York, Maine Settlers Killed by Abnaki Chief Madockawando 25 January 1692

In the late 1600s, tensions rose between the native tribes of present day Maine, principally the Abnaki, and the English settlers of the area. As so often was the case, the tensions which might have arisen over local grievances took on a more Atlantic nature due to war in Europe.

In Europe, at the time, William of Orange had taken the English throne in the Glorious Revolution and had joined the League of Augsburg (Grand Alliance) to halt Louis XIV's aggression in the low countries and German palatinates. In New England, the English colonists and the Indians, goaded on by French Jesuits, fought for dominance as part of "King William's War."

At the break of day on 25 January 1692, Chief Madockawando of the Abnaki, led his warriors on a raid of the village of York, Maine. The Abnaki, probably with the verbal backing of Father Louis-Pierre Thury, killed almost 50 villagers and took more than that hostage. Destroying the village and its people was not enough for Madockawando, he also torced the farms around York on his way out.

The English would settle with the largest of the tribes in the Northeast, the Iroquois, in 1694, which effectively put an end to French hopes for rallying the tribes of the New England against the English. However, it did not stop the French and Abnaki from trying for five more years, two more than the war in Europe. The Abnaki finally came to peace with the settlers in 1699 at Casco Bay, Maine.

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Start at the John Paul Jones Memorial in Kittery Maine and follow the coast through York and on to Kennebunkport and Biddeford Pool.

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