In that same year or slightly earlier (accounts vary), the initial families of settlers arrived here, after a certain Reverend John Woodbridge (1613-1696) of Newbury and others had laid out the new town with the expectation that, just as Wonder-working later foretold, they would soon be “gathered into a church” and the day would dawn when “both Jew & Gentile” would come “crowding” into it.”  Making Indians into Christians, the better to quell uprisings, was always part of the colonists’ plans, both in New England and New France, where the Jesuits arrived in 1611. Understandably, however, proselytizing was not foremost on the minds of most ordinary folks as they worked their communal farmland to the south, where they grew or tried to grow so-called Indian corn, wheat, barley, and rye. “Here they began labors to which they never had been accustomed to,” wrote George Chandler, the Victorian-era genealogist of his family, whose members settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1637, then were among the first settlers of Andover after which Chandler Road and Chandler Circle are named. “Here all was new and strange, a severe climate, a howling, gloomy wilderness,” he imagined, undoubtedly correctly.  Yet by 1649 fundraising for missionary work was already being conducted in London by the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England—initially called simply the New England Company—whose proceeds were meant to be spent on converting the Indians.
The Pennacooks, confederates of the Wabanakis, were among the indigenous people living here when the whites arrived. But in 1646, it was, for unknown reasons, a Massachusett sagamore named Cutshamache, who sold to Reverend Woodbridge on behalf of the indigenous community what is now known as Andover, North Andover, and sections of Lawrence for “ye sum of £6 and a coate.”  The sale wasn’t outright, although it might as well have been. For what it was worth, Cutshamache’s people retained the easily revoked right to plant crops and take alewives “for their own eating; but if they either spoil or steal, any corner or other fruite, to any considerable value, of ye inhabitants there, this liberty of taking fish shall forever cease…” 
Sarah Loring Bailey, author of Historical Sketches of Andover, published in 1880, acknowledged that the sum paid to Cutshamache was “paltry,” but added that “the buyers could hardly blame themselves for a transaction which, at the time, the sellers professed to be satisfied with.”  As a “Christian commonwealth,” she noted further, “the colony took measures for promoting the welfare of the Indians,” devoting “zealous labors to [their conversion] from heathenism, and instructing them in the knowledge of the true God.”  To her late nineteenth-century mind, it wasn’t Andover’s fault that only a few were “converted and civilized” while the many “learned all the vices and none of the virtues of the white man.”  She did, nonetheless, admit that, despite Andover being on so-called friendly terms with its indigenous people for decades, she suspected “often a deep hatred of the invaders and a jealous fear of their powerful God” and even went so far as to say that the colonists “did much to increase this hatred, for… in place of faith and prayer, the Indian often met fraud and force.”  Again, though, one does have to wonder if those “friendly” terms included the eras of, say, King Philip’s War, King William’s War, or Queen Anne’s War, each of which affected life in colonial Andover to varying degrees. Andoverites, after all, built their share of garrison houses, one of which doubled as the home of the Abbots, a first family that produced so many offspring the historian of Andover’s South Church calls them the Rabbits. Near present-day Central Street in Andover proper, where South Church also sits, its white spire reaching high into the sky, the Abbot garrison house was in the then otherwise unpopulated, more vulnerable, southern part of town.
Though garrison houses they did build, Andoverites balked at the idea of aiding in the construction of a “wall” when, by Bailey’s account, it was “ordered by the Court that a fence of stockades or stones, be built eight feet high from Charles River to Concord River, in Billerica” that, combined with obstructions created by other waterways, “could complete the circuit of some twenty towns, including Andover.”  Bailey’s book doesn’t say whether any part of the proposed perimeter was ever built. Maybe it was left unfinished by a certain other controversial American border wall of the twenty-first century.
Andover’s preferred defense, meanwhile, was simply soldiers on guard in those communal fields of grain. Ironically, when the first Indian attack occurred here, on April 8, 1676, the one person killed, twenty-four-year-old Joseph Abbot, was working in one such field with his thirteen-year-old brother, Timothy, who was taken captive. Having been surprised by their attackers, they could not reach the garrison, their home, in time.
According to Bailey, whose reference was Thomas Cobbett’s A Narrative of New England’s Deliverances of 1677, Timothy “was brought back in August by a squaw who took pity on his mother.”  In Cobbett’s words: “And Good-wife Abbot’s boy of Andover was brought home, almost starved, by a poor squaw that had always been tender to him whilst in captivity.”  Based on recent research, however, Lisa Brooks and Allyson LaForge speculate that Abbott’s return was “possibly related to the end of war” at least on certain fronts or a peace treaty signed in Cocheco, i.e., present-day Dover, New Hampshire. 
