The angry historians see one side of the question. The calm historians see nothing at all, not even the question itself. — G. K. Chesterton

King Philip - John S. C. Abbott




Massasoit

March "came in like a lion," cold, wet, and stormy; but toward the middle of the mouth the weather changed, and a warm sun and soft southern breezes gave indication of an early spring. The 16th of the month was a remarkably pleasant day, and the colonists who were able to bear arms had assembled at their rendezvous to complete their military organization for the working days of spring and summer. While thus engaged they saw, to their great surprise, a solitary Indian approaching. Boldly, and without the slightest appearance of hesitancy, be strode along, entered the street of their little village, and directed his steps toward the group at the rendezvous. He was a man of majestic stature, and entirely naked, with the exception of a leathern belt about his loins, to which there was suspended a fringe about nine inches in length. In his hand he held a bow and two arrows.

The Indian, with remarkable self-confidence and freedom of gait, advanced toward the astonished group, and in perfectly intelligible English addressed them with the words, "Welcome, Englishmen." From this man the eager colonists soon learned the following facts. His name was Samoset. He was one of the chiefs of a tribe residing near the island of Monhegan, which is at the mouth of Penobscot Bay. With a great wind, he said that it was but a day's sail from Plymouth, though it required a journey of five days by land. Fishing vessels from England had occasionally visited that region, and he had, by intercourse with them, acquired sufficient broken English to be able to communicate his ideas. He also informed the Pilgrims that, four years before their arrival, a terrible plague had desolated the coast, and that the tribe occupying the region upon which they were settled had been utterly annihilated. The dead had been left unburied to be devoured by wolves. Thus the way had been prepared for the Pilgrims to settle upon land which no man claimed, and thus had Providence gone before them to shield them from the attacks of a savage foe.

Samoset and Standish
SAMOSET, THE INDIAN VISITOR.


Samoset was disposed to make himself quite at home. He wished to enter the houses, and called freely for beer and for food. To make him a little more presentable to their families, the Pilgrims put a large horseman's coat upon him, and then led him into their houses, and treated him with great hospitality. The savage seemed well satisfied with his new friends, and manifested no disposition to leave quarters so comfortable and entertainment so abundant. Night came, and he still remained, and would take no hints to go. The colonists could not rudely turn him out of doors, and they were very apprehensive of treachery, should they allow him to continue with them for the night. But all their gentle efforts to get rid of him were in vain—he would  stay. They therefore made arrangements for him in Stephen Hopkins's house, and carefully, though concealing their movements from him, watched him all night.

Samoset was quite an intelligent man, and professed to be well acquainted with all the tribes who peopled the New England coasts. He said that the tribe inhabiting the end of the peninsula of Cape Cod were called Nausites, and that they were exceedingly exasperated against the whites, because, a few years before, one Captain Hunt, from England, while trading with the Indians on the Cape, had inveigled twenty-seven men on board, and then had fastened them below and set sail. These poor creatures, thus infamously kidnapped, were carried to Spain, and sold as slaves for one hundred dollars each. It was in consequence of this outrage that the Pilgrims were so fiercely attacked at The First Encounter. Samoset had heard from his brethren of the forest all the incidents of this conflict.

He also informed his eager listeners that at two days' journey from them, upon the margin of waters now called Bristol Bay, there was a very powerful tribe, the Wampanoags, who exerted a sort of supremacy over all the other tribes of the region. Massasoit was the sovereign of this dominant people, and by his intelligence and energy he kept the adjacent tribes in a state of vassalage. Not far from his territories there was another powerful tribe, the Narragansets, who, in their strength, were sometimes disposed to question his authority. All this information interested the colonists, and they were anxious, if possible, to open friendly relations with Massasoit.

