On this site in 1755, Colonel Ephraim Williams, Jr. was buried after his death in the battle called "Bloody Morning Scout," a skirmish that opened the Battle of Lake George. Ephraim Williams, Jr. is best known as the Founder of Williams College, a liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Outnumbered and ambushed
On September 8, 1775, after the sighting of French and Indians in the area, Colonel Williams, commander of 1,000 New England sodiers and 200 Indians, was sent from Lake George to Fort Edward to assist in protection of that critical supply base. On the way, his force was ambushed by 1,400 French and Indians, led by one of the most experienced professional soldiers to arrive from France, Baron de Dieskau.
When Williams fell, two soldiers in his regiment concealed his body in the brush so that it would not be disturbed. On the day after the battle, 136 bodies were buried, including that of Col. Ephraim Williams, Jr. on this spot.
Not a final resting place
In 1834, Dr. William H. williams of Raleigh, North Carolina, the nephew of Ephraim Williams, Jr. located his uncle's grave, removed the skull and carried it away. Twenty years later, Williams College alumni placed a large rock over the site and had engraved into it the initials "E.W."
Inn 1920, the Trustees of Williams College arranged for the transfer of the remains of Ephaim Williams, Jr. from this site to the vault of the Thompson Memorial Chapel at Williams College, where they are still interred.
Providing for the future
A few months before his death Ephraim Williams, Jr. wrote a will that provided the funds to start a free school near his home at Fort Massachusetts. That school became Williams College in 1793 and remains a fitting tribute to its Founder.
The Mohawk Chief Hendrick
Also killed during the Bloody Morning Scout was Chief Theyanoquin, a sachem or chief of the Mohawks, named Hendrick by the Dutch. He was renowned for his wisdom and skill as an orator. Born near Westfield, Massachusetts around 1685, reputedly Mahican by birth and Mohawk by adoption, Hendrick supported the British cause in the French and Indian War.