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This file isn't quite finished, so forgive the formatting.
excerpts from the
For the Year 1792.
My excerpts from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, volume I (1792) are divided into 3 parts. This is part 2, concerning primarly the Indians.
CONTENTS. Page link back to part 1
CONSTITUTION of the Historical Society
Introductory Address from the Historical Society
Letters relating to the Expedition against Cape Breton 5
A Topographical Description of Surrinam 61
Weare's Letter to the Earl of __________
Dr. Church's Examination before the House of Representatives 84
Dr. Tenney's Letter on the Dark Day, May 19th, 1780 95
A Letter from the Town Clerk of Dorchester 98
Extracts from the Records of the Province of Maine 101
Historical Scraps 104
Dr. Cotton Mather's Letter to Lord Harrington 105
A General Description of the County of Middlesex 107
Letter of an Old English Merchant to the Earl of Sandwich upon the Expedition to Louisbourg 108
An Account of General Montgomery's Burial
A Topographical Description of the Town of Worcester 112
A Bill of Mortality for the Town of Dorchester 116
New England's Plantation, a Description of New England in the year 1629
Morell's Poem on New England, Latin and English 125
This is part 2
Fabulous Traditions and Customs of the Indians of Martha's Vineyard 139
Inscription copied from a Grave-stone at Gay Head 140
Historical Collections of the Indians in New England
Dedication and Introduction
141 CHAP. I. Several conjectures of the original of the Indians. 144 CHAP. II. Of the principal nations of Indians that inhabit in New-England. 147
CHAP. III. Of the language, customs, manners, and religion of the Indians. 149
CHAP. IV. Of the inland Indians, particularly of the Mawhawks, or Maquas. 156
CHAP. V. Of the instruments that God hath used for civilizing and converting the Indians. 168
CHAP. VI. Of the other means used for civilizing the Indians. 177
CHAP. VII. Of the number, names, and situation of the Indian praying towns within the colony of Massachusetts ; with the churches gathered in some of them ; the quantities of land belonging to their villages; a conjecture of the number of the families and people that inhabit in them ; their manner and solemnity in the worship of God; and divers other matters of moment. 180
CHAP. VIII. Of the. progress of the gospel among the Indians in the colony of New Plymouth ; and the instruments, God hath raised up, there to promote the same. 196
CHAP. IX. Of the progress of the gospel among the Indians at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket ; and of the instruments that God hath raised up, to preach the gospel to the Indians of those islands. 201
CHAP. X. Giveth an account of what is done with respect to the propagating of the gospel in the jurisdictions of Connecticut and Rhode Island. 207
CHAP. XI. Of the Corporation for propagating the gospel among the Indians in New-England, residing at London ; and of the commissioners of the united colonies in New-England, intrusted with that affair. 211
CHAP. XII. Containeth proposals, as an expedient for civilizing the Indians more and more, and propagating the gospel among them. 219
A POSTCRIPT. Declareth the author's purpose to send forth a larger history of the English in New-England, mentioning the heads thereof, which is already in part prepared. 224
Account of Daniel Gookin 228 Indian places within, or near the County of Barnstable 230
pages 232-275 are in separate file: part 3
Amount of Warlike Stores in Massachusetts, April 14th, 1775
232 Account of the Coast of Labrador
233 A Topographical Description of Concord 237 New England's First Fruits in respect of the Progress of Learning, in the College at Cambridge 242 A Topographical Description of Georgetown 251 Account of the Settlement of Boston, (incomplete) 256 Indian places in Truro 257 Historical Account of the Settlement of Brookfield
ibid A Topographical Description of Brookfield 271 Births and Deaths in the third precinct of Brookfield
274 A Letter from Roger Williams to Major Mason 275 A Letter from a Gentleman on his return from Niagara 284
Brief biography and some other references to Daniel Gookin, c 1612-1687, the author of Historical Collections of the Indians in New England. He was quite an interesting and important figure in 17th Century Massachusetts.
Fabulous Traditions and Customs of the Indians. 139
The following fabulous Traditions and Customs of the Indians of Martha's Vineyard, were communicated to Benjamin Basset, Esq. of Chilmark, by Thomas Cooper, a half blooded. Indian, of Gay Head, aged about sixty years; and which, he says, he obtained of his grandmother, who, to use his own expression, was a stout girl, when the English came to the island.
THE first Indian who came to the Vineyard, was brought thither with his dog on a cake of ice. When he came to Gay Head, he found a very large man, whose name was Moshup. He had a wife and five children, four sons and one daughter ; and lived in the Den. He used to catch whales, and then pluck up trees, and make a fire, and roast them. The coals of the trees, and the bones of the whales, are now to be seen. After, he was tired of staying here, he told his children to go and play ball on a beach that joined Noman's Land to Gay Head. He then made a mark with his toe across the beach at each end, and so deep, that the water followed, and cut away the beach ; so that his children were in fear of drowning. They took their sister up, and held her out of the water. He told them to act as if they were going to kill whales ; and they were all turned into killers, (a fish so called.) The sister was dressed in large stripes. He gave them a strict charge always to be kind to her. His wife mourned the loss of her children so exceedingly, that he threw her away. She fell upon Seconet, near the rocks, where she lived some time, exacting contribution of all who passed by water. After a while she was changed into a stone. The entire shape remained for many years. But after the English came, some of them broke off the arms, head, &c.
Fabulous Customs and Traditions of the Indians. 140
but the most of the body remains to this day. Moshup went away nobody knows whither. He had no conversation with the Indians, but was kind to them, by sending whales, &c. ashore to them to eat. But after they grew thick around him he left them.
Whenever the Indians worshipped, they always sang and danced, and then begged of the sun and moon, as they thought most likely to hear them, to send them the desired favour; most generally rain or fair weather, or freedom from their enemies or sickness.
Before the English came among the Indians, there were two disorders of which they most generally died, viz. the consumption and the yellow fever. The latter they could always lay in the following manner. After it had raged and swept off a number, those who were well, met to lay it. The rich, that is, such as had a canoe, skins, axes, &c. brought them. They took their seat in a circle ; and all the poor sat around, without. The richest then proposed to begin to lay the sickness : and having in his hand something in shape resembling his canoe, skin, or whatever his riches were, he threw it up in the air ; and whoever of the poor without could take it, the property it was intended to resemble became forever transferred to him or her. After the rich had thus given away all their moveable property to the poor, they looked out the handsomest and most sprightly young man in the assembly, and put him into an entire new wigwam, built of every thing new for that purpose. They then formed into two files at a small distance from each other. One standing in the space at each end, put fire to the bottom of the wigwam on all parts, and fell to singing and dancing. Presently the youth would leap out of the flames, and fall down to appearance dead. Him they committed to the care of five virgins, prepared for that purpose, to restore to life again. The term required for this would be uncertain, from six to forty-eight hours ; during which time the dance must be kept up. When he was restored, he would tell, that he had been carried in a large thing high up in the air, where he came to a great company of white people, with whom he had interceded hard to have the distemper layed ; and generally after much persuasion, would obtain a promise, or answer of peace, which never failed of laying the distemper.
Inscription copied from a grave stone at Gay Head. 1
AGED'49: YEARS'NUPPOOP'TAH' AUGUST'24TH1787. EXPLANATIONS. 1. Here. 2. The body. 3. Lies. 4. Silas Paul. 5. An ordained preacher. 6. Died. 7. Then, or in.
in NEW ENGLAND.
OF THEIR SEVERAL NATIONS, NUMBERS, CUSTOMS, MANNERS, RELIGION AND
GOVERNMENT, BEFORE THE ENGLISH PLANTED THERE.
Also a true and faithful Account of the present state and condition of the Praying Indians (or those who have visibly received the gospel in New England) declaring the number of that people, the situation and place of their Towns and Churches, and their manner of worshipping God, and divers other matters appertaining thereto.
Together with a brief Mention of the Instruments and Means, that God hath been pleased to use for their Civilizing and Conversion, briefly declaring the prudent and faithful endeavours of the Right Honourable the Corporation at London, for promoting that affair.
Also suggesting some Expedients for their further Civilizing and propagating the Christian faith among them.
by DANIEL GOOKIN, Gentleman.
One of the Magistrates of Massachusetts Colony in New England, who hath been for sundry years past, and is at present, betrusted and employed for the civil government and conduct of the Indians in Massachusetts Colony, by order of the General Court there.
Ps. ii. 8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Ps. lxxii. 8, 9. Be shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him ; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
Is. xlix. 6. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
First printed from the Original Manuscript
Introductory Epistles. 142
the EPISTLE DEDICATORY.
To the High and Mighty Prince Charles, by the grace of God, King of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith, &c
I HAVE read that Artaxerxes Mnemon, king of Persia, going his progress, the people used to present him with their several gifts in the way , and among the rest a countryman, having nothing else to present him with, ran to the river, and taking up his hands full of water, presented him with that Artaxerxes was so taken therewith, that he give the fellow a considerable beneficence
So have I, dread Sovereign, presumed to offer this poor mite, as a testimony of my affection I must acknowledge it is most unworthy to kiss your royal hands, being so meanly apparelled in an Indian garb. But the matter therein continued, being a true account of the progress of the gospel among the poor Indians, within your dominions, and that under the influence of your royal favour, this, as I conceive, is not unmeet for your Majesty's knowledge. Therefore let it please your Majesty graciously to accept and peruse these Collections, and especially that humble proposal made in Chap. 12. Sec 5. as a necessary expedient to promote this great work, and which must have its life, under God, from the rays of your Majesty's favour
The God of heaven and earth bless your Majesty with all temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessings in Christ Jesus ; and make you more and more a nursing father to his church, that under your shadow it may rejoice, and every individual person thereof be encouraged in all ways of godliness and honesty.
So prayeth he that is one of the most unworthy, yet desirous to be reckoned among the number of your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects DANIEL GOOKIN.
Cambridge in New England, December 7th, 1674
AN EPISTLE GRATULATORY AND SUPPLICATORY.
To the Right Honourable the Corporation for propagating the gospel in America, residing in London; and particularly for the Hon Robert Boyle, Esquire, Governour thereof.
THESE Collections do, in a special manner, implore your favourable aspect and protection, for God hath been pleased to honour and employ you, as eminent instruments to encourage and promote this great affair of his kingdom in this western world, for propagating the gospel of Christ among the poor and desolate Indians
The unworthy penman hereof desireth in all humility, to offer three words to your Honours.
First, with all cordial acknowledgment, I thank your Honours for all that great condescension and labour of love, that from time to time you have shewed in your zealous and faithful promoting of this work, committed unto your care and trust by his Majesty.
Secondly, to supplicate your unwearied countenance therein, and
Introductory Epistles. 143
putting forth, not only your prayers, but, vigorous endeavours to further it , for truly the work is great, and that in special as it relates to the glory and honour of the great God, and his only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the salvation of these poor gentiles.
Thirdly, that you will please to peruse, and seriously to consider, and, if it may suit with your wisdoms, put in practice, these proposals, that I have presumed to make in the 12th Chap. of this tractate, as a means, under God, to civilize the barbarous Indians, and propagate religion among them , especially in setting up some free schools, to teach them to speak, read, write, and understand, the English tongueSo praying unto the God of all grace, to multiply upon every one of you, his richest and best blessings, I take leave, and remain, Right Honourable,
your humble servant,
DANIEL GOOKIN, Sen
Cambridge, in N E Dec 7th, 1674
an EPISTLE to the READER.
I HAVE here, through the grace of Christ, transmitted to thy view a true and faithful account concerning the Indians, not clothed in elegancy of words and accurate sentences ; but rather I have endeavoured all plainness that I can, that the most vulgar capacity might understand, and be thereby excited to praise and glorify God, and provoked to pray earnestly and constantly unto the most high God, that he will please to carry on this his work, and turn many more of them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive an inheritance among them that are sanctified through faith in Christ. I am not ignorant that there are some persons, both in Old and New England, that have low thoughts of this work, and are very prone to speak diminutively thereof, but I intreat it may be considered, that this frame of spirit is no new thing , for the servants of God heretofore have complained of it, and with reference to the greatest and best tidings that ever was declared unto men. Hence it is that the prophet Isaiah, in liii. Isaiah, 1. saith, Who hath believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? And our Lord Jesus confirmed the same in John xii. 37, 38. But it is the wisdom of all to be cautioned by the Lord's words, that follow in verse 40. Lest God hath blinded men's eyes, and hardened their hearts. I shall humbly desire all such, not to despise the day of small things, but to turn their doubtings into prayers, which will be more for God's honour and their comfort, and seriously to consider the words of our Lord Jesus, Mat xi. 4, 5, 6. Jesus answered and said unto them. Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see , the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them : And blessed is he that shall not be offended in me. These miracles are wrought spiritually among the poor Indians, of which we bear record. Thus, with my hearty prayers to God in Christ, that the candid and ingenious
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. I. 144
christian peruser hereof may be comforted and edified, and the objector convinced and reformed, I commit thee to God, and remain
Thine in all service of love,
Cambridge, in N. E. November 16th, 1674. D. G.
HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS or the INDIANS in NEW ENGLAND.
Several Conjectures of their Original.
§ 1. CONCERNING the original of the Savages, or Indians, in New-England, there is nothing of certainty to be concluded. But yet, as I conceive, it may rationally be made out, that all the Indians of America, from the straits of Magellan and its adjacent islands on the south, unto the most northerly part yet discovered, are originally of the same nations or sort of people Whatever I have read or seen to this purpose, I am the more confirmed therein I have seen of this people, along the sea coasts and within land, from the degrees of 34 unto 44 of north latitude ; and have read of the Indians of Magellanica, Peru, Brasilia, and Florida, and have also seen some of them , and unto my best apprehension, they are all of the same sort of people.
The colour of their skins, the form and shape of their bodies, hair, and eyes, demonstrate this Their skins are of a tawny colour, not unlike the tawny Moors in Africa, the proportion of their limbs, well formed, it is rare to see a crooked person among them Their hair is black and harsh, not curling ; their eyes, black and dull , though I have seen, but very rarely, a grey-eyed person among them, with brownish hair. But still the difficulty yet remains, whence all these Americans had their first original, and from which of the sons of Noah they descended, and how they came first into these parts , which is separated so very far from Europe and Africa by the Atlantick ocean, and from a great part of Asia, by Mar del Zur, or the South sea, in which sea Sir Francis Drake, that noble hero, in his famous voyage about the world, sailed on the west of America, from the straits of Magellan, lying about 52 degrees of south latitude, unto 38 degrees of north latitude, where he possessed a part of the country, and received subjection from those very tractable Indians, in the right of the English nation, and his sovereign prince, the famous queen Elizabeth, then reigning, and her successors, and gave it the name of New Albion , which country lies west northerly of Massachusetts in New England , for Boston lies in 42° 30', and New Albion in 48° of north latitude, which is near six degrees more northerly.
There are divers opinions about this matter.
§ 2. First, some conceive that this people are of the race of the ten tribes of Israel, that Salmanasser carried captive out of their own country, A. M. 3277, of which we read in II. Kings, xviii. 9—12; and that God hath, by some means or other, not yet discovered, brought them into America, and herein fulfilled his just threatening against them, of which we may read, II. Kings, xvii. from 6. to the 19 verse, and hath reduced them into such woful blindness and barbarism,
Chap. I. , of the Indians in New-England. 145
as all those Americans are in, yet hath reserved their posterity there and in his own best time, will fulfil and accomplish his promise, that those dry bones shall live, of which we read Ezek xxxvii 1—24 A reason given for this is taken from the practice of sundry Americans, especially of those inhabiting Peru and Mexico, who were most populous, and had great cities and wealth, and hence are probably apprehended to be the first possessors of America. Now of these the historians write, that they used circumcision and sacrifices, though oftentimes of human flesh, so did the Israelites sacrifice their sons unto Moloch. II. Kings, xvii 17 But this opinion, that these people are of the race of the Israelites, doth not greatly obtain But surely it is not impossible, and perhaps not so improbable, as many learned men think
§ 3 Secondly, another apprehension is, that the original of these Americans is from the Tartars, or Scythians, that live in the north-east parts of Asia , which some good geographers conceive is north-joined unto the north west parts of America, and possibly are one continent, or at least, separated, but by some narrow gulf, and from this beginning have spread themselves into the several parts of the north and south America, and because the southern parts were more fertile, and free from the cold winters incident to the northern, regions, hence the southern parts became first planted, and most populous and rich This opinion gained more credit than the former, because the people of America are not altogether unlike in colour, shape, and manners, unto the Scythian people, and in regard that such a land travel is more feasible and probable, than a voyage by sea so great a distance as is before expressed, from other inhabited places, either in Europe, Asia, or Africa, especially so long since, when we hear of no sailing out of sight of land, before the use of the load-stone and compass was found But if this people be sprung from the Tartarian or Scythian people, as this notion asserts, then it is to me a question, why they did not attend the known practice of that people, who, in all their removes and plantations, take with them their kine, sheep, horses, and camels, and the like tame beasts, which that people keep in great numbers, and drive with them in all their removes But of these sorts and kinds of beasts used by the Tartars, none were found in America among the Indians This question or objection is answered by some thus First, possibly the first people were banished for some notorious offences , and so not permitted to take with them of these tame beasts Or, secondly, possibly, the gulf, or passage, between Asia and America, though narrow, comparatively, is yet too broad to waft over any of those sort of creatures, and yet possibly men and women might pass over it in canoes made of hollow trees, or with barks of trees, wherein, it is known, the Indians will transport themselves, wives and children, over lakes and gulfs, very considerable for breadth I have known some to pass with like vessels forty miles across an arm of the sea.
§ 4 But before I pass to another thing, suppose it should be so, that the origination of the Americans came from Asia, by the northwest of America, where the continents are conceived to meet very near, which indeed is an opinion very probable; yet this doth not
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. I. 146
hinder the truth of the first conjecture, that this people may be of the race of the ten tribes of Israel : for the king of Assyria who led them captive, as we heard before, transported them into Asia, and placed them in several provinces and cities, as in II. Kings, xvii. 6. Now possibly, in process of time, this people, or at least, some considerable number of them, whose custom and manner it was to keep themselves distinct from the other nations they lived amongst ; and did commonly intermarry only with their own people ; and also their religion being so different from the heathen, unto whom they were generally an abomination, as they were to the Egyptians ; and also partly from God's judgment following them for their sins : I say, it is not impossible but a considerable number of them might withdraw themselves ; and so pass gradually into the extreme parts of the continent of Asia ; and where-ever they came, being disrelished by the heathen, might for their own security, pass further and further, till they found America ; which being unpeopled, there they found some rest ; and so, in many hundred of years, spread themselves in America in that thin manner, as they were found there, especially in the northern parts of it ; which country is able to contain and accommodate millions of mankind more than were found in it. And for their speech, which is not only different among themselves, but from the Hebrew, that might easily be lost by their often removes, or God's judgment.
§. 5. A third conjecture of the original of these Indians, is, that some of the tawny Moors of Africa, inhabiting upon the sea coasts, in times of war and contention among themselves, have put off to sea, and been transported over, in such small vessels as those times afforded, unto the south part of America, where the two continents of Africa and America are nearest; and they could not have opportunity or advantage to carry with the small vessels of those times any tame beasts, such as were in that country. Some reasons are given for this notion. First, because the Americans are much like the Moors of Africa. Secondly, the seas between the tropicks are easy to pass, and safe for small vessels; the winds in those parts blowing from the east to the west, and the current setting the same course. Thirdly, because it is most probable, that the inhabitants of America first came into the south parts ; where were found the greatest numbers of people, and the most considerable cities and riches.
§. 6 But these, or any other notions, can amount to no more than rational conjecture ; for a certainty of their first extraction cannot be attained : for they being ignorant of letters and records of antiquity, as the Europeans, Africans, and sundry of the Asians, are and have been, hence any true knowledge of their ancestors is utterly lost among them. I have discoursed and questioned about this matter with some of the most judicious of the Indians, but their answers are divers and fabulous. Some of the inland Indians say, that they came from such as inhabit the sea coasts. Others say, that there were two young squaws, or women, being at first either swimming or wading in the water : The froth or foam of the water touched their bodies, from whence they became with child ; and one of them brought forth a male ; and the other, a female child ; and then the two women died and left the
Chap. II. of the Indians in New-England. 147
earth: So their son and daughter were their first progenitors. Other fables and figments are among them touching this thing, which are not worthy to be inserted. These only may suffice to give a taste of their great ignorance touching their original ; the full determination whereof must be left until the day, wherein all secret and hidden things shall be manifested to the glory of God.
§. 7. But this may upon sure grounds be asserted, that they are Adam's posterity, and consequently children of wrath ; and hence are not only objects of all Christians' pity and compassion, but subjects upon which our faith, prayers, and best endeavours should be put forth to reduce them from barbarism to civility ; but especially to rescue them out of the bondage of Satan, and bring them to salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ; which is the main scope and design of this tractate.
Of the principal Indians that inhabit New-England.
§. l. THE principal nations of the Indians, that did, or do, inhabit within the confines of New-England, are five. 1. Pequots ;
2. Narragansitts ; 3. Pawkunnawkuts; 4. Massachusetts; and, 5. Pawtucketts.
§. 2. The Pequots, or Pequods, were a people seated in the most southerly bounds of New England; whose country the English of Connecticut jurisdiction doth now, for the most part, possess. This nation were a very warlike and potent people, about forty years since ; at which time they were in their meridian. Their chief sachem held dominion over divers petty sagamores; as over part of Long Island, over the Mohegans, and over the sagamores of Quinapeake, yea, over all the people that dwelt upon Connecticut river, and over some of the most southerly inhabitants of the Nipmuck country, about Quinabaag. The principal sachem lived at, or about, Pequot, now called New London. These Pequots, as old Indians relate, could in former times raise four thousand men, fit for war ; and held hostility with their neighbours, that lived bordering upon them to the east and north, called the Narragansitts, or Nechegansitts ; but now they are few, not above three hundred men ; being made subject unto the English, who conquered and destroyed most of them, upon their insolent deportment and just provocation, Anno 1638 : of which we shall have occasion to speak more particularly in the sequel of our history.
§. 3. The Narragansitts were a great people heretofore ; and the territory of their Sachem extended about thirty or forty miles from Sekunk river and Narragansitt bay, including Rhode Island and other islands in that bay, being their east and north bounds or border, and so running westerly and southerly unto a place called Wekapage, four or five miles to the eastward of Pawcutuk river, which was reckoned for their south and west border, and the easternmost limits of the Pequots. This sachem held dominion over divers petty governours; as part of Long Island, Block Island, Cawesitt, Niantick, and others; and had tribute from some of the Nipmuck Indians, that lived remote from the sea. The chief seat of this sachem was about Narragansitt
See the Postscript.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. II. 148
bay and Cannonicut island. The Narragansitts were reckoned, in former times, able to arm for war more than five thousand men as ancient Indians say. All do agree they were a great people, and oftentimes waged war with the Pawkunnawkuts and Massachusetts, as well as with the Pequots. The jurisdiction of Rhode Island and Providence plantations, and part of Connecticut people, possess their country. These Indians are now but few comparatively: all that people cannot make above one thousand able men.
§. 4. The Pawkunnawkuts were a great people heretofore. They lived to the east and northeast of the Narragansitts ; and their chief sachem held dominion over divers other petty sagamores; as the sagamores upon the island of Nantuckett, and Nope, or Martha's Vineyard, of Nawsett, of Mannamoyk, of Sawkattukett, Nobsquasitt, Matakees, and several others, and some of the Nipmucks. Their country, for the most part, falls within the jurisdiction of New Plymouth Colony. This people were a potent nation in former times; and could raise as the most credible and ancient Indians affirm, about throe thousand men. They held war with the Narragansett ; and often joined with the Massachusetts, as friends and confederates against the Narragansitts. This nation, a very great number of them, were swept away by an epidemical and unwonted sickness, An. 1612 and 1613, about seven or eight years before the English first arrived in those parts to settle the colony of New Plymouth. Thereby divine providence made way for the quiet and peaceable settlement of the English in those nations. What this disease was, that so generally and mortally swept away, not only these hut other Indians, their neighbours, f cannot well learn. Doubtless it was some pestilential disease. I have discoursed with some old Indians, that were then youths; who say, that the bodies all over were exceeding yellow, describing it by a yellow garment they showed me, both before they died, and afterwards.
§. 5. The Massachusetts, being the next great people northward, inhabited principally about that place in Massachusetts bay, where the body of the English now dwell. These were a numerous and great people. Their chief sachem held dominion over many other petty governours; as those of Weechagaskas, Neponsitt, Punkapaog, Nonantum, Nashaway, some of the Nipmuck people, as far as Pokomta-kuke, as the old men of Massachusetts affirmed. This people could, in former times, arm for war, about three thousand men, as the old Indians declare. They were in hostility very often with the Narragansitts; but held amity for the most part, with the Pawkunnawkuts, who lived on the south border, and with the Pawtucketts, who inhabited' on their north and northeast limits. In An. 1612 and 1613, these people were also sorely smitten by the hand of God with the same disease, before mentioned in the last section ; which destroyed the most of them, and made room for the English people of Massachusetts colony, which people this country, and the next called Pawtuckett. There are not of this people left at this day above three hundred men, besides women and children.
§.6. Pawtuckett is the fifth and last great sachemship of Indians. Their country lieth north and northeast from the Massachusetts, whose
Chap. III. of the Indians in New-England. 149
dominion reacheth so far as the English jurisdiction, or colony of the Massachusetts, doth now extend, and had under them several other smaller sagamores ; as the Pennakooks, Agawomes, Naamkeeks, Pascatawayes, Accomintas, and others. They were also a considerable people heretofore, about three thousand men; and held amity with the people of Massachusetts. But these also were almost totally destroyed by the great sickness before mentioned ; so that at this day, they are not above two hundred and fifty men, besides women and children. This country is now inhabited by the English under the government of Massachusetts.
Of the Language, Customs, Manners, and Religion of the Indians.
§. 1. THE Indians of the parts of New-England, especially upon the sea coasts, use the same sort of speech and language, only with some difference in the expressions, as they differ in several counties in England, yet so as they can well understand one another. Their speech is a distinct speech from any of those used in Europe, Asia, or Africa, that I ever heard of. And some of the inland Indians, particularly the Mawhawks, or Maquas, use such a language, that our Indians upon the coast do not understand : So the Indians to the southward, upon the sea coast about Virginia, use a speech much different from those in New-England.
§. 2. The customs and manners of these Indians were, and yet are in many places, very brutish and barbarous in several respects, like unto several savage people of America. They take many wives; yet one of them is the principal or chief in their esteem and affection. They also put away their wives ; and the wives also leave their husbands frequently, upon grounds of displeasure or disaffection. They are very revengeful, and will not be unmindful to take vengeance upon such as have injured them or their kindred, when they have opportunity, though it be a long time after the offence was committed. If any murther, or other great wrong upon any of their relations or kindred, be committed, all of that stock and consanguinity look upon themselves concerned to revenge that wrong, or murder, unless the business be taken up by the payment of wompompeague, or other satisfaction, which their custom admits, to satisfy for all wrongs, yea for life itself.
§. 3. They are much addicted to idleness, especially the men, who are disposed to hunting, fishing, and the war, when there is cause. That little tillage or planting used among them, was principally done by the women. Also in their removals from place to place, which they are inclined to, for their fishing and hunting at the several seasons, the women carry the greatest burthen: they also prepare all the diet. They are naturally much addicted to lying and speaking untruth : and unto stealing, especially from the English. The men and women are very loving and indulgent to their children.
§. 4. Their houses, or wigwams, are built with small poles fixed in the ground, bent and fastened together with barks of trees oval or arbour-wise on the top. The best sort of their houses are covered very neatly, tight, and warm, with barks of trees, slipped from their bodies,
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at such seasons when the sap is up ; and made into great flakes with pressures of weighty timber, when they are green; and so becoming dry, they will retain a form suitable for the use they prepare them for. The meaner sort of wigwams are covered with mats, they make of a kind of bulrush, which are also indifferent tight and warm, but not so good as the former. These houses they make of several sizes, according to their activity and ability ; some twenty, some forty feet long, and broad. Some I have seen of sixty or a hundred feet long, and thirty feet broad. In the smaller sort they make a fire in the centre of the house; and have a lower hole on the top of the house, to let out the smoke. They keep the door into the wigwams always shut, by a mat falling thereon, as people go in and out. This they do to prevent air coming in, which will cause much smoke in every windy weather. If the smoke beat down at the lower hole, they hang a little mat in the way of a skreen, on the top of the house, which they can with a cord turn to the windward side, which prevents the smoke. In the greater houses they make two, three, or four fires, at a distance one from another, for the better accommodation of the people belonging to it. I have often lodged in their wigwams ; and have found them as warm as the best English houses. In their wigwams, they make a kind of couch or mattresses, firm and strong, raised about a foot high from the earth ; first covered with boards that they split out of trees; and upon the boards they spread mats generally, and sometimes bear skins and deer skins. These are large enough for three or four persons to lodge upon : and one may either draw nearer or keep at a more distance from the heat of the fire, as they please ; for their mattresses are six or eight feet broad.
