Windham Life and Times – August 23, 2019

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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.”



Windham Life and Times – August 16, 2019

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Indian Signatures

Samuel Penhallow’s Indian Wars |Events up to 1717

Well if you have been paying attention, you will have begun to understand that this was a clash of totally incompatible civilizations, that was dominated by the beliefs and folkways of each, in which both totally misunderstood the other and their actions. And of course as often happens, there was a third party, France, working against an accord because it was not in their interest. This is very similar to today with the western viewpoint of this country as it seeks to interact with the Occidental and Asian cultures with ideas and beliefs that are totally divergent from each other. Queen Anne’s War ended in 1704 with a peace treaty duly signed by the Indian Sachems pledging loyalty to the sovereign of England and apologizing for their actions. What follows highlights the prejudices and views of the times from those that lived in the middle of the conflict and saw friends and family members killed and tortured in the most awful manner.
Penhallow states that, “The keeping of a Register of Memorable Occurrences, as it has been the practice of former Ages, so it ought to be continues for the advantage of posterity: And in as much that the Divine Providence has placed me near the Seat of Action, where I have had greater Opportunities than many others of remarking the Cruelty and Perfidy of the Indian Enemy, I thought it my Duty to keep a Record thereof…I might with Orosius very justly entitle this History De miseria hominum, being no other than a Narrative of Tragical Incursions perpetrated by Bloody Pagans, who are Monsters of such Cruelty, that the words of Virgil may not unaptly be apply’d to them…Who are as implacable in their Revenge, as they are terrible in the Execution of it; and will convey it down to the third and fourth Generation. No Courtesy will ever oblige them to gratitude; for their greatest Benefactors have frequently fallen as victims to their fury.”

“…God has made them a terrible Scourge for the punishment of our Sins. And probably that very Sin in neglecting the welfare of their Souls. For we have not expressed the like laudable Care for them, as hath been done in the Southern and Western parts of the country.” (Probably because New England was dominated by the Puritans whose precept of controlling others still plagues American culture to this day.) “But indeed we have rather aimed to advance private Trade, then to instruct them in the Principles of True Religion. This brings to my remembrance a remarkable saying of one of their Chief sachems, whom (a little before the war broke out) I asked, Wherefore it was they were so much bigoted to the French? Considering their Traffick with them was not so advantageous as with the English. He gravely reply’d, That the Friars taught them to Pray, but the English never did.”

Throughout the early eighteenth century Indian attacks continued on New England settlements, even after the peace of Queen Anne’s War. Here we jump ahead to the period just prior to the arrival of the Scotch-Irish in large numbers in New England. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed in July of 1713, in which the Indian Sachems, swore loyalty to the English sovereign and pledged to keep the peace. Penhallow says, The Peace thus concluded and so firmly ratified, gave matter of Encouragement to the Eastern Inhabitants for re-settling their former Habitations; who were also countenanced and assisted by the Government, even from Cape-Porpas to the Kenebeck River, where several gentlemen who had large tracts of of Land, granted a hundred acres to every one for Encouragement that would go and Settle; supporting a Minister besides (For some time) and employ’d a Sloop at their own Charge for carrying and re-carrying the Inhabitants, with their Stock; which gave so great Encouragement, that several Towns began to be settled, such as Brunswick, Topsham, Augusta, George Town, etc. In which a great many fine Buildings were erected, with several saw-mills.”

“The French Millionaires perceiving the Growth of the Plantations, soon animated the Indians to disrespect them, by insinuating that the Land was theirs and that the English invaded their Properties; which was a vile and wrong Suggestion, for their Conveyance were from the Ancient Sagamores, at least seventy Years before; and the Proprietors did not settle so high up by several Miles as was formerly possessed by their Predecessors…However the Indians could not be satisfied, but so threatened the Inhabitants, that many withdrew, and others were discouraged from going to Settle. Soon after they killed many of their cattle and committed many outrages.” What followed was the congress between the English and Indians at Arowsick in 1717 which was discussed earlier. “After this they drank to the King’s Health and promised allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain; so everything had now the promising Aspect of a lasting peace…” This was the condition of Eastward settlements at the arrival of the Scotch-Irish.

