On March 16, 1697, as Hannah Duston was resting after giving birth to her newest baby in Haverhill, MA, the Abenaki Indians raided the area. Her husband Thomas and their eight older children fled, leaving Hannah, her nurse Mary, and her newborn to fend for themselves.
The Indians captured and canoed them up the Merrimac River into New Hampshire. While making their journey, one of the warriors killed Hannah’s newborn. Hannah, who was furious, waited for six weeks after being abducted to launch her attack. Once all her captors were asleep, she and her two companions, her nurse and another captured boy, attacked the Abenaki. Hannah used a hatchet
during the attack, killing all 10 and scalping some to collect a bounty. They then took a canoe and paddled back down the Merrimack River to join her family once more. As a result, the Massachusetts General Court awarded her 25 pounds and she would become known as the Heroine of Haverhill.
In 1879, a statue of Hannah Duston was erected in Grand Army Park in Haverhill, MA, making her the first woman to be honored with a statue.