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Historic Association


Volume IV— Part One





Historic Association


Volume IV— Part One








R 1930 J^


The Snow-Shoe Men (Poem),

Nellie M. Browne 1

The Snow-Shoe Scouts,

George W. Browne 5

The Indian Wars in New Hampshire,

Frank P. Sanborn. 23

The McClary Family,

John (7. French 35

Amoskeag's Old Fishing Rocks,

George E. Burnham 60

Early Days of 'Squgg,

Charles K. Walker 68

A Discourse at Amoskeag Falls 1739

-Rev. Joseph 8ecom.be 79


S. C. Gould 79

Art and Artists in Manchester,

A Staff Contributor 109

Early Days in Amoskeag,

Lucina Golburn, Gardner ... 129

Phinehas Adams,

Arthur P. Dodge 137






















Cije J>noto=<i§>f)oe ^en

By Nellie M. Browne

Recited before the Manchester Historic Association upon its
celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the winter march
of Captain Tyng and his snow-shoe scouts.


'Y THE light of the early morning,

When the woods were white with snow,
Marched the snow-shoe men from Dunstable,
Now two hundred years ago.

With faces turned to the Northward,

Leaving homes without a sigh.
Ready to act for their loved ones —

Ready ever to do and die.


They had left their hearthfires burning,
And those they held most dear;

But honor and valor went with them,
Though the way was long and drear.

Up the "River of Broken Waters,"
In silence wended their way,

For their feet were clad with snow-shoes,
And stout of heart were they.

You have read how they met the enemy -

The tedious march was done,
Which gave to us our home-rights.

Their well-earned victory won.

Who shall say they were not heroes.
Though the years have flown apace?

Who can say they are not worthy
In our hearts to hold a place?

They have left with us their record —
The fight and hardships shared —

Let us keep alive their memory,
Remember the men who dared.

When at last life's chain is broken.

Let this ever be our prayer;
That their deeds shall be recorded,

And their names be written there.



AiUr, Lenox and TIUm /f
>: anflsiloBi. ^

Cf)E ^noto=4§lboE s^touts

An Address Delivered by George Waldo Browne Before the
Manchester Historic Association Upon the Two Hun-
dredth Anniversary of the Winter Scout of Capt.
William Tyng and His Snow-Shoe Men.

3fr. President, Ladies and Gentletneyi:

^jTlT is my purpose this evening to speak of that Httle
^IJ band of men whose names have become enrolled on
' the historic pages of early New England as "The
Snow-Shoe Scouts;" the men who were foremost among
the pioneers in breaking the New Hampshire wilderness;
the men whose log cabins were the homes of the first
actual settlers within the populous section of our city; the
men whose clearings were the windows in the primeval
forest to first let in the sunlight of these northern skies
upon this paradise of the red men; the men whose rough-
walled meeting house reared on one of the pine-templed
hills near by, was the first to declare to the coming gene-
rations that their ancestors were a God-fearing people.

Sitting here in the enjoyment of the pleasures and
privileges of a civilized life; coming from the homes of a
Christian community, and protected by the laws of a free
government, it is not easy to comprehend that within the
span of two lives — a Stark and a Kidder — this scene was
the heart of an unpeopled wildwood; where the lofty pine
lifted high its sombre plume in defiance of the woodman's
axe; where the sedgy vine bound in its relentless folds the
oaken freeman of the forest; where the Merrimack ran its
race unvexed from mountain to the sea; where by day the
hungry bear crept forth from its lonely lair, and by
night the stealthy panther prowled upon the footsteps of
its prey; where, from sun to sun, the timid deer followed



its flight unfearing the shadow of a human being; ay, when
and where the solemn drum-beats of Old Amoskeag, which
had not lost a note for cycles of forgotten years, was un-
broken and unchallenged by the rumble of factory wheels
or the thunder of street traffic; the silence of the solitude
broken only by the myriad voices of Nature — the murmur
of running waters, the soughing of the wind, the trill of
the forest songster, the plaint of a belated fox, the laugh-
ter of the loon — blending in harmonious concert, the softer
notes drowned at intervals by the harsh tremolo of some
wandering wolf.

