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some days after I came from Mount Hope, I, with several others, saw one of Captain Willet's rangers, coming on post on horseback, who told us, that King Philip was marched up the neck with about three xore men; and Zacary Eddy, on his report, went to sce if he could find them; and he found them towards the upper part of the neck, in several companies. One Caleb Eddy further saith, that he saw many there in arıns; and I was informed by John Padduck, that he saw two several guns loaded with bullets or slugs. And I further testify, that those Indians that I saw come towards Mount Hope, as atore. said, came better armed than I usually have seen them. Further saith not.”
The Pokanokets mustered at Mount Hope, early in the spring or 1675, from all quarters, and the whole country was in agitation. The ungovernable fury of some of these tierce warriors was the immediate ccasion of the war which ensued. They had not the power which Philip himself had, of enduring provocation with the reservation of revenge; and they were by no means so well aware, on the cther hand, of the advantages to be gained by such a course. At length, a party of thein expressed their feelings so intolerably; -soon after the execution of their three countrymen,--that an Englishman at Swanzey discharged his musket at one of them, and wounded him. This affair took place June 24, 1675, a day memorable in American history as the commencement of Philip's war. 46 Now," says a reverend historian of those times, “war was begun by a fierce nation of Indians upon an honest, harmless, Christian generation of English, who might very truly have said unto the aggressors, as it was said oi old unto the Ammonites, 'I have noi sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me. Such no doubt was the persuasion of a large majority of the cotemporary countrymen of the learned divine.
Hostilities were now promptly undertaken. A letter was sent to Philip in the month of June, which, of course, did no good; applications were also made to the Massachusetts government for immediait assistance; forces were raised and stationed throughout the colony; and matters very soon after proceeded to a length which made: compromise or conciliation impossible. We do not intend to give for the present the well-known particulars of this celebrated war. It is suthcent to observe, that it was carried on for more than a year with a violence and amid an excitement unparalleled, perhaps, in the history of the country; and that it terminated with the death of Philip, late in the season of 1676.
The result of it was decisive, as the sachem was well aware that it would be, of the fate of the New England Indians. The Pokana. kets were nearly exterminated. The Narragansetts lost about one thousand of their number in the celebrated swamp-fight at SunkeSquaw. All the Indians on the Connecticut river, and most of the Nipmůcks who survived, fled to Canada, (where they were subsequently of great service to the French,) and a few hundreds took refuge in New York. The English detachment of Captain Church
alone is estimated to have killed about seven hundred between June and October of 1676. Large numbers of those who were captured were sent out of the country and sold as slaves.
But the triumph of the conquerors was dearly bought. The whole fighting force of the four colonies seems to have been almost constantly in requisition. Between one and two thousand men were engaged at the swamp-fight alone,--an immense force for a population of scarcely forty thousand English throughout New England. Thirteen towns were entirely destroyed by the enemy, six hundred dwelling-houses burned, and about the same number of Englishmen killed, so that almost every family lost a relative. The mere expense of the war must have been very great; for the commissioners of the United Colonies afterwards estimated the disbursements of the old colony alone at more than one hundred thousand pounds.
Such was the war of King Philip,-sustained and managed, upon his side, by his own single-handed energy and talent alone. Not that the sixty Wampanoags of the sachem's own household, as it were or even the various tribes of the Pokanoket country, were his sole supporters; but that all the other tribes which supported him did it in consequence of his influence, and were induced to unite and operate together, as they never had done before, under his control. Some writers have asserted that he engaged the various Atlantic tribes as far south as Virginia to assist him; but of this there is no proof, and it is rendered improbable by the great want of inter-communication among these tribes.
Nor is it true, as other writers have stated, that all the natives of New England itself were involved with Philip. On the other hand, it was the most trying circumstance of the great struggle of the sachem, that he had not only to rely upon bringing and keeping together scores of petty cantons, as jealous of each other from time immemorial as so many Highland clans; but he had to watch and resist, openly and secretly, all who would not join him, besides the multitudes who deserted, betrayed, and opposed him. The New Hampshire tribes mostly withdrew from the contest. The praying Indians, of whom there were then thousands, either remained neutral, or like Sassamon, turned against their own race. One of Philip's own tribes forsook him in his misfortunes; and the Pequots and Mohegans of Connecticut kept the field against him from the very first day of the war to the last. It may be supposed that some of these tribes were surprised, as Philip himself was, by the sudden breaking out of the war, a year before the time which had been fixed for it. This was occasioned by the proceedings in which Sassamon was concerned, and by the ungovernable fury of a few of the young warriors.
