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and all communication was at an end. This was sorely regretted by Church, and the benevolent Awashonks was carried away in the tide of Philip's successes, which, as she was circumstanced, was her only alternative.
Mr. Church was wounded at the great swamp fight, 19 December following, and remained upon Rhode Island until about the middle of May, 1676. He now resolved to engage again in the war, and, taking passage in a sloop bound to Barnstable, arrived at Plimouth the first Tuesday in June. The governor and other officers of government were highly pleased to see him, and desired him to take the command of a company of men to be immediately sent out, to which he consented. We thus notice Church's proceeding, because it led to important matters connected with the history of Awashonks. Before he set out with the soldiers raised at Plimouth, it was agreed that he should first return to Rhode Island, for the purpose of raising other forces to be joined with them. In his return to the island, as he passed from Sogkonesset, now called Wood's Hole, to the island, and when he came against Sogkonate Point, some of the enemy were seen fishing upon the rocks. He was now in an open canoe, which he had hired at Sogkonesset, and two Indians to paddle it. He ordered them to go so near the rocks that he might speak with those upon them; being persuaded that if he could have an opportunity, he might still gain over the Sogkonates to the side of the English, for he knew they never had any real attachment to Philip, and were now in his interest only from necessity. They accordingly paddled towards them, who made signs for them to approach ; but when they had got pretty near, they skulked away among the rocks, and could not be seen. The canoe then paddled off again, lest they should be fired upon; which when those among the rocks observed, they showed themselves again, and called to them to come ashore ; and said they wished to speak with them. The Indians in the canoe answered them, but those on shore informed them that the waves dashed so upon the rocks that they could not understand a word they said. Church now made signs for two of them to go along upon the shore to a beach, where one could see a good space round, whether any others were near. Immediately two ran to the place, one without any arms, but the other had a lance. Knowing Church to be in the boat, they urged him to come on shore, and said they wanted to discourse with him. He told him that had the lance, that if he would carry it away at considerable distance, and leave it, he would. This he readily did. Mr. Church then went ashore, left one of his Indians to guard the canoe, and the other he stationed upon the beach to give notice if any should approach. He was surprised find that George was one of them, a very good man, and the last Sogkonate he had spoken with, being one of those sent to guard him to his house, and to whom he had given charge of his goods when he undertook his mission to Plimouth. On being asked what he wanted that he called him ashore, answered, “ that he took him for Church, as soon as he heard his voice in the canoe, and that he was glad to see him alive.” He also told him that Awashonks was in a swamp about three miles off, and that she had left Philip and did not intend to return to him any more ; and wished Mr. Church to stay while he should go and call her. This Church did not think prudent, but said he would come again and speak with Awashonks, and some other Indians that he should name. He therefore told George to notify Awashonks, her son Peter, their chief captain, and one Nor ush, to meet him two days after at a certain rock, " at the lower end of Capt. Richmond's farm, which was a very noted place.” It was provided that if that day should prove stormy, the next pleasant day should be improved. They parted with cordiality, George to carry the news to Awashonks, and Church for Newport.
On being made acquainted with Church's intention to visit those Indians, the government of Rhode Island marvelled much at his presumption, and would not give him any permit under their hands ; assuring him that the Indians would kill him. They said also that it was madness on his part, after such signal services as he had done, to throw away his life in such a manner. Neither could any entreaties of friends alter his resolution, and he made ready for his departure. It was his intention to have taken with him one Daniel Wilcox,* a man who well understood the Indian language, but the government utterly refused him; so that his whole rétinue, in this important embassy, consisted only of himself, his own man, and the two Indians who conducted him from Sogkonesset. As an important item in his outfit, must be mentioned a bottle of rum, and a roll of tobacco.
