Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) online

. (page 19 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

entertainment in Boston donned the war paint, and
was gathering his warriors from the various tribes, to
strike a blow at the peace he had professed to desire.

Several noted Indian leaders from Massachusetts,
"Simon, the arch villain," and "• Andrew, the author of
much mischief," and other representatives of Pequots

^Feb. 1677. Waklron and Frost with one hundred and fifty men sailed from Bos-
ton eastward. They arrived at Brunswick without misliap. Tliey had a fight and
pai'ley at the moutla of Kennebec; during parley Capt. Frost laid hold of Megunna-
nay (known as Mugg). Megunnanay was shot. Williamson's Maine.


and Narragansetts, who were thirsting for revenge
upon the race that had destroyed their own tribes, to-
gether with chieftains, sagamores, and other warriors
of the Abenakis tribes, made up the savage force that
Mogg led against the garrison at Black Point in May,

Arriving there he promptly demanded the surrender
of the garrison. Lieut. Bartholomew Tippin, who had
previously distinguished himself in Indian warfare,
had been sent in command of a small force, with in-
structions " to defend the place until further orders,"
and we can readily believe that no array of savage
forces could have deterred him from his purpose so
to do.

Mogg's success in the first instance, when the garri-
son was commanded by the peaceable Jocelyn, proba-
bly led him to anticipate an easy victory. We may
imagine his surprise when he found the difference be-
tween the peace-loving gentleman and the true Eng-
lish soldier.

Undoubtedly the determined courage of the brave
defenders rendered their situation desperate in the
extreme. After the repulse of the first onset they
knew that surrender meant torture and death. It
was for them a life and death struggle. Day and night
they heard the wild cries of savage defiance ; the war-
whoops, fierce and revengeful, grew more and more
fierce as each desperate assault was repulsed, and the
number of their dead were multiplied. Surging back-
ward and forward with their forces in front and rear,
as the waves of old ocean sweep and surge around


the half-hidden rock in the sea, so from all sides came
the wild, fierce charge of the determined foe.

Hubbard, who lived and wrote his narratives in
those times, says, " the Indians not doubting but to
carry the place with a bold onset which they made
with much resolution and courage, for they assaulted
the garrison three days together." And again he
says, " the garrison on the other hand as stoutly de-
fended themselves by the courage and valor of Lieut.
Tippin." It was a desperate conflict in which cool
courage, with successful and desperate resistance, met
the desperate assaults.

By meager reports concerning the three days' fight-
ing we have been informed that three of the defenders
of the garrison were killed and one more unfortunate
still was captured and barbarously tormented. Of the
slain of the enemy all our historians make mention
only of the single fact, that, on the the third day of
the fight, Lieut. Tippin made a successful shot and
killed the Indian leader Mogg.

An hitherto unpublished letter, written by Joshua
Scottow, 30-8-1683, was found by our lamented friend,
William M. Sargent, Esq., in the Massachusetts archives.
Through his coui'tesy we have a copy giving the fol-
lowing additional information: — ''One Andrew, an-
other notorious instrument of mischief in the war, with
six of their chieftains, together with the impudent
Mog, who was soe bold to write himself the Indian
g'nall, were slaine before my house at the siege of it,
in the year 1677."

Had such as our modern newspapers been in the


way of getting the news in those times there might
properly have been such sensational head lines as —

Severe Fighting at Black Point.
Lieut. Tippin and the brave men under his


Three days and nights op savage fury
withstood by the cool courage of the english soldiers.

Seven chieftains and other warriors killed.


MoGG THE Indian General,


BY Lieut. Tippin.

The disheartened enemy withdraw
from the siege.

and the facts concerning the tragic events would have
warranted the above announcement.

Williamson says the loss of their leader so damp-
ened their courage that they, despairing of victory,
departed. He further says, " Mugg had alternately
brightened and shaded his own character until the
most skillful pencil would find it difficult to draw his
portrait. To the English this remarkable native was
friend or foe ; and among his own people, counselor,
peacemaker, fighter, emissary, just as self-interest or
the occasion might dictate. His address was inspir-
ing, and his natural good sense and sagacity partially
inclined him to be an advocate of peace."

