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Title: King Philip - Makers of History
Author: Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot), 1805-1877
Language: English
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Makers of History

King Philip


With Engravings

New York and London
Harper & Brothers Publishers

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-seven, by
Harper & Brothers,
in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District
of New York.

Copyright, 1885, by Susan Abbot Mead.



Few, even of our most intelligent men, if we except those who are
devoted to literary pursuits, are acquainted with the adventures which
our forefathers encountered in the settlement of New England. The
claims of business are now so exacting, that those whose time is
engrossed by its cares have but little leisure for extensive reading,
and yet there is no American who does not desire to be familiar with
the early history of his own country. The writer, with great labor,
has collected from widely-spread materials, and condensed into this
narrative of the career of King Philip, those incidents in our early
history which he has supposed would be most interesting and
instructive to the general reader. He has spared no pains in the
endeavor to be accurate. In the rude annals of those early days there
is often obscurity, and sometimes contradiction, in the dates. Such
dates have been adopted as have appeared, after careful examination,
to be most reliable.

The writer can not refrain, in this connection, from acknowledging the
obligations he is under to his friend and neighbor, John M'Keen, Esq.,
to whose extensive and accurate acquaintance with the early history of
this country he is indebted for many of the materials which have aided
him in the preparation of this work.

               JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

Brunswick, Maine, 1857.


 Chapter                                                    Page

    I. LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS                               13

   II. MASSASOIT                                             46

  III. CLOUDS OF WAR                                         80

   IV. THE PEQUOT WAR                                       110


   VI. COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES                          187

  VII. AUTUMN AND WINTER CAMPAIGNS                          220

 VIII. CAPTIVITY OF MRS. ROWLANDSON                         254

   IX. THE INDIANS VICTORIOUS                               292

    X. THE VICISSITUDES OF WAR                              321

   XI. DEATH OF KING PHILIP                                 353

  XII. CONCLUSION OF THE WAR                                385



 PLYMOUTH BAY, AS SEEN BY THE PILGRIMS          _Frontispiece._

 THE FIRST ENCOUNTER                                         26

 SAMOSET, THE INDIAN VISITOR                                 48

 MASSASOIT AND HIS WARRIORS                                  57

 THE PALACE OF MASSASOIT                                     68

 THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER                                     169

 THE BATTLE IN TIVERTON                                     210

 CAPTURE OF THE INDIAN FORTRESS                             247

 CAPTIVITY OF MRS. ROWLANDSON                               270

 THE DESTRUCTION OF SUDBURY                                 311

 THE INDIAN AMBUSH                                          315

 THE DEATH OF PHILIP                                        360





Arrival of the Mayflower.--Explorations.--Captain Weymouth.--Indian
captives.--Enticing the natives.--The seizure.--Trophies.--Necessity
for caution.--Discovery of a wigwam.--New enterprises.--The return of
the explorers.--New expedition.--Sight of some Indians.--Cheerless
encampment.--Discoveries.--Quaint description of the huts.--Interior
of the hut, and what was found.--Good intentions not realized.--Another
stormy night.--Morning preparations.--A fearful attack.--Protection of
the English.--Power of the Indians.--The chief shot.--Disappearance of
the Indians.--Sudden peace.--Devotions.--Departure.--A gale.--An
accident.--Approaching night.--Discovery of a shelter.--Preparations
for the night.--They resolve to spend the Sabbath at their
camp.--Plymouth Bay.--Sounding for the channel.--Sites for the
village.--Jealousy of the Dutch.--Arrival of the Mayflower.--Survey
of the country.--A location selected.--Interruptions by a storm.--The
birth-day of New England.--Friday, December 22.--Hopes and expectations
of the Pilgrims.--Leaving the ship.--Erection of the store house.--The
little village.--Alarm from the Indians.--Discomforts.--Watchfulness
of the Indians.--End of the year.--Attempts to meet the Indians.--Two
men missing.--Return of the lost.--Their adventures.--They discover
the harbor.--Their sufferings.--February.--Death among the
colonists.--Discovery of Indians.--Alarm.--Preparations for
defense.--Two savages appear.--Weakness of the colonists.

On the 11th of November, 1620, the storm-battered Mayflower, with its
band of one hundred and one Pilgrims, first caught sight of the barren
sand-hills of Cape Cod. The shore presented a cheerless scene even for
those weary of a more than four months voyage upon a cold and
tempestuous sea. But, dismal as the prospect was, after struggling for
a short time to make their way farther south, embarrassed by a leaky
ship and by perilous shoals appearing every where around them, they
were glad to make a harbor at the extremity of the unsheltered and
verdureless cape. Before landing, they chose Mr. John Carver, "a pious
and well-approved gentleman," as the governor of their little republic
for the first year. While the carpenter was fitting up the boat to
explore the interior bend of the land which forms Cape Cod Bay, in
search of a more attractive place of settlement, sixteen of their
number set out on foot on a short tour of discovery. They were all
well armed, to guard against any attack from the natives.

Cautiously the adventurers followed along the western shore of the
Cape toward the south, when suddenly they came in sight of five
Indians. The natives fled with the utmost precipitation. They had
heard of the white men, and had abundant cause to fear them. But a few
years before, in 1605, Captain Weymouth, on an exploring tour along
the coast of Maine, very treacherously kidnapped five of the natives,
and took them with him back to England. This act, which greatly
exasperated the natives, and which led to subsequent scenes of
hostility and blood, it may be well here to record. It explains the
reception which the Pilgrims first encountered.

Captain Weymouth had been trafficking with the natives for some time
in perfect friendship. One day six Indians came to the ship in two
canoes, three in each. Three were enticed on board the ship, and were
shut up in the cabin. The other three, a little suspicious of danger,
refused to leave their canoe, but, receiving a can of pease and
bread, paddled to the shore, where they built a fire, and sat down to
their entertainment. A boat strongly manned was then sent to the shore
from the ship with enticing presents, and a platter of food of which
the Indians were particularly fond. One of the natives, more cautious
than the rest, upon the approach of the boat, retired to the woods;
the other two met the party cordially. They all walked up to the fire
and sat down, in apparent friendship, to eat their food together.
There were six Englishmen and two naked, helpless natives. At a given
signal, while their unsuspecting victims were gazing at some
curiosities in a box, the English sprang upon them, three to each man.
The natives, young, vigorous, and lithe as eels, struggled with
Herculean energy. The kidnappers, finding it difficult to hold them by
their naked limbs, seized them by the long hair of their heads, and
thus the terrified creatures were dragged into the boats and conveyed
to the ship. Soon after this Captain Weymouth weighed anchor, and the
five captives were taken to England. He also took, as trophies of his
victory, the two canoes, and the bows and arrows of these Indians.
Sundry outrages of a similar character had been perpetrated by
European adventurers all along the New England coast. The Pilgrims
were well aware of these facts, and consequently they were not
surprised at the flight of the Indians, and felt, themselves, the
necessity of guarding against a hostile attack.

The English pursued the fugitives vigorously for many miles, but were
unable to overtake them. At last night came on. They built a camp,
kindled a fire, established a watch, and slept soundly until the next
morning. They then continued their course, following along in the
track of the Indians. After some time they came to the remains of an
Indian wigwam, surrounded by an old corn-field. Finding concealed here
several baskets filled with ears of corn, they took the grain, so
needful for them, intending, should they ever meet the Indians, to pay
them amply for it. With this as the only fruit of their expedition,
they returned to the ship.

Soon after their return preparations were completed for a more
important enterprise. The shallop was launched, and well provided with
arms and provisions, and thirty of the ship's company embarked for an
extensive survey of the coast. They slowly crept along the barren
shore, stopping at various points, but they could meet with no
natives, and could find no harbor for their ship, and no inviting
place for a settlement. Drifting sands and gloomy evergreens, through
which the autumnal winds ominously sighed, alone met the eye. They
discovered a few deserted dwellings of the Indians, but could catch no
sight of the terrified natives. After several days of painful search,
they returned disheartened to the ship.

It was now the 6th of December, and the cold winds of approaching
winter began to sweep over the water, which seemed almost to surround
them. Imagination can hardly conceive a more bleak and dreary spot
than the extremity of Cape Cod. It was manifest to all that it was no
place for the establishment of a colony, and that, late as it was in
the year, they must, at all hazards, continue their search for a more
inviting location. Previous explorers had entered Cape Cod Bay, and
had given a general idea of the sweep of the coast.

A new expedition was now energetically organized, to proceed with all
speed in a boat along the coast in search of a harbor. The wind, in
freezing blasts, swept across the bay as they spread their sail. Their
frail boat was small and entirely open, and the spray, which ever
dashed over these hardy pioneers, glazed their coats with ice. They
soon lost sight of the ship, and, skirting the coast, were driven
rapidly along by the fair but piercing wind. The sun went down, and
dark night was approaching. They had been looking in vain for some
sheltered cove into which to run to pass the night, when, in the
deepening twilight, they discerned twelve Indians standing upon the
shore. They immediately turned their boat toward the land, and the
Indians as immediately fled. The sandy beach upon which their boat
grounded was entirely exposed to the billows of the ocean. With
difficulty they drew their boat high upon the sand, that it might not
be broken by the waves, and prepared to make themselves as comfortable
as possible. It was, indeed, a cheerless encampment for a cold, windy
December night. Fortunately there was wood in abundance with which to
build a fire, and they also piled up for themselves a slight
protection against the wind and against a midnight attack. Then,
having commended themselves to God in prayer, they established a
watch, and sought such repose as fatigue and their cold, hard couch
could furnish.

The night passed away without any alarm. In the morning they divided
their numbers, one half taking the boat, and the others following
along upon foot on the shore. Thus they continued their explorations
another day, but could find no suitable place for a settlement. During
the day they saw many traces of inhabitants, but did not obtain sight
of a single native.

They found two houses, from which the occupants had evidently but
recently escaped. The following is the description which the
adventurers gave of these wigwams, in the quaint English of two
hundred years ago:

     "Whilest we were thus ranging and searching, two of the
     Saylers which were newly come on the shore by chance espied
     two houses which had beene lately dwelt in, but the people
     were gone. They having their peeces and hearing no body
     entred the houses and tooke out some things, and durst not
     stay but came again and told vs; so some seaven or eight of
     vs went with them, and found how we had gone within a slight
     shot of them before. The houses were made with long yong
     Sapling trees bended and both ends stucke into the ground;
     they were made round like unto an Arbour and covered down to
     the ground with thicke and well wrought matts, and the doors
     were not over a yard high made of a matt to open; the
     chimney was a wide open hole in the top, for which they had
     a matt to cover it close when they pleased. One might stand
     and go upright in them; in the midst of them were four
     little trunches knockt into the ground, and small stickes
     laid over on which they hung their Pots, and what they had
     to seeth. Round about the fire they lay on matts which are
     their beds. The houses were double matted, for as they were
     matted without so were they within, with newer and fairer
     matts. In the houses we found wooden Boules, Trayes &
     Dishes, Earthen Pots, Hand baskets made of Crab shells,
     wrought together; also an English Pail or Bucket; it wanted
     a bayle, but it had two iron eares. There was also Baskets
     of sundry sorts, bigger and some lesser, finer and some
     coarser. Some were curiously wrought with blacke and white
     in pretie workes, and sundry other of their houshold stuffe.
     We found also two or three Deeres heads, one whereof had
     been newly killed, for it was still fresh. There was also a
     company of Deeres feete stuck vp in the houses, Harts
     hornes, and Eagles clawes, and sundry such like things there
     was; also two or three baskets full of parched Acorns,
     peeces of fish and a peece of a broyled Hering. We found
     also a little silk grasse and a little Tobacco seed with
     some other seeds which wee knew not. Without was sundry
     bundles of Flags and Sedge, Bull-rushes and other stuffe to
     make matts. There was thrust into a hollow tree two or three
     pieces of venison, but we thought it fitter for the Dogs
     than for us. Some of the best things we took away with us,
     and left their houses standing still as they were. So it
     growing towards night, and the tyde almost spent we hastened
     with our things down to the shallop, and got aboard that
     night, intending to have brought some Beades and other
     things to have left in the houses in signe of Peace and that
     we meant to truk with them, but it was not done by means of
     our hasty comming away from Cape Cod; but so soon as we can
     meet conveniently with them we will give them full

As they returned to their boat the sun again went down, and another
gloomy December night darkened over the houseless wanderers. No cove,
no creek even, opened its friendly arms to receive them. They again
dragged their boat upon the beach. A dense forest was behind them, the
bleak ocean before them. As they feared no surprise from the side of
the water, they merely threw up a slight rampart of logs to protect
them from an attack from the side of the forest. They again united in
their evening devotions, established their night-watch, and, with a
warm fire blazing at their feet, fell soundly asleep. Through the long
night the wind sighed through the tree-tops and the waves broke upon
the shore. No other sounds disturbed their slumber.

The next morning they rose before the dawn of day and prepared
anxiously to continue their search. The morning was dark and stormy. A
drizzling rain, which had been falling nearly all night, had soaked
their blankets and their clothing; the ocean looked black and angry,
and sheets of mist were driven by the chill wind over earth and sea.
The Pilgrims bowed reverently together in their morning prayer,
partook of their frugal meal, and some of them had carried their guns,
wrapped in blankets, down to the boat, when suddenly a fearful yell
burst from the forest, and a shower of arrows fell upon their

The English party consisted of but eighteen; but they were heroic men.
Carver, Bradford, Winslow, and Standish were of their number. Four
muskets only were left within their frail intrenchments. By the rapid
and well-directed discharge of these, they, however, kept the Indians
at bay until those who had carried their guns to the boat succeeded in
regaining them, notwithstanding the shower of arrows which fell so
thickly around. The thick clothing with which the English were
covered, to protect themselves from the cold and the rain, were almost
as coats of mail to ward off the comparatively feeble weapons of the
natives. A very fierce conflict now ensued. The English were almost
entirely unprotected, and were exposed to every arrow. The Indians
were each stationed behind some large forest-tree, which effectually
sheltered him from the bullets of his antagonists. Under these
circumstances, the advantage was probably, on the whole, with the
vastly outnumbering natives. They were widely scattered; their bows
were of great strength, and their arrows, pointed and barbed with
sharp flint and stone, when hitting fairly and in full force, would
pierce even the thickest clothing of the English; and, if striking any
unprotected portion of the body, would inflict a dreadful wound.

For some time this perilous conflict raged, the forest resounding with
the report of musketry, and with the hideous, deafening yell of the
savages. There was one Indian, of Herculean size and strength,
apparently more brave than the rest, who appeared to be the leader of
the band. He had proudly advanced beyond any of his companions, and
placed himself within half musket shot of the encampment. He stood
behind a large tree, and very energetically shot his arrows, and by
voice and gesture roused and animated his comrades. Watching an
opportunity when his arm was exposed, a sharpshooter succeeded in
striking it with a bullet. The shattered arm dropped helpless. The
savage, astounded at the calamity, gazed for a moment in silence upon
his mangled limb, and then uttering a peculiar cry, which was probably
the signal for retreat, dodged from tree to tree, and disappeared. His
fellow-warriors, following his example, disappeared with him in the
depths of the gloomy forest. Hardly a moment elapsed ere not a savage
was to be seen, and perfect silence and solitude reigned upon the spot
which, but a moment before, was the scene of almost demoniac clamor.
The waves broke sullenly upon the shore, and the wind, sweeping the
ocean, and moaning through the sombre firs and pines, drove the rain
in spectral sheets over sea and land. The sun had not yet risen,
and the gray twilight lent additional gloom to the stormy morning.
Both the attack and the retreat were more sudden than imagination can
well conceive. The perfect repose of the night had been instantly
followed by fiendlike uproar and peril, and as instantly succeeded by
perfect silence and solitude.

[Illustration: THE FIRST ENCOUNTER.]

The Pilgrims, as soon as they had recovered from their astonishment,
looked around to see how much they had been damaged. Arrows were
hanging by their clothes, and sticking in the logs by the fire, and
scattered every where around, but, to their surprise, they found that
not one had been wounded. Anxious to leave so dangerous a spot, they
immediately collected their effects and embarked in the boat. Before
embarking, however, they united in a prayer of thanksgiving to God for
their deliverance. They named this spot "_The First Encounter_." The
rain now changed to sleet of mist and snow, and the cold storm
descended pitilessly upon their unprotected heads. A day of suffering
and of peril was before them. As the day advanced, the wind increased
to almost a gale. The waves frequently broke into the boat, drenching
them to the skin, and glazing the boat, ropes, and clothing with a
coat of ice. The surf, dashing upon the shore, rendered landing
impossible, and they sought in vain for any creek or cove where they
could find shelter. The short afternoon was fast passing away, and a
terrible night was before them. A huge billow, which seemed to chase
them with gigantic speed and force, broke over the boat, nearly
filling it with water, and at the same time unshipping and sweeping
away their rudder. They immediately got out two oars, and, with much
difficulty, succeeded with them in steering their bark.

Night and the tempest were settling darkly over the angry sea. To add
to their calamities, a sudden flaw of wind struck the boat, and
instantly snapped the mast into three pieces. The boat was now, for a
few moments, entirely unmanageable, and, involved in the wreck of
mast, rigging, and sail, floated like a log upon the waves, in great
danger of being each moment ingulfed. The hardy adventurers, thus
disabled, seized their oars, and with great exertions succeeded in
keeping their boat before the wind. It was now night, and the rain,
driven violently by the gale, was falling in torrents.

The dark outline of the shore, upon which the surf was furiously
dashing, was dimly discernible. At last they perceived through the
gloom, directly before them, an island or a promontory pushing out at
right angles from the line of the beach. Rowing around the northern
headland, they found on the western side a small cove, where they
obtained a partial shelter from the storm. Here they dropped anchor.
The night was freezing cold. The rain still fell in torrents, and the
boat rolled and pitched incessantly upon the agitated sea. Though
drenched to the skin, knowing that they were in the vicinity of
hostile Indians, most of the company did not deem it prudent to
attempt a landing, but preferred to pass the night in their wet,
shelterless, wave-rocked bark. Some, however, benumbed and almost
dying from wet and cold, felt that they could not endure the exposure
of the wintry night. They were accordingly put on shore. After much
difficulty, they succeeded in building a fire. Its blaze illumined the
forest, and they piled upon it branches of trees and logs, until they
became somewhat warmed by the exercise and the genial heat. But they
knew full well that this flame was but a beacon to inform their savage
foes where they were and to enable them, with surer aim, to shoot the
poisoned arrow. The forest sheltered them partially from the wind.
They cut down trees, and constructed a rude rampart to protect them
from attack. Thus the explorers on the land and in the boat passed the
first part of this dismal night. At midnight, however, those in the
boat, unable longer to endure the cold, ventured to land, and, with
their shivering companions, huddled round the fire, the rain still
soaking them to the skin.

When the morning again dawned, they found that they were in the lee of
a small island. It was the morning of the Sabbath. Notwithstanding
their exposure to hostile Indians and to the storm, and
notwithstanding the unspeakable importance of every day, that they
might prepare for the severity of winter, now so rapidly approaching,
these extraordinary men resolved to remain as they were, that they
might "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." There was true
heroism and moral grandeur in this decision, even though it be
asserted that a more enlightened judgment would have taught that,
under the circumstances in which they were placed, it was a work of
"necessity and of mercy" to prosecute their tour without delay. But
these men believed it to be their duty to sanctify the Sabbath; and,
notwithstanding the strength of the temptation, they did what they
thought to be right, and this is always noble. To God, who looketh at
the heart, this must have been an acceptable sacrifice. For nearly two
hundred years all these men have now been in the world of spirits, and
it may very safely be affirmed that they have never regretted the
scrupulous reverence they manifested for the law of God in keeping the
Sabbath in the stormy wilderness.

With the early light of Monday morning they repaired their shattered
boat, and, spreading their sails before a favorable breeze, continued
their tour. Plymouth Bay opened before them, with a low sand-bar
shooting across the water, which served to break the violence of the
billows rolling in from the ocean, but which presented no obstacle to
the sweep of the wind. It was an unsheltered harbor, but it was not
only the best, but the only one which could be found. Cautiously they
sailed around the point of sand, dropping the lead every few moments
to find a channel for their vessel. They at length succeeded in
finding a passage, and a place where their vessel could ride in
comparative safety. They then landed to select a location for their
colonial village. Though it was the most dismal season of the year,
the region presented many attractions. It was pleasantly diversified
with hills and valleys, and the forest, of gigantic growth, swept
sublimely away in all directions. The remains of an Indian village was
found, and deserted corn-fields of considerable extent, where the
ground was in a state for easy and immediate cultivation.

The Pilgrims had left England with the intention of planting their
colony at the mouth of the Hudson River; but the Dutch, jealous of the
power of the English upon this continent, and wishing to appropriate
that very attractive region entirely to themselves, bribed the pilot
to pretend to lose his course, and to land them at a point much
farther to the north; hence the disappointment of the company in
finding themselves involved amid the shoals of Cape Cod. Though
Plymouth was by no means the home which the Pilgrims had originally
sought, and though neither the harbor nor the location presented the
advantages which they had desired, the season was too far advanced for
them to continue their voyage in search of a more genial home. With
this report the explorers returned to the ship.

On the 15th of December the Mayflower again weighed anchor from the
harbor of Cape Cod, and, crossing the Bay on the 16th, cautiously
worked its way into the shallow harbor of Plymouth, and cast anchor
about a mile and a half from the shore. The next day was the Sabbath,
and all remained on board the ship engaged in their Sabbath devotions.

Early Monday morning, a party well armed were sent on shore to make a
still more careful exploration of the region, and to select a spot for
their village. They marched along the coast eight miles, but saw no
natives or wigwams. They crossed several brooks of sweet, fresh water,
but were disappointed in finding no navigable river. They, however,
found many fields where the Indians had formerly cultivated corn.
These fields, thus ready for the seed, seemed very inviting. At night
they returned to the ship, not having decided upon any spot for their

The next day, Tuesday, the 19th, they again sent out a party on a tour
of exploration. This party was divided into two companies, one to sail
along the coast in the shallop, hoping to find the mouth of some large
river; the other landed and traversed the shore. At night they all
returned again to the ship, not having as yet found such a location as
they desired.

Wednesday morning came, and with increasing fervor the Pilgrims, in
their morning prayer, implored God to guide them. The decision could
no longer be delayed. A party of twenty were sent on shore to mark out
the spot where they should rear their store-house and their dwellings.
On the side of a high hill, facing the rising sun and the beautiful
bay, they found an expanse, gently declining, where there were large
fields which, two or three years before, had been cultivated with
Indian corn. The summit of this hill commanded a wide view of the
ocean and of the land. Springs of sweet water gushed from the
hill-sides, and a beautiful brook, overshadowed by the lofty forest,
meandered at its base. Here they unanimously concluded to rear their
new homes.

As the whole party were rendezvoused upon this spot, the clouds began
to gather in the sky, the wind rose fiercely, and soon the rain began
to fall in torrents. Huge billows from the ocean rolled in upon the
poorly-sheltered harbor, so that it was impossible to return by their
small boat to the ship. They were entirely unsheltered, as they had
brought with them no preparations for such an emergency. Night, dark,
freezing, tempestuous, soon settled down upon these houseless
wanderers. In the dense forest they sought refuge from the icy gale
which swept over the ocean. They built a large fire, and, gathering
around it, passed the night and all the next day exposed to the fury
of the storm. But, toward the evening of the 21st, the gale so far
abated that they succeeded in returning over the rough waves to the

The next morning was the ever memorable Friday, December 22. It dawned
chill and lowering. A wintry gale still swept the bay, and pierced the
thin garments of the Pilgrims. The eventful hour had now come in which
they were to leave the ship, and commence their new life of privation
and hardship in the New World. It was the birth-day of New England. In
the early morning, the whole ship's company assembled upon the deck of
the Mayflower, men, women, and children, to offer their sacrifice of
thanksgiving, and to implore divine protection upon their lofty and
perilous enterprise.

     "The Mayflower on New England's coasts has furled her
        tattered sails,
     And through her chafed and mourning shrouds December's
        breezes wail.

     "There were men of hoary hair
       Amid that Pilgrim band;
     Why had they come to wither there,
       Away from their childhood's land?

     "There was woman's fearless eye,
       Lit by her deep love's truth;
     There was manhood's brow, serenely high,
       And the fiery heart of youth.

     "What sought they thus afar?
       Bright jewels of the mine?
     The wealth of seas--the spoils of war?
       They sought a faith's pure shrine.

     "Ay, call it holy ground,
       The soil where first they trod:
     They have left unstain'd what there they found--
       Freedom to worship God."

The Pilgrims, though inspired by impulses as pure and lofty as ever
glowed in human hearts, were still but feebly conscious of the scenes
which they were enacting. They were exiles upon whom their mother
country cruelly frowned, and though they hoped to establish a
prosperous colony, where their civil and religious liberty could be
enjoyed, which they had sought in vain under the government of Great
Britain, they were by no means aware that they were laying the
foundation stones of one of the most majestic nations upon which the
sun has ever shone. As they stood upon that slippery deck, swept by
the wintry wind, and reverently bowed their heads in prayer, they
dreamed not of the immortality which they were conferring upon
themselves and upon that day. Their frail vessel was now the only
material tie which seemed to bind them to their father-land. Their
parting hymn, swelling from gushing hearts and trembling lips, blended
in harmony with the moan of the wind and the wash of the wave, and
fell, we can not doubt, as accepted melody on the ear of God.

These affecting devotions being ended, boat-load after boat-load left
the ship, until the whole company, one hundred and one in number, men,
women and children, were rowed to the shore, and were landed upon a
rock around which the waves were dashing. As the ship, in the shallow
harbor, rode at anchor a mile from the beach, and the boats were small
and the sea rough, this operation was necessarily very slow.

They first erected a house of logs twenty feet square, which would
serve as a temporary shelter for them all, and which would also serve
as a general store-house for their effects. They then commenced
building a number of small huts for the several families. Every one
lent a willing hand to the work, and soon a little village of some
twenty dwellings sprang up beneath the brow of the forest-crowned hill
which protected them from the winds of the northwest. The Pilgrims
landed on Friday. The incessant labors of the rest of the day and of
Saturday enabled them to provide but a poor shelter for themselves
before the Sabbath came. But, notwithstanding the urgency of the case,
all labor was intermitted on that day, and the little congregation
gathered in their unfinished store-house to worship God. Aware,
however, that hostile Indians might be near, sentinels were stationed
to guard them from surprise. In the midst of their devotions, the
alarming cry rang upon their ears, "Indians! Indians!" A more fearful
cry could hardly reach the ears of husbands and fathers. The church
instantly became a fortress and the worshipers a garrison. A band of
hostile natives had been prowling around, but, instructed by the
valiant defense of the first encounter, and seeing that the Pilgrims
were prepared to repel an assault, they speedily retreated into the

The next day the colonists vigorously renewed their labors, having
parceled themselves into nineteen families. They measured out their
house lots and drew for them, clustering their huts together, for
mutual protection, in two rows, with a narrow street between. But the
storms of winter were already upon them. Monday night it again
commenced raining. All that night and all of Tuesday the rain fell in
floods, while the tempest swept the ocean and wailed dismally through
the forest. Thus they toiled along in the endurance of inconceivable
discomfort for the rest of the week. All were suffering from colds,
and many were seriously sick. Friday and Saturday it was again stormy
and very cold. To add to their anxiety, they saw in several
directions, at the distance of five or six miles from them, wreaths of
smoke rising from large fires in the forest, proving that the Indians
were lurking around them and watching their movements. It was evident,
from the caution which the Indians thus manifested, that they were by
no means friendly in their feelings.

The last day of the year was the Sabbath. It was observed with much
solemnity, their store-house, crowded with their effects, being the
only temple in which they could assemble to worship God.

     "Amid the storm they sang,
       And the stars heard and the sea;
     And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
       To the anthem of the free."

Monday morning of the new year the sun rose in a serene and cloudless
sky, and the Pilgrims, with alacrity, bowed themselves to their work.
Great fires of the Indians were seen in the woods. The valiant Miles
Standish, a man of the loftiest spirit of energy and intrepidity, took
five men with him, and boldly plunged into the forest to find the
Indians, and, if possible, to establish amicable relations with them.
He found their deserted wigwams and the embers of their fires, but
could not catch sight of a single native. A few days after this, two
of the pilgrims, who were abroad gathering thatch, did not return, and
great anxiety was felt for them. Four or five men the next day set out
in search for them. After wandering about all day unsuccessfully
through the pathless forest, they returned at night disheartened, and
the little settlement was plunged into the deepest sorrow. It was
greatly feared that they had been waylaid and captured by the savages.
Twelve men then, well armed, set out to explore the wilderness, to
find any traces of their lost companions. They also returned but to
deepen the dejection of their friends by the recital of their
unsuccessful search. But, as they were telling their story, a shout of
joy arose, and the two lost men, with tattered garments and emaciated
cheeks, emerged from the forest. They gave the following account of
their adventures:

As they were gathering thatch about a mile and a half from the
plantation, they saw a pond in the distance, and went to it, hoping to
catch some fish. On the margin of the pond they met a large deer. The
affrighted animal fled, pursued eagerly by the dog they had with them.
The men followed on, hoping to capture the rich prize. They were thus
lured so far that they became bewildered and lost in the pathless
forest. All the afternoon they wandered about, until black night
encompassed them. A dismal storm arose of wind and rain, mingled with
snow. They were drenched to the skin, and their garments froze around
them. In the darkness they could find no shelter. They had no weapons,
but each one a small sickle to cut thatch. They had no food whatever.
They heard the roar of the beasts of the forests. They supposed it to
be the roaring of lions, though it was probably the howling of wolves.
Their only safety appeared to be to climb into a tree; but the wind
and the cold were so intolerable that such an exposure they could not
endure. So each one stood at the root of a tree all the night long,
running around it to keep himself from freezing, drenched by the
storm, terrified by the cries which filled the forest, and ready, as
soon as they should hear the gnashing of teeth, to spring into the

The long winter night at length passed away, and a gloomy morning
dimly lighted the forest, and they resumed their search for home. They
waded through swamps, crossed streams, were arrested in their course
by large ponds of water, and tore their clothing and their flesh by
forcing their way through the tangled underbrush. At last they came to
a hill, and, climbing one of the highest trees, discerned in the
distance the harbor of Plymouth, which they recognized by the two
little islands, densely wooded, which seemed to float like ships upon
its surface. The cheerful sight invigorated them, and, though their
limbs tottered from exhaustion, they toiled on, and, just as night was
setting in, they reached their home, faint with travel, and almost
famished with hunger and cold. The limbs of one of these men, John
Goodman, were so swollen by exertion and the cold that they were
obliged to cut his shoes from his feet, and it was a long time before
he was again able to walk. Thus passed the month of January. Nearly
all of the colonists were sick, and eight of their number died.

February was ushered in with piercing cold and desolating storms.
Tempests of rain and snow were so frequent and violent that but little
work could be done. The huts of the colonists were but poorly prepared
for such inclement weather, and so many were sick that the utter
destruction of the colony seemed to be threatened. Though the company
which landed consisted of one hundred and one, but forty-one of these
were men; all the rest were women and children. Death had already
swept many of these men away, and several others were very dangerously
sick. It was evident that the savages were lurking about, watching
them with an eagle eye, and with most manifestly unfriendly feelings.
The colonists were in no condition to repel an attack, and the most
fearless were conscious that they had abundant cause for intense

On the 16th of this month, a man went to a creek about a mile and a
half from the settlement a gunning, and, concealing himself in the
midst of some shrubs and rashes, watched for water-fowl. While thus
concealed, twelve Indians, armed to the teeth, marched stealthily by
him, and he heard in the forest around the noise of many more. As
soon as the twelve had passed, he hastened home and gave the alarm.
All were called in from their work, the guns were loaded, and every
possible preparation was made to repel the anticipated assault. But
the day passed away in perfect quietness; not an Indian was seen; not
the voice or the footfall of a foe was heard. These prowling bands,
concealed in the dark forest, moved with a mystery which was
appalling. The Pilgrims had now been for nearly two months at
Plymouth, and not an Indian had they as yet caught sight of, except
the twelve whom the gunner from his ambush had discerned. Toward
evening, Miles Standish, who, upon the alarm, had returned to the
house, leaving his tools in the woods, took another man and went to
the place to get them, but they were no longer there. The Indians had
taken them away.

This state of things convinced the Pilgrims that it was necessary to
adopt very efficient measures that they might be prepared to repel any
attack. All the able-bodied men, some twenty-five in number, met and
formed themselves into a military company. Miles Standish was chosen
captain, and was invested with great powers in case of any emergency.
Rude fortifications were planned for the defense of the little hamlet,
and two small cannons, which had been lying useless beneath the snow,
were dug up and mounted so as to sweep the approaches to the houses.
While engaged in these operations, two savages suddenly appeared upon
the top of a hill about a quarter of a mile distant, gazing earnestly
upon their movements. Captain Standish immediately took one man with
him, and, without any weapons, that their friendly intentions might be
apparent, hastened to meet the Indians. But the savages, as the two
colonists drew near, fled precipitately, and when Captain Standish
arrived upon the top of the hill, he heard noises in the forest behind
as if it were filled with Indians.

This was the 17th of February. After this a month passed away, and not
a sign of Indians was seen. It was a month of sorrow, sickness, and
death. Seventeen of their little band died, and there was hardly
strength left with the survivors to dig their graves. Had the Indians
known their weakness, they might easily, in any hour, have utterly
destroyed the colony.




Advance of spring.--Sudden appearance of an Indian.--Samoset.--Effects
of a plague.--Samoset is hospitably treated and likes his
quarters.--Stealing of Indians.--The chief of the Wampanoags.--Departure
of Samoset.--Return of the Indians.--Presents to the
Indians.--Appearance of savages.--Planting.--Squantum.--His
captivity.--His benefactors.--Approach of Massasoit.--Caution of the
Indians.--Conference with Massasoit.--The Pilgrims leave a
hostage.--Visit of Massasoit.--His reception.--Royal interview.--The
first glass of spirits.--Appearance of the warriors.--A friendly
alliance.--Death of Governor Carver.--Mission to Massasoit.--Trouble
from the Indians.--The journey.--Appearance of the country.--Hospitality
of the natives.--Poverty of the natives.--The fishing-party.--Opposition
to crossing the river.--Assistance from the Indians.--Scarcity of
food.--Character of the Indians.--Massasoit absent.--Mount
Hope.--Reflections on the past.--Reflections inspired by the
scene.--Character of our forefathers.--Return of Massasoit.--Royal
ceremonies.--Gifts to the king.--Want of food.--Night in a
palace.--Amusements.--Arrival of fish.--Motives for departure.--Graphic
narrative.--Stormy journey.--Result of the mission.--Child lost.--News
of the safety of the child.--Endeavors for his rescue.--Cummaquids.--An
aged Indian.--Iyanough.--Caution.--Recovery of the lost boy.--Presents
to Aspinet.--The Wampanoags.--Power of Massasoit.

March "came in like a lion," cold, wet, and stormy; but toward the
middle of the month the weather changed, and a warm sun and soft
southern breezes gave indication of an early spring. The 16th of the
month was a remarkably pleasant day, and the colonists who were able
to bear arms had assembled at their rendezvous to complete their
military organization for the working days of spring and summer. While
thus engaged they saw, to their great surprise, a solitary Indian
approaching. Boldly, and without the slightest appearance of
hesitancy, he strode along, entered the street of their little
village, and directed his steps toward the group at the rendezvous. He
was a man of majestic stature, and entirely naked, with the exception
of a leathern belt about his loins, to which there was suspended a
fringe about nine inches in length. In his hand he held a bow and two


The Indian, with remarkable self-confidence and freedom of gait,
advanced toward the astonished group, and in perfectly intelligible
English addressed them with the words, "Welcome, Englishmen." From
this man the eager colonists soon learned the following facts. His
name was Samoset. He was one of the chiefs of a tribe residing near
the island of Monhegan, which is at the mouth of Penobscot Bay. With a
great wind, he said that it was but a day's sail from Plymouth, though
it required a journey of five days by land. Fishing vessels from
England had occasionally visited that region, and he had, by
intercourse with them, acquired sufficient broken English to be able
to communicate his ideas. He also informed the Pilgrims that, four
years before their arrival, a terrible plague had desolated the coast,
and that the tribe occupying the region upon which they were settled
had been utterly annihilated. The dead had been left unburied to be
devoured by wolves. Thus the way had been prepared for the Pilgrims to
settle upon land which no man claimed, and thus had Providence gone
before them to shield them from the attacks of a savage foe.

Samoset was disposed to make himself quite at home. He wished to enter
the houses, and called freely for beer and for food. To make him a
little more presentable to their families, the Pilgrims put a large
horseman's coat upon him, and then led him into their houses, and
treated him with great hospitality. The savage seemed well satisfied
with his new friends, and manifested no disposition to leave quarters
so comfortable and entertainment so abundant. Night came, and he still
remained, and would take no hints to go. The colonists could not
rudely turn him out of doors, and they were very apprehensive of
treachery, should they allow him to continue with them for the night.
But all their gentle efforts to get rid of him were in vain--he
_would_ stay. They therefore made arrangements for him in Stephen
Hopkins's house, and carefully, though concealing their movements from
him, watched him all night.

Samoset was quite an intelligent man, and professed to be well
acquainted with all the tribes who peopled the New England coasts. He
said that the tribe inhabiting the end of the peninsula of Cape Cod
were called Nausites, and that they were exceedingly exasperated
against the whites, because, a few years before, one Captain Hunt,
from England, while trading with the Indians on the Cape, had
inveigled twenty-seven men on board, and then had fastened them below
and set sail. These poor creatures, thus infamously kidnapped, were
carried to Spain, and sold as slaves for one hundred dollars each. It
was in consequence of this outrage that the Pilgrims were so fiercely
attacked at _The First Encounter_. Samoset had heard from his brethren
of the forest all the incidents of this conflict.

He also informed his eager listeners that at two days' journey from
them, upon the margin of waters now called Bristol Bay, there was a
very powerful tribe, the Wampanoags, who exerted a sort of supremacy
over all the other tribes of the region. Massasoit was the sovereign
of this dominant people, and by his intelligence and energy he kept
the adjacent tribes in a state of vassalage. Not far from his
territories there was another powerful tribe, the Narragansets, who,
in their strength, were sometimes disposed to question his authority.
All this information interested the colonists, and they were anxious,
if possible, to open friendly relations with Massasoit.

Early the next morning, which was Saturday, March 17th, Samoset left,
having received as a present a knife, a bracelet, and a ring. He
promised soon to return again, and to bring some other Indians with
him. The next morning was the Sabbath. It was warm, serene, and
beautiful. Dreary winter had passed, and genial spring was smiling
around them. As the colonists were assembling for their Sabbath
devotions, Samoset again presented himself, with five tall Indians in
his train. They were all dressed in skins, fitting closely to the
body, and most of them had a panther's skin and other furs for sale.
According to the arrangement which the Pilgrims had made with Samoset,
they all left their bows and arrows about a quarter of a mile distant
from the town, as the Pilgrims did not deem it safe to admit armed
savages into their dwellings. The tools which had been left in the
woods, and which the Indians had taken, were also all brought back by
these men. The colonists received these natives as kindly as possible,
and entertained them hospitably, but declined entering into any
traffic, as it was the Sabbath. They told the Indians, however, that
if they would come on any other day, they would purchase not only the
furs they now had with them, but any others which they might bring.

Upon this, all retired excepting Samoset. He, saying that he was sick,
insisted upon remaining. The rest soon disappeared in the forest,
having promised to return again the next day. Monday and Tuesday
passed, and the colonists looked in vain for the Indians. On Wednesday
morning, having made Samoset a present of a hat, a pair of shoes, some
stockings, and a piece of cloth to wind around his loins, they sent
him to search out his companions, and ascertain why they did not
return according to their promise. The Indians who first left had all,
upon their departure, received presents from the Pilgrims, so anxious
were our forefathers to establish friendly relations with the natives
of this New World.

During the first days of the week the colonists were very busy
breaking up their ground and planting their seed. On Wednesday
afternoon, Samoset having left, they again assembled to attend to
their military organization. While thus employed, several savages
appeared on the summit of a hill but a short distance opposite them,
twanging their bow-strings and exhibiting gestures of defiance.
Captain Standish took one man with him, and with two others following
at a distance as a re-enforcement in case of any difficulty, went to
meet them. The savages continued their hostile gesticulation until
Captain Standish drew quite near, and then they precipitately fled.

The next day it was again warm and beautiful, and the little village
of the colonists presented an aspect of industry, peace, and
prosperity. About noon Samoset returned, with one single stranger
accompanying him. This Indian's name was _Squantum_. He had been of
the party seized by Weymouth or by Hunt--the authorities are not clear
upon that point--and had been carried to Spain and there sold as a
slave. After some years of bondage he succeeded in escaping to
England. Mr. John Slaney, a merchant of London, chanced to meet the
poor fugitive, protected him, and treated him with the greatest
kindness, and finally secured him a passage back to his native land,
from whence he had been so ruthlessly stolen. This Indian, forgetting
the outrage of the knave who had kidnapped him, and remembering only
the great kindness which he had received from his benefactor and from
the people generally in London, in generous requital now attached
himself cordially to the Pilgrims, and became their firm friend. His
residence in England had rendered him quite familiar with the English
language, and he proved invaluable not only as an interpreter, but
also in instructing them respecting the modes of obtaining a support
in the wilderness.

Squantum brought the welcome intelligence that his sovereign chief,
the great Massasoit, had heard of the arrival of the Pilgrims, and was
approaching, with a retinue of sixty warriors, to pay them a friendly
visit. With characteristic dignity and caution, the Indian chief had
encamped upon a neighboring hill, and had sent Squantum as his
messenger to inform the white men of his arrival, and to conduct the
preliminaries for an interview. Massasoit was well acquainted with the
conduct of the unprincipled English seamen who had skirted the coast,
committing all manner of outrages, and he was too wary to place
himself in the power of strangers respecting whom he entertained such
well-grounded suspicions. He therefore established himself upon a
hill, where he could not be taken by surprise, and where, in case of
an attack, he could easily, if necessary, retreat.

The Pilgrims also, overawed by their lonely position, and by the
mysterious terrors of the wilderness and of the savage, deemed it
imprudent, when such a band of armed warriors were in their vicinity,
to send any of their feeble force from behind the intrenchments which
they had reared. After several messages, through their interpreter,
had passed to and fro, Massasoit, who, though unlettered, was a man of
reflection and of sagacity, proposed that the English should send one
of their number to his encampment to communicate to him their designs
in settling upon lands which had belonged to one of his vassal tribes.
One of the colonists, Edward Winslow, consented to go upon this
embassy. He took as a present for the barbarian monarch two knives and
a copper chain, with a jewel attached to it. Massasoit received him
with dignity, yet with courtesy. Mr. Winslow, through Squantum as his
interpreter, addressed the chieftain, surrounded by his warriors, in
the sincere words of peace and friendship. The Pilgrims of the
Mayflower were good men. They wished to do right, and to establish
amicable relations with the Indians.


Massasoit listened in silence and very attentively to the speech of
Mr. Winslow. At its close he expressed his approval, and, after a
short conference with his councilors, decided to accept Governor
Carver's invitation to visit him, if Mr. Winslow would remain in
the Indian encampment as a hostage during his absence. This
arrangement being assented to, Massasoit set out, with twenty of his
warriors, for the settlement of the Pilgrims. In token of peace, they
left all their weapons behind. In Indian file, and in perfect silence,
the savages advanced until they reached a small brook near the log
huts of the colonists. Here they were met by Captain Miles Standish
with a military array of six men. A salute of six muskets was fired in
honor of the regal visit. Advancing a little farther, Governor Carver
met them with his reserve of military pomp, and the monarch of the
Wampanoags and his chieftains were escorted with the music of the drum
and fife to a log hut decorated with such embellishments as the
occasion could furnish. Two or three cushions, covered with a green
rug, were spread as a seat for the king and the governor in this
formal and most important interview. Governor Carver took the hand of
Massasoit and kissed it. The Indian chieftain immediately imitated his
example, and returned the salute. The governor then, in accordance
with mistaken views of hospitality, presented his guest with a goblet
of ardent spirits. The noble Indian, whose throat had never yet been
tainted by this curse, took a draught which caused his eyes almost to
burst from their sockets, and drove the sweat gushing from every pore.
With the instinctive imperturbability of his race, he soon recovered
from the shock, and a long, friendly, and very satisfactory conference
was held.

Massasoit was a man of mark, mild, genial, affectionate, yet bold,
cautious, and commanding. He was in the prime of life, of majestic
stature, and of great gravity of countenance and manners. His face was
painted red, after the manner of the warriors of his tribe. His glossy
raven hair, well oiled, was cut short in front, but hung thick and
long behind. He and his companions were picturesquely dressed in skins
and with plumes of brilliant colors.

As evening approached, Massasoit withdrew with his followers to his
encampment upon the hill. The treachery of Hunt and such men had made
him suspicious, and he was not willing to leave himself for the night
in the power of the white men. He accordingly arranged his encampment
to guard against surprise, and, sentinels being established, the rest
of the party threw themselves upon their hemlock boughs, with their
bows and arrows in their hands, and were soon fast asleep. The
Pilgrims also kept a vigilant watch that night, for neither party had
full confidence in the other. The next morning Captain Standish, with
another man, ventured into the camp of the Indians. They were received
with great kindness, and gradually confidence was strengthened between
the two parties, and the most friendly relations were established.
After entering into a formal alliance, offensive and defensive, the
conference terminated to the satisfaction of all parties, and the
tawny warriors again disappeared in the pathless wilderness. They
returned to Mount Hope, then called Pokanoket, the seat of Massasoit,
about forty miles from Plymouth.

