"The Mohawks," says Trumbull, "had not only carried their conquests as far southward as Virginia, but eastward as far as Connecticut River. The Indians, therefore, in the western parts of Connecticut, were their tributaries. Two old Mohawks, every year or two, might be seen issuing their orders and collecting their tribute, with as much authority and haughtiness as a Roman dictator.
"It is indeed difficult to describe the fear of this terrible nation, which had fallen on all the Indians in the western parts of Connecticut. If they neglected to pay their tribute, the Mohawks would come down against them, plunder, destroy, and carry them captive at pleasure. When they made their appearance in the country, the Connecticut Indians would instantly raise 317
a cry from hill to hill, ' A Mohawk! a Mohawk!' and fly like sheep before wolves, without attempting the least resistance. The Mohawks would cry out in the most terrible manner in their language, importing, 'We are come, we are come, to suck your blood!' When the Connecticut Indians could not escape to their forts, they would immediately flee to the English houses for shelter; and sometimes the Mohawks would pursue them so closely as to enter with them, and kill them in the presence of the family. If there was time to shut the doors, they never entered by force ; nor did they upon any occasion do the least injury to the English."
In the articles of agreement in which Momaugin, sachem of Quinnipiac, and his council, conveyed land to Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, and others, English planters at Quinnipiac, they refer to " heavy taxes and eminent dangers which they lately felt and feared from the Pequots, Mohawks, and other Indians, in regard of which they durst not stay in their country, but were forced to fly and to seek shelter under the English at Connecticut; " mention " the safety and ease that other Indians enjoy near the English, of which benefit they have had a comfortable taste already since the English began to build and plant at Quinnipiac;" . and stipulate " that if at any time hereafter they be affrighted in their dwellings assigned by the English unto them as before, they may repair to the English plantation for shelter, and that the English will there in a just cause endeavor to defend them from wrong."
The Quinnipiacs at New Haven numbered "forty-seven men or youth fit for service," and covenanted "not to receive or admit any other Indians amongst
them without leave first had and obtained from the English." Montowese, whose land adjoined that of Momaugin on the north, reported his company as being " but ten men besides women and children." The Indians of Guilford were of the same tribe as the Quinnipiacs of New Haven, for Shaumpishuh, the squaw sachem-at Guilford, was sister of Momaugin, and signed with him the deed of sale to Eaton and Davenport. After she sold her land at Guilford to Whitfield and his partners in the purchase, she came to reside with her brother at East Haven,1 bringing with her thirty-four of her people; of the rest a few removed to Branford, and about thirty-three persons remained at Guilford. Of the latter company, one was blind, and another was "a dumb old man."
These statistics favor the opinion that the territory of the New Haven colony, when the English began to build and plant upon it, was but sparsely inhabited. Momaugin had about one square mile for every one of his people, and Montowese had thirteen square miles for each of his ten men. The Wepowaugs were apparently more numerous than the Indians at New Haven. Perhaps it was because this tribe was so powerful, that the English settlement at Milford was fortified with palisades. Trumbull speaks in terms indefinite indeed, but fitted to convey the impression that Ansantaway, their sachem, had some hundreds of warriors ; specifying five different settlements in the town ol Milford, and making mention of oyster-shells " so deep, that they never have been ploughed or dug through to this day." De Forest thinks that Trumbull's estimate was too
1 De Forest, History of the Indians qf Connecticut, p. 167.
high. He says, " The territories of this clan stretched fifteen or eighteen miles along the coast, and comprehended nearly the present townships of Monroe, Hunt-ington, Trumbull, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, Orange, and Derby. In numbers it seems to have been considerable ; and large heaps of shells have been found along the coast, showing what must have been the natives' favorite and principal food. These heaps, however, do not necessarily prove the large population which people often suppose; for they were probably the accumulations of centuries, and their foundations may have been laid by some race which came and disappeared before the foot of a Paugussett or Wepowaug ever left its print on these shores. In fact, eating oysters is not such a marvellous feat that large piles of oyster-shells must of necessity indicate a great number of consumers. We must consider also that as the natives depended little upon agriculture for a subsistence, and as hunting was a less certain and more laborious mode of supply than fishing, a very large proportion of their food consisted of the produce of the sea, and especially of shell-fish." Slender as is our knowledge of the Wepowaugs, we know even less of the tribes on the coast west of them. Fairfield and Norwalk were purchased for Connecticut, and Stamford for New Haven. The records of Stamford inform us that Capt. Nathan-ael Turner, the agent of New Haven, purchased of Ponus, sagamore of Toquams, and his brother Wascus-sue, sagamore of Shippan, the territory now occupied by Stamford, Ponus reserving a piece of ground for himself and the other Indians to plant upon. The tribe to which Ponus and his family belonged were
called Siwanoys. Greenwich was also acquired for New Haven, though for a time the inhabitants repudiated her authority, and placed themselves under the protection of the Dutch. It is said that the sachems of whom Patrick and Peaks purchased Greenwich, were sons of Ponus. The red men resident in the vicinity have been estimated at from three hundred to five hundred, but even the latter number was largely increased during the war which the Dutch waged with the Indians, many of whom fled to Greenwich from their customary abodes nearer to New Amsterdam. This temporary accession to the aborigines inhabiting the .territory claimed by New Haven was more than balanced by the terrible slaughter executed by Underbill in the service of the Dutch, who, surprising a village in Greenwich, put to death in a single night, by lead, steel, and fire, according to the estimate of the natives, five hundred of its inhabitants.
