The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Mary Rowlandson’s gripping account of her experience as a captive of native Americans was enormously popular in her own time and became widely influential as the paradigm for the “captivity narrative,” a genre that would have hundreds of examples over the next two centuries and would also help shape works like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The book was originally printed in 1682, first in Boston and then, quickly, in London as well, and was reprinted over and over again for the next century and more. For good reason. Rowlandson’s work taps into colonial fears about the indigenous population, Puritan conceptions of the relationship between the material world and the unseen world of the divine, and the perennial fears of all patriarchal cultures about women’s sexuality. Her experience is compelling and she writes vividly about it.

Rowlandson was born Mary White in England in around 1637, and her family moved to the Massachusetts Bay Colony when she was in her early teens. She married Joseph Rowlandson, a minister, in the 1650s, and they moved to Lancaster, in central Massachusetts, which was then essentially frontier territory for the English colonial settlers. In 1675, the native American leader Metacomet, head of the Wampanoag confederation of tribes, led a series of attacks on English settlements. The conflict that followed for the next three years is remembered by Anglo-American historians as “Prince Philip’s War,” because “Philip” was the name that the English used for Metacomet. Metacomet’s forces attacked Lancaster on the morning of February 11, 1675, killing thirteen people, including Rowlandson’s sister and her sister’s children, as well as her brother-in-law. The natives took twenty-four English settlers prisoner, including Rowlandson and her three children. (Rowlandson’s husband Joseph was at this moment in Boston, trying to secure appropriations from the Massachusetts legislature to strengthen Lancashire’s defenses against Metacomet’s warriors.) Rowlandson’s six-year-old daughter Sarah died of wounds suffered in the fight. Mary and her surviving children were held captive for eleven weeks, where they were moved from tribe to tribe, further away from the colonial settlements, into what is now the state of Vermont. She was eventually ransomed with funds raised by women in Boston.

Joseph Rowlandson died in 1678, and Mary moved with her children to Boston. She remarried there, and published the first edition of her Narrative with the Boston printer Samuel Greene. This first edition was entitled The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed, being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. It included a preface that was probably written by Increase Mather, the leading Puritan minister in New England at the time, and also the author of a narrative account of the war with Metacomet, A Brief History of the War with the Indians, in New-England, published in Boston in 1676. The first London edition of Rowlandson’s more personal account, printed in 1682, came out under the title A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. 

About this edition

Our text is from the Project Gutenberg edition, which does not identify its copy text. We hope to replace this with a new version, reedited from the first edition, soon. We include the Librivox recording of the book so that readers can listen to the text as well.

Title page of the first London edition of Mary Rowlandson's narrative. [Wikimedia Commons]
Title page of the first London edition of Mary Rowlandson’s narrative. [Wikimedia Commons]

The sovereignty and goodness of GOD, together with the faithfulness
of his promises displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and
restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, commended by her, to all that
desires to know the Lord’s doings to, and dealings with her. Especially
to her dear children and relations.

The second Addition [sic] Corrected
and amended.

Written by her own hand for her private use, and now made
public at the earnest desire of some friends, and for the benefit of the

Deut. 32.39. See now that I, even I am he, and there is no
god with me, I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is
there any can deliver out of my hand.



      It was on Tuesday Feb. 1. 1675. in the afternoon, when the Narrhagansets Quarters (in or toward the Nipmug Country, whither they were now retired for fear of the English Army lying in their own Country) were the second time beaten up by the Forces of the United Colonies who thereupon soon betook themselves to flight, and were all the next day pursued by the English, some overtaken and destroyed. But on Thursday Feb. 3. the English having now been six days on their March, from their Head-quarters at Wickford, in the Narrhaganset Country, toward, and after the Enemy, and Provision grown exceeding short; insomuch that they were fain to kill some Horses for the supply, especially of their Indian Friends, they were necessitated to consider what was best to be done; and about noon (having hitherto followed the Chase as hard as they might) a Council was called, and though some few were of another mind, yet it was concluded by far the greater part of the Council of War, that the Army should desist the pursuit, and retire: The Forces of Plimouth and the Bay to the next Town of the Bay, and Connecticut Forces to their own next Towns: which determination was immediately put in execution. The consequent whereof, as it was not difficult to be foreseen by those that knew the causeless enmity of these Barbarians against the English, and the malicious and revengeful spirit of these Heathen; so it soon proved dismal.

    The Narrhagansets were now driven quite from their own Country, and all their Provisions there hoarded up, to which they durst not at present return, and being so numerous as they were, soon devoured those to whom they went, whereby both the one and the other were now reduced to extream straits, and so necessitated to take the first and best opportunity for supply, and very glad no doubt of such an opportunity as this, to provide for themselves, and make spoile of the English at once; and seeing themselves thus discharged of their pursuers, and a little refreshed after their flight, the very next week on Thursday Feb. 10. they fell with mighty force and fury upon Lancaster: which small Town, remote from aid of others, and not being Garrison’d as it might, the Army being now come in, and as the time indeed required (the design of the Indians against that place being known to the English some time before was not able to make effectual resistance; but notwithstanding the utmost endeavour of the Inhabitants, most of the buildings were turned into ashes; many People (Men, Women and Children) slain, and others captivated. The most solemn and remarkable part of this Tragedy, may that justly be reputed, which fell upon the Family of that Reverend Servant of God, Mr. Joseph Rowlandson, the faithful Pastor of the Church of Christ in that place, who being gon down to the Council of the Massachusets, to seek aid for the defence of the place; at his return found the Town in flames, or smoke, his own house being set on fire by the Enemy, through the disadvantage of a defective Fortification and all in it consumed: His precious yoke-fellow, and dear Children, wounded and captivated (as the issue evidenced, and the following Narrative declares) by these cruel and barbarous Salvages. A sad Catastrophe! Thus all things come alike to all: None knows either love or hatred by all that is before him. ’Tis no new thing for Gods precious ones to drink as deep as others, of the Cup of common Calamity: take just Lot (yet captivated) for instance, beside others. But it is not my business to dilate on these things, but only in few words introductively to preface to the following script, which is a Narrative of the wonderfully awful, wise, holy, powerful, and gracious providence of God, toward that worthy and precious Gentlewoman, the dear Consort of the said Reverend Mr. Rowlandson, and her Children with her, as in casting of her into such a waterless pit, so in preserving, supporting, and carrying through so many such extream hazards, upspeakable difficulties and disconsolateness, and at last delivering her out of them all, and her surviving Children also. It was a strange and amazing dispensation, that the Lord should so afflict his precious Servant, and Hand-maid: It was as strange, if not more, that he should so bear up the spirits of his Servant under such bereavements, and of his Hand-maid under such Captivity, travels, and hardships (much too hard for flesh and blood) as he did, and at length deliver and restore. But he was their Saviour, who hath said, When thou passest through the Waters, I will be with thee, and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the Fire, thou shalt not be burnt, nor shall the flame kindle upon thee, Isai. 43. Ver. 3. and again, He woundeth, and his hands make whole, He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea in seven there shall no evil touch thee: In Famine he shall redeem thee from death; and in War from the power of the sword, Job. 5. 18, 19, 20. Methinks this dispensation doth bear some resemblance to those of Joseph, David and Daniel, yea and of the three Children too, the stories whereof do represent us with the excellent textures of divine providence, curious pieces of divine work: And truly so doth this, and therefore not to be forgotten, but worthy to be exhibited to, and viewed, and pondered by all, that disdain not to consider the operation of his hands.

     The works of the Lord (not only of Creation, but of Providence also, especially those that do more peculiarly concern his dear ones, that are as the apple of his eye, as the signet upon his hand, the delight of his eyes, and the object of his tenderest care) are great, sought out of all those that have pleasure therein. And of these, verily this is none of the least.

     This Narrative was Penned by this Gentlewoman her self, to be to her a Memorandum of Gods dealing with her, that she might never forget, but remember the same, and the several circumstances thereof, all the daies of her life. A pious scope, which deserves both commendation and imitation. Some Friends having obtained a sight of it, could not but be so much affected with the many passages of working providence discovered therein, as to judge it worthy of publick view, and altogether unmeet that such works of God should be hid from present and future Generation: and therefore though this Gentlewomans modesty would not thrust it into the Press, yet her gratitude unto God, made her not hardly perswadable to let it pass, that God might have his due glory, and others benefit by it as well as her selfe.

     I hope by this time none will cast any reflection upon this Gentlewoman, on the score of this publication of her Affliction and Deliverance. If any should, doubtless they may be reckoned with the nine Lepers, of whom it is said, Were there not ten cleansed, where are the nine? but one returning to give God thanks. Let such further know, that this was a dispensation of publick note, and of Universal concernment; and so much the more, by how much the nearer this Gentlewoman stood related to that faithful Servant of God whose capacity and employment was publick, in the House of God, and his Name on that account of a very sweet saviour in the Churches of Christ. Who is there of a true Christian spirit, that did not look upon himself much concerned in this bereavement, this Captivity in the time thereof, and in this deliverance when it came, yea more than in many others? and how many are there to whom, so concerned, it will doubtless be a very acceptable thing, to see the way of God with this Gentlewoman in the aforesaid dispensation, thus laid out and pourtrayed before their eyes.

      To conclude, Whatever any coy phantasies may deem, yet it highly concerns those that have so deeply tasted how good the Lord is, to enquire with David, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? Psal. 116. 12. He thinks nothing too great: yea, being sensible of his own disproportion to the due praises of God, he calls in help; O magnifie the Lord with me, let us exalt his Name together, Psal. 34. 3. And it is but reason, that our praises should hold proportion with our prayers; and that as many have helped together by prayer for the obtaining of this mercy, so praises should be returned by many on this behalf; and forasmuch as not the general but particular knowledge of things makes deepest impression upon the affections, this Narrative particularizing the several passages of this providence, will not a little conduce thereunto: and therefore holy David, in order to the attainment of that end, accounts himself concerned to declare what God had done for his Soul, Psal. 66. 16. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what God hath done for my Soul, i. e. for his Life: See Ver. 9, 10. He holdeth our soul in life, and suffers not our feet to be moved; for thou our God hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Life-mercies are heart-affecting-mercies; of great impression and force, to enlarge pious hearts in the praises of God, so that such know not how but to talk of Gods acts, and to speak of and publish his wonderful works. Deep troubles, when the waters come in unto the Soul, are wont to produce vows: Vows must be paid, It is better not vow, than to vow and not pay. I may say, that as none knows what it is to fight and pursue such an enemy as this, but they that have fought and pursued them: so none can imagine, what it is to be captivated, and enslaved to such Atheistical, proud, wild, cruel, barbarous, brutish, (in one word) diabolical Creatures as these, the worst of the heathen; nor what difficulties, hardships, hazards, sorrows, anxieties, and perplexities, do unavoidably wait upon such a condition, but those that have tried it. No serious spirit then (especially knowing any thing of this Gentlewomans Piety) can imagine but that the vows of God are upon her. Excuse her than if she come thus into the publick, to pay those Vows. Come and hear what she hath to say.

