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say there isn't a particle of evidence that he ever
actually engaged the cooperation of any other
tribe.

Matters ran along in this way until the winter of
1674, when John Sassamon, a Massachusetts In-
dian, who had been educated at Harvard and was
an itinerant preacher among the Indians, revealed
Phihp's plottings to the Plymouth authorities. He
had been employed by PhiHp as a secretary, and in
this way claimed to have secured his information.
Knowledge of Sassamon's perfidy reached Philip in
some way, and Sassamon suddenly disappeared, and
some time later his body was found under the ice in
Assawamsett Pond, with the neck broken and other
indications of foul play. Three Indians came under
suspicion and they were arrested and indicted by the
grand jury. They were subsequently tried by a
jury, and five Indians were called in to hear the evi-
dence against them; and these five concurred in the
verdict. The three were hanged, two of them pro-
testing their innocence. Philip had been summoned
to Plymouth to testify to his connection with the
taking off of Sassamon, but did not appear, whether
from fear of the consequences or in defiance of the
colonists' attempts to subject him to their au-
thority, we can only conjecture. In any event, the
series of depredations that led directly to the war



254 MASSASOIT

began immediately after the execution of the men
who were charged with the death of Sassamon.

In connection with the trial of these men one is
constrained to inquire under what authority the
English assumed jurisdiction of this matter. There
is no evidence that Sassamon was subject to them
or under their special protection by reason of any
treaty or agreement. The three men whom they
tried for his murder were Indians, and, if they be-
longed in the vicinity where the crime was com-
mitted, were subjects of the sachem Tuspaquin, and
the offence was against the laws of the territory of
that chief. It was by such acts as this, the utter
ignoring of the rights of the natives to deal with
offenders among their own people against men who
were not subject to the English, and on their own
territory, that the colonists goaded the Indians to
war.

Philip's men limited their depredations to the
killing of the cattle and hogs of the EngUsh and
carrying away their property, the purpose ap-
parently being to drive the colonists to the first acts
of violence against the person; and this soon re-
sulted, an Indian being shot and wounded in Swan-
sea, while committing some act of depredation; and
thus the war begun.

July 4, 1675, Captains Moseley and Page, who
were pursuing Philip, received orders to go over
into the Narragansett country and secure a treaty
with the sachems there; and, as a result, they did
succeed in getting a pledge of assistance, signed by
''Agamand, Wampsh, alias Gorman, Taitson and



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 255

Tawagason, counsellors and attorneys to Canonicus
[Pessacus], Ninigret, Matababug, old Quen Quain-
pen, Quananshet [Canonchet] and Pomham, the six
present sachems of the whole Narragansett country.''
It is significant that not one of the sachems purports
to have signed in person; nor is there any evidence
that they were present, or that the signatories
actually had any authority to sign for them.

About this time, commissioners also attempted to
treat with the Nipmucks between the Merrimac and
the Connecticut Rivers, but found the young men
''surly and insolent," although the old men "showed
an inclination for peace." These Nipmucks, the
Podunks, who are said to have furnished two hun-
dred warriors, the Nashuas, all the Narragansett
sachems except Ninigret, who was really a Niantic,
and the Wampanoags, constituted Philip's force, the
Narragansetts coming in late in the fall of 1675.
It is claimed by some writers that they were under
an agreement with Philip to furnish four thousand
warriors for an uprising in the spring of 1676, but
the death of Sassamon and the execution of his
alleged murderers hastened the breaking out of
hostiUties to such an extent that they did not par-
ticipate for some months.

From the spring of 1675 until the final overthrow
of Philip's forces, no place could feel that it was
safe from attack. The towns of Central Massa-
chusetts suffered most severely, the Narragansetts
and Wampanoags sweeping up from their territory
and joining the Nipmucks and Nashuas in the
attacks.



