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 46 of 131)
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tained in a letter of Captain Oliver, f which he wrote while on his march
with the English army to attack the fort, which we have just mentioned. He
says, " Dec. 15 ca[me in] John a rogue, with a pretence of peace, and was
dismissed with [this] errand: That we might speak with sachems. That
evening, he not being gone a quarter of an hour, his company, that lay hid
behind a hill of our quarters, killed two Salem men, and wounded a third
within a mile of us, that he is dead. And at a house three miles off, where
i had ten men, they killed two of them. Instantly Capt. Mosely, myself
and Capt. Gardner were sent to fetch in Major Appletori's company, that
kept three miles and a half off, and coining, they lay behind a stone wall,
and fired on us in sight of the garrison, we killed the captain that killed one
of the Salem men, arid had his cap." Mr. Hubbard says, " A few desperate
Indians, creeping under a stone-wall, fired twenty or thirty guns at Mosely in
particular, a commander well known amongst them, but the rest of the com-

* MS. Stale Papers.

t Old Indian Chronicle, 111.

j In manuscript. See an account of it in a note to the life of Philip.


pany running down upon them, killed one of them mid scattered the rest."
Thus did the scouts from the main body of the Indians, under such captains
as the Stnni'-lai/ /-, annoy the English in their march into their country. Im-
mediately alter these skirmishes, "they burnt Jerry BuWs* house, and killed
seventeen [persons.] f Dec. 1G, came that news. Dec. 17, came news that
Connecticut forces were at Petaquamscut ; killed lour Indians and took six
prisoners. That day we sold Capt. Davenport 47 Indians, young and old, for
J>0 in money." J

How much John had to do in the devastations which had been perpetrated
the previous season, is unknown, but we are told that lie had no small
agency in "the sacking of Providence," and Rehoboth also, without doubt.
In the former about 30 houses || were burned, and in the latter place " near
upon 40" houses and 30 barns.

Stone- wall- John was doubtless one who conversed with the Reverend Mr.
Williams at the time Providence was burned. The substance of that conver-
sation is related by our anonymous author, already cited, in these words :
"But indeed the reason that the inhabitants of the towns of Seaconick and
Providence generally escaped with their lives, is not to be attributed to any
compassion or good nature of the Indians, (whose very mercies are inhumane
cruelties,) but, [the author soon contradicts himself, as will be seen,] next to
God's providence to their own prudence in avoiding their fury, when they
found themselves too weak, and unable to resist it, by a timely flight into
Rhode Island, which now became the common Zoar, or place of refuge for
the distressed ; yet some remained till their coming to destroy the said towns ;
as in particular Mr. Williams at Providence, who, knowing several of the
chief Indians that came to fire that town, discoursed with them a consider-
able time, who pretended, their greatest quarrel was against Plimouth ; and
as for what they attempted against the other colonies, they were constrained
to it, by the spoil that was done them at Narraganset.1I They told him, that
when Capt. Pierce engaged them near Mr. Black stone's, they were bound
for Plimouth. They gloried much in their success, promising themselves the
conquest of the whole country, and rooting out of all the English. Mr. Wil-
liams reproved their confidence, minded them of their cruelties, and told
them, that the Bay, viz. Boston, could yet spare 10,000 men ; and, if they
should destroy all them, yet it was not to be doubted, but our king would
send as many every year from Old England, rather than they should share
the country.** They answered proudly, that they should be ready for them,
or to that effect, but told Mr. Williams that he was a good man, and had been
kind to them formerly, and therefore they would not hurt him."

This agrees well with Mr. Hubbard's account of the carriage of John at the
time he went to the English army to talk about peace, already mentioned.
His words are, "yet could the messenger, [John,] hardly forbear threatening,
vaporing of their numbers and strength, adding, withal, that the English
durst not fight them."

We have now to close the career of this Indian captain, for which it re-
quires but a word, as he was killed on the 2 July, 1676, at the same time the
old squaw-sachem Quaiapen and most of her people were fallen upon by
Major Talcot, as we have related in a former chapter.

Many Indians bore the name of John, but when they w'ere any ways con-
spicuous, some distinguishing prefix or affix was generally added, as we
have seen in several instances in the preceding chapters. We have already

* Jerah was probably his name.