This Indian leader who had been much with the
English and had learned their language, who was sent
post to fetch the Saco sachem, in whom Jocelyn had
confidence enough to go outside the garrison to parley


with — whose name was written •• Mogg " by Genclall
and by the deponent of the Wells garrison ; whom
Scottow called the impudent Mog. " The most cun-
ning Indian of his age," " The chief actor in the first
events," was the same Mogg^ that signed Phillips' deed
and described him as Mog Hegin, of Saco River, of
New England, son and heir of Walter Hegin of sayd
river, and this Moi^-o: of the Arrow Point Huntincr-

7 DO O

ground was killed at Black Point assaulting the garri-
son, May 16, 1677.


The force led by Mogg against the Black Point gar-
rison in May, 1677, was undoubtedly largely made up
of the selfsame warriors that captured the garrison,
with Gendall's schooner and the prisoners, the previous
October. Bewailing the loss of their leader and other
warriors who fell in the desperate attempts to recap-
ture the garrison, they return to their own people in
the frenzy of rage and blood-thirsty revenge, to kin-
dle anew the war spirit among the various tribes.

The imagination, unused to the dark deeds of sav-
age life, will never be able to conceive of the strange
lamentations and savage cries for revenge that min-
gled with the doleful story of their disaster. Again,
but with unusual interest, the hellish orgies of the
war-dance gave zest and character to the savagery of
the blood-thirsty avengers who had gathered from the

I Mogg Megone, or Heigoue, was a leader among the Saco Indians in tlie oloody
war of 1677. He attacked and captured Black Point, Oct. 12, of that year, and cut
off at the same time a party of Englishmen near Richmond Island, Saco River.
From a deed signed in 1664 and other circumstances it seems that previous to the
war he had mingled much with the colonists. Whittier's Poems, Note 1.


tribes near and remote. Almost immediately they
rally a new force, and for the third time within eight
months the savages are upon the war-path, shaping
their course toward Black Point. In the first attempts
they sought for plunder and a repossession of their
hunting-grounds ; now to these desires they have
added the fires of revenge. First, they came with the
warriors that could be readily called to join the active
leaders (probably with a force not exceeding one hun-
dred) ; on this the third incursion they came with the
combined forces ^ of the Abenaki tribes, including, no
doubt, the promised allies from Canada, altogether
numberino; from four to five hundred warriors. Armed
in part at least with arms and ammunition supplied by
the French, it was no feeble force that in the month
of June proceeded in a desultory way toward the
scene of their late disaster.

On the morning of the twenty-ninth of June the
savages were in the immediate vicinity of Black Point.
While some were taking their breakfast by the Spur-
wink the leaders were warily observing the evidences

1 The force that might have been collected by the sagamores of Maine it was im-
possible to find a fair basis to estimate. The impression prevailed that they were
not numerous. The aged among them could remember the epidemic that deci-
mated the tribes in tlie early part of the century. John Jocelyn in 1G70 said : "War
and plague, together with small pox, hath taken away an abundance of them."

Tnrning backward sixty years or more from 1677 would have found the Bash-
aba chief of the Warrennocks, the chief sachem of the Abenaki tribes, or rather
he held the position with as sure a tenure as their loose-jointed and poorly-con-
structed confederacy would allow. About that time the Tarrautines and Warren-
nocks each strove for the mastery, the land of the Warrennocks was invaded, the
Bashaba slain, and hundreds of the bravest warriors of the Abenakis tribes fell in
fratricidal warfare. A remnant of the Warrennocks found new hunting-grounds
on the banks of the St Francis Kiver in Canada. There a new race of warriors,
who remembered no more the estrangement of their fathers had come upon the
stage of action. Tliese had heard the boastful stories concerning the success of
their kindred by the sea in the autumn of 1676, and their willingness to share the
dangers and the spoils ^to say nothing of French influence) was enough to enlist
this new generation of warriors against the English settlers. From this source it
appears from numerous reports made by those who had been in captivity, the
eastern Indians liad promise of large reinforcements in the spring campaign.


of life about the garrison. It i.s only fair to presume
that they had confidence in the superiority of their
own force.

