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that the fort was not attacked; and that its inmates, so poorly protected, were allowed to escape to Plymouth, are evidences of the way in which the inhabitants of Middleboro were regarded by the Indians.
Tispequin was the commander-in-chief at the various conflicts with Captain Benjamin Church about the great ponds of Middleboro. After Church had taken his wife, children, and attendants upon the promise that if he would surrender he would spare his and their lives, Tispequin went to Plymouth, and gave himself up to the governor and his council. He was soon after tried and publicly executed. This action on the part of the governor and council has led to perhaps more severe criticism than any portion of the public administration at New Plymouth. It may, however, be truthfully said that Captain Church had received no authority from the governor to make this promise to Tispequin, nor did the authorities know of it. He was brought to trial when it was learned that he was the leader of all of the massacres in the colony, and particularly in the burning of the houses of the settlers in Middleboro to whom he had sold land. The exigencies of the times and the perils to which they were still subject did not warrant any other disposition of so treacherous a chief than the death which he received, and which he so justly merited.1
In King Philip's War, so far as relates to Plymouth Colony, the decisive battle was the engagement at Scituate. If the Indians had not been defeated at that battle, it was their intention to go down along the coast, burn all of the houses, and destroy the inhabitants. Plymouth was not sufficiently fortified to have escaped the general massacre. The able-bodied men in the western part of the colony had joined the forces of Captain Church to meet the Indians, and their families had gone to
1 "It had always been held by the Indians that Tispequin could not be shot by any bullets from the English, and after the capture of his wife and children, Captain Church sent word to Tispequin that he should be his captain over the Indians if he were found so invulnerable a man, as they said he was shot twice, but the bullets glanced by him, and could not hurt him. He afterwards surrendered and was sent to Plymouth, but upon trial, he was found penetrable to the English gun, for he fell down at the first shot." Hubbard's Indian Wars (Drake), vol. i, p. 275.
Plymouth. A defeat at Scituate would probably have rendered the rest of the towns in the colony defenceless, and they would have been destroyed in accordance with the plan of Philip and his warriors. The little fort at Middleboro was the only one on the west, and there was nothing to have prevented the Indians, had they passed Scituate, from continuing their march of destruction to Plymouth.
The war lasted nearly two years. About thirteen towns were destroyed, and many others were attacked; about six hundred whites were killed in battle, beside the many unknown who perished from starvation and in massacre.
T the close of King Philip's War, the old colony was not threatened by attacks of Indians, and suffered nothing from any of the hostilities which were occurring in the remote parts of the country. Middleboro was represented in all of the campaigns fought against the Indians or the French and Indians, in the expeditions organized in defence of the colonies in behalf of the mother country, and in resisting the aggressive attacks of France to obtain possession of the various strongholds; but the names of the soldiers enlisted in these campaigns have most of them been forgotten, about one third of them being Indians.
News of an invasion of England by France reached Boston in the winter of 1688,1 and on the 10th of January, 1689, a proclamation was issued by Sir Edmund Andros, commanding the officers, civil and military, and all other of his Majesty's loving subjects, to be ready to use their utmost endeavor to hinder any landing or invasion that might be intended; but so bitter was the feeling against Governor Andros that this proclamation was generally disregarded. The colonies of New England had enjoyed a period of peace from the close of King Philip's War until the year 1689, when the Indians on the north and western frontier settlements, instigated by the long and bitter enmity of the French against the English, commenced a series of barbarous attacks.
In August, 1689, the court at Plymouth appointed commissioners to confer with the other colonies as to the course of conduct that they should take in repelling these assaults, and, as a result, there was a general Indian war, in which all of the New England colonies engaged, known as King William's War
1 Barry's History of Massachusetts, First Period, pp. 499, 500.
(1689-97). The troops from Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies were placed under the command of the celebrated Captain Benjamin Church, who had achieved such renown in King Philip's War. Middleboro was required to furnish one soldier and one musket, and to raise the sum of fourteen pounds by taxation towards meeting the expense of this threatened war. The tax was to be paid on or before the 26th day of November, 1689, one third in money, one third in grain, and one third in beef and pork. It is interesting to notice the price at which these articles were then rated ; namely, the grain was to be received and credited as follows: corn, two shillings per bushel; rye, two shillings and sixpence per bushel; barley, two shillings per bushel; wheat, four shillings per bushel; beef, ten shillings per hundred, and pork twopence per pound.
Early in May, 1690, a congress of delegates met in New York to consider means of defence. Plymouth 1 and Massachusetts colonies, with Connecticut, were to furnish three hundred and fifty-five men. The militia were to meet at Albany and then proceed to Montreal. Middleboro's quota was one soldier. An expedition had been planned to sail to Quebec, and extensive preparations were made for combined attack on that stronghold of the French. On June 5, 1690, Middleboro was ordered to send three soldiers, and to raise twenty-one pounds, sixteen shillings, and sixpence as her proportionate part of the expenses. Of the three soldiers drafted, Thomas Tomson and James Soule, for reasons which do not appear on record, declined to go, and were sentenced to pay a fine of four pounds each, or be imprisoned until the fines were paid. Benjamin Wood, John Tomson, and John Allen took part in this expedition. Port Royal and Acadia were conquered, but the combined attack on Quebec was a failure, owing to the jealousy and disagreement of the officers in charge of the campaign. Captain Church, in a second expedition into Maine, was to threaten the eastern Indians, but this was also a failure, and a crushing mortification and sorrow ensued to Massachusetts.2
1 Parkman's Frontenac and New France, chap, xii, pp. 235, 236.
2 Palfrey, History of Andrew England, Book IV, chap. ii. .
The next call for troops in Middleboro was in 1722, for defence against another threatened Indian attack. This war lasted until 1725. A number of men from Middleboro, with friendly Indians, joined this expedition. Of the company raised, William Canedy was an ensign, and was afterwards promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He was placed in command of a small fort at St. George's River, which was attacked on the 25th of December, 1723, by a large force of French and Indians. He so bravely defended this fort until reinforcements arrived, and the enemy1 was repelled with such great loss, that he was rewarded with a commission as captain.
The following is a list2 of privates and officers : —
1 The Peirce Family, p. 106.
2 These lists are taken from the History of Plymouth County, p. 994.