From The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, by Reverend John Williams.
On Tuesday, the 29th of February, 1703-4, not long before break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us. . . . They came to my house in the beginning of the onset, and by their violent endeavors to break open doors and windows, with axes and hatchets, awaked me out of sleep; on which I leaped out of bed, and, running towards the door, perceived the enemy making their entrance into the house. I called to awaken two soldiers in the chamber, and returning to my bedside for my arms, the enemy immediately broke into the room, I judge to the number of 20, with painted faces, and hideous acclamations.
I reached up my hands to the bed-tester for my pistol, uttering a short petition to God, for everlasting mercies for me and mine, on account of the merits of our glorified Redeemer; expecting a present passage through the valley of the shadow of death.
Taking down my pistol, I cocked it, and put it to the breast of the first Indian that came up; but my pistol missing fire, I was seized by three Indians, who disarmed me, and bound me naked, as I was in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an hour. Binding me, they told me they would carry me to Quebeck. My pistol missing fire was an occasion of my life's being preserved.
I cannot relate the distressing care I had for my dear wife, who had lain in but a few weeks before; and for my poor children, family, and Christian neighbors. The enemy fell to rifling the house, and entered in great numbers into every room. I begged of God to remember mercy in the midst of judgment; as to prevent their murdering of us; that we might have grace to glorify his name, whether in life or death; and, as I was able, committed our state to God.
The enemies who entered the house, were all of them Indians and Macquas, insulted over me awhile, holding up hatchets over my head, threatening to burn all I had; but yet God, beyond expectation, made us in a great measure to be pitied; for though some were so cruel and barbarous as to take and carry to the door two of my children and murder them, as also a Negro woman; yet they gave me liberty to put on my clothes. . . . Gave liberty to my dear wife to dress herself and our remaining children. [The Williamses' six-week-old daughter, Jerusha; their six-year-old son, John; and their slave Parthena were killed. Thirteen-year-old Esther, ten-year-old Stephen, seven-year-old Eunice, and four-year-old Warham were taken captive, along with John, his wife Eunice, and Parthena's husband Frank.]
About sun an hour high, we were all carried out of the house, for a march, and saw many of the houses of my neighbors in flames. . . . Who can tell what sorrows pierced our souls, when we saw ourselves carried away from God's sanctuary, to go into a strange land. . . . Upon my parting from the town, they fired my house and barn.
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