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The Eastern Expedition of 1690
Major Church's Own Account

Created December 1997

Source: From the Lewiston Journal, 1864
"The Indians of the Androscoggin" - Chapter XXIV
Dr. N. T. True

... a letter written by Benj. Church - transcribed from the Hinkley papers some 30 years ago [1830s] by Rev. Allen H. Greeley of Turner. ...

Portsmouth, Sept. 30th, 1690

May it please your Honour. - After the tender of all humble service - these are to give your honour a brief account of our proceedings since we set sail from Piscataqus upon the 10th inst., at 2 in the afternoon, and first I must beg your honours pardon for my backwardness herein, but indeed I intended to have had more to write before I did sent; also I heard that Maj. Pike had given your honour account of the substance, but to prevent mistakes I will here be a little more particular. We sailed as aforesaid, I came the 11th at night, in the night amongst he islands at Casco Bay, - laid the vessels close, out of sight, -went on shore at break of day upon an Island that has been inhabited by the English, (called Capeagnote - Great Chebeague Island) we ranged about, - found where the enemy had lately been, but were drawn off.

This being the 12th day. In the evening we weighed and came to Macquaitnote - Maquoit Landing, and the 13th day, about two of the clock in the morning, -we landed our men silently upon the main and leaving soldiers on board to keep the vessel - we marched in the night up to Peshipscutt Fortnote - (Pejepscot) This English fort was located on the north side of the falls at Brunswick and made of stone. It is sometimes confused with the Indian wood stockade located on Laurel Hill in Auburn. The fort was abandoned in the spring of 1690 and the English expected the Abenaki to occupy it in their absence. - divided the army into three companies, surrounded the fort, and when daylight appeared, we found that the enemy were removed, not long before we came there. Also the soldiers found some little plunder and a barn of corn. The same day we advanced up the river towards Amascogginnote - this is intended to be the mid-section of the Androscoggin River, where the English knew the Abenaki had at least two large villages. on the S.W. side of the river, although the way was extremely difficult, yet it was a more obscure way, the enemy using to march on the N.E. side. We marched that day above the middle falls about 20 miles. There it began to rain hard, when we encamped and built fifty tents and lay there all night and at break of day put out our fires and marched as soon as it was light. It being the 14th inst. and the sabbath, the the soldiers marched briskly and came within sight of the fort about 2 o'clock P.M.

Then we turned into the woods and fetched a circumference and waded over a little river not much above the knees - and in short time came to the westerly branch of the great river, - and there left our baggage and those that were tired and made them up 40 more to guard the Doctor, and looking over the brow of a hill by the river espied two English and an Indian moving towards the fort, -ran after them and soon took the English, but the Indian got clear. Than I feared he would informe the fort -if they had opportunity to offer them peace, - if they would not accept it, to fall on, and by the time they were well entered, the rest would come up. Also I gave order to two companies to spread between the woods and the Fort, to prevent the escape of the enemy that way. All which was attended. We were very wet, running through the river, but got up undiscovered to the fort till within gun shot. Few Indians we found there, but two men and a lad of about 18 years with some women and children. Five ran in the the river, 3 or 4 of whom were killed. The lad of 18 made his escape up river to another place where there was corn about 40 or 50 miles up, as afterwards we were well informed. We killed 6 or 7 and took 11.

Lodged in the fort that night. Only one of our men was wounded in that little skirmish. We made use of no other firewood but the fort all the time we were there. -monday being the 15th inst., we having examined the Indian and English captives made search for corn and other plunder. We found pretty deal of corn in barns, under ground, and destroyed it. Also we found guns and ammunition a pretty deal with beaver, and we took five English captives, viz: Lieut. Robert Haskin's widow, of Oyster River, Benj. Barnard's wife, of Salmon Falls, Ann Heard, of Cochecho,; one Willis, daughter, of Oyster River and a boy of Exeter.

Both Indians and English inform us that the enemy has lately had a consultation, many of them were for peace and many of them were against it, and had hired and procured about 300, and advanced to Wells with a flag of truce and offer them peace, -if they could not agree, then to fall on. If they could not take Wells, then they resolved to attack Piscataquanote - modern day Portsmouth NH region. The which when we were well informed, we left two old squaws that were not able to march, gave them vituals enough for one week of their own corn boiled and a little of our provisions, and buried their dead, and left them clothes enough to keep them warm and left wigwams for them to lie in, gave them orders to tell their friends how kind we were to them, bidding them do the like to ours; also if they were for peace to come to good man Small's at Berwick, within 14 days, -who would attend to discourse them.

Then we came away with our own 5 captives and 9 of theirs, and waded through the river and returned in that day and one more to our vessel at Macquait. We made all haste imaginable, for fear some of our towns should be attacked before we came home, and through the goodness of God, we were ___ __ of well and found all the vessels well and went on board and set sail, only, (as God would have it) one of our vessels ran aground, which we did not understand, being in the night and having left her, -and soon missing her, Capt. Alden concluding she had run aground, and before she came clear, there escaped one Anthony Brackettnote - Anthony Brackett, Jr., was the son of Anthony Brackett. The father was killed and the son was taken captive in 1689 at Falmouth., of Casco, who was informed by the lad that escaped form Amascoggin aforesaid of our army. He made his escape, -got into our track and came to Macquait, hallooed to the vessel that heard him and gladly took him on board. The rest of our fleet bore up and came to Winter Harbornote - Biddeford, where I sent out a scout of 60 men to Selco Fallsnote - Saco Falls to make discovery, -the rest in arms ready on shore, intending at their return to march by land to Wells.

