CHAPTER V.

THE Indians in general, were ever jealous of the English, from the first settlement of New-England, and wished to drive them from the country. Various circumstances however, combined to frustrate their designs. The English, on their first settlement at New-Plymouth, entered into such friendly treaties with some of the principal tribes, and conducted themselves with such justice, prudence and magnanimity towards them and the Indians in gen-eral, as had the most happy influence to preserve the peace of the country. The animosities of the Indians among themselves, and their implacable hatred of each other, with their various separate interests, contributed to the same purpose. Some of them wished for the friendship and neighbourhood of the English, to guard them from one enemy, and others of them to protect them from another. All wished for the benefit of their trade; and it is proba-ble, that they had no apprehensions, at first, that a handful of peo-ple would ever overrun, and fill the country. It was therefore nearly sixteen years before they commenced open hostilities upon their English neighbours. But no sooner had they begun to trade and make settlements at Connecticut, than that great, spirited, and warlike nation, the Pequots, began to murder and plunder them, and to wound and kill their cattle.

In 1634, a number of Indians, who were not native Pequots, but in confederacy with them, murdered captain Stone and cap-tain Norton, with their whole crew, consisting of eight men: they then plundered and sunk the vessel. Captain Stone was from St. Christopher's, in the West-Indies, and came into Con-necticut river, with a view of trading at the Dutch house. After he had entered the river, he engaged a number of Indians to pilot two of his men up the river, to the Dutch: but night coming on, they went to sleep, and were both murdered by their Indian guides. The vessel, at night, was laid up to the shore. Twelve of those Indians, who had several times before been trading with the captain, apparently in an amicable manner, were on board. Watching their opportunity, when he was asleep, and several of the crew on shore, they murdered him secretly in his cabin, and cast a covering over him, to conceal it from his men: they then fell upon them, and soon killed the whole company, except cap-tain Norton. He had taken the cook room, and for a long time made a most brave and resolute defence. That he might load and fire with the greatest expedition, he had placed powder in an open vessel, just at hand, which, in the hurry of the action, took fire, and so burned and blinded him, that he could make no further resistance. Thus, after all his gallantry, he fell with his hapless


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companions. Part of the plunder was received by the Pequots, and another part by the eastern Nehanticks. Sassacus and Nini-gret, the sachems of those Indians, were both privy to the affair, and shared in the goods and articles taken from the vessel. It was supposed that the Indians had pre-concerted this massacre.1

The November following, the Pequots sent a messenger to Bos-ton, to desire peace with the English. He made an offer of a great quantity of beaver skins and wampumpeag, to persuade the governor to enter into a league with them. The governor an-swered the messenger, that the Pequots must send men of greater quality than he was; and that he would then treat with them. The Pequots then sent two messengers to the governor, carrying a present, and earnestly soliciting peace. The governor assured them, that the English were willing to be at peace with them; but insisted, that, as they had murdered captain Stone and his men, they must deliver up the murderers, and make full compensation. The messengers pretended, that captain Stone had used the Ind-ians ill, and provoked them to kill him: that their sachem, who was concerned in the affair, had been killed by the Dutch, and that the Indians who perpetrated the murder, were all dead but two; and that, if they were guilty, they would desire their sachem to deliver them up to justice. They offered to concede all their right at Connecticut river, if the English should desire to settle there; and engaged to assist them as far as was in their power, in making their settlements. They also promised that they would give the English four hundred fathoms of wampum, forty beaver, and thirty otter skins. After long and mature deliberation, the governor and his council entered into a treaty with them, on the conditions which they had proposed. The English were to send a vessel with cloths, to trade with them fairly, as with friends and allies.2

The reasons of their so earnestly soliciting peace, at this time, were, that the Narragansets were making war furiously upon them; and the Dutch, to revenge the injuries done them, had killed one of their sachems, with several of their men, and capti-vated a number more. They wished not, at this critical time, to increase the number of their enemies. They artfully suggested to their new allies, the governor and council of Massachusetts, their desire, that they would be mediators between them and the Narra-gansets. They also intimated their willingness, that part of the present which they were to send, might be given to them, for the purpose of obtaining a reconciliation. Such was the pride and stoutness of their spirits, and so much did they stand upon a point of honour, that though they wished for peace with their enemy, yet they would not directly offer any thing for that pur-

1Mason's history, and Hubbard's narrative.

2Winthrop's Journal, p. 75, compared with Hubbard's narrative, p. 15, 16, 17.


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pose. This treaty was signed by the parties, but hostages were not taken to secure the performance of the articles, and the Pe-quots never performed one of them. Whatever their designs were at that time, they afterwards became more and more mischievous, hostile and bloody.

The next year, John Oldham, who had been fairly trading at Connecticut, was murdered near Block Island. He had with him only two boys and two Narraganset Indians. These were taken and carried off. One John Gallup, as he was going from Connecticut to Boston, discovered Mr. Oldham's vessel full of Indians, and he saw a canoe, having Indians on board, go from her, laden with goods. Suspecting that they had murdered Mr. Oldham, he hailed them, but received no answer. Gallup was a bold man, and though he had with him but one man and two boys, he immediately bore down upon them, and fired duck shot so thick among them, that he soon cleared the deck. The Indians all got under the hatches. He then stood off, and running down upon her quarter with a brisk gale, nearly overset her; and so frightened the Indians, that six of them leaped into the sea, and were drowned. He then steered off again, and running down upon her a second time, bored her with his anchor, and raked her fore and aft with his shot. But the Indians kept themselves so close, that he got loose from her; and running down a third time upon the vessel, he gave her such a shock, that five more leaped overboard, and perished, as the former had done. He then boarded the vessel, and took two of the Indians, and bound them. Two or three others, armed with swords, in a little room below, could not be driven from their retreat. Mr. Oldham's corpse was found on board; the head split, and the body mangled in a bar-barous manner. He was a Dorchester man, one of Mr. Warham's congregation.1 In these circumstances, Gallup, fearing that the Indians whom he had taken might get loose, especially if they were kept together, and having no place where he could keep them apart, threw one of them overboard. Gallup and his com-pany then, as decently as circumstances would permit, put the corpse into the sea. They stripped the vessel, and took her rig-ging, and the goods which had not been carried off, on board their own. She was then taken in tow, with a view to carry her in; but the night coming on, and the wind rising, Gallup was obliged to let her go adrift, and she was lost. The Indians who perpetrated the murder were principally the Block-Islanders, with a number of the Narragansets, to whom these Indians, at this time, were subject. Several of the Narraganset sachems were in the plot, and it was supposed that the Indians whom Oldham had with him, were in the conspiracy. Several of the murderers fled to the Pequots, and were protected by them. They were, there-fore, considered as abettors of the murder.

