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Copy of a Letter from Nathaniel Weare, Esq., to Major Robert
Pike, one of the Assistants of Massachusetts Colony. Major Pike.
Honoured Sir. The many revolutions and chainges that has happened abroad is very wonderfull and almost amazinge; Besides what has hapned amonge and upon ourselves is very awfull and thinges loke very darke, the consideration thereof is so oppressive that [I] cannot but seke for some ease, and I know no better way (as to man] then to communicat some things to your honour, from whose prudent direction I may receive mutch sasiffaction, and shall therefore crave the boldness to ofer a few lynes to your consideration not to medell with thinges further off. I shall, as brief as I may, ofer you what has happned in this province of New Hampshire, and more pertiquerly in the towne of Hampton. Sir, it is no new thynge to tell you how that him [Gov. Andros] that was both governor in your colony and also in our province was seazed and the occashon thereof, whereupon, wee had only the Justices and Inferior officers left; the superior commanders being layd aside, that great questions arose whether Justices retayned theire power or any Captain, or other officer derivinge his authority from him so seased: My opinion I shall alltogether wave in that matter: But so it was that it was for the most part concluded of, that we had no governors nor authority in this province so as to answer the ends of government, and to command and doe in the defence of theire majestys subjects against the comon enemy, therefore many asayes was maid in this provance to make some government till theire Majestys should take further order, but all proved ineffectuall. At first there was in the severall Towns in : the Province persons chosen to manage the affairs of government in this juncture of time, but that was for some reasons laid aside, afterward there was in the town of Hampton 3 persons chosen in the towne of Hampton to meet with the Comiss: [Commissioners] of the other towns if they see cause to apoint any to debate and conclude of what was necessary at this time to be done in relation to some orderly way of Government and to make theire returns to the severall Townes for approbation or otherwise. But the inhabitants of Portsmouth met and made choice of some persons to meet with the Commissioners of the other Towns to Debate and consider of what was to be done in order to the settlement of some Government, till their Majestys should give order in the matter.
What they did, they ingaged themselves certainly to comply with. The inhabitants of the town of IIampton began to be very jealous of their friends and neighbours that they would bring them under severall inconveniences in comanding from them their men, and mony as they pleased, and so were very hard to be brought to any thing, but after severall meetings and debates, did chose 6 persons as Comissioners, with power according to the other towns (viz) Portsmouth, Dover and Exeter, and after debats jointly and fully every man then present agreed to such a method as was then drawne up. Then the severall towns was to nominate and chose meet persons for the end aforesaid; but whereas the Inhabitance of the Towne of Hampto meet on warning for that end, the major part by far of the said towne seemed to bee ferful and suspicious of theyer neighbour townes [that] they did not intend to doe as was pretended, but to bring them under to theyer disadvantage, which I thought was very ill so to think, yet they would give som instance of som former acts don, which notwithstanding, I seposed they were too uncharitable.
And so they made a voat they would not chose any person according to the direction of the Committee meet and so all proved inefectuall. After some time the apprehention of the necessity of some orderly way of government and therby to be in the beter method to defend themselves against the comon enemy, seemed to inforse them to another asay for the obtayning thereof, and so the inhabitance of Portsmouth, drew up and signed, so many as did, a pettition, as I am informed (for I never saw it,) to the honorable the governor and councill of the Matathusetts Collony to take this province into theire care and protection, and government as formerly; and so the other townes, Dover and Exeter complyed with it how generally I know not, and so brought to Hampton on Wednesday, the 26th of February last past, when the soldiers were there warned to appeare for consernes specified in said order, but no intemation given for the end of signinge to the petition, so that severall children and servants made up the number of names, when theyer parrants and masters, its said, did know nothinge of the maters, and I doubt too true. It was quickly after by William Vaughan Esq and Capt. John Pickeringe brought into the province declareing to bee excepted [accepted] by the said governor and councell, with orders given forth to meet on such a day fo chusinge of selectmen and constables and other towne oficers according to former usage and custom as appears by order given to Justice Greene, bearinge date the 4th of March, 1689–90. Coppes I sepose yourselfe have. What was done on that day I need not
tell. Yourselfe knows very well. But this I shall insert—that chusinge of major treasurer, and recorder was not accordinge to former usage and custom. It was prest by some to have it voated whether they would in this towne of Hampton acquies and comply with the pettition and the returne, or words to that efect, which yourselfe was pleased to say all would bee knoct on the head at one blow. Now how comfortable it will bee for about 50 persons to prescribe the method and way of government for about 200 I shall leave to your honour to consider.
