|Related to The Tory Lover.|
from Passaconaway in the White Mountains (1916)
Charles Edward Beals, Jr., b. 1896
Boston, R. G. Badger
Chapters 1, 3 and 4
PASSACONAWAY IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS
PASSACONAWAY, THE MAN
From my summer home in the White Mountains, I can look out upon a skyline of over twenty mountain peaks. Of these, several bear Indian names,--Passaconaway, Wonalancet,1 Kancamagus, Chocorua and Paugus. I like to lie in the hammock on the porch, gaze upon these mighty peaks and think of the brave chiefs of long ago whose names they bear. For these were not imaginary Indians whose names have come down to us.
The first three named were famous chiefs, the heads of a powerful confederacy of thirteen or more tribes.2 This federation, with the exception of the Five Nations of New York, was the most powerful Indian coalition in the East. Passaconaway welded this confederacy together under the leadership of his tribe, the Pennacook.
Shortly before the advent of the Pilgrims, a pestilence swept through New England and did its work so thoroughly that, in many cases, powerful tribes dwindled to mere handfuls of forlorn survivors.3 In such numbers were the dusky inhabitants swept off that there were not enough left to bury the dead.4 Nine-tenths, it has been said, of the New England Indians perished in this plague.5 When Sir Richard Hawkins revisited the coast in 1615, the aborigines were struggling against this pestilence. He vividly tells of seeing their unburied skeletons bleaching in deserted wigwam towns.6
After such devastation, new tribal relations had to be formed. Then, too, the Mohawk cloud darkened the horizon and, as never before, became a source of constant terror to these scattered and enfeebled Easterners. Our Indians had fought hand to hand with the hated Maguas, and all too well knew their strength and valor.7 Now, scattered, decimated, and leaderless, they could see the rising of the Mohawk storm. They must unite and must have a leader! A man of commanding personality, of giant physique, a warrior, a statesman, a leader in every sense of the word,--for such a man did the hour call.8
At this time the Pennacooks, around Manchester and Concord, were the strongest and most highly developed of the New England Indians, and their tribe was the best organized one.9 The man who had put the Pennacooks into the front rank in New England was Passaconaway. He was the red man's hope. To him the tribes looked for leadership. In him all the qualities of a leader of men seemed to be combined. He was a physical and intellectual giant. Under his guidance the Pennacooks secured, by marriage, diplomacy and sometimes by war, an alliance with over a dozen tribes in what is now New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. This alliance, bearing the name Pennacook, included the Pennacooks, Wachusetts, Agawams, Wamesits, Pequawkets, Pawtuckets, Nashuas, Namaoskeags, Coosaukes, Winnepesaukes, Piscataquas, Winnecowetts, Amariscoggins, Newiche-wannocks, Sacos, Squamscotts, and Saugusaukes.10 Such a union is proof enough of the prowess and diplomatic finesse of its Bashaba, the mighty Passaconaway of the Pennacooks.
Before beginning the life-story of this head chieftain, who was probably the greatest New England Indian of whom we have any record, let us return to the threatening Mohawk storm. The savage onslaught broke with the fury of a hurricane just before the forming of Passaconaway's confederacy, some years (some say twenty) before the landing of the Pilgrims. Nevertheless, we have vivid and reliable accounts regarding it.
The Gibraltar of the Pennacooks was a strongly built fort on the crest of Sugar Ball Hill in what is now Concord, N. H. According to their custom, upon nearing the enemy's country, the Mohawks separated into bands of from less than a dozen to more than twenty men each. These bands, with a definite time and meeting-place clearly agreed upon, would make their way as secretly as possible, from different points as opportunity offered, cruelly murdering and pillaging all in their path.11 This time, the usual plan was being carried out when a small party of New Yorkers fell in with certain Pennacooks and, after a skirmish, the former were put to rout. The alarm spread like wild fire, and, in an incredibly short time, the entire Pennacook tribe either disappeared in the forests or, gathering their corn, flocked to the Concord fort.
The repulse of the Mohawk skirmishers only spurred them on to redoubled efforts. No time was lost in meeting at the fort, but, on seeing it, the invaders realized the uselessness of trying to take it by storm. For a while the two foes eyed each other like two leashed bull dogs. The Pennacooks, well supplied with corn and knowing that they could not match the foe in open battle, were content to await the next move. Not so with their foes, who chafed and fumed at the delay.
Many tricks and ruses of Indian cunning were discussed, for, if the fort was to fall, it must be by strategy.
After one or two feints, which failed to draw the Pennacooks out of their stronghold, the Mohawks drew off in disgust. Next morning a lone Mohawk was seen leisurely crossing the plain at the base of the bluff, almost under the Pennacooks' very noses. The huge log gate opened a trifle and a young brave slipped out, then another, a third and so on, until over a score were pursuing the prey. The Mohawk ran like a fox for the wood-fringed river with the long line of whooping warriors in his wake.
In the excitement the New Yorkers, leaving a few warriors to protect the decoy and ambush the pursuing youths, moved through the woods, crossed the Merrimac above the fort and, under cover of scrub trees and bushes, managed to draw near the fort, unseen. After the last pursuer had disappeared, they broke from cover with a blood-curdling yell and rushed upon the poorly-defended fort. The fight was bitter. Because of numbers, the raiders were fast gaining the upper hand, when the pursuers, perceiving the ruse, returned and fell upon the foe. Numerical superiority now rested with the Pennacooks. Tradition tells us that both sides were almost literally cut to pieces before the few remaining Mohawks, baffled and wounded, finally took to the woods, leaving their dead and dying in the hands of the victors.12
The future Bashaba must have been terrible in this fight, for he himself stated that from his wigwam pole the most Mohawk scalps hung. After this memorable and last battle with the Mohawks, Passaconaway's people held them in mortal fear and would endure almost anything rather than risk another such conflict. Of the Mohawks one says: "When they first encountered white men in 1609 their name had become a terror in New England, insomuch that as soon as a single Mohawk was caught sight of by the Indians of that country, they would raise the cry from hill to hill, 'A Mohawk! a Mohawk!' and forthwith would flee like sheep before wolves, never dreaming of resistance." 13
Let us for a moment glance at some of the interesting customs and occupations of the Pennacooks, for we shall be better able to visualize these early New Englanders in their sorrows and joys if some of their methods of life are understood. Pennacook, now Concord, meaning "at the bottom of the hill," 14 was the rendezvous of all the Indians of that name.15 On what is now Sewall's Island the royal residence was raised.16 It will be borne in mind that the red man is nomadic and makes frequent moves. In summer the squaws move the frail wigwam from one field to another, and from one part of a field to another, in order to escape the fleas,17 which the Indians dubbed "poppek" on account of their celerity of movement. But, usually, the royal residence was pitched in about the same place. Passaconaway had other headquarters on an island about a mile north of the junction of the Souhegan and Merrimac rivers.18 An island was a desirable site, because the breezes, playing over it, would sweep away the pestiferous little midges, or "no-see-ums" as the natives termed them, because of their invisibility.19 These islands which we have named, besides being far famed as the seats of authority and scenes of royal feasts and council-fires, were also noted as the places where the Bashaba performed his feats of magic, for Passaconaway was not only the most powerful war-chief in this part of the world, but also the most famous pow-wow, or medicine-man, likewise.
The Pennacooks raised corn, melons, squashes, gourds, pumpkins, and beans. They also dug for groundnuts and gathered acorns, chestnuts and walnuts. To the early settlers they gave this rule: "Begin to plant when the oak leaf becomes as large as a mouse's ear." 20 These people regarded the crow as being almost as sacred as the sun itself. One of their legends relates how the Great Manit sent a crow from his "Kantantowit's field"--the great Southwest--with the first bean and the first kernel of corn, which he deposited in New England. From these all their bean and corn crops sprang.21 How many of us, while eating Indian corn, watermelon, pumpkin or squash, realize that for centuries before the white man's advent, the dusky aborigines were waxing fat and strong on these vegetables raised in the Saco Valley, Winnepesaukee and other regions? They cultivated several different kinds of gourds, many species of which are now rare and some probably extinct, but all were known as Askutasquash. We--with the English habit of clipping words--retain only the last syllable, and call a now common gourd a "squash." Sometimes these Merrimac Indians steamed or boiled their gourds; at other times, especially on trips when a fire might be dangerous, they ate them raw.22
According to Judge Chandler E. Potter, who gave this subject careful and exhaustive research, the occupations of the Pennacooks ranked thus: First and foremost, farming; second, hunting and fishing; third and last, the fashioning of tools necessary for the carrying on of these occupations. Naturally the Pennacook was a husbandman and not a "knight of the sword." War was not a profession. It was indulged in only as necessity demanded, which was seldom, with this peace-loving tribe.
Then came the Englishman, with his drum, bayonet, red coat and bearskin cap--an imposing figure in the savage eye. Judge Potter claims that from the time of the advent of the English, the red man became a martial man. He shifted the farm work off upon his squaw, who already had the drudgery of the wigwam. However, when a field was to be cleared for planting, the entire tribe, braves included, turned to and the field was rapidly cleared. But this seems to have been the extent of the male Pennacook's agricultural exertions, from now on.23 Men were kept, by the English, standing around, doing no work; why should not the dusky warriors do likewise? Were the Indians not just as powerful, just as terrible and just as fearless in battle as the red-coated "braves" of the whites? So, from the industrious and hard-working farmers, they changed into mere idlers, and this new custom became the bane of their race.24 It is claimed by Belknap that these Indians were not murderous and treacherous until the white man taught them these lessons.25
Canoe-making was an art in which the Indians excelled. Under favorable conditions two men could make a good birch-bark one in a day.26
Under normal conditions an athletic brave could shoot an arrow entirely through the body of a moose or bear so that with spent force it would fall to earth many yards the other side of the victim.27 We find Passaconaway boasting of being the most powerful bowman of his tribe. A favorite hunting ground of the Indians seems to have been the White Mountain region. By means of a trap known as the "kulheag" they caught the bear, beaver, wildcat and sable.28 The dusky hunters in "the forest primeval"29 seemed to possess the animal instincts intensified, and they delighted at beating the animals "at their own game," such as outwitting a fox, outwrestling a bear, etc.
On the Merrimac the Indians had two "fishing-places," Pawtucket (Lowell) and Namaoskeag (Manchester).30 Their third was at the outlet of Lake Winnepesaukee, where dams were constructed at Ahquedaukenash (meaning "dams" or "stopping-places"). From the fact that when the English discovered this last place they found several of these permanent dams, or wiers, they named it the "Wiers," and to-day it bears this name.31 (But Weare, N. H., was named for Meshach Weare. See Little's "History of Weare, N. H.") Vast quantities of shad were caught at the Wiers,32 while on the Merrimac, besides shad, thousands of salmon, alewives, and lamprey-eels were secured.33 So many fish were taken that, by drying and smoking them, the tribes were able to lay in a supply for the entire winter.
Once a year all the Pennacook people congregated at these fishing-places and observed a festival or series of holidays. At these times lovers' vows were plighted, marriages performed, and speeches made.34 At the official council, with every sachem and warrior present, the affairs of the nation were discussed in true "town-meeting" style, long before the advent of the now world-renowned New England town-meeting. Everyone could voice his opinion freely, and, in the presence of all, the policy for the coming year was outlined.35 All intertribal disputes were peaceably and reasonably arbitrated, and, under Passaconaway's leadership, the confederacy constantly grew stronger and more and more harmonious. If war was deemed necessary, the recruits were mustered in and war-dances held at these fishing-places.36 Here, too, the Bashaba proved to all, through feats of magic, his intimacy with the Great Spirit, Manitou the Mighty.37
With the Pennacooks, the favorite place of assembly seems to have been Amoskeag Falls. Passaconaway for many years had his royal residence upon the hill on the east side of the Merrimac, where Governor Smyth later built his mansion.38 Eliot repeatedly visited the Pennacooks at this place, because here he found great numbers gathered together well disposed to listen to his preaching. It is highly probable that here, at Amoskeag Falls, was the fishing-place the Apostle refers to when he writes of Passaconaway's acceptance of Christianity.39
Another custom among these people was this: When prisoners, especially Indians, were captured, they were led to the fishing-place. Then, if one of their own warriors had fallen, the wife or mother of the deceased might choose one of the prisoners; the fate of this one was in her hands; she could order him killed or adopt him in place of the lost one. The captive was usually spared and adopted. The remainder of the prisoners were either held for ransom or slain. Although unusually free from wars, yet even when embroiled in one, the Pennacooks were exceptionally merciful towards their prisoners, rarely torturing or killing them.40
On state occasions a sort of cap or coronet was worn, such as may be seen on Passaconaway in his picture in this book. In war times, eagle or hawk feathers, or sometimes a long head-dress, adorned the sachem's head. In preparation for battle the warriors daubed their faces with red and black paint for the purpose of striking terror into their foes. Upon their breasts the head and sometimes the body of a black bear was painted. This was the Pennacook totem, or coat-of-arms. The tribal totem, painted upon the breast of all warriors, served as a means of identification, just as "civilized" nations use flags and uniforms.41
At one time during Passaconaway's reign his tribe numbered over three thousand and, should necessity require, he could throw an army of skilful and cunning veterans numbering over five hundred men into the field.42 This army, using the Indian mode of warfare, was a powerful machine, whose stealthy ambush and unlimited endurance were not to be despised. Had the Bashaba joined his force with King Philip's inferior band, historians probably would have chronicled a different story from that of the defeat and ignoble death of the latter.43 Time and again we have illustrations of the damage inflicted by a score or two of Indians upon vastly superior numbers of whites by ambuscade and agility.