The government of the Massachusetts colony hav-
ing sympathy, no doubt, with the poor settlers who
had been driven from their homes in the autumn, be-
ing desirous of retaining their possessions east of Pis-
cataquis which they had long endeavored to control,
and had finally purchased of the heirs of Ferdinand
Gorges, and also being anxious to subdue the French
power and influence which had been one of the prin-
cipal causes of uneasiness, invoked the aid of the
Plymouth and Connecticut colonies against the east-
ern Indian enemy.

The hostile tribes within their limits had suggested
the necessity of the New^ England Confederacy, which
had proved of great service to them in the war with
the Pequots and Narragansetts.

June 1, 1677, the General Court of Massachusetts
sent letters by special messengers to both the Plymouth
and Connecticut colonies asking their cooperation and
assistance. To the Connecticut colony they repre-
sented, " The Indians are o-rowino; numerous and are
receiving recruits of ammunition from the French ;
one hundred English soldiers and two hundred friendly
Indians will be needed to give them a repulse." Fur-
thermore : —

Considering the relations wherein we stand one to another
by the articles of confederation,^ we judge it our duty to acquaint

^ On the 19th of May, 1643, Commissioners from Massachusetts, Connecticut ,
Plymouth and New Haven colonies met in Boston and agreed upon terms of con-
federation, and these were duly ratified. Thus was formed the Confederacy of
the United Colonies of New England.


you herewith in confidence that you will not fail to send your
proportion of men,^ furnished with provisions and ammunition,
especially considering that the place of rendezvous will be at
Black Point (to which you may with facility transport by sea
from New London), at which place we have ordered our force
to meet the 26th inst. Expecting your compliance herein and
speedy answer by bearer, M' Jonathan Bull, whom we jhave sent
as our messenger to hasten the more speedy dispatch that so we
may have no fayleur in a matter of great concernment to the
public peace, we shall take leave commending you to the guid-
ance, blessing and protection of God Almighty.

Your friends and confederates

Edward Rawson


In the name and by the order of the GenL Court of Massachu-
setts June 1, 1677.

In reply was written the following : —

N. haven June 14 1677
Hono'"'' Gent" — Yo" of June 1^* (77) could not be consulted
by us until the 14^^ of this month which makes it impossible that
■ we should presse, rally, furnish and send souldiers by sea unto
Black Point, before the 26**^ instant, neither doth the necessity of
our help appeare when as less than a hundred English with 200
Indians are judged sufficient by yo'selves to repell the enemy ; if
soe there seems no call for extraordinary endeavoring at present,
neither is there want of provision or ammunition to fit out so
many which are near at hand.

Wee therefore pray you to abate those expectations from us
now, nor to repute us under failure for not sending or not com-
plying in that expedition, etc.

The Govern"^ & Council of Conecticott
(Colonial Records of Conn. 1665-1677, Page 497)

To the above letter the governor and council of
Massachusetts, under date of August 16 (several weeks

1 The fourth article of confederation established this rule of apportionment.



after the disaster at Black Point), returned an answer
in which they comphiined of the neglect and refusal
of the Confederate colonies to send forces to aid in the
prosecution of the war with the eastern Indians.

The sad consequence of this neglect is apparent being no less
than the loss of 100 men slayne and taken captive by the enemy,
besides the loss of great estates by sea as well as by land, which
in an ordinary way might have been prevented had the desired
aid been furnished. The articles of Confederation are referred
to to show that the application was an authorized one.

To this letter the governor and council of Connec-
ticut replied, September o : —

You also enumerate the disasters in your Eastern frontier
townes intimating all those as sad consequences of our neglect.
But to the argument of our apology little is said viz. the want
of time, the unnecessary charge and the inequality of j^ropor-
tion to reckon those pai-ts upon the confederation account of
" 100 yrs, 60 wee."

We are not of those who doe look upon this day of adversity
with Aha: but are of that number who tremble & pray for the de-
liverance and welfare of the ark of God. , . . Neither are
we envious at your enlargement of territories or increase of num-
bers. We hope we can say with Joab the Lord add unto them
an hundred fold. . . . Surel}'^ Gent" biting reflections though
covei'ed with Scripture expression, become not the day nor spirit
of humiliation when the hand of the Lord is so stretched out
against us, for grievous words stir up strife and are apt to make
it hard to forbear retorting.

