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have seen had established himself at the head of a
group of Pequots west of the Paucatuc River, com-
plained that Uncas and three hundred of his warriors
had attacked one of their hunting parties and plun-
dered them. Upon being summoned to Court on
this complaint, Uncas admitted that he had done
wrong in committing this act of violence in such



222 MASSASOIT

close proximity to the English settlement, but at-
tempted to palliate the offence by a counter charge
that Garrett's men had hunted on Mohican grounds
without leave.

Before Uncas could get away from New Haven,
where this complaint was heard, William Morton of
New London came forward with another charge.
Accompanied by three Pequots, Morton came in
and related a startling story told to him by one of
the Pequots who came with him in which this man,
whose name was Wampushet, said Uncas had hired
liim and two Pequot powwows for fifteen fathoms of
wampimi to wound another Indian and then charge
the crime upon Garrett.

"Wampushet was then called before the Council,
and denied the story he had told to Morton, but not
that he had told it; and then proceeded to charge
the entire plot to Garrett, just as he had told Mor-
ton it was originally planned. They were unable
to shake him in his last version, and as there was
no evidence against Uncas except what Wampushet
had previously told Morton and now stoutly denied,
the complaint was dismissed. Morton and the
other Pequots who came in with him declared that
Uncas must have hired Wampushet to change his
testimony, and this plot so closely resembles the
one revealed to the Massachusetts authorities, and
disbelieved by them, at the time when Uncas
claimed to have been shot through the arm with an
arrow, that we are quite naturally led to inquire
whether this was not actually one of the means em-
ployed by Uncas to rid himself of rivals or enemies



PEQUOTS, MOHICANS AND OTHER TRIBES 223

whom he feared or whose power he desired to curb,
with the assistance of the EngUsh.

In this last cited case, in order to obtain a clear
view of the situation, it must be borne in mind
that Garrett was a Niantic, and a nephew of the
sachem of that tribe; the group over whom he had
established himself were living on old Pequot terri-
tory, and if suspicion could be fastened on Garrett,
it would naturally reflect upon the Niantics, and
this group of Pequots would naturally be given to
Uncas by the Enghsh.

It was not long after this last affair, that forty-
eight Pequots presented themselves before the Coun-
cil. They said they had not fought against the
whites, having fled the country when the war broke
out, and presumably returned to their old hunt-
ing grounds after its conclusion. They complained
that Uncas had taken away their wives, robbed
them of their corn and beans, spoiled their nets and
extorted wampum from them. Uncas did not ap-
pear in person to answer to this charge, but sent
Foxon, his Chief Counsellor, who either pretended
ignorance, or attempted to palliate the offences.

John Winthrop was the next complainant on be-
half of a group of Indians, who charged Uncas and
his brother Wawequa with having attacked this
group with one hundred warriors, plundered the
people and carried away their cattle, wampum, bear
skins, beaver skins and other articles of value.
Foxon admitted this attack, but excused Uncas, by
saying that he had not personally had any part in
it, and knew nothing about it, being away at New



224 MASSASOIT

Haven, and had not participated in the spoils. At
this same time a complaint was also made against
him for having gone over to Fisher's Island and
broken two canoes, frightened an Indian and
plundered the island.

The great solicitude of the magistrates for this
precious cut-throat is shown by the penalty imposed
upon him for these three outrages. He was ordered
to pay a fine of one hundred fathoms of wampum
when the Pequots returned to him. The Pequots,
being the forty-eight who complained of his mal-
treatment of them, never returned, as the magis-
trates must have foreseen, and so he escaped scot
free.

About 1649 or 1650, he appears to have had a
real grievance; for there seems no good reason to
doubt that he was actually attacked while on board
an English vessel, by Cataquin, a Narragansett,
who wounded him in the breast with a sword, so
seriously that he came very near putting an end to
complaints both by and against the fawning Mo-
hican.

