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MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
ELECTED APRIL, 1837.
Hon. THOMAS L. WINTHROP, L. L. D.
JOSEPH WILLARD, Esq.
Rev. CHARLES LOWELL, D. D.
Hon. JAMES SAVAGE.
Rev. JOSEPH B. FELT.
ISAAC P. DAVIS, Esq.
Hon. JOHN DAVIS, L. L. D.
JARED SPARKS, Esq.
Hon. JAMES T. AUSTIN.
COMMITTEE OF PUBLICATION.
Rev. ALEXANDER YOUNG,
Rev. JOSEPH B. FELT,
Hon. LEMUEL SHATTUCK,
Rev. SAMUEL SEWALL.
News from America, or a late and
experimental discovery of New England. London,637.
SHALL not spend time (for my other occasions will not
of the English. And to the end that God's name might
The cause of our war against the Block Islanders, was for taking away the life of one Master John Oldham, who made it his common course to trade amongst the Indians.
He coming to Block Island to drive trade with them, the islanders came into his boat, and having got a full view of commodities which gave them good content, consulted how they might destroy him and his company, to the end they might clothe their bloody flesh with his lawful garments. The Indians having laid the plot, into the boat they came to trade, as they pretended; watching their opportunities, knocked him in the head, and martyred him most barbarously, to the great grief of his poor distressed servants, which by the providence of God were saved. This island lying in the road way to Lord Sey and the Lord Brooke's plantation, a certain seaman called to John Gallop, master of the small navigation standing along to the Mathethusis Bay, and seeing a boat under sail close aboard the island, and perceiving the sails to be unskilfully managed, bred in him a jealousy, whether that the island Indians had not bloodily taken the life of our countrymen, and made themselves master of their goods. Suspecting this, he bore up to them, and approaching near them was confirmed that his jealousy was just. Seeing Indians in the boat, and knowing her to be the vessel of Master Oldham, and not seeing him there, gave fire upon them and slew some; others leaped overboard, besides two of the number which he preserved alive and brought to the Bay. The blood of the innocent called for vengeance. God stirred up the heart of the honored Governor, Master Henry Vane, and the rest of the worthy Magistrates, to send forth a hundred well appointed soldiers, under the conduct of Captain John Hendicot, and in company with him that had command, Captain John Underhill, Captain Nathan Turner, Captain William Jenningson, besides other inferior officers. I would not have the world wonder at the great number of commanders to so few men, but know that the Indians' fight far differs from the Christian practice; for they most commonly divide themselves into small bodies, so that we are forced to neglect our usual way, and to subdivide our divisions to answer theirs, and not thinking it any disparagement to any captain to go forth against an enemy with a squadron of men, taking the ground from the old and ancient practice, when they chose captains of hundreds and captains of thousands, captains of fifties and captains of tens. We conceive a captain signifieth the chief in way of command of any body