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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 654

PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: The 1704 Deerfield Massacre         Reply with quote

All,

Historic Deerfield will be hosting a weekend long event commemorating the Deerfield Massacre which happened in 1704. Historic reenactors are supposed to be staging reenactments of the raid (I presume no one will be killed this time!)

Deerfield Massachussets was once the western frontier and during the French and Indian Wars a force of Frenchmen and Indians attacked Deerfield and killed many people and took over one hundred captives some of whom chose not to return to their families and remained with their captors. Apparently there are still family reunions where the descendants of the people who chose to stay in Canada get together with their U.S. relatives.

I strongly recommend Historic Deerfield to anyone interested in the Colonial period, they have a tremendous collection of virtually everything from that era including weaponry. Please google Historic Deerfield if you want more information.


Best regards,




Ken Speed
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
Joined: 21 Dec 2007

Posts: 138

PostPosted: Thu 28 Feb, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ken.

I had Read about the massicar years ago but couldn't recall the details. It is curious how many prisioners taken by assorted native tribes down the years refused to return. A cynic might consider that life with the indians was better than with the white communnitys
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J. D. Carter




Location: Az.
Joined: 09 May 2007

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu 28 Feb, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Palmer wrote:
Hi Ken.

I had Read about the massicar years ago but couldn't recall the details. It is curious how many prisioners taken by assorted native tribes down the years refused to return. A cynic might consider that life with the indians was better than with the white communnitys


Actually a cynic would 1st have to make a few incorrect or incomplete assumptions like those who chose to stay truly had much choice or were even old enough to have an informed opinion about which was preferable, life as an English Puritan or life in an Abenaki/Wyandot or other Algonquin speaking villager.

The simple answer is there isn't one concerning Deerfield.

Take for example one of the more famous characters Eunice Williams. Much is made of her story because of her father prominent position as Deerfield's pastor and the fact the she never returned. She was the age of 7 when taken. You will find that of the 15 or 16( varies by account) who never returned to Deerfield almost the entirety were children You can find accounts of how Eunice became 'enoumored' with the native life and just wanted nothing more to do with Puritan life ( wouldn't blame her there, if that was truly the whole story.) but most credible accounts point to the fact that when her father, after gaining his own freedom tried on several occasion to gain hers as well through ransom. He was supposedly forbidden to be alone with her on the 2 occasions he was allowed to see her at all and when he was himself no longer a captive and made serious pressured attempts to secure her release he was told. She is with her family now and her family "would sooner part with their own hearts " I don't know about you but I know a polite but firm no when I hear one.

Eunice eventually fully embraced her new life and according to most accounts completely forgot the English language.She married a tribal man and lived out her days not as a captive but as a contented citizen of her adopted people as did most of the other children.

Sometimes whites taken by natives were abused, made slaves, even mutalated but for the most part they were treated as if they were a natural born member of their adoptive family if they were taken young enough.

Without reading a discontent with white society into any of their stories instead just look at the natural human urge to stay with what's familiar. I see your from Herne Bay, Kent.

Now use a little imagination and suppose we live in very different times and I somehow successfully raid your home and capture you at the ripe old age of 6 or even 8. Imagine even further that the life you've known up to this point has been in a rigidly strict religious system where even the hint of a good time is "sinful" Now i've got you miles away in Arizona. On the way here you saw some brutal acts committed on others for lagging behind, being weak or even crying aloud on the trail. Your a smart kid , not going to allow that to happen to you so you buck up. Not knowing what to expect, your more than a little surprised when I introduce you two two girls as " your new brother " and my weeping for joy wife sweeps you up in a hug thanking Usen for bringing her a son to replace the one who died of Small Pox.

At 1st, not knowing that your one of the kids who lost everyone of kin in the raid you think someone will come, someone will help you back to mother because that Yavapai woman sure isn't mum. Well that woman and I share the same concern so in ways both subtle and not at all we begin to show you that your old life was weak, unseemly, you weren't even among true humans until you came to live with "The People" We shower you with all the kindness native Americans were known to show their offspring. Maybe in spite of all your misgivings you find that a kind soft word and gentle guidance isn't so bad compared to what you seem to remember of your old life of constant chores,denial of any form of enjoyment, heck your new family never says Usen hates anything that's fun so you can't have any yourself.

