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Jonathan Page
Joseph Parker
Nathl. Blood
Thos. Tarble.
Richard Warner
Saml. Davis
Joseph Guilson



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



the snow-shoe scouts 15

Dunstable
Thomas Lund Joseph Blanchard

Joseph Butterfield John Cumings

Thomas Cumings

BiLLERICA.

John Hunt Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Richards

Capt. William 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 Philip'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.



16 THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS

f

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-
place."*

These early scouting parties were usually le d by
friendly Indians, and as late as 1724 Harmon, in his re-
vengeful raid against the French priest Rasle and his dusky
followers at Norridgewock, was guided by the friendly Mo-
hawk, Christian, andthis same Indian a year later died while
engaged in a similar service under Col. Eleazer Tyng.
Joe English met a tragic death at the hands of his country-
men in this vicinity July 26, i7o6.f



*Since writing the above I have found the following Declarations
made in connection with the settlement of the boundary dispute between
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, recorded in the Masonian Papers,
Vol. 4, saying explicitly that Joe English acted as guide for Capt. William
Tyng upon his expedition against the Indians during the winter of 1703-4,
to wit:

John Cummings of Westford says that "he proceeded against the
Indians with Captain William Tyng, and an Indian named Joe English,
then a noted Pilot." John Langley of Groton, reiterates this statement and
declares "that in the Year 1703, he went up said River (Merrimack) with
Capt. William Tyng with a noted Indian Pilot with them, named Joe
English." Another, Isaac Bradley of Haverhill, Mass., repeats this
declaration with the added information that Joe English lived at that time
at "Penicook with other of ye Penicook Indians." It is quite likely that
Captain Tyng was joined here by the "noted Indian pilot," and that he
parted with him here upon his return. This would indicate that the
Indians were living at Pennacook later than most historians claim. —
Editor.

t Joe English was a grandson of Masconnomet, chief sagamore of the
Agawam family of Amerinds living within the territory now comprised in
Ipswich, Mass. He inherited considerable land from his grandparent,
which he conveyed to the whites and his wife by various deeds to be found
recorded in the Massachusetts Military Records. Many are the stories re-
lated of his bravery and fidelity to the whites. His death was generally
lamented, and the Massachusetts General Assembly made a grant of land
and allowed the widow and her two children a pension, "because he had
died in the service of his country." — Editor.



THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS 17

Captain Tyng had his men in readiness for marching,
and on the morning of December 28, 1703, his party moved
up the Merrimack valley, leading the way through the
pathless forest for the many expeditions of the kind that
were to follow during the sanguinary years of the French
and Indian wars. Over this same route Woodward, Gard-
ner and their companions had been the first white men to
penetrate when upon their original survey of the Merri-
mack made by order of the Massachusetts court in 1638.
Over this same course was Captain Tyng to pass again
upon another march of this adventurous sort, and along
his path Capt. John White. By this way, too, went the
brave Lovewell in his memorable trips, the last of which
cost him and his men so dear. Here, also, followed Col.
Eleazer Tyng, and others, in their efforts to succor the
unfortunate hero of border warfare.

The Sokokis, located upon the intervales of the Saco
at Picwackett, as in later years, were the greatest source
of annoyance to the whites, and among them a certain
chief known to his followers as Raven Plume, on account
of the black feather he wore in his head-dress, at the head
of a small band of dusky slayers had become particularly
obnoxious to the English. They had designated this
leader of their enemies as "The Old Harry," which seemed
the blackest color they could apply to him, and no doubt
Captain Tyng had this dreaded foe in mind when he
organized his snow-scouts. Thus Captain Tyng moved
in that direction, always with extreme caution, sending out
scouts by day to look for signs of the enemy and never
sleeping at night without a watchful guard.

