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 47 of 131)
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His Indian name was Tantamous. He was present at the sale of Concord
(Mass.) to the English, about which time he lived at Natick. In 1(374, he was
appointed a missionary to the Nipmuks living at Weshakim, since Sterling,
but his stay there was short.* He and his family (of about 12 persons'
were among thos^ ordered to Deer Island, on the breaking out of the wni
the next year. Their residence then was at Nobscut Hill, near Sudbury
His spirit could not brook the indignity offered by those English who were
sent to conduct the praying Indians to Boston, and in the night he escaped,
with all his family, into his native wilds. His son Peter had been so long
under the instruction of the English, that he had become almost one of
them. He deserted his father's cause, and was the means of his being exe-
uted with the other Nipmuk sachems already mentioned. This occasioned
/)r. /. Mather to say of him, " That abominable Indian, Peter-jethro, betrayed
his o-wn father, and other Indians of his special acquaintance, unto death."
It seems he had been employed by the English for this purpose.

About a month before the fall of Philip, the Nipmucks became fully
aware of their wretched condition, who, on the (5 July, 1676, sent an Indian
messenger to the English with a white flag. He came, says our Chronicle,
"from Sagamore Sam of Nassoway (a proud Salvage, who two months since
insulted over the English, and said, if the English would first begge Peace
of him, he would let them have Peace, but that he would never ask it of
them ;) This Indian was sent from him with Letters, desiring Peace of us,
and expressely praying us in the name of Jesus Christ, and for his sake to
grant it whose holy name they have so much blasphemed. Thus doth tho
Lord Jesus make them to bow before him, and to lick the dust. And having
made mention of his letter it will not be unacceptable to transcribe some
copies of the Letters sent by him, and others on this subject, which take as
followeth. The reader must bear with their barbarisms, and excuse the
omission of some expressions in them, that can hardly admit of good

The fast Letter, July the 6th, 1676.f

" Mr. John Leverett, my Lord, Mr. Jfaban, and all the chief men our Breth-
ren, Praying to God: [This Mr. Waban is a Praying Indian, faithful, and a
Ruler amonst them; by their Brethren praying to God, they mean those of the same
J\'ation.] We beseech you all to help us ; my wife she is but one, but there
be more Prisoners, which we pray you keep well : Mattamuck his wife, we
entreat you for her, and not onely that man, but it is the Request of tw r o Sa-
chems, Sam Sachem of Weshakum, and the Pakashoag Sachem.

" And that further you will consider about the making Peace : We have
spoken to the People of Nashobah (viz. TomDubler and Peter,} that we would
agree with you, and make a Covenant of Peace with you. We have been
destroyed by your Souldiers, but still we Remember it now, to sit still ; do

* Mr. Shattnck-s Hist. Concord, 30.

f The tenor of the following letters, is very different from those in April previous, which 1
had discovered in MS. and printed in the former editions of the Book of the Indians, Thes
were then unknown to me.


you consider it again; we do earnestly entreat you, that it may be so by
Jesus Christ, O ! let it be so ! Jlmen, Amen.*

It was signed

MATT AMUCK, his Mark N.

SAM SACHEM, his Mark '!>'.



PAKASKOKAG his Mark ; /'."

" Superscribed" " To all Englishmen and Indians, all of you hear Mr. Waban,
Mr. Eliott."

" Second Letter.

"My Lord, Mr. Leveret at Boston, IMr. Waban, Mr. Eliott, Mr. Gookin, and
Council, hear yea. I went to Connecticot about the Captives, that I might
bring them into your hands, and when we were almost there, the English had
destroyed those Indians : when I heard it, I returned back again ; then when
J came home, we were also destroyed ; after we were destroy'd, then Philip
and Quanipun went away into their own Countrey againe ; and I knew they
were much afraid, because of our offer to joyn with the English, and there-
fore they went back into their own Countrey, and I know they will make no
Warre ; therefore because when some English men came to us, Philip and
Quanapun sent to kill them ; but I said, if any kill them, I'll kill them.f


Written by Simon Boshokum Scribe."


