Texts Related to the Works of Sarah Orne Jewett
Selections from Rev. William Hubbard (1621-1704),
A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England. (1677)
The Pennacook Sachem, Passaconaway, appears in Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901), as well as in her essay, "The Old Town of Berwick" (1894), which draws upon Hubbard for some of its material about the early history of South Berwick, Jewett's home town.
. . . . . Passaconaway the great Sachim of that Part of the Countrey, intending at that Time to make his last Farewell Speech to his Children and People, that were then all gathered together, he addressed himself to them in this manner:
I am now going the Way of all Flesh, or ready to die, and not likely to see you ever met together any more: I will now leave this Word of Counsel with you, that you take heed how you quarrell with the English for though you may do them much mischief, yet assuredly you will all be destroyed, and rooted off the Earth if you do: for, said he, I was as much an Enemy to the English at their first coming into these Parts, as any one whatsoever, and did try all Ways and Means possible to have destroyed them, at least to have prevented them sitting down here, but I could in no way effect it; (it is to be noted that this Passaconaway was the most noted Pawaw and Sorcerer of all the Country) therefore I advise you never to contend with the English, nor make War with them. And accordingly his eldest Son, Wonalancet by Name, as soon as he perceived that the Indians were up in Arms, he withdrew himself into some remote Place, that he might not be hurt by the English, or the Enemies, or be in danger by them.
This Passage was thought fit to be inserted here, it having so near an Agreement with the former, intimating some secret Awe of God upon the Hearts of some of the Principal amongst them, that they durst not hurt the English, though they bear no good Affection to their Religion; wherein they seem not a Little to imitate Balaam, who whatever he uttered when he was under the awful Power of Divine Illumination, yet when left to himself, was as bad an Enemy to the Israel of God, as ever before.
Indian Raid on the Salmon Falls Area during King Philip's War
Upon the sixteenth of October, being Saturday, about an hundred of the Indians were gathered together, to assault Newechewannick; they began with one named Tozer, (1) half a Mile from the Upper Garison, at Salmon Falls. The said Tozer was presently killed, his Son taken Captive (but returned after some Months Restraint) several Guns being shot at this Assault, alarmed Lieut. Plaisted at the next Garrison, who like a Man of publick Spirit immediately sent out seven Men from the Garison under his Command, to see what the Matter was; but being met by an Ambush laid in the Way as they went, lost two or three of their Company, the Rest hardly escaping back to the Place whence they came, where-upon the said Lieut. Plaisted immediately dispatched away a Messenger to Major Waldern at Quecheco, which because it seems to be the last Time that ever that good and useful Man set Pen to Paper, shall here be inserted.
Mr. Richard Waldern and Lieut. Coffin, These are to inform you, that just now the Indians are engaging us with at least one hundred Men, and have slain four of our Men already, Richard Tozer, James Barney, (2) Isaack Bottes, (3) and Tozer's Son, and burnt Benoni Hodsdens House; (4) Sir, if ever you have any Love for us, and the Country, now shew yourself with Men to help us, or else we are all in great Danger to be slain, unless our God wonderfully appear for our Deliverance. They that cannot fight, let them pray; Nought else, but I rest, Yours to serve you, Signed by Roger Plaisted, George Broughton. (5)
Salmon Falls, October 16, 1675.
