From Of Plimouth Plantation (1630-1650), From BOOK TWO, CHAPTER 28 (1634 – The Pequot War)



IN ye fore parte of this year, the Pequents fell openly upon ye English at Conightecute, in ye lower parts of ye river, and slew sundry of them, (as they were at work in ye feilds,) both men & women, to ye great terrour of ye rest; and wente away in great prid & triumph, with many high threats.  They allso assalted a fort at ye rivers mouth, though strong and well defended; and though they did not their prevaile, yet it struk them with much fear & astonishmente to see their bould attempts in the face of danger; which made them in all places to stand upon their gard, and to prepare for resistance, and ernestly to solissite their freinds and confederats in ye Bay of Massachusets to send them speedy aide, for they looked for more forcible assaults.  Mr. Vane,  being then Govr, write from their Generall Courte to them hear, to joyne with them in this warr; to

Mr. John Reinor. which they were cordially willing, but tooke opportunitie to write to them aboute some former things, as well as presente, considerable hereaboute.



In ye mean time, the Pequents, espetially in ye winter before, sought to make peace with ye Narigansets, and used very pernicious arguments to move them therunto: as that ye English were stranegers and begane to overspred their countries and would deprive them therof in time, if they were suffered to grow & increse; and if ye Narigansets did assist ye English to subdue them, they did but make way for their owne overthrow, for if they were rooted out, the English would soone take occasion to subjugate them; and if they would harken to them, they should not neede to fear ye strength of ye English; for they would not come to open battle with them, but fire their houses, kill their katle, and lye in ambush for them as they went abroad upon their occasions; and all this they might easily doe without any or litle danger to them selves.  The which course being, held, they well saw the English could not long subsiste, but they would either be starved with hunger, or be forced to forsake the countrie; with many ye like things; in so much that ye Narigansets were once wavering, and were halfe minded to have made peace with them, and joyed against ye English.  But againe when they considered, how much, wrong they had received from the Pequents, and what an oppertunitie they now had by ye help of ye English to right them selves, revenge was so sweete unto them, as it prevailed above all ye rest; so as they resolved to joyne with ye English against them, & did. The Court here agreed forwith to send 50. men at their owne charg; and wth as much speed as posiblie they could, gott them armed, and had made them ready under sufficiente leaders, and provided a barke to carrie them provisions & tend upon them for all occasions; but when they were ready to march (with a supply from ye Bay) they had word to stay, for ye enimy was as good as vanquished, and their would be no neede.

I shall not take upon me exactly to describe their proceedings in these things, because I expecte it will be fully done by them selves, who best know the carrage & circumstances of things; I shall therfore but touch them in generall.  From Connightecute (who were most sencible of ye hurt sustained, & ye present danger), they sett out a partie of men, and an other partie mett them from ye Bay, at ye Narigansets,  who were to joyne with them.  Ye Narigansets were ernest to be gone before ye English were well rested and refreshte, espetially some of them which came last. It should seeme their desire was to come upon ye enemie sudenly, -& undiscovered.  Ther was a barke of this place, newly put in ther, which was come from Conightecutte, who did encourage them to lay hold of ye Indeans forwardness and to shew as great forwardnes as they, for it would incorage them, and expedition might prove to their great advantage.  So they went on, and so ordered their march, as the Indeans brought them to a forte of ye enimies (in which most of their cheefe men were) before day.  They approached ye same with great silence, and surrounded it both with English & Indeans, that they might not breake out; and so assualted them with great courage, shooting, amongst them, and entered ye forte with all speed; and those yt first entered found sharp resistance from the enimie, who both shott at & grapled with them; others rane into their howses, & brought out fire, and sett them on fire, which soone tooke in their matts, &, standing close togeather, with ye wind, all was quietly on a flame, and therby more were burnte to death then was otherwise slain; it burnte their bowstrings, and made them unservisable.  Those yt scaped ye fire were slaine with ye sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escaped.  It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400. at this time.  It was a fearfull sight to see them thus frying, in ye fyer, and ye streams of blood quenching ye same, and horrible was ye stinck & sente ther of; but ye victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prays therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfuly for them, thus to inclose their enimise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud & insulting an enimie.  The Narigansett Indeans, all this while, stood round aboute, but aloofe from all danger, and left ye whole execution to ye English, exept it were ye stoping of any yt broke away, insulting over their enimies in this their ruine & miserie, when they saw them dancing in ye flames, calling them by a word in their owne lan-

guage, signifing, O brave Pequents!  which they used familierly among them selves in their own prayes, in songs of triumph after their victories.  After this servis was thus happily accomplished, they marcht to the water side, wher they mett with some of their vesells, by which they had refreishing with victualls & other necessaries.  But in their march ye rest of ye Pequents drew into a body, and acoasted them, thinking to have some advantage against them by reason of a neck of land; but when they saw the English prepare for them, they kept a loofe, so as they neither did hurt, nor could receive any.  After their refreishing & repair to geather for further counsell & directions, they resolved to pursue their victory, and follow ye warr against ye rest, but ye Narigansett Indeans most of them forsooke them, and such of them as they had with them for guids, or otherwise, they found them very could and backward in ye bussines, ether out of envie, or yt they saw ye English would make more profite of ye victorie then they were willing they should, or els deprive them of such advantage as them selves desired by having, them become tributaries unto them, or ye like.



That I may make an end of this matter: this Sassacouse (ye Pequents cheefe sachem) being fled to ye Mowhakes, they cutt of his head, with some other of ye cheefe of them, whether to satisfie ye English, or rather ye Narigansets, (who, as I have since heard, hired them to doe it,) or for their owne advantage, I well know not; but thus this warr tooke end.  The rest of ye Pequents were wholy driven from their place, and some of them submitted them selves to ye

Narigansets, & lived under them; others of them betooke them selves to ye Monhiggs, under Uncass, their sachem, wth the approbation of ye English of Conightecutt, under whose protection Uncass lived, and he and his men had been faithful to them in this warr, & done them very good service.  But this did so vexe  the Narrigansetts, that they had not ye whole sweay

over them, as they have never ceased plotting and contriving how to bring them under, and because they cannot attaine their ends, because of ye English who have protected them, they have sought to raise a generall conspiracie against ye English….



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