1690 Military Inspection Report Weeks Before Devastating Indian Attack at Fort Loyal
"Mayne", Massachusetts Colony, dated 1690 [ca. May 1690]. A military inspection document attributed to Edward Rawson, who served as the first Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Signed in absentia by John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin - not in their hand. With details outlining the proper conduct of the Government to keep the peace and how military matters are to be addressed. 1p, measuring 7.75" x 11.75". The document has flattened folds, with some separations and tears in places - some areas have been repaired on verso. Light toning and foxing throughout. Chipping at edges. Minor text loss at the top edge. Overall very good.
Highlights from the document include:
"That they exert theire [sic] power to upold and maintaine [sic] the Government in keeping the peace and administering the Laws that the end of Government may be attained…In Military Concerns that theire [sic] be due & are taken in watching & warding that you may not be surprised by the ennemy [sic] & suddenly deploy as other playses [sic] have been…That a suitable party or partyes [sic] be sent forth to disperse and [illegible] the ennemy at those usall fisshing places or else wheare as theire may be opportunity…"
In 1690, Governor Simon Bradstreet sent both Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne on a fact-finding mission to Maine and New Hampshire, to assess the strength of the garrisons against Native American attacks. Bradstreet had been receiving multiple complaints from citizens that the Council of Safety in Boston was not providing enough troops to prevent Indian attacks in these areas. Corwin and Hawthorne arrived in early May and, after inspecting the area, sent a report to the council advising that soldiers needed to be more vigilant against surprise attacks, send out frequent scouts, reduce the number of garrisons, and attack the Indians when the opportunity arose - such as at their known fishing places or elsewhere. Their report proved to be too little too late, however, as just a few weeks later, local Native Americans, with the help of French soldiers from Canada, staged a brutal attack on Fort Loyal. After two days of siege, the fort surrendered, with the settlement's buildings burned and its people either killed or taken prisoner. The fall of Fort Loyal led to the near depopulation of Europeans in Maine and sparked months of additional intense fighting in the region.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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