The ravages of death had now dwindled the colony down to fifty men,
women, and children. But health was restored with the returning sun
and the cheering breezes of spring. Thirty acres of land were planted,
and Squantum proved himself a true and valuable friend, teaching them
how to cultivate Indian corn, and how to take the various kinds of

In June Governor Carver died, greatly beloved and revered by the
colony. Mr. William Bradford was chosen as his successor, and by
annual election was continued governor for many years. Early in July
Governor Bradford sent a deputation from Plymouth, with Squantum as
their interpreter, to return the visit of Massasoit. There were
several quite important objects to be obtained by this mission. It was
a matter of moment to ascertain the strength of Massasoit, the number
of his warriors, and the state in which he lived. They wished also, by
a formal visit, to pay him marked attention, and to renew their
friendly correspondence. There was another subject of delicacy and of
difficulty which it had become absolutely necessary to bring forward.
Lazy, vagabond Indians had for some time been increasingly in the
habit of crowding the little village of the colonists and eating out
their substance. They would come with their wives and their children,
and loiter around day after day, without any delicacy whatever,
clamoring for food, and devouring every thing which was set before
them like famished wolves. The Pilgrims, anxious to maintain friendly
relations with Massasoit, were reluctant to drive away his subjects by
violence, but the longer continuance of such hospitality could not be

The governor sent to the Indian king, as a present, a gaudy horseman's
coat. It was made of red cotton trimmed with showy lace. At 10
o'clock in the morning of the second of July, the two ambassadors, Mr.
Winslow and Mr. Hopkins, with Squantum as guide and interpreter, set
forward on their journey. It was a warm and sunny day, and with
cheerful spirits the party threaded the picturesque trails of the
Indians through the forest. These trails were paths through the
wilderness through which the Indians had passed for uncounted
centuries. They were distinctly marked, and almost as renowned as the
paved roads of the Old World, which once reverberated beneath the
tramp of the legions of the Cæsars. Here generation after generation
of the moccasined savage, with silent tread, threaded his way,
delighting in the gloom which no ray of the sun could penetrate, in
the silence interrupted only by the cry of the wild beast in his lair,
and awed by the marvelous beauty of lakes and streams, framed in
mountains and fringed with forests, where water-fowl of every variety
of note and plumage floated buoyant upon the wave, and pierced the air
with monotonous and melancholy song. Ten or twelve Indians--men,
women, and children--followed them, annoying them not a little with
their intrusiveness and their greedy grasp of food. The embassy
traveled about fifteen miles to a small Indian village upon a branch
of Taunton River. Here they arrived about three o'clock in the
afternoon. The natives called the place Namaschet. It was within the
limits of the present town of Middleborough. The Indians received the
colonists with great hospitality, offering them the richest viands
which they could furnish--heavy bread made of corn, and the spawn of
shad, which they ate from wooden spoons. These glimpses of poverty and
wretchedness sadly detract from the romantic ideas we have been wont
to cherish of the free life of the children of the forest. The savages
were exceedingly delighted with the skill which their guests displayed
in shooting crows in their corn-fields.

As Squantum told them that it was more than a day's travel from there
to Pokanoket or Mount Hope, they resumed their journey, and went about
eight miles farther, till they came, about sunset, to another stream,
where they found a party of natives fishing. They were here cheered
with the aspect of quite a fruitful region. The ground on both sides
of the river was cleared, and had formerly waved with corn-fields. The
place had evidently once been densely populated, but the plague of
which we have spoken swept, it is said, every individual into the
grave. A few wandering Indians had now come to the deserted fields to
fish, and were lazily sleeping in the open air, without constructing
for themselves any shelter. These miserable natives had no food but
fish and a few roasted acorns, and they devoured greedily the stores
which the colonists brought with them. The night was mild and serene,
and was passed without much discomfort in the unsheltered fields.

Early in the morning the journey was resumed, the colonists following
down the stream, now called Fall River, toward Narraganset Bay. Six of
the savages accompanied them a few miles, until they came to a shallow
place, where, by divesting themselves of their clothing, they were
able to wade through the river. Upon the opposite bank there were two
Indians who seemed, with valor which astonished the colonists, to
oppose their passage. They ran down to the margin of the stream,
brandished their weapons, and made all the threatening gestures in
their power. They were, however, appeased by friendly signs, and at
last permitted the passage of the river without resort to violence.

Here, after refreshing themselves, they continued their journey,
following down the western bank of the stream. The country on both
sides of the river had been cleared, and in former years had been
planted with corn-fields, but was now quite depopulated. Several
Indians still accompanied them, treating them with the most remarkable
kindness. It was a cloudless day, and intensely hot. The Indians
insisted upon carrying the superfluous clothing of their newly-found
friends. As they were continually coming to brooks, often quite wide
and deep, running into the river, the Indians eagerly took the
Pilgrims upon their shoulders and carried them through.


During the whole of the day, after crossing the river, they met with but
two Indians on their route, so effectually had the plague swept off the
inhabitants. But the evidence was abundant that the region had formerly
been quite populous with a people very poor and uncultivated. Their
living had been manifestly nothing but fish and corn pounded into coarse
meal. Game must have been so scarce in the woods, and with such
difficulty taken with bows and arrows, that they could very seldom have
been regaled with meat. A more wretched and monotonous existence than
theirs can hardly be conceived. Entirely devoid of mental culture, there
was no range for thought. Their huts were miserable abodes, barely
endurable in pleasant weather, but comfortless in the extreme when the
wind filled them with smoke, or the rain dripped through the branches.
Men, women, children, and dogs slept together at night in the one
littered room, devoured by fleas. The native Indian was a degraded,
joyless savage, occasionally developing kind feelings and noble
instincts, but generally vicious, treacherous, and cruel.

The latter part of the afternoon they arrived at Pokanoket. Much to
their disappointment, they found that Massasoit, uninformed of their
intended visit, was absent on a hunting excursion. As he was, however,
not far from home, runners were immediately dispatched to recall him.
The chieftain had selected his residence with that peculiar taste for
picturesque beauty which characterized the more noble of the Indians.
The hillock which the English subsequently named Mount Hope was a
graceful mound about two hundred feet high, commanding an extensive
and remarkably beautiful view of wide, sweeping forests and indented

This celebrated mound is about four miles from the city of Fall River.
From its summit the eye now ranges over Providence, Bristol, Warren,
Fall River, and many other minor towns. The whole wide-spread
landscape is embellished with gardens, orchards, cultivated fields,
and thriving villages. Gigantic steamers plow the waves, and the sails
of a commerce which girdles the globe whitens the beautiful bay.

But, as the tourist sits upon the solitary summit, he forgets the
present in memory of the past. Neither the pyramids of Egypt nor the
Coliseum of the Eternal City are draped with a more sublime antiquity.
Here, during generations which no man can number, the sons of the
forest gathered around their council-fires, and struggled, as human
hearts, whether savage or civilized, must ever struggle, against
"life's stormy doom."

Here, long centuries ago, were the joys of the bridal, and the anguish
which gathers around the freshly-opened grave. Beneath the moon, which
then, as now, silvered this mound, "the Indian lover wooed his dusky
maid." Upon the beach, barbaric childhood reveled, and their red limbs
were bathed in the crystal waves.

Here, in ages long since passed away, the war-whoop resounded through
the forest. The shriek of mothers and maidens pierced the skies as
they fell cleft by the tomahawk; and all the horrid clangor of war,
with "its terror, conflagration, tears, and blood," imbittered ten
thousand fold the ever bitter lot of humanity.

     "'Tis dangerous to rouse the lion;
       Deadly to cross the tiger's path;
     But the most terrible of terrors
       Is man himself in his wild wrath."

In the midst of this attractive scene, perhaps nothing is more
conspicuous than the spires of the churches--those churches of a pure
Christianity to which New England is indebted for all her intelligence
and prosperity. It was upon the Bible that our forefathers laid the
foundations of the institutions of this New World; and, though they
made some mistakes, for they were but mortal, still they were sincere,
conscientious Christian men, and their Christianity has been the
legacy from which their children have derived the greatest benefits.
Two hundred years ago, our fathers, from the summit of Mount Hope,
looked upon a dreary wilderness through which a few naked savages
roamed. How different the spectacle which now meets the eye of the

Massasoit, informed by his runners of the guests who had so
unexpectedly arrived, immediately returned. Mr. Winslow and Mr.
Hopkins, wishing to honor the Indian king, fired a salute, each one
discharging his gun as Massasoit approached. The king, who had heard
the report of fire-arms before, was highly gratified; but the women
and children were struck with exceeding terror, and, like affrighted
deer, leaped from their wigwams and fled into the woods. Squantum
pursued them, and, by assurances that no harm was to be feared, at
length induced them cautiously to return.

There was then an interchange of sundry ceremonies of state to render
the occasion imposing. The scarlet coat, with its gaudy embroidery of
lace, was placed upon Massasoit, and a chain of copper beads was
thrown around his neck. He seemed much pleased with these showy
trappings, and his naked followers were exceedingly delighted in
seeing their chieftain thus decorated. A motley group now gathered
around the Indian king and the English embassy. Massasoit then made a
long speech, to which the natives seemed to listen with great
interest, occasionally responding with applause. It was now night. The
two envoys were weary with travel, and were hungry, for they had
consumed all their food, not doubting that they should find abundance
at the table of the sovereign of all these realms. But, to their
surprise, Massasoit was entirely destitute, not having even a mouthful
to offer them. Supperless they went to bed. In the following language
they describe their accommodations for the night:

    "Late it grew, but victuals he offered none, so we desired to
    go to rest. He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife,
    they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks
    laid a foot from the ground, and a thin mat upon them. Two
    more of his chief men, for want of room, pressed by and upon
    us, so that we were worse weary of our lodging than of our

The next day there was gathered at Mount Hope quite a concourse of the
adjoining Indians, subordinate chiefs and common people. They engaged
in various games of strength and agility, with skins for prizes. The
English also fired at a mark, amazing the Indians with the accuracy of
their shot. It was now noon, and the English, who had slept without
supper, had as yet received no breakfast. At one o'clock two large
fishes were brought in, which had been speared in the bay. They were
hastily broiled upon coals, and forty hungry men eagerly devoured

The afternoon passed slowly and tediously away, and again the Pilgrims
went supperless to bed. Again they passed a sleepless night, being
kept awake by vermin, hunger, and the noise of the savages. Friday
morning they rose before the sun, resolved immediately to commence
their journey home. Massasoit was very importunate to have them remain
longer with him.

    "But we determined," they write in their graphic narrative,
    "to keep the Sabbath at home, and feared that we should
    either be light-headed for want of sleep, for what with bad
    lodgings, the savages' barbarous singing (for they use to
    sing themselves asleep), lice, and fleas within doors, and
    musketoes without, we could hardly sleep all the time of our
    being there; we much fearing that if we should stay any
    longer we should not be able to recover home for want of
    strength; so that on the Friday morning before the sunrising
    we took our leave and departed, Massasoit being both grieved
    and ashamed that he could no better entertain us."

Their journey home was a very weary one. They would, perhaps, have
perished from hunger had they not obtained from the Indians whom they
met a little parched corn, which was considered a very great delicacy,
a squirrel, and a shad. Friday night, as they were asleep in the open
air, a tempest of thunder and lightning arose, with floods of rain.
Their fire was speedily extinguished, and they were soaked to the
skin. Saturday night, just as the twilight was passing away into
darkness, they reached their homes in a storm of rain, wet, weary,
hungry, and sore.

The result of this mission was, however, important. They renewed their
treaty of peace with Massasoit, and made arrangements that they were
to receive no Indians as guests unless Massasoit should send them with
a copper necklace, in token that they came from him.

In the autumn of this same year a boy from the colony got lost in the
woods. He wandered about for five days, living upon berries, and then
was found by some Indians in the forests of Cape Cod. Massasoit, as
soon as he heard of it, sent word that the boy was found. He was in
the hands of the same tribe who, in consequence of the villainies of
Hunt, had assailed the Pilgrims so fiercely at the First Encounter.
The savages treated the boy kindly, and had him at Nauset, which is
now the town of Eastham, near the extremity of the Cape. Governor
Bradford immediately sent ten men in a boat to rescue the boy.

They coasted along the first day very prosperously, notwithstanding a
thunder-shower in the afternoon, with violent wind and rain. At night
they put into Barnstable Bay, then called Cummaquid. Squantum and
another Indian were with them as friends and interpreters. They deemed
it prudent not to land, but anchored for the night in the middle of
the bay. The next morning they saw some savages gathering shell-fish
upon the shore. They sent their two interpreters with assurances of
friendship, and to inquire for the boy. The savages were very
courteous, informed them that the boy was farther down the Cape at
Nauset, and invited the whole party to come on shore and take some
refreshments. Six of the colonists ventured ashore, having first
received four of the natives to remain in their boat as hostages. The
chief of this small tribe, called the Cummaquids, was a young man of
about twenty-six years of age, and appeared to be a very remarkable
character. He was dignified and courteous in his demeanor, and
entertained his guests with a native politeness which surprised them

While in this place an old Indian woman came to see them, whom they
judged to be a hundred years of age. As soon as she came into their
presence she was overwhelmed with emotion, and cried most
convulsively. Upon inquiring the reason, the Pilgrims were told that
her three sons were kidnapped by Captain Hunt. The young men had been
invited on board his ship to trade. He lured them below, seized and
bound them, and carried them to Spain, where he sold them as slaves.
The unhappy and desolate mother seemed quite heart-broken with grief.
The Pilgrims addressed to her words of sympathy, assured her that
Captain Hunt was a bad man, whom every good man in England condemned,
and gave her some presents.

They remained with this kind but deeply-wronged people until after
dinner. Then _Iyanough_ himself, the noble young chief of the tribe,
with two of his warriors, accompanied them on board the boat to assist
them in their search for the boy. A fair wind from the west filled
their sails, and late in the evening, when it was too dark to land,
they approached Nauset. Here was the hostile tribe whose prowess the
colonists had experienced in the First Encounter. The villain, Captain
Hunt, had stolen from them twenty men. It was consequently deemed
necessary to practice much caution. Iyanough and Squantum went on
shore there to conciliate the natives and to inform them of the object
of the mission. The next morning a great crowd of natives had
gathered, and were anxious to get into the boat. The English, however,
prudently, would allow but two to enter at a time. The day was passed
in parleying. About sunset a train of a hundred Indians appeared,
bringing the lost boy with them. One half remained at a little
distance, with their bows and arrows; the other half, unarmed, brought
the boy to the boat, and delivered him to his friends. The colonists
made valuable presents to _Aspinet_, the chief of the tribe, and also
paid abundantly for the corn which, it will be remembered, they took
from a deserted house when they were first coasting along the shore in
search of a place of settlement. They then spread their sails, and a
fair wind soon drove them fifty miles across the bay to their homes.

The Wampanoags do not appear to have constituted a very numerous
tribe, but, through the intellectual and military energy of their
chieftain, Massasoit, they had acquired great power. The present town
of Bristol, Rhode Island, was the region principally occupied by the
tribe; but Massasoit extended his sway over more than thirty tribes,
who inhabited Cape Cod and all the country extending between
Massachusetts and Narraganset Bays, reaching inland to where the head
branches of the Charles River and the Pawtucket River meet. It will be
seen at once, by reference to the map, how wide was the sway of this
Indian monarch, and how important it was for the infant colony to
cultivate friendly relations with a sovereign who could combine all
those tribes, and direct many thousand barbarian warriors to rush like
wolves upon the feeble settlement.




Canonicus.--His hostility toward the Puritans.--Corruption at
court.--A rebellion.--Flight of Massasoit.--Reported death of
Squantum.--Action of the Puritans.--The army.--Directions to the
men.--Approach to the wigwam.--The attack.--"I am a squaw!"--Escape of
Corbitant.--Appearance of the huts.--Squantum found.--Threats of Capt.
Standish.--The return.--Reconciliation of Corbitant.--Prosperous
summer.--Rumors of war.--New expedition.--Evidences of the
plague.--Justice of the Pilgrims.--Explorations.--Appearance of the
harbor.--Preparations for return.--The harbor.--Friendly
relations.--Arrival of emigrants from England.--Declaration of
war.--Canonicus.--Weakness of the Pilgrims.--Council
called.--Pickwickian challenge.--Preparations for defense.--Completion
of the fortification.--The challenge retracted.--An arrival.--Kind
reception.--Complaints from the Indians.--Relief wanted.--Death of
Squantum.--His prayer.--Governor Bradford's journey.--Theft
committed.--Return of the articles.--The Weymouth settlers implore
aid.--Disgraceful proceeding.--Injustice of Hudibras.--Sickness of
Massasoit.--Deputation from Plymouth.--The journey.--Reported death of
Massasoit.--Hobbomak.--Hospitality of Corbitant's wife.--Arrival at
Mount Hope.--Massasoit's welcome.--His recovery.--Kindness of the
Pilgrims.--Mr. Winslow as physician.--Alarming tidings.--The party
leave Mount Hope.--Conversation with Corbitant.--English
salutations.--Theological remarks.--Return to Plymouth.--The
army.--Captain Standish.--Insolence of the Indians.--The commencement
of hostilities.--The conflict and victory.--The Weymouth men go to
Monhegan.--Regrets of the English.--Letter from Rev. Mr. Robinson.

The Narraganset Indians occupied the region extending from the western
shores of Narraganset Bay to Pawcatuck River. They were estimated to
number about thirty thousand, and could bring five thousand warriors
into the field. Canonicus, the sovereign chief of this tribe, was a
man of great renown. War had occasionally raged between the
Narragansets and the Wampanoags, and the two tribes were bitterly
hostile to each other. Canonicus regarded the newly-arrived English
with great jealousy, and was particularly annoyed by the friendly
relations existing between them and the Wampanoags. Indeed, it is
quite evident that Massasoit was influenced to enter into his alliance
with the English mainly from his dread of the Narragansets.

Bribery and corruption are almost as common in barbarian as in
civilized courts. Canonicus had brought over to his cause one of the
minor chiefs of Massasoit, named Corbitant. This man, audacious and
reckless, began to rail bitterly at the peace existing between the
Indians and the English. Boldly he declared that Massasoit was a
traitor, and ought to be deposed. Sustained as Corbitant was by the
whole military power of the Narragansets, he soon gathered a party
about him sufficiently strong to bid defiance to Massasoit. The
sovereign of the Wampanoags was even compelled to take refuge from
arrest by flight.

The colonists heard these tidings with great solicitude, and learning
that Corbitant was within a few miles of them, at Namasket
(Middleborough), striving to rouse the natives to unite with the
Narragansets against them, they privately sent Squantum and another
friendly Indian, Hobbomak, to Namasket, to ascertain what had become
of Massasoit, and how serious was the peril with which they were

The next day Hobbomak returned alone, breathless and terrified. He
reported that they had hardly arrived at Namasket when Corbitant beset
the wigwam into which they had entered with a band of armed men, and
seized them both as prisoners. He declared that they both should die,
saying that when Squantum was dead the English would have lost their
tongue. Brandishing a knife, the savage approached Squantum to stab
him. Hobbomak, being a very powerful man, at that moment broke from
the grasp of those who held him, and outrunning his pursuers,
succeeded in regaining Plymouth. He said that he had no doubt that
Squantum was killed.

These were melancholy and alarming tidings. Governor Bradford
immediately assembled the few men--about twenty in number--of the
feeble colony, to decide what should be done. After looking to God for
counsel, and after calm deliberation, it was resolved that, if they
should suffer their friends and messengers to be thus assailed and
murdered with impunity, the hostile Indians would be encouraged to
continued aggressions, and no Indians would dare to maintain friendly
relations with them. They therefore adopted the valiant determination
to send ten men, one half of their whole number, with Hobbomak as
their guide, to seize Corbitant and avenge the outrage.

The 14th of August, 1621, was a dark and stormy day, when this little
band set out on its bold adventure. All the day long, as they silently
threaded the paths of the forest, the rain dripped upon them. Late in
the afternoon they arrived within four miles of Namasket. They then
thought it best to conceal themselves until after dark, that they
might fall upon their foe by surprise. Captain Standish led the band.
To every man he gave minute directions as to the part he was to
perform. Night, wet and stormy, soon darkened around them in Egyptian
blackness. They could hardly see a hand's breadth before them. Groping
along, they soon lost their way, and became entangled in the thick
undergrowth. Wet, weary, and dejected, they toiled on, and at last
again happily hit the trail. It was after midnight when they arrived
within sight of the glimmering fires of the little Indian hamlet of
Namasket. They then sat down, and ate from their knapsacks a hearty
meal. The food which remained they threw away, that they might have
nothing to obstruct them in the conflict which might ensue.

They then cautiously approached a large wigwam where Hobbomak supposed
that Corbitant and his men were sleeping. Silently they surrounded the
hut, the gloom of the night and the wailings of the storm securing
them from being either seen or heard. At a signal, two muskets were
fired to terrify the savages, and Captain Standish, with three or
four men, rushed into the hut. The ground floor, dimly lighted by some
dying embers, was covered with sleeping savages--men, women, and
children. A scene of indescribable consternation and confusion ensued.
Through Hobbomak, Captain Standish ordered every one to remain,
assuring them that he had come for Corbitant, the murderer of
Squantum, and that, if he were not there, no one else should be
injured. But the savages, terrified by the midnight surprise and by
the report of the muskets, were bereft of reason. Many of them
endeavored to escape, and were severely wounded by the colonists in
their attempts to stop them. The Indian boys, seeing that the women
were not molested, ran around, frantically exclaiming, "I am a squaw!
I am a squaw!"

At last order was restored, and it was found that Corbitant was not
there, but that he had gone off with all his train, and that Squantum
was not killed. A bright fire was now kindled, that the hut might be
carefully searched. Its blaze illumined one of the wildest of
imaginable scenes. The wigwam, spacious and rudely constructed of
boughs, mats, and bark; the affrighted savages, men, women, and
children, in their picturesque dress and undress, a few with ghastly
wounds, faint and bleeding; the various weapons and utensils of
barbarian life hanging around; the bold colonists in their European
dress and arms; the fire blazing in the centre of the hut, all
combined to present a scene such as few eyes have ever witnessed.
Hobbomak now climbed to the top of the hut and shouted for Squantum.
He immediately came from another wigwam. Having disarmed the savages
of their bows and arrows, the colonists gathered around the fire to
dry their dripping clothes, and waited for the light of the morning.

With the early light, all who were friendly to the English gathered
around them, while the faction in favor of Corbitant fled into the
wilderness. A large group was soon assembled. Captain Standish, in
words of conciliation and of firmness, informed them that, though
Corbitant had escaped, yet, if he continued his hostility, no place of
retreat would secure him from punishment; and that, if any violence
were offered to Massasoit or to any of his subjects by the
Narragansets, or by any one else, the colonists would avenge it to the
utter overthrow of those thus offending. He expressed great regret
that any of the Indians had been wounded in consequence of their
endeavors to escape from the house, and offered to take the wounded
home, that they might be carefully healed.

After breakfasting with the Indians, this heroic band, accompanied by
Squantum, some of the wounded, and several other friendly Indians, set
out on their return. They arrived at home in safety the same evening.
This well-judged and decisive measure at once checked the progress of
Corbitant in exciting disaffection. He soon found it expedient to seek
reconciliation, and, through the intercession of Massasoit, signed a
treaty of submission and friendship; and even Canonicus, sovereign of
the Narragansets, sent a messenger, perhaps as a spy, but professedly
to treat for peace. Thus this cloud of war was dissipated.

On the whole, the Pilgrims had enjoyed a very prosperous summer. They
were eminently just and kind in their treatment of the Indians. In
trading with them they obtained furs and many other articles, which
contributed much to their comfort. Fish was abundant in the bay. Their
corn grew luxuriantly, and their fields waved with a rich and golden
harvest. With the autumnal weather came abundance of water-fowl,
supplying them with delicious meat. Thus were they blessed with peace
and plenty.

Various rumors had reached the colonists that several of the tribes of
the Massachusetts Indians, so called, inhabiting the islands and main
land at the northwestern extremity of Massachusetts Bay, were
threatening hostilities. It was consequently decided to send an
expedition to them, not to intimidate, but to conciliate with words of
sincerity and deeds of kindness.

At midnight, September the 18th, the tide then serving, a small party
set sail, and during the day, with a gentle wind, made about sixty
miles north. Not deeming it safe to land, they remained in their boat
during the night, and the next morning landed under a cliff. Here they
found some natives, who seemed to cower before them in terror. It
appeared afterward that Squantum had told the natives that the English
had a box in which they kept the plague, and that, if the Indians
offended them, they would let the awful scourge loose. Every where the
English saw evidences of the ravages of the pestilence to which we
have so often referred. There were desolate villages and deserted
corn-fields, and but a few hundred Indians wandering here and there
where formerly there had been thousands. The kindness with which they
treated the Indians, and the fairness with which they traded with
them, won confidence. Squantum at one time suggested that, by way of
punishment, and to teach the savages a lesson, they should by violence
take away their furs, which were almost their only treasures. Our
fathers nobly replied, "Were they ever so bad, we would not wrong
them, or give them any just occasion against us. We shall pay no
attention to their threatening words, but, if they attack us, we shall
then punish them severely."

The Pilgrims explored quite minutely this magnificent harbor, then
solitary and fringed with rayless forests, now alive with commerce,
and decorated with mansions of refinement and opulence. The long
promontory, now crowded with the busy streets and thronged dwellings
of Boston, was then a dense and silent wilderness, threaded with a few
Indian trails. Along the shore several rude wigwams were scattered,
the smoke curling from their fires from among the trees, with naked
children playing around the birch canoes upon the beach.

In the evening of a serene day the moon rose brilliant on the harbor,
illumining with almost celestial beauty the islands and the sea. Many
of the islands were then crowned with forests; others were cleared
smooth and verdant, but swept entirely clean of inhabitants by the
dreadful plague. The Pilgrims, rejoicing in the rays of the autumnal
moon, prepared to spread their sails. "Having well spent the day,"
they write, "we returned to the shallop, almost all the women
accompanying us to trucke, who sold their coats from their backes, and
tyed boughes about them, but with great shamefastness, for indeed they
are more modest than some of our English women are. We promised them
to come again to them, and they us to keep their skins.

"Within this bay the savages say there are two rivers, the one whereof
we saw having a fair entrance, but we had no time to discover it.
Better harbors for shipping can not be than here are. At the entrance
of the bay are many rocks, and, in all likelihood, very good fishing
ground. Having a light moon, we set sail at evening, and before next
day noon got home, with a considerable quantity of beaver, and a good
report of the place, wishing we had been seated there."

Thus, by kindness, the natives of this region were won to friendship,
and amicable relations were established. Before the close of this year
another vessel arrived from England, bringing thirty-five persons to
join the colony. Though these emigrants were poor, and, having
consumed nearly all their food on a long voyage, were nearly starved,
the lonely colonists received the acquisition with great joy. Houses
were immediately built for their accommodation, and they were fed from
the colony stores. Winter now again whitened the hills of Plymouth.

Early in January, 1622, Canonicus, sovereign chief of the
Narragansets, notwithstanding the alliance of the foregoing summer
into which he had entered, dreading the encroachments of the white
men, and particularly apprehensive of the strength which their
friendship gave to his hereditary enemies, the Mohegans, sent to
Governor Bradford a bundle of arrows tied up in the skin of a
rattlesnake. Squantum was called to interpret the significance of such
a gift. He said that it was the Indian mode of expressing hostility
and of sending a declaration of war. This act shows an instinctive
sense of honor in the barbarian chieftain which civilized men do not
always imitate. Even the savages cherished ideas of chivalry which led
them to scorn to strike an unsuspecting and defenseless foe. The
friendly Indians around Plymouth assured the colonists that Canonicus
was making great preparations for war; that he could bring five
thousand warriors into the field; that he had sent spies to ascertain
the condition of the English and their weakness; and that he had
boasted that he could eat them all up at a mouthful. It is pleasant to
record that our fathers had not provoked this hostility by any act of
aggression. They had been thus far most eminently just and benevolent
in all their intercourse with the natives. They were settled upon land
to which Canonicus pretended no claim, and were on terms of cordial
friendship with all the Indians around them. The Pilgrims at this time
had not more than twenty men capable of bearing arms, and five
thousand savages were clashing their weapons, and filling the forest
with their war-whoops, preparing to attack them. Their peril was
indeed great.

Governor Bradford called a council of his most judicious men, and it
was decided that, under these circumstances, any appearance of
timidity would but embolden their enemies. The rattlesnake skin was
accordingly returned filled with powder and bullets, and accompanied
by a defiant message that, if Canonicus preferred war to peace, the
colonists were ready at any moment to meet him, and that he would rue
the day in which he converted friends into enemies.

Barbarian as well as civilized blusterers can, when discretion
prompts, creep out of an exceedingly small hole. Canonicus had no wish
to meet a foe who was thus prompt for the encounter. He immediately
sent to Governor Bradford the assurance, in Narraganset phrase, of his
high consideration, and begged him to believe that the arrows and the
snake skin were sent purely in a Pickwickian sense.

The threatening aspect of affairs at this time led the colonists to
surround their whole little village, including also the top of the
hill, on the side of which it was situated, with a strong palisade,
consisting of posts some twelve feet high firmly planted in the ground
in contact with each other. It was an enormous labor to construct this
fortification in the dead of winter. There were three entrance gates
to the little town thus walled in, with bulwarks to defend them.
Behind this rampart, with loop-holes through which the defenders could
fire upon any approaching foe, the colonists felt quite secure. A
large cannon was also mounted upon the summit of the hill, which would
sweep all the approaches with ball and grape-shot. Sentinels were
posted night and day, to guard against surprise, and their whole
available force was divided into four companies, each with its
commander, and its appointed place of rendezvous in case of an attack.
The months of January and February were occupied in this work. Early
in March the fortification was completed.

The heroic defiance which was returned to Canonicus, and the vigorous
measures of defense adopted, alarmed the Narragansets. They
immediately ceased all hostile demonstrations, and Canonicus remained
after this, until his death, apparently a firm friend of the English.

In June, to the great annoyance of the Pilgrims, two vessels came into
the harbor of Plymouth, bringing sixty wild and rude adventurers, who,
neither fearing God nor regarding man, had come to the New World to
seek their fortunes. They were an idle and dissolute set, greedy for
gain, and ripe for any deeds of dishonesty or violence. They had made
but poor provision for their voyage, and were almost starved. The
Pilgrims received them kindly, and gave them shelter and food; and yet
the ungrateful wretches stole their corn, wasted their substance, and
secretly reviled their habits of sobriety and devotion. Nearly all
the summer these unprincipled adventurers intruded upon the
hospitality of the Pilgrims. In the autumn, these men, sixty in
number, went to a place which they had selected in Massachusetts Bay,
then called Wessagusset, now the town of Weymouth, which they had
selected for their residence. They left their sick behind them, to be
nursed by those Christian Pilgrims whose piety had excited their
ribald abuse.

Hardly had these men left ere the ears of the Pilgrims were filled
with the clamors which their injustice and violence raised from the
outraged Indians. The Weymouth miscreants stole their corn, insulted
their females, and treated them with every vile indignity. The Indians
at last became exasperated beyond endurance, and threatened the total
destruction of the dissolute crew. At last starvation stares them in
the face, and they send in October to Plymouth begging for food. The
Pilgrims have not more than enough to meet their own wants during the
winter. But, to save them from famishing by hunger, Governor Bradford
himself takes a small party in a boat and sails along the coast,
purchasing corn of the Indians, getting a few quarts here and a few
bushels there, until he had collected twenty-eight hogsheads of corn
and beans. While at Chatham, then called Manamoyk, Squantum was taken
sick of a fever and died. It is a touching tribute to the kindness of
our Pilgrim fathers that this poor Indian testified so much love for
them. In his dying hour he prayed fervently that God would take him to
the heaven of the Englishmen, that he might dwell with them forever.
As remembrances of his affection, he bequeathed all his little effects
to sundry of his English friends. Governor Bradford and his
companions, with tears, followed the remains of their faithful
interpreter to the grave, and then, with saddened hearts, continued
their voyage.

At Nauset, now Eastham, their shallop was unfortunately wrecked.
Governor Bradford stored the corn on shore, placed it under the care
of the friendly Indians there, and, taking a native for a guide, set
out on foot to travel fifty miles through the forest to Plymouth. The
natives all along the way received him with kindness, and did every
thing in their power to aid him. Having arrived at Plymouth, he
dispatched Captain Standish with another shallop to fetch the corn.
The bold captain had a prosperous though a very tempestuous voyage.
While at Nauset an Indian stole some trifle from the shallop as she
lay in a creek. Captain Standish immediately went to the sachem of the
tribe, and informed him that the lost goods must be restored, or he
should make reprisals. The next morning the sachem came and delivered
the goods, saying that he was very sorry the crime had been committed;
that the thief had been arrested and punished; and that he had ordered
his women to make some bread for Captain Standish, in token of his
desire to cultivate just and friendly relations. Captain Standish
having arrived at Plymouth, a supply of corn was delivered to help the
people at Weymouth.

But these lawless adventurers were as improvident as they were vicious
and idle. By the month of February they were again destitute and
starving. They had borrowed all they could, and had stolen all they
could, and were now in a state of extreme misery, many of them having
already perished from exposure and want. The Indians hated them and
despised them. Conspiracies were formed to kill them all, and many
Indians, scattered here and there, were in favor of destroying all the
white men. They foresaw that civilized and savage life could not abide
side by side. The latter part of February the Weymouth people sent a
letter to Plymouth by an Indian, stating their deplorable condition,
and imploring further aid. They had become so helpless and degraded
that the Indians seem actually to have made slaves of them, compelling
them to perform the most menial services. The letter contained the
following dolorous complaints:

     "The boldness of the Indians increases abundantly, insomuch
     that the victuals we get they will take out of our pots and
     eat it before our faces. If we try to prevent them, they
     will hold a knife at our breasts. To satisfy them, we have
     been compelled to hang one of our company. We have sold our
     clothes for corn, and are ready to starve, both with cold
     and hunger also, because we can not endure to get victuals
     by reason of our nakedness."

Under these circumstances, one of the Weymouth men, ranging the woods,
came to an Indian barn and stole some corn. The owner, finding by the
footprints that it was an Englishman who had committed the theft,
determined to have revenge. With insulting and defiant confederates,
he went to the plantation and demanded that the culprit should be
hung, threatening, if there were not prompt acquiescence in the
demand, the utter destruction of the colonists. The consternation at
Weymouth was great. Nearly all were sick and half famished, and they
could present no resistance. After very anxious deliberation, it was
decided that, since the man who committed the theft was young and
strong, and a skillful cobbler, whose services could not be dispensed
with, they would by stratagem save his life, and substitute for him a
poor old bedrid weaver, who was not only useless to them, but a
burden. This economical arrangement was unanimously adopted. The poor
old weaver, bound hand and foot, and dressed in the clothes of the
culprit, was dragged from his bed, and was soon seen dangling in the
air, to the great delight of the Indians.

Much has been written upon this disgraceful transaction, and various
versions of it have been given, with sundry details, but the facts, so
far as can now be ascertained, are as we have stated. The deed is in
perfect accordance with the whole course pursued by the miserable men
who perpetrated it. The author of Hudibras unjustly--we hope not
maliciously--in his witty doggerel, ascribes this transaction of the
miscreants at Weymouth to the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The mirth-loving
satirist seemed to rejoice at the chance of directing a shaft against
the Puritans.

Just at this time news came to Plymouth that Massasoit was very sick,
and at the point of death. Governor Bradford immediately dispatched
Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. John Hampden[A] to the dying chieftain,
with such medical aid as the colony could furnish. Their friend
Hobbomak accompanied them as guide and interpreter. Massasoit had two
sons quite young, Wamsutta and Pometacom, the eldest of whom would,
according to Indian custom, inherit the chieftainship. It was,
however, greatly feared that the ambitious and energetic Corbitant,
who had manifested much hostility to the English, might avail himself
of the death of Massasoit, and grasp the reins of power. The
deputation from Plymouth traveled the first day through the woods as
far as Middleborough, then the little Indian hamlet of Namasket. There
they passed the night in the wigwam of an Indian. They, the next day,
continued their journey, and crossing in a canoe the arm of the bay,
which there runs far inland and three miles beyond, with much anxiety
approached the dwelling-place of Corbitant at Mattapoiset, in the
present town of Swanzey. They had been informed by the way that
Massasoit was dead, and they had great fears that Corbitant had
already taken steps as a usurper, and that they, two defenseless men,
might fall victims to his violence.

[Footnote A: There is much evidence that this was the celebrated John
Hampden, renowned in the time of Charles I, and to whom Gray, in his
Elegy, alludes:

     "The village _Hampden_, that with dauntless breast
       The little tyrant of his fields withstood."]

Hobbomak, who had embraced Christianity, and was apparently a
consistent Christian, was greatly beloved by Massasoit. The honest
Indian, when he heard the tidings of his chieftain's death, bitterly
deplored his loss.

"My loving sachem! my loving sachem!" he exclaimed; "many have I
known, but never any like thee."

Then turning to Mr. Winslow, he added, "While you live you will never
see his like among the Indians. He was no deceiver, nor bloody, nor
cruel, like the other Indians. He never cherished a spirit of revenge,
and was easily reconciled to those who had offended him. He was ever
ready to listen to the advice of others, and governed his people by
wisdom and without severity."

When they arrived at Corbitant's house they found the sachem not at
home. His wife, however, treated them with great kindness, and
informed them that Massasoit was still alive, though at the point of
death. They therefore hastened on to Mount Hope. Mr. Winslow gives the
following account of the scene witnessed at the bedside of the sick

     "When we arrived thither, we found the house so full that we
     could scarce get in, though they used their best diligence
     to make way for us. They were in the midst of their charms
     for him, making such a fiendlike noise that it distempered
     us who were well, and therefore was unlike to ease him that
     was sick. About him were six or eight women, who chafed his
     arms, legs, and thighs, to keep heat in him. When they had
     made an end of their charming, one told him that his friends
     the English were come to see him. Having understanding left,
     but his sight was wholly gone, he asked _who was come_. They
     told him _Winsnow_, for they can not pronounce the letter
     _l_, but ordinarily _n_ in the place thereof. He desired to
     speak with me. When I came to him, and they told him of it,
     he put forth his hand to me, which I took. Then he said
     twice, though very inwardly, _Keen_ _Winsnow?_ which is to
     say, Art thou Winslow? I answered _Ahhe_, that is, _yes_.
     Then he doubled these words: _Matta neen wonckanet namen
     Winsnow;_ that is to say, _O Winslow, I shall never see thee

Mr. Winslow immediately prepared some refreshing broth for the sick
man, and, by careful nursing, to the astonishment of all, he
recovered. Massasoit appeared to be exceedingly grateful for this
kindness, and ever after attributed his recovery to the skill and
attentions of his English friends. His unquestionable sincerity won
the confidence of the English, and they became more fully convinced of
his real worth than ever before. Mr. Winslow wished for a chicken to
make some broth. An Indian immediately set out, at two o'clock at
night, for a run of forty miles through the wilderness to Plymouth. In
a surprisingly short time, he returned with two live chickens.
Massasoit was so much pleased with the fowls--animals which he had
never seen before--that he would not allow them to be killed, but kept
them as pets. The kind-hearted yet imperial old chieftain manifested
great solicitude for the welfare of his people. He entreated Mr.
Winslow to visit all his villages, that he might relieve the sick and
the suffering who were in them. Mr. Winslow remained several days,
and his fame as a physician spread so rapidly that great crowds
gathered in an encampment around Mount Hope to gain relief from a
thousand nameless ills. Some came from the distance of more than a
hundred miles.

While at Mount Hope, Massasoit informed Mr. Winslow that Wittuwamet, a
sachem of one of the Massachusetts tribes of Indians near Weymouth,
and several other Indian chiefs, had formed a plot for the purpose of
cutting off the two English colonies. Massasoit stated that he had
been often urged to join in the conspiracy, but had always refused to
do so, and that he had done every thing in his power to prevent it.
Mr. Winslow very anxiously inquired into all the particulars, and
ascertained that the Weymouth men had so thoroughly aroused the
contempt as well as the indignation of the neighboring Indians, that
their total massacre was resolved upon. The Indians, however, both
respected and feared the colonists at Plymouth; and, apprehensive that
they might avenge the slaughter of their countrymen, it was resolved,
by a sudden and treacherous assault, to overwhelm them also, so that
not a single Englishman should remain to tell the tale.

With these alarming tidings, Mr. Winslow, with Mr. Hampden and
Hobbomak, left Mount Hope on his return. Corbitant, their
outwardly-reconciled enemy, accompanied them as far as his house in
what is now Swanzey.

     "That night," writes Mr. Winslow, "through the earnest
     request of Corbitant, we lodged with him at Mattapoiset. On
     the way I had much conference with him, so likewise at his
     house, he being a notable politician, yet full of merry
     jests and squibs, and never better pleased than when the
     like are returned upon him. Among other things, he asked me
     that, if _he_ were thus dangerously sick, as Massasoit had
     been, and should send to Plymouth for medicine, whether the
     governor would send it; and if he would, whether I would
     come therewith to him. To both which I answered yes; whereat
     he gave me many joyful thanks."

"I am surprised," said Corbitant, after a moment's thought, "that two
Englishmen should dare to venture so far into our country alone. Are
you not afraid?"

"Where there is true love," Mr. Winslow replied, "there is no fear."

"But if your love be such," said the wily Indian, "and bear such
fruit, how happens it that when we come to Plymouth, you stand upon
your guard, with the mouth of your pieces pointed toward us?"

"This," replied Mr. Winslow, "is a mark of respect. It is our custom
to receive our best friends in this manner."

Corbitant shook his head, and said, "I do not like such salutations."

Observing that Mr. Winslow, before eating, implored a blessing,
Corbitant desired to know what it meant. Mr. Winslow endeavored to
explain to him some of the primary truths of revealed religion, and
repeated to him the Ten Commandments. Corbitant listened to them very
attentively, and said that he liked them all except the seventh. "It
must be very inconvenient," he said, "for a man to be tied all his
life to one woman, whether she pleases him or not."

As Mr. Winslow continued his remarks upon the goodness of God, and the
gratitude he should receive from us, Corbitant added, "I believe
almost as you do. The being whom you call God we call Kichtan."

Mr. Winslow and his companions passed a very pleasant night in the
Indian dwelling, receiving the most hospitable entertainment. The
next morning they hastened on their way to Plymouth. They immediately
informed the governor of the alarming tidings they had heard
respecting the conspiracy, and a council of all the men in the colony
was convened. It was unanimously decided that action, prompt,
vigorous, and decisive, was necessary.

The bold Captain Standish was immediately placed in command of an army
of _eight men_ to proceed to Weymouth. He embarked his force in a
squadron of _one boat_, to set sail for Massachusetts--for
Massachusetts and Plymouth were then distinct colonies. The captain
was an intrepid, impulsive man, who rarely took counsel of prudence.
He would wrong no man, and, let the consequences be what they might,
he would submit to wrong from no man. The Pilgrims valued him highly,
and yet so deeply regretted his fiery temperament that they were
unwilling to receive him to the communion of the Church.

When they arrived at Weymouth they found a large number of Indians
swaggering around the wretched settlement, and treating the humiliated
and starving colonists with the utmost insolence. The colonists dared
not exhibit the slightest spirit of retaliation. The Indians had been
so accustomed to treat the godless race at Weymouth with every
indignity, that they had almost forgotten that the Pilgrims were men
of different blood. As Captain Standish and his eight men landed, they
were met by a mob of Indians, who, by derision and insolence, seemed
to aim to provoke a quarrel. Wittuwamet, the head of the conspirators,
was there. He was a stout, brawny savage, vulgar, bold, and impudent,
almost beyond the conception of a civilized mind. Accompanied by a
gang of confederates, he approached Captain Standish, whetting his
knife, and threatening his death in phrase exceedingly contemptuous
and insulting. By the side of this chief was another Indian named
Peksuot, of gigantic stature and Herculean strength, who taunted the
captain with his inferior size, and assailed him with a volley of
barbarian blackguardism. All this it would be hard for a meek man to
bear. Captain Standish was not a meek man. The hot blood of the
Puritan Cavalier was soon at the boiling point. Disdaining to take
advantage even of such a foe, he threw aside his gun, and springing
upon the gigantic Peksuot, grasped at the knife which was suspended
from his neck, the blade of which was double-edged, and ground to a
point as sharp as a needle. There was a moment of terrific conflict,
and then the stout Indian fell dead upon the ground, with the blood
gushing from many mortal wounds. Another Englishman closed with
Wittuwamet, and there was instantly a general fray. Wittuwamet and
another Indian were killed; another was taken prisoner and hung upon
the spot, for conspiring to destroy the English; the rest fled.
Captain Standish followed up his victory, and pursued the fugitives. A
few more were killed. This unexpected development of courage and power
so overwhelmed the hostile Indians that they implored peace.

The Weymouth men, thus extricated from peril, were afraid to remain
there any longer, though Captain Standish told them that he should not
hesitate to stay with one half their number. Still they persisted in
leaving. Captain Standish then generously offered to take them with
him to Plymouth, where they should share in the now almost exhausted
stores of the Pilgrims. But they decided, since they had a small
vessel in which they could embark, to go to Monhegan, an island near
the mouth of the Kennebec River, where many English ships came
annually to fish. The captain helped them on board the vessel,
provided for them a supply of corn, and remained until their sail was
disappearing in the distant horizon of the sea. He then returned to
Plymouth, and all were rejoiced that the country was delivered from
such a set of vagabonds.

The Pilgrims regretted the hasty and violent measures adopted by
Captain Standish, and yet they could not, under the circumstances,
severely condemn him. The Rev. Mr. Robinson, father of the Plymouth
Church, wrote from Holland:

     "Due allowance must be made for the warm temper of Captain
     Standish. I hope that the Lord has sent him among you for
     good, if you will but use him as you ought. I fear, however,
     that there is wanting that tenderness for the life of man,
     made after God's own image, which we ought to cherish. It
     would have been happy if some had been converted before any
     had been killed."




Prosperity of the colonies.--Massachusetts Colony.--Settlement of
Boston.--Motives actuating the settlers.--Correspondence with the
Dutch governor.--Dutch colonies.--Taking possession.--Opposition to
their settlement.--Beauty of Connecticut.--The Pequots.--Sassacus.--The
three powers.--Continual wars.--Power of Sassacus.--Trading
expedition.--Murder of the company.--Diplomatic skill.--Indians'
account of the affair.--Friendly alliance.--Planting new
colonies.--Indications of meditated hostility.--Roger Williams.--Mr.
Williams sent as embassador.--His mission.--His success.--Enmity of
the Pequots.--Acts of violence.--Discovery of the murder of Captain
Stone and his men.--Trading expedition to the Pequots.--John
Gallop.--Valiant behavior of Captain Gallop.--Victory over the
Indians.--The body of Captain Oldham.--Loss of the
pinnace.--Retribution.--The expedition.--The first attack.--The
English victorious.--The work of devastation.--Inefficiency of the
punishment.--Exultation of Sassacus.--Scenes of blood.--Energy of
Sassacus.--Vigilance of the enemy.--Siege of Saybrook.--Necessity
for energetic action.--Raising an army.--Uncas sachem of
the Mohegans.--Departure of the troops.--Torture of a
captive.--Fortresses.--Plan of attack.--Delight of
the Pequots.--Detentions.--Landing.--Cordial
reception.--Re-enforcements.--Determination to
proceed.--Boasting.--Continued re-enforcements.--Rapid
march.--Plan of attack changed.--Ardor of the Indians
cooled.--Desertions.--Repose.--Devotions of the English.--Address to
the Indians.--The fort.--Negligence of the enemy.--The attack.--The
conflict.--The wigwams burned.--Massacre.--Horrors of the
scene.--Extermination.--Number of those escaping.--Amazement of the
Indians.--Destitution of the English.--The vessels seen.--Attack from
the Indians.--Valor of the English.--Desertion of the
Narragansets.--Retreat of the English.--Grief of Sassacus.--Journey to
Saybrook.--Effects of the victory.--News of the victory dispatched to
Massachusetts.--New expedition.--Fugitives.--Pursuit.--Sachem's
Head.--Arrival at New Haven.--News of a camp in a swamp.--Surrender of
Indians.--Escape of the Pequots.--Death of Sassacus.--Children sold
into slavery.--Extermination of the tribe.--The motives for the
deed.--The sunshine of peace and plenty.