     I am confident that no Friend of divine Providence, will ever repent his time and pains spent in reading over these sheets; but will judge them worth perusing again and again. Here Reader, you may see an instance of the Soveraignty of God, who doth what he will with his own as well as others; and who may say to him, what dost thou? here you may see an instance of the Faith and Patience of the Saints, under the most heart-sinking Tryals: here you may see, the Promises are breasts full of Consolation, when all the World besides is empty, and gives nothing but sorrow. That God is indeed the supream Lord of the World: ruling the most unruly, weakening the most cruel and salvage: granting his People mercy in the sight of the most unmerciful: curbing the lusts of the most filthy, holding the hands of the violent, delivering the prey from the mighty, and gathering together the out-casts of Israel. Once and again, you have heard, but here you may see, that power belongeth unto God: that our God is the God of Salvation: and to him belong the issues from Death. That our God is in the Heavens, and doth what ever pleases him. Here you have Samsons Riddle exemplified, and that great promise, Rom. 8. 28. verified: Out of the Eater comes forth meat, and sweetness out of the strong; The worst of evils working together for the best good. How evident is it that the Lord hath made this Gentlewoman a gainer by all this Affliction, that she can say, ’tis good for her, yea better that she hath been, than she should not have been, thus afflicted. Oh how doth God shine forth in such things as these! Reader, if thou gettest no good by such a Declaration as this, the fault must needs be thine own. Read therefore, peruse, ponder, and from hence lay up something from the experience of another, against thine own turn comes: that so thou also through patience and consolation of the Scripture mayest have hope,



On the tenth of February 1675, came the Indians with great numbers upon
Lancaster: their first coming was about sunrising; hearing the noise
of some guns, we looked out; several houses were burning, and the smoke
ascending to heaven. There were five persons taken in one house; the
father, and the mother and a sucking child, they knocked on the head;
the other two they took and carried away alive. There were two others,
who being out of their garrison upon some occasion were set upon;
one was knocked on the head, the other escaped; another there was who
running along was shot and wounded, and fell down; he begged of them his
life, promising them money (as they told me) but they would not hearken
to him but knocked him in head, and stripped him naked, and split open
his bowels. Another, seeing many of the Indians about his barn, ventured
and went out, but was quickly shot down. There were three others
belonging to the same garrison who were killed; the Indians getting up
upon the roof of the barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over
their fortification. Thus these murderous wretches went on, burning, and
destroying before them.

At length they came and beset our own house, and quickly it was the
dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw. The house stood upon the edge of
a hill; some of the Indians got behind the hill, others into the barn,
and others behind anything that could shelter them; from all which
places they shot against the house, so that the bullets seemed to fly
like hail; and quickly they wounded one man among us, then another,
and then a third. About two hours (according to my observation, in that
amazing time) they had been about the house before they prevailed to
fire it (which they did with flax and hemp, which they brought out of
the barn, and there being no defense about the house, only two flankers
at two opposite corners and one of them not finished); they fired it
once and one ventured out and quenched it, but they quickly fired it
again, and that took. Now is the dreadful hour come, that I have often
heard of (in time of war, as it was the case of others), but now mine
eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their lives, others
wallowing in their blood, the house on fire over our heads, and the
bloody heathen ready to knock us on the head, if we stirred out. Now
might we hear mothers and children crying out for themselves, and one
another, “Lord, what shall we do?” Then I took my children (and one of
my sisters’, hers) to go forth and leave the house: but as soon as
we came to the door and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the
bullets rattled against the house, as if one had taken an handful of
stones and threw them, so that we were fain to give back. We had six
stout dogs belonging to our garrison, but none of them would stir,
though another time, if any Indian had come to the door, they were ready
to fly upon him and tear him down. The Lord hereby would make us the
more acknowledge His hand, and to see that our help is always in Him.
But out we must go, the fire increasing, and coming along behind us,
roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with their guns, spears,
and hatchets to devour us. No sooner were we out of the house, but my
brother-in-law (being before wounded, in defending the house, in or near
the throat) fell down dead, whereat the Indians scornfully shouted, and
hallowed, and were presently upon him, stripping off his clothes, the
bullets flying thick, one went through my side, and the same (as would
seem) through the bowels and hand of my dear child in my arms. One of my
elder sisters’ children, named William, had then his leg broken, which
the Indians perceiving, they knocked him on [his] head. Thus were we
butchered by those merciless heathen, standing amazed, with the blood
running down to our heels. My eldest sister being yet in the house, and
seeing those woeful sights, the infidels hauling mothers one way, and
children another, and some wallowing in their blood: and her elder son
telling her that her son William was dead, and myself was wounded, she
said, “And Lord, let me die with them,” which was no sooner said, but
she was struck with a bullet, and fell down dead over the threshold. I
hope she is reaping the fruit of her good labors, being faithful to the
service of God in her place. In her younger years she lay under much
trouble upon spiritual accounts, till it pleased God to make that
precious scripture take hold of her heart, “And he said unto me, my
Grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12.9). More than twenty
years after, I have heard her tell how sweet and comfortable that place
was to her. But to return: the Indians laid hold of us, pulling me one
way, and the children another, and said, “Come go along with us”; I told
them they would kill me: they answered, if I were willing to go along
with them, they would not hurt me.

Oh the doleful sight that now was to behold at this house! “Come, behold
the works of the Lord, what desolations he has made in the earth.” Of
thirty-seven persons who were in this one house, none escaped either
present death, or a bitter captivity, save only one, who might say as
he, “And I only am escaped alone to tell the News” (Job 1.15). There
were twelve killed, some shot, some stabbed with their spears, some
knocked down with their hatchets. When we are in prosperity, Oh the
little that we think of such dreadful sights, and to see our dear
friends, and relations lie bleeding out their heart-blood upon the
ground. There was one who was chopped into the head with a hatchet, and
stripped naked, and yet was crawling up and down. It is a solemn sight
to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some
there, like a company of sheep torn by wolves, all of them stripped
naked by a company of hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting, and
insulting, as if they would have torn our very hearts out; yet the Lord
by His almighty power preserved a number of us from death, for there
were twenty-four of us taken alive and carried captive.

I had often before this said that if the Indians should come, I should
choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive, but when it came
to the trial my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted
my spirit, that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say)
ravenous beasts, than that moment to end my days; and that I may the
better declare what happened to me during that grievous captivity, I
shall particularly speak of the several removes we had up and down the


Now away we must go with those barbarous creatures, with our bodies
wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no less than our bodies. About a
mile we went that night, up upon a hill within sight of the town, where
they intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house (deserted by
the English before, for fear of the Indians). I asked them whether I
might not lodge in the house that night, to which they answered, “What,
will you love English men still?” This was the dolefulest night that
ever my eyes saw. Oh the roaring, and singing and dancing, and yelling
of those black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively
resemblance of hell. And as miserable was the waste that was there made
of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, lambs, roasting pigs, and fowl
(which they had plundered in the town), some roasting, some lying and
burning, and some boiling to feed our merciless enemies; who were joyful
enough, though we were disconsolate. To add to the dolefulness of the
former day, and the dismalness of the present night, my thoughts ran
upon my losses and sad bereaved condition. All was gone, my husband
gone (at least separated from me, he being in the Bay; and to add to my
grief, the Indians told me they would kill him as he came homeward), my
children gone, my relations and friends gone, our house and home and all
our comforts–within door and without–all was gone (except my life),
and I knew not but the next moment that might go too. There remained
nothing to me but one poor wounded babe, and it seemed at present
worse than death that it was in such a pitiful condition, bespeaking
compassion, and I had no refreshing for it, nor suitable things to
revive it. Little do many think what is the savageness and brutishness
of this barbarous enemy, Ay, even those that seem to profess more than
others among them, when the English have fallen into their hands.

Those seven that were killed at Lancaster the summer before upon a
Sabbath day, and the one that was afterward killed upon a weekday,
were slain and mangled in a barbarous manner, by one-eyed John, and
Marlborough’s Praying Indians, which Capt. Mosely brought to Boston, as
the Indians told me.


But now, the next morning, I must turn my back upon the town, and travel
with them into the vast and desolate wilderness, I knew not whither.
It is not my tongue, or pen, can express the sorrows of my heart, and
bitterness of my spirit that I had at this departure: but God was with
me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along, and bearing up my spirit,
that it did not quite fail. One of the Indians carried my poor wounded
babe upon a horse; it went moaning all along, “I shall die, I shall
die.” I went on foot after it, with sorrow that cannot be expressed.
At length I took it off the horse, and carried it in my arms till my
strength failed, and I fell down with it. Then they set me upon a horse
with my wounded child in my lap, and there being no furniture upon the
horse’s back, as we were going down a steep hill we both fell over
the horse’s head, at which they, like inhumane creatures, laughed, and
rejoiced to see it, though I thought we should there have ended our
days, as overcome with so many difficulties. But the Lord renewed my
strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of His
power; yea, so much that I could never have thought of, had I not
experienced it.

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on, they
stopped, and now down I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a
few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap; and calling much for
water, being now (through the wound) fallen into a violent fever. My own
wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce sit down or rise up; yet
so it must be, that I must sit all this cold winter night upon the cold
snowy ground, with my sick child in my arms, looking that every hour
would be the last of its life; and having no Christian friend near me,
either to comfort or help me. Oh, I may see the wonderful power of God,
that my Spirit did not utterly sink under my affliction: still the Lord
upheld me with His gracious and merciful spirit, and we were both alive
to see the light of the next morning.


The morning being come, they prepared to go on their way. One of the
Indians got up upon a horse, and they set me up behind him, with my poor
sick babe in my lap. A very wearisome and tedious day I had of it; what
with my own wound, and my child’s being so exceeding sick, and in a
lamentable condition with her wound. It may be easily judged what a
poor feeble condition we were in, there being not the least crumb of
refreshing that came within either of our mouths from Wednesday night
to Saturday night, except only a little cold water. This day in the
afternoon, about an hour by sun, we came to the place where they
intended, viz. an Indian town, called Wenimesset, northward of Quabaug.
When we were come, Oh the number of pagans (now merciless enemies) that
there came about me, that I may say as David, “I had fainted, unless I
had believed, etc” (Psalm 27.13). The next day was the Sabbath. I then
remembered how careless I had been of God’s holy time; how many Sabbaths
I had lost and misspent, and how evilly I had walked in God’s sight;
which lay so close unto my spirit, that it was easy for me to see how
righteous it was with God to cut off the thread of my life and cast me
out of His presence forever. Yet the Lord still showed mercy to me, and
upheld me; and as He wounded me with one hand, so he healed me with the
other. This day there came to me one Robert Pepper (a man belonging
to Roxbury) who was taken in Captain Beers’s fight, and had been now a
considerable time with the Indians; and up with them almost as far as
Albany, to see King Philip, as he told me, and was now very lately come
into these parts. Hearing, I say, that I was in this Indian town, he
obtained leave to come and see me. He told me he himself was wounded in
the leg at Captain Beer’s fight; and was not able some time to go, but
as they carried him, and as he took oaken leaves and laid to his wound,
and through the blessing of God he was able to travel again. Then I took
oaken leaves and laid to my side, and with the blessing of God it cured
me also; yet before the cure was wrought, I may say, as it is in Psalm
38.5-6 “My wounds stink and are corrupt, I am troubled, I am bowed down
greatly, I go mourning all the day long.” I sat much alone with a poor
wounded child in my lap, which moaned night and day, having nothing
to revive the body, or cheer the spirits of her, but instead of that,
sometimes one Indian would come and tell me one hour that “your master
will knock your child in the head,” and then a second, and then a third,
“your master will quickly knock your child in the head.”

