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other times ; who answered. He knew not well, but
had no desire at all to rest. So that he then missed
his opportunity.

The wind serving on the next day, they returned
home, accompanied with the other Indian ; who used
many arguments to persuade them to go to Paomet,
where himself had much corn, and many other, the
most whereof he would prociu'e for us, seeming to
sorrow for our wants. Once the Captain put forth
with him, and was forced back by contrary wind ;
which wind serving for the Massachuset, was fitted to
go thither. But on a sudden it altered again.



During the time that the Captain was at Manomet, chap.


news came to Plymouth that Massassowat was like to — v-^
die, and that at the same time there was a Dutch ship ^623.


driven so high on the shore by stress of weather, right
before his dwelling, that till the tides increased, she
could not be got off. Now it being a commendable
manner of the Indians, when any, especially of note,
are dangerously sick, for all that profess friendship to
them to visit them in their extremity,^ either in their
persons, or else to send some acceptable persons to
them ; therefore it was thought meet, being a good
and warrantable action, that as we had ever professed
friendship, so we should now maintain the same, by
observing this their laudable custom; and the rather,
because we desired to have some conference with the
Dutch, not knowing when we should have so fit an
opportunity. To that end, myself having formerly

' " All their refreshing in their very solemn, unless it be in infec-

sickness is the visit of friends and tious diseases, and then all forsake

neighbours, a poor empty visit and them and fly." Roger Williams,

presence; and yet indeed this is in Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 236.




16 2 3.



been there, and understanding in some measure the
Dutch tongue, the Governor again laid this service
upon mvself, and fitted me with some cordials to ad-
minister to him ; having one Master John Hamden,' a
gentleman of London, who then wintered with us,
and desired much to see the country, for my consort,
and Hobbamock for our guide. So we set forward,
and lodged the first night at Namasket, where we had
friendly entertainment.

The next dav, about one of the clock, we came to

' It was conjectured by Belknap,
Am. Biog. ii. 229, and has since
been repeatedly asserted as a fact
by other writers, that this person
was the celebrated English patriot
of the same name. But this is
highly improbable. Hampden, who
was born in 1591, and married in
1619, was a member of the parlia-
ment which assembled in January,
1621, and was dissolved by James
in 1622, under circumstances and
in a juncture of affairs which ren-
dered it certain that a new parlia-
ment must soon be called. It is
not at all likely that a person in
Hampden's circumstances, a man
of family, wealth and considera-
tion, would, merely for the sake of
gratifying his curiosity, have left
England at this critical period, on
a long voyage to another hemi-
sphere, and run the risk of not
being at home at the issuing of the
writs for a new parliament. For
the passage to America was at that
time precarious ; the vessels were
few, and the voyage a long one ;
so that a person who undertook it
could not reasonably calculate upon
getting back in much less than a
year. Winslow's companion, who-
ever he was, must have come in
the Charity, which brought AVes-
ton's colony, unless we adopt the
improbable supposition that this
" gentleman of London " embarked
in one of the fishing vessels that

visited the Grand Bank, and took
his chance of getting to Plymouth
as he could. Now the Charity left
London the last of April, 1622, and
arrived at Plymouth the last of
June. The visit to Massasoit took
place in March, 1623, and after this
no vessel sailed for England till
the Ann, September 10, in which
Winslow went home. Of course
this "gentleman of London," must
have been absent at least eighteen
months, which it is altogether
improbable that Hampden would
have done, running the risk of not
being at home to stand for the next
parliament, to which he undoubt-
edly expected to be returned, as
we know he actually was.

Besides, had this companion of
Winslow been the great English
patriot, the silence of the early
Plymouth writers on the point is
unaccountable. On publishing his
"Good News from New England"
immediately on his arrival in Lon-
don, in 1624, one object of which
was to recommend the new colony,
how gladly would Winslow have
appealed for the correctness of his
statements to this member of par-
liament who had passed more than
a year in their Plantation. How
natural too would it have been for
him to have mentioned the fact in
his " Brief Narrative," published in
1646, only three years after the death
of the illustrious patriot. Bradford,