Third Letter

"For Mr. Eliot, Mr. Gookin, and Mr. Waban,

Consider of this I entreat you, consider of this great businesse that is done ,

and my wonder concerning Philip ; but his name is fFewesawannit,\\

he engageth all the people that were none of his subjects: Then when I was
at Penakook, Numpho John, JUline,^ Sam Numpho, and others who were angry,
and Numpho very much angry that Philip did engage so many people to him ;
and Numpho said it were a very good deed that I should go and kill him that

* This surpasseth any thing 1 , in supplication, that we have, from the poor Indians. Thev
were truly sensible of their deplorable condition! Little to subsist upon the northern and
vvestern wilderness so full of their native enemies, that a retreat upon those hunting-grounds
was cut off all the fishing places near and upon the coast watched by their successful
enemy hence nothing now remained but to try the effect of an offer of unconditional sub-
mission ! This letter, however, must not be regarded as the language of the warriors, it
was the language of the Christian Indians, in behalf of them and themselves.

f The name of this sachem approaching nearly in sound to that of the place since called
Worcester, of which Sagamore- John was chief, almost induces the belief that he is the same.
A sachem of the name having deeded Worcester to the whites in 1671, is additional proof.
See the elaborate history of that town by Win. Lincoln, Esq., now in course of publication.

j This letter will be regarded as an admirable specimen of Indian sentiment, and its value
is much enhanced, as it unfolds truths of great value truths that lay open the situation of
things at this period that will be gladly received. Sum was a magnanimous sachem. So
was Monaco. We doubt if any thing can in truth be brought against either, that would not
comport with a warrior of their time, but they did not come within the limits of a pardon
offered in the Proclamation ! When messengers were sent to treat with the Indians for the
redemption of prisoners, to prevent the evil such negotiation was calculated to produce, and
which Philip, doubtless, foresaw, he ordered such to be summarily dealt with. Quanapohit
was suspected for a spy. and Philip had ordered him to be killed, but Monaco said, " I will
kill whomsoever shall kill Quanapohit." Shoshamm afterwards said the same when visited
by Mr. Hoar and Nepanet, who were sent to treat for the ransom of Mr. Rowlandson's fam-
ily. " If any kill them, I will kill them," that is, he would kill the murderer. But these kind
offices were forgotten in the days of terror !

The same person, whose name to the last letter is spelt Potloquam, and in Book ii. Chap,
vii., Betokam

|| This stands in the MS. records, Wewasmcanuett. See Book iii. Chap. ii.

IT There is some error concerning this person's name. John U. Line means the same per-
6on, I think, in Gookin's MS. history. See Book ii. Chap. vii. ; ar account of several others
here mentioned may there also be found.


loyned so many to himself without cause: In like manner 1 said so too.
Then had you formerly said be at peace, and if the Council had sent word
to kill Philip we should have done it: then let us clearly speak, what you
and we shall do. O let it be so speedily, and answer us clearly.



"The answer the Council made them, was, 'That treacherous persons
who began the war and those that have been barbarously bloody, must not
expect to have their lives spared, but others that have been drawn into th
war, and acting only as Souldiers submitting to be without arms, and to live
quietly and peaceably for the future shall have their lives spared.' '

Sagamore Sam was one of those that sacked Lancaster, 10 February,
1676. His Indian name was at one time Shoshanim, but in Philip's war it
appears to have been changed to Uskatuhgun ; at least, if he be the same, it
was so subscribed by Peter-jethro, when the letter was sent by the Indians to
the English about the exchange of Mrs. Rowlandson and others, as will be
found in the life of Nepanet. He was hanged, as has been belbre noted.
Shoshanim was successor to Matthew, who succeeded Sholan.

This last-mentioned sachem is probably referred to by the author quoted in
Mr. Tliorowgood's curious book. In the summer of 1652, Reverend John Eliot
intended to visit theNashuas, in his evangelical capacity, but understanding
there was war in that direction among the Indians,* delayed his journey for a
time. The sachem of Nashua, hearing of Mr. Eliot's intention, " took 20
men, armed after their manner," as his guard, with many others, and con-
ducted him to his country. And my author adds, " this was a long journey
into the wilderness of 60 miles: it proved very wet and tedious, so that he
was not dry three or four days together, night nor day." f One of the Indians
at this time asked Mr. Eliot why those who praved to God among the

/ Aw

English loved the Indians that prayed to God " more than their own breth-
ren." The good man seemed some at a loss for an answer, and waived the
subject by several scriptural quotations.

