From Of Plimouth Plantation (1630-1650), From BOOK TWO, CHAPTER 25 (1634 – Problems Westward)
This year (in ye foreparte of ye same) they sente forth a barke to trad at ye Dutch-Plantation; and they mette ther with on Captaine Stone, that had lived in Christophers, one of ye West-Ende llands, and now had been some time in Virginia, and came from thence into these parts. He kept company with ye Dutch Gover, and, I know not in what drunken fitt, he gott leave of ye Govr to ceaise on their barke, when they were ready to come away, and had done
their markett, haveing ye valew of 500 lbs. worth of goods abord her; having no occasion at all, or any collour of ground for such a thing, but having made ye Govr drunck, so as he could scarce speake a right word; and when he urged him hear aboute, he answered him, Als ‘t u beleeft. So he gat abord, (the cheefe of their men & marchant being ashore,) and with some of his owne men, made ye rest of theirs waigh anchor, sett sayle, & carry her away towards Virginia. But diverse of ye Dutch sea-men, which had bene often at Plimoth, and kindly entertayned ther, said one to another, Shall we suffer our freinds to be thus abused, and have their goods carried way, before our faces, whilst our Govr is drunke? They vowed they would never suffer it; and so gott a vessell or 2. and pursued him, & brought him in againe, and delivered them their barke & goods againe.
After wards Stone came into ye Massachusets, and they sent & commensed suite against him for this facte; but by mediation of freinds it was taken up, and ye suite lett fall. And in ye company of some other gentle-men Stone came afterwards to Plimoth, and had freindly & civill entertainmente amongst them, with ye rest; but revenge boyled within his brest, (though concelled,) for some conceived he had a purpose (at one time) to have staped the Govr, and put
his hand to his dagger for that end, but by Gods providence and ye vigilance of some was prevented. He afterward returned to Virginia, in a pinass, with one Captaine Norton & some others; and, I know not for what occasion, they would needs goe up Coonigtecutt River; and how they carried themselves I know not, but ye Indeans knoct him in ye head, as he lay in his cabine, and had thrown ye covering over his face (whether out of fear or desperation is uncertaine); this was his end. They likewise killed all ye rest, but Captaine Norton defended him selfe a long
time against them all in ye cooke-roome, till by accidente the gunpowder tooke fire, which (for readynes) he had sett in an open thing before him, which did so burne, & scald him, & blind his eyes, as he could make no longer resistance, but was slaine also by them, though they much comended his vallour. And having killed ye men, they made a pray of what they had, and chafered away some of their things to ye Dutch that lived their. But it was not longe before
a quarell fell betweene the Dutch & them, and they would have cutt of their bark; but they slue y
e cheef sachem wth ye shott of a murderer.
I am now to relate some strang and remarkable passages. Ther was a company of people lived in ye country, up above in ye river of Conigtecut, a great way from their trading house ther, and were enimise to those Indeans which lived aboute them, and of whom they stood in some fear (bing a stout people). About a thousand of them had inclosed them selves in a forte, which they had strongly palissadoed about. 3. or 4. Dutch men went up in ye begining of winter to live with them, to gett their trade, and prevente them for bringing it to ye English, or to fall into amitie with them; but at spring to bring all downe to their place. But their enterprise failed, for it pleased God to visite these Indeans with a great sicknes, and such a mortalitie that of a 1000. above 900. and a halfe of them dyed, and many of them did rott above ground for want of buriall, and ye Dutch men allmost starved before they could gett away, for ise and snow. But about Feb: they got with much difficultie to their trading house; whom they kindly releeved, being allmost spente with hunger and could. Being thus refreshed by them diverce days, they got to their owne place, and ye Dutch were very thankfull for this kindnes.
This spring, also, those Indeans that lived aboute their trading house there fell sick of ye
small poxe, and dyed most miserably; for a sorer disease cannot befall them; they fear it more then ye plague; for usualy they that have this disease have them in abundance, and for wante of bedding & lining and other helps, they fall into a lamentable condition, as they lye on their hard matts, ye poxe breaking and mattering, and runing one into another, their skin cleaving (by reason therof) to the matts they lye on; when they turne them, a whole side will flea of at once, ( as it were,) and they will be all of a gore blood, most fearfull to behold; and then being very sore, what with could and other distempers, they dye like rotten sheep. The condition of this people was so lamentable, and they fell downe so generally of this diseas, as they were (in ye end) not able to help on another; no, not to make a fire, nor to fetch a litle water to drinke, nor any to burie ye dead; but would strivie as long as they could, and when they could procure no other means to make fire, they would burne ye woden trayes & dishes they ate their meate in, and their very bowes & arrowes; & some would crawle out on all foure to gett a litle water, and some times dye by ye way, & not be able to gett in againe. But those of ye English house, (though at first they were afraid of ye infection,) yet seeing their woefull and sadd condition, and hearing their pitifull cries and lamentations, they had compastion of them, and dayly fetched them wood & water, and made them fires, gott them victualls whilst they lived, and buried them when they dyed. For very few of them escaped, notwithstanding they did what they could for them, to ye haszard of them selvs. The cheefe Sachem him selfe now dyed, & allmost all his freinds & kinred. But by ye marvelous goodnes & providens of God not one of ye English was so much as sicke, or in ye least measure tainted with this disease, though they dayly did these offices for them for many weeks togeather. And this mercie which they shewed them was kindly taken, and thankfully acknowledged of all ye Indeans that knew or heard of ye same; and their mrs here did much comend & reward them for ye same.