Thus upon the tax lists issued by Governor Cranfield and his Council in 1682, the articles to be taken in payment and their prices were thus enumerated:
And whosoever shall pay ye Rates in money
"Mer'ble. Pine Boards at any convenient landing place, 26s per M. Ditto White Oak Pipe Staves, at 50s Ditto Red Oak Pipe Staves, at 35s Beef, 2d per lb. Pork, 3d " Indian Corn, 3s per bush. Wheat, at 5s " Pease, 5s " Malt, 3s " ffish, at price Curr't.
shall be abated one third part."
Such a state of things was embarrasing. At length in 1690, the ill-stared expedition against Canada left the New England Provinces in debt, and the General Court of Massachusetts, to meet the difficulty, athorised the issue of �7000 in denominations from 5s to �5. These "bills of credit" circulated in the other provinces. New Hampshire being united with Massachusetts had the advantages and disadvantages of this currency. The bills soon began to depreciate in value, and in the following year the General Court took measures to sustain the currency, but without avail.
Their bills continued to depreciate. This state of things brought peculiar hardships upon a deserving class of the community. The soldiers in the preceding wars, the wives and children of such as had perished in those wars, a no small portion of the community, were paid in this currency, and suffered much in consequence of its depreciation.
Various expedients were resorted to for relief, but they were of no avail.
New Hampshire was in debt, but luckily for a series of years, she kept aloof from Bills of Credit. At length, Indian wars and the preparations for the Canada expedition under Nicholson had so increased the debt of the Province, that the people demanded some relief, and the Assembly determined upon an issue of Bills of Credit. The act authorising the issue was as follows:
"Portsm', 5, December, 1709. In the House of
Representatives, Voted unanimously, That there be four thousand Bills of Credit Raised and Brought into the Treasury of this province, And from thence Issued for the payment of the Debts of the province, And that Major Wm. Vaughan, Samuel Penhallow, Mark Hunkin Speaker, Theodore Atkinson Esq., and Mr. Secretary Story may be a Committee forthwith to go to Boston to obtain leave of the Government there to impress and perfect the said four thousand pounds in Bills and to sign the Same, Vnless, which wee Rather desire, they can Obtain of the Government of Massachusetts to lend us the said Sum of four Thousand pounds of their Bills, and take security Vpon our ffund and Act of the Assembly made by this present Session for the Raising of five thousand pounds in five years next coming for the Support and payment of said Bills, and the Said Wm. Vaughan, Samuel Penhallow, Mark Hunkin, Theodore Atkinson, and Charles Story Esq., are hereby Impowered as a Committee of the General Assembly of this province, to doe and perform what is necessary for the ffinishing this affair and procuringe the Bills abovesaid as soon as is possible, that the debts of the province may be discharged.
Samuel Keais Clerk."
This bill finally passed after amendment, so that three instead of four thousand pounds in bills were raised.
The Province issued their own bills, but it cannot now be ascertained, how these bills were printed, yet it is probable merely with common type, as no plate for the emission is to be found, while the plates for all the other emissions are preserved in the Secretary's office at Concord. This was the first emission of paper money in New Hampshire.
The bills were to be redeemed by December, 31, 1714.
These bills from New Hampshire were redeemed in Boston, as our bank bills are at the present time, as appears from the following notice in the Boston News Letter:
"Her majestie's government of the Province of New Hampshire, have ordered a certain sum of their bills of public credit to be deposited in the hands of Mr. James Pemberton of Boston, merchant, to whom all persons, that have any of the said bills, which are worn out and unserviceable, may repair to have them exchanged."1
There was again an emission in 1714, of the following denominations, 1s, 1s-6d, 5s-6d, 15s, 25s, 30s, �3-10s. These were followed by emissions of the same denominations in 1717, 1722, 1724, 1725, 1726, 1727, 1729. The bills of each denomination, in addition to a slight variation in the coat of arms, had upon them a picture of a different animal, the more easy to determine the denomination of the bill. We give a specimen of the denomination of �3 [*not available]. This was struck off from the original plate now in the Secretary's office at Concord. This plate was well executed for that time and was doubtless done in London. The bill for 1s, had upon it a wild board, that for 1s-6d, a bear, for 4s-6d a griffin, for 15s, a sturgeon, for 25s, a double eagle, for 30s a deer, for �3-10s a pine tree. To prevent them being counterfeited, a check was printed upon the back side of each bill consisting of the letters N. H. curiously combined. In 1737, another emission of bills of credit was ordered and new plates were furnished, the phraseology of the bills being somewhat varied. The denominations of the emission were 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s. The bills had upon them the British arms, but no other device. In 1740 another emission was ordered and another set of plates was furnished of the following denominations, �1, �2, �3, and �5. Meantime, the depreciation of these bills had continued, so that in 1741, a pound bill would not pass for one quarter of its specified value.