a ferrv' in Conbataiit's country, where, upon discharge
of my piece, divers Indians came to us from a house
not far off. There they told us that Massassowat
was dead, and that day buried ; and that the Dutch
would be gone before we could get thither, having
hove off their ship already. This news struck us
blank, but especially Hobbamock, who desired we
might return with all speed. I told him I would first
think of it. Considering now, that he being dead,
Conbatant- was the most like to succeed him, and that
we were not above three miles from Mattapuyst,^
his dwelling-place, although he were but a hollow-



also, whose sympathies were all
with the popular party in England,
in Avriting an elaborate history of
the Colony, v/ould not have failed
to record the long residence among
them of one who, at the time he
wrote, had become so distinguished
as the leader of that party in the
House of Commons. That his lost
history contained no such passage
we may be certain ; for had it been
there, it must have been quoted
either by Prince or Morton, who
make so free use of it, both of
whom too mention this visit to Mas-
sasoit, and who would not have
omitted a circumstance so honora-
ble to the Colony.

Again. Winslow's companion
was "a gentleman of London."
Now although John Hampden hap-
pened to be born in London, when
his father was in parliament in
1594, he was properly of Bucking-
hamshire. Winslow, who was him-
s<>lf of Worcestershire, if he knew
who Hampden was, would not
have called him " a gentleman of
London;" and we cannot suppose
that this English gentleman Avould
have spent so many months in
the Colony without making himself
known to its two leading men,
Winslow and Bradford.

Equally unfounded is the state-

ment that has gained so wide a
currency and become incorporated
with the history of those times,
and is repeated in Lord Nugent's
Life of Hampden, that John Hamp-
den, in company with Cromwell,
Pym,and Haze]rig,had actually em-
barked for America on board a lleet
in the Thames, in 1638, but were
detained by an order from the Privy
Council. Miss Aikin, in her Me-
moirs of Charles L,ch. xiii., was the
first to delect and expose this error
of the historians. See also the
authorities referred to in Bancroft,
i. 411,412. For some of the views
in this note I am indebted to the
MS. suggestions of the learned edi-
tor of Governor Winthrop's History
of New England.

' Probably the same which is
now called Slade's Ferry in Swan-
zey. Belknap's Am. Biog. ii. 292.

^ Conbatant, or Corbitant, was
the sachem of Pocasset, and was
subject to Massasoit. See Bay-
lies' Plymouth, ii. 232.

' A neck of land, in the town-
ship of Swanzey, commonly pro-
nounced Mattapoiset, now Gard-
ner's neck, situated between the
Shawomet and Toweset necks. See
Belknap's Am. Biog. ii. 292, and
Baylies' Plymouth, ii. 232, 234.


CHAP, hearted friend towards us, I thought no time so fit as


this to enter into more friendly terms with him, and
162 3. the rest of the sachims thereabout; hoping, through
the blessing of God, it would be a means, in that
unsettled state, to settle their affections towards us ;
and though it were somewhat dangerous, in respect of
our personal safety, because myself and Hobbamock
had been employed upon a service against him,' which
he might now fitly revenge ; yet esteeming it the best
means, leaving the event to God in his mercy, 1 re-
solved to put it in practice, if Master Hamden and
Hobbamock durst attempt it with me ; whom 1 found
willing to that or any other course might tend to the
general good. So we went towards Mattapuyst.

In the way, Hobbamock, manifesting a troubled
spirit, brake forth into these speeches : Neen womasu
sagimus, neen womasu sagimus, &c. " My loving
sachim, my loving sachim ! Many have I known, but
never any like thee." And turning him to me, said,
whilst I lived, I should never see his like amongst the
Indians ; saying, he was no liar, he was not bloody
and cruel, like other Indians ; in anger and passion
he was soon reclaimed ; easy to be reconciled towards
such as had offended him ; ruled by reason in such
measure as he would not scorn the advice of mean
men ; and that he governed his men better with few
strokes, than others did with many ; truly loving where
he loved ; yea, he feared we had not a faithful friend
left among the Indians ; showing how he ofttimes
restrained their malice, &c., continuing a long speech,
with such signs of lamentation and unfeigned sorrow,
as it would have made the hardest heart relent.

' See page 220.


