More About John Rogers Jr. Homestead, Site of

In Rogers’ August 2nd deposition, he described incidents from seven years earlier, saying, “…there happening some difference betwixt us she gave forth several threatening words as she often used to do and in a short time after, this deponent had two large lusty sows … that were lost and this deponent found one of them dead near the said Carrier’s house with both ears cut off and the other I never heard of to this day.” Rogers went on to describe a cow that stopped giving milk, blaming all of his livestock trouble on Martha saying, “I did in my conscience believe then in the day of it and have done so ever since, and do yet believe that Martha Carrier was the occasion of those ill accidents, by means of witchcraft, she being a very malicious woman…”


Martha Carrier was hanged, with four others, on August 19, 1692. Three years later, John Rogers Jr. met his own terrible demise. On August 5, 1695, in the same native attack on Billerica that took the life of Mary Toothaker, Rogers lost his life and two of his children were taken captive. Historian John Farmer gives this account, “In the northerly part of the town, on the east of Concord river, lived several families, who, though without garrisons and in time of war, felt no apprehensions of danger. Their remoteness from the frontiers might have contributed to their apparent security. Indians came upon them suddenly in the day-time. They entered the house of John Rogers while he was sleeping, and discharged an arrow at him, which entered his neck and pierced the jugular vein. Awakened with this sudden and unexpected attack, he started up, seized the arrow, which he forcibly withdrew, and expired with the instrument of death in his hands.”


A historic sign was erected near the site of the John Rogers homestead, on Billerica Ave., north of Hickory Lane. When it was first placed in 1930, it was apparently believed that the entire Rogers family had been killed in the 1695 massacre. As you can see, the last words have been painted out.