« ZurückWeiter »
of some, and then turning them away alive, and driving others into hovels and barns, and then setting them on fire.
April 18, the Indians made a fierce assault upon Sudbury, and killed twelve men that were coming from Concord for the assistance of their neighbors, and burnt several houses. It might have been noted, that on March 27, about 40 inhabitants of Sudbury made a sally in the night on 300 Indians, and killed 30 of them, without the loss of one of their own men.
April 19th or 20th, Captain Wadsworth, father of the late President Wadsworth of Harvard College in Cambridge, with 70 men, after a long and tedious march, coming to the assistance of Sudbury, was surrounded by about 500 Indians, overwhelming them, though they fought more like lions than like men, with all possible dexterity and courage. Yet he, with Captain Brattlebank and more that 50 of their men, fell in the field of battle, after they had sent about 140 of the enemy to eternity. The Indians at that time took five or six captive; and to prove their rage and heathenish, or rather diabolical cruelties, they tormented them to death, first by stripping them naked and making them run the gauntlet, then throwing hot embers on their swollen and bloody bodies, and cutting collops of flesh from their bodies, and putting burning firebrands into the wounds. Thus witt burnings and exquisite torments, and with hideous lamentations, outcries and heart-melting shriekings, they were sent out of the world.
Captain Turner, with 30 or more of his men, were slain in their retreat from Connecticut.
Captain Denison, with 66 volunteers and about 100 Christian Indians, made great destruction on the enemy, without the loss of one man, but slew 76 of the enemy, and took Quanonchet, a great prince and sachem of the Narragansetts, who was beheaded by the Indians belonging to his company.
There were also mischiefs done about this time at Plymouth, Taunton, Chelmsford, Concord, Haverhill, Bradford, Woburn and other places. Probably near or about the time the mischiefs were done in those towns above-mentioned, about thirty English, with a number of friendly Indians, issued out as volunteers from Stonington in Connecticut, in quest of an Indian sachem, or great captain, that had done much mischief in the towns in the Bay government, whose name, as I remember, was Nunnenunteno; and in their travels they came to the foot of a great hill, where the foremost of them halted to eat their breakfast, and so the others in the rear, as they came up, halted for the like reason. The foremost, when they had breakfasted and refreshed themselves, marched up the hill, and when they were got to the top, they discovered a considerable body of Indians before them, and began to fire on them. At which time some of his men were relating the mighty spoils they had made on sundry towns in the Massachusetts, with which he was gratified, and, willing to hear the whole story out, was loth to break off; therefore sends one of his men out of the wigwam to see what the occasion was of the firing and mighty report of guns. When the fellow came out, and saw the English firing and advanced so near them, he immediately ran away and escaped for his life, and never turned back to acquaint his master with the reason of the hot firing. But it continuing, and coming still nearer, he, not willing to lose any part of the pleasing exploits they had done, sends out another of his men to know the occasion, who, seeing the English so nearly advanced on them, did, like the former, run away without giving any tidings of the danger. The fire growing smarter, and approaching sensibly nearer, at length he starts up, and catches his gun, and runs out of the wigwam, likely with but a broken part of the story so mightily pleasing to him. But when he came out, and saw the English, he also made his escape with one or two more of his company; but running round the hill, he came in sight of the rear part of the English and the Indians with them, that were not ready to march. Upon which, one of the Indians said, "There is Nunnenunteno; me catch him!" and upon it set out with all his might in pursuit of him, the rest following. But running through a river, and doubtless being much out of breath, he fell down in the river and wet his gun, and rendered it useless for the present; therefore he sat down on the other side of the river, and quietly yielded to the capture of his enemies. His intent, it seems, (as he afterward related it) was, that when he had got over the river, to fire on him that was nearest to him, and then to run as fast as he could; but was prevented by the accidtntubofe mentioned* Tbey after brought him over Fawcatuck river, which is the eastern bounds of Connecticut government, which is in Stonington, where he was executed, very near to the great bridge since erected over that river. But before his execution, the Indians had spread a mat for him to sit upon; and though some of their own company had been the instruments to take him, yet others of them, there present, with uplifted hands and other indications 'of lament*ation, showed their regret that such a great man was fallen into the hands of his enemies. But while he was sitting on the mat, pinioned and under examination, one of the soldiers sat down by him, and looking him in his face as he was speaking, he took it with such disdain that with a violent thrust or blow of his elbow threw the saucy fellow all along on the ground, as unworthy in his esteem to come so near to him; and told his examiners, that he knew he was now in their hands, and they could do with him as they pleased; and told them also, that by killing him they might not suppose it would put an end to the war, for others would pursue it, when he was gone. However, it was thought most advisable there to put him to death, lest by some means or other he might find an opportunity to make his escape. Accordingly, two Indians of their company were appointed to shoot him. One of them being a relation of his, goes to him, taking him by his hand, said, "Farewell, cousin, I must now kill you." Then, stepping a little back with the other Indian that was appointed for the like purpose, they discharged their guns, and he instantly fell down dead; after which they took off his head and sent it to Hartford.
