Our Beloved Kin: Remapping A New History of King Philip's War

Remove 2: The trail to Menimesit

During Rowlandson's second "remove," Monoco traveled with his warriors and the Lancaster captives west along a familiar trail, which would take them through his home territory of Weshawkim and Wachusett to the Nipmuc sanctuary of Menimesit. Monoco would have known this trail well, but Mary Rowlandson, who rarely traveled beyond Lancaster or "the Bay towns," described it as a "vast and desolate wilderness," although she was less than ten miles from her home. With no knowledge of the Nipmuc interior, she "knew not whither" (where) they went. The trail that they traveled was ideal for Monoco's purpose. With marshes and swamps to one side and forested hills to the other, the environment prevented colonial troops from accessing the trail and discouraged captives from escaping. The trail gained in elevation as they moved toward the foothills of Mount Wachusett. Although the terrain may have seemed daunting to Rowlandson, those forests and wetlands provided generous fishing and gathering during the warmer months. After passing through the foothills, Monoco's party would have come to the east branch of the Ware River, following it to its confluence with the main branch, also known as the river to Menimesit. 

Click here to view these locations in the map of Mary Rowlandson's removes or in the interactive story map

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