QUEEN ANNE'S WAR, 1702-1713 -- PART I
Important events occurring in Europe brought on a war between France and England, in 1702, known as Queen Anne's war. The same year, Joseph Dudley was appointed governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The Indians were then tolerably peaceable; but, incited by the French, they soon became insolent. The governor, therefore, convened their chiefs at Casco, June 20, 1703, when they were loud in their protestations of friendship. Nevertheless, within a few weeks, they desolated the whole eastern country, from Casco to Wells.
On the 17th of August, the enemy appeared in New Hampshire. A party of about thirty Indians, under Captain Tom, fell upon a small village, or hamlet, in the south part of Hampton, near the Salisbury line, and killed five persons and "rifled two houses near the garrison; but fearing a pursuit, drew off." One of the persons killed was a little son of William Hinkley; the others were Jonathan Green, Nicholas Bond, Thomas Lancaster, and a widow Mussey. The last two were Quakers, among whom Mrs. Mussey was distinguished as a speaker. The story of this tragedy, as handed down by tradition, is thus related:
"A man by the name of Dow, living near a swamp thickly covered with trees and shrubs, observed to his brother that he feared the Indians were lurking near by, being satisfied that they had been prowling about his house the night previous. He was advised to go into the bushes and watch. He did so, and soon perceived them making their way from the swamp. He then ran through the street, crying: "Indians!" A Mr. Gove, who lived on the Salisbury road, hearing the cry, jumped upon a stump, and counted thirty-two, as they issued from their place of concealment, crawling upon their hands and knees. They first killed Widow Mussey [The narrator of the tradition calls her name Hussey; but the town records and Rev. John Pike's journal give it as in the text.] who was passing by the swamp, dragging her into the bushes, and beating out her brains with a tomahawk. She was greatly lamented by the society of Friends, among whom she had been very prominent. They next killed Thomas Lancaster, who was on his way home from mill. His cries were heard by some men building a garrison near by, who ran to his assistance; but finding the Indians superior in numbers, they fled. A friend who had been with Lancaster, had stopped on his way at the house of Edward Gove, "to drink a syllabub," and thus escaped. They next slew Jonathan Green, beating his head with the butts of their guns, and mangling him in a horrible manner. A woman, having left her child with two young girls, had gone into a field to pull flax. When the Indians came, the girls fled, leaving the child behind, who tried to follow; but while climbing a fence, an Indian seized it, and dashed its head against a plow standing near. They killed and scalped Nicholas Bond in his own house.
"The country was now in terror and confusion. The women and children retired to the garrisons. The men went armed to their work, and posted sentinels in the fields. Troops of horse were quartered at Portsmouth and in the province of Maine." Inroads were made into the settlements in various parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, during the following year, and a considerable number of persons killed.
In 1705, the coast being infested by French privateers, a nightly patrol was established along the seashore from Hampton northward to Rendezvous Point, to prevent a surprisal by sea. "It being deemed necessary to keep a watch day and night at the fort, Gov. Dudley, by a letter dated at Boston, May 29, directed the council to send to Lt. Col. Hilton to impress men for this purpose, out of his regiment. It was also ordered that the firing of three Great Guns, at intervals of one minute, should be an alarum, at which one half of 'Hampton Lower Company' and half Portsmouth should immediately march for affording relief."
September 5, 1705. "Ordered that for the future tenn able persons onely be appointed as Scouts to Range the woods till further order, being Exchanged every tenn dayes, and to be taken out of the several Towns."
"The enemy again appeared in this town and shot Samuel Blake, on the fourth Sabbath in June, 1706." [Dea Samuel Dow's Diary, in possession of the author's family.] The circumstances of this case are not known.
On the first of August, as Benjamin Fifield, Sen., of this town, who lived about half a mile from Dodge's mills, on the south road to Kensington, was coming out of his pasture on horseback, he was slain by seven or eight Indians, who were lying in ambush, and a lad, his kinsman, was carried away. Mr. Fifield was about sixty years of age. Tradition says, the "lad" was supposed to have had an Indian father.
In 1707, occurred a fruitless expedition against Port Royal. The chief command was given to an inexperienced officer, jealousies arose, and the army broke up in disorder. Capt. Samuel Chesley, under whose command were thirty Hampton men, embarked his company and returned to Portsmouth; but the whole army was ordered back by Governor Dudley, and it remained in the East all summer, though nothing of importance was accomplished.
Meanwhile, the frontiers were in continual alarm. Capt. James Davis had command of a company of fifteen Hampton men in active service, from four to ten days each. Lieut. Joseph Swett marched a company of thirty-one soldiers out of Hampton to Saco, for a service of nine days.
Kingston was but lately settled, and had but few inhabitants; and being a frontier town, was much exposed. Some of the people were discouraged, and in the summer of 1707, eight men left the place. This loss increasing the danger of those that remained, complaint was made to government, and the Captains of Exeter and Hampton were ordered to arrest them as deserters, and oblige them to return to the defense of their settlement, or do duty at the fort during the pleasure of the governor.
CAPT. SAMUEL CHESLEY'S COMPANY. -- Jacob Basford, James Basford, Jonathan Batchelder, Timothy Blake, Samuel Clifford, John Edmonds, Benoni Fuller, Thomas Haines, Holdredge Kelley, John Knowles, Benjamin Lamprey, William Lane, Thomas Leavitt, Ens. Samuel Marston, Samuel Marston (Jr.?), Nathaniel Meade, John Morgan, Samuel Moses, Joseph Moulton, Josiah Moulton, Christopher Palmer, Joseph Palmer, Ebenezer Philbrick, Sergt. James Prescott, Robert Rowe, Sr., Robert Rowe, Jr., Enoch Sanborn, John Sanborn, James Souther, Moses Stockbridge.
CAPT. JAMES DAVIS' COMPANY. -- Philemon Blake, John Blake, Thomas Brown, Thomas Dearborn, Jonathan Elkins, Benoni Fogg, John Fowler, Ezekiel Knowles, David Moulton, John Perkins, Jonathan Perkins,John Prescott, Nathaniel Sanborn, Jonathan Taylor, David Tilton.
LIEUT. JOSEPH SWETT'S COMPANY. -- Benjamin Batchelder, Samuel Batchelder, Nicholas Bond (son of the one killed in 1703?), Benjamin Brown, Samuel Brown, Philemon Dalton, Thomas Dearborn Sr., Thomas Dearborn (Jr.?), Josiah Dow, Jonathan Elkins, Benjamin Fifield, Sergt. James Fogg, Nehemiah Heath, John Hobbs, Morris Hobbs, Jr., Benjamin Lamprey, Sergt. Thomas Leavitt, Nathan Longfellow, John Morgan, Daniel Moulton, John Nay, Samuel Nudd, Benjamin Perkins,s Nathaniel Prescott, John Sanborn, Joseph Sleeper, Jonathan Taylor, Benjamin Towle, Caleb Towle, Corpl. Thomas Ward, Edward Williams.
The year 1708 was one of constant fear of French and Indians. Scouting parties ranged the woods; spy-boats guarded the coast; four hundred Massachusetts soldiers were posted in the province; and the garrison at Fort William and Mary was strengthened by large reinforcements from Portsmouth and Hampton.