With the exception of Southold, which was purchased of the Montauks, a tribe always friendly to the English, the territory of New Haven colony was acquired from the Indians mentioned or alluded to in the preceding . paragraph. It will be seen that the colony had less reason to apprehend collision with the aborigines on its own territories than if these had been united in a single tribe, under one chieftain. A sagamore who had only a score or two of warriors, even if smarting under the infliction of wrong, would not Ije so quick to resort to hostilities as one who counted his tribe by hundreds. It was, however, the' policy of the New Haven people, to avoid conflict w£th the red men as much as possible, and to cultivate their friendship. They were, indeed,
earnest for war with Ninigret in 1653 and 1654, seeing no other way to secure peace than by fighting for it; but their history, as a whoje, evinces a ruling desire to live in amity with their Indian neighbors. They were careful to deal justly with them in all public dealings, and to avenge any injuries inflicted upon them by the greed or passion of individuals. This is true of the fathers of New England in general; but Hubbard, a Massachusetts historian, testifies of New Haven, in particular, "They have been mercifully preserved from harm and violence all along from the Indians, setting aside a particular assault or two, the means whereof hath been a due carefulness in doing justice to them upon all occasions against the English, yet far avoiding any thing looking like servility or flattery for base ends." It was a memorable testimony which,.as Win-throp relates, a Pequot gave in favor of the foe who had extinguished the tribal existence of his people. " Those at New Haven, intending a plantation at Delaware, sent some men to purchase a large tract of land of the Indians there, but they refused to deal with them. It so fell out that a Pequot sachem (being fled his country in our war with them, and having seated himself, with his company, upon that river ever since) was accidentally there at that time. He, taking notice of the English and their desire, persuaded the other sachem to deal with them; and told him that howsoever they had killed his countrymen, and driven them out, yet they were honest men, and had just cause to do as they did, for the Pequots had done them wrong, and refused to give such reasonable satisfaction as was demanded of them. Whereupon the sachem enter-
tained them, and let them have what land they desired."
As respects New Haven in particular, her records show a disposition to do justice to the Indian. Take the following cases for evidence : -
"June 25, 1650. A seaman that went in Michael Taynter's vessel was brought before the governor, and accused by Wash, an Indian, that he, having hired him to show him the way to Totoket and agreed for twelvepence, when he. was upon the way Wash asked him for his money; the man gave him tenpence, lack two wampum. Wash said he must have twelvepence, else he would not go; whereupon the seaman took him by the arm, pulled him, and threw him down, and stamped upon him, and, in striving broke his arm. The seaman said he agreed with him for tenpence, and gave him so much; but Wash would not go, and struck Mm first, and he cannot tell that he- broke his arm, for it was sore before. Whereupon Mr. Besthup and Mr. Augur, two surgeons being desired to give their advice, said, to their best apprehension the arm was broken now, though by reason of an old sore, whereby the bone might be infected, might cause it the more easily to break. The Court was called, but none came to the governor but Mr. Crane, Mr. Gibbard, and Francis Newman. They would have persuaded Wash to have taken some wampum for satisfaction, but he would not hear of it, but said he desired it might be healed at the man's charge. Whereupon the Court desired Mr. Besthup-to do the best he could to heal it, and promised him satisfaction, and, for the present, sent the man to prison. But, quickly after, Philip Leeke, John Jones, and Edward Camp, became his bail, and bound" themselves in a bond of £10, that, upon a month's warning left with Philip Leeke, the man should make his appearance here before authority. And David Sellevant and Robert Lord became sureties, and engaged to bear them harmless."
" March, 1664. NathanaelThorpe being called before the Court for stealing .venison from an Indian called Ourance, Ourance was called, and asked what he had to say against Nathanael Thorpe. Nasup, on his behalf, declared that Ourance had killed a deer,
Thorpe, having confessed his guilt: -
"He was told seriously of his sin/and of his falseness, and that after he seemed to hold forth sorrow before the magistrates ; yet then he spake falsely, and said that it was a little before morning he rose out of his bed and did it, and that now he saith it was in the evening, before he went to bed; and he was told the several aggravations of his sin, as that it seemed to be contrived on the Lord's day, staying at home by reason of some bodily weakness, and that he had done it to an Indian, and to a poor Indian, and when himself had no need of it, and s6 often denying it, &c., whereby he makes the English and their religion odious to the heathen, and thereby hardens .them. So the Court proceeded to sentence, and for his theft declared, according to the law in the case, that he pay double to the Indian; viz., the venison, with two bushels of Indian corn; and for his notorious lying, and the several aggravations of his sin, that he pay as a fine to the plantation twenty shillings, and sit in the stocks the Court's pleasure. And he was told, that, were it riot that they considered him as sometimes dis-
tempered in his head, they should have been more sharp with him. Then Nathanael Thorpe declared that he desired to judge himself for his sin, and that the Lord would bless their good counsel to him, that so he might take warning for the future, lest it be worse with him."
Not contenting themselves with mere justice, the New Haven colony were also kind and helpful to their Indian neighbors. Take, for evidence and illustration, the following action of the town of New Haven concerning a field which the Indians desired to have fenced: -
" The governor acquainted the town that the Indians complain that the swine that belong to the town, or farms, do them much wrong in eating their corn; and now they intend to take in a new piece of ground, and they desired the English would help them to fence it, and that those who have meadows at the end of their ground would fence it, and save them fencing about. Sergeant Jeffrey and John Brockett were desired to go speak with them, to know what ground it is which they intend to take in, and to. view it, and see what fencing it may be, and give them the best direction they can. The sagamore also desires the town to give him a coat. He saith he is old and poor, and cannot work. The town declared themselves free that he should have a coat given him at the town's charge."
