Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Their mo. Rey.

Their

gos

with

of the stem, and bake them in the ashes; and after 1683.
that they fall to dance. But they that go must
carry a small present, in their money; it

may

be sixpence; which is made of the bone of a fish: the black is, with them, as gold; the white, silver; they call it all wampum.

XXII. “ Their government is by Kings; which they call Sachama; and those by fucceflion, but al- vernment. ways of the mother's side. For instance, the children of him, who is now king, will not fucceed, but his brother by the mother, or the children of his sister, whose sons (and after them the children of her daughters) will reign; for no woman inherits. The reason, they render for this way of descent, is, that their issue may not be fpurious. XXIII. “ Every King hath his council; and that

Their mode consists of all the old and wife men of his nation; of doing buwhich, perhaps, is two hundred people. Nothing w.Penn of moment is undertaken, be it war, peace, fel- &c. ling of land, or traffick, without advising with them; and, which is more, with the young men

It is admirable to consider how powerful the Kings are, and yet how they move by the breath of their people. I have had occasion to be in council with them, upon treaties for land, and to adjust the terms of trade. Their order is thus: The King fits in the middle of an half moon, and hath his council, the old and wife, on each hand; behind them, or at a little distance, fit the younger fry, in the fame figure. Having consulted and resolved their business, the King ordered one of them to speak to me; he stood up, came to me, and, in the name of his King, faluted me; then took me by the hand, and told me, “ He was ordered by his King to speak to me; and that now it was not he, but the King, that spoke; because what he should say was the King's mind."--He first prayed me, “ To excuse them, that they had not complied with me, the last time, he feared [33]

there

too.

[ocr errors]

1683. there might be some fault in the Interpreter, being

neither Indian nor English: besides, it was the In-
dian custom, to deliberate, and take up much,
time, in council, before they resolve; and that, if
the young people, and owners of the land had
been as ready as he, I had not met with so 'much
delay."--Having thus introduced his matter, he
fell to the bounds of the land, they had agreed to
dispose of, and the price; which now is little and
dear; that which would have bought twenty miles,
not buying now two. During the time, that this
person spoke, not a man of them was observed to
whisper or smile; the old, grave; the young, re-
verent, in their deportment. They speak little,
but fervently, and with elegance. I have never
seen more natural fagacity, considering them with-
out the help (I was going to say, the spoil) of tra-
dition; and he will deserve the name of wise, that
outwits them, in any treaty, about a thing, they
understand. When the purchase was agreed, great
promises passed between us, " of kindness and
good neighbourhood, and that the Indians and
English must live in love as long as the fun gave
light:" Which done, another made a speech to
the Indians, in the name of all the Sachamakers,
or Kings; first, to tell them what was done; next,
to charge and command them, “ To love the
Christians, and particularly live in peace with me,
and the people under my government; that many
Governors had been in the river; but that no Go-
vernor had come himself to live and stay here be-
fore; and having now such an one, that had treated
them well, they should never do him, or his, any
- '
wrong."At every sentence of which they shouted,
and said, Amen, in their way.

XXIV. “ The justice they have is pecuniary:

In case of any wrong, or evil fact, be it murder doing juf- itself, they atone by feasts, and presents of their tice, &c. wampum; which is proportioned to the quality of

the

Their mode of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ment be

[ocr errors]

the offence, or person injured, or of the sex they 1683.
are of. For, in case they kill a woman, they pay m
double; and the reason they render, is, That
the breedeth children; which men cannot do.”
It is rare that they fall out, if fober; and, if
drunk, they forgive it, saying, “ It was the drink,
and not the man, that abused them.”

XXV. “ We have agreed, that, in all differ-
ences between us, fix of each side shall end the An agree-
matter. Do not abuse them, but let them have tween them
justice, and you win them. The worst is, that and Willi-

am Penn,
they are the worse for the Christians; who have &c.
propagated their vices, and yielded them tradition
for ill, and not for good things. But as low an
ebb as these people are at, and as inglorious as
their own condition looks, the Christians have not
outlived their fight, with all their pretensions to an
higher manifestation. What good, then, might Their fuf-
not a good people graft, where there is so distinct ceptibility
a knowledge left between good and evil? I beseech of improve-
God to incline the hearts of all that come into
these parts, to outlive the knowledge of the na-
tives, by a fixt obedience to their greater know-
ledge of the will of God; for it were miserable,
indeed, for us to fall under the just cenfure of the
poor Indian conscience, while we make profession
of things so far transcending.
XXVI. “ For their original, I am ready to be.

