NEW ENGLAND CAPTIVES CARRIED TO CANADA Between 1677 and 1760 During the French and Indian Wars By Emma Lewis Coleman
196 THE THIRD WAR PARTY CASCO BAY OR FALMOUTH
The two books were obtained on Interlibrary loan from the Toronto Reference Library. My local library had no trouble getting them. I do not have a copy of my own so please don't ask for details beyond these two web pages as I do not have anything I can add. If you are unable to get the books for reference, I'd suggest trying to get someone in Toronto to do a lookup for you.
16-20 May, 1690. Here was "a village called Falmouth and a wooden fort," which was Fort Loyal, built where now is the foot of India Street in Portland.¹ Le Sieur de Portneuf, with Courtemanche second in command, left Quebec late in January with fifty Frenchmen and as many Abenakis from the St. Francis Mission. By visiting Abenaki villages in Maine he increased their number. Among them were certain leaders of Philip's war who had been imprisoned at the fort and released by Andros. Of course they knew the place well.² Saint-Castin, too, came with his Penobscot Indians, and all these with Hertel's men made a body of four or five hundred who were ready in May to attack what the French described as "A large fort well supplied with ammunition and eight cannon, with four other small forts near." Massachusetts had been too busy deposing Andros to remember her far-away settlements. In the fall of 1689, however, Captain Church was sent to the "poore Distressed province" and in checking the enemy, aided by information given by Mrs. Leigh,³ it is believed that the State of Maine was saved to Massachusetts and the United States. Fort Loyal had been garrisoned during the winter of 1689-90, but most of the soldiers from this and other eastern posts were withdrawn before Phips sailed for Port Royal. Nevertheless, the people from the Kennebec and beyond, deprived of their own defence, had hurried to the fort. There had been "desperate need" among the soldiers who, the commissary writes, "enquire for Cloathing, Shoes & Blanketts, and if you (the Honored Governor and Council) think good . . . Sumthing Suitable to make Straw beds." ¹ The authorities quoted are Willis. "History of Portland;" Hull, "Capture of Fort Loyal;" Goold, "Portland in the Past." ² It is Said that in 1690 there were 4,210 Indians between Boston and Canso. In 1726 the same territory was rated for 506. Winsor's "Nar. & Crit. Hist.," IV, 529. ³ See Dover. Chapter VI.
197Let us hope they did not have to wait for these until 1703, but on July 28 of that year, in the House of Representatives, it was "ordered that there be Twenty Suitable Beds and Bolsters with a Blanket to each Bed, Procured at the Publick charge for the Lodging of the Souldiers at the Garrisons at Saco and Casco, there having been no Bedding hitherto Provided for that Occasion." It is comfortable to know that this order was "Read and agreed to." Among the needs of the garrison in 1689 was an hourglass; clocks of course were few, and in a letter to the governor the commander asks instructions concerning rum. He requests their "honors to Intemate to me what allowance of Rum the soldiers must have, as yet I have allowed them a pint among Six men for each day they are upon a march. They expect the same while they lie still, being tould by Some here present that the Country will allow it."¹ A few days before Portneuf's attack Capt. Sylvanus Davis, who depended for defence mostly upon the settlers of the region, sent to Boston an urgent cry for help, he being "Greeved to see our poore nabors Destroyed and soe Littel care Taken amongst our folks to Indiver the discovery of the enemy," nevertheless he assures the governor that "wee will hassard our lives upon the place rather than Drawe of without orders naither have wee any desire to be drawed off." No help was sent. They gave their lives. To meet Portneuf's large force Captain Davis had not more than seventy fighting men. Seeking refuge within the fort were some two hundred more of the inhabitants, old and young, weak and strong. After Captain Davis's return from captivity he wrote a long account of this "bloody Design by the French and their Abettors," which was printed by the Massachusetts Historical Society.² Therein he says "The 16th of May, 1690 about dawning began our fight, the 20th at 3 o'clock afternoon, we were taken." He, with seventy men and many women and children, surrendered on the promise of "good quarter" for all, "both wounded ¹ Arch. 35, 2. ² Third Series, I, 101-112. 