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WISER NEWSLETTER

Volume 4 Issue 8                                                          August 1999


 

RESEARCH FINDINGS

 

In last month’s newsletter, I discussed James Quanapaug, also known as James Quannupokkis, Quannaphohit, Rumneymarsh or Wiser, who may be our ancestor.

 

From the “History of Hadley”, by Sylvester Judd, H.R. Huntting & Company, 1905, page 153; “James Quannaphoit, a Christian Natick Indian, who was sent forth as a spy, with another named Job, arrived at Wenimesset or Menimesset, north of Brookfield, January 4, 1676, where he found, as he judged, about 300 Nipmuck fighting-men, and twice as many women and children.  He was there informed that Philip was within a half day’s journey of Albany.

 

I requested a copy of James Quanapuag’s journey among the Nipmucks.  A copy of his testimony was found in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, 1st Series, Vol. 6 (1799), pages 205-208.  It is reproduced below exactly how it appears in the record.

 

If James is our ancestor, this would be the earliest record that we have of the actual experiences of one of our family members.  It was at the height of King Philip’s War and James was lucky not to be killed when he infiltrated the ranks of King Philip’s men.  There is more detail of the war in the last newsletter.

 

James Quanapaug’s Information, 24th 11 mo. 1675.  James Quanapuag, an Indian, sent out with Job, as spies, to make discovery of the enemy; returneth as followeth-“Saith, the first night after his departure from Natick, he came to Hessamesit, and from thence went to Manexit, where he met seven Indians of the enemy, who took Job and him.  They were Quahmsit and Segunesit Indians.  The next day we went to Quabaug pond, and met other Indians at Quabuag old fort, four men and two squaws.   There we lay all night.  Next day one Indian said he would carry us to the Indians; and we crossed over on this side Quabuag, and traveled one day; and in the night came to three Indian towns, the furthest not above three miles distant from the other, in which there was about 300 soldiers, besides women and children, and lie about thirty miles from Lancaster.  The place is called Menemesseg, about twenty miles to the northward of Connecticut path.  They have bark wigwams for shelter, and some mats; have pork, beef, and venison plenty.  Their corn, he thinks, will fall short.  The first night they asked us how we came from the island.  We told them we lived badly, had no firing, and run away. They said we were the English’s brothers, and came as spies, and said they would kill us; but some of the chief would not yield to it.  They were two Narragansets, would have had us killed.  They inquired, what army was at Narraganset.  We told them, we knew not; we dare not go to Boston.  One Indian would have borrowed my knife, another my hatchet.  Then I spake to Job, saying, come let us go to their council.  The first night we came, they took our snow-shoes from us; and one-eyed John told us, it was a great way, we could not come there by night; but we went, and found it but three miles.  We came to the chief wigwam, where was about fifty men.  They did not ask us many questions.  Tuckup William told us, they had appointed to kill James Speen, Andrew Pitimy, captain Hunter, Thomas Quanupu, and Peter Ephraim, if they fell into their hands, and that Philip had hired them to do it; and said, I was one of the worst, and they would kill me, because I went up with the army to Swanzey, where Pebe and one of Philip’s counselors were killed, and that I helped to cut off their heads, and bade me look to myself.  Next morning I went to one-eyed John’s wigwam.  He said he was glad to see me; I had been his friend many years, and had helped him kill Mohaugs; and said, noboby should meddle with me.  I told him what was said to me.  He said, if any body hurt me they should die.  Then came Matoonus his company and others, and went to dancing; we painted our faces and went to dancing with them, and were very good friends.  The dance continued two or three nights, after which they looked badly upon me again.  I lay in the sagamore’s wigwam; and he charged his gun, and threatened any man that should offer me hurt; and all those of his wigwam that should offer me hurt; and all those of his wigwam were of that mind, and sent a guard with me to the place whence I came.  I went to another sachem, who told me, nobody should hurt me.  I asked one-eyed John, how many men he lost: he said, but two.  I asked him how many he lost up about Hatfield; he said, he lost one in the fight with captain Beers; another in fight with captain Lathrop.  He hath about forty men under him.  I asked him how many Philip and Northampton Indians lost; he said, but two.  I asked him how much ammunition he had: he said, half a peck of powder, and shewed me it.  He said, he had it from the soldiers that were slain, some, and some from the fort of Orania.  They have in these towns about twice so many women and children as are persons upon Deer island.  He said, he expected help from the Wampaugs and Mohaugs, between this and planting time.  The Mohaugs say, they will not kill the English, but they will kill the Mohegins.  The Frenchmen, that went up from Boston to Norwuthick, were with the Indians, and shewed them some letters, and burnt some papers there, and bid them they should not burn mills nor meeting-houses, for there God was worshipped; and told them that they would come by land, and assist them, and would have Connecticut river, and that ships would come from France and stop up the bay, to hinder English ships and soldiers coming.  And this Indian told me, they would fall upon Lancaster, Groton, Marlborough, Sudbury, and Medfield; and that the first thing they would do should be to cut down Lancaster bridge, so to hinder their flight, and assistance coming to them; and that they intended to fall upon them in about twenty days time from Wednesday last. (They attacked Lancaster on the 10th of February, 1676.)  The Narragansets sent up one English head to them by two of their men; and they shot at the Narragansets, told them they had been friends to the English, and that head was nothing.  Afterwards they sent up two men more, with twelve scalps; then they received them, and hung the scalps on trees.  Whilst I was there, another messenger came, brought nothing, but desired assistance, and said, they lost but forty fighting men, and three hundred old men, women, and children; and said, they had a great English captain among them, who had killed five Englishmen; that captain Mosely was killed, and that the Narragansets were drawing to Quantisick; two hundred men were come then; that they are in three companies; Pomham is by himself, and Quananshet by himself; Ninegret is parted from them.  They said, Ninegret’s men pretended to help the English, but were false, and did not shoot against the Indians; but that the Mohegins killed more than the English.  They said, there is an Englishman called Williams about Mr. Stanton’s who, after the fight, came to the fort to the sachems to beg for his life, and the life of his wife and children, tendered them his cattle, corn, and goods, and to bring them what powder he could.  Robert Pepper is a prisoner among the Indians where I was; was wounded in the fight in the leg, and got into a tree and lay there, and Sam of Mashaway took him, and dragged him away, and abused him.  After two days, Sam took him into his wigwam, and told him, if he did not die of his wound he should not be killed, and doth now use him kindly.  Pepper told me, his master Sam said he should go home in the spring.  Philip hath two prisoners of the English, one Greenleaf’s man, a ship carpenter, and a Barbadoes boy.  Philip is well, and within half a day’s journey of the fort Orania on that side; Hadley Indians are on this side, a little distant one from the other.  Sancumucha, Hadley sachem, was ready to kill Philip; told him, he had brought all this trouble on them.  They lived very well by the English; two Mohaugs have been with them the last summer, and buy powder for them at Orania.  Two Wampaugs are with them.  The old men are weary of the war, but the young men are for the continuance of it.  They say, they have good store of arms.  Marlborough Indians are with them; they say, they were fetched away by the other Indians; some of them are very willing to come back.  They had appointed a time to carry me with them to Philip, and Job to Narraganset, to tell what news we had brought; but I put them off, that I would go out first with some Indians, and kill some English, and carry their heads to Philip; but Job and I consulted to go a hunting, and borrowed Sampson’s gun, and we found four deers, and killed them, and got into a swamp, and lay there all night.  Next morning dressed our venison; then I came away, and left Job; he said, he would go to Narraganset; and if he lived, would return in three weeks.  We parted on Thursday last, about three o’clock in the morning.  It is reported, there is seven hundred fighting men, well armed, left of the Narragansets.