1See note, p. 16.-J. T.


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The governor and council of Massachusetts, therefore, the next year, dispatched captain Endicott, with ninety volunteers, to avenge these murders, unless the Indians should deliver up the murderers, and make reparation for the injuries which they had done. The Narraganset sachems sent home Mr. Oldham's two boys, and made such satisfaction, and gave such assurances of their good conduct, for the future, as the English accepted; but the other Indians made no compensation. Captain Endicott was, therefore, instructed to proceed to Block-Island, put the men to the sword, and take possession of the island. The women and children were to be spared. Thence he was to sail to the Pequot country, and demand of the Pequots the murderers of captains Stone and Norton, and of the other Englishmen who were of their company. He was also to demand a thousand fathoms of wampum for damages, and a number of their children for host-ages, until the murderers should be delivered, and satisfaction made. If they refused to comply with these terms, he was directed to take it by force of arms. He had under him captains John Underhill and Nathaniel Turner. They sailed from Boston on the 25th of August. When he arrived at Block-Island, forty or fifty Indians appeared on the shore, and opposed his landing; but his men soon landed, and, after a little skirmishing, the Indians fled to the woods. The Indians secreted themselves in swamps, thickets, and fastnesses, where they could not be found. There were two plantations on the island, containing about sixty wig-wams, some of which were very large and fair. The Indians had, also, about two hundred acres of corn. After the English had spent two days on the island, burning the wigwams, destroying their corn, and staving their canoes, they sailed for the Pequot country. When they had arrived in Pequot harbour, captain En-dicott acquainted the Pequots with the design of his coming, de-manded satisfaction for the murders which they had committed against the English, and compensation for the damages which they had done them. In a few hours, nearly three hundred of the Pequots collected upon the shore; but soon after they were fully informed of his business, they began to withdraw into the woods, and, instead of treating, answered him with their arrows, from the adjacent rocks and fastnesses. He landed his men on both sides of the harbour, burnt their wigwams, and destroyed their canoes, but made no spirited attack upon them, nor pursuit after them. As their corn was standing, no pains were taken for its destruc-tion. They killed an Indian or two, and then returned to Boston. They all arrived on the 14th of September, unharmed either by sickness or the sword.1 Enough, indeed, had been done to exas-perate, but nothing to subdue a haughty and warlike enemy.

Sassacus and his captains were men of great and independent

1Winthrop's Journal, p. 105, 106, 107.


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spirits; they had conquered and governed the nations around them without control. They viewed the English as strangers and mere intruders, who had no right to the country, nor to control its original proprietors, independent princes and sovereigns. They had made settlements in Connecticut without their consent, and brought home the Indian kings whom they had conquered, and restored to them their authority and lands. They had built a fort, and were making a settlement, without their approbation, in their very neighbourhood. Indeed, they had now proceeded to attack and ravage their country. They were now, therefore, all kindled into resentment and rage; they determined upon, and breathed nothing but war and revenge. They determined to ex-tirpate, or drive all the English from New-England.

For this purpose, they conceived the plan of uniting the Indians generally against them. They spared no art nor pains to make peace with the Narragansets, and to engage them in the war against the English. They represented, that the English, who were merely foreigners, were overspreading the country, and depriving the original inhabitants of their ancient rights and possessions: that, unless effectual measures were immedi-ately taken to prevent it, they would soon entirely dispossess the original proprietors, and become the lords of the continent. They insisted, that, by a general combination, they could either destroy, or drive them from the country. With great advantage did they represent the facility with which it might be effected. They said there would be no necessity of coming to open battles: that, by killing their cattle, firing their houses, laying ambushes on the roads, in the fields, and wherever they could surprise and destroy them, they might accomplish their wishes. They represented, that, if the English should effect the destruction of the Pequots, they would also soon destroy the Nar-ragansets. So just and politic were these representations, that nothing but that thirst for revenge which inflames the savage heart, could have resisted their influence. Indeed, it is said, that, for a time, the Narragansets hesitated.

The governor of Massachusetts, to prevent an union between these savage nations, and to strengthen the peace between the Narraganset Indians and the colony, sent for Miantonimoh, their chief sachem, inviting him to come to Boston. Upon this, Mian-tonimoh, with another of the Narraganset sachems, two of the sons of Canonicus, with a number of their men, went to Boston, and entered into the following treaty.

That there should be a firm peace between them and the Eng-lish, and their posterity: That neither party should make peace with the Pequots, without the consent of the other: That they should not harbor the Pequots, and that they should return ah fugitive servants, and deliver over to the English, or put to death,


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all murderers. The English were to give them notice, when they went out against the Pequots, and they were to furnish them with guides. It was also stipulated, that a free trade should be main-tained between the parties.

Captain Underhill and twenty men,1 appointed to reinforce the garrison at Saybrook, lying wind bound off Pequot harbor, after Mr. Endicott's departure, a party of them went on shore to plunder the Pequots, and bring off their corn. After they had plundered a short time, and brought off some quantity of corn, the Pequots attacked them, and they fought a considerable part of the afternoon. At length, the enemy retired, and they returned to their boats. They had one man wounded, and imagined they killed and wounded several of the Indians.

About the beginning of October, the enemy, concealing them-selves in the high grass, in the meadows, surprised five of the gar-rison at Saybrook, as they were carrying home their hay. One Butterfield was taken and tortured to death. The rest made their escape; but one of them had five arrows shot into him. From this disaster, the place received the name of Butterfield's meadow.

Eight or ten days after, Joseph Tilly, a master of a small vessel, was captivated by the enemy, as he was going down Connecticut river. He came to anchor two or three miles above the fort, and taking a canoe, and one man with him, went a fowling. No sooner had he discharged his piece, than a large number of Pe-quots, arising from their concealment, took him, and killed his companion. Tilly was a man of great spirit and understanding, and determined to show himself a man. The Indians used him in the most barbarous manner, first cutting off his hands, and then his feet, and so gradually torturing him to death. But as all their cruelties could not effect a groan, they pronounced him a stout man.

