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Property destroyed in Newport. Ride to Butts's Hill. Hospitality. Fort on Butts's Hill. View of the Battle-ground. estimate of a committee of the General Assembly, appointed for the purpose, the value of private property destroyed was six hundred and twenty-four thousand dollars, silver money. The sun has gone down behind Conannicut and the hills of the Narraganset country; the broad sails of the wind-mills are still; the voices of the milkers come up from the neighboring farm-yard, and twilight is spreading its mysterious veil over the bay, the islands, and the ocean. Let us descend from our observatory on the hill of Miantonōmoh and return to the city, and in the morning visit the places hallowed by events just viewed in the speculum of history.
The morning of the 23d was cold and blustering; the ground was hard frozen; ice covered the surface of the pools, and the north wind was as keen as the breath of December. I started early in a light rockaway for the battle-ground at the north end of the island, making a brief call on the way (or, rather, out of the way) upon Mr. Nathaniel Greene, a grandson of the eminent general of the Revolution who bore that name. He re sides about three miles above Newport, and kindly furnished me with explicit directions respecting the localities I was about to visit. About a mile north of his estate I came to the head-quarters of Prescott, printed on page 76, which I sketched in haste, for my fingers were too soon benumbed with cold to hold the pencil expertly. Twelve miles from Newport I came to the residence of Mr. Anthony, which is, I believe, the " Brindley House" in the picture on page 83. An introductory line from his brother, David Anthony, Esq., was a key to his generous hospitality; and after accompanying me to the top of Butts's Hill, and pointing out the places of interest included in the view from its summit, he kindly invited me to dine with him when my sketching should be finished, an invitation heartily accepted, for a ride of twelve miles in the cold morning air was a whetstone to my usually good appetite.
The remains of the old fort on Butts's Hill, the embankments and fossé, with traces of the hastily-constructed ravelins, are well preserved. Even the ruts made by the carriagewheels of the cannons, at the embrasures (for the ordnance was composed of field-pieces), were visible. The banks, in some places, are twenty feet high, measuring from the bottom of the fossé. Fortunately for the antiquary, the works were constructed chiefly upon a rocky ledge, and the plow can win no treasure there; the banks were earth, and afford no quarry for wall builders, and so the elements alone have lowered the ramparts and filled the ditches. Southward from this eminence, I had a fine view of Quaker and Turkey Hills indeed, of the whole battle-ground. Sitting upon the exterior slope of the southern parapet, and sheltered from the wind by a clump of bushes and the remains of one of the bastions, I sketched the above view, which includes all the essential portions of the field of conflict. The eminence in the center, on which stands a wind-mill, is Quaker Hill; that on the right is Turkey Hill, on the northern slope of which is seen the west road. In the hollow at the foot of these hills the hottest of the battle was waged. On the left is seen the little village of Newton, beyond which is the Eastern or Seaconet Channel, stretching away to the ocean, and bounded on the left by the cultivated slopes of Little Compton. The undulations in the foreground are the embankments of the fort.
North View from Butts's Hill.
The Narraganset Country.
Massasoit and his Sons.
Northward the view is more extensive, and in some respects more interesting. houses near the center of the picture mark the site of the old Bristol ferry, over which the
Americans, under Sullivan, retreated to the main land. A little to the left, lying upon the east shore of the Narraganset, was Bristol; beyond was a glimpse of Warren; and in the far distance, directly over the steam-boat seen in the picture, the church spires of Providence were visible. On the right the high promontory of Mount Hope loomed up; and turning eastward, beyond the limits of the sketch, stood Tiverton and its old stone bridge, already mentioned. I could find no sheltered nook in making the sketch; upon the bleak summit of the hill I plied the pencil, until I could hold it no longer; but the drawing was finished. From this eminence the vision takes in some of the most interesting portions of the Narraganset country and of the domains of Massasoit, the fast friend of the English. There were old Pocasset and Pokanoket, and, more conspicuous and interesting than all, was Mount Hope, the royal seat of King Philip, the last of the Wampanoags. It is too cold to turn the leaves of the chronicle here; let us wrap our cloaks around us, and, while gazing upon the beautiful land over which that great sachem held sway, read the records upon the tablets of memory, brief but interesting, concerning "King Philip's War."
"'Tis good to muse on nations pass'd away
Forever from the land we call our own;
Who deem'd that everlasting was their throne.
And meaner griefs will less disturb the soul;
And human pride falls low at human grandeur's goal."
ROBERT C. SANDS.
