. The Indians continued their hard pace back
towards Canada. Those unable to keep up were killed by the Indians. Hannah,
surprisingly was able to keep up with her captives.
the next several days they traveled about 100 miles until they reached the
junction of the Contoocook and Merrimack Rivers. The Indians then split up with
a small band of 12 taking Hannah Duston, her friend Mrs. Neff and a young boy
named Samuel Lennardson. Upon reaching the Duston Island, near the town of
Penacook, NH., the Indians discussed whether to rest or go on. It was decided to
rest for a few days.
night, March 30, 1697, the Indians grew careless and did not leave a guard.
Hannah took advantage of this and with her two fellow captives, killed ten of
the twelve. Two of the Indians fled into the woods and were saved. Hannah and
her friends then loaded up a canoe and the three fled. Before they could get
far, Hannah decided that she needed to go back and gather some proof that could
support their claim. Hannah and Mrs. Neff then scalped the 10 dead Indians.
three then fled south until they came to the house of John Lovewell in Dunstable,
Mass. After a short rest they continued their journey until they reached
Haverhill and a joyful re-union with family and friends.
was now a heroine on the frontier, and in fact throughout the colonies. She
later told the story to the famous preacher, Cotton Mather, who recorded it. At
least two monuments have been erected in Hannah's honor. One is located in
Haverhill while the other is on Duston Island in Penacook, NH.
Frost, the son of Nicholas Frost served his community in a number of Indian
engagements over a period of many years. He was a Major on July 4, 1697 when
"he expressed an unusually strong desire to go with his family to his
wonted place of worship at Newichewanniick, a distance of 5 miles. His wife and
two sons, Charles and John, with some friends, accompanied him. On their return
homeward, and within a mile of his dwelling, a volley of musketry was suddenly
discharged at them, which brought several of them to the ground. It was the work
of a party of Indians hid by the wayside under a large log, in which they had
stuck a row of green boughs. The sons had passed ahead and escaped." A
letter written at the time by a relative, Lt. Storer, stated that "the
Major, John Heard's wife, and Danes Dowing were killed, and John Heard
ANN'S WAR 1702-1713
Ann’s War was fought between 1702 and 1713. It was part of a larger conflict,
The War of Spanish Succession. This war involved a power struggle between the
European powers. England, Austria, the Netherlands, and Portugal joined forces
in an attempt to prevent France from becoming too powerful. The war in the New
World between France and England was called Queen Ann’s War.
major battlefield in the New World was the New England frontier. The French and
their Indian allies traveled south from Canada to raid the English settlements.
The English countered with their own raids. In the winter of 1705 a English
force captured the Indian stronghold of St. Johns.
and colonial forces attacked and captured Port Royal and Acadia in 1710. The war
ended with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713. France lost Acadia (Nova Scotia) and
number of ancestors fought in Queen Ann's War. Following are some of their
June 4, 1706 a large raiding party hit Dover, New Hampshire. "George
(Ricker) was killed while running up the lane near Heard's Garrison which stood
in the garden of the late friend Bangs. The lane was the crossroad at the
southern base of Garrison Hill. Maturin was killed in his field and his little
son Noah was carried away. With them and killed were Mary Jones, Richard Otis,
Anthony Rounder, Experience Heard, Nicholas Otis and a Mr. Evans, probably the
father of Eleanor, wife of George. Mr. Evans was burned to death in his barn. A
young John Evans was chased by the Indians was captured and died soon
after." Noah was taken to Canada where he was educated and remained as a
living in Dunstable also suffered during Queen Ann's War. On July 3, 1706, a
party of two hundred Mohawk Indians attacked the town. This Indian raid left
eleven dead and three captured. Among the dead was Elizabeth Cummings the wife
of John Cummings Jr. (John Jr. is the son of John Cummings 1630-1700) who was
himself wounded. One of the captives was Richard Hassell.
Cummings, a grandson of Issac Cummings, was a Sergeant in the Dunstable militia.
His house had been fortified as a Garrison House and had a detachment of
soldiers stationed there. The Cummings must have felt secure because of this
detactment of soldiers, so they continued to operate their farm in a normal
manner. On July 6, 1706 John and his wife, Elizabeth, went outside to milk their
cows without an armed escort.
were unaware that there was a large group of Mohawk warriors waiting outside of
their house. During the milking the Indians attacked. Both Elizabeth and John
were shot. Elizabeth was killed while John suffered a bullet wound and a broken
arm. Seeing the Indians go toward the garrison house John saw his chance and
fled. He ran into the woods and hid overnight in a nearby swamp. The next day he
managed to reach the safety of the garrison near Tyngsborough Village
Indians must not have scouted the house for when they broke into the house they
were as surprised as the soldiers eating inside. A fight broke out and the
soldiers were able to fight off the Indians, who fled the scene.
Garland (1650-1710) lived in Dover, New Hampshire. In the summer of 1710 he was
returning home after a church meeting. He was about three-quarters of a mile
from Varney’s Hill when he was attacked by Indians and killed.
"The Cummings Memorial" by George Mooar