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94 HISTORY OF VERMONT

hundred or seven hundred French and Indians, in Jan-
uary, 1693, and marching over the frozen surface of
Lake Champlain, he fell upon the Mohawk villages
beyond Schenectady. Many persons were killed and
more than three hundred prisoners were captured.
Major Schuyler, with a hastily assembled force, pursued
the French as far as the Hudson River, and recaptured
about fifty prisoners. The French suffered severe priva-
tions before they reached Canada.

The greater part of the raids, however, were directed
toward the settlements in New England. Toward eve-
ning, on July 14, 1698, a small party of Indians attacked
a number of persons who were working in the fields at
Hatfield, Mass., killing a man and a boy, and taking two
boys prisoners. One man escaped and gave the alarm.
The news was carried swiftly to Deerfield, where a party
of fourteen men was assembled, and mounting horses
they rode nearly all night until they reached the Great
Bend of the Connecticut at Vernon, opposite the mouth
of the Ashuelot River, a distance of twenty miles.

Concealing their horses, they formed an ambush, and
soon after daybreak the Indians were seen coming north
in two canoes. Firing on the savages, they killed two of
them, and the captive boys made their escape. One
member of the rescuing party, Nathaniel Pomeroy, of
Deerfield, was shot and killed, on an island in the Con-
necticut River, which is still known as Pomeroy's Island.

In 1702 hostilities were renewed between Great
Britain and France, and continued for nearly eleven
years. This conflict was known as Queen Anne's War.
Deerfield was the most northerly settlement of im-



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 95

portance on the Connecticut River, and in the winter of
1704 the Canadian authorities ordered an attack upon
this Massachusetts town. Maj. Hertel de Rouville,
commanding two hundred Frenchmen and one hundred
and forty-two Indians, was sent on this expedition.
Following Lake Champlain to the mouth of the Winooski
River, the party ascended that stream, crossed the Green
Mountains, descended the White River to the Connecti-
cut, and followed that stream to Deerfield.

Having watched for several hours, until the guard
fell asleep, the town was surprised shortly before day-
break on the morning of February 29, the depth of snow
permitting the attacking party to leap over the slight
fortifications. The place was captured without much
difficulty. Forty-seven of the inhabitants were killed,
one hundred and nineteen men, women and children were
captured, and the village was plundered and burned.

Among those captured was the village pastor. Rev.
John Williams, who has left a record of his capture and
imprisonment in a volume called ''The Redeemed Cap-
tive." Indian moccasins were substituted for the foot-
wear worn by the English prisoners, and plans were
made for a journey of three hundred miles to Canada,
the snow at the time being knee deep. On the way north
nineteen persons were killed and two starved to death.
These included infants, children and feeble women.
Soon after the party started Mrs. Williams was killed.

On the sixth day of the journey, Sunday, March 5,
the party rested, and Mr. Williams preached a sermon
to his fellow captives, taking as his text Sam. 1 :18, "The
Lord is righteous, for I have rebelled against his com-



96 HISTORY OF VERMONT

mandment; hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my
sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into
captivity." This is supposed to have been the first ser-
mon preached within what is now the State of Vermont
by a clergyman of the Protestant faith. The encamp-
ment is said to have been at the mouth of a river in the
town of Rockingham, since known as Williams River, in
honor of the captive preacher. The captors urged the
prisoners to "Sing us one of Zion's" songs, and up-
braided them because the dejected captives did not sing-
as loud as their masters.

The party proceeded as far as the mouth of the White
River, where it was divided, the greater portion going
farther up the Connecticut valley to the "Cowass" re-
gion; the other, of which Mr. Williams was a member,
following the White River to South Royalton, proceed-
ing thence up the First Branch through what are now
the towns of Tunbridge, Chelsea and Washington to
the height of land, thence down Stevens' Branch to the
Winooski River and to Lake Champlain, in Colchester,
from which place they proceeded over the ice of Lake
Champlain and the Richelieu River to Chambly, Canada.
Two days before the French, or Winooski, River was
reached, Mr. Williams was informed by his master that
he had killed five moose, which gives an idea of the
abundance of game in this region. After a journey,
probably, of twenty-five days, over what was truly a
"way of sorrow," the prisoners arrived at their destina-
tion.

