Puslapio vaizdai

season was over and the Indians had more leisure. For this reason the upper fishing places were held in the highest esteem.

In the early days, before the dams, the salmon and shad came up the lower part of the Merrimac together, but parted company at the forks, the former choosing the colder waters of the Pemanigawassett and the latter going up the Winnipesaukee River to the lake.

Near the outlet of Winnipesaukee, at what is now The Weirs, there was a permanent Indian village, which was located about a quarter of a mile south of the present railroad station on the western hillside.

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They called the place Ahquedaukenash, from Ahque, to stop, and Auke, a place; thus, stopping places or dams; this being the plural form. The white settlers spelled the name in various ways, but perhaps the most common form used was Aquedoctan. The word means exactly the same as the word "Weirs," a dam or stopping place for taking fish. They gave the place this name because these weirs were permanent. Such devices as were built on the seashore or in tide water streams are often made of poles driven into the sand with brush woven into wicker work, but those at Aquedoctan were very skilfully constructed of stone. Large stones were placed in the current a foot or more apart and to them wicker work was fastened. The weirs were built

somewhat in the shape of a letter W. The uprights pointing pointing up stream towards the lake, and the lower points being left open about two feet; the walk on either side running toward the shores with the middle part of the W being so many cages into which the fish crowded and were easily caught with nets, spears, or even by hand. The Indians would paddle about in their canoes and quickly fill their frail crafts, take their catch ashore to the squaws, who split and cleaned the fish and either laid them aside to dry or else hung them up and smoked them for winter use.

When the white settlers came they found the weirs in good condition. They were in use in 1652, and both explorers and natives relied upon them for food. Fish wardens were later appointed, who went two days each week to see that the fish were evenly divided.

In September, when the fish went down stream they were thin and lean, but the eels which migrated with them were fat and in their prime; so the same weirs, with an added contrivance, was used for their capture. From the lower points of the W which were left open, passageways were built about six feet long, and at their lower ends holes were dug about three feet deep and four feet across, in which wicker baskets were sunk. Into these the struggling, slippery would drop, and the Indians could easily catch them.


The Weirs, being a permanent settlement of Indians, many relics. have been found on the site of their village and along the shore nearby.

Beside the Indian Settlement at the Weirs, there was, at a much earlier date, a strong Indian fortification at East Tilton on a point of land formed by the Winnipesaukee River and Little Bay. This was doubtless one of a chain of

forts built by the Penacooks and their eastern allies, the Pequaukets.

In times of war, Winnipesaukee was a great rallying place for various bands of Red Men.

The waters of the lake furnished them with an inexhaustible supply of food and the water ways, or the ice, supplied easy methods of travel in various directions.

Most of the roving Indians which attacked the New Hampshire and eastern and central Massachusetts settlements came from Canada by way of Winnipesaukee.

The old Indian trail stretched from St. Lawrence to the ocean. It ran through through Pieneville, near Montreal, along the St. Francis River, across Lake Memphremagog, then through dense woods to the Connecticut River, down this water way to the region of what is now Haverhill, New Hampshire, across the ridge near Mooselaukee to Warren, down Bakers River, Asquam Lake, by Winnipesaukee and the Pemmigawasset, along to Alton Bay, and from there across the country to the coast.

Cotton Mather in 1702 thus describes the carrying away of one woman captive after an expedition against Dover.

"It was a terrible march, through the thick woods and a thousand other miseries, till they came to the Norway Plains (Rochester.) From thence they made her go to the end of Winnopisseog Lake, and from thence eastward, through horrid swamps, where sometimes they must scramble over huge trees fallen by storm or age, for a vast way together, and sometimes they must climb up long, steep, tiresome, and almost inaccessible mountains-a long and sad journey she had of it-in the midst of a dreadful winter-at last they arrived in Canada."

Probably the first white people to pass over this trail, were the

captives thus carried by the Indians, and the discomforts and fear which they endured doubtlessly drove all thought for, or appreciation of, the wonderful beauty of the country from their minds.

The name "Winnipesaukee" is taken from the Algonquin language and has been variously translated as meaning "The Smile of the Great Spirit," "Good Water with Large Pour out Place," and "Beautiful Water in a High Place."

J. Hammond Trumbull, who has made an extensive study of Indian Geographical names, tells us that the real meaning of the word is simply "Good Water Discharge," the name evidently applying formerly to the outlet, rather than to the lake itself.

Judge Chandler E. Potter in his excellent book on "The History of Manchester" is responsible for the translation reading "Beautiful Water in a High Place," regarding which J. Hammond Trumbull says, in part, "Judge Potter is demonstrably wrong, inasmuch as he assumes that IS or ES represents KEES, meaning high, to which assumption there are two objections; the first being that there is no evidence that any such word as KEES, meaning high, is to be found in any Algonquin language, and secondly, that KEES could not possibly drop its initial K and still preserve its raeaning."

