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God’s Mercy surmounting
Man’s Cruelty, &. The title page for this text is missing; a later handwritten addition copied the publication details from the Pennsylvania Gazette, indicating that the full title of the text is God’s mercy surmounting man’s cruelty exemplified in the captivity and redemption of Elizabeth Hanson, wife of John Hanson, of Knoxmarsh at Keacheachy, in Dover township, who was taken captive with her children, and maid-servant, by the Indians in New-England, in the year 1724: in which are inserted, sundry remarkable preservations, deliverances, and marks of the care and kindness of Providence over her and her children, worthy to be remembered and that it was published in 1728.

Remarkable and many have been
the Providences of God towards
his People for their Deliverance
in a Time of Trouble, by which
we may behold as in lively Characters,
the Truth of that Saying, That “he
is a God nigh at hand, and always
ready to help and assist those that fear
him, and put their Confidence in him.”

The Sacred Writings give us Instances
of the Truth hereof, in Days
of Old, as in the Case of the Israelites,
Job, David, Daniel, Paul, Silas,
and many others. Besides which,
our modern Histories have plentifully
abounded with Instances of God’s
Fatherly Care over his People, in
their sharpest Trials, deepest Distresses,
and sorest Exercises, by which
damaged1 word may know he is “a God that changethA2 geth A2v 4
not, but is the same Yesterday,
to Day and for ever.”

Among the many modern Instances,
I think, I have not met with a more
singular One, of the Mercy and preserving
Hand of God, than in the
Case of Elizabeth Hanson, Wife of
John Hanson of Knoxmarsh in Kecheachy,
in Dover-Township, in New-
England
, who was taken into Captivity
the 1724-08-2727th Day of the 6th Month,
call’d August, 1724
, and carried away
with four Children, and a Servant, by
the Indians; which Relation, as it
was taken from her own Mouth, by
a Friend, differs very little from the
Original Copy, but is even almost in
her own Words (what small Alteration
is made being partly owing to
the Mistake of the Transcriber) which
take as follows,

AAs soon as they discovered themselves
(having as we understood
by their Discourse, been sculking
in the 3 lettersdamagedds some Days, watching i2 lettersdamaged A3r 5
their Opportunity when my dear
Husband with the rest of our Men,
were gone out of the Way) two of
these barbarous Salvages came in upon
us, next Eleven more, all naked,
with their Guns and Tomahauks
came into the House in a great Fury
upon us, and killed one Child immediately,
as soon as they entred the
Door, thinking thereby to strike in
us the greater Terror, and to make
us more fearful of them.

Then in as great Fury the Captain
came up to me; but at my Request,
he gave me Quarter; there
being with me our Servant, and
Six of our Children, two of the little
Ones being at Play about the Orchard,
and my youngest Child but
Fourteen Days old, whether in Cradle
or Arms, I now mind not: Being
in that Condition, I was very unfit
for the Hardships I after met with,
which are briefly contained in the following
Pages.

They next go to rifling the House
in a great Hurry, (fearing, as I sup- A3v 6
suppose, a Surprize from our People
it being late in the Afternoon.)
and packed up some Linnen, Woollen,
and what other Things pleased
them best; and when they had done
what they would, they turned out
of the House immediately, and being
at the Door, Two of my younger
Children, One Six, and the other
Four Years old, came in Sight, and
being under a great Surprize, cryed
aloud, upon which one of the Indians
running to them, takes one under
each Arm, and brings them to us.
My Maid prevailed with the biggest
to be quiet and still, but the other
could by no Means be prevailed
with, but continued screaking and
crying very much, in the Fright, and
the Indians to ease themselves of the
Noise, and to prevent the Danger
of a Discovery that might arise from
it, immediately before my Face, knockt
its Brains out. I bore this as well as
I could, not daring to appear disturb’d,
or shew much Uneasiness,
lest they should do the same to the other A4r 7
other: But should have been exceeding
glad they had kept out of Sight
till we had been gone from our
House.

