Tonight, at 7:00, there will be a presentation by author Jay Atkinson here at the Library. Atkinson’s book Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America [973.25 ATK, also eBook] has been named as an Honors Book in the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award Program in the nonfiction category. The Windham Historic District Commission is sponsoring the event.
New Hampshire's students study the history of our fair state, and the story of Hannah Duston is one that captures the imagination of the children. For girls, it presents an especially vivid reminder that women can overcome adversity by their wits and strength. The legendary story, however, is not without its controversial aspects.
For those not familiar with Duston's story, here it is in a nutshell: In 1697, Hannah Duston a resident of Haverhill, MA, was taken captive by Abenaki First Nations peoples from Québec. She and her newborn daughter were held capture on an island in the Merrimack river near Boscawen, NH. She killed, and scalped, ten of her captors with the help of two fellow captives.
There are public statues of Hannah Duston in both Haverhill, MA and Boscawen, NH.