Haverhill’s Hannah Duston statue vandalized with red paint, again

The controversial monument has been defaced three times in the last 18 months.

A statue of Hannah Duston stands in the Grand Army of the Republic Park in Haverhill, meant to honor the English colonist who, legend has it, slaughtered her Native American captors after the gruesome killing of her baby. AP Photo/Steven Senne/File

For the third time in the last 18 months, a controversial statue in downtown Haverhill has been vandalized, according to The Eagle-Tribune.

According to WHAV, the monument was vandalized with red paint sometime between last Wednesday night and Thanksgiving morning.

The statue depicts Hannah Duston, or Dustin, who reportedly slaughtered her Native American captors after the gruesome killing of her baby. Historians dispute some of the popular facts of the tale.

Plaques on the base of the monument, which depict Duston wielding an ax or hatchet, refer to Native Americans as “savages,” according to WHAV.

Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini told The Eagle-Tribune that he has long had concerns about the appropriateness of the statue.


“But it is never appropriate to vandalize those things we disagree with,” he said.

The city has considered relocating or altering the statue, which was erected in 1879, according to NBC Boston.

Diane Dustin Itasaka, an eighth-generation descendant of Duston, told the TV station that her ancestor’s image is misunderstood

“We see her image as someone — most of us in the community — as someone who survived,” she said.

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