In the 1680s and 1690s the latest in a long string of European wars broke out. The War of the Grand Alliance, also known in New York State as King Williams War (1688-1697), pitted France against England, the Netherlands, and Austria.
It quickly spilled over to a bitter conflict of raids and counter-raids which took place between New France and frontier settlements of Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts. Each side employed their Indian allies to fight on their behalf and to guide their small armies to their respective enemies.
In 1689 the Count Louis de Baude Frontenac, who had been governor of Canada during 1672-82, arrived in New France with orders from Louis XIV to attack the Iroquois and their allies in Eastern New York and New England.
The French launched a number of raids attacking large outposts and surrounding settlers at Schenectady; Salmon Falls, New Hampshire; Fort Loyal (now Portland, Maine); and the villages of the Oneidas, Onondagas, and Mohawks.
European conflict in the northern frontier of New York was renewed with the War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War in New York State, 1701-1713) that pitted England, the Netherlands, Austria, and this time also the Holy Roman Empire, against the French.
Once again the paths leading to the upper Hudson (notably along the Hoosic River) saw raiding parties moving back and forth between New France, New York, and New England. One notable raid that was widely reported at the time was the February 1704 attack on Deerfield in Western Massachusetts. Another was the attack on the Kittle family of Schaghticoke in 1711.
What places connected with the events of these two conflicts are you familiar with in your area?
Illustration: “Massacre Of The Indians By Order Of Church” by Hezekiah Butterworth, an 1884 depiction of the June 1704 raid by a force of 500 New Englanders on the settlement of Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, defended by the Acadian and Mi’kmaq militia.