Ninigret was charged with being the instigator of
this plot, and Pessacus was alleged to have been
implicated in it. Nothing appears to have been
pressed against the latter, but Ninigret went to Bos-
ton where he attempted to clear himself by a counter
charge that the Mohicans had carried this story;
but was reminded that Cataquin had told it to
Captain Mason and others when he surrendered to
the Mohicans. They let Ninigret off with a sharp
reprimand and warning of what was Ukely to hap-



PEQUOTS, MOHICANS AND OTHER TRIBES 225

pen to him if he persisted in his plotting. At the
same time they sent word to Uncas, who was re-
covering from his wound, that Cataquin was at his
disposal, and there the historians leave the matter,
probably assuming that the intelligent reader of
Uncas' life and character does not need to be told
what happened to Cataquin.

But the colonial authorities were not yet rid of
this pestiferous scoundrel, for, in 1653, he again
sprang into the lime light with a complaint to
Haynes, who had then become governor, that the
Narragansetts and Niantics were attempting to
organize an expedition against him at New Nether-
lands; and he related with great detail how Nini-
gret had been to Manhattan, where he had received
a large box of powder and bullets in exchange for a
large quantity of wampum, and had then attended
a council of Indians from the Hudson River in an
endeavor to secure their assistance in a contemplated
attack upon Uncas and the English. How much of
this had a foundation in fact, and how much was
the product of Uncas' suspicion and jealousy is not
established. There seems to be no doubt that
Ninigret did make a trip to the Hudson at about
that time, but it was never shown that it was for
any other purpose than that of legitimate trade.

At this same sitting of the Court, Uncas also
complained that Ninigret had sent a present of wam-
pum to a "Monheag Sachem," asking him to send
men skillful in magic and poison and promising one
hundred fathoms more of wampum upon the
poisoner's return after the accompUshment of the



226 MASSASOIT

purpose for which he was wanted. Uncas claimed
to have intercepted the canoe which was bringing
the party, which consisted of the conjurer and six
other persons, one of whom was a Pequot and the
rest Narragansetts; he said that Wampeag, one of
the Narragansetts, had confessed the entire plot and
pointed out the ''Monheag" who had been sent to
carry it out, whereupon the Mohicans had fallen
upon the alleged poisoner in a rage and put him to
death.

This was the fourth alleged attempt upon the life
of Uncas, and every one of them implicated some
rival whose power he feared, and whom he desired
to remove with the aid of the English. They all
savor so much of the craftiness and cunning for
which he was so notorious, and as there is direct evi-
dence that at least some of them were framed by
Uncas himself, to say nothing of the strong chain of
circumstantial evidence leading to the same con-
clusion, we are led to doubt whether there was any
real foundation for any of them except the attack
by Cataquin.

On the other hand, the authenticity of this at-
tempt seems to be sufficiently well estabhshed to
give rise to the question whether there may really
not have been something in some of the other
charges. That the EngUsh did not give full faith
and credit to them is apparent from the fact that
they did nothing with respect to two of them.
Whatever may have been the facts, we are inevi-
tably forced to the conclusion that Uncas was either
a wily schemer constantly striving to increase his



227

power by preferring against his rivals charges based
upon suspicion or framed by him; or that his
enemies really did make the attempts with a view
to ridding the world of the most selfish, treacherous
and unscrupulous scoundrel produced by the In-
dians of New England during the period covered by
our knowledge of them. That he was thoroughly
despised by all the other sachems of southern New
England goes without saying, and their hatred of
him is to their credit. He was as thoroughly hated
as his early rival, Miantonomo, was loved and
respected.

Puffed up with the favors the English showed
him, and their apparent readiness to lend them-
selves to the furtherance of his schemes by decid-
ing always in his favor whenever any issue between
him and other Indians was presented, and letting
him off without even a reprimand when he offered
no defence to his outrages, вАФ in 1661 he attacked
the Indians at Quabaug in western Massachusetts,
and killed some and took others prisoners. These
Indians were of a Nipmuck tribe subject to Massa-
soit, and the Massachusetts colonial authorities, in
pursuance of their treaty obligations to that chief,
sent word to Uncas, demanding the release of the
prisoners. Receiving no reply, they then arranged
with Captain Mason, who for twenty-five years had
been on friendly terms with Uncas, to repeat the
demand.

