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the enemy was discovered at Still river, (Harvard.) Some of the soldiers and inhabitants went in pursuit of them : returning much fatigued, Rev, Mr. Gardner the minister, took opon himself the watch for the night. In the course of the night, coming out of the sentry's box, the noise was heard by one in the house, a Mr. Samuel Prescott. As Indians were in the neighborhood, Prescott fired upon Mr. Gardner, supposing him to be an enemy, and shot him through the body. Mr. Gardner freely forgave the innocent, but unfortunate, cause of his death, and breathed his last, in an hour or two after. This closed hostilities for the melancholy year of 1704. On the 15th October, 1705, Thomas Sawyer, his sop Elias Sawyer, and John Biglo, were taken captive and carried to Canada. Thomas Sawyer was a man of great bravery. On the arrival of the party at Montreal, says Whitney, Sawyer offered to erect a saw mill on the Chamblee provided the French Governor would obtain a release of all the captives. This he promised, if possible, to do. The son and Biglo were easily ransomed, but the father the Indians determined to put to death, by lingering torture. His deliverance was effected by the sudden appearance of a Friar, who told them that he held the key of Purgatory in his hand, and, unless they immediately released their prisoner, he would unlock the gates and cast them in headlong. Their superstitious fears, which the Catholics could so easily excite in the breast of the savage, prevailed. They unbound Sawyer from the stake, and delivered him to the Governor. He finished the mill* in a year, and was sent home with Biglo. · His son Elias, was detained a while to instruct the Canadians in the art of " sawing and keeping the mill in order, and then was dismissed with rich presents."| The town suffered no further violence from the Indians till July 16, 1707, when Jonathan White was killed. On the 18th of August following, Jonathan Wilder,f a native of Lancaster, was taken captive. The party consisting of twenty four men was pursued, the next day, by about thirty of the inhabitants of the two towns, and was overtaken in a remote part of the town, now included in Sterling,
* Whitney from whom the above relation is taken, says, that this was 6 the first saw mill in Canada, and that there was no artificer there capable of building one." pp. 43, 44.
† A grandson of Elias (Jotham Sawyer) is now living in Templeton, aged eighty six. He recollects riding horseback, behind his mother, to churcb, to hear Mr. Harrington's century sermon, May 28, 1753.
He was son to Lieut. Nathaniel Wilder, who was killed in 1704, as mentioned above. Jonathan was born April 20, 1682.
and known by the name of the " Indian fight." The day being quite damp, and having cases on their guns, and their packs secured from the weather, the Indians were wholly unprepared for combat. However, as only ten of the English rushed upon them and engaged in the action, they determined not to surrender.Having killed their captive, they fought bravely till they lost nine of their number. On the other side two* were killed and twof wounded. After a lapse of three years, on the 5th of August 1710, a number of the enemy fired upon Nathaniel and Oliver Wilder, who, with an lodian servant, were at work in the fields. The Indian boy was killed, but the others made their escape and reached the garrison. From this time till peace was concluded at Utrecht in 1713, the inhabitants were doubtless in a continual state of alarm, from expectations of secret and sudden attacks, they had been trained by long and bitter experience.
But this was the last hostile measure of the lodians, against Nashaway, and it may be considered, as worthy of remark, that the last person killed by the Indians, in this place, was himself an Indian.
The following is a list of the houses fortified, at various times from the year, 1670, to 1710, &c.
Rev. Mr. Rowlandson's Garrison, before described.
Wheeler's Garrison.-Now in the south part of Bolton, where Asa Houghton lives.
Fortified House.--Now the farm house of Mr. Richard J. Cleveland. This is where the first Judge Wilder lived.
White's Garrison.—On the spot where Mrs. White now lives, on the east side of the Neck-and opposite to the house of Major Jonathan Locke.
Joslin's Garrison.-West side of the Neck, one fourth of a mile north of the church, and near the house successively occupied by Peter Green, Dr. Manning and Dr. Peabody.
James Wilder's Garrison. A large house, twenty rods back of the house of late Thomas Safford. This was the chief garrison. The house is not now standing.
* John Farrar, and Richard Singleterry.
+ Capt. Ephraim Wilder and Mr. Samuel Stevens. Ephraim was son to Lieut. Nathaniel Wilder, and died Dec. 13, 1769, aged 94.
| Their guns were resting against a fence at some distance, and the Indians succeeded in getting between the men and their guns before firing. Nathaniel was son of Lieut. Nathaniel, Oliver another sop afterwards Colonel, appointed Justice Peace, January 28, 1762.
Minister's Garrison.-Nearly opposite the house of Samuel Ward, Esq. It was erected in 1688, and successively occupied by Rev. Messrs. Whiting, Gardner and Prentice.*
Thomas Sawyer's Garrison.-To the west of the last, and probably a little north of the house of Samuel Flagg, Esq.
Nathaniel Wilder's Garrison.—North of the last, on Mr. Toomb's farm, between bis house and the house of Samuel Wilder.
John Prescott's Garrison.--About thirty rods southeast of Messrs. Poignand and Plant's Factory.
Cyprian Steven's House - A little to the south of the church, and near the house of William Stedman, Esq. on the Boston road, was probably a garrison.
There were Indian settlements, besides the one at Washacum, at the following places, viz. near the house of Samuel Jones, not far from the road to Leominster; one on a peck of land running into Fort pond; a third, east of Clam Shell pond, and north of John Larkin's, near Berlin ; a fourth, above Pitt's mills in the south part of the town.
Hannah Woonsamug, an Indian woman, owned the covenant, and was baptised October, 1710.