Let us now glance at Passaconaway himself, the man who welded into unity and held with an iron hand his great confederacy. The chief reason why his life-story is not more widely known among us to-day is because he was a friend of the whites and not a destroyer of them. Peaceful Indians seem to be overlooked by the historians. Whole volumes are written about Philip, Osceola, Sitting Bull, and other Indians who have brought disaster to the whites. But friendly Indians like Massasoit, Tahanto and Passaconaway-- real helpers and staunch friends of the whites--are ungratefully forgotten.
Passaconaway, the "son of the Bear," was the first "Teddy Bear" of whom we have any historical account in America. There is reason to believe that he was born between 1555 and 1573. In accordance with Indian custom, upon his reaching maturity he was given a name chosen because of his most pronounced characteristics. Thus, in order to have received the name "Papisseconewa" (as his name was spelled in early colonial days), which is derived from Papoeis--a child--and Kunnaway--bear--he must have been a
powerful, fierce and gigantic youth.44 He is seen in the picture wearing a bear's head and skin, as part of his royal insignia. Passaconaway, because of his unusual powers, physical, magical, social and intellectual, was given a title which few have held--Bashaba. A Bashaba is head and shoulders above sagamore, sachem or chief, and corresponds to Emperor in our language.45
The first thing that we actually know concerning Passaconaway's relations to the English was his presence at Plymouth in 1620, when the Pilgrims came in the Mayflower. The whites were totally ignorant of his presence, yet he himself later tells us that he was there. He was in his prime at this time and was the most noted powwow, or sorcerer, on record.46
Passaconaway, with several other medicine-men, was summoned to Plymouth to conjure against the English. For three days, in a dark swamp, these magicians attempted to call down lightning to burn the ships, and they sought to bring plague and pestilence upon the new-comers, but all in vain. The ships would neither catch fire nor spring a leak. Evidently the Great Spirit could not or would not strike dead the interlopers.47 Passaconaway, probably the recognized leader in this powwow, tells us that the Great Spirit whispered to him then, "Peace, peace with the whites. You and your people are powerless against them." Here at Plymouth the Bashaba learned a lesson which he never forgot--that the white man's god was stronger than his own.48 "I made war upon them, my young men were struck down before me, when no one was near them." Sadly he returned to Pennacook, realizing that he could neither destroy the invaders by sorcery, nor with his braves successfully contend against their miraculous fire and thunder. Because of the realization of the superiority of the English, Passaconaway, instead of combating them, decided to treat them kindly.49
Christopher Levett, when in the neighborhood, while exploring the coast in 1623, reports seeing a gigantic Indian, reverenced by all--white and red men alike--who called himself "Conway." There is little doubt that this was Passaconaway.50 The same year the chieftain paid a visit to a plantation on which the English had settled, which act Passaconaway considered an encroachment upon his domains. From these frontiersmen the report came that the chief was about sixty years old. His confederacy at this time was at its zenith.
Although a strong and commanding personality, the Bashaba possessed moderation, keen insight and sagacity.51 These qualities, with his genius for swaying a crowd, and his almost superhuman feats of necromancy, made Passaconaway the most influential sachem in New England, and probably the greatest red man in the East. Passaconaway was the equal of any of his white contemporaries.52
Very early he realized the effect of his magical powers upon the multitudes and is reported as having performed extraordinary feats "to the wonderment and awe" of his superstitious subjects. From Englishmen who mingled with the Pennacooks and who were witnesses of several of his sleight-of-hand tricks, we learn that the powwow swam across the Merrimac under water at a place where it was far too wide to cross in one breath. It was explained that, after entering the water on the farther side, a mist was cast before the spectators' eyes and he was not again seen until he stepped out upon the bank in front of the wondering beholders.53
Another time we are told that Passaconaway placed a bowl of water before him. The usual incantation then followed, in the midst of which a black cloud hovered over the assembled company and suddenly a sharp clap of thunder rent the air. To the amazement of the spectators, a solid piece of ice floated in the bowl; this trick was performed in the middle of summer. Settlers, reporting it, added: "Which doubtless was done by the agility of Satan, his consort." 54
"Wood, in his 'New England's Prospect,' says: 'The Indians report of one Passaconawaw, that hee can make water burne, the rocks move, the trees dance, metamorphise himself into a flaming man. Hee will do more; for in winter, when there are no green leaves to be got, hee will burne an old one to ashes and putting these into water, produce a new green leaf, which you shall not only see but substantially handle and carrie away; and make a dead snake's skin a living snake, both to be seen, felt, and heard. This I write but on the report of the Indians, who confidentially affirm stranger things.' "55 The Bashaba could hold a living, venomous snake in his hand as if it were a worm.56 From so many sources are these feats reported that there is little doubt as to their having taken place.57
Like the prophets of old, this heathen Bashaba was whole generations ahead of his people. Long before his brethren, he perceived the general superiority of the Anglo-Saxons over the Indians.58 The Great Spirit, as he relates, had whispered to him that although the palefaces were now only few in number, they were to be as numerous as the leaves of the forest; that the red man's hunting-ground was to be stripped of its timber and furrowed with the white man's plow; and that the rivers and fishing-places were to be choked with dams and whirring mills. All this, with his statesmanlike vision, he foresaw, and to-day we are able to judge of the accuracy of his foresight.
But he did not give up without an effort; not by wasting his young men before the white man's fire and thunder, however, but by the "supernatural" powers in his possession, did he make this struggle. A brave man was Passaconaway, yet, like Chocorua and many other warriors of this region, the thunder of the white man's "iron pipe" and the flash sent a shiver through his frame. Not the "crack" of the gun, but what it symbolized, caused this terror. To the superstitious aborigines the mere flash and report were comparatively nothing, but every musket-shot gave positive proof that the whites' god was omnipotent and destructive; that each and every white could, through his "iron pipe," summon the aid of his deity, which god would sweep down the Indians before him, no matter how far distant they might be.59 Years later, when traders had sold them rifles, powder and bullets, this erroneous idea was corrected. But at this period it seems to have been almost universal. So we find Passaconaway fighting them with "medicine," not, like Philip, with knife and tomahawk. This recognition of the superiority of the whites' divine ally seems to have been the reason for Passaconaway's policy of "Peace with the English."
To the early colonists themselves, it seemed most providential that the Almighty had led so powerful a chieftain to adopt a policy of peace and to restrain his bands of forest soldiers, even when smarting under wrongs and injustice from those whom he befriended.60 Historians agree that a word from Passaconaway, or, later, from Wonalancet, would have swept our forefathers into the sea. The settlements of Strawberry Bank (Portsmouth), Newburyport and Saugus (Lynn) were not equal to the forces immediately under the Pennacook's command, to say nothing of the allies he might have procured. That he could have swept the seacoast clear of the whites is well within the bounds of sober probability.61
Passaconaway's peace policy was one for which he paid dearly. In 1631, he officially demonstrated his determination to deal justly with the English by delivering up a kinsman, a murderer, for trial. At that time, his tribe was the wealthiest and strongest in New England; twenty years later his people had been reduced from prosperity to the verge of starvation and beggary.62 This was the cost of a "Peace Apostle's" loyalty to a principle. So powerful was Passaconaway's grip upon his people that throughout the bloody Indian wars which occurred during his reign, not one of his subjects inflicted harm upon a single white man, woman, or child.
A glaring moral weakness in a majority of the English settlers was their inability to distinguish one red man from another. To them an Indian was an Indian; praying or hostile, an Indian was a blood-thirsty, treacherous reptile, to be either hanged, murdered, or sold into slavery.63 But who was it that had changed him from husbandman to vengeful warrior? Who got him drunk and then cheated and swindled him? 64 By their own greed, unscrupulousness and rum, the whites debauched the red man. On good authority it has been said that a trader could lock up his post, full of valuable articles, and the next year find it untouched, unless by chance some white should discover it, in which case it surely would be looted. Again and again we shall cite instances in which innocent and peaceful Indians were treated as open enemies and unscrupulously murdered.
One of the earliest of Passaconaway's transactions with the English is said to have been his signing of the famous Wheelwright Deed. By many this has been considered a forgery. The Rev. N. Bouton, D. D., Editor of the Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, writes thus, however: "The famous Wheelwright Deed, which has been pronounced a forgery by Hon. James Savage, the distinguished antiquarian of Boston, and the late John Farmer, Esq., of Concord, bears date May 17, 1629. Hon. Chandler E. Potter, who has devoted much attention and research to the subject, maintains the validity of the deed. But whether the deed be a forgery or not it forms part of our history;--is the basis on which rests the grant of several townships in the state, is recognized in various ways in our public records as genuine. . . . The deed is recorded in the office of Recorder of Deeds, at Exeter." 65
Let me give the substance of this famous document in a few words. It certifies that Passaconaway, for certain valuable considerations, sells to John Wheelwright and his associates a tract of land extending from the then (1629) Massachusetts line thirty miles into the country, and from the Piscataqua to the Merrimac, reserving the hunting and fishing rights to his people. The seventh and last article declares that "every township within the aforesaid limits or tract of land that hereafter shall be settled shall pay to Passaconaway our chief sagamore that now is and to his successors forever, if lawfully demanded, one coat of trucking cloth a year." 66 The names or marks of several noted sagamons were affixed to the deed as were also the signatures of some of the respectable planters of Saco and Piscataqua. Whether the Wheelwright Deed is valid or not, it affords proof of the extent of the Bashaba's power and dominions.67
Rev. John Wheelwright had been a preacher at Braintree, then part of Boston, and was a brother of Anne Hutchinson. For preaching too searching a sermon in Boston on Fast Day, 1636, he was banished. Making his way to Exeter, he took up his abode there. He was a gentleman of "learning, piety and zeal," 68 and it seems unthinkable that a man of his character would countenance a forgery.
Passaconaway's motive in disposing of this region seems to have been his fear of the Mohawks. (The name Mohawk is an Algonquin word meaning cannibal, and was applied to the New Yorkers.69) By selling his land to the English, the latter naturally would settle in their newly-acquired possessions and this would insure the Pennacooks some measure of protection. But Passaconaway's idea was not that the Indians should vacate the lands they had sold, but that the whites should come and live with his people. In order to save their own scalps, the white frontiersmen would be forced to fight side by side with Passaconaway's men against the Mohawks. Doubtless this was the reason for such a wholesale alienation of lands. It seems to have been either a case of accepting the lesser of two evils, or a misunderstanding of the nature of a sale.
As we have said, in 1631 Passaconaway performed an act incontrovertibly proving to the English his sincerity and his desire for justice. A trader named Jenkins was mysteriously murdered, while asleep in an Indian wigwam. The murderer was among the Pennacooks, and a summons was sent to the Bashaba notifying him of the crime. Immediately Passaconaway ordered the accused to be seized and turned over to the proper English authorities for trial.70 He did this not with the idea of betraying a kinsman, but in order that honest and just relations might be established between his Indians and the English.
Realizing their own treachery towards, and fraudulent treatment of, the Indians, the traders lived in constant fear of retaliation. Repeated alarms, based upon little or no foundation, rang through the province and threw the populace into a delirium of fear. Eleven years after Passaconaway had delivered up the murderer, he had a chance to measure the Englishman's gratitude.71 A groundless alarm was spread in 1642, and, as usual, nearly everybody was thrown into a frenzy. Passaconaway, who, even now, in all probability, could have swept the English into the sea, but who had chosen and was conscientiously trying to carry out a friendly policy, was singled out as the victim. He was gathering his hordes for a mighty onslaught--so went the rumor. Nothing could be plainer!
A body of experienced soldiers was therefore despatched to nip the plan in its bud and to seize the designing Bashaba.72 The orders were to arrest the dangerous plotter at either Ipswich, Rowley, or Newbury, where, at that season of the year, he was accustomed to reside.73 Luckily for him, a hard storm arose, which effectually checked the progress of the troops for three days. During this time, Passaconaway, being informed of their approach, retreated to the wilderness beneath the shadow of the White Mountains.