Upon Mason's arrival, Uncas at first excused
himself by saying that he had received the demand
from Massachusetts only twenty days before; and



228 MASSASOIT

said he did not know the Quabaugs were under the
protection of the EngHsh; and then denied that
they belonged to Ousamequim; saying they were
subjects of a deadly enemy of the Mohicans named
Onopequin; and, apparently not satisfied with these
two defences, he next attempted to justify his act
on the assumption that they were Ousamequin's
men, by saying that the latter had repeatedly waged
war upon the Mohicans as had his eldest son Wam-
sutta or Alexander. To cover his entire line of
defence, he then assured them that, notwithstand-
ing all these things, he had set the men free, al-
though one of them was his own cousin, and had on
several occasions taken up arms against him.

It will be difficult to find a more shifty and
thoroughly truckling defence in the pages of his-
tory, and on which part of it the commissioners re-
lied we are not told; and it may be that they did
not believe any of it, but were content to keep him
groveling to them. In any event they seem to
have accepted his excuse, and not to have required
him to give satisfaction. Upon his defence being
laid before Wamsutta, who was at Plymouth at the
time, he contradicted Uncas' statement concerning
the Quabaugs and said that they were his father's
people, and that he had made war on Uncas only
because of wrongs he had done them.

Without attempting to cover all his activities, I
have called attention to enough to show his char-
acter. DeForest says: ''It is not difficult to see
why Uncas was forever at sword's points with
sachems and tribes of his own race. His nature



PEQUOTS, MOHICANS AND OTHER TRIBES 229

was mean and jealous and he was tyrannical. He
was treacherous to his own people. He would ac-
cuse before the English some one or another as
being too dangerous or treacherous. He was the
unscrupulous ally of the EngUsh, obeying every nod
and sign with which they favored him and took
every advantage which they allowed, over his
brethren of the forest. He accused Miantonomo,
put him to death, oppressed the vaUant Pequots,
tracked Sequassen from his place of refuge among
the Pecoupans and surrendered him to the colonists'
magistrates, and finally complained to the EngUsh
about Pessacus, Ninegret, of Mexam, of Mohansick,
and of any sachem from whom he could possibly
have anything to fear."

And this was the man whom the English backed
against their faithful friend, who stood before them
as a man, and not a slave, who protected them
without doing injustice to others, and of whose sad
fate DeForest writes, ^'Such was the end of Mian-
tonomo, a sachem who seems to have been re-
spected and loved by every one who was not fearful
of his power."

In spite of his truckling to the English, and run-
ning to them with complaints, and in spite of all the
favors he had received at their hands, they knew
him well enough not to trust him at the outbreak
of King Philip's war; and required him to give
hostages for his good conduct; and he sent in two
of his own sons, brothers of Oweneco, his eldest son,
who was then the war chief of the nation; and they
appear to have remained with the English through-



230 MASSASOIT

out the war. Oweneco with two hundred of his
warriors fought with the colonial armies at the
Swamp Fight at Kingston, Rhode Island, on Decem-
ber 19, 1675, when fifty-one of them were killed
and eighty-two wounded.

The Mohicans and Pequots also participated in
other engagements, fighting with the colonists
against the Wampanoags and Narragansetts, their
ancient enemies, prompted, no doubt, by a desire
to secure the overthrow of every other sachem of
any importance and set themselves up as the domi-
nant Indian power in southern New England up-
held by English forces. It would seem from our
study of the character of Uncas, that this was a
sufficient guaranty against any misconduct on his
part, but the men who knew him were not content
even with this, but demanded further surety, a sad
commentary on their confidence in the man they
had upheld for nearly half a century.

In King Philip's war a few Nipmuck tribes and
the Podunks joined King Philip; the other tribes of
Connecticut remained neutral, except the western
Niantics who seem to have come under the domi-
nation of Uncas upon the passing of the control of
the nation from Sassacus to him.

The Niantics, who have been frequently referred
to in this and in preceding chapters, appear to have
been a tribe of the old Mohican federation, into
which the Pequot invasion drove a wedge forcing a
part of them to the west and a part to the east, by
reason of which they are sometimes referred to as
the Eastern Niantics and the Western Niantics,



