Queen Anne’s War – Indian Wars
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War was declared against France by Queen Anne, of England, in May, 1702, and, of course, the contest was renewed in America. Villebon, the governor of Canada, immediately began to encroach upon the northern frontier of the British colonies, and to instigate the Indians to commence their destructive ravages. Dudley, the governor of Massachusetts, visited Casco, Maine, in June, 1703, and held a conference with a number of Indian chiefs, and concluded a treaty which the Indians promised to observe as long as the sun and moon should continue. Not withstanding these protestations, they made an attack a few weeks after upon all the settlements from Casco to Wells, killing and taking one hundred and thirty persons, and destroying all in their way.
On the 17th of August, 1703, a party of Indians attacked Hampton village, killed five persons, and plundered two houses. This alarmed the neighboring country, and the Indians fled. In the fall, Colonel March, of Casco, attacked a party of the enemy, killing six and taking six prisoners. Hostilities were suspended during the winter.
In the spring, Colonel Church, renowned as the conqueror of Metacomet, planned an expedition against the Indians in Maine, and sailed from Boston, with a number of small boats, in May. At Green Island, he took a number of prisoners, and at Penobscot, he took or killed every Indian or Frenchman who could be found. Among the captives was a daughter of Castein, whom they kindly treated, though her father had been such a bloody foe of New England. Thence they proceeded, and drove the French and Indians from Passamaquaddy. Sailing across the bay, they took Menas, a town in Nova Scotia. On his return, Colonel Church touched at various places on the main and the islands, and found that the enemy were all gone. He was informed that the French priests had told the Indians, it was impossible for them to live in the same country with the English, and advised them to remove to the Mississippi, promising to go and live and die with them. According to this advice of the French, who had excited them to quarrel, and were the occasion of their ruin and sufferings, the Indians left their homes, their provisions, and their country to the victorious English.
In the winter, a body of two hundred and seventy men, under Colonel Hilton, proceeded against the Norridgewock Indians. But upon arriving at their village, it was found deserted, and the English could only content themselves with burning the wigwams and the chapel built by the Jesuit, Father Halle. The governor of Canada induced the Indians on the frontier of New England to remove to Canada, by which course, he attached them by stronger bonds to the interests of the French. Although both parties made preparations for offense and defense, nothing occurred until April, 1706, when the Indians killed a number of people at a house on Oyster River. Governor Dudley kept a vigilant eye upon the French movements during this period, and was well prepared to counteract them.
In July, 1706, Dudley was informed that a party of the enemy was marching towards Piscataqua. He immediately ordered the people of that place to keep close within their fortifications, and had the militia ready to assist them. Major Hilton, with sixty men, marched forward to meet the enemy, but was obliged to return, without accomplishing his object. As Major Hilton was dreaded by the enemy, on account of his bravery and activity, they determined to get rid of him if possible. For this purpose, his house was constantly watched, and at one time, a party of mowers was attacked, four killed, one wounded, and three taken captive. Hilton, however, eluded his foes; and in the winter of 1707, he marched eastward, and in the course of his expedition, killed twenty-one men, and took two. Considering the difficulty of getting at the haunts of the Indians, this was a triumph very honorable to the valiant major.
In 1707, a party of French Mohawks, painted red, attacked some Englishmen who were hewing timber, near Oyster River. At the first fire, they killed seven and mortally wounded another. Chesley, the brave English commander, kept the French in check for some time; but, overpowered by numbers, he was slain, and his men either killed, captured, or dispersed.
But a more serious attack was made upon Haverhill, in August, 1708, by a party of French and Indians, sent by the Marquis de Vandreuil, governor of Canada, to attack Portsmouth.
On the 16th of July, the army of French and Indians started from Canada. The Hurons and the Mohawks soon found pretexts for returning home. The French officers, however, accompanied by the Algonquin and St. Francis Indians, making collectively, a body of about two hundred men, marched between three and four hundred miles through the woods to Nikipisique, expecting to be joined there by the eastern Indians. Though disappointed in that expectation, they went forward, and on the 29th of August, about break of day, surprised the town of Haverhill, on Merrimack River, burned several houses, and plundered the rest. Mr. Rolfe, the minister, Captain Wainwright, and between thirty and forty persons were killed, and many taken prisoners. The French and Indians then retreated, without attempting to prosecute the objects of the expedition any further.
During the remainder of this war, the Indians ravaged the frontiers of New England, and committed their customary acts of cruelty; but no important contest between them and the whites is recorded. The French did not restrain their Indian allies, even when they had full power to do so; and, therefore, must bear their full share of the stigma attached to such deeds. When peace was concluded in 1713, the Indians complied with the request of the French, and entered into a treaty with the colonists. Thus were the English inhabitants once more relieved from the terrors of Indian warfare.