Page images

slain a hundred French, with many Indians, which were in league with the French, putting many of them to cruell tortures, and have but lost two of their own men; these being as we understand deeply affected with the Nanhygansets, in the losse of their late Sachim, unjust detaining also of so great a ransome, given and received for his life, and else, are resolved (that if any people offer to assault them in their accustomed courses amongst the Natives, or seeking after their ancient rights and priviledges, not offering wrong to any of His Majesties subjects, nor violating their subjection to that Noble State, which they seem to respect, and much to adore) to wage warre with them unto the uttermost, which it seems is the very spirit of that people to be exercised that way, which as we desire to make use of it our selves, so doe we hereby give notice to you also, to make the best use of it unto your selves in all your Colonies united.

June the 20,h, 1G44- By us the true and lawfull

owners of Shaw-omet. John Warner, Secret.

These things being done, we residing upon Aquethneck, alias, Road'Hand, hiring houses and grounds to plant upon, for the preservation of our Families: The Governour of the Massachusets perceiving that we still aboad among the English, and were not gone to the Dutch as others formerly did, he then writ a Letter privately to some in the Hand, whom he thought they had interest in, being he continued a Member of their Church, however removed from them, telling him, that if he and others (who were in like relation unto them) could worke the people of the Hand to deliver us up into their hands again (at least some of us) it would not only be acceptable unto the Court then sitting, but unto most of the people in generall; the people of the Hand having notice of this Letter, did altogether dislike and detest any such course to be held with us, knowing very well what they had already done, and how causelesly; So that we abode still upon the Hand, and followed our imployments, untill such time as there appeared amongst us a Charter of civill government, granted by the State of Old England, for the orderly, quiet, and peaceable government of the people inhabiting in those parts of the counirey, called Providence Plantations, in the Nanhyganset Bay, which Charter being joyfully imbraced, and with all expedition, an orderly and joynt course iyas held for the investing of the people into the power and

liberties liberties thereof unanimously, for the exercise of the authority, in the execution of Lawes, for the good and quiet of the people, which thing gave great incouragement unto the Planters, to goe on in their imployments, hoping to enjoy their lawfull rights and priviledges without disturbance, which the Massachusets, together with Plymouth understanding, they go about by all means to discourage the people, by their endeavouring to weaken, and invalid the authority of the Charier, in the eyes of the countrey, intrenching upon those places, to frustrate and make void the Charter, as by maintaining their Coadjutors, as aforesaid in opposing of us, giving them order to set up writs upon our houses, where formerly we lived, prohibiting all men for entermedling with those Houses, Lands, Peoples, either English or Indians (which they call their own people) without their consent and approbation in those parts, which all plainly fall within the confines of the fore-named Charter, and far out of all their jurisdictions.

Here followeth a true Copie of a ffarrant set upon our houses at Shaw-omet verbatim, being extant, which was done after the Charter appeared amongst us.

[ocr errors]

'Hereas we understand that some of our countrey men about Providence, or those parts, doe intend to sit down upon our Lands at Shaw-omet, or those parts: This is therefore to give notice to any such, that they forbear, without license from us, to attempt the same, or to meddle with any of our people there, either English or Indians; for let them be assured, that we resolve to maintain our just rights.

Given at the Court at Boston, the 16th. of the 8th. M", Ann. 1644.

By me Increase Nowell, Secret.

After this they ceased not to send out their Warrants amongst us, after the Charter was established amongst us, sending divers, and serving them upon the men of Providence, expresly commanding their appearance at their Courts in the Massachusets.

A Copie of one of their Warrants to the men of Providence here followeth word for word, and is extant under their hand.

To the Executors of Francis Weston.

vOu are required to take notice of an Attachment against .*. the Lands of Francis Weston, so as to bind you to be responsall, at the next Court at Boston, to answer One of their the complaint of William Arnold, * for withhold"ubificuned ing a debt of thirty shillings due to him, and hereof amongst ui. not to luile at your perill.

Dated the 5. (4) 1645. Per cur. William Aspinwall.