PEQUOTS, MOHICANS AND OTHER TRIBES 231

and I have followed this classification in this chap-
ter. I have referred to the location of the two
branches. The western group seem to have been
under complete domination of the Pequots and later
of the Mohicans, and play no particular part in the
early struggles between the various tribes or be-
tween them and the whites. That their sym-
pathies were with Sassacus, and that they held a
fort as a sort of second line of defence in the Pequot
war seems fairly well established, and that they
followed Uncas in the final struggle of the red and
white races for the control of southern New Eng-
land is certain. The Eastern Niantics maintained
an independent position east of the Paucatuc, al-
though under the protection of the Narragansetts,
with whom they were so closely allied that some
writers speak of them as Narragansetts. Their his-
tory is so mingled with that of the Narragansetts,
Pequots and Mohicans and their activities have
been so often referred to in these connections that
they do not call for further comment here, except to
call attention to the fact that, under their old
sachem Ninigret, who had caused a vast amount of
trouble up to 1654, they joined the whites against
their race in the last great attempt to shake off the
ever increasing fetters which the men they had
befriended were constantly forging for their feet.
In this war Ninigret's daughter Magnus, the "Old
Queen of the Narragansetts," who was then the
widow of Miantonomo's brother, followed the for-
tunes of King Philip.

Ninigret was a shrewd old observer of events.



232 MASSASOIT

and perhaps foresaw the outcome of the struggle,
and the futihty of throwing his warriors into the
''deadly breach" against the whites, and hoped to
secure for his people some favorable consideration
at the hands of the men whose progress he saw no
chance of stopping. He fell into complete disfavor
with the whites in 1654, and his power was broken,
and with it no doubt his spirit. That his hope of
perpetuating his race by aiding the EngHsh, like
Uncas' dream of an Indian Empire within or beside
a white, was without foundation, appeared in the se-
quel, for friend and foe have alike been swept away.

Uncas died in 1682 or 1683, and was succeeded
by his son Oweneco, sometimes written Oneco, who
was the war chief of the nation during the war.
Oneco's son Caesar succeeded him, and upon the
death of Caesar, Uncas' youngest son Ben seized
upon the chieftaincy, and he was succeeded by his
son Ben, the last of the Mohican sachems. So it
will be seen that the second generation after Uncas
saw his race despoiled of all the prerogatives of
royalty, if, indeed, he and his descendants from the
time he first began to run to the EngHsh with his
complaints were anything more than mere tools in
their hands to preserve order, or assist them in pre-
serving order, among the Indians for the English-
men's own ends.

The first Ben Uncas, according to his father's own
statement, was illegitimate, Uncas saying of him
that he was half dog, the mother being a poor
beggarly squaw, not his wife. It was generally
understood, however, both among the EngHsh and



PEQUOTS, MOHICANS AND OTHER TRIBES 233

Indians, that Ben's mother was a daughter of
Foxon, Uncas' Chief Counsellor.

Two hundred years after Uncas began his plot-
ting to establish a great Mohican nation, with him-
self as its ruler, all that remained of his dreams was
a reservation of twenty-three hundred acres, four
hundred and sixty of which were actually culti-
vated by about sixty descendants of the warriors
who, under the leadership of Oweneco, aided the
whites in their work of exterminating their own
race. About an equal number was then scattered
to all the points of the compass, and of all the one
hundred and twenty or one hundred and twenty-
five not more than twenty-five or thirty were of
pure Mohican blood. One of these one hundred and
twenty or twenty-five was Esther Cooper, a lineal
descendant of Uncas, and so far as known the last
of his race. This refers to 1849, and the figures are
taken from DeForest's History of the Connecticut
Indians.

Thus faded the dream of the ambitious, unscru-
pulous, lying and treacherous Uncas, who sought by
subterfuge and treachery to grasp the sceptre of
Empire from all the New England Indians, and
died, as he lived, despised by the men for whose
favor he sold his birthright and betrayed his coun-
trymen. If Indian character depended upon him
and such as he, we would have no difiiculty in agree-
ing with the appraisals usually made of it, but, for-
tunately for the memory of the race, it has produced
not only an Uncas, but a Massasoit, a Miantonomo
and a Pometacom, whose heroic deeds save it from
oblivion, or disgrace.



