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his rescue. Upon this the party returned to their homes. At the close of the war Fitch and his family were liberated, and were crossing the Connecticut on their return home, when Mrs. Fitch took cold and died. The rest of the family returned, and Fitch was afterwards married again. Jennings, who was killed in the garrison, was burnt in the flames. The name of the soldier killed without the garrison was Blodget. The third soldier, whose name was Perkins, escaped.
CAPTIVITY OF MARY FOWLER, OF HOPKINTON.
Mary Fowler, formerly Mary Woodwell, now living in Canterbury, in this State, was born in the town of Hopkinton, in Massachusetts, May 11, 1730. Her parents moved to Lopkinton, in this State, when she was about twelve years of age, and settled on the westerly side of what is called Putney's Hill.
On the 22d day of April, in the year 1746, while in the garrison at her father's house, six Indians, armed with muskets, tomahawks, knives, &c., broke into the garrison, and took eight persons while in their beds, viz: the said Mary, her parents, two of her brothers, Benjamin and Thomas, Samuel Burbank, an aged man, and his two sons, Caleb and Jonathan. They carried them through the wilderness to St. Francis, in Canada. Ilere Mary and Jonathan Burbank were detained for the term of three years, (though not in one family,) and the other six were carried prisoners to Quebec, where Burbank, the aged, and Mary's mother, died of the yellow fever in prison. The other four were afterwards exchanged.
The circumstances relative to their being taken were as follows: Ten persons, viz: the eight above mentioned. Samuel Burbank's wife and a soldier were secluded in the garrison for fear of being attacked by the Indians, who had been frequently scouting through Hopkinton and the other adjacent towns. Early on the morning of their captivity, Samuel Burbank left the garrison, and went to the barn in order to feed the cattle before the rest were up, leaving the door unfastened. The Indians, who lay near in ambush, immediately sallied forth and took him. From this allrighted captive they got information that the garrison was weak, whereupon they rushed in and took them all, except the soldier who escaped, and Burbank's wife, who secreted herself in the cellar. During this attack Mary's mother, being closely embraced by a sturdy Indian, wrested from his side a long knife, with which she was in the act of running him through, when her husband prevailed with her to desist, fearing the fatal consequences. However, she secured the deadly weapon, and
, before they comenced their march threw it into ihe well, from whence it was taken after the captives returned. Another Indian presented a musket to Mary's breast, intending to blow her through,
when a chief by the name of Pennos, who had previously received numerous kindnesses from her father's family, instantly interfered, and kept him from his cruel design, taking her for his own captive.
After having arrived at St. Francis, Pennos sold Mary to a squaw of another family, while J. Burbank continued in some remote part of the neighborhood under his own master. Mary's father and brothers, after they were exchanged, solicited a contribution for her redemption, which was at last obtained with great difficulty for one hundred livres, through the stratagem of a French doctor, all previous efforts made by her father and brothers having failed. This tender parent, though reduced to poverty by the savages, and having no pecuniary assistance except what he received through the hand of charity from his distant friends, had frequently visited St. Francis in order to have an interview with his only daughter, and to compromise with her mistress, offering her a large sum for Mary's redemption, but all to no effect. She refused to let her go short of her weight in silver. Moreover, Mary had previously been told by her mistress that if she intimated a word to her father that she wanted to go home with him, she should never see his face again; therefore, when interrogated by him on this subject, she remained silent, through fear of worse treatment; yet she could not conceal her grief, for her internal agitation and distress of mind caused the tears to flow profusely from her eyes. Her father, at length, worn out with grief and toil, retired to Montreal, where he contracted with a Frenchman as an agent to effect, if possible, the purchase of his daughter. This agent, after having attempted a compromise several times in vain, employed a French physician, who was in high reputation among the Indians, to assist him. The doctor, under a cloak of friendship, secretly advised Mary to feign herself sick, as the only alternative, and gave her medicine for the purpose. This doctor was soon called upon for medical aid, and although he appeared to exert the utmost of his skill, yet his patient continued to grow worse. Afier making several visits to no effect, he at length gave her over as being past recovery, advising her mistress, as a real friend, to sell her the dirst opportunity for what she could get, even if it were but a small sum; otherwise, said he, she
a will die on your hands, and you must lose her. The squaw, alarmed at the doctor's ceremony, and the dangerous appearance of her captive, immediately contracted with the French agent for one hundred livres; whereupon Mary soon began to amend, and was shortly after conveyed to Montreal, where she continued six months longer among the French, waiting for a passport.