At length we came to Mattapuyst, and went to the chap.


sachimo comaco,^ for so they call the sachim's place, -— ^-
though they call an ordinary house witeo f but Con- 162 3.
batant, the sachim, was not at home, but at Puckano-
kick, which was some five or six miles off. The squa-
snclwn, for so they call the sachim's wife, gave us friend-
ly entertainment. Here we inquired again concerning
Massassowat ; they thought him dead, but knew no
certainty. Whereupon I hired one to go with all ex-
pedition to Puckanokick, that we might know the
certainty thereof, and withal to acquaint Conbatant
with our there being. About half an hour before sun-
setting the messenger returned, and told us that he
was not yet dead, though there was no hope we should
find him living. Upon this we were much revived,
and set forward with all speed, though it was late
within night ere we got thither. About two of the
clock that afternoon, the Dutchmen departed ; so that
in that respect our journey was frustrate.

When we came thither, we found the house so full
of men, as we could scarce get in, though they used
their best diligence to make way for us. There were
they in the midst of their charms for him, making such
a hellish noise, as it distempered us that were well, and
therefore unlike to ease him that was sick.^ About

' " Sachimmaacommock, a prince's ards and witches, holding familiari-

house, which, according to their ty with Satan, that evil one ; and

condition, is far different from the partly are physicians, and make

other house, both in capacity or use, at least in show, of herbs and

receipt, and also the fineness and roots for curing the sick and dis-

quulity of their mats." Roger Wil- eased. These are sent for by the

liams's Key, ch. xxii. sick and wounded; and by their

^ Weill, or ungwam. See Galla- diabolical spells, niutterings, ex-
tin's Indian Vocabularies, in Am. orcisms, they seem to do wonders.
Antiq. Soc. Coll. ii. 322. They use extraordinary strange mo-

^ "There are among them cer- tions of their bodies, insomuch that

tain men and women, Avhom they they will sweat until they foam ;

call powows. These are partly wiz- and thus continue for some hours



CHAP, him were six or eight women, who chafed his arms,
3i:^ legs, and thighs, to keep heat in him. When they
1623. had made an end of their charming, one told him that
his friends, the English, were come to see him. Hav-
ing understanding left, but his sight was wholly gone,
he asked, Who was come ? They told him Winsnow,
for they cannot pronounce the letter /, but ordinarily
n in the place thereof.^ He desired to speak with
me. When I came to him, and they told him of it, he
put forth his hand to me, which I took. Then he said
twice, though very inwardly. Keen Winsnow ? which
is to say, " Art thou Winslow ?" I answered, Ahhe,
that is. Yes. Then he doubled these words ; Matta
neen wonckanet iiamen, Winsnow ! that is to say, " O
Winslow, I shall never see thee again."

Then I called Hobbamock, and desired him to tell
Massassowat, that the Governor, hearing of his sick-

together, stroking and hovering
over the sick." Gookin, in Mass.
Hist. Coll. i. 154.

^^Poivawx, priests. These do be-
gin and order their service and in-
vocation of their gods, and all the
people follow, and join interchange-
ably in a laborious bodily service,
unio sweating, especially of the
priest, who spends himself in
strange antic gestures and actions,
even unto fainting. In sickness
the priest comes close to the sick
person, and performs many strange
actions about him, and threatens
and conjures out the sickness. The
poor people commonly die under
their hands; for, alas, they admin-
ister nothing, but howl and roar
and hollow over them, and begin
the song to the rest of the people,
who all join like a choir in prayer
to their gods for them." Roger
Williams, in Mass. Hist. Coll. iii.
227, 237.

" The manner of their action in

their conjuration is thus. The par-
ties that are sick are brought before
them; the powow sitting down,
the rest of the Indians give atten-
tive audience to his imprecations
and invocations,and after the violent
expression of many a hideous bel-
lowing and groaning, he makes a
stop, and then all the auditors with
one voice utter a short canto.
Which done, the powow still pro-
ceeds in his invocations, some-
times roaring like a bear, other
times groaning like a dying horse,
foaming at the mouth like a chafed
boar, smiting on his naked breast
and thighs with such violence as if
he were mad. Thus will he con-
tinue sometimes half a day."
Wood's New England's Prospect,
part ii. ch. 12. See also Hutchin-
son's Mass. i. 474.