The Government had taken measures to call in all their bills by the year 1741, establishing their value at one quarter of that expressed upon the face of the bills. This was more than their value in the market. In 1742 the Assembly determined upon a new emission of bills.
Accordingly, a new emission was made in that year, and to distinguish the bills from the old ones, a check was printed upon the back as given in the plate, on which was the year and the value of the bill acording to the new and old valuation. All currency issued prior to 1742 was called "Old Tenor," while that of 1742 and subsequent, was called "New Tenor." Hence the origin of the name of "New and Old Tenor" as applied to New Hampshire currency. In 1745, after the taking of Louisburg, there was another emission of bills to pay the expenses of that expedition, although any emission of such bills had been expressly prohibited in Governor Wentworth's instructions from the king. However, the brilliant result of that expedition, covered up any little matter of that sort.
At length the evils of a paper currency had become so rife and embarassing, that Parliament took the matter in hand and passed an act prohibiting Governors from assenting to any bills by the Colonial Assemblies, establishing a paper currency, cases of emergency excepted.
However, during the French war, an emission was ordered in 1755, and issued in 1756. This issue was to pay the expenses of the expedition to Crown Point.
The denominations were 6d, 1s, 3s, 3s-9d, 5s, 7s-6, 10s, 15s, 30s, �3.
These were known as "New Tenor, or Crown Point" Bills, the word Crown Point being printed upon each bill. Fifteen shillings of it were equal to one dollar in specie.
"Of this currency, the soldiers were promised thirteen pounds ten shillings per month; but it depreciated so much in the course of the year, that in the muster rolls, their pay was made up at fifteen pounds. In 1756, there was another emission from the same plates and their pay eighteen pounds. In 1758, they had twenty-seven shillings sterling, In the three succeeding years, they had thirty shillings sterling, besides a bounty at the time of their enlistment, equal to one month's pay. At length, sterling money became the standard of all contracts; and though the paper continued passing as a currency, its value was regulated by the price of silver, and the course of exchange."2
After this, emissions were but seldom and new plate was made till 1775, when under the administration of Gov. John Wentworth a new emission was ordered, and plates were made bearing date of that year and of the denomination of 20s.
These went into circulation, but to a limited extent, as the royal government was virtually at an end early in that year, and with it ceased the issue of "New Tenor" or Colonial Bills of Credit, to be followed however, by others of a still more equivocal character. But of these hereafter.
The people of Derryfield had hardly got settled down under their charter, before they were thrown into the greatest excitement and alarm by Indian depredations.During the late war, the French and Indian expeditions had almost invariably passed into the Connecticut and Merrimack valleys by the way of the "Coos Meadows" there being easy carrying places between the branches of the Connecticut and St. Fracis Rivers. To command this channel of communication and depredation became an object of moment with the government of the Province. Accordingly the project was entertained of taking armed possession of the Coos country, and thus keep the French from getting possession of it, at the same time that they should effectually stop the inrodas of the Indians in that direction. For this purpose a suitable portion of land was to have been granted to five hundred men, the grantees only paying quit rents, upon condition that they should forthwith occupy the lands in question. Two of the townships were to have been immediately laid out, one on each side of the river, "immediately taken into possession, and a regular Garrison built in each of them, encompassing perhaps 15 or more acres of land; this to be enclosed with log houses at some distance from each other, and the spaces filled up with pallisades or square timbers; in the inside of the square something of the nature of a citadel where the public buildings and granaries &c., were to be built and to be large enough to contain all the inhabitants, if at any time drove from the out enclosure, which was to be large enough to contain their cattle &c. These fortifications were to be built so as to assist each other on every occasion. They were to have courts erected, and to have power to determine all civil causes amongst themselves, and to be under a stricter military discipline than commonly were militia."3
In pursuance of this plan, a committee was sent up to examine the lands and locate and survey the towns in the spring of 1752. Their report was favorable and four hundred men were enlisted to carry the project into execution. These comprised some of the most enterprising men of the Province, and they forthwith presented a memorial to the Assembly asking assistance in forwarding their designs.
