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enjoy the sweet fruits of so great benefits, and such unheard of liberties amongst us." Backus, vol. i. p. 91. .

“In another manuscript, (says Mr. Benedict, vol. i. p. 459) he tells us, " The Indians were very shy and jealous of selling the lands to any, and chose rather to make a grant of them to such as they affected; but at the same time, expected such gratuities and rewards as made an Indian gift oftentimes a very dear bargain." " And the colony in 1666,” says Mr. Callender, “averred, that though the favor Mr. Williams had with Miantinomo was the great means of procuring the grants of the land, yet the purchase had been dearer than of any lands in New-England.'

Mr. Williams' conduct on this occasion was worthy of his character, and entitled him to more gratitude than he seems to have received from some of the objects of his good offices.

About this time, a number of the inhabitants of Providence, among whom was Mr. Benedict Arnold, removed to Pawtuxet, a place four miles south of Providence, and included within the territory ceded to Mr. Williams. These individuals were doubtless induced to fix their residence there, by the luxuriant meadows on the banks of the river, which furnished pasture for their cattle.



Condition of Providence-execution of three murderers of an In

dian-birth of Mr. Williams' eldest son.

We have seen Mr. Williams, though burdened by the toils and privations of a new settlement, generously devoting his time and property to rescue his countrymen from destruction by the Pequods; and assisting to establish a new colony at Rhode Island. His own settlement at Providence was, in the mean while, increasing. The measures adopted in Massachusetts, in relation to Mrs. Hutchinson and her adherents, made Providence a welcome place of refuge to some of the fugitives. The temper of Massachusetts towards the settlement is shown in an act of the General Court, March 12, 1637-8, virtually prohibiting any of the inhabitants of Providence from coming into Massachusetts. *

This act operated with much severity, for the colonists were dependent on Boston for supplies from abroad. Mr. Williams complained, that he had suffered the loss of many thousand pounds, in his “trading with English and natives, being debarred from Boston, the chief mart and port of New-England.”+ The writer of the History of Provi

* 6 While the General Court sat, there came a letter directed to the Court from John Greene, of Providence, who, not long before, had been imprisoned and fined for saying, that the magistrates had usurped upon the power of Christ in his church, and had persecuted Mr. Williams and another, whom they had banished for disturbing the peace, by divulging their opinions against the authority of the magistrates, &c.; but upon his submission, &c. his fine was remitted; and now, by his letter, he retracted his former submission, and charged the Court as he had done before. Now, because the Court knew, that divers others of Providence were of the same illaffection to the Court, and were, probably, suspected to be confederate in the same letter, the Court ordered that if any of that plantation were found within our jurisdiction, he should be brought before one of the magistrates, and if he would not disclaim the charge in the said letter, he should be sent home, and charged to come no more into this jurisdiction, upon pain of imprisonment and further cen

Winthrop, vol. i. p. 256. + Letter to Major Mason.


dence attributes the want of written memorials of the first settlers to the scarcity of paper, observing, that “the first of their writings that are to be found, appear on small scraps of paper, wrote as thick, and crowded as full as possible.” This scarcity of an article, which could be procured from Europe only, would be a natural consequence of an exclusion from the only port nearer than New-York, which vessels from abroad then visited. But articles of still greater necessity could not be obtained in the colonies, and the inconvenience, if not suffering, occasioned by such an exclusion, can scarcely be imagined in the present age.

But no injuries to himself or his fellow colonists could provoke Mr. Williams to refuse his good offices with the Indians. About June, 1638, the following letter was written by him to Governor Winthrop :*


I perceive, by these your last thoughts, that you have received many accusations and hard conceits of this poor native Miantinomo, wherein I see the vain and empty puff of all terrene promotions, his barbarous birth or greatness being much honored, confirmed and augmented in his own conceit) by the solemnity of his league with the English, and his more than ordinary entertainment, &c. now all dashed in a moment in the frowns of such in whose friendship and love lay his chief advancement.

“Sir, of the particulars, some concerning him only, some Canonicus and the rest of the sachems, some all the natives, some myself.

“For the sachems, I shall go over speedily, and acquaint them with particulars. At present, let me still find this favor in your eyes, as to obtain an hearing, for that your love hath never denied me, which way soever your judgment hath been (I hope, and I know you will one day see it,) and been carried.