At the next meeting it was
" Ordered, concerning the Indians' land spoken of the last court, that Thomas Jeffrey, John Brockett, William Tuttle, and Robert Talmadge shall be a committee to view the ground which they say is theirs, and to advise them for the best about fencing; the meadow lying against their ground bearing its due proportion; and that some men be appointed at the town's charge to show them how, and help them in their fencing; that so we may not have such complaints from them of cattle and hogs spoiling their corn, which they say makes their squaws and children cry."
At a later date it was
" Ordered that the townsmen shall treat with the Indians, getting Mr. Pierson and his Indian for interpreters, and make a full agreement in writing what we shall do, and what they shall be bound to; and let them know that what their agreement is, we expect they shall perform it."
In this agreement threescore days' work was promised' to the Indians toward their fence, and the town voted that the work " should be done by men fit and able for the work, and be paid for out of the town treasury."
Just and kind treatment of the aborigines was required of the English by politic prudence as well as by Christian benevolence. The action concerning the sagamore's coat and the fence around his land was taken in 1653, when, throughout all the colonies, these was some fear of a general combination of Indians against the English. New Haven does not seem to have felt any present distrust of the tribes within her borders, but the intermingling of neighborly kindness with orders for special military preparations and precautions suggests that the manifestations of kindness may have proceeded, not from pure benevolence, but from a complex motive in which prudence was a considerable element.
An illustrative instance of this politic prudence occurred in the second year of the plantation at Quin-nipiac, and before civil government had been formally instituted. The planters at Wethersfield, having some quarrel with Sowheag, the sachem of the place, had driven him from his reservation near their village, and he had removed to Middletown. Sowheag, in prose-
cution of the quarrel, had incited, or at least encouraged, the Pequots to make an attack on Wethersfield, in which six men and three women were killed, and had ever since entertained and protected the Pequot warriors by whom these murders were committed. The Pequot war being now ended, so that the Connecticut people were at liberty to attend to Sowheag, they required him to give up these murderers ; and, upon his refusal, the General Court, in August, 1639, ordered a levy of one hundred men to be sent to Mattabeseck, as Middletown was then called, to take them by force. But the Court also determined to obtain the advice and consent of their friends at Quinnipiac before carrying their design into execution.
"Gov. Eaton and his council," says Trumbull, "fully approved of the design of bringing the delinquents to condign punishment, but they disapproved of the manner proposed by Connecticut. They feared that it would be introductive to a new Indian war. This, they represented, would greatly endanger the new settlements, and be many ways injurious and distressing. They wanted peace, all their men and money, to prosecute the design of planting the country. They represented that a new war would not only injure the plantations in these respects, but would prevent the coming over of new planters whom they expected from England. They were therefore determinately against seeking redress by an armed force. Connecticut, through their influence, receded from the resolution which they had formed with respect to Sowheag and Mattabeseck."
Eaton, though not at that time, as Trumbull carelessly assumes, governor of New Haven jurisdiction,
may have had some provisional power or trust, such as was abrogated by the first action of the Court when civil government was settled two months afterward. Certainly his voice gave expression to the public opinion of his plantation. His determined opposition to the proposed war upon Sowheag is easily accounted for by the nearness of Middletown to New Haven, and by the still closer contiguity of Montowese, a son of Sowheag, whose wigwam was but one hour distant from the English houses at Quinnipiac.
That- this pacific policy of New Haven was not carried to a hazardous extreme, is evident from the punishment inflicted on one of these Pequot murderers, who, of his own accord, came to Quinnipiac, presuming, perhaps, on the manifested leniency of that plantation. The trial of Nepaupuck, which commenced the day after civil government was instituted at Quinnipiac, has already been mentioned. A more particular account of it is here appropriate, and may perhaps be best given verbatim from the record.
"October z6th 1639. The civil affairs of the plantation being settled as before, by the providence of God an Indian called Mes-sutunck, alias Nepaupuck, who had been formerly accused to have murderously shed the blood of some of the English, of his own accord, with a deer's-head upon his back, came to Mr. Baton's, where by warrant the marshal apprehended and pinioned Him; yet notwithstanding, by the subtlety and treachery of another Indian his .companion, he had almost made an escape; but by the same providence he was again taken and delivered into the magistrates power and by his order safely kept in the stocks till he might be brought to a due trial. And the Indian who had attempted his escape was whipped by the marshal's deputy.
"October 28th 1639. The Quinnipiac Indian Sagamore with
divers of his Indians with him were examined before the magistrate and the deputies for this plantation concerning Nepaupuck. They generally accused him to have murdered one or more of the English, and that he had cut off some of their hands and had presented them to Sassacus the Pequot sachem, boasting that he had killed them with his own hands.
" Mewhebato a Quinnipiac Indian, kinsman to the aforesaid Nepaupuck, coming at the same time to intercede for him, was examined what he knew concerning the murders charged upon the said Nepaupuck. At first he pretended ignorance, but with a distmcted countenance, and in a trembling manner. Being admonished to speak the tfath he did acknowledge him guilty according to the charge the other Indians had before made.