We have observed how Massasoit, the sagamore of the Wampanoags, whose dominions extended from Narraganset Bay to that of Massachusetts, presenting the hand of friendship and protection to the white settlers, remained faithful while he lived. His residence was near Warren, on the east side of the Narraganset; and so greatly was his friendship prized by the PILGRIM FATHERS, that Winslow and others made a long journey to visit him when March, dangerously ill. a Recovering, he entered into a solemn league of friendship with 1623. the whites, and faithfully observed it until his death, which occurred thirty-two years afterward.b Alexander, his eldest son, succeeded him, and gave promise of equal attachment to the whites; but his rule was short; he died two years after the death of his father, and his brother' Pometacom or Metacomet, better known as King Philip, became the head of his nation. He was a bold, powerful-minded warrior, and al
1 Bancroft and Hildreth say nephew. Earlier historians disagree. grandson to Massasoit, and Hutchinson and Belknap call him his son. Alexander and Philip after the great Macedonians, in compliment to character as warriors. They were doubtless sons of Massasoit.
Prince and Trumbull say he was Governor Prince, it is said, named Massasoit, indicating his idea of their
Jealousy of King Philip. Treaties with the Whites.
Curtailment of his Domains.
His chief Captains.
ready his keen perception gave him uneasiness respecting the fate of his race. Year after year the progress of settlement had curtailed the broad domains of the Wampanoags, until now they possessed little more than the narrow tongues of land at Pocanoket and Pocasset, now Bristol and Tiverton; yet Philip re
newed the treaties made with Massa
1662. soit, and kept them faithfully a dozen
Phillip alias metacomo his Prearke
PORTRAIT AND SIGN-MANUAL OF KING PHILIP.2
For years the pious Eliot' had been preaching the gospel among the New England tribes;
The number of Indians in New England at that time has been variously estimated. Dr. Trumbull, in his History of the United States (i., 36), supposes that there were thirty-six thousand in all, one third of whom were warriors. Hutchinson (i., 406) estimates the fighting men of the Narragansets alone at two thousand. Hinckley says the number of Indians in Plymouth county in 1685, ten years after Philip's war, was four thousand. Church, in his History of King Philip's War, published in Boston in 1716, estimated the number of Indian warriors in New England, in the commencement of that war, at ten thousand. Bancroft (ii., 94) says there were probably fifty thousand whites and hardly twenty-five thousand Indians in New England, west of the Piscataqua; while east of that stream, in Maine, were about four thousand whites and more than that number of red men.
* I copied this and the annexed marks of Philip's chief captains, from an original mortgage given by the sachem, to Constant Southworth, on land four miles square, lying south of Taunton. The mortgage is dated October 1, 1672. It was drawn up by Thomas Leonard, and is signed by himself, Constant Southworth, and Hugh Cole. It was acknowledged before, and signed by, John Alden.* This interesting document is in the possession of that intelligent antiquary, S. G. Drake, Esq., of Boston, to whose kindness I am indebted for these signatures. No. 1 is the sign of MUNASHUM, alias NIMROD; No. 2, of WONCKOMPAWHAN; No. 3, of Captain ANNAWAN, the "next man to Philip," or his chief warrior. 3 John Eliot, usually called the Apostle of the Indians, was minister of Roxbury, Massachusetts. was born in Essex county, England, in 1604, and came to America in 1631. Educated thoroughly at Cambridge University, he soon obtained great influence among the settlers. Touched by the ignorance of the Indians respecting spiritual things, his heart yearned to do them good, and for many years he labored assiduously among them, with great success. He founded, at Natick, the first Indian church in America, in 1660. The next year he published the New Testament in the Indian language, and in a few years the whole Bible and other books. He died May 20th, 1690, aged about eighty-six. The venerable apostle was buried in the Ministers' Tomb,† in the first burying-ground at Roxbury, which is situated on the east side of the great avenue across the Neck to Boston. The residence of Eliot was opposite the house of Governor Thomas Dudley, on the other side of the brook. Dudley's mansion was taken down in 1775, and a redoubt was erected upon the spot. The site is now occupied by the Universalist church. Reverend Dr. Putnam, of Roxbury, is the fifth pastoral successor of the apostle in the first church. The remains of Alden was a passenger in the May Flower, and one of the immortal FORTY-ONE who signed the instrument of civil government, given on pages 437 and 438, vol. i., of this work, where also is the signature of Southworth.
In 1724-5, a citizen of Roxbury, named William Bowen, was made prisoner by the Turks. The people of his town raised á sum of money sufficient for his ransom. Before it could be applied they received intelligence of his death. The money wa! then appropriated to the building of a tomb for the ministers of the church.
Enlightenment of the Indians.
Rising of the New England Tribes.
no pains were spared to teach them to read and write; and in a short time a larger proportion of the Massachusetts Indians could do so than, recently, of the inhabitants of Russia.' Churches were gathered among the natives; and when Philip lifted the hatchet, there were four hundred "praying Indians," as the converts were called, who were firmly attached to the whites; yet Christianity hardly spread beyond the Indians on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, and the seven feeble villages around Boston. Philip, like Red Jacket of our days, opposed meddling with the religion of his fathers, and, two years before the war, boldly and openly, at the head of seven hundred warriors, boasted of his own and their attachment to the ancient belief.