I Ten men and five women and children. Hubbard, 50. " About 14." 1. Mather, 20.
u Eighteen, men, women and children." Chronicle, 46.

t Captain Oliver's MS. letter.


|| The building containing the records of R. I. was consumed at this time, and part of its
contents. Some of them were saved by being thrown out of a window into some water.
They bear to this time the marks of their immersion. Oral information of W. R. Staples,
Esq. of Providence.

U And who could ask for a better reason ?

** This was rather gasconading- for so reverend a man ! Had he Jived since the revolu-
tionary war. he would hardly have meant so, whatever he might have said.


given the life of one Sagamore-John, but another of that name, still more
conspicuous, (for his treachery to his own nation,) here presents hhnsell'.
This Sagamore-John was a Nipmuk sachem, and a traitor to his country
On the 27th of July, 1676, doubtless from a conviction of the hopelessness
of his cause, he came to Boston, and threw himself on the mercy of the
English. They pardoned him, as he enticed along with him about 180
others. And, that he might have a stronger claim on their clemency, he
seized Matoonas, and his son, against whom he knew the English to be great-
ly enraged, and delivered them up at the same time. On death's being im-
mediately assigned as the lot of Matoonas, Sagamore-John requested that he
might execute him with his own hands. To^ render still more horrid this
:-tory of blood, his request was granted ; and he took Matoonas into the com-
mon, bound him to a tree, and there "shot him to death." To the above Dr.
Mather adds,* "Thus did the Lord retaliate upon him the innocent blood
which he had shed ; as he had done, so God requited him."

Although much had been alleged against John, before he came in, after-
wards the most favorable construction was put upon his conduct. Mr. Hub-
bard says, he " affirmed that he had never intended any mischief to the Eng-
lish at Brookfield. the last year, (near which village it seems his place was,)
but that Philip, coining over night amongst them, he was forced, tor fear of
his own life, to join with them against the English." f

MATOONAS was also a Nipmuk chief. A son of his was said to have
murdered an Englishman in 1671, when "traveling along the road," which
Mr. Hubbard says was " out of mere malice and spite," because he was " vexed
in his mind that the design against the English, intended to begin in that
year, did not take place." This son of Matoonas was hanged, and alterwards
beheaded, and his head set upon a pole, where it was to be seen six years
after. The name of the murdered Englishman was Zachary Smith, a young
man, who, as he was passing through Dedham, in the month of April, put
up at the house of Mr. Caleb Church. About half an hour after he wa<s
gone, the next morning, three Indians passed the same way; who, as they
passed by Church's house, behaved in a very insolent manner. They had
been employed as laborers in Dorchester, and said they belonged to Philip ;
they left their masters under a suspicious pretence. The body of the murdered
man was soon after found near the saw-mill in Dedham, and these Indians
were apprehended, and one put to death, as is stated above, f

Mr. Hubbard supposes that the father, "an old malicious villain," bore "an
old grudge against them," on the account of the execution of his son. And
the first mischief that w r asdone in Massachusetts colony was charged to him:
which was the killing of four or five persons at Mendon, a town upon Paw-
tucket River ; and, says /. .Mather, " had w r e amended our ways as we should
have done, this misery would have been prevented."

When Matoonas was brought before the council of Massachusetts, he
" confessed that he had rightly deserved death, and could expect no other."
" He had often seemed to favor the praying Indians, and the Christian reli-
gion, but, like Simon Magus, by his after practice, discovered quickly that he
had no part nor portion in that matter." ||

The following is the statement of this affair in the OLD INDIAN CHRONICLE.
John " declared himself sorry that he had fought against the English, and
promised to give some testimonial to them soon of his fidelity ; and at his
return now with his men, women and children, he brought down, bound with
cords, old Mattoonus and his son prisoners. This Mattoonus 1 eldest son had been
tried at Boston, and executed, 5 or 6 years ago, for an execrable murder by him
committed on a young maid If of the English near Woburu, and his head wa?

* Brief History of the War, 43.

f Narrative, 101. 4to edition. If this be true, Philip had the chief direction in the ambushing
of Hittchinson and IVlieeler at Wickabaug, as related in the life of Philip ; but in our opinion
not much credit should be given to any thing coining from a traitor.

Manuscript among the files in the office of the secretary of the state of Massachusetts.

Brief Hist. 5. II Hubbard, 101.

IT This author is evidently in error about the Woburn murder. Dr. L Mather says, Rela
lion, 75. " Some few private murthers there have been, as namely those at Nantucket, and
that by Matoonas his son, and that at Woburn.'' No other particulars are given by Mather


fastened to a pole at one cud of the gallows. This old JWattoonuJ father had
given it out that he would be avenged of us for his son's death, which coming ;<
the knowledge of the council, lie was sent for and examined ;i hoi it it ; and havm
denied it, and there not being sufficient evidence of it, he was dismissed,
having only confessed this, that considering the death of his son, he found his
Iftirt so big hot within him, but that he resolved to abide a faithful friend to the
/J//i'V/,s-A, and so that accusation ended. But alter sachem Philip had begun
I, is murders in Plimouth colony, this savage first appeared an enemy to us.
and slew the two first men that were killed within the limits of our colony
(to wit, at Mendham) and in that cruel and outrageous attempt at Quabaog
this old Maitoonus was the principal ringleader. Being now brought a
prisoner to Boston, he was by the council the same day, [28 July,] adjudged,
to be shot to death, which was executed in Boston common, by three Indians.
His head was cut off and placed upon a pole on the gallows, opposite to his
son's that was there formerly hanged. His son, brought along with him,
remains still a prisoner."

While Matoonas belonged to the Christian Indians, his residence was at
I'akachoog. Here he was made constable of the town.* On joining in the
war, he led parties which committed several depredations. He joined the
main body of the Nipmuks in the winter of 1675, when James Quanapohit
was among them as a spy, who saw him arrive there with a train of follow-
ers, and take the lead in the war dances, f Doubtless Quanapohifs evidence
drew forth the confessions which he made, and added to the severity exer-
cised at his execution. J

A Nipmuk captain we w r ill in the next place notice, who makes a sudden
inroad upon the frontier of Massachusetts, and who as suddenly dis-

NETUS, on the 1 February, 1G76, with about 10 followers, attacked the
house of one Thomas Eames, 4 or 5 miles beyond Sudbury, and took his and his
son's families prisoners. They then destroyed every thing upon his farm,
burnt up his house and his barns with the cattle and corn in them, and
withdrew beyond the reach of the English, as Totosonhad done at Eel River.
When this onset was made, Eames himself was absent at Boston to procure
ammunition. In all, seven persons were killed or fell into the hand's of this
party of Indians. About three months afterwards, one of the children taken
fit this time escaped, and alter wandering 30 miles alone through the wilder-
ness, under extreme sufferings, arrived among the English settlements. On
the 27 March following, JVcfas w r as killed near Marlborough, by a party of
English under Lieutenant Jacobs, with about 40 others. ||

We have yet to notice a distinguished Nipmuk sachem, called

MONOCO by his countrymen, but, by the English, generally, One-eyed-
John ; as though deficient in the organs of vision, which probably was the
case. He was, says an early writer, " a notable fellow," who, when Philip's
war began, lived near Lancaster, and consequently w r as acquainted with
every part of the town, which knowledge he improved to his advantage, on
tAvo "occasions, in that war. On Sunday, 22 August, 1675, a man, his wife

but Hubbard, in the preface to his Narrative, edition of 1677. says, " a murther was committed
at Farming-ton, another at Woburn, by some Indians in their drunken humors upon a maid
servant or two, who denied them drink.' 7

* Shattuck's Hist. Concord, 31. t 1 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. vi.206.

t The INipmuks were at this time chiefly under five sachems, which, Mr. Htibbard ^ says,
were " four too many to govern so small a people." The same author says, " The Nipnets
were under the command of the sachem of Mount Hope," which fact is verified by numerous
passages of our history. The names of the five principal sachems were MONOCO, MAUTAMP.

According to the Cotton MSS. seven were killed and two children only taken. This agrees
with our CHRONICLE, 77, where it is said " they killed seven people in a barbarous manner,
and carried some away captive." Hubbard, 84 and Table, says fames' wife was killed, and
his son's wife died the next day, but says nothing of the number killed or taken.

|| Compare Hubbard, 79 and 84. This was the affair which he says was done " when it
was so dark that an Indian could hardly be discerned from a better man." See BOOK III.
CHAP. II. On 21 Sept. following, three'lndians were hanged as concerned in the murder of
Eames's faniilv.


