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placing the boundary between the two colonies at a line which runs through the Black Mountains.
These overlapping claims caused much contention for perhaps the space of ten years; when, in 1740, the King of England ended it by giving New Hampshire even more than she had demanded. This took from Massachusetts twenty-eight new townships, between the Merrimac and Connecticut rivers, besides a large amount of vacant lands.
FORTIFICATIONS STRENGTHENED-KING GEORGE'S WAR
GRANTS MADE BY GOVERNOR WENTWORTH
Fort Dummer Strengthened; other Forts Built on the Connecticut.—As the frontier settlements extended northward on the Connecticut, it became necessary to increase and strengthen the defenses. Outside of Fort Dummer
was placed a stockade of posts twenty feet in height, set vertically in the ground side by side. and sharpened at the upper ends. Openings were left in the pickets through which to fire on the enemy. Within were built four province houses, two stories in height, and two or three smaller houses. To the cannon already there, were added several
swivels with which to receive the enemy.
The cannon known as the “Great Gun” was fired only to give warning of impending danger or to announce some welcome news.
A fort at Number Four, now Charlestown, N. H., had been built on the east side of the river, and was already assuming some importance. It was built by Massachusetts, under the direction of Colonel Stoddard, who had also been the builder of Fort Dummer. It was similar to Fort Dummer but stockaded only on the north side. As Fort Dummer was a serious obstruction to those hostile Indians who approached by the Indian road, so Fort Number Four was à menace to those coming over the French road, or by way of more northern streams.
The Rev. Ebenezer Hinsdale built a fort on the east side of the river in what is now Hinsdale, N. H., and this was called Hinsdale's Fort. Nearly opposite this fort, and in Hinsdale, four miles south of Brattleboro, Sartwell's Fort was built by Josiah Sartwell; and half a mile to the south, Bridgman's Fort was erected the same year by Orlando Bridgman. At the same time a fort was built and a settlement started in the “Great Meadow” in what is now the town of Putney; but, on the beginning of hostilities, one of their number having been killed and another taken into captivity, the inhabitants fled for safety to Northfield.
These lesser forts! were merely blockhouses, built of hewn logs, and pierced by many loopholes, through which to observe and attack the enemy. The upper story usually projected over the lower, and underneath the projection were other loopholes, so that an attacking party could be fired upon from above in case of too close an approach.
"See map, p. 26.
These houses would often accommodate several families, and were the strongholds to which the whole community were expected to flee at the first alarm. In case of an attack, the riflemen within kept the savage foe from the sides by firing down upon them, while their wives, perhaps, run bullets for them at the mighty hearth of the huge fireplace.
Scouting.-During the wars, many exploring parties were sent out from the forts on the Connecticut to discover the position A blockhouse. and force of the enemy and give warning of any threatened danger. It was the duty of the rangers to
scour the woods,” and it was by no means an easy life. Often loaded down with a month's provisions, gun, hatchet and blanket, they pursued their course for the most part through thickly wooded country, sometimes following the waterways, sometimes climbing to the tops of the lofty mountains, “there also to lodge on ye top and view morning and evening for smoaks” from the enemy's camp-fires. In summer, the ground was their only bed ; the sky above, or the sheltering branches of a tree, their only canopy.
When the rivers and lakes were frozen over, and the snow was deepest, the enemy was most to be feared ; and, at such time, careful watch was necessary. Then they tramped all day on cumbersome snow-shoes, with all their senses alert, and with strained ears noting every sound. Wherever night found them, they ate their scant rations ; and, often with no fire to warm their benumbed bodies, in Indian fashion, they wrapped themselves in their blankets and lay down on their beds of spruce or hemlock, and passed the dreary night as best they could, while one of their number kept a lonely vigil near by.
The Support of Fort Dummer.-The establishment of the boundary-line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire brought Fort Dummer within the limits of New Hampshire; but the people of Massachusetts continued to support it until King George's War was declared in 1744. Then, thinking of the great expense which its maintenance was likely to be to them, they appealed to the New Hampshire government for its support. They argued that it was clearly not their duty to provide for a fort no longer their own; and, as it properly belonged to New Hampshire, it was plainly her duty to maintain it. Although the king recommended to the New Hampshire people to make provision for its maintenance, even threatening to restore it to Massachusetts should they refuse to comply with his request, and Benning Wentworth, the governor of that colony, strongly urged it, the assembly at first flatly refused to do so, saying that the protection it afforded was of much greater benefit to settlers of Massachusetts than to those of New Hampshire.
A second assembly was called which voted a garrison of twenty men; but the allowance made for their support was so small that a suspicion prevailed among the Massachusetts people that New Hampshire meant to provide for the fort only long enough to obtain full possession of it, and then to slight it. As this would greatly endanger her frontier, Massachusetts thought it her safest way to retain it; and from that time on it was supported by Massachusetts.
Attacks Made by the Enemy.—During this war, which lasted four years, the frontier settlements were constantly in danger, and were often surprised by the enemy, with disastrous results. It was never safe for the inhabitants