We may be incorrect in the supposition that the sachem who conducted
.Mr. Eliot on this occasion was Sholan, as perhaps Passaconaway would
suit the time as well.


Friendly Indians CAPTAIN AMOS Pursues Taloson and Penachason Escapes the
slaughter at Paiotucket Commands a company in the eastern war CAPTAIN
LIGHTFOOT His services in Philip's war In the eastern war KETTENANIT
His services QUANNAPOHIT His important services as a spy MAUTAMP
Monaco NEPANET Employed to treat with the enemy Brings letters from them
Effects an exchange of prisoners PETER CONWAY PETER EPHRAIM.

AMOS, commonly called Captain Amos, was a Wampanoag, whose residence
was about Cape Cod. We have no notice of him until Philip's war, at which
time he was entirely devoted to the service of the English. After the Plim-
outh people had found that Tatoson was concerned in the destruction of
Clark's garrison, they sought for some friendly Indians who would under-
take to deliver him and his abettors into their hands. Captain Amos ten
dered his services, and was duly commissioned to prosecute the enterprise,

* In lf>47, three Indians were killed between Quabaog and Springfield, by other Indian*.
Tiie next year, five others were killed about midway between Quabaog and Lancaster.
Wintkrop's Journal, (Savage's ed.) Such instances were common among the Indians.

f Sure Arguments to prove that the Jews inhabit now in America. By Thcnnas Tlwrow-
<rood, 4to. London, 1652. Sir Roger L' Estrange answered this book by another, entitled



and to take into that service any of his friends. Meantime, Tatoson had fled
to Elizabeth Island, in company with Penachason, another chief who was
also to be taken, if he could be found. This Penachason was probably Tato-
son's brother's son, sometimes called TO?M, who, if the same, was also at tin-
destroying of Clark's garrison. Yet the wily chiefs eluded the vigilance of
Captain Jimos, by flying from that region into the Nipmuks' country, where
they joined Philip.

To encourage greater exertion on the part of the friendly Indians, to
execute their commission, it was ordered, that in case they captured and
brought in either Tatoson or Penachason, "they may expect for their reward,
for each of them four coats, and a coat apiece for every other Indian thai
shall prove merchantable."

We have mentioned in a former chapter the horrid catastrophe of
Captain Peirse and his men at Pawtucket. Captain Jlrnos escaped that
dreadful slaughter. He fought there with 20 of his warriors, and when
Captain Peirse was shot down by a ball which wounded him in the thigh,
he stood by his side, and defended him as long as there was a gleam of
hope. At length, seeing nearly all his friends slain, with admirable presence
of mind he made his escape, by the following subtle stratagem :-

Nanuntenoo's warriors had blackened their faces, which Captain vQmos had
observed, and by means of powder contrived to discolor his own unobserved
by them. When he had done this, he managed, by a dextrous manoeuvre,
to pass among the enemy for one of them, and by these means escaped.

What were Captain Jlmos's other acts in this war, if any, we have not
learned ; nor do we meet again with him until 1689. In that year, he went
with Col. Church against the eastern Indians and French, in which expedi-
tion he also had the command of a company. Church arrived with his
forces in Sept. at Casco, now Portland, and, having landed secretly under
cover of the night, surprised, on the following morning, about four hundred
Indians, who had come to destroy the place. Although the Indians did not
receive much damage, yet, Governor Sullivan says,* the whole eastern country
\va> saved by the timely arrival of this expedition. In the fight at Casco,
21 September, eight of the English were killed and many wounded. Two of
Captain ^mos's men were badly wounded, and Sam Moses, another friendly
Indian, w r as killed. There was another Indian company in this expedition,
commanded by Captain Daniel, out of which one man was killed, who was
of Yarmouth on Cape Cod.f

