Captain Michael PIERCE
- Born: 1615, Prob. Bristol, England
- Marriage (1): Persis EAMES about 1644
- Marriage (2): Anna (Allen) JAMES about 1663 1583
- Died: Mar 26, 1676, Rehoboth, Massachusetts (Near The Pawtucket River) at age 61
Posted by Patricia Hofmann on May 17, 1999 at 19:05:30:
In Reply to: Re: Persis Pierce Lobdell, Milford, CT posted by Dick Pierce on May 05, 1999 at 07:54:37:
Hi I decsend from MICHEAL PIERCE and PERSIS EAMES their children were: PERSIS PIERCE BENJAMIN PIERCE EPHRIM PIERCE DEBORAH PIERCE MARY PIERCE (SAMUEL HOLBROOK ) my line SARAH PIERCE ANNA PIERCE JOHN PIERCE RUTH PIERCE 1661 1760 PERSIS PIERCE 1662 m; 3-DEC-1695 RICHARD GARRETT
MICHEAL PIERCE was born 1615 was a CAPTAIN and died in King Phillips war Hingham MASS Tricia Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org
From B. L. Colby, "Thirty-one generations, a thousand years of Percy and Pierce": "Capt. Michael Pierce was captain of the Colonists' militia after serving as ensign under Myles Standish, and perished March 26, 1676, "in the greatest calamity to befall Plymouth Colony during King Phillip's War." He was born in 1615 in England, probably Bristol, and moved to Boston about 1647, settling in nearby Scituate. While there is evidence in the town records of his participation in public affairs he is best remembered for his military accomplishments."
"The military in 1666 nominated James Cudworth to the Colony court for ratification as captain, Michael Pierce as lieutenant. The court replied the selection of Cudworth "is directly against the advice of the court, and as to Mr. Pierce, he is a stranger to us; therefore Sergt. John Daman is directed to take command till further orders." During the next three years the court apparently came to know Pierce for it commissioned his captain in 1669."
"In 1675 Pierce made a will which started: "Being now, by the appointment of God, going out to war against the Indians..." He took part in the Narragansett fight in December of that year and escaped with his life. During the spring of 1676 the Narragansetts ravaged settlements in Rhode Island and even penetrated to Plymouth and killed a number of inhabitants. Captain Pierce, with about 55 English and some 20 Christian Indians, was ordered to pursue them. He tracked them to the Blackstone River, near Pawtucket, R. I., where on Sunday, March 26, 1676, the Captain Michael Pierce fight took place, ending in what was to stand as the greatest massacre of whites by Indians until Custer and the Little Big Horn, just 200 years later."
"Spying a few Indians on the opposite bank, limping as they ran into the woods, he led his men across the river. The company fell into an ambuscade with some thousand Indians on three sides and the river at its rear. Pierce formed his men in a circle and they fought for two hours, managing to withdraw across the river only to be surrounded on that side by 400 more redskins, who killed all but a few who escaped and nine who were taken prisoners. These last were led a short distance away and tortured and killed at what is now called Nine Men's Misery."
"Captain Pierce fell early in the battle, and about 50 other English and 11 friendly Indians perished, but not before they had despatched 140 of the enemy. Pierce had sent a messenger from Rehobeth, Mass., to Providence, requesting assistance, after learning that the Indians had been reported at Pawtucket, but the messenger attended divine service before delivering the message and reinforcements were too late."
"The rest of the enemy band went the next day to Rehobeth and burned 40 dwellings and, two days later, set the torch to 29 at Providence. Pierce's defeat and the Indians' boldness caused the United Colonies to sent into the field almost their entire strength. The Indians retreated to the west but the English captured Canonchet, son of Chief Miantonomi, and took him to Stonington, Conn., where he was put to death. His head was sent to Hartford and his body burned. When told what was in store for him, Canonchet grunted: "I like it well. I shall die before my heart is soft, or I have said anything unworthy of myself.""
"For whatever it may signify there is an entry in the records of Plymouth, dated March, 1669, stating that "Miche. Peirse of Scituate, was presented at the court for unseemly carriages toward Sarah Nichols of Scituate." The court remitted the presentment because there appeared only one testimony to it and it was written and not read to the deponent."
"Captain Pierce was twice married, the second time to Annah James. He had eight daughters and one son." ==================================
http://www.cpinternet.com/~rootie/pierce2.html" Captain Michael Pierce, the third prominent one of the brothers, was an Ensign under Captain Miles Standish. In 1669 he was made Captain. He was easily the greatest Indian fighter of the King Philip War. But close to Rehoboth, Mass., near the Pawtucket River, he was hemmed in by a host of red men, on March 26, 1676. He had only 52 white men with him and 11 friendly Indians. In the fearful massacre that followed only three of the sixty-three escaped. Thus dearly he sold his life on that Sabbath day's fight, so long ago.
1. Michael1 Pierce1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 was born 1615 in probably Bristol, England, and died 26 March 1676 in Cedar Falls, Rhode Island. He married (1) Persis Eames Bet. 1642 - 1643 in Charlestown, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, daughter of Anthony Eames and Margery Pierce. He married (2) Anna (Allen) James Abt. 1663.
Notes for Michael Pierce: Michael PIERCE was born about 1615 in England, and emigrated to America in about 1645. He was possibly the brother of Captain William Pierce of London. He settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1646, and moved to Scituate, Mass. the following year. His first wife was Persis, daughter or Anthony Eames of Hingham. She died in 1662 and he married Anna James who is named in his will. He was commissioned a Captain by the Colony Court in 1669. He was killed during King Phillip's War, a bloody conflict between the English colonists and the Narragansett Indians which began in 1675. On Sunday morning March 26, 1676, after receiving word that a party of the enemy lay near Blackstone's house at Study Hill in Cumberland, he marched from Rehoboth, leading a company of 63 English and 20 friendly Wampanoag Indians. Upon reaching a ravine near Attleborough Gore, a point on the Blackstone River above Pawtucket Falls, he and his company were ambushed by about 500 to 700 Narragansett Indians led by chief sachem Canonchet. According to one account related by Hon. Edwin C. Pierce of Providence, the English retreated across the river to set up a defense on the west bank (now part of the City of Central Falls), but were attacked by a blocking force of about 300 Indians. Pierce formed his men into a circle and they continued to fight in ever decreasing numbers for about two hours, until only a few remained. Pierce was killed early in the battle. A few of the Wampanoags managed to escape by disguising themselves as attackers. Nine English were captured and taken to a spot in Cumberland, RI, now called Nine Men's Misery, and tortured to death. (Monument on grounds of Edward J. Hayden Library, Diamond Rd.) Arriving too late, a relief force found and buried the bodies of the nine. A few days later, Canonchet was captured and executed. Another account of Michael Pierce's battle with the Indians was abstracted from Narratives of the Indian Wars 1675-1699 edited by Charles H. Lincoln, Ph.D:
Sunday the 26th of March was sadly remarkable to us for the Tidings of a very deplorable Disaster brought unto Boston about 5 a Cloak that Afternoon, by a Post from Dedham, viz., that Captain Pierce (of) Scituate, in Plimmouth Colony, having Intelligence in his Garrison at Seaconicke, that a Party of the Enemy lay near Mr. Blackstones, went forth with 63 English and twenty of the Cape Indians, (who had all along continued faithful, and joyned with them;) and upon their March, discovered rambling in an obscure woody Place, four or five Indians, who, in getting away from us, halted, as if they had been lame or wounded. But our Men had pursued them but a little Way into the Woods, before they found them to be only Decoys to draw them into their Ambuscade: for on a Sudden, they discovered about 500 Indians, who in very good order, furiously attacqued them, being as readily received by ours. So that the Fight began to be very fierce and dubious, and our Men had made the Enemy begin to retreat but so slowly that it scarce deserved that Name, when a fresh Company of about 400 Indians came in; so that the English and their few Indian Friends were quite surrounded, and beset on every Side. Yet they made a brave Resistance, for about two Hours: during all that Time they did great Execution upon the Enemy, whom they kept at a Distance, and themselves in Order. For Captain Pierce cast his 63 English and 20 Indians into a Ring, and fought Back to Back, and were double-double Distance, all in a Ring, whilst the Indians were as thick as they could stand, thirty deep. Overpowered with those numbers, the said Captain, and 55 of his English and ten of their Indian Friends were slain upon the Place; which, in such a Cause, and upon such Disadvantages, may certainly be stiled "The Bed of Honour." However, they sold their worthy Lives at a gallant Rate; it being affirmed by those few that (not without wonderful Difficulty, and many Wounds,) made their Escape, that the Indians lost as many Fighting Men, (not counting Women and Children,) in this Engagement, as were killed at the Battle in the Swamp, near Narraganset, mentioned in our last Letter, which were generally computed to be above three Hundred.
