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JOHN GYLES'S STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF INDIANS.
The following article is the copy of a paper which appears to be original. It is written in an ancient hand and the body of the paper and signature are alike. If not an original, it is a very old copy, and is filed in a different hand writing, as follows, “ Capt. Gyles account of ye No of Indians in each tribe 1726."
Capt. Gyles was son of Thomas Gyles, Esq. who was a large land owner at Pemaquid in this state, and who was commissioned Chief Justice of the Co. of Cornwall, as the territory was called which included Pemaquid, by Gov. Dongan under James, Duke of York, afterwards king of England. The father was killed in the attack on Pemaquid by the Indians in 1689, and his son John, his wife and two daughters were taken captives. John remained in captivity over eight years ; he was released and landed in Boston in 1698. He afterwards was employed by government in their intercourse with the Indians during many years. He superintended building the fort at Brunswick in 1715, which was called Fort George, and of which he had the command. In 1725 he was appointed commander of the important military post on St. George's river. In 1736 he published an interesting narrative of his captivity, which was republished by Saml. G. Drake Esq. of Boston in 1846, in a work called “ Tragedies of the Wilderness,” embracing many narratives of captives among the Indians.
Capt. Gyles was living at Roxbury Mass. in 1753 aged 73. He says at the close of his narrative above referred to," I have had the honor to serve this province under eight commanders in chief, Governors and Lt. Governors, from the year 1698 to the year 1736 : and how much longer my services may continue, I submit to the Governor of the world.”
Capt. Gyles in his memoirs, gives the following account of his family : “ The flourishing state of New England, before the unhappy eastern war, drew my father hither, whose first settlement was on Kennebec river, at a place called Merrymeeting Bay, where he dwelt for some years ; until, on the death of my Grand parents, he with his family returned to England to settle his affairs. This done, he came over with the design to have returned to his farm: but on his arrival at Boston, the Eastern Indians had begun their hostilities. He therefore began a settlement on Long island. The air of that place not so well agreeing with his constitution, and the Indians having become peaceable, he again proposed to settle his lands in Mer. rymeeting Bay: but finding that place deserted and that plantations were going on at Pemaquid, he purchased several tracts of land of the inhabitants there. Upon his highness the Duke of York resuming a claim to those parts, my father took out patents under that claim, and when Pemaquid was set off by the name of the County of Cornwall, in the Province of New York, he was commissioned Chief Justice of the same by Gov. Dongan. He was a strict sabbatarian, and met with considerable difficulty in the discharge of his office, from the immoralities of a people who had long lived lawless. He laid out no inconsiderable income, which he had annually from England, on the place, and at last lost his life there.”
NUMBER OF INDIANS.
or their abouts
genet is chief