Bronze edition: 20 | Height: 22″
A Caughnawaga Mohawk warrior
Amrusus was a Caughnawaga Mohawk warrior who later married one of the English captives, Eunice, daughter of the Reverend John Williams of Deerfield, Massachusetts. This was by no means unique, for many unredeemed captives married into various Indian tribes during the long years of indian wars on the New England frontier.
Along with the Abenaki of St. Francis, perhaps the most feared group to New Englanders were the “French Maqua” – the Caughnawaga Mohawks. Unlike their kin, the pro-English Iroquois league, these Iroquois were converted to Catholicism by Jesuit missionaries who established the village of Caughnawaga outside of Montreal in 1666. Caughnawaga survives to this day. They quickly became an invaluable military arm of the French.
Legend has it that a bell, cast in France for the Mohawk church, was unwittingly purchased by the citizens of Deerfield for their meeting house after the French ship carrying the bell was captured and her contents sold at auction in Boston. It is said that retrieving this “bell of St. Regis”, as it has become known, was a powerful factor in inducing the Caughnawaga to attack Deerfield.
Eunice Williams, many years after 1704, returned to Deerfield with Amrusus on a number of occasions to visit relatives. It was said that she refused to spend a night under an English roof but preferred a wigwam on the village common. Repeated efforts to win her back from the Caughnawaga were in vain. She outlived all involved in the Deerfield Massacre, dying in Canada in 1786 at the age of 90.