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whom they had lived on terms of mutual good will, were soon to become their bitter enemies : desolation was to spread over the fair inheritance: fire and the tomahawk, torture and death, were soon to be busy in annibilating all the comforts of domestic life.
The tribe of the Nashaways, when the country was first settled, was under the chief Sachem of the Massachusetts. Gookin, who wrote in 1674, says, “ they have been a great people in former times; but of late years have been consumed by the Maquas* wars, and other ways, and are now not above fifteen or sixteen families.t" He probably referred to the setttlement at Washacum alone. There were Indians in various parts of the town at that time ; in fact so large a part of the tribe, as would, perhaps, swell the whole number to twenty five or thirty families, or from one hundred and fifty, to one hundred and eighty persons. This miserable rempat, that was rapidly wasting way by intemperance, which, at this day, destroys its thousands, was under the influence of the master spirit, Philip. Whilst Gookin, with Wattasacompanum, ruler of the Nipmucks, was at Pakachoog, in Sept. 1674, he sent Jethrof of Natick, one of the most distinguished of the converted Indians, who, in general, made but sorry shristians, to Nashaway, to preach to his countrymen, whom Eliot had never visited. One of the tribe happened to be present at the Court, and declared “that he was desirously willing as well as some other of his people to pray to God: but that there were sundry of that people very wicked, and much addicted to drunkenness, and thereby many disorders were committed amongst them;" and he intreated Gookin to put forth his power, to suppress this vice. He was asked, " whether he would take upon him the office of constable, and receive power to apprehend drunkards, and take away their strength from them, and bring the delinquents before the court to receive punishment.” Probably apprebending some difficulty from his brethren, if he should accept the appointment at the time, he answered, “ that he would first speak with his friends, and if they chose him, and strengthened his hand in the work, he would come for a black staff and power.”
It is not known that Jethro's exhortations produced any effect.
* A fierce tribe residing about fifty miles beyond Albany and towards the lakes.
+1 Mass. Hist. Col. I. 193.
| Gookin gave Jethro a letter directed to the Indians, exhorting them to keep the sabbath and to abstain from drunkenness, powowing, &c. At this time and for many years after Gookin was superintendant of all the Indians under the government of Massachusetts.
The conspiracy that in the following summer lighted up the flames of war, was secretly spreading, and but little opportunity existed, to improve the condition of the Nashaways. At this time, Sagamore Shoshanim* was at the head of the tribe. He possessed, it appears, a hostile feeling, and a vindictive spirit against the English. He joined heart and hand in the measures of Philip. He probably engaged early in the war, and took an active part in the attack upon his former friends. James Quanapaug, who was sent out by the English, as a spy, in Jan. 1676, (N. S.) relates that Shoshanim was out with the hostile Indians in the neighborhood of Menoimesseg, about 20 miles north of the Connecticut path. Robert Pepper was his prisoner. Philip was in the neighborhood of Fort Aurania, (Albany) and was probably on his return to Mennimesseg. This circumstance, taken in connection with the positive declaration of Rev. Mr. Harrington, in bis Century Sermon, and the frequent mention made of him by Mrs. Rowlandson, shows pretty conclusively that he had the powerful force that overwhelmed Lancaster. I find in a scarce pamphlet, entitled a “ Brief and true Narrative of the late wars risen in New England,” printed late in 1675, that the report was current, that Philip had “ fled to the French at Canada for succor.” And Cotton Mather says, that the French from Canada sent recruits to aid in the war. Philip probably returoed early in the winter with the recruits. Whilst Quanapaug was at Mennimesseg, one eyed John,t (an Indian every whit,) told him that in about twenty days from the Wednesday preceding, 6 they were to fall upon Lancaster, Groton, Marlborough, Sudbury, and Med- *;;. field, and that the first thing they would do, would be to cut down Lancaster bridge, so as to hinder the flight of the lohabitants, and prevent assistance from coming to them.”I The war broke out in June, 1675, by an attack upon Swansey, as I should have stated before. On the 22nd day of August, the same summer, eight persons were killed in Lancaster.§ On the 10th (O. S.) of February following, early in the morning, the Wamponoags, led by Philip, accompanied by the Narrhagansetts, his allies, and also by the Nip
. * Sam was his name in the vernacular. He succeeded Matthew, who, as
† Or John Monoco.
George Bennett, a grandson of Richard Linton ; William Flagg; Jacob
mucs and Nashaways, whom his artful eloquence bad persuaded to
* Hutchinson says several hundred. I have taken the number given by Mr. Harrington, who says it was confessed by the Indians themselves after the peace:
t I can ascertain but three of these places, viz. Wheeler's garrison, at Wataquodoc hill, now S. West part of Bolton. 'Here they killed Jopas and Joshua Fairbanks and Richard Wheeler. Wheeler had been in town about 15 years. The second was Prescott's garrison, near Poignard & Plant's Manufactory. Ephraim Sawyer was killed here ; and Henry Farrar and (John) Ball and his wife in other places. The third was Mr. Rowlandson's.
This house was about one third of a mile south west of the Church. The cellar was filled up only a few years since. Where the garden was, are a number of very aged trees, more or less decayed. These, I doubt not, date back to the time of Mr. Rowlandson.
So says Harrington. But Hubbard relates that the "fortification was on the back side of the building, but covered up with fire wood, and the lodia's got near and burnt a leanto.” Edition 1677.
|| On the authority of Hubbard, I state, that the Indiaps destroyed about one half of the buildings.
