Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hannah Emerson Duston

We were watching The Generations Project (Sort of a Who Do you Think you Are for non-celebrities) and they were talking about the Studebaker family in PA who were taken by Indians. Allan was unaware that his family had a lot of interaction with Indians in Maine and New Hampshire, the most famous being Hannah Duston.
Hannah and her husband, Thomas, lived in Haverhill, MA on the NH border. She had just had her twelve child when Indians attacked. Her husband was able to get the eleven older children to the garrison, but Hannah, the baby Martha, and a neighbor woman, Mrs. Neff, were captured. The baby was killed by dashing her brains against an apple tree and the captives marched northward to Canada.
Far north in New Hampshire, Hannah resolved to escape. She, Mrs Neff and a boy managed to kill the Indians while they were sleeping (ten, while a woman and boy escaped). She scalped them and they took a canoe, floating down the Merrimack River. They made it to Nashua, NH. Hannah received twenty-five pounds (a considerable sum) for her scalps. A statue was erected for her in Haverhill, the first statue for a woman in the USA.

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