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for him, so as they became farr more active in that imploymente then any of the English, by reason of ther swiftnes of foote, and nimblenes of body, being also quicksighted, and by continuall exercise well knowing the hants of all sorts of game. So as when they saw the execution that a peece would doe, and the benefite that might come by the same, they became madd, as it were, after them, and would not stick to give any prise they could attaine too for them; accounting their bowes and arrowes but bables in comparison of them.
And here I may take occasion to bewaile the mischefe that this wicked man began in these parts, and which since base covetousnes prevailing in men that should know better, hathe now at length gott the upper hand, and made this thing commone, notwithstanding any laws to the contrary; so as the Indeans are full of peeces all over, both fouling peeces, muskets, pistols, etc. They have also their moulds to make shotte, of all sorts, as muskett bulletts, pistoll bullets, swan and gose shote, and of smaler sorts; yea, some have seen them have their scruplates to make scrupins them selves, when they wante them, with sundery other implements, wherwith they are ordinarily better fited and furnished then the English them selves. Yea, it is well knowne that they will have powder and shot,
· In June, 1628, Bradford could write to Gorges of the almost desperate state and condition of the place, fearing to be overrun and spoiled by the Indians, “who are already abundantly furnished with pieces, powder and shot, swords, rapiers and Jaflins; all which arms and munition is this year plentifully and publickly sold unto them, by our own countrymen; who, under the pretence of fishing, come a trading amongst them; yea, one of them (Morton] (as your Worships may further understand by our particular informations) hath for his part sold twenty or twenty-one pieces, and one hundred weight of powder, by which you may conceive of the rest; for we hear the savages have above sixty pieces amongst them; besides other arms; in a word there is now almost nothing vendible amongst them, but such munition, so they have spoiled the trade in all other things.” Letter Book. The specific charge on which Morton was first sent to England was that “he furnished the Natives with peeces, powder and shot and taught them the use of them.” Winslow, in Moss. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, v. 133.
when the English want it, nor cannot gett it; and that in a time of warr or danger, as experience hath manifested, that when lead hath been scarce, and men for their owne defence would gladly have given a groat a li[pound), which is deare enoughe, yet hath it bene bought up and sent to other places, and sould to shuch as trade it with the Indeans, at:12. pence the li.; and it is like they give •3• or.4.s. the pound, for they will haveit at any rate. And these things have been done in the same times, when some of their neigbours and freinds are daly killed by the Indeans, or are in deanger therof, and live but at the Indeans mercie. (161] Yea, some (as they have aquainted them with all other things) have tould them how gunpowder is made, and all the materialls in it, and that they are to be had in their owne land; and I am confidente, could they attaine to make salt-peter, they would teach them to make powder. O the horiblenes of this vilanie! how many both Dutch and English have been latly slaine by those Indeans, thus furnished; and no remedie provided, nay, the evill more increased, and the blood of their brethren sould for gaine, as is to be feared; and in what danger all these colonies are in is too well known. Oh! that princes and parlements would take some timly order to prevente this mischeefe, and at length to suppress it, by some exemplerie punishmente upon some of these gaine thirstie murderers, (for they deserve no better
1 The situation in Manhattan offered no differences from that in Massachusetts Bay at the time Bradford was writing. “The moment they (the Indians) became accustomed to their use, they were eager to possess the firearms of Europe. No merchandise was so valuable to them. For a musket they would willingly give twenty beaver skins. For a pound of powder they were glad to barter the value of ten or twelve guilders. Knowing the impolicy of arming the savages, the West India Company, in wise sympathy with the English government, had declared contraband the trade in fire-arms; and had even forbidden the supply of munitions of war to the New Netherland Indians, under penalty of death. But the lust of large gains quickly overcame prudence. The extraordinary profits of the traffic early became generally known; and the colonists of Rensselaerswyck and 'free traders' from Holland soon bartered away to the Mohawks enough guns, and powder, and bullets for four hundred warriors.” Brodhead, History of the State of New York, 308.
title,) before their collonies in these parts be over throwne by these barbarous savages, thus armed with their owne weapons, by these evill instruments, and traytors to their neigbors and cuntrie.
