Benjamin, grew up in the family trade being a farmer, but added to his skills by learning the craft of blacksmithing. In 1701, Benjamin moved from Northampton to Deerfield, Massachusetts, an outpost settlement. On October 9, 1702 Benjamin married Sarah Belden, daughter of Daniel Belden and Elizabeth Foote.
Deerfield is beautifully situated near the confluence of the valleys of the Deerfield and Connecticut rivers, and contains a large area of fertile soil which made the area attractive to early settlers. It is surrounded by a picturesque region of hills and valleys, but its location at the union of river valleys from the north, west and east made it easily accessible to hostile approach. These conditions and the extreme frontier position had made it attractive as a strategic point to the savage enemy in the "King Philip" and the French wars. In 1703, its exposed site led to its fortification by an enclosure of tree trunks entirely surrounding it, and to its protection by a garrison.
There were 112 prisoners total, and among them were Sarah's step-mother, Mrs. Hepzibah Belden, and Benjamin's cousin, Nathaniel Brooks, with his wife and two children. The prisoners were first taken to the "west mountain" north of the village, and on the same afternoon started on their terrible journey to Canada. Their route was up the valley of the Connecticut, and the deep snows and rugged character of the wilderness made their journey slow and painful. As of March 3, 1704, they had gone only thirty miles on their way.
"The condition and sufferings of these unfortunate creatures cannot be adequately described; in the few brief, agonizing minutes of the attack they had neither forethought nor time to make the least preparation for such a fearful journey; poorly clad and shod, the rocks, bushes and brambles soon rent their scanty garments and when sodden with the penetrating melted snow their power to resist the icy blasts was almost exhausted. At night when the exertion of motion no longer stimulated their blood they could only save their vital warmth by lying close together in the snow, a feebly palpitating mass of misery." - Rev. John Williams
" I saw in the naked forest Our scattered remnant cast,
"The writer has often in fancy depicted to himself this ancestress, subjected in her early wifehood to that direful ordeal ; the days of unmitigated misery in the deep snows of the bleak and trackless wilderness; the piercing cold ; the sore, aching, frost-bitten limbs ; the ever gnawing hunger; the slaughter of her step-mother and of the many women burdened like herself ; of the long nights haunted by the vague dread of the morrow with all its known and unknowable terrors. Was it with joy or dread that she felt within her the throbs of her unborn child ? " - Henry M. Burt of Springfield
- (1), his brother David, captured at Schenectady, February 9, 1690, and never after heard from ;
- (2), his brother John, killed in a scout in May, 1707 ;
- (3), his uncle, Joseph Baker, killed October 29, 1675 ;
- (4), his uncle, Thomas Holton, killed March 14, 1676;
- (5 and 6), his cousins, William and John Brooks, killed October 27, 1675 ;
- (7) his uncle, Sergeant Samuel Wright, killed September 2, 1676 ;
- (8, 9, 10), his cousin Nathaniel Brooks's wife, captured at the same time as himself, the wife slain on the march to Canada and the children never after heard from.
- (1, 2, 3 and 4), her mother, two brothers, and sister, killed September 16, 1696;
- (5 and 6), her cousin, Mary Belden, and child, killed September 19, 1677 ;
- (7), her cousin, John Smith, killed May 30, 1676;
- (8), her stepmother, captured at the same time as herself and slain on the march to Canada.