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under the stern of a ship, in the face of armed men, and at the same time to have succeeded in his design of cutting away and carrying off the boat, was an act as bold and daring, to say the least, as that performed in the harbor of Tripoli by our countryman Decatur.
From Monhigon Harlow, proceeding southward, fell in with an island called then by the Indians Nohono. From this place “they tooke Sakaweston, that after he had lived many years in England, went a soldier to the wars of Bohemia." * Whether he ever returned we are not told. From this island they proceeded to Capawick, since called Capoge, [Martha's Vineyard.] Here “they tooke Coneconam and Epenow,” and “ so, with fine Saluages, they returned for England.”
Epenow, or, as some wrote, Epanow, seems to have been much such a character as Pechmo — artful, cunning, bold and daring. Sir Ferdinando Gorges is evidently erroneous in part of his statement about this native, in as far as it relates to his having been brought away by Hunt. For Harlow's voyage was in 1611, and Epanow was sent over to Cape Cod with Captain Hobson, in 1614, some months before Hunt left.
As it is peculiarly gratifying to the writer to hear such old venerable writers as Smith, Gorges, &c. speak, the reader perhaps would not pardon him were he to withhold what the intimate acquaintance of the interesting Epanow says of him. Hear, then, Sir Ferdinando :
“While I was laboring by what means I might best continue life in my languishing hopes, there comes one Henry Harley + unto me, bringing with him a native of the Island of Capawick, a place seated to the southward of Cape Cod, whose name was Epenewe, a person of goodly stature, strong and well proportioned. This man was taken upon the main, [by force) with some 29 1 others by a ship of London that endeavored to sell them for slaves in Spaine, out being understood that they were Americans, and being found to be unapt for their uses, they would not meddle with them, this being one of them they refused, wherein they exprest more worth than those that brought them to the market, who could not but known that our nation was at that time in travel for setling of Christian colonies upon that continent, it being an act much tending to our prejudice, when we came into that part of the countries, as it shall further appear. How Capt. Harley came to be possessed of this savage, I know not, but I understood by others how he had been shown in London for a wonder. It is true, (as I have said) he was a goodly man, of a brave aspect, stout and sober in his demeanor, and had learned so much English as to bid those that wondered at him, WELCOME, WELCOME; this being the last and best use they could make of him, that was now grown out of the people's wonder. The captain, falling further into his familiarity, found him to be of acquaintance and friendship with those subject to the Bashaba, whom the captain well knew, being himself one of the plantation, sent over by the lord chief justice, [Popham,] and by that means understood much of his language, found out the place of his birth," &c.
Before proceeding with the history of Epanow, the account of Capt. Thomas Hunt's voyage should be related; because it is said that it was chiefly owing to his perfidy that the Indians of New England were become so hostile to the voyagers. Nevertheless, it is plain, that (as we have already said) Hunt did not commit his depredations until after Epanow had escaped out of the hands of the English. Capt. John Smith was in company with Hunt, and we will hear him relate the whole transaction. After stating that they arrived at Monhigon in April, 1614, § spent a long time in trying to catch whales without success; and as “for gold, it was rather the master's device to get a voyage, that projected it;" that for trifles they got “near 11000 beaver skins, 100
* Capt. Smith's Gen. Hist. N. Eng. ii. 174.
† Perhaps not the Capt. Harlow before mentioned, though Prince thinks Gorges means him.
If in this he refers to those taken by Hunt, as I suppose, he sets the number higher than others. His grandson, F. Gorges, in America Painted, &c., says 24 was the number seized by Hunt.
Ś Smith had an Indian named Tantum with him in this voyage, whom he set on shore at Cape Cod.
martin, and as many otters, the most of them within the distance of 20 leagues,” and his own departure for Europe, Capt. Smith proceeds:
“The other ship staid to fit herself for Spain with the dry fish, which was sold at Malaga at 4 rials the quintal, each hundred weight two quintals and a half.—But one Thomas Hunt, the master of this ship, (when I was gone,) thinking to prevent that intent I had to make there a plantation, thereby to keep this abounding country still in obscurity, that only he and some few merchants more might enjoy wholly the benefit of the trade, and profit of this country, betrayed four and twenty of those poor salvages aboard his ship, and most dishonestly and inhumanly, for their kind usage of me and all our men, carried them with him to Malaga ; and there, for a little private gain, sold these silly salvages for rials of eight; but this vile act kept him ever after from any more employment to those parts."
