Chapter 1 of New England Captives Carried to Canada.

The real cause of contentions among men is the ambition to take what does not belong to them." In the seventeenth, as alas in the twentieth century, men killed each other for that ambition. The beginning of hostilities between the French and English in North America was in 1613 - seven years before the Mayflower came. The end was the Peace of Paris in 1763. The beginning was in Acadia, so-called, at Somes Sound, Mount Desert, when Captain Argall cut down at Saint-Sauveur the cross which had been placed there by the little colony of Jesuits and courtiers who had been sent out by the pious Madame de Guercheville. The last intercolonial war ended with the Cession of Canada. In all the wars captives, mostly women and children, were carried from New England to Canada. The friendship between the Indians and whites, both French and English, was doubtless based upon trade. Both colonies were eager to buy furs. Each was jealous of the other and so the chief cause of our intercolonjal trouble was commercial. This is shown by the reports sent to Versailles by the governors of Canada. They are always afraid that the English and Dutch "by means of the cheap bargains they can give¹ will become masters of all the peltries thereby destroying the industry upon which Canada subsists.²" ¹ See Chapter III ²N. Y. Docs., IX, 405.
PHILIP'S WAR. 1675-1678. TREATY OF FALMOUTH, SIGNED UNDER "THE SMOKING TREE" NEAR LONG CREEK BETWEEN PORTLAND AND SCARBOROUGH. It was in this, a strictly Indian war, that the first captives were carried to Canada. After the death of Philip his scattered followers sold their New England prisoners to the French. If the Indians had not profited by the ransoms paid for the group of Hatfield and Deerfield people there would have been less suffering in later wars. They boasted that if they were successful "Canada Indians" would follow them. FIRST INTERCOLONIAL WAR - KING WILLIAM'S, 168 8-1697. "THE DECADE OF SORROWS." PEACE OF RYSWICK. "Canada Indians," however, did not "follow" for eleven years. Then the war between France and England was brought over to their colonies. The right of William and Mary to the English throne was disputed by Louis XIV, who upheld James II. Apparently some New Englanders were less concerned than he, for a bold pamphlet was printed in London in 1691 entitled: "The Humble Address of the Publicans of New England to which King you please with some Remarks Upon it." But as the "Publicans" were uncertain whom they were humbly addressing, so had been their King two years earlier when he sent Letters of Instruction "To Such as for the Time being take Care for preserving the Peace and Administering the Laws in Our Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England in America." During this war many of our people travelled the long, sad road to Canada. Of the first summer's campaign Governor de Denonville reported that because "of the good understanding he has had through two Jesuits with the Indians who occupy the woods in the neighborhood of Boston,¹ and who are disposed to become Christians, he has been able . . . to seize, exclusive of Pem- kuit, sixteen forts.²" This sounds boastful! After the massacre ¹New England. ²N. Y. Docs., IX, 438.
at Dover, which was an Indian revenge, attacks were made by French soldiers and Mission Indians, usually led by French officers and often aided by priestly zeal, on Pemaquid, Salmon Falls and Casco Bay; then on York, Oyster River and Groton; while all the time there was frontier warfare between the Connecticut River on the western and the Kennebec on the eastern border. In May, 1697, at a castle belonging to William III near the village of Ryswick, a treaty was signed and peace came slowly across the seas. Four years later the ambition of Louis XIV to keep the crown of Spain for his grandson plunged all western Europe into the "War of the Spanish Succession" which in the New World became: THE SECOND INTERCOLONIAL WAR - QUEEN ANNE'S OR GOVERNOR DUDLEY'S WAR, 1702-1713. PEACE OF UTRECHT. New England bore its stress. Her settlements were scattered, unprotected and easily reached; weaker than New York, who had powerful friends in the Indians of the Five Nations (the Iroquois), she often received cruel punishment in revenge for Indian attacks upon Canada. It is difficult to understand how a civilized people could identify themselves with savage warfare, especially a people who knew the horrors of torture and massacre as did those of New France; but we must remember that the French believed the Iroquois were instigated by the colonists of New York and that Frontenac counted us all one people, "so if Albany provokes Canada they count it just to fall upon Massachusetts or any other Eastern Plantation."¹ New France asserted that she did not wait to be attacked. It was her way to strike terror rather than to be disturbed herself, knowing well that the Abenakis at a trifling expense could "greatly inconvenience" New England. To realize her success we need only mention the "inconvenience" at Wells, Deerfield, Haverhill, and all the border raids of this war. Scarcely a Village escaped. ¹Sewall's Letter-Book, Vol. I, 114.