Early the next morning, which was Saturday, March 17th, Samoset left, having received as a present a knife, a bracelet, and a ring. He promised soon to return again, and to bring awe other Indians with him. The next morning was the Sabbath. It was warm, serene, and beautiful. Dreary winter had passed, and genial spring was smiling around them. As the colonists were assembling for their Sabbath devotions, Samoset again presented himself, with five tall Indians in his train. They were all dressed in skins, fitting closely to the body, and most of them had a panther's skin and other furs for sale. According to the arrangement which the Pilgrims had made with Samoset, they all left their bows and arrows about a quarter of a mile distant from the town, as the Pilgrims did not deem it safe to admit armed savages into their dwellings. The tools which bad been left in the woods, and which the Indians had taken, were also all brought back by these men. The colonists received these natives as kindly as possible, and entertained them hospitably, but declined entering into any traffic, as it was the Sabbath. They told the Indians, however, that if they would come on any other day, they would purchase not only the furs they now had with them, but any others which they might bring. Upon this, all retired excepting Samoset. He, saying that he was sick, insisted upon remaining. The rest soon disappeared in the forest, having promised to return again the next day. Monday and Tuesday passed, and the colonists looked in vain for the Indians. On Wednesday morning, having made Samoset a present of a hat, a pair of shoes, some stockings, and a piece of cloth to wind around his loins, they sent him to search out his companions, and ascertain why they did not return according to their promise. The Indians who first left had all, upon their departure, received presents from the Pilgrims, so anxious were our forefathers to establish friendly relations with the natives of this New World.

During the first days of the week the colonists were very busy breaking up their ground and planting their seed. On Wednesday afternoon, Samoset having left, they again assembled to attend to their military organization. While thus employed, several savages appeared on the summit of a hill but a short distance opposite them, twanging their bow-strings and exhibiting gestures of defiance. Captain Standish took one man with him, and with two others following at a distance as a re-enforcement in case of any difficulty, went to meet them. The savages continued their hostile gesticulation until Captain Standish drew quite near, and then they precipitately fled.

The next day it was again warm and beautiful, and the little village of the colonists presented an aspect of industry, peace, and prosperity. About noon Samoset returned, with one single stranger accompanying him. This Indian's name was Squantum. He had been of the party seized by Weymouth or by Hunt—the authorities are not clear upon that point—and had been carried to Spain and there sold as a slave. After some years of bondage he succeeded in escaping to England. Mr. John Blaney, a merchant of London, chanced to meet the poor fugitive, protected him, and treated him with the greatest kindness, and finally secured him a passage back to his native land, from whence he had been so ruthlessly stolen. This Indian, forgetting the outrage of the knave who had kidnapped him, and remembering only the great kindness which he had received from his benefactor and from the people generally in London, in generous requital now attached himself cordially to the Pilgrims, and became their firm friend. His residence in England had rendered him quite familiar with the English language, and he proved invaluable not only as an interpreter, but also in instructing them respecting the modes of obtaining a support in the wilderness.

Squantum brought the welcome intelligence that his sovereign chief, the great Massasoit, had heard of the arrival of the Pilgrims, and was approaching, with a retinue of sixty warriors, to pay them a friendly visit. With characteristic dignity and caution, the Indian chief had encamped upon a neighboring hill, and had sent Squantum as his messenger to inform the white men of his arrival, and to conduct the preliminaries for an interview. Massasoit was well acquainted with the conduct of the unprincipled English seamen who had skirted the coast, committing all manner of outrages, and he was too wary to place himself in the power of strangers respecting whom he entertained such well-grounded suspicions. He therefore established himself upon a bill, where he could not be taken by surprise, and where, in case of an attack, he could easily, if necessary, retreat.

The Pilgrims also, overawed by their lonely position, and by the mysterious terrors of the wilderness and of the savage, deemed it imprudent, when such a band of armed warriors were in their vicinity, to send any of their feeble force from behind the entrenchments which they had reared. After several messages, through their interpreter, had passed to and fro, Massasoit, who, though unlettered, was a man of reflection and of sagacity, proposed that the English should send one of their number to his encampment to communicate to him their designs in settling upon lands which bad belonged to one of his vassal tribes. One of the colonists, Edward Winslow, consented to go upon this embassy. He took as a present for the barbarian monarch two knives and a copper chain, with a jewel attached to it. Massasoit received him with dignity, yet with courtesy. Mr. Winslow, through Squantum as his interpreter, addressed the chieftain, surrounded by his warriors, in the sincere words of peace and friendship. The Pilgrims of the Mayflower were good men. They wished to do right, and to establish amicable relations with the Indians.

Massasoit and Pilgrims
MASSASOIT AND HIS WARRIORS.


