Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes online

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and took the oath of allegiance there 22 March 1681. He had
a garrison house in the upper part of York, that was standing in
recent years. The region is called "Scotland" unto this day,
November 31, 1715, "Sarah Junckins, aged seventy years, living
at her father's house at Cape Nedick on the north east side of
Cape Nedick river, near the ferry place, testifieth that her father
John Smith senior lived there 48 years agoe, as she can well re-
member, that he lived near where Samuel Webber now lives."
This was found among the Court Files at Alfred, Me. His wife,
then, was Sarah, daughter of John Smith of York. He died
about 1699, leaving widow, Sarah, and three sons, Alexander,
Daniel and Robert. Alexander married Catherine, daughter of
James and Margaret (Warren) Stacpole. Daniel married Elea-
nor, daughter of Deacon Arthur Came, another Scotchman, as
was also James Warren, father of Margaret. The Junkins name
still exists and must be distinguished from the surname Jenkins
of Kittcry and Durham.

John K\e, Key, Keiay, or Keays, was taxed in Dover in 1657
and was living at Salmon Falls, in what is now South Berwick in
1667. He and his son John and daughter Abigail were captured
by Indians and carried to Canada about 1689. His son, James,
was then killed. The name of his first wife is not known. He
married (2) Sarah, widow of Jonathan Nason and daughter of
Reynold Jenkins. He and son, John, were prisoners at Quebec
in 1695. Very likely this was the John Mackey, who came in
the John and Sara. The name might be pronounced in different
dialects like Ke and Ki, with long sound of the vowel. July i,
I703> John Key senior, aged about 70 years, deposed that James
Barry, Niven Agnue and John Taylor owned in succession a
farm in upper Kitter>', now South Berwick. In his will, 1710/18,
he is called both Key and Kye. For family see Old Kittery and
Her Families, p. 568.

James Kidd was fined and taxed in Dover in 1657. He had
a grant of 100 acres, near the great pond, in 1656, laid out in
1 7 14. He had a grant of four acres for a house lot, on Back
River, next to Lieut. Ralph Hall, i February 1658. He removed
to Exeter and was one of the executors of the estate of Edward
Erring, or Erwin, 1673. He took oath of fidelity, 30 November



1677. In 1665 he had a grant of twenty acres in Exeter, next to
Henry Magoons, another Scotchman. He is repeatedly called
James Skid in Exeter records and as a witness to one of the York
Deeds. His name and his associations with Scotchmen create
the impression that he also was one of Cromwell's Scots. He
died before 1712.

Allexander Mackdouel or McDaniel, was taxed at Oyster
River in 1661 , and his estate was taxed in 1663. He was drowned
between York and Dover, 16 January, 1663, and his property
was awarded to a kinsman, John Roy of Charlestown, Mass.
His estate was appraised by John Tod, John Alt, Walter Jackson
and Henry Brown. There were bills from Edward During
and William ffurbush. The debts were to Walter Jackson, Philip
Chesley, Thomas Dowty, Patrick Denmark, and David Danniell.
The following deposition is found in Boston among the papers
pertaining to the settlement of his estate: "The testimony of
phillip Cheasly aged about forty six years saith that about ten
dais before Ellexander magdunell was drowned being att the sd
deponents house heard the sd magdunell say that if he died
that he would give all that he had to his cosen John Roye livinge
att Charlestown and further saith not." Dated 2 February, 1663.

Micum Mclntire appears in the Dover tax-list of 1664 as "Mi-
come the Scotchman." Micum appears to be Highland Scotch
for Malcolm. I think that he worked in the mills at Cochecho.
He had a grant in Kittery, above Salmon Falls, 11 December,
1662. He settled in the upper part of York, or Scotland Parish,
and his garrison house is still standing. Micum appears in the
Dover tax-list of 1659. He was twice or thrice married and there
are a host of descendants. The tradition has floated down that
after he was taken prisoner in Scotland he was drawn up in line
with others, that every tenth man might be shot. He saw that
death was coming to him, broke rank and ran for life. A mounted
officer pursued and wounded him, but his life was spared.