Captain Tyng was a God-fearing man, in those days
when fear of Divine wrath meant more than an idle threat.
He and his hardy men belonged to that religious body
known as Dissenters, who had come to this country for
one reason to enjoy freedom of worship. That freedom,
however, was of a very austere sort. The Sabbath was
strictly observed, and who disobeyed its precepts was sure



18 THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS

to call upon his head righteous condemnation and punish-
ment. Each succeeding Sunday ^these snow-shoe scouts
rested, the leader, with well-worn bible in hand holding
appropriate ceremony, offering a sermon and prayer. The
depth of feeling and earnestness of purpose of that little
band of worshippers as they knelt upon the carpet of snow
under the canopied church of the wilderness may be
imagined but cannot be adequately described. No walls
of masonry circumscribed the range of the preacher's voice
which rose upon the wintry air with unbroken eloquence
to the white throne of God. The melody of church bells
was rendered in matchless beauty by the swelling anthems
of the forest songs brought out by the wild winds, as they
shook the roof of giant pines forming the great natural
cathedral where the Genius of Solitude was the master
builder.

Something of the rigidity with which these services
were held and the manner in which the Sabbath was
observed may be understood from the fact that one of the
men, John Richardson, was fined by Captain Tyng forty
shillings for "wetting a piece of an old hat to put into his
shoe," which chafed his foot upon the march.

Toward nightfall upon the twentieth day the imprint
of a moccasined foot was discovered by Joe English, and a
halt was quickly ordered. The track had been made with-
in half an hour, and it was believed some of the enemies
were encamped near by. At any rate it stood them in
hand to move with greater caution then ever. They were
now in the heart of the country about the lodgment of
the Sokokis. The guide, accompanied by one other,
reconnoitred the scene, and they were not gone fifteen
minutes before they returned with the announcement that
Old Harry, with four of his followers, were bivouaced in
the valley below. It was quite certain, Joe English de-
clared, that the Sokokis intended to stop there until morn-
ing, and he counseled a pause where they were until it
should be deemed wise to advance upon the enemy.



THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS 19

With impatience and anxiety the band remained in-
active waiting the word of their leader to move. If the
wintry cold pierced their bodies they dared not relieve
themselves of the suffering by building a fire. The most
that could be done was to move silently to and fro in a cir-
cumscribed space and defy the cold, the mittened hand
always clutching the iron throat of the trusty firearm
ready for use at the first alarm. Joe was gone longer
upon his second scout than at first, and when he returned,
it was simply to say that the foes had rolled themselves in
their blankets, but were not yet in that sound sleep which
he wished. So another hour passed on leaden wings, when
the friendly chief made his third and last survey, coming
back with the welcome tidings that the time for action had
come.

Captain Tyng and Joe English had already decided to
advance in two lines or files, their courses so shaped as to
approach the sleeping red men from right angles. At the
proper moment Joe was to give a sharp cry in the Indian
tongue. This was expected to arouse the unsuspecting
sleepers, who would naturally leap to their feet in alarm.
Then, before they could discover the real cause of this
signal, the whites were to pour a deadly broadside upon
them.

Captain Tyng led the file upon the right, while his
dusky ally, Merruwacomet, guided the other line. The
snow-shoes effectually muffled every sound of the double
line of march, and the scouts were too well trained in
border warfare to betray their movements by any careless
step. A deep silence rested upon the whited night. If
the wind shook the arms of the fir upon the distant moun-
tainside it did not so much as lift a finger of the sensitive
birch in the lowlands. Only the snapping of an occasional
twig bitten by the frost broke the ominous stillness.

So well and accurately did these files of scouts move
that no sooner had one reached an advantageous position
than the other was in readiness for the opening fire.



20 THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS

With a tinge of triumph in his voice, remembering the
many wrongs inflicted upon him by his race, Joe English
gave the war-signal, which must have rung up and down
the valley with startling intonations, and taken up by the
mountains sent back as a challenge between the races.