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By Elwin L. Page.


Both Bradford and Winthrop have preserved the story of the poacher from Piscataqua who invaded the Plymouth trading patent on the Kennebec. How he there met a tragic end, and the consequences which followed, including the detention. John Alden, the intervention of Miles Standish, and indirectly the imprisonment of Edward Winslow in the Fleet, make an interesting narrative collateral to early New Hampshire history. Strangely enough this story, which involves so many resting personalities, has been overlooked by our general historians.


The Plymouth Colony struggled out of debt by means of Indian trade. Beaver was her economic salvation. But furs were scarce in the vicinity of Plymouth, and after the harvest of 1625 Winslow and other "oldstanders" took a boat-load of corn to the Kennebec and returned with seven hundred pounds of beaver, besides other furs. The next year, or perhaps the next but one, the troublesome Thomas Morton beat them in the race to Maine and hindered the Plymouth folk of a season's furs.

Allerton, in England in 1627, sought a patent on the Kennebec for the Plymouth Colony. This he brought over the following year, but "so straite & ill bounded, as they were faine to renew & inlarge it the next year." As thus corrected, the patent included several hundred square miles. Upon it, in 1628, Plymouth set up a permanent trading house at Cushnoc, now Augusta. At the same time the Plymouth traders found a better medium of exchange in "wampampeake," which they first in troduced in the buying of furs in those parts. The value of wampum was taught them by their Dutch neighbors not the only instance of friendly aid from that direction. Thus the colony on Cape Cod Bay

found itself doubly intrenched against "those of Piscataqua," who had already, as Bradford notes, shown some disposition to invade the territory which Plymouth had opened up to the fur trade.

This was the situation when, in the spring of 1634, the poacher sailed his bark up the Kennebec. His name was John Hockin, or Hocking. From which of the Piscataqua settlements he came can be inferred only from the statement of Winthrop that he employed a pinnace belonging to Lord Say and Lord Brook. He must, therefore, have come from Dover, for a year or two earlier Lords Say and Brook, Sir Richard Saltonstall and others had purchased the former Hilton interests upon the recommendation of their Massachusetts friends. Probably Hocking was one of the new emigrants sent from England in 1633, producing what Mr. James Truslow Adams has termed "a series of explosions, which subsequently prepared the way for annexation by Massachusetts."

So Hocking came to Cushnoc. It immediately became evident that fair competition was no part of his plan; that he intended to go up river beyond the Plymouth house, and thus cut off the trade with the Indians bearing furs from the north. He was forbidden to do so; he was urged not to do the patentees "that injurie, nor goe aboute to infring their liberties, which had cost them So dear. But he answered he would goe up and trade ther in dispite of them, and lye ther as longe as he pleased."

There was but one retort left to the troubled traders of Plymouth: their patent authorized them to make prize of "all such persons, their ships and goods, as shall attempte to inhabite or trade with ye savage people of that countrie." And so, as Bradford tells the story: "The other tould

him he must then be forced to remove him from thence, or make seasure of him if he could. He bid him doe his worste, and so went up, and anchored ther."

Bradford proceeds:

"The other tooke a boat & some men & went up to him, when he saw his time, and againe entreated him to departe by what perswasion he could. But all in vaine: he could gett nothing of him but ill words. So he considred that now was ye season for trade to come downe, and if he should suffer him to lye, & take it from them, all ther former charge would be lost, and they had better throw up all. So, consulting with his men, (who were willing thertoe,) he resolved to put him from his anchores, and let him drive downe ye river with ye streame; but comanded ye men yt none should shoote a shote upon any occasion, except he comanded them."

But this peaceful procedure, so far less drastic than the seizure authorized by the patent, resulted tragically.

"He [the nameless Plymouth leader] spoake to him againe, but all in vaine; then he sente a cuple in a canow to cutt his cable, the which one of them performes; but Hocking taks up a pece which he had layed ready, and as ye barke shered by ye canow, he shote him close under ye side, in ye head, (as I take it,) so he fell downe dead instantly. One of his fellows (that loved him well) could not hold, but with a muskett shot Hocking, who fell downe dead and never speake word. This was ye truth of ye thing."

Hocking's men returned to Dover, whence there soon went to Lord Say and Lord Brook a letter leaving out every circumstance except that the inoffensive Hocking had been killed in cold blood by men from Plymouth. Their Lordships in England much offended until, as will later appear, they learned the whole story.


