possibly gain some advantage upon the enemy and will be refreshing and en*
couraging to the frontiers to stand their ground, while they are reinforced with
more strength for which orders are given forth. Referring it to you''self and
council to advise upon and to give instructions to the most agreed methods to
be taken for the ends above, with our service unto yo''selfe, and Gent^ with you
Command youe to God *
Yor sincere ffriend & Servant
and to take the guns, and what else may be drawn off the place
By order Â°^ the Govern' and Councill
(Vol. 36, p. 78, Mass. Archives).
A letter from Samuel Sewall which is published in the Massa-
chusetts Historical Society's Collection, Vol. 5, 5th series, pp. 320,
' When it was too late the Massachusetts Government were awakened to the
necessity of protecting the people of Maine.
DESTRUCTION OF FALMOUTH. 9 1
321, shows the public feeling regarding the destruction of Casco
at that time :
"Boston May 21, 1690
Honb'e Sir â€”
The Express sent pr. your Honour was with me about 5 oclock this
morning ; But the Council being about to meet in the mom, delayed that might
have the sence, and expected a greater certainty of the condition of Casco
which yet fails ; whose sitting proves so late that fear will be 4 past m"" before
shall dismiss them. The General Court have ordered our Souldjers to be
raised out of the several Regiments. Capt. James Converse is to command
one company. They are to march next Tuesday, and rendezvous at Concord
and Sudbury, and to march by land to Springfield, and so on to Albany intend
to send meat by Sea, and take up on trust if it arrive not soon enough. Intend
to send the 2d company with a Lieut, to Maj. Pynchon, and he appoint a cap-
tain. We think Capt. Converse may be fit to be the next Major. No news is
yet received from Sir William (Phipps). Tis believed Casco Garrison and Fort
are burnt, and the Inhabitants destroyed; so that we do not understand that
there is one escaped or shut up or left. We fear if this be true there may be
so many French and Indians that we shall be obliged to raise 4 or 5 hundred
men to defend our Frontiers on that part. This disaster fell out on Friday and
Satterday last. Four score Souldjers there. Capt. Willard came away the day
before. This news comes by men sent by Uominicus Jordan's Garison, and a
shallop that saw Houses on fire on Friday, and forced to come away without
loading. Have some glimmering hope that the Fort is not burnt."
In his diary' under date of Friday, May 23d, he says: "Tis
doleful! news we have to celebrate Mr Eliots funeral with. Casteen
is said to head about 70 French, and Indians are about Two
Hundred. Capt. Willard came away the day before the attack."
The forces that are referred to by the letter of Sewall were
troops that were to be furnished by Massachusetts for the defense
of New York in accordance with an agreement made with the
commissioners of the colonies.^ That was, â€” Massachusetts could
' Sewall's diary (Mass. His. Soc. Coll., V. 5th series, 321).
'^ Extract of a letter from Governor Leisler and council to the Earl of Shrews-
bury : " That Mav i, 1690, was concluded between us and the Gent" commission-
ated for the colonies of Boston, Plymouth & Connecticut, that Boston should
furnish 160 men, Plym.o 60 & Connecticut 135, wÂ«h were joyned with 400 men of
New York Province to march for Albanv against the French at Canada." .
(N. Y. Col. Man., Ill, 751).
92 CAPTURE OF FORT LOYALL.
raise troops to be used for the defense of a sister colony, but she
could spare none for the defense of her loyal subjects in Maine.
The result of the capture of Fort Loyall was the countermand of
the soldiers going to New York, as by the following letter :
Governor Bradstreet to Jacob Leisler.'
"Boston May 30th 1690
Hono^'^'' S"". According to y'= agreement made by yÂ« Comissioners of ye
Colonies at their late meeting in yo'^ City wee raised the number of Souldiers
on our part to be Provided & Sent, but when they were on their march towards
Springfield wee were forced to countermand them Speed them away to ye East-
ward to defend their Maj^i^^ Subjects of the Province of Hampshire & Maine
against ye incursions of ye enemy, who upon ye Sixteenth did attack those
Posted at Casco Bay, Killed and Captured all y'' persons there men women &
children. They fust surprised Six and twenty men who unwarily Issued out of
ye garrison to look after a person that was missing of there. They killed
twenty w'''^ were near a third Parte of ye whole number of men. The Enemy
then openly appeared before ye fort and assaulted it by ye space of five days &
being about two hundred French & three hundred Indians they made there ap-
proaches in a Trench & Putt so hard to fire y'^ fort by flaming Birch Rinds shott
at it. that on ye fifth day they forced them to surrender before we could have
intelegence to relieve them. The enemy are so flushed att this vSuccess that
they since have fallen on Welles, & Kittery in Piscataqua. Upon w'''' ye In-
habitants of or frontier towns are so alarmed, that we shall be obliged to dis-
patch four or five hundred horse & foott w'^^ are mostly them already engaged
in defending these parts and pursuing ye ennemy to there head quarters if pos-
sible. Nevertheless we have ordered about sixty men for Albany.^
^ Y^r Friends & Servt^
Simon Bradstreet Gov'' in ye
name of the Councill."