What Answer was returned to this importunate and pathetical Letter, is not fully known at present; most probably he that was most concerned in the Contents of it, was either absent from Home, or in no Capacity to send the Relief desired; which if it could have been had, might have prevented the said Mischief that fell out the next Day; when Lieut. Plaisted being more earnestly bent to perform that last Office of Love to his deceased Friends, whom he could not by all his Endeavours save from the Danger of Death, while they were in the Land of the Living, would needs venture himself with twenty Soldiers out of his Garrison, to fetch off the dead Bodies.To that End he ordered a Pair of Oxen to be yoken to bring them to his Garrison, in order to their Christian buryal, not considering that the Indians lay sculking thereabouts, waiting for such Opportunities. They went first to the furthest Place, where they found Ro. Tozers Body, and put it into their Cart; but coming back to take up the other two Bodies, which were fallen in a little Swamp nearer to the Garison, they were set upon by an hundred and fifty of the Enemy, that had hid themselves in the Bushes, and under a Stone-wall, and Loggs in the Way, as they were to pass; by the sudden Noise of the Guns, the Cattel being frighted, ran away to the Garison with such of the Dead as were first laid up thereon, (and possibly with one of them wounded at that Instant) leaving their Owners to fight it out with their Enemies. Lieut. Plaisted being thus desperately assaulted, he with his twenty Men, was forced to retreat to a Place of better Advantage; but being there so hotly pursued, they were not able to abide it long; although they killed and mortally wounded several of the Indians, as themselves have since confessed; but they most of them being so much overmatched, took the Opportunity of a fair Retreat, and so got safe to their Garison, while Lieut. Plaisted out of the height of his Courage, disdaining either to fly from or yield himself (for 'tis said the Indians were loth to kill him, but desirous rather to take him Prisoner) into the Hands of such cursed Caitiffs, did fight it out desperately, till he was slain upon the Place, his eldest Son and another Man were slain in their too late Retreat; and his other Son was sorely wounded, so that he dyed within a few Weeks after. (6) The Indians were contented with this Mischief for the present (and indeed if all the English they had to deal with, had shewed the like Resolution with this Plaisted, they would not have done half the Mischief that since hath been done by them) and slunk away into the Woods before the next Day, when Captain Frost (7) came up from Sturgeon Creek, (a few Miles below the River) with a Party of his Friends, and buryed the Dead: During these Onsets, the Enemy also took their Advantage to burn three Houses, and two Barns before they left the Place.
1. According to Sullivan his name was John; but according to the Letter immediately following in the Text it was Richard.2. Mr. Farmer does not seem to have noticed this Person, though he found a Jacob Barney, at Salem, and Mr. Savage could not add much, at least he did not, to Farmer. 3. As no other mention of these two Persons, Barney and Tozer, is found, it is probable they were single Men, and perhaps had not been long in the Country. 4. This Name is usually since spelt Hodgdon. There are many of the Name at the present Day in New Hampshire and adjacent States. 5. As early as 1654, "Mr. Broughton's Man" is found in a List of Troopers who had been in Service 16 Days, under Major Simon Willard. This refers to Mr. Thomas Broughton probably. But the Petitioner below, is no doubt the Widow of George Broughton the Signer of the above Letter: "Petition of Paren Broughton, Widow of George Broughton, deceased," setting forth that she "hath been drouen [driven] out of House and Home by the Indians, with the Lost of her Estate, and meeting with another great Lost, the Death of her Husband, and after that the Lost of her Son, which was the only Support she had," and that she is "brought very low," and her "Condition is very meane." She therefore desires to be allowed "to retall Wine, Ale and Sider." The Date of the Petition is July 6th, 1696. Whether the General Court took any Action in the Matter is not known. See Mass. (MS.) Archives. 6. There is a Tombstone near the Road in Berwick, on the Land which was Plaisted's, near where this Battle was fought, upon which there is the following Inscription:
"HERE LIES INTERRED, THE BODY OF
SAMUEL PLAISTED, ESQ.,
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE, MARCH
20TH, 1731, Æ. 36.
NEAR THIS PLACE LIES BURIED THE
BODY OF ROGER PLAISTED, WHO
WAS KILLED BY THE INDIANS, OCT.
16TH, 1675, Æ 48 YEARS;
ALSO THE BODY OF HIS SON, MR.
ROGER PLAISTED, WHO WAS
KILLED AT THE SAME TIME."
7. Charles, afterwards Major Frost. He lived at Sturgeon Creek in Kittery; was often in active Service against the Indians, and had excited their Envy and Hatred, and hence they longed for an Opportunity to destroy him. This they at length succeeded in doing, by ambushing him and shooting him from his Horse as he was going to Meeting, July 4th, 1697.
Edited by Terry & Linda Heller, Coe College