If two hundred years ago only an occasional red man,
like a shadow of departed greatness, lingered around these
old famiHar scenes, the Merrimack valley had been in truth
the great battle ground of the aboriginal races. Here, the
natural heir of Nature's realm, the lordly Penacook 'had
threaded the dim aisles of its wild arcades, his snowy canoe
had vied with the foam upon its broken waters, his warcry
had awakened the fastness of its far-reaching forests, his
council fires starred the Plutonian night of the barbaric
wilderness long ere the white sails of Columbus' caravels
had dotted the distant main; long ere the ravens of the
Northmen had flaunted their dark wings on the sedgy
shores of Old Vineland; ay, long ere the most learned cos-
mographer of the Old World had dreamed of a land and a
people beyond the untraversed seas. Here, was sounded
up and down the country, from the mysterious West, the
wild alarm of battle from their ancient and deadly
enemies, the Romans of America, the Mohawks. Here,
from the Brave Lands of the Penacook to the murmuring
waters of Pawtucket, from the pulseless breasts of Uncan-
noonuc to the crag-castles of Old Pawtuckaway the invin-
cible Abnakis bore aloft the tocsin of war. Here wound
the wartrails of nations that fought, bled and perished in
the same cause which has wrung tears from the old earth
since it was young. This was in truth the Thessaly of
Olden New England.


From out of the misty background of Tradition rise
the stalwart figures of that heroic period. Among them
the stately Kenewa appears mustering his dusky legion,
to lead it forth to anticipated conquest only to be swallowed
up by the hungry wilderness as was Varus and his army in
the old Germanic forest. Then the valiant Winnemet
rallied around him upon the Brave Lands his gallant fol-
lowers in his desperate endeavor to stem the tide of that
disastrous Waterloo, falling encircled by the last of
"old guard" of the Penacooks. Now the magnanimous
Passaconnaway, reading in the signs of the times, the
destiny in store for his people, taught them it was better to
condone the wrongs done by a stronger race than to com-
bat a hopeless fate, leaving them with his parting words
impressed upon their minds, while he launched his frail
boat upon the placid waters of Massabesic, to the red men
"the eyes of the sky," to vanish from sight and story.
What a picturesque sight was presented by the tall, erect
figure of the aged sachem standing upright in the centre
of his fragile craft, while it was slowly wafted by the rip-
pling water away from the pine-fronded shore, away from
the landscape which swiftly disappeared before the incom-
ing of white man, but whose going out was even slower
than the disappearance of the race of which this single
chieftain was a noble representative. Here, the curtain
fallen on the closing scene of pagan warfare, Wannalancet,
the last great sachem of the Penacooks, called about him
his few scattered followers to lead them to that rendezvous
under French protection upon the St. Francis, to return
himself a few years latter that his ashes might mingle with
the dust of his fathers. Here, sacrificing every hope and
ambition for his people, brave Merruwacomet, better
known as Joe English, fought and fell in the interest of an
alien people, an unhonored hero. Here, too, in the gloam-
ing of that long day, came the lonely Ctiristo to consecrate
with the tears of a warrior the graves of his sires, the ashes
of his race. No mean knights of chivalry these, every


hero of them worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the
best of the Old World champions.

Of their rights or wrongs I have little to say at this
time, but am free to confess that I have no patience with
those who declare they were hopeless savages, beyond the
light of civilization. I would remind that same judge that
it was not so very many generations ago that his own an-
cestors lurked sullenly in caverns of the earth and came
forth clad in the skins of wild beasts. It is related by one
of the pioneers that while abroad one night upon the river-
bank, he discovered an Indian approaching upon his hands
and knees. A friendly motion of the hand of the dusky
scout caused the white man to wait his approach. Then,
with his fingers upon his lips to enjoin silence, he whis-

"Me watch to see the deer kneel."

Then it occurred to the white man that it was
Christmas, and he realized that in the simplicity of his be-
lief the red man was expecting at that sacred hour to see
the deer come forth from the forest to fall upon their
knees in silent adoration to the Great Spirit. Truly that
race cannot be lost to Omnipotent justice who, in its
honesty of faith, looks through Nature's eyes up to God.

