Dummer’s War 1722-1725

Dummer’s War, also known as Father Rasle’s War, Lovewell’s War and Greylock’s War, are a series of conflicts between the Abenaki and the English. The Sokoki had joined with other Native groups during these battles.

The western theater was fought in Vermont and Massachusetts, at the border between New France and New England; the eastern theater was fought on the border between New England and Acadia in Maine, as well as in Nova Scotia.

The root cause was a conflict over the Maine border with Arcadia which New France claimed was the Kennebec River in southern Maine and established several missions there.

Chief Grey Lock Statue in Burlington, VT.  Photo courtesy of Niranjan Arminius [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creative commons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

 Greylock’s War was closest to Cheshire County, which encompasses Keene. Wawanolewat, known as Greylock by the English, assembled raiding parties that attacked several English settlements, including Northfield, Hatfield, Rutland, Deerfield, Westfield, Brookfield and Sunderland Massachusetts. Many lives were lost on both sides.

A temporary peace was secured at the end of Greylock’s War in 1727.

Deerfield Conference 1735

The conference was an attempt to rekindle the 1727 peace between Governor William Dummer and Penobscot Chief Wenaganet at the end of Dummer’s War. More than one hundred people came to Deerfield. They included Mohican, Abenaki, Schaghticoke, and Mohawk. English representatives included Stephen Williams and Joseph Kellogg (captives from the Deerfield raid); Governor Jonathan Belcher, dignitaries from the King’s Council and other government officials.

Called the Covenant of Peace & Unity, deeds and agreements were signed for shared habitation and use on the land between the two Great Falls of the Connecticut River (South Hadley falls and Bellows Falls) and the Great Meadows (possibly in what became Putney, Vermont). Agreement to share space was also considered an agreement for peace. Belcher promised this peace would continue even in the event of war between England and France. The Indians were assured they would always have land to live on.

The peace was sealed with exchanges of wampum from the English and pelts from the Native leaders. Fort Dummer was confirmed as a trading post and a Native meeting site.

That same year, English defense towns and forts above Northfield were planned, continuing acquisition of Abenaki lands and establishment of defenses against French encroachment. English settlement along the Connecticut was also for ease transportation and rich soil for agriculture.

Also in 1735, twenty six land grants were established along the upper Connecticut River Valley, two of which were along the Ashuelot River.

Renewal of the ”Covenant of Peace & Unity” 1737

Made at a conference held at Fort Dummer. Five years after the Deerfield Conference, under new leadership, the fort was outfitted for defense with a stockade and swivel guns.

By 1744, Fort # 2 and # 4 were constructed. The same year began King George’s War between England and France. Prior to this, word spread throughout Native communities confirming an alliance between the Abenaki, Mohican, Mohawk and Schaghticoke to keep a neutral position if war broke out between England and France. Abenaki and their allies began raiding English settlements the next year. The Ashuelot regions saw some of these conflicts. The raid of 1746 on Upper Ashuelot war included the capture of Nathan Blake.

See Previous: King Phillip’s War

See Next: The French and Indian Wars

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