Penhallow follows with this interesting observation, “One thing I cannot here omit; three days after our departure, a number of Indians went a duck hunting, which was a season of the year that the old ones generally shed their Feathers in, and the young are not so well flusht as to be able to fly; they drove them like a flock of Sheep before them into the Creeks, where without either Powder or Shot kill’d at one time four thousand and six hundred; for they followed them so close that they knocked them down with Billets and Paddles, and sold a great number of them to the English for a penny a dozen, which is their practice yearly, tho’ they seldom make so great a Slaughter at once. (So much for the “living in harmony with nature myth.”) But before two years were expired, they again began to insult the Inhabitants, being spur’d on by the Jesuits, which occasioned a scout and fifty or sixty Men to be sent out, who kept them in awe…”

Windham Life and Times – August 9, 2019

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Samuel Penhallow’s Indian Wars– Introduction

Almost as soon as the conference between the English and the Indians ended at Arrowsick, attacks against settlers began. Penhallow’s Indian Wars was first printed in 1726. The author was a high placed British government official, who knew first hand accounts of events. In the introduction to the 1924 edition, Edward Wheelock says, “To the New England colonists the depredations of his Indian neighbors were of literally vital interest. The pioneer in the new settlements de-forested his land, tilled his fields, gathered his harvest and, on the Lord’s Day, walked to his meeting-house, at all times armed with his flint-lock for self defense against the native he had armed at a sinister profit with musket, powder and lead. When at last, Anglo-Saxon determination had conquered and the Indians were eliminated from the problem of pioneer existence, the growing generation of New England boys and girls read into the fragments the ‘Narratives,’ ‘Captivities’ and ‘Histories’ of those of their forebears who providently had escaped the enemy, or who had been redeemed after ‘captivation’ had lived to print the tale.” (More on this later with the stories of Jamie Cochran and John Dinsmoor, Indian captives.)

“Never before the colonization of America had the English come into continued and intimate contact with the savages and in the contest for supremacy that followed, they were but poorly prepared with their incomprehension of primitive society and their ill-conceived policies of fanatical proselytism. On the other hand the Indian of the Atlantic coast had experienced little in his acquaintance with the early explorers, English and others, that had prejudiced him favorably toward white men. These had kidnapped him to exhibit him as a curiosity in Europe or to sell him into slavery; they had shot him in little else than wantonness for petty thievery. When colonization began and the Indian himself had furnished the valuable food plant (corn) without which permanent settlements at that time would probably have failed, he saw his own planting places overrun by cattle, his game driven away, his fisheries ruined by mills and mill-dams, his people destroyed by firearms, diseases, vices, fire-water, indeed by the very religion of the whites. He was human. Naturally enough, before he was overwhelmed, he devastated outlying settlements and decimated the colonists; during the half century preceding the publication of this History, more than eight thousand New England settlers lost their lives and few families there were who mourned no relative or friend. In such a community the interest of Indian affairs was predominant…A specific instance of this interest is seen in the practice of making Indian affairs the chief topic in the published sermon— the newspaper of the day… Aside from all this, Penhallow’s Indian Wars seems to have been predestined to become a scarce book, Its author a public man and perhaps the best known officer of New Hampshire…Samuel Penhallow was born in St. Mahon, Cornwall, England, July 2, 1665. In his youth he was a student in the school of the silenced dissenting minister, Charles Morton at Newington-Green,  and with Morton, in 1686, he came to New England.” He was admitted to Harvard that same year.

“He next moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he began a prosperous career in business and political life. Here he married a wealthy heiress, Mary, the daughter of President Cutt, part of whose patrimony was valuable land in Portsmouth. He accumulated what in those times was described as a great estate, but many details of his life have been lost owing in part to the destruction of his diary in the great fire of 1802. He was elected Speaker of the House, August 7, 1699, and held office for three years. From 1702 to the time of his death, he was an influential member of the Royal Council, holding concurrently the offices of Treasurer of the Province and or Recorder of Deeds. As Councilor he won popular applause through his controversy with Lieut. Governor George Vaughan. At that time he was suspended by Vaughan, who was soon himself removed from office by Samuel Shute, the Colonial Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Penhallow resumed his place by virtue of his office, took part in the ratification of the treaties with the Indians, of which he has given us a description in this history. He was appointed to the Superior Court of Judicature in 1714; of this Court he was Chief-Justice when he died December 2, 1726.”

“He is said to have lived in a style superior to that of his fellow townsman in his brick house at the head of the pier, entertaining every stranger of distinction. His biographer thus describes him as ‘given to hospitality,’ wherefore, the following Order, found in the Provincial Papers of New Hampshire may be of interest bearing as it does upon the amenities of official life two centuries ago. This direct us that:“Mr. Treasurer Penhallow take care to provide for the Gentleman Commissioners…who are going to Casco fort to the Eastward (Maine) to publish the Articles of Ratification of peace with the Indians, with all such provisions, wines, Liquors and other necessaries as may be proper…” [July 14, 1713.] “Of thirteen children, one son, Captain John Penhallow was an early proprietor of Phipsburg (Georgetown,) Maine, Governor of Arrowsick and a prominent officer of the militia under Col. Thomas Westbrook…Our author’s prominence in official business life must have stimulated his attention to the Indian affairs of his time and the resulting familiarity with his subject is perhaps his strongest claim to authority as a writer of this book.”


Windham Life and Times – August 2, 2019

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“Bulwark Against The Indians”

The French and Indians in Maine | Father Rale

The New England Indian Wars in three volumes by Herbert Milton Sylvester, details conditions in Maine just prior to the arrival of the Scotch-Irish.  Keep in mind the British-centric views of the author “It is time now to come nearer what was to be the scene of the warlike activities two years later at Merrymeeting Bay, where nine families of English settlers were butchered without warning; as Bourne says, a larger number of people than even Kennebunk could boast of at that time. The old territory of Acadia, to the French, was comprised of the country east of the Penobscot, including New Brunswick and the coast of Nova Scotia. Acadia to the English extended as far north as the St. Lawrence; but this was not to be settled without a quarrel. Besides this, the French claimed the Kennebec River to be the boundary of their possessions in Maine. It was a natural highway — as Arnold demonstrated — to Quebec. Not far above the Ticonic Falls on the Kennebec was the Norridgewock settlement, which comprised one of the three great Abenake families in Maine; the Tarratines, on the Penobscot, and the Sokoki, on the Saco, being the other two. The Abenake on the Kennebec were closely allied to the French interest…And further, by Captain Bennett: ‘The bearer can further tell your Grace of the disposition of the French inhabitants of this province, and of the conduct of their missionary priests, who instills hatred into both Indians and French against the English.’ ” It was here that Sebastian Rale established a mission, but the exact date of his coming is not given. He was here sometime, however, before 1697, possibly as early as 1693. His contemporaries were Bigot, on the Kennebec, and Thury at St. Famille (Pentagoet), on the Penobscot. A writer on the Abenaki gives a lucid account of this  “Above the village, at the head of the rapids of the Kennebec, was a chapel dedicated to the most holy virgin, in which her image in relief demanded the prayers of the savages as they passed upward to the chase; and below, where the waters rested on their quiet level, another chapel stood, dedicated to the guardian angel of the tribe. The women contended with a holy emulation in the embellishment of their sanctuary by all the finery they possessed, and the chapels and the church were illumined by brilliant lights from the wax of the bayberries gathered upon the islands of the sea. Forty youths in cassocks and surplices officiated in performing the solemn functions around the altar. Such was the machinery of the holy office among the rude people of Nanrantsouak; and multitudinous processions, symbolical images, paintings, and mysterious rites were combined to catch the fancy and arrest the eye of the savage neophytes. Every day was introduced by the performance of mass, and the evening was ushered in by prayer in their native tongue, in which their zeal was excited by the chanting and recitation in which they took part, while the frequent exhortations of the father allowed no distraction of their attention, no suspicion of their piety, and no backslidings in their faith. Dictator of the consciences of his flock, where no envious rival, no jealous competitor, no labors and the place where his life-work was carried on. He was of French extraction, born (1657) in French Compte. He engaged in the American missions (1689) when he was thirty-two years old. He was with the Canadian Abenake two years. Two more years were devoted to the Illinois Indians, after which he came to Norridgewock, where he was to spend the remainder of his days, which were fated to be terminated by an English bullet.”

“Undoubtedly, of all the eastern tribes, the Noridgewocks were the most thoroughly embittered against the English. They had been among the most aggressive in the preceding years of war along the frontier, and possibly they had suffered most at the hands of their white adversaries. There were paramount reasons, nevertheless, why they should remain at peace with their English neighbors, however irritating such association might be. The English had inspired them with a wholesome respect for their fighting-qualities;…”

“The settlers, however, had little or no use for the savage. They knew the latter best for his treachery and unsparing cruelty. By the Peace of Portsmouth the savage was barred from intercourse with the English except at the truck-house. There were those of the settlers, too, whose attitude was not only intentionally insulting, but openly aggressive. Added to these evidences of unfriendliness were the constant encroachments of the English upon Indian territory; they planted a fort or a blockhouse wherever a settlement had taken root. These were regarded by the Indians as a menace to their liberty. There was reason for their apprehension, which, judiciously encouraged by Rale, was giving birth to an ominous resentment. ”In 1716 Samuel Shute succeeded Dudley as governor. In 1717 he came down to Arrowsic to attend a council which had been called at Georgetown. Here he met the delegates from the various Abenake tribes…Hither they came in a flotilla of canoes. The English were at Georgetown, while the savages had set up their wigwams on an adjacent island. The council convened August 9, 1717. The deliberations ran into the following afternoon. Wiwurna, the orator of the Norridgewocks, was the spokesman for his race… Shute was no less indifferent to the savage etiquette observed upon such occasions, and was inclined to be overbearing if not dictatorial. The savages, objecting to the English building so many forts, were answered by the governor that he should build forts wherever they occurred to him as necessary. At this impolitic declaration the savages abruptly left the conference to go to their wigwams across the stream, where Rale was awaiting the outcome of the convention.”

“Rale was the ruling spirit of the Norridgewocks on this occasion, as he had been on others, having attended them down river. Upon the savages reporting to him Shute’s decision, he wrote the latter a letter of inquiry as to the origin of the English title to the lands the latter assumed to occupy, which communication Shute refused to entertain. Shute had not mended matters; yet so anxious were the savages to keep on friendly terms with the English, that as the governor was embarking on his return voyage to Boston the next morning they made apology for their apparent rudeness of the preceding afternoon and requested the return of a flag left behind, which had been given to them by the English. Shute acceded to their request, and a new spokesman intervened, who gave the governor a belt of wampum, with a request that the English use the lands as they pleased. With some promises on the part of Shute as to the establishment of trading-houses, and a gunsmith for their convenience, the pledge of Portsmouth was solemnly renewed. Rale declared this last compact void, and some caustic correspondence ensued between the priest and the Massachusetts governor, all of which hastened matters to a crisis…”


Windham Life and Times – July 26, 2019

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“Bulwark Against the Indians” | Fort George

The Proprietors of the Township of Brunswick, also known as the Pejepscot Proprietors or the Pejepscot Purchase Company, began acquiring the land holdings of earlier owners and settlers in the areas of Brunswick, Topsham, Harpswell, and Lewiston in 1714. The company was formed at a time when the Massachusetts General Court was encouraging settlement and the laying out of townships in the “eastern country,” which included the Province of Maine. 

    “After Queen Anne’s War, Fort George was built in 1715 by Captain John Gyles in Brunswick The fort was 3 feet underground with a 3-foot-thick wall base, standing at least 10 feet high above ground, laid with lime mortar. The barracks housed fifteen men. A large two-story dwelling house, appearing above the walls, made living possible. The range of its cannon protected the dwellings within their reach. During Father Rale’s War, the inhabitants of Brunswick were hospitably gathered within the refuge. Many times this hospitality was strained to its most generous capacity as the onslaughts of Indian attacks were incessant. The most significant attack was when the fort was under siege during the early days of Father Rale’s War (1722) Indian Wars of New England Volume 3

Fort Andross. —The first fort ever erected upon the banks of the Androscoggin, by Englishmen, was undoubtedly that built by Governor Andross, which has since been called by his name. After King Philip’s war, Andross, desirous of promoting the eastern settlements, came ‘to Pejepscot in midwinter, with an army of 1,000 men…he erected a stone fort. It was large and in form very zigzag. In 1689 it was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel McGregory and Major Thomas Savage. It was demolished about 1694.”

“Fort George: From about 1694 to 1715 the fort previously mentioned lay dismantled and entirely unfit for purposes of protection to the settlers. Accordingly, on July 28, 1715, the following proposal was presented to the House of Representatives by the subscribers :”

