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their own, in which they were instructed by Rev. Mr. Billings, once a month, on Sundays. They had a steady preacher among themselves, whose name was John Simon, a man of a strong mind.
About 1750, a very distressing fever carried off many of this tribe, and in 1803 there were not above ten in Compton, their principal residence.
A further account of chiefs conspicuous in Philips war--PUMHAM—Taken
and slain-His son QUAQUALH-Chickon-SoCONONOCO—PotockHis residence- Complaint against Wildbow's encroachments—Delivers himself up-Put to death-STONE-WALL-JOHN-A great captain—A mason-His men greatly annoy the English army in Narraganset-Kills several of them—They burn a garrison, and kill fifteen
persons–A trafic in Indian prisoners—The burning of Rehoboth and Providence—John's discourse with Roger Williams-Is killed—SAGAMORE JOHN—Fate of Maroonas-Put to death on Boston Common-His son hanged for murder—-Monoco—DavidAndrew James-the-printer--OLD-JETHEROSAGAMORE-SAM, alias SHOSHANIM—Visited by Eliot in 1652—AnecdotePETER-JETHERO.
Pumham, it may be truly said, “was a mighty man of valor." Our history has several times heretofore brought him before us, and we shall now proceed to relate such facts concerning him as we have been able to collect. He was sachem of Shawomet, the country where the old squaw-saclem Magnus was taken and slain, as in her life we have shown.
This chief was brought into considerable difficulty by the English as early as 1645. In 1642, the Rev. Samuel Gorton took refuge in his country, and was kindly treated by him; and in January the next year, Miantunnomoh and Canonicus deeded to him Mishawomet, or Shaomet, which he afterward called Warwick, after the earl of that name. This settlement was grievous to the Puritan fathers of Massachusetts, as they soon showed by their resentment to Miantunnomoh; and here we cannot but discover the germ of all the subsequent disasters of that sachem.' Mr. Gorton was kindly treated by him, as well as Pumham, until the latter was urged by Mr. Gorton's enemies to lay claim to the lands he had purchased of Miantunnomoh, whom the court of Massachusetts declared an usurper;* as in his life has been told.
By the letters of the unimpeachable Roger Williams, the above conclusions will appear evident. In 1656, he wrote to Massachusetts, showing them the wretched state Warwick was in from their difficulties with the Indians, as follows :-“ Your wisdoms know the inhuman insultations of these wild creatures, and you may be pleased also to imagine, that they have not been sparing of your narne as the patron of all their wickedness against our English men, women and children, and cattle, to the yearly damage of 60, 80 and 100£. The remedy is, (under God,) only your pleasure that Pumham shall come to an agreement with the town or colony."Now it should be remembered, that when Warwick was purchased, Pumhan and some other infcrior sachems received presents for their particular interests in what was inlil, agreeably to the laws and usages of the Indians.
The Plimout f., had their share in the Warwick controversy, having caused Ousamaquin to lay claim to the same place, or a sachem * MS. stute paper.
+ Hulchinson's papers, and Hazard.
who lived with him, named Nawwashawsuck; between whom and Pumham the quarrel ran so high that the former stabbed the latter.
The affairs of Warwick had been under consideration by the commissioners of the United Colonies for several years before this, and in 1649, they say, “Vppon a question betwixt the two collonies of the Massachusets and Plymouth, formerly propounded, and now again renewed by the commissioners of the Massachusetts, concerning a tract of land now or lately belonging to Pamham and Saconoco, two Indian sagamores who had submitted themselves and their people to the Massachusetts goverinent, vppon part of which land som English, (besides the said Indians,) in anno 1643, were planted and settled." The decision was, that though the said tract of land fall within Plimouth bounds, it should henceforth belong to Massachusetts.
About 1646, we find the following record* of these chiefs:-"Pomihom and Saconanoco complaining to us (the court of Mass.) that many Indians dwelling 20 miles beyond them, (being friends and helpers to the Narragansetts in their present wars with Uncas,) are come upon their lands, and planted upon the same against their wills, they not being able of themselves to remove them, and therefore desire our counsel and help. We sball therefore advise them, if the depuțies agree thereunto, to send a messenger to the sachem of those intruders to come to us to give an account of such his intention; and if he come to us, then to offer him protection upon the same terms that Pumham hath it, provided they satisfy Uncas for any injury they have done him. If he refuse to come, then we would have our messenger charge them to depart from Pomham and Soconanocho their lands, which also if they refuse, then we shall account them our enemies."*
Though, by the aid of the English, Pumham had been able to maintain a kind of independence for some years after the death of the chief sachem, yet he was among the first who espoused the cause of Philip in his war. The English army marched through his country, in their return from the attack on Philip and his confederates in Narraganset, in December, 1675. At this time a small fight took place between some of the English and a number of Pumham's men, under a chief whose name was Quar qualh, who gained some advantage of the English, wounding four of their men.
