A NARRATIVE HISTORY
KING PHILIPS WAR
Indian Troubles in New England.
The American Indian's
First Appearance In History. ... 13 An historical retrospect, 13.—Thorvald is
slain by the Skroellings, 14.—Freydissa comes to the rescue of her countrymen, 15.—The
Northmen return to Greenland, 15.—After five centuries, during which the
existence of the New World is forgotten, the Pilgrims come in the Mayflower,
16.—They explore the coast near them and settle at Plymouth, 21.
The Pilgrims And The
Indians 31 Coubatant's conspiracy and the march to rescue Squanto, 32, Arrival
of the good ship Fortune, 34.—A war challenge from the Narragansetts,
35.—Squanto conspires on his own account, but his intrigues are discovered,
36.—Another vessel comes from England, 38.—Illness of Massasoit and his recovery,
41.—He divulges a wide-spread plot to cut off all the
Standish takes vigorous measures, and
The Pequot War 48, The
beginning of the Pequot War, 49.—The death of Captains Stone and Oldham, 50.
—The expedition to Block Island, 52.—The war breaks out on the Connecticut, 57.Lion
Gardener at Saybrook Fort, 58.—His account of his experiences, 59.
The End Of The Pequot
War 67 Massachusetts and Plymouth are called on for help, 68.—Connecticut
musters a little army, and the Mohegans join it as allies, 68.—Mason lands at
Point Judith and marches into the Pequot country, 72.—The fort is surprised,
75.—The dispersion and extinction of the Pequot nation, 81.—The quarrel between
Uncas and Miantonimoh, 83.
The State Of New
England 86, Forty years later, 86.—The changes that have taken place, 87. The
government, 90.—Society and public sentiment, 91.Causes of King Philip's War,
96.The Praying Indians, 98. Efforts of Eliot and others at the conversion of
the savages, 99.
The First Breaking Out
Of War,The sons of Massasoit, 102.—Alexander's arrest and death. 103.—Philip
succeeds him, 104.—The death of Sausanian, 105. — Church's adventures at
Saconet, 107.—The savages
pillage Swansey and kill several of the inhabitants, 109, Massachusetts troops march to the help of Plymouth, Scouting parties are fired on by the Indians, .—Mount Hope invaded, 112.—A treaty with the Narragansetts, 113. The expedition to Saconet, —Philip escapes to the Nipmuck country, 127.
War Breaks Out In The
Massachusetts Colony. ... 128 The Nipmuck Indians take up the hatchet,
128.—Captain Wheeler is ambushed and Brookfield is attacked, 129.—Its heroic
defence and relief, 131.—The outbreaks in the western settlements, 137.—The
ambush of Captain Beers and the destruction of Deerfield and other towns,
138.—A minister's letter,
141.—Loss of the Flower of Essex, 142.
Public Feeling Against
The Indians 146 State of public feeling, 146.—Indiscriminate hatred of Indians,
147.—Occurrences at Boston, 149. — A day of fasting ordered, 151.—Springfield
attacked, and nearly destroyed by the torch, 156.—Hatfield attacked, but the
savages driven off with slaughter, 158.
Campaign 160 War is declared against the Narragansetts, 161.—The army from the
three colonies assembles in the dead of winter, 162. It marches against their
fort, 163.—The assault and capture and the return march, 165.—The weather
compels inaction, 170.—The Narragansetts are driven northward, 175.—Lancaster
is attacked, 176.
narrative, 177.—The attack on Lancaster, 178.—She is carried captive, 180.—The
melancholy fate of her little daughter, 185.—Her varied experiences among the savages,
189.—Their habits and customs, 190.—Interview with King Philip,
195.—Negotiations for her ransom, 206.— Her final liberation, 217.
Attacks On The Coast
Settlements 219 Two Praying Indians are sent as spies, 219.—They discharge their
errand excellently well, 220. --Medfield is surprised, 222. The strange death
of Mrs. Adams, 225.—Northampton attacked, 225.—The ambush near Springfield,
226.—Groton is assaulted and burned, but the people successfully defend themselves,
226.—Captain Pierce's gallant fight, 232.—A crafty savage, 233.
Dark Days in the
Colonies 236 Marlborough's narrow escape, 236.—The capture of Canonchet,
239.—His trial and execution, 240.—Captain Wadsworth is surprised and slain,
242.—Mrs. Ewell's experience, 243.—Negotiations for the ransom of captives,
245.—Dissensions among the Indians, 247.—The fight at Turner's Falls, 248.—A
personal narrative, 250.—The adventure of Rev. Mr. Atherton, 255. —Hatfield is
attacked, 257.—Hadley assaulted, 258.
The Services Of Captain Church 260, Church takes service again. 260.—Wins over the Saconet Indians, 267.—Taking their best warriors into his force, he makes expeditions against the enemy, bringing in many prisoners, 272.—Philip's affairs become desperate, 281.—He makes many narrow escapes, but is at last slain, 2go.
The Closing Events Of The War 292 General rejoicing at Philip's death, 292.—Estimate of his character, 293.—Philip's son, 295.—The pursuit of Annawon, 298.—His capture and fate, 305. — Tispiquin, 309.—The effects of the war, 310.—An instance of Indian torture, 312.
The Closing Events Of The War—Continued 313 The
war in the eastern settlements, 313.—Causes of the Indian outbreaks, 314.—The
affair at Casco Bay, 316.— Capt. Philips's defence, 317.—The fate of Lieut.
Plaisted. 321.—Major Waldron's treachery, 322.—The capture of Arowsick Islands,
323.—Narratives of personal adventure, 327-
A HISTORY OF KING PHILIP'S WAR.
The American Indian's First Appearance in History.
An historical retrospect—Thorvald is slain by the Skroellings— Freydissa comes to the rescue of her countrymen—The Northmen return to Greenland—After five centuries, during which the existence of the New World is forgotten, the Pilgrims come in the Mayflowtr—They explore the coast near them and settle at Plymouth.
About the year 1000 there came to Vinland, as the country which we now know as New England was then called, a resolute Northman, Thorvald by name. He had heard rumors of the new land in the west, and came hither to seek a home—a leader in the advance guard of the mighty army that is still marching in his footsteps.
He and his men passed a quiet winter in their booths. When the summer came they set out to explore the coast to the northward. Landing from their boat, after a time, on a point of land, the party noticed on the beach three canoes, under each of which three savages lay hidden. A struggle followed, and eight of the natives were killed. One, however, escaped in his canoe, and coming back presently, with a great host of his people, attacked the Northmen so vigorously that, for a time, it seemed as if they must all be slain. At last the savages were put to flight. Thorvald, however, lay mortally wounded. He had but breath left to tell them to bury him on the point, and so died. His companions laid him to rest as he had directed, on the " bluff head of Alderton," and, raising a cross at his head and another at his feet, sailed away, leaving him in his lonely grave. And here for the first time the North American savage appears in history.
The Northmen did not succeed in their attempts to settle the new land. For ten years, or thereabout, fresh parties came and went, without interference on the part of the natives. But after a time a battle was fought with them. It happened in this way. In the midst of a peaceful trade, a bull belonging to the white men came out from the woods and bellowed. The terrified natives fled to their canoes, and made haste to escape from the strange monster. But after a few days they returned in anger, setting up a shout of defiance. A skirmish followed, in which the Northmen, thinking themselves surrounded, were seized with a sudden panic and took to flight. Enraged at their cowardice, out rushed Freydissa, one of the women, crying aloud : "Are ye valiant men that ye run from these wretches, whom I had thought ye would have knocked down like cattle ! Oh that I had a weapon ! Methinks I could wield it better than any of you."Seizing the sword of Thorbrand Snorrasson, who had been killed, she turned and faced the foe. The savages did not wait to encounter her. Terrified at her wild gestures and wilder appearance, they in their turn fled, while the Northmen, now rallying, followed hard behind, cutting them down in great numbers.
The victory, however, did not bring encouragement. The Northmen decided that a land where they would have to maintain themselves sword in hand, and where they could probably never have any certainty of peace, was not to their mind. They gave up their attempts at colonizing, and sailed back to Greenland. And so upon the new world settled down the silence of oblivion. An oblivion so complete that even its very existence was forgotten. Five long centuries the savages held possession, undisputed by any white man. Among themselves we can well imagine bitter struggles. The Skroellings, who had fought the Northmen, had given way to a stronger race of red men, and their scattered remnants, driven far to the north, struggled for an existence in the land of ice and snow. Five long centuries of silence ; then along the coast at great intervals the wondering Indian saw the sails of some bold navigator. Another century, and once again there came a fresh attempt at colonization, this time by men who were in earnest. Let us take a leap across these unknown centuries and come down to the year 1620. It was the month of November. The Mayflower, with her load of pilgrims, weary of the long tossings of the unquiet sea, lay safely anchored at Cape Cod. Disappointment was on every face. Instead of being at the fertile lands along the Hudson for which they had set out, they were here, far to the north, on the sandy and storm-beaten shores of New England. Winter, too, was upon them—a winter in an unknown land, of whose severity they had no means of judging. Some course of action must be decided on, and that promptly.
The carpenter was ordered to make ready the shallop in which they might explore the coast and discover a favorable spot for the site of the new colony. But it was found that the shallop would require many repairs before she would be seaworthy. She had been cut down to enable her to make the ocean voyage between the Mayflower's decks, and she had evidently proved more attractive to some of the voyagers as a sleeping place than their berths, for " she was much opened with the people's lying in her." Two weeks' work or more, the carpenter declared, would be needed to fit her for use.The more restless spirits of the company chafed at the long delay. They proposed an expedition on foot to explore the country. But the cautious raised objections. The land was unknown. It might swarm with hostile savages lying in wait to cut them off in some ambuscade. The company of the pilgrims was too small to warrant any risks. The restless ones, however, urged their point, and at last a reluctant consent was given. " The thing itself, in regard to the danger, was rather permitted than approved." Sixteen men, armed every one with musket, sword, and corselet, set out, with Captain Miles Standish at their head. They spent three days on shore, coming back footsore and weary to the ship. They had discovered nothing of importance. They had seen Indians in the distance, but though they made every attempt to come up with them, had failed. They had found a granary full of corn, of which they carried away and carefully kept for seed all they could take with them. It was evident that little could be done until the shallop was ready, and the carpenter was urged to make all speed. But it was almost December before she was afloat. A party at once set out in her, but, returning after four days, had little to report except dangers of the sea. It was now the Jth of December, and their affairs began to look serious indeed. The master of the Mayflower could not be expected to keep his ship at their disposal indefinitely. A place for settlement must be found at once. Already they had had ice and snow. Winter with all its severity would be upon them immediately. Some counselled going ashore and building where they were. But it was resolved to make another attempt to secure a better situation.
So the next day a party of eighteen set out. The weather was cold and hard. The spray as it fell upon the clothing of the men turned into ice. An occasional snow-squall came, blotting out for a time all landmarks, and adding to their discomfort. Still they made their way onward. At night they drew their shallop up on the shore, and erecting some rude barrier to keep off the wind, sat in the glow of their camp-fire, while in the darkness- beyond their sentinels kept the court of guard, watching as their eyes strove to pierce the dusky shadows around them for the coming of an unknown foe. The second morning of their journey the foe came. Their sleep had been disturbed by strange cries, but they set them down as coming from wolves, and after firing off a piece had settled themselves to sleep. We shall let one of the party who was in this struggle describe it. He says, speaking in the third person,:" They rested till about 5 of y' clock in the morning ; for y« tide & ther purposs to goe from thence made them be stiring betimes. So after praier they prepared for breakfast, and it being day dawning, it was thought best to be earring things downe to y* boate. But some said it was not best to carrie y* arms downe, others said they would be the readier, for they had laped them up in their coats from ye dew. But some 3 or 4 would not cary theirs till they wente them selves, yet as it fell out, ye water being not high enough, they layed them down on yc banke side, & came up to breakfast. But presently, all on ye sudain, they heard a great & strange crie, which they knew to be the same voyces they heard in ye night, though they varied their notes, & one of their company being abroad came running in, & cried, ' Men, Indeans, Indeans ;' and wtball, their arrowes came flying amongst them. Their men rane with all speed to recover their armes, as by ye good providence of God they did. In ye mean time, of those that were ther ready, tow muskets were discharged at them, & 2 more stood ready in ye enterance of ther randevoue, but were commanded not to shoote till they could take full aime at them : & ye other 2 charged againe with all speed, for ther were only 4 had armes ther & defended ye baricado which was first assalted. The crie of ye Indeans was dreadfull, espetially when they saw ther men rune out of ye randevoue towourds ye shallop, to recover their armes, the Indeans wheeling aboute upon them. But some runing out with coats of maile on, & cutlasses in their hands, they soone got their armes, & let flye amongs them, and quickly stopped their violence. Yet ther was a lustie man, and no less valiante, stood behind a tree within halfe a musket shot, and let his arrows flic at them. He was seen shoot 3 arrowes, which were all avoyded. He stood 3 shot of a musket, till one taking full aime at him, and made ye bark or splinters of y" tree fly about his ears, after which he gave an extraordinary shrike, and away they wente all of them. They left some to keep ye shallop, and followed them aboute a quarter of a mille, and shoutedonce or twise, & shot of 2 or 3 peces, & so returned. This they did, that they might conceive that they were not affrade of them or any way discouraged. Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enemies, and give them deliverance ; and by his spetiall Providence so to dispose that not any one of them were either hurte or hitt, though their arrowes came close by them, & on every side them, and sundry of their coats, which hunge up in y* barricado, were shot throw & throw. Afterwards they gave God sollame thanks & praise for their deliverance."
This conflict the Pilgrims, ignorant of the fights of Thorvald and Freydissa half a thousand years before, called the first encounter, a name prophetic of the many bloody struggles in the coming years.
The Indians having now taken flight, the company once more set out in their shallop. This time their labors were crowned with success. A site was found for their settlement, and returning with all haste they bore the good news to their comrades waiting on the Mayflower at Cape Cod.
Their tidings were received with joy. The sails of the Mayflower, which had been furled now for six weeks, were once more spread to the breeze and wafted them forward. On the 23d of December they came to anchor for the last time in Plymouth harbor. On Christmas day the men of the company all went on shore and set to work—"some to fell timber, some to saw, some to rive, and some to carry, so no man rested all that day." About them were the endless miles of forest, and for aught they knew behind every tree lurked a savage foe ready to attack them. So they pushed forward their work with all speed, hurrying on the log cabins in which wives and children might be safe from the red man's arrow. The months went by—December, January, February. March with milder weather followed. "The birds sang in the woods most pleasantly." Thus far no savage foe had attacked them. Indians had been seen at a distance, but none had come near the infant settlement. But a worse enemy had found them out. Disease and death were at work. The exposure they had undergone and their scanty food had brought on colds and pneumonia, which swept them off relentlessly. At one time there were but seven men in the entire company who were able to be about. In three months from their landing at Plymouth, one half their number were dead. The survivors laid them sadly away in their last restingplace, smoothing the earth over them and leaving no sign to mark their graves, lest the watchful eyes of the red men should note how greatly their force had been weakened. But it seemed almost as if they were never to come in contact with the Indians. Three months had passed, and as yet there had been no intercourse, warlike or otherwise.
About the middle of March, however, when they had assembled in town-meeting, they were astonished by the appearance of a solitary Indian, who stalked boldly down the little street between their houses and saluted them with the words, " Welcome, Englishmen."Samoset, as his name turned out to be, had learned a little English from the crews of ships that had come to fish on the coast. He lived five days' journey to the north, at Moratiggon, where he was a sagamore, but he was well acquainted with all the tribes about. They had settled, he told them, on the land of Massasoit, a sachem who lived close at hand, and whose tribe could muster sixty warriors. The country for miles about was mostly uninhabited. Three or four years before a terrible pestilence had swept over it with dire effect, mowing down whole tribes, and leaving only heaps of dead bodies behind it. Samoset was a tall straight man, with long black hair. He speedily made himself at home, and called for beer. They gave him strong water to drink, with biscuit and cheese, and the wind beginning to rise they cast a horseman's coat about him, for he was stark naked, having only a leather about his waist with a fringe upon it. He was their first visitor, and they must make a good impression on him in order that they might enter into friendly relations with the tribes about, and so open a trade with them for beaver-skins.
Samoset was apparently delighted with his reception, for he announced his intention of staying all night. This was decidedly more than they had bargained for, but as it would never have done to have displeased him, they lodged him with one of their number, keeping a sharp eye upon him until morning. Then they sent him away with presents, bidding him bring some of his friends to trade. The next day was Sunday. Samoset promptly appeared again, and with him five stalwart fellowsavages. They wore the same light style of garment as he, and were "tall proper men." Warned by him, they left their bows and arrows in the woods a quarter of a mile away and came to the town unarmed. They brought with them several bear-skins, but the colonists would transact no business on the Lord's day, and bade them come again to trade. They feasted them, however, and doubtless strong water made a part of the feast, for the Indians, we are told, " sang and danced after their manner like antics." Then they took their departure. Samoset, however, was again loath to leave them. Probably he fancied the white man's larder and strong water. At all events, he was conveniently taken ill, or feigned to be, and did not recover until the Wednesday following, when his hosts despatched him to Massasoit to know why he did not come to them as they had urged.
He returned from his mission the next day, when they were again holding a town-meeting. With him came Squanto. Squanto had been kidnapped with some twenty or thirty of his countrymen by one Hunt, the master of a ship. This wretch, getting them aboard his vessel under the pretence of trading with them, carried them off to Spain, where he sold them as slaves for twenty pounds each. The monks of Malaga ransomed them and gave them their liberty. Squanto made his way into England, where he was employed by a merchant of Cornhill, who presently sent him back to his own land. The English that he had learned stood him in good stead now, and the colonists found him so useful that he was from this time on constantly in their service, until the day of his death. The two men announced that Massasoit, with his brother Quadequina and the whole tribe, was close at hand. At first there was some difficulty in bringing about a meeting, for the savages, having in mind the treachery of Hunt, were afraid to venture into the town, while the townspeople, remembering the former attack upon them, hesitated to trust themselves among the savages. At last, however, hostages were exchanged, and Massasoit with twenty followers left his camp unarmed and advanced toward the town. He was met by Captain Standish with half a dozen musketeers, who saluted and led the way to a newly-built house, where a green rug was stretched upon the floor and one or two cushions placed ready for his reception.
Then the governor appeared, with drum, trumpet, and a band of musketeers following. After kissing each other's hands they sat down, and the governor drank the savages' health in strong water—a compliment which Massasoit returned in so hearty a bumper that it " made him sweat all the time after."
Matters thus pleasantly begun went on swimmingly. Massasoit after a little concluded a treaty of peace, which he kept faithfully as long as he lived. He and the colonists bound themselves to assist one another against any enemy, and to recompense each the other for any injuries that should he done by individuals on either side. About this time it was discovered that Squanto, their, interpreter, had been plotting a little on his own account. He had abused his position of intimacy with them to acquire power over his fellows. He would represent falsely that the whites were about to attack them, and would receive valuable presents to dissuade them from their intention. He even told his credulous comrades that they had the plague buried beneath one of their houses, and that they could let it out when they pleased—carying widespread terror among them at the very idea of the return of this dreadful visitor.
In this way he began to acquire influence, so that some even deserted Massasoit to follow him. His plan was to bring about a rupture between the colonists and Massasoit, in which event he hoped to succeed to the sachemship.
His plot came to a head and was discovered in this way. An expedition had been planned to trade with the Massachusetts, and Captain Standish, with ten men and Squanto and Hobbamock, set out by sea. But their craft had hardly reached the harbor mouth before one of Squanto's family arrived breathless at the town. His face was bleeding from wounds, and he looked back often as if pursued. He declared that Massasoit and Coubatant were close behind with their tribe, bent on exterminating the colony by a sudden attack. They had captured him, but he had broken away and fled to give notice of their peril.
On the reception of this news the governor fired off several cannon, which brought the party at sea homeward at once. Hobbamock, on learning the story, flatly declared it false. Massasoit, he was sure, was true to his word ; besides, he himself was a pinse or one of the chief men, and he would have been informed in advance of any such plan. He asserted it to be a scheme of Squanto's to bring about a collision with Massasoit, as a result of which he hoped to become sachem in his stead. The governor listened to Hobbamock, for he had before had some suspicions of Squanto, and arranged with him to send his wife secretly to Massasoit's camp to see how matters stood. The woman started at once, and arriving found all quiet as her husband had said. She made known to Massasoit what had taken place at Plymouth. The old sachem was in a rage, as may well be imagined. He sent at once to Plymouth, thanking the governor for disbelieving Squanto's story, and demanding that according to their treaty he should be delivered up. The governor attempted to appease him, saying that if Squanto were gone he should have no means of communicating with him. Massasoit acknowledged Squanto's value as an interpreter, but offered to pay it in beaver-skins, and sent three of his braves with his own knife with which to cut off the offender's head.
The governor still delaying on various pretexts, the messengers departed in a rage, and a coolness set in between Massasoit and the whites. Squanto's life was saved this time, and soon after he made his peace with his master. A mightier chief than Massasoit, however, interposed. Death passed judgment on the offender, and cut him off within six months by a sudden fever. The ripple of excitement caused by Squanto's aspirations had hardly subsided when, in the month of July, the colonists were unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of two ships with a large party from England. This party did not contain reinforcements for themselves, but was intended as the basis of a fresh settlement. As the spot for this had not yet been decided on, and as one of the ships must sail at once to Virginia, there was nothing for our friends to do but to receive the new-comers with all due hospitality until such time as they should be able to shift for themselves. They were an idle and a worthless set. The chronicler of Plymouth pathetically bewails a fondness for green corn, which they so speedily developed that " they spared not day and night to steal the same" until the little store they had " was exceedingly wasted by the unjust and dishonest walking of these strangers." At last, however, their site was chosen, and they departed, much to the joy of our friends, who hoped that they had seen the last of them. But no such good fortune was to be theirs. Either too much of the corn had been eaten when green, or they had not planted enough, for presently both colonies were threatened with famine, and were forced to coast up and down in their shallops trading with the Indians. Fortunately, the latter had been much more provident, and so supplies were obtained.
In these expeditions, as the winter wore away Captain Standish found that the new-comers were despised and hated by the Indians, among whom they had settled. Indications were not lacking to his sharp eyes that trouble was in store for them. The Massachusetts tribe were especially enraged, and two of their men visited a friendly sachem, and even when the captain was present, relying on his supposed ignorance of their tongue, urged the sachem to make common cause with them and cut off all the English at a blow. And, indeed, the fact that it was so bitterly cold that Standish did not dare to lie down by the camp-fire that night, but paced back and forth before it, alone saved his life ; for, as he afterward found, it was plotted to have slain him and his fellows in their sleep. Filled with gloomy forebodings, the captain returned to Plymouth, where his fears were shortly to have confirmation. On his arrival he found that a report had come that Massasoit was very ill. Two of the principal men, well fitted with cordials and with Hobbamock as a guide, had been already despatched to his relief, and were well on their way before he reached home. His tidings, as may well be believed, were such as to raise the liveliest anxiety among the settlers as to their safety. The two messengers had not gone far on their journey before a report reached them that Massasoit was already dead. At this Hobbamock was greatly alarmed, and the two white men as well. For the next in authority was Coubatant, and when they remembered their night assault upon the Indian village not many months before, in an attempt to seize him for the supposed death of Squanto, they were pretty certain that Coubatant was not likely to be a friend. Hobbamock was for going back at once, but the two white men decided that it was better to keep on. If Coubatant were indeed sachem in Massasoit's stead, there could be no better time to make a treaty with him than now, and their presence would show that at least they had no fear of him.
Hobbamock yielded to these views, and they pressed forward. The news of the death of his chief had thrown him into great grief, and he broke into many lamentations as they strode along. " Neen womasu sagimus," he began ; " My loving sachem! My loving sachem ! Many have I known, but never any like thee. While I live I shall never see thy like again. Thou wast no liar, nor bloody and cruel like other Indians, but easy to be reconciled to those who had offended thee ; ruled by reason, and not despising the advice of mean men. Thou didst govern thy men better with few strokes than others with many ; a man truly loving where thou loved."Hobbamock's eulogy may well stand as one Indian's tribute to the virtues of another, and as a true estimate of Massasoit. But Massasoit was not dead. A fleet messenger whom they had sent before to gain tidings came back with the news that life was not yet gone, but that there was no hope of his living until they could reach him. At this, though evening was at hand, they hurried at the top of their speed, and late at night reached the sachem's house. They found the room in which he lay so full of people that it was with difficulty they made their way to him. The powwows were in the midst of their incantations for his recovery, " making such a hellish noise," says the old writer, " that it distempered us that were well, and therefore unlike to ease him that was sick." Six or eight women rubbed his legs and arms meanwhile, trying to keep the life in his fast-failing body. When the powwows had ceased their din, one of his men told him that the English were come to see him. His sight was gone, but he could still understand what they said, and asked who had come. They told him Winslow. He stretched out his hand to take that of his visitor, and said faintly, " Matta neen wonckanet Winsnow"—Oh, Winslow, I shall never see thee again.
But the Englishman had some skill in physic, and set to work at once. Finding that the sick man's mouth and throat were so swollen that he could swallow none of the coarse food he had, and that he had not eaten for several days, he dissolved some conserve which he had brought as a present, and gave it to him to drink. At the same time he administered other remedies and despatched two swiftfooted Indian lads to Plymouth for a chicken to make into broth. The simple means he used worked such a marvellous change in Massasoit's condition that by noon the next day he was out of danger, and by the time the messengers had returned with the chickens he refused to have them killed, but said that he would keep them for breeding. The wondering savages considered his recovery little less than a miracle, and flocked from far and near to see him as one raised from the dead. Massasoit himself, grateful for his own bringing back to life, gave his first thought to his people, and besought Winslow to visit those of his tribe who were ill and perform the same kind offices for them. Three days the Englishmen spent in the Indian camp. On the fourth they set out for home. Before they left, Massasoit took Hobbamock aside and explained to him all the details of the widespread plot whose existence Captain Standish had suspected. The wrath of the Indians was principally against the new colony, but they feared that if the men of Plymouth were left alive they would avenge the death of their countrymen, and so had decided that all must fall. Massasoit declared that during his illness he had been visited by chiefs urging him to join them. They had taunted him with his friendship with the English, declaring that they were not true friends or they would not have neglected him in his sickness. He, however, would have nothing to do with them, nor would he allow any of his men to join their force.
All this he told Hobbamock, bidding him make it known on their journey home, and to give the English this advice from himself, namely, that they strike the first blow. The Massachusetts were the leaders in the conspiracy, and he urged that their leaders be cut off at once. If they waited for these men to strike first, they might be so weakened as to be unable to defend themselves, and so all would fall. With this gloomy news the messengers reached home. To tell the truth, this new colony thoroughly deserved the extinction with which the Indians proposed to visit them. They would not dig, but were not at all ashamed to beg. When their corn gave out, and famine seemed to be at hand, instead of living on clams as the men of Plymouth did, they actually proposed to surround and destroy an Indian village because the men of it would give them no corn, the truth being that the Indians had no corn to give. As the famine increased, they lost all sense of manhood : they sold their clothes for corn ; they performed any menial office for the Indians for a meal. These had grown to despise them so thoroughly that they would take the food that the hungry men were cooking and eat it before their eyes. They would strip the very blankets off them when they lay down at night ;—there was no further step of degradation which they could take. The news from Massasoit received confirmation from another source about the same time, and the colonists could no longer remain inactive. The business was put into the hands of Captain Standish. Selecting eight men, and refusing to take more for fear of arousing suspicion among the Indians, he set out in the shallop for the other settlement. When he reached there he found the ship belonging to the settlement, the colonists there having of late occupied it and forsaken their houses, but without even a sentry to keep guard. A musket shot or two summoned a few men who were hunting for clams along the sea-shore. The captain reproached them for their carelessness, but they replied that they did not fear the Indians, and were so wretched from hunger that they cared not whether they were dead or alive. However, when they learned of the danger that threatened them they made all speed to send word to such of their party as were abroad, urging them to hasten homeward at peril of their lives.The captain spent several days in their town. He knew well that the Indians would never meet him in equal fight, and that his only chance was to secure the leaders at some unexpected moment. Two of these were Pecksuot and Wittuwamet, notable villains. They had bragged and threatened him before, but now they were most impudent. Pecksuot, who was a large man, taunted the captain with his being small in size, and Wittuwamet bragged of the excellence of his knife. It had a woman's face on the handle, and at home he said he had one with a man's face, and presently these two should marry. His knife by and by should eat, but not speak. To all of which the captain said nothing, but bided his time.
The next day they were all in a room together —Pecksuot, Wittuwamet, and two other Indians, and Standish and three white men. Suddenly Standish ordered the door to be fastened, and springing on Pecksuot, seized his knife which he had sharpened till the point was almost that of a needle, and after a terrible struggle killed him. The rest slew Wittuwamet and another, while the fourth they reserved for hanging. Hobbamock all this time stood by as a spectator, calmly smiling, and when the fight was over he presented his compliments to Standish after this fashion: "Yesterday, Pecksuot, bragging of his own strength and stature, said, though you were a great captain, you were but a little man ; but to-day I see you are big enough to lay him on the ground. Two of the ringleaders being thus summarily cut off, the little army from Plymouth proceeded to make a further impression upon their enemies. They came shortly upon a band who fired upon them, taking especial aim at the captain and Hobbamock. At this Hobbamock was so enraged that he threw aside his coat and chased them so fast that the whites could not keep up. The terrified savages fled before their wrathful pursuer till they found a swamp, in which they took refuge, and whence they sent forth a volley of most opprobrious language. The whites having by this time come up, Standish dared the sachem to come out and fight him hand to hand, "showing how base and woman-like he was in tonguing it as he did." The sachem was not, however, to be tempted out by any such suggestions, preferring the quiet and obscurity of his swamp. And so, this conspiracy being summarily put an end to, the men of Plymouth returned homeward, bearing with them the head of Wittuwamet, which was raised on a pole over the fort as a warning to evil-doers.
The Pequot War.
The beginning of the Pequot War—The death of Captains Stone and Oldham—The expedition to Block Island—The war breaks out on the Connecticut—Lion Gardener at Saybrook Fort—His account of his experiences.
It was in 1620 that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. In less than six years from that date seven towns of fair strength had sprung up. Emigration to New England had taken so strongly the fancy of Old England that in 1633 the King and Council issued an order to prevent it. The seacoast had by that time begun to be dotted with settlements, and now broke out a war with the Indians, in which the good fortune and valor of the colonists alone saved them from extermination.
About the Connecticut River and thence eastward and northward lay the country of the Pequots, the most fierce of the Indian tribes in New England. The name of their sachem Sassacus was a terror to the Mohegans, their tributaries, and to the Narragansetts, their neighbors and great enemies, who lived in the lands adjoining. The Connecticut valley was fast being settled. Springfield, Hartford, and one or two other towns had already begun an existence, and lower down the Dutch had established a trading station. At the river's mouth Saybrook Fort had been erected, and in command was Lion Gardener, who had been brought by the Lords Say and Seal and Brook from Holland, where he had been " Master of Works of Fortification in the legers of the Prince of Orange." It was on the Connecticut that the first indication of trouble appeared. One Captain Stone, of Virginia, had gone with his craft up the river to trade. Taking advantage of a time when he was stupid from drink after his dinner, the savages fell upon him and his men and killed them all. Then, fearful of the wrath of the colonists, they made haste to send presents of wampum to the English at Massachusetts Bay.
When called sternly to account for the murder, they told a story to the effect that Captain Stone had been killed in revenge for some injury inflicted by him on one of their number. One of his crew, they said, seeing him fall, had thrust a match into the powder and blown themselves and their opponents to pieces. It was thought that there might be some truth in a part of their story, for Stone was not a man of good standing, and so, as they made all manner of protestations of good behavior, the matter was allowed to rest. But not long after another captain was killed, and that in so open a manner that no plausible stories on the part of the Indians could hide their guilt. One John Gallup, while on his way in his vessel from Connecticut to Long Island, was driven eastward by stress of weather, and off Block Island fell in with a pinnace, which he recognized as belonging to John Oldham. On her deck he counted fourteen Indians. He hailed her, but no answer was returned, and he surmised at once that Captain Oldham had met with foul play. Gallup was not one to leave a comrade in distress, and though he had with him but a man and two boys, he made ready to attack the savages. He had two pieces and two pistols only, while the Indians were armed with the guns they had captured ; but he made such play with his small artillery that they with great haste got below hatches. Then bearing off, he came down before the wind and struck the boat bows on so hardly that she reeled and nearly overset, and six of the savages, thinking that she was going down, leaped headlong overboard in their terror, and were drowned. Beating off again, Gallup fastened his anchor over his bow so that it should tear through the pinnace when he struck, and again bore down upon her. Once more the boat reeled and nearly capsized under the blow, while the anchor-flukes tore through her side, and four more terror-stricken savages leaped into the sea. Thereupon, as there were now but four Indians left, they boarded her. Presently one came up from below and surrendered. They bound him and put him into their hold. Then another followed : they made him fast also, " but J. Gallup, being well acquainted with their skill to unloose one another if they lay near together, and having no place to keep them asunder, he flung him bound into the sea."
A search revealed the fact that the belief of foul play had been well founded. Under an old sail they discovered the body of Captain Oldham, stark naked, his head cleft by a tomahawk, and his legs and arms cut off. Taking his pinnace in tow, Gallup fastened down the hatches on the two savages still in hiding, and set off on his course ; but night conning on and the sea rising, he was obliged to cast her adrift.
As this outrage was committed by the Block Island Indians it was resolved that a serious lesson must be given them, and Captain Endicott was sent with seventy men to administer it. Besides Endicott, there were in command Captains Underhill, Turner, and Jenningson, in addition to inferior officers. Captain Underhill, who has left an account of this expedition, makes haste to forestall any crit.icism on this well-officered force. " I would not have the world wonder," he says, "at the great number of commanders to so few men, but know that the Indians' fight differs from the Christian practice, for they most commonly divide themselves into small bodies, so that we are forced to neglect our usual way, and to subdivide our divisions to answer theirs, and not thinking it any disparagement to any captain to go forth against an enemy with a squadron of men, taking the ground from the old and ancient practice when they chose captains of hundreds, and captains of thousands, captains of fifties, and captains of tens."
We will let Underhill tell the story of the expedition.
" Coming to an anchor before the island, we espied an Indian walking by the shore in a desolate manner, as though he had received intelligence of our coming, which Indian gave just ground to some to conclude that the body of the people had deserted the island.
" But some, knowing them for the generality to be a warlike nation, were not persuaded that they would upon so slender terms forsake the island, but rather suspected they might lie behind a bank, much like the form of a barricade. Myself with others made toward the shore, having in the boat a dozen armed soldiers. Drawing near to the place of landing, the number that rose from behind the barricado were between fifty or sixty able fighting men, men as straight as arrows, very tall, and of active bodies, having their arrows notched. They drew near to the water side, and let fly at the soldiers as though they had meant to have made an end of us all in a moment. They shot a young gentleman in the neck, through a collar for stiffness as if it had been an oaken board, and entered his flesh a good depth. Myself received an arrow through my coat sleeve, a second against my helmet on the forehead : so as if God in his providence had not moved the heart of my wife to persuade me to carry it along with me, which I was unwilling to do, I had been slain. Give me leave to observe two things hence : first, when the hour of death is not yet come, you see God uses weak means to keep his purpose unviolated ; secondly, let no man despise advice and counsel of his wife, though she be a woman. It were strange to nature, to think a man should be bound to fulfil the humor of a woman, what arms he should carry : but you see God will have it so, that a woman should overcome a man. But to the matter.
" The arrows flying thick about us, we made haste to the shore, but the surf of the sea, being great, hindered us so that we could scarce discharge a musket, but were forced to make haste to land. Drawing near to the shore through the strength of the wind and the hollowness of the sea, we durst not adventure to run ashore, but were forced to wade up to the middle ; but once having got up off our legs, we gave fire upon them. Finding our bullets to outreach their arrows, they fled before us.
" In the meanwhile Colonel Endicott made to the shore, and some of this number also repulsed him at his landing, but hurt none. We thought they would stand it out with us, but they perceiving we were in earnest fled, and left their wigwams or houses and provisions to the use of our soldiers. Having set forth our sentinels and laid out our pardues, we betook ourselves to the guard, expecting hourly they would fall upon us ; but they observed the old rule, ' 'Tis good sleeping in a whole skin,' and left us free from alarm.
" The next day we set upon our march, the Indians being retired into the swamps so as we could not find them. We burnt and spoiled both houses and corn in great abundance, but they kept themselves in obscurity. Captain Turner, stepping aside to a swamp, met with some few Indians and charged upon them, changing some few bullets for arrows. Himself received a shot upon the breast of his corselet, as if it had been pushed with a pike, and if he had not had it on he had lost his life. " A pretty passage worthy observation. We had an Indian with us that was an interpreter : being in English clothes and a gun in his hand was spied by the islanders, which called out to him, What are you, an Indian or an Englishman ? Come hither, saith he, and I will tell you. He pulls up his cock and lets fly at one of them, and without question was the death of him. " Having spent that day in burning and spoiling the island, we took up the quarter for that night. About midnight myself went out with ten men about two miles from our quarter and discovered the most eminent plantation they had in the island, where was much corn, many wigwams, and great heaps of mats ; but fearing lest we should make an alarm by setting fire on them, we left them as we found them, and peaceably departed to our quarter ; and the next morning with forty men marched up to the same plantation, burnt their houses, cut down their corn, destroyed some of their dogs instead of men which they had left in their wigwams. " Passing on toward the water side to embark our soldiers, we met with several famous wigwams, with great heaps of pleasant corn ready shelled ; but not being able to bring it away we did throw their mats upon it, and set fire and burn it. Many wellwrought mats our soldiers brought from thence, and several delightful baskets. The Indians playing least in sight, we spent our time and could no more advantage ourselves than we had already done, and having slain some fourteen and maimed others we embarked ourselves and set sail for Seabrooke fort." So far Captain Underhill. The expedition, arrived at Saybrook, met with a wrathful reception from the doughty Lion Gardener in command there. " You come here," he said, " to raise these wasps about my ears, and then you will take wing and flee away." Gardener had been very much opposed to the expedition against Block Island. He had sent word to Boston protesting.
When asked by the magistrates about fortifying, he said, " I told them that nature had done more than half the work already, and I thought no foreign potent enemy would do them any hurt but one that was near. They asked me who that was, and I said it was Captain Hunger that threataned them most ; for, said I, war is like a three-footed stool: want one foot and down comes all ; and these feet are men, victuals, and munitions. Therefore, seeing In peace you are like to be famished, what will or can be done in war?"
It can well be imagined how his wrath rose as he thought of the results that would follow the Block Island raid. The wasps would certainly soon be buzzing about his ears, and his only cornfield was two miles from the fort.
Endicott and his men, however, sailed away northward. Landing in the Pequot country, they burned a few wigwams, doing as before just enough injury to enrage the Indians, and not enough to teach them any wholesome fear. Then, as Captain Gardener had said, they went on to Massachusetts Bay, leaving him to bear the brunt of the storm they had raised.
The storm was not long in bursting. The wretched settlers on the Connecticut heard the Indians' war-whoop in their lonely clearings and saw their wives and children fall before their arrows, while their dwellings and their crops were burned on every side.
Lion Gardener in his fort held his own through all these troublous times. In his later years he wrote out briefly his reminiscences. It would be hard to find a better example of the spirit and the sturdy independence of the times. True to his belief that Captain Hunger was the foe to be most feared, no sooner had Endicott departed, he says, than " I took men and went to our cornfield to gather our corn, appointing others to come about with the shallop and fetch it, and left five lusty men in the strong house with long guns, which house I had built for the defence of the corn.
" Now these men, not regarding the charge I had given them, three of them went a mile from the house a fowling ; and having loaded themselves with fowl they returned. But the Pequits let them pass till they had loaded themselves, but at their return they arose out of their ambush and shot them all three ; one of them escaped through the corn, shot through tlje leg, the other two they tormented. Then the next day I sent the shallop to fetch the five men and the rest of the corn that was broken down, and they found but three, as is above said, and when they had gotten that, they left the rest ; and as soon as they were gone a little way from the shore they saw the house on fire.
