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would be better to remove his family from Swansea,
as it might not be in his power to prevent the In-
dians from doing them injury. Cole took his ad-
vice and removed his family to the island of Rhode
Island; and they were not out of sight of their
house when it was fired by the Indians.






INDIAN CHARACTER 43

There was a man named James Brown living in
Swansea who was under the special protection of
King Philip, who ordered his people to do no harm
to him, because, as he said, his father (Massasoit)
in his life time, had charged him to show kindness
ito Mr. Brown.

Find an instance in all the history of that war
which shows a Colonist manifesting any gratitude
for kindnesses if you can; point out a case where
one of them refrained from staining his hands with
the blood of Indian men, women and children, be-
cause a parent, fifteen years or more before, had re-
quested that kindness be shown; and you will show
a man competent to pass judgment on the Indians.

Place their records in parallel columns, and com-
pare them carefully, with nothing to indicate which
I is the white man's record and which is the Indian's,
i and j^ou will have difficulty in determining, with
the chances strongly in favor of your making a mis-
i take; consider them as they stand, knowing which
is the white man's and which the Indian's, and you
i will find no difficulty in concluding that the terms
civilized Christian and savage pagan are reversed;
and that, as shown by their records, they should be
savage Christian and civilized pagan.

The Indian "never forgave an injury, nor forgot
a benefit." The latter part of this saying is proven
true by the three historical anecdotes I have just
related. The white man, of that period, never for-
gave an injury or remembered a benefit, except as
ground for demanding another. And these are the
men from whom we secure the information upon



44 MASSASOIT

which we are to pass judgment on the Indian char
acter; or rather whose estimate of that character
we are asked to accept as final and conclusive.
Fortunately for the memory of the lost race, their
enemies have left enough behind in their records to
enable men who look at those records without passion
or prejudice to reverse the judgment.



Ill

THE ALGONQUINS

AMERICA, at the time of its discovery by
Europeans, was peopled by a race whose origin
has ever remained a matter of conjecture; whence
they came and their relationship, if any, to other
peoples who then occupied or had occupied other
portions of the known world has remained one of
the unsolved problems of the race; nor is it of any
particular interest except as an abstract question of
ethnology whether they were the descendents of the
lost tribes of Israel or of the Hyksos, or Shepherd
i Kings of Egypt, or of the Tyrians, each of which
had played its part in the drama of life and dis-
appeared from the stage. Whether they had in
some remote period crossed from the Eastern hemi-
sphere, or were indigenous to the soil are problems
that arouse the interest of the student of sociology,
because they raise the question whether the Indians
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had relapsed
into a state of at least semi-barbarism from the
civiHzation of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa as
developed centuries before, or had advanced by
slow stages from the more complete barbarism of
primitive men.

45



46 MASSASOIT

For the purpose of this work, we will take them
as they were, leaving the problem of their origin and
development to be discussed, or further discussed,
by scientists in the hope that, as matter of abstract
knowledge, the wisdom of future ages may pene-
trate the veil. Taking them as the Europeans
found them, ethnologists tell us that the territory
now included within the bounds of the United
States, excluding Alaska and the islands of the
seas, was occupied by seven distinct families, three
of which, the Algonquin, Iroquois and Appalachian,
sometimes called the Mobilian, were east of the
Mississippi River.

As our interest at this time is limited to those
tribes located in Southern New England, I shall not
make further reference to the latter group which lay
south of the Carolinas, nor to the Iroquois except to
call attention to their activities, as those activities
affected the Algonquin tribes located along th
shores of the rivers, lakes and sea and in the forest'
fastnesses of New England.

Of the Iroquois, or Hodenosaunee, as they called
themselves, the Five Nations of New York were
the dominant league, and eventually, being joined
by a sixth, thus making them the six nations, as
they are frequently called, they overcame and ab-
sorbed the other tribes of their own race; and so in
later times the six nations and Iroquois became
almost identical in meaning. The original five
nations were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas,
Cayugas and Senecas. The Tuscaroras had at
some earlier time broken away and settled on the



iS

1



THE ALGONQUINS 47

coast and streams of the Carolinas, where they
maintained themselves against the hostile attacks
of Algonquins and Appalachians for generations, but
were eventually reunited with their ancient brethren.
The subjugated Iroquois tribes, the remnants of
which were absorbed by the five nations, were the
Hurons or Wyandots, Eries and Andastes. Whence
they came, to have thus settled themselves in the
limited territory they occupied, entirely surrounded
by Algonquins, is uncertain. They themselves have
three traditions concerning the matter, one of which
tells us that they came from the north, another
that they came from the west, and the third that
they sprang from the soil of New York State.