The day appointed having arrived, after paddling about three miles, they came to the appointed rock, where the Indians were ready to receive them, and gave him their hands in token of friendship. They went back from the shore about fifty yards, for a convenient place for consultation, when all at once rose up from the high_grass, a great many Indians, so that they were entirely encompassed. They were all armed with guns, spears and hatchets; faces painted and hair trimmed, in complete warlike array. If ever a man knew fear, we should apprehend it would discover itself upon an occasion like this. But, judging from his conduct, we should say he was one of those “ who never felt fear.”
As soon as he could be heard, Mr. Church told Awashonks that George bad said that she desired to see him, about making peace with the English. She said, “ Yes.” Then, said Mr. Church, “it is customary when people meet to treat of peace, to lay their arms, and not to appear in such hostile form as your people do.” At this there was much murmuring among them, and Awashonks asked him what arms they should lay aside. Seeing their displeasure, he said, only their guns, for form's sake. With one consent they then laid away their guns, and came and sat down. He then drew out his bottle of rum, and asked Awashonks whether she had lived so long up at Wachusett as to forget to drink occapeches. Then, drinking to her, he observed she watched him very narrowly to see whether he swallowed, and, on offering it to her, she wished him to drink again. He then told her there was no poison in it, and, pouring some into the palm of his hand, sipped it up. After he had taken a second hearty dram, Awashonks ventured to do likewise; then she passed it among her attendants. The tobacco was next passed round, and they began to talk. Awashonks wanted to know why he had not come, as he promised, the year before, observing that, if he had, she and her people had not joined with Philip. He told her he was prevented by the breaking out of the war, and mentioned that he made an attempt, notwithstanding, soon after he left her, and got as far as Punkatesse, when a multitude of enemies set upon him, and obliged him to retreat. A great murmur now arose among the warriors, and one, a fierce and gigantic fellow, raised his war club, with intention to have killed Mr. Church, but some laid hold on him and prevented him. They informed him that this fellow's brother was killed in the fight at Punkateese, and that he said it was Church that killed him, and he would now have his blood. Church told them to tell him that his brother began first, and that if he had done
* 1667, “ Daniel Willcockes tooke the oath off fidelitie this court.” Plim. Rec.
In 1642, one Wilcox set up a trading house in the Narraganset country. See Callender's Cent. Discourse, 38. * If he were the same, it will well account for his being an interpreter.
as he had directed him, he would not have been hurt. The chief captain now ordered silence, telling them they should talk no more about old matters, which put an end to the tumult, and an agreement was soon concluded. Awashonks agreed to serve the English “in what way she was able,” provided “ Plimouth would firmly engage to her tha she and all of her people, and their wives and children should have their lives spared, and none of them transported out of the country.” This, Church told her he did not doubt in the least but Plimouth would consent to.
Things being thus matured, the chief captain stood up, and, after expressing the great respect he had for Mr. Church, said, “Sir, if you will pleuse accept of me and my men, and will head us, we will fight for you, and will help you to Philip's head before the Indian corn be ripe." We do not expect that this chief pretended to possess the spirit of prophecy, but certainly he was a truer prophet than many who have made the pretension.
Mr. Church would have taken a few of the men with him, and gone directly through the w to Plimouth; but Awashon insisted that it would be very hazardous. He therefore agreed to return to the island and proceed by water, and so would take in some of their company at Sogkonate Point, which was accordingly brought about. And here it should be mentioned that the friendship, now renewed by the industry of Mr. Church, was never afterward broken. Many of these Indians always accompanied Church in his memorable expeditions, and rendered great service to the English. When Philip's war was over, Church went to reside again amoug them, and the greatest harmony always prevailed. But to return to the thread of our narrative :
On returning to the island, Mr. Church “ was at great pains and charge to get a vessel, but with unaccountable disappointments; sometimes by the falseness, and sometimes by the faint-heartedness of men that he bargained with, and sometimes by wind and weather, &c.” he was hindered à long time. At length, Mr. Anthony Low, of Swansey, happening to put into the barbor, and althongh bound to the westward, on being made acquainted with Mr. Church's case, said he would run the venture of his vessel and cargo to wait upon him. But when they arrived at Sogkonate Point, although the Indians were there according to agreement waiting upon the rocks, they met with a contrary wind, and so rough a sea, that none but Peter Awashonks could get on board. This he did at great peril, having only an old broken canoe to get off in. The wind and rain now forced them up into Pocasset Sound, and they were obliged to bear away, and return round the north end of the island, to Newport.
