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the new settlers will derive from the said mission."



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 79



In "Instructions from the King," issued April 28,
1745, to Marquis Beauharnois, Governor General of
Canada, and to Intendant Hocquart, reference is made
to the protection of Fort Frederic and the mission at
Missiskoui, which "will be very advantageous to them
in case the English should attempt encroachments." It
is also announced that "His Majesty was pleased to hear
of the progress made by the village of Missiskoui and
the disposition displayed by the Indians composing it
on the occasion of the war."

This is a plain indication that the Indian village on the
Missisquoi rendered material aid to the French during
the colonial war beginning in 1744.

In the Canadian Archives is found a "speech of the
Missisquoi Indians at the North End of Lake Cham-
plain" to the Governor of Quebec, delivered September
8, 1766, in which it is stated that "We, the Missisquoi
Indians of St. Francis or Abnaki tribe, have inhabited
that part of Lake Champlain known by the name of
Missisquoi, time unknown to any of us here present."

White's "Early History of New England," in relating
an account of the attack on Fort Bridgman, in the pres-
ent town of Vernon, Vt., June 27, 1755, tells of the
adventures of Mrs. Jemima Howe and her seven chil-
dren, who were taken captives. One of these children
was an infant, and it is said that the babe was carried
"to a place called Messiskow, on the borders of the River
Missiscoui, near the north end of Lake Champlain upon
the eastern shore."

Doctor McAleer, commenting upon this episode, says :
"The place here called 'Messiskow' to which these cap-



80 HISTORY OF VERMONT

tives were taken was doubtless Swanton Falls, where
a very considerable number of these Indians lived for
many years, and where they erected a stone church, in
the belfry of which was the first bell that ever sum-
moned people to the house of worship in Vermont."

In a previous chapter a quotation was made from Ira
Allen's "History of Vermont," showing that the Indians
abandoned the Missisquoi village about 1730 on account
of an epidemic, and went to St. Francis. That they, or
others, must have returned, has been indicated by state-
ments quoted. Other proofs of a resumption of the
settlement are available.

In a "Journal of Occurrences in Canada," 1746, 1747,
found in "Documents Relating to the Colonial History
of New York," mention is made of a Mohawk attack
a league below Chambly. Lieutenant St. Pierre and a
detachment were sent to surprise the enemy, and "eight
Abenakis of Missiskouy followed this officer." It is
further stated that "a party of twenty Abenakis of
Missiskouy set out towards Boston," and brought in
some prisoners and scalps; that "a party of eight
Abenakis of Missiskouy has been fitted out who have
been in the vicinity of Corlard (Schenectady) and have
returned with some prisoners and scalps" ; that "a party
of Abenakis of Missiskouy struck a blow near Orange
(Albany) and Corlard and brought in some prisoners
and scalps."

The number of Indians in direct league with the
French in 1744, according to a statement prepared by
Governor Clinton of New York, included "the Missis-
queeks, 40," or about half the number (90) credited




upper picture, Lake Champlain scene

Middle picture, Residence of N. W. Fisk, Isle La Motte, where Vice

President Roosevelt received news of the assassination of

President McKinley

Lozvcr piciurc. Site of Fort St. Anne, Isle La Motte, the first white settle-
ment in Vermont



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 81

to the St. Francis tribe. Of course forty warriors
would include a total population in the Missisquoi vil-
lage of several times that number.

In a narrative of his captivity, Rev. John Williams,
taken prisoner by a party of French and Indians from
Canada in the capture of Deerfield, Mass., in 1704,
wrote :

''We went a day's journey from the lake (Champlain)
to a company of Indians," this being after they had
passed down the lake some distance from the mouth
of the Winooski River, and he added the information
that "we stayed at a branch of the lake and feasted two
or three days on geese killed there." It is not improb-
able that this stop was made at the Missisquoi village.
It is a considerable distance from the regular route to
Canada, west of the large islands of Grand Isle county,
to the mouth of the Missisquoi. From the earliest
knowledge of this region, the marshes at the mouth of
this river have been a favorite feeding ground for wild
geese on their way south in the autumn. Judge
Girouard has said: ''The early settlers relate that the
flocks of fowl at certain seasons near the bay (Missis-
quoi) were so large and dense that the sun would be
obscured during their flight, as though darkened by a
cloud."

