Queen Annes War Part 6

         The rustic settlers of New France and New England had been slashing at each other’s throats for almost the entire 1600s, and they open the 1700s with more of the same. The demonized rivals - “idolaters” of New France and “heretics” of New England - clash in horrific, gory massacres; they exercise their Indian allies into a murderous frenzy and turn them lose on the rival colony. The first full-scale engagement of Queen Anne’s War comes at Wells on the seacoast of Maine, August 1703. Babies are swung by the feet into trees and brained, women chopped to pieces with hatchets and scalped, men skewered and roasted alive like deer meat; one hundred and sixty people of both sexes and all ages, from octogenarians to new-born infants are killed or carried off as captives in the attack. The spark to ignite the revolting atrocity is religious intolerance, although, here the word “religious” is used somewhat ambiguously. The contorting of religion to spur a reign of terror comes closer to the truth. Both Louis XIV of France and Queen Anne of England are depleting their armies and treasuries fighting European battles, and have scant resources to send to the New World to widen the conflict. The expeditious plan is to raise, equip and motivate armies of Indian natives to fight on their behalf. French Jesuits and Anglican ministers are expected to accomplish this task. Calling themselves “missionaries” but in reality, they are political operatives of their respective governments, black robed priests engage bible toting ministers in a heated war of words, using the same venomous rhetoric keeping Europe embroiled in religious conflict for generations. The French ply their natives with hate messages and brandy, the English prime theirs with hate messages and rum. Guns and gunpowder stream into the dark forbidding forests of America. The stage is set for catastrophe.

Part 1  1704 North America Part 2  1704 New England Part 3  1704 France Part 4  1704 England
Part 5  1704 Europe Part 6  1704 War Part 7  1704 Deerfield Printer Friendly