James L. Swanson with The Deerfield Massacre: A Surprise Attack, a Forced March, and the Fight for Survival in Early America
James L. Swanson’s latest work is a spellbinding account of a lesser-known chapter in American history: the deadly 1704 confrontation between Indians and colonists in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the tragedy that unfolded. Following an illustrated presentation, the acclaimed historian will be in dialogue with genealogist-moderator David Allen Lambert and answer your questions.
Once it was one of the most infamous events in early American history. Today, it has been forgotten by many – except for those whose ancestors were victims, and the many tourists who visit the small Massachusetts town and view the massive, tomahawk-scarred door that came to symbolize the notorious Deerfield Massacre of 1704. Now, the popular historian James Swanson brings to life that cold, snowy night of February 29, when hundreds of Indians and their French allies swept down on an isolated frontier outpost to slaughter or capture its inhabitants. One hundred and twelve survivors, including their fearless minister, the Reverend John Williams, were captured and forced to march three hundred miles north into enemy territory in Canada. Don’t miss learning more about their experience of tragedy, survival, sacrifice, family, and faith from two historians with deep knowledge of this violent time in colonial American history.
James L. Swanson is the Edgar Award–winning author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer and an executive producer of the 2024 Apple TV+ Manhunt series. As a Historic Deerfield Fellow in Early American History, he lived in a pre–Revolutionary War house near the massacre site in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist at American Ancestors/NEHGS, is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of genealogy and history. His work has been published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the New Hampshire Genealogical Record, and Rhode Island Roots, and Mayflower Descendant, among other publications. As co-host of the Extreme Genes podcast for eight years, David collects and shares family stories. He has consulted many individuals whose ancestors were impacted by the Deerfield Massacre.
Presented by American Ancestors’ American Inspiration Series