GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2000-02 > 0950301473
Subject: [GM-L] Groton Newletters by Elinor Skeate SHATTUCK
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 15:37:53 EST
Source: Elinor Skeate Newsletter Online
(other newsletters beginning: http://www.ctserve.com/groton/news.htm
John SHATTUCK (41) was born on 4 Jun 1666 in Watertown, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. He died on 8 May 1709 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. John Shattuck, son of John, was b. in Watertown, June 4,
1666, and was killed by the Indians, in Groton, . May 8, 1709, ae. 42 y.
11 m. 4 d. He was a farmer, and occupied the homestead, which had before
belonged to his father-in-law, James Blood, and which, after his death,
was set off to the widow, as her portion of the real estate, and by her
sold to Mr. Shattuck.
It was situated on the "Nod Road," so called, which runs north- easterly
from the Stony-Ford-Way at Hollingsworths paper-mills. The Shattucks
and Bloods owned large tracts of land on both sides of Nashua River, in
the vicinity of these mills. At the time of Mr. Shattuck's death he was
one of the selectmen of Groton--an evidence of the respectability of his
social standing. Few persons, now-a-days, can have an accurate
conception of the toil, suffering, and danger endured by the early
settlers of our frontier New England towns. The workmen as they went
forth to their labors were not sure of returning again in safety to
their homes, or, if they did, that they should find the loved ones they
left there alive. The tomahawk, scalping-knife, and other deadly
weapons, were in the hands of foes whose approach was often invisible,
and when they were least expected. Groton, a town in Middlesex County,
aboutforty miles northwesterly from Boston--which has ever been the
residence of some of our family or their connections--was particularly
unfortunate in this respect. It was first settled in 1660, but on the
13th March, 1676, was burnt by the Indians; and such of its inhabitants
as escaped death or captivity were compelled to abandon their estates,
and seek protection in Concord, Watertown, and other older and more
secure towns nearer Boston. In 1678, after the cessation of hostilities,
Groton was resettled, and the Indian neighbors remained peaceable for
several years. But about 1690 they again began to be troublesome, and
for the subsequent fifteen or twenty years continued their depredations,
by occasionally murdering the inhabitants, burning their houses,
destroying their crops, or killing their cattle.
In 1691, as a means of protection and safety, eight houses, in different
parts of the town, were fortified and established as garrisons [see
Butler: History of Groton]. Into these houses the neighboring
inhabitants gathered at night; and they were guarded by armed men as
soldiers, ever wakeful as sentinels to warn the inmates of any approach
of danger. One of these houses, situated in what is now the fifth School
District, (the precise locality is not known) was occupied by Mr.
Shattuck and his relatives and neighbors; and they seem to have
experienced with most crushing force the calamities of the times. Oct.
[Sep] 13, 1692, James Blood, father-in-law of Mr. Shattuck, was the
first victim. "He was killed," says the record, "by the French and
Indian enemy." July 27, 1694, William LongIey, an uncle of Mrs.
Shattuck, his wife and several of his children, were killed, and three
others of the family were carried into captivity. At the same time James
Parker, Jr., a distant relative, and his wife and children, were killed
or captured. Enoch Lawrence, the step-father of Mr. Shattuck, in an
engagement with the Indians, was wounded in the hand, and disabled for
life. In consequence of which, in 1702, a pension of ? per annum was
granted him by the Province. About 1706, three of the children of Thomas
Tarbell--John, Zacheriah, and Sarah, cousins of Mrs. Shattnck,--were
stolen and carried to Canada, where they lived, it is said, the
remainder of their lives. Their father, in his will, executed in 1715,
makes them the residuary legatees of his estate, "upon their return from
captivity." The period of 1690 to 1710, might well be called the Reign
of error, and the Dark Age of New England.
The inhabitants of Groton became so much wearied out and impoverished,
that they petitioned the government several times for relief. In one of
these petitions, dated in 1703, the people say: "we spend so much time
in watching and warding that we can do little else; and truly we have
lived almost two years mere like soldiers than otherwise." In another,
dated July 9, 1707, the selectmen name several families that had been
obliged to leave the town, and others "that are considering of going,"
being "unable to subsist any longer," on account of the Indian troubles.