With what terror the red men leaped to their feet may
be imagined, but they fell even swifter before the deadly
fire of their white avengers, Old Harry the first to rise and
the first to fall. Viewed in the light of to-day it was a cold-
blooded deed, but it was only the awful echo of the war-
whoops that had given the death-knell of two hundred in-
nocent lives; the volley of musketry, the extinguishing
flame of hundreds of torches swung over peaceful homes.
Old Harry had been a merciless foe; he died as a true war-
rior of his race would have met his fate.

The slaying accomplished with a rapidity and ease
almost regretted by them, the victors looked to the secur-
ing of the trophies of their expedition. It is said, though
I cannot vouch for its truthfulness, that Joe English de-
clined to take part in this work. It is possible he remem-
bered them as his kinsmen. Still he knew so deadly was
the hatred of the others that they would have shot him
down with fiendish delight. In fact, a little over two years
later he was surprised and killed as a wild beast would
have been destroyed.

The object of their mission obtained, with the gory
proofs of their victory, the scouts in the morning started
upon their return. The journey home was uneventful.
They reached Dunstable upon January 25, 1703-4, having
been gone three days less than a month. The story of
their expedition must have been listened to by eager
listeners, and curious ones looked with feelings akin to
awe upon the ghastly products of that wintry scout. The
court paid Captain Tyng and his men the expected
bounty, which amounted to two hundred pounds in the
currency of the times.

While this expedition and others that followed that



THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS 21

winter in a measure checked the depredations of the
Indians it did not end them, for within three years we find
that the enemy dared to penetrate even to the homes of
the settlers in this vicinity, and life after life was sacrificed
to the gluttony of their vengeance. The desperate strug-
gle between the races lasted until 17 13, or for more than ten
years. Scarcely had a decade of peace passed before there
followed those stirring scenes culminating in Lovewell's
deadly fight on that memorable May morning, 1725.

In conclusion, let it not be forgotten that whatever
we have accomplished, whatever has been done in building
up a civilization here in our rugged state, the foundation
was laid by the men and women who dared and conquered
the Genius of the Wilderness; the men and women who
followed the Indian trails into the primeval forest, where
now our streets and highways band the countr}'^, dotted
with farmhouses or lined with city homes.

Little did it matter if they came, as some of them did,
with an accumulation of wealth which in home lands would
have supported them in comfort, they met difficulties
heretofore undreamed of, dangers no money could avert,
hardships and privations the foresight of man, under those
circumstances, could not spare them. But the majority
did not come thus amply laden; they were the rank and
file of the British yeomanry, who made no murmur against
the fate they had followed, but bent to the undertaking
they had imposed upon themselves with a faith in their
God matched only by that unswerving confidence in them-
selves that they were equal to the work. Perhaps the first
class suffered the more, for the reason they had a brighter
past, and may have found it harder to submit to the in-
evitable.

This generation ne'er can know
The toils they had to undergo,
While laying the great forests low.

— Alex McLachlan, Canadian poet.



22



THE SNOW-SHOE SCOUTS



In those days every man was a hero, every woman a
heroine, who together overcame wild nature, cleared their
forest fields, builded their humble dwellings, erected their
mills, constructed their churches and school-houses, where
a few years before the nearest approach to civilization was
the conical wigwam of the red man, and the howl of the
marauding: wolf the voice of Solitude to her God.




^fje Nubian Wavs^ in i^eto (|amp=



Remarks by Frank P. Sanborn, Before the Manchester His-
toric Association, February 8, i9os, Upon the Celebra-
tion OF THE Two Hundredth Anniversary of the
Winter Scout of Capt. William Tyng
AND His Snow-Shoe Men.