Now jump forward 15 years. Your a warrior among The Men of the Big Rocks. When you think you think as a Yavapai. When you think of fashion you picture soft tanned Mule deer hides and Pronghorns skins not what is current in London. When you think of a beautiful girl your dreaming of jet black hair, high pronounced cheekbones and skin almost as dark as stained cherry wood, not blue, or green eyes nor blonde or sandy hair with pale skin like a dream you barely remember was once real. One day you get the second biggest shock of your life because men from that dream ride into your village big as life. They're speaking sounds that you know should mean something to you but you can't recall how to put the sounds together correctly so through a Mexican interpreter they explain to you that your are in fact a man of Kent and they have come to " Rescue you " to save you from this savage life among heathens and to take you home.

Do you think you would look at the people who have loved and taught you all you know for all the time you remember clearly and say ' well, mum, dad it's off to merry ole England for me" or do you think you would look at these white strangers you've been told are less than you for 15 years straight and say something like ' I am home, this is my family, now leave before you are shown why all our neighbors simply call us 'Enemy'

Scenarios like that played out all across North America, coast to coast and I'm learning from reading much the same across all of South America as well. It was not at all uncommon for ones who were taken so young that they retained almost no or none at all in the way of memories of another life to repeatedly run away and return to the Native families who raised them when recaptured by whites and forcibly returned to families they neither remembered or wanted too, often to the great detriment to those adoptive tribes who would often resist as fiercely as if they were trying to take away any natural born tribe member.

Wow, in person you'd be lucky to get 20 words out of me in a 2 hour span. ( Note to self, no more posting if you have had more than 3 drinks and a selective nerve root injection in the same afternoon) Can you imagine if I accepted the offered sedative as well....sheesh.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Feb, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin and J. D,


I guess you guys won't be attending the festivities from Britain and Arizona Laughing Out Loud

I've been reading up on it a little more since I wrote the original message. I had read THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE several years ago but I really only remembered the Deerfield Raid in broad strokes. Amazing what you can pick up if you meander around Googleville for a while. By the way, one of the things I read said that the author of THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE took a few liberties with fact. You may be interested to know that one of the houses at Historic Deerfield still has tomahawk scars on the door from the attack.

One of the thing I learned was that the attack was not entirely unexpected and that Deerfield had had troops stationed there just prior to the attack but they were caught with their pants down. Also at least some of the captives were put under extreme pressure both physical and psychological by the Jesuits to convert to Roman Catholicism. I also learned that not all the captives were treated all that well by their Abenaki captors, the translation of their names was the tipoff. One was named something like " He'll go get it" which could, I suppose, be a lot worse but sure doesn't have a whole lot of dignity.

J.D., I think a lot of what you said about the mental state and motivations of the captives is probably true but I think that the women captives may have found that they had a better life among the Indians than they did in their original culture. In Eunice's case I would imagine that being the daughter of a Puritan preacher was probably a pretty excruciating existence.

I think I said that there were about 100 casualties from the raid, I was going by memory and got that wrong there were about 50. The whole thing is sad but one of the really heartbreaking things I read was that of the 50 deaths about half of them were children. I'm hoping I can ask someone about that on Saturday. I have two explanations floating around in my head. The first is that it was outright terrorism and the second is that it may have been done for revenge for a British led attack on an Indian fishing camp that occurred about six years earlier. I'll probably find out that is was motivated by both.

I haven't been able to get a good sense of how traumatic this was for the British settlers. There were a lot of other attacks happening in that same time period.

As I said there isn't anything funny about any of this but I have to admit I found an article on a right wing website that uses the Deerfield Raid as proof of the hostility they claim France has for the United States! Actually its so nuts it isn't funny either. The raid happened in 1704! Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, weren't even a twinkle in their daddy's eyes!

Thanks to you both for your interest. But you better be careful or I'll start telling you about Shay's Rebellion. Then you'll be sorry! Laughing Out Loud



Ken Speed
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
Joined: 21 Dec 2007

Posts: 138

PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi ken

On the matter of US French relations most English would say that historically France has had much better relations with the US than it has with Britian. They certainly did during the American revolution blockading Charles town I believe while you lot sieged it. They hate us which given our history with them over the last thousand years is not surprising. At the time in question we were having one of our periodical spats and kicking their butts round the place the colonies just happened to get in the way sorry and all that.

