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all our early writers, may at first appal stout hearts and repel
the man of refined taste; but we envy not those who can frame ex
cuses for not approaching the subject. The character of those who 1 colonized these shores, iheir sufferings, their wonderful efforts bebe the moral, intellectual and social foundation they laid, so broad and why deep, that succeeding generations have built thereupon, are to be
learnt in the inartificial descriptions of the writers of that period : and any one, who has once fairly engaged in the study, will find that it has fascinations which soon take away the power and inclination of escape. The rude style will pass without notice, the quaint expressions will amuse-the directness and plainness of purpose will please-eloquence of expression will not be required whilst you see on every side eloquence of character, and scenes and events, that almost possess the poetry of romance. These things we value,
" More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy paced times." Our history should be pursued into its details. Much of the character of the elder tine is gathered from slight circumstances, and facts that to many appear too insigoificant to claim attention.
It is a very interesting portion of our history, in all its minute particulars, that relates to the Indian wars ; wars that filled the mind with no imaginary apprehensions; wars waged with foes whose approach was noiseless, whose attacks were attended with circumstances that inspired the bravest with dread, whose tender mercies were cruelty, whose victory was followed by hopeless čaptivity, or by lingering torture and death.
During the seventeenth century, the border towns in New Englaod suffered severe distress from Indian warfare ; some of them were entirely destroyed. Among these last was Lancaster. That beautiful village was attacked and destroyed by the lodians on the 21st (10th O. S.) of February, 1676. On the 21st of the present month a century and a half will be completed since that memorable eveat. It gives us pleasure to learn that the citizens of Lancaster intend to commemorate the ensuing anniversary by public performances* suited to the occasion. Celebrations of this kind seem to us peculiarly proper. They recall to mind the events of our early history ; the privations and sufferings of our ancestors, their noble courage, their firmness in danger, their self-sustaining spirit of perseverance, that enabled them in the end to triumph over their
* An Oration is to be delivered by Isaac Goodwin, Esq. of Sterling, and a Poem by William Lincoln, Esq. of Worcester.
enemies, and proved for the security and happiness of their pos. terity. In a moral, religious, political and social point of view, we experience the benefits of their exertions, and are under continua! obligation to acknowledge these benefits on all occasions. We trust that we shall not render an unacceptable service to our readers in giving a succinct history of the destruction of Lancaster in 1676.
The war so well known to our readers by the name of King Pbilip's* war, began June 24, 1675, by an attack on Swansey. In the course of the summer, New Dartmouth, Middleborough, Taunton, Rehoboth, Mendon, Brookfield, Northfield and Deerfield, were invested by the Indians.--All these towns suffered severely ; but chiefy, Brookfield and Deerfield. Early in February following, they made several incursions in Rhode Island, and on the 10th of the same month, early in the morning, the Wamponoage led by Philip,t accompanied by the Narrhagansetts, his allies, and also by the Nipmucs and Nashuas, whom he persuaded to join with him, made a desperate attack upon Lancaster. His forces consisted of 1500 men, who invested the town in “ five distinct bodies and places," I burning the unfortified houses and killing several of the iahabitants. After destroying other parts of the town, they came to the house of Mr. Rowlandson, the clergyman of the place. This house was pleasantly situated on the brow of a small bill, commanding a fine view of the valley of the north branch of the Nashua, and the ampitheatre of hills to the west, north and east. It was filled with inhabitants and soldiers to the number of forty-two, and was guarded only in front, not like the other garrisons, with flankers at the opposite angles.
The onset was furious, and the inhabitants defended themselves with the greatest bravery, more than two hours, against a rery great number of the enemy. In all probability the defence would bave been successful, and the town might have been saved, had the
* His Indian name, and the one by which he should be called, was Metacom or Metacomet, Sachem of the Wamponoags.
+ This we state on the authority of Harrington. The author of a pamphlet we have by us, printed in the autumn of 1675-entitled a “ Brief and true Narrative of the late wars risen in New England,” &c. says, 66 We are told that Philip is filed to the French at Canada for succor." Mather says, that the French from Canada sent recruits to aid in the war. We see no reason to doubt Philip's being at the attack on Lancaster. He probably returned from Canada early in the winter with the recruits.
| Wheeler': garrison, now South part of Bolton-Prescott's garrison, Dear Poignard and Plant's manufactory--Rev. Mr Rowlandson's, of a mile south west of the Church-and the other two points of attack, it is not easy to ascertain,
house been properly fortified. But there was no fortification at the back of the house, and the enemy were able to carry on their operations in that quarter with comparatively feeble resistance. At this point they made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to set fire to the building. Failing in every attempt of this kind, they filled a cart with combustible materials, and rolled it towards the house, which was soon enveloped in flames. The inhabitants, find ing all their efforts unavailing, and fearing lest they should be destroyed by the flames, were compelled to surrender to the cruel foe. Only one of the men escaped; the rest, twelve in number, were either put to death on the spot, or were reserved for torture, The women and children were spared, only to suffer a merciless captivity. Among the slain, were, Thomas Rowlandson, brother to the clergyman ; Mrs. Kerley, wife of Capt. Kerley, and sister to Mrs. Rowlandson; also a child and nephew of Mrs. R. Mrs. Drew,* another sister was of the captives. Mrs. Kerley was killed in attempting to escape. Another woman (Mrs. Joslin) who was not in a situation to travel, was struck down by the Indians, and thrown into a large fire, where she perished.f
It is not possible to ascertain the precise number of those who were killed, and taken captive. At least, there were fifty persons, and one account says fifty five. About one half of these suffered death. No less than seventeen of Rev. Mr. Rowlandson's family and connections were put to death or taken prisoners. Mr. RowJandson, Capt. Kerley and Mr. Drew, were at this time in Boston, soliciting military aid from Gov. Leverett and the Council, to protect the settlement at Lancaster. But the fell destroyers had been busy in their absence; their habitations were reduced to ashes ; and of their wives, one had met with death at the threshold of her dwelling; and the two others were in the power of a relentless enemy, pursuing their course through the pathless forest, in the gloomiest season of the year, suffering for the common comforts of life, and without one ray of hope to brighteo a moment of their existence.