Stephen Williams, a son of Rev. John Williams, was
a member of the party that proceeded up the Connecticut



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 97

River toward "Cowass." Before reaching that place
Indians were met who told of an English raid in the
vicinity, as a result of which the region was being de-
serted. The party remained for a month or six weeks
where its members met these Indians from up the river,
and suffered much from lack of provisions, being com-
pelled to eat roots and the bark of trees. After they
had started for Canada, Stephen was compelled to carry
heavy burdens.

Samuel Carter believes that these Indians made a
camp on one of the sources of the Winooski, probably
in Peacham, where they stayed until they had feasted
on some moose they had killed. From here Stephen's
master went to look for his family, and finding them
sent for Stephen, who went a day's journey to join them.
Carter is of the opinion that this Indian family was
located on Joe's Pond, in the eastern part of Cabot, and
that the hunting range may have included parts of
Cabot, Walden, Danville and Peacham. Stephen ar-
rived in Chambly in the month of August, about six
months after Deerfield was captured.

According to Penhallow's ''Wars of New England,"
word came to Northampton in the spring of 1704 that
a party of Canadian Indians had built a fort and planted
corn at Coos (Newbury). Thereupon Caleb Lyman
and five friendly Indians proceeded up the Connecticut
valley, and while a thunder storm was raging, he attacked
a wigwam containing nine Indians, killing seven.

According to Col. Frye Bailey and other early settlers,
Captain Wells and a small force proceeded to the mouth
of Wells River in 1704. Several men became ill of



98 HISTORY OF VERMONT

smallpox, and they spent at least a portion of the winter
here, building a small log fort. Some of the party, it
is said, died here. The river is said to have been named
for the commander v^ho, probably, was Capt. Jonathan
Wells.

In February, 1708, Capt. Benjamin Wright began his
career as an Indian fighter by leading a small party to
**Coasset" or ''Cowass," near the mouth of Wells River,
but no Indians were found. In May, 1709, Captain
Wright, with ten men, ascended the Connecticut River,
crossed the Green Mountains, and descended to Lake
Champlain by one of the well known Indian trails. It
is said that the party went within forty miles of Cham-
bly. Distances were not very accurately determined and
this may indicate that the party went as far as Isle
La Motte, or the outlet of Lake Champlain, or to the
vicinity of the Indian settlement near the mouth of the
Missisquoi.

On May 20, Captain Wright's party attacked two
canoes containing Indians, killing, as they supposed,
four savages, although only one scalp was secured. One
canoe with provisions and arms was captured. The
next day they seized and destroyed five canoes. On the
return trip they met some French and Indians on the
Winooski River, and killed, as they believed, four men,
although the French account states that only one man
was killed. In this encounter, Lieut. John Wells and
John Burt, of Wright's party, were killed and John
Strong was wounded, but was able to return to his home.

Thomas Baker, captured at Deerfield, February 27 ,
1709, was taken up the Connecticut River, and thence to



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 99

Canada by the Lake Memphremagog route. His cap-
tivity lasted a year, and during that time he became
familiar with the country occupied by his captors, its
rivers, and mountain passes. Early in 1712 he raised a
company of thirty-four men and proceeded to the region
known as Coos, and into New Hampshire, where some
Indians were killed, the party returning without sustain-
ing any loss. The Legislature of Massachusetts, by
special resolution, granted to each member of this expedi-
tion twenty pounds as a bounty for his part in the
exploit.

In 1711 a formidable attack on Canada was planned.
Four thousand men were to proceed by way of Lake
Champlain, and an expedition, 6,400 strong, sailed from
Boston for Quebec. The fleet was wrecked, with heavy
loss, and as the news reached the other army before it
left Lake George, the Lake Champlain campaign was
abandoned.

Reference has been made previously to raids made
in several Massachusetts towns by Gray Lock, the
famous Indian chief. After he had attacked a party
in the vicinity of Hatfield, a detachment of seven-
teen men was organized in that town and went as far
as the mouth of Otter Creek, as they supposed, in pur-
suit of Gray Lock, but the wily chieftain was lurking
in the vicinity of the Massachusetts settlements instead
of being on his way to his Missisquoi stronghold.

