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prietors of the soil. Cultivation advanced, levelling the forest and expelling the game. The Indians became aware of their danger when too late to remedy the evils brought on them. The little band they had cherished and protected in its infant weakness, had arrived to its strength and become the oppressor. The spirit of hostility sprung up; injury was revenged by injury; contest followed contest; the wigwam was plundered and the house was burnt;
grey hairs of the aged and the dark tresses of the young maiden hung in the cabin of the savage; the heads of the chieftain or his followers were bought by the government; the native was hunted as the wild beast; and the settler slaughtered like the deer. A firm and efficient union could not be established among
the roving nations, mutually jealous. The well concerted plans of the most wily of the warriors were feebly executed, and instead of producing powerful confederacies, brought forth inefficient conspiracies. Some keen sighted Sachems attempted to stem the tide of destruction, but the wave grew big, and rolled on, sweeping away the prince and his people. The discipline of the soldier, the common danger and the common interest, bound the colonists, contentious as they were, to a strict union : the Indians fought in dissevered bands and fell successively beneath the exterminating arm of the conqueror. The effects of peace, always improved to obtain extended territorial limits, where the plough razed the monuments of their ancestors, and the axe prostrated the haunts of the deer, were more dreaded and avoided by the natives than the disasters of war. Driven to desperation by continual encroachments, stimulated by their own fierce tempers, by love of plunder, by religious feelings and political motives, they sought hostilities and cherished the fire of vengeance, as sacredly as the priests of the sun preserve the holy flame kindled by his rays.
The sepulchres of their fathers had been disturbed, and the departed had come back from the spirit's land to implore revenge, at the hands of the children. They were seen in dreams; their mournful voices wandered by in the silence of night and mingled their complainings with the sighing of the winds. The rocks, the rude altars, where they offered the sacrifices of their simple rites, flowers, and fruits, and furs, had been violated, and the offended deities set blazing bows in the heavens and shot fiery arrows on the clouds, as signs that the insults must be expiated with the blood of the strangers. Column after column was shaken from the council house. Life and possessions were taken away, and the Indians knew they
must perish. A hatred which nothing could appease sprung up in their hearts.
During the early periods of our history, the French and English were contending for the territory of which others were the rightful sovereigns. Though unskilled in the mazes of European politics, the Eastern tribes were cunning enough to perceive, that they might be gainers by remaining spectators of the contest and permitting the destruction of both. This neutrality they were unable to preserve. The near neighborhood of the English furnished occasion for frequent collisions and disputes, and the missionary agents of the Monarch of France, by artful promises and liberal presents fixed them to their cause, and made them as devoted allies of their own sovereign, as bitter and merciless foes of the subjects of his enemy.
Such were the excitements, and such the temper of the red people. Their warfare, opened the sluices of a stream of blood that long continued to purple the land, and worked wo and misery for the hapless emigrants of New England. The destroyers were lurking around them in the vast forests, and no signal preceded the blow. The sudden incursion burst upon the settlements. The hoary head of the venerable father was dabbled in his own' gore : the tresses of the maiden were blood stained ; and the slumbers of the cradle were often exchanged for the dreamless sleep of eternity. The husbandman went out to cultivate his fields, armed as if for battle ; and when he laid down to rest, the sword and musket were companions of his pillow.
The times of danger have passed. The spoiler and the suffering have perished. The song of the red hunter's festivity is hushed: the council fire has been quenched in the blood of those who stood around its blaze : the smoke no longer curls up from the wigwam : the people have gone and left no abiding monument behind. Even their burial places are unmarked by a stone. The narrow bed of the chief is made in the solitude. The wild wind he loved to hear, awakes the melody of the Pines above his resting place. The stream gushes by the green hillock and soothes his slumbers with its murmurs.
66 The king hath gone to his lonely grave,
" He slumbers in dark decay ;
The desperate conflict between the little party under the command of Love!l and the savages of the Pequawket tribe, has been celebrated in song and story. Its incidents have been commemorated in traditionary recitals; they have been the subjects of the nursery tale of the young and the discourse of the aged, along the frontier where the battle gave quiet and safely; ballads are still preserved, composed with great fidelity to truth and disregard of poetic elegance; and the pens of grave and learned writers have been engaged in perpetuating these interesting recollections.
On the pages of history, where are written the sanguinary struggles of the first settlers of our land and the hunters of the wilderness, there is no other record of a fight so marked by high and heroic efforts of valor, or so important in its consequences. The numbers engaged were few; but in the infancy of our country, the defeat of an hundred, was as fatal to the red men as the slaughter of thousands on the blood-stained field of Waterloo to the conqueror of Europe. The power of a nation was broken ; and discouraged and disheartened, the survivors deserted their ancient possessions and perished from the earth.