Massasoit listened in silence and very attentively to the speech of Mr. Winslow. At its close he expressed his approval, and, after a, short conference with his councilors, decided to accept Governor Carver's invitation to visit him, if Mr. Winslow would remain in the Indian encampment as a hostage during his absence. This arrangement being assented to, Massasoit set out, with twenty of his warriors, for the settlement of the Pilgrims. In token of peace, they left all their weapons behind. In Indian file, and in perfect silence, the savages advanced until they reached a small brook near the log huts of the colonists. Here they were met by Captain Miles Standish with a military array of six men. A salute of six muskets was fired in honor of the regal visit. Advancing a little farther, Governor Carver met them with his reserve of military pomp, and the monarch of the Wampanoags and his chieftains were escorted with the music of the dram and fife to a log hut decorated with such embellishments as the occasion could furnish. Two or three cushions, covered with a green rug, were spread as a seat for the king and the governor in this formal and most important interview. Governor Carver took the hand of Massasoit and kissed it. The Indian chieftain immediately imitated his example, and returned the salute. The governor then, in accordance with mistaken views of hospitality, presented his guest with a goblet of ardent spirits. The noble Indian, whose throat had never yet been tainted by this curse, took a draught which caused his eyes almost to burst from their sockets, and drove the sweat gushing from every pore. With the instinctive imperturbability of his race, he soon recovered from the shock, and a long, friendly, and very satisfactory conference was held.

Massasoit was a man of mark, mild, genial, affectionate, yet bold, cautious, and commanding. He was in the prime of life, of majestic stature, and of great gravity of countenance and manners. His face was painted red, after the manner of the warriors of his tribe. His glossy raven hair, well oiled, was cut short in front, but hung thick and long behind. He and his companion$ were picturesquely dressed in skins and with plumes of brilliant colors.

As evening approached, Massasoit withdrew with his followers to his encampment upon the hill. The treachery of Hunt and such men had made him suspicious, and he was not willing to leave himself for the night in the power of the white men. He accordingly arranged his encampment to guard against surprise, and, sentinels being established, the rest of the party threw themselves upon their hemlock boughs, with their bows and arrows in their hands, and were soon fast asleep. The Pilgrims also kept a vigilant watch that night, for neither party had full confidence in the other. The next morning Captain Standish, with another man, ventured into the camp of the Indians. They were received with great kindness, and gradually confidence was strengthened between the two parties, and the most friendly relations were established. After entering into a formal alliance, offensive and defensive, the conference terminated to the satisfaction of all parties, and the tawny warriors again disappeared in the pathless wilderness. They returned to Mount Hope, then called Pokanoket, the seat of Massasoit, about forty miles from Plymouth.

The ravages of death had now dwindled the colony down to fifty men, women, and children. But health was restored with the returning sun and the cheering breezes of spring. Thirty acres of land were planted, and Squantum proved himself a true and valuable friend, teaching them how to cultivate Indian corn, and how to take the various kinds of fish.

In June Governor Carver died, greatly beloved and revered by the colony. Mr. William Bradford was chosen as his successor, and by annual election was continued governor for mane years. Early in July Governor Bradford sent a deputation from Plymouth, with Squantum as their interpreter, to return the visit of Massasoit. There were several quite important objects to be obtained by this mission. It was a matter of moment to ascertain the strength of Massasoit, the number of his warriors, and the state in which he lived. They wished also, by a formal visit, to pay him marked attention, and to renew their friendly correspondence. There was another subject of delicacy and of difficulty which it had become absolutely necessary to bring forward. Lazy, vagabond Indians had for some time been increasingly in the habit of crowding the little village of the colonists and eating out their substance. They would come with their wives and their children, and loiter around day after day, without any delicacy whatever, clamoring for food, and devouring every thing which was set before them like famished wolves. The Pilgrims, anxious to maintain friendly relations with Massasoit, were reluctant to drive away his subjects by violence, but the longer continuance of such hospitality could not be endured.