§. 5. Their food is generally boiled maize, or Indian corn, mixed with kidney-beans, or sometimes without. Also they frequently boil in this pottage fish and flesh of all sorts, either new taken or dried, as shads, eels, alewives or a kind of herring, or any other sort of fish. But they dry mostly those sorts before mentioned. These they cut in pieces, bones and all, and boil them in the aforesaid pottage. I have wondered many times that they were not in danger of being choaked with fish bones ; but they are so dexterous to separate the bones from the fish in their eating thereof, that they are in no hazard. Also they boil in this furmenty all sorts of flesh, they take in hunting : as venison, beaver, bear's flesh, moose, otters, rackoons, or any kind that they take in hunting; cutting this flesh in small pieces, and boiling it as aforesaid. Also they mix with the said pottage several sorts of roots ; as Jerusalem artichokes, and ground nuts, and other roots, and pompions, and squashes, and also several sorts of nuts or masts, as oak-acorns, chesnuts, walnuts : these husked and dried, and powdered, they thicken their pottage therewith. Also sometimes they beat their maize into meal, and sift it through a basket, made for that purpose. With this meal they make bread, baking it in the ashes, covering the dough with leaves. Sometimes they make of their meal a small sort of cakes, and boil them. They make also a certain sort of meal of parched maize. This meal they call nokake. It is so sweet, toothsome, and hearty, that an Indian will travel many days with no other food but
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this meal, which he eateth as he needs, and after it drinketh water. And for this end, when they travel a journey, or go a hunting, they carry this nokake in a basket, or bag, for their use.
§. 6. Their household stuff is but little and mean. The pots they seeth their food in, which were heretofore, and yet are, in use among some of them, are made of clay or earth, almost in the form of an egg, the top taken off, but now they generally get kettles of brass, copper, or iron. These they find more lasting than those made of clay, which were subject to be broken ; and the clay or earth they were made of, was very scarce and dear. Their dishes, and spoons, and ladles, are made of wood, very smooth and artificial, and of a sort of wood not subject to split. These they make of several sizes. Their pails to fetch their water in, are made of birch barks, artificially doubled up, that it hath four corners and a handle in the midst. Some of these will hold two or three gallons: and they will make one of them in an hour's time. From the tree where the bark grows, they make several sorts of baskets, great and small. Some will hold four bushels, or more : and so downward, to a pint. In their baskets they put their provisions. Some of their baskets are made of rushes : some, of bents : others, of maize husks : others, of a kind of silk grass : others, of a kind of wild hemp : and some, of barks of trees : many of them, very neat and artificial, with the portraitures of birds, beasts, fishes and flowers, upon them in colours. Also they make mats of several sorts, for covering their houses and doors, and to sleep and sit upon. The baskets and mats are always made by their women : their dishes, pots, and spoons, are the manufacture of the men. They have no other considerable household stuff except these : only of latter years, since the English came among them, some of them get tin cups and little pails, chests of wood, glass bottles, and such things they affect.
§. 7. Their drink was formerly no other but water, and yet it doth continue, for their general and common drink. But of late years some of them planted orchards of apples, and make cider : which some of the worst of them are too prone to abuse unto drunkenness: though others of them that are Christians, use it or any other strong drink with great sobriety. Many of the Indians are great lovers of strong drink, as aqua vitæ, rum, brandy, or the like, and are very greedy to buy it of the English : and though all strong drink is strictly prohibited to be sold to any Indian in the Massachusetts colony, upon the penalty of forty shillings a pint; yet some ill-disposed people, for filthy lucre's sake, do sell unto the Indians secretly, though the Indians will rarely discover these evil merchants—they do rather suffer whipping or fine than tell. Hereby they are made drunk very often; and being drunk, are many tunes outrageous and mad, fighting with and killing one another, yea sometimes their own relations. This beastly sin of drunkenness could not be charged upon the Indians before the English and other Christian nations, as Dutch, French, and Spaniards, came to dwell in America : which nations, especially the English in New-England, have cause to be greatly humbled before God, that they have been, and are, instrumental to cause these Indians to commit this great evil and beastly sin of drunkenness.
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§. 8. The Indians' clothing in former times was of the same matter as Adam's was, viz. skins of beasts, as deer, moose, beaver, otters, rackoons, foxes, and other wild creatures. Also, some had mantles of the feathers of birds, quilled artificially ; and sundry of them continue to this day their old kind of clothing. But, for the most part, they sell the skins and furs to the English, Dutch, and French, and buy of them for clothing a kind of cloth, called duffils, or trucking cloth, about a yard and a half wide, and for matter, made of coarse wool, in that form as our ordinary bed blankets are made, only it is put into colours, as blue, red, purple, and some use them white. Of this sort of cloth two yards make a mantle, or coat, for men and women, and less for children. This is all the garment they generally use, with this addition of some little pieces of the same, or of ordinary cotton, to cover their secret parts. It is rare to see any among them of the most barbarous, that are remiss or negligent in hiding those parts. But the Christian and civilized Indians do endeavour, many of them, to follow the English mode in their habit. Their ornaments are, especially the women's, bracelets, necklaces, and head bands, of several sorts of beads, especially of black and white wompom, which is of most esteem among them, and is accounted their chief treasure.
§. 9. The wompompeague is made artificially of a part of the wilk's shell. The black is of double value to the white. It is made principally by the Narragansitt black islanders,* and Long Island Indians. Upon the sandy flats and shores of those coasts the wilk shells are found. With this wompompeague they pay tribute, redeem captives, satisfy for murders and other wrongs, purchase peace with their potent neighbours, as occasion requires; in a word, it answers all occasions with them, as gold and silver doth with us. They delight much in having and using knives, combs, scissors, hatchets, hoes, guns, needles, awls, looking-glasses, and such like necessaries, which they purchase of the English and Dutch with their peague, and then sell them their peltry for their wompeague.
Their weapons heretofore were bows and arrows, clubs, and tomahawks, made of wood like a pole axe, with a sharpened stone fastened therein; and for defence, they had targets made of barks of trees. But of latter years, since the English, Dutch, and French have trafficked with them, they generally disuse their former weapons, and instead thereof have guns, pistols, swords, rapier blades, fastened unto a staff of the length of a half pike, hatchets, and axes.
§. 10. For their water passage, travels, and fishing, they make boats, or canoes, either of great trees, pine or chesnut, made hollow and artificially; which they do by burning them; and after with tools, scraping, smoothing, shaping them. Of these they make greater or lesser. Some I have seen will carry twenty persons, being forty or fifty feet in length, and as broad as the tree will bear. They make another sort of canoes of birchen bark, which they close together, sewing them with a kind of bark, and then smearing the places with turpentine.
* So written in the M. S. probably by mistake for Block Island.
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of the pine tree. These kinds of canoes are very neatly and artificially made, being strengthened in the inside with some few thin timbers and ribs; yet are they so light, that one man will, and doth, ordinarily carry one of them upon his back several miles, that will transport five or six people. When in their huntings or wars, they are to pass falls of rivers, or necks of land, into other rivers or streams, they take up their canoes upon their backs, and others carry their arms or provisions ; and so embark again, when their difficulty is past, and proceed in their journey or voyage. But these kind of canoes are much more ticklish and apt to overset, than the former. But the Indians are so used to them, and sit so steady, that they seldom overturn with them; and if they should, they can all swim well and save their lives, though sometimes they may lose their peltry, arms, and provisions.
§. 11. They used to oil their skins and hair with bear's grease heretofore, but now with swine's fat, and then paint their faces with vermilion, or other red, and powder their heads. Also they use black and white paints; and make one part of their face of one colour; and another, of another, very deformedly. The women especially do thus; and some men also, especially when they are marching to their wars; and hereby, as they think, are more terrible to their enemies. The women, in the times of their mourning, alter the death of their husbands or kindred, do paint their faces all over black, like a negro ; and so continue in this posture many days. But the civilized and Christian Indians do leave these customs. The men, in their wars, do use turkey or eagle's feathers, stuck in their hair, as it is traced up in a roll. Others wear deer shuts, made in the fashion of a cock's comb died red, crossing their heads like a half moon.
They are addicted to gaming; and will, in that vein, play away all they have. And also they delight much in their dancings and revellings ; at which time he that danceth (for they dance singly, the men, and not the women, the rest singing, which is their chief musick) wilt give away in his frolick, all that ever he hath, gradually, some to one, and some to another, according to his fancy and affection. And then, when he hath stripped himself of all he hath, and is weary, another succeeds and doth the like: so successively, one after another, night after night, resting and sleeping in the days; and so continue sometimes a week together. And at such dancings, and feastings, and revellings, which are used mostly after the ingathering of their harvests, all their neighbours, kindred, and friends, meet together ; and much impiety is committed at such times. They use great vehemency in the motion of their bodies, in their dances; and sometimes the men dance in greater numbers in their war dances.
They are much given to hospitality in their way. If any strangers come to their houses, they will give him the best lodging and diet they have; and the strangers must be first served, by themselves. The wife makes ready ; and by her husband's direction, delivers to the strangers, according to their quality, or his affection.
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§. 12. Their government is generally monarchical, their chief sachem or sagamore's will being their law ; but yet the sachem hath some chief men, that he consults with as his special counsellors. Among some of the Indians their government is mixed, partly monarchical, and partly aristocratical; their sagamore doing not any weighty matter without the consent of his great men, or petty sagamores. Their sachems have not their men in such subjection, but that very frequently their men will leave them upon distaste or harsh dealing, and go and live under other sachems that can protect them : so that their principal endeavour to carry it obligingly and lovingly unto their people, lest they should desert them, and thereby their strength, power, and tribute would be diminished.
§. 13. Their religion is as other gentiles are. Some for their God, adore the sun ; others, the moon ; some, the earth ; others, the fire ; and like vanities. Yet generally they acknowledge one great supreme doer of good; and him they call Woonand, or Mannitt: another, that is the great doer of evil or mischief; and him they call Mattand, which is the devil; and him they dread and fear, more than they love and honour the former chief good which is God.
There are among them certain men and women, whom they call powows. These are partly wizards and witches, holding familiarity with Satan, that evil one ; and partly are physicians, and make use, at least in show, of herbs and roots, for curing the sick and diseased. These are sent for by the sick and wounded; and by their diabolical spells, mutter-ings, exorcisms, they seem to do wonders. They use extraordinary strange motions of their bodies, insomuch that they will sweat until they foam; and thus continue for some hours together, stroking and hovering over the sick. Sometimes broken bones have been set, wounds healed, sick recovered ; but together therewith they sometimes use external applications of herbs, roots, splintering and binding up the wounds. These powows are reputed, and I conceive justly, to hold familiarity with the devil; and therefore are by the English laws, prohibited the exercise of their diabolical practices within the English jurisdiction, under the penalty of five pounds,—and the procurer, five pounds,—and every person present, twenty pence. Satan doth strongly endeavour to keep up this practice among the Indians: and these powows are factors for the devil, and great hinderers of the Indians embracing the gospel. It is no small discouragement unto the Indians in yielding obedience unto the gospel, for then, say they, if we once pray to God, we must abandon our powows; and then, when we are sick and wounded, who shall heal our maladies?
Upon this occasion I shall relate a true history, that happened about five and twenty years since, at their first beginning to pray to God.
§. 14. At the island of Nope, or Martha's Vineyard, about the year 1649, one of the first Indians that embraced the Christian religion on that island, named Hiacoomes,.who is living at this day, and a principal teacher among them, and is a grave and serious Christian, and hath had a great blessing since upon his posterity; for his sons and his daughters are pious, and one, if not more of his sons, teachers
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to them ; and his eldest son, called Joel, of whom we shall speak afterwards, was bred a scholar at Cambridge in New-England, and was not only a good and diligent student, but a pious man,—though he was taken away by death, before he came to maturity:—This Hiacoomes, as I said before, not long after he had embraced the gospel; his wife also being a good woman and a believer ; she, being great with child, fell into travail of child birth and had great pains and sorrowful throes for sundry days, and could not be delivered ;—which is a thing unusual with the Indian women, who are ordinarily quickly and easily delivered ; and many times are so strong, that within a few hours after the child's birth, they will go about their ordinary occasions :— But this woman, the wife of Hiacoomes, was, as I said, in sore labour and travail in child birth several days, and could not be delivered ; insomuch that nothing less than death was expected by herself and husband. In this strait, several of their carnal and unconverted kindred and relations applied themselves unto Hiacoomes and his wife, pressing them to send for a powow, and use that help for relief. But both husband and wife utterly refused their temptation ; the man being willing to submit to God's disposal, and lose his wife, though he loved her dearly, rather than take assistance from the devil and his instruments, whom he had renounced ; and the woman, who was the sufferer, yet, through the grace of God, was endowed with such Christian fortitude, that she also utterly refused this method for her deliverance, and would rather lose her life than seek help that way. In this exigence, they earnestly cried to God in prayer, to show mercy to them for Jesus Christ's sake ; imploring also the prayers of Mr. Thomas Mayhew junior, their teacher, and other English christians, living nigh them. Mr. Mayhew, being affected with the case, got together some godly Christians to meet together; and those kept a day of fasting and prayer, to implore the help of God for these poor, distressed, Christian Indians. And the Lord was graciously pleased to hear and answer their prayers, and shortly after gave the woman safe deliverance of a daughter ; which the father named by a word in the Indian language, which signified in English, Return. When Mr. Mayhew, the minister, understood this, he demanded of Hiacoomes the reason, why he gave his daughter that name ; whose answer was to this effect : Sir, said he, a little while since, you know, I, and my wife and children, were travelling on apace in the broad way to hell and all misery, and going from God ; but now, since you preached to us, I, and my wife and children, are, through God's grace, returning back the contrary way, with our faces set towards God, heaven, and happiness. Secondly, you know, before my wife was delivered of this child, how great peril of life she was in, and God seemed to be very angry with us; but he was intreated and heard our prayers, and is returned to us with mercies, in my wife's safe deliverance of this daughter. And for these two reasons, I call this child Return. This story is most certainly true ; and was told me distinctly by Mr. Thomas Mayhew junior, their minister, Hiacoomes being present, in travelling on foot between Watertown lecture and Cambridge, the Indian that was the principal person concerned being with him ; and this he related not long after the thing was done :
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and although it be a digression, yet the example being so instructive, I thought it might be of good use to insert it here ; there being apparently much faith and love to God, great Christian fortitude, prudence, and thankfulness, resisting of Satan, overcoming temptation, encouragement to prayer, and hope and reliance on God in cases of difficulty and distress; and all this wonderfully exemplified in poor Indians, newly come to the faith, out of the depth of ignorance and barbarism : all which doth greatly tend to magnify and illustrate the free and powerful virtue of God's grace in Christ Jesus.
CHAP. IV.Of the Inland Indians, and particularly of the Mawhawks, or Maquas.
§. 1. THE inland Indians are of several nations ; but by our sea coast Indians, are generally denominated the Maquas, however distinguished among themselves. I shall speak a little of several of them ; and then in special of those Indians, which are properly called Mawhawks, or Maquas, that live upon a branch of Hudson river, about fifty miles from fort Oranje, now fort Albany, near unto certain great lakes, that have recourse unto the great river of Canada.
§. 2. Divers of the Indian nations, that live to the west of Massachusetts, upon the great river of Canada and the lakes thereunto belonging (of which there are great numbers) that hold commerce with the French, and also sundry of our Indians, in their hunting journeys, converse and traffick with those Indians, and understand each other's language ; these do properly belong to, and are within the lines of the Massachusetts charter, which extendeth from the Atlantick sea, west, through the main land, unto the West or South sea, and is in breadth about two degrees, viz. from 42°. to 44°. and odd minutes; and so is not improperly a subject of our discourse, which is designed to speak of the Indians in New-England. But these Indians being at a considerable distance from the English, not less than a hundred and fifty, or two hundred miles, we are not capable to give so particular an account of them, but what we have from our Indians, that often travel unto them, and converse with them, as I said before. The Indians of those parts, so far as I can learn, are of a tractable and quiet disposition, and capable to receive impressions. We are informed, that some of the fathers of the Romish religion do travel among them, and have distilled some of their corrupt principles into them, and have baptized sundry of them, and also taught them image worship, which our Indians do despise and contemn, as a thing below rational men, to fall down and pray to a painted board and dead image. But I trust in God, in due time he will open a way, for the true and saving light of the gospel to break forth unto them from these parts ; when it shall please God to raise up more instruments, both English and Indians, that may have some encouragement to travel into those parts, to drive on this excellent and spiritual traffick, to convert souls unto the Christian faith. The names of the nations I cannot distinctly learn ; but there are great numbers of them, and well inclined ; for they live in peace
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with the French ; and I have not heard they have treacherously conspired against the Christians, but have and do traffick, and hold good correspondence with them. Indeed these Canada Indians have been, for many years, a prey to the Maquas, who are seated between the English and these Indians; and do, by rapine and spoil, rob these poor savages of the fruit of their labours, and heretofore sold the same to the Dutch; of which 1 shall have occasion to speak more particularly in the story of the Maquas.
§. 3. There is a numerous race of Indians, that live upon a great lake, or sea. Some report it to be salt water ; others, fresh. This lies from Boston about west and by south. The nearest part of the said lake, or sea, is apprehended, by the most intelligent Indians' information, to be above three or four hundred miles from Boston ; and then a hundred miles less from the English towns upon the Connecticut river, that do belong to Massachusetts jurisdiction. This people, I conceive, are the same that Captain Smith, in his History of Virginia,* in several places, doth call Massawomeks; as in lib. 2. page 24. in lib. 2. page 33. " The Massawomeks, saith he, as the savages report, inhabit upon a great salt water which by all likelihood is either some part of Canada, some great lake, or some inlet of some sea, that falleth into the South sea. These Massawomeks are a great nation and very populous." And again in lib. 3. page 57. " They much extolled a great nation, called Massawomeks." Again in lib. 3. page **GO, where he relates an encounter he had with the Massawomeks. Now the place, where he met with and heard of this great people of Massawomeks, was at the head of Chesapeak bay, or gulf, which lieth in the latitude of 40 degrees nearest; and he saith, they had recourse thither; coming from the lakes or seas, where they lived, and making canoes of barks of trees, which is the manner of these inland Indians, they passed down those rivers, that fall into the great bay, or gulf, which descends from the northwest, or near it, as the maps do show. So that these Massawomeks, however denominated by other names or titles, are the same nation and people that we are here speaking of; and that live upon a great salt or fresh water, lying, as I said before, west and by south, or more southerly from Boston, that is, in 42°. 30'. Of this nation, that live upon this port, it is reported for a truth by our Indians, that they are a very great and numerous people, and do speak, or at least understand, the same language that is used by our Indians. Upon this consideration and intelligence, about two years since, there was a journey attempted unto this people. There was employed in this design six or seven Indians, one of them a teacher, and other persons to assist them, that could speak both the English and Indian tongue. They were provided and accommodated with all things necessary and convenient for their journey, to the expense of about thirty or forty pounds, as I was informed. They took with them Indian bibles, primers, catechisms, and other books, translated into the Indian language, and other things to present to those Indians,
* This curious work was printed in London, 1627, and is now in very few hands.
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for their encouragement to entertain Christianity. Being thus fitted, they set forth in the spring of the year, as I remember; and after they had travelled so far as the English plantations reach upon Connecticut river, which was about a hundred miles on their way, their pilot, as they pretended, fell lame or sick, and other difficulties presented: so they returned back, re infecta,** and all the cost expended to no purpose.
§. 4. Upon this occasion I shall take liberty to suggest my apprehension touching this discovery. And first, I shall presume, that it is unto me an undoubted truth, upon clear demonstration, that there is such a lake, or arm of the sea, about such a distance as was before mentioned from us. Secondly, that this place is well replenished with a great people of Indians, is a truth asserted by the concurrent testimony of all Indians, French, and Dutch, that have had occasion to travel and inquire of the matter. Thirdly, that this place is a good climate, and probably not only very fertile, whereby provision is found for so numerous a people, but also they are otherwise furnished with furs and other desirable things. Fourthly, that although a full and perfect discovery of this vast lake, or part of the sea, will be a costly thing; yet, in the issue, it may also be greatly advantageous unto the discoverers, not only in using means for conveying and communicating the Christian religion unto so many poor, ignorant souls, which is the greater,— but also in accumulating external riches, as well as honour, unto the first undertakers and perfecters of this discovery. These things premised being seriously considered, I humbly conceive, if any thing be further attempted, which I hear the Right Honourable the Corporation for propagating the gospel in New-England, living in London, have again suggested to be prosecuted by the commissioners here, it should be attempted strongly, and by such means as in probability of reason may attain the end desired ; which, I apprehend, cannot be effected without a considerable expense ; for this cannot be done by a few Indians or English men, sent on that errand, who, if they should escape and return in safety, cannot satisfy us in much more, than what we know already, that there is such a place and people.
I shall offer this therefore, as an expedient for this undertaking, that there be not less than forty or fifty English men, with some Indians; such persons as are fit and able for that employ, under wise and prudent conduct: some of them mariners; some, ship carpenters; and some, house carpenters ; with all materials and necessaries suitable, both of apparel, arms, tools, victuals, ammunition, and whatever else is requisite ; with considerable company of horses, to carry their men and furniture. These to set forth early in the spring of the year, and to have their victuals provided ready at the frontier English plantations upon Connecticut river. So travelling, until they find some part of that sea, or lake, or some navigable river running into it: and there searching for a suitable place, both for good soil, and timber to make and build a convenient house, and a good fort for defence against Indians and French. But first with all speed, to prepare for and build a good pinnace, or large boat, with a deck, able to accommodate twenty men, and victuals and arms, and also a little one to come with it : With which vessel, after it is fitted and furnished, twenty of the men, whereof two or three to
Chap. IV. of the Indians in New-England. 159
be good artists and men of prudence and conduct, to proceed to the said lake, or sea, and make discovery thereof, leaving the rest of the men to keep the fort, for a place of rendezvous. In the interim, some of the men ashore may be employed in clearing land, fit to plant corn the year ensuing, and others to fish and fowl. Some few also may be sent back to the English towns with some of the horses, to recruit provisions, and to give information. Those that go for discovery in the vessel, should be instructed to treat civilly yet warily,—for many Indians are very treacherous,—with the first Indian people they can discover ; and to endeavour first to traffick with them, especially to buy provision, if the Indians can accommodate them with it ; also to trade for furs or other things vendable. To this end they must be furnished with such Indian trucking stuff, as may be suitable. And after they have made a discovery of any people, and driven a trade with them, then to leave one or two hostages, and take some from them, and return back to the fort, and land their corn and other provisions or furs, and give information of what they have discovered, and then return again upon discovery, and proceed further ; and so employ that summer, returning to the fort, as often as may be convenient, to give intelligence and receive fresh recruits and supplies. Especially in all these discoveries and converse with the Indians, due care should be taken, that something of Christian religion may be instilled into them, and to that end some pious and religious Indians must be procured to accompany the English in their discovery ; and some of them may be left behind among those Indians, if they find encouragement, to be instructing them in the knowledge of the true God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Care also must be had, that a good minister, physician, and chirurgeon, be sent with this company. And these means being used, by the blessing of God, something may be discovered to good purpose, the first summer ; and then, being there settled, the next year, a more perfect and ample discovery may be made : for I apprehend one year will not suffice to complete this discovery, considering the time that will be expended in building a vessel, and a fort and houses, before they can proceed in the enterprise.
Before I leave this theme, give me your favour to add a relation I had from a very intelligent Indian now living at Natick, and whose father is a pious person, and of the church there. This young man, their son, called Thomas, came home from the French that dwell upon the river of Canada, about three or four years since. Ile had lived with those French about three years, at a trading fort about sixty miles up the river of Canada, above Quebec. This Indian told me for a certain truth, that both Indians and French at that place, with one voice informed him of this great lake or sea; the extent thereof they do not know : And that abundance of Indians live there ; and that in the most westerly or southerly parts thereof, the Indians and French report, there are cattle and sheep, and men clothed, and silver and great riches. Said he, the French are very jealous lest the English discover and settle the place first; and they have no way from Canada river to pass to this place by water, so much as with a canoe ; and the Indians are many and potent, and they dare not go
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to them, and the French are but weak in those parts. Besides, they have a good trade for furs with the Indians by them ; and hence seek not much after new discoveries at present. This is the substance of this Indian's relation to me, at his return home.
§. 5. Besides these Massawomeks and the Canada Indians, there are divers other Indians, that live within land and upon the sea coasts ; as the Pokomtakukes, the Squakeays, the Quabaugs, and the Mohegans, the Pennakooks, divers that live upon or near unto the English of Connecticut, also upon Long-Island, and upon Hudson's river, and Delaware bay river, and upon the sea coasts between Delaware and New-Jersey. Also there are several Indian people inhabiting to the eastward, both upon the sea coasts, and within land, without the bounds of the Massachusetts, and yet bordering upon the English of New-England. All which do sit in darkness and the shadow of death. And it is a thing to be desired, that the word of God's grace, declared in the gospel of his Son, may run and be glorified, and spread far and near, like leven, until it leven the whole lump of these Indians; and thereby we may see the predictions of the scriptures fulfilled,—that our Lord Jesus Christ shall become salvation unto the poor gentiles, unto the ends of the earth ; and that seraphick prediction of holy Herbert, that excellent poet, be accomplished, which he elegantly declared in that poem : Herbert, Church Militant. 190, 191, page.
"Religion stands on tiptoe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand.
When height of malice and prodigious lusts,
Impudent sinning, witchcrafts, and distrusts,
The mark of future bane, shall fill our cup
Unto the brim, and make our measure up ;
When Seine shall swallow Tiber, and the Thames,
By letting in them both, pollutes her streams;
When Italy of us shall have her will,
And all her calendar of sins fulfil,
Whereby we may forsee what sins next year
Shall both in France and England domineer;
Then shall religion to America flee,
They have their times of gospel ev'n as we.
My God, thou dost prepare for them a way,
By carrying first their gold from them away,
For gold and grace did never yet agree ;
Religion always sides with poverty.
We think we rob them, but we think amiss :
We are more poor—they are more rich.
By this thou wilt revenge their quarrel, making grace
To pay our debts, and leave our ancient place,
To give to them, while that which now their nation
But lends to us, shall be our desolation."
§. 6. Now are we come to speak of the Maquas more particularly, which I promised in the beginning of this chapter. These Maquas live near unto certain lakes, about fifty miles from fort Oranje, now
Chap. IV. of the Indians in New-England. 161
called fort Albany, upon a branch of Hudson's river. The place they live at, is reported to be a fertile and pleasant country. It lies between the French that live upon Canada, and the English and Dutch that live upon Hudson's river. Those Indians are greatly addicted to war, spoil, and rapine. They heretofore lived in towns, or forts, not far one from another ; but were all in confederacy with each other. Their manner was to rob, kill, and spoil, their neighbour Indians far and near : and with the beavers and other furs, thus taken by violence, to barter heretofore with the Dutch upon Hudson's river, now with the English that possess that country, for those necessaries they wanted, especially for guns, powder and shot, and other weapons for war. They took their spoil principally from the Indians of Canada, and the branches and lakes thereunto belonging: which Indians, as was before hinted, are an industrious and peaceable people, exercising themselves much in hunting for and taking much beaver, otters, and other furs, which those watery regions are plentifully stored with. These Indians traffick with the French, living at Quebec and other places upon that river. But these warlike Maquas would attack, rob, and plunder them, as they return home from their huntings : and also for sundry years used hostility against the French upon that river, spoiling and taking prisoners many of them. These doings of the Maquas greatly obstructed their trade with the Indians: and hereby the French were much provoked and incensed against the Maquas; but wanting sufficient strength to deal with them, about the year 1646 and 1647, the French did, by their agent, Monsieur Marie, a person of orders, and most probably a Jesuit, apply themselves with earnest solicitations, unto the government of Massachusetts, for assistance to subdue the Maquas, offering great pay for such succour ; but the English were not willing to engage themselves in that affair, forasmuch as the Maquas had never done any injury to the English, and in policy and reason were like to be a good bulwark between the English and French, in case a time should come of hostility between these two nations. For these and other reasons M. Marie returned without succour. Since which time, An. 1663, or 1664, the French, having received a considerable supply from France, with a new governour, and seven or eight hundred soldiers, this new governour, by his lieutenant and other commanders, with about six or seven hundred soldiers, did march against the Maquas in the dead of winter, when the rivers and lakes were covered with a firm ice, upon which they travelled the most direct way. In truth they passed through very much difficulty by reason of the cold season, digging into the snow upon the edges of the rivers and lakes, to make their lodgings in the night, and carrying their victuals, and arms, and snow shoes at their back; (I have spoken with some Frenchmen, that were soldiers in this exploit, who related the story) and by this difficult and hazardous attempt, at such a season as was never expected by their enemies, they fell upon the Maquas at unawares ; and thereby made an ample conquest of them, and freed themselves from their former rapine and insolencies; and ever since have held them under a kind of subjection. Yet this victory was not so absolute, but many of the Indians escaped with their lives,
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but lost all they had, for the French took the spoil, and burnt their three forts or towns; but afterwards those that escaped, which were far the greater number of men, made treaties of peace with the French, and their country was restored to them, where they yet live, but paying some tribute to the French.