' Jacob Leisler, an American adventurer, who acted a prominent part in the
New York Colony. He was born in Frankfort, came to America in 1660 as a
soldier in the service of the Dutch West India Company. He engaged in the
Indian trade and became wealthy. He was actively prominent in the political
affairs of the Province; and in 1659 assumed the title and style of a royal lieu-
tenant-governor and commander-in-chief. On the arrival of Sloughter, who had
been appointed governor in 1691, he was imprisoned, charged with treason and
murder, and shortly after tried and executed." (American Cyclopedia, X, 330,
^ N. Y. Col. Man., II, 146.
DESTRUCTION OF FALMOUTH. 93
Extract of a letter from Thomas Newton,' written from Boston
to Capt. Nicholson, the 26th May, 1690:
" Worthy Sir.
Last week Casco was taken, wherein severall Garrisons were
contained 80 souldiers, but were so quartered that upon the attack they could
not relieve one another and were all destroyed and taken captives with the
women and children saveing one man who was taken before the engagement,
and then made his escape. It is reported since that York or Wells is taken,
and to be much feared that the enemy will in a short time destroy all to ye
Piscataqua, if not that too. Ottr charter Governors little regarding that part of
the country or the lives of so many of their Maj''^^ subjects as have already been
destroyed, but mind smaller matters." ....
Referring to the capture of Port Royal by Sir Wm. Phipps, he
says : " But we have already suffered greater loss by far at Casco,
than we have gained at Port Royal," ^
Mr. Livingston 3 to Lieut. Gov. Nicholson : â€¢â™¦ "The 160 men
that Boston had raised to send us, who were upon their march
were called back upon the news of Caskoe being taken." s
' Thomas Newton, secretary of the Province of Massachusetts, came from
New Hampshire; is supposed to have been born Jan. 10, 1661 ; was secretary
till 1690; was controller of the customs at Boston, judge of the admiralty,
and attorney general in the witchcraft persecutions. His opinion must have led
to the cure of the infernal delusion, for in January, 1693, ^^ wrote to Sir Wm.
Phipps, the governor, that of the fifty-two charged at Salem, that court, the
three convicts should have been acquitted like the rest. He died May 28, 1721.
(Savage, 3, 278).
^N. Y. Col. Man., IH, 720, 721.
3 Robert Livingston, first proprietor of the manor in Livingston in Col-
umbia County, N. Y., was born at Ancram in Scotland, in 1654, and came to
America in 1674. He filled numerous public offices, was secretary for Indian
Affairs, member of the Executive Council, speaker of the Provincial Assembly,
&c. He died about the year 1728. (N. Y. Col. Man., Ill, 401. See American
Cyclopedia, X, 546).
* Capt. Francis Nicholson was appointed 20th April, 1688, lieutenant governor
of New England, under Andros, of whom he was a strong partisan. At the
time of the revolution against Andros he was forced to leave New York. In
1689, William III sent him a commission to continue in his office as lieutenant-
governor. He was appointed governor of Virginia in 1690, and was succeeded
by Andros. He then became governor of Maryland. He was appointed the
chief commander of the expedition against Canada in 1708, and in 17 10 re-cap-
tured Port Royal from the French. (N. Y. Col. Man., vols. 3, 4, 5, 9).
SN. Y. Col. Man., Ill, 727.
94 CAPTURE OF FORT LOYALL.
After the destruction of Casco, the French and Indians who
were from Canada returned there, arriving at Quebec on June 23d.
Castine, Madockawando, and the Penobscot Indians sought their
forest homes, and their subsequent encounters with the whites
were at places distant from Falmouth, which became the scene of
no more engagements during the war.