"All the other Indians withdrawing, Nepaupuck was brought in and examined. He confessed that Nepaupuck was guilty according to the tenure of the former charge, but denied that he was Nepaupuck. Mewhebato being brought in, after some signs of sorrow, charged him to his face that he had assisted the Pequots in murdering the English. This somewhat abated his spirit and boldness"; but Wattoone, the son of Carroughood a councillor to the Quinnipiac Indian sagamore, coming in charged him more particularly that he had killed Abraham Finch, an Englishman, at Wethersfield, and that he himself, the said Wattoone, stood upon the island at Wethersfield.and beheld him, the said Nepaupuck, now present, acting the said murder.
" Lastly, the Quinnipiac sagamore and the rest of the Indians being called in, to his face affirmed that he was Nepaupuck, and that he had murdered one or more of the English as before.
" Nepaupuck being by the concurrence of testimony convinced, confessed he was the man, namely Nepaupuck, and boasted he was a great captain, had murdered Abraham Finch, and had his hands in other English blood. He said he knew he must die, and was not afraid of it; but laid his neck to the mantel-tree of the chimney, desiring that his head might be cut off, or that he might die in any other manner the English should appoint; only, he said, fire was God and God was angry with him; therefore he would not fall into his hands. After this he was returned to the stocks, and, as before, a watch appointed for his safe custody.
"A general court 29th of October, 1639. A.general court being assembled to proceed against the said Indian Nepaupuck, who was then brought to the bar and being examined as before, at the first he denied that he was that Nepaupuck which had committed those murders wherewith he was charged; but when he saw that the Quinnipiac Sagamore and his Indians did again accuse him to his face, he confessed that he had his hand in the murder of Abraham Finch, but yet he said there was a Mohawk of that name that had killed more than he.
"Wattootie affirmed to his face that he, the said Nepaupuck, did not only kill Abraham Finch, but was one of them that killed the three men in the boat or shallop on Connecticut River, and that there was but one Nepaupuck and this was he and the same that took a child of Mr. Swain at Wethersfield. Then the said Nepaupuck being asked if he would not confess that he deserved to die, he answered,' It is tueregin.' *
" The Court having had such pregnant proof, proceeded to pass sentence upon him according to the nature of the fact and the rule in that case, ' He that sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' Accordingly his head was cut off the next day and pitched upon a pole in the market place."
If Nepaupuck had been a lawyer, he might have demurred not only to the indictment for murder of one who had killed in war the enemies of his tribe, but also to the jurisdiction of a power which had been in existence but a single day, and did not even then claim as its own, the territory where a crime was alleged to have been committed two years before. But his untutored mind approved of that principle of natural justice, according to which, in every instance in which English blood was shed by an Indian, the English required life for life without regard to territorial limitation. His own people acted upon the same principle, and he justified it when it recoiled upon himself.
1 Well, or good. Some dialects used n in place of r. Eliot's Bible has wunnegin in Gen. i. 10,' God saw that it was wunnegin?
In making common cause throughout all the colonies against Indian murderers, certainly the English did no injustice. They had a right thus to combine for the protection of life. In deciding whether they were justifiable in treating as murderers those who had shed English blood in war, it should be taken into consideration, that, as Capt. Underbill expresses it, "the Indians' fight far differs from the Christian practice." Civilized nations have agreed that soldiers shall not be held indivfdually responsible for homicide in battle ; but this agreement would not cover suc'h homicides as those of which Nepaupuck was convicted, and of which Indian warriors were customarily guilty whenever they could surprise an unarmed foe. Fighting with a people wholly uncivilized, the English planters in New England were obliged to deviate from the usages established among civilized nations, and adapt their practice to the exigencies of their situation.
Another execution of an Indian occurred in 1644, near the close of the war between the Indians and the Dutch. A savage named Busheage, not discriminating between the two European nations whose settlements were so little space apart, came into a house at Stamford, none being at home but a woman and her infant, and, with a lathing-hammer, which he picked up and examined as if with intent to purchase, struck the woman as she stooped down to take her child out of the cradle. The wound was not fatal, but the woman became hopelessly insane. Busheage, being delivered to .the English, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Winthrop says, " The executioner would strike off his head with a falchion, but he had eight blows at
it before he could effect it, and the Indian sat upright and stirred not all the time."
Four years later Stamford was the scene of another tragedy. Taphanse, a son of Ponus, the sachem of the place, brought news into the town that an Indian named Toquatoes, living up near the Mohawks, had said at their wigwams that he would kill an Englishman ; that they had offered him wampum not to do it; that he had come again and reported that he had done it, and that he had gone away in haste, and left some of the Englishman's clothing." From that time, Mr. John Whitmore, one of the principal inhabitants, was missing. Two months afterward, Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans, coming to Stamford to assist his English friends to investigate the matter, was at once conducted by Taphanse to the place where lay the remains of the murdered man. Uncas and his Mohegan companions were satisfied that Taphanse was himself guilty of the murder, but he escaped before they could apprehend him. Fifteen years afterward, being arrested and examined, he was pronounced " guilty of suspicion," but " not guilty in point of death."
As the people of New Haven had to do not only with the aborigines within their borders, but with some who were without, we have occasion to describe some of their Indian neighbors who dwelt beyond the limits of the jurisdiction. Prominent among these was Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans. De Forest, in "The Indians of Connecticut," thus describes him: " In person, Uncas is said to have been a man of large frame and great .physical strength. His courage could never be doubted, for he displayed it too often and too clearly in 332
war. No sachem, however, was ever more fond of overcoming his enemies by stratagem and trickery. He seemed to set little value upon the glory of vanquishing in war, compared with the advantages it brought him in the shape of booty, and new subjects, and wider hunting-grounds. He favored his own men, and was, therefore, popular with them; but all others who fell under his power he tormented with continual exactions and annoyances. His nature was selfish, jealous, and tyrannical; his ambition was grasping, and unrelieved by a single trait of magnanimity."
