Petition of Hannah and Thomas Duston, Mary Neff and Samuel Leonardson to
the General Court of Massachusetts
To the Right Honorable the Lieut Governor & the Great & General assembly
of the Province of Massachusetts Bay now convened in Boston
The Humble Petition of Thomas Durstan of Haverhill Sheweth That the wife of
ye petitioner (with one Mary Neff) hath in her Late captivity among the Barbarous
Indians, been disposed & assisted by heaven to do an extraordinary action,
in the just slaughter of so many of the Barbarians, as would by the law of the
Province which--------a few months ago, have entitled the actors unto considerable
recompense from the Publick.
That tho the----------of that good Law------------no claims to any such consideration
from the publick, yet your petitioner humbly-------------that the merit of the
action still remains the same; & it seems a matter of universal desire thro
the whole Province that it should not pass unrecompensed.
And that your petitioner having lost his estate in that calamity wherein his
wife was carried into her captivity render him the fitter object for what consideration
the public Bounty shall judge proper for what hath been herein done, of some
consequence, not only unto the persons more immediately delivered, but also
unto the Generall Interest
Wherefore humbly Requesting a favorable Regard on this occasion
Your Petitioner shall pray &c
Source: Whitford, Kathryn. “Hannah Dustin: The Judgement of History.” Essex
Institute Historical Collections. Vol. CVIII, No. 4 (October 1972), 308-09.
Used with permission.