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At a Council called, ditto diem,
at 4 o'clock.
Present- THE SAME. The Lieut. Governor read a letter from Sir Wm. Phips in answer to his letter sent by Post concerning the attack on Oyster River, bearing date July 19th, 1694, in which was expressed; — “I cannot order the detaching or impressing men to serve in your Province."
B. II. p. 140.
At a Council held at
New Castle, July 24, '94.
The Lt. Govern.
Wm. Vaughan Esqs.
Richd Waldron )
A petition from Capt. Woodınan concerning the destruction of Oyster River, was read in Councill.(1)
(1) The following is Dr. Belknap's account of this terrible destruction: "Oyster River is a stream which runs into the western branch of the Piscataqua; the settlements were on both sides of it, and the houses chietly near the water. There were twelve garrisoned houses, sufficient for the defence of the inhabitants; but, apprehending no danger, some families remained at their own unfortified houses, and those who were in the garrisons were but indifferently provided for defence, sonie being even destitute of powder. The enemy approached the place undiscovered, and halted near the falls on Tuesday evening, the 17th of July. Here they formed into two divisions, one of which was to go on each side of the river and plant themselves in ambush, in small parties, near every house, so as to be ready for the attack at the rising of the sun; the first gun to be the signal. John Dean, whose house stood by the saw-mill at the falls, intending to go from home very early, arose before the dawn of day, and was shot as he came out of the door. Their firing, in part, disconcerted their plan; several parties, who had some distance to go, bad not then arrived at their stations; the people in general were immediately alarmed, some of them had time to make their escape, and others to prepare for their defence. The signal being given, the attack began in all parts where the enemy was ready.
"Of the twelve garrisoned houses, five were destroyed; viz., Adams's, Drew's, Edigerly's, Me lar's, and Beard's. They entered Adams's without resistance, where they killed fourteen persons: one of them, being a woman with child, they ripped open. The grave is still to be seen where they were all buried. Drew surrendered his garrison, on the promise of security, but was murdered when he fell into their hands; one of his children, a boy nine years old, was made to run through a lane of Indians as a
The Lieut. Governor's warrant to Capt. Woodman for posting twentie soldiers, and to take the command of them at the garrisons at Oyster River.
The Lieut. Govern" letters to Sir Wm. Phips, bearing date the 21st and 234 inst. was read in Councill.
Wm. Stoughton, Esq. his letter to the Lieut. Govern', dated Boston, July 22d read in Council, that he had ordered forthwith, 100 men for our relief.
mark for them to throw their hatchets at, till they had despatched him. Eigerly's was evacuated; the people took to their boat, and one of them was mortally wounded before they got out of reach of the enemy's shot. Beard's and Medar's were also evacuated, and the people escaped.
"The defenders' houses were nearly all set on fire, the inhabitants being either killed or taken in them, or else, in endeavoring to fly to the garrisons, some escaped by hiding in the bushes, and other secret places. Thomas Edigerly, by concealing himself in his cellar, preserved his house, though twice set on fire. The house of John Buss, the minister was destroyed with a valuable library. He was absent; his wife and family fled to the woods and escaped. The wife of John Dean, at whom the tirst gun was fired, was taken, with her daughter, and carried about two miles up the river, where they were left under the care of an old Indian, while the others returned to their bloody work. The Indian complained of a pain in his head, and asked the woman what would be a proper remedly; she answered, occapee, which is the Indian word for rum, of which she knew he had taken a bottle from her house. The remedy being agreeable, he took a large dose and fell asleep; and she took that opportunity to escape, with her child, into the woods, and kept concealed till they were gone.
“The other seven garrisons, viz., Burnhain's, Bicktord's, Smith's, Bunker's, Davis's, Jones's, and Wooduan's, were resolutely and successfully defended. At Burnham's, the gate was left open; the Indians, ten in number, who were appointed to surprise it, were asleep under the bank of the river at the time that the alarm was given. A man within, who had been kept awake by the tooth-ache, hearing the tirst gun, roused the people and secureil the gate, just as the Indians, who were awakened by the same noise, were entering. Finding themselves disappointed, they ran to Pitman's defenceless house and forced the door at the moment that he had burst a way through that end of the house which was next to the garrison, to which he with his family, taking advantage of the shade of some trees, it being moonlight, happily escaped. Still defeated. they attacked the house of John Davis, which after some resistance he surrendered on terms; but the terms were violated, and the whole family either killed or maile captives. Thomas Bickford preserved his house in a singular manner. It was situated near the river, and surrounded with a palisale. Being alarmied before the enemy had reached the house, he sent off his family in a boat, and then shutting bis gate, betook himself alone to the defence of his fortress. Despising alike the promises and threats by which the Indians would have persuaded him to surrender, he kept up a constant fire at them, changing his dress as often as he could, showing himself with a different cap, hat, or coat, and sometimes without either, and giving directions aloud, as if he had a number of me with him. Finding their attempt vain, the enemy withdrew, and left him sole master of the house which he had deteniled with such admirable address. Smith's, Burnham's, and Davis's garrisons, being seasonably apprised of the langer, were resolutely defended; one Indian was supposed to be killed, and anther wounded by a shot from Davis..., The Indians finally withdrew, having killed and captivated between ninety and an buni red persons, and burned about twenty houses, of which tive were garrisons." Farm. Belki. pp. 138-141. (See further details of this destruction," and other attacks on Oyster River, in subsequent papers. Also Hist. Mem. Dover Enquirer, Nos. 129, 130, A. H. Q.)
