KING PHILIP'S WAR
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION
THE principal purpose of the author, in preparing this volume, has been the presentation of a concise and accurate account of thebevents of the Indian wars in New England, with lists of officers, soldiers, military committees, scouts, and others engaged therein, as full and correct as possible. Material has been drawn from all available sources, viz.: The official records of the three colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut; Rhode Island, as a non-combatant community, not being counted into the league. In addition to these sources, the Colonial Archives have been diligently searched for unpublished documents, as well as the Registry, Probate, and Court Records, and documents of the several counties. I have consulted all known published histories and accounts of the early times: Bradford, the Mortons, Prince, and Winthrop; with diaries and "personal accounts,"--like those published by Capt. John Mason, Capt. John Underhill, Lieut. Lion Gardener, P. Vincent, and others, together with later historians, -- Hubbard, the Mathers, father and son, and later yet, and of less authority, those like Benjamin Church. Then again Town and Church Records, family bibles, and local traditions have all been noted, and brought to give evidence.
The basis, however, of the main body of the work, the services of the soldiers in Philip's War, is drawn from the ancient accountbooks of Mr. John Hull, Treasurer-at-war of Massachusetts Colony, from 1675-1678.
A word of explanation concerning these precious old books may be in order here. In former times the books and papers kept by public officers were retained by them, at the close of their official terms, as their private property. It is not known just how these books were handed down, but the Journal, the most important, was discovered in the possession of Dr. Daniel Gilbert, Boston, by Mr. Isaac Child, and at his suggestion, kindly transferred to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, about fifty years ago. Two Ledgers, belonging to the same set of accounts, were acquired by the same society later, and have since been preserved in their safe, with many other precious documents.
The old Journal was in a dilapidated condition when found by Mr. Child, and the society employed him to repair and index the volume, which he did with great patience and skill. Many parts of the book are now almost illegible, and few except experts can reconstruct the names; while other parts are as plain as on the day of writing. This Journal contains accounts of debt and credit with everybody who had any dealing with the Colony of Massachusetts in relation to the war of 1675-78. The pages of the Journal, after the first and up to the fourteenth, are missing, but the first Ledger, fortunately, covers these pages so that it is possible to restore them entire. The first accounts show the names of those who furnished money, means, and material for the war. Then follow the individual accounts of the officers, soldiers, and others of every class, who served the Colony in this war, under the general account, "Military Service."
These credits show that every soldier, on presenting himself to the paymaster, must produce a certificate of service, or "debenture," signed by his commanding officer. Mr. Hull's system of bookkeeping was a quaint sort of "double-entry," or "mixed-method." It was very exhaustive, giving to every species of transaction a separate ledger account, as well as to every individual mentioned in the Journal. Some of these accounts are very curious and suggestive, for instance: "Bisket," "Liquors," "Ammunission," "Wast-Coats and Drawers," "Tobaco & Pipes," "Wounded Men," "Contingencies," "Woolves," "Quakers," "Captives," "Distressed-Dutchmen," "Scalpes," "Perquisites," "Queries." Many pages are lost from the last part of this book, while the time covered by the part left is much the most important of the war. The Journal accounts extend from June 25, 1675, to September 23, 1676. The first Ledger, beginning with the above Journal, contains now two-hundred and twenty double pages, on which is posted about half the matter in the Journal accounts. Both these books must have been originally much larger than at present. There is a later mixed Journal-Ledger, covering the years 1677 and 1678, in part, and indicating a closing-up of the war accounts. Further explanation is given on page 446 of this volume.
In searching these books for the name of one who served in the Indian war, the present writer discovered the importance of the accounts in the matter of the Indian war of 1675. Every soldier who served in that war is credited with military service, and the name of the officer under whom or the garrison at which he served is given in the credit. The date at which payment is made is given in the "Cash" account, but the time and place of service is not designated, nor is the residence or any further information about the soldier given. Some of the soldiers served at different times and under different officers. The best method therefore of arranging the men in companies was found to be that of following the names of the officers as they occur in the credits. The names were thus gathered from the Journal, and placed in companies with their officers. Then the fortunes of each company were followed as carefully as possible throughout the several campaigns of the war. But it was found that a great amount of unpublished material is still preserved in our State Archives, County and Town Records, and elsewhere; and this, in the light of the great number of names identified in these credits as soldiers, becomes available and interesting as history. Additional material has been gathered and incorporated here from all sources, whenever it would add to the sum of knowledge concerning the war.
The officers and soldiers, many of them, served in several, some in all, the different campaigns; and thus, in following their fortunes, it was necessary to go over the same events many times, so as to marshal the various companies in order in the military operations.