The following was taken from an historical address given by Hon. Edwin C. Pierce at the dedication exercises marking the site of "Pierce's Fight" in Central Falls, Rhode Island, on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1907: "This is historic ground. It is the scene of one of the most tragic and most heroic events in early New England history. Here, in 1676, just a hundred years before the Declaration of American independence, with a valor as distinguished as that of the Greek heroes at old Thermopylae, although unvictorious, our ancestors, undaunted, fronted inevitable defeat and certain death in hand-to-hand conflict with an outnumbering savage foe. Here they died upon the Bed of Honor. Here we, their descendants, come, two hundred and thirty-one years after the day of blood and battle on which they painfully laid down their lives for their countrymen and for posterity, to celebrate their brave sacrifice, to erect here a memorial of their heroic devotion, and to consider and, if we may, profitably interpret the lessons to be drawn from the history of that tragic event and that serious and strenuous time. "Let us first review the facts that happened here, the actualities of the tragedy, the fortitude and desperate valor, unsurpassed in the annals of warfare, here displayed; and then consider somewhat the war in which Pierce's Fight was a bloody day, the merits of the war, the cause for which they died. "The day of Pierce's Fight was Sunday, March 26th, 1676. It was in the midst of Philip's War. That war, the bloody and decisive struggle between the English colonists and the Indians, had been raging for nearly a year. The Narragansetts, that proud and powerful tribe with whom Roger Williams and the Rhode Island and Providence colonists had long maintained unbroken peace and friendship, had at last been drawn into hostilities towards the colonists. In December, 1675, the Narragansetts had been attacked in their strong fort in South Kingstown, defeated, slaughtered by hundreds, and their power forever broken. With the courage of despair, the still formidable remnant of the Narragansett warriors took the warpath early in the Spring of 1676, under their brave chief, who knew not fear, Nanunteenoo, better known as Canonchet, son of the famous Miantonomi. The Narragansetts, while renewing, and with sincerity so far as may be judged, to Roger Williams pledges of immunity for him did not withhold their vengeance from settlers in Rhode Island. Parties of warriors penetrated into Plymouth Colony, ravaging and killing. Dwelling in continual alarm, the Plymouth Colony was aroused to action for the defense of the homes and the lives of its people. This defense could only be effectually made, the bloody invasion of the Plymouth country could only be repelled, by waging offensive war against the Narragansetts, by pursuing the marauding bands and attacking them wherever they might be found in their forest fastnesses. "The duty of leading in the pursuit and attack of the Narragansetts was assigned to Captain Michael Pierce, of Scituate, that beautiful town on the Massachusetts Bay northward from Plymouth. More than twenty years before, the chivalric captain of Plymouth, of the early days, Myles Standish, had been borne to his grave in fair Duxbury, overlooked by Captain's Hill on which a stately monument has been reared in his honor. "Now, when first afterwards occasion arose for the military defense of the Plymouth Colony, Michael Pierce, of Scituate, appears as the successor of him who so long and so worthily wielded the sword of Gideon for that defense. At the outbreak of Philip's War, Michael Pierce was about sixty years of age, having been born in England about the year 1615. He came to the Plymouth Colony about the year 1645, a quarter of a century after the landing of the Pilgrims, and settled almost immediately in Scituate, where he ever after resided. He appears to have been a brother of that John Pierce of London, who secured a patent, or royal grant, for New England, before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, which patent he assigned to the Plymouth Company after their settlement had been effected. He was also, according to the early historians of New England, a brother of that Captain William Pierce who was the most famous master of ships that came to the New England coast; the warm friend of Winslow and Bradford, who commanded the Mayflower in New England waters, although not on her first famous voyage, the "Charity" when she brought Winslow and the first cattle, the "Lion" when she arrived with provisions in the crisis of the famine, Roger Williams being his passenger upon that memorable occasion, and who while fighting the Spaniards in the West Indies was mortally wounded and found his grave in the ocean, on which he had made his long and honorable career. Michael Pierce was with the Plymouth forces in the bloody Narragansett fight in South Kingstown in December 1675. Earlier in that year he made his will which is on record in the Plymouth Colony records, the preamble of which is: 'I, Michael Pierce of Scituate, in the government of New Plymouth in America, being now by the appointment of God, going out to war against the Indians doe make this my last will and testament.' "Acting under orders from the Plymouth Colony, Captain Pierce with a company comprising about fifty Englishmen and twenty friendly Cape Indians, started