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Springfeild Dec 3, 1694


Very desirous I have bene to have had advice about continueing or quitting ye Gar=
risons at Dearefeild & Brookefeild & therefore have several times wrot for directions thereabouts both
to his Excel before he went of, & (If I mistake not) to yorselfe also, But have not Recd one
line, nor heard any thing in ye Least concerning ye same & am loath upon my owne head to
discharge ym least If any thing fal out not wel, I should deservedly be Blamed, though ye ap=
paching winter gives hopes of some report, & allowance of some ease fro ye charge & ex=
pence ye countrey is at, wch I am desirous maybe Impved for ye best. Wherefore I write
these lines once againe to yorselfe, who can (& I request you to) move in it as is most meete
& let me understand wt I am to doe Further. If wth safety to yr Place, I incline yt ye gar=
rison at Dearefeild be dismissed or abated for a month or sixe weeks & not much longer:
The entring upon Winter will give some security, for in Reson noe attempt can be
fro Canida now at this season, though when winter is setled at Rivers strong pas=
sage good, days lengthen & warmer weather towards then may be ye enymys motion
& Indeed al times yt they have come either to Schenecktokee or to ye Maquas it hath
bene about ye begining of Febr, & they may as wel come to Dearefeild where a gar=
rison ought wel to be porvided & setled in January, in meanetime pbably some relax
ation may be allowed. And for Brookefeild who are more wthin or Towne, I suppose this
winter time they are more pbably secured & will be advantaged by Dearfeild being pvided
And besides 3 men signifie little (though ye Inhabitants desire their continuance) for I have drawne
al fro Brookfeild to 3 men now there who I doubt doe litle as to watch &c, however ye Inhabitants
desire ym yet this winter til spring I apprehend it wil not availe much, But in ye spring
either ye people there should be caled off, or ordered off or otherwise have more soldiers; twil be
to litle purpose If an enymy come on ym, unless there be 12 or 16: wch If is be not feazable
& attended to ye People should have reasonable notice to draw off in ye spring. But Deare=
feild yt Post I conclud al are for maintaining it wth sufficient strength so as to hold it agt
ye enymys attempts & thereby secure al these other Townes, & advantages Conecticot
(For wch end I returne againe to Dearfeld) supposing it to be much the Interest of Conecticot
& their Duty for securing ymse & their native subjects, & bearing some poportion in ye
charge of ye war, to advance for ye garrisoning of yt Place: wherefore I suggest yt Con=
necticot be timely wrot into & moved to their Duty: It may be good to be before hand
in seasonable writing to Govr Treate: That they would place 40 soldiers wth al
officers at Dearefeld at ye begining of Janr or sometime in Janr next, & be at
ye charge thereof for al next summer otherwise it wil be necessary This Province doe more than yet hath
bene. For we must acknowledge yt under God (who did al for us) those few soldiers there in Sept last, were
a meanes of preserving & holding yt Place: I humbly crave a candid acceptance of wt is suggested & leave
al wth you, & to ye most Judicious Resolves of ye Leiut Govr & Council hoping to heare fro you wt
is needful: I did Hint something to you about Fortifications in these Townes we are not
in any good Posture: both Hatfeild Hadly &c as wel as this Towne & al Rest are to open; Fortifications gon
to decay & for repairing or making new People alitle Wilful Inclined to doe whate
& how they please or not at al, an order fro authority is necessary to enforce to towns to meete & wil strengthen
ye hands of those here who wont have something done but send obstruction to their discouragmt
& laying it aside: yt matters for safety maybe revised by some quickening directions is necessary
to get us into a better way of security in ye spring & aft next yeares feares Trobles, wch ye Ld prevent
I hoped to have Recd commissions for ye Lt Colo & sergt Major of this Regimt before ye Government, but
none came unless they are left wth yrselfe: I should have bene glad & need others formed wth me.
I Recd ye Acts & orders for ye Thanksgiving &c & sent ym to ye several Towns as directed
but noe letter wth ym, nor any lines before or since: His Excell I heare arrived ye Sabbath
after he went fro Boston at Piscattaque to goe wth ye Mast Ships & Convoy &c I pray God
give him a good & safe passage & order al things wel if he may returne to us wth
a Blessing, & in ye meane time to order matters wel for us, guiding or Rulers aright
as managemt of al affaires for his owne glory & His Peoples good, & so wth yc Ten=
der of al due respects & service (as to to yrselfe so) To ye Leiut Govr & Gentl of ye Council, I
am Sr
Yor assured ffreind & humble Servt
I Shal be very thankful for a line fro you, of ye acct
of affaires, & of wt forreigne news hath arrived you
Vale

John Pynchon
JP

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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: 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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Letter from John Pynchon

author   John Pynchon (1626-1703)
date   Dec 3, 1694
location   Springfield, Massachusetts
height   12.0"
width   8.5"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Letter
accession #   #L01.052


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