King Philip's War


King 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.


The 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.


Relations 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.


At 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 English.


A 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".


This 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.


This 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.


The 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.


The 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 Indians fleeing.


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.


Metacomet, 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.


In 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.


On 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.


Continually 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.


Before 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.


Three 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.


The 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.


The 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.


When 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.


King 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.


In 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.


The 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 Rangers.


Most, 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;


The 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.


The 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.


The 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.


The 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 Company.


The York Regiment was composed of the York Company, Kittery Company, Wells Company, Scarborough Company, Back Cove Company, and the York Cavalry Company.


The Hampshire Regiment was composed of the Springfield Company, Northampton Company, Hadley Company, Westfield Company, Hatfield Company, and the Hampshire Cavalry Company.


Also serving in the war was the Three County Troop which was a cavalry regiment raised from men in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Essex Counties.


There were also troops from what is now Maine, the Sagadahock Company, Damerill Company, Monhegin Company, and the Capenawaghen Company.


When 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;


"To 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 the randevous."


The 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.


A relief force, composed of Captain Henchman's company, the Middlesex Troop (Calvary) under Captain Prentice and local militia under Mosely, was sent to Swansea.


" 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."


Serving in Captain Prentice's troop were the following members of families on my tree; William Brooks, Francis Wyman, William Read, and John Wyman.


At 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.


On 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 of years.


All 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.


At 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 approaching.


In 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 named Monoco.


On 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.


As 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.


One 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)


Captain 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.


At 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 English.


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.


General 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.


On 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.


The 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.


Captain 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 behind."


"Major 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."


The 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 English.


During 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.


On 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.


The 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."


On 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 what happened;


"Mr. 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,


Yours to serve you


Signed by Roger Plaisted,George Broughton."


Major 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.


While 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.


In 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.


A 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.


In 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.


In 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.


On 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.


Samuel 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.


At 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."


One 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.


In 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. "


Captain 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.


"About 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 fled."


The 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.


Despite 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.


Throughout 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.


Though 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.


During 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.


The 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.


As 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.


There 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.


Samuel 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.


Samuel’s 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."


Another 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."


The 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.




Sources: 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.



King William's War


King 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.


Indian 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


The 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 Garrison Houses.


Early 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.


In 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.


The 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 him."


The 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.


Grizzet 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.


Grizzet's 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).


In 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.


On 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.


In 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.


Thirteen 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."


The 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 deserter.


On 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.


Hannah 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 Mrs. Neff.


Thomas 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.)


Meanwhile 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.


Over 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.


That 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.


The 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.


Hannah 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.


Charles 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 wounded."




QUEEN ANN'S WAR 1702-1713

Queen 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.


The 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.


British 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 Newfoundland.


A number of ancestors fought in Queen Ann's War. Following are some of their stories.


On 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 priest.


Ancestors 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.


John 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.


They 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


The 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.


Jabez 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.


Sources; "The Cummings Memorial" by George Mooar



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