LIGHTFOOT, of the tribe of the Sogkonates, distinguished in Philip's
war, was also in the service under Church at Casco ; a memorable expedition,
on more than one account. One circumstance we will name, as it well nigh
proved the ruin of the undertaking. When, on the following morning, after
! he arrival of the forces, the attack was begun, it was, to the inexpressible
surprise of the English, found, that the bullets were much larger than the
calibre of their guns. This was a most extraordinary and unaccountable
occurrence, and great blame was chargeable somewhere. In this wretched
dilemma, the fight having already begun, Church set some at work making
the bullets into slugs, by which resort he was able to continue the fight. It
being high water at the time, an estuary separated the battle-ground from the
town. The bullets w r ere to be carried to the army engaged, in buckets, after
being hammered. When the first recruit of slugs was made up, Colonel
Church ran with it to the water's edge, and, not caring to venture himself to
wade across, called to those on the other side to send some one to take it over
to the army. None appeared but Lightfoot. This Indian dextrously repasse.l
the estuary, with a quantity of powder upon his head, and a " kettle " of bul-
lets in each hand, and thus the fight was maintained, and the enemy put to

In Philip's war, LigMfoofs exploits were doubtless very numerous, but few
of them have come down to us. He volunteered to fight for the English, at
lAivashonk's great dance at Buzzard's Bay. already mentioned. When Little-
eyes was taken at Cushnet, in 1676, Lightfoot was sent with him to what is

* Hist. District of Maine, 102. f ^IS. letter of Captain Basset o{ the expedition


now called Palmer's Island, near the mouth of Cuslmet River, where he held
him in guard until he could be safely conducted to Plimouth. About the
time Mkompoin was killed, and Philip's wife and son were taken, Church
gave him a captain's commission, after which he made several successful
expeditions. We now pass to characters hitherto less known, though perhaps
of more interest

Very little was known of certain important characters among the friendly-
Indians of Massachusetts, which should have by no means been overlooked,
until the discovery of Mr. Gookirfs manuscript history of the praying
Indians, not long since, and to which we have often referred already. We
shall, therefore, devote the remainder of the present chapter to their history

JOB KATTENANIT seems first to demand attention. He was a Christian
Indian, and lived some time at Natick, but was at one time a preacher at
Magunkog, and belonged originally, we believe, to Hassanamesit. However
that may have been, it is certain he lived there in the beginning of Philip's
war, when that chiefs men made a descent upon the place, with the intention
of carrying away those Christian Indians prisoners. Job made his escape
from them at this time, and came in to the English at Mendon. He had still
three children in the enemy's hands, and he was willing to run any venture
to release them. He therefore applied for and obtained a pass, assuring him
safety, provided that, in his return, he should fall into the hands of the Eng-
lish scouts. Besides liberating his children, considerable hopes were enter-
tained, that he might be enabled to furnish information of the enemy. It
unfortunately happened, that, before he had passed the frontier, he fell in
with some English soldiers, who treated him as a prisoner, and an enemy,
even taking from him his clothes and gun, sending him to the governor of
Boston; "who, more to satisfy the clamors of the people than for any offence
committed," assigned him to the common jail, where he suffered exceedingly ;
himself and many others being crowded into a narrow and filthy place. Af-
ter about three weeks, he was taken out and sent to Deer Island. The clam-
ors of the people were indeed high at this time, and many accused Major
Gookin, who gave him the pass, of being guilty of furnishing the enemy with

After the Narraganset fight, 19 December, 1675, the English were very
anxious to gain information relative to the position of the enemy, and accord-
ingly instructed Major Gookin to use his endeavors to employ some friendly
Indian spies ; who, after considerable negotiation among those at Deer Island,
engaged Job again, and James QuannapoMt, alias Quanapaug. Their reward
was to be Jive pounds apiece ! They departed upon this service before day,
the 30th of December, and, during their mission, behaved with great pru-
dence, and brought valuable information to the English on their return; but
which, from intestine bickerings among the English, turned to small

James Quannapohit returned 24th of January following, nearly worn out and
famished ; having travelled about 80 miles in that cold season, upon snow-
shoes, the snow being very deep. The information which he gave was writ-
ten down by Major Gookin.* Among other matters, he stated that the ene-
my had taken up their quarters in different places, probably near Scattacook ;
and many others, including the Nipmuks, about Menumesse. The Narra-
gansets had not yet joined Philip openly, but w r hile James and Job were among
the Nipmuks, messengers arrived from Narraganset which gave them much
joy, for they expressed an ardent desire to join them and Philip in prosecut-
ing the war. They said their loss in the great swamp fight was small. In
three weeks, James learned, they would assault Lancaster, which accordingly
came to pass, upon the veiy day which he said they intended it. He
learned and thus divulged their plans to a great extent. A circumstance now
occurred which obliged him to make his escape, which was this: He found a
friend and protector in MautampJ one of the Nipmuk chiefs, who, it seems,

* The same published in Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. 1. vi. 205 208.

t The same, probably, called Netaump, who was afterwards executed at Boston, at th
same time with Sao-amore-sam. See Hubbard, 35.