Lt. Col. Pierce his letter from Newberre, was red in Councill concerning raising of men; intimating that no men did voluntary apear to come for relief.
Duncan Cambell's letter from Boston was read — as on fileintimating the Mohauks had made peace with the French and were false?
The Lt. Govern' acquainted the Board, that it is expected, if the soldiers come, we must raise provision for them; and that if they should come, if it were not necessary, to raise some men here, to march wth them to discover the enemie by ranging of the woods; and desired the Board to consider of these affairs
Ordered, That if Bread can be got for the soldiers, coming from Boston, then it is to be provided, othei wise they are only to be posted at the garrisons, for security of the garrisons.
Ordered, That if the soldiers come from Boston between this & Friday morning, that 100 men sliall be raysed to march and range the woods wth them, under the command of Capt. Thwing.
The Lieut. Gyvern" proposed to secure the cannoes along shoare, that the Indians may not transport themselves over the river.
Not consented to.
Ordered, That warrants be issued out for detaching 100 men, viz, out of Hampton, 50; out of Exeter, 20; out of Portsmo, 30;
Ordered, That they randezvous at Exeter with four days provision, to range the woods and hed[?](1) the towns and rivers from thence to Newichawannock river.
The Lieut Govern' proposed if the men did not come from Boston, whether they should march with 16 men to range the woods.
Judged it not safe.
The Lieut. Govern' acquainted the Board of sundry persons that was imprest for their Maj'ties' service, that had deserted the Province, and desired their advice what was to be done therein.
Answerd: That if any persons after they are imprest desert the service, and fly into the other Provinces, advice thereof should be sent to the other government, so that they may be apprehended, and sent back again.
Adjourned until 8 of the clock, July 25.
(1) Huu - sometimes means the source or farthest part of a thing. Perhaps it means liere the extreme bounds of towns, and sources of rivers.-ED.
Letters relating to the Massacre at Oyster River. *
Portsmo. July 18th, 
Just now arrived a post from Oyster River. The Indians have destroyed the place killed & burned all they could. Nere— have Escaped and are too badly wounded doe not Know but they be all over our ffrontiers. wait yr. Honors Motion
May please yor Exy:
9 in ye Morning New
Castle July 18th : 1694. Just now have Received the Enclosed acco. our province all in arms desire your Exy forthwith to (send) one or Two hundred men with Arms & Aminition for the defence of the place and to pursue the enimie: we fear Severall other or Towns iu the province are besett ....... went from ye head of Oyster River to pe mouth of it on both sides. Tho. Edgerly and his son wounded making their Escape and judge the whole place is Cut off.
Nott doubting of Yor Ready Assistance I subscribe yor Exys Humbl Servat.
To Geo. [Gov.] Phipps.
Since the Lft Governrs of 18th inst. anoth is come to our hand. The Indians verie numerous. Not less than three hundred. Douie who signed the Peace was there, a woman who was Douie's servant made her escape, by reason of his being drunck. Saith Douie did tell her that they did expect 600 Indians more, that the Manywaits were joined with them, and judge some Southern Indians were there. There is two Frvars among the Indians who atter victory said Mass twice, the Indians did spred 6 or 7 miles, and engaged all at once. Oyster River in a mamer Ruined, only about 20 houses left, the rest layd waste. unless we have a supply of men from yourself Oyster River must be deserted. If Ouster River be deserted, the Enimie will have an inlett to the whole Country, for the Majests Service and Security of the Country desire you would forthwith Supply us with one hundred men, wth amunition & Provision to be posted for preservation of these Out places. we are dispatching some souldiers into our Otward Garrisons, according to the ability of this Province upon the Alarms wth all expedition. We dispatched from the Severall Towns one third of the Militia in this Province for Releafe of Oyster River, but before they came here the Euimie was drawn
of and could not be met with; its Judged Eighty persons Killed & taken, abundance of cattle Killed. last night three Indians seen, severall Guns fired. Judge the Enimie is still bordering upon us, but we want assistance to pursue them, the Enimie being so numerous. Desire that orders may be given to Justices and all Constables for the dispatch of Expresses: Not doubting of yor Rediness to assist us, we being ready to afforde our assistance according to our ability, to your parts case the Enimie should Invade yours.
Wee Crave your answer by this -ers
WM. REDFORD: Dept. Secry.
B. II. p. 142.
At a Council at New Castle,
July 25, 1694.
The Lt. Governo
Vathl. Wear )
Wm. Vaughan Esqs.
Richd Waldron ) The Lt. Govern" declared to the Board that yesterday it was appointed, that if the men came from Boston, there should be one hundred men raised to join with them, to range the woods, &c., for the impressing of which men, the Lt. Govern" delivered a warrant to Maj. Wm. Vaughan.
Ordered, That Mr. Elliott provides 8c.(1) of bread for the soldiers.
The Lt. Govern proposed to the Board for apointing of fees for those men that have workt at the fourt as day laborers, that they might have ticketts for their wages.
Ordered, That the workmen shall be allowed 2-6 per diem, and the masons 3s. per diem.
The Lt. Govern' declared to the Board that the king's commission declares that the Lt. Govern' and Councill shall appoint officers for collecting the King's customs, & displace any and apoint others, &c.; and that Mr. Estwick refused the Lt. Govern" to see the acct. of what duties of impost since May last; and for copies of receipts of Mr. Partridge for powder, money, &c., which he tooke as a contempt.
(1) Eight hundred. -ED.