This was the comfort I had from them, miserable comforters are ye all,
as he said. Thus nine days I sat upon my knees, with my babe in my lap,
till my flesh was raw again; my child being even ready to depart this
sorrowful world, they bade me carry it out to another wigwam (I suppose
because they would not be troubled with such spectacles) whither I went
with a very heavy heart, and down I sat with the picture of death in my
lap. About two hours in the night, my sweet babe like a lamb departed
this life on Feb. 18, 1675. It being about six years, and five months
old. It was nine days from the first wounding, in this miserable
condition, without any refreshing of one nature or other, except a
little cold water. I cannot but take notice how at another time I could
not bear to be in the room where any dead person was, but now the case
is changed; I must and could lie down by my dead babe, side by side all
the night after. I have thought since of the wonderful goodness of
God to me in preserving me in the use of my reason and senses in that
distressed time, that I did not use wicked and violent means to end my
own miserable life. In the morning, when they understood that my child
was dead they sent for me home to my master’s wigwam (by my master in
this writing, must be understood Quinnapin, who was a Sagamore, and
married King Philip’s wife’s sister; not that he first took me, but I
was sold to him by another Narragansett Indian, who took me when first I
came out of the garrison). I went to take up my dead child in my arms to
carry it with me, but they bid me let it alone; there was no resisting,
but go I must and leave it. When I had been at my master’s wigwam, I
took the first opportunity I could get to go look after my dead child.
When I came I asked them what they had done with it; then they told me
it was upon the hill. Then they went and showed me where it was, where I
saw the ground was newly digged, and there they told me they had buried
it. There I left that child in the wilderness, and must commit it, and
myself also in this wilderness condition, to Him who is above all. God
having taken away this dear child, I went to see my daughter Mary, who
was at this same Indian town, at a wigwam not very far off, though we
had little liberty or opportunity to see one another. She was about
ten years old, and taken from the door at first by a Praying Ind. and
afterward sold for a gun. When I came in sight, she would fall aweeping;
at which they were provoked, and would not let me come near her, but
bade me be gone; which was a heart-cutting word to me. I had one child
dead, another in the wilderness, I knew not where, the third they
would not let me come near to: “Me (as he said) have ye bereaved of my
Children, Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin
also, all these things are against me.” I could not sit still in this
condition, but kept walking from one place to another. And as I was
going along, my heart was even overwhelmed with the thoughts of my
condition, and that I should have children, and a nation which I knew
not, ruled over them. Whereupon I earnestly entreated the Lord, that He
would consider my low estate, and show me a token for good, and if it
were His blessed will, some sign and hope of some relief. And indeed
quickly the Lord answered, in some measure, my poor prayers; for as I
was going up and down mourning and lamenting my condition, my son came
to me, and asked me how I did. I had not seen him before, since the
destruction of the town, and I knew not where he was, till I was
informed by himself, that he was amongst a smaller parcel of Indians,
whose place was about six miles off. With tears in his eyes, he asked
me whether his sister Sarah was dead; and told me he had seen his
sister Mary; and prayed me, that I would not be troubled in reference
to himself. The occasion of his coming to see me at this time, was this:
there was, as I said, about six miles from us, a small plantation of
Indians, where it seems he had been during his captivity; and at this
time, there were some forces of the Ind. gathered out of our company,
and some also from them (among whom was my son’s master) to go to
assault and burn Medfield. In this time of the absence of his master,
his dame brought him to see me. I took this to be some gracious answer
to my earnest and unfeigned desire. The next day, viz. to this, the
Indians returned from Medfield, all the company, for those that belonged
to the other small company, came through the town that now we were at.
But before they came to us, Oh! the outrageous roaring and hooping that
there was. They began their din about a mile before they came to us.
By their noise and hooping they signified how many they had destroyed
(which was at that time twenty-three). Those that were with us at home
were gathered together as soon as they heard the hooping, and every time
that the other went over their number, these at home gave a shout, that
the very earth rung again. And thus they continued till those that had
been upon the expedition were come up to the Sagamore’s wigwam; and
then, Oh, the hideous insulting and triumphing that there was over some
Englishmen’s scalps that they had taken (as their manner is) and brought
with them. I cannot but take notice of the wonderful mercy of God to
me in those afflictions, in sending me a Bible. One of the Indians that
came from Medfield fight, had brought some plunder, came to me, and
asked me, if I would have a Bible, he had got one in his basket. I was
glad of it, and asked him, whether he thought the Indians would let
me read? He answered, yes. So I took the Bible, and in that melancholy
time, it came into my mind to read first the 28th chapter of
Deuteronomy, which I did, and when I had read it, my dark heart wrought
on this manner: that there was no mercy for me, that the blessings
were gone, and the curses come in their room, and that I had lost my
opportunity. But the Lord helped me still to go on reading till I came
to Chap. 30, the seven first verses, where I found, there was mercy
promised again, if we would return to Him by repentance; and though
we were scattered from one end of the earth to the other, yet the Lord
would gather us together, and turn all those curses upon our enemies. I
do not desire to live to forget this Scripture, and what comfort it was
to me.

Now the Ind. began to talk of removing from this place, some one way,
and some another. There were now besides myself nine English captives
in this place (all of them children, except one woman). I got an
opportunity to go and take my leave of them. They being to go one way,
and I another, I asked them whether they were earnest with God for
deliverance. They told me they did as they were able, and it was some
comfort to me, that the Lord stirred up children to look to Him. The
woman, viz. goodwife Joslin, told me she should never see me again, and
that she could find in her heart to run away. I wished her not to run
away by any means, for we were near thirty miles from any English town,
and she very big with child, and had but one week to reckon, and another
child in her arms, two years old, and bad rivers there were to go over,
and we were feeble, with our poor and coarse entertainment. I had my
Bible with me, I pulled it out, and asked her whether she would read. We
opened the Bible and lighted on Psalm 27, in which Psalm we especially
took notice of that, ver. ult., “Wait on the Lord, Be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine Heart, wait I say on the Lord.”


And now I must part with that little company I had. Here I parted from
my daughter Mary (whom I never saw again till I saw her in Dorchester,
returned from captivity), and from four little cousins and neighbors,
some of which I never saw afterward: the Lord only knows the end of
them. Amongst them also was that poor woman before mentioned, who came
to a sad end, as some of the company told me in my travel: she having
much grief upon her spirit about her miserable condition, being so near
her time, she would be often asking the Indians to let her go home; they
not being willing to that, and yet vexed with her importunity, gathered
a great company together about her and stripped her naked, and set her
in the midst of them, and when they had sung and danced about her (in
their hellish manner) as long as they pleased they knocked her on head,
and the child in her arms with her. When they had done that they made
a fire and put them both into it, and told the other children that were
with them that if they attempted to go home, they would serve them in
like manner. The children said she did not shed one tear, but prayed all
the while. But to return to my own journey, we traveled about half a day
or little more, and came to a desolate place in the wilderness, where
there were no wigwams or inhabitants before; we came about the middle
of the afternoon to this place, cold and wet, and snowy, and hungry, and
weary, and no refreshing for man but the cold ground to sit on, and our
poor Indian cheer.

Heart-aching thoughts here I had about my poor children, who were
scattered up and down among the wild beasts of the forest. My head was
light and dizzy (either through hunger or hard lodging, or trouble or
all together), my knees feeble, my body raw by sitting double night
and day, that I cannot express to man the affliction that lay upon my
spirit, but the Lord helped me at that time to express it to Himself. I
opened my Bible to read, and the Lord brought that precious Scripture to
me. “Thus saith the Lord, refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes
from tears, for thy work shall be rewarded, and they shall come again
from the land of the enemy” (Jeremiah 31.16). This was a sweet cordial
to me when I was ready to faint; many and many a time have I sat down
and wept sweetly over this Scripture. At this place we continued about
four days.


The occasion (as I thought) of their moving at this time was the English
army, it being near and following them. For they went as if they had
gone for their lives, for some considerable way, and then they made a
stop, and chose some of their stoutest men, and sent them back to hold
the English army in play whilst the rest escaped. And then, like Jehu,
they marched on furiously, with their old and with their young: some
carried their old decrepit mothers, some carried one, and some another.
Four of them carried a great Indian upon a bier; but going through
a thick wood with him, they were hindered, and could make no haste,
whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried him, one at a
time, till they came to Banquaug river. Upon a Friday, a little after
noon, we came to this river. When all the company was come up, and were
gathered together, I thought to count the number of them, but they were
so many, and being somewhat in motion, it was beyond my skill. In
this travel, because of my wound, I was somewhat favored in my load; I
carried only my knitting work and two quarts of parched meal. Being very
faint I asked my mistress to give me one spoonful of the meal, but she
would not give me a taste. They quickly fell to cutting dry trees, to
make rafts to carry them over the river: and soon my turn came to go
over. By the advantage of some brush which they had laid upon the raft
to sit upon, I did not wet my foot (which many of themselves at the
other end were mid-leg deep) which cannot but be acknowledged as a favor
of God to my weakened body, it being a very cold time. I was not before
acquainted with such kind of doings or dangers. “When thou passeth
through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they
shall not overflow thee” (Isaiah 43.2). A certain number of us got over
the river that night, but it was the night after the Sabbath before all
the company was got over. On the Saturday they boiled an old horse’s
leg which they had got, and so we drank of the broth, as soon as they
thought it was ready, and when it was almost all gone, they filled it up

The first week of my being among them I hardly ate any thing; the second
week I found my stomach grow very faint for want of something; and yet
it was very hard to get down their filthy trash; but the third week,
though I could think how formerly my stomach would turn against this
or that, and I could starve and die before I could eat such things, yet
they were sweet and savory to my taste. I was at this time knitting a
pair of white cotton stockings for my mistress; and had not yet wrought
upon a Sabbath day. When the Sabbath came they bade me go to work. I
told them it was the Sabbath day, and desired them to let me rest, and
told them I would do as much more tomorrow; to which they answered
me they would break my face. And here I cannot but take notice of the
strange providence of God in preserving the heathen. They were many
hundreds, old and young, some sick, and some lame; many had papooses at
their backs. The greatest number at this time with us were squaws, and
they traveled with all they had, bag and baggage, and yet they got over
this river aforesaid; and on Monday they set their wigwams on fire, and
away they went. On that very day came the English army after them to
this river, and saw the smoke of their wigwams, and yet this river put a
stop to them. God did not give them courage or activity to go over after
us. We were not ready for so great a mercy as victory and deliverance.
If we had been God would have found out a way for the English to have
passed this river, as well as for the Indians with their squaws and
children, and all their luggage. “Oh that my people had hearkened to
me, and Israel had walked in my ways, I should soon have subdued their
enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries” (Psalm 81.13-14).


On Monday (as I said) they set their wigwams on fire and went away. It
was a cold morning, and before us there was a great brook with ice on
it; some waded through it, up to the knees and higher, but others went
till they came to a beaver dam, and I amongst them, where through the
good providence of God, I did not wet my foot. I went along that day
mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my own country, and traveling
into a vast and howling wilderness, and I understood something of Lot’s
wife’s temptation, when she looked back. We came that day to a great
swamp, by the side of which we took up our lodging that night. When I
came to the brow of the hill, that looked toward the swamp, I thought we
had been come to a great Indian town (though there were none but our own
company). The Indians were as thick as the trees: it seemed as if there
had been a thousand hatchets going at once. If one looked before one
there was nothing but Indians, and behind one, nothing but Indians, and
so on either hand, I myself in the midst, and no Christian soul near me,
and yet how hath the Lord preserved me in safety? Oh the experience that
I have had of the goodness of God, to me and mine!


After a restless and hungry night there, we had a wearisome time of it
the next day. The swamp by which we lay was, as it were, a deep dungeon,
and an exceeding high and steep hill before it. Before I got to the top
of the hill, I thought my heart and legs, and all would have broken,
and failed me. What, through faintness and soreness of body, it was
a grievous day of travel to me. As we went along, I saw a place where
English cattle had been. That was comfort to me, such as it was. Quickly
after that we came to an English path, which so took with me, that I
thought I could have freely lyen down and died. That day, a little after
noon, we came to Squakeag, where the Indians quickly spread themselves
over the deserted English fields, gleaning what they could find. Some
picked up ears of wheat that were crickled down; some found ears of
Indian corn; some found ground nuts, and others sheaves of wheat that
were frozen together in the shock, and went to threshing of them out.
Myself got two ears of Indian corn, and whilst I did but turn my back,
one of them was stolen from me, which much troubled me. There came an
Indian to them at that time with a basket of horse liver. I asked him to
give me a piece. “What,” says he, “can you eat horse liver?” I told him,
I would try, if he would give a piece, which he did, and I laid it on
the coals to roast. But before it was half ready they got half of it
away from me, so that I was fain to take the rest and eat it as it was,
with the blood about my mouth, and yet a savory bit it was to me:
“For to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” A solemn sight
methought it was, to see fields of wheat and Indian corn forsaken and
spoiled and the remainders of them to be food for our merciless enemies.
That night we had a mess of wheat for our supper.