To Plymouth Colony they made like representations
exhorting them by adding,^ " We pray and expect that
you comply in sending your proportion and will en-
deavor with all expedition to advance your force, so
as that they may be at Black Point the 26th inst." '

' Vol. 5, Mass. Colony Records, page 141.

2 Vol. 10, Plymouth Colony Records, page 462.


With this demand Plymouth colony declined to
comply on the ground that the appointed place of ren-
dezvous was " without ye limit of the colonies."

By order of council, June 15, 1677,

Lieut. James Richardson and his party at Chelmsford is to be
provided with provisions and ammunition necessary, and ordered
to scout and scour the woods between the Merrimac and the Pis-
cataquis rivers; also with twenty-five men and friendly Indians
to march on the back side of York, W^ells and Winter Harbor to
Black Point garrison and there to be under the ordering of Lieut.
Tippin until further orders from the council. The time of the
rendezvous at Black Point is to be the 26th of the Instant June,
if possible.

Capt. Benjamin Swett, of Hampton, had been ap-
pointed " Conductor and Chief Commander of the Eng-
lish and Indian forces, to go forth in the country's
service against the Eastern Indian enemy," and also
" to order and dispose of the masters and marines and
vessels now going to said service."

June twenty-second, only four days before the set
time for rendezvous at Black Point, Capt. Swett was or-
dered to " repair to Black Point with the force raysed ;
to assail an annoy the enemy as much as in you lyeth.
If any small quarter of the enemy lye near and your
force be in any measure capable in a short time to
visit and fall upon them you are accordingly with all
your force Indian and English to make your march
hither and assault them." Such orders he was only
too ready to obey.

Garrison Cove on the morning of the twenty-ninth
of June, 1677, with soldiers, settlers and friendly In-
dians on sloop and shallop and gathered here and there


in small companies on shore was a scene of unusual
animation for those times. To the new comers the
storm-beaten garrison with palisade and bastion, so
recently tried in the ordeal of desperate conflict, was
an object of interest. The rock-bound shore of the
neck, with cliffs and dashing waves, the bay and
beach across the bay, with its long line of surf forever
rolling in, presented the same appearance as nowa-

Winnock (now Plummer's Neck), Blue Point and
Scottows Hill appeared more lofty, crowned as they
were with the ancient forest trees. The rivers were
the highways and wherever they touched the upland
the settlers had made their homes. At Dunstan the
Algers had carried the western frontier three full miles
into the wilderness. At all the landing-places about
the neck and near the mouth of the river, on the shore
of the Spurwink ; on each side of Libby's River; up
Jones's Creek ; at Seavey's Landing ; on Winnock's
Neck; at the Clay Pits and at Dunstan, settlers had
lived happily during the peaceful times that succeeded
the first settlement.

Hard labor enough had been performed ; land enough
had been cleared ; seasons enough had proved the pro-
ductiveness of the soil and the healthful ness of the
climate ; homes enough had been built ; children enough
had been born to render these lands and homes dear to
the hearts of those who found in them a refuge from
the tyranny and wrongs of the old world. But their
small clearings made but faint marks upon the conti-
nent compared with the unbounded wilderness ; it was


as if the woodman with his ax had struck but a single

blow in a dense thicket.

As offland stretched the boundless, restless sea,
So inland stretched the mighty " sea of pines."

Assembled by this, the only occupied garrison in all
the eastern parts, they could but realize the gloomi-
ness surrounding this isolated and lonely situation.
Unconsciously they gazed upon a plot too grand for
thought of theirs to conceive its mighty mystery. Its
first great act, already passed, had opened to the world
a grand and mighty continent, and now they stood
upon its rugged shores the brave defenders of the new


Forty soldiers from Massachusetts, the soldiers and
settlers from the garrison, with thirty-six friendly In-
dians, about ninety in all, made up the force under
the command of Capt. Swett. With a few facts of
history before us, and consequences which must have
been inevitable, we may vainly endeavor to picture
the fearful reality.

