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[126] James, a negro slave, and Joseph, an Indian, were arrested with him. Their design was reported to be, to seize a vessel in the port and escape to Canada and join the French, and return and lay waste and plunder their masters. They were to come back with five hundred Indians and three hundred Canadians; and the place of crossing the Merrimac River, and of the first encampment on the other side, were even said to be fixed upon. When we consider that there could not have been more than a score of slaves in the settlement, the excitement into which the inhabitants were thrown by this absurd rumor of conspiracy seems not very unlike that of a convocation of small planters in a backwoods settlement in South Carolina on finding an anti-slavery newspaper in their weekly mail bag.

In 1709 Colonel Saltonstall, of Haverhill, had several negroes, and among them a high-spirited girl, who, for some alleged misdemeanor, was severely chastised. The slave resolved upon revenge for her injury, and soon found the means of obtaining it. The Colonel had on hand, for service in the Indian war then raging, a considerable store of gunpowder. This she placed under the room in which her master and mistress slept, laid a long train, and dropped a coal on it. She had barely time to escape to the farm-house before the explosion took place, shattering the stately mansion into fragments. Saltonstall and his wife were carried on their bed a considerable distance, happily escaping serious injury. Some soldiers stationed in the house were scattered in all directions; but

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