F. Gorges, the younger, is rather confused in his account of Hunt's voyage, as well as the elder. But the former intimates that it was on account of Hunt's selling the Indians he took as slaves, the news of which having got into England before Epanow was sent out, caused this Indian to make his escape, and consequently the overthrow of the vogage; whereas the latter, Sir Ferdinando, does not attribute it to that. We will now hear hiin again upon this interesting subject:
“ The reasons of my undertaking the employment for the island of Capawick. “At the time this new savage [Epanow] came unto me, I had recovered Assacumet, one of the natives I sent with Capt. Chalownes in his unhappy employment, with whom I lodged Epenaw, who at the first hardly understood one the other's speech, till after a while; I perceived the difference was no more than that as ours is between the northern and southern people, so that I was a little eased in the use I made of my old servant, whom I engaged to give account of what he learned by conference between themselves, and he as faithfully performed it.”
There seems but little doubt that Epanow and Assacumet had contrived a plan of escape before they left England, and also, by finding out what the English most valued, and assuring them that it was in abundance to be had at a certain place in their own country, prevailed upon them, or by this pretended discovery were the means of the voyage being undertaken, of which we are now to speak. Still, as will be seen, Sir Ferdinando does not speak as though he had been quite so handsomely duped by his cunning man of the woods. Gold, it has been said, was the valuable commodity to which Epanow was to pilot the English. Gorges proceeds:
“ They (Capt. Hobson and those who accompanied him) set sail in June, in Anno 1614, being fully instructed how to demean themselves in every kind, carrying with them Epenow, Assacomet, and Wanape, * another native of those parts sent me out of the Isle of Wightfor my better information in the parts of the country of his knowledge: when as it pleased God that they were arrived upon the coast, they were piloted from place to place, by the natives themselves, as well as their hearts could desire. And coming to the harbor where Epenow was to make good his undertaking, (to point out the gold mine, no doubt,] the principal inhabitants of the place came aboard; some of them being his brothers, others his near cousins, (or relatives,] who, after they had communed together, and were kindly entertained by the captain, departed in their canoes, promising the next morning to come aboard again, and bring some trade with them. But Epenow privately (as it appeared) had contracted with his friends, how he might make his escape without performing what he had undertaken, being in truth no more than he had told me he was to do though with loss of his life. For otherwise, if it were found that he had dis
Doubtless the same called by others Manawet, who, it would seem from Mr. Hubbard, (Hist. N. Eng. 39,) died before Epanow escaped, “soon after the ship's arrival.”
+ How he came there, we are at a loss to determine, unless natives were carried off, of whom no mention is made. This was unquestionably the case, for when it came to be a common thing for vessels to bring home Indians, no mention, of course, would be made of them, especially if they went voluntarily, as, no doubt, many did.
[Book II covered the secrets of his country," he was sure to have his brains knockt out as soon as he came ashore;t for that cause I gave the captain strict charge to endeavor by all means to prevent bis escaping from them. And for the more surety, I gave order to have three gentlemen of my own kindred to be ever at hand with him; clothing him with long garments, fitly to be laid hold on, if occasion should require. Notwithstanding all this, his friends being all come at the time appointed with twenty canoes, and lying at a certain distance with their bows ready, the captain calls to them to come aboard; but they not moving, he speaks to Epenow to come unto him, where he was in the forecastle of the ship, he being then in the waste of the ship, between the two gentlemen that had him in guard; starts suddenly from them, and coming to the captain, calls to his friends in English to come aboard, in the interim slips himself overboard: And although he were taken hold of by one of the company, yet, being a strong and heavy man, could not be stayed, and was no sooner in the water, but the natives, [his friends in the boats,] sent such a shower of arrows, and came withal desperately so near the ship, that they carried him away in despight of all the musquetteers aboard, who were, for the number, as good as our nation did afford. And thus were my hopes of that particular (voyage] made void and frustrate."
From the whole of this narration it is evident that Epanow was forcibly retained, if not forcibly carried off, by English. And some relate that he attacked Capt. Dermer and his men, supposing they had come to seize and carry him back to England. It is more probable, we think, that he meant to be revenged for his late captivity, and, according to real Indian custom, resolved that the first whites should atone for it, either with their life or liberty. Gorges does not tell us what his brave “musquetteers” did when Epanow escaped, but from other sources we learn that they fired upon his liberators, killing and wounding some, but how many, they could only conjecture. But there is no room for conjecture about the damage sustained on the part of the ship’s crew, for it is distinctly stated that when they received the “shower of arrows," Capt. Hobson and many of his men were wounded. And Smith || says, “So well he had contrived his businesse, as many reported he intended to have surprised the ship; but seeing it could not be effected to his liking, before them all he leaped ouer boord.”
