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 40 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 40 of 131)
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her youthful days, and had often been in his wigwam. The information,
through her, is, therefore, very direct, as to the identical spot, where he fixed
his abode. It was a few steps south of Capt. James De Wolffs summer
house, near the brow of a hill, but no vestige of the wigwam remains.
The eastern side of this hill is very steep, vastly more so than that at Hors;;
Neck, down which the intrepid Putnam trotted his sure-footed steed, in a
manner worthy of a knight of the tenth century." "When Church's men
were about to rush upon Philip, he is said to have evaded them by spring-
ing from his wigwam as they were entering it, and rolling, like a hogshead.
doAvn the precipice, which looks towards the bay. Having reached the
lower part of this frightful ledge of rocks, without" breaking his bones, h?
sot upon his feet, and ran along the shore in a north-eastern direction, about
100 rods, and endeavored to screen himself in a swamp, then a quagmire,
in it now terra firrna."

f Wry probably a sou of Uitcompoin, or \Voonashnm. f P'tilip's War.


How much of the above is apocryphal is uncertain, but tl.ut a part of it
is I have no doubt. That I'/itlip's camp was near the top of Mount Hope at
the time he was surprised, is contrary to rational conclusion, but seems
rather to have been fixed there by the imagination of some one, for the
pleasure it might afford them in contemplating the manner of the chiefs
ex-ape by rolling down a rugged precipice.

[hiring the bloody contest, the pious fathers wrestled long and often with
their God, in prayer, that he would prosper their arms and deliver their
enemies into their hands; and when, upon stated days of prayer, the Indians
rained advantage, it was looked upon as a rehuke of Providence, and ani-
mated them to greater sincerity and fervor ; and on the contrary, when their
arms prevailed upon such days, it was viewed as an immediate interposition
in their favor. The philosophic mind will be shocked at the expressions of
some, very eminent in that day for piety and excellence of moral life. Dr.
Increase Mather,* in speaking of the efficacy of prayer, in bringing about the
destruction of the Indians, says, "Nor could they [the English] cease crying
to the Lord against Philip, until they had prayed the bullet into his heart."
And in speaking of the slaughter of Philip's people, at Narraganset, he sa\ s,
" We have heard of two-and-twenty Indian captains, slain all of them, and
brought down to hell in one day." Again, in speaking of a chief who had
sneered at the English religion, and who had, " withal, added a most hideous
blasphemy, immediately upon which a bullet took him in the head, and
dashed out his brains, sending his cursed soul in a moment amongst the
devils, and blasphemers, in hell forever." f

The low and vulgar epithets \ sneeringly cast upon the Indians by their
English contemporaries are not to be attributed to a single individual, but to
1 he English in general. It is too obvious that the early historians viewed
the Indians as inferior beings, and some went so far as hardly to allow them
to be human.

Like Massasoit, Philip always opposed the introduction of Christianity
among his people. When Mr. Eliot urged upon him its great importance,
he said he cared no more for the gospel than he did for a button upon his
coat. || This does not very well agree with the account of Mr. Gookin,
respecting Philip's feelings upon religious matters; at least, it shows that
there was a time when he was willing to listen to such men as the excellent
.ind benevolent Gookin. In speaking of the Wampanoags, he says, " There
are some that have hopes of their greatest and chiefest sachem, named Philip,
living at Pawkunnawkutt. Some of his chief men, as I hear, stand well
inclined to hear the gospel : and himself is a person of good understanding
and knowledge in the best things. I have heard him speak very good words,
arguing that his conscience is convicted: but yet, though his will is bowed to
embrace Jesus Christ, his sensual and carnal lusts are strong bands to hold
him fast under Satan's dominions.-'' 11 And Dr. Mather adds, " It was not long,
before the hand which now writes, [1700,] upon a certain occasion took off"
the jaw from the exposed skull of that blasphemous leviathan; and the re-
nowned Samuel Lee hath since been a pastor to an English congregation,
sounding and showing the praises of heaven, upon that very spot of ground,
where Philip and his Indians were lately worshipping of the devil."

The error that Philip was grandson to Massasoit, is so well known to be
-;ich, that it would hardly seem to have required notice, but to inform the

* In his " Pr^valency of Prayer/' page 10. t Ibid, page 7.

J Such as dogs, wolves, blood-hounds, demons, devils-incarnate, caitiff's, hell-hounds , fiends,
monsters, beasts, <fcc. Occasional quotations will show what authors have used these.

^ The author of " Indian Tales" has fathered all he could think of upon Mr. Hubbard. He
inaij be called upon to point out the passage in that valuable author's works where he has
'ailed one or any of the Indians " hell-lwu?ids." Such loose, gratuitous expressions will nol
'io at the bar of history.

|| Magnalia.

II 1 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. i. 200.

** Mr. Lee was taken by the French in a voyage to England, and carried into their country,
tvhere he died, in KM. This event, it was" thought, hastened his end. Perhaps the sur-
viving natives did not attribute the disaster to his usurping their territory, and teaching a
religion they could not believe ; but might thev "ot with equal propriety ?


reader of its origin. The following passage from John Josselyrfs work *
will, besides proving him to be the author of the error, at least the first writer
that so denominates him, furnish some valuable information. Speaking gi'
the Indians in general, he says, "Their beads are their money; of these,
there are two sorts, blue beads and white beads ; the first is their gold, tin-
last their silver. These they work out of certain shells, so cunningly, that
neither Jew nor Devil can counterfeit, f They drill them and string them.
and make many curious works with them, to adorn the persons of their sag-
amores and principal men, and young women, as belts, girdles, tablets, borders
tor their women's hair, bracelets, necklaces, and links to hang in their ears.
Prince Philip, a little before I came for England, [1671,] coming to Boston,
had a coat on and buskins set thick with these beads, in pleasant wild works,
:ind a broad belt of the same ; his accoutrements were valued at 20. The
English merchant giveth them 105. a fathom for their white, and as much
more, or near upon, for their blue beads." " The roytelet now of the Pocan-
ukets is prince Philip, alias Metacon, the grandson of Massasoit" J

While Mrs. Rowlandson was a captive in the wilderness with the allies of
Philip, she mentions meeting with him ; and although she speaks often with
bitterness of the Indians in general, yet of him nothing of that nature appears
in her journal. The party she was with visited Philip on the west side of
the Connecticut, about five miles above Northfield, then called Squakeag.
Having arrived at the point of crossing, Mrs. Rowlandson says, "We must go
over the river to Philip's crew. When I was in the canoe, I could not but be
iiinazed at the numerous crew of pagans that were on the bank on the other
side." She was much afraid they meant to kill her here, but, being assured
to the contrary, become more resigned to her fate. "Then came one of
them, (she says,) and gave me two spoonfuls of meal (to comfort me,) and
another gave me half a pint of peas, which w r as worth more than many
bushels at another time. Then I went to see King Philip ; he bade me come
in and sit down ; and asked me whether I would smoke it; (a usual compli-
ment now a days, among the saints and sinners ;) but this no ways suited

"During my abode in this place, Philip spake to me to make a shirt for
his boy, which I did ; for which he gave me a shilling." " Afterward he
asked me to make a cap for his boy, for which he invited me to dinner , I
went, and he gave me a pancake, about as big as two fingers ; it w r as made
of parched wheat, beaten and fried in bears' grease ; but I thought I never
tasted pleasanter meat in my life." |j

It is extremely gratifying to hear any testimony in favor of the humanity
of a chief who in his time was so much execrated. To say the least of
Philip's humanity, it was as great towards captives, so far as we have any
knowledge, as was that of any of the English to the captive Indians.

As the Indians were returning from their recesses upon the Connecticut,
(in what is now New Hampshire and Vermont,) towards Wachuset, "having
indeed my life, (says Mrs. Rowandson,} but little spirit, Philip, who was in the
company, came up, and took me by the hand, and said, ' Two weeks more and
y>u shall be mistress again. 1 I asked him if he spoke true : he said, ' Yes, and
quickly you shall come to your master H again,'' who had been gone from us
three weeks."**

In bringing our account of this truly great man towards a close, we must
not forget to present the reader with a specimen of the language in which he
spoke. The following is the Lord's prayer in Warnpanoag :

JVoo-shun kes-uk-qid, qut-tian-at-am-unch koo-we-su-onk, kuk-ket-as-soo-tam-
pey-au-moo-utch, kut-te-nan-tam-oo-onk ne nai, ne-ya-ne ke-suk-qut

* Account of two Voyages to New England, 142, 143.

f Of this he was misinformed. There was much spurious wampum, which became a sub
jcrt of legislation. See Hazard's Hist. Col. vol. ii.

t Account of two Voyages to New England, 146. He is also called grandson of Massa-
*"?, in the work entitled Present State of New England, in respect to the Indian War, fol
Lmidon, 167G ; the author of that work doubtless copied from Josselt/n.