Originally a Pequot, and by blood a kinsman of Sas-sacus, chief sachem of the Pequots at the time when the Pequot tribe was extinguished by the English, Uncas had allied himself still more closely with the royal family of 'his tribe by marrying a daughter of ;Sassacus. But, previous to the Pequot war, he had broken friendship with Sassacus, and become an exile from his tribe. The outbreak of hostilities between the English and the Pequots was to him, therefore, a welcome opportunity for revenge. With a score or two of followers he joined the expedition of Capt. Mason against his native tribe in 1637, which, without the guidance of Uncas and Wequash, would probably have been fruitless. Uncas had profited by the success of that expedition as much, perhaps, as the English. The number of his followers was increased by such captured Pequots as were allowed to join his people, and by other Indians who appreciated the advantage he might derive from being the ally of the wonderful white men.
Uncas married, and probably before the Pequot war, a daughter of Sebequanash, sachem of the Hammonas-
sets, and by this marriage acquired a large tract of land on the shore of Long Island Sound, extending westward from Connecticut River till it touched the land of the Guilford branch of the Quinnipiacs. This he sold to Mr. Fenwick and the planters of Guilford, and withdrew to the east side of the Connecticut River, to a region, which, as it had formerly belonged to his ancestors, the Pequot sachems, was now assigned to him as his portion of the spoils of war. When at the height of his power, and during that portion of his career when history mentions him most frequently, his residence was commonly at Norwich. But in 1644 he seems to have been residing, at least temporarily, on his Hammonasset land; for in December of that year, in town meeting at New Haven, " upon complaint made by some of the planters of Totoket that the Mohegan Indians have done much damage to them by setting their traps in the walk of their cattle, it was ordered that the marshal shall go with Thomas Whitway to warn Uncas, or his brother, or else Foxon, to come and speak with the governor andrthe magistrates." At this time Uncas, having sold a strip of land on the shore, still claimed for his son by his Hammonasset wife the northern part of the land which she had inherited. He and his son united in a deed conveying it to the planters of Guilford in January, 1663. The mark of Uncas affixed to the deed is a rude image of a turtle ; and that of his son Abaddon, alias Joshua, is a still more unsuccessful attempt to represent a deer.
The rising power of Uncas and his alliance with the English drew upon him the hatred of other Indian chiefs, especially of Miantinomoh, head sachem of the
Narragansets. Miantinomoh, while professing friendship for the English, was suspected of complicity in a plot for the destruction of all white men throughout New England, and of those Indians who could not be detached from their cause. After prompting several vain attempts to assassinate Uncas, Miantinomoh attacked him without warning, and without regard to an engagement that he would not make war upon Uncas without permission of the English: Miantinomoh being defeated and taken prisoner, Uncas desired for his own security to put him to death; but not venturing to do so without the consent of his white allies, brought him to Hartford, and asked the advice of the governor and magistrates of Connecticut. As these occurrences had taken place in the summer of 1643, and the commissioners of the confederate colonies were to hold their first meeting in September, it was resolved to refer the whole matter to their decision, Miantinomoh being meanwhile left in the custody of the English. The commissioners determined " that as it was evident that Uncas could not be safe while Miantinomoh lived, but that either by secret treachery or open force his life would be continually in danger, he might justly put such a false and blood-thirsty enemy to death." It was further determined that if Uncas should be assailed on account of the- execution of Miantinomoh, the English would, upon his desire, assist him against such violence. The meeting of the commissioners was at Boston ; and their determination in regard to Miantinomoh was kept secret till Hopkins and Fenwick, commissioners from Connecticut, and Eaton and Gregsori, commissioners from New Haven, had arrived home, some intimation
having been received that if it was determined to give Miantinomoh back to Uncas, these gentlemen would be seized while on their journey home, and held as hostages for the safety of the sachem.
The commissioners had stipulated that Miantinomoh should not be tortured, and that his execution should not take place within the jurisdiction of the English. Accordingly, when tne decision of the commissioners was made known, Uncas, coming to Hartford, received his prisoner, and led him not only beyond the jurisdiction of Connecticut, but to the place of his capture near Norwich. When they came upon the plain where the battle had been fought, Wawequa, a brother, of Uncas, was walking behind Miantinomoh. Upon a signal from his brother, Wawequa silently raised his tomahawk, and sunk it into the head of the captive, killing him with a single blow.
We have given this story of Miantinomoh and his execution, not because it is part of the history of New Haven, but because it explains some parts of that history. It was this execution which occasioned the sending of the six soldiers from New Haven a' few-weeks after the event, the similar expedition about two years afterward, and perhaps the temporary residence of Uncas west of the Connecticut River in the intervening time. The uneasiness observable for some years among the Indians is also sometimes, ascribed to the execution of Miantinomoh ; but possibly, if he had continued to live, there might have been not only rumors of war, but an, actual coalition of many tribes against the English. More than any other chieftain of his time he possessed the qualities necessary for combining
whatever elements of hostility were lying separated and scattered among the aborigines; and the people of New Haven and of the other colonies seem to have felt that the danger of a general and destructive war was diminished by this victory of Uncas over Miantinomoh.
