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Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day."

Such, say the Indians, is the account handed down to them from their ancestors, and they could furnish no other information.

Narrative of the captivity and bold exploit of Hannah Duston.The relation of this affair forms the XXV. article in the Decennium Luctuosum of the Magnalia Christi Americana, by Dr. Cotton Mather, and is one of the best written articles of all we have read from his pen. At its head is this significant sentence-Dux Fæmina Facti.

On the 15th of March, 1697, a band of about twenty Indians came unexpectedly upon Haverhill, in Massachusetts; and, as their numbers were small, they made their attack with the swiftness of the whirlwind, and as suddenly disappeared. The war, of which this eruption was a part, had continued nearly ten years, and soon afterwards it came to a close. The house which this party of Indians had singled out as their object of attack, belonged to one Mr. Thomas Duston or Dunstan, in the outskirts of the town. Mr. Duston was at work, at some distance from his house, at the time, and whether he was alarmed for the safety of his family by the shouts of the Indians, or other cause, we are not informed; but he seems to have arrived there time enough before the arrival of the Indians, to make some arrangements for the preservation of his children; but his wife, who, but about a week before, had been confined by a child, was unable to rise from her bed, to the distraction of her agonised husband. No time was to be lost; Mr. Duston had only time to direct his children's flight, (seven in number,) the extremes of whose ages were two and seventeen, before the Indians were upon them. With his gun, the distressed father mounted his horse, and rode away in the direction of the children, whom he overtook but about forty rods from the house. His first intention was to take up one, if possible, and escape with it. Ile had no sooner overtaken them, than this resolution was destroyed; for to rescue either to the exclusion of the rest, was worse than death itself to him. He therefore faced about and met the enemy, who had closely pursued him; ench fired upon the other, and it is almost a miracle that none of the little retrcating party were hurt. The Indians did not pursue long, from fear of raising the neighboring English before they could complete their object, and hence this part of the family escaped to a place of safety.

We are now to enter fully into the relation of this very tragedy. There was living in the house of Mr. Duston, as nurse, Mrs. Mary Neff, a widow, whose heroic conduct in sharing the fate of her mistress, when escape was in her power, will always be viewed with admiration. The Indians were now in the undisturbed possession of the house, and having driven the sick woman from her bed, compelled her to sit quietly in the corner of a fire-place, while they completed the pillage of the house. This business being finished, it was set on fire, and Mrs. Duston, who before considered herself unable to walk, was, at the approach of night, obliged to march into the wilderness, and

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take her bed upon the cold ground. Mrs. Neff too late attempted to escape with the infant child, but was intercepted, the child taken from her, and its brains beat out against a neighboring apple-tree, while its nurse was compelled to accompany her new and frightful masters also. The captives amounted in all to thirteen, some of whom, as they became unable to travel, were murdered, and left exposed upon the way. Although it was near night when they quitted Haverhill, they travelled, as they judged, twelve miles before encamping ;“ and then,” says Dr. Mather, “ kept up with their new masters in a long travel of an hundred and filiy miles, more or less, within a few days ensuing."