The energetic, yet just and conciliatory measures adopted by the
Pilgrims at Plymouth, in their intercourse with the Indians, were
productive of the happiest results. For several years there was a
period of peace and prosperity. The colony had now become firmly
established, and every year emigrants, arriving from the mother
country, extended along the coasts and into the interior the comforts
and the refinements of civilization.

In the year 1630, ten years after the landing of the Pilgrims, a
company of gentlemen of fortune and of social distinction organized a
colony, upon a much grander scale than the one at Plymouth, to
emigrate to Massachusetts Bay, under the name of the Massachusetts
Colony. The leaders in this enterprise were men of decidedly a higher
cast of character, intellectual and social, than their brethren at
Plymouth. On the 12th of June this company landed at Salem, and before
the close of the year their number amounted to seventeen hundred. The
tide of emigration now began to flow very rapidly, and eight or ten
towns were soon settled. Toward the close of this year a few families
moved to the end of the peninsula now called Boston. The dense
wilderness spread around them. They reared their log huts near the
beach, at the north end, and by fishing, hunting, and raising Indian
corn, obtained a frugal existence. In the five following years very
great accessions were made to this important colony. Thriving
settlements sprang up rapidly all along the coast. The colonists
appear to have been conscientious in their dealings with the natives,
purchasing their lands of them at a fair price. Nearly all these men
came to the wilderness of this new world inspired by as lofty motives
as can move the human heart. Many of them were wealthy and of high
rank. At an immense sacrifice, they abandoned the luxuries and
refinements to which they had been accustomed at home, that they might
enjoy in New England that civil and religious liberty which Old
England no longer afforded them.

The Dutch had now established a colony at the mouth of the Hudson
River, and were looking wistfully at the fertile meadows which their
traders had found upon the banks of the Connecticut. The English were
apprehensive that the Dutch might anticipate them in taking possession
of that important valley. In 1630 the Earl of Warwick had obtained
from Charles I. a patent, granting him all the land extending west
from Narraganset Bay one hundred and twenty miles. This grant
comprehended the whole of the present state of Connecticut and
considerable more, reaching west to the Dutch settlements on the
Hudson River. Preparations were immediately made for the establishment
of a small company on the Connecticut River. Governor Winthrop sent a
message to the Dutch governor at New Netherlands, as New York was then
called, informing him that the King of England had granted all the
region of the Connecticut River to his own subjects, and requesting
that the Dutch would not build there. Governor Van Twiller returned a
very polite answer, stating that the authorities in Holland had
granted the same country to a Dutch company, and he accordingly
requested the English not to settle there.

Governor Winthrop immediately dispatched some men through the
wilderness to explore the country, and several small vessels were
sent to ascend the river, and, by trade, to establish friendly
relations with the Indians. The Plymouth colony also sent a company of
men with a frame house and boards for covering. When William Holmes,
the leader of this company, had sailed up the Connecticut as far as
the present city of Hartford, he found that the Dutch were before him,
and had erected a fort there. The Dutch ordered him to go back, and
stood by their cannon with lighted torches, threatening to fire upon

Mr. Holmes, an intrepid man, regardless of their threats, which they
did not venture to execute, pushed boldly by, and established himself
at the mouth of Little River, in the present town of Windsor. Here he
put up his house, surrounded it with palisades, and fortified it as
strongly as his means would allow. Governor Van Twiller, being
informed of this movement, sent a band of seventy men, under arms, to
tear down this house and drive away the occupants. But Holmes was
ready for battle, and the Dutch, finding him so well fortified that he
could not be displaced without a bloody conflict, retired.

The whole region of the State of Connecticut was at this time a
wilderness, covered with a dense and gloomy forest, which
overshadowed both mountain and valley. There were scattered here and
there a few spots where the trees had disappeared, and where the
Indians planted their corn. The Indians were exceedingly numerous in
this lovely valley. The picturesque beauty of the country, the genial
climate, the fertile soil, and the vast variety of fish and fowl which
abounded in its bays, ponds, and streams, rendered Connecticut quite
an elysium for savage life.

These Indians were divided into very many tribes or clans, more or
less independent, each with its sachem and its chief warriors. The
Pequots were by far the most powerful and warlike among them. Their
territory spread over the present towns of New London, Groton, and
Stonington. Just north of them was a branch of the same tribe, called
the Mohegans, under their distinguished sachem Uncas. The Pequots and
the Mohegans, thus united, were resistless. It is said that, a few
years before the arrival of the English in this country, the Pequots
had poured down like an inundation from the forests of the north,
sweeping all opposition before them, and had taken possession of the
sea-coast as a conquered country.

Sassacus was the sovereign chief of this nation. The present town of
Groton was his regal residence. Upon two commanding and beautiful
eminences in this town, from which the eye ranged over a very
extensive prospect of the Sound and the adjacent country, Sassacus had
erected, with much barbarian skill, his royal fortresses. The one was
on the banks of the Mystic; the other, a few miles west, on the banks
of the Pequot River, now called the Thames. His sway extended over all
the tribes on Long Island, and along the coast from the dominions of
Canonicus, on Narraganset Bay, to the Hudson River, and spreading into
the interior as far as the present county of Worcester in
Massachusetts. Thus there seem to have been, in the days of the
Pilgrims, three dominant nations, with their illustrious chieftains,
who held sway over all the petty tribes in the south and easterly
portions of New England. The Wampanoags, under Massasoit, held
Massachusetts generally. The Narragansets, under Canonicus, occupied
Rhode Island. The Pequots, under Sassacus, reigned over Connecticut.
These powerful tribes were jealous of each other, and were almost
incessantly engaged in wars.

Sassacus had twenty-six sachems under him, and could lead into the
field four thousand warriors. He was shrewd, wary, and treacherous,
and with great jealousy watched the increasing power of the English,
who were now spreading rapidly over the principal parts of New

In the autumn of the year 1634, just after William Holmes had put up
his house at Windsor, two English traders, Captains Norton and Stone,
ascended the Connecticut River in a boat, with eight men, to purchase
furs of the Indians. They had a large assortment of those goods which
the natives prized, and for which they were eager to barter any thing
in their possession. The Indians one night, as the vessel was moored
near the shore, rushed from an ambush, overpowered the crew, murdered
every individual, and plundered and sunk the vessel. The Massachusetts
colony, which had then become far more powerful than the Plymouth,
demanded of Sassacus redress and the surrender of the murderers. The
Pequot chieftain, not being then prepared for hostilities, sent an
embassy to Massachusetts with a present of valuable furs, and with an
artfully contrived story in justification of the deed.

The barbarian embassadors, with diplomatic skill which Talleyrand or
Metternich might have envied, affirmed that the English had seized two
peaceable Indians, bound them hand and foot, and were carrying them
off in their vessel, no one knew where. As the vessel ascended the
river, the friends of the two captives followed cautiously through the
forest, along the banks, watching for an opportunity to rush to their
rescue. The Indians were well acquainted with the treachery of the
infamous Englishmen in stealing the natives, and transporting them to
perpetual slavery. One night the English adventurers, according to the
representation of the Indians, drew their vessel up to the shore, and
all landed to sleep. At midnight, the friends of the captives watched
their opportunity, and made a rush upon the English while they were
asleep, killed all, and released their friends. They also stated that
all the Indians engaged in the affray, except two, had since died of
the small-pox.

This was a plausible story. The magistrates of Massachusetts, men of
candor and justice, could not disprove it; and as, admitting this
statement to be true, but little blame could be attached to the
Indians, the governor of Massachusetts accepted the apology, and
entered into friendly alliance with the Pequots. In the treaty into
which he at this time entered with the Indian embassadors, the Pequots
conceded to the English the Connecticut River and its immediate
shores, if the English would establish settlements there and open
trade with them.

Accordingly, arrangements were immediately made for the planting of a
colony in the valley of the Connecticut. In the autumn of 1635, five
years after the establishment of the Massachusetts colony at Salem,
and fifteen years after the establishment of the Plymouth colony, a
company of sixty persons, men, women, and children, left the towns of
Dorchester, Roxbury, Watertown, and Cambridge, and commenced a journey
through the pathless wilderness in search of their future home. It was
the 12th of October when they left the shores of Massachusetts Bay.
For fourteen days they toiled along through the wilderness, driving
their cattle before them, and enduring incredible hardships as they
traversed mountains, forded streams, and waded through almost
impenetrable swamps. On the 9th of November they reached the
Connecticut at a point near the present city of Hartford. The same
journey can now be taken with ease in two and a half hours. In less
than a year three towns were settled, containing in all nearly eight
hundred inhabitants. A fort was also erected at the entrance of the
river, to exclude the Dutch, and it was garrisoned by twenty men.

The Indians now began to be seriously alarmed in view of the rapid
encroachments of the English. They became sullen, and annoyed the
colonists with many acts of petty hostility. There were soon many
indications that Sassacus was meditating hostilities, and that he was
probably laying his plans for a combination of all the tribes in a
resistless assault upon the infant settlements.

The Wampanoags, under Massasoit, were still firm in their friendship;
but it was greatly feared that the Narragansets, whose power was very
formidable, might be induced to yield to the solicitations of the

Roger Williams, who had taken refuge in Rhode Island to escape from
his enemies in Massachusetts, was greatly beloved by the Indians. He
had become quite a proficient in the Indian language, and by his
honesty, disinterestedness, and courtesy, had particularly won the
esteem of the Narragansets, in the midst of whom he resided. The
governor and council of Connecticut immediately wrote to Mr.
Williams, soliciting him to visit the Narragansets, and exert his
influence to dissuade them from entering into the coalition.

This great and good man promptly embarked in the humane enterprise.
Bidding a hurried farewell to his wife, he started alone in a
dilapidated canoe to sail along the shores of Narraganset Bay upon his
errand of mercy. A violent tempest arose, tumbling in such a surf upon
the shore that he could not land, while he was every moment threatened
with being swallowed up in the abysses which were yawning around him.
At length, after having encountered much hardship and surmounted many
perils, he arrived at the imperial residence of Canonicus. The
barbarian chieftain was at home, and it so happened that some Pequot
embassadors had but a short time before arrived, and were then
conferring with the Narragansets in reference to the coalition. All
the arts of diplomacy of civilized and of savage life, of the wily
Indian and of the sincere and honest Christian, were now brought into
requisition. With heroism which was the more signal in that it was
entirely unostentatious, this bold man remained three days and three
nights with the savages, encountering the threats of the Pequots, and
expecting every night that they would take his life before morning.
Grandeur of character always wins applause. The Indians marveled at
his calm, unboastful intrepidity, and Canonicus, who was also a man of
heroic mould, was so influenced by his arguments, that he finally not
only declined to enter into an alliance with the Pequots, but pledged
anew his friendship for the English, and engaged to co-operate with
them in repelling the threatened assault.

This was an achievement of immense moment. Other distant tribes, who
were on the eve of joining the coalition, intimidated by the
withdrawal of the Narragansets, and by their co-operation with the
English, also refused to take part in the war, and thus the Pequots
were left to fight the battle alone. But the Pequots, with their four
thousand merciless warriors, were a fearful foe to rush from their
inaccessible retreats, with torch and tomahawk, upon the sparse and
defenseless settlements scattered along the banks of the Connecticut

Various acts of individual violence were perpetrated by the savages
before war broke out in all its horrors. The English were anxious to
avert hostilities, if possible, as they had nothing to gain from war
with the natives, and their helpless families would be exposed to
inconceivable misery from the barbarism of the foe.

The colonists now learned that the excuse which had been offered for
the assault upon Captains Norton and Stone was a fabrication, and
false in all its particulars. These men had engaged several Indians to
pilot them up the river. They often stopped to trade with the natives.
One night, as they were moored alongside of the shore, while many of
the men had gone upon the land, and the captain was asleep in the
cabin, a large number of Indians made a premeditated assault, and
murdered all on board. The rest, as they returned in the darkness and
unsuspicious of danger, were easily dispatched.

This new evidence of the treachery of the Pequots exasperated the
colonists. Still, they did not think it best to usher in a war with
such powerful foes by any retaliation. The Pequots, encouraged by this
forbearance, became more and more insolent. In July, 1635, John Oldham
ventured on a trading expedition to the Pequot country; for the
Pequots, notwithstanding all the appearances against them, still
pretended to friendship, and solicited trade. One object of sending
Captain Oldham upon this expedition was to ascertain more definitely
the real disposition of the savages.

A few days after his departure, a man by the name of John Gallop was
in a small vessel of about twenty tons, on his passage from
Connecticut to Massachusetts Bay. A strong northerly wind drove him
near Manisses, or Block Island. This island is about fourteen miles
from Point Judith. It is eight miles long, and from two to four wide.
To his surprise, he saw near the shore an English vessel, which he
immediately recognized as Captain Oldham's, filled with Indians, and
evidently in their possession. Sixteen savages, well armed with their
own weapons, and with the guns and swords which they had taken from
the English, crowded the boat.

Captain Gallop was a man of lion heart, inspirited by that Puritan
chivalry which ever displayed itself in the most amazing deeds of
daring, without the slightest apparent consciousness that there was
any thing extraordinary in the exploit. His little vessel was
considerably larger than the boat which the Indians had captured. His
crew, however, consisted of only one man and two boys. And yet,
without the slightest hesitancy, he immediately decided upon a naval
fight with the Indians. Loading his muskets and spreading all sail, he
bore down upon his foe. The wind was fair and strong, and, standing
firmly at the helm, while his crew were protected by the bulwarks from
the arrows and bullets of the Indians, and were ready with their
muskets to shoot any who attempted to board, he guided his vessel so
skillfully as to strike the smaller boat of the foe fairly upon the
quarter. The shock was so severe that the boat was nearly capsized,
and six of the Indians were knocked into the sea and drowned.

Captain Gallop immediately stood off and prepared for another similar
broadside. In the mean time, he lashed the anchor to the bows of the
vessel in such a way that the fluke should pierce the side of the
boat, and serve as a grappling iron. As there were now only ten
Indians to be attacked, he decided to board the boat in case it should
be grappled by the fluke of his anchor. Having made these
arrangements, he again came running down before a brisk gale, and,
striking the boat again, tore open her side with his anchor, while at
the same moment he poured in a heavy discharge of buckshot upon the
terrified savages. Most of them, however, had plunged into the hold of
the little pinnace, and the shot effected but little execution. A
third time he ran down upon the pinnace, and struck her with such
force that five more, in their turn, leaped overboard and were
drowned. There were now but five savages left, and the intrepid Gallop
immediately boarded the enemy. Three of the savages retreated to a
small cabin, where, with swords, they defended themselves. Two were
taken captive and bound. Having no place where he could keep these two
Indians apart, and fearing that they might get loose, and, in
co-operation with the three savages who had fortified themselves in
the cabin, rise successfully upon him, Captain Gallop threw one of the
Indians overboard, and he was drowned. This was rough usage; but the
savages, who had apparently rendered it necessary by their previous
act of robbery and murder, could not complain.

The pinnace was then stripped of her rigging and of all the goods
which remained. The body of Captain Oldham was found, awfully
mutilated, beneath a sail. The rest of the crew, but two or three in
number, had been carried as captives by the savages on the shore.
Captain Gallop buried the corpse as reverently as possible in the sea,
and then took the pinnace in tow, with the three savages barricaded in
the cabin. Night came on, dark and stormy; the wind increased to a
tempest, and it was necessary to cut the pinnace adrift. She was never
heard of more.

Block Island, where these scenes occurred, belonged to the
Narragansets; but many who were engaged in the murder, as if fearful
of the vengeance of Canonicus, their own chieftain, fled across the
Sound to the Pequot country, and were protected by them. The Pequots
thus became implicated in the crime. Canonicus, on the other hand,
rescued the captives taken from the boat, and restored them to their
friends. The English now decided that it was necessary for them so to
punish the Indians as to teach them that such outrages could no longer
be committed with impunity. It was a fearful vengeance which was
resolved upon. An army of one hundred men was raised, commissioned to
proceed to Block Island, burn every wigwam, destroy all the corn,
shoot every man, and take the women and children captive. Thus the
island was to be left a solitude and a desert.

On the 25th of August, 1636, the detachment sailed from Boston. The
Indians were aware of the punishment with which they were threatened,
and were prepared for resistance. Captain John Endicott, who was in
command of the expedition, anchored off the island, and seeing a
solitary Indian wandering upon the beach, who, it afterward appeared,
had been placed there as a decoy, took a boat and a dozen armed men,
and rowed toward the shore. When they reached within a few rods of the
beach, suddenly sixty warriors, picked men, tall, athletic, and of
established bravery, sprang up from behind the sand-hills, rushed to
the water's edge, and poured in upon the boat a volley of arrows.
Fortunately, the boat was so far from the land that not much injury
was done, though two were seriously wounded. As the water was shoal,
the colonists, musket in hand, sprang from the boat and waded toward
the shore, piercing their foes with a well-directed volley of bullets.
Had the Indians possessed any measure of the courage of the English,
the sixty savages might have closed upon the twelve colonists, and
easily have destroyed them all; but they had no disciplined courage
which would enable them to stand a charge. With awful yells of fury
and despair, they broke and fled into the forests and the swamps.

Captain Endicott now landed his force and commenced the work of
destruction. There were two Indian villages upon the island,
containing about sixty wigwams each. The torch was applied, and they
were all destroyed. Every canoe that could be found was staved. There
were also upon the island about two hundred acres of standing corn,
which the English trampled down. But not an Indian could be found. The
women and children had probably been removed from the island, and the
warriors who remained so effectually concealed themselves that the
English sought them in vain. After spending two days upon the island,
the expedition again embarked, and sailed across the Sound to the
mouth of the Thames, then called Pequot Harbor. As the vessel entered
the harbor, about three hundred warriors assembled upon the shore.
Captain Endicott sent an interpreter to inform them that he had come
to demand the murderers of the English, and to obtain compensation for
the injuries which the Indians had inflicted. To this the Pequots
defiantly replied with a shower of arrows. Captain Endicott landed on
both sides of the harbor where New London now stands. The Indians
sullenly retired before him to the adjacent rocks and fastnesses,
rendering it necessary for the English to keep in a compact body to
guard against assault. Two Indians were shot, and probably a few
others wounded. The wigwams along the shore were burned, and the
canoes destroyed, and then the expedition again spread its sails and
returned to Boston, having done infinitely more harm than good. They
had merely exasperated their haughty foes. They had but struck the
hornets' nest with a stick. The Connecticut people were in exceeding
terror, as they knew that savage vengeance would fall mercilessly upon

Sassacus was a stern man of much native talent. He laughed to scorn
this impotent revenge. To burn an Indian wigwam was inflicting no
great calamity. The huts were reared anew before the expedition had
arrived in Boston. The Pequots now despised their foes, and, gathering
around their council fires, they clashed their weapons, shrieked their
war-whoop, and excited themselves into an intensity of rage. The
defenseless settlers along the banks of the Connecticut were now at
the mercy of the savages, who were roused to the commission of every
possible atrocity. No pen can describe the scenes of woe which, during
the autumn and winter of 1636 and 1637, transpired in the solitudes of
the wilderness. The Indians were every where in marauding bands. At
midnight, startled by the yell of the savage, the lonely settler
sprang to his door but to see his building in flames, to be pierced
with innumerable arrows, to fall upon his floor weltering in blood,
and to see, as death was stealing over him, his wife and his children
brained by the tomahawk. The tortures inflicted by the savages upon
their captives were too horrible to be narrated. Even the recital
almost causes the blood to chill in one's veins.

Sassacus was indefatigable in his endeavors to rouse all the tribes to
combine in a war of extermination.

"Now," said he, "is our time. If we do not now destroy the English,
they will soon prove too powerful for us, and they will obtain all our
lands. We need not meet them in open battle. We can shoot and poison
their cattle, burn their houses and barns, lay in ambush for them in
the fields and on the roads. They are now few. We are numerous. We can
thus soon destroy them all."

Why did they not succeed in this plan? The only answer is that God
willed otherwise. The Indians planned their campaign with great
skill, and prosecuted it with untiring vigor. Not a boat could pass up
or down the river in safety. The colonists were compelled to keep a
constant guard, to huddle together in block-houses, and could never
lie down at night without the fear of being murdered before morning.
Almost every night the flame of their burning dwellings reddened the
sky, and the shriek of the captives expiring under demoniac torture
blended with the hideous shout of the savages.

At the mouth of the Connecticut River the fort of Saybrook had been
erected. It was built strongly of timber, to resist the approaches of
the Dutch as well as of the Indians, and was garrisoned by about fifty
men. As this point commanded the entrance of the river, it was deemed
of essential importance that it should be effectually fortified. But
the Pequots were now so emboldened that they surrounded the fort, and
held the garrison in a state of siege. They burned every house in the
vicinity, razed all the out-houses of the fort, and burned every stack
of hay and every useful thing which was not within reach of the guns
of the fortress. The cattle were all killed, and no person could
venture outside of the fort. The Indians, keeping beyond the reach of
gun-shot, danced with insulting and defiant gestures, challenging the
English to come out, and mocking them with the groans and pious
invocations which they had extorted from their victims of torture.

This awful state of affairs rendered it necessary to prosecute the war
with a degree of energy which should insure decisive results. The
story of Indian atrocities caused every ear in the three colonies to
tingle, and all united to punish the common enemy. Plymouth furnished
a vessel, well armed and provisioned, and manned by fifty soldiers
under efficient officers. Massachusetts raised two hundred men to send
promptly to the theatre of conflict. Connecticut furnished ninety men
from the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield. This was an
immense effort for the feeble colonists to make.

The Mohegans dwelt in the interior of the country, and were
consequently nearer the English settlements. Their sachem, Uncas, had
his royal residence in the present town of Norwich. He was a stern,
reckless man, and quite ambitious of claiming independence of
Sassacus, with his powerful section of the tribe. The Mohegans,
Pequots, and Narragansets all spoke the same language, with but a
slight diversity in dialect. The Mohegans, with apparent eagerness,
united with the English. The Narragansets also continued firm in their
pledged friendship to the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonists, and
promised a liberal supply of warriors to aid them in punishing the
haughty Pequots. Sassacus had now raised a storm which he well might
dread. The doom of his tribe was sealed.

On Wednesday, the 10th of May, 1637, the Connecticut troops,
consisting of ninety Englishmen and seventy Mohegans, embarked at
Hartford in three vessels, and sailed down the river to the fort at
Saybrook. The expedition was commanded by Captain John Mason. Uncas,
the Mohegan sachem, led the Indian warriors. When they arrived near
the mouth of the river, the Indians desired to be set on shore, that
they might advance by land to the fort, and attack the Pequots by
surprise. The English were very apprehensive that their unreliable
allies were about to prove treacherous, and to desert to the Pequots.
But, as it was desirable to test them before the hour of battle
arrived, they were permitted to land. The Mohegans, however, proved
faithful. On their way to the fort they fell in with forty Pequots,
whom they attacked fiercely and put to rout, after having killed seven
of their number, and taken one a captive. Their wretched prisoner they
bound to a stake, and put to death with every barbarity which demoniac
malice could suggest.

The two parties met at Fort Saybrook. Sassacus was strongly
intrenched, about twenty miles east of them, in two forts, or, rather,
fortified towns. These Pequot fortresses were about five miles distant
from each other, on commanding hills, one on the banks of the Thames,
and the other on the banks of the Mystic. It was the original plan to
sail directly into the mouth of the Thames, then called Pequot Harbor,
and attack the savage foe in his concentrated strength. But these
fortresses were so situated as to command an extensive view of the
ocean, as well as of the adjacent country. The vessels, consequently,
could not enter Pequot Harbor without being seen by the Indians, and
thus giving them several hours' warning.

After long and anxious deliberation, the chaplain of the expedition,
Rev. Mr. Stone, having been requested to pass the night in prayer for
Divine guidance, it was decided to sail directly by the mouths of
Pequot Harbor and the Mystic, and to continue along the shore to
Narraganset Bay. Here they hoped to meet with the troops dispatched
from Plymouth and Massachusetts. They could then march across the
country about forty miles, and, approaching the Pequot forts in the
night and through the forest, could attack them by surprise.

On Friday, the 19th of May, the expedition sailed from the mouth of
the Connecticut. The Pequots, through their runners, kept themselves
informed of every movement, and when they descried the vessels
approaching, they felt that the decisive hour had come, and prepared
for battle. But when they saw the vessels pass directly by without
entering the harbor, they were exceedingly elated, supposing the
English were afraid to attack them. They shouted, and danced, and
clashed their weapons, and assailed their foes with all the artillery
of barbarian derision. But the colonists, unconscious of the ridicule
to which they were exposed, continued their course, and came to anchor
in Narraganset Bay just as the twilight of Saturday evening was
darkening into night. It was too late then to land, and the next day
being the Sabbath, they all remained on board their vessels, in the
sacred observance of the day. All of Monday, and until late in the
afternoon of Tuesday, a fearful gale swept the ocean, so that no boat
could pass to the shore. Tuesday evening, however, Captain Mason
landed, and had an interview with Miantunnomah, a chief very high in
rank, who seems to have shared with his uncle Canonicus in the
government of the Narragansets.

    "Two mighty chiefs--one cautious, wise, and old;
      One young, and strong, and terrible in fight--
    All Narraganset and Coweset hold;
      One lodge they build, one council-fire they light."

The fiery-spirited young sachem, hating the Pequots, and eager for a
fight with them in conjunction with such powerful allies as the
English, cordially received Captain Mason, granted him a passage
through his country, and immediately called out a re-enforcement of
two hundred men to join the expedition. That night an Indian runner
arrived in the camp, and informed Captain Mason that Captain Patrick,
with forty men, who had been sent in advance of the Massachusetts and
Plymouth contingent, had reached Mr. Roger Williams's plantation in
Providence, and were hastening to meet him. Desirable as this
junction was deemed, after mature deliberation, it was decided not to
wait for Captain Patrick, as it was very important to strike a sudden
and unexpected blow. The Narragansets stood in great dread of the
Pequots, and it was feared that their zeal might grow cold. It was
also feared that if they did not proceed immediately, the Pequots
might receive tidings of their approach.

The little army, therefore, the very next morning, Wednesday, May
24th, commenced its march. The force consisted of seventy-seven
Englishmen, sixty Mohegans, and two hundred Narragansets. The
Narragansets were great braggarts. They made the forest resound with
their vainglorious boasts, and, with the most valiant gestures,
declared that they would now show the English how to fight. Guided by
Indians through the forest, they pressed along rapidly through the
day, and at night, having traversed about twenty miles, bivouacked
upon the banks of a small stream. The next morning they resumed their
march, and, crossing the stream, approached the territory of the
Pequots. As they had advanced, large numbers of Narraganset warriors
had flocked to join them, and they had now five hundred of these
boastful savages in the advance leading them on.

The day was intensely hot, and, in their rapid march, several of the
troops fainted by the way. But, conscious that much depended upon
taking the Pequots by surprise, Captain Mason urged his men forward,
and about noon reached the banks of the Pawcatuck River, about twelve
miles from the previous night's encampment. The Indians led them to a
point in the river where they could pass it by a ford. They halted
here for an hour, and refreshed themselves, and then moved on with
much caution, as they were now almost in the country of their foe. It
was but twelve miles from the ford to the first Pequot fort on the
banks of the Mystic.

It had been the intention to attack both the forts, the Mystic and the
Pequot, at once; but Wequash, a Pequot sachem, who had revolted from
Sassacus, and, treacherous to his tribe, acted as their guide, here
gave them such information respecting the situation and strength of
these fortresses as induced them to alter their resolution, and to
decide to make a united attack upon the fort at Mystic. When the
Narragansets found that Captain Mason was actually intending to march
directly up to the very palisades of the fort, and assail those
fierce and terrible warriors in their strongholds, they were filled
with amazement and consternation. Many deserted and returned to
Narraganset. All who remained lingered irresolutely in the rear. The
English now found that their Indian allies could render them but very
little service. Undaunted, however, by the great odds against which
they would have to contend, they pressed vigorously and silently on,
followed by a vagabond train of two or three hundred savages. The sun
had gone down, and the shades of night were descending upon the forest
when they reached the banks of the Mystic.

They were now within three miles of one of the great Pequot forts, on
what is still called Pequot Hill, in the present town of Groton.
Crossing the stream, here narrow and shallow, by a ford, they crept
cautiously along, in the deepening darkness, until they came to a
smooth and level plot of ground between two craggy bluffs now called
Porter's Rocks.

The troops, excessively fatigued by travel and the heat of the sultry
day, threw themselves upon the ground for a few hours' repose,
intending to advance and make the attack upon the fort just before the
break of day. The night was serene and cloudless, and a brilliant
moon illumined the couch of the weary soldiers. They were now so near
the fort that they could hear the shouts of the savages in their
barbaric carousals. A few moments after midnight they were all aroused
from their sleep to march to the perilous assault. Devoutly these
Christian heroes gathered around their chaplain, the Reverend Mr.
Stone, and, with uncovered heads, united with him in fervent prayer
that God would bless their enterprise. They were not going into the
battle inspired by ambition, or the love of conquest, or the greed of
gain. They were contending only to protect their wives and their
children from the vengeance of a savage and a merciless foe. The
Narragansets, now that the stern hour of trial had come, were in such
a state of consternation that Captain Mason gathered them around him
and said,

"We ask no aid from you. You may stand at any distance you please, and
look on, and see how Englishmen can fight."

The fort was on the summit of a heavy swell of land, and consisted of
a village of seventy wigwams, surrounded by a palisade. These
palisades consisted of posts planted side by side, and so high that
they could not be climbed over. The warriors stationed behind them
were safe apparently from assault, for even a musket ball would not
pass through the posts. There were but two entrances to the fort, one
on the northeastern and the other on the southwestern side. Between
six and seven hundred Indians were within the fort.

The English troops were divided into two parties, one headed by
Captain Mason, and the other by Captain Underhill, who had been in
command of the fort at Saybrook. They decided to make a simultaneous
attack upon each of the entrances. Though the moon shone very
brilliantly, rendering it almost as light as day, yet the Indians,
unsuspicious of danger and soundly asleep, gave not the slightest
indication of alarm until the two parties had each silently approached
within a rod of the entrances. A dog was then heard to bark, and
immediately one solitary voice shouted frantically, "Englishmen!
Englishmen!" The entrances were merely blocked up with bushes about
breast high. The assailants instantly poured a volley of bullets in
upon their sleeping foes, and, sword in hand, rushed over the feeble
barriers. Notwithstanding the surprise and the appalling thunder of
the guns, the Pequots sprang to arms and made a fierce resistance.
The two parties, advancing from the opposite entrances, forced their
way along the main street, firing to the right and the left, and
making fearful slaughter of their foes. They speedily swept the street
clear of all opposition. The savages, however, who still vastly
outnumbered their assailants, retreated into their wigwams, and,
taking advantage of every covert, almost overwhelmed the compact bands
of the English with a shower of arrows and javelins. The conflict was
now fierce in the extreme, and for a time the issue was very doubtful.
Several of the colonists were already killed, and many severely

The wigwams, composed of the boughs and bark of trees, and covered
with mats, were as dry as powder. Captain Mason, at this critical
moment, shouted to his exhausted men, "Set fire to the wigwams."
Torches were immediately applied; the flames leaped from roof to roof,
and in a few moments the whole village was as a furnace of roaring,
crackling flame. The savages, forced by the fire from their
lurking-places, presented a sure mark for the bullet, and they were
shot down and cut down without mercy. It was no longer a fight, but a
massacre. The Indians, bewildered with terror, threw down their arms,
and rushed to and fro in vain attempts to escape. Some climbed the
palisades, only to present a sure target for innumerable bullets;
others plunged into the eddying flames which were fiercely devouring
their dwellings. For a moment their dark bodies seemed to tremble and
vibrate in the glowing furnace, and then they fell as crisped embers.

The heat soon became so intense and the smoke so smothering that the
English were compelled to retire outside of the fort. But they
surrounded the flaming fortress, and every Indian who attempted to
escape was shot. In one short hour the awful deed was accomplished.
The whole interior of the fort was in ashes, and all the inmates were
destroyed with the exception of seven only who escaped, and seven who
were taken captives. The English knew that at a short distance from
them there was another fort filled with Pequot warriors. It
consequently was not safe to burden their little band with prisoners
whom they could neither guard nor feed. They also wished to strike a
blow which would appall the savages and prevent all future outrages.
Death was, therefore, the doom of all.

The Mohegans and Narragansets, who had timidly followed the English,
and who had not ventured into the fort of the dreaded Pequots, stood
tremblingly at a distance, gazing with dismay upon their swift and
terrible destruction. The morning was cold, and a strong wind swept
the bleak hills. The little army was entirely destitute of provisions,
for no baggage-wagons could accompany them through the wilderness.
They had hoped to obtain corn from the Indian fort, but the
conflagration to which they had been unexpectedly compelled to resort
had consumed every thing. Several of their number had been killed;
more than twenty were severely wounded. Their surgeon and all their
necessaries for the wounded were on board the vessels, which were to
have sailed the night before from Narraganset Bay for Pequot Harbor.
Nearly all their ammunition was consumed. At a short distance from
them there was another still more formidable fort filled with fierce
Pequot warriors, where Sassacus himself commanded. Thus, even in this
hour of signal victory, starvation and ruin stared them in the face.

The officers met together in anxious consultation. Just then the sun
rose brilliantly, and revealed the vessels but a few miles distant,
sailing before a fair wind toward Pequot Harbor. These strange men,
of cast-iron mould, gave expression to their joy, not in huzzas, but
in prayers and thanksgivings. But in the midst of this joy their
attention was arrested by another spectacle. Three hundred Pequots,
like a pack of tumultuous, howling wolves, came rushing along from the
other fort. They had heard the guns and seen the flames, and were
hurrying to the rescue.

As soon as the savages came in sight of the fort, and saw its utter
destruction, they stopped a moment, as if aghast with rage and
despair. They howled and tore out their hair, and, by their phrensied
gestures, appeared to be in a delirium of fury. They then made a
simultaneous rush upon the English, resolved to take revenge at
whatever sacrifice of their own lives. There were now but forty-four
Englishmen in a condition to fight. Three hundred savages--seven to
one--rushed upon them in demoniac rage. But European weapons, and the
courage and discipline of civilized life, were equal to the emergency.

Captain Mason promptly led forward a body of chosen men, who gave the
savages so warm a reception as to check their advance and cause them
to recoil. These intrepid colonists, with cool, unerring aim, wasted
not a bullet. Every report of the musket was the death of an Indian.
The savages, thus repulsed, took refuge behind trees and rocks, and
with great bravery pressed and harassed the English with every missile
of savage warfare. A rear-guard was now appointed, under Captain
Underhill, which kept the savages at a distance, while the whole party
marched slowly toward the vessels, which were now entering Pequot

Several of the English had been slain. Five were so severely wounded
that they were utterly helpless, and had to be carried in the arms of
their friends. Twenty others were also so disabled that, though they
could with difficulty hobble along, they were unable to bear the
burden of their own weapons. Nearly all the Narraganset Indians had
now abandoned the English, and, with cowardice which it is difficult
to explain, had retired precipitately through the woods to their own
country. But the Mohegans had no place of refuge; their only safety
was in clinging to the English. Captain Mason, that he might avail
himself of the energies of all his men who were able to fight,
employed these panic-stricken and impotent allies in carrying the
wounded, four taking in their arms one man. The Indians also bore the
weapons of those who were too weak to carry them themselves. In this
way the colonists marched in an uninterrupted battle for several miles
to their vessels. The Pequots pressed them closely, assailing them
with great fierceness and bravery, sending parties in advance to form
ambushes in the thickets, and shooting their barbed and poisoned
arrows from behind every rock and tree. At last the colonists reached
the water's side in safety, and the Pequots, with yells of rage,

Sassacus was quite overwhelmed by this disaster. All his warriors were
terror-stricken, and feared to remain in the fort, lest they should
experience the same doom which had overwhelmed their companions. In
their desultory wars, the loss of a few men was deemed a great
disaster. To have six or seven hundred of their warriors, hitherto
deemed invincible, in one hour shot or burned to ashes, was to them
inexpressibly awful. In dismay, they set fire to the royal fortress
and to all the adjacent wigwams, and fled into the fastnesses of the
forest. Captain Mason placed his wounded on board the vessels,
obtained a supply of food and a slight re-enforcement, and then
commenced his march for the fort at Saybrook, which was about twenty
miles distant. The Indians, whose wigwams were scattered here and
there through the forest, fled in terror before him. The English,
however, burned every dwelling, and destroyed all the corn-fields. At
Saybrook the victorious party were received with great exultation.
They then ascended the river to Hartford, and the men returned to
their several families, having been absent but three weeks.

It is impossible for us to conceive, in these days of abundance and
security, the rapture which this signal victory excited through all
the dwellings on the banks of the Connecticut. One half of the
effective men of the colony had gone forth to the battle, while the
rest remained at home, armed, and sleeplessly vigilant, to protect the
women and the children from a foe demoniac in mercilessness. The
issues of the conflict were doubtful. Defeat was death to all--more
than death: midnight conflagration, torture, and hopeless captivity of
mothers and daughters in the dark wilderness and in the wigwams of the
savage. Tears of gratitude gushed from the eyes of parents and
children; heartfelt prayers and praises ascended from every family
altar and from every worshiping assembly.

An Indian runner was immediately dispatched to Massachusetts to carry
the news of the decisive victory gained by the Connecticut troops
alone. To complete the work thus auspiciously begun, Connecticut
raised another band of forty men, and Massachusetts sent one hundred
and twenty to meet them at Pequot Harbor. The latter part of June,
four weeks after the destruction of the forts there, these two bodies
met, in strong martial array, upon the ruins of the empire of
Sassacus, resolved to prosecute the war to the utter extermination of
the Pequots. The despairing fugitives had retired into the wilderness
toward the west. The Indians, encumbered with their women and
children, and destitute of food, could move but slowly. They were
compelled to keep near the shore, that they might dig clams, which
food was almost their only refuge from starvation.

The English vigorously pursued them, occasionally shooting a straggler
or picking up a few captives, whom they retained as guides. When they
arrived at Saybrook, one party followed along the coast in boats,
while the others, accompanied by Uncas and a band of Mohegan Indians,
scoured the shore. They came at length to Menunkatuck, now called
Guilford. The south side of the harbor here is formed by a long
peninsula. Some Pequots, pursued by the English, ran down this neck of
land, hoping that their tireless enemies would miss their track and
pass by. But Uncas, with Indian sagacity, led the party on the trail.
The Pequots, finding their foes upon them, plunged into the water and
swam across the narrow mouth of the harbor. But another party of
English was already there, who seized them as they waded to the shore.
The chief of this little band of Pequots was sentenced to be shot. He
was bound to a tree, and Uncas, with nervous arm, sent an arrow
through his heart. The head of the savage was then cut off and placed
in the crotch of a large oak tree, where it remained for many years,
dried and shriveled in the sun, a ghastly memorial of days of violence
and blood. From this extraordinary incident, the bluff, to the present
day, bears the name of _Sachem's Head_.

The little army pressed vigorously on, by land and by sea, some twenty
miles farther west, to a place called Quinnipiac, now New Haven. Here
they found a good harbor for their vessels, and they remained several
days for rest. They saw the smokes of great fires in the woods, and
sent out several expeditions in search of the Indians, but could find
none. A Pequot, a traitor to his tribe, came in and informed them that
a hundred Pequot warriors, with some two hundred men, women, and
children of an adjacent tribe, had taken refuge in a large swamp about
twenty-five miles west. This swamp was in the present town of
Fairfield, directly back of the village. The army immediately advanced
with all dispatch to the swamp. The bog was so deep and wet, and
tangled with underbrush, that it seemed impossible to enter it. A few
made the attempt, but they sank in the mire, and were sorely wounded
by arrows shot from an invisible foe.

The English, with their Indian allies, surrounded the swamp. They were
enabled to do this by placing their men at about twelve feet distance
from each other. Several skirmishes ensued, in which a number of
Indians were shot. At length the Indians who lived in that vicinity,
and who had taken no part in the outrages committed against the
colonists, but who, in their terror, had followed the Pequots into
the swamp, sent a delegation to the English imploring quarter. The
poor creatures were perishing of starvation. The fierce and haughty
Pequots, however, scorned to ask for mercy. They resolved to cut their
way through the enemy, or to sell their lives as dearly as possible.
The English promised life to all who would surrender, and who had
never shed the blood of the colonists. Two hundred men, women, and
children immediately emerged from the swamp. The sachem declared that
neither he nor his people had ever done any harm to the English. They
were accordingly left unmolested.

There were now nearly two hundred Pequots in the swamp. Night came on,
and the English watched with sleepless vigilance lest they should make
their escape. Toward morning a dense fog rose, adding to the gloom and
darkness of the dreary scene. Availing themselves of this, the shrewd
savages made several feints at different points, and then, with a
simultaneous rush, made a desperate effort to break through. About
seventy of the most vigorous of the warriors effected their escape;
all the rest were either killed or taken prisoners.

Sassacus, with this remnant of his once powerful tribe, fled over the
mountains and beyond the Hudson to the land of the Mohawks. The fierce
Mohawks, regarding him and his companions as intruders, fell upon
them, and they were all slain but one, who, bleeding with his wounds,
made his escape. They cut off the head of Sassacus, and sent his
scalp, as evidence of his death, to Connecticut. A part of his skin
and a lock of his hair was sent to Boston. During these conflicts many
women and children were taken prisoners. We blush to record that the
boys were all sent to the West Indies, and sold into bondage. The
women and girls were divided about among the colonists of Connecticut
and Massachusetts as servants.

The Narragansets and the Mohegans now became very valiant, and eagerly
hunted through the woods for the few straggling Pequots who remained.
Quite a number they killed, and brought their gory heads as trophies
to Windsor and to Hartford. The Pequots had been so demoniac in their
cruelty that the colonists had almost ceased to regard them as human
beings. The few wretched survivors were so hunted and harassed that
some fled far away, and obtained incorporation into other tribes.
Others came imploringly to the English at Hartford, and offered to be
their servants, to be disposed of at their pleasure, if their lives
might be spared.

Such is the melancholy recital of the utter extermination of the
Pequot tribe. Deeply as some of the events in this transaction are to
be condemned and deplored, much allowance is to be made for men
exasperated by all the nameless horrors of Indian war. A pack of the
most ferocious of the beasts of the forest was infinitely less to be
dreaded than a marauding band of Pequots. The Pequots behaved like
demons, and the colonists treated them as such. The man whose son had
been tortured to death by the savages, whose house and barns had been
burned by the midnight conflagration, whose wife and infant child had
been brained upon his hearthstone, and whose daughters were, perhaps,
in captivity in the forest, was not in a mood of mind to deal gently
with a foe so fiendlike. We may deplore it, but we can not wonder, and
we can not sternly blame.

This destruction of the Pequots so impressed the New England tribes
with the power of the English, and struck them with so much terror,
that for nearly forty years the war-whoop was not again heard. The
Indian tribes had conflicts with each other, but the colonists,
blessed with ever-increasing prosperity, slept in peace and safety.

In view of the exploits of the Pequot warriors, Dr. Dwight, with some
poetic license, exclaims:

     "And O, ye chiefs! in yonder starry home,
     Accept the humble tribute of this rhyme.
       Your gallant deeds in Greece or haughty Rome,
     By Maro sung, or Homer's harp sublime,
     Had charm'd the world's wide round, and triumph'd over




Continued prosperity.--Establishment of Harvard College.--Acts of
violence.--Death of Miantunnomah.--The war-whoop resumed.--The
United Colonies of New England.--A confederacy.--Indian
conspiracy.--Indian outrages.--Opposition of the English
to war.--Death of Massasoit.--Changing names.--Sons of
Massasoit.--Wetamoo.--Decline of Indian power.--Mutual
wrongs.--Alexander summoned to court.--He promises to attend.--Departure
of Major Winslow.--He finds Alexander.--Preparations for the
arrest.--Rage of Alexander.--The forced compliance.--The return to
Plymouth.--The royal prisoner.--Sickness of Alexander.--The king taken
by his followers.--Death of Alexander.--King Philip.--Enmity of
Wetamoo.--Her power.--Endowments of Philip.--His religious
beliefs.--His opposition to changing his religion.--Alleged justice
of the English.--The discontent of Philip noticed.--Mutual
suspicions.--Decline of the Narragansets.--The fidelity of the
Mohegans.--Indian vengeance.--Escape of the victim.--Summons to
Philip.--Philip appears with his warriors.--His caution.--The
commissioners.--Desire to attack the Indians.--Equitable
arrangements.--Philip's adroitness.--Charge for charge.--Result of
the conference.--Extraordinary pledge.--Desires in regard to the
Indians.--Uselessness of Indian treaties.--The English violate their
pledge.--Philip for "law and order."--Decision of the referee.--A
general council.--Complaints.--A new treaty.--Philip desires
peace.--Rumors of trouble.--The cloud of terror.--Independence of
Philip.--The close of the year 1674.

With peace came abundant prosperity. Emigrants flocked over to the New
World. In ten years after the Pequot war the colonists had settled
fifty towns and villages, had reared forty churches, several forts and
prisons, and the Massachusetts colony, decidedly pre-eminent, had
established Harvard College. The wilderness indeed began to blossom,
and gardens, orchards, rich pastures, fields of grain, and verdant
meadows cheered the eye and filled the dwellings with abundance.

There were now four English colonies, Plymouth, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, and New Haven. There were also the germs of two more, one
at Providence and the other on Rhode Island. The Indians, with the
exception of illustrious individuals, were a vagabond set of
perfidious and ferocious savages. They were incessantly fighting with
each other, and it required all the efforts of the English to keep
them under any degree of restraint. The utter extirpation of the
Pequots so appalled them, that for forty years no tribe ventured to
wage war against the English. Yet during this time individual Indians
committed many enormous outrages of robbery and murder, for which the
sachems of the tribes were not responsible. The Mohegans, under Uncas,
had become very powerful. They had a fierce fight with the
Narragansets. Miantunnomah was taken captive. Uncas put him to death
upon Norwich plain by splitting his head open with a hatchet. The
Mohegan sachem tore a large piece of flesh from the shoulder of his
victim, and ate it greedily, exclaiming, "It is the sweetest meal I
ever tasted; it makes my heart strong."

Marauding bands of Indians often committed murders. The efforts of the
English to punish the culprits would exasperate others, and provoke
new violence. Indications of combinations among the savages were
frequently developed, and the colonists were often thrown into a
general state of alarm, in anticipation of the horrors of another
Indian war.