Thus, after having been compelled to three years' hard labor in planting and hoeing corn, chopping and carrying wood, pounding samp, gathering cranberries and other wild fruit for the market, &c., this young woman was at length redeemed from the merciless hands and cruel servitude of the savages, who had not only wrested her from her home, but also from the tender embraces of her parents, and from all social intercourse with her friends.
Jonathan Burbank was redeemed about the same time, became an officer, and was afterwards killed by the Indians in the French war. These sons of the forest, supposing him to have been Rogers, their avowed enemy, rushed upon him and slew him without ceremony, after he had given himself up as a prisoner of war.
After six months' detention among the French at Montreal, Mary was conveyed (mostly by water) to Albany by the Dutch, who had proceeded to Canada in order to redeem their black slaves, whom the Indians had previously taken and carried thither; from thence she was conducted to the place of her nativity, where she continued about five years, and was married to one Jesse Corbett, by whom she had two sons. From thence they moved to Hopkinton, in this State, to the place where Mary had been taken by the Indians. Corbett, her husband, was drowned in Almsbury river, (now Warner river,) in Hopkinton, in the year 1759, in attempting to swim across the river,was carried down into the Contoocook, thence into the Merrimack, and was finally taken up in Dunstable, with his clothes tied fast to his head. Mary was afterwards married to a Jeremiah Fowler, by whom she had five children. She is now living in Canterbury, in the enjoyment of good health and remarkable powers of mind, being in the ninety-third year of her age. The foregoing narrative was written a few weeks since as she related it.
NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY OF MRS. ISABELLA M'COY, WHO WAS TAKEN CAPTIVE AT EPSOM, N, H., IN THE YEAR 1747. COLLECTED FROM THE RECOLLECTIONS OF AGED PEOPLE WHO KNEW HER, BY THE REV. JONATHAN CURTIS, A MINISTER OF THAT TOWN, ABOUT SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO, AND BY HIM COMMUNICATED TO THE PUBLISHERS OF THE NEW HAMP. SHIRE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS.
The Indians were first attracted to the new settlements in the town of Epsom, N. H., by discovering M.Coy at Suncook, now Pembroke. This, as nearly as can be ascertained, was in the year 1747. Reports were spread of the depredations of the Indians in various places; and M-Coy had heard that they had been seen lurking about the woods at Penacook, now Concord. He went as far as Pembroke; ascertained that they were in the vicinity; was somewhere discovered by them, and followed home. They told his wife, whom they afterwards made prisoner, that they looked through cracks around the house, and saw what they had for supper that night. They however did not discover themselves till the second day after. They probably wished to take a little time to learn the strength and preparation of the inhabitants. The next day, Mrs. M«Coy, attended by their two dogs, went down to see if any of the other families had returned from the garrison. She found no one.
On her return, as she was passing the block-house, which stood near the present site of the meeting-house, the dogs, which had passed round it, came running back growling and very much excited. Their appearance induced her to make the best of her way
home. The Indians afterwards told her that they then lay concealed there, and saw the dogs, when they came round.
M-Coy, being now strongly suspicious that the Indians were actually in the town, determined to set off the next day with his family for the garrison at Nottingham. His family now consisted of himself, his wife, and son John. The younger children were still at the garrison. They accordingly secured their house as well as they could, and all set off next morning ;-11'Coy and his son with their guns, though without ammunition, having fired away what they brought with them in hunting.