After journeying awhile, according to their custom, the Indians divided their prisoners. Mrs. Duston, Mrs. Neff, and a boy named Samuel Leonardson, who had been captivated at Worcester, about, eighteen months before, fell to the lot of an Indian family, consisting of twelve persons--two men, three women, and seven children. These, so far as our accounts go, were very kind to their prisoners, but told them there was one ceremony which they could not avoid, and to which they would be subjected when they should arrive at their place of destination, which was to run the gauntlet. The place where this was to be performed was at an Indian village, two hundred and fifty miles from llaverhill, according to the reckoning of the Indians. In their meandering course, they at length arrived at an island in the mouth of Contookook river, about six miles above Concord, in New llampshire. Here one of the Indian men resided. It had been determined by the captives, before their arrival here, that an effort should be made to sice themselves from their wretched captivity; and not only to gain their liberty, but, as we shall presently see, something by way of remuneration from those who held them in bondage. The heroine, Duston, had resolved, upon the first opportunity that offered any chance of success, to kill her captors and scalp them, and to return home with such trophies as would clearly establish her reputation for heroism, as well as insure her a bounty from the public. She therefore communicated her design to Mrs. Neff' and the English boy, who, it would seem, readily enough agreed to it. To the art of killing and scalping she was a stranger; and, that there should be no failure in the business, Mrs. Duston instructed the boy, who, from his long residence with them, had -become as one of the Indians, to inquire of one of the men how it was done.* He did so, and the Indian showed him, without mistrusting the origin of the inquiry. It was now March the 31st, and in the dead of the night following, this bloody tragedy was acted. When the Indians were in the most sound sleep, these three captives arose, and softly arming themselves with the tomahawks of their masters, allotted the number cach should kill; and so truly did they direct their blows, that but one escaped that they designed to kill. This was a woman, whom they badly wounded, and one boy, for some reason they did not wish to harm, and accordingly he was allowed to escape unhurt. Mrs. Duston killed her master, and Leonardson killed the man who had so freely

told him, but one day before, where to deal a deadly blow, and how to take off a scalp.

All was over before the dawn of day, and all things were got ready for leaving this place of blood. All the boats but one were scuttled, to prevent being pursued, and, with what provisions and arms the Indian camp afforded, they embarked on board the other, and slowly and silently took the course of the Merrimack river for their homes, where they all soon after arrived without accident.

The whole country was astonished at the relation of the affair, the truth of which was never for a moment doubted. The ten scalps, and the arms of the Indians, were evidences not 10 be questioned; the general court gave them fifty pounds as a reward, and numerous other gratuities were showered upon them. Col. Nicholson, Governor of Maryland, hearing of the transaction, sent them a generous present also.

Eight other houses were attacked besides Duston's, the owners of which, says the historian of that town, Mr. Myrick, in every case, were slain while defending them, and the blood of each stained his own door-sill.




The Western Mothers. The following is a thrilling story from M-Clung's book :-On the night of the 11th of April, 1787, the house of a widow, in Bourbon county, became the scene of an adventure, which we think deserves to be related. She occupied what is generally called a double cabin, in a lonely part of the country, one room of which was tenanted by the old lady herself, together with two grown sons, and a widowed daughter, at that time suckling an infant, while the other was occupied by two unmarried daughters from sixteen to twenty years of age, together with a little girl not more than half grown. The hour was eleven o'clock at night. One of the unmarried daughters was still busily engaged at the loom, but the other members of the family, with the exception of one of the sons, had retired to rest. Symptoms of an alarming nature had engaged the attention of the young man for an hour before any thing of a decided character took place. The cry of owls was heard in the adjoining wood, answering cach other in rather an unusual manner. The horses, which were inclosed as usual in a pond near the house, were more than commonly excited, and by repeated snorting and galloping, announcing


the presence of some object of terror. The young man was often restrained by the fear of incurring ridicule and the reproach of timidity, at that time an unpardonable blemish in the character of a Kentuckian.

At length, hasty steps were heard in the yard, and quickly afterward, several loud knocks at the door, accompanied by the usual exclamation, “who keeps house!" in very good English. The young man, supposing from the language that some benighted settlers were at the door, hastily arose, and was advancing to withdraw the bar which secured it, when his mother, who had long lived upon the frontiers, and had probably detected the Indian' tone in the demand for admission, instantly sprung out of bed, and ordered her son not to admit them, declaring they were Indians. She instantly awakened her other son, and the two young men seizing their guns, which were always charged, prepared to repel the enemy.

