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´╗┐Title: Indian Biography; Vol. 1 of 2 - Or, An Historical Account of Those Who Have Been Distinguished....
Author: Thatcher, B. B.
Language: English
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{Illustration: Cover}

                           INDIAN BIOGRAPHY:

                           AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
                               OF THOSE
                        THE NORTH AMERICAN NATIVES


                       OTHER REMARKABLE CHARACTERS.

                              * * * * *

                           B. B. THATCHER, ESQ.

                              * * * * *

                             IN TWO VOLUMES.
                               VOL. I.

                              * * * * *


                      PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,
                          No. 82 CLIFF-STREET

                              * * * * *


   [Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by
   Harper & Brothers in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District
   of New-York.]


The Author does not propose an elaborate explanation, nor an apology of
any kind, for the benefit of the following work. If it absolutely requires
either, he must even be content to have written it in vain, as no
statement or argument can give it any degree of vitality or popularity in
the one case or in the other.

He has regarded it, historically, as an act of mere Justice to the fame
and the memories of many wise, brilliant, brave and generous
men,--patriots, orators, warriors and statesmen,--who ruled over barbarian
communities, and were indeed themselves barbarians, but whose influence,
eloquence and success of every description were _therefore_ but the nobler
objects of admiration and the worthier subjects for record. Nor can
Philosophy look upon them without predilection. Comparatively
unopinionated and unaffected as they were,--governed by impulse and guided
by native sense,--owing little to circumstances, and struggling much
amidst and against them,--their situation was the best possible for
developing both genius and principle, and their education at the sane time
the best for disclosing them. Their Lives, then, should illustrate the
true constitution of man. They should have, above all other history, the
praise and the interest of "philosophy teaching, by example."

The strictly moral inducements which have operated on the Author's mind,
must be too obvious to require dissertation. We owe, and our Fathers owed,
too much to the Indians,--too much from man to man,--too much from race to
race,--to deny them the poor restitution of historical justice at least,
however the issue may have been or may be with themselves. Nor need it be
suggested, that selfishness alone might dictate the policy of a collection
such as the Author has endeavored to make this, were it only for the
collateral light which it constantly throws on the history and biography of
our own nation.

Nothing of the same character is before the public. What may be called an
Indian Biographical Dictionary has indeed recently appeared, and to that
the Author has gladly referred in the course of his researches; but the
extreme difficulty of doing justice to any individuals of the race, and at
the same time to _all,_ may be inferred from the fact that the writer
alluded to has noticed such men as Uncas in some six or eight lines, while
he has wholly omitted characters so important as Buckongahelas, White-eyes,
Pipe, and Occonoetota. On these, and on all their more eminent countrymen,
the Author has intended to bestow the notice they deserve, by passing over
the vast multitude distinguished only by detached anecdote, or described
only in general terms.

In fine, conscious of many imperfections, but also conscious of a strenuous
exertion to render them as few and small as might be, the Author submits
the Biography to the public, and especially to the candor of those whose
own labors, if not the results of them, have shown them the essential
fallibility of every composition like this. He will have reason to be
satisfied if it do good, as he will assuredly be gratified if it give

Boston, Sept. 10, 1832.


 CHAP. I.--The Indian tribes of Virginia at the date of the Jamestown
  settlement; their names, numbers and power--The Powhatan
  confederacy--The Indian Village of that name--Powhatan--The
  circumstances of the first interview between him and the
  English--Opechancanough, his brother--Opitchipan--Reception of Captain
  Smith by Powhatan--Interposition of Pocahontas in his favor--Second
  visit of the colonists--Third visit, and coronation--Entertainment of
  Smith by Pocahontas--Contest of ingenuity between Powhatan and Smith;
  and between the latter and Opechancanough--Smith saved again by
  Pocahontas--Political manoeuvres of Powhatan and Opechancanough--Smith's
  return to Jamestown.

                                                                    page 9

 CHAP. II.--Conduct of Powhatan after Smith's departure for England, and
  causes of it--Hostilities resumed--Peace finally effected by the capture
  of Pocahontas--Manner of gaining this point--Marriage of Pocahontas with
  John Rolfe--Death and character of Powhatan--His person, manner of
  living, talents, influence. His method and means of warfare--The
  discipline of his warriors--The manner in which he availed himself of
  the English arms and science--Causes of his hostility towards the
  colonists--His dignity--Shrewdness--Independence--Courtesy--Liberality--
  Simplicity--Affection for his relatives--A review of various opinions
  entertained of him by various historians.


 CHAP. III.--The family of Powhatan--His successor--Sequel of the history
  of Pocahontas--Her acts of kindness to the colonists at various times,
  and especially to Smith--His gratitude--Her civilisation, and
  instruction in Christianity--Her visit to England in 1616--Reception at
  Court--Interview with Smith--His memorial respecting her to Queen
  Anne--Her death and character--Her descendants.


 CHAP. IV.--Sequel of the history of Opechancanough--Renewal, by him and
  Opitchipan, of the treaty of peace--Finesse by which he extended his
  dominion over the Chickahominies--Preparations for War--Causes of
  it--Profound dissimulation under which his hostility was
  concealed--Indian custom of making Conjurers--Manoeuvres against the
  English interest--The great massacre of 1622; circumstances and
  consequences of it--particular occasion which led to it--Character and
  death of Nemattanow--Details of the war subsequent to the
  massacre--Truce broken by the English--New exertions of
  Opechancanough--Battle of Pamunkey--Peace of 1632--Massacre of
  1641--Capture of Opechancanough by  the English--His death and


 CHAP. V.--Biography of other Virginian chieftains--Opitchipan--Some
  particulars respecting Tomocomo--His visit to England, interview with
  Captain Smith, and return to America--Japakaws, chief sachem of the
  Patowomekes--His friendship for the English--Ill treatment which he
  received from them--Totopotomoi, successor of Opechancanough--His
  services--His death in 1656--Notices of several native chiefs of North
  Carolina--Granganimo who dies in 1585--Menatenon, king of the
  Chowanocks--Ensenore, father of Granganimo; and Wingina, his
  brother--Plot of the latter against the Hatteras colony--His
  death--Comment on the Carolinian Biography.


 CHAP. VI.--Synopsis of the New England Indians at the date of the
  Plymouth settlement--The Pokanoket confederacy--The Wampanoag
  tribe--Their first head-Sachem known to the English, Massasoit--The
  first interview between him and the whites--His visit to Plymouth, in
  1621--Treaty of peace and friendship--Embassy sent to him at Sowams, by
  the English--Anecdotes respecting it--He is suspected of treachery or
  hostility, in 1622--His sickness in 1623--A second deputation visits
  him--Ceremonies and results of the visit--His intercourse with other
  tribes--Conveyances of land to the English--His death and


 CHAP. VII.--Massasoit succeeded by his son Alexander--The occasion of
  that name being given by the English--History of Alexander previous to
  his father's death--Covenant made with Plymouth in 1639--Measures taken
  in pursuance of it, in 1661--Anecdote illustrating the character of
  Alexander--Notice of the charges made against him--Examination of the
  transaction which led to his death--Accession of Phillip--Renewal of the
  treaty by him--Interruption of harmony--Supposed causes of it--Measures
  taken in consequence--Philip's submission--Letter to the Plymouth
  Governor--Second submission in 1671--Remarks on the causes of Phillip's


 CHAP. VIII.--Preparations for war between Philip and the Colonies--Great
  excitement of the times--Deposition of Hugh Cole--Immediate occasion of
  hostilities--Commencement of them, June 24th, 1675--Summary sketch of
  the war--Consequences to the parties engaged--Exertions, adventures and
  escapes of King Philip--His death--Anecdotes respecting
  him--Observations on his character--His courage, dignity, kindness,
  independence shrewdness, and self-command--Fate of his family--Defence
  of his conduct.


 CHAP. IX.--The Narraghansett tribe; territory and power--Chief Sachems at
  the date of the English settlements in New England--Canonicus associates
  with himself Miantonomo, his nephew--Their treatment of Roger Williams
  in 1634--Hostility to the Plymouth Colony--Invited by the Pequots to
  fight the English--Treaty negotiated at Boston, in 1636, by
  Miantonomo--War with the Pequots and result of it--Subsequent hostility
  between Miantonomo and Uncas--Sequassen--Battle of the
  Sachem's-Plain--Capture of Miantonomo--Sentence of the English
  commissioners upon him--Execution of it.


 CHAP. X.--Consideration of the justice of the Commissioners sentence upon
  Miantonomo--Their reasons, as alleged--The charge against him of
  ambitious designs--Of employing the Mohawks--Of breaking the league of
  1638--"Concerning the Pequot squaws"--Of hostility to the English--Of
  peculation--Proofs of his fidelity and friendship--Causes of complaint
  by him and Canonicus against the English--Character of both
  Sachems--Their treatment of Roger Williams--Letters of that
  gentleman--Anecdotes--Death of Canonicus.


 CHAP. XI.--Canonicus succeeded by Pessacus--Mexhan--Ninigret, Sachem of
  the Nianticks--Proposals made by them to the English, and by the English
  in return--They commence hostilities against Uncas--The English resolve
  to make war upon them--They make concessions--Their visits to
  Boston--Subsequent movements against Uncas. An armed party sent against
  Ninigret and Pessacus--They are accused of a league with the Dutch
  against the English.


 CHAP. XII.--Sequel of the lives of Ninigret and Pessacus, from
  1653--Various accusations, deputations, and hostile movements between
  them and the English--Controversy between Ninigret and Harmon
  Garrett--Application for justice in 1675--Conduct of Ninigret in
  Philip's War--Consequences of it--His death--Death of Pessacus--Some of
  the charges against the former considered--His hostility to Uncas, and
  the Long Islanders, and "League with the Dutch"--Remarks on his


 CHAP. XIII.--The Pequot tribe--Their first chief-sachem known to the
  English, Pekoath--succeeded by Sassacus--An embassy sent to Boston in
  1631--Residence and strong-hold of Sassacus--His earliest intercourse
  with the English--Murder of Captain Stone--Justification of it by
  Sassacus--He proposes a treaty of peace in 1634--Sends deputies to
  Boston twice--Treaty concluded--Anecdotes--His wars with the
  Narraghansetts--Fresh controversy with the English--They send an armed
  party to demand damages--Conduct of the party, and consequences of
  it--War with the Pequots in 1636--Political movements of
  Sassacus--English expedition against him in 1637--He is defeated--Driven
  from his country--Killed by the Mohawks--The English policy in his case
  briefly considered.


 CHAP. XIV.--The Pequot territory claimed by Uncas--His tribe, family, and
  early history--Services in the Pequot expedition rewarded by the
  English--Effect of their favor--His contest with Miantonomo, and
  result--Subsequent wars and quarrels with various tribes and
  chiefs--Assistance rendered him by the English--Complaints brought
  against him to them--His Christianity considered--His morality--Evidence
  of his fraud, falsehood, violence, tyranny, ambition--His services, and
  those of his tribe to the English--Manner in which he met the
  accusations made against him--Cunning and servility--His treatment of
  neighboring sachems--Various negotiations with the English--His
  death--fate of his tribe.


 CHAP. XV.--Indians who submitted to Massachusetts--The Gortonists--Pomham,
  Sachem of Shaomet, and Saconoco complain of them--Submit to the
  Government--Their examination and entertainment--Policy of Massachusetts
  in the case of Pomham--He and Saconoco much harassed by their
  neighbors--Subsequent history--Pomham takes part in Philip's war, and is
  killed--Canonchet, son of Miantonomo--His agreement of October,
  1675--Weetamore Squaw-Sachem of Pocasset--Canonchet's career during
  Philip's war--Particulars of his surprisal and death--His
  character--Anecdotes--His reputation with the English--Defence of his


 CHAP. XVI.--Account of the Pawtucket confederacy in New
  Hampshire--Passaconaway, their Chief Sachem--He is disarmed by order of
  the Massachusetts Government. His residence, age and authority--He
  maintains a good understanding with the English--Visits Boston--The
  Apostle Elliot's acquaintance with and notice of him--His views of
  Christianity--Festival, and Farewell speech to his tribe in 1660--Death
  and character--His son and successor, Wonolanset. Anecdotes of the
  family--Legend of Passaconaway's feats as a Powah.


                           INDIAN BIOGRAPHY.

                              * * * * *

                              CHAPTER 1.

 The Indian tribes of Virginia at the date of the Jamestown settlement;
  their names, numbers and power--The Powhatan confederacy--The Indian
  Village of that name--Powhatan--The circumstances of the first interview
  between him and the English--Opechancanough, his
  brother--Opitchipan--Reception of Captain Smith by
  Powhatan--Interposition of Pocahontas in his favor--Second visit of the
  colonists--Third visit, and coronation--Entertainment of Smith by
  Pocahontas--Contest of ingenuity between Powhatan and Smith; and
  between the latter and Opechancanough--Smith saved again by
  Pocahontas--Political manoeuvres of Powhatan and Opechancanough--Smith's
  return to Jamestown.

At the date of the first permanent settlement effected within the limits
of Virginia, and for an unknown period previous to that date, the country
from the sea-coast to the Allegheny, and from the most southern waters of
James river to Patuxent river, (now in the state of Maryland) was occupied
by three principal native nations. Each of these nations was a confederacy
of larger or smaller tribes; and each tribe was subdivided into towns,
families or clans, who lived together. [FN] The three general names by
which these communities have been ordinarily known, are the Mannahoacks,
the Monacans and the Powhatans.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Jefferson's Notes on Virginia.  The author has apparently intended
 to use the word _family_ in its most enlarged sense.

Of these, the two former might be called highland or mountain Indians.
They all lived upon the banks of the various small streams which water the
hilly country between the falls of the Atlantic rivers and the Alleghany
ridge. The Mannahoacks consisted of eight tribes, five of which were
located between the Potomac and Rappahannoc, and three between the last
named river and the York. Of the five tribes of the Monacans, [FN] two
were between the York and James, and three extended southward from the
James to the boundaries of Carolina. The most powerful respectively of the
eight and of the five--the Mannahoacks and the Monacans, properly so
called--seem to have given their own names to the entire nation or
confederacy of which they were members. The former tribe occupied chiefly
what are now Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. The latter resided upon
James river above the falls.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] It may be well to take this occasion of observing, that the author's
 only rule in the orthography of Indian term has been to follow what
 appears to be the most approved usage. Stith uses Manakins, instead of

The Powhatan nation inhabited the lowland tract, extending laterally from
the ocean to the falls of the rivers, and from Carolina on the south to
the Patuxent on the north. This comprised a much larger number of tribes
than either of the others. As many as ten of them (including the
Tauxenents, whose chief residence was about Mount Vernon) were settled
between the Potomac and Rappahannoc. [FN] Five others extended between the
Rappahannoc and York; eight between the York and James, and five between
the James and the borders of Carolina. Beside these, the Accohanocks and
Accomacks, on what is called the Eastern Shore (of Chesapeake Bay) have
also been considered a part of this nation.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Both these rivers have derived their names from the tribes
 originally settled on them. The former have been commonly called the

The territory occupied by the whole of this great confederacy, south of
the Potomac, comprehended about 8,000 square miles. Smith tells us in his
history, [FN] that within sixty miles of Jamestown were 5,000 natives, of
whom 1,500 were warriors. Mr. Jefferson has computed the whole number of
Powhatan warriors at 2,400, which, according to the proportions between
Smith's estimates (being three to ten) would give an entire population of
8,000, or one to each square mile.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A work of which the value is well known to all readers of the early
 American history. The title is--"The Trve Travels, Adventures and
 Observations of Captaine Iohn Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke and America,
 beginning about the yeere 1593, and continued to this present 1629." We
 copy from the London edition of the date last named.

This calculation is probably quite moderate enough. It would leave an
average of less than one hundred warriors to each of the thirty tribes.
But we find it recorded by an early writer, that three hundred appeared
under an Indian chieftain in one body at one time, and seven hundred at
another; all of whom were apparently of his own tribe. The Chickahominies
alone had between three hundred and four hundred fighting men. The
Nansamonds and Chesapeaks showed on one occasion a force of four hundred.
And when Smith ascended the Potomac, in June 1608, though he saw no
inhabitants for the first thirty miles, he had scarcely entered "a little
bayed creeke towards Onawmanient (now Nominy) when he found all the woods
roundabout layd with ambuscadoes to the number of _three or four thousand_
Savages, so strangely paynted, grimmed and disguised, shouting, yelling
and crying as so many spirits from hell could not have shewed more

It is well known that the valiant Captain was wont to express his opinions
in strong terms, but he has rarely been detected in any great inaccuracy.
And the circumstances of this case are in his favor; for it has been truly
remarked, that the Powhatan confederacy inhabited a country upon which
nature had bestowed singular advantages. Unlike the natives of more
northern region, they suffered little from cold, and less from famine.
Their settlements were mostly on the banks of James, Elizabeth, Nansamond,
York and Chickahominy rivers, all which abounded with the most delicious
fish and fowl. In his Potomac expedition, Smith met with "that aboundance
of fish, lying so thicke with their heads above the water, as for want of
nets, (our barge driving amongst them) we attempted to catch them _with a
frying-pan._" And though the captain naturally enough concluded, after
some trials, that this was a poor instrument for his purpose, he persists
in adding that "neither better fish, more plentie, nor more varietie for
small fish had any of vs euer seene in any place so swimming in the
water--but they are not to be caught with frying-pans." He found the
stingrays in such abundance among the reeds at the mouth of the
Rappahannoc, that he amused himself by nailing them to the ground with his
sword: "and, thus," he observes, "we tooke more in owne houre than we could
eate in a day."

Vast quantities of corn, too, yearly rewarded even the simple agriculture
of the Indians, bestowed as it was upon the best portions of a generous
soil. "Great heapes" of it were seen at Kekoughtan, "and then they brought
him venison, turkies, wild fowle, bread and what else they had." In none
of his captivities, or his visits among the natives, did the captain ever
suffer from want of food; and he often brought off his boat and his men
laden with plenty. The Nansamonds gave him 400 baskets-full at one time.
The Chickahominies, though they complained extremely of their own wants,
yet "fraughted" him with hundred bushels. The woods furnished another
inexhaustible supply both of fruits and game; so that, on the whole, it is
very easy to believe, that a considerably greater population than Mr.
Jefferson's estimate supposes, might have subsisted without much
difficulty on the soil they are known to have occupied. "And now the
winter [of 1607--8] approaching," we are informed in another passage, "the
rivers became so covered with swans, geese, duckes and cranes, that we
daily feasted with good bread, Virginia pease, pumpions and putchamins,
[FN] fish, fowle, and diverse sorts of wild beasts, so fast as we could
eate them; so that none of our Tuftaffaty humourists desired to go for
England." On one occasion, when Smith undertook an exploring tour into the
interior, late in the season, a violent storm obliged him and his men to
keep Christmas among the savages. "And we were never more merry," he
relates, "nor fed on more plenty of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowle
and good bread, nor ever had better fires in England." In a peaceful
interval of a few months, which occurred during the next season, the
Indians are said to have brought into Jamestown more than a hundred deer
and other beasts daily for several weeks.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A species of indigenous plum, which is elsewhere described as
 growing to a considerable height, with fruit like a medlar, first green,
 then yellow, and red when ripe. "If it be not ripe, it will draw a man's
 mouth awry with much torment. If ripe, it is delicious as an apricot."

It is evident, at least, that the Powhatan confederacy must have been
among the most numerous on the continent. It was warlike too; and though
the situation of the Monacans and Mannahoacks among the hills of the back
country protected them in some measure, yet nothing but a union of these
two nations could assure them of security against their more powerful
neighbors on the coast.

The Powhatans proper, who gave their own appellation to the confederacy of
which they were leading members, were located in what is now Henrico
county, on the banks of the James river, and at the distance of about two
days' journey from the English settlement at its mouth. The principal
chief--or _emperor,_ as the old historians style him--of the thirty tribes
of the nation, was found by the first colonists residing with these
Indians, and is believed to have been one of their number by birth. His
proper name was Wahunsonacook. He had that of Powhatan, by which he has
been generally designated, from the town so called, which was the chief
seat and metropolis of his hereditary dominions. This town is described as
pleasantly situated on a hill. It consisted of twelve houses; in front of
which were three islets in the river, not far from what in modern times
has been called Mayo's plantation, and a little below the spot where
Richmond now stands. It was considered by the English both the strongest
and pleasantest place in the whole country; [FN] and was consequently
named _Nonsuch,_ it seems, about two years after the settlement at
Jamestown, when it was purchased of the emperor by Smith. "The place is
very pleasant," says the captain in his history, "and strong by nature,
and about it are many corn fields."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith's History, p. 105.

The occasion of the first acquaintance which the colonists had with
Powhatan was as follows. The adventurous and ambitious spirit of Smith had
prompted him to make several journeys and voyages along the Virginia
coast, and into the interior of the country. Within a few months after the
settlement of Jamestown, among other tribes he discovered the
Chickahominies, and procured a large quantity of provision from them at a
time when the colonists were in great need of it.

But with the idle and unruly in the colony, this good fortune served only
to produce murmuring. They complained of his having done so little instead
of applauding him for having done so much; and some even of the council
undertook to say, that he ought to have followed up the Chickahominy river
to its source.

Smith was not a man to submit tamely to reproach. He set off again,
therefore, in the winter of 1607-8, taking with him a crew sufficient to
manage a barge and a smaller boat proper for the navigation of the upper
streams.  He ascended the Chickahominy with the barge, as far as it could
be forced up, by dint of great labor in cutting away trees and clearing a
passage. Then leaving it in a broad bay or cove, out of reach of the
savages on the banks, the captain, with two other whites, and two friendly
Indians, proceeded higher up in the smaller boat. Those who were left
meanwhile in possession of the barge, were ordered on no account to go on
shore until his return. The order was disobeyed; for he was scarcely out of
sight and hearing, when the whole of the crew went ashore. They were very
near forfeiting their lives for their rashness. The Indians, to the number
of two or three hundred, lay wait for them among the woods on the bank of
the river, under the direction of Opechancanough, Sachem of the Pamunkies
and reputed brother of Powhatan. One George Cassen was taken prisoner; and
the savages soon compelled him to tell them which way Smith had gone. They
then put him to death in a cruel manner, and continued the pursuit.

The captain, meanwhile, little dreaming of any accident, had gone twenty
miles up the river, and was now among the marshes at its source. Here his
pursuers came suddenly upon the two English-men, who had hauled up their
boat, and lain down to sleep by a fire on the dry land, (while Smith
himself went out some distance to kill game with his musket for a supper.)
The unfortunate wretches were shot full of arrows and despatched. The
savages then pressed on after Smith, and at last overtook him. Finding
himself beset by the multitude, he coolly bound to his arm, with his
garters, the young Indian who had attended him as guide, for a
buckler--(what had become of the other, does not appear)--and received the
enemy's onset so briskly with his fire-arms, that he soon laid three of
them dead on the spot, and wounded and galled many others so effectually
that none appeared anxious to approach him. He was himself wounded
slightly in the thigh, and had many arrows sticking in his clothes; but he
still kept the enemy at bay. His next movement was to endeavor to sheer
off to his boat; but taking more notice of his foe than his path, as he
went, he suddenly slipped up to his middle in an oozy creek. Hampered as
he was in this awkward position, not an Indian dared venture near him,
until, finding himself almost dead with cold, he threw away his arms and
surrendered. Then drawing him out, they carried him to the fire where his
men had been slain, carefully chafed his benumbed limbs, and finally
restored him to the use of them.

The incidents of the ensuing scene are a striking illustration both of the
sagacity of the prisoner and the simplicity of his captors. He called for
their chief--through the intervention of his Indian guide, we suppose--and
Opechancanough came forward. Smith presented him with a round ivory double
compass-dial, which he had carried at his side. The savages were confounded
by the playing of the fly and needle, especially as the glass prevented
them from touching what they could see so plainly. He then gave them a sort
of astronomical lecture, demonstrating "by that Globe-like Iewell," as he
calls it, the roundness of the earth, the skies, the sphere of the sun,
moon and stars; "and how the sunne did chase the night round about the
world continually; the greatnesse of the land and sea, the diversitie of
nations, varietie of complexions, and how we were to them antipodes, and
many other such like matters," his tawny auditors standing all the while
motionless and dumb with amazement.

But within about an hour they returned to their original purpose of
killing him, as they had killed three of his comrades. He was tied to a
tree, and the savages drew up in a circle to shoot him. The arrow was
already laid upon a hundred bows. But at this moment Opechancanough held
up the compass. This was a signal of delay, if not of mercy, and they
threw by their arms at once. With great exultation and parade they then
conducted the captive to Orapakes, a hunting-residence of Powhatan, lying
on the north side of Chickahominy swamp, and much frequented by that Sachem
and his family, on account of the abundance of game it afforded. The order
of procession was a proper _Indian file._ Opechancanough, marching in the
centre, had the English swords and muskets carried before him as a trophy.
Next followed Smith, led by three stout savages who held him fast by the
arm; while on either side six more marched in file, with their arrows
notched, as flank-guards.

On arriving at Orapakes, a village consisting of some thirty to forty
mat-houses, the women and children flocked out to gaze at a being so
different from any they had ever before seen. The warriors, on the other
hand, immediately began a grand war-dance, the best description of which is
in Smith's own language. "A good time they continued this exercise, and
then cast themselues in a ring dauncing in such severall postures, and
singing and yelling out such hellish notes and screeches; being strangely
paynted, every one his quiver of arrowes, and at his backe a club; on his
arme a fox or an otter's skinne, or some such matter for a vambrace; their
heads and shoulders paynted red, with oyle and pocones [FN] mingled
together, which scarlet-like color made an exceeding handsome shew; his
bow in his hand, and the skinne of a bird with her wings abroad dryed,
tyed on his head; a peece of copper, a white shell, a long feather, with
a small rattle growing at the tayls of their snaks tyed, or some such like
toy." Thrice the performers stopped to take breath, and thrice they
renewed the dance--Smith and the Sachem meanwhile standing in the centre.
The company then broke up; and the prisoner was conducted to a long matted
wigwam, where thirty or forty tall stout savages remained about him as a
guard. Ere long, more bread and venison was brought him than would have
served twenty men. "I thinke," says the captain himself "his stomacke at
that time was not very good." He ate something, however, and the remainder
was put into baskets, and swung from the roof of the Wigwam over his head.

                              * * * * *

  [FN] A small root which turned red by being dried and beat into powder.
  It was used also for swellings, aches, anointing the joints after fatigue
  and exposure, and painting garments. Beverly calls it _puccoon._

About midnight these liberal provisioners set their fare before him again,
never tasting a morsel themselves all the while. But, in the morning, when
they brought in a fresh reinforcement, they ate the fragments of former
meals, and swung up the residue of the last one as before. So little reason
had the captain to complain of famine, that he began seriously to believe
they were fatting him for the slaughter. He suffered occasionally from the
cold, and would have suffered more but for an unexpected relief. An
Indian, named Mocasseter, brought him his _goune,_ as Smith calls
it--perhaps a fur mantle, or a blanket--and gave it to him, professedly in
requital of certain beads and toys which Smith had given _him_ at
Jamestown, immediately after his arrival in Virginia. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A fine illustration of that principle of gratitude which is
 proverbially characteristic of the Indians as their revenge, for similar
 reasons. No favor is wasted upon them, and no injury or insult is
 forgiven. The anecdote following this in the text is an instance
 in point.

Two days afterwards, he was violently assaulted, and but for his guard
would have been killed, by an old Indian whose son had been wounded in the
skirmish which took place at his capture. They conducted him to the
death-bed of the poor wretch, where he was found breathing his last. Smith
told them he had a kind of water at Jamestown which might effect a cure,
but they would not permit him to go for it, and the subject was soon
forgotten. Within a few days, they began to make great preparations for
assaulting the English Colony by surprise. They craved Smith's advice and
assistance in that proceeding, offering him not only life and liberty for
his services, but as much land or a settlement and as many women for wives
as he wanted--such an opinion had they formed of his knowledge and
prowess. He did every thing in his power to discourage their design, by
telling them of the mines, the cannon, and various other stratagems and
engines of war, used by the English. He could only succeed in prevailing
upon several of them to carry a note for him to Jamestown, (under pretence
of getting some toys,) in which he informed his countrymen of his own
situation and the intention of the savages, and requested them to send him
without fail by the bearers certain articles which he named. These were to
be deposited at a particular spot in the woods near Jamestown. The
messengers started off, we are told, in as severe weather as could be of
frost and snow, and arrived at Jamestown. There, seeing men sally out from
the town to meet them, as Smith had told them would be the case, they were
frightened and ran off. But the note was left behind; and so coming again
in the evening, they found the articles at the appointed place, and then
returned homeward in such haste as to reach Orapakes in three days after
they had left it.

All thoughts of an attack upon the colony being now extinguished in the
astonishment and terror excited by the feats of Smith, they proceeded to
lead him about the country in show and triumph. First they carried him to
the tribe living on the Youghtanund, since called the Pamunkey river; then
to the Mattaponies, the Piankatunks, the Nantaughtacunds on the
Rappahannoc, and the Nominies on Potomac river. Having completed this
route, they conducted him, through several other nations, to
Opechancanough's own habitation at Pamunkey; where, with frightful
howlings and many strange ceremonies, they "conjured" him three days in
order to ascertain, as they told him, whether he intended them well or
ill. [FN] An idea may be formed of these proceedings, which took place
under Opechancanough's inspection, from the exercises for one day as
described the captive himself.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith, p. 53.

Early in the morning, a great fire was made in a long house, and mats
spread upon each side of it, on one of which the prisoner was seated. His
bodyguard then left the house, "and presently came skipping in a great
grim fellow, paynted over with coale, mingled with oyle; and many snakes
and wesels skinnes stuffed with mosse, and all their tayles tyed together,
so as they met on the croune of his head in a tassell; and round about the
tassell was a coronet of feathers, the skinnes hanging round about his
head, backe and shoulders, and in a manner covered his face; with a
hellish voyce and a rattle in his hand." This personage commenced his
invocation with a great variety of gestures, postures, grimaces and
exclamations; and concluded with drawing a circle of meal round the fire.
Then rushed in three more performers of the same description, their bodies
painted half red and half black, their eyes white and their faces streaked
with red patches, apparently in imitation of English whiskers. These three
having danced about for a considerable time, made way for three more, with
red eyes, and white streaks upon black faces. At length all seated
themselves opposite to the prisoner, three on the right hand of the first
named functionary (who appeared to be the chief priest, and ringleader)
and three on the left. Then a song was commenced, accompanied with a
violent use of the rattles; upon which the chief priest laid down five
_wheat-corns,_ [FN] and began an oration, straining his arms and hands so
that he perspired freely, and his veins swelled. At the conclusion, all
gave a groan of assent, laid down three grains more, and renewed the song.
This went on until the fire was twice encircled. Other ceremonies of the
same character ensued, and last of all was brought on, towards evening, a
plentiful feast of the best provisions they could furnish. The circle of
meal was said to signify their country, the circles of corn the bounds of
the sea, and so on. The world, according to their theory, was round and
flat, like a trencher, and themselves located precisely in the midst.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] An inadvertency, we presume; or the words may be used rather loosely
 to signify what had as yet no distinctive name. Indian corn must be

After this, they showed Smith a bag of gun-powder, which had probably been
taken from the boat, and which they were carefully preserving till the
next spring, to plant with their corn--"because they would be acquainted
with the nature of that seede." Opitchipan, another brother of
Powhatan--of whom we have here the first mention--invited him to his
house, and treated him sumptuously; but no Indian, on this or any other
occasion, would eat with him. The fragments were put up in baskets; and
upon his return to Opechancanough's wigwam, the Sachem's wives and their
children flocked about him for their portions, "as a due by custom, to be
merry with such fragments."

At last they carried him to Werowocomoco, where was Powhatan himself. This
residence of his, lay on the north side of York river, in Gloster county,
nearly opposite the mouth of Green's creek and about twenty-five miles
below the mouth of the river. It was at this time his favorite village,
though afterwards, not coveting the near neighborhood of the English, he
retired to Orapakes. Powhatan, which gave him his name, was sold to the
English in 1609.

On his arrival in the village, Smith was detained until the emperor (as we
shall call him, for convenience,) and his train could prepare themselves
to receive their illustrious captive in proper state; and meanwhile more
than two hundred of these grim courtiers gathered about him to satisfy
their curiosity with gazing. He was then introduced to the royal presence,
the multitude hailing him with a tremendous shout, as he walked in.
Powhatan--a majestic and finely formed savage, with a marked countenance,
and an air of haughtiness sobered down into gravity by a life of sixty
years--was seated before a fire, upon a seat something like a bedstead,
and clothed in an ample robe of _Rarowcun_ [FN] skins, with all the tails
hanging over him. On each side sat a young wench of sixteen or eighteen
years old; and along each wall of the house, two rows of women in the rear
and two rows of men in front. All had their heads and shoulders painted
red. Many had their hair decked with the white down of birds. Some wore a
great chain of white beads about their necks. But no one was without
ornament of some kind.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A variation of Raccoon, perhaps.

Soon after Smith's entrance, a female of rank, said to be the queen of
Appamattuck, was directed to bring him water to wash his hands; and
another brought a bunch of feathers, to answer the purpose of a towel.
Having then feasted him (as he acknowledges) in the best barbarous manner
they could, a long and solemn consultation was held to determine his fate.
The decision was against him. The conclave resumed their silent gravity;
two great stones were brought in before Powhatan; and Smith was dragged
before them, and his head laid upon them, as a preparation for beating out
his brains with clubs. The fatal weapons were already raised, and the
savage multitude stood silently awaiting the prisoner's last moment. But
Smith was not destined thus to perish. Pocahontas, the beloved daughter of
Powhatan, rushed forward, and earnestly entreated with tears that the
victim might yet be spared. The royal savage rejected her request, and the
executioners stood ready for the signal of death. She knelt down, put her
arms about Smith, and laid her head over his, declaring she would perish
with him or save him. The heart of the stern Sachem was at length melted.
The decree was reversed; and the prisoner was spared for the purpose--as
the emperor explained it--of making hatchets for himself, and bells and
beads for his daughter. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] This celebrated scene is preserved in a beautiful piece of
 sculpture, over the western door of the Rotunda of the Capitol at
 Washington. The group consists of five figures, representing the
 precise moment when Pocahontas, by her interposition, saved Smith from
 being executed. Smith is attired in the military dress, reclining on his
 elbow, his body extended, ready to receive the death-blow from the
 war-mace of an Indian who stands near his head. This is the work we
 believe, of Capellano, an Italian pupil of Canova.

This was apparently a mere pretext for concealing the emotions which he
thought unworthy of his name as a warrior, and for preventing any jealousy
on the part of his counselors. And subsequent events would lead to the
same conclusion. He detained his prisoner but two days. At the end of that
time, he caused him to be conducted to a large house in the woods, and
there left alone upon a mat by the fire. In a short time, a horrible
noise was heard from behind a wide mat which divided the house; and then
Powhatan, dressed in the most fantastic manner, with some two hundred
followers as much begrimed and disguised as himself; came in and told
Smith that now they were friends; "and presently he should go to Jamestown
to send him two great guns and a grindstone, for which he would give him
the country of Capahowsick, and forever esteem him as his own son." He
was accordingly sent off with twelve guides, to Jamestown. The party
quartered in the woods one night, and reached the fort the next morning
betimes. The savages were handsomely entertained while they staid. Two
demi-culverins and mill-stone were shown them, with other curiosities.
They proposed to carry the former to Powhatan; but finding them somewhat
too heavy, contented themselves with a variety of lighter presents. They
were excessively frightened by a discharge of the culverins.--Smith, who
had political as well as personal motives in view, had loaded them with
stones, and these he fired among the boughs of a tree covered with huge
icicles. The effect may easily be imagined.

During the same winter, Smith visited Powhatan, in company with Captain
Newport, a gentleman newly arrived from England, who had already sent many
presents to the emperor. Attended by a guard of thirty or forty men, they
sailed as far as Werowocomoco the first day. Here Newport's courage failed
him. He was especially alarmed by the appearance of various bridges they
were obliged to pass over in crossing the streams; for these were so
loosely made of poles and bark, that he took them for traps set by the
savages. But Smith, with twenty men, leaving the boat, undertook to go
forward and accomplish the journey. He accordingly went on, and was soon
met by two or three hundred Indians, who conducted them into the town.
There Powhatan exerted himself to the utmost to give him a royal
entertainment. The people shouted for joy to see Smith; orations were
addressed to him; and a plentiful feast provided to refresh him after the
weariness of his voyage. The emperor received him, reclining upon his bed
of mats, his pillow of dressed skin lying beside him with its brilliant
embroidery of shells and beads, and his dress consisting chiefly of a
handsome fur robe "as large as an Irish mantell." At his head and feet
were two comely young women as before; and along the sides of the house
sat twenty other females, each with her head and shoulders painted red and
a great chain of white beads about her neck. "Before these sat his
chiefest men in like order in his arbor-like house, and more than fortie
platters of fine bread stood as a guard in two pyles on each side the
door. Foure or fiue hundred people made a guard behinde them for our
passage; and Proclamation was made, none vpon paine of death to presume to
doe vs any wrong or discourtesie. With many pretty discourses to renew
their old acquaintance, this great King and our captaine spent the time,
till the ebbe left our barge aground. Then renewing their feest with
feates, dauncing and singing, and such like mirth, we quartered that night
with Powhatan." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, Richmond Edition, p. 167.

The next day, Newport, who had thought better of his fears, came ashore,
and was welcomed in the same hospitable style. An English boy, named
Savage, was given to Powhatan at his request; and he returned the favor by
presenting Newport with an Indian named Nomontack, a trusty and shrewd
servant of his own. One motive for this arrangement was probably the
desire of gaining information respecting the English colony. During the
three or four days more which were passed in feasting, dancing and
trading, the old Sachem manifested so much dignity and so much discretion,
as to create a high admiration of his talents in the minds of his guests.
In one instance, he came near offending them by the exercise of his
shrewdness, although that may be fairly considered their fault rather than

Newport, it seems, had brought with him a variety of articles for a barter
commerce--such as he supposed would command a high price in corn. And
accordingly the Powhatans, generally of the lower class, traded eagerly
with him and his men. These, however, were not profitable customers; they
dealt upon a small scale; they had not much corn to spare. It was an
object therefore to drive a trade, with the emperor himself. But this he
affected to decline and despise. "Captain Newport," said he, "it is not
agreeable to my greatness to truck in this peddling manner for trifles. I
am a great Werowance, [FN] and I esteem you the same. Therefore lay me
down all your commodities together; what I like I will take, and in return
you shall have what I conceive to be a fair value." This proposal was
interpreted to Newport by Smith, who informed him at the same time of the
hazard he must incur in accepting it. But Newport was a vain man, and
confidently expected either to dazzle the emperor with his ostentation, or
overcome him with his bounty, so as to gain any request he might make. The
event unluckily proved otherwise. Powhatan, after coolly selecting such of
Newport's goods as he liked best, valued his own corn at such a rate, that
Smith says it might as well have been purchased in old Spain; they
received scarcely four bushels where they had counted upon twenty

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A Powhatan term of general signification, answering to Northern
 _Sachem,_ the _Basheba_ of Maine, and the English _Chief._

It was now Smith's turn to try his skill; and he made his experiment, more
wisely than his comrade, not upon the sagacity of the emperor but upon his
simplicity. He took out various toys and gewgaws, as it were accidentally,
and contrived, by glancing them dexterously in the light, to show them to
great advantage. It was not long before Powhatan fixed his observing eye
upon a string of brilliant blue beads. Presently he became importunate to
obtain them. But Smith was very unwilling to part with these precious
gems; they being, as he observed, composed of a most rare substance, of
the color of the skies, and fit to be worn only by the greatest kings in
the world. The savage grew more and more eager to own such jewels, so that
finally a bargain was struck, to the perfect satisfaction of all parties,
whereby Smith obtained between two and three hundred bushels of corn for a
pound or two of blue beads. A similar negotiation was immediately after
effected with Opechancanough at Pamunkey. He was furnished with a quantity
of this invaluable jewelry at very nearly the same price; and thus the
beads grew into such estimation among the Indians far and near, that none
but the great werowances, and their wives and children, dared to be seen
wearing them. They were imperial symbols of enormous value.

But it was not upon beads only that Powhatan set a high estimate. He
perceived the vast advantage which the English possessed over his own men
in their weapons; and he became exceedingly anxious to place himself upon
equal terms on one side with the colonists, while he should domineer over
the less fortunate foreign Indian tribes, as he liked, on the other. When
Newport left the country for England, he sent him twenty fine turkeys, and
requested in return the favor of as many swords, which that gentleman was
inconsiderate enough to furnish him. He subsequently passed the same
compliment to Smith; and when the latter gave him no swords in payment, he
was highly offended, and is said to have ordered his people to take them
wherever they could get them, by stratagem or by force. But Smith soon
checked this project in his usual summary manner; and Powhatan, finding
that game a desperate one, sent in Pocahontas with presents, to excuse
himself for the injury done "by some of his disorderly warriors," and to
desire that those who were captive might be liberated for this time on
their good behavior. Smith punished them sufficiently, and granted the
request of the emperor "for the sake of Pocahontas." The council were
offended at what they considered his cruelty; but Powhatan affected at
least to be satisfied.

We hear of the emperor again in September, (1608,) when Captain Newport
arrived with a second supply for the colony, and a new commission for
himself. By this he was authorized to make an exploring expedition, _for
gold,_ among the Monacans of the mountain country; and a barge was brought
out from England in five pieces, to be carried over the hills, and thence
convey the company _to the South Sea._ Smith opposed this sage proposition
on the ground of the necessities of the colony; they were especially in
want of provision to be laid in for the coming winter. But a large
majority were against him. He was even accused of jealousy towards
Newport; and the latter defeated all his opposition, as he thought, by
undertaking to procure a bark-load of corn from Powhatan, on his proposed
route to the South Sea, at Werowocomoco. He required, however, that one
hundred and twenty men should go with him; he put no confidence in the
friendship of the emperor or his subjects.

Smith now came forward, and volunteered to carry the necessary messages to
Powhatan himself, and to invite him to visit Jamestown, for the purpose of
receiving the presents brought over for him by Newport. Among these, it
appears, were a splendid basin and ewer, a bed, bedstead, clothes, and
various other costly novelties; the only effect of which would be, as
Smith alleged, to cause the emperor to overrate the importance of his own
favor, and to sell for gold and silver alone what he had heretofore sold
readily for copper and blue beads. Another of the presents was a royal
crown, sent out by his Britannic Majesty King James I. probably under the
expectation of wheedling Powhatan into submission to his own authority,
and at all events with orders to consecrate the "divine right" of his
royal ally in Virginia by the ceremonies of a solemn coronation.

Smith took with him four companions only, and went across the woods, by
land, about twelve miles, to Werowocomoco. Powhatan was then absent, at
the distance of twenty or thirty miles. Pocahontas immediately sent for
him, and meanwhile she and her women entertained their visitor in a style
too remarkable to be passed by without notice. A fire was made in a plain
open field, and Smith was seated before it on a mat, with his men about
him. Suddenly such a hideous noise was heard in the woods near by, that
the strangers betook themselves hastily to their arms, and even seized
upon two or three old Indians who were standing near, under the
apprehension that Powhatan with all his forces was come upon them by
surprise. But Pocahontas soon made her appearance; and a little
explanation convinced the captain that, however she might succeed or fail,
her only intention was to gratify and honor him. He mingled fearlessly
therefore with the Indian men, women and children, already assembled as
spectators, and the ceremonies went on.

"Then presently they were presented with this anticke. Thirtie young women
came naked out of the woods, only couered behind and before with a few
greene leaves; their bodies all paynted, some of one colour, and some of
another but all differing. Their leader had a fayre payre of Buck's hornes
on her head, and an Otter's skinne at her girdle, another at her arme, a
quiuer of arrowes at her backe, a bow and arrowes in her hand. The next
had in her hand a sword, another a club, another a pot-sticke, all horned
alike; the rest euery one with their severall devises. These fiends, with
most hellish shouts and cryes, rushing from among the trees, caste
themselves in a ring about the fire, singing and dauncing with the most
excellent ill varietie, oft falling into their infernall passions, and
solemnly again to sing and daunce. Having spent neer an hour in this
mascarado, as they entred, in like manner they departed."

"Having reaccomodated themselves, they solemnly invited him to their
lodgings, where he was no sooner within the house but all these nymphs
more tormented him than euer, with crowding, pressing and hanging about
him, most tediously crying, Loue you not me? Loue you not me? This
salutation ended, the feast was set, consisting of all the salvage
dainties they could deuise; some attending, others singing and dauncing
about them. This mirth being ended, with fire-brands instead of torches
they conducted him to his lodging.

    "Thus did they show their feates of armes, and other art in dauncing;
    Some others vs'd there oaten pipe, and others' voyces chaunting."

Powhatan arrived on the following day, and Smith delivered his message,
desiring him to visit "his father," Newport, at Jamestown, for the purpose
of receiving the newly arrived presents, and also concerting a campaign in
common _against the Monacans._ The subtle savage replied to this artful
proposal with his accustomed intelligence and independence. "If your king
has sent me presents," said he with great composure, "I also am a king,
and this is my land--Here I will stay eight days to receive them. _Your
Father_ is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your fort. I will not
bite at such a bait. As for the Monacans, I can avenge my own injuries. As
for Atquanachuck, where you say your brother was slain, it is a contrary
way from those parts you suppose it. And as for any salt water beyond the
mountains, the relations you have had from my people are false." Upon this
he began to delineate the geography of these various regions with a stick
upon the ground. After some farther discourse upon general and
complimentary subjects, Smith returned with his answer. His servant,
Nomontack, who had been to England with Newport, was given back to him
upon this occasion.

The presents were sent round to Werowocomoco, by water; and the two
captains went by land, with a guard of fifty men. The parties here agreed
upon the next day for the coronation; and at that time the presents were
brought in, the bed and furniture set up, and the scarlet cloak and other
apparel put on the emperor, though with much ado, and only in consequence
of Nomontack's earnest assurance that they would not injure him. As for
kneeling to receive the crown, which was requested of him, he entirely
exhausted the patience of his visitors by his resistance. They gained
their point in the end by stratagem. One leaned hard upon his shoulders,
so as to cause him to stoop a little, and three more stood ready to fix
the royal gewgaw on his head; whereupon, at the discharge of a pistol, the
guard were prepared with such a volley of musketry as a salute, that the
emperor (now a crowned-head at least) started up, as Smith says, in a
horrible fear till he saw all was well. Soon recovering his composure, he
generously gave his old shoes and mantle to Newport in acknowledgment of
his courtesy. But perceiving that the main object of that gentleman was to
discover the Monacans, he labored to divert his resolution, and absolutely
refused to lend any of his own men excepting Nomontack. Every thing was
said and done civilly, however; and, before leaving, Newport was presented
with a heap of corn-ears to the amount of seven or eight bushels, in
farther return for his politeness and his presents.

For some time after this, little was heard of Powhatan except occasionally
through the medium of some of his tribes, who are said to have refused
trading with the English in consequence of his orders to that effect. He
had become jealous of them, it would seem; and Smith, on the other hand,
reciprocated so much of his ill humor, that he at one time thought of
falling upon him by surprise, and taking away all his stores. But
appearances were still kept up on both sides; and in December, (1608) the
emperor invited the captain to visit him--he wanted his assistance in
building a house, and if he would bring with him a grindstone, fifty
swords, a few muskets, a cock and a hen, with a quantity of beads and
copper, he might depend upon getting a ship-load of corn. Smith, always
ready for an adventure, accepted the invitation, and set off with a
pinnace and two barges, manned by forty-six volunteers. The expedition was
considered so hazardous that many excused themselves from going, after
having engaged to do so; though all knew that if any thing was to be had,
Smith was not the man to return disappointed.

Commencing his voyage on the 29th of the month, with victualling for three
or four days, he lodged the first night at Warrasqueake. The chief Sachem
at this place, being friendly, did all in his power to dissuade the
captain from pursuing his journey. "Powhatan will use you kindly," said
he, "but he has sent for you only to cut your throat. Trust him not, and
give him no opportunity to seize upon your arms." The next night and
several more were passed at Kekoughtan, where the English were detained by
a severe storm, but found merry cheer, and good fires. The colonists who
were in the habit of traveling with Smith had learned hardihood. "They
were not curious in any weather, (he informs us,) to lye three or foure
nights together vnder the trees." They liked hunting too as they marched,
and here was a fine opportunity; "an hundred fortie eight foules, the
President, Anthony Bagnall, and Serieant Pising did kill at three shoots."
It was the 12th of January when they reached Werowocomoco.

They went ashore, quartered without much ceremony at the first house they
found, and sent to Powhatan for a supply of provisions. They were promptly
furnished with plenty of bread, venison and turkeys. Their liberal host
feasted them again the next day; but not without inquiring, at the close
of the entertainment, when they proposed to go home, insinuating that the
pleasure of their company was wholly unexpected, and that he and his
people had very little corn--though _for forty swords_  he thought forty
baskets might be collected. In reply, Smith asked if he had forgotten his
own invitation thus suddenly; and then produced the messengers who had
carried it, and who happened to be near at hand. The emperor affected to
regard the affair as a mere joke, and laughed heartily. Smith then
proposed trade; but Powhatan would take nothing but guns and swords, and
valued a basket of corn higher than a basket of copper. The captain was
nettled, and spoke his mind boldly and without reserve, giving the emperor
to understand withal, that necessity might force him to use disagreeable
expedients for relieving his own wants and the need of the colony.

Powhatan listened to this declaration with cool gravity, and replied with
a corresponding frankness "I will spare you what I can," said he, "and
that within two days. But, Captain Smith, I have some doubts as to your
object in this visit. I am informed that you wish to conquer more than to
trade, and at all events you know my people must be afraid to come near
you with their corn, so long as you go armed and with such a retinue. Lay
aside your weapons then. Here they are needless. We are all friends, all
Powhatans." The information alluded to here was probably gathered from
two or three Germans, who had deserted the colony and gone among the

A great contest of ingenuity now ensued between the Englishman and the
savage--the latter apparently endeavoring to temporise only for the
purpose of putting the former and his men on their guard. He especially
insisted on the propriety of laying aside their arms. "Captain Smith," he
continued, "I am old, and I know well the difference between peace and
war. I wish to live quietly with you, and wish the same for my successors.
Now the rumors which reach me on all hands make me uneasy. What do you
expect to gain by destroying us who provide you with food? And what can
you get by war, if we escape you and hide our provisions in the woods? We
are unarmed too, you see. Do you believe me such a fool as not to prefer
eating good meat, sleeping quietly with my wives and children, laughing
and making merry with you, having copper and hatchets and any thing
else--as your friend--to flying from you as your enemy, lying cold in the
woods, eating acorns and roots, and being so hunted by you meanwhile, that
if but a twig break, my men will cry out there comes Captain Smith. Let us
be friends, then. Do not invade us thus with such an armed force. Lay
aside these arms."

The captain answered this speech, and several others to the same effect,
until, either seeing or supposing that the emperor's object was hostile,
he gave secret orders for hauling his boat ashore through the ice, and
landing those of his company who still remained aboard. He also attempted
to detain Powhatan with the delivery of divers rigmarole harangues; but
the latter was not to be so easily outwitted. He introduced two or three
women to sustain a sharp conversation with the enemy, and suddenly availed
himself of that opportunity to leave the house, with all his attendants
and luggage. In a few minutes Smith found himself surrounded with Indians;
and thereupon, we are told, "with his pistoll, sword and target, hee made
such a passage among these naked Diuils, that at his first shoot those
next him tumbled one over another." The rest fled in all directions.

Powhatan was not yet discouraged. His men again flocked about Smith with
civil explanations of every thing which had happened; and he himself sent
him a large and handsome bracelet by the hand of one of his chief orators,
with a speech full of compliments and excuses. Baskets were furnished for
carrying the corn which had been sold aboard the boat; and the Indians
even offered their services _to guard the arms of the English,_ while
_they_ were taking care of the provisions. This favor was declined; but as
the English were still under the necessity of waiting for the tide of the
next morning, no pains were spared to entertain them with feasts and
sports meanwhile. Smith supposes that the Sachem was all this time
preparing his forces for surprising them at supper. He probably
conjectured right; and but for Pocahontas there is reason to believe that
this game would actually have succeeded. The kind-hearted princess came to
Smith's quarters in the woods, alone and in the evening, and earnestly
advised him by all means to leave her father's territories as soon as
possible. The latter was collecting all his power, she said, to make an
assault upon him, unless those who were sent with his supper should
themselves succeed in despatching him.

In less than an hour afterwards came eight or ten lusty fellows, with
great platters of venison and other victuals, who were importunate that
the English should _extinguish their matches,_ the smoke of which they
affected to think very disagreeable. The captain, without noticing this
circumstance, made them taste every dish, and then sent some of them back
to tell Powhatan that the English were ready to see him; as for
themselves, he understood their villainy, but they should go free. Other
messengers came in soon after, at intervals, to learn how matters went on.
The night was spent without sleep on either side. Each party watched the
movements of the other with vigilant eyes, while both were subtle and
civil enough still to affect friendship. At high water, Smith went off
with his company, leaving with the emperor, at his own request, an
Englishman to kill game for him, and two or three of the Germans to assist
him in building a house.

But the game was not yet over. He had no sooner set sail for Pamunkey,
than the emperor despatched a deputation across the woods to Jamestown, to
take advantage of his absence for buying up a quantity of ammunition and
arms. On arriving, these messengers told Captain Winne, the temporary
commander of the colony, "that their comming was for some extraordinary
tooles and shift of apparell; by which colourable excuse they obtained
sixe or seuen more [of the colonists] to their confederacie, such expert
theeues, that presently furnished them with a great many swords,
pike-heads, peeces, shot, powder and such like." [FN] Indians enough were
at hand to carry away the articles as soon as obtained; and the next day,
the deputation returned home unsuspected, after making an agreement for
the services of such traitorous vagabonds as were willing to desert from
the colony. One or two of those who had deserted already, had provided
Powhatan with as many as three hundred hatchets, fifty swords, eight
"pieces" and eight pikes.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, p. 213.

Meanwhile, Smith had arrived at Pamunkey, and here Opechancanough was
entertaining him with all manner of feasting and mirth. On the day agreed
upon between the parties for commencing trade, the captain, with fifteen
of his men, went up a quarter of a mile from the river to the Sachem's
house, the appointed rendezvous. He found no person there, excepting a
lame man and a boy. The other houses in the village were entirely
abandoned. Presently, however, came the Sachem, followed by many of his
subjects, well armed with bows and arrows. Attempts were made to buy corn,
but so unsuccessfully that Smith was provoked, and remonstrated as he had
done with Powhatan. Upon this, the Sachem sold what provision was at
hand, and promised to give better satisfaction the next day.

Then, accordingly, Smith made his appearance again. He found four or five
men at the house with great baskets, but whether with any thing in them
does not appear. Opechancanough himself came in soon after, and commenced
a cheerful conversation, enlarging particularly upon the pains he had
taken to keep his promise. Just at this moment one of Smith's company
brought him word that the house was beset. The woods and fields all around
him were thronged with more than seven hundred savages, armed and painted
for battle.

The English, of whom there were only fifteen on shore, were generally much
alarmed at this news, and could easily perceive that Opechancanough
enjoyed their surprise. But Smith was now in his element. "My worthy
countrymen," said he to his trembling comrades, "Had I no more to fear
from my friends, than from these enemies, I should be willing to meet
twice as many--would you but second me. But what course shall be taken?
If we begin with them, and seize the king, we shall have more than our
hands full to keep him and defend ourselves. If we kill them all, we must
starve for want of their provisions. As for their fury, that is the least
subject of apprehension. You know I have heretofore managed two or three
hundreds of them alone. Now here are sixteen of us, to their seven
hundred. If you dare stand but to fire your pieces the very smoke will be
enough for them. But at all events let us fight like men, and not die like
sheep. First, however, let me propose some conditions to them, and so we
shall have something to fight for." The occasion admitting of no argument,
the company pledged themselves promptly to second him in whatever he
attempted, or die.

The captain then advanced towards the Sachem, and addressed him.
"Opechancanough," said he, "I perceive you are plotting to murder me, but
I fear you not. As yet neither your men nor mine have done much harm. Now
therefore take your arms--as you see here are mine--my body shall be as
naked as yours--the island in the river is a fit place for a combat, and
the conqueror of us two, shall be master of all. If you have not men
enough about you, take time to muster more--has many as you will--only let
everyone bring his basket of corn, and against that I will stake the value
in copper."

The Sachem replied very soothingly to this proposal. He was sorry to see
any suspicion of unkindness; and begged that the captain would do him the
honor to accept a handsome present, (by way of peace-offering,) which was
ready for him at the door of the house. The object of this suggestion was
sufficiently obvious; for besides the forty or fifty Indians constituting
the Sachem's body-guard within, "the bait," as Smith calls it, at the
door, (meaning the present) was guarded by about two hundred men, and
thirty more were stationed behind a large tree which lay lengthwise
athwart the passage-way with their arrows ready notched. It was now
Smith's turn to make a movement. He seized the Sachem in the midst of his
retinue, by his long locks, presenting a pistol ready-cocked at his bosom;
and in this position led him out trembling with terror, among the
multitude who surrounded the house. He immediately gave up his vambrace,
bow and arrows, and his frightened subjects hastened to follow his

"I perceive, ye Pamunkies"--shouted the captain at this moment, still
holding on by the Sachem's hair--"I perceive how eager ye are to kill me.
My own long suffering is the cause of your insolence. Now shoot but one
arrow to shed one drop of blood for one of these men, or steal but the
least of these beads, and ye shall not hear the last of me so long as a
Pamunkey remains alive who will not deny the name. I am not _now_ in the
mire of a swamp, ye perceive. Shoot then, if ye dare. But at all hazards
ye shall load my boat with your corn, or I will load her with your
carcasses. Still, unless you give me the first occasion, we may be
friends, and your king may go free. I have no wish to harm him or you."

This speech had its effect. The savages laid aside their arms, and brought
in their commodities for trade in such abundance, that the English at
length became absolutely weary of receiving them. Once indeed, in the
course of the day, some forty or fifty stout fellows made a violent rush
into the house when Smith was asleep, and some two hundred more followed
close after them; but by Smith's usual activity they were soon driven
back, and then the Sachem sent some of his ancients, or counselors, to
excuse the intrusion. The rest of the day passed in harmony, and towards
night the captain began his return-voyage down the river, leaving the
Sachem at liberty. Various attempts were made to surprise him on the
route, and he was at one time near being poisoned to death in his food. On
the other hand, Smith was determined not to go home without his revenge
upon Powhatan. He returned by way of Werowocomoco for the purpose of
seizing him; but he found, when he reached that village, that the
traitorous Germans had caused the emperor to abandon his new house, and
carry off all his family and provision. Those of the Powhatans who
remained, treated the English so indifferently, that the latter had much
ado to escape with their lives. They finally reached Jamestown after an
absence of six weeks, with a cargo of four hundred and seventy-nine
bushels of corn and two hundred pounds of deer-suet, that entire
amount having been purchased for twenty-five pounds of copper and fifty
pounds of iron and beads.

                              * * * * *

                              CHAPTER II.

 Conduct of Powhatan after Smith's departure for England, and causes of
  it--Hostilities resumed--Peace finally effected by the capture of
  Pocahontas--Manner of gaining this point--Marriage of Pocahontas with
  John Rolfe--Death and character of Powhatan--His person, manner of
  living, talents, influence. His method and means of warfare--The
  discipline of his warriors--The manner in which he availed himself of
  the English arms and science--Causes of his hostility towards the
  colonists--His dignity--Shrewdness--Independence--Courtesy--Liberality--
  Simplicity--Affection for his relatives--A review of various opinions
  entertained of him by various historians.

From the date of the expedition of which the particulars have just been
given, to the time of Smith's departure for England, a few months
subsequent, the English and the Powhatans treated and traded with each
other upon tolerably amicable terms. A principal cause of this harmony is
to be looked for in several fortunate incidents which went to impress the
savage simplicity of one party with an inordinate conception of the
superiority of the other.

Soon after the return of the expedition, several articles were stolen at
Jamestown by one of the Chickahominy Indians who traded there; and a
pistol among the rest. The thief fled, but two of his brothers, suspected
of being accessories in the case, were apprehended. One of them was
discharged, to go in search of the offender; and the other was imprisoned,
with the understanding that unless the former should be successful in his
search within twelve hours, _he_ was to be hanged. But for his comfort
during that interval, Smith furnished him with victuals, and charcoal for
a fire. In the evening, the man who had been discharged, returned with the
pistol; but the poor fellow in the dungeon was meanwhile very nearly
smothered with the smoke of his coal. Those who came to release him took
him up for dead. "The other most lamentably bewayled his death, and broke
forth into such bitter agonies that the President [Smith] to quiet him,
told him that if he would steale no more, he would make him [his brother]
alive again; but he little thought he could be recovered. Yet we doing our
best with aqua Vita and Vinegar, it pleased God to restore him againe to
life, but so drunke and affrighted that he seemed lunaticke, the which as
much tormented and grieued the other, as before to see him dead. Of this
maladie, vpon promise of their good behavour, the President promised to
recover him; and so caused him to be layd by a fire to sleepe, who in the
morning having well slept had recovered his perfect senses, and then being
dressed of his burning, and each a peece of copper given them, they went
away so well contented _that this was spread among all the savages for a
miracle,_ that Captain Smith could make a man alive that was dead" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, p. 226.

Another of the incidents just alluded to is as follows. One of Powhatan's
subjects, in his zeal to acquire knowledge and some other things, obtained
possession of a large bag of gun-powder and the backe, as Smith calls it,
of an armour. This ingenious artisan, on his return to Werowocomoco,
determined to display these precious prizes to his wondering country-men,
and at the same time to exhibit his own extraordinary skill in the
management of them. He therefore began drying the powder upon the armour,
as he had seen the soldiers do at Jamestown. Unluckily, he dried it too
much. An explosion took, place, which blew up the proprietor, together
with one or two of the spectators who were peeping over his shoulders.
Several others were badly scorched, and all horribly frightened; and for
some time after powder fell into a general disuse with the savages, much
to the benefit of the English.

