LIEUT. PHINEAS UPHAM AND HIS COMMAND
Lieut. Phineas Upham was the son of John Upham, who, about the year 1635, settled in Weymouth, having wife Elizabeth and several children. Phineas was born in 1635 or 1636. About 1648 his father removed to Malden, and there the son grew up; and there he married, April 14, 1658, Ruth Wood; and they had children: Phineas, Nathaniel, Ruth, John, Elizabeth and probably Richard and Thomas. Lieut. Upham was a man of more than ordinary ability and influence, as the records, and references to his public services in places of trust, prove. At the breaking out of the war he held the rank of Lieutenant in the local company.
He was in command of men, and in service during the latter part of the summer; and in September, 1675, led a company of thirty-eight men out to Mendon to meet Capt. John Gorham of Plymouth Colony, and the account of their service on that occasion is explained in the following letters:
Letter of Lt. Phineas Upham to the Governer and Council.
These are to certify your worships that Capt. Gorum with myselfe & our Souldiers of both Companys are in good health at prestt through mercy;
And to give your honer an account of our seaverell marches; first we Came to Mendum one the 25th day of the weeke at nightt being the 24th day of September and one the 25th day we marched from Mendum unto Hassanemisett hoping there to have had an Indian for our guide; butt the Indians were all gone from thence; and were thereby disapoynted of our expecttation & one the next day we marched unto Packachoug where we found a feild of good corn and well fenced: which we did think convenient not to destroy: Concluding that for ought we Knew Sum of the neeriest of our Inhabitance would be willing to save itt; butt we could not finde any Indians neither the signe of any being there of late and we marched from thence unto Manchoag and Chobanamagungamung where we found sum cornfeilds and sum wigwams, which Corn and wigwams we burnt and destroyed butt (we did not) finde any of our enimies which was a greate discouragement to us, having taken soe much paynes to finde them; then we Returned and marched to an Indian Plantation called Shockebogue where we Could not finde any Indians butt found a Considerable quantity of Good Corne which we did not destroy butt Reserved itt at the Request of Sum of Mendum who thinke to fetch itt home for there use; and from thence we Came to Mendum one the 30th of Septbr: now seeing in all our marches we finde noe Indians verily thinke thatt thay are drawne together into greate bodyes far Remote from those partes:
If your honers please to send us one any further Service I hope we shall nott be unwilling butt forwarde to doe our uttermost Indeavours with all desiring that you would be pleased to add unto our numberseeing that besides the Garrison men which must be left heere in garrison we have butt 30 men besides my Selfe, Capt. Gorum being now in his march to Mounthope and If we goe further we desir thatt we may have a Surgeon and some other thatt may be acquainted with the woodes where you Sende us the want of wch hath beene a discouragement to our men: And as for the town of Mendum I am desired to Commend the desolate condition of ym unto your honers: Severall of there Inhabitance being removed from them: and those in garrison being butt poore helps in divers respects and in number but 12 men, with theire armes very defecttive.
The plantation is very Remotte & therefore soe much the more stands in neede of helpe; itt is very Likely to be a prosperous place if itt please God to putt an Ishue to thes troubles and therefore it is the more pitty to have itt deserted by there people: who think it must be If they have nott sum assistance they hope: 20: men well fitted with this one Returned might be sufishent If your honers se Causs; and further they desired to acquainte your honers that ye Indians of Hassanamisett which your honers apoynted to set down with them have desertted there one town and come nott to that at Mendum And soe nott havening any more to troublee your honers with
I Rest your Honrs
Letter of Capt John Gorum to Govor & Councill
Mendum Octob : th : 1 : 1675.
Much Honrd my servis with all due Respeckts humbly presented to yourselfe and the rest of the Counsill hoping of your helths I have made bold to troble you with these few lines to give your honnors an account of our progress in your Jurisdiction: According unto your honers order and detirmination I arived at Mendum with fifty men and the next day Leftennant Upham arived with thirty-eight men and the day following wee joyned our forces together and marched in pesuite to ffind our Ennimy; but God hath bin pleased to denigh us any oppertunity tharein; though with much Labor and travill we have indeavored to find them out which Left. Upham hath given you a more particular acount: our Solders being much worne out having bin in the ffeeld this foretene weeks and little hoops of finding the Enimy, we are this day Returning towards our Genrall: but as for my one part I shall be Redy to sarve God and the Country in this just warr soe long as I have life and helth. Not Else to troble you I Rest yours to Sarve in what I am able.
