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View Tree for Michael Pierce CaptainMichael Pierce Captain (b. Abt. 1615, d. 26 Mar 1676)

Michael Pierce Captain (son of Azrika Pierce and Martha UNKNOWN)47, 48, 49, 50 was born Abt. 1615 in Hingham, Kent, England, and died 26 Mar 1676 in Pawtucket, RI. He married (1) Annah James. He married (2) Persis Eames on 1643 in Scituate, Mass., daughter of Anthony Eames Captain and Margery Pierce.

 Includes NotesNotes for Michael Pierce Captain:
Michael Pierce immigrated to the New World in the early 1640s from Higham, Kent, England to Scituate, in what later became Massachusetts. The ten year period from 1630 to 1640 is know as The Great Migration. During this period, 16,000 people, immigrated to the East Coast of North America.
Captain Michael Pierce was the brother of the famous Colonial sea captain, William Pierce, who helped settle Plymouth Colony. Captain Michael Pierce played a significant role in the Great Migration. Historical records show that this one sea captain crossed the Atlantic, bringing settlers and provisions to the New World more frequently than any other. He had homes in London, the Bahamas and Rhode Island. He played a central role in the government of the early colonies. He was killed at Providence, one of the Bahama Islands, in 1641.
There were actually four Pierce brothers who made their mark on the New World: John Pierce (the Patentee), Robert Pierce, Captain William Pierce, and Captain Michael Pierce. All were grandsons of Anteress Pierce, and sons of Azrika Pierce and his wife Martha.

Pierce Family Moves to Scituate. Michael and Persis Pierce's first child, a daughter, was born in 1645 and named Persis in honor of her mother. Unfortunately, their first child died in 1646 at one year of age. The new family settled first in Higham, but moved in 1676 to Scituate, where the Pierce family continued to reside for most of the next century. Scituate is located some 10 miles north of the original Plymouth colony. It was settled as early as 1628 by a group of men from Kent, England.

Michael Pierce resided on a beautiful plain near the north river and not far form Herring brook. He assisted in erecting the first saw-mill. The mill was the first one erected in the colony. It is believed that Samuel Woodworth (1784-1842) wrote the song, "The Old Oaken Bucket," concerning this river and mill in Scituate. Samuel Woodworth's grandfather, Benjamine Woodworth, witnessed the signing of Captain Michael Pierce's will, on January 1675. The lyrics to this classic American folk tune are given below:
How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view,
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood,
And ev'ry lov'd spot which my infancy knew.
The wide spreading stream, the mill that stood near it,
The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell.
The cot of my father, the dairy house by it,
And e'en the rude bucket that hung in the well.
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.
The moss-covered bucket I hail as a treasure,
For often at noon when returned from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield.
How ardent I seized it with hands that were glowing,
And quick to the white pebbled bottom it fell.
Then soon with the emblem of truth overflowing,
And dripping with coolness it rose from the well.
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.
How soon from the green mossy rim to receive it,
As poised on the curb it reclined to my lips,
Not a full flowing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
Tho' filled with the nectar that Jupiter sips.
And now far removed from the loved situation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell.
As fancy reverts to my father's plantation,
And sighs for the bucket that hung in the well.
The old oaken bucket, the ironbound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.

Unlike his famous brother, Captain William Pierce, Michael Pierce was not a sea captain. He attained the title, Captain, from the Colony court in 1669. Historical records show that he was first given the rank of Ensign under Captain Miles Standish, then later, in 1669, he was made Captain. These titles reflects his role as a leader in the local militia formed to protect the colony from the Indians.
Captain Michael Pierce's memory is well-documented in American history. He is honored for the brave manner in which he died in defense of his country. The exact manner in which he died is repeated in more than 20 books and letters detailing the military history of the King Phillip's War. This war took place between 1675 and 1676, and remains one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history. It was also a pivotal point in early American history. Although the English colonists were ultimately victorious over the Indians, it took the colonies over 100 years to recover from the economic and political catastrophy brought about by this conflict.
The battle in which Captain Michael Pierce lost his life is detailed in Drakes Indian Chronicles (pp. 220-222) as follows:
"Sunday the 26th of March, 1676, was sadly remarkable to us for the tidings of a very deplorable disaster brought into Boston about five o'clock that afternoon, by a post from Dedham, viz., that Captain Pierce of Scituate in Plymouth Colony, having intelligence in his garrison at Seaconicke, that a party of the enemy lay near Mr. Blackstorne's, went forth with sixty-three 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 five hundred Indians, who in very good order, furiously attacked 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 the name, when a fresh company of about four hundred 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 which time they did great execution upon their enemy, who they kept at a distance and themselves in order. For 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. Overpowered with whose numbers, the said Captain and fifty-five 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 titled "The Bed of Honor." 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 in this engagement as were killed in the battle in the swamp near Narragansett, mentioned in our last letter, which were generally computed to be above three hundred."
Monument in Scituate. Today, in Scituate, there is a Captain Michael Pierce Monument and a Captain Pierce Road.

