America Begins: Early American Writing

By Richard M. Dorson | Go to book overview

MEMOIRS OF ODD ADVENTURES
AND SIGNAL DELIVERANCES IN THE CAPTIVITY
OF JOHN GYLES, ESQ.

By Himself


Containing the Occurrences of the First Year

ON the second day of August, 1689, in the morning, my honored father, Thomas Gyles, Esq., went with some laborers, my two elder brothers, and myself to one of his farms which lay on the river about three miles above Fort Charles, adjoining Pemaquid Falls, there to gather in his English harvest, and labored securely till noon. After we had dined our people went to their labor, some in one field to their English hay, the others to another field of English corn, except my father, the youngest of my two brothers, and myself, who tarried near to the farmhouse in which we had dined, till about one of the clock, when we heard the report of several great guns from the fort. Upon the hearing of them my father said that he hoped it was a signal of good news, and that the Great Council had sent back the soldiers to cover the inhabitants (for on report of the revolution they had deserted). But to our great surprise, about thirty or forty Indians at that moment discharged a volley of shot at us, from behind a rising ground near our barn.

The yelling of the Indians, the whistling of their shot, and the voice of my father, whom I heard cry out "What now! What now!," so terrified me (though he seemed to be handling a gun), that I endeavored to make my escape. My brother ran one way and I another, and looking over my shoulder I saw a stout fellow, painted, pursuing me with a gun and a cutlass glittering in his hand which I expected every moment in my brains. I presently fell down, and the Indian took me by the left hand, offered me no abuse, but seized my arms, lifted me up, and pointed to the place where the people were at work about the hay, and led me that way. As we passed we crossed my father, who looked very pale and bloody, and walked very slowly. When

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America Begins: Early American Writing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Early American Writing 1
  • Voyages 17
  • A Voyage to New England 21
  • A Voyage to Virginia 34
  • 2- Natural Wonders 67
  • Fertility 71
  • Sea Fish 79
  • Flora and Fauna 83
  • Bears 85
  • The Skunk 86
  • Turtles 89
  • The Rattlesnake 91
  • The Horn Snake 92
  • The Bat 93
  • Tobacco 94
  • The Jamestown Weed 96
  • Love Flowers 97
  • The Tulip Tree 98
  • The Ancient New England Standing Dish 99
  • The Power of Rum 100
  • Ugly Rumors 102
  • Remarkable Providences 111
  • Judgments 115
  • A Whoredom Unmasked 116
  • Of Buggery 120
  • Of Railing Quakers 121
  • Blasphemers, Drunkards, and Heathen 122
  • God Strikes the Foulmouthed 124
  • Ungodly Servants 128
  • A Talky Barber 131
  • Of New England's Enemies 133
  • Deliverances 138
  • Mortal Wounds That Do Not Kill 142
  • Escapes from the Deep 146
  • Prodigies 149
  • Before and After Death 154
  • Necromancy with a Pinnace 156
  • Specter Ships 157
  • Accidents 162
  • Falling into Things 163
  • 4- Indian Captivities 167
  • The Capture of John Smith 171
  • A Notable Exploit Performed by a Woman 183
  • Memoirs of Odd Adventures And Signal Deliverances in the Captivity Of John Gyles, Esq. 209
  • 5- Indian Conceits and Antics 265
  • Powaw Magic 269
  • Devil Worship 280
  • Myths 290
  • Foolish Indians 298
  • Smart Indians 304
  • 6- Indian Treaties 309
  • A Conference on the Sale of Rum 313
  • A Conference of His Excellency the Governor 314
  • 7- Witchcrafts 331
  • New England Distraught 334
  • The Archenemy 336
  • The Gathering Storm 343
  • The Awful Struggle 351
  • A Dread Secret Weapon 355
  • The Battle at Salem 357
  • 8- Forest Wars 371
  • The Pequot War 376
  • King Philip's War 399
  • Stratagems of the Indian Allies 400
  • Torture of an Indian Prisoner 405
  • The Ambush of Captain Lathrop 407
  • The Death of King Philip 408
  • King William's War 413
  • Sources 420
  • Index of Authors 434
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