05 April 2020

Brief Lives: Was Elizabeth Sacket kidnapped by the Indians?

A rather startling assertion is made in the book Western Massachusetts history: the Westfield area. The author, Stephen Pitoniak, writing in 1970, claimed that the death in 1682 of John Sacket’s four-year-old daughter Elizabeth was what we would now call fake news.

According to Pitoniak’s account, Elizabeth’s death record was false. She was, instead, abducted by the Indians in a raid on the family farm in Westfield, taken to the north-west part of New York State, and brought up there by the Indians.

And was Elizabeth the mother of the half-blooded Chief Sackett?

The account further asserts that, upon reaching adulthood, Elizabeth married into the tribe and bore a son, who was later identified as Chief Sackett. 

Chief Sackett is recorded elsewhere in the history books as a half-blooded Indian who, in 1748 during King George’s War, mounted a raid on a patrol of English soldiers. The raid did not go well for Chief Sackett and he eventually ordered a retreat, carrying off his dead and wounded.

The full story, with historical references, and some analysis, is at Elizabeth Sacket (1677–1682).

Chris Sackett

1 comment:

  1. I remember my grandfather, Frederick Booth Sackett, telling my brother and me a story of little Elizabeth Sackett when we were young children. It was the same time he told us about the history of the Indian raids of Deerfield, MA. I remember not wanting to use the outhouse that night!

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