The enemy now kept up a constant watch upon the river, and upon the people at Saybrook. A house had been erected, about two miles from the fort, and six of the garrison were sent to keep it. As three of them were fowling, at a small distance from the house, they were suddenly attacked, by nearly a hundred Pequots. Two of them were taken. The other cut his way through them, sword in hand, and made his escape; but he was wounded with two arrows.2

Before winter, the garrison were so pressed by the enemy, that they were obliged to keep almost wholly within the reach of their guns. The Pequots razed all the out-houses, burnt the stacks of hay, and destroyed almost every thing, which was not within the

1Underhill's narrative makes no mention of this affair. It is a mistake to sup-pose that he was engaged in it. The twenty men were evidently those furnished by Lieutenant Gardiner at Saybrook, as appears by his narrative.-J. T.

2Hubbard's Narrative, Winthrop's Journal, and Mason's History of the Pequot war.


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command of the fort. The cattle which belonged to the garrison, were killed and wounded. Some of them came home, with the arrows of the enemy sticking in them. Indeed, the fort was but little better than in a state of siege, a great part of the winter. The enemy so encompassed it about, and watched all the motions of the garrison, that it was dangerous, at any time, to go out of the reach of the cannon.

When the spring came on, they became still more mischievous and troublesome. They kept such a constant watch upon the river, that men could not pass up and down, with any safety, with-out a strong guard. They waylaid the roads and fields, and kept Connecticut in a state of constant fear and alarm.

In March, I637,1 lieutenant Gardiner, who commanded the fort at Saybrook, going out with ten or twelve men, to burn the marshes, was waylaid by a narrow neck of land, and as soon as he had passed the narrow part of the neck, the enemy rose upon him, and killed three of his men. The rest made their escape to the fort; but one of them was mortally wounded, so that he died the next day. The lieutenant did not escape without a slight wound. The enemy pursued them in great numbers, to the very fort, and compassed it on all sides. They challenged the English to come out and fight, and mocked them, in the groans, pious in-vocations, and dying language of their friends, whom they had captivated, when they were torturing them to death. They boasted, That they could kill English men "all one flies." The cannon loaded with grape shot were fired upon them, and they retired.

Some time after, the enemy, in a number of canoes, beset a shallop, which was going down the river, with three men on board. The men fought bravely, but were overpowered with numbers. The enemy shot one through the head with an arrow, and he fell overboard; the other two were taken. The Indians ripped them up, from the bottom of their bellies to their throats, and cleft them down their backs: they then hung them up by their necks upon trees, by the side of the river, that as the English passed by, they might see those miserable objects of their vengeance.

The Pequots tortured the captives to death in the most cruel manner. In some, they cut large gashes in their flesh, and then poured embers and live coals into the wounds. When, in their distress, they groaned, and in a pious manner committed their de-parting spirits to their Redeemer, these barbarians would mock and insult them in their dying agonies and prayers.

On the 21st of February, the court met at Newtown, and letters were written to the governor of Massachusetts, representing the dissatisfaction of the court with Mr. Endicott's expedition, the

1The exact date of this affair appears to have been the 22d of February, as shown by Winthrop's Journal, and Lion Gardiner's narrative.-J. T.


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consequences of which had been so distressful to Connecticut. The court expressed their desires that the colony of Massachusetts would more effectually prosecute the war with the Pequots.1 It was also represented to be the design of Connecticut to send a force against them.

At this court it was decreed, that the plantation called New-town, should be named Hartford; and that Watertown should be called Weathersfield. It was soon after decreed, that Dorchester should be called Windsor. Hartford was named in honor to Mr. Stone, who was born at Hartford, in England.

Captain Mason was soon after dispatched with twenty men, to reinforce the garrison at Saybrook, and to keep the enemy at a greater distance. After his arrival at the fort, the enemy made no further attacks upon it, but appeared very much to withdraw from that quarter.

A party of them took a different route, and, in April, waylaid the people at Weathersfield, as they were going into their fields to labour, and killed six men and three women. Two maids were taken captive: besides, they killed twenty cows, and did other damages to the inhabitants.

Soon after this, captain Underhill, who had been appointed, in the fall preceding, to keep garrison at Saybrook, was sent from the Massachusetts, with twenty men, to reinforce the garrison. Upon their arrival at Saybrook, captain Mason and his men im-mediately returned to Hartford.

The affairs of Connecticut, at this time wore a most gloomy aspect. They had sustained great losses in cattle and goods in the preceding years, and even this year they were unfortunate with respect to their cattle. They had no hay but what they cut from the spontaneous productions of an uncultivated country. To make good English meadow, was a work of time. The wild, coarse grass, which the people cut, was often mowed too late, and but poorly made. They did not always cut a sufficient quantity, even of this poor hay. They had no corn, or provender, with which they could feed them: and, amidst the multiplicity of af-fairs, which, at their first settlement, demanded their attention, they could not provide such shelters for them, as were necessary during the long and severe winters of this northern climate. From an union of these circumstances, some of their cattle were lost, and those which lived through winter, were commonly poor, and many of the cows lost their young. Notwithstanding all the exertions the people had made the preceding summer, they had not been able, in the multiplicity of their affairs, and under their incon-veniences, to raise a sufficiency of provisions. Their provisions were not only very coarse, but very dear, and scanty. The people were not only inexperienced in the husbandry of the country, but

1Winthrop's journal, p. 123.


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they had but few oxen or ploughs.1 They performed almost the whole culture of the earth with their hoes. This rendered it both exceedingly slow and laborious.

Every article bore a high price. Valuable as money was, at that day, a good cow could not be purchased under thirty pounds; a pair of bulls or oxen not under forty pounds. A mare from Eng-land or Flanders, sold at thirty pounds; and Indian corn at about five shillings a bushel: labour, and other articles bore a propor-tionable price.