We are informed that the little force was divided
into two detachments ; Capt. Swett, assisted quite
likely by Lieut. Tippin, commanded the soldiers and
the settlers, while the friendly Indians were under
command of Lieut. Richardson. With careful atten-
tion to flint and priming pan, each kings-arm was care-
fully loaded. After a hasty and careful inspection, at
the word of command they marched across the clear-
ing near the garrison ; they followed the traveled way
along the margin of the high ground, thence descend-
ing to the narrow sandy neck ; they pursued the way


as at present traveled, and along through the ancient
forest that skirted the shore of the Great Pond. Anon
the forest echoed the wild war-whoop of the decoy
party of the savages who, having shown themselves
among the tall pines in the distance, were feigning a
retreat, and apparently were flying panic stricken
before them. Eagerly they pressed on in pursuit of
the retreating- foe : —

Strange silence now the wilderness pervades,

War o'er the scene has drawn its dead'ning shades,

Amid fair scenes that all around them throng,

Where peaceful ear might find a world of song,

Nor eye nor ear finds aught of beauty now.

Fierce war hath cast its scowl o'er every brow

And fiercer grows the passions in each eye,

As every passing breeze bears on the cry

Of echoing war-whoop floating like a tide,

Through all the Black Point woods from Spurwiiik side.

There was a way, leading to the settlements on Lib-
by's River and the Spurwink, which the settlers
through many years of peace had traveled. Along
this winding way they continued the pursuit, until
they crossed Moore's Brook and came upon the edge
of the rising ground (near the present location of the
schoolhouse), when from the thicket that covers the
brook on the right, and from the rising ground on the
left came the crash of a deadly volley mingled with
the terrible war cry of the savages. Bravely the sur-
prised soldiers contended with fearful odds ; they en-
deavored to bear away their wounded, who begged
piteously for assistance ; the ground was strewn with
Vol. VI. 19


the slain. Lieut. Richardson, who led the advance
with his friendly Indians, was among the first to fall,
and we imagine his Indians after the first volley " fled
the field." At times the enemy was held at bay, and
again their onsets were well-nigh irresistible ; to re-
treat and defend themselves as best they could was
the only hope of those who for a time survived the
fearful carnage.

The imagination fails to picture a life and death
struggle more unequal. It is only when man, aban-
doning hope and fear, plunges into mortal combat with
force more mighty than nerve and sinew, that he
shows how dreadful man may be in the agony of
hopeless despair.

A few who seemed to bear charmed lives had nearly
gained the clearing by the garrison. Capt. Swett,
bleeding from many wounds, had come near its gate-
way, when, being overpowered, he, too, was numbered
with the slain. Along the line of their retreat were
trails of blood and scattered arms ; the pale-faced
dead and lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments
death could not change. In the garrison were the
disconsolate families of the settlers, who had returned
in the spring with the hope of peace, their protectors
having joined the force in the morning and now lying
dead upon the plain.

It requires no great effort of the imagination to
conceive of the sad condition of the wretched survivors.
Defenceless, and in imminent danger from the merci-
less foe, with none to take control of their wretched
affairs, they were without courage and without hope.


There was nothing complete but their anguish and pain,
Never cup was more full than their cup of despair.

There was peace, but it rested alone on the slain ;

There was hope, but it cheered the dark fiends who were there.

Concerning the number of the English killed in this
fight we have no official report. An article by J.
Wingate Thornton, quoted by Southgate, says, ninety
went out, of whom sixty were killed. Hubbard says,
there were slain at the time somewhat above forty of
the English and twelve of the friendly Indians. Bel-
knap says sixty were killed. The governor and coun-
cil in their letters to Plymouth and Connecticut colo-
nies refer to the loss of nearly one hundred slain and
captives. The names of only a few have come down
to us, viz: Capt. Benjamin Swett, ^ Lieut. James
Richardson,'^ Bartholomew Tippin,'^ John Parker, Henry
Blanchard, James Parker, John Phelps.*

So fearfully was the death of Mogg and his warriors


As from the wing, no scar the sky retains;
The parted wave, no furrow from the keel,

1 Capt. Benjamin Swett was born in England, iu 1626. He came to this country
with his father, John Swett, in 1642. Settled fli'St at Newbury, Mass. He married
Hester, daughter of Peter Ware, and removed to Hampton, 1663. Their children
were: Hester, born 1647; Sarah, born 1650; Mary, born 1654; Benjamin, born 1656;
Joseph, born 1659; Moses, born 1661; Hannah, born 1664 ; Elizabeth, born 1667; John,
born 1670; Steplien, born 1672. After removing to Hampton he became prominent

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 34)