Church now dismissed Mr. Low, as he viewed their effort against the will of Providence. He next drew up an account of what' had passed, and despatched Peter, on the 9 July, by way of Sogkonate, to Plimouth.
Major Bradford* having now arrived with an army at Pocasset, Mr. * Out of a curious book we take the following note, as, besides giving us an interesting fact concerning the major, it contains others of value. It was written in 1697. At that time, some pretended that the age of people was much shorter in America than in Europe : which gave rise to what we are about to extract.-Mary Brown was the first-borp of Newbury, Mass. who married a Godfry; and, says our book, she" is yet alive, and is become the mother and grandmother of many children." 'The mention of Mary Brown, brings to our mind an idle whimsey, as if persons born in New England would be short-lived; whereas, the natives live long. And a judgment concerning Englishmen, cannot well be made till 20 or 30 years hence. Capt. Peregrine White, born (on board the Mayflower] Nov. 1620, is yet alive, and like to live. (He died 7 years after, in 1704 ] Major William Bradford' is more than 73 years old, and hath worn a bullet in his flesh above 20 of them, [which he doubtless received in Philip's war. He died aged 79.). Elizabeth Alden, (now Paybody, whose granddaughter is a mother,) Capt. John Alden, her brother, Alexr. Standish, and John Howland, have lived more than 70 years.” S. Sewall's New Heaven upon the New Earth, 59, 60.
Church repaired to him, and told him of his transactions and engagements with Awashonks. Bradford directed bim to go and inform her of his arrival, which he did. Awashonks doubtless now discovered much uneasiness and anxiety, but Mr. Church told her that if she would be advised and observe order, she nor her people need not fear being hurt." He directed her to get all her people together, “ lest, if they should be found straggling about, mischief might light on them;" and that the next day the army would march down into the neck to receive her. After begging him to consider the short time she had to collect them together, she promised to do the best she could, and he left her.
Accordingly, two days after, she met the army at Punkateese. Awashonks was now unnecessarily perplexed by the stern carriage of Major Bradford. For she expected her men would have been employed in the army; but instead of that, he “presently gave forth orders for Awashonks, and all her subjects, both men, women and children, to repair to Sandwich, and to be there upon peril, in six days." Church was also quite disconcerted by this unexpected order, but all reasoning or remonstrance was of no avail with the commander in chief. He told Mr. Church he would employ him if he chose, but as for the Indians, “ he would not be ooncerned with them,” and accordingly sent them off with a flag of truce, under the direction of Jack Havens, an Indian who had never been engaged in the war. Mr. Church told Awashonks not to be concerned, but it was best to obey orders, and he would shortly meet her at Sandwich.