But I have forgott my selfe, and have been to longe in this digression; but now to returne. This Morton having thus taught them the use of peeces, he sould them all he could spare; and he and his consorts detirmined to send for many out of England, and had by some of the ships sente for above a score. The which being knowne, and his neigbours meeting the Indeans in the woods armed with guns in this sorte, it was a terrour unto them, who lived straglingly, and were of no strenght in any place. And other places (though more remote) saw this mischeefe would quiclly spread over all, if not prevented. Besides, they saw they should keep no servants, for Morton would entertaine any, how vile soever, and all the scume of the countrie, or any discontents, would flock to him from all places, if this nest was not broken; and they should stand in more fear of their lives and goods (in short time) from this wicked and deboste crue, then from the salvages them selves.
So sundrie of the cheefe of the stragling plantations, meeting togither, agreed by mutuall consente to sollissite those of Plimoth (who were then of more strength then them all) to joyne with them, to prevente the further grouth of this mischeefe, and suppress Morton and his consorts before they grewe to further head and strength. Those that joyned in this action (and after contributed to the charge of sending him for England) were from Pascataway, Namkeake, Winisimett, Weesagascusett, Natasco, and other places wher any English were seated." Those of Plimoth being thus sought too
1 In his Letter Book Bradford gives the details of the assessed charges: From Plymouth
£1. 10 Naumkeak
12. 7 Roger Conant and what he could hold of the Dorchester settlers on Cape Ann were
by their messengers and letters, and waying both their reasons, and the commone danger, were willing to afford them their help; though them selves had least cause of fear or hurte. So, to be short, they first resolved joyntly to write to him, and in a freindly and neigborly way to admonish him to forbear those courses, and sent a messenger with their letters to bring his answer. But he was so highe as he scorned all advise, and asked who had to doe with him; he had and would trade peeces with the Indeans in dispite of all, with many other scurillous termes full of disdaine. They sente to him a second time, and bad him be better advised, and more temperate in his termes, for the countrie could not beare the injure he did; it was against their comone saftie, and against the king's proclamation. He answerd in high terms as before, and that the kings proclaimation was no law; demanding what penaltie was upon it. It was answered, more then he could  bear, his majesties displeasure. But insolently he persisted, and said the king was dead and his displeasure with him, and many the like things; and threatened withall that if any came to molest him, let them looke to them selves, for he would prepare for them." Upon which they saw ther was no way but to take him by force; and having so farr proceeded, now to at Naumkeak; the Wessagusset settlement was represented by Jeffrey and Burslem; Oldham was at Natascot; Mrs. Thomson was the widow of David Thomson, who had come from Pascataqua to an island in Boston harbor, still known by his name; Blackstone was at Shawmut, and Hilton had settled at Cocheco, now Dover, N. H.
· Adams, in the introduction to Morton (p. 26), points out that Morton proved himself better versed in the law of England than those who admonished him. Lord Coke reporting a decision made by all the judges in 1610 stated, that "the King cannot create any offence, by his prohibition or proclamation, which was not an offence before, for that was to change the law, and to make an offence, which was not; for ubi non est lex, ibi non est transgressio; ergo, that which cannot be punished without proclamation cannot be punished with it.” 12 Coke, p. 75. An earlier opinion is more to the point. “In the same term (1546) it was resolved by the two chief Justices, Chief Baron, and Baron Altham, upon conference betwixt the Lords of the Privy Council and them, that ... the law of England is divided into three parts, common law, statute law and custom; but the King's Proclamation is none of them.” 6 Coke Reports, 297 (London, 1826).
give over would make him farr more hautie and insolente. So they mutually resolved to proceed, and obtained of the Gov[erno)r of Plimoth to send Captaine Standish, and some other aide with him, to take Morton by force. The which accordingly was done; but they found him to stand stifly in his defence, having made fast his dors, armed his consorts, set diverse dishes of powder and bullets ready on the table; and if they had not been over armed with drinke,
more hurt might have been done. They sommaned him to yeeld, but he kept his house, and they could gett nothing but scofes and scorns from him; but at length, fearing they would doe some violence to the house, he and some of his crue came out, but not to yeeld, but to shoote; but they were so steeld with drinke as their peeces were to heavie for them; him selfe with a carbine (over
1 This attack on Morton's house must have been made early in June, as letters to England on his misconduct bore date June 9. Morton claims that he was first discovered and arrested at Wessagusset, where he happened to be found, and escaping, made his way to Mount Wollaston, where he put his house in a posture of defence.