Raid on Dover

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Raid on Dover
Part of King William's War
Night Attack of Indians.jpg
Major Waldron defending garrison
Date June 27, 1689
Location Dover, New Hampshire
Result French and Wabanaki Confederacy victory
Belligerents
New France
Abenaki (Pennacook and Maliseet[1])
England English colonists
Commanders and leaders
St. Castin; Father Louis-Pierre Thury; Kancamagus (also known as John Hogkin or Hawkins)[2][3] Major Richard Waldron
Strength
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
unknown 23 killed, 29 captured

The Raid on Dover (also known as the Cocheco Massacre) happened in Dover, New Hampshire, during King William's War on June 27, 1689. Chief Kancamagus led a raid and sought revenge against Major Richard Waldron.

Background[edit]

At the end of King Philip's War, a number of aboriginal natives fleeing from the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia took refuge with the Abenaki tribe living in Dover. The Massachusetts militia ordered Richard Waldron to attack the natives and turn the refugee combatants over to them. Waldron believed he could capture the natives without a pitched battle and so on September 7, 1676, invited the natives—about 400 in total, half local and half refugees—to participate in a mock battle against the militia. It was a trick; after the natives had fired their guns, Waldron took them prisoner. He sent both the refugee combatants and those locals who violently objected to this forced breach of hospitality to Boston, where seven or eight were convicted of insurrection and executed. The rest were sold into slavery in "foreign parts",[citation needed] mostly Barbados. The local Indians were released, but never forgave Waldron for the deception, which violated all the rules of honor and hospitality valued by the natives at that time. Richard Waldron would be appointed Chief Justice for New Hampshire in 1683.

Raid[edit]

Major Richard Waldron's torture

King William's War began with a series of Indian massacres orchestrated by Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin and Father Louis-Pierre Thury. The first of these was the destruction of Dover, a town of fifty inhabitants. Major Richard Waldron allowed two local native women into the garrisoned homes of the settlers when they requested to stay the night of 27 June 1689. After all was still, the women stealthily opened the doors to waiting armed native warriors. "In one bloody afternoon, a quarter of the colonists in what is now downtown Dover, NH were gone – 23 killed, 29 captured in a revenge attack by native warriors. In one afternoon, 50 years of peaceful co-existence between the Pennacook tribe and European colonists ended. The massacre of 1689 entered the history books ...."[4] The sword-wielding elderly Waldron, once disarmed, was singled out for special torture and mutilation.[5][6]

Aftermath[edit]

The natives also took Waldron's grandchild Sarah Gerrish captive during the raid. [7] These were the first recorded Britiish captives natives eventually took to Quebec.[8]

In the following month Pemaquid, Maine, met a similar fate.[9] John Gyles was taken prisoner at Pemaquid and taken back to Dover, where he reported being in the company of captives taken early in the raid on Dover. [10]

Legacy[edit]

The William Damm Garrison House, built in 1675, survived the raid, and now stands on the grounds of the Woodman Institute Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

References[edit]

Endnotes

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