some in the past have confused this man with Thomas Wheeler of Milford CT
also confused with his nephew Sgt Thomas Wheeler
Captain Thomas Wheeler 1620 – 1676 | his parents
& Ruth Wood
of Cranfield England and Concord MA
This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!
Thomas Wheeler married Ruth Wood dau of William & Margaret of Concord
Thomas Wheeler was bapt 8 April 1620 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire Co England
ca 1633 – his father died in Cranfield
ca 1637 – he came to New England with 4 of his brothers and 2 of his sisters
18 May 1642, when he took the oath of freeman at Concord, Massachusetts.
– Thomas removed with his older brother along with Rev John Jones to Fairfield CT in 1644, settling at Pequonnock, on Uncoway Brook, where his home lot of 2¬Ω acres is recorded Jan 1649. his home was at the head of Black Rock Harbor. “He built his house of stone with a strong plank roof, and upon this roof he placed two small cannon. One pointed out down the harbor against possible Dutch invasion by sea; the other was directed at the Indian fort that stood north on the hill.”
– This dwelling -house and house lot he sold 21 Jan 1653/4
– rem. to Stratford, being called of that town when he bought land in Derby from the Indians in 1657.
– on 1 July 1657 with three others, he bought from the colony the privilege of trading with the Indians, paying 25 pounds.
– At Derby he remained as a trader until 1664, when he sold the property there to Mr. Alexander Bryan of Milford and returned to Massachusetts, as we suppose.
– 12 October 1669 he was appointed Lieutenant upon the formation of a Horse Company , and became its Captain in 1671.
– On 12 January 1669, he received from the town of Concord, a lease for twenty-one years, of 200 acres of upland and 60 acres of meadows lying west of Nashoba Brook; he to pay a yearly rental of 5 pounds after the expiration of seven years, and to build a house and barn. The house was to be 40 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 12 feet stud, ‘covrd with shingles, with a payer of Chimes.’ That there must have been a dispute over this lease is evidenced by what appears in the ‘Copy of Instructions’ given to the Concord selectmen in 1672, viz.: ‘5–To treat with Captain Thomas Wheeler about his lease of the Towns Farme and if it may be upon Reasonable Termes to alter that particular wherein the Towne is Jn Jnoiyned to send such a nomber cattle yearly to be hearded yearly by him.’
– [The Indian] trading operations he conducted principally along the Merrimac River at a point which afterward became Nashua, New Hampshire, where, it is recorded, he and his son Lieutenant Joseph owned a farm ‘a little south of the Salmon brood.’ Upon this estate he lived with his son a portion of the time until at least as late a date as 19 September 1673, when they both, with 24 others, appear as signers of a petition to the General Court for 14,000 acres of land which was granted to them. It is evident that in these operations Captain Thomas did not give up his official position in Concord, nor his residence there, with its thirteen acre ‘house lot,’
– 26 July 1675 to 13 Oct 1675 occurred the tragic events [King Philip’s War] near Brookfield including the killing of eight men in Capt Wheeler’s troop, the killing of Capt Edward Hutchinson and the wounding of Capt Wheeler and his son Thomas
– the Captain wrote a narrative describing this experience. saying near its end- “But since I am reasonable well, though I have not the use of my hand and arm as before; my son Thomas, though in great hazard of his life for some time after his return to Concord, yet is now very well cured, and his strength well restored.”
– Thomas Wheeler died intestate at Concord MA, 10 December 1676, the record of his death identifying him fully by stating explicitly that he was the ‘husband of Ruth.’
