Samuel Gardner Drake.

The aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index online

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Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 35 of 131)
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of Thomas Plants, were witnesses to this sale.

The next year, the same sachems sell 500 acres in Swansey for 20. Wanueo,
a counsellor, and Tom the interpreter, were witnesses.

In 1068, Philip and Uncompawen laid claim to a part of New -meadows neck,
alleging that it was not intended to be conveyed in a former deed, by Ossame-
<juin and Wamsutta, to certain English, "although it appears, says the record,
pretty clearly so expressed in said deed," "yet that peace and friendship may
be continued," " Capt. JTillet, Mr. Brown and John Mltn, in the behalf of them-
selves and the rest," agree to give Philip and Uncompawen the sum of 11 in

PHILIP NA> T USKOOKE \ Ms tl mark,
VncOMPAWEN his X mark.

TOM SANSUWEST, interpreter,


The same year, we find the following record, which is doubly interesting,
from the plan with which we are able to accompany it, drawn by Philip him-
self. He contracts or agrees, by the following writing under his hand, in these
words : " this may inform the honoured court [of Plimouth,] that I Philip ame
willing to sell the land within this draught ; but the Indians that are vpon it
may hue vpori it still ; but the land that is [waste] may be sould, and Wattach-
poo is of the same minde. I have sed downe all the principal! names of the
land wee are willing should bee sould."

" From Pacanaukett PHILLIP f his marke"

the 24 of the 12 mo. 1668."

* 1 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. ii. 40. The original was owned by a Mr. White of Plimouth.
about 30 years ago. It is probably another production of John Sassamon.

t Written in another deed, Atunkamomake. This deed was in the next year. It was of
500 acres of land, " more or lesse," in Swansey ; and 20 the consideration. Hugh Cole,
Josias \Vinslow, John Coggeshall, and Constant Soutltworthwere the purchasers, and Wanueo,
a counsellor, one of the witnesses.

\ This double name, we suppose, was meant to stand for the signature of himself and wife
So in the records.


Wanascohochett. Wrwenset.

X This line in a path.










This is a path.



" Osamequen" having, "for valuable considerations," in the year 1641, sold
to John Brown and Edward Winslow a tract of land eight miles square, situ-
ated on both sides of Palmer's River, Philip, on the 30 Mar. 1668, was re-
quired to sign a quit-claim of the same. This he did in presence of Umpta-
kisoke, Phillip, and Peebe,* counsellors, Sonconewhew, Phillip's brother, and
Tom the interpreter.! This tract includes the present town of Rehoboth.

Also in 1669, for 10 " and another valuable and sufficient gratuity," he sells
to John Cook of Akusenag in Dartmouth,]: "one whole island nere the towne,"
called Nokatay.

The same year, Philip and Tuspaquin sell a considerable tract of land in
Middleborough, for 13. Thomas the interpreter, William, the son of Tus-
paquin, and Benjamin Church, were witnesses.

In 1671, Philip and " Monjokam of Mattapoisett," for 5, sell to Hugh Cole, of
Swansey, shipwright, land lying near a place called dcasJiewah, in Dartmouth.

In 1672, Philip sold to William Brenton and others, of Taunton, a tract to
the southward of that town, containing twelve square miles, for 143; and,
a few days after, adjoining it, four square miles more, to Constant Southworth.
Others were concerned in the sale of the larger tract, as is judged by the
deeds being signed by Nunkampahoonett, Umnathum, alias Nimrod, Chee-
maughton, and Captain Annawam, besides one Philip. Thomas, alias Sank-
suit. was among the witnesses. The sale of the last tract was witnessed bv


Munashum, alias J\"imrod, Jf'oackompaivhan, and Captain rfnnowan.

These are but a part of the sales of land by Pometacom: many other chiefs
sold very largely, particularly Watuspaquin and Josias Wampatuck.

At the court of Plimouth, 1673, "Mr. Peter Talmon of Rhode Hand com-
plained against Philip allies Wewasowanuett, sachem of Mount Hope, brother
or predecessor of Pakanawketl as heire adminnostrator or successor vnto his
brother or predecessor Wamsitta, Sopaquitt,\\ or Alexander deceased, in an
action on the case, to the damage of oOO forfeiture of a bond of such a value,
bearing date, June the 28th, 1661, giuen to the said Peter Talman, obliging

* Called, in Mr. Hubbard's history, Thehe ; he was afterwards killed at Swansey, in the
beginning of the war. There is a pond in Narraganset of the same name.

t Mr. Bliss, in his HISTORY OF REHOBOTH, 64, 65, has printed this deed from the

i The place where Cook lived is now included in New Bedford.