Now having kill’d two of my
Children, they scalp’d ’em (a Practice
common with these People, which
is, when-ever they kill any English
People, they cut the Skin off from
the Crown of their Heads, and carry
it with them for a Testimony and
Evidence that they have kill’d so
many, receiving sometimes a Reward
of a Sum of Money for every Scalp)
and then put forward to leave the House
in great Haste, without doing any
other Spoil than taking what they
had pack’d together, with my self
and little Babe Fourteen Days old,
the Boy Six, and the two Daughters,
the one about Fourteen, and the other
about Sixteen Years, with my Servant
Girl.

It must be considered that I having
lain-in but 14 Days, and being but
very tender and weakly, being removed
now out of a good Room well ac- A4v 8
accommodated with Fire, Bedding,
and other Things suiting a Person in
my Condition it made these Hardships
to me greater than if I had been in a
strong and healthy Frame; yet for all
this, I must go or die. There was
no Resistance.

In the Condition Aforesaid we left
the House, each Indian having something;
and I with my Babe and three
Children that could go of themselves.
The Captain, tho’ he had as great a
Load as as he could well carry, and was
helped up with 2 wordsflawed-reproduction for all that,
carry my Babe for me in his Arms,
which I took to be a Favour from
him. Thus we went thro’ several
Swamps and some Brooks, they carefully
avoiding all Paths of any Track
like a Road, lest by our Footsteps
we should be followed.

We got that Night, I suppose, not
quite ten Miles from our House, on
a direct Line; then taking up their
Quarters, lighted a Fire, some of them
lying down while others kept Watch;
I being both wet and weary, and lying B1r 9
lying on the cold Ground in the open
Woods, took but little Rest.

However, early in the Morning,
we must go just as Day appeared,
travelling very hard all that Day
thro’ sundry Rivers, Brooks and
Swamps, they as before, carefully avoiding
all Paths, for the Reason already
assign’d: At Night I was both
wet and tyred exceedingly, having
the same Lodging on the cold Ground
in the open Woods. Thus for 26
Days, Day by Day, we travelled very
hard, sometimes a little by Water over
Lakes and Ponds; and in this
Journey we went up some very high
Mountains so steep, that I was forc’d
to creep up on my Hands and Knees,
under which Difficulty the Indian
my Master, would mostly carry my
Babe for me, which I took as a great
Favour of God that his Heart was so
tenderly inclined to assist me, tho’ he
had, as I said, a very heavy Burden
of his own; nay, he would sometimes
take my very Blanket, so that
I had nothing to do, but take my B little B1v 10
little Boy by the Hand for his Help,
and assist him as well as I could, taking
him up in my Arms a little at Times,
because so small, and when we came
at very bad Places, he would lend me
his Hand, or coming behind, would
push me up before him: In all which,
he shewed some Humanity and Civility
more than I could have expected:
For which Privilege I was secretly
thankful to God as the moving
Cause thereof.

Next to this, we had some very
great Runs of Water and Brooks to
wade thro’, in which at Times, we
met with much Difficulty, wading
often to our middle, and sometimes
our Girls were up to their Shoulders
and Chin, the Indians carrying my
Boy on their Shoulders. At the Side
of one of these Runs or Rivers, the
Indians would have my eldest Daughter,
Sarah to sing them a Song: Then
was brought into her Remembrance
that Passage in the INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.137th Psalm, “By
the Rivers of Babylon there we sat
down, yea we wept when we remember’dber’d B2r 11
Zion; we hanged our Harps on
the Willows in the midst thereof; for
there they that carryed us away captive
required of us a Song, and they
that wasted us, required of us Mirth.”

When my poor Child had given me
this Account, it was very affecting,
and my Heart was very full of
Trouble, yet on my Child’s Account,
I was glad that she had so good an
Inclination, which she yet further
manifested in longing for a Bible,
that we might have the Comfort in
reading the Holy Text, at vacant
Times, for our Spiritual Comfort under
our present Affliction.

Next to the Difficulties of the Rivers,
were the prodigious Swamps
and Thickets, very difficult to pass
thro’; in which Places my Master
would sometimes lead me by the
Hand a great Way together, and give
me what Help he was capable of under
the Straits we went thro’; and
we passing one after another, the
first made it pretty passable for the
hindmost.