The condition between the red man and his white
competitor reminds me of the story of the "talking turkey."
A white man and an Indian, hunting together, had agreed
to divide equally the spoils of their hunt, which resulted
simply in getting a good fat turkey and a worthless crow.
In this dilemma the white man proposed that they divide
even, by saying:

"I'll take the turkey, and you can take the crow; or
you can take the crow and I will take the turkey."

"Ugh!" exclaimed the red man, "you no talk turkey

to poor Indian at all."


The Treaty of Ryswick, September 20, 1697, closed
Frontenac's long series of aggressive campaigns on the


part of New France against New England, and a period of
comparative peace between the settlers of these provinces
succeeded. The pride and the power of the Five Nations,
always arrayed against the French since the days of
Champlain, had been broken and humbled; their numerous
acres of maize destroyed with ruthless hands; their great
apple orchards ruined; their large tracts of ripening melons
destroyed; and their towns ravaged and given over to the
torch of the despoiler. The Abnakis, the constant allies
of the French, were for the time gluttered of their ven-
geance and their appetite for blood sated.

But the respite was not overlong. Soon the war -torch
was rekindled and the war-whoops of the Eastern
Amerinds again awoke the solitude of northern New Eng-
land. This was the coming of the twilight to the darkest
night in the history of New England warfare. England
and France were again drawn into an armed contest in
that century and more of conflict which marks that era of
European history. This time Spain was a part of the
strife, largely the bone of contention, and European
historians have styled this "The War of the Spanish Suc-
cession." In America it was called "Queen Anne's War,"
as that queen was the ruler of Great Britian, and, as usual,
the trouble in the old world was largely fought out in the
new, and its terrible warfare lasted for nearly ten years.

Hitherto the red men had carried on their predatory
struggles mainly through their own arms and leadership.
Now they were not only armed but trained and advised by
the masters of French military tactics and unceasingly to
strike their subtle yet terrific blows. Thus all the cruel
cunning of the wild savage was united with the merciless
ingenuity of the then foremost military power in the
world. Urged on by this crafty ally, keeping constantly
before their eyes the well-thumbed prayer-book while he
held over their heads the sword, the Amerinds, in scouting
parties numbering from half a dozen to a score or more,
raided every section of the wide belt of wilderness lying


between the more thickly settled quarters of the English
on the south and the French fortresses on the north. The
pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire were consequently
the greatest sufferers. According to the best information
we have, and which is all too meagre, more than two
hundred men, women and children were killed .or taken
into a captivity worse to contemplate than even death at
the hands of a barbaric foe. The torch was applied to
cabin after cabin, until it began to look as if the English
settlers were doomed. By the swiftness and frequency of
their attacks upon the scattered homes of the pioneers it
seemed as if the dusky enemies were omnipresent hanging
"like lightning upon the edge of a cloud," about those
lonely cabins fringing the wilderness.

In their hapless plight the people turned to the gov-
ernment for assistance. The French were paying a bounty
for scalps of the English, and the courts of Massachusetts,
in order to encourage the pioneers of their domains, offered
a bounty of fifty pounds for every Indian scalp that should
be secured. This encouragement, in addition to the
natural desire to retaliate for the inhuman deeds com-
mitted against them, caused the whites to speedily organize
several scouting parties along the lower Merrimack valley
for the purpose of driving back the enemy and striking a
blow in self-defence. About twenty of these parties were
organized, to see more or less of service, but the first and
most conspicuous of these was that gallant band of whom
I am to speak, "Tyng's Snow-Shoe Scouts."

The depredations of the Amerinds were mostly made
in the summer. It was not only easier for them to move
about like so many shadows under the forest shade, but
the white settlers were then occupied with their various
duties about their new homes, and less prepared to combat
them. Upon the other hand, the English made nearly all
of their retaliatory expeditions against their wily foes dur-
ing the winter season. If the forests were snow-clogged
then, the undergrowth was overladen with its heavy man-


tie, the streams and ponds bridged with silver planking,
and the red men now aggregated in groups more readily
found than in the summer when they were scattered. The
whites, too, had more leisure in which to pursue this stub-
born warfare.