$ Nurmtire of her Captivity, 38, 39. || Ibid. 40

t Q,itinna\in. See his Life. ** Narrative of Mrs. Rowtandson, 63



oh-kc-it. Jia-sa-ma-i-in-ne-an ko-ko-ke-suk-o-da-e nut-as-e-suk-ok-ke pc-
tuk-qun-tieg. Kith ah-quo-an-tam-a-i-in-ne-an ninn-in<it<-l\-e-se-ons:-<in-on-asli,
ne-iviitch-e ne-na-wun wonk md-ah-quo-an-tam-au-o-un-non-og nixh-noh pasuk
noo-na-mon-tuk-(]iioh-who-nan, kali ahque sasf-kom-pa-irm-ne-an en qutch-e-hcf-
tu-ong-n-nit, qut poh-qua-wus-sin-m-an wutch matck-i-tut.*

Since we are upon curiosities, the following may very properly be added.
There is to be seen in the library of the Mass. Hist. Society a lar<r<- skimmer,
which some have mistaken for a bowl, cut out of the root of ash, that will
nold about two quarts. On this article is this historical inscription, in gilt
letters: "A trophy from the wigwam of KING PHILIP; when he was slain in
KJ76, by Richard ; presented by Ehenezer Richard, his grandson" f


NANUNTENOO Reasons for his aiding Philip His former name Meets the English
and Indians under Captain Peirse Fights and destroys his whole company at Paid-
tucket Incidents relating to that fight Notice of Captain Peirse Nanuntenoo sur-
prised and taken His magnanimity Speech to his captors Is executed and his
bodij burnt Cussassinnamon Catupazet Monopoide ANNA WON His escape
from the sioamp when PhiVp was killed Captain Church sent out to capture him
Discovers his retreat Takes him prisoner His 'magnanimous behavior His
speech to Church Presents him with Philip's ornaments Description of them
Church takes Annaicon to Plimouth, where he is put to death QUINNAPIN His
connections and marriage At the capture of Lancaster Jlccount of his wives
Weetarnoo He is taken and shot TUSPAQUIN His sales of lands His opera-
tions in Philip's War Surrenders himself, and is put to death Reflections upon
his executioners TATOSON Early notices of Captures a garrison in Plim-
outh Trial and execution of Kewecnam Totoson dies of a broken heart BAR-
ROW cruelly murdered TYASKS.

NANUNTENOO, son of Miantunnomoh, "was chief sachem of all the
Narragansets, and heir of all his father's pride and insolency, as well as of
his malice against the English."! Notwithstanding this branding character,
drawn by a contemporary, we need only look into the life of Miantunnomoh,
to find excuse for " malice and insoleucy " tenfold more than was contained
in the breast of Nanuntenoo.

The English had cut to pieces the women and children of his tribe, burned
them to death in their wigwams, and left their mangled bodies bleaching in
the wintry blast ! The swamp fight of tbe 19 Dec. 1675, could not be for-
gotten ! JVanuntenoo escaped from this scene, but we cannot doubt that he
acquitted himself agreeably to the character we have of him.

The first name by which he was known to the English was Canoncliet,
though, like others, his name was written with many variations. In 1674, he
was styled "chief surviving sachem of Narraganset," and in a deed in which
he was so styled his name is written " Nawnawnoantonneiv alias QuanerrzeA?'/,
eldest son now living of Miantomomio" He had been in Boston the Octo-
ber before the war, upon a treaty, at which time he received, among other
presents, a silver-laced coat. Dr. Mather says, speaking of the Narragansets,
"their great sachem called Quanonchet, was a principal ringleader in the
Narraganset war, and had as great an interest and influence, as can be said of

* Eliot's Indian Bible, Luke xi. 2 4.

f No mention is made to whom, or when it was presented. It does not appear to us to be
of such antiquity as its inscription pretends; and the truth of which may very reasonably be
questioned, in this particular, when the more glaring error of the name of the person said lo
have killed Philip, is staring us in the face.

