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Fundraising appeal, "To all who feel an interest in the antiquities of New-England," Dec. 15, 1847

MS029.TMP.001 (RS152754)


Printed letter written by a "Committee" of five gentlemen "appointed at a meeting of Citizens in Deerfield" to request donations to save a property known as "The Indian House." The house itself could be purchased for $150; however, the Committee wanted to purchase the house and land for approximately $2300 because they felt that the house could not be removed to a different site.

The Indian House was built by John Sheldon, Sr. about 1696. He and his family occupied this house at the time of the Deerfield raid by the French and Native Americans on February 29, 1704. According to the Memorial Hall Museum online, this attack was one of a series of battles in the the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1713), which was known as Queen Anne's War in the Colonies. The Deerfield raid was an effort to halt the gradual expansion of English settlement in what is now New England. Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville led a force of about 300 French and Native allies in the attack, which resulted in the killing or capture of more than half the town's residents. The captives were then taken on a 300-mile forced march to Canada in harsh winter conditions. Of the Deerfield captives who survived the march, sixty-two eventually returned to New England. Among those were the Reverend John Williams and his family. Upon his return, Reverend Williams wrote an account of his captivity, "The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion," which heightened awareness of the Deerfield raid for posterity.

At least two of the gentleman on the Committee had an intimate connection to the house: Epaphras Hoyt was born and raised in the Indian House, and Stephen W. Williams was a descendant of Reverend John Williams. The house ended up being torn down, but the door was saved.

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Collection Name
Miscellaneous manuscript collection
Collection Code
Acquisition Type
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
1 printed manuscript
9.75x 8(HxW) (inches)
Collection Type
Description Level
Credit Line
Gift of Clarence P. Hoyt, 1921
Reference Code

Record details

Arms, Pliny (Author)
Hoyt, E. (Epaphras), 1765-1850 (Author)
Willard, Samuel, 1775-1859 (Author)
Williams, Stephen W. (Stephen West), 1790-1855 (Author)
Wilson, John, 1782-1869 (Author)
Descriptive Terms
fund raising
historic sites
preservation (function)
Material Type
manuscripts (document genre)
Deerfield (Franklin county, Massachusetts)
Location Note
Misc. manuscripts: Beecher-Emery, D.W.