" Now so soon as the boat came home and brought us this bad news, old Mr. Mitchell was very urgent with me to lend him the boat to fetch hay home from the six mile island, but I told him there were too few men, for his four men could but carry the hay aboard, and one must stand in the boat to defend them, and they must have two more at the foot of the rock with their guns, to keep the Indians from running down upon them. And in the first place, before they carry any of the cocks of hay, to scour the meadow with their three dogs, to march all abreast from the lower end up to the rock, and if they found the meadow clear then to load their hay ; but this was also neglected, for they all went ashore and fell to carrying off their hay, and the Indians presently rose out of the long grass and killed three, and took the brother of Mr. Mitchell, who is the minister of Cambridge, and roasted him alive. And so they served a shallop of his coming ' down the river in the Spring, having two men, one whereof they killed at six mile island, the other came down drowned to us ashore at our doors, with an arrow shot into his eye through his head.
" The 22d of February I went out with ten men and three dogs half a mile from the house, to burn the weeds, leaves, and reeds upon the neck of land, because we had felled twenty timber trees, which we were to roll to the water side to bring home, every man carrying a length of match with brimstone matches with him to kindle a fire withal. But when we came to the small of the neck, the weeds burning, I having before this set two sentinels on the small of the neck, I called to the men that were burning the weeds to come away, but they would not until they had burnt up the rest of their matches. Presently there start up four Indians out of the fiery reeds, but ran away, I calling to the rest of our men to come away out of the marsh. Then Robert Chapman and Thomas Hurlbut, being sentinels, called to me saying there came a number of Indians out of the other side of the marsh. Then I went to stop them, that they should not get the woodland ; but Thomas Hurlbut cried out to me that some of the men did not follow me, for Thomas Rumble and Arthur Branch threw down their two guns and ran away. Then the Indians shot two of them that were in the reeds, and sought to get between us and home, but durst not come before us, but kept us in a half moon, we retreating and exchanging many $ shot, so that Thomas Hurlbut was shot almost through the thigh, John Spencer in the back into his kidneys, myself in the thigh, two more were shot dead. But in our retreat I kept Hurlbut and Spencer still before us, we defending ourselves with our naked swords, or else they had taken us all alive. So that the two sore wounded men bj our slow retreat got home with their guns, when our two sound men ran away and left their guns behind them.
" But when I saw the cowards that left us, I resolved to let them draw lots which of them should be hanged, for the articles did hang up in the hall for them to read, and they knew they had been published long before. But at the intercession of old Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Higgisson, and Mr. Pell, I did forbear.
" Within a few days after, when I had cured myself of my wound, I went out with eight men to get some fowl for our relief, and found the guns that were thrown away, and the body of one man shot through, the arrow going in at the right side, the head sticking fast half through a rib on the left side, which I took out and cleansed it and presumed to send to the Bay, because they had said that the arrows of the Indians were of no force.
" A few days after came Thomas Stanton down the river, and staying for a wind, while he was there came a troop of Indians within musket shot, laying themselves and their arms down behind a little rising hill and two great trees. I, perceiving, called the carpenter whom I had shewed how to level and charge a gun, that he should put two cartridges of musket bullets into two sakers guns that lay about : and we levelled them against the place, and I told him that he must look towards me, and when he saw me wave my hat above my head he should give fire to both the guns. Then presently came three Indians creeping out, and calling to us to speak with us, and I was glad that Thomas Stanton was there, and I sent six men down by the garden pales to look that none should come under the hill behind us. And, having placed the rest in places convenient closely, Thomas and I, with my sword, pistol, and carbine, went ten or twelve pole without the gate to parley with them. And when the six men came to the garden pales at the corner, they found a great number of Indians creeping behind the fort, or betwixt us and home, but they ran away.
" So they came forth, calling us nearer to them, and we them nearer to us. But I would not let Thomas go any further than the great stump of a tree, and I stood by him ; then they asked who we were, and he answered, Thomas and Lieutenant. But they said he lied, for I was shot with many arrows ; and so I was, but my buff coat preserved me, only one hurt me. But when I spake to them, they knew my voice, for one of them had dwelt three months with us, but run away. Then they asked us if we would fight with Niantecut Indians, for they were our friends, and came to trade with us. We said we knew not the Indians one from another, and therefore would trade with none. Then they said, Have you fought enough ? We said we knew not yet. So they were silent a small space, and then they said, We are Pequits, and have killed Englishmen, and can kill them like mosquitoes, and we will got to Conectecott and kill men, women, and children, and we will take away the horses, cows, and hogs. When Thomas Stanton had told me this, he prayed me to shoot that rogue, for, said he, he hath an Englishman's coat on, and saith that he hath killed three, and these other four have their clothes on their backs. I said no, it is not the manner of a parley, but have patience and I shall fit them ere they go. So I bid him tell them that they should not go to Conectecott, for if they did kill all the men and take all the rest as they said, it would do them no good but hurt, for Englishwomen are lazy and can't do their work : horses and cows will spoil your cornfields, and the hogs their clambanks, and so undo them. Then I pointed to our great house, and bid him tell them there lay twenty pieces of trucking cloth, with hoes, hatchetts, and all manner of trade ; they were better still fight with us and so get all that, and then go up the river when they had killed all us.
" Having heard this they were as mad as dogs, and ran away ; then, when they came to the place whence they came, I waved my hat about my head, and the two great guns went off, so that there was a great hubbub among them.
" Two days after, came down a Dutch boat, tell
ing us the Indians had killed fourteen English. The next or second day after came down a great many Indian canoes, going down the creek beyond the marsh before the fort, many of them having white shirts. Then I commanded the carpenter whom I had shewed to level great guns, to put in two round shot into the sakers, and we levelled them at a certain place, and I stood to bid him give fire when I thought the canoe would meet the bullet, and one of them took off the nose of a great canoe wherein two maids were that were taken by the Indians."
Thus for our tragical story ; now to the comedy.
"You, Robert Chapman, you know that when you and John Bagley were beating samp at the garden pales, the sentinels called to you to run in, for there was a number of Pequits creeping to you to catch you. I, hearing it, went up to the redoubt, and put two cross-bar shot into the two guns that lay above, and levelled them at the trees in the middle of the limbs and boughs, and gave order to John Frend and his man to stand with handspikes to turn them this way or that as they should hear the Indians shout, for they would know my shout from theirs, for it would be very short. Then I called six men and the dogs, and went out running to the place and keeping all abreast in sight close together. And when I saw my time, I said Stand ! and called all to me, saying, Look on me, and when I hold up my hand, shout as loud as you can, and when I hold down my hand, then leave ; and so they did. Then the Indians began a long shout, and then went off the two great guns and tore the limbs of the trees about their ears, so that divers of them were hurt, as may yet appear, for you told me when I was up at Harford this present year '60, in the month of September, that there is one of them lieth above Harford, that is fain to creep on all four ; and we shouted once or twice more, but they would not answer us again, so we returned home laughing.
" Another pretty prank we had with three great doors of ten feet long and four feet broad, being bored full of holes and driven full of long nails, as sharp as awl blades, sharpened by Thomas Hurlbut. These we placed in certain places, where they should come, fearing lest they should come in the night and fire our redoubt or battery, and all the place, for we had seen their footing where they had been in the night, when they shot at our sentinels, but could not hit them for the boards ; and in a dry time and a dark night, they came as they did before, and found the way a little too sharp for them ; and as they skipped from one, they trod upon another, and left the nails and doors dyed with their blood, which you know we saw the next morning, laughing at it. And this I write that young men may learn if they met with trials such as we met with there, and have not opportunity to cut off their enemies, yet they may with such pretty pranks preserve themselves from danger—for policy is needful in wars as well as strength."
The End of the Pequot War.
Massachusetts and Plymouth are called on for help—Connecticut musters a little army and the Mohegans join it as allies—Mason lands at Point Judith and marches into the Pequot country— The fort is surprised—The dispersion and extinction of the Pequot nation—The quarrel between Uncas and Miantonimob.
Finding that there was little gain and less glory to be had at Saybrook fort, the Indians suddenly withdrew and fell upon Weathersfield, where they killed nine persons and carried away two captives. The position of the settlers on the Connecticut was critical in the extreme. About them were tribes that could muster five thousand warriors. And though but one of these tribes was at war with them, that one alone could count four fighting men to their one. Its emissaries, too, were at work among their former enemies, the Narragansetts, trying to heal old differences, and to induce them to make common cause against the English. Had they succeeded in their attempt, all would have been over with the settlers. It was owing to the efforts of one man, Roger Williams, who penetrated in the dead of winter into the country of the Narragansetts, and at the council fires of the nation worsted the Pequot orators, that their plans fell through, and they were left to. carry on the war alone.
Aid was called for from Massachusetts and Plymouth. Both responded : the first with a levy of an hundred and sixty men and a grant of six hundred pounds, the latter with forty soldiers. But in the mean time the men of Connecticut, fearing to wait for the coming of their friends, and recalling the old maxim that Heaven helps those who help themselves, resolved to strike for their own deliverance. Ninety volunteers mustered under the command of Captain John Mason at Hartford, and " sailed in a great massy vessel, which was slow in coming and very long detained by cross winds," down the river. Seventy friendly Mohegans under Uncas, who wished to fight their old tyrants, and who were restless under the slow progress of the whites, were ordered to proceed by land and to rendezvous at the river mouth.
At Saybrook they found Captain Underhill, who had come from Massachusetts with twenty men to reinforce the garrison, and who joined his forces with theirs.
i Great uneasiness was felt by all as to the seventy Indian allies. Would they remain firm, or at some critical moment go over to the enemy ? It was deemed most desirable that they should by some overt act so commit themselves as to render a reconciliation with the Pequots impossible. The Mohegans themselves were anxious for the fray. They declared that there were Pequots in the neighborhood, and proposed to go on the war-path at once. But it was the Lord's day when they came, and notwithstanding the exigencies of the case, order was given that they must not go until the next morning. Then they were abroad bright and early, and presently returned with six Pequot heads and one prisoner, which " mightily encouraged the hearts of all." Captain Underhill at once took a small boat and went up the river to meet Mason, who in his great massy vessel was still kept back by cross winds. Coming alongside, he heard the voice of the minister Stone, who accompanied the expedition, in prayer : " O Lord God, if it be thy blessed will, vouchsafe so much favor to thy poor distressed servants as to manifest one pledge of thy love, that may confirm us of the fidelity of these Indians toward us, that now pretend friendship and service to us, that our hearts may be encouraged in this work of thine." Whereupon Underhill, rising, broke in on his prayer to say that the petition was already granted and that six Pequot heads were the pledge for which he supplicated. It is sickening to find that the English had been turned by the Indian atrocities into savages themselves. The captive Pequot was put to the torture. " He braved them," says the old chronicler, "as though they durst not kill a Pequot. But it availed this savage nothing." They tied him by one leg to a post, and twenty men with a rope tied to the other tore him to pieces, until Captain Underhill, moved, let us hope, by shame, put a bullet through his head, and an end to his life. His head, with those of his six more fortunate fellows who had died in battle, were fixed to the top of the fort.
The General Court had given order to Mason that he was to proceed to Pequot River, as the Thames at New London was then called, and thence march into the country of the enemy. This he was very unwilling to do, for several reasons. In the first place, it was the action which the Indians would naturally expect them to take. Then, too, it was known that the river was watched by them, day and night, thus precluding the possibility of coming upon them unaware. And the Indians might attack them at an advantage when landing, and by their great superiority in numbers cut them off to a man. Captain Mason therefore proposed sailing by the river's mouth, and landing further on in the country of the Narragansetts whence by a forced march they could enter the Pequot country, as it were, by the back door, where they were least expected.
He submitted his views to a council of officers, but they all hesitated to disobey their written instructions. In this juncture he had recourse to a plan which shows what ascendency the clergy had over the minds of all. He " did earnestly desire Mr. Stone that he would commend our condition to the Lord that night, to direct how and in what manner we should demean ourselves in that respect. He being our chaplain, and lying aboard our Pink, the captain on shore. In the morning, very early, Mr. Stone came ashore to the captain's chamber, and told him he had done as he desired, and was fully satisfied to sail for Narragansett."
The council of officers was at once again summoned, and no objection was now made in view of the divine direction which the chaplain was supposed to have obtained. So they sailed away from Saybrook Fort, and past Pequot harbor, which the enemy's scouts soon made known to their tribe. Believing that they had given up the expedition in fear, the savages feasted and made merry, and planned a new and great expedition, which should work dire havoc among the settlers.
Mason meanwhile sailed on until he came to anchor at the spot he had selected, at the foot of what is now called Tower Hill, near Point Judith. It was Saturday evening when they furled their sails, and their religious training required that they must do no work on the Lord's day. They passed it on shipboard. Monday it came on to blow so violently that not until Tuesday evening were they able to land. Mason at once marched to the village of the chief sachem of the place, making his excuses for thus landing without warning an armed force in his lands, and stating the cause of their coming, which he knew would be acceptable to him as an enemy of the Pequots. The sachem approved highly of their purpose, but in a somewhat disparaging tone feared that their numbers were too small to bring success against such redoubtable warriors as the Pequots.
The next morning they commenced their march. A messenger from Providence reached them, stating that Captain Patrick with the forty men from Plymouth were on their way to join them. They feared to wait their coming, however, lest their presence should become known to the enemy. That night, after a march of twenty miles, they reached a place called Nyantic, on the frontier of the Pequot country, where another Narragansett sachem had his fort. This man they suspected of treachery. He bore himself haughtily, and refused them admission. Whereupon Mason, that he might not make known their coming to the enemy, threw a guard about his fort, and sent him word that any one attempting to leave it that night should be shot.
The seventy-seven white men had now a strong following. Besides Uncas with his sixty Mohegans, who had accompanied them, great numbers of Narragansetts had joined. These,' as they came, "gathered into a ring one by one, making solemn protestations how gallantly they would demean themselves, and how many men they would kill." In all, their dusky allies numbered five hundred. The next morning the march was taken up again. The weather was very oppressive, and some of the men even fainted from the heat. Wequash, a sachem who had deserted from the Pequots, was their guide. At length, after a twelve-mile tramp, they reached the Pawcatuck River, where they halted and refreshed themselves. The valorous Narragansetts, who had boasted so loudly of their prowess, no longer led the van, but were content to follow trembling in the rear. Many deserted and returned to their homes.
The Pequots had two stockaded forts. One of these was so far distant that they could not reach it before midnight, even by a forced march. It was therefore resolved to concentrate all their energies against the one nearer at hand. They pressed forward until late, and then being so near the foe that they could hear the noise of feasting and singing within the stockade, they lay themselves down in a space between two hills, where, with the rocks for pillows, all but the wakeful sentinels were soon asleep. They, with quickened ears, listened to the riotous sounds that they well understood meant but insult to the English. A war party was to start the next day for the Connecticut, and these were the rejoicings at their intended slaughters.
Awakened by the early light, they hurried forward the next morning a couple of miles, when, on the crest of a hill before them, they saw the fort. Word was passed for the Indians to come forward, but there were none to be found. At last Wequash and Uncas made their appearance. " Where were the rest of the Indians?" demanded Mason, " Behind," answered the two chiefs, "and exceedingly afraid." They were directed to tell them that they should by no means fly, but wait and see how Englishmen fought.
The fort covered an acre or two of ground. It was nearly circular, and was stockaded with trunks of trees some twelve feet in height, which were set firmly in the ground. Wequash, who had lately deserted from the Pequots, instructed them as to its arrangement. It had two entrances, and within, along two lanes, were the wigwams, some seventy in number, covered with mats. The entrances were protected by piles of brushwood. Silently dividing their forces, Underhill approached one entrance and Mason the other, and the fort was surrounded. Around them, in an outer ring, were the Narragansetts and Mohegans, trembling at the bravery of the whites, and ready on the slightest occasion to fly for their lives.
Silently the white men drew near. Not a sentinel was on guard. They were almost at the walls, when a dog barked and one Pequot, more wakeful than his fellows, raised the alarm—" Owanux ! Owanux !"—Englishmen ! Englishmen !
At the sound of his voice the command was given to fire, and a volley from the guns of the white men broke in upon the Indians' slumbers " We could not but admire at it," says Underhill, " that soldiers so unexpert in the use of their arms should give so complete a volley, as though the finger of God had touched both match and flint."
The volley was followed by a cry of terror and amazement from the Pequots thus rudely roused ; but before they could rally, the English were fore ing their way in through the entrance, and the fight was a hand-to-hand one. It was the original plan to save the plunder, but Mason soon found that they would all be cut off, for the savages, recovering from their first terror, rallied behind the wigwams, and their arrows began to fly thick and fast. Seizing a brand from a fire, he cried out to burn them out. His men followed his example. Underhill, too, who on his side had forced an entrance, had applied the torch. The wind fanned the flames, and almost in an instant the whole fort was ablaze.
The whites at once fell back into a ring without. It fared badly with the Pequots that day. Those who tried to make their escape, if they missed the rifle fell under the tomahawk, for the valor of the Mohegans and Narragansetts had suddenly waxed again. Of the six or seven hundred men, women, and children in that fort at daybreak, not fifteen souls were alive a couple of hours later. " Thus," exclaims the devout chronicler, " were the stouthearted spoiled, having slept their last sleep. Thus did the Lord judge among the heathen, filling the place with dead bodies."
The casualties among the whites were insignificant in comparison. Two men were killed outright, one it was believed by their own party through accident. Twenty were wounded.
But, though they had won a great victory, they were in a position of the greatest danger. Far from their ships, in the country of an enemy who could still muster five hundred warriors, or more, only fifty-five able men could answer the muster roll. Many of these were unavailable, as they had to carry the wounded, so that they could reckon on but forty men to do battle. They had no surgeon : their " chirurgeon, not accustomed to war, durst not hazard himself, but, like a fresh-water soldier, kept aboard," so that the wounded suffered great pains for want of suitable attention. They had not proper food, and were worn out. And the country was roused, and the enemy would shortly be upon them.
But they were not men to falter. Taking up their wounded, they began their march to Pequot River, where they had directed their ships to rendezvous. Upon them came rushing three hundred of the enemy, who, hearing the reports of the guns and seeing the smoke of the conflagration, had hurried from the second stockade to the aid of their tribe. When they came to the site of the fort, and saw its ruins and the dead bodies of their friends, their rage knew no bounds. They stamped, howled, and tore their hair, then rushed madly down the hill after the retreating English. A volley from their guns taught them discretion and the desirability of keeping at a distance. The Narragansetts in terror now deserted, but soon there came messengers beseeching help from the whites or they would be cut off by their fierce enemies. Underhill, with a detachment, went to their help just in time to save them.
Firing into every bush that they approached lest a savage should be hidden behind it, and keeping a bright lookout on every side, the English pushed forward. Their Indian allies now carried the wounded, so that their fighting force was increased, but their joy can well be imagined when from the hilltops they saw their ships riding at anchor below them. The Pequots at the sight gave up the pursuit, and with colors flying the little band of heroes marched forward and halted on the beach.
Here boats from the ships, loaded with soldiers, put off to greet them. It was the force of Captain Patrick from Plymouth, who, reaching Point Judith after they had started inland, came on in their ships to meet them at the appointed rendezvous. A quarrel arose between Patrick and Underhill as to the use of the ships, but it was presently settled.
The wounded sailed at once for Saybrook, and with them for the protection of their homes, so long left exposed to wandering bands of the enemy, went all of the original ninety volunteers but twenty. These, with Captain Patrick's force and the Indian allies, set out to march overland to Saybrook. On their way they fell in with a body of the enemy, who fled before them. They pursued them for a short distance, but it was Saturday afternoon, and they had had their fill of fighting. So, leaving the savages to fly unfollowed, they hastened on, and at sunset reached the Connecticut, where Lion Gardener " nobly entertained them with many great guns." A few days later every man was back in his own home, where the hearty welcome that he received may well be imagined.
The remnant of the Pequot nation, paralyzed by the blow that had fallen upon them, held a council at their remaining fort. They denounced their sachem Sassacus as the cause of all their troubles, and in their blind fury declared that they would kill him. The chief men, however, succeeded in preserving his life, but it was decided that the nation in its crippled condition could not hold its own against its old foes, the Narragansetts and the Mohegans, and that their only safety lay in flight. The greater part of them in detached bands went westward toward New York, not sparing any English that lay in their path, while hundreds fell into the hands of the Mohegans and Narragansetts.
A fortnight later, the force of a hundred and twenty men promised by Massachusetts, under the command of Captain Stoughton, reached Pequot harbor. They found the Pequots fled. Captain Mason with forty men was sent at once to meet the troops, to confer as to what was best to be done. It was decided to pursue the flying Pequots. The vessels sailing along the shore discovered many bands of the fugitives, who were easily captured, for they were encumbered with their families, and were beside weak from hunger, and were found digging clams upon the beach. Disembarking at Quinnipiac, as New Haven was then called, they came upon a large body of the enemy, who took refuge in a swamp. Night was coming on, and it was resolved to surround it so as to prevent their escape before morning.
At this point Thomas Stanton, who was well versed in Indian ways and the Indian tongue, insisted, contrary to the advice of all, on going into the swamp to treat with them. He will be remembered as the man who had interpreted for Lion Gardener when the Pequots came to Saybrook fort and taunt ed him. Stanton declared that it was cruel to kill women and children, and, though the danger of his errand was pointed out, persisted in going. Presently he returned, with some two hundred old men, women, and children, who gave themselves up. The fighting men, however, would not yield. After one or two unsuccessful attempts, they broke through the guard to the number of sixty or seventy, and made their escape. But it was a short-lived triumph. The tribes among which they took refuge, willing to conciliate the victors, cut them down without mercy. Sassacus and forty of his men fled to the Mohawks on the Hudson. Their heads were sent to the English as a present by their treacherous hosts. The Pequot nation, as a nation, was at an end. The scattered remnants of the tribe in despair sent a chief to the English and offered to give themselves up, as the only means of saving their lives from their savage neighbors. To the number of about two hundred, they came to Hartford. Uncas, the trusty sachem, of the Mohegans, was sent for, as was Miantonimoh, sachem of the Narragansetts. To Uncas were given eighty, to Miantonimoh eighty, and to Ninnicraft, another sachem, twenty, and it was decreed that none of them should ever live in their own land again, but should be Mohegans and Narragansetts forever. Of the prisoners who had been taken during the fighting, a different disposition was made. Many were made servants or slaves by their captors, though they soon died under the yoke. Many were sold as slaves to planters in the West Indies ; and so ended the Pequot nation.
A contest such as this had been, where much of the fighting was hand to hand, was well calculated to give opportunities for examples of individual bravery. The records make mention of numbers of instances, as well as of wonderful escapes. Captain Underhill tells us of "a pretty sturdy youth of New Ipswich, who, going forth somewhat rashly to pursue the savages, shot off his musket after them till all his powder and shot were spent ; which they perceiving, reassaulted him, thinking with their hatchetts to have knocked him in the head, but he so bestirred himself with the stock of his piece, and after with the barrel when that was broken, that he brought two of their heads to the army." " Lieutenant Bull had an arrow shot into a hard piece of cheese, having no other defence, which may verify the old saying—' A little armor would serve if a man knew where to place it.' "
A word as to the after-history of Uncas, the trusty friend of the English, and of Miantonimoh, the Narragansett sachem in the war just ended, may not lack interest. Shortly after the close of the struggle, Miantonimoh, jealous of the great respect the English uniformly showed for Uncas, without consulting them, mustered a thousand warriors and marched into the Mohegan country. The scouts of Uncas gave him warning of their coming, and hastily raising five hundred men he hurried toward the invaders. They met on a large plain, and Uncas advancing before his followers called out to Miantonimoh :" It is a great pity that so many brave warriors should be killed because of a quarrel between us. Come, like a brave man, and let us decide the dispute alone. If you kill me, my men shall be yours ; if I kill you, your men shall be mine." Miantonimoh was not moved to accept this offer. Probably he thought he had decidedly the advantage, and did not propose to yield it for what, under the circumstances, he looked upon as sentiment. " No," said he, " my men came to fight, and fight they shall." Uncas, in accordance with a preconcerted arrangement, at once fell flat on his face, and a shower of Mohegan arrows came flying over him. After the arrows in one wild charge came the whole Mohegan force. The startled Narragansetts, though numbering two to one, fled before them. Panic-stricken, they were driven over chasms and down rocks before the enraged Mohegans. Many jumped nearly sixty feet downward into a river below to escape. Miantonimoh, not wishing to affect any singularity, fled with the rest. He was a stout man, and short of breath, and though no doubt he did his best, he was soon overtaken. The foremost pursuers ignominiously twirled him around to delay his motions so that their chief might have the satisfaction of cap-, turing him in person.
Uncas, a man of great physical strength, rushed forward and seized him by the shoulder, and the fight was at an end. Taking his prisoner to Hartford, he surrendered him to the magistrates there, doubting whether he ought to take the life of a great king who had fallen into his hands through misfortune. Miantonimoh had lately disposed of a portion of his land to a band of new-comers, who were most obnoxious to the authorities of Massachusetts Bay, on account of their religious or rather lack of religious beliefs, a fact which could not but prejudice his case greatly. The question was referred to the commissioners of the United Colonies, who met at Boston. Unable to agree, the commissioners called upon five of the leading ministers, who decided the case against him. He was ordered to be delivered to Uncas to be slain, and two white men were sent with him to see that he was not put to the torture. Uncas received his prisoner, and departed. As they marched along in single file, the man who followed the captive sachem, at a sign from his master, raised his tomahawk and buried it in his brain, and Miantonimoh sank dead at his feet. His bloody-minded captor cut a piece from the shoulder of the dead warrior and ate it, declaring that he had never in all his life tasted morsel more delicious. The great sachem seemed well pleased with his entertainment. He had gotten himself up for it in the highest style of savage art. His face was " painted with a sad red, like murrey," and he had " oiled both head and face so that he looked greasily." His followers, not to be behindhand in appearance, " were painted some black, some red, some yellow, and some white, some with crosses and other antic works." While he was within transacting business, they without were lost in admiration of the settlers' trumpet, which they attempted to sound, though with but moderate success. At length, well pleased, the sachem withdrew, and his brother came and in his turn was feasted.
Now that peace was made, the colonists set vigorously to work to prepare the ground for their crops. Their new friends were of great help to them in showing how to plant their corn and to manure it with the alewives that came in endless quantity into their little river in the spring. In fact, their friends were altogether too friendly. It was so much easier to beg a meal of the white men than to go into the woods and hunt for it, that they soon became great nuisances. In the month of June the colonists decided to send two of their number on a friendly visit to Massasoit, to suggest to him to keep his followers at home. At the same time the two could see somewhat of the country, and learn the real strength of their ally and his mode of life. So Edward Winsloe and Steven Hopkins, with Squanto for a guide, set out. They had not gone far before they were joined by some dozen Indians, men, women, and children, who had been hanging about the town and annoying the settlers. These accompanied them to Namaschet, where they dined on corn bread and shad-roe boiled with acorns. Pressing on, they rested that night in the open country by the side of a stream, where the Indians had erected a weir and were catching great quantities of fish. The next day they proceeded with an escort of six natives. After fording a stream where their passage was disputed by two men who, suspecting them to be enemies, stood on the defense with great bravery, heedless of the fact that they were greatly outnumbered, and after tramping on for miles they came, as the day wore toward evening, to Massasoit's camp. But the sachem, knowing nothing of their coming, was absent. Messengers were sent to summon him, and he made all speed homeward to receive the unexpected guests.
As he approached,the two Englishmen discharged their pieces as a salute. He greeted them with much kindness, and was not a little proud of himself when he was attired in the scarlet coat which they brought him. Then, hearing their message, he declared that their wishes should be carried out, and, rising, addressed his men in a speech so long that the messengers, who could understand none of it, were heartily tired.
At last the speech was ended, and the weary men expected supper. They waited and waited. The sachem was most affable. He discoursed on various matters—wondered much that King James of England was content to live a widower ; told them of his enemies the Narrohigansetts, and so on, but not a word as to supper. The fact was that there was not a particle of food in the camp.
Perceiving at length that they were like to be supperless, the messengers asked leave to retire. They were assigned one end of the royal couch, Massasoit and his wife taking the other. The royal couch was but a row of planks raised a foot or so above the ground, and as the whole tribe were at hand, and they were straitened for room, two of the petty chieftains also found sleeping quarters with them. As may be imagined, their night was an unquiet one. The savages had a habit of singing themselves to sleep, which with the mosquitoes and other nocturnal visitors made night hideous. Morning dawned. It brought many of the petty sachems of the neighborhood to call upon them, but no breakfast. Noon came, and still no food. At one o'clock two large fish were brought in. They were set to boil at once, but as forty men were to be fed, our friends found their portion but scanty. They passed one night more in the Indian camp, and then, fearing lest they should be light-headed for want of sleep, they set out for home. Footsore and weary, they came at last to Plymouth.
The Pilgrims and the Indians.
Coubatant's conspiracy and the march to rescue Squanto—Arrival of the good ship Fortune—A war challenge from the Narragansetts—Squanto conspires on his own account, but his intrigues are discovered—Another vessel comes from England— Illness of Massasoit and his recovery—He divulges a widespread plot to cut off all the English—Capt. Standish takes vigorous measures and the leaders of the conspiracy are killed.
THE Pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth on Christmas day. The dreadful winter and spring, with their dreary records of sickness and death, passed, and summer followed. Their corn was growing stout and green in the hot August sun, when it was rumored that trouble had come upon their ally Massasoit. Hobbamock, an Indian in their employ, came to them with the tidings that Coubatant, a petty sachem, had revolted against his master. Coubatant was enraged against Massasoit because of the treaty he had made with the English. For a like reason he had vowed to kill Squanto, saying that if he were gone the English would have no tongue. The two Indians, hearing of the schemes of Coubatant and fearing for their king, had set out stealthily to watch the movements of the traitor. But they were discovered by him and taken prisoners. Hobbamock, a burly fellow, broke from his captor, although he held an open knife to his breast, and making all speed brought the news to the colonists, feeling sure in his own mind that Squanto had been slain.
A council was at once held, and it was resolved to send ten men to avenge the death of their servant. When we reflect that of the original company hardly fifty were now alive, and of these nineteen only were men, the boldness of their determination will be apparent. But their position was such that in boldness lay their only safety. Any indication of weakness on their part would have been followed by their extermination. So they selected half of their men and sent them out with Hobbamock for a guide. The day was wet and stormy. Once they lost their way. When twilight came they halted to wait for the night to be well advanced, that they might come upon the enemy when he was unprepared. Sitting down in the darkness of the drenched forest, they ate what their knapsacks afforded, and then, throwing aside everything that hindered their free action, they pressed on and surrounded the house where they supposed the traitor to be.
The inmates were stricken with affright at their sudden and warlike appearance. They rushed to the doors, and would have made their escape but that the colonists drove them back. Some few did succeed in escaping, but were wounded in their flight. At length, when their first mad terror had subsided, the Indians calmed down sufficiently to understand that Coubatant was the man sought for, and that on account of the death of Squanto. They vigorously asserted that Coubatant was not there, and that Squanto was in the town and alive. The colonists were resolute. They must see for themselves, they declared. Noting their kindness toward the squaws, the young boys tried to pass themselves off as females, crying, " Neen squaes"— I am a woman. The squaws, too, sought to make their peace with Hobbamock, hanging about his neck and calling him " towam"—friend. A light being at last produced, the house was searched, and the first statement of the Indians was found to be true. Coubatant was not there, and Hobbamock thereupon getting upon the roof shouted at the top of his voice for Squanto, who was soon roused by the outcry and came running to them. It was thus made manifest that the man whose death they had come to avenge was still alive. They had, however, made a wonderful impression on the minds of the savages by their prompt and resolute action, and this they followed up by declaring that they would avenge promptly any injury done to themselves or to their ally Massasoit, and so marched home again, taking Squanto with them.
It was not long before they had occasion to
exhibit again the same resolute bearing. In the late autumn there came into
their harbor unexpectedly the good ship Fortune, with a fresh addition
to their force. The new-comers were thirty-five in number, most of them "
lusty yonge men ;" a right welcome addition, we may be sure, to their
scanty ranks. But they were utterly unprepared to face the hardships that lay before
them. They brought no provisions ; " ther was not so much as a bisket-cake
or any other victialls for them. Neither had they any beding, but some sory
things they had in their cabins, nor pot nor pan to drese any meate in ; nor
overmany cloaths, for many of them had brushed away their coats and cloaks at
Plimoth as they came." The sharp eyes of the Indians were not long in
finding out that a reinforcement of this kind just on the edge of winter was
like to prove a weakness rather than a strength ; and the Narragansetts, a
strong and warlike tribe to the southward who had always regarded them with
hostility, sent them a snakeskin \vrapped about a bundle of arrows. The Indian
who brought it asked for Squanto, and finding that he was away seemed much
disturbed in mind ; but, leaving the arrows for him, would fain have taken a
speedy departure. The whites, suspecting from his behavior that something was
amiss, seized him and committed him to the custody of Captain Standish. Two of
them watched him over night, but succeeded in finding out little more than that
his sachem Canonacus was angry. In the morning, considering that he was but a
messenger, they set him at liberty and waited for the return of Squanto to know
the meaning of the token. Squanto told them at once that it was a challenge or
declaration of war. They acted in their usual prompt fashion. The governor
stuffed the skin with powder and bullets and sent it back to them. At the same
time he sent a message of defiance to Canonacus, regretting that he had not
shipping so that he could meet him in his own country, but assuring him that if
he would but come to them he should have a warm reception. The message and the
token did their work. The terrified Indians refused to receive the skin of
powder and bullets. It was sent about from place to place, no one daring to
retain it, and finally returned to Plymouth whence it started, and the
Narragansetts made no further allusions to war. CHAPTER V.
The State of New England.
Forty years later—The changes that have taken place—The government—Society and public sentiment—Causes of King Philip's War—The Praying Indians—Efforts of Eliot and others at the conversion of the savages.
The forty years over which we now take a leap, from the time of the extermination of the Pequots until the next great Indian war in New England, were witnesses of many changes. New towns had sprung up, and though these mostly hugged the coast, yet inland, here and there, the smoke of some new settlement rose in the wilderness, while every day the hardy settler's axe could be heard as acre after acre of primeval forest fell to make room for fields of corn. On the Connecticut, in Western Massachusetts, were five or six stirring young towns—Springfield, Northampton, Hatfield, Hadley, and others—but the centre of the .State was still unsettled save for a single town—Brookfield.
The life of the pioneer was one of arduous toil. He had his land to clear and his corn to plant and till among the stumps, which he vainly tried to remove by burning. His house was built of logs. In nearly all the new clearings the houses were put close together, and it happened in almost every case that there were one or two which, by reason of superior wealth on the part of their owners, had been built more solidly than the rest. To these, when hostilities began, the entire population would flee—from this post of safety watching, too often, their own homes turn to ashes under the torch of the savage.
The pioneer's neighbor and constant annoyance were the Indians. Idle and beggars as many of them were, they hung about his house, and knew only too well its weakness for defence. He kept his musket ready loaded and at hand. The war when it did come was to be no such one-sided affair as that with the Pequots. The Indians now were armed with powder and gun. They had become experts in their use, and were no longer the insignificant foe they had been when the arrow was their only weapon.
Come it did, and of a sudden. It was the last effort of the savages to regain their native soil and to drive out the foreigners. Before it was over nearly every tribe in New England was drawn into it except the Mohegans, who under their old chief Uncas were still faithful. And at its end the Indian power in New England was broken forever.
What was its cause ? Hubbard, the minister of Ipswich, who wrote a history of it, says : " What can be imagined, therefore, besides the Instigation of Satan, that either envied at the Prosperity of the Church of God here seated ; or else fearing lest the Power of the Lord Jesus, that had overthrown his Kingdom in other Parts of the World, should do the like here :—no cause of provocation being given by the English."
Dismissing the consideration of the direct agency of Satan as above propounded, we need look no further for a cause than the fact that the Indians wished to regain their lands which they had made away with to the whites.
Increase Mather, the leading minister of Boston, speaks of the " Heathen People amongst whom we live, and whose land the Lord God of our Fathers hath given us for a rightful possession."
Governor Winslow, in one of his letters, says: " I think I can clearly say that before these present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one Foot of Land in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase."
Whether the white men believed that the land was given them by the Lord or that they had come by it by honest purchase was a matter of no importance to the Indians. They believed that they had been tricked out of it by superior cunning. What were the few paltry trinkets which they had accepted, when under the influence of the Englishman's strong water, in comparison with the value of the broad acres which they had given up. It is morally certain that when they sold the land they had no idea of the nature of the purchase. They supposed that they, too, were to live on it as before : that it was to be a joint occupation. They knew nothing of the new-comer's mode of life, and that his first act would be to level the forests and so drive away the game upon which their lives depended.
Even had they sold their lands with a full knowledge of what the transaction meant, they had not been brought up in the white man's standard of morals, and saw no wickedness in trying to right themselves of a bad bargain by force.
Their home was gone, and they were told to move on. Where were they to go ? There was no end to the thirst for land of these English: they would soon want the whole continent. No wonder that a widespread discontent was abroad. They saw that it was a struggle for existence, and every pledge which had been reluctantly forced from them was no more than a binding of straw.
Before going into the recital of the struggle it is necessary to say a few words as to the government, the state of society, and the tone of feeling which prevailed at that time.
The three colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut were united in a confederation for mutual defence. Rhode Island was a colony standing by itself, and in little sympathy with the others. For in her were tolerated forms of worship and doctrines utterly repugnant to the Puritan ideas that ruled in the others.
Everywhere every one was at work. Some clearing and tilling the soil, some lumbering, others engaged in fishing. In some of the larger cities, such as Boston, merchants were growing rich from the trade with the West Indies, but in the main it was a hard struggle for the common necessities of life. In each town the minister was the educated man and the aristocrat of the place. The magistrate was his social equal. Naturally, much of the law-making fell into his hands, and as naturally the laws which he framed compelled the observance of many duties which are now left to the individual conscience to decide upon. The tone of feeling of that time was as totally unlike that of the present day as can well be imagined. Life was a serious business to the New Englander, and the only recreation he allowed himself in the struggle with nature for exist ence was religion. Recreation, as we now understand it, he regarded as inspired by the evil one. When the first governor of Plymouth returned from his work in the fields and found certain of his men playing ball, he broke up the game, declaring " ther should be no gaming or revelling in y" streets."
Now after a lapse of fifty years there was nothing in this action which was at all out of harmony with the general public sentiment. In Massachusetts it was punishable by a fine of five shillings to dance or use the game of shuffle-board or bowling or any other play or game, in or about a house of public entertainment, or to play at all, either at cards or dice, or to observe any such day as Christmas or the like ; and the bringing or keeping cards or dice into the jurisdiction was punished with a fine of five shillings.
Here follow a few extracts from the Plymouth laws, taken at random, which will show the paternal character of the government, and how not only good morals but what were then believed to be good manners were enforced by them.
" Whereas, the Court takes notice of great neglect of frequenting the publicke worship of God upon the Lord's day ; it is enacted by the Court and the authoritie thereof — That the Celect men in each Townshipe of this Government shall take notice of such, in theire Townshipps as neglect through prophannes and slothfulness to come to the publicke worship of God ; and shall require an account of them ; and if they give them not satisfaction, that then they return theire names to the Court.
" Whereas, great Inconvenience hath arisen by single persons in this Collonie, being for themselves and not betakeing themselves to live in well Govourned famillies—It is enacted by the Court that henceforth noe single person be suffered to live of himselfe ; or in any family but such as the Celectmen of the Towne shall approve of ; and if any person or persons shall refuse or neglect to attend such order as shall be given them by the Celectmen ; that such person or persons shall be summoned to the Court to be proceeded with as the matter shall require.
" It is enacted by the Court that the Constable or his deputie in each respective Town of this Government shall dillegently look after such as sleep or play about the meeting house in times of the publicke worship of God on the Lord's day and take notice of their names and return them to the Court.
" As alsoe that unessesary violent ryding on the Lord's day : the persons that soe offend ; theire names to be returned to the next Court after the said offence.
" Any person or persons that shall be found smoaking of Tobacco on the Lord's day : goeing too, or coming from the meetinges, within two miles of the meeting house, shall pay twelve pence for every such default to the Collonies use.