James Middleton was received as an inhabitant at Oyster
River in 1658. He was appointed administrator of the estate of
Mrs. Ludeces of Dover Neck in 1664. He may have worked in
the home of David Ludecas Edling, as he is called, whose widow,
Elizabeth, died 16 November 1663. James Middleton was con-
victed, 3 June 1659, of frequenting the taverns and quarreling
and fighting. He was fined twenty pounds, and Valentine Hill


was surety on his bond for good behavior. PhiHp Chesley,
Thomas Footman and WiUiam Smith (Gowen) were convicted
of quarreUng with James Middleton at the same time and were
lined. Also (George Vezie was convicted of being more than half
an hour in the tavern, at the same time, and was fined two shil-
lings. James Middleton was east of the Kennebec in 1665, and
16 September 1676, he, being then a resident of Great Island
in Pascataqua River, sold to William Gowine, alias Smith,
all right to lands on the Kennebec, especially "at Small Point,
which I lately bought of Patricke Denmarke." See York Deeds,
III, 67. James Middleton of Newichawanock, laborer, brought
suit for debt against George Jeffrey of Great Island in 1683.

James Morrey, or Murray, was received as an inhabitant in
1658. He died at Oyster River, ii November 1659. A jury of
inquest, impaneled by John Bickford, found that James Morrey
was killed by the limb of a tree falling on his head. Among the
jurors were William Smith (Gowen), Niven Agnew, Jonas Bines
James Bunker, Thomas Stevenson, Matthew Williams and oth-
ers, all of Oyster River. See Court Files at Concord.

Edward Patterson was taxed at Ouster River in 1667/9. He
is mentioned in 1660 as a voter. The following is found in Dover
Town records: "31: 10: 1660, Granted to Edward Patterson a
trackt of land lying between his land and the Brooke which Run-
neth out of the long marsh on the est side of the highway from
Oyster River fall to lamperell River and on the west side by the
South branch of Oyster River, not intrenching on anie former
grant, always provided that thear be a Convenient way alowcd
to the Scochmen to thear lott." He sold this lot to William Rob-
erts. Edward Patterson was a grand juryman in 1660. There
died at New Haven, Conn., 31 October 1669, Edward Patterson,
"one of the south end men." Had he wandered so far to join
some of his own countrymen tjiere?

William Thompson was another Scotchman, without doubt,
as were George Thompson of Reading and Alexander Thompson
of Ipswich, Mass., by convincing evidence. For his family see
Genealogical Notes.

Later Scotchmen in Durham were David Kincaid, probably
from Campsie, in the parish of Stirling; Eleazer Wyer, son of
Edward Wyer, tailor, from Scotland, who lived in Charlestown,
Mass. Eleazer Wyer married Sarah, widow of James Nock and


daughter of Charles Adams. Another son of a Scotchman was
Dr. Samuel Merrow, born at Reading, Mass., 9 October 1670,
son of Henry Merrow, who married Jane Walhs, 19 December
1661. Dr. Merrow practiced medicine at Durham from 1720 to


The story of the Indian wars in New England has been told so
many times and embellished by fancy so plentifully that it is
ver>' difficult to add thereto statement of fact or pleasing form.
Yet the history of Durham would be incomplete without the
full story, and so effort has been made to bring together the
scattered narrations of the past.

The causes of the wars with the Indians have been sought in
the injustices of white settlers, overreachings in trade, treachery
of supposed friends, maltreatment of Indians, their sale into
slavery, and like offences. There were exceptional misdeeds on
the part of white men, and it must be remembered that not all
the Indians were examples of childlike innocence and good-will.
Yet there were some good Indians that were not dead Indians,
and the majority of the white settlers treated them with justice
and kindness. For fifty years there was little trouble with
them, and no war would have been waged with them, in all proba-
bility, had it not been for conflict between the people of France
and Great Britain. These nations carried their quarrels and
ambitions into their foreign possessions. One prize at stake was
a continent, or a large part thereof, though neither party then
knew the value of the prize. The French stirred up some Indian
tribes against the English, and the English retaliated, whenever
they could, in like manner.

The first clash of arms was in what is known in history as
King Philip's War. In 1675 began the depredations in Maine and
New Hampshire. Hubbard records that in that year the Indians
burned five or six houses at Oyster River and killed two men,
namely William Roberts and his son-in-law. This William
Roberts lived on the south side of the river, about two miles
below the Falls. There is no record that any of his neighbors
were disturbed, and he may have been away from home. Who
the son-in-law was has not been ascertained. Five sons-in-law
are mentioned after this date as living, and only five daughters
have been found. He had a son, William Roberts, Jr., who is
mentioned in Court Records before this as a simple-minded youth,



and is not mentioned anywhere after 1675. He may have been
the one who was killed with his father.