While these plans were maturing, the Indians owning these lands and who had witnessed the operations of the exploring party in the spring became highly exasperated at this attempt to seize their lands, and they determined upon retaliation.
The Indians were aware of the practice of the young men upon the frontiers in going upon the sources of the Merrimack and Amariscoggin trapping the spring of the year, and they sent a scout into the valley of the Merrimack to attack any such parties that they might find. Francis Titigaw was at the head of this party, which consisted of twelve men. Unluckily, a party of young men mainly from Amoskeag, consisting of William and John Stark of Derryfield, David Stinson of Londonderry, and Amos Eastman of Pennacook, were trapping upon Baker's River, a branch of the Pemegewasset, and upon territory, now within the town of Rumney.
They had been successful in trapping, and had collected furs amounting to �560 in value. They had discovered the trail of a party of Indians, and suspecting they were on no friendly errand, determined to avoid them if possible. Accordingly on the 27th of April, they determined to secure their traps and furs as soon as possible, and make for home. In pursuance of this determination, the following morning they commenced taking up their traps. They proceeded in their labor without molestation through the day till just night of the 28th, when the Indians captured John Stark. He was alone when taken, and was stooping down upon the bank of the river, over the water, taking up a trap. The Indians were in ambush, and surrounded him with the utmost caution, pointing several guns towards him. Stark's attention was first arrested by a sharp "hiss," when looking round, he saw that escape or resistance was equally hopeless. The next morning the Indians lay in ambush for his companions, and as they were making their way down the river, Eastman upon the shore, and Stinson and William Stark in a canoe, the former was secured, while the Indians ordered John Stark to hail those in the canoe, and induce them to come on shore. Stark accordingly hailed them, but only to inform them of his mishap, and to hasten their flight to the opposite shore. The Indians immediately rose up and raised their guns to fire upon them, but Stark struck up their guns. They threatened him, and aimed again, when he again struck up their guns; but others out of his reach, fired upon the fugitives, and Stinson was killed in the act of jumping from the canoe upon the shore. The paddle in William Stark's hand was pierced with bullets, but taking to the woods he however made his escape. The Indians were so enraged with John for aiding his brother's escape, that they struck him with their guns, but he returned their blows with such buffets, that the chief admiring his bearing, ordered them to desist, and he was no farther molested. Upon William's return to the settlements, a party from Rumford consisting of Nathaniel Eastman, Timothy Bradley, and Phineas Virgin, started for the scene of the disaster, found the body of Stinson scalped, buried it in the woods near by, and returned in safety. Meantime the Indians and their prisoners were on their way to St. Francis, where they arrived on the 9th of June. Stark by his spirited bearing had become quite a favorite with his Indian captors, and their good will protected him from injury in the granp ceremony of entering the village of St. Francis, called "running the gauntlet." The prisoners had been in training the last part of the journey for this imposing ceremony, which consisted in each prisoner's passing through two lines of the men, women and children of the village, drawn up for the purpose, and each one permitted to strike or kick the prisoner as he passed, as often and as hard, as caprice or revenge might dictate. The ceremony was duly explained to the prisoners, and they were told that they must repeat some Indian sentence as they passed along, and that usage permitted them to pass through the lines as quick as they could. The sentences to be repeated were "given out" and committed to memory. These were repeated again and again, so that there should be no mistake in emphasis or pronunciation, amid the din and excitement of the imposing ceremony.