This scouting expedition was organized hastily, leav-
ing without proper equipment, and as a result its mem-
bers suffered great hardships. The "Massachusetts
Archives" quotes Dr. Thomas Hastings of Hatfield as



569SS6



100 HISTORY OF VERMONT

saying: "Saw most of ye men when they went forth;
they were lusty and in good plight, effective men; saw
them when they returned, and they were much emaciated,
and their feet so swelled and galled that they could
scarce travel on their feet вАФ for some they were necessi-
tated to hire horses. Some one or more applied to me
to dress their feet and were under my care for a week
or more, in bathing and emplastering before they were
anything tolerably recruited." This gives a little pic-
ture of the hardships of the trail over the Green Moun-
tains to Lake Champlain, unless preparation was made
similar to that which enabled the Indians to make long
marches with comparative ease.

On October 7, 1724, Captain Kellogg of Northfield
wrote that he had a scout out under orders to go "up
ye Great River" (the Connecticut), forty miles, and
thence eastward to "Great Monadnock." During the
late summer and early autumn most of his force had
been employed in guarding the farmers during the har-
vest season. This task being accomplished, Captain
Kellogg sent out scouting parties, most of them going
into southern Vermont to guard against the ever-present
danger of incursions from Gray Lock and other enemies
from the north.

Captain Kellogg describes these expeditions in his
journal in the following manner: "The first scout on
November 30, 1724, went up on ye west side of Conn.
River, and crossing ye West River went up to ye Great
Falls (Bellows Falls), and returned, making no discov-
ery of any enemy. The second scout went up to West
River and followed up sd river 6 miles, and then crossed



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 101

the woods to ye Great Falls, and returned seeing no new
signs of ye enemy. The third scout went west from
Northfield about 12 miles, then northward crossing West
River, and steering east came to canoe place about 16
or 17 miles above Northfield. The fourth struck out
northward about 6 miles, then north across West River
and so to the Great Meadow, below ye Great Falls, then
crossed the Conn. River and came down on the east side.
This meadow is about 32 miles from Northfield. The
fifth, the men were sent up West River Mountain, there
to lodge on the top and view morning and evening for
smoaks, and from there up to ye Mountain at ye Great
Falls, and there also to lodge on ye top, and view morn-
ing and evening for smoaks. The sixth went up to
West River, which they followed 5 miles, then north
till they come upon Sexton's (Saxtons) River six miles
from the mouth of it, which empties itself at ye front of
ye Great Falls, and then they came down to the mouth
of it, and so returned. In addition we watch and ward
3 forts at Northfield continually, besides what those 10
men do at Deerfield, and ye people are uneasy that we
have no more men to keep ye forts than we have."

Temple and Sheldon's "History of Northfield" well
says of this modest record: "This journal, kept with
soldier-like precision, reads like the most ordinary mat-
ter of fact afifair, deserving no special attention and no
commendation, except evidence of a faithful discharge
of duty. But the labors it recorded, and the daring and
endurance of these handfuls of men, thus striking ofif
into the wild forest in the winter, fording bridgeless
streams, and climbing mountains slippery with ice and



102 HISTORY OF VERMONT

blocked up with snow, watching for the curling smokes
from the red man's camp and listening for the report of
his gun, were a most exciting romance, if they had not
been a terrible reality. By such vigilance and fidelity,
and wear of soul and body, was our village protected,
and our valley kept clean of blood."

Mention has been made of the proposal of Capt. Ben-
jamin Wright to attack Gray Lock's fort on the Missis-
quoi and of the failure to reach that stronghold. Late
in March, 1725, Capt. Thomas Wells of Deer field led
a scouting party northward on an expedition lasting a
month, but there is no record of anything of real value
accomplished.

For nearly two decades following the signing of the
treaty of peace with the Eastern Indians at Boston,
December 15, 1725, this valley enjoyed freedom from
conflict, and respite from the awful horror of the savage
peril that might emerge at any hour, from the northern
forests. During this interval of peace the boundaries
of the frontier had been pushed farther into the wilder-
ness, along either bank of ''the Great River," and ad-
venturous pioneers had begun settlements at Westmin-
ster and Putney, now Vermont towns, and at Keene,
Charlestown, and perhaps at Westmoreland, in the
province of New Hampshire.

War was declared between Great Britain and France
on March 15, 1744. On July 9, 1745, William Phipps
was captured by a small party of Indians as he was
hoeing corn in his field in the Great Meadows of Putney.
He was taken into the woods by two savages. One of
them having returned for something he had left, Phipps



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 103

struck down his keeper with his hoe, and taking the
disabled Indian's gun shot the other Indian as he re-
turned. Phipps then started for the fort, but was inter-
cepted by other Indians, who killed and scalped him.
As a result of this episode the woods were filled with
scouts and the towns were guarded by a company of
fifty-six men from July 12 to September 8.

