« ZurückWeiter »
th^y pitch*, close together as they can, young trees and half trees, as thick as a man's thigh or the calf of his leg. Ten or twelve foot high they are above the ground, and within rammed three foot deep with undermining, the earth being cast up for their better shelter against the enemy's dischargements. Betwixt these palisadoes are divers loopholes, through which they let fly their winged messengers. The door for the most part is entered sideways, which they stop with boughs or bushes, as need requireth. The space therein is full of wigwams, wherein their wives and children live with them. These huts or little houses are framed like our garden arbors, something more round, very strong and handsome, covered with close-wrought mats, made by their women, of flags, rushes, and hempen threads, so defensive that neither rain, though never so bad and long, nor yet the wind, though never so strong, can enter. The top through a square hole giveth passage to the smoke, which in rainy weather is covered with a pluver. This fort was so crowded with these numerous dwellings, that the English wanted foot-room to grapple with their adversaries, and therefore set fire on all.
The Mohighens which sided with the English in this action, behaved themselves stoutly ; which the other Pequets understanding, cut off all the Mohigens that remain with them (lest they should turn to the English) except seven; who flying to our countrymen, related this news, and that about an hundred Pequets were slain, or hurt in the fight with the English, at their return from the fort; moreover, that they had resolved to have sent an hundred choice men out of their fort, as a party against the English, the very day after they were beaten out by them ; but being now vanquished, Sasacus, the Pequetan captain, with the remainder of this massacre, was fled the country.
It is not good to give breath to a beaten enemy, lest he return armed, if not with greater puissance, yet with greater despite and revenge. Too much security, or neglect in this kind, hath ofttimes ruined the conquerors. The two hundred English, therefore, resolved on before, were now sent forth to chase the barbarians, and utterly root them out. Whereupon, Captain Underhill with his twenty men returned, and gave this account of those exploits of the New Englanders, which here we have communicated to the old Jtlnglish world. This last party invaded the Pequetan country, killed twenty-three, saved the lives of two sagamores for their use hereafter, as occasion shall serve, who have promised to do great matters for the advancing of the English affairs. They pursued the remnant threescore miles beyond the country, till within six and thirty miles of the Dutch plantations on Hudson's river, where they fought with them, killed forty or fifty, besides those that they cut off in their retreat, and took prisoners one hundred and eighty, that came out of a swamp, and yielded themselves upon promise of good quarter. Some other small parties of them were since destroyed; and Captain Patrick, with sixteen or eighteen, brought eighty captives to the Bay of Boston. The news of the flight of Sassacus, their sagamore, is also confirmed. He went with forty men to the Mohocks, which are cruel, bloody cannibals, and the most terrible to their neighbors of all these nations; but will scarce dare ever to carry arms against the English, of whom they are sore afraid, not daring to encounter white men with their hot-mouthed weapons, which spit nothing else but bullets and fire,
The terror of victory changeth even the affection of the allies of the vanquished, and the securing of our own estates makes us neglect, yea forsake or turn against our confederates, and side with their enemies and ours, when we despair of better remedy. These cruel, but wily Mohocks, in contemplation of the English, and to procure their friendship, entertain the fugitive Pequets and their captain by cutting off all their heads and hands, which they sent to the English, as a testimony of their love and service.
A day of thanksgiving was solemnly celebrated for this happy success; the Pequetans now seeming nothing but a name, for not less than seven hundred are slain or taken prisoners. Of the English are not slain in all above sixteen. One occurrent I may not forget. The endeavors of private men are ever memorable in these beginnings; the meanest of the vulgar is not incapable of virtue, and consequently, neither of honor. Some actions of plebeians have elsewhere been taken for great achievements. A pretty sturdy youth of New Ipswich, going forth somewhat rashly to pursue the salvages, shot off his musket after them till all his powder and shot were spent; which they perceiving, re-assaulted him, thinking with their hatchets to have knocked him in the head: but he so bestirred himself with the stock of his piece, and after with the barrel, when that was broken, that he brought two of their heads to the army. His own desert, and the encouragement of others, will not suffer him to be nameless. He is called Francis Wainwright, and came over servant with one Alexander Knight, that kept an inn in Chelmsford.
