Academic journal article Early American Studies

Relation of the Pequot Warres

Academic journal article Early American Studies

Relation of the Pequot Warres

Article excerpt

[1] Easthampton June the 12th: 1660

Loving Frends Robert Chapman and Thomas Hurlburt my love remembred to you both, thes are to Informe, that as you desired me when I was with you and Major Mason at Seabrooke1 2 years oc a hälfe agoe to consider and call to mind the passages of Gods providence at Seabrooke in and about the time of the Pequit warre whearin I have now Indeavoured to answer your desires, and having rumiged and found sum old papers then written it was a great help to my memorie, you know when I came to you I was an Ingeannere or archecktector whereof carpendrie is a little part, but you know I could never use all the toóles, for although for my necessitie I was forced sumtimes to use my shifting chisell and my houldfast yet you know I could never endure nor abide the smothing plane, I have here sent you a piece of Timber skored and forehewed unfit to Joyne to any handsome piece of worke, but seing I have done the hardest worke, you must get sumbodie to chip it and to smooth it least the splinters should prick sum mens fingers, for the truth Must not be spoken at all times though to my knowledg I have written nothing but truth and you may take out or put in what you pleas or if you will, may throw all into the fire but I thinke you may let the Governor and Major Mason se it,2 I have aliso inserted sum aditions of things that wear done since that they may be considered togeather / and thus as I was when I was with you so I remaine still