and two children were killed at that place.* At this time the Hassanamesit
praying Indians were placed at Marlborough by authority. No sooner was
it known that a murder was committed at Lancaster, than not a few were
wanting to charge it upon the Hassanamesits. Captain Mostly, who it seems
was in the neighborhood, sent to their quarters, and found " much suspicion
against eleven of them, for singing and dancing, and having bullets and slugs,
and much powder hid in their baskets." For this offence, these eleven were
sent to Boston 30 August, on suspicion, and there tried. "But upon trial, the
s lid prisoners were all of them acquitted from the fact, and were either released,
or else were, with others of that fort, sent for better security, and for preventing
future trouble in the like kind, to some of the islands below Boston, towards
Nantasket." Fifteen was the number brought down to Boston, but eleven
only were suspected of the alleged offonce. The others, among whom were
ilbram Speen and John Choo, were taken along and imprisoned, for no other
reason but their being accidentally, at that time, at Marlborough, or the crime
of being Indians. It appears some time had elapsed after the murder was
committed, before they wore sent down for trial, or more probably they were
suffered to return home before being sent to Deer Island. For Ephraim
Turner and William Kent were not sent up to find out where ' they all were,"
and what answers they could get. from those they should meet, until the
beginning of October ; at which time these eleven Indians were scattered in
various directions, about their daily callings. And all the information Turner
and Kent handed into court was, that they were thus dispersed. Waban and
Mr. John Watson, who had been appointed to reside among those Indians,
were the only persons questioned. What steps the court took upon this
information, we are not informed, but they were about this time sent to Deer

The names of these Indians, concerning whom more particular inquiry
may hereafter be made by the benevolent antiquary, it is thought should
be given ; especially as they may not elsewhere be preserved. They

Old-jethro and two sons, James-the-printer, James Acorn-pond, Daniel Munups,
John Cquasquaconet, John Asquenet, George JVonsequesewit, Thomas Mamuxon-
qua, and Joseph Watapacoson, alias Joseph Spoonant.

After a trial of great vexation to these innocent Indians, David, the main
witness against them, acknowledged he had perfidiously accused them; and
at the same time, a prisoner was brought in, who testified that he knew One-
eyed-John had committed the murder at Lancaster, and a short time after
another was taken, who confirmed his testimony.

These Indians brought all these troubles upon themselves by reason of their
attachment to the English. It was in their service that they discovered and
captured Andrew, a brother of David, who, on being delivered to the soldiery,
was shot by them with ferocious precipitancy. Therefore, when the Lancaster
murder happened, Captain Mosely, having already sundry charges against David,
held an inquisition upon him to make him confess relative to the Lancaster
affair. The method taken to make him confess, (agreeably to the desire
of his inquisitors,) was this : they bound him to a tree, and levelled guns at
his breast. In this situation, to avert immediate death, as well as to be re-
venged for the death of his brother, he proceeded to accuse the eleven Indians
before named. For thus falsely accusing his countrymen, and shooting at a
boy who was looking after sheep at Marlborough, David was condemned to
slavery, and accordingly sold, as was one of the eleven named Watapacoson.
This last act being entirely to calm the clamors of the multitude ; after he
had been once acquitted, a new trial was got up, and a new jury for this
particular end.f

Andrew's history is as follows : He had been gone for some time before the
war, on a hunting voyage towards the lakes ; and on his return homeward,
he fell in among Philip's men about Quabaog. This was about a month

* The above is Mr. Habba'-d's account. Mr. \Villard, in his excellent history of Lan-
caster, gives us the names of six, and says eight were killed. But in his enumeration I count
nine ; and Gookin says seven. Our text is according to Hnbbard, Nar. 30.

f Gookin, Manuscript Hist. Praying Indians.



|j-i(,ro ll.i 1 affair at Lancaster. The reason he staid among the hostile Indians
is very ol vious: he was afraid to venture into the vicinity of the whites,
they should treat him as an enemy. But as his ill fortune fell out, he was
found in the woods, by his countrymen of Marl borough, who conducted him
to die English, by whom he was shot, as we have just related. The offi-
cer \vlio presided over and directed this affair, would, no doubt, at any other
time, have received a reward proportionate to the malignity of the offence ;
but in this horrid storm of war, many were suffered to transgress the laws
with impunity.

