Duston's Island, NH: population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.
Web NewEnglandTowns.org

Go: Prev Next | A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

New England > New Hampshire > Duston's Island

Duston's Island, New Hampshire

This small island in the Merrimack at the mouth of Contoocook river, between Concord and Boscawen, has become celebrated on account of an exploit of a lady whose name it bears. On the 15th March, 1698, the Indians made a descent on Haverhill, Mass., where they took Mrs. Hannah Duston, who was confined to her bed with an infant only six days old, and attended by her nurse, Mary Niff. The Indians took Mrs. Duston from her bed and carried her away with the nurse and infant. They soon despatched the latter by dashing its head against a tree. When they had proceeded as far as this island, which has been justly called Duston's island, on their way to an Indian town situate a considerable distance above, the Indians informed the women that they must be stripped and run the gauntlet through the village on their arrival. Mrs. Duston and her nurse had been assigned to a family consisting of two stout men, three women, and seven children, or young Indians, besides an English boy who had been taken from Worcester. Mrs. Duston, aware of the cruelty that awaited her, formed the design of exterminating the whole family, and prevailed upon the nurse and the boy to assist her in their destruction. A little before day, finding the whole company in a sound sleep, she awoke her confederates, and with the Indian hatchets despatched ten of the twelve. One of the women whom they though they had killed made her escape, and a favorite boy they designedly left. Mrs. Duston and her companions arrived safe home with their scalps, though their danger from the enemy and from famine in travelling so far, must have been great. The general court of Massachusetts made her a grant of £50, and she received many other valuable presents.

© 2004–2014 NewEnglandTowns.org