On the morrow morning we must go over the river, i.e. Connecticut, to
meet with King Philip. Two canoes full they had carried over; the next
turn I myself was to go. But as my foot was upon the canoe to step in
there was a sudden outcry among them, and I must step back, and instead
of going over the river, I must go four or five miles up the river
farther northward. Some of the Indians ran one way, and some another.
The cause of this rout was, as I thought, their espying some English
scouts, who were thereabout. In this travel up the river about noon the
company made a stop, and sat down; some to eat, and others to rest them.
As I sat amongst them, musing of things past, my son Joseph unexpectedly
came to me. We asked of each other’s welfare, bemoaning our doleful
condition, and the change that had come upon us. We had husband and
father, and children, and sisters, and friends, and relations, and
house, and home, and many comforts of this life: but now we may say, as
Job, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return:
the Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the
Lord.” I asked him whether he would read. He told me he earnestly
desired it, I gave him my Bible, and he lighted upon that comfortable
Scripture “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord:
the Lord hath chastened me sore yet he hath not given me over to death”
(Psalm 118.17-18). “Look here, mother,” says he, “did you read this?”
And here I may take occasion to mention one principal ground of my
setting forth these lines: even as the psalmist says, to declare
the works of the Lord, and His wonderful power in carrying us along,
preserving us in the wilderness, while under the enemy’s hand, and
returning of us in safety again. And His goodness in bringing to my
hand so many comfortable and suitable scriptures in my distress. But to
return, we traveled on till night; and in the morning, we must go over
the river to Philip’s crew. When I was in the canoe I could not but be
amazed at the numerous crew of pagans that were on the bank on the other
side. When I came ashore, they gathered all about me, I sitting alone in
the midst. I observed they asked one another questions, and laughed, and
rejoiced over their gains and victories. Then my heart began to fail:
and I fell aweeping, which was the first time to my remembrance, that
I wept before them. Although I had met with so much affliction, and my
heart was many times ready to break, yet could I not shed one tear in
their sight; but rather had been all this while in a maze, and like one
astonished. But now I may say as Psalm 137.1, “By the Rivers of Babylon,
there we sate down: yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.” There one
of them asked me why I wept. I could hardly tell what to say: Yet I
answered, they would kill me. “No,” said he, “none will hurt you.” Then
came one of them and gave me two spoonfuls of meal to comfort me, and
another gave me half a pint of peas; which was more worth than many
bushels at another time. Then I went to see King Philip. He bade me
come in and sit down, and asked me whether I would smoke it (a usual
compliment nowadays amongst saints and sinners) but this no way suited
me. For though I had formerly used tobacco, yet I had left it ever since
I was first taken. It seems to be a bait the devil lays to make men
lose their precious time. I remember with shame how formerly, when I
had taken two or three pipes, I was presently ready for another, such a
bewitching thing it is. But I thank God, He has now given me power over
it; surely there are many who may be better employed than to lie sucking
a stinking tobacco-pipe.

Now the Indians gather their forces to go against Northampton. Over
night one went about yelling and hooting to give notice of the design.
Whereupon they fell to boiling of ground nuts, and parching of corn (as
many as had it) for their provision; and in the morning away they went.
During my abode in this place, Philip spake to me to make a shirt for
his boy, which I did, for which he gave me a shilling. I offered the
money to my master, but he bade me keep it; and with it I bought a piece
of horse flesh. Afterwards he asked me to make a cap for his boy, for
which he invited me to dinner. I went, and he gave me a pancake, about
as big as two fingers. It was made of parched wheat, beaten, and fried
in bear’s grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in my
life. There was a squaw who spake to me to make a shirt for her sannup,
for which she gave me a piece of bear. Another asked me to knit a pair
of stockings, for which she gave me a quart of peas. I boiled my peas
and bear together, and invited my master and mistress to dinner; but the
proud gossip, because I served them both in one dish, would eat nothing,
except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife. Hearing
that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, and found him
lying flat upon the ground. I asked him how he could sleep so? He
answered me that he was not asleep, but at prayer; and lay so, that they
might not observe what he was doing. I pray God he may remember these
things now he is returned in safety. At this place (the sun now getting
higher) what with the beams and heat of the sun, and the smoke of the
wigwams, I thought I should have been blind. I could scarce discern one
wigwam from another. There was here one Mary Thurston of Medfield, who
seeing how it was with me, lent me a hat to wear; but as soon as I was
gone, the squaw (who owned that Mary Thurston) came running after me,
and got it away again. Here was the squaw that gave me one spoonful
of meal. I put it in my pocket to keep it safe. Yet notwithstanding,
somebody stole it, but put five Indian corns in the room of it; which
corns were the greatest provisions I had in my travel for one day.

The Indians returning from Northampton, brought with them some horses,
and sheep, and other things which they had taken; I desired them that
they would carry me to Albany upon one of those horses, and sell me for
powder: for so they had sometimes discoursed. I was utterly hopeless of
getting home on foot, the way that I came. I could hardly bear to think
of the many weary steps I had taken, to come to this place.


But instead of going either to Albany or homeward, we must go five miles
up the river, and then go over it. Here we abode a while. Here lived a
sorry Indian, who spoke to me to make him a shirt. When I had done it,
he would pay me nothing. But he living by the riverside, where I often
went to fetch water, I would often be putting of him in mind, and
calling for my pay: At last he told me if I would make another shirt,
for a papoose not yet born, he would give me a knife, which he did when
I had done it. I carried the knife in, and my master asked me to give
it him, and I was not a little glad that I had anything that they would
accept of, and be pleased with. When we were at this place, my master’s
maid came home; she had been gone three weeks into the Narragansett
country to fetch corn, where they had stored up some in the ground. She
brought home about a peck and half of corn. This was about the time that
their great captain, Naananto, was killed in the Narragansett country.
My son being now about a mile from me, I asked liberty to go and
see him; they bade me go, and away I went; but quickly lost myself,
traveling over hills and through swamps, and could not find the way to
him. And I cannot but admire at the wonderful power and goodness of God
to me, in that, though I was gone from home, and met with all sorts of
Indians, and those I had no knowledge of, and there being no Christian
soul near me; yet not one of them offered the least imaginable
miscarriage to me. I turned homeward again, and met with my master. He
showed me the way to my son. When I came to him I found him not well:
and withall he had a boil on his side, which much troubled him. We
bemoaned one another a while, as the Lord helped us, and then I returned
again. When I was returned, I found myself as unsatisfied as I was
before. I went up and down mourning and lamenting; and my spirit was
ready to sink with the thoughts of my poor children. My son was ill, and
I could not but think of his mournful looks, and no Christian friend was
near him, to do any office of love for him, either for soul or body.
And my poor girl, I knew not where she was, nor whether she was sick, or
well, or alive, or dead. I repaired under these thoughts to my Bible (my
great comfort in that time) and that Scripture came to my hand, “Cast
thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee” (Psalm 55.22).

But I was fain to go and look after something to satisfy my hunger, and
going among the wigwams, I went into one and there found a squaw who
showed herself very kind to me, and gave me a piece of bear. I put it
into my pocket, and came home, but could not find an opportunity to
broil it, for fear they would get it from me, and there it lay all that
day and night in my stinking pocket. In the morning I went to the same
squaw, who had a kettle of ground nuts boiling. I asked her to let me
boil my piece of bear in her kettle, which she did, and gave me some
ground nuts to eat with it: and I cannot but think how pleasant it
was to me. I have sometime seen bear baked very handsomely among the
English, and some like it, but the thought that it was bear made me
tremble. But now that was savory to me that one would think was enough
to turn the stomach of a brute creature.

One bitter cold day I could find no room to sit down before the fire.
I went out, and could not tell what to do, but I went in to another
wigwam, where they were also sitting round the fire, but the squaw laid
a skin for me, and bid me sit down, and gave me some ground nuts, and
bade me come again; and told me they would buy me, if they were able,
and yet these were strangers to me that I never saw before.


That day a small part of the company removed about three-quarters of a
mile, intending further the next day. When they came to the place where
they intended to lodge, and had pitched their wigwams, being hungry, I
went again back to the place we were before at, to get something to eat,
being encouraged by the squaw’s kindness, who bade me come again. When I
was there, there came an Indian to look after me, who when he had found
me, kicked me all along. I went home and found venison roasting that
night, but they would not give me one bit of it. Sometimes I met with
favor, and sometimes with nothing but frowns.


The next day in the morning they took their travel, intending a day’s
journey up the river. I took my load at my back, and quickly we came to
wade over the river; and passed over tiresome and wearisome hills. One
hill was so steep that I was fain to creep up upon my knees, and to hold
by the twigs and bushes to keep myself from falling backward. My head
also was so light that I usually reeled as I went; but I hope all these
wearisome steps that I have taken, are but a forewarning to me of the
heavenly rest: “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that
thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psalm 119.75).


It was upon a Sabbath-day-morning, that they prepared for their travel.
This morning I asked my master whether he would sell me to my husband.
He answered me “Nux,” which did much rejoice my spirit. My mistress,
before we went, was gone to the burial of a papoose, and returning, she
found me sitting and reading in my Bible; she snatched it hastily out of
my hand, and threw it out of doors. I ran out and catched it up, and put
it into my pocket, and never let her see it afterward. Then they packed
up their things to be gone, and gave me my load. I complained it was
too heavy, whereupon she gave me a slap in the face, and bade me go; I
lifted up my heart to God, hoping the redemption was not far off; and
the rather because their insolency grew worse and worse.

But the thoughts of my going homeward (for so we bent our course) much
cheered my spirit, and made my burden seem light, and almost nothing
at all. But (to my amazement and great perplexity) the scale was soon
turned; for when we had gone a little way, on a sudden my mistress gives
out; she would go no further, but turn back again, and said I must go
back again with her, and she called her sannup, and would have had him
gone back also, but he would not, but said he would go on, and come
to us again in three days. My spirit was, upon this, I confess, very
impatient, and almost outrageous. I thought I could as well have died as
went back; I cannot declare the trouble that I was in about it; but yet
back again I must go. As soon as I had the opportunity, I took my Bible
to read, and that quieting Scripture came to my hand, “Be still, and
know that I am God” (Psalm 46.10). Which stilled my spirit for the
present. But a sore time of trial, I concluded, I had to go through,
my master being gone, who seemed to me the best friend that I had of an
Indian, both in cold and hunger, and quickly so it proved. Down I sat,
with my heart as full as it could hold, and yet so hungry that I could
not sit neither; but going out to see what I could find, and walking
among the trees, I found six acorns, and two chestnuts, which were
some refreshment to me. Towards night I gathered some sticks for my own
comfort, that I might not lie a-cold; but when we came to lie down they
bade me to go out, and lie somewhere else, for they had company (they
said) come in more than their own. I told them, I could not tell where
to go, they bade me go look; I told them, if I went to another wigwam
they would be angry, and send me home again. Then one of the company
drew his sword, and told me he would run me through if I did not go
presently. Then was I fain to stoop to this rude fellow, and to go
out in the night, I knew not whither. Mine eyes have seen that fellow
afterwards walking up and down Boston, under the appearance of a Friend
Indian, and several others of the like cut. I went to one wigwam, and
they told me they had no room. Then I went to another, and they said the
same; at last an old Indian bade me to come to him, and his squaw gave
me some ground nuts; she gave me also something to lay under my head,
and a good fire we had; and through the good providence of God, I had a
comfortable lodging that night. In the morning, another Indian bade me
come at night, and he would give me six ground nuts, which I did. We
were at this place and time about two miles from [the] Connecticut
river. We went in the morning to gather ground nuts, to the river, and
went back again that night. I went with a good load at my back (for they
when they went, though but a little way, would carry all their trumpery
with them). I told them the skin was off my back, but I had no other
comforting answer from them than this: that it would be no matter if my
head were off too.