A brief aside last year the French minister of culture publicly admitted that France was the most despised nation in Europe given we english have despised them as losers for centuries its nice to know every one else agrees.

In my experience the average right wing group tends to twist things to suit their own ends. The left is as bad come to think of it the middle ground are not much better personally I gave up believe any of them years ago.

J D

I agree entirely where children are concerned but at the risk off drifting of thread and starting Ken off on about the Shays Rebellion ??????( Not a clue I'm afraid Ken) I would point out similaritys with the Barbary Pirates of Algiers. For centurys they prayed on ships moving through the straights of Gibralta seizing thousands of prisioners. They also raided actively for centurys 16th century reports tell of raids on the south coast of England and Ireland one entire village taken. The stories of the prisioners treatment were pretty horrific yet research has shown that many of the reports were in fact fabricated by people who had no knowledge of even the basic facts. Pretty much like most modern press reporters why let the truth get in the way of a good story. In reality the prisioners treatment was very much in their own hands obey the rules and life was if not pleasant at least bearable break the rules and you payed. The puritans in the 1600s held collections to buy prisioners back the average male cost 100 women cost more one cost 1600. Yet many refused to be sold back many women stayed one became the caliphs wife and was buried beside him. Many men stayed took Islam were freed and became successful in business living long and fruitful lives these were adults who made choices freely. Some enslaved earned freedom and became corsairs raiding their own people. People are people and most will make the best of what the fates send and live given the choice between a good master in Algiers and returning to puritan England I know which I would choose and it isn't england.
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J. D. Carter




Location: Az.
Joined: 09 May 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not entirely sure this was "On topic" for this forum to begin with but we could make a small effort to bring it round to arms if not armor.

Weapons. It would be reasonable to assume that most involved had several Razz

One that it is also reasonable to assume at least of few of the natives carried and one of my favorites from that era would be the gunstock club. Fascinating blend of resourcefulness, availability, access or lack there of and inventiveness. To most modern day enthusiast a broken firearm is something that is quite useless until it is repaired. As more modern reliable weapons became available through trade and even before that due to lack of access to both shot and powder along with old matchlocks that were so old they simply wore out there seems to have been enough "useless" firearms laying about that no longer functioned that need and invention married.

In the hands of European settlers one could imagine those old guns being disassembled and the metal bits being melted at the smiths then turned back into something useful with the old wood added to the kindling pile. In the hands of the eastern woodland Americans who lacked that ability they instead used their resourcefulness to turn something not useful into something brutally efficient & deadly.

The basic design was already in place in the swept forward ( if held as a club, not as a gun) bottom edge of the gunstock being not all that dissimilar from the already widespread ball clubs in use over much of North America but with a small concentrated impact point instead of the larger round one of the ball club, although there are depictions of ball clubs enhanced with the addition of a stone or antler spike much like the one they sell at Cold Steel. As if it wasn't deadly enough as is some clever fellow looked at the cavity where the matchlock mechanism had been and thought "hmmm, where's that knife with the broken handle I haven't repaired yet ?"

The design was soon popular enough that several cultures abandoned waiting for a old gun to convert and just carved them purpose built.

Hope that helps make Deerfield just a tiny bit associated with Arms without being a total hijack. Wink
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J D

I have to say I have a fondness for old weapons I have handled two examples of musket stock clubs and both were lovely weapons easy to use and delivered a powerful strike. I have also seen and used a stone headed plains war club again a devastating weapon. The fact is until the invention of the gun weapons were a much more personal product. I used to shoot a lot until they banned guns in the UK and as much as I liked my guns they never had the same feeling that a good sword gives. If as Ken says the defenders were caught with their pants down and the Indians got close before they could get into action then my money is on the Indians in a close quater scrap. From my reading hand to hand was the favoured style bows used to soften enemy up but the glory was in the personal kill. The musket club would have been a deadly tool and if well handled one blow would pretty much finish the argument. I wouldn't rule out the spear musket and bayonet are effective but the spear is lighter and in good hands more effective we have played that one before.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robin,


I think its supposed to snow about six inches tonight, I wonder if those reenactors are planning on camping out. Better them than me! Well, unless we're snowed in I'm going!