The governor sent to the Indian king, as a present, a gaudy horseman's coat. It was made of red cotton trimmed with showy lace. At 10 o'clock in the morning of the second of July, the two ambassadors, Mr. Winslow and Mr. Hopkins, with Squantum as guide and interpreter, set forward on their journey. It was a warm and sunny day, and with cheerful spirits the party threaded the picturesque trails of the Indians through the forest. These trails were paths through the wilderness through which the Indians had passed for uncounted centuries. They were distinctly marked, and almost as renowned as the paved roads of the Old World, which once reverberated beneath the tramp of the legions of the Caesars. Here generation after generation of the moccasined savage, with silent tread, threaded his way, delighting in the gloom which no ray of the sun could penetrate, in the silence interrupted only by the cry of the wild beast in his lair, and awed by the marvelous beauty of lakes and streams, framed in mountains and fringed with forests, where water-fowl of every variety of note and plumage floated buoyant upon the wave, and pierced the air with monotonous and melancholy song. Ten or twelve Indians—men, women, and children—followed them, annoying them not a little with their intrusiveness and their greedy grasp of food. The embassy traveled about fifteen miles to a small Indian village upon a branch of Taunton River. Here they arrived about three o'clock in the afternoon. The natives called the place Namaschet. It was within the limits of the present town of Middleborough. The Indians received the colonists with great hospitality, offering them the richest viands which they could furnish heavy bread made of corn, and the spawn of shad, which they ate from wooden spoons. These glimpses of poverty and wretchedness sadly detract from the romantic ideas we have been wont to cherish of the free life of the children of the forest. The savages were exceedingly delighted with the skill which their guests displayed in shooting crows in their corn-fields.

As Squantum told them that it was more than a day's travel from there to Pokanoket or Mount Hope, they resumed their journey, and went about eight miles farther, till they came, about sunset, to another stream, where they found a party of natives fishing. They were here cheered with the aspect of quite a fruitful region. The ground on both sides of the river was cleared, and had formerly waved with corn-fields. The place had evidently once been densely populated, but the plague of which we have spoken swept, it is said, every individual into the grave. A few wandering Indians had now come to the deserted fields to fish, and were lazily sleeping in the open air, without constructing for themselves any shelter. These miserable natives had no food but fish and a few roasted acorns, and they devoured greedily the stores which the colonists brought with them. The night was mild and serene, and was passed without much discomfort in the unsheltered fields.

Early in the morning the journey was resumed, the colonists following down the stream, now called Fall River, toward Narraganset Bay. Six of the savages accompanied them a few miles, until they came to a shallow place, where, by divesting themselves of their clothing, they were able to wade through the river. Upon the opposite bank there were two Indians who seemed, with valor which astonished the colonists, to oppose their passage. They ran down to the margin of the stream, brandished their weapons, and made all the threatening gestures in their power. They were, however, appeased by friendly signs, and at last permitted the passage of the river without resort to violence.

Here, after refreshing themselves, they continued their journey, following down the western bank of the stream. The country on both sides of the river had been cleared, and in former years had been planted with corn-fields, but was now quite depopulated. Several Indians still accompanied them, treating them with the most remarkable kindness. It was a cloudless day, and intensely hot. The Indians insisted upon carrying the superfluous clothing of their newly-found friends. As they were continually coming to brooks, often quite wide and deep, running into the river, the Indians eagerly took the Pilgrims upon their shoulders and carried them through.

Massasoit village
THE PALACE OF MASSASOIT.


During the whole of the day, after crossing the river, they met with but two Indians on their route, so effectually had the plague swept off the inhabitants. But the evidence was abundant that the region had formerly been quite populous with a people very poor and uncultivated. Their living had been manifestly nothing but fish and corn pounded into coarse meal. Game must have been so scarce in the woods, and with such difficulty taken with bows and arrows, that they could very seldom have been regaled with meat. A more wretched and monotonous existence than theirs can hardly be conceived. Entirely devoid of mental culture, there was no range for thought. Their huts were miserable abodes, barely endurable in pleasant weather, but comfortless in the extreme when the wind filled them with smoke, or the rain dripped through the branches. Men, women, children, and dogs slept together at night in the one littered room, devoured by fleas. The native Indian was a degraded, joyless savage, occasionally developing kind feelings and noble instincts, but generally vicious, treacherous, and cruel.

The latter part of the afternoon they arrived at Pokanoket. Much to their disappointment, they found that Massasoit, uninformed of their intended visit, was absent on a hunting excursion. As he was, however, not far from home, runners were immediately dispatched to recall him. The chieftain had selected his residence with that peculiar taste for picturesque beauty which characterized the more noble of the Indians. The hillock which the English subsequently named Mount Hope was a graceful mound about two hundred feet high, commanding an extensive and remarkably beautiful view of wide, sweeping forests and indented bays.

This celebrated mound is about four miles from the city of Fall River. From its summit the eye now ranges over Providence, Bristol, Warren, Fall River, and many other minor towns. The whole wide-spread landscape is embellished with gardens, orchards, cultivated fields, and thriving villages. Gigantic steamers plow the waves, and the sails of a commerce which girdles the globe whitens the beautiful bay.