Soon after this, in the same year, the Indians "assaulted
another house at Oyster River, the which, although it was gar-
risoned, yet meeting with a good old man, whose name was
Beard, without the garrison, they killed him upon the place and
in a barbarous manner cut off his head and set it upon a pole in
derision. Not far off, about the same time, they burned another
house and barn."^ The man slain was William Beard, whose
garrison stood "east of Beard's creek, between the turnpike road
and the highway to Dover, a short distance from the corner. "
Probate records declare that he died about the first of November,
1675. Hubbard goes on to say that the same year the Indians
"burned two Cheslies houses about Oyster River and killed two
men that were passing along the river in a canoe and carried
away an old Irishman with a young man taken from about
Exeter. " The two escaped later. History does not tell us who
the men slain were. The Chesley families were nearest neighbors
to Beard and probably were in his garrison, when their houses
were burned, for they survived this raid.

The following letter was written shortly after the well known
massacre at Cochecho, when Major Waldron and twenty-two
others were killed and twenty-nine were carried into captivity.
It seems that the Indians then made an attack upon some part
of Oyster River Plantation, though the historians have made no
note of it. The letter is found in the Massachusetts Archives:

Hampton, July 30, 1689.
Major Pike Sir: thes are to informe you that this last night There came
news to me ffrom Exeter that one of Phillip Cromwells Sons came yesterday
from oyster River where were 20 Indiens Seen and seueral Houses Burning.
About 20 English ishued out to beat them off a many guns were herd go off but
he coming away while it was a doing we have not as yett any account of what
harme is ther done and we thank you for your care about our .... Al-
though no help could be procured there is but a few could be procured with
us the notice was so suddaine but thos that are gon went yesterday when it was
almost night they were willing to stay no longer. When I have account
farther from Oyster River I will send it to you not Els at present.

ffrom your fifriend

Samuell Sherburne =.

'Hubbard's Indian Wars, Vol. II, pp, no, ii6, ii8. Cf. Landmarks in Ancient Dover,
by Miss Mary P. Thompson, p. 178.
^Memoranda of Ancient Dover, p. 269.


The messenger above mentioned may have been a son of
PhiUp Crommett, who is sometimes called Cromwell in the old
records. He li\'ed at this time near the northern border of Exe-
ter, now Newmarket.

The next attack of the Indians upon Oyster River was in
1689. Then the Rev. John Pike records in his Journal that in
August "James Huggins [Huckins] of Oyster River was slain,
his garrison taken and 18 persons killed and carried away."
James Huckins was a lieutenant and had been one of the select-
men of Dover. He had a garrison-house, which stood a few
rods south of the house now owned by heirs of the late Andrew E.
Meserve, east of the railroad and on the north side of the second
road crossed by the railroad as it runs from Durham to Dover.
The men slain were at work in the field which lies southeast of
the garrison, beyond Huckins' brook. They were all buried under
a mound which still exists in the southeast corner of the field
which now belongs to the Coe family. The Indians then attacked
the garrison-house defended by only two boys and some women
and children. They managed to set fire to the roof of the garrison
but the boys held out till the Indians promised to spare the lives
of all. Yet they killed three or four of the children and carried
away the rest of the inmates of the garrison, except one of the
boys, probably Robert Huckins, who escaped the next day.
The garrison-house was destroyed. Lieut. Huckins' widow was
recovered after a year of captivity at Fort Androscoggin, which
was located on Laurel Hill, Auburn, Me.

Some details of this attack have been preserved in a letter of
Jeremiah Swayen to Governor Simon Bradstreet, dated at Salmon
Falls "y^" 15 1689." He says, "a house poorly fortified at
Oyster River was taken by y® Enimie being about Sixty in y'
compan>-; though part of cap" Gardners Comp^ lodged the
night before at said house and were moved away about half an
hour before y* assault and were got to Cocheacha where a post
overtooke them and they faced about & persued y* Enimy but
could not find them. . . . One of y® captives made his
escape two days after he was taken, whom y« Indians tould that
they had belcagerd y^ place three days and when they knew how
many men belonged to y^ house «S: seeing y" all gathering corn
came and killed them first, and then sett upon y* house where
were onely Woomen children & two Boyes, they killed and Cap-


tivated Eighteene persons none escapeing. " Coll. of Maine
Historical Society, IX, 57.