Sir, let this barbarian be proud, and angry, and covetous, and filthy, hating and hateful, (as ourselves have been till kindness from heaven pitied us, &c.) yet let me humbly beg belief, that for myself, I am not yet turned Indian,

* 3 His. Col. i. p. 166.

to believe all barbarians tell me, nor so basely presumptious as to trouble the eyes and hands of such (and so honored and dear) with shadows and fables. I commonly guess shrewdly at what a native utters, and, to my remembrance, never wrote particular, but either I know the bottom of it, or else I am bold to give a hint of my suspense.

“ Sir, therefore, in some things at present, (begging your wonted gentleness toward my folly) give me leave to show you how I clear myself from such a lightness.

" I wrote lately (for that you please to begin with) that some Pequods (and some of them actual murderers of the English, and that also after the fort was cut off,) were now in your hands. Not only love, but conscience forced me to send, and speedily, on purpose, by a native, mine own servant. I saw not, and spake not with Miantinomo, nor any from him. I write before the All-Seeing Eye. But thus it was. A Narraganset man (Awetipimo) coming from the Bay with cloth, turned in (as they use to do) to me for lodging. I questioned of Indian passages, &c. He tells me Uncas was come with near upon forty natives. I asked what present he brought. He told me that Cutshamoquene had four fathom and odd of him, and forty was for Mr. Governor. I asked him how many Pequods. He told me six. I asked him if they were known. He said Uncas denied that there were any Pequods, and said they were Mohegans all. I asked if himself knew any of them. He answered he did, and so did other Indians of Narraganset. I asked if the murderer of whom I wrote, Pamatesick, were there. He answered he was, and (I further inquiring) he was confident it was he, for he knew him as

&c. “ All this news (by this providence) I knew before ever it came to Narraganset. Upon this I sent, indeed fearing guilt to my own soul, both against the Lord and my countrymen. But see a stranger hand of the Most and Only Wise. Two days after, Uncas passeth by within a mile of me (though he should have been kindly welcome.) One of his company (Wequaumugs) having hurt his foot, and disabled from travel, turns in to me; whom lodging, I question, and find him by father a Narraganset, by mother a Mohegan, and so freely entertained by both. I further inquiring, he told me he went from Mohegan to the Bay

well as me,


with Uncas. He told me how he had presented forty fathom (to my remembrance) to Mr. Governor (four and apwards to Cutshamoquene,) who would not receive them, but asked twice for Pequods. At fast, at Newton, Mr. Governor received them, and was willing that the Pequods should live, such as were at Mohegan, subject to the English sachems at Connecticut, to whom they should carry tribute, and such Pequods as were at Narraganset to Mr. Governor, and all the runaways at Mohegan to be sent back. I asked him how many Pequods were at Narraganset. He said but two, who were Miantinomo's captives, and that at Niantick with Wequash Cook were about three

I asked, why he said the Indians at Narraganset were to be the Governor's subjects. He said, because Niantick was sometimes so called, although there hath been of late no coming of Narraganset men thither. I asked him if he heard all this. He said that himself and the body of the company stayed about Cutshamoquene’s. I asked how many Pequods were among them. He said six. I desired him to name them, which he did thus : Pametesick, Weeaugonhick, (another of those murderers) Makunnete, Kishkontuckqua, Sausawpona, Qussaumpowan, which names I presently wrote down, and (pace vestra dixerim) I am as confident of the truth as that I breathe. Again, (not to be too bold in all the particulars at this time) what a gross and monstrous untruth is that concerning myself, which your love and wisdom to myself a little espy, and I hope see malice and falsehood, (far from the fear of God) whispering together? I have long held it will-worship to doff and don to the Most High in worship; and I wish also, that in civil worship, others were as far from such a vanity, though I hold it not utterly unlawful in some places. Yet surely, amongst the barbarians (the highest in the world,) I would rather lose my head than so practise, because I judge it my duty to set them better copies, and should sin against my own persuasions and resolutions.

Sir, concerning the islands Prudence and (Patmos, if some had not hindered) Aquetneck, be pleased to understand your great mistake : neither of them were sold properly, for a thousand fathom would not have bought either, by strangers. The truth is, not a penny was demanded

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