Arrived at the village, all was excitement and tumult. The lines were quickly formed, and the prisoners were again instructed in their parts. Each of them was furnished with a pole some six or eight feet in length, upon the top of which was placed the skin of some animal. Stark's pole was furnished with a Loon-skin. Eastman's turn came first, and he commenced running and singing out at the top of his voice, "Nen nuttattagkompish wameug nunkompeog," which translated reads "I will beat all your young men." The young men taking this as a most audacious threat, hit him right and left with their clubs, and when Eastman got through the line he fell exhausted, more dead than alive, from the blows he had received.
Stark waited his turn patiently, and with a decision and promptness that never forsook him in any emergency. The Indians had become wild with the excitement of the occasion, their hard usage of Eastman having but sharpened their desire for the rough amusement. The lines were quickly formed, the sign was given for the prisoner to start, and Stark started off at a deliberate trot, singing out at the top of his voice, "Nutchipwuttoonapish wameug nonkkishquog" which means, I will kiss all your young women!"As he entered the lines, the first young Indians in the height of the excitement, struck Stark some smart blows; whereupon he regardless of his Loon-skin, whirled his pole right and left, hitting here one and there another, and dealing such heavy blows, as to knock down one or two of the nearest Indians, and to cause the others to give him a wide berth. In this manner he passed the lines without injury, filling the young Indians with astonishment, at the temerity of the prisoner, and the warriors with laughter at the discomfiture of their young men.
Such boldness on the part of Stark, won the admiration of the Indians, and he was the favorite of the village, the Sagamon adopting him as his son. This favor secured for him good treatment, but it enhanced his value in the eyes of his captors, and when in July following, he was liberated by Capt. Stevens at Number Four, and Mr. Wheelright of Boston, one hundred and three dollars were demanded as the price of his freedom, while Eastman was liberated for the sum of sixty dollars. Stark and Eastman arrived at their homes in August by the way of Albany.
About the time the Starks were taken, Sabattis and Plausawa, Indians living at St. Francis, but who had formerly lived in the Merrimack valley, came to Canterbury, and after having been kindly treated for some time by Messrs. Miles and Lindsey with whom they had formerly been acquainted, they left the place, having seized upon and captured two negroes, belonging to the men who had treated them with so much hospitality. One of the negroes, escaped and informed of his captors, while the other was sold at Crown Point.
This conduct on the part of the Indians produced the greatest consternation and alarm, and the project of taking armed possession of the Coos country was prosecuted with renewed vigor.
The Assembly of New Hampshire, in answer to the memorial of those engaged in this project, so far complied with the wishes of the memorialists, as to assume the expence of cutting and making a road from the settlements upon the Merrimack to the "Coos Meadows," and appointed a committee to survey and mark this road. This active preparation to seize their lands did not escape the notice of the Indians, and in January 1753, they sent six Indians with a flag of truce into the fort at Number Four, to remonstrate against the proceedings of the English. They took strong grounds upon the subject and it is highly probable that the whole procedure was at the instance, and under the direction of the French.
They told Capt. Stevens that they were displeased "at our peoples going to take a view of the Coos Meadows last spring" (spring of 1752,) and that "for the English to settle Cowos was what they could not agree to; and as the English had no need of that land, but had enough without it, they must think the English had a mind for war if they should go there," and that they should "have a strong war."4
Meantime about the 10th of March 1753, the Committee appointed by the Assembly to survey and mark the road to Coos, commenced the performance of their duty.
The Committee consisted of Zacheus Lovewell, of Dunstable, John Tolford, of Chester, and Caleb Page, of Starkstown. They hired sixteen men at Amoskeag and Pennacook, to assist in the expedition, and John Stark of Derryfield, as Pilot, he having passed through the Coos country as a captive the Spring previous. Caleb Page was the surveyor.
The Committee performed the duties assigned them in twenty days, returning to Concord, on the 31st of March. As most of the men engaged in this expedition were from Amoskeag, the following account is added, giving the names, time, and capacity in which each one was employed.
