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A DECLARATION OF FORMER PASSAGES AND PROCEEDINGS BETWIXT THE ENGLISH and the Narrowganset, with their confdereates. Wherin the grounds and iustice of the ensuing warre are [...] and cleared.
Published, by order of the Commissioners for the united Colonies. At Boston the [...] of the sixth month 1645.

THE most considerable part of the English Colonies professe they came into these parts of the world with desire to [...] the kingdome of the Lord Jesus Christ, and [...] inioye his preci­ous Ordinances with peace, and (to be praise they confesse) he hath not fail­ [...] their expectation hitherto, they have found safety, warmth and refresh­ing under his wing to the satisfaction of their soules. But they know, and have considered that their Lord & master is King of righteousnes and [...] that he gives answerable lawes, and casts his subjects into such a mould and [...]me; that (in their weak measure) they may hold forth his virtues in [...] [...]urse and carriage, not only with the nations of Europe, but with the bar­barous natives of this wildernes. And accordingly both in their treaties & converse they have had an awfull respect to divine rules, endeavouring [...]wordw [...]alk uprightly and inoffensively, & in the midst of many injuries and inso­lencies to exercise much patience and long-suffering towards them.

The Pequots grew to an excesse of violence and outrage, and proudly turned aside from all wayes of justice & peace, before the sword was drawn [...] any hostile attempts made against them. During those warrs, & after [...] Pequots were subdued, the English Colonies were carefull to continue and establish peace with the rest of the Indians, both for the present & for posterity, as by several treaties with the Narrowganset & Mohiggi [...] [...] may appeare: which treaties for a while were in some good measure [...] observed by all the Indians, but of late the Narrowgansets & especialy [...] Niant [...]cks their confederates have many wayes injuriously brokē & vio­lated the same by entertaining and keeping amongst them, not only many of [...] Pequot nation, but such of them as have had their hands in the blood & [...] of the English, seizing and possessing at least a part of the Pequots [Page 2] Country, which by right of conquest justly appertaines to the English: by all [...]ing, or harbouring and withholding several Pequot-captives fled from the English, and making proud & insolent returnes, when they were rede­manded, and [...] lately the English had many strong & concurrent Indiā testimonies, from Long-Island, Uncoway, Hartford, Ki [...]nibeck and other parts, of Miantonimo's ambitious designes, travailing through all the plan­tations of the neighbouring Indians, and by promises & gifts labouring to make himselfe their universall Sagamore or Governour, perswading and in­gaging them, at once to cut off the whole body of the English in these parts. Which treacherous plots were confirmed by the Indians generall preparations, messages, insolencies and outrages against the English & such Indians as were subjects or freinds to them, so that the English Colonies, to their great charge and damage, were forced to Arm, to keep strong watch day & night, and some of them to travail with convoyes from one plantation to another: and when Miantonimo in his circular travel was questioned at New-Haven concerning these thing, in stead of other & bet­ter satisfaction he threatened to cut off any Indians head that sh [...]ld lay such a charge upon him to his face.

The Commissioners by the premises observed Miantonimo's proud and treacherous disposition, yet thought not fit to proceed against him in that respect, till they had collected more legal and convincing proof.

But while these things were under deliberation, Miantonimo was brought prisoner by Uncas to Hartford, and the case being opened & clear­ed as followeth, he craved the commissioners advice how to proceed with him.

Jt appeared that in a treaty made with the English at Massachusets Anno 1637. Miantonimo ingaged himselfe not to fight with any of the Indians, and part [...]cularly not to invade Uncas without the English consent; and after in a tripartit agrement made and concluded at Hartford betwixt Miantonimo & Uncas with reference to the English An̄o 1638. in which one of the Articles runs, That though [...]her of the said Indian Sagamores shold receive injurie from the other; yet neither of them shall make or begin warr, untill they had appealed to the English, and till their grievan [...]es were first heard and de­termined, and if either of [...] shold refuse, the English might assist against, & compell the refusing and obstinate partie.

Notwithstanding which, Miantonimo and his confoederates have both secretly and openly plotted and practised against the [...] of Uncas not [Page 3] at all acquainting the English or advising with them, but more especially of late since the fore-mentioned plots and designes were in hand.

First, a Pequot Indian one of Uncas his subjects in the spring 1643 aiming at Uncas life, shot him with an arrow through the arm, and pre­sently fled to the Narrowgansets or their confoederates, boasting in the In­dian plantations that he had killed Uncas; but when it was known Un­cas (though wounded) was alive, the Pequot (taught as was supposed) chang­ed his note, affirming that Uncas had cut through his owne arm with a flint, and had hyred him to say he had shot and killed him.