On the fourth of July, 1690, seven persons were slain and a lad
taken at " Lamperell River, " that is, in the vicinity of the present
village of Newmarket. Two days later, 6 July, occurred the
battle, when "Capt. Floyd fought the enemy at Wheelwright's
Pond but was forced to retire with loss of 16 men, " as Pike says.^
It was a very hot day and the men of Oyster River made all
haste to arrive at the scene of action. Among them was James
Smith, who lived near the Falls. Of him it is recorded that he
"died of a surfeit which he got by running to assist Capt. Floyd
at Wheelwright's pond."

History gives but few details of the battle at Wheelwright's
Pond, which was a running fight through woods, after Indian
fashion, beginning, as local tradition says, at Turtle Pond in
Lee and extending to the southeast side of Wheelwright's Pond
in the same town. One hundred men, under command of Capt.
Noah Wiswall and Capt. John Floyd, set out from Dover. The
fight was on Sunday. Captain Wiswall, Lieut. Flag, Serg.
Walker, and twelve privates were killed, when both parties with-
drew from the conflict. Capt. Converse found seven wounded
men yet alive and brought them to the hospital by sun-rise the
next morning, says Mather. Probably all of the men at Oyster
River who were enrolled in the militia had a part in this battle,
as we may infer from the following petition, found in the Massa-
chusetts Archives.

Petition of Thomas Footman
March the 29th 1692.

To the honorable court now sitting in Portsm" the humble peticon of thomas
ffootman humbly shueth that your petitioner being Imprest almost two years
past to serve their magstys and on the first expedition was Listed under the
honorable Capt. John floyd where upon y first flight ourcommander had (which
was at osteriver New town) your petitioner was wounded, of which wounds
your petitioner is not healed, nor cannot Expect to be ever Able to work to
get a Competant Living, your peticoner being Reduced to so weake and Low
Estate nothing to help himself for present nor for futuer no wages Reseved,
nor non to pittea poore wounded soulder, Charritye also grone cold the doctors
they demand money, your peticioner having for himself nether meat nor drink
nor Cloths, makes your peticoner humble address his poore and miserable Lowe
Condition to this Hono/able Court humbly praying Releff not doubting but

iMather's Magnalia, App. Art., VI. N. E. Reg. VII, 156, Id., XVIII. 161. Pike's Jour-
nal. Thompson's Landmarks in Ancient Dover, p. 180.


this honorable Court will bee pleased to Consider Your peticconcrs Case and
find a way that your petitioner may be Releved & your petitioner shall pray

Thomas ffootman.*

John Davis certified that he impressed Thomas Footman on the
20th day of June 1690, by order of Major Vaughan, for the
expedition to Winipisiocke. Accompanying this petition is an
account of "Lowis and Cristan Willames," [Lewis and Christian
WiUiams of Portsmouth] "of ther Charg to Thomas fottman
for his tendance and seven months diate during the Cure in
which time the said fottman was not able to put on his Cloathes
which is 7 shilhngs and 16 pence a week." John Davis certified
that the bill of the "Cerorgon" [chirurgeon, surgeon] was six

It appears from the above that the fight began at "Newtown, "
an undefined locality, north of Turtle Pond and extending to the
ui)pcr part of Oyster River and towards Wheelwright's Pond.

The French and Indians seem to have had little regard for
solemn treaties of peace. That made at Pcmaquid was suddenly
broken by the attack upon Oyster River, 18 July 1694, said by
captives to have been talked of in the streets of Quebec two
months before. Pike's Journal records the terrible event in the
following laconic sentences: "The Indians fell suddenly &
unexpectedly upon Oyster River about break of day. Took 3
garrisons (being deserted or not defended) killed & carried away
94 persons, & burnt 13 houses. This was the first act of hostility
committed by them after y*^ peace concluded at Pemiquid."

There were warnings that led some persons to be apprehensive
of danger, warnings which were long remembered and interpreted
with suspicion. Col. Richard Waldron wrote to Governor Dudley,
under date of 22 September 1712, thus: "Cap* Davis tells me
y* last night at oyster river in the dead of y® Night there were
doors knock'd at & Stones flung at Some Garrisons, to find out
who liv'd in their houses & whether any watch was kept in their
Garrisons, as the enem\' did y® Night before Oyster river was
Destroy 'd & Wee are well assured Some Scouts of the Enemy are
now near us."^

The account of this attack as given by Dr. Belknap in his
History of New Hampshire is said to have been drawn from
manuscripts in the possession of the Smith family of Durham.

* Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 2d Series, Vol. 4, pp. 382-3.
' Collections of the Maine Historical Society, IX, 330.


But little can be added thereto from public records and published
histories. On Tuesday evening, 17 July, the enemy to the
number of about 250 concealed themselves in the woods and
divided into two bands, one for the north side of the river and the
other for the south. The latter began the attack somewhat
prematurely. John Dean, who lived near the Falls, on the north
side of the river, arose before day to catch his horse, intending
to leave home in the morning. He was fired upon and killed.
The report of the gun was heard and warning was thus given to
some households. The undefended fled to the nearest garrisons,
and some were killed in their flight. Mrs. Dean and her daughter
were captured and her house was burned. They were taken to a
spruce swamp and left in the care of an old Indian who had a
violent headache. He asked her for a remedy and she replied,
''occapee," the Indian term for rum. He drank freely and she
and her daughter made their escape. They hid in a thicket
during the day and then went down the river in a canoe to Burn-
ham's garrison, where they found protection.

The next house attacked seems to have been that of Ensign
John Davis, who lived perhaps half a mile below the Falls. He
surrendered on the promise of safety, yet he, his wife and several
children were killed, and his house was burned. Two daughters
were made captive, one of whom became a nun in Canada and
never returned. The other returned and became the wife of
Peter Mason. A sister of Ensign Davis, who was the widow of
James Smith before mentioned, was living at the house of her
brother and was killed at the same time with her sons, James and
Samuel, after having been carried into the woods. The state-
ment has been made that the oldest son of Mrs. Smith escaped to
the river but was there shot. This may be doubted, since John
Smith, her son, lived to marry Elizabeth Buss and have a numer-
ous family. Two daughters also were spared, as subsequent
deeds clearly show.

The next house below Davis' was the Burnham garrison, on a
hilltop, easily defended by its situation. Hither fled Moses
Davis, who had heard the first shot that killed John Dean. Eze-
kiel Pitman and family, who lived only a gun-shot's distance from
Burnham's, were alarmed by shouts. They escaped through one
end of the house while the Indians were entering the other, and,
protected by the shade of trees, made their way to the Burnham


garrison, on which no serious attack seems to have been made.
Tradition in the Burnham family says that the yard-gate had been
left open that night, and ten Indians were sent to surprise the
garrison. They were fatigued and fell asleep on the bank of the
river near the house. John Willey with his family spent that
night at the Burnham garrison. He had been kept awake by
toothache and heard the first gun fired. He immediately closed
the gate and shouted to the Pitman family. The shout awaked
the Indians, who at once made the attack upon the Pitman

The next house below Ezekiel Pitman's was that of Stephen
Jenkins, who had bought the place of William Williams. He
lived on the hill, about where the present old house of Benjamin
Mathes stands. On the 26th of July 1694, only eight days after
the massacre, it was recorded in the Probate Court, that "ad-
ministration on the estate of Stephen Jenkins of Oyster River,
who was killed by the Indians and left several small children, was
granted to his brother, Jabez Jenkins of Kittery, Maine. " Ann,
wife of Stephen Jenkins, was carried into captivity and returned
in time to give testimony in the trial of the noted Indian chief,
Bomazeen, at Boston, who escaped with his life at this trial and
was slain in the attack on the village of the Norridgewocks, in
1724. The deposition of "Ann Jenkins, her within written
testimony," dated ii June 1695, gives many details of this

Ann Jenkins, of full age, Testifieth & saith, that at Oyster River, on the
eighteenth of July last past, in the morning about the dawning of the day my
husband being up went out of the dore, & presently returning cried to me & our
children to run for our lives, for the Indians had beset the town: whereupon
my husband & myself fled with our children into our corne field, & at our
entrance into the field, Bomazeen, whoume I have seen since I came out of
captivity in the prison, came towards us & about ten Indians more: & the sd
Bomazeen then shot at my husband and shote him down, ran to him & struck
him three blows on the head with a hatchet, scalped him & run him three
times with a bayonet. I also saw the said Bomazeen knock one of my children
on the head & tooke of her scalp & then put the child into her father's armes;
and then stabbed the breast. And Bomazeen also then killed my husband's
grandmother & scalped her, and then led me up to a house and plundered it
&' then set it on fire & carried me & my three children into captivity, together

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 8 of 34)