The situation of the entire colonists in America at
that perilous period was exceedingly critical. The English
held only a chain of settlements along the New England
coast, here and there fringing the banks of its
many rivers; the Dutch, a cluster of hamlets in New
Netherlands, now New York; and the English another
colony at Jamestown, Virginia. The French meanwhile
had obtained possession, in a large sense speculative, the
entire interior stretching from Acadie on the east, up the
valley of the St. Lawrence past Tadousac, the trading
station at the mouth of the Saguenay, Quebec, upon its
rock-throne, Montreal, on the site of ancient Huron capi-
tal, the rich country about the Great Lakes, and the fer-
tile basins running down to the Gulf of Mexico. This
crescent-shaped line of settlements, bounded on the north
by the unexplored wilderness, was maintained by a chain
of fortresses, guarded by a paid soldiery, encouraged by
the prayers of zealous missionaries, and supported by rich
traders who desired to become yet richer. In all this vast
area there were only two homes within sight and sound of
the rock of Quebec.

The English held their limited domain by actual home-
building, clearing the wilderness and cultivating the soil
wherever they dared to venture, and the natural resources
allured them hence. They stubbornly defended their
homes to their utmost. The first was a military power;
the latter a civil body.

It can be readily understood that the Indians, situated
in the broad belt of debatable country between these rival
powers almost constantly at each other's throat, were like
grains of corn between two mill wheels, sure to be crushed
by one or the other. None realized this better than they


in their ignorance and weakness, and this very fact served
to make them suspicious and revengeful. It v/as impossi-
ble for them to remain neutral, and it was natural they
should be won over to the French through their zeal-
ous priests and dazzling glamor of their armed forces. To
the simple warrior of the wilderness the soldiers of New
France were dashing, courageous gallants, the flashing of
whose rapiers was the lightning and the roar of whose fire-
arms was the thunder of battle. When they saw these
gaily-bedecked sons of mars, whom they knew were their
superiors, lie down beside them in the wallow, and adopt
with apparent cheerfulness their methods of living, they
were easily induced to become their allies. In the words
of Charlevoix: "The savages did not become Frenchmen;
the Frenchmen became savages." But with all their
shrewdness the French did not adopt the red man's tactics
of warfare.

On the other hand, while the English scorned affilia-
tion with the Indians they did not hesitate to imitate them
in their system of border strife. In this respect they
gained a decided advantage over the French from the days
of Captain Tyng and his "Snow-shoe Scouts" to the close
of the cruel drama under Rogers and his Rangers. Com-
pared with the cunning artifices and hand-to-hand encount-
ers of the veterans of those war-trails the personal prowess
and valor of the mailed warriors of the age of chivalry in
European struggles become common-place combats. It is
true the pomp of bannered columns, the eclat of heraldry,
the shimmer of burnished armor were wanting, but in their
places were the stern, determined countenances of sun-
bronzed and weather-beaten men; instead of the thunder of
hoofs was the stillness of foot-soldiers shod with silence;
instead of the clangor of clumsy arms rang the sharp twang
of the bow, and the track of the hurtling dart was sped by
the feathered arrow.

Where, in the one case, was a Saviour's grave to
rescue from the infidels, on the other were human lives —


