Pages

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THE "SYMON INDIAN" LETTER OF LT. PHILIP CHALLIS

In my previous post I mentioned that the Indian Symon had figured in
another bit of family history. The ancestor in question was Philip Challis,
my 8x greatgrandfather, and while he and Symon may or may not have met,
Philip Challis was one of three officers who sent the following letter to the
Royal Governor in Boston to report on an attack Symon made on the town
of Amesbury. Ma. This is from Genealogical History of the Quinby (Quimby)
Family in England and America
by Henry Cole Quinby (Tuttle Company,
Rutland, Vt., 1915) pp 68-69
  

"THE "SYMON INDIAN" LETTER

The following is the letter mentioned a few pages back. The heroine referred
to is Elizabeth (Osgood) Quinby, the daughter of William1 Osgood and wife of
Robert* Quinby of Amesbury. The original letter is preserved in the Massachusetts
Archives, vol. 69, pp. 141-2. The words italicized (in parenthesis) are crossed out
in the original.

Amesbury: 9: 5 mo: 1677

Sr: Be pleased by these to undrstand yt yesterday being ye Sabbath. There was 5
Indians seen by Jno: Hoyt Junr follow one another in a strait file upon Thomas
Haynes's hill & goe into ye bushes & a sixth to follow ye five (sixth): seen by
anothr: & in ye Aftrnoone one Indian was seen by two off Sergt: Belchers men:
& ye last night ye Indians weere about ye garison wher Sergt Belchers men keep:
& Just now there was an Indian seen undr the fence creeping towrd Thomas Hayn's
towrds ye place where ye: men were slain on fryday last: Soe yt wee doe assuredly
conclude yt Symon & his party are nott Drawne off fro ye town but evr & anon
shew yms: by one two or some few of ym to draw out or weake strength into ym &
to cuts us off And ye grounds off this or opinion is further confirmed unto us by ye
relacn off ye wounded woman: wch according to yr desire wee whose names are
undrwritten tooke fro her mouth: viz: That there were about ten yt killed or men,
& about twenty yt shee saw in all & yt she knew ye most off those yt shee saw iff
nott all off them to be Indians yt Dwelt formerly here-abouts & att Newbury ffalls:
although she (m) did nott know all yr names butt some shee knew by name: &
named Symon: & Pooky John formerly soe called now Andrew: & one Jeoffry now
called Samuel & one named Joseph as she thinks.(wee asked her how long it was.)
And yt It was Symon yt knockt her on ye head, whome when he came to her she
desired him nott To kill her: why sd he good wife Quinby:(wch was her name) doe
you think yt I will kill you? Sd shee because you kill all english: sd he I will give Qurtr
to never an english dogg off you all, & gave her a blow on ye head whereupon she
called him Rogue & threw a stone att him, & then he gave her twoe more & settled
her for Dead: Wee Asked whither she was sure yt It was Symon & how long It was
ere yt she saw him before she Answrd yt about 3 years since he was att their house
with an otter: wch time pson & Token Sargt: Samll ffoot being then att ye house doth
very well remember & Affirms ye same This Con sidred in Conjunction with Symon's
being & living an apprentisce servant with Goodwife Quinbies father att (during) ye
same time yt her selfe also lived with her father whose name was Will Osgood 

seems to confirme unto us her perfect knowledg of Simon Which things Considred 
wee Doubt Nott but yt Itt is Symon & his party yt layes siege unto or towne Neither 
Do wee scruple ye womans certaine knowledg off Symon Indian.

further more shee relates yt when Symon was about to kill her, & she called 

to ye garrison: He says why doe you call to ye Garrison. I will have that too 
by and by

This is a faithfull & true relac & acct off or
present Concernmts fro Sr yr humble servts

Philip Challis Leift:
Jeremiah Belcher
Samell foot "

1 comment:

Family Treesures said...

A privelage to read of one's ancestors to show them in context. Thank you for sharing. It will assist a lot of people to look outside the square to find information when they are doing family history and genealogy research.