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Ebenezer Hall and Matinicus Island

By Kathryn Hall | July 31, 2010

Dear Visitors: In honor of having recently connected through the miracle of DNA research with another cousin who is a descendant of the Halls of Maine I am dipping into my archives and posting this excerpt from Gems of the Ocean which relays an old version of the story of Ebenezer Hall of Matinicus Island. Note I said version. After reading this I encourage you to read notes from the non-profit organization Nedoba which documents the early history of the Abenaki People of Interior New England and their version of this story adds details omitted below. We might never know the actual details, but anyone searching the Halls of Maine invariably stumble upon Ebenezer Hall’s story in one form or another. If you have more (well researched) notes, please share below in comments section. Thank you! KH
Footnote: Here’s another link: http://tinyurl.com/2fs73g3

The following is an excerpt from Gems of the Ocean, Robert B. Fillmore (1914)

Very little has been written concerning the early history
of the island. The first records show that in 1728, William
Vaughn, one of the most prominent merchants of New England,
then residing at Damariscotta, came to Matinicus and established
a fishing station, employing several vessels. There are still
landmarks on the island, said to be the place where his build-
ings once stood, also the remains of an old wharf, the scene of
the early activities. These fishing stations were abandoned
and we can learn nothing more relating to the local history until
the year when Ebenezer Hall, the first settler, removed from
Portland to Matinicus. Following is the full account of his
massacre by the Indians, with genealogy of the family.

Early Mantinicus History

EBENEZER Hall lived at what is called the Back Cove, Port-
land, Me. There he raised three children, two daughters and
one son Ebenezer by name. The girls married. One wedded a
man by the name of Proctor, the other a man by the name of
Allen and moved back into the country in the town of Fal-
mouth.

Shortly after this the mother died and Mr. Hall married a
widow by the name of Green. She had three children, one
son by the name of Daniel and two daughters. The boy was 14
years of age and the girls 9 and 7. Mr Hall then with his family
moved to the Island of Matinicus, it being at the close of the
French and English war, at which time the English took the
Canadas and Nova Scotia from the French. He then built a
stone house which he could use as a fort for protection from the
Indians. The French, who were allied with the Indians, of-
fered a bounty for the scalp of every white man they killed,
whereupon a band of six Indians went to the Island and camped
about thirty feet south of the house between two granite ledges,
on a plat of grass about eight feet wide.

Then they besieged the dwelling. Mr Hall barred the door
to keep them out and was obliged to stay there nearly a week,
surrounded by them. In their determination to capture him
and his family, they sent fire arrows into the roof and burned
it. As fast as it took fire Mr. Hall would take a pole and push
off the burning rafters so they would not fall within the walls of

the house and at the same time his son shooting with a gun
whenever an opportunity offered. At last the ammunition of
the Indians was nearly exhausted and in their desire to lengthen
out their supply, they cut their lead bullets in two and as a decoy
one of the Indians, who had in his gun the last half bullet, went
up back of the house and took a position overlooking it and
prepared to discharge his gun at Mr. Hall whenever he should
show his head above the wall of the house. The other Indians
made what noise they could, walking over the pebbly shore and
hauling their canoe after them. Mr. Hall hearing the noise
that they were making and thinking that they had given up
their hope and were leaving the island, climbed up and looked
over the side of the house facing the shore, when the Indian
back of the house brought his gun to his shoulder and shot him
through the head and he fell back into the room dead. When
his wife realized that he was killed and she left without a pro-
tector, she screamed for quarter and the Indians hearing her,
rushed up from the beach and said “Your Sannah (being in-
terpreted husband) will not give any quarter.” She said ”my
husband is dead.” They immediately broke in the door and
proceeded to bind the mother and the two girls, removing the
scalp of Mr. Hall. The boy Daniel had escaped by the back
window and hidden in the woods back of the house in the under-
brush. The Indians took the mother and the two girls in their
canoes and after sinking one of the fishing boats that lay in the
harbor proceeded to Canada. The boy after remaining hidden
several hours and feeling satisfied that the Indians had given
up the hunt for him and had gone emerged from his hiding place
and looking around upon the situation, espied a fishing vessel
lying at anchor off in the bay. Finding half a canoe he paddled
off from the shore and when he had proceeded a proper distance
from the shore, he took his paddle and placing his coat upon it,
signalled to the vessel. Seeing him they came to his aid and
ascertaining his wants, came on shore and helped him bury his

father. He then returned to the schooner and sailed to the
Fox Islands, where the schooner belonged.