Philip is said to have wept at these tidings of the first outrage of the war. He relented, perhaps, savage as he was, at the idea of disturbing the long amity which his father had preserved; but he may well have regretted, certainly, that being once forced upon the measure, he should enter the battle-field unprepared for what he well knew must be the last, as it was the first, great contest between the
red men and the whites. But the die was cast; and though Philip never smiled after that memorable hour just alluded to, his whole soul was bent upon the business before him. Day nor night, scarcely was there rest for his limbs or sleep for his eyes. His resources must have been feeble enough, had his plans, now embarrassed, succeeded to his utmost wish; but he girded himself, as it was, with a proud heart for the mortal struggle. The strength of his own dominions was about six hundred warriors, ready, and more than ready, long since, for the war-cry. The whole force of his old enemies, the Narraganseits, was already engaged to him. He had negotiated, also, with the Nipmucks and the tribes on the Connecticut' and farther west, and one after another these were soon induced to join him, Nor was it six weeks from the first hostilities before all the Indians along the coast of Maine, for a distance of two hundred miles, were eagerly engaged in what Philip told them was the common cause of
That no arts might be left untried, even while the court was con. demning his three subjects, he was holding a grand war-dance ai Sowams, and mustering his tawny warriors around him from all quarters. Several tribes afterwards confessed to the English that Philip had thus inveigled them into the war. And again, no sooner were his forces driven back upon the Connecticut river tribes, about the first of September, 1675, than he enlisted new allies among them. The Hadley Indians, who had joined the English,--very likely at his instigation-were suspected, and fled to him. Their Springfield neighbors soon after joined three hundred of Philip's men in an attack upon that town; and thus the whole Nipmuck country was involved. in the course of the ensuing winter, the sachem is said to have visited the Mohawks in New York. Not succeeding in gaining their alliance by fair argument, he was desperate enough to kill some of their strag. gling young men in the woods, in such a manner that the blame would obviously be charged upon the English. But this stratagem was defeated, by the escape of one who had only been stunned by the sachem. The latter was obliged to take abrupt leave of his hosts, and from that time they were among his worst enemies.
His situation during the last few months of the war was so de. plorable, and yet his exertions so well sustained, that we can only look upon him with pity and admiration. His successes for some time past had been tremendous; but the tide began to ebb. The whole power of the colonies was in the field, aided by guides and scouting-parties of his own race. The Saconets, the subjects of a near relation of his own, enlisted under Church. Other tribes complained and threatened. Their territory, as well as his, had been overrun, their settlements destroyed, and their planting and fishinggrounds all occupied by the English. Those of them who were not yet hunted down, were day and night followed into swamps and forests, and reduced to live,--it' they did not actually starve or frecze, -upon the least and worst food to be conceived of. Hundreds
died of diseases incurred in this manner. “I have eaten horse," said one of these miserable wretches, “but now horse is eating me." Another informod Church, on one occasion, that abouť three hundred Indians had gone a long way to Swanzey in the heat of the war, for the purpose of eating clams, and that Philip was soon to follow them. • At another time, the valiant captain himself captured a large party. Finding it convenient to attack a second directly after, he bade the first wait for him, and join him at a certain rendezvous. The day after the skirmish “they came to him as they were ordered,” and he drove them all together, that very night, into Bridgewater pound, and set his Saconet soldiers to guard them. “Being well treated with victuals and drink,” he adds, with great simplicity, “they had a merry night, and the prisoners laughed as loud as the soldiers; not being so treated for a long time before.”
The mere physical sutterings of Philip, meanwhile, are almost incredible. It is by his hair-breadth escapes, indeed, that he is chiefly visible during the war. Occasionally the English come close upon him; he starts up, like the roused lion, plunges into the river or leaps the precipice; and nothing more is seen of him for months. Only a few weeks after the war commenced, he was surrounded in the great Pocasset swamp, and obliged to escape from his vigilant enemies by rafing himsell, with his best men, over the great Taunton river, while their women and children were left to be captured. On his return to the same neighborhood the next season, a captive guided the English to his encampinent. Philip fled in such haste as to leave his kettle tipon the fire; twenty of his comradeswarere overtaken and killed; and he himself escaped to the swamp, precisely as he had formerly escaped from it. llere his uncle was shot soon afterwards at his side. Upon the next day, Church, discovering an Indian seated on a fallen tree, made to answer the purpose of a bridge over the river, raised his musket and deliberately aimed at him. “It is one of our own party," whispered a savage who crept behind him. Church lowered his gun, and the stranger turned his head. It was Philip himself, musing, perhaps, upon the fate which awaited him. Church fired, but his royal enemy had already fled down the bank. He escaped from a close and bloody skirmish a few hours afterwards.
He was now a desolate and desperate man, the last prince of an ancient race, without subjects, without territory, accused by his allies, betrayed by his comrades, hunted like a spent deer by blood-hounds, in daily hazard of famishing, and with no shelter day or night for bis head. All his chief counsellors and best friends had been killed. His brother was slain in the Pocasset swamp; his uncle was shot down at his own side, and his wife and only son were captured when he himself so narrowly escaped from the fire of Church. And could he have fled for the last time from the soil of his own country, he would still have found rest or ge. He had betaken himself once to a place between York and Albany; but even here, as Church says, the Moohags made a descent upon him and killed many of his