Thursday, June 04, 2009


I mentioned my ancestor Benjamin Rockwood (also known as Rocket or
Rockett)in passing in one of my earlier posts about Jeremiah Swain. Now
that I finished the Swain series, I began searching for information on
Rockwood, and discovered this passage discussing his role in an incident
during King Philip's War. It illustrates how intense a struggle it was:

"In that part of ancient and original Wrentham now called Franklin, a man named
Rocket, in the spring or summer of 1676, was searching for a stray horse, and at about
sunset he discovered a train of forty-two Indians that he suspected were preparing
to attack the English settlement at Wrentham. He therefore secretly followed them till

they halted for the night, when he hastily repaired to that settlement and gave notice
to the inhabitants, among whom a consultation was held and it was determined to
attack the Indians early the next morning. A company of thirteen men from
Wrentham and vicinity were collected, who, having secured the women and children
in the garrison house, these men, under the lead of a Mr. Ware, set out for the Indian encampment that they reached just before daylight the next morning. The party were
divided at a short distance from the Indian camp, with orders to reserve their fire till

the Indians began to decamp. Between daylight and sunrise the Indians suddenly arose,
when at a given signal a general discharge of the English musketry threw them into consternation, and in attempting to escape, the Indians leaped down a rocky precipice

of ten or twenty feet, but were pursued by the English, who slew some twenty of them
with no loss of life on their part. The spot where the Indians that night encamped is
still known as " Indian Rock." "

(Ebenezer Weaver Pierce & Zerviah Gould Mitchell, Indian History, Biography, and Genealogy
Boston, Ma. 1878)

I found the book on Google Books here.

Another source claims that only 2 Indians escaped.

Reading this, I couldn't help but wonder: what if the Indians weren't planning an attack but
were "just passing through"?

1 comment:

Apple said...

I had the same thought as I was reading this. I wonder how the histories would read if the Indians had written them?