Wonalancet, his second son, was not so fortunate. His wigwam was surprised and, although (some claim) his squaw escaped, he was taken. Brutally and insultingly they led him about by a rope until, loosening his cords, he sped to the bushes for cover. The whites fired upon the fugitive, wounding him, and recaptured him. But there were no signs of the anticipated war bands! Crowned with the glory of an ignominious triumph, the heroes returned to Dover with the victims of their prowess--one or two peaceable braves and a few frightened squaws.74 The Massachusetts Government well knew the extent of the humiliation inflicted by its orders, and ought to have felt ashamed for having treated the Pennacooks so unjustly and so treacherously.
Cutshamekin, a brave taken in this lamentable affair, was sent to Passaconaway, bearing an invitation to come to Boston and confer with the government officials.75 This was adding insult to injury, for the English demanded the delivering up of all the arms of the tribe. Had Passaconaway been forty years younger, I fear he might have delivered up considerable ammunition (in smoke). I fear his answer would not have been a few words of protest from injured innocence but a series of Deerfields and Schenectadys. The answer which he returned, however, shows that, although beginning to feel the pains of old age, he yet retained his proud and independent spirit. He was no man's dog and would brook no insult! He replied, "Tell the English when they restore my son and his squaw, then will I talk with them." Potter adds, "The answer was that of a man who felt he had been most deeply wronged." 76 The aged Bashaba never wholly forgave this insult.
From now on he began to distrust the sincerity of the whites and seems never fully to have overcome that feeling. Five years later an opportunity arose for him to show, in a subtle yet unmistakable manner, his feeling towards those who had wronged him. During the spring of 1647, the Apostle Eliot came to the Pennacooks at Pawtucket to preach to the confederated tribes which annually gathered there. Of late, the Bashaba's time had been devoted to turning over and over in his mind the wrongs done him by the English, and evidently he came to the conclusion that a religion tolerating such injustices merited only contempt. So, when the clergyman drew near, Passaconaway took his family and secretly departed for the wilderness. He left this word of explanation for the unarmed Eliot, that the reason he left was that he "was afraid the English would kill" him.77 Was rebuke ever more gently administered? In 1642, the same year in which Wonalancet had been taken, he was returned, whereupon the father delivered in "the required artillery." 78 At least outwardly, friendly relations thus were re-established and all was harmonious once more.
For many years the Provincial Government had been endeavoring to secure a more binding assurance from the "great Merrimack" than just his simple word. As a means of forcing Passaconaway to sign the articles submitting himself and people to the power and protection of the government, the English governors had long been pursuing a perfidious policy, a policy indeed which was continued long after this Bashaba's death, namely, that of endeavoring, with British gold, to bribe the Mohawks to sweep down upon and destroy the New England Indians.79 Was this the protection offered by the government? If so, do we wonder that the Bashaba hesitated before accepting it? Since 1631 not one Englishman had suffered injury at the hands of the confederated tribes, to Passaconaway's knowledge, yet his actions and words were not sufficient--he was dangerous because he had not yet bowed down and paid homage to the British King and flag. Meanwhile, however, the governor of Massachusetts in person visited Albany, N. Y., to buy up the Mohawks as a fiery broom with which to sweep out of existence the Indian neighbors of the New Englanders. At last, in 1644, Passaconaway, in behalf of his confederated peoples, signed the articles of submission to that government which, after seizing his fire-arms, actually had done its best to buy up his enemies to exterminate him.80
The following year (1645) his signature was affixed to a treaty signed at Boston, in which treaty were also included the Narragansetts, Niantics, Uncas and his Mohegans, together with several northern tribes.81
During the next few years Passaconaway became deeply interested in religion. Already the incident of 1647 has been cited, when the Bashaba retreated to his protecting woods before the advent of the Apostle Eliot, expressing his fears as to the motives of that clergyman. The following fishing season, "the great Merrimack" is found eagerly listening to the words of the noble missionary. Eliot's work among the Indians never can be over-appreciated by the whites. Passaconaway drank in the message of life, he was deeply touched, and at length accepted the new religion for himself and his family, and urged his tribesmen to do the same.82
That the sagamon was sincere and that he never wavered in his new resolution is certain.83 Writing to Captain Willard, shortly after, concerning the Bashaba's conversion, Eliot bore witness that "Passaconaway did all in his power to keep him at Pennacook and offered him any place for a dwelling or anything he wanted if only he would remain and teach them more." 84 In other letters Eliot relates how earnestly the "great Sachem" implored him to live at Pennacook. Among other arguments the Indian stated that, as he (Eliot) met them only once every twelve months, little good came of his teaching; for, no matter how impressive his word might be, the hearers forgot most of it before the year was out. Potter, in narrating how Passaconaway illustrated his request to Eliot, records the new convert as saying: "You do as if one should come and throw a fine thing among us, and we should catch at it earnestly, because it is so beautiful, but cannot look at it to see what is within; there may be in it something or nothing, a stock, a stone or a precious treasure; but if it be opened and we see what is valuable therein, then we think much of it. So you tell us of religion, but (although) we know not what is within, we shall believe it to be as good as you say it is." 85
This last sentence illustrates an Indian standard of politeness. An anecdote may be inserted here to show that the Indians regarded it a mark of good breeding to believe the words of another unless they had actual proof to the contrary. "A Swedish minister, having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehannah Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded: such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple; the coming of Christ to repair the mischief; his miracles and sufferings, etc.--When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him. 'What you have told us,' said he, 'is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things, which you have heard from your mothers.' " But when, in his turn, "the Indian had told the missionary one of the legends of his nation, how they had been supplied with maize or corn, beans, and tobacco, he treated it with contempt, and said, 'What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you told me is mere fable, fiction and falsehood.' The Indian felt indignant, and replied, 'My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You see that we, who understand and practise those rules, believe all your stories: why do you refuse to believe ours?' " 86
There is little heard of the aged Passaconaway between 1648 and 1660. At the latter date he was seen by Englishmen, a venerable, wrinkled old man of about one hundred and ten. Such longevity is not unique. In the "History of Concord" we read the names of several Indians who passed the century mark.
Believing that his end probably was near, in the fishing season of 1660, Passaconaway despatched messengers summoning all the subject tribes to Pawtucket. An enormous multitude gathered. Daniel Gookin, who reported the proceedings, was present.87 In spite of the characteristic Indian stoicism, great sorrow was manifest among the red men. Their once all-conquering Bashaba, now bent and trembling, was about to deliver his Farewell Speech. Especially noticeable was the grief when the aged Passaconaway arose and, in husky tones, yet in the still musical remains of what once was the most powerful and melodious voice in all the confederacy,88 addressed them thus: "Hearken to the words of your father. I am an old oak that has withstood the storms of more than an hundred winters. Leaves and branches have been stripped from me by the winds and frosts--my eyes are dim--my limbs totter --I must soon fall! But when young and sturdy, when my bow--no young man of the Pennacooks could bend it--when my arrow would pierce a deer at an hundred yards--and I could bury my hatchet in a sapling to the eye--no wigwam had so many furs--no pole so many scalps as Passaconaway's! Then I delighted in war. The whoop of the Pennacooks was heard upon the Mohawk--and no voice so loud as Passaconaway's. The scalps upon the pole of my wigwam told the story of Mohawk suffering.
"The English came, they seized our lands; I sat me down at Pennacook. They followed upon my footsteps; I made war upon them, but they fought with fire and thunder; my young men were swept down before me, when no one was near them. I tried sorcery against them, but they still increased and prevailed over me and mine, and I gave place to them and retired to my beautiful island of Natticook. I that can make the dry leaf turn green and live again---I that can take the rattlesnake in my palm as I would a worm, without harm--I who have had communion with the Great Spirit dreaming and awake--I am powerless before the Pale Faces.
"The oak will soon break before the whirlwind--it shivers and shakes even now; soon its trunk will be prostrate--the ant and worm will sport upon it! Then think, my children, of what I say; I commune with the Great Spirit. He whispers me now--'Tell your people, Peace, Peace, is the only hope of your race. I have given fire and thunder to the pale faces for weapons--I have made them plentier than the leaves of the forest, and still shall they increase! These meadows they shall turn with the plow--these forests shall fall by the ax--the pale faces shall live upon your hunting grounds, and make their villages upon your fishing places!' The Great Spirit says this, and it must be so! We are few and powerless before them! We must bend before the storm! The wind blows hard! The old oak trembles! Its branches are gone! Its sap is frozen! It bends! It falls! Peace, Peace, with the white men--is the command of the Great Spirit--and the wish--the last wish--of Passaconaway." 89
A silence fell over the multitude as the venerable speaker took his seat--a deathlike silence. The eloquence, pathos, and prophetic message of this speech were never forgotten by the Indians or by the whites present. The Bashaba had struck home. The counsel of the veteran leader made such an impression that the Pennacooks present on this solemn occasion probably never deviated from the policy so eloquently advocated.90 No, not until the youths now present had become aged or passed away altogether did Passaconaway's people attempt retaliation upon those who were grievously wronging them.
"The Son of the Bear," however, after delivering this classic of Indian oratory, neither died nor abdicated the chieftainship. We find him still holding sway for at least three years more.91
Piece by piece the English government took away the aged Pennacook's lands--lands he had reserved for his own poverty-stricken people. Englishman after Englishman, armed with a government grant, ordered him from his own fertile fields and hunting-grounds. To cap the climax, the legislature announced its intention of issuing grants for the lands at Pennacook "whenever so many should be present to settle a plantation there." 92 With his "beautiful island of Natticook," of which he had spoken so fondly, gone, and Pennacook going, Passaconaway began to see that not far distant was the day when he would not have enough soil left on which to stand.
Infirm and heart-broken, he at last bowed his head and succumbed to fate. He must become a beggar, a burden upon charity. He, once the wealthiest, strongest, and noblest chieftain in New England, now poverty-stricken! In just eighteen years from the time he had submitted to the provincial government, his tribe, the most industrious and prosperous in New England, had become a paltry group of miserable paupers.93 Rum, commercial exploitation and English bayonets had "civilized" them and here they stood, a group of "Christian" beggars.
At Pennacook, in 1662, Passaconaway became the "humble petitioner" to the "Great and Honred Court." He prayed that the rulers might, in reality, be generous enough to return to him, out of his own lands, enough to pitch a wigwam on.94 The petition was as follows:
"To the honerd John Endecot Esqr together with the rest of the honerd General Court now Assembled in Boston the petition of papisseconnewa in behalf of himself as also of many other Indians who now for a longe time o'r selves o'r progenators seated upon a tract of land called Naticot and is now in the possession of Mr. William Brenton of Rode Iland marchant; and is confirmed to the said Mr. Brenton to him his heirs and assigns according to the Laws of this Jurisdiction, by reason of which tracte of land beinge taken up as a foresaid, and thereby yr pore petitionir with many oth (ers is) in an onsetled condition and must be forced in a short time to remove to some other place.
"The Humble request of yr petitionr is that this honerd Courte wolde pleas to grante vnto vs a parcell of land for or comfortable cituation; to be stated for or Injoyment; as also for the comfort of oths after vs; as also that this honerd Court wold pleas to take in to yr serious and grave consideration the condition and also the requeste of yr pore Supliant and to a poynte two or three persons as a Committee to Ar (range wi) th sum one or two Indians to vew and determine of some place and to Lay out the same, not further to trouble this honerd Assembly, humbly cravinge an expected answer this present sesion I shall remain yr humble Servante
"Wherein yu Shall commande
"Boston: 8:3 mo 1662." 95
It is interesting to note that, just thirty years before, he had determined upon and delivered up Jenkins' murderer in order that friendly and peaceful relations with the English might be established. "The aged Merrimack's" petition was granted, and it is amusing to note that, on the suggestion of the surveyors, who realized the plight of the redskin, "two small islands and a small patch of intervaile land" were added to the grant.96 This show of generosity on the part of the government must have happily surprised him. No doubt he was also surprised, though not so happily, when he was ordered to pay the bill for surveying the grant.97
During Passaconaway's last years a trading post, or trucking-house, was established at Pennacook, near the
Sewall Farm, by Richard Waldron and Peter Coffin, both of Dover. Tahanto, a lesser sagamore, repeatedly represented to these unscrupulous traders that trouble would result from the vast quantities of rum which were being sold to the Indians for furs. He pleaded with them to turn their rum upon the ground, for it would make the Indians "all one Devill." 98 The selling of fire-water to the natives was against the Provincial law. 99
During the summer of 1668, some Indians were sent from this trucking-house by the agents, Thomas Payne and Dickinson, to Waldron's post at Piscataqua, to procure guns, ammunition, and cloth. Instead of the articles ordered, a little cloth and great quantities of liquor were sent. For a day and a half the Indians, over a hundred in number, were drunk together.100 On the afternoon of the second day all left for their wigwams except one, who was more intoxicated than the rest and who remained in the building; soon an argument arose between the trader and this Indian and a cry was heard by an Indian in the vicinity. The latter discovered Dickinson on the floor, dying, and later noticed the intoxicated murderer, half stupefied, reeling off towards the woods with a bloody knife in his hand. Passaconaway was notified by the magistrate and turned over the suspect to the proper authorities. By this time the murderer had regained his senses and expressed himself as "sorry for the poor white man and willing to die for the crime." Nor was this said with the idea that penitence would save him, for, being condemned to death, in his last words he expressed sorrow for the victim. This Indian, when sober, would have hurt no one, being a law-abiding man. But, inflamed by the traders' rum, he was brought to crime and death. Says one historian: "It is rare that the Indians fall out if sober and if drunk they forgive saying, 'It was the drink, and not the man, that abused them.' " 101 As we have intimated, the red man was condemned to be shot. Official investigation revealed that Payne and the murdered man had been selling rum contrary to law; Payne was fined thirty pounds. Coffin was fined fifty pounds and all charges, while his partner, Waldron, the "man higher up"--we shall know him better before our story ends--- escaped scot free.102 By such incidents were the latter days of Passaconaway saddened.