And as they thus goe beyond their bounds, not only to intrench upon the liberties and labours of their countrey men, (6u< also upon that authority transferred upon that people by the State of Old-England, for the quiet and peaceable ordering and government of themselves) not only in Providence and Shawomet, but likewise upon Road-Island, both in Portsmouth, and Newport, specified in the Charter; the Colonie of Plymouth joyned in league with the Massachusetts, to such ends and purposes, sent their Messengers to Road-lland, as namely, one Master John Brown, an Assistant in government amongst them there, who went from house to house (both in Portsmouth and Newport) discouraging the people for yeelding any obedience unto the authority of the Charter, giving them warning (as from the Court of Plimouth) not to submit unto any government that was established by vertue of a late pretended Charter, (as he very presumptuously called it) nor unto any other authoritie, or government, but only such as was allowed and approved of by them, although formerly they have many times confessed and acknowledged both by Word and Writing, that it was out of their Jurisdictions, without which acknowledgement, the people would never have adventured to lay out their estates, and to have planted themselves and families in those parts, some of them having too great and costly experience of Plimouths dealings with their countrey men, to be such as may be fitly paraleld with the dealings of the Massachusetts, and their practise springing from the same spirit, hath brought them into league and band, when they were clearly

manifested manifested each to other, who before at the time of their first Neighbour-hood there, they were at a distance, and stood aloof, one from the other, as each thinking I am holier then thou, the men of Plimouth, comming thither from Amsterdam, and the other out of hot persecutions of the Bishops in Old England.

Now that these men doe not onely intrench causelessly upon their countrey-men, but also upon poore Indians, inhabiting in those parts, it is very plaine by their proceedings against that people of the Nanhyganset, whose countrey fals within the confines of the Charter, which people only going about to right themselves upon such Indians as they conceive have mightily wronged them in taking away the life of their Prince, after so great a ransome given, and received for his rescue; this they make their occasion to go out against them to cut them off, and so to take their countrey into their own jurisdiction; whereas the Indians, of our knowledge hold themselves bound, to revenge the blood of their Prince, it being so unlawfully (in their eyes) taken away; nay, they are not quiet in themselves, unlesse they doe revenge it, or else spill their own, in their endeavours thereafter; in the mean time they are in a continued act of mourning, as we know, for the space of one whole year, and an halfe, they mourned continually, not only by blacking their faces, in token thereof; but every day their mourning women, morning and evening upon their knees, with lamentations, and many tears along time together, as our selves have been eye-witnesses, when we have had occasions amongst them, and in houses that were more publick, where the wife and children of the diseased Prince were, there did a man continue a speech (during the time of the womens praying, sighing and lamenting with abundance of tears) declaring what their losse was in being deprived of such a Sachim, and how wrongfully it was done by the enemy, as also how they were all of them ingaged to revenge his blood, else would it so lie upon their own heads, as to bring more miseries, and evils upon them: Now for this their proceeding against their adversary the Indian, that thus deprived them of their Sachim, and so wrongfully (as they conceive) the Massachusets, and Plimouth have offered to goe out against the people of the Nanhyganset, to cut them off by the sword, sending word to Providence Plantations, that if they should stand as Neuters, and not goe out with them in this worke, they would make plunder of them: So Captain Standish sent word in the name of Plymouth (now since we came out of those parts) unto the men of Providence, as wee are credibly informed

by by Letters from divers hands, as also by word of mouth from persons of good note, who were in the countrey there present amongst them, when these things were done, informing us of many passages, of the proceedings of the Massachuscts, and Plymouth, both towards the people of Providence Plantations, as also the Indians of that countrey of the Nanhygansets; only one Letter that concernes the Indians, wee desire to set down, to give further intelligence to the Reader of these mens dealings, who seemed so meek, and so mild in their native countrey, Old-England, in the time of their aboad there, as though they could not heave a hand, or tvaga tongue against anything but a Bishops Ceremony, that being onely offensive unto them.

[ocr errors]

Here followeth a true copie of a letter sent unto us since our coming from those parts of America called New England.

rE are all in health at this present and chearfull, (the greatest want is your company) though men generally more invective then ever, the Bay had provided an Army to go against the Nanhygansets, had they not been prevented in the very interim thus, Captain Harding informed the Court of the difficulty of the enterprise, upon which the Court Ifor'aMiX employed him, & Mr. Wylbour, to go to Nanhy ect« or agents, ganset and take Benedick * to interpret; when dwelling in they came to Benedick he refused to go without rovi ence. fl nuiii)red men in armS, onely to possesse them with danger, to effect his bloody plot, upon which Mr. Williams being sent for to Nanhyganset, and also my self, to inquire of us, what the minds of these mad people were to kill men for nothing; upon which I went to Providence*, thinking to goe with Master Williams, but, when chim'of the * came there, he was gon, with the Captain and Nanhygantet. Master Wylbour, upon Benedicks refusall; I stayed their return, and their agreement was to have Pessecus (a) go into the Bay, and Master Williams was necessitated to put himself Hostage till his return; this news coming into the Bay did so vex the Ministers, that Master Cotton preached upon it, that it being so wicked an act to take Master Williams with them, being one cast out of the Church, It was .all one as to ask counsell of a witch, and that those that did it, were worthy to die; upon which Master Wylbour was ready to die, for feare he should be hanged ; so then the Indians went down, and they compelled them to cease warres


« PreviousContinue »