But, as the tourist sits upon the solitary summit, he forgets the present in memory of the past. Neither the pyramids of Egypt nor the Coliseum of the Eternal City are draped with a more sublime antiquity. Here, during generations which no man can number, the sons of the forest gathered around their council-fires, and struggled, as human hearts, whether savage or civilized, mast ever struggle, against "life's stormy doom."

Here, long centuries ago, were the joys of the bridal, and the anguish which gathers around the freshly-opened grave. Beneath the moon, which then, as now, silvered this mound, the Indian lover wooed his dusky maid." Upon the beach, barbaric childhood reveled, and their red limbs were bathed in the crystal waves.

Here, in ages long since passed away, the war-whoop resounded through the forest. The shriek of mothers and maidens pierced the skies as they fell cleft by the tomahawk; and all the horrid clangor of war, with "its terror, conflagration, tears, and blood," embittered ten thousand fold the ever bitter lot of humanity.

"'Tis dangerous to rouse the lion;

Deadly to cross the tiger's path;

But the most terrible of terrors

Is man himself in his wild wrath."

In the midst of this attractive scene, perhaps nothing is more conspicuous than the spires of the churches—those churches of a pure Christianity to which New England is indebted for all her intelligence and prosperity. It was upon the Bible that our forefathers laid the foundations of the institutions of this New World; and, though they made some mistakes, for they were but mortal, still they were sincere, conscientious Christian men, and their Christianity has been the legacy from which their children have derived the greatest benefits. Two hundred years ago, our fathers, from the summit of Mount Hope, looked upon a dreary wilderness through which a few naked savages roamed. How different the spectacle which now meets the eye of the tourist!

Massasoit, informed by his runners of the guests who had so unexpectedly arrived, immediately returned. Mr. Winslow and Mr. Hopkins, wishing to honor the Indian king, fired a salute, each one discharging his gun as Massasoit approached. The king, who had heard the report of firearms before, was highly gratified; bud the women and children were struck with exceeding terror, and, like affrighted deer, leaped from their wigwams and fled into the woods. Squantum pursued them, and, by assurances that no harm was to be feared, at length induced them cautiously to return.

There was then an interchange of sundry ceremonies of state to render the occasion imposing. The scarlet coat, with its gaudy embroidery of lace, was placed upon Massasoit, and a chain of copper beads was thrown around his neck. He seemed much pleased with these showy trappings, and his naked followers were exceedingly delighted in seeing their chieftain thus decorated. A motley group now gathered around the Indian king and the English embassy.. Massasoit then made a long speech, to which the natives seemed to listen with great interest, occasionally responding with applause. It was now night. The two envoys were weary with travel, and were hungry, for they had consumed all their food, not doubting that they should find abundance at the table of th3 sovereign of all these realms. But, to their surprise, Massasoit was entirely destitute, not having even a mouthful to offer them. Supperless they went to bed. In the following language they describe their accommodations for the night"

"Late it grew, but victuals he offered none, so we desired to go to rest. He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife, they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground, and a thin mat upon them. Two more of his chief men, for want of room, pressed by and upon us, so that we were worse weary of our lodging than of our journey."

The next day there was gathered at Mount Hope quite a concourse of the adjoining Indians, subordinate chiefs and common people. They engaged in various games of strength and agility, with skins for prizes. The English also fired at a mark, amazing the Indians with the accuracy of their shot. It was now noon, and the English, who had slept without supper, had as yet received no breakfast. At one o'clock two large fishes were brought in, which had been speared in the bay. They were hastily broiled upon coals, and forty hungry men eagerly devoured them.

The afternoon passed slowly and tediously away, and again the Pilgrims went supperless to bed. Again they passed a sleepless night, being kept awake by vermin, hunger, and the noise of the savages. Friday morning they rose before the sun, resolved immediately to commence their journey home. Massasoit was very importunate to have them remain longer with him.

"But we determined," they write in their graphic narrative, "to keep the Sabbath at home, and feared that we should either be light-headed for want of sleep, for what with bad lodgings, the savages' barbarous singing (for they use to sing themselves asleep), lice, and fleas within doors, and mosquitoes without, we could hardly sleep all the time of our being there; we much fearing that if we should stay any longer we should not be able to recover home for want of strength; so that on the Friday morning before the sun-rising we took our leave and departed, Massasoit being both grieved and ashamed that he could no better entertain us."

