Thomas Sawyer (1649 - 1736) MP

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Thomas Sawyer's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Lancaster, Worcester County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
Managed by: James Reid Gilmore
Last Updated:

About Thomas Sawyer

Thomas was born to Thomas and Mary (Prescott) Sawyer, the first born of 14 children.He was a Blacksmith, Millwright, and Builder.

On Sept. 21, 1672, he married his 2nd wife, Hannah Lewis of Lancaster, b. March 18, 1649. dau. of William and Amy (Weld) Lewis. They were the parents of Joseph b.1683, d.1737, Other children were Mary b.1671, Bezaleel b.1673, Hannah, b.1675, William b.1679, Bezaleel b.1685, and Elias b.1687.

On Oct. 26, 1708, 59 yr. old Thomas, his son Elias, 21, and one John Biglo (Bigelow) were captured by the Indians and taken to Canada. When the party reached Montreal, Sawyer offered to erect a saw mill on the River Chambly on condition that the French governor obtain the release of the captives. Apperently there was little difficulty in arranging for the freedom of Young Elias and Mr.Biglo, but for some reason the Indians were determined to put Thomas to death by slow torture. This may have been their way of paying tribute to him, for he was reputed to be a very brave man.

In any event, a seeming miracle, probably arranged by the french governor, saved Thomas. He had already been tied to the stake when a friar appeared before the Indians and annouced dramatically that he held the key to Purgatory in his hand. Unless they released their prisoner at once, he thundered, he would unlock the gate and throw them all in! The Indians, being superstitious, turned Thomas over to the French.

He finished the saw mill as promised - reportedly the first built in Canada - before the year was out, and was sent home to Lancaster along with John Biglo. Elias remained for some time in order to teach the Canadians the art of "sawing and keeping the mill in order, and then was dismissed with rich presents."

This story appears in published histories of Lancaster, as well as in many Sawyer family histories.

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Thomas Sawyer's Timeline

July 2, 1649
Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
October 11, 1670
Age 21
Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Age 21
Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
September 21, 1672
Age 23
Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
May 23, 1676
Age 26
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts
Age 28
<Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts>
February 2, 1680
Age 30
Bolton, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Age 32
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
May 13, 1685
Age 35
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts
Age 37
Lancaster, Worcester, MA, USA