1676 | New England

Casualty Report

An account of the English losses in the colonies.

In Narragansett, not one House left standing.

At Warwick, but one.

At Providence, not above three. 

At Potuxit, none left.

Very few at Seaconicke.

At Swansey, two, at most.

Marlborough, wholly laid in Ashes, except two or three Houses.

Grantham and Nashaway, all ruined but one House or two.

Many Houses burnt at Springfield, Scituate, Lancaster, Brookefield, and Northampton.

The greatest Part of Rehoboth and Taunton destroyed.

Great Spoil made at Hadley, Hatfield, and Chelmsford.

Deerfield wholly, and Westfield much, ruined.

At Sudbury, many Houses burnt, and some at Hingham, Weymouth, and Braintree.

Besides particular Farms and Plantations, a great Number not be reckoned up, wholly laid waste, or very much damnified.

And as to Persons, it is generally thought, that of the English there hath been lost, in all, Men, Women, and Children, above Eight Hundred since the War began: of whom many have been destroyed with exquisite Torments and most inhumane Barbarities; the Heathen rarely giving Quarter to those that they take, but if they were Women, they first forced them to sastisfie their filthy Lusts and then murdered them, either cutting off the Head, ripping open the Belly, or skulping the Head of Skin and Hair, and hanging them up as Trophies; wearing Men’s Fingers as Bracelets about their Necks and Stripes of their Skins which they dresse for Belts. They knockt one Youth of the Head, and laying him for dead, they flead (or skulp’d) his Head of Skin and Hair. After which the Boy wonderfully revived, and is now recovered, only he hath Nothing but the dry Skull, neither Skin nor Hair on his Head. Nor have our Cattle escaped the Cruelty of these worse than Brute and Savage Beasts: for what Cattle they took they seldom killed outright: or if they did, would eat but little of the Flesh, but rather cut their Bellies, and letting them go several Days, trailing their Guts after them, putting out their Eyes, or cutting off one Leg, etc.

About This Text

Nathaniel Saltonstall, from “A True but Brief Account of Our Losses Sustained Since This Cruel and Mischievous War Began.” The losses were inflicted on the colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island by various Native American tribes, among them the Pokanoket, the Nipmuck, and the Squakheag, in what was known as King Philip’s War (1675-1676). Saltonstall, a magistrate of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was selected in 1692 to preside over the Salem Witch Trials. He resigned in disgust.