' Wood says,ch. IS," They pro-
nounce I and /• in our English
tongue, with much difficulty, call-
ing a lobster a nobstan." Yet


ness, was sorry for the same ; and thouojh, by reason chap.
of many businesses, he could not come himself, yet he — ^ -
sent me with such things for him as he thought most 1623.

. . Mar.

likely to do him good in this his extremity ;^ and
whereof if he pleased to take, I would presently give
him ; which he desired ; and having a confection of
many comfortable conserves, &c., on the point of my
knife I gave him some, which I could scarce get
through his teeth. When it was dissolved in his
mouth, he swallowed the juice of it ; whereat those
that were about him much rejoiced, saying he had not
swallowed any thing in two days before. Then I
desired to see his mouth, which was exceedingly
furred, and his tongue swelled in such a manner, as it
was not possible for him to eat such meat as they had,
his passage being stopped up. Then 1 washed his
mouth, and scraped his tongue, and got abundance of
corruption out of the same. After which I gave him
more of the confection, which he swallowed with more
readiness. Then he desiring to drink, I dissolved
some of it in water, and gave him thereof. Within
half an hour this wrought a great alteration m him, in

Roger Williams states, that "al- * "When they are sick, their

though some pronounce not Z nor r, misery appears, that they have not,

yet it is the most proper dialect of but what sometimes they get from

other places, contrary to many re- the English, a raisin or currant, or

ports;" and Eliot, in his Indian any physic, fruit, or spice, or any

Grammar, says, "These conso- comfort more than their corn and

Bants, Z, 11, r, have such a natural water, &c. In which hleeding case,

coincidence, that it is an eminent wanting all means of recovery or

variation of their dialects. We present refreshing, I have been

Massachusetts pronounce the n ; constrained, to and beyond my

the Nipmuk Indians pronounce Z; power, to refresh them, and to save

and the Northern Indians pro- many of them from death, who I

nounce r. As instance : am confident perish many millions

' We say Anum ) of them, in that mighty continent,

Nipmuck, Alum > A Dog." for want of means." Roger Wil-

Northern, Arum ) liams, in Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 236.
See Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 223, xix.


CHAP, the eyes of all that beheld him. Presently after his

XX ...

• — ^ sight began to come to him, which gave him and us
16 2 3. good encouragement. In the mean time I inquired how
he slept, and when he went to stool. They said he slept
not in two days before, and had not had a stool in five.
Then I gave him more, and told him of a mishap we
had by the way, in breaking a bottle of drink, which
the Governor also sent him, sayino^ if he would send
any of his men to Patuxet, I would send for more of
the same ; also for chickens to make him broth, and
for other things, which I knew were good for him ;
and would stay the return of his messenger, if he
desired. This he took marvellous kindly, and ap-
pointed some, who were ready to go by two of the
clock in the morning ; against which time 1 made
ready a letter, declaring therein our good success, the
state of his body, &c., desiring to send me such things
as I sent for, and such physic as the surgeon durst
administer to him.

He requested me, that the day following, I would
take my piece, and kill him some fowl, and make him
some English pottage, such as he had eaten at Ply-
mouth ; which I promised. After, his stomach coming
to him, 1 must needs make him some without fowl,
before I w^ent abroad, which somewhat troubled me,
being unaccustomed and unacquainted in such busi-
nesses, especially having nothing to make it comfortable,
my consort being as ignorant as myself; but being we
must do somewhat, 1 caused a woman to bruise some
corn, and take the flour from it, and set over the grit,
or broken corn, in a pipkin, for they have earthen pots
3d of all sizes.^ When the day broke, we went out, it

' See note ' oa page 144.


being now March, to seek herbs, but could not find chap.


any but strawberry leaves, of which I gathered a hand- — ^

ful, and put into the same : and because I had nothinsr 162 3.

. . . ^ Mar.

to relish it, I went forth again, and jDuUed up a sassa-
fras root, and sliced a piece thereof, and boiled it, till
it had a good relish, and then took it out again. The
broth being boiled, I strained it through my handker-
chief, and gave him at least a pint, which he drank,
and hked it very well. After this his sight mended
more and more ; also he had three moderate stools,
and took some rest ; insomuch as we with admiration
blessed God for giving his blessing to such raw and
ignorant means, making no doubt of his recovery, him-
self and all of them acknowledging us the instruments
of his preservation.