JLadies and Gentlemen:

-g^OR every persistent change in the condition of the
■^r human race, anywhere on earth, the causes seem
^^ to be both general and special. The general
cause of the wars with the native Americans, whom our
ancestors found ranging over the vast regions now included
within our Republic, was the difference in habits and pur-
poses of life, — what we term a difference in civilization.
The red Indians inhabiting here, so long before us, had a
kind of civilization; indeed, they had several different
kinds, if we accept what is now the tendency of opinion
among the experts in American archaeology, — that the
Mexicans, Peruvians, etc., were all but different families
in the great red race that peopled America from one polar
circle to the other. But whatever their special degree of
civilization might be, these natives were nowhere free from
warfare, or averse to it; the most peaceful and artistic
among them had bloody rites and disgusting superstitions,
which, to Europeans coming among them, and calling
themselves Christians, seemed to invite missionary under-
takings, with the Bible and the musket, the Cross and the
sword, for the conversion of these Pagans. Too often,
when conversion followed, it produced the state of mind
described in the Dakota prayer-meeting by the new con-
23



24 THE INDIAN WARS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

vert of the Baptist missionary, in the past century. Lo,
the poor Indian in question, being called on for his relig-
ions experience, six weeks after baptism, spoke as follows:

"Brethren, you see before you a witness to the excel-
lent preaching of our good missionary. Two months ago
I was a poor heathen; I knew neither God nor the Devil.
Now, thanks to our dear Brother Jones, here, I can truly
say, I know and love them both."

But in the more numerous cases where Christianity
softened the vices of the converted Indian, it did not
reach his whole tribe or nation; and the very fact that some
of them had abandoned the traditions of the fathers was a
cause of war, against the converted or converters, or both.
Apart from this was the wide difference in habits of life
between the colonist and the native, with a few exceptions,
in the Five Nations of New York, the semi-civilized
Indians of Mexico, Peru, etc., where settled communities
existed, and cultivation of the soil was carried on, — the
natives were hunters and fishers and fighters; the arts and
joys of peace were unknown to them. Their ownership
of lands, in this part of America, was of the slightest
tenure; they had not even pasture rights here, but only a
forest range for killing the wild beasts, feeding on the fish
and birds, and growing a little Indian corn and tobacco
here and there, in favorable nooks. The Five Nations, in
central and southern New York, had great cornfields, and
fixed dwellings; but they were exceptional. The colonists,
on the other hand, came here to till the land, to build
houses and towns, to freight ships and work mines, and
repeat in New England the story of Old England, under
freer conditions. The industry of the Englishman made
the idleness of the Indian his natural antagonist. Slavery
being then the rule in all Christian nations; the colonist
naturally thought the Indian a fit person to be his slave
and drudge, — hired servants being few and hard to keep,
in a new country, where each active man soon set up for
himself. Moreover, the native had certain troublesome



THE INDIAN WARS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE 25

vices. He would steal and, when he could get access to
the strong waters of the invading colonist, he would get
drunk and do mischief. "Our Deacon," said the Missouri
parishoner, "is a good man, — a right good man, — he has
got but one fault; he will swear when he gets drunk."
The good Indian, under the spell of drink, developed sev-
eral faults; and the crafty and wicked among the colonists
soon took advantage of this weakness. In 1677 some
Abnaki Indians in Maine, perhaps inspired by Jesuits who
had converted them, complained of our grand New Hamp-
shire Indian tighter, Richard Waldron of Dover, that he
had taken advantage of King Philip's War, hundreds of
miles away, to punish them in Maine.

"Because there was war at Narragansett, you came
here when we were quiet, and took away our guns, and
made prisoners of our sagamores; and that winter, for
want of our guns, there was several starved. Is it your
fashion to come and make peace, and then kill us.-* Major
Waldin do lie; we were not minded to kill nobody; he give
us drink, and when we were drunk killed us."

There can be little doubt that Major Waldron, in his
great trade with the Indians, made use of "fire water,"
either as merchandise or to facilitate buying furs. A
curious instance of this is found in the early annals of
Groton, as published by ray friend, Dr. Green, a native of
that town, to whose history he has contributed copiously
for the past forty years. In his Historical Address, July
4, 1876, he said:

"In May, 1668, Capt. Richard Waldron built a truck-
ing or trading house at Penacook, now Concord, where, a
few weeks after, Thomas Dickinson was murdered by an
Indian. It appeared in the evidence that there had been a
drunken row, and that Tohaunto, the chief, desired the
men from Groton, if they had brought any liquor, to pour
it on the ground, — for, said he, 'It will make my Indians
all one Devil.'"