Loving Friend

Lion Gardiner

[2] In the yeare 1635 I Lione Gardener Enginear & Master of works of fortification in the légers of the prince of Orang in the Low cuntries through the perswation of Mr John Davenport Mr Hugh Peters with some other well affected Englishmen of Roterdam;3 I made an agreement with the forenamed Mr Peters for 10Ot per annum for 4 years to serve the cumpanie of patentees,4 Namely the Lord Say, the Lord Brooks, Sir Arthur Hazilrig, Sir Mathew Bonnington, Sir Richard Saltingstone, Esqure Fenwick, and the rest of their cumpanie,5 (I say, I was to serve them only in the drawing, ordering, & making of a Cittie, Townes, or forts of defence: And so I came f[rom] Holland to London, and from thence to New England, whear I was apoynted to attend Such ord[ers] as Mr John Winthrop Esquire the present Governor of Conectecott was to apoynt, whether at pe[quot] river or Conectecott and that we should chuse a place both for the conveniencie of a good harbor and aliso for capablenes and fitnes for fortification: But I landing at Boston the latter end of Novem[ber] the aforesaid Mr Winthrop had sent before one Leuten: Gibbons Sergiant Willard with some carp[enters] to take possession of the rivers mouth, whear they began to build houses against the Spring, wee expecting acording to promise that there would have come from England to us 300 able men whereof 200. should atend Fortification, 50 to till the ground &50 to build houses but our great expectation at the rivers mouth came only to 2 men, viz. Mr Fenwick, and his man who came With Mr Hugh Peters, and Mr oldham Oc Tho. Stanton bringing with them Some otterskin coats and Bever and scaines of wampum which the Pequits had sent for a present because the English had required thos pequits that had kild a virginnean one Capt Stone with his Barks crew in conectecott river,6 for they said they would have their lives & not their presents, then I answered seing you will take Mr Winthrop to the Bay7 to see his wife Newly brou[ght] to bed of her first child, and though you Say he shall returne, yet I know if you make war wi[th] thes pequits he will not come hither again, for I know you will keepe yourselves against Capt hunger and let Fortification aloane awhile, safe as you think in the bay but myselfe with thes few you will leave at the stake to be rosted or for hung[er] to be starved, for Indean corn is now 12s per bushell and we have but 3 akers planted, and if the[y] will now make war for a virginnian and expose us to the Indiens whos mercies are cruel they I say, they love the virginnians better than us, for have they stayed thes 4 or 5 yea[rs] and wil they begin now we being so few in the river and have scarce holes to put our heds in I pray aske the Magistrats in the bay, if they have forgot what I said to them when I returned from Salem, for Mr Winthrop, Mr Haines, Mr Dudley, Mr ludlow, Mr Humfry, Mr Belingam, Mr Coddington, & Mr Nowell,8 thes entreated me to goe with Mr Humfrey & Mr Peters to vew the Cuntrie to see how fit it was for fortification, and I tould them that Nature had done more then hälfe the worke alreddie 8e that I thought no forraigne potent enemie would doe them any hurt, but one that was neare, the[y] asked me who that was & I said it was Capt Hunger that threatned them most, for, said I war is like 3 footed stoole, want one foot and down cums all and thes 3 feet are men, victuals, Oc munition, therfore seing in peace you are like to be famished what will or can be done if war, therfore I thinke said I it will be best only to fight against Capt hunger and let Fortification aloane awhile, and if need hereafter require it I can come to doe you any service, and they all liked my saying well, entreat them to rest awhile till wee get more strength here about us, and that we here where the seat of the war will be; may aprove of it Sc provide for it, for I had but 24 in all men women & boyes Oc girls, and not food for them for 2 moneths unies we saved our corne field, which could not possibly be if they came to war, for it is 2 miles from our home: Mr Winthrop Mr Fenwick Sc Mr peters promised me that they would doe their utmost Indevour to perswade the bay men to desist from war a yeare or 2 till we could be better provided for it, and then the Pequit Sachem was sent for, and the present returned, but full sore against my will, So they 3 returned to Boston and 2 or 3 dayes after came an Indean from pequit, whos name was cocommithus who had lived at Plimmoth and could speake good English, he desired that Mr Steven Winthrop would goe to pequit with an 100 lis worth of trucking cloath and all other trading ware for they knew that we had a great cargoe of goods of Mr Pincheons Sc Mr Steven Winthrop had the disposing of it9 [3] And he said that if he would come he might put off all his goods and the pequit Sachem would give him two horses that had been there a great while, So I sent the shallop with Mr Steven Winthrop Sargeant Tille10 who we cald afterward Sargeant kettle becaus he put the kettle on his hed, & Thomas Hurlbut and 3 men more charging them that they should ride in the middle of the river Oc not goe ashore untili they had done all their trade and that Mr Steven Winthrop should stand in the hould of the boate having their guns by them Sc swords by their sides, the other 4 to be 2 in the fore Cuddie & 2 in aft being armed in like maner that so they out of the loope holes might cleare the boat if they wear by the pequits asalted, and that they should let but one canoe cum abord at once with no more but 4 Indeans in her, Oc when she had traded ther an other, and that they should lie no longer theare then one day and at night to goe out of the river, and if they brought the two horses to take them in at a cleare piece of land at the mouth of the river, 2 of them goe ashore to help the horses in and the rest stand reddie with their guns in their hands if need were to defend them from the pequits for I durst not trust them, So they went Sc found but little trade, and they having forgotten what I charged them, Thomas Hurlbut and one went ashore to boyle the kettle and Thomas Hurlbut steping into the Sachems wigwam not far from the shore enquiring for the horses, the Indeans went out of the wigwam, and Wuncumbone his Mothers sister was then the great Pequit Sachems wife who made signes to him that he should be gone for they would cut off his hed which when he perceived he drew his sword Sc ran to the other and got abord,11 and immediately came abundance of Indeans to the water side and cald them to cum ashore but they immediatly set saile and came home, and this caused me to keepe watch and ward for I saw they plotted our destruction / Sc suddenly after came Capt Endecott, Capt Turner, Sc Capt Undrill12 with a cumpanie of Souldiers well fitted to Seabrook and made that place their rendevow or seat of war and that to my great griefe for said I you come hither to raise thes wasps about my eares, and then you will take wing and flee away, but, when I had seen their commission I wondered and made many allegations against the Manner of it, but goe they did to pequit and as they came without aquainting any of us in the river with it So they went against our will, for I knew that I should loose our come field, then I entreated the[m] to heare what I would say to them which was this, Sirs, Seing you will goe I pray you if you doe not lo ade your barkes with Pequits loade them with come for that is now gathered with them Sc dry redie to put into their barns, and both you & we have need of it, and I will send my shallop and hire this duchmans boate there present to goe with you, and if you can not attain your end of the pequits yet you may load your barks with corn which will be wellcome to Boston and to me, but they said they had no bags to load them with, then said I here is 3 dozen of new bags you shal have 30 of them and my shallop to carie them, & 6 of them my men shall use themselves, for I will with the duchmen send 12 men well provided, and desired them to devide the men into 3 parts, viz 2 parts to stand without the come and to defend the other % part that carrie the corn to the water side, till they have loaden what they can and the men ther in armes when the rest are abord, shall in order goe abord, the rest that are abord Shall with their armes clear the shore if the pequits doe asalt them in the reare, and then when the Generali shall display his collers all to set saile togeather. …

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