Uncas, though a faithful ally of the colonists, was utterly unteachable in regard to English civilization, morals, and religion. Standing over the fallen Miantinomoh, he cut a piece of flesh from the shoulder of his foe, and ate it, exclaiming, " It is the sweetest meat I ever ate! It makes my heart strong!" De Forest says, "He oppressed the Pequots who were subject to him; he abused and plundered those who were not properly his subjects; he robbed one man of his wife; he robbed another man of his corn and beans ; he embezzled wampum which he had been commissioned to deliver to the English; and he and his brother Wawe-qua took every opportunity of subjecting, or at least plundering,. their neighbors. The colonists however, did not encourage him in these acts of violence; and sometimes, as the records of those times show, administered to him sharp rebukes, and even punishment."
Happening to be in New Haven on other business when the commissioners were in session there in 1646, he was called to answer several charges, one of which was that he had beaten and plundered some Indians employed by Englishmen to hunt near New London. Uncas acknowledged that he had done wrong in using violence so near an English settlement, but did not appear very penitent for his ill treatment of the Indians. The next year the commissioners met at Boston, and Uncas was again summoned to answer many com-
337 plaints brought against him. That from New London being renewed, he was fined one hundred fathom of wampunv to be divided among those who had suffered wrong at his hands. On this occasion Uncas did not appear in person, but was represented by Foxon, a sagamore who had been associated-with him, apparently from the beginning of his upward career, and by diplomatic ability had contributed much to the success of his chief. Foxon was held in reputation, as the apostle Eliot informs us, even among the Massachusetts tribes, "as the wisest Indian in the country." He made a dexterous defence on this occasion, declaring that he had never heard of some of the misdeeds charged; positively denying others; justifying, as in accord with the laws and customs of the Indians, the appropriation of Obechiquod's wife when her husband had fled from the territories of his sachem, leaving her behind; and admitting the charge that Wawequa, at the head of one hundred and thirty Mohegans, had attacked and plundered the Nipmucks, carrying away thirty-five fathoms of wampum, ten copper kettles, ten large hempen baskets, and many bear-skins, deer-skins, and other articles of value; but claiming that Uncas, with his chief men, was at New Haven when it was done, and knew nothing of the affair; that he never shared in the spoils, and that some of his own Indians were robbed at the same time.
So far was Uncas from receiving with favor the religion of his allies, that a contemporary mentions him as an opposer of Mr. Fitch, the first minister of Norwich, in his endeavors to instruct the Mohegans in Christianity. " I am apt to fear," says Gookin in his " His-
torical Collections of the Indians in New England," " that a great obstruction to his labors is in the sachem of those Indians, whose name is Uncas, an old and wicked, wilful man, a drunkard, and otherwise very vicious, who hath always been an opposer and under-miner of praying to God." Fitch himself, in a letter to Gookin, gives similar testimony, saying that Uncas and the other sachems " at first carried it teachably and tractably, until at length the sachems did discern that religion would not consist with a mere receiving of the Word, and that practical religion will throw down their heathenish idols and the sachem's tyrannical monarchy; and then the sachems, discerning this, did not only go away, but drew off their people, some by flatteries and others by threatenings, and would not suffer them to give so much as an outward attendance to the ministry of the word of God."
When Uncas went with Capt. Mason to fight against his native tribe, he was accompanied by another sagamore called by the English, Wequash, or Wequash Cook. Perhaps his name in the Indian language was a word of three syllables, as Wequashcuk. He was of the Niantic tribe, the eldest son of its chief sachem, but for some reason had not succeeded to his father's place. As he is sometimes called a Pequot, it is surmised that his mother was a Pequot, and of so low rank that her children, according to Indian law and custom, were obliged to give place to an uncle, who, upon the death of their father, became chief sachem of the Nian-tics. This uncle of Wequash was none other than Ninigret, whom we have already had occasion to
tion as, in later times, an enemy of the English. We-quash, in 1637, when Uncas and he went with Mason, was acknowledged as a sagamore by a few followers; but as the whole number of Indians in that expedition was only seventy, and Uncas was so much more prominent than Wequash that the latter is barely mentioned by the historians, it is evident th^t his clan was not numerous. Probably, as a sagamore, he was more nearly on a par with Montowese than with Momaugin.
When Mason, after a march of about two miles before dawn of day, drew near to Mystic Fort, he sent for his Indian allies to come to the front. Only Uncas and Wequash came. Mason inquired of them where the fort was. They replied that ft was on the top of the hill at whose foot they, were now standing. " He demanded of them where were the other Indians. They answered that they were much afraid. The captain sent to them not to fly, but to surround the fort at any distance they pleased, and see whether Englishmen would fight." These timid allies did but very little fighting, but they were interested and astonished observers. The destruction of the fort and of its occupants made, doubtless, upon all of them a profound impression of respect for English power; but in the mind of Wequash it awakened a spirit of inquiry in regard to the Englishmen's God, which led him finally to a hearty and influential reception of Christianity. An account of his religious experience may perhaps be best given in the language of an anonymous contemporary : -
" This man,'a few years since, seeing and beholding the mighty power of God in our English forces, how they fell upon the Pe-quots, when divers hundreds of them were slain in an hour, the
Lord as a God of glory in great terror did appear to the soul and conscience of this poor wretch in that very act; and though before that time he had low apprehensions of our God, having conceived him to be (as he said) but a mosquito God or a God like unto a fly; and as mean thoughts of the English that served this God, that they were silly, weak men; yet from that time he was convinced and persuaded that our God was a most dreadful God; and that one Englishman by the help of his God was able to slay and put to flight an hundred Indians.