B2 But B2v 12

But the greatest Difficulty that deserves
the first to be named, was
Want of Food, having at Times nothing
to eat but Pieces of old Beaver-
Skin Match Coats, which the Indians
having hid (for they came naked as
is said before) which in their going
back again they took with them, and
they were used more for Food than
Rayment: Being cut out in long narrow
Straps, they gave us a little Pieces,
which by the Indians Example
we laid on the Fire till the Hair was
singed away, and then we eat them
as a sweet Morsel, experimentally
knowing, that “to the hungry Soul every
bitter thing is sweet.”

It’s to be consider’d further, that
of this poor Dyet we had but very
scanty Allowance; so that we were
in no Danger of being over-charged.
But that which added to my Trouble
was the Complaints of my poor
Children, especially the little Boy.
Sometimes the Indians would catch a
Squirrel, or a Beaver, and at other
Times, we met with Nutts, Berries and B3r 13
and Roots they digg’d out of the
Ground, with the Bark of some Trees:
But we had no Corn for a great
while together, tho’ some of the
younger Indians went back, and
brought some Corn from the English
Inhabitants, the Harvest not being
gathered, of which we had a little
allowed us: But when they caught a
Beaver, we liv’d high while it lasted,
they allowing me the Guts and Garbage
for my self and Children: But
not allowing us to clean and wash
them as they ought, made the Food
very irksome to us, in the Conceit of
our Minds, to feed upon, and nothing
besides pinching Hunger could have
made it any way tolerable to be born.
But “that makes every bitter Thing
sweet.”

The next Difficulty was no less
hard to me; for my daily Travel and
hard Living made my Milk dry almost
quite up, and how to preserve
my poor Babe’s Life was no small
Care on my Mind, having no other
Sustenance for it, many Times, but cold B3v 14
cold Water, which I took in my
Mouth, and let it fall on my Breast,
(when I gave it the Teat,) to suck in,
with what it could get from the
Breast; and when I had any of the
Broth of the Beaver, or other Guts, I
fed my Babe with it, as well as I
could: By which Means, thro’ Care
to keep it as warm as I could, I preserved
its Life till I got to Canada,
and then I had some other Food, of
which more in its Place.

Having by this Time got considerably
on the Way, the Indians part;
and we must be divided amongst
them. This was a sore Grief to us
all: But we must submit, and no Way
to help our selves. My eldest Daughter
was first taken away, and carryed
to another Part of the Country far
distant from us, where for the present,
we must take Leave of her, tho’ with
a heavy Heart.

We did not travel far after this,
before they divided again, taking my
second Daughter and Servant Maid
from me, into another Part of the Coun- B4r 15
Country: So, I having now only my
Babe at my Breast, and little Boy six
Years old, we remained with the
Captain still: But my Daughter and
Servant underwent great Hardships
after they were parted from me, travelling
three Days, without any
Food, taking nothing for Support,
but cold Water, and the third Day,
what with the Cold, the Wet, and
Hunger, the Servant fell down as
dead in a Swoon, being both very
cold and wet, at which the Indians
with whom they were, were surpriz’d,
shewing some Kind of Tenderness,
being unwilling then to lose them by
Death, having got them so near
home, hoping if they lived, by their
Ransom to make considerable Profit
by them.

In a few Days after this, they got
near their Journey’s End, where they
had more Plenty of Corn and other
Food: But Flesh often fell very short
having no other Way to depend on
for it, but hunting flawed-reproduction1 word when that
failed, they had flawed-reproduction2 words Commons.mons. B4v 16
It was not long ere my
Daughter and Servant were likewise
parted; and my Daughter’s Master
being sick, was not able to hunt for
Flesh: Neither had they any Corn
in that Place, but were forced to eat
Bark of Trees for a whole Week.

Being almost famished in this Distress,
Providence so ordered that
some other Indians hearing of their
Misery and Want, came to visit them;
(these People being very kind and
helpful to one another, which is very
commendable) and brought unto
them the Guts and Liver of a Beaver,
which afforded them a good Repast,
being but Four in Number, the
Indian, his Wife and Daughter, and
my Daughter.

By this Time my Master and our
Company got to our Journey’s End,
where we were better fed at Times,
having some Corn and Venison, and
wild Fowl, or what they could catch
by hunting in the Woods; and my
Master having a large Family, being
Fifteen in Number, we had at Times very C1r 17
very short Commons, more especially
when Game was scarce.