These and other similar accidents, we are told, so affrighted Powhatan and
his people, that they came in from every quarter with proffers of peace.
Several stolen articles were returned, the loss of which had never before
been discovered; and whenever an Indian was convicted of theft, wherever
he might be found, he was promptly sent in to Jamestown for his
punishment. Not long afterwards we find that "so affraide was al those
kings and the better sort of the people to displease vs [the colonists]
that some of the baser sort that we haue extreamely hurt and punished for
their villianies, would hire vs we should not tell it to their kings or
countrymen, who would also punish them, and yet returne them to
Iames-Toune to content the President for a testimony of their loues."

Still, the prowess and the name of Smith himself were the best
preservatives of peace; and he had scarcely left the country for England
when matters relapsed into their worst state. About thirty of the English
were cut off by Powhatan's men at one time; and of a population of six
hundred left in the colony at Smith's departure, there remained at the end
of six months only sixty men, women and children. These were subsisted
chiefly upon roots, herbs, acorns, walnuts, berries and now and then a
little fish. The skins of horses, and even considerable quantities of
starch, were used for food. Others went so far as to disinter and devour
the body of an Indian who had been slain and buried. One man killed his
wife, "powdered her," and had eaten a part of her before it was known. The
poor wretch was hanged for his horrible deed of despair.

Peace was finally effected with Powhatan through the intervention, or
rather by the mere medium of Pocahontas, in the following manner. Early in
1613, [FN-1] two ships arrived at Jamestown with supplies for the colony.
These being insufficient, Captain Argall, who commanded one of them, was
sent up the Potomac river to trade with the natives for corn. Here Argall
formed a particular acquaintance with _Japazaws,_ the chief sachem of the
Potomacs or Patawomekes, and always a stanch friend of the English. He
informed the captain, among other things, that Pocahontas was at this time
in his territories, and not far distant, keeping herself in seclusion, and
known only to a few trusty friends. What were the reasons which induced
her thus to forsake her father's dominions for a foreigner's, does not
appear. Stith supposes it was to withdraw herself from being a witness of
the frequent butcheries of the English, whose folly and rashness, after
Smith's departure, put it out of her power to save them. And very
probably, as a later historian suggests, [FN-2] she had already incurred
the displeasure of the emperor by these repeated and futile though highly
honorable attempts.

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] This date is mentioned by all the Virginian historians; but
 Prince, in his Annals, says that the voyage took place a year afterwards.
 Belknap (Am. Biog.) is of same opinion.

 [FN-2] Burk's History of Virginia, Vol. I. p. 167.

But whatever her motives might be, Argall had no sooner received
intelligence of her situation, than he resolved on obtaining possession of
her person, as a means--which he had no doubt the colony would thank him
for--of effecting a peace with Powhatan. Japazaws seems to have been a
well-meaning and honest fellow in general; but the temptation of a large
new copper kettle, which Argall held out before him as the promised
recompense for his aid and abettance in the case--the consideration of the
praiseworthy object proposed to be accomplished by the measure--and last
though not least of all, the captain's pledge that Pocahontas should not
be harmed while in _his_ custody, were sufficient to overcome his
scruples. The next thing in order was to induce the princess--as this
amiable and talented Indian female has generally been styled to go on
board Argall's boat. To that end, Japazaws, who had himself seen many of
the English vessels before this, induced his wife to affect an extreme
curiosity upon the subject, so intolerably importunate that he finally
threatened to beat her. The good woman on the other hand actually
accomplished a few tears. This happened in the presence of Pocahontas, and
the scene was frequently repeated, until at last Japazaws, affecting to be
subdued by the manifest affliction of his wife, reluctantly gave her
permission to visit the vessel, provided that Pocahontas would have the
politeness to go with her.

The princess, always complaisant, and unable to witness any longer the
apparent distress of her kind friend and hostess, consented to go on board
the ship. There they were civilly welcomed, and first entertained in the
cabin. The captain then found an opportunity to decoy Pocahontas into the
gun-room, on pretence of conferring there with Japazaws, but really
because the kind-hearted Sachem, who had received ere this the brilliant
wages of his sin, and began perhaps to relent, was unwilling to be known
by the princess to have been concerned in the plot against her liberty.
When Argall told her, in his presence, that she must go with him to the
colony, and compound a peace tween her father and the English, she wept
indeed in the bitterness of her soul; as for Japazaws and his wife, they
absolutely howled with inconsolable and inconceivable affliction. But the
princess recovered her composure on finding herself treated with kindness;
and while she turned her face towards the English colony, (which she had
not seen since Smith's departure) with something even like cheerfulness at
the prospect of doing good, her distressed guardian and his pliant spouse
with their copper kettle filled with toys, trudged merrily back to their
own wigwam.

On Argall's arrival at Jamestown, a message was immediately despatched to
Powhatan, "that his daughter Pocahontas he loued so dearly, he must ransom
with our men, swords, peeces, tooles, &c., hee trecherously had stolen."
[FN] This was not so complimentary or soothing as might have been
imagined, it must be allowed (--the courtesy of Smith was no longer in the
colony--) and this perhaps was the reason why, much as the unwelcome news
of his daughter's captivity is said to have troubled him, he sent no
answer to the message for the space of three months. Then, at the further
persuasion of the council of Jamestown, he liberated and sent in seven of
his English prisoners, with three rusty unserviceable muskets, an axe, a
saw, and one canoe laden with corn. They were instructed to say that if
Pocahontas should be given up, he would make satisfaction for all the
injuries he had done, conclude a perpetual peace, and send in a bonus of
five hundred bushels of corn. To this the council replied that his
daughter, though they would use her well, could not be restored to him
until all the English arms and captives in his possession should be
delivered back to the owners. They did not believe, what he or some of his
men had asserted, that these arms had been lost, or that the whites who
remained with him were free volunteers in his service.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, Vol. II. p. 14.

This ungracious message was no more conciliating than the former; nor was
any thing more seen or heard of the emperor until the spring of 1614, when
a party of one hundred and fifty colonists, well armed, went up his own
river to Werowocomoco, taking Pocahontas with them. The Powhatans received
them with scornful bravadoes, proudly demanding the purpose of this new
invasion. The English answered, that they had brought the emperor's
daughter, and that they expected the proper ransom for her, either
peaceably or by force. The Powhatans rejoined, that if they came to fight,
they were welcome, and should be treated as Captain Ratcliffe [FN] had
been. Upon this the English said they would have a more civil answer at
least, and forthwith commenced making rapidly for the shore in their small
boats, the Indians having about the same time begun to let fly their
arrows among them. They effected a landing, and burned and destroyed every
thing they could find. The next day they sailed farther up the river; and
meeting with a fresh party of Powhatans, after some altercation and
explanation, a truce was concluded, and messengers were promised to be
sent off for the emperor. This was probably a mere feint. It was also
stated, that the English captives or deserters had run off for fear of
being hanged by their countrymen. As for the swords and pieces, they were
to be brought in the next day. But nothing was seen of them, and the
English proceeded till they came to a residence of Powhatan (called
Matchot) where were collected about four hundred of his warriors, well
armed. These men challenged the English to land; and when they did so,
walked boldly up and down among them; demanded a conference with their
captain; and said, that unless time should be allowed them to send and
receive directions from Powhatan, they would fight for their own as well
as they were able. Other bravadoes passed between the parties, but a truce
was finally agreed upon until noon of the next day. Meanwhile, two of the
brothers of Pocahontas--of whom this is the first mention--came to see
her. They were delighted to find her in good health, and promised to do
every thing they could to effect her redemption. Two of the English also
set off to visit Powhatan. They were not admitted to the emperor's
presence--for what reason, it is not stated--but Opechancanough treated
them in the most hospitable manner. On their return, the whole party
descended the river to Jamestown.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Massacred with the thirty colonists mentioned previously in this
 chapter. He was otherwise called Sicklemore.

One of the two messengers last named was John Rolfe, styled by an old
historian, [FN] "an honest gentleman and of good behaviour;" but more
especially known by the event which we have now to notice--his marriage
with Pocahontas--between whom and himself there had been an ardent
attachment for some time. The idea of this connexion pleased Powhatan so
much, that within ten days after Rolfe's visit, he sent in one of his near
relatives named Opachiko, together with two of his sons, to see (as says
the authority just cited) the manner of the marriage; and to do in that
behalf what they were requested for the confirmation thereof as his
deputies. The ceremony took place about the first of April; and from that
time until the death of the emperor, which happened in 1618, the most
friendly relations were uniformly preserved with himself and with his

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ralph Hamer, whose relation is incorporated with some of the oldest
 histories of other writers. He was subsequently one of the Council.

There are too many memorable passages in the history of this celebrated
chieftain, and too many remarkable traits in his character, to be passed
over with a mere general notice. But, previous to any other comment, it
may be proper to mention certain facts respecting him, which belong rather
to the curious than to the characteristic class. In the case of all great
men, as well as of many noted men who are not great, there is a good deal
of information generally to be gathered, which maybe interesting without
being strictly important. Powhatan was both a great and a noted man,
though a savage; and the rude circumstances under which he proved himself
the one, and made himself the other, should only render him the more
signally an object of popular admiration and of philosophical regard.

In person, he is described, by one who saw him frequently, as a tall
well-proportioned man, with a severe aspect; his head slightly gray; his
beard thin (as that of the Indians always is;) and "of a very able and
hardy body to endure any labor." As he appeared to be about sixty years of
age, when the English first saw him, in 1607, he was probably about
seventy at his death. He troubled himself but little with public affairs
during his last years, leaving the charge of them chiefly to
Opechancanough, as his viceroy, and taking his own pleasure in visiting
the various parts of his dominions.

We have already had occasion to observe, that he had as many as three or
four places of residence. Werowocomoco was abandoned for Orapakes, with
the view of keeping at an agreeable distance from the colonists. The
latter became a favorite resort. There, at the distance of a mile from the
village, he had a house in which were deposited his royalties and his
revenue--skins, copper, beads, red paint, bows and arrows, targets and
clubs. Some of these things were reserved for the time of his burial;
others were the resources of war. The house itself was more than one
hundred feet in length--one historian says fifty or sixty yards--and as
it seems to have been frequented only by the Indian priests, probably a
sacred character attached to it in the minds of the multitude, which was
one of the means of its security. Four rudely-graven images of wood were
stationed at the four corners; one representing a dragon, the second a
bear, the third a panther, and the fourth a gigantic man--all made
evil-favoredly as we are told, but according to the best workmanship of
the natives.

The _state_ which Powhatan adopted as emperor, appears in some degree from
the preceding details of his history. He is said to have kept about his
person from forty to fifty of the tallest men in his dominions; which
might be the case in war, and upon occasions of parade and ceremony, more
regularly than in peaceable and ordinary times. Every night, four
sentinels were stationed at the four comers of his dwelling; and at each
half-hour one of the body-guard made a signal to the four sentinels. Want
of vigilance on their part was punished with the most exemplary

According to the universal custom of the North American natives, he kept
as many wives as he thought proper; and is represented to have taken no
little pleasure in their society. When the English saw him at home,
reclining on his couch or platform, there was always one sitting at his
head, and another at his feet; and when he sat, two of them seated
themselves on either side of him. At his meals, one of them brought him
water in a wooden platter to wash his hangs, before and after eating; and
another attended with a bunch of feathers for a towel. Some were the
daughters, and had been the wives of distinguished rivals and enemies,
conquered in battle. When he became weary of them, he transferred them
as presents to his favorite warriors.

A general proof of the talents of Powhatan may be found in the station
which he held, as well as the reputation he enjoyed far and wide among his
countrymen. The Indian tribes are democracies. He who rules over them must
acquire and sustain his influence by his absolute intellect and energy.
Friends and family may assist, occasionally, in procuring rank; but they
will not secure the permanent possession of it. Generally, therefore, the
head-Sachem may be looked upon as comparatively a model of those qualities
which his countrymen esteem suitable to that dignity. He must not only be
a warrior, brave, hardy, patient, and indefatigable; but he must show
talents for controlling the fortunes and commanding the respect of the
community which he governs.

But in is case there is better evidence; and especially in the ultimate
extent of Powhatan's government as compared with his hereditary dominions.
These included but six tribes of the thirty which were finally subject to
him, and all which must have become attached to his rule in consequence of
the character maintained and the measures adopted by himself. Among
others were the Chickahominies, a very warlike and proud people, numbering
from two hundred to five hundred  while the Powhatans proper, (the
original nucleus, so to speak, of the emperor's dominion,) numbered less
than a hundred. The fear which these savages entertained of him appears on
many occasions, and particularly when they embraced an opportunity, in
1611, of exchanging his yoke for that of the English. They were so
desirous of this change--or in other words of procuring what they
considered the protection of the new master against the power of the
old--that they offered to adopt a national name indicating their
subjection. A peace was accordingly concluded on condition--

I. That they should be forever called Tassautessus [Englishmen,] and be
true subjects to King James and his deputies.

II. They were neither to kill nor detain any of the colonists, or their
cattle, but to return them on all occasions.

III. They should stand ready to furnish three hundred warriors for the
colony's service, against the Spaniards _or any other enemy._

IV. They were not to enter the English settlements, but send word they
were new Englishmen, (an obscure provision, meant to prevent confounding
them with hostile tribes.)

V. Every fighting man, at the beginning of harvest, was to pay two bushels
of corn as a tribute, receiving the same number of hatchets in return.

VI. The eight chief men were to see all this performed, on forfeit of
being punished themselves. Their salary was to be a red coat, a copper
chain, the picture of King James, and the honor of being accounted _his_

This treaty was concluded with a general assent, manifested by
acclamation; and then one of the old men began a speech, addressing
himself first to those of his own age, then to the young, and lastly to
the women and children, a multitude of whom were present. He gave them to
understand how strictly these conditions must be observed, and how safe
they should then be, on the other hand, "_from the furie of Powhatan_ or
any enemie whatsoeuer," [FN] besides being furnished with arms to resist
them. The name of the emperor, it will be observed, is not inserted in the
articles of peace; there was supposed to be a hazard, probably, of its
coming to his ears; and he had then himself just concluded an amicable
treaty. "But all this," adds our historian, "was rather for feare Powhatan
and we being so linked together, would bring them again to his subjection;
the which to preuent, they did rather chuse to be protected by vs than
tormented by him, whom they held a Tyrant."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Authorities referred to in Smith's History, Vol. II.

We have seen, that of the whole Indian population between the sea-coast
and the Alleghany from east to west, and between the borders of Carolina
and the river Patuxent in Maryland from south to north, all who were not
subject to Powhatan's dominions were leagued against him. The former class
comprised the lowland tribes; and the latter, the mountaineers. In the
language of Stith, the Monacans and the Mannahoacks formed a confederacy
against the power and tyranny of Powhatan. Another writer says, that he
also fought against the famous Massawomekes; a powerful and populous
nation, thought to be situated upon a great salt-water, "which by all
probability is either some part of Canada, some great lake, or some inlet
of some sea that falleth into the South Sea." This is not a very definite
description, even for Smith to give; but the Massawomekes are generally
understood to have been no other, we believe, than the celebrated Five
Nations of New York. At all events, they were exceedingly troublesome to
the northernmost tribes of Powhatan--which might be a principal reason why
they submitted the more willingly to him. And thus, while the greater part
of his own empire was a conquered one, he was environed by foreign enemies
in every direction, including the civilized colony on the sea-coast.

As to his particular system of war and conquest, we are not minutely
informed. Like Indian warfare in other sections and times, it is said to
have consisted, in a great degree, of stratagem and surprisal rather than
force. In 1608, a rebellion which arose among the Payuntatanks, was
suppressed in the following manner. They being near neighbors, a number of
his own tribe was sent into their villages, who under some disguise or
false pretence obtained lodgings over night. The several houses were
meanwhile beset with ambuscades; and at an appointed signal, the two
parties, within and without, commenced an attack at the same moment.
Twenty-four Payuntatanks were slain, and their scalps carried to Powhatan,
who kept them some time suspended on a line between two trees, as a
trophy. The women and children, as also the Werowance or Sachem, were made
prisoners, and afterwards slaves or servants.

Powhatan's warriors were regularly and thoroughly disciplined. At one of
his first interviews with the English, a martial parade formed part of the
entertainment. Two or three hundred Indians having painted and disguised
themselves in the fiercest manner possible, were divided into two
companies, one of which was temporarily styled Powhatans and the other
Monacans. Each company had its captain. They stationed themselves at about
a musket-shot from each other. Fifteen men abreast formed the front line of
both, and the remainder ranked themselves in the rear with a distance of
four or five yards from rank to rank; and not in file, but in the opening
between the files, so that the rear could shoot as conveniently as the
front. A parley now took place, and a formal agreement was made that,
whoever should conquer, such warriors as survived their defeat should have
two days allowed them for their own submission, while their wives and
children should at once become prize to the victor.

The parties advanced against each other--a sort of sergeant commanding
each flank, and a lieutenant the rear; and the entire company came on
leaping and singing to warlike music, but every man in his place. On the
first flight of arrows, they raised upon both sides a terrific clamor of
shouts and screeches. "When they had spent their arrows, (writes the
describer of this scene,) they joined together prettily, charging and
retiring, every rank seconding the other. As they got advantage, they
caught their enemies by the hair of the head, and down he came that was
taken. His enemy with his wooden sword seemed to beat out his brains, and
still they crept to the rear to maintain the skirmish." The Monacan party
at length decreasing, the Powhatans charged them in the form of a half
moon. The former retreat, to avoid being enclosed, and draw their pursuers
upon an ambuscade of fresh men. The Powhatans retire in their turn, and
the Monacans take this opportunity of resuming their first ground. "All
their actions, voices and gestures, both, in charging and retiring, were
so strained to the height of their qualitie and nature, that the
strangeness thereof made it seem very delightful." The warlike music
spoken of above was a large deep platter of wood, covered with skin drawn
so tight as to answer the purpose of a drum. They also used rattles made
of small gourds or pompion-shells; and all these--it may well be
supposed--mingled with their voices, sometimes twenty or thirty together,
"made such a terrible noise, as would rather affright than delight any

It was probably by no little drilling of this description that Powhatan
made soldiers of his subjects; and it naturally enough mortified him,
after taking so much trouble with so much success, to see them defeated so
readily as they were by the English. The chief cause, too, of this
superiority, was a matter of wonder. No Indian had ever before seen any
thing which resembled, in form or effect, the fire-arms of their strange
enemy. For some time, therefore, their fear was attended with a
superstition, against which no courage could prevail. But Powhatan was not
long in determining at all events to put himself on equal terms with the
colonists, whatever might be the hazard; and from that moment he spared no
efforts to effect his purpose. On Newport's departure for England, he
bargained away from him twenty swords for twenty turkeys. He attempted the
same trade with Smith; and when the latter shrewdly declined it, his
eagerness became such, we are told, "that at last by ambuscadoes at our
very gates they [the Powhatans] would take them per force, surprise vs at
worke, or any way." [FN] Some of these troublesome fellows being seized
and threatened, they confessed that the emperor had ordered them to get
possession of the English arms, or at least some of them, cost what it

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, Vol. I.

He availed himself, with great ingenuity, of a disposition among some of
the colonists to trade privately in these contraband articles; and in that
way obtained large quantities of shot, powder and pike-heads. So, upon
Smith's departure for the settlement, after his famous visit, in December,
1608, he artfully requested the captain "to leaue him Edward Brynton to
_kille him foule,_ and the Dutchmen _to finish his house._" This house, we
have seen, was abandoned; and as for fowl, the idea of employing an
Englishman to hunt for his Powhatans was absurd. He had no objection,
however, to Brynton's gun or his martial services. The Germans he was
probably sure of already. They proved, traitors to the colony, and soon
after we find them diligently engaged in arming and instructing the
savages. One of them subsequently stated, that the emperor kept them at
work for him in duress. He himself sent answer to Smith's demand for them,
that they were at liberty to go if they chose--but as for carrying them
fifty miles on his back, he was not able. The adroitness with which he
obtained arms at Jamestown, during Smith's absence, has already been the
subject of comment.

The implicit obedience which he exacted of his own subjects,
notwithstanding the apparently precarious tenure by which he held his
command, is a striking indication of the extent of his mere personal
influence. "When he listeth," says an old writer, "his will is a law,
and must be obeyed; not onely as a King, but as halfe a God, they esteeme
him. What he commandeth they dare not disobey in the least thing. At his
feete they present whatsoever he commandeth, and at the least froune of
his browe, their greatest spirits will tremble with feare." This
subordination was sustained by measures which, for severity and courage,
would do no discredit to the most absolute despot of the Eastern world.
On one occasion, certain, offenders were burned to death in the midst of
an immense heap of glowing coals, collected from many fires made for the
purpose. A more merciful punishment was by braining the criminal with a
club, as Smith was to have been sacrificed. The most horrible was
fastening the poor wretch to a tree, breaking his joints one by one, and
then whittling down the body with reeds and shells. Thrashing with cudgels
was no trifle. Smith says he saw a man subjected to this discipline under
the hands of two of his practised countrymen, till he fell prostrate and
senseless; but he uttered no cry or complaint.

The extraordinary native shrewdness of Powhatan was abundantly manifested
in the amusing advantages he obtained over Newport; his long and artful
conversations with Smith, some of them sustained under the most
embarrassing circumstances, merely to procure time; the promptness with
which he rejected and defeated the proposal to make common cause against
the Monacans--a bait, as he expressed it, too foolish to be taken; and, in
fine, upon every occasion when the English undertook to negotiate or to
argue with him. He availed himself most essentially of the aid of the
German deserters heretofore mentioned, but he had too much sagacity to
trust them after they deserted _himself;_ and so, when two of them fled
to him a second time, with proposals for delivering his great rival,
Captain Smith, into his hands, he only observed, that men who betrayed the
captain would betray the emperor, and forthwith ordered the scoundrels to
be brained upon the spot. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith Book III.

Powhatan, like many others of his race, has been regarded with prejudice
for the very reasons which entitle him to respect. He was a troublesome
enemy to the colonists. His hostile influence extended for hundreds of
miles around them; cutting off commerce with the natives in the first
place, and making inveterate enemies of them in the next. Powhatan, we are
told, "still as he found means cut off their boats, and denied them
trade;" [FN] and again, "as for corne, contribution and provision from the
salvages, we had nothing but mortall wounds, with clubs and arrowes."
Here, too, we find the emperor availing himself of the disasters and
despair of the colony, to procure swords, muskets and ammunition--so
reckless had the colonists become through famine.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Authorities in Smith's History, Vol. II.

Still, it does not appear, that Powhatan adopted any policy but such as he
believed indispensable to the welfare, not to say, the existence, of his
sovereign dominions. His warfare was an Indian warfare, indeed. But
setting aside those circumstances of education and of situation which
rendered this a matter both of pride and necessity, it may be safely said,
that he but followed the example of those who should have known better.
Not only did he act _generally_ in self-defence against what he deemed the
usurpation of a foreign and unknown people, who had settled without
permission upon his shores; but he was galled and provoked by peculiar
provocations in numerous instances. The mere liberty of taking possession
of a part of his territory might have been overlooked. Probably it was so.
In the earliest days of the settlement, when nothing could be easier for
Powhatan than to extinguish it at a single assault, it is acknowledged
that his people often visited the English and treated them with kindness.
[FN] Not long afterwards, indeed, they committed some trespasses, but
meanwhile a party of the English had invaded the interior of the country.
Considering the dissolute and unprincipled character of a large part of
them, it is not improbable that still greater freedom was exercised with
the Indians; such of course as the historians would be likely neither to
record nor to know. And yet Smith himself has told enough--of himself--to
make this point clear. In his very first expedition after corn, seeing, he
says, "that by trade and, courtesie nothing was to be had, _he made bold
to try such conclusions as necessitie inforced._" He let fly a volley of
musketry, ran his boats ashore, skirmished with the natives, and forcibly
obtained a supply of provisions. And thus--adds the scrupulous captain--

    "Thus God vnboundlesse by his power
     Made them so kinde would vs devour."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ibid, Vol. I.

It was nothing to the emperor, or to his subjects, that Smith went beyond
his authority in these matters. "The patient council"--he writes in
another connexion--"that nothing would moue to warre with the sauages,
would gladly have wrangled with Captaine Smithe for his crueltie." He
adds, that his proceedings--his _conclusions_, is his own language--had
inspired the natives with such fear, that his very name was a terror. No
wonder that he sometimes had peace and war twice in a day. No wonder that
scarcely a week passed without some villainy or other. Again, when the
Chickahominies refused to trade, the resident, "perceiving [supposing] it
was Powhatan's policy to starve him," landed his company forthwith, and
made such a show of anger and ammunition that the poor savages presently
brought in all their provisions.

So we are summarily informed in Mr. Hamer's relation, that about Christmas
(1611) "in regard of the iniurie done vs by them of Apamatuk, Sir Thomas
Dale, without the losse, of any _except some few Salvages,_" took
possession of the territory and provision of the tribe, made a settlement
upon the former without ceremony, and called it New Bermudas! One more
illustration must suffice. It is a passage of Smith's history relating to
a detachment of vagabonds, under the command of one West, who left
Jamestown, and located themselves not far from Powhatan's residence at the
falls of the river. "But the worst was, that the poore Salvages that daily
brought in their contributions to the President, that disorderly company
so tormented these poore soules, by stealing their corne, robbing their
gardens, beating them, breaking their houses, and keeping some prisoners,
that they daily complained to Captaine Smith he had brought them for
Protectors worse enemies than the Monacans themselves, which though till
then for his love they had endured, they desired pardon if hereafter they
defended themselves--since he would not correct them as they had long
expected he would." A most reasonable determination, civilly and candidly

But, whatever may be said of the motives or method of the warfare of
Powhatan, it must be acknowledged that his character appears to no
disadvantage in peace. We cannot but admire the Roman dignity with which
he rejected all offers of compromise, so long as the English seemed
disposed to take advantage of their own wrong in the violent seizure of
Pocahontas. They knew that this was his favorite child, and they presumed
on the strength of his attachment. But, much as her situation troubled
him, he would not sacrifice his honor so far as to negotiate for her
restoration on derogatory terms. He was afflicted, but he was still more
incensed. When, however, he ascertained, by sending his sons to visit her,
that she was well treated, and in good health, (though, we are somewhere
told, "they had heard to the contrarie,") he began to think better of the
offers of peace. Then came Rolfe "to acquaint him with the businesse," and
kindly he was entertained, though not admitted to the presence of
Powhatan. The young gentleman explained himself, however, to the emperor's
brother; and the latter promised to intercede for him, as did also the two
sons. Their explanations proved successful. The emperor was not only
convinced that his daughter was entertained civilly by the English, but he
was pleased with the honorable intentions and touched by the passionate
and tender affection of Rolfe. No sooner, therefore, did the time
appointed for the marriage come to his knowledge--and no doubt Rolfe had
already had the politic courtesy to apply for his consent--than he
despatched three members of his own family to confirm the ceremony. "And
ever since," adds the historian, "we have had friendly trade and commerce,
as well with Powhatan himselfe, as all his subjects." So jealous were he
and they of injustice; and so susceptible were they, at the same time, of
mild and magnanimous impressions.

We find characteristic anecdotes, to the same effect, in the curious
account Mr. Hamer has left on record of a visit which he paid the emperor
in 1614, soon after the conclusion of peace. After some conversation upon
business matters, the visitor was invited to Powhatan's own residence,
where was a guard of two hundred warriors, which, (as Mr. Hamer supposes,)
always attended his person. Having offered that gentleman a pipe of
tobacco, he immediately inquired after the health of Sir Thomas Dale, at
that time President, and _then_ of his own daughter and her husband;
wishing to know especially how these two liked each other. Hamer answered,
that Sir Thomas was perfectly well; and as for Pocahontas, she was so
contented, that she never would return to her father's court again if she
could. Powhatan laughed heartily at this reply, and soon after asked the
particular cause of Mr. Hamer's present visit. On being told it was
_private,_ he ordered his attendants to leave the house, excepting only
the two females--said to have been Indian queens--who always sat by him,
and then bade Mr. Hamer proceed with his message.

The latter began with saying, that he was the bearer of sundry presents
from Sir Thomas Dale, which were delivered accordingly, much to the
emperor's satisfaction. He then added that Sir Thomas, hearing of the fame
of the emperor's youngest daughter, was desirous of obtaining her hand in
marriage. He conceived, there could not be a finer bond of union between
the two people, than such a connexion; and besides her sister Pocahontas
was exceedingly anxious to see her at Jamestown. He hoped that Powhatan
would at least oblige himself so much, as to suffer her to visit the
colony when _he_ should return.

Powhatan more than once came very near interrupting the delivery of this
message. But he controlled himself and replied with great gravity to the
effect, that he gladly accepted the President's salutation of love and
peace, which he certainly should cherish so long as he lived; that he
received with many thanks the presents sent him as pledges thereof; but
that, as for his daughter he had sold her only a few days before, to a
great Werowance, living at the distance of three days journey, for three
bushels of Rawrenoke [Roanoke]. Hamer took the liberty to rejoin, that a
prince of his greatness might no doubt recall his daughter, if he
would--especially as she was only twelve years of age--and that in such a
case he should receive for her from the President, three times the worth
of the Roanoke, in beads, copper and hatchets.

To this Powhatan readily rejoined, that he loved his daughter as his life;
and though he had many children, he delighted in her most of all. He could
not live without seeing her, and _that_ would be impossible if she went
among the colonists, _for he had resolved upon no account to put himself
in their power, or to visit them._ He therefore desired Mr. Hamer to say
no more upon the subject; but to tell the President in his name. 1. That,
_he_ desired no other assurance of the _President's_ friendship than his
word which was already pledged. He had himself, on the other hand, already
given such assurance in the person of Pocahontas. _One was sufficient, he
thought, at one time; when she died, he would substitute another in her
stead._ But, meanwhile, he should consider it no brotherly part to bereave
him of two children at once. 2. Though he gave _no_ pledge, the President
ought not to distrust him or his people. There had been already lives
enough lost on both sides; and by his fault there should never be any
more. He had grown old, and desired to die peaceably. He should hardly
fight even for just cause; the country was wide enough, and he would
rather retreat. "Thus much," he concluded, "I hope will satisfy my
brother. And so here, as you are weary and sleepy, we will end." He then
ordered a supper and good lodgings for his guest, and the latter took his
leave for the night.

Early the next morning, Powhatan himself visited Mr. Hunter at his
lodging-place, and invited him to return to his own wigwam. There he
entertained him in his handsomest manner. The time passed pleasantly, and
Mr. Hamer began to feel at home. By and by came in an Englishman, one who
had been surprised in a skirmish three years before at Fort Henry, and
detained ever since. He was so completely savage in his complexion and
dress, that Hamer only recognised him by his voice. He now asked that
gentleman to obtain leave for him to return with _him_ to the colony and
the request was accordingly made, and even pressed. The emperor was vexed
at length. "Mr. Hamer," said he, "you have one of my daughters, and I am
content. But you cannot see one of your men with me, but you must have him
away or break friendship. But take him, if you will. In that case,
however, you must go home without guides [which were generally offered the
English on these occasions]; and if any evil befalls you, thank

Hamer replied that he would do so; but he would not answer for the
consequences, if any accident should happen. The emperor was incensed at
this, and left him; but he appeared again at supper time, feasted his
guest with his best fire, and conversed cheerfully. About midnight he
roused Hamer from a nap, to tell him he had concluded to let Parker (the
captive) go with him in the morning. But he must remind Sir Thomas to send
him, in consideration thereof ten large pieces of copper, a shaving-knife,
a grindstone, a net, and sundry fish-hooks and other small matters. For
fear Hamer should forget these particulars, he made him write a list of
them in what the historians call a _table-book,_ which he produced.
"However he got it," [FN] says the narrator, "it was a faire one, and I
desired hee would give it me." Powhatan evaded this modest request by
saying that he kept it to show to strangers; but when his guest left him
in the morning, he furnished him and his attendants with ample provision
for his journey, gave each of them a buck's-skin, "as well dressed as
could be," and sent two more to his son-in-law and-his daughter.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Probably of some English captive. Smith wrote his famous letter to
 Jamestown, during his first captivity, on what he calls the leaf of a

There is much matter for reflection in this simple narrative. The sagacity
of Powhatan in discerning the true object of the visit, is worthy of the
fearless dignity with which he exposed it. He gave little {heed?}, it
would seem, to the pretext of marriage; and considering only the age of
his daughter--especially as compared with the President's--there was
reason enough why he should. His conjectures were undoubtedly correct, and
he had some right to be offended at the jealousy which was still harbored
by the colonists. Stith expressly states, that the policy of Sir Thomas
was merely to obtain an additional pledge for the preservation of
peace. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] History, p. 133.

The affection which Powhatan here manifests for his children, his
hospitality even to one who took liberties upon the strength of it, his
liberality, the resolution with which he maintained peace while he still
evidently distrusted the English honor, his ready evasions and intelligent
reasoning, his sensibility to insult which he nevertheless thought it
beneath him to resent, are all easily to be perceived in this instance,
and are well worthy to be regarded among other evidences of his temper and

His self-command and his chivalrous courtesy, on every former occasion,
would have done no dishonor, in another country and time, to the
lion-hearted monarch of England himself. In this respect he was well
matched with Smith; and it is not the least interesting point in the
common history of the two, to observe the singular union of suavity and
energy with which both effected their purposes. Immediately after
delivering the celebrated reply which he sent to Newport's proposal by
Smith, the historian adds that, "many other discourses they had, (yet both
content to give each other content in _complimentall courtesies_) and so
Captain Smith returned with his answer." In the same style, when Newport
came himself--perceiving his purpose was to discover and invade the
Monacans--we are told that he "refused to lend him either men or guides
more than Nomantack, and so after some complimentall kindnesse on both
sides," he presented the disappointed captain with seven or eight bushels
of corn, and wished him a pleasant journey to Jamestown. He would not
suffer so brave a man as Smith to be even beheaded, without having first
ordered two of his queens to serve him with water and a bunch of feathers,
and then feasted him in what the victim himself considered his best
barbarous manner. It is very evident there was neither fear nor hypocrisy
in any of these cases.

None of the noble traits we have mentioned lose any of their charm from
being connected, as they are, with the utmost simplicity of barbarism. The
reader of these times, therefore, may be allowed to smile at the
pertinacity with which this mighty warrior and renowned monarch insisted
upon Parker's being ransomed in fish-hooks; and the solemn gravity with
which he divested himself of his mantle and old shoes for the
gratification and reward of Newport. The presents sent to him by Sir
Thomas Dale were two pieces of copper, five strings of white and blue
beads, five wooden combs, ten fish-hooks, and a pair of knives--not to
mention the promise of a grindstone, whenever he should send for
it--clearly a much better bargain for his daughter, had he wished to
dispose of her, than the two bushels of Roanoke. The Werowances and queens
of conquered nations waited upon him at his meals, as humbly as certain
kings of the middle ages are said to have waited upon the Pope; but unlike
his Holiness, Powhatan could make his own robes, shoes, bows, arrows, and
pots, besides planting his corn for exercise, and hunting deer for
amusement. The Indians generally subsisted on fish in the spring, and
lived light for some months after; but "Powhatan, their great king, and
some others that are provident, rost their fish and flesh vpon hurdles,
and keepe it till scarce times." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's account of the Natural Inhabitants of Virginia.

In fine, it would seem, that no candid person can read the history of this
famous Indian, with an attentive consideration of the circumstances under
which he was placed, without forming a high estimate of his character as
a warrior, a statesman and a patriot. His deficiencies were those of
education and not of genius. His faults were those of the people whom he
governed and of the period in which he lived. His great talents, on the
other hand, were his own; and these are acknowledged even by those
historians who still regard him with prejudice. Stith calls him a prince
of excellent sense and parts, and a great master of all the savage arts of
government and policy. He adds, that he was penetrating, crafty, insidious
and cruel. "But as to the great and moral arts of policy," he concludes,
"such as truth, faith, uprightness and magnanimity, they seemed to have
been but little heeded or regarded by him." Burk's opinion appears to us
more correct. In the cant of civilisation, (says that excellent
historian,) he will doubtless be branded with the epithets of tyrant and
barbarian. But his title to greatness, though his opportunities were
fewer, is to the full as fair as that of Tamerlane or Kowli Khan, and
several others whom history has immortalized; while the proofs of his
tyranny are by no means so clear. Still, it might have been as reasonable
to say, that there are no such proofs in being. The kind of martial law
which the emperor sometimes exercised over his own subjects, was not only
a matter of custom, founded on the necessity which must always exist among
ignorant men; but it was a matter of license, which had grown into
constitutional law, by common consent. It has been justly observed, that
there is no possibility of a true despotism under an Indian government. It
is reason that governs,--nominally at least--and the authority is only the
more effectual as the obedience is more voluntary.

                              CHAPTER III.

 The family of Powhatan--His successor--Sequel of the history of
  Pocahontas--Her acts of kindness to the colonists at various times, and
  especially to Smith--His gratitude--Her civilisation, and instruction in
  Christianity--Her visit to England in 1616--Reception at
  Court--Interview with Smith--His memorial respecting her to Queen
  Anne--Her death and character--Her descendants.

The family of Powhatan was numerous and influential. Two sons and two
daughters have already been mentioned. There were also three brothers
younger than himself; and upon them successively, according to their
several ages, custom seems to have required that the government should
devolve after his own death. The eldest, Opitchipan, [FN] accordingly
succeeded him, in form at least. But this prince was an inactive and
unambitious man--owing in some degree perhaps to his being decrepit; and
he was soon thrown into the shade by the superior energy and talent of
Opechancanough, who before many years engrossed in fact the whole power of
the government. Of the younger brother, Kekataugh, scarcely any thing is
known. He probably died before any opportunity occurred of signalizing
himself in a public station. The sequel of the history of Opechancanough
is well worthy of being dwelt upon at some length; but previously, the
order of time requires us to devote a share of attention to the fortunes
of his celebrated niece, Pocahontas.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] By various writers called Itopatin, Itoyatin, Oetan, Opitchipan,
 Toyatan--a characteristic instance of the uncertainty which attends the
 orthography of Indian proper names. One cause is in the custom of
 changing the name upon great occasions. Opitchipan himself after his
 accession was called Sasawpen; and Opechancanough, Mangopesomen.

This beautiful and amiable woman, whom John Smith, in the excess of his
admiration, styles "the Numpareil of Virginia," has been distinguished in
modern times, chiefly, by that single extraordinary act of courage and
humanity to which the gallant historian was indebted for the preservation
of his life. But this was by no means the only evidence of these noble
qualities which history has preserved. Her name indeed is scarcely once
mentioned by the most ancient chronicles of the colony, except in terms of
high eulogy, and generally in connexion also with some substantial facts
going strongly to justify the universal partiality with which her memory
is regarded to these times.

In the earliest and most gloomy days of the settlement, immediately after
Smith's return from his captivity, the liberal and thoughtful kindness of
Pocahontas went very far to cheer the desponding hearts of the colonists,
as well as to relieve their actual necessities. She came into Jamestown
with her attendants once in every four or five days, for a long time; and
brought with her supplies of provisions, by which many lives are stated to
have been saved. This will appear more fully from an ancient document
which we shall hereafter transcribe at length.

When Smith was absent upon one of his Indian expeditions, emergencies
occurred at Jamestown which rendered his presence extremely desirable. But
not a man could be found who dared venture to carry a message to him from
the council. He was known to be environed by enemies, and the hostility
and power of Powhatan were at that period subjects of the most exaggerated
apprehension. One Richard Wyffin at last undertook the hazardous
enterprise. Encountering many dangers and difficulties, he reached the
residence of Powhatan, a day or two after Smith had left it for Pamunkey.
He found that great preparations for war were going on among the
Powhatans; and he soon became himself the object of suspicion. His life
undoubtedly would have paid the forfeit of his rashness, had not
Pocahontas, who knew his perilous situation even better than himself,
concealed him, and thwarted and embarrassed the search of the savages who
pursued him, so that "by her means and extraordinary bribes and much
trouble in three days travell," as  history says, "at length he found vs
in the middest of these turmoyles," (at Jamestown.)

Her conduct was the same after Smith's departure for England. Of the
thirty men who accompanied Ratcliffe when he was massacred by the Indians,
only one escaped to the colony, and one was rescued by Pocahontas. This
was a boy named Henry Spilman, who subsequently was restored to his
friends, [FN-1] and from the knowledge of Indian languages which he
obtained during his residence with the Patowomekes proved highly
serviceable as an interpreter. Smith himself was more than _once_ under
obligations to the princess for his personal safety. We have alluded to
that occasion when he quartered, over night, near the residence of her
father. "Pocahontas, his dearest iewell and daughter, in that darke night
came through the irksome woods, and told our Captaine great cheare should
be sent vs by and by; but Powhatan and all the power he could make, would
after come kill vs all, if they that brought it could not kill vs with our
owne weapons, when we were at supper. Therefore if we would liue, she
wished vs presently to be gone. Such things as she delighted in, he would
haue giuen her; but with the teares running downe her cheekes, she said
she durst not be seen to haue any, for if Powhatan should know it, she
were but dead, and so she ran away by herself as she came." [FN-2] What an
affecting instance of the most delicate tenderness mingled with the
loftiest courage.

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] He was destined, however, to die at last by the hands of the
 savages, in 1623.

 [FN-2] Smith's History.

It would have been strange indeed, if Smith, with all his passionate
chivalry, had been insensible of these repeated kindnesses. Even Powhatan
had too good an opinion of him to suppose so, for he had the sagacity to
rely upon his gratitude for political purposes. When some of the emperor's
subjects were taken prisoners by Smith, (although peace was nominally
existing,) and forced to confess that Powhatan had employed them to work
mischief against the colony, the latter "sent messengers, _and his dearest
daughter Pocahontas,_" with presents, to make apologies for the past, and
promises for the future. Smith, on the other hand, (who understood as well
as any one, the part of a gentleman,) after giving the prisoners such
correction as he deemed necessary, treated them well for a day or two, and
then delivered them to Pocahontas, "for whose sake onely he fayned to have
saued their liues, and gaue them libertie." The emperor was paid for this
ingenuity in his own coin, when the colonists, in 1613, took the princess
herself captive, relying on the well-known strength of his attachment to
her, as the surest means of procuring peace.

Her subsequent history may be soon told. Rolfe had become ardently
enamoured of her beauty, and he used the fortunate occasion of her stay in
the colony--perhaps was active in bringing it on--to procure the
intercession of the President in his behalf. Pocahontas cherished similar
feelings towards himself and when her brothers came to visit her she made
one of them her confidant. Rolfe gained information of her sentiments, and
thus was emboldened to prosecute his suit with a spirit worthy of the
success which it met with. The parties married. In the course of a year or
two, the young bride became quite an adept in the English language and
manners, and was well instructed in the doctrines of Christianity. She was
entitled by her new acquaintances the Lady _Rebecca._

In 1616, she and her husband accompanied Sir Thomas Dale to England. King
James, (that anointed pedant, as Stith calls him,) is said to have been
offended with Rolfe for his presumption in marrying the daughter of a
king--a crowned head, too, it will be recollected.--He might have thought,
perhaps, following up his own principles, that the offspring of the
marriage would be fairly entitled to succeed Powhatan in his dominion. But
the affair passed off, with some little murmuring; and Pocahontas herself
was received at Court, by both the King and Queen, with the most
flattering marks of attention. Lord de la War, and his lady, and many
other courtiers of rank, followed the royal example. The princess was
gratified by the kindness shown to her; and those who entertained her, on
the other hand, were unanimously of opinion, as Smith expresses himself;
that they had seen many English ladies worse-favored, proportioned and

The captain was at this time in England; and although upon the eve of
leaving that country on a voyage to New England, he delayed his departure
for the purpose of using every possible means in his power of introducing
the princess to advantage. A memorial which he draughted with his own
hand, and sent in to the Queen, is supposed to have had no little
influence at Court. It is well worth transcribing, both as a curiosity of
style, and as a document of authentic history. It reads thus:

"To the most high and vertuous Princess Queene Anne of Great Britain:

"Most admired Queene,

"The loue I beare my God, my King and Countrie hath so oft emboldened mee
in the worst of extreme danger, that now honestie doth constraine mee
presume thus farre beyond myselfe, to present your Maiestie this short
discourse. If ingratitude be a deadly poyson to all honest vertues, I must
be guiltie of that crime if I should omit any meanes to be thankful. So it

"That some ten yeeres agoe, being in Virginia, and taken prisoner by the
power of Powhatan their chiefe King, I received from this great Salvage
exceeding great courtesie, especially from his sonne Nantaguans, the most
manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit I euer saw in a salvage; and his
sister Pocahontas, the King's most deare and well-beloued daughter, being
but a childe of twelue or thirteene yeeres of age, whose compassionate
pitifull heart, of desperate estate, gaue mee much cause to respect her; I
being the first christian this proud King and his grim attendants euer
saw; and thus inthralled in their barbarous power, I cannot say I felt the
least occasion of want that was in the power of those my mortall foes to
preuent, notwithstanding al their threats.

"After some sixe weeks fatting among these Salvage Courtiers, at the
minute of my execution, she hazarded the beating out of her owne braines
to saue mine, but not onely that, but so preuailed with her father, that I
was safely conducted to Iames-towne, where I found about eight and thirtie
miserable poore and sicke creatures, to keepe possession of al those
large territories of Virginia; such was the weaknesse of this poore
commonwealth, as had the salvages not fed us, we directly had starued.

"And this reliefe, most Gracious Queens, was commonly brought vs by this
Lady Pocahontas, Notwithstanding al these passages, when inconstant
fortune, turned our peace to warre, this tender Virgin would still not
spare to dare to visit vs, and by her our iarres haue been oft appeased,
and our wants still supplyed. Were it the policie of her father thus to
imploy her, or the ordinance of God thus to make her his instrument, or
her extraordinarie affection to our nation, I know not. But of this I am
sure; when her father, with the utmost of his policie and power, sought to
surprise mee, hauing but eighteene with mee, the darke night could not
affright her from comming through the irkesome woods, and with watered
eies gaue me intilligence, with her best aduice, to escape his furie;
which had hee knowne, he had surely slaine her.

"Iames-toune, with her wild traine, she as freely frequented as her
father's habitation; and during the time of two or three yeeres, she next
under God, was still the instrument to preserve this colonie from death,
famine and utter confusion, which if in those times had once been
disolued, Virginia might haue line as it was at our first arrivall to this

"Since then, this businesse hauing beene turned and varied by many
accidents from that I left it at, it is most certaine, after a long and
troublesome warre after my departure, betwixt her father and our colonie,
at which time shee was not heard off, about two yeeres after she her selfe
was taken prisoner. Being so detained neere two yeeres longer, the colonie
by that means was relieued, peace concluded, and at last reiecting her
barbarous condition, shee was maried to an English gentleman, with whom at
this present shee is in England; the first Christian euer of that nation,
the first Virginian euer spake English, or had a childe in marriage by an
Englishman. A matter, surely, if my meaning bee truly considered and well
vnderstood, worthy a Prince's vnderstanding.

"Thus, most Gracious Lady, I have related to your Maiestie, what at your
best leasure our approued Histories will account you at large, and done in
the time of your Maiestie's life; and howeuer this might bee presented you
from a more worthy pen, it cannot from a more honest heart. As yet I neuer
begged any thing of the state, or any, and it is my want of abilitie and
her exceeding desert, your birth meanes and authoritie, her birth, vertue,
want and simplicitie, doth make mee thus bold, humbly to beseech your
Maiestie to take this knowledge of her, though it bee from one so vnworthy
to be the reporter as my selfe, her husband's estate not being able to
make her fit to attend your Maiestie. The most and least I can doe is to
tell you this, because none so oft hath tried it as my selfe; and the
rather being of so great a spirit, howeuer her stature.

"If shee should not be well recieued, seeing this kingdom may rightly haue
a kingdom by her meanes, her present loue to vs and christianitie might
turne to such scorne and furie, as to diuert al this good to the worst of
euill; where [whereas] finding so great a Queene should doe her some honor
more than she can imagine, for being so kinde to your seruants and
subjects, would so rauish her with content, as endeare her dearest blood
to effect that your Maiestie and al the King's honest subjects most
earnestly desire. And so I humbly kisse your gracious hands."

The final interview between the gallant and generous writer of this
memorial and the princess who was the subject of it, is an occasion too
interesting to be passed over without notice. She had been told that
Smith, whom she had not seen for many years, was dead; but why this
information was given her, does not appear. Perhaps it was to make his
appearance the more gratifying. Possibly, Master Rolfe, in the heat of his
passion, during the critical period of courtship had deemed it advisable
and justifiable to answer, to this effect, the anxious inquiries she would
naturally make after Smith, especially during her confinement at
Jamestown. But whatever the reason was, the shock of the first meeting had
nearly overwhelmed her. She was staying at Brentford, after her visit to
London, having retired thither to avoid the noise and smoke of the
metropolis, which she was far from enjoying. Smith was announced and soon
after made his appearance. She saluted him--modestly, he says himself; and
coolly, according to some other writers--and then turning away from him,
she covered her face, and seemed to be too much discomposed for

Undoubtedly she was deeply affected with a multitude of conflicting
emotions, not the least of which was a just indignation on account of the
imposition which the English had practised upon her. For two or three
hours she was left to her own meditations. At the end of that time, after
much entreaty, she was prevailed upon to converse; and this point "once
gained, the politeness and kindness of her visitant and her own sweetness
of disposition, soon renewed her usual vivacity."

In the course of her remarks she called Smith her Father. That
appellation, as bestowed by a King's daughter, was too, much for the
captain's modesty, and he informed her to that effect. But she could not
understand his reasoning upon the subject. "Ah!" she said--after
recounting some of the ancient courtesies which had passed between
them--"you did promise Powhatan that what was yours should be his, and
hee the like to you. You called him Father, being in his land a stranger;
and by the same reason so must I doe you." Smith still expressed himself
unworthy of that distinction, and she went on. "Were you not afraid to
come into my father's countrie, and caused fear in him and all his
people--but mee--and _fear_ you I should here call you father? I tell you
then I _will;_ and you must call mee childe, and then I will bee foreuer
and euer your country-woman." She assured Smith, that she had been made to
believe he was dead, and that Powhatan himself had shared in that
delusion. To ascertain the fact, however, to a certainty, that crafty
barbarian had directed an Indian, who attended her to England, to make
special inquiries. This was Tomocomo, one of the emperor's chief
counselors, and the husband of his daughter Matachanna--perhaps the same
who had been demanded in marriage by Sir Thomas Dale, in 1614.

It is the last and saddest office of history to record the death of this
incomparable woman, in about the two-and-twentieth year of her age. This
event took place at Gravesend, where she was preparing to embark for
Virginia, with her husband, and the child mentioned in Smith's memorial.
They were to have gone out with Captain Argall, who sailed early in 1617;
and the treasurer and council of the colony had made suitable
accommodations for them on board the admiral-ship. But, in the language of
Smith, it pleased God to take this young lady to his mercy. He adds, that
she made not more sorrow for her unexpected death, than joy to the
beholders, to hear and see her make so religious and godly an end. Stith
also, records that she died, as she had long lived, a most sincere and
pious Christian. The expression of a later historian is, that her death
was a happy mixture of Indian fortitude and Christian submission,
affecting all those who saw her by the lively and edifying picture of
piety and virtue, which marked her latter moments. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Burk's Virginia, Vol. I.

The same philosophic writer, in his general observations upon the
character of Pocahontas, has justly remarked, that, considering all
concurrent circumstances, it is not surpassed by any in the whole range
of, history; and that for those qualities more especially which do honor
to our nature--a humane and feeling heart, an ardor and unshaken constancy
in her attachments--she stands almost without a rival. She gave evidence,
indeed, of possessing in a high degree every attribute of mind and heart,
which should be and has been the ornament and pride of civilized woman in
all countries and times. Her unwearied kindness to the English was
entirely disinterested; she knew that it must be so when she encountered
danger and weariness, and every kind of opposition and difficulty, to
bestow it, seasonably, on the objects of her noble benevolence. It was
delicate, too, in the mode of bestowment. No favor was expected in return
for it, and yet no sense of obligation was permitted to mar the pleasure
which it gave. She asked nothing of Smith in recompense for whatever she
had done, but the boon of being looked upon as his child. Of her character
as a princess, evidence enough has already been furnished. Her dignity,
her energy, her independence, and the dauntless courage which never
deserted her for a moment, were worthy of Powhatan's daughter.

Indeed, it has been truly said that, well authenticated as is the history
of Pocahontas, there is ground for apprehension that posterity will be
disposed to regard her story as a romance. "It is not even improbable,"
says Burk, "that considering every thing relating to herself and Smith as
a mere fiction, they may vent their spleen against the historian for
impairing the interest of his plot by marrying the princess of Powhatan to
a Mr. Rolfe, of whom nothing had been previously said, in defiance of all
the expectations raised by the foregoing parts of the fable."

Young Rolfe, her only offspring was left at Plymouth, England, under the
care of Sir Lewis Steukley, who undertook to direct his education--his
tender years making it inexpedient to remove him to Virginia. As that
gentleman was soon after completely beggared and disgraced by the part
which he took in the proceedings against Sir Walter Raleigh, the tuition
of Rolfe passed into the hands of his uncle, Henry Rolfe of London. He
became in after years a man of eminence and fortune in Virginia, and
inherited a considerable tract of land which had belonged to Powhatan. At
his death he left an only daughter, who was married to Col. Robert
Bolling. By him she had an only son, who was father to Col. John Bolling,
(well known to many now living;) and several daughters married to Col.
Richard Randolph, Col. John Fleming, Dr. William Gay, Mr. Thomas Eldridge
and Mr. James Murray. This genealogy is taken from Stith; and he shows
with sufficient minuteness, that this remnant of the imperial family of
Virginia, which long survived in a single person, had branched out into a
very numerous progeny, even as early as 1747. The Hon. John Randolph of
Roanoke is, if we mistake not, a lineal descendant of the princess in the
sixth degree.

                              CHAPTER IV.

 Sequel of the history of Opechancanough--Renewal, by him and Opitchipan,
  of the treaty of peace--Finesse by which he extended his dominion over
  the Chickahominies--Preparations for War--Causes of it--Profound
  dissimulation under which his hostility was concealed--Indian custom of
  making Conjurers--Manoeuvres against the English interest--The great
  massacre of 1622; circumstances and consequences of it--Particular
  occasion which led to it--Character and death of Nemattanow--Details of
  the war subsequent to the massacre--Truce broken by the English--New
  exertions of Opechancanough--Battle of Pamunkey--Peace of 1632--Massacre
  of 1641--Capture of Opechancanough by the English--His death and

Captain Argall brought out from England, among other things, a variety of
presents for Opechancanough, who seems now to have been, notwithstanding
that Powhatan was still living, the chief object of the colony's
apprehension and regard. He lamented as the Indians did universally, the
untimely fate of their favorite princess; but he also expressed himself
satisfied with the care which had been taken of her son. Argall sent
messengers to him immediately on his arrival at Jamestown; and the
chieftain paid him a visit, and received his presents. Tomocomo, who
returned with Argall, had conceived a dislike for Sir Thomas Dale, and he
railed violently against him in particular, as he did against the English
in general; but Opechancanough either was or affected to be convinced,
that his anger and his accusations were equally groundless. On the death
of Powhatan, in 1618, both himself and his royal brother Opitchipan
renewed the ancient league of the emperor with the English; under the
protection of which, we are told, every man peaceably followed his
building and planting without any remarkable accidents or interruption.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith.

A transaction which occurred in 1616, furnishes the best comment we can
give upon the character of Opechancanough. It appears, that President
Yeardly at that time undertook to relieve the necessities of the colony by
collecting tribute of the Chickahominies. But for some reason or other,
that warlike people refused to pay it; and even sent him an answer to his
demand, which he construed into an affront. He therefore called upon them,
soon after, with a company of one hundred soldiers, well armed. Some
threatening and bravado ensued on both sides, and a regular battle was the
speedy consequence. The Indians were defeated, and as Yeardly was
returning to Jamestown with his spoil, Opechancanough met him, and
artfully effected an agreement with him, that he (Yeardly) would make no
peace with the Chickahominies without _his_ consent. He then went to that
tribe, and pretended that, he had, with great pains and solicitation,
procured a peace for them. To requite this immense service, as it was now
considered, they cheerfully proclaimed him King of their nation, and
flocked from all quarters with presents of beads and copper. From this
time he was content to be entitled the King of Chickahominy; and thus was
subjected to him, with their own free consent, a brave and resolute
people, who had successfully resisted, for many years, the power of every
savage and civilized foe.

The English historians generally agree in representing Opechancanough as
an inveterate enemy of the English from first to last. Such may have been
the case; and he might have had what appeared to him reason and occasion
enough for his hostility. The character of many of the colonists was but
too well calculated to thwart the best intentions on the part of the
government, however peaceable and just might be _their_ theory of Indian
intercourse. The discontent of Tomocomo might have its effect, too, and
especially among the mass of his countrymen. The pledge of harmony which
had existed in the person of Pocahontas was forgotten. But above all,
Opechancanough was too shrewd a man not to perceive, in the alarming
disproportion which was daily showing itself between the power of the
English and the Indians of Virginia--independently of particular
provocations--a sure indication of the necessity of a new system of

Subsequent events confirm this conjecture. No better preparation for a war
could have been made on the chieftain's part, than he effected in the
submission of the Chickahominies. It is not unlikely that he himself
instigated, through his satellites, the very insolence whereby they drew
upon themselves that severe chastisement from the colony, which increased
his own influence over them as much as it aggravated their hostility to
the English. We find that, in 1618, they committed several outrages of a
most flagrant character; and although Opechancanough, who was applied to
for satisfaction, promised to send in the heads of the offenders, this
was never done, and it may be questioned, whether he was not privy to, or
perhaps the chief author and contriver of the whole affair. At all events,
historians represent, that his regal authority over the tribe was thereby
"firmly riveted and established."

Still, not only had the artful chieftain given no open cause of offence
or evidence of hostility; but he absolutely succeeded, as we have seen,
in completely quieting the suspicions of the colonists. In 1620, indeed,
we find it recorded in the journal of Mr. Rolfe, that "_now Opechankanough
will not come at vs; that causes vs suspect his former promises._" But
this little uneasiness was wholly done away, on the arrival of Sir Francis
Wyatt, the successor of Yeardly, in 1621. That gentleman immediately sent
messengers to Opechancanough and Opitchipan, who both expressed great
satisfaction at the accession of the new President, and cheerfully renewed
their former leagues with the colony. The former also declared himself
pleased with the idea of the English inhabiting the country. He proposed,
by way of amalgamating the two nations, that some of the white families
should settle among his people, while some of his should settle at
Jamestown. A former promise was confirmed, of sending a guide with the
English to certain mines represented to be situated above the falls. Nay,
so far was the deception carried, that "Mr. Thorpe [the chief messenger]
thought he perceived more motions of religion in Opechancanough than could
easily be imagined, in so great ignorance and blindness. He acknowledged
his own religion not to be the right way; and desired to be instructed in
the Christian faith. He confessed that God loved the English better than
them, and he thought the cause of God's anger was their custom of conjuring
their children, and _making them black boys._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Allusion seems to be made here to a custom which is sufficiently
 singular to deserve some description. Smith calls it a yearly sacrifice
 of children. A ceremony of the kind which was performed near Jamestown
 may best be described in his own words. "Fifteene of the properest young
 boyes betweene ten and fifteene yeeres of age, they paynted white. Hauing
 brought them forth, the people spent the forenoone in dauncing and
 singing about them with rattles. In the afternoone they put those
 children to the roote of a tree. By them all the men stood in a guard,
 each hauing a Bastinado in his hand, made of reeds bound together. This
 made a lane betweene them all along, through which there were appointed
 fiue young men to fetch these children. So euery one of the fiue went
 through the guard to fetch a childe, each after other by turnes, the
 guard firecely beating them with their Bastinadoes, and they patiently
 enduring and receiuing all, defending the children with their naked
 bodies from the vnmerciful blowes, that pay them soundly, tho' the
 children escape. All this while, the women weepe and cry out very
 passionately, prouiding mats, skinnes, mosse and dry wood, as things
 fitting their childrens' funerals. After the children were thus passed
 the guard, the guard tore down the trees, branches and boughs, with such
 violence that they rent the body, and made wreaths for their heads, or
 bedecked their hayre with the leaues. What els was done with the children
 was not seene, but they were all cast on a heape in a valley as dead,
 where they made a great feast for all the company. The Werowance being
 demanded the meaning of this sacrifice, answered that the children were
 not all dead, but that the _Okee_ or Divill did sucke the bloode from
 their left breast, who chanced to be his by lot, till they were dead; but
 the rest were kept in the wildernesse by the young men till nine months
 were expired, during which time they must not converse with any, _and of
 these were made their Priests and Coniurors._" Master Pory says, in his
 Observations that the Accomacks were a civil and tractable people: "nor
 doe they vse that deuillish custome _in making Black Boyes._"

It must have been about this time that Opechancanough took the trouble to
send some of his men to a sachem on the eastern shore, for a quantity of
poison, peculiar to that region, and which he wished to use in his
operations against the English. [FN] This may have been the true object of
the embassy; and it may also have been but a cover for sounding the
disposition of the eastern tribes towards the colony. Accordingly, it is
recorded in the "Observations of Master Iohn Pory, secretarie of Virginia,
in his travels," that Namenacus, the Sachem of Pawtuxent, made an
application to the colony, in 1621, for the privilege of trading with
them. This request was so far attended to, that the English promised to
visit him within six weeks. Now it seems that their commerce with the
Indians at this period was mostly carried on by the aid of one Thomas
Salvage, an interpreter, and the same man whom Smith had left with
Powhatan fourteen years before. The visit took place according to promise,
and it was then ascertained that Opechancanough had employed one of his
Indians to kill Salvage. The pretence was, "because he brought the trade
from him to the easterne shore." The truth probably was, that the
chieftain was jealous of the English influence among the tribes of that

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith.

But the storm which had been gathering ever since the death of the
emperor, was at length ready to burst upon the devoted colony.
Opechancanough had completed every preparation which the nature of things
permitted on his part; and nothing remained, but to strike the great blow
which he intended should utterly extinguish the English settlements
forever. The twenty-second day of March, 1622--an era but too memorable in
Virginian history--was selected for the time; and a certain hour agreed
upon, to ensure a simultaneous assault in every direction. The various
tribes engaged in the conspiracy were drawn together, and stationed in the
vicinity of the several places of massacre, with a celerity and precision
unparalleled in the annals of the continent. Although some of the
detachments had to march from great distances, and through a continued
forest, guided only by the stars and moon, no single instance of disorder
or mistake is known to have happened. One by one, they followed each other
in profound silence, treading as nearly as possible in each other's steps,
and adjusting the long grass and branches which they displaced. [FN] They
halted at short distances from the settlements, and waited in death-like
stillness before the signal of attack.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Burk.