It was something remarkable, that some of the Indians, before they went out on this expedition, pretended to predict, that now they should take Nunnenunteno, although they had not success in their former attempts of the like kind; and so it happened in providence.
This narrative I had from the Rev. Mr. Noyes, of Stonington, who was an eye-witness of the manner of the execution of this monster of cruelty; for as he was a very politic, warlike and active fellow, and had done a great deal of mischief in the country, Mr. Noyes, as he told me, advised to despatch him there, and prevent all further evil consequences that might ensue through his means. And as I am upon the subject of the Indian war in the land, and have such an incontestable author, a gentleman of undoubted veracity, I thought proper to place it here, especially as there are several remarkable and favorable providences of God to this people leading to the event I have been speaking of; as, first, to be left to such an infatuation as not to provide for his safety when in such imminent danger, as he might well suppose by the repeated firing of guns in his hearing, merely to hear out the story of what exploits and bloodshed his men had done upon the English, in several towns. Another remarkable smile of providence was, that those in the rear had not marched after their company; for had they done so, this mighty beast of prey had escaped undiscovered. Another instance worthy of notice was, that he must fall in the river and wet his gun, and thereby be rendered incapable of making resistance, by standing in his own defence, and as if the vengeance of God followed him, and constrained him tamely to yield himself into the hands of his pursuers. Again, it may be remarked, that he that had sent many souls into eternity with his gun, must now pass quick into another world by the like instrument of death. Finally, he that had shed the blood of many innocents, must have his guilty blood poured out upon the ground by his countrymen, and one of them his own near relation. Thus may all the enemies of Christ's church fall, and never be able to rise any more.
May 30, five Englishmen were slain near Hatfield, in an onset of the enemy, and 25 of theirs; and the week before, 12 of the enemy were slain near Rehoboth, with the loss only of one of ours. The Massachusetts and Connecticut colonies sent forth their forces about this time, that did great spoil on the enemy, with but little loss to themselves.
June 29, 1675, was the first public Fast appointed in the Massachusetts, to implore Divine help against the Indians in this distressing war with them ; and June 29, 1676, was appointed a day of public Thanksgiving through the colony for the successes granted against the Indians in several engagements with them, and hopeful prospects there then was of further help and deliverance out of these troubles.
About this time the government of Plymouth also appointed a day to renew their covenant with God and one another; and the very next day Major Bradford was delivered from an ambushment of the enemy, who took and slew many of them, without any loss of his own men.
The squaw-sachem of Saconet, now Little Compton, hearing of Major Bradford's marching that way, she, with 90of her men, submitted themselves to the Major's mercy, as did many others of the enemy soon after, being in great want of provisions.
Information being given by a negro that had been taken captive, that the enemy had formed a design to attack Taunton, auxiliaries being timely equipped and sent out, the Indians were repulsed and driven off, without the loss of one Englishman.
In the woods near Dedham, great execution was done upon the Indians, without any loss to the English.
The Massachusetts forces having taken and killed 150 Indians, with the loss only of one man, returned to Boston July 22.
About this time Captain Church went from Plymouth with about 18 English and 22 friendly Indians, and in one week he had several engagements with the enemy, wherein he took and slew 79 of them, without the loss of one of his own men.
This Captain Church's method was, as he himself told me, when he took the Indians captive, to put them, such as he thought proper, into his service against the enemy, who were wonderfully serviceable to him; for as they best knew the lurking-places of the Indians they were taken from, and were faithful in conducting him to those places, it greatly facilitated his enterprises against the lurking adversaries.
It may be observed, that some time about May 30, the Massachusetts forces took and killed about 40 of the enemy Indians; and Connecticut near 100, without the loss of one of their own men.
On July 25th, 36 Englishmen, with 90 Christian Indians from Dedham and Medfield, overtook and captivated 50 of the Indians, without any loss to themselves; among whom was Pomham, a great sachem in the eastern part of the Narragansett country, who was wounded, and lay a considerable time on the ground as dead; yet when an Englishman came near to look on him, he with a violent fury and rage took fast hold of his hair, after the Indian manner, and it was thought would have killed him by twisting off his neck, if he had not been rescued.
Philip, who was the great incendiary and first promoter