We next meet with Epanow in 1619. Capt. Thomas Dormer, or Dermer, in the employ of Sir F. Gorges, met with him at Capoge, the place where, five years before, he made his escape from Capt. Hobson. Gorges writes, “This savage, speaking some English, laughed at his owne escape, and reported the story of it. Mr. Dormer told him he came from me, and was one of my servants, and that I was much grieved he had been so ill used as to be forced to steal away. This savage was so cunning, that, after he had questioned him about me, and all he knew belonged unto me, conceive
he was come on purpose to betray him; and (so] conspired with some of his fellows to take the captain ; thereupon they laid hands upon him. But he being a brave, stout gentleman, drew his sword and freed himself
, but not without 14 wounds. This disaster forced him to make all possible haste to Virginia to be cured of his wounds. At the second return (he having just come from there) he had the misfortune to fall sick and die, of the infirmity many of our nation are subject unto at their first coming into those parts."
The ship's crew being at the same time on shore, a fight ensued, in which some of Epanow's company were slain. “This is the last time,” says a writer in the Historical Collections, " that the soil of Martha's Vineyard was stained with human blood; for from that day to the present (1807) no Indian has been killed by a white man, nor white man by an Indian.”
Ir. relation to the fight which Dermer and his men had with the Indians at the Vineyard, Morton relates that the English went on shore to trade with them, when they were assaulted and all the men slain but one that kept the
The secrets of the sandy island Capoge, or the neighboring shores of Cape Cod, whatever they are now, existed only in faith of such sanguine minds as Sir Ferdinando and his adherents.
+ We need no better display of the craft of Epanow, or proof of his cunning in deep plots. Belknap, Amer. Biog. i. 362.
Ś Smith's N. England, ii. 178. Ibid.
1 N. Eng. Memorial, 58, 59.
boat. “But the (captain) himself got on board very sore wounded, and they had cut off his head upon the cuddy of the boat, had not his man rescued him with a sword, and so they got him away." Squanto was with Capt. Dermer at this time, as will be seen in the life of Massasoil.
Arrital and first Proceedings of the English who settle at Plimouth— Their first
discovery of Indians— Their first battle with them-Samoset—Squanto–MASSAsoit-lyanough-Aspinet-Cauneconam—CaunBITANT — WITTUWAMET–Peksuor—HOBONOR— Tokamahamon-Obbatinewat—NANEPASHAMET-Squawo-Sachem of Massachusetts- Webcowet.
WITHIN THESE LATE YEARES
In 1620 some determined white people, with the most astonishing and invincible firmness, undertook to wander 3000 miles from the land of their birth, and, in the most hazardous manner, to take up a permanent abode upon the borders of a boundless wilderness, a wilderness as great, or far greater, for aught they knew, than the expanse of ocean which they were to pass. But all dangers and difficulties, there to be encountered, weighed nothing in comparison with the liberty of conscience which they might enjoy when once beyond the control of their bigoted persecutors.
These singular people had liberty from their oppressor, James I., to go and settle in this wilderness, and to possess themselves of some of the lands of the Indians, provided they paid him or some of his friends for them. No one seems then to have questioned how this king came by the right and title to. lands here, any more than how he came by his crown. They were less scrupulous, perhaps, in this matter, as the king told them, in a charter * which he granted them, though not til after they had sailed for America, “THAT HE HAD BEEN
CERTAINLY TO KNOWE, THAT THERE HATH, BY GOD'S VISITATION, RAIGNED A WONDERFUL PLAGUE, TOGETHER WITH MANY
SLAUGHTERS AND MURTHERS, COMMITTED AMOUNGST THE SAUAGES AND BRUTISH PEOPLE THERE HEERTOFORE INHABITING, IN A MANNER TO THE UTTER DESTRUCTION, DEVASTACION AND DEPOP. ULACION OF THAT WHOLE TERRITORYE, SO THAT THERE IS NOT LEFT, FOR MANY LEAGUES TOGETHER IN A MANNER, ANY THAT DOE CLAIME OR CHALLENGE ANY KIND OF INTERESTS THEREIN.” † This was, doubtless, as wel known, if not better, to the Pilgrims (as they were aptly called) as to King James
After numerous delays and disappointments, the Pilgrims, to the number of 41, with their wives, I children, and servants, sailed from Plimouth, in England, in one small ship, called the Mayflower, on Wednesday, the 6th of September. Their passage was attended with great peril ; but they safely arrived at Cape Cod, 9 Nov. following, without the loss of any of their number. They now proceeded to make the necessary discoveries to seat themselves on the barren coast. One of the first things they found necessary to do, to preserve order among themselves, was, to form a kind of constitution, or general outline of government. Having done this, it was signed by the 41, two days after their arrival, viz. 11 Nov. The same day, 15 or 16 of their number, covered with armor, proceeded to the land, and commenced discoveries. The Indians did not show themselves to the English until the 15th, and then they would have nothing to say to them. About 5 or 6 at first only appeared, who fled into the woods as soon as they had discovered themselves. The Englishmen followed them many miles, but could not overtake them.