Mr. Little says of Passaconaway: "It is a notorious fact that the English trespassed on his hunting-grounds and stole his lands. Yet he never stole anything from them. They killed his warriors,--yet he never killed a white man, woman, or child. They captured and imprisoned his sons and daughters,--yet he never led a captive into the wilderness. Once the proudest and most noble Bashaba in New England, he passed his extreme old age poor, forsaken, and robbed of all that was dear to him, by those to whom he had been a firm friend for nearly half a century." 103
Soon after the murder of Dickinson, Passaconaway disappeared from Pennacook and remained away during Philip's War. Probably he abdicated the chieftainship about 1668 or 1669, for in 1669 Wonalancet was the recognized chief. After his abdication he received a tiny grant of land in Litchfield, where he is said to have resided for a short time.104 Either here or at his residence at Pawtucket, he was seen by Daniel Gookin, Superintendent of Indians, and the Apostle Eliot "in the white winter of his 120th year." 105 These are the last authentic data that have come down to us concerning Passaconaway, and it is highly probable that he passed away soon after.
There are two interesting legends concerning the death of this "wondrous Indian." 106 Some Maine Indians claim that a great man, a man of wonderful bearing, personality and influence, although very aged, came to them shortly before the breaking out of Philip's War. Because of the strange likeness of this man to Passaconaway, because he called himself "Bashaba," and was a wizard and powwow, some writers believe him to have been Passaconaway.107 A devout and earnest Christian, this stranger taught and helped the people near the foot of Mount Agamenticus. Because of his sterling character, long and active life of usefulness and religious fervor, he was named "the good Saint Aspenquid."
In 1682, at the age of one hundred and twenty, Saint Aspenquid died, reverenced and beloved. For miles around there was deep sorrow and mourning. In order to pay fitting respect to such a man, preparations were made for the largest funeral service ever held among these Indians, the grandest one we have on record. Runners flew to all points of the compass; and nearly all the Indians on the Maine coast, and from miles inland, came together at Mount Agamenticus for the burial. An enormous amount of game was brought, 6,711 animals constituting the funeral offering. Of the animals brought to the grave and funeral feast were "99 black bears, 66 moose, 25 bucks, 67 does, 240 wolves, 82 wild-cats, 3 catamounts, 482 foxes, 32 buffaloes, 400 otter, 620 beaver, 1500 mink, 110 ferrets, 520 raccoons, 900 musquashes, 501 fishers, 3 ermines, 58 porcupines, 832 martens, 59 woodchucks, and 112 rattlesnakes." 108 The body was borne to the summit of Agamenticus, and laid to rest in a rocky cave. On the door of this natural tomb these words were rudely carved by the Indians:
"Present useful; absent wanted;
Lived desired; died lamented." 109
Let us now glance at the second tradition, which was the one held by the Pennacooks. Dread of the White Mountains seems to have been imbedded in the aborigines. They hunted, trapped, and marched through the numerous valleys and passes, but seldom, if ever, ascended the loftier peaks, especially Mt. Washington, the monarch of them all, which they called Mount Agiocochook. Its height is so great that vegetation ceases to grow far below its craggy summit.110 This "monarch of mountains" 111 was seldom ascended by the Indians. The Great Spirit, while on his earthly visits, was supposed to abide on this summit.112 Here he revealed himself to his lieutenants--his powwows and sachems--especially to one favorite who "communed with the Great Spirit dreaming and awake."
The tradition runs that there was to be a Council of the Gods in heaven and it was Passaconaway's wish that he might be admitted to the divine Council Fire; so he informed the Great Spirit of his desire. A stout sled was constructed, and out of a flaming cloud twenty-four gigantic wolves appeared. These were made fast to the sled. Wrapping himself in a bearskin robe, Passaconaway bade adieu to his people, mounted the sled, and, lashing the wolves to their utmost speed, away he flew. Through the forests from Pennacook and over the wide ice-sheet of Lake Winnepesaukee they sped. Reeling and cutting the wolves with his thirty-foot lash, the old Bashaba, once more in his element, screamed in ecstatic joy. Down dales, across valleys, over hills and mountains they flew, until, at last, enveloped in a cloud of fire, this "mightiest of Pennacooks" was seen speeding over the rocky shoulders of Mount Washington itself; gaining the summit, with unabated speed he rode up into the clouds and was lost to view--forever! Fitting finale was this to the life of a kingly and prophetic man, and as well deserved was his triumphant translation as was the reputed one of the prophet Elijah.
Some stanzas from an old poem, "The Winter Evening," reveal the awe in which the great Indian was held by his white contemporaries:
"That Sachem once to Dover came,
From Pennacook, when eve was setting in;
With plumes his locks were dressed, his eyes shot flame,
He struck his massy club with dreadful din,
That oft had made the ranks of battle thin,
Around his copper neck terrific hung
A tied-together, bear and catamount skin,
The curious fishbones o'er his bosom swung
And thrice the Sachem danced and thrice the Sachem sung.
"Strange man was he!" 'Twas said, he oft pursued
The sable bear, and slew him in his den,
That oft he howled through many a pathless wood,
And many a tangled wild, and poisonous fen,
That ne'er was trod by other mortal men.
The craggy ledge for rattle-snakes he sought,
And choked them one by one, and then
O'ertook the tall gray moose, as quick as thought,
And the mountain cat he chased, and chasing caught.
"A wondrous wight!" For o'er 'Siogee's ice,
With brindled wolves all harnessed three and three,
High seated on a sledge, made in a trice,
On Mount Agiocochook, of hickory,
He lashed and reeled, and sung right jollily;
And once upon a car of flaming fire,
The dreadful Indian shook with fear to see
The King of Pennacook, his chief, his sire,
Ride flaming up towards heaven, than any mountain higher." 113
Before bidding adieu to Passaconaway let us enumerate a few of the things which enshrine the chieftain's memory and perpetuate his name. In the Edson Cemetery, Lowell, Mass., there is a statue, a memorial to the Great Bashaba.114 In Concord, N. H., there is a Passaconaway club-house on the Merrimac; 115 and there used to be, in 1853, a locomotive of the Concord and Northern R. R.116 bearing the name of Passaconaway. At York Cliffs, Maine, there is a Passaconaway Inn. There is also Passaconaway Cottage in Birch Intervale, now Wonalancet.117 Until it was burned, in February, 1916, there was a Passaconaway House in our Albany Intervale. Then there is the Passaconaway (or Albany, or Swift River) Intervale. And our post office, Passaconaway, Carroll County, N. H., helps to keep the famous name before the public. Grandest monument of all, however, is his mountain, of which we shall speak later. Long may the noble Bashaba--the noblest of his vanished race--live in our minds and hearts!
1 Wonalancet, though not visible from our cottage, may be seen from certain points in the valley.
2 Hubbard: History of New England, 30; Osgood: White Mountains, 24-5; Merrill: History of Carroll County, N. H., 26.
3 Bureau of American Ethnology, Bull. 30, Part II, 225-6, Handbook of American Indians; Granite State Magazine, vol. I, 196.
4 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 100.
5 Merrill: History of Carroll County, 26.
6 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 100.
7 Lyford: History of Concord.
8 Compare Lyford: History of Concord; Potter, History of Manchester, 48.
9 Lyford: History of Concord.
10 Potter: History of Manchester, 48; Flagg: Handbook of American Indians, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 30, Part II, 225-6; Osgood: White Mountains, 24.
11 See Lyford: History of Concord.
12 Lyford: History of Concord; Charlton: New Hampshire as It Is, 158-9.
13 Fiske: The Discovery of America, vol. I, 55; quoting Cadwallader Colden: History of the Five Nations, New York, 1727.
14 Handbook of American Indians, Bureau of American Ethnology Bull. 30, Part II, 225.
15 Lyford: History of Concord.
16 Potter: History of Manchester, 56; Lyford: History of Concord.
17 Potter: History of Manchester, 47.
18 Potter: History of Manchester, 56.
19 Thoreau: Maine Woods.
20 Potter: History of Manchester, 38-40; Lyford: History of Concord.
21 Potter: History of Manchester, 40.
22 See Potter: History of Manchester, 41.
23 Potter: History of Manchester, 38-46.
24 The same, 38.
25 See Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 11.
26 Granite Monthly, vol. XV, 186.
27 Potter: History of Manchester, 42.
28 The same, 43.
29 Longfellow: Evangeline.
30 History of Manchester, 32.
32 Lyford: History of Concord.
33 Potter: History of Manchester, 32-3.
35 Compare Janney: Life of Wm. Penn, 234.
36 Potter: History of Manchester, 34-5, 50-2.
37 Longfellow: Hiawatha.
38 Granite Monthly, vol. I, 26-7.
39 Potter: History of Manchester, 34-5; Lyford: History of Concord.
40 Potter: History of Manchester, 52.
41 The same, 50.
42 Lyford: History of Concord.
43 Potter: History of Manchester, 65.
44 Potter: History of Manchester, 54.
45 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. III, 21-22.
46 Compare Hubbard, in Drake: Indians of North America, 278.
47 Mather: Magnalia, vol. I, 55.
48 Hubbard's Gen. Hist. of New England; Mass. Hist. Coll., 2nd Series, vol. V; Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 101-2.
49 See Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 101-2.
50 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 54.
51 Lyford: History of Concord.
52 Merrill: History of Carroll County, 27.
53 Morton: New England Canaan, 150-1.
54 Morton: New England Canaan, 25-6; Force: Historical Tracts, vol. II; Potter: History of Manchester, 55.
55 Bouton: History of Concord, 20.
56 Same in Bouton; Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 101.
57 See Wood, Morton, Hubbard and later historians.
58 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 56; Belknap: Hist. of New Hampshire, vol. I, 101-2.
59 Compare Willey: Incidents in White Mountain History, 272-6.
60 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 65; cited in Charlton: New Hampshire as It Is, 26.
61 See Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 66.
62 The same, 64.
63 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 103.
64 See Janney: Life of Wm. Penn, 233, 235.
65 Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, I, 56.
66 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 55-6.
67 Copy of the deed in Belknap: New Hampshire, vol. I, 289-291; also in Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, I, 56-9; Potter: History of Manchester, 56; cited in Charlton: New Hampshire as It Is, 12-3.
68 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 35.
69 Fiske: Discovery of America, vol. I, 61, note.
70 Bouton: History of Concord, 20; Drake: Indians of North America, 285; Lyford: History of Concord.
71 Lyford: History of Concord.
72 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 57.
73 Coolidge and Mansfield: History and Description of New England, N. H. vol., 402.
74 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 57; Lyford: Hist. of Concord.
75 Lyford: Hist. of Concord.
76 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 57; Drake: Indians of North America, 279; Lyford: Hist. of Concord.
77 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 57.
78 Lyford: Hist. of Concord; Drake: Indians of North America, 297.
79 See Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 126.
80 Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, 174.
81 Drake: Indians of North America, 159.
82 Lyford: Hist. of Concord; Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 58.
83 Same in Potter.
84 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 58.
85 Potter: History of Manchester, 59.
86 Drake: Indians of North America, 42.
87 Lyford: Hist. of Concord.
88 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 60.
89 Potter: History of Manchester, 60-61.
90 Belknap: Hist. of New Hampshire, vol. I, 102.
91 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 61.
93 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 64.
94 Lyford: Hist. of Concord; Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 61.
95 Potter: History of Manchester, 61-2, quoting Mass. Archives.
96 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 63; Coolidge and Mansfield: Hist. and Description of New England, New Hampshire vol., 418-419.