From cover to cover it would be difficult to find in a
history of the United States, chapters more thrilling
than those which relate to the Indian raids upon the
New England colonies. For many years, particularly
near the borders of civilization, the settlers lived in con-
stant apprehension of Indian attacks, which came silently



82 HISTORY OF VERMONT

and swiftly out of the forests, sometimes when the men
were working in the fields, and the women and children
were engaged in household tasks of the little homes;
sometimes at dead of night, when the blood curdling
war whoop would arouse the sleeper to the horrors of
fire and massacre, and captivity for the survivors.

Of all the chieftains who led savage bands out of
Canada to fall upon the New England settlements, few
were more dreaded than Gray Lock. In connection
with the conflict in Maine known as Father Rasles'
War (1723-1726), Temple and Sheldon's "His-
tory of Northfield, Mass.," says of Gray Lock: "The
Indian chief most prominent in the exploits of this war
on our borders, and the leader in some daring and suc-
cessful expeditions, was Gray Lock, so called from the
color of his hair. He was a chieftain of the Waranokes,
who lived previous to King Philip's War, on the West-
field River, and removed thence to the Mohawk country.
He was now well advanced in age, but retained all the
daring and tact, and energy of his youth. He was well
known to the people of the river towns, and seems to
have been capable of inspiring regard by his friendly
offices and shrewdness in time of peace, as well as
awakening dread by his craft and cruelty in time of
war. * * *

"At the time of Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) he
was living near Mount Royal, and was known as a
French Indian that headed small parties fitted out to
prey upon the exposed towns on the Connecticut River.
In 1723, Gray Lock was living on the shore of Missis-
quoi Bay, at the northerly end of Lake Champlain. He



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 83

had built a fort on a small creek, and collected a con-
siderable band of followers. Some rich meadows here
afforded the squaws a chance to plant large fields of
corn. His method was to go forth with a force of trusty
savages, larger or smaller, according to circumstances,
build a camp at some convenient and secluded point
near the towns, and keep out spies and scouts in small
parties, who were ready to take scalps or captives, and
hurry away for Canada."

Trumbull's "History of Northampton," relates the
fact that in July, 1712, the last raid of Queen Anne's
War occurred. One of the two attacking parties was
led by Gray Lock, "the afterwards famous chief," who
left Canada July 13.

When, or under what circumstances. Gray Lock estab-
lished himself on the Missisquoi River, near its mouth,
does not appear to be a matter of record. Two reasons
may have led him to leave the vicinity of Mount Royal
for the Missisquoi country. One reason, probably, was
a desire to be in closer proximity to the English settle-
ments. Another reason may have been a wish to be
nearer the excellent hunting grounds of the region now
known as northern Vermont. The Waranokes were
famous beaver hunters, and as the Green Mountain coun-
try had been a favorite beaver hunting region of the
Iroquois, this fact may have been an inducement to
locate on the Missisquoi.

During the summer of 1723, Governor Dummer of
Massachusetts and the officers of the Hampshire county
militia, attempted, with the aid of Colonel Schuyler and
other Albany officials, to conciliate Gray Lock and other



84 HISTORY OF VERMONT

chiefs living near Lake Champlain. Belts and other
presents were sent to them, but having accepted from an-
other source a more valuable belt, Gray Lock always
was conveniently absent when the messengers arrived.

On August 13, 1723, Gray Lock, with a party of four
Indians, waylaid, killed and scalped two residents of
Northfield, Mass. Continuing to Rutland, Mass.,
Deacon Joseph Stearns and his four sons were attacked
as they were at work in the hayfield. Two of the sons
were killed and two were made prisoners. Meeting Rev.
Joseph Willard in the road, the Indians killed and scalped
him, and wath their prisoners made a quick retreat to
their castle on the Missisquoi. In order to secure an
alliance with the Caughnawagas, Gray Lock gave to
them the younger of his two captives.

About September 1, Gray Lock started on a fresh
expedition. His force consisted of about fifty men of
his own and the Caughnawaga tribes, and he was fur-
nished with guns and plenty of ammunition by Governor
Vaudreuil of Canada. On October 9, 1723, these
Indians made a sudden attack on Northfield, Mass.,
killed one man, wounded two persons, and captured one
prisoner.

The records show that on December 5, 1723, Capt.
Benjamin Wright of Northfield, a famous scout, peti-
tioned Governor Dummer for thirty-five or forty men
in order that he might proceed to the mouth of Otter
Creek and return by way of the White and Connecticut
Rivers, but the plan was not carried out. In the year
1724 Fort Dummer was built in the present town of



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 85

Brattleboro, as some writers say to guard against the
incursions of Gray Lock.