In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht brought peace of a sort. But the treaty did not settle important questions for the Western Continent where always the great issue was that of domination - French or English. But perhaps the Indian allegiance was of more vital interest to the people of that generation. The Five Nations were called British subjects, but the Abenakis of northern New England, claimed by both powers, were by French policy left within the boundaries of Maine. THREE YEARS' WAR, OR GOVERNOR DUMMER'S - FATHER RALE'S - LOVEWELL'S, 1722-1725/6. TREATY OF BOSTON. By all these names has this war been called. The quarrel was between the two provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the Eastern Indians, especially those of Norridgewock. The French openly had no part in it for the two Crowns were at peace, but when in 1724 the Norridgewocks asked for help Louis XIV wrote that while it is not expedient that France appear in this war, yet it is proper that Sr. de Vaudreuil "do secretly encourage the other nations to assist the Abenakis" by telling them that the English intend to become masters of the whole continent and to enslave all the Indian nations.¹ In revenge for the attempt to capture Father Rale the Indians burned the village of Brunswick, and then Massachusetts declared war. People were killed and prisoners taken from the eastern settlements and from far-away Northfield. Norridgewock was burned and Father Rale killed, although orders had been given to spare his life. Three of the four officers in command of the little troop had been captives in earlier wars. They were Captains Harmon and Moulton and Lieutenant Bean or Bane. There were fewer atrocities in this war. The priest's intervention may have prevented some, but the chief reason was Governor Shute's order that non-combatants be removed from exposed places.² ¹N. Y. Docs., IX, 936. ²One instance of compliance was at Kittery, where thirty six houses were made "defencible" and all the families were ordered to "Lodge therein."
When M. de Vaudreuil was consulted about a peace he answered that it did not concern the French¹, and the Mission Indians of his country refused the belts of peace because they "wished to continue to harass the English." Nevertheless, in the Council Chamber at Boston in December, 1725, Dummer's treaty - now in the State House - was signed by four eastern sagamores and Lieutenant-Governor Dummer, who had been acting since 1723, when Shute ran away to England. Were these the four Indians who were presented two years later with elegant clothing? "A Broad Cloth Coat Trim'd with Silver Lace" and three blankets similarly adorned; with ruffled shirts and "a hatt with gold lace?"² THIRD INTERCOLONIAL WAR - KING GEORGE'S WAR - SHIRLEY'S OR FIVE YEARS' WAR - LOCALLY THE OLD FRENCH AND INDIAN. IN EUROPE THE WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, 1744-1748. PEACE OF AIX-LA-CHAPELLE. Frederick of Prussia began it. The shot he fired in Silesia in 1741 was heard the whole world over. Almost all the European powers became involved, and ultimately fire and carnage were brought again to our border. After Norridgewock was burned the savages went to Canada "in deplorable condition," assuring the governor that so long as there is an Abenaki in the world they will fight the English; and the governor assures Versailles that they will do it unless the English destroy their forts and cease their encroachments."³ Nevertheless, during the next twenty years New England was not much disturbed, partly because French influence had been somewhat lessened and partly because of better trading-houses and fairer treatment under Dummer's direction. Thirty-five separate bands of Indians, counting from six to thirty-six men, were sent out in the winter and spring of 1746. They were sent "in the direction of Orange," or "to strike a blow towards Boston." Much property was destroyed and some scalps, ¹Que. Docs., III, 126. ²Arch. 31; 156. ³Que. Docs., III, 114.