97 Potter: Hist. of Manchester, 63.
98 New Hampshire Hist. Coll., vol. III.
99 Gookin, in Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. I, 151.
100 Lyford: Hist. of Concord.
101 Janney's: Life of William Penn, 233, 235.
102 Lyford: History of Concord.
103 Little: History of Warren.
104 Osgood: White Mts., 28-9.
105 The same, 28.
106 See Drake: New Eng. Legends and Folk Lore, 360.
107 Osgood: White Mts., 28.
108 Osgood: White Mts., 28.
109 The same.
110 See Starr King: White Hills, 319.
111 Byron: Manfred.
112 Compare Farmer and Moore: Hist. Coll., vol. II, 90.
113 Farmer and Moore: Historical Collections, vol. II, 83-92. See also Willey: Incidents in White Mountain History, 27.
114 Granite State Magazine, vol. I, 9, 12.
115 Lyford: History of Concord, 582-3.
116 Bouton: History of Concord, 20.
117 Rollins: Guide to New Hampshire, 132.
PASSACONAWAY IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS
WONALANCET, THE "PLEASANT-BREATHING"
Wonalancet was born about 1618. He was the third child of Passaconaway; Nanamocomuck, the Sachem of Wachusett, and a sister preceding him.1 Had the older brother been alive in 1669, he would have become chief; but in this year we find Wonalancet stepping into the position left vacant by his father's retirement.2
Resembling Passaconaway in pacific temperament and friendliness towards the whites,3 he was named "Wonne," meaning "pleasant," and "Nangshonat," meaning "to breathe." 4 From this jumble of letters and guttural sounds we derive Wonalancet, a more pronounceable word signifying "pleasant-breathing." Bouton says: "He was wronged by the whites, distrusted by the Indians; a wanderer in the wilderness, in unknown but remote places from Pennacook; at one time a prisoner at Dover; for many years under the watch and supervision of Col. Tyng, of Chelmsford; and at last he died, like his noble father, in poverty."5 He certainly must have possessed a mild and charitable temperament, for, on repeated occasions, he was grievously wronged, and once he was actually wounded, by those whom he had befriended.6
Wonalancet pitched his wigwam upon the hill east of the Amoskeag Falls, near Manchester. At this place were held the council-fires at which all tribal affairs were discussed. Also he kept in repair the fort at Pennacook as a refuge in case of another Mohawk invasion.
Wonalancet long clung to his ancient religious beliefs, even after his father had accepted Christianity. Often he voiced the wish to die, as he had lived, in the religion of his ancestors.7 Not until 1674 did he accept the faith of the whites, and then only under the mild and continued persuasion of John Eliot.8 Yet all through his sad and troubled life Wonalancet practiced the Golden Rule, Love, and Charity.9
Almost the first time his name appears he is doing a Christian act, sacrificing his ancestral lands, on which his own wigwam stood, to raise money to ransom his brother, as already narrated. Old Passaconaway's heart was rent with sorrow because of the imprisonment in Boston of his eldest son, Nanamocomuck, who had, according to findings of the Court, become responsible for another Indian's debt to one John Tinker, an Englishman. Nanamocomuck was thrown into a Boston jail until the debt should be paid.10 Wonalancet's position was this: his father soon would be forced to lay down the Bashabaship because of his advanced age, and, with the rightful heir in jail indefinitely, Wonalancet would succeed to the coveted position. But this "heathen salvage," entirely ignoring personal gain, hesitated not; he obtained a permit and auctioned off an island--his home--thereby raising money to free his brother.
For many years Wonalancet had full knowledge that the Governor of Massachusetts was offering British gold to encourage another Mohawk raid.11 His people knew it also, yet Wonalancet came in closer towards the English and in 1674 even embraced their religion. These acts of Wonalancet, under such circumstances, caused doubts and anxiety among his people, and large numbers deserted him. But those who stood by him realized that, instead of "selling out" his people to their enemies, his policy was to strengthen them against the Maguas.
In 1674 Eliot preached to the Pennacooks and the Bashaba appeared very grave and sober. Prior to this date he had been keeping the Sabbath and attending service at Wamesit. "The next day, May 6, 1674, Mr. Eliot proposed to him to give an answer concerning his praying to God. Wonalancet stood up (in his wigwam) and after due pause and deliberation gave this answer:--'Sirs, you have been pleased, for years past, in your abundant love, to apply yourselves particularly unto me and my people, to exhort, press, and persuade us to pray to God; I am very thankful to you for your pains. I must acknowledge I have all my days been used to pass in an old canoe, and now you exhort me to leave and change my old canoe and embark in a new one, to which I have been unwilling; but now I yield myself to your advice and enter into a new canoe and do engage to pray to God hereafter.' " 12
Gookin writes that Brother Eliot made this reply to Wonalancet: "It may be, while he went in his old canoe he passed in a quiet stream--but the end thereof was death and destruction to soul and body. But now he went into a new canoe, perhaps he would meet with storms and trials; but yet he should be encouraged to persevere, for the end of the voyage should be everlasting rest." "Since that time," Gookin continues, "I hear this sachem doth persevere, and is a constant and diligent hearer of God's word, and sanctifieth the Sabbath, though he doth travel to Wamesit meeting every Sabbath, which is about two miles; and though sundry of his people have deserted him since he subjected to the gospel, yet he continues and persists." 13
The following year, 1675, came King Philip's War. Temptations to join the son of Massasoit were strong. Repeatedly embassies were sent to Wonalancet to persuade him to join the belligerent Indians. With these emissaries buzzing among his people, all too frequently persuading individuals to join the luckless cause, and with the English increasingly distrusting the friendship of the loyal Indians, the pacific chieftain had a trying time.14 He was too much of a man to retract his pledge of submission to the English Government, and too much of a patriot to fight against his own race, relatives and friends.15 Fully cognizant of his predicament, he realized that he must pursue his pacific policy and, keeping faith with his conscience, must remain neutral. He realized also that, in order to hold his subjects in check, he must withdraw from the neighborhood of the whites, who were butchering his kinsmen unscrupulously; while against such treatment he was unable to offer effectual protest. So, taking all their crops and belongings, he and his people removed from Wamesit (Tewksbury, Eliot's fifth town of praying Indians) to the wilderness of Pennacook.16
They had not been gone long before the "Great and General Court," fearing that their absence was a sign of hostility, became uneasy. About the first of October, 1675, the authorities sent a runner or two to the fugitive Bashaba, stating that if he would bring his people back and live among the whites at Wamesit, the protection of the English would be extended to them.17 The messengers also brought Wonalancet a written order from Governor Leverett, giving a safe conduct for a party of six Indians, to meet at Lieutenant Hinchman's house at Naumkeag (Salem), to confer with Captain Gookin and John Eliot, who were empowered to form a treaty with Wonalancet such as Passaconaway had made a few years before.18
Right here I must insert an account of the fate of some praying Indians then living at Wamesit, the place where Wonalancet and his people were expected to enjoy the protection of the government, if they returned. "Among the colonists there were not a few who desired to stir up an excitement against the Wamesit Indians, residing below Pawtucket Falls, at the mouth of the Concord River. They were accused of burning a stack of hay belonging to James Richardson (unjustly as it would seem), and thirty-three able-bodied men were taken to Boston to answer to the charge, being all of the tribe except women, children, old men and cripples. Three of them were condemned to be sold as slaves and the others set free. As they passed through Woburn, under the charge of Lieut. Richardson, they were fired upon by one of a train band exercising at the same time in the village--and one of the Indians was killed. The man who fired was named Knight. The Indian killed was related to the principal Indians of Natick and Wamesit. Knight was arrested and tried for the murder, and, as Gookin says, 'was acquitted by the Jury, much contrary to the mind of the bench; the Jury alleged they wanted evidence, and the prisoner plead that the gun went off by accident, indeed witnesses were mealy mouthed in giving evidence. The Jury was sent out again and again by the Judges who were much unsatisfied with the Jury's proceedings; but the Jury did not see cause to alter their mind and so the fellow was cleared.' " 19
On November 15 Lieut. Richardson's barn burned down. No evidence could be found as to the cause of the conflagration, but it was attributed to the Wamesits. Fourteen of the Chelmsford men--no doubt properly inflamed with patriotism and rum--marched to the camp of the Indians. The latter were peremptorily ordered out of their wigwams, whereupon two whites fired upon them, killing a boy and wounding five women and children. The two "patriots," Lorgin and Robbins, were seized and later a trial was held. The honorable Jury found them "Not Guilty," "to the great grief" (to quote Gookin) "and trouble generally of the magistracy and ministry and other wise and godly men." 20
On February 6, 1676, having taken to the woods in search of Wonalancet, having lost their way and many lives by hardship and starvation, and at length being forced to return to Chelmsford, the Wamesits petitioned to be removed from their reservation to a "safer" location.21 The government was too busy to notice this humble petition. In desperation these Indians left, bag and baggage, and retreated to the wilderness and to the French. The departure was necessarily made in haste so that they were forced to leave behind five or six of their aged and blind kinsmen. They left these unfortunates in a large wigwam. The next day some Chelmsford men found these, and, setting fire to the wigwam, they roasted the occupants alive.22
When the Wamesits were asked concerning their abrupt departure they sent the following letter to Lieut. Hinchman: "To Mr. Thos. Henchman of Chelmsford. I Numphow, and John Line, we send the messenger to you again with this answer, we cannot come home again, we go towards the French, we go where Wonalancet is; the reason is, we went away from our home, we had help from the Council, but that did not do us good, but we had wrong by the English. 2dly. The reason is we went away from the English, for when there was any harm done in Chelmsford, they laid it to us and said we did it, but we know ourselves we never did harm the English, but we go away peaceably and quietly. 3dly. As to the Island" (the Government had reserved one for their use) "we say there is no safety for us for many English be not good, and may be they come to us and kill us, as in the other case. We are not sorry for what we leave behind, but are sorry the English have driven us from our praying to God and from our teacher (Mr. Eliot). We did begin to understand a little praying to God. We thank humbly the Council. We remember our love to Mr. Henchman and James Richardson.
"The mark of L John Line, } their
"The mark of X Numphow, } Rulers." 23
But to return to Wonalancet. Runners had been despatched to invite him to come and live with the English at Wamesit. The messengers reached the tribe, but did not see its Bashaba.24 Leaving the written message, they returned. Wonalancet deemed it prudent to retreat deeper into the forests. With his band rent by discord and suspicion, his adherents now numbered less than one hundred.25 The General Court misinterpreted their movement and a rumor spread that "at Pennacook there were mighty bands of Indians gathering for mischief." 26
Captain Mosely, fresh from his victories in Philip's War, was ordered to march on Pennacook, and, seizing the fort, to disperse the gathered hordes. Wonalancet had been too honorable to break faith with the English during the recent strife, yet they were now ordering troops to pillage and slay his people. Wonalancet learned of their approach and led his followers into the swamps and marshes, where, from behind trees, they could watch every move of the whites.27 The soldiers destroyed their wigwams and winter's supply of dried fish. Many braves urged Wonalancet to fight the invaders, for, from their ambush, the Indians could have cut down the white soldiers with but little damage to themselves.28 Then, too, there was that strongest of all arguments--an Indian maiden will not accept her lover until he can display the scalp of an enemy.29 Many of the young braves had had no chance, at least openly, to kill an enemy during the latter half of Passaconaway's reign. Here was their opportunity. Moreover, not only had the Pennacooks been injured and insulted, but they were facing actual starvation.30 But the sachem, probably with Passaconaway's farewell speech ringing in his filial memory, held the fire-eaters in check, and suffered not one brave to show himself or fire a shot.31
Wonalancet did not check the march of his refugees until the headwaters of the Connecticut River had been gained.32 Then only did they settle down, far from English wrong-doers, yet ever facing death, for the winter was a terrible one. With scantiest supply of food, their numbers presently were swelled by the arrival of the half-starved Wamesit refugees. All this trial and suffering had come to the Pennacooks simply because their leader, from conscientious scruples, was endeavoring to be non-partisan and peaceable. The climax came in the September of 1676, after the close of Philip's War. Beaten and disbanded Indians fled in all directions. The Provincial Government, flushed with victory, issued orders to seize all red men of inimical or doubtful status. Those captured were tried at Boston and several were convicted of murder and were hung: the remainder were transported.