Their journey home was a very weary one. They would, perhaps, have perished from hunger had they not obtained from the Indians whom they met a little parched corn, which was considered a very great delicacy, a squirrel, and a shad. Friday night, as they were asleep in the open air, a tempest of thunder and lightning arose, with floods of rain. Their fire was speedily extinguished, and they were soaked to the skin. Saturday night, just as the twilight was passing away into darkness, they reached their homes in a storm of rain, wet, weary, hungry, and sore.

The result of this mission was, however, important. They renewed their treaty of peace with Massasoit, and made arrangements that they were to receive no Indians as guests unless Massasoit should send them with a copper necklace, in token that they came from him.

In the autumn of this same year a boy from the colony got lost in the woods. He wandered about for five days, living upon berries, and then was found by some Indians in the forests of Cape Cod. Massasoit, as soon as he heard of it, sent word that the boy was found. He was in the hands of the same tribe who, in consequence of the villainies of Hunt, had assailed the Pilgrims so fiercely at the First Encounter. The savages treated the boy kindly, and had him at Nauset, which is now the town of Eastham, near the extremity of the Cape. Governor Bradford immediately sent ten men in a boat to rescue the boy.

They coasted along the first day very prosperously, notwithstanding a thunder-shower in the afternoon, with violent wind and rain. At night they put into Barnstable Bay, then called Cummaquid. Squantum and another Indian were with them as friends and interpreters. They deemed it prudent not to land, but anchored for the night in the middle of the bay. The next morning they saw some savages gathering shell-fish upon the shore. They sent their two interpreters with assurances of friendship, and to inquire for the boy. The savages were very courteous, informed them that the boy was farther down the Cape at Nauset, and invited the whole party to come on shore and take some refreshments. Six of the colonists ventured ashore, having first received four of the natives to remain in their boat as hostages. The chief of this small tribe, called the Cummaquids, was a young man of about twenty. six years of age, and appeared to be a very remarkable character. He was dignified and courteous in his demeanor, and entertained his guests with a native politeness which surprised them much.

While in this place an old Indian woman came to see them, whom they judged to be a hundred years of age. As soon as she came into their presence she was overwhelmed with emotion, and cried most convulsively. Upon inquiring the reason, the Pilgrims were told that her three sons were kidnapped by Captain Hunt. The young men had been invited on board his ship to trade. He lured them below, seized and bound them, and carried them to Spain, where he sold them as slaves. The unhappy and desolate mother seemed quite heart-broken with grief. The Pilgrims addressed to her words of sympathy, assured her that Captain Hunt was a bad man, whom every good man in England condemned, and gave her some presents.

They remained with this kind but deeply—wronged people until after dinner. Then Iyanough himself, the noble young chief of the tribe, with two of his warriors, accompanied them on board the boat to assist them in their search for the boy. A fair wind from the west filled their sails, and late in the evening, when it was too dark to land, they approached Nanset. Here was the hostile tribe whose prowess the colonists had experienced in the First Encounter. The villain, Captain Hunt, had stolen from them twenty men. It was consequently deemed necessary to practice much caution. Iyanough  and Squantum went on shore there to conciliate the natives and to inform them of the object of the mission. The next morning a great crowd of natives had gathered, and were anxious to get into the boat. The English, however, prudently, would allow but two to enter at a time. The day was passed in parleying. About sunset a train of a hundred Indians appeared, bringing the lost boy with them. One half remained at a little distance, with their bows and arrows; the other half, unarmed, brought the boy to the boat, and delivered him to his friends. The colonists made valuable presents to Aspinet, the chief of the tribe, and also paid abundantly for the corn which, it will be remembered, they took from a deserted house when they were first coasting along the shore in search of a place of settlement. They then spread their sails, and a fair wind soon drove them fifty miles across the bay to their homes.

The Wampanoags do not appear to have constituted a very numerous tribe, but, through the intellectual and military energy of their chieftain, Massasoit, they had acquired great power. The present town of Bristol, Rhode Island, was the region principally occupied by the tribe; but Massasoit extended his sway over more than thirty tribes, who inhabited Cape Cod and all the country extending between Massachusetts and Narraganset Bays, reaching inland to where the head branches of the Charles River and the Pawtucket River meet. It will be seen at once, by reference to the map, how wide was the sway of this Indian monarch, and how important it was for the infant colony to cultivate friendly relations with a sovereign who could combine all those tribes, and direct many thousand barbarian warriors to rush like wolves upon the feeble settlement.