About June 11, 1724, Gray Lock and a party of eleven
left his fort for the south and were joined soon by two
bands, the first consisting of thirty, and the second of
forty men. On June 18, Gray Lock and his Indians
fell upon a party of hay makers at Northfield, Mass.,
killed one man and took two prisoners. A scout of
seventeen men pursued the Indians as far as the mouth
of Otter Creek. Gray Lock spent the summer and
autumn of 1724 in prowling around the settlements at
Deerfield, Westfield and Northampton, returning to his
Missisquoi camp early in November.

The statement concerning Gray Lock's location near
the mouth of the Missisquoi is substantiated by the writ-
ings of two Colonial leaders. Lieut. Col. John Stod-
dard, who selected the site of Fort Dummer, objected to
the suggestion made in January, 1725, that a large scout
should be organized to go directly to Gray Lock's fort,
"and attempt to destroy him and his clan outright."
Stoddard wrote on February 3 of that year: "I retain
my former opinion, if our people had gone to Gray Lock's
fort, which lyeth upon a small river that emptieth itself
into the Lake (Champlain) near the further end of it,
and had made spoil upon the Indians, those that escaped
would in their rage meditate revenge upon our commis-
sioners, either in going to or returning from Canada.
But an expedition thither in the spring, about the time
of their planting corn, may be attended with the like in-
convenience. * * * Parties should be raised to go
to the upper part of St. Francis River, where these



86 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Indians plant their corn, or towards the head of Conn.
River where they hunt, or to Ammonoosuck which is the
common road from St. Francis to Ammeriscoggan, and
so to the Eastern country, or to Gray Lock's fort, or
possibly to all of them."

In the latter part of March, 1725, Capt. Thomas Wells
of Deerfield, Mass., and a party of twenty men went on
a scout to the northward. On their return, April 24,
a canoe was overturned near the mouth of Miller's River
and three men were drowned. Dissatisfied with the re-
sult of this expedition. Governor Dummer proposed to
Capt. Benjamin Wright to raise and command a party
of rangers. Captain Wright replied on May 29, ex-
pressing his willingness to do what he could, and adding:
"It seems to me the most probable place to be attained,
and the most serviceable when done, is Meseesquick,
Gray Lock's fort." These letters appear to establish the
location of Gray Lock's fort on the Missisquoi beyond
question.

In two months Captain Wright had recruited fifty-
nine men, and the account of the expedition may be read
in "A true journal of our march from N-field to Mesix-
couk Bay under ye command of Benj. Wright Captain,
begim July 27, A. D., 1725." This journal indicates
that the rangers, having started the afternoon of July
27 from Northfield, Mass., went as far that night as
Pomeroy's Island, five miles above Northfield. The next
day they proceeded to Fort Dummer at Brattleboro,
where a stop was made for the mending of canoes, after
which the party went five miles beyond the fort, to
Hawley's Island. On the following day, July 29, they



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 87

came at night ''to a meadow 2 miles short of ye Great
Falls" (Bellows Falls). The next day they carried their
canoes around the falls and proceeded two miles farther.

Their journey was continued up the Connecticut, past
the mouth of Black River, and the mouth of White
River, encountering much bad weather, and so on as far
as the "Cowass" meadows and the mouth of Wells
River. Proceeding up Wells River to Groton Pond,
they crossed French (Winooski) River, evidently in
Marshfield. Continuing their march they came to an-
other branch of French River, probably in Calais, and
went six miles farther to a beaver pond, possibly one
of the Calais ponds, "out of which runs another branch
of ye said river," possibly the Worcester Branch.

Marching from this branch thirteen miles they
"crossed a vast mountain," which may have been Mount
Hunger, and camped for the night. The next day they
came to a fourth branch of French River, which may
have been the Waterbury River, or possibly the Winooski
itself. They travelled down this branch six miles and
crossed over the mountain six miles farther before mak-
ing a camp. If the Waterbury River was referred to
no mention is made of crossing the main stream. The
journal says: "We marched from here W. N. W. to
the top of a vast high mountain, which we called mount
Discovery, where we had a fair prospect of ye Lake."
Then they went down the mountain, travelling part of
the way along a brook. Probably the "vast high moun-
tain" was Camel's Hump, and the brook may have been
Huntington River. Going down the river they en-



88 HISTORY OF VERMONT

camped at the foot of a falls, probably at Winooski, as a
few miles brought them to Lake Champlain.