It will be seen that by this method of arrangement a great amount of important material has been massed together conveniently for the study of history, while the story of the war has not been followed by consecutive events, but according to the experience of individual officers and companies. This inconvenience has been obviated by the preparation of the Introductory Chapter, which presents the course of events in consecutive order.
The first edition of the work was published in 1892, and soon exhausted. By numerous applications for the book, and by the advice of many who knew the value of the work, I decided to issue a second edition, though this involved the expense of reprinting the volume entire. Contemplating at first only the reissue of the former work, I expected that two months would be sufficient time to complete the matter. I soon saw, however, the opportunity to immensely increase the value of the book by including, in the Introductory Chapter, an account of the Indian wars of New England from the beginning. The time and labor involved in this addition are not seen in the result, but my readers will be saved much time and perplexity by the matter here gathered.
In revising and recasting the former work, I corrected all proof by original documents, and was delighted to find that very few corrections were needed. Having in mind the new demand for critical accuracy imposed by the growing interest in American genealogy and biography, and especially in the patriotic societies, like the "Society of Colonial Wars," I have spared no pains to make my book absolutely correct. I have tested the lists of names, the dates, and other matter, from Hull's accounts, and am confident that they are entirely accurate. I have realized the importance of absolute accuracy here, since any one who can trace descent from one of these who are credited with military service, has an indisputable claim to membership in the abovenamed society.
Much new material has been added in the body of the work, besides the new chapters at the end. The footnotes from the former edition have been mostly embodied in the text. The lists of the Narraganset Grantees have been collected by me after a diligent research extending over many years. The old Proprietors' Records are widely scattered, and several are in private hands, but, with one exception, my lists are copied directly from the original, and that list, -- "Narraganset No. 1," was copied and published by such a careful hand, and is so fully confirmed by Hull's credits, that I consider it of the highest authority. These lists form an entirely new department, while logically following the previous story of the great war of 1675-7.
There is no doubt that Plymouth and Connecticut Colonies had treasurers' accounts, like these of Massachusetts, and it is an irreparable loss to history that none are found preserved. In order to remedy this defect in a slight degree I have tried to gather items relating to the wars in those colonies from every available source. The "Voluntown lists" of Connecticut, and those of Numbers 4 and 7 of Massachusetts, relating to Plymouth Colony, will be found important additions.
Into the Appendix, as well as the "list of later credits," I have tried to crowd all items bearing directly upon the Indian wars of New England, in order to make my volume complete in itself. I have given the lists of governors and deputy-governors of the three colonies from 1620 to 1687. The "triple alliance" for war with the Indians shut out the Rhode Island Colony, "on doctrinal grounds," so that she won no glory in the war save that which crowns the "Good Samaritan."
The Indexes have been prepared with utmost care for the convenience and help of the readers, but no extended analysis of the relations of names has been attempted. Cross-references have been made in cases where the relation might not be readily noted.
My new volume has grown to nearly one hundred pages beyond the first promise to my subscribers, with an added expense of several hundred dollars and a delay of some six months. I am consoled by the thought that my present loss is to be a permanent gain to my readers.
In the course of my labors I have received encouragement and kindly assistance from many, some of whose names are mentioned in connection with special favors: To Mr. John Ward Dean and Mr. W. P. Greenlaw, of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Dr. Samuel A. Green, Mr. Charles J. Hoadly, Mr. J. C. J. Brown, Hon. George Sheldon, Mr. H. E. Waite, Mr. Walter K. Watkins, Capt. Philip Reade, Mr. Seymour Morris, Mr. Howland Pell, and many others, I wish here to renew the assurance of my appreciation of their courtesy and kindness. To the members of my own family, too, for their continued patient help, my word of appreciation may properly be spoken here; and especially along these pages I shall always find familiar traces of the faithful "vanished hand" of my beloved daughter, May Alice Bodge, whose loving earthly service closed just before this volume was completed. And to the advance subscribers, who have responded with such ready interest to my prospectus, I wish to say that my own satisfaction with the volume will be measured largely by the satisfaction and help which they receive from it.One other element of satisfaction will enter into my enjoyment of the completed work: I have been able, in the course of it, to settle some disputed questions by the discovery of new testimony, to assign to their proper places of honor some of the old-time leaders, and to do some measure of tardy justice to many a brave and true but long-forgotten name, by summoning again, from their two centuries of oblivion, these dusky battalions of the "First American Army," and marshalling them, "roster, rank, and file," upon the permanent page of American history.
GEORGE M. BODGE.
HTML by Debbie
Special thanks to Fred for his wonderful graphics.
You are the 6867th Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since April, 2001.
[King Philip's War Index Index][NY][VT]