Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chapter 20: Postlog

I'm going to be posting three more chapters.
This one, chapter 20, is a wrap up of the story.
Chapter 21 will be pictures of the various monuments to Hannah.
Chapter 22 will be my reflections; and will give Hannah herself the final word on this saga, using the only first person information available from her.

Let me wrap up our saga by providing a postlude; I'll tell what I know about what happened to some of the people that were part of the story.

Thomas Dustin: Thomas rose in influence within the Haverhill community. He served on several committees. He deeded his properties to his sons prior to death, wording the deeds with phases of his affections for his sons. In his will, he left money to each of his daughters. He made his will, April, 1724, lived awhile longer and died sometime prior to November 17, 1732 when the will was probated..

Hannah Dustin: As "evidence of conjugally happiness" Hannah gave birth to one more child, a daughter she named Lydia, on Oct 4, 1698. Interestingly there was a Lydia Dustin involved in the Salem Witch Trials, no relationship could be determined however.
Following Thomas' Death, Hannah went to live with her second to youngest son, Jonathan. A memorial to Hannah and baby Martha is now on that home site.
Hannah's will was probated March 6, 1737.

Jonathan Emerson: Hannah's younger brother, who was born when she was 12 years old. Hannah named her son Jonathan after that brother.
Jonathan Emerson became the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Richard Cheney, the current Vice President of the United States.

Mary Neff, age 51 at the time of her captivity apparently went with Thomas and Hannah to Boston. Forty years later her son Jeff Neff and Hannah Bradley would petition the courts for additional monies.

Samuel Lennardson, on his return to Worcester, found that his father had removed to Preston, Conn., and there he grew to manhood, married Lydia -----, and died May 11, 1718, leaving three sons and two daughters.

The Wounded Squaw and Indian child: Excerpt from the Deposition of Hannah Bradley of Haverhill June, 1739;
. . . The next night but one there came to us one squaw who said that Hanna Dustan & the afore said Mary Neff assisted in killing the Indians of her wigwam except herself & a boy, herself escaping verry narrowly, shewing to my self & others seven wounds as she said with a hacthet (sic.) on her head which wound were given her when the rest were killed, and farther said not. Source: Massachusetts Archives Vol. 31:260Transcription: Courtesy of Kenneth Hamilton Page citation:

Apparently one or both of them went on to have children; I enjoyed finding this letter to an editor:


Footnote to the story of Hannah Dustin
Lynn Webster Rudmin Chong, Sanbornton
For the Monitor
March 20. 2007 8:00AM

Picking up a Concord Monitor thread from a ways back: Hannah Dustin!

Hannah was a Webster, descended from John and Mary Shatswell Webster, in Ipswich, Mass., in the 1630s. Their second child was a Hannah who married an Emerson and is the line producing, later, the famous Hannah Dustin. My ancestor Nathan was John and Mary's eighth and youngest child.

In the last century, when I still lived in Rumney, we had three wonderful Webster family reunions in Newbury, Vt. There I met cousin Dolores Schmitz, now resident of Florida. She told us this delightful Hannah Dustin story:

Dolores and her husband were watching a parade under the hot Florida sun. Dolores sat on the curb. As some Native Americans came by in traditional garb, one woman about Dolores's age stepped out of the parade and sat with her. She said, "I need a break. I'm not used to this heat." Dolores said, "Me neither. I'm really a northerner." The Native American woman laughed and said, "Me, too. I'm Abenaki, from up north."

Dolores said, "Actually, one of my ancestors is famous for killing some of yours. I'm descended from Hannah Dustin." Now the woman surprised her. "This is pretty amazing," she said, "because my ancestor is famous for being scalped by your ancestor! I'm descended from one of your Hannah Dustin's Abenakis."

Here the two descendents on a hot day in Florida 300 years later shared the curb and spoke of a bloody, horrendous event in the time back then. I'll bet most readers never thought about the story from the other view, that both sides have descendents and both sides know the tragic story.

Samuel Ladd, the father of Elizabeth Emerson's illegitimate daughters was killed during a subsequent Indian raid upon Haverhill, leaving behind his wife and five legitimate children.

The History of Haverhill, George Wingate Chase, 1861, p. 201-203
The Second Indian Incident
The next year (1698), the Indians commenced their incursions unusually early. On the 22d of February, a party fell upon Andover, killed five of the inhabitants and captured as many more. On their return, the same party killed Jonathan Haynes and Samuel Ladd, of this town, and captured a son of each.

Haynes and Ladd, who lived in the western part of the town, had started that morning, with their teams, consisting of a yoke of oxen and a horse, each, and accompanied with their eldest sons, Joseph and Daniel, to bring home some of their hay, which had been cut and stacked the preceding summer, in their meadow, in the extreme western part of the town.

Whey they were slowly returning, little dreaming of present danger, they suddenly found themselves between two files of Indians, who had concealed themselves in the bushes on each side of their path. There were seven of them on a side. With guns presented and cocked, and the fathers, seeing it was impossible to escape, begged for "quarter."

To this, the Indians twice replied, "boon quarter! boon quarter! (good quarter.)

Young Ladd, who did not relish the idea of being quietly taken prisoner, told his father that he would mount the horse, and endeavor to escape. But the old man forbid him to make the attempt, telling him it was better to risk remaining a prisoner.

He cut his father's horse loose, however, and giving him the lash, he started off at full speed, and though repeatedly fired at by the Indians, succeeded in reaching home, and was the means of giving an immediate and general alarm.

(*footnote: One version of the tradition is, that the horse rushed against the door of his master's house, bursting it open and fell dead upon the threshold, upon seeing which, Mrs. Ladd exclaimed, in agony, "Oh! the Indians have killed Ladd."

