Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: GARRISON HOUSES

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For a full century and a quarter from the time when our History opens, there was never a year when the people could confidently expect immunity from Indian outrage. Not that they lived always in fear. A threatened danger, long delayed, gradually loses its terror; and there were considerable intervals when no outbreaks occurred and the savages affected great love for the families of their white brothers. But treachery was characteristic of all the tribes; and, as this record of the wars has shown, safeguards were constantly demanded, in places of refuge, stores of ammunition, trained soldiers and danger signals.

Garrison houses were in every town; most of them owned and occupied as dwellings in times of peace -- crowded with refugees and guarded by armed men when danger seemed imminent. The annals of these garrison houses, if any had been kept, would make an exciting chapter in the history of the times. Very little detail, however, has come down even by tradition, of the garrisons of Hampton. The houses themselves are mostly gone, though a few have been demolished within the memory of people now living. One of these was the Philbrick house in the east part of the town, which stood where John A. Philbrick's house now stands,s till it was taken down in 1855. It was heavily timbered, the eastern half of the second story projecting over the first, with openings here and there in the floor of the projection, through which shot might be fired downward, or waster poured, if the savages pursued their favorite plan of setting fire to the house. Other loop-holes guarded the approach. A fragmentary jotting, still to be seen in a manuscript of the third Dea. Samuel Dow, who lived nearly opposite, "Remember, Remember how ye Indians came down upon you to destroy you had you not had help from ye garrison to drive" ------ very likely referred to an attack frustrated by the soldiers stationed here.

Ordinary houses were sometimes utilized for garrisons. It is said that, in one of the wars, the old Toppan house premises were enclosed by a stockade, and many of the inhabitants of the town sheltered within, some only going for the nights, carrying bundles of straw and sleeping in the yard, while the appointed watch was kept. In the morning, the gate was opened to allow the able-bodied men to pass out, armed of course, to their daily work, while all others remained under ward through the day. The story is told, that a girl ventured out near nightfall, to drive in a cow; that she was surprised by an Indian and ran for her life, barely reaching the gate, when some one within stretched out an arm and pulled her safely through.

Other garrison houses, at the town, on the Falls side, at North Hill and wherever there were considerable settlements, gave such security as could be afforded, slender at best, against savage cunning and malice.

[From Capt. Henry Dow's Diary]: "Simon began his fortnight to find the watch-wood the 11 March, 1695-6." . . . . . . . "An account of peopells neglect of watching August 26 Ebenezer Webster refused to watch one night and ward ye day after when it was his turne & Will: Lane the same day & night refused & was a delinquent. August 30 Arretas lovitt Refused to ward a day Joseph Philbrick September 20 Refused to watch ;in the night and ward the day after. William ffifield September ye 21:27 refused to watch two nights & two days."


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