– 1 June 1677. “Thomas Hinckman appointed Captain of the Troop, Capt. Thomas Wheeler being dead.”records of Massachusetts Bay vol 5 p142
Children of Capt Thomas Wheeler and Ruth Wood:
1. Alice Wheeler d 17 Mar 1640/1 Concord
2. Thomas Wheeler bef 1650 – 9 Jan 1676/7 dsp
saved his father’s life in the Indian battle
his estate adm by his brother Joseph in 1677
inventory showed a horse, pistols, cutlass and gun
3. Timothy Wheeler by 1652 – April 1678 no issue
married 29 June 1670 Ruth Fuller dau of Thomas
she married 2nd Wilkins
4. Ruth Wheeler ca 1650 –
married 7 May 1673 Ephraim Jones of Concord d 23 Jan 1676/7 issue
married 2nd 12 Nov 1677 Thomas Browne d bef Aug 1718 issue
married 3rd 18 Aug 1718 Jonathan Prescott
5. Nathaniel Wheeler ca 1652 – 16 jan 1676/7 prob d sp
estate adm by his brother Joseph 1677
6. Joseph Wheeler bef 1654 – May 1698 Fairfield CT
transferred to church at Stratford CT 20 Dec 1698 – eight children
married 1 Mar 1681/82 Mary Power d 5 April 1740 Middletown CT
a. Ruth Wheeler
b. Ephraim Whelor July 1698
7. Ephraim Wheeler by 1656 – 19 Feb 1689/90 nfi
8. Deliverance Wheeler by 1658 – 4 Feb 1715/6 Stow MA
married Concord 28 May 1691 Mary Davis four children
dau of Lt Simon Davis and Mary Blood
His greatest historical prominence was reached during King Philips’ War in which he took a very active part, receiving wounds of so severe a character that he died the following year. This exciting encounter Capt Thomas Wheeler made the subject of the following ‘Narrative,’ often referred to as an ‘epic of colonial times.’
A True Narritive of the Lord’s Providences in various dispensations towards Captain Edward Hutchinson of Boston and myself, and those that went with us into the Nipmuck Country, and also to Quaboag, alias Brookfield: The said Captain Hutchinson having a Commission from the Honored Council of this Colony to treat with several Sachems in those parts, in order to the public peace, and myself being also ordered by the said Council, to accompany him with part of my troop for security from any danger that might be from the Indians: and to assist him in the transaction of matter committed to him.
‘The said Caption Hutchinson, and myself, with about twenty men or more marched from Cambridge to Sudbury, 28 July 1675; and from thence into the Nipmuck Country, and finding that the Indians had deserted their towns, and we having gone until we came within two miles of New Norwich, on 31 July (only we saw two Indians having an horse with them, whom we would have spoke with, but they fled from us and left the horse, which we took,) we then thought it not expedient to march any further that way, but set our march for Brookfield, whither we came on Lord’s day about noon.
From thence the same day, (being 1 August) we understanding that the Indians were about ten miles north west from us, we sent out four men to acquaint the Indians that we were not come to harm them, but our business was only to deliver a Message from our Honored Governor and Council to them, and to receive their answer, we desiring to come to a Treaty of Peace with them, (though they had for several days fled from us,) they having before professed friendship, and promised fidelity to the English.
When the messengers came to them they made an alarm, and gathered together about an hundred and fifty fighting men as near as they could judge. The young men amongst them were stout in their speeches, and surly in their carriage. But at length some of the chief Sachems promised to meet us on the next morning about 8 of the clock upon a plain within three miles of Brookfield, with which answer the messengers returned to us. Whereupon, though their speeches and carriage did much discourage divers of our company, yet we conceived that we had a clear call to go to meet them at the place whiter they had promised to come. Accordingly we with our men accompanied with three of the principal inhabitants of that town marched to the plain appointed; but the treacherous heathen intending mischief, (if they could have the opportunity,) came not to the said place, and so failed our hopes of speaking with them there.
Whereupon the Caption Hutchinson and myself, with the rest of our company, considered what was best to be done, whether we should go any further towards them or return, divers of us apprehending much danger in case we did proceed, because the Indians kept not promise there with us. But the three men who belonged to Brookfield were so strongly persuaded of their freedom from any ill intentions towards us, (as upon other bounds, so especially because the greatest part, of those Indians belonged to David, one of their chief Sachems, who was taken to be a great friend to the English:) that the said Captain Hutchinson who was principally intrusted with the matter of Treaty with them, was thereby encouraged to proceed and march forward towards a Swamp where the Indians then were.