Miantonimo being sent for by the Governour of the Massachusets upon another occasion, brought this Pequot with him, and would have covered him with the former disguise, but when the English out of his owne mouth found him guilty, and would have sent him to Uncas his Sagam [...]re Miantonimo earnestly desired he might not be taken out of his hands, pro­mising he would send him safe to Uncas to be examined and punished.

But fearing (as it seems) his owne treachery would be discovered, within a day or two, he stopped the Pequots mouth by cuting off his head, but at parting he told the Governour in discontent, that he would com no more to Boston.

After this, some attempts were made (as is reported) to take away Uncas life by poyson and by sorcery; these failing, som of Sequassons com­pany (an Indian Sagamore allyed unto, and an intimate confoederate with Miantonimo) shot at Uncas with an arrow or two, as he was going down Conecticot river: Uncas according to the fore-mentioned treaty 1638 complained, and the English by mediation sought to make peace, but Se­quasson expressing his dependance on Miantonimo refused, and chose warr. They fought, and Uncas had the [...].

Lastly, Miantonimo without any provocotion from Uncas [unles the dissappointment of former plots provoaked] and suddenly without de­nouncing warr, came upon the [...] with 900 or 1000 men; when Uncas had not halfe so many to defend himselfe. Uncas (before the bat­tel) told Miantonimo, that he had many wayes sought his life, and for the sparing of bloud, offered by a single comba [...] betwixt themselves to end the quarrel, but Miantonimo presuming upon his number of men, would have nothing but a battel.

[Page 4] [...] to expectation, his [...]en were [...]ound, [...] of considerable note shine, and himselfe taken prisoner.

These things being duly weighed, the Commissioner judged that Uncas could not be safe, while Miantonimo lived, wherefore they thought he might justly put such a treacherous, and bloud-thirsty enemie to death; but advised him to doe it in his owne Jurisdiction, without torture or crueltie. And Uncas having hitherto shewed himselfe a friend to the English, and in this and former outrages (according to the treaty) craving their advise, if the Narrowgansets o [...] their confoederats should for his just execution unjustly assault him, the Commissioners for the Colonies promised to assist and protect him.

Uncas heerupon slew an enemy, but not the enmity against him. The Narrowgansets soon fell to new contri [...]ments. They pretended they had payd a ransome for their Sachems life, and gave in particulars to the value of about 40 li. This for a while cast an imputation of foule & unjust dealing upon Uncas; but in September 1644 the English Commissi­oners meeting at Hartford, sent for the Narrowganset Sachems or their Deputies desiring they might be instructed to make good their charge.

Uncas came himselfe, they sent their Deputies; but after due ex­amination it appeared, though some loose discourses had passed that for such quantitie of wampom and such parcels of other goods to a great value, there might have been some probability of sparing his life, yet no such par­cels were brought, and the Narrowganset Deputies did not alledge; much lesse prove, that any ransom was agreed, nor so much as any serious trea­ty begun, to redeem their imprisoned Sachem. And for the wampom and goods sent, as they were but small parcels and scarce considerable for such a purpose, so they were disposed by Miantonimo himselfe to sundry persons for curtesies received during his imprisonment, and upon hope of further favour.

The Narrowganset Deputies saw their proofs fell far short of for­mer preten [...]s, and were silent. The Commissioners promised that upon better evidence heerafter, they should have due satisfaction.

Wherupon a truce was made, and both parties were ingaged that all hostility should cease till planting time 1645: and after that, they would give thirty days [...] either at the Massachusets or Hart­ford before the truce should cease. Yet in February l [...]st, the Narrow­gansets [Page 5] by messengers sent to Boston, declared▪ that unles Uncas would render 160 fathom of wampom or come to a new hearing within [...] weeks they would begin the warr.

This crossed the former agrement, and the season was such, as neither the Commissioners could be advised with, nor could Uncas travell if notice had been given. After which, about or before planting [...] ▪ Tantaq [...]yson [...] Mohiggin Captain who took Miantonimo prisoner, [...] dangerously and treacherously wounded in the night as he slept in his wig­wam: and other hostile acts were on both part attempted, in a private and under-hand way as they could take advantage each against other.

But since the Narrowgansets have at several times openly invaded Uncas, so that Connectic [...]t and New-haven were forced according to in­gagement, to send men from those Colonies for his present defence [...] but with expresse direction not to begin any offensive warr against the Narrow­gansets or their confoederates till further order.

Jn the mean time messengers were sent to the Narrowgansets from the General Court in the Massachusets, signif [...]ng the Commissioners meet­ing, promising their agrievances should be fully and justly heard, and re­quiring a cessation of warr in the mean time; but they refused: and hear­ing probably that the English from the westerne Colonies were returned, they made a new assault upon Uncas, and have done him much hurt.