For my owne part its well knowne I am for government, and so are severall others whose names are not to the petition and hath a great esteme of and good will to, the Matathusetts government, and to those worthy persons that doth administer the same. And with very littell alteration, I doubt not but many more would have, if they might have their hands to the pettition; but to have hands in the several towns to the same petition to bee under the government of the Mattathusetts collony as formerly, when we are so differently sarcomstanced as som of us know wee have been, is hard; to draw such a pettition and when such a petition is drawn, subscribed as it is, and excepted [accepted] of, for the subscribers to act contrary to the same is very strange. Formerly, not to medell with the custom and usage of the gentlemen of Pascataway, wee at Hampton had the choice of our magistrats and publike oficers, as yourselfe knows; and how the assistance or magistrats at Portsmouth can grant any warrants or exercise the administration of government over Hampton that never chose them, I know not; so that upon the whole, the government of the Matathusetts cannot I suppose exercise nor apoint any governors over us till they have authority so to doe from the crowne of England, or wee or the major part in the severall towns doe pray for it which at present is not in Hampton as it plainly appears; So that to bee subjected to a government in the province and principally at Portsmouth, which have bin so much spoken against by so many in Hampton will be very teadious to them; and the chusinge of militery oficers as hath bin to give all due respects to those
persons, I shall not say of excedentell quallefications so well knowne to yourselfe, but only say that ffranzey leaders may happen to have mad followers; so that to have a government so inposed, what will I feare follow but destractions, hart burnings, disobedience to the seposed comanders, publike diclerations, remonstrenses set forth that may reach as far as England, and so make way for a person to be deputed by the crowne of England, that may, under the collor of Commission, exercise his owne will,
not to speak of declerations of userpations still continued in the collony. Some have thought forthwith publekly to declare themselves to the governors in said collony that all may be healed as quietly and as sillently as it may bee, and I doubt not your wisdome will be exersised in this matter, and that wee may have peace and unety with you, and that at length we may have a happy peaseable settlement:
And that the God of peace would by all means geve us peace and truth, is the desier and prayer of your very humble servant
NATU" WEARE. Hampton, this 15th of March. 1689–90.
Documents relating to Wars with the Indians, 1687-1690, including the Massacre at Dover,
(Farm. Belk., p. 124.] Origin of the War with the French and Indians, called King
William's War, 1688.
The lands from Penobscot to Nova Scotia had been ceded to the French, by the treaty of Breda, in exchange for the Island of St. Christopher. On these lands, the Baron de St. Castine bad for many years resided, and carried on a large trade with the Indians, with whom he was intimately connected. The lands which had been granted by the Crown of England to the Duke of York (now King James the Second) interfered with Castine’s plantation, as the Duke claimed to the river St. Croix. A fort had been built by his order at Pemaquid, and a garrison stationed there to prevent any intrusion on his property. ... In the spring of 1688, Andros went in the ‘Rose' frigate, and plundered Castine's house and fort; leaving only the ornaments of his chapel to console him for the loss of his arms and goods. This base action provoked Castine to excite the Indians to a new war." .
[N. Y. Col. MSS., vol. iv. p. 282.] Extract of a Memorial from Mr. Nelson, dated 20 July, 1697.
“You may please to take notice that after the surrender of Acadie unto the French, in the year 1670, by Sr. Thomas Temple,
the successive Governors of New York did (by virtue of orders from England, as I suppose) make claime unto part of said countrys, that is to say, from Pentagoet to the River St. Croix, as having of it inserted in the Duke of York's Patent. But the French still kept possession until Sir Edmond Andross made an attempt upon it, by summoning in one Mr. St. Costeine to acknowledge his dependence on the Crown of England;- upon whose refusal, he went with a Frigate to Pentagoet, pillaged his house of what he found in it, but himself escaped; on which arose (by the said Costein's instigation) the Indian war with which we have ever since been infested."
[N. Y. Col. MSS., vol. iv. p. 476.] “Sr Edmund Andros when Governor of New York invaded them (the country called Pentagoet westward to the River St. Croise Eastward) by force and took the habitation of one Mons. St. Costene a Frenchman who thereupon instigated the Eastern Indians to make War against us, with which war the frontier Countries of New England on that side have been much infested.”
(From Mass. Col. Rec., vol. vi. p. 6.] “Major Richard Waldron appointed Commander in Chief of New Hampshire; Major Charles Frost of the West Regiment of the Province of Maine."
[The same, vol. vi. p. 8.] “ Messenger to be sent to make discovery of the number of Indians at Penecooke;—Col. Barth. Gedney sent."
[The same, vol. vi. p. 13.) “Wiolanset, the Penecooke Sachem Watamun, one of his chief Captains, came down to the Council, manifesting their Friendship to the English, and promist the continuance thereof, and to secure any of the Enemy Indians that shall come among them."
Letter from Major Henchman to the Governor of Massachusetts.
Hon'd Sir— This day two Indians came from Pennacook, viz. Job Maramasquand and Peter Muckamug, who report that damage will undoubtedly be done within a few days at Piscataqua, and that Major Waldron, in particular is threatened; and that Julimatt fears that mischief will quickly be done at Dunstable. The Indians can give a more particular account to your honor. They say if damage be done, the blame shall not be on them, hav