Colonial

The Second Incident at Marlborough

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Previously, we recounted that Daniel Gookin, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, had recruited six Praying Indians then held at Deer Island, to accompany the army as guides as the army traveled in the wilderness to find enemy Indians. Two of these men had been spies in the previous months and had lived with the enemy and […]

Colonial

The Indian Spies From Deer Island

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During the period of 1675-1676, perhaps the greatest spy story of early America involved the town of Marlborough. When the colonial army left to confront the Narragansett Indians in December of 1675, General Daniel Gookin, Superintendent for Indian Affairs, went to Deer Island to enlist two of the Praying Indians in a spy mission. These […]

Colonial

The Hungry March

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One of the fascinating things about Marlborough is the degree to which it participated in the parade of American history.  Oftentimes, by virtue of its location on the frontier and on the main road, armies or caravans would pass through the town in their passage from the west into Boston, or from Boston to the […]

Colonial

The Attack on Peter Bent’s Mill

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At some unknown time, Peter Bent, who had previously built the bridge over the Sudbury River, had also constructed a mill in today’s Southborough on land now flooded by the Metropolitan system near the Framingham line.  It probably served the farmlands established in Southborough and west Framingham.  It was somewhat isolated, however, and was attacked […]

Colonial

The Town Prepares for War

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From August 14, 1675 to August 19, the people of Marlborough looked on as the ill-fated troop of soldiers returned, wounded and broken from the battle at Brookfield. These events and others, particularly the attack on nearby Lancaster, provided strong motivation for establishing a defensive plan for the town.  At some point, it’s not certain […]

Colonial

The Wanderings of Sarah Conomog

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When the Praying Indian Plantation of Ockammakemesit was broken up, the local Praying Indians had to choose where to go. Most went to Natick where they had relatives. But some had ties to the Wamesits in present day Tewksbury. This included Sarah Conomog, widow of the local chief Onamog who had died in 1674. As […]

Colonial

The Incident at Marlborough

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From August 14, 1675 to August 19, the people of Marlborough looked on as the ill-fated troop of soldiers returned, wounded and broken from the battle at Brookfield. The next few weeks would help define the treatment of all Indians in America for the next centuries. On Sunday, August 22, the anxiety was increased to […]

Colonial

Marlborough’s First Known Burial

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The first man known to have been buried in Marlborough was Captain Edward Hutchinson. This seems odd to say, but the first generation of Puritans in Marlborough did not leave any headstones since they believed it vain to do so.  Some were buried with other family in Sudbury, some perhaps on family farms, but there […]

Colonial

Only War Fought in Marlborough

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In his 19th century book, “Soldiers of King Philip’s War,” George Madison Bodge used wartime military reports to trace movements and key locations in the conduct of the war. In so doing, he placed a great deal of emphasis on Marlborough’s critical role. Few of the modern historians mention Marlborough other than that it was […]