That was to be given by their fellow-savages, who had chosen the same
morning for visiting the different plantations, in considerable numbers,
for the purpose of ascertaining their strength and precise situation, and
at the same time preventing any suspicion of the general design. This, it
should be observed, had recently become too habitual a practice with the
Indians, to excite suspicion of itself. The peace was supposed to be
inviolable. The savages were well known to be in no condition for a war;
and had shown no disposition for one. The English, therefore, while they
supplied them generally with whatever they asked for, upon fair terms,
neglected to prepare themselves for defence. They were so secure, that a
sword or a firelock was rarely to be met with in a private dwelling. Most
of their plantations were seated in a scattered and straggling manner, as
a water-privilege or a choice vein of rich land invited them; and indeed
it was generally thought, the further from neighbors, the better. The
Indians were daily received into their houses, fed at their tables, and
lodged in their bedchambers; and boats were even lent them previous to the
twenty-second, as they passed backwards and forwards for the very purpose
of completing the plan, of extirpation.

The hour being come, the savages, knowing exactly in what spot every
Englishman was to be found, rose upon them at once. The work of death was
commenced, and they spared neither sex nor age, man, woman nor child. Some
entered the houses under color of trade. Others drew the owners abroad
upon various pretences; while the rest fell suddenly on such as were
occupied in their several labors. So quick was the execution, that few
perceived the weapon or blow which despatched them. And thus, in one hour
and almost at the same instant, fell three hundred and forty-seven men,
women and children; most of them by their own arms, and all, (as Stith
observes,) by the hands of a naked and timid people, who durst not stand
the presenting of a staff in the manner of a firelock, in the hands of a

Those who had sufficient warning to make resistance, saved their lives.
Nathaniel Causie an old soldier of Captain Smith's, though cruelly
wounded, cleaved down one of his assailants with an axe; upon which the
whole party who had surrounded him fled, and he escaped. At another place,
two men held possession of a house against sixty Indians. At Warrasqueake,
a Mr. Baldwin, whose wife was so badly wounded that she lay for dead, by
repeatedly discharging his musket drove off the enemy, and saved both her
and himself. Ralph Hamer, the historian, defended himself in his house,
successfully, with spades, axes and brickbats. One small family, living
near Martin's Hundred, where as many as seventy-three of the English were
slain, not only escaped the massacre, but never heard any thing of it
until two or three days afterwards. Jamestown and some of the neighboring
places were saved by the disclosure of a Christian Indian named Chanco,
who was confidentially informed of the design by his brother, on the
morning of the 22d.

Such was the evidence which Opechancanough gave of his deep-rooted hatred
of the English. And yet, such was his profound dissimulation, that so late
as the middle of March, he treated a messenger sent to him from the
President with the utmost civility, assuring him he held the peace so
firm, that the sky would fall sooner than it should be violated on his
part. Mr. Thorpe, an excellent man, who had taken a peculiar interest in
christianizing the Indians, supposed that he had gained the especial favor
of Opechancanough by building him a very neat house after the English
fashion; in which he took such pleasure, as to lock and unlock his door a
hundred times a day. [FN] He seemed also to be pleased with the discourse
and company of Mr. Thorpe, and expressed a desire to requite some of his
kindness. Nevertheless, the body of this unfortunate man was found among
the slain. Only two days before the massacre, the Indians guided a party
of the English through the woods, and sent home one who had lived among
them to learn their language. On the very morning of the fatal day, as
also the evening before, they came, as at other times, unarmed into the
houses of the English, with deer, turkeys, fish, fruits and other things
to sell; and in some places sat down to breakfast with the same persons
whom they rose up to tomahawk.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith.

The particular occasion--as the historians consider it--of the conspiracy,
is too characteristic to be omitted. There was a noted Indian, named
Nemattanow, who was wont, out of vanity or some unaccountable humor, to
dress himself up with _feathers_ in a most barbarously fantastic manner.
This habit obtained for him among the English the name of
_Jack-of-the-feather._ He was renowned among his countrymen both for
courage and cunning; and was esteemed the greatest war-captain of those
times. But, what was most remarkable, although he had been in many
skirmishes and engagements with the English, he had always escaped without
a wound. From this accident, seconded by his own ambition and craft, he
obtained at length the reputation of being invulnerable and immortal.

Early in 1622, Nemattanow came to the house of one Morgan, who kept and
sold a variety of well-selected commodities for the use of the Indians.
Smitten with a strong desire to obtain some of them, Nemattanow persuaded
Morgan to accompany him to Pamunkey, on the assurance of an advantageous
traffic at that place. On the way, he is supposed to have murdered the
trader. Within two or three days, he returned again to the house of his
victim where were only two stout young men, servants of Morgan, at home.
They, observing that he wore their master's cap on his head, inquired
after him; and Jack told them frankly he was dead.

Confirmed in their previous suspicions by this declaration, they seized
him, and endeavored to carry him before Mr. Thorpe, who lived at a
neighboring settlement. But their prisoner troubled them so much by his
resistance, and withal provoked them so intolerably by his bravadoes, that
they finally shot him down, and put him into a boat, in order to convey
him the remaining seven or eight miles of the way. But the Indian soon
grew faint; and finding himself surprised by the pangs of death, he
requested his captors to stop. In his last moments he most earnestly
besought of them two great favors; first, never to make it known that he
was killed by a bullet; and secondly, to bury him among the English, that
the certain knowledge and monument of his mortality might still be
concealed from the sight of his countrymen. So strong was the ruling
passion in death.

Opechancanough was so far from being a particular friend of Nemattanow
that he had given the President to understand, by a messenger, sometime
before the transaction just related, that he should consider it a favor in
_him,_ if he would take measures to have Jack despatched. The popularity
of the war-captain was the only reason why he forbore to take such
measures himself. Nevertheless, with a consummate wiliness he availed
himself of this same popularity, on the death of his rival--as Jack seems
to have been--the better to inflame and exasperate the Indians against the
whites. He affected to be excessively grieved at his death, and for
sometime was unusually loud in his declarations of resentment and his
threats of revenge. A messenger came from the President, to ascertain what
was intended by these demonstrations of hostility, and again all was quiet
as before; nothing could induce the Sachem to violate the vast regard
which he had always entertained for the English. About the same time he
gave them liberty, by negotiation, to seat themselves any where on the
shores of the rivers, within his dominions, where the natives had no
villages. The treaty he had already made for the discovery of mines, as
well as for mutual friendship and defence, was at his request engraven on
a brass plate, and fastened to one of the largest oaks growing upon his
territories, that it might be had always in remembrance. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Belknap's Am. Biog. p. 64, Vol. II.

For several years after the massacre, a war was waged between the
colonists and the savages, so inveterate and ferocious as to transmit a
mutual abhorrence and prejudice to the posterity of both. The former
obtained at this period the name of the Long-Knives, by which they were
distinguished to a very late day in the hieroglyphic language of the
natives. Every precaution and preparation was taken and made upon both
sides, in view of a desperate conflict. Orders were issued by the
government, from time to time, directing a general vigilance and caution
against the enemy who now engrossed all thought; and especially
prohibiting the waste of arms and ammunition. The remnants of the
settlements were drawn together into a narrower compass. Of eighty
plantations all were abandoned but six, which lay contiguous at the lower
part of James river; and three or four others, of which the owners or
overseers, refusing to obey public orders, intrenched themselves, and
mounted cannon for their own separate defence. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Purchas V. 1792.

A considerable space of territory between the Virginians and the savage
tribes, was wasted with fire, for the sole purpose of laying bare the
stealthy approaches of the enemy, who, under cover of the long grass and
underwood, and the gigantic shield of the oak and cypress, had heretofore
been able to advance unperceived, and rise up in attack almost from under
the very feet of the English. But even a boundary of fire could not always
restrain the fury, nor elude the skill, of the Indians. Wisely content
with short and sudden incursions, for plunder and revenge rather than
conquest, they frequently succeeded in carrying off the corn and cattle of
the colonists, and sometimes their persons into captivity. They were
themselves, on the other hand, hunted like beasts of prey. No prisoners
were made; no quarter was given.

From the time of the massacre, Opechancanough seems no longer to have
taken the least trouble to conceal his hostility. He returned a haughty
answer to the first demand, made upon him for the redemption of the
English captives; and trampled under foot the picture of the English
monarch, which was sent to him as a compliment. Late in 1622, when Captain
Croshaw was trading on the Potomac, with the only tribe which was now
willing to carry on commerce, he had scarcely landed from his vessel, when
a messenger arrived from Opechancanough to Japazaws, (king of the
Patowomekes,) bearing two baskets of beads as a royal present, and
soliciting the king to murder his new visitants on the spot. He was
assured, that whether he did _his_ part or not, before the end of two
moons, there should not be an Englishman left in the whole country.
Japazaws first disclosed the message to his guest; and then, after
thinking and talking of it two days, made answer that the English were his
friends, and Opitchipan (the Powhatan emperor) his brother; and therefore
there should be no more blood shed between them by his means. The beads
were returned by the messenger.

After this, the colonists had their season of success; and more Indians
are said to have been slain during the autumn and winter of 1622-3, than
had ever before fallen by the hands of the English, since the settlement
of Jamestown. [FN] But the course adopted by the civilized party
sufficiently indicates the desperate state of their affairs. They availed
themselves of a stratagem worse than barbarous in its principle, however
circumstances might be supposed in this case to justify it. A peace was
offered to the enemy and accepted; but just as the corn which the latter
were thus induced to plant, was beginning to grow ripe, the English fell
upon them in all directions at a given hour of an appointed day, killed
many, and destroyed a vast quantity of provisions. Several of the greatest
war-captains were among the slain; and for sometime Opechancanough himself
was reported to be one. This rumor alone, so long as believed, was equal
to a victory; "for against _him,_" says the historian, "was this stratagem
chiefly laid."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Stith.

Such language furnishes evidence enough of the apprehension which his
movements and reputation had excited. But he gave more substantial reasons
for the respect which he still wrested from his enemy, by his prowess. A
battle took place at his own village of Pamunkey, in 1625, in which the
main body of the savages numbered eight hundred bow-men, independently of
detachments from remote tribes; and though the English, led on by Governor
Wyatt in person, succeeded in driving the enemy from the field, they were
unable to pursue them even as far as Matapony. That town was their
principal depot and rallying point, and the acknowledged inability to
reach it, though but four miles distant, proves that the battle was by no
means decisive. It appears from this affair, too, that all the efforts of
the English, during an inveterate war of three years, had not driven the
tribes even from the neighborhood of their own settlements. What was more
discouraging, Opechancanough was not to be deceived a second time by the
arts of diplomacy. In 1628, the governor's proclamation, which announced
the appointment of commissioners to negotiate with the enemy, declared
expressly an intention to repeat the stratagem of 1622; [FN] but the plan
failed of success, and the Pamunkies and Chickahominies--most immediately
under the influence of Opechancanough--were more troublesome at this
period than ever before.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ancient Records of Virginia.

Four years afterwards, the same tribes made an irruption so furious and
alarming, that every twentieth man was despatched, under the command of
the governor, to _parley_ with them--a term in the records which shows
forcibly, as Burk observes, the respect this brave people had inspired.
But Opechancanough was still implacable; and when, in the course of 1632,
a peace was at last formally concluded, so little dependence was placed on
that circumstance, that even while the commissioners on both sides were
adjusting the preliminaries, a proclamation was issued, forbidding the
colonists either to parley or trade with the Indians.

This truce or treaty was understood to be on both sides a temporary
expedient; but the chieftain was the first to take advantage of it. During
nine years he remained quietly making his preparations for the conflict
which his sagacity told him must some day or other be renewed. The hour at
length arrived. The colony was involved in dissensions. Insurrections had
taken place. The governor was unpopular, and the people were unprepared
and heedless. Opechancanough lost not a moment in concerting measures for
effecting at a single blow the bloody, but in his bosom noble design,
which had  engrossed the solicitude and labor of so large a part of his

He was now advanced in years, but his orders were conveyed with electric
rapidity to the remotest tribes of the great confederacy associated under
his influence. With the five nearest his own location, and most completely
under his control, he resolved to make the principal onset in person. The
more distant stations were assigned to the leading chiefs of the several
nations; and thus the system of a war that raged from the mouth of the
Chesapeake to the heads of all the great rivers, which flow into it, was
so simple as to render confusion impossible. The whole force was let loose
upon the entire line of the English settlements at nearly the same instant
of time. Five hundred persons perished in the massacre. [FN] Many others
were carried into captivity. The habitations, corn, household utensils,
instruments of farming, every thing essential to comfort, and almost every
thing necessary to life, was consumed by fire. But for circumstances in
the situation of the settlements, over which Opechancanough had no
control, and which he could not guard against, the fate of Virginia had
been decided by this single blow.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Beverly's History, p. 49.

As it was, every other labor and thought were suspended in the terrors of
an Indian war. The loom was abandoned. The plough was left in its furrow.
All who were able to bear arms were embodied as a militia for the defence
of the colony; and a chosen body, comprising every twentieth man, marched
into the enemy's country under Governor Berkeley's personal command. The
operations of the war, which raged thenceforth without any intermission
until the death of Opechancanough--and that alone was expected to end
it--are detailed by no historian. The early Virginian records which remain
in manuscript are altogether silent respecting this period; and the meagre
relation of Beverly is the only chronicle which has survived the ravages
of time. This circumstance of itself sufficiently indicates the confusion
and dismay of the era.

Opechancanough, whose last scene now rapidly approaches, had become so
decrepit by age, as to be unable to walk, though his spirit, rising above
the ruins of his body, directed, from the litter upon which his Indians
carried him, the onset and the retreat of his warriors. The wreck of his
constitution was at length completed by the extreme fatigues encountered
in this difficult and laborious service. His flesh became macerated; his
sinews lost their elasticity; and his eyelids were so heavy that he could
not see, unless they were lifted up by his faithful attendants. In this
forlorn condition he was closely pursued by Berkeley with a squadron of
horse, and at length surprised and taken. He entered Jamestown, for the
first time in his life, as the most conspicuous figure in the conqueror's

To the honor of the English, they treated their distinguished captive with
the tenderness which his infirmities demanded, and the respect which his
appearance and talents inspired. They saw the object of their terror
bending under the load of years, and shattered by the hardships of war;
and they generously resolved to bury the remembrance of their injuries in
his present melancholy reverse of fortune. His own deportment was suitable
to his former glory, and to the principles of an Indian hero. He disdained
to utter complaint or to manifest uneasiness. He believed that tortures
were preparing for him; but instead of any consequent reduction in his
haughtiness, his language and demeanor bespoke the most absolute defiance
and contempt.

But generally he shrouded himself in reserve; and as if desirous of
showing his enemies that there was nothing in their presence even to rouse
his curiosity, and much less to excite his apprehensions, he but rarely
permitted his eyelids to be lifted up. He continued in this state several
days, attended by his affectionate Indian servants, who had begged
permission to wait upon him. But his long life of near an hundred years
[FN] was drawing to its close. He was basely shot through the back by one
of the soldiers appointed to guard him, from no other provocation than the
recollection of his ancient hostility.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] So write some historians, but as he is understood to have been
 younger than Powhatan, the estimate is possibly too large by ten or
 twenty ears. It is said that Berkeley had proposed taking him to England,
 as a living argument to counteract the representations made in that
 country as to the unhealthiness of the Virginian climate.

To the last moment his courage remained unbroken. The nearer death
approached, the more care he seemed to use in concealing his dejection,
and preserving the dignity and serenity of his aspect. Only a few minutes
before he expired, he heard an unusual bustle in the room where he was
confined. Having ordered his attendants to raise his eyelids, he
discovered a number of persons crowding round him, for the purpose of
gratifying an unseasonable curiosity. The dying chief felt the indignity,
but disdaining to notice the intruders he raised himself as well as he
could, and with a voice and air of authority, demanded that the _governor_
should be immediately brought in. When the latter made his appearance, the
chieftain scornfully told him that "had it been _his_ fortune to have
taken _Sir William Berkeley prisoner, he should not have exposed him as
a show to his people._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Beverley.

Such was the death of Opechancanough. His character is too well explained
by his life to require any additional comment. His own countrymen were
more extensively and more completely under his influence than they had
been under that of Powhatan himself. This is the more remarkable from the
fact that Opitchipan, whose age and family at least entitled  to some
deference, retained the nominal authority of emperor so long as he lived.
Beverley says, that Opechancanough was not esteemed by the Indians to be
in any way related to Powhatan; and that they represented him as the
prince of a foreign nation residing at a great distance somewhere in the
Southwest. He might be an emigrant or an exile from the empire of Mexico,
or from some of the tribes between that region and Virginia. The same
historian describes him as a man of large stature, noble presence and
extraordinary parts. Stith calls him a politic and haughty prince. Burk
entitles him the Hannibal of Virginia.

He was perhaps the most inveterate and troublesome enemy which any of the
American colonies have ever met with among his race. The general causes
which made him so, independently of his inherent talents and principles,
are to be looked for in the situation of the tribes under his command, and
especially in the relations existing between them and the colonists. He
saw, that either the white or the red man must sooner or later establish
an exclusive superiority; and he very reasonably decided upon doing all in
his own power to determine the issue in favor of his country and himself.
But more particular provocations were not wanting. Even after the peace of
1636, great as the anxiety was for its preservation, "the subtle Indians,"
says Beverley, "resented _the encroachments on them by Hervey's grants."_
A late historian expresses himself in warmer terms. It was not enough, he
writes, that they had abandoned to their invaders the delightful regions
on the sea-shore, where their fathers had been placed by the bounty of
heaven--where their days had rolled on in an enchanting round of innocence
and gayety--where they had possessed abundance without labor, and
independence without government. The little that remained to them was
attempted to be wrested from them by the insatiable avarice and rapacity
of their enemies.[FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Burk, Vol. II.

                              CHAPTER V.

 Biography of other Virginian chieftains--Opitchipan--Some particulars
  respecting Tomocomo--His visit to England, interview with Captain Smith,
  and return to America--Japazaws, chief sachem of the Patowomekes--His
  friendship for the English--Ill treatment which he received from
  them--Totopotomoi, successor of Opechancanough--His services--His death
  in 1656--Notices of several native chiefs of North Carolina--Granganimo,
  who dies in 1585--Menatenon, king of the Chowanocks--Ensenore, father
  of Granganimo; and Wingina, his brother--Plot of the latter against the
  Hatteras colony--His death--Comment on the Carolinian Biography.

The characters we have heretofore noticed are far the most prominent in
the Indian history of Virginia. Indeed, they are almost the only ones
which have been preserved with distinctness enough to excite much interest
in them as individuals. Still, there are several which ought not to be
wholly passed by; and the want of a vivid light and coloring in some of
them, may perhaps be compensated, at least, by the appearance of milder
qualities than are predominant in the portraitures we have hitherto

The extant information respecting certain members of the Powhatan family,
whose history has not been concluded, may soon be detailed. Opitchipan is
not mentioned subsequently to the great battle of Pamunkey, in 1625, when
for the first time he appears to have placed himself at the head of his
countrymen, in opposition to the English. As the name of Opechancanough is
not even alluded to in the records of that period, it may be presumed he
was accidentally absent. _Generally,_ he seems to have been out of favor
with his reigning brother, and to have contended against his influence,
such as it was, in all his design hostile to the colony. Opitchipan
disapproved of the great massacre of 1622; and early in the ensuing season
we find him sending in Chanco, the Christian convert who disclosed the
conspiracy in that case, with a message to Governor Wyatt, that if he
would send ten or twelve men, he would give up all the English prisoners
in his possession--(which, as we have seen, Opechancanough had refused to
do.) He even promised to deliver up his implacable brother--if brother he
was--bound hand and foot. "Captain Tucker," says Stith, "was accordingly
sent upon this service, _but without the desired success._ However,
Opitchipan sent back _Mrs. Boyce,_ naked and unapparelled, in manner and
fashion like one of their Indians." So insignificant, even with these
savages, was the power of mere family rank, as opposed to the authority of
reputation and talent.

One of the chief counselors and priests of Powhatan, and the husband of
his daughter Matachanna, was Tomocomo, who went to England with
Pocahontas, and returned with Captain Argall. Smith, who calls him
Vttamatomakkin, says he was held by his countrymen to be "a very
understanding fellow." The same inference might be made from the
commission which Powhatan gave him, on the occasion just alluded to, to
take the number of the people in England, and to bring him an exact and
minute account of their strength and resources. Tomocomo set about that
business with equal simplicity and zeal. Immediately on his arrival at
Plymouth, he procured a long stick, whereupon to cut a notch with his
knife for every man he should see. But he  soon became weary of his task,
and threw his stick away. When the emperor inquired, on his return, how
many people there were, he could only compare them to the stars in the
sky, the leaves on the trees, and the sands on the sea-shore.

Mr. Purchas, (compiler of the famous collection of voyages,) was informed
by President Dale, with whom Tomocomo went out from Virginia, that
Opechancanough, and not Powhatan, had given instructions; and that the
object of them was not so much to ascertain the Population, as to form
an estimate of the amount of corn raised, and of forest trees growing in
England. Nomantack and the other savages who had previously visited that
country, being ignorant, and having seen little of the British empire
except London, had reported a very large calculation of the men and
houses, while they said almost nothing about the trees and corn. It was
therefore a general opinion among the Indians, that the English had
settled in Virginia only for the purpose of getting supplies of these two
articles; and in confirmation, they observed their continual eagerness
after corn, and the great quantities of cedar, clapboards, and
wainscoting, which they annually exported to England. Tomocomo readily
undeceived his countrymen upon this point. Landing in the west of England
in summer, and traveling thence to London, he of course saw evidences of
great agricultural and rural plenty and wealth; and was soon obliged to
abandon the account he had undertaken to keep--his arithmetic failing him
on the first day.

In the British metropolis, he met accidentally with Captain Smith; and the
two immediately renewed their ancient acquaintance. Tomocomo told the
captain, that Powhatan had given orders to request of him--if indeed he
was not dead, as reported--the favor of showing Tomocomo the English God,
and also their King, Queen and prince, of whom they had formerly conversed
so often together. "As to God," as Stith expresses it, "Captain Smith
excused and explained the matter the best he could." As to the king, he
told Tomocomo he had already seen him, which was true. But the Indian
denied it; and it was not without some trouble that Smith, by mentioning
certain circumstances, convinced him of the fact. The Indian then assumed
a most melancholy look, "Ah!" said he, "you presented Powhatan a white dog
which he fed as himself. Now, I am certainly better than a white dog; but
your king has given me nothing." Such an arch sense, adds the historian,
had this savage of the "stingy" treatment he had received at court.
Nothing is known of Tomocomo after his return to America.

The most constant friend and ally of the Virginian English, for twenty
years from the settlement of Jamestown, was Japazaws, the Sachem--or, as
the old writers call him, the king--of the Potomacs or Patowomekes. He
was a person of great influence and authority on the whole length of the
river which bears to this day the name of his tribe; being in fact a kind
of petty emperor there, and always affecting to treat Powhatan and the
other emperors rather as brethren than superiors. He had two hundred
bowmen in his own village, at the date of the great massacre. The entire
population which was more or less subject to him, appears, though somewhat
indistinctly, from Smith's account of his first interview with the Sachem
and his people, in 1608.

"The 16th of Iune," he writes, "we fell with the riuer Patowomek. Feare
being gone and our men recouered, we were al content to take some paines
to know the name of that seuen-mile broad riuer. For thirtie miles sayle
we could see no inhabitants. Then we were conducted by two Salvages vp a
little bayed creeke towards Onawmanaient, where al the woodes were layd
with ambuscadoes to the number of _three or fours thousand_ Salvages, so
strangely paynted, grimed and disguised, shouting, yelling and crying as
so many spirits from hell could not haue showed more terrible. Many
brauadoes they made, but to appease their furie, our captaine prepared
with as seeming a willingness as they to encounter them. But the grazing
of our bullets vpon the water (many being shot on purpose they might see
them) with the ecco of the woodes, so amazed them, as downe went their
bowes and arrowes; and (exchanging hostages) Iames Watkins was sent six
myles vp the woodes to _their King's_ habitation. We were kindly vsed of
those Salvages of whom we vnderstood they were commanded to betray us by
the direction of Powhatan." After this, he was supplied with plenty of
excellent provisions by the subjects of Japazaws, and furnished by that
sachem himself with guides to conduct his party up some of the streams.
Finally, he "kindly requited this kinde king and al his kinde people."

Thus auspiciously commenced a valuable acquaintance; and it is eminently
worthy of observation, with what fidelity of friendship the English were
repaid for the courtesy shown to this intelligent barbarian, and for the
justice done to his subjects. Ever afterwards, they sustained the English
cause, and supplied the English necessities, when all the rest of their
countrymen were willing neither to treat nor trade upon any terms. When
Argall arrived, in 1614, for example, "he was sent to the riuer
Patawomeake," (as Master Hamer calls it,) "to trade for corne, the
Salvages about vs hauing small quarter, but friends and foes as they found
aduantage and opportunitie." Then, Argall "hauing entred into a great
acquaintance with Japazaws, an old friend of Captaine Smith's, and so to
all our nation, ever since hee discouered the countrie," the negotiation
ensued which resulted, as we have heretofore shown, in getting possession
of the person of Pocahontas, and thereby ultimately effecting a general

The warmth of the Sachem's gratitude perhaps caused him to lay too little
stress on the hospitality due to a princess and a guest--if guest she
was--but the struggle which attended the bargain, and the sorrow which
followed it, both show that Japazaws was not without principle or feeling.
The argument which probably turned the balance in his mind, respected the
prospect of a treaty to be brought about by means of Pocahontas, in which
she and Powhatan had much more interest than himself. The bright copper
kettle was a subordinate consideration, though not a slight one. We have
seen, that the Powhatan Sachems were willing to barter almost their
birthright for a pound or two of blue beads. At all events, Japazaws must
have credit for the delicate arrangement by which the princess was first
notified of her forlorn condition. _"Iapazaws treading aft on the
Captaine's foot,_ to remember he had done his part, the captaine, when he
saw his time, persuaded Pocahontas to the gun-roome, faining to have some
conference with Iapazaws, _which was only that shee should not percieue
hee was any way guiltie of her captiuitie._"

In 1619, Iapazous--so called by master John Rolfe--came to Jamestown, for
the first time, to desire that two ships might be sent to trade in his
river, corn being more abundant than for a long time before. Parties were
sent, accordingly; but, for some reasons, not explained, they met with
indifferent success in the commerce, and so concluded to take eight
hundred bushels of corn by force. That Japazaws was not much in fault,
would appear from the circumstance that he had no part in the great
conspiracy of 1622; immediately after which we find, that Captain Croshaw
went up the Potomac, "where he intended to stay and trade for himself by
reason of the long acquaintance he had with _this King,_ that, so
earnestly entreated him now to be his friend, his countenancer, his
captaine and director against the Pazaticans, the Nacotchtanks and
Moyaons, his mortall enemies." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Smith's History, Vol. II.

Croshaw gladly availed himself of this invitation, first for the sake of
conducting his commerce to advantage, and secondly, for the purpose of
"keeping the king as an opposite to Opechancanough." It was soon
afterwards, that the chieftain last named sent his messengers to Japazaws,
with presents of beads, and proposals of alliance against the
English--both which were rejected. Then we are told, that "Captaine
Hamer arriuing with a ship and a pinnace at Patawomeke, was kindly
entertained both by him [Croshaw] and the king." The two were living
snugly together at this time; using common efforts for supplying the
colony--or at least the captain--on the one hand, and for suppressing the
king's enemies, as named above, on the other. Their union was at length
interrupted by the machinations of an exile Sachem, who had taken refuge
at Potomac from the discontent of his own subjects. Angry with Japazaws
for not assisting him in the recovery of his dominion, he forged an artful
story about Japazaws and his tribe having recently leagued with

That story he told to one Isaac Madison, who had just been sent to Potomac
by Governor Wyatt, with a reenforcement of thirty men, and a commission
expressly charging him to assist the Patowomekes against their enemies,
and to protect them and their corn to his utmost power. To give his
falsehood the air of probability, this savage Iago cunningly commented
upon certain circumstances which had recently occurred. Madison was at
length so much alarmed, that sending for Japazaws to his own strong-house
(which Japazaws himself had assisted him in fortifying,) he locked in the
Sachem, his son, and their four attendants, set over them a guard of
soldiers, and then made a violent and bloody assault upon the neighboring
village of the Indians. The king remonstrated, but in vain. He denied all
the charges brought against him, to no purpose. Madison then led him and
the other five prisoners to his ship, promising to set them at liberty as
soon as his men were safely aboard. The king meanwhile prevented his
subjects from annoying the English on the way. But, contrary to all good
faith, the captives were carried to Jamestown, and detained there till the
following October, when they were taken home by Captain Hamer and ransomed
with a quantity of corn. Madison was prosecuted afterwards for his
infamous conduct, but never punished. The Patowomekes must of course have
been estranged by it from the English interest, though there is no
evidence of their ever opposing them in arms. Japazaws kept himself aloof;
and is no more mentioned in history.

The death of Opechancanough was a signal for the dissolution of the famous
confederacy which it had required the whole genius of that chieftain and
his predecessor to form and maintain. The tribes relapsed into their
former state of separate government; and no formidable leader ever again
roused them to union. The nominal successor of Opechancanough was
Totopotomoi, whom we do not find even mentioned until after a lapse of ten
years from his accession. The ancient records of Virginia show, that in
1651, an Act of Assembly was passed assigning and securing to Totopotomoi
such lands on York river as he should choose; and commissioners were
appointed to conduct him and his attendants in safety to Jamestown, and
from that place home again, after the adjustment of the treaty. The
termination of his reign and life was as follows. Five years subsequent
to the date last mentioned, and after an interval of profound peace with
the Indians which had continued for fifteen years, information was
suddenly received at Jamestown, that a body of inland or mountain savages,
called Rechahecrians, to the number of six or seven hundred, had seated
themselves near the falls of James river, with the apparent intention of
forming a regular settlement. The motives of this singular movement have
never been explained. It is only known, that it gave no little alarm to
the colonists; and that active preparations were made for driving the new
enemy back to their own territories. A campaign ensued, and a battle was
fought; and in this battle fell the king of the Powhatans, gallantly
fighting in aid of the English, at the head of one hundred warriors.
Victory declared for the Rechahecrians, but a peace was soon after
negotiated with them on terms satisfactory to both parties.

Totopotomoi has at least his name immortalized by the author of Hudibras,
who introduced him (to make out a rhyme,) in his noted allusion to a
certain scandal upon the New England colonists.

    A precious brother having slain.
    In time of peace, an Indian,
    . . .
    The mighty Tottipotimoy
    Sent to our elders an envoy,
    Complaining sorely of the breach
    Of league, held forth by brother Patch.
    . . .
    For which he craved the saints to render
    Into his hands, or hang, the offender.
    But they, maturely having weighed,
    They had no more but him of the trade--
    A man that served them in a double
    Capacity, to preach and cobble--
    Resolved to spare him; yet to do
    The Indian _Hogan Mogan_ too
    Impartial Justice, in his stead did
    Hang an old weaver that was bed-rid.

We may certainly be amused with the wit of the satirist in this case,
without insisting upon a strict proof of his statements.

Such is the meagre biography of the last of the Virginian chieftains. We
shall close this chapter with some particulars respecting two or three
of the principal Indians known, at an earlier date, to the first colonists
of Carolina. One of these was Wingina, the king of a considerable tract of
territory called Wingandacoa, bordering upon Albemarle Sound. Another was
Granganimo, the brother of Wingina. Not much information is extant
concerning either of these persons; but the little which is known derives
an additional interest both from the style of the ancient writers of that
period, and from the circumstance that the foreign settlements which led
to this partial acquaintance were among the very first upon the continent.

On the 27th of April, 1584, Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow sailed from
the west of England, as commanders of two barks, fitted out by Sir Walter
Raleigh, for the purpose of exploring a vast tract of country granted to
him by a patent from Queen Elizabeth, of the March previous. Taking the
usual route by way of the Canaries and West Indies, they approached the
coast of the Southern States, (now so called,) on the second of July,
(enjoying for a day or two "a most delicate sweete smell" from the shore.)
After sailing one hundred and twenty miles north, they entered the first
harbor they met with, returned thanks to God for their safe arrival, went
to view the neighboring land, and then took possession of it, formally,
"for the Queene's most excellent majestie." "Which done," writes our
ancient chronicler, "they found their first landing-place sandy and low,
but so full of grapes that the very surge of the sea sometimes overflowed
them; of which they found such plenty in all places, on the sand, the
greene soyle and hils, as in the plaines, as well on euery little shrub as
also climbing towardes the tops of high cedars, that they did thinke in
the world were not the like abundance."

                              * * * * *

 {FN} See the Collections of Hackluyt.

 {Transcriber's Note: This citation is not referenced in the text, but
 appears on the same page as the preceding paragraph.}

This beautiful spot was the island of Wococon, supposed to be the same now
called Ocracock. The newly arrived adventurers wandered over every part of
it with mingled feelings of amazement and delight. Goodly woods covered
the green bosom of its quiet valleys. There, we are told, were the highest
and reddest cedars of the world, "bettering them of Azores or Libanus.
There, were Pynes, Cypres, Saxefras, the Lentisk that beareth mastick, and
many other of excellent smelle and qualitie. Then there were deere and
conies, and fowl in such incredible abundance, that the discharge of a
musket would raise a flock of them from under the very feet of the
travelers, with a noise, 'as if an army of men had shouted altogether.'"

On the third day, three of the natives appeared in a canoe, one of whom
went fearlessly aboard an English bark. The crew could hold no
conversation with him; but they gave him a shirt, a hat, wine and meat.
These he liked exceedingly; and so having satisfied his curiosity with
gazing, he paddled off to the distance of half a mile. He there loaded his
boat with fish in a short time, then landed on a point near by, divided
his booty into two heaps--"pointing one heap to the ship, and the other to
the pinnace"--and then departed. This pacific interview was followed with
happy consequences. The next day Granganimo appeared, with forty or fifty
of his people. He came to the point with his train, and seated himself
upon a mat. A party of the English went ashore, well armed; but instead of
showing any indications of suspicion or fear, he made signs to them to be
seated at his side--stroking their heads and breasts, as also his own, no
doubt in testimony of his good will. He then made a long speech to his new
visitants--probably of welcome--and they presented divers gewgaws to him
in return, which he politely accepted. He was so much regarded by his
attendants, that none of them would sit or even speak in his presence,
with the exception of four. To them the English gave other presents; but
they were immediately put into Granganimo's hands, who signaled, with an
air of dignity, that every thing of this nature must be at his own

At the next interview, the English entertained him with a display of many
commodities calculated to dazzle and surprise him. But none of them struck
his fancy like a large bright pewter dish or plate, and a copper kettle,
for the former of which he gave twenty deer-skins, [FN-1] and for the
latter fifty. He made a hole in the plate, and hung it about his neck for
a breastplate. Much other "truck" passed between the parties, in such good
humor and good faith, that in the course of a day or two a meeting took
place on board one of the vessels, and, the Sachem ate, drank and made
merry with the English, like one of their own number. Not long afterwards,
he brought his wife and children, who are described as slender, but
well-favored and very modest. The wife wore, as her husband did, a band of
white coral on her forehead, and in her ears bracelets of pearl, [FN-2]
"hanging down to her middle, of the size of large peas." Her female
followers had pendants of copper; and the noblemen--as those who seemed to
be leading characters among the males are entitled--had five or six in
each ear. All were dressed alike in skins. The women wore their hair long
on both sides of the head; the men, only on one.

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] Then valued at a crown each. The anecdote reminds one of Japazaws.

 [FN-2] So called by the early writers on various occasions. Probably they
 were shells, or rock-crystal, or something of that kind.

The next step in the acquaintance, and a very natural one, was that great
numbers of people began to come in from various parts of the neighboring
coast, bringing skins, coral and different kinds of dyes for sale; none of
which, however, any of them but the noblemen ("them that wore red copper
on their heads, as _he_ did,") would undertake to barter in presence of
Granganimo himself. The character of the Sachem showed itself more and
more to advantage at every interview. With a very considerate and civil
regard for the comfort of the English, he never paid them a visit without
previously signifying the number of boats he should bring with him, by
fires kindled upon the shore; so that his strength might be exactly
estimated. He invariably kept, with perfect punctuality, every promise
which he made in the course of traffic, as he also regularly sent to the
vessels, daily, a gratuitous fresh supply of provisions--generally a brace
of bucks, conies, rabbits, and fish; and sometimes melons, walnuts,
cucumbers, pears and other roots and fruits. Finally, he invited the
English to visit him at his own residence, on the north end of an island
called Roanoke, distant about twenty miles from the harbor first made by
the colonists.

The invitation was promptly accepted by a party of eight of the English.
They found Granganimo's village to consist of nine houses, built of cedar,
and fortified with sharp palisades, "and the entrance like a turnpik." The
Sachem himself was absent when they arrived; but his wife came out eagerly
to meet them. Some of her people she commanded to draw their boat ashore,
that it might not suffer from the sea's dashing; others to carry the
English on their backs through the surf, and put away their oars under
cover. Meanwhile she conducted her guests into a house containing five
apartments. As they were wet with rain, she had a large fire kindled in
an inner apartment, washed their feet and their clothes, and then served
up a bountiful dinner in another room. "She set on the bord standing along
the house somewhat like frumentie, sodden venison and rosted fish; and in
like manner mellons raw, boyled rootes, and fruites of diuers kindes."

She manifested the utmost anxiety for the comfort of her guests. While
they were eating, two or three Indians happened to enter, with bows and
arrows, upon which the English started up and laid hold of their arms. She
perceived their distrust, but instead of being offended, caused the
weapons of the intruders to be snapped asunder, and themselves to be
beaten. Still the company did not feel perfectly at home, and towards
evening they retired to their boat. This grieved her not a little; but she
sent them a supper. When she saw them jealously pushing off some rods from
the shore for a safe anchorage, she sent them mats to shelter them from
the rain, and directed a guard of her people to watch during the night
upon the shore. On the whole, it has been justly observed, that there is
scarcely in all history a picture of unaffected and generous hospitality
more striking than this.

Wingina, meanwhile, lay at his chief town, ill of wounds he had recently
received in battle; and the English saw nothing of him. Nor was any thing
more seen of Granganimo, until April of the next year, when Sir Richard
Grenville brought out a colony of one hundred and eight persons, whom he
left on the Carolinian shore at Hatteras. Granganimo then came on board
his ship in his usually friendly and fearless manner. But it was his last
visit. He died during the year 1585.

This event produced a great alteration of affairs in the colony. They were
settled on Roanoke, an island at the mouth of Albemarle Sound, and that
situation made it quite convenient for them to visit the coast and the
country in various directions, which they were instructed to do. They
explored, therefore, in the course of their expeditions, as far south as
beyond Pamlico river; and as far north as the territory of the Chesapeake,
on the bay of their own name. They also went up Albemarle Sound and Chowan
river, one hundred and thirty miles, to a nation of Indians called
Chowanocks, living above the junction of the Nottaway and the Meherrin.

We mention these particulars for the sake of introducing Menatenon, the
king of the tribe last named. His province is described as the largest on
the whole length of the river; and the town of Chowanock, it is said,
could bring seven hundred bowmen into the field. Menatenon was lame--owing
probably to a wound in battle--but writes an old chronicler "he had more
understanding than all the rest." He amused the colonists, and especially
their governor, Mr. Lane, with a story about a copper mine and a pearl
fishery, somewhere along the coast. He also gave a strange account of the
head of the river Moratuc, (now called the Roanoke,) where lived a king
(he affirmed,) whose country bordered on the sea, and who took such an
abundance of pearls from it, that not only his skins and his noblemen's,
but his beds and his houses were garnished with that ornament. Mr. Lane
expressed a wish to see a specimen of them; but Menatenon readily replied,
that the king of that rich country _reserved them expressly for trading
with white men._ [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] "This King was at Chowanock two yeares agoe to trade with _blacke
 pearle,_ his worst sort whereof I had a rope, _but they were naught;_ but
 that king he, [Menatenon] sayth hath store of _white,_ and had traffcke
 with white men, for whom he reserved them."

The source of the Moratuc was described as springing out of a vast rock,
standing so near the sea, that in storms the surges beat over it. As for
the copper, _that_ he said was generally collected in great bowls, covered
with skin, at a place particularly described, and yielded two parts of
metal for three of ore. There might be a shadow of foundation for some of
these relations; but the chief object of Menatenon--who was a captive
among the colonists at the time of his making them--must have been to
render himself an important man in their eyes, and perhaps to lead them
into some hazardous enterprise. Hearing them talk much about mines and
pearls, and the South Sea--which were all hobbies with the credulous
adventurers of that period--he adapted his discourse accordingly, and his
eager hearers were simple enough to believe every thing he asserted. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The Mangoaks haue such plentie of it, they beautifie their houses
 with great plates thereof; this the salvages report; and young Shiko, the
 _King Chawonocks sonne my prisoner,_ that had been prisoner among the
 Mangoaks, &c. . . .

 _Menatenon also confirmed all this, and promised me guides to this
 mettall country, &c._

They even undertook the proposed expedition in search of the copper mine
and the South Sea; and had actually advanced nearly two hundred miles up
the country, before famine and fatigue, and the hostility of innumerable
savages compelled them to turn about. It seems that Wingina had heard of
this expedition--perhaps from Menatenon--and like that cunning though
crippled Sachem, he did all in his power to make it both specious in
prospect and fatal in result. After having said every thing to excite the
curiosity and avarice of the colonists, till he saw them determined to go,
he sent word to the different powerful tribes living on their proposed
route, that the English were coming _against them;_ and that the sooner
they suppressed this new enemy, the better. Hence it was, that the party
several times came very near being cut off by the savages; and hence,
instead of being plentifully supplied with choice provisions, as expected,
they were glad to live several days upon two dogs "boiled down with
saxefras leaves."

Fortunately for the colony, several circumstances concurred in the period
of distress which succeeded this enterprise, to prevent Wingina from
making open war upon them. One was the influence of his father, Ensenore,
the best friend, next to Granganimo, whom the English had ever found among
the natives. But the safe return of the expedition made a stronger
impression upon the mind of Wingina. Rumors had been circulated that the
party were all starved or slain; and then he had "begun to blaspheme our
God that would suffer it, and not defend vs, so that old Ensenore had no
more credit for vs; for he began by al the deuises he could to inuade
vs." [FN] But the return of the expedition after having defeated all
enemies--"asswaged a little his deuises, and brought Ensenore in respect
againe, that our God was good, and wee their friends, and our foes should
perish, &c."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See the journal of Governor Lane, as preserved in the old

The last observation suggests another circumstance which went to restrain
the enmity of the chieftain. This was a mortal epidemic, of unknown
character, which prevailed exclusively among the Indians, and carried off
great numbers. The colonists had the art to make these simple beings
regard it as a punishment for the hostility hitherto manifested towards
the English. Wingina himself, who lived in the immediate vicinity of the
colony, was exceedingly overcome by his superstition. Twice he was very
sick, and came near dying. He then dismissed the priests who usually
attended him, and sent for some of the English to pray for him, and to
be--as Master Heriot expresses it, in his "Observations" upon this
voyage--"a meenes to our God that hee might liue with him after death." He
supposed that he had offended the Deity of the English by his blasphemy.
They were themselves in great repute, of course. "This marueilous accident
in all the country wrought so strange opinion of vs that they could not
tell, whether to thinke vs Gods or men." Of the two, they considered the
former most probable, for the whites having no women among them, the
inference in their minds was, that instead of being born of women, they
were men of an old generation many years past, and risen again from
immortality. [FN] All which, we are told, so changed the heart of
Pemissapan (--a name assumed by Wingina since the death of Granganimo--)
that, at Ensenore's suggestion, when the English were reduced to
extremities for want of food, he sent in his subjects to make fish-weirs
for them, and to plant the fields they had hitherto thought of abandoning.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Heriot.

But in April, 1586, Ensenore died; and as Wingina had now completely
recovered his health, and most of the enemies which the colony had among
the tribes took this opportunity of renewing their machinations, he
relapsed into his former hostility. Arrangements were made for collecting
seven, or eight hundred Indians, under pretence of solemnizing the funeral
of Ensenore. Half of them were to lie in ambush for those of the colonists
who daily straggled along the coast in pursuit of crabs, fish and other
provisions. The other detachment was to assault the settlement of Roanoke,
at a signal by fire in the night. Even the particular houses were allotted
to be burned by particular persons or parties. Twenty were charged to
beset the dwelling of Governor Lane, and fire the reeds which covered it;
this would bring him out, naked and unarmed, and then they could despatch
him without danger. The same order was made for Mr. Heriot's, and various
other habitations, which were to be fired at the same instant. In the
meantime, as it was of great consequence to reduce the strength of the
colony by dispersing it, Wingina provided for breaking up the weirs, and
strictly prohibited all trade in provisions. He kept himself aloof also
with a similar view.

The plan was well concerted, and not without success. The Governor was
soon obliged to send off twenty of the colonists to a part of the coast
called Croatan, merely that they might collect the means of their own
sustenance. Ten more were sent to Hatteras for the same purpose; and other
small companies scattered themselves about on the seacoast, to gather
oysters and roots. But the ingenuity of the civilized party, driven to
desperation, finally prevailed against the chieftain's naked shrewdness.
The Governor sent him word he was going to Croatan, to meet an English
squadron which had touched there with supplies, covering the object of
this fabrication by also requesting the services of a few Indians to fish
and hunt for the colony. Desirous of gaining time, Wingina promptly
replied, that he would himself visit Mr. Lane in eight days. No doubt he
expected to complete his conspiracy in this interval.

But the Governor was not so to be deceived. He resolved, on the contrary,
to pay the Sachem a visit the next day after receiving his answer.
Previous to that, however, he proposed to surprise the Indians at
Wingina's old settlement on the island (Roanoke) and to take their canoes
from them. But they, too, were on the alert, so entirely had Wingina
prepared them for emergencies. "For when I sent to take the canows," says
Mr. Lane in his Journal, "they met one going from the shore, overthrew
her, and cut off two Salvages' heads; wherevpon the cry arose, being by
their spies perceived; _for they kept as good watch ouer vs as we ouer
them._" A skirmish ensued, and the Indians fled into the woods. The next
morning, the Governor crossed over to a place on the main called
Dassamonpeak, and sent Wingina word he was going to Croatan, and having
certain complaints to make to him respecting his subjects, would be happy
to call upon him by the way. On the faith of this proposal, the chieftain,
with several of his principal men, met the Governor's party on their
route. But no conversation took place. The Governor gave an appointed
watchword to his men on approaching, and they fired upon the Indians.
Wingina was shot through with a pistol-bullet, and fell. Recovering his
feet immediately, he fled, and was near escaping his pursuers, when an
Irish boy shot him a second time. He was soon overtaken, and then
beheaded on the spot.

We do not feel disposed to dismiss these biographies of the Carolinian
Sachems, short and slight as they are, without offering such comment as
they most obviously suggest. It appears singular, at first sight, that so
striking a difference of feeling towards the English should be manifested
by the two brothers. Perhaps there was fault on both sides. Master Heriot
admits, that some of the colony, "towards the latter end showed themselves
too furious, in slaying some of the people in some Townes, vpon causes
that on our part might haue been borne with more mildnesse." We have seen
with how little ceremony the Governor proceeded to take summary measures.
He was driven to extremities, indeed, but that in itself was no fault of
the Indians--they were not under obligation to supply him, though it
appears that they sometimes did, gratuitously.

Perhaps a remark should be made respecting a provocation which occurred
when the colony was first left by Grenville. The English went about
ranging the coast from tribe to tribe, and from town to town--which very
circumstance, besides being probably accompanied by other trespasses, and
at all events wholly unlicensed by the natives, could hardly be looked
upon as either friendly or just. Then, "at Aquascosack the Indians stole a
silver cup, _wherefore we burnt the towne, and spoiled their corne,_ and
so returned to our fleet at Tocokon." [FN] This was certainly no way to
make friends, and those who are familiar with the Carolinian history
subsequent to Wingina's death, will remember that the injury was by no
means forgotten. Finally, setting aside the attempt to justify either
party, it will be noticed, by such as may take the pains to look into the
annals of this period, that the greater part of the information which the
Governor received of the Sachem's motives and movements came through the
medium of that shrewd cripple, Menatenon, and his son Shiko. Whatever the
facts might be, then, the evidence was clearly inadequate if not wholly

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Relation of Lane.

                              CHAPTER VI. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Not to subject ourselves to the charge of plagiarism, it may be
 proper to remark here, that several passages in the following notices of
 the Pokanoket Sachems have been taken almost unaltered from an article on
 _Indian Biography,_ published heretofore in the North American Review,
 and written by the author of this work. The same is true of a part of
 the subsequent notice of Tecumseh and his brother.

 Synopsis of the New England Indians at the date of the Plymouth
  Settlement--The Pokanoket confederacy--The Wampanoag tribe--Their first
  head-Sachem, known to the English--Massasoit--The first interview
  between him and the whites--His visit to Plymouth, in 1621--Treaty of
  peace and friendship--Embassy sent to him at Sowams, by the
  English--Anecdotes respecting it--He is suspected of treachery or
  hostility, in 1622--His sickness in 1623--A second deputation visits
  him--Ceremonies and results of the visit--His intercourse with other
  tribes--Conveyances of land to the English--His death and

The clearest, if not the completest classification of the New England
Indians, at the date of the settlement of Plymouth, includes five
principal confederacies, each occupying their own territory, and governed
by their own chiefs. The Pequots inhabited the eastern part of
Connecticut. East of them were the Narraghansetts, within whose limits
Rhode Island, and various smaller islands in the vicinity, were comprised.
The Pawtucket tribes were situated chiefly in the southern section of New
Hampshire, the Massachusetts tribes around the bay of their own name; and
between these upon the north and the Narraghansetts upon the south, the
Pokanokets claimed a tract of what is now Bristol county, (Rhode Island)
bounded laterally by Taunton and Pawtucket rivers for some distance,
together with large parts of Plymouth and Barnstable.

This confederacy exercised some dominion over the Indians of Nantucket and
Martha's Vineyard, and over several of the nearest Massachusetts and
Nipmuck tribes;--the latter name designating an interior territory, now
mostly within the boundaries of Worcester county. Of the Pokanokets, there
were nine separate cantons or tribes, each governed by its own petty
sagamore or squaw, but subject to one grand-sachem, who was also the
particular chief of the Wampanoag canton, living about Montaup. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] This celebrated eminence (frequently called, by corruption of the
 Indian name, Mount-Hope) is a mile or two east of the village of Bristol.
 It is very steep on all sides, and terminates in a large rock, having the
 appearance to a distant spectator, of an immense dome.

The first knowledge we have of the Wampanoags, and of the individuals who
ruled over them and the other Pokanokets, is furnished in the collections
of Purchas, on the authority of a Captain Dermer, the Master Thomas
Dirmire spoken of by John Smith in his _New England Trialls,_ as "an
vnderstanding and industrious gentleman, who was also with _him_ amongst
the Frenchmen." Dermer was sent out from England in 1619, by Sir F.
Gorges, on account of the President and Council of New England, in a ship
of two hundred tons. He had a Pokanoket Indian with him, named Squanto,
one of about twenty who had been kidnapped on the coast by Captain Hunt,
in 1614, and sold as slaves at Malaga for twenty pounds a man. [FN]
Squanto and a few others of the captives were either rescued or redeemed,
by the benevolent interposition of some of the monks upon that island.
"When I arrived," says Dermer in his letter to Purchas, "at my savage's
native country, finding all dead, I traveled along a day's journey to a
place called Nummastaquyt, where, finding inhabitants, I despatched a
messenger a day's journey further west, to Pacanokit, which bordereth on
the sea; whence came to see me two kings, attended with a guard of fifty
armed men, who being well satisfied with that my savage and I discoursed
unto them, (being desirous of novelty) gave me content in whatsoever I
demanded. Here I redeemed a Frenchman, and afterwards another at
Masstachusitt, who three years since escaped shipwreck at the northeast of
Cape Cod." One of these two kings--as the sachems were frequently entitled
by the early writers,--must have been Massasoit, so well known afterwards
to the Plymouth settlers; and probably the second was his brother
Quadepinah. The "native country" of Squanto was the vicinity of Plymouth,
where the Indians are understood to have been kidnapped. Thousands of
them, there, as well as elsewhere along the whole coast of New England,
had been swept off by a terrible pestilence.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] It is gratifying to learn from Smith that Hunt was punished, though
 not according to the baseness of his infamous crime. "He betraied foure
 and twentie of these poore Saluages aboord his ship, and most dishonestly
 and inhumanely for their kinde usage of me and all our men, carried them
 with him to Maligo, and there for a little priuate gaine sold those silly
 Saluages for Rials of eight; _but this vilde act kept him ever after from
 any more imploiement to these parts."_--Generale  Historie of New
 England, published in 1632.

The first appearance of Massasoit, [FN] after the settlement of Plymouth,
was upon the 22d of March, 1621, a week previous to which some information
concerning him had been gathered from an Indian named Samoset, who entered
the village with great boldness, and greeted the inhabitants with a
"welcome."  On the second occasion, he came in with four others,--having
engaged to introduce some of the Wampanoags, to traffic in furs,--among
whom was Squanto, at that time probably the sole remaining native of
Plymouth. This party brought a few fish and skins to sell, and informed
the English that the great sachem, with his brother and his whole force,
were near at hand. Massasoit soon appeared upon the neighboring hill, with
sixty men. As they seemed unwilling to approach nearer, Squanto was
despatched to ascertain their designs; and they gave him to understand,
that they wished someone should be sent to hold a parley.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] We have given the most simple orthography of this word. It is
 frequently written Massasoyt, Massasoiet, Massasowat, &c. Mr. Belknap
 says, (American Biography,) that contemporary pronunciation made it a
 word of four syllables, with the accent on the second,--Mas-sass-o-it.
 The sachem subsequently assumed another name, which has undergone still
 more various modifications,--Oosamequin, Woosamequin, and Ausamequin, are
 some of them.

Edward Winslow was appointed to this office, and he immediately carried
presents to the sachem, which were willingly accepted. He addressed him
also in a speech of some length, which the Indians listened to with the
decorous gravity characteristic of the race, ill-explained as it was by
the interpreter. The purport of the speech was, that King James saluted
the sachem, his brother, with the words of peace and love; that he
accepted him as his friend and ally; and that the Governor desired to see
him, and to trade and treat with him upon friendly terms. Massasoit
appears to have made no special reply to this harangue, for the sufficient
reason, probably, that he did not precisely comprehend the drift of it. He
paid more attention to the sword and armor of Winslow while he spoke; and
when he had ceased speaking, signaled his disposition to commence the
proposed trade forthwith by buying _them._ They were not, however, for
sale; and so, leaving Winslow in the custody of his brother, he crossed a
brook between him and the English, taking with him twenty of the
Wampanoags, who were directed to leave their bows and arrows behind them.
Beyond the brook he was met by Captain Standish and another gentleman,
with an escort of six armed men, who exchanged salutations with him, and
attended him to one of the best houses in the village. [FN] Here, a green
rug was spread upon the floor, and three or four cushions piled on it for
his accommodation. The Governor then entered the house, followed by
several soldiers, and preceded by a flourish of a drum and trumpet,--a
measure probably recommended by Standish, and which answered the purpose
of delighting and astounding the Wampanoags, even beyond expectation. It
was a deference paid to their sovereign, which pleased as well as
surprised them. The sachem and the Governor now kissed each other, and
after the interchange of certain other civilities, sat down together, and
regaled themselves with what Neal calls an entertainment. It consisted,
it seems, chiefly of "strong waters, a thing the savages love very well;
and the sachem took such a large draught of it at once, as made him sweat
all the while he staid." A treaty was concluded upon this occasion, the
terms of which were as follows.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A stone arch has in modern times been thrown over this brook, to
 point out the precise spot of the meeting. The hill where the chieftain
 first appeared was by the settlers of his time called "Strawberry-Hill."

1. That neither he, nor any of his (Massasoit's) should injure or do hurt
to any of their people.

2. That if any of his did any hurt to any of theirs, he should send the
offender, that they might punish him.

3. That if any thing were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause
it to be restored, and they should do the like to his.

4. That if any did unjustly war against him, they would aid him; and if
any did war against them, he should aid them.

5. That he should send to his neighbor confederates, to inform them of
this, that they might not wrong them, but might be likewise comprised in
these conditions of peace.

6. That when his came to them upon any occasion they should leave their
arms behind them.

7. That so doing, their Sovereign Lord King James, would esteem him as his
friend and ally.

"All which," says Morton,--and some other annalists agree with him,--"he
liked very well, and withal, at the same time, acknowledged himself
content to become the subject of our Sovereign Lord the King aforesaid,
his heirs and successors; and gave unto him all the lands adjacent, to him
and his heirs forever." This acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the
King, if it really made a part of the agreement, certainly deserved a
place as a distinct article; being by far more important than all the
others. The grant of land,--and this grant constituted the entire title of
the Plymouth settlers, as against the natives,--is confirmed by subsequent
transactions, and especially by the acts of Massasoit. But his submission
to the authority of King James, as a subject to a sovereign, is more
doubtful; nor does it by any means accord with the seventh express
article. That the treaty itself also was not preserved precisely as it was
probably understood, may be inferred from the variations of it given by
Mourt in his Relation. According to _his_ sixth article, for example, a
just reciprocity is maintained, by providing that the English should leave
their _pieces_ behind them in their interviews with the Indians. This
distinction between alliance and subjection,--at least in the mind of one
of the parties,--seems to have been too much overlooked.

Such, however, was the first treaty made with the Indians of New
England,--a passage in its history of great interest. It was made upon
peaceable and honorable terms. The Indians came in voluntarily to make it;
and though they received as a consideration for the immense territory
granted at the time, only a pair of knives, and a copper chain with a
jewel in it for the grand sachem; and a knife, a jewel to hang in his ear,
a pot of strong water, a good quantity of biscuit, and some butter for
Quadepinah, [FN]--yet were all parties satisfied with the substance as
they were gratified by the ceremonies of the agreement. It is pleasing to
learn from history, that this simple negotiation was remembered and
adhered to on both sides for the unparalleled term of half a century; nor
was Massasoit, or any of the Wampanoags during his lifetime, convicted by
the harshest revilers of his race, of having violated, or attempted to
violate, any of its plain, just, and deliberate provisions.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] So minutely is the transaction described in _The Journal of a
 Plantation at Plymouth,_ preserved by Purchas, and re-published among the
 Historical Collections of Massachusetts. There is reason to think that
 Winslow was the author.

The two parties seem to have regarded each other on this occasion with a
curiosity of equal interest and minuteness; for while the sachem was
inspecting the armor of Winslow, and his Wampanoags exerting themselves to
blow the trumpet in imitation of their hosts, [FN] the English
by-standers, on the other hand, were making their own observations. The
writer of the _Journal of a Plantation settled at Plymouth,_ describes
Massasoit as "a very lusty man, in his best years, an able body, grave of
countenance, and spare of speech." In his attire, he is said to have
differed little from the rest of his followers, excepting that he wore a
large chain of white bone-beads about his neck, which was, probably, one
of the royal _insignia;_ and that he had suspended from it behind, a
little bag of tobacco, which he _drank,_ says the writer, "and gave us to
drink." His appearance otherwise does not seem to have been particularly
elegant; his face being painted of a sad red, like murrey, and both head
and face so oiled that he "looked greasily." His only weapon was a long
knife, swinging at his bosom by a string. His attendants were probably
arrayed for this great occasion with peculiar attention to etiquette; some
of them being painted black, others red, yellow, or white; some wearing
crosses and "other antick works;" and several of them dressed in furs or
skins of various descriptions. Being tall, strong men also, and the first
natives whom most of the Colonists had ever seen near at hand, they must
have made to them a somewhat imposing, as well as interesting spectacle.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] "He marvelled much at our trumpet, and some of his men would sound
 it as well as we could."--_Journal._

Leaving a few of their number among the whites, as hostages, the
Wampanoags retired to the woods about half a mile distant and spent the
night; and Winslow acted as _their_ hostage. The English were not yet
prepared, it would seem, to put faith in the professions of savages; for
they kept strict watch all night, besides retaining the security just
named. Their guests, on the contrary, enjoyed themselves quietly in the
woods; and there were some of their wives and children with them, who must
have come upon this courteous visit from a distance of forty miles. The
sachem sent several of his people the next morning, to signify his wish
that some of his new friends would honor _him_ with their presence.
Standish and one Alderton [FN-1] "went venturously" among them, and were
cordially, if not royally welcomed with an entertainment of tobacco and
ground-nuts. "We cannot yet conceive," continues our still unsatisfied
informant, "but that he is willing to have peace with us; for they have
seen our people sometimes alone two or three in the woods at work and
fowling, when they offered them no harm, as they might easily have done."
They remained at their encampment till late in the forenoon; the Governor
requiting the sachem's liberality, meanwhile, by sending an express
messenger for his large kettle, and filling it with dry peas. "This
pleased them well; and so they went their way;"--the one party as much
relieved, no doubt, as the other was gratified. [FN-2]

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] From whom the outer point of Boston harbor is said to have been

 [FN-2] Such was the earliest visit, of ceremony or business at least,
 which the natives of New England paid to the Colonists. The account given
 of it, though _ex parte,_ as all such descriptions must be, is honorable
 to the former in the highest degree. They show that many, if not most of
 the savages, who were fairly dealt with, were at first as sensible and as
 prone to kindness as could have been wished. They went unarmed among the
 settlers without fear, disposed to be honest and friendly at all events,
 and as hospitable as their means permitted. It will appear in the sequel,
 that they continued so for a long course of years, as they also continued
 faithful to their express obligations.