George Chandler wrote in his genealogy that the older Abbott son, Joseph, who had fought with the colonial army in an early portion of King Philip’s War, during the Great Swamp Fight at Narragansett (present-day South Kingston, Rhode Island), “probably made some resistance; and there is a tradition that he killed one or more of them before he was slain.”  Using almost identical wording, Bailey asserted the lore as fact, describing the young man as someone “[who] made a brave resistance, and killed one or more of the Indians…”  It’s seems very likely that Bailey embellished the details of Chandler’s book, which was published just three years before hers came out, while she was in the process of writing. In any event, the tally is not at odds with the historical statistics: while King Philip’s War resulted in the deaths of more than 2,500 settlers, the number of indigenous people killed was at least twice that number.  As for captives, both sides took their share, the one side because it was part of their warfare culture, the other because it was often merely expedient.  According to a compilation of archived documents by Jenny Hale Pulsipher, during the same April of the Abbot brothers’ incident, “an Indian girl,” age ten or twelve, was taken near Quaboag by Jonathan Fairbanks, who petitioned the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her possession.  Pulsipher’s compilation goes on for twenty-two pages even though, she says, it isn’t comprehensive—only what she found while researching her book Swindler Sachem. 
In 1888, with the Indians wars in the distant past, Reverend Charles Smith, a graduate of Andover’s seminary and pastor of the town’s South Church, tried to square the realities of the deaths and atrocities committed by both sides. “Our custom has been to call these natives of the soil savages; they have been pictured to us as by nature cruel, blood-thirsty, as delighting in the torture of women and babes, as destitute of honor or humanity,” he wrote when assigned to write the Andover section of D. Hamilton Hurd’s History of Essex County, Massachusetts. “That they were in time of war, or when they felt themselves to have been grossly wronged, cruel in the extreme and relentless savage, killing and burning without mercy, there can be no question.”  In the end, however, he admitted, “as between [Andover’s] citizens and the Indians, in the balancing of the good and evil received each from the other, it would be difficult to find the score against the red man.”  Reverend Smith attributed the violence of indigenous people to their lack of Christianity. Without mentioning the missionary work that had been attempted in earnest since the days of John Eliot, he said people “must remember that the Indian had never been trained in the teaching of Christ.”
Reverend Smith made no mention of the indigenous peoples’ own spiritual beliefs and practices. They had, however, been summarily dismissed by Reverend Hubbard in his 1677 publication, Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England. “As for their religion,” he wrote, “they never were observed by any of the first comers or others, to have any other but what was diabolicall, and so uncouth, as if it were framed and devised by the devill himselfe, and is transacted by them they used to call pawwowes, by some kind of familiarity with the devill… It is not worth the while either to rite or read what it was…’” 
When Reverend Hubbard’s History was completed in 1682, Reverend Eliot, in turning the manuscript over to the Massachusetts Historical Society, praised his Ipswich contemporary as “the most eminent minister in the county of Essex: equal to any in the province for learning and candor, and superior to all his contemporaries as a writer.” When the historical society finally published the work, in 1815, so did the Cambridge printers Hilliard and Metcalf, who used Reverend John Eliot’s words for what in our contemporary times would be called a “blurb”—he, whose first attempt to preach to Indians, in Algonquin, in Dorchester Mills, part of present-day Boston, was by his own account a failure. (They “gave no heed unto it, but were weary and despised what I said,” the Reverend Eliot wrote in 1647. ) In 1942, Kenneth B. Murdock, a historian who taught at Harvard and specialized in the intellectual and theological history of seventeenth-century New England, called Narrative “probably the best history of King Philip's War to be written by a New Englander who lived through it.”  Since then there has been significant reconsideration, not only by Lisa Brooks and Allyson LaForge but by many others, including indigenous people themselves.  It is of course dangerous to condemn personages from the past for failing to understand what we today can so easily see, but Charlotte Helen Abbott saw it in 1895. In “Our Red Brothers,” she wrote in the town newspaper that after listening to the hair-raising stories, “I still kept within my soul a feeling that the trouble was all our fault.” “Read both sides for yourselves. Hubbard’s book bristles with epithets and praises to God for the slaughter of these ‘Savage miscreants with some kind of a religion learned of the Prince o’ Darkness.’” 