" The Celect men of the severall Townes of this Jurisdiction, or any one of them, may, or shall, as there may be occation, take with him the Counstable, or his deputie, and repaire to any house or place, where they may suspect that any slothfully doe lurke att hom, or gett together in companies, to neglect the publicke worship of God, orprophane the Lord's day, and shall returne the names of the persons to the next Court.
" Whereas, It hath bine and is the pious care and true intent of this Court, that all such plantations and Townshipes as are by them Graunted, should maintaine the publicke sabbath worship of God, and the preaching of the word, and doe to that end affoard them such proportions of lands as may accomodate such a society as may be able to maintaine the same ; and yett through the corruption or sinfull neglect of many, or most of the Inhabitants of some plantations, they content themselves to live without the minnestry of the word to the great dishonor of God, and danger of theire soules ; there being great reason to feare that many may be acted therein by worldly and covetous principles ; It is by this Court enacted, that in such Townshipes where noe Minnester is resident ; especially if it appears that the generallyty of the Inhabitants are remise in the obtaining of one, the generall Court may and shall, henceforth, yearly Impose a certaine sume to be raised by rate upon the Inhabitants of such plantations or Townshipps, which shalbe kept as a stocke for building of a meeting house, or for Incurragement of a minnester to labour amongst them or other such pious uses as the Court may Improve it for theire good." Religion entered into every act, and their every thought was colored by it. They believed in a personal God, who took an interest in the smallest item of each man's daily life. The land had been given them by the Almighty, as we have quoted from one of their ministers, and they were a chosen people. Driven from England on account of their belief, each tenet was more dear to them for persecution. By a certain mental perversity, not entirely unknown at the present day, each sect, and indeed each man, believed that this present and personal Lord was fighting for him individually. If anything happened to his opponent, it was the wrath of God upon an offender. Mrs. Hutchinson, an excellent woman of eminent piety, came from England to Massachusetts. She held and taught some theological opinions which were offensive to the clergy, and was banished from the colony. She removed to New York, and when she was cut off by the Mohawks in her lonely plantation it was considered by those who had driven her away that the Lord had punished her, and not that they by their intolerance had been the cause of her death. When, in the war now coming on, a party marches to the aid of a beleaguered garrison, they relieve them after " having first satisfied the divine vengeance by the slaughter of twenty savages." That God had any interest in the Indians does not appear to have occurred to them. This will explain the state of mind of the valiant Captain Mason, in our last chapter, who, while killing the helpless savages with his hands, thanks the Lord with his lips that He has smitten the Heathen on his hinder parts and given them their lands for an inheritance. While their God was thus personally active, the Evil One was so likewise. In reading the old records it is almost impossible to believe that they did not consider Satan equally powerful with the Almighty, and one is tempted to wonder why, like some of the nations of the East, they did not appease alike the powers of good and evil. Satan was present ence was religion. Recreation, as we now understand it, he regarded as inspired by the evil one. When the first governor of Plymouth returned from his work in the fields and found certain of his men playing ball, he broke up the game, declaring " ther should be no gaming or revelling in y" streets."
Now after a lapse of fifty years there was nothing in this action which was at all out of harmony with the general public sentiment. In Massachusetts it was punishable by a fine of five shillings to dance or use the game of shuffle-board or bowling or any other play or game, in or about a house of public entertainment, or to play at all, either at cards or dice, or to observe any such day as Christmas or the like ; and the bringing or keeping cards or dice into the jurisdiction was punished with a fine of five shillings.
Here follow a few extracts from the Plymouth laws, taken at random, which will show the paternal character of the government, and how not only good morals but what were then believed to be good manners were enforced by them.
" Whereas, the Court takes notice of great neglect of frequenting the publicke worship of God upon the Lord's day ; it is enacted by the Court and the authoritie thereof — That the Celect men in each Townshipe of this Government shall take notice of such, in theire Townshipps as neglect through prophannes and slothfulness to come to the publicke worship of God ; and shall require an account of them ; and if they give them not satisfaction, that then they return theire names to the Court.
" Whereas, great Inconvenience hath arisen by single persons in this Collonie, being for themselves and not betakeing themselves to live in well Govourned famillies—It is enacted by the Court that henceforth noe single person be suffered to live of himselfe ; or in any family but such as the Celectmen of the Towne shall approve of ; and if any person or persons shall refuse or neglect to attend such order as shall be given them by the Celectmen ; that such person or persons shall be summoned to the Court to be proceeded with as the matter shall require.
" It is enacted by the Court that the Constable or his deputie in each respective Town of this Government shall dillegently look after such as sleep or play about the meeting house in times of the publicke worship of God on the Lord's day and take notice of their names and return them to the Court.
" As alsoe that unessesary violent ryding on the Lord's day : the persons that soe offend ; theire names to be returned to the next Court after the said offence.
" Any person or persons that shall be found smoaking of Tobacco on the Lord's day : goeing too, or coming from the meetinges, within two miles of the meeting house, shall pay twelve pence for every such default to the Collonies use.
" The Celect men of the severall Townes of this Jurisdiction, or any one of them, may, or shall, as there may be occation, take with him the Counstable, or his deputie, and repaire to any house or place, where they may suspect that any slothfully doe lurke att hom, or gett together in companies, to neglect the publicke worship of God, orprophane the Lord's day, and shall returne the names of the persons to the next Court.
" Whereas, It hath bine and is the pious care and true intent of this Court, that all such plantations and Townshipes as are by them Graunted, should maintaine the publicke sabbath worship of God, and the preaching of the word, and doe to that end affoard them such proportions of lands as may accomodate such a society as may be able to maintaine the same ; and yett through the corruption or sinfull neglect of many, or most of the Inhabitants of some plantations, they content themselves to live without the minnestry of the word to the great dishonor of God, and danger of theire soules ; there being great reason to feare that many may be acted therein by worldly and covetous principles ; It is by this Court enacted, that in such Townshipes where noe Minnester is resident ; especially if it appears that the generallyty of the Inhabitants are remise in the obtaining of one, the generall Court may and shall, henceforth, yearly Impose a certaine sume to be raised by rate upon the Inhabitants of such plantations or Townshipps, which shalbe kept as a stocke for building of a meeting house, or for Incurragement of a minnester to labour amongst them or other such pious uses as the Court may Improve it for theire good." Religion entered into every act, and their every thought was colored by it. They believed in a personal God, who took an interest in the smallest item of each man's daily life. The land had been given them by the Almighty, as we have quoted from one of their ministers, and they were a chosen people. Driven from England on account of their belief, each tenet was more dear to them for persecution. By a certain mental perversity, not entirely unknown at the present day, each sect, and indeed each man, believed that this present and personal Lord was fighting for him individually. If anything happened to his opponent, it was the wrath of God upon an offender. Mrs. Hutchinson, an excellent woman of eminent piety, came from England to Massachusetts. She held and taught some theological opinions which were offensive to the clergy, and was banished from the colony. She removed to New York, and when she was cut off by the Mohawks in her lonely plantation it was considered by those who had driven her away that the Lord had punished her, and not that they by their intolerance had been the cause of her death. When, in the war now coming on, a party marches to the aid of a beleaguered garrison, they relieve them after " having first satisfied the divine vengeance by the slaughter of twenty savages." That God had any interest in the Indians does not appear to have occurred to them. This will explain the state of mind of the valiant Captain Mason, in our last chapter, who, while killing the helpless savages with his hands, thanks the Lord with his lips that He has smitten the Heathen on his hinder parts and given them their lands for an inheritance.
While their God was thus personally active, the Evil One was so likewise. In reading the old records it is almost impossible to believe that they did not consider Satan equally powerful with the Almighty, and one is tempted to wonder why, like some of the nations of the East, they did not appease alike the powers of good and evil. Satan was present in the flesh ; he rode through the air on a broomstick ; he appeared in the shape of a black man, and whispered in the ears of his disciples, then disappeared in a flash of fire, leaving a strong smell of brimstone in the air. All manner of events in the course of nature which they did not understand were believed to be of satanic origin, and they had a firm belief in omens and portents. The venerable Cotton Mather, the foremost minister of the time, gravely enumerates those that ushered in this war.
"In a clear, still, sunshiny morning there were divers persons in Maldon who heard in the air on the south-east a great gun go off, and presently thereupon the report of small guns like musket shot, very thick discharging as if there had been a battel. This was at a time when there was nothing visibly done in any part of the colony to occasion such noises ; but that which most of all astonished them was the flying of bullets, which came singing over their heads, and seemed very near to them, after which the sound of drums passing along westward was very audible, and on the same day, in Plymouth colony, in several places, invisible troops of horses were heard riding to and fro. Now, reader, prepare for the event of these prodigies, but count me not struck with superstition in reporting prodigies, for which I have such incontestable assurance."
With this absorbing interest in religion, it could not be otherwise than that one of the first thoughts of the first settlers was the spiritual welfare of the Indians. When the Rev. John Robinson, the pastor whom the Pilgrims left behind them in Holland, heard of the killing of Pecksuot and Wittuwamet, he wrote them sadly, lamenting that they had not converted some before they killed any.
In 1646 John Eliot determined to devote himself to the conversion of the savages. He first set himself to learn their language. Engaging one of the old Indians to live with him, he mastered it in a few months. Then, assembling a number, he preached the simpler truths of the Gospel. After an hour of this, during which they listened quietly, they propounded a series of questions to him, which showed that they had not been inattentive hearers. One wished to know whether, according to the second commandment, the child must suffer, though good, for the sins of its parents ; another, how all the world became full of people if they were all drowned in the flood ; and another enquiring soul, leaving the domain of theology, boldly demanded why sea water was salt and river water was fresh. Eliot answered their inquiries to their satisfaction, but not to that of their powwows or medicine men, who, foreseeing a diminution of their income should the new doctrines spread, opposed them lustily.
He persevered, however, and seeing that the savages must be civilized to be Christianized, he declared that his converts must live in towns like the English. One such town, the first of several others, was begun at Natick, and Eliot drew up a series of rules for their government. Many of these refer to habits of personal cleanliness and morality, others to dress. " If any woman shall not have her hair tied up, but hang loose, or be cut as men's hair, she shall pay five shillings."
"All men that wear long locks shall pay five shillings."
Other rules enforced industry. " If any man be idle a week, or at most a fortnight, he shall pay five shillings," and so on.
The sachems, to a man, opposed the new plans. One of them, Cutshamoquin, complained bitterly that those of his men who had been converted had ceased to pay him tribute. To prove their fealty, they detailed to Eliot before him, much to his disgust, the services they had rendered in the past two years. As a little picture of what were a sachem's claims, their account is worth recording. They, though but a few of his men, had given him thirty-two bushels of corn, had hunted for him for
two days and brought him fifteen deer, had broke up for him two acres of land, made him a great wigwam, made him twenty rods of fence with a ditch and two rails about it, paid a debt of his of £3 ios., given him a skin of beaver of two pounds' weight, besides many days'work in planting corn, etc., etc. The savage ruler seems in his way to have had a truly comfortable life. He swelled with rage at the new boldness and independence of his vassals, and departed ; but presently, thinking better of it, he returned and became a Christian with them.
Ninigret, a sachem of the Narragansetts, was not so complaisant. When Mayhew, another self-devoted apostle to the Indians, asked leave to preach to his people, he replied pertinently that he had better return to make the English good first. Some of them kept Sunday, he said, others Saturday, as a day of worship ; others kept no day at all, so that no one could tell which religion to take up. He suggested satirically that Mayhew had better try first the Pequots and Mohegans, and if he succeeded with them he would consider it.
Eliot translated the Bible into the Indian, while for light reading he provided such works as Baxter's "Call," Shepherd's "Sincere Convert" and " Sound Believer," Catechisms, " The Practice of Piety," etc., etc.
The movement spread, and when King Philip's war broke out there were, in the fourteen towns in Massachusetts, some eleven hundred and fifty Praying Indians, as they were called, besides others in the other colonies—in all perhaps four thousand. Of these it is claimed that a large number had not been christianized, but only semi-civilized. Be this as it may, the majority of the inhabitants of these Indian towns proved that they were savages pure and simple, by returning to their old life at the first indication of trouble. Some, however, had made considerable advance in civilization, and showed themselves worthy of confidence and trust, and could read and write. Wauban was one of these. He was appointed a justice of the peace by the whites. One of his warrants is still on record :
" You, you big constable, quick you catch um, Jeremiah Offscow, strong you hold um, safe you bring um, afore me, Waban, justice peace."
His course of action when his men got drunk and quarrelled might perhaps be attended with good results, in similar circumstances, at the present day. " Tie um all up, and whip um plaintiff, and whip um fendant, and whip um witness."
When King Philip's war broke out, it was announced to the Praying Indians that they must leave their towns and go in a body to some place of security, apart from the scene of the struggle. Deer Island, in Boston Harbor, was selected. Five hundred quietly submitted to this, a proof positive that Christianity had made some progress among them. The rest could not be found. They had returned to their people and shared their fortunes. From time to time, in the course of the war, the Praying Indians appear on the scene. Now they are allies of the whites, and now they appear as the most bitter of their enemies
The First Breaking Out of War.
The sons of Massasoit—Alexander's arrest and death—Philip succeeds him—The death of Sausaman—Church's adventures at Saconet—The savages pillage Swansey and kill several of the inhabitants—Massachusetts troops march to the help of Plymouth—Scouting parties are fired on by the Indians—Mount Hope invaded—A treaty with the Narragansetts—The expedition to Saconet—Philip escapes to the Nipmuck country.
MASSASOIT, the life-long friend of the whites, died somewhere about the year 1660. He had two sons, Wamsutta and Metacomet. In one of his journeys to Plymouth he took them with him, and there requested that English names be given them. Falling in with his fancy, the governor named one Alexander, and the other Philip, and when, not many years after, the old sachem was gathered to his fathers, Alexander, the elder, ruled in his stead. He married Wetamoo, a squaw sachem who had men and means, and was " as potent as any prince about," and by this marriage became a man of considerable prominence. The settlers, suspecting that he might be plotting with the Narragansetts, summoned him to attend the court at Plymouth and clear himself of such suspicion. He did not appear, whereupon Major Winslow was ordered to arrest him. With a file of ten soldiers Winslow set out, intending to increase his force in the towns through which he passed ; but he had gone but a short distance when he came upon an Indian hunting-house, within which he found Alexander with eight of his men. They were all armed, but they had deposited their guns outside, and the whites, securing them, surrounded the house.
Winslow, entering, asked Alexander to step aside with him, and when he and his interpreter had walked apart he clapped a pistol to his breast and told him that he was a prisoner and must go with him. The Indian, outraged at this summary treatment, fell into a passion, declared that the governor had no business to credit rumors, and that he would not move. But he had no choice. Winslow told him that go he should, dead or alive, and when his first anger was over he yielded, merely stipulating that he should travel as a sachem, with his attendants accompanying. He was offered a horse, but he refused, saying that he could walk as well as his squaw and the other women, and so they proceeded until they reached Duxbury. Here he was put under the charge of Major Winslow, but his proud spirit so chafed at the treatment he had received that he fell into a high fever. The physician of the town attended him, but he grew steadily worse, and entreated that he might go home as the only chance to save his life. He was released on giving his parole to return when summoned. Making his journey partly by canoe and partly on a litter borne on the shoulders of his men, he left Duxbury, but before he had gone far he died. His squaw always believed that the English had poisoned him, and when the war broke out she was one of the first to join the enemy.
Alexander being dead, Philip, his brother, succeeded him as sachem of the Wampanoags. His seat was at Mount Hope. From the first he was an object of suspicion to the colonists. Probably they realized that their treatment of his dead brother was such as an Indian would not be likely to forget. They were continually summoning him before the court at Plymouth to clear himself of charges of conspiring against the English.
In the year 1674 John Sausaman was murdered. Sausaman was a Praying Indian who, on account of some misdemeanor, fled from Natick where he had been a schoolmaster, and took service with Philip. His learning-made him of great use to his savage master, and he, no doubt, in his position as secretary, learned may of his secret plans. Shortly after he made his peace with the English, to whom he gave such satisfactory evidence of a change of heart that he was selected as instructor to his brethren on the Lord's day, and once more settled down at Natick. He confided to the whites that Philip was plotting with the neighboring tribes to rise against them, at the same time assuring them that, should it be known that he had spoken, his life would be in danger.
His suppositions on this point proved correct. Soon after he was missing. Search was made, and his hat and gun were found on the ice of a neighboring pond, and his body in a hole where the ice was broken away. He was duly buried, but as rumors of his having met with foul play were rife, the body was disinterred. It was found that the neck had been broken, and that there were other marks of violence. Tobias, one of the counsellors of Philip, was suspected of his taking off, and was confronted with the body. Whenever he approached, says the credulous old chronicler, it burst out bleeding afresh, though it had been buried for some time ; yea, though the experiment was repeated several times.
Matters looked very black for Tobias, and blacker still when a convenient Indian, one Patuckson, was found who, from a neighboring hill, unseen had wit nessed the death of Sausaman, at the hands of Tobias and two of his fellows. Patuckson had not dared to tell what he had seen before this, because of fears for his own life. The three men were tried at Plymouth, and convicted and hung, and " though they were all successively turned off the ladder at the gallows, utterly denying the fact, yet the last of them, happening to break or slip the rope, did, before his going off the ladder again, confess that the other Indians did really murder John Sausaman, and that he was himself, though no actor in it, yet a looker on."*
It was known to all that Philip had caused his death as a punishment for his treachery, and it was felt that he had now gone so far that war was unavoidable ; and, as may well be imagined, a most uncomfortable state of feeling prevailed.
In the spring of this year, 1675, Captain Benjamin Church was engaged in putting into working order a new plantation which he was laying out at Saconet. Captain Church will prove a prominent figure in the war now close at hand. While thus engaged he learned that Philip was plotting to secure Awashonks, the squaw sachem of this region, as a confederate. He at once sent six of his men to counteract her influence. The squaw sachem listened to the messengers, and called her subjects together to have a great dance, and sent word to Church to come to the festivities. Taking with him one who^ understood the Indian tongue, he responded immediately, and reached the scene of assembly to find there several hundred savages, and Awashonks leading the dance in a most energetic fashion. She stopped at once, and besought his advice. Philip had sent six of his braves, who were then present, to induce her to enter into a league with him. The whites, he declared, were arming to attack the Indians, and they must act in self-defence. If she would not join, his men should kill the cattle of the settlers near her. Her own men would of course be suspected of doing this, and she would suffer at the hands of the whites for it. How should she act ? The six men that Philip had sent presented an appearance the reverse of pleasing. Their faces were painted and their hair rolled up "comb fashion," and at their backs they bore their powder-horns and shot-bags, thus signifying that their voice was for war. When Church, finding their shot-bags full of bullets, asked them what these were for, they responded with satirical pleasantry, that they were to kill pigeons.
* Cotton Mather, from whose history of King Philip's war the above extract is given, has here made a misstatement. The third Indian was reprieved, but was shot within the month.
He then, turning to Awashonks, advised her to knock the six messengers on the head and put herself under the protection of the governor of Plymouth. The painted braves were taken so aback by this suggestion that they had no answer, satirical or otherwise, to make, but were dumb. One or two of their friends among Awashonks' men, however, found tongue, and upheld them and the league they proposed with great bitterness ; and one " Little Eyes" invited Church to walk aside with him among the bushes, where they could discuss the matter more at length. The leaders of the tribe, however, here interfered, well understanding that he had other arguments in mind than those of the tongue. The dispute waxed warm, and Church, who seems never to have known what fear was, told the Mount Hopes that they were bloody wretches, and in the end carried the day, for Awashonks bade him go on her behalf to Plymouth to offer her allegiance.
On his way thither, whither he went with all speed, he met Wetamoo, the squaw sachem of Pocasset, the widow of Alexander. Her men had all gone to the dances at Mount Hope. He did his best to persuade her to remain faithful to the whites, and thought he had succeeded, but the wily Philip soon removed the impression he had made, and she threw in her fortune with his, bringing him three hundred fighting men.
A short time only after this, on a Sunday when the people were all at church, the young savages came from Mount Hope neck into Swansey and pillaged the deserted houses. Messengers were sent in haste to Plymouth, and the Council, seeing that the time for action had come, sent express to the captains of the towns bidding them get their commands in marching order and rendezvous at Taunton, where their several stations would be assigned them.
At the same time they appointed the next Lord's day as one of solemn humiliation and prayer that war might be turned aside.
Their supplications to Heaven were of no avail. On their return from the service of humiliation the settlers of Swansey were fired upon by the savages. One man was killed, another wounded. Two who were dispatched for a " chirurgeon" were shot dead in the road. And the same day, in another part of the town, six persons were killed and their bodies shockingly mangled.
At the time the Plymouth troops had been ordered to march, the week before, the Council had despatched messengers to Boston calling upon their sister colony for aid. Massachusetts instantly ordered troops to make ready. In the mean time, as once or twice before when outbreaks with Philip had seemed unavoidable, they had been prevented by her interposition, she despatched two messengers to reason with him. The messengers proceeded as far as Swansey, where, coming upon the body of the two men slain in the road while going for the doctor, they justly decided that the time for diplomacy had passed, and with discreet haste got themselves back to Boston.
The Massachusetts force marched at once—troopers under Captain Prentice, and foot under Captain Henchman. It was night when they set out, and the superstitious among the soldiers were greatly troubled by a total eclipse of the moon, which, happening at the beginning of their undertaking, seemed to them ominous of ill fortune. Some saw in the centre of the moon an Indian's black scalp, others an Indian bow, portents of coming evil.
Their judicious commanders, however, ordered a halt and a "little repast," and "after the moon had waded through the dark shadow of the earth and borrowed her light again," they pressed on and made thirty good miles by morning. They were shortly after overtaken by Captain Mosely and a hundred volunteers. Captain Mosely had been a privateer at Jamaica, and among his volunteers were some dozen less fortunate privateers, who, lying under sentence of death, had been released on condition of their going to fight the savages. On the 28th of June the united forces reached Swansey and joined the Plymouth troops lying at Myles' Garrison, the house of the Rev. John Myles, which was close to the bridge that led to Mount Hope neck, where Philip lay.
The savages meantime had grown very bold ; skulking among the underbrush, they shot at any one who was abroad. They killed two of the sentinels of the garrison at their post, before the eyes of their comrades, which so enraged the newly arrived troops that a small party rashly sallied out to attack them. Church was earnestly invited to go with them as a volunteer, and when they had provided him with a horse and furniture, his own being out of the way, they set out under the guidance of a pilot, a resident of the neighborhood. They met the usual fate of rashness. Hardly had they crossed the bridge when they were fired upon from an ambuscade. The pilot was mortally wounded, and the two officers who had charge were both hit. The troops, panic-stricken, wheeled, and were about to make off when Church interposed. He " storm'd and stampt" at them for proposing to run and leave a wounded man, for the pilot, though unable to direct his movements, still sat his horse. He called for volunteers to bring him off, and a stranger offering himself, they, with Quartermaster Gill, rode back. The stricken man had by this time fallen, and his horse had run away, but Church and the stranger dismounted and laid his body across Gill's horse. Then bidding the two take charge of it, he announced that he would go and catch the beast, which was running toward the Indians. He effected this, an act of bravado probably intended to reassure the faint-hearted spectators, and came within hailing distance of the redskins, whom he challenged to come back and fight. Their only answer to this was to creep up unobserved and fire an ill-aimed volley at him. Finding that the troopers had no more stomach for fighting, and were not disposed to support him, he thought it time to secure his own retreat, which he effected, saying, " The Lord have mercy on us if such a handful of Indians shall thus dare such an army."
The panic was but a temporary thing. The troops marched out in force the next day and invaded Philip's country. Six or seven savages were slain, but they failed to find the main body. They did find, however, deserted wigwams and, a ghastly trophy, the heads of eight white men set up on poles. Philip had left Mount Hope. Some thought it on account of fear of their force ; others, longer headed, believed that he had seen that the position was untenable and had wisely deserted it to secure a stronger vantage elsewhere. The troops searched the whole neck for several days, but found nothing. Then the Massachusetts men retired to Swansey and Rehoboth, where they beat up the swamps and patrolled the country, killing a few savages, but meeting with no success in their attempts to find and engage the main body of the enemy.
After a few days of this, orders came to them from Boston to proceed into the Narragansett country, and there make an alliance with that tribe before they should become disaffected. Taking counsel as to how best to do this, it was decided to go with their full force, with arms in their hands, so as to be ready to fight if need be. It was not necessary to fight, however, for the Narragansetts, after a conference of four days, concluded a treaty, in which they bound themselves to give up, living or dead, any of Philip's subjects who should take refuge with them, and to kill and destroy, to the best of their ability, any of the said enemy, etc., etc., and for the fulfilment of this treaty they gave hostages.
The Plymouth forces meanwhile encamped on Mount Hope neck, where they set to work to build a fort.
Church objected to this with all his strength. Philip, he declared, had crossed to Pocasset. Instead of building a fort, they should cross the water and attack him there. Already his men were committing depredations in Middlebury and Dartmouth. And all this time they were leaving Awashonks, their ally, unprotected and subject to the persuasions of the wily enemy. They would have but themselves to thank if they found her in alliance with him.
He talked so vigorously that Captain Fuller was ordered to take six files of men, with himself as second in command, and cross the river. They made due expedition, and on the night of July 8th were disposed in two parties, each in an ambuscade, waiting for such unwary savages as fate might send to them. We shall let Captain Church tell the story of this expedition. After describing the placing of the two ambuscades, he tells of their failure.
" But Captain Fuller's party, being troubled with the epidemical plague, of lust after tobacco, must needs strike fire to smoke it, and thereby discovered themselves to a party of the enemy coming up to them, who immediately fled with great precipitation.
" This ambuscado drew off about break of day, perceiving they were discovered ; the other continued in their post until the time assigned them, and the
light and heat of the sun rendered their station both insignificant and troublesome, and then returned unto the place of rendezvous, where they were acquainted with the other parties' disappointment, and the cause thereof. Mr. Church calls for the breakfast he had caused to be brought over in the boat ; but the man that had charge of it confessed that he was asleep when the boatmen called him, and in haste came away and never thought of it. It happened that Mr. Church had a few cakes of rusk in his pocket, which he divided among the company, which was all the provisions they had.
" Mr. Church, after their slender breakfast, proposed to Captain Fuller that he would march in quest of the enemy with such of the company as would be willing to march with him, which he complyed with, though with a great deal of scruple, because of his small number and the extreme hazard he saw must attend them.
"The number allowed him soon drew off to him, which could not be many because their whole company consisted of no more than thirty-six. They moved toward Sogkonate, where they discovered a fresh and plain track, which they concluded to be from the great pine swamp, about a mile from the road that leads to Sogkonate. Now, says Mr. Church to his men, if we follow this track, no doubt but we shall soon see Indians enough : they expressed their willingness to follow the track, and moved in it, but had not gone far before one of them narrowly escaped being bit by a rattlesnake. And the wood that the track lay through was haunted much with those snakes, which the little company seemed to be more afraid of than the black Serpents they were in quest of, and therefore bent their course another way, to a place where they thought it probable to find some of the enemy. Had they kept the track to the pine swamp, they had been certain of meeting Indians enough ; but not so certain that any of them should have returned to give account how many.
" Now they passed down into Punkatees Neck, and in their march discovered a large wigwam full of Indian truck, which the souldiers were for loading themselves with, until Mr. Church forbid it, telling them that they might expect soon to have their hands full, and business without caring for plunder. Then crossing the head of the creek into the Neck, they again discovered fresh Indian tracks, very lately passed before them into the Neck. Then they got privately and undiscovered unto the fence of Captain Almy's pease field, and divided into two parties. Mr. Church, keeping one party with himself, sent the other with Lake, that was acquainted with the ground on the other side. Two Indians were soon discovered coming out of the pease field towards them ; when Mr. Church and those that were with him concealed themselves from them, by falling flat on the ground ; but the other division, not using the same caution, were seen by the enemy, which occasioned them to run. Which, when Mr. Church perceived, he shewed himself to them and called, telling them he desired but to speak with them, and would not hurt them. But they run, and Church pursued. The Indians climbed a fence, and one of them facing about discharged his piece, but without effect on the English. One of the English souldiers ran up to the fence and fired upon him that had discharged his piece, and they concluded by the yelling they heard that the Indian was wounded ; but the Indians soon got into the thickets, where they saw them no more for the present.
" Mr. Church, then marching over a plain piece of ground where the woods were very thick on one side, ordered his little company to march at a double distance to make as big a show, if they should be discovered, as possible. But before they saw anybody, they were saluted with a volley of fifty or sixty guns. Some bullets came very surprisingly near Mr. Church, who, starting, looked behind him, expecting to have seen half of them dead, but seeing them all upon their leggs and briskly firing at the smokes of the enemie's guns, for that was all that was then to be seen, he blessed God, and called to his men not to discharge all their guns at once, lest the enemy should take the advantage of such an opportunity to run upon them with their hatchets.
" Their next motion was immediately into the pease field. When they came to the fence, Mr. Church bid as many as had not discharged their guns to clap under the fence and lie close while the others at some distance in the field stood to load, hoping that if the enemy should creep to the fence to gain a shot at those that were charging their guns, they might be surprised by those that lay under the fence. But casting his eyes to the side of the hill above them, the hill seemed to move, being covered over with Indians, with their bright guns glittering in the sun, and running in a circumference with a design to surround them.
" Seeing such multitudes surrounding him and his little company, it put him upon thinking what was become of the boats that were ordered to attend him, and looking up he espied them ashore at Sandypoint, on the Island side of the river, with a number of Horse and Foot by them, and wondered what should be the occasion, until he was afterward informed that the boats had been over that morning from the Island and had landed a party of men to fetch off some cattle and horses, but were ambuscadoed and many of them wounded by the enemy.
" Now our gentleman's courage and conduct were both put to the test. He encourages his men, and orders some to run and take a wall to shelter before the enemy gained it. 'Twas time for them now to think of escaping, if they knew which way. Mr. Church orders his men to strip to their white shirts, that the Islanders might know them to be Englishmen, and then orders three guns to be fired distinct, hoping it might be observed by their friends on the opposite shore. The men that were ordered to take the wall, being very hungry, stopped a while among the pease to gather a few, being about four rod from the wall. The enemy from behind it hailed them with a shower of bullets, but soon all but one came tumbling over an old hedge down the bank where Mr. Church and the rest were, and told him that his brother Southworth, who was the man that was missing, was killed : that they saw him fall : and so they did indeed see him fall, but it was without a shot, and he lay no longer than till he had opportunity to clap a bullet into one of his enemie's foreheads, and then came running to his Company. The meanness of the English's powder was now their greatest misfortune ; for they were immediately upon this beset with multitudes of Indians, who possessed themselves of every rock, stump, tree, or fence that was in sight, firing upon them without ceasing, while they had no other shelter but a small bank and a bit of water fence. And, to add to the disadvantage, the Indians possessed themselves of the ruins of a stone house that overlooked them, and of the black rocks to the southward of them, so that now they had no way to prevent lying quite open to some or other of the enemy, but to heap up stones before them.
" At length came over one of the boats from the Island shore, but the enemy plyed their shot so warmly to her, as made her keep at some distance. Mr. Church desired them to send their canoo ashore to fetch them aboard, but no persuasions or arguments could prevail with them to bring the canoo ashore, which, some of the men perceiving, began to cry out for God's sake to take them off, for their amunition was spent, etc. Mr. Church being sensible of the danger of the enemies hearing their complaints, and being made acquainted with the scantiness of their amunition, fiercely called to the boatmaster, and bid him either send his canoo ashore, or else begone presently, or he would fire upon him.
" Away goes the boat, and leaves them still to shift for themselves. But then another difficulty rose. The enemy, seeing the boat leave them, were reanimated, and fired thicker and faster than ever. Upon which some of the men who were lightest of foot began to talk of an escape by flight, until Mr. Church sollidly convinced them of the impracticableness of it, and encouraged them, yet told them, that he had observed so much of the remarkable and wonderful presence of God hitherto preserving them, that encouraged him to believe with much confidence, that God would yet preserve them, that not a hair of their head should fall to the ground : bid them be patient, couragious, and prudently sparing of their amunition, and he made no doubt they should come off well yet, etc., until his little army resolved one and all to stay with and stick by him. One of them was pitching a flat stone up on end before him in the sand, when a bullet from the enemy with a full force stroke the stone, while he was pitching it on end, which put the poor fellow to a miserable start till Mr. Church called on him to observe, How God directed the bullets that the enemy could not hit him when in the same place, yet could hit the stone, as it was erected.
" While they were thus making the best defence they could against their numerous enemies, that made the woods ring with their constant yelling and shouting, night coming on, somebody told Mr. Church that they spyed a sloop up the river as far as Gold Island, that seemed to be coming down towards them. He looked up and told them succor was now coming, for he believed it was Captain Golding, whom he knew to be a man for business, and would certainly fetch them off if he came. The wind being fair, the vessel was soon with them, and Captain Golding it was. Mr. Church, as soon as they came to speak one with another, desired him to come to anchor at such a distance that he might veer out his cable and ride afloat, and let slip his canoo that it might drive ashore : which directions Captain Golding observed ; but the enemy gave him such a warm salute that his sails, colour, and stern were full of bullet holes.
"The canoo came ashore, but was so small that she would not bare above two men at a time, and when two were aboard they turned her loose to drive ashore for two more, and the sloop's company kept the enemy in play the while. But when at last it came to Mr. Church's turn to go aboard, he had left his hat and cutlash at the well where he went to drink when he first came down ; he told his company he would never go off and leave his hat and cutlash for the Indians ; they should never have that to reflect upon him. Though he was much disswaded from it, yet he would go fetch them. He put all the powder he had left into his gun, and a poor charge it was, and went presenting his gun at the enemy, until he took up what he went for; and at his return he discharged his gun at the enemy to bid them farewell for that time, but had not powder enough to carry the bullet half way to them.
" Two bullets from the enemy struck the canoo as he went aboard, one grazed the hair of his head, another struck in a small stake that stood right against the middle of his breast."
The next day Captain Fuller with the other party were safely brought off, they, too, having had a skirmish in which two men were wounded, and the party returned to the fort on Mount Hope.
Immediately upon his return Church fell in with one Alderman, one of Wetamoo's men who had deserted his mistress. He told with great readiness where she with her tribe were posted, and gave him other valuable information. A party was sent out, who sailed in a sloop up Fall River until near the cedar swamp at Pocasset. Then, disembarking, they marched toward Wetamoo's camp. Church and one Baxter, an Englishman, with Captain Hunter, a Praying Indian, went in advance as scouts. Presently they started up three of the enemy, and Hunter, taking a shot, wounded one in the leg so that he could not get away. When he came up to him, the wounded man turned out to be a near kinsman. The captive knew his fate, and stoically asked no favors for himself, though he begged that his squaw might be kindly treated if she fell into their hands. Then he lighted his pipe, and his converted kinsman dispatched him with a blow of his hatchet.
The little army marched on, and soon came to Wetamoo's camp, just as the savages were preparing their meal. They were seen, and the alarm given. One young brave rushed out, declaring that he would kill an Englishman before he ate, but an unexpected bullet prevented his carrying out his threat. The Indians fought for a moment only, and then, leaving some fifteen dead behind them, fled to the swamp, where they were soon beyond the reach of pursuit. The whites, finding nothing further to be gained, fell back upon their sloop and returned to Mount Hope.
The pursuit of Philip was now left to the forces from Massachusetts, who were back from the Narragansett country, for the men of Plymouth were hurriedly sent to the town of Dartmouth, where the Indians had perpetrated all manner of atrocities and had burned the greater part of the houses. These, by reason of their being scattered, were easily taken by the savages. The General Court of Plymouth, that such a casualty might be avoided in the future, ordered that, in the resettling of the town, the houses be built compactly ; and, after the manner of the day, went on to observe solemnly, in order that " they may be in a capassitie both to defend themselves from an assault of an enemie and the better to attend the publicke worship of God, and minnestry of the word of God, whose carelesness to obtaine and attend unto, wee fear, may have been a provocation of God thus to chastise theire contempt of his gospell, which wee earnestly desire the people of that place may seriously consider off, lay to hart, and be humbled for, with a sollicitus indeavor after a reformation thereof, by a vigorous putting forth to obtaine an able, faithfull dispenser of the word of God amongst them, and to incurrage him therin, the neglect whereof this court as they must not, and God willing, they will not pmitt for the future."
The killing of his prisoner by Captain Hunter, which we described a few lines back, savage as it seems, was hardly worse than some of the acts which the Council of Plymouth did in cold blood. At Dartmouth some two hundred Indians came in and gave themselves up, on the strength of certain promises made by the captain of the garrison there. Had they been honorably treated, hundreds would have followed their example. The Council, however, in spite of the remonstrances of their officers, decided that inasmuch as several of these men who had come in " in a submissive way" had "bine actors in the late rising and warr against us and the rest complyers with them therein . . . the treasurer is appointed by the councell to make sale of them in the countrye's behalfe." Sold they were, and shipped under one Captain Sprague to Cadiz. It may readily be believed that few of their countrymen followed their example of submission.
Meantime the Massachusetts forces had returned from their treaty - making in the Narragansett country, and had beset the Pocasset cedar swamp, where Philip was encamped with Wetamoo and her men. Entering the swamp, they were met by a volley which killed five or six. The crafty savages, it is said, fastened bushes about themselves, and hidden among the leaves were able to steal about among the underbrush undetected, while they could inflict great injury on their pursuers. Retreating further and further into the recesses of the woods, they evaded the whites, who were in danger of doing more injury to one another than to the foe, being ready to fire into any bush that the wind moved.
It was resolved that Philip could be starved out, as the point of land on which the swamp lay was surrounded on all sides but one by water, and it was thought that he was now in a trap, and that his end was certain. So certain did they think it that a large part of the Massachusetts troops returned to Boston, leaving one hundred men to finish the work and end the war. They reckoned without their host, however. Philip had other plans for himself than those entertained by his opponents. Quietly getting together enough driftwood to make some sort of raft, he with the fighting men got themselves across the water one dark night, and were off to the Nipmuck country. All that the confident settlers captured were a part of the women and children and the sick.
Philip's escape was known at daybreak, for a large portion of the country he had to pass through was open. At Rehoboth the settlers attacked him, reinforced by some fifty Mohegans under Oneko, a son of our old acquaintance Uncas. These men had arrived at Boston a little before, offering their services to the English, and had been sent to Rehoboth, which they reached just in time to join in the attack on Philip's rear. Thirty of his men were slain, but he pressed on toward the Nipmucks, and made good his escape. The English were to hear more of him, and that very speedily.
War Breaks Out in the Massachusetts Colony.
The Nipmuck Indians take up the hatchet—Captain Wheeler is ambushed and Brookfield is attacked—Its heroic defence and relief—The outbreaks in the Western settlements—The ambush of Captain Beers and the destruction of Deerfield and other towns—A minister's letter— Loss of the Flower of Essex.
ABOUT a fortnight before his escape Indians fell upon the town of Mendon in the Massachusetts colony and slew some five or six of the people. The news reached Boston the next day in lecture-time, in the midst of the sermon. The preacher had chosen as his text the words of Isaiah : " Who gave Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers ? did not the Lord, he against whom ye have sinned?" The natives who had committed this outrage were Nipmucks, an entirely different tribe from the Wampanoags, from whom they lay distant some forty miles to the north and west. The outbreak caused the most widespread alarm, for it showed that disaffection was not confined to any one tribe, but that the savages everywhere were ready to rise. It was thought best to make overtures at once to the Nipmucks. Possibly a treaty might be made, such as had just been carried through with the Narragansetts.