but not many prisoners, were brought back, says the French report.¹ The treaty said: "All things shall be restored," but Frederick kept Silesia. In August, 1748, Canada, learning that the war was over, notified the nations that they were to send no more war-parties to New England, and that they would not be paid for prisoners or scalps. But the Government feared that the domiciliated Abenakis might continue their hostilities, not having satisfied their revenge for the warriors they had lost.² FOURTH INTERCOLONIAL WAR. IN EUROPE, THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR; IN THE COLONIES, THE LAST FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR. 1755/6-1763. THE PEACE OF PARIS. This, the sixth and last Indian war of the century, was almost continuous with that which preceded it for the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which was ratified by the Indians at Falmouth, was little more than a truce. The boundaries between Canada and the British colonies were still undetermined. War was declared against the Penobscots in 1755, England making her declaration against France the next year. The general cause was the alleged encroachments of the French upon the English frontiers. Nova Scotia, ceded to Great Britain in 1713, was still claimed by France. Fort St. Frederick (Crown Point) was being strengthened, and forts were building from the head of the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi River. But hostile acts did not wait upon hostile words, and we find in that smaller part of the drama which concerns our writing that New Englanders were carried to Canada as early as 1750. It was in 1760, after the war was over, that the last captives made "the doleful journey." For the French and English in America the questions of a century and a half had been answered on the Heights of Abraham. ¹Que. Docs., III, 272. ²"Journal of Occurrences," N. Y. Docs., X, 174.
Preparedness was not unknown but it was limited; nor was it popular. Colonel Westbrook, writing in 1724, says: "The people generally preach up peace to themselves, if the Indians do not knock some in the head in Six or Seven days."¹ During King Philip's War the Massachusetts Council, endeavoring to protect the "whole country of Esex & a great part of midlesex" from the inroads of the heathen, asked twenty towns to consider the building of a fence - not a real Chinese wall - but "a fence of stockades or stones (as the matter best suteth) to be made about eight foot high . . . which fence . . . is not in length above twelve miles; a good part whereof is aliready don by large ponds that wil conveniently fal in the line."² The towns were not eager to comply, one of them (Marblehead) saying that as the Merrimac River was fordable in several places the benefit hoped for would "no wayes counter-ballance the vast charge." Men had to be pressed into service; to avoid which one at least quoted Scripture, for "the Law of God is plaine that when a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not goo out to warr . . . but he shall be free at home one yeare" (Deuteronomy 24: ~). And the "Law of God" prevailed. Nathaniel Byfield did not go.³ In King William's War Maine was poorly prepared as is shown by a Report from York, which counts less than two hundred soldiers in all the garrisons from Casco to the Piscataqua,4 and the supplies of ammunition, food and clothing were meagre. In 1694 an Act was passed, which continued during Queen Anne's War, prohibiting the desertion of frontier towns; even though many of their inhabitants had been killed or captured. A man could change his residence only by permission of the governor and council under pain of forfeiting his lands. Forasmuch as considerable sums had been expended in the defence and preservation of the Out-towns and frontiers, it was enacted that they - naming eleven from Wells to Deerfield, and in later years increasing the ¹Arch. 51, 406. ²Arch. 68, 174. ³Arch. 68, 231a. 4 Arch. 36, 52.
number - should not be broken up, for if they were deserted without permission being given for "their drawing off," it would lessen the strength of the province and the enemy would be encouraged. Since the General Court ordered the people to stay in their exposed homes of the border it had to supply defence, but the "considerable sums" provided little, and very little help came from England. A letter sent from the King's Council to Massachusetts¹ in August, 1701, says that the Council had several times laid before His Majesty "the Desires" that war supplies be sent to the colony and a hope is held out that "some small quantity" may be sent in the future; yet Stoughton is told that the General Court must exert itself vigorously for defence, and the New England people were blamed in this as in other matters; but the gentlemen signed themselves: "Your very loving Friends." Versailles took better care of its colony. In King William's War the frontier of Massachusetts could "be traced by a line beginning at Falmouth and running along the towns of Scarborough, Saco, Wells, York, Amesbury, Haverhill, Andover, Dunstable, Chelmsford, Lancaster and Worcester." The New Hampshire towns lay a little out of the track of the marauders, while "the seven outlying towns on the Connecticut were in some sort, though imperfectly, covered by New York and the friendly Iroquois."² "Some proposalls Refferring to ye Deffence of ye Frontiers" in 1698³ show that the garrisons at many of these places were at that time increased in numbers from two to twenty-five, with two or three scouting parties for them all, and the "Court was to consider the raising of a war tax." Frontier towns, in his majesty's name, required all male persons capable of bearing arms to take their arms and ammunition "to ye meeting-house evary Saboth day and at all other publick meetings," and also into the meadows and places where they worked, but if a man shot off a gun except at an Indian ¹Arch. 70, 535. ²Paifrey's New England, IV, 30. ³Arch. 70, 380.