\ Hubbard, 67. Mr. Oidmixon calls him " the mighty sachem of Narraganset." Brit

Potter's Hist. Narraganset, Coll. R. Hist. Soc. iii. 172.


any among the Indians ;".* and that, " when he was taken and slain, it was an
amazing stroke to the enemy." f

The name of Canoncfiet stands first to the treaty, to which we have just
alluded, which was entered into at Boston, 18 Oct. 1675. By chat treaty, thti
Narragansets agreed to deliver to the English in 10 davs, "all and euerv one

v **

of the said Indians, whether belonging vnto Philip, the Pocasset Sqva, or the
Saconett Indians, Quabaug, Hadley, or any other sachems or people that
haue bin or are in hostillitie with the English, or any of their allies or abet-
tors."! The names to the treaty are as Ibllows :

" QUANANCHETT'S /y/ want,

Witnesses. sachem in behalf of himself and Conanacus and the Old

RICHARD SMITH, Queen and Pomham and Quaunapeen, (seal)

JAMES BROWNE, MAJSATANNOO counceller his -f-

SAMUEL GORTON, Jr. mark, and Cannonacus in his behalf, (seal)

Interpreters. AHANMANPOWETT'S -\-mark,

JOHN NOWHENETT'S X mark, counceller and his (seal)

Indian interpreter. CORNMAN, cheiffe counceller to

Ninnegrett, in his behalfe, and a seal (S.)"

The Indians having carried their whirlwind of war to the very doors of
Plimouth, caused the sending out of Captain Peirce, (or as his name is uni-
formly in the records, Peirse,) to divert them from these ravages, and destroy
as many of them as he was able. He had a large company, consisting of 70
men, 20 of whom were friendly Indians. With these, no doubt, Peirse
thought himself safe against any power of the Indians in that region.

Meanwhile this most valiant chief captain of the Narragansets, Nanunte
noo, learning, we presume, by his spies, the direction the English were tak
ing assembled his warriors at a crossing place on Pawtucket River, at a
point adjacent to a place since called Attleborough-Gore, and not far distant
from Pawtucket falls. It is judged that JVanuntenoo was upon an expedition
to attack Plimouth, or some of the adjacent towns, for his force was estimated
at upwards of 300 men.

On arriving at this fatal place, some of JVanuntenoo'g men showed them
selves retiring, on the opposite side of the river. This stratagem succeed-
ed, Peirse followed. || No sooner was he upon the western side, than the
warriors of J\"anuntenoo, like an avalanche from a mountain, rushed down
upon him ; nor striving for coverts from which to fight, more than their foes,
fought them face to face with the most determined bravery.

A part of JVanuntenoo'' s force remained on the east side of the river, to pre-
vent the retreat of the English, which they most effectually did, as in the
event will appear. When Captain Peirse saw himself hemmed in by num-
bers on every side, he drew up his men upon the margin of the river, in two
ranks, back to back,1f and in this manner fought until nearly all of them were
slain. Peirse had timely sent a messenger to Providence for assistance, and
although the distance could not have been more than six or eight miles, from
some inexplicable cause, no succor arrived ; and Mr. Hvbbard** adds, "As
Solomon saith, a faithful messenger is as snow in harvest."

This dreadful fight was on Sunday, 26 March, 167(3, when, as Dr. Mather
says, "Capt. Peirse was slain and forty and nine English with him, and eight,
(or more,) Indians, who did assist the English." The Rev. Mr. Newman of
Rehoboth wrote a letter to Plimouth, dated the day after the slaughter, in

* Brief Hist. 26. t Pre.vale.ncij of Prayer, 11.

\ It may be seen at large in Hazard's Collections, \. 536, 537.

That Nanuntenoo commanded in person in the fight with the force under Capt. Peirse ha-
seen a question ; indeed, our only authority is not very explicit upon the matter, (Hnhhar/l.
Postscript 7.) who observes that when Denison surprised him, he " was, at that moment,
diverlizing himself with the recital of Capt. Peirse's slaughter, surprized by his men a lc\v
days before."

|| Dr. Mather (Brief Hist. 21.) says, " a small number of the enemy who in desperai
subtlety ran away from them, and they went limping to make the English believe they were
lame," and thus effected their object.

U Dearie's Hist. Scituate, 121. ** Narrative, 64.


which he says, "52 of our English, and 11 Indians,", were slain.* The com-
pany \\.-is, no doubt, increased by some who volunteered as they marched

through tin- country, or by such as were taken for pilots.

Nuniiiiti noo's victory was complete, but, as usual on such occasions, the
English consoled themselves by making the loss of the Indians appear as
i.irge as possible. Dr. Mather says, that some Indians that were afterwards
taken confessed they lost 140, which, no doubt, is not far from the truth. *

An Englishman, and perhaps the only one who escaped from this disas-
trous fi^ht, was saved bv one of the friendly Indians in this manner: The

* /

friendly Indian being taken for a Narraganset, as he was pursuing with an
uplifted tomahawk the English soldier, no one interfered, seeing him pursue
an unarmed Englishman at such great advantage. In this manner, covering
themselves in the woods, they escaped.