First Battle with the Indians. This was upon 8 Dec. 1620, and we will give the account of it in the language of one that was an actor in it. “We went ranging up and down till the sun began to draw low, and then we hasted out
This charter bears date 3 Nov. 1620. Chalmers, Polit. Annals, 81. † llazard's Hist. Collections, I, 105, where the entire charter may be seen. It was afterwards called THE GRAND PLIMOOTH PATENT. Chalmers, ib.
There were, in all, 28 females.
76 FIRST BATTLE WITH THE INDIANS.-SAMOSET. [Book II. of the woods that we might come to our shallop. By that time we had done, and our shallop come to us, it was within night [7 Dec.), and we betook us to our rest, after we had set our watch.
“ About midnight we heard a great and hideous cry, and our Sentinell called Arm, arm. So we bestirred ourselues, and shot off a couple of Muskets, and [the] noyse ceased. We concluded that it was company of Wolues and Foxes, for one (of our company) told vs he had heard such a noyse in New-found-land. About fiue a clocke in the morning [8 Dec.) wee began to be stirring. Vpon a sudden we heard a great and strange cry, which we knew to be the same royces, though they varied their notes. One of our company, being abroad, came running in and cryed, They are men, Indians, Indians ; and withall their arrowes came flying amongst vs. Our men ran out with all speed to recover their armes. The cry of our enemies was dreadfull, especially when our men ran out to recover their Armes. Their note was after this manner, Woath, coach, ha ha hach woach. Our men were no sooner come to their Armes, but the enemy was ready to assault them. There was a lusty man, and no whit lesse valiant, who was thought to bee their Captain, stood behind a tree, within half a musket shot of vs, and there let his arrawes fly at vs. Hee stood three shots of a musket. At length one of vs, as he said, taking full ayme at him, he gave an extraordinary cry, and away they went all."
It is not certain that any blood was shed in this battle ; but it was pretty strongly presumed that the big captain of the Indians was wounded.' The Indians having retreated, the conquerors were left in possession of the battleground, and they proceeded to gather together the trophies of this their first victory. They picked up 18 arrows, which they sent to their friends in England by the return of the Mayflower. Some of these were curiously “ headed with brasse, some with Harts' horne, and others with Eagles' clawes."*
It appeared afterwards that this attack was made by the Nauset Indians, whose chief's name was Aspinet. Whether he was the leader in this tight, is not known; ut he probably was. The place where the affair happened was called by the Indians Namskeket; but the English now called it The First Encounter.
The ELEVENTH OF DECEMBER, ever memorable in the history of New England, was now come, and this was the day of the LANDING OF THE PILGRÍMS. A place upon the inhospitable shore had been fixed upon, and was this day taken possession of, and never again deserted. The ship until then had been their permanent abode, which now they gladly exchanged for the sandy shore of the bay of Cape Cod.
Welcome, Englishinen! Welcome, Englishmen! are words so inseparably associated with the name of Samoset, that we can never hear the one without the pleasing recollection of the other. These were the first accents our pilgrim fathers heard, on the American strand, from any native. We mean inielligible accents, for when they were attacked at Namskeket, on their first arrival, they heard only the frightful war-whoop.
The first time Indians were seen by the pilgrims, was upon 15th Nov. 1020. “ They espied fiue or sixe people, with a Dogge, coming towards them, who were Savages; who, when they saw them, ran into the Wood, and whistled the Dogge after them.” † And though the English ran towards them, when the Indians perceived it “they ran away might and main,” and the English “could not come near them. Soon after this, Morton says the Indians “got all the powaws in the country, who, for three days together, in a horid and devilish manner did curse and execrate them with their conjurations, which assembly
Mourt's Relation, in 1 Mass. Hist. Col. VIII, 218, 219; or, original ed. p. 19 & 20. + Relation or Journal of a Plantation settled at Plymouth, in N. E. usually cited Mourt's Relation. It was, no doubt, written by several of the coinpany, or the writer was assisted by several. Mourt seems to have been the publisher. He appears not to have written any part of it but the “ To the Reader," and I am inclined to believe that this G. Mourt, being zealous in the cause of the Pilgrims, may have published the work at his own expense. He published, at least, one other kindred work. I have no scruple but that Richard Gardner was the principal author. About the early settlement of any country, there never was a more important document. It was printed in 1622, and is now reprinted in the Mass. Hist. Col., and we hope soon to see it printed in a volume by itself in a style worthy of its importance. As it stands in the list. Collections, i: is very difficult to consult, a part of it being contained in one volume, and the reinain. der in another.