In the year 1644, a Massachusetts colonist visiting Connecticut was
murdered on the way by an Indian. The English demanded the murderer.
The Indians, under various subterfuges, refused to give him up. The
English, in retaliation, seized upon eight or ten Indians, and threw
them into prison. This so exasperated the savages that they raised the
war-whoop, grasped their arms, and threatened dire revenge. By
boldness and moderation the English accomplished their ends, and the
murderer was surrendered to justice. A few weeks after this an Indian
entered a house in Stamford. He found a woman there alone with her
infant child. With three blows of the tomahawk he cut her down, and,
plundering the house, left her, as he supposed, dead. She, however, so
far recovered as to describe the Indian and his dress. With great
difficulty, the English succeeded in obtaining the murderer. The
savages threw every possible impediment in the way of justice, and
assumed such a threatening attitude as to put the colonists to great
trouble and expense in preparing for war.

In view of such perils, in the year 1645, the colonies of
Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven formed a
confederacy, under the name of the _United Colonies of New England_.
They thus entered into an alliance offensive and defensive. Each
colony retained, in its domestic concerns, its own government and
jurisdiction. Two commissioners from each colony formed a board for
managing the common affairs of the Confederacy. This was the germ of
the present Congress of the United States.

In the year 1646 a large number of Indians formed a conspiracy to set
fire to Hartford and murder the inhabitants. An Indian who was engaged
to assassinate the governor, terrified, as he remembered that every
one who had thus far murdered an Englishman had been arrested and
executed, revealed the plot. The Indians generally, at this time,
manifested a very hostile spirit, and many outrages were perpetrated.
The English did not deem it prudent to pursue and punish the
conspirators, but overlooked the offense.

In the wars which the savages waged with each other, the hostile
parties would pursue their victims even into the houses of the
English, and cut them down before the eyes of the horror-stricken
women and children. In a very dry time the Indians set fire to the
woods all around the town of Milford, hoping thus to set fire to the
town. With the greatest difficulty the inhabitants rescued their
dwellings from the flames.

In the year 1648, marauding bands of the Narragansets committed
intolerable outrages against the people of Rhode Island, killing their
cattle, robbing their houses, and insulting and even beating the
inmates. The colonists were exceedingly perplexed to know what to do
in these emergencies. The whole wilderness of North America was filled
with savages. If they commenced a general war, it was impossible to
predict how far its ravages might extend. The colonists were eminently
men of peace. They wished to build houses, and cultivate fields, and
surround their homes with the comforts and the opulence of a high
civilization. They had bought their lands of the Indians fairly, and
had paid for them all that the lands then were worth.

Massasoit died about the year 1661. He remained firm in his fidelity
to the English until his death, though very hostile to the conversion
of the Indians to Christianity. At one time, when treating for the
sale of some of his lands in Swanzey, he insisted very pertinaciously
upon the condition that the English should never attempt to draw off
any of his people from their religion to Christianity. He would not
recede from this condition until he found that the treaty must be
broken off unless he yielded.

As the English found many of the Indian names hard to remember and to
pronounce, they were fond of giving English names to those with whom
they had frequent intercourse. The Indians in general were quite proud
of receiving these names. Massasoit, with that innate dignity which
pertained to his imperial state, disdained to receive any other name
but the one which he proudly bore as his ancestral legacy. A few years
before his death, however, he brought his two sons, Wamsutta and
Pometacom, to Plymouth, and requested the governor, in token of
friendship, to give them English names. They were very bright,
attractive young men, of the finest physical development. The governor
related to Massasoit the history of the renowned kings of Macedon,
Philip and Alexander, and gave to Wamsutta, the oldest, the name of
Alexander, the great warrior of Asia, and to Pometacom, the younger,
the less renowned name of Philip. These two young men had married
sisters, the daughters of the sachem of Pocasset. The name of the wife
of Alexander was Wetamoo, an unfortunate princess who became quite
illustrious in subsequent scenes. The wife of Philip had the
euphonious name of Wootonekanuske.

Upon the death of Massasoit, his eldest son Alexander was invested
with the chieftainship. The lands of the Indians were now very rapidly
passing away from the native proprietors to the new-comers, and
English settlements were every where springing up in the wilderness.
The Indian power was evidently declining, while that of the white man
was on the increase. With prosperity came avarice. Unprincipled men
flocked to the colonies; the Indians were despised, and often harshly
treated; and the forbearance which marked the early intercourse of the
Pilgrims with the natives was forgotten. The colonists had generally
become exasperated with the outrages of lawless vagabond savages, whom
the sachems could not restrain, and who ranged the country, shooting
their cattle, pillaging their houses, and often committing murder. A
hungry savage was as ready to shoot a heifer in the pasture as a deer
in the forest, if he could do so and escape detection. There thus very
naturally grew up, upon both sides, a spirit of alienation and

Alexander kept aloof from the English, and was cold and reserved
whenever he met them. Rumors began to float through the air that the
Wampanoags were meditating hostilities. Some of the colonists, who had
been called by business to Narraganset, wrote to Governor Prince, at
Plymouth, that Alexander was making preparations for war, and that he
was endeavoring to persuade the Narragansets to unite with him in a
general assault upon the English settlements. Governor Prince
immediately sent a messenger to Alexander, at Mount Hope, informing
him of these reports of his hostile intentions which were in
circulation, and requesting him to attend the next court in Plymouth
to vindicate himself from these charges.

Alexander apparently received this message in a very friendly spirit.
He assured Captain Willet, the messenger, that the accusation was a
gross slander; that the Narragansets were his unrelenting foes; and
that they had fabricated the story that they might alienate from him
his good friends the English. He promised that he would attend the
next meeting of the court at Plymouth, and prove the truth of these

Notwithstanding this ostensible sincerity and friendliness, various
circumstances concurred to increase suspicion. When the court
assembled, Alexander, instead of making his appearance according to
his agreement, was found to be on a visit to the sachem of the
Narragansets, his pretended enemies. Upon this, Governor Prince
assembled his counselors, and, after deliberation, ordered Major
Winslow, afterward governor of the colony, to take an armed band, go
to Mount Hope, seize Alexander by surprise before he should have time
to rally his warriors around him, and take him by force to Plymouth.
Major Winslow immediately set out, with ten men, from Marshfield,
intending to increase his force from the towns nearer to Mount Hope.
When about half way between Plymouth and Bridgewater, they came to a
large pond, probably Monponsett Pond, in the present town of Halifax.
Upon the margin of this sheet of water they saw an Indian hunting
lodge, and soon ascertained that it was one of the several transient
residences of Alexander, and that he was then there, with a large
party of his warriors, on a hunting and fishing excursion.

The colonists cautiously approached, and saw that the guns of the
Indians were all stacked outside of the lodge, at some distance, and
that the whole party were in the house engaged in a banquet. As the
Wampanoags were then, and had been for forty years, at peace with the
English, and as they were not at war with any other people, and were
in the very heart of their own territories, no precautions whatever
were adopted against surprise.

Major Winslow dispatched a portion of his force to seize the guns of
the Indians, and with the rest entered the hut. The savages, eighty in
number, manifested neither surprise nor alarm in seeing the English,
and were apparently quite unsuspicious of danger. Major Winslow
requested Alexander to walk out with him for a few moments, and then,
through an interpreter, informed the proud Indian chieftain that he
was to be taken under arrest to Plymouth, there to answer to the
charge of plotting against the English. The haughty savage, as soon as
he fully comprehended the statement, was in a towering rage. He
returned to his companions, and declared that he would not submit to
such an indignity. He felt as the President of the United States would
feel in being arrested by a sheriff sent from the Governor of Canada,
commanding him to submit to be taken to Quebec to answer there to
charges to be brought against him. The demand was of a nature to
preclude the exercise of courtesy. As there were some indications of
resistance, the stern major presented a pistol to the breast of the
Indian chieftain, and said,

"I am ordered to take you to Plymouth. God willing, I shall do it, at
whatever hazard. If you submit peacefully, you shall receive
respectful usage. If you resist, you shall die upon the spot."

The Indians were disarmed. They could do nothing. Alexander was almost
insane with vexation and rage in finding himself thus insulted, and
yet incapable of making any resistance. His followers, conscious of
the utter helplessness of their state, entreated him not to resort to
violence, which would only result in his death. They urged him to
yield to necessity, assuring him that they would accompany him as his
retinue, that he might appear in Plymouth with the dignity befitting
his rank.

The colonists immediately commenced their return to Plymouth with
their illustrious captive. There was a large party of Indian warriors
in the train, with Wetamoo, the wife of Alexander, and several other
Indian women. The day was intensely hot, and a horse was offered to
the chieftain that he might ride. He declined the offer, preferring to
walk with his friends. When they arrived at Duxbury, as they were not
willing to thrust Alexander into a prison, Major Winslow received him
into his own house, where he guarded him with vigilance, yet treated
him courteously, until orders could be received from Governor Prince,
who resided on the Cape at Eastham. At Duxbury, Alexander and his
train were entertained for several days with the most scrupulous
hospitality. But the imperial spirit of the Wampanoag chieftain was so
tortured by the humiliation to which he was exposed that he was thrown
into a burning fever. The best medical attendance was furnished, and
he was nursed with the utmost care, but he grew daily worse, and soon
serious fears were entertained that he would die.

The Indian warriors, greatly alarmed for their beloved chieftain,
entreated that they might be permitted to take Alexander home,
promising that they would return with him as soon as he had recovered,
and that, in the mean time, the son of Alexander should be sent to the
English as a hostage. The court assented to this arrangement. The
Indians took their unhappy king, dying of a crushed spirit, upon a
litter on their shoulders, and entered the trails of the forest.
Slowly they traveled with their burden until they arrived at Tethquet,
now Taunton River. There they took canoes. They had not, however,
paddled far down the stream before it became evident that their
monarch was dying. They placed him upon a grassy mound beneath a
majestic tree, and in silence the stoical warriors gathered around to
witness the departure of his spirit to the realms of the Red Man's

What a scene for the painter! The sublimity of the forest, the glassy
stream, meandering beneath the overshadowing trees, the bark canoes of
the natives moored to the shore, the dying chieftain, with his
warriors assembled in stern sadness around him, and the beautiful and
heroic Wetamoo, holding in her lap the head of her dying lord as she
wiped his clammy brow, nursing those emotions of revenge which finally
desolated the three colonies with flame, blood, and woe.


The tragic death of Alexander introduced to the throne his brother
Pometacom, whom the English named King Philip.

Much has been written respecting the Indian's disregard for woman. The
history of Wetamoo proves that these views have been very greatly
exaggerated, or that they admit of very marked exceptions. Wetamoo
immediately became the unrelenting foe of the English. With all the
fervor of her fresh nature, she studied to avenge her husband's death.
This one idea became the controlling principle of her future life.
That Wamsutta's death was caused by the anguish of a wounded spirit no
colonist doubted; but Wetamoo believed, and most of the Indians
believed, that poison had been administered to the captive monarch,
and that he thus perished the victim of foul murder. Wetamoo was an
energetic, and, for a savage, a noble woman. All the energies of her
soul were aroused to avenge her husband's death. She was by birth the
princess of another tribe, and it appears that she had power, woman
though she was, to lead three hundred warriors into the field.

Philip was a man of superior endowments. He clearly understood the
power of the English, and the peril to be encountered in waging war
against them. And yet he as distinctly saw that, unless the
encroachments of the English could be arrested, his own race was
doomed to destruction. At one time he was quite interested in the
Christian religion; but apparently foreseeing that, with the
introduction of Christianity, all the peculiarities of manners and
customs in Indian life must pass away, he adopted the views of his
father, Massasoit, and became bitterly opposed to any change of
religion among his people. Mr. Gookin, speaking of the Wampanoags,

     "There are some that have hopes of their greatest and
     chiefest sachem, named Philip. Some of his chief men, as I
     hear, stand well-inclined to hear the Gospel, and himself is
     a person of good understanding and knowledge in the best
     things. I have heard him speak very good words, arguing that
     his conscience is convicted. But yet, though his will is
     bound to embrace Jesus Christ, his sensual and carnal lusts
     are strong bands to hold him fast under Satan's dominion."

Some time after this, Rev. Mr. Elliot records that, in conversation
with King Philip upon the subject of religion, the Wampanoag chieftain
took hold of a button upon Mr. Elliot's coat, and said, very

"Mr. Elliot, I care no more for the Gospel of Jesus Christ than I do
for that button."

For nine years Philip was probably brooding over the subject of the
encroachments of the English, and the waning power of the Indians.
This was the inevitable result of the idle, vagabond life of the
Indians, and of the industry and energy of the colonists. The Indians
had not thus far been defrauded. Mr. Josiah Winslow, governor of
Plymouth Colony, writes, in a letter dated May 1, 1676:

     "I think I can truly 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
     of the Indian proprietors."

The discontent of Philip did not, however, escape the notice of the
English, and for a long time they saw increasing indications that a
storm was gathering. The wary monarch, with continued protestations of
friendship, was evidently accumulating resources, strengthening
alliances, and distributing more extensively among the Indians guns
and other weapons of Indian warfare. His warriors soon rivaled the
white men in skill as sharp-shooters, and became very adroit in the
use of their weapons. They were carefully laying up stores of powder
and bullets, and Philip could not conceal the interest with which he
endeavored to learn how to manufacture gunpowder.

Under this state of affairs, it is easy to perceive that mutual
suspicions and recriminations must have rapidly ensued. The Indians
and the colonists, year after year, became more exasperated against
each other. The dangers of collision were constantly growing more
imminent. Many deeds of violence and aggression were perpetrated by
individuals upon each side. Still, candor compels us to admit, as we
carefully read the record of those days, that the English were very
far from being patterns of meekness and long-suffering. Haughtiness
and intolerance when in power has marked the career of our venerated,
yet far from faultless ancestors in every quarter of the globe.

The Narraganset tribe had now lost its pre-eminence. Canonicus had
long since died, at the age of eighty years. Miantunnomah had been
taken prisoner by the Mohegans, and had been executed upon the plain
of Norwich. Ninigret, who was now sovereign chief of the Narragansets,
was old, infirm, and imbecile. His character illustrates the saying of
Napoleon, that "_better is it to have an army of deer led by a lion,
than an army of lions led by a deer_."

Philip, by his commanding genius and daring spirit, had now obtained
a great ascendency over all the New England tribes excepting the
Mohegans. They, under Uncas, were strongly attached to the English, to
whom they were indebted for their very existence. The character of
Philip is illustrated by the following incident. In 1665, he heard
that an Indian had spoken disrespectfully of his father, Massasoit. To
avenge the insult, he pursued the offender from place to place, until,
at last, he tracked him to the island of Nantucket. Taking a canoe,
Philip proceeded to the island. Assasamooyh, who, by speaking ill of
the dead, had, according to Indian law, forfeited his life, was a
Christian Indian. He was sitting at the table of one of the colonists,
when a messenger rushed in breathlessly, and informed him that the
dreaded avenger was near the door. Assasamooyh had but just time to
rush from the house when Philip was upon him. The Indian fled like a
frighted deer, pursued by the vengeful chieftain. From house to house
the pursued and his pursuer rushed, while the English looked with
amazement at this exhibition of the energy of Indian law. According to
their code, whoever spoke ill of the dead was to forfeit life at the
hand of the nearest relative. Thus Philip, with his brandished
tomahawk, considered himself but the honored executor of justice.
Assasamooyh, however, at length leaped a bank, and, plunging into the
forest, eluded his foe. The English then succeeded, by a very heavy
ransom, in purchasing his life, and Philip returned to Mount Hope,
feeling that his father's memory had been suitably avenged.

In the year 1671, the English, alarmed by the threatening aspect of
affairs, and seeing increasing indications that Philip was preparing
for hostilities, sent an imperious command to him to come to Taunton
and explain his conduct. For some time Philip made sundry rather weak
excuses for not complying with this demand, at the same time
reiterating assurances of his friendly feelings. He was, as yet, quite
unprepared for war, and was very reluctant to precipitate hostilities,
which he had sufficient sagacity to foresee would involve him in ruin,
unless he could first form such a coalition of the Indian tribes as
would enable him to attack all the English settlements at one and the
same time. At length, however, he found that he could no longer refuse
to give some explanation of the measures he was adopting without
giving fatal strength to the suspicions against him.

Accordingly, on the 10th of April of this year, he took with him a
band of warriors, armed to the teeth, and painted and decorated with
the most brilliant trappings of barbarian splendor, and approached
within four miles of Taunton. Here the proud monarch of the Wampanoags
established his encampment, and, with native-taught punctiliousness,
sent a message to the English governor, informing him of his arrival
at that spot, and requiring him to come and treat with him there. The
governor, either afraid to meet these warriors in their own
encampment, or deeming it beneath his dignity to attend the summons of
an Indian chieftain, sent Roger Williams, with several other
messengers, to assure Philip of his friendly feelings, and to entreat
him to continue his journey to Taunton, as a more convenient place for
their conference. Philip, with caution which subsequent events proved
to have been well timed, detained these messengers as hostages for his
safe return, and then, with an imposing retinue of his painted braves,
proudly strode forward toward the town of Taunton.

When he arrived at a hill upon the outskirts of the village, he again
halted, and warily established sentinels around his encampment. The
governor and magistrates of Massachusetts, apprehensive that the
Plymouth people might get embroiled in a war with the Indians, and
anxious, if possible, to avert so terrible a calamity, had dispatched
three commissioners to Taunton to endeavor to promote reconciliation
between the Plymouth colony and Philip. These commissioners were now
in conference with the Plymouth court. When Philip appeared upon the
hill, the Plymouth magistrates, exasperated by many outrages, were
quite eager to march and attack him, and take his whole party
prisoners, and hold them as hostages for the good behavior of the
Indians. With no little difficulty the Massachusetts commissioners
overruled this rash design, and consented to go out themselves and
persuade Philip to come in and confer in a friendly manner upon the
adjustment of their affairs.

Philip received the Massachusetts men with reserve, but with much
courtesy. At first he refused to advance any farther, but declared
that those who wished to confer with him must come where he was. At
length, however, he consented to refer the difficulties which existed
between him and the Plymouth colony to the Massachusetts
commissioners, and to hold the conference in the Taunton
meeting-house. But, that he might meet his accusers upon the basis of
perfect equality, he demanded that one half of the meeting-house
should be appropriated sacredly to himself and his followers, while
the Plymouth people, his accusers, should occupy the other half. The
Massachusetts commissioners, three gentlemen, were to sit alone as
umpires. We can not but admire the character developed by Philip in
these arrangements.

Philip managed his cause, which was manifestly a bad one, with great
adroitness. Talleyrand and Metternich would have given him a high
position among European diplomatists. He could not deny that he was
making great military preparations, but he declared that this was only
in anticipation of an attack from the Narraganset Indians. But it was
proved that at that moment he was on terms of more intimate friendship
with the Narragansets than ever before. He also brought charge for
charge against the English; and it can not be doubted that he and his
people had suffered much from the arrogance of individuals of the
domineering race. Philip has had no one to tell his story, and we have
received the narrative only from the pens of his foes. They tell us
that he was at length confounded, and made full confession of his
hostile designs, and expressed regret for them.

As a result of the conference, all past grievances were to be buried
in oblivion, and a treaty was entered into in which mutual friendship
was pledged, and in which Philip consented to the extraordinary
measure of disarming his people, and of surrendering their guns to the
governor of Plymouth, to be retained by him so long as he should
distrust the sincerity of their friendship. Philip and his warriors
immediately gave up their guns, seventy in number, and promised to
send in the rest within a given time.

It is difficult to conceive how the Indians could have
understandingly, and in good faith, have made such a treaty. The
English had now been fifty years in the country. The Indians had
become familiar with the use of guns. Bows and arrows had long since
been laid aside. As game was with them an important element of food,
the loss of their guns was apparently a very serious calamity. It is
not improbable that the English magistrates humanely hoped, by taking
away the guns of the Indians, to lead them from the precarious and
vagabond life of hunters to the more refining influences of
agriculture. But it is very certain that the Indians cherished no such
views. It was also agreed in the council that, in case of future
troubles, both parties should submit their complaints to the
arbitration of Massachusetts.

This settlement, apparently so important, amounted to nothing. The
Indians were ever ready, it is said, to sign any agreement whatever
which would extricate them from a momentary difficulty; but such
promises were broken as promptly as they were made. Philip, having
returned to Mount Hope, sent in no more guns, but was busy as ever
gaining resources for war, and entering into alliances with other
tribes. Philip denied this, but the people of Plymouth thought that
they had ample evidence that such was the case.

The summer thus passed away, while the aspect of affairs was daily
growing more threatening. As Philip did not send in his guns according
to agreement, and as there was evidence, apparently conclusive, of his
hostile intentions, the Plymouth government, late in August, sent
another summons, ordering the Wampanoag sovereign to appear before
them on the 13th of September, and threatening, in case he did not
comply with this summons, to send out a force to reduce him to
subjection. At the same time, they sent communications to the colonies
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, stating their complaints against
Philip, and soliciting their aid in the war which they thought
evidently approaching.

In this movement Philip gained a manifest advantage over the Plymouth
colonists. It will be remembered that, according to the terms of the
treaty, all future difficulties were to be referred to the arbitration
of Massachusetts as an impartial umpire. But Plymouth had now, in
violation of these terms, imperiously summoned the Indian chieftain,
as if he were their subject, to appear before their courts. Philip,
instead of paying any regard to this arrogant order, immediately
repaired to Boston with his councilors, and thus manifestly placed
himself in the position of the "law and order" party. It so happened
that he arrived in Boston on the very day in which the Governor of
Massachusetts received the letter from the Plymouth colony. The
representations which Philip made seemed to carry conviction to the
impartial umpires of Massachusetts that he was not severely to be
censured. They accordingly wrote a letter to Plymouth, assuming that
there was perhaps equal blame on both sides, and declaring that there
did not appear to be sufficient cause for the Plymouth people to
commence hostilities. In their letter they write:

     "We do not understand how Philip hath subjected himself to
     you. But the treatment you have given him, and your
     proceedings toward him, do not render him such a subject as
     that, if there be not a present answering to summons, there
     should presently be a proceeding to hostilities. The sword
     once drawn and dipped in blood, may make him as independent
     upon you as you are upon him."

Arrangements were now made for a general council from the united
colonies to assemble at Plymouth on the 24th of September. King Philip
agreed to meet this council in a new attempt to adjust all their
difficulties. At the appointed time the assembly was convened. King
Philip was present, with a retinue of warriors, all decorated in the
highest style of barbaric splendor. Bitter complaints were entered
upon both sides, and neither party were disposed to draw any very
marked line of distinction between individual acts of outrage and the
measures for which the two governments were responsible. Another
treaty was, however, made, similar to the Taunton treaty, and the two
parties again separated with protestations of friendship, but quite
hostile as ever at heart. The colonists were, however, all anxious to
avoid a war, as they had every thing to lose by it and nothing to
gain. Philip, on the contrary, deemed the salvation of the Indians was
depending upon the extermination of the colonists. He was well aware
that he was quite unprepared for immediate hostilities, and that he
had much to do in the way of preparation before he could hope
successfully to encounter foes so formidable as the English had now

Three years now passed away of reserved intercourse and suspicious
peace. The colonists were continually hearing rumors from distant
tribes of Philip's endeavors, and generally successful endeavors, to
draw them into a coalition. The conspiracy, so far as it could be
ascertained, included nearly all the tribes of New England, and
extended into the interior of New York, and along the coast to
Virginia. The Narragansets agreed to furnish four thousand warriors.
Other tribes, according to their power, were to furnish their hundreds
or their thousands. Hostilities were to be commenced in the spring of
1676 by a simultaneous assault upon all the settlements, so that none
of the English could go from one portion of the country to aid

The English, month after month, saw this cloud of terror increasing in
blackness; yet measures were so adroitly adopted by King Philip that,
while the air was filled with rumors, it was difficult to obtain any
positive proof, and still more difficult to decide what course to
pursue to avert the calamity. As these deep-laid plans of the shrewd
Wampanoag chieftain were approaching maturity, Philip became more
independent and bold in his demeanor. The Massachusetts colonists now
began to feel that the danger was indeed imminent, and that their
Plymouth brethren had more cause for complaint than they had supposed.
The evidence became so convincing that this dreadful conspiracy was in
progress, that the Governor of Massachusetts sent an embassador to
Philip, demanding an explanation of these threatening appearances, and
soliciting another treaty of peace and friendship. The proud sachem
haughtily replied to the embassador,

"Your governor is but a subject of King Charles of England. I shall
not treat with a subject. I shall only treat with the king, my
brother. When he comes, I am ready."

Such was the alarming aspect of affairs at the close of the year 1674.




Enthusiasm of the young Indians.--John Sassamon.--Betty's
Neck.--Private secretary of Philip.--The conspiracy.--Incredulity of
the English.--Sassamon to be murdered.--Death of Sassamon.--Indians
arrested.--Proof of the murder.--Execution of the
Indians.--Superstitious notions.--Insolence of the Indians.--They
capture a settler.--The first blood.--Day of fasting.--Letter of
Governor Winslow.--Murders by the Indians.--Flight of the
colonists.--Energy of Philip.--Assistance implored.--Flight of
Philip.--March of the army.--The Soykonate tribe.--Awashonks.--Captain
Church.--The embassadors of Philip.--The council.--Appearance of the
embassadors.--Exciting conference.--Rage of Captain Church.--Awashonks
to remain friendly.--The Pocasset tribe.--Wetamoo joins Philip.--Indian
warfare.--The colonists much scattered.--An illustration.--Heroic
woman.--Dispatching the Indians.--Succor arrives.--Defiance of the
English.--Horrible sight.--Destruction of corn.--An ambush.--Attempt
to surround them.--A retreat.--Apparent hopeless situation.--Bravery
long continued.--Relief at hand.--All rescued.--Narrow escape of Captain
Church.--Dartmouth burned.--Perfidy of the English.--Attempts to capture
Philip.--An unfortunate ambush.--Lesson of caution dearly
purchased.--Indian allies.--Preaching politics.--Escape of Philip.--A
conference agreed upon.--Suspicions of treachery.--Furious
attack.--Escape to Brookfield.--Attack upon the town.--Brookfield
consumed.--Attempts to burn the garrison.--Relief comes.--A
shower.--The garrison saved.--The Indians elated by victory.

The old warriors, conscious of the power of the foe whose fury they
were about to brave, were not at all disposed to precipitate
hostilities, but Philip found it difficult to hold his young men under
restraint. They became very insolent and boastful, and would sharpen
their knives and tomahawks upon the door-sills of the colonists,
vaporing in mysterious phrase of the great deeds they were about to

There was at this time a Christian Indian by the name of John
Sassamon, who had learned to read and write, and had become quite an
efficient agent in Christian missions to the Indians. He was esteemed
by the English as truly a pious man, and had been employed in aiding
to translate the Bible into the Indian language, and also in preaching
to his countrymen at Nemasket, now Middleborough. He lived in
semi-civilized style upon Assawompset Neck. He had a very pretty
daughter, whom he called Assowetough, but whose sonorous name the
young Puritans did not improve by changing it into Betty. The noted
place in Middleborough now called Betty's Neck is immortalized by the
charms of Assowetough. This Indian maiden married a warrior of her
tribe, who was also in the employment of the English, and in all his
interests had become identified with them. Sassamon was a subject of
King Philip, but he and his family were on the most intimate and
friendly relations with the colonists.

Philip needed a private secretary who could draw up his deeds and
write his letters. He accordingly took John Sassamon into his
employment. Sassamon, thus introduced into the court and cabinet of
his sovereign, soon became acquainted with the conspiracy in all its
appalling extent and magnitude of design. He at once repaired to
Plymouth, and communicated his discovery to the governor. He, however,
enjoined the strictest secrecy respecting his communication, assuring
the governor that, should the Indians learn that he had betrayed them,
his life would be the inevitable forfeit. There were many who had no
faith in any conspiracy of the kind. Rumors of approaching perils had
been rife for many years, and the community had become accustomed to
them. Most of the Massachusetts colonists thought the Plymouth people
unnecessarily alarmed. They listened to the story of Sassamon with
great incredulity. "His information," says Dr. I. Mather, "because it
had an Indian original, and one can hardly believe them when they do
speak the truth, was not at first much regarded."

Sassamon soon after resigned his situation as Philip's secretary, and
returned to Middleborough, where he resumed his employment as a
preacher to the Indians and teacher of a school.

By some unknown means Philip ascertained that he had been betrayed by
Sassamon. According to the Indian code, the offender was deemed a
traitor and a renegade, and was doomed to death; and it was the duty
of every subject of King Philip to kill him whenever and wherever he
could be found. But Sassamon had been so much with the English, and
had been for years so intimately connected with them as their friend
and agent, that it was feared that they would espouse his cause, and
endeavor to avenge his death. It was, therefore, thought best that
Indian justice should be secretly executed.

Early in the spring of 1675 Sassamon was suddenly missing. At length
his hat and gun were found upon the ice of Assawompset Pond, near a
hole. Soon after his body was found beneath the ice. There had been an
evident endeavor to leave the impression that he had committed
suicide; but wounds upon his body conclusively showed that he had been
murdered. The English promptly decided that this was a crime which
came under the cognizance of their laws. Three Indians were arrested
under suspicion of being his murderers. These Indians were all men of
note, connected with the council of Philip. An Indian testified that
he happened to be upon a distant hill, and saw the murder committed.
For some time he had concealed the knowledge thus obtained, but at
length was induced to disclose the crime. The evidence against Tobias,
one of the three, is thus stated by Dr. Increase Mather:

"When Tobias came near the dead body, it fell a bleeding on fresh, as if
it had been newly slain, albeit it was buried a considerable time before
that." In those days of darkness it was supposed that the body of a
murdered man would bleed on the approach of his murderer.

The prisoners were tried at Plymouth in June, and were all adjudged
guilty, and sentenced to death. The jury consisted of twelve
Englishmen and four Indians. The condemned were all executed, two of
them contending to the last that they were entirely innocent, and knew
nothing of the deed. One of them, it is said, when upon the point of
death, confessed that he was a spectator of the murder, which was
committed by the other two.

The summary execution of three of Philip's subjects enraged and
alarmed the Wampanoags exceedingly. As the death of Sassamon had been
undeniably ordered by Philip, he was apprehensive that he also might
be kidnapped and hung. The young Wampanoag warriors were roused to
phrensy, and immediately commenced a series of the most intolerable
annoyances, shooting the cattle, frightening the women and children,
and insulting wayfarers wherever they could find them. The Indians had
imbibed the superstitious notion, which had probably been taught them
by John Sassamon, that the party which should commence the war and
shed the first blood would be defeated. They therefore wished, by
violence and insult, to provoke the English to strike the first blow.
The English established a military watch in every town; but, hoping
that the threatening storm might blow over, they endured all these
outrages with commendable patience.

On the 20th of June, eight Indian desperadoes, all armed for fight,
came swaggering into the town of Swanzey, and, calling at the door of
a colonist, demanded permission to grind their hatchets. As it was the
Lord's day, the colonist informed them that it would be a violation of
the Sabbath for them to do such work, and that God would be
displeased. They replied, "We care neither for your God nor for you,
but we will grind our hatchets." They then went to another house, and,
with insulting carousals, ransacked the closets, helping themselves
abundantly to food. The barbarian roisterers then proceeded blustering
along the road, when they chanced to meet a colonist. They immediately
took him into custody, kept him for some time, loading him with taunts
and ridicule, and then dismissed him, derisively telling him to be a
good man, and not to tell any lies or work on the Lord's day.

Growing bolder and more insolent as they advanced, they began to shoot
the cattle which they saw in the fields. They encountered no
opposition, for the houses were at some distance from each other, and
most of the men were absent at public worship. At last they came to a
house where the man chanced to be at home. They shot his cattle, and
then entered the house and demanded liquor. Being refused, they became
very boisterous in threats, and attempted to get the liquor by
violence. The man at last, provoked beyond endurance, seized his gun
and shot one of them, inflicting a serious but not mortal wound. The
first blood was now shed, and the drama of war was opened. The young
savages retired, bearing their wounded companion with them, and
breathing threatenings and slaughter.

The next Thursday, June 24th, had been set apart by the colonists as a
day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, in view of the alarming state
of affairs. Upon an impartial review of all the transactions, it is
difficult to see how the colonists could have avoided the war.

     "I do solemnly protest," says Governor Winslow, in a letter
     written July 4th, 1675, "we know not any thing from us which
     might have put Philip upon these motions, nor have heard
     that he pretends to have suffered any wrong from us, save
     only that we had killed some Indians, and intended to send
     for himself for the murder of John Sassamon."

As the people in Swanzey were returning from church on fast-day, a
party of Indians, concealed in a thicket by the road side, fired upon
them, killing one instantly, and severely wounding many others. Two
men who set off in haste for a surgeon were waylaid and murdered. At
the same time, in another part of the town, a house was surrounded by
a band of Indians, and eight more of the colonists were shot. These
awful tidings spread rapidly, causing indescribable alarm. One man,
afraid to remain in his unprotected dwelling, hastily sent his wife
and only son to the house of the Rev. Mr. Miles, which was fortified,
and could be garrisoned. He remained a few moments behind to take some
needful things. The wife had gone but a short distance when she heard
behind her the report of a gun. True to woman's heroic love, she
instantly returned to learn the fate of her husband.

He was lying in his blood on the threshold of his door, and the
savages were ransacking the house. The wretches caught sight of her,
pursued her, killed both her and her son, and took their scalps. In
this terrible state of alarm, the scattered and helpless colonists
fled with their families, as rapidly as they could, to the garrison
house. Two men went from the house to the well for water. They fell,
pierced by bullets. The savages rushed from their concealment, seized
the two still quivering bodies, and dragged them into the forest. They
were afterward found scalped, and with their hands and feet cut off.
Such were the opening acts of the tragedy of blood and woe.

With amazing energy and with great strategetic skill, the warriors of
Philip, guided by his sagacity, plied their work of destruction. It
was their sole, emphatic mission to kill, burn, and destroy. The
savages, flushed with success, were skulking every where. No one could
venture abroad without danger of being shot. Runners were immediately
sent, in consternation, from all the frontier towns, to Plymouth and
Boston, to implore assistance. In three hours after the arrival of the
messenger in Boston, one hundred and twenty men were on the march to
attack Philip at Mount Hope. But the renowned chieftain was too wary
to be caught in the trap of Mount Hope Neck. He had sent his women and
children to the hospitality of distant tribes, and, abandoning the
Neck, which was nearly surrounded by water, traversed with his
warriors the country, where he could at any time plunge into the
almost limitless wilderness.

The little army from Massachusetts moved promptly forward, pressing
into its service all the available men to be found by the way. They
marched to Swanzey, and established their head-quarters at the
garrison house of the Rev. Mr. Miles, a Baptist clergyman of exalted
character and of fervent piety, who was ready to share with his
parishioners in all the perils of protecting themselves from the
border ruffians of that day. About a dozen of the troops, on a
reconnoitring party, crossed the bridge near the garrison house. They
were fired upon from an ambush, and one killed and one wounded. The
Indians fled, hotly pursued by the English, and took refuge in a
swamp, after having lost sixteen of their number.

Upon the eastern shore of Narraganset Bay, in the region now occupied
by Little Compton and a part of Tiverton, there was a small tribe of
Indians in partial subjection to the Narragansets, and called the
Soykonate tribe. Here also a woman, Awashonks, was sachem of the
tribe, and the bravest warriors were prompt to do homage to her power.
Captain Benjamin Church and a few other colonists had purchased lands
of her, and had settled upon fertile spots along the shores of the
bay. Awashonks was on very friendly terms with Captain Church. Though
there were three hundred warriors obedient to her command, that was
but a feeble force compared with the troops which could be raised both
by Philip and by the English. She was therefore anxious to remain
neutral. This, however, could not be. The war was such that all
dwelling in the midst of its ravages must choose their side.

Philip sent six embassadors to engage Awashonks in his interest. She
immediately assembled all her counselors to deliberate upon the
momentous question, and also took the very wise precaution to send for
Captain Church. He hastened to her residence, and found several
hundred of her subjects collected and engaged in a furious dance. The
forest rang with their shouts, the perspiration dripped from their
limbs, and they were already wrought to a pitch of intense excitement.
Awashonks herself led in the dance, and her graceful figure appeared
to great advantage as it was contrasted with the gigantic muscular
development of her warriors.

Immediately upon Captain Church's arrival the dance ceased. Awashonks
sat down, called her chiefs and the Wampanoag embassadors around her,
and then invited Captain Church to take a conspicuous seat in the
midst of the group. She then, in a speech of queenly courtesy,
informed Captain Church that King Philip had sent six of his men to
solicit her to enter into a confederacy against the English, and that
he stated, through these embassadors, that the English had raised a
great army, and were about to invade his territories for the
extermination of the Wampanoags. The conference was long and intensely
exciting. Awashonks called upon the Wampanoag embassadors to come

They were marked men, dressed in the highest embellishments of
barbaric warfare. Their faces were painted. Their hair was trimmed in
the fashion of the crests of the ancient helmets. Their knives and
tomahawks were sharp and glittering. They all had guns, and horns and
pouches abundantly supplied with shot and bullets.

Captain Church, however, was manifestly gaining the advantage, and the
Wampanoag embassadors, baffled and enraged, were anxious to silence
their antagonist with the bludgeon. The Indians began to take sides
furiously, and hot words and threatening gestures were abundant.
Awashonks was very evidently inclined to adhere to the English. She at
last, in the face of the embassadors, declared to Captain Church that
Philip's message to her was that he would send his men over privately
to shoot the cattle and burn the houses of the English who were within
her territories, and thus induce the English to fall in vengeance upon
her, whom they would undoubtedly suppose to be the author of the
mischief. This so enraged Captain Church that he quite forgot his
customary prudence. Turning to the Wampanoag embassadors, he

"You are infamous wretches, thirsting for the blood of your English
neighbors, who have never injured you, but who, on the contrary, have
always treated you with kindness."

Then, addressing Awashonks, he very inconsiderately advised her to
knock the six Wampanoags on the head, and then throw herself upon the
protection of the English. The Indian queen, more discreet than her
adviser, dismissed the embassadors unharmed, but informing them that
she should look to the English as her friends and protectors.

Captain Church, exulting in this success, which took three hundred
warriors from the enemy and added them to the English force, set out
for Plymouth. At parting, he advised Awashonks to remain faithful to
the English whatever might happen, and to keep, with all her warriors,
within the limits of Soykonate. He promised to return to her again in
a few days.

Just north of Little Compton, in the region now occupied by the upper
part of Tiverton, and by Fall River, the Pocasset tribe of Indians
dwelt. Wetamoo, the former bride of Alexander, was a princess of this
tribe. Upon the death of her husband and the accession of Philip to
the sovereignty of the Wampanoags, she had returned to her parental
home, and was now queen of the tribe. Her power was about equal to
that of Awashonks, and she could lead three or four hundred warriors
into the field. Captain Church immediately proceeded to her court, as
he deemed it exceedingly important to detach her, if possible, from
the coalition.

He found her upon a high hill at a short distance from the shore. But
few of her people were with her, and she appeared reserved and very
melancholy. She acknowledged that all her warriors had gone across the
water to Philip's war-dance, though she said that it was against her
will. She was, however, brooding over her past injuries, and was eager
to join Philip in any measures of revenge. Captain Church had hardly
arrived at Plymouth before the wonderful successes of Philip so
encouraged the Indians that Wetamoo, with alacrity and burning zeal,
joined the coalition; and even Awashonks could not resist the
inclinations of her warriors, but was also, with reluctance, compelled
to unite with Philip.

War was now raging in all its horrors. A more harassing and merciless
conflict can hardly be imagined. The Indians seldom presented
themselves in large numbers, never gathered for a decisive action,
but, dividing into innumerable prowling bands, attacked the lonely
farm-house, the small and distant settlements, and often, in terrific
midnight onset, plunged, with musket, torch, and tomahawk, into the
large towns. These bands varied in their numbers from twenty to thirty
to two or three thousand. The colonists were very much scattered in
isolated farm-houses through the wilderness. In consequence of the
gigantic growth of trees, which it was a great labor to cut down, and
which, when felled, left the ground encumbered for years with
enormous stumps and roots, the colonists were eager to find any smooth
meadow or natural opening in the forest where, for any unknown cause,
the trees had disappeared, and where the thick turf alone opposed
the hoe. They often had neither oxen nor plows. Thus these
widely-scattered spots upon the hill-sides and the margins of distant
streams were eagerly sought for, and thus these lonely settlers were
exposed, utterly defenseless, to the savage foe.

The following scene, which occurred in a remote section of the country
at a later period, will illustrate the horrible nature of this Indian
warfare. Far away in the wilderness, a man had erected his log hut
upon a small meadow, which had opened itself in the midst of a
gigantic forest. The man's family consisted of himself, his wife, and
several children, the eldest of whom was a daughter fifteen years of
age. At midnight, the loud barking of his dog alarmed him. He stepped
to the door to see what he could discover, and instantly there was a
report of several muskets, and he fell upon the floor of his hut
pierced with bullets, and with a broken leg and arm. The Indians,
surrounding the house, now with frightful yells rushed to the door.
The mother, frantic with terror, her children screaming around her,
and her husband groaning and weltering in his blood, barred the door
and seized an axe. The savages, with their hatchets, soon cut a hole
through the door, and one of them crowded in. The heroic mother, with
one blow of the axe, cleft his head to the shoulder, and he dropped
dead upon the floor. Another of the assailants, supposing, in the
darkness, that he had made good his entrance, followed him. He also
fell by another well-directed stroke. Thus four were slain before the
Indians discovered their mistake.

They then clambered upon the house, and were soon heard descending
through the capacious flue of the chimney. The wife still stood with
the axe to guard the door. The father, bleeding and fainting, called
upon one of the little children to roll the feather bed upon the fire.
The burning feathers emitted such a suffocating smoke and smell that
the Indians were almost smothered, and they tumbled down upon the
embers. At the same moment, another one attempted to enter the door.
The wounded husband and father had sufficient strength left to seize a
billet of wood and dispatch the half-smothered Indians. But the mother
was now so exhausted with terror and fatigue that her strength failed
her, and she struck a feeble blow, which wounded, but did not kill her
adversary. The savage was so severely wounded, however, that he
retreated, leaving all his comrades, six in number, dead in the house.
We are not informed whether the father recovered of his wounds. Some
distant neighbors, receiving tidings of the attack, came with succor,
and the six dead Indians, without much ceremony, were tumbled into a

Volumes might be filled with such terrible details. No one could sleep
at night without the fear of an attack from the Indians before the
morning. In the silence of the wilderness, many a tragedy was enacted
of terror, torture, and blood, which would cause the ear that hears of
it to tingle.

The day after the arrival of the English force in Swanzey the Indians
again appeared in large numbers, and with defiant shouts dared them to
come out and fight. Philip himself was with this band. A party of
volunteers rushed furiously upon the foe, killed a number, and pursued
the rest more than a mile. The savages retired to their fastnesses,
and the English traversed Mount Hope Neck until they came to the
imperial residence of Philip. Not an Indian was to be found upon the
Neck. But here the English found the heads of eight of their
countrymen, which had been cut off and stuck upon poles, ghastly
trophies of savage victory. They took them down and reverently buried

It was now the 29th of June, and the Indian corn-fields were waving in
luxuriant growth. Philip had not anticipated so early an outbreak of
the war, and had more than a thousand acres planted with corn. These
fields the English trampled down, and destroyed all the dwellings of
the Indians, leaving the Neck barren and desolate. This was a heavy
blow to Philip. The destruction of his corn-fields threatened him with
starvation in the winter. The Indians scattered in all directions,
carrying every where terror, conflagration, and death.

Captain Church, with twenty men, crossed the Taunton River, and then
followed down the eastern shores of the bay, through Pokasset, the
territory of Wetamoo, toward Sogkonate Neck, where Awashonks reigned.
At the southern extremity of the present town of Tiverton they came to
a neck of land called Punkateeset. Here they discovered a fresh trail,
which showed that a large body of Indians had recently passed.
Following this trail, they came to a large pea-field belonging to
Captain Almy, a colonist who had settled there. They loitered a short
time in the field, eating the peas. The forest, almost impenetrable
with underbrush, grew very densely around. Just as they were emerging
from the field upon an open piece of ground, with the woods growing
very thickly upon one side, a sudden discharge of musketry broke in
upon the silent air, and bullets were every where whistling fiercely
around them. Instantly three hundred Indians sprang up from their
ambush. Captain Church "casting his eyes to the side of the hill above
him, the hill seemed to move, being covered with Indians, with their
bright guns glistening in the sun, and running in a circumference,
with a design to surround them." Captain Church and his men slowly
retreated toward the shore, where alone they could prevent themselves
from being surrounded. The Indians, outnumbering them fifteen to one,
closely pressed them, making the forest resound with their hideous

As the savages emerged from their ambush, they followed at a cautious
distance, but so directed their steps as to cut off all possibility of
retreat from the Neck. They felt so sure of their victims that they
thought that all could be killed or captured without any loss upon
their own part.

The situation of the English now seemed desperate. They had no means
of crossing the water, and the exultant foe, in overwhelming numbers
and with fiendlike yells, were pressing nearer and nearer, and
overwhelming them with a storm of bullets.

But the colonists resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible.
It was better to die by the quick ministry of the bullet, than to fall
as captives into the hands of the savages, to perish by lingering
torment. Fortunately, the ground was very stony, and every man
instantly threw up a pile for a breastwork. The Indians were very
cautious in presenting their bodies to the unerring aim of the white
men, and did not venture upon a simultaneous rush, which would have
secured the destruction of the whole of Captain Church's party.

For six hours the colonists beat back their swarming foes. The Indians
availed themselves of every stump, rock, or tree in sight, and kept up
an incessant firing. Just as the ammunition of the colonists was about
exhausted, and night was coming on, a sloop was discerned crossing
the water to their rescue. Captain Golding, a man of great resolution
and fearlessness, had heard the firing, and was hastening to their
relief. The wind was fair, and as the vessel approached the shore the
Indians plied their shot with such effect that the colors, sails, and
sides of the sloop were soon pierced full of bullet holes. The water
was so shoal that they dropped anchor, and the vessel rode afloat
several rods from the beach. Captain Golding had a small canoe, which
would support but two men. Attaching a cord to this, he let it drift
to the shore, driven by the fresh wind. Two men entered the canoe, and
were drawn on board. The canoe was then returned, and two more were
taken on board. Thus the embarkation continued, covered by the muskets
of those on board and those on the shore, until every man was safe.
Not one of their number was even wounded. The English, very skillful
with the musket, kept their innumerable foes at a distance. It was
certain death for any Indian to step from behind his rampart. The
heroic Church was the last to embark. As he was retreating backward,
boldly facing his foes, presenting his gun, which all the remaining
powder he had did but half charge, a bullet passed through his hat,
cutting off a lock of his hair. Two others struck the canoe as he
entered it, and a fourth buried itself in a stake which accidentally
stood before the middle of his breast. Discharging his farewell shot
at the enemy, he was safely received on board, and they were all
conveyed to the English garrison which had been established at Mount
Hope. Many Indians were killed or wounded in this affray, but it is
not known how many.


