My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

John Graves

My mom is 
Norma Ray Pennington. Her mother was 
Virginia Jackson, 1910-1998. Her mother was 
Mary Alice Ray, 1884-1970. Her mother was 
Mary Jane Alderman, 1845-1917. Her father was 
Daniel Alderman, 1814-1893. His mother was 
Nancy Ann Newton, 1782-1857. Her father was
Isaac Newton, 1737-1792. His mother was 
Sarah Graves, 1709-1773. Her father was
Thomas Graves, 1686-1756. His father was
Samuel Graves, 1655-1731. His father was 
John Graves, born 1622 in England, tragically killed in Hatfield, Massachusetts. 
This is the story of my 9x great-grandfather.
From Guardians of the New World, by Doris Wackerbarth
Chapter XXXV
As the Valley  began to feel assured that King Philip's War had come to an end, Indians attacked once more.  September [19th, 1677], a rampaging company set fire to the mill at Hadley, no longer defended, then coursed across the river to Hatfield.  About an hour before noon, when many men were from home, some inning corn, the raiders attacked the dwellings north of the stockade.  At John Allis', within sight of the stockade gate, one party torched his barn and scooped up his six-year-old daughter and visiting Gail Barthalomew, [who were] at play in the yard.  At Obediah Dickinson's they left his cottage in flames and his wife wounded; they carried away his three-year-old son, and captured Obediah running in from the field.  Next door at Samuel Kellogg's , they slew his wife and infant son and took off with his eight-year-old son who had witnessed his mother's murder; they left all the Kellogg buildings burning.  They attacked Isaac and John Graves and two Springfield youths helping them fashion a cottage wall; they left all four dead amid flaming lumber.  At Samuel Foote's, who had recently moved from within the stockade, they carried off his wife and a two-year-old son and three- year-old daughter.  Across the common, other warriors slew Mary Belden, mother of seven, and set fire to John Coleman's dwelling; they slew his wife and baby son, left an eight-year-old boy wounded, and carried away a boy, six, and a lass, four.  At John Welles', they killed his wife, battered two-year-old Elizabeth to death, and left an older child wounded.  They took captive pregnant Hannah Jennings and her two youngest Gillette children whose father had fallen at the Falls Fight.  At Philip Russell's they slew Betsey and two-year-old Stephen.  At Ben Wait's they left everything in flames and carried away Martha and her three little girls, two, four, and six.  Martha, too, was pregnant.  In all, at Hatfirld, the raiders left twelve dead and took seventeen captives, five being young ones without either parent.
At Deerfield, they picked up three young men:  Benomi Stebbins, John Root, and Quentin Stockwell, and Betsey and Philip Russell's eight-year-old Sam, and Old Sarge.
Benomi Stebbins escaped his captors the next day.  He brought back word that the murdering horde comprised twenty-three Bay colony sannups and four squaws decamping to Canada.  They had with them scores of women and children they had captured in the East; they had left them in Northfield while they assaulted the lower villages.
When the war party missed Benomi, a committee of warriors boldly presented themselves at Hatfield to parley for ransom for the return of their local captives.  The braves demanded two hundred pounds and agreed to powwow a fortnight hence.
The Hadley Council immediately posted a request to Hartford for assistance.  Major Treat started up the Valley posthaste with forty men, but by the time he arrived the renegades had fled northward.
Distracted with rage and grief, but heartened by generous donations toward the ransom that poured in from congregations in all Bay towns and the Connecticut Colony, Ben Wait and Stephen Jennings set off to try to intercept the sad brigade and meet the ransom demands.
With no confidence in their safety along the Mohawks' Trail, they went to Westfield and headed westward for the Housatonnock River; they reached Albany by way of Kinderhook, on the Hudson.  Authorities at Albany gave the distraught men no satisfaction.  They treated them ill and hindered their progress. Resentful and more determined, Ben and Stephen pressed northward on their own.  In small villages beyond Albany, they learned the captives had been marched along that way.  A day's journey above Albany, the New York constabulary overtook the Hatfield men.  They dragged them back to Albany for questioning.  They were ordered to seek permission for their mission from the Governor, Sir Edmund Andros, at Manhattan.
November was half spent before the men returned to Albany on their way northward; two months had passed since the carnage at Hatfield and Deerfield.  Again, they received no civility from authorities at Albany, but a Mohawk with whom Ben had dealt during his early troubled years in Hadley befriended him.  But for the Mohawk, the distressed Hatfield men could not have found their way through the barely-blazed wilderness.
The Mohawk conducted Ben and Stephen to Lac du Saint Sacrement which the British would later rename for King George.  There he provided them with a canoe and a rough map of his own drafting.  For days at a time, snow and ice and headwinds impeded their portage between Lac du Saint Sacrement and Lake Champlain; realization of the torment the expedition must have been for their wives and children spurred the men on.  In December, they passed down the lakes to Canada, the first New England freemen to complete the journey.  They arrived in Canada in January, in the dead of winter.
The French government put no obstacles in the way of the grateful men.  Hampered by language barriers, lthey mnoved from village to village and found and ransomed those they sought who had survived.
They found Hannah Jennings first, in a wilderness settlement of ten shanties in the Richelieu River Valley, pawned for liquor to a French family.  To their dismay they learned that little Sam Russell and Mary Foote, who had fallen ill, had been killed along the way, and defiant Old Sarge barbarously burned at the stake.  Obediah Dickinson had been compelled to build Old Sarge's bier.
Within a week, Ben found Martha and their three small daughters; a few days later, their fourth daughter was born.  They named her Canada.
As soon as Martha could travel, the party proceeded painstakingly to civilization in Quebec.  There Hannah Jennings gave birth to a daughter, Captivity.  Accompanied by a guard of eleven soldiers provided by the French governor, early in May the Hatfield company turned homeward.
Three weeks later, Ben wrote from Albany:
To my loving friends and kindred at Hatfield.  These few lines are to let you understand that we are arrived at Albany now with the captives and we now stand in need of assistance, for my charges is very great and heavy; and therefore any that have any love to our condition let it move them to come and help us in this strait.  Three of the captives were murdered --- Old Goodman Plympton, Samuel Foote's daughter Mary, and Samuel Russell.  All the rest are alive and well and now in Albany, namely, Obediah Dickinson and his child, Samuel Kellogg, my wife and four children, and Quentin Stockwell.  I pray you hasten the matter for it requireth great haste.  Stay not for the Sabbath nor the shoeing of horses.  We shall endeavor to meet you at Kinderhook; it may be Housatonock.  We must come very softly because of our wives and children.  I pray you, hasten, stay not night nor day, for the matter requireth haste.  Bring provisions with you for us.  Your loving kinsman, Benjamin Wait
At Albany, written from mine own hand.  As I have been affected to your all that were fatherless, be affected to me now, and hasten the matter and stay not, and ease me of my charges.  You shall not need to be afraid of any enemies.
Five days later, Ben's company left Albany; men and horses from Hatfield met their resolute neighbors at Kinderhook.  The captives had been gone eight months.
Benjamin Waite, called "The Hero of the Connecticut Valley" served in the Great Falls fight, and in the Meadows fight, where he was killed by Indians in1704.

Additional information about this storyDescriptionThe Genealogy of the Russell Family states that two sons of Elizabeth (Betsey) Terry and Philip Russell were killed by Indians: Stephen, born October 12, 1674, and Samuel, who died while being taken to Canada by the Indians.