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“ The cause and root of all the present mischief, is the pride of two barbarians, Ascassassotic, the Long-Island sachem, and Ninigret, of the Narraganset. The former is proud 'and foolish; the latter is proud and fierce. I have not seen him these many years, yet from their sober men I hear he pleads,

“ First, that Ascassassotic, a very inferior sachem, bearing himself upon the English, hath slain three or four of his people, and since that, sent him challenges and darings to fight, and mend himself.

“2. He, Ninigret, consulted, by solemn messengers, with the chief of the English Governors, Major Endicott, then Governor of the Massachusetts, who sent him an implicit consent to right himself, upon which they all plead that the English have just occasion of displeasure.

“3. After he had taken revenge upon the Long-Islanders, and brought away about fourteen captives, divers of their chief women, yet he restored them all again, upon the mediation and desire of the English.

“4. After this peace made, the Long-Islanders, pretending to visit Ninigret, at Block-Island, slaughtered of his Narragansets near thirty persons, at midnight, two of them of great note, especially Wepiteammoc's son, to whom Ninigret was uncle.

“5. In the prosecution of this war, although he had drawn down the Islanders to his assistance, yet, upon protestation of the English against his proceedings, he retreated, and dissolved his army.

“« Honored Sirs, 1. I know it is said the Long-Islanders are subjects; but I have heard this greatly questioned, and, indeed, I question whether any Indians in this country, remaining barbarous and pagan, may with truth or honor be called the English subjects.

“ 2. But grant them subjects, what capacity hath their late massacre of the Narragansets, with whom they had made peace, without the English consent, though still under the English name, put them into?

3. All Indians are extremely treacherous; and if to their own nation, for private ends, revolting to strangers, what will they do upon the sound of one defeat of the English, or the trade of killing English cattle, and persons,

and plunder, which will, most certainly be the trade, if any considerable party escape alive, as mine eyes beheld in the Dutch war.

“ But, I beseech you, say your thoughts and the thoughts of your wives and little ones, and the thoughts of all English, and of God's people in England, and the thoughts of his Highness and Council, (tender of these parts,) if, for the sake of a few inconsiderable pagans, and beasts, wallowing in idleness, stealing, lying, whoring, treacherous witchcrafts, blasphemies, and idolatries, all that the gracious hand of the Lord hath so wonderfully planted in the wilderness, should be destroyed.

“ How much nobler were it, and glorious to the name of God and your own, that no pagan should dare to use the name of an English subject, who comes not out, in some degree, from barbarism to civility, in forsaking their filthy nakedness, in keeping some kind of cattle, which yet your councils and commands may tend to, and, as pious and prudent deceased Mr. Winthrop said, that civility may be a leading step to Christianity, is the humble desire of your most unfeigned in all services of love,

“ROGER WILLIAMS, of Providence colony,


Though Mr. Williams had succeeded in restoring the regular operation of the government, there were not wanting individuals who were uneasy and restive under restraints. A person, about this time, sent a paper to the town of Providence, affirming “ that it was blood-guiltiness, and against the rule of the Gospel, to execute judgment upon transgressors against the private or public weal.” This principle struck at the foundation of all civil society. There were, as we may easily suppose, some individuals, who had been drawn to Rhode Island by the prospect of enjoying liberty, and who would gladly have cast off all restraint, and revelled in unbounded license.

Mr. Williams could not remain silent, while such sentiments were avowed. He accordingly wrote the following letter to the town. It is, in every respect, worthy of him. It presents, briefly, his principles of civil and religious liberty, illustrated by a happy comparison, and carefully guarded by limitations, exact, clear, and in harmony with the dictates of reason and Scripture. The duty of civil obedience is maintained, as decisively as Mr. Cotton himself could have wished; while the rights of conscience are declared, with a precision, an enlarged comprehension of mind, and a liberality of feeling, of which no other example could be found at that early day. This letter is a sufficient reply to all the allegations against Mr. Williams of a spirit hostile to the civil peace; and it may be added, that the church which he founded at Providence, and all the churches of the same faith which have since multiplied over the land, have maintained precisely the same views of civil and religious duties and rights :

“ That ever I should speak or write a tittle that tends to such an infinite liberty of conscience, is a mistake, and which I have ever disclaimed and abhorred. To prevent such mistakes, I at present shall only propose this case : There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls in one ship, whose weal and woe is common, and is a true picture of a commonwealth, or a human combination or society. It hath fallen out sometimes that both Papists and Protestants, Jews and Turks, may be embarked in one ship; upon which supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of conscience, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges : that none of the Papists, Protestants, Jews or Turks, be forced to come to the ship's prayers or worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers or worship, if they practise any. I further add, that I never denied, that notwithstanding this liberty, the commander of this ship ought to command the ship's course, yea, and also command that justice, peace and sobriety be kept and practised, both among the seamen and all the passengers. If any of the seamen refuse to perform their service, or passengers to pay their freight; if any refuse to help, in person or purse, towards the common charges or defence; if any refuse to obey the common laws and orders of the ship, concerning their common peace or preservation; if any shall mutiny and rise up against their commanders and officers; if any should preach or write that there ought to be no commanders or officers, because all are equal in Christ, therefore no masters nor officers, nor laws nor orders, no corrections nor punishments; I say, I never denied, but in such cases, whatever is pretended, the commander or commanders may judge, resist, compel and punish such transgressors, according to their deserts and merits. This, if seriously and honestly minded, may, if it so please the Father of Lights, let in some light to such as willingly shut not their eyes. “I remain studious of your common peace and liberty.



Troubles in Rhode-Island-William Harris—Quakers-severe laws

against them in other colonies—conduct of Rhode Island, Mr. Williams and Mr. Harris-Mr. Williams not re-elected as President.

The following letter from Mr. Williams to Mr. Winthrop is chiefly on his common theme, the Indians :

To my honored, kind friend, Mr. Winthrop, at Pequod, these present.

Providence, the 26, 2, 55, (so called.)

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“Loving respects to you both presented, wishing you a joyful spring after all your sad and gloomy, sharp and bitter winter blasts and snows. Sir, one of your friends among the Narraganset sachems, Mexham, sends this messenger unto me and prays me to write to you for your help about a gun, which Kittatteash, Uncas his son, hath lately taken from this bearer, Ahauansquatuck, out of his house at Pawchauquet. He will not own any offence he gave him, but that he is subject to Mexham, though possibly Kittatteash may allege other causes, yea and true also. I doubt not of your loving eye on the matter, as God shall please to give you opportunity. Sir, the last first day divers of Boston merchants were with me, (about Sergeant Holsey run from Boston hither, and a woman after him, who lays her great belly to him.) They tell me, that by a bark come from Virginia, they are informed of God's merciful hand in the safe arrival of Major Sedgwick and that fleet in the West of England, and that General Penn was not yet gone out, but riding (all things ready) in Torbay, waiting for the word; and by letters from good and great friends in England, I understand there are like to be great agitations in this country, if that feet succeed.

Sir, a hue and cry came to my hand lately from the Governor at Boston, after two youths, one run from Captain Oliver, whom I lighted on and have returned; another from James Bill, of Boston, who I hear past through our town, and

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