When we came near the said swamp, the way was so very bad that we could march only in a single file, there being a very rock hill on the right hand, and a thick swamp on the left, in which there were many of those blood-thirsty heathen, who there way laid us, waiting an opportunity to cut us off; there being also much brush on the side of the said hill, where they lay in ambush to surprize us. When we had marched there about sixty or seventy rods the said Perfidious Indians sent out their shot upon us as a shower of hail, they being, (as was supposed,) about two hundred men or more. We seeing ourselves not enter with our horses to go forwards, and there being no safety of our lives. In which fight we were in no small danger to be all cut off, there being a very miry swamp before us, into which we could not enter with our horses to go forwards, and there being no safety in retreating the way we came, because many of our company, who lay behind the bushes, and had let us pass by them quietly; when others had shot, they came out, and stopt our way back, so that we were forced as we could to get up the steep and rocky hill; but the greater our danger was, the greater was God’s mercy in the preservation of so many of us from sudden destruction.
Myself being gone up part of the hill without any hurt, and perceiving some of my men to be fallen by the enemies’ shot, I wheeled about upon the Indians, not calling on my men who were left to accompany me, which they in all probability would have done had they known of my return upon the enemy. They fired violently out of the swamp, and from behind the bushes on the hill side wounded me sorely, and shot my horse under me, so that he faultering and falling, I was forced to leave him, divers of the Indians being then but a few rods distant from me.
My son Thomas Wheeler flying with the rest of the company, missed me amongst them, and fearing that I was either slain or much endangered, returned towards the swamp again, though he had then received a dangerous wound in the loins, where he saw me in the danger aforesaid. Whereupon he endeavored to rescue me, shewing himself therein a loving and dutiful son, he adventuring himself into great peril of his life to help me in that distress, there being many of the enemies about me, my son set me on his own horse, and so escaped a while on foot himself, until he caught an horse whose rider was slain, on which he mounted, and so through God’s great mercy we both escaped. But in this attempt for my deliverance he received another dangerous wound by their shot in his left arm.
There were then slain to our great grief eight men, viz. — Zechariah Phillips of Boston, Timothy farlow, of Billericay, Edward Coleborn, of Chelmsford, Samuel Smedly, of Concord, Sydrach Hopgood, of Sudbury, Serjeant Eyres, Serjeant Prichard, and Corporal Coy, the inhabitants of Brookfield, aforesaid. It being the good pleasure of God, that they should all there fall by their hands, of whose good intentions they were so confident, and whom they so little mistrusted. There were also then five persons wounded, viz: — Captain Hutchinson, myself, and my son Thomas, as aforesaid, Coporal French of Billericay, who having killed an Indian, was (as he was taking up his gun), shot, and part of one of his thumbs taken off, and also dangerously wounded through the body near the shoulder; the fifth was John Waldoe, of Chelmsford, who was not so dangerously wounded as the rest. They also then killed five of our horses, and wounded some more which soon died after they came to Brookfield.
Upon this sudden and unexpected blow given us, (wherein we desire to look higher than man the instrument,) we returned to the town as fast as the badness of the way, and the weakness of our wounded men would permit, we being then ten miles from it. All the while we were going, we durst not stay to stanch the bleeding of our wounded men, for fear the enemy should have surprized us again, which they attempted to do, and had in probability done, but that we perceiving which way they went, wheeled off to the other hand, and so by God’s good providence towards us, they missed us, and we all came readily upon, and safely to the town, though none of us knew the way to it, those of the place being slain, as aforesaid, and we avoiding any thick woods and riding in open places to prevent danger by them.
Being got to the town, we speedily betook ourselves to one of the largest and strongest houses therin, where we fortified ourselves in the best manner we could in such straits of time, and there resolved to keep garrison, though we were but few, and meanly fitted to make resistance against so furious enemies. The news of the Indians’ treacherous dealing with us, and the loss of so many of our company thereby, did so amaze the inhabitants of the town, that they being informed thereof by us, presently left their houses, divers of them carrying very little away with them, they being afraid of the Indians sudden coming upon them. and so came to the house we were entered into, very meanly provided of cloathing or furnished with provisions.
I perceiving myself to be disenabled for the discharge of the duties of my place by reason of the wound I had received, and apprehending that the enemy would soon come to spoil the town and assault us in the house, I appointed Simon Davis, of Concord, James Richardson, and John Fiske, of Chelmsford to manage affairs for our safety with those few men whom God hath left us, and were fit for any service, and the inhabitants of the said town; who did well and commendably perform the duties of the trust committed to them with much courage and resolution through the assistance of our gracious God, who did not leave us in our low and distressed state, but did mercifully appear for us in our greatest need, as in the sequel will clearly be manifested.
