Front Matter Our Country Long Ago The Barbarous Indians The Mounds Where the Northmen Went The Northmen in America Queer Ideas Prince Henry the Navigator Youth of Columbus Columbus and the Queen "Land! Land!" Columbus and the Savages Home Again Columbus Ill-treated Death of Columbus How America Got its Name The Fountain of Youth "The Father of Waters" The French in Canada French and Spanish Quarrels The Sky City Around the World Nothing but Smoke Smith's Adventures The Jamestown Men Smith Wounded Pocahontas Visits England Hudson and the Indians The Mayflower Plymouth Rock The First Thanksgiving Snake Skin and Bullets The Beginning of Boston Stories of Two Ministers Williams and the Indians The Quakers The King-Killers King Phillip's War The Beginning of New York Penn and the Indians The Catholics in Maryland The Old Dominion Bacon's Rebellion A Journey Inland The Carolina Pirates Charter Oak Salem Witches Down the Mississippi La Salle's Adventures Indians on the Warpath Two Wars with the French Washington's Boyhood Washington's Journey Washington's First Battle Stories of Franklin Braddock's Defeat Wolfe at Quebec England and her Colonies The Stamp Tax The Anger of the Colonies The Boston Tea Party The Minutemen The Battle of Lexington Bunker Hill The Boston Boys The British leave Boston Declaration of Independence A Lady's Way of Helping Christmas Eve The Fight at Bennington Burgoyne's Surrender Winter at Valley Forge The Quaker Woman Putnam's Adventures Indian Cruelty Boone in Kentucky Famous Sea Fights The "Swamp Fox" The Poor Soldiers The Spy A Traitor's Death Two Unselfish Women Surrender of Cornwallis British Flag hauled down Washington's Farewell

Story of the Thirteen Colonies - Helene Guerber

Indians on the Warpath

The French were in possession of Acadia, New France, and Louisiana. The immense tract of land drained by the St. Lawrence and Mississippi rivers was rich in fur-bearing animals, whose pelts were brought by Indians and trappers to the missions and trading posts. There they were loaded in canoes and floated down the Lakes and the St. Lawrence, or down the Mississippi, so as to be shipped to France from Quebec and New Orleans.

You might think that the French would have been satisfied with all they had, but they were not. They longed to control the Hudson also, which they claimed for France, because they said Verrazano had first visited New York Bay. Besides, Champlain had come within a few miles of where Albany now stands, shortly before Hudson sailed up the river bearing his name.

Longing for an excuse to drive the English away from the Hudson valley, the French were glad when war was declared, in 1689. Their king sent over Count Frontenac to be governor of Canada again, and to lead in the struggle with the English. Frontenac was a good general, and had much influence over the Indians. He is said to have joined in their war dances and athletic sports, in spite of his old age, and to have boasted of the tortures he meant to inflict on his English foes and their Iroquois allies.

But when Frontenac arrived in Canada (1689), he found that the Iroquois had struck first. They had destroyed some French villages, had killed many settlers, and had even roasted and eaten some of their captives in sight of Montreal. On the other hand, some Indian allies of the French had surprised Dover, in New Hampshire. Here dwelt Major Waldron, who had taken part in King Philip's war. To avenge the capture of two hundred of their race at that time, the savages now tortured Waldron to death, cutting off his hand to see how much it weighed. To their amazement, the scales marked just one pound! This awed them greatly, for although the traders had always told them that a white man's hand exactly balanced a pound of beaver skins, they had always doubted the truth of that statement. Half the people in Dover were killed, the rest carried off into captivity, and the town reduced to ashes.

The next winter (1690), Frontenac sent a small band of French and Indians against the village of Schenectady, New York, on snowshoes. They arrived there in the dead of night. The place was defended by a high palisade, but the inhabitants felt so sure no one would attack them that cold night, that they had left both gates wide open, and guarded only by huge snow sentinels set up there in fun.

Roused from sound slumbers by blood-curdling Indian war whoops, a few escaped, but only to die of cold on their way to Albany. Many of the rest were killed by the attacking party, who, after burning the place to the ground, withdrew with their captives and plunder.

In the course of this struggle,—which is known in our history as "King William's War," because it took place during that monarch's reign,—the French and Indians attacked many villages in New York and New England. The most daring of all their attempts was against Haverhill, a town not very far from Boston. Here much property was destroyed, and many people killed or captured.

There are countless stories told of the deeds of valor done by men, women, and even little children in those terrible times. You shall hear the story of Hannah Dustin, of Haverhill, as an example. This poor woman was just recovering from illness, and was alone in the house, with her baby and nurse. Seven other children were out in the fields with their father, who was busy with his plow. All at once, they were startled by a war whoop. Mr. Dustin, seeing the Indians between him and his house, and knowing he could not save his wife, bade the children run to the blockhouse, while he bravely covered their retreat.

Mr. Dustin defending his children


Father and children reached the fort in safety; but the Indians rushed into the house, killed the baby by dashing its head against the wall, and carried both women off as captives. After several days' march and much ill treatment Mrs. Dustin, her nurse, and two captive boys made up their minds to escape. One of the boys had learned from an Indian how to kill and scalp a foe; so one night, when their captors were asleep, the four prisoners noiselessly rose, seized tomahawks, and killed and scalped ten Indians. Then they took a canoe, and with some trouble made their way home. Mrs. Dustin received fifty pounds reward for those scalps, besides a present from the governor of Maryland, who admired her pluck. That people might not forget what hard times the settlers had, her statue has been placed in Concord, New Hampshire, where you can see her grasping a tomahawk, ready to kill her foes.

As long as the war lasted, New Englanders and New Yorkers defended themselves as bravely as they could. But Indian foes were very hard to fight, because they always fell upon people unawares. In their anger, the colonists finally determined to carry the war into the enemy's country.: They therefore sent out a fleet under Sir William Phips, to attack and destroy Port Royal, in Acadia. This being done, the fleet tried to take Quebec, while armies from New York and Connecticut attacked Montreal. But both these attempts failed, and when the war was ended by the treaty of Ryswick (1697), neither party had gained anything, although many lives had been lost.