In addition to all these difficulties, a most insidious and dread-ful enemy were now destroying the lives and property of the col-onists, attempting to raise the numerous Indian tribes of the country against them, and threatened the utter ruin of the whole colony. The inhabitants were in a feeble state, and few in number. They wanted all their men at home, to prosecute the necessary business of the plantations. They had not a sufficiency of pro-visions for themselves: there would therefore be the greatest dif-ficulty in furnishing a small army with provisions abroad. They could neither hunt, fish, nor cultivate their fields, nor travel at home, or abroad, but at the peril of their lives. They were obliged to keep a constant watch by night and day; to go armed to their daily labours, and to the public worship. They were obliged to keep a constant watch and guard at their houses of worship, on the Lord's day, and at other seasons, whenever they convened for the public worship. They lay down and rose up in fear and danger. If they should raise a party of men and send them to fight the enemy on their own ground, it would render the settlements proportionably weak at home, in case of an assault from the enemy. Every thing indeed appeared dark and threaten-ing. But nothing could discourage men, who had an unshaken confidence in the divine government, and were determined to sacrifice every other consideration, for the enjoyment of the un-corrupted gospel, and the propagation of religion and liberty in America.

In this important crisis, a court was summoned, at Hartford, on Monday the 1st of May. As they were to deliberate on matters in which the lives of the subjects and the very existence of the colony were concerned, the towns for the first time, sent com-mittees. The spirited measures adopted by this court, render the names of the members worthy of perpetuation. The magistrates were Roger Ludlow, Esq. Mr. Welles, Mr. Swain, Mr. Steel, Mr. Phelps and Mr. Ward. The committees were Mr. Whiting, Mr. Webster, Mr. Williams, Mr. Hull, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Talcott, Mr. Geffords, Mr. Mitchel and Mr. Sherman.

1It seems, that at this period there were but thirty ploughs in the whole colony of Massachusetts. Winthrop's Journal, p. 114. It is not probable that there were ten, perhaps not five, in Connecticut.


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The court, on mature deliberation, considering that the Pe-quots had killed nearly thirty of the English; that they had tort-ured and insulted their captives, in the most horrible manner; that they were attempting to engage all the Indians to unite for the purpose of extirpating the English; and the danger the whole colony was in, unless some capital blow could be immediately given their enemies, determined, that an offensive war should be carried on against them, by the three towns of Windsor, Hartford and Weathersfield. They voted, that 90 men should be raised forthwith; 42 from Hartford, 30 from Windsor, and 18 from Weathersfield. Notwithstanding the necessities and poverty of the people, all necessary supplies were voted for this little army.1 No sooner was this resolution adopted, than the people prosecuted the most vigorous measures, to carry it into immediate and ef-fectual execution.

The report of the slaughter and horrid cruelties practised by the Pequots, against the people of Connecticut, roused the other colonies to harmonious and spirited exertions against the common enemy. Massachusetts determined to send 200, and Plymouth 40 men, to assist Connecticut in prosecuting the war. Captain Patrick with 40 men was sent forward, before the other troops, from Massachusetts and Plymouth, could be ready to march, with a view, that he might seasonably form a junction with the party from Connecticut.

On Wednesday, the 10th of May, the troops from Connecticut fell down the river, for the fort at Saybrook. They consisted of 90 Englishmen and about 70 Moheagan and river Indians. They embarked on board a pink, a pinnace and a shallop. The Indians were commanded by Uncas, sachem of the Moheagans. The whole was commanded by captain John Mason, who had been bred a soldier in the old countries. The Rev. Mr. Stone of Hart-ford went their chaplain. On Monday the 15th, the troops ar-rived at Saybrook fort. As the water was low, this little fleet several times ran aground. The Indians, impatient of delays, de-sired to be set on shore, promising to join the English at Say-brook. The captain therefore granted their request. On their march, they fell in with about forty of the enemy, near the fort, killed seven and took one prisoner.

The prisoner had been a perfidious villain. He had lived in the fort, some time before, and could speak English well. But after the Pequots commenced hostilities against the English, he be-came a constant spy upon the garrison, and acquainted Sassacus with every thing he could discover. He had been present at the slaughter of all the English who had been killed at Saybrook. Uncas and his men insisted upon executing him according to the manner of their ancestors; and the English, in the circumstances

1Records of Connecticut

.


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in which they then were, did not judge it prudent to interpose. The Indians, kindling a large fire, violently tore him limb from limb. Barbarously cutting his flesh in pieces, they handed it round from one to another, eating it, singing and dancing round the fire, in their violent and tumultuous manner. The bones and such parts of their captive, as were not consumed in this dreadful repast, were committed to the flames and burnt to ashes.

This success was matter of joy, not only as it was a check upon the enemy, but as it was an evidence of the fidelity of Uncas and his Indians, of which the English had been before in doubt. There were other circumstances, however, which more than counterbal-anced this joy. The army lay wind bound until Friday, and cap-tain Mason and his officers were entirely divided in opinion, with respect to the manner of prosecuting their enterprise. The court, by the commission and instructions which it had given, enjoined the landing of the men at Pequot harbour, and that from thence they should advance upon the enemy. The captain was for pass-ing by them, and sailing to the Narraganset country. He was fixed in this opinion, because he found that, expecting the army at Pequot harbour, they kept watch upon the river night and day. Their number of men greatly exceeded his. He was informed, at Saybrook, that they had sixteen fire arms, with powder and shot. The harbour was compassed with rocks and thickets, af-fording the enemy every advantage. They were upon the land, and exceedingly light of foot. He was therefore of the opinion, that they would render it very difficult and dangerous to land, and that he might sustain such loss, as would discourage his men and frustrate the design of the expedition. If they should make good their landing, he was sure that, while they directed their march through the country, to the enemy's forts, they would waylay and attack them, with their whole force, at every difficult pass. Be-side, if they should find, on trial, that they were not able to defeat the English, they would run off to swamps and fastnesses, where they could not be found; and they should not be able to effect any thing capital against them. He was not without hopes that, by going to Narraganset, he might surprise them. There was also some prospect, that the Narragansets would join him in the ex-pedition, and that he might fall in with some part of the troops from Massachusetts.

His officers and men in general were for attending their in-structions, and going at all hazards directly to the forts. The necessity of their affairs at home, the danger of the Indians at-tacking their families and settlements, in their absence, made them wish, at once to dispatch the business, on which they had been sent. They did not relish a long march through the wilder-ness. They also imagined that they might be discovered, even should they determine to march from Narraganset to the attack of


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1637 the enemy. In this division of opinion, Mr. Stone was desired by the officers most importunately to pray for them, That their way might be directed, and that, notwithstanding the present embar-rassment, the enterprise might be crowned with success.