From one account of this affair,* it would seem that one of the Indians
seized by Mosely at this time was actually executed ; " for," says the writer to
whom we refer, " the commonalty were so enraged against Mr. Eliot, and
Capt. Guggins especially, that Capt. Guggins said on the bench, [he being a
judge,] that he was afraid to go along the streets ; the answer was made, you
may thank yourself; however an order was issued out for the execution of
that one (notorious above the rest) Indian, and accordingly he was led by a
rope about his neck to the gallows. When he came there, the executioners
(lor there were many) flung one end over the post, and so hoisted him up
like a dog, three or four times, he being yet half alive, and half dead ; then
came an Indian, a friend of his, and with his knife made a hole in his breast
to his heart, and sucked out his heart-blood. Being asked his reason there-
for, liis answer [was] Umh, Umh nu, me stronger as I was before ; me be so
stronir as me and he too ; he be ver strong man fore he die. Thus with
the dog-like death (good enough) of one poor heathen, was the people rage
laid, in some measure."

We have yet to add a word concerning Monaco. When Quanap&kit was
out as a spy, Monaco kindly entertained him, on account of former acquaint-
ance not knowing his character. They had served together in their wars
against the Mohawks. On 10 Feb. 1676, about 600 Indians fell upon
Lancaster, and, after burning the town, carried the inhabitants into captivity.
Among them was the family of Reverend Mr. Rowlandson. Mrs. Row-
landson, after her redemption, published an amusing account of the affair.
Monaco, or One-eyed^ ohn, it is said, was among the actors of this tragedy.
On 13 March following, Grotou was surprised. In this affair, too, John
Monaco was principal ; and on his own word we set him down as the destroy-
er of Medfield. After he had burned Grotou, except one garrison house, he
called to the captain in it, and told him he would burn in succession Chelms-
ford, Concord, Watertown, Cambridge, Charlestown, Roxbury and Boston.
He boasted much of the men at his command; said he had 480 warriors;
and added " What me will me do" The report of this very much enraged
the English, and occasioned his being entitled a " bragadocio " by the histo-
rian. At the close of Philip's war, with others, he gave himself up to Major
Waldron at Cochecho ; or, having come in there, at the request of Peter-
jethro, to make peace, was seized and sent to Boston, where, in the language
of Mr. Hubbard, he, " with a few more bragadocios like himself, Sagamore-
sam, Old-jethro, and the sachem of Quabaog, [MautampJ] were taken by the
English, and was seen, (not long before the writing of this,) marching towards
the gallows, (through Boston streets, which he threatened to burn at his
pleasure,) with a halter about his neck, with which he was hanged at the
town's end, Sept. 26, in this present year, 1676." J

On the 24 July, 1675, five of the principal Nipmuk sachems signed an
agreement to meet the governor of Massachusetts to treat of peace soon after,
but not appearing according to agreement Captain Hutchinson was sent out

* In the INDIAN CHRONICLE, 26, 27.

f Ccn:pare Hubbard, 35 and 75. The same, probably, called Mattawamppe, who, in
1665, witnessed the sale of Brookh'eld, Mass,, deeded at that time by a chief named Shat~
tooclcquis. Maiitamp claimed an interest in said lands, and received part of the pay. Rev.
Mr. Foot's Hist. Brookjield.

\ This, so far as it goes, agrees with an entry in Seivall's MS. Diary, cited in Shattuck's
Concord, 63 " Sagamore Sam goes, One^ey'd John, Maliompe [JUautamp] Sagamore of
Quabaog. General at Lancaster, &e. Jethro (the father) walked to the gallows. Ot>e-ey'd
John accuses Sagamore John to have fired the first gun at Quabaog and killed Capt. Hutck-



to ascertain the cause, and was ambushed by them, as we have in liie life of
Philip related. At this time, " SAM, sachem of Weshacum," and NETAUMP,
are particularly mentioned as having been hanged at Boston.

It was reported, (no doubt by the Indians, to vex their enemies,) that Mrs.
Rowlandson kad married Monaco. "But," the author of the PRESENT STAT; .
^&c. says, "it was soon contradicted," and, "that she appeared and behaved
herself amongst them with so much courage and majestic gravity, that none
durst offer any violence to her, but on the contrary, (in their rude manner]
seemed to show her great respect."

In the above quotation from Mr. Hubbard, we have shown at what tim >
several of the Nipmuck chiefs were put to death beside Monaco.

OLD-JETHKO was little less noted, though of quite a different character

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 46 of 131)