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him to follow. The unsuspecting American to dispel the impressions of fear, pressed forward: the timid bearers continued to withdraw; and Zebulon pursued unmindful, until too late, of the snare into which his own imprudence and the perfidy of the enemy had led him. On a sudden John with all bis forces sprung from their coverts and with the most bideous yells commenced the work of death. Zebulon notwithstanding the weakness of his measures thus far, now evinced a courage and prudence honorable to a more able and experienced commander. He formed his troops advantageously and withstood the assaults of the enemy for near an hour. The firmness and resolution with which the contest was maintained, and the vigor and warmth displayed throughout bis lines came near deciding the victory in his favor. But at this critical juncture a soldier, actuated either by cowardice or treachery, was heard to exclaim, "the Colonel bas ordered a retreat,” and a scene of the greatest confusion immediately ensued. The ranks were broken, and the Americans fled in every direction. The Indians renewed the war whoop, and with characteristic ferocity fell on the unresisting fugitives. The tomabawk and scalping knife perfected the work of the sword and bayonet. The dead, the dying, and those more unfortunate victims reserved for torture, presented a picture too horrible to be conceived. Of the four hundred who left the garrison only seventy escaped to carry back the sad tidings of defeat. These with Zebulon at their head re-crossed the Susquehannah to fort Wilkesbarree.
The next day, the fourth of July, the enemy re-invested fort Kingston. To aggravate the terrors of the massacre of the preceding day, the conquerors sent into the garrison an hundred and ninety six bloody scalps. The command now fell on Col. Dennison. Zebulon had left the post during the night and with his family passed down the river. It is thought he was the only officer spared.
On the fifth, Dennison having defended the fort against the assaults of the enemy for a few hours, and, seeing, at length, the insufficiency of his means to hold out much longer, sent a flag to Col. Butler to enquire what the garrison might expect on surrender; to this, Butler with more than savage fierceness, and a barbarity peculiar to himself, returned for answer “the hatchet.” Dennison now apprised of the determination of the enemy to exterminate the whole colony, resolved to defend the place to the last extremity. After resisting until most of his men were either killed or disa.
bled, he surrendered at discretion. Many of those who had not the good fortune to be killed in the fort were carried out and subjected to the most barbarous and inhuman cruelties. The tories in this business were not behind the Indians. Finding the process of murder in detail somewhat tedious, the women and children were shut up in houses and barracks; these were then set on fire and the whole consumed together. The unhappy victims while the fires were kindlįng rent the air with the most pitious cries. Venerable age and tender youth were involved in one general ruin. The voices of the devoted people as the depouring element increased, were changed from lamentations to groaps and shrieks of extreme torture
The enemy now passed the river for the purpose of gaining possession of fort Wilkesbarree. This was occupied by an inconșiderable force, altogether insufficient to maintain a successful opposition. No sooner had the summons to surrender been given than the garrison marched out and threw themselves on the mercy of the victors, hoping for their protection and clemency. In this, however, they were disappointed. The tragic scene at Kingston was re-acted with additional horrors. The soldiers of the garrison became the objects of marked vengeance. The ingenuity of the çonquerors was exhausted in deyising the most exquisite torture. They were all put to death with circumstances of wanton cruelty. What rendered this act of atrocity doubly remarkable was, that the soldiers did not belong to the settlement, but had been employed merely to guard the frontiers. The women and children there as at Kingston, were inclosed in buildings and bụrnt, while the ferocious victors listened to their cries with satisfaction and delight.Some of the officers were spared from the general conflagration; regarding them as persons of greater consideration, they were reseryed for more marked attentions. Capt. Bedlock was stripped of his clothes and his flesh filled with splinters of pitch pipe; a pile of the same materials was then placed around him and set on fire.While the process of roasting was going on, two other captains, Durkee and Ranson, were caught by these monsters, thrown alive into the same fire, and held down with pitchforks.
In some instances the tories fell on members of their own families who had espoused the cause of Independence, and exercised on them the greatest cruelties. One Partial Terry, whose family was respectable, had sent repeated messages to his father, saying that he hoped one day to wash his hands in his heart's blood. His
wishes were too truly answered. The infuriate demon, after having murdered and scalped his own mother, brothers and sisters, cut off the head of his father. Thomas Hill killed his mother, his father in law, his sisters and their whole families. Other acts of simi. lar enormity were committed. Nothing could allay their fury. Every feeling of humanity was extinct. The ties of relationship instead of afforợing protection and security, seemed to invite to the perpetration of acts, at which, human nature in the lowest state of depravity shudders.
The annals of Indian warfare do not record transactions of more unnatural wickedness than those perpetrated by the tory refugees. After having committed unprecedented barbarities upon the wretched inhabitants, a scene of general devastation was spread through the whole settlement. Buildings were burnt, fields of grain laid waste, and every object of human industry levelled with the ground. Fire and sword were alternately applied for the purposes of universal destruction. In the general carnage and devastation every where marking their progress, they did not even omit the lower orders of creation. The tories, as if dissatisfied with the little pastime they had enjoyed in massacreing and burning two or three hundred innocent women and children, cut out the tougues of some of the cattle, and to prolong their agonies left them alive to die of hunger. Others were shot or driven off.