§. 7. These Maquas, as I said before, are given to rapine and spoil ; and had, for several years, been in hostility with our neighbour Indians; as the Massachusetts, Pawtucketts, Pennakooks, Kennebecks, Pokomtakukes,* Quahaugs, all the Nipmuck Indians, and Nashaway, or Weshakim Indians. And in truth, they were in time of war, so great a terrour to all the Indians before named, though ours were far more in number than they, that the appearance of four or five Maquas in the woods would frighten them from their habitations, and cornfields, and reduce many of them to get together in forts ; by which meant, they were brought to such straits and poverty, that had it not been for relief they had from the English, in compensation for labour, doubtless many of them had suffered famine. For they were driven from their planting fields through fear, and from their fibbing and hunting places ; yea, they durst not go into the woods, to seek roots and nuts to sustain their lives. But this good effect the war had upon some of them, namely, to turn them from idleness ; for now necessity forced them to labour with the English in hoeing, reaping, picking hops, cutting wood, making hay, and making stone fences, and like necessary employments, whereby they got victuals and clothes.
These Maquas had great advantages over our poor Indian neighbours ; for they are inured to war and hostility ; ours, not inured to it. Besides, the manner of the Maquas in their attempt, gives them much advantage, and puts ours to terrour. The Maquas' manner is, in the spring of the year, to march forth in parties several ways, under a captain, and not above fifty in a troop. And when they come near the place that they design to spoil, they take up some secret place in the woods for their general rendezvous. Leaving some of their company there, they divide themselves into small parties, three, or four, or five in a company ; and then go and seek for prey. These small parties repair near to the Indian habitations, and lie in ambushments by the path sides, in some secure places ; and when they see passengers come, they fire upon them with guns; and such as they kill or wound, they seize on and pillage, and strip their bodies ; and then with their knives, take off the skin and hair of the scalp of their head, as large as a satin or leather cap : and so leaving them for dead, they pursue the rest, and take such as they can prisoners, and serve them in the same kind ; excepting at sometime, if they take a pretty youth or girl that they fancy, they save them alive : and thus they do, as often as they meet any Indians. They always carefully preserve the scalps of the head, drying the inside with hot ashes; and so carry them home as trophies of their valour, for which they are rewarded.
And now I am speaking of their cruel and murtherous practices, I shall here mention a true and rare story of the recovery of an Indian maid, from whose head the Maquas had stript the scalp in the manner before mentioned, and broken her skull, and left her for dead; and afterward she was found, recovered, and is alive at this day. The story is thus.
* Living at Deerfield.
Chap. IV. of the Indians in New-England. 163
In the year 1670, a party of Maquas, being looking after their prey, met with some Indians in the woods, belonging to Naamkeek, or Wamesit, upon the north side of Merrimak river, not far from some English houses ; where, falling upon these Indians, that were travelling in a path, they killed some, and took others, whom they also killed; and among the rest, a young maid of about fourteen years old was taken, and the scalp of her head taken off, and her skull broken, and left for dead with others. Some of the Indians escaping, came to their fellows; and with a party of men, they went forth to bring off the dead bodies, where they found this maid with life in her. So they brought her home, and got Lieutenant Thomas Henchman, a good man, and one that hath inspection over them by my order, to use means for her recovery; and though he had little hope thereof, yet he took the best care he could about it; and as soon as conveniently he could, sent the girl to an ancient and skilful woman living at Woburn, about ten miles distant, called Goodwife Brooks, to get her to use her best endeavours to recover the maid : which, by the blessing of God, she did, though she were about two years or more in curing her. I was at Goodwife Brooks' house in May, 1673, when she was in cure; and she showed me a piece or two of the skull, that she had taken out. And in May last, 1674, the second day, I being among the Indians at Pawtuckett, to keep court, and Mr. Elliot, and Mr. Richard Daniel, and others, with me, I saw the maid alive and in health ; and looked upon her head, which was whole, except a little spot as big as a sixpence might cover, and the maid fat and lusty; but there was no hair come again upon the head, where the scalp was flayed off. This cure, as some skilful in chirurgery apprehend, is extraordinary and wonderful ; and hence the glory and praise is to be ascribed to God, that worketh wonders without number.
§. 8. Although these Maquas were very afflictive and cruel, in this war with our neighbour Indians, for several years ; yet we may observe two things very remarkable, wherein the favour of God is to be acknowledged in a distinguishing manner.
First, towards the English nation, who live many of them in the woods, far from neighbours; and frequently travel in the wilderness, from town to town, and to other colonies, and that without any other arms, except a riding rod ; sometimes one alone ; sometimes, two or three together ; against whom the Maquas had advantage, and opportunities daily to kill and destroy the English, and no certain knowledge who were the actors : But it pleased God so to restrain them, that not the least hurt was done unto any English person; only sometimes possibly they might kill an Englishman's cow or swine, when they wanted food ; but this very seldom, and possibly might be charged as well upon other Indians, as upon the Maquas.
Secondly, towards the praying Indians. They killed but one or two of them, about one praying town, called Wamesit; but never were seen near to Natick or Hassanamesitt, where the churches are planted now; yet they were at some other praying towns of Indians. Doubtless the great God, who is compassionate to his poor children, did so guide and order their motions, that they never shot a bullet or
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arrow at any person near those towns : but yet the poor praying Indians were under great fears and terrours, and were very much distressed and discouraged by their fours; but yet, through God's grace and favour, they had no hurt.
Before I leave this discourse of the Maquas, I shall give you a short narrative of five armed Maquas, that were apprehended and imprisoned in Cambridge, in September, 1665, as I remember.
§. 9. There were five Mawhawks, or Maquas, all stout and lusty young men, and well armed, that came into one John Taylor's house, in Cambridge, in the afternoon. They were seen to come out of a swamp, not far from the house. The people of the house, which I think were only two women and a lad then at home, seeing them so armed ; for they had every one of them a firelock gun, a pistol, an helved hatchet, a long knife hanging about their necks, and every one had his pack, or knapsack, well furnished with powder and bullets, and other necessaries; and also the people perceived that their speech was different from our neighbour Indians; for these Maquas speak hollow and through the throat more than our Indians ; and their language is understood but by very few of our neighbour Indians ; — I say, the people of the house suspected them, sent privily to them that had authority, a little distance in the town, to give order and direction in this matter. Hereupon a constable with a party of men came to the house, and seized them without any resistance. Some think they were willing to be apprehended, that they may better see and observe the English manner of living. The constable was ordered to carry them to prison, and secure them there, until such time as they might be examined; which was done, and they were all put in irons, and their arms and things taken from them and secured. The English had heard much, but never saw any of those Maquas until now. They differ nothing from the other Indians, only in their speech. At their being imprisoned and their being loaden with irons, they did not appear daunted or dejected ; but, as the manner of those Indians is, they sang night and day, when they were awake.
Within a day or two after, they were removed with a guard, from Cambridge to Boston prison, at which time the court sat ; before whom they were examined at several times, upon divers interrogations, too long to insert. The sum of their answer was, that they came not hither, with an intent to do the least wrong to the English, but to avenge themselves of the Indians, their enemies. They were told, it was inhumanity, and more like wolves than men, to travel and wander so far from home, merely to kill and destroy men, women, and children,—for they could get no riches of our Indians, who were very poor,—and to do this in a secret, sculking manner, lying in ambushment, thickets, and swamps, by the way side, and so killing people in a base and ignoble manner: whereas, if they were men of courage, valour, and nobleness of spirit, they would fight with their enemies openly and in a plain field, which our Indians would gladly accept and engage with them, and make an end of the cruel war, one way or other : but thus to be destroyed gradually, in such a manner, was altogether inhuman and barbarous. To these things they answered
Chap. IV. of the Indians in New-England. 165
shortly : It was their trade of life : they were bred up by their ancestors, to act in this manner towards their enemies.
The Indians, our neighbours, flocked into Boston, in great numbers, not only to see those Maquas, but earnestly to solicit the court, not to let them escape, but to put them to death, or, at least, to deliver the Maquas to them to be put to death. For, said they, these Maquas are unto us, as wolves are to your sheep. They secretly seize upon us and our children, wherever they meet us, and destroy us. Now, if we had taken five wolves alive, and should let them go again, and not destroy them, you Englishmen would be greatly offended with us for such an act: and surely, said they, the lives of men are of more worth than beasts.
These kind of arguings and solicitations of our neighbour Indians, put the court upon serious thoughts, how to manage this affair, as became wise and christian men. For as, on the one hand, the Maquas had never done any wrong to the English : and that we should begin a breach with them, in taking away these men's lives, we well knew the temper and spirit of that people was so cruel, and bloody, and revengeful, that they might, and probably would, in a secret and sculking way, destroy many of our people, so that none could be safe in their goings out and comings in : on the other hand, it was considered, that our neighbour Indians would be offended, that we did not gratify their desires. But of these two evils the court chose to avoid the former ; forasmuch as we had more ties and obligations upon our neighbours, both of Christianity, and sobriety, and commerce, than upon the others : and hence did endeavour at present, and might have opportunity hereafter, to quiet and compose their minds, declaring unto them : First, that it was not becoming the prudence or honour of so great a people, as the English were, nor suitable to the Christian profession, to begin a war with a people, that had not killed or slain any Englishmen. Secondly, for the English to espouse the Indians' quarrel, the cause whereof we knew not, or which party were the aggressors, was not lawful for the English to do. Thirdly, to take away the lives of five men, that were now in our power by their own voluntary coming into one of our towns, and had not done us any wrong, personally considered, it would be great injustice.
These and some other reasons were given to our neighbour Indians, who, though not satisfied at the present, yet were quiet. The result of the court in this matter was, to dismiss these five Maquas, with a letter from the court sent by them to their chief sachems, of this import : That although the English had seized five of their men, that came armed into one of the English houses, and had examined them : yet we had released them, and secured them from the Indians, and conducted them in safety out of our borders, and have returned all their arms and things unto them, and given them coats: and have sent this letter by them to their chief sachem, to forbid any of that people, for the future, to kill and destroy any of the Indians under our protection, that lived about forty miles from us on every side : which they might distinguish from other Indians, by their short hair, and wearing English fashioned apparel. Secondly, they were required not to come armed into any
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of our towns. But if any of them were sent, and came upon any business to us, they were to repair to the magistrate, and get the first Englishman they met withal, to conduct them to whom they were to declare their errand. With this letter, and a convoy of horse to conduct them into the woods, clear of the Indians, their enemies, they were dismissed, and we heard no mote of them since.
§. 10. After this, as I best remember, in the summer, 1669, the war having now continued between the Maquas and our Indians, about six years, divers Indians, our neighbours, united their forces together, and made an army of about six or seven hundred men ; and marched into the Maquas' country, to take revenge of them. This enterprise was contrived and undertaken without the privity, and contrary to the advice, of their English friends. Mr. Eliot and myself, in particular, dissuaded them, and gave them several reasons against it, but they would not hear us: but the praying Indians were so cautioned by our advice, that not above five of them went; and all of them were killed but one. The chiefest general in this expedition, was the principal sachem of Massachusetts, named Josiah, alias Chekatabutt, a wise and stout man of middle age, but a very vitious person. He had considerable knowledge in the Christian religion ; and sometime, when he was younger, seemed to profess it for a time ;—for he was bred up by his uncle, Kuchamakin, who was the first sachem and his people to whom Mr. Eliot preached, as we shall afterwards declare :—and was a catechised Indian, and kept the sabbath several years ; but after turned apostate, and for several years last past, separated from the praying Indians, and was but a back friend to religion. This man, as I said, was the chief; but there were divers other sagamores and stout men that assisted.
Their march unto the Maquas forts was about two hundred miles : and the Indians are ill accommodated for such an undertaking, having no other carriages for their arms, ammunition, and victuals, but their backs : and they are slow in their marches, when they are in a body ; for they are fain to provide food, as they travel, by hunting, fishing, and gathering roots : and if, in their march, they are to pass any Indian towns or plantations ; which they will go out of their way to visit and find quarters in, rather than pass them ; at such places they will stay several days, until they devour all they can get ; boasting, vapouring, and prating of their valour. Hereby their designs are known, and their enemies better prepared ; and their provisions, especially their ammunition, wasted ; for they are, when they have opportunity, much addicted to vapour, and shoot away their powder in the air.
This Indian army at last came to the Mawhawks' nearest fort; which their enemies had by this time well strengthened, fortified, and furnished with men and victuals, to endure a longer seige, than they knew the other could make. The Massachusetts, or sea coast army, set down before the fort, besieging it some days ; they within and those without, firing at each other, without any considerable loss, except the expenses of powder and shot. Once a stout party of the Maquas sallied out upon the besiegers ; and they fought stoutly on both sides, and several men were slain on both sides. At length, when the besieged saw cause, they retired again into their hold.
Chap. IV. of the Indians in New-England. 167
After some days, the army lying in this posture, their provision being exhausted, and their munition well spent, and some of their people sick, and that they saw the impossibility to get the hold by assault, they broke up the siege, and retreated homewards about twenty or thirty miles. Shortly after they were gone, a strong party of the Maquas issued forth to pursue them; and fetching a compass, got before them,— for the army marched slowly, many being sick, and the best, not very strong,—and placed themselves in ambushment at a pass opportune for their purpose, where were thick swamps on each side their way. Here the Maquas lodged themselves very near to them, as was most advantageous to their design ; and then the Maquas fired upon them, and killed and wounded many at the first firings. Our Indians did what they could for their defence, and to offend the enemies : and many of the principal men fought valiantly, especially their general before named, and several others ; yea almost all their stoutest leaders and sagamores, that accompanied him, pursued the Maquas into the thickets; and under such great disadvantage, most of these valiant men lost their lives, and the general also. About fifty of their chief men, they confess, were slain in this fight ; but I suppose, more ; but how many the Maquas lost, is not known. At last, night coming on, the Maquas contenting themselves with this victory, retreated; and the remainder of the army hastened, as fast as they could, homeward.
This was the last and most fatal battle, fought between the Maquas and our Indians ; who returned home ashamed, with lamentations and mourning for the loss of most of their chief men. Then were they effectually convinced of their folly, in attempting this design contrary to the counsel of their best friend.
It was two years and more after this battle, before a peace was made between our Indians and the Maquas. But little or no action was done of either side : only both parties, kept in fear of each other ; our Indians retiring close under the wings of the English ; the Maquas, not over forward to invade ; for I apprehend, that in these wars they felt damage, and lost many men, and were willing to be quieter than formerly they were. In the year 1671, as I take it, by the mediation of one Captain Salisbury, commander in chief at fort Albany, and other English and Dutch living there, being solicited thereunto by some of the English magistrates of the English colonies, there was a peace concluded between the Maquas and our Indians ; who have been much frightened, scattered, impoverished, and discouraged by this war; but now are quiet, and are returned to their plantations, some whereof during this war were deserted ; and the Indians of several places gathered together in forts, to their great suffering and inconveniences.
To sum up all concerning these Maquas,—you may see in the foregoing discourse, that they are a stout, yet cruel people ; much addicted to bloodshed and cruelty ; very prone to vex and spoil the peaceable Indians. Therefore it were a most desirable thing, to put forth our utmost endeavours to civilize, and convert these Indians to the knowledge of the gospel : which is the only means to turn this curse into a blessing. Then those gracious promises will be fulfilled to this people, that are
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mentioned in Isaiah xi. 6—9; in Is. lxv. 25; and again in Is. xxxv. 4—9. These and abundance of other gracious promises shall be fulfilled to these poor Indians, when they receive the gospel in truth and power ; which the Lord grant for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Of the Instruments and Means that God hath used, for the Civilizing and Conversion of some of the New-England Indians.
§ 1. HAVING, in the former chapters, declared some short hints I concerning the Indians in general, I shall now, by God's assistance, speak more particularly of the civilized and religious Indians, which I shall denominate by the name of Praying Indians, a title generally understood ; and in this chapter, begin first to speak of the instruments, that the blessed God hath raised up and used in this matter. In the first place, we are to ascribe all glory, honour, and praise, unto God in Jesus Christ, who was, and is, the first mover and efficient in this work, wherein he hath remembered, and begun to fulfil, unto this forlorn and outcast people, those gracious promises made unto his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ : Ps. ii. 8. Ask of me and I will give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. And in Ps. lxxii. 8. He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
§. 2. For second causes, that which, in the first place, is deservedly to be mentioned, is the Lord's gracious inclining, disposing, and fitting, that pious servant of God, Mr. John Eliot, the only teacher of the church of Christ at Roxbury in New-England ; for his colleague, Mr. Thomas Weld, was a little before removed for England. Yet notwithstanding the weight of the work, incumbent upon him in that church, was sufficient to take up the time and strength of one man ; but, that God who is the God of the spirits of all flesh, did endow him with an extraordinary spirit suitable for the work. This reverend, learned, and worthy man, in the year of our Lord 164G, as I take it, and about the forty second year of his age, did intensely set upon the work of preaching Christ to the Indians in New-England; and was so divinely assisted by the Spirit of God, that it was not long after he set upon the work of learning the Indian language : but he attained such a measure thereof, that he adventured to make beginning to preach the glad tidings of salvation unto their competent understanding. The first place he began to preach at, was Nonantum,* near Watertown mill, upon the south side of Charles river, about four or five miles from his own house ; where lived at that time Waban, one of their principal tnen, and some Indians with him.
§. 3. His manner of teaching them was, first to begin with prayer, and then to preach briefly upon a suitable portion of scripture ; afterwards to admit the Indians to propound questions ;—and divers of them had a faculty to frame hard and difficult questions, touching something then spoken, or some other matter in religion, tending to their illumination ;—
* The east part of Newton.
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which questions Mr. Eliot, in a grave and Christian manner, did endeavour to resolve and answer to their satisfaction.
Within a short time after this first attempt, finding the Indians, at least some of them, inclined to meet together to hear him, and that God was pleased graciously to assist him, and increase his knowledge of their language; he set up another lecture at a place, called Neponsitt,t within the bounds of Dorchester, about four miles from his house southward ; where another company of Indians lived, belonging unto the sachem Kuchamakin. Among these Indians there were sundry grave and intelligent persons. But at Nonantum especially, one of most remark was named Waban, a grave and sober person, of whom we shall have occasion to speak more hereafter. God was pleased to open the understanding, and affect the heart of this man, that he became, by his example and activity, a leader and encourager to many others. And thus Mr. Eliot continued to preach these two lectures at Nonantum and Neponsitt, for several years with good success.
Besides his preaching to them, he framed two catechisms in the Indian tongue, containing the principles of the Christian religion ; a lesser for children, and a larger for older persons. These also he communicated unto the Indians gradually, a few questions at a time, according unto their capacity to receive them. The questions he propounded one lecture day, were answered the next lecture day. His manner was, after he had begun the meeting with prayer, then first to catechise the children ; and they would readily answer well for the generality. Then would he encourage them with some small gift as an apple, or a small biscuit, which he caused to be bought for that purpose. And by this prudence and winning practice, the children were induced with delight, to get into their memories the principles of the Christian religion. After he had done the children, then would he take the answers of the catechetical questions of the elder persons ; and they did generally answer judiciously. When the catechising was past, he would preach to them upon some portion of scripture, for about three quarters of an hour; and then give liberty to the Indians to propound questions, as I intimated before ; and in the close, finish all with prayer.
This worthy man hath been all along to this day, exceeding diligent and careful to instruct the Indians in the sound principles of the christian religion : so that there is none of the praying Indians, young or old, but can readily answer any question of the catechism ; which, I believe, is more than can be said of many thousands of English people ; the more cause of mourning! Besides, the praying Indians have been so instructed and learned, that they generally pray in their families morning and evening, and that with much affection and reverence. This is a practice, which, I fear, is neglected in many English, as well in New England, as in Old England.
§. 4. In this work did this good man industriously travail sundry years, without any external encouragement, from men I mean, as to the receiving any salary or reward. Indeed verbal encouragements, and the presence of divers persons at his lectures, he wanted not. The
+ Neponsitt river separates Dorchester from Milton. Vol. I.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. V. 170
truth is, Mr. Eliot engaged in this great work of preaching unto the Indians upon a very pure and sincere account : for I being his neighbour and intimate friend, at the time when he first attempted this enterprise, he was pleased to communicate unto me his design, and the motives that induced him thereunto ; which, as I remember, were principally these three.
First, the glory of God, in the conversion of some of these poor, desolate souls.
Secondly, his compassion and ardent affection to them, as of mankind in their great blindness and ignorance.
Thirdly, and not the least, to endeavour, so far as in him lay, the accomplishment and fulfilling the covenant and promise, that New England people had made unto their king, when he granted them their patent or charter, viz. that one principal end of their going to plant these countries, was, to communicate the gospel unto the native Indians ; which in truth is a clause in the charter, as will in the following book appear.
By that which hath been said in this particular, it doth evidently appear, that they were heroick, noble, and Christian principles, that induced this precious servant of Christ to enter upon this work, and not any carnal or by-ends ; for in those times nothing of outward encouragement did appear. Indeed it must be acknowledged to the praise of God, that he hath made good that gracious promise, First seek the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness thereof, and all other things shall be added unto thee. The truth is, that God is so good a master, that never any man did lose by his service; and although not always paying them with things of this life,—for the promise of those things is conditional, so far as shall be for our good and his glory,— but in the inward consolations and communications of spiritual good things (the least whereof is worth the whole world) whilst we are in this life, and abundant recompense in heaven is most sure and certain. But sometimes it pleaseth God to bestow his beneficence in both kinds, as he did unto this good man. For after some years' travail in this work, the Lord was pleased to stir up divers worthy and pious persons in Old England (and if I knew their names, I would here record them, for their eternal honour, and for example to posterity,—though I believe, many of them had such a measure of the spirit of Christ, not willing to let their left hand know what their right did, and would be offended, if I should mention them) to be benefactors unto this good work : and from that beneficence this blessed instrument had some annual encouragement ; which, I have heard him say, he never expected, but yet with abundant acknowledgment and thankfulness to God and men for it.
Hereby he was enabled to educate his five sons, then living, viz. John, Joseph, Samuel, Aaron, and Benjamin, in learning, both at the schools, and after in the college at Cambridge. But Aaron died soon after his entering the college ; and all lived to take their degrees of bachelors
The III. Book of the History of New-England. See the Postscript.
Chap. V. of the Indians in New-England. 171
and masters of art. And also it was his great desire and earnest prayer to God, that he would incline and fit them all to engage with him in teaching the Indians: to which he was willing, as much as in them lay, to dedicate them to God for that work. And although God saw not meet to grant him his full desire in that respect, yet his prayers and endeavours were very graciously answered : for all his sons have given demonstrations, not only of their sufficiency in learning, but of their true piety. All of them became preachers of the gospel.
His eldest son, John, was not only pastor of an English Church at Cambridge village,* and a very excellent preacher in the English tongue ; but also, for sundry years, he preached the gospel unto the Indians, once a fortnight constantly at Pakemitt,t and sometimes at Natick and other places : and the most judicious Christian Indians esteemed very highly of him, as a most excellent preacher in their language, as I have often heard them say. But God was pleased to put an end to his work and life, October 11, 1668, and to carry him with full sail to heaven, there to receive his crown : of whom I shall say no more in this place ; for he well deserves a station among the worthies in New-England, which is designed in the sequel of this our history.[hand glyph]
His second son Joseph is now pastor of a church of Christ at Guild-ford in New-England : a preacher inferiour to few in this country, for his age and time.
His third son, Samuel, before his death, gave abundant demonstration of his piety, ability, gravity, and excellent temper. He was a fellow of Harvard College in Cambridge in New-England. He left this world and and ascended to glory, after he had taken his second degree in the college. He hath undoubtedly arrived to his highest degree in the empyreal heaven. He was a person of whom the world was not worthy.
His fourth and youngest son, Benjamin, is a person approved for piety and ability. He hath divers times been invited to places that wanted a minister; but yet is not settled, but lives at home with his parents. ++
I have been the larger in mentioning God's blessing upon this good man and his posterity, to set forth the gracious goodness and loving kindness of God extended to him thereby, making good what he hath said : Them that honour me, I will honour, 1 Sam. ii. 30. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed, that feareth the Lord, and walketh in his ways. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion ; and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy childrens' children, and peace upon Israel. Ps. cxxviii, 1, 4, 5, 6.
* Now Newton.
+ In Stoughton.
The VI. Book of the History of New-England. See the Postscript.
++ Benjamin was afterwards settled at Roxbury, and was, during many years, his father's assistant. The venerable apostle Eliot outlived all his sons, and died at the advanced age of eighty-six, A. D. 1690. For the particulars of his life and character, see Mather's Magnalia, Book III. page 170.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. V. 172
And again, Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Ps. xxxvii. 3, 4.
§. 5. This worthy and active instrument, Mr. Eliot, who was, and is, and, I believe, will be, to his dying day unwearied in his endeavours to promote the salvation of the poor Indians, contented not himself with preaching to those people at the places before mentioned ; but went further into the country divers ways, far and near, preaching the gospel to the wild and barbarous Indians ; and sometimes reaped fruit of his labour.
Moreover he stirred up divers other ministers and scholars, in our own and other colonies, by his words and letters, to fit themselves to labour in this Indian harvest, and that not without some good success. For in Plymouth colony, one Mr. Bourne, having some skill in the Indian language, entered upon this service, and hath had a great blessing upon his endeavours, as will be declared in the sequel. Also Mr. John Cotton, now pastor at Plymouth, hath gained the Indian language, and did sometime at Martha's Vineyard, and now at Plymouth and places adjacent, labour herein. Also at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Messrs. Thomas Mayhew, father and son, attempted this enterprise, which God hath greatly blessed, as will be declared hereafter. Again Mr. Pierson heretofore, and Mr. Fitch at present, did and doth preach to some Indians in Connecticut colony ; of whom afterwards.
But besides his industry to provoke others, and his frequent travels and preaching among the Indians, he set up that great work of translating the bible into the Indian language ; which the Honourable Corporation for propagating the gospel in New-England, residing in London, did greatly encourage, and out of the revenues belonging to that stock, which then was more considerable than now it is, did pay for the printing thereof* Besides, he framed and translated into the Indian language divers other books; as Indian catechisms, a grammar, primer, singing psalms, the Practice of Piety, Baxter's Call to the Unconverted, and other things ; all which are printed at the charge of the Corporation stock.
§.6. Moreover he took great care, that schools should be planted among the praying Indians; and he taught some himself to read, that they might be capable to teach others ; and by his procurement, some of the choice Indian youths were put to school with English schoolmasters, to learn both the English, Latin, and Greek tongues.
There was much cost out of the Corporation stock expended in this work, for fitting and preparing the Indian youth to be learned and able preachers unto their countrymen. Their diet, apparel, books, and schooling, was chargeable. In truth the design was prudent, noble, and good ; but it proved ineffectual to the ends proposed. For several of the said youth died, after they had been sundry years at learning, and made good proficiency therein. Others were disheartened and left learning, after they were almost ready for the college. And some returned to live among their countrymen; where some of them
* There are several copies of Eliot's Indian Bible in the library of Harvard College.