XI

KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS

THREE histories of King Philip's war were
written by men who hved through that peril-
ous period, and who ought, therefore, to know
whereof they write. The first of these to make its
appearance was by Rev. William Hubbard of Con-
necticut, and was published immediately after the
close of the war; the second was by Rev. Increase
Mather of Massachusetts, and consisted principally
of a repetition of what Hubbard had written with-
out giving any credit to the earlier writer. This
work appeared in 1676 and is entitled Magnolia.
Just what the author means by the title is not
quite clear; but if the first part of it is from the
Latin Magnus (great), it is most appropriately
named, for of all the colossal monuments to cant
and bigotry erected in an age when cant and bigotry
seemed to count for religious fervor, this is easily
Magnolia, the greatest of them all. The third
was written by Thomas Church, a son of Captain
Benjamin Church, at his dictation, and from notes
made, as he says, at the time. This was pubHshed
in 1716, and ran through several editions. Captain
Church was in a position to know as much about the
war as any man of that time, and, consequently in a

234



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 235

position to know more than any man of other
times. The principal difRculty with his work is the
air of braggadocio running through it, the tendency
to exaggerate the ego. In fact, the entire work
reads more hke the boasting of his prowess by an
old man than an attempt to set down historical
facts with an eye single to absolute accuracy, and
justice to the character of his opponents. While
we are obliged to resort, in a large measure, to these
three works for our facts, the beauty of all of them
is sadly marred, the first two by the narrowness
and spleen of the writers, and the last by the spirit
of self-aggrandizement that permeates it. But we
are not left entirely to the accuracy and judgment of
these three men. Fortunately for the memory of
the Indians, another contemporary writer, before
the conclusion of the war, set down some observa-
tions of his own, without spleen or prejudice, and
without boasting. John Easton came to New Eng-
land in 1634, and settled at Ipswich in the Massa-
chusetts Bay Colony. Being a Quaker, he was
soon forced to flee to Rhode Island to escape the
penalties imposed by the Puritans of Massachusetts
upon men who did their own thinking in religious
matters, and whose thoughts did not coincide with
those laid down by the men in authority, who as-
sumed the prerogative of thinldng for others as
well as for themselves. He settled at Newport,
Rhode Island, in 1638, and very soon arose to promi-
nence, being governor's assistant in 1640 and 1643,
and from 1650 to 1652; and in 1654, he was presi-
dent under the first colonial charter, and governor



236 MASSASOIT

of Rhode Island from 1672 to 1674. In speaking of
him as governor of Rhode Island, the latter must
not be confused with the Providence Plantations of
Roger Wilhams, as Rhode Island in those days
meant the Indian island of Aquidnick, the Rhode or
Red Island of the Enghsh.

Governor Easton died before the war was con-
cluded, but not without having written down some
facts which it is well to keep in mind in connection
with the history of that period; and which so in-
censed the Reverend Increase Mather that he tells
us he hastened his work on account of it, apparently
fearing that the truth would not reflect any partic-
ular credit upon the English at Plymouth; and so
must be completely buried in a mass of misrepre-
sentation, cant and bigotiy. Unfortunately for
himself and his so-called history, he manifests so
much spleen throughout the work that the careful
reader sees in it, not the righteous indignation of
one who is unjustly accused, but the boiling rage of
the criminal who is caught with the goods in his
possession.

Governor Easton 's history contains some informa-
tion concerning the complaints of the Indians as re-
lated by themselves that throw such an interesting
side light upon the beginning of King PhiUp's war
that I am constrained to quote from it at length,
simply changing the quaint spelling and applying
modern rules of punctuation, to make the whole
more easily intelligible. He says: ''But for four
years' time, reports and jealousies of war had been
very frequent. Yet we did not think that now the



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 237

war was breaking forth; but about a week before it
did, we had cause to think it would. Then, to en-
deavor to prevent it, we sent a man to Phihp that,
if he would come to the ferry, we would come over
to speak with him. About four miles we had to
come; thither our messenger come to them; they,
not aware of it, behaved themselves as furious, but
suddenly appeased when they understood who he
was and what he came for; he called his council and
agreed to come to us; came himself unarmed and
about forty of his men, armed. Then five of us
went over; three were magistrates. We sat very
friendly together. We told him our business, so to
endeavor that they might not receive or do wrong.
They said that was well; they had done no wrong,
the English had wronged them. We said we knew
the English said the Indians wronged them, and the
Indians said the English wronged them, but our
desire was the quarrel might rightly be decided in
the best way, and not as dogs decided their quarrels.
The Indians owned that fighting was the worst way;
they then propounded how right might take place.


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