King Philip's War

Libations of the 18th Century

Deerfield: Old Pocumtuck Valley

Third Meeting-House, 1695-1729.

Third Meeting-House, 1695-1729.
(Old Indian House on the Right.)

In 1688, on the news of the Revolution in England, the seizure of Andros in Boston and the call for the election of representatives to organize a new government for the Colony, the men of Deerfield acted promptly. Lieutenant Thomas Wells, a commissioned officer under Andros, was selected to represent the town, and the selectmen sent to Boston a certificate to that effect. These men were fully aware that in the case of a failure of the movement, the vindictive Andros would wreak his vengeance upon all concerned. Shrewd men were at the fore, and Randolph himself might search the town records in vain for any trace of these proceedings or other treasonable action.

During King William's War, the town was harassed by the enemy; drought and insects ruined the crops, and a fatal distemper prevailed. There was question of deserting the place, but bolder counsels controlled. Baron Castine with an army from Canada attempted a surprise of the town, September 15, 1694, but he was discovered just in time to close the gates, and was driven back with small loss to the defenders. Another army organized in Canada for the same purpose turned back on being discovered by scouts. During this trial Deerfield suffered great losses, but pluck carried her through.

Queen Anne's War broke out in 1702. The population here was about three hundred souls. The fortifications on Meeting-house Hill were strengthened, and the house of the commander, Captain Wells, about forty rods south, was palisaded. In May, 1703, Lord Cornbury, Governor of New York, sent word that he had learned through his spies of an expedition fitting out against Deerfield.

Edited & adapted by Laurel O’Donnell.
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This page was last updated on 14 May 2006