198and sound," with liberty to march in safety to the next English town, which the French commander "did solemnly swear to perform;" but when they filed through the gate and laid down their arms they were seized by the Indians who murdered many and carried away the rest. When Captain Davis protested at the breach of faith he was told that they were all rebels against their King, James II, who was under the protection of the French King. Destroying the fort and "All the houses within two leagues," not even waiting to bury the dead, the triumphant allies departed. After two years, during which time no white man lived east of Wells, Captain Church stopped at deserted Casco and "buried the bones of the slain as they were bleaching upon the soil." Frontenac had ordered that no fort be attacked for fear of losing too many men, the object being to devastate the country. M. de Portneuf can hardly have been called rash; his losses being thus reported: "One Frenchman had his arm broken . . . by a cannon ball and an Indian was wounded in the thigh."¹ All the people of the region who had escaped went to Wells - to Storer's Garrison - where they were ordered by the Government to remain. CaptivesFew names are known. M. Ernest Myrand in "Phips devant Québec" says that seventy were taken, exclusive of women and children, but he names only four. We have: Alexander, James Brackett, Lieut. Anthony Clark, The Family of Lieut. Thaddeus. Tradition names wife and daughter Rebeckah. Local authorities give "Two Daughters," probably Elizabeth (Tyng) and Martha. Isaac, his son. Davis, Capt. Sylvanus Morrell, Peter Parker, William ¹ Que. Docs., I, 498. 199Ross, James Swarton, Mrs. Hannah Samuel Mary (m. John Lahey) John Jasper York, John Samuel As of Casco, remaining in 1695, are Sara Davis and Thos. Baker, and on the Roll of 1710/11, Zacha., Joshua, Grace and Mary Davis; Two Jourdains; Elizabeth, Nathan and --- Webber; and --- Slew. Of these, "Thomas Baker boy, Casco" may have been son of Thomas of Scarboro and Falmouth; the son was living in Taunton in 1721, when he sold land in Scarboro. Folsom in his Saco (p. 33) says that Thomas Baker was recaptured from the Indians in Sept., 1690. This implies an error of the 1695 list. The Davises may have been of Isaac's family who lived on the Purpooduck side of the harbor. Grace Tucker and Mary Davis witnessed a Davis deed in 1733, which implies two redemptions and one marriage. The Webers were probably children of Michael of Purpooduck. See Marie Weber, married to Paul Otis. Leonard Slew may be found in "Along Shore." ALEXANDER, JAMES. "James Alexander, a Jersey man," was, with John Gyles, tortured at an Indian village on the St. John river.¹ Two families of Cape Sable Indians, who had lost friends by some English fishermen, came these many miles to avenge themselves on poor captives. They yelled and danced around their victims; tossed and threw them; held them by the hair and beat them - sometimes with an axe - and did this all day, compelling them also to ¹ "Tragedies of the Wilderness," 84. 200dance and sing, until at night they were thrown out exhausted. Gyles says it was the worst torture he had! Alexander, after a second torture, ran to the woods, but hunger drove him back to his tormentors. His fate is unknown. BRACKETT, ANTHONY, 3d. B. 1699, s. of Anthony 2d and Ann (Mitton). Lieutenant Brackett was kept four months in the Maine woods until he escaped in September. He afterwards lived in Boston, dying there in 1716. CLARK. Some of the FAMILY OF LIEUT. THADDEUS. Possibly his wife, ELIZABETH (Mitton). Isaac, his son, b. abt. 1666, d. 1768. "Two daughters." Rebeckah, a third daughter? Thaddeus Clark came from Ireland. He married in 1663 the daughter of Michael Mitton, then eighteen years old. Her grandfather was George Cleeves, the first settler of Falmouth. Lieut. Thaddeus was killed, leading a brave sortie from the fort. "Two daughters" only are mentioned among those captured, but his son Isaac was certainly taken. The story of the capture of Mrs. Clark and the daughter named Rebeckah comes from Lieut. Isaac's granddaughter, Mrs. Beulah Patterson, as printed in Barry's "History of Framingham";¹ upon the authority of the Rev. Joseph Allen of Northborough. This states that her grandfather Isaac's "Mother and sister Rebeckah were carried to Canada, where the mother died.² Rebeckah was sold to the French, among whom she lived so contented that when money was sent for her ransom she refused to leave; sending word that the money sent was not sufficient to supply her table for a single day." This sounds more or less legendary. Another tale is that one of Isaac's sisters married an Indian and remained in the North. ¹ Page 208. ² An error, she died in Boston in 1736, aged ninety-two. 201Isaac. Barry says that Isaac had a thrilling career. He certainly had a long one. He escaped or was ransomed from his captivity and went to live in Marlborough, where he learned the carpenter's trade and where he married Sarah Stow. He was a captain in the Three Years' War and was of such vigor that on his hundredth birthday he rode a horse a long distance. "He lived seventy years with the wife of his youth. His offspring that descended from him was 251." Thus is it written on his tombstone. "Two daughters" Elizabeth and Martha. These with Isaac are the only children named as heirs of Lieutenant Clark. Elizabeth was the wife of Capt. Edward Tyng and the mother of four children. Captain Tyng was commander of the fort until 1688 when he was appointed Governor of Annapolis by Phips, and it was on his way home that he too was captured.