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He'coming to Block Island to drive trade with them, the islanders came into his boat, and having got a full view of commodities which gave them good content, consulted how they might destroy him and his company, to the end they might clothe their bloody flesh with his lawful garments. The Indians having laid the plot, into the boat they came to trade, as they pretended; watching their opportunities, knocked him in the head, and martyred him most barbarously, to the great grief of his poor distressed servants, which by the providence of God were saved. This island lying in the road way to Lord Sey and the Lord Brooke's plantation, a certain seaman called to John Gallop, master of the small navigation standing along to the Mathethusis Bay, and seeing a boat under sail close aboard the island, and perceiving the sails to be unskilfully managed, bred in him a jealousy, whether that the island Indians had not bloodily taken the life of our countrymen, and made themselves master of their goods. Suspecting this, he bore up to them, and approaching near them was confirmed that his jealousy was just. Seeing Indians in the boat, and knowing her to be the vessel of Master Oldham, and not seeing him there, gave fire upon them and slew some; others leaped overboard, besides two of the number which he preserved alive and brought to the Bay. The blood of the innocent called for vengeance. God stirred up the heart of the honored Governor, Master Henry Vane, and the rest of the worthy Magistrates, to seiid forth a hundred well appointed soldiers, under the conduct of Captain John Hendicot, and in company with him that had command, Captain John Underbill, Captain Nathan Turner, Captain William Jenningson, besides other inferior officers. I would not have the world wonder at the great number of commanders to so few men, but know that the Indians' fight far differs from the Christian practice; for they most commonly divide themselves into small bodies, so that we are forced to neglect our usual way, and to subdivide our divisions to answer theirs, and not thinking it any disparagement to any captain to go forth against an enemy with a squadron of men, taking the ground from the old and ancient practice, when they chose captains of hundreds and captains of thousands, captains of fifties and captains of tens. We conceive a captain signifieth the chief in way of command of any body committed to his charge for the time being, whether of more or less, it makes no matter in power, though in honor it does. Coming to an anchor before the island, we espied an Indian walking by the shore in a desolate manner, as though he had received intelligence of our coming. Which Indian gave just ground to some to conclude that the body of the people had deserted the island.
But some knowing them for the generality to be a warlike nation, a people that spend most of their time in the study of warlike policy, were not persuaded that they would upon so slender terms forsake the island, but rather suspected they might lie behind a bank, much like the form of a barricado. Myself with others rode with a shallop, made towards the shore, having in the boat a dozen armed soldiers. Drawing near to the place of landing, the number that rose from behind the barricado were between fifty or sixty able fighting men, menas straight as arrows, very tall, and of active bodies, having their arrows notched. They drew near to the water side, and let fly at the soldiers, as though they had meant to have made an end of us all in a moment. They shot a young gentleman in the neck through a collar, for stiffness as if it had been an oaken board, and entered his flesh a good depth. Myself received an arrow through my coat sleeve, a second against my helmet on the forehead; so as if God in his providence had not moved the heart of my wife to persuade me to carry it along with me, (which I was unwilling to do), I had been slain. Give me leave to observe two things from hence ; first, when the hour of death is not yet come, you see God useth weak means to keep his purpose unviolated; secondly, let no man despise advice and counsel of his wife, though she be a woman. It were strange to nature to think a man should be bound to fulfil the humor of a woman, what arms he should carry ; but you see God will have it so, that a woman should overcome a man. What with Delilah's flattery, and with her mournful tears, they must and will have their desire, when the hand of God goes along in the matter ; and this is to accomplish his own will. Therefore let the clamor be quenched I daily hear in my ears, that New England men usurp over their wives, and keep them in servile subjection. The country is wronged in this matter, as in many things else. Let this precedent satisfy the doubtful, for that comes from the example of a rude soldier. If they be so courteous to their wives, as to take their advice in warlike matters, how much more kind is the tender, affectionate husband to honor his wife as the weaker vessel? Yet mistake not. I say not that they are bound to call their wives in council, though they are bound to take their private advice (so far as they see it makewfor their advantage and their good); instance Abraham. But to the matter. The arrows flying thick about us, we made haste to the shore ; but the surf of the sea being great, hindered us, so as we could scarce discharge a musket, but were forced to make haste to land. Drawing near the shore through the strength of wind, and the hollownessof the sea, we durst not adventure to run ashore, but were forced to wade up to the middle; but once having got up off our legs, we gave fire upon them. They finding our bullets to outreach their arrows, they fled before us. In the meanwhile Colonel Hindecot made to the shore, and some of this number also repulsed him at his landing, but hurt none. We thought they would stand it out with us, but they perceiving we were in earnest, fled; and left their wigwams, or houses, and provision to the use of our soldiers. Having set forth our sentinels, and laid out our pardues, we betook ourselves to the guard, expecting hourly they would fall upon us ; but they observed the old rule, 'Tis good sleeping in a whole skin, and left us free from an alarm.