The Indians finding it impossible to enter under their assumed characters, began to thunder at the door with great violence, but a single shot from a loophole compelled them to shift the attack to some less exposed point; and, unfortunately, they discovered the door of the other cabin, which contained the three daughters. The rifles of the brothers could not be brought to bear upon this point, and by means of several rails taken from the yard fence, the door was forced from its hinges and the three girls were at the mercy of the savages. One was instantly secured, but the eldest defended herself desperately with a knife which she had been using at the loom, and stabbed one of the Indians to the heart, before she was tomahawked. In the meantime the lịttle girl who had been overlooked by the enemy in their eagerness to secure the others, ran out in the yard, and might have effected her escape, had she taken advantage of the darkness and fled, but instead of that the terrified little creature ran around the house wringing her hands and crying out that her sisters were killed.

The brothers, unable to hear her cries without risking every thing for her rescue, rushed to the door and were preparing to sally out to her assistance, when their mother threw herself before them and calmly declared that the child must be abandoned to its fate—that the sally would sacrifice the lives of all the rest without the slightest benefit to the little girl. Just then the child uttered a loud scream, followed by a few faint moans, and all was again silent. Presently the crackling of flames was heard, accompanied by a triumphant yell from the Indians, announcing that they had set fire to that division of the house which had been occupied by the daughters, and of which they held undisputed possession. The fire was quickly communicated to the rest of the building, and it became necessary to abandon it or perish in the flames. In the one case there was a possibility that some might escape; in the other their late would be equally certain and terrible. The approach of the flames cut short their momentary suspense. The door was thrown open, and the old lady, supported by her eldest son, attempted to cross the fence at one

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point, while her daughter, carrying her child in her arms, and attended by the younger of the brothers, ran in a different direction.

The blazing roof shed a light over the yard but little inferior to that of day, and the savages were distinctly seen awaiting the approach of their victims. The old lady was permitted to reach the stile unmolested, but in the act of crossing, received several balls in her breast and fell dead. Her son, providentially, remained unhurt. and by extraordinary agility effected his escape. The other party succeeded also in reaching the fence unhurt, but, in the act of crossing, were vigorously assailed by several Indians, who, throwing down their guns, rushed upon them with their tomahawks. The young man defended his sister gallantly, firing upon the enemy as they approached, and then wielding the butt of his rifle, with a fury that drew their whole attention upon himself, gave his sister an opportunity of cffecting her escape. He quickly fell, however, under the tomahawks of his enemies, and was found at daylight, scalped and mangled in a shocking manner. Of the whole family, consisting of eight persons when the attack commenced, only three escaped. Four were killed upon the spot, and one (the second daughter) carried off as a prisoner.

The neighborhood was quickly alarmed, and by daylight about thirty men were assembled under the command of Colonel Edwards. A light snow had fallen during the latter part of the night, and the Indian trail could be pursued at a gallop. It led directly into the * mountainous country bordering upon Licking, and afforded evidences of great hurry and precipitation on the part of the fugitives. Unfortunately, a hound had been permitted to accompany the whites, and as the trail became fresh and the scent warm, she followed it with eagerness, baying loudly, and giving the alarm to the Indians. The consequences of this imprudence were soon displayed. The enemy finding the pursuit keen, and perceiving that the strength of the pris. oner began to fail, instantly sunk their tomahawks in her head and left her, still warm and bleeding, upon the snow. As the whites came up, she retained strength enough to waive her hand in token of recog. nition, and appeared desirous of giving them some information, with regard to the enemy—but her strength was too far gone. Her brother sprung from his horse and knelt by her side, endeavoring to stop the effusion of blood, but in vain. She gave him her hand, muttered some inarticulate words, and expired within two minutes after the arrival of the party. The pursuit was renewed with additional ardor, and in twenty minutes the enemy was within view. They had taken posssession of a steep narrow ridge, and seemed desirous of magnifying their numbers in the eyes of the whites, as they ran rapidly from tree to tree, and maintained a steady yell in their most appalling tones.

The pursuers, however, were too experienced to be deceived by so common an artifice, and being satisfied that the number of the enemy must be inferior to their own, they dismounted, tied their horses, and flanking out in such a manner as to enclose the enemy, ascended the

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