A friendly Indian, being pursued by one of Nanuntenoo's men, got behind
the roots of a fallen tree. Thus screened by the earth raised upon them, the
Indian that pursued waited for him to run from his natural fort, knowing he
would not dare to maintain it long. The other soon thought of an expe-
dient, which \vas to make a port-hole in his breast- work, which he easily did
by digging through the dirt. When he had done this, he put his gun
through, and shot his pursuer, then fled in perfect safety.

Another escaped in a manner very similar. In his flight he got behind a
arge rock. This afforded him a good shelter, but in the end he saw nothing
but certain death, and the longer he held out the more misery he must suffer.
In this deplorable situation, he bethought himself to try the following device.
Putting his cap upon his gun, he raised it very gradually above the rock, as
though to discover the position of his enemy : it had the desired effect he
fired upon it. The one behind the rock now rushed upon him, before he
could reload his gun, and despatched him. Thus, as Mr. Hubbard says, "it is
worth the noting, what faithfulness and courage some of the Christian Indians
showed in this tight." That this most excellent author did not approve of the
severity exercised towards those who appeared friendly, is abundantly proved
by his writings. In another place he says, " Possibly if some cf the English
had not been too shy in making use of such of them as were well affected to
their interest, they never need have suffered so much from their enemies."

A notice may be reasonably expected of the unfortunate Captain Michael
Peirse, of Scituate. He was one of those adventurous spirits " who never
knew fear," and who sought rather than shrunk from dangers. He was, like
his great antagonist, in the Narraganset fight ; and in 1673, when the govern-
ment of Plimouth raised a force to go against the Dutch, who had encroached
upon them in Connecticut, he was appointed ensign in one of the companies.
He resided in several places before going to Plimouth. Mr. Deane, in his
History of Stituate, gives a genealogical account of his family, from which we
learn that he had a second wife, and several sons and daughters. Of what
family he was, there is no mention-! He possessed considerable estate, and
made his will on engaging in the war with the Indians.

The "sore defeat" of Captain Peirse, and the tide of the Indians 1 successes
about this time, caused the United Colonies to send out almost their whole

Nanuntenoo came down from the country upon Connecticut River, early in
March, for the purpose of collecting seed corn to plant such ground as the
English had been driven from, and to effect any other object he might meet
with. Whether he had effected the first-named object before falling in with
Peirse, we are not able to state ; but certain it is, that he was but few days after
encamped very near the ground where the fight had been, and was there fallen

* See the letler giving the names of the company in Dearie's Scituate, 1 22, 123.

t Mr. Hubbard's account is the same.

Jin the Records of Plimouth, under date March, lfiG9, there is this entry: " Miche.
I'eirse of Scittuate" was presented at the court for vnseemly carriages towards Sarah Nichols
of Scittuate," and " forasmuch as there appeared but one testimony to the p'sentment, and
i:iat the testimony was written and iiot read vnto the deponant, the court saw cause to remi*
the sa'ul p'sentment."


upon at unawares, when but a few of his men were present, and there taken

Nanuntenoo was nearly as much dreaded as Philip himself, and consequently
liis capture caused great rejoicing among his enemies, and requires to be par-
ticularly related.

Four volunteer companies from Connecticut began their march into the
enemy's country the next day after Pawtucket fight. Among the captains
of these companies, George Denison of Southerton was the most conspicuous.
The others were commanded by James Avery, John Staunton, and Major Pofortfr,
who also had the chief command. With these were three companies of
Indians; one led by Oneko, composed of Mohegans ; one of Pequots, by Cas-
sasinnamon ; and the other of Nianticks, by Catapazet ; in all about 80.

When this formidable army came near to Nanuntenoo' s camp, on the first
week in April, 1676, "they met with a stout Indian of the enemie's, whom they
presently slew, and two old squaws," who informed them of the situation of
Nanuntenoo. At the same time, their own scouts brought the same intelligence.
The news of the enemy's approach reached the chief in his tent when but
seven of his men were about him ; the rest were probably in the neighborhood
attending to their ordinary affairs. And although he had stationed two senti-
nels upon an adjacent hill, to give him timely notice if any appeared, their
surprise w 7 as so great, at the sudden approach of the English, that, in their
fright, they ran by their sachem's wigwam, "as if they wanted time to tell
what they saw." Seeing this, the sachem sent a third, to It-urn the cause of
the flight of the two first, but he fled in the same manner; and lastly he sent
two more, one of which, " either endued with more courage, or a better sense
of his duty, informed him in great haste that all the English army was upon
him : whereupon, having no time to consult, and but little to attempt an escape,

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 40 of 131)