Instead of going toward the Bay, which was that I desired, I must go
with them five or six miles down the river into a mighty thicket of
brush; where we abode almost a fortnight. Here one asked me to make a
shirt for her papoose, for which she gave me a mess of broth, which
was thickened with meal made of the bark of a tree, and to make it the
better, she had put into it about a handful of peas, and a few roasted
ground nuts. I had not seen my son a pretty while, and here was an
Indian of whom I made inquiry after him, and asked him when he saw him.
He answered me that such a time his master roasted him, and that himself
did eat a piece of him, as big as his two fingers, and that he was very
good meat. But the Lord upheld my Spirit, under this discouragement; and
I considered their horrible addictedness to lying, and that there is
not one of them that makes the least conscience of speaking of truth.
In this place, on a cold night, as I lay by the fire, I removed a stick
that kept the heat from me. A squaw moved it down again, at which I
looked up, and she threw a handful of ashes in mine eyes. I thought
I should have been quite blinded, and have never seen more, but lying
down, the water run out of my eyes, and carried the dirt with it, that
by the morning I recovered my sight again. Yet upon this, and the like
occasions, I hope it is not too much to say with Job, “Have pity upon
me, O ye my Friends, for the Hand of the Lord has touched me.” And
here I cannot but remember how many times sitting in their wigwams, and
musing on things past, I should suddenly leap up and run out, as if I
had been at home, forgetting where I was, and what my condition was;
but when I was without, and saw nothing but wilderness, and woods, and
a company of barbarous heathens, my mind quickly returned to me, which
made me think of that, spoken concerning Sampson, who said, “I will go
out and shake myself as at other times, but he wist not that the Lord
was departed from him.” About this time I began to think that all my
hopes of restoration would come to nothing. I thought of the English
army, and hoped for their coming, and being taken by them, but that
failed. I hoped to be carried to Albany, as the Indians had discoursed
before, but that failed also. I thought of being sold to my husband, as
my master spake, but instead of that, my master himself was gone, and I
left behind, so that my spirit was now quite ready to sink. I asked them
to let me go out and pick up some sticks, that I might get alone, and
pour out my heart unto the Lord. Then also I took my Bible to read, but
I found no comfort here neither, which many times I was wont to find. So
easy a thing it is with God to dry up the streams of Scripture comfort
from us. Yet I can say, that in all my sorrows and afflictions, God did
not leave me to have my impatience work towards Himself, as if His ways
were unrighteous. But I knew that He laid upon me less than I deserved.
Afterward, before this doleful time ended with me, I was turning the
leaves of my Bible, and the Lord brought to me some Scriptures, which
did a little revive me, as that [in] Isaiah 55.8: “For my thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” And
also that [in] Psalm 37.5: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in
him; and he shall bring it to pass.” About this time they came yelping
from Hadley, where they had killed three Englishmen, and brought one
captive with them, viz. Thomas Read. They all gathered about the poor
man, asking him many questions. I desired also to go and see him; and
when I came, he was crying bitterly, supposing they would quickly kill
him. Whereupon I asked one of them, whether they intended to kill him;
he answered me, they would not. He being a little cheered with that, I
asked him about the welfare of my husband. He told me he saw him such
a time in the Bay, and he was well, but very melancholy. By which I
certainly understood (though I suspected it before) that whatsoever the
Indians told me respecting him was vanity and lies. Some of them told
me he was dead, and they had killed him; some said he was married again,
and that the Governor wished him to marry; and told him he should
have his choice, and that all persuaded I was dead. So like were these
barbarous creatures to him who was a liar from the beginning.

As I was sitting once in the wigwam here, Philip’s maid came in with the
child in her arms, and asked me to give her a piece of my apron, to make
a flap for it. I told her I would not. Then my mistress bade me give it,
but still I said no. The maid told me if I would not give her a piece,
she would tear a piece off it. I told her I would tear her coat then.
With that my mistress rises up, and take up a stick big enough to have
killed me, and struck at me with it. But I stepped out, and she struck
the stick into the mat of the wigwam. But while she was pulling of it
out I ran to the maid and gave her all my apron, and so that storm went

Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, and
told him his father was well, but melancholy. He told me he was as much
grieved for his father as for himself. I wondered at his speech, for I
thought I had enough upon my spirit in reference to myself, to make me
mindless of my husband and everyone else; they being safe among their
friends. He told me also, that awhile before, his master (together with
other Indians) were going to the French for powder; but by the way the
Mohawks met with them, and killed four of their company, which made the
rest turn back again, for it might have been worse with him, had he
been sold to the French, than it proved to be in his remaining with the

I went to see an English youth in this place, one John Gilbert of
Springfield. I found him lying without doors, upon the ground. I asked
him how he did? He told me he was very sick of a flux, with eating
so much blood. They had turned him out of the wigwam, and with him an
Indian papoose, almost dead (whose parents had been killed), in a bitter
cold day, without fire or clothes. The young man himself had nothing on
but his shirt and waistcoat. This sight was enough to melt a heart of
flint. There they lay quivering in the cold, the youth round like a dog,
the papoose stretched out with his eyes and nose and mouth full of dirt,
and yet alive, and groaning. I advised John to go and get to some fire.
He told me he could not stand, but I persuaded him still, lest he should
lie there and die. And with much ado I got him to a fire, and went
myself home. As soon as I was got home his master’s daughter came after
me, to know what I had done with the Englishman. I told her I had got
him to a fire in such a place. Now had I need to pray Paul’s Prayer
“That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men” (2
Thessalonians 3.2). For her satisfaction I went along with her, and
brought her to him; but before I got home again it was noised about that
I was running away and getting the English youth, along with me; that as
soon as I came in they began to rant and domineer, asking me where I had
been, and what I had been doing? and saying they would knock him on the
head. I told them I had been seeing the English youth, and that I would
not run away. They told me I lied, and taking up a hatchet, they came
to me, and said they would knock me down if I stirred out again, and so
confined me to the wigwam. Now may I say with David, “I am in a great
strait” (2 Samuel 24.14). If I keep in, I must die with hunger, and if
I go out, I must be knocked in head. This distressed condition held that
day, and half the next. And then the Lord remembered me, whose mercies
are great. Then came an Indian to me with a pair of stockings that were
too big for him, and he would have me ravel them out, and knit them fit
for him. I showed myself willing, and bid him ask my mistress if I might
go along with him a little way; she said yes, I might, but I was not
a little refreshed with that news, that I had my liberty again. Then I
went along with him, and he gave me some roasted ground nuts, which did
again revive my feeble stomach.

Being got out of her sight, I had time and liberty again to look into
my Bible; which was my guide by day, and my pillow by night. Now that
comfortable Scripture presented itself to me, “For a small moment have I
forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee” (Isaiah 54.7).
Thus the Lord carried me along from one time to another, and made good
to me this precious promise, and many others. Then my son came to see
me, and I asked his master to let him stay awhile with me, that I might
comb his head, and look over him, for he was almost overcome with lice.
He told me, when I had done, that he was very hungry, but I had nothing
to relieve him, but bid him go into the wigwams as he went along, and
see if he could get any thing among them. Which he did, and it seems
tarried a little too long; for his master was angry with him, and beat
him, and then sold him. Then he came running to tell me he had a new
master, and that he had given him some ground nuts already. Then I went
along with him to his new master who told me he loved him, and he should
not want. So his master carried him away, and I never saw him afterward,
till I saw him at Piscataqua in Portsmouth.

That night they bade me go out of the wigwam again. My mistress’s
papoose was sick, and it died that night, and there was one benefit in
it–that there was more room. I went to a wigwam, and they bade me come
in, and gave me a skin to lie upon, and a mess of venison and ground
nuts, which was a choice dish among them. On the morrow they buried the
papoose, and afterward, both morning and evening, there came a company
to mourn and howl with her; though I confess I could not much condole
with them. Many sorrowful days I had in this place, often getting alone.
“Like a crane, or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove,
mine eyes ail with looking upward. Oh, Lord, I am oppressed; undertake
for me” (Isaiah 38.14). I could tell the Lord, as Hezekiah, “Remember
now O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth.” Now
had I time to examine all my ways: my conscience did not accuse me of
unrighteousness toward one or other; yet I saw how in my walk with God,
I had been a careless creature. As David said, “Against thee, thee only
have I sinned”: and I might say with the poor publican, “God be merciful
unto me a sinner.” On the Sabbath days, I could look upon the sun and
think how people were going to the house of God, to have their souls
refreshed; and then home, and their bodies also; but I was destitute of
both; and might say as the poor prodigal, “He would fain have filled his
belly with the husks that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him”
(Luke 15.16). For I must say with him, “Father, I have sinned against
Heaven and in thy sight.” I remembered how on the night before and after
the Sabbath, when my family was about me, and relations and neighbors
with us, we could pray and sing, and then refresh our bodies with the
good creatures of God; and then have a comfortable bed to lie down on;
but instead of all this, I had only a little swill for the body and
then, like a swine, must lie down on the ground. I cannot express to
man the sorrow that lay upon my spirit; the Lord knows it. Yet that
comfortable Scripture would often come to mind, “For a small moment have
I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.”


Now must we pack up and be gone from this thicket, bending our course
toward the Baytowns; I having nothing to eat by the way this day, but
a few crumbs of cake, that an Indian gave my girl the same day we were
taken. She gave it me, and I put it in my pocket; there it lay, till it
was so moldy (for want of good baking) that one could not tell what it
was made of; it fell all to crumbs, and grew so dry and hard, that it
was like little flints; and this refreshed me many times, when I was
ready to faint. It was in my thoughts when I put it into my mouth, that
if ever I returned, I would tell the world what a blessing the Lord gave
to such mean food. As we went along they killed a deer, with a young
one in her, they gave me a piece of the fawn, and it was so young and
tender, that one might eat the bones as well as the flesh, and yet I
thought it very good. When night came on we sat down; it rained, but
they quickly got up a bark wigwam, where I lay dry that night. I looked
out in the morning, and many of them had lain in the rain all night, I
saw by their reeking. Thus the Lord dealt mercifully with me many times,
and I fared better than many of them. In the morning they took the blood
of the deer, and put it into the paunch, and so boiled it. I could eat
nothing of that, though they ate it sweetly. And yet they were so nice
in other things, that when I had fetched water, and had put the dish
I dipped the water with into the kettle of water which I brought, they
would say they would knock me down; for they said, it was a sluttish


We went on our travel. I having got one handful of ground nuts, for my
support that day, they gave me my load, and I went on cheerfully (with
the thoughts of going homeward), having my burden more on my back than
my spirit. We came to Banquang river again that day, near which we abode
a few days. Sometimes one of them would give me a pipe, another a
little tobacco, another a little salt: which I would change for a little
victuals. I cannot but think what a wolvish appetite persons have in a
starving condition; for many times when they gave me that which was hot,
I was so greedy, that I should burn my mouth, that it would trouble me
hours after, and yet I should quickly do the same again. And after I was
thoroughly hungry, I was never again satisfied. For though sometimes it
fell out, that I got enough, and did eat till I could eat no more, yet
I was as unsatisfied as I was when I began. And now could I see that
Scripture verified (there being many Scriptures which we do not take
notice of, or understand till we are afflicted) “Thou shalt eat and not
be satisfied” (Micah 6.14). Now might I see more than ever before, the
miseries that sin hath brought upon us. Many times I should be ready to
run against the heathen, but the Scripture would quiet me again, “Shall
there be evil in a City and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3.6). The
Lord help me to make a right improvement of His word, and that I might
learn that great lesson: “He hath showed thee (Oh Man) what is good, and
what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and love mercy,
and walk humbly with thy God? Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed
it” (Micah 6.8-9).


