| || Notes for Humphrey Scammons:|
He lived in Kittery, Maine until 1679 when he moved to Saco, Maine, two and a half miles inland from the coast along the Saco River. (See maps in this volume.)He purchased 200 acres of land from the widow of Henry Waddock located along the Saco River a half mile from its mouth. At this location he operated a ferry and an inn, described at the time as a “publique house of intertaynment”, near Biddeford Pool. The Scammon land holdings are shown on the map.In 1679, while Humphrey and his other son were working on the ferry a short distance from the house, Indians attacked the family residence. Mrs. Elizabeth Scammon was taken captive. At the time of the attack, Humphrey’s young son, Samuel, was taking a mug of beer to his father. When he saw the Indians, he ran back to the house and put the mug on a dresser. The Indians persuaded Mrs. Scammon to take them to her husband, promising that no harm would come to them if she did so. She led them to the ferry and the whole family was immediately marched away into captivity.
The family was led through heavily wooded country to the Sokoki Indian capital, Peckwodgett, now known as Fryeburg, New Hampshire. When they arrived, the assembled Indians were of a mind to kill the captives, but the Indians were true to their promise and spared the lives of their prisoners.Nevertheless, the captives were subjected to great cruelty at the hands of the Indians. Later, the family was taken to Quebec, Canada where they were held for a full year. Such periods of captivity were common during the Colonial Indian Wars, which involved the English, the French in Canada, and various tribes of Indians who aligned themselves with both sides.It was also common for the captives to be subject to great cruelty as their French captors coerced the predominately Puritan New Englanders to accept the Roman Catholic faith. (The story of the Scammon’s’ captivity as well as the plight of other captives is told in the book New England Captives Carried to Canadaby Emma Louis Coleman, 1896)
When the Scammon family returned from their captivity in Canada following a peace treaty, they found their home exactly as they had left it. The family cat was still there awaiting their arrival, having lived at the home during their absence.The mug Samuel had been carrying to his father was still where he had left it. That mug is still in existence, having been preserved as a tribute to the fortitude of those pioneers. It is a handsome piece of brownware with the likeness of Prince William of Orange who married Mary, the daughter of James II and was called to the throne of England in 1689. Prior to that he had enjoyed great popularity in Holland as a result of his victories over the French. It is believed that the mug was made in celebration of those victories. It may have been manufactured in England or Holland. It is unknown how Humphrey came into possession of the mug. It is now in the collection of the Dyer-York Library and Museum in Saco, Maine and it was featured in the 1982 copy of Smithsonian Magazine.
The attack on the Scammon home was also witnessed by a boy named Robinson, who immediately went to the nearby garrison to give warning. He could see that any resistance would be futile. He made his escape by horseback to the Saco River at Grey’s Point and swam from there to Cow Island, and then to the opposite shore. At the garrison, he found only women and a few old men. At his suggestion they all put on men’s clothing and uniforms and showed themselves around the fort, giving the impression that the place was heavily guarded. The Indians dared not attack. Many members of the Indian party attested to the success of this maneuver afterward.
Humphrey’s nephew, William, the son of Richard Scammon III was a lifelong resident of the Saco area, and served briefly as an Indian Fighter in Captain Kinsley Hall’s Company in 1696 and as a militiaman in 1689.
Humphrey’s son, Humphrey Jr. was later known in the area as Captain Scammon. He engaged in the lumber business and owned a share in a mill with Sir William Pepperell after whom Pepperell Park in Saco is named.Two of Humphrey Jr.’s sons were involved in the Battle of Cape Breton in 1745. One died there and another later died of wounds received there.