It was reported by a messenger sent to confer with them that the elderly men of the tribe were disposed to peace, but that the young men were vaporing and insolent. Captain Hutchinson was sent to conclude a treaty if possible. Escorted by a troop of twenty horsemen under Captain Wheeler, and by some of the chief men of Brookfield, he rode to the rendezvous, an open plain some three miles from the town. The Indians did not appear as agreed, and so little were the whites from anticipating treachery that they set out for the Nipmucks' village, to negotiate there. Captain Hutchinson had a farm hereabout, and many of the savages had done work for him, so that he was well known to them. Straggling along in careless fashion, as men in a friend's country, they came after a little to a place where the road passed beside a thick swamp on the one side, while on the other rose a steep wooded hill. The sharp crack of muskets broke the silence ; the party were ambushed. Eight men were killed, several more were wounded, Hutchinson himself fatally. Wheeler, who was in command, was shot through the body, and his horse shot dead under him. His son, who was also wounded, dismounted and placed him on his own horse, succeeding in catching one who was riderless, and both managed to escape. The remnant of the party made their way back to Brookfield, avoiding as by a miracle the savages who lay ambushed all along the road which they had come. Among the party were two Praying Indians, who knew every foot of the land, and under their guidance they took a by-path, which brought them to the town by a way which their pursuers had not reckoned on.
Philip had reached the Nipmucks the day before.
The survivors of the ambush lost no time, the instant they reached Brookfield, in taking refuge in the inn, the strongest house in the place. They were joined immediately by all the inhabitants. It was a small settlement of some twenty houses only, so that there was room for all.
Captain Wheeler, disabled by his wound, appointed three men as a committee of safety. Two messengers were at once despatched on horseback to carry news of their extremity to the nearest settlements, but before they could get away from the town they met the savages advancing on it, were fired upon, and were glad to get back and join their friends without loss of life or limb. That night one of these men, as he was rashly looking out of the garret window, was slain by a bullet from the watchful enemy.
Certainly the situation was one to stir the blood of the listener. Here in the inn were huddled together the townspeople ; without were the savages, pouring in volley after volley of shot, that came through the walls like hail, and shouting as if they would have swallowed them up alive. In one part of the house were stretched the wounded, in another were gathered the women and children, while ever on their guard here and there hurried the men, only some twenty-six in number, who were to hold the house against the attacking savages. Without were the crackling flames and the smoke of the burning dwellings from which they had fled. It was not safe to appear at a window, far less to venture out. One rash man, " adventuring out of the house wherein we were to his father's house not far from it, to fetch more goods out of it, was caught by those cruel enemies, who cut off his head, kicking it about like a football, and then, putting it upon a pole, they set it up before the door of his father's house in our sight."
"The night following," says Captain Wheeler, " they did roar against us like so many wild bulls, sending in their shot amongst us until the moon rising, which was about three of the clock : at which time they attempted to fire our house by hay and other combustible matter, which they brought to one corner of the house and set it on fire. Whereupon some of our company were necessitated to expose themselves to very great danger to put it out. Simon Davis, one of the three appointed by myself as captain to supply my place by reason of my wounds, as aforesaid, he being of a lively spirit encouraged the soldiers within the house to fire upon the Indians : and also those that adventured out to put out the fire, which began to rage and kindle upon the house side, with these and the like words that God is with us, and fights for us, and will deliver us out of the hands of these heathen, which expressions of his the Indians hearing, they shouted and scoffed, saying now see how your God will deliver you, sending in many shot while our men were putting out the fire. But the Lord of Hosts wrought very graciously for us. We had but two men wounded in that attempt of theirs, but we apprehended that we killed divers of our enemies."
Ephraim Curtis, one of the messengers who had
attempted to carry news of their situation to their countrymen, but had been
driven back, now made a second attempt, this time on foot. He was again driven
back, but making a third venture he got away in the gray light just before
morning, crawling on the ground at full length ; and, eluding the vigilance of
the enemy, passed their lines and made all haste to Marlborough. His comrades,
knowing nothing as
to whether he had succeeded or had been killed, set themselves to await whatever fate Providence might send them. If they were to perish, it would not be until they had sent many a redskin to the next world before them.
The light of the second morning came, but there was no lull in the fighting. The savages continued to pour in shot upon the garrison. They collected in great numbers at the church, only a gunshot distant, and scoffed and blasphemed and joined together in a hideous attempt at song in mockery of hymns. Doubtless there were among them renegade Praying Indians, who were rejoicing at the removal of all restraint. Upon this ribald crew the garrison, filled with righteous wrath, fired vigorously, and presently had the satisfaction of seeing them carrying off several dead and wounded.
All that afternoon they could see fresh bands coming in to swell the numbers of their foes. The attempts to burn their house, too, were redoubled.
Arrows to which were tied flaming rags dipped in brimstone were shot upon the roof. The men within cut away the shingles under them and put out the blaze. The enemy a second time piled hay and flax against the walls, which they set on fire, crowding in great numbers about the door to shoot down any who came out, or to attempt to force it in and enter
ivith a rush should it be opened. In these straits the garrison broke down the house wall and put out the flames from within. A ball of wild fire also was shot into the garret, which fell in a great mass of tow, but it was fortunately seen in time and the mischief prevented.
Their water now gave out, and one Thomas Wilson ventured out in the yard to get more, but " was shot by the enemy in the upper jaw and in the neck, the anguish of which wound was such at the first that he cried out with a great noise, by reason whereof the Indians hearing him rejoiced and triumphed at it : but his wound was healed in a short time, praised be God."
On Wednesday, the third day of the siege, the Indians barricaded the end of the meeting-house and the barn belonging to the garrison with boards, hay, etc., to protect themselves from the bullets of the settlers.
All that day from these close quarters they kept up an incessant fire. One of their bullets made its way through a crevice in the walls and slew a man. Finding, however, that they would never succeed in this way, and that their only hope was in burning the house, they now brought forward a cart which they had been constructing. Its running gear was a barrel, its tongue a number of long poles spliced to
gether ; it was piled with hemp, flax, hay, and other inflammable materials, and when in full blaze was backed against the house. Nothing, it now seemed, could save them. But at the moment when they were about to give up hope, Heaven came to their aid. A heavy shower fell and put out the flames.
Two days and a night had passed since their messenger had got away. Whether he had failed or succeeded they had no means of knowing. But as the darkness of another night was about them, imagine their excitement when they heard the tramp of a column of horsemen.
Major Willard had a commission to visit certain Indian bands to the westward who were believed to be disaffected, and was on the way to them with his men when word reached him that Brookfield was attacked. Turning at once from his errand, he made a forced march of thirty miles, and, passing through the outlying bands of savages, reached the garrison an hour after dark. His coming was providential indeed. The help that their messenger brought from Boston did not reach them until three days later—days in which, had they been obliged to carry on the unequal contest unaided, they would surely have perished.
Major Willard was at this time seventy years of age. His flying march to the relief of Brookfield through thirty miles of primeval forest must stand as one of the most gallant acts of the war. His success in reaching the garrison unnoticed was marvellous, for two miles out from the scene of action were Indian scouts, and on his road was a party of one hundred men stationed to cut off any relief parties. The scouts on the pickets fired their muskets, but from some cause they were unheard. Whether it was that the savages were carousing, or whether they did not anticipate succor so speedily and were not on the alert, the party passed them in safety. No doubt, to the seventy men, women, and children, it seemed as if the Almighty had stretched forth his arm in their behalf.
Major Willard's men, as they marched up to the garrison, had no means of knowing by whom it was occupied. They concluded that the Indians had massacred its defenders and were in possession, and were about to fire upon it when Captain Wheeler, hearing the officer's words of command, and finding that they were a relief party,ordered the trumpet to be sounded, and all hurried into the garrison, after having sheltered their horses in a little yard before the house.
A volley was poured in on them when they were discovered, but beyond injuring some of the horses no damage was done, and the Indians, after firing such buildings as were yet standing, at once took to flight. It was believed that they lost at least eighty men.
In the midst of so much treachery on the part of friendly Indians it is refreshing to know that two at least were staunch in this time of trouble. " These are to certify that Joseph and Sampson, Indians, that were our guides in the Nipmuck country, behaved themselves courageously and faithfully, and conducted our distressed company in the best way from the swamp, where we were wounded and divers slain, unto the town of Brookfield ; and all of the time of our being with them in the inn of Brookfield, when the enemy attacked us, those two Indians behaved themselves as honest and stout men. Witness my hand the 2Oth of August, 1675.
" Thomas Wheeler."
And it is melancholy to know that afterward they too joined the enemy, though for this they came to speedy grief. Sampson was slain in fight, and Joseph, taken prisoner, Avas sold as a slave to Jamaica.
In the course of a day or two relief parties began to pour into Brookfield. From Boston came men under Captains Lathrop, Beers, and Mosely ; from Hartford and Springfield came others under Major Treat ; so that there was now a goodly force in the field. The Nipmucks did not wait to meet them, and although parties scoured the woods for twenty miles about they found no trace of the enemy. They had moved westward toward the settlements at Hadley, everywhere as they went spreading the seeds of disaffection.
About Hadley the Indians had promised fidelity. They had even offered themselves to go and fight Philip. The English, at first believing their protestations, armed them, but their eyes were opened to their real character by the faithful Mohegans. These declared that it was useless to go upon the war-path when these men were along, for they would always shout at a critical moment, or in some other way contrive to give the enemy warning. So it was ordered that they bring in and give up their arms. That night they left their village in a body—it was a stockaded group of wigwams—and fled. In the morning the English pursued, and overtaking them in a swamp ten miles distant a skirmish followed, in which some thirty savages and nine white men were slain ; of the slain, each man came from a different town. Getting behind trees, the settlers fought the Indians in their own fashion. The tribe, however, made good their escape to Philip, and a week after took their revenge on Deerfield, nearly the whole of which they laid in ashes. The same day, too, they attacked Hadley itself. It was the Lord's day, and the people were all in the meeting-house. According to
the custom of those troublous times, the men were armed, but the alarm was sudden and unlooked-for, and in the confusion it seemed as if the town might be lost. Suddenly, in their midst the startled English saw a man of commanding presence, whom they had never laid eyes on before. Venerable in appearance, and dressed in the style of a past generation, he assumed command, and all at once obeyed. Under his directions they were so marshalled and disposed that the savages were speedily beaten off. When they turned to congratulate one another, and to look for their leader, he was not to be seen. He had disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared. The superstitious believed that it was a messenger sent direct from Heaven to their aid. Not until years after was it known that it was Col. Goffc, one of the regicide judges who had condemned Charles I., and who had been living in hiding among them. At the sound of war his martial spirit roused within him once again, and he rushed forth from his hiding to lead them to victory.
A few days after the savages fell upon Squakeag, another town fifteen miles up the river beyond Deerfield, and that met the same fate, while some nine or ten of the settlers who did not succeed in reaching the garrison-house in time were slain.
At Hadley the fate of the two towns was not known. This was the military headquarters of the region, and here the troops were stationed. The towns were known to be weak, however, and fearing that the savages might fall upon them, Captain Beers was dispatched with thirty-six men and provisions to strengthen the garrisons.
The Indian scouts soon perceived the approach of his relief party. Before they reached their destination they were ambushed. Though the English fought bravely, they could do little against an unseen foe. Out of the low bushes of a swamp came puffs of smoke, and balls that went straight to their mark. Beers, with twenty of his men, was slain ; the rest fled back on their path to Hadley with the direful news. Twelve came in together that day, another at night, the next day one who had been taken prisoner and escaped. Six days after the last survivor appeared. He had been lost in the woods all that time, was nearly dead with hunger, and his reason had left him.
Two days after the encounter Major Treat, with a hundred men, went up to bring off the still beleaguered garrison. When they came to the spot where the fight had taken place, they found a ghastly sight ;—the heads of their comrades stuck on poles. One body was suspended by a chain hooked under the lower jaw. They, who knew the savage cruelty of the red men, feared only too truly that this man had been a prisoner and had been hung up thus alive. Down-hearted at these tokens of woe, the party made no attempt to find the savages, but with the rescued garrison made their way back to Hadley with all speed.
A letter from the minister in Northampton, giving an account of all these troubles, is contained in one of the histories of this time. Like all ministers and devout persons of the day, he believed that these massacres were sent by Heaven as a direct punishment for their sins, and he was earnest to discover what especial sins had thus provoked the divine wrath. He ends the letter, which is written to a brother clergyman in Boston, exhorting him to urge upon the governor active measures to check the depravity of the day. " Many sins," he says, " are grown so in fashion that it becomes a question whether they be sins or no. I desire you would especially mention that intollerable pride in cloathes and hair, the tolerations of so many taverns, especially in Boston, and suffering home dwellers to lye tipling in them."
A greater blow than any that had so far befallen this part of the country was now to come. When Deerfield was abandoned after the attack on it, some three thousand bushels of grain, as was estimated, were left behind in stacks. It was now the middle of September : winter would soon be upon them. This was too valuable to be lost ; at the same time there could be brought away many household articles which had been left in the flight. Captain Lothrop, with a party of eighty men, was sent to effect the removal. The heavily loaded carts were trundling slowly homeward through the forest ; close at hand was a hill known as the Sugar Loaf. The men were careless beyond reason. Some had even madly put their guns in the carts and were gathering the wild grapes that hung in clusters about them. No scouts searched the woods before them. They had learned nothing from the events of the past few weeks. The same scene was re-enacted. They were ambushed. Of the eighty men, but nine were alive at night. They fought bravely while life lasted. They took each man to his tree, and met the savages in their own fashion. But that method of warfare availed nothing in the face of the force that now attacked them. They were surrounded and shot down. It was believed that there were more than a thousand Indians in the action. The slain were the picked men of the county—the Flower of Essex, they were called—and that day's work brought sorrow into many a home. '' It was a black and fatal day, wherein there were eight persons made widows and six-and-twenty children made fatherless, all in one little plantation and in one day, and above sixty persons buried in one dreadful grave."
Captain Mosely, who was not far distant on a scouting expedition, came to their rescue with seventy men, but too late to save their lives. He was attacked by the whole force, but, disposing his men with great skill, fought the savages all day long. Mosely wore a wig, and when he went into fight hung it on a bush or put it in his pocket. The Indians had never seen a man who could take off and put on his scalp, and in his first action, a month before this, they were panic-stricken at the sight, and cried out, " Umh ! Umh ! me no straw merre fight Engismon, got two hed, got two hed ; if me cut off un hed, he got nuder, a put on better as dis.
Now, however, they had no such fears. They taunted him, crying out, " Come, Mosely, you want Indians ; here is Indians enough for you."
He charged them several times, but they would not meet him in the open. Almost never, in the whole war, did the savages stand up and fight. They skulked behind fences and barns, and from hidden ambushes slew their men, but they never fairly faced their foe. Mosely held his ground all day, and when at nightfall Major Treat with a hundred whites and Mohegans hurried to his relief, the Indians fled. The troops went back that night to Deerfield. The next morning they came again to the scene of action and buried the dead. What was their astonishment, as they were busy at this solemn work, to see one of the slain rise and come staggering toward them. He had been shot in the head, and scalped and stripped of his clothes by the savages, and had lain all night naked in the open air. Strange as it may seem, he survived the treatment he had received, and lived for years afterward. " May he be," says the pious chronicler who records his escape, "to the friends and relations of the rest of the slain, an emblem of their more perfect resurrection at the last day to receive their crowns among the rest of the martyrs that have laid down and ventured their lives as a testimony to the truth of their religion as well as love to their country."
By these three or four encounters the savages
were greatly emboldened. They were now ready to attack towns which before this
they would never have dared approach. The garrison stationed at Deerfield, the
next day beheld them across the river flaunting in the clothes of the victims
of the fray. There were but twenty-seven men in the guard, and it may be well
believed that their feelings were not of the cheerfullest when they saw these
hundreds approaching. Their captain was equal to the occasion, however. He
ordered his trumpeter to sound a summons as if he had another troop close at
hand, and the savages turned off and left them unassaulted. CHAPTER VIII.
Public Feeling Against the Indians.
State of public feeling—Indiscriminate hatred of Indians—Occurrences at Boston—A day of fasting ordered—Springfield attacked, and nearly destroyed by the torch—Hatfield attacked, but the savages driven off with slaughter.
Throughout all New England now the Indians were held as so many devils inspired by Satan, as so many wild and cruel beasts that should be shot down without mercy. Who could expect the people to have thought otherwise ? This was no honest, manly foe who met them face to face, but a cowardly craven who fired upon them from ambushes, and who treated women and children with as much barbarity as they did the men. As a slight example of the state of feeling, we give a little account of some events that took place at Boston. Public feeling was so excited that to be an Indian, whether innocent or guilty, was enough to condemn a man.
About the end of. August Captain Mosely sent up to Boston some fifteen prisoners, tied neck and neck. These were Praying Indians, and the reason for their arrest was that they had been accused by one David, a fellow-savage, of having taken part in the murder of seven white people at Lancaster a week before. In ordinary times, the mere manner in which David "s evidence was obtained would have discredited it. Taken by a scouting party, he was tied to a tree by Mosely, who had not laid aside his old freebooter's habits, and with five or six muskets at his head was told to confess or he was a dead man. To save his life he mentioned the names of eleven men whom he said he had heard spoken of as present at the murder, though he himself was not there, and knew nothing about it. The men were put on their trial, and so great and indiscriminating was the popular feeling against the natives that several of them were condemned. Mr. Eliot and Captain Gookin, a magistrate whose duties were especially concerned with the Indians, argued in their behalf, but the popular rage was so great against the latter, that he declared from the bench that he was afraid to walk the streets. The magistrates, however, were more just than the mob, and on one pretext after another, one and two at a time, most of the Indians were set free.
On the night of the tenth of September, about forty men, some of good standing, met together. Perceiving that the prisoners would soon be all at liberty and free from their vengeance, they intended to call in the services of Judge Lynch to make an end of them. They came to the house of Captain Oliver, who had been loud in his denunciations when the men were on trial, and proposed that he should be their leader, and that they should break open the prison and hang them forthwith. Captain Oliver, whatever his private views may have been, had no mind to appear as the leader of a mob. He took his cane and thoroughly cudgelled them, so that the company broke up in disorder, and a great disgrace was saved the town. One man, however, was condemned to die. With a rope around his neck, he was led to the gallows. When he reached the spot where he was to suffer, the mob, throwing one end of the rope over a post, " hoisted him up like a dog three or four times, he being yet half alive and half dead. Then came an Indian, a friend of his, and with his knife made a hole in his breast to his heart, and sucked out his heart's blood. Being asked his reason therefor, his answer was, ' Umh, umh, nu me stronger as I was before. Me be so strong as me and he too. He be ver strong man fore he die.' Thus with one dog-like death (good enough) of one poor heathen was the people's rage laid in some measure."
A little later in the autumn some twenty Indians were arrested, accused of burning a stack of hay at Chelmsford. They were tried at the general court at Boston. Three were condemned to be sold into slavery, the others were ordered sent back to their town. These men were all Praying Indians. Escorted by a file of soldiers under Captain Richardson, they were marching homeward. Their way lay through Woburn, and it so happened that it was muster day. Captain Richardson halted on arriving, and showed to the officers in command his orders, on which they strictly charged their men, not only that no musket should be discharged as the Indians marched by, but that no man speak to them. Nevertheless, a young fellow named Knight shot one of these Indians stone dead as he passed near him. He was presently arrested and. tried, but the jury refused to find him guilty, though they were sent out several times by the judges, who were greatly dissatisfied. And so strong was the popular feeling against the savages that the murderer escaped scot free.
Here is another extract picturing the times : " September loth, eight Indians came to Boston from Ninnicroft, on an embassy, having a certificate from Captain Smith, an Englishman that hath a large estate thereabouts. They despatched their business, and had another pass, tied at the end of a stick, that Englishmen may see it afar off. They were going out of the town a back way ; two men met them and seized on him that had the pass. These two men were brothers, and this Indian had been among King Philip's Indians, and these two men swore in court that that was the man that killed their brother ; they knew him, whereupon two days after his trial and confession he was hanged like the other."
About the middle of September the Massachusetts authorities sent a party to Ninnicroft, a Narragansett sachem, to require his presence in Boston to treat regarding the giving up the squaw sachem, Wetamoo, who had taken refuge with him. A party from the Connecticut colony had shortly before visited Ninnicroft, or Ninnigret, as he was generally called, to ratify the old peace and to demand the delivery of the sachem. They do not seem to have been successful in getting possession of Wetamoo, although they made a treaty. They offered the Narragansetts, for every Indian's scalp of the Wampanoags they brought, " a coat, that is two yards of trucking cloth, worth five shillings per yard here ; and for every one they bring alive, two coats ; for King jPhilip's head, twenty coats, and if taken alive, forty coats." But, as we have said, they did not get the squaw sachem, and so the summons was issued out of Boston.
Ninnigret sent word that he would come, provided he might be assured of his safe return—the fate of one of his ambassadors shortly before was probably in his mind—and Captain Smith offered himself, wife, children, and estate as hostages.
Upon this, Ninnigret decided to send his eldest son, as he was himself well advanced in years, and he with others came to Roxbury, whence they sent word to Boston of their arrival. Two captains were despatched to meet them with six files of musketeers, who on coming up opened to the right and left and gave them three volleys as a salute. Then they were escorted to the city, where the Council sat every day during their visit, and where finally a treaty was made with them by which they bound themselves to deliver Wetamoo within a specified time in Boston. Then they were dismissed, and departed in safety. But they did not deliver up the squaw sachem, and the consequences of this we shall see a little further on.
At the same time the Council issued a proclamation declaring October 7th a day of solemn fast over all the colony, which, we are told, " was performed with a very great show of outward penitence, and, no question, with much inward affection by very many: the Governour himself beginning the Duty of the Day with a most heavenly prayer." " Yet was attended with awfull testimonyes of divine displeasure. The very next day after this fast was agreed upon by those in civill authority was that dismal blow when Captain Lathrop and his company were slaughtered, whereby the heathen were wonderfully animated. And that very day when this fast was kept three persons were killed by the Indians at Dover, one of them going from the publick worship. Also that very day, at the close of it, the sad tidings of Springfield's calamity came to us here in Boston. And inasmuch as the news came at the conclusion of a day of humiliation, surely the solemn voice of God to New England is still as formerly ;— Praying without reforming will not do."
The General Court being convened at Boston a week later, a committee was appointed by the action of both houses, " in order to a reformation of those evils which have provoked the Lord to bring a sword upon us, and to withdraw from our armies from time to time." The clergy were called upon for their assistance in the matter, and all with one voice agreed that the following sins must be done away with before success could be expected to attend their arms. They decided :
" That some effectual course should be taken for the suppression of those proud excesses in apparel, hair, &c., which many, yea and the poorer sort as well as others, are shamefully guilty of. "That a due testimony should be borne against such as are false worshippers, especially such as are idolatrous Quakers, who set up altars against the Lord's altars, yea who set up a Christ whom the Scriptures know not.
"That whereas excess in drinking is become a common sin, means should be used to prevent an unnecessary multiplication of ordinaries, and to keep town dwellers from frequenting taverns : and that whereas swearing hath been frequently heard, they that hear another swear profanely and do not complain of it to Authority shall be punished for that concealment.
" Also that some further care should be taken that the fourth and fifth commandments be better observed than formerly : and that there may be no more such oppression either by merchants or day laborers as heretofore hath been : and that the Indian trading houses, whereby the heathen have been debauched and scandalized against religion be suppressed.
" And that more care should be taken respecting the rising generation than formerly hath been, that they might be brought under the discipline of Christ, &c.
" These things were unanimously consented to."
The court of Plymouth about the same time also passed resolutions which seem to have been of a more practical nature. The court ordered, " That during the time of public danger every one that comes to meeting on the Lord's day bring his arms with him, and furnished with at least six charges of powder and shot until further order shall be given, under the penalty of two shillings for every such defect. Also ordered, that whosoever shall shoot off any gun on any necessary occasion, or at any game whatsoever, except at an Indian or a wolf, shall forfeit five shillings for every such shot."
But we must leave Plymouth, where ammunition is scarce, and Boston, where the court are attempting to put an end to the war by reforming extravagance in dress and by passing a resolution against those differing from them in religious belief, and go back to Western Massachusetts, where, in the face of danger, resolution of a different and a sterner character was to decide the fate of the colonists.
The Indians about Springfield had been particularly friendly with the settlers, and the utmost confidence was placed in their fidelity. They had given not only promises, but hostages, which were held at Hartford. But their friendship was not proof against the seductions of men of their own race, and the brilliant prospects which their late successes held out. A few weeks more of such good fortune as had attended the Indian arms, and there would not be a town left standing in Western Massachusetts. The prospect was too inviting. They listened to Philip's overtures, and having successfully aided their hostages to escape from Hartford, secretly admitted three hundred Nipmuck warriors into their fort to assist them to destroy Springfield. This fort was about a mile above the town.
By good fortune the plot was revealed by a friendly Indian, one Toto, to the people of Windsor, some twenty miles down the Connecticut. A messenger was at once despatched with all speed from Windsor to give Springfield notice of the coming danger. The frightened people took refuge instantly in the garrison - houses, where they waited through the night expecting every moment to see the darkness lightened by the flames of their deserted dwellings. But the night wore away without alarm. In the morning Lieutenant Cooper, who was in command, and who with many others believed that there was no truth in the reported plot, mounted his horse, and with a companion rode toward the Indian fort to satisfy them that their fears were groundless. He was speedily undeceived in his trust in savage faith. When he came near the fort he found the Indians just issuing forth. They shot both him and his companion. The latter fell dead, but Cooper, although several balls passed through his body, being a man of stout courage, kept his horse until he reached the nearest garrison-house.
Instantly the savages fell upon the town, and it was in a blaze. Every house, except such as were used as garrisons, was fired. These stood unharmed by virtue of the musket-barrels that protruded from their loopholes. But without a leader in the face of such a force of the enemy, the fate of these would have been but a question of time, had not help been at hand. Major Treat came up from Westfield with a hundred men, but there were no boats on his side of the river. Five men slipped out from one of the garrison-houses, and although pursued by twenty Indians, launched a boat before they could be overtaken, and crossed to him. The soldiers filled it, and set out to return, but when it neared the town it was greeted with a volley, and one man was shot through the neck. Their small force would have been massacred had they attempted to land, and the boat went back to the opposite shore.
Major Pynchon, from Hadley, reached the town a little after noon, and the savages fled. It was a dreary home - coming for Major Pynchon. In a letter written that day he says :
"The Lord will have us lie in the dust before him : we that were full are emptied. But it is the Lord, and blessed be his holy name. We came to a lamentable and woful sight—the town in flames, not a house and barn standing, except old Goodman Branche's, while we came to my house ; and then Mr. Glover's, John Hitchcock's, and-Goodman Stewart's burnt down, with barns, corn, and all they had. A few standing above the meeting-house, and then downward all burnt to two garrison-houses at the lower end of the town. My grist mill and corn mill burnt down, with some other houses and barns I had let out to tenants. All Mr. Glover's library burnt, with all his corn, so that he hath none to live on, as well as myself and many more that have not for subsistence.
" They tell me thirty-two houses and the barns belonging to them are burnt, and all the livelihood of their owners, and what more may meet with the same strokes the Lord only knows. Many more had their estates burnt in these houses, so that I believe forty families are utterly destitute of subsistence—the Lord show mercy."
Thirteen houses alone were standing when the flames were extinguished, and the people issued out of their garrisons to see what, if anything, could be saved from the ruins. Among those most afflicted was the minister, Mr. Glover. He had lost not only house, barn, and corn, but his library, which was the apple of his .eye. It had been stored in one of the garrison-houses for some weeks, and had but just been brought home in time to feed the flames.
The pastor of an outlying settlement, cut off from intellectual intercourse with men of his own social standing, the loss of his books was to him as the loss of an entire circle of friends, and we can sympathize with his despair as he stands over the ruins of his house and sees here and there among its ashes the half-charred body of some literary comrade.
The burning of Springfield was a fresh incitement to the savages. Brookfield had been the only settlement in central Massachusetts. That they had destroyed. These towns in Western Massachusetts were one after another falling before them. Deerfield had been deserted ; Northfield had shared the same fate ; Springfield had left but thirteen houses. If they bestirred themselves there would not be an English settlement in that part of the country when the first snows fell. On the gth of October they came upon Hatfield. Early in the day they kindled great fires in the woods to the north of the town. Ten men were sent out as scouts to see what the meaning of the great smoke was. They were ambushed and nine killed ; the other escaped to the town, and the savages followed close at his heels. This time, however, they had reckoned without their host: the town was strongly garrisoned. Captain Mosely defended the middle, Captain Pool one end of the settlement, and Major Appleton the other. The Indians, instead of the easy victory they had counted upon, were beaten off in short order with great slaughter. And so much were they discouraged by their reception that they did not dare to attack again that season any of the towns. Winter was close at hand. Excepting some few straggling bands who lingered about, now and then shooting down unwary victims, the main body withdrew to winter in the Narragansett country. The snows came early, and soon lay " half thigh deep" about the harassed villages. The settlers thanked God for the severity of the winter, which made it impossible for the savages to move about, and gave them time to recover breath ;—and set about stockading their towns. The unemployed soldiers who were stationed among them all the winter no doubt lent a helping hand, and soon a stout wooden wall, reaching eight feet above the ground, surrounded their settlements—a mere wall of paper against a civilized foe, but a strong protection against the savages. The people lived herded together in great discomfort in the few houses that had escaped the flames, but when they thought of their friends lying stiff and stark under the sod, there were many thankful hearts among them for the scanty comforts that were left, and for life itself, the greatest boon of all.
The Narragansett Campaign.
War is declared against the Narragansetts—The army from the three colonies assembles in the dead of winter—It marches against their fort—The assault and capture and the return march—The weather compels inaction—The Narragansetts are driven northward—Lancaster is attacked. The war was now again to pass to the coast settlements, which, since the escape of Philip from the swamp at Pocasset, had heard little or nothing of its alarms. It will be remembered that Ninnigret, one of the Narragansett sachems, had promised, on the visit of his son to Boston in the early autumn, that he would deliver up the squaw sachem, Wetamoo, but that she was not forthcoming. The tribe would not entertain the idea for a moment. So far from delivering any one up, it was known that they had given a refuge to the wives and children of their fighting countrymen, and that wounded Indians in great numbers had fled to them to be recovered of their injuries. Further, it was heard that the tribe had resolved to take the war-path, but that, as win ter was now at hand, they thought it judicious to temporize until spring, when their chances of success would be much stronger. Forewarned is forearmed. The commissioners of the United Colonies, assembled at Boston, determined that they would take time by the forelock. They declared war against the Narragansetts, and voted to raise an army of a thousand men, who should proceed at once to the enemies' country and attack them. Five hundred and twenty-seven of this force were to be raised by Massachusetts; the remainder were to come from Connecticut and Plymouth. Winslow, the governor of Plymouth, was chosen to command the united forces. The historian of the war tells us that he was " every way so well qualified with courage and resolution, as well as prudence and discretion, as might have preferred him to the conduct of a far greater army than ever is like to be gathered together in this part of the world in this or following generations."
The Massachusetts troops marched on the gth of December, and on the I2th were at Wickford. On the way Captain Mosely surprised a party of thirty-six Indians, one of whom, called Peter, turned out to be a prize indeed. Having received some injury from his tribe, he was in the mood to turn traitor. Through his guidance it was, a few days later, that they found the Narragansett fort, which they would hardly have done without his aid.
At Wickford the troops waited until the Plymouth and Connecticut forces should join them. These were on their way. Our old friend Church had been offered a captaincy in the Plymouth contingent, but had declined, preferring to accompany the force as a volunteer. By his general's orders he had hurried forward by water to Smith's garrison at Wickford. to make ready for the arrival of the Plymouth troops. No sooner had he reached there than the old spirit of adventure was alive within him. Making inquiries as to the whereabouts of the savages, he proposed to some of his friends that they should go out on a little expedition that night. They fell in with his idea at once, and though the night was bitterly cold, yet, guided by the light of the moon, they were back at sunrise to meet the general on his arrival, where they presented him with eighteen savages, the result of the night's work.
While waiting for the Connecticut forces to join them, the Massachusetts men had several skirmishes with the enemy, in which they slew several and took some prisoners. On the other hand, believing that the savages would not dare to attack them when they were in such force, they became careless, and several of their men were cut off. Notwithstanding the experiences of the summer, they had not yet all learned that in fighting with savages vigilance must not be relaxed for an instant.
On the eighteenth they had word that the Connecticut men, three hundred whites and a hundred and fifty Mohegans, had reached Narragansett, and they set out to meet them. It was indeed no time for delays. The weather was bitterly cold ; the snow nearly two feet deep ; they had but few provisions. They must fight at once or break up. So they pressed on with all speed, and at five" o'clock that afternoon the little army was united and ready for action. That night, in the midst of a heavy snow, they lay in the open field, for there was no shelter anywhere, a garrison-house about which they had proposed to bivouac, having been surprised and destroyed by the Indians two or three days before. At five o'clock on the morning of Sunday, before day had broken, they set out, with Peter as a guide, for the Narragansett fort. It lay in the present town of South Kingston, Rhode Island, about a mile from the Providence and New London Railroad. In it were the whole tribe, with the exception of Ninnigret, who, too wary to take up arms against the English, had removed to a distance with some of his followers. It was so cold that many had their hands and feet frozen. They did not stop even for a meal, no one having anything to eat except such scanty mouthfuls as he could snatch on the march. At one o'clock they had waded through the snow some fifteen miles, and had come to the edge of the swamp, within which Peter assured them they should find the Narragansetts.
The fort was on an island in the centre of a swamp, inaccessible in summer save by ways known only to the initiated, but now the cold had frozen everything solidly, and the troops marched over it without trouble. Espying savages as they moved forward, the vanguard fired upon them and pursued them vigorously, and almost before they knew it were upon their fort. A volley from behind its walls saluted them, and Davenport, one of the Massachusetts captains, fell mortally wounded with three balls in him. He wore a good suit of buff, and it was supposed that the savages mistook him for the general and picked him out for special aim. His men, with those of the other companies, sprang forward to the assault.
The fort was a work of no mean pretensions. It was enclosed with a high stockade, inside of which was a wall of earth. Outside of the stockade trees had been felled, with their tops pointing outward. There was but one entrance, and that along the trunk of a fallen tree, where they could pass only one at a time. At one corner, however, there was a gap, closed by a single log. Over this the men leaped.
A volley from a block-house flanking it thinned their ranks, and for a time they were driven back. Two other companies were brought up, and the attack was renewed, this time with success. Foot by foot they drove the Indians backward. The Connecticut men, while the attack on the gap was going on, made an attempt at the regular entrance. They swarmed along the fallen tree-trunk, and undismayed by the deaths of their comrades who fell everywhere about them, doggedly pushed on until they had forced their way in.
Church, at the beginning of the battle, was riding in the general's staff. He asked permission to go forward, and with thirty volunteers hurried to take his share in the work. His men passed over the causeway, where he saw many men and several valiant captains lie slain, and forced their way among the wigwams. Espying Captain Gardner, of Salem, in the east end of the fort, he made toward him, but before either could speak, while they were looking one another in the face, Gardner settled down. The blood was running down his cheeks, and when Church lifted his cap and called him by name, he looked up into his face, but uttered never a word, being shot through the head. The bullet had come from his own friends without, who were firing upon the fort, not knowing that a goodly number of the English were inside, and that the savages had been put to rout.
Church now with his men made his way into the swamp to attack the savages, who had been driven out. Though driven out, they had not given up the contest. The Narragansetts were the most warlike and most dreaded of all the New England tribes. Even their old enemies, the Mohegans, stood in awe of them, and fearful lest the English should fail before their valor, did not dare to fight, but " parlied with them in the beginning of the fight, so that they promised to shoot high, which they did, and killed not one Nahigonsik man, except against their wills."
Church with his party soon came to a broad and bloody track where the Indians had carried off their dead and wounded. Along this they hurried. Presently they espied a savage, who held his gun across his chest and beckoned them to come to him. Ordering that no man should shoot, Church hurried forward, hoping to take a prisoner from whom he might learn something of the enemy's plans, but just as he came up to him the man fell dead at the shot of one of the soldiers who had straggled behind and had not heard the order to spare him. There was no time for regrets ; a war-whoop behind them ^howed them that they had gone too far, and that the savages were between them and the fort, and that they stood in great danger from the bullets of their friends. After some trouble Church managed to make his whereabouts known to a sergeant in the fort. Just then he espied a body of Indians stealing fonvard not far from him to make an attack. His men by his order were lying flat upon the ground, and had not been seen. Waiting until the foe had got together a goodly number, he turned to his men and bade them make ready to fire the moment the Indians rose to attack. In an instant the savages leaped to their feet, and Church and his men poured their volley into them. Such a bloody onslaught coming upon them from the rear, where they had no idea of danger, so astonished them that those who were not slain or disabled fled wildly in terror. Some ten or twelve, not knowing whither they were going, rushed into the fort, and finding there a sort of hovel or corn-crib took possession of it. Church's men charged their guns, and by his orders they all rushed forward, calling to some of the other soldiers near by to help them, intending to overset the house. The Narragansetts within saluted them with a murderous fire, and Church was hit in three places. His men wished to carry him away, but he refused to leave until the house was taken. Held up by one of his soldiers, for he was disabled, he urged them on.
At this moment he saw some of the troops setting fire to the wigwams. The taking of a dozen Indians was of no consequence in comparison with this. He had himself carried to the general with all speed, and besought that the flames should be extinguished. The wigwams, he said, were bullet proof, being lined with baskets of corn. In their warmth the wounded could lie at ease. The fort could easily be held against the foe, and it contained food enough to keep them all the winter through. Should it be burned, what would become of the wounded on a march of twelve or eighteen miles in such dreadful weather? Even the uninjured would hardly bear it, and the Plymouth men had not a biscuit each.
The general was inclined to follow his advice, but was overruled by the other officers. It seems probable that there was some jealousy of the high favor in which Church was held. One of the surgeons declared that if the wounded lay there for a day or two they would be so stiff that they could not move ; and seeing the blood flow from Church's wounds declared that he should bleed to death like a dog if he gave such advice. Others held that they could not make good the fort should the Narragansetts return in force. In fine, it was decided that everything should be burned. The torch was applied, and by the glare of the flames that turned to blood the snows that lay so deep about them, the weary and hungry men set out on the homeward path. Since five o'clock that morning they had marched fifteen miles across the open country through snow two feet deep, in intense cold, had fought a bloody battle, and now as night was coming on, tired and famished, they were to retrace their steps, bearing with them their wounded.
Of this dreary march the records give us few particulars ; a heavy snow again fell, and part of the troops, with the general himself, missed their way. At length, to their joy, they got safely back to Smith's garrison at Wickford, where, that night, a ship with provisions came in from Boston.
It was a great but a costly victory. Six captains were slain, and eighty-five men. There were one hundred and seventy wounded ; but of the Narragansetts the loss was much greater. It was thought that, including those slain and those who perished from their wounds and exposure, not far from a thousand men, women, and children were on the death roll. That night began another fall of snow, which was so great that for weeks the country was impassable. Driven from their homes and without food, the sufferings of the surviving Narragansetts were extreme.
For about a month the whole country was blocked with snow. The foot soldiers could not move. The horse made occasional sorties, bringing in grain which the savages had stored away in what they thought safe and trusty receptacles. The Connecticut troops returned home to recruit, but the rest of the army remained on the ground. It was hoped that the lesson the Narragansetts had received would have taught them wisdom, and that they would sue for peace ; but the pride of the tribe had not been broken, they were still the same bold enemy as before. " That insolent young sachem, Canonchet, said they would fight it out to the last man rather than they would become servants to the English."
While the troops lie at Wickford snow-bound, it may not be out of place to tell one or two of the instances of personal daring and adventure which are here and there recorded in the old chronicles. During these very days of waiting, Captain Prentice with his troop of horse was abroad on a scouting expedition, when they met a party of the Indians, " of whom they took two prisoners and killed nine, in which exploit something happened very remarkable : for one W. Dodge, of Salem, riding in company with another friend, they happened to meet two Indians. The said Dodge being better horsed than his friend, made after the foremost, leaving his friend to deal with the hindmost ; but his pistol missed firing. Whereupon the Indian, taking him by the leg, turned him off his horse, and getting upon him was about killing him with his knife, which Dodge by chance espied, and came time enough to rescue his friend and dispatch the Indian lying upon him, and yet overtook the first Indian he was pursuing time enough to do his business also : by that means he did three good offices at once, saved the life of one friend and slew two of his enemies."