We began this remove with wading over Banquang river: the water was up
to the knees, and the stream very swift, and so cold that I thought it
would have cut me in sunder. I was so weak and feeble, that I reeled
as I went along, and thought there I must end my days at last, after
my bearing and getting through so many difficulties. The Indians stood
laughing to see me staggering along; but in my distress the Lord gave
me experience of the truth, and goodness of that promise, “When thou
passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee” (Isaiah 43.2). Then I sat down to put
on my stockings and shoes, with the tears running down mine eyes, and
sorrowful thoughts in my heart, but I got up to go along with them.
Quickly there came up to us an Indian, who informed them that I must go
to Wachusett to my master, for there was a letter come from the council
to the Sagamores, about redeeming the captives, and that there would be
another in fourteen days, and that I must be there ready. My heart was
so heavy before that I could scarce speak or go in the path; and yet
now so light, that I could run. My strength seemed to come again, and
recruit my feeble knees, and aching heart. Yet it pleased them to go but
one mile that night, and there we stayed two days. In that time came
a company of Indians to us, near thirty, all on horseback. My heart
skipped within me, thinking they had been Englishmen at the first sight
of them, for they were dressed in English apparel, with hats, white
neckcloths, and sashes about their waists; and ribbons upon their
shoulders; but when they came near, there was a vast difference between
the lovely faces of Christians, and foul looks of those heathens, which
much damped my spirit again.


A comfortable remove it was to me, because of my hopes. They gave me a
pack, and along we went cheerfully; but quickly my will proved more than
my strength; having little or no refreshing, my strength failed me, and
my spirits were almost quite gone. Now may I say with David “I am poor
and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow
when it declineth: I am tossed up and down like the locust; my knees
are weak through fasting, and my flesh faileth of fatness” (Psalm
119.22-24). At night we came to an Indian town, and the Indians sat down
by a wigwam discoursing, but I was almost spent, and could scarce speak.
I laid down my load, and went into the wigwam, and there sat an Indian
boiling of horses feet (they being wont to eat the flesh first, and when
the feet were old and dried, and they had nothing else, they would
cut off the feet and use them). I asked him to give me a little of his
broth, or water they were boiling in; he took a dish, and gave me one
spoonful of samp, and bid me take as much of the broth as I would. Then
I put some of the hot water to the samp, and drank it up, and my spirit
came again. He gave me also a piece of the ruff or ridding of the small
guts, and I broiled it on the coals; and now may I say with Jonathan,
“See, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted
a little of this honey” (1 Samuel 14.29). Now is my spirit revived
again; though means be never so inconsiderable, yet if the Lord bestow
His blessing upon them, they shall refresh both soul and body.


We took up our packs and along we went, but a wearisome day I had of it.
As we went along I saw an Englishman stripped naked, and lying dead
upon the ground, but knew not who it was. Then we came to another Indian
town, where we stayed all night. In this town there were four English
children, captives; and one of them my own sister’s. I went to see how
she did, and she was well, considering her captive condition. I would
have tarried that night with her, but they that owned her would not
suffer it. Then I went into another wigwam, where they were boiling corn
and beans, which was a lovely sight to see, but I could not get a taste
thereof. Then I went to another wigwam, where there were two of the
English children; the squaw was boiling horses feet; then she cut me off
a little piece, and gave one of the English children a piece also. Being
very hungry I had quickly eat up mine, but the child could not bite
it, it was so tough and sinewy, but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing and
slabbering of it in the mouth and hand. Then I took it of the child, and
eat it myself, and savory it was to my taste. Then I may say as Job 6.7,
“The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.”
Thus the Lord made that pleasant refreshing, which another time would
have been an abomination. Then I went home to my mistress’s wigwam; and
they told me I disgraced my master with begging, and if I did so any
more, they would knock me in the head. I told them, they had as good
knock me in head as starve me to death.


They said, when we went out, that we must travel to Wachusett this day.
But a bitter weary day I had of it, traveling now three days together,
without resting any day between. At last, after many weary steps, I
saw Wachusett hills, but many miles off. Then we came to a great swamp,
through which we traveled, up to the knees in mud and water, which was
heavy going to one tired before. Being almost spent, I thought I should
have sunk down at last, and never got out; but I may say, as in Psalm
94.18, “When my foot slipped, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.” Going
along, having indeed my life, but little spirit, Philip, who was in the
company, came up and took me by the hand, and said, two weeks more and
you shall be mistress again. I asked him, if he spake true? He answered,
“Yes, and quickly you shall come to your master again; who had been gone
from us three weeks.” After many weary steps we came to Wachusett, where
he was: and glad I was to see him. He asked me, when I washed me? I told
him not this month. Then he fetched me some water himself, and bid me
wash, and gave me the glass to see how I looked; and bid his squaw give
me something to eat. So she gave me a mess of beans and meat, and a
little ground nut cake. I was wonderfully revived with this favor showed
me: “He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them
captives” (Psalm 106.46).

My master had three squaws, living sometimes with one, and sometimes
with another one, this old squaw, at whose wigwam I was, and with whom
my master had been those three weeks. Another was Wattimore [Weetamoo]
with whom I had lived and served all this while. A severe and proud dame
she was, bestowing every day in dressing herself neat as much time as
any of the gentry of the land: powdering her hair, and painting her
face, going with necklaces, with jewels in her ears, and bracelets upon
her hands. When she had dressed herself, her work was to make girdles of
wampum and beads. The third squaw was a younger one, by whom he had two
papooses. By the time I was refreshed by the old squaw, with whom
my master was, Weetamoo’s maid came to call me home, at which I fell
aweeping. Then the old squaw told me, to encourage me, that if I wanted
victuals, I should come to her, and that I should lie there in her
wigwam. Then I went with the maid, and quickly came again and lodged
there. The squaw laid a mat under me, and a good rug over me; the first
time I had any such kindness showed me. I understood that Weetamoo
thought that if she should let me go and serve with the old squaw, she
would be in danger to lose not only my service, but the redemption pay
also. And I was not a little glad to hear this; being by it raised in
my hopes, that in God’s due time there would be an end of this sorrowful
hour. Then came an Indian, and asked me to knit him three pair of
stockings, for which I had a hat, and a silk handkerchief. Then another
asked me to make her a shift, for which she gave me an apron.

Then came Tom and Peter, with the second letter from the council, about
the captives. Though they were Indians, I got them by the hand, and
burst out into tears. My heart was so full that I could not speak to
them; but recovering myself, I asked them how my husband did, and all
my friends and acquaintance? They said, “They are all very well but
melancholy.” They brought me two biscuits, and a pound of tobacco. The
tobacco I quickly gave away. When it was all gone, one asked me to give
him a pipe of tobacco. I told him it was all gone. Then began he to rant
and threaten. I told him when my husband came I would give him some.
Hang him rogue (says he) I will knock out his brains, if he comes here.
And then again, in the same breath they would say that if there should
come an hundred without guns, they would do them no hurt. So unstable
and like madmen they were. So that fearing the worst, I durst not send
to my husband, though there were some thoughts of his coming to redeem
and fetch me, not knowing what might follow. For there was little more
trust to them than to the master they served. When the letter was come,
the Sagamores met to consult about the captives, and called me to them
to inquire how much my husband would give to redeem me. When I came I
sat down among them, as I was wont to do, as their manner is. Then they
bade me stand up, and said they were the General Court. They bid me
speak what I thought he would give. Now knowing that all we had was
destroyed by the Indians, I was in a great strait. I thought if I should
speak of but a little it would be slighted, and hinder the matter; if of
a great sum, I knew not where it would be procured. Yet at a venture I
said “Twenty pounds,” yet desired them to take less. But they would not
hear of that, but sent that message to Boston, that for twenty pounds I
should be redeemed. It was a Praying Indian that wrote their letter
for them. There was another Praying Indian, who told me, that he had
a brother, that would not eat horse; his conscience was so tender
and scrupulous (though as large as hell, for the destruction of poor
Christians). Then he said, he read that Scripture to him, “There was a
famine in Samaria, and behold they besieged it, until an ass’s head was
sold for four-score pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of
dove’s dung for five pieces of silver” (2 Kings 6.25). He expounded this
place to his brother, and showed him that it was lawful to eat that in a
famine which is not at another time. And now, says he, he will eat horse
with any Indian of them all. There was another Praying Indian, who when
he had done all the mischief that he could, betrayed his own father into
the English hands, thereby to purchase his own life. Another Praying
Indian was at Sudbury fight, though, as he deserved, he was afterward
hanged for it. There was another Praying Indian, so wicked and cruel,
as to wear a string about his neck, strung with Christians’ fingers.
Another Praying Indian, when they went to Sudbury fight, went with them,
and his squaw also with him, with her papoose at her back. Before they
went to that fight they got a company together to pow-wow. The manner
was as followeth: there was one that kneeled upon a deerskin, with the
company round him in a ring who kneeled, and striking upon the ground
with their hands, and with sticks, and muttering or humming with their
mouths. Besides him who kneeled in the ring, there also stood one with
a gun in his hand. Then he on the deerskin made a speech, and all
manifested assent to it; and so they did many times together. Then they
bade him with the gun go out of the ring, which he did. But when he was
out, they called him in again; but he seemed to make a stand; then they
called the more earnestly, till he returned again. Then they all sang.
Then they gave him two guns, in either hand one. And so he on the
deerskin began again; and at the end of every sentence in his speaking,
they all assented, humming or muttering with their mouths, and striking
upon the ground with their hands. Then they bade him with the two guns
go out of the ring again; which he did, a little way. Then they called
him in again, but he made a stand. So they called him with greater
earnestness; but he stood reeling and wavering as if he knew not whither
he should stand or fall, or which way to go. Then they called him with
exceeding great vehemency, all of them, one and another. After a little
while he turned in, staggering as he went, with his arms stretched out,
in either hand a gun. As soon as he came in they all sang and rejoiced
exceedingly a while. And then he upon the deerskin, made another speech
unto which they all assented in a rejoicing manner. And so they ended
their business, and forthwith went to Sudbury fight. To my thinking they
went without any scruple, but that they should prosper, and gain the
victory. And they went out not so rejoicing, but they came home with as
great a victory. For they said they had killed two captains and almost
an hundred men. One Englishman they brought along with them: and he
said, it was too true, for they had made sad work at Sudbury, as indeed
it proved. Yet they came home without that rejoicing and triumphing over
their victory which they were wont to show at other times; but rather
like dogs (as they say) which have lost their ears. Yet I could not
perceive that it was for their own loss of men. They said they had not
lost above five or six; and I missed none, except in one wigwam. When
they went, they acted as if the devil had told them that they should
gain the victory; and now they acted as if the devil had told them they
should have a fall. Whither it were so or no, I cannot tell, but so it
proved, for quickly they began to fall, and so held on that summer, till
they came to utter ruin. They came home on a Sabbath day, and the Powaw
that kneeled upon the deer-skin came home (I may say, without abuse) as
black as the devil. When my master came home, he came to me and bid me
make a shirt for his papoose, of a holland-laced pillowbere. About that
time there came an Indian to me and bid me come to his wigwam at night,
and he would give me some pork and ground nuts. Which I did, and as I
was eating, another Indian said to me, he seems to be your good friend,
but he killed two Englishmen at Sudbury, and there lie their clothes
behind you: I looked behind me, and there I saw bloody clothes, with
bullet-holes in them. Yet the Lord suffered not this wretch to do me
any hurt. Yea, instead of that, he many times refreshed me; five or six
times did he and his squaw refresh my feeble carcass. If I went to their
wigwam at any time, they would always give me something, and yet they
were strangers that I never saw before. Another squaw gave me a piece of
fresh pork, and a little salt with it, and lent me her pan to fry it in;
and I cannot but remember what a sweet, pleasant and delightful relish
that bit had to me, to this day. So little do we prize common mercies
when we have them to the full.