Chap. V. of the Indians in New-England. 173
are improved for schoolmasters and teachers, unto which they are advantaged by their education. Some others of them have entered upon other callings : as one is a mariner ; another, a carpenter ; another went for England with a gentleman, that lived sometimes at Cambridge in New-England, named Mr. Drake, which Indian, as I heard, died there not many months after his arrival.
I remember but only two of them all, that lived in the college at Cambridge ; the one named Joel,* the other, Caleb; both natives of Martha's Vineyard. These two were hopeful young men, especially Joel, being so ripe in learning, that he should, within a few months, have taken his first degree of bachelor of art in the college. He took a- voyage to Martha's Vineyard to visit his father and kindred, a little before the commencement ; but upon his return back in a vessel, with other passengers and mariners, suffered shipwreck upon the island of Nantucket; where the bark was found put on shore; and in all probability the people in it came on shore alive, but afterwards were murthered by some wicked Indians of that place ; who, for lucre of the spoil in the vessel, which was laden with goods, thus cruelly destroyed the people in it ; for which fault some of those Indians was convicted and executed afterwards. Thus perished our hopeful young prophet Joel. Ile was a good scholar and a pious man, as I judge. I knew him well ; for he lived and was taught in the same town where I dwell. I observed him for several years, after he was grown to years of discretion, to be not only a diligent student, but an attentive hearer of God's word ; diligently writing the sermons, and frequenting lectures ; grave and sober in his conversation.
The other called Caleb, not long after he took his degree of bachelor of art + at Cambridge in New-England, died of a consumption at Charlestown, where he was placed by Mr. Thomas Danforth, who had inspection over him, under the care of a physician in order to his health ; where he wanted not for the best means the country could afford, both of food and physick; but God denied the blessing, and put a period to his days.
Of this disease of the consumption sundry of those Indians youths died, that were bred up to school among the English. The truth is, this disease is frequent among the Indians ; and sundry die of it, that live not with the English. A hectick fever, issuing in a consumption, is a common and mortal disease among them. I know some have apprehended other causes of the mortality of these Indian scholars. Some have attributed it unto the great change upon their bodies, in respect of their diet, lodging, apparel, studies ; so much different from what they were inured to among their own countrymen.
These awful providences of God, in frustrating the hopeful expectations concerning the learned Indian youth, who were designed to be for teachers unto their countrymen, concurring with some other severe dispensations of God obstructive to this work,—some whereof may be hereafter mentioned,—caused great thoughts of heart unto the well
* Son of Hiacoomes, mentioned chap. iii. §. 14.
+ Caleb Cheeschaumuck took his degree of bachelor of arts, A. D. 1665.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap V. 174
willers and promoters thereof. Some conceived, God was not pleased yet to make use of any of the Indians to preach the gospel ; and that the time of the great harvest of their ingathering is not yet come, but will follow after the calling of the Jews. Others thought that this honour of their instruction and conversion shall be continued with Englishmen. Others were of opinion, that Satan, the great enemy and opposer of men's salvation, who had for many years held these poor barbarians under his dominion, did use all his stratagems and endeavours to impede the spreading of the Christian faith, that he might the better keep possession of his kingdom among them. But others, whose faith I hope in God was active and vigorous, did conclude that there was nothing more in these providences and remoras, than did usually attend and accompany all good designs, tending to the glory of God and salvation of souls ; whereof plentiful examples are recorded in holy scriptures, especially in the primitive times ; which in several chapters of the Acts of the Apostles may be demonstrated. Therefore it is our duty to persist and go on in a good work, looking by the eye of faith unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the great captain and conductor of all affairs, and especially those of this kind. He is the king, priest, and prophet of his church ; who hath commanded and encouraged his servants, that he calleth to engage under him, in the wars of the Lord, against sin and Satan, &c. to be strong and very courageous, &c. for I will be with thee ; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Josh. i. 5, 6, 7. Heb. xiii. 5. Yea Christ hath promised all his servants and embassadors, that he employs in this work, that he will be with them always, and unto the end of the world, Mat. xxviii. 19, 20.
§. 7. In the former part of this chapter, I briefly touched the godly care, zeal, and industry of Mr. Eliot, in setting upon the translating of the scriptures into the Indian tongue. This work being a considerable time in hand, it pleased God in his divine providence so to order it, that the new testament, being first printed, was finished about the time of his Majesty's return to his crown in peace ; for whom God had reserved the honour of the dedication thereof; as may appear by the Epistle Dedicatory, to him presented by the Commissioners of the united colonies in New-England ; which here follows.
" To the High and Mighty Prince, Charles the second, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith, &c.
" The Commissioners of the United Colonies in New-England, wish increase of all happiness.
" Most dread Sovereign,
" If our weak apprehensions have not misled us, this work will be no unacceptable present to your Majesty, as having a greater interest therein, than we believe is generally understood, which upon this occasion we conceive it our duty to declare.
" The people of these four colonies* (confederate for mutual defence, in the times of the late distractions of our dear native country) your Majesty's natural born subjects, by the favour and grace of your royal father and grandfather of famous memory, put themselves upon this
* Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New-Haven.
Chap. V. of the Indians in New-England. 175
great and hazardous undertaking, of planting themselves at their own charge in these remote ends of the earth; that without offence or provocation to our dear brethren and countrymen, we might enjoy that liberty to worship God, which our own conscience informed us was not only our right but duty ; as also that we, if it so pleased God, might be instrumental to spread the light of the gospel, the knowledge of the Son of God, our Saviour, to the poor, barbarous heathen ; which by his late Majesty, in some of our patents, is declared to be the principal aim.
" These honest and pious intentions have, through the grace of God and our kings, been seconded with proportionable success. For, omitting the immunities indulged by your Highness's royal predecessors, we have been greatly encouraged by your Majesty's gracious expressions of favour and approbation, signified unto the address made by the principal of our colonies ; to which the rest do most cordially subscribe ; though wanting the like seasonable opportunity, they have been till now deprived of the means to congratulate your Majesty's happy restitution, after your long sufferings ; which we implore may yet be graciously accepted, that we may be equal partakers of your royal favour and moderation ; which hath been so illustrious, that to admiration, the animosities of different persuasions of men have been so soon composed, and so much cause of hope, that, unless the sins of the nation prevent, a blessed calm will succeed the late horrid confusions of church and state. And shall not we, dread sovereign, your subjects of these colonies, of the same faith and belief in all points of doctrine with our countrymen and other reformed churches, though perhaps not alike persuaded in some matters of order, which in outward respects hath been unhappy for us,—promise and assure ourselves of all just favour and indulgence from a prince so graciously and happily endowed 1
" The other part of our errand hither hath been attended with endeavours and blessing; many of the wild Indians being taught, and understanding, the doctrine of the Christian religion, and with much affection attending such preachers as are sent to teach them. Many of their children are instructed to write and read ; and some of them have proceeded further to attain the knowledge of the Latin and the Greek tongues, and are brought up with our English youth in university learning. There are divers of them that can and do read some parts of the scripture, and some catechisms which formerly have been translated into their own language : which hath occasioned the undertaking of a great work, viz. the printing the whole bible: which, being translated by a painful labourer among them, who was desirous to see the work accomplished in his days, hath already proceeded to the finishing of the new testament ; which we here humbly present to your Majesty, as the first fruit and accomplishment of the pious design of your royal ancestors. The old testament is now under the press, wanting and craving your royal favour and assistance for the perfecting thereof.
"We may not conceal, though this work hath been begun and prosecuted by such instruments as God hath raised up here ; yet the chief charge and cost, which hath supported and carried it thus far,
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. V. 176
hath been from the charity and piety of divers of our well affected countrymen in England ; who, being sensible of our inability in that respect, and studious to promote so good a work, contributed large sums of money, which were to be improved according to the direction and order of the then prevailing powers ; which hath been faithfully and religiously attended, both there and here, according to the pious intentions of the benefactors. And we most humbly beseech your Majesty, that a matter of so much devotion and piety, tending so much to the honour of God, may suffer no disappointment through any legal defect, without the fault of the donors, or poor Indians, who only receive the benefit; but that your Majesty be graciously pleased to establish and confirm the same; being contrived and done, as we conceive, in that first year of your Majesty's reign, as this book was begun and now finished the first year of your establishment : which doth not only presage the happy success of your Highness's government, but will be a perpetual monument, that by your Majesty's favour, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ was made known to the Indians ; an honour whereof, we are assured, your Majesty will not a little esteem.
" Sir, the shine of your royal favour upon these undertakings will make these tender plants to flourish, notwithstanding any malevolent aspect from those that bear evil will to this Sion ; and render your Majesty more illustrious and glorious to after generations.
" The God of heaven long preserve and bless your Majesty with many happy days, to his glory, the good and comfort of his church and people. Amen."
This epistle was framed, and the Indian translation of the new testament finished, printed, and set forth, in September 5th, 1CG1 ; from whence we may infer, that as it was a credit to this work to have so great a prince to offer it unto ; so it was no less an honour to his Majesty, that one of his subjects should put the holy scriptures into the Indian language; and that himself should be the first Christian prince, unto whom a work of this nature should be presented and dedicated.
One thing falls in here fitly to be spoken of, as a means intended for the good of the Indians ; which was the erecting a house of brick at Cambridge in New-England, which passeth under the name of the Indian college. It is a structure strong and substantial, though not very capacious. It cost between three or four hundred pounds. It is large enough to receive and accommodate about twenty scholars with convenient lodgings and studies ; but not hitherto hath been much improved for the ends intended, by reason of the death and failing of Indian scholars. It hath hitherto been principally improved for to accommodate English scholars, and for placing and using a printing press belonging to the college. This house was built and finished at the charge, and by the appointment, of the Honorable Corporation for propagating the gospel in New-England.
Chap. VI. of the Indians in New-England. 177
Of the other Means and Instruments, used and improved for Civilizing and reducing the Indians from Barbarism.
§. 1. FORASMUCH as a pious magistracy and Christian government is a great help and means for promoting, cherishing, encouraging, and propagating, the Christian religion among any people, especially a nation so circumstanced, as these rude, uncultivated, and barbarous Indians were; care was taken by the general court of the Massachusetts, at the motion of Mr. Eliot, to appoint some of the most prudent and pious Indians, in every Indian village that had received the gospel, to be rulers and magistrates among them, to order their affairs both civil and criminal, and of a more ordinary and inferiour nature. These rulers were chosen by themselves, but approved by a superiour authority.
But moreover the general court appointed and empowered one of the English magistrates, to join with the chief of their rulers, and keep a higher court among them ; extending the power of this court to the latitude of a county court among the English; from the jurisdiction whereof nothing for good order and government, civil or criminal, is expected,* but appeals, life, limb, banishment, and cases of divorce. The first English magistrate, chosen to be ruler over the praying Indians in the colony of Massachusetts, was first Mr. D. G. the author of these Collections; and this was in A. D. 1656. But not long after his occasions called him for England for two or three years; one Major Humphrey Atherton + was appointed to conduct this affair, which he did about three years. But then the Lord taking him to himself, by death, and the author being returned back, in the year 1660, a year or more before Major Atherton's death, was again called and reinstated in that employ, A. D. 1661, and hath continued in that work hitherto.
For the better clearing of things, I shall here insert the orders of the general court touching this matter. Law Book, page 77, §. 8, 9.
" Whereas one end in planting these parts was to propagate the true religion unto the Indians ; and that divers of them are become subject to the English, and have engaged themselves to be willing and ready to understand the law of God : It is therefore ordered, that such necessary and wholesome laws, which are in force, and may be made from time to time, to reduce them to civility of life, shall be once a year, if the times be safe, made known to them, by such fit persons as the general court shalt appoint."
And again, §. 9.
" For the better ordering and governing the Indians subject to us, especially those of Natick, Punkapaog, &c. it is ordered, that whosoever the court shall appoint, do take care that all such Indians, do live according to our laws, as far as they are capable : and to that end shall be authorized to constitute and appoint Indian commissioners in their
* Probably the author meant excepted.
+ Major General Atherton, of Dorchester.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VI. 178
several plantations, to hear and determine all such matters that do arise among themselves, as one magistrate may do amongst the English , with officers to execute all commands and warrants, as marshal and constables And further they jointly shall have the power of a county court, to hear and determine all causes arising among them, the English magistrate appointing tune and place of the court, and consenting to the determination and judgment. And all other matters beyond their cognizance, shall be issued and determined by the court of assistants "
There are divers other 1aws and orders, made by the general court of Massachusetts, relating unto the Indians, which are printed and published, but are too long here to recite particularly The heads of them are 1 Declaring the Indians' title to 1ands, from Gen i 28 Chap ix 1 Ps cxv 16—2 The civil Indians to have lands granted them for towns —3 Indians not to be dispossessed of what lands they have subdued, or from their fishing places—4 None to buy lands from the Indians without license of the court—5 All strong liquors prohibited to be sold or given to the Indians, unless in case of sickness, by permission —6 Powows, or wizards and witches, prohibited upon penalty —7 Orders to restrain and prevent drunkenness , and some others I have only transcribed the former, being pertinent to our present subject.
§ 2 Besides the work above mentioned, transacted by the English magistrate and his assistants, there are sundry other things done by him in order to their good , as the making of orders, and giving instructions and directions backed with penalties, for promoting and practising morality, civility, industry, and diligence in their particular calling for idleness and improvidence are the Indians' great sin and is a kind of second nature to them which by good example and wholesome laws, gradually applied, with God's blessing, may be rooted out
Likewise it is the care of this English magistrate, intrusted with this affair, to make and execute good orders for keeping holy the sabbath day, and that the people do attend the public worship of God, and that schools for the education of youth be settled and continued among them, and to provide that the Indian teachers and rulers have some small encouragement distributed among them, according to the people's ability, which is done out of the tenths of their yearly increase of all sorts of grain and pulse This tithe is set apart at the ingathering and threshing of their grain, and brought into one place in each town, as due unto the Lord , and is disposed of by order of the court, for support of those that attend public service in both orders, in that place proportionably.
Perhaps this custom introduced among the Indians, will be censured by some, as savouring too much of Judaism and antichnstianism. But it is hoped, others will be candid and charitable, especially towards good Mr Eliot, who first led them into this way , and this he did, not without good reason First, taken from the moral equity of the duty, for encouragement of such public persons Secondly, from the rule and example prescribed in God's word, and the practice of the people of God So Melchizedek, being king and priest, received the tenth
Chap. VI. of the Indians in New-England. 179
of Abraham Gen xiv 20 Heb vii 4. Doubtless some part of every man's estate is due to God, who is the giver of all If any part, why not a tenth part, if the people agree to it, seeing there is such ample precedent for it, both before the ceremonial law, and in the time of it, and since it was abrogated? But it is not my work here to dispute the point
Besides the particulars above mentioned there are sundry other things, that fall under the consideration of the English magistrate, that have great influence into their religious concern and hath frequent occasions and opportunities to press christian exhortations upon them for their soul's good.
§ 3 The reason, why the English government is concerned with the Indians' affairs in point of rule and order, is because all those praying Indians in Massachusetts colony did long since, before they began to worship God, actually and solemnly submit themselves unto the jurisdiction and government of the English in the Massachusetts, as the records do declare.
Besides the care taken, as before, for their government, the general court of Massachusetts hath bounded, stated and settled, several townships and plantations of lands unto these praying Indians, of which we shall speak hereafter more particularly Some of these villages are of a larger, others, of lesser dimensions, according to their numbers, and as there may be occasion, the general court will grant more villages to the Indians.
The reasons inducing to this are First, to prevent differences and contention among the English and Indians in future times about the propriety of land. Secondly, to secure unto them and their posterity places of habitation , this being a provision in all those grants, that they shall not sell or alienate any part of those lands unto any Englishman, without the general court's consent for the Indians being poor, as well as improvident, are very prone to sell their land to the English, and thereby leave themselves destitute A third reason is, that they may cohabit together, without which neither religion or civility can well prosper.
If any should object, that it is not necessary, that the English should grant them land, forasmuch as it was all their native country and propriety, before the English came into America , the answer is ready : First, that the English claim right to their 1and, by patent from our king Secondly, yet the English had the grant of most of the land within this jurisdiction, either by purchase or donation from the Indian sachems and sagamores, which were actually in possession, when the English came first over Therefore the propriety is in the English, and it is necessary for the Indians, as the case stands, for their present and future security and tranquillity, to receive the 1ands by grant from the English, who are a growing and potent people, comparatively to the Indians.
§ 4 Before we conclude this chapter, it may not be impertinent, for the better clearing of things, to remark, that the English magistrate attending this service among the Indians, never had any compensation for his travail and expenses in this kind, either from Indians or English
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 180
in New-England ; though it is well known, he hath, as well as their teacher, Mr. Eliot, had many weary journies among them yearly, and under sundry trials, when he is forced to lodge in their woods and wigwams. But the Honourable Corporation at London, for propagating the gospel among the Indians in New-England, have been pleased of late years, by the hands of their delegates, the honoured Commissioners of the united colonies in New-England, to confer upon him out of the publick stock, at first fifteen pounds, now twenty pounds, New-England money, per annum, and as an honorarium for his service among the praying Indians. This is spoken here to declare, that those that labour in this harvest, are first to endeavour to learn perfectly that first lesson in Christ's school, [ mean self denial. Secondly, to keep the eye of faith fixed upon God, whose work it is, who will never fail to recompense either here or hereafter, all that work in his harvest. Indeed if he please to employ and accept us in Christ Jesus, it is a sufficient reward. Lastly, let not any be so uncharitable, as to think that what is here mentioned, is to reflect upon any, or to repine at God's bounty in the portion allotted, being it is far more than was expected. When the work was engaged in and undertaken, the principles and motions thereunto were, through grace, of higher alloy than gold, yea than fine gold.
Of the Number, Names, and Situation of the Indian praying towns, within the Colony of Massachusetts, with the Churches gathered in some of than, the Quantities of Land belonging to them, a Conjecture at the Number of Families and People that inhabit in them, with other matters thereuntil appertaining.
[*§. 1. The first town of praying Indiana in Massachusetts is Natick. The name signifieth a plate of hills.+ It lieth upon Charles river, eighteen miles south west from Boston, and ten miles north west from Dedham. It hath twenty nine families, which, computing Jive persons to a family, amount to one hundred and forty Jive persons.++ The town contains about six thousand acres. The soil is good and well watered, and produceth plenty of grain and fruit. The land was granted to the Indians, at the motion of Mr. Eliot, by the general court of Massachusetts ; || and in the year 1651, a number of them combined together,
* A leaf of the M. S. equal to about three fifths of a page of this printed edition, is here torn out, and we fear, irrecoverably lost. We have filled up the chasm with some particulars collected from other authors, and from tradition.
+ Our authority for this was Deacon Ephraim, a Natick Indian lately deceased. The Indian name for hills, in the Massachusetts Psalter, is wadchuash. In Roger Williams's Key into the language of America, we find the word nittauke, which signifies, my land.
++ See the note ** at the end of the 17th §.
|| Hubbard's M. S. Hist. chap. lviii.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 181
and formed a town, which is the place of the greatest name among the Indians,* and where their principal courts are held. +
As soon as the Indians had fixed their settlement, they applied to Mr. Eliot for a form of civil government; and he advised them to adopt that which Jethro proposed to Moses for the Israelites in the wilderness, Exod. xviii. 21. Accordingly, on the sixth of August, about one hundred of them met together, and chose one ruler of a hundred, two rulers of fifties, and tin rulers of tens. After this they entered into the following covenant.
"We are the sons of Adam. We and our forefathers have a long time been lost in our sins ; but now the mercy of the Lord beginneth to find us out again. Therefore, the grace of Christ helping us, we do give ourselves and our children to God, to be his people. He shall rule us in all our affairs, not only in our religion and affairs of the church, but also in all our works and affairs in this world. God shall rule over us. The Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king : he will save us. The wisdom which God hath taught us in his book, that shall guide us, and direct us in the way. O Jehovah, teach us wisdom to find out thy wisdom in the scriptures. Let the grace of Christ help us, because Christ is the wisdom of God. Send thy spirit into our hearts, and let it teach us. Lord, take us to be thy people, and let us take thee to be our God." ++
§. 2. This town consisteth of three long streets ; two on the north side of the river; and one, on the south ; with house lots to every family. There is a handsome large fort, of a round figure, palisaded with trees ; and a foot bridge over the river, in form of an arch, the foundation of width is secured with stone. There is also one large house built after the English manner. The lower room is a large hall, which serves for a meeting house, on the Lord's day, and a school house on the week days. The upper room is a kind of wardrobe, where the Indians hung up their skins, and other things of value. In a corner of this room Mr. Eliot has an apartment partitioned off, with a bed and bedstead in it.§] Their other houses in this town are generally after their old mode before described ; though some they have built in this and other of the praying villages, after the English form. But these being more chargeable to build and not so warm, and cannot be removed so easily as their wigwams, wherein there is not a nail used, to avoid annoyance by fleas, and themselves being generally artists in building and finishing their own wigwams: for these and like reasons, they do incline to keep their old fashioned houses.
§. 3. In this town was the first church of Indians imbodied, in the year of our Lord 1660. Unto this church some pious Indians of other places, both men and women, are since joined. The number of men
* Mather's Magnolia. Book iii. page 197.
+ Hutch. Hist. vol. I. page 167, note.
++ Neal's Hist. of N. Eng. chap. vi. page 235. § Ibid, page 234.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 182
and women, that are in full communion in this church, are about* ; and baptized.
Here we are to consider, that all those we call praying Indians are not all visible church members, or baptized persons : which ordinance of baptism is not to be administered unto any that are out of the visible church, until they profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him, but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized : this being sound doctrine, as we believe, asserted in that excellent lesser catechism of the assembly of divines, in their answer to the 95th question ; and according to this doctrine it is practised among the Indians.
Here I shall take the liberty, though it be a digression, to relate a story of remark concerning a child at Natick, a youth of about eleven years of age, who was of a sober and grave carriage, and an attentive hearer of the word, considering his age and capacity, but he had a weak body and was consumptive. This child hearing Mr. Eliot preach upon a time at Natick, when the ordinance of baptism was to be administered unto some children, whose parents had made profession of their faith and were joined to the church; upon which occasion Mr. Eliot said, that baptism was Christ's mark, which he ordered to be set upon his lambs, and that it was a manifest token of Christ's love to the offspring of his people to set this mark upon them ; this child taking special notice of this passage, did often solicit his father and mother, that one or both of them would endeavour to join to the church, that he might be marked for one of Christ's lambs before he died. The parents who were well inclined, especially the mother, and being also very affectionate to their child, as the Indians generally are, did seriously ponder the child's reiterated intreaties ; and not long after, first the mother, and then the father of the child, joined to the church. Soon after the lad was baptized ; in which he did greatly rejoice and triumph, that now he was marked for one of Christ's lambs ; and now said he to his father and mother, I am willing to die; which shortly after came to pass ; and I doubt not, but as the child had Christ's name set upon him in baptism and by faith, so his immortal soul is now in glory, rejoicing in communion with Christ.
This relation, which is a most true and certain thing, should methinks be argumentative to persuade the Antipaedobaptists **of our age to so much affection and humanity unto their offspring, as the poor Indians had to their child, to offer them up to God, that his mark and name in baptism might be set upon them.
There are many Indians that live among those that have subjected to the gospel, that are catechised, do attend publick worship, read the scriptures, pray in their family morning and evening ; but being not yet come so far, as to be able or willing to profess their faith in Christ, and yield obedience and subjection unto him in his church, are not admitted to partake in the ordinances of God, proper and peculiar to the church of Christ ; which is a garden enclosed, as the scripture saith. §. 4.
* In the year 1670 there were between forty and fifty communicants belonging to the church of Natick. Hutch. vol. I. page 167.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 183
§. 4. The manner practised by these Indians in the worship of God, is thus. Upon the Lord's days, fast days, and lecture days, the people assemble together at the sound of a drum,— for bells they yet have not,—twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, on Lord's days, but only once upon lecture days ; where one of their teachers, if they have more than one, begins with solemn and affectionate prayer. Then, after a short pause, either himself or some other thereunto appointed, readeth a chapter distinctly out of the old or new testament. At the conclusion thereof a psalm, or part of a psalm, is appointed, rehearsed, and solemnly sung. Then the minister catechises and prays before his sermon ; and so preacheth from some text of scripture. Then concludeth with prayer, and a psalm, and a blessing pronounced. Sometime, instead of reading the chapter, some persons do answer some part of the catechism.
In all these acts of worship, for I have been often present with them, they demean themselves visibly with reverence, attention, modesty, and solemnity ; the menkind sitting by themselves and the womenkind by themselves, according to their age, quality, and degree, in a comely manner. And for my own part, I have no doubt, but am fully satisfied, according to the judgment of charity, that divers of them do fear God and are true believers ; but yet I will not deny but that there may be some of them hypocrites, that profess religion, and yet are not sound hearted. But things that are secret belong to God ; and things that are revealed, unto us and our children.
§. 5. Their teachers are generally chosen from among themselves,— except some few English teachers,—of the most pious and able men among them. If these did not supply, they would generally be destitute : for the learned English young men do not hitherto incline or endeavour to fit themselves for that service, by learning the Indian language. Possibly the reasons may be : First, the difficulty to attain that speech. Secondly, little encouragement, while they prepare for it. Thirdly, the difficulty in the practice of such a calling among them, by reason of the poverty and barbarity, which cannot be grappled with, unless the person be very much mortified, self denying, and of a publick spirit, seeking greatly God's glory ; and these are rare qualifications in young men. It is but one of an hundred that is so endowed.
Mr. Eliot hath of late years fallen into a practice among the Indians, the better to prepare and furnish them with abilities to explicate and apply the scriptures, by setting up a lecture among them in logick and theology, once every fortnight, all the summer, at Natick ; whereat he is present and ready, and reads and explains to them the principles of those arts. And God hath been pleased graciously so to bless these means, that several of them, especially young men of acute parts, have gained much knowledge, and are able to speak methodically and profitably unto any plain text of scripture, yea as well as you can imagine such little means of learning can advantage them unto. From this church and town of Natick hath issued forth, as from a seminary of virtue and piety, divers teachers that are employed in several new praying towns ; of which we shall hear more, God willing, hereafter.
In this town they have residing some of their principal rulers, the
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 184
chief whereof is named Waban, who is now above seventy years of age. He is a person of great prudence and piety : I do not know any Indian that excels him. Other rulers there are living there, as Nattous and Piam Booban, and others. These are good men and prudent, but inferiour to the first. The teachers of this town are Anthony and John Speen, which are grave and pious men. They have two constables belonging to this place, chosen yearly ; and there is a marshal general belonging to all the praying Indian towns, called Captain Josiah, or Pennahannit. He doth attend the chief courts kept here, but he dwells at another place, called Nashobah.
I have been the larger in speaking of this place, because it is the chiefest town and eldest church ; and what is said of this doth agree to all the rest in divers things.*
§. 6. The next town is Pakemitt, or Punkapaog.+ The signification of the name is taken from a spring, that ariseth out of red earth. This town is situated south from Boston, about fourteen miles. There is a great mountain, called the Blue Hill, lieth north east from it about two miles: and the town of Dedham, about three miles north west from it. This is a small town, and hath not above twelve families in it; and so about sixty souls. This is the second praying town. The Indians that settled here, removed from Neponsitt mill. The quantity of land belonging to this village, is about six thousand acres ; and some of it is fertile, but not generally so good as in other towns. Here they worship God, and keep the Sabbath, in the same manner as is done at Natick, before declared. They have a ruler, a constable, and a schoolmaster. Their ruler's name is Ahawton; an old and faithful friend to the English. Their teacher is William Ahawton, his son ; an ingenious person and pious man, and of good parts. Here was a very able teacher who died about three years since. His name was William Awinian. He was a very knowing person, and of great ability, and of genteel deportment, and spoke very good English. His death was a very great rebuke to this place. This town hath within this ten years, lost by death several honest and able men ; and some have turned apostates, and removed from them : which dispensations of God have greatly damped the flourishing condition of this place. Here it was that Mr. John Eliot, junior, before mentioned, preached a lecture once a fortnight, for sundry years, until his decease. In this village, besides their planting and keeping cattle and swine, and fishing in good ponds, and upon Neponsitt river which lieth near them ; they are also advantaged by a large cedar swamp ; wherein such as are laborious and diligent, do get many a pound, by cutting and preparing cedar shingles and clapboards, which sell well at Boston and other English towns adjacent.
