A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Rowlandson’

Princeton, Massachusetts

Posted by graywacke on February 11, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2082; A Landing A Day blog post number 510.

Dan –  Phew.  An eastern USer after all of those western OSers . . . MA; 5/7; 2/10; 150.4.  And for those of you who may have thought that my random number generator had some sort of western bias, let me say that today I “landed” twice in the Atlantic Ocean, once in the Gulf of Mexico, and once in eastern Canada before I finally sunk my boots in some good ol’ American soil . . .

 Here’s a recap of my last 11 landings, and you’ll see what I mean about all of those western OSers:

WY  (OS)
KS  (OS)
LA  (US)
OR  (OS)
SD  (OS)
WY  (OS)
AZ  (OS)
UT  (OS)
LA  (OS; notice the switch from US to OS)
WY  (OS); and finally . . .
MA  (US)

For those of you readers who have no clue (and don’t really care) what this is all about, my apologies for taking up your time.  If you do care but aren’t up to speed, click HERE and then HERE.

 Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing1

My local landing map shows my proximity to Hubbardston and Princeton:

 landing2

I could have featured some other towns in the general area, but must admit that I was a little intrigued with Princeton, what with me being a Jersey guy and all.  In fact, I’m a central Jersey guy (and the real Princeton is in Central Jersey).  In fact, my youngest actually went to Princeton.  So anyway, I figured I’d see what Princeton MA has to say for itself.

(Note:  I generally mock snobby locals who glom onto Princeton, as if it actually gives them status.  My apologies for that previous paragraph . . .)

 But first, my Google Earth (GE) shot:

 GE1

Wow.  A bunch of woods, eh?

 I’ll zoom back a little.  Still a bunch of woods . . .

 GE2

When I zoomed back a little more, I could see a ski area, Wachusett Mountain,  a few miles east of my landing:

 GE3

Here’s a low-level GE shot, looking north up the ski slopes:

 GE3 - Wachusett Mountain

After all of my western landings, I must chuckle a little at the temerity of us easterners to call this a mountain.  Hey – it’s all relative . . .

 Here’s my streams-only map; you can following my drainage all the way from Joslin Brook to the Connecticut River:

 landing3

The Wests Branch of the Ware River is a new river for me, as is the Ware River itself.  This was my second landing in the Chicopee R watershed; on to the Connecticut R (13th hit).

 So, it’s time for Princeton.  From Wiki:

 According to tradition, in 1675 Mary Rowlandson (who was kidnapped by Indians during King Philip’s War) was ransomed upon Redemption Rock  [located within the town of Princeton], by King Philip.

OK, I’ve got three threads to follow from that once sentence: 

  • Redemption Rock
  • Mary Rowlandson
  • King Philip & King Philip’s War

 I’ll start with Redemption Rock.  From Wiki:

 Redemption Rock is a colonial-era historic site in Princeton, Massachusetts. In 1676, during King Philip’s War, the release of Mary Rowlandson (the wife of a Puritan minister) from her Native American captors was negotiated atop a granite ledge known as Redemption Rock.

Rowlandson would later write about her experience in “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” considered a seminal work in the American literary genre of captivity narratives.

Redemption Rock is located off Massachusetts Route 140, near Wachusett Mountain.

OK.  So here’s what Wiki has to say about Mary Rowlandson:

Mary Rowlandson (1637 – 1711) was a colonial American woman who was captured by Indians during King Philip’s War and held for 11 weeks before being ransomed.

 Finally, here’s what Wiki has to say about King Philip’s War:

King Philip’s War was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day New England and English colonists and their Native American allies in 1675–78. The war is named after the main leader of the Native American side, Metacomet, known to the English as “King Philip” [who was killed in 1676, two years before the war ended].

 Wow.  Who’d a guessed that King Philip was an Indian?  Back to Wiki:

The war was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth-century Puritan New England. In the space of little more than a year, twelve of the region’s towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony’s economy was all but ruined, and many of its population was killed, including one-tenth of all men available for military service.

 Let me ciricle back to Mary Rowlandson and the book she wrote.  From Wiki’s plot summary:

On February 10, 1675, the settlement of Lancaster, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was attacked by Indians. The Indians burn houses down and kill several residents and wounding more. They take many of the survivors captive, including Mary Rowlandson and her three children. Mary and her youngest child are among the injured while others of her family, like her brother-in-law, are killed. The Indians lead the captured survivors from their settlement into the wilderness.

Rowlandson and her youngest, Sarah are allowed to stay together, but her two oldest, Joseph and Mary, are separated.

After spending a night in a nearby town, the Indians and the captives head further into the wilderness. The journey is difficult for the injured Rowlandson and her daughter. They reach an Indian settlement called Wenimesset.

After staying in Wenimesset for about a week, Rowlandson’s injured daughter, Sarah, dies.  Rowlandson is sold to another Indian who is related to King Philip by marriage. They bury Rowlandson’s dead daughter, and she is allowed to visit her oldest daughter Mary who is also being held in Wenimesset, and her oldest son who is allowed to visit from a nearby Indian settlement. The Indians give Rowlandson a Bible where she finds hope.

The Indians decide to head north and Rowlandson is again taken away from her family and “friends” she made. The Indians move quickly through the forest; Mary suspects the British army must be close by.

Some number of weeks are spent wandering throughout the region (and Wiki spends some number of paragraphs describing the wandering).  Back to Wiki:

. . . they [the Indians and Rowlandson]  meet messengers telling Rowlandson she must go to Wachuset where the Indians will discuss the possibility of returning her to freedom. She reaches Wachuset and speaks to King Philip who guarantees she will be free in two weeks. The council asks how much her husband would pay for her ransom and they send a letter to Boston saying she can be free for twenty pounds.

The ransom is paid, and Mary and her family are released.

She is reunited with her husband after 11 long weeks. They stay with a friend in Concord for a while until Rowlandson’s sister, son, and daughter are returned. Now back together, the family builds a house in Boston where they live until 1677.

 As you regular ALAD readers know, I’ve discussed Indian conflicts many many times.  But nearly all are associated with my western landings.  We (I, anyway) tend to forget that the Indians (of course) were everywhere in America; and of course, the first conflicts would have pre-1700’s up and down the eastern seaboard. 

 As awful as this must have been for Mary Rowlandson, the Indians lost everything (including most of their population . . .)

 So anyway, I’ll close with some GE Panoramio shots.  First this of Asnacomet Pond by Wayne Brink (about 3 miles south of my landing):

 pano asnacomet pond by wayne brink

Here’s a shot of Moosehorn Pond by Bylund (about 2 miles south of my landing):

 pano moosehorn pond by bylund

And finally, here’s a shot from the top of Wachusett Mountain (about 4 miles east of my landing):

 pano mad ned view from wasachusetts mountain

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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