It was their usual manner to remove, when they had done any mischief,
lest they should be found out; and so they did at this time. We went
about three or four miles, and there they built a great wigwam, big
enough to hold an hundred Indians, which they did in preparation to a
great day of dancing. They would say now amongst themselves, that the
governor would be so angry for his loss at Sudbury, that he would send
no more about the captives, which made me grieve and tremble. My sister
being not far from the place where we now were, and hearing that I was
here, desired her master to let her come and see me, and he was willing
to it, and would go with her; but she being ready before him, told him
she would go before, and was come within a mile or two of the place.
Then he overtook her, and began to rant as if he had been mad, and made
her go back again in the rain; so that I never saw her till I saw her
in Charlestown. But the Lord requited many of their ill doings, for this
Indian her master, was hanged afterward at Boston. The Indians now began
to come from all quarters, against their merry dancing day. Among some
of them came one goodwife Kettle. I told her my heart was so heavy that
it was ready to break. “So is mine too,” said she, but yet said, “I hope
we shall hear some good news shortly.” I could hear how earnestly my
sister desired to see me, and I as earnestly desired to see her; and yet
neither of us could get an opportunity. My daughter was also now about a
mile off, and I had not seen her in nine or ten weeks, as I had not seen
my sister since our first taking. I earnestly desired them to let me go
and see them: yea, I entreated, begged, and persuaded them, but to let
me see my daughter; and yet so hard-hearted were they, that they would
not suffer it. They made use of their tyrannical power whilst they
had it; but through the Lord’s wonderful mercy, their time was now but

On a Sabbath day, the sun being about an hour high in the afternoon,
came Mr. John Hoar (the council permitting him, and his own foreward
spirit inclining him), together with the two forementioned Indians,
Tom and Peter, with their third letter from the council. When they came
near, I was abroad. Though I saw them not, they presently called me in,
and bade me sit down and not stir. Then they catched up their guns, and
away they ran, as if an enemy had been at hand, and the guns went off
apace. I manifested some great trouble, and they asked me what was the
matter? I told them I thought they had killed the Englishman (for they
had in the meantime informed me that an Englishman was come). They said,
no. They shot over his horse and under and before his horse, and they
pushed him this way and that way, at their pleasure, showing what they
could do. Then they let them come to their wigwams. I begged of them to
let me see the Englishman, but they would not. But there was I fain
to sit their pleasure. When they had talked their fill with him, they
suffered me to go to him. We asked each other of our welfare, and how
my husband did, and all my friends? He told me they were all well, and
would be glad to see me. Amongst other things which my husband sent me,
there came a pound of tobacco, which I sold for nine shillings in money;
for many of the Indians for want of tobacco, smoked hemlock, and ground
ivy. It was a great mistake in any, who thought I sent for tobacco; for
through the favor of God, that desire was overcome. I now asked them
whether I should go home with Mr. Hoar? They answered no, one and
another of them, and it being night, we lay down with that answer. In
the morning Mr. Hoar invited the Sagamores to dinner; but when we went
to get it ready we found that they had stolen the greatest part of the
provision Mr. Hoar had brought, out of his bags, in the night. And we
may see the wonderful power of God, in that one passage, in that when
there was such a great number of the Indians together, and so greedy of
a little good food, and no English there but Mr. Hoar and myself, that
there they did not knock us in the head, and take what we had, there
being not only some provision, but also trading-cloth, a part of the
twenty pounds agreed upon. But instead of doing us any mischief, they
seemed to be ashamed of the fact, and said, it were some matchit Indian
that did it. Oh, that we could believe that there is nothing too hard
for God! God showed His power over the heathen in this, as He did over
the hungry lions when Daniel was cast into the den. Mr. Hoar called
them betime to dinner, but they ate very little, they being so busy
in dressing themselves, and getting ready for their dance, which was
carried on by eight of them, four men and four squaws. My master and
mistress being two. He was dressed in his holland shirt, with great
laces sewed at the tail of it; he had his silver buttons, his white
stockings, his garters were hung round with shillings, and he had
girdles of wampum upon his head and shoulders. She had a kersey coat,
and covered with girdles of wampum from the loins upward. Her arms from
her elbows to her hands were covered with bracelets; there were handfuls
of necklaces about her neck, and several sorts of jewels in her ears.
She had fine red stockings, and white shoes, her hair powdered and face
painted red, that was always before black. And all the dancers were
after the same manner. There were two others singing and knocking on a
kettle for their music. They kept hopping up and down one after another,
with a kettle of water in the midst, standing warm upon some embers,
to drink of when they were dry. They held on till it was almost night,
throwing out wampum to the standers by. At night I asked them again, if
I should go home? They all as one said no, except my husband would come
for me. When we were lain down, my master went out of the wigwam, and
by and by sent in an Indian called James the Printer, who told Mr. Hoar,
that my master would let me go home tomorrow, if he would let him have
one pint of liquors. Then Mr. Hoar called his own Indians, Tom and
Peter, and bid them go and see whether he would promise it before them
three; and if he would, he should have it; which he did, and he had it.
Then Philip smelling the business called me to him, and asked me what I
would give him, to tell me some good news, and speak a good word for
me. I told him I could not tell what to give him. I would [give him]
anything I had, and asked him what he would have? He said two coats
and twenty shillings in money, and half a bushel of seed corn, and some
tobacco. I thanked him for his love; but I knew the good news as well
as the crafty fox. My master after he had had his drink, quickly came
ranting into the wigwam again, and called for Mr. Hoar, drinking to him,
and saying, he was a good man, and then again he would say, “hang him
rogue.” Being almost drunk, he would drink to him, and yet presently say
he should be hanged. Then he called for me. I trembled to hear him, yet
I was fain to go to him, and he drank to me, showing no incivility. He
was the first Indian I saw drunk all the while that I was amongst them.
At last his squaw ran out, and he after her, round the wigwam, with
his money jingling at his knees. But she escaped him. But having an old
squaw he ran to her; and so through the Lord’s mercy, we were no more
troubled that night. Yet I had not a comfortable night’s rest; for I
think I can say, I did not sleep for three nights together. The night
before the letter came from the council, I could not rest, I was so full
of fears and troubles, God many times leaving us most in the dark, when
deliverance is nearest. Yea, at this time I could not rest night nor
day. The next night I was overjoyed, Mr. Hoar being come, and that with
such good tidings. The third night I was even swallowed up with the
thoughts of things, viz. that ever I should go home again; and that I
must go, leaving my children behind me in the wilderness; so that sleep
was now almost departed from mine eyes.

On Tuesday morning they called their general court (as they call it) to
consult and determine, whether I should go home or no. And they all
as one man did seemingly consent to it, that I should go home; except
Philip, who would not come among them.

But before I go any further, I would take leave to mention a few
remarkable passages of providence, which I took special notice of in my
afflicted time.

1. Of the fair opportunity lost in the long march, a little after the
fort fight, when our English army was so numerous, and in pursuit of the
enemy, and so near as to take several and destroy them, and the enemy in
such distress for food that our men might track them by their rooting
in the earth for ground nuts, whilst they were flying for their lives.
I say, that then our army should want provision, and be forced to leave
their pursuit and return homeward; and the very next week the enemy came
upon our town, like bears bereft of their whelps, or so many ravenous
wolves, rending us and our lambs to death. But what shall I say? God
seemed to leave his People to themselves, and order all things for His
own holy ends. Shall there be evil in the City and the Lord hath not
done it? They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, therefore
shall they go captive, with the first that go captive. It is the Lord’s
doing, and it should be marvelous in our eyes.

2. I cannot but remember how the Indians derided the slowness, and
dullness of the English army, in its setting out. For after the
desolations at Lancaster and Medfield, as I went along with them, they
asked me when I thought the English army would come after them? I told
them I could not tell. “It may be they will come in May,” said they.
Thus did they scoff at us, as if the English would be a quarter of a
year getting ready.

3. Which also I have hinted before, when the English army with
new supplies were sent forth to pursue after the enemy, and they
understanding it, fled before them till they came to Banquang river,
where they forthwith went over safely; that that river should be
impassable to the English. I can but admire to see the wonderful
providence of God in preserving the heathen for further affliction to
our poor country. They could go in great numbers over, but the English
must stop. God had an over-ruling hand in all those things.

4. It was thought, if their corn were cut down, they would starve and
die with hunger, and all their corn that could be found, was destroyed,
and they driven from that little they had in store, into the woods in
the midst of winter; and yet how to admiration did the Lord preserve
them for His holy ends, and the destruction of many still amongst the
English! strangely did the Lord provide for them; that I did not see
(all the time I was among them) one man, woman, or child, die with

Though many times they would eat that, that a hog or a dog would hardly
touch; yet by that God strengthened them to be a scourge to His people.

The chief and commonest food was ground nuts. They eat also nuts and
acorns, artichokes, lilly roots, ground beans, and several other weeds
and roots, that I know not.

They would pick up old bones, and cut them to pieces at the joints, and
if they were full of worms and maggots, they would scald them over the
fire to make the vermine come out, and then boil them, and drink up the
liquor, and then beat the great ends of them in a mortar, and so eat
them. They would eat horse’s guts, and ears, and all sorts of wild birds
which they could catch; also bear, venison, beaver, tortoise, frogs,
squirrels, dogs, skunks, rattlesnakes; yea, the very bark of trees;
besides all sorts of creatures, and provision which they plundered from
the English. I can but stand in admiration to see the wonderful power
of God in providing for such a vast number of our enemies in the
wilderness, where there was nothing to be seen, but from hand to mouth.
Many times in a morning, the generality of them would eat up all they
had, and yet have some further supply against they wanted. It is said,
“Oh, that my People had hearkened to me, and Israel had walked in my
ways, I should soon have subdued their Enemies, and turned my hand
against their Adversaries” (Psalm 81.13-14). But now our perverse and
evil carriages in the sight of the Lord, have so offended Him, that
instead of turning His hand against them, the Lord feeds and nourishes
them up to be a scourge to the whole land.

5. Another thing that I would observe is the strange providence of God,
in turning things about when the Indians was at the highest, and the
English at the lowest. I was with the enemy eleven weeks and five
days, and not one week passed without the fury of the enemy, and some
desolation by fire and sword upon one place or other. They mourned (with
their black faces) for their own losses, yet triumphed and rejoiced in
their inhumane, and many times devilish cruelty to the English. They
would boast much of their victories; saying that in two hours time they
had destroyed such a captain and his company at such a place; and boast
how many towns they had destroyed, and then scoff, and say they had done
them a good turn to send them to Heaven so soon. Again, they would say
this summer that they would knock all the rogues in the head, or drive
them into the sea, or make them fly the country; thinking surely,
Agag-like, “The bitterness of Death is past.” Now the heathen begins to
think all is their own, and the poor Christians’ hopes to fail (as
to man) and now their eyes are more to God, and their hearts sigh
heaven-ward; and to say in good earnest, “Help Lord, or we perish.”
When the Lord had brought His people to this, that they saw no help in
anything but Himself; then He takes the quarrel into His own hand; and
though they had made a pit, in their own imaginations, as deep as hell
for the Christians that summer, yet the Lord hurled themselves into it.
And the Lord had not so many ways before to preserve them, but now He
hath as many to destroy them.