§. 7. Hassanamesitt++ is the third town of praying Indians. The name signifieth a place of small stones. This place lieth about thirty-eight
* Natick was incorporated into an English district in the year 1761 ; and into a town, in the year 1781. It still retains its Indian name.
+ Within the limits of Stoughton.
++ Now generally pronounced Hassanamisco. Grafton.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 185
eight miles from Boston, west southerly ; and is about two miles to the eastward of Nipmuck river ; + and near unto the old road way to Connecticut. It hath not above twelve families ; and so, according to our computation, about sixty souls ; but is capable to receive some hundreds, as generally the other villages are, if it shall please God to multiply them. The dimensions of this town is four miles square ; and so about eight thousand acres of land. This village is not inferiour unto any of the Indian plantations for rich land and plenty of meadow, being well tempered and watered. It produceth plenty of corn, grain, and fruit; for there are several good orchards in this place. It is an apt place for keeping of cattle and swine ; in which respect this people are the best stored of any Indian town of their size. Their ruler is named Anaweakin ; a sober and discreet man Their teacher's name is Tackuppa-willin, his brother ; a pious and able man, and apt to teach. Their aged father, whose name I remember not, is a grave and sober Christian, and deacon of the church. They have a brother that lives in the town, called James, that was bred among the English, and employed as a press man in printing the Indian bible ; who can read well, and, as I take it, write also. The father, mother, brothers, and their wives, are all reputed pious persons, and the principal studs of the town. Here they have a meeting house for the worship of God after the English fashion of building, and two or three other houses after the same mode ; but they fancy not greatly to live in them. Their way of living is by husbandry, and keeping cattle and swine ; wherein they do as well, or rather better, than any other Indians, but yet are very far short of the English both in diligence and providence. In this town was the second Indian church gathered, about three years since, in summer, 1671. The pastor of this church, is Tackuppawillin ; the ruling elder, Piambow ; the deacon, father to the pastor. There are in full communion in this church, and living in the town, about sixteen men and women, and about thirty baptised persons ; but there are several others, members of this church, that, live in other places. This is a hopeful plantation. The Lord give his blessing to it. The way of their worship and civil order, is here as in other Indian towns before mentioned.
§. 8. Okommakamesit, alias Marlborough, is situated about twelve miles north north east from Hassanamesitt, about thirty miles from Boston westerly. This village contains about ten families, and consequently about fifty souls. The quantity of land appertaining to it is six thousand acres. It is much of it good land, and yieldeth plenty of corn, being well husbanded. It is sufficiently stored with meadow, and is well wooded and watered. It hath several good orchards upon it, planted by the Indians: and is in itself a very good plantation. This town doth join so near to the English of Marlborough, that it was spoken of David in type, and our Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype, Under his shadow ye shall rejoice : but the Indians here do not much rejoice under the English men's shadow ; who do so overtop them in their number of people, stocks of cattle, &c. that the Indians do not greatly flourish, or delight in their station at present. Their ruler
+ Blackstone river.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap VII. 186
here was Onomog, who is lately deceased, about two months since ; which is a great blow to that place. He was a pious and discreet man, and the very soul, as it were, of that place. Their teacher's name is * Here they observe the same decorum for religion and
civil order, as is done in other towns. They have a constable and other officers, as the rest have. The Lord sanctify the present affliction they are under by reason of their bereavements ; and raise up others, and give them grace to promote religion and good order among them.
§.9. Wamesit + is the fifth praying town; and this place is situate upon Merrimak river, being a neck of land, where Concord river falleth into Merrimak river. It is about twenty miles from Boston, north north west, and within five miles of Billerica, and as much from Chelmsford : so that it hath Concord river upon the west northwest; and Merrimak river, upon the north north east. It hath about fifteen families; and consequently, as we compute, about seventy-five souls. The quantity of land belonging to it is about twenty five hundred acres. The land is fertile, and yieldeth plenty of corn. It is excellently accommodated with a fishing place; and there is taken variety of fish in their seasons, as salmon, shads, lamprey eels, sturgeon, bass, and divers others. There is a great confluence of Indians, that usually resort to this place in the fishing seasons. Of these strange Indians divers are vitious and wicked men and women; which Satan makes use of to obstruct the prosperity of religion here. The ruler of this people is called Numphow. He is one of the blood of their chief sachems. Their teacher is called Samuel ; son to the ruler, a young man of good parts, and can speak, read, and write, English and Indian competently. He is one of those that was bred up at school, at the charge of the Corporation for the Indians. These Indians, if they were diligent and industrious,—to which they have been frequently excited,— might get much by their fish, especially fresh salmon, which are of esteem and good price at Boston in the season ; and the Indians being stored with horses of a low price, might furnish the market fully, being at so small a distance. And divers other sort of fish they might salt or pickle, as sturgeon and bass ; which would be much to their profit. But notwithstanding divers arguments used to persuade them, and some orders made to encourage them ; yet their idleness and improvidence doth hitherto prevail.
At this place, once a year, at the beginning of May, the English magistrate-keeps his court, accompanied with Mr. Eliot, the minister; who at this time takes his opportunity to preach, not only to the inhabitants, but to as many of the strange Indians, that can be persuaded to hear him ; of which sort, usually in times of peace, there are considerable numbers at that season. And this place being an ancient and capital seat of Indians, they come to fish ; and this good man takes this opportunity to spread the net of the gospel, to fish for their souls. Here it may not be impertinent to give you the relation following.
* Hutchinson says his name was Solomon.
Vol I. page 167.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 187
May 5th, 1674, according to our usual custom, Mr. Eliot and myself took our journey to Wamesit, or Pawtuckett ; and arriving there that evening, Mr. Eliot preached to as many of them as could be got together out of Matt. xxii. 1-14. the parable of the marriage of the king's son. We met at the wigwam of one called Wannalancet, about two miles from the town, near Pawtuckett falls, and bordering upon Merrimak river. This person, Wannalancet, is the eldest son of old Pasaconaway, the chiefest sachem of Pawtuckett. He is a sober and grave person, and of years, between fifty and sixty. He hath been always loving and friendly to the English. Many endeavours have been used several years to gain this sachem, to embrace the Christian religion; but he hath stood off from time to time, and not yielded up himself personally, though for four years past he hath been willing to hear the word of God preached, and to keep the Sabbath.—A great reason that hath kept him off, I conceive, hath been the indisposition and averse-ness of sundry of his chief men and relations to pray to God ; which he foresaw would desert him, in case he turned Christian.—But at this time, May 6th, 1674, it pleased God so to influence and overcome his heart, that it being proposed to him to give his answer concerning praying to God, after some deliberation and serious pause, he stood up, and made a speech to this effect :
Sirs, you have been pleased for four years last past, in your abundant love, to apply yourselves particularly unto me and my people, to exhort, press, and persuade us to pray to God. I am very thankful to you for your pains. I must acknowledge, said he, I have, all my days, used to pass in an old canoe (alluding to his frequent custom to pass in a canoe upon the river) and now you exhort me to change and leave my old canoe, and embark in a new canoe, to which I have hitherto been unwilling: but now I yield up myself to your advice, and enter into a new canoe, and do engage to pray to God hereafter.
This his professed subjection was well pleasing to all that were present, of which there were some English persons of quality; as Mr. Richard Daniel, a gentleman that lived in Billerica, about six miles off: and Lieutenant Henchman, a neighbour at Chelmsford ; besides brother Eliot and myself, with sundry others, English and Indians. Mr. Daniel before named desired brother Eliot to tell this sachem from him, that it may be, while he went in his old canoe, he passed in a quiet stream : but the end thereof was death and destruction to soul and body : But now he went into a new canoe, perhaps he would meet with storms and trials ; but yet he should be encouraged to persevere, for the end of his voyage would be everlasting rest. Moreover he and his people were exhorted by brother Eliot and myself, to go on and sanctify the sabbath, to hear the word, and use the means that God hath appointed, and encourage their hearts in the Lord their God. Since that time, I hear this sachem doth persevere, and is a constant and diligent hearer of God's word, and sanctifieth the Sabbath, though he doth travel to Wamesit meeting every Sabbath, which is above two miles ; and though sundry of his people have deserted him, since he subjected to the gospel, yet he continues and persists.
In this town they observe the same civil and religious orders, as in other towns, and have a constable and other officers.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 188
This people of Wamesit suffered more in the late war with the Mawhawks, than any other praying town of Indians : for divers of their people were slain ; others, wounded ; and some, carried into captivity : which providence hath much hindered the prosperous estate of this place.
§. 10. Nashobah* is the sixth praying Indian town. This village is situated in a manner in the centre between Chelmsford, Lancaster, Groton, and Concord. It lieth from Boston about twenty five miles, west north west. The inhabitants are about ten families, and consequently about fifty souls. The dimensions of this village is four miles square. The land is fertile, and well stored with meadows and woods. It hath good ponds for fish adjoining to it. The people live here, as in other Indian villages, upon planting corn, fishing, hunting, and sometimes labouring with the English. Their ruler of late years was John Ahatawance, a pious man. Since his decease, Pennakennit ++ is the chief. Their teacher is named John Thomas, a sober and pious man. His father was murthered by the Maquas in a secret manner, as he was fishing for eels at his wear, some years since, during the war. He was a pious and useful person ; and that place sustained a great loss in him. In this village, as well in other old Indian plantations, they have orchards of apples, whereof they make cider ; which some of them have not the wisdom and grace to use to their comfort, but are prone to abuse unto drunkenness. And although the laws be strict to suppress this sin, and some of their own rulers are very careful and zealous in the execution of them ; yet such is the madness and folly of man naturally, that he doth eagerly pursue after that which tendeth to his own destruction. I have often seriously considered what course to take, to restrain this beastly sin of drunkenness among them ; but hitherto cannot reach it. For if it were possible, as it is not, to prevent the English selling them strong drink ; yet they having a native liberty to plant orchards and sow grain, as barley and the like, of which they may and do make strong drink that doth inebriate them : so that nothing can overcome and conquer this exorbitancy, but the sovereign grace of God in Christ ; which is the only antidote to prevent and mortify the poison of sin.
Near unto this town is a pond, wherein at some seasons there is a strange rumbling noise, as the Indians affirm ; the reason thereof is not yet known. Some have conceived the hills adjacent are hollow, wherein the wind being pent, is the cause of this rumbling, as in earthquakes.
At this place they attend civil and religious order, as in the other praying towns : and they have a constable and other officers.
This town was deserted during the Maquas' war, but is now again repeopled, and in a hopeful way to prosper.
§. 11. Magunkaquog + is the seventh town where praying Indians inhabit. The signification of the place's name is a place of great trees. It is situated partly within the bounds of Natick, and partly upon land
++ Or Pennahannit. See §. 5.
+ Pronounced at present Magunkook.—Hopkinton.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 189
granted by the country. It lieth west southerly from Boston, about twenty-four miles, near the midway between Natick and Hassanamesitt. The number of its inhabitants are about eleven families, and about fifty five souls. There are, men and women, eight members of the church at Natick, and about fifteen baptized persons. The quantity of land belonging to it is about three thousand acres. The Indians plant upon a great hill, which is very fertile. These people worship God, and keep the sabbath, and observe civil order, as do the other towns. They have a constable and other officers. Their ruler's name is Pomhaman ; a sober and active man, and pious. Their teacher is named Job ; a person well accepted for piety and ability among them. This town was the last setting of the old towns. They have plenty of corn, and keep some cattle, horses, and swine, for which the place is well accommodated.
§. 12. Having now spoken briefly of the seven old towns of praying Indians, I shall endeavour more briefly to give an account of seven towns more of praying Indians, within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts; which for distinction sake we call, the new praying towns in the Nipmuck country. The Indians of some of these towns began to hearken unto the gospel about three years since, or thereabouts. In July, 1673, Mr. Eliot and myself made a journey to visit some of them, and encourage and exhort them to proceed in the ways of God.
This year again, on the 14th of September last, 1674, we both took another journey. Our design was to travel further among them, and to confirm their souls in the Christian religion, and to settle teachers in every town, and to establish civil government among them, as in other praying-towns. We took with us five or six godly persons, who we intended to present unto them for ministers.
The first of these new praying towns is Manchage,* which lieth to the westward of Nipmuck river, about eight miles ; and is from Hassanamesitt, west and by south, about ten miles; and it is from Boston about fifty miles, on the same rhumb. It is sealed in a fertile country for good land. To it belongeth about twelve families, and about sixty souls : but the people were generally from home, though we spoke with some of them afterward. For this place we appointed Waabesktamin, a hopeful young man, for their minister, whom the people, with whom we spake afterward, accepted. There is no land yet granted by the general court to this place, nor to any other of the new praying towns. But the court intendeth shortly, upon the application and professed subjection of these Indians unto the yoke of Christ, to do for them as they have done for other praying Indians.
§. 13. Above five miles distant from hence is a second town called Chabanakongkomun.+ It hath its denomination from a very great pond, about five or six miles long, that borders upon the south end of it. This village is fifty-five miles, west and by south, from Boston. There are in it about nine families, and about forty-five souls. The people are of a sober deportment, and better instructed in the worship of God, than any of the new praying towns. Their teacher's name is Joseph, who is one of the church of Hassanamesitt; a sober, pious,
Gookin's Historical Collections. Chap. VII. 190
and ingenious person, and speaks English well, and is well read in the scriptures. He was the first that settled this town, and got the people to him about two years since. It is a new plantation, and is well accommodated with upland and meadows. At this place dwells an Indian called Black James, who about a year since was constituted constable of all these new praying towns. He is a person that hath approved himself diligent and courageous, faithful and zealous to suppress sin ; and so he was confirmed in his office another year. Mr. Eliot preached unto this people, and we prayed arid sung psalms with them, and they were exhorted by us to stand steadfast in the faith. A part of one night we spent in discoursing with them, and resolving variety of questions propounded by them, touching matters of religion and civil order. The teacher Joseph and the constable James went with us unto the next town, which is called
§. 14. Maanexit,* which is a third village, and lieth about seven miles westerly from Chabanakongkomun. It is situated in a fertile country, and near unto a fresh river, upon the west of it, called Mohegan river.+ It is distant from Boston about sixty miles, west and by south. The inhabitants are about twenty families, and, as we compute, one hundred souls. Mr. Eliot preached unto this people out of the xxivth Ps. 7. to the end : Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in, &c. After sermon was ended, we presented unto them John Moqua, a pious and sober person there present, for their present minister, which they thankfully accepted. Then their teacher named, and set, and rehearsed, a suitable psalm, which being sung, and a conclusion with prayer, they were exhorted, both the teacher to be diligent and faithful, and to take care of the flock, whereof the Holy Ghost had made him overseer, and the, people also to give obedience and subjection to him in the Lord.
§. 15. Quantisset ++ is a fourth village, which lieth about six miles to the south of Maanexit, and within four miles of the south line of Massachusetts colony. This place hath about twenty families, and one hundred souls. We went not to it, being straitened for time ; but we spake with some of the principal people at Wabquissit. For them we appointed a sober and pious young man of Natick, called Daniel, to be minister, whom they accepted in the Lord.
§. 16. Wabquissit || is a fifth town, which lieth about nine or ten miles from Maanexit, upon the west side, six miles, of Mohegan river ; and is distant from Boston west and by south, about seventy-two miles. It lieth about four miles within the Massachusetts south line. It hath about thirty families, and one hundred and fifty souls. It is situated in a very rich soil, manifested by the goodly crop of Indian corn
* The north-east part of Woodstock.
+ Now called Quinabaug river, which falls into Shetuchet river, four miles above Norwich Landing.
++ The south-east part of Woodstock.
|| The south-west corner of Woodstock. Woodstock is in Connecticut ; but it was formerly considered as within the limits of Massachusetts. See Hutch. Hist. vol. II. page 202—206.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 191
then newly ingathered, not less than forty bushels upon an acre. We came thither late in the evening, upon the 15th of September, and took up our quarters at the sagamore's wigwam, who was not at home : but his squaw courteously admitted us, and provided liberally, in their way, for the Indians that accompanied us. This sagamore inclines to religion, and keeps the meeting on sabbath days at his house, which is spacious, about sixty feet in length, and twenty feet in width.
The teacher of this place is named Sampson ; an active and ingenious person. He speaks good English, and reads well. He is brother unto Joseph, before named, teacher at Chabanakongkomun ; being both the only sons of one Petavit, alias Robin, one of the late rulers of Hassanamesitt, who died not above three days before our coming thither, after about a year's sickness of the stone. He was in his time a courageous and stout man for God and religion ; and was one that stood in the gap against the pride and insolency of wicked Indians, although sagamores, who sometimes would ruffle against religion and good order in his presence. He would venture him to oppose them, to good success. I remember sundry years since, a sagamore that lived up in the inland country, came to Hassanamesitt, and brought with him a rundlet of strong liquors ; and lodging in his house, Petavit in the morn sent for the constable, and ordered him, and according to law, seized the rundlet of liquors. At which act the sagamore drew a long knife, and stood with his foot at the rundlet, daring any to seize it. But Petavit thereupon rose up and drew his knife, and set his foot also to the rundlet, and commanded the constable to do his office. And the sagamore Some other
actions of the like kind he did. In truth God hath magnified his grace to his two sons ; being both hopeful, pious, and active men ; especially the younger before named Sampson, teacher at Wabquissit, who was, a few years since, a dissolute person, and I have been forced to be severe in punishing him for his misdemeanors formerly. But now he is, through grace, changed and become sober and pious ; and he is now very thankful to me for the discipline formerly exercised towards him. And besides his flagitious life heretofore, he lived very uncomfortably with his wife ; but now they live very well together. I confess this story is a digression. But because it tendeth to magnify grace, and that to a prodigal, and to declare how God remembers his covenant unto the children of such as are faithful and zealous for him in their time and generation, I have mentioned it.
We being at Wabquissit, at the sagamore's wigwam, divers of the principal people that were at home came to us, with whom we spent a good part of the night in prayer, singing psalms, and exhortations. There was a person among them, who sitting mute a great space, at last spake to this effect: That he was agent for Unkas, sachem of Mohegan, who challenged right to, and dominion over, this people of Wabquissit. And said he, Unkas is not well pleased, that the English should pass over Mohegan river, to call his Indians to pray to God.
Unto which speech Mr. Eliot first answered, that it was his work to call upon all men every where, as he had opportunity, especially the Indians, to repent and embrace the gospel ; but he did not meddle with civil right or jurisdiction.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 192
When he had done speaking, then I declared to him, and desired him to inform Unkas what I said, that Wabquissit was within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and that the government of that people did belong to them ; and that they do look upon themselves concerned to promote the good of all people within their limits, especially if they embraced Christianity. Yet is was not hereby intended to abridge the Indian sachems of their just and ancient right over the Indians, in respect of paying tribute or any other dues. But the main design of the English was to bring them to the good knowledge of God in Christ Jesus ; and to suppress among them those sins of drunkenness, idolatry, powowing or witchcraft, whoredom, murder, and like sins. As for the English, they had taken no tribute from them, nor taxed them with any thing of that kind.
Upon the 16th day of September, being at Wabquissit, as soon as the people were come together, Mr. Eliot first prayed, and then preached to them in their own language, out of Mat. vi. 33. First seek the kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof, and all other things shall be added unto you. Their teacher Simpson first reading and setting the cxix. Ps. 1st part, which was sung. The exercise was concluded with prayer.
Then I began a court among the Indians. And first I approved their teacher Sampson, and their constable Black James ; giving each of them a charge to be diligent and faithful in their places. Also I exhorted the people to yield obedience to the gospel of Christ and to those set in order there. Then published a warrant or order, that I had prepared, empowering the constable to suppress drunkenness, sabbath breaking, especially powowing and idolatry. And after warning given, to apprehend all delinquents, and bring them before authority, to answer for their misdoings; the smaller faults to bring before Wattasacompanam, ruler of the Nip-muck country ; for idolatry and powowing to bring them before me : So we took leave of this people of Wabquissit, and about eleven o'clock returned back to Maanexit and Chabanakongkomun, where we lodged this night.
§. 17. We took leave of the Christian Indians at Chabanakongkomun, and took our journey, 17th of the seventh month, by Manchage, to Pakachoog: which lieth from Manchage, north west, about twelve miles. We arrived there about noon. This village lieth about three miles south from the new road way that leadeth from Boston to Connecticut ; about eighteen miles, west southerly, from Marlborough ; and from Boston about forty four miles. It consists of about twenty families, and hath about one hundred souls therein. This town is seated upon a fertile hill ; * and is denominated from a delicate spring of water that is there.
We repaired to the sagamore's house, called John, alias Horowan-ninit, who kindly entertained us. There is another sagamore belonging to this place, of kindred to the former, whose name is Solomon
* This seems to be the same hill, which in the description of Worcester, page 113, is called Boggachoag. It is situated partly in Worcester, and partly in Ward. Boggachoag brook runs on the west side of it.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 193
alias Wooanaskochu. This man was also present, who courteously welcomed us. As soon as the people could be got together, Mr. Eliot preached unto them ; and they attended reverently. Their teacher, named James Speen, being present, read and set the tune of a psalm, that was sung affectionately. Then was the whole duty concluded with prayer.
After some short respite, a court was kept among them. My chief assistant was Wattasacompanum, ruler of the Nipmuck Indians, a grave and pious man, of the chief sachem's blood of the Nipmuck country. He resides at Hassanamesitt; but by former appointment, calleth here, together with some others. The principal matter done at this court, was, first to constitute John and Solomon to be rulers of this people and co-ordinate in power, clothed with the authority of the English government, which they accepted : also to allow and approve James Speen for their minister. This man is of good parts, and pious. He hath preached to this people almost two years: but he yet resides at Hassanamesitt, about seven miles distant. Also they chose, and the court confirmed, a new constable, a grave and sober Indian, called Matltoonus. Then I gave both the rulers, teacher, constable, and people, their respective charges; to be diligent and faithful for God, zealous against sin, and careful in sanctifying the sabbath.
Moreover at this court it was agreed to send a grave and pious Indian there present, called Jethro, belonging to Natick, to be a teacher unto a people living about ten miles more to the northward, at a place called Weshakim, alias Nashaway, near unto an English town called Lancaster. These have been a great people in former times; but of late years, have been consumed by the Maquas' wars and other ways; and are not above fifteen or sixteen families. I gave this Jethro a letter or order of the purport following.
For the sagamore Shoshanim and the Indian people that live with him at Weshakim,
Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied.
Whereas the Honourable General Court of the Massachusetts, hath appointed and authorized me to rule and govern the Indians within this jurisdiction ; and in a special manner to endeavour the promoting of religion and civility among them, I have thought it expedient, with the concurrence of Mr. John Eliot, principal teacher unto the Indians, and approbation of several of the rulers and teachers belonging to the churches at Natick and Hassanamesitt, to send unto you Jethro, a man approved in the church of Natick, to be a minister and teacher among you, and to instruct you in the good knowledge of the Lord God, and in the gospel of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray you therefore to receive him in the Lord, and yield ready obedience to the word of the Lord dispensed by him. And in a special manner, we exhort you, to keep the sabbath carefully, and abstain from drunkenness, whoredom, and powowing, and all other evils. In ready compliance herewith you will promote your own temporal and eternal happiness. So committing you to the Lord, and the word of his grace; praying for a blessing upon the means, for God's glory and your good ; I
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VII. 194
remain your loving and affectionate friend, for promoting your everlasting welfare.
DANIEL GOOKIN. Dated at Pakachoog, the 17th September, 1674.
Letters of the same import are intended to be given to the teachers of the other new praying Indian towns.
After this business was over, it being night before we had finished the court, there was an Indian present, which came into the wigwam about an hour before. He was belonging to Weshakim or Nashaway. This Indian desired liberty to speak; which being admitted, he made a speech with much affection and gravity to this effect : To declare that he belonged to Washakim near Nashaway ; and that he was desirously willing, as well as some others of his people, to pray to God ; but that there were sundry of that people very wicked and much addicted to drunkenness, and thereby many disorders were committed among them : and therefore he earnestly importuned me, that I would put forth power to help in that case, to suppress the sin of drunkenness. Then I asked him, whether he would take upon him the office of a constable, and I would give him power to apprehend drunkards, and take away their strong drink from them, and bring the delinquents before me to receive punishment. His answer was, that he would first speak with his friends, and if they chose him, and strengthened his hand in the work, then he would come to me for a black staff and power. I asked him, whether he were willing to have Jethro to go and preach to them ; to which he readily complied, and seemed joyful thereat. After this discourse, we concluded with singing a psalm and prayer ; and so retired to rest. And the next morning early, being September the 18th, we took our leave of these Indians, and passed to Marlborough ; and from thence returned to our own habitations.
There is yet another praying town in the Nipmuck country called Waeuntug.* This place lieth to the westward of Nipmuck river, against an English town called Mendon, which is on the east side of the river. It lieth about ten miles from Hassanamesitt, to the south of this place. There are two teachers; the one named James, brother to the pastor of Hassanamesitt; the other, called Sasomet. They both live at Hassanamesitt, and are of the church there, and both preach to that people. I never was at the place; and therefore cannot give a particular account thereof at present.
There are two other Indian towns, viz. Weshakim and Quabaug,+ which are coming on to receive the gospel : and reckoning these, there are nine in the Nipmuck country. But they being not fully settled, I omit them.
Thus I have endeavoured particularly to describe these Indian praying villages within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts ; which are
+ The south-east part of Brookfield.
Chap. VII. of the Indians in New-England. 195
Towns 14 Souls yielding obedience } 1100**
Churches 2 to the gospel about }
The harvest is ripe for many more, if God please to thrust forth labourers. The pious reader, whose heart desires the honour of God,
Tradition says, that a hundred and twenty years ago the Indians in Natick were comparatively numerous. Sec note * to §. 3. A large proportion of the communicants were probably inhabitants of Natick.
It may perhaps afford satisfaction to some persons to know the number of Indians in Massachusetts, at different periods since the year 1674. The following is the only account which we have had time and opportunity to collect. We regret that it is not in our power to make it more complete ; but we hope that some of our readers, who possess better information, will supply our deficiences.— The war with Philip greatly interrupted the progress of Christianity among the Indians. [Hubbard's M. S. Hist. chap. lxxiv.] Many praying towns in Massachusetts were broken
up. Mr. Eliot says, that in the year 1684, they were reduced to four. [Appendix to the Life of Boyle, page 445.] They seem however to have increased soon after ; for in the year 1687, Dr. Increase Mather mentions five churches. [Lett. to Leusden.] They have gradually diminished since that period. In the year 1753, there were in Natick, the principal town of Indians in the colony, twenty-five families, beside several individuals. Some of the males were soldiers in the war against the French, which took place soon after. Returning from the lakes, they brought home a mortal disease, of which twenty-three died in the year 1759. In the year 1764, according to a census then taken, there were thirty-seven Indians only in Natick ; but in this return, probably the wandering Indians were not included. The Indians in Natick are now reduced to one family of five persons, and two single women. There are besides, belonging to this place, ten adults, some of whom have children. They lead a wandering life, seldom residing long in one place.—The Indians of Grafton have not wasted so fast. In 1764, there were eight or ten families. [Hutch. vol. 1. page 167.] And there are still about thirty persons, who retain a portion of their lands, and receive their annual quit rents from the white inhabitants.— These Indians, with a few in Stoughton, are, we believe, all the remains of the numerous tribes who formerly inhabited the old colony of Massachusetts.— The Muhhekaneew, or Stockbridge Indians, who migrated from Hudson's river, about the year 1734, no longer reside in the state, having, between the years 1785 and 1787, removed to Oneida. Whilst they remained, they wasted away like all other Indians. Forty years ago, there were about a hundred and fifty families ; but in the year 1764, they were reduced to two hundred and twenty-one persons, and in 1786, to about one third of that number.
** That is, in Natick [supposed 145 Punkapaog 60 Hassanamesitt 60 Okommakamesit 50 Wamesit 75 Nashobah 50 Magunkaquog 55 Manchage 60 Chabanakongkomun 45 Maanexit 100 Quantisset 100 Wabquissit 150 Pachachoog 100 Waeuntug [supposed 50
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VIII. 196
and the salvation of these poor heathen, may here see some small beginnings that God hath wrought, and what foundations, through grace, are laid for the future good, and increasing their numbers; for every one of these towns are able to entertain considerable number of Indians, and it pleaseth God now and then to call in some wild Indians to settle among them.
Now we shall proceed to inform you, according to the best intelligence I can obtain, of the progress of the gospel among the Indians, in or near the other English colonies and plantations of New-England.