The scout met with a small party upon the river, making fish and other provisions, viz: -Old Doneynote - Old Doney, apparently the father of Young Doney and husband of an Abenaki woman. Some historians say he was English, most say he was French. He may be the son of a Frenchman named D'Alney who trading along the Maine coast in the early 1600s. and his crew about 40 in all. The enemy being on the other side of the river, ours could not come at them. They made a shot at them, killed one, ___ _ ___ ___, (a ______ man) and got him on shore, two more men sank in the river. At this skirmish Lt. Hunnuwell was shot through the thigh. There we took a pretty deal of powder, shot and lead and other plunder and 8 or 9 canoes. also we destroyed 4 or 5 canoes at Amosoogent. The man we took from them at Salco told us the enemy from Cape Sablesnote - Mi'kmaq of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia and all other quarters were looked for by that time to rendezvous at Pechepscutt, also that he knew the enemy had brought Beaver and goods to Pechepscutt plain and hid them. We supposed it was a gratuity foe the Eastward Indians, -also that he himself knew within half a mile where it was hid. This made us alter our former intention and took ship and sailed to a place more eastward than Macquait (called Mare Point) landed our men by daylight, about 2.00 -upon the eastward of Pechepscutt plain. In our march we espied a canoe with 3 or 4 Indians in Macquait bay. When we came upon the plain we parted into two companies, found none of the enemy, but we found plunder, -of which were pretty deal of powder and shot.

Then we returned and embarked and made the best of our way to Casco, came in there in the evening, being the 20th inst. There I concluded to land and send the ablest part by land to Wells, but I landed the most part of the men and went on shore and ordered them where they should lodge; -but the Indians, in particular I ordered to such a house or else to go on board agin, -but, they, contrary to my order, took up their lodge on the river by Papooducke side where the enemy had lately rendezvoused, all the rest of the commanders and companies were where I ordered them to be. The enemy discovered the Indians fires and came in the night and discovered where the companies lay and ambushed them by daylight, -made shot upon our Indians. It being the 21th inst, and the Sabbath day, our English aross to the succour of the Indian friends, being ready at the break of day for my order, and drawing up towards them, many were wounded and slain, the enemy having great advantage of ours, -for the light of the day and the stars reflected upon the waters, gave them advantage to see us, when as we could not see them at all against the dark woods, especially we could not see to distinguish between our Indians ans theirs. Whereupon I ordered to be still under the sea bank till daylight, -I coming on shore the second boat -and saw the difficulty. But the enemy fired hard upon the vessels and boats coming on shore, and when the day was light enough, I ordered the men to rise from the bank and run upon them all at once. The which we soon did and put them to the flight, -followed him hard through the swamp -firing briskly. They knowing where canoes were, got their wounded men into them before we came up, and most of them put off. Our men affirmed but two they saw killed. We took 2 guns ans many blankets and gun cases and 4 canoes.

The rest of the enemy ran into the woods. We went on board and sent away two vessels with captives, sick and wounded men and buried our dead, -which were 3 English and 4 Indians. The wounded were 17 English and 8 Indians. Those that were slain were chiefly Plymouth. The wounded of Capt. Connyeres 6; Capt. Floid 3; Capt. Southworth 4; Capt. Walton 3; of Capt. Andrews 1. Since that, one Englishman of Plymouth is dead of his wound and an Indian and an Englishman, both of Plymouth, -dead with the small pox. We embarked and came to Cape Neddicki the 25th day and marched with about 200 men, all we had fit for service to Wells. Sent a scout the next day to Salco and Winter Harbor, about 24 miles, made no discovery of the enemy later than were there before. Then we returned and came to Portsmouth the 2[6?]th inst. because our doctor was gone home with the wounded men, and our men were several of them sick and lame and wanted shoose and other recruits, -or else we would have gone farther before we came home.

The Indians we brought home were John Hawkin'snote - Kancamagus aka John Hawkins, was a Pennecook sachem (leader) from the Merrimack River, grandson of Passaconaway. He moved his family to the Androscoggin about 1685, to be better protected from Mohawk raiding parties. wife and four children. We took his brother-in-law who ran away from us in our return home. This John Hawkins is the Sagamore that headed the Indians that took 'Cocheebec.'note - Cochecho, modern day Dover, NH Two children also of Welambeenote - Worumbo was a sachem (leader) on the lower Androscoggin River. Drake says he was at the attack on Storer's garrison at Wells, with Madokawando in 1689. and one girl more, whose father and mother were slain in the skirmish. John Hawkins' sister was also slain at the same time, and we returned to Portsmouth, 26th inst, -intending with all haste to go to Sococnook, but many cross things falling out to ____ the design too long here to relate. But from Major Pike your honour will here more at large. This with my service to your honour, I rest and remain your honour's most humble servant, ready to serve your honour.

Benjamin Church