256 MASSASOIT

The Indians suffered their first serious defeat in
the swamp fight at East Kingston, Rhode Island,
December 19, 1675, where three hundred warriors
were killed, according to information given by an
old squaw who escaped the conflagration caused by
the English setting fire to the wigwams, burning
women and children. It was at Lancaster on Feb-
ruary 10, 1676, that Mary Rowlandson, the minis-
ter's wife, and her children were taken in an attack
upon that town by the Wampanoags under Philip,
Narragansetts under Quinapen and the Nashuas
and Nipmucks led by Sagamore Sam and one-eyed
John of the Marlborough 'Spraying Indians." She
remained a captive for some time, living in the wig-
wam of Weetamo, who was then one of the squaws
of Quinapen; and on one occasion dining with
Philip, as she relates in her narrative of her experi-
ences.

Meeting with various reverses, and losing some of
their leaders, the Wampanoags and Narragansetts
were finally driven into the swamps around Mount
Hope in July, 1676. Here the ''Old Queen" was
slain in that month. It is said that the losses of
Philip and his allies amounted to three thousand
warriors at that time, but he made another attempt
to turn the tide. On July 30, Governor Winslow
received w^ord at Marshfield that a strong force was
on the march against Taunton or Bridgewater. He
hastened to Plymouth, and summoned Captain
Church, directing him to rally his forces at once.
By this time Philip, apparently seeing the futility
of proceeding further, was withdrawing his men.



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 257

It was on this retreat, while crossing the river at
Taunton on a tree which the Indians had felled to
form a bridge, that Akkompoin, the younger brother
of Massasoit, was slain with several of his men; and
Philip himself came very near meeting the same
fate, according to Captain Church, who says that
on the morning following Akkompoin's death, he
saw an Indian sitting on a log and raised his rifle
to fire, when one of his Indians called out that it was
a friend, upon which he lowered his gun; and the
Indian looked at them and fled. It afterwards
turned out to be Philip himself.

Early in August an Indian reported that Philip
was at Mount Hope and Church went after him.
They came upon him by surprise, and Church aimed
at him but his gun missed fire, whereupon he ordered
a Seaconnet Indian who was with him to shoot him
down. He obeyed, and Philip fell on August 12,
1676, shot through the heart by one of his own
people named by the English, John Alderman.

His force was by this time completely shattered,
many of his sachems having fallen and others hav-
ing come in on promises of clemency only to learn
that clemency meant either death or slavery as best
suited the English. Some of the Nipmucks fled to
the west, where they were undoubtedly absorbed by
other tribes; and it is said that a remnant of the
Wampanoags escaped into Maine where they be-
came merged with the Penobscots.

After Philip's death Church declared that inas-
much as he had caused many Englishmen to remain
unburied, no part of him should have burial. An



258 MASSASOIT

Indian was summoned who was directed to cut off
the head and quarter the body. The head was sent
to Plymouth where it was exposed upon a pole for
more than a score of years. His hands were sent
to Boston, and his quartered body was hung up in
the trees where he fell. Church and his men re-
turned to Plymouth ''and received their premium,
which was thirty shillings per head for the enemies
which they had killed or taken, instead of wages.
Philip's head went at the same price," according to
Captain Church.

The Plymouth clergy celebrated his death with
the same blasphemous utterances in which they
were wont to give vent to their spleen upon such
occasions. The Rev. Increase Mather says, ''There
was he, hke as Agag was hewed in pieces before the
Lord, cut into four quarters, and is now hung up
as a monument of revenging justice, his head being
cut off and carried to Plymouth. So let all thine
enemies perish, Lord! Thus did God break the
head of that Leviathan and give it to be meat of
the people inheriting the wilderness."

The authorities at Plymouth had appointed a
day of thanksgiving for their success. Phihp's head
reached the town that day. Rev. Cotton Mather
says, " God sent 'em in the head of a Leviathan for
a thanksgiving feast."

So perished the last of the Great Chiefs of New
England to make a stand against the encroach-
ments of the deadly enemies of his people. Of his
character much has been written and the net result
of it all is that we know almost nothing concerning