¹ Martha, who married a Harvey and was a widow in Boston in 1719, was probably the second daughter. The "two daughters" were among the prisoners exchanged by Phips, and in that long "Relation of 1689/90 written by Monseignat and addressed probably to Mme. de Maintenon² they are described as having been very well born. He says, too, that: "The Count had ransomed them and had put them in a place to board." DAVIS, CAPT. SYLVANUS. He bought land at Damariscotta in 1659; barely escaped death at Arrowsick in 1676, and after the peace lived in Casco. The complexity of his service is shown in a petition dated 22 d. 10th, 1690. Not only had he served his country until Casco fort was captured but he says: "I did offitiate in the place and duty of Chyrurgeon amongst the souldiers & sick men about Eleaven months ¹ See "From the River St. John." ² Que. Docs., I, 527. 202time. Also I pformed the Duty of a Comesary for about four months time. & Also I maintained a Drum and Drummer about thirteen months for the service of the fourt, & all the Marching fources that was sent to that place from time to time."¹ Of his captivity, he wrote: After they had "cruelly murdered our women and children and especially the wounded men, the French kept myself and 3 or 4 more and carried us over land to Canada . . . about twenty four days we were marching . . . on land and water carrying our canoes with us . . . I must say they were kind to me in my travels . . . our provision was very short; Indian corns and acorns - hunger made it very good & God gave it strength to nourish. I arrived at Quebeck the 14th of June 1690, where I was civilly treated by the gentry and soon carried . . . before the governour the Earl of Frontenack."² He was lodged in the château. It was the Indian custom not to give up their captives until the price of ransom was actually paid, but this time they consented to let M. de Portneuf keep Captain Davis and the two daughters of Lieutenant Clark during the journey on his solemn promise that later the governor would pay for their redemption. They relied not only upon this promise, but upon the knowledge that Frontenac would pay them well.³ On October 15 Captain Davis was exchanged for the Sieur de Granville, an officer captured by Phips. He afterwards lived in Nantasket and died in 1703. Davis told Frontenac that he grieved for his fellow-captives who had been half-starved and tortured on the journey; and the governor promised him that they "should be got out of the hands of the Indians." Probably this was why a majority of the eighteen captives who were delivered to Phips were from Casco. MORRELL, PETER. He came to Falmouth about 1681 and lived on "the Neck" now India Street. After his return from captivity he joined his wife, ¹ "Maine Hist. Coll.," II, 5, 174. ² "Mass. Hist. Coil.," III, Ser. I, 101. ³ "Sir William Phips devant Québec." E. Myrand. 203Mary, and their children in Beverly where they subsequently lived. Is this the man who generously gave his shirt to redeem Juda Emerson? PARKER, WILLIAM. Captain Davis, after his return, petitioned for compensation for his services as commander-in-chief and surgeon and asks "also compensation for Wm. Parker who has been a soldier for ten months and was now in captivity." Ross, JAMES. B. 1662, son of James and Ann (Lewis) of Falmouth. James was a shoemaker living at Back Cove, and in 1690 was one of Davis's soldiers. He had been captured with his father's family in 1676, so this was his second captivity, from which he was redeemed by Cary in 1695. Among his fellow-captives he found his bride, Sarah Ferguson,¹ marrying her on December 19, immediately after their redemption. In June, 1696, he petitioned for his soldier's wage "having recd severall wounds in the body from the french & Indian Enemies wth whom he was many Months a captive."² Thirty years later he, "James Ross of Salem, Shewing" that by one of his "Several Wounds. . . his Collar Bone was Split and Cut off. . . that he Suffered much Pain & Trouble" during his captivity, " and was at last put to great Charge for his Redemption" prayed for "Some Allowance" from the Court. He received five pounds annually. Sarah died before 1706, when James married Martha Darling of Salem, where he had lived since his return from captivity. In 1734, when aged about seventy-two, he testified in Salem that "he lived at Falmouth in Casco Bay ever since he can remember anything till drove from thence in the First Indian Warr & ¹See Kittery, Chapter XIII. ²Arch. 70, 277. 