Chomina: “We have become greedy and stupid like the hairy ones.”
Awandouie: “Perhaps that is how the Normans will destroy us. Not in war, but by a spell that makes us like them.”
—Brian Moore, Black Robe
1. Edward Johnson, Wonder-working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England (London: 1654), quoted in Cyrus M. Tracy, Standard History of Essex County, Massachusetts (Boston: C.F. Jewett & Co., 1878), 53. Re the word “gathered”: like-minded people gathered together into a church.
2. William Hubbard, General History of New England from the Discovery to MDCLXXX (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1848), 17.
3. Quoted in Cyrus M. Tracy, Standard history of Essex county, Massachusetts, embracing a history of the county from its first settlement to the present time, with a history and description of its towns and cities. The Most historic county of America (Boston: C.F. Jewett & Co., 1878), 53.
4. George Chandler, The Chandler Family. The Descendants of William and Annis Chandler Who Settled in Roxbury, Mass. 1637 (Worcester: Printed for the Family. Press of Charles Hamilton, 1883), 4.
5. “At a General Court, at Boston 6th of the 3rd m, 1646” (in the Gregorian calendar, May 16, 1646). Quoted in Ryan Wheeler, “Cutshamache and Cochichawick,” on the website of the Robert S. Peabody Institute, https://peabody.andover.edu/2021/05/13/cutshamache-and-cochichawick/ Retrieved April 13, 2022. In a talk given online at the annual meeting of AVIS, "Indigenous Andover," Ryan Wheeler referred to it as the "so-called sale." April 12, 2022.
6. Quoted in Sidney Perley, The Indian Land Titles of Essex County Massachusetts (Salem: Essex Book and Print Club, 1912), 39; Records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Boston, 1853), II, 159.
7. Sarah Loring Bailey, Historical Sketches of Andover (comprising the Present Towns of North Andover and Andover), Massachusetts (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1880), 164.
8. Bailey, 164.
10. Ibid., 166.
11. Ibid., 172.
12. Ibid., 175-176.
13. Thomas Cobbett, “A Narrative of New England's Deliverances,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, 1853, 218.
14. https://ourbelovedkin.com/awikhigan/about?path=index. Retrieved Feb. 11, 2021. Lisa Brooks is the author of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018). See also the book’s “digital companion” at https://ourbelovedkin.com/awikhigan/index. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
15. Chandler, 7.
16. Bailey, 173. In the same passage, Bailey further speculated that “the savages knew who were the men in town who had helped murder their brethren in the swamp fight,” and may have targeted Joseph Abbot.
17. Robert E. Cray Jr., “‘Weltering in their own blood’: Puritan Casualties in King Philip’s War,” Historical Journal of Massachusetts, Vol. 37, No. 2, Fall 2009. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?v=2.1&it=r&sw=w&id=GALE%7CA308435979&prodId=AONE&sid=googleScholarFullText&userGroupName=mlin_b_massblc&isGeoAuthType=true. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Cray says that his estimates came from The Sovereignty and Goodness of God by Mary Rowlandson with Related Documents, edited by Neal Salisbury (Boston: Bedford Books/St. Martin, 1997), 1.
18. Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003), 5.
19. Quaboag Plantation, founded in 1660, is made up of present-day Brookfield, West Brookfield, North Brookfield, and East Brookfield, as well as parts of Warren and New Braintree.
20. “Indian Captives, Servants, and Slaves in the Era of King Philip’s War 1673-1755,” compiled by Jenny Hale Pulsipher. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/data/2/. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Swindler Sachem:The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018).
21. D. Hamilton Hurd, History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1888), 1561. Charles Smith is one of several with the same name who attended the seminary. A graduate of the class of 1845, he was pastor of South Parish for one year, 1852-1853, and again from 1861 to 1876. See his biography in General Catalogue of the Theological Seminary Andover, Massachusetts 1808-1908 (Boston: Thomas Todd, Printer, 1909), 216-217.
22. Hurd, 1,562.
23. William Hubbard, A General History of New England from the Discovery to MDCLXXX (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1848), 34-35.
24. Letter of John Eliot to T.S., September 24, 1647, in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections, 3rd series, IV, 50.
25. Kenneth B. Murdock, “William Hubbard and the Providential Interpretation of History,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 1942, Volume 52, Part 1, 15.
27. Andover Townsman, Charlotte Helen Abbott, “Our Red Brothers,” October 25, 1895.