A Blupete Biography Page


Col. Benjamin Church
(1639-1718).

Benjamin Church was born in Puritan times, at the Plymouth colony. He was from a large family and followed his father to become a carpenter. In time he was to marry and took up residence at a place we now know as Little Compton, Rhode Island. Like all able-bodied men of the times, he took up arms and fought the natives. He became well known for his "aggressiveness and personal bravery."1

In 1692, under the direction, and money of, Phips he was to assist in the building of Fort William Henry, an English fort on the frontier with Acadia, at Pemaquid.

In 1696, "the fierce messenger" was sent to Acadia (all told, Church was to make at least five voyages to pillage the Acadians). In the fall of 1696, Church burnt most all of Beaubassin to the ground. In 1704, he again arrived at Beaubassin and tore the place apart once again; on route doing the same to the other centres in Acadia (excepting Port Royal and the St. John); Les Mines, Pisiguit and Cobequid.2

Undoubtedly, Church was highly valued by the New Englanders who were mightily pressed on their borders by the French and their allies (one need only consider the butchery along the Massachusetts and New Hampshire borders, in 1704). He was considered to be the avenging arm of the Puritan God.3

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] DCB. It is reported that he cut the head of one Indian chief off and displayed it to the terror of the natives.

[2] DCB, vol. II, p. 146.

[3] Benjamin Church was a copious note taker. In the mid 19th century, a Dr. Dexter, a scholastic, I assume, took Church's notes in hand and published The History of the Eastern Expeditions of 1689, 1690, 1692, 1696 and 1704 Against the Indians and the French, with an Introduction and Notes by Henry Martin Dexter (J.K.Wiggin and Wm. Parsons Lunt., 1867). I read where, "The editor, Dr. Dexter, has corrected the text, has added notes, which explain all points of topographical and genealogical interest, and has also furnished a chronological table which will be of material aid to the reader."

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Peter Landry
(1998)