On one of the Sundays in the July previous an Indian came to the house of a Mr. Minor in Dorchester. The family were at meeting, and there was no one at home with the two young children but a maid-servant. She had the door barred for safety, and refused to open it when she saw that an Indian stood without. Finding that he could not enter in that way, he started to go around the house to force a window. Seizing two brass kettles, she hastily turned them over the two children, and running up stairs seized and loaded an old musket. Twice the savage fired at her through the window, but happily missed, though a ball struck the kettle under which one of the children lay hidden. Now she took her turn : raising her piece she sent a bullet into his shoulder. Unfortunately it did not disable him, and taking advantage of her musket's being empty, he forced himself forward through the window. Quick as a flash she seized a shovel of red-hot coals from the fire and dashed them in his face. The Indian at this withdrew with great precipitation. He had had enough, and lost no time in quitting the scene of action. A few days after his dead body was found in the woods a few miles away.
On one of the marches into the Indian country it happened after a skirmish that a Mohegan pursued and captured a Narragansett, who had a slight wound in the leg by reason of which he could not run, and brought him before the general, where he was examined. " Some were for torturing of him to bring him to a more ample confession of what he knew concerning his countrymen. Mr. Church, believing that he had been ingenuous in his confession, interceded, and prevailed for his escaping torture. But the army being bound forward on their march, and the Indian's wound somewhat disabling him from travelling, 'twas concluded he should be knocked on the head. Accordingly he was brought before a great fire, and the Mohegan that took him was allowed, as he desired, to be the executioner. Mr. Church, taking no delight in the sport, framed an errand at some distance among the baggage-horses, and when he had gone some ten rods or thereabouts from the fire, the executioner, fetching a blow with his hatchet at the head of the prisoner, he being aware of the blow, dodged aside, and the executioner missing his stroke, the hatchet flew out of his hand and had like to have done execution where it was not designed. The prisoner upon his narrow escape broke from those that held him, and notwithstanding the wound made use of his legs, and happened to run right upon Mr. Church, who laid hold on him, and a close scuffle they had. But the Indian having no clothes on slipped from him and ran again, and Mr. Church pursued the Indian, although being lame there was no great odds in the race, until the Indian stumbled and fell, and they closed again, scuffled and fought pretty smartly until the Indian, by the advantage of his nakedness, slipped from his hold again, and set out on his third race, with Mr. Church close at his heels, endeavoring to lay hold of the hair on his head, which was all the hold that could be taken of him. Running through a swamp that was covered with hollow ice, it made so loud a noise that Mr. Church expected, but in vain, that some of his English friends would hear the noise and come to his assistance. But the Indian happened to run athwart a mighty tree that lay fallen near breast high, where he stopped and cried out aloud for help. Mr. Church being soon upon him again, the Indian seized him fast by the hair of his head and endeavored by twisting to break his neck. But though Mr. Church's wounds had somewhat weakened him, and the Indian a stout fellow, yet he held him well in play, and twisted the Indian's neck as well, and took the advantage of many opportunities, and while they hung by each other's hair gave him notorious bunts in the face with his head. But in the heat of this skuffle they heard the ice break with somebody's coming apace to them, which, when they heard, Church concluded there was help for one or other of them, but was doubtful which of them must now receive the fatal stroke. Anon somebody comes up to them who proves to be the Indian that had first taken the prisoner. Without speaking a word, he felt them out; for 'twas so dark he could not distinguish them by sight ; the one being clothed the other naked, he felt where Mr. Church's hands were fastened in the Netop's hair, and with one blow settled his hatchet in between them and ended the strife. He then spoke to Mr. Church and hugged him in his arms, and thanked him abundantly for catching his prisoner, and cut off the head of his victim and carried it to the camp, and giving an account to the rest of the friend Indians in the camp how Mr. Church had seized his prisoner and so forth, they all joined in a mighty shout."
At length, a little after the middle of January, there came an unusual thaw, such an one as had not visited New England in the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The great heaps of snow disappeared like magic, and the country was once more open. The Connecticut troops returned with all haste, and on the twenty-seventh the army started out in search of the Narragansetts.
They followed hard on their tracks, finding here and there the ashes of some good house. They discovered also that the savages considered horseflesh a delicacy, as at one time they found the heads of some sixty who had fallen victims to their appetite. They overtook their rear guard and slew some seventy, but with the main body they had no encounter. The flying savages would not wait to meet them. When the white troops appeared, they, with unseemly haste, got themselves into swamps where they could not be followed. Finally, in the early part of February, when they had been driven northward to the neighborhood of Marlborough, the troops being straitened for provisions, gave up the pursuit and turned down to Boston.
The savages, relieved from their presence, speedily assumed the offensive. On the loth of February they fell upon Lancaster, a village of some sixty families, close at hand. Mrs. Rowlandson, the wife of the minister, who was then taken prisoner, has written an account of her captivity. A goodly portion of her narrative will be found in the next chapter. Such portions as relate to the mental trials of this truly devout and excellent woman have been omitted as being of a personal nature. Her account of the manner of life of the savages during the five or six months she was in their hands has the freshness to be imparted only by one who has had actual experience of what she speaks.
Mrs. Rowlandson s Narrative.
Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative—The attack on Lar caster—She is carried captive—The melancholy fate of her little daughter — Her varied experiences among the savages—Their habits and customs—Interview with King Philip—Negotiations for her ransom—Her final liberation.
"ON the 10th of February, 1675, the Indians in great numbers came upon Lancaster. Their first coming was about sun-rising ; hearing the noise of some guns, we looked out; several houses were burning, and the smoke ascending to heaven. There were five persons taken in one house ; the father, the mother, and a sucking child they knocked on the head ; the other two they carried away alive. There were two others, who being out of the garrison upon occasion, were set upon ; one was knocked on the head, the other escaped ; another there was, who, running along, was shot and wounded, and fell down ; he begged of them his life, promising them money, but they would not hearken to him, knocked him on the head, stripped him naked, and ripped open his bowels. Another, seeing many of the Indians about his barn, ventured out, but was quickly shot down. There were three others belonging to the same garrison, who were killed ; the Indians getting up on the roof of the barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over their fortification.
" At length they came and beset our own house, and quickly it was the dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw. The house stood upon the edge of a hill ; some of the Indians got behind the hill, others into the barn, and others behind anything that would shelter them ; from all which places they shot against the house, so that the bullets seemed to fly like hail ; and quickly they wounded one man among us, then another, and then a third. About two hours they had been about the house before they prevailed to fire it (which they did wfth flax and hemp which they brought out of the barn, and there being no defence about the house, only two flankers at two opposite corners, and one of them not finished); they fired it once, and one ventured out and quenched it, but they quickly fired it again, and that took. Now is the dreadful hour come, that I have often heard of but now mine eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their lives, others wallowing in their blood, the house on fire over our heads, and the bloody heathen ready to knock us on the head if we stirred out. Now might we hear mothers and children crying out for themselves, and one another, Lord, what shall we do !
" Then I took my children (and one of my sisters hers) to go forth and leave the house ; but as soon as we came to the door, and appearedT the Indians shot so thick that the bullets rattled against the house, as if one had taken an handful of stones and threw them, so that we were forced to give back. We had six stout dogs belonging to our garrison, but none of them would stir, though at another time, if an Indian had come to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him down. But out we must go, the fire increasing, and coming along behind us, roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with their guns, spears, and hatchets, to devour us. No sooner were we out of the house, but my brother-in-law (being before wounded, in defending the house, in or near the throat) fell down dead, whereat the Indians scornfully shouted, and hallooed, and were presently upon him, stripping off his clothes. The bullets flying thick, one went through my side, and the same (as it would seem) through the bowels and hand of my poor child in my arms. One of my elder sister's children (named William) had then his leg broke, which the Indians perceiving, they knocked him on the head. Thus were we butchered by those merciless heathens, standing amazed, with the blood running down to our heels. My elder sister being yet in the house, and seeing those woful sights, the infidels hauling mothers one way and children another, and some wallowing in their blood, and her eldest son telling her that her son William was dead, and myself wounded, she said, 'Lord, let me die with them:' which was no sooner said, but she was struck with a bullet and fell down dead over the threshold. I hope she is reaping the fruit of her good labors, being faithful to the service of God in her place.
" But to return : the Indians laid hold of us, pulling me one way and the children another, and said, ' Come, go along with us.' I told them they would kill me; they answered, if I were willing to go along with them, they would not hurt me.
"Of thirty-seven persons who were in this one house, none escaped either present death, or a bitter captivity, save only one. There were twelve killed, some shot, some stabbed with their spears, some knocked down with their hatchets. There was one who was chopped into the head with a hatchet, and stripped naked, and yet was crawling up and down. It is a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here and some there, like a company of sheep torn by wolves. All of them stripped naked by a company of hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting, and insulting, as if they would have torn our very hearts out ; yet the Lord by his almighty power, preserved a number of us from death, for there were twenty-four of us taken alive and carried captive.
" I had often before this said, that if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them, than taken alive ; but when it came to the trial, my mind changed ; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirits that I chose rather to go along with those ravenous bears, than that morning to end my days.
" Now we must go with those barbarous creatures, with our bodies wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no less than our bodies. About a mile we went that night, up upon a hill within sight of the town, where they intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house, deserted by the English before, for fear of the Indians. I asked them whether I might not lodge in the house that night, to which they answered, What, will you love Englishmen still ? This was the dolefulest night that ever my eyes saw. Oh the roaring and singing, dancing and yelling of those black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively resemblance of hell ; and as miserable was the waste that was there made, of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, lambs, roasting pigs, and fowls (which they had plundered in the town), some roasting, some lying and burning, and some boiling, to feed our merciless enemies, who were joyful enough, though we were disconsolate. To add to the dolefulness of the former day, and the dismalness of the present night, my thoughts ran upon my losses and sad bereaved condition. All was gone, my husband gone (at least separated from me, he being in the Bay; and to add to my grief, the Indians told me they would kill him as he came homeward); my children gone, my relations and friends gone, our house and home, and all our comforts within door and without, all was gone (except my life), and I knew not but the next moment that might go too.
" There remained nothing to me but one poor wounded babe, and it seemed at present worse than death, that it was in such a pitiful condition, bespeaking compassion, and I had no refreshing for it, nor suitable things to revive it.
" But now I must turn my back upon the town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate wilderness, I know not whither. One of the Indians carried my poor wounded babe upon a horse ; it went moaning all along, I shall die, I shall die. I went on foot after it, with sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took it off the horse, and carried it in my arms, till my strength failed, and I fell down with it. Then they set me upon a horse, with my wounded child in my lap, and there being no furniture on the horse s back, as we were going down a steep hill, we both fell over the horse's head, at which they like inhuman creatures laughed, and rejoiced to see it, though I thought we should there have ended our days, overcome with so many difficulties.
" After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on, they stopped ; and now down must I sit in the snow by a little fire, and a few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap, and calling much for water, being now (through the wound) fallen into a violent fever. My own wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce sit down or rise up, yet so it must be, that I must sit all this cold winter night, upon the cold snowy ground, with my sick child in my arms, looking that every hour would be the last of its life, and having no Christian friend near me, either to comfort or help me.
"The morning being come, they prepared to go on their way ; one of the Indians got upon a horse, and they set me up behind him, with my poor sick babe in my lap. A very wearisome and tedious day I had of it ; what with my own wound, and my child being so exceedingly sick, and in a lamentable condition with her wound, it may easily be judged what a poor feeble condition we were in, there being not the least crumb of refreshment that came within either of our mouths from Wednesday night to Saturday night, except only a little cold water. This day in the afternoon, about an hour by sun, we came to the place where they intended, viz., an Indian town called Wenimesset, northward of Quabaug. When we were come, oh the number of pagans (our merciless enemies) that there came about me ! I sat much alone with my poor wounded child in my lap, which moaned night and day, having nothing to revive the body, or cheer the spirits of her ; but instead of that, one Indian would come and tell me one hour, your master will knock your child on the head ; and then a second, and then a third, your master will quickly knock your child on the head.
" This was the comfort I had from them ; miserable comforters were they all. Thus nine days I sat upon my knees, with my babe in my lap, till my flesh was raw. My child being even ready to depart this sorrowful world, they bid me carry it out to another wigwam (I suppose because they would not be troubled with such spectacles), whither I went with a very heavy heart, and down I sat with the picture of death in my lap. In about two hours, in the night, my sweet babe like a lamb, departed this life, on February 18, 1675, it being about six years and five months old. It was nine days from the first wounding in this miserable condition, without any refreshing of one nature or other, except a little cold water. I cannot but take notice, how at another time I could not bear to be in the room where any dead person was, but now the case is changed ; I must, and could lie down by my dead babe all the night after. I have thought since of the wonderful goodness of God to me, in preserving me so in the use of my reason and senses in that distressing time, that I did not use wicked and violent means to end my own miserable life.
" In the morning, when they understood that my child was dead, they sent for me home to my master's wigwam (by my master must be understood Quanopin, who was a Sagamore, and married King Philip's wife's sister ; not that he took me, but I was sold to him by a Narragansett Indian, who took me when I first came out of the garrison). I went to take up my dead child in my arms to carry it with me, but they bade me let it alone—there was no resisting, but go I must and leave it. When I had been a while at my master's wigwam, I took the first opportunity I could get, to go and look after my dead child. When I came, I asked them what they had done with it. They told me it was upon the hill—then they went and shewed me where it was, where I saw the ground was newly djgged, and where they told me they had buried it. There I left that child in the wilderness, committing If, and myself also, in this wilderness condition, to Him who is above all. God having taken away this dear child, I went to see my daughter Mary, who was at this same Indian town, at a wigwam not very Lr off, though we had little liberty or opportunity to see one another ; she was about ten years old, and taken from the door at first by a Praying Indian, and afterwards sold for a gun. When I came in sight, she would fall a-weeping, at which they were provoked, and would not let me come near her, but bid me be gone, which was a heart-cutting word to me. I had one child dead, another in the wilderness, I knew not where ; the third they would not let me come near to. ' Me have ye bereaved of my children. Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin also.' I could not sit still in this condition, but kept walking from one place to another. Whereupon I earnestly entreated the Lord that he would consider my low estate, and shew me a token for good, and if it were His blessed will, some sign and hope of some relief.
"And indeed quickly the Lord answered, in some measure, my poor prayer ; for my son came to me, and asked me how I did ? I had not seen him before, since the destruction of the town ; and I knew not where he was, till I was informed by himself, that he was amongst a smaller parcel of Indians, whose place was about six miles off.
" The next day the Indians returned from Medfield. But before they came to us, oh the outrageous roaring and whooping that there was ! They began their din about a mile before they came to us. By their noise and whooping they signified how many they had destroyed (which was at that time twentythree). Those that were with us, at home, were gathered together as soon as they heard the whooping, and every time that the other went over their number, these at home gave a shout, that the very earth rang again. And thus they continued till those that had been upon the expedition were come up to the Sagamore's wigwam ; and then, oh the hideous insulting and triumphing that there was over some Englishmen's scalps that they had taken and brought with them. I cannot but take notice of the wonderful mercy of God to me in those afflictions, in sending me a Bible. One of the Indians that came from Medfield fight, and had brought some plunder, came to me and asked me if I would have a Bible, for he had got one in his basket. I was glad of it, and asked him if he thought the Indians would let me read ? He answered, yes ; so I took the Bible.
" And now must I part with that little company that I had ? Here I parted from my daughter Mary (whom I never saw again till I saw her in Dorchester, returned from captivity), and from four little cousins and neighbors, some of whom I never saw afterward, the Lord only knows the end of them. Among them also was one poor woman, who came to a sad end, as some of the company told me in my travel ; she having much grief upon her spirits, about her miserable condition, being so near her time, she would be often asking the Indians to let her go home ; they not being willing for that, and yet vexed with her importunity, gathered a great company together about her, and stript her naked, and set her in the midst of them, and when they had sung and danced about her (in their hellish manner) as long as they pleased, they knocked her on her head, and the child in her arms with her. When they had done that, they made a fire and put them both into it, and told the other children that were with them, that if they attempted to go home, they would serve them in like manner. The children said she did not shed one tear, but prayed all the while. But to return to my own journey. We travelled about half a day, or a little more, and came to a desolate place in the wilderness, where there were no wigwams nor inhabitants before. We came about the middle of the afternoon to this place ; cold and wet, snowy, hungry and weary, and no refreshing (for man) but the cold ground to sit on, and our poor Indian cheer.
" My head was light and dizzy (either through hunger or bad lodging, or trouble, or all together), my knees feeble, my body raw by sitting double, night and day, so that I cannot express to man the affliction that lay upon my spirit. At this place we continued about four days.
" The occasion of their moving was the English army's being near, and following them ; for they went as if they had gone for their lives, for some considerable way, and then they made a stop, and chose out some of their stoutest men and sent them back to hold the English army in play whilst the rest escaped ; and then, like Jehu, they marched on furiously, with their old and young ; some carried their old decriped mothers, some carried one and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian upon a bier, but going through a thick wood with him, they were hindered, and could make no haste ; whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried him, one at a time, till we came to Bacquag river. Upon a Friday, a little after noon, we came to this river. When all the company were come up and were gathered together, I thought to count the number of them, but they were so many, and being somewhat in motion, it was beyond my skill. In this travel, because of my wound, I was somewhat favored in my load. I carried only my knittingwork, and two quarts of parched meal. Being very faint, I asked my mistress to give me one spoonful of the meal, but she would not give me a taste. They quickly fell to cutting dry trees, to make rafts to carry them over the river, and soon my turn came to go over. By the advantage of some brush which they had laid upon the raft to sit on, I did not wet my feet (while many of them at the other end were mid-leg deep), which cannot but be acknowledged as a favor of God to my weakened body, it being a very cold time. A certain number of us got over the river that night, but it was the night after the Sabbath before all the company got over. On the Saturday they boiled an old horse's leg which they had found, and so we drank of the broth, as soon as they thought it was ready, and when it was almost all gone they filled it up again.
" The first week of my being among them I hardly ate anything ; the second week I found my stomach grew very faint for want of something, and yet it was very hard to get down their filthy trash ; but the third week they were pleasant and savory to my taste. I was at this time knitting a pair of white cotton stockings for my mistress, and I had not yet wrought upon the Sabbath day. When the Sabbath came, they bade me go to my work ; I told them it was Sabbath day, and desired them to let me rest, and told them I would do as much more to-morrow ; to which they answered me, they would break my face.
" On Monday they set their wigwams on fire, and went away. It was a cold morning, and before us there was a great brook with ice on it ; some waded through it, up to the knees and higher, but others went till they came to a beaver dam, and I among them, where, through the good providence of God, I did not wet my feet. I went along that day, mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my own country and travelling farther into the vast and howling wilderness, and I understood something of Lot's wife's temptation when she looked back. We came that day to a swamp, by the side of which we took up our lodging that night. When we came to the brow of the hill that looked toward the swamp, I thought we had come to a great Indian town. Though there were none but our own company, the Indians appeared as thick as the trees ; it seemed as if there had been a thousand hatchets going at once : if one looked before, there were nothing but Indians ; and behind, nothing but Indians.
" After a restless and hungry night there we had a wearisome time of it the next day. The swamp, by which we lay, was as it were a deep dungeon, and a very high and steep hill before it. Before I got to the top of the hill, I thought that my heart, legs, and all would have broken, and failed me. What through faintness and soreness of body, it was a grievous day of travel to me. As we went along, I saw a place where English cattle had been ; that was comfort to me, such as it was. Quickly after that, we came to an English path, which so took with me, that I thought I could there have freely lain down and died. That day, a little after noon, we came to Squauheag, where the Indians quickly spread themselves over the deserted English fields, gleaning what they could find ; some picked up ears of wheat, that were crickled down, some found ears of Indian corn, some found ground-nuts, and others sheaves of wheat, that were frozen together in the shock, and went to threshing them out. I got two ears of Indian corn, and whilst I did but turn my back, one of them was stolen from me, which much troubled me. There came an Indian to them at that time, with a basket of horse-liver ; I asked him to give me a piece. What, says he, can you eat horseliver ? I told him I would try, if he would give me a piece, which he did, and I laid it on the coals to roast, but before it was half ready, they got half of it away from me ; so that I was forced to take the rest and eat it as it was, with the blood about my mouth, and yet a savory bit it was to me ; for to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. That night we had a mess of wheat for supper.
" On the morrow morning we must go over Connecticut River to meet with King Philip ; two canoes full they had carried over, the next turn myself was to go ; but as my foot was upon the canoe to step in, there was a sudden outcry among them, and I must step back ; and instead of going up the river, I must go four or five miles farther northward. Some of the Indians ran one way and some another. The cause of this rout was, as I thought, their espying some English scouts, who were thereabouts. In this travel about noon, the company made a stop, and sat down, some to eat, and others to rest them. As I sat amongst them, my son Joseph unexpectedly came to me : we asked of each other's welfare, bemoaning our doleful condition, and the change that had come upon us.
"When I was in the canoe, I could not but be amazed at the numerous crew of pagans that were on the bank on the other side. When I came ashore, they gathered all about me, I sitting alone in the midst. I observed they asked one another questions, and laughed, and rejoiced over their gains and victories. Then my heart began to fail, and I fell a-weeping. Then one of them asked me, why I wept ? I could hardly tell what to say, yet I answered, they would kill me. No, said he, none will hurt you. Then came one of them, and gave me two spoonfuls of meal, to comfort me ; and another gave me half a pint of peas, which was more worth than many bushels at another time. Then I went to see King Philip ; he bid me come in, and sit down, and asked me whether I would smoke it ? (a usual compliment nowadays, among saints and sinners). But this no way suited me. For though I had formerly used tobacco, yet I had left it ever since 1 was first taken. It seems to be a bait the devil lays, to make men lose their precious time. I remember, with shame, how formerly, when I had taken two or three pipes, I was perfectly ready for another; such a bewitching thing it is ; but I thank God, He has now given me power over it ; surely there are many who may be better employed, than to sit sucking a stinking tobacco-pipe.
"Now the Indians gathered their forces to go against Northampton. Over night one went about yelling and hooting to give notice of the design. Whereupon they went to boiling of ground-nuts, and parching of corn (as many as had it), for their provision, and in the morning away they went. During my abode in this place, Philip spake to me to make a shirt for his boy, which I did, for which he gave me a shilling ; I offered the money to my master, but he bid me keep it, and with it I bought a piece of horse-flesh. Afterwards he asked me to make a cap for his boy, for which he invited me to dinner ; I went, and he gave me a pancake, about as big as two fingers ; it was made of parched wheat, beaten and fried in bear's grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter food in my life. There was a squaw who spake to me to make a shirt for her sannup, for which she gave me a piece of bear. Another asked me to knit a pair of stockings, for which she gave me a quart of peas. I boiled my peas and bear together, and invited my master and mistress to dinner ; but the proud gossip, because I served them both in one dish, would eat nothing, except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife. " The Indians returning from Northampton, brought with them some horses and sheep, and other things which they had taken ; I desired them that they would carry me to Albany upon one of those horses, and sell me for powder ; for so they had sometimes discoursed. I was utterly hopeless of get ting home on foot, the way that I came. I could hardly bear to think of the many weary steps I had taken to come to this place.
'' But instead of going either to Albany or homeward, we must go five miles up the river, and then go over it. Here we abode a while. that my mistress rises up, and takes up a stick big enough to have killed me, and struck at me with it, but I stepped out, and she struck it into the mat of the wigwam. But while she was pulling it out, I ran to the maid and gave her all my apron, and so that storm went over.
" That night they bid me go out of the wigwam again. My mistress's pappoose was sick, and it died that night ; and there was one benefit in it, that there was more room. I went to a wigwam, and they bid me come in, and gave me a skin to lie upon, and a mess of venison and ground-nuts, which was a choice dish among them. On the morrow they buried the pappoose ; and afterward, both morning and evening, there came a company to mourn and howl with her ; though I confess I could not much condole with them.
" We went on our travel. I had got one handful of ground-nuts for my support that day. They gave me my load, and I went on cheerfully (with the thoughts of going homeward), having my burden more on my back than my spirit. We came to Baquaug River again that day, near which we abode a few days. Sometimes one of them would give me a pipe, another a little tobacco, another a little salt, which I would change for a little victuals. I cannot but think what a wolfish appetite persons have
202 MRS. ROWLANDSON'S NARRATIVE.
in a starving condition ; for many times when they gave me that which was hot, I was so greedy as to burn my mouth, which would trouble me hours after, and yet I quickly did the same again. And after I was thoroughly hungry, I was never again satisfied. For though sometimes it fell out that I got enough, and did eat till I could eat no more, yet I was as unsatisfied as I was when I began.
"We began with wading over Baquaug River. The water was up to our knees, and the stream very swift, and so cold that I thought it would have cut me in sunder I was so weak and feeble, that I reeled as I went along, and thought there I must end my days at last, after my bearing and getting' through so many difficulties. The Indians stood laughing to see me staggering along. Then I sat down to put on my stockings and shoes, with the tears running down my eyes, and many sorrowful thoughts in my heart. But I got up to go along with them. Quickly there came up to us an Indian who informed them that I must go to Wachuset to my master, for there was a letter come from the councils to the Sagamores, about redeeming the captives, and that there would be another in fourteen days, and that I must be there ready. My heart was so heavy before that I could scarce speak, or go in the path ; and yet now so light that I could run. My strength stomed to come again, and to recruit my feeble knees and aching heart ; yet it pleased them to go but one mile that night, and there we stayed two days. In that time came a company of Indians to us, near thirty, all on horseback. My heart skipped within me, thinking they had been Englishmen, at the first sight of them, for they were dressed in English apparel, with hats, white neck-cloths, and sashes about their waists, and ribbons upon their shoulders. But when they came near, there was a vast difference between the lovely faces of Christians and the foul looks of those heathens, which much damped my spirit again.
" We took up our packs, and along we went. But a wearisome day I had of it. As we went along, I saw an Englishman stripped naked, and lying dead upon the ground, but knew not who he was. Then we came to another Indian town, where we stayed all night. In this town there were four English children, captives, and one of them my own sister's. I went to see how she did, and she was well considering her captive condition. I would have tarried that night with her, but they who owned her would not suffer it. Then I went to another wigwam, where they were boiling corn and beans, which was a lovely sight to see, but I could not get a taste thereof. Then I went into another wigwam, where there were two of the English children. The squaw was boiling horse's feet ; she cut me off a little piece, and gave one of the English children a piece also. Being very hungry, I quickly ate up mine ; but the child could not bite it, it was so tough and sinewy, but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing and slabbering of it in the mouth and hand ; then I took it from the child and ate it myself, and savory it was to my taste. Then I went home to my mistress's wigwam, and they told me I disgraced my master with begging, and if I did so any more they would knock me on the head. I told them they had as good do that as starve me to death.
" They said, when we went out, that we must travel to Wachuset this day. But a bitter weary day I had of it ; travelling now three days together, without resting any day between. At last, after many weary steps, I saw Wachuset hills, but many miles off. Then we came to a great swamp, through which we travelled up to our knees in mud and water, which was heavy going to one tired before. Being almost spent, I thought I should sink down at last, and never get out. Going along, having indeed my life, but little spirit, Philip (who was in the company) came up, and took me by the hand, and said, ' Two weeks more and you shall be mistress again.' I asked him if he spake true ? He answered, yes, and quickly you shall come to your master again, who had been gone from us three weeks. After many weary steps, we came to Wachuset, where he was, and glad was I to see him. He asked me when I washed me ? I told him not this month. Then he fetched me some water himself, and bade me wash, and gave me the glass to see how I looked, and bade his squaw give me something to eat. So she gave me a mess of beans and meat and a little ground-nut cake. I was wonderfully revived with this favor showed me.
" My master had three squaws, living sometimes with one, and sometimes with another. One (this old squaw), at whose wigwam I was, and with whom my master had been J:hese three weeks ; another was Wettimore, with whom I had lived and served all this while. A severe and proud dame she was ; bestowing everyday in dressing herself nearly as much time as any of the gentry of the land ; powdering her hair, and painting her face, going with her necklaces, with jewels in her ears, and bracelets upon her hands. When she had dressed herself, her work was to make girdles of wampum and beads. The third squaw was a younger one, by whom he had two pappooses. By that time I was refreshed by the old squaw, Wettimore's maid came to call me home, at which I fell a-weeping. Then the old squaw told
" Going among the wigwams, I went into one, and there found a squaw who showed herself very kind to me, and gave me a piece of bear. I put it into my pocket, and came home, but could not find an opportunity to broil it, for fear they should get it from me ; and there it lay all that day and night. In the morning I went again to the same squaw, who had a kettle of ground-nuts boiling ; I asked her to let me boil my piece of bear in the kettle, which she did, and gave me some ground-nuts to eat with it, and I cannot but think how pleasant it was to me.
" One bitter cold day I could find no room to sit down before the fire ; I went out and could not tell what to do, but I went into another wigwam, where they were all sitting round the fire ; but the squaw laid a skin for me and bade me sit down, and gave me some ground-nuts, and bade me come again, and told me they would buy me if they were able ; and yet they were strangers to me that I never knew before.
" It was upon a Sabbath-day morning, that they prepared for travel. This morning I asked my master whether he would sell me to my husband ? He answered Nux; which did much rejoice my spirit. My mistress, before we went, was gone to the burial of a pappoose, and returning, she found me sitting, and reading my Bible ; she snatched it hastily out of my hand, and threw it out of doors ; I ran out and catched it up, and put it into my pocket, and never let her see it afterward. Then they packed up their things to be gone, and gave me my load. I complained it was too heavy, whereupon she gave me a slap on the face, and bid me be gone.
" But thoughts of my going homeward (for so we bent our course) much cheered my spirit, and made my burden seem light, and almost nothing at all. But the scale was soon turned ; for when we had gone a little way, on a sudden my mistress gave out, she would go no further, but turn back again, and said I must go back again with her, and she called her sannup, and would have had him go back also, but he would not ; but said he would go on, and come to us again in three days. My spirit was upon this (I confess) very impatient, and almost outrageous. I thought I could as well have died as went back. Down I sat, with my heart as full as it could hold, and yet so hungry that I could not sit neither ; but going out to see what I could find, and walking among the trees, I found six acorns and two chestnuts, which were some refreshment to me. Toward night I gathered me some sticks for my own comfort, that I might not lie cold, but when we come to lie down, they bid me go out and lie somewhere else, for they had company, they said, come in, more than their own. I told them I could not tell where to go ; they bid me go and look. I told them if I went to another wigwam, they would be angry and send me home again. Then one of the company drew his sword, and told me he would run me through if I did not go presently. Then was I fain to stoop to this rude fellow, and go out in the night I knew not whither. Mine eyes have seen that fellow afterwards walking up and down in Boston, under the appearance of a friendly Indian, and several others of the like cut. I went to one wigwam, and they told me they had no room. Then I went to another, and they said the same. At last an old Indian bid me come to him, and his squaw gave me some ground-nuts ; she gave me also something to lay under my head, and a good fire we had ; through the good Providence of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night. In the morning another Indian bid me come at night, and he would give me six ground-nuts, which I did. We were at this place and time about two miles from Connecticut River. We went in the morning (to gather ground-nuts) to the river, and went back again at night. I went with a great load at my back (for they, when they went, though but a little way, would carry all their trumpery with them). I told them the skin was off my back, but I had no other comforting answer from them than this, that it would be no matter if my head was off too.
" One cold night, as I lay by the fire, I removed a stick which kept the heat from me ; a squaw moved it down again, at which I looked up, and she threw a handful of ashes in my eyes ; I thought I should have been quite blinded, and never have seen more ; but, lying down, the water ran out of my eyes, and carried the dirt with it, that by the morning I recovered my sight again.
" About this time I began to think that all my hopes of restoration would come to nothing. I thought of the English army, and hoped for their coming, and being retaken by them, but that failed. I hoped to be carried to Albany, as the Indians had discoursed, but that failed also. I thought of being sold to my husband, as my master spake, but instead of that, my master himself was gone and I left behind, so that my spirit was now quite ready to sink.
" About this time they came yelping from Hadley, having there killed three Englishmen, and brought one captive with them, viz., Thomas Read. They all gathered about the poor man, asking him many questions. I desired also to go and see him ; and when I came he was crying bitterly, supposing they would quickly kill him. Whereupon I asked one of them, whether they intended to kill him ? He answered me they would not. He being a little cheered with that, I asked him about the welfare of my husband ; he told me he saw him such a time in the bay, and he was well, but very melancholy. By which I certainly understood (though I suspected it before) that whatsoever the Indians told me respecting him was vanity and lies. Some of them told me he was dead, and they killed him ; some said he was married again, and that the Governor wished him to marry, and told him he should have his choice, and that all persuaded him I was dead. So like were these barbarous creatures to him who was a liar from the beginning.
"As I was sitting once in the wigwam here, Philip's maid came in with the child in her arms, and asked me to give her a piece of my apron, to make a flap for it. I told her I would not ; then my mistress bid me give it, but still I said no. The maid told me if I would not give her a piece, she would tear a piece off it. I told her I would tear her coat then ; with me—to encourage me—that when I wanted victuals I should come to her, and that I should lay in her wigwam. Then I went with the maid, and quickly I came back and lodged there. The squaw laid a mat under me, and a good rug over me—the first time that I had any such kindness showed me. I understood that Wettimore thought that if she should let me go and serve with the old squaw, she should be in danger of losing, not only my service, but the redemption pay also. And I was not a little glad to hear this ; being by it raised in my hopes, that in God's due time there would be an end of this sorrowful hour.
" Then came Tom and Peter with the second letter from the council about the captives. Though they were Indians, I took them by the hand and burst out into tears. The Sagamores met to consult about the captives, and called me to them to inquire how much my husband would give to redeem me. When I came, I sat down among them —as I was wont to do—as their manner is. Then they bade me stand up, and said they were the General Court. They bade me speak what I thought he would give. Now, knowing all that we had was destroyed by the Indians, I was in a great strait. I thought if I should speak of but a little sum it would be slighted, and hinder the matter; if of a great sum, I knew not where it would be procured ; yet at venture, I said twenty pounds, yet desired them to take less ; but they would not hear of that, but sent that message to Boston, that for twenty pounds I should be redeemed. It was a Praying Indian who wrote their letter for them.
" There was another Praying Indian, who told me that he had a brother who would not eat horse, his conscience was so tender and scrupulous, though as large as hell for the destruction of poor Christians. Then he said, he read that Scripture to him, z Kings vi. 25. There was a famine in Samaria, and behold they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for four pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. He expounded this place to his brother, and showed him that it was lawful to eat that in a famine, which is not so at another time. And now, says he, he will eat horse with any Indian of them all. There was another Praying Indian, who, when he had done all the mischief that he could, betrayed his own father into the English's hands, thereby to purchase his own life. Another Praying Indian was at Sudbury fight, though, as he deserved, he was afterwards hanged for it. There was another Praying Indian so wicked and cruel, as to wear a string about his neck strung with Christian fingers. Another Pray
ing Indian, when they went to Sudbury fight, went with them, and his squaw also with him, with her pappoose at her back. Before they went to that fight, they got a company together to powwow. The manner was as follows :
" There was one that kneeled upon a deer skin, with the company round him in a ring, who kneeled, striking upon the ground with their hands, and with sticks, and muttering or humming with their mouths. Besides him who kneeled in the ring, there also stood one with a gun in his hand ; then he on the deer skin made a speech, and all manifested assent to it, and so they did many times together. Then they bid him with the gun go out of the ring, which he did ; but when he was out, they called him in again, but he seemed to make a stand ; then they called the more earnestly, till he returned again. Then they all sang. Then they gave him two guns, in each hand one. And so he on the deer skin began again, and at the end of every sentence in his speaking, they all assented, humming or muttering vith their mouths, and striking upon the ground vith their hands. Then they bid him with the two jjuns go out of the ring again, which he did a little way. Then they called him in again, but he made a stand, so they called him with greater earnestness. But he stood reeling and wavering, as if he knew
not whether he should stand or fall, or which way to go. Then they called him with exceeding great vehemency, all of them, one and another. After a little while, he turned in, staggering as he went, with his arms stretched out, in each hand a gun. As soon as he came in, they all sang and rejoiced exceedingly a while, and then he upon the deer skin made another speech, unto which they all assented in a rejoicing manner. And so they ended their business, and forthwith went to Sudbury fight.
" To my thinking, they went without any scruple but that they should prosper, and gain the victory. And they went out not so rejoicing, but they came home with as great a victory. For they said they had killed two captains and almost a hundred men. One Englishman they brought alive with them, and he said it was too true, for they had made sad work at Sudbury, as indeed it proved. Yet they came home without that rejoicing and triumphing over their victory, which they were wont to show at other times ; but rather like dogs (as they say) which have lost their ears. Yet I could not perceive that it was for their own loss of men ; they said they lost not above five or six, and I missed none, except in one wigwam. When they went, they acted as if the devil had told them that they should gain the victory, and now they acted as if the devil had told them they should have a fall. Whether it were so or no, I cannot tell, but so it proved ; for quickly they began to fall, and so held on that summer, till they came to utter ruin. They came home on a Sabbath-day, and the powwow that kneeled upon the deer skin came home (I may say without any abuse) as black as the devil. When my master came home, he came to me and bid me make a shirt for his pappoose, of a Holland laced pillow-beer. About that time there came an Indian to me, and bid me come to his wigwam at night, and he would give me some pork and groundnuts, which I did, and as I was eating, another Indian said to me, he seems to be your good friend, but he killed two Englishmen at Sudbury, and there lie their clothes behind you. I looked behind me, and there I saw bloody clothes, with bullet-holes in them ; yet the Lord suffered not this wretch to do me any hurt; yea, instead of that, he many times refreshed me ; five or six times did he and his squaw refresh my feeble carcass.
" It was their usual manner to remove, when they had done any mischief, lest they should be found out ; and so they did at this time. We went about three or four miles, and there they built a great wigwam, big enough to hold an hundred Indians, which they did in preparation to a great day of dancing. They would now say among themselves, that the Governor would be so angry for his loss at Sudbury, that he would say no more about the captives, which made me grieve and tremble. My sister being not far from this place, and hearing that I was here, desired her master to let her come and see me, and he was willing to it, and would go with her ; but she being ready first, told him she would go before, and was come within a mile or two of the place ; then he overtook her, and began to rant as if he had been mad, and made her go back again in the rain, so that I never saw her till I saw her in Charlestown. But the Lord requited many of their illdoings, for this Indian, her master, was hanged afterward at Boston. They began now to come from all quarters, against their merry dancing day. Among some of them came one Goodwife Kettle ; I told her my heart was so heavy that it was ready to break. So is mine too, said she, but yet I hope we shall hear some good news shortly. I could hear how earnestly my sister desired to see me, and I earnestly desired to see her ; yet neither of us could get an opportunity. My daughter was now but a mile off, and I had not seen her in nine or ten weeks, as I had not seen my sister since our first taking. I desired them to let me go and see them, yea, I entreated, begged and persuaded them to let me see my daughter ; and yet so hard-hearted were they, that they would not suffer it. They made use of their tyrannical power while they had it, but through the Lord's wonderful mercy, their time was now but short.