Probably " Philip's old uncle AAkompoin."

|| That is, nicknamed Alexander, according to the French mode of expression ; ou par sobri-
quet Alexander, as I imagine. Mr. Hubbard says of Philip, (Narrative, 10,) that, " for his
ambitious and haughty spirit, [he was] nicknamed King Philip.' 1


him the said Wamsitta allies Alexander to make good to him, his heires and a
deed of gilt of a considerable track of land att Sapowett and places adjacent,
as in the said deed is more particularly expressed; for want wherof the
complainant is greatly damnifyed."

Whether the conduct of the people of Plimouth towards Wamsutta,
Pometacom's elder brother, and other neighboring Indians, made them always
suspicious of the chief sachem, as it had their neighbors before in the case
of Miantunnomoh, or whether Philip were in reality "contriving mischief,"
the same year of his coming in chief sachem, remains a question, to this day,
with those best acquainted with the history of those times.

The old benevolent sachem Massasoit, alias Woosamequin, having died in
the winter of 1661-2, as we believe, but few months after died also Alexander,
Philip's elder brother and predecessor, when Philip himself, by the order of
succession, came to be chief of the Wampanoags.

Philip having by letter complained to the court of Plimouth of some in-
juries, at their October term, 1868, they say, " In answer unto a letter from
Philip, the sachem of Pokanokett, &c., by way of petition requesting the
court for justice against Francis Wast, [West,] for wrong done by him to one
of his men about a gun taken from him by the said Wast ; as also for wrong
done unto some swine of the said Indian's. The court have ordered the
case to be heard and determined by the selectmen of Taunton ; and in case
it be not by them ended, that it be referred unto the next March court at
Plimouth to be ended." How the case turned we have not found. But for
an Indian to gain his point at an English court, unless his case were an ex-
ceeding strong one, was, we apprehend, a rare occurrence.

"He was no sooner styled sachem," says Dr. I. Mather,* "but immediately,
in the year 1662, there were vehement suspicions of his bloody treachery
against' the English." This author wrote at the close of Philip's war, when
very few could speak of Indians, without discovering great bitterness. Mr.
Morton] is the first who mentions Metacoraet in a printed work, which, being
before any difficulty with him, is in a more becoming manner. "This year,"
(1662,) he observes, "upon occasion of some suspicion of some plot intended
by the Indians against the English, Philip, the sachem of Pokanoket, other-
wise called Metacom, made his appearance at the court held at Plimouth,
August 6, did earnestly desire the continuance of that amity and friendship
that hath formerly been between the governor of Plimouth and his deceased
father and brother."

The court expressing their willingness to remain his friends, he signed the
articles prepared by them, acknowledging himself a subject of the king of
England, thus :

" The mark of *y PHILLIP, sachem

of Pocanakett,

The mark of <] VNCUMPOWETT,
vnkell to the aboue said sachem"

The following persons were present, and witnessed this act of Philip, and
his great captain Uncompoin :


The mark [fl. of FRANCIS, sachem ofNauset,
The mark DI O/NIMROD alias PUMPASA,
The mark j> O/"PUNCKQUANECK,
The mark ^ O/'AQUETEQUESH."}:

Of the uneasiness and concern of the English at this period, from the
hostile movements of Philip, Mr. Hubbard, we presume, was not informed;
or so important an event would not have been omitted in his minute and
valuable history. Mr. Morton, as we before stated, and Mr. Mather mention
it, but neither of these, or any writer since, to this day, has made the matter
appear in its true light, from their neglect to produce the names of those
that appeared with the sachem.

* Relation, 72. f In his N. England's Memorial. { From the records in manuscript.


For about nine years succeeding 1(36-2, very little is recorded concerning
Philip. During this time, he became more intimately acquainted with his
English neiglilinrs, learned their weakness and his own strength, which
rather increased than diminished, until his fatal war of 1675. For, during
this period, not only their additional numbers gained them power, but their
arms were greatly strengthened by the English instruments of war put into
their hands. Roger Williams had early brought the Narragansets into friend-
ship with Massasoit, which alliance gained additional strength on the acces-
sion of the young Metacomet. And here we may look for a main cause of that
war, although the death of .Alexander is generally looked upon by the early
historians, as almost the only one. The continual broils between the Eng-
lish and Narragansets, (we name the English first, as they were generally
the aggressors,) could not be unknown to Philip ; and if his countrymen
were wronged he knew it. And what iriend will see another abused, with-
out feeling a glow of resentment in his breast? And who W 7 ill wonder, itj
when these abuses had followed each other, repetition upon repetition, for
a series of years, that they should at last break out into open war ? The
Narraganset chiefs were not conspicuous at the period of which we speak ;
there were several of them, but no one appears to have had a general com-
mand or ascendency over the rest ; and there can be little doubt but that
they unanimously reposed their cause in the hands of Philip. Ninigret was
at this time grown old, and though, for many years after the murder of
Miantunnomoh, he seems to have had the chief authority, yet pusillanimity
was always rather a predominant trait in his character. His age had prob-
ably caused his withdrawal from the others, on their resolution to second
Philip. Canonchet w r as at this period the most conspicuous ; Pumham next ;
Potok, Magnus, the squaw-sachem, whose husband, Mriksah, had been dead
several years ; and lastly Mattatoag.

Before proceeding with later events, the following short narrative, illus-
trative of a peculiar custom, may not be improperly introduced. Philip, as
tradition reports, made an expedition to Nantucket in 1665, to punish an
Indian who had profaned the name of Massasoit, his father ; and, as it was
an observance or law among them, that whoever should speak evil of the
dead should be put to death, Philip went there with an armed force to exe-
cute this law upon Gibbs. He was, however, defeated in his design, for one
of Gibbs's friends, understanding Philip's intention, ran to him and gave him
notice of it, just in time for him to escape ; not, however, without great ex-
ertions, for Philip came once in sight of him, after pursuing him some time
among the English from house to house ; but Gibbs, by leaping a bank, got
out of sight, and so escaped. Philip would not leave the island until the
English had ransomed John at the exorbitant price of nearly all the money
upon the island.* Gibbs was a Christian Indian, and his Indian name w^as
ftssasamoogh. He was a preacher to his countrymen in 1674, at which time
there were belonging to his church 30 members.

What grounds the English had, in the spring of the year 1671, for suspect-
ing that a plot was going forward for their destruction, cannot satisfactorily
be ascertained ; but it is evident there were some warlike preparations made
by the great chief, which very much alarmed the English, as in the life of
Awashonks w r e shall have occasion again to notice. Their suspicions were
further confirmed when they sent for him to come to Taunton and make
known the causes for his operations ; as he discovered " shyness," and a re-
luctance to comply. At length, on the 10th of April, this year, he came to a
place about four miles from Taunton, accompanied with a band of his war-
riors, attired, armed and painted as for a warlike expedition. From this
place he sent messengers to Taunton, to invite the English to come and
treat with him. The governor either was afraid to meet the chief, or thought
it beneath his dignity to comply with his request, and therefore sent several

* For some of what we have given above, see 1 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. iii. 159, furnished
for that work by Mr. Zaccheus Macy, whose ancestor, it is said, assisted in secreting
Assasamoogh. <.

In a late work, Hist. Nantuckett by Obed Macy, an account of the affair is given, but witb
jome variation from the above.


persons, among whom was Roger IVilliafiis, to inform him of their determi-
nation, and their good disposition towards him, and to urge his attendance ai
Taunton. He agreed to go, and hostages were left in the hands of his
warriors to warrant his safe return. On coming near the village with a few
of his warriors, he made a stop, which appears to have been occasioned by
the warlike parade ofilie English, many of whom were for immediately at-
tacking him. These were the Plimouth people that recommended this rash-
ness, but they were prevented by the commissioners from Massachusetts, who
met here with the governor of Plimouth to confer with Philip.

In the end it was agreed that a council should be held in the meeting-
house, one side of which should be occupied by the Indians, and the other by
the English. Philip had alleged that the English injured the planted lands
of his people, but this, the English say, was in no wise sustained. He said
his warlike preparations were not against the English, but the Narragansets,
which the English also say was proved to his face to be false ; and that this
so confounded him, that he confessed the whole plot, and "that it was the
naughtiness of his own heart that put him upon that rebellion, and nothing
of any provocation from the English."* Therefore, with four of his counsel-
lors, whose names were Tavoser, Captain Wispoke, IVoonkaponehunt, [Unicorn-
worn,] an( l Nimrod, he signed a submission, and an engagement of friendship,
which also stipulated that he should give up all the arms among his people,
into the hands of the governor of Plimouth, to be kept as long as the govern-
ment should "see reason." f

The English of Massachusetts, having acted as umpires in this affair, were
looked to, by both parties, on the next cause of complaint. Philip having
delivered the arms which himself and men had with them at Taunton, j
promised to deliver the rest at Plimouth by a certain time. But they not
being delivered according to agreement, and some other differences occurring,
a messenger was sent to Boston from Pliniouth, to make complaint; but
Philip, perhaps, understanding what was intend (!, was quite as early at Bos-
ton in person ; and, by his address, did not fail to be well ive. ived, and a
favorable report of him was returned to Plimouth ; and, at the same time,
proposals that commissioners from all the United Colonies should meet
Philip at Plimouth, where all difficulties might be s tiled. This meeting took
place the same year, September, 1071, and the issue of the meeting was very
nearly the same as that at Taunton. "The conclusion was," says Mr.
J\lather,\\ "Philip acknowledged his offence, and was appointed to give a sum
of money to defray the charges which his insolent clamors had put the colo-
ny unto."

As usual, several articles were drawn up by the English, of what Philip
was to submit to, to which we find the names of three only of his captains or
counsellors, Uncompaen, who was his uncle,1F Wotokom^ and Samkama.

Great stress in those days was laid on the Indians submitting themselves
as "subjects to his majesty the king of England." This they did only to get
rid of the importunity of the English, as their course immediately afterwards
invariably showed.

The articles which the government of Plimouth drew up at this time, for
Philip to sign, were not so illiberal as might be imagined, were we not to
produce some of them. Article second reads,

"I [Philip] am willing, and do promise to pay unto the government of Plim-
outh 100, in such things as I have; but I would entreat the favor that I
might have three years to pay it in, forasmuch as I cannot do it at present."
And in article third, he promises "to send unto the governor, or whom he shall
appoint, five wolves' heads, if he can get them; or as many as he can procure,

* Hubbard, Indian Wars, 11, 1st edition.

f The articles of this treaty may be seen in Hubbard, Mather, and Hutehinson's histories
they amount to little, and we therefore omit them.

f Mather's Relation, 73.

$ Perhaps this was the time Mr. Josselyn saw him there richly caparisoned, as will here
after he mentioned. || Mather's Relation, 73.

H Called by Church, Akkompoin. Hist. King Philip's War, 110 of my edition.


until they come to five wolves' heads yearly." These articles were dated*
29 Sept. 1671, and were signed by

The, mark P of PHILLIP;

The. mark T of VVoHKOWPAHENlTT ;

The mark \l of WUTTAKOOSEEIM ;

The, mark T Q/* SONKANUHOO ;

The, mark 2 <>f WOONASIILM,
alins NIMROD ;

The mark Y of Woo SPA SUCK,
alias CAPTAIN.

On the 3 Nov. following, Philip accompanied Takanumma to Pliinouth, to

make his submission, which he did, and acknowledged, by a writing, that he

would adhere to the articles signed by Philip and the others, the 29 Sept.

before. Toknmona was brother to Jlwashonks, and, at this time, was sachem

1 Seconet, or Saconett. He was afterwards killed by the Narragansets.f

A general disarming of the neighboring Indians was undertaken during the
spring and summer of 1G71, and nothing but trouble could have been expect-
ed to follow.

That nothing may be omitted which can throw light upon this important
era in the biography of Philip, we will lay before the reader all the unpub-
lished information furnished by the records.! Having met in June, 1671,
"The court [of Plimoutli] d< 'terming all the guns in our hands, that did be-
long to Philip, are justly forfeit; and do at the present order the dividing of
them, to be kept at the several towns, according to their equal proportions,
until October court next, and then to be at the court's dispose, as reason may
appear to them, and then to belong unto the towns, if not otherwise disposed
of by the court.

"That which the court grounds their judgment upon is, For that at the
treaty at Taunton, Philip and his council did acknowledge that they had been
in a preparation for war against us; and that not grounded upon any injury
sustained from us, nor provocation given by us, but from their naughty hearts,
and because he had formerly violated and broken solemn covenants made
and renewed to us ; he then freely tendered, (not being in a capacity to be
kept faithful by any other bonds,) to resign up all his English arms, for our
future security in that respect. He failed greatly in the performance thereof j
by secret[ly] conveying away, and carrying home several guns, that might and
should have been then delivered, and not giving them up since, according to
bis engagement; nor so far as is in his power; as appears in that many guns
are known still to be amongst the Indians that live by him, and [he] not so
much as giving order to some of his men, that are under his immediate com-
mand, about the bringing in of their arms.

"In his endeavoring, since the treaty [at Taunton,] to render us odious to
our neighbor colony by false reports, complaints and suggestions; and his
refusing or avoiding a treaty with us concerning those and other matters that
are justly offensive to us, notwithstanding his late engagement, a well as for
iner, to submit to the king's authority, and the authority of this colony.

"It was also ordered by the court that the anr > of the Indians of Narnas-
sakett and Assovvamsett, that were fetched in by Major Winslow, and those that
were with him, are confiscated, and forfeit, from the said Indians, for the
grounds above expressed ; they being in a compliance with Phillipe in his
late plot: And yet would neither by our governor's order, nor by Phillipe 1 } s
desire, bring in their arms, as was engaged by the treaty; and the said guns
are ordered by the court to the major and his company for their satisfaction,
in that expedition.

"This court have agreed and voted " to send "some" forces to " Saconett to
fetch in " the arms among the Indians there.

* There is no date, hul the year, set to any printed copy of this treaty. Mr. Hubhard by
mistake omitted it, and those who have since written, have not given themselves the pleasure
of recurring to the records.

* *<L'f Cliuirli, .!!.'. } Flimouth Colony Records, in manuscript.



If then, therefore, these Indians had not already become hostile, no one would
marvel had it now become the case. Bows and arrows were almost entirely
out of use. (inns hail so far superseded them, that undoubtedly many scam-
could use them with etli-ct, in procuring themselves game: Nor could it be
expected otherwise, for the English had, by nearly 40 years' intercourse, ren-
dered their arms far more necessary to the existence of the Indians than to their
own: hence their unwillingness to part with them. Philip, it is said, directed
the Middleborough Indians to give up their guns. His object in this was to
pacify the English, judging that if war should begin, these Indians would join
the English, or at least many of them ; and, therefore, it affected his cause but
little which party possessed them ; but not so with his immediate followers, as
we have just seen in the record.

A council of war having convened at Plimouth, 23 August, 1671, the follow-
ing, besides the matters already expressed, they took into consideration : Philip's
" entertaining of many strange Indians, which might portend danger towards
us. In special by his entertaining of divers Saconett Indians, professed ene-
mies to this colony, and this against good counsel given him by his friends.
The premises considered [the council] do unanimously agree and conclude,
that the said Phillip hath violated [the] covenant plighted with this cojony at
Taimton in April last.

"2. It is unanimously agreed and concluded by the said council, that we are
necessarily called to cause the said sachem to make his personal appearance to
make his purgation, in reference to the premises ; which, in case of his refusal,
the council, according to what at present appears, do determin it necessary to
endeavor his reducement by force ; inasmuch as the controversy which hath
seemed to lie more immediately between him and us, doth concern all the Eng-
lish plantations. It is, therefore, determined to state the case to our neighbor
colonies of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island ; and if, by their weighty ad-
vice to the contrary, we are not diverted from our present determinations, to
signify unto them, that if they look upon themselves concerned to engage in the
case with us against a common enemy, it shall be well accepted as a neigh-
borly kindness, which we shall hold ourselves obliged to repay, when Provi-
dence may so dispose that we have opportunity.

" Accordingly, letters were despatched and sent from the council, one unto
the said Phillip the said sachem, to require his personal appearance at Plymouth,
on the 13th day of September next, in reference to the particulars above men-
tioned against him. This letter was sent by Mr. James Walker, one of the
council, and he was ordered to request the company of Mr. Roger Williams
and Mr. James Brown, to go with him at the delivery of the said letter. And
another letter was sent to the governor and council of the Massachusetts by the
hands of Mr. John Preeman, one of our magistrates, and a third was directed to

Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 35 of 131)