Captain Church then went, with a small army, to ravage the territories
of Wetamoo. When he arrived at the spot where Fall River now stands,
he found that Wetamoo, with her warriors, had taken refuge in a
neighboring swamp. Just then news came that a great part of the town
of Dartmouth was in flames, that many of the inhabitants were killed,
and that the survivors were in great distress. Captain Church marched
immediately to their rescue. But the foe had finished his work of
destruction, and had fled into the wilderness, to emerge at some other
spot, no one could tell where, and strike another deadly blow. The
colonists, however, took one hundred and sixty Indians prisoners, who
had been induced by promises of kind treatment to come in and
surrender themselves. To the extreme indignation of Captain Church,
all these people, in most dishonorable disregard of the pledges of the
capitulation, were by the Plymouth authorities sold into slavery. This
act was as impolitic as it was criminal. It can not be too sternly
denounced. It effectually deterred others from confiding in the

The colonists, conscious of the intellectual supremacy of King Philip
as the commanding genius of the strife, devoted their main energies to
his capture, dead or alive. Large rewards were offered for his head.
The barbarian monarch, with a large party of his warriors, had taken
refuge in an almost impenetrable swamp upon the river, about eighteen
miles below Taunton. All the inhabitants of Taunton, in their terror,
had abandoned their homes, and were gathered in eight garrison houses.
On the 18th of July, a force of several hundred men from Plymouth and
Taunton surrounded the swamp. They cautiously penetrated the tangled
thicket, their feet at almost every step sinking in the mire and
becoming shackled by interlacing roots, the branches pinioning their
arms, and the dense foliage blinding their eyes. Philip, with
characteristic cunning, sent a few of his warriors occasionally to
exhibit themselves, to lure the English on. The colonists gradually
forgot their accustomed prudence, and pressed eagerly forward.
Suddenly from the dense thicket a party of warriors in ambush poured
upon their pursuers a volley of bullets. Fifteen dropped dead, and
many were sorely wounded. The survivors precipitately retired from the
swamp, "finding it ill," says Hubbard, "fighting a wild beast in his
own den."

The English, taught a lesson of caution by this misadventure, now
decided to surround the swamp, guarding every avenue of escape. They
knew that Philip had no stores of provisions there, and that he soon
must be starved out. Here they kept guard for thirteen days. In the
mean time, Philip constructed some canoes and rafts, and one dark
night floated all his warriors, some two hundred in number, across the
river, and continued his flight through the present towns of Dighton
and Rehoboth, far away into the unknown wilderness of the interior of
Massachusetts. Wetamoo, with several of her warriors, accompanied
Philip in his flight. He left a hundred starving women and children
in the swamp, who surrendered themselves the next morning to the

A band of fifty of the Mohegan Indians had now come, by direction of
Uncas, to proffer their services to the colonists. A party of the
English, with these Indian allies, pursued the fugitives. They
overtook Philip's party not far from Providence, and shot thirty of
their number, without the loss of a single man. Rev. Mr. Newman,
pastor of the church in Rehoboth, obtained great commendation for his
zeal in rousing his parishioners to pursue the savages.

Philip had now penetrated the wilderness, and had effected his escape
beyond the reach of his foes. He had the boundless forest around him
for his refuge, with the opportunity of emerging at his leisure upon
any point of attack along the vast New England frontier which he might

The Nipmuck Indians were a powerful tribe, consisting of many petty
clans spread over the whole of the interior of Massachusetts. They
appear to have had no sachem of distinction, and at one time were
tributary to the Narragansets, but were now tributary to the
Wampanoags. They had thus far been living on very friendly terms with
the inhabitants of the towns which had been settled within the limits
of their territory. The court at Boston, apprehensive that the
Nipmucks might be induced to join King Philip, sent some messengers to
treat with them. The young warriors were very surly, and manifestly
disposed to fight; but the old men dreaded the perils of war with foes
whose prowess they appreciated, and were inclined to a renewal of

It was agreed that a conference should be held at a certain large
tree, upon a plain about three miles from Brookfield, on the 2d of
August. At the appointed time, the English commissioners were there,
with a small force of twenty mounted men. But not an Indian was to be
seen. Notwithstanding some suspicions of treachery, the English
determined to advance some miles farther, to a spot where they were
assured that a large number of Indians were assembled. They at length
came to a narrow pass, with a steep hill covered with trees and
underbrush on one side, and a swamp, impenetrable with mire and
thickets, upon the other. Along this narrow way they could march only
in single file. The silence of the eternal forest was around them, and
nothing was to be seen or heard which gave the slightest indication of

Just as they were in the middle of this trail, three hundred Indians
rose up on either side, and showered upon them a storm of bullets.
Eight dropped dead. Three were mortally, and several others severely
wounded. Captain Wheeler, who was in command, had his horse shot from
under him, and a bullet also passed through his body. His son, who
rode behind him, though his own arm was shattered by a ball,
dismounted, and succeeded in placing his father in the saddle. A
precipitate retreat was immediately commenced, while the Indians
pursued with yells of exultation. But for the aid of three Christian
Indians who accompanied the English party, every Englishman must have
perished. One of these Indians was taken captive. The other two, by
skill and bravery, led their friends, by a by-path, back to

This town was then a solitary settlement of about twenty houses, alone
in the wilderness, half way between the Atlantic shore and the
settlements on the Connecticut. The terrified inhabitants had but just
time to abandon their homes and take refuge in the garrison house when
the savages were upon them. With anguish they saw, from the loop-holes
of their retreat, every house and barn consumed, their cattle shot,
and all their property of food, clothing, and furniture destroyed.
They were thus, in an hour, reduced from competence to the extreme of

The inhabitants of Brookfield, men, women, and children, amounted to
but eighty. The nearest settlement from whence any help could come was
at Lancaster, some forty miles northeast of Brookfield. The Indians
surrounded the garrison, and for two days exerted all their ingenuity
in attempting to destroy the building. They wrapped around their
arrows hemp dipped in oil, and, setting them on fire, shot them upon
the dry and inflammable roof. Several times the building was in
flames, but the inmates succeeded in arresting the conflagration. It
was now the evening of the 4th of August. The garrison, utterly
exhausted by two days and two nights of incessant conflict, aware that
their ammunition must soon be exhausted, and knowing not from what
quarter to hope for relief, were in despair. The Indians now filled a
cart with hemp, flax, and the resinous boughs of firs and pines. They
fastened to the tongue a succession of long poles, and then, setting
the whole fabric on fire, as it rolled up volumes of flame and smoke,
pushed it back against the log house, whose walls were as dry as
powder. Just then, when all hope of escape was abandoned, relief came.

Major Willard had been sent from Boston to Lancaster with a party of
dragoons for the defense of that region. By some chance, probably
through a friendly Indian, he was informed of the extreme distress of
the people at Brookfield. Taking with him forty-eight dragoons, he
marched with the utmost possible haste to their relief. With Indian
guides, he traversed thirty miles of the forest that day, and arrived
at the garrison in the evening twilight, just as the Indians, with
fiendish clamor, were all engaged in their experiment with the flaming
cart. Though the Indian scouts discovered his approach, and fired
their guns and raised shouts of alarm, there was such a horrid noise
from the yells of the savages and the uproar of musketry that the
scouts could not communicate intelligence of the approach of the
English, and the re-enforcement, with a rush, entered the garrison. At
the same moment a very heavy shower arose, which aided greatly in the
extinguishment of the flames.

The savages, thus balked of their victims, howled with rage, and,
after firing a few volleys of bullets into the walls of the fortress,
retired to their fastnesses. During this siege many of the whites were
wounded, and about eighty of the Indians were killed. The day after
the defeat, Philip, with forty-eight warriors, arrived at the Indian
encampment at Brookfield. Though the Indians had not taken the
garrison, and though they mourned the loss of many warriors, they were
not a little elated with success. They had killed many of their
enemies, and had utterly destroyed the town of Brookfield.




Philip's influence.--Simultaneous attacks.--Deerfield
burned.--Re-enforcement.--An ambuscade.--Dreadful slaughter and
tortures.--Rescue of Northfield.--Northfield abandoned.--Attempts
to save some corn.--Unsuspicious of danger.--Sudden attack.--A
scene of carnage.--The English overpowered.--Captain Mosely attempts
a rescue.--A prolonged fight.--The Indians vanquished.--Burial of
the dead.--Deerfield destroyed.--Plot against Springfield.--A
timely warning.--Lieutenant Cooper shot.--The attack.--The
conflagration.--Loss of books.--Alarm of the inhabitants.--Decree
of the general court.--Arrangement of forces.--Attack upon
Hatfield.--The Indians defeated.--Narrow escape of Major Appleton.--The
Indian rendezvous.--Philip's employments.--Attempts to secure
the Narragansets.--Mission to the Narragansets.--Compulsory
treaty.--Erection of an Indian fort.--Advantages of the Indians.--Indian
warfare.--Endurance of the Indians.--Losses of the colonists.--Anxious
deliberations.--Arguments pro and con.--The Indians to be attacked.--A
day of fasting.--John Woodcock.--Mode of collecting debts.--March of
the army.--Skirmishes.--Fortifications of the Indians.--The Indian
fort.--Deplorable condition of the colonists.--A friendly
traitor.--Terrible march.--Entrance to the swamp.--Appearance of the
fort.--Fearless bravery.--Terrible slaughter.--An entrance
effected.--Capture of the fort.--A scene of carnage.--Continuance of
the battle.--The houses fired.--Flight of the Indians.--Helplessness
of the English.--Necessity for a retreat.--A second retreat from
Moscow.--Horrors of the night.--Want of provisions.--Disappointment
at not finding food.--Arrival of a vessel.

Philip now directed his steps to the valley of the Connecticut, and
gave almost superhuman vigor to the energy which the savages were
already displaying in their attack upon the numerous and thriving
settlements there. Even most of the Christian Indians, who had long
lived upon terms of uninterrupted friendship with the English, were so
influenced by the persuasions of Philip that they joined his warriors,
and were as eager as any others for the extermination of the

Attacks were made almost simultaneously upon the towns of Hadley,
Hatfield, and Deerfield, and also upon several towns upon the Merrimac
River, in the province of New Hampshire. In these conflicts, the
Indians, on the whole, were decidedly the victors. As Philip had fled
from Plymouth, and as the Narragansets had not yet joined the
coalition, the towns in Plymouth colony enjoyed a temporary respite.

On the 1st of September the Indians made a rush upon Deerfield. They
laid the whole town in ashes. Most of the inhabitants had fortunately
taken refuge in the garrison house, and but one man was slain. They
then proceeded fifteen miles up the river to Northfield, where a small
garrison had been established. They destroyed much property, and shot
eight or ten of the inhabitants. The rest were sheltered in the
garrison. The next day, this disaster not being known at Hadley,
Captain Beers was detached from that place with thirty-six mounted
infantry and a convoy of provisions to re-enforce the feeble garrison
at Northfield. They had a march before them of thirty miles, along the
eastern bank of the river. The road was very rough, and led through
almost a continued forest.

When they arrived within a few miles of Northfield, they came to a
wide morass, where it was necessary to dismount and lead their horses.
They were also thrown into confusion in their endeavors to transport
their baggage through the swamp. Here the Indians had formed an
ambuscade. The surprise was sudden, and disastrous in the extreme. The
Indians, several hundred in number, surrounded the doomed party, and,
from their concealment, took unerring aim. Captain Beers, a man of
great valor, succeeded, with a few men, in retreating to a small
eminence, since known as Beers's Mountain, where he bravely maintained
the unequal fight until all his ammunition was expended. A ball then
pierced his bosom, and he fell dead. A few escaped back to Hadley to
tell the mournful tidings of the slaughter, while all the rest were
slain, and all their provisions and baggage fell into the hands of the
exultant savages. The barbarian victors amused themselves in cutting
off the heads of the slain, which they fixed upon poles at the spot,
as defiant trophies of their triumph. One man was found with a chain
hooked into his under jaw, and thus he was suspended on the bough of a
tree, where he had been left to struggle and die in mortal agony. The
garrison at Northfield, almost destitute of powder and food, was now
reduced to the last extremity.

Major Treat was immediately dispatched with a hundred men for their
rescue. Advancing rapidly and with caution, he succeeded in reaching
Northfield. His whole company, in passing through the scene of the
disaster, were most solemnly affected in gazing upon the mutilated
remains of their friends, and appear to have been not a little
terror-stricken in view of such horrid barbarities. Fearing that the
Indians were too numerous in the vicinity to be encountered by their
small band, they brought off the garrison, and retreated precipitately
to Hadley, not tarrying even to destroy the property which they could
not bring away. It is said that Philip himself guided the Indians in
their attack upon Captain Beers.

Hadley was now the head-quarters of the English army, and quite a
large force was assembled there. Most of the inhabitants of the
adjoining towns in tumult and terror had fled to this place for
protection. At the garrison house in Deerfield, fifteen miles above
Hadley, on the western side of the river, there were three thousand
bushels of corn standing in stacks.

On the 18th of September, Captain Lothrop, having been sent from
Hadley to bring off this corn, started with his loaded teams on his
return. His force consisted of a hundred men, soldiers and teamsters.
As no Indians had for some time appeared in that immediate vicinity,
and as there was a good road between the two places, no particular
danger was apprehended. The Indians, however, from the fastnesses of
the forest, were all the time watching their movements with eagle eye,
and with consummate cunning were plotting their destruction.

After leaving Deerfield, the march led for about three miles through a
very level country, densely wooded on each side of the road. The march
was then continued for half a mile along the borders of a morass
filled with large trees and tangled underbrush. Here a thousand
Indians had planted themselves in ambuscade. It was a serene and
beautiful autumnal day. Grape-vines festooned the gigantic trees of
the forest, and purple clusters, ripe and juicy, hung in profusion
among the boughs. Captain Lothrop was so unsuspicious of danger that
many of his men had thrown their guns into the carts, and were
strolling about gathering grapes.

The critical moment arrived, and the English being in the midst of the
ambush, a thousand Indians sprang up from their concealment, and
poured in upon the straggling column a heavy and destructive fire.
Then, with savage yells, which seemed to fill the whole forest, they
rushed from every quarter to close assault. The English were scattered
in a long line of march, and the Indians, with the ferocity of
wolves, sprang upon them ten to one. A dreadful scene of tumult,
dismay, and carnage ensued.

The tragic drama was soon closed. The troops, broken and scattered,
could only resort to the Indian mode of fighting, each one skulking
behind a tree. But they were so entirely surrounded and overpowered
that no one could discharge his musket more than two or three times
before he fell. Some, in their dismay, leaped into the branches of
the trees, hoping thus to escape observation. The savages, with shouts
of derision, mocked them for a time, and then pierced them with
bullets until they dropped to the ground. All the wounded were
indiscriminately butchered. But eight escaped to tell the awful story.
Ninety perished upon this bloody field. The young men who were thus
slaughtered constituted the flower of Essex county. They had been
selected for their intrepidity and hardihood from all the towns. Their
destruction caused unspeakable anguish in their homes, and sent a wave
of grief throughout all the colonies. The little stream in the south
part of Deerfield, upon the banks of which this memorable tragedy
occurred, has in consequence received the name of Bloody Brook.

Captain Mosely had been left in the garrison at Deerfield with seventy
men, intending to go the next day in search of the Indians. As he was
but five miles from the scene of the massacre, he heard the firing,
and immediately marched to the rescue of his friends. But he was too
late. They were all, before his arrival, silent in death. As the
Indians were scalping and stripping the dead, Captain Mosely, with
great intrepidity, fell upon them, though he computed their numbers at
not less than a thousand. Keeping his men in a body, he broke through
the tumultuous mass, charging back and forth, and cutting down all
within range of his shot.

Still, aided by the swamp and the forest, and being so overwhelmingly
superior to the English in numbers, the savages maintained the fight
with much fierceness for six hours. Captain Mosely and all his men
might perhaps also have perished, had not another party providentially
and very unexpectedly come to their relief.

Major Treat, from Connecticut, was ascending the river with one
hundred and sixty Mohegan Indians, on his way to Northfield, in
pursuit of the foe in that vicinity. It was so ordered by Providence
that he approached the scene of action just as both parties were
exhausted by the protracted fight. Hearing the firing, he pressed
rapidly forward, and with fresh troops fell vigorously upon the foe.
The Indians, with yells of disappointment and rage, now fled, plunging
into the swamps and forests. They left ninety-six of their number dead
by the side of the English whom they had so mercilessly slaughtered in
the morning. It is supposed that Philip himself commanded the Indians
on this sanguinary day. The Indians, though in the end defeated, had
gained a marvelous victory, by which they were exceedingly encouraged
and emboldened.

Captains Mosely and Treat encamped in the vicinity for the night, and
the next morning attended to the burial of the dead. They were
deposited in two pits, the English in one and the Indians in another.
A marble monument now marks the spot where this battle occurred, and a
slab is placed over the mound which covers the slain.

Twenty-seven men only had been left in the garrison at Deerfield. The
next morning the Indians appeared in large numbers before the
garrison, threatening an attack. They tauntingly exhibited the
clothes they had stripped from the slain, and shouted messages of
defiance and insult. But the captain of the garrison, making a brave
show of resistance, and sounding his trumpets, as if to call in forces
near at hand, so alarmed the Indians that they retired, and soon all
disappeared in the pathless forest. Deerfield was, however, utterly
destroyed, and the garrison, abandoning the fortress, retired down the
river to afford such protection as might be in their power to the
lower towns.

About thirty miles below Hadley, upon the river, was the town of
Springfield, a very flourishing settlement, containing forty-eight
dwelling-houses. A numerous tribe of Indians lived in the immediate
vicinity, having quite a spacious Indian fort at Long Hill, a mile
below the village. These Indians had for forty years lived on terms of
most cordial friendship with their civilized neighbors. They now made
such firm protestations of friendliness that but few doubted in the
least their good faith. But, while thus protesting, they had yielded
to the potent seductions of King Philip, and, joining his party
secretly, were making preparations for the destruction of Springfield.

On the night of the 4th of October, three hundred of King Philip's
warriors crept stealthily through the forest, and were received into
the Indian fort at Long Hill. A friendly Indian by the name of Toto,
who had received much kindness from the whites, betrayed his
countrymen, and gave information of the conspiracy to burn the town
and massacre the inhabitants. The people were thrown into
consternation, and precipitately fled to the garrison houses, while a
courier was dispatched to Hadley for aid.

Still, many had so much confidence in the sincerity of the Springfield
Indians that they could not believe in their treachery. Lieutenant
Cooper, who commanded there, was so deceived by their protestations
that he the next morning, taking another man with him, rode toward the
fort to ascertain the facts. He had not advanced far before he met the
enemy, several hundred in number, marching to the assault. The savages
immediately fired upon him. His companion was instantly shot, and
several bullets passed through his body. He was a man of Herculean
strength and vigor, and, though mortally wounded, succeeded, by
clinging to his horse, in reaching the garrison and giving the alarm
before he died.

The savages now came roaring on like ferocious wild beasts. The town
was utterly defenseless. Thirty-three houses and twenty-five barns
were almost instantly in flames. Fortunately, nearly all of the
inhabitants were in the block-houses, and but five men and one woman
were killed. The Indians kept cautiously beyond the reach of gun-shot,
vigorously plundering the houses and applying the torch. The wretched
inhabitants, from the loop-holes of the garrison, contemplated with
anguish the conflagration of their homes and all their earthly goods.
The Reverend Mr. Glover, pastor of the church in this place, was a man
of studious habits, and had collected a valuable library, at an
expense of five thousand dollars. He had, for some time, kept his
library in the garrison house for safety; but, a short time before the
attack, thinking that Philip could not venture to make an assault upon
Springfield, when it was surrounded by so many friendly Indians, he
removed the books to his own house. They were all consumed. The loss
to this excellent man was irreparable, and a source of the keenest
grief. In the midst of the conflagration and the plunder Major Treat
appeared with a strong force from Hadley, and the Indians, loaded down
with booty, retreated into their forest fastnesses. Fifteen houses
only were left unburned.

This treachery on the part of the Springfield Indians caused very
great alarm. There were, henceforward, no Indians in whom the
colonists could confide. The general court in Boston ordered:

     "That no person shall entertain, own, or countenance any
     Indian, under penalty of being a betrayer of this

     "That a guard be set at the entrance of the town of Boston,
     and that no Indian be suffered to enter, upon any pretense,
     without a guard of two musketeers, and not to lodge in

Animated by his success, Philip now planned a still bolder movement.
Hatfield was one of the most beautiful and flourishing of the towns
which reposed in the fertile valley of the Connecticut. Its
inhabitants, warned by the disasters which had befallen so many of
their neighbors, were prepared for a vigorous defense. They kept a
constant watch, and several garrison houses were erected, to which the
women and children could fly in case of alarm. All the male
inhabitants were armed and drilled, and there were three companies of
soldiers stationed in the town; and Hadley, which was on the opposite
side of the river, was the head-quarters of the Massachusetts and
Connecticut forces, then under the command of Major Appleton. An
attack upon Hatfield would immediately bring the forces of Hadley to
its relief.

On the 19th of October, Philip, at the head of eight hundred warriors,
boldly, but with Indian secrecy, approached the outposts of Hatfield.
He succeeded in cutting off several parties who were scouring the
woods in the vicinity, and then made an impetuous rush upon the town.
But every man sprang to his appointed post. Every avenue of approach
was valiantly defended. Major Appleton immediately crossed with his
force from Hadley, and fell furiously upon the assailants, every man
burning with the desire to avenge the destruction of Northfield,
Deerfield, and Springfield. Notwithstanding this determined defense,
the Indians, inspired by the energies of their indomitable leader,
fought a long time with great resolution. At length, repulsed at every
point, they retreated, bearing off with them all their dead and
wounded. They succeeded, however, in burning many houses, and in
driving off many cattle. The impression they made upon the English may
be inferred from the fact that they were not pursued. In this affair,
six of the English were killed and ten wounded. A bullet passed
through the bushy hair of Major Appleton, cutting a very smooth path
for itself, "by that whisper telling him," says Hubbard, "that death
was very near, but did him no other harm."

Winter was now approaching, and as Philip found that the remaining
settlements upon the Connecticut were so defended that he could not
hope to accomplish much, he scattered his forces into winter quarters.
Most of his warriors, who had accompanied him from the Atlantic coast
to the Connecticut, returned to Narraganset, and established their
rendezvous in an immense swamp in the region now incorporated into the
town of South Kingston, Rhode Island. Upon what might be called an
island in this immense swamp, they constructed five hundred wigwams,
and surrounded the whole with fortifications admirably adapted to
repel attack. Three thousand Indians were soon assembled upon this

There is some uncertainty respecting the movements of Philip during
the winter. It is generally supposed that he passed the winter very
actively engaged in endeavors to rouse all the distant tribes. It is
said that he crossed the Hudson, and endeavored to incite the Indians
in the valley of the Mohawk to fall upon the Dutch settlements on the
Hudson. It is also probable that he spent some time at the Narraganset
fort, and that he directed several assaults which, during this season
of comparative repose, fell upon remote sections of the frontier.

Straggling parties of Indians lingered about Northampton, Westfield,
and Springfield, occasionally burning a house, shooting at those who
ventured into the fields, and keeping the inhabitants in a state of
constant alarm.

At the commencement of the war, just before the discomfiture of Philip
in the swamp near Taunton, a united force of the Massachusetts,
Plymouth, and Connecticut colonies had been sent into the Narraganset
country to persuade, and, if they could not persuade, to compel the
Narraganset Indians to declare for the English. It was well known that
the Narragansets in heart espoused the cause of Philip; for the
Wampanoag chieftain, to relieve himself from embarrassment, had sent
his old men, with his women and the children, into the Narraganset
territory, where they were received and entertained with much

In this mission to the Narraganset country, a part of the troops
crossed the bay in boats, while others rode around by land, entering
the country by the way of Providence. The two parties soon met, and
advanced cautiously together to guard against ambush. They could,
however, for some time find no Indians. The wigwams were all deserted,
and the natives, men, women, and children, fled before them. At length
they succeeded in catching some Narraganset sachems, and with them,
after a conference of two or three days, concluded a treaty of peace.
It was virtually a compulsory treaty, in which the English could place
very little reliance, and to which the Narragansets paid no regard.

According to the terms of this treaty, which was signed on the 15th of
July, 1675, the Narragansets agreed,

     1st. To deliver to the English army every subject of King
     Philip, either living or dead, who should come into their

     2dly. To become allies of the English, and to kill and
     destroy, with their utmost ability, all the subjects of King

There were several other articles of the treaty, but they were all
comprehended in the spirit of the two first. But now, in three months
after the signing of this treaty, Philip, with the aid of the
Narragansets, was constructing a fort in the very heart of their
country, and was making it the general rendezvous for all his
warriors. The Narragansets could bring a very fearful accumulation of
strength to the cause of Philip. They could lead two thousand warriors
into the field, and these warriors were renowned for ferocity and
courage. Dwelling so near the English settlements, they could at any
time emerge from their fastnesses, scattering dismay and ruin along
their path.

The Indians enjoyed peculiar advantages for the rude warfare in which
they engaged. They were not only perfectly acquainted with the
wilderness, its morasses, mountains, and impenetrable thickets, but,
from their constant intercourse with the settlements, were as well
acquainted with the dwellings, fields, and roads of the English as
were the colonists themselves. They were very numerous and widely
scattered, and could watch every movement of their foe. Stealthily
approaching through the forest under cover of the night, they could
creep into barns and out-houses, and lie secreted behind fences,
prepared for murder, robbery, and conflagration. Often they concealed
themselves before the very doors of their victims. The first warning
of their presence would be the ring of the musket, as the lonely
settler, opening his door in the morning, dropped down dead upon his
threshold. The house was then fired, the mother and her babes scalped,
and the work of destruction was accomplished. Like packs of wolves
they came howling from the wilderness, and, leaving blood and
smouldering ruins behind them, howling they disappeared. While the
English were hunting for them in one place, they would be burning and
plundering in another. They were capable of almost any amount of
fatigue, and could subsist in vigor where a civilized man would
starve. A few kernels of corn, pounded into meal between two stones,
and mixed with water, in a cup made from rolling up a strip of birch
bark, afforded a good dinner for an Indian. If to this he could add a
few clams, or a bird or a squirrel shot from a neighboring tree, he
regarded his repast as quite sumptuous.

The storms of winter checked, but by no means terminated the
atrocities of the savages. Marauding bands were wandering every where,
and no man dwelt in safety. Many persons were shot, houses and barns
were burned, and not a few men, women, and children were taken captive
and carried into the wilderness, where they miserably perished, often
being subjected to the most excruciating torture. The condition of the
colonies was now melancholy in the extreme. Their losses had been very
great, as one company after another of their soldiers had wasted away.
Industry had been paralyzed, and the harvest had consequently been
very short, while at the same time the expenses of the war were
enormous. The savages, elated with success, were recruiting their
strength, to break forth with new vigor upon the settlements in the
early spring.

The commissioners of the united colonies deliberated long and
anxiously. The all-important question was whether it were best to
adopt the desperate enterprise of attacking the Narraganset fort in
the dead of winter, or whether they should defer active hostilities
until spring. Should they defer, the warriors now collected upon one
spot would scatter every where in the work of destruction. The
Narragansets, who had not as yet engaged openly in the conflict, would
certainly lend all their energies to King Philip. Another year of
disaster and blood might thus be confidently anticipated.

On the other hand, the severity of the winter was such that a whole
army, houseless, on the march, might perish in a single night. Storms
of snow often arose, encumbering the ground with such drifts and
masses that it might be quite impossible to force a march through the
pathless expanse.

But, in view of all the circumstances, it was at length decided best
to make the attack. A thousand men were to be raised. Of these,
Massachusetts contributed five hundred and twenty-seven. Plymouth
furnished one hundred and fifty-eight. Connecticut supplied three
hundred and fifteen, and also sent one hundred and fifty Mohegan
Indians. Josiah Winslow, governor of the Plymouth colony, was
appointed commander-in-chief. The choicest officers in the colonies
were selected, and the men who filled the ranks were all chosen from
those of established reputation for physical vigor and bravery. All
were aware of the perilous nature of the enterprise. In consequence of
the depth of the snow, it would probably be impossible to send any
succor to the troops by land in case of reverse. "It was a humbling
providence of God," wrote the commissioners, "that put his poor
people to be meditating a matter of war at such a season." The second
of December was appointed as a solemn fast to implore God's aid upon
the enterprise.

The Massachusetts troops rendezvoused at Dedham, and on the morning of
the 9th of December commenced their march. They advanced that day
twenty-seven miles, to the garrison house of John Woodcock, within the
limits of the present town of Attleborough. Woodcock kept a sort of
tavern at what was called the Ten Mile River, which tavern he was
enjoined by the court to "keep in good order, that no unruliness or
ribaldry be permitted there." He was a man of some consequence,
energetic, reckless, and not very scrupulous in regard to the rights
of the Indians. An Indian owed him some money. As Woodcock could not
collect the debt, he paid himself by going into the Indian's house and
taking his child and some goods. For this crime he was sentenced to
sit in the stocks at Rehoboth during a training day, and to pay a fine
of forty shillings.

At this garrison house the troops encamped for the night, and the next
day they advanced to Seekonk, and were ferried across the river to
Providence. On the morning of the twelfth they resumed their march,
and followed down the western shore of the bay until they arrived at
the garrison house of Mr. Smith, in the present town of Wickford,
which was appointed as their head-quarters. Here, in the course of a
few days, the Connecticut companies, marching from Stonington, and the
Plymouth companies were united with them. As the troops were
assembling, several small parties had skirmishes with roving bands of
Indians, in which a few were slain on both sides. A few settlers had
reared their huts along the western shores of the bay, but the
Indians, aware of the approach of their enemies, had burned their
houses, and the inhabitants were either killed or dispersed. Nearly
the whole region was now a wilderness.

The Indians, three thousand in number, were strongly intrenched, as we
have before mentioned, in a swamp, which was in South Kingston, about
eighteen miles distant from the encampment of the colonists. It is
uncertain whether Philip was in the fort or not; the testimony upon
that point is contradictory. The probability, however, is that he was
present, sharing in the sanguinary scene which ensued.

The swamp was of immense extent and quite impenetrable, except through
two or three paths known only to the Indians. In the centre of the
swamp there were three or four acres of dry land, a few feet higher
than the surrounding morass. Here Philip had erected his houses, five
hundred in number, and had built them of materials far more solid and
durable than the Indians were accustomed to use, so that they were
quite bullet-proof. They were all surrounded by a high palisade. In
this strong encampment, in friendly alliance with the Narragansets,
Philip and his exultant warriors had been maturing their plans to make
a terrible assault upon all the English settlements in the spring.
Whether Philip was present or not when the fort was attacked, his
genius reared the fortress and nerved the arms of its defenders.

The condition of the colonial army seemed now deplorable. Their
provisions were nearly consumed, and they could hardly hope for any
supply except such as they could capture from the savages. They knew
nothing of the entrances to the swamp, and were entirely unacquainted
with the nature of the fortification and the points most available for
attack. The ground was covered with snow, and they huddled around the
camp-fires by night, with no shelter from the inclemency of frost and

The morning of the 19th dawned cold and gloomy. The supper of the
previous night had utterly exhausted their stores. At break of day
they commenced their march. A storm was then raging, and the air was
filled with snow. But for the treachery of one of Philip's Indians,
they would probably have been routed in the attack and utterly
destroyed. A Narraganset Indian, who, for some cause, had become
enraged against his countrymen, deserted their cause, and, entering
the camp of the colonists, acted as their guide.

Early in the afternoon of the cold, short, and stormy winter's day,
the troops, unrefreshed by either breakfast or dinner, after a march
of eighteen miles, arrived at the borders of the swamp. An almost
impenetrable forest, tangled with every species of underbrush, spread
over the bog, presenting the most favorable opportunity for
ambuscades, and all the stratagems of Indian warfare. The English,
struggling blindly through the morass, would have found themselves in
a helpless condition, and exposed at every point to the bullets of an
unseen foe. The destruction of this army would have so emboldened the
savages and paralyzed the English that every settlement of the
colonists might have been swept away in an inundation of blood and
flame. The fate of the New England colonies trembled in the balance.

The Narraganset deserter guided them to the entrance of a narrow and
intricate foot-path which led to the island. The Indians, watching
their approach, were lying in ambush upon the edge of the swamp. They
fired upon the advancing files, and retreated. The English, returning
the fire, vigorously pursued. Led by their guide, they soon arrived at
the fort. It presented a formidable aspect. In addition to the
palisades, a hedge of fallen trees a rod in thickness surrounded the
whole intrenchment; outside the hedge there was a ditch wide and deep.
There was but one point of entrance, and that was over the long and
slender trunk of a tree which had been felled across the ditch, and
rested at its farther end upon a wall of logs three or four feet high.
A block-house, at whose portals many sharp-shooters were stationed in
vigilant guard, commanded the narrow and slippery avenue. It was thus
necessary for the English, in storming the fort, to pass in single
file along this slender stem, exposed every step of the way to the
muskets of the Indians. Every soldier at once perceived that the only
hope for the army was in the energies of despair.

There is no incident recorded in the annals of war which testifies to
more reckless fearlessness than that which our ancestors displayed on
this occasion. The approaches to the Malakoff and the Redan were not
attended with greater peril. Without waiting a moment to reconnoitre
or for those in the rear to come up, the Massachusetts troops, who
were in the van, made a rush to cross the tree. They were instantly
swept off by Philip's sharp-shooters. Again and again the English
soldiers, led by their captains, rushed upon the fatal bridge to
supply the places of the slain, but they only presented a fair target
for the foe, and they fell as grass before the scythe. In a few
moments six captains and a large number of common soldiers were dead
or dying in the ditch. The assaulting party, in dismay, were beginning
to recoil before certain death, when, by some unexplained means, a
bold party succeeded in wading through the ditch at another place,
and, clambering through the hedge of trees and over the palisades,
with great shoutings they assailed the defenders of the one narrow
pass in the rear.

The Indians, in consternation, were for a moment bewildered, and knew
not which way to turn. The English, instantly availing themselves of
the panic, made another rush, and succeeded in forcing an entrance. A
hand to hand fight ensued of almost unparalleled ferocity; but the
English, with their long swords, hewed down the foe with immense
slaughter, and soon got possession of the breastwork which commanded
the entrance. A passage was immediately cut through the palisades, and
the whole army poured in.


The interior was a large Indian village, containing five hundred
houses, stored with a great abundance of corn, and crowded with women
and children. An awful scene of carnage now ensued. Though the savages
fought with the utmost fury, they could oppose no successful
resistance to the disciplined courage of the English. Flying from
wigwam to wigwam, men, women, and children were struck down without
mercy. The exasperated colonists regarded the children but as young
serpents of a venomous brood, and they were pitilessly knocked in the
head. The women they shot as readily as they would the dam of the wolf
or the bear. It was a day of vengeance, and awfully did retribution
fall. The shrieks of women and children blended fearfully with the
rattle of musketry and the cry of onset. For four hours the terrible
battle raged. The snow which covered the ground was now crimsoned
with blood, and strewed with the bodies of the slain.

The battle was so fierce, and the defense so determined and prolonged,
the Indians flying from wigwam to wigwam, and taking deadly aim at the
English from innumerable places of concealment, that at length the
assailants were driven to the necessity of setting fire to the houses.
They resorted to this measure with great reluctance, since they needed
the shelter of the houses after the battle for their own refreshment
in their utterly exhausted state, and since there were large
quantities of corn stored in the houses in hollow trees, cut off about
the length of a barrel, which would be entirely consumed by the
conflagration. But there was no alternative; the torch was applied,
and in a few moments five hundred buildings were in flames.

No language can describe the scene which now ensued. The awful tragedy
of the Pequot fort was here renewed upon a scale of still more
terrific grandeur. Old men, women, and children, no one can tell how
many, perished miserably in the wasting conflagration. The surviving
warriors, utterly discomfited, leaped the flaming palisades and fled
into the swamp. But even here they kept up an incessant and deadly
fire upon the victors, many of whom were shot after they had gained
entire possession of the fort. The terrible conflict had now lasted
four hours. Eighty of the colonists had been killed outright, and one
hundred and fifty wounded, many of whom subsequently died. Seven
hundred Indian warriors were slain, and many hundred wounded, of whom
three hundred soon died.

The English were now complete masters of the fort, but it was a fort
no longer. The whole island of four acres, houses, palisades, and
hedge, was but a glowing furnace of roaring, crackling flame. The
houses were so exceedingly combustible that in an hour they were
consumed to ashes. The English, unprotected upon the island, were thus
exposed to every shot from the vanquished foe, who were skulking
behind the trees in the swamp.

Night was now darkening over this dismal scene, a cold, stormy
winter's night. The flames of the blazing palisades and hedge enabled
the savages, who were filling the forest with their howlings of rage,
to take a surer aim, while they themselves were concealed in
impenetrable darkness. It was greatly feared that the Indians, still
much more numerous than their exhausted assailants, might, in the
night, make another onset to regain their lost ground. Indeed, the
bullets were still falling thickly around them as the Indians,
prowling from hummock to hummock, kept up a deadly fire, and it was
necessary, at all hazards, to escape from so perilous a position. It
was another conquest of Moscow. In the hour of the most exultant
victory, the conquerors saw before them but a vista of terrible
disaster. After a few moments' consultation, a precipitate retreat
from the swamp was decided to be absolutely necessary.

The colonists had marched in the morning, breakfastless, eighteen
miles, over the frozen, snow-covered ground. Without any dinner, they
had entered upon one of the most toilsome and deadly of conflicts, and
had continued to struggle against intrenched and outnumbering foes for
four hours. And now, cold, exhausted, and starving, in the darkness of
a stormy night, they were to retreat through an almost pathless
swamp, bearing in their arms one hundred and fifty of their bleeding
and dying companions. There was no place of safety for them until they
should arrive at their head-quarters of the preceding night, upon the
shores of Narraganset Bay, eighteen miles distant.

The horrors of that midnight retreat can never be told; they are
hardly surpassed by the tragedy at Borodino. The wind blew fiercely
through the tree-tops, and swept the bleak and drifted plains as the
troops toiled painfully along, breasting the storm, and stumbling in
exhaustion over the concealed inequalities of the ground. Most
fortunately for them, the savages made no pursuit. Many of the wounded
died by the way. Others, tortured by the freezing of their unbandaged
wounds, and by the grating of their splintered bones as they were
hurried along, shrieked aloud in their agony. It was long after
midnight before they reached their encampment. But even here they had
not a single biscuit. Vessels had been dispatched from Boston with
provisions, which should have arrived long before at this point, which
was their designated rendezvous. But these vessels had been driven
into Cape Cod harbor by a storm. The same storm had driven in immense
masses of ice, and for many days they were hopelessly blocked up.
Suffering excessively from this disappointment, the soldiers marched
to the assault, hoping, in the capture of the fort, to find food
stored up amply sufficient to supply the whole army until the spring
of the year, and also to find good warm houses where they all might be
lodged. The conflagration, to which they were compelled to resort, had
blighted all these hopes, and now, though victorious, they were
perishing in the wilderness of cold and hunger.

The storm, during the night, increased in fury, and the snow, in
blinding, smothering sheets, filled the air, and, in the course of the
ensuing day, covered the ground to such a depth that for several weeks
the army was unable to move in any direction. But on that very
morning, freezing and tempestuous, in which despair had seized upon
every heart, a vessel was seen approaching, buffeting the icy waves of
the bay. It was one of the vessels from Boston, laden with provisions
for the army. Joy succeeded to despair. Prayers and praises ascended
from grateful hearts, and hymns of thanksgiving resounded through the
dim aisles of the forest.




Winter quarters.--Building a village.--Indignation of the Indians.--The
Narragansets disheartened.--Determination of Philip.--Diplomacy.--A
new fort.--A new army raised.--Sufferings of the troops.--Two names
for the Indians.--Their degraded nature.--Colonel Benjamin's mode
of making proselytes.--Philip betrayed.--His flight.--Return of
the troops.--Attack on Lancaster.--Precautions to guard against
surprise.--The torch applied.--Massacre of the inhabitants.--Mr.
Rowlandson's house.--Burning the building.--The inmates shot.--Mrs.
Rowlandson wounded.--Scalping a child.--Indian bacchanals.--Wastefulness
of the Indians.--Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative.--Her sufferings.--Her
wounded child.--Friendly aid from an Indian.--Arrival at
head-quarters.--Mrs. Rowlandson a slave.--Reciprocal barbarity.--Actions
of the Christian Indians.--Meeting of the captives.--Return of the
warriors.--Exultation of the Indians.--A captive murdered.--Journey to
the interior.--Comfort obtained.--Fear of the English.--The flight.--The
burden.--Crossing the river.--Want of food.--Compelling the captive
to work.--The Indian village.--Numbers of the Indians.--Difficulty
of obtaining food.--Mrs. Rowlandson meets her son.--Regal
repast.--Preparations for an attack.--The queen invited to dinner.--An
interview between the captives.--Unaccountable conduct.--A journey
commenced.--Hardships endured.--Kindness from an old Indian.--False
report about her son.--Dismal life.--Visions of liberty.--Slow
march.--Gentlemanly conduct of Philip.--Queen Wetamoo.--Wampum,
and how made.--Kindness to the captive.--Proposition for her
ransom.--Evidence of slaughter.--A great feast.--Endeavors to see her
children.--Bravery of Mr. John Hoar.--Assurance of freedom.--Dress
for a grand dance.--Dress of Wetamoo.--Interview with Philip.--Her
release.--Appearance of the country.--Return to her friends.

The little army was now supplied with food, but the vast masses of
snow extending every where around them through the pathless wilderness
rendered it impossible to move in any direction. The forest afforded
ample materials for huts and fuel. A busy village speedily arose upon
the shores of the frozen bay. Many of the wounded were, for greater
safety and comfort, sent to the island of Rhode Island, where they
were carefully nursed in the dwellings of the colonists. In their
encampment at Wickford, as the region is now called, the soldiers
remained several weeks, blockaded by storms and drifts, waiting for a
change of weather. It was a season of unusual severity, and the army
presented a spectacle resembling, upon a small scale, that of the
mighty hosts of Napoleon afterward encamped among the forests of the
Vistula--a scene of military energy which arrested the gaze and
elicited the astonishment of all Europe.

As the English evacuated the Indian fort, the warriors who had escaped
into the swamp returned to their smouldering wigwams and to the
mangled bodies of their wives and children, overwhelmed with
indignation, rage, and despair. The storm of war had come and gone,
and awful was the ruin which it had left behind. The Rev. Mr. Ruggles,
recording the horrors of the destruction of the Narraganset fort,

     "The burning of the wigwams, the shrieks and cries of the
     women and children, and the yells of the warriors, exhibited
     a most horrible and affecting scene, so that it greatly
     moved some of the soldiers. They were in much doubt then,
     and often very seriously inquired whether burning their
     enemies alive could be consistent with humanity and the
     benevolent principles of the Gospel."

The Narragansets, who were associated with the warriors of Philip in
this conflict, and in whose territory the battle had been fought, were
exceedingly disheartened. This experience of the terrible power and
vengeance of the English appalled them, and they were quite disposed
to abandon Philip. But the great Wampanoag chief was not a man to
yield to adversity. This calamity only nerved him to more undying
resolution and to deeds of more desperate daring. He had still about
two thousand warriors around him, but, being almost entirely destitute
of provisions, they for a time suffered incredibly.

To gain time, Philip sent deputies to the English commander-in-chief
to treat of peace. The colonists met these advances with the utmost
cordiality, for there was nothing which they more earnestly desired
than to live on friendly terms with the Indians. War was to them only
impoverishment and woe. They had nothing to gain by strife. It was,
however, soon manifest that Philip was but trifling, and that he had
no idea of burying the hatchet. While the wary chieftain was occupying
the colonists with all the delays of diplomacy, he was energetically
constructing another fort in a swamp about twenty miles distant, where
he was again collecting his forces, and all the materials of barbarian
warfare. In this fortress, within the territorial limits of the
Nipmuck Indians, he also assembled a feeble train of women and
children, the fragments of his slaughtered families. The Nipmuck
tribe, then quite powerful, occupied the region now included in the
southeast corner of Worcester county.

Hardly a ray of civilization had penetrated this portion of the
country. The gloomy wilderness frowned every where around, pathless
and savage. From the tangled morass in which he reared his wigwams he
dispatched runners in all directions, to give impulse to the torrent
of conflagration and blood with which he intended to sweep the
settlements in the spring.

It was now manifest that there could be no hope of peace. An army of a
thousand men, early in January, was dispatched from Boston to
re-enforce the encampment at Wickford. Their march, in the dead of
winter, over the bleak and frozen hills, was slow, and their
sufferings were awful. Eleven men were frozen to death by the way, and
a large number were severely frostbitten. Immediately after their
arrival there came a remarkable thaw. The snow nearly all disappeared,
and the ground was flooded with water. This thaw was life to the
Indians. It enabled them to traverse the forests freely, and to gather
ground-nuts, upon which they were almost exclusively dependent for

The army at Wickford now numbered sixteen hundred. They decided upon a
rapid march to attack Philip again in his new intrenchments. There
were _friendly Indians_, as the English called them--_traitors_, as
they were called by King Philip--who were ever ready to guide the
colonists to the haunts of their countrymen. There were individual
Indians who had pride of character and great nobility of nature--men
who, through their virtues, are venerated even by the race which has
supplanted their tribes. They had their Washingtons, their Franklins,
and their Howards. But Indian nature is human nature, with all its
frailty and humiliation. The great mass of the common Indians were low
and degraded men. Almost any of them were ready for a price, and that
an exceedingly small one, to betray their nearest friends.

An Indian would sometimes be taken prisoner, and immediately, in the
continuance of the same battle, with his musket still hot from the
conflict, he would guide the English to the retreats of his friends,
and engage, apparently with the greatest zeal, in firing upon them. In
the narrative given by Colonel Benjamin Church, one of the heroes of
these wars, he writes, speaking of himself in the third person,

     "When he took any number of prisoners, he would pick out
     some, and tell them that he took a particular fancy to
     them, and had chosen them for himself to make soldiers of,
     and if any would behave themselves well he would do well by
     them, and they should be his men, and not sold out of the

     "If he perceived they looked surly, and his Indian soldiers
     called them treacherous dogs, as some of them would
     sometimes do, all the notice he would take of it would only
     be to clap them on the back and say, 'Come, come, you look
     wild and surly, and mutter; but that signifies nothing.
     These, my soldiers, were a little while ago as wild and
     surly as you are now. By the time you have been one day with
     me, you will love me too, and be as brisk as any of them.'

     "And it proved so; for there was none of them but, after
     they had been a little while with him, and seen his
     behavior, and how cheerful and successful his men were,
     would be as ready to pilot him to any place where the
     Indians dwelt or haunted, though their own fathers or
     nearest relations should be among them, as any of his own

Such a character we can not but despise, and yet such, with
exceptions, was the character of the common Indian. That magnanimity
which at times has shed immortal brilliance upon humanity is a rare
virtue, even in civilized life; in the savage it is still more rare.

