« AnteriorContinuar »
FROM THE FIRST LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS, TO THE CONQUEST OF
CANADA BY THE ENGLISH, IN 1760 :
NOTICES OF INDIAN DEPREDATIONS
IN THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRY:
AND OF TRE FIRST PLANTING AND PROGRESS OF SETTLEMENTS
IN NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK AND CANADA.
By E. HOYT, Esq.
PRINTED BY ANSEL PHELPS.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit:
District Clerk's Office. L. s. } , ,
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twenty fifth day of October, A. D. of America, EPAPHRAS Hoyt, of the said district hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right wereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wil :
“ Antiquarian Researches: comprising a History of the Indian Wars in the country bordering Connecticnt river, and parts adjacent, and other interesting events, from the first landing of the Pilgrims, to the conquest of Canada by the English in 1760; with notices of Indian depredations in the neighboring country, and of the first planting and progress of settlements in New England, New York and Canada. By E. Hoyt, Esq."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, intitled “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act, intitled " an act supplementary to an act intitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS.
Among the objects that attract the attention of the inquisitive in all countries, as they advance in arts, science, and literature, and consequently civilization, few are sought with more avidity than those relating to their early history; and this avidity seems to increase in direct proportion to the antiquity of a country. Whether this arises from a sort of puerility introduced by a false refinement, or from improvement in intellect, will not here be discussed. But, be this as it may, it will not be denied that a majority of mankind are gratified, on viewing fields where conflicting forces have commingled in bloody strife, and in contemplating, in their leisure hours, the dangers and
sufferings of departed heroes. Nor will it be doubted, that a writer (Dr. Johnson, if I mistake not) expressed the genuine sentiment of humanity, when he said, “ Far be from me or my friends, such frigid philosopby, as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved, over any ground that has been dignified by wisdom, bravery or virtue.
That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of lona."
Partaking of this sentiment, which seems to be growing among the inquisitive in our own country, and particularly of a zeal for looking over the military operations, in which our forefathers evinced the most persevering resolution, in their various wars with the Indians and French, the author of the following work was induced to examine, with critical care, the history of those arduous times, for minute details of the numerous events. In this examination it was found, that they were scattered through many historical works, some of which were voluminous, others very brief, and in none were to be found notices of the whole of the interesting transactions. So far as relates to the country on Connectic riv within the limits of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, many were found to be omitted, of which the author possesses authentic documents.
Unwilling that these should go down to the vale of oblivion," he undertook the task of collecting and arranging materials for a work, in which these omissions should be supplied, and the whole of the most interesting transactions, concatenated in a volume of moderate size; and after much research, laborious beyond anticipation, and visiting the sites of many battles, to acquire such topographical information, as would enable him to describe with some degree of military precision, the volume, here offered to the public, was completed.
It would be difficult to cite the whole of the documents, from which the materials for the work have been drawn, for they are considerably numeroue; and as the author has been sometime in collecting them, hardly within his recollection. For much original matter, he is indebted to a collection of valuable manuscripts, found among the descendants of the late colonel Israel Williams of Hatfield, who, after the death of colonel John Stoddard of Northampton, was intrusted with the command of the forces, employed on the western frontiers of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and to whom the early settlers, in that section of country, were much indebted for long and able services. Some facts have also been obtained from letters and journals, of other gentlemen in the same quarter of the country; and others from oral relations of people, whose silvered locks and wrinkled visages, added double interest to the many hardships, dangers and ex. ploits in which they shared, in “olden times.”
Among the early American works, which have been consulted for facts, areHubbard's Narrative of the Indian Wars, and his History of New England-Dr. Prince's Chronological History of New England - Morton's New England Memorial-Church's llistory of Philip's War-Dr. Mather's Magnalia--Rev. John Williams' Redeemed Captive-Colden's History of the Five Nations--Smith's of New York--Hutchinson's of Massachusetts--Forster's Collection of Northern Voyages; besides the Histories of the several New England States, by more recent writers. But none have afforded more aid, than the American Annals of Dr. Holines, which contain a mass of maierials, selected from the best historical and other works. The valuable Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, have also furnished much important matter, relating to the settlement of the country, as well as to subsequent events. For the perusal of several rare works, the author, with great pleasure, acknowledges bis indebtedness to the Athenæum in Boston ; an institution which reflects the highest honor on its proprietors, not only from its liberal regulations, but from its valuable collection of books.
In noticing the first settlement of towns, some pains have been taken to insert their Indian names. But were a difficulty has occurred, from the difference in their orthography, as given by different writers; and in some instances, perhaps from a culpable inattention of himself and his printer, they are given with some variation. --Another difficulty has been met, in the different manner of dating at different periods. Before the new style was adopted in England, in 1752, it was common to begin the year on the 25th of March ; but for some years prior, as well as after, the dates from January to the 25th of March were expressed in the fractional form, thus, 1703-41752-3, &c.; and as this was not always attended to by the writers of the times, anachronisus, may have been committed. In general the early dates, in this work, will require the addition of twelve days, to fit them to the present reckoning.
In most cases where documents have been found ample, minute details have been attempted, while in others where they were less so, they are more condensed; and from this circumstance, it will be observed, that the military operations on the Connecticut are generally more full than those in other parts of New England, and that some of minor importance, in the eastern quarter, are omitted. Perhaps to some, the particular details of many events, may appear as tediously minute, and the insertion of the names of the sufferers, as supererogatory. The author is of a different opinion ; he believes that among the numerous posterity of the sufferers, these will not be considered as uninteresting parts of the work. The operations of the armies in New York, in the war of 1755, are necessarily condensed, and the exploits of the partisan corps under majors Putnam and Rogers, but partially noticed. A minute History of these Campaigns, which the author has nearly completed, may hereafter be offered to the public.
To the critical reader, great defects will doubtless appear in the style of the work; for the author lays no claims to skill in literary composition. Indeed in looking it ver in print, he finds many places susceptible of amendemnts. For these defects, the following is offered as an apology. The work does not aspire to the dignity of a regular History, but to researches into the antiquities of our country; and as a complète History of New England is still a desideratum, an accumulation of facts, however unskilfully given, will not be considered as unimportant. If then, the work shall add any of importance to the present stock, and afford entertainment to those who feel an interest in the recital of the hardships and ex. ploits of our forefathers, and at the same time aid the future historian in his researches, the author will rest satisfied ;--for he deems it of more importance, that facts should accumulate, than that he should be thought even a passable writer,
Deerfield, December 1824.