(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
THE DEERFIELD MEETING-HOUSE AND ENSIGN SHELDON’S HOUSE, IN THE PALISADES.
[From an old crayon drawing.]
THE DEERFIELD MASSACRE
AND BURNING OF 200 YEARS AGO
EARLY IN QUEEN ANNE’S WAR.
The Story Retold of the Frontier Town and Its Ravage by French and Indians
Under Hertel de Rouville, February 29, 1704.
[Written by WILLIAM BENNETT MUNRO for The Sunday Republican.]
To-morrow the inhabitants of Old Deerfield will meet together in commemoration
of the disastrous morning, just two centuries ago (February 29, 1704), when
the marauding force of French and Indians descended upon their little hamlet
with torch and sword, giving its peaceful dwellings to the flames and either
massacring or carrying into captivity the better part of its population.
Deerfield in the early years of the 18th century was the most advanced outpost
of Massachusetts; there was not another settlement between it and the French
seigniories along the Richelieu river; so that from its very situation the village
seemed to invite assault in the event of French or Indian wars. As early as
1651 the General Court of Massachusetts had offered to the inhabitants of Dedham
(in return for lands which the latter had given over to be utilized as an Indian
reservation) 8000 acres of any land heretofore unappropriated within the jurisdiction,
which the citizens of Dedham might select. It was some years before a committee
was dispatched to choose suitable lands, but during the sixties a choice was
made of the lands along the Deerfield river, then called by the Indians "Pocumtuck."
The searchers apparently knew good land when they cast eyes upon it, for a more
fertile tract could scarcely have been found in the whole range of Western Massachusetts.
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On February 29, 1704, during Queen Anne's War, a force of French and Native allies raided the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts. 200 years later, author William Bennett Munro wrote this account for the Springfield, Massachusetts, "Sunday Republican." Writing entirely from an English perspective, Munro spoke of the dangers Deerfield faced as "the most advanced outpost in Massachusetts," and quoted liberally from "The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion," the account by Deerfield's Reverend John Williams who was one of the English settlers taken captive. Much of Munro's information is inaccurate and should not be taken as fact; rather, this account should be viewed as a common early-20th-century interpretation of the event, and read with an eye to comparison with later, more informed accounts of what led up to the raid and of the raid itself.
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"Deerfield Massacre And Burning of 200 Years Ago Early In Queen Anne's War"
| publisher Springfield Republican
| author William B. Munro (1875-1957)
| date 1904
| location Springfield, Massachusetts
| height 10.0"
| width 6.5"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L99.010
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