The English, however, report that they killed five of the Indians. Quaquath himself was wounded in the knee. At the same time they burnt Pumham's town,t which contained near 100 wigwams. The English were commanded by Capt. Prentice.I
Pumham was not the chief captain in the fight at the great falls in the Connecticut, which took place 19 May, 1676, although we presume, from the known character of him, that he was the most conspicuous in it on the side of the Indians; being a man of vast physical powers and of extraordinary bravery. In this affair the English acted a most cowardly part, having every advantage of their enemy, who acquired credit upon the occasion, even at the time, from the historian. The English came upon them before day, while none were awake to give the alarm, and, “ finding them secure indeed, yea, all asleep, without having any scouts abroad, so that our soldiers came and put their guns into their wigwams, before the Indians were aware of them, and made a great and notable slaughter amongst them.”S Many in their fright ran into the river, and were hurled
* In manuscript, among the papers on file in the secretary's office, Mass. without date.
+ Letter to London, 58. 2d edition. This author has his name Bumham. There were many instances, at this time, of the use of B for P. # Hubbard, Nar. 57.
0 1. Mather, 30.
down the falls, * some of whom, doubtless, were drowned. As soon as the English, who were led by Captains Turner and Holioke, had murdered the unresisting, and the Indians having, begun to rally to oppose them, they fled in the greatest confusion, although they had “ about an hundred and four score” men,t of whom but one was wounded when the light began. This enhances the valor of the Indians, in our minds, especially as we read the following passage, in Mr. Mather's Brief History:“ In the mean while, a party of Indians from an island, (whose coming on shore might easily have been prevented, and the soldiers, before they set out from Hadley, were earnestly admonished to take care about that matter,) assaulted our men; yea, to the great dishonor of the English, a few Indians pursued our soldiers four or five miles, who were in number near twice as many as the enemy.” In this flight Capt. Turner was killed, as he was crossing Green River. Holioke exerted himself with great bravery, and seems well calculated to oppose such a chief as Pumham was.
We hear of no other bravery among the English in this massacre, but this passage concerning Holioke, which we are sorry is so sadly eclipsed, as appears by what follows. During the fight, some old persons, (whether men or women is not mentioned,) and children, had hid themselves under the bank of the river. Capt. Holioke discovered them, and with his own hands put five of them, “ young and old,” to death. This English captain did not long survive his antagonist, for, by his great exertions in this fight, a fever was brought upon him, of which he died in September following, “ about Boston.”S
It would seem from the several accounts, that, although the English were sadly distressed in this fight, the Indians could never have repaired their loss; which, says the author of the PRESENT STATE, &c. was almost as much, nay, in some respects more considerable, than their lives.” He continues, “We destroyed all their ammunition and provision, which we think they can hardly be so soon and easily recruited with, as possibly they may be with men. We likewise here demolished two forges they had to mend their arms, took away all their materials and tools, and drove many of them into the river, where they were drowned, and threw two great pigs of lead of theirs, (intended for making of bullets,) into the said river."|-“ As our men were returning to Hadley, in a dangerous pass, which they were not sufficiently aware of the skulking Indians, (out of the woods,) killed, at one volley, the said captain, and eight-and-thirty of his men, but immediately after they had discharged, they fled.”
In relating the capture and death of Pumham, Mr. Hubbard says, I “He was one of the stoutest and most valiant sachems that belonged to the Narragansets; whose courage and strength was so great that, after he had been mortally wounded in the fight, so as himself could not stand ; yet catching hold of an Englishman that by accident came near him, had done him mischief, if he had not been presently rescued by one of his fellows." This was on 25 July, 1676. Pumham, with a few followers, had for some time secreted themselves in Dedham** woods, where it was supposed they were “almost starved for want of victuals.” In this sad
* We cannot agree with our friend Gen. Hoyt, that these falls should be named Turner's Falls, although we once thought it well enough. We would rather call them the Massacre Falls, IF, indeed, their Indian name cannot be recovered. | I. Mather, 30.
# Hubbard, Nar. 88. || Many of the Indians learned trades of the English, and in the wars turned their knowledge to good account. They had a forge in their fort at Narraganset, and the Indian blacksmith was killed when that was taken. The author of the Present State, &c. says, he was the only man amongst them that fitted their guns and arrow-heads; that among other houses they burnt his, demolished his forge, and carried away his tools.
| Narrative, 100. 4to. edition.
condition, they were fallen upon by the English under Capt. Hunting, who killed fifteen and took thirty-five of them without resistance.* They found here considerable plunder; “besides kettles, there was about half a bushel of wampumpeag, which the enemy lost, and twelve pounds of powder, which the captives say they had received from Albany but two days before." A son of Pumham was among the captives, “a very likely youth,” says Hubbard," and one whose countenance would have bespoke favor for him, had he not belonged to so bloody and barbarous an Indian as his father was.” It would seem from this unfeeling account that he was put to death. Dr. Mather says he was carried prisoner to Boston. From the same author we must add to the revolting picture of the father's death. “ This Pumham, after he was wounded so as that he could not stand upon his legs, and was thought to have been dead, made a shift, (as the soldiers were pursuing others,) to crawl a little out of the way, but was found again, and when an Englishman drew near to him, though he could not stand, he did, (like a beast,) in rage and revenge, get hold on the soldier's head, and had like to have killed him, had not another come in to his help, and rescued him out of the enraged dying hands of that bloody barbarian.”+
A short time before this, a grandson of this chief was killed by a party under Denison," who was also a sachem, and another sachem called Chickon."
