« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
ber were designated “to keep the peace in their lands;” and the Magistrates sent a notice to Gorton's party that the earlier inhabitants, having placed themselves under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, were to be maintained by her “in their lawful rights,” and that the new-comers must desist from violent proceedings, and might try any claim of theirs in her courts, where they were assured of having “equal justice.” This was a month after that visit of Miantonomo to
Boston, which was last mentioned.
* Mass. Rec., II. 26, 27; comp. Winthrop, II. 84. * Simplicitie's Defence against SevenHeaded Policy, 6. * It covers twenty quarto pages of “Simplicitie's Defence.” (9–31; comp. Hypocrisie Unmasked, 9-27.) Supposing its sole aim to be to exasperate, it could not have been better executed for that purpose. — Of the twelve persons whose names are subscribed, Gorton, Greene, and Holden have already been particularly mentioned.—John Weeks was in Plymouth in 1637 (Morton, Memorial, 202), and probably with Gorton, whom at that place he had befriended, came to Rhode Island, where we find him in April, 1639, in the party of the Hutchinsons. (R. I. Rec., I, 70.) Before 1643 he had been sent away from the island. (Ibid., 123.)—John Warner, who had been among the earliest at Providence, and much esteemed and trusted there (R. I. Rec., I. 14, 24, 27), afterwards fell under the displeasure of his friends at Warwick for various misdemeanors; among others, “for calling the whole town rogues and thieves;” for “threatening the lives of men;” for “threatening to kill all the mares of the town; ” for “threatening an officer of the Colony in open court, that, if he had him elsewhere, he would beat out VOL. II. 11
his brains.” (Staples in R. I. Hist. Coll., II. 55.) Ingenium perfervidum ! — Robert Potter, in 1634, was in Massachusetts (Mass. Rec., I. 369), where, in 1638, he fell under censure (Ibid., 224, 229), and in April of the next year we find him in Hutchinson's party on Rhode Island. (R. I. Rec., I. 70.)— Richard Carder was in Massachusetts in 1636 (Mass. Rec., I. 372), and was among the Boston men disarmed in 1637. (Ibid., 212.) He was a member of the original company on Rhode Island (R. I. Rec., I. 52), and sided with Hutchinson at the division. (Ibid., 100.) Potter, Carder, and Sampson Shotton (of whom nothing is known previous to his appearance as one of the anti-Coddington party in 1639) had been disfranchised and disarmed at Newport at the same time with Holden. (R. I. Rec., I. 111.) — Richard Waterman, who had been at Salem as early as 1629, in which year he was sent out by the Company in England to the settlers “to get them good venison” (Mass. Rec., I. 394), was one of the Antinomians who went away in 1638 (Ibid., 233) to Williams's settlement at Providence, where he had before secured a grant of land. (R.I. Rec., I. 15, 17; comp. 20, 24.) — Francis Weston (one of the four persons mentioned in
nication from Massachusetts, composed in the most elaborate style of insulting invective and menace. It must have satisfied the Magistrates that, if they did not abandon the purpose they had announced, their authority would have to be asserted by ungentle means; nor, especially, could they have overlooked intimations which were given of hope of support from the
su..., una, other side of the water." not prudent to await, so near at hand, the rebound of their defiance, removed to the southern side of the river Pawtuxet, where, at a place called Shawomet, they bought lands of The right of Miantonomo to dispose of the tract then came into question. Pomham, a petty chief whose followers dwelt upon it, insisted that it was his alone, denying that claim of Miantonomo to sovereignty over him, on which depended the validity of the sale. Accompanied by Saconomoco, another Sachem of Pawtuxet, who for himself made the same pretension of independence, he came to Boston, where both chiefs of: fered to submit themselves and their lands to the government of Massachusetts, and solicited its protection against the intruders." Their interpreter was Benedict Arnold, of Providence, one of the recent petitioners to Massachusetts for protection against the misconduct of Gorton and his companions.
at Shawomet by Miantonoino to Gorton. 1643. Jan. 12.
the complaint to Massachusetts) was also an Antinomian of Salem (Mass. Rec., I. 223), from which town he had been one of the two earliest Deputies (Ibid., 117), and a committee-man on the subject of the defacing of the colors by Endicott. (Ibid., 145.) He was one of the earliest grantees of land at Providence. (R. I. Rec., I. 15, 17, 24.) — William Waddell was another of the Boston Antinomians disarmed in 1637. (Mass. Rec., I. 212.) — Of Nicholas Power I know nothing of earlier date than his signature to the reply to Massachusetts, in November, 1642. * Simplicitie's Defence, 62, 80. * My learned and sagacious friend, the editor of Winthrop's Journal, thinks that this sale of lands to Gorton was the great cause of the displeasure of Massachusetts against Miantonomo. (Winthrop, II. 133, 134.) To me it is quite clear that the objection to Gorton's occupation of the lands, apart from its injustice to the native owners, arose from his being regarded as the formidable tool or prompter of the Indian chief Winthrop, it is true, (II. 84, comp. 59,) assigns as one of the reasons for accepting the submission of Arnold and his friends, that it was
The writers, judging it
“partly to draw in the rest in those parts, either under ourselves or Plymouth, who now lived under no government, but grew very offensive, and the place was likely to be of use to us.” But when the Massachusetts Magistrates, desirous of quiet, proposed to the vexed persons a surrender to some well-regulated adjacent Colony, they mentioned that of Plymouth as promptly as their own. They desired to turn over the place to Plymouth, if Plymouth would but engage to keep it in order. (Winthrop, II. 59; comp. Hazard, II. 200.) An extreme greed of territory in that quarter is scarcely to be laid to their charge by one who remembers that they took no steps towards indulging it when they became able to do so under what might be esteemed the highest sanction of English law. In the year after the transactions above related, Massachusetts received from the Parliamentary Commissioners for the Colonies a grant of the unoccupied country about Narragansett Bay, which was perhaps capable of being interpreted so as to include even the plantations of Coddington and Williams. The General Court sent notice of it, and of their right under it, to Williams. (Mass.
