Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our 8th Great Grandfather Samuel Sherburn. Tavern Owner. Casualty of the King William's War.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we switch lines and revisit the ancestors of our Great Grandmother Vesta. Along these lines we meet our 8th Great Grandparents, Samuel Sherburn and Love Hutchins.

Our story today involves our Great Grandfather Samuel. The setting is New England, the time 1691.

We begin with the Relationship Chart.

Relationship Chart
8th Great Grandparents.
Samuel Sherburn (1638-1691) and Love Hutchins (1647 - 1739)

John Sherburn and Jane Drake
Margaret Sherburne and Henry Dearborn
Nathaniel Dearborn and Betsy Hill
Deborah Dearborn and Phineas Swift
Elmira Swift and Joseph McCrillis
Isabel Deanora Helgerson McCrilles and John Dennis
Vesta Althea Dennis and Walter Edwin Pierce
Violet Mae Pierce and Walter Albert Mattson
to their children
Luella, Linda, John, Marvin

Grandfather Samuel fought and died during the King William's War (1689-1697). This war was the first of the French and Indian Wars. This war was fought between England, France and their respective American Indian allies in the colonies of Canada (New France), Acadia and New England.

Below is an account of what happened to our Grandfather Samuel, a soldier and owner of the local tavern.

KING WILLIAM'S WAR and our 8th Great Grandfather Samuel , 1689-1698

The Eastern Indians generally appear to have observed the treaty made at Casco, in 1678, conducting themselves for several years peaceably towards the English settlers, who, in the meantime, had been gradually recovering from their losses in the late disastrous war; but, partly through fault of the English themselves, the peace was at length broken and ravages committed, beginning with several places in the province of Maine. The first sufferers in New Hampshire were in Dover, on the 28th of June, 1689, when the aged Major Waldron and more than a score of others were killed, and nearly thirty were taken captive. About a month later the savages fell upon the settlement at Oyster River also, and killed or carried off nearly twenty persons.

On the 8th of July the town of Hampton voted "that all those who were willing to make a forti fication about the Meeting House, to secure themselves and their families from the violence of the heathen, should have free liberty to do it." A fortification was accordingly built, which, about three years afterward, the town voted to enlarge so as to afford room "to build houses in it according to custom in other forts." How many houses were built is not known, but it was voted that a small house (14 by 16 feet) should be built there for the use of the minister, and when not occupied by him to serve as a schoolhouse.

From information derived from one who had been in captivity among the enemy, fears were entertained that an attempt would be made in the latter part of September to destroy the towns of Hampton, Exeter, Salisbury and Amesbury, and it was said that four hundred Indians were to be sent for this purpose. In confirmation of the report in circulation, Indians ("skulking rogues," as they were termed) were seen in these towns almost every day, sent, it was thought, to reconnoiter (scout).

Whether they found that their design had been discovered, and that the people were too much on their guard to be easily overcome, or whether the rumor of their intended attack was unfounded, is uncertain; but the month of September wore away, and the four towns still remained.

In March, 1690, the military officers in commission before Cranfield's administration, were restored to office. Those for Hampton were: Samuel Sherburne, Captain; Edward Gove, Lieutenant ; John Moulton, Ensign. During the month of July more than thirty persons were killed by the savages, in Exeter. Thus far no attack had been made upon any part of Hampton, but the people were living in constant dread. So secret and so sudden had been the movements of the enemy, that none knew where to expect their next assault. The men dared not go abroad to their ordinary labors without being armed. Their families were collected in the forts and in garrisoned houses, which were carefully guarded. On the Sabbath, indeed, they ventured to attend public worship, but, as we have seen, the meeting house was surrounded with a fortification, the men went armed, and sentinels were stationed to give an alarm if the enemy should appear during the services.

At a town meeting held the next winter, Mr. Henry Green, Capt. Samuel Sherburne and Henry Dow sent out two men, as scouts, to see what they could discover, so long as they could go upon the snow, or so long as the neighboring towns sent out; and so much of their wages as should not be paid by contribution, was to be paid out of the next town rate. The committee was also directed to keep an exact account of what the town or any of the inhabitants would spend in carrying on the war. This vote suggests what was then considered the most effectual method of preventing the Indians from committing depredations, viz.: the employment of scouts to be constantly scouring the woods, to discover them, if possible, in their lurking places.

Still, besides scouts, a large number of soldiers were employed on different occasions, and sometimes for several months in succession, under officers of skill and experience. But, notwithstanding the vigilance of the scouts, the Indians sometimes succeeded in finding hiding places, even in the immediate vicinity of a garrison, where they lay concealed, watching the movements of those belonging to the garrison, ready to seize the first opportunity t o kill or capture anyone who might happen to venture a little too far away.

An instance of this kind occurred in Salisbury, adjoining Hampton, on the 23d of June, 1691. About half an hour after sunset, one John Ring went out of Jacob Morrill's garrison, to drive in a cow, and was captured within a little more than twenty rods of the garrison. The next day a great many men of Salisbury and Hampton went into the woods to search for him, but, as some one wrote at the time, "with very little hope of recovering him." Justly did the same writer add: "The truth is, we are a distressed people." At the very time of this occurrence, a company of men, about thirty-four in number, under Capt. Stephen Greenleaf, of Newbury, was out in that vicinity searching for Indians. Ring was captured on Monday; Captain Greenleaf's company went to Haverhill on the Saturday previous, came to Hampton on Sunday, and went to Exeter on Monday, in the morning.

A little past midsummer a small army was sent out under the command of four captains, one of whom was Samuel Sherburne, of Hampton. The forces landed at Maquoit, near Casco, and marched up to Pechypscot (now Brunswick, Me.), but finding no signs of the enemy, returned to Maquoit, where they had left their boats. While the commanders were on the shore, waiting for the soldiers to get aboard, a great number of Indians suddenly poured in upon them, and they were obliged to retreat to their vessels; but this was a difficult matter, as the tide being down, the vessels were aground; and before it could be accomplished Captain Sherburne was slain. He had been a resident of Hampton ten or twelve years, and was well known as the keeper of the ordinary, or tavern. He was a captain in the militia; three years a selectman of the town; was once chosen to represent the town in the General Court; and in January next preceding his death, as has been stated, he was on the committee to employ and send out scouts, and to keep an account of the expenses incurred in the war.

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