In closing this part of the narrative of the capture of Fort
Loyall, the statement of its brave commander, Sylvanus Davis,'
' This paper would be incomplete without some mention being made of this
brave hero who was the commander of the devoted band who were
sacrificed at the fall of Fort Loyall. The readers of these previous pages
cannot but observe from the letters that he wrote during those dark days
of trouble and which are for the first time published, the great care and
responsibility which devolved upon him, and the spirit of patriotism and
bravery exhibited. Deserted by Capt. Willard, and some of his men, who
followed the example of their cowardly commander ; his appeals to the govern-
ment of Massachusetts being of no avail, he, in those last days of disaster and
danger, did not quail or show any degree of pusillanimity, but manfully with the
small force under him, fought to the last, and surrendered only in the last ex-
tremity. It is uncertain as to what family Sylvanus Davis belonged to or where
he came from. The accompanying note of Mr. Sargent is the only information
attainable. His first appearance in Maine that is known of was as a resident of
Damariscotta or vicinity. In 1659 he purchased there lands of the Indians,
and resided there for some years. He subsequently removed to Arrowsic
Island on the Kennebec river, where he acted as agent for Clark and Lake, who
were large proprietors there, and traded with the Indians. In King Philip's
war the Indians in Maine commenced hostilities against the white settlements.
August 14, 1676, they attacked Clark and Lake's establishment, and made
themselves masters of the place. Several of the inmates were killed, and a
large amount of property seized. Among those in the fortifications were Capt.
Sylvanus Davis, who had just returned from a conference with the Indians at
Teconnet (now Winslow), and Capt. Lake. When they found themselves over-
powered, they endeavored with two others to escape in a Isoat. They were followed
by four Indians. Captain Davis was wounded, but succeeded in making his
escape. Capt. Lake was killed by a musket shot; his body was subsequently
recovered and carried to Boston for burial. (Johnson's History of Bristol, &c.)
Among the epitaphs in Copps Hill burying ground is the following : "Captain
Thomas Lake, aged 61 years, an eminently faithful servant of God, and one of
a public spirit, was perfidiously slain by ye Indians at Kennibec river, August
ye. 14, 1676, and here interred the 13th of March following."
Being driven by the Indians from the Kennebec, Sylvanus Davis came to
Falmouth, then being resettled under the direction of President Danforth, and
became one of its most enterprising and public spirited citizens. In 1680 he
had a lot of land granted to him by Danforth on Thames (now Fore street),
This location may be seen on the accompanying plan. The lot was 147 x 630
feet, and run back to the burying ground. On this lot he built a store and resi-
dence in one building. A plan of this lot and a drawing of the building is to be
seen in the Mass. archives. In 1687 he was licensed to retail liquors out of
doors in the town of Falmouth, paying duties and imposts therefor. Grants of
lands in various parts of the town were made to him and his partner, James
English, at Capisic and Long Creek, and saw mills were there built, from
DESTRUCTION OF FALMOUTH. 95
will be found of interest. It is to be found entire in the Mass.
His. Soc. Coll., Vol. I, Third Series, pp. 101-112. Want of space
will not allow the whole of it to be here printed, but I have made
such extracts from it as pertain to this subject and matters there-
with connected :
The declaration of Sylvanus Davis, Inhabitant of the Town of Falmouth in the
Province of Maine, in New England, concerning the cruel, treacherous and
barbarous Management of a War against the English in the Eastern Parts
of New England, by the cruel Indians, being, as I doubt not, and as the
Circumstances will appear, set upon their bloody Design by the French and
" Having the liberty of walking the town of Quebeck, and having opportunity
which the town derived benefit. Little Chebeague Island was also granted
to Davis, and under his title it is held to the present day. Davis with Tyng
and others made themselves odious to the people by their sympathy with Gov.
Andros, and (as was considered) his arbitrary acts in the granting of lands, &c.
Davis was in favor with and had great influence with the governor, although
after his deposition he was steadfast in his loyalty to the Massachusetts govern-
After Davis' return from captivity he removed to Massachusetts, and spent
the remainder of his life at Hull, where he died in 1703. On the return of Sir
Wm. Phipps with the n^w charter in 1692, Sylvanus Davis was ai)pointed a
councillor for Sagadahock. Most of the real estate owned by him in Falmouth
was sold by his legatees to Gen. Samuel Waldo, under which title it is now held.