Within two hours after our coming to the said house, or less, the said Captain Hutchinson and myself posted away Epraim Curtis, of Sudbury, and Henry Young, of Concord, to go to the Honored Council at Boston, to give them an account of the Lord’s dealing with us, and our present condition. When they came to the Honored Council at Boston, to give them an account of the Lord’s dealing with us, and our present condition. When they came to the further end of the town they saw the enemy rifling of houses which the inhabitants had forsaken. The post fired upon them, and immediately return to us again, they discerning no safety in going forward and being desirous to inform us of the enemies’ actings, that we might the more prepare for a sudden assault by them.
Which indeed presently followed, for as soon as the said post was come back to us, the barbarous heathen pressed upon us in the house with great violence, sending in their shot amongst us like hail, through the walls, and shouting as if they would have swallowed us up alive; but our good God wrought wonderfully for us, so that there was but one man wounded within the hous, viz. — the said Henry Young, who, looking out the garrett window that evening, was mortally wounded by a shot, of which he died within two days after. There was the same day another man slain, but not in the house: a son of Serjeant Prichard’s adventuring out of the house wherin we were, to his father’s house not far from it, to fetch more goods out of it, was caught by these cruel enemies as they were coming towards us, who cut off his head, kicking it about like a foot-ball, and then putting it upon a poke, they set it up before the door of his father’s house in our sight . The night following the said blow, they did roar against us like so many wild bulls, sending their shot amongst us till towards the moon rising, which was about three of the clock; at which time they attempted to fire our house by hay and other combustible matter which they brought to one corner of the house, and set it on fire. Whereupon some our company were necessitated to expose themselves to very great danger to put it out. Simon Davis, one of the three appointed by myself as Captain, to supply my place by reason of my wounds, as aforesaid, he being of a lively spirit, encouraged the soldiers within the house to fire upon the Indians; and also thos that adventured out to put out the fire, (which began to rage and kindle upon the house side,) with these and the like words, that God is with us, and fights for us, and will deliver us out of the hands of these heathen; which expressions of his the Indians hearing, they shouted and scoffed, saying; now see how your God delivers you, or will deliver you, sending in many shots whilst our men were putting out the fire. But the Lord of Hosts wrought very graciously for us, in preserving our bodies both within and without the house from their shot, and our house from being consumed by fire, we had but two men wounded in that attempt of theirs, but we apprehended that we killed divers of our enemies.
I being desirous to hasten intelligence to the Honored Council, of our present great distress, we being so remot from any succor, (it being between sixty and seventy miles from us to Boston, where the Council useth to sit) and fearing our ammunition would not last long to withstand them, if they continued so to assualt us, I spake to Ephraim Curtis to adventure forth again on that servicek,and to attempt it on foot, as they way wherein there was most hope of getting away undiscovered; he readily assented, and accordingly went out, but there were so many Indians every where thereabouts, that he could not pass, without apparent hazard of life, so he came back again, but towards morning the said Ephraim adventured forth the third time, and was fain to dreep on his hands and knees for some space of ground, that he might not be discerned by the enemy, who waited to prevent our sending if they could have hindered it. But through God’s mercy he escaped their hands, and got safely to Marlborough, though very much spent and ready to faint by reason of want of sleep before he went from us, and his sore travel night and day in that hot season till he got thither, from whence he went to Boston; yet before the said Ephraim got to Marlborought, there was intelligence brought thither of the burning of some house, and killing some cattle at Quabaug, by some who were going to Connecticut, but they seeing what was done at the end of the town, and hearing several guns shot off further within the town, the durst proceed no further, but immediately returned to Marlborough, though they then knew not what had befallen Captain Hutchinson and myself, and company, nor of our being there, but that timely intelligence they gave before Ephraim Curtis his coming to Marlborough, occasioned the Honored Major Willard’s turning his march towards Quabaug, for their relief who were in no small danger every hour of being destroyed; the said Major being, when he had that intelligence, upon his march another way, as he was ordered by the Honored Council, as is afterwards more fully expressed.
The next day being August 3rd, they continued shooting and shouting, and proceeding in their former wickedness, blaspheming the name of the Lord, and reproaching us, hs afflicted servants, scoffing at our prayers as they were sending in their shot upon all quarters of the house and many of them went to the town’s meeting house, (which was within twenty rods of the house in which we were) who mocked saying, come and pray, and sing psalms, and in contempt made an hideous noise somewhat resembling singing. But we, to our power did endeavor our defence, sending our shot amongst them, the Lord giving us courage to resist them, and preserving us from destruction they sought to bring upon us.