Potok, a Narraçanset chief, we may properly in the next place notice. None of his acts in Philip's war are recorded, at least none have come to our knowledge, but they could not have been inconsiderable, in the opinion of his enemies, as his life atoned for them. We find him first mentioned, on account of his opposition to the introduction of Christianity into his nation. When, in the beginning of Philip's war, the English army marched into the Narraganset country, to treat or fight with that nation, as they might be found inclined, Potok appeared as the principal chief. In the treaty which was concluded at that time, a condition was urged by him, “that the English should not send any among them to preach the gospel or call upon them to pray to God.” But the English would not admit such an article ; but if an article of this character had been urged on the other hand, we doubt whether there would have been any objection urged by the Indians. On this policy of the English Roger Williams should be heard, as, at this day even, we need no better commentary on the matter in hand. It is contained in a letter|| to the governor of Massachusetts, and is as follows:-" At my last departure for England, I was importuned by ye Narraganset sachems, and especially by Nenecunat, to present their petition to the high sachems of England, that they might not be forced from their religion ; and, for not changing their religion, be invaded by war. For they said they were daily visited with threatenings by. İndians, that came from about the Massachusetts ; that if they would not pray, they should be destroyed by war." And again, in the same letter: “Ăre not all the English of this land, (generally,) a persecuted people from their native soil ? and hath not the " God of peace and Father of mercies made the natives more friendly in this than our native countrymen in our own land to us ? have they not entred leagues of love, and to this day continued peaceable cominerce with us ? are not our families grown up in peace amongst them ? Upon wbich I humbly ask how it can suit with Christian ingenuity, to take hold of some seeming occasions for their destruction." MS. Narrative of Rev. T. Cobbet.
+ Mather's Brief Hist. 43. # Narrative, ut supra.
Many wrile Dennison, but his own signature, in my possession, is as in the text. 1 In MS. dated Providence, 5:8:1654.
We are able to fix the place of his residence in the vicinity of Point Judith. Our earliest notice of him is in 1661. In this year, Potok, with several other chiefs, complained to the court of Massachusetts, that “ Samuel Wildbow, and others of his companie," claimed jurisdiction at Point Judith, in their country, and lands adjacent. They came on and possessed themselves forcibly, bringing their cattle and other effects with them.* What order the court took upon it does not appear. About the close of Philip's war, Potok came voluntarily to Rhode Island, no doubt with the view of making friends again with his enemies; but was sent to Boston, where, after answering all their inquiries, he was put to death without ceremony.
In the account carried to London by Capt. More, mentioned in the last chapter, is this notice of Potok :—“There is one Potuck, a mischievous Engine, and a Counsellour, taken formerly, said to be in Ġoal at RhodeIsland, is now sent to Boston, and there shot to death."
In the detail of the greut Narraganset expedition of 1675, we have omitted to notice a by no means unimportant Indian captain. Stone-wall-john, Stone-layer-john, and sometimes simply Stone-wall
, were names by which his English friends knew him, and we have not discovered what was his Indian name. One writer of his time observes that he was called the Stone-layer," for that, being an active, ingenious fellow, he had learned the mason's trade, and was of great use to the Indians in building their forts, &c.” Hence we may hazard but little in the conjecture that he was the chief engineer in the erection of the great Narraganset fort, which has been described in the life of Philip. Although but little is known of him, he was doubtless one of the most distinguished Narraganset captains.
The first notice of Stone-layer-john, which we now remember, is contained in a letter of Capt. Oliver,t which he wrote while on his march with the English army to attack the fort, which we have just mentioned. He says, “ Dec. 15 came in) John a rogue, with a pretence of peace, and was dismissed with this] errand : That we might speak with sachems. That evening, he not being gone a quarter of an hour, his company, that lay hid behind a hill of our quarters, killed two Salem men, and wounded a third within a mile of us, that he is dead. And at a house three mile off, where I had ten men, they killed two of them. Instantly Capt. Mosely, myself and Capt. Gardner were sent to fetch in Major Appleton's company, that kept three miles and a half off, and coming, they lay behind a stone wall, and fired on us in sight of the garrison, we killed the captain that killed one of the Salem men, and had his cap." Mr. Hubbard says, “ A few desperate Indians, creeping under a stone-wall
, fired twenty or thirty guns at Mosely in particular, a commander well known amongst them, but the rest of the company running down upon them, killed one of them and scattered the rest.” Thus did the scouts from the main body of the Indians, under such captains as the Stonelayer, annoy the English in their march into their country. Immediately after these skirmishes, “they burnt Jerry Bull's house, and killed seventeen (persons.] Dec. 16, came that news. Dec. 17, came news that Connecticut forces were at Petaquamscut; killed four Indians and took six prisoners. That day we sold Capt. Davenport 47 Indians, young and old, for £80 in money." I
How much John had to do in the devastations which had been perpetrated the previous season, is unknown, but we are told that he had no
* MS. documents.
In manuscript. See an account of it in a note to the life of Philip. Capt. Oliver's MS. letter.