. We give this name on the authority of “ News from New England :" We do not recollect having met with it elsewhere.
+ This was probably afterwards, however ; about the 23d or 24th of February, when the captives were in the neighborhood of Payquaoge or Miller's river. This we say on the authority of Mrs. Rowlandson herself. Mrs. Joslin was near the time of her confinement.--She had a child in her arms two years old, and entreated of the Savages that she might be permitted to return home. The Indians cast them both into the flames.
| News from New England, printed 1676.
Mrs. Rowlandson was taken as she was leaving the house, by a Narrhagapset Iodian, and sold to a Sagamore named Quannopin, who was connected with Philip by marriage, their squaws being sisters. The Indians made great plunder in various parts of the towo. They were forced, however, to quit this scene of their de: structive efforts on the appearance of Capt. Wadsworth, * who hearing of the distressed situation of the town, immediately marcbed from Marlborough with forty men. The Indians had removed the planks from the bridge, to prevent the passage of horsemen; the river was bigh, but Wardsworth at length succeeded in passing it. He stationed his men in different parts of the town, and remained there some days.
But so great was the alarm of the inhabitants and such the general state of the country, and so numerous were the Indians, against whom those who dwelt in border towns felt do security, that when the troops withdrew, about six weeks afterwards, the inbabitants under their protection deserted the town after destroying all the remaining houses, excepting two. The restoration of peace by the death of Philip in August, 1676, did not restore their courage and contidence. - Lancaster remained a vacated place, till Oct. 1679, when a committeef was appointed by the County Court to rebuild the town.
We shall say nothing now of the captivity of Mrs. Rowlandson, as we propose to give in a future number a barrative, by itself, of her various “ removes," or to incorporate it in a historical sketch of the town of Lancaster.
No. I. It cannot but be expected of him who engages in the magazine trade, that he will do something more than merely furnish substantial articles of history, or produce pretty good poetry. Man, wheth. er in the wilds of Missouri or the streets of Boston, is terribly given to speculation. The same extravagance that compels him to
* Capt. Samuel Wadsworth of Milton-he was killed on the 18th of April following, at Sudbury, in a severe battle with the lodians ; a monument over his grave, on the spot where be fell, was erected by his son, Rev. President Wardsworth of Harvard College.
† At that time there was but one bridge in town; it stood 40 or 50 rods to the east of what is called the center bridge, which is at the confluence of the two branches of the Nashuah.
Oct. 7, 1679, the Committee consisted of Capt. Thomas Preptice, Dea. John Stone and William Bond.
complain of the dryness of our pages; prompts him to tax even nature with a want of interest. Do what you will, there is no satisfying his exorbitances. Though we singe him with volcanic eruptions in one number, and break his bones on the wheel of torture in the next; though we send him with Symmes into the very bowels of the earth, and there stun his ears with earthquakes ; though we charge him with the most fulminating compounds, and actually blow him up; yet he will not be contented; but like a bravado stilt dare us to accompany him further. Valliant as we are ourselves, we have not the fortitude to enter the lists with such a fury.
Surely the present is most incontestibly an age of courageous reading. The ordinary food for the mind is become quite insipid to the intellectual palates of most readers, aod like certain epicures they must have every dish so highly seasoned with spices and cayenne as to lose the taste of the meat, before any thing can become eatable. Thus in giving an account of a short ride with the ladies, we are driven to the painful alternative, either to order the carriage to upset and break their heads, or sit down'and be called dull and tedious. We cannot look at the cataract of Niagara but at the expense of half a dozen precious lives, and to save our own necks, such is the bloody character of the times! we are compelled to butcher, with every circumstance of cruelty, every body that chances to pass near us. Even the women, dear souls! forgetting their Datural clemency, seem never more delighted than when indulging this love of the marvellous. They have of late really become more fierce than the men. I know of many who never think of reading any other part of a newspaper than that in which deaths are recorded; and one in particular who scolded the Editor severely when she found none of her friends were dead. There ! there's courageous reading for you.
To soften the asperity of the reader's taste, I have selected a title for my essays which is certainly very unpretending. Like the ant I only intend to keep about my business. I do not promise great things, for my strength enables me to do but little. I have taken a name emblematic of industry, and if I succeed in recommending the practice of this virtue to my reader, I shall have accomplished my errand.
Naturalists have long been divided in opinion which of the two was the most remarkable insect, the bee or the ant. Poets have from the beginning regarded the former as a favorite, and they have loaded it with their caresses in the most stately verse. Vir