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Genealogy continues to not only teach me things about my family, but about history. When I was a kid we played Cowboys and Indians sometimes, but as I grew older I learned how the Native Americans were slowly and surely forced out of their land by encroaching European settlers. Coming from a long line of such people gives a person pause, but I never expected to find out how direct a connection I may have had to such conflicts.
I have recently discovered that one of my ancestral lines, the Kelloggs, were directly involved in what has come to be known as the Raid on Deerfield, or the Deerfield Massacre, a Franco-Indian raid on English settlers in Deerfield, MA in 1704. The more I read about these 18th century family members the more I realize that their story was more complicated than I at first may have thought.
In 1704 the Kellogg family was living in Deerfield, MA when a group of French and Native Americans launched a surprise raid on the English settlement of Deerfield. The attack was led by New France colonial military officer Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, whose force was made up of almost 300 attackers, including French colonists and Indian tribesmen from the Abenaki, Iroquois, Wyandot, Pocumtuc, and Pennacook tribes.
Deerfield had been a center of conflict and controversy from its very beginnings. Originally inhabited by the Pocumtuc nation, the village was called Pocumtuck when English settlers arrived in the mid-1660s. Ten years later it was dubbed Deerfield, but the colonists and the Indians were already skirmishing, in what came to be called King Philip's War, and two battles, one favoring the Indians (the Battle of Bloody Brook), and one favoring the English (Turner's Falls), resulted in multiple deaths on both sides. But the colonists kept coming back to settle in Deerfield, and the Indians were forced northward to Canada.
Raids on villages were common, but still the attack on Deerfield on February 29, 1704 was for the most part a surprise. Although over 40 of the residents were killed, that doesn't seem to have been the raiders' main objective. 109 villagers were taken captive — including the entire Kellogg family, minus Jonathan Kellogg (1698 – 1704), a boy of five, who perished during the raid, and the mother, Sarah (1656-1732). There is a lurid story of how Sarah may have escaped capture:
Mrs. Kellogg had been concealed in the cellar under a tub upon which the Indians sat and regaled themselves with whatever they could find to eat. She had escaped from the bed with an infant a few days old, and after secreting the child had turned the tub over herself. The cries of the child soon attracted the attention of the Indians, who at once seized it and dashed it against the wall. At their departure the Indians set fire to the dwelling, but Mrs. Kellogg escaped to a house then used as a fort. The family was afterwards allowed to return from their captivity. Martin was several times captured by the Indians, but returned before 1714 — Early New England Schools, p. 182
The captives of the raid were forced to march to Canada, in the rough and brutal February winter conditions. Miraculously most of the Kelloggs, although separated from each other, survived the march, and what happened to them is fascinating.
Martin Kellogg (1658-1732, my 8th great grandfather) was 46 at the time of the raid and the patriarch of the family. He was ransomed and released in 1705 and relocated to Suffield, Connecticut. Many of the original Deerfield inhabitants refused to go back there to live.
Martin Kellogg, Jr. (1686-1753) was 18 at the time of the raid. He escaped from his captors and returned home to Deerfield on June 8, 1705. He became a scout, and was captured again by Indians in 1708, where he remained, becoming fluent in Indian languages and French. Martin eventually relocated to Connecticut, where he married Dorothy Chester and had nine children.
|The Martin Kellogg House in Newington, CT|
Joseph Kellogg (1691-1756) was 13 at the time of the raid. Joseph stayed in New France with the French and Indians and became a fur trader and explorer. He is credited as the first English settler to have seen the Mississippi River. In 1714 his brother Martin persuaded him to come home, where he married Rachel Devotion, of Suffield, MA. They had five children. Joseph worked as a scout, translator, soldier, diplomat, interpreter, and magistrate until his death from a fever in 1756. "I travelled to & fro amongst the French and Indians" learning "the French language as well as those of all the tribes of Indians I traded with, and Mohawks, & had got into a very good way of business: So as to get Considerable of monies ... & handsomely to support myself & was under no restraint at all." — The French and Indian raid on Deerfield Massachusetts, 1704
Joanna Kellogg (1692 – 1780) was 11 at the time of the raid. Joanna married a Caughnawaga Indian chief (according to ancestry.com his name was Indian Chief Crawfoot) at Kahnawake and never returned to New England. She is recorded as visiting her brother Martin in Connecticut, but returning to Canada to live.
Rebecca Kellogg (1695-1757) was 9 at the time of the raid. She lived with the Kahnawake until 1728, but eventually returned to New England, supposedly "rescued" by her brother Joseph when she was 33. She married Benjamin Ashley and worked as an interpreter for many years. She died in 1757 at the Iroquois village of Ouaquaga, where she was given the Indian name “Wausaunia.”
The early English settlers may have found themselves opposing Indian tribes and French villages, but many, like the Kelloggs, also found ways to coexist. I am just scratching the surface of the stories here, but I hope that sometime in the near future I can take a trip to Deerfield, MA, to learn even more.
The American Surveyor, Spring 2004, "Joseph Kellogg of Deerfield (1691-1756) Indian captive, Interpreter & Guide, Explorer & Soldier," By Silvio A. Bedini, LLD
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