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John Hanson
Posted by: Susan Fischer (ID *****8055) Date: February 28, 2012 at 17:06:04
  of 2515

The following narrative was written by Mr. Belknap, who,
while living in Dover, had every opportunity to learn the exact
facts :

Within the town of Dover were many families of Quakers; who scrupling
the lawlessness of war, could not be persuaded to use any means for their
defense ; though equally exposed with their neighbors to an enemy who
made no distinctions between them. One of these people, Ebenezer Downs,
was taken by the Indians and was grossly insulted and abused by them,
because he refused to dance as the other prisoners did, for the diversion
of their savage captors. Another of them, John Hanson, who lived on the
outside of the town, in a remote situation, could not be persuaded to remove
to a garrison, though he had a large family of children. A party of thirteen
Indians, called French Mohawks, had marked his house for their prey and
lay several days in ambush, waiting for an opportunity to assault it. While
Hanson with his oldest daughter were gone to attend the weekly meeting of
friends, the Indians entered the house, killed and scalped two small children,
and took his wife, with her infant of fourteen days old, her nurse, two
daughters and a son, and after rifling the house carried them off. This
was done so suddenly and secretly, that the first person who discovered it
was the oldest daughter at her return from the meeting before her father.
Seeing the two children dead at the door she gave a shriek of distress,
which was distinctly heard by her mother, then in the hands of the enemy
among the bushes, and by her brothers in the meadow. The people being
alarmed went in pursuit, but the Indians cautiously avoiding all paths went
ofif with their captives undiscovered. After this disaster had befallen his
family Hanson removed the remainder of them to the house of his brother,
who, though of the same religious persuasion, yet had a number of lusty
sons and always kept his fire-arms in good order, for the purpose of shooting
game.6

All these captives were sold to the French in Canada. The
mother and three of her children were redeemed, with the nurse,
the following spring by Mr. Hanson, who also redeemed Eb-
enezer Downs. Hanson's oldest daughter could not be obtained.
She married a Frenchman and never returned. Her father made
a second attempt to bring her home, in 1727, but died at Crown
Point.
Susan Scammon Fischer


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