"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hannah Dustin, 1697 ~ Kidnapped & Escaped

~Hubby and I toured New England a few years ago, a gift to ourselves in celebration of 35 years of marriage. I have lived in New England but he had never been east of Texas. So we had 10 days of fall driving from Boston to north Vermont...beautiful time of the year and being from Washington state, where written history does not go too much farther than a century and a half, why, we were visiting sites of America's ancient history! ( as far as the history books take you ) Imagine our delight when we came upon a statue of one of Hubby's relatives in Haverhill, Massachusetts ! We had read the family history...pretty exciting stuff...but did not imagine we would see a statue in honor of Hannah Dustin! Here ( above ) is a picture of it . When we viewed it the weather was beautiful and the leaves were just beginning to show the bright fall coloring New England is famous for. (I have pictures of my own somewhere) ~"Hannah Emerson Dustin , her husband Thomas, and their nine children were living in Haverhill, Massachusetts , in 1697, when Abenaki Indians attacked the town. Hannah, her one day old baby, and her nurse, Mary Neff, were captured and forced to march into the wilderness.( The other 7 children were rescued by their father, Thomas Dustin, illustration above) Early in the forced march, the Indians took Hannahs' baby daughter from the mother's arms and killed the infant by smashing her head against a tree. ~Hannah and Mary were forced to travel with an Indian family group northwards, during which time they were joined by Samuel Lennardson, a 14 year old white captive. ~The Indians and their captives stopped at an island on the Merrimack River near what is now Boscawen , New Hampshire. When the Indians fell asleep, Hannah seized a tomahawk. She and her two co-captives killed 10 Indians. A young Indian boy and woman escaped. Hannah then scalped them as proof of the deed. ~The former captives jumped into a canoe, taking the scalps with them. They traveled down the river only at night and after several days arrived in Haverhill." a re-telling from 'Eastman's Online Geneology Newsletter, by Dick Eastman "Hannah became famous in the nineteenth century when her story was retold by Henry David Thoreau and then was written into many genealogical histories. In the 1870's a statue of Hannah was placed in the Haverhill town square, and another of her was erected on the island in New Hampshire where the killings and scalpings took place." Above is a garrison house Thomas Dustin built , one of several built in Haverhill to protect the community from further Indian raids.....and "When Hannah Dustin was taken by the Indians, she had been the mother of 12 children, four had died previously, the father saved seven, the twelfth child , a baby of six days was killed by the Indians. After Mrs. Dustin's return from captivity, a thirteenth , named Lydia, was born. The eight children lived to grow up, all married , and left large families of boys and girls, consequently a numerous posterity is scattered not only throughout New England but from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast." fr. THE GRANITE MONTHLY, a New Hampshire Magazine. Guess my Hubby and his family are proof of that! ~There are many interesting people related to Hannah. Hannah's mother was related to Daniel Webster. Hannah, who gave thanks to God for her and her children's deliverance, was the sister to a notorious woman , Elizabeth Emerson ,who was condemned in front of a huge crowd in Boston by Cotton Mather , and was hung that day in June, 1693 , for the murder of her illegitimate twin newborn babies. So one sister had honors heaped upon her, the other was the scourge of Boston...

16 comments:

nbalike said...
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Mildred said...

That sounds like a dream trip thru New England. This was a fascinating story this morning and I love the pictures also.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Hannah sounds like a tough smart woman - good to know you have that heritage in DH's family! History of that period is so interesting because we have a mistaken view that somehow the New England area wasn't as dangerous for settlers as moving west was in later years. I lived in Vermont two years and it was fascinating -

Shellmo said...

Such a fascinating story about a strong and smart woman! Wow! I enjoyed learning about her - thanks for posting this.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Amazing! It's interesting, the differences between the two sisters. I wonder the why's and what's of the untold story.
We're in need of such courage today.

Karen said...

Interesting story. I love history and biographies. I would love to see New England in the fall. I know that is a special memory for you. Have a blessed day.

Southern Comfort said...

Oh my word, what an interesting and disturbing story. I'd love to travel to some of these places and learn about these little known people. They faced such a dangerous world. Amazing how Hannah and her sister's circumstances (and their reactions) were so different. It is incredible how this woman, six days after giving birth, survived this tragedy. The only thing is, I wish the newborn had survived as well. This must have been a remarkable trip.

noble pig said...

Disturbing to say the least but so very intetresting. I love New England too with all its quirky History. Thanks for taking me there this afternoon as I swelter away in the heat!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Such an interesting story. I agree, slightly disturbing, yet, Hannah was such a fighter, such strength she had! I love the garrison house photo.

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Wow! What rugged, tough ancestors Americans have descended from.
I wonder how different each of us would be if back during that time period.
The nature of the human spirit is survival! Hannah was definately a survivor.

Farm Chick Paula said...

What an incredible story!!
Thanks for the history lesson on your Hubby's ancestors, Kathy- this was wonderful!

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful piece of history! Just loved reading it. I have always wanted to visit New England. Glad you got to go! Blessings,Kathleen

Lanny said...

Sometimes blood doesn't make a sister.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kathy for coming out to see our newest granddaughter. It made the event complete.
Love your sister Karen

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Have Courage said...

Oh my word! I read that story a while back in a book, "Captured by Indians"...wow...that was one of the hardest books I have ever read...so much sadness. What a hard time to live.