In November, 1702, on the petition of Lancaster for leave to purchase of George Tahanto, an Indian Sagamore, and nephew of Sholan, a tract of land adjoining the west end of the township towards the Wachusett, a committee was chosen by the General Court to examine the land.
The purchase was in 1701,6 but was not confirmed by the General Court, owing to the distressed situation of the country, till some years after.f The committee made their return in 1711. The whole of this grant is now included in other towns; and it will be sufficient, on this matter, to refer to the first vol. of Worcester Mag
* Soon after the death of Mr. Prentice, the proprietors voted to sell the Church lands in Lancaster.
+ June 26, 1701, as appears by a copy in my possession in the hand writing of John Houghton, Esq. who was proprietors clerk.
It is proper here to correct an inaccuracy in the sermon of Rev. Mr. Conant of Leominster, delivered Oct. 12, 1823. He says that “the Lancaster New, or additional grant," was made to induce the return of the inhabitants, (of Lancaster, after its destruction by the Indians,) and that consequently the first grant of Leominster must have been prior to the year 1680." This grant included what is now Leominster and was not made till the eighteenth century,(1713,) as stated in the text. The purchase was made by the inhabitants of Lancaster, the confirmation was by the General Court. See l. Worcester Magazine, 272-3-4-5.
azine, p. 272–3–4. It was settled as early as 1720, especially the part which is now included in Sterling. Gamaliel Beman, Samuel Sawyer, Benjamin Houghton, David Osgood, and Jonathan Osgood, removed to that place, from other parts of Lancaster.*
From the close of the last Indian war the population began to increase rapidly. The descendants of the original planters, and the new comers, were spread over a broad surface in every part of the town. Uninterrupted industry produced an improved state of the social system, and the character of the place at this time, and for many succeeding years, ranked high for general intelligence, good habits, union and prosperity.
In 1730, cundry people living on the east side of the Penecook petitioned for a new town. Afterwards, in the same year, the inhabitants were willing to give their consent, if the “General Court should see cause." An act of incorporation was granted, June, 1732, by the name of Harvard ; at which time, there were fifty families in the place. I
Stimulated by this success of their neighbors, and subjected to great inconveniences by their distance from church, the inhabitants living south of Harvard, and within the limits of Lancaster, in 1733, petitioned for a new town. This was refused at the time, but was granted, as far as was in the power of Lancaster, in 1736, and in June, 1738, was incorporated by the name of Bolton. Gamaliel Beman and others in Chocksett, stating the same grievances as the Bolton men, urged the same suit in 1733, in their own behalf. This petition was rejected for a number of years, till, in 1741, a conditional permission to form a separate town, was granted to
A minute and valuable history of Sterling having been published by Isaac Goodwin, Esq. it will not be expected, that I shall touch upon the same subject, any further than, as incidentally, it becomes necessary, in describing Lancaster.
t In May, 1721, Gershom and Jonas Rice, two inhabitants of Worcester, sent a letter to John Houghton, Esq. of this town; aod Peter Rice of Marlborough, requesting them to present a certain petition to the General Court, in behalf of Worcester, and closed with saying ; “so craving your serious thoughtfulness for the poor, distressed town of Worcester, we subscribe ourselves,” &c.
# Feb. 5th, 1732. The proprietors of Lancaster granted to the town of Harvard thirty acres of land, where the inhabitants of Harvard “have built a house for public worship also for a training field, and for a burying place, and other public uses." Feb. 1734. They gave Mr. Secomb, the first minister of Harvard, the two islands in Bear (or Bare) bill pond.
This word is a corruption of Woonksechauxit, or Woonksecha uckset, DOW Sterling
them. To these conditions, they did not assent. They, however, were made a separate precinct.
Next came forward those of the northwest, in 1737. They were incorporated June, 1740, by the name of Leominster. Notwithstanding these successive diminutions in territory, which included a part of Harvard and Bolton, and the whole of Leominster, the population and.wealth of the town still ranked high, and went on increasing by the accession of new inhabitants, in the east and west preciocts.
The town, however, suffered in proportion to its means, all the evils that attended the state of the currency at that period. The general evil extended as far back, as the seventeenth century ; when, to meet the expenses attending the expedition against Canada in 1690, bills of credit were issued anticipating the taxes of the year. This system was continued for some years, and till 1704, the bills were in good credit and answered the purpose of specie. But draughts, beyond the means of the province to bear, being made to defray the heavy expenses incurred in subsequent expeditions, the evil at length became intolerable, and, after the peace of 1713, the public mind was turned towards finding a remedy. There was not sufficient silver and gold in the country to redeem the bills, and the very currency caused these metals to disappear. A public bank, loading bills on land security, was, after much debate, established in 1714. The few, who at that day seemed to understand what are now deemed first priociples in banking, were out voted. These bills, from the operation of the cause I have mentioned above, sunk continually in value, and to an equal extent occasioned a loss to the community. The system was continued many years, and produced a continual sacrifice of property to artificial and imaginary wealth. The bills were loaned by trustees, in every part of the province, on mortgage, with interest and one fifth of the principal payable annually. And when the time of payment arrived, the paper having sunk much below its nominal value, the debtors would be obliged to pay a much larger amount in this trash, or sacrifice their estates in payment of the mortgages.
To avoid this, laws were passed from time to time, extending the limit of payment, but prolonging only a lingering state of affairs, that must, in the nature of things, have its crisis, and shake the province to the centre. So infatuated were the people, that they supposed paper emissions would one day work out their redemption from distress and poverty.
Lancaster, I find, instructed her Representative in 1731, “to pay such a regard to his majesty's Governor, as becomes the Rep