Philip, in the retreat to which he had now escaped, was again betrayed
by one of his renegade countrymen. The English, numbering sixteen
hundred, immediately resumed active hostilities, and after having
ravaged the country directly around them, burning some wigwams,
putting some Indians to death, and taking many captives, broke up
their encampment and commenced their march. It was early in February
that Major Winslow put his army in motion to pursue Philip. As the
English drew near the swamp, Philip, conscious of his inability to
oppose so formidable a force, immediately set his wigwams on fire,
and, with all his warriors, disappeared in the depths of the
wilderness. As it was entirely uncertain in what direction the savages
would emerge from the forest to kindle anew the flames of war, the
troops retraced their steps toward Boston. The Connecticut soldiers
had already returned to their homes.

On the 10th of February, 1676, the Indians, with whoop and yell, burst
from the forest upon the beautiful settlement of Lancaster. This was
one of the most remote of the frontier towns, some fifty miles west of
Boston, on the Nashua River. The plantation, ten miles in length and
eight in breadth, had been purchased of the Nashaway Indians, with the
stipulation that the English should not molest the Indians in their
hunting, fishing, or planting places. For several years the colonists
and the Indians lived together in entire harmony, mutually benefiting
each other. There were between fifty and sixty families in the town,
embracing nearly three hundred inhabitants. They had noticed some
suspicious circumstances on the part of the Indians who were dwelling
around them, and they had sent their pastor, the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson,
to Boston, to seek assistance for the defense of the town. He had
taken the precaution before he left to convert his house into a
bullet-proof fortress, and had garrisoned it for the protection of his
family during his absence.

The savages, fifteen hundred in number, during the darkness of the
night stationed themselves at different points, from whence they
could, at an appointed signal, attack the town at the same moment in
five different quarters. There were less than a hundred persons in the
town capable of bearing arms, the remainder being women and children.
The savages thus prepared to overpower them fifteen to one, and,
making the assault by surprise, felt sure of an easy victory.

Just as the sun was rising the signal was given. In an instant every
heart was congealed with terror as the awful war-whoop resounded
through the forest. It was a cold winter's morning, and the wind swept
bleakly over the whitened plains. Every house was immediately
surrounded, the torch applied, and, as the flames drove the inmates
from their doors, they fell pierced by innumerable bullets, and the
tomahawk and the scalping-knife finished the dreadful work. There were
several garrison houses in the town, where most of the inhabitants had
taken refuge, and where they were able, for a time, to beat off their
assailants. All who were not thus sheltered immediately fell into the
hands of their foes. Between fifty and sixty were either slain or
taken captive. The unhappy inmates of the garrisons looked out through
their port-holes upon the conflagration and plunder of their homes,
the mutilated corpses of their friends, and the wretched band of
captives strongly bound and awaiting their fate.

There were forty-one persons in the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson's house. They
all defended it valiantly, and no Indian dared expose himself within
gun-shot of their port-holes. Still, the savages, in a body, prepared
for the assault. The house was situated upon the brow of a hill. Some
of the Indians got behind the hill, others filled the barn, and others
sheltered themselves behind stones and stumps, and any other
breastwork, from which they could reach the house with their bullets.
For two hours, fifteen hundred savages kept up an incessant firing,
aiming at the windows and the port-holes. Several in the house were
thus wounded.

After many unsuccessful attempts to fire the house, they at length
succeeded in pushing a cart loaded with hay and other combustible
materials, all in flames, against the rear of the house. All the
efforts of the garrison to extinguish the fire were unavailing, and
the building was soon in a blaze. As the flames rapidly rolled up the
wall and over the roof, the savages raised shouts of exultation, which
fell as a death-knell upon the hearts of those who had now no
alternative but to be consumed in the flames or to surrender
themselves to the merciless foe. The bullets were still rattling
against the house, and fifteen hundred warriors were greedily
watching to riddle with balls any one who should attempt to escape.
The flames were crackling and roaring around the besieged, and their
only alternative was to perish in the fire, or to go out and meet the
bullet and the tomahawk of the savage. When the first forks of flame
touched the flesh, goaded by torture to delirium, they rushed from the
door. A wild whoop of triumph rose from the savages, and, pouring a
volley of bullets upon the group, they fell upon them with gleaming

Many were instantly killed and scalped. All the men were thus
massacred; twenty of the women and children were taken captives. Mrs.
Rowlandson had two children, a son and a daughter, by her side, and
another daughter about six years of age, sick and emaciate, in her
arms. Her sister was also with her, with several children. No less
than seventeen of Rev. Mr. Rowlandson's family and connections were in
this melancholy group.

As many dropped dead around Mrs. Rowlandson, cut down by the storm of
bullets, one bullet pierced her side, and another passed through the
hand and the bowels of the sick child she held in her arms. One of her
sister's children, a fine boy, fell helpless upon the ground, having
his thigh-bone shattered by a ball. A sturdy Indian, seeing that the
poor child was thus disabled, buried his tomahawk in his brain and
stripped off his scalp. The frantic mother rushed toward her child,
when a bullet pierced her bosom, and she fell lifeless upon his
mangled corpse. The savages immediately stripped all the clothing from
the dead, and, having finished their work of conflagration and
plunder, plunged into the wilderness, dragging their wretched captives
along with them. The beautiful town was left in ruins.

The victors, with shouts of exultation, marched about a mile, and
encamped for the night upon a hill which overlooked the smouldering
dwellings of their foes. Here was enacted one of the wildest scenes of
barbarian bacchanals. Enormous fires were built, which, with roaring,
crackling flame, illumined for leagues around the sombre forest.
Fifteen hundred savages, delirious with victory, and prodigal of their
immense booty of oxen, cows, sheep, swine, calves, and fowl, reveled
in such a feast as they had hardly dreamed of before. Cattle were
roasted whole and eagerly devoured, with dances and with shouts which
made the welkin ring. With wastefulness characteristic of the
Indians, they took no thought for the morrow, but slaughtered the
animals around them in mere recklessness, and, when utterly satiated
with the banquet, the ground was left strewed with smoking and savory
viands sufficient to feed an army.

The night was cold; the ground was covered with snow, and a piercing
wind swept the icy eminence. Mrs. Rowlandson, holding her wounded and
moaning child in her arms, and with the group of wretched captives
around her, sat during the long hours of the dreadful night, shivering
with cold, appalled at the awful fate which had befallen her and her
family, and endeavoring in vain to soothe the anguish of her dying
daughter. "This was the dolefullest night," she exclaims in her
affecting narrative, "that my eyes ever 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."

The next morning the Indians commenced their departure into the
wilderness. Mrs. Rowlandson toiled along on foot, with her dying child
in her arms. The poor little girl was in extreme anguish, and often
cried out with pain. At length the mother became so exhausted that
she fell fainting to the ground. The Indians then placed her upon a
horse, and again gave her her child to carry. But the horse was
furnished with neither saddle nor bridle, and, in going down a steep
hill, stumbled, and they both were thrown over his neck. This incident
was greeted by the savages with shouts of laughter. To add to their
sufferings, it now began to snow. All the day long the storm wailed
through the tree-tops, and the snow was sifted down upon their path.
The woe-stricken captives toiled along until night, when the Indians
again encamped upon the open ground.

     "And now," writes Mrs. Rowlandson, "I must 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's 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."

In the morning the Indians resumed their journey, marching, as was
their custom, in single file through trails in the forest. A humane
Indian mounted a horse and took Mrs. Rowlandson and her child behind
him. All the day long the poor little sufferer moaned with pain, while
the savages were constantly threatening to knock the child in the head
if she did not cease her moaning. In the evening they arrived at an
Indian village called Wenimesset. Here, upon a luxuriant meadow upon
the banks of the River Ware, within the limits of the present town of
New Braintree, the savages had established their head-quarters. It was
about thirty-six miles from Lancaster. A large number of savages were
assembled at this place, and they remained here for several days,
gathering around their council fires, planning new expeditions, and
inflaming their passions with war dances and the most frantic revels.
The Indians treated their captives with comparative kindness. No
violence or disrespect was offered to their persons. They reared a
rude wigwam for Mrs. Rowlandson, where she sat for five days and
nights almost alone, watching her dying child. At last, on the night
of the 18th of February, the little sufferer breathed her last, at the
age of six years and five months. The Indians took the corpse from the
mother and buried it, and then allowed her to see the grave.


When Mrs. Rowlandson was driven from the flames of her dwelling, a
Narraganset Indian was the first to grasp her; he consequently claimed
her as his property. Her children were caught by different savages,
and thus became the slaves of their captors. The Indians, by the law
of retaliation, were perfectly justified in making slaves of their
captives. The human mind can not withhold its assent from the justice
of the verdict, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." The
English made all their captives slaves, and women and children were
sold to all the horrors of West Indian plantation bondage. The
Narraganset Indian who owned Mrs. Rowlandson soon sold her to a
celebrated chieftain named Quinnapin, a Narraganset sachem, who had
married, for one of his three wives, Wetamoo, of whom we have
heretofore spoken. Quinnapin is represented as a "young, lusty sachem,
and a very great rogue." It will be remembered that Wetamoo, queen of
the Pocasset Indians, was the widow of Alexander and sister of
Wootonekanuske, the wife of Philip. The English clergyman's wife was
assigned to Queen Wetamoo as her dressing-maid. The Indian
slaveholders paid but little regard to family relations. Mrs.
Rowlandson's daughter Mary was sold for a gun by a _praying Indian_,
who first chanced to grasp her. The Christian Indians joined in this
war against the whites, and shared in all the emoluments of the slave
traffic which it introduced. Mary was ten years of age, a child of
cultured mind and lovely character. She was purchased by an Indian who
resided in the town where the Indian army was now encamped. When the
poor slave mother met her slave child, Mary was so overwhelmed with
anguish as to move even the sympathies of her stoical masters; their
several owners consequently forbade their meeting any more.

After a few days, the warriors scattered on various expeditions of
devastation and blood. Mrs. Rowlandson was left at Wenimesset. Her
days and nights were passed in lamentations, tears, and prayers. One
morning, quite to her surprise, her son William entered her wigwam,
where she was employed by her mistress in menial services. He belonged
to a master who resided at a small plantation of Indians about six
miles distant. His master had gone with a war party to make an attack
upon Medfield, and his mistress, with woman's tender heart, had
brought him to see his mother. The interview was short and full of

The next day the Indians returned from the destruction of Medfield.
Their approach through the forest was heralded by the most demoniac
roaring and whooping, as the whole savage band thus announced their
victory. All the Indians in the little village assembled to meet them.
The warriors had slain twenty of the English, and brought home several
captives and many scalps. Each one told his story, and recapitulated
the numbers of the slain; and, at the close of each narrative, the
whole multitude, with the most frantic gestures, set up a shout which
echoed far and wide over mountain and valley.

There were now at Wenimesset nine captives, Mrs. Rowlandson, Mrs.
Joslin, and seven children from different families. Mrs. Joslin had an
infant two years old in her arms, and was expecting every hour to give
birth to another child.

The Indians now deemed it necessary to move farther into the
wilderness. The poor woman, in her deplorable condition, did nothing
but weep, and the Indians, deeming her an incumbrance, resolved to
get rid of her. They placed her upon the ground with her child,
divested her entirely of clothing, and for an hour sang and danced
around their victim with wildest exultation. One then approached and
buried his hatchet in her brain. She fell lifeless. Another blow put
an end to the sufferings of her child. They then built a huge fire,
placed the two bodies upon it, and they were consumed to ashes. All
the captive children were assembled to witness this tragedy, and were
assured that if they made any attempt to escape from slavery, a
similar fate awaited them. The unhappy woman, during all this awful
scene, shed not a tear, but with clasped hands, meekly praying, she
silently and almost joyfully surrendered herself to her fate.

All the day long, the Indians, leading their captives with them,
traveled through the desolate wilderness. A drizzling rain was
falling, and their feet slumped through the wet snow at every step.
Late in the afternoon they encamped, with no protection from the
weather but a few boughs of trees. Mrs. Rowlandson was separated from
her children; she was faint with hunger, sore, and utterly exhausted
with travel, and she sat down upon the snowy ground and wept
bitterly. She opened her Bible for solace, and her eye fell upon the
cheering words,

     "Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes from tears,
     for thy work shall be rewarded, and they shall come again
     from the land of the enemy."

Here, in this wretched encampment, the Indians, their families being
with them, remained for four days. But some of their scouts brought in
intelligence that some English soldiers were in the vicinity. The
Indians immediately, in the greatest apparent consternation, packed up
their things and fled. They retreated farther into the wilderness in
the most precipitate confusion. Women carried their children. Men took
upon their shoulders their aged and decrepit mothers. One very heavy
Indian, who was sick, was carried upon a bier. Mrs. Rowlandson
endeavored to count the Indians, but they were in such a tumultuous
throng, hurrying through the forest, that she was quite unable to
ascertain their numbers. It will be remembered that Mrs. Rowlandson's
side had been pierced by a bullet at the destruction of Lancaster. The
wound was much inflamed, and, being worn down with pain and
exhaustion, she found it exceedingly difficult to keep pace with her
captors. In the distribution of their burdens they had given her two
quarts of parched meal to carry. Fainting with hunger, she implored of
her mistress one spoonful of the meal, that she might mix it with
water to appease the cravings of appetite. Her supplication was

Soon they arrived at Swift River, somewhere probably within the limits
of the present town of Enfield. The stream was swollen with the
melting snows of spring. The Indians, with their hatchets, immediately
cut down some dry trees, with which they made a raft, and thus crossed
the stream. The raft was so heavily laden that many of the Indians
were knee deep in the icy water. Mrs. Rowlandson, however, sat upon
some brush, and thus kept her feet dry. For supper they made a broth
by boiling an old horse's leg in a kettle of water, filling up with
water as often as the kettle was emptied. Mrs. Rowlandson was in such
a starving condition that a cupful of this wretched nutriment seemed

Feeling that they were now safe from attack, they reared some rude
wigwams, and rested for one day. It so happened that the next day was
the Sabbath. The English who were pursuing came to the banks of the
river, saw the smoke of their fires, but for some reason decided not
to attempt to cross the stream. During the day, Wetamoo compelled her
slave to knit some stockings for her. When Mrs. Rowlandson plead that
it was the Sabbath, and promised that if she might be permitted to
keep the sacred day she would do double work on Monday, she was told
to do her work immediately, or she should have her face smashed. The
smashing of a face by an Indian's bludgeon is a serious operation.

The next morning, Monday, the Indians fired their wigwams, and
continued their retreat through the wilderness toward the Connecticut
River. They traveled as fast as they could all day, fording icy
brooks, until late in the afternoon they came to the borders of a
gloomy swamp, where they again encamped.

     "When we came," writes Mrs. Rowlandson, "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 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, and from either hand, and I myself in
     the midst, and no Christian soul near me."

The next morning the wearisome march was again resumed. Early in the
afternoon they reached the banks of the Connecticut at a spot near
Hadley, where they found the ruins of a small English settlement. Mrs.
Rowlandson had for her food during the day an ear of corn and a small
piece of horse's liver. As she was roasting the liver upon some coals,
an Indian came and snatched half of it away. She was forced to eat the
rest almost raw, lest she should lose that also; and yet her hunger
was so great that it seemed a delicious morsel. They gathered a little
wheat from the fields, which they found frozen in the shocks upon the
icy ground.

The next morning they commenced ascending the river for a few miles,
where they were to cross to meet King Philip, who, with a large party
of warriors, was encamped on the western bank of the stream. Indians
from all quarters were assembling at that rendezvous, in preparation
for an assault on the Connecticut River towns. When Mrs. Rowlandson's
party arrived at the point of crossing, they encamped for the night.
The opposite shore seemed to be thronged with savage warriors. Mrs.
Rowlandson sat upon the banks of the stream, and gazed with amazement
upon the vast multitude, like swarming bees, crowding the shore. She
had never before seen so many assembled. While she was thus sitting,
to her great surprise, her son approached her. His master had brought
him to the spot. The interview between the woe-stricken mother and her
child was very brief and very sad. They were soon again separated.

The next morning they commenced crossing the river in canoes. When
Mrs. Rowlandson had crossed, she was received with peculiar kindness.
One Indian gave her two spoonfuls of meal, and another brought her
half a pint of peas. The half-famished captive now thought that her
larder was abundantly stored. She was then conducted to the wigwam of
King Philip. The Wampanoag chieftain received her with the courtesy of
a gentleman, invited her to sit down upon a mat by his side, and
presented her a pipe to smoke with him. He requested her to make a
shirt for his son, and, like a gentleman, paid her for her work. He
invited her to dine with him. They dined upon pancakes made of
parched wheat, beaten and fried in bear's grease. The dinner, though
very frugal, was esteemed very delicious.

The Indians remained here for several days, preparing for a very
formidable attack on the town of Northampton. During all the time that
Mrs. Rowlandson remained near King Philip, though she was held as a
captive, she was not treated as a slave. She was paid for all the work
that she did. She made a shirt for one of the warriors, and received
for it a generous sirloin of bear's flesh. For another she knit a pair
of stockings, for which she received a quart of peas. With these
savory viands Mrs. Rowlandson prepared a nice dinner, and invited her
master and mistress, Quinnapin and Wetamoo, to dine with her. They
accepted the invitation; but Mrs. Rowlandson did not appreciate the
niceties of Indian etiquette. Wetamoo was a queen, Quinnapin was only
her husband--merely the Prince Albert of Queen Victoria. As there was
but one dish from which both the queen and her husband were to be
served, the haughty Wetamoo deemed herself insulted, and refused to
eat a morsel.

Philip and his warriors soon departed to make attacks upon the
settlements. The Indians who remained took Mrs. Rowlandson and
several other captives some six miles farther up the river, and then
crossed to the eastern banks. Here they remained for some days, and
here Mrs. Rowlandson had another short interview with her son, which
lacerated still more severely her bleeding heart. The poor boy was
sick and in great pain, and his agonized mother was not permitted to
remain with him to afford him any relief. Of her daughter she could
learn no tidings. Wetamoo, Quinnapin, and Philip were all absent, and
the Indians treated her with great inhumanity, with occasional
caprices of strange and unaccountable kindness.

One bitter cold day, the Indians all huddled around the fire in the
wigwam, and would not allow her to approach it. Perishing with cold,
she went out and entered another wigwam. Here she was received with
great hospitality; a mat was spread for her, and she was addressed in
words of tender sympathy by the mother of the little barbarian
household, in whose bosom woman's loving heart throbbed warmly. But
soon the Indian to whose care she was intrusted came in search of her,
and amused himself in kicking her all the way home.

The next day the Indians commenced, for some unknown reason,
wandering back again toward Lancaster. They placed upon this poor
captive's back as heavy a burden as she could bear, and goaded her
along through the wilderness. She forded streams, and climbed steep
hills, and endured hardships which can not be described. Her hunger
was so great that six acorns, which she picked up by the way, she
esteemed a great treasure.

The night was cold and windy. The Indians erected a wigwam, and were
soon gathered around a glowing fire in the centre of it. The interior
presented a bright, warm, and cheerful scene, as Mrs. Rowlandson
entered to warm her shivering frame. She had been compelled to search
around to bring dry fuel for the fire. She was, however, ordered
instantly to leave the hut, the Indians saying that there was no room
for her at the fire. Mrs. Rowlandson hesitated about going out to pass
the night in the freezing air, when one of the Indians drew his knife,
and she was compelled to retire. There were several wigwams around;
the poor captive went from one to another, but from all she was
repelled with abuse and derision.

At last an old Indian took pity upon her, and told her to come in.
His wife received her with compassion, gave her a warm seat by the
fire, some ground-nuts for her supper, and placed a bundle under her
head for a pillow. With these accommodations the English clergyman's
wife felt that she was luxuriously entertained, and passed the night
in comfort and sweet slumbers. The next day the journey was continued.
As the Indians were binding a heavy burden upon Mrs. Rowlandson's
shoulders, she complained that it hurt her severely, and that the skin
was off her back. A surly Indian delayed not strapping on the load,
merely remarking, dryly, that it would be of but little consequence if
her head were off too.

The Indians now entered a region of the forest where there was a very
heavy growth of majestic trees, and the underbrush was so dense as to
be almost impenetrable. Plunging into this as a covert, they reared
their wigwams, and remained here, in an almost starving condition, for
fourteen days. The anxious mother inquired of an Indian if he could
inform her what had become of her boy. The rascal very coolly told
her, that he might torture her by the falsehood, that his master had
roasted the lad, and that he himself had been furnished with a steak,
and that it was very delicious meat. They also told her, in the same
spirit, that her husband had been taken by the Indians and slain.

Thus the Indians continued for several weeks wandering about from one
place to another, without any apparent object, and most of the time in
a miserable, half-famished condition. A more joyless, dismal life
imagination can hardly conceive. One day thirty Indians approached the
encampment on horseback, all dressed in the garments which they had
stripped from the English whom they had slain. They wore hats, white
neckcloths, and sashes about their waists. They brought a message from
Quinnapin that Mrs. Rowlandson must go to the foot of Mount Wachusett,
where the Indian warriors were in council, deliberating with some
English commissioners about the redemption of the captives. "My heart
was so heavy before," writes Mrs. Rowlandson, "that I could scarce
speak or go in the path, and yet now so light that I could run. My
strength seemed 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 staid two days."

They then journeyed along slowly, the whole party suffering extremely
from hunger. A little broth, made from boiling the old and dry feet of
a horse, was considered a great refreshment. They at length came to a
small Indian village, where they found in captivity four English
children, and one of them was a child of Mrs. Rowlandson's sister.
They were all gaunt and haggard with famine. Sadly leaving these
suffering little ones, the journey was continued until they arrived
near Mount Wachusett. Here King Philip met them. Kindly, and with the
courtesy of a polished gentleman, he took the hand of the unhappy
captive, and said, "In two weeks more you shall be your own mistress
again." In this encampment of warriors she was placed again in the
hands of her master and mistress, Quinnapin and Wetamoo. Of this
renowned queen Mrs. Rowlandson says:

     "A severe and proud dame she was, bestowing every day, in
     dressing herself, nearly as much time as any of the gentry
     in the land, powdering her hair and painting her face, going
     with her necklaces, with jewels in her ears. When she had
     dressed herself, her work was to make girdles of wampum and

Wampum was the money in use among the Indians. It consisted of
beautiful shells very curiously strung together. "Their beads," says
John Josselyn, "are their money. Of these there are two sorts, blue
beads and white beads. The first is their gold, the last their silver.
These they work out of certain shells so cunningly that neither Jew
nor Devil can counterfeit. They drill them and string them, and make
many curious works with them to adorn the persons of their sagamores
and principal men and young women, as belts, girdles, tablets, borders
of their women's hair, bracelets, necklaces, and links to hang in
their ears."

Our poor captive, having returned to the wigwam of her master and
mistress, was treated with much comparative kindness. She was received
hospitably at the fire. A mat was given to her for a bed, and a rug to
spread over her. She was employed in knitting stockings and making
under garments for her mistress. While here, two Indians came with
propositions from the government at Boston for the purchase of her
ransom. The news overwhelmed Mrs. Rowlandson with emotions too deep
for smiles, and she could only give utterance to her feelings in sobs
and flooding tears.

The sachems now met to consult upon the subject. They called Mrs.
Rowlandson before them, and, after a long and very serious
conference, agreed to receive twenty pounds ($100) for her ransom. One
of the praying Indians was sent to Boston with this proposition.

While this matter was in progress, the Indians went out on several
expeditions, and returned with much plunder and many scalps. One of
the savages had a necklace made of the fingers of the English whom he
had slain.

It was the custom of the Indians not to remain long in any one place,
lest they should be overtaken by the bands of the colonists which were
every where in pursuit of them. The latter part of April, after having
perpetrated enormous destruction in Sudbury and other towns, the
warriors returned to their rendezvous elated, yet trembling, as they
knew that the English forces were in search of them. Immediately
breaking up their encampment, they retreated several miles into the
wilderness, and there built an enormous tent of boughs, sufficient to
hold one hundred men.

Here the Indians gathered from all quarters, and they had a feast and
a great dance. Mrs. Rowlandson learned from a captive English woman
whom she found here that her sister and her own daughter were with
some Indians at but a mile's distance. Though she had seen neither
for ten weeks, she was not permitted to go near them. The poor woman
plead with anguish of entreaty to be permitted to see her child, but
she could make no impression upon their obdurate hearts.

One Sabbath afternoon, just as the sun was going down, a colonist, Mr.
John Hoar, a man of extraordinary intrepidity of spirit, with a firm
step approached the encampment, guided by two friendly Indians, and
under the very frail protection of a barbarian flag of truce. The
savages, as soon as they saw him, seized their guns, and rushed as if
to kill him. They shot over his head and under his horse, before him
and behind him, seeing how near they could make the bullets whistle by
his ears without hitting him. They dragged him from his horse, pushed
him this way and that way, and treated him with all imaginable
violence without inflicting any bodily harm. This they did to frighten
him; but John Hoar was not a man to be frightened, and the savages
admired his imperturbable courage.

The chiefs built their council fire, and held a long conference with
Mr. Hoar. They then allowed him a short interview with Mrs.
Rowlandson. He brought her messages of affection from her distracted
husband, and cheered her with the hope that her release would
eventually, though not immediately, be obtained. She plead earnestly
with the Indians for permission to return with Mr. Hoar, promising to
send back the price of her ransom; but they declared that she should
not go.

After dinner the Indians made arrangements for one of their most
imposing dances. It was a barbarian cotillon, performed by eight
partners in the presence of admiring hundreds. Queen Wetamoo and her
husband, Quinnapin, were conspicuous in this dance. He was dressed in
a white linen shirt, with a broad border of lace around the skirt. To
this robe silver buttons were profusely attached. He wore white cotton
stockings, with shillings dangling and clinking from the garters. A
turban composed of girdles of wampum ornamented his head, while broad
belts of wampum passed over his shoulders and encircled his waist.

Wetamoo was dressed for the ball in a horseman's coat of coarse,
shaggy cloth. This was beautifully decorated with belts of wampum from
the waist upward. Her arms, from the elbows to the wrist, were clasped
with bracelets. A great profusion of necklaces covered her
well-rounded shoulders and ample bosom. Her ears were laden with
jewels. She wore red stockings and white shoes. Her face was painted a
brilliant crimson, and her hair powdered white as snow. For music the
Indians sang, while one beat time upon a brass kettle.

Soon after the dance, King Philip, who was there with his warriors,
but who appears to have taken no part in the carousals, sent for Mrs.
Rowlandson, and said to her, with a smiling face, "Would you like to
hear some good news? I have a pleasant word for you. You are to go
home to-morrow." Arrangements had been finally made through Mr. Hoar
for her ransom.

On the next morning Mrs. Rowlandson, accompanied by Mr. Hoar and the
two friendly Indians, commenced her journey through the wilderness
toward Lancaster. She left her two children, her sister, and many
other friends and relatives still in captivity. "In coming along," she
says, "my heart melted into tears more than all the while I was with

Toward evening they reached the spot where Lancaster once stood. The
place, once so luxuriant and beautiful, presented a dreary aspect of
ruin. The storm of war had swept over it, and had converted all its
attractive homes into smouldering embers. They chanced to find an old
building which had escaped the flames, and here, upon a bed of straw,
they passed the night. With blended emotions of bliss and of anguish,
the bereaved mother journeyed along the next day, and about noon
reached Concord. Here she met many of her friends, who rejoiced with
her in her rescue, and wept with her over the captives who were still
in bondage. They then hurried on to Boston, where she arrived in the
evening, and was received to the arms of her husband, after a
captivity in the wilderness of three months. By great exertions, their
son and daughter were eventually regained. We now return from the
incidents of this captivity to renew the narrative of Philip's war.




Spies.--Attack upon Medfield.--Suspicions.--Energy of Philip.--An
unpleasant surprise.--A conflagration.--The Indians retire.--Philip's
letter.--Indian warfare.--An ambuscade.--A decoy.--The town
burned.--Monoco's threats.--Monoco hung.--Destruction of Warwick.--Alarm
from the Indians.--Exultation of the Indians.--Defeat of the Plymouth
army.--Nanuntenoo.--Plan of action.--A stratagem, and its
success.--Defeat certain.--Heroic defense.--An escape.--Escape of the
Indians.--Their mode of accomplishing it.--Terrible slaughter.--Storming
of Providence.--Roger Williams.--Nanuntenoo's reply.--Cowardly
sentinels.--Alarm of the chief.--Flight of Nanuntenoo.--His
capture.--Young America rebuked.--Execution of the sachem.--Statement
of Cotton Mather.--Character of Nanuntenoo.--Peril of the
settlers.--Mutual disasters.--Philip's affection for Taunton.--A
family save a town.--Captain Wadsworth.--Attempt to save Sudbury.--The
woods fired.--The English conquered.--A monument erected.--Delight
in torture.--Mode of torture.--Attack upon Scituate.--Heroism of
Mrs. Ewing.--Attack upon Bridgewater.--Valor of the English
triumphs.--Deplorable condition of the English.--Sudden attack.--The
Indians vanquished.--Escape of two boys.--A surprise party.--Its perfect
success.--Slaughter of the Indians.--Burning the wigwams.--Refreshment
after battle.--Alarm of the party.--Terrible peril.--Bravery of Captain
Holyoke.--Heroic action.--Dawn of hope.--Escape.--Rage of the
Indians.--Assault upon Hatfield.--Unexpected assistance.--Heroism.--A
sudden appearance.--Attack upon Hadley.--Superstition.--General
Goffe.--Old tradition.--Union of forces.--Philip's stratagem.--It
recoils.--Hostility of the Mohawks.--Turn of the tide.--Dismay of
the Indians.--Extract from Cotton Mather.--Search for King Philip.--An
interview with the Indians.--The Indians desire peace.--Interview with
the governor.--Captain Church visits Awashonks.--A perilous
interview.--Rage of a warrior.--Proposals for an alliance.--Embassadors
to the governor.--The journey interrupted.--Awashonks visits Major
Bradford.--Proposals for an alliance.--Indian festivities.--Sagacious
care.--Captain Church to visit the queen.--A luxurious supper.--Bill
of fare.--A huge bonfire.--Indian dance.--Oath of fidelity.--Selection
of warriors.--Grief of Philip.--Undying resolution.--Capture of
Indians.--Continued success.--Approach of Philip's army.--Preparations
for his reception.--He is received by Bridgewater lads.--Narrow escape
of Philip.--His wife and child captured.--The Saconets continue the
pursuit.--Treachery of the Indians.--The reconnoitering
parties.--Description by Captain Church.--Captain Church's
adventures.--Capture of prisoners.--The captives make merry in the

The Massachusetts government now employed two friendly Indians to act
as spies. With consummate cunning they mingled with the hostile
Indians, and made a faithful report to their employers of all the
anticipated movements respecting which they could obtain any

Eleven days after the destruction of Lancaster, on the 21st of
February, the Indians made an attack upon Medfield. This was a very
bold measure. The town was but seventeen miles from Boston. Several
garrison houses had been erected, in which all the inhabitants could
take refuge in case of alarm. Two hundred soldiers were stationed in
the town, and sentinels kept a very careful watch. On the Sabbath, as
the people were returning from public worship, one or two Indians were
seen on the neighboring hills, which led the people to suspect that an
assault was contemplated. The night was moonless, starless, and of
Egyptian darkness. The Indians, perfectly acquainted with the
location of every building and every inch of the ground, crept
noiselessly, three hundred in number, each to his appointed post. They
spread themselves over all parts of the town, skulking behind every
fence, and rock, and tree. They concealed themselves in orchards,
sheds, and barns. King Philip himself was with them, guiding, with
amazing skill and energy, all the measures for the attack. Not a
voice, or a footfall, or the rustling of a twig was heard, as the
savages stood in immovable and breathless silence, waiting the signal
for the onset. The torch was ready to be lighted; the musket loaded
and primed; the knife and tomahawk sharp and gleaming.

At the earliest dawn of day one shrill war-whoop was heard, clear and
piercing. It drew forth the instant response of three hundred voices
in unearthly yells. Men, women, and children sprang from their beds in
a phrensy of terror, and, rushing in their night-clothes from their
homes, endeavored to reach the garrison houses. But the leaping savage
was every where with his torch, and soon the blaze of fifty houses and
barns shed its lurid light over the dark morning. Fortunately, many of
the inhabitants were in the garrisons. Of those who were not, but few
escaped. The bullet and the tomahawk speedily did their work, and but
a few moments elapsed ere fifty men, women, and children were
weltering in blood. Though they promptly laid one half of the town in
ashes, the garrison houses were too strong for them to take. During
the progress of this awful tragedy King Philip was seen mounted on a
splendid black horse, leaping the fences, inspiriting his warriors,
and exulting in the havoc he was accomplishing.

At length the soldiers, who were scattered in different parts of the
town, began gradually to combine their strength, and the savages,
learning that re-enforcements were also approaching from Sudbury, were
compelled to retire. They retreated across a bridge in the southwest
part of the town, in the direction of Medway, keeping up a resolute
firing upon their foes who pursued them. Having passed the stream,
they set fire to the bridge to cut off pursuit. In exultation over
their victory, Philip wrote, probably by the hand of some Christian
Indian, the following letter to his enemies, which he attached to one
of the charred and smouldering posts of the bridge.

     "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 lose nothing but
     their life. You must lose your fair houses and cattle."

The Indians now wandered about in comparatively small bands, making
attacks wherever they thought that there was any chance of success,
and marking their path with flames and blood. Without a moment's
warning, and with hideous yells, they would dash from the forest upon
the lonely settlements, and as suddenly retreat before the least
effectual show of resistance. Weymouth, within eleven miles of Boston,
was assailed, and several houses and barns burnt. They ventured even
into the town of Plymouth, setting fire to a house and killing eleven

On the 13th of March, the Indians, in a strong party four hundred in
number, made an attack upon Groton. The inhabitants, alarmed by the
fate of Lancaster, had retreated into five garrison houses. Four of
these houses were within musket-shot of each other, but one was more
than a mile distant from the rest. The savages very adroitly formed,
in the night, two ambuscades, one before and one behind the four
united garrisons. Early in the morning they sent a small party of
Indians to show themselves upon a hill as a decoy. The inhabitants,
supposing that the Indians, unaware of their preparations for
resistance, had come in small numbers, very imprudently left two of
the garrisons and pursued them. The Indians retreated with
precipitation. The English eagerly pursued, when suddenly the party in
ambush rose and poured a deadly fire upon them. In the mean time, the
other party in ambush in rear of the garrison rushed to the palisades
to cut off the retreat of the English. Covered, however, by the guns
of the two other garrisons, they succeeded in regaining shelter. A
similar attempt was made to destroy the solitary garrison, but it was
alike unsuccessful. The Indians, however, had the whole town except
the garrisons to themselves. They burned to the ground forty
dwelling-houses, the church, and all the barns and out-houses. The
cattle were fortunately saved, being inclosed within palisades under
the protection of the garrisons.

A notorious Nipmuck chief, Monoco, called by the English _One-eyed
John_, led this expedition. While the church was in flames, Monoco
shouted to the men in the garrison, assailing them with every variety
of Indian vituperative abuse. He had been so much with the English
that he understood their language very well.

"What will you do for a place to pray in," said he, "now that we have
burned your meeting-house? We will burn Chelmsford, Concord,
Watertown, Cambridge, Charlestown, Roxbury, and Boston. I have four
hundred and eighty warriors with me; we will show you what we will

But a few months after this Monoco was taken prisoner, led through the
streets of Boston with a rope round his neck, and hanged at the town's

On the 17th of March, Warwick, in Rhode Island, was almost entirely
destroyed. The next day another band of Indians attacked Northampton,
on the Connecticut. But by this time most of the towns had fortified
themselves with palisades and garrison houses. The Indians, after a
fierce conflict, were repelled from Northampton with a loss of eleven
men, while the English lost but three.

On the Sabbath of the 26th of March, as the people of Marlborough
were assembled at public worship, the alarming cry was shouted in at
the door, "The Indians! the Indians!" An indescribable scene of
confusion instantly ensued, as the whole congregation rushed out to
seek shelter in their garrison. The terror and confusion were awfully
increased by a volley of bullets, which the Indians, as they came
rushing like demons over the plain, poured in upon the flying
congregation. Fortunately, the savages were at such a distance that
none were wounded excepting one man, who was carrying an aged and
infirm woman. His arm was broken by a ball. All, however, succeeded in
gaining the garrison house, which was near at hand. The meeting-house
and most of the dwelling-houses were burned. The orchards were cut
down, and all other ruin perpetrated which savage ingenuity could

The Indians, exultant with success, encamped that night in the woods
not far from Marlborough, and kept the forest awake with the uproar of
their barbarian wassail. The colonists immediately assembled a small
band of brave men, fell upon them by surprise in the midst of their
carousals, shot forty and dispersed the rest.

On the same day in which Marlborough was destroyed, a very disastrous
defeat befell a party of soldiers belonging to the old Plymouth
colony. Nanuntenoo, son of the renowned Miantunnomah, was now the head
chief of the Narragansets. He was fired with a terrible spirit of
revenge against the English, and could not forget the swamp fight in
which so many of his bravest warriors had perished, and where hundreds
of his women and children had been cut to pieces and burned to ashes
in their wigwams. He himself had taken a large share in this fierce
fight, and with difficulty escaped. This chieftain, a man of great
intrepidity and sagacity, had gathered a force of nearly two thousand
Indians upon the banks of the Pawtucket River, within the limits of
the present town of Seekonk. They were preparing for an overwhelming
attack upon the town of Plymouth.

The colonists, by no means aware of the formidableness of the force
assembled, dispatched Captain Pierce from Scituate with seventy men,
fifty of whom were English and twenty Indians, to break up the
encampment of the savages. Nanuntenoo, informed of their movements,
prepared with great strategetic skill to meet them. He concealed a
large portion of his force in ambush on the western side of the river;
another body of warriors he secreted in the forest on the eastern
banks. As Captain Pierce approached the stream, a small party of
Indians, as a decoy, showed themselves on the western side, and
immediately retreated, as if surprised and alarmed. The colonists
eagerly crossed the stream and pursued them.

The stratagem of the wily savage was thus perfectly successful. The
colonists had advanced but a few rods from the banks, near Pawtucket
Falls, when the Indians, several hundreds in number, rose from their
ambush, and rushed like an avalanche upon them. With bravery almost
unparalleled in Indian warfare, they sought no covert, but rushed upon
their foes in the open field face to face. They knew that the
colonists were now drawn into a trap from which there was no possible
escape. As soon as the battle commenced, the Indians who were in the
rear, on the eastern bank of the narrow stream, sprang up from their
ambush, and, crowding the shore, cut off all hope of retreat, and
commenced a heavy fire upon their foe. Utter defeat was now certain.
The only choice was between instantaneous death by the bullet or
death by lingering torture. Captain Pierce was a valiant man, and
instantly adopted his heroic resolve. He formed his men in a circle,
back to back, and with a few words inspired them with his own
determination to sell his life as dearly as possible. Thus they
continued the fight until nearly every one of the colonial party was
slain. But one white man escaped, and he through the singular sagacity
of one of the friendly Indians.

Captain Pierce soon fell, having his thigh bone shattered by a bullet.
A noble Indian by the name of Amos would not desert him; he stood
firmly by his side, loading and firing, while his comrades fell
thickly around him. When nearly all his friends had fallen, and the
survivors were mingled with their foes in the smoke and confusion of
the fight, he observed that all the hostile Indians had painted their
faces black. Wetting some gunpowder, he smeared his own face so as to
resemble the adverse party; then, giving the hint to an Englishman, he
pretended to pursue him with an uplifted tomahawk. The Englishman
threw down his gun and fled, but a few steps in advance of his
pursuer. The Narragansets, seeing that the Indian could not fail to
overtake and dispatch the unarmed fugitive, did not interfere. Thus
they entered the forest, and both escaped.

A friendly Indian, pursued by one of Nanuntenoo's men, took shelter
behind the roots of a fallen tree. The Indian who had pursued him
waited, with his gun cocked and primed, for the fugitive to start
again from his retreat, knowing that he would not dare to remain there
long, when hundreds of Indians were almost surrounding him. The roots
of the tree, newly-turned up, contained a large quantity of adhering
earth, which entirely covered the fugitive from view. Cautiously he
bored a small hole through the earth, took deliberate aim at his
pursuer, shot him down, and then escaped.

Another of the Indian allies, in his flight, took refuge behind a
large rock. This was a perfect shelter for a moment, but certain death
awaited him in the end. His pursuer, with loaded musket, sure of his
victim, quietly waited to see him start again. In this deplorable
condition the beleaguered Indian thought of the following shrewd
expedient. Putting his cap upon his gun, he raised it very gradually
above the rock, as if he were endeavoring to peep over to discover the
situation of his enemy. The sharp-eyed Narraganset instantly leveled
his gun and sent a bullet through the cap, and, as he supposed,
through the head of his foe. The fugitive sprang from his covert, and,
advancing toward his unarmed enemy, shot him dead. Thus was escape
effected. With the exception of one Englishman and five or six
friendly Indians, all the rest were cut down. The wounded were
reserved for the horrible doom of torture.

The Indians were exceedingly elated by this signal victory, and their
shouts of exultation were loud and long-repeated. The next morning,
with yells of triumph, they crossed the river, made a rush upon
Seekonk, and burned seventy buildings. The next day they stormed
Providence, and burned thirty houses. These devastations, however,
were not accompanied with much bloodshed, as most of the inhabitants
of Providence and of Seekonk had previously fled to the island of
Rhode Island for protection.

The heroic Roger Williams, however, remained in Providence. He had
ever been the firm friend of the Indians, and was well acquainted with
the leading chiefs in this war-party. The Indians, while setting fire
to the rest of the town, left his person and property unharmed.
Flushed with success, they assured him that they were confident of
the entire conquest of the country, and of the utter extermination of
the English. Mr. Williams reproached them with their cruelties, and
told them that Massachusetts could raise ten thousand men, and that
even were the Indians to destroy them all, Old England could send over
an equal number every year until the Indians were conquered.
Nanuntenoo proudly and generously replied,

"We shall be ready for them. But you, Mr. Williams, shall never be
injured, for you are a good man, and have been kind to us."

Nanuntenoo had about fifteen hundred warriors under his command.
Thinking that the English were very effectually driven from the region
of Seekonk, he very imprudently took but thirty men and went to that
vicinity, hoping to obtain some seed-corn to plant the fields upon the
Connecticut from which the English had been expelled. But the English,
alarmed by the ravages which the Indians were committing in this
region, sent a force consisting of forty-seven Englishmen and eighty
Indians to scour the country. Most of the Indians were Mohegans, under
the command of Oneco, a son of Uncas.

As this force was approaching Seekonk they encountered two Indians
with their squaws. They instantly shot the Indians and took the squaws
captive. Their prisoners informed them that Nanuntenoo was in a wigwam
at a short distance, with but seven Indians around him. His hut was
erected at the bottom of a hill, upon the brow of which he had
stationed two sentinels. These cowardly savages, when they saw the
English approaching in such force, precipitately fled, without giving
their chieftain any warning. The sachem, from his wigwam, saw their
flight, and sent a third man to the hill-top to ascertain the cause.
As soon as he arrived upon the brow of the hill he saw the glittering
array of more than a hundred men almost directly upon him. Appalled by
the sight, he also fled like his predecessors. Nanuntenoo, amazed by
this conduct, dispatched two more to solve the mystery. These last
proved more faithful to their trust. They came running back in
breathless haste, shouting, "_The English are upon you._"

Not a moment was to be lost in deliberation. The enemy was already in
sight. Nanuntenoo leaped from his wigwam, and, with the agility of a
deer, bounded over the ground in a hopeless attempt to escape. Nearly
the whole army, English and Indians, like hounds in full cry, eagerly
pressed the chase.

With amazing speed, the tall, athletic sachem fled along the bank of
the river, seeking a place to ford the stream. In his rapid flight he
threw off his blanket, his silver-laced coat, and his belt of wampum,
so that nothing remained to obstruct his sinewy and finely-moulded
limbs. A Mohegan Indian was in advance of all the rest of the company
in the pursuit. Nanuntenoo plunged into the narrow stream to cross.
His foot slipped upon a stone, and he fell, immersing his gun in the
water. This calamity so disheartened him that he lost all his
strength. His swift-footed pursuer, Monopoide, was immediately upon
him, and grasped him almost as soon as he reached the opposite shore.
The naked and unarmed chief could make no resistance, and, with
stoicism characteristic of his race, submitted to his fate.

Nanuntenoo was a man of majestic stature, and of bearing as lofty as
if he had been trained in the most haughty of European courts. A young
Englishman, but twenty-one years of age, Robert Staunton, following
Monopoide, was the first one who came up to the Narraganset chieftain
after his capture. Young Staunton, in the pert spirit of Young
America, ventured to question the proud monarch of the Narragansets.
Nanuntenoo, looking disdainfully upon his youthful face, after a short
silence, said,

"You are too much of a child--you do not understand matters of war.
Let your chief come; him I will answer."

He was offered life upon condition that he would submit to the
English, and deliver up to them all the Wampanoags in his territory.

"Let me hear no more of this," he replied, nobly. "I will not
surrender a Wampanoag, nor the paring of a Wampanoag's nail."

He was taken to Stonington, where he was sentenced to be shot. When
informed of his doom, he replied, in the spirit of an old Roman,

"I like it well. I shall die before my heart is soft, or before I have
said any thing unworthy of myself."

He was shot by one of the Indians who were in alliance with the
English; his head was cut off by them, and his body quartered and
burned. The Indians who aided the colonists were always eager for any
work of blood, and considered it a great privilege to enjoy the
pleasures of executioners. They often implored permission to torture
their enemies, and several times the English, to their shame be it
recorded, allowed them to do so. In this case, "The mighty sachem of
Narraganset," writes Cotton Mather, "the English wisely delivered unto
their tawny auxiliaries for them to cut off his head, that so the
alienation between them and the wretches in hostility against us might
become incurable."

His head, a ghastly trophy of victory, was sent by the Mohegans to the
Common Council at Hartford, in token of their love and fidelity to the
English. The spirit of the times may be inferred from the following
comments upon this transaction in the narrative written by Hubbard:
"This was the confusion of that damned wretch that had often opened
his mouth to blaspheme the name of the living God and those that made
profession thereof."

We can not take leave of Nanuntenoo without a tribute of respect to
his heroic and noble character. "His refusal," writes Francis Baylies,
"to betray the Wampanoags who had sought his protection is another
evidence of his lofty and generous spirit, and his whole conduct after
his capture was such that surely, at this period, we may be allowed to
lament the unhappy fate of this noble Indian without incurring any
imputation for want of patriotism."

The inhabitants of New London, Norwich, and Stonington, being in great
peril in consequence of their near vicinity to the enemy, raised
several parties of volunteers and ranged the country. They succeeded
in these expeditions in killing two hundred and thirty-nine of the
enemy without incurring the loss of a single man. As most of the
inhabitants of the towns had found it necessary to take refuge in
garrison houses, prowling bands of Indians experienced but little
difficulty in setting fire to the abandoned dwellings and barns, and
the sky was every night illumined with conflagrations.