Peace now being established, the Pennacooks returned to their camping grounds. Wonalancet and Squando's names are found on a treaty signed at Major Waldron's. The signing of this treaty by Squando marked the real end of the conflict, for Philip's War had had a "bloody sequel" in Maine.33
The Indians who had cast in their lot with Philip were tracked and hunted down.34 Hundreds of these unfortunates had worked their way northward and were enjoying the hospitality afforded by their kinsmen on the Merrimac, the Pennacooks and others. They hoped that time would erase their guilt and that, by mingling with these friendly Indians, they would be accounted as adopted into these tribes.35 Not so did it prove! The Court learned of their presence and sent companies of soldiers under Captain Syll and Captain Hawthorne after them. On the evening of September sixth they arrived at Dover. That evening there were about four hundred Indians who had come in under Major Waldron's safe conduct to trade at his post. Waldron, acting under the authority of the government, had given his promise of protection to the Pennacooks. Yet the "strange Indians" must be taken. The soldiers were for falling upon them at once, but Waldron dissuaded them from that. The trader had been unscrupulous in his dealings--had let his fist weigh as only one pound against many fine skins and had sold the natives rum and cheap cloth--yet this time he posed as a friend of the Pennacooks. He knew that if the soldiers made a general attack not only Pennacooks but many white men also would fall. Hence he insisted that the refugees should be taken by strategy.36
Next morning the news was spread among the savages that a great game was to be played with them. The unsuspecting redskins were delighted over the prospect, especially when the promise of a cannon was made them. All was explained to them,--how the contestants were to divide into two parties, one Indian and one white, and have a drill followed by a sham fight. "Tradition says that the Indians were furnished with a cannon mounted upon wheels, which pleased them very much. They were ignorant of its management, and were furnished with gunners by the English. The Indians manned the drag ropes, and the sham fight commenced. In changing the direction of the cannon, the English gunners ranged the piece along a file of Indians upon one of the drag ropes, and fired, killing and wounding a large number. This was attributed to accident." 37
In the midst of this game the Indians were surrounded, and not until it was too late did the red warriors perceive the trap that had been set for them. The whites, with loaded rifles, closed in upon the hapless Indians and disarmed them. The "strange Indians" were put in one group and the friendly ones in another. The Pennacooks were allowed to go free. The others were marched off to Boston. Here, after trial, six were condemned and hung. The others (about two hundred in number) were forced aboard ships and later sold as slaves in the Barbadoes.38 Such trade was lucrative, and it seems quite probable that many more Indians were sold than those who had been actually hostile. Indeed Winnepurkitt, Passaconaway's son-in-law, was among those sold into slavery, although his participation in the conflict seems doubtful.39
This deception greatly enraged the Pennacooks and they pointed to it as an insult to their honor, for it had been under their hospitality that the "strange Indians" had come into Dover, and the hosts helplessly had looked on while their guests were swept away to death or slavery. Silently they nursed their grievance until, many years later, the opportunity came to "cross out their account." 40
Many tribesmen now abandoned the unresisting Wonalancet and went to the French at St. Francis. By order of the Court, the decimated Pennacooks were transferred to Wickasaukee and Chelmsford, where they were under the supervision of Mr. Jonathan Tyng of Dunstable.41 But the Bashaba had little corn, he dwelt on an unsettled frontier, and he was wofully poverty-stricken. Thus did the forest king maintain an uncomfortable and bitter existence.
The Mohawks again went on the warpath. On March 15, 1677, a party was seen by Wonalancet's son, at whom as many as twenty shots were fired, though he escaped uninjured. A second time the dreaded Maguas appeared in the neighborhood of Cocheco (Dover), but were driven off by the Pennacooks with some assistance from the whites.42
Who can wonder that Wonalancet chafed within the narrow limits of his reservation?43 In all probability his wife--related to some Indians whose home was in Canada--notified these relatives of her husband's straits. For, during September, 1677, a party of these Indians fell upon Wonalancet's band and, partly by force and partly by persuasion, the unhappy Pennacooks were led captive to St. Francis. Under cover of this show of force, the Bashaba was able to escape from the English without endangering himself or his people.44
The captives made their home at St. Francis, although at times sundry of them returned for short visits to their native soil, New Hampshire. This withdrawal was considered by many of the confederated tribes as an abdication of the Bashabaship. Hence, from this time on, we find that Kancamagus was the Bashaba in fact, if not in name.
Of the later years of Wonalancet's life little is known, until 1685, when, upon report of his "fierce and warlike" presence at Pennacook, he came to Dover, where he assured the government of New Hampshire (which now had become a Royal Province) that there were at Pennacook only twenty-four Indians beside squaws and papooses, and that this paltry band had no intention of making war upon the English. His name is not affixed to the treaty of this year, which seems to prove that he was no longer the recognized leader. Four years later, in 1689, he repeated his assurances of peaceful intentions. He is said to have again returned to St. Francis shortly after.45
But the White Mountains and the fertile fields south of them were dear to Wonalancet's heart; he could not be exiled from them, and, nine years later, he was again living under the care of Mr. Tyng, this time at Wamesit. The old sachem is reported as having transferred his lands, the last of his once vast domain, to his keeper. Deeds bearing dates of 1696 and 1697 are found, made out to Mr. Tyng.46
During this last sojourn, Wonalancet visited his beloved preacher, Rev. Mr. Fiske of Chelmsford. Upon inquiring how the remaining Pennacooks had behaved during the Indian wars, the clergyman replied that "they had kept the peace and prospered, for which the Lord be thanked." "And me next," modestly added Wonalancet, well knowing that it was he himself who had drilled this peaceful policy into the restless aborigines.47
At this time he was about eighty years old. Whether he went back to St. Francis or died in his own country is not definitely known; the time of his death also is unknown. He is believed to have been buried in the private cemetery of the Tyng family, in Tyngsboro, Mass.48
Geo. Waldo Browne says: "It is pleasant to note that the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames have placed on one of the boulders lying near the colonial mansion house occupied by Colonel Jonathan Tyng, where the" (next to the) "last Pennacook sachem passed his closing years, a memorial tablet properly inscribed." 49 His name also is attached to a club and clubhouse in Concord, N. H., to a little White Mountain hamlet--formerly known as Birch Intervale--and Post Office; and, in the glorious old days when boys used to collect the names of engines, "Wonalancet" was the name of a locomotive on the Concord and Northern Railroad.50 On August 13th, 1811, the ship "Wonolanset," owned by Captain Reuben Shapley, was burned at Shapley's wharf, Portsmouth, one hour after its arrival from sea.51 In the summer of 1916 the old Tyng mansion in Tyngsboro was opened as the Wannalancit Inn. Interesting descriptions of this historic garrison-house may be found in the Boston Traveller of July 3, 1916, and the Youth's Companion of August 31, 1916. But a far better memorial to the "pleasant-breathing" Wonalancet was erected by Miss Lucy Larcom when she bestowed upon one of the gentler hills of the Sandwich Range the name of this pacific, conscientious and ill-fated chief.
1 See chapter on "Passaconaway's Papooses" in this work.
2 Compare Bureau of American Ethnology, Bull. No. 30, part II, 910, Handbook of American Indians.
3 The same.
4 Potter: History of Manchester, 66.
5 Bouton: History of Concord, 27.
6 See Potter: History of Manchester, 66; Lyford: History of Concord, quoting New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. II, 47.
7 Potter: History of Manchester, 67.
9 Compare Lyford: History of Concord.
10 Potter: History of Manchester, 66-7.
11 Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, vol. I, 174; Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 126.
12 Potter: History of Manchester, 69.
13 Gookin: Historical Collections of the Indians in New England, in Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. I, 187.
14 Lyford: History of Concord; Potter: History of Manchester, 70.
15 Potter: History of Manchester, 73.
16 History of Concord; Potter: History of Manchester, 70.
17 Potter: History of Manchester, 71; see Mass. Archives; Lyford: History of Concord.
18 Potter: History of Manchester, 71; compare Drake: Indians of North America, 280.
19 Potter: History of Manchester, 73.
20 The same, 74.
21 Potter: History of Manchester, 75.
22 The same, 75-6.
23 Potter: History of Manchester, 75; quo. from Coll. Amer. Ant. Soc., vol. II, 483.
24 Drake: Indians of North America, 280; Lyford: History of Concord.
25 Drake: Indians of North America, 280.
26 Lyford: History of Concord.
27 Drake: Indians of North America, 279-80. Potter: History of Manchester, 72. Lyford: History of Concord.
28 Lyford: History of Concord.
29 Compare John Fiske: Dutch and Quaker Colonies, vol. I, 316-317.
30 Potter: History of Manchester, 72-3.
31 Drake: Indians of North America, 279-280.
32 Potter: History of Manchester, 72; Lyford: History of Concord.
33 See Potter: History of Manchester, 77; Lyford: History of Concord.
34 Lyford: History of Concord.
35 Compare Drake: Indians of North America, 280.
36 Potter: History of Manchester, 78.
37 Potter: History of Manchester, 78.
38 Charlton: New Hampshire As It Is, 28-9; Potter: History of Manchester, 78; Lyford: History of Concord; Bureau of American Ethnology Bull. 30, part II, 225, Handbook of American Indians.
39 Drake: Indians of North America, 112.
40 Lyford: History of Concord.
41 Lyford: History of Concord.
42 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 125-6.
43 See Potter: History of Manchester, 79.
44 Lyford: History of Concord.
45 Lyford: History of Concord, citing from New Hampshire Provincial Papers, II, 47.
46 Lyford: History of Concord.
47 Drake: Indians of North America, 282; Potter: History of Manchester, 79.
48 Granite State Magazine, vol. I, 9.
49 The same.
50 Bouton: History of Concord, 20; Granite State Magazine, I, 9; Lyford: History of Concord.
51 Adams: Annals of Portsmouth, 352.
HOW KANCAMAGUS CROSSED OUT THE ACCOUNT
Shortly before 1683 there loomed into prominence a man very different in temperament and character from Passaconaway and Wonalancet, namely, Kancamagus (pronounced Kankamaugus), a nephew of Wonalancet and grandson of Passaconaway. "Kancamagus, commonly in the histories called Hogkins, Hawkins, or Hakins, was an artful, persevering, faithful man, as long as he could depend upon the English for protection."1 He possessed more fiery passions and far less self-control than his predecessors in the Pennacook chieftaincy. But Passaconaway's great example was still potent among the New Hampshire Indians, and at the beginning of Kancamagus' sagamonship we find him a peaceful and law-abiding man.
The father of this powerful Indian was Nanamocomuck, the oldest son of Passaconaway. Strangely enough, instead of the title passing through Wonalancet to his son it reverted back to the son of the elder chief, long dead. Nanamocomuck, already mentioned, was Sachem of Wachusett and was at one time unjustly, as it proved, imprisoned in Boston.2 Being more savage than his younger brother, the "gentle-breathing" Wonalancet, possessing a temperament more like that which Kancamagus later showed, Nanamocomuck changed from a staunch friend of the English to a bitter hater. He finally abandoned his pacific people who dwelt at the foot of Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts and joined the Androscoggins, in Maine.3 We know not whether he joined a band inimical to the English or not; we only know that he died among these people before Passaconaway abdicated the throne. Thus Kancamagus, far from the restraining and softening influence of Passaconaway, and being brought up with the warlike ideals of his father and among a people far more savage than the Pennacooks, might be expected to favor a more radical war-policy than that of his ancestral tribe. Naturally enough, under the peaceful and inactive rule of Wonalancet, many of the more fiery of the Pennacooks had sundered their hereditary ties and joined the warlike Maine Indians. 4
In 1684 Kancamagus succeeded to the throne of the Indian confederacy and brought with him a throng of restless and vengeful Androscoggins. The news spread far and wide. From many quarters discontented Indians flocked to the standard of the new chieftain, who was a man of powerful physique and compellingly magnetic personality. He was a born leader and quickly gathered together the remnants of the once powerful Pennacooks. Restless men came from all directions; "strange Indians" returning from slavery naturally gravitated Kancamagusward.5 It is interesting to note how, after being sold as slaves in the Barbadoes, these sons of the forest had managed to work their way back to their native soil. In this year, 1684, then, we find Kancamagus heading a motley group of savages.
The English, aware of the lawless bands gathering at Pennacook, instead of preventing the coming storm, in reality hastened it, for their government again renewed its perfidious negotiations with the Mohawks.6 The Pennacooks knew that the Mohawks were being hired to annihilate all the Indians from Narragansett, R. I., to Brunswick, Maine.7 This alone, even without the vengeance the Indians were nursing against the whites for the Sham Fight treachery, would be sufficient to make them hate the white usurpers. Although terrible in revenge, Kancamagus did not deliberately stir up war. He was a staunch ally so long as the whites gave him a measure of justice; but when insulted, abused, and injured, he let loose the furies of war and reveled in his gory revenge. This new Bashaba, who, as it proved, was to be the last of the Bashabas, was not a man to be abused with impunity.
No English policy could have been more perfidious than this buying up of the Maguas to raid the New England Indians. Little wonder, then, that a few years later we find Kancamagus fighting under the "table cloth" standard of the French. Word came back from the Mohawks that they intended to kill all the Indians from Mount Hope to Pegypscott.8 The Pennacooks immediately rushed to their stronghold at Concord, where, many, many years before, the Mohawks had been decisively repulsed. The Bashaba made a trip to New Castle, in order that by strengthening his alliance with the English--not that he hated the English any less 9--he might protect his people who lived on the frontier from the dreaded Mohawks.
"On the 15th of May, 1685, he addressed the following letter to Governor Cranfield:
" 'Honur Governor, my friend.
" 'You my friend, I desire your worship and your power, because I hope you can do some great matters this one. I am poor and naked and I have no men, at my place, because I afriad allwayes Mohogs he will kill me every day and night. If your worship when please pray help me you no let Mohogs kill me at my place at Malamake rever called Panukkog and Natukkog. I will submit your worship and your power. And now I want powder and such alminishon, shott and guns because I have forth at my hom and I plant theare.
" 'This all Indian hand, but pray you do consider your humble Servant, " 'John Hogkins.' " 10 Underneath his name are the signatures or marks of fourteen subordinate Indians.