Whether the head of the Narragansett tribe had any rights over these petty chiefs, or, especially, whether he had such rights as authorized him to alienate their lands, was a question which now there are not so good means of solving as othere were when these circumstances presented it for the consideration of Massachusetts. It was her policy, determined alike by duty and by interest, to protect the Indians in their property; for overreaching on the part of any of the white race would provoke an undiscriminating resentment towards all.” She believed the alleged purchase to be a fraud upon the rightful proprietors; and she became satisfied that it was so, after a deliberate investigation of the
Rec., III.49; R. I. Rec., I. 133.) But
four signatures, besides those of the
question, when the chiefs who averred that they had suffered wrong appealed to her for redress. A letter was written “to Gorton and his company, to let them know what the sachems had complained of, and how they had tendered themselves to come under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and therefore, if they had anything to allege against it, they should come or send to the next Court.” But to this no reply was made. Miantonomo was sent for to Boston, and “being demanded, in open Court, before divers of his own men and other Indians, whether submission of he had any interest in the said two sachems as ... his subjects, he could prove none.” The arrange
.** ment of Massachusetts with the sachems for acJune 22 cepting their allegiance was then concluded. The next month brought unwelcome tidings from the Indian country. Whether it was, that Miantonomo had returned from Boston angry with himself at what he might consider the degradation of his questioning there; or that he was provoked into a sudden movement by a retaliation of Uncas for the murder of one of his chiefs;" or that he had been contemplating an assault upon the rival tribe, as the first step towards the execution of that design against the English which so pertinaciously he had disclaimed;— whether it was that rage or calcuwrotona, lation made him break his engagement, he sud... denly moved towards Uncas with a force of nine hundred or a thousand warriors.” His enemy ” had but half the number. Uncas, advancing before his men, proposed to the invader to spare bloodshed by leaving their quarrel to the issue of a private combat, with the condition that the followers of the beaten party should become subjects of the conqueror. * Winthrop, II. 128–130. Caulkins (History of Norwich, 15) ar* So say Winthrop (II. 131), Brad- gues forcibly that the party could not ford (424), Winslow (Hypocrisie Un- have been composed of more than five
masked, 72), and the Record of the or six hundred warriors. Commissioners (Hazard, II. 9). Miss
Miantonomo replied, “My men have come to fight, and they shall fight.” Uncas fell upon his face. His people, at that signal, instantly discharged their arrows over him, and then rushed upon the unready foe. The battle took place near what is now the beautiful town of Norwich. The victory of the Mohegans was speedy and complete, though —so inefficient was Indian field-warfare — only thirty Narragansetts were killed. Miantonomo, encumbered in his flight by some “armor,” was dragged by two of his own captains to Uncas,” who, with a sense of their treachery different from what they expected, laid them dead at his feet. The proud captive sat down, silent and motionless. Uncas said, “Had you taken me, I should have besought you for my life;” but could obtain no answer.” Miantonomo was conducted to Hartford, where, at his own request, he was left in the custody of the English; but as the prisoner of Uncas, to be disposed of by him according to the advice of the Commissioners. Gorton and his company interested themselves to obtain the liberation of their friend, but without avail.” These important transactions claimed the consideration of the central government of the Confederacy at its first meeting. Whatever were the new proofs now produced, their import was such that the Commissioners — and among them Winthrop, who had been perseveringly averse to such a conclusion — considered it to be “clearly discovered that there was a general conspiracy among the Indians to cut
Deliberation and sentence of the Commissioners.
* Trumbull, I. 131. * Winthrop, II. 131. * Trumbull, I. 132. * Gorton and his friends sent a message to Uncas, threatening him with the vengeance of the English, if he refused to liberate his prisoner. (Winthrop, II. 131.) Winthrop added,
“and they sent their letter in the name of the Governor of Massachusetts;” but he subsequently erased the clause. He says (ibid.) that it was this letter that occasioned Uncas to consult the Commissioners respecting the fate of Miantonomo. (Comp. Hypocrisie Unmasked, 73.)