A daughter of the second wife of a Mr. Sackett (her name I do not know) was taken captive by the Indians and carried to the north-west part of New York, married an Indian, and remained among them as long as she lived. Her descendants have been here to see their mother's friends several times since the French war. Previous to that they used some exertions to make others of the Sackett family captives, but did not succeed.
About the time of the French war a man was killed at the Farms while looking for his cow, and another at Southampton. He was in a barn threshing, with his gun standing near, but as he turned his back to the door he was fired upon by the Indian and killed.
A signal was given on the discovery of Indians in the vicinity by twice firing a gun. An alarm of this kind was once given, and the central village was deserted by all the male inhabitants; while absent, a company of Indians appeared on the bank south of the town, with the intention, as it afterwards appeared, to make a hostile attack, but were deterred, on seeing the number of the houses and smoke curling from every chimney, through fear of finding the whites of superior strength. Thus the town was providentially preserved, when four or five might have laid it in ashes. I have been informed that two tribes wandered about in this vicinity. The rivers afforded fish in great variety in those days, such as bass, salmon, shad, &c., and the forests abounded with bears, deer, &c, while on the meadows and plains maize was easily cultivated. A field on Little river, now called Squawfield, was probably cultivated by them. There arrow-heads and other Indian utensils were formerly found in abundance. There is a collection of their utensils in the academy, together with an India's head, the bones of the skull and face nearly perfect, said to have been dug up in the vicinity of Harrison's tavern. Very few facts relative to the aborigines have been recorded, and therefore I am able to give only a very brief account of them at this period.
THIS town was originally a part of Springfield; it was made a parish in 1696, and was incorporated as a distinct town in 1773. It is supposed that settlements commenced in this town as early as 1654 or '55, as there were in those years a number of house-lots granted on Chicopee plain, on the west side of the river. These grants were made to the following persons:- Francis Pepper, Anthony Dorchester, Samuel Terry, Hugh Dudley, John Dumbleton, Miles Morgan, John Stewart, Obadiah Miller, and Simon Sacket. Thomas Cooper and Abel Leonard settled on the southwest side of the Agawam, about 1660, and in a short time Thomas Merrick was there also. A few years after this, house-lots were granted as far west as Paucatuck Brook, and among the settlers are found the names of Riley, Foster, Jones, Petty, Scot, Barber, Rogers, Parsons, Fowler, Ely, Bagg, and Day. In May, 1695, the inhabitants on this side of the river, consisting of thirty-two families and upwards of 200 souls, presented a petition to the general court "that they might be permitted to invite and settle a minister." This petition was granted; a church was formed in 1698, and in 1702 the first meeting-house was erected. The first or "old burying-ground" is said to have been the gift of a person by the name of Foster. The oldest monuments to be found in it are those of Mr. Nathaniel Dwit, who died Nov. 1, 1711, and of Deacon John Barber, who died June 27, 1712.
In 1750, a number of inhabitants in the north part of West Springfield united with a number on the east side of the river.