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Norridgewock, expedition to

The Jesuit mission under the charge of Father Rale, or Rasles, at Norridgewock, on the upper Kennebec, was an object of suspicion in Massachusetts for almost twenty years, for it was known that Rale had accompanied the French and Indians in their forays in the early part of Queen Anne's War. The Eastern Indians were in a bad humor in 1720, on account of encroachments upon their lands, and there were signs of hostility on their part, which, it was believed, had been excited by the Jesuit missionary. Finally, Father Rale was formally accused of stimulating the Eastern Indians to make war, and in August, 1721, the governor and council of Massachusetts agreed to send a secret expedition to Norridgewock to seize him. The expedition moved in January, 1722, but did not succeed in capturing Father Rale. His papers, seized by the assailants, who pillaged the chapel and the missionary's house, confirmed the suspicion. The Indians retorted for this attack by burning Brunswick, a new village recently established on the Androscoggin. The tribes in Nova Scotia joined in the war that had been kindled, and seized seventeen fishing-vessels in the Gut of Canso, July, 1722, belonging to Massachusetts. Hostilities continued until 1724, when, in August, an expedition surprised Norridgewock, and Rale and about thirty Indian converts were slain, the chapel was burned, and the village broken up.

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Sebastian Rale (5)
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