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History House Sample Pages II

Old Deerfield Massachusetts

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Old Deerfield Massachusetts

 Written by Mary E. Allen in 1892

  27 pages


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            Prof. James K. Hosmer, in a witty letter written at the time of the “Indian Door” celebration, professed to have discovered a journal corroborating the legend, and says:

            “There need be no question about the beautiful old traditions. . . . It was really a bell which made the trouble, a bell made for the Canadian missions, taken by a privateer, and brought into Boston, bought by the commissioners of Deerfield, set up in the steeple, then fought over and carried off to the banks of the St. Lawrence, through the woods, and down the streams. Hertel de Rouville did really have his half-breeds and Indians run over the crust, then halt for a moment, then run again, when they were coming on through the north meadows, that the advance of his force might be taken for the rush of the rising wind.”

These legends are true at any rate in spirit, if they are not in letter, and they ought not to be forgotten; although as matter of fact there is evidence that the expedition against Deerfield was planned by the French, merely to gratify the Abenaki Indians and prevent any possibility of a truce between them and the English.

            The best-known account of the attack is the quaint narrative of the “Redeemed Captive,” Rev. John Williams, the minister of Deerfield at the time. We can see through his eyes how “the enemy came in like a flood” over the palisades on the drifted snow, in that darkest hour before the dawn, waking their sleeping victims by

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