On the evening following, we saw our enemies carrying several of their dead or wounded men on their backs, who proceeded that night to send in their shot, as they had done the night before, and also still shouted as if the day had been certainly theirs, and they should without fail, have prevailed against us, which they might have the more hopes of in regard that we discerned the coming of new companies to them to assist and strengthen them, and the unlikelihood of any coming to our help.
They also used several stratagems to fire us, namely, by wild fire in cotton and linen rags with brimstone in them, which rags they tyed to the piles of their arrows, sharp for the purpose, and shot them to the roof of our house, after they had set them on fire, which would have much endagered the burning thereof, had we not used means of cutting holes through the roof, and otherwise, to beat the said arrows down, and God being pleased to prosper our endeavors therin. They carried more combustible matter, as flax and hay, to the sides of the house, and set it on fire, and then flocked apace towards the door of the house, either to prevent our going forth to quench the fire, as we had done before, or to kill our men in their attempt to go forth, or else to break into the house by the door; whereupon we were forced to break down the wall of the house against the fire to put it out. They also shot a ball of wild fire into the garret of the house, which fell amongst a great heap of flax or tow therin, which one of our soldiers, through God’s good Providence espyed, and having water ready presently quenched it; and so we were preserved by the keeper of Israel, both our bodies from their shot, which they sent thick against us, and the hous from being consumed to ashes, although we were but weak to defend ourselves, we being not above twenty and six men with those of that small town, who were able for any service, and our enemies, as I judged them about, (if not above,) three hundred, I speak of the least, for many there present did guess them to be four or five hundred. It is the more to be observed, that so little hurt should be done by the enemies’ shot, it commonly piercing the walls of the house, and flying amongst the people, and there being in the house fifty women and children besides the men before mentioned. But abroad in the yard, on Thomas Wilson of that town, being sent to fetch water for our help in further need, (that which we had being spent in putting out the fire,) was shot by the enemy in the upper jaw and in the neck, the anguish of which wound was such at the first that he cried out with a great noise, by reason whereof the Indians hearing him rejoiced, and triumphed at it; but his wound was healed in a short time, praised be God.
On Wednesday, August the 4th, the Indians fortified themselves at the meeting house, and the barn, belonging to our house, which they fortified both at the great doors, and at both ends, with posts, rails, boards, and hay, to save themselves from our shot. They also devised other stratagems, to fire out house, on the night following, namely, they took a cart, and filled it with flax, hay and candle-wood and other combustible matter, and set up planks, fastened to the cart, to save themselves from the danger of our shot. Another invention they had to make the more sure work in burning the house. They got many poles of considerable length and bigness, and spliced them together at the ends one of another, and made a carriage of them about fourteen rods long, setting the poles in two rows, with peils laid across over them at the front end, and dividing them said poles about three foot asunder, and in the said front of this their carriage the set a barrel, having made an hole through both heads, and put an axel-tree through them, to which they fastened the said poles, and under every joint of the poles where they were spliced, they set up a pair of truckle wheels to bear up the said carriages, and they loaded the front or fore-end thereof with matter fit for firing, as hay, and flax, and chips, &c. Two of these instruments they prepared, that they might convey fire to the house, with the more safety to themselves, they standing at such a distance from our shot, whilst they wheeled them to the house: great store of arrows they had also prepared to shoot fire upon the house that night; which we found after they were gone, they having left them there. But the Lord who is a present help in times of trouble, and is pleased to make his people’s extemity his opportunity, did graciously prevent them on effecting what they hoped they should have done by the aforesaid devices, partly by sending a shower of rain in season, whereby the matter prepared being wet would not so easily take fire as it otherwise would have done, and partly by aid coming to our help. For our danger would have been pleased to send to us about an hour within night the worshipful Major Williard with Captain Parker of Groton, and forty-six men more with five Indians to relieve us in the low estate into which we were brought; our eyes were unto him the holy one of Israel; in him we desired to place our trust, hoping that he would in the time of our great need appear for our deliverance, and confound all their plots by which they thought themselves most sure to prevail against us; and God who comfortheth the afflicted; as he comforted the holy