"This conviction did pursue and follow him night and day, so that he could have no rest or quiet becamse he was ignorant of the Englishman's God: he went up and down bemoaning his condition, and filling every place where he came with sighs and groans. Afterward it pleased the Lord that some English well acquainted with his language did meet with him; thereupon, as a hart panting after the water brooks, he enquired after God with such incessant diligence that they were constrained constantly for his satisfaction to spend more than half the night in conversing with him.
" Afterward he came to dwell amongst the English at Connecticut ; and travailing with all his might and lamenting after the Lord, his manner was to smite his hand on his breast and to complain sadly of his heart, saying it was much matchet (that is, very evil), and when any spake with him, he would say,' Wequash no God, Wequash no know Christ.' It pleased the Lord, that, in the use of the means, he grew greatly in the knowledge of Christ and in the principles of religion, and became thoroughly reformed according to his light, hating and loathing himself for his dearest sins, which were especially these two, lust and revenge. This repentance for the former was testified by his temperance and abstinence from all occasions or matter of provocation thereunto; secondly, by putting away all his wives, saving the first, to whom he had most right. His repentance for the latter was testified by an eminent degree of meekness and patience, that now, if any did abuse him, he could lie down at their feet; and if any did smite him on the one cheek, he would rather turn the other than offend them (many trials he had from the Indians in this case); secondly, by going up and down to those he had offered violence or wrong unto, confessing it, and making restitution.
" Afterward he went amongst the Indians, like that poor woman of Samaria, proclaiming Christ, and telling them what a treasure he had found, instructing them in the knowledge of the true God; and this he did with a grave and serious spirit, warning them with all faithfulness to flee from the wrath to come, by breaking off their sins and wickedness. This course of his did so disturb the devil that ere long some of the Indians, whose hearts Satan had filled, did secretly give him poison, which he took without suspicion; and, when he lay upon his death-bed, some Indians who were by him wishing him, according to the Indian manner, to send for a powwow, that is, a wizard; he told them, ' If Jesus Christ say that Wequash shall live, then Wequash must live; if Jesus Christ say that Wequash shall die, then Wequash is willing to die, and will not lengthen out his life by any such means.' Before he died, he did bequeath his child to the godly care of the English for education and instruction, and so yielded up his soul into Christ's hands."'
This anonymous witness, who was apparently a New-England minister visiting the mother country, amplifies more than any other the story of Wequash's conversion and subsequent Christian life; but his story is in the main corroborated by contemporaries writing over their own names. Winthrop thus records the case: -
" Ont Wequash Cook, an Indian, living about Connecticut River's mouth, and keeping much at Saybrook with Mr. Fenwick, attained to good knowledge of the things of God and salvation by Christ, so as he became a preacher to other -Indians, and labored . much to convert them, but without any effect, for within a short time he fell sick, not without suspicion of poison from them, and died very comfortably."
1 New England's First Fruits, London, printed by R. O. and G. D. for Henry Overton, and are to be sold at his shop in Popes-head-alley 1643-
The fervent Thomas Shepard writes in a letter to a friend: -
" Wequash, the famous Indian at the river's mouth, is dead, and certainly in heaven; gloriously did the grace of Christ shine forth in his conversation; a year and a half before his death he knew Christ; he loved Christ; he preached Christ up and down, and then suffered martyrdom for Christ; and when he died, he gave his soul to Christ, and his only child to the English, rejoicing in this hope that the child should know more of Christ than its poor father ever did."
Roger Williams, mentioning Wequash in his "Key into the Indian Languages," says, -
"Two days before his death, as I passed up to Connecticut River, it pleased my worthy friend Mr. Fenwick, whom I visited at his house in Saybrook Fort at the mouth of that river, to tell me . that my old friend Wequash lay very sick. I desired to see him, and himself was pleased to be my guide two miles where Wequash lay. Amongst other discourse concerning his sickness and death, in which he freely bequeathed his son to Mr. Fenwick, I closed with him concerning his soul. He told me that some two or three years before, he had lodged at my house, when I acquainted him with the condition of all mankind and his own in particular; how God created man and all things; how man fell from God and his present enmity against God, and the wrath of God against him until repentance. Said he,' Your words were never out of my heart to this present, and me much pray to Jesus Christ.' I told him, so did many English, French, and Dutch, who had never turned to God, nor loved him. He replied in broken English,' Me so big-naughty heart; me heart all one stone!' Savory expressions, using to breathe from compunct and broken hearts and a sense of inward hardness and unbrokenness. I had many discourses with him in his life, but this was the sum of our last parting until our general meeting."
Though Wequash did but little active fighting at Mystic, he drew upon himself by his alliance with the
English the deep hostility of some of his own race. This hatred may have been afterward intensified by his espousal of the religion of the white men. But if he died by poison, it was doubtless his friendship for the English which inflamed his murderers.
Indeed, from the first, his friends feared that his life was in danger. Capt. Stoughton, sending home to the governor and council of Massachusetts a report of his expedition westward in pursuit of the remnant of the Pequots, says, " For Wequash, we fear he is killed; and if he be, 'tis a mere wicked plot; and seeing he showed faithfulness to us, and for it is so rewarded, it is hard measure to us-ward; and what is meet to be done therein is difficult for me to conclude. I shall, therefore, desire your speedy advice."