That morning he caused me to spend in going from
one to another amongst those that were sick in the
town, requesting me to wash their mouths also, and
give to each of them some of the same I gave him,
saying they were good folk. This pains I took with
willingness, though it were much offensive to me, not
being accustomed with such poisonous savours. After
dinner he desired me to get him a goose or duck, and
make him some pottage therewith, with as much speed
as 1 could. So I took a man with me, and made a
shot at a couple of ducks, some six score paces off, and
killed one, at which he wondered. So we returned
forthwith, and dressed it, making more broth there-
with, which he much desired. Never did I see a man
so low brought, recover in that measure in so short a
time. The fowl being extraordinary fat, I told Hob-
bamock I must take off the top thereof, saying it would
make him very sick again if he did eat it. This he



CHAP, acquainted Massassowat therewith, who would not be
'^v^ persuaded to it, though I pressed it very much, show-
1623. ine: the strength thereof, and the weakness of his sto-

Mar. .

mach, which could not possibly bear it. Notwith-
standing, he made a gross meal of it, and ate as much
as would well have satisfied a man in health. About
an hour after he began to be very sick, and straining
very much, cast up the broth again ; and in overstrain-
ing himself, began to bleed at the nose, and so con-
tinued the space of four hours. Then they all wished
he had been ruled, concluding now he would die, which
we much feared also. They asked me what I thought
of him. I answered, his case was desperate, yet it
might be it would save his life ; for if it ceased in time,
he would forthwith sleep and take rest, which was the
principal thing he wanted. Not long after his blood
stayed, and he slept at least six or eight hours. When
he awaked, I washed his face, and bathed and suppled
his beard and nose with a linen cloth. But on a sud-
den he chopped his nose in the water, and drew up
some therein, and sent it forth again with such vio-
lence, as he began to bleed afresh. Then they thought
there was no hope ; but we perceived it was but the
tenderness of his nostril, and therefore told them I
thought it would stay presently, as indeed it did.

The messengers were now returned ; but finding his
stomach come to him, he would not have the chickens
killed, but kept them for breed. Neither durst we
give him any physic, which was then sent, because
his body was so much altered since our instructions ;
neither saw we any need, not doubting now of his re-
covery, if he were careful. Many, whilst we were
there, came to see him ; some, by their report, from a


place not less than an hundred miles. To all that chap.


came one of his chief men related the manner of his -^-^
sickness, how near he was spent, how amongst others 16 22.
his friends the English came to see him, and how sud-
denly they recovered him to this strength they saw, he
being now able to sit upright of himself.

The day before our coming, another sachim being
there, told him that now he might see how hollow-
hearted the English were, saying if we had been such
friends in deed, as we were in show, we would have
visited him in this his sickness, using many arguments
to withdraw his affections, and to persuade him to give
way to some things against us, which were motioned
to him not long before. But upon this his recovery,
he brake forth into these speeches : Now I see the
English are my friends and love me ; and whilst I live,
I will never forget this kindness they have showed me.
Whilst we were there, our entertainment exceeded all
other strangers'. Divers other things were worthy the
noting ; but I fear I have been too tedious.

At our coming away, he called Hobbamock to him, 4th
and privately (none hearing, save two or three other of ^^'
his pnieses,^ who are of his council) revealed the plot
of the Massacheuseucks, before spoken of, against Mas-
ter Weston's colony, and sa against us ; saying that the
people of Nauset, Paomet, Succonet,^ Mattachiest,
Manomet, Agowaywam,^ and the isle of Capawack,"*
were joined with them ; himself also in his sickness
was earnestly solicited, but he would neither join
therein, nor give way to any of his. Therefore, as we

' The same as finse. See page ^ Or Agawam, part of Ware-

288. ham.

* Sokones, or Succonusset, now * Martha's Vineyard,
called Falmouth.


CHAP, respected the lives of our countrymen, and our own
-^^ after safety, he advised us to kill the men of Massa-
162 3. chuset, who were the authors of this intended mischief.

Mar. , ' 1 1 M

And whereas we were wont to say, we w^ould not strike
a stroke till they first began ; if, said he, upon this
intelligence, they make that answer, tell them, when
their countrymen at Wichaguscusset are killed, they
being not able to defend themselves, that then it will

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 28 of 44)