apostle Paul by the coming of Titus to him, so he conforted us his distressed servants both soldiers and town inhabitants, by the coming of the said Honored Major, and those with him. In whose so soon coming to us the good providence in God did marvellously appear; for the help that came to us by the Honored Council’s order (after the tidings they received by our post sent to them) came not to us till Saturday, August 7, in the afternoon, nor sooner could it well come in regard to their distance from us, i. e. if we had not had help before that time, we see not how we could have held out, the number of the Indians so increasing, and they making so many assaults upon us, that our ammunition before that time would have been spent, and ourselves disenabled for any resistance, we being but few, and always fain to stand upon our defence; that we had little time for refreshment of ourselves either by food or sleep; the said Honored Major’s coming to us so soon was thus occasioned; he had a commision from the Honored Council (of which himself was one) to look after some Indians to the west-ward of Lancaster and Groton, (where he himself lived) and to secure them, and was upon his march toward them on the aforesaid Wednesday in the morning, August 4th, when tidings coming to Marlborough by those that returned thither as they were going to Connecticut, concerning what they saw at Brookfield as aforesaid, some of Marlborough knowing of the said Major’s march from Lancaster that morning, presently sent a post to acquaint him with the information they had received; the Major was gone before the post come to Lancaster; but there was one speedily sent after him, who overtook him about five or six miles from the said town; he being acquainted, that it was feared, that Brookfield (a small town of about fifteen or sixteen families) was either destroyed, or in great danger thereof, and conceiving it to require more speed to succour them (if they were not past help) than to proceed at present, as he before intended, and being also very desirous (if it were possible) to afford relief to them, (he being then not above thirty miles from them) he immediately altered his course and marched with his company toward us; and came to us about an hour after it was dark as aforesaid; though he knew not then, either of our being there nor of what had befallen us at the swamp and in the house those two days before.
The merciful providence of God also appeared in preventing the danger that the Honored Major and his company might have been in when they came near us, for those beastly men, our enimies, skilful to destroy, endeavored to prevent any help from coming to our relief, and therefore sent down sentinels, (some nerer and some further off) the furtherest about two miles from us, who if they saw any coming from the bay they might give notice by an alarm. And there were about an hundred of them who for the most part kept at an house some little distance from us, by which if any help came from the said bay; they must pass, and so they intended (as we conceive) having notice by their sentinels of their approach to way-lay them, and if they could, to cut them off before they came to the house where we kept.
But as we probably guess, they were so intent and busy in preparing their instruments (as abovesaid) for our destruction by fire, that they were not at the house where they used to keep for the purpose aforesaid, and that they heard not their sentinels whey they shot; and so the Major’s way was clear from danger till he came to our house. And that it was their purpose so to have fallen upon him, or any other coming to us at that house, is the more probable in that (as we have since had intelligence from some of the Indians themselves) there were a party of them in another place who let him pass by them without the least hurt or opposition, waiting for a blow to be given him at the said house, and then they themselves to fall upon them in the rear, as they intended to have done with us at the swamp, in case we had fled back as before expressed. The Major and company were no sooner come to the house, and understood (though at first they knew not they were English who were in the house, but thought that they might be Indians, and therefore were ready to have shot at us, till we discerning they were English by the Major’s speaking, I caused the trumpet to be sounded) that the said Captain Hutchinson, myself, and company with the town’s inhabitants were there, but the Indians also discerned that there were some come to our assistance, whereupon they spared not their shot, but poured it out on them; but through the Lord’s goodness, though they stood not far asunder one from another, they killed not one man, wounded only two of his company; and killed the Major’s son’s horse; after that, we within the house perceived the Indians shooting so at them, we hastened the Major and all his company into the house as fast as we could and their horses in to a little yard before the house, where they wounded five other horses that night; after they were come into the house to us, the enemies continued their shooting some considerable time, so that we may well say, had not the Lord been on our side when these cruel heathens rose up against us, they had then swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us. But wherein they dealt proudly, the Lord was above them.
