Anno Dom: 1637 (Excerpt)

Anno Dom: 1638

William Bradford

Anno Dom: 1637.

In ye fore parte of this year, the Pequents fell openly upon ye English at Conightecute, in ye lower parts of ye river, and slew sundry of them, (as they were at work in ye feilds,) both men & women, to ye great terrour of ye rest; and wente away in great prid & triumph, with many high threats. They allso assalted a fort at ye rivers mouth, though strong and well defended; and though they did not their prevaile, yet it struk them with much fear & astonishmente to see their bould attempts in the face of danger; which made them in all places to stand upon their gard, and to prepare for resistance, and ernestly to solissite their freinds and confederats in ye Bay of Massachusets to send them speedy aide, for they looked for more forcible assaults. Mr. Vane, being then Govr, write from their Generall Courte to them hear, to joyne with them in this warr; to [420]which they were cordially willing, but tooke opportunitie to write to them aboute some former things, as well as presente, considerable hereaboute…

In ye mean time, the Pequents, espetially in ye winter before, sought to make peace with ye Narigansets, and used very pernicious arguments to move them therunto: as that ye English were stranegers and begane to overspred their countrie, and would deprive them therof in time, if they were suffered to grow & increse; and if ye Narigansets did assist ye English to subdue them, they did but make way for their owne overthrow, for if they were rooted out, the English would soone take occasion to subjugate them; and if they would harken to them, they should not neede to fear ye strength of ye English; for they would not come to open battle with them, but fire their houses, kill their katle, and lye in ambush for them as they went abroad upon their occasions; and all this they might easily doe without any or litle danger to them selves. The which course being held, they well saw the English could not long subsiste, but they would either be starved with hunger, or be forced to forsake the countrie; with many ye like things; insomuch [424]that ye Narigansets were once wavering, and were halfe minded to have made peace with them, and joy̅ed against ye English. But againe when they considered, how much wrong they had received from the Pequents, and what an oppertunitie they now had by ye help of ye English to right them selves, revenge was so sweete unto them, as it prevailed above all ye rest; so as they resolved to joyne with ye English against them, & did…

From Connightecute (who were most sencible of ye hurt sustained, & ye present danger), they sett out a partie of men, and an other partie mett them from ye Bay, at ye Narigansets, who were to joyne with them. Ye Narigansets were ernest to be gone before ye English were well rested and refreshte, espetially some of them which came last. [425]It should seeme their desire was to come upon ye enemie sudenly, & undiscovered. Ther was a barke of this place, newly put in ther, which was come from Conightecutte, who did incourage them to lay hold of ye Indeans forwardnes, and to shew as great forwardnes as they, for it would incorage them, and expedition might prove to their great advantage. So they went on, and so ordered their march, as the Indeans brought them to a forte of ye enimies (in which most of their cheefe men were) before day. They approached ye same with great silence, and surrounded it both with English & Indeans, that they might not breake out; and so assualted them with great courage, shooting amongst them, and entered ye forte with all speed; and those yt first entered found sharp resistance from the enimie, who both shott at & grapled with them; others rane into their howses, & brought out fire, and sett them on fire, which soone tooke in their matts, &, standing close togeather, with ye wind, all was quickly on a flame, and therby more were burnte to death then was otherwise slain; it burnte their bowstrings, and made them unservisable. Those yt scaped ye fire were slaine with ye sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400. at this time. It was a fearfull sight to see them thus frying in ye fyer, and ye streams of blood [426]quenching ye same, and horrible was ye stinck & sente ther of; but ye victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prays therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfuly for them, thus to inclose their enimise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud & insulting an enimie…