Many women and children escaped into the woods and met with a fortune not much less severe than those who had been consigned to the flames. Some wandered too far into the depths of the forest and fell victims to hunger; others, overwhelmed with grief from the loss of friends and the desolation of every object of affection, sickened and died. Mothers with tender infants in their arms, were found dead. Even the small number hunger and disease had spared, were picked up by the Indians and subjected to the most barbarous torture. Few escaped the fury of the unrelenting enemy. Man and his works shared the same fate. Ruio and desolation appeared on every hand. The voices of those who a few days before were cheerful and happy were now silenced in death. Scarce a mourner was left to go about the streets. All was desolate.
HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WORCESTER..
GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION. BOUNDARIES AND EXTENT.— The County of Worcester, one of the Western Counties of Massachusetts, is bounded on the North by the State of New Hampshire, on the East by the Counties of Middlesex and Norfolk, on the South by the States of Rhode Island and Connecticut, and on the West by the Counties of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin. Thus it extends the whole width of the State. Its length is fifty miles from North to South, and its average breadth about thirty six miles. It contains about eighteen hundred square miles, or upwards of a million of acres, exhibiting a surface of three hundred square miles, greater than that of the in-. tire State of Rhode Island, in its vicinity.
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.-The surface of this County is generally undulating, rising into hills of gradual swell, forming what in the Western States is called a rolling country, interspersed, however, with a pleasing variety of delightful vallies, exbibiting the most luxuriant fertility. Pine plains seldom occur, and are of very limited extent. No part of the territory exhibits any of those vast plains or savannahs, which form so interesting features of American Geography. Many of our towns, however, furnish extensive tracts of the most beautiful alluvial lands, upon the margins of the rivers, and which are here appropriately styled “intervals." With the exception of some of these interval lands, the whole region, but little more than a century since was covered with a dense forest of all the various trees peculiar to New England. Most of the hills are of comparatively moderate height, and admit of cultivation to their summits. This however is subject to many exceptions. Grass is the principal product of the highlands, for which they are peculiarly adapted. The pastures, particularly, are rich and luxuriant, insomuch that they have recently received from high authority the appellation of “ the Paradise of New England for horned cattle." The hills are usually moist to their summits, so that water can be obtained upon them at a less depth than in the yallies. Most of them are too cold and rocky to yield grain to a great profit, otherwise than as a crop preparatory to grass.
Few farmers, however, but possess vallies, plains or high intervals sufficient to produce bread stuff for the supply of his family and cattle. In all parts of New England, grazing farms yield the greatest net profit. So generally are the hills interspersed that it is be.
lieved, they are incapable of being classified into distinct ranges. There is one range however, running from the Northeast to nearly the Southwest corner of the County, and constitutes the highlands that separate the waters emptying into the Connecticut river, from those that fall into the Merrimack, the Thames, the Patucket, and the Charles. This is a part of the White Mountain range. These bills may be traced through the towns of Ashburnham, Westminster, Princeton, Rutland, Oakham, Brookfield, Western and Sturbridge. But one of these elevations is dignified by the appellation of Mountain, to wit, the " Wachusett,” in Princeton. This majestic pile rising to an elevation of about 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, and about 1,000 feet above the surrounding heights, will be more particularly noticed in the description of the town, where it is situated. This mountain is described by that learned and indefatigable tourist, the late President Dwight, as lying east of the White Mountain range, disconnected with any chain of bills, as a detached or solitary mountain. And in this, he has been cited, as authority by other eminent Geographers. But although we would not hastily por irreverently controvert evidence of such high character-yet the courses of the rivers certainly show the fact to be otherwise. The White Mountain range, runs generally northeasterly, from the lower part of Connecticut river, thence northerly, bearing the name of “Lyme range," until it intersects the Mount Tom range, when its course is northeasterly, crossing the Monadnock, thence to the White Mountains, and thence keeping the same course to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now the “Wachusett,” and the hills connected with it are on this course, and may be distinctly traced. Mount Toby in Sunderland is too far removed from the line to belong to the range eren as a spur, and if not a continuation of the Mount Tom range must be classed as a detached mountain.
LAKES AND RIVERS.--This extensive County, although as well supplied with springs, rivulets and larger streams, adapted to all the conveniences of agricultural and domestic economy, and to all the various purposes of manufactures, as any part of the Globe, is yet entirely destitute of any navigable waters. Of all our various townships, there is scarcely one but contains one or more beautiful sheets of water or Lakes. These cover surfaces of various extent, from the smallest size to ten or fifteen hundred acres. It is believed their whole number will exceed one hundred. They will be particularly noticed in their respective towns. They generally