We meet with Massasoit again in July, 1621; an embassy being then sent to
him at his own residence, Montaup or Sowams. This embassy consisted of
Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins; and the objects of it were, says
Mourt, [FN] "that _forasmuch as his subjects came often and without fear
upon all occasions amongst us,_" so the English went now to visit him,
carrying with them a coat from the Governor to his friend the sachem, as a
token of good will, and desire to live peaceably. It was farther
intimated, though with great delicacy, that whereas his people came
frequently and in great numbers to Plymouth, wives, children, and all, and
were always welcome,--yet being but strangers in the land, and not
confident how their corn might prosper, they could no longer give them
such entertainment as they had done, and still wished to do; If Massasoit
himself, however, would visit them, or any special friend of his, he
should be welcome. A request was then made, that the Pokanokets, who had
furs, should be permitted to dispose of them to the Colonists. The
Governor wished him also to exchange some corn for seed with the Plymouth

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See Mourt's Relation, part of which is also preserved in the
 Collections. The name of the publisher only seems to be attached to it.

The remaining article in this message is more illustrative of the
relations understood to exist and to be desirable between the parties. On
the first arrival of the Colonists at Cape Cod, it seems they had found
corn buried there in the ground. Seeing no inhabitants in the
neighborhood, "but some graves of the dead newly buried," they took the
corn, with the intention of making full satisfaction for it whenever it
became practicable. The owners of it were supposed to have fled through
fear. It was now proposed, that these men should be informed by
Massasoit,--if they could be found,--that the English were ready to pay
them with an equal quantity of corn, English meal, or "any other
commodities they had to pleasure them withal;" and full satisfaction was
offered for any trouble which the sachem might do them the favor to take.
This proposal was equally politic and just.

The visitors met with a generous, though humble hospitality, which reminds
one of the first reception of Columbus by the West-Indian islanders. They
reached Namaschet about three o'clock in the afternoon; and there, we are
told, the inhabitants entertained them with joy, in the best manner they
were able; giving them sweet bread [FN] and fish, with a less acceptable
accompaniment of boiled musty acorns. Various civilities were exchanged
after this primitive and savory repast,--as ancient, by the way, as the
early Greeks,--and some time was passed very pleasantly in shooting a crow
at a considerable distance, to the vast astonishment and amusement of the
Indians. They were then directed to a place about eight miles distant,
(Middleborough) where, says the Journalist, they should find "more store
and better victuals." They were welcomed, on their arrival, by a party who
were catching great numbers of fine bass in Taunton river, and who gave
them a supper and a breakfast in the morning, besides the privilege of
lodging in the woods near by over night.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Called _maxium,_ and made of Indian corn, no doubt. Gookin says,
 that a meal which they made of parched maize was so sweet, so hearty, and
 so _toothsome,_ that an Indian would travel many days with no other food.

Attended by six of their hosts the next day, they were assisted in passing
the river; and here they met with the first indications of ill-will, in
the persons of two old Indians upon the opposite bank. These two, espying
them as they entered the river, ran swiftly and stealthily among the high
grass to meet them; and then, with loud voices and drawn bows, demanded of
the strangers who they were; "but seeing we were friends," it is added,
"they welcomed us with such food as they had, and we bestowed a small
bracelet of beads on them." The remarks which follow this, upon the
conduct of the six attendants we cannot forbear citing at large,
irrelevant to our main purpose as they are. "When we came to a small
brook," says our accurate writer, "where no bridge was, two of them
desired to carry us through of their own accords; also fearing we were,
or would be weary, offered to carry our pieces; also if we would lay off
any of our clothes [it being excessively hot,] we should have them
carried; and as the one of them had found more special kindness from one
of the messengers, and the other savage from the other so they showed
their thankfulness accordingly, in offering us help and furtherance in the

After one more entertainment on the way, our travelers reached Sowams.
Massasoit was not at home, but arrived soon after, and was saluted by his
visitors with a discharge of musketry. He welcomed them kindly after the
Indian manner, took them into his lodge, and seated them by himself. They
then delivered their message and presents, the latter comprisinig a
horseman's coat of red cotton, embroidered with fine lace. The sachem
mounted this superb article without delay, and hung the chain, which they
also gave him, about his neck, evidently enjoying the unspeakable
admiration of the Wampanoags, who gaze upon him at a distance. He now
answered the message, clause after clause; and particularly signified his
desire to continue in peace and friendship with his neighbors. He gathered
his men around him, in fine, and harangued them; they occasionally
confirming what he said by their customary ejaculations. Was not he,
Massasoit, commander of the country about them? Was not such a town within
his dominions--and were not the people of it his subjects--and should they
not bring their skins to him, if he wished it?

Thus he proceeded to name about thirty of his small settlements, his
attentive auditors responding to each question. The matter being regularly
settled, he lighted tobacco for his guests, and conversed with them about
their own country and King, marveling, above all, that his Majesty should
live with out a squaw. As it grew late, and he offered no more substantial
entertainment than this,--no doubt for the sound reason, that he had
nothing to offer,--his guests intimated a wish to retire for the night.
He forthwith accommodated them, with himself and his wife, they at one end
and his visitors at the other, of a bed consisting of a plank platform,
raised a foot or two from the ground and covered with a thin mat. Two of
his chief men, probably by way of compliment, were also stationed upon the
same premises; and this body-guard performed their pressing duty of escort
so effectually, that no other circumstances were necessary to make the
honored guests "worse weary of their lodging than they had been of their

On the following day, many of the petty chiefs, with their subjects, came
in from the adjacent country, and various sports and games were got up for
the entertainment of the English. At noon, they partook, with the sachem
and about forty others of a meal of boiled fish _shot_ by himself,
(probably with arrows.) They continued with him until the next morning,
when they departed, leaving Massasoit "both grieved and ashamed" that he
could not better entertain him. Very importunate he was, adds the
Journalist, to have them stay with him longer; but as they had eaten but
one meal for two days and a night, with the exception of a partridge,
which one of them killed; and what with their location at night, the
"savages' barbarous singing of themselves to sleep," mosquitoes without
doors, and other trifling inconveniences within, could not sleep at all;
they begged to be excused,--on the score of conscience, Sunday being near
at hand,--not to mention that they were growing light-headed, and could
hardly expect, if they stayed much longer, to be able to reach home.

Massasoit's friendship was again tested in March, 1622, when an Indian,
known to be under Squanto's influence, [FN] came running in among a party
of colonists, with his face gashed, and the blood fresh upon it, calling
out to them to flee for their lives, and then looking hind him as if
pursued. On coming up, he told them that the Indians, under Massasoit,
were congregating at a certain place for an attack upon the Colony; that
he had received his wounds in consequence of opposing their designs; and
had barely escaped from them with his life. The report occasioned no
little alarm; although the correctness of it was flatly denied by
Hobamock, a Pokanoket Indian resident at Plymouth, who recommended that a
messenger should be sent secretly to Sowams, for the purpose of
ascertaining the truth. This was done, and the messenger, finding every
thing in its usually quiet state, informed Massasoit of the reports
circulated against him. He was excessively incensed against Squanto, but
sent his thanks to the Governor for the opinion of his fidelity, which he
understood him to retain; and directed the messenger to assure him, that
he should instantly apprize him of any conspiracy which might at any
future time take place.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Which, it may be here observed, was quite considerable. Squanto was
 ambitious and meddlesome, though not malicious--well-disposed and
 serviceable to the English, but a little too anxious to have credit for
 that fact among his countrymen. He amused himself with telling them that
 the whites kept the plague barreled up in their cellars, that they
 intended war upon various tribes, &c. for the sake of being employed,
 sometimes hired, to act as mediator; and of course he always succeeded in
 settling the difficulty. Squanto died in November, 1622, on an expedition
 fitted out by Governor Bradford for obtaining corn among the Indians. His
 last request was, that the governor would pray for him that he might go
 to the Englishman's God in Heaven. He bequeathed, his little property to
 his English friends. So perished the last aboriginal of the Plymouth
 soil. He sometimes played "Jack upon both sides," as Hubbard says, but
 his death was justly considered a public loss.

That the declarations of Massasoit, upon this occasion, were far from
being mere words of compulsion or of courtesy, is abundantly proved by his
conduct during the next season, 1623. Early in the spring of that year,
news came to Plymouth, that he was very sick at Sowams; and it was
determined to send Mr. Winslow to visit him once more, in token of the
friendship of the colonists. That gentleman immediately commenced his
journey, being provided with a few cordials, and attended by "one Master
John Hampden, a London gentleman, who then wintered with him, and desired
much to see the country,"--no doubt the same character so eminently
distinguished afterwards in the politics of England.

They heard, at various places on their route, that the sachem was already
dead; and their guide, Hobamock, indulged himself all the way in the most
unbounded grief. They found him still living, however, on their arrival;
and the multitude of dependents and friends who thronged his lodge, made
way as fast as possible for their admittance and accommodation. He
appeared to be reduced to the last extremities. Six or eight women were
employed in chafing his cold limbs, and the residue of the numerous
company were exerting themselves to the utmost, meanwhile, in making what
Winslow rather uncharitably calls "such a hellish noise as distempered
those that were well." [FN] He had the good sense to wait for the
conclusion of the ceremony; and the exhausted performers being then
satisfied they had done all that in them lay for the benefit of the
patient, one of them apprised him of the arrival of the English.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Probably an Indian Powah was leader of the chorus. Of these
 barbarian quacks, Roger Williams says, that "the poore people commonly
 dye under their hands," for the very good reason that they "administer
 nothing, but howle, and roar, and hollow over them, and begin the song to
 the rest of the people about them, who all joyne (like a quire) in prayer
 to the gods for them." _Key to the Indian Language,_ chapter xxxi.

"_Who_ have come?" muttered the sachem, still conscious, though his sight
was wholly gone. They told him Winsnow had come, (as they generally
substituted _n_ for the English _l._) "Let me speak with him then," he
replied, "Let me speak one word to him." Winslow went forward to the
matted platform where he lay, and grasped the feeble hand which the
sachem, informed of his approach, held out for him. "Art thou Winsnow?" he
whispered the question again, (in his own language,) "Art thou Winsnow?"
Being readily answered in the affirmative, he appeared satisfied of the
fact. But "O Winsnow," he added mournfully, "I shall never see thee

Hobamock was now called, and desired to assure the sachem of the
Governor's kind remembrance of him in his present situation, and to inform
him of the articles they had brought with them for his use. He immediately
signified his wish to taste of these; and they were given him accordingly,
to the great delight of the people around him. Winslow then proceeded to
use measures for his relief, and they wrought a great change in him within
half an hour. He recovered his sight gradually, and began to converse,
requesting his good friend Winslow, among other things, to kill him a
fowl, and make him some English pottage, such as he had seen at Plymouth.
This was done for him, and such other care taken as restored his strength
and appetite wonderfully within the day or two of Winslow's stay.

His expressions of gratitude, as well as those of his delighted
attendants, were constant, as they were evidently warm from the heart.
Finally, as his guests were about to leave him, he called Hobamock to his
side, and revealed to him a plot against the colonists, recently formed,
as he understood, among certain of the Massachusetts tribes, and in which
he had himself been invited to join. He also recommended certain summary
measures for the suppression of the plot, and concluded with charging
Hobamock [FN] to communicate the intelligence to Winslow on the way to
Plymouth. It may be added here, that these measures were subsequently
executed by Standish, and were successful. The conspiracy itself was
occasioned by the notorious and outrageous profligacy of the banditti of
"Master Weston," at Weymouth.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The date of this Indian's death is not known. He is said to have
 once been a war-captain among the Massachusetts tribes. Hubbard describes
 him as a "proper lusty young man, and of good account among the Indians
 of those parts for his valor." He was useful, like Squanto, without being

The leading particulars in the residue of Massasoit's life, may soon be
detailed. In 1632, he was assaulted at Sowams, by a party of
Narraghansetts, and obliged to take refuge in an English house. His
situation was soon ascertained at Plymouth, and an armed force being
promptly despatched to his succor, under his old friend Standish, the
Narraghansetts retired. About the year 1639, he probably associated his
eldest son, Moanam or Wamsutta, with him in the government; for they came
together into open court at Plymouth, it is said, on the 28th  of
September of that year, and desired that the ancient treaty of 1621 might
remain inviolable. They also entered into some new engagements, chiefly
going to secure to the Colony a pre-emptive claim to the Pokanoket lands.
"And the whole court," add the records, "in the name of the whole
government for each town respectively, did then likewise ratify and
confirm the aforesaid ancient league and confederacy."

From this time, the names of the father and son are sometimes found
united, and sometimes not so, in instruments by which land was conveyed to
the English. In 1649, the former sold the territory of Bridgewater in his
own name.  "Witnes these presents"--are the words of the deed--"that I
Ousamequin Sachim of the contrie of Pocanauket, haue given, granted
enfeofed and sould unto Myles Standish of Duxborough Samuel Nash and
Constant Southworth of Duxborough aforesaid in the behalfe of all ye
townsmen of Duxborough aforesaid a tract of land usually called
Saughtucket extending in length and the breadth thereof, as followeth,
that is to say--[here follow the boundaries of what is now
_Bridgewater_]--the wch tract the said Ousamequin hath given granted
enfeofed and sould unto ye said Myles [Standish] Samuel Nash and Constant
Southworth in the behalfe of all ye townsmen of Duxborough as aforesaid
wth all the emunities priveleges and profitts whatsoever belonging to the
said tract of land wth all and singular all woods underwoods lands
meadowes Riuers brooks Rivulets &c. to have and to hould to the said Myles
Standish Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth in behalfe of all the
townsmen of the towne of Duxborough to them and their beyers forever. In
witnes whereof I the said Ousamequin have here unto sett my hand this 23
of March 1649.

                               "The mk of {mark} Ousamequin.

"In consideration of the aforesaid bargain and sale wee the said Myles
Standish Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, doe bind ourselves to pay
unto ye said Ousamequin for and in consideration of ye said tract of land
as followeth

 "7 Coats a yd and half in a coat}       Myles Standish
  9 Hatchets                     }
  8 Howes                        }       Samuel Nash
  20 Knives                      }
  4 Moose skins                  }       Constant Southworth.
  10 Yds and half of cotton      }"

The original document of which we have here given a literal and exact copy
has been preserved to this day. It is in the handwriting of Captain

The precise date of Massasoit's death is unknown. In 1653, his name
appears in a deed by which he conveyed part of the territory of Swansey to
English grantees. Hubbard supposes that he died about three years
subsequent to this; but as late as 1661, he is noticed in the Records of
the United Colonies, as will appear more particularly in the life of his
eldest son. Two or three years afterwards, conveyances were made of the
Pokanoket lands in which he appears to have had no voice; and it may be
fairly inferred that he died in that interval. He must have been near
eighty years of age.

Such are the passages which history has preserved concerning the earliest
and best friend of the Pilgrims. Few and simple as they are, they give
glimpses of a character that, under other circumstances, might have placed
Massasoit among the illustrious of his age. He was a mere savage; ignorant
of even reading and writing, after an intercourse of near fifty years with
the colonists; and distinguished from the mass of savages around him, as
we have seen, by no other outward emblem than a barbarous ornament of
bones. It must be observed, too, as to them, that the authority which they
conferred upon him, or rather upon his ancestors, was their free gift, and
was liable at any moment to be retracted, wholly or in part, either by the
general voice or by the defection or violence of individuals. The
intrinsic dignity and energy of his character alone, therefore, must have
sustained the dominion of the sachem, with no essential distinction of
wealth, retinue, cultivation, or situation in any respect, between him and
the meanest of the Wampanoags. The naked qualities of his intellect and
is heart must have gained their loyalty, controlled their extravagant
passions to his own purposes, and won upon their personal confidence and

That he did this appears from the fact, so singular in Indian history,
that among all the Pokanoket tribes, there was scarcely an instance of
even an individual broil or quarrel with the English during his long life.
Some of these tribes, living nearer the Colony than any other Indians, and
going into it daily in such numbers, that Massasoit was finally requested
to restrain them from "pestering" their friends by their mere
multitude,--these shrewd beings must have perceived, as well as Massasoit
himself did, that the colonists were as miserably fearful as they were
feeble and few. Some of them, too,--the sachem Corbitant, for
example,--were notoriously hostile, and perhaps had certain supposed
reasons for being so. Yet _that_ cunning and ambitious savage extricated
himself from the only overt act of rebellion he is known to have
attempted, by "soliciting the good offices of Massasoit," we are told, "to
reconcile him to the 'English." And such was the influence of the chief
sachem, not only over him, but over the Massachusetts sachems, that nine
of the principal of them soon after came into Plymouth from great
distances, for the purpose of signifying their humble respect for the
authority of the English.

That Massasoit was beloved as well as respected by his subjects and
neighbors, far and wide, appears from the great multitude of anxious
friends who thronged about him during his sickness; Some of them, as
Winslow ascertained, had come more than one hundred miles for the purpose
of seeing him; and they all watched _his_ operations in that case, with
as intense anxiety as if the prostrate patient had been the father or the
brother of each. And meagre as is the justice which history does the
sachem, it still furnishes some evidence, not to be mistaken, that he had
won this regard from them by his kindness. There is a passage of affecting
simplicity in Winslow's Relation, going to show that he did not forget
their minutest interests, even in his own almost unconscious helplessness.
"That morning," it is said, "he caused me to spend in going from one to
another among those that were sick in the town [Sowams]; requesting me to
treat them as I had him, and to give to each of them some of the same I
gave him, _saying they were good folk._"

But these noble traits of the character of Massasoit are still more
abundantly illustrated by the whole tenor of his intercourse with the
whites. Of his mere sense of his positive obligations to them, including
his fidelity to the famous treaty of 1621, nothing more need be said,
excepting that the annals of the continent furnish scarcely one parallel
even to that case. But he went much further than this. He not only visited
the Colony in the first instance of his own free will and accord, but he
entered into the negotiations cheerfully and deliberately; and in the face
of their manifest fear and suspicion. Henceforth the results of it were
regarded, not with the mere honesty of an ally, but with the warm interest
of a friend. It was probably at his secret and delicate suggestion,--and
it could scarcely have been without his permission, at all events,--that
his own subjects took up their residence among the colonists, with the
view of guiding, piloting, interpreting for them, and teaching them their
own useful knowledge. Winslow speaks of his _appointing another_ to fill
the place of Squanto at Plymouth, while the latter should be sent about
among the Pokanokets, under _his_ orders, "to procure truck [in furs] for
the English."

The vast grant of territory which he made in the first instance has been
spoken of. It was made with the simple observation, that his claim to it
was the sole claim in existence. It was also without consideration; the
generous sachem, as Roger Williams says of the Narraghansetts in a similar
case, "being _shy and jealous of selling_ the lands to any, and choosing
rather to make a gift of them to such as they affected." Such is the only
jealousy which Massasoit can be said ever to have entertained of the
English. Nor do we find any evidence that he repented of his liberality,
or considered it the incautious extravagance of a moment of flattered
complaisance. We do find, however, that he invariably watched over the
interest of the grantees, with more strictness than he would probably have
watched over his own. He laid claim, in one instance, to a tract for which
Mr. Williams had negotiated with the Narraghansetts,--that gentleman being
ignorant, perhaps, of an existing controversy between the two tribes. "It
is mine," said the sachem, "It is mine, and _therefore theirs,_"--plainly
implying that the ground in question was comprised within the original
transfer. Whether this claim was just, or whether it was insisted upon,
does not appear; but there is indication enough, both of the opinion and
feeling of Massasoit.

An anecdote of him, recorded by Governor Winthrop, under the title of a
"pleasant passage," is still more striking. His old friend _Winsnow,_ it
seems, made a trading voyage to Connecticut, during the summer of 1634. On
his return, he left his vessel upon the Narraghansett coast, for some
reason or other, and commenced his journey for Plymouth across the woods.
Finding himself at a loss, probably, as to his route, he made his way to
Sowams, and called upon his ancient acquaintance, the sachem. The latter
gave him his usual kind welcome, and, upon his leaving him, offered to
conduct him home,--a pedestrian journey of two days. He had just
despatched one of his Wampanoags to Plymouth, with instructions to inform
the friends of Winslow, that _he_ was dead, and to persuade them of this
melancholy fact, by specifying such particulars as their own ingenuity
might suggest. All this was done accordingly; and the tidings occasioned,
as might be expected, a very unpleasant excitement throughout the Colony.
In the midst of it, however, on the next day, the sachem entered the
village, attended by Winslow, and with more than his usual complacency in
his honest and cheerful countenance. He was asked why such a report had
been circulated the day previous. "That Winsnow might be the more
welcome," answered he, "and that you might be the more happy,--it is my
custom." He had come thus far to enjoy this surprise personally; and he
returned homeward, more gratified by it, without doubt, than he would have
been by the most fortunate foray among the Narraghansetts.

It is intimated by some writers, rather more frequently than is either
just or generous, that the sachem's fear of the tribe just named lay at
the foundation of his friendship. It might have been nearer the apparent
truth, considering all that is known of Massasoit, to say, that his
interest happened to coincide with his inclination. At all events, it was
in the power of any other of the sachems or kings throughout the country,
to place and sustain themselves upon the same footing with the colonists,
had they been prompted either by as much good feeling or good sense. On
the contrary, the Massachusetts were plotting and threatening on one hand,
as we have seen, not without provocation, it must be allowed,--while the
Narraghansett sachem, upon the other, had sent in his compliments as early
as 1622, in the shape of a bundle of arrows, tied up with a rattlesnake's

Nor should we forget the wretched feebleness of the Colony at the period
of their first acquaintance with Massasoit. Indeed, the instant measures
which he took for their relief and protection, look more like the
promptings of compassion, than of either hope or fear. A month previous to
his appearance among them, they were reduced to such a pitiable condition
by sickness, that only six or seven men of their whole number were able to
do business in the open air; and probably their entire fighting force,
could they have been mustered together, would scarcely have equaled that
little detachment which Massasoit brought with him into the village,
delicately leaving twice as many, with the arms of all, behind him; as he
afterwards exchanged six hostages for one. No wonder that the colonists
"could not yet conceive but that he was willing to have peace with them."

But the motives of the sachem are still further manifested by the sense of
his own dignity, which, peaceable as he generally was, he showed promptly
upon all suitable occasions. Both the informal grant and the formal deeds
we have mentioned, indicate that he understood himself to be the master of
his ancestral territory as much in right as in fact. There is nothing in
his whole history, which does more honor to his intelligence or his
sensibility, than his conduct occasioned by the falsehoods circulated
among the colonists against him by Squanto. His first impulse, as we have
seen, was to be offended with the guilty intriguant; the second, to thank
the Governor for appealing to himself in this case, and to assure him that
he would at any time "send word and give warning when any such business
was towards." On further inquiry, he ascertained that Squanto was taking
even more liberties with his reputation than he had been aware of. He went
forthwith to Plymouth, and made his appeal personally to the Governor. The
latter pacified him as well as he could, and he returned home. But a very
short time elapsed before a message came from him, _entreating_ the
Governor to consent to the death of the renegade who still abused him. The
Governor confessed in reply, that Squanto deserved death, but desired
that he might be spared on account of his indispensable services.
Massasoit was not yet satisfied. The former messenger was again sent,
"with divers others," says Winslow in his Relation, "_demanding_ him,
[Squanto] as being one of Massasoit's subjects, whom by our first articles
of  peace we could not retain; yet because he would not willingly do it
[insist upon his rights] without the Governor's approbation, he offered
him many beaver-skins for his consent thereto." The deputation had brought
these skins, accordingly, as also the sachem's own knife, for the
execution of the criminal. Squanto now surrendered himself to the
Governor, as an Indian always resigns himself to his fate upon similar
occasions; but the Governor still contrived a pretext for sparing him. The
deputies were "mad with rage and impatient of delay," as may be supposed,
and departed in great heat.

The conduct of the sachem in this case was manifestly more correct than
that of his ally. He understood as well as the Governor did, the spirit of
the articles in the treaty, which provided, that an offender upon either
side should be given up to punishment upon demand; and he was careful to
make that demand personally, explicitly and respectfully. The Governor, on
the other hand, as well as the culprit himself, acknowledged the justice
of it, but manoeuvred to avoid compliance. The true reason is no doubt
given by Winslow. It is also given in the language of John Smith. "With
much adoe," says the honest Captain, "we appeased the angry king and the
rest of the saluages, and freely forgaue Tusquantum, _because he speaking
our language we could not be well without him._"  The king was angry,
then, as he well might be; and the Governor took the trouble, he was both
bound and interested to take, to appease him. It is not to be wondered at,
perhaps, that the particulars of this transaction are so little dwelt upon
by the writers of that period. Winslow barely states,--speaking, in
another connexion, of the Indians being evidently aware of the weakness of
the Colony,--that, what was worse "now also Massasoit seemed to frown upon
us, and neither came nor sent to us as formerly." This passage is no less
significant than brief; but not more so than a subsequent dry observation
respecting Squanto, "whose peace, before this time, (the fall of the same
year) _was wrought_ with Massasoit."

Such were the life and character of Massasoit. It is to be regretted, that
so few particulars are preserved of the former, and that so little
justice, consequently, can be done to the latter. But so far as his
history goes, it certainly makes him one of the most remarkable men of his
race. There is no nobler instance in all history, of national fidelity,
(for which he mainly must have the credit,) or of individual friendship.
This instinct of a generous nature in the first instance, being confirmed
by a course of conduct generally alike creditable to the feelings and
shrewdness of the Colonists, finally settled itself in the mind of
Massasoit as ineradicably as his affection for his own subjects. "I know
now," said he to Winslow, on his first recovery from the severe sickness
we have mentioned, "I _know_ that the English love me,--I love them--I
shall never forget them."

But putting even the most unnatural construction upon the professions and
the conduct of the sachem, the relation he commenced and for forty-five
years sustained with the English, must be allowed to show at least a
consummate sagacity. He certainly succeeded during all this time, not only
in shielding his tribes from their just or unjust hostility, but in
gaining their respect to such a singular degree, that the writings of no
single author within our recollection furnish one word to his
disparagement. Even Hubbard speaks of him with something like regard;
notwithstanding the obnoxious trait in his character indicated in the
following passage. "It is very remarkable," he says, "that this
Woosamequin, how much soever he affected the English, was never in the
least degree well affected to their religion." It is added furthermore,
that in his last treaty with the whites at Swanzey,--referring to a sale
of land which we have mentioned,--he exerted himself to bind them solemnly
"never to draw away any of his people from their old pagan superstition
and devilish idolatry to the Christian religion." [FN] This he insisted
on, until they threatened to break off the negotiation on account of his
pertinacity, and he then gave up the point.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] In that rare tract (published in London, 1651.) entitled "The Light
 appearing more and more towards the perfect Day" &c. and written by the
 Rev. Thomas Mayhew, it is stated, that some of the Christian Indians of
 Martha's Vineyard had a conversation with "Vzzamequin a great Sachem or
 Governor on the maine Land (coming amongst them) about the wayes of
 God"--he enquiring what earthly good things came along with them, and
 what they had gained by their piety, &c. This was previous to 1650.

Massasoit did not distinguish himself as a warrior; nor is he known to
have been once engaged in any open hostilities, even with the inimical and
powerful tribes who environed his territory. This is another unique trait
in his character; and considering the general attachment of all Indians to
a belligerent life, their almost exclusive deference for warlike
qualities, the number and scattered location of the Pokanoket tribes, and
especially the character of their ancient neighbors, this very fact is
alone sufficient to distinguish the genius of Massasoit. All the native
nations of New England, but his, were involved in dissensions and wars
with each other and with the whites; and they all shared sooner or later
the fate which he avoided. The restless ring-leaders who plotted mischief
among the Massachusetts, were summarily knocked upon the head by Miles
Standish, while hundreds of the residue fled, and miserably perished in
their own swamps. The Pequots,--a nation who could muster three thousand
bowmen but a short time previous, were nearly exterminated in 1637; and
the savages of Maine, meanwhile, the Mohawks of New York, the
Narraghansetts and the Mohegans were fighting and reducing each others'
strength, as if their only object had been, by ultimately extirpating
themselves, to prepare a way in the wilderness for the new comers.

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Massasoit succeeded by his son Alexander--The occasion of that name being
  given by the English--History of Alexander previous to his father's
  death--Covenant made with Plymouth in 1639--Measures taken in pursuance
  of it, in 1661--Anecdote illustrating the character of Alexander--Notice
  of the charges made against him--Examination of the transaction which
  led to his death--Accession of Philip--Renewal of the treaty by
  him--Interruption of harmony--Supposed causes of it--Measures taken in
  consequence--Philip's submission-Letter to the Plymouth Governor--Second
  submission in 1671--Remarks on the causes of Philip's War.

Massasoit was succeeded in the Pokanoket government by his eldest son
Moanam, or Wamsutta, known to the English chiefly by the name of
Alexander; which appellation he received at the same time when that of
Philip was conferred on his younger brother. The two young men came
together on that occasion into open court at Plymouth and professing great
regard for the English, requested that names should be given them. Their
father not being mentioned as having attended them at the observance of
the ceremony has probably occasioned the suggestion of his death. It would
be a sufficient explanation of his absence, however, that he was now an
old man, and that the distance of Sowams from Plymouth was more than forty
miles. It is easy to imagine, that the solicitude he had always manifested
to sustain a good understanding with his Plymouth friends, might lead him
to recommend this pacific and conciliatory measure, as a suitable
preparation for his own decease, and perhaps as the absolute termination
of his reign.

There is some reason to believe, indeed, that Alexander had a share in the
Pokanoket sovereignty, many years previous to the date of the ceremony
just mentioned. The Plymouth records show, that on the 25th of September,
1639, the father came into court, bringing Moanam with him. He desired
that the old treaty of 1621 might remain inviolable, "and the said
Woosamequin or Massasoit, and Moanam or Wamsutta," did also promise that
he nor they shall or will needlessly and unjustly raise any quarrels, or
do any wrongs to other natives, to provoke them to war against him; and
that he or they shall not give, sell or convey, any of his or their lands
territories or possessions whatsoever, to any person or persons, without
the privity and consent of the Government of Plymouth aforesaid; "and the
whole court in the name of the whole government, for each town
respectively, did then likewise ratify and confirm the aforesaid ancient
league and confederacy; and did also further promise to the said
Woosamequin and Moanam his son, and his successors, that they shall and
will from time to time defend them, when occasion shall require, against
all such as shall rise up against them to wrong or oppress them unjustly."

Agreeably to the terms of this covenant, the Records of the Colonies for
1661 set forth, that a message was that year sent by the United
Commissioners to Uncas, chief Sachem of the Mohegans. [FN] The
complainants in that case were the General Court of Massachusetts; and the
charge alleged against Uncas was a violent "Invading of Wesamequin and the
Indians of Quabakutt _whoe are and longe haue bine Subjects to the
English._" The dominion here assumed, is probably intended to apply only
to the Quabakutt Indians, and not to Massasoit. Uncas, in his answer,
professed that he was ignorant they were subjects of Massachusetts, "and
_further_ says they were none of Wesamequin's men but belonging to
Onopequin his deadly enemie." &c.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See the message and reply at large in the Life of Uncas.

He then alleges "that Wesamequin his son and diuers of his men _had fought
against him diuers times._" The last paragraph of the answer--which was
given in by Major Mason in behalf of Uncas--is as follows:

"Alexander allis [_alias_] Wamsutta Sachem of Sowamsett being now att
Plymouth hee challenged Quabauke Indians to belong to him and further said
that hee did war Warr {_sic_} against Vcus this summer on that account."

It is very clear at least that Alexander maintained fearlessly and
frankly, what he believed to be his rights; nor does it appear, that the
exercise of his sovereignty in this manner was objected to by the party
which had the best, if not only right to object. He manifested the same
independence in regard to the efforts of the English missionaries; so that
Hubbard concludes he had "neither affection for the Englishmen's persons,
nor yet for their religion."

This is licentious reasoning, at the best; for not a tittle of evidence
exists in the case, so far as we are aware, which goes to rebut the just
inference to be drawn from the circumstance that no difficulty or
controversy occurred between Alexander and his allies from his accession
to his death--with a single exception. The excepted case, which comes in
order now to be considered, is one of the more importance, that its
immediate effect was to terminate at once the reign and life of the

In connexion with the remark last cited from Hubbard, that historian
barely observes, that the Governor and Council were informed of the fact.
Mather states, with no more particularity, that the sachem solicited the
Narraghansetts to rebel with him;--upon _the good proof whereof,_ the
Plymouth Government adopted certain summary measures. From other sources
we find, that this proof was communicated by letters from Boston, where it
was probably founded upon rumors gathered from straggling Indians. At all
events, no conclusive testimony appears in the case; and it may be
plausibly surmised, therefore, that none was ever received, the writers
just cited not being remarkably prone to omit matters of this kind. The
rumor might originate from circumstances really suspicious; but were this
true, and far more, if it were both false and malicious, like the charges
against Massasoit, we may well question both the justice and the policy of
the steps taken by the Plymouth Government.

"They presently sent for him, to bring him to the court," says Hubbard,--a
very remarkable proceeding, related with a corresponding brevity. The
business was intrusted, it also appears, to a gentleman who was neither
afraid of danger, nor yet willing to delay in a matter of this moment. We
are then told that this gentleman, Mr. Winslow, forthwith taking eight or
ten stout men with him, well armed, set out for Sowams; that he
fortunately met with Alexander, at a few miles' distance, in a Wigwam with
eighty of his followers; that they seized upon the arms of the party,
which had been left without the Wigwam, and then went in and summoned the
sachem to attend them to Plymouth. He obeyed, reluctantly, being
threatened that "if he _stirred_ or refused to go, he was a dead man."
Such was his spirit, however, adds Hubbard, that the very surprisal of him
threw him into a fever. Upon this, he requested liberty to return home,
and the favor was granted to him on certain conditions; but he died upon
the way.

This account agrees with Mather's. "The Government sent that valiant and
excellent commander," says the Reverend Doctor, "to fetch him down before
them. The major-general used such expedition and resolution in this
affair, that, assisted with no more than ten men, he seized upon Alexander
at a hunting-house, notwithstanding his numerous attendants about him; and
when the raging sachem saw a pistol at his breast, with a threatening of
death to him if he did not quietly yield himself up to go down to
Plymouth; he yielded, though not very quietly, thereunto." Mather
attributes his death, furthermore, to the "inward fury of his own guilty
and haughty mind." Now, even if the sachem were not compelled to travel
faster or further than was decent in his unfortunate situation, as one of
our authorities is careful to argue; and granting to the other, that he
was treated (on the march) with no other than that humanity and civility,
_which was essential to the Major-General,_ [FN] it is abundantly clear,
we conceive, that a more hot-blooded or high-handed measure could hardly
have been executed by the adventurous John Smith himself. The son of
Massasoit, and the ruler of a nation who had been forty years in alliance
and warm friendship with the Colonists,--throughout all their feebleness,
and in spite of all jealousies and provocations,--was assaulted in his own
territory and among his own subjects, insulted, threatened, and finally
forced to obey a summons of his ancient ally to appear before his court
for his trial. It does not appear that he was even apprised of the
occasion which required his attendance. And what is worse than all the
rest, the whole proceeding was founded, so far as we can ascertain, upon
no better testimony than accusations gathered from stragglers at Boston,
and then communicated "by letters" to Plymouth. It must be admitted, that
a different coloring is put upon the affair by the Rev. Mr. Cotton, whose
relation may be found among the excellent notes appended to Mr. Davis's
recent edition of Morton. He states, that the sachem readily consented to
attend Winslow; and that he was barely examined before certain justices at
Eastham, and dismissed. This account, however, does not much mitigate the
essential circumstances of the case; and it admits the fact, that the
sachem died within two or three days after being carried home on the
shoulders of his men, although the English party seem to have found him
in perfect health.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Among other civilities, he was offered the use of a horse on the
 journey, and declined that favor on the ground that some of his women, in
 the company, were obliged to walk; a fine trait of savage politeness.

Such was the ignominious death of Alexander, and under such circumstances
did the government devolve upon his brother Metacom,--or Philip, as he is
generally called. That Prince seems to have assumed the Pokanoket
government, favored by a more than usual popularity; for the event was
celebrated by the rejoicing and revelry of multitudes of his subjects,
sachems and others, gathered together from the remotest limits of his
territory. One of his earliest measures, was to appear with his uncle
before the Plymouth Court, following the example of his father and
brother. He expressed an earnest wish for the continuance of peace and
amity; and pledged himself,--as the Court did also upon the other hand--to
use all suitable measures for effecting that desirable purpose. For
several years after this, the intercourse between the two parties went on,
ostensibly, as it had done in former times, though probably not without
some distrust upon both sides.

The first public interruption of this harmony occurred in 1671, during
which season Philip was heard to complain, openly, of certain
encroachments by the English upon his hunting-grounds. About the same time
rumors were circulated that his subjects frequently assembled at various
places in unwonted numbers and were repairing their guns, and sharpening
their hatchets. The Plymouth Government were alarmed. They sent messengers
to communicate with the Massachusetts Government, and at the same time
other messengers to Philip, not "to fetch him before the Court," as in the
case of his brother, but to ascertain his intentions.

He seems to have paid a dignified regard to this measure. On the 10th of
April, a message was received from him, inviting the officers of the
Plymouth Government to a conference. It was received by the latter at
Taunton, where also were several gentlemen, despatched by the
Massachusetts Government, with instructions to mediate between the
contending parties. Governor Prince, of Plymouth, sent word back to
Philip,--who was tarrying meanwhile at what is now called
Three-mile-river, about four miles from Taunton green,--that he was
heartily disposed to treat with him, and expected that the sachem would
come forward for that purpose; and his personal safety was guaranteed in
case he should do so. Philip so far complied with the request, as to
advance a considerable distance nearer the village. He then stationed
himself at a place called Crossman's mill, placed sentinels on a hill in
his rear, and again despatched messengers to the Governor, desiring an
interview. This, the town's-people, who could scarcely be restrained from
falling forthwith upon the Indian party, would not permit. At last, the
Massachusetts Commissioners, volunteering to take the supposed hazard upon
themselves, went to Philip, and persuaded him to consent to a conference.
This was on condition that his men should accompany him; and that the
business should be done at the meeting-house, one side of which was to be
reserved for the Wampanoags, and the other for the English.

The council took place agreeably to these arrangements, in the old
meeting-house of Taunton. The English stood upon one side, solemn and
stern in countenance, as they were formal in garb; and opposite to them, a
line of Indian warriors, armed and arrayed for battle, their long black
hair hanging about their necks, and their eyes gleaming covertly with a
flame of suspicion and defiance, scarcely to be suppressed. Philip alone
was their orator. He denied that he entertained any hostile design; and
promptly explained his preparations for war, as intended for defence
against the Narraghansetts. The Commissioners rejoined, however, with such
arguments and evidence as satisfied themselves and completely surprised
him. At least, he affected to admit all that was alleged against him; and
though he refused to give compensation for past aggressions, he and some
of his counsellors subscribed an acknowledgement drawn up by the English
in the words following:

                                              "Taunton, April 10th, 1671.

"Whereas my father, and my brother and myself have formerly submitted
ourselves unto the king's majesty of England, and to this colony of New
Plymouth, by solemn covenant under our hand; but I having of late, through
my indiscretion and the naughtiness of my heart, violated and broken this
my covenant with my friends, by taking up arms with an evil intent against
them, and that groundlessly; I being now deeply sensible of my
unfaithfulness and folly, do desire at this time solemnly to renew my
covenant with my ancient friends, and my father's friends above mentioned,
and do desire that this may testify to the world against me if ever I
shall again in my faithfulness towards them (whom I have now and at all
times found kind toward me) or any other of the English colonies. And as a
pledge of my true intentions for the future to be faithful and friendly, I
do freely engage to resign up to the Government of New Plymouth all my
English arms, to be kept by them for their security so long as they shall
see reason. For the true performance of the promises, I have hereunto set
my hand, together with the rest of my counsel.

    "In the presence of            The mark P of Philip,
    William Davis,                 The mark V of Tavoseh,
    William Hudson,                The mark M of Capt. Wispoke,
    Thomas Brattle,                The mark T of Woonchapaponchunk,
                                   The mark 8 of Nimrod."

From the tenor of this submission, it has been generally supposed that the
Sachem was frightened into it. Hence Hubbard relates, that "one of his
captains, of far better courage and resolution than himself, when he saw
his cowardly temper and disposition, flung down his arms, called him
white-livered cur, _or to that purpose,_ and from that time turned to the
English," &c. This might be true, though it is well known, that Mr.
Hubbard's authority in regard to every thing touching the character of
Philip is to be regarded with many allowances for his intemperate
prejudice. He hesitates not, almost as often as he finds occasion to
mention his name, to pay him the passing compliment of "caitiff,"
"hell-hound," "fiend," "arch-rebel," and various similar designations of
respect and affection.

But there is no doubt that the acknowledgement was at least a mere
artifice to gain time. Apparently it had no effect in reference to the
impending hostilities, other than to hasten them by aggravating the
ill-will of the Indians. It does not appear that their arms were given up,
even so far as stipulated in the submission. The following reply of Philip
to some communication respecting them may be deemed exposition of his side
of the question. The precise date is undetermined.

"Sachem Philip, his answer to the letter brought to him from the Governor
of New Plymouth.

"First. Declaring his thankfulness to the Governor for his great respects
and kindness manifested in the letter.

"Secondly. Manifesting his readiness to lay down their arms, and send his
people about their usual business and employments, as also his great
desire of concluding of peace with neighboring English.

"Thirdly. _Inasmuch as great fears and jealousies hath been raised in
their minds by several persons, which now they better understand the
falsity of such reports, as hath formerly been conveyed unto them,_ Philip
doth humbly request the Governor will please favorably to excuse and
acquit them from any payment of damage, _or surrendering their arms,_ they
not apprehending themselves blameworthy in those late rumors.

"Fourthly. They are not at present free to promise to appear at court,
hoping there will be no necessity of it, in case their freedom for peace
and readiness to lay down arms may be accepted; as also suggestions of
great danger that befall them, in case they appear, with harsh threats to
the Sachem, that may be considered.

     "Per me,

                          "Samuel Gorton _Junior._"

Whether Philip was at this time preparing for war, cannot be decided; but
he was evidently as yet unprepared. He went to Boston, therefore, during
the month of August (1671). He knew the Massachusetts government to be
more friendly to him than the Plymouth; and although letters had arrived
that very day from the latter place, announcing an intention of declaring
war upon him forthwith, the Sachem succeeded in persuading the
Massachusetts authorities of his entire innocence. They sent a proposal
to Plymouth for a new council, to settle all difficulties. This being
declined, they gave their opinion decidedly against war. Staggered by this
declaration, the government of the old colony consented to try the effect
of another mediation. A conference of all parties soon  took place at
Plymouth; and the following articles of accommodation were agreed upon.

"1. We, Philip and my Council and my subjects, do acknowledge ourselves
subject to his Majesty the King of England, and the government of New
Plymouth and to their laws.

"2. I am willing and do promise to pay unto the government of Plymouth one
hundred pounds in such things as I have; but I would intreat the favor
that I might have three years to pay it in, forasmuch as I cannot do it at

"3. I do promise to send unto the governor, or whom he shall appoint, five
wolves' heads, if I can get them; or as many as I can procure, until they
come to five wolves yearly.

"4. If any difference fall between the English and myself and people, then
I do promise to repair to the governor of Plymouth, to rectify the
difference amongst us.

"5. I do promise not to make war with any, but with the Governor's
approbation of Plymouth.

"6. I promise not to dispose of any of the lands that I have at present,
but by the approbation of the governor of Plymouth.

"For the true performance of the promises, I the said Sachem; Philip of
Paukamakett [FN] do hereby bind myself, and such of my council as are
present, ourselves, our heirs, our successors, faithfully, and do promise;
in witness thereof; we have hereunto subscribed our hands, the day and
year above written.

    "[In the presence of the Court,         The mark P of Philip.
    divers magistrates, &c.]                The mark [ of Uncomparn.
                                            The mark T of Wocokon.
                                            The mark 7 of Samkama."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Alias_ Pokanokit. Other variations of this ill-fated word, are

 Pachanokik and Puchanokik, by               Purchas,
 Pocanaket,                                  Morton,
 Pockanockett,                               Morton's Continuation,
 Pacanokie,                                  Prince,
 Pokanockett,                                Hutchinson,
 Pawkunnawkutt,                              Gookin,
 Puckanokie,                                 Winslow's Relations,
 Pokanackst,                                 Hubbard.

This negotiation was a new stratagem; [FN] and the success of it answered
the purpose of Philip completely; for although he does not appear to have
killed one wolf; or paid one cent, even "in such things as he had,"
nothing occurred for three years, to rouse the suspicions of the Colonies.
There can scarcely be a doubt, that during all this time,--if not for a
longer time previous,--the sachem was maturing one of the grandest plans
ever conceived by any savage;--that of utterly exterminating the English
of the northern provinces. This, he was well aware; could only be done by
means commensurate with the danger and difficulty of the enterprise. The
Colonies were no longer the feeble and timid allies, known fifty years
before to his father. They had grown in numbers and in strength; and still
more in experience and spirit. Nothing less, than a general union of the
New England tribes, who lived among and around them all, would furnish a
safe guarantee for the complete success of such a war as was now

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Mather remarks upon the passage thus: "When the Duke of Archette, at
 his being made governor of Antwerp castle, took an oath to keep it
 faithfully for King Philip of Spain, the officer that gave him his oath
 used these odd words. _If you perform what you promise, God help you; if
 you do it not, the Devil take your body and soul!_ and all the
 standers-by cried '_Amen!_' But when the Indian King Philip took his
 oath, nobody used _these words_ unto him; nevertheless you shall see anon
 whether _these words_ were not expressive enough of what became of him!"

To that great preparation, then, the whole energies of Philip must be
devoted. It was as difficult, he well knew, as it was desirable. The ruler
of one small confederacy,--already suspected, and constantly under the
close scrutiny of his powerful neighbors,--he must unite and interest in
one common object, a multitude of scattered nations who had met and
known each other, until this time, only in jealousy, envy, revenge, and in
many cases hereditary and inveterate war; and among whose councils no
similar plan, for any purpose whatever, had even been conceived of. How
far Philip surmounted these obstacles, will be seen. The great train of
events we are approaching, are so interesting both as a passage of general
history, and still more, as they implicate and illustrate the character of
Philip, that it may be proper to take some notice of the causes which gave
rise to them. It is well known, that his English contemporaries looked
upon him, very generally, With feelings far from benevolent. It was
natural under the circumstances that they should do so; but it is no more
necessary, than it is philosophical or just on the other hand, to confide
implicitly either in their opinions or their statements. Philip and his
Wampanoags are unlucky enough, like the lion in the fable, to have no

It should be observed here, that Philip like his elder brother,
unquestionably considered himself an ally and not a subject of the
English;--at least, until his nominal submission in 1671. Even the same
authorities who record this submission, speak of his renewing his ancient
covenant, (as indeed the instrument itself shows.) A distinct article
recognises Massasoit as an independent sovereign. Philip, then, held the
same relation to the English, that his father and brother had done for the
fifty years, during which the two parties had treated and associated upon
equal and intimate terms. He was bound by the same engagements, and
possessed of the same rights; and it only remains to be seen, if due
regard was paid to these circumstances upon either side.

Now, we look upon the assault of Alexander, in 1662, in the first place,
as not only a sufficient cause of suspicion and resentment, but of war;
and that, upon the best construction which can be put upon the most
favorable of the _ex-parte_ relations that appear upon record. By the old
treaty itself; which Alexander also took the gratuitous trouble to
_renew,_--and without any reference to courtesy or humanity, or to
national fidelity, or to personal friendship, existing up to this
date,--the English were bound generally to treat him as an allied
sovereign, and especially to make a preliminary demand of satisfaction, in
all eases of complaint. We have seen that the charge brought against him
in 1662,--vague and unsupported as it was,--was not so much as explained
to the sachem, previously to his being taken from his own territory by an
armed force, and carried before an English justice of the Peace. In no
other instance does the Plymouth Colony seem to have exercised an
authority of this nature, even over the meanest subjects of the sachem.
"Inasmuch as complaint is made, that many Indians pass into divers places
of this jurisdiction," say the records of the Colony for 1660, "it is
enacted that no strange or foreign Indians be permitted to become
residents, and that _notice be given to the several sagamores to prevent
the same._"

A remark might be made upon the policy of laws like these, so far as the
Pokanokets were concerned; as also of the acts of 1652, and 1653, which
prohibited the sale of casks, barques, boats and horses, to the Indians,
besides providing a punishment for such of them, resident in the Colony,
as should violate the Christian sabbath, or discharge their guns in the
night-time. But these regulations the Government had an undoubted right to
make, as Massasoit and Philip had possessed a right,--which, however, they
were complaisant enough to relinquish,--of selling their own lands to
purchasers of their own choosing.

Such was the state of things previous to the submission of 1671. With
regard to this, it is quite clear that, even if Philip was made to
understand the instrument which it is well known he could not read, he
could look upon it only as an insult, imposed upon him under circumstances
amounting to duress. Independently of any force, too, he must have thought
himself justified, by the manifest disposition and the summary measures of
the English, in availing himself of any stratagem to lull suspicion and to
gain time. He might or might not, at this period or before, have meditated
acting offensively against them, in revenge of the indignity suffered by
his brother and his nation; but it was certainly both prudent and
patriotic in him, to put himself on the defensive. He had a right, it
appears to us, both to drill his own people in martial exercises, and to
make alliances with his Indian neighbors.

It might have been a safe policy in the Plymouth Government, to have
considered these things, in regard at least to what they might call the
jealous and barbarous prejudices of the Indians, before proceeding to
extremities with either Alexander or Philip. On the contrary, while they
enacted laws, and encouraged accusations, and took the execution of the
penalty of them into their own hands, they used no means to conciliate
Philip, but sending for him to appear before "the Plymouth Court." Whether
they were cautious in all other respects after this time to avoid offence,
it is not to be expected that history should enable us to determine. We
find, however, that certain of the Colonists, in 1673, took upon them to
negotiate treaties for land with private subjects of Philip; and there is
no reason to doubt, that they entered and kept possession accordingly. As
the sachems are known to have been as tenacious of their territory in
claim, as they were liberal of it in disposal, it may well be conceived
that this first instance of a similar nature upon record, should occasion
Philip no little dissatisfaction. In imitation of the English courtesy, he
might have despatched Nimrod, Tobias, Woonkaponcpunt, or some other of his
"valiant and excellent" majors-generals to "fetch down" the offending
grantees to Sowams. He seems to have taken no express notice of the
affair. But that he understood his territorial rights, is apparent from
the singular communication which follows. It is preserved in the
Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, volume second of the
first series, as precisely copied from the original, which is still
preserved at Plymouth.

"King Philip desire to let you understand that he could not come to the
Court, for Tom, his interpreter, has a pain in his back, that he could not
travel so far, and Philip sister is very sik.

"Philip would intreat that favor of you, and aney of the magistrate _if
aney English or Engians speak about aney land, he pray you to give them no
answer at all._ This last summer he made that promis with you, that he
would not sell no land in seven years time, _for that he would have no
English trouble him before that time,_ he has not forgot that you promis

"He will come as soon as possible as he can to speak with you, and so I
rest, you very loving friend, Philip, dwelling at mount hope nek." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Since the text was written, our opinion has been confirmed by
 meeting with the following significant query in a petition of Mr. Gookin
 and Mr. Elliot to the Massachusetts Government in 1684, for the
 rescinding of  certain purchases made of the Indians which they
 considered fraudulent:--"_Was not a principal cause of the late war
 about encroachments on Philip's lands at Mount Hope?_" No remarks of
 ours can add to the force of a suggestion from such a source.

This unique letter is addressed "To the much honored Governor, Mr. Thomas
Prince, dwelling at Plymouth." As Philip himself could neither read nor
write, the honor of the orthography and construction must be attributed to
the infirm interpreter. But the sentiments are worthy of the sachem
himself; and they certainly manifest a mingled civility and independence
which do him great credit. No date is affixed to the letter. If it do not
refer to the transaction just mentioned, it was probably prompted by some
other of the same description. The interest which the sachem felt in cases
of this kind, is apparent from one of his own conveyances, made in 1668.
It was of a tract included within the present limits of Rochester, upon
the sea-shore. He drafted an accurate plan of it with his own hand, (still
preserved upon the records of the Old Colony) and forwarded it to the
Court, with the following explanation.

"This may inform the honorable Court," we read, "that I, Philip, am
willing to sell the land within this draught, but the Indians that are
upon it may live upon it still; but the land that is mine that is sold,
and Watashpoo is of the same mind. I have put down all the principal names
of the land we are now willing should be sold." Watashpoo was probably
one of the occupants, chiefly interested in the case. The letter ends
thus; "Know all Men by these Presents, That Philip has given power unto
Watashpoo, and Sampson, and their brethren, to hold and make sale of said
land to whom they will," &c. This letter must have been sent in compliance
with some request from his Plymouth friends. It is dated at Pocanauket;
subscribed by the capital P, which was the sachem's mark; and attested,
and no doubt written, by his secretary, John Sassamon.

Sassamon is distinguished in history as having been the immediate
occasion of the first open hostilities. He was born in some family of
praying Indians, and after receiving a tolerable education at Cambridge
and other places, was employed as a school-master at Natick. The
composition above cited rather supports Hubbard's remark, that he was a
"cunning and plausible Indian, well skilled in the English language." This
writer says, that he left the English on account of some misdemeanor.
Mather states, that "apostatizing from the profession of Christianity, he
lived like a heathen, in the quality of secretary to King Philip." He adds,
that he afterwards deserted the sachem, and gave such notable evidences of
repentance, as to be employed in preaching among the Indians at Natick,
under the eye of his old instructor, the venerable Eliot.

This was another of the provocations which must have annoyed Philip.
Hubbard states expressly, that Sassamon was importunately urged to forsake
him; and it appears from other sources, that there had previously been
such an entire confidence between the two, that the Secretary was
intrusted with all the secrets of his master. The provocation went still
farther. Sassamon, either having or pretending to have some occasion to go
among the Pokanokets frequently, availed himself of this opportunity to
scrutinize their movements, and to report them as he thought proper to the
English. In consequence of this, Philip and some of his subjects were
"examined," we are told, but nothing definite was learned from them. Soon
after, Sassamon disappeared; and as he had expressed some well-founded
fears of meeting with a violent death in the course of these manoeuvres,
his friends were alarmed. They commenced, a search, and finally found his
dead body in Assawomset pond, (in Middleborough) where a hole in the ice,
through which he had been thrust, was still open, and his hat and gun left
near by, as if he had drowned himself. "Furthermore," says Mather, "upon
the jealousies of the spirits of men that he might have met with some foul
play, a jury was empanelled, unto whom it appeared that his neck was
broken, _which is one Indian way of murdering._"

The next step of the Plymouth Government was to seize upon three Pokanoket
Indians, on the testimony of a fourth, "_found,_" says Hubbard, "_by a
strange providence._" This man swore that he had seen the murder committed
from a hill near the pond. It must be inferred that he swore to the
identity of the prisoners, for it appears they were convicted from "his
undeniable testimony and other circumstances," [FN] and forthwith hanged.
Whatever may be said of the _legal,_ the _moral_ probability certainly is,
that they were guilty. They were probably appointed to execute the
judgement of Philip upon Sassamon, one of them being Tobias, a man of some
distinction. At all events, Philip must have thought himself justified in
taking this summary measure with a vagabond who was mean enough to avail
himself, as Sassamon did, of being tolerated in _his_ territory after
having betrayed his confidence, and apparently for the very purpose of
following up his own treason.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The Colonists were but too ready, throughout these transactions, to
 believe any thing and everything which supported a charge against Philip.
 One of the undeniable circumstances is, probably, stated by Mather. The
 dead body bled afresh, says the Doctor, on the approach of Tobias, "yea,
 upon the repetition of the experiment, it still happened so," albeit he
 had been deceased and interred for a considerable while before.

                              CHAPTER VIII.

 Preparations for war between Philip and the Colonies--Great excitement of
  the times--Deposition of Hugh Cole--Immediate occasion of
  hostilities--Commencement of them, June 24th, 1675--Summary sketch of
  the war--Consequences to the parties engaged--Exertions, adventures and
  escapes of King Philip--His death--Anecdotes respecting
  him--Observations on his character--His courage, dignity, kindness,
  independence, shrewdness, and self-command--Fate of his family--Defence
  of his conduct.

Whatever had previously been the disposition or determination of Philip,
it is universally agreed, that subsequent to the transaction mentioned at
the close of the last chapter, he took but little pains either to
conceal his own hostility or to check that of his subjects. It would be
incredible that he should. He well remembered what had happened to his
brother in much more peaceable times; and, as several historians intimate,
he must actually have apprehended "the danger his own head was in next."
A passage in one of his letters heretofore cited, is to the same
purpose--"as also suggestions of great danger in case they [his subjects]
there [at Plymouth] appear; _with harsh threats to the sachem, that may be

Every preparation was now made for the impending crisis on either side.
The following ancient document, taken from the records of Plymouth,
shows that the agitation of all the parties concerned had already arrived
to a high pitch. It is the deposition of one Hugh Cole, taken in court
previous to Sassamon's death, and attested by Nathaniel Morton as
secretary. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Vide 6th. Vol. Mss. His. Coll. 1st Series

"Hugh Cole, aged forty-three, or there abouts, being deposed, saith;--That
in February last past before the date hereof he went to Shewamett, and
two Englishmen more with him; and that their business was _to persuade the
Indians to go to Plymouth,_ to answer a complaint made by Hezekiah Luther.
The Indians (saith he) seeing us, came out of the house towards us, being
many of them, at the least twenty or thirty, with staves in their hand;
and when the Indians saw there were but three of us, they laid down their
staves again. Then we ask the Indians what they did with those staves in
their hands? They answered, that they looked for Englishmen to come from
Plymouth, to seek Indians, to carry them to Plymouth. But they said they
were not willing to go. And some time after, in the same morning, Philip,
the chief sachem, sent for me to come to him; and I went to Mount Hope to
him; and when I came to Mount Hope, I saw most of the Indians that I knew
of Shewamett Indians, there at Mount Hope, and they were generally
employed in making of bows and arrows, and half pikes, and fixing up of
guns. And I saw many Indians of several places repair towards Mount Hope.
And some days after I came from Mount Hope, I, with several others, saw
one of Captain Willett's rangers, coming on post on horseback, who told
us, that king Philip was marched up the neck with about three score men;
and Zacary Eddy, on his report, went to see if he could find them; and he
found them towards the upper part of the neck, in several companies. One
Caleb Eddy further saith, that he saw many there in arms; and I was
informed by John Padduck, that he saw two several guns, loaded with
bullets or slugs. And I further testify, that those Indians that I saw
come towards Mount Hope, as aforesaid, came better armed than I usually
have seen them. Further saith not."

The Pokanokets mustered at Mount Hope, early in the spring of 1675, from
all quarters, and the whole country was in agitation. The ungovernable
fury of some of these fierce warriors was the immediate occasion of the
war which ensued. They had not the power which Philip himself had, of
enduring provocation with the reservation of revenge; and they were by no
means so well aware, on the other hand, of the advantages to be gained by
such a course. At length, a party of them expressed their feelings so
intolerably--soon after the execution of their three countrymen--that an
Englishman at Swanzey discharged his musket at one of them, and wounded
him. This affair took place June 24, 1675, a day memorable in American
history as the commencement of Philip's War. "Now," says a reverend
historian of those times, "war was begun by a fierce nation of Indians
upon an honest, harmless Christian generation of English, who might very
truly have said unto the aggressors, as it was said of old unto the
Ammonites, '_I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to
war against me._'" Such no doubt was the persuasion of a large majority of
the contemporary countrymen of the learned divine.

Hostilities were now promptly undertaken. A letter was sent to Philip, in
the month of June, which, of course, did no good; applications were also
made to the Massachusetts Government for immediate assistance; forces were
raised and stationed throughout the Colony; and matters very soon after
proceeded to a length which made compromise or conciliation impossible. We
do not intend to give for the present the well-known particulars of this
celebrated war. It is sufficient to observe, that it was carried on for
more than a year with a violence, and amid an excitement unparalleled,
perhaps, in the history of the country; and that it terminated with the
death of Philip, late in the season of 1676.

The result of it was decisive, as the sachem was well aware that it would
be, of the fate of the New England Indians. The Pokanokets were nearly
exterminated. The Narraghansetts lost about one thousand of their number
in the celebrated swamp-fight at Sunke-Squaw. All the Indians on the
Connecticut river, and most of the Nipmucks who survived, fled to Canada,
(where they were subsequently of great service to the French!) and a few
hundreds took refuge in New York. The English detachment of Captain Church
alone, are estimated to have killed about seven hundred between June and
October of 1676. Large numbers of those who were captured were sent out of
the country, and sold as slaves.

But the triumph of the conqueror was dearly bought. The whole fighting
force of the four Colonies seems to have been almost constantly in
requisition. Between one and two thousand men were engaged at the
swamp-fight alone,--an immense force for a population of scarcely forty
thousand English throughout New England. Thirteen towns were entirely
destroyed by the enemy; six hundred dwelling-houses burned; and about the
same number of Englishmen killed, so that almost every family lost a
relative. The mere expense of the war must have been very great; for the
Commissioners of the United Colonies afterwards estimated the
disbursements of the Old Colony alone, at more than one hundred thousand

Such was the war of King Philip--sustained and managed, upon his side, by
his own single-handed energy and talent alone. Not that the sixty
Wampanoags of the sachem's own house-hold, as it were, or even the various
tribes of the Pokanoket country, were his sole supporters; but that all
the other tribes, which supported him, did it in consequence of his
influence, and were induced to unite and operate together, as they never
had done before, under his control. Some writers have asserted, that he
engaged the various Atlantic tribes as far south as Virginia to assist
him; but of this there is no proof, and it is rendered improbable by the
great want of inter-communication among these tribes.

Nor is it true, as other writers have stated, that all the natives of New
England itself were involved with Philip. On the other hand, it was the
most trying circumstance of the great struggle of the sachem, that he had
not only to rely upon bringing and keeping together scores of petty
cantons, as jealous of each other from time immemorial as so many Highland
clans; but he had to watch and resist, openly and secretly, all who would
not join him, besides the multitudes who deserted, betrayed and opposed
him. The New Hampshire tribes mostly withdrew from the contest. The
praying Indians, of whom there were then thousands, either remained
neutral, or like Sassamon turned against their own race. One of Philip's
own tribes forsook him in his misfortunes; and the Pequots and Mohegans of
Connecticut kept the field against him from the very first day of the war
to the last. It may be supposed, that some of these tribes were surprised,
as Philip himself was, by the sudden breaking out of the war, a year
before the time which had been fixed for it. This was occasioned by the
proceedings in which Sassamon was concerned, and by the ungovernable fury
of a few of the young warriors.

