July 25, 1722: Massachusetts Bay Colony Gov. Samuel Shute declares war on the Wabanaki Confederacy. This begins what is referred to variously as Lovewell’s or Dummer’s War among other names as well.

It is during this three-year conflict that English raiders in 1724 destroy the Native American settlement at Norridgewock, killing and scalping The Rev. Sébastien Râle, a French Jesuit priest who is head of the Catholic mission there, and 26 others. The scalps are sent to Boston to claim a bounty. Scalping is encouraged on both sides of the conflict.

Also, Lovewell’s Fight occurs the following year in Fryeburg, although this time the English suffer heavy casualties.

Unlike other conflicts of the period, Lovewell’s War is not part of a larger European conflict. Much of the fighting takes place in the interior of New England, demonstrating that English colonials are becoming more aggressive about protecting their existing settlements and pushing the French and what they consider to be enemy Native American back.

The Native American, suffering badly from the war, take part in peace talks in November 1725 in Boston. The peace agreement signed on Casco Bay in 1726 further entrenches local English property rights.

 

Presented by:

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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