Mr. Stone spent most of Thursday night in prayer, and the next morning visiting captain Mason, assured him, that he had done as he was desired; adding, that he was entirely satisfied with his plan. The council was again called, and, upon a full view of all the reasons, unanimously agreed to proceed to Narraganset. It was also determined, that twenty men should be sent back to Con-necticut, to strengthen the infant settlements, while the rest of the troops were employed in service against the enemy; and, that captain Underhill, with nineteen men from the garrison at Say-brook fort, should supply their places.

On Friday, May 19th, the captain sailed for Narraganset bay, and arrived on Saturday at the desired port. On Monday, captain Mason and captain Underhill marched with a guard to the planta-tion of Canonicus, and acquainted him with the design of their coming. A messenger was immediately dispatched to Mianton-imoh, the chief sachem of the Narragansets, to acquaint him also with the expedition. The next day Miantonimoh met them, with his chief counsellors and warriors, consisting of about 200 men. Captain Mason certified him, that the occasion of his coming with armed men, into his country, was to avenge the intolerable inju-ries which the Pequots, his as well as their enemies, had done the English: and, that he desired a free passage to the Pequot forts. After a solemn consultation in the Indian manner, Miantonimoh answered, That he highly approved of the expedition, and that he would send men. He observed, however, that the English were not sufficient in number to fight with the enemy. He said the Pequots were great captains, skilled in war, and rather slighted the English. Captain Mason landed his men, and marched just at night to the plantation of Canonicus, which was appointed to be the place of general rendezvous. That night there arrived an Ind-ian runner in the camp, with a letter from captain Patrick, who had arrived with his party at Mr. Williams' plantation in Providence. Captain Patrick signified his desire, that captain Mason would wait until he could join him. Upon deliberation it was determined not to wait, though a junction was greatly desired. The men had already been detained much longer than was agreeable to their wishes. When they had absolutely resolved the preceding day to march the next morning, the Indians insisted that they were but in jest; that Englishmen talked much, but would not fight. It was therefore feared, that any delay would have a bad effect upon them. It was also suspected that, if they did not proceed imme-diately, they should be discovered, as there were a number of squaws who maintained an intercourse between the Pequot and


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Narraganset Indians, The army therefore, consisting of 77 Eng-lishmen, 60 Moheagan and river Indians, and about 200 Narra-gansets, marched on Wednesday morning, and that day reached the eastern Nihantick, about eighteen or twenty miles from the place of rendezvous the night before. This was a frontier to the Pequots, and was the seat of one of the Narraganset sachems. Here the army halted, at the close of the day. But the sachem and his Indians conducted themselves in a haughty manner toward the English, and would not suffer them to enter within their fort. Captain Mason therefore placed a strong guard round the fort; and as the Indians would not suffer him to enter it, he determined that none of them should come out. Knowing the perfidy of the Ind-ians, and that it was customary among them to suffer the nearest relatives of their greatest enemies to reside with them, he judged it necessary, to prevent their discovering him to the enemy.

In the morning, a considerable number of Miantonimoh's men came on and joined the English. This encouraged many of the Nihanticks also to join them. They soon formed a circle, and made protestations, how gallantly they would fight, and what numbers they would kill. When the army marched, the next morning, the captain had with him nearly 500 Indians. He marched twelve miles, to the ford in Pawcatuck river. The day was very hot, and the men, through the great heat, and a scarcity of provision, began to faint. The army, therefore, made a con-siderable halt, and refreshed themselves. Here the Narraganset Indians began to manifest their dread of the Pequots, and to en-quire of captain Mason, with great anxiety, what were his real designs. He assured them, that it was his design to attack the Pequots in their forts. At this, they appeared to be panic-struck, and filled with amazement. Many of them drew off, and returned to Narraganset. The army marched on about three miles, and came to Indian corn fields; and the captain, imagining that he drew near the enemy, made a halt: he called his guides and coun-cil, and demanded of the Indians how far it was to the forts. They represented, that it was twelve miles to Sassacus's fort, and that both forts were in a manner impregnable. Wequosh, a Pequot captain or petty sachem, who had revolted from Sassacus to the Narragansets, was the principal guide, and he proved faithful. He gave such information, respecting the distance of the forts from each other, and the distance which they were then at, from the chief sachem's, as determined him and his officers to alter the re-solution which they had before adopted, of attacking them both at once; and to make a united attack upon that at Mistic. He found his men so fatigued, in marching through a pathless wilder-ness, with their provisions, arms, and ammunition, and so affected with the heat, that this resolution appeared to be absolutely neces-sary. One of captain Underhill's men became lame, at the same


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time, and began to fail. The army, therefore, proceeded directly to Mistic, and continuing their march, came to a small swamp between two hills, just at the disappearing of the day light. The officers, supposing that they were now near the fort, pitched their little camp, between or near two large rocks, in Groton, since called Porter's rocks. The men were faint and weary, and though the rocks were their pillows, their rest was sweet. The guards and sentinels were considerably advanced, in the front of the army, and heard the enemy singing, at the fort, who continued their re-joicings even until midnight. They had seen the vessels pass the harbor, some days before, and had concluded, that the English were afraid, and had not courage to attack them. They were, therefore, rejoicing, singing, dancing, insulting them, and weary-ing themselves, on this account.

The night was serene, and, towards morning, the moon shone clear. The important crisis was now come, when the very exist-ence of Connecticut, under providence, was to be determined by the sword, in a single action; and to be decided by the good con-duct of less than eighty brave men. The Indians who remained, were now sorely dismayed, and though, at first, they had led the van, and boasted of great feats, yet were now all fallen back in the rear.