The evening previous to the final attack the Indians built
a fire just below the house and proceeded to get their supper.
They took some corn and pounded it in a mortar and then
cooked it. They then emptied it out of the kettle into a large
dish and seated themselves around it and with their spoons all
ate from the dish. Mr. Hall seeing them all busy eating, wanted
to take Daniel and three good guns they had loaded and creed
out of the back window to where he could get in range of them.
There he thought he could kill them all, but his wife in terror
seized him and would not let him go. At the first opportunity
Mrs. Hall made her escape from the Indians and returned to
the Island and later married in Boston. Her two daughters
were still held by the Indians but years afterwards were seen
with them in one of their visits to the island and being recognized
by their brother, he sought an interview, but they had become
so accustomed to the wild life of the forest they declined to take
but little notice of him. The next day he went to have a second
talk with them, hoping to induce them to return to civilized
life but it was of no avail.

In subsequent years Daniel took up and settled on what
is now known as Green Island, lying south of Carver’s Harbor.
He married a Miss Young of Old York, a sister of Susannah
Young of the same place. At the time of this murder and the
committing of these outrages by the Indians, Mr. Hall’s son
Ebenezer, was away fishing in one of his father’s boats
in the vicinity of Halifax, N. S. When he returned he found
his father was dead and the island forsaken. He then proceeded
to Boston with his fare of fish and on the passage up he put
into Old York for a harbor. There he formed the acquaintance
of Susannah Young, whom he afterwards married. They came
to Pemaquid and lived in the block house instead of returning
to Matinicus on account of the French and Indian war and the

hostilities against the whites. While there Mrs. Hall and
another woman while driving cows from the pasture were fol-
lowed by the Indians and barely escaped death from the bullets.

After peace was declared Mr. Hall and wife returned to
Matinicus and lived there many years and raised fifteen children
their names being: Hannah, born September 11, 1759; Mary,
born August 25, 1761; Susannah, born May 10, 1763; Jane, born
March 4, 1765; Ebenezer, born February 15, 1767; Margret,
born March 9, 1769; Patience, born February 14, 1771; Sally,
born February 9, 1773; Charity, born December 1, 1775; James,
born January 26, 1777; John, born December 25, 1778; Abigail,
born March 6, 1781; George, born May 3, 1783; David, born
January 30, 1786; Betsey, born May 30, 1788. Ebenezer Hall,
3d, born March 19, 1735, died February 14, 1813, buried on
Matinicus; Susannah Young Hall, his wife, born March 9,
1724, died December 9, 1831. After the death of her husband
she came to live with her son John Hall and is buried in the old
cemetery at the ”Head of the Bay” South Thomaston.

Capt. Hiram Hall is the owner of an iron kettle that was
left on Matinicus in 1757 by his great great grandfather Ebene-
zer Hall, who was killed by the Indians.

Ebenezer Hall, 3d, died February 14, 1814, age 78 years,
11 months, 9 days. His father Ebenezer, 2d, was killed by the
Indians on Matinicus in 1757. His wife, Mrs. Hall, a lady of
remarkable beauty and many accomplishments, was captured
with her two daughters, after her husband had been killed. They
were carried to Canada, where they were separated. Mrs. Hall
was eventually ransomed. But this unhappy woman, notwith-
standing her life long endeavors, could never obtain the least
knowledge of her children or their fate. The father of the above
Ebenezer was probably one of three brothers that came from
England. He was a lieutenant in the English army and was
present in the battle of Mines at the siege of Louisburg and was
wounded and died at Annapolis, Nova Scotia.

