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Lesson 6 - Readings for Activity 1: Warnings of an Impending Attack on Deerfield in 1704

Excerpt from
The History of Deerfield, Vol. I
by George Sheldon, pg. 285

In May, 1703, Lord Cornbury, Governor of New York, sent word to Gov. Dudley [Governor of Massachusetts], that, through his Mohawk spies he had learned that an expedition against Deerfield was fitting out [being prepared] in Canada. Similar information was sent here by Maj. [Major] Peter Schuyler not long after, and twenty soldiers, enlisted in the towns below, were stationed here as a garrison [fort].

Warnings from the West and South
Lynne Manring (source: New England Outpost, Richard Melvoin, pgs. 210-213)

Lord Cornbury wrote to Governor Dudley in May of 1703, relating that "a party of French and Indians,...near one hundred, may be expected every day at Deerfield." Governor Dudley then instructed Deerfield residents to keep an eye out for trouble and make a search of the area around town as well. By early August, Colonel Samuel Partridge reported from Hadley, a town south of Deerfield, that he had received a report of "a party of French & Indians from Canada who are expected every hour to make some attaque on ye towns upon the Connecticut River". Very soon after, Queen Anne's War officially began when the towns of Wells and Saco in what is now Maine were attacked in August of 1703. The attackers were Indians from Canada who had been encouraged by the French. People throughout the Massachusetts colony immediately took notice and began to worry that they might be next. People in Deerfield were especially worried, as they lived along the northern edge of English settlement. They began to take precautions that included training the militia, providing a watchman and strengthening the stockade around the center of town. Those who lived outside of the stockade made arrangements to stay inside of it. Major John Pynchon of Springfield, Massachusetts, also located south of Deerfield, sent a message to the governor of Connecticut that "scoutes from Deerfield saw the enemies tracks" about five miles away from Deerfield. He worried that Deerfield was about to be attacked. In response, the Connecticut governor sent up 53 soldiers. When they stopped in Northampton on their way, they discovered that the scouts had made a mistake but they continued on to Deerfield anyway and stayed for 2 days. The scouts continued to search the area but found no one. By the end of September still nothing had happened and the Connecticut soldiers considered going home.

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