About two hours before day, the men were roused with all ex-pedition, and briefly commending themselves and their cause to God, advanced immediately towards the fort. After a march of about two miles, they came to the foot of a large hill, where a fine country opened before them. The captain, supposing that the fort could not be far distant, sent for the Indians in the rear, to come up. Uncas and Wequosh, at length, appeared. He de-manded of them where the fort was. They answered, on the top of the hill. 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. The day was nearly dawning, and no time was now to be lost. The men pressed on, in two divisions, captain Mason to the north-eastern, and cap-tain Underhill to the western entrance. As the object which they had been so long seeking, came into view, and while they re-flected they were to fight not only for themselves, but their par-ents, wives, children, and the whole colony, the martial spirit kindled in their bosoms, and they were wonderfully animated and assisted, As captain Mason advanced within a rod or two of the fort, a dog barked, and an Indian roared out, Owanux! Owanux! That is, Englishmen! Englishmen! The troops pressed on, and as the Indians were rallying, poured in upon them, through the pal-lisadoes, a general discharge of their muskets, and then wheeling off to the principal entrance, entered the fort sword in hand. Not-


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withstanding the suddenness of the attack, the blaze and thunder of their arms, the enemy made a manly and desperate resistance. Captain Mason and his party, drove the Indians in the main street towards the west part of the fort, where some bold men, who had forced their way, met them, and made such slaughter among them, that the street was soon clear of the enemy. They secreted themselves in and behind their wigwams, and taking advantage of every covert, maintained an obstinate defence. The captain and his men entered the wigwams, where they were beset with many Indians, who took every advantage to shoot them, and lay hands upon them, so that it was with great difficulty that they could defend themselves with their swords. After a severe con-flict, in which many of the Indians were slain, some of the Eng-lish killed, and others sorely wounded, the victory still hung in suspense. The captain finding himself much exhausted, and out of breath, as well as his men, by the extraordinary exertions which they had made; in this critical state of the action, had recourse to a successful expedient. He cries out to his men, we must burn them. He, immediately entering a wigwam, took fire, and put it into the mats, with which the wigwams were covered. The fire instantly kindling, spread with such violence that all the Ind-ian houses were soon wrapped in one general flame. As the fire increased, the English retired without the fort, and compassed it on every side. Uncas and his Indians, with such of the Narra-gansets as yet remained, took courage, from the example of the English, and formed another circle in the rear of them. The en-emy were now seized with astonishment, and forced, by the flames, from their lurking places, into open light, became a fair mark for the English soldiers. Some climbed the pallisadoes, and were instantly brought down by the fire of the English muskets. Others, desperately sallying forth from their burning cells, were shot, or cut in pieces with the sword. Such terror fell upon them, that they would run back from the English, into the very flames. Great numbers perished in the conflagration.

The greatness and violence of the fire, the reflection of the light, the flashing and roar of the arms, the shrieks and yellings of the men, women and children, in the fort, and the shoutings of the Indians without, just at the dawning of the morning, exhibited a grand and awful scene. In a little more than an hour this whole work of destruction was finished. Seventy wigwams were burnt, and five or six hundred Indians perished, either by the sword, or in the flames.1 A hundred and fifty warriors had been sent on, the evening before, who, that very morning, were to have gone forth against the English. Of these, and all who belonged to the

1Captain Mason, in his history, says six or seven hundred. From the number of Wigwams, and the reinforcement, the probability is, that about six hundred were destroyed.


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fort, seven only escaped, and seven were made prisoners. It had been previously concluded not to burn the fort, but to destroy the enemy, and take the plunder; but the captain afterwards found it the only expedient to obtain the victory, and save his men. Thus parents and children, the sannup and squaw, the old man and the babe, perished in promiscuous ruin.

Though the victory was complete, yet the army were in great danger and distress. The men had been exceedingly fatigued, by the heat, and long marches through rough and difficult places; and by that constant watch and guard which they had been obliged to keep. They had now been greatly exhausted, by the sharpness of the action, and the exertions which they had been necessitated to make. Their loss was very considerable. Two men were killed, and nearly twenty wounded. This was more than one quarter of the English. Numbers fainted by reason of fatigue, the heat, and want of necessaries. The surgeon, their provisions, and the articles necessary for the wounded, were on board the vessels, which had been ordered to sail from the Narra-ganset bay, the night before, for Pequot harbour; but there was no appearance of them in the sound. They were sensible that, by the burning of the fort, and the noise of war, they had alarmed the country; and therefore were in constant expectation of an attack, by a fresh and numerous enemy from the other fortress, and from every quarter whence the Pequots might be collected.

A number of the friendly Indians had been wounded, and they were so distracted with fear, that it was difficult even to speak with their guide and interpreter, or to know any thing what they designed. The English were in an enemy's country, and entire strangers to the way in which they must return. The enemy were far more numerous than themselves, and enraged to the highest degree. Another circumstance rendered their situation still more dangerous, their provisions and ammunition were nearly ex-pended. Four or five men were so wounded that it was necessary to carry them, and they were also obliged to bear about twenty fire arms, so that not more than forty men could be spared for action.

After an interval of about an hour, while the officers were in consultation what course they should take, their vessels, as though guided by the hand of providence, to serve the necessi-ties of these brave men, came full in view; and, under a fair gale, were steering directly into the harbour. This, in the situation of the army at that time, was a most joyful sight.

Immediately, upon the discovery of the vessels, about three hundred Indians came on from the other fort. Captain Mason, perceiving their approach, led out a chosen party to engage them, and try their temper. He gave them such a warm reception, as soon checked and put them to a stand. This gave him great en-


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eouragement, and he ordered the army to march for Pequot har-bour. The enemy, upon this, Immediately advanced to the hill, where the fort stood; and viewing the destruction which had been made, stamped and tore their hair from their heads. After a short pause, and blowing themselves up to the highest transport of passion, they leaped down the hill after the army, in the most violent manner, as though they were about to run over the Eng-lish. Captain Underhill, who, with a number of the best men, was ordered to defend the rear, soon checked the eagerness of their pursuit, and taught them to keep at a more respectful dis-tance. The friendly Indians who had not deserted, now kept close to the English, and it was believed that, after the enemy came on, they were afraid to leave them. The enemy pursued the army nearly six miles, sometimes shooting at a distance, from be-hind rocks and trees, and at other times, pressing on more vio-lently, and desperately hazarding themselves in the open field.

That the English might all be enabled to fight, captain Mason soon hired the Indians to carry the wounded men and their arms. The English killed several of the enemy while they pursued them, but sustained no loss themselves. When they killed a Pequot, the other Indians would shout, run and fetch his head. At length, the enemy finding that they could make no impression upon the army, and that wounds and death attended their attempts, gave over the pursuit.

The army then marched to the harbor, with their colors flying, and were received on board the vessels, with great mutual joy and congratulation.

