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Letter from John Pynchon
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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John Pynchon (1626-1703), the dominant merchant and trader in the Connecticut River Valley, was 68 when he wrote this letter to Secretary Isaac Addington of the Massachusetts Bay Council in Boston. Pynchon controlled the economy of western Massachusetts for almost the entire second half of the 17th century. He lived in Springfield, a town founded by his father, and oversaw the establishment of the towns of Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Sunderland, and Deerfield. In this letter he states that the winter gave "hope of some respit & allowance of some ease" [from attack by the French and Native Americans] and says that the garrison soldiers posted at Deerfield could be dismissed or relieved for a month or 6 weeks. But he goes on to predict that the enemy would be on the move again by early February and "may come to Deerfield." Deerfield was attacked on September 15, 1694.
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