Philip is said to have wept at these tidings of the first outrage of the
war. He relented, perhaps, savage as he was, at the idea of disturbing the
long amity which his father had preserved; but he may well have regretted,
certainly, that being once forced upon the measure, he should enter the
battle-field unprepared for what he well knew must be the last, as it was
the first, great contest between the red men and the whites. But the die
was cast, and though Philip never smiled after that memorable hour alluded
to, his whole soul was bent upon the business before him. Day nor night,
scarcely was there rest for his limbs or sleep for his eyes. His resources
must have been feeble enough, had his plans, now embarrassed, succeeded to
his utmost wish; but he girded himself, as it was, with a proud heart for
the mortal struggle. The strength of his own dominions was about six
hundred warriors, ready, and more than ready, long since, for the war-cry.
The whole force of his old enemies, the Narragansetts, was already engaged
to him. He had negotiated, also, with the Nipmucks and the tribes on the
Connecticut and farther west, and one after another, these were soon
induced to join him. Nor was it six weeks from the first hostilities,
before all the Indians along the coast of Maine, for a distance of two
hundred miles, were eagerly engaged, in what Philip told them was the
common cause of the race.

That no arts might be left untried, even while the court were condemning
his three subjects, he was holding a grand war-dance at Sowams, and
mustering his tawny warriors around him from all quarters. Several tribes
afterwards confessed to the English, that Philip had thus inveigled them
into the war. And again, no sooner were his forces driven back upon the
Connecticut river tribes, about the first of September, 1675, than he
enlisted new allies among _them._ The Hadley Indians, who had joined the
English,--very likely at his instigation,--were suspected, and fled to
him. Their Springfield neighbors, soon after, joined three hundred of
Philip's men, in an attack upon that town; and thus the whole Nipmuck
country was involved. In the course of the ensuing winter, the sachem is
said to have visited the Mohawks in New York. Not succeeding in gaining
their alliance by fair argument, he was desperate enough to kill some of
their straggling young men in the woods, in such a manner that the blame
would obviously be charged upon the English. But this stratagem was
defeated, by the escape of one who had only been stunned by the sachem.
The latter was obliged to take abrupt leave of his hosts; and from that
time, they were among his worst enemies.

His situation during the last few months of the war, was so deplorable,
and yet his exertions so well sustained, that we can only look upon him
with pity and admiration. His successes for some time past had been
tremendous; but the tide began to ebb. The whole power of the Colonies was
in the field, aided by guides and scouting-parties of his own race. The
Saconets, the subjects of a near relation of his own, enlisted under
Church. Other tribes complained and threatened. Their territory, as well
as his, had been over-run, their settlements destroyed, and their planting
and fishing-grounds all occupied by the English. Those of them who were
not yet hunted down, were day and night followed into swamps and forests,
and reduced to live,--if they did not actually starve or freeze,--upon the
least and worst food to be conceived of. Hundreds died of diseases
incurred in this manner. "I have eaten horse," said one of these miserable
wretches, "but now horse is eating me." Another informed Church, on one
occasion, that about three hundred Indians had gone a long way to Swanzey,
in the heat of the war, for the purpose of eating clams, and that Philip
was soon to follow them. At another time, the valiant captain himself
captured a large party. Finding it convenient to attack a second directly
after, he bade the first wait for him, and join him at a certain
rendezvous. The day after the skirmish, "they came to him as they were
ordered," and he drove them all together, that very night, into
Bridgewater _pound,_ and set his Saconet soldiers to guard them. "Being
well treated with victuals and drink," he adds, with great simplicity,
"they had a merry night, and the prisoners laughed as loud as the
soldiers; _not being so treated for a long time before._"

The mere physical sufferings of Philip, meanwhile, are almost incredible.
It is by his hair-breadth escapes, indeed, that he is chiefly visible
during the war. Occasionally, the English come close upon him; he starts
up, like the roused lion, plunges into the river or leaps the precipice;
and nothing more is seen of him for months. Only a few weeks after the war
commenced, he was surrounded in the great Pocasset swamp, and obliged to
escape from his vigilant enemies by rafting himself, with his best men,
over the great Taunton river, while their women and children were left to
be captured. On his return to the same neighborhood, the next season, a
captive guided the English to his encampment. Philip fled in such haste as
to leave his kettle upon the fire; twenty of his comrades were overtaken
and killed; and he himself escaped to the swamp, precisely as he had
formerly escaped from it. Here his uncle was shot soon afterwards at his
side. Upon the next day, Church, discovering an Indian seated on a fallen
tree, made to answer the purpose of a bridge over the river, raised his
musket and deliberately aimed at him. "It is one of our own party,"
whispered a savage, who crept behind him. Church lowered his gun, and the
stranger turned his head. It was Philip himself, musing, perhaps, upon the
fate which awaited him. Church fired, but his royal enemy had already fled
down the bank. He escaped from a close and bloody skirmish a few hours

He was now a desolate and desperate man, the last prince of an ancient
race, without subjects, without territory, accused by his allies, betrayed
by his comrades, hunted like a spent deer by blood-hounds, in daily hazard
of famishing, and with no shelter day or night for his head. All his chief
counsellors and best friends had been killed. His brother was slain in the
Pocasset swamp; his uncle was shot down at his own side; and his wife and
only son were captured when he himself so narrowly escaped from the fire
of Church. And could he have fled for the last time from the soil of his
own country, he would still have found no rest or refuge. He had betaken
himself once to a place between York and Albany; but even here, as Church
says, the _Moohags_ made a descent upon him and killed many of his men.
His next kennelling-place [FN] was at the fall of Connecticut river, above
Deerfield, where, some time after, "Captain Turner found him, came upon
him by night, killed a great many men, and frightened many more into the
river, that were hunted down the falls and drowned." He lost three hundred
men at this time. They were in their encampments, asleep and unguarded.
The English rushed upon them, and they fled in every direction,
half-awakened, and crying out, "Mohawks! Mohawks!"

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The language of Church. The same name might be as properly applied,
 we suppose, to a curious cave in the vicinity of Winnecunnett pond, in
 Norton (Mass.) In the midst of a cluster of large rocks, it is formed by
 the projection of one over another which meets it with an acute angle. It
 is five feet high, and the area at the base is seventeen feet by nine.
 Tradition represents it as one of the Sachem's secret retreats, and it
 bears the name of "Philip's-Cave" to this day.

We cannot better illustrate Philip's character, than by observing, that
within a few days of this affair, he was collecting the remnants of the
Narraghansetts and Nipmucks among the Wachuset hills, on the east side of
the river; that they then made a descent upon Sudbury; "met with and
_swallowed up the valiant Captain Wadsworth and his company;_ [FN-1] and
many other doleful desolations in those parts." We also find, that Philip
was setting parties to waylay Church, under his own worst circumstances;
and that he came very near succeeding. He is thought to have been at the
great swamp-fight in December, 1675; and to have led one thousand Indians
against Lancaster on the ensuing 8th of February. In August of the former
season, he made his appearance among the Nipmucks, in a swamp ten or
twelve miles from Brookfield. "They told him at his first coming," said
one of them who was taken captive, "what they had done to the English at
Brookfield [burning the town.] _Then he presented and gave to three
sagamores,_ namely, John _alias_ Apequinast, Quanansit, and Mawtamps, to
each of them _about a peck of unstrung wampum._" [FN-2] Even so late as
the month before the sachem's death, a Negro, who had fought under him,
informed the English of his design of attacking certain towns, being still
able to muster something like a thousand men. In his last and worst days,
he would not think of peace; and he killed with his own hand, upon the
spot, the only Indian who ever dared to propose it. It was the brother of
this man by whom he was himself soon after slain.

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] This strong expression of the Captain's may refer to the really
 savage treatment which the unfortunate prisoners met with in this case.
 We have it on the authority of Mather, at least, that those "devils
 incarnate" inflicted a variety of tortures not necessary to be enlarged
 upon here; "and so with exquisite, leisurely, horrible torments, roasted
 them out of the world." _History of New England,_ Book VII. p. 55,
 London Ed. 1702.

 [FN-2] Note to Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts. Mather says, that
 these very Indians had covenanted by a formal treaty, a month before,
 that they would not assist Philip.

These are clear proofs, then, that Philip possessed a courage as noble as
his intellect. Nor is there any doubt that history would have furnished a
long list of his personal exploits, but that his situation compelled him
to disguise as well as conceal himself. If any thing but his face had been
known, there was nothing to prevent Church from shooting him, as we have
seen. And universally influential as he was,--the master-spirit every
where guiding, encouraging, soothing and rewarding,--it is a fact worthy
of mention, that from the time of his first flight from Pocasset until a
few weeks before his death, no Englishman could say, that he had either
seen his countenance or heard his voice. Hence Church describes him as
being always foremost in the flight. The price put upon his head, the
fearful power which pursued him, the circumstance that some of his own
acquaintance were against him, and especially the vital importance of his
life to his cause, all made it indispensable for him to adopt every
stratagem of the wary and cunning warfare of his race.

We have said something of Philip's ideas of his own sovereign dignity.
Hence the fate of Sassamon, and of the savage who proposed peace. There
is a well settled tradition, that in 1665 he went over to the island of
Nantucket, with the view of killing an Indian called John Gibbs. [FN] He
landed on the west end, intending to travel along the shore, undiscovered,
under the bank, to that part of the island where Gibbs resided. By some
lucky accident, the latter received a hint of his approach, made his
escape to the English settlement, and induced one Mr. Macy to conceal him.
His crime consisted in speaking the name of some deceased relative of
Philip (his brother, perhaps,) contrary to Indian etiquette in such cases
provided. The English held a parley with the sachem, and all the money
they were able to collect was barely sufficient to satisfy him for the
life of the culprit. It was not a mere personal insult, but a violation of
the reverence due from a subject to his king.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The fact, as to the visit itself, is authenticated by the extant
 records of Nantucket.

It appears, that when he visited Boston, before the war, he succeeded in
persuading the government,--as, no doubt, was the truth of the case,--that
notwithstanding the old league of his father, renewed by himself, or
rather by force of it, he was still independent of Plymouth. "These
successive engagements were agreements of amity, and not of subjection any
further, as he apprehended." He then desired to see a copy of the treaty,
and requested that one might be procured for him. He knew, he added, that
the praying Indians had submitted to the English; but the Pokanokets had
done no such thing, and they were not subject. The letter of the
Massachusetts to the Plymouth Government, written just after this
interview with the sachem, is well worthy of notice. "We do not
understand," say the former, "how far he hath subjected himself to you;
but the treatment you have given him, does not render him such a subject,
as that, if there be not present answering to summons, there should
presently be a proceeding to hostilities."

Philip had himself the same notion of a Plymouth _summons_; and yet either
policy or good feeling induced him to _visit_ the Plymouth Governor, in
March, 1675, for the purpose of quieting the suspicions of the Colony;
nothing was discovered against him, and he returned home. He maintained
privately the same frank but proud independence. He was opposed to
Christianity as much as his father was, and would make no concessions upon
that point. Possibly the remembrance of Sassamon might have rankled in his
bosom, when, upon the venerable Eliot once undertaking to convert him, he
took one of his buttons between his fingers, and told him he cared no more
for the Gospel than for that button. That he was generally more civil,
however, may be inferred from Gookin's statement; "I have heard him speak
very good words, arguing that his conscience is convicted &c." The sachem
evidently made himself agreeable in this case.

In regard to his personal appearance, always a matter of curiosity in the
case of great men, sketches purporting to be portraits of him are extant,
but none of them are believed to have more verisimilitude than the
grotesque caricature prefixed to the old narrative of Captain Church (the
model of the series); and we must therefore content ourselves to remain
ignorant in this matter. As to his costume, Josselyn who saw him at Boston
says that he had a coat on, and buskins set thick with beads, "in pleasant
wild works and a broad belt of the same;" his accoutrements being valued
at 20 pounds. A family in Swanzey (Mass) is understood to be still in
possession of some of the royalties which were given up by Anawon, at
the time of _his_ capture by Church. [FN] There were two horns of glazed
powder, a red-cloth blanket, and three richly and beautifully wrought
wampum belts. One was nine inches wide, and so long as to extend from the
shoulder to the ankles. To the second, which was worn on the head, were
attached two ornamented small flags. The third and smallest had a star
figured in beads upon one end, which came over the bosom.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Anawon is said to have been Philip's chief counsellor and captain
 during the war; and also to have fought under Massasoit. But the latter
 was not a very belligerent character; nor do we find mention of Anawon's
 services under Philip, previous to the time of his fall at the
 swamp-skirmish, when the counsellor made his escape. Hubbard states that
 he boasted of having killed ten whites in one day; but nearly all that is
 known of him we derive from the picturesque account of his capture by
 Church, who headed an expedition for the express purpose. Anawon met his
 misfortune, and even entertained his conqueror, most manfully on that
 occasion; and Church reciprocated his courtesies; but all in vain--the
 old warrior, with many others of his tribe, was soon after beheaded at
 Plymouth. To the traveller from Taunton to Providence, through the
 south-east corner of Rehoboth, _Anawon's rock_ is pointed out to this
 day--an enormous pile, from twenty-five to thirty feet high, on a sort of
 island in a swamp of some thousand acres.

Philip was far from being a mere barbarian in his manners and feelings.
There is not an instance to be met with, of his having maltreated a
captive in any way, even while the English were selling his own people as
slaves abroad, or torturing and hanging them at home. The famous Mrs.
Rowlandson speaks of meeting with him during her _doleful_ captivity. He
invited her to call at his lodge; and when she did so, bade her sit down,
and asked her if she would smoke. On meeting her again, he requested her
to make some garment for his child, and for this he paid her a shilling.
He afterwards took the trouble of visiting her for the purpose of assuring
her, that "in a fortnight she should be her own mistress." Her last
interview, it must be allowed, shows his shrewdness to rather more
advantage than his fair dealing. It was Indian stratagem in war-time,
however; and the half-clad sachem was at this very time living upon
ground-nuts, acorns and lily-roots. "Philip, smelling the business, [her
ransom,] called me to him, and asked me what I would give him to tell me
some good news, and to speak a good word for me, that I might go home
to-morrow. I told him I could not tell,--but any thing I had,--and
asked him what he would have. He said two coats, and twenty shillings in
money, half a bushel of seed-corn, and some tobacco. _I thanked him for
his love, but I knew that good news as well as that crafty fox._" It is
probable he was amusing himself with this good woman, much as he did with
the worthy Mr. Gookin; but at all events, there are no traces of
malevolent feeling in these simple anecdotes.

What is more striking, we find that when one James Brown, of Swanzey,
brought him a letter from Plymouth, just before hostilities commenced, and
the young warriors were upon the point of killing him, Philip interfered
and prevented it, saying, that "his father had charged him to show
kindness to Mr. Brown." Accordingly, it is recorded in Hubbard, that a
little before _his_ death, the old sachem had visited Mr. Brown, who lived
not far from Montaup, and earnestly desired that the love and amity _he_
had received, might be continued to the children. It was probably this
circumstance, which induced Brown himself, to engage in such a hazardous
enterprize, after an interval, probably, of some twenty years.

Nor should we pass over the kindness of Philip to the Leonard family, who
resided near Fowling Pond, in what is now Raynham. Philip, who wintered at
Montaup,--for the convenience of fishing, perhaps,--was accustomed to
spend the summer at a hunting-house, by this pond. There he became
intimate with the Leonards, traded with them, and had his arms repaired by
them frequently. On the breaking out of the war, he gave strict orders
that these men should never be hurt, as they never were; [FN] and, indeed,
the whole town of Taunton,--as it then was,--remained almost entirely
unmolested throughout the war, and amid all the ravages and massacres
which daily took place upon its very borders. How much of provocation and
humiliation he was himself enduring meanwhile, we have already seen. All
his relations were killed or captured, and a price set upon his own life.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A forge is still in operation upon the site of the one here
 mentioned. The original Leonard-House, where tradition says that Philip's
 head was deposited for some time, is represented in the Vignette prefixed
 to this volume. It is still occupied by one of the family, of the sixth
 generation from the builder, and, so far as we are informed, is the
 oldest mansion now standing in this country. The vane, at one of the
 gable-ends is inscribed with the date 1700; but there is little doubt of
 the house having been erected at least thirty years previous. The
 workmanship, especially within, is remarkably massive and sound. It is
 apparently modelled after an English fashion of the eighteenth century,
 with some modifications proper for defence against the Indians. It was
 garrisoned during the war.--The Fowling Pond, still so called, has become
 a thick swamp. An aged gentleman was living not many years since, who in
 boyhood had frequently gone off in a canoe, to catch fish in its waters.
 Indian weapons and utensils are still found on its borders.

It is a matter of melancholy interest to know, that the sachem, wretched
and hopeless as he had become in his last days, was still surrounded by a
band of his faithful and affectionate followers. At the very moment of his
fatal surprise by the English, he is said to have been telling them of his
gloomy dreams, [FN-1] and advising them to desert him and provide for
their own safety. A few minutes after this, he was shot in attempting to
escape from the swamp. An Englishman,--one Cook,--aimed at him, but his
gun missed fire; the Indian who was stationed to watch at the same place,
discharged _his_ musket, and shot him through the heart. The news of this
success was of course received with great satisfaction; Church says, that
"the whole army gave three loud huzzas." It is to be regretted that the
honest captain suffered his prejudices to carry him so far, that he denied
the rites of burial to his great enemy. He had him quartered, on the
contrary, and his head carried to Plymouth, where, as Mather is careful to
tell us, it arrived on the very day when the church there were keeping a
solemn thanksgiving. The conqueror's temper was soured by the illiberality
of the Government toward himself. For this march he received but four and
sixpence a man, together with thirty shillings a head for the killed. He
observes that Philip's head went at the same price, and he thought it a
"scanty reward and poor encouragement." The sachem's head was carried
about the Colony in triumph; [FN-2] and the Indian who killed him was
rewarded with one of his hands. To finish the wretched detail, several of
his principal royalties were soon after given up by one of his chief
captains; and the lock of the gun which was fatal to him, with a
_samp-dish_ found in his wigwam, are still to be seen among the
antiquities of the Historical Society of Massachusetts. Montaup, which
became the subject of a dispute between the Massachusetts and Plymouth
Colonies, was finally awarded to the latter by a special decision of King

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] The violent prejudice existing against Philip, unmitigated even by
 his sufferings and death, appears singularly in a parenthetical surmise
 of Hubbard, "whether the devil appeared to him that night in a dream,
 foreboding his tragical end, _it matters not._" So Mather says, he was
 hung up like _Ahag,_ after being shot through his "venomous and murderous
 heart." Church, generally an honorable and humane man, speaks of his
 fallen foe, in terms which we regard his reputation too much to repeat.

 [FN-2] It was kept many years at Plymouth, Dr. Mather says in 1700.--"It
 is not long since the hand which now writes upon a certain occasion took
 off the jaw from the exposed skull of _that blasphemous leviathan._"

Last and worst of all, his only son, a boy of nine years of age, whom we
have already noticed as among the English captives, was sold as a slave
and shipped to Burmuda. It should be stated, however, that this
unfortunate measure was not taken without some scruples. The Plymouth
Court were so much perplexed upon the occasion, as to conclude upon
applying to the clergymen of the Colony for advice. Mr. Cotton was of
opinion that "the children of notorious traitors, rebels, and murderers,
especially such as have been principal leaders and actors in such horrid
villainies, might be involved, in the guilt of their parents, and might,
_salva republica,_ be adjudged _to death._" Dr. Increase Mather compared
the child to Hadad, whose father was killed by Joab; and he intimates,
that if Hadad himself had not escaped, David would have taken measures to
prevent his molesting the next generation. It is gratifying to know, that
the course he recommended was postponed, even to the ignominious and
mortifying one we have mentioned.

Such was the impression which had been universally forced upon the
Colonists by the terrible spirit of Philip. And never was a civilized or
an uncivilized enemy more generally or more justly feared. How much
greater his success might have been, had circumstances favored, instead of
opposing him, it is fortunately impossible for us to estimate. It is
confessed, however, that had even the Narraghansetts joined him during the
first summer of the war,--as nothing but the abrupt commencement of it
prevented them from doing,--the whole country, from the Piscataqua to the
Sound, must have been over-swept and desolated. But as it was, Philip did
and endured enough to immortalize him as a warrior, a statesman, and we
may add, as a high-minded and noble patriot. Whatever might be the
prejudice against him in the days of terror produced by his prowess, there
are both the magnanimity and the calmness in these times, to do him the
justice he deserves. He fought and fell,--miserably, indeed, but
gloriously,--the avenger of his own household, the worshipper of his own
gods, the guardian of his own honor, a martyr for the soil which was his
birth-place, and for the proud liberty which was his birth-right.

                              CHAPTER IX.

 The Narraghansett tribe; territory and power--Chief Sachems at the date
  of the English settlements in New England--Canonicus associates with
  himself Miantonomo, his nephew--Their treatment of Roger Williams in
  1634--Hostility to the Plymouth Colony--Invited by the Pequots to fight
  the English--Treaty negotiated at Boston, in 1636, by Miantonomo--War
  with the Pequots and result of it--Subsequent hostility between
  Miantonomo and Uncas--Sequassen--Battle of the Sachem's-Plain--Capture
  of Miantonomo--Sentence of the English commissioners upon him--Execution
  of it.

Next to the Pokanoket confederacy, none has a stronger claim on the early
notice of the historian, than the Narraghansett; a nation, composed of
various small tribes, inhabiting a large part of the territory which
afterwards formed the colony of Rhode-Island. Their dominion extended also
over the islands in the bay of their own name; and the Sagamores of a part
of Long-Island, Block-Island, Cawesit, and Niantick were either their
tributaries or subject to them in some other way. They had once been able
to raise more than four thousand warriors; and so late as Philip's time,
we have seen they could muster two thousand, one half of whom were
provided with English arms, and were skillful in the use of them. From
time immemorial, they had waged war with both the Pokanokets on the North
and the Pequots on the West.

It might be expected, that the rulers of such a confederacy, thus
situated, should be men of talent and energy; and this expectation will
not be disappointed. Throughout the history of the New England Indians, as
we find no people more resolute in declaring what they believed to be
their rights, or more formidable in defending them, so we find no sachems
more ready and able than theirs, on all occasions, to sustain the high
spirit of their subjects.

There is an unnecessary confusion in the information conveyed by some of
our best annalists, respecting the particular personage who governed the
Narraghansetts at the date of the first intercourse between them and the
English. Governor Hutchinson, for example, speaks in one case of Canonicus
as being their chief sachem. In another, alluding to the death of
Miantonomo, while the former was yet living, he observes, that although
they had _lost their chief sachem,_ yet they had divers other stout ones,
as _Canonicus,_ Pessacus and others.

The ambiguity has arisen from the circumstance, that although Canonicus
exercised the chief authority of the country when the English first
arrived, he soon after became associated in the Government with
Miantonomo, his nephew. What were the particular conditions of the royal
co-partnership, or what was the occasion of it, cannot now be determined.
Some writers suppose, that the sole authority belonged to the younger of
the two, and that the elder acted in the capacity of regent; but
considering that the association continued during the whole term of the
joint lives of the two, it appears more probable, that Canonicus, finding
himself far advanced in years, [FN] as well as encumbered with the charge
of an extensive dominion, at the period of the first English settlements,
thought proper to make such an alteration in his regal state as seemed to
be required by the exigencies of the times. He therefore selected as an
associate, the most popular and active prince of his own family.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Roger Williams tells us in his Key to the Indian Languages, first
 printed in 1643, that he was about fourscore years of age. Elsewhere, it
 is stated, that "Canonicus, being the sole governor or chief sachem,
 employed his nephew Miantonomy, to manage his warlike affairs, as general
 of his army, _and in his declining years took him as a partner in his
 government for assistance." His. Narr. Country. Mass. His. Coll._

Mr. Hutchinson himself appears finally to adopt the conclusion we have
just stated. In a part of his history [FN] subsequent to the passage above
cited, he refers to information derived from authentic manuscripts, which
furnished the opinion of the Narraghansetts themselves upon the subject.
The oldest of that people reported, when the English first arrived, that
they had in former times a sachem called Tashtassack, incomparably
superior to any other in the whole country in dominion and state. This
chieftain, said they, had only two children, a son and a daughter; and not
being able to match them according to their dignity, he joined them
together in wedlock. They had four sons; and of these, Canonicus, "_who
was sachem when the English came,_" was the eldest.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _History of Mass. Vol. I._ pp. 72. and 458.

Mr. Hutchinson observes, that this is the only piece of Indian history, or
tradition of any sort, from the ancestors of our first Indians, he had
ever met with. The brothers of Canonicus here referred to, are
occasionally spoken of by the old writers, but not as having signalized
themselves by any thing worthy of notice.

The fact that Canonicus and his nephew administered the government in
harmony, as well as in union, is shown most clearly by the letters of
Roger Williams. [FN] It is well known that, in 1634, when that reverend
gentleman was compelled to leave the Massachusetts colony, (on account of
his religious opinions,) he fled to Seekonk; But that place lying within
the limits of the Plymouth jurisdiction, and the people of that colony
being unwilling to embroil themselves with Massachusetts, Governor Winslow
informed him of the difficulty which was apprehended, and advised him to
occupy a spot on the other side of the river, without the boundaries of
either jurisdiction. Upon this, Mr. Williams, utterly forlorn, crossed the
river, and threw himself on the mercy of Canonicus.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See Vol. I. Mass. His. Coll. 3d Series. The same writer says in his
 Key to the Indian Languages--"Their agreement in the government is
 remarkable. The old Sachem will not be offended at what the young Sachem
 doth; and the young Sachem will not do what he conceives will displease
 his uncle."

The savage chieftain--to his eternal praise, be it recorded--received him
with a hospitality worthy of an emperor. At first, indeed, he was
suspicious of his visitor's motives; and he was none the more
prepossessed in his favor, from his subjects having recently suffered
excessively from a formidable epidemic, which he supposed to have been
introduced by the English. "At my first coming among them," Mr. Williams
writes, "Caunounicus [FN] (morosus aeque ac barbarus senex) was very sour,
and accused the English and myself of sending the plague among them, and
threatening to kill _him_ especially." Soon afterwards, however, he not
only permitted the refugee, and the poor wanderers who had followed him
from Salem, to have a resting place in his domain, but he gave them all
"the neck of land lying between the mouths of Pawtucket and Moshasuck
rivers, that they might sit down in peace upon it, and enjoy it forever."
Mr. Williams divided this land equally among his followers, and founded
the town of Providence. The settlement of Rhode Island commenced at
Patuxet a short time afterwards, Canonicus conveying to Williams nearly
the whole of what is now Providence county at one time.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The following are but a few of the other modifications of this
 name in use.
 Cononicus,                           Trumbull's mss. Vol. 19th.
 Caunonicus,                          Baylies' History of Plymouth.
 Conaucus,                            Winslow's Good News from New England.
 Cannonicus,                          Gookin.
 Cananucus,                           Documents in Hazard's Collection.
 Coonoonacus, Canoonacus, Conownacus, Same.

The kindness of the Narraghansett rulers is the more creditable to their
feelings, inasmuch as the former relations between them and the English
colonies had been far enough from friendly. Early in 1622, their threats of
hostility were so open, that the English were receiving constant
intelligence of their designs from the Indians in their own alliance; and
not long afterwards, Canonicus sent a herald to Plymouth, who left a
bundle of arrows enclosed in a rattle-snake's skin--the customary
challenge to war. The Governor despatched a messenger in return, bearing
the same skin stuffed with gunpowder and bullets; assuring the chieftain
also, that if he had shipping, instead of troubling _him_ to come so far
as Plymouth to gratify his wish for fighting, he would have sought him in
his own country;--and furthermore, that whenever he did come, he should
find the English ready for him. This resolute message had the desired
effect, and the sachem's superstition confirmed it. Fearful of some
mysterious injury, he refused to touch the skin, and would not suffer it
even to remain in his house. It passed through several hands, and at
length was returned to the colony, unopened.

In 1632, the sachem made an attack on Massasoit, who fled for refuge to an
English house at Sowams; and sent despatches for the assistance of his
English allies. As Captain Standish took a special interest in this case,
there must soon have been a warm contest between the parties, had not the
Narraghansetts hastily retreated, on account of a rumor that the Pequots
were invading their own territory. Four years afterwards, when the last
named nation formed the design of completely extirpating the English from
New England, they applied to their old enemies, Canonicus and Miantonomo,
to conclude a peace, and to engage them with as many other tribes as
possible in a common cause against the colonists.

The sachems are said to have wavered on that occasion, between the
gratification of present revenge upon the Pequots, and the prospect of an
ultimate triumph over the English power by uniting with them. Their
friendship for Roger Williams, and the influence he was consequently
enabled to exercise, probably turned the scale. Miantonomo informed him of
the Pequot application; Mr. Williams forwarded the news immediately to
Governor Winthrop at Boston; and Canonicus, by the same messenger, sent
word of recent depredations which he had just understood to have been
committed by the Pequots at Saybrook. The Governor, probably following the
suggestion of Mr. Williams, sent for Miantonomo to do him the honor of
a visit.

He came to Boston accordingly in September 1636, attended by two of the
sons of Canonicus, another sachem, and about twenty sanops (or male
adults.) As he had given notice of his approach the day previous, the
Governor sent a corps of musketeers to meet him at Roxbury; and they
escorted him into town about noon. By this time, Mr. Winthrop had called
together most of the magistrates and ministers of Boston, but it being
now dinner time, ceremony and business were both postponed. The sachems
dined by themselves in the same room with the governor, while the sanops
were amply provided for at an inn. In the afternoon, Miantonomo made his
proposals of peace; and said that, in case of their acceptance, he should
in two months send a present to confirm them. The governor, according
to their own custom, asked time to consider this proposal. At the second
conference, which took place the next morning, the following terms were
agreed upon, and subscribed by the governor on the one hand, and the
marks of the sachems on the other.

1. A firm peace between the Massachusetts colony, and the other English
plantations, (with their consent,) and _their_ confederates (with _their_

2. Neither party to make peace with the Pequots, without consultation
with the other.

3. Not to harbor the Pequots.

4. To put to death or deliver over murderers, and to return fugitive

5. The English to notify them, when they marched against the Pequots, and
_they_ to send guides.

6. Free trade between the two nations.

7. None of them to visit the English settlements during the war with the
Pequots, without some Englishman or known Indian in company.

The treaty was to continue to the posterity of both nations. On its
conclusion, the parties dined together as before. They then took formal
leave of each other; and the sachems were escorted out of town, and
dismissed with a volley of musketry. The present promised by Miantonomo
appears to have been sent in early in 1637, when a deputation of
twenty-six Narraghansetts came to Boston, with forty fathom of Wampum and
a Pequot's hand. The governor gave each of the four sachems in the
company, "a coat of fourteen shillings price, and deferred to return his
present till after, according to their manner." [FN] It is well known,
how fully the Narraghansetts discharged their engagements in the
expedition which took place about this time against the Pequots. They
also furnished, through Mr. Williams, not a little useful information.
respecting the common enemy, by which the expedition was guided at the
outset; and offered the use of the harbors of the Narraghansett coast,
for the English vessels.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop's Journal, p. 217.

The joint invasion of the allies took place in May. The English forces,
taking the Narraghansett country in their way, acquainted Canonicus and
Miantonomo with their arrival and plan of campaign. The latter met them,
the next day, with about two hundred of his chief counsellors and
warriors. Mason made a formal request for permission to pass through his
territories, on his way to the Pequot forts. Miantonomo, after a solemn
consultation, replied, that he highly approved of the expedition, and
would send men, especially as the English force appeared to him quite too
insignificant to meet the Pequots, who were great warriors. About five
hundred warriors accordingly marched against the enemy, under the command
of Mason; and some of them did active service. The chief sachems took no
part, personally, in the campaign. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] According to some writers they did not even meet Major Mason, in
 conference, as above related. Mr. Wolcott, (Gov. of Conn. from 1751 to
 1754,) in his _poetical_ "Account of Mr. Winthrop's agency in obtaining
 a charter for Connecticut," gives the following notice of that interview:

    The news of this our march, fame doth transport
    With speed to great Miaantinomoh's court.
    Nor had that pensive king forgot the losses,
    He had sustained through Sassacus's forces.
    Cheer'd with the news, his captains, all as one,
    In humble manner do address the throne,
    And press the king to give them his commission,
    To join the English in this expedition.
    To their request the cheerful king assents,
    And now they fill and form their regiments
    To war: a cohort which came marching down
    To us, who lay encamp'd before the town.
    Their chiefs go to our general, and declare
    What's their intention and whose men they are, &c.

In September 1638, the Pequots being completely conquered, Uncas, the
chief sachem of the Mohegans, (who had assisted in the war,) and
Miantonomo, were invited to meet the Connecticut magistrates at Hartford,
to agree upon a division of captives. These were two hundred in number,
besides women and children. Eighty of them were allotted to the
Narraghansett sachem; twenty to a neighboring chief Ninigret; and the
other one hundred to Uncas. The Pequots were to pay an annual tribute of
Wampum at Hartford. It was also covenanted, that there should be a
perpetual peace between Miantonomo and Uncas; that all past injuries
should be buried; that if any should be committed in future, complaints
should be submitted amicably to the arbitration of the English, both
parties being bound to abide by their decision on pain of incurring their
hostility. No open enemies of the English were to  harbored, and all
individual criminals were to be given over to justice.

The terms of this treaty did not long remain inviolate. Whatever were the
motives of Miantonomo, and whatever his justification, he soon became
bitterly hostile to the Mohegans at least. It might have been reason
enough with him for opposing both them and the English, that either was
his enemy; because he knew them to be bound together by alliance of
offence and defence. But it seems probable, that he intended only to fight
the Mohegans. His old grudge against the Pequots revived against them, as
a branch of the Pequot stock. Uncas, too, was his greatest personal rival;
and Miantonomo was ambitious to stand at the head of all the New England
Indians. If, however, as has been asserted by some, his main design was to
resist the growing power of the English, from merely patriotic motives,
it was clear, that an essential step towards the attainment of this
object, and especially towards a hostile union of all the tribes, must be
the death of Uncas, and the suppression of _his_ tribe. Other causes of
hostility will be considered hereafter.

But be the reasoning of the sachem what it might, his measures were of a
character not to be mistaken. Great efforts were made for a general
co-operation of the tribes, especially in Connecticut. They were observed
to be collecting arms and ammunition, and to be making a general
preparation for war. The colonists thought themselves obliged to keep
guard and watch every night, from sunset to sunrise, and to protect their
inhabitants from town to town, and even from one place to another in the
same neighborhood.

Meanwhile Miantonomo is said to have hired a Pequot, subject to Uncas, to
kill him. The assassin made an attempt, in the spring of 1643. He shot
Uncas through the arm, and then fled to the Narraghansetts, reporting
through the Indian towns that he had killed him. When it was understood,
however, that the wound was not fatal, the Pequot circulated a rumor that
Uncas had purposely cut his own arm with a flint, and then charged the
Pequot with shooting him. But, Miantonomo soon after going to Boston in
company with the refugee, the governor and magistrates, on examination,
found clear evidence that the latter was guilty of the crime with which he
was charged. They proposed sending him to Uncas to be punished; but
Miantonomo pleaded that he might be suffered to return with himself; and
gave them to understand, it is said, that he would send him to Uncas. He
took occasion to exculpate himself of all blame in the affair, and
convinced them so completely, that his requests were granted. Two days
afterwards, he killed the Pequot with his own hand.

About the same time, an event took place in another direction, under
circumstances which strongly indicated the same authorship. Sequassen, a
sachem on the Connecticut river, killed a principal Indian of the Mohegan
tribe; and waylaid Uncas himself; as he was going down the river, and shot
several arrows at him. Uncas complained to the governor and court of the
colony, who took great pains to settle the affair; but without success. He
was finally induced to accept of one of Sequassen's Indians, to be given
up as an equivalent for the murdered man; but Sequassen would not consent
to submission or concession of any kind. He insisted upon fighting. Uncas
accepted his challenge, and invaded his territory; and Sequassen was
defeated, with the loss of many of his wigwams burned, and his men
killed. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Trumbull's Connecticut.

As the conquered sachem was nearly allied to Miantonomo, and upon intimate
terms with him, it was generally believed that he acted from his
instigation, and with the promise of his assistance in case of necessity.
He even expressed, openly, his reliance on the aid of Miantonomo.

The Narraghansett chief was not a man to desert his ally or to retreat
from his foe. Having hastily matured a plan of campaign, it was the next
object to strike the intended blow with the most possible effect, and that
implied the least possible notice. He raised an army of between five
hundred and one thousand men, and marched towards the Mohegan territory.
The spies of Uncas discovered their approach, and gave him intelligence.
The enemy was already near, and Uncas was unprepared; but he hastily
rallied four or five hundred of his men, and telling them that the enemy
must by no means be suffered to surprise them in their villages, marched
out to meet him forthwith. At the distance of three or four miles, the two
armies encountered each other upon a large plain. Meanwhile, Uncas, who
found himself obliged to rely more upon stratagem than strength, had
acquainted his warriors on the march with a plan which he now proceeded to
put in execution.

He desired a parley, and the two armies halted in the face of each other.
Then advancing in the front of his men, he addressed Miantonomo: "You have
a number of stout men with you, and so have I with me. It is a great pity
that such brave warriors should be killed in a private quarrel between us
only. Come on, then, like a man, as you profess to be, and let us fight it
out. If you kill me, my men shall be yours. If I kill you, your men shall
be mine." Miantonomo saw advantage too clearly to accept such a proposal.
"My warriors," said he, "have come a long way to fight, and they _shall_
fight." The reply was anticipated, and it was scarcely uttered, when Uncas
fell to the ground. His men discharged over him a shower of arrows upon
the Narraghansetts; and then following up the surprise without a moment's
interval, rushed upon them furiously with a hideous yell, and soon put
them to flight.

The pursuit was sustained with a ferocious eagerness. The enemy were
chased down rocks and precipices, like the doe flying from the huntsman.
About thirty were slain, and a much greater number wounded. Miantonomo was
exceedingly pressed. Some of the bravest men of Uncas at length came up
with him; but not daring actually to skirmish with him, or preferring to
leave that honor to their leader, they contrived to impede his flight by
twitching him back, and then passed him. Uncas now came up, and rushing
forward like a lion greedy of his prey, he seized him by the shoulder. The
Narraghansett saw that his fate was decided--Uncas was a man of immense
strength, and his warriors were thick around him. He stopped, sat down
sullenly, and spake not a word. Uncas gave the Indian whoop, and called up
a party of his men, who gathered about the royal captive and gazed at him.
He still continued moody and speechless. Some of his sachems were slain
before his eyes, but he moved not a muscle. "Why do you not speak,"
inquired Uncas, at length; "had you taken me, I should have besought you
for my life." But the Narraghansett was too proud to ask such a boon of
his enemy, and especially of his rival. Uncas however spared his life for
the present, and returned in great triumph to Mohegan, leading along with
him the splendid living evidence of his victory.

The notorious Samuel Gorton having purchased lands of Miantonomo, under
the jurisdiction of Plymouth and Massachusetts, and expecting to be
vindicated by him in his claims against those colonies, and against other
Indian tribes, he immediately sent word to Uncas to give up his prisoner,
and threatened him with the vengeance of the colonies if he refused a
compliance. But Uncas shrewdly bethought himself of a safer course. He
carried his prisoner to Hartford, and asked advice of the governor and
magistrates. There being no open war between the Narraghansetts and
English, these authorities were unwilling to interfere in the case, and
they recommended a reference of the whole affair to the commissioners of
the United Colonies; at their next meeting in September. Meanwhile,
Miantonomo had recovered his speech. He probably expected better treatment
with the English than with Uncas, and he now earnestly pleaded to be
committed to their custody. Uncas consented to leave him at Hartford, but
insisted on having him kept as _his_ prisoner.

At the meeting of the commissioners the whole affair was laid before them.
In their opinion it was fully proved that Miantonomo had made attempts
against the life of Uncas, by all the means and measures heretofore
alluded to, and by poison and sorcery besides; that he had murdered the
Pequot assassin with his own hand, instead of giving him up to justice;
that he was the author of a general plot among the Indian tribes against
the colonies; and that he had moreover gone so far as to engage the aid of
the Mohawks, who were now within a day's journey of the English
settlements, waiting only for Miantonomo's release to serve him according
to his pleasure.

"These things being duly weighed and considered," say the commissioners in
their report,[FN-1] "we apparently see that Vcus cannot be safe while
Myantenomo [FN-2] lives, but that either by secret treachery or open force
his life will still be in danger. Wherefore we thinke he may justly putt
such a false and blood-thirsty enemie to death, but in his owne
Jurisdiccon, not in the English plantacons; and advising that in the
manner of his death all mercy and moderacon be shewed, contrary to the
practice of the Indians who exercise tortures and cruelty, and Vcus
haveing hitherto shewed himself a friend to the English, and in this
craveing their advice, if the Nanohiggansetts Indians or others shall
unjustly assault Vcus for this execucon, vpon notice and request the
English promise to assist and protect him, as farr as they may, against
such vyolence."

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] Hazard's Collections, Vol. II. p. 7.

 [FN-2] Haz. Coll. Vol. II. p. 7.--The reader will observe the variation
 of the Sachem's name here used. There are several others in Hazard.
 Hutchinson writes Myantinomo and Miantonomo in the same volume; Baylies,
 both terms in the course of the same; Trumbull adds an _h._ Winthrop
 admits this spelling with the qualification that the chief was otherwise
 called Mecumah (as he was); but he afterwards regularly uses
 Miantunnomoh. Mason, (_account of the Pequot war_) writes Myantonimo and
 Miantomo; Wolcott, Miaatinomoh; Roger Williams, Miantunnomu, and several
 other variations. We are thus particular only in the hope of amusing the

The commissioners further directed, that Uncas should immediately be sent
for to Hartford, with some of his trustiest men; and informed of the
sentence passed upon his captive. He was then to take him into the nearest
part of his own territory, and there put him to death in the presence of
certain discreet English persons, who were to accompany them, "and see the
execucon for our more full satisfaccon, and that the English meddle not
with the head or body at all." The Hartford Government was subsequently to
furnish Uncas with forces enough to defend him against all his enemies.

These directions were promptly obeyed. Uncas  made his appearance at
Hartford, received his prisoner, and marched off with him to the very spot
where the capture had happened. At the instant they arrived on the ground,
a Mohegan who marched behind Miantonomo split his head with a hatchet,
killing him at a single stroke; so that he was probably unacquainted with
the mode of his execution. Tradition says that Uncas cut out a piece of
his shoulder, and ate it in savage triumph. "He said it was the sweetest
meat he ever eat--it made his heart strong." The royal victim was buried,
by the conqueror's order, at the place of his death; and a great heap or
pillar was erected over his grave. The field of battle, situated in the
eastern part of the town of Norwich, is called the _Sachem's Plain_  to
this day.

                              CHAPTER X.

 Consideration of the justice of the Commissioners' sentence upon
  Miantonomo--Their reasons, as alleged--The charge against him of
  ambitious designs--Of employing the Mohawks--Of breaking the league of
  1638--"Concerning the Pequot squaws"--Of hostility to the English--Of
  peculation--Proofs of his fidelity and friendship--Causes of complaint
  by him and Canonicus against the English--Character of both
  Sachems--Their treatment of Roger Williams--Letters of that
  gentleman--Anecdotes--Death of Canonicus.

It is not easy to determine, at this period, the justice of the sentence
by which Miantonomo was led to the slaughter. As between himself and his
enemy, considering Indian custom and character, it might be considered
just; and the sufferer would certainly have been the last to complain of
it. But though Uncas may not be blamed for using the privilege of the
victor, a different opinion has been entertained of the interference of
the English. Their justification, as laid before the Narraghansett
nation, after Miantonomo's death, was as follows:

"They may well vnderstand that this is without violacon of any couenant
betweene them and vs; for Vncus being in confederacon with vs, and one
that hath diligently observed his couenants before mentioned for aught we
know, and requiring advice from vs, vpon serious consideracon of the
premises, viz. _his_ [Miantonomo] treacherous and murtherous disposition
against Vncus &c. and how great a disturber he hath beene of the common
peace of the whole countrey, we could not in respect of the justice of
the case, safety of the countrey and faythfulness of our frend, do
otherwise than approve of the lawfullness of his death. This agreeing so
well with the Indians owne manners, and concurring with the practice of
other nations with whom we are aquainted, we persuade ourselves howeuer
his death may be grieuous at present, yet the peaceable fruits of it will
yield not only matter of safety to the Indians, but profite to all that
inhabite this continent."

Supposing every thing to be true which is here and elsewhere alleged, it
may still be doubted whether the colonies could be justified in the part
taken by their commissioners;--but such is not the case.

His killing the Pequot was one point against him; but what could be more
natural than for them to misunderstand his promise in that case, or for
him to suppose that administering justice with his own hand would be the
most satisfactory course he could take. Stress is laid upon Miantonomo's
"ambitious designes to make himself vniversal Sagamore or Governor of all
these parts;" but this, whether laudable or reprehensible in itself, was
clearly no usurpation as against them. As to his hostility towards the
English, suffice it to say here, that the evidence of it seems to have
been furnished chiefly by his enemies, whose direct interest it was to
oppress him by engaging the English interest in their own favor. As to the
employment of the Mohawks, in particular, the most that was made to
appear, even through this medium, was, that they were awaiting
Miantonomo's release--"and then they will carry on their designes, whether
against the English or Vncus or both, _is doubtful._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Hazard's Col. Vol. II. p. 9. Commissioners' Report._

Let us observe the testimony of Mr. Williams in regard to this affair,
borrowing from a letter written immediately after it took place. "A
fortnight since, I heard of the Mauquawogs coming to Paucomtuckqut, their
rendezvous; that they were provoked by Onkas wronging and robbing some
Paucomtuck Indians the last year, and that he [Uncas] had dared the
Mauquawogs, threatening if they came to set his ground with gobbets of
their flesh &c."

He admits, that a few of the Narraghansetts had joined the Mohawks; but
these, whether they were well or ill disposed towards the English, were at
all events considered traitors to Miantonomo. Elsewhere he states, "yt ye
Narigansetts and Mauquawogs are the two great bodies of Indians in ye
country, and they are confederates, and long have bene _as both yet are
friendly and peaceable to ye English._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ms. Letters in the Mass. Col. Rec. (File 10. No. 45.)

Miantonomo is said to have violated the league of 1638, by invading the
country of Uncas, without having previously submitted his grievances to
the decision of the English. But did he not think himself absolved from
the obligation created by that league, in consequence of violations of it
on the part of the English. He probably regarded them at this very time,
precisely as they regarded him. Roger Williams writes on one occasion,
when letters of complaint had been sent to him from Massachusetts, that
"_they_ [Miantonomo and Canonicus] thought they should prove themselves
honest and faithful when Mr. Governor understood their answers; and that
(although they would not contend with their friends) yet they could relate
many particulars, wherein the English had broken (since these wars) their

Respecting the alleged violation of the Hartford league in particular, we
might perhaps properly waive all attempts at justification, inasmuch as
the charge hardly purports to be true. Governor Winthrop gives an account
of the affair as received officially from Connecticut, by which it appears
that Miantonomo, before taking plan with Sequassen, applied to the
authorities of that province for redress of grievances committed upon him
by Uncas. He was answered, that _the English had nothing to do with the
business._ He then applied also to Governor Winthrop himself, and was very
desirous to know if he would not be offended, by his making war upon
Uncas. Our Governor answered, _if Onkus had done him or his friends wrong,
and would not give satisfaction, we should leave him to take his own
course._ [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Journal Vol. II. and Records of the Colonies._

The account which follows next of the explanation given upon one point by
the accused parties, is sufficiently characteristic of their intelligence,
at least, to be quoted at length. "First then, concerning the Pequot
squaws. Canaunicus answered that he never saw any, but heard of some that
came into these parts, and he bade carry them back to Mr. Governour; but
since he never heard of them till I came, and now he would have the
country searched for them. Miantunnomu answered, that he never heard of
but six; and four he saw which were brought to him, at which he was angry,
and asked why they did not carry them to me, that I might convey them home
again. Then he bid the natives that brought them to carry them to me, who
departing brought him word that the squaws were lame, and they could not
travel, whereupon he sent me word, that I should send for them. This I
must acknowledge, that this message I received from him, and sent him
word, that we were but few here, and could not fetch them nor convey them,
and therefore desired him to send men with them, and to seek out the rest.
Then, saith he, we were buzy ten or twelve days together, as indeed they
were in a strange kind of solemnity, wherein the sachems eat nothing but
at night, and all the natives round about the country were feasted. In
which time, saith he, I wished some to look to them, which
notwithstanding, in this time, they scaped, and now he would employ men
instantly to search all places for them, and within two or three days to
convey them home. Besides he profest he desired them not, and was sorry
the governour should think he did. I objected that he sent to beg one. He
answered, that Sassamun, being sent by the governour with letters to
Pequot, fell lame, and lying at his house, told him of a squaw, which was
a sachem's daughter, who while he lived was his, Miantunnomue's, great
friend. _He_ [Miantonomo] _therefore desired in kindness to his, dead
friend, to beg her or redeem her_" [of Mr. Williams.]

In reply to a charge touching his fidelity to the English alliance,
Canonicus declared that the Narraghansetts "had stuck to the English in
life or death, without which they were persuaded that Okace [Uncas] and
the Mohiganeuks had proved false, as he fears they will yet." He then
went on to specify his reasons for this persuasion and this fear. He also
stated, that although the Mohegans had yet brought in no captives, his own
brother, Yootash, had on one occasion "seized upon Puttaquppuunk, Quame
and twenty Pequts and three-score squaws; _they killed three and bound the
rest, watching them all night, and sending for the English delivered them
into their hands in the morning._" It seems that soon afterwards
Miantonomo passed the house where the Pequots were kept confined by the
English, and having a curiosity to see one of the captive sachems--a man
of considerable note--he made application for that purpose--but was thrust
at with a pike several times by the English sentinels, and finally driven
off. Mr. Williams suggested, that probably he was not recognised; but he
thought that he was, and several of the Narraghansetts were of the same
opinion, and asked if they should have dealt so with "Mr. _Governour._"
Mr. Williams still denied, that he could have been known; to which
Miantonomo answered that, at least, his whole company [FN] were
disheartened, "and they all and Cutshamquene desired to be gone; and yet,
saith he, two of my men (Waqouckwhut and Maunamoh) were their guides to
Sesquanket from the river's mouth."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] He was at the head of two hundred of his warriors, just returned
 from an expedition against the Pequots, in which they had taken ten
 prisoners, and had faithfully brought them in at this time. See the Life
 of Cutshamequin in a succeeding Chapter.

To a third accusation, that he had received prisoners and Wampum of the
enemy, which belonged to the common stock, and were nevertheless
monopolized by himself; Canonicus replied, that although he and Miantonomo
had paid their own warriors many hundred fathom of wampum, he never had
received one Pequot or one yard of beads. Miantonomo added, that _he_ had
received nothing but one small present from four women of Long-Island, who
were no Pequots, but of that Island, and who, for safety's sake, had
thereby put themselves under his protection.

Other facts, if not opinions, appear in some of the early annals, which
would lead to similar conclusions respecting the fidelity of the
Narraghansett chiefs. Governor Winthrop says, in his journal of February
1637--"Miantunnomoh &c. sent twenty six, with forty fathom of Wampum, and
a Pequot's hand." In March, he records intelligence received from the same
source, concerning the Pequot movements, with proposals of fresh
assistance. On the 22d of the month, "Miantunnomoh sent us word, that
Mason had, surprised and slain eight Pequods" &c. Again, during the same
summer, "Miantunnomoh _sent here some Pequod squaws,_ which had run from
us;" and five days afterwards, "the Narraghansetts _sent us the hands of
three Pequods_" &c. The two last statements agree with the declaration of
the sachems to Mr. Williams, apparently upon the same points.

We have seen that Canonicus accused the English of having broken their
promises. Omitting the proof of that statement, it is impossible to doubt
at least, that it was made in the most earnest sincerity. The writer just
cited informs us incidentally in is Key to the Indian Languages, that
Canonicus, in a solemn address to himself, before a large assembly, had
once used the following expression--"I have never suffered any wrong, to
be offered to the English since they landed, nor never will. If the
Englishmen speak true," he added, "then I shall go to my grave in peace,
and hope that the English and my posterity will live in peace and love
together." Mr. Williams observed, that he hoped he had no occasion to
question the friendliness of the English. Upon this the sachem took a
stick, broke it into ten pieces, and related ten instances, laying down a
stick to every instance, which gave him cause for apprehension or
suspicion. With regard to some of them, he was afterwards convinced of his
being mistaken, and readily acknowledged himself to be so; but not as to

The truth probably is, that provocations of some sort had been received
upon both sides; but that the English had any peculiar reason to complain,
and especially to assume the violent administration of punishment or
prevention, certainly cannot be admitted. There is no evidence extant to
support such a position. Mr. Williams indeed acknowledges, with his usual
frankness, that individual Narraghansetts had perhaps now and then
committed offences in "matters of money or pettie revenging of themselves
in some Indians _upon extream provocation;_" but he also states, in the
same paragraph, that he "could not yet learn yt ever it pleased ye Lord to
permit ye Narraghansetts to staine their hands with any English blood,
neither in open hostilities nor secret murthers, as both Pequts and Long
Islanders did, and Monhiggans also in ye Pequt wars." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ms. Letters.

This statement we suppose to be uncontradicted, and the authority is
certainly deserving of credit. Now, for a moment, let us examine the other
side of the question, bearing in mind how little likely we are, under the
circumstances, to be furnished by history with the truth, and least of all
with the whole truth.

Some instances in point have already been given. The excessive jealousy
and the frequent complaints of the English were in themselves calculated,
to produce, if not to justify, what they referred to "The governor of the
Massachusetts"--says Mr. Winthrop, in his journal of 1638--"wrote also to
Mr. Williams to treat with Miantunnomoh _about satisfaction, or otherwise
to bid them look for war._" This was a harsh message, at the best, to send
to a sovereign ally, who had faithfully served the English cause. The only
reason for it which appears in the context is, that Janemoh, a Niantick
chief, was understood to have committed certain depredations on a
settlement of Long Island Indians who were tributary to the English. Now
some of that tribe, we have seen, put themselves under Miantonomo's
protection; and there are no means of determining whether that chieftain
did not in this case, like the English, feel _himself_ aggrieved by
Janemoh. We do find it recorded, however, that, in the summer of 1637,
Miantonomo came to Boston. The governor, deputy, and treasurer, treated
with him, and they parted upon fair terms. He acknowledged on this
occasion, that _all the Pequot and Block Island_ country belonged to the
English, and promised that he would not meddle with them but by their
leave. "In fine, we gave him leave to right himself _for the wrongs which
Janemoh_ and Wequash Cook _had done him_; and for the wrong they had done
us, we would right ourselves in due time." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop's Journal, Vol. I. 243.

Not far from the time when the above mentioned complaint seems to have
been made through Mr. Williams, the latter writes to Governor Winthrop as
follows. "Sir, there hath been a great hubbub in all these parts, as a
general persuasion that the time was come for a general slaughter of
natives, by reason of a murther committed upon a native [Narraghansett]
within twelve miles of us, four days since, by four desperate English. . . .
An old native comes to me, and tells me that the natives round about us
were fled, relating that those four had slain an Indian, who had carried
three beaver-skins and beads for Canaunicus's son, and came home with five
fathom and three coats; that three natives which came after him found him
groaning in the path; that he told them, &c." The particulars of this
flagrant outrage even to the Christian and surnames of the four
murderers--are given with a minuteness which precludes the possibility of
mistake. And yet we find no mention of this transaction in the English
histories. Miantonomo perhaps made _his_ complaint to the proper
authority, without success. But more probably he endured the injury in
silence, as a new evidence that his allies were become his enemies.

Still, it should not be omitted, that Miantonomo never declined to make
all the explanation for which a fair opportunity was given him. [FN-1] As
late as 1642, two messengers were sent to him by the Massachusetts
government, with articles of complaint; requiring him to come himself or
send two of his chief counsellors to the governor, in order to give
satisfaction for certain grievances alleged. He attended this summons
promptly and personally. On his arrival at Boston, he came forward in
court, and demanded that his accusers should be brought before him face
to face; and that if they failed in their proof; they should suffer the
same punishment which their accusations were calculated to bring upon
himself. The whole on this occasion was grave and dignified. His answers
were given with great deliberation, and never except in the presence of
the counsellors who attended him, that they might be witnesses of every
thing which passed. Two days were spent in treaty. He denied all he was
charged with and affirmed--what we have already suggested--that the
reports to his disadvantage were raised and circulated, either by Uncas,
or some of his people. Such an effect, (it should be observed) had these
reports already produced, that the Connecticut people were importunate for
open war with the Narraghansetts at this very time; and it required the
whole influence of the Massachusetts authorities, (who doubted, "whether,
they had sufficient proofs of the designs of the Indians to justify a
war,") to prevent immediate hostilities. Such alarm existed, that places
of refuge for the women and children were provided in most of the towns
and plantations. Beacons were set up, in readiness to be fired; and smiths
were ordered to postpone other business until all the arms in the colony
were put in complete repair. A great excitement was produced in the towns
about Boston, by a poor man, in a swamp at Watertown, crying out for help
against a kennel of wolves which he heard howling around him in the night.
And although Massachusetts was opposed to war, "Yet the governor, with the
magistrates, before the court met, thought it necessary to disarm the
Indians within the colony, which they readily submitted to." [FN-2]

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] "The messengers coming to him, he carried them apart into the
 woods, taking only one of his chief men with him, and gave them very
 rational answers to all their propositions, &c."
 _Win. Journal, Vol. II._

 [FN-2] Hutchinson, Vol. I.

Miantonomo, as was very natural, not only noticed these symptoms of
jealousy on his visit to Boston, but felt keenly the ill-will they
implied, and inquired the cause of them. Governor Winthrop gave him an
evasive answer, with which, however, he politely professed to be
satisfied. He then entered into quite an argument, to show that the
suspicions which had been entertained of him were unjust, and were owing
to the machinations of his enemies. He offered to meet Uncas either at
Hartford or at Boston, and to prove his treachery to the English, in their
presence. He should stand ready to come at any time, he added; and this
notwithstanding he had been advised not to visit the English again, lest
they should seize upon his person. He relied upon his innocence, and he
_would_ visit them, whenever it was deemed necessary that he should.

It is acknowledged in fine, that he gave perfect satisfaction at this
time. Considering the entertainment which was given him, and his great
pride of character, that was quite as much as could be expected. "When we
should go to dinner"--it is recorded in the Governor's Journal--"there was
a table provided for the Indians to dine by themselves, _and Miantunnomoh
was left to sit with them._ This he was discontented at, and would eat
nothing till the governor sent him meat from his table. So at night, and
all the time he staid, _he sat at the lower end of the magistrates'
table._" But he overlooked the indignity, and parted upon good terms. "We
gave him and his counsellors coats and tobacco; and when he came to take
his leave of the governor, and such of the magistrates as were present,
_he returned and gave his hand to the governor again,_ saying, that was
for the rest of the magistrates who were absent." It may be observed, that
the examination in this case, which resulted thus satisfactorily to
Massachusetts, was a deliberate and thorough one. The court was already
assembled, when he arrived at Boston; and even before his admission, all
the points and order of inquiry were agreed upon; "For we knew him," says
the governor, "to be a very subtle man." [FN] The same authority admits,
that he showed, in his answers, "a good understanding of the principles of
equity and justice, and ingenuity with withal."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A phraseology, which, as implying prejudice, is rather more
 creditable to the subject than the writer. Hubbard describes him as a
 very goodly personage, of tall stature, "_subtile and cunning in his
 contrivements, as well as haughty in his designs._"

The attack of Miantonomo upon Uncas, independently of the interest which
the English had in it, has been regarded as a moral if not legal
outrage--an unprovoked, unprincipled aggression--the off-spring of hatred,
envy, or at best of mere ambition. But even here we do not happen to be
without proof as well as probability, in favor of the accused. In more
than one case, if not generally, the fault was on the side of Uncas; and
that being true, it must naturally occur to every reader, to inquire, in
the language applied to a similar case by Mr. Williams,--"Graunt these
subjects, _What capacitie hath their late massacre of ye Narrgansetts
(with whom they had made peace) without ye English consent, tho' still
under ye English name, put them into?_" [FN] A very forcible query, it must
be admitted; and to show its relevancy to the present subject, let us look
again for a few facts.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Ms. Letters, dated 1654.

Soon after the Pequot war, when the chieftains who had assisted the
English in carrying it on, convened at Hartford for a division of the
spoil, Mr. Williams accompanied Miantonomo on his journey. "By the way,"
says he, ("lodging from his house three nights in the woods,) we met
divers Nanhiggontick [Narraghansett] men complaining of robbery and
violence, which they had sustained from the Pequts and Monahiggins in
their travel from Cunnihticut [Connecticut]; as also some of the
Wunnashowatuckoogs [subject to Canaunicus] came to us and advertised, that
two days before about six hundred and sixty Pequts, Monahiggins and their
confederates had robbed them and spoiled about twenty-three fields of
corn; and rifled four Nanhiggontick men amongst them; as also that they
in way and wait to stop Miantunnomue's passage to Cunnihticut, and divers
of them threatened to boil him in the kettle."

These tidings being confirmed by various authorities, Mr. Williams and the
other English in the company, were strongly in favor of turning back, and
going to Hartford by water. But Miantonomo declared that not a man should
retreat; he would keep strict watch by night, and in dangerous passes the
sachems should all march with a body-guard, but they should die, as he
himself would, rather than turn back. They moved on, therefore, the
English with Miantonomo and his wife in front, and a flank-guard of forty
or fifty men on either side to prevent surprisal. They arrived safely at
Hartford, and the conference took place. Uncas was accused of conniving at
the trespasses of his men upon the Narraghansetts, and he retorted with
charges of the same kind upon Miantonomo. The result of this angry
discussion was, as follows. "At last we drew them to shake hands,
Miantunnomu and Okace; and Miantunnomu invited (twice, earnestly) Okace
to sup and dine with him, he and all his company (his men having killed
some venison;) but he would not yield, altho' the magistrates persuaded
him also to it."

