Page images
PDF

At the end of six weeks, march'd out seventy five Indians with their women children k.c. who (by moonlight past oar guards hallowing and tiring att them without opposition, leaving 3 or 4 decrepits in the ffort.

The next morning th' English followed, but could not, or (for fear of ambuscades) would not overtake these desperate fugitives the number we lost in that siege I did not here was published.

The walls of this fort were high banks of earth, with flankers having many loop-holes, and a ditch round all, and without this a row of tall trees fastned 3 foot deep in the earth, their bodies from 5 to 8 inches diameter, watled 6 inches apart to shoot through with the tops twisted together, and also artificially wrought, as our men could make no breach to storm it nor (being low land) coud they undermine it by reason af water neither had they cannon to batter itt, so that 'twas not taken, untill ffamine drove the Indians out of it.

These escap'd Indians (forsaking Maryland) took their rout over the head of that river, and thence over the heads of Rapahanock and York rivers, killing whom they found of th' upmost plantations untill they came to the head of James river, where (with Bacon and others) they slew Mr. Bacon's overseer, whom he much loved, and one of his servants, whose bloud hee vowed to revenge if possible.

In these frightfull times the most exposed small families withdrew into our houses of better numbers, which we fortified with pallisadoes and redoubts, neighbours in bodies joined their labours from each plantation to others alternately, taking their arms into the ffields, and setting centinels; no man stirr'd out of door unarm'd, Indians were (ever and anon) espied, three 4. 5. or 6 in a party lurking throughout the whole land, yet (what was remarkable) I rarely heard of any houses burnt, though abundance was forsaken, nor ever, of any corn or tobacco cut up, or other injury done, besides murders, except the killing a very few cattle and swine.

Frequent complaints of bloodsheds were sent to S'r Wm. Berkeley (then Govern'r) from the heads of the rivers, which were as often answered with promises of assistance.

These at the heads of James and York rivers (having now most people destroyed by the Indians flight thither from Potomack) grew impatient at the many slaughters of their neighbours and rose for their own defence, who chusing Mr. Bacon for their leader sent oftentimes to the Govern'r, humbly beseeching a comission to go against those Indians at their own charge which his hono'r as often promisd but did not send; the misteryes of these delays, were wondred at and which I ne're heard any coud

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][subsumed]

with him, twenty or more persons being then in irons who were taking coming down in the same and other vessels with Mr. Bacon.

About a minute after this the govern'r starting up from his chair a third time said " Mr. Bacon! if you will live civilly but till next quarter court (doubling the words) but till next quarter court, lie promise to restore you againe to yo'r place there pointing with his hand to Mr. Bacons seat, he having been of the councill before these troubles, tho' he had been a very short time in Virginia but was deposed by the foresaid proclamacon, and in th' afternoon passing by the court door, in my way up to our chamber, I saw Mr. Bacon on his quondam seat with the govern'r and councill, which seemed a marveilous indulgence to one whom he had so lately proscribed as a rebel!.

The govern'r had directed us to consider of meanes for seca rity from th' Indian insults and to defray the charge he. advising us to beware of two rogues amongst us, naming Laurence and Drumond both dwelling at Jamestown and who were not at the Pascataway siege.

But at our entrance upon businesse, some gentlemen took this opportunity to endeavor the redressing several grievances the country then labour'd under, motions were made for inspecting the pubtiek revenues, the collectors accompts &,c. and so far was proceeded as to name part of a comittee whereof Mr. Bristol (now in London) was and myself another, when we were interrupted by pressing messages from the govern'r to medle with nothing, until the Indian business was dispatch't.

This-debate-rose high, but was overruled and I have not heard that those inspections have since then been insisted upoiv tho' such of that indigent people as had no benefits from the taxes groand under our being thus overborn.

The next thing was a comittee for the Indian affaires, whereof in appointing the members, myself was unwillingly nominated having no knowledge in martiall preparations, and after our names were taken, some of the house moved for sending 2 of our members to intreat the govern'r wou'd please to assign two of his councill to sit with, and assist us in our debates, as had been usual 1.

When seeing all silent looking each at other with many discontented faces, I adventur'd to offer my humble opinion to the speaker " for the comittee to form methods as agreeable to the sense of the house as we could, and report 'em whereby they would more clearly see, on what points to give the govern'r and councill that trouble if perhaps it might bee needfull.

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »