A to Z Challenge: The 1643 Massacre of Richard Maxson

The Joyous Living: The Massacre of Richard Maxson #atozchallenge

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Perhaps you’ve heard of Anne Hutchinson? She is a controversial symbol of religious freedom, liberal thinking, and Christian feminism. But for our purposes today – she is also the sister-in-law of my 9th great-grandfather Richard Maxson (1602-1643).

what led to the massacre of Richard Maxson? #richardmaxson #atozchallenge #ancestry #history #thejoyousliving

Background: The Pequot War

When: 1636 to 1638

Where: New England

Whom: The Pequot tribe VS. an alliance of the colonists and their allies from amongst the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes.


The victory went to the Colonists.

About 700 Pequots had been killed or taken into captivity.

Hundreds of prisoners were sold into slavery to the West Indies.

Other survivors were dispersed as captives to the victorious tribes.

The Massacre of Richard Maxson

The legend is that Richard Maxson (a blacksmith) got on well with the Indians in what is modern-day Pelham Bay, Bronx, New Yorkuntil the Pequot Wars.

The local Indians stopped trading and said they were afraid of the unconfined dogs. They claimed they would resume trading if the dogs were tied up.

In approximately August 1643 – The Siwanoy Indians attacked the settlement and massacred all but one of Richard’s sister-in-law’s family.

Richard was able to get his wife and family to safety in their boat.

However, Richard and his son, young Richard, went back ashore and were massacred.

My Connection to Richard Maxson

Richard Maxson (1602-1643)

father of Reverend John Maxson I (1638-1720)

Reverend John was the founding Pastor of Westerly’s Seventh Day Baptist Church.

father of Reverend John M Maxson II (1666-1747)

Reverend John II served as the pastor of the Seventh-day Baptist Church in Westerly from 1720 until his death in 1747.

father of Reverend John M Maxson III (1701-1791)

father of Benjamin Maxson (1733-1822)

After a dispute in the Church, Benjamin “rose up in haste and took the Church Book Records and refused to deliver said records when requested, and in contempt of the Church carried them away.”

father of Varnum Phineas Maxson (1755-1849)

father of James S. Maxson (1820-1890)

father of Ella Jane Maxson (1879-1962)

mother of Hildred Julia Young (1907-1955)

mother of Rosemary June Connors (1931-1987)

mother of Private (My Mother)

mother of Me

the story of my ancestor who was massacred by the Indians in 1643 #massacre #indians #history #newyork #richardmaxson #thejoyousliving #atozchallenge

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  1. A really interesting read. I’ve mostly focused on mainland European and Middle Eastern history. I guess it’s time to taste a different history.

  2. Family history stuff is so intriguing when you are able to go back really far. Was a lot of your research based on information that was passed down from family, or were you able to dig stuff up on ancestry websites? It’s really interesting to think about who those people that you never met were, and the challenges they faced.

  3. Wow. Never knew about this story! It must be so horrible for his wife to go through the deaths of her husband and son. This is also an interesting read. I wish I could trace back our family’s history that far.

  4. Such an interesting piece of history. I was not familiar with this name or these events. It is neat to learn about these historical events especially nearby in New York.

  5. So its history and the link to your ancestral tree. Hope I understood it correctly. Loved the idea and it was good to know about the historical facts.

  6. This is interesting and intriguing at the same time. I am also amazed how you trace up your family tree! Im learning so much from this challenge of yours.

  7. Quite an interesting read and I like reading about history sometimes. I didn’t know much about this until now, thanks for sharing.

  8. A sad story indeed. There are parts of history of any nation that one would like to forget. Wow to you that you actually traced your family to back then.

  9. It’s so cool that she’s related to you! Family history is super important. It connects you to your past and prepares you for a good future.

  10. We are related! LOL. Richard Maxson is also my 9th Great Grandfather. I don’t know if its been proven though that Richard is Anne’s brother-in-law. If this could be proven then the family line goes back to William of Orange and even further. Richard’s daughter married a Mosher is my family line….

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