The magnanimity manifested by the chieftain on this occasion, was
uniformly a prominent part of his character. When he visited Boston in
1640--as he always did, at the request of the Massachusetts government--he
was entertained first by the government at Roxbury; but when the parley
was to commence, he refused to treat through the medium of a Pequot
interpreter. The governor being unwilling to yield this point to him as
good policy, if not manners apparently required that he should--he
departed abruptly for Boston, without so much as taking leave of his host.
The latter informed the court of this conduct, "and would show him no
countenance, nor admit him to dine at our table as formerly, until he had
acknowledged his failing, _which he readily did as soon as he could be
made to understand it._" [FN] He observed, however, with some dignity,
that when the English should visit him, he should cheerfully permit them
to use their own fashions, as they always had done.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Win. Jour. vol. II.

Previous to the expedition against the Pequots, both Miantonomo and
Canonicus had expressed a wish that whatever was done with the warriors
of the enemy, their women and children should be spared. There was a
chivalry in this request--and it does not seem to have been soon
forgotten--which accords with all that is known of both these chieftains.
Canonicus might have suppressed the Plymouth colony in 1622, at a single
blow; but he thought it more honorable to give them formal notice of
hostile intentions, by a messenger; and when he became convinced that
_they_ had been misrepresented to him, he at least ceased to be their
enemy if he did not become their friend. In the same spirit, Miantonomo,
while in the custody of the governor of Connecticut, cautioned him to
increase his guard. He openly declared--what was the fact--that attempts
were and would be made by his Narraghansett subjects for his rescue.

There is a most affecting evidence of the same noble disposition, in the
report of the commissioners for 1644. The Narraghansetts, now constantly
complaining of the conduct of Uncas and his tribe, brought a charge, among
other things, that the latter had embezzled a quantity of wampum which had
been put into their hands for the ransom of Miantonomo, while the chief
was yet living. How much truth there might be in the allegation, cannot
well be ascertained. The commissioners however report, that they gave a
fair hearing to the "Narraghansett" deputies on the one hand, and to Uncas
on the other. The result is thus stated:

"That though several discourses had passed from Vncus and his men that for
such quantities of wampom and such parcels of other goods to a great value
there might have been some probabilities of spareing his life, yet no such
parcells were brought. But Vncus denyeth; and the Narrohiggansett Deputies
did not allready, much less proue that any ransome was agreed, nor so much
as any treaty begunn to redeeme their imprisoned Sachem. And for that
wampoms and goods sent as they were but small parcells and scarce
considerable for such a purpose, a part of them disposed by Myantinomo
himself to Vncus his counsellors and captaines for some favour either past
or hoped for _and part were giuen and and sent to Vncus and to his
Squa for preseruing his life so long and vssing him curteously during his
Imprisonment._" What could be nobler than this?

The warm and constant friendship of the two sachems for Williams himself,
is a sufficient indication of noble natures. Canonicus was suspicious of
him at first; "but with Miantunnomu," writes Mr. Williams soon after his
removal, "I have far better dealing. He kept his barbarous court lately at
my house. He takes some pleasure to visit me, and sent me word of his
coming over some eight days hence." When the treaty of 1636 was negotiated
at Boston, Miantonomo not being able to understand perfectly all the
articles, or perhaps not placing entire confidence in the Massachusetts
government, desired that a copy should be sent to his friend Williams--if
_he_ was satisfied, it was intimated, no objection or difficulty would
arise upon his own part. The conveyances of land heretofore spoken of,
were made to him in the same feeling. "It was not price or money," says
the grantee, "that could have purchased Rhode Island; but 't was obtained
by love, that love and favor which that honored gentleman, Sir Henry Vane,
and myself, had with the great sachem, Miantunnomu, about the league which
I procured in the Pequod war. The Indians were very shy of _selling_ lands
to any, and chose rather to make a grant [gift] of them, to such as they

It might be supposed, that Mr. Williams had peculiar facilities for
instructing the sachems in the doctrines of Christianity; but he did not
attempt a great deal in this way, and his reasons for it are given in his
Key to the Languages. [FN] He observes, that he once heard Miantonomo
conversing with several of his chief warriors about keeping the English
Sabbath. At another time, a Connecticut Indian undertook, in Miantonomo's
presence, to dispute Mr. Williams' doctrine, that the souls of the good
should up to heaven, and those of the wicked to hell. Our Fathers have
told us, said he, that all go to the South-West, and this I believe. "And
why so," asked the sachem, "did you ever _see_ a soul go to the
South-West?" To this the other rejoined, that the evidence was the same in
this respect for the Indian doctrine as for that of Mr. Williams. "Ah!"
answered Miantonomo, "but he has books and writings, and one which God
himself has made; he may well know more than we or our fathers." The
anecdote certainly shows a great confidence of the sachem in his English

                              * * * * *

 [FN] In 1654, (Mass.) he writes--"at my last departure for England, I was
 importuned by ye Narigansett sachims, and especially by Nanekunnat, to
 pressent their petition to ye high sachims of England, yt they might not
 be forced from their religion, and for not changing their religion be
 invaded by war; for they said they were daily visited by threatenings by
 Indians yt came from about ye Massachusetts yt if they would not pray
 they should be destroyed by war." Ms. Letters.

We shall close our remarks upon this part of our subject with citing at
large one of the letters to which we already have been so much indebted
for facts. It is sufficiently characteristic of both the writer and the
chieftains his friends, to repay us for the labor of perusal. It is
supposed to have been written in October 1637.

"_The last of the week. I think the 28th of the 8th._


"This bearer, Miantunnomu, resolving to go on his visit, [to Boston] I am
bold to request a word of advice from you concerning a proposition made by
Canaunicus and himself to me some half year since. Canaunicus gave an
island in the bay to Mr. Oldam, by name Chibachuwese, _on condition,_ as
it should seem, _that he would dwell there near unto them._ The Lord (in
whose hands all hearts are) turning their affections towards myself, _they
desired me to move hither and dwell nearer to them,_ I have answered once
and again, that for the present I mind not to remove. But if I have it
from them I would give them satisfaction for it, and build a little house,
and put in some swine, as understanding the place to have store of fish
and good feeding for swine. Of late I have heard that Mr. Gibbons, upon
occasion, motioned your desire and his own of putting some swine on some
of these islands, which hath made me since more desire to obtain it. I
spake of it to this sachem, and he tells me that _because of the store of
fish, Canaunicus desires that I would accept half_ (it being
spectacle-wise, and between a mile or two in circuit, as I guess) and he
would reserve the other; _but I think, if I go over, I shall obtain the
whole._ Your loving counsel, how far it may be inoffensive, because it was
once (upon a condition not kept) Mr. Oldam's. So with respective salutes
to your kind self and Mrs. Winthrop, I rest

           "your worship's unfeigned, in all I may.

                                "Ro. Williams.

  "_For his much honored_ }
  _Mr. Governour, these._ }"

A singular paragraph in a previous communication addressed to the same
gentleman, indicates that the writer took some pains to requite the
various favors conferred upon him. "Sir, if any thing be sent to the
princes, [alluding to proposed presents,] I find that Canaunicus would
gladly accept of of eight or ten pounds of sugar, and indeed he told me
he would thank Mr. Governor for a box full."

In fine, we cannot dismiss the biography of Miantonomo without confessing
a sensation of sorrow, and even shame, arising from the contemplation of
the lofty and noble traits which certainly adorned his character,
contrasted with the ignominious death which he met with at the hands of
his allies. The learned editor of a recent edition of Winthrop's Journal,
calls it a case of "perfidy or cruelty, or both." He also expresses an
opinion, that the argument which really though secretly decided the minds
of the commissioners against the sachem, was his encouragement of the sale
of Shaomet and Patuxet to Gorton and his associates. Without going as far
as this, we may be permitted to say; that the case requires all the
apology which can be derived from the great excitement of the times,
occasioned especially by the power and movements of the Indians.

Such seems to have been the opinion of Governor Hopkins, [FN] who, it will
be observed, also intimates a new explanation of the conduct of the
colonies, towards the Narraghansett chief. His eloquent and generous
tribute to the memory of the latter, we do not think ourselves at liberty
to omit or abridge.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See his _Account of Providence Colony,_ first published in the
 Providence _Gazette_ of 1765, and preserved in the _Mass. His. Coll._ He
 was governor of Rhode-Island for nine years, but is better known as one
 of the signers of the _Declaration of Independence._

"This," says that eminent scholar, and patriot, "was the end of
Myantinomo, the most potent Indian prince the people of New-England had
ever any concern with; and this was the reward he received for assisting
them seven years before, in their war with the Pequots. Surely a
Rhode-Island man may be permitted to mourn his unhappy fate, and drop a
tear on the ashes of Myantinomo; who, with his uncle Conanicus, were the
best friends and greatest benefactors the colony [of R. I.] ever had. They
kindly received, fed, and protected the first settlers of it, when they
were in distress, and were strangers and exiles, and all mankind else were
their enemies; _and by this kindness to them,_ drew upon themselves the
resentment of the neighboring colonies, and hastened the untimely end of
the young king."

Nothing of great interest can be added to the history of Canonicus,
subsequent to the death of his colleague. Messengers were sent to him, the
same year, to explain the circumstances of that event, and to take
measures for preserving peace. In 1644, he is said to have subjected
himself and his territory to the Government of Charles I. of England, by a
deed dated April 19th. [FN] He must have been near ninety yearn of age at
this time, and if actually in the exercise of government, no doubt was
more disposed than ever to live peaceably with his English neighbors.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Report of Commissioners appointed in 1683 by Charles II. to enquire
 into the claims and titles to the Narraghansett Country. _5th Vol. of
 Mass. His. Coll. 1st. Series._

Mr. Winthrop states, that he died June 4th, 1647. Mr. Hubbard says 1648,
and he has been copied by late writers (including Holmes;) but the former
date is believed to be the better authenticated of the two. One or two
historians indeed seem to confound the old sachem with a younger man, who
was killed in Philip's war, by the Mohawks, in June 1676. This person bore
the same name, and may have been one of his descendants. Between twenty
and thirty years before this, Mr. Williams, (the best authority on all
that relates to the Narraghansetts,) writes, that "their late famous
long-lived Caunnonicus so liv'd and died, and in ye same most honorable
manner and solemnitie (in their way) as you laid to Sleepe your Prudent
Peace-Maker,  Mr. Winthrop, did they honour this, their Prudent and
Peaceable Prince." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Ms. Letters._

                              CHAPTER XI.

 Canonicus succeeded by Pessacus--Mexham--Ninigret, Sachem of the
  Nianticks--Proposals made by them to the English, and by the English in
  return--They commence hostilities against Uncas--The English resolve to
  make war upon them--They make concessions--Their visits to
  Boston--Subsequent movements against Uncas. An armed party sent against
  Ninigret and Pessacus--They are accused of a league with the Dutch
  against the English.

Strictly speaking, there was no _successor_ to Canonicus in the government
of the Narraghansetts, the lineage, talents and age of that sachem having
given him a peculiar influence over his countrymen, which none other among
them could command. At his death, therefore, the authority which he had
monopolized at one time, and afterwards shared with Miantonomo and others,
reverted into that form of dominion (half way between oligarchy and
democracy, and occasionally vibrating to each extreme,) which is common
among the Indian tribes.

_One_ of the Narraghansett chiefs, after that period, was his son, Mexham,
otherwise called Mexamo, Mixamo, Meihammoh, and by Roger Williams also
Mriksah and Mejhsah. Considering the multitude of his names, he is rather
less distinguished than might be supposed. Mr. Williams however gives him
the credit of inheriting "his father's spirit" of friendliness for the
English. In another passage, speaking of the Nipmucks, he says "they were
unquestionably subject to ye Narrhigansett sachims, _and in a special
manner to Mejhsah,_ ye son of Caunonnicus, and late husband to this old
Squa-Sachim now only surviving." [FN] This letter bearing date of May 7th,
1668, Mexham must have died previous to that time. The name of his widow
and successor, (sometimes called Quaiapen, and more frequently Magnus,)
who was a woman of great energy, figures not a little in the history of
King-Philip's war. We may hereafter have occasion to mention both husband
and wife.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] MS. Letters.

A more distinguished character was Pessacus, generally believed to have
been the brother of Miantonomo, [FN] and therefore _nephew_ of
Canonicus--a better authenticated theory than that of Johnson's, who (in
Wonder-Working Providence,) calls him a _son._ He was born about the time
of the English settling at Plymouth, and was therefore not far from twenty
years old when his brother was killed. His name being associated with that
of Canonicus in the deed of 1644, alluded to in the preceding chapter, it
may be presumed, that the mantle of Miantonomo, after _his_ death, fell
upon the shoulders of Pessacus. It will soon appear, how much he
interested himself, both as sachem and brother, in the revenge of that

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop.

It is impossible to pursue the career of either of these chieftains,
eminent in history as some of them are, without connecting them not only
with each other, but with a foreign party who still remains to be named.
We refer to Ninigret, [FN] chief sachem of the Nianticks, generally
considered a Narraghansett tribe, and certainly the most considerable of
all those which profited by the alliance of that people. Miantonomo spoke
of them to Governor Winthrop in 1642, "as his own flesh, being allied by
continual intermarriages;" and the governor consequently had "some
difficulty to bring him to _desert_ them." In fact, they were rather
confederates than tributaries to Canonicus during his life, and the
relationship of blood, with no other bonds of sympathy, would have
abundantly sufficed to keep up an intimate connexion after his death.
Prince states that Ninigret was the uncle of Miantonomo; but other writers
represent him as the brother or brother-in-law; and considering the age of
the parties especially, the latter supposition is much the more plausible.
Either will explain the regard which he will be found to have cherished
for the memory of the dead chieftain, and for the person of Pessacus, the
living brother.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Variously entitled by various writers.
   e g. Ninigrate, by     Hutchinson.
        Nynigrett,        Mason's Pequot war
        Ninicrite,        Hubbard.
        Ninicraft,        Same and others.
        Ninegrad,         Prince.
        Nennegratt and Nennegrate, &c., Hazard.
        Nanekunat, Niniglud, &c., R. Williams and others.

We first hear of Ninigret in 1632, from which time to 1635 a violent war
was carried on between the Narraghansetts and Pequots. In this he is said
to have taken no part; and the fair inference is, that he was not from his
relation to the former under any necessity, and probably not under
obligation, to assist them.

A similar conclusion might be drawn from the division of captives made at
the close of the war of 1637, when Ninigret's services were acknowledged
by the compliment of twenty Pequots--in the same manner, though not in the
same measure, with those of Uncas and Miantonomo. Like the latter,
however, Ninigret took no personal or active part in that war; and like
him, he permitted his subjects to go volunteers under Mason. Mr. Wolcott
thus mentions him on the occasion of Underhill's arrival in his territory,
[FN] on _his_ way to the Pequots:

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The principal residence of Ninigret, and the centre of his dominion,
 was at Wekapaug, now Westerly, R. I. It was formerly a part of
 Stonington, Conn.

    "And marching through that county soon they met
    _The Narraghansett Prince,_ proud Ninigrett,
    To whom the English say, we lead these bands,
    Armed in this manner, thus into your lands,
    Without design to do you injury,
    But only to invade the enemy;
    You, who to the expense of so much blood
    Have long time born their evil neighborhood,
    Will bid us welcome, and will well excuse
    That we this way have took our rendezvouz, &c." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] "A Brief Account of the Agency of the Hon. John Winthrop Esq. in the
 Court of King Charles the second, Anno Dom. 1682; when he obtained a
 charter for the Colony of Connecticut." _Vol. IV. Mass. His. Coll._

If what is here intimated was true, that the Pequots had been bad
neighbors to the Nianticks, as they certainly had been to the
Narraghansetts, it is no matter of wonder that numbers of those tribes
engaged in the English expedition; and it indicates the pride, if not
magnanimity on the other hand that neither would consent to fight against
the common enemy of both.

From Major Mason's account of the affair, it would appear that the English
took this independence of Ninigret rather in dudgeon. "On the Wednesday
morning," says that writer, "we marched from thence to a Place called
Nayanticke, it being about eighteen or twenty miles distant, where another
of those Narraghansetts lived in a Fort; it being a Frontier to the
Pequots. They carryed very proudly towards us; not permitting any of us to
come into their Fort." Upon which Mason set a guard about them, forbidding
the Indians to go in or out, and quartered in the neighborhood over night.
Whether this "Sachem" was Ninigret or one of his subjects, the conduct of
Mason could hardly have left a very gratifying impression on the mind, of
that chieftain. Possibly, if borne in mind by the reader, it may throw
some light upon subsequent events.

From the time of Miantonomo's death, all the sachems we have mentioned as
succeeding to his power, came prominently into intercourse with the
English. Ninigret and Pessacus, particularly, were distinguished by a
continual series of controversies alternately with that people, and the
Mohegans, and very often with both. They inherited the strong prejudice
of the slaughtered Narraghansett against Uncas and his tribe; and most
bitterly was that prejudice exasperated by the slaughter itself.

Anticipating such an excitement, the commissioners, immediately after the
execution of the sentence, despatched messengers to Pessacus, who were
directed to inform him that they had heard of the quarrel between himself
and Uncas; and to propose that he should send delegates to Hartford; these
should meet delegates from Uncas, and thus all differences be adjusted. A
conference accordingly was agreed upon, and it took place as proposed. The
result was stated, in the commissioners Report: "They did require that
neither themselves [the Narraghansetts] nor the Nayanticks should make,
any warr or injurious assault vpon Vncus or any of his company vntil they
make proofe of the ransome charged &c."--alluding to the allegation that
Uncas had embezzled money, deposited in his hands for Miantonomo's

The following agreement was subscribed by the four "Narrohhiganset
Deputies," as they are called in the Report. It should be observed, that
although "the Nayantick sachems" are ostensibly here represented, the only
evidence going to justify such a phraseology, so far as we know, is in a
previous statement (in the Report,) that when the English messengers had
been sent to propose this conference, the Narraghansett sagamores
"consulting among themselves _and with Kienemo one of the Nayantick
sachims_ had sent a sagamore &c." We copy _literatim_ and _punctuatim:_

"Weetowisse one of the Narrohiggansett sachims Pummumsh (alias) Pumumshe
and Pawpianet two of the Narrohigganset Captaines being sent with two of
the Narrohiggansett Indians as _Deputies from the Narrohigganset and
Nayantick_ sachims to make proofe of the ransome they pretended was given
for their late sachim's life as also to make knoune some other greevances
they had against Vncus sachim of the Mohiggins did in conclusion promise
and engage themselves (_according to the power committed to them_) that
there should be no war begun by any of the Narrohiggansets _or Nayantic_
Indians with the Mohegan sachim or his men till after the next planting
tyme, and that after that, before they begin warr, or vse any hostility
towards them, they will give thirty dayes warneing thereof to the
Government of the Massachusetts or Conectacutt.

           "Hartford the XVIIth of September, 1644

               "(Signed with the marks of) Weetowisse

This, considering it an agreement authorised by Pessacus, was certainly as
much as could be reasonably expected of him; for such was his eagerness to
revenge the death of his brother, that he had himself sent messengers to
confer upon the subject with the Massachusetts Government. Only a month or
two after that event, they carried a present from him, of an otter coat,
with Wampum to the value of fifteen pounds. Proposals of peace and
friendship were tendered; but a request was added, that the Governor
should not assist Uncas, whom he (Pessacus) intended shortly to make war
upon. The Governor replied, that he desired peace, but wished that all the
Indian tribes, including the Mohegans, might be partakers of it; and that
unless Pessacus would consent to these terms, his present could not be
received. The messengers said, they had no instructions upon this point;
they would however return, and consult with Pessacus; and meanwhile the
Governor was requested to retain the present, which he did.

After this, (in April, 1644) and previous to the Hartford conference, the
Governor sent messengers on his own part to the Narraghansetts, probably
to sound the disposition of Pessacus. They went first to the wigwam of the
old sachem Canonicus, whom they found in such ill humor that he did not
admit them, (as they stated) for two hours, during which time they were
not altogether at ease, being obliged to endure the pelting of a
rain-storm. On entering, they found him lying upon his couch. He noticed
them, not very cordially, for the purpose of referring them to Pessacus;
and for _him_ they waited four hours more. When he came, he took them into
a shabby wigwam, and kept them talking with him most of the night. On the
whole, he appeared determined to wage war on Uncas forthwith; not in the
manner of Miantonomo, but by sending out small war-parties, to cut off the
straggling Mohegans, and to interfere with their hunting and fishing.

There is reason to believe, that he either had taken, or was about taking
some measures in pursuance of this scheme; and that the message of the
commissioners was therefore rather as much in consequence as in
anticipation of his acts. On the 23d. of April, messengers came to Boston
from Pomham, (a chief, hereafter noticed at length, who had put himself
under the Massachusetts protection,) with intelligence that the
Narraghansetts had captured and killed six Mohegan men and five women; and
had sent _him_ two hands and a foot, to engage him in the war. If this
statement was true--and we know no particular reason for doubting it--the
commissioners might certainly consider themselves fortunate in checking
hostilities, so far as they did in September.

They convened again, at Boston, early in 1645; and messengers were again
sent to the Narraghansetts, with directions afterwards to visit the
Mohegans, inviting all the sachems to meet them for a new adjustment of
difficulties. The instructions given to these men [FN] imply, that the
commissioners supposed Pessacus to be in a state of warfare with Uncas at
that time--whether it was now past "planting-tyme," or not--but the same
records show that the messengers brought back "a letter from Mr. Roger
Williams wherein hee assures vs the warr _would presently break forth_ and
that the Narrohiggansett sachims had lately concluded a neutrallyty with
Providence and the Townes upon Aquidnett [Rhode] Island."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See records of the United Colonies. Hazard.

It would seem, then, that the treaty was not yet broken--when the
messengers were sent. Pessacus at first told them, that he would attend
the commissioners' summons, and that meanwhile there should be no
operations against Uncas; but he soon afterwards said, that his mind was
changed. They then went to Ninigret. He expressed great discontent on
account of certain military assistance which the English had sent to
defend Uncas; and threatened haughtily, (said the messengers) that unless
that force were withdrawn, he should consider it a violation of the
treaty. "He would procure as many Mowhauques as the English should affront
[meet] them with, that would lay the English cattell on heapes as heigh as
their houses, and no Englishman should stir out of his doore but he should
be killed."

After meeting such a reception here, the messengers were afraid to set out
for the Mohegan country, and they therefore went back to Pessacus and
requested him to furnish them with a guide. He offered them an old Pequot
squaw--in derision (as they supposed)--and even while they were speaking,
several of his Indians who stood close behind him, appeared to them to be
frowning rather grimly, besides brandishing their hatchets in a most
ominous manner.

"Wherevpon," [on the return of the messengers] says the Report, "the
commissioners considering the great provocations offered and the
necessyty we should be put unto of making warr vpon the _Narrohiggansets
&c._" it was agreed, "First, that our engagement bound us to ayde and
defende the Mohegan Sachem. 2dly, That this ayde could not be intended
onely to defend him and his in his fort or habitacon, but (according to
the common acceptacon of such covenants or engagements considered with the
fraude or occasion thereof) so to ayde him as hee might be preserved in
his liberty and estate. 3dly, That this ayde must be speedy least he might
bee swallowed vp in the meane tyme and so come too late."

The engagement here alluded to was made at Hartford in these words: "That
if they assualt Vncus the English are engaged to assist him." Whether they
had assaulted him or not--whether, if they had, it was under circumstances
which started such a _casus faederis_ as to justify the English
interference--and whether, under any circumstances, the latter could
justify sending an expedition designed "not onely to ayde the Mohegans but
to offend the Narrohiggansets, Nyanticks and other their confederates"
[FN]--need not now be discussed. Nor shall we inquire whether any blame
was chargeable, on the other hand, to Uncas, as having himself secretly
provoked hostilities--which, it may be observed, is a matter that in its
nature cannot easily be determined.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] "Instructions for Serjeant Major Edward Gibbons, comaunder in chief
 of our military forces and for such as are joyned to him as a counsell of
 warr." Hazard.

Preparations were made for a war; but, at the suggestion of some of the
Massachusetts Government, it was concluded to make still another offer of
compromise to the Narraghansetts, returning at the same time, by way of
manifesto, the present of wampum "long since sent and left by messengers
from Piscus [Pessacus]." A conference took place between some of the
messengers and some of the Sachems, at which _Mr. Williams officiated as
interpreter,_ and the result was almost necessarily pacific, several of
the allegations of the English (which Benedict upon oath had formerly
certified [FN]) were denied,  says the commissioners' Report, and others
excused; and as the English desired further conference, it was agreed
"that Pissicus chiefe-sachem of the Narraghansetts and Mixano Canownacus
his eldest sonn and others should forthwith come to Bostone to treat with
the commissioners for the restoreing and settleing of peace."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Report of Commissioners,_ 1645. Benedict Arnold is here referred
 to,  a person employed as messenger for a long series of years. He seems
 to have been in this case the only witness against the Sachems; and what
 his testimony amounted to, we have already seen.

This promise was faithfully kept. The sachems just named, with a Niantick
deputy, made their appearance at Boston within a few days, followed by a
long train of attendants. Some altercation took place between them and the
commissioners, in the course of which the latter charged them (as the
Report shows,) that, notwithstanding the Hartford treaty, "they had _this
summer_ (1645) at severall tymes invaded Vncus &c." At length, with great
reluctance, and "after long debate and some private conferrence they had
with Sergeant Cullicutt they acknowledged they had brooken promise or
covenant in the aforemenconed warrs." They then offered to make another
truce, but that not satisfying the commissioners, they wished to know what
_would._ Upon which the commissioners, "to show their moderacon required
of them but twoo thousand fathome of white wampon for their oune
satisfaccon," beside their restoring the boats and prisoners taken from
Uncas, and making reparation for all damages. A treaty, containing these
and other stipulations, and providing that the payment of one instalment
should be made in twenty days, was drawn up and finally subscribed by all
the deputies. Four hostages were given for security, including a son of
Pessacus; the English army was disbanded; the sachems returned home; and
the 4th of September, which had been appointed for a fast, was now ordered
to be observed as a day of thanksgiving.

We have thought it the less necessary to specify all the provisions of
this "treaty," inasmuch as the circumstances under which it was made,
amount, as appears to us, to such a duress as not only must have
exasperated the Sachems, but clearly invalidated the treaty itself. This
point, however, we shall leave to be decided by every reader who will
trouble himself to become familiar with those minutiae which cannot here
be stated. It is sufficient to add, that the Report itself; as above
cited, shows the consideration (so to speak) upon which the whole
transaction was founded, to have failed, or rather never to have existed.
The "acknowledgements," indeed, like the agreements, under the
circumstances we count nothing; but even these, as the commissioners state
them, only intimate that the Narraghansetts had invaded Uncas "this
summer"--that is, (for aught we are told) subsequent to "planting-tyme,"
when the former treaty expired--and not then without previous and repeated
declarations to the English, as we have seen, of their intended movements.
No remarks need be made upon the invasion of the English, or upon the
requisitions on the deputies at Boston.

One provision of the treaty was, that the Narraghansetts should meet Uncas
at New Haven in 1646, which they failed to do, though Uncas himself
attended the meeting of the commissioners at that place. Nor did they make
their payments of wampum according to promise. Three instalments, to the
amount of one thousand three hundred fathoms, being now due, they sent
into Boston one hundred fathoms--mostly, it is said in "old
kettles"--excusing themselves on the score of poverty and the failure of
the Nianticks to contribute their proportion. So small a sum the
commissioners would not accept; and the messengers who brought it
therefore sold their kettles to a Boston brazier, and deposited the money
in his hands, to be paid over when they should bring the residue of the
debt. Messengers were sent for Pessacus, but he failed to make his

The summons being repeated in 1647, on the 31st of July, "Thomas Stanton
returned with Pessacks answere as followinge. Pessack being charged for
not meeting the commissioners at New Haven the last yeare, his answere
was, he had no warninge. It is true, said he, I have broken my covenant
these two years, and it is and hath been the constant griefe of my spirit.
2dly, The reason why he doth not come at this time is, because he hath
bene sicke and is now sicke; had I bene but pretty well, said he, I would
have come to them." He also stated, that he _when the last treaty was
made, he had acted in fear of the English army;_ [FN] and he proposed to
send Ninigret to Boston forthwith, with full authority to treat in his own

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Report of the comm. for 1647. "He doth say when he made his covenant
 he did it in feare of the army that he did see, and tho' the English kept
 their covenant with him there and let him go from them, yet the army was
 to goe to Narragensett ymmediately and kill him there, therefore said the
 commissioners sett your hands to such and such things or els the army
 shall goe forth to the Narragensetts." Excellently well stated!

Ninigret accordingly came on the 3d of August. When the commissioners
demanded an explanation of his past defaults, he at first affected
ignorance of what agreements had been made by the Narraghansetts. He then
argued the matter, and inquired upon what pretence the alleged debt was
originally founded. He was reminded of all the old subjects of complaint,
including his own declarations of hostility towards the English. In
respect to the latter, he said that the messengers had given him
provocation. As to the money, he considered it impossible ever to pay it,
but nevertheless wished to know how the reckoning now stood. It appeared,
on examination, that Pessacus had paid seventy fathoms of wampum the first
year. As for the kettles sold to the braziers, that property had since
been attached by one Woddy, a Boston man for goods stolen from him by a
Narraghansett Indian. Ninigret excepted to this procedure. It was neither
the property of Pessacus, he said, nor of the thief; it was deposited as
part payment of the debt, and ought so to be received. Having gained this
point, he next proposed that credit should be given him for one hundred
and five fathoms, sent by the hand of the Indian called Cutchamaquin.
[FN-1] It was rejoined, that the sum referred to had been intended as a
present to the Governor. Ninigret, "_being pressed to cleare the questione
himselfe, he answered, his tounge should not belye his heart, let the
debt be satisfied as it may--he intended it for the Governour._" He had
sent ten fathoms to Cutchamaquin for his own trouble; but that covetous
Indian, unsatisfied with so liberal a commission, had appropriated all but
forty-five fathoms to his own use and "lied" about the residue. The facts
came out upon a cross-examination, instituted by Ninigret in presence of
the commissioners. [FN-2]

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] Whom we suppose to be the Sachem of Braintree, (near Boston), so
 well known for his violent opposition to Mr. Elliot's preaching, and
 called also Kitchmakin and some half dozen other names. He submitted to
 the Massachusetts Government in 1643. Neal says, that soon after his
 appearing at Mr. Elliot's lecture, and protesting against the building
 of a town for the Christian Indians in what he considered his dominions,
 "he himself turned Christian." But that reverend missionary does not
 himself state quite so much. In that old tract, The Light Appearing &c.
 he says, that after a certain pungent discourse which he took occasion to
 level at the Sachem, and not long after his remonstrance just mentioned,
 "Elder Heath his observation of him was, that there was a great change in
 him, his spirit was very much lightned, and it much appeared both in his
 countenance and carriage, _and he hath carried all things fairly ever
 since._" We are glad to leave him thus--he died soon after his

 [FN-2] Hazard Vol. II. p. 80 (quarto 3d. Phil. 1794) "Hereupon
 Cutchmaquin was sent for and before Ninegrate questioned &c. He at first
 persisted, and added to his lyes, but was at last convinced by Ninegrate
 &c." A good illustration of the impropriety of giving implicit credit in
 such cases.

He then asked time to give in his final answer, and the commissioners
allowed him a day. Having consulted meanwhile with his companions, he
appeared the next morning again. He was sorry to find, he said, that the
burden of the business had been shifted from the shoulders of Pessacus
upon his own, but he had determined to do what he could; and he would
therefore send some of his men home to collect the arrears due to the
English. In the course of three days he should know the result, and in ten
he thought the wampum might be forwarded. He would himself remain at
Boston till that time, and send word to the Narraghansetts of the
arrangement. "But if the collection," he added, "should fall short of the
sum due, he desired some forbearance, being sure that the residue would be
shortly paid, and that the English would at all events perceive his great
desire to give them entire satisfaction." The commissioners accepted these
proposals, and Ninigret despatched his messenger.

They returned on the 16th of the month, but brought only two hundred
fathom of wampum. The commissioners complained of this new default, and
Ninigret was a little embarrassed. He said, it must be owing to his own
absence; but as it was, he wished that the Wampum intended, but not yet
received, as a present to the Governor, should go in part payment of the
debt. For the remainder, he desired a respite till the next spring, when,
if it were not fully paid, the English should have his country and his
head. [FN] The commissioners accordingly gave him leave to return home,
and allowed him twenty days for sending in one thousand fathoms; if he
failed, he must suffer the consequences. If he did what he could, and
_Pessacus_ failed, as heretofore he had done, they should punish _him,_
and expect Ninigret's assistance.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The account, which may be considered a curiosity, now stood thus.

  Mr. Pelham received allmost two yeares since, }
                     above what was given Vncus }   70 fathoms.
  Left by the Narraghansetts in Mr. Shrimpton's }
                   hands, in kettles and wampum }   70 fathoms.
            In Cutchamaqua's hands by Ninegrett    105     do.
  Received of Ninegrett 16. Aug. 1647.             243 1/2 do.
  The sum being                                    443.

At their meeting in 1648, the commissioners received information of new
movements of Pessacus and Ninigret, in disturbance of the common peace.
Both sachems were said to be withdrawing their old men, women and children
into swamps, hiding their corn, and preparing for the reception of the
Mohawk, whom they had engaged to assist them. The invading army was to
consist of eight hundred men. The Mohawks had four hundred guns, and three
pounds of powder to a gun. Ninigret had made inquiry whether the English
would probably defend Uncas, and seemed to calculate, in that case, upon
the necessity of fighting _them._ The Pocomtock tribe were also engaged to
assist him. But both these and the Mohawks were finally discouraged from
undertaking the expedition, by the prospect of having to contend with the

But depredations were soon after committed by some of the Narraghansetts
upon the English; and as for Uncas, the hostility against him was carried
so far, that he came very near losing his life by an Indian hired to
assassinate him, having been run through the breast with a sword, as he
was going on board a vessel in the river Thames. At the commissioners'
meeting in 1649, he appeared, laid his complaints before them, and
demanded the protection of his ally. Ninigret also presented himself. As
to hiring the Indian to assassinate Uncas, he observed, the confession of
the criminal himself was the only evidence in the case, and that was
forced from him by the Mohegans. As to the arrears of wampum, of which
much was said, he thought there been a mistake in the measure, and that
only two hundred fathoms were due, while the English at this time
acknowledged the receipt of only one thousand five hundred twenty-nine and
a half in the whole. But the commissioners were dissatisfied with his
answer; and they therefore once more set themselves to making vigorous
preparations for war.

The measures adopted in 1650, may be learned from the following passage of
the commissioners' record for that year. "Taking into consideration the
seueral offensiue practices of the Narraghausetts whereby they have broken
their couenents and endeauoured to disturbe the peace betweene the English
and themselves; and how they yet delay to pay the wampum which hath been
so long due [having sent but one hundred fathom since the last meeting at
Boston;] it was therefore thought meet to keepe the colonies from falling
into contempt among the Indians, and to preuent their improuing said
wampum to hire other Indians to joyne with themselves against vs or Vcus,
that twenty men well armed bee sent out of the Jurisdiccon of
Massachusetts to Pessicus to demand the said Wampum which is three hundred
and eight fathom, and vpon Refusall or Delay to take the same or to the
Vallew thereof in the best goods they can find; Together with so much as
will satisfy for their charges &c."

The messengers were farther instructed to go to Ninigret, and make the
following complaints. 1. That the commissioners were told he had married
his daughter to the brother of the old Pequot chief; Sassacus, and had
made some pretensions to the Pequot territory. 2. That _Weekwash Cooke_
had complained to them of certain grievances received at his hands. 3.
"That about twelve years sence a Mare belonging to Elty Pomary of Winsor
in Connecticatt was killed wilfully by Pequiam a Nyantick Indian brother
to Ninegrett which Mare cost twenty-nine pounds, for which satisfaccon
hath often been required." &c. They were then to demand payment of all
charges due the English, and as also categorical answers to a certain list
of questions.

The party sent out by Massachusetts in pursuance of these orders was
commanded by Major Atherton. On meeting with Pessacus, and stating the
purposes of his visit, some altercation ensued. As the Narraghansett
warriors meanwhile appeared to be collecting around him, Atherton marched
directly to the door of his Wigwam, posted a guard there, entered himself
with his pistol in hand, seized Pessacus by his hair, and drawing him out
from among his attendants, declared he would despatch him instantly on
perceiving the least attempt for his rescue. This bold stroke made such an
impression, that all arrearages were paid on the spot. Atherton then
visited Ninigret, and having stated the accusations, suspicions and
threats of the commissioners--though without obtaining any farther
satisfaction--returned home. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Trumbull's expression is--"Having in this spirited manner
 _Accomplished his business,_ he returned in safety." _History of Conn.
 Vol. I._

In 1653, the commissioners sent messengers to demand of Ninigret, Pessacus
and Mexham, answers to the following questions. They are given in full,
as a curious illustration both of the policy of the former and the
character of the latter. The object and occasion are sufficiently manifest
on the face of them.

"1. Whether the _Duch Governor_ hath engaged him [Ninigret] and others to
healp them to fight against the English, and how many?

"2. Whether the Duch Governor did not attempt such a Conspiracy?

"3. Whether hee [Ninigret] hath not received of the Duch Governor guns
powder bullets and swords or any ammunition to that end; and how much or
many of the said provision for warr?

"4. What other sachems or Indians to his Knowlidg that are so engaged?

"5. Whether himselfe or the Rest are Resolved according to theire
engagement to fight against the English?

"6. If hee bee Resolved of his way what he thinks the English will do?

"7. Whether it bee not safest for him and his men to be true to the

"8. Whether the Duch hath engaged to healp him and the Rest of the Indians
against the English?

"9. If hee haue engaged against us to aske vpon what grounds and what
wrong wee haue donn him?

"10. Whether hee thinks it meet to com or send his messengers to give
satisfaction concerning these queries?

"11. Whether hee hath hiered the Mohakes to healp him against us?"

The answer of Mexham, as reported by the messengers, to the first
question, was thus. "I speak vnfeignedly from my hart without
Dessimulation that I know of noe such plott that is intended or ploted
by the Duch Governour against the English my frinds. Though I bee poor it
is not goods guns powder nor shott that shall draw mee to such a plott."
Pessacus said, "I am very thankfull to these two men that came from the
Massachusetts and to you Thomas and to you Poll and to you Mr. Smith that
are come soe fare as from the Bay to bring vs this message, _and to
enforme vs of these things wee knew not of before._"

To the second, Mexham answered "No." Pessacus said, "that for the Governor
of the Duch, _wee are loth to Inuent any fakehood of him,_ though we bee
far off from him, _to please the English_ or any other that bring these
Reports. The Duch Governor did never propound such a thing." He also
represented the evident folly of his leagueing with a remote people
against his nearest neighbors. He gave a negative to the fifth question.
The sixth he supposed to be already answered. To the seventh, he said,
"wee desire to keeps it [peace] feirmly to our dieing day as neare as we
can." The eighth and ninth, Mexham and Pessacus thought they had answered
already. As to the tenth, they replied, that Pessacus was _too old_ [FN]
to "trauell two daies together, but they would send some men into the
Massachusetts to speak with [tell] the Sachems that they had sent to Mr.
Smith and Voll his man to speake to Mr. Browne that they loved the English
sachems and all English in the Bay." The charge implied in the last query
they absolutely denied.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Probably meant for _too ill._

The answers of Ninigret, which were given separately, are the more worthy
of notice that he was known to have visited New York during the previous
winter, and had been accused by various Indians, including some of the
Mohegans, of having formed an alliance with the Dutch against the English.
He utterly disclaimed such conduct. "But," he added, "whiles I was there
att the Indian Wigwames there cam som Indians that told mee there was a
ship com in from Holland, which did report the English and Duch were
fighting together in theire owne countrey, and theire were severall other
shippes cominge with amunition to fight against the English heer, and that
there would bee a great blow given to them, but _this_ (said he,) _I had
from the Indians,_ and I cannot tell how true it is." Next, four queries
were answered in the negative. As to the sixth, "What shall I answare
these things over and over again? What doe the English thinke that I
thinke they bee asleep and suffer mee to do them wronge? Doe we not know
they are not a sleepy people? The English make queries for gunpowder, and
shot and swords. Do they thinke wee are mad to sell our liues and the
liues of all our wiues and children and all our kindred, and to haue our
countrey destroyed for a few guns powder shott and swords? What will they
doe vs good when wee are dead?" The eighth, ninth, and eleventh, were
denied. To the seventh he replied, that he knew no reason for breaking his
league with his old friends the English; and why should he ally himself to
a few Dutchmen, so far off when he lived next door to _them?_ The answer
to the tenth would puzzle the most mystifying politician of modern times.
"It being indifferently spoken whether hee may goe or send yet bee knowing
nothing by himselfe wherein hee hath wronged the English but that hee may
goe yet being Indifferently spoken hee would send to speak with the
English." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] We copy _punctuatim,_ from the Records of the United Colonies, as
 preserved in Hazard's Collections. Perhaps the Interpreter was to blame
 for this problematical sentence.

Letters having been also sent to the sachems from the commissioners,
Pessacus and Mexham sent word in return, that they wished for a good
understanding, and hoped it might be preserved. They requested,
furthermore, that the English would make known _the names of their
accusers,_ and the other sources of their information respecting their
alleged league with the Dutch. Ninigret replied as follows:

"You are kindly welcom to vs and I kindly thanke the Sachems [magistrates]
of the Massachusetts that they would Nominate my Name amongst the other
to require my answare to the propositions; had any of the other Sachems
been att the Duch I should have feared theire folly might have donn some
hurt one way or other, but they have not been there. _I am the Man that
haue bene there myselfe,_ therefore I must answare for what I haue donn.
I doe utterley deney and protest against any such acteings doun by mee or
to my knowlidge att or with the Duch. What is the story of _these great
Rumers that I hear att Pocatocke, that I should bee cut off and that the
English had a quarrell against mee._ I know of noe such cause att all for
my parte. _Is it because I went thither to take Phisicke for my healthe?_
Or what is the cause I found noe such entertainment from the Duch
Governour, when I was there to giue mee any Incorragement to sturr mee up
to such a league against the English my friends. It was winter-time, and I
stood a great parte of a day knocking at the Governor's dore, and he would
neither open it nor suffer others open it to lett mee in. I was not wont
to find such carriage from the English my frinds." The messenger promised
to be sent by Pessacus was sent accordingly. The English, examined him
very closely, but ascertained nothing new.

                              CHAPTER XII.

 Sequel of the lives of Ninigret and Pessacus, from 1653--Various
  accusations, deputations, and hostile movements between them and the
  English--Controversy between Ninigret and Harmon Garrett--Application
  for justice in 1675--Conduct of Ninigret in Philip's War--Consequences
  of it--His death--Death of Pessacus--Some of the charges against the
  former considered--His hostility to Uncas, and the Long Islanders, and
  "League with the Dutch"--Remarks on his character.

In September, 1653, new complaints were made against the Narraghansett and
Niantick Sachems. It was reported to the commissioners, that they had
attacked the Long Island Indians, and slain two Sachems and thirty others.
This was deemed a case requiring their interference; and messengers were
forthwith despatched as usual, to demand explanation and satisfaction, on
penalty that the commissioners would otherwise "proceed as they should
find cause." These men executed their errand, and returned on the 19th of
the month. According to their own account, they were not very graciously
received, as indeed it was hardly to be expected they should be.

They declared upon oath that, on entering the Niantick country, they saw
about forty or fifty Indians, all in arms, who came up to them as they
rode by; and the leader having a gun in his hand, "did, in the presence of
Thomas Staunton Serjeant Waite and Vallentyne Whitman, put his hand back
as if hee would have cocked it; Richard Waite said this man will shoote;
whervpon the English men faced about, Rode vp to the said Indians, asked
what they intended to doe and bedd them goe before, which some of them did
but others would not; and particularly the said Captaine Refused. The
English rode on in the way towards Ninigrett, but coming vp into the
Woods, the former company of Indians first fell on shouting in a
triumphing way. After the English Messengers came to a greater company of
Indians, all armed, whoe comaund them to stand to alight and to tye there
horses to a tree showed them, which the Messengers refused to doe. The
Indians then strove to becompase the English, which they would not suffer,
but being Informed that Ninnigrett would come thither they stayed awhile,
but Ninnigrett not coming the English tould the Indians that if they might
neither passe nor Ninnigrett come then they would return home. The Indians
answared hee would com presently, but hee not coming the English rode
forward and mett Ninnigrett; the Indians running on both sides hollowing,
the English Messengers made a stand, when they mett Ninnigrett haveing
many armed men with him and him selfe a pistoll in his hand. Ninnigrett
sat doune and desired them to alight which they did. The Indians then
surrounded them and som of them charged their guns with powder and bullets
and som primed their guns. The English in the meen time delivering their
message to Ninnigrett his men were so Tumultus in speaking especially one
whoe they said was a Mohauke they were much desturbed." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] This Valentyne is apparently the same whom Ninigret familiarly
 called "Voll," and another chief, "Poll."

The messengers were afterwards informed by one of Ninigret's chief men,
"that the aforementioned Mohauke came to see what news, for _they heard
that English were coming to warr against the Narraghansetts,_ which if
true the Mohaukes take what is doun against the Narraghansetts as doun
against themselues." After leaving Ninigret, two Indians, with bows and
arrows in their hands, came running out of the woods, and roughly demanded
of Staunton whither he was going, when he was coming back, and which way
he should come.--Upon this report, the commissioners decided to make war
at once, with the exception of Mr. Bradstreet alone, (the member from
Massachusetts,) who protested against such a proceeding, and thereby
prevented it.

In 1654, the commissioners were informed, that Ninigret was not only
prosecuting hostilities against the Long-Island Indians as before, but had
hired the Mohawks, Pocomtocks and Wampanoags to assist him. They
immediately sent messengers demanding his appearance at Hartford, and the
payment of the tribute so long due, as they alleged, for the Pequots under
his dominion. One article in the messenger's instructions was expressed
thus. "That vnlesse hee either com himselfe forthwithe to Hartford or give
som satisfying securitie to the commissioners for the true and constant
paiment of the said Tribute the commissioners shall thinke of some course
forthwithe to despose of the said Pequots some other way." On the 18th of
September, the following report was made of the result of the interview.

"1. When Ninigret was told, that the commissioners had perused _the letter
he had sent to the governor of Massachusetts_ [FN] _concerning the
suspicions he had of Uncas,_ he answered, that he knew nothing of such
letter, and expressed great wonder at its being charged upon him."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] We see no previous mention of this letter. It must have been one of
 many cases where the commissioners were deceived by false testimony.

"Again, as to the breach of covenant alleged against him, he desired to
know who could say that he had any Pequots under him. 2. Mr. Eaton and Mr.
Hopkins, being both at New Haven, had told him that he was to pay for the
Pequots only ten years. And 3. Those ten years had elapsed three years
before." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Such an agreement was made in 1651, between the commissioners,
 Uncas, and some of Ninigret's men. The ten years were to commence with
 1650; but, probably, Ninigret was either uninformed or misinformed
 respecting this stipulation. Frequently, treaties were not understood
 even by those who subscribed them.

"3. In respect to the Long-Islanders he answered in the following
remarkable manner: Wherefore should he acquaint the commissioners
therewith when the long-islanders had slayne a sachem's son and sixty
other of his men; and therefore he will not make peace with the
long-islanders, but doth desire the English would lett him alone, and doth
desire that the commissioners would not Request him to goe to hartford;
for hee had doun noe hurt what should he doe there; hee had bene many
times in the Bay, and when was Uncas there; Jonathan [the messenger] asked
him whether he would send two or three of is men that might act in his
Rome and steed if hee would not goe him selfe hee answared what should hee
or his men doe att hartford; Adding if youer Governor's sonne were slayne
and seuerall other men would [you] aske counsell of another Nation how
and when to Right yourselves; and againe said hee would not goe nor send
to Hartford.

"4. Concerning the vpland Indians his answsre was they are my frinds and
came to healp mee against the long-islanders which had killed seuerall of
my men; wherefore should I acquaint the commissioners with it; I doe but
Right my owne quarell which the long-islanders began with mee."

This spirited reply, alone sufficient to immortalize Ninigret, brought on
open war. A body of troops was raised in the three united colonies, and
sent into the Niantick country, under Major Willard of Massachusetts, with
orders to demand of Ninigret the Pequots subject to his control, the
tribute already due from them, and also a cessation of hostilities against
the Indians of Long Island. On refusal to comply with these terms, they
were to reduce him to submission and tribute by force, and take hostages
for security. The place of general rendezvous was appointed at Stanton's
house in the Narraghansett country. On arriving there, Major Willard found
that Ninigret had fled into a swamp ten or fifteen miles distant from the
army  leaving his country, corn, and wigwams, at the invader's mercy.
Messengers were sent to him, inviting him to a conference, and pledging
the safety of his person. He returned answer that aggressions had
_already_ been made upon his territory and property, and he did not think
it safe for him to visit the Major. He wished to know, too, what had
occasioned the present invasion. What had he done to _the English,_ that
they beset him in this manner?--Whatever the difficulty was, he was ready
to settle it by messengers, but not in person.

A day or two afterwards, as he was still in close quarters, six new
messengers were sent to him, two of whom, only, after much debate with his
guards and scouts, were admitted to his own presence. They began with
demanding the Pequots; to which he replied, that most of that people had
left him already--nearly one hundred had deserted to the English army--;
and the few that remained were hunting and straggling up and down the
country. He however set his mark to the following agreement, dated Oct.
18, 1654.

"Wheras the commissioners of the vnited collonies demaund by theire
Messengers that I deliuer vp to the English all the captiue Pequotes in my
countrey I heerby ingage myselfe to surrender the said Pequotes within
seuen daies to Mr. Winthrope or Captain Mason Witnesse my hand.

"Witnesse Thomas Stanton and Vallentine Whitman Interpretors Witnesse
alsoe Thomas Bligh."

The messengers next demanded the tribute due for the Pequots. He replied,
that he never engaged to pay it. "Why then," said they, "did you pay it,
or part of it, at New Haven?" "Because," he readily answered, "I feared
they would be taken from me if I did not, and therefore made a gratuity
out of my own wampum to please _you._" Being now forbidden in the
commissioners' name, to pursue hostilities against the Indians of
Long-Island, he stood silent for some time, and then asked if it was right
that his men--_such men_--should lose their lives and their blood, and not
be revenged. The English observed, that he should have offered his
complaints to the commissioners; but to this he made no reply; nor yet to
the unceremonious if not uncivil declaration of the messengers, that in
case he gave any farther trouble to any of the friends of the English,
they should forthwith take the liberty to set his head upon a pole. The
conference ended with  their requesting him to pay the expenses of the
expedition, which he refused to do; "Hee was not the cause of it, but
longe-Island Indians killed him a man att Connecticott." Thus the affair
ended. The commander was censured by the commissioners, for neglecting a
good opportunity of humbling a troublesome enemy, but no farther
strictures ensued. [FN] They contented themselves with stationing an armed
vessel in the road between Neanticut and Long-Island, with orders to
prevent hostile movements on the part of Ninigret, and with encouraging
his Indian adversaries by promises of English assistance. The next year,
Ninigret continuing his attacks, they thought themselves under obligation
to furnish it.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] A Mss. private letter of Major Willard is extant, (in the possession
 of Mr. Shattuck, author of a very valuable History of Concord, which we
 hope may be soon published,) in which, alluding to this expedition, he
 rather mysteriously speaks of his "hands being tied" Whether this
 alludes to his general instructions, or to something more secret, every
 reader will judge for himself.

From this time forward, there is little of interest in the life either of
Pessacus or Ninigret. We hear of them occasionally, but not much farther
than is sufficient to indicate their existence. Whether they gave less
reason to be complained of than before, or whether the English at length
grew weary of sending messages to them, cannot be ascertained; but there
is probably some truth in both suppositions.

One of the last deputations to Ninigret, in 1656, was occasioned by
complaints which he made to the English of grievances received from the
Long-Islanders. He failed to prove them as alleged, and the commissioners
took that occasion to remind him of his own duties and defaults, in their
wonted manner. The lesson was repeated in 1657, some affrays and assaults
having meanwhile occurred, which threatened to bring on more serious
troubles between the Indian tribes. The most remarkable circumstance
connected with the deputation of this season, is the dissent of the
commissioners of Massachusetts, who frequently had occasion to differ with
their associates in regard to intercourse with the Indians. The terms of
this opinion, expressed in the records, are worthy of notice, as throwing
a casual light on the charges brought against Ninigret.

"There hauing bine," say they, "many messengers to this purpose formerly
sent from the commissioners to the Indian Sachems, but seldom obserued by
them, which now to Renew againe _when many complaints have bine made
against Vncus by seuerall sachems and other Indians of his proud Insolent
and prouocking speeches and Trecherous actions, and with much probabilitie
of truth,_ besides his hostile attempts at Potunck &c.--seems
vnseasonable; and can in Reason have no other attendance in conclusion
than _to Render vs lo and contemptable in the eyes of the Indians, or
engage vs to vindicate our honer in a dangerouse and vnecessarie warr
vpon Indian quarrells, the grounds whereof wee can hardly euer
satisfactoryly understand, &c._" There is manifestly great truth, as well
as some severity, in this declaration. We may hereafter allude again to
what is said respecting Uncas.

We now refer to the instructions of messengers sent two years after the
embassy last named, merely to illustrate the style of diplomacy which
still continued to be used. They were directed "to Repaire to Ninnigrett,
Pessicus, Woqnocanoote, and the Rest of the Narraghansett Sachems, and
distinctly and clearly deliuer to them the following message." One article
of complaint runs thus:

"The comissioners doe require ninety-five fathom of Wampam ordered by them
to bee payed the last yeare for the Insolencyes committed att mistress
Brewster's feet to her great affrightment and stealing corne &c. and other

Again: "The comissioners doe charge Ninnigrett with breach of couenant
_and high neglect of theire order sent them by Major Willard six yeares
since not to Inuade the longe Iland Indians;_ and doe account this
surprising the longe-Iland Indians att Gull Iland and murthering of them
to be an insolent carriage to the English and a barbarous and inhumaine
acte; therefore the comissioners _haue proeuided for his entertainment at
longe-Iland_ if hee shall dare further to attempt vpon them before hee
hath satisfied the comissioners of the justnes of his quarrell, ordering
the English there to assist the Indians and driue him from thence." It
will be recollected, that Ninigret had always disclaimed the right of the
English to interfere in this contest with his neighbors, though he
explained to them, so far as to justify himself on the ground of having
been first aggrieved and attacked by his enemy. More recently he had
chosen--probably for the sake of keeping peace with the English--to make
complaints to them; but because he had failed to prove them (--and no
doubt they were mostly incapable of being proved, in their very nature--)
the commissioners had taken no other notice of his suit than to send
Thomas Stanton and others to reprimand him at once for his present
insolence and his old sins.

Still, he was not utterly discouraged, for he did not invariably fail of
having justice done him. In 1662, the commissioners being informed of his
intention to sell a certain tract of land in his actual possession, which
was nevertheless claimed by one Harmon Garrett, they sent to him--not a
message of threats by Thomas Stanton--but "a writing vnder theire hands
sertifying the said Harmon Garrett's claime, which being made knowne to
Ninnigrett, the said Ninnigrett by his Messengers to the comissioners att
theire last meeting att Plymouth made claime to the said land, and Refered
the Determination therof to the next meeting of the court att Boston,
_desireing that notice might bee given to the said harmon Garrett att the
said Meeting of the comissioners to apperr._"

This honorable proposition was adopted. Garrett made his appearance, and
Ninigret sent his attorney to meet him at Boston. Garrett stated, that his
father was a great sachem, and was possessed of the lands in controversy,
and that Ninigret was the said Sachem's younger brother. On the other
side, _Cornman_ in behalf of Ninigret, showed that his master was
possessed of said lands according to the Indian custom, being allowed to
be the chief sachem, and having married the sister of Harmon Garrett; and
that said Harmon was not of the whole [Niantick] blood, because his mother
was a stranger. This evidence was furnished orally by divers
Narraghansett and Pequot Indians, as also by Uncas and others in writing.
The commissioners decided, that it was "not meet to prejudice the title of
Ninnigrett, being in posession by any acte of theires, and that the
writing giuen vnder theire hand att New-hauen conserning harmon Garrett
bee not vnderstood nor made vse of to prejudice Ninnigrett's title and
posession, but aduise all the English to forbeare to disturbe
Ninnirett." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Records of the Colonies. Hazard, Vol. II.

The good effect of this decision is to be seen in the almost total silence
of history in regard to Ninigret for the next twelve or thirteen years,
when we find him coming forward, confidently and amicably, in a similar
case.  The particulars may be best gathered from a letter written by Mr.
John Easton, (probably a magistrate living near the sachem,) to the
Governor of Plymouth Colony. It runs thus:

"Ninigret, one of the two chief sachems of the Narraghansetts in our
colony, importuned me thus to write to you, that, as he saith, it is the
Indian custom or law, that when any sachem's men are driven and cast
ashore, or their goods, upon any other sachem's Jurisdiction, or taken up
by any other sachem's men, that the goods are to be restored to the sachem
whose men they were; and this spring, twelve Indians, at a time, were
drowned in the sea, coming from an Island, and some of their goods drove
up in your jurisdiction at Dartmouth; and he desireth you to inform those
Indians [at Dartmouth] that they should restore to him all the goods of
those drowned that they have got." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Sixth volume of the Mass. His. Col. 1st series.

This letter was written in March, 1675, just on the eve of the great war
of King Philip. The friendly disposition of Ninigret was now put to the
test. The Nipmucks, Nashaways, Pocontocks, the Hadley and Springfield
Indians, the Pokanokets of Philip, the tribes of Maine, and still nearer
home the Narraghansetts, were involved in the common controversy of the
times. But Ninigret remained faithful to the English; and though he took
no personal part in the war, some of his warriors distinguished themselves
more than once by their zealous cooperation with their allies. Ninigret
was one of the signers of the treaty of July, wherein the Narraghansetts
bound themselves to remain neutral; and in October his counsellor,
Cornman, signed a confirmation of the same instrument, in _his_ name, at
Boston, with an additional agreement to surrender up such Pokanoket
refugees as might be found in his territories. Several of the
Narraghansett sachems did the same, but Ninigret, alone, seems to have
maintained his fidelity. At all events, he alone had the credit of it, and
the consequent benefit. The Narraghansetts were completely subdued, and
their country overrun and subjected. The tribe and territory of Ninigret
were spared; and several of their descendants were living on the premises
so late as 1738, when few, if any, of the Narraghansett blood could be
found within the limits of Rhode Island. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Callender's Century Discourse.

The precise time of the death of Ninigret is not recorded. It is not
probable that he lived long after Philip's war, for two good reasons. He
is rarely if at all mentioned, subsequently; and he must have been already
quite advanced in age. It was now over forty years since that Pequot war,
at the date of which he is mentioned by Prince. Pessacus must have died
previous to Phillip's war. We do not find his name in the Colonial Records
after 1658, though it would certainly have been among the signatures to
the treaty last mentioned, had he been living at the date of its
execution. The English regarded him as the leading man of his tribe.

The three principal complaints made against Ninigret, and the occasion of
the ill-treatment he received from the English, were his hostility to
Uncas, his intercourse with the Dutch, and the wars which he waged with
the Long Islanders. Respecting the latter, enough has already been said.
Enough appears in the protest of the Massachusetts commissioners, alone,
to show that the English had but a poor reason for interfering as they
did. They barely alleged that these Indians were their friends; but
nothing is more obvious than that _such_ reasoning, however satisfactory
to themselves, could only render them, in the words of the protest, "low
and contemptible in the eyes of the Indians."

"There being noe agreement produced or proved,"--said Mr. Bradstreet, of
Massachusetts, in 1653--"whereby the collenies are obliged to protect the
Long Island Indians against Ninnegrett or others, and so noe Reason to
engage them in theire quarrells the grounds whereof they cannot well
vnderstand: I therefore see not sufficient light to this vote."

It is obvious that even an "obligation," by agreement, to protect those
Indians, might not imply a _right_ to do so as regarded other parties--but
granting such a right as consequent upon sufficient provocation, it still
remains to prove upon which party lay the blame of the first attack.
Ninigret always asserted that he acted in self-defence, and no doubt such
was his real opinion. The English only reprimanded him upon old scores,
when he laid his grievances before them; and then sent an armed vessel and
a body of troops to fight for his enemies. The Long Islanders told a
different story; but this was at best but one Indian testimony against
another; and how much _theirs_ in particular could be relied upon, appears
from the fact, that within a year or two after this same affair, they
themselves committed the most flagrant depredations upon the English.
Trumbull says, that in 1657, "after all the trouble and expense which the
English had been at for their defence, they became tumultuous, and did
great damage to the inhabitants of Southampton."

To conclude this discussion, we introduce some passages of a manuscript
letter from Roger Williams to the government of one of the colonies, which
has already been cited. It bears date of Oct. 5, 1654, and was written to
prevent war. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Col. Rec. of R.I.

"The Cause and Roote of all ye present mischief is ye Pride of 2
Barbarians, Ascassassotick, ye Long Island Sachim, and Nenekunat, of the
Narigansett. The former is proud and foolish. The latter is proud and
fierce. I have not seene him these many years, yet from their sober men I
hear he pleads,

"First, yt Ascassassotick, a very Inferior Sachim (bearing himself upon ye
English) hath slain 3 or 4 of his people and since yt sent him challenges
and darings to fight and mend himself.

"2dly. He, Nenekunat, consulted by Solemn messengers with the chiefe of
the English Governors, Major Endicott then Govr of ye Massachusetts, who
sent him an Implicite consent to right himselfe.

"3. After he had taken revenge, upon ye Long Islanders and brought away
about 14 Captives, yet he restored them all again upon ye mediation and
desire of ye English.

"4. After this peace made, the Long Islanders pretending to visit
Nenekunat at Block Island, slaughtered of his Narigansetts neere 30
persons at midnight, 2 of them of great note, especially Wepiteammock's
sonn, to whom Nenekunat was uncle."

