October 5, 2016

The Eames Massacre Monument

Monument to those that lost their lives in Framingham

In Framingham, near the corner of Chautauqua Ave and Mt. Wayte Ave, lies a monument to a horrific incident that occurred 340 years ago. In 1676, during King Philip's War, a mother and children were killed defending their home that was attacked by Indians.

This would be known as The Eames Massacre.

Eames Massacre Monument Mobile
Eames Massacre Monument Desktop

History of the Thomas Eames Family

In 1618, Thomas Eames was born in England. He came to Massachusetts Bay around 1634 and did some odd jobs. In 1637, he fought in the Pequot War.

After the Pequot war, Thomas married Margaret and settled in Dedham around 1640. They had three children John and Elizabeth. (The first John died before reaching age one.) Margaret died on September 17th, 1660.

In 1662, Thomas married Mary Paddleford and moved to Wayland. Mary was a widow and had four children from a previous marriage: Mary, Johnathan, Zachariah, and Edward. They had three additional children together: Thomas Jr., Samuel, and Nathaniel.

How they got the Framingham Farm

Thomas wrote a letter to the government of Massachusetts Bay and asked for land as a reward for his service in the Pequot War. His request was denied, but the request caught the attention of Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth. He gave a small part of his vast land to the Eames family.

The Eames farm was isolated from other families in the area. According to colonial document records, there were only seven families in the Framingham area. Most of the other family farms were together in the northern part of the town.

Tension between the Colonials and the Indians

King Philip's War (1675-1676) was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day New England and the English settlers. The battle was seen as the last chance effort to remove the English settlers from New England.

In the summer of 1675, Massachusetts Bay provided four soldiers to secure the Framingham area. By the fall, there were no new attacks in the region, and the council in Boston couldn't justify the cost of the troops and decided to bring the troops back to Boston.

In January 1676, word got around that surrounding towns were at risk of being attacked by Indians. Thomas Eames took action and traveled to Boston to get ammunition and military help to protect his family.

February 1, 1676 - The Eames Massacre

While Thomas was away, eleven Indians attacked the house and farm. His wife Mary defended herself using hot soap. She was quickly overpowered and was killed along with five other children. The remaining children were taken into captivity and the house and barn were burned. Horses and livestock were stolen.

Results of the attack

Mary Eames 30 Killed
Zachariah Paddleford 18 Captured and Escaped
Edward Paddleford 15 Killed
Thomas Eames Jr. 12 Killed
Samuel Eames 11 Captured and Escaped
Margaret Eames 9 Captured and Ransomed
Nathaniel Eames 7 Captured and Escaped
Sarah Eames 5 Killed
Lydia Eames 3 Killed

Zachariah, Samuel, Margaret, Nathaniel all returned to Framingham after escaping from capture.

At the time of the attack, Thomas was very weak and on disability. It's possible that he could have been killed as a result of the attack.

Aftermath

Investigation into the attack and the identity of the Indians were uncovered: Netus, Anneweaken, Aponapawquin, Acompanatt, Panananumquis, William Wannuckhow, Apumatquin, Pumapen, Awassaquah, and Aquitekash.

Thomas Eames put together an inventory of the loss of items. The General Court granted him some monetary compensation for 200 acres of land as well as 200 acres of Indian land.

Much of the land become downtown Framingham and part of Ashland.

All the Indians that participated in the event were captured or were killed while trying to be captured. Some of the Indians were executed and others were sold off as slavery.

Thomas died in 1681 in Framingham, less than five years after the massacre.

Rock Monument

In the early 1900s descendants of Thomas Eames put a rock monument at the location of the former homestead. The monument reads:

Here stood home of
Thomas Eames
Burned by the Indians In
King Philips War February 1, 1676
His Wife and Five Children
Were Slain and Four Carried
Into Captivity
This Memorial
Is Placed by his Descendants
A.D. 1900

Home Stead Plaque

Missing Sign

In 1930, another sign was placed on the site, just behind the plaque on the rock. It has since gone missing from the site.

The sign read:

"While Thomas Eames sought help from Boston on February 1st, 1676. The Indians attacked his house which stood nearby. His wife and five children were slain and four children captured."