In about three weeks from the time the men embarked at Hart-ford, they returned again to their respective habitations. They were received with the greatest exultation. As the people had been deeply affected with their danger, and full of anxiety for their friends, while nearly half the effective men in the colony were in service, upon so hazardous an enterprise, so sudden a change, in the great victory obtained, and in the safe return of so many of their children and neighbors, filled them with exceeding joy and thankfulness. Every family, and every worshipping assembly, spake the language of praise and thanksgiving.

Several circumstances attending this enterprise, were much noticed by the soldiers themselves, and especially by all the pious people. It was considered as very providential, that the army should march nearly forty miles, and a considerable part of it in the enemy's country, and not be discovered until the moment they were ready to commence the attack. It was judged remarkable, that the vessels should come into the harbour at the very hour in which they were most needed. The life of captain Mason was very signally preserved. As he entered a wigwam for fire to burn the fort, an Indian was drawing an arrow to the very head, and


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would have killed him instantly; but Davis,1 one of his sergeants, cut the bow string with his cutlass, and prevented the fatal shot.2 Lieutenant Bull received an arrow into a hard piece of cheese, which he had in his clothes, and by it was saved harmless. Two soldiers, John Dyer and Thomas Stiles, both servants of one man, were shot in the knots of their neckcloths, and by them preserved from instant death.3

Few enterprises have ever been achieved with more personal bravery or good conduct. In few have so great a proportion of the effective men of a whole colony, state, or nation been put to so great and immediate danger. In few, have a people been so deeply and immediately interested, as the whole colony of Con-necticut was in this, in that uncommon crisis. In these respects, even the great armaments and battles of Europe are, compara-tively, of little importance. In this, under the divine conduct, by seventy-seven brave men, Connecticut was saved, and the most warlike and terrible Indian nation in New-England, defeated and ruined.

The body of the Pequots, returning from the pursuit of captain Mason, repaired to Sassacus, at the royal fortress, and related the doleful story of their misfortunes. They charged them all to his haughtiness and misconduct, and threatened him, and his, with immediate destruction. His friends and chief counsellors inter-ceded for him; and, at their intreaty, his men spared his life. Then, upon consultation, they concluded, that they could not, with safety, remain any longer in the country. They were, indeed, so panic struck, that, burning their wigwams and destroying their fort, they fled and scattered into various parts of the country. Sassacus, Mononotto, and seventy or eighty of their chief coun-sellors and warriors, took their route towards Hudson's river.

Just before captain Mason went out upon the expedition against the Pequots, the Dutch performed a very neighbourly office for Connecticut. The two maids, who had been captivated at Weath-ersfield, had, through the humanity and mediation of Mononotto's squaw, been spared from death, and kindly treated. The Dutch governor, receiving intelligence of their circumstances, deter-mined to redeem them at any rate, and dispatched a sloop to Pe-quot harbour for that purpose. Upon its arrival, the Dutch made large offers for their redemption, but the Pequots would not ac-cept them. Finally, as the Dutch had a number of Pequots on board, whom they had taken, and finding that they could do no

1Stiles, in his Ancient Windsor, rst ed., p. 40, insists that William Hayden, of Hartford, cut the bowstring, and cites tradition. He also uses the dubious argu-ment that Davis, being in the attacking party on the opposite side of the fort, could not have been the man, though it is difficult to see why he might not have been, if only the fact that had previously entered the other side of the fort is cited as proving the act of Davis impossible.-J. T.

2Hubbard's Narrative.

3Mason's History.


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better, they offered the Pequots six of their own men for the two maids.1 These they accepted, and the Dutch delivered the young women at Saybrook, just before captain Mason and his party ar-rived. Of them he received particular information respecting the enemy.

An Indian runner, dispatched by Mr. Williams, at Providence, soon carried the news of the success of Connecticut against the Pequots, to the governor of Massachusetts. The governor and his council, judging that the Pequots had received a capital blow, sent forward but a hundred and twenty men. These were com-manded by Mr. Stoughton, and the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of Boston, was sent his chaplain.

This party arrived at Pequot harbour the latter part of June. By the assistance of the Narraganset Indians, the party under captain Stoughton surrounded a large body of Pequots In a swamp. They took eighty captives. Thirty were men; the "rest were women and children. The men, except two sachems, were killed, but the women and children were saved.2 The sachems promised to conduct the English to Sassacus, and for that purpose were spared for the present.

June 26th, the court at Connecticut ordered that forty men should be raised forthwith for the further prosecution of the war against the Pequots, to be commanded by captain Mason.

The troops from Connecticut made a junction with the party under the command of captain Stoughton, at Pequot. Mr. Lud-low, with other principal gentlemen from Connecticut, went also with the army, to advise with respect to the measures to be adopted in the further prosecution of the war. Upon general con-sultation, it was concluded to pursue the Pequots, who had fled to the westward. The army marched immediately, and soon dis-covered the places, where the enemy had rendezvoused, at their several removes. As these were not far distant from each other, it appeared that they moved slowly, having their women and children with them. They also were without provisions, and were obliged to dig for clams, and to range the groves for such articles as they afforded. The English found some scattering Pequots, as they scoured the country, whom they captivated, and from whom they obtained intelligence relative to the Pequots whom they were pursuing. But finding, that the sachems, whom they had spared, would give them no information, they beheaded them, on their march, at a place called Menunkatuck, since Guilford; from which circumstance, the spot on which the execution was done, bears the name of sachem's head to the present time. In three days they arrived at New-Haven harbour. The vessels sailed along the shore while the troops marched by land. At

1Winthrop's Journal, p. 128.

2Hubbard's Narrative, p. 34, and Winthrop's Journal, p. 130, 132.


