Thursday, April 16, 2009


I've no way of knowing what the Reading town elders expected to happen when they
sent off their petition to the Massachusetts General Court over the election of Jeremiah
Swain as Captain of the Reading troops. Did they think the Court would be swayed
by their argument and give the captaincy to their candidate, Jonathan Poole? If they did,
the outcome might not have been entirely satisfying. It appears that Swain was confirmed
in his rank and ordered off to Maine while Poole was made Captain of the Reading company.
A posting in a now more active area of conflict such as Maine could make a younger man's
reputation so perhaps Swain sought being posted there.

Ironically enough, Jonathan Poole died the next year in 1678 at age 44. Could he have had
health issues already during the election?

I haven't found much so far on Jeremiah's time in Maine in 1677 except for the following
excerpt from the Massachusetts State Archives (Vol 69, p134) in William Chester Swain's
"Swain and Allied Families":

"Att a Generall Court for Elections, held at Boston, 23d of May 1677.
This Court considering the necesity of a present & vigorous prosecution of the warr agst
insolent eastern Indians, by invading & assaulting them in their quarters especially
near the
sea coast, doe therefore order provisions of all sorts, necessary to — made for
two hundred
men, to be sent to Blackpoint, to furnish a magazine there for the souldiers
to be imployed in
those parts ; and further, that a light vessel and two shallops be provided
to attend the said
souldiers, for their transportation over creeks and rivers, pursuing the Indian canoes ; and one hundred & fivety or two hundred stout, active souldiers be raysed,
& put under active &
prudent leaders, & be, with all convenient speed, dispatched to Blackpoint & those parts, to pursue & destroy the enemy, & endeavour the rescue of the English prisoners ; & that those forces in Yorkshire under Capt. Frost & Capt. Swaine, so
many as shall be judged necessary
for the garrisoning the townes, to be, with their commission officers, dismissed, and such of the souldiers as shall be left in garrison to be
under the comand & order of the committee of
militia of the respective places where they
shall remain. "

"Capt. Frost" is Captain Charles Frost and I believe "Yorkshire" refers to York, Maine.
Blackpoint would be the site of a battle that Jeremiah Swain had no part in but one of my
other ancestors, Benjamin Rockwood(Rockett) did.

But that's for another later post .

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