The totemic clan seems to have been more highly
developed among them than among the Algonquins,
the several tribes, independently of their tribal rela-
tions, being united in eight such clans, the members
of which were bound together by ties stronger than
those of tribal relationship, intermarriage between
I members of the same clan being prohibited, though
allowed between members of the same tribe but of
different clans.

Francis Parkman, Jr., than whom no historian
has taken greater pains to secure absolute accuracy,
says of them: ''They extended their conquests and
their depradations from Quebec to the Carolinas,
and from the Western prairies to the forests of
Maine. On the South they forced tribute from the
subjugated Dela wares and pierced the mountain
fastnesses of the Cherokees with incessant forays.
On the North they uprooted the ancient settlement



48 MASSASOIT

of the Wyandots, on the West they exterminated
the Eries and the Andastes, and spread havoc and
dismay around the tribes of the IlUnois; and on the
East the Indians of New England fled at the first
peal of the Mohawk War Cry. Their war parties
roamed over half America, and their name was a
terror from the Atlantic to the Mississippi; but
when we ask the numerical strength of the dreaded
confederacy, when we discover that, in the days of
their greatest triumphs, their united cantons could
not have mustered four thousand warriors, we
stand amazed at the folly and dissension which left
so vast a region the prey of a handful of bold ma-
rauders."

From this it is readily seen that they were a war-
like people, dreaded by the Algonquins everywhere,
by whom they seem to be known simply as Mo-
hawks, this being perhaps the dominant tribe in
the league. The period of their greatest triumph
appears to have been from 1649 to 1672, for it was ,
then that they subjugated their own kindred tribes, I!
the Hurons, Eries and Andastes, and overran the
Dela wares.

One of the pecuhar customs of the Iroquois is
worth a word in passing, and that is the rule of
descent through the female line; that is, a chief's
brother, sister or sister's children succeeded to the
chieftaincy rather than his own or his brother's
children, the reason being that by no inconstancy
on the part of the wife of a chief or of his mother or
sisters, was it possible that his brother, sister or
sister's children should not be of his own family,



THE ALGONQUINS 49

even if only through the mother, while the children
of his wife or of his brother's wife might be no rela-
tion to him.

Such were the neighbors on the west of the In-
dians of New England in whom we are more partic-
ularly interested in connection with this work, but
whose history is such a mixture of wars among
themselves resulting from what appear to be suc-
cessive waves of migration, constantly driven down
to the New England coast through their inability to
plant their feet on the lands preempted by the Iro-
quois; and wars with the Mohawks themselves,
who crowded them so close on the west that no
sketch of the eastern Algonquins is quite complete
without considering briefly these neighbors who had
succeeded in some way in planting themselves upon
or within the Algonquin territoiy, where they re-
mained, a pestilential thorn in the flesh of the tribes
surrounding them.

Of the three eastern groups or families, the Algon-
quins were undoubtedly the most numerous and ex-
tended over the largest expanse of territory. Their
dominion, excepting the region south of Lakes Erie
and Ontario, and the peninsula between these lakes
and Lake Huron, which was occupied by the Iro-
quois, extended from Hudson's Bay to the Carolinas
and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and Lake
Winnipeg. To quote again from Parkman: ''They
were Algonquins who greeted Jacques Cartier, as
his ships ascended the St. Lawrence. The first
British Colonists found savages of the same race
hunting and fishing along the coasts and inlets of



50 MASSASOIT

Virginia, and it was the daughter of an Algonquin
chief who interceded with her father for the hfe of
the adventuresome Enghshman. They were Algon-
quins, who, under Sassacus the Pequot and Philip
of Mt. Hope, waged deadly war against the Puri-
tans of New England, who dwelt at Pennacock under
the rule of the great magician, Passaconaway, and
trembled before the evil spirits of the Crystal Hills;
and who sang Aves and told their beads in the forest
chapel of Father Rasles, by the banks of the Kenne-
bec. They were Algonquins, who under the great
tree at Kensing-ton, made the covenant of peace
with William Penn."

In the 3^ear 1000 when Thorvald with his viking
crew sought to establish a colony at Vinland, this
group of the American Indians was limited to much
narrower confines. The skroellings whom he en-
countered and at whose hands he met his fate, during
the five centuries that elapsed between his adven-
turous attempt and the next recorded visits of Euro-
peans, had been driven north by advancing waves of
Algonquin migration; and their descendants are
still occupying the frozen regions of the far north.
Esquimau, we call them, signifying in the Algonquin
tongue, ''Eaters of Raw Fish." Wliat took place
during those five centuries is matter of conjecture;
but there are certain historical facts that make it
possible to draw inferences supported by reason.

The Leni Lenapee, in their own tongue, the Loups
of the French, the Dela wares of the English, call
themselves the parent stock of the Algonquin group,
and their claim seems to be admitted by the other



THE ALGONQUINS 51

branches. The name by which they designate
themselves means ''original men," and in speaking
of or to the members of other tribes of the family,
they used the terms, little brothers, children, grand-
children or nephews, and the other tribes referred
to them as father or grandfather.

So it is likely that the Algonquin group had its
origin, or at some remote time had established itself,
in the vicinity of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland
and eastern Pennsylvania, and as its original limits
became too narrow it spread out to the North, the
East, the South and the West in successive waves
of migration, each driving the preceding one further
and further away from the home of its fathers.

Schoolcraft believes that the Wolf Totem, or
Mohicans, were the first of the three clans of the
Lenapee to migrate, locating near Albany, whence
they were driven over the Hoosic and Pekonet ranges
into the valley of the Housatonic; and Gallatin
says this was the only one of the subdivisions to
leave their ancient hunting grounds. Neither ex-
presses any opinion whether they were forced east-
ward from the Hudson by other migratory bands of
Algonquins from the parent stock or by the Iro-
quois; and there appears to be nothing in the works
of early historians that furnishes any evidence,
gathered by men who have made a study of Indian
lore and traditions at their sources, whether the Iro-
quois were there before the Algonquins in such
strength that they could not be forced back, but
allowed the latter to sweep around them, or came
down from the west or north and met the advanc-



52 MASSASOIT

ing movement of the Algonquin migration and
drove a wedge in it which could not be dislodged.

Schoolcraft thinks it probable that the Pequots,
who, in the beginning of the seventeenth century
were in the ascendency in the Mohican federation,
were true Mohicans, and that the wars waged
between Sassacus the Pequot and Uncas the Mohi-
can were family rows for the sovereignty of the
federation. In speaking of the Pequot war in
which that tribe, with its six or seven hundred
fighting men, was wiped out he says, ^'By this de-
feat the Mohicans, a minor branch of the federa-
tion, under the government of Uncas gained the
ascendency in Connecticut." The whole matter of
tribal relations is so much in doubt that speculation
is almost useless, arid yet it has a fascination that
makes it difficult to leave.

Major Daniel Gookin, who commanded the
Middlesex regiment in King Philip's war, writing in
1674, which would be just before that war broke
out, enumerates as the five principal ''nations" of
New England, the ''Pequots, including the Mohi-
cans, and occupying the eastern part of the state of
Connecticut; the Narragansetts, occupying nearly
all of Rhode Island; the Pawkunnawkuts or Wam-
panoags, chiefly within the jurisdiction of Plymouth
Colony; the Massachusetts, in the bay of that
name and adjacent parts; and the Pawtuckets
north and east of the Massachusetts, including the
Pennacooks of New Hampshire, and probably all
the northeastern tribes as far as the Abenakis or
Tarrateens, as they seem to have been called by the



THE ALGONQUINS 53

New England Indians." The Nipmucks he men-
tions as living north of the Mohicans and west of the
Massachusetts, occupying the central part of that
state, and acknowledging to a certain extent, the
supremacy of the Massachusetts, the Narragansetts
or the Mohicans. Other writers also assert that
some of their tribes were tributary to the Wam-
panoags, and there is very good reason for believing
this to be true.

These federations comprise the tribes with which
the earliest colonists were brought directly in con-
tact, and, consequently in the pursuit of the sub-
ject in which we are particularly interested, further
mention of the Indians of New England will be
limited for the most part to them. In passing, how-
ever, a glance at some of the other tribes whom
Gookin groups as Abenakis or Tarrateens, will not
be out of place.

Other writers apply the term Abenaki to a much
narrower limit, confining it to the Micmacs of
Nova Scotia, called Souriquois by the French, the
Abenaki, now called the St. Francis, in Canada,
and the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots of Maine,
which four tribes or federations are said to have
called themselves not Abenaki, that being the name
of one of them, but ''Wabanaki," an Algonquin
word meaning white or hght, and believed to refer
to the fact that they were the first upon whom the
light of the sun rested as he started in his daily
journey across the heavens.

The Micmacs, Passamaquoddies and Penobscots
appear to have been extremely rich in folklore.



54 MASSASOIT

myth and legend, an interesting collection of which
was made by Charles G. Leland in 1884 under the
title of ''Algonquin Legends of New England." As
one of the sources of his authority for these legends
and traditions, Leland tells us that the Wampum
Records of the Passamaquoddies were read for him
by ''Sapiel Selmo, the only living Indian who had
the key to them."

Whatever subdivisions may have existed among
them, or whatever federations made up of various
closely related tribes; whatever potency there may
have been in their totemic bonds; whatever civil
wars may have rent them asunder, this fact we
know, that from the time of our earliest knowledge
of this part of the world after the Saga of Thorvald,
until their practical extermination, all of New Eng-
land was peopled by tribes of this great Algonquin
family. To attempt an enumeration of them would
be useless; their name is legion; and most of them
are long since forgotten, except as they have left
their names indelibly stamped upon the places they
once inhabited, the mountains from whose summits
their watch fires burned as they surveyed from the
lofty heights the country round, and the streams
upon whose silvery bosoms they paddled their
light canoes.

A few of the more powerful tribes, or, in some
cases, federations, have made such an impress upon
the life of the colonists, with whom the history of
America, as it is today, begins, that their names
and exploits have been handed down to us by the
writers of that history; and a remnant of what was



THE ALGONQUINS 55

once a proud and powerful people in some few cases
remains to remind their conquerors how futile were
the efforts of the children of nature to withstand the
onward sweep of a higher civilization than they had
attained. Among the latter are the Passamaquod-
dies, some five or six hundred of whom still occupy
a small portion of their ancient hunting grounds in
eastern Maine; the Penobscots, who in the early
part of the seventeenth century occupied the beau-
tiful valley of the river and the shores of the bay
from which time has not been able to efface their
name, and in which river two islands still furnish a
home for the five or six hundred remaining members
of the tribe; and the Gay Heads, the descendants of
the tribe that under the Sachem Epenow, in the
Pilgrims' time occupied Capawack or Nope, now
Martha's Vineyard, together with a few scattering
members of other tribes distributed throughout
Massachusetts; to say nothing of the few hundred
descendants of the Mohicans who fought under Un-
cas, and a like number in whose veins flows the
blood of the warriors who followed the three great
Narragansett Chiefs, Canonicus, Miantonomo and
Canonchet.

Many of these have by intermarriage almost lost
their identity, and even those who still cling to the
lands allotted to them by the governments, are for
the most part so crossed with other races that they
would not, in most instances, be recognized as the
descendants of the men our fathers found here three
hundred years ago.

The Passamaquoddies and Penobscots are as



56 MASSASOIT

much French as Indian, and nearly all the natives
of Massachusetts have mingled the blood of the
Indian with that of the African, Schoolcraft say-
ing in 1850 that there were not more than seven or
eight full blooded Indians among the eight hundred
and forty-seven in the state. Occasionally one meets
a family who would never be suspected of being
anything but the purest whites, but who boast the
blood of the children of the forest.

Among the tribes that have left their names in-
delibly stamped upon the localities in which they
lived, but were not so closely connected with the
earliest settlements as to have been active partici-
pants in the scenes enacted there, and consequently
have not received the particular attention of his-
torians, and have left no sufficient surviving rem-
nant of their former strength to perpetuate their
memory through their posterity, one notes with in-
terest the Kennebecs, whose lordly river still flows
down to the sea through their ancient hunting
grounds with the same calm and peaceful movement
in the seasons of low water, and the same torrential
rush when the sun in his northward travels unfetters
its thousand feeding brooks and springs, as in the
days when the children of the forest dipped their
dusky bodies in its cooling waters; the Norridge-
wocks, who dwelt farther back towards the head-
waters of the same river, and whose name will not
be forgotten as long as the people of Norridgewock,
Maine, tell their children that their town derives its
name from the Indians whose children listened to
the folklore and songs of their people at their



THE ALGONQUINS 67

mothers' knees on this same spot three centuries
ago; the Androscoggins who dipped their paddles
noiselessly into the waters of the noble river that
now turns the wheels of hundreds of mills, but will
not allow the name of its first navigators to be sunk
in oblivion; the Piscataquas who dwelt about the
place where now a government navy yard gives
shelter to men of war beside which the frail bark
canoes of the natives are as the fingerlings of the
shore beside the leviathans of the deep, and who
have left their name upon the river that ''widens to
meet the sea" at Portsmouth; and the Pemaquids,
who little dreamed when they heaped the shells of
clams and other edible mollusks in huge piles along
the shore, that they were erecting a monument to
themselves, to be gazed at in wonder by generations
of their destroyers; and whose name still clings to
the places they once roamed at will.

Other powerful federations there were whose
friendship or hostility were matters of life or death
to hundreds, aye, even thousands of the early ad-
venturers who attempted to establish upon these
shores homes for themselves and their posterity,
adventurers only in the sense that they ventured
everything, even life itself, upon a throw of the
dice of fate. Drake speaks of five great Sachem-
ries, the Pequots, Narragansetts, Wampanoags,
Massachusetts, and Pawtuckets, and he speaks of
them as though they were the only five federations
in New England worthy the dignity of that desig-
nation, following Gookin in this respect; but it may
be doubted whether some of these ever held in com-



58 MASSASOIT

plete subordination many of the tribes which were
at times closely associated with them. An illus-
tration of this is seen in the Connecticut River In-
dians of various tribal designations, the Mohicans
and Niantics who were among the deadly enemies
of the Pequots, by whom they were conquered and
reduced to such a state of subjugation that they
may perhaps have been fairly counted as of the Pe-
quot nation in the early colonial days.

The Tarratines. вАФ Another interesting group
whose identity is not clearly estabUshed, is that
known in New England history as Tarratines, Tar-
rateens or Tarrentines, as the name is variously
spelled. Who they were or whence they came is one
of history's unsolved problems. That they were
able to muster powerful raiding parties is clearly
shown by the success with which they carried out
their plundering expeditions against the tribes of
Massachusetts and Wampanoags before the pesti-
lence had decimated these two federations. That
they were raiders and plunderers is clearly estab-
Ushed by the testimony of contemporary writers,
part of whose information was gleaned from the
sufferers from their expeditions. The great inva-
sion of Massachusetts and Wampanoag territories
sometime between 1615 and 1617 is accepted as a
historical fact; Bradford speaks of the Massachu-
setts being in fear of them in September, 1621, that
being the season of their visitations to "reap where
they have not sowed"; and Drake tells of an attack
made by them upon the Indians at Agawam (Ips-
wich) in August, 1631, in which they killed seven.



THE ALGONQUINS 59

In the Planters' Plea they are spoken of as a
predatory tribe living fifty or sixty leagues to the
northeast (of Massachusetts Bay); and it is there
said that they raised no corn on account of the cli-
mate, but came down and reaped the Massachusetts
Indians' harvest. Drake speaks of them as lying
east of the Pawtuckets, and also as lying east of
the Piscataqua River, which would place them
almost anywhere in Maine, as he does not attempt
to give their precise limits. Albert Gallatin in his
Archaeologia Americana, in which he calls the five
federations of Southern New England by the gen-
eral designation New England Indians, says the


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