mothers, daughters, sons and sweethearts, over whose
fates hung a mystery and horror that passed the compre-
hension of man. Everywhere the frontier had been
ravaged by an enemy that neither compassed the range of
suffering or knew the redeeming grace of compassion.
Not alone were young men fired with the zeal of defence
and rescue in those unwritten crusades, but old men be-
came knight-errants on those long, tedious, perilous
marches through the wilderness of debatable country lying
between the blockhouses of the English and the strong-
holds of the French — a pathless belt of forest three
hundred miles in width. These ardous marches had to be
performed in the dead of winter, not upon the backs of
eager warhorses, but upon foot, the shadowy soldiery
threading in silence lonely ravines, scaling broken foot-
hills, creeping under matted thickets reeking with the
sweat of centuries, when the wilderness was snow-clogged,
and the water-ways locked with the key of Nature. Re-
sorting to the use of snow-shoes, the intrepid scouts wound
their weary way over huge snow-banks, at times wading
knee-deep in some turgid stream whose silvery covering
had proved too thin to bear their weight, anon dragging
their loads over the icy surface of an inland sheet of
water; at nightfall stopping to dig a hole in the snow for
the site of their camping-place, fearing to build a fire to
thaw their benumbed limbs lest some argus-eyed enemy,
who was to be expected at all times lurking in ambush,
should spring upon them; appeasing their hunger with bits
of dried meat, lying down on a layer of fir-boughs for their
couch, a bedraggled blanket or frozen skin for a covering,
— even in sleep the mittened hand holding upon the stock
of the trusty firearm, and the trained ear alert to catch the
first intimation of danger. Wet, tired, stiffened by the
day's march, after a night's unrest, making a breakfast
without a fire, these show-shoe scouts were up and moving
again though the winter wind cut like a two-edged sword,
and the sleet pelted like shotted lead. And ever the un-



certainty of their quest, should they succeed in reaching
the end of their pathless trail, only an inkling of whose
sufferings can be conveyed by the tongue.

It is said that it was a woman's forethought which
suggested the snow-shoes, but be that as it may the idea
found instant favor, and no sooner had Capt. William
Tyng petitioned to the Massachusetts General Court for
the privilege of organizing a band of scouts than busy
hands began to get in readiness these useful objects.
Within a week forty-four had signified their willingness —
ay, eagerness — to accompany Captain Tyng upon his
arduous expedition. Their names and residences are as


John Shepley
Peter Talbird
Josiah Richardson
Saml. Chamberlain
Ebner. Spaulding
Henry Farwell
John Spaulding
Jona. Butterfield
Stephen Keyes
Timothy Spaulding

Nathaniel Woods
William Longley
Jonathan Page
Joseph Parker
Nathl. Blood
Thos. Tarble.
Richard Warner
Saml. Davis
Joseph Guilson

John Spaulding, Jr.
Benony Perham
John Richardson
Paul Fletcher
Nathaniel Butterfield
Stephen Pierce
Henry Spaulding
Jonathan Parker
Ephraim Hildreth


Joseph Perham
Joseph Lakin
James Blanchard
William Whitney
Eleazer Parker
Saml. Woods
John Longley
John H olden

the snow-shoe scouts 15

Thomas Lund Joseph Blanchard

Joseph Butterfield John Cumings

Thomas Cumings


John Hunt Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Richards

Capt. WilHam Tyng, the organizer and leader of this
expedition, was the second son of Col. Jonathan and Sarah
(Usher) Tyng, born April 22, 1679. His grandfather was
the Hon. Edward Tyng, born in Dunstable, England, in
1600 His father, Edward, was one of the original proprie-
tors of Dunstable, and with his family remained in town
during the period of King Phihp's War when all others fled
to a haven of safety. William, as far as the records show,
was the first white child born in the town, and he became
a prominent citizen, holding the office of selectman at the
time of organization of his famous band of scouts. In
1707 he was representative to the General Court, and was
made major of the armed forces of that vicinity in 1709.
The following summer, while engaged in active service, he
was mortally wounded by the Indians, and died a few days
later while being treated for his wound at Concord. He
led other scouting parties than the one under considera-
tion, and his younger brother. Col. Eleazer, was the leader
of a relief party sent to succor the ill-fated Lovewell.
Major William Tyng's son, John, was an honored and in-
fluential citizen, who when the old township was divided
became a resident of Tyngsborough. He was judge and
leading factor in in the Tyng grant to be mentioned later.

While the recording hand is silent in this matter, *

*The original pay-roll of Captain Tyng is not preserved, but the
record of the money paid to him is to be found in the Massachusetts
Council Records, Vol. IV, page 20. It amounts to 71 pounds, 11 shillings
which sum includes 25 shillings paid to a surgeon for caring for one of the
men who came home sick. — Editor.


I have every reason to believe that Capt. Tyng had no less
noted person for his guide upon this expedition than Joe
English, the friendly Agawam, whose early name had been
Merruwacomet, meaning the "first to reach the meeting-