Of the Progress of the Gospel among the Indians in the colony of New-Plymouth, and the Instruments God hath raised up to promote the same.
§. I. THE example and exhortations of Reverend Mr. Eliot, and his travelling into Plymouth jurisdiction at sometimes, and writing letters to stir up others, and preaching among some of them, and others coming sometimes to him, hath had an influence, through the grace of God co-operating, to win sundry of them to yield obedience and subjection unto the gospel. For the encouragement and furtherance of that work, it pleased God to raise up one Mr. Richard Bourne, living in that colony, about Sandwich ; who being a pious, sober, and active person, endowed with good understanding in the scriptures, having gained by his industry and diligence a competent knowledge and ability to teach them in the Indian language; he applied himself to preach the gospel to some Indians that dwelt not far from his habitation : and afterwards finding good success, went further among them, preaching the glad tidings of salvation to sundry others : that a good and plentiful harvest is gathered in that colony. Of which take the following account from his own hands.
§. 2. " To his much esteemed friend, Captain Gookin, in Cambridge, dddd.
" Worthy Sir,
"All due respects presented; according to your desire, signified in your letter unto myself, I have endeavoured to return you a particular answer, according to the short time I had to accomplish it in. Although I have not been willing to appear formerly in so particular account as this is, but rather did desire, that the effect of the work might speak for me, the which would speak more fully than I could : But being it must be so now, I hope it will occasion many to render thanks to God with myself, in respect of the grace in the gospel manifested among these poor, lost people. And for those that I have been conversant with, and employed amongst, these many years, you may please to see as followeth.
"First there is at Meeshawn, or near the head of the Cape,* and at Punonakanit, or Billingsgate,+ that are praying Indians, that do frequently
* Cape Cod. Part of these Indians probably lived in Provincetown ; but the greatest number in Truro.
+ Now Wellfleet.
Chap. VIII. of the Indians in New-England. 197
meet together upon the Lord's day to worship God ; and likewise the rest as followeth ; viz.
Men and women 51
Young men and maids 21
Of these seventy-two there is that can read Indian
And that can write there is
"Potanumaquut,* or Nawsett,|| or Eastham, there are praying Indians,
Men and women 24
Young men and maids 20
Of these forty-four there is that can read
That can write there is but
"Manamoyik,¥ there are praying Indians,
Men and women 42
Young men and maids, 29
Of these seventy-one there is that can read
That can write
That can read English
"Sawkattukett,§ Nobsquassit,§§ Matakees,¶ and Weequakut,** praying Indians,
Men and women 55
Young men and maids 67
Of these one hundred and twenty-two there is that can read
That can write there is
That can read English
"Satuit, Pawpoesit, Coatuit,++ Mashpee, Wakoquet,¥¥ there is praying Indians,
Men and women 70
Young men and maids 25
Of these ninety-five there is that can read
That can write
That can read English
"Codtanmut,§* Ashimuit,|||| Weesquobs,¶¶ there is praying Indians,
Men and women 12
Young men and maids 10
Of these twenty-two there is that can read
That can write
That can read English
* The south east part of Eastham.
|| The north part of Eastham.
§ The west part of Harwich.
§§ The north east part of Yarmouth.
¶ The land between Barnstable and Yarmouth harbours, lying principally in the north west part of Yarmouth.
** Pronounced at present Cheehwacket. The south west part of the east precinct in Barnstable.
¥¥ Satuit, or Sanctuit, Pawpoesit, and Wakoquet, or Waquoit, are all within, or near the limits of Mashpee.
++ Coatuit is in the south west part of Barnstable.
§* Probably Canaumut Neck in Mashpee.
|||| Or Shumuit. On the west line of Mashpee.
¶¶ Between Pokesset meeting-house and Wenaumut Neck in Sandwich.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VIII. 198
"Pispogutt,* Wawayontat, + Sokones,¥ there is praying Indians,
Men and women 20
Young men and maids 16
Of these thirty-six that can read
That can write
"Cotuhtikut,|| Assoowamsoo,¶ there are praying Indians, one with another,
[A] "Concerning these last mentioned, I cannot give such a particular account, as I did in the former ; forasmuch as that when I returned from Cotuhtikut to Plymouth, then I was informed of your desires respecting this account ; the places being near forty miles distant from my habitation.
"As respecting gathered churches, there is but one; and ninety persons, baptized ; besides yet in full communion, twenty-seven. For Englishmen that are employed in the work, that respects this account, there is only myself. Mr. John Cotton is employed in another part of the colony ; the which, I conclude, he will give a particular account of.
"The church of Indians in this colony, whereof I am pastor, was gathered near four years since.
"There is four Indians employed in this work, viz. Wuttananmattuk, Meeshawin, Peter, alias Sakantuket, and Charles of Mannamit** and places adjacent. Other Indians, viz. four I have employed ; but as yet have not received any wages as from the honoured Commissioners, by reason of the miscarrying of my letters.
"As for lands set out to the Indians, distinct from the English lands, there are divers places already bounded ; viz. Where I am most conversant, there is a tract of land preserved for them and theirs forever, under hand and seal ; the which is near ten miles in length, and five in breadth. There is the like done at Comassakumkanit,¥¥ near Sandwich, and at Cotuhtikut: Our honoured governour and magistrates being always very careful to preserve lands for them, so far as is in their power to do it.
"The places that want help in a settled way are these, viz. Cotuhtikut, Potanumaquut, Manamoyik, Sokones, and Mananiet.++ We have and do want books exceedingly to carry on the work by those that are employed therein. I do not question but there is more than one hundred young ones, that are entered both in writing and reading, that are not put into this account. There is good hopes of divers of
+ Waywayantik, or Wewewantett. Wareham.
¥ Commonly pronounced Succonusset. Part of Falmouth.
|| Or Titticut. Part of Middleborough.
¶ Or Assowamset. Part of Middleborough.
[A] Mr. Boone's account—Souls, 497—That read Indian, 142—that write, 72—That read English, 9.
** In Sandwich, near the bottom of Buzzard's bay.
¥¥ Probably Herring Pond in Plymouth.
++ Probably Mannamit.
Chap. VIII. of the Indians in New-England. 199
them ; some of them, being lately dead, having given a good testimony of their being in the faith ; and so lifting up their souls to Christ, as their Saviour and their all in all ; as divers of the well affected English know, and have been present among some of them that departed this life.
"I was with one of them the last summer, that had been sick for a long time ; and I stayed with him near one whole day : and there came from him very savoury and heavenly expressions. One passage I will make bold to insert ; the which is this. That he being very sick, not expecting the continuance of his life, told me that his wife did much solicit him to forsake God and live ; forasmuch as many that were not praying Indians, were not so afflicted as he was. But he, using those words in Job ii. 9, 10, gave her this answer, That he would cleave to God, although he died, rather than live, and forsake him.
"Much more I might write in these respects, but am not willing to be troublesome ; although the truth is, that many of them are very loose in their course, to my heart breaking sorrow.
"As concerning the messengers, that were present, when the church was gathered, there was present our honoured governour, that now is, with divers of the magistrates. There was also seven of the teaching elders, with the messengers of their respective churches ; besides, I suppose, five hundred people : some of the chief of them declaring their satisfaction and approbation of the present work at that time.
"Thus I hope I have in general answered your queries according to the short time I had to accomplish these things in, considering the remoteness of the several places, where I am conversant divers times. Thus I have given you a brief answer to your desires ; intreating the blessing of the Lord to be with you and this great work for Jesus Christ which we have in hand : and restYours in the service of Christ,
Sandwich, 1. of 7. month, 1764.
§. 3. I had another account from Mr. John Cotton, pastor of the English church at Plymouth, concerning those Indians he teacheth in that colony of Plymouth ; which take in this following letter from him, directed to me :
"These for the Worshipful Captain Daniel Gookin, Magistrate, living in Cambridge.
Worshipful and honoured Sir,
"Mr. Bourne having been long in the Indian work, and acquainted with the Indian language in several parts, is most able to give you a satisfying account of the work of God, and its progress among the Indians of this colony. I have not long lived here : but in this time I began to preach the word of God to a company of Indians, at a place called Kitteaumut.* Since which, through the blessing of God, the number of praying Indians is forty males and females. As yet they have no Indian teacher ; but on sabbath days, they usually go to hear one of Mr. Bourne's Indians, at the nearest place to them.
* Or Katamet. Part of Sandwich, on Buzzard's bay.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. VIII. 200
"About ten of these can read the English books; [A] and many more are very desirous to learn to read the word : but there is very great want of Indian primers and bibles. I much desire that the Commissioners would take some speedy course to supply that defect. I sometimes preach to the Indians upon the Cape, at several places, and at Namassekett ;+ whither come the praying Indians of Assawomit¥ and Ketchiquut.|| Of those Indians Mr. Bourne gives you the account. When the courts are here, there are usually great multitudes of Indians from all parts of the colony. At those seasons I preach to them ; which I mention, because God hath so far blessed it, as to make it a means to encourage some that live very remote, to affect praying to God ; viz. Manmanewat, sachem of Sakonett,¶ and some principal Indians of Coquitt ;** who made their confessions, and declared their willingness to serve God ; and they do improve all the opportunities they can get to hear the word. They came to hear me at Acushnett,++ when I preached there; and do desire further means of instruction. I desire your prayers for me and mine; and rest, Sir,
" Your Worship's in any service for Christ,
Plymouth. Sep. 14. 1674."
§. 4. 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. 1 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. It is our duty by faith and prayer to wait God's time, to give a blessing on the means. Indeed the scriptures inform us, That not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble men, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which arc despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. And the reason is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. 1 Cor. i. 26—29. Though not many, yet some of the great men of the world, God is pleased sometimes to call ; and they are only those that he hath chosen. When a sachem or sagamore is converted to the faith, and yields himself up to embrace the gospel, it hath a great influence upon his subjects ;
[A] Translated into the Indian language.
+ Or Namasket. Part of Middleborough.
¶ Little Compton.
** Or Coxit. Part of Dartmouth.
++ New Bedford.
* Bristol. The nation of which he was sachem, derived their name from this place; see chap. ii. §. 4.—but they were sometimes styled the Wamponoags.
Chap. IX. of the Indians in New-England. 201
according to that old maxim; Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.+
Of the Progress of the Gospel among the Indians at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and of the Instruments that God hath raised up and employed, to preach the Gospel to the Indians of those Islands.
§. 1. MARTHA'S Vineyard, or Martin's Vineyard, called by the Indians Nope, which we have in the former book described, hath been, through the grace of Christ, a very fruitful vineyard unto the Lord of hosts, and hath yielded a plentiful harvest of converted Indians.
The first instruments, that God was pleased to use in this work at this place, was Mr. Thomas Mayhew, and his eldest son, Mr. Thomas Mayhew, junior. The father was a merchant, bred in England, as I take it, at Southampton ; and he followed the same calling in New-England,
+ Christianity met with much better success in Plymouth, than in Massachusetts. In the year 1685, the praying Indians in this colony amounted to fourteen hundred and thirty-nine, beside boys and girls under twelve years of age, who were supposed to be more than three times that number. [Hutch. vol. I. page 349.]—In the year 1693, there were within the limits of Eastham, five hundred and five adult Indians, to whom Mr. Treat preached ; two hundred and fourteen adults, beside stragglers, at Mashpee. and places adjacent, under the care of Mr. Howland Cotton, minister of Sandwich : a hundred and eighty Indians, to whom Mr. Thomas Tupper preached; and five hundred more, under the care of Mr. John Cotton, minister of Plymouth, [Matthew Mayhew's Narrative, pag. 46—53. See also Mather's Magnalia, Book vi. pag. 60, and Neal's Hist. chap. vi. pag. 256.] In the year 1764, there still remained in the colony nine hundred and five Indians of every age ; two hundred and twenty-three of whom were in the county of Plymouth ; five hundred and fifteen, in the county of Barnstable ; and an hundred and sixty-seven, in the county of Bristol. Since that period their numbers are much lessened. There is at present no Indian church in the counties of Plymouth or Bristol; and Mashpee only, in the county of Barnstable.—Of a hundred and thirty-four Indians in Dartmouth and Freetown in 1764, there are now about thirty-three left. [Information of Rev. Mr. Backus.] In the other towns of Bristol they are probably extinct. There are four or five families of Indians in Middleborough ; two or three in Pembroke ; five or six persons in Bridgewater ; and probably a few scattered about in other parts of the county of Plymouth. [Inf. of Rev. Mr. B.]—In the county of Barnstable, a few Indians remain at Potanumaquut, a few in the town of Barnstable, and a few at Herring Pond, between Sandwich and Plymouth. But the great body of them resides at Mashpee, where there are about eighty families, consisting principally of a mixed race, not more than forty or fifty persons being pure Indians. [M. S. Let. of Rev. Mr. Mellen.]
See the Postcript.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. IX. 202
England, at his first coming over, which was in the beginning of the settlement of Massachusetts colony. His abode was at Watertown, where he had good accommodations of land, and built an excellent profitable mill there, which in those first times brought him in great profit. But it pleased God to frown upon him in his outward estate: so that he sold what he had in the Massachusetts, to clear himself from debts and engagements, and about the year 1642, transplanted himself to Martha's Vineyard, with his family. He was, as I take it, the first Englishman that settled that Island : where he hath ever since continued as the governour and chief man there; being yet living, and about eighty years of age.*
His eldest son Thomas, being a scholar and pious man, after some time was called to be minister unto the English upon that island. It pleased God strongly to incline the two good men, both the father and the son, to learn the Indian tongue of that island : and the minister especially was very ready in it; and the old man had a very competent ability in it.
These two, especially the son, began to preach the gospel to the Indians, about the year 1648, or 1649, as I best remember; and had set and appointed times to meet with them. Some of the Indians lived near to the English town. The good father, the governour, being always ready to encourage and assist his son in that good work, not only upon the Vineyard, but upon Nantucket isle, which is about twenty miles from it ; God's blessing in the success of their labours was and is very great: for the gospel in that place hath been, as the scripture speaks, like leven, a little whereof hath levened the whole lump of these two islands : which two islands have" a considerable number of people upon them. Unto all or most of them the gospel is now spread ; and divers of them, we hope, are in truth brought home to God. This work prospered with good success several years.
§. 2. But An. 1657, in the month of November, Mr. Mayhew, the son, took shipping at Boston, to pass for England, about some special concerns, intending to return with the first opportunity ; for he left his wife and children at the Vineyard : and in truth his heart was very much in that work, to my knowledge, I being well acquainted with him. He took his passage for England in the best of two ships then bound for London, whereof one James Garrett was master. The other ship, whereof John Pierse was commander, I went passenger therein, with Mr. Hezekiah Usher senior of Boston, and several other persons. Both these ships sailed from Boston in company. Mr. Garrett's ship, which was about four hundred tons, had good accommodations, and greater far than the other : and she had aboard her a very rich lading of goods, but most especially of passengers, about fifty in number ; whereof divers of them were persons of great worth and virtue, both men and women ; especially Mr. Mayhew, Mr. Davis, Mr. Ince, and Mr. Pelham, all scholars, and masters of art, as I take it, most of them. The second of these, viz. Mr. Davis, son to one of
* He died in the year 1681, in the ninety-third year of his age. See Prince's Account of English Ministers, of Martha's Vineyard, annexed to Experience Mayhew's Indian Converts.
Chap. IX. of the Indians in New-England. 203
that name at New Haven, was one of the best accomplished persons for learning, as ever was bred at Harvard College in Cambridge in New England. Myself was once intended and resolved to pass in that ship: but the master, who sometimes had been employed by me, and from whom I expected a common courtesy, carried it something unkindly, as I conceived, about my accommodations of a cabin ; which was an occasion to divert me to the other ship, where I also had good company, and my life also preserved, as the sequel proved : For this ship of Garrett's perished in the passage, and was never heard of more. And there good Mr. Mayhew ended his days, and finished his work+
This awful providence of God put a great check upon the progress of the gospel at Martha's Vineyard. But old Mr. Mayhew, his worthy father, struck in with his best strength and skill ; and hath doubtless been a very great instrument to promote the work of converting many Indian souls upon those Islands.
And here I may take occasion to mention a short, but true story, of certain Quakers, who landing upon that island, went to some of the Indian wigwams; and discoursing with some of the Indians that understood English, as divers of them do, the Quakers persuaded and urged the Indians to hearken to them; and told the Indians, that they had a light within them, that was sufficient to guide them to happiness ; and dissuaded the Indians from hearing Mr. Mayhew, or reading the scriptures ; and said, that those ministers that preached from, or used the scriptures, were as Baal's priests and hirelings, &c. And at last the Quakers offered the Indians some of their pamphlet books, which they always carry with them; exhorting the Indians to read them ; and they would be of greater benefit to them than the bible. The Indians heard all this discourse patiently ; and then one of the principal of them that could speak English, gravely answered the Quakers after this manner. You are strangers to us, and we like not your discourse. We know Mr. Mayhew, that he is a good and holy man ; but you we know not. You tell us of a light within us, that will guide us to salvation: but our experience tells us, that we are darkness and corruption, and all manner of evil within our hearts. You dehort us from using the bible ; but offer your books and commend them to us : We cannot receive your counsel, contrary to our own experience, and the advice and exhortations of our ancient and good teachers. Therefore we pray you, trouble us no further with your new doctrines ; for we do not approve it. So the Quakers, not long after, departed from the island ; and never since have they been infested with them.
§. 3. In the year of our Lord 1659, it pleased God to bring things to such maturity among the praying Indians at the Vineyard, that one Indian church was gathered among them ; which since is become two churches : Where I take this account in part of a letter from Mr. John Cotton, now pastor at Plymouth, which sometimes lived and preached to the Indians upon the Vineyard.
+ Mr. Prince has written memoirs of Mr. Mayhew's life in the book referred to above.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. IX. 204
"When I lived at the Vineyard, the praying towns were Chappaquidgick,* Nashamoiess,+ Sengekontakit,|| Toikiming,¥ Nashuakemmiuk,¶ Talhanio ;** one church there gathered long before, but no officers. Since I lived here, I went over with Mr. Eliot thither ;++ and Hiacoomes was ordained pastor: John Tokinosh, teacher; John Nonoso and Joshua Mummeecheeg, ruling elders.¥¥ Since I hear they are become two churches ; the pastor and one ruling elder for Chappaquidgick; the teacher and the other ruling elder, for the other church, which hath some members, if I mistake not, in all the other towns above mentioned. Hands were imposed in ordination, by Mr. Eliot, Mr. Mayhew, and myself.
"The church at Marshpaug,|||| was gathered, and Mr. Bourne ordained pastor of it ; hands imposed by Mr. Eliot and I, and one of the messengers of Natick church, and one of the Vineyard. Major Winslow, now our governour, Mr. Southworth, Mr.------, Mr. Hinkley, and Mr. Bacon, were the magistrates present ; Mr. Walley, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Shove, Mr. Thornton, Mr. Homes, Mr. Newman, with brethren from all our churches. How these churches have increased since I cannot inform."
Thus far Mr. Cotton's letter, dated at Plymouth, Sept. 14, 1674.
This Mr. Cotton, above named, is second son to Mr. John Cotton, the late worthy teacher of the church of Christ at Boston, in New and Old England. This man is now pastor of the church at New Plymouth : but some years past was preacher unto the English upon Martha's Vineyard ; and having some skill in the Indian tongue, did teach the Vineyard Indians the good knowledge of God. Since his removal to Plymouth, he doth the like, as we have above heard.
§. 4. Here I shall give you a further account of the Indian affairs at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, expressed in a letter received from Mr. Thomas Mayhew, directed to me.
"To the Worshipful, his worthy friend, Mr. Daniel Gookin. These deliver at his house at Cambridge."Upon the Vineyard, Sep. 1, 1674.
"Much honoured Captain Gookin,
"A copy of yours of the 14th of May I did receive, containing fifteen queries. I have no time to answer so many now, of which
* Chappaquidgick is an Island east of Martha's Vineyard, separated from it by a strait, about a quarter of a mile wide. It is within the limits of Edgartown.
+ The south part of Edgartown.
|| Also spelled Sanchecantacket. The north part of Edgartown.
++ Taacame, or Takame. Tisbury.
¶ Nashouohkamack. Chilmark.
** Probably part of Chilmark.
++ In the year 1670.
¥¥ See Experience Mayhew's Indian Converts. Chap. I. Examples 1, 3, 4, 13.
Chap. IX. of the Indians in New-England. 205
some are very difficult. Briefly, the first church was gathered here just fifteen years since, I sent for Mr. Prince* and several others, but they came not ; but the English of the island, and several strangers of divers places, present, did well approve of them. Which church is now become three churches, by reason of their habitations : two upon the Vineyard. There are near fifty in full, and suppose rightly in communion, [A] by virtue of their Godly conversations. Which churches have a pastor and an elder. Mr. Eliot was here, and joined in their ordination. Mr. Cotton was also here with Mr. Eliot. The families here are three hundred at least : upon the isle Chappaquidgick, sixty families ; but one of them that prays not to God. The other, two hundred and forty families are generally praying. Care is taken that all and every one come in by voluntary confession ; which is and hath been the constant practice here now. We did at the first receive them, they renouncing heathenism and confessing their sins; and those were generally professors. Out of them they entered into church fellowship, when by the word and spirit of God they are moved thereunto. There arc ten Indian preachers, of good knowledge and holy conversation ; seven jurisdictions; and six meetings every Lord's day. In every jurisdiction the heads are worshippers. The whole holds forth the face of Christianity : how sincere, I know not.
"And for Nantucket, there is a church which relates to me. They as I said, first joined into full worship here, and since became a church orderly, and is increased. Upon that island are many praying Indians. Also the families of that island are about three hundred. I have oftentimes accounted the families of both islands ; and have very often, these thirty-two years, been at Nantucket.
"For schools, sometimes there are some ; sometimes, not. But many can read and write Indian: very few, English ; none, to great purpose ; not above three or four ; and those do it brokenly. Myself and my two grandsons can speak the language of this island. But my grandsons not yet employed. John, the younger, doth teach the Indians, and is like now, I suppose to be encouraged by the Commissioners. Matthew, my eldest grandchild, hath also preached to them ; and I think, when settled, will again.
"This upon the sudden ; which is that I know to be exactly true : for I am always considering of persons and things, being well acquainted with the state and condition of the Indians. I shall not add, but my due respects, and salute you, and rest,
"Worthy Sir, your affectionate friend,
"And servant to command in our Lord Jesus,
* Governour of Plymouth.
[A] In the two churches upon the Vineyard.
+ In the year, 1692, the number of Indians on Martha's Vineyard was much lessened. The church however at that time consisted of more than a hundred persons, [Mat. Mayhew's Nar. pag. 28.]—In the year 1720,
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. IX. 206
§. 5. Concerning the island of Nantucket, and the work of God among the Indians, besides what is above expressed in Mr. Mayhew's letter, take the following account. This island of Nantucket we have described in a former book, and therefore shall omit it here. The first light of the gospel that came to this island, was by means of Mess'rs. Thomas Mayhew, father and son ; and also by Hiacoomes, now pastor of one of the churches upon that Vineyard. The Indians upon this island sow English as well as Indian corn, spin and knit stockings, and are more industrious than many other Indians. The truth is, the Indians, both upon the Vineyard and Nantucket are poor ; and, according as the scripture saith, do more readily receive the gospel and become religious. The rules of religion teach them to be diligent and industrious; and the diligent hand maketh rich, and adds no sorrow with it.
Upon September the 4th, 1674, I spoke with some of the principal Indians of Nantucket; particularly with John Gibbs, alias Assasammoogh, pastor of the Indian church there ; and with Caleb, alias Weekochisit, one of their teachers and a sagamore's son. These two persons informed me, that there is one church at Nantucket, whereof John Gibbs aforesaid is pastor : that there is about thirty men and women in full communion in the church, whereof twenty are men : that there is about forty children and youths baptized : and that there is about three hundred Indians, young and old, who pray to God and
See the Postcript.
1720, there were on the Vineyard six small villages, containing about a hundred and fifty-five families, and about eight hundred souls. Each of these villages was supplied with an Indian preacher. There was also a small assembly at Winthrop's island ; another, consisting of twelve or fourteen families, at Tucker's island and Nashaun, which lie near together. There were a few Indians left at Noman's Land. Beside these Indian assemblies, there was a small congregation of Baptists at Gay Head. (a) [Exp. Mayhew's Nar. of Ind. on Martha's Vin. pag. 2.]—In the year 1764, there were remaining in Duke's County three hundred and thirteen Indians ; eighty-six of whom were in Edgartown ; thirty-nine, in Tisbury : and a hundred and eighty-eight, in Chilmark.—About that period they began to intermarry with negroes ; in consequence of which the mixed rate has increased in numbers, and improved in temperance and industry. At present there are of pure Indians and of the mixed race about four hundred and forty persons ; seventy-five of whom live on Chappaquiddick, (not more than one third pure ;) about twenty-five, at Sanchecantacket, (not more than one fifth pure ;) about forty, at Christian-town, in the north part of Tisbury, toward the sound, (about one half, pure ;) about twenty-four, at Nashouohkamuck, (about three quarters, pure ;) and about two hundred and seventy-six, at Gay Head, (of which about one quarter are pure.) In this account unmixed negroes are not reckoned. [Information of Captain Jerningham and Benjamin Bassett, Esq.]
(a) For the state of the Indian Baptists on Martha's Vineyard in the year 1774, see Backus's Hist. Vol. I. pag. 439. Their minister, Silas Paul, is dead ; but their number is not lessened.
Chap. X. of the Indians in New-England. 207
keep the sabbath upon the island : that they meet to worship God at three places, viz. Oggawame where the church meets, at Wammasquid, and Squatesit : that there are four Indian teachers upon that island, viz. John Gibbs pastor, Joseph, Samuel, and Caleb, who also teacheth school. This Caleb is one of them, that gave me this information. He earnestly desires to learn to read and understand English ; and intreated me to procure him an English bible, which accordingly he had by order of the Commissioners.
A further account of Nantucket Indians take in part of Mr. Cotton's letter, dated 14th of September, 1674.
"At Nantucket, according to my best intelligence, there are three praying towns ; and praying Indians, about three hundred males and females; one church, the pastor is John Gibbs ; the men in church fellowship are about twenty ; the women, ten. Their children are all baptized. The English upon that island, who are about twenty-seven families, and many of them Anabaptists, did at first seek to hinder them from administering baptism to infants ; but now they are quiet, and meddle not with them. Caleb is preacher to one town there."+
Thus, according to the best intelligence I can yet obtain, I have endeavoured to give a faithful account of the Indians that pray to God upon these two Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. And in truth it hath pleased God, in his sovereign grace, to do much for them. I have seen and spoke with divers of the Indians of those islands, that usually every summer come up to our parts, about Boston and the towns adjacent, to work in harvest labour and other employ. Many of them I have judged pious; and most of them, sober, diligent, and industrious; which are commendable qualifications. My desires and prayers are, that not only they, but all the other praying Indians, may more and more increase in virtue and piety.
Giving an Account of what is done with respect to the Propagating of the Gospel in the Jurisdictions of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
§. 1. IN the jurisdiction of Connecticut, sundry years since, Mr. Abraham Pierson, pastor of the church at Branford, having gained some knowledge of the Indian tongue, made some beginnings, and continued in that work some years, to preach the gospel to some Indians in those parts: in which work, as I have understood, he was encouraged by the Commissioners of the united colonies. But the
+ In the year 1694, the Indians on Nantucket were about five hundred adults. There were five assemblies of praying Indians, and three churches ; two Congregational, and one of Baptists. [Gardiner's Let. in Mather's Magn. Book vi. pag. 56] Three hundred and fifty-eight Indians were remaining the 16th of the eighth month, 1763, when a fever began among them, and lasted till the 16th of the second month, 1764. Of this distemper two hundred and twenty-two died. [See Hutch. Hist. vol. I. pag. 35.]—The Indians on the island are now reduced to four males and sixteen females. [M. S. of Friend Zaccheus Macy.]
Gookin's Historical Collections. Chap. X. 208
providence of God removing him from those parts unto New Jersey, to the southwest of New York about ten leagues, that work ceased with him : and I have not heard of any considerable fruits of his labours with them, which I impute to this reason, it being now about ten years since he left them. Religion, especial among such a people, is very apt to decay. For precept upon precept, and line upon line, God hath said is needful in such a case. But if the vision fail, the people will perish : and certainly religion will decay and die in every place, if God withdraw the means of grace. Where bread and other food is wanting, the people will famish; and the famine of the word of God is greater than that of bread. The Lord make all mankind sensible thereof. Besides, God hath his times and seasons of grace unto these and those people. It may be, their time is not yet come to receive the gospel. Oh that God would give all men wisdom, to improve the day of grace, while they enjoy it.