But here our Lodging was still on
the cold Ground in a poor Wigwam,
(which is a kind of little Shelter
made with the Rinds of Trees and
Mats for a Covering, something like
a Tent.) These are so easily set up
and taken down, that they oft remove
them from one Place to another.
Our Shoes and Stockings being done,
and our other Cloaths wore out in
that long Journey thro’ the Bushes
and Swamps, and the Weather coming
in very hard, we were poorly
defended from the Cold, for Want of
Necessaries; which caused one of my
Feet, one of the little Babe’s, and
both the little Boys to freeze, and
this was no small Exercise, yet thro’
Mercy, we all did well.

Now tho’ we got to our Journey’s
End, we were never long in one
Place, but very often moved from
one Place to another, carrying their
Wigwams with them which they
could do, without much Difficulty. C This C1v 18
This being for the Conveniencey of
Hunting, made our Accommodations
much more unpleasant than if we
had continued in one Place, by reason
the Coldness and Dampness of
the Ground, where our Wigwams
were pitched, made it very unwholesome
and unpleasant Lodging.

Being now got to the Indian Fort,
many of the Indians came to visit us,
and in their Way welcom’d my Master
home; and held a great Rejoycing,
with Dancing, Firing Guns,
Beating on hollow Trees, instead of
Drums, shouting, drinking and Feasting
after their Manner, in much Excess
for several Days together, which
I suppose, in their Thoughts, was a
Kind of Thanks to God put up for
their safe Return and good Success:
But while they were in their Jollitry
and Mirth, my Mind was greatly
exercised towards the Lord, that
I, with my dear Children separated
from me, might be preserved from repining
against God, under our Affliction
on the one Hand, and on the
other, we might have our Dependance on C2r 19
on him who rules the Hearts of Men,
and can do what pleases in the Kingdoms
of the Earth, knowing that
his Care is over them who put their
Trust in him; but I found it very
hard to keep my Mind as I ought,
under the Resignation which is proper
to be in, under such Afflictions
and sore Trials, as at that Time I
suffer’d, in being under various Fears
and Doubts concerning my Children,
that were separated from me, which
helpt to add to, and greatly encrease
my Troubles: And herein I may truly
say, my Afflictions are not to be
set forth in Words to the Extent of them.

We had not been long at home ere
my Master went a hunting, and was
absent about a Week, he ordering me
in his Absence to get in Wood, gather
Nuts, &c. I was very diligent,
cutting the Wood, and putting it in
Order, not having very far to carry
it: But when he returned, having
got no Prey, he was very much
out of Humour, and the Disappointment
was so great, that he could C2 not C2v 20
not forbear revenging it on us poor
Captives. However he allowed me
little boyled Corn for self and Child,
but with a very angry Look threw a
Stick or Corn-Cob at me, with such
Violence as did bespeak he grudged
our Eating. At this his Squaw and
Daughter broke out in a great Crying.
This made me fear Mischief
was hatching against us: And on it,
I immediately went out of his Presence
into another Wigwam; upon
which he comes after me, and in
great Fury tore my Blanket off my
Back, and took my little Boy from
me and struck him down as he went
along before him; But the poor Child
not being hurted, only frighted in
the Fall, he started up and ran away,
without crying; then the Indian my
Master left me; but his Wife’s Mother
came and sat down and by me, and
told me, “I must sleep there that Night.”
She then going from me a little Time,
came back with a small Skin to cover
my Feet withal, informing, that
my Master intended now to kill us; and C3r 21
and I being desirous to know the
Reason, expostulated, that “in his Absence
I had been diligent to do as I was
ordered by him.”
Thus, as well as I
could, I made her sensible how unreasonable
he was. Now, tho’ she
could not understand me, nor I her,
but by SgnsSigns, we reasoned as well as
we could: She therefore makes Signs
that I must die, advising me, by
pointing up with her Fingers, in her
Way, to pray to God, endeavouring
by her Signs and Tears to instruct
me in that which was most needful,
viz. to prepare for Death, which
now threatned me; the poor old Squaw
was so very kind and tender, that
she would not leave me all that Night,
but laid her self down at my Feet, designing
what she could to asswage
her Son-in-law’s Wrath, who had
conceived Evil against me, chiefly as
I understood, because the Want of
Victuals urged him to it. My Rest
was little this Night, my poor Babe
sleeping sweetly by me.