in pursuit of the marauding Narragansetts. The Plymouth band proceeded without encounter with the foe as far as the Rehoboth settlement which was on the extreme western boundry of the Plymouth Colony, separated from the Providence Colony by the Seekonk. "The men of Rehoboth were living in constant expectation of attack from the hostile Indians, and the arrival of Captain Pierce's company must have been most welcome. "Making his temporary headquarters at Rehoboth, Captain Pierce on Saturday, the 25 of March, sallied forth with a small party of his men in search of the hostiles. Discovering the Narragansetts in considerable force the colonials attacked and, without loss to themselves, inflicted considerable losses upon the enemy. Captain Pierce on this day, does not appear wanting in prudence. Rev. Noah Newman of Rehoboth in a letter written the next day, after recounting that Captain Pierce "upon discovering the enemy, fought him, without damage to himself, and judged that he had considerably damnified them," goes on to say: 'Yet he being of no great force, chose rather to retreat and go out the next morning, with a recruit of men; and accordingly he did, taking pilots from us, that were acquainted with the ground.' "And the account proceeds: 'But it pleased the Sovereign God so to order it, that they were enclosed with a great multitude of the enemy which hath slain fifty-two of our Englishmen and eleven Indians--18 from Scituate, including Capt. Pierce; Marshfield, 9; Duxbury, 4; Sandwich, 5; Barnstable, 6; Yarmouth, 5; Eastham, 4. Thomas Mann is just returned with a sore wound.' "The colonial captain had received intelligence that a party of the enemy lay near Blackstone's house at Study Hill in Cumberland, and appears not to have been daunted by the apprehension reasonably to have been entertained that Canonchet with all the warriors of the Narragansett nation might be close at hand, preparing an ambuscade. The Plymouth captain, however, did not omit to summon all the force upon which he could call. Before leaving Rehoboth to march to the attack, he despatched a messenger to Captain Andrew Edmunds, of Providence, with a letter asking Edmunds to meet him at a spot above Pawtucket, on the river, and assist him in the enterprise. The messenger reached Providence on Sunday morning, but either there was delay in the delivery of the letter or the Providence men were not willing to leave Providence undefended. At any rate no reenforcement from Providence reached the Plymouth colonials. As the ambuscade was near Quinsniket, there can be no doubt that Canonchet with perhaps seven hundred warriors of the brave and now utterly desperate Narragansett nation had made this rocky fastness his base of operations. There, under the overhanging rock of the hill top the savage chieftain held his council fire and the plan for the ambuscade was laid. The sortie of the colonials from Rehoboth on Saturday must have been reported to Canonchet, and he must have judged that encouraged by their success, the English would continue their advance, and accordingly he prepared to ambush, overwhelm and annihilate them. "Early on Sunday morning the colonials marched from Rehoboth. Their number, recruited at Rehoboth, amounted to a few over sixty English and about twenty friendly Wampanoags from the Cape. They doubtless proceeded across the Seekonk plains and skirted the east bank of the Blackstone until they reached a point on the river above Pawtucket Falls where the river was fordable, the territory at that point being then called the Attleborough Gore. The territory on the west bank of the river is now in Central Falls. There can be no doubt as to the spot because at no other place on the river could a large body of men approach a ford. At this point the ford was approached through a ravine having a wide level ground on either side of which rose a wood crowned hill. The hills have long since been leveled. The plan of Canonchet was to draw the colonials into this defile and then attack them from the hills and to cut off the retreat by quickly throwing a strong force in their rear. As a decoy a few Indians showed themselves rambling in a wood. They fled at the approach of the colonials, limping as they ran. The colonials supposed them to have been wounded in the fight of Saturday and gave chase. There is uncertainty from the narratives whether these decoys were seen on the west bank of the river or the east. One story is that they were seen on the west bank by a party which had pushed across the river in advance of the main body of the colonials, and there is probability in this because prudence would dictate that in warfare with a foe so cunning, an advance party would be thrown across the river. "An experienced Indian fighter like Captain Church would.doubtless have sent his spies upon the hills on the east bank before entering the ravine. It is probable that as at that time of the year only the evergreens of the forest were in leaf, the colonials were beguiled into a sense of security, not deeming it possible for the enemy to lie in ambush in great numbers, and advanced with less caution than if it had been later in the season. Doubtless they swept the low hills with their eyes, and doubtless the foe, with the exception of a concealed spy, lay a considerable distance back from the brow flat upon the ground and covered by dry leaves and hidden behind rocks and trees. "At any