Mr. Williams afterwards says;

"1. I know it is said ye Long Islanders are subjects; But I have heard
this greatly questioned, and indeed I question whether any Indians in this
Country, remayning Barbarous and Pagan, may with truth or honor be cald ye
English subjects.

"2. But graunt them subjects, what capacitie hath their late massacre of
ye Narigansetts (with whom they had made peace) without ye English
consent, though still under ye English name, put them into?"

As to a league between Ninigret and "the Duch Governor," his own reply to
the charge has been given. It will furnish some amusement, at least, to
review parts of the evidence upon which it was founded. Ninigret and
Pessacus sent an Indian named Awashaw to the commissioners, in pursuance
of their agreement to give what satisfaction they could in regard to this
subject; "_whoe being demanded why Ninigret went to the Manhatoes the last
winter,_ answared that Ninigret told _him_ that hee went thether to bee
cured of his disease, hearing there was a Frenchman there that could cure
him; that Mr. Iohn Winthorpe knew of his going; that he carried thirty
fathom of wampam, ten whereof he gave the Doctor and fifteen to the
governor; and the governor gave him in Lieue thereof sleived coates but
not one gun, but the Indians there gave Ninigrett two guns." This was in

Not long before, it seems that _Uncas_--the last man whose evidence should
have been noticed at all--had called on Governor Haynes at Hartford, and
informed him of Ninigret's visit to the Dutch; as also that he had made a
league with them, bought up a large quantity of ammunition, and negotiated
with the New York Indians for a war against Uncas and the English.
Furthermore, it was said that Ninigret had sent to a neighboring Sachem,
to procure a man skillful in poisoning, and had promised him one hundred
fathoms of Wampum in return. The Wampum was sent by a canoe, which Uncas
intercepted, with seven Indians aboard, one of whom his men had killed,
(according to his own story,) and two others had confessed Ninigret's
whole plot. We are inclined to hold, that this testimony should be
received only so far as it goes against Uncas himself, showing that he
took the liberty, on the strength of his suspicion alone, to assault a
canoe belonging to Ninigret, and to murder one of his subjects. When these
accusations were stated by the commissioners to Awashaw, the messenger
just mentioned, and he was particularly questioned who and what was in the
canoe, he replied, "that in the canoe that was sent back which was taken
by Vcus his men, hee sent in it sixty fathom of wampam to pay for the two
guns which he had of the Indians whiles hee was att the Monhatoes, and the
Remainder of the Phissicke he had there." Being asked what corn Ninigret
sent, to the Dutch _in the Vessel taken by the English_ [another
aggression it would seem,] he said, "that hee Intended not to send any
corne to the Duch Governor, but what come was aboard the Duch vessel _was
for the hier of the vessel that_ brought him home," It appears, he had
returned by water, while some of his men had walked; and he paid for his
passage in corn.

Awashaw on this occasion had an Indian in company with him, named Newcom
Matuxes. The means resorted to for obtaining proof of the accusation, are
farther illustrated by the information gravely given us in the Records,
that this fellow "spake with one Iohn lightfoot of Boston, an Englishman,
whoe as Lightfoot saith, told him in Duch that the Duchmen would cutt off
the English on Long-island. Newcom also confesseth that Ninnigrett said
that hee heard that some shipps were to come from holland to the Monhatoes
to cutt off the English; and that when the said Newcom lived att Southhold
an Indian tould him that the Duch would come against the English and cutt
them of; but they would saue the weemen and children and guns for
themselves; _But Captaine Simkins and the said Lightfoot doe both affeirme
that the said Newcome tould them that the Duch men tould him as before,_
tho' he now puts it of and saith that an Indian tould him. Further hee the
said Newcom tould captaine Simkins (as hee confidently afeirmeth) that if
he would goe to serue the Duch the Duch would giue him an hundred pounds
a yeare." It matters but little, we conceive, whether Captain Simkins
recollected correctly or not, his reminiscences amounting to nothing in
any case. Ninigret had himself expounded the transaction, much more
completely than all these witnesses together.

But the examination was still pursued, "Thomas Stanton [Interpreter] being
there alsoe to charge it vpon him. The said Newcom not being able to
cleare himselfe from _the guilt_ of the charge, the comissioners then
tould Awashaw that had the said Newcom not bine a Messenger sent by
Ninnigrett hee should not have escaped without some punishment, and
therfore they willed Awashaw to tell Ninnigrett hee would doe well to send
the said Newcom againe to vs, the better _to cleare himselfe from all
suspition._" This manoeuvre has a little too much the air of a pretext for
getting a farther opportunity to cross-examine and confuse poor Newcom;
he had thus far been able to make out a respectably clear statement.

Before leaving town, Awashaw sent a request to the commissioners for
another interview; which being granted, he inquired who had informed them
of these matters against Ninigret. They mentioned in reply "severall
Indians, and more particularly _the Monheage Indian, and the Narraghansett
taken by Vncus his men._" Awashaw then requested restitution of the wampum
taken by these men. The commissioners only said, that they had not yet
ascertained the truth of that affair; but when they had thought of it
more, he should know their decision.

The following amusing document is a fair specimen of the testimony
furnished against Ninigret by other Indians. It is the deposition--taken
in May, 1653--of one Adam, of whom nothing further is known. After
mentioning what the Dutch Governor had done among the Indians, which is
not to our purpose,

"Further hee saith that Ninnegrett the Fiscall [Treasurer] and the Duch
Governor were vp two daies in a close Roome with other Sagamores; and
there was noe speaking with any of them except when they came for a cole
or fier or the like and much sewam [Wampum] was seen at that time in
Ninnegret's hand and he carried none away with him; Further hee saith that
Ronessocke a Sagamore on longe Island tould the said Addam that the Duch
Governor bid him fly for his life; for that the plott was now descovered;
and besides hee sends word dayly that they had as good appear now for when
hee is cutt of they English will cut them all of.

"This was testifyed aboard Tuson near the white stone

                                  "before John Leverett
                                          William Davis."

Other evidence, considerably relied upon, was an Indian squaw's relation
to a person in Wethersfield, (Conn.)--being an assertion, in general
terms, that the Dutch and the Indians were leagued against the English. In
fine, the commissioners say, "_wee heare_ that some of the Duch att or
about the Monhatoes tell the English they shall shortly have an East India
breakfast, in which it is conceived they Refer to that horrid Treachervs
and crewill plott and execution att Amboina. . . . And not to multiply
Indian Testimonies which from all parts of the countrey presse vpon the
colonies--[we quote the only definite statement we can find]--nine Indian
Sagamores whoe liue about the Monhatoes did voullentarily without any
Motion or Reward from the English send theire Messengers to Stanford
declaring and afeirming that the Duch had solissited them by promising
them guns pouder swords weapons war-coates and coates to cutt of the
English" &c. It is of no consequence, so far as regards Ninigret, whether
these Sagamores conspired to tell a falsehood or to tell the truth. Nor do
we intend to enter at length into this ancient controversy between the
colonies and the Dutch. It is sufficient to observe, that the charges of
the former were officially and distinctly denied by the latter. Governor
Stuyvesant, in a letter to the commissioners dated May 26, 1658, and
written by the order of the Counsel of New-Netherlands, says--

"As touching what happened in the Amboyna busines in the East Indies is
unknown vnto vs, neither hath there been any of vs there, therefore wee
sease to answare to the same or to trouble yourselues or vs therein.

"It is in parte as youer Worships conclude that about January there came a
strange Indian from the North called Ninnigrett, Commaunder of the
Narraghansetts. But hee came hither _with a passe from Mr. John Winthrope_
vpon which passe as wee remember the occasion of his coming was expressed
viz: to be cured and healed," &c. On the whole, the reader of our times,
on perusing these records, can hardly go farther with the commissioners
than to extenuate their harshness towards Ninigret, like their treatment
of Miantonomo, on the score of their exaggerated fears.

Upon the quarrel with Uncas, we shall waste no words. Ninigret and
Pessacus no doubt considered the circumstances of Miantonomo's case a
sufficient cause for war upon the English. But this they waived; and even
engaged, at _their_ instance, to forbear hostilities against Uncas for
some months, expressing at the same time a strong desire to be upon
friendly terms with the English, if they could be left to pursue their own
business in their own way. It is neither necessary nor possible to
determine upon which side the provocation began between these sachems and
Uncas. It has been seen, that the latter took many liberties for which the
English never called him to account, as well as some for which they did;
but of still more they must necessarily have remained in ignorance. The
truth seems to be most plainly set forth by Hutchinson, who says, it would
appear to have been good policy not to interpose in _this Indian quarrel_;
but _the English were afraid of the success of the Narraghansetts,_ and as
they had generally espoused the cause of the Mohegans, it was feared, that
as soon as they were subdued, if not in the course of the war, the
Narraghansetts and their allies would fall upon the plantations of the
English, against whom they were then in a peculiar manner enraged for the
death of Miantonomo. The same historian acknowledges, that it was with
great reluctance the Narraghansetts submitted to the hard terms of the
treaty of 1645, and only in consequence of the armed force which had
already invaded their country. They must have considered the tribute a
most insulting, forcible imposition.

Waiving a statement of the charges which Ninigret made, or might have
made, on the other hand, against the English, we shall only observe in
conclusion that whatever may be thought of his political course, there are
points in his personal character not unworthy of esteem and even of
admiration. It was noble in him, according to the principles of a warrior
and king, to revenge, as far as he was able, the cool-blooded massacre of
his relative and predecessor. That purpose he pursued with undaunted
courage and indefatigable energy. He would gladly have avoided a contest
with the English; but he would not sacrifice his honor either to his
friendship or his interest. The spirit with which he repulsed their
attempts to interfere in his contest with the Long-Islanders, indicated a
soul of the same stamp. His reasoning upon that occasion--assuming the
truth of his premises, which we have no means either of proving or
falsifying--appears to us wholly unanswerable.

                              CHAPTER XIII.

 The Pequot tribe--Their first chief-sachem known to the English,
   Pekoath--succeeded by Sassacus--An embassy sent to Boston in
   1631--Residence and strong-holds of Sassacus--His earliest intercourse
   with the English--Murder of Captain Stone--Justification of it by
   Sassacus--He proposes a treaty of peace in 1684--Sends deputies to
   Boston twice--Treaty concluded--Anecdotes--His wars with the
   Narraghansetts--Fresh controversy with the English--They send an armed
   party to demand damages--Conduct of the party, and consequences of
   it--War with the Pequots in 1636--Political movements of
   Sassacus--English expedition against him in 1637--He is
   defeated--Driven from his country--Killed by the Mohawks--The English
   policy in his case briefly considered.

The Pequots, or Pequods, inhabited that part of the southern coast of New
England, which is now comprehended within the limits of Connecticut. They
are said to have been originally an inland tribe, and to have gained
possession by mere force of arms of the fine territory which they occupied
at the date of their first acquaintance with the English. They were in the
meridian of their glory and power about forty years previous to that
period, and were then the most considerable tribe in New England,
mastering as many as four thousand bowmen. Their principal settlements
were now about New London and Groton; the former of which was their chief
harbor, and called by their own name. The Nipmuck Indians, on their north,
were still tributary to them. So also were a part of the Long Islanders,
and most of the Indians on the Connecticut river. The Narraghansetts alone
of the neighboring tribes had been able to oppose them with success, and
against that nation they waged an implacable and almost perpetual war.

The first great sachem of the Pequots known to the English was Pekoath,
from whom they probably derived the national name. He appears to have been
a great warrior. He was going on conquering and to conquer, when the
earliest settlements of the English were made upon the Massachusetts
coast. Tribe after tribe retreated before him as he advanced, till his
terrible myrmidons were at length in a situation to locate themselves at
their ease on the best soil, and beneath the most genial skies, of New

As early as 1631, Waghinacut, a sachem of one of the expelled or subject
tribes just mentioned, travelled across the wilderness to Boston; and
attended by a Massachusetts Sagamore, and one Jack Straw (an Indian who
had formerly lived with Sir Walter Raleigh in England,) made application
for the alliance or assistance of the Massachusetts government against
Pekoath. He gave a glowing description of his native land; and promised,
if some of the English would go there and settle, that he would supply
them with corn, and pay them eighty beaver-skins yearly. This proposition
being rejected, he desired that at least two men might be permitted to
accompany him, with the view of examining the country. He showed great
anxiety to effect that object, but to no purpose; the governor suspected
some stratagem, and politely dismissed his visiter with the compliment of
a good dinner at his own table. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Winthrop's Journal._ Waghinacut persevered, however, and succeeded.
 He went  to Plymouth, and Governor Winslow sent out a party, at his
 suggestion, who are understood to have been the first discoverers of
 Connecticut river and the adjacent parts.

The successor of Pekoath, and the last as well as first great sachem of
his tribe known personally to the whites, was Sassacus, a warrior of high
renown, who, when the English commenced their settlements in Connecticut,
soon after the transaction last mentioned, had no fewer than twenty-six
sachems or war-captains under his dominion, and could at that time muster,
at the smallest calculation, seven hundred bowmen. The site of his
principal fortress and residence, was on a most beautiful eminence in the
town of Groton, commanding one of the best prospects of the Sound and the
adjacent country which can be found upon the coast. Another strong-hold
was a little farther eastward, near Mystic river; and this also was finely
situated upon a verdant swell of land, gradually descending towards the
south and southeast.

Sassacus, and his warlike Pequots, are almost the only American chieftain
and tribe who, in the light of history, seem to have been from the outset
disposed to inveterate hostility against all foreigners. They were, as
Trumbull observes, men of great and independent spirits; and had conquered
and governed the nations around them without control. They viewed the
English especially, as not only strangers but mere intruders, without
right or pretence of right to the country, who had nevertheless taken the
liberty to make settlements and build forts in their very neighborhood,
without asking their consent--and even to restore the Indian kings whom
they had subjected, to their former lands and authority. Under these
circumstances, it is no matter of wonder, that the whites had scarcely
located themselves within the bounds of Connecticut, when "that great,
spirited and warlike nation, the Pequots, began to murder and plunder
them, and to wound and kill their cattle." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Trumbull.

And yet--setting aside the general offence committed, or at least by
Sassacus understood to be committed, in the act of making settlements
without leave--it does not clearly appear whether the first particular
provocation was given on the one side or the other. It is only known, that
in the summer of 1633, one Captain Stone, on a voyage from Maine to
Virginia put into the mouth of the Connecticut river, and was there
murdered by the natives, with all his crew. Three of them, who went ashore
to kill fowl, were first surprised and despatched. A sachem, with some of
his men, then came aboard, and staid with Captain Stone in his cabin until
the latter fell asleep. The sachem then knocked him on the head; and his
crew being at this time in the cook's room, the Indians took such guns as
they found charged, and fell upon them. At this moment, all the powder on
board the vessel, in the hurry of sudden alarm, was accidentally exploded.
The deck was blown up; but most of the Indians escaping, returned,
completed the massacre, and burned the wreck.

Such was the English account of the proceeding. The Pequots had a
different story to tell. In October, 1634, Sassacus sent a messenger to
the Governor of Massachusetts, to desire friendship and alliance. This man
brought two bundles of sticks with him, by which he signified how many
beaver and otter skins his master would give, besides a large quantity of
wampum. He brought also a small present. The Governor received it, and
returned a moose coat of the same value; but sent word to Sassacus withal,
that a treaty could not be negotiated, unless he would send men proper to
negotiate, and enough of them. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop Vol. I.

Accordingly, but a fortnight afterwards, (though the distance to the
Pequot country was a five-days journey,) two more messengers arrived at
Boston, bringing another present of wampum. They were told, in answer to
their renewed application, that the English would willingly come to
amicable terms with Sassacus, but that his men having murdered Captain
Stone, he must first surrender up the offenders to justice. The messengers
readily replied, that the sachem concerned in that transaction had since
been killed by the Dutch; and that all the other offenders had died of the
small pox, excepting two. These, they presumed Sassacus would surrender
_if the guilt were proved upon them._ They asserted, that Captain Stone,
after entering their river, had taken two of their men, and detained them
by force, and made them pilot the vessel up the river. The captain and two
of his crew then landed, taking the guides on shore, with their hands
still bound behind them. The natives there fell upon and killed them. The
vessel, with the remainder of the crew on board, was blown up--they knew
not how or wherefore.

This--in the words of the journalist who gives the particulars--was
related with so much confidence and gravity, that the English were
inclined to believe it, especially as they had no means of proving its
falsity. A treaty was concluded on the following terms.

1. The English to have as much land in Connecticut as they needed,
provided they would make a settlement there; and the Pequots to render
them all the assistance they could.

2. The Pequots to give the English four hundred fathoms of wampum, and
forty beaver and thirty otter skins; and to surrender the two murderers
whenever they should be sent for.

3. The English were to send a vessel immediately, "to trade with them as
friends, tho' not to defend them," and the Pequots would give them all
their "custom."

The agreement was put in writing, and subscribed by the two messengers
with their marks. The chief object proposed by Sassacus in effecting it,
appears to have been, not the assistance of the English in his wars, but
their commerce in peace. He thought himself competent to fight his own
battles; and perhaps would have made no attempt to conciliate even the
English, but for having quarrelled with the Dutch of New York, who had
hitherto supplied him, and thereby lost their trade as well as incurred
their hostility.

Meanwhile, he was at deadly war, as usual, with the Narraghansetts. The
very next morning after the treaty was concluded, and while the messengers
still tarried in Boston, news came, that a party of two or three hundred
of the tribe last named had come as far as Neponsett, (the boundary
between Milton and Dorchester) for the purpose of laying wait and killing
the Pequots on their way home. The English immediately despatched a small
armed force, to request a visit from the Narraghansetts; and two sachems,
with about twenty of their men, obeyed the summons. They said they had
been hunting round-about the country, and came to visit the Indians at
Neponsett, according to old custom. However this might be, they showed
themselves quite ready to gratify the English in their requests; and the
Pequots were permitted to return home unmolested.

A passage in the Journal of Winthrop, relating to this occasion,
illustrates the spirit of Sassacus and his subjects. The Narraghansetts
were privately told by the Governor, that if they should happen to make
peace with the Pequots, they should receive a goodly proportion of the
wampum just sent.--"For the Pequots held it dishonorable to offer them any
thing as of themselves, yet were willing we would give it them, and indeed
did offer us so much to that end."

Thus matters remained until 1636. During that season one Oldham, an
Englishman who had been trading in Connecticut, was murdered by a party of
Block-Island Indians; several of whom are said to have taken refuge among
the Pequots, and to have been protected by them. On the strength of this
fact and this supposition, the Governor of Massachusetts--Mr. Oldham being
a Dorchester resident--despatched a force of ninety men, under Captain
Endecott, commissioned (as Mr. Winthrop tells us,) to put to death the men
of Block-Island, but to spare the women and children, and bring them away,
and take possession of the Island. Thence they were to go to the Pequots,
"to demand the murderers of Captain Stone and other English, and _one
thousand fathom of wampum for damages_ &c. and some of their children as
hostages which if they should refuse the were to obtain it by force."

The proceedings which ensued upon the attempt to execute these orders
ought not to be overlooked. From Block-Island, the English sailed to
Pequot harbor. Here an Indian came out to them in a canoe, and demanded
who they were, and what they would have in the country of the Pequots.
Endecott replied, that he came from the Governor of Massachusetts, to
speak with the Pequot sachems. The Indian answering that Sassacus was gone
to Long-Island, he was directed to communicate Endecott's message to
another sachem. He returned to the shore, and the English meanwhile made a
landing. The messenger came back, and the Indians began to gather about
the English. Several hours passed in desultory conference, until Endecott,
growing impatient, announced his commission to the crowd which surrounded
him, and at the same time sent word to the sachem, that unless he would
come to him or satisfy his demands, he should try forcible measures. The
messenger, who had been several times running to and fro between the
parties, said that the sachem would come forward if the English would lay
down their arms, the Indians also leaving their bows and arrows at a

Endecott was incensed by the proposal, considering it a pretext for
gaining time. He therefore bade the Pequots begone, an take care of
themselves; they had dared the English to come and fight with them, he
said, and now he was ready for the battle. The Pequots withdrew peaceably
to a distance. When they were beyond musket-shot, "he marched after them,
supposing they would have stood it awhile, as they did to the Dutch,"
[FN]--but they all fled, letting fly a few arrows among the English, which
did no damage. Two of their own number were killed and several more
wounded; and the English then marched up to their village, and burned all
their wigwams and mats. At night, concludes the historian, they returned
to their vessels; and the next day they went ashore on the west side of
the river, and burnt all their wigwams and spoiled their canoes in that
quarter; and so set sail and came to the Narraghansett country. There they
landed their men, "and on the 14th of 7ber they came all safe to Boston,
which was a marvellous providence of God, that not a hair fell from the
head of any of them, nor any sick nor feeble person among them."

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop.

The sequel of the tragedy must be gathered from other authorities. A
detachment of Endecott's party was appointed to reinforce the English
garrison at Saybrook. Lying wind-bound off Pequot harbor, after his
departure, a part of these men went on shore to plunder the Pequots, and
bring off their corn. Their ravages were interrupted by an attack from
these Indians. The skirmish lasted till near evening, and then both
parties retired, the English with one man wounded, and the Pequots with a
loss unknown. We have given the particulars of this transaction,
(according to the English version of course) because it throws light upon
the subsequent relations between Sassacus and the English.

Whatever was the disposition of the Pequots previous to this date, there
is no question about them ever afterwards. They determined to extirpate
the whites from the limits of Connecticut; and to that great object
Sassacus now devoted the whole force of his dominions and the entire
energies of his soul. The forts and settlements were assaulted in every
direction. In October, five of the Saybrook garrison were surprised, as
they were carrying home their hay. A week afterwards, the master of a
small English vessel was taken and tortured; and several others within the
same month. The garrison just mentioned were so pressed before winter,
(1636-7) that they were obliged to keep almost wholly within reach of
their guns. Their out-houses were razed, and their stacks of hay burned;
and so many of the cattle as were not killed, often came in at night with
the arrows of the enemy sticking in them. In March, they killed four of
the garrison, and at the same time surrounding the fort on all sides,
challenged the English to come out and fight, mocked them with the groans
and prayers of their dying friends whom they had captured, and boasted
they could kill Englishmen "_all one flies._" Nothing but a cannon
loaded with grape-shot, could keep them from beating the very gates down
with their clubs.

Three persons were next killed on Connecticut river, and nine at
Wethersfield. No boat could now pass up or down the river with safety. The
roads and fields were everywhere beset. The settlers could neither hunt,
fish, nor cultivate the land, nor travel at home or abroad, but at the
peril of life. A constant watch was kept night and day. People went armed
to their daily labors, and to public worship; and the church was guarded
during divine service. Probably no portion of the first colonists of New
England ever suffered so horribly from an Indian warfare, as the
Connecticut settlers at this gloomy and fearful period.

Nor was the employment of his own subjects the only measure adopted by
Sassacus against his civilized enemy. He knew them too well to despise,
however much he detested them. He saw there was need of all the ingenuity
of the politician, as well as the prowess of the warrior, to be exercised
upon his part; and he therefore entered upon a trial of the arts of
diplomacy with the same cunning and courage which were the confidence of
his followers in the field of battle. The proposal of alliance offensive
and defensive which he made to his ancient rival and foe, the chief sachem
of the Narraghansetts, was a conception worthy of a great and noble soul.
And such was the profound skill with which he supported the reasonableness
of that policy, that, (as we have heretofore seen,) Miantonomo himself
wavered in his high-minded fidelity to the English cause. But for the
presence and influence of Roger Williams, [FN] the consummate address of
the Pequot must have carried his point.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] That gentleman, in one of his letters preserved on the Mass.
 Records, writes--"That in ye Pequt Wars it pleased your honoured
 Government to employ me in ye hazardous and waighty Service of
 negotiating a League between Yourselves and the Narigansetts; _when ye
 Pequt messengers (who sought ye Narigansett's league against the English)
 had almost ended yt my worck and life together._"

The measures taken by the other colonies, in consequence of the state of
things we have been describing, and the minutiae of the famous expedition
of Mason, are too well known to be repeated at length. The contest was not
long continued, but it required the most serious efforts on the part of
the English; and not only did Massachusetts and Plymouth feel themselves
under the necessity of aiding Connecticut in the suppression of this
common and terrible foe, but many of the Narraghansetts also were called
on to aid, with the Nianticks, the Mohegans and other tribes upon the

Sassacus must have felt, that the day of restitution and reparation was
indeed come upon him for all his ancient victories and spoils. Every
people in his neighborhood who had suffered, or expected to suffer, from
his pride or his power, now gladly witnessed the onset of a new enemy
against him; and large numbers availed themselves of the opportunity to do
personal service. Not less than five hundred Indians of various tribes
accompanied Mason in his march against the great Pequot fortress. Not a
few of them, without doubt, remembered old times as well as Miantonomo
himself; though they acted very differently in consequence.

These gallant allies were so eager to go against the Pequots, that nothing
but the van of the army could satisfy them for their own station. "We
hope," said they, (--or something, no doubt, to that purpose--)

    "We hope it will offend not you nor yours
    The chiefest post of honor should be ours."

Upon which

    "Mason harangues them with high compliments
    And to confirm them he to them consents.
    Hold on, _bold men,_ says he, as you've began;
    I'm free and easy; you you shall take the van."

But,--("as we always by experience find,
     Frost-bitten leaves will not abide the wind")

These formidable veterans had gone but a few miles, when every man of them
fell in the rear, and that unluckily to such a distance that not one could
be found. They were in the enemy's country, and the truth was, they

    "--Had so often, to their harm,
    Felt the great power of Sassacus's arm,
    That now again just to endure the same,
    The dreadful sound of great Sassacus' name,
    Seemed every moment to attack their ears,
    And fill'd them with such heart-amazing fears,
    That suddenly they run and seek to hide,
    Swifter than leaves in the autumnal tide." [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Wolcott's Account.

This was in the evening. As the English approached the fortress about
day-light, they halted at the foot of a large hill, and Mason sent word
for his allies "to come up." After a long time, Uncas and Wequash [FN]
alone made their appearance. "Where is the fort?" inquired Mason. "On the
top of that hill," answered they. "And where are the rest of the
Indians?"--Uncas said, "they were behind, exceedingly afraid;" and the
most that Mason could induce them to do, was to form a semi-circle at a
particularly respectful distance, for the purpose of witnessing the attack
of the English upon the enemy's fort, and waylaying such of the Pequots as
might escape _their_ hands.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Vide "A Brief History of the Pequot War: Especially of the
 _memorable Taking of their Fort at Mystic in Connecticut in_ 1637,
 written by Major John Mason, a Principal Actor therein, as the chief
 captain and commander of Connecticut Forces: Boston: Printed and Sold by
 S. Kneeland and T. Green in Queen St. 1736." The following is the motto
 of this tract.--"We have heard with our ears, God, . . . how thou didst
 drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst
 afflict the people and cast them out," &c.

 The author of New England's First Fruits calls this man a famous captain,
 a proper man of person, and of very grave and sober spirit. He became
 religious after the Pequot war, lived sometime among the whites, and then
 preached to his countrymen until his death, which was occasioned by a
 dose of poison wherewith some of them repaid him for his labors. A
 Massachusetts clergyman says of him, in 1648: "He loved Christ, he
 preached Christ up and down, and then suffered martyrdom for Christ; and
 when he dyed, gave his soule to Christ, and his only child to the
 English, rejoycing in this hope, that the child should know more of
 Christ than its poore father ever did."

The resistance was manly and desperate, but the whole work of destruction
was completed in little more than an hour. The extent and violence of the
conflagration kindled by the assailants, the reflection of this pyramid of
flames upon the forest around, the flashing and roar of arms, the shrieks
and yellings of men, women and children within, and the shouts of the
allies without, exhibited one of the most awful scenes which the pens of
the early historians have described. Seventy wigwams were burnt, and five
or six hundred Pequots killed. Parent and child alike, the sanop and
squaw, the gray-haired man and the babe were buried in one promiscuous

It had been Mason's intention to fall upon both the principal forts of the
enemy at once; and finding it impossible, he says, "we were much grieved,
chiefly because the greatest and bloodiest sachem there resided, _whose
name was_ Sassacus." The execution of this design would have saved him
much subsequent loss and labor. That great warrior was so little
discouraged by the horrible havoc already made among his subjects, that
immediately on receiving the intelligence he despatched, perhaps led on in
person, a reinforcement of three hundred warriors, who pursued the English
very closely for a distance of six miles, on their march towards Pequot

But the reception which this body met with from the English, drove them to
desperation. The whole remaining force of the nation repaired to the
strong-hold of Sassacus, and vented all their complaints and grievances
upon his head. In their fury they even threatened to destroy him and his
family; and perhaps nothing but the entreaties of his chief counsellors,
who still adhered to him in his misfortunes, prevented his being massacred
by his own subjects in his own fort. A large number deserted him, as it
was, and took refuge among the Indians of New York. The fort was then
destroyed, and Sassacus himself, with seventy or eighty of his best men,
retreated towards the river Hudson.

To kill or capture him, was now the main object of the war; and the
Pequots were pursued westward, two captured sachems having had their lives
spared on condition of guiding the English in the surprisal of their royal
master. The enemy were at last overtaken, and a great battle took place in
a swamp in Fairfield, where nearly two hundred Pequots were taken
prisoners, besides killed and wounded. Seven hundred, it was computed, had
now been destroyed in the course of the war. As Mason expresses himself,
they were become "a prey to all Indians; and happy were they that could
bring in their heads to the English--of which there came almost daily to
Windsor or Hartford." So Winthrop writes late in the summer of 1637-"The
Indians about still send in many Pequots' heads and hands from Long Island
and other places." &c. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Journal,_ Vol. I.

But Sassacus was not destined to fall by the hands of the English,
although thirteen of his war-captains had already been slain, and he was
himself driven from swamp to swamp, by night and day, until life was
hardly worthy of an effort to preserve it. Even his own men were seeking
his life, to such extremities were they compelled by fear of the English.
One Pequot, whose liberty was granted him on condition of finding and
betraying Sassacus, finally succeeded in the search. He came up with him
in one of his solitary retreats; but finding his design suspected, and
wanting the courage necessary for attacking a warrior whom even his
Narraghansett enemies had described as "all one God," [FN] he left him in
the night, and returned to the English.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Mason's _History._

The sachem was at last obliged to abandon his country. Taking with him
five hundred pounds of Wampum, and attended by several of his best
war-captains and bravest men, he sought a refuge among the Mohawks. These
savages wanted the magnanimity to shelter, or even spare, a formidable
rival, now brought within their power by his misfortunes. He was surprised
and slain by a party of them, and most of the faithful companions who
still followed his solitary wanderings, were partakers with him of the
same miserable fate. The scalp of Sassacus was sent to Connecticut in the
fall; and a lock of it soon after carried to Boston, "as a rare sight,"
(says Trumbull,) and a sure demonstration of the death of a mortal enemy.

Thus perished the last great sachem of the Pequots; and thus was that
proud and warlike nation itself, with the exception of a small remnant,
swept from the face of the earth. The case requires but brief comment.
However this tribe and their chieftain might have been predisposed to
treat the English, and however they did treat their Indian neighbors, they
commenced their intercourse with the whites, ostensibly at least, in a
manner as friendly and honorable as it was independent. Previous to the
treaty, indeed, complaints had grown out of the murder of Stone; but the
English had no evidence at all in that case, while the evidence of the
Pequots was, according to their own acknowledgement, cogent if not
conclusive, in support of their innocence.

We may add, that it was confirmed by what is known incidentally of the
character of Stone. Governor Winthrop, speaking of his arrival at Boston
in June 1633, on board a small vessel loaded with "corn and salt," adds,
that "the governor of Plymouth sent Captain Standish _to prosecute against
him for piracy._" The particulars of the accusation need not be stated,
for only a few months after this, we find the same person mentioned as
charged with another infamous crime; "and though it appeared he was in
drink, and no _act_ to be proved, yet it was thought fit he should abide
his trial," &c. He was fined a hundred pounds, and expelled from the
Massachusetts jurisdiction.

As to the next proceeding recorded--the expedition of the English in
1635--we have only to remark, 1. That the demand of one thousand fathoms
of wampum, with no justifiable nor even alleged reason for it, was an
imposition and an insult. 2. The English should at least have taken time
to see Sassacus himself, his subjects having no more authority than
disposition to treat without him. 3. The English, with no apparent
provocation, not only insulted but assaulted the Pequots, merely to see if
they would "show fight;" and then burnt their towns and boats; not a hair
of their own heads being meanwhile injured, and Sassacus himself being
still absent.

With such inducement, the chieftain began a war of extermination; and then
indeed it became necessary that one of the two nations at issue should be
completely disabled. No, civilized reader entertains a doubt as to the
result which, under such an alternative, was most to be desired. But he
may nevertheless have his opinion, respecting the moral propriety as well
as the state policy of the measures which brought on that horrible
necessity. Let the whole truth, then, be exposed. If it shall be found,
(as we believe it must be,) that under the influence of strong and sincere
though fatal excitement, a rashness of the civilized party was the
ultimate cause of the ruin of the savage, let that injustice be
acknowledged, though it should be with shame and with tears. Let it be
atoned for, as far as it may be.--in the only way now possible--by the
candid judgment of posterity and history, upon the merits and the
misfortunes of both.

                              CHAPTER XIV.

 The Pequot territory claimed by Uncas--His tribe, family, and early
  history--Services in the Pequot expedition rewarded by the
  English--Effect of their favor--His contest with Miantonomo, and
  result--Subsequent wars and quarrels with various tribes and
  chiefs--Assistance rendered him by the English--Complaints brought
  against him to them--His Christianity considered--His morality--Evidence
  of his fraud, falsehood, violence, tyranny, ambition--His services, and
  those of his tribe to the English--Manner in which he met the
  accusations made against him--Cunning and servility--His treatment of
  neighboring sachems--Various negotiations with the English--His
  death--Fate of his tribe.

On the conquest of the Pequots, the whole of their territory, about thirty
miles square, was claimed by the Mohegans. The best opinion is, that this
tribe was originally a part of the Pequot nation; and that their
subsequent name was derived from the place of their subsequent residence.
The first chief sachem of the Mohegans personally known to the English,
was Uncas, [FN] who was a Pequot by birth, and of the royal line, both by
his father and mother. His wife was a daughter of Tatobam, one of the
Pequot sachems. Probably he had been himself a war-captain under Sassacus.
But when the English began their settlements in Connecticut, he was in a
state of rebellion against him, in consequence of some misunderstanding
between them, for which either he had expatriated himself; or Sassacus had
expelled him from his dominions. At this time, his influence was
inconsiderable; but his great address and ambition soon made him the
leading Sagamore of the Mohegans, as they afterwards made that tribe the
leading one in Connecticut.--[See Appendix No. 1.]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Onkos.     _Mason's Pequot Expedition._
      Uncass.    _Wolcott._
      Okack.     _Roger Williams._
      Onkus and Okoko.     _Winthrop._
      Uncus, Unquas, Unkowah, &c.    _Hazard._

The English were more indebted to Uncas for his zealous services in the
Pequot war, than to all the other Indians together, though they at first
entertained doubts of his fidelity. Governor Wolcott says:

     "'Twas here [at Hartford] that Uncass did the army meet,
     With many stout Moheagans at his feet.
     He to the general [Mason] goes, and doth declare,
     He came for our assistance in the war.

     "He was that Sagamore, whom great Sassacus' rage
     Had hitherto kept under vassalage.
     But weary of his great severity,
     He now revolts and to the English fly.
     With cheerful air our captain him embraces,
     And him and his chief men with titles graces;
     But over them preserved a jealous eye,
     _Lest all this might be done in treachery._"

But he was soon convinced, that his supicions were unjust. The Mohegans
embarked with Mason's ninety men, on board a pink or pinnace and a
shallop, both which, the water being low in the river, fell aground
several times. The Indians disliked this new species of navigation, and
especially so much of it as pertained to the flats and sands; and Uncas
was still more impatient to recommend himself by an active commencement of
the war. He therefore requested, that he and his men might be set on
shore, promising to join Mason again at Saybrook. His request was granted;
and he not only redeemed his pledge, but, meeting a considerable party of
Pequots on the route, he attacked them with great spirit, and killed seven
of their number--"which," says Captain Mason, "we looked at as a special
Providence; for before we were somewhat doubtful of his fidelity."

This good opinion was daily confirmed by the Sachem's conversation and
conduct. "Indeed," our writer elsewhere adds, "he was a great friend and
did great service--I shall never forget him." At the commencement of the
campaign, the various Indians who engaged in it, were in high glee. They
gathered into a ring, and one by one made solemn protestations how
gallantly they would demean themselves, and how many men they would kill.
But Uncas said very little, until Mason inquired of him what he thought
these Indians would do. "Nothing," answered he, gravely; "The
Narraghansetts will leave you to a man. I can only say for myself that I
never will." And he never did. The Narraghansetts, who had vaunted
themselves on the example they should be obliged to set the English, to
encourage them in their attack upon the enemy, soon fell into the back
ground, and many of them returned home.

The English marched on through the woods by moonlight, until, finding
themselves altogether abandoned by these spirited allies, they halted, and
sent messengers to know what had become of them. At last,

     "--After long waiting for the same,
     Up trusty Uncass and stout Wequash came,
     Of whom the general in strict terms demands,
     Where stands the fort, and how their judgement stands
     About the enterprise? and what's the cause
     They left their post [the van] against all martial laws."

From the answer given to these questions, it would appear that, however it
might be with the Sachems, the Indians generally were in horrible fear of
the Pequots. The apology however was cogent; "when once they were
engaged," said they,

          "--'tis hard to get
     _A dispensation from them to retreat,_"

But no such reasoning influenced the resolution or the fidelity of Uncas.
Even after the great success which attended the assault, most of the
Indians deserted, or at least disappeared, in consequence of an
apprehension of falling in with the wandering Pequots. But Uncas remained
steadfast. He also did active service afterwards, against a band of the
enemy who had settled themselves at Pawcatuck, contrary to the terms of
their submission to the English; joining his friend Mason, on that
occasion, with one hundred of his men and twenty canoes.

A small harbor in the southern part of the town of Guilford, (in
Connecticut) has to this day a name derived from one of his achievements.
He and his Mohegans, with a few of the English, having undertaken, when
the enemy fled westward, to scour the shores near the seas for the purpose
of cutting off stragglers, came up with a Pequot sachem and a few men, not
far from this harbor, and pursued them. As the south side of the harbor is
formed by a long narrow neck of land, the Pequots went out upon that
point, hoping that their pursuers would pass by them. But Uncas,
perceiving the stratagem, ordered some of his men to give chase, which the
enemy observing, swam over the mouth of the harbor. There they were
waylaid, and taken as they landed. A council being held, and the sachem
sentenced to death, Uncas himself is said to have shot him with an arrow,
cut off his head, and set it up in the crotch of a large oak-tree near the
water. The skull remained there many years, and the name of the
Sachem's-Head has been ever since attached to the harbor. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] History of Guilford, Mass. His. Coll.

The remuneration to Uncas for the part which he took in this war, was a
portion of the Pequot territory, (which he afterwards sold to the
English,) and one hundred captives of that tribe; and this, with the honor
of having subdued his great Pequot rival, and the reputation of being upon
the most flattering and favorable terms of intercourse with the English,
made him at once a character of high dignity and of no little influence.
Indians began to collect around him from neighboring tribes, and he could
now muster four or five hundred warriors. The state of Connecticut treated
with him, and made him presents, and permitted him to exercise dominion
and to give deeds  of territory, in all respects like an independent and
sovereign authority, while he enjoyed at the same time the benefit of
their personal patronage and the protection of his tribe from _their_

In July, 1638, Uncas visited in person the authorities of Massachusetts at
Boston--the only visit of mere ceremony which is recorded of him in
history. Ostensible ceremony, we should perhaps say; for considering the
time, the company, and especially the deportment on that occasion, there
can be little doubt that the Sachem had an object in view which lightened
the weariness of his long journey.

He came attended by thirty-seven men, and accompanied by Governor Haynes,
whom he had called upon by the way. He offered the Governor of
Massachusetts a present of twenty fathoms of Wampum, which being in open
court, the Council thought fit to refuse it, "till he had given
satisfaction about the Pequods he kept," &c. [FN] Upon this he appeared
much dejected, and even affected to apprehend that his life was in danger.
But he was not long at a loss. Evidence was produced which counteracted
the main suspicions that rested upon him; and he promised to submit his
controversy with the Narraghansetts to English arbitration, and to follow
any arrangement they should make as to his Pequots.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop.

The present was now accepted, and about half an hour afterwards, he went
to the Governor, and addressed him in the following terms: "_This
heart_"--he said, laying his hand on his breast--"_is not mine, but
yours. I have no men. They are all yours. Command me any hard thing--I
will do it. I will not believe any Indian's words against the English. If
any man shall kill an English man, I will put him to death were he never
so dear to me._" The Governor gave him a handsome red coat, defrayed the
expenses of his visit, and furnished him with provisions for his
return-journey, and a general letter of protection--and so "he departed
very Joyful."

This transaction throws some light upon what is far the most singular
point in the history of the cunning Sachem, viz: that he invariably
maintained at once the best terms with his civilized ally and the worst
with his Indian neighbors. The latter circumstance indeed naturally ensued
from the former; on account of which, as well as from other causes
partially explained heretofore, the inveterate hatred which had so long
existed between the Mohegans and the Narraghansetts, previous to their
union with the English or the suppression of the common enemy of all,
broke out again soon after the treaty of 1638, and continued from that
time forward until the proud Narraghansetts in their turn fell beneath the
power of the English. Ostensibly, (as we have seen in the life of
Miantonomo,) the war was brought on by the quarrel of Uncas with
Sequassen, of whose outrage he complained to the Governor and Court of the
Colony. The high estimate he set upon his own dignity appears from his
demanding six of Sequassen's men for the murder of his subject. With great
difficulty he was finally persuaded to accept of the offender alone. But
Sequassen objected even to these terms; for he would do nothing but fight.
A contest ensued, and Uncas was the victor.

His subsequent war with Miantonomo, and the proceedings which ensued upon
his triumph over that formidable chieftain, have been detailed. From this
period, so long as the Narraghansetts remained able to send an army into
the field, there was no rest for Uncas or his people, day nor night.
Truces and promises were negotiated and passed between the parties by the
English; but the power which imposed, or the influence which induced these
obligations was scarcely withdrawn, when the unextinguishable flame blazed
forth, the more furiously for its brief suspension. The Narraghansetts
repeatedly invaded the Mohegan country in the course of the year 1645,
assaulted Uncas in his own fort, killed and captured numbers of his men,
and finally so pressed him, that both Connecticut and New Haven were
obliged to send troops to his assistance, as Hartford had done before, to
prevent the enemy from completely subduing him and his country.

In 1648, the Mohawks, Pocomtocks, and other tribes were induced to take
part against him. Nine years afterwards, he was again beset in his
fortress, and again rescued by the Connecticut forces; and so late as
1660, the same emergency led to the same measures. On that occasion, he
was besieged until his provisions were nearly exhausted, and he saw that,
without speedy relief, he and his men must soon perish by famine or sword.
In this crisis, he found means of communicating his danger to the scouts
of the English, who had been sent out from Saybrook fort. The case being
urgent, one Lefingwell, an ensign of the garrison, and a bold enterprising
man, loaded a canoe with beef, corn and pease, and paddled it under cover
of the night from Saybrook into the Thames river, where he had the address
to get the whole into the besieged fort, which stood near the water's
edge. The enemy soon ascertained that Uncas was relieved, and raised the
siege. The Sachem is said to have rewarded Lefingwell for his services by
a deed of the town of Norwich. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Trumbull.

And not open and honorable arms, (as civilized foes would consider them,)
alone, were employed against Uncas. One of the Pequots, in 1643, shot him
through the arm, at the instigation, as was generally supposed, of
Miantonomo; and the war with that chieftain was brought on by similar
attempts on the part of Sequassen. The Narraghansett sachems hired an
Indian to assassinate him in 1649, and he succeeded so far as to give him
a wound in the breast with a sword, which for some time was thought
mortal. Sorcery and poison were also tried.

Attempts were meanwhile made to injure him in the estimation of the
English; his enemies believing, and with good reason, that the withdrawal
of their protection would be fatal to him. Sequassen, whose hatred was
inveterate, went so far, in 1646, as to form a plan for murdering
Governor Haynes and other of the principal inhabitants of Hartford, with
the view of having the crime charged upon Uncas. Watohibrough, a Waranoke
Indian was engaged to do the business; and he and Sequassen, after leaving
matters in a proper train, were to take refuge among the Mohawks. The
price of blood was already paid in girdles of Wampum; but Watohibrough
wanted courage to perform what avarice only had led him to undertake.
Having altered his mind thus far, he soon bethought himself that the
English had given rewards to those who discovered a similar conspiracy
on a former occasion; and concluding they would do so again, he went to
Hartford, and disclosed every thing he knew. Messengers were immediately
sent to demand the attendance of Sequassen, for the purpose of clearing
himself from the charge; but he thought it more politic to avoid the
messengers, and so escaped unpunished.

The English authorities invariably took cognizance of all these and
similar proceedings; and no doubt, but for their interference, and the
expectation of it, many more of the same nature would have taken place,
and might finally have succeeded. Thus it was the extraordinary good
fortune of Uncas to be a favorite with his early allies, from first to
last. He complained of no grievance in vain; and as a natural consequence,
he uniformly complained upon good occasion, as well as frequently upon bad
or none. The Mohansick Sachem, of Long-Island, committed trespasses on his
men and forthwith "hee desires the commissioners that hee may be righted
therein;" and four persons are immediately appointed to examine the
Mohansick Sachem, "and if proof bee cleare to labor to convince him
thereof, require satisfaccon, and in case of reasonable complyance
endeauor a Composure thereof; but if no satisfaccon will bee giuen for
Iniuries, proceed then to lett him know _they give the English just cause
of offence, and will bring trouble vpon themselues._"

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Records of the Colonies:_ 1649.

The possibility of his giving false testimony against his enemies and
rivals, seems scarcely to have entered the Commissioners' minds. Upon
rumors of fresh assaults by the Narraghansetts upon the Long-Islanders, in
1653, they sent messengers to the former, requiring their attendance at
Boston, for the purpose of compromising the quarrel. These messengers were
further instructed to notify, not only to the Long-Islanders, but _to
Uncas,_ that if they or any of them find any thing "to enforme charge or
propound either in the foremencioned or any other," they were to send
witnesses accordingly--"and by Thomas Staunton or otherwise you are to
giue notice to Captaine Mason, _Vncus &c. that there may bee noe fayling
for want of Witnesse or Euidence._" It is not wonderful, that Ninigret
asked the messengers, on this occasion, after being told of their
errand--"Why doe the English slight _mee,_ and respect the Longe-Islanders
and the Mohegins, seeing all around mee do love mee and are my
frinds?" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Ibid_ for 1653.

In 1654, great complaints were made against Uncas himself. On that
occasion, the same messenger sent to the Mohegan sachem was sent also to
Ninigret; but although the former was the accused party, it will be
observed, that a peculiar provision was made to accommodate _him,_ while
the only one made in relation to Ninigret's visit was, that "hee may not
bring with him aboue twenty or thirty men; nor may Newcome, or as the
Indians call him, Mattackist, come with him whoe last yeare gaue offence
att Boston." It is clear, that the plaintiff in this suit was no favorite;
and it is further remarkable, that the messenger was directed to take the
present occasion of reminding him of his old debts and defaults, and (as
if to prevent his appearance) requiring satisfaction to be given at the
time of his visit. The following are the messengers instructions:

"You are to informe both Vncus and his brother Woweque that the
Commissioners haue receiued information of some purpose of theires to
invade the Narraghansetts or Ninnigrett; they haue alsoe heard of some
differences lately groune twixt Vncus and his brother and betwixt them and
theire men. They are not willing to receive reports without due enquiry;
they haue therefore sent for Ninnigrett, the better to secure the
longe-Island Indians, and to heare what hee hath to allege against the
Mohegens, and compose all other differences. The Commissioners therfore
desire and expect that both Vncus and his brother doe forthwith Come to
hartford, &c. _You are alsoe to informe both Vncus and his brother [FN]
and theire men, that the English doe oune Vncus so longs as hee carrieth
himselfe well,_ and shall bee loth hee suffer wrong." &c.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Woweque, a very troublesome fellow, elsewhere noticed under some ten
 or fifteen other names.

Next follow the "Instruccons for John Gilbert and John Baily _whoe were
sent to continue att Vncus his fortt during his absence._

"You shall Repaire to Mohegen, and acquaint Vncus and all other Indians
that you are to reside att his fortt by the Commisioners of all the
Collonies, to the Intent that Vncus and all others may know the realitie
of the English to continew his frinds whiles hee coutinueth faithfull to
the English; and because the Commissioners have now sent for Vncus to
speak with him concerning some affaires of concernment relating to
himselfe Ninnigret and Woweque, and being Informed some sturrs may arise
in his absence to his prejudice you shall vse youer Indeauors to keep all
things quiett and informe the Indians that such attempts wil bee offenciue
to the English." &c.

No fears seem to have been entertained, that "sturrs" would arise in the
Niantick country during Ninigret's absence, although the message itself
was founded upon the rumor of an attack to be made upon _him_ by the other
party. So, when Captain Mason had been commissioned to march against
Ninigret with an armed force, on a former occasion, he was ordered "to
advise particularly that Vncus Fort be secured when any strength is sent
forth against the enemie, lest hee and wee recieue more damage by some
Indian stratageme than the enemie." A multitude of other decisions and
directions might be cited to the same purpose.

Uncas was in less favor with the English towards the latter part of his
life than formerly, for reasons which will soon be mentioned. He did not
however come to an open rupture with them at any time; and his subjects,
though frequently insolent, were never hostile. On the contrary, they
assisted their ally on many occasions, the Commissioners never hesitating
to notify them when their services would be acceptable, and _they_ never
hesitating to attend a summons. For this zeal, directed as it invariably
was against their Indian neighbors, and generally their old enemies, it
would be easy to suggest more reasons than one. They thought themselves
fortunate in these secure and sanctioned opportunities of revenge and
plunder, even had they not also been richly repaid by the protection of
the English, reciprocated to them in all emergencies of their own. Their
last services during the life of Uncas were during Philip's war, when a
party of them was commanded by Onecho, a son of Uncas, and by other
sachems. The father was then too old a man to endure much more labor and

It has been stated, that Uncas was at least convinced of the truth of
Christianity, and that he died in the faith; but we fear this information
can hardly be relied upon. The only proof of it we have seen is derived
from the following anecdote.

In the summer of 1676, a great drought prevailed throughout New England,
which was extremely severe in the Mohegan country. The corn was dried up
in August, and the fruit and leaves fell from the trees, as in autumn. The
Indians were alarmed, but knew not what to do. According to custom, they
applied to their Powahs to intercede with the Great Spirit for rain, after
their manner; but these men labored to no purpose. They then went to the
English settlement at Norwich, and Uncas went with them. He told Mr.
Fitch, the clergyman at that place, that it was a hard case with them--the
Powahs could do them no service--they must apply to the English God. Mr.
Fitch appointed a fast-day at these and other suggestions. The weather on
that occasion proved to be clear; but about sunset, at the close of the
religious services, some clouds arose. The next day also was cloudy. Uncas
now went to the house of Mr. Fitch, with many Indians, and again lamented
the great want of rain. "If God shall send it," said Mr. Fitch, "will you
not attribute it to your Powahs?" "No," answered the sachem; "we have done
our utmost, but all in vain." The clergyman then told him, that if he
would make this declaration before the Indians, they should see what God
would do for them. Uncas then made a speech to the Indians, confessing
with particular emphasis, that if God should grant this favor, it could
not be in consequence of their powowing, but must be ascribed to the
clergyman's prayers. Of the sequel we only know, that upon the day
following there was so copious a rain that the river rose more than two

This testimony proves but little. On the other hand, Mr. Fitch himself in
a letter cited by Gookin gives a very clear opinion as follows:

"--Since God hath called me to labor in this work among the Indians nearer
to me, the first of my time was spent among them at Moheek, where Unkas,
and his son, and Wanuho are sachems. These at first carried it teachably
and tractably; until at length the sachems did discern that religion would
not consist with a mere receiving, and that practical religion will throw
down their heathenish idols, and the sachems' tyrannical authority.
Discerning this, they did not only go away, but drew off their people, and
would not suffer them to give so much as an outward attendance to the
ministry of the word of God. . . . At this time Unkas and his sons seem as
if they would come on again. _But it is no other but in envy against
these_ [the converts] _and to promote some present self-design._"

When Mr. Gookin, with the Apostle Elliot, visited the towns of the
Massachusetts Praying Indians, in 1674, he says, that on one occasion, a
large part of the night was spent at Sagamore's wigwam, in company with
the principal Indians then at the settlement, in prayer, singing psalms
and exhortation. There was one person present, who sat mute during all
these exercises. At length he arose and said, that he was an agent for
Uncas, the Mohegan sachem, and that in his name he challenged a right to,
and dominion over this people of Wabquissit. [FN] "Uncas is not well
pleased," added he, "that the English should pass over Mohegan river, to
call _his_ Indians to pray to God." Mr. Gookin replied, that Wabquissit
was within the Massachusetts jurisdiction, and that no harm need be feared
at all events; the English only wished to bring the Indians to the
knowledge of Christ, and to suppress among them the sins of drunkenness,
idolatry, powowing, witchcraft, murder, and the like.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The South-East corner of Woodstock, and still called Wabequasset. It
 was in truth, as it still is, part of Connecticut, though claimed by
 Massachusetts, as well as by Uncas.

This was plainly a lecture meant for the benefit of Uncas himself, and his
agent was specially requested to inform him of the answer made to his
protest. In another connexion, we find Mr. Gookin's opinion expressed to
the same effect, without the same circumlocution. "I am apt to fear," is
his language, [FN] "that a great obstruction unto his [Mr. Fitch's]
labors, is in the sachem of those Indians, whose name is Unkas; an old
wicked and wilful man; a drunkard, and otherwise very vicious; who hath
always been an opposer and underminer of praying to God--some hints
whereof I have given in the narrative of my journey to Wabquissit, before
mentioned." The Sachem once took the trouble to visit Hartford for the
express purpose of complaining to the Colonial authorities of the attempts
made to convert his subjects to Christianity.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _His. Coll. Chapter X._

His piety, then, will hardly bear rigid examination. Whether his morality
was quite so objectionable as Mr. Gookin supposed, or whether that good
man was unduly prejudiced against him for his opposition to the ministry,
may not be easily decided. There is but too much reason for believing,
however, that there was great truth in most of the charges, and a most
pertinent application for the lecture referred to above. The United
Commissioners themselves seem to pay but a sorry compliment to his
previous habits when, so late as 1672, they directed a letter to be
written to him, "to incurrage him to attende on the Minnestrey."

What is more to the purpose, we find a complaint entered against him
before them, in 1647, by one of his Pequot subjects, named Obechiquod. The
grievance was, that Uncas had taken possession of and detained the man's
wife; and though Foxon, the deputy of the Mohegan sachem, ingeniously
argued, that this accident had happened only in consequence of
Obechiquod's having unlawfully withdrawn from the jurisdiction of Uncas,
and left his wife behind him, to be of course appropriated, according to
Indian law, by any other person who desired such a connexion; yet even the
Commissioners felt themselves obliged, upon a hearing of the whole case,
to express their abhorrence "of that lustfull adulterous carriage of
Vncus." He was adjudged to restore the complainant's wife, and allow the
husband to live where he chose, on condition of his assisting Uncas in his
wars whenever the English desired. He was discharged from another
accusation of the same nature made by Sanops, a Connecticut Indian, at the
same time--the evidence not being sufficient to convict him.

The proofs of fraud and falsehood are still more abundant. Miantonomo
hesitated not to accuse him of foul play, even in the Pequot war; and the
account given by Roger Williams of the reports which he rendered in to the
English authorities, of the Pequot captives who fell into his hands, goes
very far to establish the charge. Six, whom he had taken at one time, he
represented to be Mohegans, although an Indian who gave information of the
fact to Mr. Williams, knew them as Pequots personally, and perfectly well,
and mentioned the names of all.

His conduct at the Hartford conference in 1637, has already been the
subject of comment. Some time after Miantonomo's arrival, who had been
delayed by his machinations, he sent in messengers to the court that he
was lame, and could not visit them. Governor Haynes observed, that this
was a lame excuse, at best, and immediately despatched a cogent request
for him to attend without fail or delay. He came at length, and the
Governor then accused him of the flagrant outrages which he and his
subjects had committed on the Narraghansetts. Some altercation ensued
between the rival chieftains, but, by the persuasion of the English, they
were finally induced to shake hands. Miantonomo then cordially invited
Uncas to sup with him, his men having just killed some venison; but he
would not consent. The sachems were now called upon to make returns of
their Pequot prisoners. Miantonomo made his promptly, and no fault was
found. "Okace [Uncas] was desired to give in the names of his. He
answered, that he knew not their names. He said there were forty on
Long-Island; and that Juanemo [alias Janemoh] and three Nayantaquit
Sachims had Pequts, and that he himself had but twenty. Thomas Stanton
[Interpreter] told him and the magistrates, that he dealt very falsely;
and it was affirmed by others, that he fetched thirty or forty from
Long-Island at one time. _Then he acknowledged that he had thirty,_ but
the names he could not give. It pleased the magistrates to request me to
send to Nayantaquit, that the names of the Pequts might be sent to
Cunnihticut; as also to give Okace ten days to bring in the number and
names of his Pequts and their runaways, Mr. Haynes threatening also (in
case of failing) to fetch them." [FN] This transaction speaks clearly
enough for itself.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Letters of Williams in _Mass. His. Coll. Third Series._

The sachem's treatment of the Pequots surrendered to him on this occasion,
does him little more credit. In 1647, ten years after the conquest, these
unfortunate people sent in a complaint to the commissioners, in which they
stated that Uncas had drawn Wampum from them unjustly, on all manner of
pretexts, and without any pretext. When his child had died, for example,
he made, or pretended to make, a present to his wife, and ordered the
Pequots to do the same. Frightened by his threats, they collected one
hundred fathoms of Wampum, and gave it as directed. Uncas appeared to be
pleased, and promised to treat them from that time forward as his own
ancient subjects. But only a few days afterwards, his brother (Woweque)
came and told them, that Uncas and his Council had determined to kill some
of them. They now thought it necessary to appeal to the English
protection, and they set about collecting a quantity of wampum to be sent
in to Connecticut with that view. Uncas received a hint of their
movements; and the next morning he came to the fort where they were, with
a body of warriors, armed, and apparently bent upon killing some of their
number. They however escaped safe to Connecticut. It was farther alleged,
that they had given Uncas Wampum forty times. Twenty-five times they had
sent it by him to the English, in payment of tribute; but they knew not
that any part of it was delivered.--Also, that Uncas favored the Mohegans
to _their_ prejudice. If they won anything of one of them in play, it
could never be collected.--Also, that he had cut all their fishing nets
for not aiding him--as they were not bound to do in certain of his forays
against the Indians of Long Island.

The reply of Foxon to these charges--no doubt by instruction from his
master--is full of his usual ingenuity. 1. As to the Wampum--"he belieueth
the Pequats haue for tribute and vpon other occasions at sundry times paid
wampam to Vncus, but denyeth that they in particular had giuen him any
for the English; but the Moyhegens and they had sometimes joyned togeither
to giue in wampam, which had been sent as a presente twice into the
Mattachusets, and sometimes to Mr. Haynes at Hartford, but he thinckes the
nomber of twenty-fiue times to be altogeither false.

"2. He concieues that the Pequats being an vnder people might haue some
wrong from the Mohegens in play and durst not presse for their right, but
denyeth that Vncus had any hand therein.

"3. He acknowledgeth that the Pequats did bring in 100 fathome of wampam
at the death of Vncus child, and were promised favoure as is expressed,
but the latter was only a treacherous plott of Vncus brother perswading
the Pequats to withdraw from Vncus into theire oune Country, and there he
would come vnto them, and to prouoke them thereunto he tould them (though
falsly) that Vncus had determined to kill some of them.

"4. Though Vncus at first apprehended noe inconvenience in such a present
to the English, yet being after, informed it was a plott on a fruit of
crooked counsell giuen them by Tassaquanott, Sassacus his brother, who had
suggested vnto them that most of the cheife Sachems were cutt off, Vncus
to them but a stranger, why should they serue or giue wampam to him
herewith Vncus was justly offended.

"5. He had heard some of the Mohegans tooke fish from them, but knoweth
not that hee cutt theire netts, though he cannot deny it."

The Commissioners decreed, that the Pequots should return to the dominion
of Uncas, who should receive them without charge or revenge for the manner
in which they deserted; and on the other hand that he should himself
be reproved for his tyranny, and seriously informed, that the English
would not support him "in any unlawful, much less treacherous and
outrageous courses."

Unquestionably, this "brother" of Uncas was quite as troublesome to
himself as he was to the white people. Mr. Winthrop complained at this
very meeting, that he has fallen upon the Nopnet Indians entirely without
provocation, with one hundred and thirty Mohegans, and carried off wampum,
copper kettles, great hempen baskets, bear-skins, deer-skins and many
other things to a great value. These facts were admitted by Foxon, who
also asserted that Uncas had no part either in the assault or the spoil,
he being at New Haven when the affair happened. Other complaints being
brought forward and proved, the Commissioners directed that Uncas should
either disown his brother entirely, or else regulate him in a more
suitable manner for the future. This was correct. It is clear that he
either instigated these flagrant outrages, or at least connived at them by
sufferance. He was able to prevent them as far as he thought proper.

It would be tedious, though not wholly without matter of amusement, to
detail at large all the accusations brought against the Mohegan Sachem by
various complainants at various times. Massachusetts and Connecticut
arraigned him. The English settlements nearest to him accused him of
insolence and violent assaults. The Mohawks quarrelled with his tribe. The
Narraghansetts and Nianticks charged him repeatedly with inroads and
insults upon them. Necwash Cooke, a Pequot under English protection,
complained of being plundered with open force. Sanops, an Indian mentioned
heretofore, was robbed of his corn and beans, (perhaps hardly less
valuable to him than his _wife._) Mr. Winthrop stated, in behalf of a Long
Island Sachem, that he had sent sixty fathoms of Wampum to the Governor of
Massachusetts by Uncas; and though he made the bearer himself a present of
twenty at the same time, he had embezzled the whole.

