Update about blog

My other blogs:
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families.

PS, the mother of the precious baby above gave me permission to take this photo. So no, it's not me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How Sudbury got help (1676) from Mr. Edward Cowell

More about the Sudbury MA battle between Colonials and Indians...HERE .

But my question that I posed back then, was which Edward Cowell led the forces that tried to come to the aid of Sudbury, a town being attacked by Indians in King Phillips War in 1676.  Edward Cowell Sr.(1617-1677) would have been in his 50s or 60s, (since his birth date is unknown.)  His son, Edward Jr.(1644-1691) was the right age to be involved in a battle, and I would imagine he was among the company as well.  But it would have been more likely that the elder would be considered a leader.

Youngest Cowell, Edward III was born in 1672. so was obviously too young.

But geography is also in question.

Edward Cowell is described as coming to the aid of Sudbury FROM Brookfield MA by way of Marlborough.
"Mr. Edward Cowell, with a body of eighteen mounted men, coming from {Brookfield}* by way of Marlborough, and by a different way from that taken by Capt. Wadsworth, (of Connecticut) became sharply engaged with an outlying party of the enemy, and lost four men killed, one wounded, and had five of his horses disabled.
I contested at the time I posted that quote back in May that Brookfield had been destroyed in the preceding August 1675, when my ancestor Captain John Ayers was killed by Indians of King Phillips War (which now extended to Sudbury).

But he could have been Mr. Cowell Sr. OF BROOKFIELD if he'd lived there.  But he didn't actually.  He lived in Portsmouth New Hampshire, where he was a sailor by trade.  Had he tried to relocate with other colonists in the shift to western frontier of Quaboag in the 1650s?  I think not.

He had arrived in Boston, in 1640, and in 1645, where he married in 1655. He had his first son, Edward in Boston in 1644.  From there he took the family to Portsmouth NH, and had 3 more children.  Since he was a sailor, he is also recorded as arriving in Boston in 1655.  But his probate following his death was in Portsmouth NH in 1677.

So a descendant made a memorial for him for fighting in King Phillips War in 1676, the year before he died.  I still wonder how he arrived at the scene of the battle in Sudbury MA coming from Brookfield MA, when his home had been all the way in Portsmouth NH.   The clue is that he was coming from the much closer town of Marlborough, just to the west of Sudbury.  It's much more likely that any call for help had gone out to that area, and whoever had any military experience (which was very rare among the early colonists according to what I've read)...would have been pressed into assistance.

Since there were also other colonists who came to aid Sudbury from Connecticut, apparently there was a general call for assistance.  And perhaps Edward Jr. had some interest in Marlborough.

Geographically I don't know more than that Sudbury MA is 22 miles outside of Boston MA and a good 70 miles from Portsmouth, NH.  Sudbury is even 50 miles east of Brookfield MA but only 20 miles from Marlborough.  I don't know where the soldiers (i.e. colonists, with maybe a bit of military training) from Connecticut began, but that's pretty far away as well.  So when the Indians of King Phillips war attacked Sudbury, and the colonists received help, it was probably several days before it arrived from that far away...especially since someone had to ride (or sail) for the help in the first place.

It was the wild frontier then.  And the war with the Indians only lasted a couple of years, at that time.

Here's one description of the wars the European colonists had with Native Americans.  It's pretty amazing to me, since these conflicts are downplayed so much in the American History books.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_Wars

The colonization of North America by the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish was resisted by some Indian tribes and assisted by other tribes. Wars and other armed conflicts in the 17th and 18th centuries included:
In several instances, warfare in North America was a reflection of European rivalries, with American Indian tribes splitting their alliances among the powers, siding with their trading partners. Various tribes fought on each side in King William's WarQueen Anne's WarDummer's WarKing George's War, and the French and Indian War, allying with British or French colonists according to their own self interests.
Similarly, in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, Indian tribes in the territories of conflict differed in their alliances. The Cherokees supported the British in the Revolution and raided frontier American settlements in the hope of driving out the settlers. Other tribes fought for the American Patriots, such as the Oneida people and Tuscarora people of the Iroquois Confederacy in New York.[1]


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