« PreviousContinue »
with an Indian killed and a Frenchman wounded. Portneuf now began to doubt of his ability to take Casco, fearing the issue; for his commission only ordered him to lay waste the English settlements, and not to attempt fortified places; but, in this dilemma, Hertel and Hopehood (a celebrated chief of the tribe of the Kennebec), arrived. now determined to press the siege. In the deserted forts they found all the necessary tools for carrying on the work, and they began a mine within fifty feet of the fort, under a steep bank, which entirely protected them from its guns. The English became discouraged, and, on the 28th of May, surrendered themselves as prisoners of war. There were seventy men and probably a greater number of women and children; all of whom, except Captain Davis, who commanded the garrison, and three or four others, were given up to the Indians, who murdered most of them in their most cruel manner; and, if the accounts be true, Hopehood excelled all other savages in acts of cruelty.”
These barbarous transactions produced both terror and indignation in New York and New Eng. land, and an attempt at a formidable demonstration against the enemy was made. The general court of Massachusetts sent letters of request to the several executives of the provinces, pursuant to which, they convened at New York, May 1st, 1661. As
the result of the deliberations, two important measures were adopted. Connecticut sent General Winthrop with troops to march through Albany, there to receive supplies and to be joined by a body of men from New York.
The expedition was to proceed up Lake Champlain to destroy Montreal. There was a failure, however, of the supplies, and this project was defeated. Massachusetts sent forth a fleet of thirty-four sail, under William Phipps. He proceeded to Port Royal, took it, reduced Acadia, and thence sailed up the St. Lawrence, with the design of capturing Quebec. The troops landed with some difficulty, and the place was boldly summoned to surrender. A proud defiance was returned by Frontenac, as his position at that time happened to be strengthened by a re-enforcement from Montreal. Phipps, learning this, and finding, also, that the party of Winthrop, which he expected at Montreal, failed, gave up the attempt, and returned to Boston, with the loss of several vessels and a considerable number of troops, for a part of his fleet was wrecked by a storm.
It was in the midst of such trying scenes and devastation on the part of the French and savages, that superstition and fanaticism broke loose in Salem and produced a reign of terror far greater than that caused by the savages on the frontier. It was from such scenes to such scenes that Charles
Stevens, his mother and friends fled. Mr. Dustin lived near Haverhill, in Massachusetts, and when they appealed to him for shelter and protection he said:
“To such as I have you are welcome; but, I assure you,
poor. The savage scalping-knife may be more dangerous than the fanatic's noose in Salem.”
They had been at Haverhill but a few weeks, when, as Charles and Mr. Henry Waters were one day returning from a hunt, they discovered a man trailing them.
“It's a white man,” Charles remarked.
“So I perceive, and why should he trail us?” Henry Waters asked.
“I know not; but let us ascertain.”
They halted at the creek near Haverhill, and were sitting on the banks of the stream, when a voice from the rocks above demanded their surrender.
Looking up, they found themselves covered with three rifles. Three white men, one of whom they recognized as Mr. Joel Martin, the Virginian, stepped out from behind the rocks and advanced toward them, assuring them that any effort to escape, or resist would result in instant death.
“I have you at last, murderer!” cried Martin, seizing Henry Waters.
“No, you mistake” began Charles; but Henry Waters signed him to keep quiet. The Waters brothers, as the reader is aware, were twins and looked so much alike, that it was difficult to distinguish one from the other.
Charles was not slow to grasp at the idea of Henry Waters. He would suffer himself to be taken to Virginia in his brother's stead, where he would make his identity known and establish an alibi; but there was danger of the revengeful Martin killing his prisoner before he reached Virginia, and Charles said:
“Will you promise, on your honor as a Virginian, not to harm the prisoner until he reaches a court of justice?"
The Virginian gave his promise, and then the three led Mr. Waters hurriedly away, mounted horses, hastened to Boston and took a vessel for Virginia.
Charles Stevens went to Mr. George Waters and told him what had happened. Mr. Waters' face grew troubled; but he said nothing.
That night there was an alarm of savages in the neighborhood and Charles Stevens and Mr. Waters went with a train-band to meet the foe. In a skirmish, Mr. Waters was wounded, and it was thought best for him to go to Boston for medical treatment.
“I have friends and relatives there," Charles said, “and we might be safe.”
Next day the four secretly set out for Boston, where they lodged for awhile with some relatives of Charles and his mother, who kept their presence a secret.
Before concluding this chapter, it is the duty of the author, although stepping aside from the narrative, to relate what befell their brave friends, the Dustins, during the progress of King William's
The atrocities committed upon the colonists by the French and Indians were equal to any recorded in the annals of barbarous ages. Connected with these were instances of heroic valor on the part of the heroic sufferers, which are not surpassed. On March 15th, 1697, the last year of King William's war, an attack was suddenly made on Haverhill by a party of about twenty Indians. It was a rapid, but fatal onset, and a fitting finale of so dreadful a ten years' war. Eight houses were destroyed, twenty-seven persons killed, and thirteen carried away prisoners. One of these houses, standing in the outskirts of the village and, in fact, over the hill, so as to be almost out of sight of the people in the town, was the home of Mr. Dustin, the house which had afforded shelter to the fugitives from the Salem witchcraft persecution.
On that fatal morning, Mr. Dustin had gone to