The expedition proceeded down the lake only six miles,
perhaps to Mallett's Bay, or Colchester Point. At this
place the journal says: "And ye northwest end of ye
Lake or bay being at a great distance, then we turned
homeward without making any discovery here of any
enemy." Gray Lock's fort was not destined to suffer
the fate that befell that of the Norridgewock Indians
at an earlier date, or that which Maj. Robert Rogers
meted out to the St. Francis village about thirty-five
years later. Mention is made in the journal of a fort
at the mouth of Wells River. The party arrived at
Northfield, on the return from this scouting expedition,
on September 2.

About August 18 Gray Lock left his village on the
Missisquoi with a band of one hundred and fifty Indians
with the double purpose of watching Captain Wright's
expedition, and harassing the towns in the Connecticut
River valley. Although some Indians were known to
have followed Captain Wright as far as Northfield, it
is probable that the greater part remained in the vicinity
of Lake Champlain, for Colonel Stoddard wrote at this
time: "If Capt. Wright could go immediately with 50
men to Otter Creek he might intercept some of those
parties."

Governor Vaudreuil died on October 25, and his
death, it is said, "broke the mainspring" of Indian hos-
tilities. Most of the Indians were weary of war, and
desired to return to their hunting and trapping. After
prolonged negotiations a treaty of peace was signed with



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 89

the Eastern Indians at Boston, December 15, 1725.
Gray Lock, however, refused to sign the treaty, and at
some time in 1726, he assembled a war party about the
mouth of Otter Creek with the intention of attacking the
Connecticut River towns, but the rekictance of other
Indians to cooperate, and the vigilance of the garrison at
Fort Dummer, were responsible for frustrating this
plan.

In the autumn of 1726 the Indian commissioners at
Albany sought to win Gray Lock over by gifts and good
will. On January 2, 1727, they sent a message to the
chieftain by Malalamet, his brother, inviting him to
come to Albany, but the message did not reach him.
Then they suggested to the New England authorities
that a suitable belt be forwarded them to send to Gray
Lock, and that he be invited to Albany to receive it,
adding : "He will hardly be persuaded to come into your
country, for he has done so much mischief on your fron-
tiers, that he doubtless has a guilty conscience."

Here the record of Gray Lock's hostilities ends.
Peace was established, and for eighteen years the Con-
necticut River settlements enjoyed freedom from border
warfare. Gray Lock must have been an old man at this
time, although his aggressive policy gave no indication
of feebleness of body or mind. More than fifty years
had elapsed since the death of King Philip, when the
chief of the Waranokes left his home Woronoco, in the
vicinity of Westfield, where he was the leader of his
tribe. There is no record to show his age, but half a
century of activity would indicate a career much longer



90 HISTORY OF VERMONT

than that which most leaders, whether savage or civilized,
enjoy.

The history of the Colonial period, therefore, shows
a fort in the southern border of the region later known
as Vermont, guarding the Massachusetts settlements of
the Connecticut River valley against the famous chief-
tain Gray Lock and his Indian warriors established in
a fort or castle at the extreme northern end of Vermont
вАФ the outpost of the French and Indian alliance, pitted
against, and watched by, the outpost of the New Eng-
land colonists. Because the English and what they
stood for won in Vermont, in New England, and in
the United States of America, Fort Dummer is a familiar
name in history, and Gray Lock and his castle have been
lost in obscurity for well nigh two centuries. Neverthe-
less, Gray Lock and his Missiassik Indians deserve a
place in the early history of Vermont.

The raids of Gray Lock and his band were by no means
the only ones that followed the trails across the future
State of Vermont, or the waters along the borders.
For practically a century these expeditions crossed and
recrossed the Green Mountains, moving swiftly and
silently between Canada and the settlements of New
York and New England.

On January 30, 1666, Sieur de Courcelles, Governor
of New France, started from Fort St. Therese, on the
Richelieu River, with five hundred men, soldiers of
France and Canadian habitants, on an expedition into
the Mohawk country. Proceeding in a southerly direc-
tion over the ice-covered surface of Lake Champlain, he
approached the vicinity of what is now known as



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 91



Schenectady. Here some of the French troops fell into
an ambuscade, eleven soldiers were killed and several
were wounded. Having rested his men for three days,
the French commander returned with all possible speed
to Lake Champlain and Canada, being pursued as far as
the lake by the Mohawks. This expedition, designed to
quell the hostile Indians, failed to accomplish the desired
result, and another was considered necessary.

