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Monday, July 09, 2012

"THE MURDEROUS TOMAHAWK": THE PETITION OF MARY KIMBALL 1676

In my previous post about the death of John Ames, I mentioned that his wife
Priscilla Kimball's father, Thomas Kimball, had been killed by Indians and that
she, her mother, and four sibings had been taken captive. The incident had
occurred during King Philip's War on 3May 1676 and is recounted in George
Wingate Chase's History of Haverhill Massachusetts:

"Haverhill was not long permitted to escape the murderous tomahawk. On the
2d of May , one of its own people, Ephraim Kingsbury, was killed by the Indians.
He is believed to have been the first person slain in this town by the savages,
but the incidents connected with his death have been lost . The next day,
(May 3d,) the house of Thomas Kimball, of Bradford, was attacked, and he was
killed ; and his wife and five children,— Joanna, Thomas, Joseph, Priscilla, and
John,—taken captive. Phillip Eastman. of Haverhill, was captured at the
same time

This outrage was committed by three well known "converted Indians," named
Symon, Andrew, and Peter. There is a tradition, that they set out with the intention
of killing some one in Rowley, whom they supposed had injured them, but finding
the night too far spent, they did not dare proceed further, and so avenged
themeelves on Mr. Kimball. It is quite probable that Symon intended to wreak his
vengeance on some one who was concerned in securing his punishment for the
theft before mentioned. He was a cruel and blood-thirsty villain, as the following
facts will abundantly show.

Soon after her return from captivity, Mrs. Kimball addressed the following
petition to the Governor and Council:

"To the Hon. Governor and Councell.
The humble petition of Mary Kimball sheweth that Simon, the Indian who
killed my husband, Thomas Kimball, hath threatened to kill me and my children
if ever I goe to my own house, so that I dare not goe to looke after what little I
have there left, for fear of my life being taken away by him; and therefore, doe
humbly entreate the Hon. Governor and Councell that some course may be taken,
as God shall direct, and your wisdom, shall think best, to secure him; for I am in
continual fear of my life by him; and if any course may be taken for the recovery
of what is yet left in their hands of my goods that they have not destroyed, (as
there was two kittens and two or three bags of linnen when I came from them)
that I might have it restored, leaving myself and my concernes under God, to
your wisdoms. Remaine your humble suppliant. 'Mary Kimball." (pp124-125)"

Mary Kimball was born Mary Smith in 1637 9n Ipswich, Ma, the daughter of
John Smith and Isabella Drake. She was my 9x great grandmother.

Symon the Indian was involved in an attack on another town where one of
my ancestors lived, and I'll tell that story next.

6 comments:

plc718 said...

Bill, have you seen reference to John Smith, being John Bland? I have information to that effect but it isn't verified yet. If this is true, then I am related to Mary Kimball. She would be a great-aunt many times removed on my mother's side.

Bill West said...

Pam.yes I've seen that Bland surname but I've left it at Smith in my tree

Michael Davies said...

I love how many sources you use for your blogs! Out of interest, how did you find them?

Bill West said...

Believe it or not, Mike, most of them I Google! Google Books has a lot of old free books available to read online, or download to a computer or ereader. The trick is using the right search terms.

Michael Davies said...

Thanks Bill. I am going to try doing this. Can you give an example of a search term you have used that worked well?

Bill West said...

For this one I used a fairly basic one:
"John Ames" Groton Indians