rate, Captain Pierce led his company into the ravine and approached the river, probably following the advance party of his men which had crossed in safety. Suddenly the silence was rent with savage cries, and springing from their concealment on the commanding hills, the Narragansetts directed their deadly and painfully wounding arrows upon the colonials who were thus entrapped. Canonchet with all his warriors was upon them. The highest estimate of the number of the Narragansetts that attacked Capt. Pierce's little force is about a thousand. Other narratives estimate six or seven hundred. If there were six hundred, the colonials must have realized that their doom was sealed, except indeed for the hope that Capt. Edmunds would shortly arrive with his Providence company. instantly the colonial captain, realized that his only chance lay in getting out of the defile by crossing the river. On the west bank there was an open, or at least not heavily wooded, plain, in which his men would be out of arrow shot from the hills and where they could at least make a better defense than was possible in the ravine. Then, too, they would be on the side on which Capt. Edmunds might be marching to their aid. It seems probable that in order to make the decoy successful, the warriors on the west side lay in ambush a good distance from the river, so that the colonials were able to cross the river, probably not without loss, and gain the open space where they proposed to make their stand. "While the enemy was swarming down the ravine and across the river in hot pursuit, a band of at least three hundred Narragansetts rushed upon the colonials from their concealment on the west side, so that the colonials were now completely surrounded. Capt. Pierce now threw his men into a circle placing his men in ranks, back to back and facing the foe they thus fought to the death. No banners waved, no martial music stimulated their ardor, no sounds except the reverberations of musketry and the terrifying yells of the infuriated warriors who encompassed them about. The colonials were indeed better supplied with firearms than the enemy, but they were of the ancient, slow firing sort, while the arrows of the foe were directed against them from behind trees and rocks with unerring aim, and tomahawks hurled through the air by the powerful savage were felling them to the ground. Resolved to sell their lives as as dear a rate as possible, the colonials stood their ground with ever thinning ranks, for about two hours, keeping themselves in order and the enemy at a little distance. The formation of the order of battle is related by a chronicle of the time in these words: 'Captain Pierce cast his sixty-three English and twenty Indians into a ring, and six fought back to back, and were double, double distance all in one ring, whilst the Indians were as thick as they could stand thirty deep.' "Imagine the horror of that Sunday morning scene on the bank of the Blackstone. It was both a fight and a massacre. See that circle of determined men fighting their forlorn hope! See the circle ever contracting as the men fall in their places! The dead lie thick upon the ground, and how many fall covered with bleeding arrow wounds which disable but do not immediately kill! Doubtless as the circle narrows, those who are still in the language of the old chronicle 'keeping the enemy at a distance and themselves in order,' pull their wounded and dying comrades within the circle to save them to the last from the tomahawks of the nearer drawing foe. Sustained for the first hour by the hope that succor from Providence would come, as the second hour wears on, that hope has died in their hearts. Less than half of the original circle still survive and they are bleeding, exhausted and despairing. Their captain lies dead on the field. Michael Pierce fell early in the fight. But to soldiers such as these it little matters that the leader falls. They fight on, still keeping themselves in order. In ordinary warfare the soldier when clearly overpowered may either retreat or surrender, and surrendering save his life. They could not retreat, and it was better to die than surrender. They can now do less execution upon the enemy and the infuriated savages are rushing upon them with uplifted tomahawk. Still the men of Plymouth stand in order and hold at bay for yet a little longer the warriors of Canonchet. And with them to the end stand their faithful Indian allies. "The effectiveness of the defence appears by the great loss suffered by the Narragansetts. Some of them taken prisoners a few days later confessed that one hundred and forty were killed before their victory was won. Drake's Indian Chronicle estimates the loss of the Narragansetts at above three hundred, but this is probably an exaggeration. "At last when, as the tradition is, scarcely twenty of the colonials maintain their footing, they give over futile resistance and break and run, each man for himself. Nine of them are seized and made captive. One of the friendly Indians, Amos, fought until the colonials had ceased to fight and then by blacking his face with powder, as he saw the Narragansetts had done, mingled with them and escaped. A few other of Capt. Pierce's Indians and fewer still of the Englishmen, perhaps three or four, by artifice and good fortune, managed to escape. The Narragansetts proceeded with their prisoners to the spot in Cumberland now called "Nine Men's