In the Classroom > Unit Overview > Lesson 7
Lesson 7 - Readings for the Williams Family
The Williams Family
From The History of Deerfield, Vol. II, George Sheldon, 1895, pgs. 377 & 378
John, s. [son] of Samuel, b. [born] 1664; 'The
Redeemed [rescued] Captive';... began preaching here June, 1686...soon
became the guide, counselor and friend of all the people...He m. [married]
July 21, 1687, Eunice,...she was k. [killed] the next day after
the captivity, Mar. 1, 1704...
Ch. [children]: Eliezer, [born] July 16, 1688
From New England Captives Carried to Canada Vol. I, Emma L. Coleman, 1925, pgs. 44 & 45
"At a town meeting on January 5, 1687, it was voted to provide the Reverend [minister] John Williams with a house lot on 'meeting house hill' and to 'build him a House 42 feet long 20 wide with a lentoo [leanto] on the back side of the house & finish sd [said] House, To fence his Homelot & within 2 years after this agreement to build him a Barn.' The agreement was to 'encourage Mr. John Williams to Settle amongst them.'"
On February 29, 1704, in the French and Indian attack, the minister's house was targeted, and he and five of his children were taken captive to Canada. His wife, Eunice Mather Williams , was killed on the 'march to Canada', and two of their children were killed on the Williams doorstep. It was reported that the house, valued at L300 [300 pounds], was lost and that the barn was burnt, as well as everything in the house and barn.
The Reverend [minister] John Williams was ransomed [rescued] in 1706 by Ensign John Sheldon who had traveled to Canada...On December 6, the General Court voted him L40 [40 pounds] on the condition that he return to Deerfield within three weeks and remain for a year. At a town meeting in Deerfield on January 9, 1707, it was voted that 'the Town would build a house for Mr Jno [John] Williams in deerfield as big as Ens [ensign] Sheldons a back room as big as may be thought convenient'.
The minister, who did return to Deerfield, remarried
in September 1707. His second wife was Abigail, widow of Benjamin Bissell
of Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Williams and his second wife had five children,
one of whom died young. Mr. Williams died on June 12, 1729, just prior
to [before] the completion of the town's fourth meeting house on the Common.
"On Tuesday, the 29th of February, 1703-4, not long before break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us; our watch being unfaithful...They came to my house in the beginning of the onset, and by their violent endeavors [attempts] to break open doors and windows, with axes and hatchets, awaked me out of sleep; on which I leaped out of bed, and, running towards the door, perceived [saw] the enemy making their entrance into the house. I called to awaken two soldiers in the chamber, and returning toward my bedside for my arms, the enemy immediately broke into the room, I judge to the number of twenty, with painted faces, and hideous acclamations [exclamations]. I reached up my hands to the bed-tester [bed curtains] for my pistol...Taking down my pistol, I cocked it, and put it to the breast of the first Indian that came up; but my pistol missing fire, I was seized by three Indians, who disarmed me, and bound me naked, as I was in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an hour. Binding me, they told me they would carry me to Quebeck."