26 THE INDIAN WARS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

The testimony of Daniel Waldron of Dover, son of
Richard, and of Thomas Payne, Waldron's servant, is very
suggestive on the use of liquor at the trading house. The
Groton men, meeting some Indians at Penacook, were told
by them that an Englishman had been killed there by an
Indian, and that, in accordance with English laws, they
had put the Indian to death.

"We further inquiring oi them whether the Indians
were drunk when the Englishman was killed, they answered.
'All the Indians were then drunk, or else they had no killed
Englishman,' and Tohaunto, a Sagamore, being afraid that
we had brought liquors to sell, desired us, if we had any,
that we would pour it on the ground; for it would make the
Indians all one Devil Then we meeting with Thomas
Payne, who told us he was Capt. Waldern's servant, — ask-
ing him whether the Indians were drunk, he said 'Not
drunk.' But we saw a Rundlet in the trucking house, which
would hold at least six gallons, near the said fort. After
which, we meeting with the Indians then there, and telling
them that Thomas Payne told us they were not drunk, — -
the Indians then said 'That Payne much lied, for we had
divers quarts of liquors the same day;' and one of the
Indians told his squaw to toash (fetch.'') a bladder, wherein
the Indian said there was a quart of liquor; and we do
adjudge it to be as much."

Daniel Waldron, testifying before Simon Willard, our
founder of Old Concord, and William Hawthorne, magis-
trates of Massachusetts, said he was the son of Richard
Waldron, and added:

"Myself with many others was sent up by my father
to see the corpse of Thomas Dickinson, and inquire into
his death, '^^/hen we came there we found the man
dead, and an Indian lying dead by him. Examining the
Indians how he came by his death, they said the Indian,
that lay dead by him, killed him with a knife; and inquiring
further why he killed him, the Indians told us they asked
him, and he gave them no answer, but bid them shoot him.



THE INDIAN WARS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE 'Zi

After this we saw him buried presently, and returned home
the next day."

It appeared that Dickinson was Peter Coffin's man (a
partner of Richard Waldron) as Payne was Waldron's man;
and no doubt the six gallons of liquor was part of the stock
in trade of the two Dover magnates, who, but for this kill-
ing, were going to send carpenters to build houses at Con-
cord, and have ground broken up for cultivation. This
affair, and the Indian troubles following, deferred the set-
tlement there for nearly sixty years.

The Abnakis of Maine had attacked New Hampshire,
in September, 1675, burning houses and killing men. Per-
haps they shared the uneasiness which brought on Philip's
War in Massachusetts, so disastrous to the Puritans; at
any rate the Massachusetts and Rhode Island allies of
Philip, after his death, strayed north and eastward, through
the dense woods, and committed murders in New Hamp-
shire, — then, taking refuge with the Penacooks on the Mer-
rimack above you, and still farther north with the Chocoruas
around the mountain of that name, who had been at peace
with the settlers on the Pascataqua and the tidewaters.
Their old friend, Richard Waldron, undertook to hold the
New Hampshire Indians to their friendship with his fellow
planters and lumbermen; and for this purpose, in Septem-
ber, 1676, he invited four hundred of the tribes, including
two hundred of the friendly Penacooks, to meet the Col-
onists near his fortress in Dover. In an evil hour, Captain
William Hawthorne, of the novelist's family, with a com-
pany of Puritan soldiers who had been fighting Philip and
his allies in Massachusetts, marched his men to Dover, and
proposed to Waldron to attack these peaceful savages;
among whom, no doubt, were some of those who had been
slaughtering and burning in the Plymouth and Bay Col-
onies. Instead of this open breach of the truce, Waldron



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