Sarah Allen and The Battle of Deerfield
by Eric Lalonde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is the story
of the battle of Deerfield which is one of the major events in the history
of the Lalondes. Sarah Allen, who was to marry Guillaume Lalonde, was
a little girl of 12 years old at the time of the battle. She was captured
and marched to Canada with the other captives.
The Story of Sarah Allen
Sarah was taken to Kahanawake and kept there for a while before being sold to Jean Quenet a Montreal merchant. One of Jean Quenet's properties was at Baie D'Urfé and that is where Sarah worked as a domestic. On the 30th of May 1705 Sarah was baptised with the name Marie- Madeleine Hélène Sire at Saint-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Ile before her godfather Pierre Lamoureux and her godmother Etiennette Hurtubise the wife of Jean Quenet. All residents of New France were baptized catholics and carried French names no matter what their origin. She married Guillaume Lalonde the son of Jean De Lalonde on April 10, 1710. In May of that year she was granted citizenship in New France. She had 13 children with Guillaume, 9 boys and 4 girls. 8 of the boys married and helped spread the Lalonde name. She died in 1764 at the age of 82.
The Allen family have roots that go quite far back into New England History. Sarah was a third generation New Englander. Her Grandfather Edward Allen Sr. emigrated to Ipswich, New England from Scotland in 1636. While the father of Edward's wife Sarah , Richard Kimball (Sarah Allen's great-grandfather) came to New England in 1634 only 15 years after Plymouth Rock. On April 10, 1634, at Ipswich in the county of Suffolk, England, Richard Kimball embarked for the voyage to New England. He boarded the ship "Elizabeth", William Andrews, master. That means that when Sarah Allen was captured her family had been in New England for 70 years.
Most of the accounts about the New England captives have come from New England sources as not very much has been written about these people in Quebec. There have been two studies in French in recent times. The Société Généalogique Canadienne- Français, has done some studies recently and published a book on the subject by Marcel Fournier. In fact Fournier has identified 455 captives from New England who settled in New France from 1675 to 1760. He estimates that to be only one third of those who passed through New France but only stayed for a few years. When you consider these numbers against the population of the time, New France went from 3,300 in 1666 to 60,000 in 1760, it is quite significant. In fact this becomes the third main source of immigration to New France after 1665. The first, the 400 of the Carignan-Salières regiment (Jean De Lalonde), the second the 400 filles du roi (Marie Barbant) and the third the captives from New England (Sarah Allen). The rest of the population growth came from the large families.
And now we come to the fateful day that Sarah was captured and her life changed forever. From an English speaking puritan of New England she was transformed into a French speaking catholic mother of 13 in New France. We can only wonder how that transformation took place and what kind of person she was. We do know that she was educated in that she could read and write. On her marriage certificate she signed her name while Guillaume could not. In fact none of the early Lalondes could write and this was very common in New France. In 1700, New France had a population of about 15,000 as compared to the 100,000 in New England. It is no wonder that Governor Vaudreuil, mindful of the population difference, was quite concerned about the British and took every opportunity to keep them off guard and keep the Indians as allies.
The following is an account of the attack from New England Outpost: War and Society in Colonial Deerfield, Richard I. Melvoin (1989):
And so the captives make the long trek to Canada through the winter snow (see map). Sarah arrives at Fort Chambly at the beginning of April 1704. The next official record we have is her baptism on May 30, 1705 at Ste-Anne de Bout de L'Ile. At that time she is a domestic in the home of Jean Quenet at Baie D'Urfé. Five years later she marries Guillaume Lalonde and this Lalonde Family has 13 children, 9 boys and 4 girls.
© 2002 Chris Lalonde & Eric Lalonde Updated: June 22, 2003