SOLDIERS

IN

KING PHILIP'S WAR

Chapter 23, Part II 

 PETITION AGAINST CAPT. SCOTTOW

Wee whose names we have underwritten, doe declare that we were never in ye least privie to ye sending for ye souldiers which came from Boston to Blackpoint, neither during ye time of their stay did we in any sort receive advantage by them; but yt they were maintained upon ye acct. of Mr. Scottow: for all the while his fishermen were thereby capacitated to keep at sea for the whole season; and much worke was done by them which was greatlie turned to his profit; as removing of a great barn, paving before his house and cutting of Palisado stuff for a pretended fortification where there is no occasion nor need. And many more such courtesies Mr. Scottow (got) by the soldiers. And that other men should pay for his work, done under pretence of defending ye country, wee hope in behalf of the rest of ye sufferers in these sad times, you will please to take it into your serious consideration, and heape no more upon us than wee are able to beare, but where the benefit has been received, there order ye charge to be levied.

Richard Foxwell, Giles Barge,
Rol: Allanson, Joseph Oliver,
William Sheldon, John Cocke,
John Tinney.

Upon the above representations, several of the prominent men of York County carried the matter to the General Court; among these Major Pendleton, Mr. Munjoy and Mr. Foxwell were the chief complainants, and their complaints were submitted, by the auditors of York County, to the General Court August 9th, 1676 (see Colonial Records, Vol. V. p. 102). The auditing committee were Nicholas Shapleigh, Edward Rishworth, Samuel Wheelwright.

The complaints were:

1st. That Mr. Scottow got the soldiers from Boston upon his own responsibility.
2nd. That he refused to use or have others use the soldiers to preserve the lives and estates of others.
3d. That he used the soldiers mostly for his own particular security and advantage; attending and strengthening his garrison, paving his yard, moving his barn, "cleaving" his wood, &c.

A note of Mr. Drake's in his edition (1865) of Mr. Hubbard's history, cites original papers, then in his possession, as testimony against Capt. Scottow. The deposition of Michael Edgecombe, aged about 25 years, declares that he was at Blackpoint when the "nine Winter-harbour men were fighting the Indians upon the Sands opposite said Place, and saw sundrie men come to Mr. Scottow importuning that he would send some Ayde over to those poore distressed men," etc., and that Capt. Scottow, though seeing the English were far outnumbered by the Indians, and must be overcome soon without releif, yet would not suffer a man to go to help them; and one John Lux came and reproached the Captain and offered to take men in his shallop across the river and land them "on shoare in Little River," near where the men were fighting, and where all were found slain next day. This was sworn to before Brian Pendleton, July 20th, 1676. Lux declared that nothing would move Capt. Scottow, although he could see the men being overpowered by greatly outnumbering savages.

Mr. Foxwell also deposed against Capt. Scottow's inhumanity in the affair of the burning of Dunstan, etc. Walter Gendall, who served as Sergeant under Capt. Scottow, and had charge of a body of soldiers at Spurwink in 1675, made a similar deposition.

The Court referred this case to the October session, and then gave judgment, that, This Court, having heard the complaint of Mr. Rishworth exhibbeted against Captaine Scottow, &c. . . . uppon a full hearing of both parties, see no reason for the aforesaid complaint, and doe judge that the said Capt. Scottow (for aught doth appeare) hath faithfully dischardged his trust, and is therefore acquitted from the chardge endeavord to be put on him, but that the same be borne by the county and that Mr. Rushworth do pay Capt. Scottow his costs and damage. The Court granted and determined the costs to be nine pounds, thirteen shillings & eight pence.

In the evidence favorable to this decision, the following paper, found in the old files of Suffolk County Court, was probably offered:

PETITION OF INHABITANTS OF SCARBOROUGH

The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of Scarborough. Whereas Mr. Scottow of Boston Stood by us in all our streights and distresses during the late Warr with the Indians and not only encouraged us with his presence from April until January last, but alsoe releived us with a barrell of powder and all sorts of ammunition as it cost him in Boston near to twenty pounds for which he is not yet paid, yea, then when as there was no town Stock nor a pound of powder in the Town that we know of without which supply we and our familyes must either have been destroyed or our town deserted as Casco and Saco were, we being then for divers months the seat of war and having more houses than one of the Townes and above double the other burnt and consumed:

and to keep us together since he hath this Spring helped us more with nere two hundred bushells of Indian and other Grain without which some of us could neither have planted nor sowne, some had ben pincht and others might have starved, in all things to our weak understanding he hath carryed it faithfully and carefully to the publicke interest, he being now unjustly and as far as we can deserne maliciously persecuted by some especially one Mr. Foxwell a man noted for contention and whereas there be diverse oaths taken against sd Scottow some of them to the knowledge of some of us false, and others covered with fraude and fallacy we being much troubled that for his good he should receive a bill humbly crave that he may have all right and due encouragement and vindication, and your petitioners shall further humblie pray for your honors peace and prosperity.

