[p. 21] proximity of the old trails, the sunny exposure, the clear, cool spring, and the turkeys, abundant in number, that gave the swamp its name, and which she doubtless snared, all these appealed to her aboriginal nature, for she was of full blood. Tradition has it that she found sale for her baskets, and occasional employment, among the housewives of the adjoining towns, and doubtless her knowledge of Indian remedies hinted at by Mr. Brooks was also profited by. And so, for some years after the fire at Old Toney's, she lived her wild life in that rocky fastness among the hills, till on that winter day, just two hundred years after the day of Plymouth rock, decrepit with age, benumbed with cold, but inflamed by the fire-water of the white men that her ancestors called Oncapee, she came to her death in the chill waters of the Aberjona. Her funeral is mentioned, and also her burial. Possibly she was not buried, for somewhere, up to a few years ago (and, possibly, still), a skeleton of an Indian, said to have been that of Hannah Shiner, was preserved. It was articulated, and used in the demonstration of anatomy to medical students. On the Woburn records (some years ago printed) is this entry among the deaths:— Indians had fear of such fate; though they feared not death, the former, doubtless, with good reason. Later it passed into the possession of another and eminently worthy physician, and when not in use as an ‘anatomy’ (as the common term was) was kept in an ‘ancient hair trunk under the bed in the attic.’ There our informant slept in childhood. He saw it many times,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Quaint old records.
Medford Historical Society .
Officers for the year ending January , 1911
Stage-coach days in Medford .
The Society's work-papers and addresses
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.