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 259

it. Church says he was always the first in flight,
but then proceeds to give the He to the statement
by saying he was seen sitting on a log at Taunton
River the morning after his uncle and some of his
men were killed. Some writers claim that he pos-
sessed no particular skill as an organizer, and
lacked the native eloquence with which some of the
children of the forest roused their followers to
frenzy; while others rank him as a person of great
powers of body and mind, capable of stirring men
to action and not hesitating to risk his own Ufe in
leading his men against the foe. The reader is at
liberty to take his choice; but it may not be amiss
to suggest that such a revolt as he is credited in his-
tory with having led does not arise spontaneously,
nor can it be aroused by a man lacking in personal
magnetism, persuasive oratory and physical prowess.
Was he a blood-thirsty savage bent on destruction
of the whites without cause; or was he a true
patriot contending for all that life holds dear, and
sacrificing his own life to the ideals of his race,
freedom, home and the defence of his fatherland?
Undoubtedly most men who have read history have
already drawn their conclusions, and no word of
mine is Ukely to cause them to change their minds;
but before consigning his name to eternal infamy,
let us look carefully to the conditions surrounding
him, to the grievances of his people, and then let us
ask ourselves what we would have done had we
been in his place. What have men of all races and
of all time done under similar circumstances? and
what appraisal do we place upon their character?



260 MASSASOIT

Is there any reason why we should not place Philip
of Pokanoket in the class with other men who
have made the supreme sacrifice for the mainte-
nance of the same ideals?

Philip married Wootonekanuske, a sister of Wee-
tamo, and beheved to be a daughter of Corbitant
of the Pocassets, one of the branches of the Wam-
panoag federation; and, so far as history records,
she was his only wife, for while polygamy seems to
have been practiced among the Narragansetts in
some instances, Quinapen being said by Mrs. Row-
landson to have had three squaws, there is nothing
of record to lead to any inference that either Massa-
soit, Wamsutta or Philip had more than one wife,
or that polygamy was ever practiced among the
Wampanoags. By her he had two children, one of
whom died in infancy and the other, a young boy
at the time of his father's death, was sold with his
mother into slavery. The clergy were appealed to
by the authorities for their opinion as to what
should be done with him, and these followers of
Him who said, ''Suffer little children to come unto
me," were in favor of murdering the child; but the
authorities for some reason reserved him for a
worse fate; and so the grandson of the man who
had made their position secure ended his Ufe a slave.

PuMHAM is ranked second to Philip in abiUty
among the leaders of the natives in the uprising.
His name appears as one of the six sachems of the
Narragansett country in the treaty which Captains
Moseley and Page secured from the counsellors in
July, 1675. He is spoken of as sachem of Showa-



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 261

met, now Warwick, Rhode Island. In July, 1676, he
led an invasion into the territoiy around Medfield
and Dedham, Massachusetts, and on the twenty-
fifth of that month, fifty of his band were captured;
but he refused to surrender and was shot.

QuiNAPEN was a nephew of Miantonomo. After
Weetamo left her fourth husband because of his
adherence to the English, Quinapen, though much
younger than she, took her as the third of his squaws.
He was an active participant with his warriors in
the various raids by the Narragansetts and is
known to have led them in the attack on Lancaster
in February, 1676. After his capture in August of
that year, he told his captors that he had been
second in command at the swamp fight at East
Kingston. He was shot at Newport soon after his
capture.

Canonchet, a son of Miantonomo, is referred to
as the Chief Sachem of the Narragansetts. He is
said to have entered the war with two thousand
warriors. Whether this is intended to include the
entire strength of the Narragansetts, all of them
being in a sense, under his command, or only his
own immediate followers is uncertain. Early in the
spring of 1676, he and King PhiHp swept around
Seekonk, Massachusetts, with fifteen hundred war-
riors, and there were six or seven hundred around
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, at the same time; but
this really throws no light upon the question, be-
cause we do not know how many of these were
Wampanoags. Canonchet was in command at the
swamp fight, with his cousin Quinapen second.