The above was taken from Abbott’s History of Maine. [Editor's note: The History of Maine by John Stevens Cabot Abbott]

When Ebenezer Hall lived on Matinicus, a great many
years ago, there lived in the family a girl by the name of Dorcas
Young, a sister to Hall’s wife. Joseph Greene was paying his
addresses to Dorcas at the time. One night Hall invited some
fishermen up to the house, so he said to Greene, “Joe, don’t you
and Dorcas want to get married?” “I don’t know,” says Joe.
He started for the cow yard where Dorcas was milking the cows,
and asked her if she thought they had better get married, that
night. “Why Joe,” says Dorcas, “I have not got any wed-
ding gown.” “Never mind the gown,” says Joe, so they went
into the house, Dorcas washed herself, put on a clean apron,
stood up, and they were married, there being a justice of the
peace among the crowd.

The descendants of Ebenezer Hall, who was killed by the
Indians, formed a reunion association in 1906 and have raised
money and purchased a bronze tablet, which will be set in the
rock at or near the spot where Mr. Hall was killed, near what
is now Henry Young and Company’s store. The stone which
formed the base of the chimney of Hall’s house is located in
front of the store and the ledge behind which the Indians were
concealed is but a few yards distant.

The tablet bears the following inscription:

”Ebenezer Hall. The first white settler on Matinicus Isle,
Maine, killed by the Indians, June 6, 1757.”

Topics: Book Corner | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Ebenezer Hall and Matinicus Island”

  1. Connie Drysdale Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Very nice and very informative website. I am a direct descendant of George and Mary Hall of Taunton:
    George Hall
    Samuel Hall
    Ebenezer Hall x 4
    Job Pitcher Hall
    Henry Walton Hall
    Fay Fall
    living Hall

    I live in Connecticut. Do you alert people via email to new postings, or do we have to check in periodically?

    Thanks!

  2. admin Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Hi, Connie and welcome! We must be cousins! I do not advise folks of new postings, though this blog is listed on AllTop.com and that would advise you. At the moment I’m very busy with a new book, so posts are not so frequent right now. Thanks for your visit and comment. Hope it leads you to more direct cousins. KH

  3. Stacy Schaumburg (Hall) Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Hi!
    I am a direct descendant as well…
    Job Pitcher Hall–>
    William Wesley Hall–>
    Clifford Hall –>
    Living Hall–>
    Living…Me :o)

    We have been trying to locate records for George. It’s amazing to find so much information about the family.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. admin Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Thank you, Stacy. KH

  5. Susan Hall Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I am a direct descendant of Ebenezer through my grandfather, Henry L. Hall of Madison, ME; father, John A. Hall USAF of Madison ME. This story was told me somehow when I was a young girl, we probably went to the farm site.

  6. Susan Hall Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Just noticed Wikipedia presents Ebenezer was a squatter, which he was not under Colonial rulings…

  7. Konnie Trone Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I,too,found this sight very informative and helpful as I was trying to find stories on the Hall’s. I am descendent of Job Pitcher Hall and wife, Lydia Tryon.

    Thank you!

  8. admin Says:
    February 20th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    My pleasure. KH

  9. Vicki English Says:
    May 31st, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I am an Aussie who is also a direct descendent from the Ebenezer and Hannah who were my 6th great grandparents on my mothers side. I hope to get to Matinicus, possibly 2014 before continuing to Scotland where the Halls are descended from the Scottish Royal Family, including Robert the Bruce. I have established that we are originally from France dating back to 962 (31 generations to me… so 33 generations to my two grandchilden). We also have an ancestor who was the first translator of the Bible into English – he was burnt at the stake in Brussels!

    Hope to meet some of you!
    Cheers, Vicki English

  10. admin Says:
    June 1st, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hi, Vickie, Once you begin verifying your research through DNA you will find the results on this site helpful. You will be seeking a match to these results. Good luck and happy travels. KH

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