Couresy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

Text Transcription

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1706 Letter to John Sheldon

John Sheldon, Jr., had been sleeping in his father's house with his wife, Hannah Chapin, the night the Deerfield Raid occurred. They scrambled out their bedroom window as Indians hacked on the door, but in the process Hannah fell and injured her ankle. She urged her husband to go on without her, and although Sheldon stopped to bind her ankle, he left her behind and ran to the nearest settlement for help. His wife along with three of his siblings were taken captive, and Hannah remained captive until 1705. Her return was negotiated by her father-in-law, John Sheldon, who traveled to Canada and then back to Boston and Deerfield a number of times in the years after 1704. The negotiations usually involved the exchange of expensive "gifts" for the captives like the items mentioned in this letter from John Sheldon, Jr., to his father. This particular exchange was probably instrumental in the return of Sheldon's brothers Ebenezer and Remembrance and his sister Mary, all of whom were back to Deerfield by 1706.

Date: August 5, 1706 
Topic: Historic 
Materials: Paper, ink
Dimensions: H: 6 in. (15.2 cm.), W: 4 in. (10 cm.) 
Accession #: L01.113

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