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New-Haven, then called Quinnipiack, a great smoke, at a small distance, was discovered in the woods. The officers supposing, that they had now discovered the enemy, ordered the army im-mediately to advance upon them; but were soon informed that they were not in that vicinity. The Connecticut Indians had kindled the fires whence the smoke arose. The troops soon em-barked on board the vessels. After staying several days at New-Haven, the officers received intelligence from a Pequot, whom they had previously sent to make discovery, that the enemy were at a considerable distance, in a great swamp, to the westward. Upon this information, the army marched with all possible dis-patch to a great swamp, in Fairfield, where were eighty or a hun-dred Pequot warriors, and nearly two hundred other Indians. The swamp was such a thicket, so deep and boggy, that it was difficult to enter it, or make any movement without sinking in the mire. Lieutenant Davenport and others, rushing eagerly into it, were sorely wounded, and several were soon so deep in the mud, that they could not get out without assistance. The enemy pressed them so hard, that they were just ready to seize them by the hair of their head. A number of brave men were obliged to rescue them sword in hand. Some of the Indians were slain, and the men were drawn out of the mire. The swamp was surrounded, and after a considerable skirmish the Indians desired a parley. As the officers were not willing to make a promiscuous destruc-tion of men, women and children, and as the sachem and Indians of the vicinity had fled into the swamp, though they had done the colonies no injury, a parley was granted. Thomas Stanton, a man well acquainted with the manners and language of the Ind-ians, was sent to treat with them. He was authorized to offer life to all the Indians who had shed no English blood. Upon this offer, the sachem of the place came out to the English, and one company of old men, women and children after another, to the number of about two hundred. The sachem of the place declared for himself and his Indians, that they had neither shed the blood of the English nor done them any harm. But the Pequot war-riors had too great a spirit to accept of the offer of life, declaring, that they would fight it out. They shot their arrows at Stanton, and pressed so hard upon him, that the soldiers were obliged to fly to his rescue.1 The fight was then renewed, the soldiers firing Upon them whenever an opportunity presented. But by reason of an unhappy division among the officers, a great part of the enemy escaped. Some were for forcing the swamp immediately, but this was opposed, as too dangerous. Others were for cutting it down, as they had taken many hatchets, with which they were of the opinion it might be effected. Some others were for making a pallisado and hedge round it, but neither of these measures

1Hubbard's Narrative, p. 38.


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could be adopted.1 As night came on, the English cut through a narrow part of it, by which the circumference was greatly les-sened; so that the soldiers, at twelve feet distance from each other, were able completely to compass the enemy. In this manner they enclosed and watched them until it was nearly morning. A thick fog arose just before day, and it became exceedingly dark. At this juncture, the Indians took the opportunity to break through the English. They made their first attempt upon captain Patrick's quarters, yelling in their hideous manner and pressing on with violence, but they were several times driven back. As the noise and tumult of war increased, captain Mason sent a party to assist captain Patrick. Captain Trask also marched to reinforce him. As the battle greatly increased, the siege broke up. Captain Ma-son marched to give assistance in the action. Advancing to the turn of the swamp, he found that the enemy were pressing out upon him; but he gave them so warm a reception, that they were soon glad to retire. While he was expecting that they would make another attempt upon him, they faced about, and falling vio-lently on captain Patrick, broke through his quarters and fled. These were their bravest warriors, sixty or seventy of whom made their escape. About twenty were killed, and one hundred and eighty were taken prisoners. The English also took hatchets, wampum, kettles, trays and other Indian utensils.

The Pequot women and children, who had been captivated, were divided among the troops. Some were carried to Connecticut, and others to the Massachusetts. The people of Massachusetts sent a number of the women and boys to the West-Indies, and sold them for slaves. It was supposed that about seven hundred Pequots were destroyed. The women who were captivated, re-ported, that thirteen sachems had been slain, and that thirteen yet survived. Among the latter were Sassacus and Mononotto, the two chief sachems. These with about twenty of their best men fled to the Mohawks. They carried off with them wampum to the amount of 500 pounds.2 The Mohawks surprised and slew them all, except Mononotto. They wounded him, but he made his es-cape. The scalp of Sassacus was sent to Connecticut in the fall, and Mr. Ludlow and several other gentlemen, going into Massa-chusetts, in September, carried a lock of it to Boston, as a rare sight, and a sure demonstration of the death of their mortal enemy.3

Among the Pequot captives were the wife and children of Mononotto. She was particularly noticed, by the English, for her great modesty, humanity and good sense. She made it as her only request, that she might not be injured either as to her offspring or personal honor. As a requital of her kindness to the captivated

1Mason's History.

2Winthrop's Journal, p. 136.

3Winthrop's Journal, p. 134, 135, 136.


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maids, her life and the lives of her children were not only spared, but they were particularly recommended to the care of governor Winthrop. He gave charge for their protection and kind treat-ment

. After the swamp fight, the Pequots became so weak and scat-tered, that the Narragansets and Moheagans constantly killed them, and brought in their heads to Windsor and Hartford. Those who survived were so hunted and harassed, that a num-ber of their chief men repaired to the English, at Hartford, for re-lief. They offered, if their lives might be spared, that they would become the servants of the English and be disposed of at their pleasure. This was granted, and the court interposed for their protection.

Uncas and Miantonimoh, with the Pequots, by the direction of the magistrates of Connecticut, met at Hartford; and it was demanded by them, how many of the Pequots were yet living? they answered, about two hundred, besides women and children. The magistrates then entered into a firm covenant with them, to the following effect: that there should be perpetual peace between Miantonimoh and Uncas, and their respective Indians; and that all past injuries should be remitted, and for ever buried: that if any injuries should be done, in future, by one party to the other, that they should not immediately revenge it, but appeal to the English to do them justice. It was stipulated, that they should submit to their determination, and that if either party should be obstinate, that then they might enforce submission to their de-cisions. It was further agreed, that neither the Moheagans, nor Narragansets should conceal, or entertain any of their enemies; but deliver up or destroy all such Indians as had murdered any English man or woman. The English then gave the Pequot Ind-ians to the Narragansets and Moheagans; eighty to Miantoni-moh, twenty to Ninnigret, and the other hundred to Uncas; to be received and treated as their men. It was also covenanted, that the Pequots should never more inhabit their native country, nor be called Pequots, but Narragansets and Moheagans. It was also further stipulated, That neither the Narragansets nor Moheagans should possess any part of the Pequot country without the con-sent of the English. The Pequots were to pay a tribute, at Con-necticut annually, of a fathom of wampumpeag for every Sannop, of half a fathom for every young man, and of a hand for every male papoose. On these conditions the magistrates, in behalf of the colony, stipulated a firm peace with all the Indians.1

The conquest of the Pequots struck all the Indians in New-England with terror, and they were possessed with such fear of the displeasure and arms of the English, that they had no open war with them for nearly forty years.

1Records of Connecticut.


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This happy event gave great joy to the colonies. A day of public thanksgiving was appointed; and, in all the churches of New-England, devout and animated praises were addressed to Him, who giveth his people the victory, and causeth them to dwell safely.