Comments

mary until I read this it had seemed that my ancestors got along fairly well with the original peoples of this land , but ..... i am from Samuel - February 1, 2022.
Phil Lee Wow suprised to learn about this Thomas was my 9th great grandfather. - July 11, 2021.
MARIA L EAMES WOW - I have no idea where my family fits in here! But I thought I would add my thoughts and connect. My father, Harry Daniel Eames was born in New Jersey around 1930. He has since past but he lived in East Aroura New York outside of Buffalo. I understood that I had a great grandmother x 5 was a Cherokee Indian. I have not done any research but this may start it! Open to hear more! :) Great article. - March 16, 2021.
Beverly (Rice) Tedeschi I am a direct descendent of the Thomas Eames . My grandmother was the last owner of the Red House. As a child I remember helping my parents and grandmother to empty the house and barn before vandals lite fires. I now have Antique furniture and other items from that house passed down from my grandmother. I even have a rose transplanted from the property. My grandmother was adamant that the building was to be saved when urban renewal wanted it demolished. Fortunately someone purchased it and had it moved across town. I was 5/6 years old but still remember sitting in the room upstairs and playing in the yard where it was originally. - January 12, 2021.
Guest A house near downtown Framinghasm was called the Eames house and later moved to Central St-whose house was it? - June 13, 2020.
mary From what I can gather, Samuel Eames is my ancestor, and I have wondered why the spelling of the name was changed to Ames, I had heard several explainations , but perhaps this incidence was the reason. - July 12, 2019.
AlinaadurlJab Great post! Respect the author! And I read the actual news here ...Smartphone Reviews - September 2, 2018.
Priscilla Linden-Demers nee Yetton I discovered during genealogy that I am descended from Margaret Eames, the 9 year old taken captive...I often think of what courage she must have had in life to have seen her family killed and then eventually be carried to Canada. She was redeemed by Joseph Adams, who she married.... - May 4, 2018.
Kathie (Ellis) Eynon Hart I was thrilled to learn this account of the Thomas Eames family, though I am very sad about the massacre. My grandma Maud Eames is a descendent of the Thomas Eames family. Her parents were Herbert Eames and Grace Nickerlson. Maud sent me a typed version of this one I found on the Internet. She married Howard Eynon and together they had a son Blaine Eames Eynon, my father. - February 26, 2018.
THe Eames father ,stole the indians winter supply of food ,knowing they would starve ,they went to the house looking for the corn and other winter crops ,the woman was making soap ,and when the Indians demanded food she threw the hot soap at them ,knowing - January 5, 2018.
Marge Ames Mar I failed to add an item of which I am proud of. The Eames sons pleaded asked for exoneration of the last 2 Indians being tried for the Eames Massacre - December 26, 2017.
Marge Ames Mar I am a direct descendant of Thomas Ames through DNA . He lived on for about 4 yrs doing masonry work for the town. He also provided shelter for an elderly Indian. Came to the Bay Colony as a journeyman. The story is that he died of a broken heart. Speculation is that he is either brother or cousin to the prominent Ames family of Boston, Indeed Reginald Ames ???s extensive geneololgy in th Librsry of Congress documents a study done of the strong family resemblance of the 2 families. I have s great Uncle who strongly resembles the botanist Ames married to Blanche Ames( both had last name Ames) - December 26, 2017.
Peter C.Mason While researching geneology my wife and I discovered ourselves to be 9th cousins through the Eames,Patten lines. Nathaniel Eames married Anna Patten. Nathaniel is my seventh great grandfather. Eames family also includes the Holden Mass. Slave case of 1839/40. This tale,though equally. Facing ting is - October 22, 2017.
Elizabeth Smith Eisenhauer I am related into the Ames/ Eames family through my great-great-great grandmother Sally Ames. She was sister to Ezra Ames, Albany NY painter. Their father was Jesse Eames of Framingham. I read this story somewhere in a family history. - September 25, 2017.
Jane Eames Johnson Fascinating history of my family. My brother's son Marc named his son Thomas. - August 24, 2017.
Joyce Ames Fond this very interesting. What an addition to my family tree! - June 19, 2017.

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