My point about the right wing journal was that there was no U.S. when the Deerfield raid happened so how could it be predicated on anti-U.S. sentiment in France. Yes, the British and French have been enemies on one level or another since forever!

One of the interesting things about this is that it is very well documented compared to most of the historical things we discuss on this board. A lot of the captives were literate, the French were literate so a lot of information is accessible about the event.

No, I won't torture you with Shay's Rebellion.

Best regards,



Ken Speed
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Robin Palmer




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ken

Literate French interesting concept you will be telling us they know how to cook next.
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi ken

I would point out that the first thing napoleon did on becoming ruler of France was send his chefs to england to learn how to cook as French cooking at the time was terrible.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi J.D.


You wrote, " I'm not entirely sure this was "On topic" for this forum to begin with but we could make a small effort to bring it round to arms if not armor. " Well, yes and no, I suppose it was a bit of a stretch. As I told Robin they are going to have a presentation about the weapons used during the raid.

"Weapons. It would be reasonable to assume that most involved had several Razz"

Yes, tomahawks! war clubs! Bows and arrows, spears, muskets! Maybe swords for the French? I don't know. One of the topics they'll discuss are the weapons used. If I find out anything interesting I'll let you know.

"One that it is also reasonable to assume at least of few of the natives carried and one of my favorites from that era would be the gunstock club."

Yes, some are strangely beautiful, aren't they? Actually the blades on many of them were traded to the Indians by the Hudson's Bay company and they were called Hudson Bay Dags, they could be used as knives, daggers, spear points or set into a club. The blade you mentioned that Cold Steel sells is inspired by the dag as you probably know.

Ken Speed
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Fri 29 Feb, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robin,


" I would point out that the first thing napoleon did on becoming ruler of France was send his chefs to england to learn how to cook as French cooking at the time was terrible. "

Really? I love it here! The stuff I learn is amazing. I remember reading Dickens and noting the feasts that the wealthy English had in his books. I kept waiting for someone to eat themselves to death.

I keep getting little sub stories as I read about the raid and they're all interesting and some, at least, have to do with weapons.

John Williams, the pastor of Deerfield, put a pistol to the chest of the first Indian to come into his bedroom and pulled the trigger, the gun misfired. As there were other attackers who entered the room, Pastor Williams would have been a dead man within minutes of firing his pistol had it not misfired.

Seven men, five women and an indeterminate number of children were able to hold off the fifty Frenchmen and two hundred Indians in the attacking force from within the Stebbins house which was, I think, made of brick. God help me! I can't get The Three Little Pigs out of my mind Laughing Out Loud Kidding aside, they must have been some mentally tough people to hold up through something like that.


Its amazing to me that there is so much in what is really a pretty small event. One could argue after all that only fifty or so people died but the story has everything. Courage, on both sides, the French and Indians could have blundered into a strong British force and been wiped out. Strength in adversity, the captives, religious conflict between the Jesuits and the Puritans, diplomacy in the negotiations for the captives. the clash of European and Native American cultures. A little comedy, apparently Stephen Williams, John's son, made such a poor slave that his Indian captors were practically eager to ransom him back. maybe even romance between Eunice and her Abenaki husband. Why this hasn't been made into a movie or a novel is really a mystery to me.

Ken Speed
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ken

On the matter of mental toughness perhaps we should consider the situation these people in many cases had grown up with Indian raids the war with the French wasn't new. Plus simply living year to year wasn't certain illness famine bad winters were lethal in ways very few western people today can understand. To them being attacked was a fact of life and was treated accordingly I am not saying they enjoyed the events but for them it was simply do or die. Those who survived counted themselves lucky and went on with their lives in those days nobody had heard of post traumatic stress so everyone just got on with it. Besides everyone was in the same boat so nobody felt left out everyone understood how the others felt.

There was a program on TV a little while ago where someone lived on a Victorian - Edwardian diet the meals were as you say massive. Plus the levels of colesterol were what we would consider lethal but the program stated your average Victorian - Edwardian lady or gent led far more active lives than we do. No cars until trains appeared they walked or rode or at a pinch post coach which despite sitting down was no easy ride. So despite the diet they in fact didn't suffer as much as we would if we tried it with modern living styles
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robin,



Well, I don't assume I'm going to live from year to year either. Every morning when I wake up I say, "Hot Damn! Here I am again!" Laughing Out Loud

Your point is well taken. People basically just accept the hand that's dealt to them and get on with it as a rule. My point is that it must have taken some real mental fortitude to not be overwhelmed by the situation. There were between 300 and 350 men in the French and Indian force. Now I'll admit that not all of them were attacking the Stebbins house but still inside there were only twelve adult people to fight them off. A chief of the Hurons was mortally wounded leading an attack on the house. The Stebbins house and the Williams houses are still there.