§. 2. Since Mr. Pierson's removal, it hath pleased God to stir up the reverend and worthy man, Mr. James Fitch, pastor of the English church at Norwich ; who having gained some understanding in the Indian language, doth preach unto some of the Mohegan Indians that live near him. I have endeavoured, both by letters and messages to him, to gain a particular account. But possibly either my letters and messages, or his to me, have miscarried ; or else he wants considerable matter to inform. That which I hear in general from others, is, that this good man doth put forth his utmost endeavours,—as his calling in the English church, where he is alone, will permit,—to teach and instruct them ; and that some are hopefully coming on ; it being but a few years since he began this work. I am apt to fear, that a great obstruction unto his labours is in the sachem of those Indians, whose name is Unkas ; an old and wicked, wilful man, a drunkard and otherwise very vitious ; who hath always been an opposer and underminer of praying to God ; some hints whereof I have given, in the narrative of my journey to Wabquissit, before mentioned. My prayers and desires are, that this servant of Christ may be encouraged and blessed in this work ; and though the Indians should not be gathered, yet he shall not fail of acceptance and reward from his and our Lord and master, Jesus Christ.
§. 3. "Honoured Sir,
"Yours I received, dated in September. And I have hitherto delayed, that I might be the better prepared for an answer to your queries. Concerning the Indians in this colony and at Long Island, I cannot understand that they have any inclination to learn the knowledge of God : but when Mr. Pierson did frequently try, in the several plantations in this colony, they did generally show an averseness, yea a perverse contempt of the word of God ; and at present they will not yield to any settled hearing or attendance upon the ministry of the word. Since God hath called me to labour in this work among the Indians nearer to me, where indeed are the most considerable number of any in this colony, the first of my time was spent upon the Indians at Moheek,* where Unkas, and his son, and Wanuho, are sachems.
These *. Montville.
Chap. X. of the Indians in New-England. 209
These at first carried it teachably and tractably : until at length the sachems did discern, that religion would not consist with a mere receiving of the word; and that practical religion will throw down their heathenish idols, and the sachem's tyrannical monarchy : and then the sachems, discerning this, did not only go away, but drew off their people, some by flatteries, and others by threatenings : and they would not suffer them to give so much as an outward attendance to the ministry of the word of God. But at this time some few did show a willingness to attend. These few I began meetings with them, about one year and a half since. What progress they have made, 1 have informed the Commissioners. Firstly, in respect of knowledge, they are enlightened in the common principles of the true religion. Secondly, in respect of practice, they have yielded to cast off heathenish devil worship, and on the Lord's day to meet together, to repeat and to confer about that, which they have heard me teach them of the word of God. And he that is the chief among them, whose name is Weebax, hath learned so much, that he is willing and able in some degree to be helpful in teaching and prayer to the other, on the Lord's day : and this Weebax is of such a blameless conversation, that his worst enemies and haters of religion cannot but speak well of his conversation ; and the same may be said concerning another, whose name is Tuhamon.
"The number of these Indians is now increased to above thirty grown persons, men and women, besides children and young ones. Some have showed a willingness, that their children should learn to read; but it is not yet two years since I began with these ; and truly the charge and expense to set up and keep a school amongst them, it is too great for me at present to compass. These Indians do suffer much, especially the chief among them, that it is to wonderment they are not utterly discouraged, considering they are but in their beginnings : for the sachem and Indians round about, do to the utmost what they can, by reproaches, revilings, and threatenings, especially in a private and clandestine manner, to dismay them.
"And for the settlement and encouragement of these Indians, I have given them of mine own lands, and some that I have procured of our town, above three hundred acres of good improvable lands, and made it sure to them and theirs, so long as they go on in the ways of God.
"And at this time Unkas and his sons seem as if they would come on again to attend upon the ministry of the word of God. But it is no other but in envy against these, and to promote some present self design: but it is easy with God to turn all to salvation, &c.
"I have nothing further at present to add, but that the Lord would direct and prosper you in your pious intendments ; so intreating your prayers for me, who am,
"Your unworthy friend and servant
"in the work of the Lord,
" JAMES FITCH, senior.+
" From Norwich, Novem. 20th. 1674."
+ " In 1774, when a census of the inhabitants of the state of Connecticut was taken, there were but thirteen hundred and sixty-three Indians;
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. X. 210
§. 4. In Rhode Island and Providence plantations there are sundry English live, that are skilful in the Indian tongue, especially Mr. Williams of Providence, of whose endeavours I have heard something that way : but God hath not yet honoured him, or any other in that colony that I can hear of, with being instrumental to convert any of those Indians ; and yet there are very considerable numbers of Indians that live near them. If there should be any enlightened and converted by them, when I shall be certified thereof, I would gladly mention it in this our History. But on the contrary, I have observed, that the Indians who live in these parts, generally are more indisposed to embrace religion, than any Indians in the country. The reasons whereof, I conjecture, are principally these two. First, the averseness of their sachems. Secondly, the bad example of the English in those parts, where civil government and religion among the English runs very low. Those two orders of magistracy and ministry, are as Jachin and Boaz, strength and stability, upon which the happiness and prosperity of any people doth, under God, depend: and where these are wanting in splendour and beauty, I never promise myself to see any great honour or good to such a people. But yet let me add this by way of commendation of the Narragansitt and Warwick Indians, who inhabit in the jurisdiction, that they are an active, laborious, and ingenious people ; which is demonstrated in their labours they do for the English; of whom more are employed, especially in making stone fences, and many other hard labours, than of any other Indian people or neighbours.*
; [another account says, thirteen hundred and ninety-three] the greater part of whom lived at Mohegan, between Norwich and New London. In the eighteen years which have since elapsed, judging from their usual decrease, and from some circumstances which have 'fallen under my own observations, I should suppose the above number is diminished at least one half. Besides, a considerable part of the Mohegan tribe, I have been informed, have lately removed from their former residence, near New London to Oneida, with the late Mr. Occom. So that I do not imagine, the present number of Indians in Connecticut exceeds four hundred." [M. S. Letter of the Rev. Jed. Morse.]
* The Narragansett Indians, within whose country Rhode-Island and Providence plantations fall, were strongly opposed to the propagation of the Christian religion. Their sachems would not suffer the gospel to be preached to their subjects ; and the people obstinately adhered to the traditions and customs of their ancestors. Mr. Williams made some laudable attempts to instruct them; but he soon left off discouraged ; conceiving that he could not, with any propriety, preach Christianity to them in their own language, without immediate inspiration. After Philip's war their numbers were much lessened; and they were reduced to the most abject state of poverty and wretchedness. In the year 1730, there were left in the colony no more than nine hundred and eighty-five Indians. [Callender's Century Sermon, pag. 40, 82, 84.] Forty-four years after, their number was fourteen hundred and eighty-two. There
Chap. XI. of the Indians in New-England. 211
Of the Honourable Corporation at London, for the Propagating the Gospel among the Indians in New-England ; and of the Honoured Commissioners of the United Colonies in New-England, intrusted with that affair.
§. 1. NOW I think it my duty to inform the candid and ingenious reader, of the abundant favour and goodness of God, in a way of means raised up by him, for the encouragement of this design, by inclining the hearts of many pious benefactors in Old England to contribute to this work, and the faithful disposing of the same in general, for the good intended by the donors.
It is most true, that neither gold or silver, or any thing under the sun, is the price of the redemption of souls : for, as the scripture saith, we were not redeemed with silver or gold, or any other thing, the work of men's hands; but only with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. I Pet. i. 18, 19. Ezek. vii. 19. Neither can all the gifts and benevolences of men purchase the favour of God for ourselves or others. If we could give to God, as the prophet speaks, for a sacrifice in a way of expiation for the least sin, ten thousand bullocks, or ten thousand rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil, or the first born of our bodies, &c. what would it signify to procure God's favour to man, or pardon for the least sin 1 No, the redemption of the souls of men is more precious, &c.
Though this be a great truth ; yet, on the other hand, the outward comforts of this life are so far necessary, that God ordained, that he that preacheth the gospel, should live of the gospel ; and that he that goeth a warfare in this kind, it is not to be at his own charge. Now, in carrying on this work of preaching unto, and civilizing these Indians, there are many occasions, both with respect to themselves, and to the instruments that labour among them, which need supply, and that abundantly, more than is yet in being. But God, of his gracious goodness and beneficence, hath made some provision in the manner following. §. 2.
seems here to be an increase. But it should be renumbered, that in the year 1740, Attleborough Gore, and the towns of Bristol, Tiverton, and Little Compton, and a great part of Swanzey and Barrington,—which probably contained a large proportion of the Indians in the colony,—had been taken from Massachusetts, and annexed to Rhode-Island. We cannot determine the present number, but it is supposed to be less than five hundred.
The parts of New-England, not particularly mentioned in Gookin's Historical Collections, arc the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, and the district of Maine. There are now no Indians in New Hampshire ; some of them having removed into Canada, but the greater part being extinct. The Indians were never numerous in Vermont ; and at present, it is entirely destitute of them. Within the district of Maine, the Indians, who are all Roman Catholicks, are reduced to about sixty families on Penobscott river, and about thirty at Passamaquady. They have a church at each of these places.
Gookin's Historical Collections. Chap. XI. 212
§. 2. In the year of our Lord 1649, some years after Mr. Eliot began to preach the gospel to the Indians, God in his divine providence so ordered it, that Mr. Edward Winslow, one of the magistrates of Plymouth jurisdiction, a person of great worth, piety, and wisdom, being sent for England by the united colonies of New-England before, as their agent about some publick affairs, this worthy man, at the time of his being there, made it part of his business to solicit the parliament of lords and commons, then sitting, to cast their eye of favours upon this good work, in passing an act of parliament, to constitute some worthy and known persons of piety and integrity, to be a corporation to receive and improve the free contributions of all persons for the encouragement of this design, in propagating the Christian religion among the Indian natives of New-England in America. Unto which pious motion of Mr. Winslow it pleased the Right Honourable Parliament, according as their weighty affairs permitted, did grant and pass an act of parliament of both houses, nominating, constituting, and empowering, several worthy persons as a body politick and incorporate, to manage and execute that affair to all intents and purposes, as may more particularly appear in the said act of parliament.
N. B. Here the act of parliament is to be recited ; but I having it not here, refer it to friends in England, that peruse this tract, to cause it to be inserted in this place.*
§. 3. In prosecution of this trust, they used their best endeavours in all faithfulness, keeping their meetings and accounts openly at Cooper's hall in London, where any person might freely have opportunity to see and observe the integrity of their accounts and proceedings : and the expense of their time, strength, and charge, in managing of that affair, as I have heard, was borne by themselves, and not charged upon the collections. And God was pleased so to bless their endeavours, and open the hearts and purses of divers well disposed persons, both in the city, army, and country, that considerable sums were returned unto them ; which they faithfully disposed, most of it in making purchases of lands and rents for an annual revenue and income ; and some of it transmitted to New-England, there to be distributed and disposed by the honoured the Commissioners of the united colonies, as the said act directed and empowered them, according as they, in their wisdoms, saw most expedient, to further and promote the main design : which to my knowledge,—for I have seen the accounts, —was and is most faithfully and prudently disposed of and conveyed in sundry channels : as particularly, First, some small salaries to instruments employed in the work. Secondly, keeping several Indian youths to school, providing diet, clothing, and books for them ; which expended annually, for divers years, considerable sums. Thirdly, the building an Indian college, of which we have before spoken. Fourthly, the charge of printing the bible and other books, in the Indian
* The act referred to may be found in Hazard's Historical Collections, vol. I. pag. 635. For a breviat of the act, see. Hutch. Hist. vol. I. pag. 163.
Chap. XI. of the Indians in New-England. 213
language. This cost a great sum. Fifthly, providing sundry tools and instruments for the Indians to work with in several callings. Sixthly, furnishing them with some sheep's wool and cotton wool, for their encouragement in ways of industry and diligence. Seventhly, in allowing some encouragement and small salaries to Indian rulers, teachers, schoolmasters, and interpreters. These, with several other particular occasions, fell in annually, which indeed needed much more than was returned. In all these matters the Commissioners of the colonies, from time to time, acquitted themselves, as became wise, worthy, and faithful persons ; never expending any thing of the Indian stock, for any labour or charge thereabout, which cost them several days yearly about that affair; all the expenses being defrayed at the cost of that colony, where the Commissioners kept their meeting ; which has exhausted very considerable sums. So that in that respect New-England people are not behind hand in charge towards that work ; and I believe, not less, but far more, in proportion, than their countrymen in England.+ Thus this affair was managed smoothly and comfortably for many years.
§. 4. When his Majesty Charles the second, now reigning, was in a wonderful and admirable manner restored to his crown, An. 1660, there were some, as I have heard, endeavoured to undermine and overthrow this corporation, and to swallow up the revenues thereof into his Majesty's coffers, as was pretended, but rather into their private purses ; alleging the illegality of that act, as done without royal assent, and other suggestions tending to its dissolution. But it pleased God so to influence and move the heart of our royal and gracious king, not to receive impressions by those motions, but most princely, honourably, and christianly to grant a new charter, nominating and appointing several honourable persons of the nobility and others, to manage that affair. And he was pleased to continue several of those persons that were of the former corporation ; appointing that pious, and deservedly to be honoured, and noble person, Robert Boyle Esquire, brother to the Right Honourable the earl of Corke, to be governour and president of that corporation, for propagating the gospel among the Indians in New-England ; continuing unto the same the revenues formerly purchased ; fully and amply empowering them in that affair to all intents and purposes : which may be seen more particularly by the charter.
Here insert the charter, which I cannot procure in New-England, but I hope such persons, to whom this is committed to be published, will procure it, and cause it to be printed in this place.'"
+ The churches in Boston made annual collections for this purpose. Neal says, that in the year 1718, they collected four hundred and eighty-three pounds; and that they had at that time besides, a fund of eight hundred or a thousand pounds, the income of which was appropriated to the conversion of the Indians. [Hist. of N. Eng. chap. vi. pag. 265.]
* This charter is printed in the Appendix to Birch's Life of Boyle, pag. 319—335.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap XI. 224
This benign act of his Majesty will, I doubt not, redound to his everlasting honour, and the great honour of the persons intrusted, especially the worthy governour, Mr. Boyle ; who hath in a special manner approved himself a promoter and encourager of this good work, for about twelve years past, since he first engaged therein; causing constant supplies annually to be sent over, and writing encouraging letters in the name of the Honourable Corporation, from time to time : which letters of his, and those of the former corporation, are all worthy to be published, and would give great light into that affair ; but they would swell this tract to too great a bulk. I shall therefore content myself with reciting the Honourable Mr. Boyle's first letter, and the Commissioners' answer thereunto, and the account of that year's disbursements; which may serve to give a taste of the rest.
§. 5. "Honoured Gentlemen,
"A letter of yours being brought hither, directed to Mr. Ashurst and Mr. Hutchinson, though the former of these two gentlemen did by the last ship, as he tells us, acknowledge the receipt of it, and intimate the reasons of our silence ; yet we now think it meet to assure you also ourselves, how acceptable it was to us to be informed, partly by that letter of yours, and partly by the relation of some learned ministers, that came a while since from New-England, that you continue your care and concern for the propagating of the gospel of Christ amongst the poor Indians. And we are glad, that through the goodness of God, we are now in a condition to inform you, that since the receipt of your last mentioned letter, it hath pleased the king's Majesty, in council, to grant a charter of incorporation, wherein many of the nobility and other persons of quality, and most of those gentlemen that were formerly employed in the like work, are authorized and appointed to endeavour the carrying on of that pious design, for converting the heathen natives : wherein they deservedly esteem it both an honour and advantage to be employed in this new establishment : being, among other particulars, enjoined to appoint commissioners in New-England, to prosecute there, by our directions, his Majesty's pious intentions.
" We judge this to be a matter of the highest concernment, that belongs to the work intrusted to us. For all our endeavours here, and all the supplies we may procure from hence, will be but ineffectual, though not to our own souls, yet to the work we would promote, unless there be a prudent and faithful management of what we send over, by the Commissioners we shall appoint in New-England, and those that they shall employ. And therefore since having obtained the best information we can, and seriously considered the matter, we have pitched on the same course, that hath been formerly taken in pursuance of the same ends and care. Accordingly determined at present to desire you to take upon you again the care and management of this work upon the place. We hope you will discern how great a trust we willingly repose in you : and we doubt not of your readiness to comply, as formerly you have done, with our directions herein : the business wherein we desire to engage you being such, as we think it truly honourable
Chap. XI. of the Indians in New-England. 215
to be engaged in ourselves ; and the design being of a nature to which the greatest and most precious promises are annexed : besides that the civilizing and converting of your barbarous and unbelieving neighbours is that, whose success will be, in some regards, of more immediate advantage to yourselves than to us.
"Our good wishes to so Christian a work makes it much our trouble, to see the means of carrying it on are no greater, than we now at our entrance find them : which we mention not by way of reflection upon those, to whose hands the management of them was committed, before the grant of our charter ; but because it is necessary for us to acquaint you with the condition we are brought to, partly by the great charge you and we have been at on several necessary occasions, and partly, and indeed chiefly, by the injurious dealing of some, who take advantage of the letter of the law, against all justice and equity, to repossess themselves of what they formerly sold,t whereby the greatest part of our revenue is at present detained ; which will prove, we fear, very expensive and somewhat difficult to recover. And therefore we desire as little money may be drawn upon us for this year to come, as will possibly consist with the not neglecting of what is necessary to be done. We say, for this next year ; because we cannot be so despondent, as not to hope, that the providence of God will, by some means or other, provide for the supply of a work, so much tending to his own glory, and so acceptable to those, that are so heartily concerned for it.
"The bill for eight hundred pound, drawn for the use of the Indian work, is for the most part paid, and should have been entirely so ere now, were it not for the want of present money. That which is from time to time laid out, we desire may, according to your commendable practice, be sent over in a particular account, within the year. And it may assist us in the regulating our expenses, if you be pleased to let us know, by the first conveniency, what further charge you judge you shall be put to, by perfecting the printing of the bible. The use of that divine book, and also a constant use of catechisms, we judge most necessary for the Indians' instruction in religion. And we also think it may conduce to unity and order, if the same catechism be generally taught amongst them.
"If our stock do increase, which we hope hereafter it may, especially since his Majesty himself hath graciously pleased particularly to countenance this work, and to secure both what hath been, and may be given towards it, by a legal settlement, which before was wanting :—If, we say, our means increase, we. shall consider of some employment, in the way of trade and manufacture, to employ the Indians in. Or if in the interim, there occurs to you any thing about this or any other matter, that you judge may tend to the promoting of that good work, wherein we have the happiness to be jointly engaged, your informations and advice will be, as well as your assistance, very welcome to us. "Signed in the name, and by the appointment, of the Corporation for the
propagating of the gospel in America.
" Pr. ROBERT BOYLE, Governour.
" London, May 15th, 1662.
+ See Neal's Hist. of N. Eng. chap. vi. pag. 261—263. and Birch's Life of Boyle. pag. 136, 140, 141.
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. XI. 216
" For the Worshipful the Commissioners of the united colonies of New-England, in New-England. These." An answer thereunto this following letter was returned.
§. 6. "Right Honourable,
"We received yours of the 15th of May, 1662, intimating the receipt of ours directed to Mr. Ashurst, also of a letter from him in answer thereunto, which is not as yet come to our sight.
"That it pleased the Lord to put it into the heart of our dread sovereign, the King's Majesty, with his most honourable council, to cast a favourable aspect upon these so far remote parts of his dominions, not only to the owning of his subjects, the people of his own nation, with privilege of protection and confirmation of our wonted liberties, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, the Lord's poor people here, that were before sad, and to the shame of those, who were the enemies of the peace of our Zion : but also, as by the information given us by your Honours' letters, extending his royal favour to our neighbours, the barbarous natives, and that in such wise, as no other interest or concernment can be any motive therein to his Majesty, save only his unfeigned love to the honour of God and bowels of compassion to poor mankind, the experience not only of a kingly, but also of a fatherly, godlike spirit ; especially considering the objects of this his bounty, who are such of whom it may be truly said, that being beheld in their own savage ways and customs, there is very little more of the relicks of that glorious image put upon our first parents, to be seen in them, than this, that they are of that race :—The consideration whereof, together with the gentleness and candour of your generous minds, expressed in yours to us, breathing forth your unfeigned desires to advance the interest of the Lord Jesus Christ; so that the labour and difficulties, inevitably accompanying such an undertaking, have not deterred your truly noble spirits from the acceptance thereof:—cannot but greatly oblige us, as the expressions of our thankfulness to the Lord, and yourselves, to study the faithful discharge of so great a trust, by your Honours reposed in us, for the improvement of the means aforesaid, for the instructing of the barbarous natives in the true knowledge of God : that so, through his rich blessing thereon, a people, among whom Satan hath had his throne, may now become the Lord's, and his name may be known and exalted, by those who, for so long a time, have sat in darkness and the shadow of death :—The time of the establishing and resettling of this weighty affair, by his Majesty's influencing thereof, and putting the royal stamp of his authority thereupon, being such wherein the adversary was seeking to undermine all former endeavours, to the utter disappointing of all our future hopes, by the subtilty and powerful attempts of his instruments, even of those of whom we may truly say, they fear not the Lord nor honour the king :—That, at such a season, the Lord should raise up his Majesty to be an horn of salvation to these poor natives ;—it doth greatly encourage us to hope and believe, that he hath even among them some, that are of those other sheep, whom in time he will cause to hear his voice, and that he will continue to bless the endeavours of his people for that end.
Chap. XI. of the Indians in New-England. 217
"Touching the progression of this work, at present your Honours may please to be informed, that, as we have formerly related, we are still waiting on the Lord in the use of the means afforded.
" The labourers in that work, for instructing the Indians in the several colonies, continued, together with the education of sundry youths ; two whereof have been, the year past, brought up at the college in Cambridge; where they have good commendations of the president and their tutors, for their proficiency in learning. Also two others are at the grammar school ; and two more, at the English school ; where they learn to read and write: one whereof is now fitted for the grammar school ; besides many others that are instructed by schoolmasters in other places to read and write. It hath pleased the Lord to frown upon our endeavours in this kind ; taking away by death, at sundry times, six youths or more, upon whom considerable cost had been expended for their education : wherein it very well becometh us, and all herein concerned, humbly to submit unto his sovereign pleasure.
The number of lectures, with the schoolmasters that constantly attend that work in the respective places of the Indians' abode, your Honours may more particularly discern by their names, inserted in the account enclosed, together with their respective salaries and allowance for the same. We are informed by the Reverend Mr. Eliot, that he is so far satisfied concerning the Lord's effectual work with his word, on the hearts of sundry of the natives, that he hath proceeded to administer the sacrament of baptism at two of their plantations ; the one called Martha's Vineyard ; and the other, Natick ; being in distance about one hundred miles.
"The bible is now about half done; and a constant progress there is made. The printer hopes it will be finished within a year. The future charge is uncertain : by estimate, not less than two hundred pounds. We have herewith sent twenty copies of the new testament, to be disposed of as your Honours shall think meet.
"The trust your honours hath seen meet to repose in us for the managing of this work, we shall endeavour in all faithfulness to discharge. The account enclosed tells you, to whom, and in what manner, and for what ends, the money sent over hath been distributed ; whereby you will plainly see, that neither our colonies nor particular concernments are any diminishers thereof, but the whole is improved according to the will of the donors. And for the future, we shall be ready to observe the more particular directions of your Honours; humbly intreating this favour, that no information or complaint may be received against us to the prejudice of our trust, until we have had advice thereof, with a seasonable opportunity to return an answer thereto. The sum at present resting in hand, the foot of the account doth declare ; which will be more than all expended before the return of the year. Less than five hundred pounds we could not charge bills, to be paid this year; without which the work will inevitably be interrupted, if not broken in pieces. We shall not give your Honours further trouble,
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. XI. 218
but commend you to the guidance and protection of the Almighty, resting your Honours to serve in the work of Christ.
"The Commissioners of the united colonies in New-England.
"Boston. Sept. 10th. 1662.
"To the Honourable Robert Boyle Esquire, Governor of the Corporation for the propagation of the gospel in New-England."Boston, in New-England, Sept. 10, 1662.
The Honourable Corporation for the Indians, Dr.
Imprimis, to sundry disbursements for printing the bible.
To books for the Indian scholars, as pr. account enclosed.
To diet, clothing, and tutorage of two Indian youths at the college, one year past, with extraordinary expenses at entrance.
To Mr. Daniel Weld, schoolmaster at Roxbury, for diet, clothing, and schooling of two youths, one year past, abating one third part of a year, for one of them, ending December 20th next.
To Mr. Thomas Danforth, for diet and clothing of two Indian youths, the year past.
To the diet and clothing Matthew Mayhew, one year past.
To the schoolmaster of Cambridge for two Indian youths and Matthew Mayhew.
To the maintenance of Mr. Stanton's son, one year.
To Mr. Pierson of New Haven, for his pains and travel, instructing the Indians at several places in those parts.
To Mr. Eliot senior, his salary for the year past.
To his interpreter Job, and three schoolmasters.
To Mr. John Eliot junior, his salary for one year past.
To Mr. Mayhew, his salary the year past.
To eight Indian schoolmasters at Martin's Vineyard.
To Mr. Bourne in Plymouth patent, his salary.
To two schoolmasters, employed by him in those parts.
To Captain Gookin, for instructing and governing the Indians.
To sundry well deserving Indians in the several colonies.
To Mr. William Thompson, his salary, for instructing the Indians about Pequot.
To Mrs. Mayhew, relict of Mr. Mayhew deceased.
To Mr. John Alkock, for physick to sick Indian scholars, pr. order.
To two Indian coats for the Pequot sachems.
To Mr. James of Easthampton, his salary for instructing the Indians at Long Island.
To Captain George Denison, for time and expense among the Indians, sundry times, pr. order.
Chap. XII. of the Indians in New-England. 219
I have transcribed this account, to give the reader a specimen of the various occasions for employing a stock in this work. And although the matter of charge doth differ from this in other years ; yet there is always more occasion to disburse, than there is money to be disbursed. And as the work doth increase, and the gospel spread among the Indians, as it doth, and we should labour and pray it may ; so there will be greater occasion of oil to the wheels of this motion.
Containing Proposals, as an Expedient for Civilizing the Indians, and Propagating the Gospel among them.
§. 1. THAT which I shall here offer, may be comprehended under two heads. First, that utmost endeavours be used, with all industry and diligence, that the Indians, especially the children and youth, may be taught to speak, read, and write, the English tongue.
For this end I propose, first, that as many of their children as may be procured, with the free consent of their parents and relations, be placed in sober and Christian families, as apprentices, until the youths are twenty one years, and maids eighteen years of age : the males to be instructed in the trade practised by their masters ; and the females, in good housewifery of all sorts : with this provision in all contracts and indentures, that they shall be taught to read and write the English tongue at the cost of their masters. And this may be easily accomplished, because servants are scarce in New-England. The ordering of this affair must be committed to the management of prudent persons, that have an interest in the Indians, and that may be able, by their authority and wisdom, so to argue this case with the Indians, as to convince them that this way is for their children's good ; for they are generally so indulgent to their children, that they are not easily persuaded to put them forth to the English.
Secondly, another way for bringing this matter to pass, is by setting up one or two free schools, to learn them to read and write English. But because this thing hath some difficulty in it; partly because, first, a suitable pious person for a schoolmaster will not be willing to leave the English society, and to live constantly among the Indians, as such a work will require : and, secondly, how the Indian children that are sent to school, shall be provided with diet and clothing, without charge to the Indian stock,—excepting only a blue coat for each of them once a year, which will not cost much, but may greatly encourage the Indians:—and therefore it must be contrived, for effecting this thing, that those difficulties may be obviated.
For the accomplishing this matter for the Indians, within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, I have consulted and advised, not only with Mr. Eliot ;—and we both joined in a proposal to the honoured Commissioners of the united colonies, at their last meeting, desiring them to move the Right Honourable the Corporation, at London, about it;— but also with most of the principal rulers and teachers of the praying Indians: and they have generally agreed and approved the expedient following : and I trust in God, that the Right Honourable the Corporation
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. XII. 220
at London, will in due season approve it ; and give direction unto the Commissioners in New-England, to put it in execution. The expedient proposed is as follows.