“We the subscribers Proprietors of the Lands in Brunswick and Topsham, etc. being desirous to make such a settlement as may be able to sustain a war with the Indians, Do acknowledge the Favour of the General Court in their readiness to encourage and protect the intended settlements and particularly in the Repair of the Fort there; Yet perceiving the House inclinable to a Wooden Fort on account of the cheapness of it: We being sensible that as this Fort is set so, as to be a Bridle to the Indians; So if a War should arise, it may be expected, they will leave no means untried to become Masters of it; towards which the Remoteness from Succour will give them great advantage; and considering how much the Lives and Estates there will depend upon the strength and security of that Fort: We have been induced to make the following Proposal. That whereas the Wooden Fort at Winter Harbour cost, as we are informed Four hundred Pounds, when Provisions and Labour were much cheaper, than at this time; we can’t suppose such an one now would cost much less than five hundred Pounds; and a Stone Fort supposed to be much more chargeable: yet rather than the said Fort should be of Wood, and so liable to be consumed by Fire, in case it should be assaulted by French as well as Indians. We offer. That if the General Court will please to allow Five Hundred Pounds, and let us now have the Fifteen men, which are designed for that Garrison, we will enter into Engagements to repair and finish the aforesaid Stone Fort: To be Fifty Foot Square, as proposed, with Four Bastions, Two of which of wood on the Top of the Angle, at our own charge, although it should amount to more than that sum. And we shall set admit it in a weeks time, if possible, and hope to finish it before winter, if not obstructed by the Indians. We desire to have Three hundred Pounds of the said sum, as occasion shall require, to provide Materials etc. and the remainder when the work is finished. Signed Thomas Hutchinson, Adam Winthrop, Oliver Noyes In behalf of themselves & partners.

“Memorandum: It is agreed that the foundation of the said Fort shall be Three Foot under Ground. That the Wall shall be Three Foot thick at Bottom, and at least Ten Foot High above the Ground, and laid in Lime Mortar, with Barracks for Fifteen men, to be built on or near the Spot where the Fort now stands.” The General Court accepted this proposal of the proprietors, and ordered the sums of money asked for to be paid out of the treasury. At a meeting of the Pejepscot proprietors, held August 2, 1715, it was voted: ‘That Capt. John Wentworth be writ to dispatch a Sloop from Piscatesqua forthwith, with Four Thousand of Pine Plank and to fill up with good Boards to be landed at Pejepscot Falls. That Capt. Noyes be desired to dispatch a Sloop from Newbury with Seventy or Eighty’ hogsheads of good Stone Lime, the price here 21s p. hid. 100 gallons. That a Sloop be sent from hence with Bricks, Shingles, Clapboards, Nails, Provisions, a horse Team, Six Wheelbarrows, Arms, Crows, Pickaxes, Mauls, Shovels, Blankets, Kettles, Pails, Dishes, Horse Cart, Ox Cart, and a pair of Trucks.’ The erection of this fort was commenced by Captain John Giles in the month of August, 1715, on the ledge of rocks at the northern end of Maine Street, about where two of the factory boarding-houses now stand. It was completed in the December following. The walls of this fort were very thick and the stones were laid in mortar. It was finished with two bastions and two half-bastions, with flanks on the top sufficient for cannon. There was a large two-story dwelling-house erected in the fort, the roof appearing above the wall. The flag-staff was in the southwest corner of the southwest bastion . This fort effectually resisted the aggressions of the Indians, and protected all the dwellings within reach of its cannon. In times of alarm, however, the inhabitants usually congregated inside its walls.”

The Pejepscot Papers in the History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell. 

To give an idea of the size and importance of this fort to the infant settlement, an illustration of it has been given, drawn originally from memory by Daniel Stone. That illustration is shown at top left.


Windham Life and Times – July 19, 2019

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A Bulwark Against the Indians | Introductions

The Scotch-Irish made the decision to come to America for economic, social and religious reasons. The dominant English elites in New England and the British Crown had their reasons for wanting the Scotch-Irish to come and it certainly wasn’t to have them settle next to them as friends and neighbors. The main objective, stated by Governor Shute of Massachusetts and others, was to place the Scotch-Irish in frontier locations as a “bulwark against the Indians.” In our region of southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts, by and large, the Indians had been pacified and were no longer a threat to the European settlers. Such was not the case in the frontiers of Maine, which were in close proximity to Indian settlements and their connection to French and Catholic allies in Canada. The French and the Catholic priests led and encouraged Indian attacks on the British settlers and whenever war ensued between Britain and France, the attacks intensified. The Indian attacks on colonist in Maine were fierce and lasted almost until the time of the Revolutionary War.