O *


intended shortly to visit Philip ; and insisted that Quannapohit should ac-
company him, and it was with no small difficulty he was able to elude the
vigilant eye of Mautamp, and make his escape, which, however, was effected
only by a cunning stratagem, as follows: lie told Mavtamp that he had
fought against Philip in the commencement of the war, and that Philip knew
him, and that, unless he could go to him with some important trophy, Philip
would not believe him, and would immediately kill him. And moreover.
Tukapewillin had privately told him that Philip had given out word that cer-
tain praying Indians should be sought after, and, if possible, seized ai:d
brought to him; for he wanted to put them to death in a cruel manner, with
iiis own hands, and that he was one of them. He therefore told Mautamp
that he would go, in the first place, and kill some English, and take their
heads along with him, and then he should consider himself safe. This
being consented to, he lost no time in retracing his steps to the frontiers of
the English.

He mentions Monaco, or One-eyed-john, as a great captain among the ene-
my, who also treated him kindly, and entertained him in his wigwam during
his stay there ; they being old acquaintance, having served together in their
wars against the Mohawks, ten years before.*

And here also Mr. Gookin gives a favorable account of Monaco. Philip had
ordered that the persons above named should be brought to him, if taken
alive, "that he might put them to some tormenting death, which had Jiitheilo
been prevented by the care and kindness of a great captain among tnein,
named John-with-one-eye, belonging to Nashua,f who had civilly treated and
protected James, and entertained him at his wigwam, all the time of his
being there." J

Job was requested to come away with Quanapohit, but saw no way of
getting away his children, which was a main object with him. He knew,
too, that James could give all the information they both possessed at that
period, and not considering himself in imminent danger, preferred to tarry

At Wanexit, or Manexit, they fell in with seven Indians, who took them
and conveyed them about twenty miles, across the path leading to Connecti-
cut, northward from Quabaog. These were some of the Quahmsits and
Segunesits. At this place were three towns which contained about 300
warriors well armed. Here they were threatened with death, their mission
being truly guessed. But going to the wigwam of One-eyed-john, " Sagamore
of Nashua," or Monoco, he charged his gun and said, "I will kill whom-
soever shall kill Quanapohit" Some said he had killed one of Philip's
counsellors || at Mount Hope, and Philip had hired some to kill him ; also
James Speen, Andrew Pitimy, Captain Hunter, Thomas Quanapohit, and Peter
Ephraim. On being ordered to visit Philip, "Job and he pretended to go out
a hunting, killed three dear quickly, and perceiving they were dogged by
some other Indians, went over a pond and lay in a swamp till before day, and
when they had prayed together he ran away." Job was to return to the
enemy, and tell them that James ran away because they had threatened to
kill him. Job, not being particularly obnoxious to them, concluded to
remain longer for the end of ransoming his children, as we have said. He
returned to the English in the night of the 9th of February, and said, as
James had before, that on the next day Lancaster would be attacked, for he
knew about four hundred of the enemy were already on their march, and it
KO resulted. He further informed the English, that the enemy would shortly
attack Medfield, Groton, Marlborough, and other places, and that the Nar-
ragansets had joined Philip and the Nipmuks.

While James was there, " a Narraganset brought to them one English head :
they shot at him, and said the Narragansets were the English friends all las!

* Of this war we have given an account in Book II. chap. III.

t Called sagamore of Nashua, in the Cotton manuscripts.

| Hist. Praying Indians. Cotton Manuscripts.

|j Referring probably, to THEBE. See Book III. chap. II.


summer. Afterwards two messengers came with twelve heads, craving
their assistance, they then accepted them." *

Before he left the enemy, he appointed a place of safety for his children,
and sundry others of his friends, captured at Hassanamesit, where he would
afterwards meet and conduct them to the English. He therefore petition* d
the council for liberty to meet them, which was granted. But he now had
new difficulties to encounter, owing to " the rude temper of those times," as
one of the wise men of that age expressed it. f Although both these men
had acquitted themselves to the entire satisfaction of the authorities who

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 47 of 131)