I C3v 22

I dreaded the tragical Design of
my Master, looking every Hour for
his coming to execute his bloody
Will upon us: But he being weary
with his Hunting and Travel in the
Woods, (having toyled for nothing)
went to Rest, and forgot it. Next
Morning he applied himself again to
hunting in the Woods; but I dreaded
his returning empty, and prayed
secretly in my Heart, that he might
catch some Food to satisfy his Hunger,
and cool his ill Humour. He
he had been gone but a little Time till
returned with Booty, having shot
some wild Duck; and now he appeared
in a better Temper, ordering the
Fowls to be dress’d with Speed; for
these kind of People, when they have
Plenty, spend it as freely as they get
it; spending it in Gluttony and Drunkenness
in two Days Time, as much,
as with prudent Management might
serve a Week. Thus do they live,
for the most Part, either in Excess of
Gluttony and Drunkenness, or under
great Straits for Want of Necessaries. How C4r 23
However in this plentiful Time I felt
the Comfort of it in Part with the
Family, having a Portion sent for
me and my little ones, which was
very acceptable. Now, I thinking
to my self the Bitterness of Death
was over for this Time, my Spirits
were a little easier.

Not long after this, he got into
the like ill Humour again, threatning
to take away my Life. But I
always observed when-ever he was in
such a Temper, he wanted Food, and
was pinched with Hunger. But when
he had Success in hunting, to take
either Bears, Beavers, Bucks or Fowls,
on which he could fill his Belly, he
was better humoured, tho’ he was naturally
of a very hot and passionate
Temper, throwing Sticks, Stones, or
whatever lay in his Way, on every
slight Occasion. This made me in
continual Danger of my Life: But
That God whose Providence is over
all his Works, so preserved me, that
I never received any Damage from
him that was of any great Consequencequence C4v 24
to me; for which I ever desire
to be thankful to my Maker.

When Flesh was scarce, we had
only the Guts and Garbage allowed
to our Part; and not being permitted
to cleanse the Guts any otherwise
than emptying the Dung, without
so much as washing them, as before
is noted, in that filthy Pickle
we must boil them, and eat them,
which was very unpleasant: But Hunger
made up that Difficulty, so that
this Food which was very often our
Lot, became pretty tolerable to a
sharp Appetite, which otherwise by
no Means could have been dispensed
with. Thus I consider’d, none knows
what they can undergo, till they
are tryed: For what I had thought
in my own Family, nor fit for Food,
would here have been a Dainty-Dish
and a sweet Morsel.

By this Time, what with Fatigue
of Spirits, hard Labour, mean Diet,
and often Want of Natural Rest, I
was brought so low, that my Milk
was dryed up, my Baby very poor and D1r 25
and weak, just Skin and Bone; for
I could perceive all its Joynts from
one End of the Babe’s Back to the
other; and how to get what would
suit its weak Appetite, I was at a
Loss; on which one of the Indian
Squaws perceiving my Uneasiness about
my Child, began some Discourse
with me, in which she advised me
to take the Kernels of Walnuts, and
clean them, and beat them with a
little Water, which I did, and when
I had so done, the Water look’d
like Milk; then she advised me to add
to this Water, a little of the finest of
the Indian Corn Meal, and boyl it
a little together. I did so, and it became
palatable, and was very nourishing
to the Babe, so that it began
to thrive and look well; which was
before more like to die than live.
I found that with this kind of Diet
the Indians did often nurse their
Infants. This was no small Comfort
to me: But this Comfort was
soon mixed with Bitterness and
Trouble, which thus happen’d; My D Ma- D1v 26
Master taking Notice of my dear
Babe’s thriving Condition, would
often look upon it and say, “when it
was fat enough, it should be killed,
and he would eat it”
; and pursuant
to his Pretence, at a certain Time,
he made me to fetch him a Stick that
he had prepared for a Spit, to roast
the Baby upon, as he said, which
when I had done, he made me sit
down by him, and undress the Infant.
When the Child was naked,
he felt its Arms, Legs, and Thighs,
and told me, “It was not fat enough
yet; I must dress it again until it was
better in Case.”