" On a Sabbath-day, the sun being about an hour high, in the afternoon, came Mr. John Hoar (the council permitting him, and his own forward spirit inclining him), together with the two forementioned Indians, Tom and Peter, with the third letter from the council. When they came near, I was abroad ; they presently called me in, and bid me sit down and not stir. Then they catched up their guns, and away they ran as if an enemy had been at hand, and the guns went off apace. I manifested some great trouble, and they asked me what was the matter ? I told them I thought they had killed the Englishman (for they had in the mean time told me that an Englishman was come). They said no ; they shot over his horse, and under and before his horse, and they pushed him this way and that way, at their pleasure, showing what they could do. Then they let him come to their wigwams. I begged of them to let me see the Englishman, but they would not ; but there was I, fain to sit their pleasure. In the morning Mr. Hoar invited the Sagamores to dinner ; but when we went to get it ready, we found they had stolen the greatest part of the provision Mr. Hoar had brought ; and we may see the wonderful power of God in that one passage, in that when there was such a number of them together, and so greedy of a little good food, and no English there but Mr. Hoar and myself, that they did not knock us on the head and take what we had ; there being not only some provision, but also trading-cloth, a part of the twenty pounds agreed upon. But instead of doing us any mischief, they seemed to be ashamed of the fact, and said it was Matchit Indians that did it. God showed his power over the heathen in this as he did over the hungry lions when Daniel was cast into the den. Mr. Hoar called them betime to dinner, but they eat but little, they being so busy in dressing themselves and getting ready for their dance, which was carried by eight of them, four men and four squaws, my master and mistress being two. He was dressed in his Holland shirt, with great laces sewed at the tail of it ; he had his silver buttons, his white stockings, his garters hung round with shillings, and had girdles of wampum upon his head and shoulders. She had a kersey coat, covered with girdles of wampum from the loins upward. Her arms, from her elbows to her hands, were covered with bracelets ; there were handfuls of necklaces about her neck, and several sorts of jewels in her ears. She had fine red stockings and white shoes, her hair powdered and her face painted red, that was always before black. And all the dancers were after the same manner. There were two others singing and knocking on the kettle for their music. They kept hopping up and down one after another, with a kettle of water in trie midst, standing warm upon some embers, to drink of when they were dry. They held on till it was almost night, throwing out wampum to the standers-by. At night I asked them again if I should go home ? They all as one said no, except my husband would come for me. When we were lain down, my master went out of the wigwam, and by-and-by sent in an Indian called James the Printer, who told Mr. Hoar that my master would let me go home to-morrow, if he would let him have one pint of liquors. Then Mr. Hoar called his own Indians, Tom and Peter, and bid them all go, and see if he would promise it before them three, and if he would, he should have it, which, he did, and had it. Philip, smelling the business, called me to him, and asked me what I would give him to tell me some good news, and to speak a good word for me, that I might go home to-morrow ? I told him I could not tell what to give him ; I would anything I had, and asked him what he would have. He said, two coats, and twenty shillings in money, half a bushel of seed-corn, and some tobacco. I thanked him for his love, but I knew that good news as well as that crafty fox. My master, after he had his drink, quickly came ranting into the wigwam again, and called for Mr. Hoar, drinking to him, and saying he was a good man, and then again he would say, hang him, rogue. Being almost drunk, he would drink to him, and yet presently say he should be hanged. Then he called for me ; I trembled to hear him, and yet I was fain to go to him ; and he drank to me, showing no incivility. He was the first Indian I saw drunk all the time I was among them. At last his squaw ran out, and he after her, round the wigwam, with his money jingling at his knees, but she escaped him ; but having an old squaw, he ran to her ; and so, through the Lord's mercy, we were no more troubled with him that night. Yet I had not a comfortable night's rest ; for I think I can say I did not sleep for three nights together. The night before the letter came from the council, I could not rest, I was so full of fears and troubles ; yea, at this time I could not rest night nor day. The next night I was overjoyed, Mr. Hoar being come, and that with such good tidings. The third night I was even swallowed up with the thoughts of going home again, and that I must leave my children behind me in the wilderness, so that sleep was now almost departed from mine eyes.
"On Tuesday morning they call their General Court (as they styled it), to consult and determine whether I should go home or no.
" At first they were all against it, except my husband would come for me ; but afterward they assented to it, and seemed to rejoice in it ; some asking me to send them some bread, others some tobacco, others shaking me by the hand, offering me a hood and scarf to ride in—not one moving hand or tongue against it. In my travels an Indian came to me, and told me, if I were willing, he and his squaw would run away, and go home along with me. I told them no ; I was not willing to run away, but desired to wait God's time, that I might go home quietly, and without fear. So I took my leave of them, and in coming along my heart melted into tears, more than all the while I was with them, and I was almost swallowed up with the thoughts that ever I should go home again. About the sun's going down, Mr. Hoar, myself, and the two Indians came to Lancaster, and a solemn sight it was to me. There had I lived many comfortable years among my relations and neighbors ; and now not one Christian to be seen, nor one house left standing. We went on to a farm-house that was yet
standing, where we lay all night ; and a comfortable lodging we had, though nothing but straw to lie on. The Lord preserved us in safety that night, and raised us up again in the morning, and carried us along, so before noon we came to Concord. Now was I full of joy, and yet not without sorrow. Joy, to see such a lovely sight, so many Christians together, and some of them my neighbors. There I met with my brother and my brother-in-law, who asked me if I knew where his wife was ? Poor heart ! he had helped to bury her, and knew it not ; she being shot down by the house, was partly burnt, so that those who were at Boston at the desolation of the town, and came back afterward and buried the dead, did not know her. Yet I was not without sorrow to think how many were looking and longing, and my own children among the rest, to enjoy that deliverance that I had now received, and I did not know whether ever I should see them again. Being recruited with food and raiment, we went to Boston that day, where I met with my dear husband. But the thoughts of our dear children, one being dead and the other we could not tell where, abated our comfort in each other ; I was not before so much hemned in by the merciless and cruel heathen, but now as much with pitiful, tender-hearted, and compassionate Christians. In that poor and beggarly condition I was received in, I was kindly entertained in several houses. So much love I received from several (many of whom I knew not) that I am not capable to declare it. But the Lord knows them all by name ; the Lord reward them sevenfold into their bosoms of his spirituals for their temporals."
Attacks on the Coast Settlements.
Two Praying Indians are sent as spies —They discharge their erranj excellently well—Medfield is surprised—The strange death of Mrs. Adams—Northampton attacked—The ambush near Springfield—Groton is assaulted and burned, but the people successfully defend themselves—Captain Pierce's gallant fight —A crafty savage.
The savages did not complete the destruction of Lancaster. Indeed, their being allowed to find it unprotected was a great blunder on the part of the authorities, for they had distinct notice of their intentions. After the Narragansett fort had been taken the government was very desirous of getting information as to the plans of the Indian tribes, so that they might know what action to take. In this emergency Major Gookin was authorized to select two of the Praying Indians from those confined on Deer Island, in Boston harbor, and to employ them as spies. He chose Job Kattenanit and James Quannapohit, and they, being fully informed by him as to what was wanted, were secretly brought away from Deer Island, and as secretly set free beyond the English lines. They reached the Nipmuck Indians, and theie told the tale which had been arranged for them :—that they had been confined on Deer Island, but having gotten away had come among their fellows to see how matters were with them, that so they might advise the friends they had left, should it be possible for them to escape. Their story was believed, and they were allowed to move about at liberty. James Quannapohit returned in about three weeks. He was much spent with travel, as the snows were deep and he had made his way on snow-shoes, and as, for obvious reasons, after making his escape, he had not loitered. He had not intended to come back so soon, but having found favor in the eyes of Mautampe, a chief sachem, that worthy had informed him that he proposed to take him with him on a visit to Philip. Fearing that he should find himself so far in the Indian country that escape later would be impossible, and dreading also the vengeance of Philip, for he had fought against him at Mount Hope, he seized the first opportunity and made his way back to his English friends.
He brought news of great importance. The savages were in high glee that the English had fought the Narragansetts. With this powerful tribe as allies they considered victory as already in their grasp. They proposed within three weeks to burn Lancaster, and then to attack the other towns.
His tidings as to Lancaster turned out to be correct in every particular, both as to the time and manner of attack ; but for some reason it was disbelieved, and no precaution was taken to insure the safety of the town.
Job stayed behind when James escaped. The latter tried to induce him to leave at the same time, telling him that he would probably be suspected at once as a spy, but Job determined to abide his chances. He had a personal reason of the strongest nature. His three children were among these hostile savages, and he wished to take them back with him. He reached Major Gookin's house late at night February gth. He brought a startling corroboration of James's tidings. The savages, four hundred in number, were already on the march against Lancaster. The very next day they would fall upon it. Major Gookin rose from his bed, and messengers were at once despatched to the adjoining towns, bidding troops march to the aid of the threatened town. Captain Wadsworth, at Marlborough, received the news at daybreak. With forty men he set out instantly. It was but a ten-miles march, but when he reached the town one half was destroyed. He attacked the savages resolutely, and drove them off, relieving one or two beleaguered garrisons, but was not strong enough to pursue or rescue any of the prisoners. Of the varied sufferings of these unfortunates we have heard from Mrs. Rowlandson. The surviving townspeople deserted their homes to seek safety elsewhere, and the empty houses were left to their fate.
Ten days later, on the 2ist of February, Medfield, less than twenty miles from Boston, was attacked. The town was well garrisoned, some hundred and sixty soldiers being stationed there, besides the inhabitants themselves. But they were billeted upon the people, were scattered about throughout the town, and could not muster until great loss had been inflicted. The attack was very cunningly devised. Medfield was in the midst of a vast clearing, and where the forest had been cut away there was a thick growth of young wood springing from the stumps of the fallen trees. The people were eager to own land, and cleared more than they could cultivate. Through this undergrowth the Indians came silently creeping, some four hundred in number, before day dawn. They entered the town undiscovered by the guard stationed at the meetinghouse, and hid themselves behind fences and outbuildings, and behind the corners of the houses themselves. They had brought combustibles with them, and at a given signal they applied the torch at every part of the settlement at once. The startled inmates, roused from sleep, hurried out of doors only to find themselves shot down by a foe hidden in the darkness of the night, while the light of their burning houses made them stand out as so many targets for their aim.
Meantime the guard, the moment the alarm was given, fired off a piece of ordnance that they had three times, that every one might be roused. The Indians probably had reckoned on fighting the townspeople in detail, and seeing that in a few moments some two hundred or more soldiers would be in arms against them, they hastily withdrew across the bridge, which they set on fire to prevent pursuit. In the short time in which they had had possession they had burned forty houses and slain and wounded twenty men.
The people of New England seem never to have learned the lesson that the Indian fought only by stealth. They had lost town after town by surprise, and yet, when the war had been raging some eight months, here are a guard of thirty men who allow a band of four hundred savages to enter the town undiscovered.
From the opposite side of the burning bridge, across which the whites could not follow them, they " vapored and talked high" to the assembled yeomanry. One of the troopers discovered in a cleft of one of the posts of the bridge a paper left by them, which read as follows. It was supposed by some to be the work of a renegade Praying Indian, known as James the Printer. He had acquired his title from the fact that he had helped Eliot in printing his translation of the Bible.
" Know by this paper that the Indians that thou hast provoked to wrath and anger will war this twenty-one years if you will : there are many Indians yet, we come three hundred at this time. You must consider the Indians lost nothing but their life ; you must lose your fair houses and cattle."
The confusion during the first moments of the attack was terrible. " Some," says Hubbard, " were killed as they attempted to fly to their neighbors for shelter ; some were only wounded, and some taken alive and carried captive. In some houses the husband running away with one child, the wife with another, of whom the one was killed, the other escaped." The town lieutenant, Adams by name, was shot dead in his own door. And that night his widow, " being at the minister's house, that stood near the main guard, being upon a bed in a chamber, divers soldiers and commanders being in the room underneath, Captain Jacob having a gun in his hand half bent, with the muzzle upward towards the chamber, he being taking his leave to be gone to his quarters, by some accident the gun fired through and shot floor-mat, and through and through the body of the lieutenant's widow that lay upon the bed, and slew her also. This was a very strange accident, but God is awful in such tremendous dispensations."
It was supposed that the savages who attacked Medfield were Narragansetts on their way back to the Plymouth colony, whence they had been driven after the destruction of the Narragansett fort, for stirring times were now at hand there. Indeed the month of March was one of savage victories all through New England. At Northampton, in Western Massachusetts, they broke through the palisade which the people had built during the winter, and attacked the town. But they found to their cost that it might be more easy to break in through the barricade than to get out again, and that when once inside they were in a trap. The town was well garrisoned, and they were driven off with such slaughter that never after did they attack a palisaded town. Three or four houses outside of the fortifications they destroyed, but those within were uninjured, when they hastily departed.
Near Springfield, too, there was a tragic affair. Eighteen men, riding to church on Sunday, were ambushed by some few savages. At their first fire a man was killed, together with a maid who rode behind him. Panic-stricken, the other men with the guard that accompanied them took to flight, in their terror leaving behind two women and children, whom the savages took alive. There were but seven in this attacking party. That these cowards did not escape the ridicule of their fellow-citizens we find evidence in a couplet composed at the time.
" Seven Indians, and one without a gun,
Caused Captain Nixon and forty men to run."
The next day a party was sent out to rescue the captives, but at their approach the Indians knocked children and mothers on the head and took to flight.
It was among the Eastern settlements, however, that the worst brunt of savage fury was now to fall.
Groton was the first town in Massachusetts to feel it. March 2d the Indians paid it a midnight visit. A few of the houses were rifled and some cattle carried off, but no other damage was done. A week later, however, a party who had been lurking about feasting on stolen poultry and hogs laid in ambush to surprise four men who with two carts had gone out to bring in some hay to the garrison. Two of the men discovered the ambush just in time, and escaped as by a miracle. The other two were attacked. One was taken prisoner, the other slain, and his body, cruelly mangled and hacked, was left in the road naked. The prisoner was doomed to death ; but as they fell to disputing as to the manner of his taking off, his execution was deferred. Making a bold attempt, he succeeded in escaping from them, and, finding his way as best he could to Lancaster, sought safety in the garrison there.
Meantime the people of Groton, warned by these alarms, left their homes and moved, with all their effects, into five garrison-houses. Four of these houses were so situated that their fire would cover the meadows between them, and into these the cattle were turned. The other garrison was a mile away.
On the morning of the I3th the people in one of the four associated garrisons discovered two Indians not far away. Scouts had beaten up the woods for miles around the day before without finding any trace of the foe, and so less than the usual care was being observed. Some were foddering the cattle, others milking. At once, however, at sign of the enemy, every precaution was taken.
Most of the men from one of the garrisons went out to capture the two savages. They on their part did not move until their would-be capturers were close upon them. Then suddenly a band of ambushed Indians rose and fired upon the whites. They fell back in disorder, with one man slain and three wounded. Meantime a second party of savages had risen from concealment and had attacked the house which they had left behind them. It had now in it only women and children. By their manoeuvres the savages had cut off the return of the whites. They were between two fires, and their only chance of safety lay in making their way to the next garrison, which they did at once. The women and children were in great peril, but they managed, while the Indians were breaking in at the back of their fort, to escape at the front, and found refuge with the men. The savages amused them selves the rest of the day by removing the corn and household effects they found in the captured house, and in applying the torch to the town.
That afternoon they tried to capture another garrison by a stratagem similar to that which had been successful in the morning. An old Indian with a sheep, across his back passed near, halting in his pace, as if decrepit. They fired one or two shots at him without success, whereupon several ventured out to take him alive. The watchman opportunely discovered savages hidden close at hand to cut them off, and they returned with speed into the safe quarters they had left.
Forty dwelling-houses were in ashes the next morning, when they marched off, fearing, no doubt, the arrival of a relief party. Besides these there were destroyed many outbuildings and the meetinghouse. When this latter was in flames they called out derisively to the minister, Mr. Willard, " What will you do for a house to pray in, now we have burned your meeting-house." The leader of this band of savages was called One-eyed John. When he was in possession of the captured garrison he called out to Captain Parker in the next house, hailing him as his "old neighbor," and held a lengthy discourse with him on the subject of the war. Every little while he broke forth into blasphemous scoffs at the Christian religion, and then boasted of his prowess. He it was, he declared, who had burned Medfield and Lancaster ; before long, with the five hundred men he had with him, he would burn Cambridge and Concord, Roxbury, and Boston itself. " What me will me do !" he added in his own language. He was a precious villain ; his men dug up the dead from their graves and displayed their remains before the eyes of their beleaguered friends. And it is with somewhat of satisfaction that we hear that in a few months he was marching through the streets of Boston, which he was so confident of burning, with a halter about his neck, wherewith he was hanged at the town's end.
Marlborough was burned this same month, and attacks were made on Sudbury. The people of this latter place determined to assume the offensive. A party of forty set out at night, and coming upon a band of some three hundred Indians about their camp-fires, attacked them with such resolution that thirty of the Indians were killed or wounded, while the attacking party lost not a man.
The events of this March, so far as we have chronicled them, took place in the Massachusetts colony. It was in the sister colony of Plymouth, however, that the hardest fighting took place. It was but natural that the Narragansetts, straggling back to their own land, whence they had been driven, should wreak their vengeance on their nearest neighbors. Plymouth saw the savages within a couple of miles of its own doors. On the I2th of the month they surprised Clark's garrison at Eel River. This was managed very skilfully. A party of ten, under one Tatoson, reaching the neighborhood under cover of night, hid themselves until the men were at church on the Lord's day. Then they fell upon the eleven women and children, and massacred them all, with the exception of a lad whom they left for dead, but who recovered from his hurts. They secured a great booty here : seven muskets, thirty pounds of powder, and ball to correspond, and an hundred and fifty pounds in money. Burning the house, they safely made their escape. It seems probable that there were some special atrocities connected with the massacre which the historians of the time have not recorded, for a little later on, when the government assigned to Captain Church authority to make terms with the Indians, it excepted only King Philip and the perpetrators of this outrage.
A few days after this Warwick was burned, only one house, and that a stone one, being left standing.
Toward the end of the month Plymouth commissioned Captain Michael Pierce, of Scituate. Under him were some sixty-three Englishmen and twenty friendly Indians. Understanding that the savages lay in the neighborhood of Patuxit, he marched thither, and on a Sunday discovered a small party, whom he pursued. The Indians fled before him, but on a sudden he discovered that he had been drawn into a trap. Five hundred red men rose up from their hiding-places and attacked him furiously. At their head was Canonchet, the great sachem of the Narragansetts. Perceiving his danger, Pierce sent a messenger to Providence for aid, but through a fatal stupidity it was not delivered until after the close of the morning exercises, the bearer not wishing to disturb the services. Captain Edmunds, to whom it was sent, exclaimed, "It is now too late," and berated the messenger stoutly. It was indeed too late. When the hurriedly summoned forces reached the scene of the fight there was nothing left for them to do but bury the dead.
Captain Pierce, finding himself taken at such disadvantage, retreated to the bank of a small stream near at hand to prevent being surrounded, and he and his men determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. It was reported that one hundred and forty of the red men bit the dust before the fire of his men was silenced by death. His plan of falling back to the river was unfortunate, for it was here quite narrow, and the savages were in such force that they speedily despatched a bcdy across to attack him from the opposite bank. Thus surrounded, he cast his soldiers into a double circle, and they fought back to back.
It is greatly to the credit of the friendly Indians in this encounter that, though the outlook was hopeless from the start, they nevertheless stood by their allies staunchly. One Amos in especial fought by his commander when wounded, loading his gun for him repeatedly. Then seeing that Captain Pierce was beyond his help, and that he could do nothing more, he saved his own life by artifice. Noticing that some of his assailants had blacked their faces, he discolored his own with some powder, and in the confusion escaped unnoticed.
Another friendly Indian, it is said, saved a white man's life by pretending to pursue him with uplifted tomahawk as if about to strike, until he had got beyond sight of the enemy. One of them, pursued by a Narragansett, took refuge behind a rock. Each man had a loaded piece, and each waited breathlessly for the other to take the offensive. At last our friend bethought himself of a stratagem. Picking up a stick, he raised his hat on it slowly above the level of the rock. The watchful Narragansett sent a bullet through it at once, whereupon his enemy rose and shot him through the head.
Another friendly Indian, pursued by an adversary, took refuge in like fashion behind the roots of a newly upturned tree. The same waiting and watching took place as in the last case, but here our friend quietly bored a hole through the earth that clung to the roots, and taking aim soon despatched his foe.
Of the sixty-three English, fifty-two were slain, and of the twenty Indians, eleven. It was a terrible blow to the colony. The parties who came to their aid were too late to do aught but bury the dead. It was but a sorry comfort at the best to know that they had died like heroes. Some weeks after the bodies of nine more were found at a spot in Cumberland, Rhode Island. They had been tomahawked and scalped. An Indian declared that these nine men were prisoners who had been reserved for torture, that their captors had quarrelled among themselves as to the method of torture, and in the strife they had fallen under the tomahawk.
Two days after, the victorious savages crossed the river and burned Rehoboth, two houses only being left standing—one the garrison, the other a house in a distant part of the town, which by reason of its having a number of black posts set about it was thought by the savages to be garrisoned. In this affair but one man was slain. Robert Beers was an Irishman, a bricklayer. He was full of superstition, and believing that no one could harm him while reading the Bible, he sat himself down calmly with it when the savages approached, instead of going into the garrison. A bullet slew him, and he fell with the Bible in his hands.
Providence, too, felt the savage wrath. The place was nearly deserted when they came upon it, but a few sturdy souls had remained to guard their possessions. When the Indians approached, good old Roger Williams went out alone to meet them, to try and dissuade them from their purpose. He was seventy-seven years of age. " Massachusetts," said he, " can raise thousands of men at this moment, and if you kill them the King of England will supply their place as fast as they fall." " Let them come," replied the savages, " we are ready. But as for you, Brother Williams, you are a good man ; you have been kind to us many years ; not a hair of your head shall be touched." The town was nearly destroyed.
Dark Days in the Colonies.
Marlborough's narrow escape—The capture of Canonchet—His trial and execution—Captain Wadsworth is surprised and slain —Mrs. Ewell's experience—Negotiations for the ransom oj captives—Dissensions among the Indians—The fight at Turner's Falls—A personal narrative—The adventure of Rev. Mr. Atherton—Hatfield is attacked—Hadley assaulted.
These were the days when the fortunes of the colonists were at their lowest ebb. One town after another felt the fury of the savage foe—Wrentham, Maryborough, Plymouth, Andover, Chelmsford, Sudbury, Scituate, Bridgewater, Middleborough— it is a dreary list. Some were more fortunate than others, and beat off the Indians with slight loss. Marlborough, which was attacked upon a Sunday, was saved by a toothache. The people were at service, and the minister, who was preaching, was thus afflicted. At times his sufferings were so great that he could not continue his discourse, but was obliged to walk abroad until the paroxysm subsided. In- one of these excursions he discovered the Indians stealing upon the town. It is safe to say that this was a sight that in those days would make a man forget any ache or pain. The people were warned, and the savages were beaten off.
It was, as we have said, a wretched time for New England, and the records grow monotonous as we read of the surprise of one town after another. In vain was the sturdy resistance. Accounts of the slaughter of helpless women and children, and the torch which turned happy homes to ashes, follow one another in dreary similarity over the page.
One gleam of light, however, there is amid all this darkness. Canonchet, the Narragansett sachem, who was by far the greatest leader of the tribe, had foreseen that if provision were not made for their support they would all starve to death in the coming winter. It would be best, he thought, to plant with corn all the settlements which the whites had deserted in Western Massachusetts. The ground was broken up already, and would be easy of cultivation, while, removed from the seat of the struggle, a part of their force could in comparative safety raise food for the army that was on the war - path. Could his scheme have been carried out, it is probable that the war might have been prolonged. As it was, hunger did as much for the cause of the whites as their own efforts.
Seed - corn was necessary, and Canonchet with fifteen men volunteered to get it from Seekonk, the township next to Mount Hope. It happened that Captain Denison of Connecticut, with some fifty English and eighty friendly Indians, was in the neighborhood, looking about for the enemy. They fell in with one of Canonchet's men, whom they captured and slew, and also with two squaws, from whom they learned that the great sachem was close at hand. At the same moment their scouts returned announcing that they had found some wigwams, in one of which Canonchet was at that very time, amusing himself by a recital of the attack on Captain Pierce a few days before.
They lost no time in moving forward. Canonchet seems to have had some suspicion of danger, for he sent two of his men—he had at the time but seven with him—to the top of the hill to see if aught threatened. The two, finding the English almost upon them, fled at the top of their speed, leaving their chief to his fate. A third man, who was sent to see why they did not report, also looked after his own safety. A fourth was more courageous, and hurrying back to his master bore the news that the English were upon him. Canonchet sprang to his feet and tried to escape by flight, but was too late. He had been seen, and was quickly pursued. His swiftness and unusual anxiety to escape convinced his pursuers that he was the man they wanted. They put forth every effort, and gained upon him. He threw off first his blanket, then a silver-laced coat given him in the old days by the English as evidence of friendship, then his belt of wampum. But all in vain. As a last resort he took to the water, Blackstone River, close at hand, but his foot turning upon a loose stone, he fell and wet his gun, so that it was useless. " Upon which accident he confessed soon after that his heart turned within him, so as he became like as a rotten stick, void of strength ; insomuch as one Monopoide, a Pequod, swiftest of foot, laid hold of him within thirty rod of the river side without his making any resistance ; though he was a very proper man, of goodly stature, and great courage of mind as well as strength of body."
Though captured, the sachem's spirit was as undaunted as ever. The first Englishman to come up was a young fellow some twenty-two years of age. To his interrogations the chief replied contemptuously, "You much child—no understand matters of war—let your brother or your chief come—him I will answer."
His life was offered him if he would become an ally of the English, but he refused. He was reminded of his boast that he would not deliver up so
much as a paring of a Wampanoag's nail when called upon by the English to give up their enemies, and his threat that he would burn them alive in their houses, but his courage did not falter. When told that his sentence was death, he answered that it pleased him well that he should die before his heart was soft and he had said anything unworthy of himself.
"This," says the devout Hubbard, "was the confusion of a damned wretch that had often opened his mind to blaspheme the name of the living God, and those that make profession thereof." To us, who look back without any of the prejudices of those bitter days, he seems the finest character of any savage who figured in the pages of New England history.
" And that all might share in the glory of destroying so great a prince, and to come under the obligation of fidelity to each other, the Pequods shot him, the Mohegans cut off his head and quartered his body, and the Ninnicrafts men made the fire and burned his quarters ; and as a token of their love and fidelity to the English, presented his head to the Council at Hartford."
Captain Denison soon after led another expedition against the savages, in which he met with decided success. He killed or captured nearly eighty, besides destroying large quantities of seedcorn, this last being perhaps a greater loss to the enemy than that of men, for it meant starvation. Captain Denison lost but a single man in this expedition.
But these two successes were soon forgotten in a fresh series of disastrous defeats. A little after the middle of April Sudbury was attacked. A portion of the town was burned, and a relief party from Concord who had come to the help of the place at the first news of its attack was cut off. They were led into an ambush, and while trying to capture a small party of the Indians, were themselves either slain or taken.
Captain Wadsworth with fifty men had been despatched from Boston that day to strengthen the garrison at Marlborough. After his company had reached Marlborough, more than a score of miles from Boston, they learned that the savages were on their way against Sudbury. Taking an insufficient rest, his company, with such men as could be spared from the garrison, at once retraced their steps, for Sudbury was ten miles nearer Boston than Marlborough. A small party of Indians encountered them when about a mile from their destination, and withstood them for a short time, but yielding to their superior numbers retreated into the forest. Wadsworth and his men followed, but when they were well into the woods suddenly found themselves the centre of five hundred yelling demons, who attacked them on all sides. They made their way to the top of a hill close at hand, and for four hours fought resolutely, losing but five men, for the savages had suffered severely in the first hand-to-hand attack, and feared to come to close quarters. As night came on the enemy set fire to the woods to the windward of their position. The leaves were dry as tinder, and a strong wind was blowing. The flames and smoke rolled up upon the devoted band, threatening their instant destruction. Stifled and scorched, they were forced to leave the hill in disorder. The Indians came upon them like so many tigers, and outnumbering them ten to one in the confusion slew nearly all. Wadsworth himself was slain. Some few were taken prisoners, and that night were made to run the gauntlet, and after that were put to death by torture. Some few made their escape to a mill not far away, which was fortified. Its occupants had fled, but the savages did not know that, and forbore to attack it. That night they were rescued by Captain Prentice, who was marching to their relief with a handful of men, and who was himself rescued by Captain Cowell with thirty dragoons just as he was falling into an ambush. A smart skirmish took place, but Captain Cowell routed the attacking party with a loss of five or six men, and the survivors of Wadsworth's force were brought off in safety.
The savages in this battle were bold beyond anything that they had yet shown. Sudbury was not a score of miles from Boston, and they shouted to the English that they should lay in a good store of provisions there before election day, for they proposed to come and feast there with them then. That their taunts did not seem altogether worthy of contempt, we may know from the fact that the Council at this time passed an order that the trained soldiers in each town should be in arms on election day, and keep watch and ward with all diligence.
Scituate was attacked on the same day as Sudbury, but the savages were beaten off after burning a score of houses and barns. One incident of this attack is worth mentioning. A Mrs. Ewell was alone in her house when the savages came, save for a grandchild who was sleeping in its cradle. The house stood at the foot of a hill, down whose sides they came rushing when Mrs. Ewell first saw them. Without waiting an instant, she ran at the top of her speed to the garrison, which was close by. Either she forgot the child, or her plan was to rouse the town before it should be surprised, and so save many lives. The Indians entered the house, but waiting only to seize from the oven the bread she was baking, hurried on to attack the garrison. After a time, when the fight had become general, Mrs. Ewell, watching her chance, stole back to the house. The baby was in his cradle still, asleep and unharmed. Snatching him up, she bore him to safety. A little later the house was burned.
These two victories of Sudbury and Scituate were the last considerable triumphs which the Indians gained in the war. The tide now turned against them. Mrs. Rowlandson in her narrative tells us that they went against Sudbury without a doubt but they should win a great victory. Yet tliey came back without that rejoicing and triumphing which they were wont to show, but rather like dogs which have lost their ears. When they went they acted as if the devil had told them they should have a victory, and now they acted as if the devil had told them they should have a fall.
It was certain that, though they had won such great successes, they were suffering far more from the war than the whites. They could not combine as did the English. The wise councils of Canonchet, that a part should raise food for all, were disregarded. Jealousies broke out among them. The time for planting corn and squash was nearly over, and they had none planted. The whites, too, had imitated their tactics. Parties were ranging their country, attacking them wherever they dared show face, and destroying their cornfields and the newly grown grain. They looked ahead, and they saw starvation. Disease, too, had spread among them. They had gorged themselves on the raw meat of the settlers' cattle, and excess had borne its fruit. With the unreason of their savage nature, they became depressed and discouraged as suddenly as they had before been elated. They showed this by coming in now and then in small bands and surrendering, and by their willingness to treat for the ransom of captives.
Mrs. Rowlandson has made mention, where she narrates her restoration to her friends, of Tom and Peter, the two savages who first carried to her captors the offer of the Council for her redemption. Her unqualified condemnation of Praying Indians seems a little ungracious when the service that these two men did her is taken into account. When it was decided to make an effort for her ransom, Major Gookin selected from the Indians at Deer Island one Tom Nepanet, who consented at the risk of his life to bear the Council's letter. He came back soon with a written answer, as follows :" We no give answer by this one man, but if you like my answer, sent one more man besides this one Tom Nepanet, and send with all true heart and with all your mind by two men, because you know and we know your heart great powerful with crying for your lost many many hundred man, and all your house, and all your land, and woman, child, and cattle, as all your thing that you have lost.
14 This writing by your enemies, Samuel Uskattuhgun and Gunrashit, two Indian Sagamores."
Appended to this were sundry memoranda, such as—
" Mr. Rowlandson, your wife and all your child is well, but one dye.
" Brother Rowlandson, pray send thre pound of tobacco for me, if you can, my loving husband pray send thre pound of tobacco for me."
As Mrs. Rowlandson indignantly denies having sent for tobacco, we may safely put this last sentence down to some crafty savage who wished to secure a few whiffs, and would fain have obtained them by guile.
In accordance with their demand, Peter Conway was sent with Tom, and with them the desired tobacco. These men made several trips, and finally one or two English ventured, and so quite a number of captives were ransomed.
This was one of the principal causes of the dis
sensions of which we have spoken. For the Narragansetts were determinedly against delivering up captives, while the Nipmucks looked at it as a possible act in their own favor, in case they should be worsted in the final struggle. The ransom, too, was a pleasant thing, and the savage, who lived like a child from day to day only, was inclined to secure present pleasure at the expense of possible future good. So the breach widened, and their cause grew weaker.
But it is not to be imagined that they succumbed at once. Many a hard skirmish followed, and many a white man was to bite the dust before peace came. The tide had turned, however, and the Indian cause was on the wane.
In May they burned some twenty-five houses in Plymouth itself. The histories of the time recount in monotonous sequence the list of outrages which were perpetrated this spring and summer. The lonely or exposed settler was sure to suffer from his wily enemy, who lay in hiding to shoot him unaware, and then to apply the torch to his house. But the towns now were in comparative safety. In fact, there were no large bands of Indians in the field such as had come together a few months before. Six or seven companies sent out from Boston, under captains of experience, were beating up the Nipmuck country, and giving them no time to do aught but act on the defensive.
The savages in Western Massachusetts, after Canonchet had been taken in his trip to Seekonk to get seed-corn, resorted, some seven hundred in number, to the Connecticut, at the falls above Deerfield, for the spring fishing. Here, fancying their whereabouts undiscoverable, they disposed themselves in such fancied security that they did not even keep any outposts or sentinels. Two captive lads escaped and brought news of their exposed situation. It was about the middle of May. Captain Turner and Captain Holyoke speedily got together an hundred and fifty men and marched against them. They reached the scene at night, when the savages were fast asleep, and, leaving their horses at a little distance under a guard, advanced on foot. The surprise was complete. There had been a feast the evening before, and all were stupidly sleeping. The first that the Indians knew of their approach was the report of their muskets as they fired into the silent wigwams among the prostrate figures. Arising in terror, they cried out, " Mohawks !" thinking that they were attacked by hostile Indians, but soon perceived their mistake. Some fell at the first discharge, others waking, in their terror, leaped into the river and were carried over the falls and drowned. Some took to canoes, in which frail craft, in the darkness and confusion, they were speedily overset, and so shared their comrades' fate. Others crouched along the river bank, hidden by the water and the bushes, hoping to escape the Englishman's eye, but in many a case found it an idle hope, and perished miserably. It was said that two or three hundred fell by the musket-shot or were drowned. The English destroyed considerable ammunition and provisions, which were to them perhaps a greater loss than men. They had set up two forges, where they repaired their tools. These were demolished, with all their implements, and some lead which they had secured to make bullets was thrown into the river. It was so far a great success, and a great blow to the Indians.
But the whites did not get off scot free. When the first panic was over, and they had a chance to see the numbers of their foe, the courage of the savages returned. They fell upon them, attacking fiercely on all sides. The English resisted sturdily. Captain Turner was soon slain. It was said that he was a sick man when he set out, and in no condition to bear the fatigues of a forced march and a fight. At his death the party were thrown into great confusion. Had it not been for Captain Holyoke it seems as if they might all have been cut off. He was everywhere present, in the front and at the rear, encouraging and keeping his men together. By his exertions they reached their homes at last, weary and battle-worn ; but of the one hundred and fifty, thirty-eight were lost.
One of the survivors of this fight has left an account of his share in it, which was taken down as he narrated it. " He was one of twenty men who were under the necessity of disputing the ground for the purpose of protecting their horses. Soon after he had mounted, being in the rear, three of the enemy fired upon him ; one of their balls brushed his hair, another wounded his horse, and a third struck his thigh in a place where it had before been broken with a cart-wheel. The ball did not wholly break his thigh anew, but fractured the end of one of the bones which was a little projected over the other, it having been badly set. Upon receiving the wound it was with difficulty that he kept in his saddle. The Indians, perceiving they had wounded him, pressed hard upon him. Recovering a little from the first shock, and perceiving the enemy almost upon him, he presented his gun, which gave them a check, and while they were charging he made his escape and reached the company. He represented to Captain Turner the danger in which the people in the rear were exposed, and urged him to return to their relief or halt until they should come up, but he answered, ' It is better to lose some than all.'
" The army was now divided into several companies, one pilot crying, ' If you will save your lives, follow me,' and another, ' If you regard your safety, follow me.' He was now following a company whose course was toward a swamp, but perceiving that a body of the enemy were there he left that company, who were all lost, and joined a small party who were taking a different route ; but his horse soon failing by reason of his wound, and himself being much weakened by loss of blood, he was left by his party, having only one Jones, a wounded man, to accompany him. They had no path to guide them, and were both unacquainted with the woods. They had not travelled far before they became separated. Wells, finding himself faint, ate a nutmeg which he had in his pocket, upon which he revived.
" After having wandered in the woods for some time, he came upon Green River. Having passed the river, he attempted to ascend a mountain on the west side, but fainted and fell from his horse. How long he lay in this condition he knew not, but when he recovered he found his horse standing by him, and his bridle hanging on his hand. He arose, tied his horse, and again laid himself down ; but upon reflection, finding himself already so weak as to be unable to mount, concluded he should have no farther use for his horse, and being unwilling he should die at the tree dismissed him, but unhappily forgot to take any provision from his portmanteau, although it contained plenty. Toward night, being troubled with mosquitoes, he struck up a fire, but this almost proved his destruction. It arose and spread with such fury among the leaves and brush that it was with difficulty in his faint condition he escaped perishing in the flames.
'' After he was out of danger from the fire he again laid himself down to rest ; but now new fears arose : he imagined that the fire would direct the enemy where to find him, and serve to betray him into their hands. Unwilling the enemy should be benefited by his ammunition, he cast it to as great distance as he could, reserving only a round or two for their use should he fall into their hands. After some time, finding that his fire had spread considerably, he took courage and put some tow into his wounds, bound them up with his handkerchief, and composed himself to sleep. In his sleep he dreamed that his grandfather came to him and told him that he was lost, and must turn and go down that river till he should come to the end of a mountain, where he would find a plain, upon which he must travel in order to find his way home. When he awoke he found himself refreshed, his bleeding stopped, and his strength recruited, and with the help of his gun he was able to walk, though but slowly. The rising of the sun convinced him that he was lost, and that the course he intended to pursue was wrong. He had now wandered several miles farther from home than when he set out from the place of action. Accordingly he travelled down the river, found the end of the mountain, an.d soon came to the plain, all of which agreed to the representation in his dream. Soon after he entered upon the plain he found a foot-path, which led him to the road in which the main body of the army returned. When he came to Deerfield River he met with much difficulty in crossing, the stream carrying his lame leg across the other, so that several of his first attempts were without effect. Finally, however, with the help of his gun, with much difficulty he reached the opposite shore. When he had ascended the bank, being greatly fatigued, he laid himself down under a walnut bush and fell asleep. When he awoke the first object that presented was an Indian in a canoe coming directly toward him. Wells now found himself in a very unhappy position : being so disabled by his wounds that he could not make his escape, and his gun being so filled with sand and gravel in crossing the river that he could not escape. As soon, however, as he perceived that the Indian had discovered him he presented his gun, which so affrighted him that he leaped out of the canoe, leaving his own gun, and made his escape. Wells, concluding that he would inform the whole tribe, who were only a few rods distant, went into a neighboring swamp, and finding two logs lying near each other and covered with rubbish, he crept between them. He soon heard the noise of Indians, but was not curious to look out after them.
" When the noise had ceased he ventured to proceed. In Deerfield meadow he found some horse's bones, from which he scraped some matter that served for food. He also found two or three rotten beans, where the Indians had threshed, and also two bluebird's eggs, which was all the sustenance he had till he reached home. He came to Deerfield town plat on Saturday night about dark, but as there were no inhabitants present, the town having a little before been burned, he continued his course in the evening. He was often under great discouragements, and frequently laid himself down to die, expecting to rise no more. He reached no farther than Muddy Brook as the sun rose on Sabbath morning. Here, seeing a human head which had been dug up by wild beasts, notwithstanding his distressed condition, Wells stopped to find the grave, which, having found, he laid the head to the body, and covered it with billets of wood, to defend it from the ravenous beasts of the wilderness. After he had left the brook and entered the plain he grew faint and very thirsty, but could obtain no water for a considerable time. He was, however, often refreshed by holding his face in the smoke of burning knots of pine, which he frequently met with as the woods were on fire. He arrived at Hatfield on the Sabbath, between meetings, and was received with inexpressible joy, as one having risen from the dead. He endured indescribable pain and distress with his wound, being confined several times to his bed for six months together, and it was upward of four years before he was sound."
The Rev. Mr. Atherton, minister of Hatfield, also had a strange experience at this fight. Separated from the party in their retreat, he wandered all day and night in the neighborhood of the Indians, seeing them now and then, but escaping their notice. On the second day, feeling faint with hunger, he presented himself to them as a prisoner. To his astonishment, they refused to take him. When he spoke they made him no answer ; when he drew near them they fled. In this juncture Mr. Atherton determined to make another effort to escape. He followed the course of the river, and after a few days reached Hatfield, spent with hunger and fatigue. There were at the time many theories advanced to account for the strange action of the savages. It was generally thought that it arose from superstition, and that in some way they conceived that Mr. Atherton was the Englishman's god.