On October 11a party of eighty French and Indians
attacked the fort at the Great Meadow, killed David
Rugg and captured Nehemiah How, both being residents
of Putney. The fort was not seriously damaged, but
all the cattle were killed. Soldiers from Northfield and
Fort Dummer pursued the enemy as far as Number
Four (Charlestown, N. H.) without overtaking them.
The garrisons at the river forts were strengthened as
winter approached.

A party of Indians appeared on June 24, 1746, in
the vicinity of Bridgman's fort, in the town of Vernon,
below Fort Dummer, and attacked some men who were
at work in a meadow below the fort. William Robbins
and James Barker were killed, Michael Gilson and
Patrick Ray were wounded, and Daniel How, Jr., and
John Beaman w^re taken prisoners. The same day a
party of Indians surprised a scout of twelve men com-
manded by Capt. Timothy Carter, while they were rest-
ing at Cold Spring, a little way below Fort Dummer,
capturing a part of their arms, although all the men
escaped.

The French and Indian expedition under Rigaud,
which captured Fort Massachusetts, situated between
the present sites of North Adams and Williamstown,



104 HISTORY OF VERMONT

in August, 1746, camped near the mouth of Otter Creek,
on the Poultney River, and at what is now North Pownal,
Vt., on the way to their destination.

On April 4, 1747, the post at Charlestown, N. H.,
known as Number Four, was attacked by a large party
of French and Indians under Debeline, the siege lasting
three days, but it was successfully defended. On May
15, a party of seven men went as far as Otter Creek on
a scouting expedition. Another scout of five men from
Connecticut River towns was out twenty-two days in
August, traversing the Black River region "to discover
motions of the enemy."

In February, 1748, the Massachusetts General Court
voted to increase the garrisons at Fort Massachusetts
and at Number Four to one hundred men each, and a
portion of these forces was to be employed constantly
*'to intercept the French and Indian enemy in their
marches from Wood Creek and Otter Creek."

On March 29, 1748, Lieut. John Sergeant, his son
Daniel, Moses Cooper, Joshua Wells, and another whose
name is not recorded, started from Fort Dummer for
Colrain, Mass., to cut ash timber for oars and paddles.
They had gone only about a mile down the river when
they fell into an Indian ambush. Lieutenant Sergeant
and Joshua Wells were killed. Cooper was mortally
wounded, but was able to reach the fort, and Daniel
Sergeant was captured.

The next day a party of seven men from Northfield
went up to Fort Dummer, and finding the bodies of
Sergeant and Wells, buried them. Capt. Josiah Wil-
lard, commandant at Fort Dummer, says of this period :



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 105

"I had but eight men left besides what were sick with
the measles, when the enemy made their attack on these
five men."

On May 13, 1748, Capt. Eleazer Melvin, with eighteen
of his best men, started from Fort Dummer on a scout-
ing expedition. That night the party encamped at the
fort in Westmoreland known as Number Two, pro-
ceeding the next day to Number Four, where the expedi-
tion was increased by the addition of sixty men under
Captains Stevens and Hobbs. Following the old Indian
trail up Black River, they crossed the Green Mountains
by the Mount Holly Pass, and descended to Otter Creek.
Here Captain Melvin crossed the stream and proceeded
toward Crown Point, while Captains Stevens and Hobbs
followed the east bank of Otter Creek.

Captain Melvin reached Lake Champlain a few miles
south of Crown Point, on May 24, and camped after
marching down the lake about three miles. Melvin's
bravery appears to have exceeded his discretion. Con-
tinuing his journey north the next morning he discovered
two canoes containing Indians, and fired several volleys
at them, although he was in plain sight of the French
fort at Crown Point. He now made haste to retreat
through the drowned lands, being pursued by one hun-
dred and fifty Indians. Discovering that the savages
were on his trail, Melvin followed the south branch of
Otter Creek, crossed the height of land and reached the
headwaters of a branch of the West River. The party
being weary and hungry and supposing that they had
eluded their pursuers, they stopped to rest, eat their lunch
and shoot salmon.