Henry Jocelyn Ambrose Bouden John X Libby, senior
Sam X Oakman John X Libby junr Anthony Row
Thomas X Bigford John Howell William X Champlin
Richard X Willing Francis X White John X Ficket
Richard X Bassen Richard Moore Peter X Hinxen
Henry X Elkins Henry X Brookins William X Burrage
Thomas X Wasgate John X Makenny Edward X Hounsell
Richard X Barret Christopher X Picket Thomas Cleverly
John X Vicars Dunken X Teshmond John X Simson

ADDITIONAL FAVOURABLE TESTIMONY

These are to testifie before whom it may concern, that Mr. Scottow of Boston, being wth us when (???) ye men were killed upon Sacho Sands at the first heering of the guns fired there wth consent of Mr. Josselin gave ye Alarum all over garrison to ye whole town, drew up such of us on our armes as were at home, dispatcht our Corporall to call in such as were abroad, as also the said Scottow was very Angry with Mackshawine for saying that Captaine Wincoll and his Company were all cut off, telling him though some might be killed and the rest ffled yett it might be to gain ye advantage of ground as it proved, as also at the same time Scottow seartcht the armes and ammunition of us which were drawne up exchanging ye armes which were insufficient for his owne ffixed armes, and that hee supplied every man of all those that were sent forth, and wanted, both with powder, buletts, swan shott, biskett, and a dram of ye bottle out of his owne store, there not being at the same time one pound of powder in ye town, that wee know of but what they recved from Scottow & that the said Scottow, upon the first alarum enquire whether some of us might not bee sent in a shallop or in Canows to goe to ye releif of those men, it was answered that they could not be sent with safety neither for the men nor for their armes because of the gulf of ye sea, the wind blowing ffresh upon the shore. The said Scottow with the consent of Mr. Henery Josselin, did with as much possible speed as they could, dispatch away about twenty men over our fferry to march by land to the relief of that pty under ye charge of Serjeant Olliver, yea so many men did they send away that some of us complained against them saying they did not doe well to send out so many of their husbands and children, supposeing that if they should have been cutt off wee had not strength left at the garrison sufficient to defend ourselves if assaulted, Yea, wee doe farther testifie that the said Scottow Acted therein to the utmost of his power soe that when some of the company manifested a backwardness to the relief above in vexation hee through his Kane upon the ground saying he would through up his Commission and never meddle more with it, and alsoe that wee could not answer to god, men, nor our owne consciences unless wee used the utmost of our endeavour to relieve those men, in testimony of the truth of what is above written we have hereunto signed and shall to the substance of the whole depose if called thereunto by lawfull Authority.

Blackpoint, July ye 15th 1676

John X Libby Senr Tomas X Bigford Anthony Row
Thomas Cleverly Hen: X Elkins Rich. Willing
Andrew Browne Francis X White Peter X Hinxen
Henry X Nookins - -
The pmises above written, I attest to be truth given under my hand this 18 July 1676
HENRY JOCELYN.
Mass. Archives, vol. 69, p. 28.

During August of 1676, Capt. Scottow was evidently at Boston, leaving the conduct of affairs to Jocelyn and Tippen with Walter Gendal as a third on the "committee of the militia." Sergeant Tippen, who appears to have been a very efficient officer, being called away also, the others found themselves unable to control the inhabitants who were acting as garrison soldiers, and they wrote this letter to Capt. Scottow:

Capt. Joshua Scottow.
We underwritten being of ye committee with serjeant Tippen, and both of you now being absent, shall desire you to acquaint ye Governor & Councill of ye averseness of the generality of ye Inhabitants to obey Military orders; yt they would be pleased to direct some especial order to such in this town as may bring ye Inhabitants to ye obedience of ye Military Laws of the Government yt we may be in some capacity to defend ourselves against ye common enemy; and we shall remain,

Yr friends to serve you
Black Point, Aug. 9th, 1676. HENRY JOCELYN,
WALTER GENDALL.

The Blackpoint garrison was recognized by the Indians as the strongest fortification in the Eastern Towns, and it had therefore escaped any assault in the general destruction which fell upon Casco and the Kennebec towns. In the letter of Capt. Hathorne in the last chapter, we find some account of the discontent of the people at Blackpoint and their determination to abandon the garrison and betake themselves to the safer towns to the West. The letter indicates also that Capt. Scottow was there when Capt. Hathorne visited the place, but evidently withdrew soon after; as upon October 12th the Indians appeared at the garrison, a hundred strong, with the chief "Mugg" (or Mog Hegon, Whittier's Mog Megone) at their head; they found the inhabitants all within the fort and Mr. Jocelyn in command.

The Indians did not attack, knowing that even a small number could hold it against any assault they could make. Mugg was well acquainted with all the affairs of the English, and immediately sought a parley with Mr. Jocelyn, which lasted a long time. In the meantime all the inhabitants had taken the opportunity to get out of the house and to their boats and away to the Westward towns, -- Wells, Portsmouth, etc. How they could have thus effected their escape in the presence of so large a body of the enemy must be explained by the advantageous position of the garrison, and the overconfidence of the Indians. Mr. Jocelyn and his family were taken with the house and its contents, which was at once surrendered, when Mr. Jocelyn found only his own family left within. Mugg was highly elated with this great and easy success, and Jocelyn was treated kindly, and with his family soon restored to their friends. It is said that he afterwards removed to Plymouth, where he spent the rest of his days. Blackpoint garrison was not destroyed, perhaps because Mugg, in the flush of his success, believed the English would soon be driven from the country, and this would serve the Indians as a stronghold.

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