Lovewell's Fight (I)
DESCRIPTION: Captain Lovewell and his men set out to attack the Indians. They find and kill one, only to find their baggage plundered and the Indians planning an ambush. Lovewell is killed, and many others, but at last the Europeans reach their destination
EARLIEST DATE: 1824 (Farmer and Moore, according to Gray); there is a mention of a 1725 broadside that is probably this
KEYWORDS: battle Indians(Am.)
May 9, 1725 - Battle between Captain Lovewell and the Indians at Pigwacket (near Fryeburg, Maine)
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Gray, pp. 127-133, "Lovewell's Fight, I" (1 text, from a broadside)
Leach, pp. 714-716, "Lovewell's Fight" (1 text)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 2-4, "Lovewell's Fight" (1 text)
cf. "Lovewell's Fight (II)" (subject)
NOTES: Lest the Indians be blamed for this battle, it should be noted that Lovewell and his men were scalphunters -- receiving one hundred pounds for each trophy they brought in.
Although the conflict doubtless worsened relations between Colonists and Indians, it seems to have had little real effect on history. I checked five histories of the period, and only one mentioned it: Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., editor, The Almanac of American History, revised edition, Putnam, 1993 (I use the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), pp. 79-80, notes that Lovewell's men brought home ten scalps -- the first known instance of Europeans scalping Indians. Schlesinger, however, dates the attack to April 20, 1725, and places it near Wakefield, New Hampshire, not Pigwacket, Maine. The dating in the Historical References is based on the song itself (Gray's version says that Lovewell's men encountered their first Indian on May 8 near Pigwacket).
This song is item dA27 in Laws's Appendix II.
To tell it from "Lovewell's Fight (II)," consider this first half-stanza:
Of worthy Captain Lovewell,
I purpose now to sing,
How valiantly he served
His country and his King. - RBW
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