262 MASSASOIT

In the raid around Seekonk and Pawtucket in
the spring of 1676, he was crossing the Blackstone
River, when his foot sHpped, throwing him into the
water and wetting his gun so that it became useless.
This misfortune so disheartened him for the mo-
ment that he was easily overtaken by a swift-footed
Pequot, who was with a pursuing party of whites
and Indians. After his capture, the first English-
man to approach him presented a very youthful
appearance. When this young man attempted to
interrogate him, he replied, ''You much child. No
understand matters of war. Let your brother or
your chief come. Him I will answer." His cap-
ture occurred on March 27th; and he was taken
to Stonington, Connecticut, where, after the mockery
of a trial, he was first offered his life if he would
become an ally of the English. This he steadfastly
refused, and when reminded of ''his boast that he
would not deliver up so much as a paring of a Wam-
panoag nail when called upon by the Enghsh to
give up their enemies, and his threat that he would
burn them alive in their houses," his courage re-
mained unshaken; and when told that his sentence
was death, he stoically replied that it pleased him
well that he should die before his heart was soft and
he had said anything unworthy of himself. ''This,"
says the devout Hubbard, "was the confusion of a
damned wretch that had often opened his mouth
to blaspheme the name of the living God and those
that make profession thereof," to which he might
have truthfully added, but whose practices did not
square with their professions; and who worshipped



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 263

the "living God" with their Hps, but blasphemed
His name by their every act.

The sentence of the court was carried out in the
manner described by Hubbard in the following
words: "And that all might share in the glory of
destroying so great a prince and come under the
obligation of jQdehty to each other, the Pequots shot
him, the Mohicans cut off his head and quartered
his body, and the Ninnicrafts (a name apparently
sometimes applied to the Niantics) made the fire
and burned his quarters, and as a token of their love
and fideUty to the English, presented his head to
the counsel of Hartford."

"V\Tiether the Pequot traitor to his native land
and his people received the thirty pieces of silver
for his head, or whether the Connecticut troops and
their alHes were paid in some other way, we are not
told. He fell a victim to the same methods of deal-
ing with the natives that had marked the end of his
father, Miantonomo, and at the hands of the same
cruel enemies of his nation, acting as the agents of
the real enemies of them all, who simply used the
Mohicans as their catspaws until such time as it
should suit their purpose to destroy them by insidi-
ous acts of oppression worse than war These two
men stand, in unbiased history, with PhiUp, as
leaders of their race, who earnestly desired an honor-
able peace with the whites; and who labored to se-
cure it with the blessings of a higher civilization for
their people; but who were swallowed up in the
maelstrom of English land covetousness, suspicion
and trickery.



264 MASSASOIT

TusPAQUiN has already been referred to as the
sachem of the Assawamsetts and probably of the
Nemaskets, the two tribes occupying the territory
now included in the towns of Lakeville and Middle-
borough, and parts of Freetown (East), Rochester,
and Acushnet. He is commonly referred to as the
"Black Sachem." He married Amie, daughter of
Massasoit, and had two sons, WiUiam and Benja-
min. At the outbreak of the war, he joined with
his brother-in-law Philip in his attempt to redress
by force of arms the grievances of his people, suf-
fered at the hands of the EngUsh. William is said
to have followed his father, and to have lost his
life early in the war, no mention of him appearing
after the spring of 1675.

Early in July, 1676, the authorities issued a gen-
eral proclamation offering clemency to such of their
enemies as should come in and give themselves up.
Tuspaquin, still adhering to Philip, did not avail
himself of this offer; and after the death of Philip,
Captain Benjamin Church went looking for him.
Church went to Rochester, but was told that he
had gone away to the southward; whereupon he
took Tuspaquin's wife and children and returned
with them to Plymouth, leaving two squaws to tell
him what had become of his family and that he
would spare all their lives and his too, if he would
come down to them and bring the other two that
were with him. Church informs us that he was
acting upon a commission from Plymouth which
authorized him 'Ho receive to mercy, give quarter
or not, excepting some particular and noted mur-



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 265

derers, viz.: Philip and all that were at the destroy-
ing of Mr. Clarke's garrison and some few others."
Tuspaquin does not come within either of these
classes unless it is "some few others"; and the
question naturally arises, if he was in that class why
did Church promise to spare his Ufe and the lives
of the two others who were with him?

Tuspaquin came in with the two others, and the
authorities, taking advantage of Church's absence
on business in Boston, executed both Tuspaquin and
Annawon to whom Church had given his word that
he would intercede in his behalf. This promise he
faithfully kept, and it was no fault of his that those
in authority broke their promises made through him
to Tuspaquin. Attention should here be called to
the fact that some inducement had been held out
to him beyond the mere promise of clemency, for
we are told that he had ''hopes of being made a
captain under Church," but when the authorities
at Plymouth decided upon his execution in Church's
absence, they claimed that ''the promise of a cap-
tain's place depended upon his being impenetrable
by bullets, a claim that the Indians had made for
him." So in order to put him to the test they con-
fronted him with a firing squad with the result that
we would expect; but which their pious historians
exploit with great gusto, probably meaning to infer
that he was not executed, but was merely being
tried out to determine whether he met with the
requirements for a captaincy. They conclude with
a statement that he was found to be penetrable by
the English guns, for he fell down at the first shot



266 MASSASOIT

and thereby received the "just reward for his
wickedness." Was he shot as a '^ reward for his
wickedness," or to test the question of his impene-
trabihty? If there is any one thing for which the
early writers were more noted than for another, it
is not consistency. That this claim was merely a
subterfuge under which the English sought to cloak
their perfidy must be perfectly apparent to the
discerning reader.

Ann A WON, the last of Philip's great captains, is
spoken of by Schoolcraft as an uncle of Philip, but
I find nothing in the writings of historians of the
early period to warrant the behalf that he was in
any way related to the royal family of the Poka-
nokets, and in boasting of his prowess after his cap-
ture, he speaks of Massasoit simply as Philip's
father. This is not by any means conclusive, how-
ever, as we have no knowledge of Massasoit's wife,
and Annawon may well have been her brother.
If there is anything in the early history to establish
this fact or to lead to any inference that it is a fact,
I have not found it. There is no doubt that he was
one of Massasoit's counsellors and '^men of valor,"
and he may have been related to him by blood or
marriage.

At the fight in the swamp below Mount Hope,
immediately following PhiUp's death, the EngUsh
plainly heard some one shouting "lootash, lootash, "
(stand firm; stand firm.) On inquiry of some of
their Indian allies, the English were told that this
was Old Annawon, Philip's captain. With the
faithful few of the Wampanoags who refused to



KING PHILIP AND HIS CAPTAINS 267

take advantage of the English offers of clemency or
of the opportunities for flight to distant lands, Anna-
won made his way into Rehoboth, Massachusetts,
where they constructed a rude shelter by felling
trees against the perpendicular side of a ledge that
extends a distance of about seventy-five feet, at a
height of about twenty-five feet in its highest place,
a short distance from the highway running from
Taunton to Providence. Some of his men who
were out on a foraging party were discovered and
followed by Captain Church, who recites in detail
the manner of his capture. He tells of lowering him-
self down from the top of the rock to the level of the
camp by clinging to the branches of the trees; but
as the distance from the top of the rock to the level
of the shelter is only about six feet at that place,
and easily traversed, this looks like some of Church's
exploitation of his personal prowess. The ledge
where he was captured has ever since been known
as "Annawon's Rock." After his surprise and
capture, while Church and Annawon were lying
side by side to rest for the night, the latter sud-
denly arose and walked away, Church not molesting
him. After some time, he returned and laid down
a quantity of wampum and Philip's personal be-
longings, saying they had been his king's, but as
they had killed the king, he supposed they belonged
to the English.

If there was any foundation for Annawon 's claim
that he had been a mighty warrior and had per-
formed deeds of valor ''when serving under Philip's
father," it is apparent that he must have been an



268 MASSASOIT

old man at that time. Massasoit was not engaged
in any wars that called for heroic exploits after
1620, and probably none after the decimation of his
tribe by the plague in 1616 or 1617, unless it was
the war with the Narragansetts which resulted in
the loss to them of Aquidnick. Indian youths were
not trained for war until they were eighteen, and
so Annawon must have been born around 1600 or
before. At any rate he was old enough not to be a
menace to the whites with all his warriors gone, and
the only explanation of his execution is in the words
used by the English in their characterization of the
Indians. Cruel, blood-thirsty vindictiveness is the
only answer to the question. Why did they refuse to
listen to the plea of Church for leniency, and shoot
this old man who was on the verge of the grave?
What became of the small band that was captured
with him including his son, we are not told, but
from what we know of the colonists' methods, it is
not difficult for us to see them in fancy wearing out
their lives and fretting away their freeborn spirits
under the slave drivers' lash in the West Indies.

The *'Iootash" of old Annawon still rings in our


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