On the ninth of April a small party made an attack upon Bridgewater.
They plundered several houses, and were commencing the conflagration,
when the inhabitants sallied forth and put them to flight. It is said
that Philip had given orders that the town of Taunton should be spared
until all the other towns in the colony were destroyed. A family by
the name of Leonard resided in Taunton, where they had erected the
first forge which was established in the English colonies. Philip,
though his usual residence was at Mount Hope, had a favorite summer
resort at a place called Fowling Pond, then within the limits of
Taunton, but now included in the town of Raynham. In these excursions
he had become acquainted with the Leonards. They had treated him and
his followers with uniform kindness, repairing their guns, and
supplying them with such tools as the Indians highly prized. Philip
had become exceedingly attached to this family, and in gratitude, at
the commencement of the war, had given the strictest orders that the
Indians should never injure a Leonard. Apprehending that in a general
assault upon the town his friends the Leonards might be exposed to
danger, he spread the shield of his generous protection over the whole
place. This act certainly develops a character of more than ordinary


On the 18th of April an immense band of savages, five hundred in number,
made an impetuous assault upon Sudbury. The inhabitants, warned of their
approach, had abandoned their homes and taken refuge in their garrisons.
The savages set fire to several of the dwellings, and were dancing
exultingly around the flames, when a small band of soldiers from
Watertown came to the rescue, and the inmates of the garrison,
sallying forth, joined them, and drove the Indians across the river.

Captain Wadsworth, from Boston, chanced to be in the vicinity with
about seventy men. Hearing of the extreme peril of Sudbury, although
he had marched all the day and all the night before, and his men were
exhausted with fatigue, he instantly commenced his march for that
place. Painfully toiling on through the night by the road leading from
Marlborough, early on the morning of the 19th he arrived within a mile
and a half of the town. Here the Indians, who by their scouts had kept
themselves informed of his approach, prepared an ambush. As the
English were marching along with great caution, a band of about a
hundred Indians crossed their path some distance in advance of them,
and fled, feigning a panic. The English pursued them impetuously about
a mile into the woods, when the fugitives made a stand, and five
hundred Indians sprang up from their concealment, and hurled a storm
of lead into the faces of their foes.

The English, with singular intrepidity, formed themselves into a
compact mass, and by unerring aim and rapid firing kept their foes at
bay while, slowly retreating, they ascended an adjacent hill. Here
for five hours they maintained the conflict against such fearful odds.
The superior skill of the English with the musket rendered their fire
much more fatal than that of their foes. Many of the savage warriors
were struck down, and they bit the dust in their rage and dying agony,
while but five or six of the English had been slain.

[Illustration: THE INDIAN AMBUSH.]

The wind was high, and a drought had rendered the leaves of the forest
dry as powder. Some shrewd savage thought of the fatal expedient of
setting the forest on fire to the windward of their foes. The
stratagem was crowned with signal success. A wide sheet of flame,
roaring and crackling like a furnace, and emitting billows of
smothering smoke, rolled toward the doomed band. The fierceness of the
flames, and the blinding, suffocating smoke, soon drove the English in
confusion from their advantageous position. The Indians, piercing them
with bullets, rushed upon them with the tomahawk, and nearly every man
in the party was slain. Some accounts say that Captain Wadsworth's
company was entirely cut off; others say that a few escaped to a mill,
where they defended themselves until succor arrived. President
Wadsworth, of Harvard College, was the son of Captain Wadsworth. He
subsequently erected a modest monument over the grave of these heroes.
It is probably still standing, west of Sudbury causeway, on the old
road from Boston to Worcester. The inscription upon the stone is now
admitted to be incorrect in many of its particulars. It is said that
one hundred and twenty Indians were slain in this conflict.

These successes wonderfully elated the Indians. They sent a defiant
and derisive message to Plymouth:

"Have a good dinner ready for us, for we intend to dine with you on
election day."

In this awful warfare, every day had its story of crime and woe.
Unlike the movement of powerful armies among civilized nations, the
Indians were wandering every where, burning houses and slaughtering
families wherever an opportunity was presented. They seemed to take
pleasure in wreaking their vengeance even upon the cattle. They would
cut out the tongues of the poor creatures, and leave them to die in
their misery. They would shut them up in hovels, set fire to the
buildings, and amuse themselves in watching the writhings of the
animals as they were slowly roasted in the flames. Nearly all the men
who were taken captive they tortured to death. "And that the reader
may understand," says Cotton Mather, "what it is to be taken by such
devils incarnate, I shall here inform him. They stripped these unhappy
prisoners, and caused them to run the gauntlet, and whipped them after
a cruel and bloody manner. They then threw hot ashes upon them, and,
cutting off collops of their flesh, they put fire into their wounds,
and so, with exquisite, leisurely, horrible torments, roasted them out
of the world."

On the 20th of April a band of fifty Indians made an attack upon
Scituate, and, though the inhabitants speedily rallied and assailed
them with great bravery, they succeeded in plundering and burning
nineteen houses and barns. They proceeded along the road, avoiding the
block-houses, and burning all that were unprotected. They approached
one house where an aged woman, Mrs. Ewing, was alone with an infant
grandchild asleep in the cradle. As she saw the savages rushing down
the hill toward her dwelling, in a delirium of terror she fled to the
garrison house, which was about sixty rods distant, forgetting the
child. The savages rushed into the house, plundered it of a few
articles, not noticing the sleeping infant, and then hastened to make
an assault upon the garrison. A fierce fight ensued. In the midst of
the horrid scene of smoke, uproar, and blood, Mrs. Ewing, with heroism
almost unparalleled, stole from the garrison unperceived, by a
circuitous path reached the house, rescued the babe, still
unconsciously sleeping, and bore it in safety to the garrison. Soon
after this, the savages, repelled from their assault, set fire to her
house, and it was consumed to ashes. All the day long the battle and
the destruction continued in different parts of the town. There were
several garrisoned houses which the Indians attacked with great
spirit, but in every case they met with a repulse. Many of the savages
were shot, and a few of the English lost their lives.

On the 8th of May a band of three hundred Indians made a very fierce
attack upon Bridgewater. The inhabitants had fortunately received
warning of the contemplated assault, and had most of them repaired to
their garrisoned houses. The savages, hoping to take the place by
surprise, with fearful yells rushed from the forest upon the south
part of the town. Disappointed in finding all the inhabitants
sheltered in their fortresses, they immediately commenced setting
fire to the buildings. But the inhabitants boldly sallied forth to
protect their property, and the Indians, though greatly outnumbering
them, fled before their determined valor. They succeeded, however, in
burning some thirteen houses.

The condition of the colonists was at this time deplorable in the
extreme. During the campaign thus far the Indians had been signally
successful, and had effected an inconceivable amount of destruction
and suffering. The sun of spring had now returned; the snow had
melted, and the buds were bursting. It was time to plow the fields and
scatter the seed; but universal consternation and despair prevailed.
Every day brought its report of horror. Prowling bands of savages were
every where. No one could go into the field or step from his own door
without danger of being shot by some Indian lying in ambush. It was an
hour of gloom into which scarcely one ray of hope could penetrate.




An ambush discovered.--Information given.--Preparation for a
surprise.--Sudden attack.--The Indians vanquished.--Escape of two
boys.--A surprise party.--Its perfect success.--Slaughter of the
Indians.--Burning the wigwams.--Refreshment after battle.--Alarm of
the party.--Terrible peril.--Bravery of Captain Holyoke.--Heroic
action.--Dawn of hope.--Escape.--Rage of the Indians.--Assault
upon Hatfield.--Unexpected assistance.--Heroism.--Attack upon
Hadley.--A sudden appearance.--Superstition.--General Goffe.--Old
tradition.--Union of forces.--Phillip's strategem.--It
recoils.--Hostility of the Mohawks.--Turn of the tide.--Dismay of
the Indians.--Extract from Cotton Mather.--Search for King Philip.--An
interview with the Indians.--The Indians desire peace.--Interview with
the Governor.--Captain Church visits Awashonks.--A perilous
interview.--Rage of a warrior.--Proposals for an alliance.--Embassadors
to the governor.--The journey interrupted.--Awashonks visits Major
Bradford.--Proposals for an alliance.--Search for Philip.--Cordial
reception.--Indian festivities.--Sagacious care.--Captain Church to
visit the queen.--A luxurious feast.--Bill of fare.--A huge
bonfire.--Indian dance.--Oath of fidelity.--Selection of
warriors.--Grief of Philip.--Undying resolution.--Capture of
Indians.--Continued success.--Approach of Philip's army.--Preparations
for his reception.--He is received by Bridgewater lads.--Narrow escape
of Philip.--His wife and child captured.--The Saconets continue the
pursuit.--Treachery of the Indians.--The reconnoitering
parties.--Description by Captain Church.--Captain Church's
adventures.--Capture of prisoners.--The captives make merry in the

During this terrible war there were many deeds of heroic courage
performed which merit record. A man by the name of Rocket, in the town
of Wrentham, was in the woods searching for his horse. Much to his
alarm, he discovered, far off in the forest, a band of forty-two
Indians, in single file, silently and noiselessly passing along,
apparently seeking a place of concealment. They were all thoroughly
armed. Mr. Rocket without difficulty eluded their observation, and
then, at some distance behind, cautiously followed in their trail. It
was late in the afternoon, and, just before twilight was fading into
darkness, the Indians found a spot which they deemed safe, but a short
distance from the town, in which to pass the night. It was a large
flat rock, upon the brow of a steep hill, where they were quite
surrounded by almost impenetrable bushes.

Rocket, having marked the place well, hastened back to the town. It
was then near midnight. The inhabitants were immediately aroused,
informed of their peril, and the women and children were all placed
safely in the garrison house, and a small party was left for their
defense. The remaining men capable of bearing arms, but thirteen in
number, then hastened through the forest, guided by Rocket, and
arrived an hour before the break of day at the encampment of the
Indians. With the utmost caution, step by step, they crept within
musket shot of their sleeping foes. Every man took his place, and
endeavored to single out his victim. It was agreed that not a gun
should be fired until the Indians should commence rising from their
sleep, and the morning light should give the colonists fair aim.

An hour of breathless and moveless silence passed away. In the
earliest dawn of the morning, just as a few rays of light began to
stream along the eastern horizon, the Indians, as if by one volition,
sprang from their hard couch. A sudden discharge of musketry rang
through the forest, and thirteen bullets pierced as many bodies.
Appalled by so sudden an attack and such terrible slaughter, the
survivors, unaware of the feebleness of the force by which they were
assailed, plunged down the precipitous hill, tumbling over each
other, and rolling among the rocks. The adventurous band eagerly
pursued them, and shot at them as they would at deer flying through
the forest. Many more thus fell. One keen marksman struck down an
Indian at the distance of eighty rods, breaking his thigh bone. In
this short encounter twenty-four of the Indians were slain. The
remainder escaped into the depths of the forest. The heroes of this
adventure all returned in safety to their homes, no one having been
injured. It was undoubtedly the intention of this prowling band to
have attacked and fired the town as soon as the inhabitants had been
scattered in the morning in their fields at work.

Soon after this, two English boys, who had been captured by the
Indians and taken to the upper waters of the Connecticut, escaped,
and, following down the river, succeeded in reaching the settlements.
They gave information that the Indians, in large numbers, were
encamped upon the banks of the river, just above the present site of
Deerfield. Supposing that all the energies of the colonists were
employed in endeavoring to arrest the ravages which were taking place
in the towns nearer the seaboard, they were indulging in careless

The inhabitants of Hadley, Hatfield, and Northampton promptly raised a
force of one hundred and fifty mounted men to attack them. On the
night of the 18th of May they left Hadley, and, traveling as fast as
they could about twenty miles, through the dead of night, arrived a
little after midnight in the vicinity of the Indian encampment. Here
they alighted, tied their horses to some young trees, and then
cautiously crept through the forest about half a mile, when, still in
the gloom of the rayless morning, they dimly discerned the wigwams of
the savages. Concealing themselves within musket shot, they waited
patiently for the light to reveal their foes. The Indians were in a
very dead sleep from a great debauch in which they had engaged during
the early part of the night. The night had been warm, and they were
sleeping upon the ground around their wigwams. At an appointed signal,
every gun was discharged upon the slumberers, and a storm of bullets
fell upon them and swept through their wigwams. Many were instantly
killed, and many wounded. The survivors, in a terrible panic, men,
women, and children, sprang from the ground and rushed to the river,
attempting to escape to the other shore.

They were just above some rapids, where the current was very swift and
strong. Numbers attempted to swim across the stream, but were swept by
the torrent over the falls. Some sprang into canoes and pushed from
the shore. They presented but a fair mark for the bullets of the
colonists. Wounded and bleeding, and whirled by the eddies, they were
dashed against the rocks, and perished miserably. Many endeavored to
hide in the bushes and among the rocks upon the shore. Captain Holyoke
killed five with his own hand under a bank. About three hundred
Indians were slain or drowned in the awful tumult of these midnight
hours. Several of the most conspicuous of the Indian chiefs were
killed. Only one white man lost his life. In the midst of the
confusion the wigwams of the Indians were set on fire, and the black
night was illumined by the lurid conflagration. The flashing flames,
the dark billows of smoke, the rattle of musketry, the shouts of the
assailants, the shrieks of women and children, and the yells of the
savage warriors, presented a picture of earthly woe which neither the
pen nor the pencil can portray.

At last the morning dawned. The sun of a serene and beautiful May day
rose over the spectacle of smouldering ruins and blood. The victors,
weary of sleeplessness, of their night's march, and of the carnage,
sat down among the smoking brands and amid the bodies of the slain to
seek refreshment and repose in this exultant hour of victory.

But disaster, all unanticipated, came upon them with the sweep of the
whirlwind. It so happened that Philip himself was near with a thousand
warriors. A captured Indian informed them of this fact, and instantly
the victors were in a great panic. They were but one hundred and fifty
in number. Their only retreat was by a narrow trail through the woods
of more than twenty miles. A thousand savage warriors, roused to the
highest pitch of exasperation, and led by the terrible King Philip,
were expected momentarily to fall upon them. It was known that the
fugitives, who had scattered through the woods, would speedily
communicate the tidings of the attack to Philip's band.

The colonists, in much confusion, immediately commenced a precipitate
retreat. They had hardly mounted their horses ere the whole body of
savages, like famished wolves, with the most dismal yells and
howlings, came rushing upon them. The peril was so terrible that
there seemed to be no hope of escape. But there are no energies like
the energies of despair. Every man resolved, in the calmness of the
absolute certainty of death, to sell his life as dearly as possible.
Captain Holyoke was a man equal to the emergency, and every member of
his heroic little band had perfect confidence in his courage and his
skill. Silently, sternly, sublimely, in a mass as compact as possible,
they moved slowly on. Every eye was on the alert; every man had his
finger to the trigger. Their guns were heavily loaded, that the balls
might be thrown to a great distance. Not an Indian could expose his
body but that he fell before the unerring aim of these keen marksmen.

Captain Holyoke exposed himself to every danger in front, on the
flanks, and in the rear. His own lion-like energy was infused into the
spirit of his men, and he animated them to prodigious exertions. His
horse was at one time shot, and fell beneath him. Before he could
extricate himself from his entanglement, a band of Indians threw
themselves upon him. Two of them he shot down with his pistols, and
then with his sword cut his way through the rest, aided by a single
soldier who came to his rescue.

As they toiled along, pursued by the infuriate foe and harassed by a
merciless fire, many were wounded, and every few moments one would
drop lifeless upon the ground. The survivors could do nothing to help
the dead or the dying. Hour after hour passed, and at length
unexpected hope began to dawn upon them. They were evidently holding
the Indians at bay. Could they continue thus for a few hours longer,
they would be so near the settlements that the Indians, in their turn,
would be compelled to retreat. Though it was evident that their loss
must be great, there was now hope that the majority would escape. Thus
animated, they accelerated their march, and at length, having lost
about forty by the way, they emerged upon the clearings of the
settlements, where the savages dared to pursue them no longer. With
howls of disappointment and rage, the discomfited Indians returned to
their forest fastnesses, and the heroic band, having lost about one
third of their number, and with nearly all of the survivors exhausted,
wounded, and bleeding, were received by their friends with throbbing
hearts, and with blended tears of bliss and woe. Those who, while
still living, fell into the hands of the Indians, were put to death by
tortures too horrible to be described.

A fortnight after this, on the 30th of May, the men of Hatfield were
all at work in the fields, having, as usual, established a careful
watch to guard against surprise. All the houses in the centre of the
town were surrounded by a palisade, but there were several at a
distance which could not be included. One old man only was left within
the palisades to open and bar the gate.

Suddenly a band of Indians, between six and seven hundred in number,
plunged into the town between the palisades and the party at work in
the fields, thus effectually cutting off the retreat of the colonists
to their fortress. They immediately commenced a fierce attack upon the
palisades, that they might get at the women, the children, and the
booty. The people of Hadley, on the opposite side of the river,
witnessed the assault. Twenty-five young men of Hadley promptly
crossed the river, threw themselves unexpectedly and like a
thunderbolt upon the band of seven hundred savages, cut their way
through them, and gained an entrance within the palisades, having lost
but five of their number. Where has history recorded a deed of nobler
heroism? In their impetuous rush they cut down twenty-five of their
foes. The Indians, intimidated by so daring an act, feared to
approach the palisades thus garrisoned, and sullenly retired. The men
in the fields took refuge in a log house. The savages spread
themselves over the meadows, drove off all the oxen, cows, and sheep,
and burned twelve houses and barns which were beyond the reach of

On the 12th of June, the Indians, seven hundred in number, made an
attack upon Hadley, and hid themselves in the bushes at its southern
extremity, while they sent a strong party around to make an assault
from the north. At a given signal, when the first light of the morning
appeared, with their accustomed yells, they leaped from their
concealment, and rushed like demons upon the town. The English,
undismayed, met them at the palisades. The battle raged for some time
with very great fury.

In the midst of this scene of tumult and blood, when the battle seemed
turning against the English, there suddenly appeared a man of gray
hairs and venerable aspect, and dressed in antique apparel, who, with
the voice and manner of one accustomed to command, took at once the
direction of affairs. There was such an air of authority in his words
and gestures, the directions he gave were so manifestly wise, and he
seemed so perfectly familiar with all military tactics, that, by
instinctive assent, all yielded to his command. Those were days of
superstition, and the aspect of the stranger was so singular, and his
sudden appearance so inexplicable and providential, that it was
generally supposed that God had sent a guardian angel for the
salvation of the settlement. When the Indians retreated the stranger
disappeared, and nothing further was heard of him.

The supposed angel was General Goffe, one of the judges who had
condemned Charles I. to the block. After the restoration, these judges
were condemned to death. Great efforts were made to arrest them. Two
of them, Generals Goffe and Whalley, fled to this country. They were
both at this time secreted in Hadley, in the house of the Rev. Mr.
Russell. Mr. Whalley was aged and infirm. General Goffe, seeing the
village in imminent peril, left his concealment, joined the
inhabitants, and took a very active part in the defense. It was not
until after the lapse of fifteen years that these facts were
disclosed. The tradition is that both of these men died in their
concealment, and that they were secretly buried in the minister's
cellar. Their bodies were afterward privately conveyed to New Haven.

It so happened that the Connecticut colony had just raised a standing
army of two hundred and fifty English and two hundred Mohegan Indians,
and had sent them to Northampton, but a few miles from Hadley, for the
protection of the river towns. A force of several hundred men also
marched from Boston to co-operate with the Connecticut troops. The
settlements upon the river were thus so effectually protected that
Philip saw that it would be in vain for him to attempt any farther

He therefore sent most of his warriors to ravage the towns along the
sea-coast. It is generally reported that, about this time, Philip took
a party of warriors and traversed the unbroken wilderness extending
between the Connecticut and the Hudson. He went as far as the present
site of Albany, and endeavored to rouse the Mohawks, a powerful tribe
in that vicinity, to unite with him against the English. It is said,
though the charge is not sustained by any very conclusive evidence,
that Philip, in order to embroil the Mohawks with the English,
attacked a party of Mohawk warriors, and, as he supposed, killed them
all. He then very adroitly arranged matters to convince the Mohawks
that their countrymen had been murdered by the English. But one of the
Mohawks, who was supposed to be killed, revived, and, covered with
blood and wounds, succeeded in reaching his friends. The story he told
roused the tribe to rage, and, allying themselves with the English,
they fell fiercely upon Philip.

Whether the above narrative be true or not, it is certain that about
this time the Mohawks became irreconcilably hostile to King Philip,
and fell upon him and upon all of his allies with great fury.

And now suddenly, and almost miraculously, the tide of events
seemed to turn in favor of the English. It is very difficult to
account for the wonderful change which a few weeks introduced. The
Massachusetts Indians, for some unknown cause, became alienated
from the sovereign of the Wampanoags, and bitterly reproached him
with having seduced them into a war in which they were suffering
even more misery than they created. All the Indians in the vicinity
of the English settlements had been driven from their corn-fields
and fishing-grounds, and were now in a famishing condition. They
had sufficient intelligence to foresee that absolute starvation
was their inevitable doom in the approaching winter. At the same
time, a pestilence, deadly and contagious, swept fearful desolation
through their wigwams. The Indians regarded this as evidence that
the God of the white men had enlisted against them. The colonial
forces in the valley of the Connecticut penetrated the forest in
every direction, carrying utter ruin into the homes of the natives.
In this horrible warfare but little mercy was shown to the women
and the children. The English did not torture their foes, but they
generally massacred them without mercy.

This sudden accumulation of disasters appalled Philip and all his
partisans. They were thrown into a very surprising state of confusion
and dismay. Cotton Mather, speaking of this constant terror which
bewildered them, writes:

     "They were just like beasts stung with a hornet. They ran
     they knew not whither, they knew not wherefore. They were
     under such consternation that the English did even what they
     would upon them. I shall never forget the expressions which
     a desperate, fighting sort of fellow, one of their generals,
     used unto the English after they had captured him. 'You
     could not have subdued us,' said he, striking upon his
     breast, 'but the Englishman's God made us afraid here.'"

The latter part of July, Captain Church, the General Putnam of these
Indian wars, was placed in command of a force to search for Philip,
who, with a small band of faithful followers, had returned to the
region of Mount Hope. Captain Church went from Plymouth to Wood's Hole
in Falmouth, and there engaged two friendly Indians to paddle him in a
canoe across Buzzard's Bay, and along the shore to Rhode Island. As he
was rounding the neck of land called Saconet Point, he saw a number of
Indians fishing from the rocks. Believing that these Indians were in
heart attached to the English, and that they had been forced to unite
with Philip, he resolved to make efforts to detach them from the
confederacy. The Indians on the shore seemed also to seek an
interview, and by signs invited them to land. Captain Church, who was
as prudent as he was intrepid, called to two of the Indians to go down
upon a point of cleared land where there was no room for an ambush. He
then landed, and, leaving one of the Indians to take care of the
canoe, and the other to act as a sentinel, advanced to meet the
Indians. One of the two Indians, who was named George, could speak
English perfectly well. He told Captain Church that his tribe was
weary of the war; that they were in a state of great suffering, and
that they were very anxious to return to a state of friendly alliance
with the English. He said that if the past could be pardoned, his
tribe was ready not only to relinquish all acts of hostility, but to
take up arms against King Philip. Captain Church promised to meet them
again in two days at Richmond's Farm, upon this long neck of land. He
then hastened to Rhode Island, procured an interview with the
governor, and endeavored to obtain authority to enter into a treaty
with these Indians. The governor would not give his consent, affirming
that it was an act of madness in Captain Church to trust himself among
the Saconets. Nevertheless, Church, true to his engagement, took with
him an interpreter, and, embarking in a canoe, reached the spot at the
appointed time.

Here he found Awashonks, the queen of the tribe, with several of her
followers. As his canoe touched the shore, she advanced to meet him,
and, with a smile of apparent friendliness, extended her hand. They
walked together a short distance from the shore, when suddenly a
large party of Indians, painted and decorated in warlike array, and
armed to the teeth, sprang up from an ambush in the high grass, and
surrounded them. Church, undismayed, turned to Awashonks, and said,

"I supposed that your object in inviting me to this interview was

"And so it is," Awashonks replied.

"Why, then," Captain Church continued, "are your warriors here with
arms in their hands?"

Awashonks appeared embarrassed, and replied,

"What weapons do you wish them to lay aside?"

The Indian warriors scowled angrily, and deep mutterings were passing
among them. Captain Church, seeing his helpless situation, very
prudently replied, "I only wish them to lay aside their guns, which is
a proper formality when friends meet to treat for peace."

Hearing this, the Indians laid aside their guns, and quietly seated
themselves around their queen and Captain Church. An interesting and
perilous interview now ensued. Awashonks accused the English of
provoking her to hostilities when she had wished to live in friendship
with them. At one moment these children of nature would seem to be in
a towering rage, and again perfectly pleasant, and almost
affectionate. Captain Church happened to allude to one of the battles
between the English and the Indians. Immediately one of the savages,
foaming with rage, sprang toward him, brandishing his tomahawk, and
threatening to sink it in his brain, declaring that Captain Church had
slain his brother in that battle. Captain Church replied that his
brother was the aggressor, and that, if he had remained at home, as
Captain Church had advised him to do, his life would have been spared.
At this the irate savage immediately calmed down, and all was peace

As the result of the interview, Awashonks promised to ally herself in
friendship with the English upon condition that Church should obtain
the pardon of her tribe for all past offenses. The chief captain of
her warriors then approached Captain Church with great stateliness,
and said, "Sir, if you will please to accept of me and my men, and
will be our captain, we will fight for you, and will help you to the
head of King Philip before the Indian corn be ripe." At this all the
other warriors clashed their weapons and murmured applause.

Church then proposed that five Indians should accompany him through
the woods to the governor to secure the ratification of the treaty.
Awashonks objected to this, saying that the party would inevitably be
intercepted on the way by Philip's warriors, and all would be slain.
She proposed, however, that Captain Church should go to Rhode Island,
obtain a small vessel, and then take her embassadors around Cape Cod
to Plymouth.

Captain Church obtained a small vessel in Newport Harbor, and sailed
for the point. When he arrived there the wind was directly ahead, and
blowing almost a gale. As the storm increased, finding himself quite
unable to land, he returned to Newport. Being a man of deep religious
sensibilities, he considered this disappointment as an indication of
divine disapproval, and immediately relinquished the enterprise.

Just at this time Major Bradford arrived in the vicinity of the
present town of Fall River with a large force of soldiers. This region
was then called Pocasset, and was within the territory of Queen
Wetamoo. Captain Church immediately then took a canoe, and again
visited Awashonks. He informed her of the arrival of Major Bradford,
urged her to keep all her people at home lest they should be assailed
by these troops, and assured her that if she would visit Major
Bradford in his encampment she should be received with kindness, and a
treaty of peace would be concluded. The next morning, Major Bradford,
with his whole force, marched down the Tiverton shore, and encamped at
a place called Punkatese, half way between Pocasset and Saconet Point.

Awashonks collected her warriors and repaired to Punkatese to meet the
English. Major Bradford received her with severity and suspicion,
which appears to have been quite unjustifiable. Awashonks offered to
surrender her warriors to his service if they could be under the
command of Captain Church, in whom both she and they reposed perfect
confidence. This offer was peremptorily declined, and she was
haughtily commanded to appear at Sandwich, where the governor resided,
within six days. The queen, mortified by this unfriendly reception,
appealed to Captain Church. He, also, was much chagrined, but advised
her to obey, assuring her that the governor would cordially assent to
her views. The Indians, somewhat reassured, now commenced their march
to Sandwich, under the protection of a flag of truce.

The next morning Major Bradford embarked his army in canoes, and
crossed to Mount Hope in search of King Philip. It was late at night
before they reached the Mount, and the fires blazing in the woods
showed that the Indians were collecting in large numbers. Meeting,
however, with no foe, they marched on to Rehoboth. Here Captain
Church, taking an Indian for a guide, set out for Plymouth to
intercede for his friends, the Saconet Indians. The governor received
him with great cordiality. Captain Church, highly gratified, took with
him three or four men as a body-guard, and hastened to Sandwich.
Disappointed in not finding Awashonks there, he went to Agawam, in the
present town of Wareham; still not finding her, he crossed Mattapoiset
River, and ascended a bluff which commanded a wide prospect of
Buzzard's Bay.

As they stood upon the bluff, they heard a loud murmuring noise coming
from the concealed shore at a little distance. Creeping cautiously
along, they peered over a low cliff, and saw a large number of
Indians, of all ages and sexes, engaged upon the beach in the wildest
scene of barbarian festivities. Some were running races on horseback;
some playing at football; some were catching eels and flat-fish; and
others plunging and frolicking in the waves.

Captain Church was uncertain whether they were enemies or friends.
With characteristic sagacity and intrepidity, he retired some distance
into a thicket, and then hallooed to them. Two young Indians, hearing
the shout, left the rest of their company to see from whence it came.
They came close upon Captain Church before he discovered himself to
them. As soon as they saw Captain Church, with two or three men around
him, all well armed, they, in a panic, endeavored to retreat. He
succeeded, however, in retaining them, and in disarming their fears.

From them he learned that the party consisted of Awashonks and her
tribe. He then sent word to Awashonks that he intended to sup with her
that evening, and to lodge in her camp that night. The queen
immediately made preparations to receive him and his companions with
all due respect. Captain Church and his men, mounted on horseback,
rode down to the beach. The Indians gathered around them with shouts
of welcome. They were conducted to a pleasant tent, open toward the
sea, and were provided with a luxurious supper of fried fish. The
supper consisted of three courses: a young bass in one dish, eels and
flat-fish in a second, and shell-fish in a third; but there was
neither bread nor salt.

By the time supper was over it was night, serene and moonless, yet
brilliant with stars. The still waters of Buzzard's Bay lay like a
burnished mirror, reflecting the sparkling canopy above in a
corresponding arch below. The unbroken forest frowned along the shore,
sublime in its solitude, and from its depths could only be heard the
lonely cry of the birds of darkness.

The Indians collected an enormous pile of pine knots and the resinous
boughs of the fir-tree. Men, women, and children all contributed to
enlarge the gigantic heap, and when the torch was touched, a bonfire
of amazing splendor blazed far and wide over the forest and the bay.
This was the introductory act to a drama where peace and war were
blended. All the Indians, old and young, gathered around the fire.
Queen Awashonks, with the oldest men and women of the tribe, kneeling
down in a circle, formed the first ring; next behind them came all
the most distinguished warriors, armed and arrayed in all the gorgeous
panoply of barbarian warfare; then came a motley multitude of the
common mass of men, women, and children.

At an appointed signal, Awashonks' chief captain stepped forward from
the circle, danced with frantic gesture around the fire, drew a brand
from the flames, and, calling it by the name of a tribe hostile to the
English, belabored it with bludgeon and tomahawk. He then drew out
another and another, until all the tribes hostile to the English had
been named, assailed, and exterminated. Reeking with perspiration, and
exhausted by his phrensied efforts, he retired within the ring.
Another chief then came out and re-enacted the same scene, endeavoring
to surpass his predecessor in the fierceness and fury of his efforts.
In this way all the chiefs took what they considered as their oath of
fidelity to the English. The chief captain then came forward to
Captain Church, and, presenting him with a fine musket, informed him
that all the warriors were henceforth subject to his command. Captain
Church immediately drew out a number of the ablest warriors, and the
next morning, before the break of day, set out with them for
Plymouth, where he arrived in the afternoon.

It is said that when King Philip, in the midst of his accumulating
disasters, learned that the Saconet tribe had abandoned his cause and
had gone over to the English, he was never known to smile again. He
knew that his doom was now sealed, and that nothing remained for him
but to be hunted as a wild beast of the forest for the remainder of
his days. Though a few tribes still adhered to him, he was well aware
that in these hours of disaster he would soon be abandoned by all.
Proudly, however, the heroic chieftain disdained all thoughts of
surrender, and resolved to contend with undying determination to the
last. We can not but respect his energy and deplore his fate.

Receiving a commission from the governor, Captain Church that same
evening took the field, with a company of eighteen Englishmen and
twenty-two Indians. They saw gleaming in the distant forest the
camp-fires of the Indians. Creeping stealthily along, they surrounded
a small band of savages, took them by surprise, and captured every
one. From one of his prisoners he learned there was another party at
Monponsett Pond. Carrying his prisoners back to Plymouth, he set out
again the next night, and was equally successful in capturing every
one of this second band. Thus for some days he continued very
successfully harassing the Indians in the vicinity of the
Middleborough Ponds. From one of his prisoners he ascertained that
both Philip and Quinnapin, the husband of Wetamoo, were in the great
cedar swamp, which was full of Indian warriors, and that a hundred
Indians had gone on a foray down into Sconticut Neck, now Fair Haven.

The main body of the Plymouth forces was at Taunton. Philip did not
dare attempt the passage of the Taunton River, as it was carefully
watched. He was thus hemmed in between the river and the sea. Church,
with amazing energy and skill, drove his feeble bands from point to
point, allowing them not one moment of rest. One Sabbath morning a
courier was sent to the governor of the Plymouth colony, who happened
to be at Marshfield, informing him that Philip, with a large army, was
advancing, with the apparent intention of crossing the river in the
vicinity of Bridgewater, and attacking that town. The governor
immediately hastened to Plymouth, sent for Captain Church, who was in
the meeting-house attending public worship, and requested him to
rally all the force in his power, and march to attack the Indians.
Captain Church immediately called his company together, and, running
from house to house, collected every loaf of bread in town for the
supply of his troops.

Early in the afternoon he commenced his march, and early in the
evening arrived at Bridgewater. As they were advancing in the
darkness, they heard a sharp firing in the distance. It afterward
appeared that Philip had felled a tree across the stream, which was
there quite narrow, as a bridge for his men. Some energetic
Bridgewater lads had watched the movements of the Indians, and had
concealed themselves in ambush on the Bridgewater side of the stream.
As soon as the Indians commenced passing over the tree, they poured in
upon them a volley of bullets. Many dropped from the slender bridge,
dead and wounded, into the river. The rest precipitately retreated.
This was on the evening of the 31st of July.

Early the next morning, Captain Church, having greatly increased his
force by the inhabitants of Bridgewater, marched cautiously to the
spot where Philip had attempted to effect a passage. Accompanied by a
single Indian, he crept to the banks of the stream where the tree had
been. He saw upon the opposite side an Indian in a melancholy, musing
posture, sitting alone upon a stump. He was within short musket shot.
Church clapped his gun to his shoulder, and was just upon the point of
firing, when the Indian who accompanied him hastily called out for him
not to fire, for he believed it was one of their own men. The Indian
heard the warning, and, startled, looked up. Captain Church instantly
saw it was King Philip himself. In another instant the report of a gun
was heard, and a bullet whistled through the thin air, but Philip,
with the speed of an antelope, was gone.

Captain Church immediately rallied his company, crossed the river, and
pursued the Indians. The savages scattered and fled in all directions.
Church and his men picked up a large number of women and children
flying in dismay through the woods. Among the rest, he captured the
wife of Philip and their only son, a bright boy nine years of age.
Quinnapin, the husband of Wetamoo, with a large band of the Indians,
retreated down the eastern bank of the river, looking anxiously for a
place where they might ford the stream. Captain Church followed upon
their trail, pursued them across the stream, and continued the chase
until he thought it necessary to return and secure the prisoners.

The Saconet Indians begged permission to continue the pursuit. They
returned the next morning, having shot several of the enemy, and
bringing with them thirteen women and children as prisoners. The
prisoners were all sent to Bridgewater, while bands of soldiers
scoured the woods in all directions in pursuit of the fugitives. Every
now and then the shrill report of the musket told that the bullet was
accomplishing its deadly work. Another night came. It was dark and
gloomy. Some of the captives informed the English that Philip, with a
large party of his warriors, had sought refuge in a swamp. The heroic
chief had heard of the capture of his wife and son, and his heart was
broken. Dejected, disheartened, but unyielding, he still resolved to
bid defiance to fate, and to contend sternly to the last. The Indian
captives, with their accustomed treachery, guided the English to all
the avenues of the swamp. Here Captain Church placed his well-armed
sentinels, cutting off all escape, and watching vigilantly until the

As soon as it was light, he sent two scouts to enter the swamp
cautiously, and ascertain the position of the enemy. At the same
moment Philip sent two of his warriors upon a tour of reconnoissance.
The two opposite parties met, and the Indians, with loud yells to give
the alarm, fled toward their camp. Terrified with the apprehension
that the whole English force was upon them, the Indians plunged like
affrighted deer into the deeper recesses of the swamp, leaving their
kettles boiling and their meat roasting upon their wooden spits. But
they were surrounded, and there was no escape. The following scene,
described by Captain Church himself, gives one an idea of the nature
of this warfare.

     "In this swamp skirmish, Captain Church, with his two men,
     who always ran by his side as his guard, met with three of
     the enemy, two of whom surrendered themselves, and the
     captain's guard seized them; but the other, being a great,
     stout, surly fellow, with his two locks tied up with red,
     and a great rattlesnake's 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, he presented his gun between his shoulders, but it
     missing fire, the Indian perceived it, turned, and presented
     at Captain Church, and missing fire also, their guns taking
     wet from the fog and 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 Captain Church, looking behind him, saw another Indian,
     whom he thought he had killed, come flying at him like a
     dragon. But this happened to be fair within sight of the
     guard that was set to keep the prisoners, who, spying this
     Indian and others who were following him 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. The skirmish being over,
     they gathered their prisoners together, and found the number
     they had taken to be one hundred and seventy-three."

With these prisoners the English returned to Bridgewater. Captain
Church drove the captives that night into the pound, and placed an
Indian guard over them. They were abundantly supplied with food and
drink. These poor wretches were so degraded, and so regardless of
their fate, that they passed the night in hideous revelry. Philip had
by some unknown means escaped. With grief and shame we record that his
wife and son were sent to Bermuda and sold as slaves, and were never
heard of more. One of the Indian captives said to Captain Church,

"Sir, you have now made Philip ready to die. You have rendered him as
poor and miserable as he used to make the English. All his relatives
are now either killed or taken captive. You will soon have his head.
This last bout has broken his heart."




Fallen fortunes of Philip.--Execution of Sam Barrow.--Character
of Wetamoo.--The queen drowned.--Deplorable condition of
Philip.--Indomitable resolution.--Summary punishment.--Disposition
of the army.--Confident of the capture of Philip.--The carnage
commenced.--Rushing into danger.--Death of Philip.--Delight of
Alderman.--Reception of the news.--Ignoble treatment of the body.--An
Indian executioner.--Noble character of Philip.--His reluctance to
commence war.--His foresight.--His humanity.--His mode of
warfare.--Do justice to his memory.--Feelings for him in 1677.--Cotton
Mather's record.--"In his fate, forget his crimes."--Annawan.--Plan for
his capture.--The march.--A violent gale.--Resolution.--Reluctance of
the Indians.--Uncomfortable night.--Successful decoy.--The plan
repeated.--Making proselytes.--Advantages to be gained.--A feast.--The
Indians in good-humor.--Women captured.--Capture of an old man.--His
story.--A new enterprise proposed.--Energetic resolve of Captain
Church.--Enthusiasm aroused.--The old man a guide.--Arrival at
Annawan's retreat.--Drake's description of the place.--Annawan's
retreat.--Annawan's retreat.--Employments of the Indians.--Precipitous
descent.--Mode of entering the retreat.--Annawan captured.--A quiet
surrender.--A grand repast.--Attempted repose.--Effect of
excitement.--Disappearance of Annawan.--A magnificent present.--Address
to Captain Church.--Relation of early adventures.--Attempt to save
Annawan's life.--Tuspaquin.--His exploits.--Superstitious
belief.--Discovery of the Indians.--Capture of Tuspaquin's
relatives.--Outrageous violation of faith.

The heroic and unfortunate monarch of the Wampanoags was now indeed a
fugitive, and almost utterly desolate. A few of the more noble of the
Indians still adhered faithfully to the fortunes of their ruined
chieftain. The colonists pursued the broken bands of the Indians with
indefatigable energy. A small party sought refuge at a place called
Agawam, in the present town of Wareham. Captain Church immediately
headed an expedition, pursued them, and captured the whole band. A
notorious Indian desperado called Sam Barrow was among the number. He
was a bloodthirsty wretch, who had filled the colony with the terror
of his name. He boasted that with his own hand he had killed nineteen
of the English. Captain Church informed him that, in consequence of
his inhuman murders, the court could allow him no quarter. The stoical
savage, with perfect indifference, said that he was perfectly willing
to die, and only requested the privilege of smoking a pipe. He sat
down upon a rock, while his Indian executioner stood by his side with
his gleaming tomahawk in his hand. The savage smoked a few whiffs of
tobacco, laid aside his pipe, and calmly said, "I am ready." In
another instant the hatchet of the executioner sank deep into his
brain. He fell dead upon the rock.

On the 6th of August one of Philip's Indians deserted his master and
fled to Taunton. To make terms for himself, he offered to conduct the
English to a spot upon the river where Wetamoo had secreted herself
with a party of Pocasset warriors. Twenty of the inhabitants of
Taunton armed themselves and followed their Indian guide. He led them
to a spot now called Gardiner's Neck, in the town of Swanzey.

At the beginning of the war, Wetamoo, flushed with hope, had marched
to the conflict leading three hundred warriors in her train. She was
now hiding in thickets, swamps, and dens, with but twenty-six
followers, and they dejected and despairing. Next to King Philip,
Wetamoo had been the most energetic of the foes of the English. She
was inspired with much of his indomitable courage, and was never
wanting in resources. The English came upon them by surprise, and
captured every one but Wetamoo herself. The heroic queen, too proud to
be captured, instantly threw off all her clothing, seized a broken
piece of wood, and plunged into the stream. Worn down by exhaustion
and famine, her nerveless arm failed her, and she sank beneath the
waves. Her body, like a bronze statue of marvelous symmetry, was soon
after found washed upon the shore. As faithful chroniclers, we must
declare, though with a blush, that the English cut off her head, and
set it upon a pole in their streets, a trophy ghastly, bloody,
revolting. Many of her subjects were in Taunton as captives. When they
beheld the features of their beloved queen, they filled the air with
shrieks of lamentation.

The situation of Philip was now indescribably deplorable. All the
confederate tribes had abandoned him; the most faithful of his
followers had already perished. His only brother was dead; his wife
and only son were slaves in the hands of the English, doomed to
unending bondage; every other relative was cold in death. The few
followers who still, for their own protection, accompanied him in his
flight, were seeking in dismay to save their own lives. His domain,
which once spread over wide leagues of mountain and forest, was now
contracted to the dark recesses and dismal swamps where, as a hunted
beast, he sought his lair. There was no place of retreat for him. All
the Connecticut Indians had become his bitter foes, because he had
embroiled them in a war which had secured their ruin. The Mohawks,
upon the Hudson, were thirsting for his blood.

Still, this indomitable man would not think of yielding. He
determined, with a resolution which seemed never to give way, to fight
till a bullet from the foe should pierce his brain. In this hour of
utter hopelessness, one of Philip's warriors ventured to urge him to
surrender to the English. The haughty monarch immediately put the man
to death as a punishment for his temerity and as a warning to others.
The brother of this Indian, indignant at such severity, deserted to
the English, and offered to guide them to the swamp where Philip was
secreted. The ruined monarch had returned to the home of his childhood
to fight his last battles and to die.

Captain Church happened to be at this time, with a party of
volunteers, at Rhode Island, having crossed over by the ferry from
Tiverton. Here he met the Indian traitor. "He was a fellow of good
sense," says Captain Church, "and told his story handsomely." He
reported that Philip was upon a little spot of upland in the midst of
a miry swamp just south of Mount Hope. It was now evening. Half of the
night was spent in crossing the water in canoes. At midnight Captain
Church brought all his company together, and gave minute directions
respecting their movements. They surrounded the swamp. With the
earliest light of the morning they were ordered to creep cautiously
upon their hands and feet until they came in sight of their foes. As
soon as anyone discovered Philip or any of his men, he was to fire,
and immediately all were to rise and join in the pursuit. To make sure
of his victim, Captain Church also formed a second circle surrounding
the swamp, placing an Englishman and an Indian behind trees, rocks,
etc., so that no one could pass between them. He also stationed small
parties in selected places in ambuscade.

Having completed all his arrangements, he took his friend Major
Sandford by the hand, and said,

"I have now so posted my men that I think it impossible that Philip
should escape us."

He had hardly uttered these words ere the report of a musket was heard
in the swamp, and this was instantaneously followed by a whole volley.
Some of the Indians had been discovered, and the murderous work was
commenced. The morning had as yet but just dawned. An awful scene of
dismay, tumult, and blood ensued. Philip, exhausted by days and nights
of the most harassing flight and fighting, had been found soundly
asleep. The few warriors still faithful to him, equally exhausted,
were dozing at his side. A party of the English crept cautiously
within musket shot of their sleeping foes, discharged a volley of
bullets upon them, and then rushed into their encampment.


The dreams of the despairing fugitive were disturbed by the crash of
musketry, the whistling of bullets, and the shout and the onset of his
foes. He leaped from his couch of leaves, and, like a deer, bounded
from hummock to hummock in the swamp. It so happened that he ran
directly upon an ambush which Captain Church had warily established.
An Englishman and the Indian deserter, whose name was Alderman, stood
behind a large tree, with their guns cocked and primed. As Philip,
bewildered and unconscious of his peril, drew near, the Englishman
took deliberate aim at him when he was but at the distance of a few
yards, and sprung his lock. The night dews of the swamp had moistened
the powder, and his gun missed fire. The life of Philip was thus
prolonged for one half of a minute. The traitor Alderman then eagerly
directed his gun against the chief to whom but a few hours before he
had been in subjection. A sharp report rang through the forest, and
two bullets, for the gun was double charged, passed almost directly
through the heart of the heroic warrior. For an instant the majestic
frame of the chieftain, as he stood erect, quivered from the shock,
and then he fell heavy and stone dead in the mud and water of the

Alderman, delighted with his exploit, ran eagerly to inform Captain
Church that he had shot King Philip. Church ordered him to be
perfectly silent about it, that his men might more vigorously pursue
the remaining warriors. For some time the pursuit and the carnage
continued. Captain Church then, by a concerted signal, called his army
together, and informed them of the death of their formidable foe. The
tidings were received with a simultaneous shout of exultation, which,
repeated again and again, reverberated through the solitudes of the
forests. The whole army then advanced to the spot where the sovereign
of the Wampanoags lay gory in death. They had but little reverence for
an Indian, and, seizing the body, they dragged it, as if it had been
the carcass of a wild beast, through the mud to an upland slope, where
the ground was dry. Here, for a time, they gazed with exultation upon
the great trophy of their victory, and spurned the dishonored body as
if it had been a wolf or a panther which had been destroying their
families and their flocks. Captain Church then said,

"Forasmuch as he has caused many an Englishman's body to lie unburied
and to rot above the ground, not one of his bones shall be buried."