The second reason the English elites encouraged Scotch-Irish immigration was because they wanted a source of cheap, skilled, labor. They were disappointed in this, when they discovered that many of the Scotch-Irish were well off. Earlier still, on July 28, 1718, Lechmere wrote to Winthrop: “They are none to be sold, have all paid their passages sterling in Ireland; they come upon some encouragement to settle upon some unimproved Lands, upon what other Towns I know not. ” On August 11 of the same year, he again wrote that “they are come over hither for no other reason but upon Encouragement sent from hence upon notice given them that they should have so many acres of Land given them gratis to settle our frontiers as a barrier against ye Indians.” Town Proprietors of the New England Colonies Roy Hidemichi Akagi, PH.D.

Indians or no Indians, the third reason the Scotch-Irish were encouraged to come to New England was because the New England region was one big land speculation. The wealthy Boston, Salem and English merchants had all invested in various development projects that needed settlers in order to  make the investors money. As seen above, the speculators in Maine lands had to offer much better terms then the speculators in Massachusetts or Connecticut lands because of the “slight issue” of possible Indian attack which must have been downplayed by the promoters.

One of the places in Maine that the Scotch-Irish immigrants settled upon in 1718 was on land of Pejepscot Proprietors who owned thousand of acres in Maine. “The course of the Pejepscot Proprietors, thus was inaugurated was not an uneventful one. They had however contributed much to the settlement of the eastern country (Maine) by building forts, by offering lands and inducements to settlers, and by bringing the Scotch-Irish immigrants…” In 1683 Richard Wharton purchased all these titles in rapid succession: Shapleigh sold his share first on July 4th; the Way share with Purchase in the original patent was disposed of on October 10th for £100; while the administratrix of Thomas Purchase sold the latter ‘s right to an Indian purchase fifteen days later. These purchases were confirmed by the English Government and the territory comprised the whole of what is now the township of Harpswell, the greater portion of Brunswick, and a tract on the river in what is now Topsham. To this tract Wharton added, in 1684, another large tract through purchases from six Indian chiefs. Before he could do anything with the territory he had thus acquired, Wharton died in England without issue in 1693 and Ephraim Savage of Boston became the administrator. Four years later the superior court at Boston authorized the latter to sell the same. All this time there was nothing but confusion from the several ambiguous purchases and grants. Nothing was done and the title slept in silence. These dormant titles were revived in 1714 just at the time when the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht opened. The Pejepscot Proprietors were the first of the Great Proprietors to become interested in the foreign immigrants as a possibility in the settlement of their land. Just about that time, in 1717, a dramatic figure appeared in Boston in the person of Capt. Robert Temple, later one of the largest shareholders of the Kennebec Purchase Company. He had been an officer in the English army and came to America with a view of establishing himself as a large landed proprietor, a purpose which naturally aroused the interest of those who had lands for sale. He was thus shown lands in Connecticut, especially the Winthrop holdings in New London, and the lands of the Pejepscot Proprietors in Maine. The Pejepscot Proprietors were already offering large privileges and inducements to settlers and finally won Temple to work in their interest in the competition against John Winthrop, represented by Thomas Lechmere, his brother-in-law and the Surveyor General of Customs at Boston.” TPNEC Akagi

    “The way Temple actually worked may be shown by an example of the vessel “McCallum” which arrived at Boston on Sept. 1, 1718, with some twenty Scotch-Irish families. Temple was again urged by Lechmere to send the immigrants to Connecticut but more attractive inducements were being offered by the Pejepscot Proprietors. In disappointment Lechmere wrote to Winthrop on September 1, 1718, and among other things said: ‘The method they go in with the Irish is to sell them so many acres of land for 12 pence an acre and allow them time to pay it in. I know land is more valuable with you, and therefore twill be more difficult to agree with them.’ Temple…made arrangements by which the MacCallum both arrived and cleared at Boston in the week September 1-8, 1718. Temple became an active colonizer of the Kennebec country. Within two years he had chartered five ships to bring families from Ulster, and by 1720 several hundred families were settled on the Kennebec or the Androscoggin which unites with the Kennebec near its mouth. The MacCallum’s passengers settled at Merrymeeting Bay in the region now know as Bath, but then called Cork, or Ireland. Many of the settlers brought in by Temple settled in Topsham, so named from the Devonshire port from which Temple left England on his first voyage. The Kennebec settlements were made in such force and had such influential support that their prosperity seemed assured; but Indian wars broke out with disastrous results.  A number of settlements were abandoned, with some of the people going to Londonderry, N.H., but the greater number removed to Pennsylvania.” This was the period when the first wave of the Scotch-Irish Immigration reached Boston and in 1718 alone some 6,800 Scotch-Irish landed in New England. Ford, Scotch-Irish in America