"March, 1753. Messrs. Zacheus Lovewell, John Tolford, and Caleb Page, Charge ye Province of New Hamr. Dr., for themselves and men here named, hired to survey, and make the road to Coos in March, Curr't.
Zacheus Lovewell, 22 days a 35s � 38 - 10 - 0 John Tolford 22 a 35s 38 - 10 - 0 Caleb Page, 22 a 35s 38 - 10 - 0 Nathl. Smith 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 John Eveny, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Ruben Kimball, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Benj. Laikin, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Enoch Webster, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Eben' Copp 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Jona' Burbank, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 John Johnson, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Benj. Eastman, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Peter Bowen, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 Nath'l Ingals,, 22 a 30s 33 - 0 - 0 Robert Rogers, 19 1-2 a 30s 29 - 5 - 0 John Combs, 22 a 30s 33 - 0 - 0 Wm. McCluer, 22 a 30s 33 - 0 - 0 John Stark, Pilot, 21 a 35s 36 - 15 - 0 Abraham Perry, 22 a 30s 33 - 0 - 0 Caleb Page, Serveyor, 22 a 60s 66 - 0 - 0 Zach' Lovewell, John Tolford, Caleb Page }
each one day attendance to appoint the day }
and prepare for ye march. }
Caleb Page's Jurney to Rumford to hire }
men 4 days, a 35s. }
5 - 5 - 0 7 - 0 - 0 Old Tenor, �684 - 5 - 0
Dated 31st, of March, 1753
Zacheus Lovewell, }
John Tolford, }Com."5
Caleb Page, }
The project seemed now to be in a fair way of being accomplished, but before any farther action was had, the remonstrance of the Indians at Number Four had been received through Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, and it was considered of so serious a nature, coupled with the existing state of relations betwixt the English and French, that the farther prosecution of the project was abandoned, at least for a time.
About the first of June following, an affair took place on the frontiers that produced a great deal of excitement, and came very near embroiling us in a serious was with the northern and eastern tribes.
In 1752, Sabattis, as has been before related, in company with Christo, capture two negroes in Canterbury, the property of Messrs. Miles and Lindsey, men with whom they had spent much time, and by whom they had been treated in a hospitable manner. This treacherous conduct on their part, together with their former hostile acts, produced much excitement in the neighborhood, and it was in no wise allayed by the appearance of Sabattis and Plausawa at Canterbury, in June of the following year. Sabattis was upbraided with his treachery, but he excused himself by saying that the St. Francis Indians had made no treaty with the English, and by intimating that there was no harm in stealing negroes. They soon became insolent in their conduct, threatened to kill the inhabitants, and drew a knife upon a woman by the name of Lindsey, and held a hatchet over her head, threatening to kill her.
They had secreted about their persons a collar and lines for securing captives, and the people had no doubt that they were there for the purpose of making prisoners.
At length their conduct became so outrageous, that some of the whites threatened their lives in return, and they left Canterbury and passed across the Merrimack to Contoocook, now Boscawen. Here they continued their insolent conduct, telling of the robberies and murders they had committed in that neighborhood during the previous wars, and threatening to do the like again. They tarried at Contoocook with two men by the names of Morrill and Bowen. Peter Bowen was a reckless borderer, a hunter, and trapper, well acquainted with Indians in general, and with Sabattis and Plausawa in particular. Preparing to leave the place, they were to have a treat at Bowen's house on a certain day. There is little doubt of the fact that certain of the people of Canterbury and Contoocook had determined to kill them, to avenge their former murders, and to prevent any future murders from them. We know that tradition has it that Bowen fought them in self-defence; but we doubt the truth of the tradition in this particular. A deposition of Thomas Barrett, Ephraim Jones, and Eleazer Melvin, of Feb., 9th, 1754, a few months after the affair, and which purports to give an account of the matter from Bowen, as hinted by himself in their presence, and also related by Capt. Henry Lovejoy, of Rumford, who lived within a few miles of Bowen and had heard him speak of it often, shows we think, that the difficulty with these Indians on the part of Bowen, was premeditated. The facts as they allege, were as follows. "Two Indians, one named Sabatis, and the other Plawsawa, came to said Contoocook about the beginning of June, having the value of about two hundred pounds, old tenor, in Beaver and other effects. The said Sabatis being known to be one of the two Indians who took two negroes at that settlement the year before, and carried one of them to Canada the other making his escape; the said Bowen procured a gallon of Rum from Rumford, and he with one or two others, whose names we did not remember, in company with said Indians, gave them rum very freely, and took an opportunity to draw the charges out of the Indians' gun, without their knowledge, and then went with them into the woods, and getting them some distance apart, the said Bowen had an engagement with the said Sabattis, who it is said, flushed his gun at him, and said Bowen struck his hatchet in said Indian's head, then chopped him several times in the back, and afterwards with a knife, stabbed him to death. The othar Indian coming up, begged of him that he would not kill him, but said Bowen, without speaking to him, struck him on the head with his hatchet, and killed him on the spot, and leaving them by the path side till the next morning, it was said, that the said Bowen, with his son as is supposed, went and dug a hole by the path side, and then threw them in and covered them with earth, but so shallow that the dogs or other creatures, uncovered them, and their bones have often been seen since."