King Philip's War
Before the European settlement of southern New England the the Narragansett tribal government was the sovereign authority over their people and their general welfare. They educated their children, cared for their sick, and fished in the bay that now bears their name. In 1675 their way of living would come to an end with an event known as the King Philip's War. The European colonists, who had long coveted the lands of the Narragansetts, expanded a feud they had with another tribe and attacked the Narragansetts. The result for the colonists was a clear victory. The result for the tribe was they lost most of their land, many members were killed, and still more were sold into slavery in the Caribbean.

In the 1650s and 1660s John Eliot, minister of Roxbury, managed to convert several hundred Indians to Christianity. But when Eliot tried to preach to Philip, the influential Wampanoag sachem and son of Massasoit, Philip ripped a button off of Eliot's coat, held it up before his eyes and told Eliot that he cared for his gospel just as much as he cared for that button. Far from eagerly awaiting Christianity, many Algonquians in this "New England" were willing to risk everything to rid their home of its newcomers, and particularly, to destroy the newcomers' religion. In 1675 and 1676, Wampanoags, Narragansetts, Nipmucks, Pocumtucks, and Abenakis all began attacking English towns in a war that would prove to be, in proportion to population, the most fatal war in American history. That war, named King Philip's War after Philip, who led the initial uprising, nearly destroyed the Massachusetts Bay colony, wiping out every English settlement west of Concord.

King Philip's War (1675-77) was a total war for survival, and involved extensive operations by both provisional and standing militia units. King Philip's War was fought in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. During King Philip's War, up to one third of America's white population was wiped out. The fire and ruin, the blood and agony of the tomahawk and the flaming arrow were spread up and down the Connecticut River Valley, barbarous and pitiless the dripping hatchet plunging into the brains of women and children Philip [his Indian name was Wamsutta] counseled his allies, "burn every house, destroy every village, kill every white man." The war cut away the last restraints of the English. All their own disciplined ferocity was now let loose.

King Philip's War was the first conflict in which the Indians had modern flintlock firearms. This proved an important advantage because some of the American militias were only equipped with matchlocks and pikes, and because the Indians were excellent marksmen. The Europeans had arrived in North America during a time of military revolution in Europe: European soldiers brought the new weapons and techniques of this revolution with them to North America and by 1675 had provoked a military revolution of a sort among Native Americans, a revolution that for 140 years gave them a tactical advantage over their more numerous and wealthier opponents.

Central Falls is the smallest city in the smallest state in the nation, but a rich heritage is contained within the city's 1.2 square miles. Pierce's Fight Site and Riverwalk Park was the site of one of the fiercest battles of King Philip's War fought between the English Colonists and the Wampanoag, Nipmuc and Narragansett tribes. Narragansett warriors ambushed Captain Michael Pierce's column here in one of the greatest victories for the Native Americans in the war.

New England's English settlers won King Philip's War, and never again faced such a horrifying Indian war on their soil. Wilderness conditions accentuated the flintlock musket's advantages. By 1675 nearly every colony required its militiamen to own flintlocks rather than matchlocks: American armies thus completed this transition a quarter of a century before European armies. A war scare with the Dutch had led to 23 May 1666 amendments to stiffen weapons-owning requirements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and to clarify (restated on 7 October 1674) that the Major General was responsible for supervising non-regimental companies. The modernization of weaponry continued on 10 October 1666 when body armor for pikemen was ruled unnecessary, and, in a key step which placed the colony well ahead of contemporary European armies, on 24 May 1677, after the bloody experience of King Philip's War, when every soldier was required to own a flintlock firearm.

The Pequots remained allies of the English during King Philip's War, as did the Mohegan and the Eastern Niantic. On December 17, 1675, the Connecticut contingent that joined Winslow to attack the Narragansett included about 150 Mohegan and Pequot led by Oneco [Oweneco].

