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THE CONDITION OF VIRGINIA.
that upon all occasions they chased the Indians to and fro, insomuch as they sued daily unto the English for peace, who for the present would not admit of any; that]Sir George Early,' &c. was at that present employed upon service against them; that amongst many others, Opachancano,the chief emperor, was supposed to be slain; his son also was killed at the same time. And though, by reason of these forenamed broils in the fore part of the year,
the English had undergone great want of food, yet, through God's mercy, there never was more show of plenty, having as much and as good corn on the ground as ever they had. Neither was the hopes of their tobacco crop inferior to that of their corn; so that the planters were never more full of encouragement; which I pray God long to continue, and so to direct both them and us, as his glory may be the principal aim and end of all our actions, and that for his mercy's sake. Amen.
ccrted plan, fell upon the English ' Yeardlcy. Scc nolo
OF THEIR BEING MENACED BY THE NARRAGANSETTS, AND
THEIR SECOND VOYAGE TO THE MASSACHUSETTS.
The good ship called the FORTUNE, which, in the
month of November, 1621, (blessed be God,) brought 1622. us a new supply of thirty-five persons, was not long
departed our coast, ere the great people of Nanohigganset,' which are reported to be many thousands strong, began to breathe forth many threats against us, notwithstanding their desired and obtained peace with us in the foregoing summer; insomuch as the common talk of our neighbour Indians on all sides was of the preparation they made to come against us. In reason a man would think they should have now more cause to fear us than before our supply came. But
· The Narragansetts were a nu traveller would meet with a dozen merous and powerful tribe that oc Indian towns in twenty miles. cupied nearly the whole of the They were a martial and formidapresent territory of the State of ble race, and were frequently at Rhode Island, including the islands war with the Pokanokets on the in Narragansett Bay. They had east, the Pequots on the west, and escaped ihe pestilence which had the Massachusetts on the north. depopulated other parts of New See Gookin in Mass. Hist. Coll. i. England, and their population at 147 ; Callender in R. I. Hist. Coll. this time was estimated at thirty iv. 123 ; Potter's Early History of thousand, of whom five thousand Narragansett, ibid. iii. 1, and were warriors. Roger Williams Hutchinson's Mass. i. 457. says they were so populous that a
A MESSENGER FROM CANONICUS.
though none of them were present, yet understanding CHAP. by others that they neither brought arms, nor other provisions with them, but wholly relied on us, it occa- 1622. sioned them to slight and brave“us with so many threats as they did. At length came one of them to us, who was sent by Conanacus,” their chief sachim or king, accompanied with one Tokamahamon, a friendly Indian. This messenger inquired for Tisquantum, our interpreter, who not being at home, seemed rather to be glad than sorry, and leaving for him a bundle of new arrows, lapped in a rattlesnake's skin, desired to depart with all expedition. But our governors not knowing what to make of this strange carriage, and comparing it with that we had formerly heard, committed him to the custody of Captain Standish, hoping now to know some certainty of that we so often heard, either by his own relation to us, or to Tisquantum, at
1 " Since the death of so many
or obtained ; for I never gat any Indians, they thought to lord it thing of Connonicus but by gift.” over the rest, conceive we are a In 1636 the Massachusetts Colony bar in their way, and sce Massa- sent to him “a solemn embassoit already take shelter under our sage,” who “observed in the sawings." Bradford's Hist. quoted chem much state, great command by Prince, p. 200. · See pages 217 over his men, and marvellous wis. and 219, previous.
dom in his answers." Edward • Canonicus, the great sachem Johnson, who probably accompaof the Narragansetts, though hos- nied the ambassadors, has given in tile to the Plynouth colonists, his “Wonderworking Providence, probably on account of their lcague b. ii. ch. vi. a very minute account of with his enemy, Massasoit, show- their reception and entertainment. ed himself friendly to the first set- He says that “Canonicus was very tlers of Rhode Island, who planted discreet in his answers." He died themselves within his territory. June 4th, 1647, according to WinRoger Williams says that “when throp, a very old man. See his the hearts of my countrymen and Life in Thatcher's Indian Biografriends failed me, the Most Iligh phy, i. 177—209, and in Drake's stirred up the barbarous heart of Book of the Indians, b. ii. 54–57. Connonicus to love me as his son See also Mass. Hist. Coll. jii. 215. to the last gasp. Were it not for 229, xiv. 42–44, xvii. 75, 76 ; Savthe favor that God gave me with age's Winthrop, i. 192, ii. 308. him, none of these parts, no, not * See pages 211, 214, 219. Rhode Island had been purchased
THE MESSENGER INTERROGATED.
CHAP his return, desiring myself, having special familiarity
with the other forenamed Indian, to see if I could 162 2. learn any thing from him ; whose answer was spar
ingly to this effect, that he could not certainly tell us, but thought they were cncmies to us.
That night Captain Standish gave me and another' charge of him, and gave us order to use him kindly, and that he should not want any thing he desired, and to take all occasions to talk and inquire of the reasons of those reports we heard, and withal to signify that upon his true relation he should be sure of his own freedom. At first, fear so possessed him that he could scarce say any thing; but in the end became more familiar, and told us that the messenger which his master sent in summer to treat of peace, at his return persuaded him rather to war; and to the end he might provoke him thereunto, (as appeared to him by our reports,) detained many of the things (which] were sent him by our Governor, scorning the meanness of them both in respect of what himself had formerly sent, and also of the greatness of his own person ; so that he much blamed the former messenger, saying, that upon the knowledge of this his false carriage, it would cost him his life, but assured us that upon his relation of our specch then with him to his master, he would be friends with us. Of this we informed the Governor and his Assistant” and Captain Standish, who, after consultation, considered him howsoever but in the state of a messenger; and it being as well against the law of arms amongst them as us in Europe to lay violent
Probably Stephen Hopkins. · Isaac Allerton. See note on See note : on page 126, and pages page 195, and page 201. 181, 185, and 202.
HE BRINGS A DEFIANCE FROM CANONICUS.
hands on any such, set him at liberty ; the Governor CHAP. giving liim order to certify his master that he had heard of his large and inany threatenings, at which he 1622. was much offended; daring him in those respects to the utmost, if he would not be reconciled to live peaceably, as other his neighbours ; manifesting withal (as ever) his desire of peace, but his fearless resolution, if he could not so live amongst them. Aster which he caused meat to be offered bim ; but he refused to eat, making all speed to return, and giving many thanks for his liberty, but requesting the other Indian again to return. The weather being violent, he used many words to persuade him to stay longer, but could not. Whereupon he left him, and said he was with his friends, and would not take a journey in such extremity.
After this, when Tisquantum returned, and the arrows were delivered, and the manner of the messenger's carriage related, he signified to the Governor that to send the rattlesnake's skin in that manner imported enmity, and that it was no better than a challenge. Hereupon, after some deliberation, the Governor stuffed the skin with powder and shot, and sent it back, returning no less defiance to Conanacus, assuring him if he had shipping now present, thereby to send his men to Nanohigganset, (the place of his abode,) they should not need to come so far by land to us; yet withal showing that they should never come
1 " There is a remarkable coin- of declaring war by the Aracaunian cidence in the form of this chal- Indians of South America, was by lenge with that of the challenge sending from town 10 town an argiven by the Scythian prince to row clenched in a dead man's Darius. Fire arrow's made a part hand.''. Holmes, Annals, i. 177. of the present sent by his herald See Rollin, Anc. Hist. b. vi. 8. 4; to the Persian king. The manner and Mass. Hisi. Coll. xv. 69.