Thomas Goodwin (c.1657 - 1714)

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Birthplace: Kittery, York, Maine, United States
Death: Died in South Berwick, York, ME
Managed by: Scott David Hibbard
Last Updated:

About Thomas Goodwin

Thomas and his wife and infant son were attacked by Indians.Thomas had killed one French man and wounded another in the attack and was to be tried by a council of war, but was free before his wife was redeemed in October 1685. She had an infant son whom the Indians killed and was a prisoner for 5 years. Thomas was an ensign and his widow was given administration of his estate.

  Perhaps the most famous battle with the Indians was in 1690, when a party under the command of Hertel, a Frenchman, and Hopegood, a sachem, attacked Newichawannock. "They killed thirty men, and the rest of the people, after an obstinate and courageous defence, surrendered at discretion." The captives were fifty-four in number, the greater part of whom were women and children. The enemy burned all the houses and mills, and, taking with them what plunder they could carry, retreated to the northward. A party of one hundred and forty men, collected from the neighboring towns, pursued and came up with the savages on Worster's River, at a narrow bridge. They fought all the afternoon, but with little loss on either side. The French and Indians held their pursuers in check until night, and then continued their retreat, tormenting their captives with shocking cruelty. Among these unfortunate captives was Mrs. Mehetable Goodwin, who may be called the mother of all that representative widely scattered Berwick family, which has shown in different generations so much ability and such marked traits of character. Hetty Goodwin, as she has always been called, was taken by the Indians, with her husband and baby. The man and wife were separated by two parties of the savages, and set forth on their long and suffering journey to Canada, each believing the other to be dead, and leaving behind them their comfortable farm on a beautiful hill above the river, near the Plaisted garrison. In the early part of the march one of the Indians snatched the baby from its mother's arms and dashed its head against a stone; and when the poor mother dragged her weary steps behind the rest and could not still her cries, they threatened if she did not stop weeping to kill her in the same way. At nightfall she was stooping over a brook trying to wash a bloody handkerchief, and her tears were falling fast again. She forgot the threats of her captives. Suddenly, a compassionate squaw, pitying the poor, lonely mother, threw some water in her face, as if in derision. The tears were hidden, and no one else had noticed them. "This squaw had a mother's heart," the old people used to say, in telling me the story. In Canada the captives underwent great hardships, and "Hetty Goodwin, a well-off woman," was so hungry that she sometimes stole food from the pigs. She was bought at last by a Frenchman; and, supposing herself to be a widow and despairing of ever reaching home again, she married him and had two children. Their name, corrupted probably from the French, was Rand; and the Portsmouth family of the name is said to be descended from them. As I was once told, the captive husband "was a Goodwin, and smart"; so after a while he outwitted the Indians in some way and gained his liberty; and, coming to his home, found that his wife was still alive. He went back to Canada and found her and brought her back; after which they managed to live unmolested and were the parents of many children. Hetty Goodwin's half-buried little headstone may still be seen in the Old Fields burying ground. I never can look at it without a thrill of feeling, or pass the pleasant place where she lived without remembering that she knew that lovely view over hill and dale, up the river, and must often have dreamed and longed for the sound of the river falls, in the far country to which she was carried a lonely captive, in the northern wilderness of Canada. 
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Thomas Goodwin's Timeline

1657
1657
Kittery, York, Maine, United States
1659
1659
Age 2
South Berwick, York, Maine, United States
1685
1685
Age 28
York, Maine
1686
1686
Age 29
1697
July 12, 1697
Age 40
1700
June 17, 1700
Age 43
South Berwick, ME, USA
1700
Age 43
South Berwick, York, ME
1708
1708
Age 51
Berwick, ME, USA
1714
March 26, 1714
Age 57
South Berwick, York, ME
March, 1714
Age 57
South Berwick, York, Maine, United States