It will be remembered that when the English first opened fire at the falls the terrified savages cried out, " Mohawks ! Mohawks !" They had good cause for terror at the thought. The Mohawks, one of the tribes of the dreaded Six Nations, and who lived about the upper Hudson, had attacked them a short time before with great slaughter. It was known, or believed, that Philip had opened negotiations with these great warriors to form an alliance. The Connecticut government had written to Governor Andros, of New York, asking his aid in counteracting Philip's influence. The governor does not seem to have done anything in the matter, but whether he did or no, Philip did not succeed in his attempts at an alliance. The Mohawks during this spring and summer invaded the land of the hostile Indians, and in one or two encounters slaughtered them unmercifully.
Less than a fortnight after the battle at Turner's
Falls, at the end of May, the Indians came against Hatfield. They burned twelve houses and barns, and captured many cattle and sheep abroad in the fields, which they brought together in a field near the town. Their impudence and boldness roused the people of Hadley, and a band of twenty-five crossed the river and charged upon them. They killed five or six at the first volley, and though the Indians outnumbered them ten to one, and lay in hiding behind every tree to bring them down, yet they passed through them in safety, losing not a man until the town was almost reached, when five fell. No sooner was the town reached than the Indians took to flight, with a loss of twenty-five.
Forces from Connecticut now came up into Western Massachusetts. They scoured the country on both sides of the river, keeping the Indians from fishing, upon which, inasmuch as they had failed to plant, their food supply must depend. From Boston fresh detachments were constantly on the march. The savages could not encamp anywhere for more than a day or two without danger of being attacked. The fortunes of war had changed with a vengeance, and their fortune was growing worse and worse. It happened continually that parties of them when fishing or on the march were surprised and taken.
Nevertheless, a band of seven hundred, in June, fell upon Hadley. It was about five or six in the morning, and at that time there were quartered there the Connecticut troops, who numbered, with their Pequot and Mohegan allies, nearly five hundred men. It is, altogether probable that the savages did not know of this, or they would have hardly have had the rashness to attack the place.
Three soldiers unarmed passed through the town gate out into the fields. The sergeant in charge advised them not to venture, but they said they were going but a little way, and passed on. A moment after the sergeant heard men running, and looking out espied them flying for their lives, with twenty Indians in pursuit. Two were killed, and the third so badly wounded that he died in a few days. The alarm was given, and the savages, who had come up in some force, were driven away from the end of the town. But in the mean time, while attention was directed to this end of the settlement, a large band fell upon the other end. They entered one house in force. In it was a piece of ordnance, which was discharged upon them. Terrified at its report and the havoc it made, they fled pell-mell. The troops, now formed, followed in pursuit, driving them in confusion before them 'for a couple of miles.
But we must leave the western settlements and go back to Plymouth, where during these spring and summer months Captain Church has again taken the field with his usual good fortune.
The Services of Captain Church.
Church takes service again—Wins over the Saconet Indians—Taking their best warriors into his force, he makes expeditions against the enemy, bringing in many prisoners —Philip's affairs become desperate— He makes many narrow escapes, but is at last slain. On receipt of the news of the attack on Lancaster, the Council at Plymouth at once sent for Mr. Church. They had reason to believe that this attack was made by a large band of the enemy moving in their direction, and that before long they might expect to see the savages at their own doors. They proposed that sixty or seventy men should be enlisted, and Church was offered the command. They were to march to Rehoboth, and there look out for the enemy. Church, however, declined the position. If they would raise a force of three hundred men, he said, he would gladly lead them. To send out a force of the size they proposed was only to insure their destruction. They would be surrounded by overpowering numbers and cut off. A large force, however, who would be on the march for six weeks, might effect great results. He urged strongly that a force of friendly Indians should be added to their number.
To this the Council objected. They said, in the first place, that the colony was so deeply in debt that it could not bear the expense of such an army. As to sending Indian auxiliaries, that they did not approve at all.
So, as no agreement seemed likely to be reached, Church decided that he would put his wife and child in what he felt to be a place of safety. They were at Duxborough, and if the war were not to be vigorously pushed he feared that their lives might be at hazard. His wife's parents and his many friends protested against his plans, wishing her left at Clark's garrison, which they thought perfectly safe, but he had fixed on Rhode Island, and to the island they went, in spite of all remonstrances. Within twenty-four hours of their arrival there, Clark's garrison was raided by the Indians, and its inmates massacred, as we have already told.
He tarried with his family for a time, during which his second son was born, but the early part of June found him back in Plymouth. The General Court were then in session, and he was received gladly. They had decided to adopt his suggestion and to send out a force of two hundred men. In addition, Boston was to add a contingent, and Connecticut as well. It was resolved that Church should return at once to Rhode Island and see what force he could muster. Many families whose homes had been broken up by the savages had taken refuge there, and from these it was that he hoped to secure recruits.
The latter part of the voyage thither was made in a canoe, in which he was paddled by two Indians. As he passed Saconet Point he saw some of the hostile savages on the rocks fishing. He bade his men paddle as near to them as they dared, telling them that the Saconet Indians were relations and would not harm them ; that he had long fancied that they were tired of the war and might be easily induced to make peace. They were the men of our old friend Awashonks with whom Church had made a treaty in the year before, but who had since been drawn into the enemy's number.
He shouted to the fishermen, and they shouted back, but the waves breaking on the rocks made such a noise that their voices were drowned. Then he beckoned two of them to run along the beach where it was sandy, and they could hear one another. They besought him to come ashore, and he agreed, inasmuch as the ground was clear so that he could see about him, that he would do so if one who had a lance would carry it some distance away and leave it. This was done, and the canoe was at once beached. One Indian stood by it, the other went up the shore to act as a scout, and Church advanced to meet the men. One of them turned out to be George, whom Awashonks had sent to summon him to her dance. George told him that his mistress was not far away, and urged him to wait until he had told her of his presence. He said that she was heartily sick of the war, and would be glad to make peace. Church, however, did not think it safe to wait at this time. He made an appointment with George to bring Awashonks and three of her chief men whom he knew to a certain spot on the shore two days later, when he would meet them. If it should be stormy they might expect him the following day. Then he set out in his canoe again, and made his way to Rhode Island, where he joined his wife.
The next day he applied to the authorities for permission to carry out his plan, and to take one Wilcock, who was a skilful interpreter, with him. The authorities refused point blank. They said that after all the services he had rendered it was foolish to throw away his life on a mad adventure, for the knaves would surely kill him. Church was resolute. He showed them the great advantage it would be if these Indians could be won over. At last they told him that if he were determined he might go, but it should be with no permission of theirs, and that no white man should be risked with him in so wild a project.
Having gained this much, Church had now to gain the consent of his wife, who was frantic with alarm. He used such arguments with her as to finally gain her consent, and in the morning of the appointed day set out for the rendezvous. He had two canoes. In one was his own man with himself, in the other the two Indians who had been with him before. They paddled to the appointed spot, and saw the savages sitting on the bank waiting. One canoe was now sent in, with instructions to see if it were the party whom he expected, and to send George out to bring in Mr. Church. The second canoe was to lie off the shore during the interview, in order to carry tidings home in case he were the victim of treachery.
George presently appeared, and Church got into his canoe and was safely landed. He found Awashonks and the chief men present whom he had named. They shook hands warmly, and thanked him for coming to see them. They walked a gun shot or so from the place where he had come ashore, where they could sit comfortably. All at once, from the long grass where they had lain hidden, rose up a great body of savages, armed with guns, spears, and tomahawks, and surrounded them. Many had their hair trimmed and their faces daubed with war paint.
It was a startling situation, but Church was equal to it. There was a silence of a moment on both sides, and then he asked Awashonks if it were true that she wanted to see him to discourse on peace, as George had said. She answered that it was. He then said that when people spoke of peace it was not the custom for them to come armed, and suggested that her men lay aside their weapons. At this there was a growl of anger from the circle of warriors. Awashonks asked what weapons they should lay aside. He answered, only their guns. This they did, and returned forthwith to the council and sat down.
Church then produced a bottle of rum, which he had taken pains to bring, and asked Awashonks whether she had lived so long away from the whites as to forget its taste. He poured out some in a shell and offered it to her, but she, fearing poison, bade him drink first. On this he drank her health in " a good swig, which was indeed no more than he needed." One greedy warrior had no such scruples as his mistress. He clutched the shell, but Church seized him by the throat, asking sarcastically if he proposed to swallow shell and all, and took it from him. Awashonks now took a hearty draught and passed the bottle on among her followers. When the rum was gone, Church produced tobacco and distributed it, and then they began to talk.
Awashonks asked why he had not kept his word with her when she first made a treaty. Had he come then to help her she would never have joined Philip. Church answered that the war broke out so suddenly that he could not, nevertheless he said he had come one day with a party of nineteen, and had been set upon by many warriors, and made to fight a whole afternoon. At this there was a great uproar among the savages, and one great surly fellow, seizing his tomahawk, would have killed him had not the others prevented. The interpreter gave Church to understand that this man declared that his brother had been slain in that afternoon's fight, and that he thirsted for revenge. The interpreter was bidden to tell him that his brother began the fight, and that had he not done so no one would have been hurt.
The chief captain now demanded silence, and said that they had not come to talk of old matters, but of peace, and negotiations were entered into in earnest. The Indians on their part declared that if they were guaranteed that neither they, their wives, nor children should be sold into slavery they would at once submit and serve the whites in any way they could. Church said that he had not the least doubt that these terms would be agreed to. The chief captain rose and bowed low to him, and said, " Sir, if you'll please accept of me and my men and will head us, we'll fight for you, and will help you to Philip's head before Indian corn be ripe."
Then the council broke up, and Church returned to his wife on Rhode Island.
Meantime the army that had been called out had been assembling, and a few days after this, under the command of Major Bradford, was at Pocasset. Awashonks, by Church's orders, at once called in all her warriors and marched to meet the army. Church was with them, and offered his own services and those of his new allies. Bradford replied that he would be glad to have Church join him, but as to the Indians he would have nothing to do with them, and he ordered them all to make their way to Sandwich within six days at peril of their lives.
The Saconets were greatly disappointed, for they had hoped to take the field and show what they could do. Church advised them to obey at once, and himself set out for Plymouth to gain the consent of the authorities to employ them, promising to join them at the first moment possible.
The permission was given him without an instant's hesitation, and he was offered a contingent of Englishmen. He declined these, however, and said he would take but half a dozen, though he asked that he might enlist more at Sandwich and have horses. That night, with his half dozen chosen men, he hurried to Sandwich. The next day he and his party, not finding the Indians where they expected, marched along the coast. Presently they came to a large bay where they could see the shore for many miles, and hearing a noise on the beach below them dismounted and crept forward. Looking over the edge of the bank, they saw a great band of savages, of all ages and both sexes, disporting themselves. Some were racing horses, some clamming, some at football, but how to decide what Indians they were they could not tell. So they retired a distance, and hiding themselves in the bushes, hallooed. Two warriors on horseback straightway approached. On seeing Englishmen they would have fled, but one of the men called out that his name was Church. At this they wheeled their horses and came back. They said that Awashonks and her men were all below, and
rode back to bear the news that Church would dine with her that night and sleep in the camp.
Soon a large party of horsemen were about them. Church now devised a little pleasantry. He had left behind him, at one of the rivers he crossed, Jabez Rowland and two or three men to secure a retreat in case they met with a hostile party and were beaten back. He now proposed to test the courage of Howland. It was arranged that when they came near where he was stationed the white men should fly as if pursued, turning back and firing their pieces at the Indians ; these were to follow them at full speed, shouting and letting off their guns as if in deadly earnest. The savages entered into the plan with great gusto, and all was carried out as planned. Howland was equal to the emergency. Seeing his friends so beset, he came to their succor on the full gallop, until by their laughing he saw that he had been the victim of a practical joke.
The whole party then in good spirits returned to the encampment on the shore, where they were welcomed heartily. Supper was served in three dishes— a bass, flatfish and eels, and shellfish. Meantime the men had brought in great armfuls of brush and cones, and made a huge pile of them. When supper was finished, Awashonks and her chiefs made a ring about it. Outside of them was a ring of warriors, and outside of them the rabble of the tribe. The pile was lighted, and the flames leaped high in the air, bringing out in relief the dusky figures by which it was surrounded. '' Then the chief captain stepped in between the rings and the fire, with a spear in one hand and a hatchet in the other, danced round the fire, and began to fight with it, making mention of all the several nations and companies of Indians in the country that were enemies to the English, and at naming of every particular tribe he would draw out and fight a new firebrand, and at his finishing his fight with each particular firebrand would bow to him and thank him. And when he had named all the several nations and tribes, and fought them all, he stuck down his spear and hatchet and came out, and another stepped in and acted over the same dance, with more fury if possible than the first. And when about half a dozen of their chiefs had thus acted their parts, the captain of the guard stept up to Mr. Church and told him they were making souldiers for him, and what they had been doing was all one swearing of them."
All the warriors of the party having gone through this ceremony, Awashonks informed him that he could, whenever he wished, call upon any of these men to follow him against the enemy. At the same time she presented him with a very fine musket. He accepted her gift, and at once selected a number of warriors with whom before break of day he set off for Plymouth. He reached there within twentyfour hours, and a number of English volunteering to join his force, he found himself at the head of a small company. Without delay he marched into the woods. It was now July, and there was none of the hardship of a winter campaign to be borne. By daylight he had reached a spot where he had reason to believe that a party of Narragansetts were encamped. His Indian allies stole quietly ahead and discovered their whereabouts so exactly that they captured the entire party, not a man, woman, or child escaping. Returning to Plymouth with all speed, they disposed of their prisoners, except one named Jeffrey, who, seeming to be a bright man, was promised by Church, if he served him faithfully, that he should be kept as his body-guard.
The inquisitive reader who may wish to know how they disposed of their prisoners is informed that they sold them into slavery. These are the terms that the authorities made with Church and his guerillas :
"That the country should find them amunition and provisions, and have half the prisoners and arms they took : the captain and his English soldiers to have the other half of the prisoners and arms ; and the Indian allies the loose plunder."
" Poor encouragement, but after some time it was mended," is Church's comment on this arrangement.
It will be seen that these expeditions, on which he was now setting out, were no more than legalized slave-hunts. It is pleasanter by far to forget this side of the question in recording his doings, and to think only of the fearless courage and daring of the man which never deserted him, and which made him appear invincible alike to English.and Indian follower.
As soon as the first installment of prisoners had been disposed of his company marched again, for Jeffrey had told him of the whereabouts of another party of the enemy. These, too, they captured. For three weeks his men were constantly on the march. Not once did they come back emptyhanded. His plan was to proceed with despatch to such part of the country as he had reason to believe was frequented by the enemy. Here his men hid themselves. It was not long before they would capture some one or two stragglers whom they forced to tell where their fellows were encamped, when measures would be so taken that rare would be the occasion when a single man escaped.
The authorities by this time saw that the plan of employing Indians was proving a thoroughly excellent one. They realized, too, that Church was not only a brave man, but a discreet one. They gave him a new and enlarged commission, as follows :
" Captain Benjamin Church, you are hereby Nominated, Ordered, Commissioned, and Empowered to raise a company of Volunteers of about 200 Men, English & Indians : the English not exceeding the number of sixty, of which Company, or so many of them as you can obtain, or shall see cause at present to improve, you are to take the command and to conduct and to lead them forth now and hereafter, at such time and unto such places within this Colony or elsewhere, within the Confederate Colonies, as you shall think fit: to discover, pursue, fight, surprise, destroy, or subdue our Indian enemies, or any part or parties of them that by the Providence of God you many meet with ; or them or any of them by treaty and composition to receive to mercy, if you see reason (provided they be not Murderous Rogues, or such as have been principal actors in those Villanies). And forasmuch as your Company may be uncertain and the persons often changed, you are also hereby impowered with advice of your Company to chuse and Commissionate a Lieutenant, and to establish Sergeants and Corporals as you see cause : And you herein improving your best judgment and discretion and utmost ability, faithfully to Serve the Interests of God, his Majesty's Interest, and the Interest of the Colony ; and carefully governing your said Company at.home and abroad : these shall be unto you full and ample Commission, Warrant, and Discharge.
" Given under the Publick Seal this 24th Day of
" Per Jos. Winslow, Gov."
It will be seen that this commission gave him great powers.
It will not be amiss, as illustrating the hardihood of our forefathers, to give an account of one 01 two of these freebooting expeditions which Church now led against the enemy.
Soon after he had received the commission we have given, it happened that carts were ordered with supplies from Plymouth to Taunton, where Major Bradford lay with the army. These Church was ordered to guard. Managing to secure another escort for them as far as Middleborough, he hastened on in advance in search of the Indians, promising to resume the duty as soon as they reached that town. He came to Middleborough at daylight, and discovered a party of the enemy encamped. Not having time to surround them in his usual fashion, his men ran right upon them, and taking them entirely by surprise, captured eighteen. From the prisoners they learned that a large body of savages were in the neighborhood. They would under ordinary circumstances have hunted up and attacked them at once, but now they must take up the charge of the carts. As they neared Taunton, Church and two of his men hurried forward to the river and hallooed to the guards on the other bank to know where Major Bradford was. The Major was in the tavern, where he hospitably invited Church to join him ; but that gentleman having business rather than pleasure in mind declined, and requested that a body of troops might be sent at once to relieve his men of the charge of the provision train, in order that they might hurry back against the enemy. A detachment was at once sent, and when it had taken the carts and the prisoners in charge, he and his men turned back without loss of time.
He had about reached the spot where he proposed camping for the night when he was fired upon by the enemy, who were concealed in a swamp. His own Indians at once ran into the swamp, but their opponents nimbly departed, and as it was already dusk made their escape. About a mile further on they came upon a grassy valley. Here they halted to feed the horses. Some held them by the bridles, while others, stationed as guards in every direction, kept a sharp lookout for the enemy, who could be heard on all sides. In the middle of the night, when the horses had fed and the sounds of the foe had died away, they stealthily left the valley, and after a march of some ten or eleven miles halted again. Two nights and a day they had been in the saddle, and all were thoroughly tired. Church concluded to take a few hours' rest. Six men were stationed as a guard at the Cushnet River, which they had crossed, and two more were chosen sentinels, while all the rest of the party went into a thicket and lay down. The captain was the first man to wake. Opening his eyes, he judged that he had overslept. He got up at once. Not a man was awake. Sentinels and all, overcome by their exertions, were soundly sleeping. He roused up a few, and with them hurried to see how the guard at the river's crossing had fared. No sooner had he come near the water than he discovered a large band of the enemy inspecting the tracks which his men had made the night before. He and his party lost no time in hiding in the brush. It was still night, so that this was easily done. When the watch on the river bank were reached, they too were found fast asleep.
All were now roused, and a hasty meal was taken. Then the horses were mounted, and in the darkness they set out. The scouts soon struck a trail. They followed it up, and came upon a small band of the enemy. It was Little Eyes and his family. These had been Awashonks's men, but had left her when she made peace with the English. Little Eyes was that villain who, with murder in his thoughts, at Awashonks's dance, had invited Church to step aside with him. He was naturally not pleased at the position in which he now found himself, and thought, as did the other Indians, that he should be killed at once. The captain, however, withheld by motives of humanity if not of profit, gave him to understand that to seek revenge was not the Englishman's custom. He should share the same fate as the other prisoners. At this Little Eyes expressed great pleasure. Possibly he did . not know the fate in store for him, as a slave on a West India plantation, or his gratitude might have been less. He was left temporarily with his family on an island in the river, where his cousin Lightfoot guarded him, while the rest of the company went on their way. Shortly after, finding a convenient place, they encamped again, and slept until morning. They moved with great caution, their aim being not to fight the enemy, but to surprise him and make prisoners. They were in what is now the village of North Dartmouth. Proceeding after breakfast on a trail which they had discovered, they came presently to a place where it divided. Church halted, and summoning his Indian allies told them that here was an opportunity to show what stuff they were made of. They had heard the slight opinion of them that was held at Plymouth, and now they could prove how unjust that opinion was. The Indians should take one trail, the whites the other. So, appointing a place of rendezvous, each started off briskly.
Church had learned one or two things from prisoners which were of great aid to him. One was to have his men march at some distance apart. They had told him that they could always tell how many English there were in any party, because they all marched in a solid body. It was easy to hit them " all the same as a house ;" they had but to fire and the bullet was sure to bring down some one.
He had, too, at this time a great advantage in that Major Bradford with his large force was beating up the country, and his own small company, whenever it appeared, was mistaken by the savages for that of Major Bradford, and feared accordingly.
The Englishmen had not gone far before they
discovered on the other side of a swamp a large number of Indians picking whortleberries. Church supposed most of them to be women, and hurried right upon them. Having good horses, he with two of his men was soon in their midst, and entirely out of sight of the rest of his followers. He called upon the savages to surrender. One of the men with him spoke the Indian language, and shouted to -them in their own tongue. A few stopped, the rest took madly to flight. Church rode after them, and wresting a gun from one man drove them back before him. At this point he suddenly discovered that he was entirely alone, save for the interpreter. The two did not lose courage. They drove their prisoners on before them until presently they found their company drawn up in waiting. The men were greatly rejoiced at sight of their leader, for he had disappeared, thanks to the excellence of his horse, at the beginning of the action, and they thought he had been killed. Sixty-six of the enemy were either killed or taken. The prisoners told them that the swamp was full of Indians, who lived there. A band of one hundred warriors of their own people had left them that morning on an expedition to get supplies of meat at the Englishmen's expense.
It was desirable now not to meet this party, but to get the prisoners safely to some place of security. Should they encounter, a fight would be sure to follow, and the valuable booty which they had won might be taken from them. So they proceeded with great discretion. Their scouts discovered the warriors returning, each man with his load of English meat, but they stationed themselves so judiciously that they were themselves undiscovered. Stopping for Lightfoot and his prisoners, they hastened on to the place of rendezvous, near which they waited for their allies.
During the night a messenger came to say that these had met with success, and were on their way to join him, but it was morning before they appeared. On comparing notes it was found that each party had had precisely similar fortune : each had killed three men and had taken sixty-three prisoners.
As may well be imagined, there was great satisfaction at this result, and the Indians were particularly well pleased. They, however, told Church that it was a mistake to separate, for a great opportunity had been lost. They had come upon a town of the enemy, of which the head man was Tyasks, who ranked next to Philip. They had surprised this town, firing into it and rushing upon it with a great shout. The enemy, panic-stricken, had fled, leaving behind them their wives and children and their guns, of which they made a great booty. Tyasks' son and wife were among the prisoners. Had the white men been with them they thought they should have taken every soul.
It was known afterward that Philip with a large force lay in wait to surprise Church on his return to Plymouth from this expedition. That gentleman, however, made it a rule never to return to any place by the road he came, so that Philip had his pains for naught, and the prisoners were safely brought to Plymouth the next day.
Church's power and influence over the Indians were wonderful. If among the prisoners he found any whom he fancied, he would tell them that he had taken a liking to them and would make them into soldiers, and that they should not be sold. If they looked surly or muttered he would slap them on the back and say that all that was of no account. Before they had been with him a few days all their surliness was gone. They were so devoted to his interest that not one would hesitate to pilot him to a party of their kinsmen, even though their nearest relations were in it.
Matters were now growing very black for Philip. The army under Major Bradford, a Connecticut force under Major Talcott, and Church with his men were all beating up the country and taking prisoners by the score. So far he had escaped. But this was not long to last.
On Sunday, the 30th of July, a messenger came with great haste to Marshfield, where Governor Winslow was, with the news that a strong force of savages was on the march against either Taunton or Bridgewater. The governor made his way to Plymouth with all speed, calling out every man he could as he went, and reached the town during the morning service. Church was summoned from the meeting-house, and directed to rally his force at once. The newly enlisted men were to join him. There was no bread in the public store, so that a house-to-house visitation was made in order to gain enough to victual the party. Philip, it turned out, finding the country about Plymouth too hot to hold him, had made up his mind to get away to the Nipmuck country. When he and his followers came to Taunton River they hewed down a large tree to make a bridge. Over this bridge Philip's uncle, Akkompoin, and several of the chief men were passing when a scouting party of the English from Bridgewater, who had hurriedly taken the field, fired upon them. The old Indian fell dead, and several of his men bit the dust beside him.
Next morning Church with his force reached the
scene. The Bridgewater men had joined him. As he came near the bridge he raised his piece to fire at a savage who sat upon it. One of his Indians called out that it was a friend, and Church lowered his gun. The savage on the bridge looked up, leaped down, and fled. It was Philip himself who made this narrow escape. They crossed and pursued him, but his men scattered in every direction. A goodly number fell into their hands, among them his wife and son. The pursuit was sharp, but they could not come up to the main body. After wading across a river up to their armpits and pressing on beyond a mile or so, Church decided that the chase must be given up. The Indian allies kept on that night, however, and next morning brought in thirteen more prisoners. These were sent back to a place of safety, and the whole force followed on all that day. At sunset the advance guard discovered the enemy. They had stopped to camp as evening came on, and were chopping wood and making fires. That night the pursuers, without fire or light, encamped with their prisoners, which they had picked up during the day close to the pursued.
Before daybreak Church addressed his prisoners. He told them in effect that he was not able to leave a guard over them in the coming struggle ; that as soon as the fight was over they must follow his tracks without loss of time ; that it was idle to think of escape. He had taken many hundred of their nation, and should soon have every one in his power. Whether they were cowed and brokenspirited, or whether their fatalism contributed to enforce obedience, his speech was effectual. They followed his instructions to the letter.
With the first dawn Church sent two of his Indians on in advance to see if they could spy out exactly how Philip's party were situated. It chanced that Philip had sent out two men to see if he were followed. The four met, whereupon Philip's messengers turned and fled back to him, howling and shouting at the top of their lungs to alarm their fellows. Church charged upon their camp instantly, but, beside the half-cooked breakfasts that he found over the fires, there was naught else to be seen. Men, women, and children had fled at the first alarm into a swamp. The English and their allies divided into two parties, one on either side of the swamp, and making all speed met at its further end just as a large party of the enemy were emerging from it. They were much taken aback at so unexpected an appearance. Church shouted to them that if one gun were fired they were all dead men, but that if they surrendered at once they should have quarter. So confused were they at the suddenness of his movements that many suffered their guns, loaded and cocked, to be snatched out of their hands.
A large number were taken at this time. A little valley was close at hand, and here they were marched with all speed and left under charge of a guard armed with the guns just taken from themselves.
A portion of the savages, when their first terror at the alarm was over, rallied and moved back to their camp to fight their pursuers. They did not find them there, however, they being, as we know, at the further end of the swamp capturing the runaways. When they had beaten about for a time, and discovered in what direction the English had gone, they hurried after them. Church had suspected some such movement. He saw them coming before they made him out, and a volley into their ranks killed many. The skirmish that followed was a sharp one, and one Englishman fell, but the savages soon fled.
" In this swamp skirmish Church, with two men which always ran at his side as guard, met with three of the enemy, two of which surrendered themselves, and the captain's guard seized them, but the other, being a great stout surly fellow, with his two locks ty'd up with red, and a great rattlesnake skin hanging to the back part of his head, ran from them into the swamp. Captain Church in person pursued him close, till coming pretty near up with him, presented his gun between his shoulders, but it missing fire the Indian perceiving it turned and presented at Captain Church, and missing fire also ; their guns taking wet with the fog and the dew of the morning. But the Indian turning short for another run, his foot tripped in a small grape-vine, and he fell flat on his face. Captain Church was by this time up with him, and struck the muzzle of his gun an inch and a half into the back part of his head, which dispatched him without another blow. But looking behind him he saw Totoson, the Indian whom he thought to be the man he had killed, come flying at him like a dragon. But this happened to be in sight of the guard that were set to keep the prisoners, who in the very seasonable juncture made a shot upon them, and rescued their captain, though he was in no small danger from his friends' bullets, for some of them came so near him that he thought he felt the wind of them."
It was found, when the fighting was at an end, that one hundred and seventy-three of the enemy were either dead or in their hands, including the prisoners they had taken the day before, who dutifully reported as soon as the skirmish was at end. A messenger was sent in advance to advise the people of Bridgewater of their coming, and that they were in need of provisions, and without loss of time they set out thither. They were received with great warmth on their arrival. The prisoners were put into the pound, and that night, watched over by the friendly Indians and having been well fed, shouted, laughed, and sang with the best.
The prisoners said to Church," Sir, you have now made Philip ready to dye, for you have made him as poor and miserable as he used to make the English." They thought that this last bout had broke his heart, and that he would soon lose his head.
Several minor expeditions, all more or less successful, followed this one we have described, but about the middle of August there was another in which the prediction of the prisoners came true. Philip indeed lost his head.
Church was at this time at Pocasset with his force. His scouts brought him no tidings of the hostile savages, and he crossed over to Rhode Island. He was now but some eight miles from his wife, and he concluded to pay her a visit. Hardly had he reached her before two horsemen came up with great speed. They were Major Sandford and Captain Golding, who had followed him in hot haste, bearing the news that an Indian deserter had just come in who reported that Philip was at Mount Hope with a few followers. The deserter declared that Philip had slain his brother but a little before, because he was offended at some advice he gave, and that he would lead them to his camp to revenge his death.
The whole party put spurs to their horses and rode back with all speed. The deserter on being brought before Church told the same story, and described the very spot where Philip was. Every foot of the country hereabout was known to him, and no time was lost in getting across the ferry and hurrying thither. Half the night was gone ere they approached Philip's camp.
" Captain Church offered Captain Golding that Vie should have the honor if he would please accept of it to beat up Philip's headquarters. He accepted the offer, and had his allotted number drawn out to him, and the pilot. Captain Church's instructions to him were to be very careful in his approaches to the enemy, and be sure not to show himself until by daylight they might see and discern their own men from the enemy. Told him also that his tustom in the like cases was to creep with his company on their bellies, until they came as near as they could ; and that as soon as the enemy discovered them they would cry out ; and that was to be the word for his men to fire and fall on. Directed him when the enemy should start and take into the swamp, they should pursue with speed, every man shouting and making what noise he could ; for he would give orders to his ambuscade to fire on any that came silently.
" Captain Church knowing it was Philip's custom to be foremost in the flight, gave Captain Williams, of Scituate, the right wing of the ambush, and placed an Englishman and an Indian together behind such shelter of trees as he could find, and took care to place them at such distance as none might pass undiscovered between them, and charged them to be careful of themselves and of hurting their friends, and to fire at any that came silently through the swamp.
" Having placed his men in ambuscade, the same moment a shot whistled over their heads, and then the noise of a gun toward Philip's camp. Captain Church at first thought it might be some gun fired by accident, but before he could speak a whole volley followed. One of Philip's gang, strolling forth from the camp, passed near Captain Golding, who thought the Indian looked right at him, though probably 'twas but his conceit, so fired upon him, and upon his firing the whole company that were with him fired upon the enemies' shelter, before the Indians had time to rise from their sleep, and so overshot them.
"They were soon in the swamp, and Philip, the foremost, who, starting at the first gun, threw his petunk and powder-horn over his head, catched up his gun and ran as fast as he could scamper, without any more clothes than his small-breeches and stockings, and ran directly upon two of Captain Church's ambush. They let him come fair within shot, and, the Englishman's gun missing fire, he bid the Indian fire away, and he did so to purpose: sent one musket-bullet through his heart, and another not above two inches from it ; he fell upon his face in the mud and water, with his gun under him."
During the fighting there seemed to be one man in command of the enemy. They could hear him shouting " lootash ! lootash !"—Stand to it! stand to it ! It was Annawon, Philip's captain, trying to encourage his men. But the affrighted savages, perceiving that they were entrapped, were bent only on escape. And at length finding an unguarded point, they fled with all speed, leaving behind them their chief, lying face downward in the mud, with a bullet through his heart.
The little band of English and their allies gave three huzzas when it was known that Philip was really gone. His body was dragged out of the mire, and lay on the ground before them. Church declared that inasmuch as he had caused many an Englishman to lie unburied, no part of him should have burial. An Indian was summoned, who was directed to cut off the head and quarter the body. Standing over him, the executioner addressed the corpse, saying that he had been a very big man and had made many a man to tremble, but big as he had been, his axe would soon make an end of him.
The head of the poor wretch was sent to Plymouth, where it was fixed upon a pole, on which it was exposed for more than a score of years ; his hands were sent to Boston, his body was hung up in the trees where he fell.
It being now Saturday, Church and his men crossed over to Rhode Island. The following Tuesday they set out for Plymouth, " and received their premium, which was thirty shillings per head for the enemies which they had killed or taken, instead of all wages, and Philip's head went at the same price."
The Closing Events of the War.
General rejoicing at Philip's death—Estimate of his character— Philip's son—The pursuit of Annawon—His capture and fate —Tespiquin—The effects of the war—An instance of Indian torture.
The joy throughout the United Colonies was widespread at the death of Philip. Indeed, so savage was it in its nature that one may well hesitate in deciding whether the whites had not, in a single year of fighting, become as brutal as the Indians they fought against.
The Reverend Increase Mather exclaims, in speaking of his death, " There was he, like as Agag was hewed in pieces before the Lord, cut into four quarters, and is now hanged up as a monument of revenging Justice, his head being cut off and carried to Plymouth ; his hands were brought to Boston. So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord !
" Thus did God break the head of that Leviathan and give it to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness."
The authorities of Plymouth had appointed a day of solemn thanksgiving for their recent successes. Philip's head reached the town that day. Cotton Mather says, " God sent 'em in the head of a Leviathan for a thanksgiving feast.
When the ministers, the educated men of the colonists, speak in this way, there is little wonder that the rabble of Boston should, as Major Gookin tells us they did, propose more than once during the war to go to Deer Island and put to death all the Praying Indians there.
The prominence which Philip assumed in the eyes of the people of that day seems to us extraordinary. It is in evidence that he was not in favor of the war at the outset, but was overruled by the young men of his tribe. We have no proof that the uprising of savages was owing to any efforts for a general alliance on his part. One small band of Indians rise, kill many of the settlers, plunder and burn their houses. The news spreads. The action commends itself to every instinct of the savage mind. The example is everywhere followed. Not one piece of evidence do we have as to Philip's success as a negotiator. His efforts to ally the Mohawks, on the contrary, brought them into the field as his active enemies. He was simply, owing to circumstances, forced into prominence as the first sachem who broke the peace, and his taking off came at a time when nearly every other sachem of prominence was either dead or in the hands of the English, and so was at the end of the war, but not the cause of its end.
As a fighter he was never conspicuous. Church's contemptuous statement, that it was his custom to be always the first in flight, was no doubt strictly true.
We have told before this of the capture of the wife and son of Philip. The authorities, as was usual in cases of uncommon interest, appealed to the clergy for their opinion as to whether the boy should be put to death. The clergy were hard-hearted in the matter of the lad. Two of them, pastors in Plymouth and Marshfield, write :
" We conceive that the children of notorious traitors, rebells, and murtherers, especially of such as have been principal leaders and actors in such horrid villainies, and that against a whole nation, yea the whole Israel of God, may be involved in the guilt of their parents, and may, salva republica, be adjudged to death as to us seems evident by the Scripture instances of Saul, Achan, Haman, the children of whom were cut off by the sword of Justice for the transgression of their parents, although, concerning some of these children, it be manifest that they were not capable of being actors therein."
Increase Mather says: " He makes me think of Hadad, who was a little child when his father, the chief sachem of the Edomites, was killed by Joab ; and had not others fled away with him, I am apt to think that David would have taken a course that Hadad should, never have proved a scourge to the next generation."
These are fair samples of what was said by all to whom the matter was referred. The boy and his mother were sold into slavery, and the grandson of Massasoit, the staunch friend of their fathers, no doubt ended his life, a wretched being, a slave in Spain or the Bermudas.
During the two months that we have been following the fortunes of Church, his little band had been only one of many who had been scouring the Indian country. The army under Major Bradford had done great havoc. A force of Connecticut men with Mohegan allies, under Major Tolcott, had in one encounter killed or made prisoners three hundred. Captain Mosely, Captain Brattle, and others, each at the head of a strong force, were at work in the Nipmuck country.
The Massachusetts authorities, in the early part of July, issued a proclamation that such of the enemy as came in and gave themselves up in the next fortnight might expect mercy. Nearly two hundred availed themselves of this offer. Among them were some noted villains, whose hands were known to be red with the blood of white men. These were tried and shot in short order.
One well - known Nipmuck, Sagamore John, brought in a hundred and eighty of his men toward the end of July, and submitted himself. By way of securing a friendly reception from the English he seized and brought with him Matoonas and his son. This Matoonas was the man who first shed English blood in the Massachusetts colony, for it was he who committed the murders at Mendon the year before. The Council doomed him to death, and Sagamore John asked that his men might be the executioners. He had some old grudge which he wished in this way to satisfy. His request was granted, and Matoonas, having been tied to a tree in the Common, was speedily made an end of.
Early in August word was brought to Taunton by an Indian deserter that he could pilot them to a party of his kinsmen who might easily be taken. Twenty men at once mustered. They succeeded in capturing twenty-six of the enemy, who belonged to Wetamoo, the squaw sachem of Pocasset, the widow of Alexander, Philip's brother. She who had been once " rich in men and arms, as potent a prince as any about," now was in such straits that not a follower was left to her. A few days after an Indian woman's naked body was found by the river-side. .It had been drowned in crossing on a hastily made raft which had given away. The finders cut off the head and carried it to Taunton, where it was raised upon a pole. When the prisoners saw it they broke into a "horrid lamentation, crying out that it was their queen's head." Such was the end of Wetamoo. " A severe and proud dame she was," says Mrs. Rowlandson, who was her servant during her captivity, " bestowing every day in dressing herself near as much time as any of the Gentry of the Land : powdering her hair and painting her face, going with her necklaces, with jewels in her ears and bracelets upon her hands." Her untimely end might well arouse a sensation of pity in the breast of the listener. The vindictive historian of the day, however, has no thought of pity even for a woman. "Such," says he, "was the righteous hand of God."
Church, after the death of Philip, returned to the pursuit of his private affairs. But in September there came word that Annawon, Philip's chief captain, was hanging about Swansey and Rehoboth, killing the settlers' horses and cattle. The government sent for Church, and urged him to take the field once more. His men had dispersed to their homes, and the compensation was so small that he feared they would hardly care to take arms again. There had been but twenty English in his company during the several expeditions that we have narrated. Some half dozen of these mustered at once when they heard what was in prospect, and with his old and trusty lieutenant, Jabez Howland, and a score or so of Indians, they set out for Pocasset. They scoured the woods until Saturday without finding any trace of Annawon or hostile savages. Then they returned to Rhode Island to rest until Monday. But on Sunday morning there came word that a canoe-load of Indians had been seen crossing from Prudence Island to Poppasquash Neck. It was very desirable to surprise these men, in order to gain from them intelligence of the whereabouts of Annawon. Church began at once to move his men over in a canoe. But it so happened that when he and sixteen of his Indians had crossed, the sea became so boisterous that a canoe could not keep afloat. So that his English soldiers were left behind in Rhode Island.
He turned to those who had made the passage and asked them if they were willing to go on. They replied that they were, though they would have liked it better if the English soldiers were along. They marched at once. Presently they heard a gun go off. Church proposed that Lightfoot and three otners should go on a scouting expedition. Lightfoot assented, but asked that Nathanael, a newly captured Indian, should be one of the party. The savages had certain calls by which they made known their presence to one another in the forest, such as the hoot of an owl, the howling of a wolf. These calls were changed from time to time, whenever there was danger of their becoming known to the whites. Nathanael, who had been but lately taken, would know the call now in use.
So Lightfoot set out, first having received orders to take the enemy prisoner rather than kill him, that they might gain news of Annawon. Shortly after they had gone, there was a report of another gun. Church in the mean time moved on, and dividing his force into two bands scoured the neck. He found no trace of any hostile force, but knowing that there were savages there, came to the conclusion that they must be in the direction whither Lightfoot had gone, and that they should soon have tidings. But they waited and waited, and no Lightfoot appeared. By-and-by it grew very dark. The Indian allies believed that Nathanael had turned traitor and delivered him up to the enemy. They concluded that it would be safer not to make fires, a matter of no great consequence to them, for they had not a morsel of food, uncooked or cooked. The night wore away slowly and anxiously. In the morning they moved forward, keeping themselves well hidden in the underbrush. Presently they espied an Indian, whether friend or foe they could not tell. One of the party showed himself, and the man at once hurried toward them. It was Lightfoot.