But to return again to my going home, where we may see a remarkable
change of providence. At first they were all against it, except my
husband would come for me, but afterwards they assented to it, and
seemed much to rejoice in it; some asked me to send them some bread,
others some tobacco, others shaking me by the hand, offering me a hood
and scarfe to ride in; not one moving hand or tongue against it. Thus
hath the Lord answered my poor desire, and the many earnest requests of
others put up unto God for me. In my travels an Indian came to me and
told me, if I were willing, he and his squaw would run away, and go home
along with me. I told him no: I was not willing to run away, but desired
to wait God’s time, that I might go home quietly, and without fear. And
now God hath granted me my desire. O the wonderful power of God that I
have seen, and the experience that I have had. I have been in the midst
of those roaring lions, and savage bears, that feared neither God, nor
man, nor the devil, by night and day, alone and in company, sleeping all
sorts together, and yet not one of them ever offered me the least abuse
of unchastity to me, in word or action. Though some are ready to say I
speak it for my own credit; but I speak it in the presence of God, and
to His Glory. God’s power is as great now, and as sufficient to save, as
when He preserved Daniel in the lion’s den; or the three children in the
fiery furnace. I may well say as his Psalm 107.12 “Oh give thanks unto
the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever.” Let the
redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of
the enemy, especially that I should come away in the midst of so many
hundreds of enemies quietly and peaceably, and not a dog moving his
tongue. So I took my leave of them, and in coming along my heart melted
into tears, more than all the while I was with them, and I was almost
swallowed up with the thoughts that ever I should go home again. About
the sun going down, Mr. Hoar, and myself, and the two Indians came
to Lancaster, and a solemn sight it was to me. There had I lived many
comfortable years amongst my relations and neighbors, and now not one
Christian to be seen, nor one house left standing. We went on to
a farmhouse that was yet standing, where we lay all night, and a
comfortable lodging we had, though nothing but straw to lie on. The
Lord preserved us in safety that night, and raised us up again in the
morning, and carried us along, that before noon, we came to Concord. Now
was I full of joy, and yet not without sorrow; joy to see such a lovely
sight, so many Christians together, and some of them my neighbors. There
I met with my brother, and my brother-in-law, who asked me, if I knew
where his wife was? Poor heart! he had helped to bury her, and knew it
not. She being shot down by the house was partly burnt, so that
those who were at Boston at the desolation of the town, and came back
afterward, and buried the dead, did not know her. Yet I was not without
sorrow, to think how many were looking and longing, and my own children
amongst the rest, to enjoy that deliverance that I had now received,
and I did not know whether ever I should see them again. Being recruited
with food and raiment we went to Boston that day, where I met with my
dear husband, but the thoughts of our dear children, one being dead, and
the other we could not tell where, abated our comfort each to other. I
was not before so much hemmed in with the merciless and cruel heathen,
but now as much with pitiful, tender-hearted and compassionate
Christians. In that poor, and distressed, and beggarly condition I was
received in; I was kindly entertained in several houses. So much love I
received from several (some of whom I knew, and others I knew not) that
I am not capable to declare it. But the Lord knows them all by name.
The Lord reward them sevenfold into their bosoms of His spirituals,
for their temporals. The twenty pounds, the price of my redemption,
was raised by some Boston gentlemen, and Mrs. Usher, whose bounty and
religious charity, I would not forget to make mention of. Then Mr.
Thomas Shepard of Charlestown received us into his house, where we
continued eleven weeks; and a father and mother they were to us. And
many more tender-hearted friends we met with in that place. We were now
in the midst of love, yet not without much and frequent heaviness of
heart for our poor children, and other relations, who were still in
affliction. The week following, after my coming in, the governor and
council sent forth to the Indians again; and that not without success;
for they brought in my sister, and goodwife Kettle. Their not knowing
where our children were was a sore trial to us still, and yet we were
not without secret hopes that we should see them again. That which was
dead lay heavier upon my spirit, than those which were alive and amongst
the heathen: thinking how it suffered with its wounds, and I was no
way able to relieve it; and how it was buried by the heathen in the
wilderness from among all Christians. We were hurried up and down in our
thoughts, sometime we should hear a report that they were gone this way,
and sometimes that; and that they were come in, in this place or that.
We kept inquiring and listening to hear concerning them, but no certain
news as yet. About this time the council had ordered a day of public
thanksgiving. Though I thought I had still cause of mourning, and being
unsettled in our minds, we thought we would ride toward the eastward,
to see if we could hear anything concerning our children. And as we were
riding along (God is the wise disposer of all things) between Ipswich
and Rowley we met with Mr. William Hubbard, who told us that our son
Joseph was come in to Major Waldron’s, and another with him, which was
my sister’s son. I asked him how he knew it? He said the major himself
told him so. So along we went till we came to Newbury; and their
minister being absent, they desired my husband to preach the
thanksgiving for them; but he was not willing to stay there that night,
but would go over to Salisbury, to hear further, and come again in the
morning, which he did, and preached there that day. At night, when
he had done, one came and told him that his daughter was come in at
Providence. Here was mercy on both hands. Now hath God fulfilled that
precious Scripture which was such a comfort to me in my distressed
condition. When my heart was ready to sink into the earth (my children
being gone, I could not tell whither) and my knees trembling under me,
and I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death; then the
Lord brought, and now has fulfilled that reviving word unto me: “Thus
saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from
tears, for thy Work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord, and they shall
come again from the Land of the Enemy.” Now we were between them, the
one on the east, and the other on the west. Our son being nearest, we
went to him first, to Portsmouth, where we met with him, and with the
Major also, who told us he had done what he could, but could not redeem
him under seven pounds, which the good people thereabouts were pleased
to pay. The Lord reward the major, and all the rest, though unknown
to me, for their labor of Love. My sister’s son was redeemed for four
pounds, which the council gave order for the payment of. Having now
received one of our children, we hastened toward the other. Going back
through Newbury my husband preached there on the Sabbath day; for which
they rewarded him many fold.

On Monday we came to Charlestown, where we heard that the governor of
Rhode Island had sent over for our daughter, to take care of her,
being now within his jurisdiction; which should not pass without our
acknowledgments. But she being nearer Rehoboth than Rhode Island, Mr.
Newman went over, and took care of her and brought her to his own house.
And the goodness of God was admirable to us in our low estate, in that
He raised up passionate friends on every side to us, when we had nothing
to recompense any for their love. The Indians were now gone that way,
that it was apprehended dangerous to go to her. But the carts which
carried provision to the English army, being guarded, brought her with
them to Dorchester, where we received her safe. Blessed be the Lord for
it, for great is His power, and He can do whatsoever seemeth Him good.
Her coming in was after this manner: she was traveling one day with the
Indians, with her basket at her back; the company of Indians were got
before her, and gone out of sight, all except one squaw; she followed
the squaw till night, and then both of them lay down, having nothing
over them but the heavens and under them but the earth. Thus she
traveled three days together, not knowing whither she was going; having
nothing to eat or drink but water, and green hirtle-berries. At last
they came into Providence, where she was kindly entertained by several
of that town. The Indians often said that I should never have her under
twenty pounds. But now the Lord hath brought her in upon free-cost, and
given her to me the second time. The Lord make us a blessing indeed,
each to others. Now have I seen that Scripture also fulfilled, “If any
of thine be driven out to the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will
the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee. And
the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on
them which hate thee, which persecuted thee” (Deuteronomy 30.4-7). Thus
hath the Lord brought me and mine out of that horrible pit, and hath set
us in the midst of tender-hearted and compassionate Christians. It is
the desire of my soul that we may walk worthy of the mercies received,
and which we are receiving.

Our family being now gathered together (those of us that were living),
the South Church in Boston hired an house for us. Then we removed from
Mr. Shepard’s, those cordial friends, and went to Boston, where we
continued about three-quarters of a year. Still the Lord went along with
us, and provided graciously for us. I thought it somewhat strange to set
up house-keeping with bare walls; but as Solomon says, “Money answers
all things” and that we had through the benevolence of Christian
friends, some in this town, and some in that, and others; and some
from England; that in a little time we might look, and see the house
furnished with love. The Lord hath been exceeding good to us in our
low estate, in that when we had neither house nor home, nor other
necessaries, the Lord so moved the hearts of these and those towards us,
that we wanted neither food, nor raiment for ourselves or ours: “There
is a Friend which sticketh closer than a Brother” (Proverbs 18.24). And
how many such friends have we found, and now living amongst? And truly
such a friend have we found him to be unto us, in whose house we lived,
viz. Mr. James Whitcomb, a friend unto us near hand, and afar off.

I can remember the time when I used to sleep quietly without workings
in my thoughts, whole nights together, but now it is other ways with me.
When all are fast about me, and no eye open, but His who ever waketh, my
thoughts are upon things past, upon the awful dispensation of the
Lord towards us, upon His wonderful power and might, in carrying of us
through so many difficulties, in returning us in safety, and suffering
none to hurt us. I remember in the night season, how the other day I was
in the midst of thousands of enemies, and nothing but death before me.
It is then hard work to persuade myself, that ever I should be satisfied
with bread again. But now we are fed with the finest of the wheat, and,
as I may say, with honey out of the rock. Instead of the husk, we have
the fatted calf. The thoughts of these things in the particulars of
them, and of the love and goodness of God towards us, make it true
of me, what David said of himself, “I watered my Couch with my tears”
(Psalm 6.6). Oh! the wonderful power of God that mine eyes have seen,
affording matter enough for my thoughts to run in, that when others are
sleeping mine eyes are weeping.

I have seen the extreme vanity of this world: One hour I have been in
health, and wealthy, wanting nothing. But the next hour in sickness and
wounds, and death, having nothing but sorrow and affliction.

Before I knew what affliction meant, I was ready sometimes to wish for
it. When I lived in prosperity, having the comforts of the world about
me, my relations by me, my heart cheerful, and taking little care for
anything, and yet seeing many, whom I preferred before myself, under
many trials and afflictions, in sickness, weakness, poverty, losses,
crosses, and cares of the world, I should be sometimes jealous least I
should have my portion in this life, and that Scripture would come to my
mind, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every Son
whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12.6). But now I see the Lord had His
time to scourge and chasten me. The portion of some is to have their
afflictions by drops, now one drop and then another; but the dregs of
the cup, the wine of astonishment, like a sweeping rain that leaveth no
food, did the Lord prepare to be my portion. Affliction I wanted, and
affliction I had, full measure (I thought), pressed down and running
over. Yet I see, when God calls a person to anything, and through never
so many difficulties, yet He is fully able to carry them through and
make them see, and say they have been gainers thereby. And I hope I can
say in some measure, as David did, “It is good for me that I have been
afflicted.” The Lord hath showed me the vanity of these outward things.
That they are the vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit, that they
are but a shadow, a blast, a bubble, and things of no continuance. That
we must rely on God Himself, and our whole dependance must be upon Him.
If trouble from smaller matters begin to arise in me, I have something
at hand to check myself with, and say, why am I troubled? It was but
the other day that if I had had the world, I would have given it for
my freedom, or to have been a servant to a Christian. I have learned to
look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be quieted under them.
As Moses said, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus



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