We find the Bashaba sending a second letter to the governor on the same day:
"may 15th, 1685.
"Honour Mr. Governor. now this day I com your house, I want se you and I bring my hand at before you I want shake hand to you if worship when please, then you Receive my hand, then shake your hand and my hand. You my friend because I Remember at old time when live my grant father and grant mother then Englishmen com this country, then my grant father and Englishmen, they make a good gouenant, they friend allwayes, my grant father leuing at place called malamake Rever, other name hef Natukkog and Panukkog, that one Rever great many names and I bring you this few skins at this first time I will giue you my friend. this all Indian hand
"John X. Hawkins,
Several Indian signatures or marks follow.
After this second note Kancamagus was recognized. He was given a message expressing Cranfield's regrets at being unable to see him because of "out of town" business. Mr. Mason had been left as acting Governor in Cranfield's absence. The neglected Kancamagus, reasoning with the simplicity of a child, was deeply grieved at this "putting off," and the next day sent this appealing note to the acting governor:
"mr. mason pray I want Speake you a few words if your worship when please because I come parpos I will speake this Gouernor but he go away So he Say at last night and so far I understand this Gouernor his power that your power now, so he speake his own mouth, pray if you take what I want, pray com to me because I want go hom this day
"your humble servant
"John Hogkins, Indian Sogamon.12
"may 16th 1685."
It is very probable that the mention of beaver skins was the inducement which caused the governor to notify the Bashaba of an engagement and to tell him of Mr. Mason's position. Both Cranfield and Mason knew well what proposition Kancamagus would make. The Bashaba had a letter all prepared for his "worship's" consideration, praying that, besides receiving protection from the Maguas, Cranfield would not have his Indians thrown into prison for imbibing too freely of the "fire-water," but allow him (Kancamagus) to punish them, which he would surely do if notified of their drunkenness.13 ' This proposal was one not to the liking of the official; so it seems that the pilgrim had his long walk for nothing. Bringing valuable gifts of furs from Pennacook, he was treated with sad neglect and never even given a real hearing. Such was the English way of accepting the friendship of a neighbor who, at this time, was sincerely inclined towards peace. It is a well-proven fact that Cranfield traveled as far as Albany, N. Y., in order, as he expressed it, to purchase peace with English gold, by bringing against the Pennacooks enough Mohawks to destroy them.14 Kancamagus, neglected and enraged, went back to his people. Many writers think that before this affair his friendship with the whites had been sincere,15 but from now on he nursed his grievances and only awaited the time when he should drink from the sweet cup of revenge.
Gathering together all his subjects, he plunged deeper into the wilderness. Some of the Maine Indians and tribes on the seaboard joined him.16 The Court became greatly alarmed. The officials realized that here was a man who would resent an insult. They therefore sent messengers asking the reason of the Pennacooks' withdrawal. Kancamagus sent back the answer that it was the fear of the "Mohogs" which caused their flight to the fort. They were then asked why they did not come in and mingle with the English and thereby be protected by them. To this the Bashaba answered that if they did this the Mohawks would hurt the English on their account,17 which of course they would not wish. At length they were persuaded to return and an agreement was reached.
"Their chiefs being assembled with the council of New Hampshire and a deputation from the province of Maine, a treaty was concluded, wherein it was stipulated, that all future personal injuries on either side should, upon complaint, be immediately redressed; that information should be given of approaching danger from enemies; that the Indians should not remove their families from the neighborhood of the English without giving timely notice, and if they did that it should be taken as a declaration of war; and, that while these articles were observed, the English would assist and protect them against the Mohawks and all other enemies." 18 This treaty was apparently kept by both sides until it expired, four years later.19 For some reason the energetic Governor Cranfield was removed and Walter Barefoot, whom we find negotiating this treaty,20 was unable to secure the alliance of the Mohawks.
In the year 1689, at the expiration of the treaty, "King William's War" was declared between the French and the English colonists.21 Naturally this--a border Indian war--involved the Pennacooks. Kancamagus had allied with himself such noted warriors as Paugus, Metambomet, Mesandowit, and Wahowah (or Wahwah).22 This Wahowah, sometimes known as Hope-Hood, was a very "Indian-rubber Devil," capable of mischief of every description, one who could not be killed or in any way checked in his bloody career, "a tiger, and one of the most bloody warriors of the age." 23
As the treaty had expired, the Indians were not disposed to form another alliance. They were nursing their wrongs. The son-in-law of Passaconaway was still a slave in the Barbadoes;24 the English had deliberately bartered with the Mohawks, the natural enemies of the Pennacooks; they had treated the Bashaba with neglect; even now they were hunting for one of Kancamagus' subjects--Hope-Hood--and lastly, although not least by any means, some of the "strange Indians" had returned from slavery and were raging for the blood of their betrayer.25 Then, too, it is highly probable that a little urging on the part of the French was not without effect.26 Hence, in this year, when the Andros government had been wrecked by revolution and when the governments of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts seem to have swayed on their very unsteady foundations,27 we find news leaking out that Kancamagus was "the principal enemy and designer" 28 of a bloody plot against the English and that he had threatened "to knock on the head whosoever came to treat, whether English or Indian." 29 Messengers were sent up to Pennacook to sieze Hope-Hood but they were unsuccessful.30
In extenuation of the Pennacooks' growing hostility to the English, Potter says: "What class or nation of whites at the present time would suffer such wrongs to go unavenged! And should we expect more of patience from the rude untutored Red Man !" 31 Therefore we must not judge Kancamagus and his warriors too harshly. In the bloody affair at Cocheco we shall find the dusky avengers hurting few, if any, besides those against whom they had personal grudges.
Although great secrecy was observed, the news leaked out, and two friendly Indians, Job Maramas-quand and Peter Muckamug, speedily carried it to Col. Hinchman and to Hon. Danforth, of the council; but, probably on account of the unsettled condition of the government at the time, no action was taken until it was too late. ("The friendly warning is said to have come from Wonalancet."32) On the twenty-seventh of June a messenger was despatched to warn Waldron of the proposed onslaught. This messenger was unavoidably detained at Newbury Ferry and arrived at Dover on the twenty-eighth, just after the Indians had done their work.33
Miss Mary H. Wheeler has put into verse her conception of the events which transpired in the camp of Kancamagus on the eve of the massacre:
"WARSONG OF KANCAMAGUS (JUNE, 1689)
"At the old fort in Pennacook
The Indian sachems met.
An insult had been given
Which no red man could forget.
Sir Edmund had attacked their friend
And plundered without law;
And in the solemn Council
Each voice had been for war.
"Ignoring former treaties
Which their allies ne'er sustained,
Of slight, and fraud, and falsehood,
And unfairness they complained.
Their mutual accusations
Made a list both dark and long,
And each could well of insult tell,
And individual wrong.
"The council had declared for war,
And formal invitation
Had been to all the warriors given,
According to their station.
And now, in circles seated,
With the chiefs and braves within
The stern-faced red man waited
For the war-dance to begin.
"Then up rose Kancamagus,
And ferocious was his air;
High up he swung his hatchet,
And his brawny arm was bare;
The eagle's feather trembled
In his scalp-lock as he sang,
And far across the Merrimac
The Indian war-song rang.
Lift up the hatchet!
Bring scalping knife and gun,
And give no rest to foot or breast
Till warfare is begun!
Look where the braves are gathered
Like the clouds before a flood!
And Kancamagus' tomahawk
Is all athirst for blood!
"My fathers fought the Tarratines,
And Mohawks fierce and strong,
And ever on the war-path
Their whoop was loud and long.
And Kancamagus' daring
And feats of vengeance bold,
Among the Amariscoggins
Have been full often told.
"Will the warrior's arm be weaker,
And will his courage fail,
When in grounds well known he shall strike his own,
And his people's foe assail?
Will the son of Nanamocomuck
Stand trembling like a squaw
When the Sagamons around him
Are all hungering for war?
"War! War! The foe are sleeping,
And the scent of blood is sweet,
And the woods about Cocheco
Await the warrior's feet!
From silent ambush stealing
We will capture, slay, and burn,
Till those plundering, cheating English
Shall the red man's vengeance learn!
'The chiefs about Piscataqua
Refused my proffered hand;
The bad whites at Cocheco
By treachery took our band.
They treated us like reptiles,
But the red man's day is nigh;
On Kancamagus' wigwam pole
Their bloody scalps may dry!' " 34
Two squaws appeared at Major Waldron's blockhouse and applied for permissionn to sleep there.35 As such hospitality seems to have been a common custom, no objections were offered. Two squaws were also unsuspectingly admitted into each of the houses of Heard, Otis, and the elder Coffin. Before retiring the families, upon request, showed the squaws how to open the gates, in case they should wish to leave in the night. Mesandowit, a chief very friendly to the whites, was accustomed to sup frequently with Major Waldron. On this fateful evening he was a guest at the trader's table. During the meal the chieftain alluded to the numerous Indians about Dover and said: "Major Waldron, what would you do if the strange Indians should come?" "I could assemble an hundred men by lifting up my finger," carelessly replied the Major.36 Having done his duty as a friend, the Indian, not wishing to further betray his kinsmen, said no more. The unwary Waldron retired, as was his custorn, without posting a watch.
As darkness fell and the lights in the different houses began to disappear one by one, the camp of the red man also quieted down and one might have thought it deserted. In fact, the warriors had silently withdrawn to the woods. As midnight approached, dusky forms crept up to Cocheco's stockade. Suddenly a gentle creaking was heard, then heavy timbers seemed to jar; farther and still farther down the tiny village the same sound was heard. The hour had arrived. Crouching Indians sprang up from their hiding-places and rushed through the open gates, leaving a guard stationed at the entrance, however.
Richard Waldron's judgment-day had arrived. Never again would he defraud Indians or horsewhip Quakers.37 Against the Major, that unscrupulous and deceitful trader, was the Indian vengeance chiefly aimed. Through the ponderous doors of his blockhouse a bloodthirsty band sped. Up the stairs and into the trader's sleeping-apartment rushed the Indians. Waldron, although over eighty years old, with sword in hand, rushed desperately upon the invaders. His counter-attack was so fierce that he actually drove them through two or three chambers. Then he ran back to his chamber for his pistols. But in this retreat he was overtaken and stunned by a blow from the flat of a tomahawk. Binding him, Kancamagus' men placed him in a large arm-chair upon the dining-table. Taunting cries of "Who shall judge Indians now?" 38 echoed and re-echoed through the spacious halls. Then the exulting Indians sat down and feasted, compelling the family to serve them a supper. Having finished their meal, they arose, and, forming a line, marched round and round the table, jeering and hooting at their long-hated victim. During this march each Indian slashed his knife across the naked breast of the gigantic trader, exclaiming, "I cross out my account with Major Waldron!" and, "Now, will your fist weigh a pound?"39 The sight of flowing blood seemed to redouble the ferocity of the captors. They sliced off Waldron's ears and nose and brutally forced these into his mouth. At length, fainting from loss of blood, Waldron began to topple over, whereupon one of the Indians held the Major's own sword so that, as he fell, it ran him through, thereby putting an end to his terrible sufferings. To quote the old poem, "The Winter Evening," again:
"Each one exclaimed, 'I'll cut out my account.'
Then spear, or tomahawk, with vengeful rife,
Gashed in, as if 'twere of a large amount;
And thus they held the cruel, bloody strife,
And practiced on the famous Waldron's life.
One cut him on the breast, one on the head,
One through the arm run his long, glistening knife,
And o'er his sable coat, the goar was streaming red.
"The lightning glances faded from his eye,
Down from his looks the living spirit fell,
E'en the dark foemen trembled to see him die,
While round their feet, as from a gushing well,
They viewed the torrents from his bosom swell.
No sigh, no groan, no tear-drop found its way,
All calmly from its earthly citadel,
'Its broken walls and tenements of clay.'
The spirit took its flight far to the realms of day." 40
But this did not end the carnage. Parties of the invaders fell upon each of the other houses. The garrison of Otis, a partner of Waldron, was taken in the same way as was the Major's. After the fray Otis was found dead in his chamber; some think that he was shot while getting out of bed; others that he met his death while peering out of his window. His son and a daughter (Hannah), a child of two years old, also perished. The latter's brains were dashed out against the stairs. Kancamagus captured the wife and infant of Otis and the two children of Stephen, his son. Three daughters of the elder Otis's family were taken, but, at Conway, the party was surprised and these captives were set free.
The case was different at Heard's house. Just as the redskins were entering, a youth, William Went-worth, being awakened by a dog, rushed upon them and, by a Herculean effort, pushed the invaders out and slammed the door in their faces. By lying upon his back, he was able so to brace himself as to hold the door against them, until assistance arrived. The Indians shot through the door twice, but probably they fired too high to hit Wentworth, for he still persisted unharmed until help came and the door was barred.