A "praying Indian" named John Sassamon, who had been educated at Cambridge, and employed as a teacher, had fled to Philip on account of some misdemeanor, and became a sort of secretary to the sachem. Being persuaded to return to the whites, he accused Philip of meditated treason. For this he was waylaid by the savages, and slain. Three of Philip's men, suspected of the murder, were tried by a jury of half English and half Indians, convicted, and hanged. The evidence on which they were convicted was slender, and the Wampanoags were greatly irritated. Philip was cautious; his warriors were impetuous. Overruled by their importunities, and goaded by a remembrance of the wrongs and humiliations he had suffered from the English,' he trampled solemn treaties beneath his feet, and lighted the flame of war. Messengers were sent to other tribes, to arouse them to co-operation, and, with all the power of Indian eloquence, Metacomet exhorted his followers to curse the white men, and swear eternal hostility to the pale faces.
"Away! away! I will not hear
Of aught but death or vengeance now;
By the eternal skies I swear
My knee shall never learn to bow!
I will not hear a word of peace,
Nor clasp in friendly grasp a hand
That work the ruin of our land.
his predecessors all lie in the Ministers' Tomb. The commissioners of the Forest Hills Cemetery have designated the heights on its western border as the Eliot Hills, and there the citizens of Roxbury are about to erect a beautiful monument to the memory of the apostle.
DANIEL GOOKIN, whose signature is given above, was the friend of, and a zealous co-worker with, Mr. Eliot. He came to Virginia, from England, in 1621. He went to Massachusetts with his family in 1644, and settled in Cambridge. He was soon called to fill civil and military offices, and in 1652 was appointed superintendent of the Indians. This office he held until his death, in 1687, at the age of seventy-five years. Gookin wrote an historical account of the New England Indians, and was the firm friend of the red man through life. His remains are in the old burying-ground at Cambridge. Lieutenant Gookin of our Revolutionary army was his lineal descendant.
Bancroft, ii., 94.
2 In 1671, Philip was suspected of secret plottings against the English, and, notwithstanding his asseverations to the contrary, was ordered to give up his fire-arms to the whites. This was a fortunate occurrence for the English; for, had the Indians possessed those arms in the war that ensued, their defeat would have been doubtful.
Commencement of Hostilities.
Condition of the Indians.
"Before their coming, we had ranged
As free as roll the chainless streams,
Or taste the poison'd draught, to die?
Their honor but an idle breath;
Their smile the smile that traitors wear;
"And till your last white foe shall kneel,
Although fierce and determined when once aroused, no doubt Philip was hurried into this war against his best judgment and feelings, for his sagacity must have forewarned him of failure. The English were well armed and provisioned; the Indians had few guns, and their subsistence was precarious. Phrensy prompted their rising. It was but the storm in which the ancient inhabitants of the land were to vanish away. They rose without hope, and therefore they fought without mercy. For them as a nation there was no to-morrow." Bancroft has given a condensed, yet perspicuous and brilliant narrative of this war. "The minds of the English," he says, "were appalled by the horrors of the impending conflict, and superstition indulged in its wild inventions. At the time of the eclipse of the moon, you might have seen the figure of an Indian scalp imprinted on the center of its disk. The perfect form of an Indian bow appeared in the sky. The sighing of the wind was like the whistling of bullets. Some distinctly heard invisible troops of horses gallop through the air, while others formed the prophecy of calamities in the howling of the wolves.'
January 29, 1675.
"At the very beginning of danger, the colonists exerted their wonted energy. Volunteers from Massachusetts joined the troops from Plymouth, and, within a week from the commencement of hostilities, the insulated Pokanokets were driven from Mount Hope, and in less than a month Philip was a fugitive among the Nipmucks, the interior tribes of Massachusetts. The little army of the colonists then entered the territory of the Narragansets, and from the reluctant tribe extorted a treaty of neutrality, with a promise to give up every hostile Indian. Victory seemed promptly assured; but it was only the commencement of horrors. Canonchet, the chief sachem of the Narragansets, was the son of Miantonōmoh; and could he forget his father's wrongs? And would the tribes of New England permit the nation that had first given a welcome to the English to perish unavenged? Desolation extended along the whole frontier. Banished from his patrimony,
1 Bancroft, ii., 101.
* Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia, ii., 486, says, "Yea, and now we speak of things ominous, we may add, some time before this [the execution of three Indians for the murder of Sassamon], in a clear, still, sunshiny morning, there were divers persons in Malden who heard in the air, on the southeast of them, a great gun go off, and presently thereupon the report of small guns, like musket shot, very thick discharging, as if there had been a battle. This was at a time when there was nothing visible done in any part of the colony to occasion such noises; but that which most of all astonished them was the flying of bullets, which came singing over their heads [beetles? See page 574, vol. i.], and seemed very near to them; after which the sound of drums, passing along westward, was very audible; and on the same day, in Plymouth colony, in several places, invisible troops of horse were heard riding to and fro." No credence is to be attached to this book of Mather's.