The Commissioners being met, sent messengers the second time both to the Narrowganset and Mohiggin Indians, minding them of the former treatise and truce, desiring them to send their Deputies instructed and furnished with authority to declare and open the ground [...] of the warr, to give and receive due satisfaction, and to restore and setle peace.

At first the Narrowganset Sachē gave a reasonable and faire an­swer, that he would send Guides with them to the Mohiggins, and if Un­cas consented, he would send his Deputies to the Commissioners, and dur­ing eight days hostility should cease: but he soon repented of this modera­tion, told the English messengers his minde was chang [...]d, sen [...] private instructions to the Niantik Sachem, after the delivery of which, there was nothing but proud & insolēt passages: the India guides which the English messengers brought with them from Pu [...]ham and Socononoco were by frownes and threatning speeches discouraged and returned; no other Guides could be obtained though much pressed, they knew (as they ex­pressed [Page 6] themselves) by the course held at Hartford last yeare, that the Com­missiōers would mediate & presse for peace, but they were resolved to have no peace without Uncas his head; it mattered not who began the warr, [...]hey were resolved to continue it; the English should withdraw their Gar­rison from Uncas, or they would take it as a breach of former covenants, & would procure as many Moquanks as the English should affront them with: that they would lay the English cattle ō heaps as high as their houses: that no English man shold step out of doors to pisse, but he should be killed. They reviled Uncas, charged him with cutting through his own arm, and saying the Narrowgansets had shot him; affirmed, that he would now murder the English messengers as they went or returned [if he had oppertu­nity] and lay it upon̄ the Narrowgansets.

The English messengers upon this rude and uncivil usage, wanting Guides to proceed, and fearing danger, returned to the Narrowgansets, ac­quainted Pesicus with the former passages, desired Guides from him, he [in scorne as they apprehended it] offered them an old Pequot Squaw, but would afford no other Guides. There also they conceived themselves in danger, three Indians with hatchets standing behinde the Interpreter in a suspicious manner, while he was speaking with Pesicus, and the rest frown­ing & expressing much distemper in their countenance & carriage. The English messengers not hoping for better successe at that time, departed▪ telling Pessicus that if he would returne any other answer, he should send it to the English trading-house, where they intended to lodge that night. In the morning he invited them to returne, and promised them a Guide to Un­cas, but would grant no cessation of Armes. When they came to Provi­dence they understood that in their absence a Narrowganset Indian had bin there, and faining himselfe to be of Conecticot, spake in that dialect, but could not put off the Narrowganset tone. He told Benedict Aarnold's wife (who well understands the Indian language) that the English messen­gers should not passe to the Mohiggins, he knew they shold have no Guides, but should be destroyed in the woods as they travelled toward Uncas.

Thus the English messengers returned, and the Interpreter under his hand & upon his oath related the former passages, with others lesse material more [...]aregly.

Mr. Williams by the messengers wrote to the Commissioners assu­ring them That the Country would suddenly be all on fyre, meaning by warr; that by strong reasons & arguments he could convince any man therof, that was of ano­ther [Page 7] minde; That the Narrowgansets had been with the plantations combined with Providence and had solemnly treated & setled a n [...]rality with them, which fully shews their councels and sett [...]ed resolutions for warre.

Thus while the Commissioners in care of the publick peace, sought to quench the fire kindled amongst the Indians, these children of strife breath out threatnings, provocations and warr against the English themselves, so that unles they should dishonour & provoak God, by violating a just ingage­ment, and expose the Colonies to contempt & danger from the Barbarians, they cannot but exercise force, when no other meanes will prevail, to reduce the Narrowgansets and their confoederates to a more just and sober temper.

The eyes of other Indians under the protection of the Massachusets, and not at all ingaged in this quarrel, are [as they have expressed themselves to the English messenger] fastened upon the English with strict observatiō, in what manner and measure they provide for Uncas safety. If he perish they will charge it upon them who might have preserved him: and no In­dians w [...]l trust the English (if they now breake ingagement) either in the present or succeeding generations. If Uncas be ruined in such a cause, they foresee their head▪ upon the next pretence shal be delivered to the wil of the Nartowgansets, with whom therfore they shall be forced to complye [as they may] for their future safety; & the English may not trust an Indian in the whole Country. The p [...]e [...]ises being duly weighed it clearly appear­es that God calls the Colonies to a warr.

The Narrowgansets and their confoederates rest on their numbers, weapons, & opportunityes to do mischief; and probably (as of old, Ash [...]r, Ama [...]ek and the Ph [...]list [...] with others did confoederate against Israel) so Sa­than may stir up & combine many of his instruments against the Churches of Christ: but their Redeemer is the Lord of Host, the Mighty One in battel, all the sh [...]eld [...] of the earth are in his hand [...], he can [...]ave by few & by weak means, as well as by many & great. In him they trust.

IO: WINTHROP President, In the name of all the Commissioners.

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