Misery." There, according to tradition, the captives were seated upon a rock, a fire lighted, and the war dance preparatory to the torture was begun. The chronicles say that, differing among themselves as to the mode of torture, the Indians dispached their prisoners with the tomahawk. But, of what happened at Nine Men's Misery there is no real evidence. The bodies of the prisoners were found and buried by the English a little later, and a monumental pile of stones erected in honor of the brave and unfortunate men. "We may imagine the wild and vengeful joy with which the warriors of Canonchet celebrated their victory in their fastness at Quinsniket. Encouraged by their success, the very next day after the fight the Narragansetts descended upon Rehoboth and burned forty houses, and before the end of March Providence was attacked and fifty-four buildings burned. "Arnold's History narrates as follows: 'Two places in the town had been fortified mainly through the efforts of Roger Williams, who, although severity-seven years of age, accepted the commission of Captain. A tradition is preserved, that when the enemy approached the town the venerable captain went out alone to meet and remonstrate with them. 'Massachusetts,O said he 'can raise thousands of men at this moment, and if you kill them, the King of England will supply their places as fast as they fall.' 'Well, let them come,' was the reply, 'we are ready for them. But as for you, brother Williams, you are a good man; you have been kind to us many years; not a hair of your head shall be touched.' The savages were true to their ancient friend. He was not harmed, but the town was nearly destroyed.' "The capture of Canonchet soon followed, on the 4th of April. Arnold thus relates this decisive event: 'Four companies of Connecticut volunteers, with three of Indians, immediately marched to attach Canonchet. Capt. George Denison of Stonington, who led one of the companies, was conspicuous for his zeal and bravery. This force surprised Canonchet near the scene of Pierce's massacre at Pawtucket, and a rout ensued. The Sachem fled, but having slipped in wading the river, was overtaken on the opposite bank by a Pequot and surrendered without resistance. The first Englishman who came up to him was a young man named Robert Stanton, who put some questions to the royal captive. 'You much child! Let your brother or chief come. Him I will answer!' was the contemptuous reply after regarding the youth for a moment in silence. His life was offered him on condition of the submission of his tribe. He treated the offer with calm disdain and when it was urged upon him, desired 'to hear no more about it.' He was sent in charge of Capt. Denison to Stonington, where a council of war condemned him to be shot. When informed that he must die, he made this memorable answer, which may challenge the loftiest sentiment recorded in classic or modern history. 'I like it well; I shall die before my heart is soft, or I have said anything unworthy of myself."'
Capt. Pierce's will, dated Jan 15,1675, was proved Jul. 22, 1676. (saved as file "Capt Michael Pierce will.doc)
The following information is from the Pierce Genealogy by Frederick Clifton Pierce:
"Captain Michael Pierce, who was born in England, emigrated to America not far from 1645. Locating first in Higham in 1646, the following year he removed to Scituate, where he resided when he met his untimely death. Savage says of Higham, 1646. Farmer locates him in Scituate in 1647.
In Scituate he purchased land in the Conihassett in 1647. His house was on the Cohasset road, one mile from the present North Meeting-house, at the well-known place formerly owned by Elijah Pierce, of the sixth generation that has possessed it. There is no record of Captain Pierce's family in Scituate. Hobart's journal records, "Persis, daughter of Michael Pierce, baptized 1646," also, "Michael Pierce's daughter born 1662, and Michael Pierce's wife died 1662." His first child may have been born at Higham. Persis married Richard Garrett, 3d, 1695, Abigail married Samuel Holbrook, 1682. He had a son Ephraim, who removed. Benjamin married Martha, daughter of James Adams, 1678, and succeeded to his father's residence. His children, Martha, Jerusha, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Persis, Caleb, Thomas, Madams, Jeremiah, Elisha, born from 1679 to 1699. John (also son of Captain Michael) settled north of the Conihassett burying-ground. He married Patience, daughter of Anthony Dodson, 1683; his children, Michael, John, Jonathan, Ruth, Joel, David, Clothier, born from 1684 to 1698. Hayward Pierce, Esq., late of Scituate, descended from Captain Michael, through Benjamin (who married Martha Madams), Benjamin (who married Mary Cowen and Elizabeth Perry), Benjamin, who married Charity Howard, and Jane Howard of Bridgewater, 1742 and 1750, daughters of Thomas. The sons of Hayward, Esq., were Hayward, of New Orleans; Waldo and Bailey, of Frankfort (Maine); Elijah of Scituate (on the paternal residence); Silas of Boston, - and his daughters, the wives of Mr. Lincoln of Cohasset, Mr. Nathaniel Cushing, and Mr. Walter Foster of Scituate. Benjamin and Jonathan, brothers of Hayward, Esq., removed to Chesterfield. Captain Michael has left evidence on record, in the town of his usefulness in public affairs. But his memory is to be forever honored for the brave manner in which he fell in defense of his country.
He was in the Narragansett fight in Dec. 1675, and escaped with his life, but to fall in a more terrible conflict in Mar. following. His will is dated 1675, and the preamble is in these impressive words: " Being, by the appointment of God, going out to war against the Indians, I do ordain this my last will and Testament: and first, I commit my ways to the Eternal God," &c. He then gives "to wife Ann [she was a second wife] the house which I last built, etc. To son Benjamin my present dwelling-house. To son John all my lands in Higham; to son Ephraim, £5; to daughter Abigail Holbrook, £5; to daughters Elizabeth, Deborah, Ann, Abiah, Ruth, Persis, £50 each." [Deane's History of Scituate.]
Captain Michael Pierce of Scituate was a brother of Captain William Pierce of London. [Drake's Indian Chronicle, pp. 307, in News from New England, 1676.]
The Narragansetts early in the spring of 1676 had committed ravages in Rhode Island; parties had even penetrated to Plymouth and killed a number of inhabitants. On this alarm, Capt. Michael Pierce of Scituate, with a company of fifty Englishmen and twenty friendly Indians from Cape Cod, was ordered to pursue the Indians toward Rhode Island. He proceeded without any re-encounter near to Pawtucket, in that part which has been called Attleboro Gore, when he discovered that there were Indians near him, but not suspecting that Canonchett was there. He, therefore, ventured to cross the river and commence the attack, but soon found himself in the presence of an overwhelming force. To fly was impossible, and to retreat in order, before such an enemy was equally desperate. His only resource was to fall back to the river's bank, in order to avoid being surrounded, and make the sacrifice of himself and of his brave men as costly as possible to the foe. But the Indians, having a large force, soon sent a party across the river to attack in the rear. This surprise only induced the captain to change the front of his company, and place them back to back and in this position they fought until nearly every man fell, and with a bravery like that at Thermopylae, and deserving of as great success.
Capt. Pierce fell earlier than many others; and it is due to the honor of one of his friendly Indians, called Amos, that he continued to stand by his commander and fight, until affairs were utterly desperately, and that then he escaped by blacking his face with powder as he saw the enemy had done, and so passing through their army without notice. Mather and others relate also pleasing anecdotes of two or three other of Capt. Pierce's friendly Indians, who escaped by equally curious artifices and presence of mind. One who was flying and closely pressed by a hostile Indian sought the shelter of a large rock. Thus the two waiting in awful suspense to shoot each other. Capt. Pierce's Indian putting his cap on the end of a stick or his gun, gently raised it to the view of his enemy, who immediately discharged his gun at the cap, and the next moment was shot dead by the friendly Indian. Another in his flight pretended to pursue an Englishman, with hostile demonstrations, and thus escaped; this was a disastrous blow to Scituate. It was generally believed that every Englishman was killed, but such was not the case…"
The following is an excerpt from the book Genealogy and History of Representative Citizens from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
"… Michael bought land in the Conihassett grant at Scituate in 1647. He had previously lived for a time at Hingham, as is shown by the record of his baptism there in 1646 of his daughter Persis. He belonged to the military force of Scituate, was commissioned Captain in 1669, and was slain with a number of his men in an encounter with the Indians near Rehoboth, in March 1676, being overpowered by numbers."
Noted events in his life were:
• Will, Jan 15, 1674/75. (saved as file "Capt Michael Pierce will.doc")
Michael married Persis EAMES, daughter of Anthony EAMES and Margery PIERCE?, about 1644. (Persis EAMES was born on Oct 28, 1621 in Fordington, St George, Dorsetshire, England and died on Dec 31, 1662 in Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.)
Michael next married Anna (Allen) JAMES about 1663.1583