The Preble Massacre
June 9, 1758
Picture courtesy of Deborah Bosma

Excerpts from "The Last Tragedy of the Indian Wars: The Preble Massacre at the Kennebec" by Rev. Henry O. Thayer,
Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 1, p. 406 (1904, Portland Maine)
[HTML on Pete Daggett website]

On June 9, 1758,  Ebenezer Preble was shot by marauding Indians as he worked on his farm at the north end of Arrowsic Island across the Kennebec River from Bath, Maine. The Indians then went to the farmhouse for the rest of the family.  As Henry Thayer wrote in 1904:
"They preferred captives to scalps because of the higher price in the French markets of the spoils of war. They strove for entrance and demanded surrender, offering "good quarters." Failing of this, they tried bullets. One account told that Mrs. Preble was putting a featherbed against the door for more effective barricade against the guns. Through crevice or aperture by door or window she was shot dead, falling in the midst of her shrieking children, while grievous wounds were inflicted on two more of the household."
The Preble Massacre Memorial
After killing Mary Preble, the Indians took captive the Preble children and servants and sold them to the French in Canada. Thayer wrote:

"On the way the captors hailed another party and held aloft on a pole the bunch or scalps, exulting in the trophies of a successful raid: the bereaved girls held long in memory the excruciating view of the long, black hair of their mother, waving as a token of orphanage cruelly thrust upon them in a moment and their wretched and then hopeless fate as they were driven into the land of the enemy and the stranger."
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Additional Sources

Henry Wilson Owen, A.B., History of Bath, Maine, (The Times Company, Bath, Maine, 1936), 94, Chapter XII, "The French and
Indian War".
The [Second P]arish [of Georgetown] bounds were also those of one of the militia companies of Georgetown. This company was formed in 1756 or somewhat earlier with Patrick Drummond as captain, John Stinson as lieutenant, and 87 members. There was in 1757 an alarm watch consisting of . . . Ensign Ebenezer Preble . . .
. . .
The historic Preble massacre occurred in Woolwich during this period. A Mr. Preble and a hired hand were working in the field in 1758 when attacked by the savages. Mr. Preble was shot at the first onset, and the hired man fell while racing for the house. Mrs. Preble was shot while in the act of reaching for a gun which hung over the fireplace in the house. The children were carried off into Canada, whence four were later brought back by their grandfather, Samuel Harnden. One daughter, who was very young at the time of the capture, grew up in a French family, preferred to remain and subsequently went with the family to France. One infant was killed by the Indians soon after the capture.

George Henry Preble, Genealogical Sketch of The First Three Generations of Prebles in America, (Boston, Printed for Family
Circulation, David Clapp & Sons, 1868), 16-17, n *.
* His [Ebenezer's] great-grandson, Capt. Geo. A. Preble, wrote me in 1851, that Eben had two sons, Ebenezer and Samuel; and three daughters, Polly, Rebecca and Mehitable, and that he was shot by the Indians while at work in the field, his wife was killed in the house, and the children all carried to Quebec, where they remained prisoners four or five years. At the end of the war they were all brought back by their grandfather, Brigadier General Harnden (who went to Quebec for that purpose), except the oldest daughter Mehitable, who was taken by a French family, and became so much attached to them that she refused to leave them and married in France. The next daughter, Rebecca, married Thomas Motherwell, and died April, 1829. The youngest daughter, Mary, died unmarried at the age of ninety-six, at Woolwich, in Dec. 1843, retaining her health and mental powers unimpaired to the last week of her life. She had a distinct recollection of seeing the battle between the armies of Wolfe and Montcalm on the heights of Abraham, and the capture of Quebec.

Gen. Joseph Sewell's History of Bath (Maine Hist. Coll., Vol II) has this account of the massacre:---
"In 1758 (sic) a strong party of Indians landed on the head of the Island of Arrowsic and killed a Mr. Preble and his wife who were out in the field planting corn, and took his son and two daughters captive. Mr. P. had a fort or block house there, but so sudden was the attack that that he could not escape to it. On their return the Indians proceeded to Harnden's fort in Woolwich, which was near the Bath ferry, and there took prisoner a Miss Motherwell, a relative of the young captives, a girl of about eighteen years of age, who happened to be without the garrison. One of the children of Mr. Preble whom they seized at Arrowsic was an infant, and crying for food as they supposed, they laid it in the lap of the damsel they had last taken, and asked her to impart to it the nourishment of a mother. With compassion for the helpless infant, she replied she was not a mother. The tears that fell from her cheek did not soften the savage breast. He seized the child and dashing its head against a rock, relieved it from further suffering. They carried the other captives to Canada and sold them as servants. After the cessation of Quebec to the British, their grandfather Brigadier General Haranden [sic] went to the province, obtained the release of the captives and restored them."
In 1758, Watts's house and one other on the upper end of the island, occupied by Mr. Preble, were the only dwelling houses in Arrowsic, all the rest having been destroyed by the Indians.