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The Earl of Bellomout was appointed Governor of NewEngland, August 8, 1697, but he did not publish his commission in this Province untilJuly 31,1699. The Assembly was in session, and in his speech the Governor advised the building of a strong fort on Great Island. He staid in his Proviuce but eighteen days. Upon his return to New-York, he wrote the Assembly that if they would furnish the material he would endeavor to prevail upon the King to be at the expense of building the fort. Col. Romer, a Dutch engineer, examined the spot, and produced plans for the proposed fort to the Assembly, with an estimate of the expense, £6000. This sum astonished the members. They pleaded poverty, and the Governor dying the following year, the plan was abandoned for the time. However, the fort was put in perfect repair, under the direction of Col. Romer, during the next few years; so that,, being completed iu 1705, a petition was sent home to England for cannon, ammunition and stores, for the same.
It was called "Fort William and Mary." Its armament and stores were as follows at this time, as appears by a return made by Lieut. Theodore Atkinson.*
"Account of Guns and Stores at Her Majesty's Fort
William aud Mary, at Newcastle, 25th July, 1705:
f 14 Demi Cannon, on field carriages,!
6 Demi Culverin, on do.
8 Sackers, on ship carriages,
2 Minions, on do.,
18 barrels of Powder,
nan v i. I 810 Demi Cannon,
* Lieut. Atkinson was the father of Theodore Atkinson, afterward Captain of the Fort, Colonel of the 1st Regiment, and Secretary and Chief Justice of the Province, f Demi Cannon were of three sizes:
Demi Cannon large, carried a 36 lb. ball.
Culverin largest carried a 20 lb. ball.
150 lbs. Match,
2 Bondy Barrels,
Per Theodore Atkinson, Lieut.
The repairs upon the Fort were hastened by the fears of an attack from a French fleet, while the Indians, instigated by the French, kept the people in continual excitement, by their incursions from the North. They were so bold in their attacks that the people of the largest towns feared for their lives, additional garrison houses were built, and in 1703 the people of Portsmouth secured their town from attacks landward, by constructing a picket fence across the neck of the peninsula on which the compact part of the town is built, from the South Mill Pond to Islington Creek. This, with watches along its length by night, effectually secured the inhabitants from the attacks of the foe, who had become so bold as to have entered the town by night, and affrighted people by looking into their windows.*
The settlements were now continually harrassed by attacks from the "Indian enemy," and business came to a stand. There were not men enough at home to man the garrisons. In 1706 they made an attack at Oyster river, and killed eight at one house. The garrison was near, but no men in it. There were plucky women in it, however,
• This line of pickets extended from the South Mill Pond, near the Universalis! Church, to what is now the North Mill Pond, crossing Congress street near its intersection with Vaughan street, and striking the water of the Creek "West of, and near, the Portsmouth and Concord Kailroad Depot. and they fired the alarm, and then loosening their hair and patting on hats that they might appear like men, they fired so briskly that the enemy thought men were in the garrison, and drew off in haste, without plundering the house they had attacked. Scouts were kept out continually, and Capt. Hilton marched to Kingston and Amesbury with sixty-four men, but was obliged to return without success, for want of provisions. The roll of this scout has not been preserved. The following j'ear (1707) Capt. Hilton headed an expedition to the eastward, with ninety Massachusetts troops, and surprised a party of eighteen Indians, as they were asleep, killed seventeen of them aud took the other prisoner.
In a futile attempt upon Port Royal, two companies from this Province, under Major Waldron and Capt. Chesley, performed the only praiseworthy deed of the expedition. As the troops were landing, an ambuscade of Indians annoyed them seriously from sedge on a sea-walL Major "Waldron and Capt. Chesley pushed their companies upon the beach, and after a severe action drove the Indians from their position, and the troops lauded without further trouble.
In September following, the brave Capt. Chesley was killed, with eight others, who, under his direction, were lumbering. In 1708 there was much fear of the French and Indians. A "Troop" scouted from Kingston to Cochecho; spy-boats were kept out on the sea-shore, from Piscataqua to Winter Harbor; four hundred men from Massachusetts were posted in this Province, and an additional force was stationed at Fort William and Mary, through the Summer. This force was furnished by the towns of Portsmouth and Hampton, as seen by the following list:
A List of Soldiers' Names, and Time they served, at Her
Christopher Pottle, from 18th May to the 1st June.
John Cotton, from 18th June to the 28th June.
Allen, from 18th June to the 28th June.
Nathaniel Jackson, from 18th June to the 28th June.
Wm. Maeton, from 1st June to the 15th July.
Thomas Leatherby, from 7th June to the 17th July.
Lange,from the 7th June to the 17th July.
Sam'l Pittman, from 7th June to the 17th July.
John Green, from 15th June to the 29th July. Ebenezer Gove, from 15th June to the 29th July. Benja. Green, from 15th June to the 29th July. Sam'l Palmer, from 15th June to the 29th July. Stephen Palmer, from 15th June to the 29th July. Thomas Maston, from 15th June to the 29th July. John Brown, from 15th June to the 29th July.
Sam'l Thompson, from 17th June to the 28th July.
Christopher Page, from 29th June to tho 13th July. John Sanborn, from 29th June to the 13th July.