Windham Life and Times – August 23, 2019

Nutfield 300

Samuel Penhallow’s Indian Wars | Hostilities of 1722

What follows is a description of the Indian attacks that forced many of the early Scotch-Irish settlers to abandon their homes and seek to be resettled in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Penhallow continues, “But in the year 1720, they began to be more insolent, and appear’d in greater Bodies; upon which Colonel Walton was ordered with about 200 men to guard the frontiers, and was after appointed with Capt. Moody, Harman, Penhallow, and Wainwright to send to their chiefs for satisfaction for the late hostilities which they had done in killing the cattle, etc. The Indians fearing the event promis’d to pay two hundred skins, and for their fidelity to deliver up four of their young men as hostages. After this they became tolerably quiet, but in the spring grew as insolent as before; especially in Kenebeck, where some time in July they came with ninety canoos to Padishals Island, which lies opposite Arowsick, and sent to speak with Capt. Penhallow (the author’s son), who fearing an intreague, refused. Upon which one hundred and fifty of them went over to him, with whom he held a conference; especially with Monsieur Delechase, and Sabastian Ralle who were Jesuits; Monsieur Croizen from Canada, and St Casten from Penobscot came also along with them, who brought a letter for Governor Shute in behalf of several tribes, importing, that if the English did not remove and quit their land in three weeks, they would burn the houses and kill them as also their cattle. Upon this an additional number of soldiers were sent under the command of Colonel Thaxter and Lieut. Col. Goff; and several gentlemen of the council were also appointed to enquire unto the ground of these tumults, and if possible to renew the pacification;  who accordingly went and sent scouts to call on the Indians, but they slighted the message with derision. Hereupon the soldiers were ordered to continue, and reinforce the garrisons that Winter. But in the summer they renewed their insults, and on the thirteenth of June 1722 about sixty of them in twenty canoos, came and took nine families in Merry meeting Bay most of which they afterwards set at liberty, but sent Mr. Hamilton, Love, Handson, Trescot and Edgar to Canada; who with great difficulty and expense afterwards got clear. They made a descent on St. Georges, where they burnt a sloop, took several prisoners and fought the garrison for some time; and in a month after came a greater body from Penobscot who killed five and engaged the fort twelve days; being very much encouraged by the influence of the friar that was with them. But finding they could make no great impression endeavored to undermine it, and had made a considerable progress therein, till upon the falling of much rain, the trenches caved in, which caused the siege to break up, with the loss of twenty of them in the engagement, as we were afterwards informed. About the same time, Capt. Samuel with five others boarded Lieut. Tilton as he lay at anchor a fishing near Damaris Cove: They pinioned him and his brother, and beat them sorely: But at last one got clear and released the other; who them fell with great fury  upon the Indians, threw one overboard, and mortally wounded two more.”

“Capt.  Savage, Capt. Blin and Mr. Newton, who was at this time were coming from Annapolis, and knew nothing of their ravages, went into Passamaquady for water. They were no sooner ashore, but found themselves hem’d in by a body of Indians, the French basely standing by and suffering it. They wanted to divide the cargo of the sloop among them, and at last sent Capt. Savage on board to procure the ransom. Nut the wind rising, he was forc’d off, and made the best of his way to Boston; Those that were left (After some difficult and expense) were released. Capt. Harmon who was now in Kennebeck, went up the river with a detachment of thirty four men, and seeing some fires, went ashore in the night, where he came upon eleven canoos: The Indians were lying around the fire, and so wearied, by much dancing the day before upon the success they had that they stumbled upon them as they lay asleep. Reports are various as to the number of Indians that were then slain; some say eighteen, others not so many: However they brought away fifteen guns; and at a little distance found the hand of an Englishman laid on the stump of a tree, and his body mangled after a barbarous manner; having his tongue, nose and private parts cut off: They brought away the body and gave it a decent burial. It was found to be the body of Moses Eaton of Salisbury.”

“In this brave attempt of Capt. Harmon, which was effected in ten minutes, we lost not one man, yet at the same time a great body of Indians lay near, who being startled at the noise that was made, arose and fired several guns, but did no damage.”

“The country at this time was in a surprising ferment, and generally disposed to war; but the Governor and Council could not readily come into it, considering the vast expense and effusion of blood that would unavoidably follow: Besides some were not satisfied with the lawfulness of it at this time: for altho’ they believed the Indians to be very criminal in many respects, yet were of the opinion that the English had not so punctually observed the promises made to them of trading-houses for the benefit of commerce and traffick, and for the preventing of frauds and extortions too common in the private dealings of the English with them. But the grand abuse to them is the selling of strong drink to them, which has occasioned much quarreling and sin and the loss of many lives, to the great scandal of Religion, and reproach of the country. His excellency was sensible of the promises that he made them at the Treaty of Pacification; which he failed not to lay before the General Assembly; but he met with so much opposition that nothing could be effected. The firing an armourer at the public charge was also engaged, but nothing done therein; so that the Indians were full of resentments, and thought themselves wronged. Yet all this time they made no application to the government for redress, which they ought to have done by the Articles of Agreement, but broke forth into horrid and cruel outrages, by burning, killing and destroying, At last the Governor by repeated addresses from the people, was obliged to call the council together to concert what was proper to be done, who advised, to the proclaiming an open war. But their not consulting before-hand with other governments was certainly a great oversight; who probably would have come into it, and thereby have helped support the charge, which now lay wholly on Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“On July 25, 1722, Governor Samuel Shute declared war on the Indians. Later, the General Assembly not finding the former bounty sufficiently encouraging to volunteers, passed an act offering one 100 pounds for Indian scalps to all who supported themselves and 60 pounds to those who were supported by the public.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.