Now tho’ he thus acted, I could
not perswade my self, that he intended
to do as he pretended; but only
to aggravate and afflict me: Neither
ever could I think but our Lives
would be preserved from his barbarous
Hands, by the over-ruling Power
of him in whose Providence I put
my Trust, both Day and Night.

A little Time after this my Master
fell sick, and in his sickness, as he lay D2r 27
lay in his Wigwam, he order’d his
own Son to beat my Son: But the
old Squaw, the Indian Boy’s Grandmother,
would not suffer him to do
it: Then his Father, my Master, being
provoked, catches up a Stick very
sharp at one End, and with great
Violence threw it from him, at my
Son, and hit him on the Breast, with
which my Child was much bruised,
and the Pain, with the Surprize, made
him turn as pale as Death; I entreating
him not to cry, and the Boy
tho’ but Six Years old, bore it with
wonderful Patience, not so much as
in the least complaining, so that the
Child’s Patience asswaged the Barbarity
of his hard Heart: who, no
Doubt, would have carryed his Passion
and Resentment higher, had the
Child cryed, as always Complaining
did aggravate his Passion, and his
Anger grew hotter upon it. Some
little Time after, on the same Day he
got upon his Feet, but far from being
well. However, tho’ he was
sick, his Wife and Daughter let me D2 know, D2v 28
know, he intended to kill us, and I
was under a Fear, unless Providence
now intercepted, how it would end,
I therefore put down my Child, and
going out of his Presence, went to
cut Wood for the Fire, as I used to
do, hoping that would in Part, allay
his Passion; but withal ere I came
to the Wigwam again, I expected my
Children would be killed in this mad
Fit, having no other Way but to cast
my Care upon God, who had cared for me and
mine.

Under this great Feud, the old
Squaw, my Master’s Mother-in-law
left him; but my Mistress and her
Daughter abode in the Wigwam with
my Master; and when I came with
my Wood, the Daughter came to me,
whom I asked, if her Father had kill’d
my Children, and she made me a
Sign, “No”, with a Countenance that
seem’d pleas’d it was so; for instead
of his further venting his Passion on
me and my Children, the Lord, in
whom I trusted, did seasonably interpose,pose, D3r 29
and I took it as a merciful Deliverance
from him, and the Indian
was under some Sense of the same as
himself did confess to them about him
afterwards.

Thus it was a little after he got up
on his Feet, the Lord struck him with
great Sickness, and a violent Pain, as
appeared by the Complaint he made
in a doleful and hideous Manner;
which when I understood, not having
yet seen him, I went to another Squaw,
that was come to see my Master,
which could both speak and understand
English, and enquired of her if
my Mistress (for so I always called
her, and him Master) thought that
Master would die? She answer’d “Yes,
it was very likely he would, being
worse and worse”
: Then I told her,
“He struck my Boy a dreadful Blow without
any Provocation at all, and had
threatned to kill us all in his Fury and
Passion”
; upon which the Squaw told
me, “My Master had confessed the Abuse
he offered my Child, and that the Mischief
he had done, was the Cause why God D3v 30
God afflicted him with that Sickness
and Pain; and he had promised never
to abuse us in such Sort more”
: And
after this he soon recovered, but was
not so passionate; nor do I remember
he ever after struck either me or
Children, so as to hurt us, or with
that mischievous Intent as before he
used to do. This I took as the Lord’s
Doing, and it was marvellous in my
Eyes.

Some few Weeks after this, my
Master made another Remove, having,
as before, made several: But this
was the longest ever he made, it being
two Day’s Journey, and mostly
upon the Ice. The first Day’s Journey
the Ice was bare, but the next Day
some Snow falling, made it troublesome,
very tedious and difficult travelling;
and I took much Damage
in often falling, having the Care of
my Babe, that added not a little to
my Uneasiness; and the last Night,
when we came to encamp, it being
in the Night, I was ordered to fetch
Water: But having sate a while on the D4r 31
the cold Ground, I could neither go
nor stand; but crawling on my
Hands and Knees, a young Indian
Squaw came to see our People, being
of another Family, in Compassion took
the Kettle, and knowing where to
go, which I did not, fetcht the Water
for me. This I took as a great Kindness
and Favour, that her Heart was
inclined to do me this Service.

