◆   Anno Domini 1644   ◆

Mr. Edward Winslow was chosen Governour this year.

Many having left this place (as is before noted) by reason of the straitness & barrenness of the same, and their finding of better accommodations elsewhere, more suitable to their ends & minds; And sundry others still upon every occasion, desiring their dismissions. The church began seriously to think whether it were not better, Jointly to remove to some other place; than to be thus weakened, and as it were Insensibly dissolved.1 Many meetings and much consultation was held hereabout, and diverse were men’s minds and opinions; some were still for staying together in this place, alleging men might here live, If they would be content with their condition; and that it was not for want, or necessity so much that they removed as for the enriching of themselves; Others were resolute upon removal, and so signified that here they could not stay, but if the church did not remove they must. Insomuch as many were swayed rather than there should be a dissolution, to condescend to a removal, if a fit place could be found, that might more conveniently, and comfortably receive the whole, with such accession of others as might come to them, for their better strength & subsistence; and some such-like cautions, and limitations. So as with the aforesaid provisos the greater part consented to a removal; to a place called Nauset, which had been superficially viewed, and the good will of the purchasers (to whom it belonged) obtained with some addition thereto from the Court. But now they began to see their errour, that they had given away already, the best & most commodious places to others, and now wanted themselves; for this place was ^about^2 50 miles from hence, and at an outside of the country remote from all society; also that it would prove so strait, as it would not be competent to receive the ^whole^3 body, much less be capable of any addition, or Increase; so as (at least in a short time) they should be worse there, than they are now here. The which with sundry other like Considerations, and Inconveniences, made them change their resolutions; but such as were before resolved upon removal, took advantage of this agreement, & went on notwithstanding, neither could the rest hinder them, they hav^ing^ made some beginning.4 And thus was this poor church left, like an ancient mother, grown old, and forsaken of her Children (though not in their affections), yet in regard of their bodily presence, and personal helpfulness; her ancient members being most of them worn away by death; and these of later time, being like children translated into other families, and she like a widow left only to trust in God. Thus she that had made many rich, became herself poor. [262]

Some things handled, and pacified by the Commissioner[s]5 this year.

Whereas by a wise providence of God, two of the Jurisdictions in the western parts, viz. Connecticut, & New Haven have been lately exercised by sundry Insolencies, & outrages from the Indians. As first an Englishman running from his master out of the Massachusetts, was murdered in the woods, in or near the limits of Connecticut Jurisdiction, and about 6 weeks after, upon discovery by an Indian, the Indian Sagamore in these parts promised to deliver him ^the^ murderer to the English bound; and having accordingly brought him within the sight of Uncaway,6 by their Joint consent, as it is Informed, he was there unbound, and left to shift for himself; whereupon 10 Englishmen forthwith coming to the place, being sent by Mr. Ludlow,7 at the Indians’ desire to receive the murderer; who seeing him escaped, laid hold of 8 of the Indians there present, amongst whom there was a Sagamore or 2, and kept them in hold 2 days, till 4 Sagamores Engaged themselves within one month to deliver the prisoner. And about a week after this agreement, an Indian came presumptuously, and with guile in the daytime, and murtherously assaulted an Englishwoman in her house at Stamford, and by 3 wounds supposed mortal left her for dead, after he had robbed the house.8 By which passages the English were provoked, & called to a due consideration of their own safety; and the Indians generally in those parts, arose in an hostile manner, refused to come to the English, to carry on treaties of peace, departed from their wigwams, left their corn unweeded,9 and shewed themselves tumultuously about some of the English plantations, & shot off pieces within hearing of the town; and some Indians came to the English, & told them the Indians would fall upon them. So that most of the English thought it unsafe to travel in those parts by land, and some of the plantations were put upon strong watches, and ward night, & day & could not attend their private occasions, and yet distrusted their own strength for their defence; whereupon Hartford & New Haven, were sent unto for aid, and saw cause both to send into the weaker parts of their own Jurisdiction thus in danger; and New Haven for conveniency of situation, sent aid to Uncaway though belonging to Connecticut. Of all which passages they presently acquainted the Commissioners in the Bay, & had the allowance, & approbation from the general court there, with directions, neither to hasten war, nor to bear such Insolencies too long. Which courses though chargeable to themselves,10 yet through God’s blessing, they hope fruit is, & will be sweet, and wholesome to all the Colonies; the murderers are since delivered to Justice, the public peace preserved for the present, & probability it may be better secured for the future.

Thus this mischief was prevented, and the fear of a war hereby diverted; but now another broil was begun by the Narragansetts; though they unjustly had made war upon Uncas (as is before declared), and had the winter before this, earnestly pressed the Governour of the Massachusetts that they might still make war upon them to revenge the death of their sagamore, which being taken prisoner was by them put to death (as before was noted), pretending that they had first received, and accepted his ransom, and then put him to death. But the Governour refused their presents, and told them, that it was themselves had done the wrong, & broken the conditions of peace; and he, nor the English neither, could, nor would allow them to make any further war upon him, but if they did, must assist him, & oppose them; but if it did appear, upon good proof, that he had received a ransom for his life, before he put him to death; when the Commissioners met, they should have a fair hearing, and they would cause Uncas to return the same. But notwithstanding at the spring of the year they gathered a great power, and fell upon Uncas, and slew sundry of his men, and wounded more, and also had some loss themselves. Uncas Called for aid from the English; they told him what the Narragansetts objected, he denied the same; they told him it must come to trial; and if he was Innocent, if the Narragansetts would not desist, they would aid, & assist him. So at this meeting they [263] sent both to Uncas, & the Narragansetts, and required them ^their Sagamores^ to come or send to the Commissioners now met at Hartford; and they should have a fair & Impartial hearing in all their grievances, and would endeavor that all wrongs should be rectified where they should be found; and they promised that they should safely come, and return without any danger or molestation; and sundry the like things, as appears more at large in the messengers’ Instructions.11 Upon which The Narragansetts sent one Sagamore, and some other deputies with full power ^to^ do in the case as should be meet; Uncas came in person, accompanied with some chief about him. After the agitation of the business, the Issue was this. The Commissioners declared to the Narragansett deputies as followeth.

Hereupon the Narragansett Sachem advising with the other deputies Engaged himself in the behalf of the Narragansetts, & Niantics that no hostile acts should be committed upon Uncas, or any of his, until after the next planting of corn; And that after that, before they begin any war, they will give 30 days’ warning to the Governour of the Massachusetts, or Connecticut.

The Commissioners approving of this offer, and taking their Engagement under their hands, required Uncas, as he expected the Continuance of the favour of the English, to observe the same terms of peace, with the Narragansetts, and theirs.

These foregoing conclusions were subscribed by the Commissioners, for the several Jurisdictions the 19[th] of September 1644.

Edward Hopkins, president

Simon Bradstreet

William Hathorne

Edward Winslow

John Browne

George Fenwick

Theophilus Eaton

Thomas Gregson

The forenamed Narragansetts’ deputies did further promise, that if contrary to this agreement, any of the Niantic Pequots should make any assault upon Uncas, or any of his; they would deliver them up to the English to be punished according to their demerits; And that they would not use any means, to procure the Mohawks13 to come against Uncas during this truce. These were their names subscribed with their marks.

Weetowish      Chinnough

Pampiamett      Pummunish [264]