Saturday, May 16, 2009

The 1704 Deerfield Massacre

The raid on Deerfield occurred during Queen Ann's War on February 29, 1704, when joint French and Native American forces attacked the English settlement at Deerfield, Massachusetts, just before dawn, razing the town and killing fifty-six colonists. Of the colonists killed, twenty-two were men, nine were women, and twenty-five were children. A total of 109 residents, including the women and children who had survived the attack, were taken captive and forced on a months-long, 300-mile trek to Quebec in harsh winter conditions; twenty-one of them died along the way. More than sixty of those who reached Quebec were eventually ransomed or otherwise managed to make their way back to New England, but a number of others chose to remain in the French Canadian and/or Native American communities for the rest of their lives.

Our Ancestor -
Mary Baldwin Catlin
Born: Abt 1638
Father: Joseph Baldwin
b: 1610 in Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
Mother: Hannah Whitlocke b: 1613 or 1617

Marriage: John Catlin ( b: 1643) on 23 SEP 1662 in Wethersfield, Hartford, CT

Event: 29 FEB 1704 Deerfield, Massachusetts
Tradition states: The captives were taken to a house...and a Frenchman was brought in [wounded] and laid on the floor; He was in great distress and called for water; Mrs. Catlin fed him with water. Some one said to her, "How can you do that for your enemy?" she replied, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him water to drink." The Frenchman was taken and carried away, and the captives marched off. Some thought the kindness shown to the Frenchman was the reason of Mrs. Catlin's being left...

From New England Captives' Stories:"...With the tender sympathy of a Christian woman, she had held the cup of cold water to the parched lips of the wounded French lieutenant, craving it with piteous appeal. In the hurry of departure, either by design or by accident, none had claimed her as his captive....

Death: 04 APR 1704 in , Deerfield, Franklin, MA
"...mourning for her children, and would not be comforted, she lingered a few weeks, and died from the shock of that day's horror...."

1 comment:

MHD said...

I have Hannah Whitlock born 14 Dec 1617 in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. My source is Connecticut Nutmegger, Dec 1997, Vol 30, p. 370, in an article by Eugenie Fellows, "How One Descendant of Baldwin, Catlin and Ward Became a Canadian."