Church welcomed him warmly, and asked what news. Lightfoot responded, with satisfaction, that they had captured ten of the enemy, whom they had stood guard over all night in one of the flankers of the fort built there the year before. The prisoners were a part of Annawon's force, and their wives and children, they said, were in a swamp not far away. Lightfoot gave them particulars of his adventures as they hurried along. After he had left them the day before he had heard a gun. Moving in the direction of its sound, his men soon espied two savages skinning a horse which they had just killed. Nathanael bade them hide themselves, and himself going back further into the woods, began to howl like a wolf. One of the men at once left his work and ran toward the sound. The scouts who were hidden rose up as he came near them and seized him. Nathanael howled again, and the second man in like fashion left the horse and was captured.
They examined the prisoners apart, and all told the same story. They belonged to a band of ten who had come down into the neck for provisions. The other eight were to rendezvous at the same spot later on. They were both old acquaintances of Nathanael, and he dilated on the great advantage he had gained by going over to the English. He spoke so eloquently of the great captain he served and of the good fare he had received that they were won over. Presently the other eight savages appeared, and Nathanael resumed his howling, and they were all caught in the same trap.
By the time that the fort was reached, Jabez Rowland, with the missing Englishmen, appeared, having made their way across the water. Without loss of time they kindled good fires and cooked the horse which had been intended for Annawon's table for their breakfast. They had no bread with them, but they never failed to carry salt, and they had that hunger which gives the greatest savor to meat.
As soon as breakfast had been finished they moved forward to the swamp, where the families of the prisoners were, and by good fortune captured the entire number.
One of the Indians asked that he might go and find his father, who was, he said, living in a swamp about four miles distant, with a single squaw. Church decided to go with him, thinking that he might get some fresh news of Annawon. The prisoners had all agreed in one statement, that that worthy never slept twice in the same place for fear of being surprised. So Church took with him one white man and several of the Indian allies and set out with the young fellow to find his father. The swamp was in the eastern side of the township of Rehoboth. When they reached it the savage went into it and began to howl for his father. After a time they heard a reply in the distance—but at that moment they detected footsteps near them. They saw an old Indian, with a gun over his shoulder and a young squaw at his heels, coming directly toward them. They kept close until the two were in their midst, and then rising made them prisoners.
They were catechised separately. They had come from Annawon, and had been sent to look after a party of ten who had gone into the neck to hunt for provisions the day before—the same whom Church had captured. How far away was Annawon ? The old warrior said that if they set out at once and travelled hard until sunset they would reach his camp. He had with him fifty or sixty men. Church asked if he would guide him there. He replied that as he had spared his life he had no choice but to obey him. Would he carry a musket and fight for him ? He bowed low and begged that he might not be made to fight against his old master. He
promised, however, to defend Church against any who attacked him.
The captain was now in a dilemma. If he sent for his main body valuable time would be lost, and Annawon might take alarm and fly. He had but one Englishman and five or six Indians with him. It seemed like madness with such a force to march against so staunch a warrior as Annawon, and that too when he had fifty in his company. But Church never stopped at trifles. He asked the Englishman if he dared go. The man replied that he was never afraid to go anywhere when he was with him. The Indians, too, said they would go. The young ally with his father, whom he had meantime found, was then sent back to Howland with directions to get his prisoners to Taunton with all speed, and in the morning to march up the Rehoboth road to meet them.
Then the Indian was bidden to lead the way to Annawon. He strode before them at a great pace. At times they nearly lost sight of him. Then looking over his shoulder and seeing them far behind, he would halt and wait for them to come up. At sunset he squatted down, and the whole band, glad of an excuse to rest, lost no time in following his example. He explained that at this time of day Annawon sent out scouts, and that they must wait a little before going forward.
When darkness had come they hurried on. Presently they heard a noise, and stopped to consider what it might be. It was the pounding of a mortar : some one was beating corn. Church and two of his men crept forward on hands and knees to the edge of a cliff of rocks, and looked down.
Below them they saw Annawon. He had felled a tree at the foot of a cliff, and against this he had laid birch bark to make a shelter. Close at hand great fires were burning. Over them pots were boiling and meat was cooking. It was an agreeable sight to the hungry men who looked down. The arms were all stacked at one side. A little away were the fires of three other parties of his band.
There was no other way to get to him than to climb down the cliff's face. They scrambled down, catching at overhanging boughs to steady themselves. Their pilot and his squaw were made to march first, so as to throw off suspicion in case the men below looked up. A young woman was pounding corn in a mortar. While she pounded, they moved ; when she stopped to turn the corn, they halted ; Annawon and his son lay so close to the arms as almost to touch them. Church strode forward across the young man and seized them. At a sight so unexpected he drew his blanket over his head and shrank up in a heap. Old Annawon raised himself to a sitting position, exclaiming, " Howoh !"—who goes there ! but his eyes informed him, and in despair he threw himself back and lay silent.
As soon as the arms were safely secured, Church sent his men to the other fires, directing them to say that they were prisoners and must yield their weap ons. Panic-stricken, the savages obeyed at once, and every gun and hatchet was handed over to the victors.
Church now asked Annawon what he had for supper. " Taubut !" said the old fellow, which meant That's well! and he bade his women get supper for them. He offered them their choice of cow beef or horse beef, and when Church had made known his preference for cow beef it was speedily cooking. Pulling forth his salt, he assures us that the meal he made was a truly excellent one. Cakes of Indian corn were added to the beef by the women, and excited his favorable notice.
When the supper had been eaten Church grew drowsy. He had had no sleep the night before, and he felt that sleep he must. He bade his men watch for a couple of hours, and he would watch the rest of the night. But when he lay down his eyes were wide open, and all desire for sleep left him. He lay thus quietly for a time, then he looked about him. Every man, his guards and all, were in sound slumber except Annawon and himself. Captor and captured lay there in the firelight looking at one another. Presently Annawon rose and strode away into the darkness. As he did not return after a little, Church feared some stratagem. He got all the guns beside him, and lay close to young Annawon, so that he should act as a shield against any bullet.
But his fears were groundless. Soon in the bright moonlight he saw Annawon returning. He came straight to him, and falling on his knees presented him with a great belt, with wampum curiously embroidered on it in the form of birds and beasts ; a second belt so made as to be worn about the head, a red cloth blanket, and two horns of powder. These were the royal robes of Philip.
"Great Captain,"-he said, "you have killed Philip and conquered his country, for I believe that I and my company are the last that war against the English, so suppose the war is ended by your means, and that these things belong to you."
The two warriors sat by the camp-fire the whole night through. Annawon recounted many of his own exploits when, as a young man, he had fought under Philip's father. Church, who had promised to do his best to secure him good quarter from the authorities, kept him by himself for the next few days. When the other prisoners were the next morning turned over to Jabez Rowland, and marched off direct to Plymouth, Annawon went with his captor to Rhode Island, and was not taken there until several days later.
Church labored with the Council that his life should be spared ; but a few days after, having been summoned to Boston, the authorities took advantage of his absence to have Annawon put to death. With him was executed Tespiquin, another noted sachem, for whom Church had also besought life. It would seem that services such as those he had rendered the colony were entitled to as slight recognition as would have been shown in sparing the lives of these men. The authorities thought otherwise, and if Hubbard is to be believed, they acted not only with undue severity, but in actual bad faith. This is his account of the capture and taking off of Tespiquin.
" Captain Church with his company were in pursuit of him in September, two days before they could get near him ; at the last on the third day they found the track made by the said Tespiquin, as they went to fetch apples from the English orchards. This was something of a blind track, therefore they were forced to take up their quarters that night without discovering any place of their rendezvous. The next day they came to a track wherein after they had marched awhile they perceived they grew very near them, by the crying of a child which they heard. The place was so full of bushes that a man could not see a rod before him. Captain Church ordered his men to march up in one rank, because he discovered the Indians were laid in one range by several fires. So that by the time they all came up into an even rank pretty near together, within a few yards of them as he had appointed, they all suddenly rushed altogether in upon them and catched hold of them, not suffering any to escape ; there being about fifty of them in all. Tespiquin's wife and children were there, but himself was absent, as also one Jacob and a girl that belonged to that company.
" The captain's leisure would not serve him to wait till they came in, wherefore he thought upon this project : to leave two old squaws upon the place with victuals, and bid them tell Tespiquin that he should be his captain over the Indians if he were found so stout a man as they reported him to be. The Indians had said that Tespiquin could not be pierced by a bullet, for, said they, he was shot twice, but the bullets glanced by him and could not hurt him.
" Thus the captain marched away with his booty, leaving this trap behind him to take the rest. The next morning he came to see what his trap had catched. There he found Jacob aforesaid, a notorious wretch, and the girl he missed before, but not Tespiquin. But within a day or two after, the said Tespiquin, upon the hopes of being made a captain under Church, came after some of the company and submitted himself in the captain's absence, and was sent to Plymouth, but upon trial, which was the condition on which his being promised a captain's place under Church did depend, he was found penetrable by the English guns, for he fell down at the first shot, and thereby received the just reward of his former wickedness."
Church in his own account says nothing of any such condition, and the action of the authorities must ever appear as a cowardly and dishonorable deed.
The war, as far as Plymouth and Massachusetts were concerned, was now practically at an end. Straggling savages there were, of course, but the number of these Church had wonderfully thinned. In the few months since his commission was issued he and his twenty Englishmen with their Indian allies had captured seven hundred of the enemy. Peace was at hand. The colonists returned to their deserted clearings, built anew their burned homes, and once more drove the plough through the fallow soil. To the eastward, however, the fighting was fast and furious, and this we will recount in our next chapter.
But before doing this it may be well to stop here and see what were the effects of the war.
Two out of every three towns in the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies had been attacked. Of these, ten or twelve were entirely destroyed. Upward of forty suffered more or less severely. The debt which Plymouth had incurred was believed, when the war was over, to have been greater than all the personal property in the colony. Our forefathers had not learned the modern ways of repudiation. They went sturdily to work, and paid their debts like honest men.
Every tenth or twelfth man in the colonies had either been killed outright in battle or had disappeared, a prisoner, only to die by the most cruel deaths which savage ingenuity could devise. Their friends could not think of their fate without a shud der, for they had heard only too truly of the tortures amid which their lives were yielded, and there were not lacking who knew of them by sight as well as report.
It happened that among the prisoners captured by Major Talcott, of Connecticut, in the raid made by him in July, which we have spoken of, was a '' young, sprightly fellow," a Narragansett. The Mohegans who had taken him besought that he might be delivered over to them, that they might put him to death by torture. It was exceedingly painful for the English to do this, if we may believe Hubbard, but they put their feelings under control and granted the permission asked, partly " lest by a denial they might disoblige their Indian friends ; partly also that they might have an ocular demonstration of the savage, barbarous cruelty of these heathens."
The Narragansett was a brave man. He boasted that he had killed nineteen Englishmen, and had loaded his gun for a twentieth, but not finding one at the moment, and a Mohegan appearing, he brought him down rather than lose a good shot, and so made up a score.
" In the first place, making a great circle, they placed him in the middle, that all their eyes might at the same time be pleased with the utmost revenge upon him. They first cut one of his fingers round in the joint at the trunck of the hand with a sharp knife and then brake it off, then they cut off another and another till they had dismembered one hand of all its digits, the blood sometimes spirting out in streams a yard from his hands, which barbarous and unheard-of cruelty the English were not able to bear, it forcing tears from their eyes ; yet did not the sufferer ever relent or show any sign of anguish. For being asked by some of his tormentors how he liked the war, this unsensible and hard-hearted mon* ster answered, He liked it very well, and found it as sweet as Englishmen did their sugar. " In this frame he continued till his executioners had dealt with the toes of his feet as they had done with the fingers of his hands ; all the while making himself dance round the circle and sing till he wearied both himself and them. At last they brake the bones of his legs, after which he was forced to sat down, which 'tis said he silently did, till they had knocked out his brains."
The Closing Events of the War—continued.
The war in the eastern settlements—Causes of the Indian outbreaks—The affair at Casco Bay—Capt. Philips's defence— The Fate of Lieut. Plaisted—Major Waldron's treachery— The capture of Arrowsick Islands—Narratives of personal adventure.
To the eastward of what is now Massachusetts lay at this time seventeen towns or plantations. Many of these were little more than trading-posts. Four of them—Dover, Portsmouth, Exeter, Hampton— were in New Hampshire. Beyond these came, one after another, Kittery, York, Wells, Cape Porpoise, Saco, Scarborough, Falmouth, Pejeepscot, settlements on the Sagadahoc and the Kennebec, Sheepscott and Capenwagen, Damariscotta, Pemaquid, Monhegan, together with Gorges Island and the plantations on the mainland opposite.
All these were reached by the tides ; the country inland was practically unknown. Their inhabitants had originally come to them by water; communication between the towns was in nearly every case by water. Long and impassable miles of unexplored forests often separated them. No paternal government held strict sway over them as over the towns of the United Colonies. They were under no restraint in their dealings with the savages other than such as expediency suggested. Like all dwellers on the outskirts of civilization, the men were of the rougher sort, intent on personal and immediate gain, while the future was left to take care of itself.
Many was the outrage perpetrated by them that was scored down in the savage memory against the day of reckoning. Here is a sample one :
Thomas Miller deposed that, being at Fayal, he saw a vessel which had come from Boston, on which were a number of Indians. The next day, being in conversation with a merchant on shore, he was told by him that he had offered the skipper thirty-seven or thirty-eight pipes of wine for his seventeen savages. These men had all been stolen from the coast of Maine and hurried off into slavery. Complaints of being cheated in their trading with the whites were endless. One savage affirmed that he had paid an hundred pounds for water drawn from a trader's well, so greatly had his spirits been diluted.
Any account of the Indian uprising against these eastern plantations cannot appear otherwise than rambling and disconnected. It chronicles simply a
succession of border fights, where the savages were sometimes driven off, but where they too often car( ried the day. There was little or no concerted action among the whites, as was inevitable from their situation. Many of the settlements were wiped out as with a sponge, and the flames that consumed the houses burned also any records that might have added to our knowledge and interest.
Word came to the plantations at the mouth of the Kennebec, three weeks after the breaking out of the war at Mount Hope, that trouble with the savages in Plymouth had begun. The men at once came together, and a number volunteered to go up the river to see whether the Indians were friendly, or " to fight them if occasion were." Such a spirit as this was hardly likely to appease the savages, if any discontent were existing. They were directed to bring in and give up their arms. Naturally, as their success in hunting depended upon their having guns, they did not feel disposed to obey. There were one or two trifling encounters, and then in the autumn the Indians rose in a body.
They visited the house of one Purchas, the same who had so diluted his liquors, at Pejeepscot in September. Purchas and his sons were abroad. No rough treatment was shown to his wife. They made free with his possessions, however, killing his cattle, ripping up the feather-beds, and carrying off his ammunition and the objectionable spirits. One of his sons chanced to come near the house on horseback, but seeing who were the visitors, turned his steed and put spurs to him. An Indian, hiding his musket under his blanket, leaped on another horse and followed him, beseeching him most courteously to return. Our young friend, however, considered discretion the better part of valor, and rudely departed.
Shortly after this twenty-five men went up Casco Bay to look after corn planted on the Amonoscoggen River, which was now ripe. They were in a sloop and two boats. Landing, they heard a noise about a house, near the corn, and presently espied three Indians, who had not yet discovered their approach. They attempted to intercept them, but not succeeding, fired upon them, killed one outright and wounded another. The third and the wounded man made their escape. After this piece of criminal foolishness they committed a greater folly. They set themselves to loading the corn without stationing sentinels or taking any precautions against a surprise.
The savages, roused by the fugitives, hurried to the spot, and attacking them with great fury drove them with many wounds to the sloop. As they sailed away, leaving their two loaded boats behind, they had the chagrin of seeing the torch applied to one, while the enemy made spoil of all that was in the other.
Many was the out-station now that felt the savage fury. About this time they came to the Saco River. Captain Bonithon had built on one side of the river, Major Philips, nearly opposite on the other bank. Captain Bonithon had reason to expect an attack. Accordingly he moved his family and possessions across the river to Major Philips's, who had the stronger house.
Saturday morning about 11 o'clock flames were seen rising from the deserted home. The alarm was given at once, and all made ready for the visitation, which they knew would soon follow. Half an hour later a sentinel at one of the upper windows declared that he saw an Indian crouched by the fence. Major Philips, doubting it, ran up-stairs followed by one of his men, and went to the window. His man cried out, " Master, what mean you, do you intend to be killed?" Philips sprang suddenly aside, and at that moment a bullet grazed his shoulder. The savages without had seen him, and making no doubt that he had been slain, raised a great shout, thus giving to the besieged notice of their number and whereabouts. They, in their turn, fired a volley from every side of the house at once, and had the good fortune to wound the captain of the enemy, who shortly after died.
The savages afterward reported that before he died he advised giving up the attack, but they would not heed his counsels. They fired upon the house from every side, but their fire was returned as stoutly. Despairing of taking it by force, they resorted to stratagem. They set fire first to one out-building, then another, crying, " Come out, you cowardly English dogs, and put out the fire ;" but their taunts produced no effect.
All that afternoon and night they kept up the attack. There were upward of fifty souls in the house, of whom only ten were able men, though there were five boys and old men who did good service. Vigilance was never relaxed, and indeed the besiegers never gave them chance for rest, for their firing was incessant. The sound of axes in one of the out-buildings could be heard all through the night, and about five in the morning the result of the hammering appeared in an engine which was to fire the house. Across the front of a cart, they had built a barricade to shield the men who pushed it from the shots of the garrison. The hind part was piled high with all sorts of combustibles blazing in the air, and it was backed toward the house. It was unwieldy, though, and one wheel slipping into a gutter which had to be crossed, the cart swung suddenly around and exposed all who were pushing it to the fire of the besieged. They gave them a volley at pistol range with such deadly effect that six savages were killed and fifteen wounded. That volley broke up the siege. At sunrise they were seen making their retreat.
Near Salmon Falls there was an instance of a young girl's bravery, that deserves record. Fifteen women and children were alone in a house there, when the savages came upon it. A maid of eighteen first discovered their approach, and shutting the door, held it against them until they had chopped it to pieces with their hatchets. Then entering they knocked her down, leaving her sorely wounded, and as they thought, dead. But her courage had given the others time to escape out of a back door to a house stronger than this, so that the intruders when they had forced an entrance found no one but herself. They rushed after the others, but were in time to capture two children only, with whom they departed. Thereupon the brave girl managed to make her way to help, and shortly was healed of her wounds.
On the 16th of October Salmon Falls was again visited. A party of an hundred of the enemy came against it, and surprising one garrison-house slew its owner. The shots were heard at the next garrison, where Lieutenant Plaisted was stationed. He despatched seven men to its relief, but they were ambushed, and two or three were slain, the others making good their retreat. Perceiving the great force that was about to attack him, Plaisted despatched a messenger for help. Here is his letter :
Mr. Richard Waldern & Lieut. Coffin.
These are to inform you that just now the Indians are engaging us with at least one hundred men, and have slain four of our men already. Sir, if ever you have any love for us and the country, now show yourself with men to help us, or else we are all in great danger to be slain, unless our God wonderfully appear for our deliverance. They that cannot fight let them pray. Nought else but I rest, Yours to serve you,
The next day Plaisted determined to bring in the dead bodies of his friends. Taking oxen and a cart with twenty men, he took up the body of the man first killed, and started homeward to recover on the way those of the two others who had fallen together near a swamp. They had just laid these in the cart when they were assaulted by a hundred and fifty savages, who lay hidden behind fences and logs. The oxen, taking fright, fled back with the bodies to the garrison. The twenty men fought bravely for a time, but seeing that their position was hopeless, beat a retreat, and a part got safely home. Plaisted refused to fly. The savages wished to take him prisoner, but he would not be taken. He and his two sons with one other man fought until they were killed.
By this time the authorities of Massachusetts were thoroughly aroused to the necessity of vigorous action to save the eastern settlements. A strong force was raised toward the end of November, to carry the war into the enemy's country. But the winter came on early. By the first of December the snow was falling, and before a third of the month had gone it lay four feet deep on a level. It was useless to think of moving any body of troops against such an obstacle as this. But the very circumstance that seemed to thwart the plans of the English was in the end to their advantage, for the severity of the, winter brought the savages to terms, and they made haste to sue for peace.
Quiet now reigned along the eastern settlements, yet a fairly strong force was garrisoned in them, for the war with Philip was still at its height. It had been going on for a year, and now its second summer had come, when the tide of fortune had turned against him. Many of his followers thought to escape punishment for their actions by taking up their abode with the tribes in Maine. Their presence was speedily discovered. Major Waldron laid a plot to surprise them, and carried it out successfully, though his success was gained by an act of bad faith. The Indians were invited under a flag of truce to consult as to a treaty. They came in force —about four hundred all told. A sham fight was a part of the programme, and at one part of it the Indians were all to discharge their guns. The moment they did this they were made prisoners. Of the four hundred, one half were believed to have been partakers in the war, and were shipped off to Boston. The Council there made short work'with them. Seven or eight were executed, the remainder were sold into slavery.
The pacification of the tribes did not long continue. In August, Squando, the Sagamore of the Saco Indians, broke out into revolt. The insolence and injustice of the English were here again the cause. Squando's wife and child were in a canoe by themselves, when they fell into the hands of a party of roughs. By way of testing whether a report that Indian children swam instinctively was true or not, these rascals took the baby and threw it into the water. It sank to the bottom, and its mother diving down brought it safely to shore. But shortly after it died, and-Squando revenged its death in savage fashion.
He killed and took prisoners in a single day at Casco thirty souls. Among these was Anthony Bracket, who, with his wife, one child, and a negro, soon after made his escape very cleverly. When Bracket had reached the north side of the bay on his way into captivity, news reached his captors that a band of their fellows had surprised the storehouse on Arrowsick Island. The savages were in such haste to share the plunder that they made all speed onward. He and his wife were promised a part if they would hasten on with a portion of the luggage. But she had noticed an old birch-bark canoe lying deserted on the shore, and her woman's wit suggested a way of escape. She asked that their negro servant might help them carry their burdens, and that they might have a piece of meat. Their captors, anxious to get on, granted both requests, and when the prisoners gradually fell behind did not notice it, so eager were they to share the spoils of the storehouse. No sooner were they out of sight than the burdens were thrown down. With a needle which she fortunately had with her, the canoe was mended somewhat, and in their frail craft the four put to sea. They crossed the bay, eight or nine miles wide, successfully, and rinding a trading vessel on the other side, were soon on board of her in safety.
The party of savages who surprised the Arrowsick storehouse, on their way thither paid a visit to the house of one Richard Hammond, a trader. He had been.injudicious enough in one of his expeditions up the river to make off with the Indians' furs while they were intoxicated. They now proposed to settle the score. A maid who was in the house seeing them come tramping in, was much alarmed, and attempted to escape. They brought her back and tried to reassure her, but her fears were so great that she made a second attempt, and hid in a field of standing corn. As she waited there she heard sounds of fighting within doors. Terror led wings to her flight, and she did not stop until she reached some houses at Sheepscott River, ten or twelve miles away.
After Hammond and his people had been killed, the savages hurried on to Arrowsick Island. They crossed over to it before daylight and hid themselves around the walls. When the careless sentinel went off duty a body of them followed him into the fort, while the rest, making a rush for the open portholes, shot down all who showed themselves inside. The surprise was complete. Captain Lake, Captain Davis, and two other men, finding that the enemy were masters of the fort, and that their only chance lay in flight, made their way out a back door and hurried to the shore. Finding a canoe, they got in it and paddled with might and main for another island not far away. Four savages set out in pursuit. Coming within gunshot, they fired, and Captain Davis was shot and severely wounded. In spite of this the white men reached the island first, and at once separated. The two men took to their heels, and put ten miles between them and the enemy. Captain Davis, weak from his wound, with great difficulty crawled up the shore and hid himself in a crevice of rock. The sun shone in the Indians' eyes as they landed, which alone saved him from being discovered. As he lay there, half fainting, he heard the report of two guns. Two days after he crawled down the beach, and finding there a canoe, managed to escape. Lake was never seen again. It was hoped for a time that he might have been made prisoner, but at last it was known that the guns whose report Davis had heard had slain him.
The news of these outbreaks, at a time when the savages were supposed to be at peace, carried consternation into every settlement. Everywhere men deserted their homes, carrying their wives and children to what they hoped were places of safety. Some gathered on one or two of the islands along the coast, hoping to be more secure than on the mainland. But the whites were strangely timid and disheartened, and the Indians were flushed with success. Crossing in their canoes to Jewel's Island, where several families were living in a fortified house, they carried off women and children before the eyes of the men who, absent fishing, saw from a distance the struggle which they could not take part in. Coming upon a fortified station at Black Point, the savages demanded that it surrender. The fort was so strong that it could have been held by the men within it against any force. Jocelyn, the commander, went out to treat with the enemy. When he came back he found that every man with the exception of his own servants had fled by water. There was nothing left for him to do but surrender. Everywhere the settlers seemed panic-stricken. Possibly one cause for their apparent timidity was the fact that these Maine Indians treated their captives much more humanely than the Nipmucks and the Narragansetts. They were much more anxious to secure a ransom for their prisoners than to put them to the torture. There was not, therefore, the same incentive to fight to the last, as there had been to the men of Plymouth and the Massachusetts.
As soon as the news of these outbreaks was received, a force of some hundred and fifty English and fifty Indians was sent out 'from Massachusetts. It marched along the coast to Casco Bay, where it was joined by a force recruited among the men of that region, but it nowhere found the enemy. When the whites were at one point, the savages were committing havoc at another, and so, like the celebrated army of the King of France, having first marched up the hill, it speedily marched down again, having effected nothing.
Winter was now at hand, and there was a lull in the fighting. Overtures were made for the return of captives by vessels sailing along the coast, and some few were ransomed. The women had been employed all the autumn in making up garments for their cap tors from the goods taken at the storehouse on Arrowsick Island. Many, however, were not so fortunate as to be returned to their friends, and passed the winter in the Indian wigwams. Now and then some bold man made his escape, and after great hardships reached home and friends. On the ipth of February there came into the Isles of Shoals one John Abbot, sailing a ketch or pinnace, which the Indians had captured in October, and with which he had escaped. His story is an interesting one. After he was taken, his vessel was moored in the Sheepscott River for the winter. But his masters soon spent all their provision and ammunition, and needs must go in search of more. So Abbot was directed to get the pinnace ready for sea. They helped him as well as they were able, and ten of them went aboard directing him to sail for Penobscot. Their plan was to sail up that river as far as possible, then to take canoes and so make their way to Canada, where powder could be had of the French.
Abbot went to sea with his swarthy crew. He had gone but a little way when a slight storm arose. Through this he managed to steer his craft with such intentional clumsiness that the savages fancied themselves doomed to a watery grave, and eagerly agreed to his proposition to take shelter behind a projecting strip of land. Eight of them made all haste to get ashore, leaving only two aboard with him. He persuaded these that the vessel could not ride safely where she was, and that they had better go to a safer harbor a few miles eastward. They agreed, and once more the craft went to sea. Abbot's steering was now worse than before. At times the sea washed over them. When the harbor was reached the Indians were for going ashore at once, and bade him come with them. He pretended that he must stay for a little to put the vessel in order, and they left him. The only living soul aboard was a white child, a prisoner three years of age. With this tiny crew he resolved to make a bold strike for freedom. Taking a piece of pork which had been left behind by the disembarking Indians, he greased the mast as high as he could reach to ease the hoisting of the sail, then putting all his strength to the task he raised his canvas and was off. Twenty-four hours brought him safely to the Isles of Shoals.
Quite as exciting was the experience of another captive, who also made his way with one or two others out of the Indians' power. A fishing fleet from the Massachusetts towns was off Cape Sable, when five of the vessels were surprised by the savages. The William and Sarah was among the number. She hailed from Salem, and her crew numbered four men. The boats were taken when at anchor, their crews being entirely off their guard and never dreaming of attack. The Indians came off just at daybreak in canoes, and greeted them with a volley. Then they boarded and made every man a prisoner. The crews were stripped and bound until evening, when, having been changed so that no man remained in his own craft and no crew contained the same members as before, they were ordered to sail their vessels into the mouth of the Penobscot. The William and Sarah was directed by her new owners to pursue a sail that appeared in the offing. She made after her, but night coming on, the Englishmen were ordered to put about. The one who was steering refused to obey, having made his plans beforehand with his comrades to strike for home. He knocked down the Indian in command and stuffed his hat into his mouth to prevent his calling for help, and with his knee upon his chest held him until his two comrades, having succeeded in hurling their opponents overboard, came to his assistance and treated the chief likewise. They bound two others and sailed for Marblehead, which they reached in safety. When the prisoners were taken ashore, the women of the town, enraged at the loss of their husbands and brothers, fell upon them with sticks and stones, and literally tore them to pieces. This same month of February, Major Waldron was sailing in two vessels with sixty men to search for and redeem captives. As he was approaching Penobscot he was hailed by two savages in a canoe, who declared that there were a large number of Indians with English captives at Pemaquid. Reaching Pemaquid that afternoon, Waldron was hailed from the shore, and a messenger whom he sent found quite a goodly number of Indians assembled. The chief sachem present was Mattahando. They all professed themselves delighted to see the English, and said that they were anxious for peace, but post poned all delivery of captives until the next day. In the morning Major Waldron with six men went ashore to arrange for a treaty. All arms on both sides were laid away, and negotiations began. The savages made great protestations of their desire for peace, but when it came to delivering up prisoners they held back. They must have something for their keep through the winter, they said. Presently, however, they produced three. When the English returned to the vessels for the ransom, a council was held. Several of those on board declared that among the savages they had recognized many who had been concerned in the murders at Casco. In fine, it was determined not to conclude a peace, but to surprise and fight them as soon as the ransom was paid.
Waldron with five men, unarmed, went back, while the rest prepared to follow the moment he gave a signal. It was well that he had found out the character of the men with whom he was treating, for being thoroughly on his guard, his watchful eyes presently discovered a lance head sticking out from beneath a board. Close at hand other arms were hidden, for the savages had themselves planned a surprise, and only his vigilance prevented their carrying out their plan. Seizing the lance, he advanced upon them, at the same time waving his hat above his head as a signal for the soldiers from the vessels to come to his aid. The Indians made toward him, but he and his five men fought sturdily until help arrived. One of them seized a villain named Megunaway, who had been in the fight on the Connecticut at the time Captain Turner was killed, and held him fast. The rest of the enemy fled to their canoes, but the soldiers by this time had landed and were in pursuit. Four were taken, among them the chief sachem, and it was believed that twelve others were killed. Megunaway was tried and shot without delay. His trial was brief, for it was known that he had killed a brother of Anthony Bracket at the time when Anthony was carried off.
The war in the eastern settlements dragged along for still another year. The fighting was never, from the nature of the case, such as there had been in the western towns where large bodies of savages had attacked thriving settlements. It was, as we have said, a guerilla warfare—a series of attacks on exposed plantations and block-houses. Now and then some act of bravery illumines the dreary monotony of its records. Gradually it came to an end. The English tried to enlist the dreaded Mohawks in their service, and the very name of these terrible warriors caused a panic among their enemies. And so the war wore itself out, and at last peace came.
Abbot, John, 327.
Albany, 195, 196, 199.
Alexander, 102, jo8, 296.
Almy, Capt., 116.
Amonoscoggen River, 314.
Andros, Gov., 256.
Annawon, 290, 297, 298, 302.
Appleton, Major, 159.
Arrowsick Island, 324, 327.
Atherton, Rev. Mr., 255.
Awashonks, 106, 262, 264, 268.
Bacquao River, 189,201, 202.
Beers, Capt., 137, 140.
Beers, Robert, 234.
Block Island, 50, 56.
Bonithon, Capt., 317.
Boston, 56, 90, 149, 161, 217, 229,
243, 257, 262.
Bradford, Maj., 267, 274, 275, 278,
Branch, Arthur, 60.
Branche, Goodman, 157.
Brattle, Capt., 295.
Bridgewater, 236, 282, 287.
Brookfield, 129, 135, 158.
Broughton, George, 320.
Bull, Lieut., 82
Cambridge, 59, 229.
Canonchet, 231, 237, 244, 248.
Capt. Hunger, 56, 57.
Casco, 323, 331.
Casco Bay, 314, 327.
Chapman, Robert, 60,
Chelmsford, 148, 236.
Chirurgeon, 77, 109.
Church, Capt. Benj.,
114, 116, 162, 165, 172, 231, 259,
Clark's Garrison, 230,
Coffin, Lieut., 320.
Connecticut River, 48, 74, 79, 86,
Connecticut, 63, 68, 90, 150, 161,
17°. 175. 262.
Cooper, Lieut., 155.
Coubatant, 31-34, 40.
Cowell, Capt., 242.
Cumberland, R. I., 234.
Curtis, Ephraim, 132.
Cushnet River, 276.
Davenport, Capt., 164.
Davis, Simon, 132.
Davis, Capt., 325.
Deerfield, 138, 141, 144, 158, 248,
Deer Island, 101, 219,
Denison, Capt., 240.
Dodge, W., 170.
Dover, 152, 313.
Dutch Trading Station, 49,
Duxbury, 104, 261.
Edmunds, Capt., 232.
Eliot, 147, 224.
Eliot, John, determined to devote
himself, 97 ; forms towns, 98;
translates Bible, 99.
Endicott, Capt., 51, 54, 37.
Ewell, Mrs., 243.
First Encounter, Id.
Flower of Essex, 142.
Freydessa, 15, 21.
Fuller, Capt., n4, 133.
Gallup, John, 50.
Gardener, Lion, 49, 56, 57, 79,
Gardner, Capt., 165.
General Court, 70, 125, 152, 153,
206, 216, 261.
George, 263, 264.
Gill, Quartermaster, 112.
Glover, Mr., 157.
Goffe, Col., 139.
Gold Island, 122.
Golding, Capt., 122, 288, 289.
Gookin, Major, 147, 219, 221, 345,
Gorges Island, 313.
Hadley, 86,138, 140,156,199, 257,
Hammond, Richard, 324.
Hartford, 49, 65, 68,
154, 155, 24°.
Hatfield, 86, 158, 256, 257.
Henchman, Capt., no.
Higgesson, Mr., 61.
Hitchcock, John, 157.
Hoar, Mr. John, 212, 213.
Hobbamock, 31, 36, 40, 43, 46, 47.
Holyoke, Capt., 248, 250.
Hopkins, Steven, 28.
Howland, Jabez, 269, 298, 301, 303,
Hurlbut, Thomas, 60,
Hubbard, 88, 224, 240, 307.
Hutchinson, Capt., 129.
Hutchinson, Mrs., 94.
Jacob, Capt., 225.
James the Printer, 214, 224.
Jenningson, Capt., 52.
Jewel's Island, 326.
of Indian towns, 98.
Lightfoot, 277, 298.
Little Eyes, 1o8,_277.
Marlborough, 132, 175,
Massasoit, lands of,
23 ; visits Plym-
outh, 25 ; concludes treaty, 26;
visit to, 28 ; conspiracy, 31; wants
Squanto's head, 38 ; sickness, 40;
lamentation over, 41; visit to, 42;
unfolds conspiracy, 43; dies, 102.
Mason, Capt. John, 68,
69, 70, 72,
Mate-hit Indians, 213.
Mather, Cotton, 96, 106, 293.
Mather, Increase, 88, 292, 294.
Mayflower, 16, 21.
Medfield, 187, 222, 225, 339.
Mendon, 128, 296.
Miantonimoh, 81, 82.
Middleborough, 236, 274.
Miller, Thomas, 314.
Minor, Mr., of Dorchester, 171.
Mitchell, old Mr., 58, 59,61.
Mohawks, 81, 92, 248, 256, 293,
Mohegans, 47, 68, 69, 73, 73, 83,
87, 138, 144, 163,
1661 171, 34°!
258, 31°, 3'3-
Monks of Malaga, 25.
Philip becomes sachem,
suades Wetamoo to join him, 109;
Mt. Hope invaded, 112 ; escapes
from Pocasset, 127 ; price on his
head, 150 ; overtures to western
tribes, 155 ; receives Mrs. Row-
landson, 193, 194; maid visits
Mrs. Rowlandson, 200 ; encour-
ages Mrs. Rowlandson, 204 ; Mrs.
Rowlandson's release, 214 ; pris-
oners predict his death, 287 ; sur-
prise and death, 289 ; rejoicing at
death, 292; estimate of charac-
ter, 293 ; fate of son, 294.
Philips, Mai., 317.
Pierce, Capt. Michael, 231, 233.
Pilgrims' first coming
ment, 16, 48.
Plaisted, Roger, 320.
Plymouth laws, 91.
Plymouth, 21, 22, 30,
31, 40, 44, 68,
70, 71, 72, 91, 102, 125, 154, 161,
168, 230, 234, 247, 259, 260, 268,
Pocasset, 114, 123,
126, 160, 267,
287, 296, 298.
Point Judith, 72, 78.
Pool, Capt., 159.
Porpoise, Cape, 313.
Pow-wow, 208, 270.
Praying Indians, 100,
123, 130, 133,
137, 146, 149, 186, 206, 207.
Prentice, Capt., no, 170, 242.
Proclamation of council, 151.
Providence, 232, 234.
Punkatels Neck, 116.
Pynchon, Major, 156.
Quanopin, 185, 213, 215.
Read, Thomas, 200.
Rehoboth, 127, 234, 260.
Richardson, Capt., 149.
Robinson, Rev. John, 97.
Rowlandson, Mrs., 176, 177, 222,
Rhode Island, 90,118,263,267, 291,
Rumble, Thomas, 60.
Sable, Cape, 329.
Saco Indians, 322.
Saco River, 317.
Saconet, 106, 115, 262, 267.
Sagamore, John, 296.
Salmon Falls, 319,
Sassacus, 48, 79, 81.
Saybrook, 49, 56, 67, 68, 78, 80.
Sausaman, John, 104, 105, 106.
Scituate, 236, 243.
Sheepscott River, 324, 327.
Shoals, Isle of, 327, 329.
Smith, Capt., 149, 151.
Smith's Garrison, 162, 169.
Snake skin with bunch of arrows,
South Kingston, 163.
Spencer, John, 60.
Sprague, Capt., 126.
Springfield, 49, 86, 154, 155, 158,
Standish, Capt. Miles, 17, 35, 36,
Stanton, Thomas, 61
Stewart, Goodman, 157.
Stone, Rev. Mr., 71.
Stone, Capt., 49.
Stoughton, Capt., 80.
Squanto, 25, 28, 31,
35, 36, 38.
Sudbury, 207, 209, 210, 211, 230,
Swansey, 109, 1n.
Talcott, Major, 281,
Tatoson, 230, 286.
Taunton, 274, 282, 296.
Tavern frequenting, 153.
Thames River, 70.
Thorbrand, Snorrasson, 15.
Thorvald, 13, 21.
Tom, 206, 212, 214.
Tower Hill, 72.
Treat, Major, 140, 143, 156.
Turner, Capt., 52, 54, 248, 250,
Uncas, 68, 73, 74, 81,
82, 87, 127.
Underbill, Capt., 51, 56, 68, 69, 75,
United Colonies, 84,
90, 161, 314.
Uskattughun, Samuel, 246.
Virginia, 38, 49.
Wachuset, 202, 204.
Wadsworth, Capt., 221, 241.
Waldern, Richard, 320, 322, 330.
Wampanoags, 104, 128, 150, 240.
Wells, survivor of the Fall's fight,
Wequash, 73 74, 75.
Wetamoo, 102, 108, 123, 150, 16of
205, 213, 296, 297.
Wheeler, Capt., 129, 130, 136.
Wickford, 161, 162, 169, 170.
Willard, Rev. Mr., 229.
Willard, Maj., 135.
Williams, Roger, 235.
Williams, Capt. of Scituate, 289.
William and Sarah, 329.
Wilson, Thomas, 134.
Winsloe, Edward, 28.
Winslow, Gov., 88, 161, 274, 282.
Winslow, Major, 103.
Wittuwamet, 46, 47, 97.