I now saw the Design of this Journey;
my Master being, as I suppose,
weary to keep us, was willing to make
what he could of our Ransom; therefore
he went further towards the
French, and left his Family in this
Place, where they had a great Dance,
sundry other Indians coming to our
People, This held some Time, and
while they were in it, I got out of
their Way in a Corner of the Wigwam
as well as I could: But every
Time they came by me, in their
Dancing, they would bow my Head
towards the Ground, and frequently
kick me with as great Fury as they
could bear, being sundry of them bare- D4v 32
barefoot, and others having Indian
Mocossons: This Dance held some
Time, and they made (in their Manner)
great rejoycings and Noise.

It was not many Days ere my
Master returned from the French; but
he was in such a Humour, when he
came back, he would not suffer me
in his Presence. Therefore I had a
little Shelter made with some Boughs,
they having digg’d thro’ the Snow
to the Ground, the Snow being pretty
deep. In this Hole, I and my
poor Children were put to lodge, the
Weather being very sharp, and hard
Frost in the Month called January,
made it more tedious to me and poor
Babes. Our Stay not being long in
this Place, he took me to the French,
in Order for a Chapman; and when
we came among them, I was exposed
to Sale, and he asked for me 800 Livres:
But the French not complying
with his Demand, put him in a great
Rage, offering him but 600, he said
in a great Passion, “If he could not have
his Demand, he would make a great Fire, E1r 33
Fire, and burn me and the Babe in the
View of the City,”
which was named
Port-Royal. The Frenchmen bid the
Indian make his Fire, “and I will,” says
he, “help you, if you think that will do
you more Good than 600 Livres,”
calling
my Master “Fool,” and speaking
roughly to him, bid him be gone.
But at the same Time, the Frenchmen
was very civil to me; and for my
Encouragement, “bid me be of good Cheer,
for I should be redeemed, and not go
back with them again.”

Retiring now with my Master for
this Night, the next Day I was redeemed
for 600 Livres, and in treating
with my Master, the Frenchman
queried, “Why he asked so much for the
Babe’s Ransom,”
urging, “when it had its
Bellyful, it would die;”
My Master said,
“No, it would not die, having already lived
26 Days on nothing but Water, believing
the Babe to be a Devil.”
The
Frenchman told him, “No, the Child is
order’d for longer Life; and it has
pleased God to preserve it to Admiration.”
My Master said, “No it was a E Devil, E1v 34
Devil, and he believed it would not
die, unless they took a Hatchet, and
beat its Brains out.”
Thus ended their
Discourse, and I was, as aforesaid,
with my Babe, ransomed for 600 Livres,
my little Boy, likewise at the
same Time, for an additional Sum of
Livres, was redeemed also.

I now having changed my Landlord,
my Table and Diet, as well as
my Lodging, the French were civil
beyond what I could either desire or
expect. But the next Day after I was
redeemed, the Romish Priests took
my Babe from me, and according to
their Custom, they baptized it (urging
if it died before That, it would
be damned, like some of our modern
pretended reformed Priests) and they
gave it a Name as pleased them
best; which was Mary Ann Frossways,
telling me, “My Child, if it now died,
would be saved, being baptized;”
and
my Landlord speaking to the Priest
that baptized it, said, “It would be
well now Frossways was baptized,
for it to die, being now in a State to be E2r 35
be saved.”
But the Priest said, “No, the
Child having been so miraculously preserved
thro’ so many Hardships, it may
be designed by God for some great Work,
and by its Life being still continued,
may much more glorify God than if it
should now die.”
A very sensible Remark,
and I wish it may prove true.