(See N. Y. Col. Man., IX, 489; Me. His. Soc. Coll., I, 168; Willis, p. 293).
"As to the origin and family connection of Capt. Sylvanus Davis, the theory
is advanced with a proper caution, that he, Sylvanus, George Davie (1663), of
Wiscasset, and William Davis, of Negwassett (whose widow Margaret had,
before 1661, married Richard Potts), were the three elder brothers of that
Humphrey Davie, who bought largely on the Kennebec, as early as 1667, and
who is shown by the painstaking research of W. H. Whitmore, Esq. (Boston
Com. Rep. v, 55), to have been the fourth son of Sir John Davie, of Greedy,
County Devonshire, England. John, the son of this Humphrey, in 1706, on
default of issue of some of his uncles, and the death of that of others, was
possessed of the family honors and estates in England.
The Will of our Sylvanus Davis, merchant, dated at Nantasket (Hull, Mass.)
April 8th, 1703, proved May 6, 1703, shows that he had no children living at
that time ; devises his dwelling house which he lately built at Nantasket to his
wife during her life ; and in consideration of the intimacy and kindness between
himself and James English, a great part of my life, bequeaths to the three
daughters of said English, all my quarter part of lands lying in Casco Bay,
which was held in equal shares by Col. John Phillips, Mr. Endicott, and said
James English ; nominates John Nelson ( ' in whose service and employment
several of the latter years of my life have been spent ' ), sole Executor ; ' and
whereas I have in the whole course of my life been assisting and beneficial
unto my friends and relations ' ; leaves to his sole disposal, care and arrange-
ment of all his estate, ' depending upon his promise not only of Justice, but of
kindness to my dear wife.' "
W. M. S.
g6 CAPTURE OF FORT LOYALL. )
of conferring with the gentlemen of the place, many were the outrages and in-
sultings of the Indians upon the English (whilst Sir Edmund Andros was gov- '
ernor) at North Yarmouth, and other places at the eastward. The Indians i
killed sundry cattle, came into houses and threatened to knock the people on '
the head, and at several times gave out reports, that they would make war upon [
the English ; and that they were animated so to do by the French, the Indians t
behaving themselves so insulting, gave just cause of great suspicion. In order
for the finding out the truth, and to endeavour the preventing a war, one Cap- i
tain Blackman, a justice of peace, with some of the neighbourhood of Saco |
River, seized several Indians that had been bloody, murderous rogues in the j
first Indian war, being the chief ringleaders and most fittest and capable to do
mischief. Said Blackman seized to the number of between sixteen and twenty,
in order for their examination, and to bring in the rest to a treaty. Said Black-
man soon sent the said Indians with a guard to Falmouth in Casco Bay, there
to be secured until orders could come from Boston concerning them ; and in the
mean time the said Indians were well provided with provisions and suitable
necessaries. The rest of the Indians robbed the English and took some Eng-
lish prisoners. Whereupon post was sent to Boston. Sir Edmond Andross
being at New York, the gentlemen of Boston sent to Falmouth some soldiers
for the defence of the country, and also the worshipful Mr. Stoughton, with
others, to treat with the Indians, in order for the settling a peace and getting in
of our English captives. As soon as the said gentlemen arrived at the east-
ward, they sent away one of the Indian prisoners to the rest of the Indians, to
summon them to bring in the English they had taken, and also that their
sachems should come in to treat with the English in order that just satisfaction
should be made on both sides. The gentlemen waited the return of the
Indian messenger, and when he returned he brought answer, that they would
meet our English at a place called Maquoite, and there they would bring in
the English captives, and treat with the English. Although the place ap-
pointed by the Indians for the meeting was some leagues distant from Fal-
mouth, yet our English gentlemen did condescend to it in hopes of getting in
our captives, and put a stop to further troubles. They despatched away to the
place, and carried the Indian prisoners with them, and staid at the place ap-
pointed, expecting the coming of the Indians that had promised a meeting, but
they, like false, perfidious rogues, did not appear. Without doubt, they had
been counselled what to do by the French and their abettors, as the Indians did
declare afterwards that they were near the place, and to our English that was to
treat with them, but would not show themselves, but did endeavour to take an
opportunity to destroy our English that was to treat with them. Such hath been
and was their treachery. Our gentlemen staid days to wait their coming, but see-
ing they did not appear at the place appointed, they returned to Falmouth, and
brought the Indian prisoners, expecting that the other Indians would have sent
. DESTRUCTION OF FALMOUTH. 97
down some reason why they did not appear at the place appointed, and to make