204then he removed thither again betwixt the First & Second Warr and lived there about Six Years until he was taken in the Second Warr," when he was taken in the Fort with Capt. Davis. This contradicts the story of captivity in 1676. Surely he would have remembered that! SWARTON, MRS. HANNAH or JOANNA. (Ebal on Canadian Record) wife of John, and their four children. SAMUEL (1674). MARY (1675). JOHN (1677). JASPER (1685). (Spelled on Canadian records: Soarre, Shiard, Shaken, Souarten, Sowarten, Schouarden, Souard). John Swarton of Beverly received in 1687 a fifty acre grant in North Yarmouth. In his petition he said he had fought with Charles II in Flanders. Charles, when Prince of Wales, went to Jersey where he was proclaimed king and then went across the Channel to fight. Perhaps Swarton went with him. When in 1689 Captain Church made his "First Expedition Eastward" he saw "One Swarton, a Jersey man; . . . whose language he could hardly understand." The old Norman French of the Channel Islands would make his English difficult. During the attack a John Swarton, living near the fort, was killed and his wife and children were captured. Hannah Swarton's "Narrative" was first published in 1697 as an appendix to Cotton Mather's "Humiliations followed with Deliverances," and was later collected in the Magnalia.¹ In it is the same story of cold, hunger, cruelty and pious reflections. She says it lay heavy upon her spirit that they had left Beverly, where they had had the privilege of the public worship of God, to remove where there was no minister of the gospel, which they had done for "large accommodations in the ¹The only perfect copy known of the original pamphlet was sold in 1916 for two thousand dollars; a second copy is in the Congressional Library. 205world, thereby exposing their children to be bred ignorantly like Indians." She describes her Indian mistress as "one that had been bred by the English at Blackpoint and now married to a Canada Indian and turned Papist," and the squaw would say "that had the English been as careful to instruct her in our religion as the French were to instruct her in their's, she might have been of our religion." At Norridgewock the captives were separated and no English were left in Mrs. Swarton's company but one John York. Here she was told that her eldest son had been killed. She says that by her bleeding feet she could be tracked in the snow and she found it "Very tedious to travel." Arriving in mid-February near Quebec her master sent her to beg for food. On her second visit she stayed over night with a French woman. The next morning two men - one English - came to the house and advised her to go with them to Quebec, four miles away, telling her that she would be ransomed. The woman, too, advised her to go. The Englishman took her to the wife of the intendant who fed and clothed her and sent her to the hospital where she was "physicked and blooded and very courteously provided for." Her Indian master and his squaw came after her, but the lady bought her and she became her servant "And I must speak it to the honour of the French," she wrote, "they were exceeding kind to me at first even as kind as I could expect to find the English." Soon new trials came; snares were laid for her soul, which she describes at length. "The lady, my mistress, the nuns, the priests, the friars and the rest set upon me. . . to perswade me to turn Papist." Love, promises and entreaties first they used, then finding her obdurate, threats and hard usage. She was strengthened and consoled by conversations with Colonel Tyng and Mr. Alden, and esspecially with Margaret Stilson who was in the same house, but those conferences were shortly forbidden. In 1695 she, with her youngest son, Jasper, was redeemed, leaving Mary, whom she had 206not seen for two years, and John from whom she had parted the day after they were taken. Of him we have no trace. Her last word is for her children: "I earnestly request the prayers of my Christian friends that the Lord will deliver them." Swarton, Mary, and Lahey, John. Among the "Nams of thos Remaining" (1695) is that of "Mary Swarton Cascow gerl." In May, 1710, "Marie Swarton Englishwoman, married to Jean Laha, Irishman, established in Montreal and having three children," becomes a French citizen. Jean Laha's name is first on the same list. His abjuration is on the Montreal records: "On Monday, 19 March 1696, Jean Lahe born in 1670 at Tollo in Ireland of the marriage of Thomas Lahé, Catholic, and of Catharine Williams, Protestant, and baptized in his country in the Catholic religion & later having professed the Puritan religion until last year, when he was taken in the month of July among the Flemish of Corlar and living now in the service of M. le ber, Merchant, solemnly made abjuration of heresy into the hands of Mre Henri Antoine Meriel, Priest of the Seminary of Vile Marie, authorized to receive it by M. François Dolie priest, Grand Vicaire etc. And this in the presence of M. Yves Priat, priest of said Seminary of Ville Marie and of several others." (Signed by all herein named.) "The 9th Sept. 1697, after the publication of 3 banns of marriage made the 29th August last, the 1st and 3d of the present month and year as above between Jean lehait Irishman, son of Thomas lehait and of Catherine Guilloses, father and mother of the town of boston in hirlands of one part and of Marie Madeleine Souard, daughter of Jean Souard and Anne Ebal¹ of Selam, her father and mother of the other part, and having found no obstade I, françois Dupré, curé de Québec have married and given them la bénédiction nuptiale according to the form pre- ¹ Was not Anne Ebal daughter of Robert and Joanna Abel of Weymouth? 