This memorial statue to Hannah Dustin commemorates one of the most gruesome episodes in early american history. As the story goes Hannah Dustin, a neighbor and Hannah’s week old infant were kidnapped by Abenaki Indians from their home in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1697. The Indians infamously killed Hannah’s child by smashing its head against a tree while fleeing with the captives. One night during their march north to Canada the Indians did not post a guard over the captives. Hannah with the help of her neighbor Mary and a fourteen year old boy, also being held captive, stole some tomahawks and killed ten of the twelve Indians holding them captive. Six of the Indians slaughtered were children. Wanting to provide evidence of her story Hannah scalped the dead Indians and made her way back downriver to escape.
The statue is on the site of the escape, murders and scalpings. To reach the memorial park in the “park and ride” lot and follow the short trail down to the statue.
The trail connects to one of New Hampshire’s many “rail to trail” trails.
Once you reach the river the statue is evident. This is the first statue to be erected honoring a woman in American history.
No matter how you feel about the sordid story and its veracity the pleasant walk and impressive statue make for a worthwhile stop.
In the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts there is another statue of Hannah and the Haverhill Historic Society has some of her artifacts.