I have done with this tragic scene, whose catastrophe ended in a triumph. And now give me leave to speak something of the present state of things there. The transcribing of all colonies is chargeable, fittest for princes or states to undertake. Their first beginnings are full of casualty and danger, and obnoxious to many miseries. They must be well grounded, well followed, and managed with great stocks of money, by men of resolution, that will not be daunted by ordinary accidents. The Bermudas and Virgina are come to perfection, from mean, or rather base beginnings, and almost by as weak means, beyond all expectation and reason. But a few private men, by uniting their stocks and desires, have now raised New England to that height, that never any plantation of Spaniards, Dutch, or any other arrived at, in so small a time. Gain is the loadstone of adventures; fish and furs, with beaver wool, were specious baits. But whilst men are all for their private profit, the public good is neglected, and languisheth. Woful experience had too evidently instructed New England's colonies in the precedents of Guiana, the Charibe islands, Virginia, and Novania or New-found-land, (now again to be planted by Sir David Kirke, though part of the old planters there yet remain). We are never wiser, than when we are thus taught. The New-Englanders, therefore, advanced the weal public all they could, and so the private is taken care for.
Corn and cattle are wonderfully increased with them, and thereof they have enough, yea sometime to spare to new comers, besides spare rooms or good houses to entertain them in ;< where they may make Christmas fires all winter, if they please, for nothing. I speak not of the naturals of the country, fish, fowl, &c, which are more than plentiful. They that arrived there this year out of divers parts of Old England, say, that they never saw such a field of four hundred acres of all sorts of English grain, as they saw at Winter-towne there. Yet that ground is not comparable to other parts of New England, as Salem, Ipswich, Newberry, &a In a word, they have built fair towns of the land's own materials, and fair ships too, some whereof are here to be seen on the Thames; they have overcome cold and hunger, are dispersed securely in their plantations sixty miles along the coast, and within the land also, along some small creeks and rivers, and are assured of their peace, by killing the barbarians, better than our English Virginians were by being killed by them. For having once terrified them, by severe execution of just revenge, they shall never hear of more harm from them, except, perhaps, the killing of a man or two at his work, upon advantage, which their sentinels and corps-du-guards may easily prevent. Nay, they shall have those brutes their servants, their slaves, either willingly or of necessity, and docible enough, if not obsequious. The numbers of the English amount to above thirty thousand, which, (though none did augment them out of England), shall every day be, doubtless, increased, by a faculty that God hath given the British islanders, to beget and bring forth more children than any other nation of the world. I could justify what I say from the mouths of the Hollanders, and adjoining provinces, where they confess, (though good breeders of themselves), that never woman bore two children, nor yet had so many by one man, till the English and Scots frequented their wars, and married with them. I could give a good reason hereof from nature, as a philosopher, (with modesty be it spoken), but there is no need. The air of New England, and the diet, equal, if not excelling that of Old England: besides, their honor of marriage, and careful preventing and punishing of furtive congressiori, giveth them and us no small hope of their future puissance and multitude of subjects. Herein, saith the wise man, consisteth the strength of a king, and likewise of a nation, or kingdom.
But the desire of more gain, the slavery of mankind, was not the only cause of our English endeavors for a plantation there. The propagation of religion was that precious jewel for which these merchant venturers compassed both sea and land, and went into a far country to search and seat themselves. This I am sure they pretended, and I hope intended. Only this blessing from my heart I sincerely wish them, and shall ever beseech the Almighty to bestow upon them, devout piety towards God, faithful loyalty towards their sovereign, fervent charity among themselves, and discretion and sobriety in themselves, according to the saying of that blessed Apostle, Rom. xii. 3. Not to be wise (in spiritual things) above what w be wise unto wise sobriety. Doubtless there was no chastise the insolency of th cides, than a sharp war pursu and speed. Virginia our mother for her precedent a rule, hath taught do in these difficulties, forewarn They were endangered by their peace, secured by their enmity and the natives. From these experimen now inhabitants of those two sister out unto themselves an armor of lay a sure foundation to their future