An old Indian executioner, a vulgar, bloodthirsty wretch, was then
called to cut up the body. With bitter taunts he stood over him with
his hatchet, and cut off his head and quartered him. Philip had one
remarkable hand, which was much scarred by the explosion of a pistol.
This hand was given to Alderman, who shot him, as his share of the
spoil. Alderman preserved it in rum, and carried it around the
country as a show, "and accordingly," says Captain Church, "he got
many a penny by it." We would gladly doubt the statement, if we could,
that the head of this ill-fated chief was sent to Plymouth, where it
was for a long time exposed on a gibbet. The four quarters of the
mangled body were hung upon four trees, and there they remained
swinging in the moaning wind until the elements wasted them away.

Thus fell Pometacom, perhaps the most illustrious savage upon the
North American continent. The interposition of Providence alone seems
to have prevented him from exterminating the whole English race upon
this continent. Though his character has been described only by those
who were exasperated against him to the very highest degree, still it
is evident that he possessed many of the noblest qualities which can
embellish human nature.

It is said that with reluctance and anguish he entered upon the war,
and that he shed tears when the first English blood was shed. His
extraordinary kindness to the Leonards, inducing him to avert
calamities from a whole settlement, lest they, by some accident, might
be injured, develops magnanimity which is seldom paralleled. He was a
man of first-rate abilities. He foresaw clearly that the growth of
the English power threatened the utter extermination of his race. War
thus, in his view, became a dire necessity. No man could be more
conscious of its fearful peril. With sagacity which might excite the
envy of the ablest of European diplomatists, he bound together various
heterogeneous and hostile tribes, and guided all their energies.
Though the generality of the Indians were often inhuman in the
extreme, there is no evidence that Philip ever ordered a captive to be
tortured, while it is undeniable that the English, in several
instances, surrendered their captives to the horrid barbarities of
their savage allies.

     "His mode of making war," says Francis Baylies, "was secret
     and terrible. He seemed like the demon of destruction
     hurling his bolts in darkness. With cautious and noiseless
     steps, and shrouded by the deep shade of midnight, he glided
     from the gloomy depths of the woods. He stole on the
     villages and settlements of New England, like the
     pestilence, unseen and unheard. His dreadful agency was felt
     when the yells of his followers roused his victims from
     their slumbers, and when the flames of their blazing
     habitations glared upon their eyes. His pathway could be
     traced by the horrible desolation of its progress, by its
     crimson print upon the snows and the sands, by smoke and
     fire, by houses in ruins, by the shrieks of women, the
     wailing of infants, and the groans of the wounded and the
     dying. Well indeed might he have been called the 'terror of
     New England.' Yet in no instance did he transcend the
     ordinary usages of Indian warfare.

     "We now sit in his seats and occupy his lands; the lands
     which afforded a bare subsistence to a few wandering savages
     can now support countless thousands of civilized people. The
     aggregate of the happiness of man is increased, and the
     designs of Providence are fulfilled when this fair domain is
     held by those who know its use; surely we may be permitted
     at this day to lament the fate of him who was once the lord
     of our woods and our streams, and who, if he wrought much
     mischief to our forefathers, loved some of our race, and
     wept for their misfortunes!"

There was, however, but little sympathy felt in that day for Philip or
any of his confederates. The truly learned and pious but pedantic
Cotton Mather, allowing his spirit to be envenomed by the horrid
atrocities of Indian warfare, thus records the tragic end of

     "The Englishman's piece would not go off, but the Indians
     presently shot him through his venomous and murderous heart.
     And in that very place where he first contrived and
     commenced his mischief, this Agag was now cut in quarters,
     which were then hanged up, while his head was carried in
     triumph to Plymouth, where it arrived on the very day that
     the church was keeping a solemn thanksgiving to God. God
     sent them in the head of a Leviathan for a thanksgiving

We must remember that the Indians have no chroniclers of their wrongs,
and yet the colonial historians furnish us with abundant incidental
evidence that outrages were perpetrated by individuals of the
colonists which were sufficient to drive any people mad. No one can
now contemplate the doom of Pometacom, the last of an illustrious
line, but with emotions of sadness.

     "Even that he lived is for his conqueror's tongue;
     By foes alone his death-song must be sung.
         No chronicles but theirs shall tell
           His mournful doom to future times.
         May these upon his virtues dwell,
           And in his fate forget his crimes!"

The war was now virtually at an end. Still there were many broken bands
of Indians wandering through the wilderness in a state of utter
desperation; they knew that to surrender doomed them to death or to
hopeless slavery. Though they were unable to wage any effective warfare,
they could desolate the settlements with murders and with terrible

A few days after the death of King Philip, intelligence was brought to
Plymouth that Annawan, Philip's chief captain, a man of indomitable
energy, was ranging the woods with a band of warriors in the vicinity of
Rehoboth and Swanzey, and doing great mischief.

Annawan was now commander-in-chief of all the remaining Indian forces.
His death or capture was accordingly esteemed a matter of great
moment. Captain Church immediately gathered around him a band of
his enthusiastic troops. They were so devoted to their successful
commander that they declared their readiness to follow him as long as
an Indian was left in the woods. They immediately commenced their
march, and ranged the woods along the Pocasset shore. Not finding any
Indians, they crossed the arm of the bay in canoes to Rhode Island,
intending to spend the next day, which was the Sabbath, there in
religious rest. Early the next morning, however, a messenger informed
the captain that a canoe filled with Indians had been seen passing
from Prudence Island to the west side of Bristol, which was then
called Poppasquash Neck. Captain Church, thinking that these men were
probably going to join the band of Annawan, resolved immediately to
pursue them. He had no means of transporting his troops but in two or
three frail birch canoes. He crossed himself, however, with sixteen of
his Indian allies, when the gale increased to such severity, and hove
up such a tumultuous sea, that the canoes could no longer pass.
Captain Church now found himself upon Bristol Neck with but sixteen
Indian allies around him, while all the rest of his force, including
nearly all of his English soldiers, were upon Rhode Island, and cut
off from all possibility of immediately joining him. Still, the
intrepid captain adopted the resolve to march in pursuit of the enemy,
though he was aware that he might meet them in overwhelming numbers.

The Indians expressed some reluctance to go unaccompanied by English
soldiers; finally, however, they consented. Skulking through almost
impenetrable thickets, they came to a salt meadow just north of the
present town of Bristol. It was now night, and though they had heard
the report of two guns in the woods, they had met no Indians. A part
of their company, who had been sent out on a skulk, had not returned,
and great anxiety was felt lest they had fallen into an ambush and
been captured. The night was dark, and cold, and dreary. They had not
a morsel of bread, and no food to cook; they did not dare to build a
fire, as the flame would be sure to attract their wakeful enemies.
Hungry and solitary, the hours of the night lingered slowly away. In
the earliest dawn of the morning, the Indian scouts returned with the
following extraordinary story, which proved to be true. They said that
they had not advanced far when they discovered two Indians at a
distance approaching them upon one horse. The scouts immediately hid
in the brush in parallel lines at a little distance from each other.
One of the Indians then stationed himself as a decoy, and howled like
a wolf. The two Indians immediately stopped, and one, sliding from the
horse, came running along to see what was there. The cunning Indian,
howling lower and lower, drew him on between those lying in wait for
him, until they seized and instantly gagged him. The other, seeing
that his companion did not return, and still hearing the faint
howlings of the wolf, also left his horse, and soon experienced the
same fate.

The two captives they then examined apart, and found them to agree in
the story that there were eight more Indians who had come with them
into the Neck in search of provisions, and that they had all agreed to
meet at an old Indian burying-place that evening. The two captives
chanced to be former acquaintances of the leader of the scouting
party. He told them enticing stories of the bravery of Captain Church,
and of the advantages of fighting with him and for him instead of
against him. The vagabond prisoners were in a very favorable condition
to be influenced by such suggestions. They heartily joined their
victors, and aided in entrapping their unsuspecting comrades. The
eight were soon found, and, by a continuance of the same stratagem,
were all secured. All these men immediately co-operated with Captain
Church's company, and aided in capturing their remaining friends. In
this perhaps they were to be commended, as there was nothing before
them but misery, starvation, and death in the wilderness, while there
was at least food and life with Captain Church.

With their band thus strengthened there was less fear of surprise. A
horse was killed, roaring fires built, and the Indians, roasting the
meat upon wooden spits, exulted for a few hours in a feast of steaks
which, to them at least, were savory and delicious. The Indians
usually carried salt in their pockets: with this alone they seasoned
their horse-flesh. As there was not a morsel of bread to be obtained,
Captain Church had no better fare than his savage companions.

The Indians were now in exceeding good-humor. All having eaten their
fill, and loading themselves with a sufficient supply for the day,
they commenced their march, under the guidance of the captives, to the
place where they had left their women and children. All were surprised
and captured. But no one could tell where Annawan was to be found. All
agreed in the declaration that he was continually roving about, never
sleeping twice in the same place.

One of the Indian prisoners entreated Captain Church to permit him
to go into a swamp, about four miles distant, where his father was
concealed with his young wife. He promised to bring them both in.
Captain Church, thinking that he might, perhaps, obtain some
intelligence respecting Annawan, decided to go with him. Taking with
him one Englishman and a few Indians, and leaving the rest to remain
where they were until his return, he set out upon this enterprise.

When they arrived on the borders of the swamp, the Indian was sent
forward in search of his father. Pretty soon they heard a low howling,
which was promptly responded to by a corresponding howl at a distance.
At length they saw an old man coming toward them with his gun upon
his shoulder, and followed by a young Indian girl, his daughter.
Concealing themselves on each side of the narrow trail, Captain
Church's party awaited their approach, and seized them both.
Threatening them with terrible punishment if they deceived him with
any falsehood, he examined them apart.

Both agreed that they had been lately in Annawan's camp; that he had
with him about sixty Indians, and that he was at but a few miles'
distance, in Squannaconk Swamp, in the southeasterly part of Rehoboth.
"Can I get there to-night?" inquired Captain Church. "If you set out
immediately," the old Indian replied, "and travel stoutly, you can
reach there by sunset."

Just then the young Indian who had been in search of his father
returned with his father and another Indian. Captain Church was now in
much perplexity. He was very desirous of going in pursuit of Annawan
before the wary savage should remove to other quarters. He had,
however, but half a dozen men with him, and it was necessary to send a
messenger back to acquaint those who had been left of his design.
Collecting his little band together, he inquired if they were ready to
go with him to endeavor to take Annawan. The enterprise appeared to
them all very perilous. They replied,

"We are willing to obey your commands. But Annawan is a renowned and
veteran warrior. He served under Pometacom's father, and has been
Pometacom's chief captain during this war. He is a very subtle man, a
man of great energy, and has often said that he would never be taken
alive by the English. Moreover, the warriors who are with him are very
resolute men. We therefore fear that it would be impossible to take
him with so small a band. We should but throw away our lives."

Still, Captain Church, relying upon his own inexhaustible resources,
and upon the well-known despondency and despair of the Indians,
resolved to go, and with a few words roused the enthusiasm of his
impulsive and fickle followers. He sent the young Indian, with his
father and the young squaw, back to the camp, while he took the other
old man whom he had captured as his guide. "You have given me my
life," said the Indian, "and it is my duty to serve you."

Energetically they commenced their march through the woods, the old
man leading off with tremendous strides. Occasionally he would get so
far in advance that the party would lose sight of him, when he would
stop until they came up. He might easily have escaped had he wished to
do so. Just as the sun was setting, the old man made a full stop and
sat down. The rest of the company came up, all being very weary, and
sat down around him.

"At this hour," said the old man, "Annawan always sends out his
scouts. We must conceal ourselves here until after dark, when the
scouts will have returned."

As soon as the darkness of night had settled over the forest, the old
man again rose to resume the march. Captain Church said to him,

"Will you take a gun and fight for us?"

The faithful guide bowed very low, and nobly said, "I pray you not to
impose upon me such a thing as to fight Annawan, my old friend. I will
go along with you and be helpful to you, and will lay hands on any man
who shall offer to hurt you."

In the gloom of the wilderness it was now very dark, and all kept
close together, and moved cautiously and silently along. Soon they
heard a noise as of a woman pounding corn. All stopped and listened.
They had arrived at Annawan's retreat. Captain Church, with one
Englishman and half a dozen Indians, most of whom had been taken
captive that very day, were about to attack one of the fiercest and
most redoubtable of Philip's chieftains, surrounded by sixty of his
tribe, many of whom were soldiers of a hundred battles. Drake, in his
Book of the Indians, gives the following description of this noted

     "It is situated in the southeasterly corner of Rehoboth,
     about eight miles from Taunton Green, a few rods from the
     road which leads to Providence, and on the southeasterly
     side of it. If a straight line were drawn from Taunton to
     Providence, it would pass very nearly over this place.
     Within the limits of an immense swamp of nearly three
     thousand acres there is a small piece of upland, separated
     from the main only by a brook, which in some seasons is dry.
     This island, as we may call it, is nearly covered with an
     enormous rock, which to this day is called Annawan's Rock.
     Its southeast side presents an almost perpendicular
     precipice, and rises to the height of twenty-five or thirty
     feet. The northwest side is very sloping and easy of ascent,
     being at an angle of not more than thirty-five or forty
     degrees. A more gloomy and hidden recess, even now, although
     the forest-tree no longer waves over it, could hardly be
     found by any inhabitant of the wilderness."

Creeping cautiously to the summit of the rock, Captain Church looked
down over its precipitous edge upon the scene presented below. The
spectacle which opened to his view was wild and picturesque in the
extreme. He saw three bands of Indians at short distances from each
other, gathered around several fires. Their pots and kettles were
boiling, and meat was roasting upon the spits. Some of the Indians
were sleeping upon the ground, others were cooking, while others were
sitting alone and silent, and all seemed oppressed and melancholy.
Directly under the rock Annawan himself was lying, apparently asleep,
with his son by his side. The guns of the Indians were stacked at a
little distance from the fires, with mats spread over them to protect
them from the weather. It seemed impossible to descend the precipitous
face of the rock, and Captain Church accordingly crept back and
inquired of his guide if they could not approach by some other way.

"No," answered the guide. "All who belong to Annawan's company are
ordered to approach by that entrance, and none can from any other
direction without danger of being shot."

The old man and his daughter had left the encampment of Annawan upon
some mission; their return, therefore, would excite no suspicion. They
both had tule baskets bound to their backs. Captain Church directed
them to clamber down the rocks to the spot where Annawan was reposing.
Behind their shadow Church and two or three of his soldiers crept
also. The night was dark, and the expiring embers of Annawan's fire
but enabled the adventurers more securely to direct their steps. The
old chief, in a doze, with his son by his side, hearing the rustling
of the bushes, raised his eyes, and seeing the old Indian and his
daughter, suspected no danger, and again closed his eyes. In this
manner, supporting themselves by roots and vines, the small party
effected its descent undiscovered. Captain Church, with his hatchet in
his hand, stepped directly over the young man's head, and seized his
weapons and those of his father. The young Annawan, discovering
Captain Church, whipped his blanket over his head, and shrunk up in a
heap. Old Annawan, starting from his recumbent posture, and supposing
himself surrounded by the English army, exclaimed, "Ho-woh," _I am
taken_, and sank back upon the ground in despair. Their arms were
instantly secured, and perfect silence was commanded on pain of
immediate death. The Indians who had followed Captain Church down over
the rock, having received previous instructions, immediately hastened
to the other fires, and informed the Indians that their chief was
taken a captive; that they were surrounded by the English army, so
that escape was impossible; and that, at the slightest resistance, a
volley of bullets would be poured in upon them, which would mow them
all down. They were assured that if they would peacefully submit they
might expect the kindest treatment.

As Church's Indians were all acquainted with Annawan's company, many
of them being relatives, the surprised party without hesitancy
surrendered both their guns and hatchets, and they were carried to
Captain Church. His whole force of six men was now assembled at one
spot, but the Indians still supposed that they were surrounded by a
powerful army in ambush, with loaded muskets pointed at them. Matters
being thus far settled, Annawan ordered an abundant supper to be
prepared of "cow beef and horse beef." Victors and vanquished partook
of this repast together. It was now thirty-six hours since Captain
Church and his men had had any sleep. Captain Church, overwhelmed with
responsibility and care, was utterly exhausted. He told his men that
if they would let him have a nap of two hours, he would then keep
watch for all the rest of the night, and they might sleep. He laid
himself down, but the excitement caused by his strange and perilous
position drove all slumber from his eyelids. He looked around him, and
soon the whole company was soundly sleeping, all excepting Annawan
himself. The Indian and the English chieftain lay side by side for an
hour, looking steadfastly at each other, neither uttering a word.
Captain Church could not speak Indian, and he supposed that Annawan
could not speak English. At length Annawan arose, laid aside his
blanket, and deliberately walked away. Almost before Captain Church
had time to collect his thoughts, he had disappeared in the midnight
gloom of the forest. Though all the arms of the Indians had been taken
from them, Captain Church was apprehensive that Annawan might by some
means obtain a gun and attempt some violence. He knew that pursuit
would be in vain in the darkness of the night and of the forest.

Placing himself in such a position by the side of young Annawan that
any shot which should endanger him would equally endanger the son, he
remained for some time in great anxiety. At length he heard the sound
of approaching footsteps. Just then the moon broke from among the
clouds, and shone out with great brilliance. By its light he saw
Annawan returning, with something glittering in his hand. The
illustrious chieftain, coming up to Captain Church, presented him with
three magnificent belts of wampum, gorgeously embroidered with
flowers, and pictures of beasts and birds. They were articles of court
dress which had belonged to King Philip, and were nearly a foot wide
and eight or ten feet long. He also had in his hands two powder-horns
filled with powder, and a beautiful crimson blanket. Presenting these
to Captain Church, he said, in plain English,

"Great captain, you have killed King Philip. I believe that I and my
company are the last that war against the English. I suppose the war
is ended by your means, and therefore these things belong to you. They
were Philip's royalties, with which he adorned himself when he sat in
state. I think myself happy in having an opportunity to present them
to you."

Neither of these illustrious men could sleep amid the excitements of
these eventful hours. Annawan was an intelligent man, and was fully
conscious that a further continuance of the struggle was hopeless.
With the most confiding frankness, he entertained his conqueror with
the history of his life from his earliest childhood to the present
hour. The whole remainder of the night was spent in this discourse, in
which Annawan, with wonderfully graphic skill, described his feats of
arms in by-gone years, when, under Massasoit, Philip's father, he led
his warriors against hostile tribes.

As soon as day dawned, Captain Church collected his men and his sixty
prisoners, and, emerging from the swamp, took up their march for
Taunton. They soon gained the Taunton road, about four miles from the
town, and there, according to appointment, met Lieutenant Howland,
with the men who had been left behind. They lodged at Taunton that
night. The next morning all the prisoners were sent forward to
Plymouth excepting Annawan. Captain Church was anxious to save his
life, and took the old chieftain with him to Rhode Island. After a few
days he returned with him to Plymouth. Captain Church plead earnestly
that Annawan's life might be spared, and supposing, without any doubt,
that this request would not be denied him, set out, after a few days,
in pursuit of another small band of Indians who were committing
robberies in the vicinity of Plymouth.

The leader of this band was Tuspaquin, sachem of Namasket. At the
beginning of the conflict he had led three hundred warriors into the
field. He led the band which laid nineteen buildings in ashes in
Scituate on the twentieth of April, and which burned seventeen
buildings in Bridgewater on the eighth of May. Also, on the eleventh
of May, he had burned eleven houses and five barns in Plymouth. The
English were consequently exceedingly exasperated against him.
Tuspaquin had great renown among his soldiers. He had been in
innumerable perils, and had never been wounded. The Indians affirmed
that no bullet could penetrate his body; that they had often seen them
strike him and glance off.

Intelligence had been brought to Plymouth that Tuspaquin was in the
vicinity of Sippican, now Rochester, doing great damage to the
inhabitants, killing their horses, cattle, and swine.

Monday afternoon Captain Church set out in pursuit of him. The next
morning they discovered a trail in the forest, and, following it
noiselessly, they came to a place called Lakenham, where the thicket
was almost impenetrable. Smoke was discovered rising from this
thicket, and two Indians crept in to see what could be discovered.
They soon returned with a report that quite a party of Indians, mostly
women and children, were sitting silently around the embers. Captain
Church ordered every man to creep on his hands and feet until they had
formed a circle around the Indians, and then, at a given signal, to
make a rush, and take them all prisoners. The stratagem was entirely

Captain Church found, to his extreme satisfaction, that he had
captured the wife and children of Tuspaquin, and most of his
relatives. They said that he had gone, with two other Indians, to
Wareham and Rochester to kill horses. Captain Church took all his
prisoners back to Plymouth except two old squaws. They were left at
the encampment with a good supply of food, and were directed to inform
Tuspaquin on his return that Captain Church had been there, and had
captured his wife and his children; that, if he would surrender
himself and his companions at Plymouth, they should be received
kindly, be well provided for, and he would employ them as his

The next day Captain Church had occasion to go to Boston. Upon his
return after a few days, he found, to his extreme chagrin and grief,
that Tuspaquin had come in and surrendered; that both he and Annawan
had been tried as murderers, and had been condemned and executed. This
transaction can not be too severely condemned.




End of the war in the Middle States.--Devastation in Maine.--Character
of Squando.--News of the war sent to York.--Attempt to release a
captive.--Unfulfilled promises.--Thomas Purchas.--Dislike of the
Indians.--His house plundered.--Narrow escape of his son.--A captive
child released by Squando.--Proceedings about Brunswick.--Attack upon
Saco.--Long-continued siege.--The assailants retire.--Attack upon
Scarborough.--Repulse of the Indians.--Sagadahock.--Behavior of the
Indians.--Absurdity.--Exertions to obtain a treaty.--Temporary
respite.--Route of the English.--Bravery of Lieutenant
Plaisted.--Sufferings of the Indians.--Atrocious conduct.--Just
complaints of the Indians.--They are refused ammunition.--War
resumed.--Capture of a fortress.--Mr. Lake killed.--Destruction of the
establishment.--Unprotected condition of the settlements.--Outrages on
the islands.--Aid sent from Massachusetts.--Arrival of friendly
Indians.--Perplexity of Major Waldron.--A stratagem.--Was it
right?--Disposition of the prisoners.--Massacre of scouts.--Treaty
concluded.--Expedition to Casco Bay.--Landing at Maquoit.--The party
sail for the Kennebec.--A conference.--Treachery discovered.--A fierce
fight.--Renewed depredations.--Peace implored.--Terms of the
treaty.--Terrible amount of misery created.

The war was now at an end in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut,
as nearly all the hostile Indians were either killed, captured, or had
submitted to the mercy of their victors. A few hundred desperate
warriors, too proud to yield and too feeble to continue the fight,
fled in a body through the wilderness, beyond the Hudson, and were
blended with the tribes along the banks of the Mohawk and the shores
of the great lakes. There were also many bloody wretches, who,
conscious that their crimes were quite unpardonable, fled to the
almost impenetrable forests of the north and the east.

In the remote districts of New Hampshire and Maine the war still raged
with unabated violence. Bands of savages were roving over the whole
territory, carrying conflagration and blood to the homes of the lonely
settlers. There were no large gatherings for battle, but prowling
companies of from two or three to a hundred spread terror and
devastation in all directions.

At this period the towns and plantations in the State of Maine were
but thirteen. The English population was about six thousand; the
Indians, divided into many petty tribes, were probably about eighteen
thousand in number. These Indians had for some time been rather
unfriendly to the English, and an act of gross outrage roused them to
combine in co-operation with King Philip. An illustrious Indian, by
the name of Squando, was sachem of the Sokokis tribe, which occupied
the region in the vicinity of Saco. He was a man of great strength of
mind, elevation of character, and of singular gravity and
impressiveness of address. One day his wife was paddling down the
River Saco in a canoe, with her infant child. Some English sailors,
coming along in a boat, accosted her brutally, and, saying that they
had understood that Indian children could swim as naturally as young
ducks, overset the canoe. The infant sank like lead. The indignant
mother dove to the bottom and brought up her exhausted child alive,
but it soon after died. Squando was so exasperated by this outrage,
that, with his whole soul burning with indignation, he traversed the
wilderness to rouse the scattered tribes to a war of extermination
against the English.

Just then the appalling tidings came of the breaking out of Philip's
war. The Plymouth colony sent a messenger to York to inform the
inhabitants of their danger, and to urge them to disarm the Indians,
and to sell them no more powder or shot. A party of volunteers was
immediately sent from York to ascend the Kennebec River, inform the
settlers along its banks of their impending danger, and ascertain the
disposition of the Indians. With a small vessel they entered the mouth
of the river, then called the Sagadahock, and ascended the stream for
several miles. Here they met twelve Indians, and, strange to relate,
induced them to surrender their guns. One of the Indians, more
spirited than the rest, was not disposed to yield to the demand, and,
becoming enraged, struck at one of the English party with his hatchet,
endeavoring to kill him. He was promptly arrested, bound, and confined
in a cellar.

The Indians plead earnestly for his release, offering many apologies
for his crime. They said that he was subject to fits of insanity, and
that he was intoxicated. They offered to pay forty beavers' skins for
his ransom, and to leave hostages for his good behavior in the hands
of the English. Upon these terms the prisoner was released. They then,
in token of amity, partook of an abundant repast, smoked the pipe of
peace, and the Indians had a grand dance, with shouts and songs which
made the welkin ring. The promises of the Indians, however, were not
fulfilled. The hostages all run away, and not a beaver skin was ever

A man by the name of Thomas Purchas had built him a hut in the lonely
wilderness, just below the Falls of the Androscoggin, in the present
town of Brunswick. His family dwelt alone in the midst of the
wilderness and the Indians. He purchased furs of the natives, and took
them in his canoe down to the settlements near the mouth of the
Sagadahock, from whence they were transported to England. He is
reputed to have been a hard-hearted, shrewd man, always sure to get
the best end of the bargain. The Indians all disliked him, and he
became the first sufferer in the war.

On the 5th of September, a few months after the commencement of
hostilities in Swanzey, twenty Indians came to the house of Purchas
under the pretense of trading. Finding Purchas and his son both
absent, they robbed the house of every thing upon which they could
lay their hands. They found rum, and soon became frantically drunk.
There was a fine calf in the barn, and a few sheep at the door. The
Indians were adroit butchers. The veal and the mutton were soon
roasting upon their spits. They danced, they shouted, they clashed
their weapons in exultation, and the noise of the Falls was drowned in
the uproar of barbarian wassail. One of their exploits was to rip open
a feather bed for the pleasure of seeing the feathers float away in
the air. They, however, inflicted no violence upon Mrs. Purchas or her

In the midst of the scene, a son of Mr. Purchas was approaching home
upon horseback. Alarmed by the clamor, he cautiously drew near, and
was in consternation in view of the savage spectacle. Conscious that
his interposition could be of no possible avail, he fled for life. The
Indians caught sight of him, and one pursued him for some distance
with his gun, but he escaped. Soon after the Indians left, telling
Mrs. Purchas that others would soon come and treat them worse.

There was an old man by the name of Wakely, who had settled near the
mouth of Presumpscot River, in Falmouth. His family consisted of nine
persons. A week after the robbery of Mr. Purchas's house, a band of
savages made a fierce onset upon this solitary cabin. They burnt the
house and killed all the family, except the youngest daughter, who was
about eleven years of age. This unfortunate child was carried away
captive, and for nine months was led up and down the wilderness, in
the endurance of all the horrors of savage life. At one time she was
led as far south as Narraganset Bay, which led to the supposition that
some of the Narraganset Indians were engaged in the capture. The
celebrated Squando, in whose character humanity and cruelty were most
singularly blended, took pity upon the child, rescued her, and
delivered her to the English at Dover.

A family living several miles distant from Falmouth, at Casco Neck,
saw the smoke of the burning house, and the next day a file of men
repaired to the place. A scene of horror met their eye in the
smouldering ruins and the mangled corpses. The bodies of the slain the
savages had cut up in the most revolting manner. The tidings of these
outrages spread rapidly, and the settlers, in their solitary homes,
were plunged into a state of great dismay.

There were at this time in Brunswick two or three families who had
erected their houses upon the banks of New Meadows. A party of
twenty-five English set out from Casco in a sloop and two boats,
sailed along the bay, and entered the river. The inhabitants had
already fled, and the Indians were there, about thirty in number,
rifling the houses. Seeing the approach of the English, they concealed
themselves in an ambush. When the English had advanced but a few rods
from their boats, the savages rushed upon them with hideous yells,
wounded several, drove them all back to their sloop, and captured two
boat-loads of Indian corn.

Emboldened by their success, a few days after, on the 18th of
September, they made a bold attack upon Saco. A friendly Indian
informed Captain Bonython, who lived on the east side of the river,
about half a mile below the Lower Falls, that a conspiracy was formed
to attack the town. The alarm was immediately communicated to all the
settlers, and in a panic they abandoned their houses, and took refuge
in the garrison house of Major Phillips, which was on the other side
of the river. The Indians, unaware that their plot was discovered,
came the same night and established themselves in ambush. The
assailants were not less than one hundred in number. There were fifty
persons, men, women, and children, in the garrison, of whom but ten
were effective men. At eleven o'clock in the morning they commenced
the assault. The besieged defended themselves with great energy, and
many of the savages fell before their unerring aim. The savages at
length attempted to set fire to the house, after having assailed it
with a storm of shot all the day, and through the night until four in
the morning. They filled a cart with birch bark, straw, and powder,
and, setting this on fire, endeavored to push it against the house
with long poles. They had ingeniously constructed upon the cart a
barricade of planks, which protected those who pushed it against the
fire of the house. When they had got within pistol shot, one wheel
became clogged in a rut, and the other wheel going, whirled the cart
around, so as to expose the whole party to a fatal fire. Six men
almost instantly fell dead, and before the rest could escape, fifteen
of them were wounded. Disheartened by this disaster, the rest sullenly

Soon after this, Phillips abandoned his exposed situation, and his
house was burned down by the savages. On the 20th the Indians attacked
Scarborough, destroyed twenty-seven houses, and killed several of the
inhabitants. The principal settlement in Saco was at Winter Harbor.
Many families in the vicinity had fled to that place for refuge. They
were all in great danger of being cut off by the savages. A party of
sixteen volunteers from South Berwick took a sloop and hastened to
their rescue. As they were landing upon the beach, they were assailed
by one hundred and fifty of their fierce foes. The English,
overpowered by numbers, were in great danger of being cut off to a
man, when they succeeded in gaining a shelter behind a pile of logs.
From this breastwork they opened such a deadly fire upon their
thronging foes that the Indians were compelled to retire with a loss
of many of their number. The inhabitants of the garrison, hearing the
report of the guns, sent a party of nine to aid their friends. These
men unfortunately fell into an ambush, and by a single discharge every
one was cut down. This same band then ravaged the settlements in
Wells, Hampton, Exeter, and South Berwick.

Great exertions had been made to prevent the Indians upon the Kennebec
from engaging in these hostilities. About ten miles from the mouth of
the Sagadahock is the beautiful island of Arrowsic. It is so called
from an Indian who formerly lived upon it. Two Boston merchants,
Messrs. Clark and Lake, had purchased this island, which contains many
thousand acres of fertile land. They had erected several large
dwellings, with a warehouse, a fort, and many other edifices near the
water-side. It was a very important place for trade, being equally
accessible by canoes to all the Indians on the Androscoggin, Kennebec,
and Sheepscot. Captain Davis was the general agent for the proprietors
upon this island.

The Indians in all this region were daily becoming more cold and
sullen. Captain Davis, to conciliate them, sent a messenger up all
these rivers to invite the Indians to come down and live near him,
assuring them that he would protect them from all mischief, and would
sell them every needed supply at the fairest prices. The messenger,
thinking to add to the force of the invitation, overstepping his
instructions, threatened them that if they did not accede to his
request the English would come and kill them all. This so alarmed the
Indians that they fled to the banks of the Penobscot, which was then
in possession of the French. Here they held a general council.

Mr. Abraham Shurte was chief magistrate of the flourishing plantation
of Pemaquid. He was a man of integrity, of humanity, and of great good
sense. By indefatigable exertions, he succeeded in obtaining an
interview with the sachems, and entered into a treaty of peace with
them. In consequence of this treaty, the general court of Boston
ordered considerable sums of money to be disbursed to those Indians
who would become the subjects or allies of the colony. There was thus
a temporary respite of hostilities in this section of the country.
Upon the banks of the Piscataquis, however, the warfare still
continued unabated. On the 16th of October, one hundred Indians
assailed a house in South Berwick, burned it to the ground, killed the
master of the house, and carried his son into captivity. Lieutenant
Plaisted, commander of the garrison, viewing the massacre from a
distance, dispatched nine men to reconnoitre the movements of the
enemy. They fell into an ambuscade, and three were shot down, and the
others with difficulty escaped.

The next day Lieutenant Plaisted ordered out a team to bring in the
bodies for interment. He himself led twenty men as a guard. As they
were placing the bodies in a cart, a party of one hundred and fifty
savages rushed upon them from a thicket, showering a volley of bullets
upon the soldiers. The wounded oxen took fright and ran. A fierce
fight ensued. Most of the soldiers retreated and regained the
garrison. Lieutenant Plaisted, too proud to fly or to surrender,
fought till he was literally hewn in pieces by the hatchets of the
Indians. His two sons also, worthy of their father, fought till one
was slain, and the other, covered with wounds of which he soon died,
escaped. The Indians then ravaged the regions around, plundering,
burning, and killing.

The storms of winter now came with intense cold, and the snow covered
the ground four feet deep upon a level. The weather compelled a truce.
Though the Indians, during this short campaign, had killed eighty of
the English, had burned many houses, and had committed depredations to
an incalculable amount, still they themselves were suffering perhaps
even more severely. They had no provisions, and no means of purchasing
any. There was but little game in these northern forests, and the snow
was too deep for hunting. Their ammunition was consumed, and they knew
not how to obtain any more. Thus they were starving and almost
helpless. Under these circumstances, they manifested a strong desire
for peace. There were, however, individuals of the English who, by the
commission of the most infamous outrages, fanned anew the flames of

Early in the spring, one Laughton had obtained a warrant from the
court in Massachusetts to seize any of the Eastern Indians who had
robbed or murdered any of the English. This Laughton, a vile
kidnapper, under cover of this warrant, lured a number of Indians at
Pemaquid on board his vessel. None of them were accused of any crime,
and it is not known that they had committed any. He enticed them
below, fastened the hatches upon them, and carried them to the West
Indies, where they were sold as slaves. This fact was notorious; and,
though the government condemned the deed, and did what it could to
punish the offender, still the unenlightened Indians considered the
whole white race responsible for the crimes of the individual

Some of the Indian chiefs went to Pemaquid to confer with Mr. Shurte,
in whom they reposed much confidence. Their complaint was truly

"Our brothers," said they, "are treacherously caught, carried into
foreign parts, and sold as slaves. Last fall you frightened us from
our corn-fields on the Kennebec. You have withholden powder and shot
from us, so that we can not kill any game; and thus, during the
winter, many have died of starvation."

Mr. Shurte did what he could to conciliate them, and proposed a
council. It was soon convened. The Indians appeared fair and
honorable, but they said they must have powder and shot; that, without
those articles, they could have no success in the chase, and they must

"Where," exclaimed Madockawando, earnestly and impatiently, "shall we
buy powder and shot for our winter's hunting when we have eaten up all
our corn? Shall we leave Englishmen and apply to the French, or shall
we let our Indians die? We have waited long to have you tell us, and
now we want yes or no."

To this the English could only reply, "You admit that the Western
Indians do not wish for peace. Should you let them have the powder we
sell you, what do we better than to cut our own throats? This is the
best answer we can return to you, though you should wait ten years."

At this the chiefs took umbrage, declined any farther talk, and the
conference was broken up angrily. War was soon resumed in all its

Early in August a numerous band of savages made an incursion upon
Casco Neck and swept it of its inhabitants. Thirty-four of the
colonists were either killed or carried into captivity. On the 14th of
August, two days after King Philip was slain in the swamp at Mount
Hope, a party of Indians landed from their canoes upon the southeast
corner of the island of Arrowsic, near the spot where the fort stood.
They concealed themselves behind a great rock, and, with true Indian
cunning, notwithstanding the sentinels, succeeded in creeping within
the spacious inclosure which constituted the fortress. They then
opened a sudden and simultaneous fire upon all who were within sight.
The garrison, thus taken by midnight surprise, were in a state of
terrible consternation. A hand to hand fight ensued of the utmost
ferocity. The Indians, however, soon overpowered their opponents and
applied the torch. Captain Davis, who was in command of the fort, with
Mr. Lake, who was one of the owners of the island, escaped with two
others from the massacre by a back passage, and, rushing to the
water's edge, sprang into a canoe and endeavored to reach another
island. The savages, however, pursued them, and, taking deliberate aim
as they were paddling to the opposite shore, killed Mr. Lake, and
wounded Mr. Davis, so as to render him helpless, just as he was
stepping upon the shore. The savages then took a canoe and crossed in
pursuit of their victims. Captain Davis succeeded in hiding himself in
the cleft of a rock, and eluded their search. Here he remained for two
days, until after the savages had left, and then, finding an old canoe
upon the beach, he succeeded in paddling himself across the water to
the main land, where he was rescued. The other two who were not
wounded, plunging into the forest, also effected their escape.

The exultant savages rioted in the destruction of the beautiful
establishment upon Arrowsic. The spacious mansion house, the
fortifications, the mills, and all the out-buildings, were burned to
the ground. Works which had cost the labor of years, and the
expenditure of thousands of pounds, were in an hour destroyed, and the
whole island was laid desolate. Thirty-five persons were either killed
or carried into captivity. The dismay which now pervaded the
plantations in Maine was terrible. The settlers were very much
scattered; there was no place of safety, and it was impossible, under
the circumstances, for the court in Massachusetts to send them any
effectual relief. Most of the inhabitants upon the Sheepscot River
sought refuge in the fort at Newagen. The people at Pemaquid fled on
board their vessels; some sailed for Boston; others crossed over to
the island of Monhegan, where they strongly fortified themselves. They
had hardly left their flourishing little village of Pemaquid ere dark
columns of smoke informed them that the savages were there, and that
their homes were in a blaze. In one month, fifty miles east of Casco
Bay were laid utterly desolate. The inhabitants were either massacred,
carried into captivity, or had fled by water to the settlements in

Many of the beautiful islands in Casco Bay had a few English settlers
upon them. The Indians paddled from one to another in their canoes,
and the inhabitants generally fell easy victims to their fury. A few
families were gathered upon Jewell's Island, in a fortified house. On
the 2d of September a party of Indians landed upon the island for
their destruction. Several of the men were absent from the island in
search of Indian corn, and few were left in the garrison excepting
women and children. A man was in his boat at a short distance from the
shore fishing, while his wife was washing clothes by the river side,
surrounded by her children. Suddenly the savages sprang upon them, and
took them all captives before the eyes of the husband and father, who
could render no assistance. One of the little boys, shrieking with
terror, ran into the water, calling upon his father for help. An
Indian grasped him, and, as the distracted father presented his gun,
the savage held up the child as a shield, and thus prevented the
father from firing. A brave boy in the garrison shot three of the
Indians from the loop-holes. Soon assistance came from one of the
neighboring islands, and the Indians were driven to their canoes,
after having killed two of the inhabitants and taken five captives.

In this state of things, Massachusetts sent two hundred men, with
forty Natick Indians, to Dover, then called Cocheco, from whence they
were to march into Maine and New Hampshire, wherever they could be
most serviceable. Here they met unexpectedly about four hundred
Indians, who had come from friendly tribes professedly to join them
in friendly coalition. The English had offered to receive all who in
good faith would become their allies. Many, however, of these men were
atrocious wretches, whose hands were red with the blood of the
English. Others were desperate fellows, who had ravaged Plymouth,
Connecticut, and Massachusetts under King Philip, and, upon his
discomfiture, had fled to continue their barbarities in the remote
districts of New Hampshire and Maine.

Major Waldron, who had command of the English troops, was in great
perplexity. Many of the Indians of this heterogeneous band had come
together in good faith, relying upon his honor and fidelity. But the
English soldiers, remembering the savage cruelties of perhaps the
majority, were impatient to fall upon them indiscriminately with gun
and bayonet. In this dilemma, Major Waldron adopted the following
stratagem, which was by some applauded, and by others censured.

He proposed a sham fight, in which the Indians were to be upon one
side and the English upon the other. In the course of the
manoeuvres, he so contrived it that the Indians gave a grand
discharge. At that moment, his troops surrounded and seized their
unsuspecting victims, and took them all prisoners, without the loss of
a man on either side. He then divided them into classes with as much
care as, under the circumstances, could be practiced, though doubtless
some mistakes were made. All the fugitives from King Philip's band,
and all the Indians in the vicinity who had been recently guilty of
bloodshed or outrage, were sent as prisoners to Boston. Here they were
tried; seven or eight were executed; the rest, one hundred and
ninety-two in number, were transported to the West Indies and sold as

This measure excited very earnest discussion in the colony. Many
condemned it as atrocious, others defended it as a necessity; but the
Indians universally were indignant. Even those, two hundred in number,
who were set at liberty as acting in good faith, declared that it was
an act of infamy which they would never forget nor forgive. The next
day these troops proceeded by water to Falmouth, touching at important
points by the way.

On the 23d of September, a scouting party of seven visited Mountjoy's
Island. An Indian party fell upon them, and all were massacred. These
men were all heads of families, and their deaths occasioned
wide-spread woe. Two days after this, on the 25th, a large party of
Indians ravaged Cape Neddock, in the town of York, and killed or
carried into captivity forty persons. The cruelties they practiced
upon the inhabitants are too revolting to be described.

Winter now set in again with tremendous severity. All parties
experienced unheard-of sufferings. An Indian chieftain by the name of
Mugg, notorious for his sagacity and his mercilessness, now came to
the Piscataqua River and proposed peace. The English were eager to
accept any reasonable terms. On the 6th of November the treaty was
concluded. Its terms were these:

     1. All acts of hostility shall cease.

     2. English captives and property shall be restored.

     3. Full satisfaction shall be rendered to the English for
     damages received.

     4. The Indians shall purchase ammunition only of those whom
     the governor shall appoint.

     5. Certain notorious murderers were to be surrendered to the

     6. The sachems included in the treaty engaged to take arms
     against Indians who should still persist in the war.

Notwithstanding this treaty, the aspect of affairs still seemed very
gloomy. The Indians were sullen, the conduct of Mugg was very
suspicious, threats of the renewal of hostilities were continually
reaching the English, and but few captives were restored. Appearances
continued so alarming that, on the 7th of February, 1677, a party of
one hundred and fifty English and sixty Natick Indians sailed for
Casco Bay and the mouth of the Kennebec, to overawe the Indians and to
rescue the English captives who might be in their hands. On the 18th
of February, Captain Waldron, who commanded this expedition, landed
upon Mair Point, about three miles below Maquoit, in Brunswick. They
had hardly landed ere they were hailed by a party of Indians. After a
few words of parley, in which the Indians appeared far from friendly,
they retired, and the English sought for them in vain. About noon the
next day a flotilla of fourteen canoes was discovered out in the bay
pulling for the shore. The savages landed, and in a few moments a
house was seen in flames. The English party hastened to the rescue,
fell upon the savages from an unexpected quarter, and killed or
wounded several. A flag of truce was presented, which produced another

"Why," inquired Captain Waldron, "do you not bring in the English
captives as you promised, and why do you set fire to our houses, and
begin again the war?"

"The captives," the Indians replied, "are a great way off, and we can
not bring them through the snow; and your soldiers fired upon us
first; the house took fire by accident. These are our answers to you."

Captain Waldron, unwilling to exasperate the Indians by useless
bloodshed, and finding that no captives could be recovered, sailed to
the mouth of the Kennebec, then the Sagadahock. Here he established a
garrison on the eastern bank of the river, opposite the foot of
Arrowsic Island. With the remainder of his force he proceeded in two
vessels to Pemaquid. Here he met a band of Indians, and sending to
them a flag of truce, which they respected, the two parties entered
into a conference. The Indians, under the guise of peace, were
plotting a general massacre. Though both parties had agreed to meet
without arms, the savages had concealed a number of weapons, which at
a given signal they could grasp.

Captain Waldron, suspecting treachery, was looking around with an
eagle eye, when he saw peering from the leaves the head of a lance.
Going directly to the spot, he saw a large number of weapons
concealed. He immediately brandished one in the air, exclaiming,

"Perfidious wretches! You intended to massacre us all."

A stout Indian sprang forward and endeavored to wrest the weapon from
Waldron's hand. Immediately a scene of terrible confusion ensued. All
engaged in a hand to hand fight, with any weapons which could be
grasped. The Indians were soon overcome, and fled, some to the woods
and others to their canoes. Eleven Indians were killed in this fray,
and five were taken captive. The expedition then returned to Arrowsic,
where they put on board their vessels some guns, anchors, and other
articles which had escaped the flames, and then set sail for Boston.

As soon as the snow melted, the savages renewed their depredations,
but Maine was now nearly depopulated. With the exception of the
garrison opposite Arrowsic, there was no settlement east of Portland.
There was a small fort at Casco, and a few people in garrison at Black
Point and Winter Harbor. A few intrepid settlers still remained in the
towns of York, Wells, Kittery, and South Berwick. The Indians
harassed them during the whole summer with robberies, conflagrations,
and murders. Winter again came with its storms and its intensity of
cold. The united sagamores now, with apparent sincerity, implored
peace. On the 12th of February, 1678, Squando, with all the sachems of
the tribes upon the Androscoggin and the Kennebec, met the
commissioners from Massachusetts at the fort at Casco. The English
were so anxious for peace that they agreed to the following terms,
which many considered very humiliating, but which were nevertheless
vastly preferable to the longer continuance of this horrible warfare.

     1. The captives were to be immediately released, without

     2. All offenses on both sides, of every kind, were to be
     forgiven and forgotten.

     3. The English were to pay the Indians, as rent for the
     land, a peck of corn for every English family, and for Major
     Phillips, of Saco, who was a great proprietor, a bushel of

Thus this dreadful war was brought to a close. It is estimated that
during its continuance six hundred men lost their lives, twelve
hundred houses were burned, and eight thousand cattle destroyed. But
the amount of misery created can never be told or imagined. The
midnight assault, the awful conflagration, the slaughter of women and
children, the horrors of captivity in the wilderness, the
impoverishment and moaning of widows and orphans, the diabolical
torture, piercing the wilderness with the shrill shriek of mortal
agony, the terror, universal and uninterrupted by day or by
night--all, all combined in composing a scene in the awful tragedy of
human life which the mind of Deity alone can comprehend.

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

1. Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors and to
ensure consistent spelling and punctuation in this etext; otherwise,
every effort has been made to remain true to the original book.

2. The sidenotes used in this text were originally published as
banners in the page headers, and have been moved to the relevant
paragraph for the reader's convenience.

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