 

OBITUARY

 

Kaysville-Wendell Haslam Wiser, 76, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died at his home in Kaysville, Utah, Sunday, August 8, 1999, after a courageous 13-year battle against cancer.  Born December 16, 1922 to William Harvey Wiser and Emma Haslam Wiser in Fairview, Franklin, Idaho, the fifth of eight children.  Married Yvonne Helen Wendrich, 1947.  She died in 1968.  Married Barbara Carr, 1969.  Five children: Jerald W. (Susan) Wiser, Kaysville; David W. Wiser, Phoenix; Gregory W. Wiser, Australia; Diane Wiser, Kaysville; Sharon W. (Spencer) Meikle, Tucson, and 13 grandchildren.  Raised on a farm in Idaho.  Attended Brigham Young University.  Pilot of World War II.  Received BS and PhD degrees from University of Utah.  Served a mission to New Zealand and Samoa with Yvonne in 1953-1958.  Taught at and was president of the LDS Church College of New Zealand 1958-1965.  Was professor of Fuels Engineering at U of U 1965-1998.  Involved in several professional organizations.  Authored many scientific papers and a textbook, and held several patents.  Enjoyed horses and cattle ranching.  Loved sports.  Played on several community, school and church baseball and basketball teams.  Played basketball with U of U colleagues until age 73.  Always active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  President of Stadium Village Branch bishop twice, stake president and stake patriarch.  Loved teaching Gospel Doctrine class.  Survived by wife and children.  Preceded in death by his first wife, parents, all brothers and sisters, and one grandson.  Funeral Wednesday, Aug. 11th at 11 a.m. at Kaysville East Stake Center, 201 So. 600 East.  Interment at Salt Lake City Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.8

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

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