According to promise, Church went by way of Plimouth to meet the Sogkonates. The governor of Plimouth was highly pleased at the account Church gave him of the Indians, and so much was he pow satisfied of his superior abilities and skill, that he desired him to be commissioned in the country's service. He left Plimouth the same day with six attendants, among whom were Mr. Jabez Howland, and Mr. Nathaniel Southworth. They slept at Sandwich the first night, and here taking a few more men, agreeably to the governor's orders, proceeded to Agawam, a small river of Rochester, where they expected to meet the Indians. Some of his company now became discouraged, presuming, perhaps, the Indians were treacherous, and half of them returned home. When they came to Sippican River, which empties into Buzzard's Bay in Rochester, Mr. Howland was so fatigued that they were obliged to leave him, he being in years, and somewhat corpulent. Church left two more with him as a reserve, in case he should be obliged to retreat. They soon came to the shore of Buzzard's Bay, and, hearing a great noise at considerable distance from them, upon the bank, were presently in sight of a “ vast company of Indians, of all ages and sexes, some on horseback, running races, some at foot-ball, some catching eels and flat fish in the water, some clamming, &c.” They now had to find out what Indians these were, before they dared make themselves known to them. Church therefore halloed, and two Indians that were at a distance from the rest, rode up to him, to find out what the noise meant. They were very much surprised when they found themselves so near Englishmen, and turned their horses to run, but, Church making himself known to them, they gave him the desired information. He sent for Jack Havens, who immediately came. And when he had confirmed what the others had related, there arrived a large number of them on horseback, well armed. These treated the English very respectfully. Church then sent Jack to Awashonks, to inform her that he would sup with her that night, and lodge in her tent. In the mean time, the English returned with their friends they had left at Sippican. When they came to the Indian company, they “ were immediately conducted to a shelter, open on one side,
whither Awashonks and her chiefs soon came and paid their respects." When this had taken place, there were great shouts made by the “multitudes,” which made the heavens to ring." About sunset, the Netopg* came running from all quarters, laden with the tops of dry pines, and the like combustible matter, making a huge pile ereof, near Mr. Church's shelter, on the open side thereof. But by this time supper was brought in, in three dishes, viz. a curious young bass in one dish, eels and flat fish in a second, and shell fish in a third;" but salt was '
wanting. When the supper was finished, “the mighty pile of pine knots and tops, &c. was fired, and all the Indians, great and small, gathered in a ring around it. Awashonks, with the eldest of her people, men and women mixed, kneeling down, made the first ring next the fire, and all the lusty stout men standing up made the next; and then all the rabble, in a confused crew, surrounded on the outside. Then the chief captain stepped in between the rings and the fire, with a spear in one hand, and a hatchet in the other, danced round the fire, and began to fight with it, making mention of all the several nations and companies of Indians in the country that were enemies to the English. And at naming of every particular tribe of Indians, he would draw out and fight a new fire-brand, and at his finishing his fight with each particular fire-brand, would bow to Mr. Church and thank him." When he had named over all the tribes at war with the English, he stuck his spear and hatchet in the ground, and left the ring, and then another stepped in, and acted over the same farce'; trying to act with more fury than the first. After about a half a dozen had gone through with the performance, their chief captain stepped to Mr. Church, and told him “they were making soldiers for him, and what they had been doing was all one swearing of them.” Awashonks and her chiefs next came and told him “that now they were all engaged to fight for the English.” At this time Awashonks presented to Mr. Church a very fine gun. The next day, July 22, he selected a number of her men, and proceeded to Plimouth. A commission was given him, and, being joined with a number of English, volunteers, commenced a successful series of exploits, in which these Sogkonates bore a conspicuous part, but have never, since the days of Church, been any where noticed as they deserved.
It is saidt that Awashonks had two sons; the youngest was William Mommynewit
, who was put to a grammar school, and learned the Latin language, and was intended for college, but was prevented by being seized with the palsy. We have been able to extend the interesting memoir of the family of Awashonks in the early part of this article much beyond any before printed account; of Tokamona we have no printed notic except what Churchf incidentally mentions. Some of his Indian soldiers requested liberty to pursue the Narragansets and other enemy Indians, immediately after they had captured Philip's wife and son. “They said the Narragansets were great rogues, and they wanted to be revenged on them, for killing some of their relations; named Tokkamona, (Awashonks's brother,) and some others.”
About 130 years ago, i. e. 1700, there were 100 Indian men of the Sogkonate tribe, and the general assembly appointed Numpaus their captajn, who lived to be an old man, and died about 1748, after the taking of Cape Breton, 1745. At the commencement of the eighteenth century, they made quite a respectable religious congregation; had a meeting-house of * Signifying friends, in Indian.
+ Col. Mass. Hist. Soc. Hist. Philip's War, 39. It is usual to cite Capt. Church as the author or recorder of his own actions; it is so, although his son Thomas appears as the writer of the bistory. The truth is, the father dictated to the son, and corrected what appeared erroneous after the work was written.