106 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Guided probably by the sound of the guns, the Indians
discovered Melvin and his men, and approaching steahh-
ily suddenly opened fire from behind logs and trees,
only a few rods away. Unable to rally his soldiers,
Captain Melvin fled, his belt being carried away by a
shot or a hatchet stroke. He reached Fort Dummer
before noon the next day. One of his men already had
arrived there and eleven more came in before nightfall.
Five men were killed. Sergeants John Howard and
Isaac Taylor, John Dodd, Daniel Mann and Samuel
Severance. Joseph Petty, wounded too severely to
travel, was left by a spring on a couch of pine boughs
"to live if he could" until help should return, but it did
not return in time to save him, only in time to bury
him, a service performed by another party for his com-
rades who were slain.

This conflict probably took place in Londonderry,
''thirty-three miles from Fort Dummer up West River."
As a result of this disaster a fast was proclaimed at
Northfield.

The detachment led by Captains Stevens and Hobbs
followed the Otter Creek a little way, then turned east,
hoping to reach White River. After following a stream
for five days, and crossing it thirty-five times in one
day, they learned that it was the Ottaquechee. From
the mouth of this stream they proceeded by rafts and
canoes to Number Four, having been absent two weeks
on the expedition. A few days later, Captain Stevens
and sixty men proceeded to Fort Dummer, where they
remained two weeks, returning with a stock of pro-
visions.



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 107

The day after Captain Stevens' return, fourteen men
on the way from Hinsdale, N. H., to Fort Dummer were
waylaid near the mouth of Broad Brook by a band of
Indians. John Frost, Jonathan French and Joseph
Richardson were killed and scalped. Seven men were
taken prisoners and four escaped.

Capt. Humphrey Hobbs, with forty men, left Number
Four on June 24, 1748, for Fort Shirley, at Heath,
Mass., on a scouting expedition. Two days later the
party halted about twelve miles west of Fort Dummer,
probably in the present town of Marlboro, for the mid-
day meal. A sudden attack was made by a consider-
able body of Indians, led by a chief named Sackett, said
to have been a half-breed descendant of a captive. For-
tunately Captain Hobbs had posted a guard which gave
warning of the approach of the enemy, and the Colonial
troops sought shelter behind trees, fighting the Indians
in their own fashion. The battle continued for four
hours.

At the end of this period, Sackett having been
wounded, the Indians retired, carrying ofif their dead
and wounded. It is said that when an Indian fell a
comrade would approach cautiously, keeping under cover
as much as possible, attach a tump line to the body, and
it would be drawn to the rear, moving along the ground
as though moved by some magic power. Hobbs lost
three men killed, Samuel Gunn, Ebenezer Mitchell and
Eli Scott, and four men were wounded. Fearing an-
other attack Hobbs and his men remained until night,
when, under cover of darkness, they retired about two



108 HISTORY OF VERMONT

miles, burying their dead and caring for the wounded.
The next day, June 27, they arrived at Fort Dummer.

On July 14, 1748, Sergt. Thomas Taylor, with six
soldiers and ten recruits, started from Northfield, Mass.,
for his post at Keene, N. H. When near Hinsdell's
fort, on the east side of the Connecticut River, less than
a mile below Fort Dummer, the detachment marched
into an ambush, carefully planned by a party of French
and Indians, that outnumbered Taylor's party at least
six to one. Asahel Graves and Henry Chandler were
killed and scalped, eleven men were captured, two escaped
to Hinsdell's fort and two crossed the river and found
refuge at Fort Dummer. Two Indians were killed.

Two of the prisoners, who were wounded, were
knocked on the head with war clubs, and killed. The
other prisoners were taken up the east bank of the Con-
necticut to the mouth of West River, where they crossed
the stream, ascended the West River valley, crossed the
mountain range, probably in the present town of Peru,
and descended the Otter Creek valley. Leaving the
river valley, the prisoners were taken across country to
Lake Champlain, about twelve miles below Crown Point,
reaching the lake, probably, at or near Ticonderoga.
The route to Canada was taken by way of the lake and
the Richelieu River.

A party of militia and soldiers from Hatfield, Deer-
field, Northfield, and other towns in the Connecticut
valley, one hundred and twenty-nine in all, set out in
pursuit. They buried the victims, but failed to overtake
the enemy. The garrison at Fort Dummer was
strengthened in August, 1748, and again from Novem-



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 109

ber 15, 1748, to March 1, 1749. A garrison of ten men
was kept at Fort Dummer during 1750.

Four men who were hunting on a branch of the Merri-
mac River on April 28, 1752, were surprised by Indians,
and two were captured, one of the captives being John



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