The numerous printed accounts are gathered to the collections of antiquarians to sleep in oblivion, or have passed away with the fleeting memory of the periodical publications where they have been embodied. The recent celebration of the centennial appiversary of this fight has excited curiosity, and may render a compilation from the well authenticated narratives at this time not wholly uninteresting.
Captain John Lovell (or Lovewell as his name was formerly written) a native of Dunstable in New Hampshire, was much distinguished as a successful leader in the bold excursions against the common enemy. On one occasion, with a company of thirty, he surprised an Indian wigwam, and acccording to the sanguinary practices of the times, its inmates received no mercy at the hands of their conquerors. A feeble old man was killed and his scalp taken, as a draught on the treasury of the Colonies for the bounty of one hundred pounds each, offered for these trophies of exterminating warfare : a boy was made captive and afterwards sold to slavery. A second expedition in February 1724, was still more lucrative and fortunate. Marching northward, at the season when the leafless forests no longer afforded concealment to the savages,
nor the frozen swamps a shelter from pursuit, they arrived at sunset near an encampment, marked by a broad column of smoke, curling up among the tall trees of the forest. The party waited silently notil midnight, and then cautiously advancing, discovered a band of ten Indians sleeping in perfect security around their huge fire. The first shot, discharged by Lovell himself, was fatal to two: five more rested in death when a detachment of the party gave their volley : the remaining three sprang from the earth dripping with blood from their wounds; two instantly fell under the fire of the reserve; the last, escaping the bullets showered round, fled across a small pond, but was seized by a dog and held, until overtaken and killed by his pursuers. The company returned in triumph, with the scalps stretched on hoops, and received one thousand pounds at Boston, as the price of their game.
The third expedition terminated the military career and the life of the unfortunate Lovell. The Pequawket tribe had placed their wigwams on the broad meadows where the beautiful stream of the Saco wanders about, describing a path like that of a child following a butterfly in all his sportive circlings. Their chiestain Paugus, a man of great bodily powers and fierce courage, was considered as the very incarnation of the Spirit of Evil. His visitations to the settlements were marked by the blaze of cottages and the murder of the father and his family. Such were his achievments that his name became a spell of terror, and the sudden and unexpected inroads of his followers, were the scourge of the frontier. In the month of April, 1725, Lovell with a company of forty six men, collected from the place of his nativity and the adjacent towns, commenced their march through the wilderness towards the residence of this formidable warrior. Two soldiers becoming unable to proceed on the toilsome journey, returned to their homes. They reached the borders of Ossapee Lake, when another of the adventurers fell sick. There they erected a rude fort, to protect the invalid, and to afford refuge to themselves if driven back by misfortune. Eight of the company, with the surgeon were left to garrison the post. The little band, thus reduced to thirty four, boldly continued their march northward till the eighth of the month of May according to the old computation of time, the nineteenth of the reformed calendar. While engaged in prayer on the morning of that eventful day, their devotional exercises were disturbed by the near report of a musket, echoing
through the forest, and a single Indian was seen, on a point of land projecting into the pond. They had been apprised of the neighborhood of the foe by noises heard at a distance during the preceding night and a consultation was held on the course to be adopted. The approach of danger could not intimidate those of bold hearts and firm minds; they bad come out to fight and with one consent they made their preparations for battle. Laying aside their heavy packs, they advanced towards the savage. Hutchinson, the learned and intelligent historian of Massachusetts, bas erroneously supposed, that he had posted himself in a situation so exposed, to decoy the approaching foes to a spot where their retreat might be cut off and their destruction made more sure: and that, with Roman magnanimity, he devoted himself to death. It has since been made certain that he was in pursuit of game and unconscious of the peril. He received the fire of the party, but before he fell, returned the shot, with so true aim and deadly effect, that the Captain and another soldier were severely wounded. Ensign Wyman again fired, and the scalp was secured by the Chaplain, as the first trophy of the encounter. Finding no further object of alarm, the band commenced their return to the spot where their packs had been deposited. The course pursued by Lovell had crossed the path of the red men, who had seized on the baggage and planted an ambuscade, concealing themselves among the brakes and behind the pitch-pine trees of the plain. When the Captain approached, the savages under Paugus and Wahwa rose around with exulting yells and poured their death shots upon the devoted band. The battle continued here with great fury for a short space. The ladians, in number amounting to about 80, were driven back and repeatedly repulsed with great loss by the discipline of the soldiers, but again collected and returned to the altack. Lovell and eight more were slain : three were wounded. The superior numbers of the Indians enabled them to surround the party. Perceiving the attempt, they broke through the opposing files, retreated in good order to the pond and there gallantly maintained themselves. A sandy beach now spreads out on the margin of the little lake, covered with aged trees, bounded on one side by a meadow and terminated by an inconsiderable brook, when swelled by the waters poured in the spring time from the hills, spreading beyond its usual banks, and forming a narrow peninsula. Here the heroic survivors retired : protected by the natural defences of the position, and sheltered by the Pines, still bearing the