We probably had about 8" of snow by around 8:00 A.M but it soon cleared up and turned into a very sunny day with a temperature near 32F/0C. I went to Historic Deerfield and had a pretty good time. Some of the reenactors had some very good costumes. There was a display of replica weapons but it wasn't too exciting. I was disappointed that I didn't see any gunstock clubs but I did see one reenactor with a pretty nice ball club tucked into his sash. I have to give credit to the reenactors, they were walking around in moccasins in snow and slush and some were wearing breechclouts and leggings and none of them were complaining about the cold. I was under some time constraints so I'll go back again tomorrow and do the things I wasn't able to do today.

I did manage to learn more. The French led group, as I said above, was about 300 to 350 men of which only about fifty were French. Of the French, most were Habitantes ( born in the new world) and most were militia only a few of the leaders were professional soldiers. The Indians were from four tribes, Huron, Pennacook, Mohawk and Abenaki. the Pennacook
had been the original inhabitants of the Deerfield area and had lost it to the British settlers. The Hurons practiced/held Mourning wars in which they captured prisoners to replace members of their tribe that had died. I'm going to try to learn more about that tomorrow. The raid devastated Deerfield, half of their population was killed or taken captive and the raid was very traumatic for all the English colonists. It was a great victory for the French although they felt they had lost more men(11 in total) than they should have but did not have the strict control they needed over such a mixed force.

Yeah, the food thing. I was in Texas on business and we went to a restaurant that served food that the Texas settlers would have eaten. I have never eaten so many different kinds of starch in one meal in my life! I'm sure that the only thing that saved them from an early grave was that they were working hard all day!


Ken Speed
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ken

I hadn't heard about the Mourning wars before but in a society where war was a way of life you had to replace losses some how. Plus given the hostilitys between tribes they would have served to bring fresh blood into communitys.

I see your point I suspect that they were to busy surviving in battle you tend to focus on simply fighting and staying alive you rarely have time to see the whole picture. I suspect they were to busy reloading muskets shooting and reloading a process done away from windows the only time they would look out was to shoot then they would be looking for target. Most of the time they would see nothing of the outside so I suspect had little idear of what they faced beyond a lot of hostiles. Even then I doubt if they had a clear idear as it is unlikely the enemy would have been standing around in plain sight especially the indians. Who unlike the white man where rarely stupid enough to stand in neat lines and let you blast them with musket fire. I do not mean to dismiss the courage of the defenders but as I say it is entirely likely that they had little real idear what they faced until after if then. We have the advantage of records and hind sight.

It was a regrettable feature of the wars that both sides used Indians as allies to the detriment of the tribes. From my reading of the events it appears the French made far more use of Indians to do their fighting than the British I may be wrong. Why this is I am not sure it may have been the French had a shortage of troops or simply it was cheaper to expend Indian lives than French.
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J. D. Carter




Location: Az.
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Palmer wrote:
Hi Ken

I
It was a regrettable feature of the wars that both sides used Indians as allies to the detriment of the tribes. From my reading of the events it appears the French made far more use of Indians to do their fighting than the British I may be wrong. Why this is I am not sure it may have been the French had a shortage of troops or simply it was cheaper to expend Indian lives than French.


This is simplified because there were as many reasons as there were Native nations involved but the main reason was willingness.

In the main the French were much more shrewd in their dealings with Native Americans than their English, Spanish & Dutch counterparts. Although they were far less advanced technologically the Natives possesed just as much intelligence and reasoning capabilities as any other group of people. The English seemed unable or unwilling to recognize this. They began the general treatment of native populations that would continue right to the coast of California and even to the taking of Hawaii.