or a wolf he must forfeit five shillings, which amount he must also pay if he refused his above "dewty."¹ Five shillings was the whole of the soldier's weekly wage, yet there may have been waste somewhere for Penhallow says: "The charge of war was so great that every Indian Massachusetts had killed or taken cost at least 1000."² But we must remember that this was "old tenor" of Massachusetts currency, and also that it was many of us, but few of the Indians, who were "killed or taken." Frequently the men were "disadvantaged" in defence and pursuit by their lack of snowshoes. In 1702 the House "desired" the Governor to provide "so many good Serviceable snowshoes as they shall think needful with as many Indian shoes to be Disperst & lodged in the frontier Towns . . . that they may be ready if occasion should be, for the service against the Enemy."³ But alas! They were not always "ready." Our men were less skilful in their use than were the French and Indians. A French officer wrote that "Raquettes were required only for those in advance for they make a hard path for those who follow and for the sledges dragged by the dogs." New Hampshire ordered every householder at his own charge to procure "one good pair of snowshoes and mogasheens," or to be liable to a fine. They were obliged to keep them in repair and when damaged to replace them. In Queen Anne's and the Three Years' War Massachusetts supplied them, allowing money for repairs, but in 1725/6, the war ending before the expiration of the year for which they had been provided, it was resolved that "the said Snow Shooe Men be not entitled to the three shillings mentioned." This was surely an economical order. In the next war Governor Shirley told the Eastern Indians, then supposedly friendly, that they who would not fight must make snowshoes. Wooden forts, block houses and garrison-houses were places of defence and refuge, and the terms are more or less interchange- ¹This order is quoted from Newbury. ²"Indian Wars." 48. ³Arch. 70, 616.
able, especially the last two. The wooden fort was usually a stockade fence ten or twelve feet high enclosing cabins to shelter the people in case of alarm, and furnished at the corners with what were called flankers, which were boxes of thick plank, large enough to hold two or more men.¹ The Oxford Dictionary defines the block house originally as "a detached fort which blocked the access to a landing, a narrow channel or some strategical point." In later use - as in New England - it was a building "of one or more storeys, constructed chiefly of timber loop-holed and embrasured for firing." One of the largest was Vaughan's at Scarborough. In it during Queen Anne's war eleven families lived together seven years, "the war without made peace within" wrote the local historian. Garrison-houses, so-called, sheltered the scattered soldiers of the garrison if there were any; but they were primarily places of refuge for the people. As the villages were open, few having the protection of a stockade, it was necessary to use those houses that were best situated or adapted for defence in times of peril. Throughout New England, to the latest time of Indian warfare, this was the common means of defence. Sometimes they had an overhanging story; not as was often said, "to shoot at savages," or "to pour boiling water upon their heads," but because it was the pretty fashion of the day. Bourne, writing of garrison-houses in Maine,² quotes these reasons and adds that the occupants could more easily exthiguish fire if the enemy tried to burn the house, but he had never heard of boiling water being used. If a garrison-house were to be built, permission must be asked, and the owner must consult the military commander and the chief person of the town. If a house already built were to be fortified for this purose it was done at the town's charge.³ In perilous times "All persons with their families" were commanded "to abide at the particular garrisons allowed by his Excellency whereto they ¹Parkman's half-Century of Conflict," II, 230. ²Maine Hist. Coll., VII, 113. ³Arch. 70, 339.
are orderly assigned in the towns respectively where they dwell, by the military commanding officer and the selectmen," and if any failed he was fined. This especial order was given in 1707, but it was the custom; the crowded, uncomfortable custom during the early wars. In March, 1691/2, in the eight garrisons of Groton there were living ninety-one men with their families.¹ That preparations in 1711 were better than during King William's war is shown by "A List of the Frontier Garrisons" made in November of that year.² Wells had ten; York, twenty-one; Haverhill, twenty-five; Newichawannuck, sixteen; Dunstable, seven; Groton, eighteen; Lancaster, twenty-seven; and marlborough, nineteen. ¹Butler's Groton, 91. ³Arch. 71, 871-6.