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Ten years passed by peacefully, except for one little trouble, which occurred in 1667AD, six years after Philip became sachem. An Indian told the people at Plymouth that Philip had said that he wished the Dutch would beat the English in the war which was then being carried on between Holland and England.

The Plymouth people were very much surprised at this, and immediately called Philip to account. But he denied ever making any such statement, and offered to surrender all his arms to the English in order to show that he had no hostile designs against them. This satisfied the English. Everything went on quietly until 1671AD, when troubles between the two races finally began to arise.

 

In that year Philip complained that the English were not living up to their agreement which they had made with him ten years before. At the request of the people of Plymouth, Philip went to Taunton, a village near his hunting-grounds, and talked matters over with them.

 

He was accompanied by a band of warriors armed to the teeth and painted. The meeting was held in the little village church. Philip and his Indians sat on one side of the room and the English on the other.

 

A man from Boston, who was thought to be friendly to both parties, was chosen to preside over the meeting. Then the Indians and the settlers made speeches, one after the other, just as is done in meetings to-day.

 

Philip admitted that lately he had begun to prepare for war, and also that some of his Indians had not treated the whites justly. But he also showed that the English were arming themselves, and that many of them had cheated the Indians when dealing with them.

 

Philip said that he preferred peace to war, and had only armed his warriors in self-defense. Finally, it was decided to make a new treaty.

Here is a copy of the new treaty as it was drawn up. Notice the quaint way of expressing the ideas, and also, that many words are not spelled as we spell them to-day. Notice, too, how one-sided the treaty is, and that it is signed only by Philip and the Indians.

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A FACSIMILE OF THE TREATY MADE AT TAUNTON, APRIL 10, 1671.

 

Whereas my Father, my Brother, and myself have formerly submitted ourselves and our people unto the Kings Majesty of England, and this Colony of New-Plymouth, by solemn Covenant under our Hand, but I having of late through my indiscretion, and the naughtiness of my heart, violated and broken this my Covenant with my friends by taking up arms, with evill intent against them, and that groundlessly; I being now deeply sensible of my unfaithfulness and folly, do desire at this time solemnly to renew my Covenant with my ancient Friends and my Father’s friends above mentioned; and doe desire this may testifie to the world against me, if ever I shall again fail in my faithfulness towards them (that I have now and at all times found so kind to me) or any other of the English colonyes; and as a reall Pledge of my true Intentions, for the future to be faithful and friendly, I doe freely ingage to resign up unto the Government of New-Plymouth, all my English Armes to be kept by them for their security, so long as they shall see reason. For true performance of the Premises I have hereunto set my hand together with the rest of my council.

In the presence of:

 

The Mark of    Philip, Chief Sachem of Pokanoket

William Davis.

The Mark of    Tavoser

William Hudson.        —— ——

Capt. Wisposke

Thomas Brattle           —— ——

Woonkaponehunt      —— ——

Nimrod

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But Philip doubted the sincerity of the English. He hesitated to give up his arms. Then the settlers ordered him to come to Plymouth and explain why.

 

Instead of obeying, he went to Boston and complained there of the treatment he had received. He said that his father, his brother, and himself had made treaties of friendship with the English which the latter were trying to turn into treaties of subjection. He said he was a subject of the King of England, but not of the colony of Plymouth, and he saw no reason why the people of Plymouth should try to treat him as a subject.

 

The people of Massachusetts again made peace between Philip and the settlers at Plymouth. But it could not long continue, for each side had now become thoroughly suspicious of the other.

 

In 1674AD, an Indian reported to the settlers that Philip was trying to get the sachems of New England to wage war on the whites. A few days later, that Indian’s dead body was found in a lake. The English arrested three Indians and tried them for the murder. They were found guilty and were executed, although the evidence against them was of such a character that it would not have been admitted in a court of justice against a white man.

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From Stories and Legends from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island –

http://abelapublishing.com/legends-and-stories-from-marthas-vineyard-nantucket-and-block-island_p31019862.htm

 

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

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According to the custom of the Indians, Wamsutta, the eldest son of Massasoit, succeeded his father as grand sachem of the Wampanoags.

 

King Philip as Grand Sachem

King Philip as Grand Sachem

 

Almost his first act was to go to Plymouth, where he made some requests of the settlers. These were granted. Then he  asked for an English name, and was given the name of Alexander.

 

He was so much pleased with this name that he asked for an English name for his younger brother, Metacomet. The English gave him the name of Philip, by which name we have been calling him in our account of his life.

 

A few days later, ten armed men suddenly appeared at the place where Wamsutta and several of his followers were holding a feast, and arrested them all. Wamsutta was taken to Plymouth immediately, and charged with plotting with the Narragansetts against the English.

 

Being seized by force on their own grounds, and compelled to go to Plymouth to answer charges based on rumor, was a new, experience for the Wampanoags. It was very different from the friendly manner in which they had been treated formerly.

 

The English treated Wamsutta very well at Plymouth. They could prove nothing against him, and hence they soon let him go. On his way home he died.

 

As Wamsutta left no children, he was succeeded by his brother Philip. There was no ceremony of crowning, no procession, no speeches. In fact, there was no crown at all; nor was there any ceremony of any kind. The other Indians merely obeyed Philip just as they had formerly obeyed his father and his brother.

 

Philip and all the members of the Wampanoag tribe believed that Wamsutta’s death was due to poison which had been given him by the whites when he was at Plymouth. According to the belief and custom of the Indians, it was Philip’s duty to take vengeance on those who had caused his brother’s death.

 

Still, Philip made no attempt to injure the whites in any way. But the whites became suspicious, probably because they felt that they had done wrong; and very soon they summoned Philip to Plymouth to answer a charge of plotting against them.

 

Philip acted very honorably in the matter. Instead of hiding in the forest, as he might easily have done, he went to Plymouth. There he had a long talk with the whites. He denied that he had plotted against them. He showed them that it was against his own interests to have any trouble with them, and as proof of his good intentions toward them, he offered to leave his next younger brother with them as a hostage.

 

He agreed to continue the treaty that his father had made forty years before. He went further, and acknowledged himself to be a faithful subject of the King of England, and promised not to make war on any Indian tribe unless the English first gave their consent.

 

For several years Philip was grand sachem of the Wampanoags and kept this treaty with great faithfulness. During this time his duties were similar to those which his father had had, and his life was uneventful. He was consulted by the other sachems of the tribe, and his advice was generally followed by them.

Like his father, the good Massasoit, he was inclined to be conservative; that is, he did not like to change the established order of things. He was very much liked by the Indians, who felt that he tried to treat them all honestly and fairly.

 

He went to Plymouth very frequently, to visit the whites and to trade with them. And, likewise, the whites frequently came to Mount Hope to see him.

 

The relations between the whites and the Indians were such that it was perfectly safe for a white man to go anywhere among the Wampanoags unarmed. This is something that cannot be said of any other Indian tribe in the colonial days. The Indians, acting under orders from King Philip, treated the whites honestly and fairly. In fact, there was a feeling of great friendship between the whites and the Indians.

 

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From: LEGENDS AND STORIES OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD, NANTUCKET AND BLOCK ISLAND – A New Release – PREORDER NOW!

http://abelapublishing.com/legends-and-stories-from-marthas-vineyard-nantucket-and-block-island_p31019862.htm

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

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