It was also a strong case of "giving the people what they wanted " along with keeping one's word when those deals had been made. The French were never hesitant about dealing in firearms and powder/shot with Natives. Along with the good will fostered by giving them what they wanted and general good treatment and respect it was also implicit in those deals that " You do understand that those are to be used south & east of the Great Lakes right ? "

Most of the tribes where only too happy to keep making advantageous deals with those who dealt fairly and turn the products of those deals against those who consistently broke every deal they made and treated the natives like simpletons and children. What reasoning and intelligent folk wouldn't feel much the same?
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robin,


You wrote, "I hadn't heard about the Mourning wars before but in a society where war was a way of life you had to replace losses some how. Plus given the hostilitys between tribes they would have served to bring fresh blood into communitys. "

Well, I admit that I haven't learned all that I would like to about this but from what I've been able to find out so far they didn't just do this when they lost someone to warfare. It seems that this was just a way to recruit family/tribe members. Apparently you could be born French or English or Cree and once you were adopted you were one of them. Certainly an enlightened approach when one overlooks the kidnapping element. I can imagine a conversation in a long house, "Hey, lets go steal some new relatives today, what do you say? Nah, I think its going to rain."

The Stebbins must have been a pretty tough bunch, they managed to mortally wound a Huron chief! They must have waited until after the raid and THEN had their nervous breakdowns!

You wrote, " It was a regrettable feature of the wars that both sides used Indians as allies to the detriment of the tribes. From my reading of the events it appears the French made far more use of Indians to do their fighting than the British I may be wrong. Why this is I am not sure it may have been the French had a shortage of troops or simply it was cheaper to expend Indian lives than French."

It was in the Indians' self interest to ally themselves with the French. The French and English had very different concepts about what to do with the New World. The French wanted to extract wealth from it and find the Northwest Passage, the English wanted to colonize it. The problem the Indians had with the English was that the English had this funny idea that they wanted to exterminate the Indians and take their land by comparison the French looked pretty benign. Deerfield is on land that had been the farming land of the Pennacook. It seems that the French by no means looked at the Indians as equals but they certainly dealt with them in a far wiser and more equitable way than did the English.

I had a chance to talk to some of the reenactors on Sunday and it was fun and informative. I was surprised to discover that some of them had come down from Quebec to participate in the ceremonies. Another reenactor had come from New York and he was a Mohawk Indian. The French and Indian reenactors all had muskets and they were saying that some could reliably hit a pumpkin at 100 yds. with their muskets. I didn't see them do it but thats pretty remarkable shooting with a smoothbore in my opinion. Almost all the French & Indian reenactors were carrying tomahawks and two or three knives per man. A lot of them seemed to favor neck knives. One reenactor had a really nicely carved ball club and one had a plug bayonet and a clam shell hunting sword/ hanger.

I learned a lot more about the raid Sunday, I'll write about that later.



Ken Speed
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi J.D,


You really nailed it. The reenactors went to great lengths to explain that the French were careful to trade fairly and to provide quality good to the Indians. The Indians were an armed customer base so it was wiser and safer to trade fairly than try to cheat somebody that might kill you for the insult much less the value of the goods. I think that the Indians were virtually a power vacuum for the Jesuits, I don't think their native religion had the strength to withstand them and I think they did a great deal to keep the Indians sweet to the French.

Ken Speed
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All,


Well the commemoration of the Deerfield raid ended yesterday, I was able to learn more before I left Sunday.


At the time of the raid, Deerfield was surrounded by a palisade but the palisaded area was huge, way more than the settlers and the militiamen could possibly patrol or defend. The French had good intelligence and planning and knew exactly what houses they wanted and where they were. They were able to execute the whole raid in a matter of only a few hours and set an ambush for their pursuers to impede pursuit. The settlers did not pursue the French and Indians for fear that the hostages would be killed if they got too close. Half of the houses were burned by the French before they left. There were several other raids on Deerfield but none were as devastating for the English nor as successful for the French as this one.


Ken Speed
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First off, Michel here and this is my 1st post.
I was scheduled to go to this event, but life interupted. Several of the French reenactors are personal friends and will be in attendance at Ganondagan State Historic site in NY, this May. Several of us have been researching the 1669 encounter between the Senneca and Lasalles party for the last few years. There will be more mid 17th C weapons at this event, then this one. I have been looking long and hard for a mid 17th Century French rapier, to fill the gap. Currently using a Modified saber, as a stop gap. If anyone is close, it is worth the effort to visit. Just ask for Michel Murier from Indiana?






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