Examination of John Stoddard

John Stoddard, aged about sixteen years, was examined before us, this 26th of July, 1678, who owneth as followeth:

That he being left at home by his mother to look to her child yesterday, the child crying; he took a hatchet and knocked it on the head, supposing he had killed it, and then came away to the town and told Mr. Wetherell two Indians had killed the child, describing one of them to be in a blue coat laced, but afterwards being farther examined doth own that he did it himself.

The above said John Stoddard, being examined about the death of Mrs. Bolles and her children,1 did strongly deny to Mr. Bradstreet that ever he was in the house, but now doth freely own that he is the person which did the murder, declaring that he came that evening with an intent to lodge there but Mrs. Bolles denied him liberty to lodge there and thrust him out of door, striking him with her hand.  Then he, the said Stoddard, owneth that he drew the latch and came into the house and took an axe that stood by the wall and struck the said Mrs. Bolles on the head as she sat on the stool near the beds feet with the child in her lap.  With which blow she fell on the floor, by some venison that lay there.  Then he struck her another blow on the head.  Then he struck the girl on the head as she stood by the door, and then struck the little boy on the head, with what blow the ax glanced and cut the boys’ face.  He also owns that the girl groaned or snored when he went from the house to the highway, homewards.  For farther trial we caused the ax, which the murder was done with, to be brought before him, with two others with it and he, the said Stoddard, readily owned the right ax to be that which he did the murder with.  This is a true declaration taken from the said Stoddard’s own mouth per us.

Edward Palmes                                                                         

James Avery


:d Palmes./

James Avery          Comrs

                Cataloguing:  113, 126

  • 1. The children referred to are Mary and Joseph Bolles.