207scribed by our mother the Holy Church in presence" of several French witnesses, all but one of whom signed. The baptismal records of their eleven children testify to their friendships with New England captives. 1698, Jean François, b. and d. 1701, Madeleine, m. 1724 Pierre Couleau. 1702, Jean-Marguerite, then living at Côte Saint-Laurent, m. 1719, Pierre Normand. 1706, Marie-Anne, god-mother Christine Otis of Dover; m. 1729, Jacques Benoist, dit la guerre, at Saint-Laurent. 1708, Jean-Francois; Freedom French of Deerfield, god-mother. 1710, Jean Lahaye brought little twin babies to Notre-Dame; one to be buried, one to be baptized. Father Meriel wrote that the first had been baptized by the midwife. To the other, Mary Silver gave the name of Marie-Sylvie. She m. 1740, at Saint-Géneviève, J. F. Benoit. 1711, Marie-Joseph. 1713, Marie-Catherine. 1714, Joseph. 1715, Marie-Magdeleine. 1717, Claude-Jean-Baptiste. With the Report sent to Versailles in September, 1714, concerning the return of English captives, the intendant sent a petition from Jean la Haye, who has lived for twenty-two years at the Côte de la Chine, Montreal. La Haye had been arrested with an Englishman named Jean Joublin for having counterfeited and used card-money of different denominations,¹ as did later Pendleton Fletcher of Saco. Joublin, being a prisoner of war, it was thought might be ignorant of the law in regard to counterfeit money. The Report says that because Monsieur de la Haye has rendered the King and colony great service, criminal proceedings have been suspended until further notice, and out of consideration for the ¹See Appendix. 208envoys [Messrs. Stoddard and Williams] of the Queen of England, who have demanded these two prisoners as being of their nation, the Sieurs de Vaudreuil and Bégon [governor and intendant] have promised to beg His Majesty to order their discharge without trial. The long imprisonment that they have already suffered, and which they must still endure until orders from His Majesty are received, is a severe punishment; it being certain that these counterfeit bills have simply been made and have never been in circulation. They are besides so badly made that no one could be deceived."¹ YORK, JOHN. SAMUEL. John was probably son of John and Ruth (Graves). John, Sr., was killed in the attack as John, Jr., was said to have been, but Mrs. Swarton wrote that when the captives were separated she and "One John York" were the only two at Norridgewock, and that they "were both, almost starv'd for want." Their masters told them if they "could not hold up" they would kill them. "And accordingly John York, growing weak by his wants, they killed him." Samuel. The carpenter of the following memorial may have been brother of John who was killed. His wife was Hannah and they lived in what is now Topsham. Their son Samuel testified in 1726 that their house was made a garrison where several other families were entertained until driven off by Indians. York Ledge and York Landing of Falmouth Foreside recall this family. Samuel, Sr., must have returned, as householder or soldier as shown by the "Memorial of Samuel York, Carpenter addressed to his Excellency the Earle of Bellomont at Albany the 2d of Septr 1700 sheweth: That I was taken prisoner in Casco Bay... in the moneth of May 1690 and carried to Canada where and in ¹ "Que. Docs., III, 6. 209the hunting Indian countries I have lived ever since till the 29th day of this last July that I made my escape to come hither and during the last two years & half I was imployed in cutting masts for the use of the French King's Navy." He gives the governor much information about the Western Indians; says that they and several bush-rangers who are with them are discontented and wish to come and trade with the English.¹ Before he returned to Casco Lord Bellomont sent him and others with a message to the Dowaganhas Indians, but they were stopped by "Indians of the Five Nations, who refused to accompany them and who told them (York and his friends) to return to Albany unless they meant to be knocked in the head by the French or their Indians."² Samuel York died in March, 1718. -snip- ¹N. Y. Docs., IV, 748. ²N. Y. Docs., IV, 768.