Among the latter were the three brothers,--John, William, and Samuel
Shattuck,--and twenty others of their connections and neighbors, one of
whom did actually remove, either for a temporary period or permanently.
John Shattuck, however, remained. But on he 8th of May, 1709, two years
afterwards, he and his eldest on, then in his 19th year, were both
murdered by the Indians. Tradition says that this massacre occurred
while they were crossing the Nashua River, in the vicinity of the
Stony-Ford-Way, near Hollingsworth's Mills, on the return of Mr.
Shattuck from his lands on the west side of the river. The deaths by
accident and violence in two successive generations in this branch of
the family, prematurely removing two worthy and respectable men, fathers
and protecting guardians of their children, were great calamities, and
materially affected their condition, their fortunes, and their history.
And these calamities were magnified by the times, and under the
circumstances existing when they occurred. If these fathers had lived to
the ordinary age of their kindred, how much could they have done for
their families! He was married to Mary BLOOD about 1690.(42)
Mary BLOOD (43) was born on 1 Sep 1672 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. She died on 4 Mar 1756 in Pepperell, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. Mr. Shattuck m. MARY BLOOD, b. Sept. 1, 1672, dau. of
James Blood and Elizabeth Longley, and granddau. of Richard Blood and
Wm. Longley, married John Shattuck, about 1690. She remained a widow 47
years, and d. March 4, 1756, ae. 83y. 6m. 3d. Her husband joined the
church in 1707, and she in 1721. He died leaving her, as his own father
had left his own mother, at a dark and perilous period, to rear and
provide for a large family of young children: the youngest not then
three months old. To her heroic virtues, and to her excellence as a
woman and a mother, her posterity owe a large debt of gratitude.
Children were: i. John SHATTUCK was born on 6 Jan 1691 in Groton,
Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died on 8 May 1709 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. ii. Jonathan SHATTUCK was born on 29 Jun 1693 in Groton,
Middlesex, Massachusetts. iii. David SHATTUCK was born on 28 Apr 1696 in
Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died in 1709 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. 449 iv. Mary SHATTUCK. v. Sarah SHATTUCK was born on 5
Oct 1701 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. vi. Lydia SHATTUCK was
born on 1 Mar 1701 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. vii. Elizabeth
SHATTUCK was born in 1706 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. viii.
Hannah SHATTUCK was born on 2 May 1707 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. She died in 1709 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. ix.
Patience SHATTUCK was born on 18 Feb 1709 in Groton, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. She died in 1710.
John SHATTUCK was born on 11 Feb 1647 in Watertown, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. He died on 14 Sep 1675 in Charlestown, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. JOHN SHATTUCK, Son of William, was b. in Watertown, Feb.
11,1647; and, according to the records of that town, "was drowned as he
was passing over Charlestown Ferry, the 14th Sept. 1675," ae. 28 y. 7 m.
3 d. He had lands granted to him in Groton in 1664; but it does not
appear that he was an inhabitant of that town for any great length of
time, if at all. He was a carpenter, and resided principally in the
Middle District--the present village of Watertown; where he was employed
by the town, in 1669 and subsequently to keep the town mill, then
situated near the present bridge leading to Newton Corner.
