"A Pilgrimage to Rye, New Hampshire" Rye by karenincalifornia

Rye Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 5 photos

Brackett Massacre Burial Ground

During our road trip from Maine to Boston, we took a detour through Rye, New Hampshire. Our purpose was to find the Brackett Massacre Burial Ground, an obscure, seldom visited memorial in Rye. I wanted to visit this spot because the Bracketts that were killed included my ancestor, Anthony Brackett.

Even though King Philip's War had ended in the 1670's, hostilities persisted between the European settlers and the natives, and other wars followed. King William's War was fought between 1689 and 1697. This war was started by the French and English declaring war against each other. They used the natives to fight their battles. Acts of aggression and atrocities were committed by both settlers and natives. For an excellent account of this controversial era as America was being settled, you might want to read Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick.

The Story

Only a few broken stone markers remain at the site of the Brackett Lane Massacre in Rye, one of the series of NH seacoast Indian reprisals in the latter 1600's. Ten settlers were killed, three were burned in their homes, and seven were captured and taken to Canada. The attack was at Sandy Beach, an earlier name for Rye, on September 29, 1691. Between 20 and 40 Native Americans reportedly came down the coast from York, Maine and attacked a group of settlers cutting hay.

During a series of small attacks the Indians moved down Brackett Lane. Anthony Brackett was killed, several of his children and grandchildren were captured. His home was burned during this raid. He was 81 years old.

Now a historical site

A girl was kidnapped to Canada, grew up, and returned to Rye as an adult to reclaim a small portion of her family land. Two of her descendants, Bernice Remick and her sister, Francis Tucker, sold the land and deed of 42 acres on April 12, 1973 to the Rye Conservation Commission. It is now a public site and can be visited at 605 Brackett Road, Rye, New Hampshire. The site on Saltwater Brook remains an open marshy area today across just off a rural residential road.

  • Last visit to Rye: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Aug 24, 2006
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Reviews (2)

Comments (3)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    So, the Bracketts spent their time swatting off a lot of things before they could get the hay in?!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2006 at 3:52 AM

    Great story with fine details and interesting history. I admire your determination and willingness to seek out what you need.

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2006 at 7:50 PM

    Thanks for teaching us some New Hampshire history that we did not know. We'll have to check out the massacre site next time we're in the Granite State.


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