Samuel Thaxter, a first cousin (eight times removed) of my wife, was a major in the British Army when he fought in the French Indian War during the mid 1700s. He was captured by Indians during the siege of Fort William Henry in 1757.
Tied to a tree, he was about to be killed when a French soldier approached him. Not much is known about any conversation that took place. Some speculate that the Frenchman recognized Thaxter as a fellow Mason. In any event, the Frenchman decided to cut Thaxter loose and allowed him to go his way.
He managed to travel by foot to Fort Edward and from there to his home in Hingham, Massachusetts. He arrived on the same afternoon as his funeral for the townspeople had already received word of his capture and supposed death. He met Mr. Caleb Bates on the road into town who exclaimed, “We just buried you!”
Thaxter, like his father and seven of his children, attended Harvard. He resided at the Thaxter Mansion on North Street in Hingham. The mansion had a secret passageway which is said to have been used to hide British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
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