Again, one Apumps "complained against Vncus, that about sixe weekes since
hee tooke sixe of his people at Quinnapauge, killed one, and wounded

"Pomham [a Massachusetts Sachem] appearing before the Commissioners [at
the same meeting] said that about a month agone Vncus or some of his men
killed a man and two wemen at Cawesett, the one of them belonging to
himselfe, the other vnto Tupayamen, both without provocation."

"Wee desire the English Sachims"--wrote the Pocomptocks in answer to an
English message of inquiry--"not to perswade vs to a peace with Vncus; for
though hee promiseth much yett will hee performe nothinge. We have
experience of his falcenes" &c.

In 1656, he, or his brother, invaded the Norwootucks; and he even joined
arms with Ninigret against a Sachem of Long Island. About two years
before this, he had taken occasion to push his conquests beyond the river
Connecticut by quarrelling and then fighting with Arrhamamet, Sachem of
Mussauco (now Simsbury, near Hartford.) He sent one of his warriors to
take and burn a Wigwam in the outskirts of the village, killing a few of
the inhabitants, and then leaving marks _of the Mohawks._ His orders were
executed, and the stratagem took effect. Arrhamamet ascribed the mischief
to the Mohawks, and, burning with resentment, fitted out a war-party, and
went in pursuit of them to the Northwest. Uncas thus gained time to equip
his men, and fall upon the enemy's town in his absence. Arrhamamet was
subjugated and his tribe, the Podunks, were ever afterwards tributary to

The season before this, Meeksaw [probably Mexham] a Narraghansett Sachem,
complained that Uncas had killed one of his men, and also that he had
"afronted him by abusiuely naming and jeering his dead ancestors, and
sending him a challenge this summer to fight." The Commissioners inquired
of Foxon the truth of the charge, "and hee not giuing a satisfactory
answare, they tooke the matter into consideration." &c. Soon afterwards
the same person complained "of a gun taken from a Narraghansett Indian by
Vncus his son, which some of Vncus his men acknowlidged to bee true." The
commissioners' judgment in this case was, substantially, that although
Mexham had not sufficient proof, yet, knowing that Uncas out of his pride
and folly was apt to insult people, they would send him a suitable
reprimand. In some other cases, they went so far as to adjudge, and
perhaps enforce restitution.

Not to examine the records farther, it is only necessary to observe, that
though all these accusations were not strictly correct, many of them, and
many others, were proved; and perhaps a tithe of the truth never appeared
after all. Some of the sufferers were too proud to complain. Others had no
evidence to offer but their own. Many supposed it impracticable to obtain
a fair hearing or decision of the Commissioners, against a chieftain
regarded as their ward; and many more were too much irritated not to right
themselves in a more customary and summary manner upon the spot.

The secret source of this extraordinary series of wars, forays,
challenges, robberies and adulteries, like that of the Sachem's inveterate
opposition to Christianity, was in his lawless appetites and passions;
but especially an inordinate and uncontrolled ambition. It might be with
justice that Miantonomo was accused of a design to make himself Universal
Sagamore--as the phrase, was--of New England. But the Narraghansett took
no measures for the attainment of his object which were in his own view
either mean or malicious. He neither kept back part of the captives, nor
embezzled the tribute which they deposited in his hands, nor plundered his
neighbors in time of peace, nor unduly availed himself of foreign
assistance for the annihilation of his rivals. He sent a few of his men,
it is true, to aid in the Pequot expedition--or rather did not, perhaps
could not, prevent them from going--but these were only two hundred, out
of two thousand; and he neither headed them himself, like Uncas, nor even
engaged personally at all in the contest. Indeed, he at most only
continued, on this occasion, the hostilities which had existed between the
two nations for a long series of years; and all historians admit, that he
was very near joining Sassacus at one time against the English themselves.
Uncas, on the other hand, made the most of the opportunity, to revenge
himself upon Sassacus, and to exalt his reputation and power upon the
wreck of the Pequots.

Miantonomo became in his turn a victim to the same over-reaching spirit.
He began the war, indeed--or rather the campaign--and Uncas, on the other
hand, was encouraged in _his_ course by his allies;--but a magnanimous
soul would never have permitted either circumstance to affect the
treatment of a sovereign like himself, who had fallen into his hands by
the chances of battle.

Ninigret next became the grand object of his scrutiny. He went forward as
often as practicable to prejudice the character of that chieftain in the
eyes of the English, as well as to reduce his resources by direct attacks.
No man was so zealous as he in furnishing evidence--such as it was--to
convict him of a conspiracy with the Dutch against the colonies; and
though he is understood to have been ostensibly at peace with him at that
period, he carried his interference to such a length as to lay wait and
intercept a Niantick canoe which, as he pretended to suspect, was laden
with certain palpable evidences of the hostile coalition. So we find him
falling upon Mexham, Necwash Cooke, Woosamequin, and last of all, King
Philip. No doubt, he had sagacity enough to perceive, that such a course
must prove unfavorable, if not fatal to his race; but patriotism, honor,
friendship, generosity, truth, every nobler feeling of his nature was
merged in a barbarous, ferocious ambition.

There is a curious illustration of this weakness upon record:--"Vncus
complained that Sequasson som yeares sence as is well knoune began hostile
actes vpon him to the desturbance of the publicke peace. Whervpon hee was
ocationed to fight and in the Issue ouercame him and conquared his
Country, which though hee gaue to the English and did not oppose the
fauor they were pleased to shew him in sparing his life, _yet hee cannot
but look on himselfe as wronged, in that Sequaason, as hee is informed,
is set up and endeauoured to bee made a great Sachem,_ notwithstanding hee
hath refused to pay an acknoulidgment of wampam to him according to

Of this acknowledgement, no proof appears but the Sachem's own assertion;
and whether true or not, no real cause of complaint can be gathered from
the whole context. The Commissioners, with their usual complaisance,
"disclaimed any Endeauors of theirs _to make Sequasson great,_ and are
ignorant of what hee afeirmes concerning the other [acknowledgement] yet
recommended it to the Gouernment of Conectncot to examine the case, and to
provide vpon due proofe Vcus may be owned in what may be just and equall,
and Mr. Ludlow was entreated to promote the same." This passage will be
found in the Records for 1651. No subsequent mention is made of the suit.

It might be a subject of some speculation, what were the causes of the
extraordinary partiality of the English for Uncas; and especially what
were the means whereby he counteracted the strong current of reproach
which set against him from all other quarters. Different opinions have
been entertained upon this point. We suppose, however, the Commissioners
considered it good policy, to select some one among the principal
uncivilized and unsubjected Indian chiefs, to be made a channel of
intercourse and influence with and over all. This one would naturally be
the most ambitious, and at the same time least scrupulous of the number.
Such was Uncas; and hence it was, that with his shrewdness, he found no
difficulty in maintaining a tolerably good understanding with them under
all circumstances. The "proud Ninigret" disdained the English
interference. Massasoit protected rather than courted them. Sassacus
fought them at the first provocation. Philip hated them and kept aloof;
and Miantonomo, though he met them and treated them as friends, yet forgot
not a soul of his own, more sovereign than his royal blood. But Uncas was
neither more nor less than their humble servant. He fought for them, and
gave evidence for them, with about the same alacrity, and the same
indifference as to subject or occasion, antagonist or defendant.

Whenever complaints were made against himself; he of course had resources
for defence. There was something in the testimony he could generally bring
forward in his favor; and still more in the ingenuity of his explanations,
or the humility of his acknowledgements and apologies. Other Sachems,
irritated by suspicion and accusation, frequently committed themselves in
reality by rash speeches and rude acts. But Uncas never lost sight of his
interest in his pride.

The pliability of Indian evidence, and the manoeuvres of Indian
politicians, appear singularly in the case of Necwash Cooke. Uncas was at
New Haven, attending a meeting of the Commissioners, in 1646, when one
William Morton came forward, and charged him with having hired Wampushet,
a Pequot Powah then present, "by himselfe or some other with a hatchet to
wounde another Indian _and lay it vpon Neckwash Cooke._" The consideration
for the bargain was said to be fifteen fathoms of Wampum, and the Indian
was assaulted according to the terms. After some inquiry into the
evidence, Wampushet himself was brought upon the stand, and questioned by
the English interpreter. Much to the astonishment of Mr. Morton, and of
the Pequots who came into court with him, he cleared Uncas and cast the
plot upon Cooke himself, and Robin, Mr. Winthrop's Indian; and though the
other two Pequots, whereof one was Robin's brother, were much offended,
"and after [afterwards] _said_ Uncas had hired him to withdrawe and after
his chardge, yet hee persisted and said Necwash Cooke and Robin had giuen
him a payre of breeches and promised him twenty-five fathome of wampam to
cast the plott vpon Uncas."

As to the main allegation in Cooke's case, which was proved, the Sachem
acknowledged some miscarriages or misdemeanors in vindicating what he
called his right, so near the English plantations,--but alleged
provocation. Then follows the sentence.

1. That it was an error to quarrel with Cooke to the public disturbance,
without consent of the English.

2. That to do it near an English plantation was worse still; and the
Commissioners required him to acknowledge his fault to that plantation,
(as he did to themselves) and by promise to secure them from any such
disturbance or the future.

For Uncas it was an easy matter to make such satisfaction. But as if it
was thought too harsh by those who decreed it, they took occasion at the
same time to sweeten the dispensation with promises of protection and
professions of respect. After all, so strong was the additional testimony
advanced against him on the same matters, at the next session, that they
were induced to modify their decision as follows:--"All which being duly
considered the insolency and outrage of Vncus and his men appeared much
more heinous than the complaints at Newhaven the last yeere imported. The
Commissioners (having the last yeere ordered that Vncus should acknowledge
his fault to the English plantation, which they heare he performed in
Captain Mason's presence) thought fitt now to add that vpon the return of
the Pequots to his subjection Vncus foorthwith pay into the hands of Mr.
Jo. Winthrop, to be by him divided to the English and ould Pequots and
other innocent Indians, towards the repaire of theire losses in proportion
as he shall finde cause, one hundred fathome of wampam."

We conclude these expositions with a literal copy from Hazard, of one of
the last formal messages of complaint sent by the Commissioners to Uncas,
together with his answer. The date is 1661:


"We have Receiued Information and Complaint from the Generall Court of
Massachusetts of youer hostile Invading of Wosamequin and the Indians of
Quabakutt whoe are and longe haue bine Subjects to the English killing
some and Carrying away others captiues spoyling theire goods to the
vallue of 33 lb. as they alledge, and all this contrary to youer couenant
and promise to the Comissioners seuerall times Renewed, not to make warr
against any of our Tributaries without the allowance of the Comissioners
wee alsoe vnderstand that the Generall Court of Massachusetts whose
subjects the said Indians are, haue formerly signified theire offence vnto
you Requiring the Returne of youer Captiues and Satisfaction for the
wronge you haue done to which you haue not returned any answare _which
seemes to bee an Insolent and proud carriage of youers_ wee cannot but
wonder att it and must beare witnes against it and doe heerby will and
require you forthwith to returne the said Captiues with due Satisfaction
for other wrongs done them or to make out sufficient grounds and Reesons
for youer Invading the said Indians the which you are speedily to send to
the Governor of the Massachusetts and if it appeer they haue done you any
wronge vpon due proofe wee shall take care that they may make you
satisfaction if you shall neglect to obserue our order and Injunction
herein contained; wee must leaue the Massachusetts to Right themselues as
formerly signifyed vnto you; in which case wee must oune and if need bee
assist our Confederates;

           "The Comisioners of the Vnited Collonies;

                     "Samuel Willis       Thomas Prence _President_
  Plymouth the 13th. William Leete        Simon Bradstreet
  of September 1661. Benjamin Fen         Daniel Denison
                                          Thomas Southworth."

Then follows the answer given in on behalf of Uncas by Major Mason. As
nothing more is heard of the affair, it may be presumed that the reasons
alleged were considered sufficient.

"Whereas there was a warrant sent from the Court of Boston dated, in May
last to Vncus wherein it was declared upon the Complaint of Wesamequen
that the said, Vncus had offered a great violence to theire Subjects at
quabauk killing some and taking others captiue; which warrant came not to
Vncus aboue 20 daies before these presents whoe being summoned by Major
John Mason in the full scope of the said warrant wherin hee was chardged
if hee did not Returne the Captiues and thirty-three pounds damage then
the Massachusetts would Recouer it by force of armes which to him was very
grieuous; _professing hee was altogether ignorant they were subjects
belonging to the Massachusetts_ and further said they were none of
Wesamequen's men but belonging to Onopequin his deadly enemie whoe was
there borne; one of the men then taken was his oune Cousin, who had
formerly fought against him in his oune person; and yett sett him at
libertie and further saith that all the Captiues were sent home alsoe that
Wesamequin's son and diuers of his men had fought against him diuers times
this hee desired might bee returned as his answare to the Commissioners."

Concessions of this nature it was--which no other Indian Sachem of equal
power ever submitted to--that went farther than anything else to keep
Uncas secure in the English favor. His actual services, which were
considerable, have been alluded to. His tribe were an out-guard for the
settlements in Connecticut. After selling the town of Norwich, that place
being first colonized in a period of general excitement and hostility
among the tribes, the Mohegans kept out spies and runners to give the
inhabitants intelligence of their enemies' movements, and were a continual
defence against them. In times of greater danger, they often moved, and
pitched their wigwams near the town. On one occasion, a hostile party of
savages approached the outskirts, on the sabbath, with a design to make a
descent upon the village; but viewing it from an eminence, and seeing the
Mohegan huts, they were intimidated, and retreated without doing the least

The sale just mentioned was but one of a large number with which Uncas was
always ready to oblige his civilized friends; and which constituted
another claim to their good will. In 1648, on receiving presents to his
satisfaction, he conveyed to the Governor and Magistrates of the English
on Connecticut river all his lands, called by whatever name, reserving
only the ground then planted by him for himself and his tribe. In 1641, he
granted to Henry Whitefield and others, certain lands near Guilford, in
consideration of four coats, two kettles, four fathoms of wampum, four
hatchets, and three hoes. In 1659, he granted all his lands, with all his
corn, to his old comrade and friend, Major John Mason, who the next year
surrendered it to the Colony of Connecticut. Trumbull says, that the
individual towns in this great tract were very generally purchased, either
of him or his successors, a second or third time.

It is remarkable, that a very late mention made of Uncas in history, casts
an imputation upon his friendship for the English. "It is suggested by
them who know him best"--says Hubbard in his Narrative--"that in his heart
he is no better affected to the English, or their religion, than the rest
of his countrymen, and that it hath been his own advantage hath led him to
be this time." &c. This was written in 1667. Only two years previous, at
the commencement of Philip's war it was reported to governor Winslow of
Plymouth, that the Mohegan Sachem had sent twenty men to join his
Pokanoket brother, with a message that if Philip would send him six
English heads, all the Indians in _his_ territories would go for him.
[FN-1] Uncas is last heard of in 1680, when he must have been a very old
man, though still likely, we are told, to survive all his enemies. [FN-2]

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] _Sixth Vol. Mass. Coll. First Series._

 [FN-2] Hubbard's General History.

The best comment on the Sachem's husbandry of his own interest is perhaps,
after all, in the fact that a remnant of his tribe exists to this day (on
a reservation of about three thousand acres of land,) in the neighborhood
of Norwich; and are the only natives yet lingering within the limits of
the state. The last sachem of the tribe was Isaiah Uncas, once a pupil in
the famous school of Dr. Wheelock, at Lebanon. The following epitaph,
copied by President Stiles from a grave-stone in the old Indian
burial-ground at Mohegan, indicates the end of the genealogy:

    Here lies the body of Sunseeto,
    Own son to Uncas, grandson to Oneko,
    Who were the famous sachems of Moheagan;
    But now they are all dead, I think it is Weeheegen. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The Mohegan term for _All is well or Good-news._ Oneko, or Oneoho,
 is the same who commanded in Philip's war.

                              CHAPTER XV.

Indians who submitted to Massachusetts--The Gortonists--Pomham, Sachem of
Shaomet, and Saconoco complain of them--Submit to the Government--Their
examination and entertainment--Policy of Massachusetts in the case of
Pomham--He and Saconoco much harassed by their neighbors--Subsequent
history--Pomham takes part in Philip's war and is killed--Canonchet, son
of Miantonomo--His agreement of October, 1675--Weetamore, Squaw-Sachem of
Pocasset--Canonchet's career during Philip's war--Particulars of his
surprisal and death--His character--Anecdotes--His reputation with the
English--Defence of his conduct.

Among a considerable number of chieftains who submitted to the
Massachusetts Government, were several whose territory was without _their_
jurisdiction, and in some cases within that of other Governments. The most
notorious case of this kind is connected with that much-discussed
transaction in which the notorious Gorton and his associates were engaged;
and by which they brought themselves into a disagreeable collision with
civil and martial authorities in all directions.

To explain that affair very briefly,--Gorton, having become obnoxious as
the founder of a new religious sect, left the Massachusetts jurisdiction
for Plymouth. Here he met with much the same treatment. He was whipped for
disturbing the Church, and required to find sureties for his good
behavior; which not being able to do, he either removed or was driven to
Rhode Island. There he treated the Court with contempt, and by order of
Governor Coddington was imprisoned and again whipped. He then took refuge
in Providence, where Roger Williams, though he disliked his principles,
yet gave him shelter. But he had hardly located himself, and begun to
gather a company of disciples around him, when the neighboring English
settlers complained of him to _Massachusetts,_ under the apprehension that
he was about to supplant their own possessions by purchasing the Patuxet
territory from the Narraghansett original owners. Massachusetts issued a
warrant to the Providence people to submit to _their_ jurisdiction. Gorton
denied their authority to interfere with him or his company, where they
now were, and signified this opinion in a contemptuous letter.

But, perhaps for the sake of being still farther out of the reach of
Massachusetts, or from discord among themselves, the Gortonists soon
removed to a tract of land called by the Indians Shaomet  or Showamet,
(since Warwick in Rhode Island,) having previously purchased it of
Miantonomo, for the consideration of one hundred and forty-four fathoms of
wampum; "with the free and joint consent, [as the deed itself is
expressed] of the present inhabitants, being natives." The instrument was
dated January 12, 1642-3, and was subscribed with a bow and arrow as the
mark of the grantor, and of a hatchet, a gun, &c., as the marks of "the
Sachem of Shaomet, Pomham," and other Indians. Possession was given upon
the premises, at the same time.

From this moment, Pomham,--who, though he signed the deed of conveyance,
and was offered a share of the consideration, (which he would not accept,)
affected to consider himself aggrieved,--neither gave rest to his
neighbors, nor found any for himself. Whether, according to the relation
which existed between himself and Miantonomo, and the customary degree of
subjection attached to it, he had reason to complain of that chieftain in
the present case, cannot well be decided. But it may be safely said, that
the part soon afterwards taken by Massachusetts, was at least an unusual
stretch of authority, however it might correspond with the general policy
of that government wherever the formidable Narraghansett Sachem was

Whether at his own suggestion or that of others, Pomham, and Saconoco, a
Sachem equally interested in the land, but otherwise of no note in
history, went to Boston a few months after the sale, and by an
interpreter, made complaint of the manoeuvres of the Gortonists whereby,
as they alleged, Miantonomo had been induced to compel them to an
arbitrary disposal of their territory. They further desired to be received
under the protection of Massachusetts, and withal brought a small present
of wampum. The matter being referred to the next Court, and Gorton and
Miantonomo notified to attend, the latter made his appearance. He was
required to prove the interest he had claimed in the Shaomet Sachems and
territory, but it is said he could prove none; and upon the testimony of
Cutchamequin and other Indians who were present, it appeared that the
Shaomet chiefs were not tributary to the Narraghansett, though they
sometimes made him presents,--a mark of deference and not of subjection.
Upon this an order was passed, authorizing the Governor and certain
magistrates to treat with the applicants at their discretion. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop's Journal, Vol. II.

These Commissioners soon after conferred with the Sachems; and, giving
them to understand upon what terms they should be received, "they found
them very pliable to all." So, indeed, it might be inferred from the
answers made by the Sachems to the requisitions touching the ten
commandments. The servility which some of them indicate--as represented in
the Commissioners' report, at least,--is hardly redeemed by the shrewd
simplicity of others.

Being asked if they would worship the true God, and not blaspheme him,
they waived the first clause, and replied thus to the latter. "We desire
to speak reverently of the Englishman's God, and not to speak evil,
because we see Englishman's God doth better for them than other Gods do
for others."

As to "swearing falsely," they replied, that they never knew what swearing
was, or what an oath was. As to working unnecessarily on the Christian
Sabbath,--"It is a small thing," answered they, "for us to rest on that
day, _for we have not much to do any day, and therefore we will forbear on
that day._"

In regard to honoring parents and seniors, they said, "It is our custom to
do so, for when if we complain to the Governor of the Massachusetts that
we have wrong, if they tell us we lie, we shall patiently bear it." The
following articles are also part of the report:

5. Not to kill any man but upon just cause and good authority, &c.
_Answer._ It is good, and we desire to do so.

6. Not to commit fornication, stealing &c. _Answer._ Though they be
committed among us, we allow it not, but judge it evil.

8. For lying, they say it is an evil, and shall not allow it. And finally,
as to being Christianized, they said, "as opportunity serveth by the
English coming among us, we desire to learn their manners."

Whatever may be thought of the right of Massachusetts to interfere in this
case, and especially of the policy of interfering as regarded the
Narraghansetts and the other colonies, it must be admitted, that the
submission itself, so far as concerned the applicants, was conducted with
the honesty, as well as civility, generally characteristic of the
intercourse of that Government with the natives.

The Governor having sent for the Sachems to appear at Boston on the 22d of
April, (1643) they attended, with their interpreter. The submission was
then explained to their entire satisfaction. They were also expressly
informed, that they were not to be considered confederates, but subjects,
to which they manifested their assent. So, adds the historian, they dined
in the same room with the Governor, at a table by themselves, and having
much countenance shown them by all present, and being told that they and
their men should always be welcome to the English, provided they brought a
note from Benedict Arnold (their interpreter,) and having some small
things bestowed upon them by the Governor, they departed joyful and well
satisfied. The submission was as follows:

"This writing is to testify, that we, Pomham, Sachem of Showamet, and
Sachonocho, Sachem of Patuxet, have and by these presents do voluntarily
and without any constraint or persuasion, but of our own free motion, put
ourselves, our subjects, lands and estates under the government and
jurisdiction of Massachusetts, to be governed and protected by them
according to their just laws and orders, so far as we shall be made
capable of understanding them; and we do promise, for ourselves, our
subjects, and all our posterity, to be true and faithful to the Government
and aiding to the maintenance thereof to our best ability; and from time
to give speedy notice of any conspiracy, attempt, or evil intentions of
any we shall know or hear of against the same, and do promise to be
willing from time to time to be instructed in the knowledge of the worship
of God. In witness whereof, we have hereunto put our hands the 22d of the
4th month, 1643.

                   "The Y mark               The 9 mark
                    of Saconoco.             of Pomham."

Thus was consummated the title of Massachusetts to the jurisdiction of the
Shaomet land. It was at this very time, as well as afterwards, claimed
also by Plymouth, and by Rhode Island. [FN] Gorton always alleged, that it
belonged to Miantonomo, and that Pomham was secretly influenced by
Massachusetts to withdraw from him and seek protection under their
authority. No doubt that Government was sufficiently aware of the interest
they had, not only in humbling the Gortonists, but in extending their
jurisdiction as far as possible towards or into the territory of the
Narraghansett chieftain, then, as Hutchinson calls him, the greatest and
most powerful sachem of New England. Speaking of the petition of certain
settlers, in 1645, for permission to begin a plantation, where Gorton and
his company had erected three or four small houses "on the land of Pomham,
who had submitted himself," &c. Mr. Winthrop himself states, that the
Court readily granted their petition, promising all encouragement,
&c.--"for it was of great concernment to all the English in these parts,
_that a strong plantation should be there, as a bulwark &c. against the
Narraghansetts._" It may be that this consideration assumed, in the view
of the Massachusetts Government, the imperious interest of what is
commonly called State-necessity.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop, Vol. II. pp. 251. and 317.

Hence the measures occasionally adopted subsequent to the submission, for
affording Pomham the promised relief; a policy which certainly accorded
better with their stipulations to him, than with their relations to some
other parties. The Gortonists harassed him beyond measure, but they were
at length subdued. The Narraghansetts, (after Miantonomo's death,)
threatened and frightened him still more. In April 1645, "that it might
really appear that the Massachusetts did own and would protect him," which
would seem to have been heretofore doubted, an order was taken for sending
men and an officer to Shaomet, to stay there a few days, and act on the
defensive against the Narraghansetts. [FN] These men being _volunteers,_
however, refused to go, unless they were each paid ten shillings a week,
furnished with arms and ammunition, and allowed such booty as they might
be able to collect in case of fighting. Whereupon the Court, not choosing
to establish such a precedent, sent word to Pomham, that the required
force would be at his disposal, whenever he should forward sufficient
funds to enable then to perform. On the earnest importunity of the Sachem,
early in May, his request was finally granted; and, with the aid of the
English, he erected a fort upon his lands.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop.

This was in 1646. But Pomham and Saconoco were not destined quietly to
enjoy their possessions, as the following detail from Mr. Winthrop's
records for 1647, will abundantly illustrate. The Gortonists had at that
period returned to Shaomet, which they now named Warwick; and, as the
Sachems alleged before the Commissioners of the United Colonies,
manifested a decided disposition "for eating up all their corn, with their
cattle," &c. These functionaries hereupon wrote to certain persons in the
vicinity of the premises, to view the damages, and require satisfaction;
which process, however, had scarcely been commenced; when Justice
Coggleshall and others from Rhode Island came to Shaomet, claimed
jurisdiction for that colony over the land in question, and forbade the
appraisers to proceed. Upon this, the latter returned home. Another
warrant was issued, with the same result. Pomham was reduced to
extremities; but still undiscouraged, he renewed his complaints once more.
Massachusetts now sent three special messengers, to demand satisfaction of
the trespassers, and to warn them to leave the territory. The application
did no good; and therefore, "as we could do no more at present," writes
Mr. Winthrop, "we procured the Indians some corn in the mean time." The
measures subsequently taken for redress, it would be alike tedious and
needless to enumerate.

As to Pomham, with whom we have chiefly to do, it must be confessed, that
his character assumes, but little dignity throughout this proceeding. In
after times, his career was occasionally more independent, while at the
same time it gave evidence that his early attachment to the English was by
no means, one of indissoluble affection, or of principle sacred in his
own eyes. It is not a little remarkable, that after all the trouble and
expense taken and incurred by and between the colonies, and especially by
Massachusetts, for his protection; and notwithstanding the authorities of
the latter government fondly an we trust sincerely represented his
submission as the fruit of their prayers, and the first fruit of their
hopes, in the great process of civilizing and Christianizing the natives;
[FN] this incorrigible savage not only loosened his connexion with the
English, but engaged against them, with his whole force and influence, in
the great war of King Philip.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Winthrop.

That course, fatal as it was to himself and his, interests, was upon the
whole the most creditable passage of his life. And once adopted, he
pursued it with an energy that altogether sets aside any doubts which his
former course might suggest, in regard to his real temperament and genius.
Even Philip was scarcely more feared than Pomham. Historians universally,
while they _now_ call him a Narraghansett, as evidently he had determined
to consider himself, place him in the highest rank among the Sachems of
that warlike and powerful tribe. He did not even pretend to neutrality in
the early part of the war, as they did. He did not sign either the treaty
of July, (1675) negotiated at the point of the English bayonet in his own
territory, or the submission executed in October following at Boston,
although upon the latter occasion one of his fellow-chieftains affected to
sign for him. This, at best, like every other part and circumstance of the
compromise, was a mere artifice, meant to divert the Government by a show
of satisfaction and amity.

During Philip's war the territory of Pomham was ravaged far and wide, and
one hundred and fifty wigwams destroyed by fire at one time, in December,
1675. Whether this chief was in the decisive and bloody battle of the
19th, or in what other engagements he was during the war, history does not
determine. He was finally slain in July, 1676, a few weeks previous to the
death of Philip, and the consequent close of that contest, the most
critical and the most furious ever waged between the red man and the
white. Great was the exultation of the conquerors over this first success,
so encouraging to themselves, and so disastrous to their savage and
terrible foes. The event took place in the neighborhood of Dedham, (in
Massachusetts) where Pomham, with a small band of faithful warriors,
half-starved and desperate, were still roaming the woods in the close
vicinity of the English settlements. About fifty Indians were captured;
and the Sachem seems to have been the only man of the company who would
not be taken alive. "That which increased the victory," says Mr. Hubbard,
"was the slaughter of Pomham, which was one of the Stoutest Sachems _that
belonged to the Narraghansetts._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Narrative of Indian Wars. It will be observed in what terms the
 true allegiance of the Sachem is mentioned.

His spirit and strength were such, that after being mortally wounded in
the fight, so that he could not stand, he caught hold of an English
soldier who came near him, and had nearly destroyed him by his violence,
when the poor fellow was rescued by his comrades, and the dying chieftain
relieved at once from his agony and his foes. He had little to live for,
had there been a disposition to spare him. His territory was long since
subjected to a foreign plower by his own act, and afterwards desolated.
His subjects were dispersed and destroyed. His grandson had been slain in
the field within a few months; and among the captives at the time of his
own fall, historians particularly notice one of his sons, "a very likely
youth, and one whose countenance would have bespoke favor for him, had he
not belonged to so bloody and barbarous an Indian as his father was."
This unfortunate lad was probably executed, by order of the Plymouth
government, together with the other principal captives of the last months
of the war. At best, he was spared, like the son of Philip, only to be
enslaved in a foreign land.

Among other distinguished chieftains of the Narraghansett tribe, who
perished much in the same manner, and about the same time with the last
named, was Nanutenoo or Quananshett, commonly called by the English
Canonchet. He was the son of Miantonomo, and probably, after the death of
Mexham and Pessacus, succeeded to his father's high rank,--being
generally entitled by historians the Chief-Sachem of his tribe. His
reputation, both with his countrymen and his foes was worthy of the noble
blood in his veins. Mr. Trumbull observes, that he inherited all his
father's pride, and all his insolence and hatred towards the English.
What is still more conclusive in his favor, Mr. Hubbard calls him a
"damned wretch," enlarges upon his cruelty and blasphemy, and exults over
his final destruction. This--not the facts alleged, (which are wholly
without proof,) but the assertion--furnishes, as a modern writer has
aptly remarked, irresistible evidence of his heroic character.

There is abundant other evidence, however, to the same effect. The only
ostensible deference of any description which he even paid to an English
authority--detesting, as unquestionably he did, their very name--was the
act of subscribing the celebrated treaty of October 1675, negotiated at
Boston. The object of it was to quiet the jealousy of the English, who
suspected him of having contracted engagements with Philip. One provision
went to ratify a treaty executed at Hartford during the month of July
previous, (by four of the Narraghansett Sachems, nominally in behalf of
all.) Another, and the principal one, was expressed thus: [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Records of the Colonies.

"And wheras a considerable Number of people both men weomen and Children
appertaining to those Indians who haue bin in actuall hostillitie aginst
the English are now fled to the Narraghansetts Countrey; and are vnder
the Custody of the said Sachems there; after a full and long Conference
had concerning that matter, wee doe in the Name and by the Power to vs
giuen and betrusted in the behalfe of the Sachems of the aboue said
Countrey fully and absolutely couenant and promise to and with the
abouenamed Comissioners att or before the 28th Day of this Instant month
of October to deliuer or cause to be deliuered all and euery one of the
Said Indians, whether belonging vnto Phillip, the Pocasset Sqva [FN-1] or
the Saconett [FN-2] Indians Quabaug hadley or any other Sachems; or
people that haue bin or are in hostilitie with the English or any of
theire Allies or abettors; and these wee promise and Couenant to deliuer
att Boston to the Gouenor and Councell there by them to be disposed in
the behalfe of and for the best securitie and peace of the Vnited

    "Sealed and deliuered in
      the presence of vs.    Quananchetts                           marke.
     Richard Smith           Sachem in the behalfe of himselfe and
     Iames Browne            _Conanacus_ and the old Gueen and Pomham
     Samuel Gorton Iunnr.    and Quanapeen.                         (Seal)
        _Interpreters_       Manatannoo _Counsellor_            his marke.
     John Nowhenetts  _marke_
      _Indian Interpretor:_  and Canaonnacus in his behalfe         (Seal)
                             Ahanmampowetts                         marke
                             Councellor and his                     (Seal)
                             Cornman cheife Councellor to
                             Ninnigrett in his behalfe and      a (Seal.)"

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] Weetamore, Weetamoe, or Weetanno, a kinswoman of Philip, and the
 active ruler of the tribe, though married to an insignificant fellow
 named Peter Nunnuit. All her subjects joined Philip with herself,
 excepting Alderman, who had the honor of shooting that Sachem with his
 own hand. Weetamore was drowned in August, 1675, attempting to escape
 from the English over a stream in Swanzey; and her head, in the
 barbarous style of the times, was set upon a pole at Taunton, much to
 the chagrin of such of her tribe as were compelled to witness the
 spectacle. Pocasset, now Tiverton, was on the coast, opposite the north
 of Rhode Island.

 [FN-2] Or Sogkonate; a tribe on the same coast with the Pocassets,
 governed also by a Squaw-Sachem named Awashonks, or Awasunck, somewhat
 celebrated for her masculine qualities, and for the part she took in
 Philip's war, first against the English and then with them. Captain
 Church, who effected this change in her politics, has given a minute
 account of his interviews with her. Ten of her tribe were living in
 Compton, as late as 1803.

It is well known, how speedily the execution of this instrument was
followed up by sending a strong English force to invade the Narraghansett
territory, and subdue that spirited people at the point of the bayonet.
Canonchet is supposed to have been engaged in the great swamp-fight, the
most fatal to the Indians, and they most desperately fought upon their
part, of the whole war. It continued to rage with the utmost violence for
three hours from the moment of assault, until the enemy's wigwams, to the
number of five or six hundred, were fired, and the field of contest
became almost instantaneously an immense mass of terrific conflagration.
The Savages, inspirited by their leaders, defended every wall and post
with the fury of maniacs; and when they at length slowly retreated, they
left the ground behind them encumbered with heaps of the slain. Quarter
was neither asked nor given. Three hundred of the Narraghansetts, at the
least estimate, are supposed to have been killed, besides more than
double that number wounded, and an unknown multitude of women, children
and old men burnt in the wigwams.

But the victory was dearly bought. Of the one thousand English soldiers
of which the civilized portion of the invading army consisted, according
to their own statement, eighty were killed and one hundred and fifty
wounded. Abandoning the captured fort, they retreated sixteen miles the
same night--and that in the depth of winter--leaving the enemy to return
the next day to their former position.

It is not our intention to discuss at length the propriety of the summary
course adopted by the colonies in this case. The principal offence of the
Narraghansetts, as set forth in the Manifesto, was their evasion and
delay in surrendering the hostile Indians who took refuge in their
country. This refusal was certainly inconsistent with the stipulations of
July and October preceding; but these stipulations were enforced in the
first instance by the presence of an English army, which had already
invaded the Narraghansett territory.

Those of the tribe who made proposals of peace, immediately after the
swamp-fight, imputed the blame of hostilities wholly to Canonchet. He had
made them believe, that by the former treaty they were not obliged to
surrender Philip's followers, until _his_ brother, (who, with three other
Indians of rank, was detained as a hostage at Hartford,) had been
released. Probably, Canonchet did not himself misunderstand the plain
provisions of that instrument, although, as he does not appear to have
been present at the execution of it, it might be misrepresented to him.
It is more likely, that he considered it an absolute nullity, as having
been obtained by force, unjustly and insultingly imposed. The
construction referred to by his subjects, he countenanced with the view
of overcoming scruples on their part in the protection of Philip's
Indians. Whether that protection--independently of the forced promise to
surrender the refugees--was or was not a sufficient cause for the war
which ensued, it must be allowed at least to do no dishonor to the
humanity and honor of Canonchet, and the other Sachems, who persisted in
that policy at every hazard and almost in the very face of their enemy.
With him and them it was unquestionably a measure of sacred principle. No
noble-minded chieftain upon the Continent, educated as an Indian
chieftain always is, would have given up men who appealed to their
hospitality--their own brethren, in distress and nakedness, driven before
the bayonet of a mortal enemy of a distinct race and of vastly superior
power--and least of all, when, if surrendered, they were surrendered to a
certain alternative of slavery or death. Some of his tribe would have
compromitted their dignity through fear, but not the son of Miantonomo.
"Deliver the Indians of Philip!" said the haughty Sachem at one
time--"Never! Not a Wampanoag will I ever give up. No!--Not the paring of
a Wampanoag's nail!"

Those who are familiar with the history of the war will recollect, that
the most critical period of it was immediately subsequent to the
swamp-fight. This was owing to the desperate exertions of the
Narraghansetts, and especially Canonchet and their other Sachems. They
were indeed driven about the country far and wide, and reduced to such
extremities for food, that corn sold for two shillings a pint; but their
sufferings only made them the more ferocious, and the more bold. "That
young insolent Sachem, Canonchet, (writes Mr. Hubbard, in his usual
complimentary style,) said they would fight it out to the last man,
rather than they would become servants to the English."

The destruction of Lancaster took place early in February. Medfield was
desolated ten days afterwards; and in March happened that memorable
engagement, not far from Providence and upon ancient Narraghansett
ground, in which Captain Pierce with his detachment, to the number of
fifty English soldiers, were cut off to a man. Canonchet commanded in
this affair. The spirit of his warriors, as well as the superiority of
the English skill in the use of their arms, appears from the fact that
the Indians lost between one and two hundred killed. Warwick, Seekonk,
and Providence were next successively ravaged by the victorious foe.
Plymouth was assaulted, and eleven of the inhabitants slaughtered; and
another party had the courage to commit horrible ravages within eleven
miles of Boston itself. The prospects of Philip were never so flattering
to himself and so disastrous to the English, as at this memorable
juncture, when the exasperated and fearless son of Miantonomo was
supporting him with the whole force of his dominions.

The manner in which the Narraghansett Sachems treated Roger Williams, at
this period, amid all the excitement of suffering on the one side and
success on the other, is worthy of everlasting remembrance. That
gentleman was one of the few English who remained at Providence, exposed
to the full torrent of war, and with no other security than such as he
attributed to long acquaintance, friendship, and good faith, with those
who were now become the inveterate enemies, and were openly calculating
upon the utter extermination of his race. He had even the hardihood to
reproach some of the Sachems who frequently came to converse with him,
for their cruelties; and to threaten them with the sure, though it might
be lingering vengeance of the English. "Massachusetts," said he, "can
raise thousands of men at this moment; and if you kill them, the King
of England will supply their place as fast as they fall." "Well!"
answered one of the chieftains, "let them come. We are ready for
them.--But as for you,--Brother Williams,--you are a good man,--you have
been kind to us many years.--Not a hair of your head shall be touched."
This noble pledge, bearing upon the face of it the mark of the chivalrous
spirit of Canonchet, was regarded throughout the war with the most sacred
fidelity. It was not in vain that the young Sachem remembered the warm
affection which his father had entertained for his English neighbor and

But to resume the narrative;--"It was now full sea with Philip's
affairs," says Mr. Hubbard, "for soon after the tide of his successes
began to turn about the coast, which made way for the falling of the
water up higher in the country." The disasters of the Pokanoket Sachem
commenced with no less a misfortune than the death of Canonchet. And a
matter of rejoicing indeed it was to the Colonies of the English--if we
may credit the historian last cited--"that the ring-leader of almost all
this mischief; and the great incendiary betwixt the Narraghansetts and
us, died himself by that sword of war which he had drawn against others."
The last assertion might perhaps have been spared to advantage, but the
epithets furnish the best evidence in favor of the subject of them which
the case could be supposed to present.

Early in April, it seems, Canonchet, weary of desolating the towns of the
English had betaken himself to the Indian haunts on the Connecticut
river. Here he continued to take a most active part in the war; the whole
body of the savages to the Westward trusting, (as our eulogist expresses
himself) under the shadow of that aspiring bramble. Nor was it in battle
only that they placed reliance on his courage and genius. It was
necessary, as it was difficult, to provide the means of sustenance, from
day to day, for something like one thousand five hundred warriors, with
their women and children. Canonchet suggested the plan of planting the
lands on the West bank of the river, recently taken from the English. But
how should even the means of planting be obtained? A council was summoned
to solve this question; but not a man could be found who would hazard his
life, at this season, in that section of the country where corn must be
procured. The Sachem himself went forward, and proposed, with the
assistance of thirty volunteers, who soon found courage to second him, to
undertake a journey to Seekonk, in the immediate vicinity of Montaup,
the old residence of Philip.

The adventure proved fatal to him. On the 27th of March Captain Dennison
of Connecticut, had commenced a volunteer expedition against the enemy,
with about fifty English soldiers, and eighty Niantick, Pequot and Mohegan
Indians, severally commanded by Catapazet, Casasinamon and Oneco. [FN]
By the time Canonchet, reached Seekonk, where he encamped on Blackstone
river near the Pawtucket falls, Dennison's party, following the sea-coast,
had arrived in the same neighborhood. The former was so little
apprehensive of danger, that he dismissed all his thirty attendants but
seven. The English, on the other hand, received the first intimation of
his being near them, from two old straggling squaws, who confessed, on
being captured, that Canonchet was not far off. The intelligence put new
life into the weary soldiers, and they pressed forward till they came upon
fresh tracks, and these brought them in view of a cluster of wigwams on
the bank of the river.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The son of Uncas. The Pequot Sachem was a man of no particular
 note. Catapazet was subordinate to Ninigret.

In one of those wigwams Canonchet was at this moment reposing from the
fatigues of his journey. His seven remaining followers sat around him; and
he entertained them with the recital of the bloody victory over Pierce's
detachment, which had taken place but a week or two before. [FN] Suddenly
the speaker suspended his narrative. His silent audience started to their
feet, and stood aghast. The trained ear of the savage had already
detected the approach of an enemy. Two of the company were immediately
despatched to the summit of the hill, at the foot of which the wigwam was
situated. These men, frightened by the near approach of the English, who
were now (says Hubbard,) mounting with great speed over a fair champagna
on the other side of the hill, ran by, as if they wanted time to tell
what they saw. A third was sent, who executed his errand no better. But of
two others who were sent up, one had the courage to return and inform the
Sachem, in great haste and trepidation, that the whole English army was
upon him.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] So writes Mr. Hubbard, and Trumbull and others follow his authority.
 Baylies (Memoir of Plymouth Colony,) doubts the correctness of the
 statement, alleging that Canonchet did not leave the Connecticut river
 until April, whereas Pierce's defeat happened on the 26th of March. We
 do not however conceive that the distance was so great, but it might
 have been traversed more than once after the battle and before the

Canonchet had no means of defence, and no time for deliberation. He could
only attempt an escape by running round the hill opposite his pursuers;
and he had not gone far in that direction, when Catapazet, with twenty of
his followers, and a few of the English who were lightest of foot, nearly
intercepted him as they descended the hill, and immediately commenced a
vigorous and close pursuit. Canonchet was a fleet runner, but the
swiftest of Catapazet's men began to gain upon him. He threw off his
blanket, and then a silver-laced coat which had been given him on the
renewal of his league at Boston. His wampum belt was finally abandoned;
and this betraying his rank to his pursuers, they redoubled their efforts,
until they forced him to betake himself to the river, in which he plunged
forward with great haste. Unluckily, his foot slipped upon a stone, and
this not only delayed him, but brought him down so far at to wet the gun
which he still carried in one hand; upon which accident, he confessed
soon after we are told, that his heart and his bowels turned within him,
so as he became like a rotten stick, void of strength. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] _Hubbard's Narrative, p._ 129.

Thenceforth he submitted to his destiny without a struggle. He was a
large, muscular man; and as Hubbard himself allows, of "great courage of
mind," as well as strength of body; but the foremost of the hostile party,
one Monopoide, a Pequot, laid hold of him without his making the slightest
resistance. The first Englishman who came up was Robert Stanton, a young
man of some twenty years old; yet adventuring to ask him a question or
two, (continues the historian, with a touch of feeling which does him
credit,) the manly Sachem looked somewhat disdainfully upon his youthful
face, and replied in broken English, "you much child--no understand
war--let your chief come--him I will talk with." The English offered him
his life if he would submit to their government, but he would make no
submission of any kind. They suggested his sending one of his men to
propose terms to his Narraghansett warriors in the west; but he refused
with scorn. He was then told of the enmity he had manifested towards the
English. "And many others," he replied haughtily, "will be found of the
same mind with myself. Let me hear no more of that." When informed of what
his fate must inevitably be, he only answered, "It is well. I shall die
before my heart is soft.--I shall speak nothing which Canonchet should be
ashamed to speak.--It is well." Even those who have censured the Sachem
most, touched with the the dignity of his last hours, would fain search in
the theory of a Pythagorean Metempsychosis for the secret of his
greatness. Some old Roman ghost, say they, must have possessed the body of
this Western Pagan. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Hubbard.

He was soon afterwards taken to Stonington, in Connecticut, where
Dennison's expedition had been fitted out; and there was executed upon
him the sentence of death. That all concerned in the capture of so proud
a victim might be gratified with a share in the honors of his slaughter,
the English contented themselves with being spectators of the scene, while
the Pequots were permitted to shoot him, the Mohegans to behead and
quarter him, [FN] and Ninigret's men to kindle the pile upon which he was
burned. As a token of love and fidelity to their civilized allies, his
head only was reserved, to be presented to the English council at
Hartford. It is remarkable, that Oneco, on this occasion, took the same
part in the execution of Canonchet, and under very similar circumstances,
which, near forty years before, his father Uncas had taken in that of
Miantonomo, the father of Canonchet.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth Colony.

Thus fell, in the prime of his manhood, the last Chief-Sachem of the
Narraghansetts, the grand-nephew of Canonicus, and the son of Miantonomo.
The English historians of his own period may be excused for the prejudice
with which they regarded him (as they did all who fought for the same
cause with the same courage,) and which nevertheless affords to the reader
of these days the most satisfactory proof of his high reputation and
formidable talents. "This," says one writer, "was the confusion of a
damned wretch, that had often opened his mouth to blaspheme." Again:--"as
a just reward of his wickedness he was adjudged by those who took him to

It were useless to dispute these positions, for every reader of history
possesses the means of forming a just opinion whether or not they are
sound. But at all events, (as an author of a more liberal period has
observed,) [FN] we may surely at _this_ day be permitted to lament the
unhappy fate of this noble Indian, without incurring any imputation for
want of patriotism. In the entire compass of Indian, and we might perhaps
add, civilized history, there is no finer instance of that generous and
chivalrous character, which--whatever it might be termed under other
circumstances--in the situation of Canonchet, and with his sincere and
strict principles, can only be approved and admired, as humanity to the
suffering who sought his protection; as fidelity to his own and his
father's friends; as a proud and lofty sacrifice of royalty, liberty and
life itself to honor; as patriotism to his country, and as religion to
his gods.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth Colony.

                              CHAPTER XVI.

 Account of the Pawtucket confederacy in New Hampshire--Passaconaway,
  their Chief Sachem--He is disarmed by order of the Massachusetts
  Government. His residence, age and authority--He maintains a good
  understanding with the English--Visits Boston--The Apostle Elliot's
  acquaintance with, and notice of him--His views of
  Christianity--Festival, and Farewell speech to his tribe in 1660--Death
  and character--His son and successor, Wonolanset.--Anecdotes of the
  family--Legend of Passaconaway's feats as a Powah.

Turning our attention to a part of the country and to a people which have
not yet been the subject of special notice, we shall now introduce, with
the following passage from Winthrop's Journal, an individual of far too
much distinction to be wholly over-looked. The date is of July, 1642:--

"There came letters from the court at Connecticut, and from two of the
magistrates there, and from Mr. Ludlow near the dutch, certifying us that
the Indians all over the country had combined themselves to cut off all
the English--that the time was appointed after harvest--the manner also
they should go, by small companies to the chief men's houses by way of
trading &c. and should kill them in the house and seize their weapons, and
then others should be at hand to prosecute the massacre. . . . Upon these
letters the Governor called so many of the magistrates as were near, and
being met they sent out summons for a general court to be kept six days
after, and in the meantime it was thought fit, for our safety, and to
strike some terror into the Indians, to disarm such as were within our
jurisdiction. Accordingly we sent men to Cutshamkin at Brantree to fetch
him and his guns, bows &c. which was done, and he came willingly, and
being late in the night when they came to Boston, he was put in the
prison, but the next morning, finding upon examination of him and divers
of his men, no ground of suspicion of his partaking in any such
conspiracy, he was dismissed. Upon the warrant which went to Ipswich,
Rowlye and Newberry to disarm Passaconamy, who lived by Merrimack, they
sent forth forty men armed the next day, being the Lord's-day, but it
rained all the day, as it had done divers days before and also after, so
as they could not go to his wigwam, but they came to his son's and took
him, which they had warrant for, and a squa and her child, which they had
no warrant for, and therefore order was given so soon as he heard of it,
to send them home again. They fearing his son's escape, led him in a line,
but he taking an opportunity, slipped his line and escaped from them, but
one very indiscreetly made a shot at him, and missed him narrowly."

The Sachem here mentioned, and commonly, called Passaconaway, [FN] was
generally known among the Indians as the Great Sagamore of Pannuhog, or
Penacook--that being the name of a tribe who inhabited Concord, (New
Hampshire) and the country for many miles above and below, on Merrimac
river. The Penacooks were among the most warlike of the northern Indians;
and they, almost alone, seem to have resisted the occasional ancient
inroads of the Mohawks, and sometimes even to have carried the war into
_their_ territories. One of their forts, built purposely for defence
against these invasions, was upon Sugar-Ball Hill, in Concord; and
tradition indistinctly preserves to this time the recollection of an
obstinate engagement between the two tribes, which occurred on the banks
of the Merrimac in that vicinity.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Hubbard writes Passaconnawa; Mr. Elliot, Papassaconaway; Wood, in
 that most singular curiosity, New England's Prospect, has pointed out
 Pissaconawa's location on his map, by a cluster of marks representing

The Penacooks were one member of a large confederacy, more or less under
Passaconaway's control, which, beside comprising several small tribes in
Massachusetts, extended nearly or quite as far in the opposite direction
as the northern extremity of Lake Winepissiogee. Among those who
acknowledged subjection to him were the Agawams (at Ipswich,) the
Naamkeeks (at Salem,) the Pascataquas, the Accomintas, and the Sachems of
Squamscot, Newichwannock and Pawtucket,--the latter being also the
National name of all the confederates. Passaconaway is supposed to have
resided, occasionally, at what is now Haverhill (Mass.) but he afterwards
lived among the Penacooks.

He must have been quite advanced in life at the date of the earliest
English settlements on the coast, for he is said to have died, about 1665,
at the great age of one hundred and twenty years, though that statement
indeed has an air of exaggeration. The first mention of him is in the
celebrated Wheelwright deed of 1629--the authenticity of which it is not
necessary to discuss in this connexion. In 1642, Passaquo and Saggahew,
the Sachems of Haverhill (Mass.) conveyed that township to the original
settlers, by deed sealed and signed,--the consideration being three
pounds ten shillings, and the negotiation expressly "_wth ye consent of
Passaconaway._" [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] The original is still in the possession of a gentleman in Haverhill.
 See Mirick's History of that town.

It was about the time of this conveyance that the measures already
mentioned were taken for "disarming" the old chieftain. That was clearly
a most unexampled stretch of prerogative, especially as Passaconaway had
hitherto maintained his independence equally with his apparent good will
for the English. There is some apology for the outrage in the excitement
of the period, which was so powerful, it appears, even with the
well-informed and well-meaning citizens of Boston, that they hesitated not
to entertain the Braintree Sachem, their most obedient servant on all
occasions, in the town-jail. Even the report of a gun, in the night-time,
in the neighborhood of the town, was now sufficient to rouse the good
citizens far and wide; and the shouts of a poor fellow at Watertown, who,
having lost himself in the woods, cried out somewhat lustily for
_help!--help!_--against an apprehended assault of the wild-cats round
about him, produced an alarm hardly less serious than would probably have
followed an actual foray of the Mohawks.

This excitement, we say, furnishes an apology for the harsh treatment of
the Grand-Sachem. The government, upon cool reflection, appears to have
been sensible of having gone too far, and what is creditable to them, they
were not ashamed to make such explanations of the matter, promptly and
politely, to the injured party, as were fitting their own true dignity as
well as his. Governor Winthrop, speaking of the treatment of the Squaw and
the Son as "an unwarranted proceeding," and conceiving "that Passaconamy
would look at it as a manifest injury," called the court together, and
proposed measures of reparation. Cutchamequin was accordingly sent to the
old Sachem, to disclaim any order for kidnapping the woman and child, and
discharging a musket at the boy, and to explain to him the real purpose
and principle of the warrant. Passaconaway listened with composure, and
returned answer that whenever the two absent members of his family should
be returned, he would of his own accord render in the required
artillery,--(and this, it would seem, the war-party which went out from
Boston on the Sabbath, had not after all been able to effect.) One of
them was still in custody, and the other had taken refuge in the woods.
"_Accordingly,_" adds our authority, "about a fortnight after, he sent his
eldest son, who delivered up his guns," &c. The fair inference is, that
the conditions made by the Sachem were performed to his satisfaction.

At all events, he considered it a good policy to maintain peaceable
relations with his much excited neighbors; he was too old, as most of his
near relatives--children or grand-children--seem to have been too young.
On the other hand, the English movements in this case, taken together,
certainly indicate a respectful estimate of his character; and in fact the
policy by which he was gained over, was so much valued, that either Mr.
Winthrop alludes to his one act of submission repeatedly, or else the
Government troubled itself to have the scene actually rehearsed as many

"At this Court," says the Journal, for the spring of 1644, "Passaconamy,
the Merrimack Sachem, came in and submitted to our Government, as Pumham
&c. had done before."

And again, in 1645--"At this Court, in the third month, Passaconamy, the
Chief Sachem of Merrimack, and his sons, came and submitted themselves
and their people and lands under our Jurisdiction, as Pumham and others
had done before."

One of the most distinct notices of the old Sagamore occurs in that
ancient tract, "The Light Appearing &c." most of which was written by the
apostle Elliot, in 1649. He preached about that time at Pawtucket, that
being "a fishing place where from all parts they met together."

"The Chief Sachem at this place," says Mr. Elliot, "and of all Mermak, is
Papassaconaway, whom I mentioned unto you the last yeere, _who gave up
himself and his sonnes to pray unto God;_ this man did this yeere show
very great affection to me, and to the Word of God." The writer adds,
that the Sagamore even urged his solicitations importunately, using withal
many "elegant arguments, with much gravity, wisdome and affection." He
observed, among other things, that the preacher's coming there once a year
did them but little good, "because they soone had forgotten what he
taught, it being so seldome, and so long betwixt the times." Another sound
suggestion was, that the Sagamore had many subjects who "would not beleeve
_him_ that praying to God was so good," whereas as no doubt they might be
convinced by the preaching itself. Nor did Mr. Elliot, he thought, allow
himself leisure enough to explain and _prove_ what he asserted. It was
"as if one should come and throw a fine thing among them, and they
earnestly catch at it, and like it well, because it _looks_ finely, but
could not look into it, to see what is within,--whether something or
nothing,--stock, stone or precious jewel." So it was with praying; it
might be excellent, as it seemed,--but on the other hand it might be
hollow and empty,--he wished to see it _opened._

Whether this sensible advice was followed as far as it could be, is
uncertain; but there can be little doubt that the Sagamore himself became,
if not almost a Christian, yet strongly prepossessed in favor of the
English. In 1660, an English gentleman, who had been much conversant among
the Indians, was invited to a great dance and feast, at which among other
ceremonies, Passaconaway, now very old, made a farewell speech to his
people. He cautioned them especially, as a dying man, to take heed how
they quarrelled with the English. He said, that though they might do the
whites some damage, it would prove the sure means of their own
destruction; and that, as for himself, he had formerly tried his utmost by
the arts of sorcery to hinder their settlement and increase, but all to
no purpose.

It is remarkable, that when Philip's War broke out, fifteen years after
this transaction, Wonolanset, the Sagamore's son and successor, withdrew
both himself and his people into some remote place, where he wholly
escaped the disasters and excitement of the times. Probably there was no
other instance of the kind among all the tribes.

The allusion made by Passaconaway to the arts of sorcery should be
explained, by observing that he had formerly been, for a long term of
years, one of the most noted Powahs, or Conjurors, ever heard of among the
Indians of New England. Perhaps his dominion itself, and certainly the
greater part of his influence, was acquired by his talents exercised in
that capacity. He indeed excelled his contemporaries, as all historians
allow, in general sagacity and duplicity, as well as in moderation and
self-command; [FN] but these were the very qualities proper for playing
off that game on the extreme superstition of the Indians, which has so
frequently been tried among them, and yet so rarely with a very prevalent
or very permanent success.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See Hubbard, Hutchinson, Belknap, &c.

But Passaconaway's attempt was no failure. He induced the savages to
believe it in his power to make water burn, and trees dance; to
metamorphose himself into a flame; and to raise, in winter, a green leaf
from the ashes of a dry one, and a living serpent from the skin of one
which was dead. Few modern practitioners, we presume, have surpassed the
old Sagamore in the arts of legerdemain. These, however, were not his
substantive profession, or at least not long. The politician soon emerged
from the slough of the juggler. The Priest became a Sachem; the Sachem,
the Grand Sagamore of Penacook; and the Sagamore preserved not only his
own power, but his son's after him, by a series of diplomatic
demonstrations, and a few words of "elegant" civility, which, without
disparaging his importance with his countrymen, made him the most
agreeable neighbor to the English.

That Passaconaway was living as late as 1662, appears from the following
anecdote of that date. Manataqua, Sachem of Saugus, made known to the
chief of Panacook, that he desired to marry his daughter, which being
agreeable to all parties, the wedding was soon consummated, at the
residence of Passaconaway, and the hilarity was closed with a great feast.
According to the usages of chiefs, Passaconaway ordered a select number of
his men to accompany the new married couple to the dwelling of the
husband. When they had arrived there, several days of feasting followed,
for the entertainment of his friends, who could not be present at the
ceremony in the first instance, as well as for the escort; who, when this
was ended, returned to Pennakook.

Some time after, the wife of Manataqua expressing a desire to visit her
father's house and friends, was permitted to go, and a choice company
conducted her. When she wished to return to her husband, her father,
instead of conveying her as before, sent to the young Sachem to come and
take her away. He took this in high dudgeon, and sent his father-in-law
this answer: "When she departed from me, I caused my men to escort her to
your dwelling, as became a chief. She now having an intention to return to
me, I did expect the same." The elder Sachem was in his turn angry, and
returned an answer which only increased the difference; and it is believed
that thus terminated the connexion of the new husband and wife. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Manuscript documents, cited in Drake's Indian Biography.

In the Third Volume of Farmer and Moore's Historical Collections, may be
seen an account of the death of an Indian, called Saint Aspinquid, May
1st, 1682, at Mount Agamenticus on the coast of Maine, where his tombstone
is said to be still visible. It is also stated, that he was born in 1598,
and of course died aged about ninety-four; that he was over forty years
old when he was converted to Christianity; that from that time he employed
himself in preaching the gospel among the Indians; and that his funeral
obsequies were attended by many Sachems of various tribes, and celebrated
by a grand hunt of the warriors. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] At which were slain "ninety-nine bears, thirty-six moose,
 eighty-two wild-cats, thirty-eight porcupines," and a long list of other
 animals of various names.

We are inclined to hazard the hypothesis, that this Saint was no other
than our Sagamore; that Agamenticus was the retreat of Wonolanset, or at
least of his father, during and subsequent to Philip's war; and that the
latter obtained his new name from his new friends, and the title attached
to it from an English source. It certainly would be remarkable, that so
many and such particulars should appear of the death of a man never before
heard of. And on the other hand, the reputation and the age attributed
to Aspinquid, agree strikingly with those of Passaconaway. By his
"preaching" must be meant his sacred character and the great exertions he
made to keep peace with the English; and the date of the alleged
"conversion," we suppose to have been the same with that of his first
acquaintance with the whites in 1629.

Our sketch may be fitly concluded with one of those popular traditions
concerning the old Chief, which happens still to be in such preservation
as to form now and then, in some sections of the country, the burden of a
fireside tale. It is probably a fair illustration of the opinion
entertained of his abilities by the credulous of his own era.

    He said, that Sachem once to Dover came,
    From Penacook, when eve was setting in.
    With plumes his locks were dressed, his eyes shot flame;
    He struck his massy club with dreadful din,
    That oft had made the ranks of battle thin;
    Around his copper neck terrific hung
    A tied-together, bear and catamount skin;
    The curious fishbones o'er his bosom swung,
  And thrice the Sachem danced, and thrice the Sachem sung.

    Strange man was he! 'T was said, he oft pursued
    The sable bear, and slew him in his den;
    That oft he howled through many a pathless wood,
    And many a tangled wild, and poisonous fen,
    That ne'er was trod by other mortal men.
    The craggy ledge for rattlesnakes he sought,
    And choked them one by one, and then
    O'ertook the tall gray moose, as quick as thought
  And then the mountain cat he chased, and chasing caught.

    A wondrous wight! For o'er 'Siogee's ice,
    With brindled wolves, all harnessed three and three,
    seated on a sledge, made in a trice,
    On mount Agiocochook, [FN-1] of hickory,
    He lashed and reeled, and sung right jollily;
    And once upon a car of flaming fire,
    The dreadful Indian shook with fear, to see
    The king of Penacook, his chief, his sire,
  Ride flaming up towards heaven, than any mountain higher. [FN-2]

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] The Indian name applied to the White Mountains. There is a
 curious tradition, preserved in Josselyn's New England, of the
 veneration of the Indians for the summits of these mountains. They
 considered them the dwelling places of invisible beings, and never
 ventured to ascend them. They had also a tradition, that the whole
 country was once drowned, with all its inhabitants except one Indian with
 his wife, who, foreseeing the flood, fled to these mountains, were
 preserved, and afterwards re-peopled the country.--_Ed._

 [FN-2] See F. and M. His. Coll.

                              END OF VOL. I.

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search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.