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People

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The events of February 29, 1704, and their aftermath, affected not only those present at the raid, but hundreds of others as well. Of the many people whose lives intersected with this event, here are some whose stories have survived. Click a person's image or name to view his or her story.

For an explanation of how we created these people narratives, see:
Bringing History to Life: The People in The Many Stories of 1704.

For brief biographies of people at the Raid on Deerfield for whom we have historical documentation, see:
People of the Raid on Deerfield: Brief Biographies.

 

thumbnail image of Aroniatehka Aronhiatehka, circa 1653 - circa 1726, Kanienkehaka
Like many Kanienkehaka in the 17th century, Aronhiatehka left the southern part of the Kanienkehaka homeland to settle at its northern borders at Kahnawake. He became a chief who was active in negotiating the Great Peace of 1701 among his people.
thumbnail image of Atiwans Atiwans, circa 1661 - circa 1748, Sokoki - Wôbanaki
Atiwans, a Sokoki man who married a Pocumtuck woman, spent much of his life between the Connecticut River valley and Schaghticoke, before relocating north. He was one of three captors of the Reverend John Williams in 1704.
thumbnail image of Brebeuf Jean de Brébeuf, circa 1593 - circa 1649, French
Jean de Brébeuf was one of the first Jesuit missionaries to the Wendat (Huron) confederacy and was instrumental in maintaining trade and military alliances between the Wendat and the French.
thumbnail image of Bruyas Jacques Bruyas, 1635 - 1712, French
Father Jacques Bruyas, a French Jesuit missionary, spent many years among the Rotinonsionni (Iroquois). He wrote a dictionary, grammar and catechism in Kanienkeha (the Mohawk language), and helped negotiate the Great Peace of 1701.
thumbnail image of Calliere Louis-Hector de Callière, 1648 - 1703, French
Louis Hector de Callière, governor-general of New France from 1699 to 1703, achieved a diplomatic success in concluding the Great Peace of 1701 between New France and 38 Native nations.
thumbnail image of Champlain Samuel de Champlain, circa 1567 - 1635, French
Known as the Father of New France, Samuel de Champlain spent the last years of his life ensuring the success of the colony.
thumbnail image of Chauk Chauk, circa 1618 - circa 1700, Podunk - Wôbanaki
Chauk, a Podunk Indian from around Windsor, CT, was the first Native person to sign a deed opening Pocumtuck lands around Deerfield to the English.
thumbnail image of Frank Frank, circa 1661 - 1704, African - English
Frank was the Reverend John Williams's African slave, who survived the attack on Deerfield, only to be taken captive with his master's family.
thumbnail image of Hatsirohawi Hatsirohawi, circa 1669 - circa 1748, Kanienkehaka
Hatsirohawi was a Kanienkehaka trader trying to negotiate between "two worlds."
thumbnail image of John Hawks John Hawks, 1643 - circa 1722, English
John Hawks was involved in several conflicts with local Native peoples as English settlement pushed northward up the Connecticut River valley.
thumbnail image of Jonathan Hoyt Jonathan Hoyt, 1688 - 1779, English
Jonathan Hoyt was 15 years old when taken captive in 1704, and for a time, his life hung in the balance as his captors discussed his fate.
thmumbnail image of Mashalisk Mashalisk, circa 1591 - circa 1676, Pocumtuck - Wôbanaki
Mashalisk was a Pocumtuck sunksqua from the east side of the Connecticut River who tried to negotiate peaceful trade with the English. She signed deeds for present-day Montague, Leverett and Wendell, Massachusetts, to cover her son Wattawaluncksin's trading debts.
thumbnail image of Parthena Parthena, circa 1682 - 1704, African - English
Parthena was a newly married slave working in the Reverend John Williams's household at the time of the attack in 1704.
thumbnail image of de Rouville Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, 1668 - 1722, French
Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville led the raiding party in the attack on Deerfield in 1704.
thumbnail image of Soranhes Soranhes, circa 1588 - circa 1636, Wendat
Soranhes, a skilled Wendat trader, befriended French priests in hopes of improving his relationship with French authorities and, thus, his trading prospects.
thumbnail image of Benoni Stebbins Benoni Stebbins, circa 1655 - 1704, English
Benoni Stebbins had many encounters with Native people of the Connecticut River valley. His life ended as he defended his house and its occupants during the 1704 attack.
thumbnail image of Thaonwentsawakon Thaonwentsawakon, circa 1683 - circa 1748, Kanienkehaka
Thaonwentsawakon came to Deerfield from Kahnawake in search of a child for his sister to adopt.
thumbnail image of Tsioianiio Tsioianiio, circa 1692 - circa 1769, Kanienkehaka
Tsioianiio was a Kanienkehaka girl who befriended Eunice Kanenstenhawi Williams and eased her transition to life at Kahnawake.
thumbnail image of Tsohahisen Tsohahisen, circa 1679 - circa 1750, Wendat
Tsohahisen was a young Wendat who, on the return to New France in 1704, skillfully negotiated a resolution to a dispute over a captive.
thumbnail image of William Turner Captain William Turner, circa 1623 - 1676, English
Captain William Turner was a Massachusetts Bay military leader from Boston, who led the English attack on Peskeompskut, a Native fishing camp.
thumbnail image of Umpanchela Umpanchela, circa 1604 - circa 1704, Nonotuck - Wôbanaki
Umpanchela, alias Womscom, was a Nonotuck sachem who had a large trading account with John Pynchon, and signed off on deeds for land that is now Amherst, Hatfield, Hadley, and Northampton, Massachusetts.
thumbnail image of Vaudreuil Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, circa 1643 - 1725, French
Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, governor-general of New France from 1703 to 1725, pursued a strategy of attacking New England with combined French and Native armies. For a decade during and after the War of the Spanish Succession, he was involved in negotiations with the English over the fate of captives taken in such attacks.
thumbnail image of Wattanummon Wattanummon, circa 1660 - 1712, Pennacook - Wôbanaki
Wattanummon, a Pawtucket man who served as a Pennacook sachem, requested Governor Vaudreil's help after the English killed his kin at Pequawket. He joined the raid on Deerfield, and personally captured the minister's son, Stephen Williams.
thumbnail image of Weetanusk Weetanusk, circa 1653 - circa 1736, Pocumtuck - Wôbanaki
Weetanusk, as a young girl, watched her grandmother Mashalisk manage diplomatic relations with the English. As a young woman, she survived the attack at Peskeompskut and relocated to Schaghticoke.
thumbnail of Eunice Kanenstenhawi Williams Eunice Kanenstenhawi Williams, 1696 - 1785, English / Kanienkehaka
Taken captive in 1704, seven-year-old Eunice Williams was adopted into a Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) family, where she remained for the duration of her life.
thumbnail image of Eunice Mather Williams Eunice Mather Williams, 1664 - 1704, English
Eunice Mather Williams, wife of the Reverend John Williams, was weak from recent childbirth when she was captured in 1704.
thumbnail image of John Williams Reverend John Williams , 1664 - 1729, English
In 1704, the minister of Deerfield, along with his wife and several of his children, was taken captive to Canada. Upon his return to New England, he wrote the famous narrative The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion.
thumbnail image of Stephen Williams Stephen Williams, 1693 - 1782, English
Ten-year-old Stephen Williams, taken captive by the Wôbanakiak, found himself to be unsuited for life as a Wôbanaki boy; he eventually followed his father's steps into the ministry.

 

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