In the capture of the elder Coffin's house, they encountered little opposition. But, as these "bloodthirsty savages" bore no grudge against him, they limited their mischief to making him scatter coins by the handful from a bag they found there, while, childlike, the Indians "scrambled" for them. The night before, Coffin, the son, had refused the squaws admittance, so the red men were barred from his house. But the Indians led forth his father and, by threatening to murder him in full view of the garrison, finally gained admittance. These newly-surrendered captives were placed in a small vacant building and were left unguarded. In the excitement they all escaped.
Amidst these bloody scenes a young woman, who had once done an Indian a kindness, took her child and ran to the woods for cover. A fierce warrior, perceiving her, pursued her. Upon discovering, in the semi-darkness, who she was, a smile flickered for an instant over his countenance and he left her unharmed.41
The details of the other garrisons are not known. In this one night there were twenty-three persons slain and twenty-five made captives. In all, six houses were burned, including that of Waldron, and the mill upon the lower fall. It is interesting to note that not one of the trader's family except the Major himself was harmed. This shows that, though terrible in revenge, the savage could discriminate. Even amidst the bloodiest scenes he would not harm one who, perhaps years before, had done him or a friend a kindness.
Of course this terrible onslaught, although small numbers were involved, coming as it did out of an almost clear sky, was a heavy blow to the English. The fact that the prisoners were on their way to Canada seems to indicate that the French knew of the affair and that there was trouble ahead. The English could find no sufficient explanation or cause for such an onslaught. "It was a most unexpected, unwarranted and savage outbreak," said the wise ones. Evidently they were unaware that thirteen years ago--a savage remembers as far back as that--these very Indians had been betrayed and sold into slavery, shot in broad daylight by malicious whites, plundered, robbed and unjustly imprisoned, yet there was "no sufficient cause"!
The Indians must be punished. Such bloody deeds, when there is no open enmity against the whites as in this case, shall be avenged. There shall be no mercy shown these terrible heathen. A war of extermination shall be waged against this pestiferous vermin. Hence Captain Church is speedily despatched to Pennacook. He will show these savages the power of British law. Upon reaching Pennacook he finds the empty shell of the fort and some small patches of corn. These he immediately confiscates, but the "great Indian fighter" can discover not a single redskin, for some are hidden, others scattered up and down the Merrimac, eking out a miserable existence, but Kancamagus and the majority of his elated warriors are making a speedy march to the amicable French.
The following September Captain Church surprised and captured the fort upon the Amariscoggin River. In it were found Kancamagus's wife and children, his brother-in-law and his wife, together with several "squaws and papooses." For considerable time this fort had been known as Worombo's Fort and had been a rendezvous for the fugitives. In the struggle which ensued, Kancamagus's sister and daughter were slain and the rest made prisoners.42 A short time after, the wily brother-in-law escaped. This affair seems to have enraged the chief, for at Casco Kancamagus and Worombo fell upon the whites with terrible fury, although the latter were numerically superior. The redskins were at length repulsed, but they had struck their blow and seven whites lay lifeless on the ground. Twenty-four more were wounded, while evidently the Indian losses were slight.43
As a sort of "civilized" revenge for this attack, Church's men proposed to butcher their captives. But, luckily, two women captives, whom Kancamagus had treated kindly and who were living at Worombo's Fort at the time of its seizure, interceded, saying that Kancamagus had several whites in his power and in retaliation would surely slay these. They also proposed an exchange of prisoners. Therefore, leaving two aged squaws to negotiate with Kancamagus, and after destroying a little corn, Church's soldiers retraced their steps.44 We find that it was in this year that Hope-Hood, "the tiger," met a fate similar to that of "Stonewall" Jackson in later years; that is, his own men, mistaking him for an enemy, fired upon and killed him. This loss seems to have taken the heart out of the fiery and vengeful Kancamagus.45
In May, 1691, Kancamagus, Worombo, and eight other "Chief Sagamons" entered the Wells Garrison under a flag of truce to treat for peace.46 Here they exchanged their prisoners, of which the Indians had at least four score, for those taken by Church's band. They made the treaty known as the "Truce of Sackatehock," which lasted just a year. Before delivering up the Indian prisoners, Captain Andras made them all promise, three times, that they never would fight against the English.47
The power of the Pennacooks was now shattered, the warriors were scattered. The tribe was broken up into groups of poverty-stricken wanderers. Most of them either went under the name of Merrimacs, or took refuge in Canada, at Saint Francis.48 Perhaps it is not to be wondered at that the Saint Francis Indians soon became noted as the bitterest foes of the English colonies. And they continued to be so until the fall of the French power in America. Their descendants to this day may be found at Saint Francis.49
There were a few more instances in which we find the name of Pennacook and Kancamagus appearing. The first of these was the attack on Haverill, a year after the "Truce of Sackatehock," which truce had expired in 1692. We have very authoritative evidence that in this foray several of the now "Merrimacs," formerly "Pennacooks" of the Kancamagus jurisdiction, took part. A captive, Isaac Bradley, testified later that many of these raiders belonged to the Saco and Pennacook tribes. Possibly the warlike Bashaba himself had a hand in the affair.50
When Dudley visited Casco, in June 20, 1703, he held a conference with delegates representing several tribes, the Pennacook among others. The red men informed him that "as high as the sun is above the earth, so far distant was their design of making the least breach of the peace." 51 They presented him with a belt of wampum, after which both parties went to the "Two Brothers" (two large piles of stones), upon which they threw more stones, thereby strengthening the existing friendship. Yet, six weeks later, they were taking part in "Queen Anne's War." 52
From now on, we find the Pennacooks, or the more mettlesome of them, making insignificant raids upon the English.53 Their great confederacy had ceased to exist. As we have said, they now made their headquarters at Saint Francis. The French doubtless fitted out these expeditions and the bounty they offered the redskins was a great temptation.
Says Belknap, referring to the Boston Evening Post of July 28, 1747: "At Pennacook, a party of the enemy discovered" (disclosed) "themselves by firing at some cattle. They were pursued by fifty men; and retreated with such precipitation as to leave their packs and blankets with other things behind." 54 Twelve years later, when Major Rogers and his famous Rangers attacked and pillaged the village of Saint Francis, they found six hundred scalps hanging from the different Indian scalp-posts in the town.55 Doubtless twenty-three of these had come from Cocheco, while many others were tokens of the prowess of Kancamagus and his followers. With the destruction of Saint Francis, the tribal history of the Pennacooks ended. They had turned from the peaceful path shown them by Passaconaway, and had staked their all on the tomahawk and musket. "They that take the sword shall perish with the sword." 56 It was ever thus, as the downfall of mighty military nations attests. "Thus the aboriginal inhabitants, who held the lands of New Hampshire as their own, have been swept away. Long and valiantly did they contend for the inheritance bequeathed to them by their fathers, but fate had decided against them and it was all in vain. With bitter feelings of unavailing regret, the Indian looked for the last time upon the happy places where for ages his ancestors had lived and loved, rejoiced and wept, and passed away, to be known no more forever." 57
At the western extremity of the Passaconaway, Albany, or Swift River, Intervale, between Mt. Tripyra-mid and Mt. Huntington, lies a long, low mountain, bearing the name of the conquerer of Dover--Kancamagus. Sweetser describes it as "a bold wooded ridge which may be ascended by the way of the Flume Brook." 58 The Swift River Trail of the Appalachian Mountain Club and the American Institute of Instruction Path, sometimes known as the Livermore Path, cross the northern shoulder of Kancamagus, as I shall state more in detail in a coming chapter. The view from the summit of Kancamagus is not worth the climb.59 Instead of wasting strength and breath in scrambling up the wooded steeps of Mt. Kancamagus, I prefer to lie comfortably in my sailor hammock on the piazza of our cottage, "Score-o'-Peaks," and study the distant undulating sky-line of said mountain, thinking of the dusky warrior whose name it bears. From the mountain my mind travels down to Dover, where flame and blood and midnight shrieks mingle in a scene of confusion and death. Thence, again, memory once more takes up its journey, following the footsteps of an exile chief, northward and eastward until the trail disappears in oblivion. How and when Kancamagus died we know not. But his life story, at best, was a pathetic one. His gory deeds at Cocheco have been softened down by the pencil of time. Even the white man now admits that there was great provocation. And no one can deny that greed and injustice and cruelty and treachery only received their just desert when the Indians "crossed out their account with Major Waldron."
In recording the story of the Pennacook chieftains, we are dealing not only with historic men, but with men of large caliber and ability. One historian says: "Passaconaway, Wonalancet, and Kancamagus were all of them men of more than ordinary power; equal in mental vigor, physical proportions, and moral qualities to any of their white contemporaries." 60 Of Kancamagus Judge Potter discriminatingly affirms: "Kancamagus was a brave and politic Chief, and in view of what he accomplished, at the head of a mere remnant of a once powerful tribe, it may be considered a most fortunate circumstance for the English colonists that he was not at the head of the tribe at an earlier period, before it had been shorn of its strength, during the old age of Passaconaway and the peaceful and inactive reign of Wonalancet. And even had Kancamagus succeeded to the Sagamonship ten years earlier than he did, so that his acknowledged abilities for counsel and war could have been united with those of Philip, history might have chronicled another story than the inglorious death of the Sagamon of Mount Hope, in the swamp of Pokanoket; or the success of his renowned conqueror, Major Church." 61 Such meditations as these run through our mind as the hammock swings in the west wind which comes sweeping down upon us straight from the blue ridge of Mt. Kancamagus.62
1 Drake: Indians of North America, 297.
2 Potter: History of Manchester, 67.
3 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133; compare Potter: History of Manchester, 82-3.
4 Compare Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133
5 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133.
6 See Charlton: New Hampshire as It Is, 29.
7 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133.
8 Potter: History of Manchester, 87.
9 Belknap: Hist. of N. H., Farmer's Ed., 133.
10 Potter: History of Manchester, 84-5; see Files in Secretary's Office, N. H.
11 Same reference as the other letter.
12 Potter: History of Manchester, 86; see Files in Secretary's Office, N. H.
13 Potter: History of Manchester, 86.
14 Potter: History of Manchester, 84.
15 Compare Osgood: White Mountains, 26; Potter: History of Manchester, 86.
16 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133.
17 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 182-3.
18 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 182-3.
19 Potter: History of Manchester, 89.
20 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 182-3.
21 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Ed., 133.
22 Compare Potter: History of Manchester, 90-1.
23 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Edition, 133.
24 Potter: History of Manchester, 90.
25 Drake: Indians of North America, 298; compare Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Ed., 133.
26 Same reference in Belknap.
28 Potter: History of Manchester, 91-2.
29 Potter: History of Manchester, 91-2.
30 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, Farmer's Ed., 133.
31 Potter: History of Manchester, 90.
32 S. A. Drake: The Border Wars of New England, 22, note.
33 Potter: History of Manchester, 91-3; New Hampshire State Papers, XIX, 319.
34 Mary H. Wheeler, in Granite Monthly, vol. III.
35 Substance of the following account is from A. H. Quint: Historical Mem. no. III; New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. II, 49; Potter: History of Manchester, 93-7; Drake: Indians of North America, 298-9; Drake: The Border Wars of New England, 14-26; Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 199-202; see also Charlton: New Hampshire as It Is, 40-1, 186-7; Bodge: King Philip's War, 315-317.
36 A. H. Quint: Historical Mem. no. III; Drake: Indians of North America, 299.
37 See Rufus Jones: Quakers in American Colonies, 105.
38 A. H. Quint.
39 Drake: Indians of North America, 299.
40 The Winter Evening; Farmer and Moore; Historical Collections, vol. II, 83-92.
41 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 202.
42 Drake: Indians of North America, 300.
43 Compare New Hampshire State Papers, vol. XIX, 319-320.
44 Compare Church: Philip's War, 53.
45 Drake: Indians of North America, 302.
46 Potter: History of Manchester, 97.
47 Church: Philip's War, 64.
48 New Hampshire State Papers, vol. XIX, 320; vol. XXIV; Town Charters, vol. I, 56-7; Potter: History of Manchester, 97.
49 Flagg: Bureau of Ethnology Bull. 30, part II, 225, Handbook of American Indians.
50 New Hampshire State Papers, vol. XXIV; Town Charters, I, 56-7.
51 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. I, 264.
52 The same, vol. I, 264.
53 The same, vol. II, 195.
54 Belknap: History of New Hampshire, vol. II, 195.
55 Potter: History of Manchester, 51.
56 Matt. 26: 52.
57 Coolidge and Mansfield: History and Description of New England, New Hampshire vol., 404.
58 Osgood: White Mountains, 1880 edition, 322.
59 The same.
60 Merrill: History of Carroll County, 27.
61 Potter: History of Manchester, 97.
62 The altitude of Mt. Kancamagus, according to the U. S. Geol. Survey map, is 3,700 feet. The A. M. C. Guide to Paths in the White Mountains (page 305) gives it as 3,724 feet.
Edited by Terry and Linda Heller, Coe College