A fort having been constructed at Isle La Motte, a
force consisting of six hundred regulars of the Carignan-
Salieres regiment, six hundred habitants, and one hun-
dred Indians, assembled here, and on the mainland to
the west of the island.

Early in October the Mohawk country again was in-
vaded. The Indians had abandoned their villages upon
the approach of the French soldiers, but their houses and
many of their stores were burned. This expedition
secured a peace lasting nearly twenty years.

Following the accession to the British throne of
William and Mary in 1689, war broke out between Eng-
land and France, and the conflict extended to the Ameri-
can colonies. Governor de Callieres of Montreal sub-
mitted to the King of France a plan for the conquest of
New York. As a part of that plan, designed to check
the depredations of the Iroquois, a party of two hundred
and ten men was fitted out at Montreal in January,
1690. This expedition, led by Sieur de St. Helene and
Lieutenant de Mantet crossed Lake Champlain on the
ice, and on a bitterly cold winter night attacked Schenec-
tady. The small fort there was captured, the garrison
was massacred, the village was burned, and twenty-seven



92 HISTORY OF VERMONT

prisoners were taken. On the return trip the invaders
were pursued, and suffered great hardships, owing to
the fact that the provisions cached had spoiled, and the
soldiers were reduced to such straits that they boiled
their moccasins for food.

Near the end of March, 1690, a small detachment of
English and Indians, commanded by Capt. Jacobus de
Warm, was sent to Crown Point, from Albany, to watch
the enemy from Canada. A few days later, Capt.
Abram Schuyler, with a few Englishmen, some
Mohawks and Scaticooks, was ordered by the Albany
authorities to the mouth of Otter Creek, as a scouting
party to give warning of the approach of any hostile
force from the north. Schuyler proceeded into Canada
as far as Chambly, where he killed two persons and took
one prisoner.

As part of an elaborate plan for the invasion of
Canada by the Colonial troops of Massachusetts, Con-
necticut and New York, a force of eight hundred men
under Gen. John Winthrop was assembled at the south-
ern end of Lake Champlain, in August, 1690, but the
Indians failing to bring reinforcements, or furnish
canoes, the expedition was abandoned, greatly to the dis-
appointment of many of the people of the Colonies.
Capt. John Schuyler, being unwilling wholly to abandon
the project of a Canadian invasion, with twenty-nine
Englishmen and one hundred and twenty Indians, pro-
ceeded by way of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu
River to Laprairie, Canada, and on August 23 he
attacked the place, burning houses and barns, killing six
men, and taking nineteen prisoners. On August 24 he



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 93



camped at Isle La Motte and on August 25 stopped at
Sand Point, probably Colchester Point. The next stop
was at "the little stone fort," the exact location of which
is unknown, but as it was evidently a day's journey from
Sand Point, it may have been at the mouth of Otter
Creek, which appears to have been a regular stopping
place in traversing Lake Champlain.

On June 21, 1691, Maj. Peter Schuyler, a brother of
Capt. John Schuyler, left Albany, on a scouting expedi-
tion, and July 17, according to his journal, he reached
Ticonderoga with a force of two hundred and sixty Eng-
lish and Indians and on July 19 advanced to Crown
Point. On July 23, spies were sent out who advanced to
Regio, or Split Rock, the main body following as far
as the mouth of Otter Creek. The spies discovered
several camp fires of hostile Indians, and reported that
by their number there might be a "considerable army,"
and as a matter of precaution Schuyler built a small
stone fort breast high, possibly similar to the "little
stone fort" referred to the previous year.

The next day the hostile Indians had disappeared.
On July 26 they left the mouth of Otter Creek and pro-
ceeded "to a place called Fort Lamotte several years de-
serted," and on July 27 reached Chambly. He surprised
and captured Laprairie, defeating Governor de Callieres,
who lost about two hundred men killed and wounded,
Schuyler's loss being slight, and retreated in safety to
Albany.

These successes encouraged the Iroquois to harass the
Canadian settlements, and in order to check these depre-
dations, Count de Frontenac assembled a force of six



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