** Ephraim Roper.
*Ensign Divoll, Abraham Joslin, Daniel Gains, Thomas Rowlandson, William and Joseph Kerley, John McLoad, Jobn Kettle and two sons, Josiak Divoll. Instead of giving the twelfth name, Mr. Harrington puts down "&c." The name therefore must rest, in nubibus.
the slain, Thomas Rowlandson was brother to the clergyman; Mrs. Kerley was wife of Capt. Henry Kerley, and sister to Mrs. Rowlandson ;* Wm. Kerley, Jr. I think, may have been Henry's brother, and Joseph his child : I do not venture, however, to give this as a historical fact. Mrs. Drew,t another sister, was of the captives. Mrs. Kerley, and Ephraim Roper's wife were killed in attempting to escape.
Different accounts vary in the number of the slain, and the captives. At least there were fifty persons, and one writer says, fifty five. Nearly half of these suffered death.Ş No less than seventeen of the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson's family, and connexions, were put to death or taken prisoners. He, at that time, with Capt. Kerley, and Mr. Drew, was at Boston soliciting military aid from Gov. Leverett and the council. The anguish they felt on their return, is not to be described. Their dwellings had been destroyed: the wife of one was buried in the ruins, the wives of the two others, were in the power of the savages, threading their way, through the trackless forest in the midst of winter; with no comforts to supply their necessities, no friends to cheer them, and nothing but the unmingled dread of a hopeless captivity in prospect. Mrs. Rowlandson was taken by a Narrhagansett Indian, and sold to Quannopin, a Sagamore, and connected with Philip by marriage; their squaws being sisters. Mrs. Rowlandson's sister, was taken, it would seem by Shoshanim.1
* Mrs. Rowlandson was Mary, daughter of Mr. White, probably John White, who was the richest man in town in 1653. Henry Kerley married Elizabeth.
* This name is inserted on the authority of “ News from New-England :"a pamphlet relating to Philip's war, published in 1676. I have not met with the name elsewhere.
I“ News from New England."
Abraham Joslin's wife was a captive. In the neighborhood of Payquaoge (Miller's river,) being near the time of her confinement, the Indians became enraged at her frequent solicitations for liberty to return home,and cast her into the flames with a young child in her arms, two years old. Of those of the Nashaway tribe of Indians who survived the war, a part moved to Albany, and the rest to Penecook, one of the New Hampshire tribes; with this tribe they incorporated. There have been Indians residing in town, within the memory of some of the present inhabitants ; they were wanderers from other places, and not descendents of the Nashaways.
| Mrs. Rowlandson during her captivity was separated from her sister.At one time when they were near, the Indian, Mrs. Drew's master, would not suffer her to visit Mrs. Rowlandson, and the latter in her "removes" remarks with much apparent comfort, that'" the Lord requited many of their ill doings, for this Indian was hanged afterwards at Boston.” This was Sept. 26, 1676. The Sagamore of Quoboag, and old Jethro, were executed at the same time, at the town's end." Hubbard, Edition 1677.
The Indians made great plunder in various parts of the lowo. They were forced, however, to retreat on the appearance of Capt. Wadsworth,* who, heariog of the distressed situation of the town, immediately marched from Marlborough, where he was stationed, with forty men. The Indians had removed the planks from the bridge to prevent the passage of horsemen, the river at the time being much swollen, and bad prepared an ambush for the foot soldiers, but fortunately withdrew from that spot, before the arrival of the soldiers. Wadsworth stationed his men in different parts of the town, and remained there for some days. Before his departure, he lost one of his men, George Harrington, by the Indians.
But the alarm of the Inhabitants was so great, and such was the general insecurity of the border towns, in the then unsettled state of the Country, that when the troops withdrew, about six weeks afterwards, the rest of the inhabitants left under their protection, after destroying all the houses, but two.f The return of peace on the death of Philip, in August, 1676, did not restore their courage and confidence. For more than three years, Lancaster remained without an inhabitant. In Oct. 1679, a committee was appointed by the County Court, under a law then in force, to rebuild the town.f It is probable that the resettlement took place in the spring of 1680. No record exists by which the precise time or mode can be discovered. Some interest naturally attaches to this era, as the whole work of building up the town was to be again undertaken. Some of the first planters, or their children, who were still living, returned accompanied by others. Of the former, were the Prescotts, Houghtons, Sawyers, Wilders, &c. The Carters, a name now
* Capt. Samuel Wadsworth of Milton, a brave soldier and valuable man. He was killed on the 18th of April following, in a severe battle with the Indians at Sudbury. A monument over his grave, on the spot where he fell, was erected by his son, Rev. President Wadsworth of Harvard College.
+ The house of public worship, was not destroyed by the Indians at this time. The French, according to James Quanapaug, before the commencement of the winter campaign “ bid them that they should not destroy meeting houses, for there, God was worshipped.” John Roper was killed the very day that the inhabitants withdrew.
Oct. 7, 1679. The committee consisted of Capt. Thomas Prentice, Deacon John Stone, and William Bond. Prentice, was a distinguished caval. ry officer in Philip's war. Mass. Hist. Col. Vol. V. p. 270, 1.
To avoid the charge of plagiarism, perhaps it should be stated, that the account of the destruction of Lancaster, excepting what was taken from Mr. Harrington, was extracted principally from an anonymous article, written by the compiler, and published in the New Hampshire Historical and Miscellaneous Collections for April and May, 1824; and another, in the Worcester Magazine, for Feb. 1826. Harrington took most of his account from Hubbard: