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

. (page 39 of 131)
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 39 of 131)
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in the night while they were asleep in their wigwams, killed and wounded
about 40 of them, without any loss to themselves.

The Indians seem to have resolved that this midnight assassination should
not go long unrequited, and events so determined, as what we are about to
relate will fully exemplify. On the morning of the 20 April, the largest
body of Indians which had at any time appeared, attacked Sudbury, and
before resistance could be made, set fire to several buildings, which were
consumed. The inhabitants, however, made a brave stand, and were soon
joined by some soldiers from Watertown, under Captain Hugh Mason ; and
the Indians retreated over the bridge, and were prevented from doing any
further mischief during the day, against Sudbury.

Some of the people of Concord hearing of the distress at Sudbury, sallied
forth for its protection. As they approached a garrison house, they discovered
a few Indians, and pursued them. These, as it proved, were a decoy, and
they soon found themselves ambushed on every side. They fought with
desperation, but were all, except one, cut off, being eleven in number. This
affair took place immediately after Captain Wads-worth had marched from
Sudbury with 70 men to strengthen the garrison at Marlborough ; and the
news of the situation of the place he had just left reached his destination as
soon as he did ; and although he had marched all the day and night before, and
his men almost exhausted with fatigue, yet, taking Captain BrocMebank and
about ten men from the garrison at Marlborough, he marched directly back
for Sudbury. On the morning of the 21st, they arrived within about a mile
and a half of the town, near where a body of about 500 Indians had pre-
pared an ambush behind the hills. From thence they sent out two or threo
of their party, who crossed the march of the English, and, being discovered
by them, affected to fly through fear, to decoy them into a pursuit. This
stratagem succeeded, and with great boldness the Indians began the attack.
For some time the English maintained good order, and, having retreated to
an adjacent hill, lost but five men for near four hours. Meantime the Indians
had lost a great number, which so increased their rage that they resolved to
put in practice another stratagem, which it seems they had not before thought
of. They immediately set the woods on fire to windward of the English,
which spread with great rapidity, owing to an exceeding high wind and
the dryness of the grass and other combustibles. This stratagem likewise
succeeded, even better than the first ; that, although it served to bring on the
attack, was near proving fatal to its originators, but this was crowned with
complete success. The fury of the flames soon drove the English from their
advantageous position, which gave the Indians an opportunity to fall upon
them with their tomahawks ! Many were now able to fall upon one, and
resistance fast diminished. All but about twenty were killed or fell into the
hands of the conquerors; among the former were the two captains; some
of those that escaped took shelter in a mill not far off, and were saved bv
the arrival of a few men under Captain Prentice, and a company under
Captain Croivdl. Both of these officers and their men very narrowly es-
caped the fate of Wadsworth* As the former was about to fall into a fatal

bouse was burnt first, and that " afterwards they destroyed Go more there, leaving but six
houses standing in the whole town."

* " So insolent were the Indians grown upon their first success against Captain Wadswortti,
that fh'jy sent us word, to provide store of good cheer; for they intended to dine with us fal
Boston] on the election day.'' Chrfmirle. io.


snare, he was rescued by a company from a garrison ; and as the latter ap-
proached Sudbury, he saved himself by pursuing an unexpected route ; and,
thougli attacked, he succeeded in fighting his way through the Indians witli
a loss only of six or seven of his men. Captain CroweWs arrival at this time
was accidental, though fortunate ; being on his return from Quabaog, whither
he had been sent to reinforce that garrison.* With this great achievement
ended the chief operations in Massachusetts ; and we have now to return
towards Plimouth.

When success no longer attended Philip in Massachusetts, those of his
allies whom he had seduced into the war, upbraided and accused him of
bringing all their misfortunes upon them ; that they had no cause of war
against the English, and had not engaged in it but for his solicitations; and
many of the tribes scattered themselves in different directions. With fill
that would follow him, as a last retreat, Philip returned to Pokanoket. The
Pecomptuek or Deerfield Indians were among the first who abandoned his
cause, and many of the other Nipmucks and Narragansets soon followed
their example.

On the 11 th of July, he attempted to surprise Taunton, but was repulsedf.
His camp was now at Matapoiset. The English came upon him here, under
Captain Church, who captured many of his people, but he escaped over
Taunton River, as he had done a year before, but in the opposite direction,
and screened himself once more in the woods of Pocasset. He used many
stratagems to cut off Captain Church, and seems to have watched and fol-
lowed him from place to place, until the end of this month ; but he was
continually losing one company of his men after another. Some scouts
ascertained that he, and many of his men, were at a certain place upon
Taunton River, and, from appearances, were about to repass it. His cam])
was now at this place, and the chief of his warriors with him. Some sol-
diers from Bridgewater fell upon them here, on Sunday, July 30, and killed
ten warriors ; but Philip, having disguised himself, escaped.! His uncle,
Akkompoin, was among the slain, and his own sister taken prisoner.

The late attempt by Philip upon Taunton had caused the people of Bridge-
water to be more watchful, and some were continually on the scout. Some
time in the day, Saturday, 29 July, four men, as they were ranging the woods,
discovered one Indian, and, rightly judging there were more at hand, made
all haste to inform the other inhabitants of Bridgewater of their discovery
Comfort Willis and Joseph Edson were " pressed " to go " post " to the govern-
or of Plimouth, at Marshfield, who "went to Plimouth with them, the
next day, [30 July,] to send Captain Church with his company. And Captain
Church came with them to Monponset on the sabbath, and came no further
that day, he told them he would meet them the next day." Here Willis and
Edson left him, and arrived at home in the evening. Upon hearing of the
arrival of Church in their neighborhood, 21 men " went out on Monday, sup-
posing to meet with Captain Church; but they came upon the enemy and
fought with them, and took 17 of them alive, and also much plunder. And
they all returned, and not one of them fell by the enemy; and received no
help from Church" This account is given from an old manuscript, but who
its author was is not certain. Church's account differs considerably from ir.
He says, that on the evening of the same day he and his company marched
from Plimouth, "they heard a smart firing at a distance from them, but it

* Old Indian Chronicle 79, 92, 93.Hubbard, 8Q.Gookin's MS. Hist. A son of Captain

Vads worth caused a monument to be erected upon the place of this fig-lit, with an inscripti< u

upon it, which time has discovered to be erroneous in some of its historical particulars. It

was recently standing to the west of Sudbury causeway, about a quarter of a mile from tin-

great road that leads from Boston to Worcester. Hoyt, 122. Holmes, i. 380.

t A captive negro made his escape from Philip's men, and gave notice of their intention ;
" whereupon the inhabitants stood upon their guard, and souldiers were timously sent in lo
'.hem for their relief and defence." Prevalency of Prayer, 8.

t " 'T\s said that he had newly cut off his hair, that he 'might not be known." Hnbbani,
.Vi". 101.

*j It i - published by Mr. Mitchell, in his valuable account of Bridgewater, and supposed to have
been written by Comfort Willis, named above. See 2 Coll. Mass. H;st. Soc. v.i. 157.


i ing near night, and the firing of short continuance, they missed the place, went into Bridge water town."

On the 1 August, the intrepid Church came upon Philip's head-quarters,
killed and took about 130 of his people, Philip himself very narrowly escap-
-ig. Such was his precipitation, that he left all his wampum behind, and his

lie and son fell into the hands of Church.

No sooner had the story of the destruction of the Indians begun to attract
Attention, (which, however, was not until a long time after they had been
destroyed,) much inquiry was made concerning the fate of this son of the
v'amous Metacomet ; and it was not until considerable time had elapsed, that
it was discovered that he was sold into slavery! It is gratifying to learn
v/hat did become of him, although the knowledge of the fact must cause pain
in every humane breast ; not more for the lot of young Metacomet, than for
tiie wretched depravity of the minds of those who advised and executed the
decree of slavery upon him.

Great numbers of Philip's people were sold for slaves in foreign countries.
In the beginning of the war Captain Mostly captured 80, who were confined
r.t Plimouth. In September following, 178 were put on board a vessel com-
i Handed by Captain Sprague, who sailed from Plimouth with them for Spain.

Church* relates the attack of Aug. 1 upon the flying chief as follows:
" Next morning, [after the skirmish in which Jlkkompoin was killed,] Capt.
Church moved very early with his company, which was increased by many of
Bridgewater that listed under him for that expedition, and, by their piloting,
he soon came, very still, to the top of the great tree which the enemy had
fallen across the river; and the captain spied an Indian sitting upon the
stump of it, on the other side of the river, and he clapped his gun up, and had
doubtless despatched him, but that one of his own Indians called hastily to
him not to fire, for he believed itw r as one of his own men ; upon which the
Indian upon the stump looked about, and Capt. Church's Indian, seeing his
face, perceived his mistake, for he knew him to be Philip ; clapped up his
gun and fired, but it was too late ; for Philip immediately threw himself off'
me stump, leaped down a bank on the side of the river, and made his escape.
Capt. Church, as soon as possible, got over the river, and scattered in quest of
Philip and his company, but the enemy scattered and fled every way ; but he
picked up a considerable many of their women and children, among which
were Philip's wife and sou of about nine years old." The remainder of the
day was spent in pursuing the flying Philip, who, with his Narragansets, was
still formidable. They picked up many prisoners, from whom they learned
the force of those of whom they were in pursuit. At night, Church w r as under
obligation to return to his men he had left, but commissioned Lightfoot, cap-
tain, to lead a party on discovery. Lightfoot returned in the morning with
'.;ood success, having made an important discovery, and taken 13 prisoners.
Church immediately set out to follow up their advantage. He soon came
'.vhere they had made fires, and shortly after overtook their women and chil-
dren, who "were faint and tired," and who informed them "that Philip, with
(t great number of the enemy, were a little before." It was almost sunset
>vhen they came near enough to observe them, and "Philip soon came to a
top, and fell to breaking and chopping wood, to make fires; and a great
(oise they made." Church, concentrating his followers, formed them into n
Circle, and set down " without any noise or fire." Their prisoners showed
/reat signs of fear, but w r ere easily put in confidence by the conciliatory con-
iuct of Church. Thus stood matters in Church's camp through the night of
die 2 August, 1676. At dawn of day, he told his prisoners they must remain
<till where they were, until the fight was over, (for he now had every reason
. o expect a severe one shortly to follow,) "or, as soon as the firing ceased,
they must follow the tracks of his company, and come to them. (An Indian
io next to a bloodhound to follow a track.) "f

It being now light enough to make the onset, Church sent forward two
soldiers to learn Philip's position. Philip, no less wary, had, at the same
lime, sent out two. spies, to see if any were in pursuit of him. The re-

* Hist. Philips War, 38, ed. 4to. f Ibid. 39.


spective spies of the two famous chiefs gave the alarm to both camps at the
sam3 time; but, unhappily for Philip, his antagonist was prepared for the
event, while he was not. " All fled at the first tidings, [of the spies,] left
their kettles boiling, and meat roasting upon their wooden spits, and run
into a swamp with no other breakfast, than what Capt. Church afterwards
tivated them with." Church sent his lieutenant, Mr. Isaac Howland, on one;
side of the swamp, while himself ran upon the other, each with a small
party, hoping, as the swamp was small, to prevent the escape of any. Ex-
pecting that when Philip should discover the English at the farther extremi-
ty of the swamp, he would turn back in his own track, and so escape at the
same place he entered, Church had, therefore, stationed an ambush to entrap
him in such an event. But the wariness of Philip disappointed him. He,
thinking that the English would pursue him into the swamp, had formed an
<-;mbush for them also, but was, in like manner, disappointed. He had, at
the same time, sent forward a band of his warriors, who fell into the hands of
Church and Howland. They, at first, attempted to fly, and then offered re-
sistance ; but Church ordered Matthias* to tell them the impracticability of
such a step. He accordingly called to them, and said, "If they Jired one gun
they were all dead men" This threat, with the presence of the English and
Indians, so amazed them, that they suffered "the English to come and take
the guns out of their hands, when they were both charged and cocked."
Having secured these with a guard, armed with the guns just taken from
them, Church presses through the swamp in search of Philip, towards the
end at which that chief had entered. Having waited until he had no hopes
of ensnaring Captain Church, Philip now moved on after the company he
had sent forward, and thus the two parties met. The English had the ad-
vantage of the first discovery, and, covered by trees, made the first fire.
Philip stood his ground for a time, and maintained a desperate fight; but, a
main body of his warriors having been captured, which, by this time, he
b.?gan to apprehend, as they did not come to his aid, he, therefore, fled back
to the point where he entered the swamp, and thus fell into a second am-
bush. Here the English were worsted, having one of their number slain,
viz. Thotnas Lucas, \ of Plimouth: thus escaped, for a few days, Philip and
some of his best captains: such were Tuspaquin and Tatoson. This was
August the 3d, and Philip's numbers had decreased, since the 1st, 173, by
the exertions of Church. |

Philip, having now but few followers left, was driven from place to place,
and lastly to his ancient seat near Pokanoket. The English, for a long time,
had endeavored to kill him, but could not find him off his guard ; for he
was always the first who was apprized of their approach. He having put to
death one of his own men for advising him to make peace, this mt n's
brother, whose name was Alderman, fearing the same fate, deserted him,
and gave Captain Church an account of his situation, and offered to lead him
to his carnp. Early on Saturday morning, 12 Aug., Church came to the
swamp where Philip was encamped, and, before he was discovered, had
placed a guard about it, so as to encompass it, except a small place. He
then ordered Captain Golding to rush into the swamp, and fall upon Philip
in his camp; which he immediately did but was discovered as he ap-
proached, and, as usual, Philip was the first to fly. Having but just awaked
from sleep, and having on but a part of his clothes, he fled with all hiss
might. Coming directly upon an Englishman and an Indian, who composed
a part of the ambush at the edge of the swamp, the Englishman's gun missed
lire, but Alderman, the Indian, whose gun was loaded with two balls, " sent

* One of Church's Indian soldiers, but of whom he makes no mention.

t An improvident fellow, given to intoxication, and, from Church's expression about his
being killed, " not being so careful as he might have been," it leaves room to doubt whether
he were not, at this time, under the effects of liquor. He had been often fined, and once
whipped, for getting drunk, beating his wife and children, defaming the character of deceased
magistrates, and other misdemeanors.

\ Church, 41. In the account of Tatoson, Churcli's narrative is continued.

Captain Roger Goulden, of R. I. Plimouth granted him 100 acres of laud on Pocasset,
in 1676, for his eminent services. Plim. Records.



one through his heart, and another not above two inches from it. He fell
upon his face in the mud and water, with his gun under him."

" Cold, with the beast he slew, he sleeps ;
O'er him no filial spirit weeps ;


Even that he lived, is for his conqueror's tongue;
liy foes alone his death-song must be sung;

No chronicles but theirs snail tell

His mournful doom to future times;

May these upon his virtues dwell,

And in his fate forget his crimes." SPRAGUE.

The name of the man stationed with Alderman was Caleb Cook,* who had
shared in many of Church's hazardous expeditions before the present. See-
ing that he could not have the honor of killing Philip, he was desirous, if
possible, of having a memento of the mighty exploit. He therefore prevailed
upon Alderman to exchange guns with him. This gun was kept in the family
until the present century, when the late Isaac Lothrop, Esq. of Plimouth ob-
tained the lock of it from Mr. Sylvamis Cook, late of Kingston. Sylvamts
was great-grandson of Caleb.] The stock and barrel of the gun are still re-
tained by the descendants of the name of Cook.t There is a gun-lock shown
in the library of the Mass. Hist. Soc. said to be the same which Alderman
used in shooting Philip. This Alderman was a subject of Weetamoo, who, in
the commencement of this war, went to the governor of Plimouth, and de-
sired to remain in peace with the English, and immediately took up his resi-,
dence upon an island, remote from the tribes engaged in it. But, after Philip
had returned to his own country, Alderman, upon some occasion, visited
him. It was at this time that he learned the fate of his brother before
spoken of; or he may have been killed in his presence. This caused his
flight to the English, which he thought, probably, the last resort for ven-
geance. He " came down from thence, says Church ; (where Philip's camp
now was,) on to Sand Point over against Trips, and hollow'd, and made
signs to be fetch'd over" to the island. He was immediately brought over,
and gave the information desired. Captain Church Jiad but just arrived upon
Rhode Island, and was about eight miles from the upper end, where Alder-
man landed. He had been at home but a few minutes, when "they spy'd
two horsemen coming a great pace," and, as he prophesied, "they came with
tydings." Major Sanford and Capt. G aiding were the horsemen, "who
immediately ask'd Capt. Church what he would give to hear some news of PJtilip.
He reply'd, That was what he wanted." The expedition was at once entered
5i pon, and Alderman went as their pilot. But to return to the fall of Philip :

"By this time," continues Church, "the enemy perceived they were way-
laid on the east side of the swamp, tacked short about," and were led out of
their dangerous situation by the great Captain Annawon. "The man that
had shot down Philip ran with all speed to Capt. Church, and informed him
of his exploit, w r ho commanded him to be silent about it, and let no man
more know it until they had drove the swamp clean ; but when they had
drove the swamp through, and found the enemy had escaped, or at least the
most of them, and the sun now up, and the dew so gone that they could not
easily track them, the whole company met together at the place where the
enemy's night shelter was, and then Capt. Church gave them the news of
Philip's death. Upon which the whole army gave three loud huzzas.
Capt. Church ordered his body to be pulled out of the mire on to the upland.
So some of Capt. Church's Indians took hold of him by his stockings, and

* Baylies, in his N Plymouth, ii. 168, says his name was Francis ; but as he gives no author-
ity, we adhero to older authority.

f This Caleb Cook was son of Jacob, of Plimoulh, and was born there 29 Mar. 1651. He
had two or more brothers; Jacob, born 14 May, 1653, and Francis, 5 Jan. 1663 4. Hence
it is not probable that Francis was a soldier at this time, as he was only in his 13th year.

t Co/. Mass. Hist. Soc. iv. 63.

Eighteen English and twenty-two Indians constituted his army a week before ; but we
know not how many were at the taking of Philip, though we may suppose about the same
number. Hence this expedition cost the colony 9.


some by his small breeches, being otherwise naked, and drew him through
the mud into the upland ; and a doleful, great, naked dirty beast, he looked
like." Captain Church then said, " Forasmuch as he has caused many an Eng-
lishman's body to lie unburied and rot above ground, not one of his bones shall be
buned ! "

With the great chief, fell five of his most trusty followers, one of whom
was his chief captain's son,* and the very Indian who fired the first gun at
the commencement of the war.

"Philip having one very remarkable hand, being much scarred, occasioned
by the splitting of a pistol in it formerly, Capt Church gave the head and
that hand to Alderman, the Indian who shot him, to show to such gentlemen
as would bestow gratuities upon him ; and accordingly he got many u
penny by it." f

The barbarous usage of beheading and quartering traitors was now exe-
cuted upon the fallen Philip. Church, "calling his old Indian executioner,
bid him behead and quarter him. Accordingly, he came with his hatchet,
and stood over him, but before he struck, he made a small speech, directing
it to Philip" saying, " You have been a very great man, and have made many a
man afraid of you ; but so big as you be I will now chop your ass for you" He
then proceeded to the execution of his orders.

His head was sent to Plimouth, where it was exposed upon a gibbet for
20 years, and one of his hands to Boston, where it was exhibited in savage
triumph, and his mangled body was denied the right of sepulture. It having
been quartered, was hung upon four trees, and there left as a monument of
shocking barbarity.

Church and his company returned to the island the same day, and arrived
with the prisoners at Plimouth two days after, namely, Tuesday, August 15,
" ranging through all the woods in their way." They now "received their
premium, which was 30 shillings per head," for all enemies killed or taken,
" instead of all wages, and Philip's head went at the same price." Jliis
fKtwunted to only four and sixpence a-piece, " which was all the reward they
had, except the honor of killing Philip"

Having in the year 1824 visited the memorable retreat of the Wampanoag
sachems, we can give the reader some idea of its situation. There is a
natural angular excavation, in an almost perpendicular rock, about 6 or 7 feet
from its base, where it is said Philip and some of his chief men were- sur-
prised on the morning of the 12 August. We have in the Life of Massasoii
described Mount Hope, and it is at the north part of it that the high rock is
situated ; variously estimated from 30 to 50 feet in height, and is nearly 2
miles from the village of Bristol. From the seat, or throne of KI>*G PHILIP,
as some have called it, a fine view of Mount Hope Bay opens upon us. Near
the foot of the rock is a fine spring of water, known to this day by the
name of Philip's Spring.

Mr. Jllden, the curious collector of epitaphs, says " the late Lieut. Gov.
Bradford, [who died at Bristol in 1808,] in early life, knew an aged squaw,
who was one of Philip's tribe, was well acquainted with this sagamore in

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 39 of 131)