Meanwhile the news spread quickly and came to the Bay in a much distorted form. The Bay people, as always, were gloriously shocked with the misdeeds of others. The colonists at Plymouth, having all the facts, were "sadly affected with ye thing.' The conscience of the Bay

took upon that colony the customary duty of dealing with an affair which was none of their business—unless, indeed, England's reaction to the homicides might affect the homeland's attitude towards the colonial question in general.

So when, shortly afterwards, the Plymouth vessel had business at Boston and John Alden went thither, he was clapped into prison upon comof Hocking. plaint of a kinsman of Alden had been on the Kennebec, though not party to the trouble. This, to use Bradford's mild language, "was thought strang" at Plymouth.

Forthwith Captain Standish was sent to the Bay to give true information and procure Alden's release. His mission was partly successful. As appears from Governor Dudley's letter to Bradford, the Bay magistrathe tes, conceiving that Plymouth men had possibly acted within their rights, set Alden at liberty, but bound Standish to appear twelve days later with sworn copies of the patent and proofs of the provocation given by Hocking. Having thus maintained. the jurisdiction of of Massachusetts Bay to try men of another colony for acts committed far from the bounds of Massachusetts, Dudley absolved himself from all unkindness, wished recovery of health to Bradford, sent loving remembrances to Governor Prince, Winslow and Brewster, and added, "The Lorde keepe you all. Amen. Your very loving friend is our Lord Jesus, THO: DUDLEY."

Standish seems to have appeared in the Massachusetts Court in accordance with his bond and to have borne a letter from Governor Prince demanding the rights of his colony. Dudley was probably inclined to the Plymouth view, but the Court seriously divided, and and instead of pressing for a decision, he advised Bradford to wait, as "time cooleth distempers."


Perhaps not a little of the strained

relations between the two colonies grew from the incident of 1631, when a boat from the Bay traded for corn with the Indians on Cape Cod, which Plymouth viewed as her preserve. A Salem pinnace, going for the same purpose, was driven by storm into Plymouth, where the Governor forbade such trading, and said it would be opposed by force, "even to spending of their lives."

In Plymouth there was every disposition to view the Massachusetts attitude as "more then was mete," but "perswaded what was done was out of godly zeale, that religion might not suffer, nor sinne any way covered or borne with, espectially ye guilte of blood," they determined to meet their intrusive neighbors in a Christian spirit. So, in order to mollify them, they sought advice and direction from Winthrop and other reverend magistrates at Boston. Probably, also, they thought, as Dudley did, that troubles might come over in the next ship from England, and that a united front was desirable.

Winthrop suggested a sort of intercolonial court to include representatives from neighboring plantations, especially from Piscataqua and Massachusetts, with "full power to order & bind, &c," providing that the liberties of no place be prejudiced; and, as "ye preist lips must be consulted with," the ministers of every plantation should be present to give advice, in point of conscience. This seemed dangerous, but Plymouth, having the courage of a good conscience, invited Massachusetts, Salem and Piscataqua to attend at Boston, with any others they desired to bring.

As an intercolonial court, the meeting at Boston was a failure; only Plymouth and Boston answered the call. Nevertheless it was a satisfactory lovefeast for both parties. The Bay people were satisfied because they had an opportunity to assume a quasijurisdiction over the killings on the Kennebec; it gave their magistrates

and divines occasion to exercise their casuistical arts in a moot-court. Plymouth was satisfied because the conclusion reached was favorable to them. Both were satisfied with the complete agreement reached as to means for avoiding trouble with their common enemies in England.

From Plymouth came Bradford, Winslow and the Reverend Ralph Smith. They were met by Winthrop, the Reverend John Cotton and the Reverend John Wilson. First they sought the Lord. Then they discussed "some passages at which they had taken offence," but these were "soon cleared." Probably there was early agreement in the statement of Winthrop that the the incident "had brought us all and the gospel under a common reproach of cutting one another's throats for beaver." In this Christian spirit they discussed the issues.

The first question was the right of the Pilgrims to hinder others from trading at the Kennebec. The patent clearly answered in the affirmative. But the joint-council did not stop at this point. Winthrop had some legal learning, and he now declared for the first time his theory of vacuum domicilium; the place had been found untenanted by Indians and held in possession divers years without interruption or claim of any of the natives; adverse claims of Englishmen like Morton could impeach the rights of the first white occupants. A few years later Winthrop availed himself of the



principle in support of the claim of Massachusetts to the Hampton lands granted by the Indians (but not occupied by them) to Wheelwright. In course of time the maxim of vacuum domicilium became New England law.

But, granted the right, in point of conscience could Plymouth stand on it so far as to hazard any man's life in defence of it? This was the field of the ministers. Plymouth alleged

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