I having been about five Months
amongst the Indians, in about one
Month after I got amongst the French,
my dear Husband, to my unspeakable
Comfort and Joy, came to me,
who was now himself concerned to
redeem his Children, two of our
Daughters being still Captives, and
only my self and two little ones redeemed;
and thro’ great Difficulty
and Trouble he recover’d the younger
Daughter: But the eldest we could
by no Means obtain from their Hands,
for the Squaw, to whom she was given,
had a Son which she intended
my Daughter should in Time be prevailed
with to marry; the Indians
being very civil toward their captive
Women, not offering any Incivility by E2 any E2v 36
any indecent Carriage (unless they be
much overgone in Liquor, which is
commendable in them so far).

However the Affections they had
for my Daughter, made them refuse
all Offers and Terms of Ransom; so
that after my poor Husband had waited
and made what Attempts and Endeavours
he could, to obtain his Child,
and damaged2 words Purpose, we were forced
to make homeward, leaving our
Daughter to our great Grief, behind
us, amongst the Indians, and set forwards
over the Lake, with Three of
our Children, and Servant-Maid, in
damaged1 word with sundry others, and
by the Kindness of Providence we
got well home on the 1725-09-01first Day of
the Seventh Month, 1725
. From which
it appears I had been from home amongst
the Indians and French, about
Twelve Months, and Six Days.

In the Series of which Time, the
many Deliverances and wonderful
Providences of God unto us, and over
us, have been, and I hope will so remain
to be as a continued Obligation on E3r 37
on my Mind ever to live in that Fear,
Love and Obedience to God, duly regarding,
by his Grace, with Meekness
and Wisdom, to approve myself by his
Spirit, in all Holiness of Life, and Godliness
of Conversation, to the Praise of
him that hath called me, who is God
blessed forever.

But my dear Husband, poor Man!
could not enjoy himself in Quiet With
us, for Want of his dear Daughter Sarah,
that was left behind; and not willing
to omit any thing for her redemption
which lay in his Power, he could
not be easy without making a second
Attempt; in order to which, he took
his Journey about the 1727-04-19nineteenth Day
of the Second Month, 1727
, in company
with a Kinsman and his Wife,
who went to redeem some of their Children,
and were so happy as to obtain
what they went about: But my dear
Husband being taken sick on the Way,
grew worse and worse, as we were informed,
and was sensible he should not
get over it; telling my Kinsman, that
if it was the Lord’s Will he must die in E3v 38
in the Wilderness, he was freely given
up to it. He was under a good Composure
of mind, and sensible to the last
Moment, and died, as near as we can
guess, in about the Half-way between
Albany and Canada, in my Kinsman’s
Arms, and is at rest, I hope in the Lord:
And though my own Children’s loss is
very great; yet I doubt not but his
gain is much more; I therefore desire
and pray that the Lord will enable me
patiently to submit to his will in all
things he is pleased to suffer to my lot
while here, earnestly supplicating the
God and Father of all our mercies, to
be a Father to my fatherless Children,
and give unto them that Blessing which
maketh truly rich, and adds no sorrow
to it; that as they grow in years they
may grow in Grace, and experience
the Joy of his Salvation, which is come
by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Amen.

Now though my Husband died, by
reason of which his Labor was ended,
yet my Kinsman prosecuted the thing,
and left no Stone unturned that he thought, E4r 39
thought, or could be advised, was
proper to the obtaining my daughter’s
Freedom; but could by no means
prevail; for as is before said (she being
in another part of the Country
distant from where I was) and given
to an old Squaw, who intended to marry
her in time to her Son, using what
persuading she could to effect her
end, sometimes by fair Means, and
sometimes by severe. In the mean
time a Frenchman interposed and they,
by persuasion enticed my Child to
marry, in order to obtain her Freedom,
by reason that those Captives
married by the French, are by that
Marriage made free among them,
the Indians having then no pretence
longer to keep them as Captives, she
therefore was prevailed upon, for the
reasons afore assigned, to marry,
and she was accordingly married
to the Frenchman.

Thus, as well, and as near as I
can from my memory, (not being
capable of keeping a Journal) I have
given a short, but a true Account of some E4v 40
some of the remarkable Trials and
wonderful Deliverances, which I
never purposed to expose; but
that I hope thereby the merciful
Kindness and Goodness of God
may be magnified, and the Reader
hereof provoked with more care
and fear to serve him in Righteousness
and Humility and then
my designed End and Purpose will
be answered.

E.H.

Finis.