Friday, December 09, 2016


I found details of my ancestor Nathaniel Wilder's murder trial in  Henry Stedman Nourse's book The Early Records of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1643-1725:

Daniel Goble, thus executed with the murderers of the women and children of Lancaster, was a soldier, the ringleader in an atrocious murder of Indian women and children, during the popular excitement succeeding the Indian massacres. The sad story touched Lancaster, in the person of one of its most promising young men, and must not be passed over here.

" Wee the Grand Jury for our Soueraigne Lord the King doe Present & lndict Nathaniell Wilder of Concord [Lancaster] in the County of Midlesex in New England for that he not hauing the feare of God before his eyes & being Instigated by the Divil wth other his Accomplises at or on the 7th of August last, at or neere to Hurtlebury hill, in the woods in the precincts of Concord or neere therevnto did murder & kill three lndian weomen & three Indian Children contrary to the peace of our Soueraigne Lord the King his Crowne & dignitye the law of God & of this Jurisdiction. ‘ The Jurors fiinds this beill and leue hime to fl'urther triall.

RICHARD CALICOTT fi'oreman in the name off the rest off the Jurey.

[Endorsed] They finde a speciall vierdict. lf being present & seing the fact done & concenting, it be murder then we find him gilty according to lnditement, if not not gilty.

To the keeper of the prison in Boston.
You are hereby in his majtyc name, required to take into yo'safe custody the persons of Daniel Goble, Stephen Goble, Nathaniel Wilder & Daniel Hoare & them safely keepe, in order to their tryall for killing of seuerall Indians weomen & children wch they owned, and see that they be forth coming at the next court of Assistants, or whenever the authoritys shall giue further order, dated in Boston the 11‘h day of August 1676. By order of the Councill EDw" RAWSON Szcrery [Massachusetts Archives, XXX, 209, an, 221.]

The four soldiers were convicted and sentenced to death.

pp 117-118
The Early Records of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1643-1725  W. J. Coulter,Pub.Lancaster,Ma. 1884

Now since I'm writing about the incident, Nathaniel Wilder wasn't executed.  His daughter Eunice,my 7x great grandmother was born after all this. I won't lie and say I wish Nathaniel had hung. But I am disappointed in Nathaniel, and I am pretty sure I know why he was spared.

I'll discuss that next.

To be continued,

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