As they were travelling a little distance east of the place where the meeting-house now stands, Mrs. M'Coy fell a little in the rear of the others. This circumstance gave the Indians a favorable opportunity for separating her from her husband and son. The Indians, three men and a boy, lay in ambush near the foot of Marden's hill, not far from the junction of the mountain road with the main road. Here they suffered M-Coy and his son to pass; but, as his wise was passing them, they reached from the bushes, and took hold of her, charging her to make no noise, and covering her mouth with their hands, as she cried to her husband for assistance. Her husband, hearing her cries, turned, and was about coming to her relief. But he no sooner began to advance, than the Indians, expecting probably that he would fire upon them, began to raise their pieces, which she pushed one side, and motioned to her friends to make their escape, knowing that their guns were not loaded, and that they would doubtless be killed, if they approached. They accordingly ran into the woods and made their escape to the garrison. This took place August 21, 1747.
The Indians then collected together what booty they could obtain, which consisted of an iron trammel, from Mr. George Wallace's, the apples of the only tree which bore in town, which was in the orchard now owned by Mr. David Grifin, and some other trilling articles, and prepared to set off with their prisoner to Canada.
Before they took their departure, they conveyed Mrs. M'Coy to a place near the Suncook river, where they left her in the care of the young Indian, while the three men, whose names were afterwards ascertained to be Plausawa,* Sabatis, and Christi, went away, and were for some time absent. During their absence, Mrs. M-Coy thought of attempting to make her escape. She saw opportunities, when she thought she might despatch the young Indian with the trammel, which, with other things, was left with them, and thus perhaps avoid some strange and barbarous death, or a long and distressing captivity. But, on the other hand, she knew not at what distance the others were. I she attempted to kill her young keeper, she might fail. If she effected her purpose in this, she might be pursued and overtaken by a cruel and revengeful foe, and then some dreadful death would be her certain portion. On the whole, she thought best to endeavor to prepare her mind to bear what might be no more than a period of savage captivity.
* These were of the Arosaguntacook or St. Francis tribe.
Soon, however, the Indians returned, and put an end for the present to all thoughts of escape. From the direction in which they went and returned, and from their smutty appearance, she suspected what their business had been. She told them she guessed they had been burning her house. Plausatva, who could speak some broken English, informed her they had.
They now commenced their long and tedious journey to Canada, in which the poor captive might well expect that great and complicated sufferings would be her lot. She did indeed find the journey fatiguing, and her fare scanty and precarious. But, in her treatment from the Indians, she experienced a very agreeable disappointment. The kindness she received from them was far greater than she had expected from those who were so often distinguished for their cruelties. The apples they had gathered they saved for her, giving her one every day. In this way, they lasted her as far on the way as Lake Champlain. They gave her the last, as they were crossing that lake in their canoes. This circumstance gave to the tree, on which the apples grew, the name of “ Isabell's tree,” her name being Isabella. In many ways did they appear desirous of mitigating the distresses of their prisoner while on their tedious journey. When night came on, and they halted to repose themselves in the dark wilderness, Plausawa, the head man, would make a little couch in the leaves a little way from theirs, cover her up with his own blanket, and there she was suffered to sleep undisturbed till morning. When they came to a river, which must be forded, one of them would carry her over on his back. Nothing like insult or indecency did they ever offer her during the whole time she was with them. They carried her to Canada, and sold her as a servant to a French family, whence, at the close of that war, she returned home. But so comfortable was her condition there, and her husband being a man of rather a rough and violent temper, she declared she never should have thought of attempting the journey home, were it not for the sake of her children.
After the capture of Mrs. M'Coy, the Indians frequently visited the town, but never committed any very great depredations. The greatest damage they ever did to the property of the inhabitants was the spoiling of all the ox-teams in town. At the time referred to, there were but four yoke of oxen in the place, viz: M.Coy's, Captain M Clary's, George Wallace's, and Lieut. Blake's. It was a time of apprehension from the Indians; and the inhabitants had therefore all fled to the garrison at Nottingham. They left their oxen to graze about the woods, with a bell upon one of them. The Indians found them, shot one out of each yoke, took out their songues, made a prize of the bell, and left them.
The ferocity and cruelty of the savages were doubtless very much averted by a friendly, conciliating course of conduct in the inhabitants towards them. This was particularly the case in the course pursued by Sergeant Blake. Being himself a curious marksman and an expert hunter, traits of character in their view of the highest order, he soon