Lachine Massacre

On the night of August 5, 1689, terrible war cries awakened the inhabitants of the village of Lachine, located at the west point of the Montreal Island. Doors of the modest houses splintered under the blows of tomahawks, as hideously painted Indian warriors burst inside.

About 1500 Iroquois, under the cover of the hailstorm, crossed Lake St. Louis undetected by sentries and dispersed in small bands among the homesteads of Lachine, a few miles from Ville-Marie (Montreal). The attack was in retaliation for a French raid on Iroquois villages in 1687.

It was sudden and ferocious. Terrified men, women and children were hacked to death and mutilated. Houses and barns went up in flames. Nobody knows how many died in the massacre. Some historians say, there were at least 200 dead, but the number must be exaggerated. About 100 people were taken prisoners and tortured.

They were either killed, or, having been adopted into Iroquois families, chose to remain. In January, 1690, a group of French colonists and their Indian allies exacted bloody revenge on English and Iroquois foes in Schenectady, killing about 60 settlers and razing their homes to the ground.

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