some excuse for themselves; but instead of any compliances, they fell upon
North Yarmouth, and there killed several of our English, whereupon the east-
ern parts was ordered to get into garrisons, and to be upon their guard until
further orders from Sir Edmond Andross, and that the Indian prisoners should
be sent to Boston, which was done with great care, not one of them hurt,
and care took daily for them for provisions. When they arrived at Boston, the
gentlemen there can give an account of their usage; but Sir Edmond Andross,
returning from New York, he set them all at liberty, not so much as taking care
to redeem those of our English for them that was in their hands. I had kept
one at Falmouth a prisoner, and to be a guide into the woods for our English to
find out the haunts of our heathen enemies; but Sir Edmond Andross sends an
express unto me, that upon my utmost peril I should set the said Indian at lib-
erty, and take care that all the arms that was taken from him, and all the rest of
those Captain Blackman had seized, should be delivered up to them without
any orders to receive the like of ours from them, which was very strange that a
governour should be so careless of his majesty's subjects and interest. The
names of those Indians that were in custody, that Sir Edmond Andross re-
leased, were Hopegood, the Higuers, the Doneyes and others, all being cruel,
murderous rogues in the first Indian war, and so proved all along in this last
war, being often passing through the country unto the French. The Indians
daily making destruction upon our English, Sir Edmond Andross raised forces
and marched through the country to the eastward. In his march he did rebuke
the ofificers because they did get together into garrisons to defend themselves.
How he managed his affairs, and what measures he did take with his instru-
ments to impoverish this country, and with other nations to bring us to our
wooden shoes, I leave to the information of those that took a more particular
account ; but it pleased God, upon the happy change in England, the hearts of
God's people were stirred up to adventure for the like change amongst us, and
seized the instruments of our miseries, taking the government into their hands,
and accordingly did endeavour to their power for the defence of the country
against the common enemy, the heathen, and French, who joined with them in
cruel, barbarous manner, burning our towns, destroying their majesties' subjects
with fire and sword, and all cruelty imaginable. Myself having command of a
garrison in Falmouth for the defence of the same, a party of French from Can-
ada, joined with a company of Indians, to the number of betwixt four or five
hundred French and Indians, set upon our fort. The i6th of IVIay 1690, about
dawning, began our fight; the 20th, about 3 o'clock, afternoon, we were taken.
They fought us five days and four nights, in which time they killed and wounded
the greatest part of our men, burned all the houses, and at last we were forced
to have a parley with them, in order for a surrender. We not knowing that
98 CAPTURE OF FORT LOYALL. j
there was any French among them, we set up a flag of truce in order for a ;
parley. We demanded if there were any French amongst them, and if they .
would give us quarter. They answered, that they were Frenchmen, and that j
they would give us good quarter. Upon this answer, we sent out to them again, 1
to know from whence they came, and if they would give us good quarter, both |
for our men, women and children, both wounded and sound, and that we should i
have liberty to march to the next English town, and have a guard for our de- '
fence and safety unto the next English town â€” then we would surrender ; and |
also that the governour of the French should hold up his hand, and swear by
the great and ever-living God, that the several articles should be performed.
All which he did solemnly swear to perform ; but as soon as they had us in their
custody, they broke their articles, suffered our women and children and our men \
to be made captives in the hands of the heathen, to be cruelly murdered and |
destroyed, many of them, and especially our wounded men ; only the French \
kept myself and three or four more, and carried us over land for Canada. I did |
desire the French, that seeing they would make us captives, that they would 1
carry us all for Canada, or keep us together, and that I might have the liberty
to send to Boston to the governour and councill, in order that care might be 1
taken for our ransom ; but they would not hear to any such terms, but told ;
me that we were all rebels, and also Boston, against our king, in that we had
proclaimed William and Mary king and queen, and that they were usurpers
to the crown ; and that they did fight for King James, as being under pro-
tection of the French king. About twenty-four days we were marching
through the country for Quebeck in Canada, by land and water, carrying our
canoes with us. The chief of the Indians that came against us was those
Indians that we had in hold, that Sir Edmond Andross ordered to be
cleared, Sieur Castine and Madockawando, with their eastern forces. The