These facts getting noised abroad, came to the knowledge of the Indians, and they expressed a determination to revenge the murder. Meantime, Bowen and Morrill were arrested, indicted for the murder, and put in jail at Portsmouth, to await their trial. They were to have been tried on the 21st of March 1754. The night previous to the day appointed for their trial, a party of men from Canterbury, Contoocook, and the neighboring towns, appeared in Portsmouth, broke open the jail, knocked the irons from Bowen and Morrill, and set them free. This outrage produced great excitement in the community, some endeavoring to discover and retake the murderers, and others favoring their escape.
Both the murder and the rescue, however, were generally justified in the community. And although rewards were offered by Governor Wentworth for the apprehension of Bowen, and Morrill, yet in a short time they went openly about their business, without fear of molestion, and the men engaged in breaking the jail at Portsmouth, though well known, were never called to account; but on the contrary were considered as having performed a most meritorious act. In fact, some of the most substantial men in the country, were engaged in the rescue, by act, or advice, and the government could not have made an arrest, had they made the attempt. Presents were afterwards made to the relatives of these Indians, by the government of New Hampshire, and thus the "blood was wiped away," to their satisfaction, but not to that of their people.
The Indians were much incensed at this murder of Sabattis and Plausawa, as well they might be, and gave out frequent threats of vengeance. At length, in the spring of 1754, they put their threats in execution.
On the 11th day of May, a party made an attack upon the houses of William Emery and Nathaniel Meloon, situated in Stevenstown, now Salisbury, and the part of Franklin, west of the river, about five miles from the settlement at Contoocook. Traces of the Indians, had been discovered the day before, and Emery had taken his family to the garrison, the evening before. They escaped captivity, but Meloon had been dilatory, and his family were all at home, but his oldest son, who happened to be in the field at work, at some distance from the house.
The Indians, some thirty in number, waylaid Meloon as he was returning from the garrison, where he was about to remove his family, and taking him to his house, secured the rest of the family, consisting of his wife, and three children, Daniel, Rachel, and Sarah. After securing the prisoners, they proceeded to rifle the house, taking the clothing, ripping open the feather beds, for the ticks, and taking what meat and meal they could find. They then proceeded to Emery's house and rifled that in the same manner, after which they retreated. Nathaniel, the boy who escaped, seeing the Indians about his father's house, took to the woods and proceeded immediately to the garrison, at Contoocook, and made known the capture of his father and family. A party of eight men went immediately to Stevenstown, but the Indians were beyond their reach with their prisoners. Mr. Stephen Gerrish, was forthwith despatched to Portsmouth, to lay the matter before the Governor and Council. The Council assembled on the 17th of May, and Mr. Gerrish went before them and presented a petition from the principal inhabitants of Contoocook, narrating the events of the 11th inst., and praying for assistance against the Indians.