§. 2. There is an Indian village, within twenty eight or thirty miles of Boston, westward upon the road to Connecticut, called Okommakamesit, alias Marlborough, which lieth very near the centre of most of the praying villages. This Indian plantation joineth unto an English town called Marlborough ; so that the English and Indian plantation bear the same name. In this Indian plantation there is a piece of fertile land, containing above one hundred and fifty acres, upon which the Indians have, not long since, lived, and planted several apple trees thereupon, which bear abundance of fruit ; but now the Indians are removed from it about a mile. This tract of land doth so imbosom itself into the English town, that it is encompassed about with it, except one way : and upon the edge of this land the English have placed their meeting-house; which is an argument to demonstrate that they look upon it as near the midst of their town, according to general computation and practice. This parcel of land, with the addition of twenty acres of the nearest meadow, and a woodlot of about fifty acres, is well worth two hundred pounds in money : and yet the Indians will willingly devote it for this work : for it brings little or no profit to them, nor is ever like to do; because the Englishman's cattle, &c. devour all in it, because it lies open and unfenced ; and while the Indians planted there, it was in a sort fenced by them ; yet by their improvidence and bad fences, they reaped little benefit in those times ; and that was one cause of their removal.
Now I propose that the parcel of land above expressed, be set apart for an Indian free school, and confirmed by an act of the general court of this colony, unto the Corporation for the Indians, for this end forever : and that it be infenced with a stone wall into two or three enclosures for corn, pastures, &c. and this may be done easily, because there are stones enough at hand upon it : and then to build a convenient house for a schoolmaster and his family, and under the same roof may be a room for a school : also to build some outhouses for corn, hay, cattle, &c. The charge of all this will not amount to above two hundred pounds in money. This being done, the place will be fit to accommodate a schoolmaster and his family, without any other salary but the use of this farm. Moreover it is very probable, that the English people of Marlborough, will gladly and readily send their children to the same school, and pay the schoolmaster for them ; which will better his maintenance; for they have no school in that place at. the present : in which regard 1 have heard some of the most prudent among them lament : but it being chargeable to raise a school and maintain a schoolmaster for twenty or thirty children, the inhabitants are backward to do it, until they are compelled by the laws of the country, which requireth every village consisting of fifty families, to provide a school to teach the English tongue and to write ; but these people of Marlborough, wanting a few of fifty families, do take that low advantage to ease their purses of this common charge. But as soon as this school herein proposed, is set up, it will be their interest to put
Chap. XII. of the Indians in New-England. 221
their children to it, being the most thrifty and facile way they can take ; and hereby the schoolmaster will be advantaged in his neighbourhood, and communion with the English church there ; and this will tend to remove the first difficulty. Besides, the English and Indian children, learning together in the same school, will much promote the Indians' learning to speak the English tongue : of which we have had experience, when Indian children were taught by English schoolmasters at Roxbury and Cambridge, in former years, when several Indian children were kept at those schools, at the great charge of the Corporation for the Indians.
But a second difficulty is this : how shall these Indian children, though they have their schooling free, be accommodated for diet and clothing, without publick charge? I answer, that 1 have conferred with several of the most prudent and judicious praying Indians of the other towns, who make it no difficulty to provide diet for their children, with the Indians, their countrymen, that inhabit in that place: for diet among them is at reasonable rates, being mean for quality, and yet best suiting their bodies in point of health. And as for clothing, a little serves them, and that mean ; and that their parents can provide; especially if the Honourable Corporation order them a blue coat once a year, in the beginning of winter, of which I have spoken before, and also provide them books. But if this design of a free school, to teach the Indians' children, should fail of its end, of which there is no cause to doubt : yet the laying out of so much money upon this tract of land aforesaid, will be, as I conceive, as good an improvement, as can be made of so much of the stock, for the furtherance of the Indian work ; for it will be a real estate, and bring in a good rent yearly.
§. 3. The like school may be set up in the colony of New Plymouth, if a convenient place may there be found, and set apart for such a work ; to which school, for aught 1 know, the Indian children of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket may be conveniently taught, and all other neighbour Indian children of Narragansitt, Cooawsett, and places thereabout, if it shall please the Lord to incline their hearts.
§. 4. Concerning this affair I shall further add, that I have advised with many judicious men of quality among us, who do very well approve of this contrivance as a very good expedient, not only to civilize, but to propagate religion among the Indians. And also most of the known and pious Indians earnestly desired it : and the reasons that do occur to encourage that there will be good in it, are, First, hereby the Indians will be able to converse with the English familiarly; and thereby learn civility and religion from them. Secondly, they will be able to read any English book, the better to teach them the knowledge of God and themselves. And likewise thereby they may sooner come to the understanding of several other arts and sciences, wherein English authors do abound. Thirdly, they will hereby be able to understand our English ministers, who are better fitted to instruct them in substantial and orthodox divinity, than teachers of their own nation, who cannot in reason be imagined to be so sufficient, as if they were learned men: for who is sufficient for these things? Fourthly, it hath been the observation of some prudent historians, that the
Gookin's Historical Collections Chap. XII. 222
changing of the language of a barbarous people, into the speech of a more civil and potent nation that have conquered them, hath been an approved experiment, to reduce such a people unto the civility and religion of the prevailing nation. And I incline to believe, that if that course had been effectually taken with the Irish, their enmity and rebellion against the English had been long since cured or prevented, and they better instructed in the protestant religion ; and consequently redeemed from the vassalage and affection to the Romish see; who have by this means kept the greatest part of them in ignorance, and consequently in brutishness and superstition to this day.
§. 5. A second thing that I would humbly propose, for the civilizing and propagating the gospel among the Indians, is, that utmost endeavours be used by all Englishmen, in power and place, and of publick spirits, to raise a greater revenue or stock to carry on this design, as well to encourage the Indians that are poor, as the instruments that are or may be employed, whose labour and travail is not small. In truth the work is glorious, and the harvest is great ; but there are very few labourers. The Lord thrust forth more ; and endow them with a spirit of love, diligence, humility, patience, and self-denial; for in this labour among the Indians, all those graces will need to be exercised.
And for this end I do, in all humility, petition and beseech his most excellent Majesty, our gracious king, and all his people, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons, to grant and promote a general collection, or brief, throughout all his dominions ; whereby his pious and well disposed subjects may have an opportunity to cast in freely some mites of their substance, as an offering to the Lord, and a sweet smelling savour in our Lord Jesus Christ : and that the care of this collection be committed to the Right Honourable Corporation for the propagating the gospel among the Indians in America, residing at London, or unto such other pious and faithful persons, as they shall in their wisdom appoint : so that this gift unto the Lord God may not be diverted from its true and proper end and use, or be conveyed in any by-channels for private interest. Doubtless such a good work will be acceptable to God in Jesus Christ, a very great honour and renown unto his Majesty and his people. And I am persuaded it will be no grief of heart unto any of the servants of God, in the day of their account to God, who have had any hand to further this good work. But every one may consider and say, as we are directed in Cant. viii. 8, 9, 10. We have a little sister, &c. And when this thing is effected, his Majesty and people may well bless and praise the Lord, as that great king and man after God's own heart, David, once did upon an occasion of like nature, mentioned I. Chron. xxix. 10. —17. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation : and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel, our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven and in the earth, is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thine hand is power and might, and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our
Chap. XII. of the Indians in New-England. 223
God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort ? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers ; our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O, Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name,—among these poor forlorn sons of men, the Indians,— cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart, I have willingly offered all these things ; and now have I seen with joy, thy people to offer willingly unto thee.
§. 6. Now to close up this discourse, the judicious, intelligent, and candid reader may observe in this tractate concerning the Indians, especially referring to the converted and civilized Indians, these few particulars following.
First, here we may see, as in a mirror, or looking glass, the woful, miserable, and deplorable estate, that sin hath reduced mankind unto naturally, and especially such as live without means of cultivating and civilizing, as these poor, brutish barbarians have done for many ages : for these, excepting their rational souls, are like unto the wild ass's colt, and not many degrees above beasts in matters of fact.
Secondly, hence we may learn what great reason men have, that are born and bred among civilized and Christian nations, to praise God for such a mercy, which is not a small thing in my judgment ; and I conceive it should have a voice in it, calling aloud to all such of mankind, to love, serve, and obey God, that hath in his divine providence and abundant goodness, made this distinction between them and others.
Thirdly, is there not cause of wonderful admiration and exaltation of Almighty God in Christ Jesus, who hath been pleased to condescend to cast an eye of favour and grace, founded in his eternal decree, upon some of the desolate souls of these forlorn sinners of the gentiles ?
Fourthly, may we not observe here one reason of God's transplanting some of his people into this wilderness, viz. that they might be instrumental to carry his name and gospel unto some of these heathen ?
Fifthly, here we may behold the real fulfilling of those precious promises made to Jesus Christ, that God will give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. Ps. ii. 8. and thereupon take occasion to praise God, and encourage our faith and hope in him, for a further and more ample fulfilling of his good word in that respect.
Sixthly, we may find here just occasion to magnify God, who hath fitted and raised up instruments for converting these barbarians,—for it is from God that every good motion and gift cometh,—and also for stirring up the hearts of many to promote this good work by their prayers, contributions, and labours.
Seventhly and lastly, we may take occasion from that, which hath been here truly related, First, to put up our earnest prayers to God, the lord of this harvest, that he would thrust forth labourers into it, which are greatly wanting. Secondly, that God would frustrate the design
Gookin's Historical Collections Postcript. 224
and stratagems of Satan and wicked men, who endeavour to disturb and destroy the day of small things begun among this people. Thirdly, that the English nation, which dwell among them, may live so holily and honestly, that by their good conversation, all stumbling blocks may be removed out of the way of the Indians in their travel towards the heavenly Canaan, and such gracious examples set before them, that they may more and more be induced to obedience to the yoke of our Lord Jesus Christ.THE END OF THE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF THE INDIANS IN NEW ENGLAND.
THERE are some passages in the foregoing discourse unto which this mark hath reference : as in Chap. II. §. 2. it is said, "We shall have occasion to speak more particularly in the sequel of this our history." And in Chap IX. §. 1. speaking of "Martha's Vineyard, called by the Indians Nope, which we have in the former book described." These two passages, with some others of like nature, do refer to something going before and something following after, and yet no mention of it.
Concerning this matter the reader may please to understand, that when I first drew up these Collections, it was intended for a second book of the history of New-England. But that being not yet above half finished, and this concerning the Indians being distinct from the other, which treateth principally of the Indians in New-England, although it was no great incongruity, had it accompanied the rest: But for some reasons at this conjuncture, I have thought it not unseasonable to emit this of the Indians first. The scope and design of the author in that intended history, you may see in what follows, setting forth the number and subjects of each book.
THE HISTORY OF NEW-ENGLAND, ESPECIALLY OF THE COLONY OF MASSACHUSETTS, IN EIGHT BOOKS, FAITHFULLY COLLECTED BY DANIEL GOOKIN, ONE OF THE MAGISTRATES THEREOF.
BOOK I. Describeth the country of New-England in general : the extent thereof: the division of it into four colonies : the situation of the several harbours and islands : the nature of the land and soil : the commodities and product both of the earth and sea, before it was inhabited by the English nation : and divers other things relating thereunto : with a map of the country, to be placed at the end of this first book.
BOOK II. Treateth of the Indians, natives of the country : their customs, manners, and government, before the English settled there : also their present state in matters of religion and government; and in especial of the praying Indians, who have visibly received the gospel; mentioning the means and instruments that God hath used for their civilizing and conversion, and the success thereof through
Postcript. of the Indians in New-England. 225
the blessing of God : the present state of these praying Indians : the number and situation of their towns, and their churches and people, both in the colony of Massachusetts, and elsewhere in the country : with divers other matters referring to that affair.
BOOK III. Setteth forth the first discovery, planting, and settling New-England by the English: as the time when it was undertaken; the occasion inducing them to transplant themselves and families ; the condition and quality of the first undertakers; especially those of Massachusetts colony; and the grounds and motives for their removal from their native country unto New-England : with divers other matters concerning the same : and in the close of this book, a brief account of the author's life, and the reasons inducing him to remove himself and family into New-England.
BOOK IV. Discourseth of the civil government of New-England ; particularly of the colony of Massachusetts, which is founded upon the royal charter of king Charles the first, of famous memory : with a recital of the chief heads of the said charter or patent: with the several gradations of the courts, both executive and legislative: together with a brief mention of the state of the confederacy between the united colonies of New-England, viz. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Plymouth, with the publick benefit and safety occurring to the whole country thereby.
BOOK V. Of the present condition and state of the country: as the number and names of the counties and towns : a conjecture of the number of people in the country: the military forces of horse and foot: their fortifications upon their principal harbours: their navigation and number of ships and other vessels : their money, and commodities raised in the country, for use at home, or commerce abroad : of foreign commodities most suitable for the country's use, to be imported : of their manufactures ; with the opportunities and advantages to increase the same, which hitherto hath been obstructed, and the reason thereof: with some arguments to excite the people unto more intenseness and diligence in improving the manufacture of the country.
BOOK VI. Giveth an account of the worthies in New-England, and especially the magistrates and ministers in all the colonies : their names, and the characters of some of the most eminent of them that are deceased : with the names of the governours of Massachusetts, from the beginning until this present, and the times of their death : and sundry other matters appertaining thereto.
BOOK VII. Mentioneth some of the most eminent and remarkable mercies, providences, and doings of God for this people in New-England, from the first beginning of this plantation unto this day ; wherein many wonderful salvations of the almighty and our most gracious God hath showed and extended towards them, which they should declare unto their children and children's children, that so the great name of Jehovah may be magnified and only exalted.
BOOK VIII. Declareth their religion and the order of their church government in New-England: with a rehearsal of their faith and
Gookin's Historical Collections Postcript. 226
platform of church discipline, drawn out of the word of God : with a vindication of this people from the unjust imputations of separatism, anabaptism, and other heterodoxies: also a brief mention of the college at Cambridge in New-England : the present state thereof: the care and faithful endeavours used, that it may be upheld and encouraged for the education of learned and able men, to supply both orders of church and state in future times: also a brief commemoration of the names of the presidents and fellows, that have been of that society; with other learned men, dead and living, that have been graduates there from its first foundation.
You may here see my design, which I earnestly desired might have been drawn by a more able pen : and I have often earnestly moved able persons to undertake it : but not knowing of any, and being unwilling that. a matter of so great concernment for the honour of God and the good of men, should be buried in oblivion, I have adventured in my old age, and in a plain style, to draw some rude delineaments of God's beautiful work in this land. I have, through grace, travelled halfway in this work, as is said before : but in truth, I find myself clogged with so many avocations ; as my publick employ among the English and Indians, and my own persona! and family exercises, which by reason of my low estate in the world are the more obstructive and perplexing : so that I cannot proceed in this work so vigorously as I desire. Yet I shall endeavour, by God's assistance, if he please to spare me life and ability, to make what speedy progress I can. If this tract concerning the Indians find acceptance, I shall be the more encouraged to finish and send forth the other : which although it should prove very imperfect, by reason of the weakness and unworthiness of the author ; yet I shall endeavour that it be drawn according to truth; and thee, if it be of no other use, it may serve to inform my children, or possibly contribute some little help to a more able pen, to set forth the same thing, more exactly and exquisitely garnished, in after times.
THE END OF THE POSTCRIPT
of the Indians in New-England. 227
The CONTENTS. page
CHAP. I. Several conjectures of the original of the Indians. 144
CHAP. II. Of the principal nations of Indians that inhabit in New-England. 147
CHAP. III. Of the language, customs, manners, and religion of the Indians. 149
CHAP. IV. Of the inland Indians, particularly of the Mawhawks, or Maquas. 156
CHAP. V. Of the instruments that God hath used for civilizing and converting the Indians. 168
CHAP. VI. Of the other means used for civilizing the Indians. 177
CHAP. VII. Of the number, names, and situation of the Indian praying towns within the colony of Massachusetts ; with the churches gathered in some of them ; the quantities of land belonging to their villages; a conjecture of the number of the families and people that inhabit in them ; their manner and solemnity in the worship of God; and divers other matters of moment. 180
CHAP. VIII. Of the. progress of the gospel among the Indians in the colony of New Plymouth ; and the instruments, God hath raised up, there to promote the same. 196
CHAP. IX. Of the progress of the gospel among the Indians at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket ; and of the instruments that God hath raised up, to preach the gospel to the Indians of those islands. 201
CHAP. X. Giveth an account of what is done with respect to the propagating of the gospel in the jurisdictions of Connecticut and Rhode Island. 207
CHAP. XI. Of the Corporation for propagating the gospel among the Indians in New-England, residing at London ; and of the commissioners of the united colonies in New-England, intrusted with that affair. 211
CHAP. XII. Containeth proposals, as an expedient for civilizing the Indians more and more, and propagating the gospel among them. 219
A POSTCRIPT. Declareth the author's purpose to send forth a larger history of the English in New-England, mentioning the heads thereof, which is already in part prepared. 224
A short Account of Daniel Gookin. 228
A short Account of Daniel Gookin, author of the Historical Collections of the Indians in New-England.
DANIEL GOOKIN, author of the Historical Collections of the Indians in New-England, was born in the county of Kent. He came early to North America, and at first established himself in Virginia.
In the year 1644, he removed with his family to New-England, and settled in Cambridge; "being drawn hither," according to Johnson, "by having his affections strongly set on the truths of Christ and his pure ordinances."
Soon after his arrival, he was appointed captain of the military company in Cambridge, "being a very forward man to advance martial discipline, as well as the truths of Christ." About the same time, he was chosen a member of the house of deputies.
In 1652, he was first elected assistant, or magistrate; and four years after, was appointed by the general court superintendent of ail the Indians, who had submitted to the government of Massachusetts. He executed this office with such fidelity, that he appears to have been continued in it, except two or three years whilst he was in England, until his death.
In 1656, he visited Cromwell's court, and had an interview with the protector, who commissioned him to invite the people of Massachusetts to transport themselves to Jamaica, which had been then lately conquered from the Spaniards.
In 1662, he was appointed one of the licensers of the printing press at Cambridge ; the Rev. Mr. Mitchell being the other.
About six months after the writing of his Historical Collections, the harmony which had so long subsisted between the people of New-England and the Indians, was unhappily interrupted by the commencement of Philip's war. Some instances of perfidy in Indians, who had professed themselves friendly, excited suspicions and jealousies against all their tribes. The general court of Massachusetts passed several severe laws against them ; and the Indians of Natick and other places, who had subjected themselves to the English government, were hurried down to Long Island in the harbour of Boston, where they remained all winter, and endured inexpressible hardships. Good Mr. Eliot had firmness enough to stem the popular current. But the only magistrate who opposed the people in their rage against the wretched natives, was our author; in consequence of which he exposed himself to the reproaches of the other magistrates, and to the insults of the populace, as he passed the streets. Gookin was too confirmed a patriot, to feel any resentment ; nor did he wish to abridge the liberties of the people, because he had suffered the unmerited effects of their licentiousness.
Not many years elapsed, before he had an opportunity of recovering, by the fairest means, the confidence of his fellow citizens. Soon after Philip's war, which terminated in 1676, attempts were made to deprive Massachusetts of its privileges, which finally issued in the destruction of its charter. Our author was one of the firmest in resisting
Account of Daniel Gookin. 229
these machinations. This drew on him the resentment of the infamous Randolph, who in February, 1681, exhibited to the lords of the council articles of high misdemeanour against him and others, styled by him a faction of the general court.
At this period there were two parties in the government, both of whom agreed in the importance of charter privileges, but differed in opinion respecting their extent, and the measures proper to preserve them. The governour, Mr. Bradstreet, was at the head of one party. Gookin was of the other party, which was headed by the deputy governour, Mr. Danforth. This party opposed sending agents to England, or submitting to acts of trade, which they apprehended to be an invasion of their rights, liberties, and properties, they being unrepresented in the parliament of England. In a word, they were for adhering to the charter, according to their construction of it, and submitting the event to providence. Gookin, being advanced in life, desired that a paper, containing the reasons of his opinion, which he drew up as his dying testimony, might be lodged with the court. We are sorry that it is not in our power to present this paper to the publick ; but we have searched for it in vain.
He is now so popular, that the same year he was appointed major general of the colony, and continued in the magistracy till the dissolution of the charter in 1686.
He did not long survive the introduction of arbitrary government ; but died in the year 1687,—a poor man. In a letter written by Mr. Eliot to Mr. Boyle, not long after his decease, he solicits that charitable gentleman to bestow ten pounds upon his widow.
The features of his honest mind are in some measure displayed in his book ; but we will add for the information of those who wish to be more intimately acquainted with him, that he is characterized by the writers who mention his name, as a man of good understanding, rigid in his religious and political principles, but zealous and active, of inflexible integrity, and exemplary piety, disinterested and benevolent, a firm patriot, and, above all, uniformly friendly to the Indians, who lamented his death with unfeigned sorrow. These worthy qualities, we hope, will throw a veil upon his bigotry and prejudices, which are too apparent in some parts of his work. We would not presume to apologize for them entirely ; but we think that they are in some measure extenuated by the opinions and habits, which generally prevailed among his contemporaries in Massachusetts.
He left several children ; but we can give no account of any of them, except Daniel, the eldest, who was minister of Sherburne, and preacher to the Indians in Natick.
We cannot determine whether Gookin's History of New-England, mentioned in the Postcript, was ever completed. If the whole or any part of it be preserved by his descendants, we hope that they will not suffer it to be lost to the world.
[Johnson's Wonder Working Providence, p. 109, 192. Mather's Magnalia, Book. i. p. 28. Book. ii. p. 21. Book. vi. p. 61. Hutch. Hist. Vol. I. p. 136. 191. 192. 257. 296. 322. 331. 332. Hutch. Collect. of Papers. p. 526. Gookin's Hist. Collect. chap. vi. sect. 1. Appendix to Birch's Life of Boyle. p. 437. 444. 448. Records of the General Court.]
[More information about the Gookin family, in the Mass. Historical Society Collections, vol. II, 1793]
[More information about Daniel Gookin, in 2005.]
Hon. Mr. Freeman's Letter. 230
Since the last sheet was struck off, a member of the Historical Society has received a letter from the Hon. Nathaniel Freeman, Esq. of Sandwich. As it contains some valuable information, we take the liberty to publish a part of it, without waiting to receive the permission of the respectable writer ; who, we hope, will have the goodness to pardon us, as well as to prosecute his inquiries into Indian names and traditions.Sandwich, Sept. 23d, 1792.
FROM the best of my own recollection, and the little additional information I have obtained, I believe there are not more than two or three Indians, and those females, remaining in Sandwich.
In Barnstable, I know of not one, except it be in a part of Mashpee included in Barnstable limits for taxing. These, as they are not within the boundaries of the township, are included in the number for Mashpee.
In Falmouth proper, there may be, at a place called Cataumut, (the same which is noted in Holland's map) seven or eight ; some of whom are mixed.
An Indian territory, called Herring Pond, in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, about five miles north west from this village, and so extending from thence along shore to Monument Ponds, all included within the township of Plymouth, I am told by Joseph Nye, Esq. one of their guardians, contains about a hundred and twenty souls, one half of whom are mixed. The Indian name of this territory I never could learn. They appear to have been considered as a distinct tribe, now known by the name of the Herring Pond Indians. Might not this place be Comassakumkanit ? *
The same Mr. Nye, who is guardian also to the Mashpee tribe, says that there are about two hundred and eighty souls in that place, of whom at least two thirds are mixed. I suppose the Indians have diminished since 1785 ; but the mixed race may be increased, as many negroes and molattoes from abroad have, since that period, settled there.
I know of none below Barnstable upon the Cape, except at Potanumaquut, a part of Harwich ; and there, I believe, there may be six or seven souls only. The Rev. Mr. Damon thinks there is one in Truro.
Wakoquet, Weequakut, or Coquitt,+ I think probably may be Wawquoit. The latter seems as like the sound to me as either. But as the first is associated with Satuit, Pawpoesit, Coatuit, and Mashpee, it is most likely to be that. Then the second may be what is now called Chequocket, or by some Shequocket, which is in the south west part of the east parish in Barnstable; where there is an inlet called Lewiss' harbour, not the same as Lewiss' bay, which is more easterly. Or if it better accommodate with the history, it may be a place and pond near Howland's ferry, Tiverton, Rhode Island, called Quaket, or Quaket Pond.
* See Gookin's Hist. Collect. page 198.
+ See Gookin's Hist. Collect. pag. 197, 200.
Hon. Mr. Freeman's Letter. 231
There is a place in Mashpee, called Popponessit, or by some Indians pronounced Popponeeste. This, I think, may be Pawpoesit.
Weesquobs I know nothing of. Great Neck in Mashpee is a place famous for eels. The Indians, when they go in a canoe with a torch to catch eels in the night, call it Weequash, or anglicised, weequashing. There were a great number of Indians formerly on this neck ; and it seems now the metropolis of Mashpee. Whether any supposed affinity between Weesquobs and Weequash will justify a conjecture, I cannot say.
Codtanmut may be Canaumut Neck in Mashpee. Kitteaumut¥ is most probably Cataumut in Holland's chart. Shumuit, which I suppose to be Ashimuit, is about equidistant from Cataumut on Buzzard's bay and Canaumut Neck, rather nearest the latter ; and so might be associated with either in Gookin's Historical Collections. But if you suppose Weesquobs to be Whakepee, a pond in Mashpee, then most like Codtanmut and Canaumut must be the same. If you should associate Cataumut, Shumuit, and Great Neck (for Weesquobs) together, there would then be Wawquoit between the two last, and so the other places not contiguous.
Wawayontat you say is undoubtedly Wareham. There are two rivers which pass through Wareham into the bay. That through town, is called Agawam ; and the Indians generally call Wareham by that name. The other, which is near the west end of the township, toward Rochester, is called Weantick. This may like enough be Wawayontat.
Falmouth still goes by the name of Sokonesset, and is undoubtedly the Sokones mentioned by Gookin.
There is a place on Buzzard's bay, on Sandwich side, called Pokesset; but I have been told the Indians used to call it Poughkeeste. It is the second parish in Sandwich, about eight miles south west from my house,¶ but not more than two leagues across the bay to the mouth of Weantick river, and lies on a line between Wareham and Falmouth, adjoining northerly on Cataumut, which is rather in the edge of Falmouth than Sandwich, as you supposed. Can Pokesset be the same as Pispogutt ? There is a neck of land within Pokesset, called Pachawesit: This seems as dissimilar as the other. The place where Doctor Bourn's house stands, viz. about two miles up Manumit river, and near the Herring Pond, is called Pumspisset : and a neck of land in Wareham, next to Monument, or Manumit, and parnted from it by a small gut, is called Cowesit. Take which you please, or neither, for Pispogutt. The syllable pis you have in one of them ; but I presume Pokesset was the most noted Indian place.
Besides these places, I recollect the following Indian names, which I spell as near the sound I have heard them as I can, as I have endeavoured to do in the others. I mention them and their situations, as they may possibly assist your discoveries.
Scusset,—the next village westerly from this.
¥ See Gookin's Hist. Collect. pag. 199.
¶ Near the meeting house of the first parish.
Warlike Stores in Mass. Ap. 1775. 232
Unset, or Onset, and Quansit,—two little bays, or shores, at the bottom of Buzzard's bay, within Wareham.
Cohasset,—the gut between Manumit and Cowesit.
Wenaumut,—a neck within Pokesset.
Mashne,—an island in Buzzard's bay.
Quisset,—an inlet in Falmouth north shore, Buzzard's bay.
Nobska,—near Woods' Hole,—a bluff shore or head.
Naashawn, Nashawinna, Cuttahunka, Pesk,—Elizabeth's Islands.
Menemsha,—a bite on the Vineyard shore.
Quashne, or Quashnet,—a river in Mashpee.
Skanton, or Scorton,—the lower end of Sandwich.
Muset,—a creek in Sandwich, off Spring Hill.
Skunkamug,—south side of the parish of Great Marshes.
Hockanom,—between Yarmouth and Nobscusset.
Nobscusset,—the east parish of Yarmouth.
Suet, or Sesuet,—a neck in Yarmouth.
Naamskeket,—the south side of Harwich.
Skeket, or Skaket,—the lower part of Harwich, next to Eastham.
Part 3 continues from here