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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 geth 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 ing 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 137th Pſalm, By the Rivers of Babylon there we ſat down, yea we wept when we remember’dber’d B2r 11 ber’d 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.

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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 mons. 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.

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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 quence 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 poſe, 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.