Mass. Archives, vol. 67. JOHN GORUM.
From Mendon Lieut. Upham marched his company to Brookfield, towards Springfield, where he was ordered by the Court to report to Capt. Wayte, who was expected to command a company in the service under Major John Pynchon, and that arrangement failing, he was assigned to the command of Capt. JonathanPoole, with whom he joined forces and marched to Hadley before October 12th. He was formally placed under command of Capt. Poole in the organization of the army under Major Appleton, and served thus, in the stirring events of the weeks following.
November 20th, he was credited as Lieutenant under Capt. Poole, ś06. 19. 04. He returned home when the army withdrew from the west; but joined the forces at Narraganset, probably after the muster at Dedham, December 10th. He was assigned to Capt. Johnson's company, and after that gallant officer's fall, was himself fatally wounded, at the head of the company, inside the fort. He was among the wounded at Rhode Island, January 6, 1675-6. He died at Boston, October, 1676, and October 12, 1676, the court issued the following order:
Order of the General Court
October 12, 1676. In answer to the peticon of Ruth Upham, widdow & relict of the late Left. Phineas Upham, the Court Judgeth it meet to order, that the bills of charges to chirurgeons, doctrs & diet, mentioned in sajd peticon, be pd by the Treasurer of the country; and in consideration of the long and good service hir husband did for the country, & the greate losse the widdow susteynes in his death, being left with seven small children, & not able to carry on their affaires for the support of hirself & family, doe further order the Treasurer to pay unto the sajd widdow tenn pounds in or as money.
I have found that the men who served under him were mostly paid off under the vouchers of Capt Poole; and after the fight at Narraganset he was never again able to take command.
CAPT. SAMUEL HUNTING
He was the son of John Hunting of Dedham, and was born July 22, 1640. He settled first at Chelmsford and later at Charlestown. Married Hannah Hackburne of Roxbury Dec. 24, 1662. They had ten children born at Charlestown between 1662 and 1687, of whom all but three died in childhood. Those who lived were Samuel, born July 15, 1666, married, and settled in Charlestown and had a family; Mercy, baptized March 13, 1681-2, married Benjamin Frothingham, 1704; Hannah, baptized Dec. 3, 1682, married Samuel Frothingham, 1704. Captain Hunting was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun August 19, 1701, aged sixty years.
We have seen that there was in the Massachusetts Colony great opposition to the employment of friendly Indians in the war, while Connecticut, constantly making use of them, had been spared the terrible losses which had befallen the others.
At last, grown wise by bitter experience, the Massachusetts Council determined to stem the tide of popular opposition, and equip and send forth a company of Christian Indians, to try if the devastations of the enemy along the frontiers could be checked. In pursuance of this order, April 21, 1676, Capt. Samuel Hunting and Lieut. James Richardson drew up and furnished their company of forty Indians at Charlestown. They were ordered first to march up the Merrimac to near Chelmsford, and there to build a fort and settle a garrison at the great falls, which was a famous fishing-place; they were to scout and guard, etc.; but before they marched, and about mid-day, came the news of the attack of the great body of Indians upon Sudbury. Captain Hunting with his company marched away to Sudbury and rendered service, as has been related in the chapter relating to the Sudbury fight. The service here rendered did much to abate the hostility against the Christian Indians, and they were thenceforward in constant service in all the expeditions while the war lasted, and Captain Hunting's company was soon made up to eighty men, who were furnished with arms sent over from England.
From the time that Captain Hunting's company took the field, the enemy lost heart, evidently fearing them more than the whole armies of English, which they could easily elude, or ambush or mislead. In the summer of 1676 this company took captive or killed about four hundred of the enemy, and did nearly all the effective work against the enemy in the closing operations of the war. The services of Captain Hunting and his company at the eastward and elsewhere have been incidentally related.
In general, accounts were not kept with the Indians.
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