Two of the Indians then stepped behind the fathers, and dealt them a heavy blow upon the head. Mr. Haynes who was quite aged, instantly fell, but Ladd did not.

Another of the savages then stepped before the latter, and raised his hatchet as if to strike. Ladd closed his eyes, expecting the blow would fall - but it came not - and when he again opened them, he saw the Indian laughing and mocking at his fears. Another immediately stepped behind him and felled him at a blow.

"The Indians, on being asked why they killed the old men, said that they killed Haynes because he was 'so old he no go with us;' - meaning that he was too aged and infirm to travel; and that they killed Ladd, who was a fierce, stern looking man, because 'he so sour'.

They then started for Penacook, where they arrived, with the two boys. Young Ladd soon grew weary of his situation, and one night after his Indian master and family had fell asleep, he attempted to escape.

He had proceeded but a short distance, when he thought that he should want a hatchet to fell trees to assist him in crossing the streams. He accordingly returned, entered a wigwam near his master's, where an old squaw lay sick , and took a hatchet

The squaw watched his movements, and probably thinking that he intended to kill her, vociferated with all her strength. This awakened the Indians in the wigwam, who instantly arose, re-captured him, and delivered him again to his master, who bound his hands, laid him upon his back, fastened one of his feet to a tree, and in that manner kept him fourteen nights.

They then gashed his face with their knives, filled the wounds with powder, and kept him on his back, until it was so indented in the flesh, that it was impossible to extract it.

He carried the scars to his grave, and is now frequently spoken of his descendants as the 'marked man.' Some years after, he found means to return, and his scarred and powdered countenance produced many witticisms at his expense.

He was one day walking the streets of Boston, and a parrot observing his "marked' features, vociferated, 'a rogue! a rogue!" Haynes remained a prisoner with the Indians some years, and was at last redeemed by his relatives.

When Haynes was about leaving the Indians, his master, in token of his good will and esteem, presented him his best cane. The cane is now in possession Guy C. Haynes, of East Boston, a descendant. The upper half is neatly ornamented with diamond-shaped figures, cut with a knife.

Rev. Benjamin Rolf: On August 29th 1708 250 French and Indians attacked the Haverhill, killing 40 of its inhabitants.The minister Rev. Benjamin Rolf (for whom Thomas Dustin had agreed to provide wood), his wife and his daughter were all slaughtered. Their three part headstone is shown in a photograph on this website

Cotton Mathers: He greatly influenced early America until his death in Boston on Feb. 13, 1728. He lead a fascinating life which I am looking forward to exploring. Ben Franklin and others met with him and spoke glowingly of his influence.

A comment was left by one of Cotton Mather's decedents on Chapter Six of the Dustin Saga: I am Rod Mather - Cotton, Increase and Richard Mather are my Ancestors - There are lots of interesting articles about these people on the net, including some of their sermons. I can be contaced rod (A T) noteperfect (D O T) net descendant of Cotton Mathers,

The canoe: From: A History of the Town of Dunstable Author: Elias Nason 1873
"In April, 1697, the celebrated heroine, Mrs. Hannah Duston, on her way to Boston from Contocook, N. H., where she had, with Mary Neff and a boy, taken the scalps of ten Indians, passed through the town in a canoe, and was kindly entertained by Col. Jonathan Tyng."

(That image just tickles me...she is enjoying paddling around in her canoe! I had never realized that of course she would have natural kept the canoe. I wonder what ever happened to it?)

The Garrison House: The Dustins received a considerable amount of money and tokens of esteem following Hannah's exploits. Shortly afterwards Thomas built another house, in a less exposed area of Haverhill for his family.

Thomas Dustin's Guns: " The 1st gun was destroyed by the grandsons of Caleb Dustin ESQ. on July 4th 1810. It was filed down to 18" and fitted to a carriage as a cannon : "The one with which Mr. Dustin defended his children." (OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD...he ruined it!)
No comment as to where it is currently.
The second gun, the one I suspect was taken by Hannah from the Indians was given to the Haverhill Public Library by a Dustin decedent without inheritance rights. The rightful heir went with documentation to the library in 1881 and retrieved the gun. It has never been seen since. There are however photos of that gun which can be viewed at:

The Hatchet: Hannah's children lost it while playing with it in the woods. (Huh? Maybe Hannah was secretly glad to have it gone? )

The Scalping Knife and Weaving that held the scalps: Either on display in the Buttonwood Museum or in the Haverhill Public Library collection.

The Scalps: Cotton Mather is not the only one with a "morbid mind."
Bernie and I wonder about what they did with those scalps.
Did they take them to Boston and thump them down on the bench of the Massachusetts's general counsel? I'd love to know.


Lovella ♥ said...

I may have missed this but are there streets named after her? Like Hannah Dunstin Way?
I would think there must be. I have read more history in the last weeks than I'm sure I paid attention to in high school.

The story about the two women sitting on the curb is amazing. What are the chances? God was surely smiling on the two of them.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

No streets, there is "Dustin Island" aka Penecook, where the statue in the post card is found.
There is a Hannah Dustin elementary School, nursing home etc etc.

Another fun "factoid" is that the guy who draws the Archie comics was from Haverhill, and Archie and Jughead and Betty and Veronica all go to Haverhill High School-that is the school that he uses as his image.

Julie said...

Jill, I too found the significance of Delores and the Abenakis woman sitting on the curb talking about an event shared by their respective ancestors, amazing! And I also enjoyed the fact that your husband's ancestors and yours' knew each other.. They would never have quessed , would they. Thank-you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine Hannah's kids loosing the hatchet...Crazy kids!