The year 1675 is well known in history as the commencement of the most
disastrous war with the Indians that ever occurred in New England. It
has been entitled "Philip's" war, from the ' name given to the notorious
Metacom, the principal leader of the different tribes. It was
undoubtedly the intention of King Philip to destroy all the white
inhabitants; and at one time fears were entertained that he would carry
his designs into execution. Many of the frontier towns were burned and
deserted by the new settlers. Among other places early attacked were the
remote settlements on Connecticut River. As a means of protection a
military company was organized under Capt. Richard Beers, a
distinguished citizen of Watertown, of which young John Shattuck was
appointed sergeant, and proceeded to Hadley. Hearing that Squawkeague,
now Northfield, had been attacked, they marched, on the 4th of
September, 1675, to its relief; and while on their route a large force
of Indians who lay concealed, suddenly rose and fell them upon with
overpowering fury. Of thirty-six men of whom the company was composed,
sixteen only escaped death. Capt. Beers was killed. Sergeant Shattuck,
one of the sixteen whose lives were preserved, was immediately
dispatched as a messenger to the Governor of the Colony to announce the
result of the expedition. On the 14th of September, ten days after the
battle, as he was crossing the ferry between Charlestown and Boston, he
was drowned. Gookin, (Trans. Am. Antiquarian Society, Vol. 11., p.466,)
describes this event as follows :--
"About this time a person named Shattuck, of Watertown, that was a
sergeant under Capt. Beers, when the said Beers was slain near
Squakeage, had escaped very narrowly but a few days before; and being
newly returned home this man being at Charlestown, in Mr. Long's porch,
at the sign of the Three Cranes, divers persons of quality being
present, particularly Capt. Lawrence Hammond, the Captain of the town,
and others, this Shattuck was heard to say to this effect: 'I hear the
Marlborough Indians, in Boston in prison, and upon trial for their
lives, are likely to be cleared by the court; For my part, said he, 'I
have been lately abroad in the country's service, and have ventured my
life for them, and escaped very narrowly; but if they clear these
Indians, they shall hang me up by the neck before I ever serve them
again.' Within a quarter of an hour after these words were spoken, this
man was passing the ferry between Charlestown and Boston; the ferry boat
being loaded with horses and the wind high, the boat sunk; and though
there were several other men in the boat and several horses, yet all
escaped with life, but this man only. I might mention several other
things of remark here that happened to other persons, that were filled
with displeasure any be offended, and animosity against the poor
Christian Indians, but shall forbear, lest any be offended."
It is proper to remark, in explanation of this narrative, that a painful
suspicion was entertained at the time that some of the half
christianized Indians in the settlements were privy to and partners in
the conspiracy of Philip. Gookin did not share this suspicion, and he
therefore opposed the war and those engaged in it. He had acted as
counsel for the Indians then on trial; and he considered it criminal in
any one to speak against them, notwithstanding some of them were
convicted and were afterwards executed for murder. Whether Mr. Shattuck
made the remarks, in "effect," as here given, or whether they were a
mere hearsay report, is uncertain; but Gookin seems to have considered
his accidental drowning a special Providence, executed upon him as a
punishment for his honest but fearless expression of opinions on
subjects which he had just discussed with "divers persons of quality!
This judgment, however, if indeed it was one, did not occur alone;
others happened to other persons for similar acts. Mr. Shattuck, as an
honest, independent young man, having opinions of his own, and not
afraid to express them on a proper occasion, would not be very likely to
speak in the most mild and friendly terms of an enemy that had, only ten
days before, betrayed and killed twenty out of thirty-six of his
companions in arms; and he is to be commended for his conduct, and for
this exhibition of a characteristic trait of the family. He was married
to Ruth WHITNEY on 20 Jun 1664 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
1797. Ruth WHITNEY was born on 15 Apr 1645 in Watertown, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. She died in Sep 1718. John Shattuck m. June 20, 1664, in
his eighteenth year, Ruth Whitney, b. in Watertown, April 15, 1645, dau.
of John Whitney.* On the 6th March, 1677, eighteen months after the
death of Mr. Shattuck, she m. 2, Enock (or Enosh as often written)
Lawrence, b. March 5, 1649, s. of John Lawrence; and, in 1678, they
removed to Groton, with several of his relatives, at the resettlement of
that town, taking with him the four young children by her first husband;
and they probably occupied the land granted to Mr. Shattuck, in 1664.
>From this family the Shattucks in Groton and Pepperell originated. Mr.
Lawrence d. in Groton, Sept. 28, 1744, ae. 95 y. 6 m. 23 d. The date of
her death has not been ascertained. Children were: 898 i. John SHATTUCK.
ii. Ruth SHATTUCK was born on 24 Jun 1668 in Watertown, Middlesex,
Massachusetts. iii. William SHATTUCK was born on 11 Sep 1670 in
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. iv. Samuel SHATTUCK was born about
1673 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
There are many other Groton families in this book. This is one worth
saving your pennies for! http://www.ctserve.com/groton/sales.ht