When they saw their divers designs unsuccessful, and their hopes therin disappointed, they then fired the house and barn (wherin they had before kept to lie in wait to surprise any coming to us) that by the light thereof they might the better direct their shot at us, but no hurt was done thereby, praised be the Lord. And not long after they burnt the meeting house wherein their fortifications were, as also the barn, which belonged to our house, and so perceiving more strength come to our assistance, they did, as we suppose, despair of effecting any more mischief against us. And therefore the greatest part of them, towards the breaking of the day, August the fifth, went away and left us, and we were quiet from any further molestations by them; and on the morning we went forth of the house without danger, and so daily afterwards, only one man was wounded two days afterwards taken, confessed that there were killed and wounded, about eighty men and more. Blessed by the Lord God of our salvation, who kept us from being all a prey to their teeth. But before they went away they burnt all the town except the house we kept in, and another taht was not then finished. They also made greate spoil of the cattle belonging to the inhabitants; and after our entrance into the house and during the time of our confinement there, they either killed or drove away almost all the hourses of our company.
We continued there, both well and wounded, towards a fortnight, and August the 10th Captain Hutchinson and myself with the men there that had escaped without hurt, and also some of the wounded, came from them; my son Thomas and some other wounded men, came not from them, being not then able to endure travelling so far as from thence to the next town, till about a forthnight afterards. We came to Marlborough on August the 14th, when Captain Hutchinson being not recovered of his wounds before his coming from Brookfield, and overtied with his long journey, by reason of his weakness, soon after grew worse, and more dangerously ill, and on the 19th day of the same month, died, and was there the next day after buried; — yhr Lord being pleased to deny him a return to his own habitation, and his relatives at Boston, though he was come the greatest part of his journey thitherward. The inhabitants of the town also, not long after, men, women, and children, removed safely with what they had left, to several places either where they had lived before their planting or setting down there, or where they had relatives to recieve and entertain them. The Honored Major Willard stayed at Brookfield some weeks after our coming away, there being several companies of soldiers sent up thither and to Hadley, and the towns thereabouts, which are about thirty miles from Brookfield, whither also the Major went for a time upon the service of the country in the present war, and from thence there being need of his presence for the ordering of matters concerning his own regiment, and the safety of the towns belonging to it, he through God’s goodness and mercy returned in safety to his home and dear relatives at Groton.
Thus I have endeavored to set down and declare both what the Lord did against us the loss of several person’s lives, and the wounding of others, some of which wounds were very painful in dressing, and long ere they were healed, besides many dangers we were in, and fears we were exercised with; and also what great things He was pleased to do for us, in frustrating their many attempts, and vouchsafing such a deliverance to us. The Lord avenge the blood that has been shed by these heathen wh hate us without a cause though he be most righteous in all that hath befallen us there, and all other parts of the country, he help us to humble ourselves before him, and withour whole hearts, to return to him, and also to improve all his mercies, which we still enjoy, that so his anger may cease towards us and he may be pleased either to make our enemies at peach with us, or may destroy them before us.
I tarried at Marlborough with Captain Hutchinson until his death, and came here to Concord, August 21, (though not then quite recovered of my wound) and so did others that went with me. But since I am reasonable well, though I have not the use of my hand and arm as before; my son Thomas, though in great hazard of his life for some time after his return to Concord, yet is now very well cured, and his strength well restored. Oh, that we could praise the Lord for his great goodness towards us, that he was pleased to spare so many of us, and add unto our days; he help us whos souls he hath delivered from death and eyes from tears and feet from falling, to walk before him in the land of the living till our great change come, and to sanctify his name in all his ways about us, that our afflictions and our mercies may guide us to live more to his glory all our days.’
‘To the honored Governor and Councell of the Massachusetts Colony in New England.
These are to signyfie that Cornellius Consert the Dutchman was Vppon the Contryes Servis att Quabauge and the Councel of Warre there was sent out Captain of the forlorn And According to my best Advice Continued in the Countryes servis six weeks Cornelius being Reddy to depart the Country and myselfe being here att boston the Major Willard being Absent I granted this ticket.
Thomas Wheeler Captain Boston October ye 13 1676
Source: ‘History of the Wheeler Family in America’, 1914, Albert Gallatin Wheeler, Jr., p 1-12.
Captain Thomas Wheeler and some of His Descendants by Homer W Brainard TAG XII p4-17, 135-9
“The Families of Old Fairfield” by Donald Lines Jacobus Vol I p 662/5