The next day we set upon our march, the Indians being retired into swamps, so as we could not find them. We burnt and spoiled both houses and corn in great abundance; but they kept themselves in obscurity. Captain Turner stepping aside to a swamp, met with some few Indians, and charged upon them, changing some few bullets for arrows. Himself received a shot upon the breast of his corselet, as if it had been pushed with a pike, and if he had not had it on, he had lost his life.
A pretty passage worthy observation. We had an Indian with us that was an interpreter; being in English clothes, and a gun in his hand, was spied by the islanders, which called out to him, What are you, an Indian or an Englishman 1 Come hither, saith he, and I will tell you. He pulls up his cock and let fly at one of them, and without question was the death of him. Having spent that day in burning and spoiling the island, we took up the quarter for that night. About midnight myself went out with ten men about two miles from our quarter, and discovered the most eminent plantation they had in the island, where was much corn, many wigwams, and great heaps of mats ; but fearing less we should make an alarm by setting fire on them, we left them as we found them, and peaceably departed to our quarter; and the next morning with forty men marched up to the same plantation, burnt their houses, cut down their corn, destroyed some of their dogs instead of men, which they left in their wigwams.
Passing on toward the water side to embark our soldiers, we met with several famous wigwams, with great heaps of pleasant corn'ready shelled; but not able to bring it away, we did throw their mats upon it, and set fire and burnt it. Many well-wrought mats our soldiers brought from thence, and several delightful baskets. We being divided into two parts, the rest of the body met with no less, I suppose, than ourselves did. The Indians playing least in sight, we spent our time, and could no more advantage ourselves than we had already done, and having slain some fourteen, and maimed others, we embarked ourselves, and set sail for Seasbrooke fort, where we lay through distress of weather four days ; then we departed.
The Pequeats having slain one Captain Norton, and Captain Stone, with seven more of their company, order was given us to visit them, sailing along the Nahanticot shore with five vessels. The Indians spying of us came running in multitudes along the water side, crying, What cheer, Englishmen, what cheer, what do you come for? They npt thinking we intended war, went on cheerfully until they come to Pequeat river. We thinking it the best way, did forbear to answer them; first, that we might the better be able to run through the work; secondly, that by delaying of them, we might drive them in security, to the end we might have the more advantage of them. But they seeing we would make no answer, kept on their course, and cried, What, Englishmen, what cheer, what cheer, are you hoggery, will you cram us ? > That is, are you angry, will you kill us, and do you come to fight? That night the Nahanticot Indians, and the Pequeats, made fire on both sides of the river, fearing we would land in the night. They made most doleful m& woftil cries all the night, (so that we cqtild scarce rest) hallooing one to another, and giving the word from place to place, to gather their forces together, fearing the English were come to war against them.
The next morning they sent early aboard an ambassador, a grave senior, a man of good understanding, portly carriage, grave and majestical in his expressions. He demanded of us what the end of our coming was. To which we answered, that the governors of the Bay sent us to demand the heads of those persons that had slain Captain JSTorton and Captain Stone, and the rest of their company, and that it was not the custom of the English to suffer murderers to live; and therefore, if they desired their own peace and welfare, they will peaceably answer our expectation, and give us the heads of the murderers.
They being a witty and ingenious nation, their ambassador labored to excuse the matter, and answered, We know not that any of ours have slain any English. True it is, saith he, we have slain such a number of men ; but consider the ground of it. Not long before the coming of these English into the river, there was a certain vessel that came to us in way of trade. We used them well, and traded with them, and took them to be such as would not wrong us in the least matter. But our sachem or prince coming aboard, they laid a plot how they might destroy him ; which plot discovered itself by the event, as followeth. They keeping their boat aboard, and not desirous of our company, gave us leave to stand hallooing ashore, that they might work their mischievous plot. But as we stood they called to us, and demanded of us a bushel of wampam-peke, which is their money. This they demanded for his ransom. This peal did ring terribly in our ears, to demand so much for the life of our prince, whom we thought was in the hands of honest men, and we had never wronged them. But we saw there was no remedy ; their expectation must be granted, or else they would not send him ashore, which they promised they would do, if we would answer their desires. We sent them so much aboard, according to demand, and they, according to their promise, sent him ashore,* but first slew him. This much exasperated our spirits, and made us vow a revenge. Suddenly after came these captains with a vessel into the
# This was noways true of the English, but a devised excuse.