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

Collection Type

  • Manuscripts



Location Note

Misc. manuscripts: Beecher-Emery, D.W.



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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.


Descriptive Terms

historic sites
preservation (function)
fund raising
manuscripts (document genre)

Physical Description

1 printed manuscript

Collection Code


Collection Name

Miscellaneous manuscript collection

Date of Acquisition


Reference Code


Acquisition Type


Image Dimensions

9.75 x 8 (HxW)(inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Clarence P. Hoyt, 1921


Deerfield (Franklin county, Massachusetts)

Record Details


Willard, Samuel, 1775-1859 (Author)
Hoyt, E. (Epaphras), 1765-1850 (Author)
Williams, Stephen W. (Stephen West), 1790-1855 (Author)
Wilson, John, 1782-1869 (Author)
Arms, Pliny (Author)

Material Type

manuscripts (document genre)

Description Level


Location Note

Misc. manuscripts: Beecher-Emery, D.W.