- School & Youth
- Get Involved
Six-board chest. Pine, paint, cotter pins, nails, wrought-iron nails. Painted red. Rectangular form; beveled top hinged with large cotter pins above bootjack sideb oards with double V-cuts and scalloped shaped protruding front feet. Front corner edges are notched. Shallow gauge-carved front panel with stylized geometric motifs framing central initials "IS" flanked by a split date "16 99." Triple-line square motifs with looped corners and demi-line shapes inside double lines at either side. Interior has cornered till at the right. Old flat red paint the covers the exterior.
In Cherished Possessions 2003-2005: In 1704, this chest served as a silent witness to the bloody slaughter that took place in Deerfield, Massachusetts, leaving three-fifths of the town's residents dead or captive. Marked with initials and the date 1699, it probably belonged to John Sheldon of Deerfield. During the night of February 28, French and Indian soldiers attacked the frontier settlement, killing fifty-six English men, women and children, taking 109 captives, and burning half the town. John Sheldon's wife and one of their children were killed. Three of his other children and his daughter-in-law were taken captive. Sheldon survived, as did his son, who had run fourteen miles to the village of Hatfield seeking reinforcements.
Within a carved decoration, in the front panel, are the initials and date: 16 IS 99 . Typed on a NFL jelly label on the inside left side is written: Chest made for John Sheldon of/Deerfield, Mass., and incised on front:/IS 1699. Desc. to son John. Grandson/John built new house in 1734 at no. end/of town, and chest remained there/inher-/ited by Susan Hawks, until her death, 1943.
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),
Attributed to Hawks, John, 1643-1721 (Maker)
23 x 52 x 18 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
Massachusetts (United States)
Deerfield (Franklin county, Massachusetts)