If Wequash was in Stoughton's expedition, as this mention of him suggests, he must have been, a valuable source of information in regard to Quinnipiac, for he was in some way connected with the Indians of that place. A deed, in which Uncas conveyed land to the planters of Guilford, denies the ownership-of other Indians, who " have seemed to lay claim to these lands aforesaid, as the sachem squaw of Quinnipiac, and Wequash through her right, the one-eyed squaw of Totoket, and others." Wequash himself, a few weeks previous to this sale by Uncas, had signed a deed conveying a tract of land to Mr. Whitfield, alleging that he derived his title from the sachem squaw of Quinnipiac. For some reason which does not appear on the record, the proprietors of New Haven accounted themselves under obligation to Wequash; for, under date of Nov. 29, 1641, "it is ordered that Wequash shall have a suit
of clothes made at the town's charge." As this was but a few months before his death, and during that year and a half which he spent in going up and down preaching to the Indians, it may be conjectured that it was in reward for such evangelistic labor expended on the red men of Quinnipiac. But if such were the occasion of the gift, why should it not appear on the record? More probably it was for information in regard to Indian conspiracies; for, nine months after this gift to Wequash, and only one month after his decease, a friendly sagamore came to Mr. Ludlow at Fairfield, as he worked in his hayfield, and discovered a plot, desiring "a promise that his name might be concealed; for, if it were known, it would cost him his life, and he should be served as Wequash was for being so faithful to the English." Promise of concealment was made, and he related what he knew concerning the plot in which Miantinomoh was concerned. It designed, first, the assassination of Uncas, and then a general and simultaneous massacre of the English. " As soon as the sabbath was past, Mr. Ludlow rode to New Haven, and there intended to take advice with them, and so to proceed to Connecticut. But when he came to New Haven, and procured Mr. Eaton, Mr. Goodyear, and Mr. Davenport, to give him meeting, and opened things unto them, they presently declared there was an Indian from Long Island that had declared the same to them verbatim." J If this testimony be trustworthy, it would seem that the death of Wequash was the first fruits of a plot which intended the destruction of all the English, and of their Indian allies.
1 Relation of the Indian plot. Mass. Hist Coll., XXIII. p. 161.
The reader may form some idea of Wequash's wardrobe, when he learns, that, two months previous to the gift of the English clothes by New Haven, he received from Mr Whitfield, in payment for his land in Guilford, "a frieze coat, a blanket, an Indian coat, one fathom of. Dutchman's coat, a shirt, a pair of stockings, a pair of shoes, a fathom of wampum."
The story of Wequash naturally leads to an account of efforts within the colony of New Haven for the civilization and evangelization of the aborigines. Wequash was described on his tombstone .at Lyme as the first convert among the New England tribes ; but this statement seems to have been made by one imperfectly informed in regard to Plymouth and Massachusetts. Palfrey mentions by name several Indians of whom English Christians in those colonies entertained, at an earlier date, "good hopes in their hearts." The success of the evangelistic work of Eliot and the May-hews in Massachusetts, a few years after the death of Wequash, enkindled such interest in the mother country that a corporation was created by act of Parliament, "for the promoting and propagating of the gospel of Jesus Christ in New England." Its charter directed that the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, or such as they should appoint, should have power to receive and dispose of the moneys brought in " in such manner as should best and principally conduce to the preaching and propagating of the gospel amongst the natives, and the maintenance of schools and nurseries of learning for the education of the children of the natives." The funds thus pro-
vided were chiefly expended in the older colonies ; but, in Connecticut, Mr. Blinman, the minister of New London, and in the colony of New Haven, Mr. Pier-son, the minister of Branford, were employed by this corporation. The efforts of Mr. Fitch of Norwich to instruct his heathen neighbors have been already mentioned. "The ministers of the several towns where Indians lived," says Trumbull, "instructed them as they had opportunity; but all attempts for Christianizing the Indians in Connecticut were attended with little success. They were engaged a great part of their time in such implacable wars among themselves, were so ignorant of letters and the English language, and the English ministers in general were so entirely ignorant of their dialect, that it was extremely difficult to teach them. Not one Indian church was ever gathered by the English ministers in Connecticut. Several Indians, however, in one town and another, became Christians, and were baptized and admitted to full communion in the English churches." This testimony of Trumbull was intended to cover the territory which had belonged to the, colony of New Haven as truly as the other part of Connecticut. Of the ministers of the New Haven colony, Mr. Pierson seems to have been most proficient in the Indian tongue; he "and his Indian" being employed as interpreters in the negotiation of important business. He preached to the red men in their own language, and commenced to prepare a catechism, a. part of which being submitted to the commissioners of the United Colonies, at their meeting, in 1656, they advised that it be completed, and "turned into the Narraganset or Pequot, and for
that purpose they spake with and desired Thomas Stanton to advise with Mr. Pierson about a fit season to meet and translate the same." Mr. Pierson, dis pleased at the absorption of New Haven by Connecticut, removed out of the colony. Perhaps a few years more of perseverance might have produced a much greater result, and brought to view some fruits of the labor expended, which, by reason of its untimely cessation, have remained unknown.
But, though comparatively little was accomplished by preaching to the Indians in their own tongue, many youth, being received into English families, were instructed as if they had been born in the-house; so that after a few years from the beginning, there were civilized and Christian Indians living amdng the English, speaking English, wearing English cloth, owning land, following trades, and frequenting the,,public assemblies on the Lord's day.