When King Philip's War broke out along the New England frontier in 1675, most Pennacooks followed their sachem Wannalancit north into the New Hampshire woods to avoid hostilities. After their victory, the colonists forced the Indians still living in eastern Massachusetts to move to a few permanent villages, including Wamesit in what is now downtown Lowell. Even so, settlers continued to encroach upon Pennacook lands, and in 1686, Wannalancit formally sold his tribe's rights to land along the Merrimack and Concord Rivers. The remaining Pennacooks moved on to New Hampshire or Canada, and their former lands were absorbed into Chelmsford.

In contrast to the massacres and bloodshed in other communities during King Philip's War when many settlers abandoned their towns altogether as a result of the threat or the reality of Indian attack, in Aquinnah, white settlers armed their Indian neighbors and made them the sentries and guards to warn of possible attacking tribes. This responsibility the Indians of Aquinnah (previously known as Gay Head) carried out faithfully and there was very little if any damage done in the town during those turbulent times.

In 1975 the Narragansetts filed a land claim seeking restoration of their aboriginal lands in and around Charlestown. The State and Federal Government consented to the proposal and codified this agreement in the 1978 Rhode Island Indian Claim Settlement Act.

Nine Men's Misery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nine Men's Misery is a site in current day Cumberland , Rhode Island where nine colonists were tortured by the Narragansett Indian tribe during King Philip's War
On March 26 , 1676 during King Philip's War, Captain Michael Pierce led approximately 60 Plymouth Colony colonial troops and 20 Wampanoag Christian Indians in pursuit of Narragansett Indians who had burned several Rhode Island towns and attacked Plymouth as part of King Philip's War. Pierce's troops caught up with the Narragansett Indians but were ambushed in what is now Central Falls, Rhode Island. Pierce's troops fought the Narragansetts for several hours, but were surrounded by a larger force of Narragansetts. The battle was one of the biggest defeats of colonial troops during King Philip's War, with nearly all, including Captain Pierce and the Christian Indians, killed in the battle (exact numbers vary by account somewhat). The Narragansetts lost only a handful of warriors.
Nine of the colonists who were among the dead were first taken prisoner (along with a tenth man who survived). These men were likely tortured to death by the Narragansetts at a site in Cumberland, Rhode Island, currently on the Cumberland Monastery and Library property. The tenth man named Abbott managed to escape from the Narragansetts, and his path of flight is said to be marked by a road still named "Abbott's Run Valley Road."

The nine dead colonists were buried by English settlers.

The site called "Nine Men's Misery" was disturbed in 1790 by medical students led by one Dr. Bowen looking for the body of one of the dead colonists, Benjamin Bucklin, who was said to be unusually large with a double row of teeth. They were stopped by outraged locals. The site was desecrated several more times until 1928 when the monks who then owned the cemetery built a cemented stone cairn above the site. The cairn and site can still be visited on the Monastery grounds.
Pierce's Fight was followed by the burning of Providence three days later, and then the capture and excution of Canonchet, the chief sachem of the Narragansetts. The war was winding down even at the time that Pierce's party was destroyed, and in August King Philip himself was killed.

Bicknell, T. (1981). Addresses and poem in commemoration of the Captain Michael Pierce fight, March 26, 1676. Helligso.
Lepore, J. (1999). The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity. Vintage.

Schultz, E., & Touglas, M. (2000). King Philip's War: History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict. Countryman Press.
Retrieved from ""

More About Michael Pierce Captain:
Record Change: 16 Jan 2007

More About Michael Pierce Captain and Persis Eames:
Marriage: 1643, Scituate, Mass..

Children of Michael Pierce Captain and Persis Eames are:
  1. Persis Pierce, b. 1646.
  2. Benjamin Pierce, b. 1646, d. 1730, Scituate, Plymouth, MA.
  3. +Ephraim Pierce, b. 1647, Scituate, Plymouth, MA, d. Bef. 28 Sep 1719, Warwick, Kent, RI.
  4. Elizabeth Pierce, b. 1649.
  5. Deborah Pierce, b. 1650.
  6. Sarah Pierce, b. 1652.
  7. +Mary Pierce, b. 1654, Scituate, Plymouth, MA, d. 26 Apr 1735.
  8. Abigail Pierce, b. 1656, Scituate, Plymouth, MA, d. 1723.
  9. Anna Pierce, b. 1657.
  10. Abiah Pierce, b. 1659.
  11. John Pierce, b. 1660, Scituate, Plymouth, MA, d. 28 Jun 1738.
  12. Ruth Pierce, b. 1661.
  13. Peirsis Pierce, b. 1662.
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