Upon this petition, the Governor was advised "to enlist or impress twenty effective men, to be sent to Contoocook, Canterbury and Stevenstown to be destined as his Excellency should think most advantageous for guarding the inhabitants in those parts for one month."6
Governor Wentworth ordered out Capt. John Webster of Derryfield on this duty, who with a scout of twenty men, went to the place of the attack, and remained scouting in the neighborhood for the time stipulated, but without meeting with the enemy. His roll was as follows:
John Webster, Capt., James Procter, Lieut., Christopher Gould, Clerk, Jeremiah Bennet, George Martin, Jonathan Flood, Joseph Lancaster, William Sillaway, Daniel Rowel, Joshua Webster, Joseph Emmons, Ezekiel Straw, Nathan Gould, Phillip Wells, Daniel Huse, William Harvey, Prince Flanders, Thomas Wyman, John Darling, James Dustin.
Meantime Meloon and his family were carried to Canada. Their youngest child, Sarah, died at St. Francis in September following their captivity. Meloon and his wife were sold to a French priest and were permitted to live together, and their son Joseph was born in captivity in 1755. After remaining in captivity four years and seven months, Meloon, his wife and youngest child, Joseph, were put on board a vessel bound for France, but were taken by an English cruiser on the Grand Banks, and carried into Falmouth, (now Portland, Me.,) from whence they travelled on foot to their home in Stevenstown. Their oldest boy captured, Daniel, and Rachel their oldest daughter, were left by their parents in captivity. The boy was redeemed in 1761, as the father states in a petition to the Governor and Council bearing date March 12, 1762, This petition prayed for assistance to redeem his daughter then in captivity, and was answered by the grant of �10 sterling on the part of the Council.4 With this and other money raised among his friends, Meloon went to Canada and succeeded in redeeming his daughter from captivity and bringing her home, much however against her inclination, as having been nine years with the Indians, she had become attached to their manners and customs, and ever after retained her attachment for them.
After the return of Capt. Webster, a scout was sent up to the "Coos intervals" in pursuit of the Indians under Capt. Peter Powers of Hollis. They started from Pennacook June 15, 1754, and arrived at the mouth of Israel's River in the present town of Lancaster, on the 30th of that month, without tracing any Indians. Capt. Powers and two of his men went up the Connecticut five miles farther, July 2d, and fell in with an Indian camp that had been deserted one or two days. It being useless to follow them, the scout commenced their march homeward the same day. Soon after, attacks were made at Stevenstown and Number Four, and the Government of New Hampshire and the adventurers in her interests, laid aside any father thoughts of the armed possession of Coos, for active preparations for the "Seven Years War," that followed.
On the 18th of November 1755, occurred a very noted earthquake. The shock was so severe that people ran affrighted from their houses, thinking they were tumbling down. Ships in the harbor at Portsmouth were shaken so violently. that the sailors awakened from their berths, thought they had struck upon rocks. The occurrence was so notable in this region, that the following account of it was made in the public records of Londonderry.
"Upon Tuesday ye 18th (of November) 1755, at foure o'clock in the morning and ten minutes, there was an Extraordinary shock of an Earthquake, and continuous afterwards with smaller shocks."
The Hon. Mathew Patten, of Bedford, remarks in his Diary under the same date.
"In the night about 4 o'clock in the morning, there was an exceeding great Earthquake, reported by those that observed, to be seven different shocks. They were all in about an hour or less. The first was exceeding hard and of some minutes continuance. The others not much more than the sound, except the last, which was a hard shock, but not so hard as the first."
On the following day there was another earthquake, "a little before sunset," and on the 22d there was another, of which Judge Patten remarks in his diary as follows:
"22d.--In the evening, I suppose about 9 o'clock, there was a smart shock of an earthquake, almost as hard as the hard shock on the Monday night before, but not of so long continuance."
At this day, people can form no idea of the consternation that prevailed on this occaision. While all were more or less affrighted, many left their ordinary avocations, under the impression that the end of the world was at hand.
The earthquakes of this month were felt over a vast extent of territory. This of the 18th was felt very severely upon the shores of the great Lakes of the West, their waters being very much agitated; while a little prior, St. Ubes was swallowed up by the sea, the city of Lisbon was nearly ruined; several towns in Spain were injured, and a number of towns on the Southern Mediteranean shore were completely destroyed.