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Main > United States folktales > Fairy tale "Rogers's Slide"

Rogers's Slide

The shores of Lakes George and Champlain were ravaged by war. Up and down those lovely waters swept the barges of French and English, and the green hills rang to the shrill of bugles, the boom of cannon, and the yell of savages. Fiction and history have been weft across the woods and the memory of deeds still echoes among the heights. It was at Glen's Falls, in the cave on the rock in the middle of the river, that the brave Uncas held the watch with Hawkeye. Bloody Defile and Bloody Pond, between there and Lake George, take their names from the "Bloody morning scout" sent out by Sir William Johnson on a September day in 1755 to check Dieskau until Fort William Henry could be completed. In the action that ensued, Colonel Williams, founder of Williams College, and Captain Grant, of the Connecticut line, great-grandfather of the President who bore that name, were killed. The victims, dead and wounded alike, having been flung into Bloody Pond, it was thick and red for days, and tradition said that in after years it resumed its hue of crimson at sunset and held it until dawn. The captured, who were delivered to the Indians, had little to hope, for their white allies could not stay their savagery. Blind Rock was so called because the Indians brought a white man there, and tearing his eyes out, flung them into embers at the foot of the stone. Captives were habitually tortured, blazing splinters of pine being thrust into their flesh, their nails torn out, and their bodies slashed with knives before they went to the stake. An English prisoner was allowed to run the gauntlet here. They had already begun to strike at him as he sped between the lines, when he seized a pappoose, flung it on a fire, and, in the instant of confusion that followed, snatched an axe, cut the bonds of a comrade who had been doomed to die, and both escaped.

But the best-known history of this region is that of Rogers's Rock, or Rogers's Slide, a lofty precipice at the lower end of Lake George. Major Rogers did not toboggan down this rock in leather trousers, but his escape was no less remarkable than if he had.

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