I
lieve them of the Jewisia race; I mean, of the stock
of the ten tribes; and that, for the following rea-

original.
sons: First, they were to go to a land not plan-
ted, nor known;" which, to be fure, Asia and
Africa were, if not Europe; and he, that intended
that extraordinary judgment upon them, might
make the passage not uneasy to them, as it is not
impossible in itself, from the eastermost parts of
of Aha, to the westermost of America. In the
next place; I find them of the like countenance,
and their children of fo lively resemblance, that a

ment, &c.

Of their

man

Their resemblance of the

First European planters, &c.

1683. man would think himself in Duke's place, or Bere

ry-street, in London, when he seeth them. But this is not all; they agree in rites; they reckon by

moons; they offer their first fruits; they have a Jerus, &c. kind of feast of tabernacles; they are said to lay

c

their altar upon twelve stones ; their mourning a year; customs of women, with many other things, that do not now occur.

“ So much for the natives ; next, the old planters will be considered in this relation, before I come to our colony, and the concerns of it.

XXVII. “ The first planters, in these parts, were the Dutch; and soon after them, the Swedes and Finns. The Dutch applied themselves to traffick; the Swedes and Finns, to husbandry. There were some disputes between them, some years; the Dutch looking upon them, as intruders upon their purchale and poffeffion; which was finally end. ed in the surrender, made by John Rizeing, the Swed dish Governor, to Peter Styresant, Governor for the states of Holland, anno 1655.

XXVIII. “ The Dutch inhabit mostly those Svecie Tet- parts of the province, that lie upon, or near the tlers, &c. bay; and the Swedes, the freshes of the river Dela

There is no need of giving any description of them; who are better known there than here; but they are a plain, strong, industrious people; yet have made no great progress, in culture, or propagation, of fruit trees; as, if they desired rather to have enough, than plenty, or traffick. But, I presume, the Indians made them the more careless, by furnishing them with the means of profit, to wit, skins and furs, for rum, and fuch strong liquors. They kindly received me, as well as the English, who were few, before the people, concerned with me, came among them. I must needs commend their respect to authority, and kind behaviour to the English; they do not degene

Of the Dutch and

ware,

3

rate

[ocr errors]

the coun

try, &c:

rate from the old friendship, between both king. 1683.
doms. As they are people proper and strong of body,
so they have fine children, and almost every house
full; rare to find one of them without three or
four boys, and as many girls; some, fix, seven
and eight fons. And I must do them that right;
I fee few young men more fober and laborious.

XXIX - The Dutch have a meeting place, for Dutch and religious worship, at New-castle; and the Swedes, Swedes three; one at Christina, one at Tenecum; and one worship.

places of at Wicoco, within half a mile of this town.

XXX. - There rests that I speak of the condi- of the pretion we are in, and what fettlement we have made: sent state of in which I will be as short as I can; for I fear, and not without reason, that I have tried your patience with this long story. The country lieth, bounded on the east, by the river and bay of Delaware, and eastern sea; it hath the advantage of many creeks, or rivers rather, that run into the rivers. the main river, or bay; some navigable for great ships, some, for small craft. Those of most emipency are, Christina, Brandywine, Skilpot, and Sculkil; any one of which have room to lay up the royal navy of England; there being from four to eight fathom water.

XXXI. “ The lefser creeks, or rivers, yet con- Creeks, venient for floops and ketches of good burden, are Lewis, Mespilion, Cedar, Dover, Cranbrook, Feversham and Georges, below; and Chichester, Chester, Toacawny, Pammapecka, Portqueflin, NeShimenck and Pennberry, in the freshes; many lėsser, that admit boats and shallops. Our people are mostly settled upon the upper rivers; which are pleasant and sweet, and generally bounded with good land: The planted part of the province and territories is cast into fix counties, Philadelphia, Number of Buckingham, Chester, New-castle, Kent and Sussex; counties

, containing about four thousand souls. Two ral afsemblies have been held, and with such con- &c.

cord

A

Two gene- semblies,

souls, af.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »